Wednesday, December 16, 2009

For what he is

I had a mother of all roller coaster days today. I had lunch with some great ladies and just by chance the conversation turned to my pictures of Chase. I happened to mention as we headed out the door to our cars that the nurse who was in the operating room for my surgery had taken some pictures of Chase soon after he was born (because our camera was no where to be found) and had supposedly emailed them Patric but we had never seen them. And her phone had gotten stolen by the time I asked for them so apparently there were some phantom pictures of Chase out in cyber space that no one has ever seen that I will never get. My friend immediately speaks up and says, "I think we have them." I have been thinking/searching for these pictures since April to no avail. It's an ever longer story how she ended up with them so just know that I was hit with one of those tidal waves of grief. I was so hopeful that she might have them, but prepared that she wouldn't. I wanted to see them so badly. The earliest images of my newborn son, captured in time. Before I had even got home, she had already texted me that she sent them to my email address. I don't know why, but as I drove home, I felt like I was going to get to see my baby for the first time again. That's what it felt like. But I knew that I didn't really have him. But it was still a sense of anticipation like I was about to get something that I wanted for a real long time, but I would never get what I really wanted.
So all those emotions come back to me. How perfect he looked. How chubby his legs were. My, his nose looks big! How could he have died? He looks too healthy. How could this have happened? Anger rages within the depths of every cell in my body. Pain fills my heart, my head, my gut. He just needed his mama to hold him, it feels like. It hurts so incredibly bad. This wave is way over my head. I'd been keeping my head above the water up until this point.
I struggle with many things. As time keeps on, there's a part of him that feels like is slipping away. Because I know he is no longer a newborn; now he is 8 months old. And I don't know what that looks like on Chase. In these pictures I know he was going to have his own look. I can't imagine what he would look like at 8 months. I can only see him as he looked days old. And I feel like this is jading me. I don't know what I am supposed to think of him like? I read many different ways people imagine a lost child. And I feel that everyone has their own opinion and own belief. But the problem is, I don't know what I believe. And I feel like it is getting in the way. I can't think of my baby the way I want to because I don't have an image. Or the only image I have is frozen in time the day after he was born and is that what he is looks like in heaven? I had read in a book that he will look age appropriate and I will recognize him when I see him in heaven so that was what I was trying to do....imagine him growing up. But I can't. I don't have a picture in my head of that because I never saw it with my eyes to transfer it to my brain. I need something tangible. Or I need to freeze him in time.
Moreso, I need to think of him for what he is. Not what he is not. He is my baby boy, perfect in every way, with a head full of hair, perfect nose, chubby legs and 10 perfect fingers and toes. And he lived with us for three days. He loved us and we loved him, more than anything in this world. He knows that and so do we. He taught us things that we never knew. And we taught him what a family can be and is. That is what Chase is to me. And always will be. No more struggling to conjure up an image of what he must look like to all those who are up there in heaven with him. No more struggling to grasp how he would look as an 8-month-old baby if he were here with me. I have my photos to remember him by and that is how it will remain for me. Frozen in time.


  1. I also still think of Lachlan as the little 32 week boy that he was. I had a similar experience a few months ago when I was looking through Lachlan's photos. I noticed a folder that had photos from my parent's camera in it. Unlike the 405 photos from our own camera that I'd burned into my memory, these were a new set of photos that I hadn't seen and that I'd forgotten about. I was excited looking at them, as though I was about to discover something new about my son that I did't yet know. There were photos that my parents took when I wasn't there. It was an extra little piece of Lachlan. I'm glad for you that you have these new photos. I know it's never enough, but it's still something. I was unconscious when Lachlan was born, and am so grateful for the photos that the hospital staff took right after he was born, when his hair was still wet. ((Hug))

    I also struggle to understand how a little body that was so beautiful, so perfect could die. It's just such a terrible tragedy.

  2. I am so happy that you have those pictures. I can only imagine that feeling of getting to see him differently. We did not take many photos & it is painful to live with.

  3. I am so happy that you were able to get he picture. They are something you will cherish forever. I know I do.
    I have a hard time too picturing what Shealyn would look like.

  4. Yes, I struggle with that too. We cant even imagine what our babies would look like today...I can't even imagine what I'll look like when I grow old. Mackenzie will always be a baby to me. Although I'll be able to see how big she might be watching my friends babies grow up, I'll still never be able to put a different face on her...but I don't want to. I love that chubby face with all my heart and if that's all I ever get (and it is) then that's ok. I wish it were more but it can't be so I try to be content with what I got. Your son is so handsome and I'm glad you have those pics as memories.

  5. Christy, I am so happy you got those pictures. I can't imagine the feelings you must have had when you heard someone else had those pictures. This post in beautiful in many ways. I love how you mention that Chase loved you and you love him and that he has taught you many things. I feel the same way about my babies. xx

  6. It is good to have those pictures. I had NILMDTS come to the hospital and it took 3 weeks to get the pictures... It was really good to see something new... Like a little gift sent down from heaven from chase to his mom.

  7. As I began reading this I started to feel a little sick like... oh my gosh- please let her get those pictures- please let her get those pictures! I had a pit in my stomach because I remember where I was when I got the call that there were pictures- reading this post brought me back to that!
    I hated my pictures though.
    Nothing like my memories-
    and I hated that those pictures are now more clear than the memory of that night.
    I hate that.
    But- I think of my Andrew who would now be six- and I feel like I can see his outline- but I can't ever focus and that is what kills me... I'll never really be able to focus in and see what he would have looked like...
    All of my children have looked soooo very similar at birth- but grew into different individuals- ugh- how I wish I could focus.
    Thinking of you!

  8. I am relieved to hear you say that you got those pictures. I am sure you were both glad and heartbroken at the same time. Seeing those pictures prolly brought it all back. It is hard to imagine your baby and what they would look like IMO. Carleigh had chubby cheeks like her sister. I think she would've looked very similar to her sister so when I see Kyndra I can kinda glimpse a little bit of Carleigh too. But I also know that she is uniquely herself.

  9. Wow. What an enormous gift those pictures must be for you! I can only imagine how you must've felt that you were able to see Chase again 'for the first time'. I struggle with the same thing you do: how to picture my baby. But for very different reasons. Olivia's face isn't something I want to remember, so I really have no picture at all of what to imagine. Most of the time I try and picture her as a blend of what my other daughters look like. I am so glad that you have come to the place where you can remember Chase for all his 'perfectness'.

  10. I am so very glad that you got to have the pictures. What a wonderfu gift and what a

    Also, My mother had a friend who had lost a baby at a few months old and was having a difficult time with the same thing. Her husband had an artist do an age progression sketch for her. I don't know who did the sketch, but It did help her a lot. And she also had a doll made from that sketch at

    I had a wonderful time In Runidoso visitng my family. You've got a great town there!

    My warmest regards, Kimme