Pictures

This post will contain pictures of Cohen on the day he was born!  I have debated many times whether or not to put them on here and I decided that I want to but I realize it may seem strange to some people to look at these pictures.  Honestly before this happened to me I was one of those people.

 

 

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The Woman in The Shower

There is the me that most people see.  The woman who is usually running about 5 to 10 minutes late to everything.  The woman who drops her oldest son off at preschool and loves to talk to the other moms.  Who usually forgets that her son has “homework” until the night before it’s due.  The woman who makes dinner for her family.  Who gets frustrated by her older sons lack of interest in eating anything new.  Who plays baseball with her kids.  The woman who takes her kids to Chick-Fil-A at least once a week, sometimes more.  Who hangs out all her wash even in the winter not because she doesn’t have dryer but because she feels like it is something simple she can do to make her family a little bit “green” because over she doesn’t feel like her family is “green” at all.  The woman who smiles and laughs at her kids corny jokes.  Who makes crazy preschool snacks for her son to take to school because she likes to do that kind of thing even though it stresses her out.  Who teases her husband because he is anal about his grades.  The woman who fully supports her husband in going back to school even if she does whine about it sometimes because it takes him away from her and her family but knows that in the end it will be better.  The woman who loves play dates because she loves to hang out with her friends and loves to be out of her house.  Who cries because she Googled the symptoms her sons bunny has and thinks it is going to die.  The woman who is extremely frustrated with potty training her youngest son but is trying to be patient because he has Toddler’s Diarrhea.  The woman who puts things off till the last minute then runs around like crazy trying to get it done.  The woman who thinks is cool that she made her own beans and froze them so that she won’t have to buy canned beans anymore.  Who also thinks it is cool that she is growing her own celery thanks to a friend who showed her how.  The woman who worries constantly about everything and anything and is always concerned that she somehow offended someone close to her.  Who loves chocolate with a passion.  The woman who wishes she could get her family to eat healthier but isn’t quite sure how and feels a little overwhelmed at the thought of it.  Who loves to shop and spends way too much time and money at Target.  The woman who loves to throw parties and have people over.  The woman who loves to cheer for her sons t-ball team even thought they don’t keep score or keep track of outs.  Who loves her friends.  Who still thinks about her childhood friends and wonders where they are and what they are doing.  The woman who loves her family and would do anything for them even if some days they drive her nuts.  I am this woman.

And then there is the me most people don’t see.  The woman in the shower.  The woman who turns the music up loud so that her family doesn’t hear her sobs.  Who cries every night for the son she so desperately misses.  The woman who pictures her baby as a toddler in Heaven with curly dirty blond hair racing around a tree with another little boy who has a smile that could light up a room.  Who pictures her baby with her grandfather in Heaven canoeing in a golden canoe.  The woman who also pictures her baby as a baby in Heaven and being held by Jesus.  The woman who begs for a peek into Heaven to see her son just once more.  The woman who cries because she just saw on Facebook that someone else is pregnant and although she truly is happy for them it still hurts so much.  Who saw someone just had a baby and again while she is glad for them it still hurts so much that she doesn’t have her baby.   The woman who should be planning her son’s first birthday party.  Who is dreading June 7, the day her son was born still.  The woman who has an unused room in her house because she can’t bring herself to go into the room to clean out her son’s things even though she knows he is never coming home.  Who clings to anything even remotely related to her son because these are the only things she will ever have of him.   The woman who questions God over and over, Why?, Why my son?, Why me? and doesn’t seem to get an answer.  The woman who screams at God but knows she needs Him.  The woman who wants to trust God but is scared too.  Who cries because she wants so badly to snuggle with her baby.  The woman who wants her old life back, before she knew what it was like to lose something so special to her.  The woman who thinks back to the day her youngest son was born and sobs and sobs because she never got to see his eyes or hear his cry.  Who thinks about how different life was just one year ago when she was joyfully expecting her third child.  Who knows just how different her life should be.  The woman who hurts so deep.  Who is broken inside.  Who is slowly healing but never forgetting.  The woman who tries to hide her pain from her family because she feels her two surviving children have seen her cry enough.  Who doesn’t want her husband to know her pain because he will hurt too not just in losing a child but because he can’t fix her pain.  I am the woman in the shower.

Ramblings

Warning:  This post is kind of all over the place!  It is mostly about how I have been this past week and somethings that I have been thinking but they don’t necessarily all fit together!

This past week has been pretty good (with the exception of last night where I completely fell apart in the shower).

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Carson turned 3 this week.  I can’t believe he is three already and it makes me a little sad that he really isn’t a baby anymore.  How did he grow up so fast?!  I feel like was just yesterday we brought him home.  Now he is an opinionated, sweet, funny, silly, kind, loving, talkative, sensitive, snugly, wants to be just like his brother three-year old.  I would love to see him with Cohen.  I know he would have loved Cohen so much and smothered him with love. We celebrated with a Thomas party.  Carson was so excited although you couldn’t really tell by looking at him.  While Cole is very outwardly expressive, Carson is not and while he smiled and played with his friends, he didn’t have that, I am so excited I can’t sit still or stop talking and running around, expression of excitement  that Cole has.  It is fun to see them growing up and seeing how alike they are and how different they are.  I always wonder who Cohen would be more like.

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Cole had his last preschool program last week.  I was so proud of him and how well he did.  He is certainly a performer.  I can’t believe that he is going to be in kindergarten next year.  He is so excited and ready to go.  I will be lucky if I even get a kiss goodbye before he runs into the school he is so ready.  I on the other hand am feeling especially anxious about him going. At the meeting we went to for his school they were talking about how to help a child that has anxiety about going to school and all I could think was that they needed to be telling me how to deal with my anxiety about sending him to school.  I know that the likelihood of something happening to him is slim but the reality that we can lose a child is fresh in my mind. Statistics mean nothing to me anymore.  It was a 1 in 800 chance that we would lose Cohen the way we did which comes out to something like a 0.125% chance.  Being that one in whatever number has become real to us.  At the same time I know I cannot live in fear of what could happen and that I need to relax and not let Cole know how truly scared I am to send him to school.

I weighed in at my weight loss challenge and I had lost 1.6 pounds for a total of 21 pounds in 16 weeks!  Weight is something I have always struggled with and when I am depressed it is even worse.  Right after we lost Cohen I didn’t eat hardly anything which is not healthy.  Not eating anything soon turned into I am depressed and I am going to eat whatever I want to and try to make myself feel better.  It was almost like I was out of control and had the mind-set, I lost my son so I deserve to enjoy this entire pan of brownies (during one particularly down day my cousin and I did in fact eat a whole pan of brownies, just the two of us, I don’t even think we shared with our kids!).  Of course that didn’t work because number one the only thing that is really going to make me feel better is having Cohen back and number two I ended up feeling even worse because not only had I lost my son but I had also gained a ton of weight.  I feel like I am now at a place where I have my eating somewhat under control and even allow myself a small brownie every now and then.

I started exercising which is something I have never done and surprisingly it does seems to help lift my mood.  I never really believed people when they said working out helped them feel better because whenever I would go for a walk or do any type of exercise I would just feel tired and want to sleep. But now that I am doing it 3 to 5 times a week I do actually feel better.

This week I started trying to potty train Carson for the third time.  This has been especially challenging because he has Toddler’s Diarrhea (which basically means he has diarrhea almost all of the time and poops between 3 and 4 times a day).  I feel bad for him because he does do really good peeing.  The poop on the other hand has been out of control and I am pretty tired of cleaning up messes!

This week I met my cousin’s son for the first time.  He was born in August, two months after we lost Cohen and until now I didn’t feel like I could meet him.  It was too hard to go to family things and see him going through all the firsts that Cohen should have been going through.  To see my family fight over who would hold him and make a big deal over him, which they should be doing but it doesn’t make it any less hard. I have missed my cousin and his wife and I am hoping that we continue to get together.  I am so glad that I got to talk to her and explain that it wasn’t that we don’t love them or their family but it was just too hard for us.  To explain that it isn’t as hard for me to see their son outside of family gatherings and that I would love to get together with her again.  I am so thankful for her understanding and her kindness!

My wonderful husband told me yesterday that he had gotten me a plane ticket to go to Nebraska.  A really good friend of mine moved out there almost 2 years ago and I have been begging to go ever since.  Not only am I going to Nebraska to visit my friend but I am going ALONE!  This has me very excited and a little scared.  One, I hate to fly.  Like seriously hate to fly.  But I will get over that because as much as I hate to fly I want to see my friend more.  Two,  I have never been away from my kids and my husband for that amount of time.  I have been away from my husband for a week with the kids and I have been away from the kids with my husband but never all of them at the same time.

I have been thinking a lot this past week about how I want to tell people we lost Cohen.  I would like to say he died at birth even though he died before that.  I feel like when I tell some people that he was stillborn they kind of brush it off like it isn’t that big of a deal.  But it is a big deal!!  I carried him for 38 and a half weeks.  We had come so far in the pregnancy and fully expected to be bringing home a healthy baby.  In a matter of a few minutes that was taken from us and we were and are completely crushed.  Just because he never took a breath outside of me doesn’t mean he didn’t matter and wasn’t important and something we can just get over and move on from.  Cohen was and still is a big part of our family even though he isn’t here.

This past week I have been thinking a lot about what I want to do for Cohen’s one year.  I can’t believe that has almost been a year since our world got turned upside down.  For Cohen’s one year I would like to have a celebration of remembrance for him.  We would be planning a first birthday party if he were here and I want to do something for Cohen.  I’m not sure of everything and haven’t started planning anything yet but I have lots of ideas.  I know I want to be with people on that day who love us and love Cohen and that I don’t want to be alone because if I am alone I might fall to pieces (I might fall to pieces even if I am not alone but at least then I will have people there to help me up).

Overall this week was a good week.  It had its bumps and I still thought about Cohen every single day.  I still cried for Cohen everyday.  But overall it was good and this tells me that I am slowly healing. Because not too long ago I was counting the good days, before that the good hours, and before that the good minutes and having a whole week be good seemed impossible.  So I feel like I am slowly healing, healing but never ever forgetting.

To the Woman at Chick-Fil-A

Dear Woman at Chick-Fil-A,

Sorry if I made you uncomfortable today.  I saw you with your newborn baby boy and it made my heart ache for my sweet boy, Cohen.  I didn’t mean to stare at you but the harder I tried not to look the more I looked at you.  I’m sorry if it freaked you out.  I am sure if some woman kept looking at me and my baby with tears in her eyes I would be a little concerned.

It took about everything within me not to walk over to you and tell you how lucky you are to have your baby boy.  And how I long for mine.  How I carried my baby to 38 and a half weeks and didn’t get to bring him home.  To tell you to hold him tight and tell him you love him because you don’t know how long you will have him.  To be thankful every time you have to wake up with him in the middle of the night because it means he is alive and with you.  To cherish each and every moment with him.

I was jealous of you woman at Chick-Fil-A.  Jealous that you were holding your baby boy while you laughed and talked with the person you were with and ate your chicken.  That from the outside looking in your life was great, that you had what I so desperately want, a baby boy.

I don’t know you so I don’t really know that your life really is great.  Maybe you lost someone close to you.  Maybe you had lost a baby before.  Maybe you are getting divorced.  I don’t know!  But in that moment I was jealous and a little angry at you.

Seeing you there holding and feeding your baby boy made me ache for Cohen.  Seeing all the love in the world in your eyes for your baby made me long to look at my baby boy the same way.

Please love him always.  Protect him and keep him safe.  Kiss his boo boos away.  Tuck him in and say goodnight every night.  Tell him you love him everyday, more than once a day.  Pray for him each day and watch him grow.  Be thankful for him and the gift that he is.  Love him even when it is hard.  Give him tons of hugs and kisses.  Read to him and take time to snuggle him.

Again woman at Chick-Fil-A I am sorry that I stared, it is only because I long for what you have.

Sincerely,

A Mom Who Misses her Baby Boy

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A Blessing In Disguise

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I went into my pregnancy with Cohen fully expecting it to be my last.  I wanted four children and my husband wanted two so we compromised at three.  I also wanted to have all my children before I turned 30 and Cohen was due two months before my 30th birthday.

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I am not one of those women who loves to be pregnant.  It is not the time in my life where I feel better than I ever have before.  I feel huge.  I can’t walk.  I can’t breathe.  And I have to pee all the time.  But since I thought Cohen was going to be my last baby I decided that I would enjoy this pregnancy.  That I would cherish each moment and try to enjoy each moment even if I was huge.

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Before we started trying for baby number three I wanted to lose weight. I wanted to have one pregnancy where I actually looked pregnant and people wouldn’t have to guess if I was pregnant.  Before I got pregnant with Cohen I lost 45 pounds.  This definitely helped me enjoy my pregnancy.  I felt better and was able to do more through out my pregnancy then I had been before.  When I was nine months pregnant I was outside playing baseball with Cole and Carson.  I still felt huge but it wasn’t unbearable.  I still weighed less pregnant than I had before I lost weight.

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I never had pregnancy pictures taken with Cole and Carson.  Since I thought this would be my last pregnancy I decided I wanted to get pregnancy pictures done.  On Memorial Day 2012, just a week and a half before Cohen was born, we met a friend at a nearby park and she took pregnancy pictures for me.  I love those pictures and cherish them so much more since we lost Cohen.

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I was determined to take time out of the day and just feel my baby and I did.  Everyday when I would put Cole and Carson down for a nap I would eat my lunch and then lay down and just feel Cohen kick away.  I loved feeling him move and never got tired of it.  I am so glad that I got those special times with him.

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We didn’t find out if Cohen was a boy or a girl before he was born.  Since we found out with Cole and Carson and my husband didn’t want to, I decided that since this was supposed to be my last pregnancy that he could have his way this time.

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Thinking that my pregnancy with Cohen would be my last turned into a blessing in disguise.  If I hadn’t thought it would be my last pregnancy would I have enjoyed it as much?  Would I have gotten pregnancy photos?  Would I have made sure I had time to just be with my baby?  Probably not.  I am so thankful for all of those things now.  I am so glad that I went into the  pregnancy thinking that it was my last and determined to make the best of it.

Pictures by Tiffany Snellbaker