Friday, February 22, 2013

The Art of Healing

I saw an old customer the other day while out with Jack. The last time I saw him I was pregnant and about to pop with Marc. He came over and said hi and asked how old Jack was. He looked really confused. He said "it seems like he should be older?"

I told him Marc died and that Jack is my rainbow baby.

He immediately apologized for bringing it up. For some reason it is a lot of peoples first instinct to try and make an uncomfortable situation better. I am kind and I let them know that they shouldn't be sorry about asking about my baby. I love to talk about baby Marc, just as any mother loves to talk about their child. Never for one second do I forget about baby Marc. He lives with me every single day just as Jack does but just not so visible to others. I'm sorry this is a long one today but here is an example of what everyday is like to me. Granted for me to think of all that follows took just a few moments but everyday there are a few moments some days more than others where my mind will wander off to memories of baby Marc. A lot of times memories of the trauma of losing him and the first days after. It can be spurred by the most ordinary of things.
I was playing with Jack today in his room and looking around thinking of my baby Marc at the same time. He is everywhere in my life and home but there is something about this room.
Jack and I love to play here. It's the best room in the house to open up the curtains and play in the natural light. Jack loves the monkeys in the mural I painted while pregnant with Marc and when I rock him at night he loves to stare at the parrot and he just laughs and smiles. We turn on pandora toddler radio and I sing to Jack and we are silly. You can tell this room is lived in! Most of the time there are cloth diapers on the floor by the door waiting to be stuffed and put away and toys left strung around the room. To someone who didn't know it's just a normal nursery but to me it has a sentimental significance that I can't quite put into words.
A place where Marc and I spent hours dreaming of baby Marc and what he would be like. I spent my whole pregnancy with Marc perfecting every detail of his room.
After baby marc died it was a sad place for a while. A storage place for all the baby items that were so recently around the house ready to be used. A tangible and harsh reminder of the emptiness. A room for no one. I didn't spend a lot of time there when I was pregnant with Jack.
I don't view it like that anymore though, now it is a place where Marc and Jack come together. A place where my belly casts from both pregnancies sit above a rainbow with Jack's name underneath. A framed sonogram photo of baby Marc as well as his special memory box that holds the few tangible things I have to remember him by.
As I look around at all these things I can't leave out the large armoire in the corner by the crib that is stuffed full of yarn. Jack has a very small portion of his closet but for the most part that area too is home to my yarn stash. This gets me to thinking about crochet which if you know me is something that I think about quite often. I know Amber is reading this and wondering when I was going to talk about the yarn in the room! ;)
But then in all seriousness I should talk about the yarn. It is quite relevant because it helped me through the absolutely worst week of my entire life.
July 6th 2011 I think we drove home from Cooks Children's at 4 or 5am. My mom washed my hair and helped me clean up because I could hardly do anything. I honestly don't remember what happened next I guess I went to sleep. I remember walking back into my room. The room where I had just delivered my baby boy. Other than the furniture being rearranged to make room for the birthing pool you would have never known there was a baby there, but there had been. For just a few brief scary moments Marc had been in my room but he wasn't there anymore. I woke up next to Marc later that day. I'm pretty sure I hadn't cried too much yet. But now I wailed.
Sometimes now I think back to that time and the freshness of that pain and it may sound completely crazy but I'd like to feel that again. The harshness of it was so real and it seems the more days that pass and the more progress we make the farther away from baby Marc I get. Sometimes it feels like it was all a dream. Also we were so lucky to have the support and sympathy from friends and family and their support was so amazing in those early days. I didn't need to ask for help or remind people of my grief.
Over the next few days funeral arrangements were made and family and friends came, stayed and visited. That first week I don't remember a lot of specifics or times but I do remember watching a lot of America's Funniest Home videos (because your brain can only process a certain about of deep gut wrenching pain at one time) and two crochet. I'm not sure what made me have the focus to get into my yarn closet and start a blanket but I did. I started crocheting the night of the 6th and I feel like I was doing to 24/7 for the next week. The first thing I finished that week was a large cream colored blanket with blue detail work. It's draped over the rocking chair in the nursery.
When I look at it I remember that first week without my baby Marc. I remember working on it and every stitch was a coping technique. Every minute I spent counting stitches was another minute I had survived and the minutes turned into hours and I was making it.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Still Learning to Dance

It has been one year, seven months and one day since I endured the pain and experienced the joy og birthing the baby boy who made me a mother. One year, seven months and one day since I endured the pain and experienced the joy of holding my baby Marc and kissing his beautiful little face but knowing that would be the only time I would ever do so. In just minutes I had gone from the highest high to the lowest low and I said goodbye to every hope and dreamed that I had formed for Marc over the past nine months.  Oh and what I would give to have been able to have had just one look from him, but I never even got to see his eyes. Lately when I am alone I find myself in a pensive mood. Reflecting on the past year and a half and wondering if I am doing ok. Jack is sitting on my lap watching my fingers strike the keys. If Marc had lived this beautiful child in my arms would most surely not exist.  What a strange feeling it is, longing for what you lost but rejoice for the place you have come to. Jack is the glue that has pieced my broken heart together again. My days are busy and filled with new experiences, love and laughter. I am so incredibly happy but I wonder if that is partly because there just is not time to be sad. Yet as I sit here now, tears flowing, Jack is looking at me and laughing and I cannot help but smile back.
“You will lose someone you can’t live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.”― Anne Lamott