Counseling…

I know counseling might not be for some people but, it was right for me. I was really having a hard time, I was being mean to everyone around me and just couldn’t be nice at all.

Stacy and I went to talk with my pastor because well, we had some questions. I was really scared about some things that Jehovah Witnesses were saying about JT, that he wasn’t in Heaven and he was nowhere. I know I really shouldn’t have been talking to them, but, I can’t say no to anyone. Neal was kind enough to call a christian counselor that he knows and get me in for an appointment.

Little did I know that I knew her. What a sweet surprise. I used to be in Oesterlen. I usually don’t admit this to anyone but, I was. It is a residential treatment center for troubled youth. And yes, I was one. Shelley was one of the workers there. I hadn’t seen her in 15 years. But, she knew me right away and I knew her.

What was awesome about my couseling was I was being counciled by someone who had been there. 22 years before she also had lost her son. I got to talk to someone that got it. Some one that could understand that I was hurting and that hurt was not going to go away.

She told me it was ok to be angry just like my pastor did. They both said David was angry at God and was honest with him and that made David a man after God’s own heart. God doesn’t want us to hide our feelings from Him. He wants us to give them to Him. Be honest with Him. She also told me that it was ok to be mad at JT. Which I didn’t realize at the time, but, I was mad at Johnathan. I was mad he left after fighting so hard.

Shelley had me go to the cemetary. To take an hour or however long that I needed and just talk to God and JT. To just get it all out. Cry, scream, laugh, rejoice, pound the dirt, whatever you have to do. And oh boy did I. I told them both exactly how I felt. The hurt, the anger, the joy, the pain. How could this happen to me? Why did this happen to me? Why did you leave me here. I miss your sweet cheeks, and your little quirky personality. I miss watching you while your were asleep, I miss messing with your pulse ox and making the machine beep. I…. MISS….IT…. ALL!!!!!

Why God did you take Johnathan away from me??? WHY?!?!? I said alot more to God, then I apologized to both of them. I said I was sorry for feeling sorry for myself. I am sorry for wanting JT back to his life of pain, and suffering. I am sorry, if my faith wasn’t enough. Sorry, if maybe I didn’t believe enough.

Then I started thanking both of them. Thank you for the best gift ever. Thank you for letting me see daily the miracles that you provided that gave me 8 1/2 awesome months with my son. Thank you for the honor to be JT’s mom. Thank you for all the struggles the frustrations, the anger, the joy, the love, the elation, the surgeries, the doctor’s nurses and the hospital, and the NICU. Thank you for enriching my life more because of it.

Thank you JT for being all that you were. You were perfect in my eyes. You are my son and will always be my son. I am so proud of you and all that you did while you was here with us. You made me smile everyday, you made my life purposeful every day. You helped me to grow in my faith and in my life. Thank you, thank you , thank you my sweet little boy.

I can’t tell you the relief I felt to get that all out. To be given permission to grieve like that. Now, I am not saying that I left there and life has been a bunch of roses because it absolutely has not been. But, it was a way to start the healing process. I had been holding on to the pain. Because if I held on to the pain then it would hurt and if I hurt, then it would mean that I wouldn’t forget my baby. I never wanted to forget him ever. And I won’t. I could breathe a little easier when I left there. I laid everything that I had right there at the feet of God and He took it. He took it and then wrapped his arms of comfort around me and just let me get it out.

I am able to remember JT know with smiles and laughter and actually remember him. Not his death. Because I was so centered on his death I forgot about HIM. My son. Now, when I talk to Stacy I am not holding in tears, I am holding in laughter. Because well, if you only knew the crazy things that could happen in the NICU you would understand. lol. From dum dum pops, to crazy beepy pulse ox monitors. It was a blast for the most part.

Everyone have a great day!!!

Children and holding them close…

After JT passed away I was a paranoid mess. I wouldn’t let my children do much, I was scared something would happen to them. I was deathly afraid of the steps. That one always got me. I was afraid that Mikayla would fall down them and break her neck. If they were wrestling around. I would make them stop. I was just so afraid I would lose another one. I would wake up in the middle of the night and I couldn’t breathe because I thought that they were gone. I would check them numerous times during the night to make sure that I seen their chests rising. If Mikayla didn’t wake up at her usual time and slept in I was poking her to make sure she moved. I still do that sometimes but, it is few and far between now.

I wouldn’t let them go anywhere without me. And no spending the night anywhere because well things could happen. They didn’t understand it. They had no clue what was going on with me. Why, all of a sudden they were on lock down and could do nothing. I even limited their time outside. And that isn’t like me at all. I think children should be outside and playing and running and having a great time because sunshine makes you grow. I was growing my children to be couch potatos and totally didn’t like what I was seeing. But, I couldn’t let go of that anxiety and panic enough to let them go outside and just be kids. So, I let them watch as much tv as they like and play as many video games as they wanted to and just made sure that they were close. I lost myself in the computer world and they lost themselves in the electronic world. They could have their friends come over that was no problem. That never really was. I always had no less than 10 kids in my house because well, I love kids. I was feeding them and taking care of them while they were here. My husband didn’t like the grocery bills so much, but, he didn’t really ever complain to much.

But, one day I was had an epiphany. Either that or God kicked me back into shape like he likes to do. I feeling suffocated. I just told them go outside. Go play get out of here. You need to be outside. What was I thinking??? Then they went out to play and I was being a crazy lady yelling at them not to do this or do that or to leave this alone or that alone. They couldn’t have any fun that way. It took a long time of me just holding my breath praying for God to keep them safe and just letting them be. But, I did it.

I have always been the kind of parent to let my kids make mistakes. To let them learn and I help them to see what they did wrong and let them fix it if they are able to. We are very open and talk about sex, drugs, what have you. I want them to be able to come to me and ask me about something. I want them to know that I won’t judge them on it and that together we’ll look at it and find the best possible solution together. I don’t go rampaging (to much) and not let them live their life. I wasn’t that kind of parent anymore. I was a closed up piece of mess.

My husband saw it also. He said, in the most loving way, “Honey, I think you need counseling”
So, I got it.

While that may not be for some it helped me immensely. I’ll talk more about that tomorrow.

Things that I have thought and done……

When you are going through grief you think so many different sometimes bizarre things. You think that you can’t do things but, you can.

Before JT died, I didn’t think I could hold my babies body and just let him go. Just surrender him to God and feel at peace with it. But, I did. It wasn’t a good feeling but, it was a feeling of peace that when it happened, it happened just the way that it should have and our prayers were answered beyond our wildest imaginations.

After JT died, I didn’t think I could live my life. I didn’t think I could get through a minute much less a whole day and live to tell about it. But, I did.

I didn’t think that I could be a productive person of society, or raise my other children, but, I have been.

We don’t have memories of JT being in our house. He was never here. His stuff has been here but, he had never been here physically. I don’t have memories of him in his crib or sleeping with me after a rough night, or baths in the sink, or dirty diapers that somehow find their way on the floor because you did a 2 o’clock feed and change only to wake up in the morning and trip over said diaper. Never had the went to fix a bottle and left it on the stove to warm only to forget about it, and realize when there is this burning smell coming from the kitchen that oops guess i better get that before the kitchen burns down memory.

A lot of people after the death of their child have a hard time either going into their child’s bedroom the first time, or they just can’t leave that bedroom. JT’s bedroom was the NICU. Number 19 and 22. Those were the two spots he spent all of his time there in. It is just too hard for me to think of going up there and his space is filled with someone else. Another new life that doesn’t know the history of those two spots. To know that his spot is gone, just to be replaced by another. I can’t go up there and have those memories. It is too hard for me to go back up there. I don’t know if I would have been one of those parents that keeps it as is or packs it up. I am not sure at all.

I did have all of his stuff from the hospital and it took me about 3 months before I was able to unpack it all and go through it. I did keep everything of his. It is in a hope chest. That is what I call it anyway. Because through JT, I did have hope, and I still have hope, that hasn’t changed. I still find things around the house of his. A picture that somehow has gotten mixed up in other pictures. An outfit that somehow has gotten mixed up in the laundry. A baggy of stuff that I hadn’t done anything with from when we were switching hospitals. These little treasures either cause me such happyness or cause me to have a ginormous crying fit, then I lift myself up through prayer and with God’s grace and hope for another time to find some little treasure that has somehow found itself into our living areas. It was like he was here and had been here. But, it really doesn’t replace the real thing.

I used to get to where I would stay up nights and get only a few hours of sleep each night, just searching the internet to find a story like mine. Anything that came even remotely close. There was no diagnosis that you could fit JT in. He had so many things going on and the doctor’s had always said that they had no idea what to do half the time because they had never seen anything like what was happening to him. And now, I believe it. Because as much as I searched. I couldn’t find anything. Now, each different thing, I could find things on that, but, all together nothing. So, yep, he was as unique as they said he was. I at the time just thought that they didn’t want to deal with everything that was wrong with him. But, I know that isn’t true because they were always searching and researching trying to find a solution where there was none. They worked really hard behind the scenes.

I never thought that I could find joy in holding a baby boy again, but, I did yesterday. He is 4 months old and is so smiley and happy and I had the best time just talking to him, and he was cooing back it was awesome.

I used to think if I prayed hard enough God would bring him back. He brought Lazarus back, why not JT? But, I knew it wasn’t going to happen, but, wishfulness was holding me there. Holding me to think that in a few days I would wake up and JT would be laying next to me smacking me in the face like babies do to wake me up and it would all have been a dream. Didn’t happen. But, I have my memories and those we made awesome and I am thankful for that.

An update about the grief series…..

I think I am ready to start this. I will be starting tomorrow morning by posting what I have so far. I am going to start with a post about our day and how we shared it the day JT passed away. It was a bittersweet time. We were happy that he was in Heaven, but, oh so heartbroken, sad, angry, frustrated, (I could go on) that he wasn’t with us anymore.

I have never shared this before in depth in anyway because well, it is so hard, but, I feel that the time is right and I need to let you in on that part of our journey also. I shared everything else with everyone about JT’s life except for the last 24 hours. I think my update went something like He is fighting the last fight or something cliche like that because I couldn’t say the words dieing. Even then, I didn’t give up hope and I just knew God would sweep in and just handle it all the way that I saw fit and that was to save my baby and make him whole in his earthly body. But, on the other hand, I knew that his time here on earth was about over.

Stacy and I were talking about that day a couple of weekends ago and we have always talked about Johnathan and our frustrations and our memories about him. But, we didn’t really talk about that day. But, we talked about it in depth and shared what we remembered and our fears and such. For a long time I didn’t remember that day except for getting mad at Granny and yelling the word dead, and at one time granny was holding about 5 cell phones. But, other than that I had blocked it all.

As we were talking more and more came to me and I remembered. And it was honestly a good time to sit down and talk with someone that had been there. Actually been there and experienced it with me. And wanted to talk with me about him. I haven’t been able to do that with my husband because he can’t talk about Johnathan. He has a really hard time with it, so the only person that I have left is Stacy and I am so so so appreciative of that.

Well, I have talked long enough be prepared for tomorrow and the story of his homecoming.