Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas Joys

Christmas Morning 2010

Remembering Chase Always

We had a wonderful Christmas Day this year as my sister and her family visited us from Nebraska.  The cousins had a wonderful time with their cousins and we did several holiday traditions including, but not limited to, sledding, making reindeer food, Christmas cookies, and opening presents.  The time flew by as I knew it would and now I am sitting here reflecting how thankful I am that my family was able to visit and share such an joyous event with us.  Christmas morning was again an emotional time for me and as much joy as I found in this little one kicking me and constantly loving on me with his movements as well as sharing this time with my sister, the pain and sadness of Chase not being amongst all this chaos tore at my heartstrings.  I know he was here.....just not how I wanted it to be.  I love and miss you little man.  As much as the day you were born.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Merry Christmas to all....

Merry Whimsy Christmas
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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas festivities

We are so very busy right now.   Some days I can't believe how hectic things are.  Then the next day seems to be just as if not more hectic and I begin to wonder if things will ever slow down.  Here are some pics of the programs the kids have been performing in.
Reese's Kindergarten Program with Santa afterwards.

The kids at their church program.

I will post this on my other blog but I did want to mention that I had to go to the hospital (here) to get my weekly BPP & NST done here...something I was having some anxiety about since I have not been back to the OB dept since Chase was born.  I had avoided as much of the hospital as I could and was hoping to skip out on this appointment but decided to meet it head on.  I called in the morning to the OB nurse's station to make sure they were expecting me the day of my appointment and the nurse who answered happened to be my nurse I had when I was in labor all day with Chase.  I had not seen her or spoken to her since then and she was the one single person I had secretly wanted to encounter....yet did not want to at the same time.  The day ended up being crazy because one of the kids was sick, the other ended up needing labs done that day, then went on to school, so my plan of not going to this appointment unaccompanied did not pan out...and I needed to just get it over with.  

The ultrasound tech was very nice and she totally caught me off guard by telling me the baby had lots of hair already.  And she showed me how she could tell--that was one of the coolest things I had never seen before.  Then when I went to get my NST done, I was met by my old nurse and we hugged and cried together for a brief moment.  A moment that was so long awaited for, yet so distant in my mind, too.  I had thought so much of her and was never able to discuss the events that had taken place with her and to finally get that chance was almost like the last missing link to my puzzle.  She was so happy to see me there under the circumstances (being pregnant) yet the tragedy was so fresh for both of us.  I am not sure I will go back, but if I have to....I will.   My Abq appointments continue next week and this pregnancy just keeps moving along, fairly uneventful and peaceful.  This is a picture at 31 weeks with Reese after his Christmas Program.  He loved taking pictures with me during Chase's pregnancy--always had to put his hand on my tummy.  So, so precious.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Giveaway Winners

Sorry it has taken me so long to post the winners this morning.  Thank you to everyone who entered and thank you for leaving sharing those things that are important to you.  Many gave me ideas for things I would like to have or create.  I also met many new BLM friends and read their stories that I had not come across yet.  For me, this is the one of the biggest reasons for participating in this project and though I am sad for all of us even being part of this community, it is always nice to meet someone new that you can relate to and who understands your feeling, thoughts, worries, etc.  Right?  Thank you again, sweet Tina for creating this opportunity for us all.  The network you have started and nurture is priceless to us!

Now for the winners.....
The random number generator chose the numbers and they are.......#18 &  #6.  Congratulations to Teresa Farmer and The Zoo!  My email is on my profile page.  Contact me and I will get you your coupon codes! Thanks to all, again, for entering and sharing your stories with me.

Don't forget to check out today's giveaway on Tina's blog!

Friday, December 10, 2010

25 Days of Giveaways

Today is my giveaway for the  25 Days of Giveaways.  Thank you to Tina for this wonderful idea of helping babyloss moms through the holidays.   I remembered doing this last year and it was certainly a needed "distraction" during such a difficult time.  Our thoughts are never very far away from our babies but at least there was a focus....something to think about and look forward to each day and share with others that are on this journey.  I met several BLM friends through this and, as I have already this month, have found new stories and old stories and some of them very similar to what I went through.  These friends helped me through tough days and I would do the same with comforting comments or emails, letting them know someone else was walking very close to them on a very similar path.  This community is therapy for many of us....therapy we could have paid a professional for, but never received the empathy of "I've been I know how you feel."  Thank you to everyone out there who has helped a fellow baby loss mom out with kind and comforting comments, an email, a letter, or whatever form of support you offer.  

And on to my giveaway!  When Chase died, my sister found this wonderful website and worked with the creator on a custom canvas that perfectly represented our little boy.   They spent a lot of time on getting the art just right, the words just right and everything she wanted it to say.....while keeping it a secret from me the entire time!  The creator of this website is an artist that loves every piece she creates and does so with a compassion and care that gives the customer the most adorable, special piece of art to display.  The balloons on this canvas are the exact colors that we sent off to Chase the day we got home from the hospital, the number of balloons for each person in our family, his stats, the words that we said to him.  Everything was perfect--couldn't have been more fitting.   She also had a Picture Pal made that matched the canvas!  It was very touching and I was very emotional when she gave it to me.  Thank you to Therese for all her time in creating the special piece for me and my family!

So this is what I am giving away today......TWO (2) $25 gift certificates to Farmhouse Five for you to choose your special piece(s) for your little one.  I promise you will absolutely love her store and find several things to choose from.  The quality of work is amazing....just like her talent.   Leave me a comment and if you like, tell me what is your most special "thing" that you have made or had made that represents your angel baby.  Tonight I will use random.or.g. to choose the winners so check back tomorrow to see if it is you!

Thanks for reading & Happy Holidays to you all!

Friday, December 3, 2010

An ugly post....for BLMs only

I hate to follow that post of such positivity with this one....but my blog has come to my aid countless times providing me with comfort and support from the only people in the world who truly can understand me and empathize with  me for being the social outkast because my baby died: other BLMs.  And so I share this....

I have not vented nor had the need to vent, about lost and broken friendships for several months.  Those doors are closed, or so I thought, and I am focused on what matters in my life: my family.  Not friendships that appear smooth on the surface while causing me pain underneath.  I no longer have room in this heart  of mine that has been slowly pieced back together, though one piece will forever be missing.  My circle has definitely shrunk.  And my family is really my center point and where I get all the love, nourishment, companionship, and entertainment from.  I just wish what was in my head was the same as what is in my heart.

I don't know if I have written about the doctor and his family leaving town but they did this summer and it gave me a small peace of mind knowing I don't have to worry about turning the corner and running into them or seeing them on the road, etc.  My guard was lifted a tiny bit.  And I probably have written about losing friendships because the doctor's wife is still friends with those in our old circle, while we are not.  I had "friends" tell me that we need to remember that this tragedy happened to TWO families in this town, theirs and ours.  Though it was our son who died while theirs get kisses and hugs from them every day.  As if it is important enough to mention, I was once very close friends with his wife, but our friendship fell apart about a year before I became pregnant with Chase.  I have never been able to decide if this severed friendship led to the demise of my patient/doctor relationship during my prenatal care or not.  There was nothing offered or received from her after the birth or death of Chase so all of it is neither here nor there in my mind.  The problem I had was the support my friends were offering her rather than me.  Why was it so important to them to remind me that she was not in the delivery room or that horrible operating room where her husband cut into me while I was screaming my lungs out and hitting him.....hours, hours, after he should have done something to save Chase, but was just too arrogant to admit that he might need to be concerned about the care he had given up to that point.  

This has surfaced once again because though the family has relocated, she apparently, is back in town...for a party.  A party with my former friends, whom I really wonder why I ever called them my friends or me theirs.  This is one of those "clicky" desperate housewife type parties that the invite list changes every year--depending on the party thrower.  I have never made the cut anyway, which is funny I know (pie in my face), unlucky me--whatever.  But this year, they went out of their way to invite her she could make a special flight back into town just for it.  Makes it sound like a pretty special party, huh?  I thought so, too.   These are the same friends who threw the doctor and his family a going away party this summer in a town three hours away bidding farewell to them with hugs and kisses and nice gifts.  Wow--that kind of support for the man who did all this to me?  Do they know that....or have they just forgotten?  From the people who were supposed to be my friends?  They never offered me that kind of support.  Unless you call coming into my home the second Chase died to break down my crib and remove all my baby belongings so I wouldn't have any reminders of him when I walked in the door.  Really?   LIke I was going to leave Albuquerque and forget about my dead son if the crib and his clothes were not in my room anymore?  At the time I tried to look into this with the best of intentions and understand these things as best I could.  But wow, 1 yr 7mo2wk and 2 days into this grief cycle and it sounds insanely absurd to me now.  If they would have truly known me and been my real friends, they would have known that that baby furniture had been in my bedroom far longer than it had not over the prior 5 years and removing it from my room under normal circumstances would have not even felt right to me.  It was definitely not going to be something to send me over the edge coming home from the hospital without my baby in my arms.  Quite the contrary, in all actuality, but again, how would they know that.  

My anger comes out again....not from my heart, but from my head.  A conflict so very difficult to mend....and will forever keep me out of balance.  But my heart is in the right place.  It is my head that still seeks confrontation and closure, which I will never get.  Not the closure I want.  When I ask what I could have possibly done to these people to make them so nonchalantly continue including this family in their lives and support them, someone said to me, "they just don't know what to say to you probably."  Not.  They feel guilty for supporting that family and not supporting ours.....despite over 30 years of knowing our family.  I'm only venting here because it is the therapy I need.  I don't seek their friendship or their comfort or their companionship.  I am a different person.  One they will never understand and will never know and I don't expect or desire that to change.  I am getting this anger and frustration off my chest (out of my head) so I can once again lay it to rest without being judged.....and just hope it doesn't ever surface again.  Because rest assured you'll hear about it here if it does.  *sigh*

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A ladybug, a shower, a shooting star and my little rainbow butterfly

I can't believe Thanksgiving is already over.  We had a wonderful holiday with family but it went too fast.  I have read on blogs of other BLMs about the significance of things that never used to be significant.  Our family sees the simplest things from a whole new point of view since saying goodbye to Chase.  When we packed up the vehicle and were saying our farewells to the family, a peculiar thing happened; though I doubt it would have been as peculiar had Chase been in my arms.  When I opened the car door for the kids,  immediately I saw a ladybug on the seat.  I really wish I would have taken a picture of it because I had never seen a ladybug so big and with so many spots on it.  Never like this.  It almost seemed to have character as I picked it up and showed the kids, whom were all intrigued by the little bug.  Of course they referred to it as Chase right away and wanted to bring it with us.  I, too, wanted to think of it as Chase.  But the rational side of me says it's a bug, we don't need to bring it in the car.  However, when I picked "him" up, he snuggled right in under my watch and I couldn't get to him without removing my watch and picking him out of the buckle.  It was a little odd and I really did think of this ladybug as either Chase or a gift from Chase or some sort of connection.  I felt this way because I felt the freedom to think and feel freely about this little beauty--as a result of my perspective on the universe since Chase passed.  I was comforted in a way while listening to the kids play in the backseat, talking to Chase (the ladybug, who was in the console between them) and including them in their imaginitive play.  Thinking....wishing it was all real.
Our holiday tripped was capped off by a surprise baby shower that Emma had planned and, with the help of her aunts, threw for me the night before we left.  I had suspected Emma was trying to plan something a few weeks ago and emailed my sisters telling them I just didn't want a baby shower this time and wasn't ready to buy or receive a bunch of baby gear and stuff for this baby yet.  I want to celebrate Chase again this year and didn't want to feel like I was overlooking him by prematurely celebrating the next baby, when, as we know it, is not guaranteed. Right?  However twisted it is, that was my feeling about a shower but I told them (my sisters) that I also didn't want to take anything away from big sister Emma who might want to be a part of or organize something like a baby shower.  If anyone could police this plan, I could trust my sisters to do it gracefully and tactfully, satisfying and fulfilling both hers and my wishes.  
It was beautiful.  It was sweet.  It was fun.  It was special.  It was intimate--just my sisters and their kids/husbands.  It was absolutely perfect.  Emma had everything planned from the games we played (the kids had a blast!), to the decorations (a sign made that said "Chase has brought us a gift.  A baby boy!"), to the design on the cake (an angel in the clouds and a baby with a stork) and everything in between.  And Aunt Lyn & Aunt Meg made it happen!  They told me that Emma had contacted them about this shower the day that we told the kids we were pregnant--so that was at least 4 months ago!  She had even written me a poem and framed it.  You can read it here.  The memories we made that night were priceless for all of us. I am so grateful to have sisters that will go to those measures to make my family happy and a daughter with such a big heart.

I was talking to Reese the other day about Christmas gifts and asked him teasingly what he was going to get me this year.  He said he wanted to give me a picture of Chase but that he was sad that we had all we were going to get for pictures of him and we couldn't get a new one.  But then his smile perked right up and he said, "I know, Mom.  I will take a picture of something beautiful and put it with glass and wrap it for you. Because, you know, everything that is beautiful is Chase."  
I had an appointment yesterday and went by myself.  The baby is doing fine--measuring 3.7 lbs and nearly 15 inches already (in the 71st %-ile).  That is reassuring and all but unfortunately I am a product of "there are no guarantees in life" so when I see him on the screen, I see him for what he is today.  What this little angel looks like today that is kicking me all the time and moving all about.  And I love that.  I cherish it and could watch him on the screen all day long.  It is such a gift growing this little person inside me and I couldn't be more privileged to be in this position.  But I can't help but think every time we get these BPPs with "all the points" that Chase was just like that.  He got all those points on each BPP, too.  Yet he is not here with us and it is still no different than missing a limb or other part of my body.  Anger ensues and I thank my lucky stars that I have the best doctors and best facilities I know to take me through this pregnancy but hate myself for not taking those measures with Chase's pregnancy.   Those thoughts don't overtake me, but they linger, and they will never go away.  I walk out of the room with a smile on my face and joy in my heart, holding my precious little one tucked away in my belly....yet broken on the inside missing a piece of my ever growing heart.  
On the way home from this appointment, I received a gift.  I was in the desert part of my drive in  pitch black night skies; nothing but the stars looking down on me.  I looked up out of the side window just in time to see the brightest shooting star I have ever seen.  Ever!   It was amazing.  And it was a long one!  The longest one I had ever seen.  Just like the ladybug, I felt comfort in this star because it had to be a sign from Chase, there was no other way I would ever look at it.  And again, as crazy as it sounds, this was my gift from him--in my eyes.  But I have the privilege of seeing it this way, because of this universe that I now live in.  So amazingly different from where I used to be.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Happy Birthday Ethan!

Wordle: Ethans birthday
You are loved and missed.  We hope you and Chase and all your friends are having extra special fun today!

Monday, November 8, 2010

A very busy weekend

We are finally home and I am unpacked from a weekend of going this way and that, splitting up and getting back together, starting and almost ending together, too!  Thursday was our doctor appointment, which is always very time consuming, and the kids stuck it out, waiting patiently (as patiently as we could expect anyway) in the waiting room.  The look on their faces when they got to see the ultrasound pics was worth it, though.  They loved seeing their little brother!  Then went to a fun concert that the kids enjoyed (mostly) and was a "blast from the past" for us--since they sang mostly 90's songs.  :o)  Then the girls & I did swim meet while the boys went back for Reese's last soccer game.  

Anyway, they came back for the 2nd day of the swim meet and Reese had his Chase book packed in his backpack.  He had taken it to school last week but I had a talk with him about how to share it; and that I didn't really want his teacher to read it to the whole class (mostly because I know she wouldn't/couldn't and I would never expect her to) because it was our (semi) private book that we shared as a family.  It wasn't really a book to read to the class, I told him.  He was okay with that but still wanted it in his back pack and I was fine with that.  Sometimes we need to have something physical with us honoring Chase, memories don't always cut it.  So when he had it with him at the hotel, it was our reading material for the night.  

We were already in bed so I asked Emma to read it to him since they were sleeping together.  As I lay there in bed listening to her read, I pictured every page and every picture as I have that book etched in my brain.  Partly because I made it and partly because there are only so many pictures I have directly relating to or of Chase and they are in the kids' books.  As I expected, Emma reached the last third of the book and her voice started quivering and tears began to fall.  I ached for her, for me, for all of us, and laid there in a puddle of tears and as soon as she finished, I got up and walked over to her, leaned over and gave her a long kiss on her forehead and cried with her.  I gave Reese a kiss, too and he asked me to lay with him so I did.  We talked about Chase for a little bit and then I told him that the baby was kicking me like crazy and he couldn't wait to meet his biggest brother.  Reese told me, "I know, if we get to bring him home."  I told him that we were going to bring this baby home and he said, "maybe."  Twice more I bluntly and specifically promised him that we were going to bring this baby home and he kept doubting me and then finally said, "but you don't know that, mom."  This shattered my already broken heart and I cried as silently as I could laying there next to him but this did not go unnoticed.  Finally he said, "can you cut it out, the crying?"  I had never heard him say "cut it out" so it almost made me smile.  I told him I loved him.  And then he said, "you are the greatest mom in the world" and my broken heart melted.....back into place as I continue on this journey of life without our sweet little Chase.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A Dream I have been waiting for....

I wanted to document this dream this morning but have not had time to sit down and put it to words.  I have thought about it a lot and told it to Patric, but even as the day passes, the vividness of the dream does, too.  

It seemed so real.  Unbelievable, yet real.  We were in the hospital as we had received word from the doctors, I guess, that Chase was finally improving--like he had been comatose or something.    We were in the hospital, though, and I was in a hospital gown, still recovering or something.  I saw him open his eyes in the isolette and I hobbled over to him as quickly as I could.  But he was his age now, 1 1/2.  He was bigger, his hair was a little longer, a little curly.  His eyes were opened and I was so happy.  He was laying there and he looked at me and said "mommy" and I was just so happy.  Already, my recollection is choppy but we got to hold him.  He had only a couple tubes coming out of his chest, so we had to be careful, but he was very strong, actually completely normal if it weren't for the 2 little tubes.  It was just so wonderful to be holding him and talking to him and kissing and hugging him.  I don't remember where the dream led to, but what was really weird, was that each time he met or saw someone for the first time, he already knew them.  He would say their name before they would speak. He already knew everyone in our family yet we had not seen him since he was born.   I wanted so badly to take a picture of him but I didn't have my camera.  I wanted to take a picture of him on my phone and send him to my friends but I couldn't get it to work.  This was just to bizarre but it was so real and it was so wonderful that we got him back.  The dream moved on and I don't think we were in the hospital anymore.  It amazed me so much that he already knew us.  And then I asked him if he knew God and he said, "yes".  Like he just came from there or something.  

This is the last thing I remember before waking up abruptly.  I was so sad to realize this was a dream.  I could have cried had I not been half asleep and too exhausted to.  I went to the bathroom in a daze and returned to bed making myself resume this wonderful dream.  I just wanted to see Chase again.  And I did. I went back to dreaming this wonderful, amazing dream of having him back with us but this time in the dream, I knew I would wake up eventually.  This time I knew it was only a dream.  But it was finally the dream I had been waiting for.

Monday, October 25, 2010

An emotional journey

Sometimes I forget.  I get so used to these kicks in my growing tummy and feeling them all throughout the day, every day, and I forget that I am the only one who has these constant reminders of this angel that is soon to be gracing our arms, our home, our hearts.  I spent the morning with Emma last Friday in the doctor's office waiting to have a terrible rash of hers  looked at, which turned out to be an allergy.  But I was grateful for the alone time we spent together.  We read, we talked, she watched some TV but mostly we talked.  She was very emotional and I thought this had maybe brought on or aggravated her rash, she was so emotional.  She wanted reassurance, or guarantee, that the baby was going to be fine.  And then she wanted just to talk about Chase.  She didn't want Chase to be forgotten when we brought this baby home.  Chase was/is her little brother.  He reminded us all of her and she was so proud of that.  This was very special to her and she didn't want that to ever go away....even though everything feels so distant the more time passes.   I tried to share with her my experience with this reassurances, my signs from Chase, my peacefulness, the physical signs, the kicks, the messages that this baby was sending me.  These things I feel constantly.  I wish I could give her all those things that I have that help me feel peace, but I can't.  I put her hand on my tummy and she patiently waited and felt the baby kick and a glow instantly appeared on her face.  I told her that when this baby was born and when she held him in her arms the first time that her heart would heal in so many ways.  I promised her that Chase would be there with us to share that moment and to help her, too, feel that it was OK to love this new little baby like we so badly want to love him, Chase that is.  I want her to feel OK with these emotions like I do, but I forget what it's like to not have any thing to feel to remind me of Chase.  Because I feel him all the time around me with this new little one.  She asked me what if this baby looks a lot different from Chase, are we going to forget him?  I told her this baby needs his own identity.  But he is most certainly, in my opinion, a gift.  A gift that Chase has helped bring us.  And for this reason, Chase is always in our hearts and our minds when we prepare for and bring this baby home.  Which I am most positive that we will.  

But these are things we talk about.  I share my feelings with her in hopes that she, too, will feel some of the same things.  Because the pain is too close to think of this pregnancy any other way.  There are lots of things I am worried about and scared of but I strongly feel that we need to help ourselves get through this waiting part.  I can't even begin to explain how much I love feeling this baby kick me.  It is purely amazing when he is going crazy in there.  With the other 4 pregnancies, I never EVER thought of it the way I do now.  I never appreciated it or loved it or cherished all those movements and "totally bizarre" kicks.  They were just a part of being pregnant.  But now I absolutely adore them.  It is the coolest thing ever and I am so lucky to be carrying this little guy with me every day 24/7.  I can't imagine when he is born and I have to share him with Patric & the kids!  That's sometimes how I feel, honestly.  Not realistic, I know, but I love carrying him right now that much.  I love him that much.  And I can't wait until he is part of us....on the outside, too.  Thank you Chase.  You are my sweet angel, my sweet baby boy.  I love you so much.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Pregnancy & Infant Loss Day.....18 months Old

These are most of the babies I "know" or have met through this babyloss community.  I am thinking of these and so many more tonight.  I wish I never knew this support group, yet I am grateful that I do.  Sending prayers to you and your babies that we will be with them again one day.

Yesterday, Chase would have been 18 months old.  I miss you baby boy.  You are in my heart and in my soul and I know you are with us wherever we are.  If only we could see you, hold you, hear you and smell you.  If only...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

It hurts to know so much

Last night I went to check on Karly and found her deep in thought about something while she was getting ready for bed.  I could tell she had something on her mind just by the way she was going about her business.  In fact, her mind was almost speaking out loud.  When I asked her what she was thinking about, she said, "Mom...(long pause) do you think the baby is going to be okay?"  I said, "Definitely, I do, honey."  And she started talking about her close friend at school whose mom just had a baby boy a couple weeks ago and how she wanted that so bad.  "Hope is just so lucky."

Yes, Hope is lucky.  But only you know how lucky she is, sweet girl.  Hope loves her new baby brother for sure, but she doesn't have the slightest idea how incredibly lucky she is.  And I wish you didn't know either, baby girl.  Karly said, "It's not fair, mom."  I know.  It most definitely is not fair, but you will get to hold this baby brother very soon.  "But mom I have to wait like 6 months or something and that is just so long."  Well, not quite that long but you get to feel him move in my tummy and talk to him and you'll get to hold him in your arms soon enough.  You just have to wait a little bit longer, honey.

This is the strangest thing about this pregnancy.  Not only for me, but for all of us, in some ways it seems like a continuation of Chase's pregnancy.  I don't know why it feels that way.  The time between Chase being born and getting pregnant again certainly was real.  It was painful.  And it was long (or so it seemed).  But now that I am pregnant and with big belly, it seems like I've been pregnant the whole time and we are still waiting for this baby to come out.  Why?  We all miss Chase and talk about him and ache for him daily.  It's not like he's still in my tummy at all.  I have heart-to-heart convos with Reese & Emma, too, about missing Chase and longing for this baby, but not wanting to forget Chase.  This feeling is odd and a struggle for us all.  But this is how we operate.  And, as tough as it is, we are making the most of it.  Loving our angel in heaven.....yet dreaming of holding our next one that is on his way to earth in due time.   

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Real Life

I know how hard it is to parent a child in heaven.  But sometimes I forget how hard it is to be a sibling to one.  Last night the kids were at the table doing their homework and Emma brought in a package that had arrived from gramma.  She opened the box and gave everyone their little goodies that gramma had sent.  There was something for, dad, the three of them, and the new baby.  And she was not happy.  After a lot of prying and a couple threats (which I am not proud of), she spilled her feelings to me.  She was upset that gramma had not sent anything for Chase.  She was afraid that Chase was being forgotten and I could see it in her eyes as her tears began to flow, that this terrified her.  She was happy that everyone including the baby had a present in the box, but nothing in there for Chase meant he was forgotten, to her.  I explained to her that I didn't like the idea of buying things all the time for Chase as we have a big collection of memories and keepsakes for him and adding more things to that collection, is not something I wanted to deal with anyway.  She insisted that it didn't have to be a lot, maybe a photo of him or a letter or note to him.  She just wanted recognition of her little brother.  That's all.  Acknowledgement that he is part of our family and always will be even though he isn't here in our presence.  I grabbed her and hugged her and told her that we were not forgetting about him.  I told her we talk about him all the time and we will talk about him to his little brother every time we hold him and play with him and that this was her job, too. She knows that we do that....she told me that whenever her friends at school ask how many there are in her family, she tells them "7: me, Karly, Reese, Chase, the new baby, mom and dad."  She said she doesn't explain what happened to Chase unless they ask.  But she wants to say and hear his name to know that he is remembered by all and is a part of all our lives.  It hurts not to feel this confirmation.  
Since we were having this conversation and I was including the other two in it as well, Reese got a real sad look on his face and said to me, "I really hope we get to bring this baby home, mom."  I told him that we most definitely will and then he said to me with raised up sad eyebrows, "Mom, do you have a different doctor this time?"  I said, "Yes, baby, I do and you are gonna love her.  She is very nice and is taking very good care of me."  To that, he replied, "Good."
Woah.  I looked at each of the kids and my heart felt so incredibly heavy.  I could see and feel their pain, their worry, their fears and I wanted nothing more than to make it all go away.  But I know I can't.  I know that, like me and Patric, through all their excitement for their newest little brother and their anticipation for taking care of him and loving on him, they are scared to the very core that this, too, will be taken away.  It's like we are all standing here, tightening our guts, just waiting for someone to punch us there again.  Because they, too, really just want Chase back.  And it's this sadness and longing that makes the rainbow very hard to see, at times, through the dark and heavy clouds in our sky above us.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Welcome....,my baby boys....

I have great news.  I just did not ever feel the time was right to share it here.  This blog is about our life, our family.  But it has been, for so long, a place for me to grieve--to talk about Chase and what he means to us and how much we miss him.  Because that is what I needed this blog to be.  I see my friends here, hear from them here, share with them here, all of our feelings about missing our babies.  And I understand, now, how BLMs have so much trouble announcing their rainbow pregnancies.  There are so many conflicting emotions, and I have been blogging may way through them over here, if you are interested.  But it is time, now, to officially share our news....Enter....Pearson baby #5, due February 13th:

I can't share this news, however, without including a picture of Chase, too.  He has to be on this post, right there with his little brother.  He is such a big part of this baby.  He is the reason this baby is here.  He has helped carry me this far through this pregnancy, no doubt.  But now there is a new little one to focus on, and that is hard to do, when you know all you really want to do is hold the one that should be here.  

I am so incredibly happy about this pregnancy.  I love this little guy already more than I ever thought possible.  With every kick, every swoosh I feel from him, I feel love.  I am normally not a peaceful, joyous pregnant person, but I have to say that I have enjoyed this pregnancy more with the perspective I have than I ever thought I would.  I have fears, of course.  I am scared out of my mind for what can happen.  But somehow, I have been at peace with all those concerns.  I have felt Chase carrying me, assuring me it's okay to be happy, not to be sad.  There are pangs of guilt, when I see toddlers his age or when I hold his clothes or things that his little brother will now wear instead of him.  But these feelings are overwhelmed by the love I feel for this little one, the joy I have, the anticipation of bringing him home and holding him.  

Saying these things, typing these words, I still painfully miss my little guy.  Even Emma said to me the other day....."Mom, I'm just not sure what I want more.  I really am excited for the baby, but I miss Chase and I don't know if I want the new baby or Chase more.  Because the new baby probably wouldn't be here if Chase was alive."  We all feel it.  The confusion.  The emotion.  The fear.   A million times I have imagined this baby in my arms, carrying him out of the hospital, taking him home.  But a part of me feels that there is a huge gap in there.  The emptiness; a void.  That something is missing in the middle of all this.  And how do you move on from that?  I used to wonder how I could move pass Chase and love a new baby.  How could a mother just move on like that?  It's not something I want to do.  And I don't feel entirely like I am moving on.  I feel like a part of my life stopped when Chase died.  It will always feel that way.  But there is not a bone in my body that won't and doesn't already love this new little baby.  And that is where Chase is helping me.  He is holding my hand & my heart this whole time, letting me know he is here with me, loving me and loving this baby, and that it is ok.  He knows how much I love him.  It is me that can't measure that, making it so hard to be okay with loving someone new now and physically giving that love to this baby instead of Chase.  But he is helping me with that and I am grateful for him.  

So this announcement isn't a typical "We're having a baby!" announcement.  It's more than that.  It's where we are with our grief, where we are with our "new normal."  And it's about Chase still being with us.  I feel in a way he is taking care of his little brother, they are somewhere in the same "place" right now.  And when the time is right, Chase will bring his brother into our world, to hold and love on.  Until then, however, I will love what I cannot hold, with every ounce of my broken heart.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A blog award

My friend Karol, at Loving Laynee, has put my name on her list as an award winner.  What a compliment!  I love Karol's blog but hate that she ever found me or I found her in the ways we did.  This tragic history we share has brought us knowing there was someone out there who felt exactly the same way, which seems impossible.  I am very thankful for this community for this reason and hope that I have offered at least some of the same comforts to those who have given me so much.  These 10 blogs I check up on at any given moment, pretty regularly.  But there are so many others.  Some were on Karol's list, so I tried not to duplicate.  Some I check in on to see how big their rainbow babies are.  Some I just visit every now and then.  But they all helped me.  When I first found this community, I would get "lost" easily in cyberspace, wandering around from blog to blog, bookmarking or following so many of them.  Because we are all on the same journey.  The journey varies from person to person, but the pain is so familiar.  So I hope these 10 bloggers feel as complimented as I did in receiving this acknowledgement from a friend who sadly, but gracefully, walks in the same shoes.

Here are the rules:
1. Accept the award and post it on your blog with the name of the person who has granted the award and his/her blog link.
2. Pay it forward to 10 other bloggers.
3. Contact those blog owners and let them know they have been chosen.

Looking for Blue Sky
Have You Seen The Insanity
Caring for Carleigh
The Happy Sad Mama
Footprints on Our Hearts
Living Life Without Sophia and Ellie
Through My Mother's Eyes...Vayden's Story
Missing Mackenzie
Love Reign Over Me
Two In Heaven, One on Earth

Friday, September 10, 2010

Always like this

It's never a long period of time that passes when I don't read a post on one of my babyloss mom's blogs about a milestone that was reached. A year since the birth, the death, the due date....and I look at my calendar and see 1 year, 4 months 3 weeks and 2 days since Chase went to heaven. I can't believe it has been that long. A year ago I never thought of this day. I was trudging through each day as the sun rose, but I certainly did not have on my mind what my life would be like when Chase had been gone for a year and more. I didn't want to think of that time. I remember feeling like I was drowning because I wanted time to stop and because with each passing day, I felt like he was slipping further and further away from me.

This is the worst feeling, speaking from my experience, as someone who has lost a baby. When there are only so many memories to hold on to, and even fewer sweet, precious moments type of memories, to hold on to the legacy of your little one. There is an immense longing to see my little boy as a toddler. I wonder who he would look like, probably just like his big brother, but I will never know for sure. When I see babies that I suppose are near Chase's age, I always try to guess. First how old they are, then what my baby must look and act like.

I have not had the dreams I thought I would have had by now. I may have dreamt about Chase, though, and not remembered it. I had a dream a few nights that is fading because it was so scary once I woke up. I can't remember much of it now but I remember having a baby, that I think was Chase, because it was Chase's age, but I don't remember the face. This baby was in a crib or bassinett or casket, or something, laying there, lifeless. There was another baby tinier, laying in another bed, too, lifeless. I'm sure the older one was Chase, because I had "kept" him. Somehow. Since he died. And eventually, he gasped and started breathing. And I just picked him up and held him and cried. And cried and cried. That's all I remember about my dream. I think the little baby took a breath, too, in my dream. They both "came to life". Right before my eyes. It was a very disturbing dream. I long so dearly to hold my sweet Chase, to feel him moving and hear him and touch him. And I got him back in this dream. I didn't get to "see" him really, I don't remember a face or any details...other than him coming to life finally.....after laying there this whole time....this past year plus. And I don't remember much about the other baby, either. Just that he, too, had started breathing.

And as I checkup on my BLM friends and read their stories, I realize that we are moving on, our lives continue. But then again, we are stuck. In a time when we try to remember our babies. A place where we forever will be.....until we are with them again some day.

I miss Chase as much today as I did the day he left us. I feel differently, my struggles are different, but I still ache for him. I look at his picture every day and though some times I just see the picture, there are other times when I take myself back to that very point in time....trying so hard to remember more than what is in the photograph. Wishing, still, I had more. Because as these days pass, I do feel further away from him. The pain not so sharp, but dull and everlasting. And maybe, maybe some day soon, I'll get a visit from him in a dream I can hold onto.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Are you smarter than a 5th grader...

I woke up feeling off today.  Not like anything is wrong, health-wise at least, just off key.  Out of balance.  Not balance like I have too much of one thing to do and not enough of another thing....out of balance....with the universe, or something like that.  I was a little concerned feeling this way, and then we had my 5th grader's literature assignment.

She read a little story by Leo Tolstoy, a Russian author for those of you who have ever heard of him, of works like War and Peace.  It's called The Three Questions and is about this king who is looking for someone to answer three questions for him:  1) Who is most important person to you? 2) When is the right time to do something? and 3) What is the most important thing to do?  

Wow, when I read that, I thought, "man, could that be any more precise than if I wrote them myself?"  I/we have been struggling with #2 & #3 pretty adamantly lately.  When raising a family, these are very common questions we as parents ask.  And if we knew the answer....if we only knew the answer.  

Well the king was determined to find the answers.  And when he didn't get them from his people, he left to seek out an old wise man to help him.  (This was too familiar and freaky to me because feeling so off-kilter this morning I had a passing thought while I was eating breakfast that maybe I should talk to a psychic.)  He took off his cloak and his crown and left them at his horse and walked up to the hut of an old hermit.  This wise old hermit was busy digging holes in his garden and would not answer his questions, though, so the king took the shovel and began digging for him.  He finished digging the holes and then asked the questions of the hermit again and no answer.  Then a man came running at them with blood coming from his chest and his hand covering a wound and the king stopped the bleeding and took care of the man until he fell asleep.  The king himself was so tired he, too fell asleep. 

The next day the injured man woke up and told the king to forgive him but the king had nothing to forgive him for.  Turns out the man had set out to kill the king because his brother had been killed and he could no longer afford the taxes so he had followed the king into the forest but got caught instead by some knights who attacked him.  The king, however, this deed unbeknownst to him, took care of him and saved his life. 

So the king then asks the hermit again why he won't answer his questions and the hermit tells him that the king has answered the questions himself already.

I'll skip a short explanation here and end the story with the last paragraph:
"Remember then: there is only one important time---Now.  It is important because it is the only time when we are masters of ourselves.  And the most important man is he with whom you are, for no one can know whether or not he will ever have dealings with any other man.  And the most important thing to do is to do good to him, since it is for that purpose alone that man was sent into his life."
 Somehow this story put some balance back into me.  I can hardly explain it, but having this discussion with my daughters about what this story means to me, at my ripe old age, helped me teach a lesson to them that I really felt was meant for me.  And hearing them repeat the lesson to me in their own words was priceless to me.  Now to grasp this is a whole new level of learning.  Because I never thought I'd be searching for these answers at this point in my life.  But I know that what matters is the present time.  And whether we are by ourselves or with someone, we must give that person our best of who we are because we never know if we'll get another moment with them or ever meet them again or what their story is.  It's not everyday that I wake up excited to teach homeschool, I'll be honest.  And today was one of them.  But I am so glad I got to be a part of this lesson.  This lesson I will continue to learn, the rest of my life.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

School begins

Tomorrow Reese starts school....and as usual, I will miss him.  The first day of kindergarten, when I'm sending one of my kids, is always one of the saddest days for me.  He is a little apprehensive, but very excited to be with his friends, I know.  He'd rather stay in the comfort of home, but knows this is his next journey he will embark on.  So off another little Pearson heads to school.  And the next Pearson, well, he'll never get to.  I am sad for this, too.  The kids should all be in school during the days, Chase home with mom, waiting to pick them up every afternoon.  But that is not the way it is.  The girls are my students this year, teaching me as I teach them.  And we get to visit little brother at lunch times, parties and field trips when we can.  With another little brother floating above us everywhere we go.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A Cemetery

I stopped by the cemetery that we are considering moving Chase to today.  My friend's son is buried there and I wanted to visit his grave.  She lost her son just after his birthday in 2007.  He died the 13th of April and Chase was born the 14th of April.  I feel a connection there, not only because I knew her son, but also because of the dates being so close to Chase's death and birth date.  Her son's birthday is just 6 days before his death date, 23 years later.  Chase died just 4 days after his birthday.  She has reached out to me and provided comfort to me like only mothers who have lost children can.  For that I am grateful.

I saw a grave of an infant, died in 2007.  It tears me up to see graves like that with all sorts of little toy trucks and airplanes and helicopters so curiously laid upon it.  I wish I could visit Chase's grave and share toys with him in this way, too.  Reese has a handful that he has saved just for his little brother.  I long to visit the gravesite of my son, to see his name in stone, to see our names right with his, as close as we can get in this human life of ours.  I looked around the cemetery and felt it would be a nice place to keep his "box", as we call it.  When I asked the kids the other day if they thought it was a good idea to move Chase to this cemetery, they said yes.  Actually Reese said, "no mom I want him at my house! Please?  Can we have him at our house?"  I explained the purpose of this cemetery and I think they all understood.  The fact that we may or may not be living in Ruidoso makes our decision to disinter him more complicated.  But, again, I looked around the cemetery and it felt "right".  Twelve years ago, Patric and I were married about 15 minutes down the highway.  Three of our children were born here.  Whether or not we live here in 5 years doesn't mean we won't ever be back.  We have several reasons to come back here, several concrete reasons, and one of them is his grandparents.  I would have the comforting feeling that his grandparents will always be here.  They will never move so they will always be close, and I know his G would love that.  These thoughts make this decision a little bit easier.  If that is ever possible.

I'm writing these thoughts down because I want it be known that when your child dies, cemeteries and grave sites are not something that you had ever thought about before.  Choosing a place to keep your child for the rest of time as you know it, is really an impossible choice.  There is no way of knowing the right answer.  Because, as our funeral home director pointed out to us, where we bury him, is where we will want to be buried essentially, so we may as well purchase 3 lots instead of 1.  See?  Things you never thought about, right?  Who would have known that when you give birth, days later you will be deciding where you want to be buried when you eventually die 50 years later.  Cremation was, for us, not something for considering on the spot but choosing which cemetery seemed preposterous to decide.  

The first year I was only consumed with having his grave stone ordered and in hand.  Then when it came time to lay the stone, we felt the permanence of this deed and wanted to do something about the fact that we wanted Chase closer to us.  Once we decided to do this and talked to the funeral director to find out if it can even be done, only to learn that there is even a word for it, then we had to pick where.  The cemetery I visited today was our pick, until we started to consider the facts--that our family would not forever reside in Ruidoso.  We weren't convinced that we would be raising our family here and did not want to move Chase again when we decided we were leaving.  And so here we are.  His stone sits in the garage at the funeral home across the street.  And his "box" is still 6 hours away.

So these are my thoughts today.  I hope to close this chapter soon, though I won't ever know when that will be until it actually happens.  I would rather think of my son as I saw him in the hospital isolette and those days when he fought for his life.  I would rather remember him as best I can than think of the cemetery where his box will forever remain.  But this is life as best as we can understand.  I was searching on old (really old) computer CDs the other day and found this saying that gave me chills.  I have no idea why it was on my computer years ago.  Here it is....
It is a deep mystery, This matter of Life and Death.
That the same person who brought us a thousand joys, can one day leave us shedding a thousand tears.
So suddenly, sometimes we grope blindly for words left unspoken, and for the hug we needed to give, to say goodbye.
And we wonder, how this thread holds us all to life can be so thin and fragile.. 
Until one day we find the faith and courage to accept, that the living aren’t meant to understand death, only to accept and celebrate life, and to remember that the only real death is forgetting.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Rainbows and sweet moments

Patric & I went to Albuquerque yesterday, just us two. We had appointments and then we had a nice late lunch before we headed home. It was a really good day. The kids stayed with a dear friend which allowed us to have this day, worry-free and kid-free. I know we need more of this kind of time together but when we do get it, I am so incredibly thankful and feel so blessed to be spending the time together. We had a long drive so we had plenty of time to talk and, being woman, this is important to me. ;) Patric is my best friend and my soul mate and I am so fortunate to have him. We don't always agree on things but that's part of marriage and any relationship for that matter. Being able to discuss our life dreams, plans for our family, our kids and how we are raising them with the man whom I am forever in love with makes me the happiest girl in the world. I never would have gotten this far on this journey without him. We have obviously had a tough life together so far, but I wouldn't have chosen a different one if I could have. I am with who I want to be with doing what I want to do (for the most part!) and we are blessed. On our way home we saw the brightest rainbow I have ever seen and I think
if we would have veered just a little bit off the road, we could have found the pot of gold! When I told Karly about this rainbow, she smiled and said Chase was just so happy for us, that's why it was so pretty. I like to think that, too. He was with us and is with us, every step of the way.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Ready to clean....

This is not about dusting and cleaning on a normal basis. I don't dust regularly anyway, but it was beyond time to clean up some thigns that had collected in the crib. I'd call it Chase's crib but it is really our crib. All the kids have slept in there and any subsequent children will sleep in there. But for the last year and a half, it has been filled with memories of Chase. From the first week we had gotten home from the hospital until now, I have collected cards, small gifts, photos, letters, sculptures, clothes and anything that reminded me of our little boy. I had been feeling for the past couple months that I was about ready to box up these things. I still want them available to me to look at whenever I want, but I wanted to get a pretty little (medium-sized, actually) box to collect it all in. And the crib was getting pretty dusty anyway--it was time to do something.

So I ordered a pretty box and assembled it and started storing his things. Though it seemed a pretty unemotional task at first, the wave came over me, as I figured it would. In some ways it was comforting to see go through these memories--in a way it's hard to describe. But then the sadness....the deep sadness....came. And the tears.... Those things that will always be there. Not far from the surface. I had saved things like the hospital bracelets which I have in a shadow box. But I forgot about my hospital bracelet. The sight of that brought back a bunch of memories. I had even put back some of the clothes that we had on the day we held him and he died. Those are things that I don't see as "normal" and when I would see them come through the laundry, I'd think about our last day with Chase so I finally pulled them an put them in his crib. I have stuffed animals and wonderful, wonderful cards from my family that have words in them I cherish very deeply. Words that bring tears, but words that mean so much to me that it is hard to explain in a human capacity. I have little airplanes and nerf bullets that Reese gave to his brother that I put in this box. I have Reese's little santa hat that Chase was going to wear last Christmas. I have Chase's first birthday cards and memories and my mother's day cards from Patric and the kids the month after he died. I probably have hundreds of photos in there, several duplicates, but of course none of them I could throw away, so they are all there. And then all the legal documents from the funeral home are in another matching box, just smaller. The baby book from the funeral home with all the signatures of those who attended the funeral, which still surprises me to read through sometimes. I have my blog book in there, too, which is sacred to me. It is what helped me most through this loss....writing down my feelings and the comments from those who cared enough to tell me I wasn't alone on this journey.

I still have plenty photos, some candles, statues and things on the wall to blanket I sleep with every night... And we talk and pray about Chase every day. But for now, the crib is empty. We hope to fill it again some day. Maybe we will move first and I won't put the crib back up until we need it. Maybe it will sit here until I am ready to take it down. Maybe....

My memories are in my heart. They are in my head and in my soul. And if I need something tangible, I can go to the boxes and touch him. I know I have a lot of "stuff" but I couldn't get rid of any of it. It's as close as I want it to be. Without having him's as close as I want for now.

I am curious, for those that are a year or more out from their loss, what have you done with your memories? I would love to hear your stories.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Summer Days...

We had a great week camping at the lake with my family.  The kids had a great time, I had constant "sister time" and the guys got to fish and jet ski and nap.  True vacation!  We explored Colorado a little more and found some really neat things.  I love the farm houses where you can go pick your own vegetables.  And I LOVE the fresh sweet corn.  Lots of stuff to do and lots of places to go.  And always something new to find.

I enjoyed the time away, but I miss Chase badly when we are on those kinds of trips.  I absolutely adore my little nephew.  He is about 8 weeks now and so fun.  I changed his diaper and thought to myself how I would so love to do have done this for Chase...or one day for our own baby.  I know--I thought I was so done with diapers!  I imagined Chase running around after the kids and chasing Kate.  It's always going to be hard....and so is life.  Even though there is so much to enjoy....this is so much to yearn for, too.

It's nice to be home.  We have lots to do...unpacking for one.  Then school for another.  Then work.  Then hopefully a huge garage sale!  

I miss you, little man.  Thinking of you always.  Love, mommy

Monday, July 12, 2010

Lurking reminders

I dropped off clothes today at the cleaners--I don't do this very often.  However today, the clerk was happy to see me.  ???  I don't even know you.  When I gave him my name, he said he had something for me to pick up and did not have a current phone number for me.  He said that I had a jacket of Patric's that had been there since May 2009.

My look of bewilderment was immediately replaced with a quick reminder of the emptiness in my heart.  All I could think was, "of course, our world had come crashing down on us in April and and it was all very fresh then."  It didn't surprise me one bit that we had forgotten about that jacket.

It's these kinds of reminders that I always wonder if there are still more out there.  What else did we lose when we lost a piece of our hearts?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


I am learning as I get older that life happens....there is nothing you can do about it.  You can't slow it down, you can't stop it, you just roll with the punches and deal with it.  And hopefully enjoy it, too.

As if Karly's accident wasn't enough, which has healed beautifully btw, I rear-ended someone last week in my SUV.  We were all fine, no one was hurt, but I did enough damage to the car that I'm dealing with insurance agents, rental car companies and body shop repair.  We are also moving along on the law suit finally so there's enough emotional stress involved with that to take it's toll.  And as the summer keeps flying by, I am getting trying to make schooling decisions so I'll have enough time to order books if I need to.  

And in the middle of all this, I miss Chase badly.

So those are the top stressors in my life right now.  There are more, I just don't feel like writing about all my sob stories right now.  But since I have realized I can't control what life deals me, I am rolling with the punches.  They are not all fun and sometimes it is exhausting.  But I won't give up.  I'll get back on my feet and get through it.  Because time keeps traveling and the only thing worse than getting through tough times is dwelling in how much time has been lost.  When I look at the last 4 years of my life, I am floored at how things have changed.  And the majority of my changes have been since Chase died.  I had my life mapped out quite differently than the way things happened, but unfortunately things that I have no control over dictate my journey.  It doesn't mean I still can't win the race, just that I will have to take a detour to get there.  And the detour--the detour is nothing I would trade.  Because sometimes it's the detour itself that teaches us the most about who we are and what we are capable of.
Note:  Though I am vague in the metaphor, I am literally talking about races.  I have enjoyed running the last 10 years of my life and had taken "time out" to have our last baby and anticipated a quick return to my hobby.  But when our last baby was Chase, and he was taken from us, my goals were shifted a bit.  I miss my training but am also dedicated to my family and our needs.  TTC does not lend itself well to the kind of training I would really like to do.  But I also know that I am still fully capable of the physical demands and that I will get back to where I want to be....all in good time.