Just Another Day

Today could have been just another day. Actually, it is just another day to everyone but me, I think. There are many things that can distract me today, but they don’t.

I completed a triathlon for the first time yesterday. (More on that later.)

My two-week vacation ends today.

I have friends moving, everyone is getting back-to-school shopping started (at least) right now. I’m looking through the kids’ uniforms, trying to decide what more is needed for the coming school year. I’m cleaning up, trying to get the budget back in order and the kitchen back in order and our bedroom back in order.

But, alas, the undercurrent of today is not gone. I was due to deliver Gregory a year ago, today. My last blogpost was a week and a half ago as my oldest child turned 13. Today could have been a 1-year Happy Birthday post. Or something.

It’s strange. I still think of Gregory every day, but it doesn’t really sting anymore. I still miss him, but…I have an appreciation and an acceptance for the family we are with him in Heaven. I suppose that is part of the healing process and I don’t think it bothers me that it doesn’t sting so much. 

I think I’ll take a trip up to the cemetery some time today, just to go and “see” him on what could have been his birthday. 

But other than that, and to anyone else, it will look like just another day.

Gregory – A Year Now Has Passed

A year ago today I found out Gregory had died and went into the hospital that evening. I delivered Gregory into the arms of Jesus on March 1, 2013. Of course, his soul was already there from about 10 days before that, but the physical delivery is what happened a year ago.

A day never passes that I don’t think about him and miss him. At least once an hour, I would imagine, I think of him. Losing him has shown me just how much I think about all of my children…it’s a constant…and he’s no different.

In the days following Gregory’s funeral, Rebecca, my dear friend over at The Road Home and Gregory’s godmother , sent me the following video from Mercy Me. I actually waited almost a week to watch it, but I was glad I did. It did make me cry then and it does now, too, but in a good way.


I stumbled upon this song by Daughtry a little later. It was so perfect and even now, feels that way still. I always imagine a little mini-Craig running around — because most of my kids look like their dad as babies. But the words of this song are so true, “Not a day goes by, that I don’t think of you, (Gregory).”



And this song, is for my “Precious Child.”



It is now 5:00 and last year I was finalizing arrangements for the kids and making our way to the hospital. I had spent 5 hours coming to grips with the fact that I had carried my son 10 days further than his life had extended. And the sadness; it was overwhelming. And that heavy heart hung around for another 5-6 months.

But then, I finally felt able to breathe again. I remember it distinctly…about a week into August, I could finally breathe a full, deep breath and not feel like it might be my last. My youngest sister announced her pregnancy with her first child in October and I was shocked to realize it was the first time I was truly happy at the news of someone else having a baby. I was so grateful that God filled my heart again for someone else.

This afternoon, a package came in the mail. Of course, Rebecca and her husband were so very thoughtful and sent us a beautiful creation that could be hung from the chandelier in our dining room. Here are two pictures:

Aquamarine is the March birth stone
I’m glad there is a chandelier in this house 🙂


Craig and I spent some time at the cemetery today. You know, it would have been easy to pass on the Memorial marker. It was an added cost, and how often will we have time to go up there? But…I’m really glad we got it and that it was placed before the anniversary of his birth/death. We need it there. We need to have that place to go. It was good to visit there today and I know it won’t be the last time we go there.

The Memorial Marker where Gregory was laid


I have received such an out-pouring of love and support from blog-readers, friends and family over the past year. I appreciate more than anyone can know that I was allowed to grieve openly. It’s such a hard thing, I think, to grieve a child who never was able to be born, but it’s important to acknowledge that person and everything he was and is to the parents and family. At this time, I am filled with gratitude at the empathy and understanding I have experienced from so many in the last 12 months: our priest, our parish and school community, our family and friends. Even our children here on Earth with us — who had to watch their mother cry for much of the last year, were such a great support for me. And the counseling I received through my therapist was helpful and how could I forget my awesome doctor and his staff? They hadn’t seen me since March 8 when I walked in there in November and they were so tender and caring with me and asked how I was doing.

2013 was a rough year and I experienced loss on a whole new level. But I was able to process it and get through it all (with amazing support) in a healthy way. I feel ready to tackle the future and know that I will never forget my baby.




Ramblings

The Estimated Due Date (EDD) for Gregory was July 26 or July 27. Somewhere around there. Rarely have my children arrived on their due dates, though, so we’ll never know when Gregory, had he been healthy, would have graced us with his presence.

I took a couple days off work, Craig took a couple days off work. We really didn’t have anything planned, but didn’t really want to be at work. I have a feeling that over the years, March 1 will have more significance for me as that is the days we truly said goodbye.

I have realized how many babies I will watch grow up that would be Gregory’s age. My sister’s baby boy, who was born in April, would have been best buddies with Gregory, I am almost certain. But I guess he and I will just be best buddies. The Royal Baby was born this week…I suppose there will be enough coverage of him over the years that I’ll realize Gregory would be that size or something when I see him on TV or in the magazines. Of course, we’re not royalty, so there’s that. A woman at our parish had her baby last night. She also has a son in Helen’s class, so surely as I watch her little girl over the next several years, I will have reminders of my baby boy and what new adventures we would have experienced.

Surprisingly, I am coming to a point where I am okay with this. I remember early on that I didn’t want to hear about babies being born or see pictures. There’s a friend on FB who is almost exactly where I would be pregnancy-wise with Gregory and I did have to hide the bump updates for a bit. But lately, I have been able to handle it again and I’m glad…it means that I’m healing.

Healing is good, right? I don’t cry all the time. Stuff doesn’t always hit me so hard that I break down. When I hear of women having trouble with pregnancy or losing their babies, however, my chest tightens and I sometimes lose my breath. Yes, that still happens. Part of me wonders if it will always happen. But I am happy again at the news of a new baby entering the world. I find joy in my other children and in the children I see running around at church or at the park. I don’t spend so much time thinking about what I’m missing and instead try so much harder to live in the moment and enjoy what is happening in the here and now.

Something Craig said to me recently resonated. He said that losing Gregory helped him to see how truly fleeting the time is that we have with our children. And I agree. Sarah is already twelve. In 6 years, she will have graduated high school and will embark on an adult life. And it will be a snowball really because shortly thereafter, Dani and then Helen and basically all of our children will join her. When a new baby comes into our family and into our lives — it feels like we have forever. But Craig and I are reaching a point where we see that it’s not forever and raising our children is the most joyful and enriching blessing of all and we don’t want to miss a day of it. I think we could have figured that out without losing a child — but, I guess it was just time for God to make sure we understood it right then.

The last few days I have prayed and asked my baby boy’s intercession, along with our Blessed Mother. I asked for a sign of sorts and I asked for acceptance of God’s will in all things. I’m so grateful for all the prayers we have received for our friends and family here on Earth and the ones I feel certain we’ve had from our son and from others in Heaven that care about us and are in the presence of God. 

Today, in the mail, arrived a beautiful Rosary that Rebecca ordered to be made (by trendy Traditions) and sent to us.


Rebecca and her husband are Gregory’s godparents. We communicated a bit earlier than we normally do with regard to selecting godparents and I am really glad we did. I’m not glad that Rebecca and her husband had to have some grief along with us necessarily, but Rebecca has been such a strong and present friend during this time and I appreciate it more than I could ever express. And we might not have had this opportunity to grow together if not through this experience and if we hadn’t asked them about being godparents earlier in pregnancy.  

So, I guess I am glad the due date is finally here and is passing. No more looking in my planner at work and seeing the weeks tick by that I had written ahead of time. No more thinking about what stage of pregnancy I would be in, or that I would have been waddling. I have grateful thoughts — grateful for friends and family and prayers. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to get running again and set some goals and achieve them. I feel grateful that the door hasn’t closed on my childbearing years yet, though it feels like the door is closing with the passing of each day. I’m grateful for my children here on Earth who hug me the minute I walk through the door, give me kisses, tell me how much they love me and assure me that I am the best mommy in the whole world.

Life can provide Joy to equal the Sorrows.

I am linking to Jennifer Fulwiler at Conversion Diary and posting every day this week! Click HERE to see who else took the challenge!

I Knew the Day Would Come I Would Write This…

I knew at some point, I’d have to write a post like this. Only because the words have been working in my head ever since the week we lost Gregory. I wish the push didn’t have to be due to a friend having trouble in pregnancy right now. But no matter what, I’ve thought about this many different times over the course of the past three months.

I really never truly understood the pain of losing a child during pregnancy until it happened. Furthermore, having never suffered complications before, I really didn’t understand the pain and anxiety associated with pregnancy for others. I can say right now, I’m extremely afraid to get pregnant again because I think I’d suffer some major anxiety or worry over every little thing — I’d probably go insane.

When I would hear about complications in pregnancy or friends losing their babies before we lost Gregory about halfway through my pregnancy, I felt true sadness. I often did feel horrible and helpless. As a matter of fact, I was quite empathetic (in my mind) to what was going on and I would offer fervent prayers for her and for her baby and for her family. I’m not going to short-change my effort there. I truly would pray so hard and really try to imagine myself in her shoes, walking that walk of losing a child.

It wasn’t my fault, but the fact is I. had. no. idea

Seriously, I had no idea at all what the pain was like. How could I? I had never suffered this pain. I had the perspective that it was God’s plan that the baby was taken up to Heaven without spending time on earth with family. There was nothing wrong in what I did — I was honestly attempting to understand, empathize and offer up any of my own suffering or sacrifice for those who miscarried. Even my own sister, who has suffered losses on the way to her five children she and her husband share earthly life with, could never have helped me understand the level of pain required for true empathy in her situation.

That all changed when God called Gregory home. The pain — physical, searing, horrible — in my heart when I was told my baby had died…it’s so difficult to convey to someone else. And you really don’t want to because you know how painful it is. You never want anyone else to feel that pain.

Now, when I find out about friends losing children, or even friends suffering difficult pregnancies — that wound in my heart throbs. It is an echo of that physical, sharp, horrible pain I felt the day I learned Gregory died — but it’s still raw. I can’t stop tears. I can’t stop from praying a Hail Mary and asking our Blessed Mother to come to the aid of that momma who is having trouble or who may already be grieving her child.

When I lost Gregory, so many women came out of the woodwork, so to speak, to share their loss-experiences with me. They provided some comfort, they told me they understood, and because they’d been there, I knew it was true. I was grateful that they shared with me that they’d walked this sorrowful walk in life. 

And for those who hadn’t lost a child that offered condolences, I was so grateful for the experience of my past when I, myself, didn’t really know the pain of my sisters in Christ. Because I knew their prayers and words came from a pure and innocent place in their hearts – a place untouched by this deep sorrow. And their prayers lifted me and my husband and our family up to a place where we could begin this process of healing. I’m forever grateful and truly understand how and where these prayers originate.

I have thought about my friend and prayed for her and her family A LOT over these weeks. I realize that once again, I’m in a place where I can’t imagine what she’s going through. My friend has not lost her baby, but her baby is struggling to make it to viability due to her complication. Her baby is healthy with a heartbeat and everything at this time. All she can do is stay off her feet and wait and pray and ask us to pray for her and her baby. It breaks my heart all over again to know another momma who just wants her child to live, just wants her baby to be here with her…and she is completely at the mercy of God, as are we all.

Right now, I simply need to ask any of you reading this to pray. 

PRAY. 

PRAY. 

PRAY to our Heavenly Father or ask our Blessed Mother’s intercession for a miracle for healing in this woman’s womb and keep that baby living and developing.

Find Image Here

Remember, O Most Gracious Virgin Mary,
That never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection,
Implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence, we fly to thee, O Virgin of Virgins, Our Mother.
To thee do we come, before thee we stand, sinful and sorrowful.
O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not our petition,
But in thy mercy, hear and answer us.
Amen.