It's been awhile since I've written here. Life has been crazy and I can't seem to keep up with it all. The kids are all over the place all the time and it takes every ounce of my time and attention to watch them. What have I been doing? A lot. I've been babysitting my neighbor girl who is almost 2 while her parents are working. She's a easy kid with basically no demands. The kids all get along well with her and enjoy having her here. It does make me wonder though, is this what life would be like if Gabriel had survived? She's only 6 months younger than he would be if things had turned out differently. Would we still have been blessed with the twins and have ended up as a family of 6? I recently took on a business opportunity selling Jamberry Nails. I love it and it's been very successful for me, but it's another thing I've added to my plate. I've been meal planning weekly, continuing my journey learning DSLR photography and trying to find time to enjoy summer now that it's finally here. So to say I've been busy is quite the understatement.
Lately I've been having dreams though, maybe it was a sign that I need to update here or maybe it's a sign of something completely different. The dream is terrifying and heart breaking. I'll detail every part that I can remember of it, I recall different parts every time I have it. It starts with us in the NICU, we had a son. An extremely early son the size of my hand. A few minutes in we discover that our son has a pre diagnosed heart condition, the chances of survival are slim. Soon we are in a meeting with a surgical team. We are presented two options: 1) they surgically adhere a patch to his heart. This option would be easily survivable but may not fix his problem and he would die anyway. Option 2) they do a much more invasive surgery with very low odds of surviving through, but the surgery would fix the problem if he were to survive (I'm lead to believe it's a full heart transplant of some kind). I've yet to learn what the actual diagnosis or problem is, and also our son doesn't have a name, although I'm sure those are just details I have yet to remember. Why am I having these dreams? Why am I being forced to recall all the emotions of losing a child again. Why is my subconscious doing this to me. I wake up feeling all the pain and heartache of child loss as if it just happened again. There has to be a reason this is happening, but I think the reason has yet to come to me.
A few weeks ago I had coffee with a mom who's daughter passed away a few short weeks after Gabriel. It was a completely different cause, but we connect just the same. There's no friendship like those of people who understand you. There's no conversation a loss parent can have that compares to being able to talk openly about your dead baby without feeling uncomfortable or judged. It was a lovely coffee date that was hard to walk away from, but we both have other children that needed tending to, so like all good things, our date had to come to an end.
I haven't planted Gabriel's garden yet, I want to though. I did plant forget me not seeds and if those grow I'll put those in his garden. It's the little things that are important to me. A garden is something of peace that just helps me remember him.
I haven't been out to the cometary much, it's hard when you have kids to tend to. It's hard to go out there sometimes because you see all the new graves that have been added, I always say a prayer for all the families that continue to lose precious babies.
A friend showed me an article in People magazine that spotlighted Jaime Beautler's surviving baby Abigail. Against the odds sweet Abigail is surviving Bilareral Renal Agenesis. And along with that, there's a second surviving baby in New York now too. I told Jaime how much I wish Gabriel had come after Abigail so he could have had a chance of surviving too. She is looking to start fundraising to help more babies survive this condition, I'm trying to come up with ideas to help, but have yet to come up with anything great. The ultimate goal is to change Potter's Syndrome from being 100% terminal, to having some kind of survival rate.
Recently I have been getting asked a lot how many kids I have. Although I still struggle with that question I've been feeling more comfortable answering with 3 much of the time. I still cringe after thinking that I've forgotten one, but I've come to realize that people don't understand baby loss and the journey a parent travels, people don't know that although I still miss him daily, my heart doesn't crumble when I talk about him anymore. I've come to realize that I can't handle the sad puppy dog eyes or the way people will uncomfortably cut the conversation short because suddenly a happy topic, has turned toward one of death. When people walk away abruptly after I mention him, I so badly want to tell them that if they don't know what to say, tell me that. Tell me exactly that: "I don't know what to say, I'm sorry for your loss." It's much less saddening for me if I don't feel like mentioning my dead son is uncomfortable for you. I am blessed to have Gabriel as a part of my life, it just sucks that he can't be here in my arms.
I've been trying to make custom nail wraps through my Jamberry business that I can sell, and donate my commission to pregnancy and infant loss organizations. The task has been much more difficult than anticipated, but I hope to have some completed soon.
I'll try to update again soon, but now my kids are hungry. Here's some photos to tie you over till then.
Finally loaded our frames after 7 months! Our family tree wouldn't be complete without a picture of Gabriel included.