Friday, May 28, 2010

Is this your first?


Well, daddy and I went out to dinner tonight. That's not usually a big deal, we do it a lot. But tonight was a good night. Daddy and I met a couple that was a  lot of fun and without boring you with the details (adults talk too much and I know that it bores you kids) here's what happened.

We were talking (we were all sitting at the bar) and the woman saw that I was pregnant and asked if I had any other kids. This is a tough situation for me. I hate bringing up that you died, because most strangers get all uncomforable, and it tends to bring the conversation to a screeching halt. But on the other hand, I feel like I am denying you when I don't bring it up. I usually just say that this pregnancy is our first. I feel like people have a general expectation of you, that you smile and act happy and that in social situations, you don't make waves. No one wants to hear the bad stuff. We are all expected to put on a happy face.

Tonight, however, I told the woman that this is not our first. That we had a wonderful son in October that was born with some health issues, and that he passed away in January. She got quiet and said that she was very sorry. I apologized and told her that I don't like bringing it up, but that it feels good to be honest and just be myself. I have a son in heaven. Just because you are not here on earth doesn't mean that you don't exist.

I have struggled with this since your death. I have decided that if people want to get to know me, or just want to have a conversation with me, they are going to know the real me. I am not going to pretend that I am a new mom, that I have never been pregnant before and that you aren't my son. I am okay with that. I am not going to shout it from the mountain tops (as there are not many mountain tops in Irvine), but when people ask, they are going to get the truth.

I am a proud mom, and I am a proud survivor. The fact that I am still standing here (actually, I am sitting on the couch with daddy's laptop- but it's a saying Brendan, go with it) is a miracle. The fact that I can still smile, enjoy your daddy and our marriage, go out on dates, hang out with friends, go shopping, whatever, it is testament to the strength that God has given me. I know that God wants me to show people what he has done in my life. There is no reason that I need to hide my past. I hope that because of your life and because of the peace and strength God has given me throughout your life and death, other peoples lives will be impacted. 

You will always be my son, you will always be my first. I love you Brendan.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Your little brother

Dear Brendan,

Well, it seems like this whole pregnancy (your little brother), daddy and I have been saying things like “I hope he doesn’t have ____ like Brendan”. It almost sounds like we are hoping that your brother is nothing like you.

That’s not the case. So I wasn’t to list all the things we want/hope your little brother has in common with you.

We hope that he has your eyes. You had the most gorgeous grey/blue eyes.

We hope he has your eyelashes. Everyone commented that you had the longest eyelashes ever. I love them!

We hope that your little brother has your smile. You had the cutest smile. I loved it when you would smile in your sleep. We have the sweetest memories of you smiling randomly. One of these days I am going to figure out what you were dreaming about.

We hope he has your attitude. I know a lot of people are going to say that babies are babies and have no real attitude, but I disagree. You were so relaxed. You slept, ate, and for the most part stayed calm. The only things you didn’t like were getting your diaper changed, and you got cranky when you were hungry.

We hope that your brother is a fighter like you. You fought until the last minute. You never gave up. You knew, as did your dad and I that eventually you would end up in heaven. You fought to come home from the hospital so we could be a family for a short time. You never gave up. You are now up in heaven, enjoying everything that God has for his children.

We hope that he is as charming as you. I can’t tell you how many nurses you won over. I know that Ester loved you. She was your nurse after your last 2 surgeries. She loved taking care of you. Then there were the nurses, RTs, and everyone else at Health Bridge that fell in love with you: Misty, Sunny, Shannon, Diana, Mercedes, they all loved coming to say hello to you and giving you kisses. The night nurses loved how mellow you were at night. They told me that when you were upset at night (which was rare) they would go into your room and hold you when mommy wasn’t there.

Finally, I hope your brother looks like you. I think he will. After all, the Mayo gene is dominant. I want to be able to say to him “You look just like your brother!” You were a handsome little man.

Brendan, I want you to know that while there were things medically wrong with your body, you were perfect. Remember what mommy said before? God doesn’t make mistakes. God knew what he was doing. Mommy and daddy are so proud of you. You have taught us so much about life, love and God. We can’t wait to meet your brother. You two have fun in heaven until October.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day- Family Pictures

Mother's Day. Well I wouldn't be a mother without my amazing husband. He has been my rock for almost 6 years, and recently has let me lean on him even more. What a blessing you are Jeff. God knew what we were going to experience in our lives and put us together for a reason.

I also wouldn't be a mom without my little man Brendan. Brendan, you taught me so much about life. You taught me not to take anything for granted. You taught me to love unconditionally. You taught me to let go of relationships that are hurtful. You taught me so much more about the love of God than any pastor ever could. You are an amazing little man, and I have no doubt that you are in heaven fully aware of everything (with a fully formed brain) and you know the impact that you had on this earth. You know that although your time was short, it was important. Mommies have children thinking that they are going to be the ones doing all the teaching, but Brendan, you taught me so much. I love you with all my heart. Thank you for making me a mommy.

So, in honor of these boys in my life that have made me a mommy, I wanted to post some pictures of the three of us. We will forever be a family.

Our first family photo- 10/18/09 (Happy Birthday Brendan) Poor Brendan had to wear the little mask because his little heart couldn't pump enough oxygen into his body

10/19/09- Finally got to see Brendan after they transferred him to LA 6 hours after being born. It was a long several hours. This is also me having skin to skin time with him. They say that mommy's skin helps the baby bond and can also help the baby's heart rate.

10/31/09 Happy Halloween. I finally got to hold Brendan after several days of recovery after heart surgery. I must say, it was the best Halloween I have ever had.

Happy Thanksgiving Brendan! 11/26/09

12/07/09 Family time

12/16/09- Mommy's birthday. The only day that I spent away from Brendan. We went to Disneyland. It was a great day and a much needed day of fun. I saw him early in the morning and then later that night for an hour or so. The nurse said that he had a great day while we were gone and rested well in mommy's absence.

12/17/09 Brendan's first walk outside!

12/25/09 Merry Christmas! 

1/09/10- Our first family outing. We went to Carl's Jr. It was our first full day having Brendan home and we were totally out of food at home and were starving, so we took a walk down to Carl's. I asked some random guy to take the picture. I am not sure that he got why it was so important to us. We also couldn't find a way to get all three of us in the picture without moving Brendan and waking him up. He did so well on the walk!

1/17/10 Brendan's Baptism. Thank you Justin for coming over and praying with us and for giving us this wonderful gift. We actually went to the pool at our complex and Justin baptized him there. I love it!

Dear Lord, please take care of my little man in heaven. Please be with Jeff and I and help us to heal. Thank you for all the memories that you have given us and for the new life that is growing as we speak. You knew before Brendan was born, and even before Jeff and I were together, that we would go through this experience. Thank you for bringing Jeff and I together, and strengthening our marriage before you gave us this trial. I love you so much and I am thankful that you have given us the honor of being Brendan's earthly parents. We love you, Lord. Amen