Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Ten Months...

So yesterday was 24 weeks with Luke. One could say (although it's different, the whole weeks/months/gestation conversions) six months.

Today is 10 months without Matthew. One could also say 40 weeks.

In just a few days, the time I had with Matthew will be less than the time I've had without him. That hurts. I knew it was coming. It looms every day as the 28th of November comes. I've been reading (though I am SO behind in my Google reader!) about women remembering this very time of year last year...or the year before...feeling the same things--how they were so close to bringing their babies home; what to do for a birthday now?; how has this much time passed?; just so much confusion and disbelief still, even though every day there are so many things that hammer the reality home.

So my pressing thoughts (well two of them, there are a couple of other big ones, but I am assuming John would prefer me to hold off on thinking about them for a bit) are what to do for Matthew's birthday and what to do for a Shower/Sprinkle/Party for Luke.

Which, coincidentally, will be most likely be within a week of each other. Honestly, I sort of feel that's best--like the faster you take the band aid off, the better. Same for the more intense things you can squeeze into a shorter amount of time, the faster you'll get through them and not really have enough time to think about how intense they really are. Of course, that's all theory.

For Matthew's birthday, it's the weekend of Thanksgiving and we'll have family in. Lots of it. I am really, really glad for this. John's finishing the basement bathroom; we're picking up a couple of more beds for the bedroom downstairs and it will be, for at least a few nights, tons of hustle and bustle. I love that...that's how I've always envisioned holidays--just envisioned them with more of my children adding to the mix.

Anyway--I don't feel like throwing a big birthday party--I think that will just hurt. Matthew's funeral was really such a big gathering of so many people, and the service was not just mourning but a message...we've had lots of support over the last year, and I just know that there's no way I could ever even begin to repay anyone for that support, so to try and do so would be physically and mentally exhausting.

I'd like to do something for our hospital, but honestly, they are so wonderful, I don't know what I could even offer.

I'd like to do something for Georgetown, but that will not be logistically easy and again, I don't even know what.

So...the only thing I know I want to do for sure is send out Remembrance Cards. One of my big regrets was that I never sent out birth announcements, and that sweet baby deserved them, no matter what my state of mind was. He'll get them for his birthday.

I have absolutely no idea what we'd like to do for Luke's party. I know the idea of a shower for a second baby is one that stirs up so much controversy. "Showers are for new moms or first babies only."

I know.

But my shower wasn't wonderful because we received so many lovely gifts, though we were really blessed with gifts.

My shower was wonderful because it was celebrating the joy of the most precious little life growing inside of me! There were smiles all around and laughter and joy just filled the entire afternoon. And it was for my sweet boy and the excitement we all had for his life.

And I want that for my Luke. He deserves that, but more than whether or not he deserves it, as his mother, I want that for him. I want him to know he is loved, loved, loved and joy over his life could not be any greater.

But what to do? We obviously don't need anything for him. We have his bedding and nursery decorations to buy, some more cloth diapers for his stash, and we might ask Grandma for a video monitor for Christmas (we already have the AngelCare, but I think I'd like video as well...). Other than those things, he's pretty set in the way of things needed.

I just hate that my second son doesn't really need anything because he gets (by default) all the new things his brother never got to use. That tears at my gut. I'm grateful we don't really need anything, but again, as Luke's mother, I'd like for him to have some things that were thought of because of who HE is, not because his brother is dead and left a whole bunch of stuff.

And again...I've heard the whole, "You'd use Matthew's things with Luke if Matthew had lived..." about a million times.

I would. But it wouldn't hurt. It would be joyful as I watched my TWO little boys play together and think about happy times in those outfits and with those hand-me-downs.

Everything that was/is Matthew's and now is/will be Luke's is bittersweet...so I guess in wanting some things just for Luke, I'm wanting to have just some sweet for a change...and lose some of the bitter, if I can.

Suggestions have been to have a party to celebrate Luke and have any gifts people feel inclined to buy donated to a local charity. That smacks too much of something I'd ask for to remember Matthew, not necessarily to celebrate Luke.

Or a "Welcome Luke" party after...which I'd LOVE...if it wouldn't be right in the middle of cold and flu season.

I asked John (who is REALLY gung ho about all this) if he wanted to do a 'couples' shower/party. He said, "No." I asked why and he told me that he felt showers were things girls liked to do.

This made me laugh for several reasons.

One, that he even says those things.

Two, because I believe that he's hoping that while 'girls' are doing something, 'boys' will get to do something else--something fun like fishing or watching a football game on his monster screen.

Three, because I think he's still retained enough innocence (don't know how) to think that anything we'd do for Luke would still have that silly (and blissfully ignorant but wonderful!) feel to it--where we'd measure my stomach with toilet paper or play Pin the Paci on the Baby.
I think those days are long gone.

So...at a loss. For a lot of things. It's just been one of those days. Again. And they seem to come more and more often. I think that's inevitable as Matthew's birthday comes up and Luke's due date follows...

I didn't post a picture yesterday because John didn't get home until after I'd written Luke's update. Here's 24 weeks--believe it or not, the yard in back is wet with RAIN! Hallelujah!


  1. aw look how cute you and your baby bump are!!! :) praying for you as Matthew's birthday approaches.

  2. I don't know what to say. And I'm learning that I often say the wrong thing because I just don't think first. I'll just pray and know that those things, between me and Him, will help to cover you. Much love.

  3. So many emotions. When they're here every day, how is it that they still feel more intense at times?

    First, I LOVE the idea of sending remembrance cards for Matthew. My sister-in-law did something similar as birth announcements, only they were enclosed with thank you cards following the funeral. It's still on my fridge, and I LOVE it.

    Just a thought on a party for Luke...how about having just a big party with friends, family, whomever to celebrate Luke. The funnest "shower" I've ever been to was a co-ed baby "bash." There were drinks (and n/a cocktails), chili with the fixings, dessert, and general hanging out. There were gifts, but that wasn't event the big event. You could say no gifts on invitations. We always look for reasons to have a party, and Luke is a great one. :) Just a thought.

  4. I think the remembrance cards are perfect for Matthew's b-day! I also think you should have a shower for Luke. I don't think anyone would dare think there is anything wrong with that. Love your pic, you have the cutest bump ever:)

  5. I love the remembrance cards idea. I wish I could help you. I know that no matter what you do, it will be perfect for both Matthew and Luke.

    Love the belly pic :)

  6. Oh, Lori, there is so much in this post that makes me ache for you. I've drafted and tossed several "what can we do in memory of Matthew" emails already. And Luke is too precious not to be celebrated -- But what to do with the grief over Matthew?

    But Lori, I've got to tell you that I laughed out loud, too. Who but you would rule out a "Welcome Luke" party because it's RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF COLD AND FLU SEASON?!! You crack me up.

    Prayers redoubled.

  7. You are one of the most adorable pregnant persons I've ever seen--how are you just so cute?!?!

    Let me say this, I have a friend who just had her THIRD baby, and she had a shower, at her house, they called it a 'sprinkle', but it wasn't, it was a full out shower. You have a shower for Luke, it's HIS, people know you don't need anything really, but make a registry and know that this time you get to put mostly the cute things that you thought were impractical before. There is no one in your life who is going to think ill of that! You need burp cloths that say "Luke" and have his monogram (he won't let you use that kind of stuff his whole life!! Take advantage while you can). Celebrate just him, and know that you are doing all that you can. There is no rule book for how to navigate something so difficult, but you can do it, you will do it and you'll do it with the grace that you share so beautifully with us day in and day out! And you can do it as a party, lots of our friends have 'co-ed' showers, where the guys do watch football and the already fathers warn the fathers to be, while the women ooh and aah over cute baby stuff. Don't measure yourself with toilet paper or anything like that, just make it a party for everyone to celebrate that you were brave enough to make this step, regardless of how hard it is and to know that you are doing all you can to balance life as you know it now!!

    I love the idea of the remembrance cards. I can't think of anything more beautiful really!

    You are a delight and an inspiration and I love you dearly and am praying for you through all of this!!!

  8. I've heard of people having Book Showers where everyone brings their favorite childrens book as a gift instead of the other things you don't need. Everyone needs good books to read!
    I like the rememberance card idea too.

  9. Lori,

    I have to echo the wise words of my Kindred Spirit Deni. She is right, celebrate Luke. Your friends will "want" to shower you with love and gifts...let them, its their way of loving you and loving your whole family.

    As for what to do for Matthew's most special day, do any and everything that lifts you up and honors his precious life. Remembrance cards are beautiful and your supporters will be honored to receive them.

    I know this time of bitterness and sweetness tears you in two and I am in continual prayer for you. Lifting you in this very moment.

    Much Love,

  10. I LOVE the idea of a baby bash! How cute! I had a full out shower for my 2nd ( of course, it was a different gender) but still, these are people who love you & totally 'get' the situation. I also like the book idea.

    I think the cards are a wonderful way to remember Matthews birthday. For the twins 1st, we donated bibles with 'in memory of...' typed in the inside cover.

    (((hugs)) as you prepare with conflicting emotions.

  11. Awww, pretty mama!! I love the idea of the remembrance cards. That is a terrific idea. Praying for you and thinking of you!

  12. gee we are treading the same path lori. i think i will just go out to dinner with some girl friends to celebrate dotti coming into the world. i'm worried i would be too emotional with a big bash. but thats just me. i think sending out remembrance cards is a wonderful idea for matthews birthday. i plan on getting out into nature somewhere, where i can feel all creation around me, i always feel more connected to harvey then. dotti will share alot of harveys things, she will have a new cot/crib though. there are some special things for harvey that will be just his but everything else is hers now. sending you love and you look so beautiful in your picture, congratulations on reaching 24 weeks xxx anne

  13. Oh Lori.. how I can just feel every single word you have written, I have held off from blogging because I just cannot get anything out at the moment, the more october approaches and then I know November is only around the corner fills me with dread. :( Your baby bump is looking beautiful, Luke is sure growing well ! Everything about this pregnancy journey is bittersweet. I am really struggling to cope with enjoying the pregnancy, I am upset hearing that I dont need anything for my sweet second son, my third child. no I dont NEED anything for him, but how about he deserves the joy that his brother and sister had... it is so very difficult right now. I send you prayers, hugs and love from across the pond. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  14. I had two boys, and I had two showers, and there was never a question of whether or not I could have another shower. I think every baby should have one! There's no better reason to celebrate than your baby Luke. Of course he needs things. He needs things with his name, things that are just his. I hope no one ever makes you feel like you shouldn't have a shower for Luke.
    Sending you lots of thoughts and prayers.

  15. Lori,

    For my second child I did not want to have a baby shower even though she was a different gender than her brother (I am one of those in the camp of not having two traditional showers) but I very much wanted to CELEBRATE. There are very few and precious occasions as big as these in a life and to pass it up was unthinkable to me.

    So I asked for a "Blessings Shower". The women who came brought a Bible verse, poem, favorite book.... whatever was significant to them that they wanted to pass to me. One woman read "The Giving Tree", another wrote the most beautiful letter that encompassed her years of experience as a mother. Others gave me Scriptures.

    It was so lovely and so perfect!

    Privately, people gave me little gifts but the gifts given at this shower were so unique and precious. And most importantly, tailored specifically to my daughter.

    I only wish I could go.


  16. I lost our baby boy at almost 35 weeks the Tuesday after my shower that weekend. I know exactly what you mean about wanting sweet instead of bittersweet. And yes, I am thankful to be able to use our first son's things---but I want our second son to have his own celebration too. We couldn't feel more blesseed and happy to be carrying him right now.

    We are nearly the same number of weeks pregnant you and I ---so I have been following your blog. Your feelings touch my heart. And I have often cried at how true your words sound to me. I will continue to pray for both you and Luke.

    I hope that whatever celebration you come up with is filled with joy for Luke and his expected safe arrival home.

  17. Aw, you look so beautiful with your cute baby bump. :) You look like you should be in a pregnancy magazine or something as one of those models.

    I hope you can figure out exactly what to do for both Matthew and Luke. It's not easy to decide!

  18. Hey< Lori -
    i don't know that there is any easy answer.... but i do know the answer of what to do will be yours, and it will be the right one...
    you look fabulous :) and yes, PTL for this rain!

  19. I just found your blog. I love the idea of remembrance cards. And I definitely think you should do something to celebrate Luke, even if it's not a shower in the traditional sense.

  20. You look radiant! Luke looks adorable! I can't wait to steal a snuggle! I think a couples party/shower would be fun. We'd end up losing all the men to the basement and that would give John time to show it off!