Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Monday, May 23, 2011
It must be said.
Before I say it, I apologize in advance (Gina, borrowed that from you!) because I know I am bound to offend someone.
Someone who really meant well.
Someone who honestly is happy for us.
Someone who had no intention but just to express their gratitude for the joy in our lives.
Someone we may know and love and are grateful to have in our lives.
And I’m sorry if you or anyone you know is that someone.
If I don’t say it, though, I’ll burst. I’ve had it on my heart since Wednesday. Probably longer, but our television stints (seriously, Luke is just as precious and adorable on TV as he is in real life, isn’t he?!) have brought up the exact circumstances about which I must speak. Or write, rather. And I've always tried to be honest...especially now for Luke. I always want him to know his mother's heart.
We do not have a 'happy ending'.
Tons of people (and truly, we are honored, humbled and amazed!) saw our TV coverage and shared the links on their blogs/Facebook pages. Each time, because I was ‘tagged’ or ‘mentioned’, I was able to see the posts and the comments of friends of friends of friends.
And we saw SO MANY things like, “Sad story, but glad it ended well,” or “Heartbreaking, but at least they finally have their baby.”
Ahem. We had two babies.
We only get to raise one. Well, we pray each night that we continue to get to raise one. We know there are no guarantees.
As grateful as we are for Luke…for as much joy and happiness and sheer bliss he brings into our lives…our Matthew is still dead. I still mother a grave. My first-born is not with me and I miss him so much every.single.day.
I don’t think that’s a happy ending. I think there really *isn’t* an *ending* to our ‘story’ (save when I take my last breath, maybe).
So, do we have a lot of happy in our lives? Absolutely!!
A happy ending? Not so sure. To me, that implies that we had a struggle; Matthew was born and died and that was a ‘bump’ in the road, but now we have Luke, so we finally had success!
I know that’s not what people mean, and I feel bad even saying anything about it because I do KNOW that the intentions are not to hurt our feelings.
The thing is that it sort of does. It takes me right to the heart of where my emotions have been lately--in that it sometimes seems that Matthew is forgotten because Luke is here. All the hopes and dreams for Matthew just got transferred right on over to the son who is living and can fulfill them. When people ask me (and of course, again, I KNOW it is well-intentioned and NOT ever meant to hurt us!), "Wasn't it all worth it?" (With all, I assume, being the infertility, the treatments, the attempts to adopt, trying another cycle after Matthew, etc.)...I can't answer, "Yep, sure was, because Luke is AMAZING!"
Yes, Luke IS amazing. I love him more than I can even put to words. I did not have ANY idea that I would be so utterly in love with him. I can't imagine my life without him.
But is he 'worth' Matthew dying?
How could any mother be expected to answer that? One child dying to pave the path for another? No, I don't think it's worth it. And I think I'd be a horrible mother if I was ok with Matthew not being here if that's how Luke had to come to be.
Though Matthew died, he WAS SUCCESS! He was our first miracle! He was precious! He was perfect! He was sweet, sweet, sweet and I loved every thing about him.
He made me a mother.
His death doesn’t allow us to have that ‘happy ending’ to a loooooooooong road of infertility, but neither does Luke’s birth—because I’ll never observe a Mother’s Day with Luke without remembering that I, as Linda so eloquently said in her interview, carry one child in my arms and one in my heart.
Our story hasn’t ended…it’s sad and joyous and heartbreaking and redemptive, but it isn’t over.
We live it and are grateful for it every day.
Here are the links to the segments.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Sunday, May 8, 2011
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Clothes don’t lie, though! It seems like I take a few outfits out of his wardrobe on a daily basis—outfits that don’t fit anymore and used to seem SO big to me!! Even his Easter outfit surprised me! I thought it was going to be too long for him and lo and behold, it fit just fine. In fact, with his fluffy cloth diaper bottom, it might have been called snug!
Last week, he hit the 13 lbs. mark, barely. It put him in the 24th percentile. Yesterday I weighed him and he was 13 lbs., 11 oz. and this put him in the 29th percentile. I think he is going through a growth spurt
Last week, he hit the 13 lbs. mark, barely. It put him in the 24th percentile. Yesterday I weighed him and he was 13 lbs., 11 oz. and this put him in the 29th percentile. I think he is going through a growth spurt, even though he's still on the low end of the charts. Considering it took him a while to get on the chart at all, I still am ok with that. I shudder to even think about where I am on a chart! Oh wait, I’m not. Guess the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree, huh?
His first Easter had Grandma and cousin Andi visit, with Aunt Pretty, Uncle Puny and cousins Zach and Ryan visiting a bit right before. He enjoyed all the antics done to entertain him, and gave out lots and lots of smiles. He didn’t really do much for Easter this year, save ‘help’ Mommy make a bunny cake. In his Easter basket were books a few toys and things for the beach this summer in NC! We plan to have quite an enjoyable beach summer!
After Easter service, we went to Matthew’s grave and planted a few hyacinths. We’ve finally gotten the bench in; our precious L&D nurses gathered together for a nice bench and as Luke is older, John imagines that we might spend some nice sunny days there…eating lunch or reading books and just remembering how special Matthew is in our family. As much as I don’t like being ‘tied’ to a grave, I will miss quiet, reflective moments there while we are in Jacksonville. I am so grateful to those who have told me that they visit, or will visit while we are gone. The thought that his grave may go untended or unkempt breaks my heart. When I walk by graves like that, I always feel so terribly for the deceased—it’s as if their life doesn’t matter to someone any more and the thought that someone might think that of Matthew’s terrifies me.
That baby boy matters as much today as he did the day he was born and he will when I take my last breath.
I want him to matter to Luke, too.
Luke is such a smiley, smiley baby! He almost always wakes up with a smile, and he gives them pretty freely to just about anyone. He has special ones just for me, though, and they make me melt. Not only does he give this big, sweet grin; he gives this adorable little head tilt that kind of says, “Aww, shucks, mommy….you really think I’m that great?” Seriously, the kid is just too cute. He makes me laugh out loud sometimes when I feed him because every now and then, he’ll just stop and look up at me and grin. With a coy little smile and twinkling eyes—like he is just tickled to pieces over something. He also gives some of the funniest looks with his eyes—he bulges his eyes wide open as if to say, “WHAT?” and he is often furrowing his brows inquisitively as if he’s not quite sure of what the situation is and he wants to analyze it a tad bit more. He cracks me up with how sweet and huge his grins are and then seconds later how he can look so intensely and inquisitively!
He is slowly but surely reaching for more things, and is very capable in grasping them—and then bringing them directly to his mouth! Most everything tries to go to his mouth, including his fists still. He had a breakthrough on Good Friday, though—he opened his fist enough to find his THUMB! He isn’t consistent in sucking it, but then again, he’s not all that consistent in sucking on his paci, either…I have a feeling that he will be more of a thumb/finger sucker as he realizes more how easily accessible it is! Still hating tummy time, but we do it regularly. About the only time he fusses is tummy time or when he’s tired. Often, it’s because he is TIRED of TUMMY TIME! I know it's too early to get an idea of him being left- or right-handed, but he NEVER reaches for anything with his right hand and ALWAYS reaches with his left. Seriously, I have yet to see him put his right hand out for anything. If I put something within his right hand's reach, he'll clasp it and bring it to his mouth, but he definitely favors reaching with his left!
I decided to wait until 6 months to introduce solids. I got some really thoughtful and thought-provoking advice and looked more into why I should wait until 6 months rather than begin at 4. There’s lots out there that really gives good reasoning for an exclusively breast fed baby to not have solids introduced until 6 months, and I’m inclined to agree with it. The caveats are often for babies with reflux or weight issues, and while those were my main reasons for starting cereal and fruits soon, the medicine helps his reflux and I am ok with his weight. No, he’s not a big baby, but he’s more than ample (just look at the chub!) for his frame and I’d rather get all the benefit of exclusively nursing for 6 months that I can. So…won’t get to use my awesome baby-food maker for a bit longer, but all in all, I feel really good about that decision.
We had the follow-up appointment with the dermatologist. His cradle crap seems to be doing ok--getting a slight bit better in some places, but worse in others, I thought. She definitely now thinks there is some eczema in addition to the seborrhea, so we will probably be seeing the allergist in the next year or two if things don't clear up a bit on their own. Dermatologists and allergists differ in their theories of allergies and eczema--Allergists tend to feel that allergens cause and aggravate the eczema while dermatologists don't necessarily feel that way but definitely feel that eczema and allergies often exist co morbidly. Either way, he's hit the allergy jackpot with our family, so I wouldn't be surprised with either. I'd try some elimination of foods, but honestly, I have to really work to put dairy IN my diet, and when I eliminate, I don't notice much difference in his skin. The treatment is the same, regardless, and she told us that even though he can't really reach and scratch because of his coordination, it is probably still uncomfortable for him (it's like baby psoriasis and sometimes will even bleed!) so we need to treat him. I always worry about over-treating, but his dermatologist is a mom who is pregnant with another child, and calls Luke her favorite patient. And she's smart--so I don't have any doubt that she looks out for Luke. As always, grateful for the wonderful and compassionate care we have in our medical providers!