Still so real...

I still wake up at night expecting to be holding him.

I woke up last night for my nightly potty break. It was 4:45....almost 5...almost mine and Ayden's snuggle time. I still wake up, every morning -every. single. morning. - around that time. That was the time that Ayden began to get restless and the only thing he needed or wanted at that moment...every single morning....was me. I would pick him up out of his "bed" (pack'n play) and put him on my chest. He'd fall right back to sleep, and I'd just lie there and breathe him in. It was the most precious part of my entire day. I looked forward to it every morning. I still do.

This morning, as I said, I woke up. As I got back into bed, I laid there and just felt so empty. I wanted so badly to be holding him, breathing him in. On our last morning together, I remember falling asleep while I was holding him. I wouldn't do that often because it scared me to fall asleep while he was on my chest. I was so afraid he'd roll off. When I woke up, I looked down to find him in the crook of my arm, head back, mouth wide open, sleeping so soundly. He was okay, but it still scared me because he had moved. I remember my thought was first one of worry - I immediately checked to see if he was breathing. Once I realized he was fine, I remember the relief, "He's okay. Whew....he's still here with me." Completely oblivious to the fact that he wouldn't be with us anymore in 4 short hours.

When I wake up in the mornings, I remember THAT morning....our last morning....and that little face...mouth wide open....and the brief terror that rushed through me, followed by the sweet relief that he was still with me. It paled in comparison to the terror I would feel only hours later. When I wake up in the mornings, that's when I have my "why sessions" - Why can't he just be here? Why can't I have that back? Why can't I have him back?

Collen seems to be opposite. He is always very still in the early mornings. So still, that I become terrified. I lie there poking my belly waiting for a little nudge. Most of the time, I get one, but it seems very reluctant.

I know what many of you are thinking. "But just get to have that with Collen." Yes. You're right. I do. And I look forward to it....more than you can imagine. But I also, more than you can imagine, miss it so terribly with Ayden. Collen won't replace Ayden. Having him won't magically make it all better...easier. He will help numb the pain, but he won't cure it. Some days, I get so exhausted by the reality that this is my life. Forever. I will long for my baby boy forever. I have to live with only memories of him for the rest of my life. And that will never change. It's so daunting, and as I times.

I think that story of our last morning was the one story I hadn't told anyone about. It was my last one that I haven't shared. The last one from only my memory. That makes me sadder than you can imagine. I don't have new memories. I won't get new memories with Ayden. I can only relive four months of stories, moments, and memories. I only have 4 months of pictures and videos. That's it. 4 beautiful, wonderful, life-changing, precious months.

Sorry to be such a downer today....almost like I've regressed. But that's grief I guess. 2 steps forward, a million steps back. Today, I just miss Ayden. I miss him every very has just been tougher than usual.

Most days I can keep things in perspective:

He's gone, but not forever.
I have the assurance that I will be with again someday.
Our family will be whole again.

It's easy, on the grand scale, to keep that perspective. But when you break it down into smaller just gets hard. I realize that the loss I feel is for myself...not for him. I realize that I mourn for myself...not for him. I cry because my child died. Those last two words should never be placed together, yet that's my reality. I cry because I miss him, and I long for what was taken so abruptly from me. I cry because I hate that life will move forward and so many people will never know how truly wonderful he was...that this world is without his sweet spirit. I grieve because it hurts, and sometimes it's just hard to face yet another day knowing that I'm living without my precious child. Sometimes, it's just too hard.

No one ever asks for this to be their life. And I often wonder why God chose this for us. Some days, I get so sick of being told how strong I am. I don't want to be strong. I don't want to inspire anyone. And why on earth did I have to lose my child to touch someone's life? Why did my child have to die for him to touch someone's life? Yet, that is my reality. And I have to choose how I deal with it. So, I choose to step back and see how this has affected people....not just me. Of course, most of this is selfish - inward focused - looking at how this tragedy has affected me. How can it not be? However, when I step back and try to see the big picture (I say try because I don't believe the big picture has been revealed at'll be years before I see it...if ever), I do see how many lives have been Ayden. What an accomplishment! I'll never touch as many lives as he has. Never. And he did it in 4 months. I'm so honored and blessed to be Ayden's mommy. I don't like it all that he had to be taken from us for people to be touched in this way, but I guess I can't do anything about that. But what I can do is choose how I handle all of this in a way that will honor Ayden and make him proud of me. And I can also choose hope, and I'm so very glad that I have that choice. Because without it, I know my perspective would be so different.



  1. Our oldest son just turned eight. I homeschool him this year. One of his spelling words this week is grief. He was supposed to use that word in a sentence but he didn't know the definition. He thought grief meant some goopy slimy stuff that you fall into and have a hard time getting out of. I thought that was a pretty good definition.

  2. I have no words :( Only virtual ((hugs)) I pray tomorrow is a better day.

  3. a perfect

  4. I love your posts...never sugar coated and never without hope. You could have a dozen more children and I guarantee that you will yearn for Ayden still. People tell me all of them time your so strong...I find myself curling my fists into balls...I have never lashed out but, sometimes I would like too. You do not feel strong you feel at any minute your heart might just give out on you.
    Someone I know has lost 6 children all still born at 38-40 weeks. She has 3 living children. She said having another child is sorta like having an octopus. It's tentacles wrangle in alot of the grief we feel. Yet their will always be those tentacles that get loose and we feel that pain and grief. I don't know it helped me think of my grief that way. All over the place and sometimes it can all be roped in and sometimes not. I hope you have a good nights rest.

  5. Dear friend....this just breaks my heart. It breaks my heat because your words so, so clearly paint a picture that I can actually see--that sweet little boy laying in his mama's arms...all right with the world and simply precious in his sleep.

    Lindsay, I just cannot imagine.

    And I can't imagine anyone thinking, "But you get to do that with Collen," because that's like saying to someone who has just lost vision in one eye--"But you still have vision in your other eye."

    Maybe so, but your life, your perspective...your world will NEVER be the same as with both. While you are grateful for what you will have, it doesn't make how precious what you lost any less easy to bear.

    Praying for you so much, and especially as your heart is heavy now.
    Much, much love!!!

  6. I am so sorry today is so tough. I pray for extra comfort today and lots of hugs from hubby.

  7. What a sweet moment, thank you for sharing it with us. Prayers.

  8. so true and so beautifully stated.

    thinking of you today and now especially in the early mornings.


  9. Hey Lindsay...
    I am Megan's friend from work, ya know the one whose husband passed away in July...I read your blog every day and have never posted...but I had to seems everyday when you are having a rougher (that probably isnt a word) day so am I....I justed wanted to tell you I pray for you and your family every night and I hope today is a better day for hasn't been for me so far, but maybe it is for you.
    We are survivors and we will make it to them again one day...hopefully SOON!!
    With love,
    Melissa Britt

  10. I think all you can do is hold onto hope - because it isn't fair that you should have to be going through this. If it helps, know that there is an entire community out here who cares, and who wants to help you continue to hope. I can imagine those moments are tough...and in a way, sharing them with Collen will be tough, too.

    There is a Jewish prayer we say when we lose always brings me a bit of comfort. It is about how both their existence and their loss are always a part of us. I thought I would share it with you:

    At the rising of the sun and at its going down We remember them.

    At the blowing of the wind and the chill of winter We remember them.

    At the opening of the buds and in the rebirth of spring We remember them.

    At the blueness of the skies and in the warmth of summer We remember them.

    At the rustling of the leaves and in the beauty of autumn We remember them.

    At the beginning of the year and when it ends We remember them.

    As long as we live, they too will live; for they are now a part of us, as we remember them.

    When we are weary and in need of strength
    We remember them.

    When we are lost and sick at heart We remember them.

    When we have joy we crave to share We remember them.

    When we have decisions that are difficult to make We remember them.

    When we have achievements that are based on theirs We remember them.

    As long as we live, they too will live; for they are now a part of us, as we remember them.

    - Tkeys

  11. I've gotta tell you...this day has been ROUGH with my kids, and I haven't been the most patient of mothers. I am sitting here scratching my 3 year old's back, listening to him jabber and crying my eyes out at your story.

    How wonderful you are living out Ayden's legacy. He will be so very, very proud of you.

  12. I cry many tears for you and Jeremy.

    Thinking about you & love you a lot - Kelley