Wow. I can't believe that we're just a week away from Thanksgiving (I figured it's late enough at night to just not count the rest of today). This blog has been a place for me to go on the really hard days. Sometimes I get so caught up in the shuffle of every day life that I forget I have this. I have so many things to be thankful for and I am so very thankful but I still miss my baby. These days are hard just because I feel like we're missing something. I guess that's because we are. It's still hard for me to think about the crazy-excited little boy we should have right now. We should be watching him bounce off the walls at family functions when Grandma and Paw-paw give him too much candy. He should be following his big sister around. We should be running around like crazy while trying to keep him from going down the stairs alone or breaking something (on accident of course). I am so very thankful for the time I got with my son. The 27 weeks I carried him. The 14 hours he fought hard. The few minutes I had with him after he was gone. Dear Lord, I AM thankful. But that doesn't make me miss him any less. It doesn't keep me from saying "this isn't fair" sometimes. I think I've learned that while you adapt and you learn to live again, you still miss them. You still expect to see them. You still wish they were here. And sometimes, while you're smiling on the outside, you are still falling apart on the inside. No matter what happens, I am thankful for the time I had with my baby. I am thankful his name is still spoken and that his sister knows who he is. I am thankful for our beautiful baby girl (she may not have my DNA but she is still my baby). I am thankful for the man I married. He is always there when I need him and although he's not the most emotional person in the world, he tries, for me. I am thankful for all of my family and friends. I am thankful that Connor helped me find who I am supposed to be. I stumble sometimes, but I'm improving. I hope that all of you have peaceful holidays. Do what is right for you, even if that means sitting in your jammies and refusing to leave the couch. Do not rush yourself and do not feel OBLIGATED to do anything you don't feel like. I love each and every one of you. It's okay to feel sad, even when you're thankful.
Here we go. It's that time of year again. All of the Thanksgiving and Christmas items are crammed in every shelf at the grocery store. Pictures of perfect four person families are everywhere you turn. The music is cheery and there are people... everywhere. So many people. Before, these were all the things I loved about this time of year. The smells, the atmosphere, getting to pick out Christmas ornaments for the year... now, they're all the things that exhaust me. Seriously, holidays have become tedious. It's work to get out of bed and smile at everyone. I thought it would get better... I thought surely our first (fill in random holiday here) would be the hardest. It would be the most difficult and the most heart wrenching. Honestly, I think I was still in shock for most of it. I hardly remember much from the entire year after Connor was born. Maybe it was longer... I'm not sure. I remember bits and pieces... or things that really shook me. For instance, that super bowl commercial about the wonders of being a mother. I honestly couldn't even tell you what the commercial was for because about 10 seconds into it I was tearing up and had to walk out of the room. I had just recently lost my son and people expected me to watch this heart wrenching bull crap? It was too much for me to handle. I think all of the firsts are hard, yes, but your body is still in a state of self preservation. The next set of holidays that roll around are just as bad because you are no longer in shock. Your body still has it's moments of self preservation but for the most part it's so raw the second time around. It's like experiencing the firsts all over again but this time there's no Band-Aid. I have this love-hate relationship with holidays now. I do love it all but at the same time it's exhausting to deal with everything. It's the time of year where everywhere you look, you're reminded of your loss.
I used to love dreaming. It let me escape my worries and get refreshed for the next day. After I lost my son, I was afraid to fall asleep for a while. I used to have terrible nightmares and they would shake me to the core. As time went on, they became less and less frequent. That is until recently. In the recent months, I have had some good dreams about Connor and some not so great. The other night I had the most wonderful dream.. that is, until I awoke and reality crushed me. My sweet two and a half year old had just gotten out of the tub... he held on to my neck as I carried him in his room to get jammies on. I tucked him in and spent a few minutes loving on him and talking to him. He only spoke back to me once in this time. I was telling him that I loved him so much and that mommy and daddy thought he was the most special little boy in the whole world. He looked right up at me and his answer was "I know." That was it. I then proceeded to finish tucking him in and went to bed myself. When I woke up, I panicked because I wondered why Connor wasn't up yet. I jumped out of bed thinking we would be late to school. I walked all the way into the hallway and looked into our daughter's room before it hit me. It was all a dream. Wow... talk about being half asleep. At this point, I was no longer motivated to start my day yet, so I climbed back into bed. My dreams of Connor are wonderful and they aren't the things I hate. I hate having to wake back up. It's even more of a reality check than normal. Every time this happens I walk into the kitchen and retrieve Connor's urn off his shelf. It's the only thing I can really do to feel close to him. Sometimes I just hold it and talk to him for a little while. Might seem crazy to some people but it gets me through my day. Point is that even after two and a half years, I still find myself imagining what it would be like to have a rambunctious, full of life two year old boy. I find myself longing more for normalcy than ever. This is not where I thought I would be in two years. Not at all. I'm thrilled with the other aspects of my life. I have a wonderful, supportive husband and a perfect little girl but no matter what, there will always be someone missing. There will always be that void. I like to believe that I am a strong, independent, intelligent woman but these moments always make me question those things. Then, I remember I am not alone. I know so many strong, intelligent, beautiful women who grieve their babies like I do. To all of those mothers: do not forget that grieving your child does not make you weak and you are not losing your sanity (even though it feels that way sometimes) and you are NEVER alone. I love all of you and pray that you find peace in the moments you can and happiness without feeling guilty. Have a wonderful weekend.