Sunday, January 31, 2010

Day 23

believe -  to have confidence in the truth, the existence, or the reliability of something, although without absolute proof that one is right in doing so: Only if one believes in something can one act purposefully.

I Believe...

I believe in God. I believe God is good. I believe God has a plan. I believe in the power of family. I believe in the strength of friends. I believe in life. I believe in laughter and smiles. I believe we will be ok. I believe Felix, Juls and I will make it through this together, always a family. I believe in unity.  I believe in prayer. I believe in the magic of music. I believe, with my entire being, that our Zavier lives. I believe, in the presence of the Lord, my family will be complete forever more. I believe in signs. I believe in goodness. I believe in hope. I believe in healing. I believe there is a light at the end of all tunnels.

That light might not always be easy to see. Let faith lead the way. I believe I am learning how to live.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Day 22

Forever Carrying You

I miss your giggle. I miss your cry.
I can't help but wonder why you had to die.
He supposedly loves me
Still, He took you away.
I'd have given my life
If he'd have let you stay.

You are my heart
And now you're gone.
What have I done
that was so wrong?
My arms ache to hold you,
but what can I do?
I'll walk through this life,
Forever carrying you.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Day 21

Three weeks down, an entire lifetime to go...

I've decided to share today's moment of insanity. But first, I have a secret to tell. Over the course of the past 3 weeks, I have realized that it kind of irritates me to hear people comment on how I've 'lost' my baby. Well-meaning people have said things like, "I heard you lost your son." or "I'm so sorry you lost your baby."

In my mind, I'm like, what are you talking about. I have never 'lost' my baby. He was never misplaced. I've always known exactly where he is. Again, this is just a minor irritation and I never imagined I'd tell anyone, let alone include it in this blog. Today, after work, I went to the cemetary. To my horror, all the flowers had been removed including the basket of flowers I left on Saturday. I thought I knew where Zavi's spot is. Until...there were no flowers to mark the exact location.

My heart dropped. I felt what I can only imagine is the beginning of an anxiety attack. I thought to myself, now I've really done it. Now, I really have lost my baby. In that moment, I was not sure which of two spots was his. No worries. The whole thing strikes me as slightly amusing now.

Anyway, in my moment of panic and mild hysteria, I called the funeral home and spoke with a very kind man who assured me that he would find someone to help me immediately. I saw a man who appeared to be working and was assured by the man on the phone that he'd be able to help me. I walked up to the man and explained my situation. I must've have sounded like a truly crazy person. I told the man that I needed help. I needed to find my baby.

This man stopped what he was doing. He reassured me that he understood, that it would be ok and that he would help me find my baby. We went over to Babyland, where the babies are. He asked me for the baby's name. I told him and he said something like, That's the baby with the mariachis, right? He quickly and confidently showed me the spot that is Zavier's.

I will never lose my baby again.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Day 20

Thanks to the encouragement of a few really good people, Felix and I went to a concert at a small coffee shop. We have had these tickets for quite a while. Originally, Aunt Lanie was going to watch the kids. She watched only Juliana.

My confession: For 3 hours I welcomed Denial and allowed myself to pretend that this nightmare never happened. I tried to lose myself in noise and music. I tried to hide from my life. The evening was not without saddness, but we smiled, relaxed a little and even laughed.

Paul Thorn sang a song in which the lyric "You are the brightest star in my sky" seemed to speak to me. My Zavi will always be shining brightly in my sky.

The moment we walked out of the coffee shop into the dark, rainy night my heart sank. It all came back to me as we drove away, drove back into the ridiculously unfortunate reality of our little world.

The point is we smiled and even laughed. Together.  

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Day 19

I want to say today was better. I want to say I'm making progress. But I can't. I don't feel better and I don't see the progress. I couldn't even work a full day today. If anything, today was worse. How is that even possible? I am so frustrated. I honestly thought I could go to work, stay busy and function. How could I be so wrong? I was once the master multi tasker and suddenly my mind is mush. It takes so much effort to keep my mind from going back to the events of the past 19 days. I need it to stop. I need to figure this out. I need a plan.

I want to erase the past 19 days. I want to pretend this never happened, maybe then I could be functional. Felix says that is not the answer.

But wait, I did catch up on my school work. And, guess what...We finished one of the blankets!!!!! It is so sad and kind of happy. It is absolutely beautiful to us. It is our pain, our almost 4 months of joy, it is our tears, it is our prayers, it is part of our heart, it is a part of our boy. We did it together. I could not have done it alone. Felix finished it this afternoon and I am so proud of him.

It has been 19 days and it feels like a lifetime.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Day 18

Today I took I picture of my kids to work to put on my desk. Bad idea. It was there for maybe two hours before it went back into my bag. Why hadn't it been there for weeks? It's too late now. I kept glancing at it thinking that both my kids were safely where they belonged. I kept thinking Juliana was at school and Zavier with his sitter. I wanted, so much, to believe I was going to pick up Zavier after work.

I do not know how to be happy for my daughter. I do not know how to be strong for my husband. I don't even know who I need me to be. I'm drowning.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Day 17

Back to work...Getting out of my house was dreadful. I was mad, sad and even a little scared. I felt like I was forgetting something. I didn't want to leave without a diaper bag, a carseat and well...a baby. I stepped out of the shower and glanced at where my baby should be. In the center of my bed, propped up on a pillow, fed, burped and happily 'watching' Handy Manny.

Even worse, I felt a little like going about my 'normal' life was a betrayal to my son. Nothing should be the same. And it's not.

On my way home from work, I didn't want to stop driving. I wanted, desperately, to go pick up Zavier. I got home and wondered why I didn't have a baby to bathe, feed and play with. I did go to the track with Felix and Juls. It was nice to be out with them, in the fresh air, running (or jogging should I say). Juls seemed to be having a good time. She remembers when we first took Zavier to the track and strolled around the parking lot with him. Felix says he is training her for the 2nd annual Bulldog Races. At the 1st annual Bulldog Races, I was pregnant with Zavi. Now, just one year later, he has come and gone. It was at this time, just last year, that we found out we were pregnant and just like that it is all over.

Utterly unbelievable, shocking, incomprehensible...

I tucked Juliana into bed tonight and she said, "You usually have Zavier with you and I always kiss him goodnight". I was speechless because she is absolutely right. I could feel the anger begin to creep up. Every now and then, I think how it would be so much easier to let the anger take over and replace all the tears. I know that is not the answer. There isn't even anyone to be angry at.

This is the beginning of my new normal...

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Day 16

It's been a long day. My parents were here this weekend. It is always sad to see them leave.

I am still searching for whatever it is that will give me just a brief reprieve. This morning was difficult as usual. I was in Zavier's room, looking at pictures and just wanting to feel him near me. As the saddness overtook me and tears came to my eyes, my husband came in looking for me. I walked out of Zavier's room with that sinking feeling that now seems to be a part of me.

I sat on the sofa in the living room. My husband called my attention to a spot on our bedroom door where the sun was shining. I looked up and to my utter amazement saw a shiny 'Z'. Felix says that was Zavier letting us know that he is ok and that it is ok to be happy and to relax a little.

Does this officially make us crazy? Who knows...But, it did make me feel a little better.

I went to watch a movie today, with my sister. Never very many babies in a theatre, I thought. Ironically, we always took Zavi to late-night movies, when we were fairly certain he'd sleep through the whole thing. It usually worked out well. The midnight showing of New Moon is the first movie we saw as a family of four. I love movies and have always found it easy to become engrossed in the film. Today, it seemed there were babies in too many previews. One of the first previews shouted "Here Come the Babies" in huge letters. What is up with that?

Is this my new normal?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Day 15

And the days keep coming...I hate that time goes on. I want to be able to say, "Yesterday when I bathed my baby..." or This afternoon when I picked Zavier up...". There are no more yesterdays or even last weeks. Pretty soon, it will be last month when Zavier was still here...

Am I even making sense?

There is not a second that goes by that I'm not thinking of him. It is like a song you get stuck in your head. At times, not often, I just want it to stop, only for a second. Not the thoughts of him, necessarily, but the thoughts of that day, the thoughts of him being gone. It is the constant soundtrack in the background of my mind. If I could just pause the agony, pause the voices, the questions, the pain...

Today, I drove out to Galveston with my family. It was actually sort of beautiful. The weather matched my mood perfectly. It was misty, foggy, overcast and cold. Rather dreary, but slightly windy yet calm. We drove along the beach, listened to the waves, hunted for treasures. We drove the jeep for a while and I loved the feel of the cold wind. There were not very many people. Suprisingly, I even found myself smiling at times. Really smiling. Not just my fake smile that I've almost perfected.

Everything is always, at least, tinged with sadness. Zavier never got to see the beach or hear the waves or ride with his dad in the jeep. There were fathers with their sons riding the ferry and I knew what Felix was thinking. It is unfortunate that there are also fleeting moments of anger. I can't help but be angry that I will not be able to see my son grow up.

I know he is heaven. I know he is doing better than all of us. But, in my world, the bottom line is that he is not here with me. I will pray that the anger and selfishness be taken from me.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Day 14

It has now been two weeks. I guess it's official. This is not a horrible nightmare. It is my horrible reality. Sometimes it feels like Zavier's time with us was just a dream.

I have spent the better part of the last two days working on 'Project Zavier'. That would be the quilts we are making in honor of our baby's life. I was unprepared for the feeling that swept over me as we began to cut up Zavier's clothes. It was as if my mind couldn't comprehend why I would be doing something that just a few short weeks ago would have been utterly unacceptable. However, I am proud to announce...Progress...

Keep in mind, these are, as of yet, unfinished. The blue one I am hand sewing, in Zavier's honor, for Juliana. It makes me feel better to think of Juliana still wrapped in her little brother's love. The red one will hang in Zavier's room.  The third quilt will be a large family quilt made of Zavier's baby blankets. I have never sewn before in my life. The things this baby is inspiring me to do...

Maybe I will become proficient enough to put these new found skills to use. There is an organization called the Linus Project that collects hand made blankets for children who are ill or have been traumatized and are in need. For now it is enough to be able to create a lasting tribute to the tremendous amount of love my son evoked during his 15 weeks on this earth.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Day 13

Where do I start? Life is going on and I'm not ready. Juliana wanted to go to tumbling today. I was hoping she'd forget. No such luck. So, I went. It's not fair to put her life on hold because I'm not ready. It was horrible. I had to sit there and listen to so many loud, happy moms. I don't want to be bitter and I don't want to be angry. But, I'm not ready. So, I sat and listened to my iPod. I wallowed in my misery.

Juls said her coach asked her where she'd been. She responded that something happened with her brother. Her coach then asked if Zavier was ok. She said yes. When she told me about this, she made sure to add that she didn't lie because Zavier really is ok.

Felix was supposed to go to work on Tuesday. He didn't go and it scared me. What could I say? I am dreading Monday, when I plan to go to work. How can I go and sit at the desk where I received the most horrifying phone call of all my life? How can I continue to answer that phone? That damned phone that ruined me. I don't ever want to answer that phone again, and yet that is my job. How do I drive home when the last time I traveled that route was with a co-worker driving at speeds of up to 100 mph while I prayed to God with everything in me that my son would be ok? He didn't have to be perfect, just alive.

I miss my baby. I want to hold my baby. I want to bathe him and hug him and hear him laugh. I have never wanted anything more in my life. The aching in my chest is real. If miracles happen, why don't I get one? I will never be ok. This will never be ok. I don't want to learn to live with this gaping hole in my heart. I want my life back.

To be fair, I should add, the kindness of strangers continues to astound me. There are many things for which I am thankful. I am especially grateful for the strangers who are no longer strangers, for the food that arrives, the prayer blanket I found waiting for me last night, for the wonderfully patient woman helping me with Zavier's blankets, for my family and friends and all those who visit this blog and Zavier's website.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Day 12

I'm still here...I went to class (Neverending thanks to J Lew)...So much to say...Exhausted...I'm still here...


One night a man had a dream. He dreamed He was walking along the beach with the LORD. Across the sky flashed scenes from His life. For each scene He noticed two sets of footprints in the sand. One belonging to Him and the other to the LORD.

When the last scene of His life flashed before Him, he looked back at the footprints in the sand. He noticed that many times along the path of His life there was only one set of footprints. He also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times of His life.

This really bothered Him and He questioned the LORD about it. LORD you said that once I decided to follow you, you'd walk with me all the way. But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life there is only one set of footprints. I don't understand why when I needed you most you would leave me.

The LORD replied, my precious, precious child, I Love you and I would never leave you! During your times of trial and suffering when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.


Carolyn Carty, 1963

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Day 11?

Really...Day 11...Sometimes it feels like it has been an eternity. Sometimes it feels as if this has all been one really long day. I find myself losing track of time. Not being able to remember what day of the week it is. That is unlike me and a strange feeling altogether.

This is really happening to me, to us, to my husband, my daughter, my family. I overheard Felix on the phone telling someone how it has been almost two weeks. Almost two whole weeks since I began this journey through my own personal hell. The goal is to make it back intact. With my family intact. I feel like the weight of the world is on my shoulders.

This morning I had a dr's appt. I felt alright and thought surely I could go to the dr's office. I walked in to see the other mothers sitting in the waiting room. Some were pregnant and others had their little ones in tow. I was doing ok, trying to keep to myself. When I walked up to the counter to pay, I noticed the office staff had a picture of Zavier on the door. The tears came as I was so sure there were no tears left for today.

I had to tell my dr. the news. He delivered Zavier, after all. He cried with me. He said when you believe God is being cruelest, it is then that he is being most merciful. I like that. Maybe Zavier was being spared a worse fate, later in life. Maybe God didn't want to Zavier to suffer. Maybe he decided Zavier would be one of the lucky ones to know nothing of pain, of hurt, of anger. Maybe...

Yesterday when I left the cemetary, I came across something that read "Pain in inevitable Misery is optional".

Last night, I went to Zavier's room to go through some of his clothes. I was trying to decide what to use for the quilts. I opened a drawer and that was the end of me. The memories hit at full force. I remember what it is like to be unable to decide which outfit he should wear because everything is so cute. I had everything in order by size, so he wouldn't miss the opportunity to wear any of his clothes. All that careful planning...
My husband walked in and saved the day. We talked as he helped me go through our favorite onesies.
My sister arrived shortly after and together we got it done.

So, today I visited Quiltworks where I plan to work on the quilts. It was harder than I thought. My legs were shaking. I had to cut Zavier's onesies. Why would I cut my own baby's clothes? That is a constant reminder of where he is. There is no forgetting. There is no reprieve. I want to pretend my baby is here. I want to pretend he is napping. I know that is not the answer but the alternative is what? To drown in grief...

It is so difficult to get up in the morning. I feel as if I'm made of lead. I wish I could stay inside my house forever and never venture out into the world, the world of New Mommies and Their Babies. I want to be comfortably wrapped in my safe memories, with only my husband and my daughter.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Still Day 10

This house seems so quite...Has it always been like this? I can't remember. Everyone is home and yet it is so different.

I went to the cemetary today. I thought I'd feel better there. I couldn't stay very long. I'm not sure what I expected. I couldn't stand the thought of his little body....

I know he is in heaven. I know he is with God. My own selfishness prevents me from feeling all the joy that should come from knowing he is with our Savior. I still want him here, here with us. Body and Soul. I know he is in a better place, but this place was fine. Our home, his home, where he had everything a little baby could want, was perfectly fine. He was so happy here. I know it.

Tomorrow...Felix returns to work...Juls returns to school...this is the beginning of life without Zavier...I'm not ready...

I dropped Juliana off at school for 2 months with Zavier safely in his carseat right behind me. I have a dr's appointment tomorrow where people are sure to ask about Zavier. What will I say? There will be so many baby's there and babies in bellies waiting to be born. We want another baby. Is that wrong? Am I horrible for wanting another baby? I know there will never be another Zavier.

I am going to start working on a quilt tomorrow. Yes, me. Wish me luck. I've never even sewn on a button. Tonight I will attempt to go through some of Zavier's favorite clothes to select some items to use for the quilt. Three quilts actually. I am attempting two baby blankets out of Zavier's favorite outfits. One will be for my daughter and the other to hang in Zavier's room. Out of his baby blankets, I will sew a huge family quilt for our little slumber parties in the living room. Pretty big plans for someone who has never sewn in her life.

Going through Zavier's clothes has been on the agenda all weekend. It's now Monday evening and this has yet to be done. I will do it tonight. Sometime tonight. Thinking of the end result will help, I think. Beautiful quilts (I hope) to celebrate Zavier's memory.

Day 10 - Copy of Our Letter to Zavier

Our Baby Zavier,

We almost don't know what to say. We love you so much. How can we ever say what is in our breaking hearts? You will always be our baby boy. We will never be far from you now, little one. Words can not describe but now you know everything. You know how much everyone loves you. You know all of our intentions. We waited so long for you. You have the best daddy and the best big 'sissy' and we are always here for you. You know where we are and we want to feel you with us. We will continue to carry you with us forever. You will be remembered always and no one will ever take your place. We would not have traded our short time with you for anything. Your life made every minute of this pain worth it. We wouldn't have missed this for the world.

While You Were Here

You gave us your heart and you captured ours.
You gave us your smile. We danced for you.
You gave us your giggle and you made us laugh.
But now,
You are everywhere. You are in our heart.
You are in the wind and in the stars. You are in our heaven.
You are forever one of us.

This is not goodbye, baby.


Mom & Dad

In the past few days, I have found that I am most unsad when I visit the website we have created for Zavier. We still have things to add (music), but please feel free to visit and share in our happy memories of our son.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The First Week + days 8 and 9

I know I'm starting a little late...I'm just trying to figure out how all this works...I'll catch up...

Week one - Such a blur...
Never in a million years did I think I'd see this day. I can't believe I'm here. I dropped my son off at the sitter's on Friday, January 8, one week short of his 4 month birthday. I left a happy, laughing baby...never to realize I'd never see him alive again.

My broken heart aches as I type trying to find the words that may describe how I feel. January 8, 2010 is now by far the worst day of my life. I got a phone call as I was about to leave work. It was the sitter, saying my baby had stopped breathing. In that moment, I couldn't breathe. I ran out in a panic, as a co-worker offered to drive. I called my husband because I knew he was closer to Zavier.

I can hear my husband's voice as he told me over the phone that it was too late. I expected to arrive at the hospital and to see my boy in a room, maybe sick, but certainly alive. When I arrived at the hospital my boy was gone. Seeing the Sheriff's Office deputies around the room that held my son was unreal.

I wanted nothing more than to scream....scream until my son could hear me...until God could hear me...until my baby began to breathe...until he returned to us, where I was so sure he belonged. 

When I held my baby in the hospital that afternoon, he was cold. So cold. I feel like I'm still trying to keep us warm. I've been cold ever since.

My son had a beautiful service. There was a vigil, rosary and an unbelievably beautiful funeral. I am still speechless at the thought of all of our family and friends that stepped up to show us their love and support.

Today, we ordered my son's headstone. The inscription will read "Our Zavier Lives".

It has been 9 days and I suppose I must try to figure out how to live. I have a husband and a nine year old daughter. I know they need me, but I don't know how to live. I am not the same person I was when I woke up on January 8, with Zavier laying on my chest.

So many things I still want to say about these first 9 days...