11/23/2014 - Five months in heaven
I can't believe it's almost been half a year since you were born into heaven. This month has been rough. I can't point to one reason exactly. The weather is getting colder - the cold and the dreariness are not good for my psyche in a normal year... and this year is far from normal. The start of the holiday season, which was meant to be so different. Time is just marching along with no regard for the ache in my heart. The world is changing and moving on, holidays and birthdays are happening without you and it's been so hard for me over the past few weeks.
At five months old, Judah had just figured out how to sit up. He was so fat and roly-poly and delightful. I just love this age. We are missing out on the thousand little joys that you would be giving us each day. The precious little giggles, the chubby snuggles, and the cute little things you would be doing. There is grief in every part of our day, because you are absent. Sometimes it's easier for me to see God's hand in our grief... the grace and the mercy and the purposes that I know to be true. Other days it is hard to claw my way out of the depths of missing you, and this month has had many of those days.
I'm a week late writing this, because I just couldn't bring myself to. It's an acknowledgement of the passing of time. With Judah, it was a mixture of joy and a little twinge of sadness that he was growing older each time I wrote an update. Your monthly letters are much more sorrowful - I wish they could be happier for you. I think another reason this month has been so difficult is that you wouldn't be a newborn anymore at five months old - and all I know of you is as a brand new baby. Giving birth to you and pulling your little body up to my chest... and the six short hours that I got to hold you. I never got to see you grow any older. The further we get from your birth, the harder it is to imagine what you would look like now. And oh, that is hard for a momma's heart.
Perhaps another reason this month has been difficult is that I am now ten weeks pregnant with your little sibling. I will write down the whole story soon. This is such a joyous thing, but it comes with plenty of hormones and anxiety. The day we went in for our first ultrasound, I had no idea of the terror that would grip my heart as the tech searched for a little heartbeat. The last ultrasound I had was when they told me you were gone. I grieve for the blessed innocence that I had when I was pregnant with you and Judah. I will never again take for granted the beautiful sound of a heartbeat.
Judah has gone through a cognitive development leap recently, and he is grieving for you on a new level. He grasps what has happened even more deeply and is often sad that you are not here. We are flying to Oregon in a few weeks for Christmas, and the other day he looked at me and asked seriously "When we go on the airplane up in the sky, will we find baby Theodore? And he can come with us?". One of the hardest things as a parent is when you cannot protect your children from things that hurt them. Judah misses you so much, and I wish he didn't have to. He is very protective of baby #3, and often asks "Can this baby come home with us, Mama? Will he play toys with me?". It breaks my heart into a million pieces that he is worried about this new little one at the tender young age of two.
Theodore, we miss you so much. I'm not sure how to celebrate this holiday season without you. I am trying for Judah's sake. We put up our Christmas tree in mid-November to try and bring in some Christmas warmth and cheer. We got a beautiful gold star for the top of the tree for you, my bright star. A dear, sweet lady is making a Christmas stocking for you to match ours. I have read and been warned about the difficulty of the holiday season after loss. I thought I was prepared for it, and that it would be all right. Goodness, I was wrong.
Sweet baby boy, I am so glad you are spared the torment that we feel being separated from you. So grateful that you are in perfect peace. The miracle of Christmas is close to my heart this year. A little baby, sent to save the world from sin. In many ways, I feel that you are our own little miracle, given to us for many reasons. Some we have seen already, and many yet to be revealed. It is helpful to be able to see God's purposes, but it does not make loosing you any easier. In my broken humanity, I would trade it all in a second to have you in my arms.
Theodore Robert, our perfect little one. Happy five months in heaven. Though I know time means nothing there, the passage of time here is significant. Each month I have to release my dreams of you a little more, heal a little more, breathe a little more. We love you so much. We go through this holiday season, and life, as a family of five now. One sweet boy in our arms, one sweet boy in heaven, and one little one cradled inside me.
All our love,
Momma, Papa, Judah, and Baby #3