Sunday, November 16, 2014

Three Years

It seems that once October hits, I get into a very blah kind of mood, knowing that November is approaching.  My heart becomes heavy and I find myself in deep thought about the events that unfolded November 16th through the 18th.  I can't seem to escape the "What ifs" and it haunts me to think that if I could have done a few things differently, maybe, just maybe Jordan would be with us today.  Unfortunately, that was not God's will.

Along this very fragile journey of infant loss, I have learned a few things.

1.  There are so many people going through the same kind of loss and suffering with the same emotions that I am.  One in four women will experience pregnancy or infant loss!!  That number is huge and still the topic seems to be hush, hush.  Nobody wants to talk about it.  Luckily, I have found people and support groups who did want to talk about it and that was tremendously helpful. 

2. I will NEVER forget. The days certainly get easier and easier as time goes on, but I will never forget Jordan and what happened to my sweet boy.  I think about him at least once a day, whether it's for a few seconds or a few minutes.  It might even be as I am washing dishes and peer out the window at his memorial stone and tree. 

3. Everyone is suffering from something.  I try not to judge people.  Everyone has something they are going through.  We are all jaded by our past and/or our present.  If only we could write it across our foreheads, I really think we would be more compassionate towards one another. 

4. Everyone grieves differently. For me, writing and attending support groups was easy for me.  Talking to my husband however, was very difficult.  Every time I talk to Chad about Jordan, I well up with tears even to this day.  I thinks its because we share such a deep understand of his loss with one another.   Having a strong faith-base was also extremely helpful in dealing with loss.  At first I blamed God, but soon realized His plan was not to make me suffer, but to make me stronger.  In addition to my faith and my husband, our family and friends were incredibly supportive in letting us know we were loved.  

Three Years Ago:
The loss of a child is like a pain you'll never know unless you have experienced it.   In the beginning, I spent plenty of days crying, not wanting to get out of bed, wandering why the world around me was still spinning and continuing on like nothing happened while my little boy had just been taken from me!  How was I suppose to carry on?  As the days, months and years have passed, I can only explain the pain as frightening.  Nothing I would ever want to experience again. The most frightening thing about it all was not being able to comprehend the fact that a baby had died.  Babies are not suppose to die, babies are just beginning their life. Giving birth and then leaving Jordan at heavens gates was nauseating! Going home empty handed was heart-breaking! Having to deal with all the post-pregnancy issues such as milk production, body image, and c-section recovery without the reward of a baby was even more painful than one could possibly imagine.  Each day I looked in the mirror, I was reminded of the baby I no longer had.  Mirrors were my worst enemy.

My one saving grace during the whole thing was Brady!  He kept me going.  I had to get out of bed for him each day.  I had to wipe my tears dry so he wouldn't see me suffering.  Although I lost one child, I was still Brady's mom too!  I may have come home empty handed the second time, but I had a beautiful smiling face waiting for me when I did.

As I look in the mirror today, I am proud of the person I have become and although the post-pregnancy body is gone, I am always reminded of the three boys I carried for 8 1/2 long months. Today, I praise God for the two earthly children I have been so blessed to raise. I am a stronger, more compassionate person because of Jordan and I am thankful for that.   As time passes, my "wounds" become less noticeable and I am better able to cope with life's difficulties.  To help me, Brady and Collin keep my mind busy with their outgoing personalities and and their unwillingness to sit.  Brady is now 4 1/2 and Collin is 20 months! 


Thank you to my readers for following this bumpy road of mine since 2011.  I am forever grateful for your loyalty and sincere comments along the way.  The kind words have kept me going in a positive direction and I truly appreciate every blurb.

Today, we will spend the day as a family. Brady and Collin are excited to send a few balloons to heaven.  I am sure we'll sing Jordan happy birthday too.  


Monday, January 20, 2014

Consignment Downer

The Faithful Friends Consignment sale is in our near future (March 14 and 15).  I was approached about joining this wonderful organization of ladies and agreed to join the group.  I volunteered to take on the organizational part of the sale.  I LOVE to organize!!  Since I am now part of this mission, I also signed up to be a consignor.  Collin is 9 months old now, so all the newborn to 6 month baby items are now tagged and hanging in all available closet space that I have.

Putting the clothing on hangers and pricing them has been exciting yet a bit depressing.  My baby is growing up and we are not expecting any more babies in our future.  I find myself questioning whether I really am done having babies.  I was never one of those people who enjoyed being pregnant, but it is easy to forget how long and hard those 9 months can be. It would be ideal to have another child without having to be pregnant :)  After all, I am back to my pre-pregnancy weight and fitting into all my regular clothing, what a glorious feeling!!!

Truthfully, I would LOVE to adopt a child at some point in my life.  I have ALWAYS wanted to do this and Chad and I have contemplated this idea several times.  Each time, we got pregnant instead.  For now, these two boys are keeping me very busy and I am sincerely happy with the family God has given me.  I can't help however, the feeling of emptiness, knowing that I should have three boys.

As for the boys, Collin is 9 months and keeping me busy!  Crawling, climbing steps, clapping, getting teeth, doing raspberries and saying da-da.  His foods have increased to beans, ham, cheese, crackers, hummus, and peaches.  He is so much fun and an absolute joy!

Brady continues to enjoy school.  We are working on identifying letters and writing his name.  He has become really good at playing the Wii and Temple Runner.  He and Chad enjoy competing against each other.  Most of the time he is a good helper and good with Collin, although there is always room for improvement.

Consignment Sale details:

When: March 14th and 15th 2014
Where: West Lawn United Methodist Church (community Center)
Needed: Consignors and Volunteers

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Happy 2nd Birthday Angel!!

Here we are, two years since Jordan was born.  I continue to think and be reminded of him each and every day.  November 16, 2011 was a scary day and it started the darkest time of my life.  I remember the pain and heart-ache that I experienced at that time.  I was in denial of the situation and felt as though I was living on auto-pilot.  I believe that God was helping me to cope rationally on the outside, but I was completely falling apart on the inside.

There were many people who told me that "time will heal."  I wanted to punch each person in the face who told me this!  I could not imagine ever healing from the death of my son!!  I sought out support groups, books, journals and blogging to deal with my feelings.  All of these things have helped, but TIME is what needed to happen.  It took time for me to grip the reality of postpartum without a baby.  It took time for me to understand that this was NOT my fault.  It took time for me to realize that Jordan was not coming back and that this really did happen.  Those people I wanted to punch in the face were right. And although I don't think I will ever heal from the loss of Jordan, time has definitely helped to heal the pain.  My heart will always be a little bit broken.

As I sit here, two years later, I feel a new sense of family.  I have lost, but I have also gained. I have gained empathy to a new extreme. I have gained a new appreciated of parenthood.  I have gained new friends.  I have gained a new BABY and I am so very thankful for these gifts.

Wishing my beautiful angel a very happy 2nd birthday! I will love you and remember you always!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Greedy for Sleep

Welp, I have yet to get a full nights sleep since I bragged about the ONLY night of uninterrupted sleep on Facebook about three months ago.  Any who, thats what babies do.  They get us all excited and hopeful after that first night of uninterrupted sleep and then they don't do it again until, well, who knows...?  By now however, my body is used to getting up at 1:30 AM and again at 5 AM just to be woken by the alarm clock at 6:30 AM.   I look forward to nap time when I hope to get some shut eye for 30 minutes and if that doesn't work out, a second cup of coffee.  Needless to say, I wouldn't mind a full nights sleep.  BUT, I know this phase wont last forever and I don't mind riding it out.

Although sleep would be nice, I am thankful for my healthy, baby boy!  After all, sleepless nights with a baby were what I longed for after Jordan passed.  What I wouldn't have given to wake up with a baby in the middle of the night.  There are many times when I get overwhelmed with the chaos in my life, but I am quickly reminded of how fortunate I am to have the chaos of two children because I know the flip side.  I know the pain of loss and the emptiness it brings.

I will have the rest of my life to catch up on sleep, so for now I will suck it up and enjoy holding Collin and rocking him as I feed him in the wee hours of the night.   I am blessed to have these two boys in my life!  I can't wait to see what tomorrow will bring. :)

An Update:
Collin will be 6 months old this weekend.  He is ready to crawl, but cant quite figure out how to move. He has the crawling stance down, but rocking is all he is able to do.  He just started sitting.  I have to sit behind him for now because he tends to throw himself backwards.   He is eating "solid" foods and doing well.  He is super happy and is always smiling and watching Brady.  

Brady started preschool and likes it a lot.  We just went on his first field trip to Weavers Orchard.  He got to pick an apple and try some apple cider.  We had Brady's annual doctors visit at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.  He is seen by the cranial-facial team once per year.  Eyes, ears, teeth, speech, and ENT are ALL perfect.  They don't have any concerns about him at this time.  They are however, going to do a jaw surgery on him when he turns five. This will help with some of the facial asymmetry and his crooked jaw.  My dad has agreed to do all of his follow up orthodontics, which will be nice!!  Its great having a dentist in the family!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Peace and Quiet

Here I sit in a very quiet house.  Creepy almost.  My husband took Brady to his parent's house for the weekend and Chad is going golfing.  I feel somewhat like a lost puppy, not sure what to do with myself.   So, Collin and I have decided to update the blog! What a perfect opportunity!  We took some new pictures of ourselves using photo booth.

Collin is 4 1/2 months old.  It is disturbing how fast he is growing.  At his 4 month well visit, he was tipping the scales at 16 lbs 4oz, measuring in the 75% percentile.  Needless to say he eats well.  So well, that he can't be too far away from me for any amount of time.  He is breast fed and HATES the bottle.  He has been struggling with a bottle since day one. I am not complaining, but it would be nice to get out once in awhile.  This mama could use some girl time. In fact, I went for a pedicure the other week, and had to take Collin along with me.  LOL. I am super lucky that he is such a good baby, molding to any situation I put him in.

As far as milestones, he is rolling over like a champ. So well, I had to take him out of his swaddle.  Now that was a nightmare!  Luckily it only took a LONG three nights to get him accustomed to the new feel of freedom within the crib.  He is already wearing 6 month clothing and I just washed and sorted 9 and 12 month clothes.  Before I know it, he'll be walking.

I am proud to stay that I have mastered the art of mom of two.  It really is an art, or maybe a circus act. I have a system down of caring for them by myself and even taking them to the store!! YAY!!  I haven't even had any embarrassing episodes YET!!  I know they will come, but am thankful that my trips to the store are quick and easy at this point.

Brady continues to be a good big brother, but just recently has had some trouble with boundaries.  He has been intentionally trying to scare and hurt Collin.  Time outs seems to put him back in line as a reminder of how NOT to act.   He will be starting preschool two days a week beginning September 10th.  His teacher just sent him a name tag to color and wear for the first day.  He seems excited.  We will be returning to CHOP for his yearly visit with the cranial-facial department.  We will be discussing jaw surgery that will take place sometime next year.

Signing off with Barefoot Moscato in hand, a sleeping baby, and a house to myself. :)

Friday, July 26, 2013

The Look

Back in 2011 and into 2012, after I had Jordan, I would see these beautiful new moms, proudly pushing their new babies through each store I went into.  I could not seem to get away from the constant reminder that everyone else had what I should have had.  Each time I would pass a new baby, I would give a look of despair or completely look in the opposite direction.  I just could not bare looking at babies.  Each time someone posted pictures of their new babies on Facebook, I would cry!  I was happy for them, but so sad for myself. This attitude continued until I got pregnant with Collin.

Getting pregnant again was like a new beginning, another chance, and a breath of fresh air.  I could feel a sense of hope come over me.  I was able to smile again.  I was scared out of my mind, but I was excited for the possibility of another child.

When Collin arrived, I became the proud mommy pushing him through the stores.  This time, aware of "the look."  There have been times when I have picked up on women who look at me with pain in their eyes.  I smile at them and wonder what lies behind their sorrowful eyes.  Could it be that they too have experienced a loss of a child?  I can't help but be happy for the life of Collin, but I also know the feeling of longing for a life that was taken too soon.

That said, I still long for Jordan and wish he was part of this family.   I am often reminded of him and think of him daily.   I am blessed to me a mommy of three!

Brady and Collin update:
Brady had his 3 year check up and he is doing well.  This summer, he has participated in 2 day camps.  He enjoyed both of them and show no signs of missing me when I leave.   He is becoming more confident in the water and goes down the slide at the pool.  Next week, he will be getting swim lessons.  He is busy, busy, busy!  I am wiped out by the end of the day!

Collin is almost 4 months.  He is growing like a weed!  He is beginning to roll over and show excitement with high pitched squeals.  He has a smile that melts my heart every time.  He has Chad's dimples.  (Super cute)

Thanks for continue to read my blog!  I enjoy updating it when I have time :)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Two Months with Collin

When I initially started this blog, it was an outlet for me to write about my feeling after the loss of Jordan.   It was a great way for me to express my true feeling throughout my grief process.  I don't think I will ever be able to say that I am "over" the grief process, but my blog has definitely taken a different turn.  As I continue to think about Jordan and what should have been, I have now entered a new chapter in my life; the mother of THREE boys.

Having TWO living children has been quite an adjustment.  It was only last week when I felt confident enough to take the boys out to Target by myself.  It went well until the very end when Brady threw a the car. Thank goodness he waited until we got to the car.  Growing up, I never wanted to be "that mom" who couldn't control her kids in public.   Well, now I know that it has NOTHING to do with the parents.  It doesn't matter how good of a parent you are, you WILL encounter a "scene" with your kids in public at some point.

Collin is doing well.  He just had his 2 month check up this week and the doctor was impressed with his growth, weighing in at 13 lbs 14 oz.  He is in the 90th percentile for weight and the 50th percentile for both length and head circumference.  He got 3 shots and one oral vaccination.  He was in pain the rest of the day.  He continues to be fussy during the times he is awake during the day, but sleeps well at night.

On a Jordan note, I was hoping that the birth of Collin would somehow tie into Jordan in some way.  I was hopeful for a rainbow or a butterfly appearance on the day Collin was born, but nothing like that happened.  It was a few days later that my mother-in-law pointed out a significant number correlation.  Each one of our birth days equals 16, the day Jordan was born:
Chad-    1
Allison- 4
Brady-   5
Collin-   6

Pretty Cool!!