Monday, February 17, 2014

Two (among many) things I’ve learned since having our rainbow baby



On May 24th of 2012, after a heart wrenching pregnancy, we found out that sometime in the last couple of days our son’s heart had stopped beating. I was in labor. They connected me to the monitors but couldn't find his heartbeat. They did an ultrasound to see what was going on. The silence coming from that monitor is the most deafening “sound” I've ever heard!  They decided to induce labor and that day at 3:22 pm I gave birth to our Evan Matthew. Saying goodbye to my sweet boy and walking out of that hospital empty handed have been the most difficult things I've ever had to do. If you would like to read the full story you can go here.

This post is not to talk about that day, the reality that we faced next when we were home without a belly and without a baby made me think different about many things. I would hurt when I heard (read) a mom saying how “sad” they were that their baby was growing. I would think “at least your baby IS growing and healthy, you should be thankful for that!” I would cringe when I heard (read) people complaining about their kids being annoying/keeping them up/being brats. I would think “at least your baby CAN be annoying/keep you up/be a brat, I wish mine could!” I sometimes would feel terrible thinking these things but I couldn't help it. I used to think when I got to bring a baby home I would cherish EVERY moment and that they would NEVER annoy me!

Fast forward to June 27th 2013 when we gave birth to our perfectly healthy Ethan Andrew! We brought him home and the parenting on this Earth began. After having him I've had to rethink my position on a few thought I used to have and here is what I've learned:


1. It IS bittersweet to see your baby grow. 
Don’t get me wrong I am thankful beyond measure that he is growing healthy but I still get a little sad when he hits a new milestone or grows out of yet another size of clothes/diapers. Now I get that those moms where not complaining they were just genuinely expressing that you want your baby to stay a baby for just a little longer!

2. Having kids CAN be annoying (as worth it and precious as it is).
Especially when they are itty bitty, it’s the middle of the night, you just went through major surgery to bring them to this world and they are crying nonstop for no apparent reason! I may or may not have wished that he would crawl back inside (sorry for the mental picture) so I could get a few hours of peace, quiet, and sleep. Not that I was getting much of the latter towards the end of pregnancy but at least I had the silence.

Life with a baby is hard and you can never fully prepare for it no matter how hard it was to get that baby in your arms. Of course when you know firsthand how fragile life can be you learn not to take it for granted. You learn to enjoy and cherish the moments you get with your kids more than most. However, you never stop being a human. Things are still hard, you still get tired and some days you just wish your precious son had an off switch that you could use to put them to bed early so you didn't have to stay up for another two hours till bath time!


Have you ever experienced something that changed the way you thought you would feel about something else? If you have a baby in Heaven and one or more on Earth do you relate? 

66 comments:

  1. I had to smile when you said you sometimes wished he could crawl back inside for a few hours so that you could sleep! I totally had the same thought a few times with my babies!

    It's interesting as we go through life and gain different experiences how our perspectives on things change. It's a good reminder to take everything people say with a grain of salt so-to-speak because, chances are, they view the world in a completely different way than we do because of their personal experiences.

    "Life with a baby is hard and you can never fully prepare for it no matter how hard it was to get that baby in your arms." oh so very true! Well said.

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    1. Thanks for your comment Paula. I wasn't sure how people would take that whole crawling back in thing, I'm glad it made you laugh! You are right we never know where people are coming from or going through that makes them say certain things or act in a certain way.

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  2. Paulina,

    How brave of you to share your story with the world.

    I have delivered two children pre-term (one at 20 weeks and another at 24 weeks), in between having two healthy children.

    I was brought closer to God than I had ever been.

    You are right that raising children and watching them grow is challenging. But, when you share a special moment and recall the challenges you went through to get them here, it's all worth it.

    Best,
    Raki

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    1. Raki, I am so sorry for your losses. Thank you for sharing your babes with me. You are right these experiences bring us closer to God!

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  3. i'm so sorry for your loss! and so happy that you have a happy, healthy baby. my mom also had a still birth years ago [before my time] and i often wonder if my parents wonder about him. thanks for sharing. xoxo

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    1. Thank you! I don't know how much your parents talk about your sibling but I know I would like my living kids to ask me about their brother in Heaven. If you think it appropriate I would encourage you to ask your parents if they think about him. There is something healing about people acknowledging the existence of your baby in Heaven. (I am obviously assuming you guys don't talk about him often if you do disregard my comment).

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  4. So glad you have a healthy baby and so sorry for the one you had to say goodbye to. Babies grow up so quickly. All of mine are grown, but they will always be my babies.

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    1. Thank you! I agree they grow up too quick!

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  5. This is such a sweet post. You have been through so much, enjoy every moment with that sweet boy because it does go by so fast.

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  6. We have three kids; two are adopted, one is biological. I've had two miscarriages in the last year. I think that the losses have made me appreciate my other three more. I also recognize how blessed I was to have been able to have even one biological child. And I hope for a rainbow baby soon!

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    1. I am so sorry for your losses Jenn! My two first pregnancies also ended in miscarriage, both in less than a year too. It was a difficult time and I still wonder what would have been. I pray you will get your rainbow baby soon meanwhile I am sure you will kiss those babes at home double every night!

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  7. Our first pregnancy ended in a miscarriage at 12 weeks so I have experienced similar feelings. It makes you appreciate every moment with the baby(ies) you have at home even more!

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    1. I'm sorry for your loss LeeAnn! We have that in common, my first pregnancy also ended in a miscarriage at 12 weeks loss does give you a new perspective on life and makes you appreciate what you have. Thanks for sharing your babe with me!

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  8. Oh how I love this post!! You are so right!! I have a 23, 21 (in one week) and a 16 yr old and boy is it hard!! They are at the ages where I should be relaxing and preparing to do "my own thing" because I'm a single mama but boy do I miss the younger days! I would love to have my sweet itty bittys again! I have some babies I. heaven as well and am so glad I heard Jesus call my name so that I will get to see them as well!! Thanks for this post!

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    1. Thank you! I am so sorry for your babies in Heaven, thank you for sharing them with me! When the day to day gets tough I think about the saying "the days are long but the years are short" so I take I deep breath and try to enjoy even the challenging days! Looking forward to the day we will see our babes again.

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  9. Thank you for a reminder on empathy! I remember when I struggled with infertility it would bother me so much when pregnant people would say, "I look so fat!" or "I am sooo miserable." The fact is we all have heartache, and we all need to be a little more understanding and less judgmental of where others are in their process. This was a nice reminder to be that way. Thanks! :-)

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    1. I like your take on my post. I agree we all have our own struggles which are hard for us when we are going through them, we wouldn't want anyone to belittle what makes us hurt so why should we do it to others? We all talk from experience and where we're at in life!

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  10. awwww - beautiful tribute...

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  11. Thankfully, I have never lost a child, but I have two friends who have. I can relate to it being bittersweet to watch them grow, and they definitely get on my nerves at times, especially when they become teenagers!

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    1. I'm glad you haven't gone through that heartbreak I really don't wish in on anyone and really wish nobody should have to go through it! I don't even want to think about the teenage years though although I know they will be here before I know it.

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  12. I am a single mom and while life has had its fair share of lemons, I think its all about the attitude. I have loved and cherished every moment - even the annoying ones! :)

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    1. You are so right attitude can change everything, we can actually decide to enjoy even the challenging moments!

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  13. While I have never lost a child, I can relate to many of the thoughts you experienced with the "at least you get to" when it comes to children. I'm going to be 39 this year and on my 2nd marriage. I suffer from PCOS so I have never been able to conceive. I have reached that point in my life that I finally had to consider my age and whether or not I wanted to go through fertility treatments. With my age, conditions and statistics, trying to conceive was just something I didn't want to go through mentally or physically. I've always had this sense of adoption , even when I was younger. But, it is hard when people bring up the questions as to why I have never had kids, or when my FB feed is full of people complaining (especially this time of year) about their children being out of school for snow days and all I can think about is "at least you get to"

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    1. I am so sorry that you've had to go through this! I don't think I can come close to understanding your heartbreak. When I am tempted to complain about pregnancy or my baby I think that there are people out there that would love to be in my shoes so I stop! I think we all should do this before we complain especially so openly. I hope you decide to adopt but more so that your heart is comforted by the only one that can make things better in any situation Our sweet Jesus. I wish there was something I could do or say to make you feel better, hugs!

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  14. What beautiful balance and perspective you have gained. Thank you for sharing from your heart.

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  15. 10 Weeks into my pregnancy I had a debilitating pain . I called my doctors office and the nurse told me, without feeling, that I was miscarrying. They scheduled my ultra sound for the next day. Heart broken, I went in to find out that my baby was just fine. I had a cyst that burst, however it did not hurt my baby. I can't in any way feel your pain but I will never forgive that nurse for how she spoke to me on the phone that day but I am forever grateful that I do have a beautiful 8 year old daughter now.
    I am so glad you can experience all the joyful (and not so joyful) moments with your baby :)

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    1. I am so sorry you had to go through that! Sometimes doctors and nurses are so numb to what they see every day they are not sensitive at all. During most of my pregnancy we had to fight this doctor that kept suggesting that we terminated the pregnancy, no matter how many times we said no she kept bringing it up. It was annoying to have to deal with her as well as what we were already going through but I see it as the honor we got to fight for our boy's life no matter the outcome. I am happy your baby was fine and wow 8, I don't want to think about that yet!

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  16. I also used to think it was stupid when people said things like my child is 13 months or my child is 18 months. I always wondered why they didn't just say their child was 1. When I had kids of my own, I realized that I liked to count their ages in months as long as possible because it made it seem like the time was going slower, and I wanted them to stay little for as long as possible.

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    1. That's true! If you count in months it seems that they are younger! We haven't passed the 1 year mark yet so I don't know how I'll feel about it. I did stop counting the weeks as soon as he was 1 month I just didn't have the brain for that but I sure want him to stay a baby for just a little longer!

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  17. First off, I am so sorry for your losses. I myself have had 3 miscarriages and it was heart wrenching... but I have 6 healthy and beautiful children. I can so relate to everything you said. I use to get upset also when people would say, "How annoying they are..." but there are days when I wish I could have them "Crawl back inside..." also! LOL There are still days like that! But, it is so well worth having children and I can't see my life any other way! Be BLESSED!

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    1. Thank you and I am so sorry for your babes in Heaven, also congratulations on your 6 on earth! I can only imagine the craziness with 6 kids, I wouldn't mind though, we'll see how many we end up with!

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  18. Yes. My son passed away when he was seven weeks old. It's very hard to deal with. I'm just starting to really heal from it, and I've two other children. He changed the way I thought about parenting. I decided to become a stay at home mom for my other children. I had missed so much (he spent most of it in the hospital) and I wanted to spend as much time with the others as I could. I could've never imagined staying home before he passed.

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    1. I am really sorry for your loss! I'm glad you are starting to heal it is a difficult process. It's been almost two years since we lost our Evan and some days grief hits me like it was yesterday. It is so awesome that you decided to stay home with your other kids and that you are able to, I'm sure they are enjoying you!

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  19. I have three children. There are ten years between my first and second child. Ten years between kids will really change your perspective on a lot of things! I'm much more laid back and relaxed with my two youngest children.

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    1. That is a big gap! My sister and I are 6 years apart and it has always been difficult to have a good relationship with her. I bet as a parent there are things you do different since you've had time to see the results of what you did with the first one.

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  20. I'm sorry for your loss. Thanks for sharing such intimate aspect of your life. All new mom's goes through this but it will pass and you will continue to enjoy the fruits of your labour.

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  21. we all have thought things before that have changed with experience. I am sorry for your losses and I congratulate you on a beautiful baby boy.

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  22. Your story touched my heart. Thank you for sharing a piece of yourself with us.

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  23. Thank you for sharing your story. So glad that you were blessed with a healthy baby boy after such trials.

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    1. Yes, he is a blessing, thank you for visiting!

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  24. I don't know how you got through that, loosing your baby boy, so far into pregnancy. I lost one at 7 weeks pregnant and I was torn. I named her and buried her (I don't know if the baby was a he or she, but God was telling me the baby was a she, my hubby actually has dreamed about her). I then got pregnant 3 months after that miscarriage and was told I was having twins, boy/girl twins to be exact. God gave me back that little one I lost. Yes, they get crazy and very annoying, but I wouldn't change anything. I love my crazy hectic live because God gave this to me.

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    1. If you ask me, I don't know how I got though it either! Although my faith was shaken I know God has never let go and he's brought me through it. Some days all I could do was keep breathing so I did. I am so sorry for your baby in Heaven! I can't imagine life with two babies at the same time, it must be beautifully exhausting! Congratulations on your twins!

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  25. I miscarried a baby early on, and it took me a long time to get pregnant with my first. Both things have made me more careful with how I talk about my kids around others. One good thing that comes out of terrible things is that you are able to help others and relate to others. I'm glad you have a baby here on earth with you!

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    1. I am sorry for your loss! Now I am very careful on what I say to others in general. It's harder to speak platitudes when you've been through hard times yourself. As you say now I can help others in a better way!

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  26. Thank you for sharing with us your story. I have had 10 pregnancies with 4 live births. Each milestone is precious and I normally do take that extra cuddle despite how exhausted I am. Like you the days are long, but very much worth every hug, kiss, mommy he said this, they did that, and destruction of the house. Only if there were 30 hours in a day, I'd actually have a little more sleep.

    Visiting from Commentathon

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    1. I am sorry for your babies in Heaven, I know you are very thankful for the ones on Earth! You are right it is worth every moment and I agree we should sing a petition for 6 more hours in the day but that only sleep would be allowed during those hours, that's genius!

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  27. This such a touching post. I understand the first comments in that we had to pray and believe for a long time to finally get pregnant. But, I will definitely remember your words once I deliver my son in a month or so.

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    1. Thank you! Congratulations on your son, how exciting! Let him sleep on your chest for as long as he wants the first weeks they grow out of it so fast and it is one of the first things you will miss!

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  28. Oh my, your story breaks my heart but so thankful for your precious little one that is home with you now! So many things in this life we will never understand but someday you will be reunited. Thank God for that hope! ♥

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    1. Thank you! That is exactly what I hold on to, one day we will be together again!

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  29. So sorry for your loss. I'm glad you have a healthy baby - I've never had children, but I can imagine it would be so heart-breaking...

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  30. As one who's never been (and never will be) a parent, I truly can't relate. However, I absolutely love your honesty, willingness to keep an open mind, and ability to change your perspective when the circumstances merited it. This may sound like a random comment, but it's actually how I wish everyone could be regarding political issues. Random, I know, but you're exhibiting character traits that I think are quite honorable. Anyway, I'm so happy you have Ethan now, to fill you with joy and annoy you as well ;-)

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    1. Thank you for your sweet words, I try to learn as I live!

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  31. I am so sorry for your loss that would have destroyed me and I have friends who have been in teh same position. It is so upsetting, no one helps the mother's who loose a baby, they only help the ones who HAVE them. When one of my friends left the hospital with empty arms I still made a point of bringing her dinners for her family, helping her when I could and swinging by to help her clean the house. Support is so important in times like that. I am so happy that you are so loved and have a healthy little man to hold on tight to. OXO

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    1. What great insight! I am sure your friend is very thankful to you for your support. It is very important to have a good support system, I am glad you saw a need and helped her out!

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  32. I can absolutely relate. I love my children so much but there are times when I feel sad that they are growing up. That little by little they are on their way to being independent and won't need me as much. I have often had moments of irritation but I think it's natural to feel this way especially when there are many things to think about. In the end the time we spend with them is a gift.

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    1. If they could only stay little just a bit longer, so bittersweet!

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  33. Big hugs. I'm very careful about treasuring the moments with my babies. A dear friend who was the first person I told outside of my husband lost her baby at 6 months when I was 6 weeks. It made me so aware of how I speak. I'm glad you're able to share your story with us and experience the joys of having another child.

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  34. Thank you so much for sharing your story! It is really inspirational, even to someone who hasn't had children as of yet. I can't wait to have a child to have those special moments with them. It will certainly be bittersweet to watch them grown, though, I completely agree.

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