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.|
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...