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.