Saturday, April 14, 2012

Their Big Sister

We are nearing the 18 month mark of when Ellie left us, I'm pumped full of pregnancy hormones and these babies could arrive at any minute. If I survive the next five-ish weeks without a complete nervous breakdown- I'll be surprised...

I've been having several dreams with Ellie in them- Ellie as a two year old, Ellie as a baby, Ellie at a nine months, Ellie but not really Ellie- just the idea of Ellie. As any other parent who has lost a child knows, these dreams are bittersweet. A dream of Ellie is like the best gift ever, especially one where she is doing something I was never able to see her do- like walking. But waking up and realizing that that quick dream is all I get, breaks my heart every time. Its not fair. I should get more than a dream. It's hangs with me all day long and it weighs me down.

Going through all of the baby stuff has also been a very hard and exhausting trip down memory lane. Fleece footie jammies, pacifiers, bouncy seats and even little tiny diapers are chalk full of memories that I didn't know I still had. I am more thankful than I could ever express for these memories but they hurt. It's hard to explain but Ellie almost seems to have become a dream to me. I feel like without getting to hold her, touch her or smell her, memories are harder to hold on to. And all of these baby things make her so real to me. She was here. She used those jammies, she loved that nuk. She was here and all of these things, hold these pieces of her that I don't have anymore.
Ellie- one day old.
I find myself tearing up at little girls again and trying to catch my breath thinking of the little girl that should be cuddled up with me. I MISS her. I miss getting to be her Mommy. I'm back to feeling like something is always missing. Sometimes I get in the van and try to remember what is missing and finally I realize its my daughter. I have left a child behind and I can't go back and get her. It leaves me anxious and on-edge.

My gigantic belly is apparently an "ask me about how many children I have and how old they are" cue for complete strangers. I know these people mean well, but they have no idea how much pain and anxiety they are causing. I don't want to get into it with a complete stranger but on the other hand, I will not deny my daughter. So I lie. If people ask, I say I have a 3 1/2 year old, and a 2 year old. Which only leads to the next annoying statements... it's either, "Oh how blessed you are!"- which is true- we are. BUT my daughter is dead- so please add that into your excitement equation... OR "oh my goodness you will be busy!:- which is also true. BUT my daughter is dead, so I won't be as busy as I should be. I've found that the best approach is to be rude, and irritable with whoever the poor checkout person or fellow shopper is and they won't really make small talk with me. Or don't leave the house. Honestly, there are days when I would rather stay home than go out and deal with these questions because they make me feel awful and sad and angry.


I find myself worrying about how I am going to react to having two babies in the house. We don't in any way view them as a replacement for Ellie. We do hope that there are little things that Ellie's little sister does to remind us of her, but have never once thought of her as some one who will make up for what we are missing. I worry that all those little noises babies make, their funny faces and the way they snuggle up into your neck will bring back to many of those lost memories of Ellie. Memories that I so want, but will rip my heart apart as they come flowing back. It's confusing... wanting every tiny piece of her that I can get, and not wanting all the sadness that goes along with knowing that those are all I get. Memories.
I don't want people to think that just because the babies are here, that all of our sadness is gone. We are still grieving. Knowing that these two will never get to meet their big sister adds a whole other piece to our grief. The excitement of family pictures, first holidays and celebrations will be tempered with sadness. It will never be like it was if Ellie was still here.

Two little lives are about to join us, while one is forever missing. It's amazing. It's heartbreaking. And I'm not really sure how to make sense of that...

"Celebrating" Easter...

12 comments:

Just the Tip said...

Their is no rational explanation for you to make sense of any of this, on a normal day, coupled with hormones, no way in hell. Their arent enough words to describe how unfair it is that Ellie is gone, you are an awesome mother. I struggle with the girls medical issues and people tell me all the time how strong I am, but they are wrong. It is you who is strong, you are taking care of your son, and have done a great job baking these babies. You are going to have a hard road ahead of you with twins, etc, but you have already faced the hardest thing in your life, and you are still here, you deserve GOOD things. These two little ones are lucky to have such a strong wonderful mother.

Sidenote: strangers suck. When people would ask me about Peyton soon after her CP diagnosis, I would freeze. The vast majority of the population will never know the kind of grief you are dealing with and it's not their 'fault' for asking a question but honestly people should get their heads out of their asses, it's not all puppy dogs and rainbows!

Natasha said...

Amazing and heartbreaking......totally get that. I'm there with you. I really feel like these days I live in a weird balance of amazing happiness and unrelenting saddness. I know these sweet babies are going to bring you so much joy. But that joy is always going to be mixed with pieces of sadness because Ellie is not with you guys. It's hard to make sense of that. I just try to go with it when I have really good days and let myself be sad when I need to. It doesn't take away from my love for Mason because I'm having a rough Aiden day.

Oh and people totally suck. I need to blog about what happened to me this past week at work. Ugghhh- people!

Sending lots of love to you friend! And praying for you all!

Kelly said...

Hugs friend. I can relate to a lot of this. Especially the not wanting to leave the house part. I lied about how many alive kids I have the other day, too. It's all very strange and heartbreaking and yet exciting to welcome a new baby. Love ya.

Maxie's Mommy said...

I read your blog all of the time. You are such a wondeful mommy and you babies are so lucky to get you- all of them! I also lost my baby boy. At nine and a half months old, last July. I am pregnant now with his little brother and so so scared. Scared of losing him and also scared of the reminders. Also dealing with strangers is just one more burden to deal with (as if dealing with people I actually know if bad enough). This was such a beautiful post. Thank you for articulating this so well.

LauraJane said...

I have nothing to add except I hear you.

Tracie said...

People can be so well meaning and not realize the pain they are actually causing. It is perfectly exeptable to tell people that you have 2 children (with two on the way) because you do. And if they ask more questions just tell them I have one here and and angel in heaven. And then excuse yourself if they ask more questions. My cousin lost a son at the age of 2 and that is what she tells people.

Your babies are going to be one of the biggest blessing and burdens. Twins draw attention, like flies to honey. My children are 6, 4, 4, and 2 and we get our fair share of stares and questions. Somedays will piss you off so bad but other days you will enjoy it. I am going to share with you a link to a youtube video about mothers of twins and questions they often get asked. I hope it will brighten your day a little.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tT-lgB_HGEE&feature=g-hist&context=G28293adAHT4kmjAANAA

Darcey said...

I am experiencing that full force once again...the missing, the ache... Having Layton kept my mind busy, but now that he is almost 3 months old I am missing all the firsts that I never got to experience with Logan...so bittersweet!!

Tiffany said...

i understand completely. these days i still would rather stay in the house because of the comments that strangers make. everyone assumes that our little girl is our 1st and only. so we get tons of annoying comments whenever we go out with her.

i have found that i have moments where she will do something that reminds me of Julius, and it's bittersweet. but it makes me smile because i feel like he "made" her do it in order to reach out to me.

for example, the day she was born, she made those "birdie lips" that i associate with Julius. but she has never done them since. and in some pics on the day she was born (and a few days after) she looks EXACTLY like him. but for the most part, in pics, i think she look very different. so those moments in which she reminds me of Julius, really makes my heart swell because i feel closer to him. and it makes me feel as though he really did send her to us.

i hope that their presence, while i know will be bittersweet, brings you SO much closer to Ellie.

btw, last week i was at a thrift store looking for books for our girl, and i saw one on the shelf that was called "Ellie's tea party." needless to say, i bought it. also, i've been wearing my Ellie's light shirt, and a friend of mine who recently had a baby named her Ellie. so i've been thinking of your girl much more than normal. sending you love...

Ashley said...

Thinking of you guys always..... (((HUGS)))

Ashley said...

Everything you describe about how you are deeling is the exact way I felt towards the end of my pregnancy. I will say that to this day people STILL think that Teague makes all my sadness go away and that everything should just be fine because I have him...he DOES make me happy but in know way makes me miss Beckett any less.

I am so excited for you and cannot wait to see pictures of your beautiful babies. You are definitely gorgeous pregnant!!

DandelionBreeze... aka NYMum said...

Thinking of you and all that you've been through... seeing her in your dreams, then waking up, and going through all her things must be so hard. You are a strong, inspirational and amazing mum to all your kids and to all us bloggers xoxo

Deanna said...

I seriously could have written most of this post. SO true. Ben and I have had this discussion a few times...about getting in the car and feeling like we forgot something. We didn't forget something, it's just that SOMEONE is missing. You hit the nail on the head, dear friend. Thinking of you, Ellie, and the new babies and sending you LOTS of love.

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