Thursday, March 31, 2011

To all the Ladies in my life......

On Sunday morning another beautiful mother brought her baby into this world. This woman is strong and courageous. She is determined to give her son all that life has to offer. And she is doing an amazing job. She is has also been so gracious and patient with me, always offering to let me hold him and taking my opinionated ideals with ease. Yesterday I even had the honer of being there for his first bath. Everything I saw and did reminded me of Asher but it also helped heal my heart. Each momma who has let me hold their new babies has given a gift that I can never repay them for. First I held Kate 3 days after Asher was gone. Kate reminded me that life still goes on at a time when I thought mine had ended. Henry was next, he was so tiny in my arms and so new but so full of life. I was able to hold him while he was awake and playing and smiling. And then Oliver. I got to change his diaper. I will never know the satisfaction of filling Asher's belly and laughing (or groaning) as he poops it right out a little while later. Thank you for letting me change his diaper. Emma came next. So tiny. So quiet. Reminding me of the still moments shared with a newborn.. few and far between they seem some days. Then Sarah came along. I held her while she slept. There is nothing on earth like a newborn sleeping on your chest; her soft breaths and tiny chirps. And then the amazing hungry-cry came. How I miss the hungry-cry. And then 5 days ago Carter arrived. We laughed and smiled over each face and sound he made. Joy, Carter taught me about joy.
         Each mother has lent their child to me for a short time, time enough to ease the hurt and to allow me to experience a tiny bit of what life would have been like. Thank you. Thank you my friends. And believe it or not (ha!) there are still 3 more to go before the summer is over. I truly believe that God has ordained a time and a place for everything. And He has in each of your lives ordained children to be born into your families for such a time as this. For you, and perhaps a tiny bit for me. These babies will show you more joy than you have ever known. And yet also.... God knew that I would need women who have walked this road before me. Those strong women who have come along beside me and prayed and pushed and pulled and encouraged and strengthened me.
And so... to those ladies in my life who have shared and are sharing my journey, Thank You from the bottom of my heart.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Anger and Pine

I've told a few people this, but I think I'm entering a new phase of grief. I think the shock has worn off. I don't feel so shocked and confused anymore. I just feel angry. Its like smoldering coals way deep down in my soul just sit all day. At times memories or stories or pictures or thoughtless comments fan those coals and they erupt into flames. Those angry flames lick my wounds and burn them. And at the end of an 'episode' what is left is a heap of ash. Worn out and gray and tired.
    I wonder some days if strangers see those flames in my eyes. I know Nolan has felt the heat lately, but like a bucket of cold water he dumps kind, loving, patient words over me. Quenching the flames and keeping me from burning myself from the inside out.
   Last night was hard. I wanted to sleep, but it just wouldn't come. Memories of my baby. Memories of his lips, those lips that are just like Vera's. But some of the memories I notices are starting to fade away. The shape of his head and torso were blurry. As soon as I realized this I frantically opened "The Box". I got out my key, heaved the box onto my bed and unlocked it (I never want someone to accidently open this box). It has everything about Asher in it. Everything about one human being inside a 1 by 1 1/2 foot box. The most precious things in that box are an album my mom made for me with many pictures of his birth, foot-prints and hand-prints taken by Anne - the nurse - and pieces of his hair. These are the only things I have left of my son. There are many other things too; every single card we received, the outfit I was wearing when my water broke, the newspapers with his obituary in them; every bill from the hospital and funeral home; the hat my mom and mother-in-law put on him after they washed him - it still has his smell on it.
   I carefully unwrapped the album from its green string and yellow tissue paper. I was already sobbing and just wept over his little body all over again. I talked to him and whispered his name. I pulled out his hat from the hospital and held it to my nose and took a deep breath. Taking in his sent once again; newness and a little bit like Nolan after a hard days work in the sun. I shutter at the thought of never smelling that smell again. I got out the bits of his hair and touch it, marveling again at its color (black for now that would have turned brown, exactly like mine) and softness. I went back to the album and laid down on the bed and just put my hand over my favorite picture of him in and sobbed and sobbed and let the fire burn itself out.
   And then, ceremonially, I placed everything back inside that box exactly as I had taken it out. I re-wrapped the album, exactly the same way I had each time before and laid it to rest - again - inside that pine box.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Day Dreaming

This last week has been full of "what-would-have-been's".  I went to see my sister-in-law the weekend before last and it occurred to me on the way home how very different the journey would have been had I been toting around a 3 month old. I may not have made the 5 hour trip with just myself and the two kids. Then while at the grocery on Monday I put Vera in the front basket seat of the cart and realized that I would no longer have put her there because Asher would have been in his car-seat clipped to the cart. Or I thought, I'd have my Moby wrap on.... and his tiny butt would be pouched to the front of me as I whizzed Vera up and down the isles. All the old people would want to stop me and touch him and ask me all about him. My Aldi family (which is what I call the cashiers at Aldi because I've know all of them for about 7 years) would stop checking people and hold him for a few minutes and hold him up for the rest of the line to see. Everyone is always patient at Aldi, so the customers would just laugh and say how cute he was.
     And two days ago Vera managed to pull a tiny play-pin/tent thing intended for infants out and open it. She said, "Mommy, my baby die..... I have dis???" Pointing at the now open contraption. I just nodded and forced a smile. She asks me every so often "Why my baby die? My baby sick?" So I patiently explain once again about Asher's cord. But Asher would have been in that tent thing this summer.
I sometime sit and day dream about holding him on my chest. One hand cupping his little bottom, and the other stroking his back or hair. I sit with my hands in the shape of a newborn and imagine what it would have been like. Me, exhausted, but happy. His new baby smell. I already knew him. I know that had he lived he would have been hard to keep up with. Intelligent. Ornery and high spirited. But not so headstrong as Vera. Full of energy, with big eyes that would have looked at me with complete trust and love. And Vera would have been a perfect big sister. She wants to help anytime I hold a baby. She doesn't act jealous, just excited.
I watched a friend of mines grandson this last Sunday. I held him while he fought sleep then finally succumbed to exhaustion and slept in my arms. It was wonderful. I caught a glimpse of what it would have been like to have two.
If I imagine hard enough I can almost smell his sweet breast-fed breath, hear his tiny whimpers in the moments just before he sleeps. I can almost feel the fuzzy softness of the black-as-coal hair on his head. In my imagination his eyes are light hazel brown, the way Nolan's get sometimes. But I don't really know what color his eyes are. That fact alone, I don't know what color my son's eyes are, weighs on me, drags me down beneath icy water and takes my breath. I have never seen my son's eyes.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Afraid of Blessings

So many things have been going on these last weeks. Small things, big things...... just lots of things. Monday I paid some long overdue bills and it was such a huge relief to get that done. I love the satisfaction that no one can hold an unpaid bill over my head. And on Monday I woke up to 2 1/2 feet of water in my basement. It rained all day Sunday melting all the snow and causing flooding. My washer and dryer are down there... dryer still works, but the washer died. Sooo.. I guess we're getting a "new" (it wont be truly brand new, just new to us) washing machine.  Tuesday I made a trip to see my midwives, for funsies, because a midwife is more than a person to deliver your baby. Then I did taxes for a few people and came home mentally exhausted. Wednesday I did more taxes and came home was able to contact some family that never knew I was pregnant, let alone knew about Asher. Thursday I did more taxes..... its safe to say my brain is fried. And they were EASY taxes. Still...... mush.

Anyway.. When I came home a wonderful friend of mine called. She says she feels that God has exciting blessings in Nolan and I's future. She is the second person in the last 2 weeks to tell me that. I know I should be happy, but truthfully I'm scared. At first I was just nervous, excited nervous. But the more I thought about it, the more afraid I became. I can't figure out why. Maybe its the thought of moving to a new season of life. I know I cant stay in this season of greif, but I also don't want to leave. I also can't stand the thought of people saying, "See? God is still blessing you. Just because Asher died, doesn't mean God won't provide. See? God took Asher so he could bless you in other ways." I may go to jail for battery if anyone says that to me. (And don't think people don't say insensitive things like that.) But, really, I'm just worried. Usually after God blesses you significantly, Satan is right behind him to do all he can to tear you down again. Maybe I'd just rather remain in neutral. Isn't that such a terrible attitude? Satan's got me on the run apparently. I'll have to talk with Christ about this tonight. Just why would He bless us with Asher, only to let death take him. If thats what blessings mean, I can't say as I want them.

Also, Nolan and I already decided on boy/girl names for our next baby. And no I'm not telling. I'm not even pregnant and we're on this train again. Sigh... I told Nolan today that I won't be buying anything for the next baby we have until he/she is born. Putting Asher's things away was..... well...... sometimes I wish it was back in my room. I don't see why I ever have to let my heart heal. I don't see why it just can't go on bleeding forever. I don't see why its not acceptable to curl into the fetal position and stay there. Gosh, I don't blame anyone for not reading this, I'll bet its hard to follow... all my thoughts just - PLOP - on the page.

Today Nolan and I had a good fight. A good fight is where both sides compromise in the end. But it still exhausts me, fighting is exhausting. I hate it. We've got to find a better way to reach a compromise. I need to be better about trusting his ideas and ways of doing things. I'm working on it. Its so hard to do things someone else's way when you KNOW that your way will work. I need to respect and support him more. I need to let go of the control. Pray for me. Pray for him. He is human also, of course, but this is my blog, lol.

I wonder how many of you will still like me when you know how unpleasant I can be. And how I can be unpleasant for a very extended period of time.

I miss my son today. I've missed him everyday. Especially today the ache is strong.