One Month Yesterday

October 23, 2008

Yesterday was the one month mark--one month since Jared and I lost our baby boy. And my goodness, this has been the longest thirty days of my life. I honestly feel like I've aged about twenty-five years since September 22nd.

It's really no good--I feel a hell of a lot older, but I'm still really, really far away from retirement.

Damn. It.

You know me, I won't lie. I won't make things seem rosier than they actually are, and I won't pretend to have a perfect take on life. But you know what? Yesterday wasn't all that bad.

When I came home from work, there was a huge, green cardboard box sitting on my front steps. It was taped-up every which-way, scribbled with permanent marker, and quite obviously came from someone's home--certainly not a business.

I curiously approached the box, which was addressed to me, and noticed a return-address from the Midwest. "Who lives in Illinois" I asked myself? "I swear I don't know anyone named Brenda from Illinois."

I clumsily picked up the box, which was surprisingly light for it's bulky size, and walked it to my kitchen table. As I cautiously slit the tape with my sewing scissors, I continued to wonder, "Who in the crap could this big old box be from?" (I've never claimed to have eloquent thoughts)

When I folded back the cardboard cover and peeked inside, I gasped, instinctively covered my mouth with my left hand, and felt a stream of tears begin to run down my face. I pulled a clear plastic bag out of the box and carefully removed the contents, laying them across my kitchen table and stroking them with my tear-stained cheek again and again.

Two months ago, when I still had my heart set on becoming a mother again, I ordered a beautiful set of custom-made cushions for my rocking chair. They were a cream color with red accents--perfectly appropriate for a boy or a girl--and I made sure to order the extra-high-quality foam stuffing. Sure, it was a thirty-dollar upgrade, but I planned on rocking this baby a lot. And besides, Jared never needed to know just how much I spent.

The cushions were absolutely beautiful--much brighter and cushier than I had anticipated.

I carefully picked them up from the table, and cradled them in my arms as though they were the baby I've been aching for. I carried them to our basement playroom, and tied them onto my naked rocking chair. I stepped back to take a look, and couldn't fight the soft smile that came across my face. That chair had never looked so pretty.

So pretty, that I instantly gave in to my urge to sit down and glide for a while in the silence. As I rocked back and forth, I wasn't quite sure what to do with my very empty arms. It had been years since I'd been in that chair--and back then I only used it to lull James to sleep. My arms were always more than full with my giant, happy baby boy.

My arms finally settled onto the armrests, and my head leaned against the back. I stared up for a while, confirmed that I still detest our drop ceilings, and helped myself to a vocal prayer.

"Heavenly Father," I mumbled. "I'm just really, really sad. Please make sure he has someone to take care of him and some good friends to play with. Friends are really important."

"Help me to be a good wife and Mom," I continued, "because Jared and James really need me. They really need me now."

And on and on it went.

When I offered my "Amen" and stood up from my chair some time later--I'm honestly not sure if it was minutes or hours--I changed into my cold weather running clothes, tied my shoes extra-tight, and turned my mp3 player to my favorite comedy podcast.

It's strange, but even though the tears were still coming, I was thoroughly cracking up by the time I got to the end of my street. Some guy was telling some story about accidentally buying a pizza shop from a mobster, and I'm not sure why, but his heavy New York accent kept me belly laughing for the next six miles.

When I came home an hour later I picked up my running log, did my best to grasp my cheap Bic pen with my seriously frozen fingers, and scribbled the following entry:

Hill work-out. Did the long, steep Main Street hill 4x and yelled curse words every time I got to the top. Had my headphones in, so I was probably yelling louder than I should have. A cop stopped to ask me if everything was okay when I was cooling down, and I told him I was fine--but that hill's one hell of a @#$%ing ^&*@!. He liked that. Good work out. Really good workout.

All in all, it wasn't too bad of a day--a whole lot better than I was expecting.

And may God bless anyone who's dealing with the loss of someone special.

52 comments:

supersue said...

I miss you so much my friend,
thank you for your post.

Southern Fried Girl said...

Lord. I'm not even sure how you are dealing with this. Just know that I, as well as many others, are thinking of you.

Michemily said...

What a beautiful, honest, heartfelt post. I hope you know you are loved and you will make it.

Marissa said...

I am so sorry your arms and heart ache, but I am thrilled that you have running as an outlet.
Great post!

Laura said...

Lucky! New cushions for your chair! And just go ahead and burn those Similac coupons that never.stop.coming in the mail!!!

Glad you're feeling better. I'm impressed with your running!

Sami said...

Amy, I have been following your blog for a long time. And peeing my pants laughing reading them for just as long. I am in Rebecca's ward and found you through her blog. So I'm one of those silent lurkers, quietly gleaning pleasure off of the many funny and shake of the head worthy posts that you share.

I just wanted to say that I hope you know that many of us, including those who have never posted a comment of encouragement (that's me too), think of you and pray for you often. I know that you will get through this and be such a stronger person for it. You know that you can always count on the fact that you are never alone. He is always there with us.

Anyway... you are seriously the best. And you really tell some funny... crap.

Running in Alabama said...

sending up a prayer for you...

Ashton and Shanda Call Family said...

Thank you for sharing...made me have tears. I lost my Dad one year ago this month, and it's been a hard month. It was nice to hear someone be so honest about their emotions. Cussing sometimes calms the storm I say...

Rachel said...

Amy,
One month ago I read about the loss of your little boy. Did you name him? While reading about you and crying, I was awaiting the arrival of our third child. Our baby was born on Oct. 6th (a beautiful little girl.) Due to a true knot in her umbilical cord, she never breathed a breath on this earth. I'm sure she is trying to convince your son in heaven to play tea party with her this very moment. He is probably not persuaded as wrestling with the angels is much more fun. I pray and weep for you as we are both missing our babies. Have you found any good resources? I could name a few for you if you're interested. May God give you peace along this journey of grief.

Marc and Megan said...

Amy, getting those surprise things in the mail is hard. I wish I could have been with you yesterday... I really need a running partner and running hill to curse at, too. Love ya lots... still praying for you.

Mary Poppins said...

That was beautifully put. You have a gift and I hope blessings, healing, and peace come your way.

Cheryl said...

This was so sad to read, but I love how you dealt with it, and went out and ran that hill. (I probably would have eaten a pint of Ben and Jerry's.) Keep hanging in there. You're in my prayers.

JoyFromKaty'sBoard said...

When reading your blog I usually have tears from laughter. Today I have tears from the pain I feel in my heart for you and your family. Just know that I (and many others) are praying for you. I lost a baby (much earlier than you) and I like to imagine God holding him close and rocking him in a beautiful rocking chair in heaven.

JoyFromKaty'sBoard said...

When reading your blog I usually have tears from laughter. Today I have tears from the pain I feel in my heart for you and your family. Just know that I (and many others) are praying for you. I lost a baby (much earlier than you) and I like to imagine God holding him close and rocking him in a beautiful rocking chair in heaven.

David and Sammy said...

Only your writing can make me go from crying to laughing in a matter of 20 seconds. We're still thinking of and praying for you guys.
Please get another video of James on the window sill because that was pure comedy.

Sarah said...

Amy - totally feeling for you. Sending you prayers and thoughts

Heather of the EO said...

I'm amazed at your ability to get up and go. And run. Through all of it.
Especially WHILE belly laughing. I would make it one block.

Seriously. You are an inspiration with your lovely humor, your huge heart, and your ability to write.

Still praying,
Heather

angelavanmoorsel said...

You don't know me from Adam and Eve, but I have to tell you that you are an amazing women that I'm glad I know, even if it is only virtually. Be strong and know that there are many, many people who are in your corner. Your family is in my thoughts.

Ellis Family said...

I agree with another comment - you have me with tears streaming down my face, and laughing at the same time. You are so honest with your thoughts and feelings, and your writing is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences with us - thank you for being so honest with what you write and for touching my heart repeatedly.

Katie said...

My heart goes out to you.

Keep on persevering.

The Jongejans said...

Amy,
I don't know you, I've been reading your blog for a few weeks now and I feel that I really need to comment on today's post. I can totally and completely empathize with your pain. There is something so heart wrenching about losing a child, that unless you've experienced it, you cannot comprehend the entirety of the loss. Unfortunately it is a pain that I know all too well. I take comfort knowing the eternal nature of the family. That is the only thing that brings me comfort when I look at the date and think - he would have been six today, she would have been one today, etc. Time does dim the ache, but it will never completely go away. Know that you are not alone. Know that you NEED to talk about it. Know too, that it is okay to forget some days...and you will forget. That is one of the ways our Father in Heaven shows his mercy. I sometimes get strange reactions when people ask me how many children I have and I say "six" and then they notice that I only have two that are living. Claim your son as your own, for he indeed is. Know too, that miracles do happen. Pray for his peace, it will come in small moments until the peace fills the ache that is in your empty arms. Love your son, love your husband, love yourself. And know, that loosing the baby is not your fault.
With Love,
Aimee

jackie said...

Amy, you are the only blogger that I read who can have me doing belly laughs while reading one post and then have me in tears reading your next one! My heart has hurt for you. I went through the same thing many, many years ago - well it was NOT the same because I didn't know I was finally pregnant (after extensive fertility treatments and many $$) - but the pain that followed when I miscarried was very, very bad and sad.
Blessings to you and Jared and James!
I admire you SO much!
hugs,
jackie

Kimberly said...

Got here from Sue's blog.

I have nothing to say except that you and your family will be in my prayers.

jkrunning said...

It's a beautiful post Amy.

And way to go on the workout.

Patty said...

nicely written post. love the picture, it's very fitting.

Team Ayres said...

Amy you amaze me more and more. I hope you know that you ARE a great mom and wife and you were always a great friend when we had you around in Dallas. And you were by far the best nanny with a masters degree! I still look at my kids and think about that you had a lot to do with how they're turning out. thanks I'll always be grateful for that. hang in there

katieo said...

Still thinking of you. And really really sorry. I'm just so glad you're writing and sharing this whole thing.

(ps I want that podcast!)

Amy said...

I'm glad you blog about grief and funny stuff in the same post--it's good for me to read and probably good for you to write.

Annette said...

(((HUGS))) to you and your family Amy. What a wonderful, honest post for us to read. Thanks.
Annette (Katy's SF friend)

Design Gal said...

Thanks for that beautiful post- my heart goes out to you.

Irish said...

Just felt that I need to post a comment even though you don't know me .... That was a lovely post and from the heart !!! It does get easiler ... Some days your good and others you still feel the ache ... Your in my thoughts and prayers .... Shelley xoxoo You can catch me at TheRowanClan@aol.co.uk

Rachael said...

What a beautiful and amazing post. i'm so sorry for your loss. (Hugs)

Shellie said...

That was heart wrenchingly, beautifully genuine and touching. What words could I ever say to ease the pain? It doesn't go away, but somehow it gets bearable eventually.

Allison said...

Amy,

You must stop making me cry at work:`( My boss is getting suspicious...

Hang in there Lawsons! Our Heavenly Father has your back - He is taking good care of your baby for you! :`)

jennie w. said...

I'm new to your blog from Sue at Navel Gazing. So sorry to hear about your little boy. I lost pregnancies at 17 weeks and 21 weeks. It's so awful.

I'm a complete stranger, but I've been down the road before. If you need to talk, here's an email:
jenhwest at gmail dot com

The forums at nationalshareoffice.com were a great help and comfort to me.

It will stop hurting eventually.

jennie w. said...

I have relatives on Peaks Island near Portland (they're Mormon).

Don't know if they're near you (or related to your husband), but thought I would mention my one tie to Maine!

The Roberts' Report said...

It's good to have you back, Amy.

blue said...

I`m so sorry to hear about your little one. This is my first time to your blog, but I know how you feel, as I`ve lost three. Even though mine were lost earlier, you form that connection with them. They really are your children right from conception.

As another commenter mentioned, looking at the calendar and thinking about the ages is something that you`ll always do. It will hurt less as time goes on, but the truth is, that little one was just as much a part of your family as your firstborn. He`ll never, ever go away, but you`ll be able to think of him without so much pain later.

www.expatmom.info

Mrs. Dub said...

We delivered (and lost) our Baby Zee at 19 weeks in February. Still sucks. Once I made it past my due date, the melancholy lightened, and now that I'm officially one year past when I got pregnant with her, it's even thinner.

There's so much worse that one can experience in life, I know, but it still so much harder than I ever imagined. It's also been more insightful than I expected.

Hang in there. You'll never get over it, but you will get through it.

P.O.M. said...

Beautiful and heartbraking. Thank you for sharing with us.

Grandma said...

so many caring people out there. I love you Amy.

Wizzard MoM said...

How sad it must be!! I'm so SORRY!! I pray that your family is blessed through this most difficult time, and may you know that you have friends and family that care about and love you.

And may your little baby know that his mama loves him.

Sarah said...

I can't believe it's been a month. It seems like yesterday and I'm sure at times it seems like an eternity to you. I am so sorry for your empty arms. I wanted you to know that a friend of mine recently lost her baby and I told her about your blog. She said she finds some comfort knowing that someone else is going through the same thing so your heartfelt writings are helping others too!

Penny said...

Oh Amy, you made me laugh and cry with this. God bless you and yours.

And am happy to know you're out there running!

And might I add...once again because it's been said before, but I don't care...you are one amazing writing.

3QTGUYS said...

Wow! A friend of mine forwarded your blog to me, and I am so glad she did.

I told lost a baby, and I feel your pain, and i know the hurt of the sonar tech glaring at you, and you knowing that it is not good.

I am praying for you.

The running.....I am a runner too! I was not at the time, but I know that it must feel liberating to get out there, run the miles, and shed the tears.

God can help you conquer this. Let Him.

Crabby McSlacker said...

Beautiful post; glad you are finding ways to cope. Laughter & tears is as good a way as any I suppose. And swearing. Swearing's always good.

Motherboard said...

I have been reading you for a long time now... I have just never commented.

I lost a baby in my second trimester too. It was 2 years ago this next week-- Halloween to be exact. I still cry when I talk about it...

My heart hurts for you. I am very sorry you have to travel this road.

I have a strong shoulder, and understanding ears if you need them.

crazylandblog AT gmail DOT com

smileonmyheart said...

wow that was a very honest post. i will be prayin for u. i cannot imagine what u r goin through. may God bless u and ur family more than u could ever dream.

Kristen said...

I came across your blog from someone else's and cried as I read your post. I too lost a little boy..about 7 years ago. He was almost 2 months old when he needed open heart surgery to repair 2 valves in his heart. We let him go a couple days later. It's a hard road, the toughest road you'll ever travel. But it does get easier. Eventually you can get through a day, then 2, and even a week without crying. The pain never goes away, it just becomes part of you and you just keep going on for the others in your life. I now have 4 daughters and a fabulous husband. What amazing blessings they are!

Joy Through Cooking said...

((hugs)) Amy. I wish for you continues strength, though it is clear that you have it in spades.


I am glad to read that you are running. We both know what good therapy it can be.

nevadanista said...

Bittersweet post. Nice. Amen.

akshaye said...

Amy.. I know how hard it is. A few weeks in and life keeps you busy until suddenly it hits you. Take care. You are in my thoughts and prayers.