Thursday, September 30, 2010

Uncharted Territory

I hate how every sentence now-a-days seems to end with, "God willing." Not because I don't like God being at my side at all hours of the day, calming my nerves and allowing my heart to find a few moments of peace in all of this, I just hate that all innocence is lost.

Rob and I decided to register this last weekend. We wanted to wait to make any real big decisions until we had our 20 week ultrasound. We wanted to first get confirmation that everything thus far was looking good with the baby. We had our appointment and it actually went even better that I could have imaged it would. Maybe because up until that moment I couldn't imagine it going well, at all. The doctor and the nurse both reassured us that everything looked great, that Baby T looked "perfect." They both used that word on numerous occasions to describe our little baby bean.

So why do I still feel this way?

Yes, at our appointment once they told us that everything, especially the brain, all looked exactly as it should I started crying tears of joy. I was having such a hard time processing what was being said because so much of me could not and still can't image everything being okay with this baby. I hate feeling like this. I know that I have nothing else except my pregnancy with Luke to compare with but I can't seem to convince my mind that everything many actually be okay this time. That this time we could actually bring a baby home.

At first the plan was to keep the same registry we had with Luke, mainly because most of the stuff that we registered for with him was gender neutral. When we got to Babys'R'Us however, we quickly discovered that so much of the stuff on Luke's registry had either been recalled or was "no longer available."

So we decided to start a whole new registry. Many of the things we picked were also on Luke registry but a few new things were added. It was a pretty fun experience. I thought that it would be a lot harder for me being that the last time I was in Babys'R'Us was before I delivered Luke but I think I built my anxiety up more than I needed too.

Rob loves shooting the registry gun so it was fun watching him go nuts, picking a bunch of random things and saying, "oh honey, I think we will need this." It was fun just the two of us but I hated that my mind kept going to the "dark place" as I call it. I couldn't help but think - are we again registering for stuff that our precious baby will never use? Is it safe for us to be doing this so soon? What if such-and-such happens? Or what if at the next appointment the doctor tells us that there really is something wrong with the baby and they just missed it before? Or what if I go into labor before the baby is able to survive on its own? Or what if at the next appointment they can't find the baby's heartbeat for whatever reasons cause God knows there are a millions things that could go wrong.....this is what goes through my mind ALL THE TIME. I hate it.

I wonder if the "dark place" will follow me forever. Will I never again be able to have a carefree attitude about being pregnant? Why do baby's have to die? Why did my baby have to die? Before Luke I had never heard of holoprosencephaly, anencephaly, placental eruption, umbilical cord impairment, twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome...the list goes on and on. Did I live in such a fairy tale world with my head in the clouds my whole existence before I lost Luke? Because up until then I never heard of babies dying. Miscarriages yes, but never had I met or heard of anyone burring their baby. And now, knowing what I know, I can never go back to that because the reality is that babies DO die. And I hate knowing this reality.

However, as much as I worry for the well being of this little being that grows inside of me, I also look at each day that I have with them as a blessing. As much as it pains me to know the harsh reality of child loss, having that knowledge also gives me the appreciation that I have every moment with this child, almost since the second they were conceived. This precious child that grows inside of me, along with my precious angel Luke are an amazing gift from God that I am so honored to have been blessed with. Had I not gone through ALL that I have gone through I would have never fully understood how precious this time really is. Wether I get six months or a lifetime with this child, every moment is worth savoring.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

How they did it back then....

Just like my pregnancy with Luke, early on in this pregnancy it has become pretty obvious that I am pregnant. And if it is not obvious to someone and the person gives me a puzzling look were I can tell that they are thinking I look pregnant but are too afraid to ask, I just blurt it out. Immediately following that I get much praise, smiles, and even in some cases - a big hug.

I love what I do. It was not the career choice I had when I first started out on my own but fortunately the path that I have ended up on professionally has been a great fit for me. I am a people person and a huge aspect of my job is dealing with the community - I work at a community credit union - perfect.

Many members of the credit union are very aware of what happened with Luke and by almost all accounts everyone who would ask me about what happened and how I was doing were always kind, sympathetic, and most importantly they were respectful of my need to talk, or in some cases not talk about what had happened.

I remember one elderly lady who was always kind to me even before I lost Luke, even before I got pregnant. Although she is friendly she has a quiet, private demeanor about her. She is very soft spoken but cheerful and kind in her smile. A few weeks after I returned from delivering Luke she came by my office to ask how I was doing. I gave the usual response but unlike most conversations I would have with inquiring members, the conversation was very short. She was very sympathetic and sweet in her condolences but it was obvious that she did not want the conversation to go on much more. I assumed it was to be respectful but then I also thought she was unsure of what to say. Either way the conversation ended and she went on her way.

This lady is a frequent visitor of the credit union. Her and her husband of almost sixty years (they informed me of that the last time they came in) come into the branch about once every ten days or so. They are well aware that I am expecting again and over the past year since losing Luke I have enjoyed having small talk with them every time they come in.

Last week while helping them with a transaction, the woman asked me if I had started working on the baby's room yet. I had told her no and that we will probably wait awhile until we start making major decisions - ie. registering, planning the baby room, etc. I told her that we were just not ready yet.

After I said that she got quiet. She then proceeded to tell me that she knew how hard starting over can be. She has always been a woman of a few words at least in conversation with me (her husband usually does all the talking), so making a heartfelt comment like that kind of surprised me.

There was silence again and I went back to completing her transactions. When I was done I looked up again to tell her something and I was paralyzed to see this woman - a woman who always has a strong exterior, an almost secret like personality was crying in front of me. It was just a tear rolling down her face but once our eyes connected she proceeded to tell me her story. A story I couldn't even imagine as she was telling it to me.

She had lost four, full term babies. She told me that one by one they would die a few weeks before she was due to deliver. When she was telling me this I felt like I couldn't breath. It was just all too much to take in. She later found out that she was RH negative and all the babies had been RH positive which caused her body to attack and kill the fetus. She told me how there were two tombstones - babies one and three were buried together, babies two and four were buried together. The worst part was when she told me she never got to hold or even see the babies - they just got taken away to the unknown, a mother and child never getting a chance to say goodbye. She told me that was the way it was back then.

I don't know how I knew but I could just tell in the way she spoke to me that I was one out of a very small group of people who she had shared this secret with. Even in talking to me I could tell she was uneasy but at the same time I could fell her desperation to talk to another soul who may be able to understand the pain she had been harboring for sixty years. My mind could not grasp the reality of the pain she must have endured for decades.

I have been so fortunate to have the network of friend and family who have allowed me to cry to them about my ongoing pain and struggles. I could not for a moment imagine what it would have been like if I had to hide my feelings or to feel ashamed for what has happened to me and my son. How desperately this woman must have wanted to scream out in pain the agony she must have felt for not one but FOUR babies over the years. I was so honored that she shared her story with me but I too think she was grateful to have the opportunity to tell her story - to have an opportunity to honor the babies she so desperately aches for in silence.

Losing a child is the worst thing in the world. I hope and pray that the people I love never have to experience the pain that is associated with a lose. I am grateful given my circumstance however that what I have gone through did not happen to me sixty years ago. I am so grateful that I am able to have a meltdown in the grocery store isle and not be considered insane. I am grateful that I am able to rejoice in the love that I have for my son and talk freely about him whenever and wherever I want. And most importantly I am so grateful that I was able to hold him for the most amazing hour of my life on the day he was born, surrounded by all the people that love him as he passed on from this life that he knew with us to the comforts of heaven. That's how they may have done it "back then," but thank God my Luke was not born back then.

I will never forget her story, and I will never forget her babies either. Rest in peace little angels.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

I wonder...

My Precious Luke,

I wonder if you know how much I miss you.

I wonder if you know how much I wish you were here.

I wonder if you know that every time I get in the car I wish you were sitting behind me in your car seat.

I wonder what you would have wanted on your first birthday.

I wonder if you would have been like your mommy and daddy and would have started walking at 9 months.

I wonder how much you would light up the room when you smiled.

I wonder if by now you would have grown into those muscular little legs you were born with.

I wonder what your giggles sound like.

I wonder what "mommy" would have sounded like coming out of that sweet little mouth of yours.

I wonder if you know how much all your younger siblings will miss you.

I wonder how much you and I would have loved our bonding time when I would nurse you.

I wonder if you know that every time I look at your daddy I see your sweet little face.

I wonder if you know how almost every sentence and every thought in my mind ends with, "Luke should be here."

I wonder if you know how much you will always be a major part of our family.

I wonder when I will get to hold you again.

I wonder if you know that there is nothing in this world I would not do to have you back.

I wonder if you know that no matter where we go or what we do in this life, Rob and Sarah will always be your mommy and daddy.

I wonder if you know that my heart will always have a piece missing, a piece you took with you on the day you went to heaven. That piece is yours forever Luke - nothing can ever replace that.

I wonder if you know that I will always wonder what you are doing, where you are, and I will always wonder if you know how much I love you.

I wonder if you know that you are the greatest love I have ever known.

I wonder what it would be like if I didn't have to wonder....

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Question

I love Trader Joe's. It a grocery store that I think is only on the west coast. Rob and I shop there almost exclusively, we love it - great prices, great choices for super yummy food. It's my normal routine to go there once a week, usually on Tuesday evenings after work. It takes me only about ten to twenty minutes to get in, and get out. I always get the same thing every week, well mostly the same things. So times we try something new that may be on sale, but most of the time it usually the same stuff every week.

Trader Joe's has a great selection of wine. Rob and I both enjoy a nice glass of wine here and there and whenever I go I like to pick up a bottle or two of a new, local wine that we can try. Obviously right now I am not enjoying the taste of a yummy glass of local, organic wine after a long hard day but my lucky husband still does.

Now I will be honest, I have no idea how to pick a good wine. It usually comes down to what label looks the cutest. This last week was no exception, so with the cutest label I could find I proceeded to the check out line.

One on the many reasons we love Trader Joe's is the awesome people that work there. Every time you are in the check out line the clerk ALWAYS starts an interesting conversation with you. I am not kidding the last time I went there the guy at the register started talking about how Lincoln, California (where I live) was well know for having lots of UFO activity. I started to giggle a little when he started telling me this but very quickly I realized he was not kidding. Yep, nice, interesting people that work at Trader Joe's.

On this particular trip I got a super nice, young gal at the registered. We started off with small talk, "how was your day," "anything else fun planned for the day?" Nothing really of substance but nonetheless she was very nice.

When she went to check the bottle of wine she said, "oh you will love this bottle, it's one on my favorites." I told her that was great but that I would have to take her word for it since I was not drinking due to being pregnant. She kindly said, "oh, is this your first?".....there it was, the question I was not prepared for. Instantly a million sensations ran through my body - panic, stress, excitement, but most strongly I felt protective.

I was panicking to find the right word, stressed out that if I answered one way she would start asking a million other questions that would add to my stress?? I felt excitement because as a mommy all I want to do is rejoice and scream at the top of my lungs about how proud I was to be a mommy to both my kids, but the protective part of me was so intense. I felt so compelled to protect Luke and to make sure at that moment he was acknowledged and included in this answer.

I simply answered, "No, it's my second." I quickly tried to prepare myself for any other questions that may come my way like, "oh, how old is your other child?" or "is it a girl or boy?" I was fumbling for a quick answer, an answer that tells the story of Luke but doesn't leave the other poor sole that asked the question feeling uncomfortable and in turn makes me feel even more uncomfortable.

But none of this happened.

After I answered her question all she said was, " well eventually you will get to enjoy this wine, just not any time soon." She gave me my receipt and I walked out with a soft smile on my face, I just had a moment that I got to share with both my babies. It was perfect. As the mother of both my babies I felt so honored in that moment to be there mommy. For my angel that is dancing peacefully in heaven, and for the precious baby that grows in my belly I am so grateful and humbled that God chose me to carry two amazing miracles.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Thinking of you

Hi my sweet boy. I have been thinking about you so much lately. Being pregnant with your brother/sister has made me miss you all over again. I am constantly reminded of that sweet, short time we had together. My hormones have been all over the place which I think is making me dream like crazy. My dreams are consumed by you. I know you are here baby boy, and I know you are doing everything you can to take care of your little sibling. I know you are doing everything you can to tell calm mommies fears.

But always remember that you are still my first born, the love of my life, and I love you to Heaven and back. You are my Luke, you always will be my sweet angel.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

My Lil Rainbow

We're expecting. A few words I still have a hard time fully grasping. We found out a little over two weeks ago that we were pregnant again. I truly believed that the stick would show a negative result again like it had the last few months. I was prepared for the negative results so when it immediately turned positive, I just stood there, staring at it for what felt like days. Could it really be? I was not prepared for it to be positive. Within a few moments I started crying. I wasn't sad, I wasn't scared, just overwhelmed and the tears just flowed. I was definitely happy but the shock was not allowing me to comprehend what was happening at that moment. Rob wasn't home (again, me thinking "why should he need to be here? It's just going to be negative again") and as soon as he walked in the door I just threw the stick in his face. I couldn't find the words to say, I just stared at him. As always, Rob always finds the right things to say or do. He hugged me and told me he loved me. I knew at that moment that everything was going to be okay.

I have debated over the last week or so if I should put this post on Luke's page or not for a variety of reasons. One, I still want to keep this Luke's place. I want this to be a place were a mother and son can connect, just the two of us. I am going to be tracing most of my pregnancy on our other blog page

Another reason I was hesitant was because its so early on and the fear of miscarriage is always there. But, I have been feeling really good except for a few bouts of morning sickness and sleeping like a teenager going through puberty. All in all I think things are progressing pretty well.

The most important reason why I didn't want to post our pregnancy here was because I wanted to respect the feeling of other mommies who are anxiously waiting for their rainbow babies. Trust me, I have been there. I remember looking on other blogs and trying to calculate when it was that other mommies were getting pregnant after their loss. Four months, five months was when it seemed like everyone else was getting pregnant and here I was going on nine months after Luke and still not pregnant. If you are reading this and are waiting for your precious little rainbow please believe me when I say that it will happen. I kept telling myself that there must be something wrong with me or maybe there was something wrong with Rob. I was beating myself up. I finally just Let Go, and Let God. It may sound cheesy or unrealistic but that is exactly what I did. I washed myself of the stress and anxiety I was putting on myself and handed it over to Him. I knew that I could no longer do it on my own and in the end He was in charge, He always has been and always will be. I pray for you if you are trying to conceive again. It can be a long and very emotional process especially after the road you have already traveled. Please don't give up hope because I truly believe that there is a rainbow on the horizon for you too....just let go and have a little faith.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Life Unexpected

Ain't that the truth. So Rob and I have been thinking about getting another dog. We lost our beloved Dusty back in 2007, he had osteosarcoma (bone cancer) and it was really tough on both of us when we lost him. He was Rob's dog before we had met but once Dusty and I got acquainted it was all over. He was my baby. He went everywhere with us - camping, hiking, trips to Tahoe. He was our first baby in every way. He ate better meals than most people do, had a bed fit for a king that he slept in every night that was at the end of our bed, and we loved him so much. Sadly he died about a year after we started dating but so many of our greatest memories were with our Dusty Dog.

Rob and I had not even considered getting another dog until recently. One reason was because we were not ready emotionally, losing Dusty was so painful. But probably the biggest reason was because we didn't have the space. Before we bought our house we lived in a 750 square foot condo. For the two of us it was fine but we didn't feel it would be fair to have another dog in such a confined space, especially because we didn't have a backyard and we were both working full time.

Fast forward to now. We are so fortunate to have a beautiful home with a large, fenced in backyard. A perfect place for a dog to roam. So now that we have the space, the idea was on the table. Another issue that I had was leaving a dog at home all day alone. So now were talking about getting two dogs, not just one. No we are not crazy, just dog lovers.

So the idea had been set in my mind and there was no turning back. We were getting doggies. That's right plural, not singular. Now it was time to hit craigslist, petfinder, and the local paper. I was in search for our new babies.

I admit, I had a very romantic idea of raising two adorable puppies. Like the ones that you see on the Pedigree commercials, all fluffy and cute with their tongues hanging out and tails wagging. I had pretty much set my mind on either Lab or Golden Retrievers sibling puppies, preferably a boy and a girl.

Saturday morning I woke up and headed downstairs. Rob always wakes up a few hours before me. He calls it his "quiet time." As I was trying to focus my eyes on my cup of coffee and debating if I should just head back to bed, he very enthusiastically asks me, "what do you want to do today?" It took me a few minutes to register the question and the only responses I had was," either wine tasting or doggie hunting."

After deciding that wine tasting was out, I went straight to Petfinder and started my search. Within minutes I found them, my perfect puppies. They were 10 week old Lab/Husky mix puppies. The article said there were two left, a boy and a girl. It was perfect, just what I wanted.

I immediately got on the phone and called the shelter. The dogs were in a foster home so it was animal control that was selling them. The message said that the shelter wasn't open until 1 pm but I left a message anyway. As soon as I got off the phone my mind started spinning. I was so excited but at the same time I didn't want to too excited. I had experiences were I got super excited about something just to get really disappointed in the end.

After I got off the phone, Rob suggested that we get showered up and head over to the shelter and be there first thing when they opened. The shelter was a good hour or so drive and I thought that was a great idea. Take a nice, scenic afternoon drive, and then camp out for my babies.

We got to the shelter about ten minutes before they opened. There were a few other people waiting in the parking lot and in my mind I was thinking,'"these people better not be waiting for MY puppies cause they are MINE." I quickly got out of the car and stood at the door so that I could be the first one in once they opened. The other people there must have thought I was crazy. A crazy dog lady.

As soon as they opened I ran up to the counter and before the lady could ask me, "how can I help you," I blurted out, "I am here for the puppies." The lady looked a little puzzled and then said, "oh, you mean the lab/husky puppies." I am not sure what my exact response was but I am sure it was like, "uh, duh!"

She proceeded to tell us that the puppies were at a foster house off site but we could leave our name and number and if our application was selected they would call us sometime the next week. I instantly felt that familiar feeling of total let down. All of a sudden the plans in my head I had invisioned all morning about bringing home my new puppies was completed crushed in just a few seconds. It's amazing how a few words can change everything.

So as she suggested, I completed the adoption application. While I was doing that Rob walked to the back to see the dogs that they had there on site. After I completed the Appleton and while I was drilling the poor counter lady with a million questions I look over and see Rob's face. It was a face I had seen before. It was one that said, "come here, I need to show you something."

I immediately followed him behind the heavy, steel doors. As soon as I entered the room my nose was overwhelmed with the scent of wet, dirty dog. It was awful. It was cold and loud with dogs going crazy. There were probably fifteen tiny kennels that were all filled with dogs, some had two to a kennel. It was difficult to take it all in, it was literally a jail for dogs. My heart still aches when I think of that place.

We walked past a few cages, and then there she was. Daisy. She sat in the corner, her tail tucked tight under her, completely silent. I still remember exactly what her expression looked like. You would tell she was so scared and so desperate to leave that place. Within moments Rob and I both knew she was going home with us.


We talked for a few moments on what to do from that point. We wanted to take Daisy out to see how she did outside of her prison walls. We also started looking for another dog since we had already decide that if we were getting one, we were getting two.

Kiddie-corning to Daisy's kennel was a Lab quietly playing with a ball. We ready his little "bio" they put up about each dog. It said that he was a stray that they found on a highway. He was about 5-6 months and that he was not altered - IE, he was not fixed. We asked if we could take him out with Daidy to see how the two interacted with each other.

Once we got them both outside they started playing with each other pretty quickly. You could tell that poor Daisy just wanted to get out of there. Rob and I talked about making sure that this was what we wanted to do but really there was no hesitation, it was meant to be.

We went in to complete the rest of the paperwork. They ended up giving Duke (that is what we named the Lab) to us for $10.00. He is our discount puppy. We loaded them in the car, and off we went. Rob and I both talked to them the whole way home. We told them that we loved them and that we promised they will never go back to were they came from.

We spent the whole weekend getting them settled in. We took them to the park, got them used to eating on a regular schedule, even introduced them to the family. They have both done amazingly well. There have been a few accidents here and there, nothing that Fabrize and carpet cleaner can't fix.

I never realized how much I missed having a dog around until we brought our babies home. Rob and I have laughed and goofed around more in the last four days than I can even remember. They are the perfect addition to our little family.

It's amazing how unexpected life can be. I was bound and determined to get adorable, fuzzy puppies that would have probably destroyed every pair of shoes I owned and that would have taken months to potty train. In the end I still got what I was longing for. It may not have been how I planned it, no the dogs we ended up with didn't look like the puppies I had envisioned, but I end up with something even better than I had planned. It's amazing how life will do that to you. I will still plan for things because that it my nature, but I have come to look forward to the unexpected.

On Tuesday, while Duke and I were ironing my shirt for work, (yes, he has to be there at my feet doing everything that I am doing - including going to the bathroom), this commerical came on and it just floored me. Adpoting our two doggies was just so meant to be.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Thinking of you baby boy...becuase of you I am forever a mommy, your mommy.

I love you my angel.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

8 Months

My precious Luke,

It has been eight months since I last held you. Eight months since I smelled your sweet skin. It feels like it has been forever since I last touched your tiny, perfect little fingers.

My picture is never complete, my smile never full, the heart always heavy. Time is kind and evil all at the same time. I miss you my son. I will always miss you. I wish you were here.

I wish I could write more, but one these days I can never find the words. But you always know what is in my heart.

I love you forever my son,

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Trying not to try so hard....

I have been debating if I should put this post on here or not. I am not sure why I was so hesitant about writing this. Maybe because it puts pressure on things, or maybe I just didn't want to admit it. I don't know, but I came to the conclusion that there could be more good than harm that can come of it.

Rob and I are trying to get pregnant. This time it has been very different for us. With Luke we got pregnant the first month, without even trying or thinking about it. We were so different then. It has only been a year since we got pregnant with Luke but it feels like centuries ago. I was trying to remember what life was like before I knew that babies - my baby - could die. I remember last year before we got pregnant that the only concern I had was that getting pregnant could take 6-12 months since I had been on the pill for so long and that I would have to practice a little patience (oh, to be that naive again!!).

We have been trying since January and so far nothing. My cycle has been pretty normal, every 27-30 days. I am sure that a lot of it has to do with...well, everything. Physically I have no reason to believe that we are unable to get pregnant. But emotionally things will never be the same.

I do look at being pregnant as a new beginning. The rainbow we have so been longing for but never again will I feel the way I did before we lost Luke. The innocence will forever be gone. And maybe that is okay, but sometimes I would like for just a moment to experience living without the knot in my throat, the ache in my heart.

My biggest concern about posting this was that it makes it all real. Its like if I said it out loud than it means it is no longer just in my thoughts. We are really trying to have a baby. My decision to post this was because - in all honesty - I need all the prayers and support I can get. It's not going to be an easy journey for us, but I hope and pray that with the love and support I have received thus far I will be able to get through it.

Since we have had no luck the last few months I have started tracking my ovulation, which by the way is quite a science. I am hopeful that this will give me a better understating of my cycle. Only time will tell, please keep us in your prayers.

Oh and by the way - my husband is not ovulating today!! :) What?! I had to make sure these little sticks work!! :)

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Dove and the Olive Branch

My beautiful, baby sister came out from Florida for a visit. The last time I had seen her I was pregnant with Luke. It was a happy occasion then, and it was a happy occasion this time too. We were celebrating my mom's 50Th birthday bash and enjoyed an amazing week filled with fun activities.

My sister was unable to attend Luke's funeral. I know that she wanted to be there but had just made her annual trip out with her family about three weeks before we lost Luke so making the three thousand mile journey across the US again was just not feasible for her.

We had decided that on her visist we would have one day that was "just the girls." My mom was overjoyed to be able to have her grand babies (my sister has two children) all day to herself so my sister and I decided to go skiing. Now if I am lucky, I am able to ski about once a year, and my sister had not skied in nine years...or so she said. We knew that it could get a little interesting getting down the mountain - but it would be a blast nonetheless.

We live about an hour and twenty minutes from the mountains - gotta love Northern California. The road we took to get there was I-80. I asked my sister if on our way up the hill she would like to stop by and see Luke's grave site. It was a question that I already knew the answer to -so we went.

It had snowed that morning and there was a harsh, bitter chill in the air. We got the the cememrty and parked the car to walk down to Luke's site. Luke's grave site is on a long, peaceful hill. As we called down, my sister and I walked arm in arm. It was like we were little girls again. We made small talk but mostly we just took in the moment.

We stood quiet for a moment, again just taking it all in. Other than the day of his funeral, I never cry at Luke's grave site. Its not because I don't miss him, or wish that things were different, I just don't cry. When I am there I feel a strong sense of awareness, a prescense. I have never for a moment doubted that my son is in a far better place. I love having a place that I can go to honor him and pay my respects, but I have never associated him spirit, or "him" as being there. His spirits has always been with me, not in a hole in the ground.

Before we left my sister had mentioned that the dove on Luke's headstone looked just like the tattoo she has on her shoulder. When I was thinking of a design for Luke's headstone I knew from the very beginning that I wanted a dove, I wasn't sure why, I just knew that was what I wanted.

A few days later I asked my sister what the dove on her should represented. She told me that the dove has an olive branch in its mouth. She explained to me that after the Great Flood, when the dove came back with the olive branch in its mouth it was a sign of new beginnings.

I was drawn to the words and the story of the dove with the olive branch so I later read more and the story goes...

and it said that God then caused a rainbow to appear in the sky. This story has led to the dove and the olive branch to become symbols of peace....

Luke - you are my peace. My happy place. You are the love and the strength that guides me to new beginnings. You are my dove.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

I love Target. How could you not love a place were you can buy pantie hose, shampoo, milk, and now produce all in the same location? It's genius. In all seriousness - I think I am obsessed. If anyone asks me were I got something, 95% of the time it's from Target. I don't know what it is but I am just drawn to that place. I will usually go for just one or two things, but EVERY time I walk out of there I end up with WAY more that I need. Like I said, a bit obsessed.

The other day I was there picking up a few things. I had a list of stuff that I needed - shampoo, coffee, stuff for my brothers package I am sending him. At the new Target I shop at in Lincoln the baby isle is pretty much in the very middle of the store. I had not been in the baby section at our new Target store, and ironically should have been many times. Not because I needed anything from that section, but because it would have made it much easier for me to get from point A to point B in the store if I just went right down the middle, down the baby isle.

When Luke was born there was this smell, a smell I will never forget. It was the sweetest, softest, purest smell ever. The combination of his smell and his warmth in my arms will forever be embedded in my mind. For the longest time when I would think of his smell I would just cry, wanting so bad to get it back. The closest I ever got to smelling that sweetness was from his blanket that he was wrapped in at the hospital which sadly no longer has his scent.

So as I am walking down the baby isle I smell it. It is not completely the same, but it was the closest I had been to smelling him again. I don't know what it was - the baby soaps, the baby clothes, the wipes...I don't know. Everything was sealed tightly so I don't know for sure were the scent was coming from but it was there. So yes, there I stood in the middle of Targer just breathing in and out, taking in ever bit of the greatest scent ever. Like I said, it wasn't totally the same, but it still felt so familiar.

And to think that I couldn't love Target anymore than I already did.

Monday, February 15, 2010

God bless our troops

This is my amazing little brother who is currently serving in Iraq. As a tribute to Luke, he wears his name. Thank you for your service brother, I love you more than you will ever know!!

PS - I thank God every day that my brother has an angel up in heaven looking over him!!


I have a confession...I have been avoiding this place. Not because I don't feel welcome here, or that the stories of other mommies don't bring me comfort, but because I just wanted to be done with this. I don't want to have a baby in heaven, I want him here. I don't want to cry tears of sadness anymore, I want some tears of happiness. And lastly, I don't want to be a part of a group of people who are all connected because their babies are gone.

Harsh words I know, but that is how I have been feeling. It's like I just want to be done with it all. All the grieving, all the sadness. POOF - I just want it to disappear. The last few weeks I have been living in denial. They say that in grieving you go through stages and usually the last stage is acceptance. I think I have gone through most of the other stages....sadness, anger. But now I am stuck between the denial and acceptance stages. Logically, yes, I know my son is gone. I know that when I don't feel his warmth in my arms. I know it when I have no diapers to change, or cries to comfort. He is gone. I know he is gone, but I would rather pretend that he is not. Crazy? Maybe....denial....most definitely.

I have gone back to my counselor. That has been a good thing. I feel like I am at a place that I needs some guidance in. The truth is, is that I want to be at "that place." That place where I can feel like I am living again. The place where I am not terrified of every little thing. The place where having more children does not mean that I am giving up or forgetting Luke.

I talked to my counselor about all of the feelings that I was experiencing and she had a lot of helpful things to say. One of my issues is Luke's things tucked away in a closed off bedroom. I told her how hard it was to see all of his clothes that I had for him, and how "Luke's room" was so hard to go into to. So hard that I keep the door closed so that I don't have to see its emptiness.

I talked to my counselor about this and she brought up a few valid points. I told her that I found it odd that I was so attached to clothes that Luke never even wore, and a room that he never even slept in. It was like I was holding onto the only tangible things that reminded me of him. She asked me if it would be impossible to think of another child sleeping in "Luke's room" or wearing him clothes. At first when I heard this I got super protective as I usually do when it comes to Luke. I immediately thought "replacement child" "out with the old, in with the new." But then my counselor started talking about Luke's siblings. Like how she has two boys and when one son got too small for his clothes, it would be passed down to the younger son. When I heard that my thinking started to shift. I thought about how all these things - this room, these clothes - Luke has grown out of them. I thought of how his angel wings are so big that there is no way he would even fit into these clothes that he has left behind. The clothes he has left behind for his siblings to wear. And how he left a room for his brothers and sisters to sleep in, so that he can come visit and protect them every night.

So as hard as it is for me to sit here, log on, and write down my feelings - I am glad I did it. Yes, this place may be a place were we are all connected by the deepest sadness anyone could image but in coming here we walk away with hope, strength, and a feeling that we do belong. Many of the blogging mommies I have connected with over the last six months are expecting again and I am so thankful that you have shared your stories. Your courage and honesty in the fears you face everyday have given me so much strength. One of the biggest fears I have had in this journey has been the fears I face in thinking about conceiving again. I am still a work in progress but because of the many heartfelt stories I have read, I take comfort in knowing that there are rainbows that come after a storm.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Miss MIA

Busy - that pretty much sums up the last month or so of our lives. It has been busy in the Turnage household!! It all started with the holidays (which is a pretty busy time for us anyway). We found out in early December that our offer was excepted on a house and that it would close in 10 days. So yes, that meant we move the day after Christmas!! It was crazy and chaotic, but so exciting at the same time.

A few days after we moved in we had a going away party for my brother would left for Iraq....a sad issue for me but I am living in denial about it while he is gone. Then the very next day after his party we left for Las Vegas for New Years. It was a blast but when we can home I felt like I needed a year long vacation!! So needless to say, it has been real busy for us. Plus, we just got our internet hocked up again. It was weird being so disconnected ,but in a way it was also really good for me to focus my energy in other areas. So those are my reasons for being absent lately.

So 2010, is it really here? I was trying really hard the other day to think about what we did last year for New Years and I remembered that we had gone to Tahoe with some friends and had a really nice, relaxing time. If only then I had known what this year would have instore for us.

So most of our house is unpacked. It's funny how similar my husband and I are when it comes to getting things done. We both wanted everything moved in, unpacked with pictures hanging on the walls within a few days of getting the keys, and I have to say that we pretty much accomplished that.

The move has brought on new things to look forward to and yet there is still so much grieving. The grieving has taken on a new face. Its not as gut wrenching and for the most part I can better sense when it is coming on. It doesn't seem to creep up out of nowhere like it used to. Like when I am standing in line at the grocery store, or when I am driving. Innocently doing my own thing and BOOM - rainfall of tears.

Unpacking Luke's boxes were the hardest, or the lack of unpacking I should say. Our home has four bedrooms and a loft and Luke's is the only room that is empty. Other than the things I had gotten at my baby shower, or the things that I had picked up during my pregnancy, the room is empty. Rob and I leave the door closed. We say that its because we want to "conserve the heat" but there are three other doors upstairs that we never close. It just something we are choosing to not deal with right now.

This move is supposed to be the start of a new chapter and we are doing whatever we can to look at this new year with a bright, hopeful outlook. Closing Luke's door allows up to not hurt so bad. Having it open reminds us that were is no baby in that room. If the door remains closed we aren't reminded that its not filled with his bed, all his clothes, and his sweet smell. But by having the door there it reminds us that there is a bedroom on the other side that one day will be filled.

So enough of the sadness, it is time for new beginnings. Instead of making a new years resolution I have decided to give myself a break and just live. So here's to new beginnings!! I hope and pray its a better one for us all!!

What an angel looks like...