How many children do you have?

I’ve been asked this multiple times since Lincoln died. Each time digs the grief blade in a little bit further.

What I want to say is Three. I have three kids but only two of them are alive. I have two sons and a daughter but I’ll never get to know my son. In fact my son shouldn’t even be born for another two and a half months. He should be healthy and kicking away in me. He should be making me pee every 20 minutes, making me so tired that I don’t even know how I am going to get through finals, making my pelvis feel so full and open. I should be looking forward to doctors appointments and buying him things. I should be starting a birthing course and hiring a doula. I should be stocking up on cloth diapers because we were going to give it a real go this time.

Instead I quietly say two and turn my head. I close my eye, take a deep breath and try to keep myself from breaking down.

A month and a holiday

WARNING

There is a picture of Lincoln’s hands at the bottom. If that is something you don’t want to see, please leave now.

Three days ago was Lincoln’s first month.

One month since my sweet baby was born.
One month since I’ve held him.
One month since I’ve kisses his sweet face.
One month.

I suspect that eventually, this achy hole in my heart won’t hurt so badly anymore. Eventually it will dull down. That hasn’t happened yet though. It still hurts as much as it did when we found out he was gone.

I think the hardest part is no one really acknowledges him. Sometimes it would be nice to hear other people say his name. My husband does sometimes and my sister will to but other than that, no. It’s like he never existed and that kills me. I want to share his pictures. I want to talk about how happy he made me for the short time he was around. Even if I cry, I’m just sad he’s gone, not that he was here.

Tomorrow, I’ll be celebrating out first major Holiday without him. Yes, we went through Halloween but I slept while Chris took the kids out. I was kind of disconnected from myself then. Tomorrow, I will be dealing with family members I haven’t seen yet. Tomorrow, I’ll be thinking about how I would be showing. How Lincoln would probably be kicking hard enough to feel on the outside now. How I wouldn’t be able to eat too much because Lincoln always made me so full so fast. How I should be exhausted when I go shopping with my mother in low tomorrow night/friday.

This year, even though I feel like I had a piece of myself stolen from me, I am so thankful for the 22 weeks I got with him. I’m so thankful for that morning sickness. I’m thankful for the exhaustion I felt. I’m so thankful for the sore breast and on and off bleeding. I’m thankful for the kicks I got to feel while he was still with us. I’m thank for the pictures, prints, his blanket and his little bunny.

 

Handsframe

Different

That’s how I feel.

I guess losing a child does that.

My baby is gone and I feel like a completely different person.

I can’t stand to look at pregnant women.

I feel like I’m being stabbed in the heart every time I see a pregnancy announcement or an ultrasound picture.

Babies just make me sad. Make me feel my loss a little bit more.

It’s shattering and refreshing when my kids bring up Lincoln because besides my sister and husband, no one does.

I hate that the only time I get to hold my child is when I bring out his urn. The only way I can give him a kiss goodnight is by kissing a wooden box.

I feel guilty. Like this is a punishment for something I did. That some action in my life caused this big shit storm of karma to catch up with me and it took my child. Because ‘Bad shit just happens’ and ‘Everything happens for a reason’ aren’t good enough excuses.

I’m angry that I didn’t cherish the time I had more. Had I known he would be gone in such a short matter of time, I wouldn’t have cared about all the groin pain, backaches and heartburn.

I wish, when my sister told me to take more care of my ultrasound pictures, I didn’t brush her off with an ‘it’s not a big deal, I’ll be getting more in a few weeks’.

I hate that I lulled myself into thinking that my pregnancy was safe because I made it past 6 weeks and had no complications so why would I know? This one is a double-edged sword though because I will NEVER have a carefree pregnancy again. I will never just assume that because I made it past 12 weeks that I’ll come home with a living child.

12I feel different, like I’ll never really be whole again. I feel broken. And angry and shafted. I’m bitter and jealous. I hate every single one of these feelings and yet they’re always there in the back of my. Waiting for just the right time to surface. To ruin a good mood. To turn me into this person I never was before I found out my baby no longer had a heartbeat.

Remembering Lincoln

Yesterday was two weeks. Two weeks since my baby born was born sleeping. This last two weeks has been hard but I feel like this week has been worse. Excruciating really.

In the first week after my sweet Lincoln came into this world, it was a lot of waiting. We had to wait the weekend away to see if our baby had been picked up by the funeral home. We had to wait for the memorial cards I ordered from tiny prints. We waited for the pictures I ordered from shutterfly. We had to wait for his urn to be done and ship to us. We waited at the funeral home to see him one last time before he was cremated. We waited for him to be cremated so we could finally bring him home. We waited.

But then his memorial cards came in. His pictures came in. His urn arrived. We picked him up from the funeral home. And now the waiting is done. We’re done waiting for things for Lincoln and he’s just gone. There isn’t anything else to wait for. There are now only the little things that we’ll do so we don’t ‘forget’ him. So that the memory of him doesn’t go away with us but lives on with his siblings to. That they always know that even if their brother didn’t live, that doesn’t mean he isn’t still their little brother.

One of my favorite ways of honoring and remembering my little man was in the form of a tattoo. One of the reasons I love it, is because even today after I’ve had my motherhood tattoo for three years, my kids still ask me about it. They still love looking at it and telling me which one is them. On Wednesday, I got Lincoln’s tattoo. Some may think it would be too soon but once I have an idea, it doesn’t die down until it’s inked. Case and point would be my TARDIS. This tattoo, is my favorite.

Tattoo

 

I feel like it’s completely me. Landon and Emmie love looking at it and want to give Lincoln kisses. It will be nice once it’s healed so they can do that.

It will always feel like there is something missing but I just have to look down at my shoulder and it makes me feel better, even if it’s just a little bit. I think it will always be the little things that get me through this. It will be when I get to feel his footprints on my necklace, holding his urn or when I catch a glimpse of his tattoo. It will be those things that help me ground me for just a little bit. That help me remember that even though my baby is gone, I will always have a him with me in some form.

The Rollercoaster

Grief is a funny thing. It’s something you don’t know how you’ll react to until you’re placed in that particular situation.

Obviously this grief is different than having grandparents pass but when this started, I thought that this may be like that since I had nothing to compare it to.

With the other losses in my life, I cried a for a few days and I was sad. They made me think about everything I wanted to do in my life. They made me think about my beliefs of the universe. Sure, I questioned why they had to die but after coming out of the haze of grief, I understood. They were older. They had health problems. It didn’t make it easier. I mean they were someone important in my life and I was sad that they were gone.

That isn’t how this is. This grief hits me in waves. When I was in the hospital, I received multiple comments on how well I was handling it. I don’t know if it’s just how I do. I was thinking about what was next. I cried off and on. But I dealt with it. Giving birth to a child I knew I was never going to take a breath was heartbreaking and terrible. It was difficult but I did it. In the hospital, everything came in waves.

And that’s how it’s been since. I can’t explain the feeling other than like that. I feel like I’m stand. I’m okay and coping well. And then out of nowhere I’m hit like a tsunami wave crashing down on me. I remember that my baby is dead. I won’t ever get to experience the first smile, the first time he grabs my hand, his first tooth or word. He’s gone and I have to remind myself of it sometimes. I have to remind myself that it’s weird now if I rub my stomach because there isn’t a baby there. I have to remind myself that those are muscle spasms and not kicks or punches.

This grief is so much different. It’s hard and it feels debilitating when it hits. It makes me angry because there will never ever be a good enough reason as to why my baby was taken from me. There will never be a rational reason as to why I am no longer pregnant. This grief makes me bitter that all these other mothers are getting their happy ending while my baby will be coming home to me in an urn.

And please don’t mistake that feeling as wishing something like this upon them because this loss, is fucking crippling. I would never wish this on the worst person who has ever walked this earth.

I just wish I was blissfully unaware of these feelings. I wish my baby was 23 weeks and I was celebrating his viability instead of checking UPS’s site 15 times a day to see if the tracking info for his urn has changed. I wish I wasn’t gathering his cloths that we bought to have a memory quilt made. I wish my baby was still alive.

Lincoln’s Birth Story Part Two

Lincoln’s Birth Story Part One

I was having some contractions but that were inconsistent and short. I received another dose of cytotec at 7 am. I was glad when it was time for shift change at that time as well because I wasn’t really a fan of our nurse.

The new nurse who came in, which for the life of me I can’t remember her name, was amazing. She was so understanding. She gave me information that no one else had given me. My intention the entire time was go without pain meds. I wanted this birth to be as real as if he was going to live. I wanted to remember every contraction. I know that may sound weird but this was my only real time that I would get with him past what we spent at the hospital.

She informed me that an epidural may be beneficial because the placenta knows it isn’t supposed to detach so early so it doesn’t always come out all the way and they have to get the rest out using the D&C process. She also let me know that I was free to walk the halls as I wanted.

I had contractions that were anywhere from 20-45 seconds long and happened every minute and a half to 4 minutes. The monitor had trouble picking them up so I pretty much just timed them on my phone.

After my 1pm dose my contractions picked up. They became longer and happened more frequently.

Contraction-History

By 5 o’clock I needed something to help with the contractions. They were hard contractions. I asked for some IV meds because I really wanted to avoid the epidural. I was terrified that it would end up like last time where my doctor was completely incompetent at his job. I felt loopy instantly. They didn’t take the edge off but it did help me sleep for about a half hour to forty five minutes.

When I woke up it was worse. I called the nurse and told her I was done. I needed an epidural in a bad way. She started my bolus, called the anesthesiologist and started getting things ready. I was crying through the contractions by this point. I honestly didn’t know how I was going to sit through getting my back poked multiple times.

Normally they have husbands step out but Chris was allowed to stay with my and I’m more than glad for that. Without him there was no way I would have pushed through it.

About half way through the epidural I started thinking about how much I was going through and I didn’t even get to take our baby home. It killed me to think how sore I would be after and have no baby with us to show for all that hard work. I wouldn’t get to cuddle my monster when he was hungry. I would get to see his gorgeous smile or hold his little hand.

After the epidural was in, the pain of the contractions started to fade. At first they were still a struggle to keep calm though but the beginning and endings weren’t so bad. I told the nurse, as I was getting back on to the bed completely that I thought I pissed myself. She checked me because it was around 7pm and time to get my sixth dose.

My water had broken and as everything came down after it broke it formed a small bag that was bulging. She called my doctor and told me he was on his way. When he came in, her took one look at me and said he was going to change.

Once he was back, we wanted to check me to see how I was doing. When he opened my legs, Lincoln came out with a gush.

My handsome little man was born at 7:26 pm on October 24th.

Lincoln’s Birth Story Part 1

When my doctor came to talk to me about Lincoln passing, he gave me the option to come back in a day or two. But I wanted to start the process as soon as possible. We had options on what we wanted to do. We could induce labor or we could go in surgically but it would be another scar on my uterus, which would add even more danger to possible future vaginal deliveries as well was be a recovery from surgery.

By 8:50 am on Wednesday October 23rd, I was walking to a hospital room. Chris had left to take the kids home and grab stuff for us while we stayed and waited for our baby. My doctor and the nurses explained to me that with labors like this one, you generally feel nothing or very little and then all of a sudden it gets really intense and your child is born.

While Chris was gone they took my vitals, placed and IV and took 16 vials of blood to test everything. I didn’t want to place the pill until he got back because I wasn’t sure how long it would take and neither was the doctor. He said it could take 6 hours, 18 or even more.

I was induced using cytotec. 100 mg pill every six hours under my cervix. Luckily my cervix was low. It was shut tight but low. And for those first 6 hours, I felt nothing. Not a contraction or even a twinge of anything. It was a waiting game and it sucked. Sitting there for all the time that we did and knowing our child couldn’t possibly come home with us was heartbreaking.

The second dose came and went much of the same way. Luckily now I was able to eat as well. I was originally told I couldn’t eat or drink(besides water) but my doctor said he was confident that this would end as a vaginal delivery so I was allowed a normal diet. By the time I got food it had been over 9 hours since I had last eaten. I couldn’t even finish the bread bowl though. But that was okay.

Sleep evaded me. I was tired. Worn out really from the one and off crying all day. Chris’s mom came to visit us and chatted for a bit. Sleep finally found me about 20 minutes after she got there. Unfortunately, I was woken at 1 am to place another dose. I went back to sleep for a couple hours and was up again at 4 am. I walked around the room a little. My butt was sore from sitting so much.

I sat in a chair across from my bed. Of course it had to be that time, while I was awake that a laboring mother came into the room next to ours and I got to hear her babies heartbeat. Hearing the whoosh whoosh whoosh was hard. It was worse than hard. I broke down again. I couldn’t make myself go back to my bed though and just turn the TV on to drown out the noise. I had to sit there and listen. Eventually after picking up the heartbeat, they turned to sound down. I moved back to my bed and watched some shows on the kindle. It kept me occupied until Chris woke up with me at 6:30.

A day out before a crazy week

We’ve had a pretty crappy week. Literally for this mom because both kids had a horrendous stomach bug that just wouldn’t seem to die. On top of sickly children, I had mid terms and a gigantic speech this week. I don’t even know how I survived both without failing horribly. Luckily I grabbed A’s on both!

Before it became maddeningly hectic, we took the kids out to the mall for the day. We walked around, had ice cream(frozen yogurt for the adults) and rode the carousel. It was a really fun time and got us out of the house for a few hours while it’s been freezing out.

emmie

Landon

Chris

I used my new T3. Have I mentioned how much I adore this camera? I usually got decent pictures of the kids with my old camera but I feel like they come much more often now.