Sunday, December 23, 2012
Sunday, July 29, 2012
Sunday, April 15, 2012
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
I find that sometimes you have to do what you have to do to get through certain things. Life has thrown us for such a loop-dee-doo, that sometimes I really do not want to get out of bed some days. However, I know that the world keeps turning and life does go on. I have other children who need their mother and I must continue to live. For Avery, I go on, for I cannot stand to think of my children being left uncared for. Not that I don’t think my other family members would ignore them. (My point is that I truly believe they need a mother, even a mediocre one, such as myself.)
So now, I wonder, what can I do to include my deceased son in our family? Well, for one, I can take photos. Clearly, I cannot take photos of him, as he is not physically with me. Since I have had his inked footprints tattooed to my feet, I have felt strangely at peace most days. There are still days where I just cannot stop crying and I am angry for seemingly no reason at all. Those days don’t happen as much now as they have in the earlier days, thankfully. Yet, somehow, I still feel bad for not feeling bad. I guess it’s one of those catch-22s. There will be days I think that I feel fine and things are running smoothly and then, suddenly and without warning, all hell breaks loose and I just can’t keep it together.
So… how do I include my son into our family’s experiences? The answer is simple. These tattoos on my feet, they are a part of me and a part of him all at the same time. An interesting way to look at it, don’t you think? The thought I had was to take a photo of my feet in different places we go, etc., so that Avery is included. For example, we went to the beach for the first time since Avery’s birth/death and it was the same beach we were at almost precisely 1 year ago. One year and 4-5 days, to be exact. I was 30+ weeks pregnant with Avery the last time we went to St. Augustine, Fl. on March 15th, 2011. This year, we went on the 20th of March. I decided a few days ago that I would be marking this trip as “Baby’s first trip to the beach.” Now, you may find it silly, strange or even some act of denial. Let me be clear, I am not in denial. My son is dead. Not a day goes by that I don’t know that fact. I can’t forget. That sweet, perfect boy grew within me for 42 weeks! He will not be forgotten. I am simply choosing to include him, where others might shy away from sharing such an experience because it just hurts too much. I find that the more I talk about him and the more people know of his existence, it validates his life and hurts me less.
So here, I give you, Avery’s first trip to the beach. (As he is with me everywhere I go and with every step I take.)
(Yes, I am in desperate need of a pedicure. I hate people touching my feet, as I will be doing it myself, it must wait until I have the time.)
Friday, February 3, 2012
I have learned so much since losing my son last June. For one, I have learned to watch my mouth. There are situations in life where someone blindsides you such damaging information and you just honestly don’t know what to say, right? I’ve been there. What I can tell you, even before I was in this particular situation, the best thing you can say is simply, “I’m sorry.” The truth is, we know you don’t know what to say to us, the bereaved parents of the world. We are sad, we are angry, we are many and we come from all over the world. The one thing we have in common? We’ve lost something very precious, something we love, our children.
Things NOT to say to a bereaved parent:
1. “God needed another angel.” Seriously? Regardless of your (or my) religion, ‘God’ does not need my child more than I do.
2. “Everything happens for a reason.” Any variation of this means the same. I used to believe this, and then my son died. Now? I can’t see a reason. I’ve searched myself many, many times. No reason could be found.
3. “God knows what’s best.” Or “It was probably best.” Again with your God… Does he (or she, if there even is one) really? What good could come of a dead baby? I’d really like to know.
4. “You’re young, you can have another.” You don’t know me. What if something went terribly wrong during delivery and I really CAN’T have another?? Don’t be a douchebag. This also bring to mind another question, which one of your children would YOU replace? Because that is what this statements screams. It screams, oh, just have another; one baby is as good as the next. We’ve lost a child, not our car keys! Maybe, just maybe, we don’t want another. We want that one, the one we’ve lost and we are lost without.
5. “You’ll see him again.” Really? You know this how? I want nothing more to believe that this is not the end for me and my son, however, I am alive and he is not. I cannot see him, I cannot touch him, and how can I believe that I will see him again? What if there really is nothing after death? HOW DO YOU KNOW? “Faith,” is not the right answer here.
6. “There was probably something wrong with him (or her) and he (or she) would probably never have a normal life.” Here we go yet again, you do not know me. My son was perfectly healthy. There was NOTHING wrong with him. Do not assume you know each and every person’s situation.
These things will make a bereaved parent angry. We are already sad, hurt, and feeling alone. Don’t be the idiot to open your mouth and insert your foot. Sometimes we just have to tell anyone who will listen. I found that by telling more people about my son, it hurt just a little bit less. It’s like the pain was a big, fat onion and I was peeling off the layers and giving them away. Whatever the other person does with that layer is their business; all I know is that it is no longer mine. I refuse to sit idly by and let my son be forgotten. I remember him and I will continue to tell people about him. I only have a handful of photos and that makes me angry. I should have a ton of photos from the various stages of his babyhood. Instead, I have pictures of a dead baby. It hurts like hell. Some days are worse than others. Let’s be clear about one thing, I am not depressed. I have been depressed in the past, this is completely different. Grief happens on its own timeline. Those who are in the grieving process will go back and forth for a while, through the stages before they leave a stage behind. This is normal. Do not let anyone tell you that you should “get over it” or “move on.” Your grief is yours and yours alone. I cannot and will not forget this pain. This pain is making the future me. It is shaping my life and building me up to be stronger, it hurts. If we forget the pain, we also forget all the good we experienced.
The memories I have are few, as he and I never got to lock eyes. The feeling of him tumbling in my tummy and kicking me silly at 3 am. Those are the things I remember. I wonder what color his eyes would be, what his little voice would sound like. He’d probably be crawling by now, at almost 8 months. He’d most likely be pulling himself up to stand and be gabbing away in his own language.
Try, please, to think about your words. Please, watch your mouth.
Saturday, January 14, 2012
To be honest, I wasn't really excited to see the scale at 177. Who would? I'm short. I shouldn't weigh this much. Ever. Exercise? I'm allergic. It makes me hurt. I also feel like maybe that 1.6lb was actually shed during this past week.
So what changed? My husband is working third shift now. This new job has us all confused and time-twisted. We've got 1 child in high school, 2 boys that are home schooled and 1 little girl that's just 3 years old. My days are now spent trying to keep everyone happy and quiet so daddy can sleep and at night... I've lost my drinking buddy. I'm drinking MUCH less than I have in a while and sometimes, not at all. I'm pretty sure running around all day (moving more) chasing a three year old and not drinking as much may have played a huge part in this weeks' success. Add to that, the fact that I no longer have time to snack all day.
There it is. It isn't much, but it still is. I'm not giving up, nor should you!
I think it's time to add some new rules for myself!
- Smaller meals and smaller portions! Use those small plates. You know, the "salad" plates. We've always used them for meals, but recently we've used the big dinner plates a bit too often.
- Eat slower! It's not a race. I know this, yet I continue to inhale my food as if there's some apocalyptic shortage. Slow down. Enjoy it more, choke on it less.
Saturday, January 7, 2012
Now, moving on does NOT mean forgetting. I could never forget the tiny human I spent 9.5 months of pure hell growing within my womb. He was/is an amazing gift. I am so very sorry I will never get to experience his life outside of me.
In regards to moving on, I was finally able to do something I feel like I've needed to do for many months. Memorialize my son. Permanently. On my skin. I'd always wanted a tattoo but could never decide on the design or location. When our son, Avery, died, I knew. I didn't know exactly what at first, but I knew it would be for him. Weeks went by and I knew I wanted his footprints on my body. But where? I thought about it for a while. I even Googled "baby footprint tattoos." I saw many. One of which, was of a baby's footprints atop the feet of the adult (mother, father, etc.) I LOVED this! I knew that my son would be able to walk with me everywhere I go. I mean, I know he is with me, always. He's part of me. Somehow, this seems different. It's tangible. I can touch it. I can see it!
I had virgin skin. Was I scared? A little. I was mostly concerned with the first contact the needle would make with my skin. Would I flinch? Would I cause some kind of permanent mistake? The first touch wasn't all that bad. As the artist moved the needles around a bit, my tuned changed. Quite quickly. Some areas weren't so bad and others were almost torturous. As soon as it was over, I felt no pain. My feet felt a little different, but I honestly cannot explain how. They just did. Overnight was fine, no mishaps or major hurdles. The following day, I fully expected some mild to moderate discomfort and swelling. NOTHING. While I will own to washing being a dream. I itch like mad! Like no itch I have ever had before. Even as I type this, I want to scour the tops of my feet with a Brillo pad they itchy so badly. I WILL NOT SCRATCH! Mind over matter!
While I'm still healing, I must say, I do love them! I love them so much. Do I regret it? Not in the least. Though, I feel as if one teeny, tiny part of my brain is in there screaming, "WHY?! Why did you do this?! You were perfectly plain and boring and now you're just a tattooed freak!" Not that I think people with tattoos are necessarily freaky. I was freaky enough without a tattoo. All in all, it was quite an experience and I would happily do it again.
Nothing going on here. I can't say that I'm trying all that hard, I'm not. There's a LOT going on right now. A LOT! So let's just leave it at... I have not gained, I have not lost. It is what it is.
Well, my husband is starting his first new job in over a year and a half and it's in a much different field than he's used to. It's also third shift! It's going to be tough at home with a toddler and two boys, a teen in high school and not being able to flip our family to becoming night owls. I wish we could. We'll make it through this like we're making through everything else. One minute at a time.
I may be starting school again soon. As far fetched and foreign as it seems to me, this is most likely the right move to make at this point in time. Looking at an AA in IT/Networking. Hey, it makes the $$. I also plan to get an A+ cert. Which should not be hard considering I've been taking apart and putting together computers since we got our first back in late 2000. That's 11+ yrs of hardware experience with no training. I got this!
I think that's all for now. I'll try to keep y'all updated.