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Sunday, September 4, 2016

That time of year.

It's so strange to me, how I can so distinctly tell what time of the year it is by how the sun is.

I think I write about it every year at this time, but the color in the sky is changing right now. And it's the same sign every year...It's the season that was coming when we were supposed to take you home, Luke.

And every year since we lost you, it's the change in season that reminds me that you're still gone. I mean, I think about you being gone every day. But when the days get shorter, and the sun shines a little bit differently in the sky like it does when summer's ending, that's when the reminder hurts the most.

Four years ago at this change in seasons, we had so much hope for your future. We were so naive and we had no idea that something so life-altering was just about to happen to us.

If only we could have seen what was coming...if only we could have known that we'd lose you. We could have changed things--We could have gone to the hospital sooner and maybe things could have turned out different. Maybe we'd be celebrating your 4th birthday soon.

I wish that I could go back to being as hopelessly naive as I was at this time four years ago. In so many ways, I'm jealous of people who haven't had to live through really hard things. Why am I the person that had to be brave? That had to figure out how to keep living without my first child? I know there are plenty of others who've also had to do hard things. But I wish none of us did. I was a stupid first time mom worrying about whether the nursery was going to be done in time for when the baby arrived.

The other day I heard Muse's song Madness on the radio...and it took me back. The day we left the funeral home after Luke's service...I remember that song came on, as we were pulling out of the driveway on our way home to live the rest of our lives with that behind us (or maybe, in front of us, too). I remember thinking how absurd it was...We just held a funeral for our first baby. OUR baby. The one who made us parents. I...I can't get these memories out of my mind... I know the song mostly doesn't pertain, but some of it? Eish. Who has to plan funerals for their own babies?!

This week, I've noticed just how much Lena and Lainey look EXACTLY the same. Like, in pictures without context, I can't tell them apart. And then I think about the photos I have of Luke...in his tiny baby casket. And every night when I'm getting ready to put Lainey down into her crib for bed, I see him. Barely, anymore though. She's growing out of looking like a baby. And with that...there won't be anymore reminders of how his siblings looked like him. Luke will always be a newborn and Lena and Lainey will grow into girls and ultimately, women. 

I sometimes wonder if Luke would have looked different from the girls as he got older. Would he have been the one that looked different? Or would the three of them look exactly the same? It's an unfair question that will always nag me, because none of it makes sense. No one should look at their third baby sleeping and see their dead firstborn. No one should have to think about not having their second or third child because the first one died. 

I realize now that all of that will end soon. At six months, Lainey is growing into her own person. And all I still have of Luke are photos in a casket. And that's all there will ever be. 

And four years out, that still stings. 

Four. Years. You should be four.  

Friday, July 22, 2016

Dear Finn...


How much more heartache can one family take?

Actually, I don't want to know the answer to that question. 

When I got the call Monday morning telling me that you were already gone, I was shocked. Shocked. 

To be honest...I thought we'd already met the statistics. Babies just don't die that often after the second and third trimester. I mean...the people that I've met that it's happened to? I know them because of Luke. Those are the types of circles I run in. 

But you were MY nephew. This wasn't supposed to happen to us again. We already paid our dues. We already lost Luke. 

First was the shock. Then the tears came flooding back. Every thought I had that day we were told Luke was gone ran through my head again. How? When? Did he struggle? What happened? He has to be delivered! When? 

Oh my god. 

Except this time, I knew what was coming. Because these are the circles I run in now. I know people who've been through this at all stages of pregnancy. 20 weeks. 34 weeks. 42 weeks. How fucked up is it that I know these things? That I knew Finn probably wouldn't be considered a stillborn at 19 weeks + a few days. That that MATTERS. That I knew he'd have to be delivered the hard way. That questions about autopsies and mortuaries were coming. 

I got to the hospital, and watched again as hearts broke each time a new person walked through the door. This time, there were new faces. But the pain was all the same. 

We'd have to wait for Lauren to start labor. Which is absurd when you're just 20 weeks. This journey would take much longer than ours meeting Luke. But it was still so unfair. 

No mama should ever have to give birth to death. To their own, much-wanted baby. To silence. 

Soon enough, it was Wednesday. And things were still progressing slowly. I called a photographer, knowing there was no way my brother could possibly document any of what was coming--no matter how talented of a photographer he may be. 

We waited at the hospital for hours. And soon enough, you were here. At 9:41pm on July 20, you were born. With the cord wrapped too tightly around your neck. 

When we heard the news about your cord, Finn...my heart felt like it stopped. How? How could we have lost you to a cord accident too? We already HAVE a cord loss in our family. How was this possible? At 20 weeks? How is it possible that two out of seven babies in my immediate family have died before birth from a cord accident? 

What I know is that we will likely never have an answer. 

What I know is how to survive this. How to work to remember you. How to be there for your parents. Who to call at the mortuary. When to bring cookies. 

I will never understand this. It will always haunt me. It will always be absolutely absurd that my family has had to go through the death of two babies. It will never be ok and no matter how much I've been able to help others through this, I'd trade it all to just have both of you here, somehow. 

The paths that are paved for us by life change so much about who we come to be. We didn't choose the path that brought us Luke, then Lena and Lainey. And we would never have chosen this for you, Finn. You were supposed to be Lainey's BFF. Like E and Lena. And now all of those dreams will be tucked away with our dreams we had for Luke. 

I still have a hard time putting away those dreams, 4 years later. I'm starting to wonder if I'll ever stop wondering, but I'm positive the answer is that I won't. Now we're short two boys in our family. Which seems like a gaping hole at this point. 

I mean, we've been through enough right? 

I'm still in disbelief. I still can't believe we're surviving this again. How can you really be gone too?

I know you and Luke will be BFFs, wherever you are. In some ways, it's comforting to believe that the two of you are traveling together...in whatever forms you might be in. Maybe now your lights will be twice as bright... 

I love you, always, sweet Finn. You were perfect. And so, so, so loved. 

I hope you know that--wherever you are. 

All my love, 
Auntie Jen

(And Heather...there aren't enough thank yous for this picture. We needed it so much. You're the best BFFBLM I could ask for.)

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Waiting on someone that just won't show


About 4 years ago, I bought these navy Carter's rock star jammies. 

For my son, who was supposed to be born on September 17, 2012. 

I loved everything about them. They were boyish and cool--I found so many boy clothes to be so cliche. I wasn't into trucks and cars, but I could 100% get behind these. 

Four years ago, we were also at Coachella. I was about 18 weeks pregnant, and it was Jeff's 39th birthday. It was so, so, so friggin hot (I vaguely remember it being about 110 degrees F), and I felt SO pregnant. The day before we left, though, we had our anatomy scan, and there was nothing as exciting in our lives as finding out what the sex of our first child would be. A boy, they said! I'll admit that I was disappointed at first--I'd always wanted a daughter first--like me! But I was also so happy. Because of this: 


Jeff was so so excited for that little boy to come. I was too--it just took me a little longer to grasp. 

We bought those footies and that Coachella shirt for a little boy that seemed like such a given. We made it to the second trimester! Obviously he'd be wearing the clothes we bought for him soon! In a matter of months!

These two articles of clothing will always be Luke's. I just never anticipated that he'd never wear them, but his two sisters would. 

These are the things that still haunt me. 

I put these pajamas on Lainey a few weeks ago. And while it's comforting now to put my baby in them, I still long for the one baby that they were first intended for. Unfulfilled wishes and dreams...I'm relieved that they didn't sit unused, forever. But it's still not fair. I still wish I had a picture of him wearing these. 

You were so, so wanted, Luke. You still are. You will always be. 

In the beginning, there was nothing more painful to me than to look at Luke's dresser and closet--full of clothes, just waiting for him to wear them. It was the ultimate neverending nightmare. 

Waiting on someone that just won't show...and every night it seems like there's no tomorrow, not that you'll ever know...

What would i do with them if he was never coming back? 

I was forced to pick one thing--one item of clothing--for him to wear at his family viewing and then to be cremated in. Babies don't wear suits in a coffin, do they? Pajamas were pretty much all we had. Who even has to think of these things? Do you have any idea what a terrible, horrific, painful choice that is to make when he'd literally never worn a goddamn piece of clothing in his life? I picked out a different footie pajama--one that said "Mommy Loves Me". Because I couldn't bring myself to part with this one thing of his

Because I'd already allowed myself to see him in it in my head...and if he wasn't gonna be in it...I just couldn't let it go. 

And I don't think I ever will. At this point, both of his sisters have spit up and pooped through it. But it was always his. And the same goes for the Coachella shirt. It was always meant to be his. 

The other day I thought about what I was going to do with the baby clothes. We're done having babies. But Luke only had baby clothes. And literally ALL of them hold a pretty special place in my heart. But it's not like I would have kept them all if he'd lived. So why would I keep them all now? Because I have so little left of his presence? That's probably why. 

I still don't know my answer to this question. I'm probably going to put them back into the box they came from and sit on it for awhile.

But these two things are going in the special box of his things. Waiting for a little boy that will never come. Whose sisters' faces look just like his did. 

Cruel and beautiful. 

Thursday, March 10, 2016

March 10.

I wrote this on March 10. This month has been crazy and trying and so so hard, but I'm finally getting around to posting this. 

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First things first. 

Last Friday, we welcomed Lainey Ruth to the family. 

Today was supposed to be the day--her big brother's would-be 3.5 year birthday, but she had other plans for us too. At this time last week, I had no idea that would be the last night I was pregnant. 

Friday morning, we had our NST and fluid check at the hospital. We've had a few NSTs that didn't go as easily as I'd hoped. So Friday morning, we got there, and hopped straight into the fluid check ultrasound. So far, fluid had always been alright. But I could tell right away that Patty didn't like something she saw. I could see there didn't seem to be many pockets around where baby was. The good thing was that I could still feel her moving. Thank. God. But fluids had dropped from about a 12 the week before to about a 4 that day. They'd dropped a lot, and I had no idea why. 

Patty went to check with the doc, came back in, and said, "well, looks like you're having this baby today!" They didn't see any reason to let my fluid drop any further, especially considering the c-section was scheduled for that week anyway. 

I'd eaten breakfast that morning, and that bought us about 6 hours to go and get as ready as possible. Considering I hadn't packed a single thing for the hospital, that was one thing I was thankful for. 

We ran home, called family to let them know what was going on, and packed for ourselves and Lena (who was staying with Nana and Gropa while we were in the hospital). Then at 3:30, we headed back to the hospital. I cried when we left Lena. She wasn't going to be alone anymore. She was finally going to have a sibling. Here. With us. 

Getting there was a relief. I was so relieved to not have to worry about movement anymore. Not have to stress about the NSTs. This was it. The last hours of being pregnant. Forever. I think that was the one emotional thing that hit me the hardest. I was happy...but so so sad. This was really it. And I hadn't really mentally prepared for it to happen on that exact day. 

I realize I sound crazy, saying I wasn't ready at 38 weeks and 1 day. But both Luke and Lena were born at exactly 39 weeks, and this one was supposed to be that way too. So in my head, it would obviously happen. And it didn't. 

But again, relief was coming. And quicker than I thought it would. 

They hooked me up to the monitors, and apparently I was already having contractions 4 minutes apart? Nothing painful, but at that moment, I was so glad about Patty's call to send us in that night. I might've gone into labor at any moment that weekend, and with my high pain tolerance, who knows when I would've made it to the hospital. And who knows what might've happened if my fluid levels got lower and were unmonitored. At that point, I was so glad to be there. 

Everyone there was awesome. It wasn't busy in L&D that night, so everyone was amazing. At 5:30, it was time. I walked to the OR first, got my spinal from the same anesthesiologist who was there with Luke and Lena, and we rolled from there. Jeff came in before I knew it, and they'd started. 

Jeff told me when they were about to pull her out, and the first thing I heard was crying. Sweet, sweet noisy baby cries. That moment was bittersweet with Lena and it was still bittersweet this time, knowing what the flip side of that scenario is all too well. 

And then the best part was that not only did I get to see her, but I got to have her do skin-to-skin in the OR. I felt her heart beating. She was moving and reacting to being born! It was perfect. 

She was a perfect 9 pounds, 21.5 inches. My last baby. 

We got wheeled back to recovery altogether, and everything was a blur. She nursed like a champ off the bat, and all the testing was fine. And I couldn't believe that was it. I was done. We have our girls and we have Luke in our hearts. I wish it felt more complete, but I know this is it. And we'll never really feel complete. 

It was in recovery that we settled on her name. We kept with the Ls. And she has my mom's middle name. 

I'm not sure when it will all settle in...that this is our family now. That we've moved on to the next phase of our lives...but I'm so so relieved that we made it here this time without anymore heartache. 



Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Thoughts that I bet you haven't had

It's official. One month from today, I'm scheduled to have rainbow baby #2.

Coincidentally, March 10 is Luke's half birthday every year. And it's also the day I went back to work after Lena was born.

Everything is sort of swirling around right now--Going by so fast that I can hardly absorb what happens. I suppose that's what life is like for most people with toddlers and full-time jobs and friends and houses to take care of. Part of me feels like this pregnancy went by too fast. So fast that I could hardly absorb what was going on.

But then another part of me feels like I've been pregnant forever. Maybe that's why I'm not absorbing what's going on--because this all just feels like normal to me. I've been pregnant for nearly 4 years straight. Pregnant feels like my normal. And there's a huge part of me that's just relieved that this chapter will be closing soon. That soon, pregnancy won't even be a thought for me.

I knew, going into having Luke, that we'd like to have at least one other child. I don't think that I had any idea that having three children would take this kind of toll on me, though. I never could have predicted what happened to Luke. That I'd walk away from 9 months of pregnancy with no child to show. That I'd have to grieve death while pregnant and hopeful to take my next child home. And then that I'd have to have three just to hold two...

I feel like I'm falling apart, physically. Some of that's probably my age, but it's also having had carried 2 children that were both over 9.5 pounds and another that's yet to be determined within such a short time frame. It's just...a lot. I'm tired.

Thinking about being at the hospital with this baby this time, I'm a bit more excited than apprehensive. But there's always something lurking that has to sort of rain on my parade. I thought about getting Lena something cute to wear to the hospital when little sister arrives. Most people can just go and order a cute shirt that says "Big Sister" on it (for the big sister) and a tiny onesie that says "Little Sister", or something like that and call it a day.

I've been sitting on this one for over a week now. Because I feel stuck. Last time, we didn't have a child to bring to the hospital. But we brought Luke's teddy bear, and we felt OK with that. Like he was there with us.

This time, I'm torn about this stupid shirt situation. What do I get Lena? A shirt that says "Middle Sister"? "Big Sister" also applies, but it kind of also doesn't take into account that Luke existed. And then I thought about getting something to put on his teddy bear (which, again, things no one should even have to think about--dressing up a teddy bear that signifies your dead son?). But then it gets worse. Because you know what? They don't make "Big Brother" shirts in sizes smaller than 6 months. I really haven't seen anything smaller than an 18 month sized shirt.

Because, oh yeah. Big Brothers are never supposed to be smaller than their Little Sisters. Except when they died and you're dressing a teddy bear in his likeness.

These are the sort of fucked up things that I still deal with, 3.5 years out.

It doesn't stab me in the heart like it used to...It just makes me wistful that it's a problem that I've thought about.

Maybe I'll just end up making something myself. Because obviously the profit margin on tiny "Big Brother" shirts made to fit teddy bears isn't high enough for anyone to want to produce them...

Friday, December 18, 2015

Three

It's been awhile.

Lately I feel at a loss for words to say much here. I suppose that's how this goes, three years out. The thoughts and feelings are still there, but they're sort of muted. In the background. Weaving their way into my own existence. 

I've felt the need to get words out, but so often, nothing comes. Or I'm too exhausted to get anything out. 

This year has been...wonderful. Lena just turned two and she is the light of our lives. She's so smart and turning into a little girl. She's not a baby anymore. 

Which is good, because in March, we'll have another baby. (We will. This time around, I'm not wasting my breath with maybes or hopefullys...Maybe I've gained some confidence?) 

I never imagined having three children. It was never something I wanted for myself. But this is where life has taken me. Carry three children, just to raise two of them. 

We found out we were pregnant in July. Right as we we'd closed on our new house and were in the process of packing and moving. It was also the busiest time of year for me at work. So why not add pregnancy into the mix? I was so surprised and relieved, truthfully. Relieved that we'd get to have another child. That Lena would be able to have a sibling. Relieved to get this show on the road. 

If there's anything I've learned...it's that time doesn't wait for you. It's been almost four years since we found out we were pregnant with Luke, and yet we only have one child to show for it. At 36, I'm feeling my age with this pregnancy, and I knew that was going to happen. 

I feel every bit of it. Physically. Mentally. 

This is baby #3 for me. For us. I wish that was visible from the outside, because my insides feel so old. They've carried two 9+ pound babies. And this one's on her way to being the third. My pelvis and back are shot. 

I know this is it for us. And I'm so relieved that I know that. 

But then there's the finality. I suppose everyone who has children reaches this finality at some point, but it's different for us. 

Lena is going to have a little sister. And it turns out that this time around, all I wanted was a boy. 

It complicates things, having lost Luke. We had a boy. We don't anymore. And now he'll be our only boy. And I'll never have gotten the chance to raise him.  Or any boy, for that matter. 

The news of this baby's sex was hard to digest. I was so happy for Lena. She'll get to grow up with a sister. Growing up with my sister, all I ever wanted was two daughters who could be sisters like us. And maybe had none of this ever happened, I would still feel the same way. I don't know. But now I feel robbed. Again. The secondary losses are always there. Not only did I lose Luke, but I've now also lost the possibility of being the Mom of a boy. I mean...I AM a Mom of a boy. But not the way that I wanted to be. Happy for Lena, and so, so, so sad for me. And Jeff.

I know it would never be fair. I keep trying to finish this entry and the tears come every time. It's not fair that I feel like this about my children. Like I can never win. When in reality, I win because I'm their Mom. But losing Luke will just...never be fair.

With Lena, I was relieved she was a girl. I wanted things to be different. I wanted everything to be different so I could get through. This time around, I felt stronger. More confident. That I could handle this pregnancy with a boy.

But a boy was not to be for us, apparently.

I'm ok. When we found this out around Halloween, I'll admit, I was a mess. I've had about a month and a half to let it sink in now, and I'm starting to feel better. I WANT to be excited about this little girl. About Lena getting a little sister. That I get to use all of the clothes that Lena hardly wore because she grew so damn fast. All of that is so, so, so good.

But I still feel guilty. For wishing Luke was a girl. For wishing this girl was a boy. It's a stupid bargaining game that can never be won. All of the wishes in the world can't bring him back. And that's really the only wish I'd ever want granted anyway.

So here we are. Three-ish months from meeting this one. I feel so worn out. So tired. So drained. But this is the home stretch, and even though I know these feelings are hard now, meeting this little girl will begin a new phase of grief. A different phase.

And life will keep moving forward.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

The season is changing.

They were changing three years ago on this day too.

I was excited. There was so much to look forward to. Fall was coming...Summer was still blazing, but the sky was different--Like it is when it's Fall. The sun was starting to set earlier, and the days got a tiny bit shorter...

And we were supposed to be parents in about a week. A WEEK.

I can feel that change in my bones every year now. It used to mean the holidays were coming--The only "seasons" that California really gets are when the days get shorter.

But now that change of season comes with a tinge of wistfulness. Remembering that my heart is still broken. Realizing that it will always be broken.

People always say that each of their children hold a place in their heart. A place that grows and evolves over time, if they're lucky. Luke's place never got moved into. Even though Lena occupies SO MUCH of her own little space, his space still feels hollow. Lena has evolved into her own tiny personhood. She shares who she IS. She has opinions. She challenges me and shows love back to me. I never even got to hear your cry, Luke.

The tears and outbursts are fewer and farther between now. But as I feel September and your birthday come on, it's hard not to feel weepy. Still. I still feel sorry for myself and for missing out on an entire life that was so close to being here but never made it.

Three years ago, my life changed forever. The happily-ever-after story that seemed so attainable for everyone else was suddenly no longer a thing for us.

Who would you be today, Luke? A toddler with so many opinions, most likely. Sometimes I look at Lena and try to add 15 months onto her and project what you'd look like now. Would you know as many words as her? Would you be into trucks or dolls? What would your favorite cartoon be?

I'm more at peace with what happened now, three years on. I can function like a normal mom. I have a child that people see with their own eyes, and they recognize me as a mother. But I still struggle when I feel like you're a secret to the world. A secret that only my inner circle knows and keeps in their thoughts. The invisible life that never got lived.

Now the tears are coming.

Grief never ends. That's the thing I've come to understand the most these past three years. Tragedy like ours cuts a hole in your heart that can be uncovered with a single thought or memory. Sometimes I feel like my wounds are scabbed and healed, but then I'll think of your face on this day, three years ago. And it's a fresh wound again. You can never heal from grief. It's always there. Some days it's easier to handle than others, and that's about all you can predict. I do have joy in my life again. I smile. I laugh. There's so much to be happy about. I don't wake up in the middle of the night with tears in my eyes anymore.

But there's been three years without you. How can you feel so far away, and yet so close?

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One month from today, we'll be walking in our 4th Walk to Remember. Forever Footprints is a wonderful organization that takes care of families like us by providing training to hospital staff, offering books, memory boxes, support groups, and so much more to those who are going through what we went through. If you're local and would like to join us, or if you're not and would like to register as a virtual walker, you can sign up below--Join our team Luke's Skwalkers.
OC Walk to Remember 2015 Registration

And if you'd just like to make a donation in Luke's name, we have a fundraising page here: Luke's Skywalkers

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Boys

I've said it before, but you know what sucks?

Feeling bad about feeling bad.

Here we are...it's been almost 3 years since we lost you, Luke, and so much has changed. Life has done a complete 180 since you died. And so much of it has been about things getting better--Adding happiness to our lives. The clouds have parted, and I can't even describe how much joy Lena brings to us. She's just...amazing, for lack of a better word.

But you know what's still always there? Lingering?

Jealousy.

I hate it, because I'm not a jealous person. I'm so so not. But there's something about little boys...about seemingly everyone else around me having their own little boys...that just...eats away at me.

Since September 2012, so many babies have been born. But for some reason, in my circle, the people I'm closest to have produced so many boys.

Believe me when I say I'm happy that they're all here and healthy and happy. 

But I would be lying if I didn't say that everytime I hear that one of these little embryos is a boy, my heart sinks. It's not about them. It's about me. It's about what I'm still missing out on that I thought was a sure thing. There are times when I wonder if that desperation will ever be different. I have Lena. She's a living, breathing, growing child, and she's mine and I love her and I don't know what I'd do without her. Why can't I just be happy that I can call her my daughter? I AM happy that she's my daughter. And I'm so happy that she's here and alive.

Lots of people get hung up on the fact that they have 3 boys and no girls. Or the other way around. But they don't usually know what it's like to have had, and then lost one.

I'm sort of stuck in this weird purgatory forever, I suppose. I have a daughter and I had a son. I don't have him anymore. I can't bring him back to know what it's like to have a son and know what that entails. To have HIM and know what that entails. To see who he would become.

There's nothing I can do to bring him back. I know that. And I know that without him, Lena wouldn't be here. That's a bittersweet tradeoff that's still a really hard pill to swallow.

But there's just something about this sting. And I wonder if my desperation to have a son will ever be different? Will it be different if we ever have another son? Because even if we do, it will never be Luke. Will it sting even worse if we have another daughter?

There's no way to know. It's just a shitty thought, and the end of the sentence will always be "...but I can never hold my Luke."

(I'm sorry if you're one of those people in my life with a boy reading this. These feelings are so complicated, and like I said, it's not about you. It's about me. I love all of your boys. So much. On one hand...I get to experience boyhood, through all of them. On the other, it's a stark reminder of what I don't have, and I'm stuck here wishing I didn't have to understand or come to understand these feelings...)


Saturday, May 9, 2015

Four Mother's Days

I've now had the full gamut of Mother's Days experiences. 

My first was with Luke in my belly. Naive, and waiting for the rest of our lives to happen. 

The second, I'd yet to experience a Mother's Day with my own child. Luke was dead. I was bitter, and I was pregnant. Again. 

The third, last year, was the first Mother's Day WITH my child.  She was 5 months old, but so very alive, thank God. 

I'm still trying to figure out how to be a mom to both of our children. I don't think I'll ever have it all figured out. Grief and happiness are still hard to reconcile. 

I have mostly good, amazing days. And I'm so so glad about that. But I think that's what makes me sad, sometimes. Sometimes I still feel guilty for not grieving and missing Luke every minute of every day. Granted, I do. But it's not the same as it used to be. It used to be so thick, my grief. Now...I just think about him, and I still find it so hard to believe all of it really happened to us. 

He's stil gone. 

I'm still here. 

Our life has moved so far forward, and I'm not sure how it happened, but it did. 

But the depths to which I still miss him are incredible. It's not fucking fair that there are parents on this earth who have outlived their children. It never will be. And yet there are more and more of us walking in these shoes every day. 

It's so not fair that I never got to see Luke grow up. But I thank god every day that I can catch a glimpse of what it would've been like watching Lena. 

For those of you hurting today, just know that you're not alone. Life, loss, and grief go hand in hand. For some of us, not in the order it should go in. But there can always be hope, and maybe even healing in the love we show one another. 

I'll never be fixed. But I don't want to be, because that would mean that Luke didn't mean as much as he did. And still does. 

He'll always be my son. And I'll always be his mama. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Positive

Three years ago tonight, I took a test, and it was positive.

It's the first time we knew you about you, Luke.  But we were so excited and so happy.

It was Friday January13th, 2012. And it was shocking to us how quickly you were conceived.

What's equally as shocking was how quickly you came and went.

Sometimes I kick myself for taking that test on Friday the 13th.  How stupid, right? That's just stuff that's made out to be something in the movies.  Superstition. I don't even believe in superstitions. But it's almost like I was jinxing myself when I'd written this in my journal that day:
I guess it's meant to be, ya know? Now...to get through the next 9 months. Fingers crossed it's without drama.
Without drama.  What on EARTH did I know about drama three years ago?

Three years ago, I was na├»ve to worst-case-scenarios.  I truly thought the word "drama" meant some morning sickness and maybe gestational diabetes. I thought that Jeff having to change our insurance a month and a half before having our son was the end of the world.  What if I have him early, I thought? What if there's some strange gap in coverage and they bill us for everything!? This would be the end of the world.

I never ever ever could have imagined that I'd make it 39 weeks with you, Luke, and walk out of that hospital without you. Not once did that ever cross my mind.  Or anyone else's, for that matter.

The hard truth about stillbirth is that nearly no one can see it coming. It just drops on you like a bomb and you're left with the remains of your shattered hopes and dreams. There are rarely answers. No scientific test came back with anything conclusive about how your cord cut you off. There were no blood clots. No abnormalities. All we know is that you somehow cut yourself off from your cord. And you couldn't warn me or yell for help.  You just slipped away silently.

Three years of hopes and wishes that will never become reality. I often wonder how this will feel in 10 years, or 20, or even 30 years. The should-have-beens have become easier to let go of, but the constant parallel reality I run--where in one life you exist, and in the other, your sister exists--I'm not sure that will ever disappear.

Three years ago, my biggest worry was that we'd just purchased Coachella tickets.  How was I going to brave it through the hot desert in April while 18 weeks pregnant?! For sure I'd get heat stroke. Or cankles.

Sometimes I feel like such an idiot for believing that was the worst that could happen.

I wish somewhere, in the back of my mind, I'd reminded myself that the TRUE worst that could happen would be losing your baby.  That Planet-My-Baby-Died existed and was real.

I wish we never became a statistic. An open book with an unwritten story.

3 years ago, things were so uncomplicated. But I didn't know how much love I was capable of carrying, then. I've come to find out, it's a lot. Things are the New Normal, now. Definitely not the normal I was expecting 3 years ago, though. I don't think I ever saw this Normal coming.