Thursday, December 20, 2012

A different Child

I read this and immediately teared up.
It's so true. One day we will explain to our future children where their older brother is. One day they will question why we do the things we do for Aidan. This perfectly describes the emotions.
 
To this baby currently nudging me: Please know, never has a baby been more wanted. Never have I been so determined. Never have I had so much hope. Never ever doubt my love for you. You hold a special piece of my heart that no other child will ever hold. Just as your older brother claimed his. I love you both equally.
 
To Aidan: You sweet boy have taught me so much. You inspire me to the best mom I know how to be. You are missed and loved. I know that you are forever safe and loved. One day I will snuggle you close and whisper all of our stories again.  
 
A Different Child


A different child, people notice

There's a special glow around you.

You grow surrounded by love

Never doubting you are wanted;

Only look at the pride and joy

In your mother and father's eyes.

And if sometimes between the smiles

There's a trace of tears,

One day you'll understand.

You'll understand there was once

another child.

A different child.

Who was in their hopes and dreams.

That child will never outgrow the baby clothes.

That child will never keep them up at night.

In fact, that child will never be any trouble at all....

Except sometimes, in a silent moment,

When mother and father miss so much

That different child.

May hope and love wrap you warmly

And may you learn the lesson forever:

How infinitely precious,

How infinitely fragile is this life on earth.

One day, as a young man or woman

You may see another mother's tears

Another father's silent grief

Then you, and you alone will understand

And offer the greatest comfort.

When all hope seems lost you will tell them

with great compassion:

"I know how you feel. I'm only here because my parents tried again."



PD MacMillan

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A quick update: learning to navigate

We are 16 weeks into this pregnancy.
We have had a successful cerclage placement.
Bed rest has begun.
Aidan is going to have a little brother.
The excitement is growing. Hope is blooming.
And yet, there are moments when it just feels a little hard to breathe. Moments that make the days feel heavier.
I miss my first little boy. I miss the things I could be experiencing him. I could be snapping photos, taking him to see Santa for the first time. We could be eagerly waiting what would have been his first Christmas in a perfect world.
But, it’s not a perfect world. At least, it isn’t THAT perfect world.
I carried Aidan and treasured every single second. I had no idea that those were all I would get.
This time around is just completely different. I am still treasuring every kick, every heartbeat. I still love this child with all that I am. But, I am doing these things with the knowledge that I may not get the ending of my dreams.
That is the reality of this new normal I live in. I can still feel all of the happiness and anticipation. However, I also live with the knowledge of what is on the other side.
I am still having a hard time finding the words to describe this part of the journey.
I am so thankful for this new life I can feel fluttering around right this second. At the same time I am so thankful for the life and legacy of his big brother. I think the words are hard to come by because I am afraid to take something away from the other. I love them equally. They are both my boys. One is not mutually exclusive of the other.
I am hoping that with the bed rest the words to explain my heart in these coming months will come. The past year has been written with such detail that I want every year to have those memories written down. I want this child to know his brother as we all know him and at the same time I want to be able to show him how eager and how badly we wanted him to be a part of our lives.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A rainbow in the storm

 
A picture worth a 1,000 words.
 
Today, today I am 12 weeks pregnant with our rainbow baby.
 
Aidan is a big brother. Those words bring me to my knees.
 
So many emotions. More than I am able to express in any sort of sensical way.
 
I am so excited. So happy. Brimming with hope.
I am so scared.
 
What if it happens again? What if something else goes wrong?
 
What if people forget about Aidan?
 
That's the big one. That's the fear I have been afraid to put words too. That's the reason I haven't been able to blog or write much.
 
My excitement is overwhelming. At the same time, my heartaches from missing my little boy. I cannot explain that.
 
I cherish every single day. Even though most of them have been rough physically, I know that they may be all that I have. Aidan taught me that.
 
Every day I think of him and wonder what life would be like if he were here. How would I have managed an infant and the complications that have come along with this pregnancy? And then it hits me, if it weren't for Aidan's life, I most likely would not be sitting here pregnant. If it weren't for him, I wouldn't have Twinkle. There is so much power in this knowledge. There are so many things that I would not know if it hadn't been for Aidan and the journey we are on. Too many to even attempt to list.
 
While there are no guarantees, no promises, I know that this baby is a gift. One that deserves its own excitement of hopes and dreams.
 
I have been unsure of what to say. How to explain how this baby and Aidan are both a part of our family without taking away from the other. And then this moment happened today. A comment was made and it reminded me that it is my job as their mother to make sure they are both treated equally. The only way I can do that is to continue to share our journey together. As a growing family of four.
 
This is my second pregnancy. I have two children. Each deserves to be loved and cherished in their own ways. No matter what tomorrow brings, I am a momma of two. And no one can ever take that away.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

On your birthday

                Aidan,
I am at a loss for words. How exactly am I supposed to put into words what these days have meant? They have been so full of memories. There have been tears. There has been laughter. There has been sheer determination.
Most of all, there has been love.
The kind of love that is known to inspire books and movies. A love that takes your breath away and at the same time gives you a reason to live. The love of a mother.
Each day has been a countdown to you. Your birthday.
On this day, one year ago, you changed me. You changed your Daddy. You changed the lives of so many people sweet boy. People who came to see you. Hold you. Kiss you. Snuggle you.
Love you.
On this day, one year ago, you changed everything. And you did it without having ever taken a breath. You are that amazing. You are that powerful. You are my son.
There are so many adjectives I could use to describe the impact you have made in the past year. None seem to compare as much as faith, grace, and love…Holy.
The precious hours I spent with you were the epitome of these things. They are untarnished by the fact that I would not get to take you home with us. They were simply moments spent with you. Moments as a complete family. Moments that will carry me through until I see you again. 
A child’s first birthday is always this big celebration. So many milestones have been and are being reached.
The parents tend to go overboard. Party. Gifts. Cake. Proud moments. Endless pictures. What wouldn’t I give to live in that realm of reality again.
Instead, I am in a car; headed towards a boat. Just your daddy and I. Your first birthday is upon us and yet we live in the world where you are not here. With your birthday comes the harsh reality that we don’t get those things. Instead we get the love of those who love you and understand the overwhelming loss of these days. Others have sympathy.  The ignorance of those who don’t get it and just think it means it’s been a year and we should be “better.” 
I wake up each day with the hope that I will get to say your name. Share your pictures. Be your mom without someone questioning why. So, on this day, a day that is 100 percent about you; about your life; we are celebrating. The fight, the determination, the love, the grace and the faith it has taken to survive each day since. We are rejoicing in the knowledge that we were chosen to be your parents. We are so proud to be your family. We are so grateful that we know where you are. We smile knowing you are safely tucked in the arms of loved ones. Happy. Blissful. Surrounded by the perfection you deserve.
It seems unbelievable that it has already been a year. Yet, this has been the longest, hardest and most defining year of my life.
1 year
12 months
52 weeks
365 days
525948 minutes
31556926 seconds
Each and every one of them has been about you. Because this day is the day you were born. The day your legacy began. The day you did something that no one else has ever done or will ever do again. You made me a mom.
I am so thankful to you. I love you more than I ever knew I could. I miss you with every fiber of my being. I am the proudest Momma. I am heartbroken that I don’t get to watch you grow. I eagerly wait for the day I get to hold you again. I am looking towards the future. Hoping that one day I will be able to tell your little brother or sisters about their amazing big brother and how he is the reason they are here.
 I fell head over heels in love with you one year ago. Every day that love has grown more. I’ll look for you in the waves, stars and peace of this week. Your momma loves you so. Each and every heartbeat I share with you.
Happy Birthday to you, Aidan Thomas. Happy Birthday to you.
Enduring love,
Momma


 
 


Saturday, August 18, 2012

Step by Step

A week ago, we recorded an Interview for a local radio station.

Aidan's story was shared. His name was spoken.


This past week, we were interviewed on a local new station.

Aidan's story was shared. His name was spoken. Aidan's perfect face was shown on live TV.


And tonight. Tonight I placed an order. I ordered cards that I hope you will help me distribute.

Aidan's birthday is rapidly approaching. I want it to be big. I want it to be a celebration. I want it to make a difference. I want it to touch people beyond my limited scope. I want complete strangers to be affected by Aidan's life. And from this desire an idea was born:

Aidan's Hope



Our hope is that you will allow us to share Aidan and what he has come to mean to all of us. He has had such an impact in the past year. He has changed everything. We are now hoping that he will change others who do not know him. Let's take the first steps towards literally changing the world. We have been blessed with so many opportunities to share our little boy. I love the idea of sharing him in a way that will have a positive impact for others.

I cannot wait to see how far they go, the good they inspire and the people he brings together.

I have ordered the cards and they should be here next week hopefully. My plan is to get them out to you, so that we can actually kick of Aidan's birthday with the first good deeds. I cannot think of a more special way to celebrate the day that changed everything.






Monday, August 13, 2012

“Faithful friends are gifts from heaven: Whoever finds one has found a treasure.”

The past year has been the biggest, hardest, most emotional year of my life.

Surviving it has not been easy. Living it has been even harder.

Thankfully, in the same breath, I have been blessed with the people in my life. People who have always been there, people who were on the outskirts, but stepped up when I needed it, and the people who entered my life just because of Aidan.

Among these are my Sew Sisters. My beloved sisters who have a passion for making a purpose. Women who have walked this same path. Women who encourage one another to take that next chance, step or breath.

We stand up for one another.

And in this past week, we have had to stand up, lean on, bow down, and just hang on.

One of our sisters has left this earthly life.

In a split second that just hasn't ended yet, it all changed.

To say that our hearts are broken, is an understatement. A piece of our world is gone.

I can't even find the words to describe the importance she played to all of us. All I have is what she meant to me. I'm the newbie to the group. I'm the one still in the freshness of grief. I'm the one who can't sew! Treasure took me in. She enveloped me in her light. She allowed me to laugh until I cried and then cry until I laughed. She called. She texted. She believed in me.

She was this pillar of strength. She stood tall for all of the moms. She loved with every fiber of her being.

I remember our conversations with such clarity. One in particular. She asked me about Aidan. She wanted to know his story. And in the process, she answered questions I didn't even know I had. She gave me so much peace and comfort. And at the end, as we both cried and smiled and oohed and aahed. She hugged me and whispered, "You are so brave. You have so much courage. You and your little boy are going to make a difference. Keep talking, sharing, writing."

It has taken me a week to be able to even attempt to do any of these things. I was so afraid I would lose her voice. God provides in all things. He allowed for her to film a testimony about Holy Sews. The why and the importance of what we do. Now, I will always have a piece of her. The world will always be able to hear her determination, compassion, grace and love.

38 years ago, her momma gave her name. A name most would never be able to live up to. She embodied her name. Every moment of every day. Her sister, described watching all of us grieve just as hard as she is. The awe and the wonder that she had touched so many, so deeply. It is just who she is. Not was, but is. She left such an imprint on this world.

She was, is and forever will be, Treasure.

"The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being."
                                                                        Luke 12:34

Roots

I've been meaning to write this for over a week.

The past week is a post all of its own.

One step at a time.

A couple of Saturday's ago, we worked outside in the extreme August heat. We dug, soaked, dug, soaked, dug, soaked and so on. All day long.

And then, finally we achieved the ultimate goal. We planted five trees. Trees donated in Aidan's memory. Trees planted in our home town.

Evan and I literally grew up in the same town without knowing one another. We knew a ton of the same people, but for some reason our paths never crossed until that fateful day in 2006. Still, our roots are firmly planted in Cabot, AR.

And now, so are Aidan's. We planted five trees surrounding the community pond there in Cabot. We did this on Aidan's 11 month celebration. We picnicked afterwards and sent Aidan some balloons.

All day, it just kept hitting me. This is a permanent part of his legacy. One day those trees will stand taller than any of us. We will literally watch them grow. It brought me such peace. Over the past 11 months Aidan's life has had an impact. And now I will have a physical attachment I will get to watch grow. The blessings are always hidden. Their importance always surprising. This one came in the form of trees. Watching his family work in the heat, sacrifice their time, sweat in this summer heat. Having friends who are willing to come and be there with us to honor Aidan. Having just a few moments that allow us to be proud parents. All because of five trees.























Friday, August 3, 2012

Love

Love.

It comes in all different shapes. All different sizes. All different people.

The past year has defined and redefined love for me. I find that I love more deeply. I want to share my love more freely. I want to be loved more openly.

Passion comes from love. In that moment that they literally put love into my arms, my passion started. I'm not a quiet person by nature so my passion is not silent either. I have been asked when I will return to normal, when I will get back to life. I keep saying "I won't, this is my new normal." It's true. I will never be exactly the same. It's just simply not possible. There has been this massive shift in me. It's not something I can or even want to change. So while my heart has grown, my love has intensified, my passion is developing one thing has stayed the same. My inability to keep it inside. I cannot feel it all and not let it out. It's too much for me and now, I am afraid that it is too much for others.

This is another learning moment for this Momma. It's one I am having a hard time with. My love. My passion. My drive. I am afraid it is drowning others. I am afraid that a big scary word is entering the scene. And it breaks my heart. It makes me so afraid. It makes me afraid that he will lose his place. It makes me afraid that I will quit fighting for him because it's so hard to do alone.

He isn't here for me to celebrate all of the milestones with. The only things I get to celebrate are the moments we create. And as I sit here in a deafening silent house, I'm afraid that those don't count either. Tomorrow is 11 months. He should be doing so many big things. No, actually he should be almost 8 months and I should be in awe. His personality should be appearing. I should be harried and exhausted. I should be a proud first time mommy. I wish that people were eager to see us. Eager to relish in him. Instead I am afraid. I am walking a thin line. Do I try to carry it all on my own and when there is a moment to remember I do it alone? Or, do I open it up and risk these feelings. Feelings I don't even want to give a name too.

All I know, all I feel, all I can hope for, is that the love that is inside of me is enough to inspire, strengthen, encourage and draw close. And the only way it can do any of those things is by showing it outwardly and without fear.

Sharing Aidan is my way of sharing our love. It is not for pity or recognition. Trust me, I would much rather be a mom that no one knows. I wish I didn't have to do any of the things I have done in the past year. I would trade every single bit of it just to have him asleep in the room across the hall. He isn't though. He will never be. So I am taking the opportunities that God presents, I am hanging onto my faith, I am believing that it all has a purpose. I'm doing it for Aidan.

There won't be baby milestones, or sporting events, or school activities.
But, I will be proud. I will do whatever it takes to keep his legacy alive. To allow him to change our world.
I will love him with all of my being. He will always be my first born.





Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Say it Out Loud

There is a project in the works. A huge, important, taboo shattering project.



(There is a beloved sister in there!)


I can't even begin to explain what this is going to mean.

As a parent of infant loss, I know the importance of his life. I know the significance of his death. I know the impact he has had.

This project will allow all parents to share these things. To not have to hide behind the "normalcy" that none of us truly feel. We are being given the chance to have a voice.

I am extremely lucky. I have this blog. I have Still Standing. I have Holy Sews. I have the March of Dimes and the various opportunities within that organization. So many people who believe in me, Aidan and the strength it takes to share him.

Whether it is in writing, speaking to a group, talking with other moms, over the radio to a faceless audience, or in the possibility of this new project: one thing is becoming abundantly clear.

We are forging ahead. We are knocking down the taboos and hush behind our children. We are navigating an unknown territory in hopes that the moms of the future feel constant support.

We are quite simply "Saying it out loud." No more whispers. No more silent tears.

Last week in the radio interview I said something that has stuck with me.

Aidan may have been still born, but his life is in no way silent.

That's it right there. That's the why behind every day. Behind every decision.

The why we choose to say it out loud.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Healing through the fear



This past weekend I faced a big fear. I traveled back to NWA. I sat in the backseat and traveled down I-40. Instead of holding Aidan, I counted stitch by stitch. I focused on that needle and thread and what it will mean to some other mom.


I have had this fear of Fayetteville. I have been so afraid that the first time I would make that drive back to the Hill I would break because I would have to pretend I wasn't remembering and thinking of Aidan the entire time. God provides though. He allowed for a 5k to allow me heal.

NWA Race to Remember
It was a 5k that benefited Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep.
It was a perfect reason to make that drive.
It was all about Aidan and his legacy.  


Team Aidan was represented by so many. I cannot explain what it meant to be surrounded by these people. They took the time to come out on a early Saturday morning and share some moments with me. To allow me to share Aidan with them.


Team Aidan.
Mark, Sarah, Addy, Karen, Vos, Germer
Callie and Kaylin hadn't made it yet, but they were there too!




Most of Aidan's team walked with me. My Sarah's ran it. The Sarah above is Tom's sister.
There is this connection between us. Our two boys have just united us. I feel so close to their entire family. It meant so so much to have this moment with Sarah. To see her wearing Aidan's name and running for him.

My Sarah on the bottom is my Vos. Friends since elementary school. Sisters at heart.
She loved Aidan even when he was just an Olive. She has loved me through with such a devotion and determination.


When you make friends in high school, you promise to be friends forever. Thankfully, I made that promise with some of the best friends I could have asked for. A decade later and still they show up when I need them. Nothing short of amazing right there.


This one is extra special. This is Lisa.

She took Aidan's pictures. Pictures that bring me such pride.
Pictures that provide me the proof I need on the hard days that he was here. He is important. He left a mark on the world. Pictures that I carry me with me always. Pictures I am so proud to show off. Wanna see? Please just ask!



This weekend can be summed up in one word. Healing.
I found the peace I have been looking for.
I felt so much grace.
I felt a part of the healing process begin. A feeling that has stuck with me these past few days.

Thursday I will be on the radio sharing Aidan. Tune into 100.3 The Edge if you are local. Should be around 8 that morning! I'm nervous, but ready. Anything and everything for him!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Travels


God is at work.

He is pushing me.

He is leading me where I am supposed to be.

I am doing my very best to let him.

It's hard because I am terrified.

Tomorrow, I will make the same drive I made almost one year ago. I will drive back to Fayetteville. Every mile will be full of memories. Every exit will be like a different direction my life would've taken.

But, I can't let that stop me. I have to stay on the track I was given.

And it will lead me to familiar ground. It will lead me to everything that is Aidan.

The woman who took his pictures with such grace and compassion. A member of the amazing family that is a part of his name. His Auntie Vos. My cousins that stood beside me during labor. People who knew Aidan. Who witnessed the miracle he was and still is. People who are loving me through this journey.

I am terrified to make this trip. But, in the end I am more afraid not to.

Team Aidan will be represented in full force this coming Saturday. It makes me swell with pride. It makes my heart ache with gratitude and utter devotion. It makes the tears just a little more sweeter.

If you think about it tomorrow afternoon. Say a prayer.
For safe travels.
For Peace.
For Grace.

The same prayers I prayed that night on the way to the hospital.
The same prayers that have carried me through each and every day. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

One of those days...

Maybe it's the big changes?

Maybe it is because of the time of the year?

Maybe it is because September is barreling towards me?

All I know for sure is, today was just one of those days. All of the emotion, all of the grief, all of the heartache is bubbling over.

I've been all sorts of numb lately. The tears could come, but only one or two at a time. I had developed this wall of defense. I've been taking fake it until you make it to an entirely new level.

And then today happened. Nothing happened.

And all I have done is cry.

Over Tom and everything his legacy means.

Over things that are completely out of my control.

Over the fact that in two weeks I will move out of the first house that Evan and I called home. (Not to mention the fact that we still don't know where our next home will be!)

Over the fact that I miss my Mom.

Over the fact that Savannah is six months old. (How is that even possible?)

Over the fact that it is taking such effort to write this.

Over the fact that I walked through the baby section tonight and looked for babies who still aren't mine.

Some days are just hard.

And I just have to keep reminding myself, it is totally ok to cry.



On a better note, there are big things on the horizon. Lots of projects, a very special first birthday celebration, and lots of March of Dimes. Pretty much, lots and lots of Aidan. Blessings in the darkness.



Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Walking the Journey Together

It's the first Tuesday of the month. That means it is JOURNEY time!

Tomorrow is 10 months. Forever yet, just beginning. Every day is different.

Please join me over at Still Standing.

Link up, leave a comment. Make a connection.



Thursday, June 21, 2012

Bikers, Leather, Engines and Aidan



What if your hardest day was your first? What if it was your only?

My sweet sweet Aidan. One day. I held you in my arms for one day.

Each and every day since I spend searching for ways to honor you. Ways to be close to you. Ways to make the distance feel not so far.

More often than not, the true moments are complete surprises.

Tonight was no different.

We are this year's ambassador family for Bikers for Babies. Tonight, we attended Bike Night and the pre-registration event. I knew that something was planned. I could have never imagined what was about to happen.

Travis pulled us up on stage. He shared a part of Aidan's story. He asked all of the bikers to send a message to Aidan, making sure he knew the amount of love we have for him. And then this magical ear splitting moment happened. 1,000 plus motorcycles revved their engines simutaneously. And it went on forever.

Never in a million years, did I think I would feel him there. Standing on that stage, looking at this massive crowd. Standing beside Evan and knowing he was willing to stand there with me. Looking at Travis and seeing his eyes well up. Looking out and seeing my March of Dimes Family laughing and smiling through their tears, I felt him. In the breeze. In the rumble of the engines. In the faces of those people who had no idea the impact they were making. I felt a piece of A. I missed him with such ferocity, but I felt him.

Nothing could have topped that moment. Until we stepped off stage and complete strangers came to hug us. To share their stories. To share how they were so grateful to finally meet Aidan's parents because they had been touched by his life. His life, not his death. But, his life.

It caught me completely off guard. It was this glorious moment though. One I will treasure and am so thankful for.

  

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The connections

Life these days is such an oxymoron.

Some days, I feel completely removed. I am afraid that all of the connections I once had in the world have been severed. There are moments where I feel lost. Moments where I just have to smile and fake it. Convince myself and everyone around me that I'm doing "better." That I am fine with living without Aidan. That my world is setting itself back in the upright position.

Other days, I find these crazy connections. Connections with friends and family who reach out and get it. They may not actually understand how I feel, but they allow me to be. A hand is extended and suddenly I'm not so alone.

Then there are the connections that are made because of Aidan. Not in spite of him.

When I hear of another mom, my instinct is to reach out. Our children bind us.

A connection has been growing. It started with a brick. Then grew to March of Dimes. And now, has brought me a part of someone who unexpectedly passed two years ago. Danny. My sweet teddy bear of a cousin. Our hearts were broken when he passed that June morning.

And now, he is allowing me another connection. His love. His smile. His music. His smell. Oh his smell. (If you knew Danny, you know what I'm talking about)

His legacy. Aidan's legacy.

I admitted for the first time tonight a dream I keep having. A comforting dream. I don't get those very often. I have kept this one to myself.

Every so often, I see Danny. In his button up shirt, straw hat and it looks like he is holding his banjo. Only when I run up to hug him, he's holding Aidan. He smiles that smile. His eyes glisten. He tells me how proud he is of my son. And then they just walk away together. And I feel peace.

I am so thankful for the glimpses of heaven that come in dreams. I am so thankful for the connections that our loved ones leave behind. I am just so thankful. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Aidan's Travels and The Journey

There has been a blog set up that will display all of the pictures of Aidan's travels. This was started by a sweet lady who is spending the summer in Europe and is taking A's bracelet along with her. She has invited me to keep up with the other parts of his travels as well. If you have a band and have pictures of it in different places, please send it to me. I love love love seeing all of the places he goes. If you would like a band, let me know and we will get one to you! And it just warms my heart to think he means enough for you to take him with you!

You can follow his travels here.

Today is also the second release of The Journey. I hope you will go and read the blogs that have linked up with my post. These moms are bearing their hearts and souls and we all need the support and encouragement.

Yesterday was nine months.
I got to meet one of Aidan's friends for the first time. She was born just a few weeks after Aidan and we just now found the time to meet. She is a precious, perfect example of what my life might have been like had the circumstances been different. It was bittersweet, but it didn't hurt like one might have imagined.

I was thankful to find that I am able to separate. I was able to see her for the miracle she is. I was able to hold her and giggle. I was able to look at her and feel the goodness.

Her momma is so near and dear to my heart. We took bump pictures together no more than a month before I went into labor. My heart felt immense love for her little girl. I was so thankful to be able to sit there and just be. My heart tugged but it didn't break. I was able to smile and envision what life might have looked like. What it will hopefully look like one day.

I walked away with tears for what won't be with Aidan. But, also with hope for the day I get to introduce a child of my own.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Bridging the gap

There is this gap between me and you. It is my empty arms. It is his headstone. It is the blessing that you don't have to understand what it is like on this side.

There are things I know. Things that have forever changed and I know without a shadow of a doubt.

  • I will see Aidan again one day.
  • You love me.
  • You wish the pain could go away.
  • You wish there was something you could do.
  • It hurts you to watch me hurt.
  • I will always miss him.
  • Time goes on. Not one person's life was altered like mine was by this. I can't hold that against anyone.
  • In the same breath, you can't hold it against me because I'm not where you think I should be.
  • There are days that are harder than others.
  • I want nothing more than to be a mom.
  • No child will ever replace Aidan.
Then are things that I do not know. Some I may learn. Others will always be a mystery.

  • What color were his eyes?
  • Would they have crinkled like mine when he smiled?
  • Was his cry soft or was it a wail?
  • When I will be ready to try again. Not because I am afraid of replacing Aidan. Or that I'm not ready to have a baby. But, because I don't know when I will trust my body enough. I don't know when I will be able to handle the grief, the fear, the hormones or the bed rest.
  • What it feels like to bring your first born home.
  • When I will get to join that inner circle and not feel like an outsider.
  • When I won't have to fake it till I can make it.
  • What it feels like to not have people afraid to say his name or see his perfect face.
  • What it is like to just be. To just be at peace. Calm. Not in the midst of a storm.
  • What is like to feel truly safe.
  • What is like to have a child look at you and say Momma.
It's coming up on nine months. Some say that's way to long to still be grieving. To me? It feels like yesterday. I still wake up reaching for my pregnant belly. I still dream of him alive. I wake up in cold sweats reliving labor. Reliving picking out his casket as I held him in my arms. I can still smell him. I sit at his spot and tell him things I can't tell anyone else.  

At the same time, I get up each morning. I work. I live this life I didn't choose. I do my best. I am trying to find a balance between our old lives and this new one. Sometimes that just isn't good enough. Sometimes, no matter what step I take, it isn't the right one. So I'm afraid to take one at all.

And while, to the outside world it may not seem like I am moving forward. Or that I'm not getting over it quick enough.

I'm trying. I'm doing the best I can. I will never get over it. And each day is another step. It may not be some gigantic step that is visible to you, but it is big enough. I am attempting to bridge the gap between us.


Saturday, May 26, 2012

What it means to have carried you.

Spring of 2011 was pretty rough on me. I had been diagnosed with gastroparesis. I had had a minor surgery. Every 30 days brought a new cocktail of medications. I'd had a severe kidney infection from E. Coli.


On Thursday May 26th, my blood pressure sky rocketed. My pulse was high. Something was just very off. It took Mom, Ev and the girls at work to convince me to go to the ER. So there we sat. They had me hooked up to cardiac monitors. Dad was on his way.

The Dr walked in and made Ev and Mom leave. I was sure she was going to tell me I was having a heart attack. Instead, she told me I was pregnant.

Every monitor in the room went off. Mom and E came back. Mom could tell by the look on my face. Evan didn't speak for two days I think. To say we were shocked was an understatement.

I was carrying our first child.

I have never cherished or loved my body as much as I did that summer. I was amazed at every change. I couldn't believe it was finally my turn. I was immediately a mom. Until we knew the sex, the baby was our Olive. We joked that it would have to be Oliver or Olivia. As my bump grew, the love for this child just intensified. It wasn't just me. There were so many who loved and doted on us. So many were so excited to get to meet our sweet one.

We never imagined how it would end. How can you?

I went to the ER that day thinking something was wrong with my heart.

Instead my heart was changed.

It started to love. It had to feel all of that love so that I could survive the loss to come.

I will never ever regret carrying Aidan.

And even though my arms are empty, I still carry him.

There were photographs i wanted to take
Things i wanted to show you
Sing sweet lullabies wipe your teary eyes
Who could love you like this?
People say that i am brave but i`m not
Truth is i`m barely hanging on
But there`s a greater story
Written long before me
Because he loves you like this

So i will carry you
While your heart beats here
Long beyond the empty cradle
Through the coming years
I will carry you
All my life
And i will praise the one who`s chosen me
To carry you

Such a short time
Such a long road
All this madness
But i know
That the silence
Has brought me to his voice
And he says

I`ve shown him photographs of time beginning
Walked him through the parted seas
Angel lullabies no more teary eyes
Who could love him like this?

I will carry you
While your heart beats here
Long beyond the empty cradle
Through the coming years
I will carry you
All your life
And i will praise the one who`s chosen me
To carry you   




Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Where am I headed?



Good days.
Bad days.
Lonely days.
All about Aidan days.
Hopeful days.

Each and every day takes effort.

Each day is leading to somewhere on this journey.



I met another momma today on this journey.
Aidan's legacy has spread far enough that others are turning Momma's to our story.
AMAZING.

Nine months ago, all I was trying to do was survive. Trying to figure out a way to live without Aidan, but keep him present in our lives. I know. It doesn't make any sense. It's what I had to do though. And today, someone described me as able to keep him alive.

I know that he is gone. Trust me. I know. I have the empty aching arms to remind me all the time. However, his name is spoken. His face is adored. His life means something.
And that means everything.

I have to summon every ounce of courage to put on that ok face most days. Days like today are easier. Sharing his story with another mom, sharing his story with people who are on a mission, sharing his story which inspires people to go outside their comfort zone. That is my comfort zone. Because I am actively being a mom.

People are starting to know Aidan. They know me because of Aidan.

I will never be ok with the fact that he died.

I am forever grateful that I am his mom.

This Saturday is the anniversary of the day I learned there would be an Aidan. The day my heart shifted. The day the reality that I would be a mom started.

I have no idea where tomorrow will take me.

All I can ask. All I can pray:
Is for it to lead me to the cross.

 


Friday, May 18, 2012

Jealous of the angels

What a day.
Today I witnessed great strength, passion, determination.
I also witnessed the cruelest forms of ignorance.

Dead Baby Photos. Dead Baby Card.

Two phrases being tossed around by people who have no idea what it means to bury your child.

It doesn't matter if your child is born in a hospital, at home, or in dirt. If that baby dies, you blame yourself. As its mother, you question everything. The last thing you need is someone who has no knowledge of your experience telling you that it is your fault. We do that enough. The last thing we need is someone reaffirming it. And just so it's clear, every single Mom that I have met over the last eight months, it was NOT their faults. They got dealt the same crappy hand I did.

There is a woman who took six mothers and their stories and assigned them all dead babies cards. Blaming them for their children's deaths.
And people backed her up.
I couldn't even read the entire article through the tears. Angry tears.

And then this happened....



We rejoiced. Our local news ignored the taboo and made it their top story.

And then the idiots started talking. And it down right made my blood boil.

Dead Baby Photos. Spectacle. Offensive. Something that should remain private.

I carry Aidan's photos with me everywhere I go. Just on the off chance that someone anyone would want to see them. Because I am PROUD of my little boy. And while I am so very sorry that his photos may offend you, they are all I have. They are all I will ever have and I will not apologize for being proud of him. I will not hide him in shame because someone is afraid of death. I will not let them just be dead baby pictures. Because he is MY CHILD.

I am protective of him. I wish I had half the courage that Grayson's family has. They did not intend for Grayson's pictures to go public. They just wanted to share him in the same manner that they get to share their other children. And people are faulting them for this!  I am so afraid that someone will not see Aidan for what he is and instead will turn their head or think its strange. I am so afraid that someone will reject my child.

I will fight to the end for Aidan, Grayson and all the babies. They all deserve to be loved and honored. And as their parents we deserve to be encouraged and respected. You don't have to agree. You don't have to look at the pictures. You also don't have to discredit our child's life (no matter how short) either. It's called compassion. It's called grace. It's called love.

Tonight is a night that makes me thankful that Aidan is safe. He will never witness this part of the world. He will never be afraid or hurt by others. He is safe with the angels. I'm so so jealous of those angels though...




Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Mother's Day


Happy Mother's Day to one of the most dedicated mothers I know. Aidan is as blessed to have you as you are to have him.

Happy first mommy's day Tara Bear! I know Aidan is sending kisses to you!

I hope this was a joyful Mother's Day, where you felt at peace knowing your angel was smiling at you.

Love you!

Happy Mother's Day! I know it is hard to celebrate without A in your arms. Your sweet angel wants you to celebrate being his amazingly strong and courageous mommy! You are such an inspiration to so many people, you have more strength than an army!

Happy Mother's Day to you! You are a beautiful woman whose heart is filled with magic and love! You quite simply amaze me! I'm sure this isn't how you imagined you first Mother's Day, but you are a beacon of light and pillar of faith. God has amazing things in store for you. He chose a true loving mothers for the mission he has you on. Continue as your have. I am truly amazed. Much love and Christ's peace to you today!

Happy Mother's Day Tara. I just want you to know that I think you had the heart of a mother long before Aidan came. You were a mom the day you showed up at ACH without being asked so he could have someone there for him...even though he didn't even know what was going on, and the day you held him because I couldn't. Aidan has the best mommy in the world. Just know he is very proud of you today. So celebrate being your son's mom and do it proudly, because I don't know anyone who deserves it more than you. Love you!!!

Sending a special Happy Mother's Day to one of the best Momma's I know!

Happy Mother's Day Tara! I know I don't know you well, but I have followed your story from day one and you have such an inspiration to me after the loss of my baby in March 2010. I think about you often. All of your blog post always hit so close to home like you took the feelings right from me! I don't know where are you are in your journey as far as trying again but I will pray for you always. I feel so blessed right now but the worry never ends. It's definitely been a roller coaster! You are one of the strongest woman and what you're doing for your little boy is truly incredible. Thank you for being so open and sharing your feelings with the world. You're probably touching more lives than you'll ever know. Again, Happy Mother's Day.

Happy Mothers Day to the toughest mommy I've ever met. Love you.

Happy mommy day to you sweet friend. Xoxo.

Happy Mother's Day, Tara. I hope today is just what you need it to be. Love you.

I really wasn't sure what this day would bring. The days leading up to it were agonizing. Full of memories, full of the dreams that will never be, lots and lots of tears.
The day itself was just numbing. That's the only word I know to describe it. The tears didn't fall like I thought they would. The emotions didn't break through. I just fumbled my way through the day. The above statements were sent to me throughout the day. These were instances that insured that I took that next breath.
I didn't expect anything from the day. I didn't expect anything from anyone. I just hoped that someone/anyone shared an ounce of compassion. Between the hugs at church, the cards from Em, Mom and Ev, and the above love I got just that.
It is a day that is unlike any others. They are all hard. This one for a different reason. Christmas, birthdays, Easter. All days about family. Aidan's absence is felt, but its not the focus. This day was entirely focused on that. Each of the 1440 minutes in the day were about him and how he wasn't there.

Thankfully, I was able to smile and remember the moments he was.

And that made my first mother's day perfect.

When I’m all alone
or in a crowd.
In a quite place
where musics loud.
When I’m on the road
or in the other room.
That’s how you know
I’m thinking of you.
Where the flowers grow
where the leaves turn brown.
Where the sun is hot
where the snow falls down, down.
Where the clouds are gray
and the sky so blue.
That’s how you know
I’m thinking of you.

 I’m thinking of you
that’s all i do, all the time.
You’re always the first and the
last thing on this heart of mine.
No matter where i go or what I do
I’m thinking of you.
And the memory of
who I used to be.
What I cared about
before you came to me…baby
Every selfish thought
all I thought I knew.
Has been replaced
with thinking of you.
Always thinking of you….yes I am……
~Dierks Bentley

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

All because of this

Why do we do the things we do
How can we sing when there seems no reason to
How do we smile when there's not much to smile about
When the world is down who are we to stand and shout

It's all because of this
It's all because of this
We've tasted love, tasted hope, tasted holiness
  • Because he changed everything for me.
  • Because I am his voice.
  • Because I miss him with every ounce of my being.
  • Because he matters.
  • Because he lived.
  • Because he died.
  • Because there is a promise that I will see him again.
  • Because of him, I am moving mountains (even if it is only a spoonful at a time.)
  • Because I found my voice.
  • Because he inspires such strength.
  • Because he weighed 14.6 ounces.
  • Because he was 10 5/8 inches long.
  • Because his heart beat.
  • Because he never took that first breath.
  • Because he inspires others.
  • Because he has drawn my family so close together.
  • Because he is the daily reminder of what life is really about.
  • Because of him, I treasure each and every day.
  • Because of him, the highlight of this day was giving Carter a bath.
  • Because Carter knows they are Aidan's feet.
  • Because of all the mothers that I now call friends.
  • Because our children are friends in heaven.
  • Because I cannot stop the next mother from joining this club.
  • Because one day an Incompetent Cervix will not be a death sentence.
  • Because one day I will hold another child in my arms.
  • Because they will know they have an older brother.
  • Because he is amazing.
  • Because he has done more in eight months than I could have ever done in my own lifetime.
  • Because I see him in his Daddy.
  • Because people don't understand.
  • Because people keep trying.
  • Because he made me a mother.
  • Because he changed it all.

Because of him.


 
 
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