Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Feeling like a bad mom...

I just finished updating Savanna's blog. I hadn't updated it in a while, and I had lots of pictures to post. I feel bad that I'm so wrapped up in myself and in my sadness that I don't focus on her as much as I want to. She is so amazing. Absolutely beautiful and wonderful and sweet and smart and funny and every other perfect adjective that I can think of. I love her more than I can say, but I just feel robbed that I won't get to watch Jude grow like I get to watch her. I'm so thankful for her, and I hope I don't ever take for granted how blessed I am to have her...I just wish I had her little brother, too.
On top of all my feelings of inadequacy with Savanna, I'm really struggling with my role as a step-mom right now. We had Josie all week last week for Spring Break, and we have both Jos and Dec all week this week. I love, love, love, love, love my step kids, but they're soooo attached to their dad. I know that's a good thing. But, them being so attached to him sometimes makes me feel unwanted and unloved. BJ has been working overnights, and every night that he has to work, Josie freaks out and cries because he's not going to be here. It makes me feel so bad about myself...like she doesn't like me or something. I hate that. And I'm totally not used to it. My whole life, kids have loved me. It makes me feel horrible to feel like my own step kids don't love me.
I don't know...maybe all of this is just a result of overwhelming hormones from the past month. But right now, I feel like a total failure as a mommy. I couldn't sustain my little Jude's life, my little Vanni doesn't get the mommy she deserves, and my step kids could care less about me. I pray I can be a good mom someday.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Across the Universe

Last night, our church had a "joint service" with Oak Manor church in Fayetteville. It was a real blessing, and felt really good to worship with others that we don't usually worship with. They had asked BJ and I to help with the band. BJ played bass, and I sang. It was the first time I had sang since Jude, but I held it together better than I expected to. I didn't cry at all until prayer time.
By the end of the service, poor little Vanni was exhausted, so we didn't get to stay for fellowship time. Instead, we came home, put her to bed, and put in a movie.
We've both been wanting to see the movie Across the Universe, so we decided to watch that. It's a really weird movie, but the whole movie integrates Beatles songs into the storyline. The remakes of the songs are actually really good, and there are some very talented singers. Unfortunately for me, the main character's name was Jude. It really struck me hard every time they called him by name. It made me glad that we picked a name that was a little unusual, so we won't have to hear it every day; but at the same time, it made me wish that we had named him something that I'll never hear in casual conversation so I won't have to think about him. It's not really that I don't want to think about Jude, it's just that I don't want to be caught off guard with overwhelming thoughts of him.
I don't know if this is ever going to be easy. I just pray that God will give me strength to make it through.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

This coping thing is hard

It's been over 3 weeks, and you would think that I would be getting the hang of coping by now, but I'm really not. I don't know...sometimes I'm great. Sometimes I'm happy. I've even laughed at silly stuff with my friends and my kiddos and my hubby. But sometimes, it just all seems so bleak. I miss Jude so bad. I even miss being sick and pregnant. We went out to eat the other night, and it seemed like every woman in the restaurant was pregnant. It made me sad. I'm trying so hard not to be jealous of other people, but it's hard. Hopefully, the coping thing will get easier with time, but for right now, I almost feel like I'm fighting a losing battle.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Memorial

Sorry I haven't written since we had the memorial service on Tuesday. It's really hard for me to write these days. For the most part, from moment to moment, I'm doing pretty well, but trying to think about sitting down to write specifically about Jude is really, really tough.
The service was absolutely the most perfect service that I can imagine. Derek and Holly sang three songs that so perfectly fit us and our feelings. Jeff gave a great service, and really gave us a lot of comfort. So many people were there to support us. It was really a great feeling of love. I'm so thankful that God has given us such a great support network to get us through this time.
After the service, a lot of people stayed around and we visited. It almost turned into a celebration of fellowship. I'm glad that even in the saddest of times, we were able to find joy.
Since the memorial, I've been getting by. I break down crying a lot, but I think that's to be expected. I just miss him so much. But I know that he's not hurting anymore, so I'm happy for that.
BJ went back to work a few nights ago. I'm almost jealous of him for having a distraction. He'd think I'm crazy for being jealous of his being able to work. Physically, I feel like I could probably go back anytime, but I know that would be pushing it. Emotionally, I know that the time to heal will help me.
Hopefully, I'll get myself together someday. For now, I'm just taking it minute by minute. Thanks again to all who have prayed for us.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Our Memorial day

Today is the day that we will have the memorial for our baby boy Jude. I'm so scared that I'll break down, that I'll make a fool of myself, that all these people who have thought that I've been strong through this whole process will see how weak I really am. I'm thankful that we get to say goodbye, but I don't want to say goodbye to him. I want him back. I want to hold him and love on him and take care of him the way that a Mommy should do. But I know that's not possible.
Yesterday, Britney (who has been such a blessing to me through all of this) took me to run errands to try and get things ready for the service. We had to stop by the funeral home to proof the service handouts. They're so adorable, and so perfect. I know I've said before what a wonderful man Grant at Heritage is, but I don't think I can ever say it enough. Before we left, he gave me my locket so that I can wear it today. It's a small silver heart, and inside it are part of Jude's cremated remains. I'm so blessed to be able to have such a special reminder of my little boy and wear it close to my heart, and I'm so thankful that I will have it with me during the service today.
I know I've said thank you a million times to all who have prayed, but I will continue to say it again and again. Your prayers and the grace of God are all that has gotten me through. I'm so thankful to be surrounded by such love.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The hardest part is finally over

Wow, it doesn't feel like Monday was only a few days ago. This week has been so long and difficult. I'll start from the beginning...

I didn't really sleep Sunday night. I was way too keyed up. But on Monday morning, we got everything together, put it in the car and headed out. We dropped Savanna off at the babysitter's, then went to Washington Regional to see my mom before her surgery. We got to Willow Creek right at 8:30, just like they told me to do. I got changed and we waited. And waited. And waited. Have I ever mentioned that I'm impatient, and that God has clearly been trying to work on my patience through all of this? Anyway, at 10 (the time the surgery was scheduled for), they came in and told me that the doctor didn't get the schedule change, so he'd be there at 11. The nurse came in and got my IV going and gave me some stuff to calm my tummy down and relax me just a little. Several other people came in and gave me words of encouragement, and a lady from the NICU brought down a beautiful basket with a baby blanket in it. I was surrounded by people who loved me...BJ, Jeff (our preacher), Carol, JennMac, and then Rhonda came in before I got wheeled back. I felt very surrounded by love. The doctor came in to explain the procedure to me, and the anesthesiologist gave me all the information about what he was going to do. I was incredibly nervous, but felt the peace that only God can provide.

The nurses took me into the OR several minutes before BJ could join us. The anesthesiologist gave me a spinal block (which was much easier than an epidural, by the way), and they started testing my reactions to touch and temperature on different parts of my body). The medicine kicked in quickly, and it didn't take too long before they started cutting me open. The surgery itself was incredibly difficult. The baby's abdomen was too large, and he was stuck, so the doctor had to drain the fluid from his bladder before they could get him out. It was very scary, but BJ did a really good job of being comforting. The anesthesiologist and the doctor were incredible, too. I prayed a lot, and recited lyrics to praise songs to try and keep myself calm. It worked for the most part, but some of the time I was really freaked out. When they finally got baby Jude out, he still had a heartbeat, but it was very faint. He was with us for a few minutes before he went to Heaven. The doctor was incredibly awesome, and told me that Jude was with Jesus now. I had no idea how tiny my little guy would be. He was so small and fragile looking, but incredibly beautiful. I had been afraid that I would be frightened of what he would look like, and that I would be afraid to hold him after he was gone, but once I saw him, all those fears melted away. He was so beautiful. He had Savanna's cute little nose in the middle of a miniature image of Declan's face. The perfect combination of BJ's and my genes.
Everyone at the hospital was awesome. They really seemed genuinely sorry for our loss. I'm so thankful for such a wonderful, caring staff. We got to keep Jude with us until about 5PM. Then, Grant from the funeral home came to take our baby. Can I just say what an incredible blessing this man is??? He was so caring, and has been so nice and supportive through this whole process.
I only stayed in the hospital for about 48 hours. Thankfully, my body is healing well, especially considering how difficult the surgery was. Since I've been home, I've had so much support from my friends and my church family. I've not had to cook any meals, and I've had lots of help with cleaning and taking care of Savanna.
This whole process has been so difficult, but I have been so incredibly blessed by the outpouring of love and support that I've felt from so many people. It gives me hope that this world hasn't completely gone to hell yet. That may sound like a very jaded thing to say, but the past few years have made me see so much that is wrong with the world. These past few months have shown me things that are right with the world...that God is moving, and that He is able to care for me, even in the darkest of moments.
Don't get me wrong...I'm very, very, very sad. I miss my baby boy so much. I wish I could hold him just once more, or feel him move in my tummy again. But I do have peace that he is in a better place, and that some day, I'll see him again. Until then, I'll hold on to the hope of better days, and hold on to my husband and my beautiful kids that are still here with me.
Tuesday night is the memorial service for my little guy. I think it will be the hardest part to get through. I pray that God will give me strength, and that I will make it through in one piece. Our family's road to recovery will be a long one, and I'm sure there will be detours along the way. I just pray that we'll use this whole experience to draw us closer to the One who brought us through it.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Today is the big day

Today is the big day for my c-section. I never posted after the other day, but all of the doctors I saw agreed that delivering now is best for my little Jude. If you notice the timestamp on this message, you'll see that I'm having a hard time sleeping.
I'm just so overcome with emotion right now. I'm relieved to know that the last few months of dread and sickness are almost over. I'm excited to meet my little Jude. I'm terrified of holding a little guy that I know isn't going to be with us very long. I'm even more terrified of holding him after he goes to heaven, and all that is left is the shell of his little broken body. I'm nervous about having to get cut open. I'm thankful to God for His faithfulness in getting BJ and I through this incredibly challenging situation. I'm overwhelmingly blessed by the outpouring of love I've felt from my New Springs family, my friends, my mom, and even from total strangers through this whole ordeal.
Thanks again to all who have prayed. Please continue to pray today. It will be a rough day, but I'm thankful God has given it to us.