33 days. They pass so quickly. A whole lifetime and the beginning of life. Such a contradiction.
Today on his 33rd day, my son is now older than my daughter. My sweet boy is now the big brother. 33 days, that's all we got with her and they passed so quickly. I hold my boy, looking at his beautiful face, it reminds me of his sister so much and yet it is so different. He is so different. The way he has grown, become so alert, interacted with us these last few weeks, what a gift. I wish Ruthie Lou had been able to express herself in that way as well. There is no question that we felt her love an that she felt ours but I wish it could've been more. I wish we had had more of everything. More time, more snuggles, more smiles, more sunsets. Just more.
The last 33 days with Reid have been so different than our time with Ruthie Lou. A person parents differently to a child who is dying versus one you get to keep. A person lives life so differently when you think time is endless. I have found us doing that this month, taking advantage the luxury of time. We lounge more, we stay inside when we could go out. We put off our walk til tomorrow because we GET tomorrow together. We are living as ordinary parents, it feels so weird. And I hate that I have been a mama for a year but am now a "new parent". I feel so cheated sometimes. We got cheated, Ruthie Lou got cheated. We miss her so much.
Through all this I still understand, Ruthie Lou was not taken from us, this was her journey, she fulfilled her time. But I am human, I am her mama, I miss her. I wish on today, Reid's 33rd day, that she was soundly sleeping in the room down the hall as I rock her little brother to sleep...
I love you RL, to the moon and back more than all the stars in the sky. I love you RW, I love you, I love you, I love you. I love you both, my sweet babies. I will forever love you both.
Life has once again changed in an instant. The moment I laid eyes on my boy, my heart melted and I was in love, again. It wasn't as if I forgot how much I love Ruthie Lou because that is impossible but in the moment that I saw my sweet boy outside my belly, the moment I held Reid in my arms, I was instantly reminded of the power of this love. It is unlike any other. I think that in order to continue forward in our life this year, I must not have allowed myself to fully remember this feeling for if I had, I would not have been able to get out of bed every day or any day for that matter. While I have missed and loved Ruthie Lou every single day, I have put some of that memory in the depths of my heart, safe, only to be visited in my quietest of moments, the sacred times that I am able to feel close to her while I shut out the rest of the world. In one moment Reid brought all those emotions back to my heart and in an instant I experienced the pure unconditional bliss & love for my boy and the devastating heart ache of loss, missing my girl. That has been my month, the contradiction of gratitude and sorrow, joy and pain, love and loss. And so life continues moving forward....again.
My brain appears to be adjusting to the tremendous amount of disturbed sleep that this boy has brought into our world and I have begun to feel a bit like my old self again. A BIT. I also still feel slightly delirious and walk away from conversations wondering if what I said made ANY sense at all! Oh well. I am so in love that I find myself spending my entire days staring at and holding this boy as much as I possibly can...which pretty much means most of all day, every day and a lot during the night! Sleep is overrated!
My heart is so full right now, I am so grateful he is finally here safe and sound. I can finally breathe...we can create a baby with all its chromosomes, a baby that we can keep! Of course in the back of my mind, even knowing his fact, I still worry about everything. I really try to push all those fears aside, live in the moment and be present with this special time that truly flies right by. I also think about Ruthie Lou a lot since this is the only time my children will be the same age. I hold Reid in my arms and stare at Ruthie Lou's pictures and compare their similarities, their differences. I see a lot of her in him and I love being able to see their connection to one another but it makes me so sad that that's all we will have, all Reid will have of his sister, just pictures and the stories we tell him. I miss her so much right now rememberig the short time we had with her and now living with Reid, realizing how short that time actually was, an entire lifetime in a 33 days. I am sad for us, sad for him, sad for her. We are all missing out on the life we "should have" had. Then, as quickly as my brain heads down that path, I remind myself to turn that around as fast as it enters my mind. That type thinking, it isn't constructive and I remember, we aren't guaranteed anything in this life.
So for now, I sit. I sit with my boy, I stare at him, I love him. I watch him nurse in amazement that I can provide him with everything he needs right now, he just needs me and lots of love. I am so smitten with him. I want to give him everything and then some. I love him so much and then I love him even more. I give him all the love in my heart and the love reserved for his sister, he gets it all. He gets all of me.
This past year for Ruthie Lou, I stayed healthy for Reid in my belly. Now, I live for Ruthie Lou AND Reid, I stay healthy for my family and the future that is laid in front of us, so close I can taste it. I keep moving. I am here now with my boy in my arms...once again, I have waited my whole life for this.
I keep wanting to write but with a baby constantly in my arms, it is near impossible. I can't write in Reid's journal because I can't hold a pen, I can't write in Ruthie Lou's journal because I can't hold my iPad so here I write in this forum because I CAN hold my iPhone, but trust me, it's not the easiest to write all your thoughts in a 4x2 phone! And I am NOT complaining!
Reid is nearly three weeks old! I want to say I can't believe it but I can. If I have learned nothing this year it is that time keeps moving even when you don't want it to whether it's to hold on to the good or bad. I wanted time to stand still when Ruthie Lou was alive because we knew the days were limited. I wanted time to stop altogether after she died because I couldn't fathom moving forward in life without her. And now I want time to slow down because I don't want to miss a single thing about this special time with Reid! But time keeps moving....
I am holding my boy in my arms everyday now and I am so grateful. It feels surreal. I am so in love. I am overjoyed. I am so happy. And I am devastatingly sad. For all things Reid, life is so good. He is beautiful, sweet, calm, adorable, easy going, a joy to be with at all times even the fussy crying changing diaper moments. For all things Ruthie Lou, balanced with my love and adoration for her, my heart aches. I miss her so. Watching her brother and sharing these moments make me realize even more how much we missed with her, how much we miss her. I want her here with us, I want to share these moments of Reid with her toddling around with our family. We are a family of four and it is so hard to be here as a family of three.
I look for her, for the signs that we share and they are appearing in different ways now because my routine has changed. I feel a disconnect with her right now because life is so different. It has taken some time to not feel deliriously sleep deprived and be able to function normally...or somewhat normal. It has taken some time to digest Reid's birth, our hospital stay, being home, balancing visitors and adjusting to our new life, I feel distant from my girl and I hate that. I miss her. I also want to be present for my boy, he deserves my undivided attention and love. It is a balance, one that I am sure that all parents of two children must figure out, it's just different when one child is not physically present.
But as I sit in bed typing on my iPhone with my baby boy sleeping on my chest, I remember, life is (still) good and that nothing needs to be figured out today. Life has changed, so once again, we must change. We love both our babies so much and it is extremely clear how much they love us. I am instantly reminded to be in that moment, always.
I am mama of three beautiful babes; two sons whom I have the privilege of raising and my daughter who lived for 33 sacred days.