I haven't blogged recently because...well...not much has been going on. However, for not so much going on, I sure do feel exhausted all the time. Oh yeah, I'm about 3 weeks away from childbirth...that might have something to do with it. :)
Here's some updates for you guys (if you care...):
Jeremy: has started back to work. Today was his first day with students. I feel like it is a small blessing that he got a new job that made today his first day with students. Had he stayed at his old school, the first day would have been August 25th, and August 25th was our first day back with students last year....and the most tragic day of our lives....so I consider his new job a blessing since it has spared him from having to relive all of that on the same date and in the same situation as last year.
Jeremy is extremely busy these days with football and work and commuting from my parents house for the time being (about a 45 minute drive one way). Jeremy is not one to express much of what he is feeling, but I feel like I know him pretty well, so I can tell you that at any moment during the day, the following runs through his mind:
2. Teaching; connecting with new students
3. House situation and his role in it
4. Wife is pregnant, and I'm not close by; I need to use what extra time I have to take care of her....
5. How to spread his time amongst everything he is involved in
6. Making sure Gracie is taken care of since Lindsay can't really handle her as well right now
7. Keeping Lindsay calm....(it's a tough job, but he's the only one who can succeed at it!)
8. Responsibilities at church - maintaining the role of leader, positive role model, helper, servant, steward, and father/husband
9. Squeeze time with family and friends in there somewhere....
10. Anticipation of meeting Collen and the emotions (happy and sad) that will result in his arrival
These days, I have made it a point to consider everything that Jeremy must be experiencing right now. Normally, I would be a little self-involved, but I think with me not working, I've felt a little guilty that he has so much on him. He is such an amazing person and provider, and I know he just wants to do everything he can do to make sure we are taken care of. With everything else he has on him, I can imagine he feels tied at times and unable to handle it all as he would like to. In my opinion, he's doing just fine. :) It's important that he get in the swing of things at work and his new position as a head coach. Once he's found a groove and confidence in that, everything else will fall into place and run so smoothly. Another reason that today being the first day with kids is a good thing....he gets a head start! Once Collen comes, he'll already be in a good flow at work.
Me: Since I'm not going back to work this year, I have felt a little sad about not having teacher workdays and those first days of school to look forward to. It's a good thing I felt called to education so strongly because if I hated my job, I sure wouldn't miss it this much. But I LOVE what I do; I love my kids; I love the connections made with colleagues and students and when we all come together with a common goal; I just love my job. I have felt so incomplete lately knowing that I won't be going back, BUT I know I have so much to look forward to in staying home with Collen. I keep telling everyone that I will be going back to work next school year (not sure what capacity yet, because I sure would love to use my master's degree - Library Science), and right now that is still the plan. But God may have different plans, so we will just wait and see.
With Jeremy back at work, I have become the liason between us and realtors as we continue our home search. Since the other house fell through, we have been looking into another that was at the top of our list. The seller isn't being so easy to work with (I know they have to make their money, too, though), so we are looking into other options and will be looking at MORE houses this Saturday. I'm becoming very pessimistic about it all because I feel like we have looked at all the houses in the county that we would be more than happy with. I just don't want us to settle. We know we don't have to buy a house right now, but renting is difficult with pets. And yes, we know pets are not priorities when it comes to doing what is right for your family, but that's a harder decision that most may think. We have considered the option of modular homes as well. Have you seen them lately? Wow! They have come a long way and are just as good as site-built/stick-built homes and are often considerably cheaper. Just have to find land....
As August 25th continues to grow closer, I have definitely noticed that my emotions are more fragile than they have been in recent months. Being a grieving parent alone is difficult. Add being an expectant mother to being a grieving parent and you get an emotional roller coaster. I miss Ayden more and more each day, and I continue to feel such a strong connection with him. And although he is not with us, I continue to feel my love grow deeper for him. The pain and loss is beginning to feel raw again, and I'm just wondering how all of this is going to balance out with Collen's impending birth being right around the one year mark of Ayden's passing. The anticipation of that alone is somewhat crippling because I just don't know what to expect out of myself and out of our families. I don't want a big deal made. I don't want a retreat to mourning again....or being lost in grief again. I know it will be hard for all of us, but I don't want everyone dwelling on the sadness of the memories of this time last year. It's enough to have to be reminded of it daily.... I haven't really thought about how I will approach August 25th. Part of me just wants to see it as any other day, but then the other part of me feels like such a terrible person for wanting to just get through it and not really acknowledge what that day marks for us. The only solace I will find on that day is the assurance of knowing that although August 25th will forever mark a tragic time in our lives, we can at least go into it with the perspective of the promise of eternity with our Lord and with Ayden. If I had to face life without that perspective, I don't know how I would survive. That perspective isn't always the easiest to keep because we are human and we do feel loss and pain. I will always experience down days and look at pictures of Ayden wondering why he had to be taken and why we have to live without our beautiful, sweet boy. I just pray that God will remind me in those moments of His promise and the vapor that this life is.....because forever far outweighs the shortness of this life, and for that I am so thankful.
Collen: continues to do great. I can tell that he is getting bigger because my belly is starting to feel tight and stretched. He is still very active, and the highlights of my days are the moments when I see his hand/foot/elbow/knee/butt/all of the above roll across my belly. Ayden was not this active, so I am experiencing a lot with this pregnancy that I didn't with Ayden's. I'm still not sure if Collen is head down or not. Since he moves so much, I can never quite tell how he is positioned at any given moment. I see my midwife tomorrow, so hopefully we'll have a concrete answer tomorrow. I'm thinking we are 2-3 weeks away from Collen's arrival.
We are so excited about meeting him, but I am also experiencing reservations. I would think this is pretty normal given the circumstances. I think I worry that our families are going to get so caught up in the excitement of Collen that Ayden's presence in our lives and the excitement of his birth and time with us will be overshadowed and momentarily forgotten. I continue to be so afraid of Ayden being forgotten....so I guess that's where that comes from. Realistically, I know that this won't be the case....it's just one of those things that runs through my mind, and I'm sure it's completely normal. I also worry that people are going to make a fuss over me....and become dramatic about thinking they know what I need (better than myself) as all of this is happening. When we lost Ayden, something in me changed. I became very self-reliant, independent, and I did not want help with anything. That has carried over and stuck with me, and it has been somewhat difficult for me to deal with because I don't want people to feel that I am pushing away or being unappreciative; I just need to feel in control, and I need things done the way I need them done. I guess all of this is a result of having something so completely unpredictable happen to you....
Tomorrow, I am going to speak with/work with a nurse on infant CPR. I have been putting this off until the last minute for obvious reasons. However, considering our history, we qualify to go home from the hospital with an apnea monitor for Collen. In order to get the monitor, you have to take a "class" on infant CPR and learn life-saving techniques. It's not that I didn't want to learn CPR or be knowledgeable of how to react in an emergency.....it was the thought of practicing it and reliving having to watch CPR performed on Ayden. I know that in the moment, tomorrow, I will be fine. The memories will be tough to face, but as I said earlier, they run through my mind every day, and unfortunately they are a part of our reality. I am so glad the hospital offers this option, especially for families who have experienced SIDS. Life after SIDS, or any kind of unexpected loss, is filled with fear, so anything that will help ease that fear in the slightest is a God-send. So, I will gladly learn CPR, how to use the monitor, anything....if it means easing my fears and decreasing a little paranoia....especially for Collen's sake.
Surprisingly, I have felt a lot of peace about Collen's birth and our life with him. Of course I experience fear and worry, but what parent doesn't? I'm just trying to put my faith in God and rely on His grace. I can't let fear consume me, and I'm thankful that He has allowed me to face everything one day at a time and take it in small doses. Otherwise, everything would be too overwhelming. Again, I don't know how people face things like this without faith.....
And now that you have reached the end of this not-so-interesting/entertaining post.....thank you for sticking with me. Thank you for your continued prayers on our house situation as well as Jeremy's job....and Collen's quickly approaching arrival. Your encouragement means more than you will ever know. :)