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.