16 months ago we went in for Lucy’s second intrauterine blood transfusion, but instead, we helplessly watched her heart stop beating and a couple hours later we were inducing labor.
I have lived 16 months without my baby. It’s like going 16 months without food, or water or air or sunshine, but worse. Seriously, think about how it would feel for someone to say, “Ok, no more food. EVER.” The hunger would slowly build and the ache would set in and you would wonder, “How can I go another hour, another minute, without food? How can I go my whole life without food?” Everyone else has moved on, but I am still a Mommy living without my child. Sure, I am healing and finding some joy again, but that intense ache for my child is still there, always.
In January, Josh and I took a three day trip to Pensacola, FL to do our adoption training classes. We left our boys with my mom. It’s the longest I’ve ever been away from them. I miss them when I’m not with them. I truly love being around them. Even if I’m away from my boys for more than two hours, I start to feel that ache of missing them. I love them so much (and I’m not a helicopter parent, I promise!) Josh and I enjoyed our time alone, but I noticed that the more I started missing Liam and Asher, the more uncomfortable and anxious I felt. I realized it was the same feeling I had missing Lucy, the only difference was that I knew I would be able to satiate the ache in a day or two. I started to have this frantic thought, “What if Liam or Asher dies before I can get back to them?” I really wondered if I would ever see them again. It was kind of ridiculous, but it happened with Lucy, so of course it could happen with Liam or Asher. Aching for Lucy, Liam and Asher all at once was almost too much for me.
I had been so excited about going to the beach and relaxing with Josh. The only free time we had was the last day after our classes were finished. We were going to go to the beach and then drive home to Tuscaloosa afterwards. Josh and I both missed the boys so much that we didn’t even want to go to the beach anymore. It sounded way more fun to drive straight home and snuggle our little guys. We skipped the beach. I quenched my ache for them and it felt amazing, because I COULD. But the longing for my girl remains and burns everyday.
16 months without Lucy.
16 months of milestones missed, of aching and tears.
16 months of being misunderstood and avoided, of being judged and hushed.
16 months of being comforted by some.
16 months of two instead of three.
16 months without pink in the house. No dresses or bows or baby dolls or long, pretty curls growing.
16 months without seeing Josh hold his baby girl, without seeing Asher be the big brother that he is.
This is a long, difficult journey.
The next time we had a meeting with our adoption agency, we took our boys with us (we also didn’t have a babysitter so we kind of had no choice.) It was so much fun with our little loves, with two less to miss, and even though it was cold, THIS time we went to the beach.
We also went to Pump It Up, where we went down this slide so many times that I almost ripped my pants open and the boys still talk about it almost every day.
I love it. I have been aware that vacations are really going to change with a baby at home. I wanted to do a “baby moon” last time but we didn’t. Even though we have to be watching our pennies and Josh didn’t really want to go anywhere, I pushed him to go away tonight for his birthday. One last couples trip before a baby takes over and changes all future trips ( I hope). I so welcome that change though!
They definitely change, so enjoy your last “adult focused” vacation. You would not believe how much you have to pack when you go on vacation with a baby! And it is kind of shocking when you realize that vacations with kids are actually way more work than vacation. It is a fun change, though, which you will appreciate so much more now
The line about Josh missing being RE big brother he is really hit me. I see Owennplaying with his baby doll, and I feel like I could be looking at him with Noah (except with me making sure he was gentle). Sometimes I think that that is what hurts the most. Seeing him grow up without his brother.
I know. It is so sad to think about. I recently had to pack away his “Big Brother” shirt and it made me so sad.
I still have Owen’s out. I figure whether or not he can interact with Noah he is still a big brother. He mostly just wears it around the house though.
I did let Asher wear his some, but he’s already outgrown it. I was so excited when I bought it for him…maybe one day our boys will be able to wear big brother shirts again
I am sorry, Bethany, for this deep sadness in being separated from Lucy. I am praying for you. Some day we will all be together forever. This life will be a memory. All will be well. “Underneath are the everlasting arms.”
Thank you Mom, that is comforting
Precious and adorable pictures.!!! The fear of losing my alive children is one of my biggest (and I fear one of my lifelong) struggles. Most people can’t understand why I deal with that. It is honestly a HUGE struggle for me. God has taken 5 precious ones already, whose’s to say that He won’t decide to take another….I know He is ultimately in control and His will is best…I do firmly believe those truths…we all have our own personal struggles and this is one of mine. I feel for you…I really do.
I feel the same way. I think it’s kind of the opposite of “You don’t think it will ever happen to you until it does.” Since it DID happen to us, we think it will keep on happening. It is so hard to give our kids back to God and trust that He will take care of them. Next month Asher will have his tonsils taken out and I just keep thinking of all the possible things that could go wrong.