Babies having babies and the beauty in what is…

The combined total weight of the two babies were barely seven pounds.

They weren’t twins, yet they were so similar.

The parents who struggled to conceive them.

The ones who paid thousands of dollars in care.

The ones who ended up delivering very early.

Both parents so very involved in their care, jumping at any opportunity to do kangaroo care.

I barely had any hands on time with them as their nurse, because the families were so very present.

Then, there is the young teenager who delivered her baby yesterday.

She struggled, she cried, she pushed, she screamed, she gave up, then tried again.

All without drugs.

All without a secure future.

All with barely the beginnings of a high school education.

All with a mother’s heart.

She cried at the placement of her brand new baby on her chest.

She said the words, “mama loves you, baby.”

Although these families are so very different, there is one thing the same.

They love their babies with every ounce of their beings.

I am one of the lucky ones who gets to be present when a woman becomes a mother.

It might be for the first time, it might be for the ninth time.

No time is the same.

Each baby unique, special, and with its own gifts.

Some of us know that life isn’t guarenteed.

Even when it’s with new life.

Hearts may be malformed. Vessels imperfect. Organs immature. Functions failing.

But it doesn’t change how I view them.

They are messengers.

They are beautiful.

They are unlike any other.

And if I just keep remembering that, my belief in good things can be sustained.

I can take a deep breath and say thank you to God and the Universe,

for allowing me to have just a bit more faith,

a bit more love,

and bit more acceptance of what is.

*what I love about this angel picture is that it represents strength, endurance, and justice to me.*

*what I love about this angel picture is that it represents strength, endurance, and justice to me.*

Advertisements

Aside

The Many Good Things and Filling My Heart Space…

There was this moment…

I caught it on camera and my heart melted.

IMG_7876

My two monkeys playing before going to bed.

Then there was this photo captured on the front page of our newspaper…

IMG_7863

It’s the closest we’ll get to being famous and I’m perfectly okay with that.

Then there was this moment when the Little had to be JUST like the Big.

IMG_7789

I am totally in love.

Then my work wasn’t horrible! We had good resuscitations, good Apgars, and miracle abounding!

IMG_7750

I almost forgot what it was like to smile at work!

Then, a wonderful Twitter friend became an IRL friend!

IMG_7760

Tonya and I had lunch together and it was lovely.

I’m pretty sure we could’ve talked all day.

Her blog is amazing. Her story is even more so.

She’s inspired me to train for a 10k! That’s right. Running for fun.

Who knew?

Also, she rocked the LTYM show audition and will be participating.

I will be cheering her on.

You should read her blog. http://www.lettersforlucas.com

So, that’s the fun, amazing, heart filling moments I’ve had lately.

How about you? What’s filling your heart space?

Aside

Disappointment and Digging Deep

This week was really kind of a rough one.

It was the end of Christmas vacation for my big guy and back to first grade he went.

Although that wasn’t so difficult, it was the signal of more change.

The winter has fully set in.

There is ice in the hummingbird feeder.

The leaves are wet and dark.

The grass is muddy.

My sweet Reiki kitty is sleeping all day long.

My mood is not great.

On my work days, I get up and drive to the hospital before daylight breaks and leave long after the sun is down.

The 12 hour shifts are so long. So, so long.

At work I am seeing people who are frustrating and drug seeking.

I am fighting to find some compassion.

I want to yell at them that they need to JUST STOP.

Then, news that a sweet girl lost her rainbow baby this week just about did me in.

I found myself being annoyed with the nursing students watching me bathe a newborn.

I found myself thinking how mad I was. But at what? I’m still not even sure.

The Universe? My hospital? My patients? What?

So, I came home from work, took a shower, read and rocked my boy to sleep, crept in and snuggled my already asleep 7 year old.

I couldn’t get over how long and lanky his arms were as they peeked out of his comforter.

Then, I went to that place that all baby loss moms go…extreme gratitude for what I’ve been given, but extreme sadness that everyone doesn’t get a happy ending.

I was kissing the beautiful, healthy cheeks of my boys while others are grieving.

I fought a lump in my throat all evening.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Then, this morning I decided to take action.

We went to the gym.

I listened to my Crisis playlist.

I worked through my uncomfortable feelings of sadness, irritation, anger, and frustration.

I sat with them and just let them be.

I was mindful to not let them take over my heart.

I didn’t give them the power I know they wanted.

Instead, I played soccer with my boy.

We laughed and giggled and ran around until we were thirsty.

We chased and shouted, “good job!” when we made goals.

I lifted him high in the air when he ran at me full speed.

I smiled and felt good.

IMG_7427

And then I realized I was no longer emotionally wrecked.

I had dug deep and found contentment and joy in the moment.

Isn’t that what emotional pain teaches us anyway?

To be present in our moments.

The pack of three…

Who knew that a little pack of three toothbrushes could cause such empathy, love, and heartache to roll around in one’s heart all at once?

It all started with a family outing to Target in which there were a few million items we needed. It was fairly simple. A present for a child’s party, some half and half, some soap, you know how it goes. Next thing you know, the whole cart is full of crap you never knew you needed.

After we got home to unload, the kids want to try out their new toothbrushes. Hubs had grabbed a pack of three toothbrushes that were on sale. They were excited to brush their teeth with something new!

While my seven year old was looking at the box they came in, he examined it and said aloud, “If Baby Bailey were still alive, there would be a toothbrush for him too.”

Image

And there it was.

My son remembering his brother.

The one we lost 5 years ago.

The one who never got to choose his favorite superhero toothbrush.

The middle one.

And what I love so much about it? Is that he remembered without any mention of it from me, though it’s never far from my mind.

There should be three boys. I know. He knows.

And they each chose a toothbrush on either side, leaving the middle.

Just where Baby Bailey’s place in our family is.

Coming back to myself…

Two weeks ago:

I couldn’t stop crying. Exhausted, broken, sad, and feeling hopeless.

My sweet toddler was getting us up frequently through the night only to have a 12 hour shift in the NICU to follow.

There’s only so much that coffee will do to help that kind of exhaustion.

Work is very stressful and crazy. The hours are ungodly. SO MANY HOURS.

I was feeling isolated and lost in my own tired world. I was seeing everything with bleary eyes, a sad heart, and wishing life was so very different than it is.

Then, I called for help.

And I’m not talking about just asking the angels to help.

I called my doctor and got on Celexa.

It was time.

I’ve braved this new job for nearly 5 months, working ALL THE HOURS. And my brain chemistries are off. They needed some help. And the vitamins, yoga, exercise, prayer, and wine wasn’t cutting it.

Today:

I feel much better. I know it’s mostly a placebo effect, but I’m one for HOPE. And when I have hope again, I can climb mountains.

I’m not weepy.

I have gotten a little more sleep.

And I even called in sick for a day and took care of me.

I took a nap.

I’m finding my gratitude instead of attitude.

I sat on the floor with my boys and cut out construction paper leaves, writing everything we could think of that we were thankful for on them.

It’s so sweet to see what my 7 year old thinks of! And trying to explain to my almost 3 year old what it means to be thankful.

But I’m coming back…I’m getting there…slowly but surely…I’ll be damned if this job ruins me.

This is me giving the middle finger to the stress in my life.

I GOT THIS.

Our thankfulness leaves hanging from the chandelier!

Downloading good memories…

We are in the business of downloading memories.

There are lots of pictures taken, lots of extra hugs and tickles, and a lot of eye contact around here.

In this nutty world, we are trying to go a little more low key.

A little more old school.

Less crazy new, and more repurposing the old.

Since it was Rowan’s 7th birthday, we celebrated exactly that way.

At home, in the backyard, with delicious homemade food, made from scratch carrot cake cupcakes (per his request), Batman capes made from T-shirts, and Lego crayons made from old crayons.

He wanted a Lego Batman theme, and since there aren’t too many things out there with exactly that description, we modified and combined the two.

And he loved it.

We loved it.

And it was simple, lovely, and good.

Just how life should be.

ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

I don’t claim to throw the best party in town…

I just know that I love my family more than anything, and nothing makes me happier than to make memories that they’ll carry with them forever.

Tie that binds…

So last year at this time, I was wringing my hands with worry, not sleeping, and doing craft projects galore in an effort to decrease the amount of anxiety I had about my boy starting kindergarten. There’s something ridiculous in my mind that tells me that if we do craft projects then our memories will last longer. Or that my attempts to download every single detail of my kids’ lives will be engraved somewhere in their handprints on a canvas.

Although my crafty neediness isn’t totally gone by the wayside, I am not going crazy about it. It rears its ugly head around the holidays and that I completely attribute to losing our baby during that time of year. I somehow think if I can’t do projects with all three of my babies, I’ll sure as hell do projects with my two surviving children. And I’ll go over and beyond with the ideas in a hope that someday it will lessen the empty space that will sit in my heart forever.

Last year, I needed something to do with my hands. So I made my son a friendship bracelet for his backpack to hold this little cardboard cutout of Yoda that he insisted be on his backpack. He chose the colors and I immediately got to work on it. He loved it. And I did too. He still has it.

Well this year, he wanted a new backpack. And I decided we were going to keep up this tradition of making a friendship bracelet for the start of first grade!

He chose colors to match his Spiderman backpack and couldn’t wait to try it on. But he’s way too much of a sensory child to be able to handle a bracelet on his wrist, so onto his lunch box handle it went.

Of course, the little one had to get in on the action and chose two colors for his bracelet to go on his lunchbox too.

And so here’s to a new year. A year of change. A year of growth.

Image

Previous Older Entries