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Monday, October 24, 2011

Big Bridge Ahead

October 24, 2011 – Big Bridge Ahead……

As the last few months have passed I have found it increasingly more difficult to be carefree. On the 29th of this month, this Saturday coming up, my baby would have been 6 months old. I am finding myself in a state of weepy depression today and can’t pull myself out of it. This age in any child’s life is certainly significant and I’m having a hard time not wishing I had my baby here to cross all these milestones:

Physical and motor skill markers:
  • Able to hold almost all weight when supported in a standing position
  • Able to transfer objects from one hand to the other
  • Able to lift chest and head while on stomach, holding the weight on hands (often occurs by 4 months)
  • Able to pick up a dropped object
  • Able to roll from back to stomach
  • Able to sit in a high chair with a straight back
  • Able to sit on the floor with lower back support
  • Beginning of teething
  • Increased drooling
  • Should be able to sleep 6 - 8 hour stretches at night
  • Should have doubled birth weight (birth weight often doubles by 4 months, and it would be cause for concern if this hasn't happened by 6 months)
Sensory and cognitive markers:
  • Begins to fear strangers
  • Begins to imitate actions
  • Begins to realize that if an object is dropped, it is still there and just needs to be picked up
  • Can locate sounds not made directly at the ear level
  • Enjoys hearing own voice
  • Makes sounds (vocalizes) to mirror and toys
  • Makes sounds resembling one-syllable words (example: da-da, ba-ba)
  • Prefers more complex sounds
  • Recognizes parents
  • Starts to imitate sounds
  • Vision is between 20/60 and 20/40
Play recommendations:
  • Read, sing, and talk to your child
  • Imitate words such as "mama" to help baby learn language
  • Play peek-a-boo
  • Provide an unbreakable mirror
  • Provide large, bright-colored toys that make noise or have moving parts (avoid toys with small parts)
  • Provide paper to tear
  • Speak clearly
  • Start naming parts of the body and the environment
  • Use body movements and actions to teach language
  • Use the word "no" infrequently
I think looking at these made it even more real; my child is not here to do any of these!! He’s not behind, he’s not ahead; he’s simply not here!! It makes me so mad! This is the “year of anniversaries”, this is the year I get to say, “this is my first _______ without Thomas”. Halloween is coming up and although I couldn’t be any happier about spending it with my little 3 year old batman that really believes his cape should make him fly; I can’t help but think that I should be picking out some ridiculously cheesy costume to put Thomas in because by the time he’s 3, he will insist on picking out his own super hero costume! I have been robbed of that! I just want to put him in a stupid costume, that’s probably too warm for a Southeast Texas Halloween, and take a million pictures of him because I can never get his first Halloween back and I can’t. I’m feeling very sorry for myself today. I’m suffering from anxiety over his first birthday, which will be here before we know it. I’m struggling with the “right way” to celebrate it. I refuse to let it just roll by without acknowledgment but at the same time I don’t want to freak the kids out. I know his birth, day of passing and funeral dates will all be sneaking up on me soon and I’m already sad. How am I going to hold it together during those times?!? How am I going to slap on a happy face when all I want to do is crawl in a hole and cry? How am I going to get up every single day, go to work, and play the role of mommy, wife and friend when all I can think about is how bad my heart hurts?

I am currently a part of a group on Facebook for families of Anencephalic babies; it’s a place where people that have lost babies and people that are losing babies can go for comfort. Another mom lost her baby today, her daughter passed away before she was ever born which seems so very unfair. Each post seems to rip a piece of my healing wound wide open; might be time to remove myself from this group all together.

I don’t know what my deal is today, but I can’t seem to shake it. I have cried off and on all day long, keeping it together when I had kids in my room and letting it all go on my short breaks. Days like these make me ask “why”. Days like these make it hard to be “inspirational”. Days like these give me a feeling of entitlement; like I’ve earned time to myself to wallow in my broken heart. I rarely get that luxury.

As I’m sitting here feeling excessively sorry for myself I try to focus on what I DO have, sometimes this takes a conscious effort on my part. I am blessed to have the support system that I have. I am blessed to have the family I have. I am blessed to have the unit of friends that I have. I am so blessed with a boy that loves his mommy more than words could express and I am so proud of the kid he is. He has turned out to be quite the sensitive young fella and I am so amazed by him each and every day. On our drive in this morning he kept showing me a spot on his finger and said, “Jesus kissed me a new freckle”. I wouldn’t dare tell him that it was a blood blister from a run in with his popgun this weekend. He is my precious life-saver and I don’t thank God enough for him.  


  1. You are such a strong woman,and your blog is inspirational to so many will always remain in my prayers!!!!Know that baby Thomas is watching over you. xoxo Allison Hagen

  2. I think all that you're feeling today is totally OK. I mean, to go back & forth between feeling alright to weeping uncontrollably seems healthy. Each new day brings a new situation to consider, figure out, learn through & grieve. But with each passing day, all those things have happened already. You've already grieved the 4th of July, for example. Next year, it won't be the 1st 4th of July without Thomas. Yes it will be ANOTHER 4th of July without him, but it will be something you recognize & know how to feel about. Don't beat yourself up. Take it one day at a time & if you have a few down days in a row, don't sweat it. Lord knows none of us expect you to "have it all together". You have every right to laugh, cry, stomp your feet, squeal or shriek. Love you, girlie!

  3. I've followed your journey since you started this blog. I know there is nothing I could write to comfort your broken heart...but please know that your sweet baby boy has changed lives. My "babies" are 25 and 23 and although I feel I've always treasured them, I know I hug a little tighter now because of Thomas. Praying for God to hold your heart tenderly as all the firsts seem to make it feel like it's breaking all over again. I wish I could hug you.