Wednesday, June 12, 2013

BLM/Rainbow Baby Weekend 2013

I'm staying home from work today with a sick little boy. Not sick sick, just a runny nose and a cough. He's mostly just whiny and wants his mama, which I am happy to oblige. The reason he is sick probably has something to do with the 13 other babies he spent the weekend swapping spit with, or the 13 extra mama's holding him or the two plane rides to and from Chicago or a combination of it all, but you know what?!? It doesn't matter because in a few days he will be good as new and the memories we made over the weekend will stay with me the rest of my life.

Brooke and Brandy did a better job breaking down the weekend, but I just had to write SOMETHING of my own.

On Friday, Mason and I flew to Chicago to meet up with 13 other baby loss mom's and their 13 rainbow babies. All of which I met because of this blog. I started this blog for me, for Addison, to write my thoughts down and what I got was so much more. I found other mothers going through what I was in relatively the same time frame and they became my people.

There is no other group/people in the world I would have braved a 4 and 4.5 hour flights to Chicago with a 13 month old by myself, but for this group I was pretty much willing to move Heaven and Earth to make this meeting happen.

Walking into Brandy's house for the first time with so many moms and babies already there was completely overwhelming, but in the best way possible. Hugging all these women who I have "known" for years, but was never able to wrap my arms around. Smooching babies who I loved even before they were born, babies who I waited for anxiously through nerve-wracking pregnancies and cried when they were born, babies who have siblings in heaven that I truly believe are Addi's bff's. And just like that after all this time such a big group of us were under one roof.

It was really something to look around the room and see that 90% of the moms were holding someone else's baby. It's like these babies KNEW how much we loved them and were happy to be held by all of us. It was easy to get something to eat or go to the bathroom because the room was full of women who loved my son as much as I loved their kids. You could see all the mothering going on between moms and all the babies, it was really something.

The conversation flowed easily and there was no explanation needed when switching from talking about our living children to the ones we didn't get to keep. There was laughing, crying, laughing and crying at the same time, chit chat, deep conversations and really just a beautiful understanding by everyone.

At one point we all shared photo albums of our babies. Most of us do not share our baby's photos online so getting to see pictures of these babies I have loved for so long was like seeing that missing piece. It was so easy to see them in their siblings and really just made me love them all the more.

I missed out on a new mommy group of friends when Addison was born, but these women are my mommy group. I guess that's one part I didn't miss out on after all.

I came home feeling better than I have since losing Addi. My heart will never be whole again, but after this weekend it felt closer to whole than I ever thought was possible. I smiled bigger and felt a peace I forgot existed. Like Brandy said, I'm only sad it's over.

Now that I have met so many in person, once will never be enough and I am already saving for next year's get together. Nicole, Darcey and of course Becky, 2014 better include you all.

Thank you to everyone who came, and for sharing your children with me, thank you for letting me share both of mine with you. I wouldn't trade this weekend for anything except Addison. You all mean so much to me. Is it 2014 yet?!?

I missed Addison so much this weekend, but in a way it's like she was there, it was like they were all there. What a gift.

14 BLM+14 Rainbow babies. Forever missing Elizabeth, Bear, Cale, Hayes, Jack, Camille, Aiden, Julius, twins William and Ethan, Addison, Andrew, Ava, Eliza and Anna.

Sonja's sweet mom made these adorable hats for our rainbow babies in honor her granddaughter Elizabeth. Each hat representing a very loved and missed big sister or brother/s.

My very own Rainbow baby.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

2.5

Since Addison's second birthday I have made a conscious decision to stop posting on the 5th of each month. I still have lots to say, but it's nothing that I haven't said before in post after post. I find myself thinking about it, but reminding myself that I have other outlets now.

Today Addison would be two and half years old. 2.5! How do I even wrap my brain around all that we have missed and who our little lady would be. Her likes and dislikes, her temper and her love, her favorite foods, colors, toys, books, people...all of it left only to wonder about.

I find myself continuing to daydream about that life that should have been. I don't know that I will ever stop.

Little girls continue to hurt my heart. I generally look away at the first sight of a tiny human in pink, I go into the children's stores ONLY on the boy side of things and a girl baby shower still seems like something I will never be able to attend. I have one and only one 2.5 year old girl in my life that we spend time with and I still believe it's because she would have been Addi's BFF. I thought over time I would be able to open my heart to other little girls, but that has not been the case. I am very selective with the friends I follow on Instagram and which FB people can show their posts on my feed. It is what it is.

At work I had someone ask me if Mason was 2.5. I just said no, he was 13 months. The coworker seemed surprised to be so far off. I decided not to tell him that he wasn't completely wrong and that 2.5 was right, it was just the wrong child. I always answer the "is this your first" question with no, but in this case he wasn't specifically asking so I didn't have to lie. I have made SEVERAL people uncomfortable with always counting Addi, but that is what is right for me. I feel too horrible not counting her and I still feel that people need to hear that baby loss happens. I have to say more times than not, I am surprised to hear that they themselves have a connection to the baby loss community in some way. Those moments make me the most happy and proud of my decision to always say it.

The 5th day of the month is not as hard as it was in those early days, but it STILL takes my breath away and I am always anticipating it's arrival. It's funny because Mason's "day of the month" doesn't have a profound effect on me. Probably because we are so busy, but it just doesn't feel like an important part of him like the 5th feels for Addi. In fact on the 22nd when Mason turned 13 months I didn't even remember he turned 13 months until going to bed. That date means more for another baby than for him. He gets it all you see and doesn't need that date to be special.

This month will be full of Addison things and that makes my heart feel a bit lighter and happier. There are plans to meet up with several BLM's and their rainbow babies that I have met through this wonderful space. It feels like getting together with the playgroup of mom's that I missed out on with Addi. They are part of my connection to her, my support and my friends. I keep telling people that I am about to get together with some of the best friends I've never met. Something I am SO looking forward to. Then there is the TEARS Rock and Walk. Something we do every year for Addi and hope to raise money for other families to help with funeral expenses. If you would like to donate in Addison's name please click here: http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/keleen-crawford/rockwalk

You can watch our story here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1deqdFRmM8

Hoping this month is going to be as amazing as I think it will be!

Dear Addi,
We miss you so very very much. You are apart of everything we do. I am so excited to share you with some of the best friends I've never met in person. You are with me always. Two and a half. Wow. Our life with you would have been nothing short of magical. I just know it. I love you so much.
Love,
Mommy

PS Occasionally when your brother wakes up in the middle of the night screaming bloody murder, I have convinced myself you are in there pinching him...it always make me laugh as I go in to comfort him....awe siblings, but I also believe you are behind many of his giggles. Keep it up sweet girl (the giggles that is, less pinching). xoxox