Tuesday, February 23, 2010

still on this river

I don't know where I heard this, but I know I didn't make it up myself, but grief is like a river. It changes and gets deeper and shallower (is that a word?) but it's never ending. I guess you could say the ending of the river is when it meets the ocean, but it's not like it really ends...it just becomes part of something bigger. Which is what I believe happens when we die. So I have accepted that I will be on this river until I die.

I think about Aiden every single day. I miss him every single day. When I think about him, I do shed some tears. I still think of my family as missing one child when I look at pictures or we're getting ready for a big occasion. When I have those moments I allow myself to feel what I'm feeling, and then I move on. Sometimes I wonder if it's "okay" for me to still be crying about him when it's four and a half years since we lost him, but really there's nothing I can do to stop myself from missing my son so why bother trying?

Aiden's initials are ARC. Scott and I thought having these initials would give him some sort of good luck when he was in the hospital. Sadly there wasn't any mystical mojo attached to those letters. Now, our kid's initials make up the word ARK. Aiden, Riley & Kira. Not the same word but still kind of a kooky coincidence. I did not plan this at all. Kira has been my "name for a girl if I ever have a girl" since I was six years old. Aiden didn't have a name until he was a couple days old because we had such a hard time coming up with a name for him. It took us a long time to name Riley too.

This post is getting off track. I haven't written in this blog for a year so I figured it was time for an update. I feel like I'm coming to a place where I'm going to not be so sad about losing Aiden. I still would like to know what the purpose is for having it happen to our family, but I'm letting that answer come to me however it has to come.

I do still miss that boy. Having Riley makes me miss him even more, because I wonder how they'd be together...I wonder how Riley would be different from having an older brother...I still wonder what color eyes he has and what his laugh sounds like.

I miss you Aiden!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

why i made this blog

You might be wondering why I created this blog. I guess I feel like Aiden is such a huge part of me and who I am that I need people to know about him if they're going to know me. But how do you bring that up in a conversation? I still can't talk about him without crying, so I don't really bring him up unless asked. I'm still his mama, I still miss him...that never goes away.

Something that separates me from pretty much any other blog about loss is I am not religious. You won't find me praising "Him" or asking to be lifted up or anything of that nature. I was raised Catholic but never took it seriously at all. I felt "spiritual", but reading the bible and praying were never part of my daily life. I felt that I was a good person who did good things and that was good enough for God.

At this point I am not even sure if there IS a God. Most of me says yes, but I really don't see why he would make people suffer like this. Some people think it's so that OTHER people will look to their own lives and appreciate what they have, but that feels really crappy to me. My baby had to die so other people would realize they're lucky to have kids?

So back to my original thought, why I am writing this blog...I am sharing my thoughts in case there's someone else out there going through the same thing who feels like no one is listening, or no one understands. From a non religious point of view. I'm definitely not saying there's anything wrong with believing in that, but I am in a place where I'm very unsure of what I believe at all.

In this blog you will find the words of a person who isn't so sure about what grief and loss is supposed to mean, what it's for, what's it all about... I'm living it every day of my life, I'm making it through each day...but I can't forget that little boy named Aiden who should be here playing with me & his daddy. I guess I'm selfish...I'd much rather have him be here with me. People could find other reasons to be thankful, my baby didn't need to die.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Gifts from my son

Even though Aiden isn't on Earth, I know he's around me all the time. One time, when it was close to the one year anniversary of his death, I asked him to give me a sign that he was okay, and he was happy, and he could hear me. I guess that was a little demanding but I need to know all that! I told him it needed to be something big because mama can be very skeptical.

Not long after I was driving home from a friend's house at night. It was later on so the roads were empty. I stopped at a red light and for some reason I was looking at the sky. As I watched the biggest, brightest shooting star I've ever seen in my life started moving across the sky. It looked like a comet it was so bright and close looking. It lasted a LONG time too...if you've ever seen a shooting star sometimes they look like a flare going up, but burn out real quick. This one looked unreal with how long it was lasting and how bright and beautiful it was.

I know that was a sign from my Aiden.

I'm still heartbroken over him not being here, and I still miss him so much every single day, but I do know that wherever he is he's happy and watching us.

Still rather have him here though!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Aiden's Story

November 8, 2005 started like any other day. I woke up and cleaned the house because a nurse was coming from the Kent County Health Department to talk to me about being pregnant. It was a thing I signed up for through WIC. I figured I'd never had a baby before so what could it hurt.

The nurse was named Nikki and she was pretty young. I didn't ask her if she had kids, but from the way she talked I don't think she did. She asked me how I had been feeling and I said fine, except a couple weeks earlier I had woken up with some really bad cramps. I had told my Dr. about it (I just happened to have an appt that day) and he said it was probably from spicy food. So Nikki said he was probably right, and it also could have been Braxton-Hix contractions. She said those felt like really bad menstrual cramps, but they don't move all over your body. REAL contractions are supposed to move from your front to your back and go around like that...fake ones just stay in one spot.

I had to work that day but I ended up leaving early. I was 26 weeks along and I just didn't feel good. So I went home. About 10pm that night, I started feeling crampy again. The cramp always stayed in the same spot, so I thought it was Braxton-Hix just like Nikki had said. I spent the next hours in pain, walking back and forth through the house. I never called my Dr because he had made me feel stupid at my appointment a couple weeks earlier and I didn't want to "bug" him. I just didn't think anything was really wrong. Not calling the Dr. is probably my one and only true regret in life, because it might have meant keeping my baby boy.

At about 5am I was still awake, by this time I was completely naked on our bathroom floor just writing in pain. I got on the toilet, reached down...and felt something coming out. I walked into our bedroom and yelled "CALL 911 I THINK THE BABY IS COMING!" My husband had been asleep this entire time so he handed me the phone. I yelled "I CAN'T FUCKING CALL THEM I'M HAVING THE BABY!!!" and he finally snapped awake. I layed down on the bed and he jumped up to turn the light on. He says that when he did that, he saw the baby's head coming out of me. I was having our son on our bed in our home fourteen weeks too early.

He got 911 on the phone and they had to tell him what to do to deliver our baby. It seemed like 2 seconds later the ambulance was there and they were doing stuff...I really don't know. I was out of it. I guess they cut the cord because the baby was whisked away into an ambulance and on his way to the hospital. Daddy went with him. They waited a little while to see if the placenta was going to come out but it didn't, so I got into a different ambulance and followed my boys.

When I got to the hospital I was still in a lot of pain and throwing up a lot. The placenta wasn't coming out on it's own. My Dr. got there and had to pull it out. Gross. He didn't talk to me about why I went into labor or anything like that. In fact, that was the last time I ever saw that Dr. in my life.

I got to see my son for the first time that morning in an isolette. He looked tiny but perfect. He had tubes in his mouth and his eyes were closed so I never really got to see what his face looked like. I have a picture of his daddy when he was an infant, and when I compare them they look like the same baby, so I have an idea, but I never got to truly see his whole beautiful little face.

The doctors told us he was doing as best as a baby could be for the conditions he was born in. From what they said we thought that it was going to be a couple months in the hospital, but eventually we'd be able to take our boy home. We were not thinking that we would lose him at all.

The next five days are a blur of being in the hospital. Our apartment was only 5 minutes from the hospital, so we were there pretty much all the time. The only time I took away from him was to eat or talk on the phone with my family. It was really hard to get ahold of any of them because my older brother was getting married in Mexico. So my mom & all my brothers were there at some resort, and of course cell phones don't work there, and they didn't have email access.

November 15 Scott and I left the hospital around midnight. We went home and started to watch a movie. At 2am the Dr called us and said Aiden wasn't doing good and he was on a new breathing machine. He said we didn't have to come in but we should be prepared. Then at 4am he called and said we did need to come in. We rushed to the hospital. The NICU was of course way far away from the parking garage, and I can remember running thru the hallways of that freaking maze-like hospital to get there as fast as we could.

I don't really remember details about that day. We had Aiden baptized at like 7am. I went to the hospital chapel and filled out a prayer request, something I've never done in my life.

But by the afternoon, the dr's were telling us that we needed to figure out what we wanted to do. They will never flat out tell you that your baby is dying. I had to say "OK, so are you saying my baby is going to DIE???" and the guy just had this uncomfortable look on his face. It started out being "We just have to wait until he's big enough to come home", then it was "He might have issues with retardation", then it was "he might not ever open his eyes or speak" to "if he does survive, it won't be any type of real life, machines will keep him alive".

So Daddy and I had to tell them we wanted to take the machines off. Of course I really didn't want to do that, but it was we had to do. The only time we got to really hold our baby was as he was dying. I let Daddy hold him as he took his final breaths of life because Daddy was the first person to hold him as he was born. I got to hold him the first 26 weeks of his life and I am thankful for that.

Planning your baby's funeral is the worst thing ever. We used a funeral home that Scott's family always uses, and a florist I knew from seeing their work at nice restaurants in Grand Rapids. We picked out white flowers that looked nice but wouldn't be too gaudy.

Our son Aiden was laid to rest in the snowy ground on November 18, 2005. He is next to his Great Uncle Gary and one of the family pets. I live in Phoenix, Arizona now (this is where I'm from) and I really hate to think of him being out there in the cold. I know he's not really there, though, he's with me all the time.

I still miss my son every single day, and I wonder if it will ever hurt any less. They say time heals all wounds, and that might be true, but you never know how much time.