Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Poem

I came across this poem reading a blog of another Angel Mommy. The poem fits me quite perfectly.

A Poem for the Broken
By: Emily Hughes

I am a broken woman,
Held together as if by thread;
Made of love alone– taken too soon
By the hand that takes the dead.

My pieces all still function,
The joints and bones still bend;
It’s my heart that misses rhythm,
My heart that will not mend.

I know that time brings healing,
That it brings pain from flames to ember;
But time does not dictate
What I will or won’t remember.

Even though life moves on,
And new joy comes to my heart;
My broken pieces will still ache,
For my one.. missing… part.







Monday, April 25, 2011

Name Change

For the past week or so, I've been sending FB messages back and forth to a guy I've known since I was little. Before November 15, 2009, I don't even know if we would be friends on FB. He's younger than I am and we don't really see each other much these days. But today, we are friends. In a lot of ways, I consider him to be my hero. And that's because He just so happens to be one of the first rescuers on the scene when Erik had his accident and also one of the first ones there when Papa died just 2 weeks prior to Erik's accident.

Me and him have been talking about that awful day. He's told me that it affected him in such a way that he just can't seem to get over it. I can imagine that it did. I've told him on several occasions that I don't see how he does his job. He said that the benefits outweigh the bad days, but it's definitely hard to do what he does. He told me that around the time of Erik's death, he had to rescue or attempt to rescue 3 children. My boy, a 3 year old and an infant. Out of those 3, one survived - the 3 year old.

During our FB chats, he has told me all about Erik's last minutes and hour. He said that Erik was very brave and didn't become scared until they pushed the medicine in to help him breathe. He also told me that some of Erik's last words were "I want my Mommy". Hearing that about done me in. I've always wondered how scared Erik really was that day and to know that he was asking for me, shows me that he was absolutely terrified. It breaks my heart.

Anyway - this wasn't supposed to be a sad post. This man that tried so hard to save my sweet boy was greatly impacted by that awful day in November. So much so that he and his pregnant wife talked about naming their unborn son after Erik. Because the grief was still so raw back then, they decided not to ask Kyle and I about it and they just named their son something else. 17 months, 6 days later, that same EMT knocked on our door and asked me and Kyle if they could change their little boy's name to Erik Lane. Kyle and I are completely honored that they have chosen to do this. It makes me so happy to know that my sweet 5 year old touched someone so deeply that they feel the need to name their only son after my only son.





Thursday, April 21, 2011

3 years

I can't believe that my sweet (most of the time) little girls are going to be 3 years old in 9 days. The past 3+ years have been crazy!!!! From finding out we were carrying twins and not miscarrying to surviving 37.2 long weeks of being pregnant with what turned out to be 14.8 lbs. of baby to watching them grow into their personalities - it surely has been an amazing experience watching them grow into almost 3 year olds.

I can remember the way it felt when they were kicking all around in my belly - it was the most amazing thing to watch my stomach move like that. As many times as we tried to catch on video, we always failed. Those little stinkers were already pulling tricks on us! I can remember the pain I was in towards the end. I felt like my pubic bone was going to snap in half at any given second. What use to take me 5 minutes to walk was starting to take around 20 minutes because the pain was so intense. With the size of my belly, I wasn't able to sleep much at all towards the end. I had TERRIBLE indigestion and spent most night sitting straight up in the recliner. Let's not forget that I was also staying at home and trying to take care of a 3 year old. Whew! It wasn't easy. But I do remember always taking him to school and having everyone comment on how big my belly was. His little face would just light up when he told them that his baby sisters were in my belly. Erik loved knowing his was going to be a big brother from the time he watched me pee on the pg test! He loved all babies, but he especially loved his sisters. He was an excellent big brother and I can only imagine the protector he would've been today!

Anyway - this post is suppose to be about Kaitlyn & Sienna. Back to remembering stuff! I remember my Mom taking me to my last appointment and asking if I thought I needed to take my bags. I told her no because they were just gonna send me home to be miserable a little longer. I couldn't have been more happy when Dr. Forrest said "ok, you've had enough - let's go have some babies". I don't think it hit me until I walked into the hospital that what I had been begging for was finally about to happen. I called Kyle and told him what was going on and I think he instantly panicked. I told him to take his time getting to the hospital because they weren't really going to do anything for a few more hours. Leave it to my body to make it a long drawn out process!!

I can remember being terrified of getting an epidural because of my experience with Erik. I was more scared of getting an epidural than I was of birthing 2 babies at once! Yeah, I know - C-R-A-Z-Y!!!! I finally got to the point that I couldn't get up and walk anymore because of my pubic bone and I nervously asked for the epidural. I was already to 7 cm, so I figured the next 3 cm would fly by. Negative!!!! Anyway - it finally came time to push and because I was considered "high risk", I had to deliver in the OR just in case I needed a c-section. I got wheeled into the OR, which was great because I didn't have to tell people that couldn't be in the room with me. But you better believe they were waiting right out the OR doors waiting on an unsuspecting nurse to come out with some good news. I told the nurses not to tell them anything until both of the girls were born, but that didn't happen. After both girls were born, I requested that Kyle and I have just a little bit of time with them before being jumped on by the crowd waiting outside. I remember the pure joy I felt as both girls were placed in my arms. It was something that I had never felt before. When the nurses finally wheeled me out into the hall and back to my room we practically had to push my family and friends out of the way. They couldn't get enough of my girls.


This is me the day I was put into labor. I was beyond miserable and so tired of being pregnant. I had been begging the dr. to take them for about 3 weeks at this point and when she finally told me it was time, I started sobbing!















This is our last picture as a family of 3. Erik was soooo excited about meeting his baby sisters!















Meet Miss Kaitlyn Della - born at 9:46 p.m. weighing in at an even 8 pounds!!!















I was instantly in love with her! My little chunky girl!



















Meet Miss Sienna Faith - born at 10:16 p.m. weighing in at 6.8 pounds!!!!















The moment I laid my eyes on her, I knew that our lives were complete. She looks so tiny after seeing how big Kaitlyn was!




















And just like that, we became a family of 5!
















This is straight out of delivery - in the hallway of course! That is a look of happiness on my face!

















Anyway - I'll continue to reminisce as it gets closer to their birthday. I can't wait to celebrate with them. It's not only their day, but it's also a day for me to celebrate the fact that I have successfully raised 2 independent, beautiful and happy little girls another year!




Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Visits

Yesterday after supper, Kyle and I loaded the girls up and headed to the church to visit with Erik and to see the Easter arrangement that my Mama put on his grave. Everytime that we make the drive to our church, my stomach gets butterflies and I feel like I need to puke. For those of you that didn't know - Erik is buried in our church's cemetery. The same church that we go to every single Sunday. The same church that Erik was dedicated at shortly before he turned a year old. The same church that has embraced our little family and helped us get through this terrible, terrible tragedy. It's extremely hard going to visit Erik. Honestly, I HATE it. It makes my new reality all too real and I hate the reminder that Erik is gone. Seeing his headstone and the flowers and the footer that reads "son" breaks me heart every single time. I rarely go visit Erik because it hurts too bad. I will occasionally glance towards his marker when we're arriving at or leaving church, but even that glance breaks me heart.

My Mama visits him pretty regularly and my grandparents haven't missed a week of visiting him since he passed away in November, 2009. My grandfather was going just about every single day, but now he goes on Tuesday and Saturday. He goes at the same time every day and probably stays about an hour just talking to Erik. Knowing that he is doing this makes me feel extremely guilty. I feel guilty because I don't visit Erik as much as everyone else does. I feel guilty because I don't make it a point to put new flowers on his grave with each changing season. I feel guilty that I let my Mama take on the roll of decorating his grave for Christmas and Easter. I know that I shouldn't feel guilty because Erik isn't technically "there", but the guilt still looms over me all the time.

When we pulled up at the church, the girls were so excited to see Erik's Easter egg tree. They couldn't get out of the car fast enough. That broke my heart. They shouldn't have to visit their big brother in a cemetery. They shouldn't have to deal with that. It's not fair for either one of them. Here are some pictures...

The girls were amazed with his Easter tree :)



















Sienna checking out his Easter basket.



















The view from the back (just ignore Cowboy sniffing around)















Kaitlyn had to check to see if he had any prizes...



















This breaks my heart every single time :(



















Kisses for her Bubba



















Erik's Easter tree



















She had to give him kisses too....
















My girls should be able to kiss their brother's cheek and aggravate him until he gave them all his Easter candy. We shouldn't be going to visit him at his grave site. This new reality that we're struggling to live in is taking it's toll on me. I'm physically, emotionally and spiritually exhausted. I'm desperate to just catch my breath.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

17 Months... almost



I'm pretty sure I say this every month around this time, but I still can't believe that Erik is gone. It's so hard for me to believe that I've been without him for this long. It seems like it's been forever, but on the other hand time is barely creeping by.

I continue to long for his little arms around my neck and to hear his sweet accent declaring his love for me.

I should be celebrating a win in baseball with him tonight, but instead I keep closing my eyes in hopes that I can picture him on the ballfield.

I should be making plans for his spring break from school and not trying to decide what type of flowers to put on his grave.

I should be able to walk into his room and kiss him goodnight not having an internal battle with myself about going to his grave as quick as I can and digging him up just so I can hold him again.

NONE OF THIS SHIT IS FAIR. MY HEART IS SO FUCKING BROKEN THAT NOTHING IN THIS WORLD CAN EVEN ATTEMPT TO FIX IT. I MISS ERIK SO MUCH THAT THE THOUGHT OF TAKING MY LIFE COMES UP WAY TOO OFTEN. I then feel guilty for even thinking like that because the thought of my mother having to endure the pain of losing a child makes me hurt even more. I just want my son back. I want to feel whole again. I want to be able to laugh without feeling guilty. I want to be able to cry because I'm so happy, not because my world is a crumbled mess. I want to spend countless hours at the ball field watching my boy play baseball. I'd give anything to be able to help him with his homework. I'd do anything to be able to replace old pictures of Erik with new ones - ones of him with missing teeth. I'd like to not have panic attacks every single time I hear a siren or see an ambulance rushing down the road.

17 months later and the pain is even harder now than it was then. And people say that time heals all wounds....



Quotes

"Perhaps they are not the stars, but rather openings in Heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy." ~Author Unknown



We are connected,
My child and I,
By an invisible cord,
Not seen by the eye.

It's not like the cord
That connects us 'til birth
This cord can't be seen
By any on earth.

This cord does its work
Right from the start.
It binds us together
Attached to my heart.

I know that it's there
Though no one can see
The invisible cord
From my child to me.

The strength of this cord
Man could create
It withstands the test
Can hold any weight.

And though you are gone,
Though you're not here with me,
The cord is still there
But no one can see.

It pulls at my heart
I am bruised.. I am sore,
But this cord is my lifeline
As never before.

I am thankful that God
Connects us this way
A mother and child
Death can't take away!

~Author unknown



Go ahead and mention my child,
The one that died, you know.
Don't worry about hurting me further.
The depth of my pain doesn't show.
Don't worry about making me cry.
I'm already crying inside.
Help me to heal by releasing the tears that I try to hide.
I'm hurt when you just keep silent,
Pretending he didn't exist.
I'd rather you mention my child,
Knowing that he has been missed.
You asked me how I was doing.
I say "pretty good" or "fine".
But healing is something ongoing.
I feel it will take a lifetime.

~Elizabeth Dent



My Child

You changed me.
You changed who I am,
You changed who I will be
I am forever changed because of you.

You’ve taught me that love has no boundaries
You’ve taught me that there is more to life than what I know
You’ve taught me to really truly count my blessings.
You’ve taught me the strength of a bond between a mother and a child.

Life is unpredictable
Life is about the love you share, and the people you share it with
Life isn’t easy and there is pain beyond measure
But my life must continue, even though your life is gone.

I must continue, so that I can change the lives of others
the way you have forever changed me.






Do you know me?

Do you know me? I used to be so cheerful, the proud owner of an easy smile. I was optimistic and upbeat; pointing out the silver lining behind each of the dark and looming clouds. I was walking across the bridge into motherhood, and felt full of dreams for this baby that was growing inside me, our baby, my baby.

Do you remember me? I used to love going out with my friends, chatting on the phone, hanging out doing nothing, dishing over the gossip columns. I was the one who laughed the hardest when we saw that show together. I was the one who would spend hours shopping with you to find that perfect dress for your special event.

I was the one. I was.

Then my baby died and everything changed in that moment. When my baby died, that person I used to be died too. I just vanished into a cocoon of self preservation, learning how to survive the incredible pain. I didn't ask for this to happen, who could? I also had no idea I would lose so much of myself to this. Not unlike a butterfly whose metamorphosis happens while safely tucked away, I emerged completely changed. Unrecognizable.

When my baby died a part of me was torn away. My happiness went on hiatus; my optimism took the first train out of town. My smile disappeared. My soul became brittle and felt like it would just shatter if anything touched too forcefully. My skin tingled with a strange numbness as I walked around as this new person in this new life. I was a stranger, even to myself. Feeling weighted by a heavier outlook, I find myself in the mirror and do a double-take with these new eyes.

My husband and I are trying to reconnect. It is not divorce or separation that we are resisting; we are actually becoming acquainted to our new selves. There is so little to say, yet we have been through so much and it feels like everything has changed. We feel tighter and closer, but so hurt and broken that we can’t find the words.

My family asks where I went, and wonders when I will be coming back. My friends don't seem to recognize me in my new self. It is as though I fell into a magic sleep for a thousand years, and when I woke up everyone was speaking a different language. I feel like I have morphed into a square peg in a round-hole world; I just can't make myself fit into the same old places where I used to be so at ease.

My job has become difficult for me. I have lost focus, lost my drive. My ability to concentrate has been taken over by the part of my mind that commands me to grieve. I don’t have the luxury of wealth to stay home indefinitely, and so I am back to work shortly after my baby died with no idea what I am doing.

People are moving on in their lives, and new concerns are demanding their attention. They look back at me and wonder why I am “still” so sad. For me it is like time has stopped. Weeks and months later, it is as though my baby just died. I watch the clock to mark time that used to be measured by calendar. It has been exactly 24 hours since you died, exactly one week, two days, and three hours, exactly two weeks and five hours. I can’t help it. You died on a Sunday, and every Sunday marks an anniversary for me. I can’t imagine being ‘years’ away from your death.

I don't especially like this new me. At this time while my loss is still so new, it is all I can do to face the raw and unending pain. Nothing seems to make any sense. My entire awareness is wrapped around my empty heart, my empty arms, and the dreams for the child that will never be. The future feels dead for me.

I struggle with the people closest to me whose expectations of my coping skills are not being met. They express remorse that the old me has gone. They wish for me to snap out of it. They actually express anger that I am being such a drag. I can see so clearly that they simply don't understand, even so, it is hard not to be resentful when they don’t seem to care to.

They misread my reasons for declining those birthday party invitations, they don’t see that my reasons have nothing to do with my love for the boys my son’s age and everything to do with my own survival. Even putting these thoughts into written word feels dramatic, self-centered, and overdone. But, it is so very real for me right now. Part of me is embarrassed that I feel this way, and part of me is furious that I have to explain it at all. The people who would require the explanation should already understand. I suppose their expectations are not the only ones being left unmet.

I know it sounds truly insane; I actually feel like I have gone crazy. But there it is, and as much as I wish it were different, it is me.

**This has been borrowed from another angel mom, but edited to fit my situation**



Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Ugly Truth

The ugly truth is that my baby boy is dead. He's gone and will never be in my arms in this life again. My heart hurts so, so, so very bad. I miss him with every part of my being and there is not a single day that goes by that I don't think about him. I loved him from the second I knew I was pregnant. With every kick, heartbeat and ultrasound I fell deeper and deeper in love. The love I had and still have for him is something that I've never felt before and something that I'll never feel again. He was my first born child and the absolute love of my life.

The ugly truth is that I compare every single thing that Kaitlyn & Sienna do to stuff that Erik did. The ugly truth is that they will NEVER compare to my Erik. The ugly truth is, I feel so guilty for not even giving them a chance to have the mother that Erik had.

The ugly truth is that every month around the 15th, I fall into a VERY deep depression and there is nothing I want to do more than just sit in a dark hole and cry. The ugly truth is that I have yet to fully grieve the loss of my baby. The ugly truth is I don't know how to grieve because I've held it in for so long and I'm afraid that once I start, I'll never be able to stop.

The ugly truth is - my baby boy died way to soon and I'm having a hell of a time dealing with it.



For Kyle

A poem for Fathers...

It must be very difficult
To be a man in grief,
Since "men don't cry"
and "men are strong"
No tears can bring relief.

It must be very difficult
To stand up to the test,
And field the calls and visitors
So she can get some rest.

They always ask if she's all right
And what she's going through.
But seldom take his hand and ask,
"My friend, but how are you?"

He hears her crying in the night
And thinks his heart will break.
He dries her tears and comforts her,
But "stays strong" for her sake.

It must be very difficult
To start each day anew.
And try to be so very brave-
He lost his baby too.

by Eileen Knight Hagemeister




Updating

I guess I'm due for an update, huh? Oops - I get so tied up in reading the blogs that I follow that I forget to actually blog myself. I'll try to do better.

Kyle and I celebrated our 7th Anniversary last week. It was nice to go out to dinner without the girls and just spend time as a couple. We didn't do anything spectacular though. We had dinner at Wild Wing and shared some drinks (and shots!). We ended up having to go home early because of the girls, but it was all good.

Sienna has started playing t-ball on our church's t-ball team. It's the same team that Erik played on when he was 3 and 4. Our pastor decided that the team should be named after Erik. I love seeing his name on all of the kids' jersey's that play. It warms my heart seeing my baby girl playing on a team named after her brother! <3 I guess that's just another thing that she and him have in common. I guess I need to mention that she's a lefty just like he was! I can't wait to watch her play on Saturdays.

Kaitlyn is thankfully feeling much better. She isn't nearly as dramatic as she was in the 2 weeks that followed after her surgery. I honestly didn't think I would survive through the healing process. She still acts out in some crazy ways, but we've learned how to handle her outbursts. We just simply ignore her. I don't know if that's the best way, but that's what works for us.

Both of the girls are growing like weeds. Kaitlyn has the longest legs and Sienna is really starting to fill out. She's still a skinny little thing though. Their 3rd birthday is coming up and all of us are sooo excited! I think the girls have been asking me since January if they are 3 yet. I've finally convinced them that they are still 2 - even though they like to tell people that they are already 3. They are growing too fast as it is - I don't want them wishing away the next 2 or so weeks. They've decided on The Very Hungry Caterpillar as their birthday theme for this year. I have busted my butt hand-making each and every invitation and I have promised myself that I will NEVER do that again. Hand cutting a million circles and then having to glue each individual piece down and then put the whole caterpillar together has taken a long time to get done! I'm still not finished! Oh well - I'll do anything for my baby girls.

Let's see, what else.... I'm in the process of helping my sister pack my Mama's house up and get her moved into a new place. This is going to take forever might I add! My Mom has been living in her house for the past 30 years and let me just say that she is quite the hoarder! I can't stand junk and my Mama has plenty of it! My theory is that if you haven't used it in the last year, then you probably won't use it in the next year so either throw it away or donate it to someone who will use it. Unfortunately, nobody else in my family feels that way, so helping my Mama is like fighting a losing battle. I could quite possibly become an alcoholic before this move is over.

We're having our 1st Annual Pitts Family Reunion this weekend. It's going to be nice to see people that I don't get to see very often. I can't wait to see my cousin. She's pregnant with her first child and it'll be nice to talk to her about her pregnancy and what their future holds. We use to be best buds when we were little. She'd come spend the summers in WS with her grandmother and it was a rare occasion if we weren't together every day of the summer. Since we've grown up, we've went our different ways and have really lost touch. She lives in Raleigh - which is 6 hours away. And I've had kids since 2004 - she's just starting on her journey of being a parent. Maybe once she has her little girl, we can reconnect...

As far as how I'm doing - I've been having pretty good days here lately. I still have to take each day as they come, but I find myself thinking of Erik and smiling instead of crying. I still miss him like crazy and now that warmer weather is rolling around, it's hard to see all of the cousins playing and him not being right in the middle. I can only imagine the trouble he, Jake, Will & Chase would be getting in to. With all of the boys playing baseball, it really hurts knowing that Erik won't ever play again. I guess I will always wonder how good he would've been. He was the star that's for sure. I got about 115 pictures of Erik in the mail yesterday from Snapfish. I finally got around to ordering some since I had some coupons and it was really nice to be able to hold his pictures and just stare at them. I've still got thousands to print, but I figured this batch would give me a pretty good start when Sharon and I do our scrapbooking event in July.

I guess that's about it. The summer is approaching and I intend to stay busy most of the time. I can see a lot of lake days in our future and I can't wait!!!!