Wednesday, May 18, 2011

missing my little man

I just miss him. I miss him so much. It's just not fair - I don't understand why Noah had to die. Why did it have to be my son? I don't wish that it was someone else's, but still...why mine? He was healthy and perfect. We really couldn't have asked for anyone better. He was so playful, outgoing, fun, and just brought so much joy and purpose to our lives. Now I am left trying to pick up the pieces. Many people think this must get easier over time but it does not. You just sadly get used to your child not being with you anymore. But it is never easier. My life now consists of having to deal with it in so many ways. Not only are you missing and grieving your child but there are so many layers. People constantly ask if you have children, or now that I am visibly pregnant people ask "Is this your first?" I always say "no" which then of course leads to "how old is your other one? boy or girl", etc. Almost everyday I deal with this question and how to answer it. Do you lie and say "he's 18 months" and then hope they don't ask anymore questions or do you tell them that your son died at 11 months old and deal with all the questions and awkwardness that stems from that? And sometimes how people respond to that makes everything worse. The other day a lady told me if one of her kids ever died she would kill herself. Then there is this new baby. Do I change the nursery? Use the same clothes? He will be using all Noah's toys, stroller, high chair, etc. Will it be hard because of all the memories or will be good because of all the memories? Then when this baby is born how will I ever sleep? I will be the most paranoid mom EVER! But I know that even if I stand over his crib and watch him sleep all night, it won't save him. SIDS happens instantly and if it's truly SIDS they cannot be saved. I know the likeliness of anything happening again is only 0.4% but still, what was the likeliness that a child would die from SIDS at 11 months old anyways? I struggle so much on a daily basis because all things baby/child related remind me of Noah. They remind me that my son is not here but these other children get to live long healthy lives. That's all I wanted for Noah. The day he was born I held him and said, "you're stuck with us forever." I really thought he was. Scott and I would dream of what sports he'd play, the things we'd do with him as he got older. All our hopes and dreams were shattered with one phone call that changed our lives forever. But then again sometimes baby things make me excited for this new baby. I am trying to find balance between grieving Noah and being excited for this new baby. Some days I focus more on Noah and some days I focus more on the new baby. I guess all parents feel guilt when they are having a 2nd child because they want to love this child as much as their 1st, etc. I don't want to compare this child to Noah. They are their own child. 

We have gotten pretty good at being able to be in social situations and "act" like we are ok. We can smile and laugh and have fun with people. But it's never 100% pure fun or pure happiness. We leave and reality sinks in. We are going home alone. To our quiet house. To just go to sleep. No babies crying, no bottles to make, no diapers to change, no one to focus on but ourselves. It's lonely and depressing. I think because we are so good at acting ok in front of others, people start to think you are moving on or that you are "better." This is definitely not the case. You do not move on from your child dying and you definitely don't ever get better. Instead you learn to live without your child. It's the most painful way to live. We always talk about Noah and we will talk about how we are feeling with others, but because we can talk and not cry or have major breakdowns, people think we are ok. We try to be good friends, we try to be there for our families, we try to do everything we think is right - but we still very much need to focus on ourselves, our marriage, our loss, and our new baby. While we might have a lot more time on our hands now than we did before, this time is consumed with our grief. Some days it is manageable and some days it is not. But we still very much need our friends and families support. We need to know that people are thinking of Noah. We want to talk about him. He is what we think of almost every second of everyday. And while we are beyond thrilled with this new little one coming in 3.5 months, it does not in anyway take away from our pain of losing Noah. This baby does not replace Noah. He is an addition to our family of 3. He is Noah's little brother, even though he will never get to meet him. 

In order to feel like we are still parenting Noah we try to put a lot of our focus into the golf tournament we are having in his honor this summer. The 1st annual Noah's Memorial Classic. We are SO excited about the great turnout we are going to have for this event. It is so important to us to have family and friends come together to honor our beautiful son and to raise money for such a great cause. We are so thankful for everyone who is participating in some way. It is truly amazing the things people will do. Especially those we might not be as close with anymore, old friends, acquaintances, etc. This is what keeps us going....the amazing support and love. Noah would be so proud and that in turn makes us happy. 

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day

Today is my first mother's day without my baby boy. I cannot believe it's been a year since the sweet little boy in the below picture walked through the door with daddy to bring me these mother's day flowers....and then he tried to grab a big handful of them and eat them :) 

This mother's day is bittersweet. While I am terribly missing Noah, my sweet angel who made me a mommy, I'm excited that I get to be a mommy again to another baby boy this September. It is a constant struggle to balance the grief I carry for Noah and the excitement I carry for this new baby. While I am so grateful to be given another chance at mommyhood, I can't help but wonder why I can't just have both my boys? It kills me to know they could be such close friends -they'd be just 22 months apart. This new baby will never get to meet his big brother. I wonder how he will answer the questions when he's older "How many siblings do you have?" I hate that this baby will have to learn about death so early on and only know about his big brother through pictures, videos, and stories we tell him. But we are very much looking forward to the day when we get to hold our new baby in our arms and kiss and snuggle him like crazy. 

Dear Noah,
Thank you for making me a mom. I'm so proud to be your mom. You are the most amazing thing that has ever happened to my life. You changed me forever and while we only got 11 months together, you made such a huge impact on my life as well as the lives of others. You should be so proud of the life you had - as short as it was. You blessed us with so many smiles, laughs, and very happy memories that I will cherish all the days of my life. Please continue to be with us as we continue on this journey. Help watch over your little brother - he is so lucky to have you as a big brother. Send us a rainbow soon so I know you're smiling down on us. I miss you every day. I still sleep with your blankets, even though they don't smell like you anymore. I still kiss your pictures and pretend I'm kissing you. I cannot wait until the day I get to be with you again. 
I love you little monster,