Two year's ago I sat eagerly awaiting Ethan's arrival hoping he would come soon. I was only 34.5 weeks in my pregnancy with him and I thought I was suffering in pain from being very pregnant. I was rushing my husband to get the room done so it would be ready, my bags were being packed for the hospital, Everything was so rushed towards the end. If I only knew then what I know now.
Suffering then is nothing compared to now. Ingorance was bliss.
Two years ago I heard the most devestating news, "I'm sorry but we don't see any cardiac activity." I think the world stopped at that moment and I felt so closed in, I couldn't hear a thing after that. We just sat in that room and cried. Walking out in the waiting room seeing pregnant women holding their swollen bellys. I felt myself screaming inside. Screaming because it happened to me, not that I would wish this on anyone but it was me.
Two years ago I gave birth to the most angelic little person ever all 5lbs and 3oz of him. Nothing was wrong with him he was perfect from his head to his toes. He had a little mark on his nose where his skin was coming off. I remember being so numb from the moment I left my ob's office. When they went to hand him to me I don't really remember anything other than just holding him and the rest of the world just disappeared. I don't remember my nurses, the photographer came and I only briefly remember being irriated because everything felt so posed and I just wanted to sit and cry.
When I was wheeled out of the hospital I was in the wheel chair facing my room and Ethan was just laying in the little bed. I felt so much heartache leaving him there. I knew he couldn't come home with me but I wasn't suppose to leave empty handed, and my baby was all alone. No one else loved him the way we did.
We are embarking on this new journey now and I know that seems strange to hear because we have been living this life for almost two years now. But this is new, it's a new chapter in our lives.
I found this from a year ago so I thought Id share, its on Ethans memorial site
I'm more broken then anyone knows, because I've seen how some people handle grieving people, like they're plagued, I'd rather not be one of "those" people, so I act as normal as I can be. Why am I ashamed to be grieving still? Its because some of society thinks there's a "get over it" date I should be well beyond. If I'm being totally honest, I don't think I'll ever be beyond it, broken is the new me, I'm getting comfortable in this new state, it feels normal, and comfortable most days, except the days when I need to express the pain the most and don't feel like I can, or that anyone wants to hear it, and those are the days I am screaming in my head because I have so much to let loose, but don't want to seem "Crazy" or like I am dwelling, or not healing, not coping, or having unhealthy grief.
Don’t let anyone tell you where your journey should end or how long you should grieve. Im not done grieving yet and I don’t know if I’ll ever put a time line on it either why should I? I will always be grieving my son but I will learn how to grieve healthy and be able to live my new life. I will tell you it does not go away but I promise the pain does get a little easier to manage with time. But there will be days when it seems like your grief has taken over again just when you thought you got through the healing process. I promise its ok you will get through. Be easy on yourself and put one foot in the other its not a marathon when and if you complete your journey in grief is ok.
I am normal.
I am coping.
I am healing, slowly.
I am still in excruciating pain.
I am constantly reminded of my loss and those reminders knock me down, they hurt.
But I get up, after some tears and bad days, and I keep going
I think I'm doing well even when I'm screaming in my head.
I wish I had more people who understood this in my life.
It would be so much easier to never have to hide how much I still badly need a shoulder.
I need them way more often then anyone realizes or offers anymore.
I'm not over it, I'll never be over it, I wish everyone else didn't get over it so fast, because I feel so alone in all of this now.
I am afraid to heal because I’ll feel less connected to Ethan, I feel closest to him when I’m in the midst of active grief and overcome by pain. My memories are sharpest and hashing out those emotions again helps me to feel nearly exactly as I felt when my world came crashing down, which incidentally was the last time I was really close to my baby
There's nothing wrong with me, my grief is not pathological, I'm not sick, and I'm not crazy! The fact that I still grieve, and have bad days, and feel anguish and sadness and moments of despair and frustration are not symptoms of unhealthy handling of our tragedy, they are side effects of having lost a child, I am not abnormal or unusual because I give way to them and allow myself to feel horribly and irreparably broken, its who I am, what would be unhealthy would be to deny that I am in pain.
The first year was filled with denial, anger, sadness and bargining. This second year will be more about feeling complete, whole, content and filled with sufficent acceptance.
I say sufficent because I will never fully be able to accept that my son is gone and be one hundred percent ok with it. I know I have been able to find a purpose in his death but I still whole heartly miss him, the kicks and squirming while I held him under my heart. The fast pounding of his healthy heart on the doopler.
I know lucky I am to say I held an angel and that beautiful, healthy, amazing little boy was mine.
I will have to learn how to continue to tackel well ment but yet hurtful comments from strangers, and yet offer healing to other families walking this path from the beginnning.
Sometimes I just fall to pieces. ‘I just wish we had Ethan with us.’ … ‘I wish we could call him in heaven. I’d call him everyday.’ … ‘how can we have christmas when our whole family isn’t here?’ … ‘I just wish I could have my baby here with me.' 'I wish we got little snapshots from Heaven to see what he looked like or what he was doing'. 'still struggling to find the right words to say happy birthday and celebrate his life.
Eight years ago when I found out I was pregnant with my first little one I knew fear, how easily something bad could happen. Getting hit by a car, getting their little hands on something dangerous, getting hurt in a car accident. I guess I just never really thought I would have to burry one of my own kids. I always thought they would have to burry me. Nieve or foolish so be it, I just didn't think this would be my life.
It seems there is always a milestone as we would have with any of our other children. This is marks the beginning of becoming a toddler and the terrible two's, my ears ache to hear "no" from a stubborn two year old, who is kicking and screaming because I won't give him a cookie at breakfast or upset because I didn't put his milk in the right sippy cup.
I imagine that he would be tall and slender like Blake was, yet dark hair unlike the three other boys. He would be gental, and loving and yet he would have that demanding two year old personality.
I think he would love playing with cars and balls, and running up and down the hall scretching at the top of his lungs at the other boys. He would be the wild child, I just know it.
We would be signing him up for soccer this year I am sure of it. I also think he would be a wise little one who would love to sit and read or should I say look at the pictures. I think Ethan would be the peace keeper out of all of the boys.
I miss him so much sometimes it leaves me breathless.
The other day while I was out getting a birthday gift for a friend, I was looking at willow trees. Someone gave me my first one when we lost Ethan and ever since I have collected them. All have a different meaning. Well I was trying to decided which one I wanted this year for Ethan's birthday and a few with tiny babies caught my eye and then one with a mom holding a toddler stretched out against her I believe it was called "Child of my Heart" caught my eye and I thought "yup that is the one. Ethan would be just about that big." I will always find it hard to picture him as an older toddler/child he was my baby. And he really is a child of my heart.
But something about that figure the little boy had dark hair, and I long to hold him against my chest I never got to do that. The figurine looked like he fell asleep and she was carrying him to bed. For a moment I felt my heart ache with a tremendous amount of pain. I will never get to carry a sleepy Ethan to bed. Someday I hope to get to snuggle with him, I hope he doesnt grow too fast and out grow my lap. He will outgrow me long before I will ever outgrow him.
My heart is heavy today knowing I never get to hear "mommy I love you", or even maybe some hateful words that I am sure my others will say. I am learning how to walk this ackward journey without a manul.
If I knew then that the days left were so few, I wouldn’t have prayed so hard for them to be over.
If I knew I was really going to lose him, I would’ve stayed awake longer feeling him turn this way and that, treasure every hiccup, every beat of his strong little heart beating next to mine.
If I knew it would end the way it did, I wouldn't have complained about the time I did get.
If I knew so few friends would get to hold him, I would’ve made sure you were there.
If I knew how much the few pictures we have would mean, I would have had a thousand more.
If I knew memorys slowly fade I would have video tapped everything about him, and our last goodbye at the funeral despite other people's objections.
If I knew
The human capacity for grief is like bamboo-far more flexiable than you'd ever believe at first glance.
It has been a awesome yet trying two years. Somedays I have had to paddle very hard to keep a float. Somedays I felt like a fish swimming up a stream and like I didn't get any further than where I started.
But in reality I know I have come pretty darn far. I have grown so accustomed to drinking from the bitter cup this life keeps offering me that I feel like I can drink and still be able… more than able actually. I am putting my dancing shoes on again. some days will be easier to dance to than others I’m sure, but I will continue to dance. whether it be as joyful as twirling with the boys out in the sun or as solemn as someone holding me close with hardly a movement to be seen… I will continue on. it’s time to dance again.
Without Ethan I wouldn't be who I am today.
I wouldn't be a part of most of the most valueable organizations on this planet NILMDTS,
I wouldn't want to help comfort other's near as much as I do now, because I too know their pain unlike most other people
I wouldn't strive to make such a difference in the lives of other Angel parent's because before it didn't make as much sense as it does now,
I wouldn't have some of the most beautiful people in my life that I call friends Rae, Allison, Sara, Cindy, Stephanie, Jesse, Teresa, Brianna, Cynthia, Holly, I know I am leaving many more out and I'm sorry I could go on all day. But without Ethan I wouldn't know them at all.
I have gained a extended family through NILMDTS.
This blog would not be here.
So yes somedays it hurts like hell and it still does as I write this, but in the end after some heavy tears I know in my heart that there was a purpose. Maybe not a purpose from God but I have made a purpose in Ethan's brief life. He has touched more lives in a single day and through pictures than I will ever be able to accomplish in my life time.
So Happy 2nd Birthday my Little Man >Fly High We love and Miss you very much