Sunday, December 30, 2012

The End of Another Year

When 2009 ended and 2010 came to a start, I remember feeling so devastated that the year that MJ lived and died was ending. It hit me much harder than the holidays, I think mostly because I expected the holidays to be bad, but never expected the start of a new year to be bad. Now, the end of the year and the start of the new one always brings back some of those memories.

It is very hard to believe that 2013 will bring four years since I last held my son. Part of me wishes it was just yesterday and I could jump back into that horrible, smokey grief again. I feel for the most part I am in a really good place, with moments (sometimes lots of moments) of the horrible pain. But that pain makes me feel so close to MJ. For some reason, the worse the pain the more connected I am to MJ. I think that it because I relate the pain to the moment I held him first and last.

I have worked really hard to be where I am at, to be able to provide the emotional stability for Will (MJ's twin) and now Maci. I can truly laugh and I can feel true joy again. There was a time that I never thought that was never going to be possible.

And now a part of me feels guilty that I have been able to move this far forward. Is it too soon? Have I moved forward too fast? Am I betraying MJ by being happy? I think the answer to all of those questions is no, but I guess I can't ever be sure this side of Heaven.

I know I have to let go of the guilt. But part of me feels that I can only push it down for another time, another day when I can really assess my millions of emotions. I feel like I have to. I mean literally right now Will is jumping next to me on the couch and Maci is crawling around on the floor giggling her adorable little head off chasing our dog.

Maci will be one in a few weeks. I am in shock in how fast this year has gone. In a good way. I remember this year. I have beautiful, amazing memories of the first year of my daughter's life. I don't have that with Will- all I can remember is grief. And quite obviously I don't have any memories with MJ beyond 35 days. I have had so many firsts with Maci. A newborn photo shoot at just days old, she never left my side during our entire hospital stay, amazing memories, and an entire year of breastfeeding. I wanted that so badly with my TWINS. I gave up breastfeeding Will at just six months. Emotionally I couldn't handle it anymore. I am so proud that I've been able to get this far.  But again, it just reminds me of what I missed out on when MJ was stolen from me way too soon.

I don't think I'll ever really be able to be 'normal' (whatever that is) again. And that, I have accepted. I am okay with who I am because MJ died. But I'm not okay that MJ died. If that makes sense. Sometimes every moment is bittersweet, and that's okay. Other times I absolutely hate the bittersweet and literally want to to burn in hell. Acceptance is a really funny thing. We bereaved mommas work so hard to get it, then we get it and question the hell out of it. I am sure one day I'll get to the point where I have accepted that I accepted who I am, but till that day comes I guess I'll always be who I am,

Monday, December 10, 2012

Christmas 2012

If we never experience the chill of a dark winter, it is very unlikely that we will ever cherish the warmth of a bright summer’s day. Nothing stimulates our appetite for the simple joys of life more than the starvation caused by sadness or desperation. In order to complete our amazing life journey successfully, it is vital that we turn each and every dark tear into a pearl of wisdom, and find the blessing in every curse. ― Anthon St. Maarten

This quote truly means so much more then I could ever really say. I've never known that I could feel so low, so dark, and so gutted before becoming a bereaved mother. Since that moment that doctor whispered, 'MJ's gone' in my ear on August 29, 2009 I've had the worst, most terrible feelings and emotions you can imagine.

But I've also had the undeniable thrills of pure and absolute love and joy that can only come with motherhood. Sometimes I think that I'm able to love my children clearer and better because I've said goodbye to one of them. When we chose to take MJ off of life support and let him pass away in our arms, I've never felt more at peace with losing him. It was almost as if God was speaking to me and telling him that MJ could do no more. At times I miss that peace, at times I am angry, at times I am so sad I can't explain it. I wonder how long it will take for me to find the blessing in the curse, as Anthon St. Maarten suggests. Sometimes I feel like I am on that verge, but at times I feel like I am so far away from that thought.

I miss MJ a lot. We were putting up our Christmas tree last weekend and it really got me seeing all of his ornaments. Every year we buy an ornament for him, to remember him by. I love to get one with a Baby Sleeping on the Moon type theme. Every single ornament is beautiful, but just adds to the fact that he's not here. They are tangible things to exhibit he was here; he was alive. But they are also tangible things to say he not here, and he won't ever come home.

This Christmas is Maci's first. It seems like another lifetime that I was pregnant with her. I remember I was so incredibly scared we wouldn't bring her home. I remember our families bought her many Christmas presents, and as I opened them I said a silent prayer I wouldn't have to go through them after another funeral for one of my babies. Her birth brought a lot of healing to my broken heart. I never understood what it was like to simply have a baby and come home. I mean, yes, Will was healthy and left the hospital with us when I was discharged. But we left one hospital to go to another, where we basically lived for 5 weeks until MJ died. I never realized how scarred I was from their birth, the NICU stay, and the surgeries until Maci came. I obviously realized how scarred I was, and still am, from MJ's death. But the aftermath of having a CDH/NICU baby is also an indescribable one.

Along the lines of their birth we are going back to KU Med for the first time since we left with Will to head to Children's Mercy on July 28, 2009. We are hosting a Teddy Bear Drive for MJ's Memories, the division of Project Sweet Peas we started after MJ died. We hoped to have 100 Teddy Bears donated. There are currently about 350 in our MJ's Memories room! So we have decided to donate to as many NICU's as possible with the Teddy Bear donations. Its gonna be hard walking into that hospital and back to the floor I was on bedrest on for two weeks, delivered my boys, and saw one off to Children's Mercy via an emergency transport. I'm nervous walking back into it. But I also believe it will be good for us. It's been over three years since we stepped foot off that hospital. We've been through the worst, and dealt with a lot of its aftermath. Who knows? Maybe we'll even have a little bit of healing going back there to donate Teddy Bears in MJ's name.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Lately I have had this feeling more and more that Maci looks like MJ. I don't know why I don't see Will in her eyes. I just see MJ. Her round, cute, adorable, little face reminds me so much of his round, cute, adorable little face. Which doesn't make a whole lot of sense because Will and MJ were identical twins.

Which makes me remember more and more how much I don't remember of Will during his first year.

I wish I didn't have this life. I wish all my children were alive. I've conceived four children. I hold two in my arms. Pretty bad odds if you ask me.

Yesterday I attempted to explain to Will what a twin was and how he has and doesn't have a twin brother at the same time. Conversation #1,893 that sucks.