Thursday, December 5, 2013

On her third birthday

The 5th has come and gone another year. As Brian said "another birthday down, just a million more to go". Of course not an actual million, but it does feel like that.

Today was actually a good day. I still think going home will be hard, we feel somewhat protected over here. It was 77 degrees today, back home in WA there are record lows and snow.

Today may have been December 5th, but it sure didn't feel like it.

I felt the love with every text, every email, every IG post, every everything. The picture posts especially for Addison were the the very best. I really FELT it. I feel like Addison was remembered today and that people were actually getting what a profound loss her life was. Maybe I'm wrong, but I'm going to hold onto that thought.

The day went something like this. Awake at 9am. I mean that in itself is amazing. Mason has been sleeping like a rockstar here and I needed it after staying up until 2:30am the night before.  Brian's parents made us breakfast (actually they have been feeding us this whole time, which is a giant gift to not cook or clean)! We had a lazy morning (Brian,  Mason and I) and then headed out for a round of golf. They live on a beautiful golf course that's a bit brown right now, but trust me, it's lovely. We were all pretty excited to "golf" with Mason and take him for a ride on the carts.

It was hot and sunny, but the grounds were soaked after a big rain the day before. Just as expected, Mason LOVED the carts and didn't mind attacking hitting the ball with his own club.

I didn't golf because hello, Mason isn't going to just sit there patiently so it was not as relaxing as the last time we all golfed together and by golf I mean they golfed and I drove the cart and ate crackers for my morning sickness. There were lots of memories flooding back about being here last time with Addi.

As much as it was a pain to wrangle Mason, it was a job I was thankful for. The only thing worse than wrangling a baby is not having one to wrangle. I pulled a total mom move and changed a poopy diaper on the golf cart, still not as hard as changing it in the airplane with no changing table. I digress. We quit with three holes to go because it was nap time. Totally worth it though.

After Mason's nap, two friends came over to honor Addi. These two friends are people we met last time we were here and each has suffered a significant loss. As I looked around the room I realized all six of us adults were wearing our Addi bracelets. Talk about special.

The pond outside their home is special, it's where they want to go when they are gone and where several friends already reside. It's happy, calm and lovely. One of the friends said a prayer and we released some of Addison's ashes. It was special, beautiful and felt right. I know her grandparents will take good care of her and she will continue to watch over them.

We had a toast to Addi afterwards, an excellent dinner and yummy dessert.

We ended the day with watching the Soun.d Of. Music live. I think she would have liked that.

I feel peaceful tonight. Not whole, but peaceful. I missed my family today and going to Addison's spot, but all in all this was the right decision for us.

I'll end with something I have said a million times before, but will always be true. I miss her, I love her, I wish she were here.

I love you to the moon and back again. I can't believe we are back in NC and you are not here to run around with us. That was not the plan. This new plan is too hard and I don't like it much at all. You are my girl, my perfect girl. I would have given you everything. I'm doing my best on the days I am able. I hope I make you proud. I hope you can feel my love today and everyday. I'm sending you my love just as friends and family sent me and you their love all over the US (and Canada)! I felt their love. Can you feel mine?!? I hope you can feel my arms wrap around you with my face buried in your neck like I do with your brother. I want to imagine you squealing with delight as he does yelling "more, more"!  I don't know how long we will have to wait to do this for real, but I promise you, it's coming. If I have anything to say about it, it's coming. I love you, I love you, I love you. Happy 3rd birthday baby.
This was us in 2010, pregnant with Addi. True happiness. 

*I've spent an hour trying to figure out how to add my pictures from today, but blogger hates me and I need sleep. I'll try again later. 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The night before

'Twas the night before the 5th, when all thro' the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. Or something like that. Everyone is asleep, but I just couldn't sleep without posting something.

Our flight to NC was much better than I expected. Mason gets a solid B for his behavior during almost 7 hours of flight time, a 4am wake up with NO nap and a layover/plane change. His B is awarded on the curve. I'm comparing him only to his two previous flights, Chicago being a total nightmare (well worth it though)! He was busy and needed CONSTANT entertainment and redirection, but there were no meltdowns and no aisle running! I want to write a post all about that, but tonight is not the night.

Arriving in NC provided a giant weight off my shoulders. We made it here with Mason and Brian in decent moods and with Addison safely packed in my carry on (what a terrible truth). Never mind that on both flights they tried to take my carry on saying there was no room. Luckily for them, Brian handled things and I didn't have to cut a bitch hurt someone. He did have to tell a nasty flight attendant that she couldn't take it because "our daughter was in there" she backed down REAL quick, but sometimes you just have to be real. Maybe she won't be so nasty to the next flyer!

The second we landed in New Bern aka small airport on a small plane and all old people "blue hairs" started telling us what a good boy we had and how they were so impressed. As the mom who has held her kid for 5 hours of screaming and been THAT person, it was a welcome relief to hear such things. It felt like a victory. Don't think I'm cocky about flying, I'm still terrified about the flight home. Lord knows this boy is capable of making me pay!

The airport is the cutest I have ever seen with rocking chairs of all sizes and a giant eyesore inflatable  snow globe (which Mason loved btw). Brian's parents were waiting just around the corner for us and it's been sweet ever since.

Of course there is the looming third birthday, of course we are feeling sad, but it's not the heaviness I felt at home. Things that I believe contributed:
-a really lovely surprise card and gift from my coworkers and two cards in the mail from friends.
-getting here. I hate travel prep and I was SO stressed about flying with Mason.
-being here. I feel close to Addison here and all the fun memories we had from last time came flooding back.
-watching Brian's parents with Mason. Let's just say that the love is mutual and it fills my heart.
- talking to Brian's parents about Addison. I can't believe I am so lucky to have to sets of understanding parents, the knowledge of how that is not common in our group is not lost on me.
-knowing I have people at home who will be visiting Addison's spot in my absence.
-having a plan of how we will celebrate, remember and honor Addison tomorrow on her day.
-receiving texts, emails, IG messages, Facebook messages and one VERY special call from a friend who must have known that would fill my heart (you know who you are)!
-my tribe in general, you know who you are. The emails and love for each other is re-dick-U-lus.

I guess I just feel an overwhelming sense of people "getting it" and loving our girl with us. That's really all any baby loss mama really wants. It's what I needed and I feel a sense of calm I wasn't expecting. I know that could all change by tomorrow, but that's how I feel right now in this moment. I'm even "looking forward" to releasing some of Addison's ashes in a special location that I'm not sure I can talk about which may or may not be legal.

Even though I am feeling decent about "the plan" it's still NOT okay that this is how we are celebrating Addison's 3rd birthday. It's NOT okay that she isn't here. It's NOT okay that my baby died. None of it will ever be okay, but this is what I have, this is it and I'm taking it and feeling grateful for what I do have.

I suppose my fear now is the day after. When the phone calls, emails, texts stop. When' she becomes yesterday's news. That's when I expect the grief to resurface. Maybe I'm wrong, but I'm already dreading that part. Flying home, getting back to life...none of that sounds fun.

My energy level is what it is now because I'm only doing what feels right. I'm not answering email or thinking about anything or anyone else other than Addison and the December babies I mentioned in my last post. It's working and I'm not going to mess with it. Everything else can wait. Even keeping up with IG feels a bit overwhelming at times, but I'm doing my best to keep up.

I'm hopeful for a good day tomorrow for my girl. I would give anything to have her, anything, but since life doesn't work like that, I will do what I can to honor her.

It's almost the 5th, it's coming no matter what. I might be ready for it this year (as ready as I can be)

I love you Addison Eloise forever and always.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Another December

First post in six months...must be December again.

It's been hard. Really hard. The grief started strong last week and has not let go. It's the anticipation, it's the reality, it's the fact that she would be 3 years old.

Three is a walking/talking/opinionated/funny/fun/trying/yelling/crying/singing/loving time. I want three so much it hurts.

I am a procrastinator by nature. Tests, packing, projects etc. you name it, I can procrastinate it. Knowing December is the hardest month of my life means being on top of my game the best I know how. It means family Christmas pictures, Christmas cards, Santa pictures all of that must happen in November. I can't participate in the normal things people do in December. Now that I know that, I have to plan ahead and follow through.

It's all hard to do without her, but I need to do it for Mason. I NEED to. He deserves the memories and so we will continue things, no matter how hard.

Mason has his Santa picture outfit, his Christmas picture outfit, his Christmas day outfit, his getting the tree outfit and a couple other things for misc. parties, he even has a snazzy suit for church and incase there is a funeral this year...yes, I plan for that (last year's suit was used three times :( ). What we don't have is a Christmas dress. No dress, no tights (with ruffles), no patent leather shoes, no gloves, no headband, no bows and no peacoat. I suppose I am used to not getting to buy those things, but the same hurt remains.

We are headed out to North Carolina for Addison's birthday. It's becoming a tradition of sorts to "get outta town" for the week surrounding her day (last year was CA). It sucks to be home and to go through all the motions just as it went down three years ago, it sucks to be gone so that we are away from my family and Addison's headstone on her day. It all just sucks. There is no winning and whatever we do, it won't be planning a 3rd birthday party for our daughter. With that said, I am really excited to spend time in NC with Brian's parents. They are very supportive parents and grandparents. Most of my anxiety for this trip is traveling with a 20 month old. The extra stress around this time of year is crippling. I have never taken any medication, but it makes me think some kind of anxiety medicine for next year should be something I look in to.

The last time we were in NC, we were pregnant with Addison and we got to announce in person to Brian's parents. That trip was something dreams are made of. It was just a week of visiting, but there was some kind of magic present. It was one of the best trips I have ever been on, great company and just pure joy. I was so sick with morning all day sickness, but I got to take a nap every day and just enjoy Brian's parents and their friends. It was the one and only time we would ever take Addison with us (alive). It was the happiest time. Thinking about how happy we were the last time we were there makes me sad and thankful. We will never be THAT happy again, but they say it's better to have loved and lost than to never have loved and I believe that.

Today, Brian and I made Addison's birthday cake. We made it out of flowers and will bring it to her headstone tomorrow. Family here have promised to visit her spot on the 5th and we will do something special in NC.

I can't believe another December is here. I miss her so much. My heart is so broken for my girl and as if December isn't hard enough, there are seven SEVEN other babies who have families missing them this month:

4th twins William and Ethan
5th Addison
5th Andrew
6th Eliza
15th Anna
19th Logan
20th Elizabeth

No wonder my heart is so heavy. 

I'll leave you with pictures of Addison's flower cake.



Little brother "blowing out the candles".