Tuesday, November 13, 2012

What I'm Thankful For

It’s been a really tough year.  Beyond losing Sam my family has had  a few too many medical scares.  There has been a black cloud looming above us.  I’m really looking forward to the end of 2012 and it can’t come fast enough.  However, considering this is the time of year we should all be considering what we are thankful for, I wanted to focus on the good.  Despite how hard this year has been, I am thankful for so many things.

I am thankful for my amazing husband and our marriage.  Our first year of marriage came with the loss of our first child.  Even though we both grieve differently we have always been there for each other and have held each other up.  We continue to put one foot in front of the other.  He reminds me every day to look at the good in life, to be kind to others and to smile.  I love him more and more every day. 

I am thankful that Sam made me a Momma this year.  I realize that some have a hard time understanding this because I never got to hold him, snuggle him, smother him with kisses, rock him to sleep or do all of the things of conventional motherhood.   I love him all the same and long for all of those missed moments.  I’ll forever cherish the 5 months I carried him and look forward to the day I get to be with him again in heaven.

I am thankful for this handsome little man. 

He gives me hope for the future.  I pray every single day, more than I’ve ever prayed in my life, that he remains healthy and continues to grow big and strong.  I long for the day I get to hold him in my arms.  I can hardly believe he will be here in less than 3 months.

I am thankful for my family: my parents, brother, sisters, aunts, uncles and cousins.  We are lucky enough to be a close knit bunch.  We’re always there for each other, we make time for each other, we’re supportive, we don’t criticize, we always forgive, we don’t hold grudges, we laugh together and we always have fun together.  I think Pap would be very proud of us.

I am thankful for my friends.  This year I realized how lucky I was to have such wonderful friends to support me when I needed it most, whether it was spending time together, phone calls, texts, emails or giving me the space I needed to work on healing.  I truly appreciate everyone just being there.  I can only hope that I am just as good a friend to them in return.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day

Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.  At this time last year, I had no idea what this day meant.  Sam was just conceived.  We didn’t even know he existed yet.  I wish I would have paid more attention to Facebook posts and other outlets recognizing this day in the past.  Not because it would have prepared me for the last 8 months that I’ve been through, but because I would have been more sympathetic and caring and maybe even done more for the women in my life that have been through loss.  

Nothing could have ever prepared me for losing Sam.  I will be forever thankful that he made me a Momma and my heart will always ache for him.  It is my hope that by writing this blog I have brought some awareness to others that have not experienced the loss of a child.  

Tonight I light a candle in remembrance of my sweet Sam and all of the other precious babies gone too soon.  

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A Ton of Bricks

This past weekend Ryan and I spent a wonderful weekend at Disney World to celebrate a family friend’s birthday.  We enjoyed great company, good food and went to Epcot for the Food & Wine Festival.

It’s been awhile since I’ve lost control of my emotions in a public place and been so caught off guard.  At Epcot we decided it would be worth the wait to stand in line at Character Spot so we could get our picture with Mickey, Minnie and the gang.  Being in Disney there were kids and babies all over the place.  None of them seemed to faze me until I spotted an adorable little boy in line with his mom and dad.  Being in line for almost an hour we passed by this family quite a few times.  Not long into the wait, it hit me like a ton of bricks.  This little boy was right around the 3 months, Sam should be right around 3 months.  My mind began to race.  We should be in line with Sam and he should be about that little boy’s age and size.  He should be in my arms with his cute little chubby legs hanging out of his onesie.  We should be standing here as a family waiting for our pictures with Mickey.  It took everything in me to not let the tears run down my face.  A few crept out and streamed down my cheek.  I couldn’t even form the words to explain to Ryan why I was crying at Disney World.  If I would have, the tears would have free flowed from my eyes to say it out loud how much I was missing Sam at that moment. 

At the same time I struggled with missing Sam.  Beyond my anxiety of my current pregnancy having a happy ending it’s a constant emotional struggle.  If Sam were here, this precious little one growing inside me wouldn’t exist.  I’ve read so many stories of women feeling guilt in subsequent pregnancies.  For the first time I experienced it.  I felt guilty missing Sam.  I know that there will never be a reason why Sam is gone and it’s no one’s fault.  It’s the weird reality that I live in, to miss a son I’ll never meet here on Earth while waiting for the moment I get to hold my second baby in my arms.  I should never feel guilty for missing Sam.  I just need to keep reminding myself of that.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Walk to Remember

On Sunday I participated in Walk to Remember organized by Share of Lancaster.  I really wish that Philly had an organization like this, but I have yet to find one.  It was a beautiful day and I’m really glad I was able to be there with my mom and brother.  I didn’t know what to expect from the day other than a walk.  I was surprised by the program of events and maybe even a little emotionally unprepared. 

The walk kicked off with a dove release.  I’ve never seen this before and it was beautiful to see the white doves circling the park as we walked around the ponds.  Following the walk there was a memorial service where a keynote speaker spoke about loss and grief.  It was overwhelming to be surrounded by so many women and their families that have lost their babies and have had to walk through life with the constant grief, pain and longing for their child.  I experienced a strange mix of emotions.  I was sad because Sam isn’t here with me, but I was also angry because I know how painful it is and seeing all of those women reminded me how unfair it really is to not just me but all of these women.  I was angry for every other mommy and daddy there that has felt the same pain as me.  No one should ever have to say goodbye to their child.  At the end of the service a pastor read the names of all of the babies and a candle was lit for each one.  There were so many names, so many sweet babies gone too soon.   It’s just not fair.

I know I haven’t written in quite some time.  I’ve been in a strange place when it comes to my grief.  We are currently awaiting the arrival of Sam’s little brother or sister in early February.  I miss Sam every single minute of every day.  He has a big job right now watching over his sibling and his mommy and daddy. 

I’m consumed with fears and anxieties of something going wrong with this pregnancy mixed with missing Sam.  It’s been an overwhelming 23 weeks so far.  We are constantly comparing and longing for things to be different.  So far, they have been.  We have made it past our anatomy scan with good results.  Thankfully, my doctor and nurse have been beyond supportive and understanding, especially considering I usually end up calling them weekly for one panic or another.  

I’m trying my best to enjoy this pregnancy and not distance myself from the little one growing inside of me.  At first it wasn’t so easy, but I am now finding it so hard not to start planning his/her life.  I can’t help but buy cute little outfits and things for the nursery.  I guess that is a sign that my faith is stronger than my fear.  That’s something I try to focus on daily, having faith that this time will be very different.  I pray every single day that this little one will be healthy and come home with us in February.