Happy Independence Day! It has been 3 years since I have actually had a happy one. Three years ago, Aidan was about 5 weeks old. We went to a big family gathering, and since he was the newest baby, he was the center of attention. (he's still very much the center of attention. He makes sure of it!) We were all playing with him, and put him on the floor for tummy time, and he rolled over for the first time. And second. And third. I lost count of how many times he did that. Every time we put him on his belly from that point on, he would roll back over! I was so proud, I was quite certain that he was going to be the next Einstein or something.
Fourth of July two years ago. Oh, my. Landon was 12 days old. We had made the decision with his doctors on the second, to remove all life support, but had all agreed to wait until Monday, the 6th, to do it. Mainly because of the Holiday weekend. I will copy and paste a journal I wrote last year on the 4th, telling about Landon's holiday.
Last year I had Landon in my arms on the 4th. This year I don't. I got to be with him morning and evening, with a family get-together in between. I didn't want to go to that, but I did, for Aidan. I spent hours and hours at that hospital holding my littlest son. I would give anything in the world to hold him again. But, I can't, and that's the facts. He's gone. Someday, I will see him again, in Heaven. I"m grateful for the 2 weeks that I did have him, I'm grateful for the pregnancy, I'm grateful for my fertility, but, man, I miss my baby. I'm so so grateful that I have Aidan. He's my bestest friend. I would lay down and die without him.
After the family to-do last year, just my Mom and I went back up to the hospital. It was so much more peaceful than any other visit we made. All the other hours I spent there were filled with family and friends wanting to come see him. No one could see him without Larry or me in the room. That night, though, mom and I didn't tell anyone we were going. So, we were uninterrupted. I just got to hold, and enjoy (as much as I could) my 12 day old baby. It was bittersweet. I knew I only had 2 more days with him, because we had already decided to remove life support on the 6th. That decision was the hardest I've ever made. We decided for that particular day, to give us a holiday with him, and because we didn't want a funeral on the holiday.
Man, I miss my baby.
Landon James, Mommy loves you just as much today as I did a year ago. You were so beautiful, and you were so wanted and loved. I know you're perfectly healthy and whole now, in ways you never would have been here. I hope when you look down on me, you're proud of what you see. I'm so very proud of you. You were a fighter from the get-go. Happy 4th of July, baby. I wish so much that I was dressing you and Aidan in matching Red, White and Blue t-shirts for this cookout tonight...
Now it is two years since Landon's holiday. That 4th of July will always be his holiday to me. It was the only holiday I got to spend with my littlest son, and it was overshadowed by the knowledge that he would most likely be dead in two days. Even then, I was holding out hope and faith that a miracle would happen. I prayed so hard for a miracle. God answers all prayers. It's either "yes", "no", or "not yet." I didn't know it at the time, but his answer to my pleas for a miracle was "not yet."
Had someone told me at that time that twin girls were in my future, I would have never believed them. I couldn't see past the moment back then, in fact it was many months before I could think ahead of the very minute in which I was living. I truly thought that my life was over. My heart hurt like I was dying. How could I live with that pain? Every waking minute was spent with a pain in my gut, like someone had punched me.
I couldn't function like a normal person. Grocery shopping, clothes shopping, eating in restaurants, anything requiring me to be in public, that was all HUGE ordeals for me through Landon's life and in the months immediately following his death. I remember the first time I saw a woman with a newborn in WalMart. I nearly dropped to my knees. The pain was so real, so physical. It was so hard for me to breath. I don't remember exactly when that stopped for me, but it did. I eventually got back to being the one who loves to see, hold, love little babies. But for a period of time, I felt like every new mother's whole goal in life was to cause me pain.
The truth of the matter is, nobody can look at someone and know that they have lost their child. Those women, who had never met me, had no clue that just the sight of their baby caused me physical pain. It wasn't their fault my baby was dead. Once I realized that, things got better.
So, back to the subject at hand. The 4th of July has rolled around again. Three years ago, I had one baby. Two years ago, I had 2 babies. Last year, I was back to one baby. Today I have 3 babies. I like three babies. My ideal life would be 4 babies, but Lanon's gone and no amount of longing or fantasizing about "what if" is going to bring him back.
My girls are so perfect. They're so pretty, if I do say so myself. Both are over 10 pounds now, and Gracie is pushing 11. She finally has little rolls on her legs. Rebekah's little legs are still so skinny, but she's growing well, I think she's going to be tall and skinny. That makes me happy since I'm short and fat.
Aidan is getting to be such a big boy. We're potty training. He does great with peeing. Pooping is a struggle. He would rather stand with his butt clenched, arguing with me about it, than to just go poop in the potty! If it were anyone else's kid, I'd be laughing myself silly over it... so go ahead. Laugh.
He calls both babies "we-BetTy" and if he's talking to Gracie, I'll correct him, "Aidan, that's not Rebekah, who is she?" And he'll grin real cute and say, "dat Greasy!" So funny!!
He's pretty afraid of fireworks. He told my mom tonight, "care me a deaf!!!" and ran to his bed and covered his head up. I wish he liked them, that'd be a great thing for us to do as a family tomorrow night. The funny thing is, he's not a bit afraid of thunder. Go figure!
I want to share a few pictures, and then I'm going to bed!! I will try my best to get back here tomorrow and post pics of my girls on their first 4th of July, and Aidan, too.
Landon on his 4th of July
My nephew Gavin on the left, Aidan on the right, on the 4th of July when Landon was in the hospital
This was yesterday. I captioned it "The two newest Duggars, JeRebekah and JoGracie"
I love the Duggars, by the way, and was in no way making fun of them. I just call those big bows Duggar bows.
That's Rebekah on the Left, Gracie on the Right.
Bubby chasing Ducks at the park.