Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I know too much

After being an active participant on the internet for four years, I can tell you that there are many, many stories out there. True stories. Some are joyful stories of miracle babies who defied all odds. Babies born at 25 weeks who are here today, running around playing with their siblings. Stories that make you smile. Stories that make you realize that there's so much we don't understand.

Unfortunately, for every joyful story is a story of sadness and pain. You don't have to look very hard to find stories of babies lost forever. There are babies who were born too early to survive. Babies who died before taking a breath. Babies born with genetic conditions who fought to live. Their stories make you realize that there's so much we don't understand.

Abbey has a story.

Allie, Anna and Emily have a story.

For whatever reason, some of these stories stay with me. Mostly babies born sleeping. Especially those born around the same time as Abbey. In some cases, I have come to know the families online before their babies are gone and it is such heartache to read when another little one has left us. (JW, Annaleigh, Piper, Noah, Sydney and Carynne.)

On June 4th, Abbey's birthday, a day when I was struggling to figure out the world, I read an absolutely heartbreaking blog post. A few months ago, a reader named Jeremy started leaving nice comments here and there on my blog posts. I popped over to his blog and discovered that he and his wife were expecting triplets. His blog was well written and interesting to read and so I began following their story.

Three more angels now share Abbey's birthday with her.

I had an epiphany that weekend. Not that any of my feelings were new. I guess I had just never been able to pull them all together. To vocalize everything as one continuous stream.

I want to enjoy my kids all the time. I don't want the constant rush, rush, rush of everyday life. I don't want to worry about the laundry or whether or not we have enough milk or does someone have to run out to the store at an odd time to pick some up. I don't want to dole out awkward hugs in the morning while ensuring that I don't whack a little one in the head with my bag as I run out the door

I want to sew Rapunzel dresses and go for walks. I don't want to worry about mortgages and savings and retirement accounts. I want to pick my kids up from school and watch their gymnastics classes. I want to live for the moment. Not the future.

I think it is unfair for me to say that I appreciate my kids more because of Abbey or because they were such a high risk pregnancy. That implies that others may not appreciate their kids unless they were born under the same circumstances. I've been on the flip side of that statement as well so I know that it is unfair. Some parents may say that they appreciate their kids more because they went through infertility. Should that mean that those who became pregnant without any issues are less appreciative of their kids? No.

The reality of it is that we should appreciate them because they are here.


Krystle said...

Very well stated. The stories I have read on blogs will stay with me the rest of my life. They offer perspective, which is a great thing to be able maintain in everyday life.
I kind of thought your post was leading to a change for you, and your work, etc to spend more time with the girls...?
But it's late & I might be way off.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful sentiment. I totally get what you are saying.

Belinda said...


As you know, a fear of a parent who has lost a child is that the child will be forgotten by the world. Your mention of Piper in your post brought me to tears. Thank you for remembering my sweet girl.


Hope's Mama said...

You've nailed it, Sarah. I spent a bit of time catching up on the story of the triplet boys today and it absolutely broke my heart. They lost their boys the same way I lost Hope - same sort of infection.
And yes, all of our babies matter. They all have a story. They all have a place in our hearts. Even the ones who are not here.
I'll always remember Abbey and be glad I found you.

Wildali said...

So so true and beautiful!

Bridget said...

I lost my middle child, so I've parented both before and after my life changed. I loved and appreciated my older son before, but it is totally different now. My two living boys are totally miraculous to me now, instead of something wonderful but expected. I am so amazed to have them with me everyday and I really didn't understand that before losing a child. Other people may realize that without a loss, of course, but for me the difference is huge.

Anonymous said...

Well said Sarah. After going through the hell, fear and NICU time with my girls and then losing Noah, it does affect how I approach life. I do feel that parents who have lost children are able to appreciate the moments more (or just in a richer way) only because there is always the lingering want/need/sadness that they will never have those moments with their lost one. Thank you for remembering my Noah and for keeping his memory alive.

Pyjammy Pam said...

beautiful. and so heartbreaking. knowing so many of these babies who were lost and seeing their parents suffer does give me a bit more appreciation for my children.

manda said...

Wow. Beautiful and heartbreaking. I followed the link. I live in the same city as Jeremy/ Life is strange sometimes.

Cindy said...

Well said, Sarah. I feel this way too, in terms of spending more time with my girls. I hate rushing around. Every morning as I run out the door for work after kissing and hugging everyone good-bye, there are always 3 little voices calling, "Mommy, I need hugs and kisses". Even though I am always running late, I ALWAYS go back for that last round of kisses. I never want to regret not doing so and I love their love so much!

Angela said...