Signs

Since the loss of Brecken,

I’ve been meeting up and chatting up with other mamma’s who

also lost an infant.  I’ve joined a mom group on Facebook to socialize and get to know other

mamma’s out there.  I need this social interaction.  I like being a part of this Facebook group

because it allows me the chance to talk about him more often and actually feel like a mamma.  I’ve noticed, with all of

my interactions, a common topic comes up at some point.  Not all conversations, but enough to make me think.

One day, While on

the  phone with my mom, she wasn’t

sure if I’d answer or if I’d know, but she was talking about how

she had another conversation with a friend and it sparked her to ask me this question.

She asked me if I ever feel Brecken around me, or do I get ‘signs’ that he’s communicating

with me to let me know he’s there.  I straight up answered her “No” on both accounts.

Wondering about ‘signs’ has been something on my mind since he died.  But, unfortunately,

I’ve never had that “Ah-Ha!” moment of certainty.  Not feeling him around me makes me even

more down about his death.  I wish I could feel more than just the clothes he wore while

he was alive.

I think,  a lot of my lack of noticing

Brecken around me, is my lack in faith.  I question

afterlife, heaven, or any place that is said to exist where I’d be able to

see him and hold him in my arms again.  I know many, MANY people

mean so well when they try to comfort me by telling me he’s in a better place

and I’ll be with him again one day, but it honestly frustrates me

and does not bring me any sort of comfort. If anything, it brings on anger.

My baby shouldn’t be living a ‘better’ life in the arms of Jesus, he’s SUPPOSED to

be living his happy life in the two people’s arms who created him:  his mother and his father.  I

want people to stop telling me he’s an angel.  I want people to stop telling me he’s happy, comfortable

and being taken care of.  These are things I highly recommend you not say to a grieving parent,

especially if you don’t know their religious convictions.  Even religious people will most likely have

a struggle as to why their God took their child away.

Ever since I had

the conversation about signs with my mom,

I’ve been more aware.  At the time of the question, I absolutely did not

‘feel’ my son around me.  I still don’t.  I think my lack of religious belief has me

numb to the feeling that he’s a spirit floating around me on a daily basis.  One thing I

have noticed since my phone call with my mom is how often I see an elephant.

Every-single-day I realize I come across an elephant I haven’t seen before either on TV,

at the grocery store, on a logo, in someone’s pictures, or in random pictures I come across on

the internet.  I don’t purposefully ‘look’ for these elephants.  They are mere observations.  They all

get me thinking: “Are these my signs? Or is this just like when you get a new car and suddenly you

see your same car model and color out all over the road when you’ve never noticed them before?”  I

still have a hard time grasping that this could be Brecken’s way of saying “Hello Mamma!”  I think

it still stems back to the spirit thing.

Oddly enough,

I think the only time I come close to ‘feeling’ Brecken

is when I’m in excruciating pain.  My days are more spaced when it comes

to my crying meltdowns, but when they do happen, it feels like my heart is

trying to rip itself out of my body to go find him and be with him.  They once beat

their own tunes, but under one body, and I think it’s my hearts way of saying it

wants him back.  For some reason these moments happen mostly at night, when I’m trying to

go to sleep.  Every night I have the hardest time falling asleep because I begin to think about

so many things.  Anything ranging from my pregnancy with him, to his birth, to the trauma,

to his death, to the family we have lost due to their own selfishness.  Sometimes it just becomes

too much to handle and I begin to hyperventilate and tears start to stream.  I keep it to myself so

I don’t wake Torry.  I climb out of bed, walk into Brecken’s nursery, switch on the lamp and hold the

elephant we bought him on our first day at the NICU in Milwaukee and begin to just release the immense

amount of pain.  I will usually spend  almost an hour in there just crying.  The pain is so intense

that I feel like I don’t know how I’m going to get myself out of his room and continue on with

my days.  Most of the time I’ll just sit and rock myself in the rocker and clench my eyes shut as I release

the tears, but sometimes, I’ll get up and walk over to the pack & play that holds all of the things

he used and/or wore while he was alive.  I’ll look everything over while running my fingers across it

all.  I pick up the hat he wore home and wore a lot in his last days to keep him warm from all of the body

heat he was losing, and I put it to my nose and I inhale deeply, taking in every scent I can.  It’s the

only thing of his I have that still smells like him.  Even the hat, though, is losing that precious scent

and that scares me.  I’ve relied on this hat for 6 months and I’m already beginning to lose that

big connection that brings me back to his living days.

I was lying in bed with Torry the other

night and we were talking about Brecken.  I was telling Torry that it

just seems so surreal that I gave birth to Brecken 6+ months ago now.

Because his life was so short, and he’s been gone for nearly 6 months, it almost

seems like it was all a dream.  Like it never really ever happened.  I have all of the evidence

of giving birth, but no physical presence of all the hard work of creating and carrying him.  I

have to imagine what he’d look like now.  I have to imagine how his face would look when he smiled.

I have to imagine his warmth, his breath, and his giggles.  I have to imagine his voice and what he would

have sounded like making all of his baby coo’s.  It’s such a terrible pain that will shelve itself

in our hearts forever.  Even when we have another baby, our hearts will leap and yet sink at the same

time.  I know there will always be some sort of small comparisons to Brecken.  We’ll here our new baby’s

cries and probably cry ourselves at that sound, but we’ll also be shedding tears of sadness because

those are sounds we never got to hear from Brecken.

*Sigh*, I miss my peanut.

I miss him more than I can every verbally express.

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5 thoughts on “Signs

  1. Oh beautiful momma….my heart breaks right along with your’s, with every word I read. It is so hard to read the words of another grieving mother and not cry with her. I made it to 33 weeks with my twin boys, Bryce and Keiran. I went to the hospital with the worst headache I had ever had in my life. I had sinusitis, which obviously had nothing to do with my pregnancy, but I had been so sick that I hadn’t been paying much attention to anything else. You know at that point in your pregnancy they sweep you right to labor and delivery for anything that is going on. When I got up there, they hooked me to all the monitors and machines….they put the strap around my belly to get their heartbeats…I waited, and waited for that amazing bump, bump, bump, bump but all I heard was silence. They brought in the ultrasound machine and I watched all the color drain out of the nurses face as she went to get the doctor. There were no heartbeats…no movement…my little guys were gone. I delivered my boys within a couple hours…at least I think it was a couple hours…it is all so fuzzy, I don’t remember much! What I do remember is holding my tiny angels in my arms, but not for long…I knew if I didn’t let them go that I never would…
    You are so very right that even after you have your rainbow baby that the pain doesn’t go away. I got pregnant with Tristan 12 weeks after losing Bryce and Keiran. My pregnancy with him was terrifying. I was so scared that I would have another placental abruption and I would lose him. I got put on bed rest with him at about 25 weeks pregnant due to premature labor. Lots of meds to stop contractions, and shots to develop his lungs in case he came early, and that stubborn little boy of mine stayed put until 40 weeks 6 days! No one knew I was in labor except my mom, sister and fiancé and his parents. I wouldn’t let anyone in the room with a camera….until that precious boy was handed to me and he was crying, I was not ok….that cry was the most beautiful sound in the world…but it hurt at the same time…I would never know what Bryce and Keiran’s cries sounded like. The boys have been gone for over 2 years now, and Tristan is 15 months old. I am terrified of something happening to him….and every milestone he hits just reminds me of every milestone I will never get to witness with them. I am so thankful every day for him, but he was not a replacement as some seem to think he should be. I will always miss them and want them here. And nights really are the hardest times, but please remember that you are never alone. As much as it breaks my heart that there are so many of us, the reality is that there are SO many mothers who are walking down our path….I am here anytime you need someone to talk to. Just hold on to those amazing memories you have of your little guy… <3

  2. I think it was a good thing for you to share here how sometimes people’s well-meaning words of “comfort” can end up being not so comforting at all. Many people think they know what to say and want to be of some comfort, but due to the fact that many of us have not been in such a situation, don’t realize that such words can do more harm that good without even realizing it. So I think it is good for you to get that out there and let people know and to be a voice for other moms who are struggling with the same thing, because they most likely feel the same way too, but just never expressed it.

    • Thank you. It’s been really hard to hear when people say he’s an angel and in heaven. I do not feel one bit that he’s an angel. I don’t feel like I’ll ever see him again. I was hoping it wasn’t a mean way to get it out to people, because so many say these things and do think it’s a form of comfort. That’s ok if it helps them heal or deal with it, but I’d rather if people stopped saying it to me. After I wrote this post, some stranger thought it was a brilliant idea to try and leave a comment (I must approve of them first) about how my son is an angel and how she wishes she could sit down in front of me and talk about the lord and heaven and how real it is etc. I completely lost it. I could not believe, for anyone who just read my post, to come at me with an in depth paragraph about “god this and god that” I denied the comment and sent her a personal email. I was not really nice about it. I was offended, angry and thought her comment was rude, inappropriate, and uncalled for. I was flabbergasted by it! I just don’t understand some people. They do more harm than good.

      • I agree. I understand her approach and that she may have meant to comfort you and may have wanted to talk about God more with you, but the way she went about it was inappropriate. She may or may not have realized it. If she did know it was inappropriate and did it anyway, then she needs to sit down and think about the way she approaches people. Sometimes when people are trying to help and talk about God with people, they don’t realize that their approach actually turns people off and away from God as apposed to introducing them to the idea. I’m sorry you are dealing with that and I personally think it was great that you were honest about how such comments make you feel, because I know there are many others who have been through something similar and most likely feel the same way, but have been afraid to say it. Such words may be meant to bring comfort and the rest of us need to know that this just isn’t true and that we need to rethink what we say before we say it. Many people don’t realize how their words can come across as insensitive. The night my grandmother was dying, someone said to me “Well, you knew this was coming.” True, but that doesn’t make it any easier or less heartbreaking. I was crushed when I heard that. Then I remembered that a few short years earlier, I said almost that exact same thing to a friend when she lost her grandmother who had been sick for years. I felt awful. It wasn’t until that moment that I realized just how insensitive and hurtful such a statement can be. So, it is good to be honest and get that stuff out so the rest of us who think we are bringing comfort can really think about what we say.

  3. I also thank you for being open and honest about you feelings. While I have found great resources from the Internet and face book, I have become angry with the now common link used when speaking of the death of a infant or child and then referring to them as angels, and often followed by statements that God only takes the most precious. So children who have terrible injuries , malformations or diseases but live are not the one god wanted? Implying that children that come before or after aren’t as worthy or good as their deceased sibling. Every child is important and their space in the family is theirs and only theirs and never to be replaced. Brecken is your oldest son, and he always will be. I’m sorry for all the shit that you have had to deal with that was totally unnecessary , and at times cruel while grieving for your baby.

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