Fastest and slowest week EVER. It's so hard to describe the feeling -- I feel like it was just yesterday I found out I was pregnant with him and now here I am one week postpartum in November mourning his little life that was cut short. Far too short.
I want to first add that some wonderful friends had this setup for Clark -- his cape has brought us so much comfort from the time we got his initial prognosis through our last moments with him. His cape is forever with us and nearby and what it means to us is hard to put into words. TinySuperheroes is truly an amazing company and I'm realizing so much more just how powerful these pieces of fabric are to people.
We have had friends and family ask what they can do to honor Clark and it is this: donate in his honor. This company has always been near and dear to my heart and even more so now...so we are asking anyone who is looking to do something to honor our little guy to consider giving to TinySuperheroes in his name. We know he's smiling down on us from above as he watches all of the TinySuperheroes on the waitlist get their cape through donations in his name. We sure are smiling down here with that.
What brings tears and smiles to my face is hearing the kids talking about him...Patrick especially. He's old enough that he really understands what's happened and really misses his little brother. Rosie does too -- she told us last night we had the perfect family with two girls and two boys. I of course lost is -- she is absolutely right: two of each. How perfect. One will just be living in our hearts forever instead of inside our house. We had a friend give us a few books and they kids have loved reading them -- I think they really do understand what's going on with their little brother. Rosie continually tells us that he lives in her heart with Goose.
And then the tears of sadness flow, realizing that tiny stockpile of brand new newborn clothes I always hoard for the new baby (cause new babies, even if they're the fourth, should always get a few new things) Clark will never wear. His teeny tiny custom "KHS Class of 2037" shirt will never grace his sweet little body. His custom polka dot bonnet and sleeper set he won't get to come home from the hospital in. And I hate it; I hate that he's not here with us. My heart literally aches for him.
I can't stop thinking about him. Truly, he consumes every moment of every day. And I'm sure that's normal?? But I go from smiling big about him to crying tears of sadness in a matter of minutes. I think the crazy postpartum hormones play a factor too, because I'm usually not a crier or a very emotional person but this coupled with those hormones is making me a waterwork factory. I.can't.stop.crying.
But it's okay -- crying is okay. I will be okay. We will be okay. I try and remind myself the incredible impact this little guy has had on our family, friends, and complete strangers we don't even know -- something that is just astounding and amazing when you look at just the analytic reach his birth stories pictures have already gotten.
I cannot tell you how amazing it has been with the support -- literally every day we are greeted with a new surprise, whether it's a message, food drop-off, flowers, or gift. A mystery friend (who later confessed, THANK YOU LAURA I LOVE IT SO MUCH!!!) send this keychain...
And it was just the most perfect thing ever. My favorite ultrasound picture of little Clark's hand waving at us. I LOVE IT SO FREAKING MUCH. Laura told me to put it on my camera bag since that is with me 24/7 it seems like and little Clark will be watching over me as I continue to do what I love. Just the most perfect gift ever.
Another one of my amazing internet friends sent a box of craft goodies for the kids -- lots of art supplies and a P, R, A and C for them to decorate. A perfect rainy Sunday day activity we did yesterday...and Patrick was adamant about painting Clark's first. Gosh I love my boys.
And then of course we had to hang their beautiful work front and center in the family room once they were good and dried. They are beautiful and wonderful and just perfect for our four kiddos.
I snapped the right pic last night and the left one was exactly a week before when we were off to do some maternity pics.
20 pounds and a world of differences in that pic. I miss my bump so bad -- my huge, looking full term Clark baby bump. I love being pregnant and I do miss it incredibly when I'm not, but I usually have a fresh newborn babe to snuggle as my body starts to (slowlllllyyyyy. always so slowlllyyyyy) morph back into its squish pre-pregnancy state. But not this time. And that has been super tough on me because I should still be pregnant...for another almost 4 months. I should be going through the holidays with my growing bump, wearing my favorite maternity clothes, enjoying our last Christmas as a family of 5...but no. Not this time. We are a family of 6 now with one in heaven and there's no cute bump to outfit anymore. Just a very squishy, very sore, very scarred tummy not housing a baby anymore. And that is tough. It stings. A lot. I've always taken solace in the fact after I have a baby that we'll have another one, I will get to be pregnant again and live and love the maternity life. But now? It's so up in the air. Physically yes, I'm cleared to have another baby...which is a blessing that the decision is on us. But mentally?! Oh lord, I just don't know. There are so many unanswered questions out there about why this happened to little Clark (and could it happen again to another babe?) and then my own mental state: could I do pregnancy again after this?! Would it be a 24/7 state of worrying and worrying and worrying where I'd drive myself insane? I don't know. And I'm hoping taking some time to gather any information we can, talk to other moms who've been in my shoes, reflect, talk talk and talk some more with Mike will provide us the answers and guidance we are looking for. But for now, I mourn not being pregnant and my little buddy who we so briefly got to meet. It's just been really fucking tough.
It's been a week...one whole week. Are people sick of hearing me talk about him? Share his story? Share pictures? Has my 'grief time online' come and gone and now I'm that annoying person who won't stop talking about her baby that she lost and just move on already?! Golly I hope not...but if so, just unfriend or unfollow me and my blog now. Clark's story is OUR story and will very much be talked about and sung about for a while to come. Right now it's still so raw and real and talking about it helps immensely. And I know over time, while Clark will still be burning bright in our hearts, he may not get talked about as much...but he's still there with us, watching over us from above as we navigate this earth.
I'm not really sure where to go from here...it's been weird having so much 'free time' -- I'm not use to it. But I have another couple weeks off before I'm back snapping again and as much as I miss it deeply, I know it's good for me to take a break and not push myself (or hurt myself...I am committed to not re-opening my incision this time!!) and give myself some time to heal. But it still feels weird to not really do anything. I know time will help, but also know it is 100% okay to grieve and be sad and feel things and let myself cry whenever I want to too. It's okay to not want to go do things right now. But I know in the long run I will be okay; we will all be okay. It's all part of a journey, a bigger plan that we may not see or understand what that is right now...but I'm trusting in that everything, even the bad and terrible and awful and shitty things are part of it. I've seen some glimpses into this plan the past few weeks and I've even posted about how 'ironic' things have been (i.e. Clark being born on Goose's birthday, etc...) but they are just the Big Guy upstairs showing me that it is bigger than us, there is a plan to all of this...and I'm holding tight in that and knowing that despite the ick right now, everything will be alright. We are on this journey together as a family and we'll get through it together and be stronger because of it.
So I'll keep sharing, keep blogging, keep writing down my thoughts and feelings...because I hope at the very least one other person, perhaps going through this very same thing, reads this and gets something out of what I'm saying. Because it's okay to share and talk about. It.is.okay.