Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Conversation with a 3rd grader

Oct. 3, 2010
This is a conversation I had with my son, while shopping:

My son: Mommy, you know Reed had a brother before and he died.

Me: Oh really, I didn't know. Was he younger than Reed.

My son: I don't know, but I know he died just like ours.

I Pause. This takes my breath away... We check out, now we're in the car driving.

Me: So, how did you find out about Reed's brother dying.

My son: My other friend told me, his brother died just like Ethan did. I think it was his umbilical cord, too.

Me: So, how did you guys start talking about this?

My son: Oh, in religion. Andy my friend always says a special prayer for his brother in heaven.

Me: Do you do the same for your brother?

My son: Yes, I just say "special mention", and that's it. I don't say anything else but I'm thinking of Ethan. I don't want anyone to ask me more about it.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Missing Ethan...

There is something about fall, the leaves changing colors, falling onto the ground, cool fall winds...all of it, remind me of Ethan. It reminds me of the giddiness I had back during the fall of 2007 when my baby was conceived, then 2008 rolled around, and I welcomed the fall, I was tired of the summer weather, the never ending sunlight. I wanted the colder weather, it matched what I felt inside. I thought maybe a change of season would end the hell I had just entered, the hell of grief after losing my baby. But, it didn't. And now, fall makes me yearn for my baby, I miss him so much. I wish he were here, I miss him so much.

Last night, I was watching Grey's Anatomy, and there was a line that I can really relate to, Meredith was talking about a tragedy they've all endured and the reaction of one of the other characters and she says something along the lines of, "She's not crazy. Sure a crazy thing happened to her, but her reaction was pretty normal..." So true. I think many times, even now, some of my "friends" think I'm crazy or even cringe when I talk about my son and how much I miss him. I'm not crazy, mourning is a normal reaction to death and there is no expiration date on mourning. It has been over 2 years and I am still in mourning over the death of Ethan. I will always mourn him. He was my baby, and will always be my baby. I am his mother and will continue to "parent" him, even if he is not physically present. He lives in my heart. My parenting now consists of keeping up with this blog, tending to his grave, mentioning his name, saying I have THREE children, and it will continue until the day I die.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

2 years ago...

If only I could turn back time, I would go back to this day May 20,2008. Ethan was still alive. We went on a field trip with our son, Jason, who was in Kindergarten at the time. We went to the state fairgrounds, saw different farm animals, a pregnant horse. I was feeling so good. I was pregnant after months of infertility treatments. I was on top of the world. I was glowing, I was so HAPPY. I even remember what I had on, a pair of black maternity capris with a beautiful black, white and red kimono like maternity top. BUT, something was wrong. Only then I didn't even realize it. I had no clue. In hindsight, Ethan wasn't moving as much. I told myself I'm 32 weeks, there is not enough room in there. He's not going to move as much. This now kills me, it haunts me. If only I knew. After our field trip, we went to our OB. It was our first appointment with her. I was seeing a perinotologist up until then. But it was gruelling to see the perinatologist, she was also pregnant and I no longer was seeing her. It would take 4 hours of waiting to see a doctor for a 5 minute appointment. So, I called my OB/GYN to see if she would accept me as a patient. She did, I was ecstatic.

I remember this day so clearly. I saw her nurse first, was taken back promptly. Then sat in a very comfortable leather recliner while she went over my history with me. Then she walked me into the room, where I saw Dr. J. Everybody exclaimed, "You look great, you're glowing!". This I was, I was over the moon. Dr. J examined me, we heard Ethan's heart rate 140. She asked if he was moving, and at that moment I said "YES". Because he did move quite a bit, but not enough that day. I didn't mention it, because I thought everything was fine. BUT, IF ONLY I WOULD'VE SPOKEN UP. I SHOULD'VE SAID SOMETHING. IT WAS SO STUPID AND DUMB OF ME. I felt reassured after I heard his heartbeat. Dr. J went on to explain that she would not let me go past 39 weeks and would begin NST that Friday. We talked about labor, induction and epidurals. I left the office feeling confident, excited and full of hope. We would soon have a baby boy.

That night, after I put Jason to bed. I looked and marveled at all of the information given to me. Signs and symptoms of labor, what to expect at the upcoming visits, some advertisements of pregnancy photography. Just different handouts my OB's office gave me. I wanted to hold on to that feeling forever, I loved being pregnant. I decided I wanted to take maternity photographs. I wanted to capture the moment.

The thought lingered, he's not moving. Then wham, movement. Lots of movement. I saw my belly moving and twisting. I thought it was cool, and began to look for my camera. I couldn't find it. I called my husband and told him that the baby had finally moved after a very quiet day, we talked about it for a while. I told him, I wish you could see my belly right now. I decided to listen to his heartbeat with my stethoscope. I tried but didn't hear anything. He was moving all over the place, I could see the ripple wave in my belly. I felt confident he was OK, after all he was moving. I went to bed in pure bliss. We were having a baby boy, Ethan would be his name.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

"La Llorona"

La Llorona, or the weeping lady is a tale I heard of many times when I was growing up. There are many versions to this story, the one I heard when I was a child was of a woman whose children died and she forever roams at night, crying, weeping for her dead children. My Mom always warned us to behave or La Llorona would come and take us. As a child, I had an image of her, black long hair, in a white night gown crying inconsolably for her dead children. It was a terrifying image. Now of course, I think of La Llorona and I think of myself.

Yesterday after I got off work, I got in my car and felt happy. The sun was out, the trees are blooming, new life is all around me. Then, it hit me. Ethan isn't here. I, like La Llorona, was driving and sobbing, deep cries erupting from me, desperation because my son is dead and there is nothing I can do about it. Two years are approaching, and I can't believe he's not here. Why. Why did it happen. It took me about 15 minutes to get home, and I couldn't stop crying. I thought of how horrific I looked to other drivers. But, I couldn't help it. This is what ongoing grief looks like, smiling on the outside and weeping on the inside and sometimes, erupting in sobs and tears. I finally arrived home safely, and my husband knew. He said nothing, hugged me and wiped my tears. I greeted everyone, kissed and carried Lauren, kissed lil Jason and life goes on.

Ethan, I miss you so much. There is not a day that goes by without me thinking of you. You are forever in my heart. I love you sweet baby boy! Mommy misses you!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Here. Breathing. Grateful.

I've been a horrible blogger these past 8 months. I've been thinking of all of you. I find myself driving, thinking, feeling and planning to write a post. Then, chaos, delicious chaos comes knocking on my door.

We are all here. Healthy. Thank God for that. Lauren is growing so quickly, she's not my tiny little baby girl. Jason is still in love with her. They are growing so fast.

But, then it hits me. 22 months. That's how old my Ethan would've been right now. I try to imagine my life with him and Jason and Lauren. Yes, I think, it would've been fine and we would've managed just fine. I miss him terribly. Every fiber of my being misses him. It's hard to breathe sometimes. It comes out of nowhere. Feels like I've been hit by a truck. I try to fight it, but I can't. The tears come rolling down my face. I miss him so much and I realize that as long as I'm living I will continue to miss him. Sometimes I feel like the more time that passes the more my longing for him increases.

For a long time, I avoided the baby aisles at the stores. Looked away from anything "baby", then I was blessed and was pregnant with Lauren. I still couldn't fathom anything "baby", in fear of testing fate. But, she lives and we are all over the baby aisles at Target, Kohl.s, etc. I pinch myself, really. It has happened for us again. We have a live baby, and then my eyes look over onto the boy clothes, toys, etc. And I wonder, I wonder how Ethan would look in a certain outfit, if he would've enjoyed playing with this or that. I'm in baby land, loving it and longing for Ethan. I miss him, I want to scream, I want to cry out but most of all I want to hold him in my arms.

He would've been 2 years old this year. 2 years old. I can't believe it, I was pregnant and my baby died. Sometimes, I hear myself telling his story and can't believe we survived it. We have emerged as different human beings. Better human beings. Yes, Ethan made us better. That's how I see his short life and death. But, dammit it hurts just as much as did the first day. Even more sometimes, now that the shock has worn off and we feel his absence.