Tuesday, October 27, 2009

An Emotional Outpour

Just a couple of [random] things that have been on my mind and heavy on my heart. A sort of emotional outpour.


Before I got pregnant with Dylan, Justin and I decided that we wanted our kids to be close in age (roughly a year or so apart). Having a daughter less than a year after losing our firstborn is not exactly how I expected our story would go. And now, Dylan's death has affected so much in our lives including every subsequent pregnancy from now on. With Faith here, preparing for a 3rd is not yet a reality, and we're finding more and more reasons to keep lengthening that age gap.

First, there's the fear of another baby dying. (I'm certain that will never go away now. When I was pregnant with Dylan, there was never a fear of him dying. It just wasn't part of my reality. Even when we found out about his heart condition, it never occured to me that he would die. But once pregnancy and infant death become a reality in one's life, that reality never goes away.)

Then, there's the fear of me dying. (It rarely happens anymore, I know, but the reality of dying after labor hit close to home earlier this year when a high school friend died after giving birth to her daughter. The fact that I'm considered a high-risk pregnancy because of my blood pressure coupled with our luck with odds, I just know it's a distinct possibility. For me, the greater issue with this one would be leaving my kids without a mother and Justin without a wife.)

Finally, there's the fear of failing. (As a mother. As a wife. With God. In my healing. In my hope. In my grief. At raising our kids. At any of it. At all of it.)


"Sometimes I can't see you anymore. I forget things about you, and I'm afraid that I'm losing us. . . . like the way you smelled . . . and how you felt in my arms. If I let someone in, I'll erase you. I can't. It's not fair. We were supposed to have more time. I don't want to lose us." -paraphrased from One Tree Hill (a conversation between a man and his dead wife)

I wonder if this affects how my relationship evolves with Faith. I mean, I don't think I can reiterate enough how much I love my daughter, but I wonder if it's stifled by the fears of letting someone in again. I'm not afraid of forgetting Dylan per se, I just don't want our memories with him to fade.


"The other night dear, as I lay sleeping
I dreamed I held you in my arms
But when I awoke, dear, I was mistaken
So I hung my head and I cried.

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are gray
You'll never know dear, how much I love you
Please don't take my sunshine away"

We sang [the refrain of] You Are My Sunshine to Dylan alot in the hospital, so obviously it holds a special place in my heart. I keep hearing it on Faith's player in her nursery (it was on one of the lullaby CDs that we'd gotten). I've been crying every time I hear it lately. If I'm anywhere near the player, and I hear the first note of the song, I can't press the NEXT button fast enough.

This version in particular, even from the very beginning as he's climbing the tree before he starts singing, is so poignant:


Just another beautiful song I found, called "Down" by Jason Walker:

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Right On. AWESOME!

Justin and I participated in the 5th Annual Atlanta Walk to Remember on Sunday (my 2nd, his 1st). The program included speakers, parents sharing their stories and other original writings, and music. After the short walk, there was a beautiful balloon release. Attached to each balloon were purple butterflies with messages to our angel babies written from mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, grandparents, friends, etc. When I got to the butterfly table, I could feel myself getting teary. Like last year, I just quickly scribbled my message: "Dylan, Missing you so much, each and every day. Hope you're looking down on us and your new sis Faith! Love, Mommy, Daddy, Faith, and Inu"

Justin wrote: "Dylan, It's been far too long since we were blessed with you. We all miss you so much and send our love to you in our prayers every night. We love you with all our hearts and souls, Mommy, Daddy, Faith, and Inu" I swear, sometimes I think he's so much better at this than me.

The gathering was awesome. The stories we all shared - with our tears, in the embraces of our husbands, in long staring matches with living children, even in quiet communion - were awesome. The day was awesome. To have to share this, to have to experience it, to have a reason to participate in this walk . . . tragic, but still awesome.

Anyway, I'm really just poking fun at a random person that stopped us on the walk route (which also explains the title of this post). He asks us, "What are you guys doing here? Are you on some sort of tour?"

I answer, "No, it's a walk."

"Oh really, what kind of walk."

"A Walk to Remember." (At this point, I'm really just trying to not make it awkward for him, but he persists.)

"Oh, what's it for?"

"It's for people whose babies have died."

He says (and I kid you not): "Right on. Awesome!"

I looked at Justin in disbelief. Did he really just say that? Perhaps he didn't hear me. We just kept walking . . .

So, on to some pictures from the day:

Thursday, October 15, 2009

This Little Light of Mine

I don't have anything better to write than what I wrote last year for Pregnancy and Infant Loss Rememberance Day: I lit a candle for Dylan today . . . I know I don't need a special day to remember Dylan, I will remember him everyday for the rest of my life. But it's still nice, you know? . . . I lit just about every candle I could find (I bet Dylan can see the lights from Heaven ;).

This little light of mine,
I'm gonna let it shine

This little light of mine,
I'm gonna let it shine

This little light of mine,
I'm gonna let it shine

Let it shine,
Let it shine,
Let it shine.

I light In Dylan's Memory. I light in Isaac's Memory. I light in Christian's Memory. I light in George's Memory. I light in Audrey's Memory. I light in Cayden's Memory. I light in Samuel's Memory. For Vivian & Annemarie. For Max. For Logan & Brody. For Hope. For Brenham. For Nicholas. For Carleigh. For Jenna. For Thomas. For all.

To other mommies and daddies who had to say goodbye far, far too soon. For the countless other stories I've come across and for the countless other stories that I may never know. I let it shine for all of you tonight. Thank you for sharing your lives, your experiences, your grief; it's enriched me in a way that you may never know.

Friday, October 2, 2009

A New Mourning

Some friends of ours recently got engaged, and when I heard the news, I was beaming for them. I love weddings! I love going to weddings, getting all dressed up, dancing, seeing the bride for the first time. I've shot and edited wedding videos; even had a brief stint as a wedding coordinator.

Then, I thought about Dylan’s wedding. I felt as if I was mourning a new kind of loss. I’m no longer just mourning my newborn son, the tiny little boy that I held in my arms. I’m mourning the person he would become as well. I’m mourning the fact that I will never get to do a mother-son dance with my firstborn. Never have this kind of untainted happiness again:

My existence has changed forever. And if you can’t quite wrap your mind around it, think of like this: Once you become a mother, you’re a mother for life, no matter the circumstance.

Well, once you become a mother whose child has died, you’re a babylost mother for life. There are no band-aids or quick-fix remedies. There are phases you go through. Times that are more difficult than others, but you will always be defined as a babylost mother.

Closing Thoughts of the Day

"When you lose someone, it stays with you, always reminding you of how easy it is to get hurt." --Elena, from The Vampire Diaries (of all places)

"Life is not the way it's supposed to be. It's the way it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference." --Author Unknown (grabbed from a friend's e-mail, thanks Jackie!)