Saturday, October 26, 2013

This time of year

The fall colors are beautiful, the air is refreshingly crisp. Two things I love about this time of year. But it is that time of year. The time of year in which my precious baby boy was born and died. The leaves changing, the pumpkin spice everywhere, the state fair going on, mums on the doorstep.They remind me of him. Of the end of my pregnancy. My wonderful, easy, perfect, no sign anything was going to go wrong pregnancy.

It is his birthday weekend. If he were here this is probably when we would have his party since his birthday is on Monday. Last year the day before his birthday I was in the ER for 5 hours freaking out something was wrong with my pregnancy with Ethan (I was about 20 weeks at the time). I was a mess. My emotions causing physical "symptoms" to make me think the baby I was carrying would also be born early and die (well, I guess I did have something to worry about since the first part ended up true).

Last year on Marcellus's birthday we had a celebration with friends. We did a balloon release and had them over for brunch and cake to honor our baby boy. This year, we are staying low key. We've been so busy. We really just need to take the day to be together as a family. To make Marcellus's birthday a time of celebration and thankfulness for his life. To show Ethan just how much his big brother is loved, remembered, missed and always a part of our family.

It really started to hit me on Wednesday that Marcellus's birthday is getting close. The tears have started to come at random times. The other day it was while pumping at work for Ethan, today it was while putting Ethan down for a nap. Maybe they come when I am doing things as Ethan's mommy because I don't get to do those things as Marcellus's mommy.

I can't believe he should be turning 2. How does that happen? How has the world kept turning for 2 years? seems so unreal. It feels like forever and an instant all at the same time. And those 12 days, I will forever hold onto those 12 days. Those 12 amazing, precious, glorious days of being Marcellus's mommy with him on this earth. I forever am his mommy, but I no longer get to be his mommy. I do not get to mother him as I do his baby brother. And that will always cause my mother heart to ache. I will always long for those 12 days when I did not know this pain. When I did not know this world of babies dying and that a mother could survive that.

Those 12 days. I am thankful that last year I took the time to write a blog post for each of those 12 days. This year I will be taking some quiet time to read them and reflect. Since Ethan was also in the NICU I have to admit that sometimes I don't know if a particular memory is with Marcellus or Ethan. It makes me a bit upset to have that blur. I wanted Marcellus's memories to be clear, to be distinct, to never fade.

Mommy and Marcellus when he was 1 week old
I currently have the above picture as my Facebook profile. A friend commented how this is a moment I will forever cherish. She knows first hand as she has also lost a child, but even so I can not stress to anyone how much I will forever and always cherish this moment with my sweet boy. As much of a blur as most things are there are moments that stand out. Holding Marcellus for the first time will always been one and so will the above moment. My mom and sister had left earlier that day and I was bummed. I was emotional and also had some discomfort from my c-section. But then this moment came. My baby boy in my arms, on my chest, skin to skin with me. I can still remember just how "melty" (as I called it) he was, how wonderful he smelled, and how amazing it all felt. I didn't even know Mike was taking pictures. I was just breathing in my baby boy, my son. And his smell, so sweet. I wish I could smell him again. His pumpkin hat (in the picture) held his scent for a little bit, but almost 2 years later it is no longer there. I was smelling Ethan today while laying with him to try to catch a bit of Marcellus and while I'd say they smell similar it wasn't quite the same. Don't get me wrong, Ethan smells pretty awesome too and I definitely love to breath him. In fact, I do it a lot. A lot a lot. But today I was smelling him with the longing for Marcellus on my mind, so it was a bit different.

I miss him so much. I can't even begin to say. No matter how many joyous wonderful things are in my life I will always miss him so much. And now that I'm taking the time to slow down a bit, to write, it is flooding me. He is really gone. That sweet little baby in that picture, that's my son, that is me with my son and he is not here. I should be getting ready for his 2nd birthday party. I miss him. I am so thankful for all I have, but I ache for that moment in that picture.
If my sweet baby boy has touched your life in anyway, please join us in honoring him during his birthday. This could be by lighting a candle, enjoying a cupcake, donating a toy, doing a random act of kindness, writing his name in a creative way, or anything else you can think of to celebrate my first born son (and I'd love to see a picture if your able to get one!). Thank you all for your continued love and support as we navigate this life missing our squirmy wormy.

Marcellus, Momma can't believe your second birthday is coming up so soon. What would it be like to have you here and throwing you a party? What theme would we have...would you have a favorite character? Would you want cars, trucks, or trains? I would have done whatever you wanted. I miss you so much my squirmy wormy. So so so very much. I remember that day in the picture. Holding you for so longer, breathing you in and losing myself in the moment. Even though we were in the NICU with nurses, all the other babies, the parents, even Daddy near that moment it was just you and I my love. Just Mommy and Marcellus. One of the most beautiful moments of my life. Thank you baby boy for giving me that moment. I love you so very much. Some days I am just amazed at how much I can love both you and your little brother. It's so wonderfully intense. On your birthday we will be celebrating your life. Although it was beyond too short, we are so thankful to have had those 12 days with you. And I know that little life of yours has made a big difference in this world. But oh how I wish it were different and you were here with us now. I miss and love you my sweet boy! xoxox.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Reflecting on Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day

I'm supposed to be working. Yes, at 8pm I'm supposed to be working. I am teaching full-time at a local community college. I don't do work in the mornings so I can be home with Ethan. But I sit here instead with tears in my eyes. I miss Marcellus.

I miss him so much. Everyday I miss him. But life has continued to move forward and most days I don't get the time to reflect. Life is busy. Overall, life is good. But I still miss him with every ounce of my being. I miss and love him more than I can begin to describe. So, in moments like tonight, where I take the time to stop and slow life down...the tears come.

They've been there all along. I need to get better about letting them out every now and then. To "be intentional" as my therapist would say. It's a hard time of the year for us with Marcellus's birthday and anniversary so very close. It's okay that I cry. It's okay that I'm sad. I need to be. I will always need these moments to miss and actively grieve for my sweet boy. My squirmy wormy. My little warrior. My first born son.

Grief is so very different now. I can honestly say I am happy. But the hurt is still there. Life is never black and white. I don't have to be happy or sad. I can be happy because there are many great, wonderful, amazing things in my life and at the same time I can be sad. Sad because my son died and I don't get to hold him, kiss him, hug him, breastfeed him, chase him, make him laugh, hear him say "Momma" or "I love you". Yet, I can be thankful to be his momma. To have carried him for 28 weeks 5 days, to have gotten to hold him and kiss his tiny head, breath in his smell, feel his soft soft hair, look into those dark eyes and tell him I love him. 

October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month with today, the 15th, being Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. We lit Marcellus's special candle along with another one for all babies gone too soon. We did Ethan's bedtime by the soft glow of these candles. It was so beautiful in a way. We read Marcellus's story and sang his bedtime song. Afterward Ethan gave Mike and I both the biggest and best kisses an almost 10 month old can.

Marcellus is an everyday part of our lives. He is with us always. Today we take a moment to tell the world that. To tell the world these babies are not forgotten. They will never be forgotten. We ask the world to remember them with us even if just for today. I am so thankful for the family and friends in my life that continue to love, miss, and remember Marcellus with me. Thank you to those of you who are not afraid to speak his name, to ask about him, to ask about us, to acknowledge his absence in difficult moments, to share his life.

Marcellus, Mommy misses you so very much. I know I haven't been writing very much at all and I am so sorry. When life is so busy it can be hard to come here to write. Sometimes I'm just not up for it and that doesn't mean I don't love you or grieve for you. I do baby boy. I love you so so so very much and my heart does ache for you. I have just learned to live in a different way. To live without you. To move forward  with life with you in my heart. I live because you were not able to. I live for you sweet boy. While I long for you, I at the same time embrace the joy in my life. These next weeks will be so hard though. I wish you were here. Everyday I wish you were here. I still have many questions about why you couldn't stay. I have more work to do, but I am trying baby boy. I am trying to be the best mommy I can be to you and the best mommy I can be to your little brother. I love you both so very much. I love you right up to the moon and back my squirmy wormy!!! xoxox