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Remember the 28th

Life after infant loss, spreading joy to honor our precious child.

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#harrysjoy

Out Numbered

 My husband and I learned quickly that there are many challenges to having a barely two year old and a newborn.  While pregnant with Harrison, I remember tending to Bennett’s needs after a night time waking.  I specifically remember positioning my 7 month pregnant body on the floor in front of of our almost 2 year old’s crib, while holding my son’s hand through the slats.  My arm was numb, my hips ached, and I laid there imagining how I would soon have an ADDITIONAL child needing  my attention.  I was stressing, “How will I handle this situation after the new baby arrives?  How do I continue to maintain the attention our two year old is accustom to receiving and now DEMANDS, plus meet the needs of a new baby?” While I didn’t know how.. I came to the conclusion that I am not the first parent to have two kids, two years apart.  Other people have figured this out….  So it must be possible???


Once Harrison arrived, I still feared my alone time with both boys.  I was fine with one, but how do I handle two?  I would be out numbered!  Luckily it was a few weeks before I had to manage two babies alone.  The day arrived spontaneously.  Bennett decided to jump off the couch.  He landed weird on his leg and wouldn’t walk.   We iced the leg and gave him some Tylenol.  I was confident he would be fine in the morning.  Morning came and he was still not putting weight on his leg.  UGH!!!  I can’t take him to daycare if he can’t walk!  He needed to see a doctor and Jason had to do go work.  So I was suddenly thrown into my first “survival mode,”  aka. first day alone with both boys.

First stop, the ER! I was pretty much a pack mule.  I had a diaper bag, purse, stroller, infant car seat, my coat, Bennett’s coat, hats, scarves, mittens, infant car seat cover, the WORKS!   Harrison decided he needed to be nursed right as we walk in the waiting room.  I am attempting to take my coat off and cover myself.  Right when we got into position, they called us back to see the doctor. Perfect timing!!!  Ugh!

They take Bennett’s vitals and I resume nursing in the patient room.  We wait a few moments and the doctor comes back.  He exams Bennett’s leg, no discomfort!  He asks Bennett to try to walk.  He hops out of the chair and walks normally across the room and back….. ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!!!  He is fine!!  Yup!  He was magically fine!  So we load up everything we own and head back to the car where I was finally able to finish nursing Harrison.

This was just the first hour of my first “survival mode.”  But honestly, we figured it out.  Harrison’s nursing was interrupted all day, but he survived!  I required Bennett to practice patience a few times, but he survived.  I enjoy happiness, stress, love, anxiety, delight, and I survived! 🙂  One of my favorite moments was when I had both babies crying.  So I loaded everyone up in a rocking chair (Harrison in the Bjorn) and rocked them both to sleep.  I was so proud of my accomplishment. 🙂  And it felt wonderful to have both of my sweet babies filling my lap and overflowing my heart!
Aug 28th is next Friday!  We will be doing random acts of kindness to honor Harrison.  Feel free to join us!  If you participate please go to the Harry’s Joy Facebook page and post your act!  Please tag your post with #harrysjoy28 so we can follow along!  We appreciate all of your support.  Watching Harry’s Joy grow is very therapeutic in our healing process!

 

SUPRISE!!!

    One Saturday morning in June, I was having difficulty waking from a deep sleep. I started to have a vivid dream. I dreamt I kept going into different bathrooms and taking pregnancy tests, and they were all positive. 

When I finally woke from the dream I stumbled into the bathroom. I could hear the typical Saturday morning shenanigans going on downstairs. This consisted of a soccer game on TV while a toddler negotiates a breakfast menu with his Daddy. While I had no pregnancy symptoms, I decided to take a test before going down to help. 

Surely I had a pregnancy test somewhere. I dug out all the bottles and containers of product from under the sink, until….BINGO! One old, expired, pregnancy test! This should work!

I was certain the test would say “not pregnant.” Maybe I was certain because the test was significantly expired. But I was certain, none the less. So I took the test…. It immediately registered “pregnant.”

What?!?!?! I didn’t know if I should be excited or scared! How about both!!

While Harrison was not planned, he was welcome. We knew we wanted at least one additional child. Our plan was to have our kids 3 years apart…. Not 2.  Needless to say, we were still struggling to keep our heads above water with our 17 month old, but we quickly adjusted our plan to include Harrison.

Sometimes I feel guilty for not planning Harrison. Perhaps losing him is my punishment from the universe for not planning his conception. A punishment for our fertility for granted.  But regardless of his loss, I would do it all again! He is worth the sadness! He matters that much!

Harry is our joy! Love you sweet boy! Miss you everyday! 

I opened a Facebook page just for the mission of spreading Harry’s Joy. If you join our mission, please post your random acts of kindness on our Harry’s Joy Facebook Page. This way it can be followed by the public. Remember to “Like” the page when you visit!

Thank you all for ur love and support!

Dear Harrison

  Tonight is Friday night. TGIF, right? The marker of the work week ending and family time beginning.  For the past 6 weeks it has also been the weekly anniversary Harrison’s journey to a pure land.  I have moments where the sadness is absolutely suffocating.  It feels physically heavy as it sits on my chest and neck.  The tears flow, giving me room to breathe once again. No matter how many negative thoughts or emotions I feel, I ultimately continue to come to the same conclusion.  Nothing will bring back our baby so I MUST honor him every day of my life, as I will ALWAYS be his Mommy.

Tonight I took a step back to remember our promise to Harrison.  To refocus my mind and attention on our purpose as parents.  Jason and I wrote this letter to our sweet baby the week after his passing.  The minister read the letter during Harrison’s Memorial service but tonight we would also like to share this letter with the world.

Dear Sweet Harrison,

Our sweet baby boy, while your life was way too short it was your full life.  You had meaning and purpose just the same as someone who had the luxury to live ninety plus years.  Your memory and purpose will bless this world forever.

When we think of you, we think of joy.  You taught us that infants are enjoyable.  Thank you for your smiles, every single one of them.  The warmth we felt while holding you in our arms, filled us with joy.  We looked forward to the moments we could hold you closely and rock.  Life with you was constant, but constantly beautiful.

Thank you for showing us your brother’s compassion.  While I know he scared you the first few weeks of your life, with time, you began to seek his attention.  Words can’t express the joy it brought us to see the two of you together.  Buddies for life!  Bennett never demonstrated jealousy, only compassion and interest towards you.

We have learned a lot about grief in the past 7 days with the help and support of counselors, friends, and family.  We understand that losing a child is different from losing any other kind of loved one.  We have been told that people never fully recover from the loss of a child.  We have been informed that marriage and parenting after a trauma like your loss can be difficult.  Harrison, we promise you, we will not let your death haunt our family.  Today and forever, we will honor you through our marriage and our parenting.  We will show patience and compassion in your honor.  Through you, we will find strength to make a legacy in your honor.

We love you sweet baby boy.

Mommy and Daddy

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