Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas 2011

I'm glad it's over and that we don't have to deal with it again for another year. Yes there were some very good moments, but the whole thing weighed very heavy on me- a lot more so than I thought it would...

Things started off a bad foot on Thursday when I got a gallbladder attack after dinner. By the time I went to bed I could hardly stand the pain. I tossed and turned all night- sleeping very little. By morning I had stretching pains all through my abdomen, on my sides and around my back. When I went to sit up in bed, it hurt so bad, I just burst into tears. I don't often cry over physical pain but it hurt so bad! Dave ended up staying home that day to watch Max and I wasn't hardly able to move until noon. It wasn't until much later in the day that I was able to get up and get some stuff done for the next day. By night time, I was in so much pain again that I had to take a pain killer. I hate doing that pregnant- even though my doctor has assured me many times its perfectly safe and that not sleeping and being so stressed is much worse for the babies. I was able to get a little sleep at least!

On Christmas Eve morning, Dave and I dropped Max off at my parent's house to play and went out to the cemetery to hang some ornaments in Ellie's tree. After, we went out to breakfast by ourselves then picked up Max. By the time we got home, I was in major pain again. I laid down for a little bit before getting things ready for the evening... Fortunately, the evening went very well. My family came over and we ate way more than we should have. Then it was time for presents. My nephew tore through his in record time and Max actually opened ALL of his presents! It was definitely the highlight of the weekend! We told him was time to open presents so he came into the living room, helped hand them out, and then sat down in front of his pile. He wasn't as excited about what was in them as other kids would be, but he did get excited about a couple of things and wanted to play with them immediately. He lost some steam after a few presents, but eventually opened them all! Yay!!! We were all so excited! My grandparents brought a card for Ellie's stocking and my mom brought Ellie's stocking from their house and put some things for her in it. It meant a lot to have her included in our night.
We had dessert and hung out for a while before everyone went home. Max helped me put cookies on a plate for Santa- before he placed each cookie on the plate, he took a small bite! I guess he was testing it for Santa! Then Max had a bath and changed into his Santa pjs. I was shocked when he helped me put the cookie plate on the hearth and didn't scream for a cookie. After Max went to bed- so did I. I was exhausted and my pain had come back in full force again.

Ellie's stocking gifts from Ma and Bompa
17 wks, Day 3

Christmas Eve night I had really vivid, strange and anxiety filled dreams. The first dream I had was that we were on a family "vacation" in Duluth. We watched the waves in the lake get bigger and bigger until finally a giant wave came crashing through the windows. I struggled to hang onto Max and get him up the stairs. When the waves passed the condo was close to falling down and we were frantically gathering belongings. Somehow, Max got away from me and onto a plane that was leaving. I woke up in a panic. When I finally fell asleep, I had a dream about my mom moving to Argentina just before I had the babies- a whole different kind of panic!
The last dream I had was about me trying to figure out how to drop off Max and Ellie at the daycare at my high school (apparently I had my kids young in this dream!) and still get to class on time. Ellie was in my dream. She was in it as a two year old. I couldn't see her face, mostly just her back. She had on gray legging and a striped dress. Her hair was still short, fuzzy on top. I never saw her sweet face, but I could feel her. When I woke up in the morning, I felt so torn. I was so grateful for the Christmas present she gave me, but it left an incredibly large empty feeling. It was a feeling that stayed with me for the rest of the day...
"When you're dreaming with a broken heart, waking up is the hardest part..."

After some cuddles and cartoons, we headed downstairs to see what Santa brought. Right away the screaming with Max started. The day before had left him stressed and he was in no way interested in looking at his stocking, any Santa presents or opening any from us. I sat down on the floor to look at the photo album of Ellie's pictures I did for Max and just started crying. I missed her so much. I can't believe we spent a second Christmas without her... I cried for hours. I cried because I missed our girl, I cried because Max spent the morning screaming and stressed out, I cried because I was going on the third day of being in an incredible amount of pain every time I sat up or moved. I cried because even though were are two (I hope- I can't tell the difference between the two) little people kicking inside me, there is no guarantee they will be here next year opening presents. It was all too much...
We got it together and headed up to Dave's parents house to celebrate with his family. We had a nice time, but to us, it was obvious that even though Max wasn't having tantrums, he was very stressed by all the people and activity. He spent the whole time deeply involved in his routines of moving things from one place to another. I felt ok until about dinner time and then the pain started to get to be a lot. Unfortunately I was so uncomfortable, I forgot to take any pictures :( We opened presents and got Max into jammies. Max fell asleep on the way home. We got home and I warmed up my heating pad and went to bed. Thankfully that was the end of Christmas for another year...
Max made us a present at school. It's a cute little picture frame with a picture of him and his big cheesy smile.
 
I've seen this article posted several places the last couple of days and there is one part that really stuck with me... 
"One of the most surreal experiences during this season is to move around in a jubilant world which is unaware of our loss. The night he died, we chose not to sit in the hotel room and so went to a movie he would have enjoyed. As we shuffled through the mall, other families shared laughter and joy which almost felt disrespectful of our anguish. And beyond that are the random cheerful people who urge us to enjoy the holidays and won't let us react with just a nod of our heads. I admit to feeling a bit of satisfaction when I must tell the most persistent that I am not celebrating since my son died on Christmas. We are not caretakers of the world, just us and our family, and so I have had to disregard the expectations of others. I do know others feel uncomfortable around us as they celebrate and I had always felt I needed to put them at ease. Friends may want directions on how they can help ease the time, but the rest of the world reacts sporadically. I can't control their actions, just my reactions to them. I need to recognize my limitations and disengage when necessary."
 - Linda De Sosa

I don't think anyone that has lost a child can truly understand just how hard everything is at the holidays. Last year, we just hid. I was still numb- I moved through it without taking any of it in. I was definitely taken by surprise this year... I had no idea exactly how hard it was going to be to do the whole thing without Ellie...


But I did get an really amazing present from my husband. I will share more about that later...

4 comments:

LauraJane said...

Sorry to hear you're in physical pain to go along with the whole emotional roller coaster which is the holidays. Glad Max was able to open his presents eventually, I can't even begin to imagine how daunting that must have been for him.

I hope these babies are safe and sound in your laps (and in your photos) this time next year. I have to believe that.

Tiffany said...

so sorry you were in pain. sweet babies can reek havoc on our insides. i know my sweetie has/is. so worth it though. anyway i'm glad that you had moments of peacefulness and happiness this christmas. Ellie's spot looks awesome all decked out. and i can't wait to hear about your present ;)

Ashley said...

Love looking at your pictures. Max is SO adorable!

I am glad that the season is over...I hope that things continue to get better from here. I was thinking of you and Ellie. Thank you SO much for sending a card to put in Beck's stocking!! <3

B. Wilson said...

I'm also glad it's over for another year. I was also in shock last year and this was the first official year without Andrew. Awful.

That quote you posted about loss has so much meaning. The celebrations around us almost feel disrespectful of our losses... yet obviously not intentional.

Glad Max was able to enjoy part of the holiday and you definitely caught a totally cute photo of him with your husband at the end there. And you in front of that tree... stunning! You look really fantastic. Not that it matters, but it's always nice to hear.

Thinking of you and glad this year is gone. Now to gather up the energy for next year.

Post a Comment