More on Connor and Colby!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Split Emotion

I've been saying for awhile that, in some ways, losing Connor but having Colby has actually been more difficult.  In the beginning we would say that we were making it through "because of Colby".  We had him to keep us going.  But then I realized that (don't get me wrong we would not change having Colby for ANYTHING in this world.  EVER.) having Colby was actually making it harder to grieve.

I think I kind of realized why tonight.  We were at a family Christmas Eve party and there were some family members who had never seen Colby, never mind Connor.  They oohed and they ahhed and said how cute he was, how good he was, how he was the "Christmas miracle" for the family.  

And every time they said something I thought "What about Connor?"  He would have been just as cute.  He would have been just as good.  He would have been a miracle too.  But, instead, I find myself thrilled beyond belief that I'm the mother of this amazing little Colby and only wondering (wishing) what Connor would have been like as well.  The holidays cannot be about JUST Colby because then I am betraying Connor and the holidays cannot be JUST about Connor because Colby in there.  I cannot JUST be happy, an ecstatic mother showing off her precious baby because... there should be more.  And I cannot JUST be a sad mother, hiding from Christmas because my baby should be there and can't be.  

So I guess that's what I realized-- no matter what, losing Connor while having Colby means that I will always wonder "What about Connor?" while being thankful and amazed by every little think Colby does. 

I don't meant this to take away from Colby and I certainly do not mean it to mean that Colby is not enough.  I just mean that I HAVE two boys.  As a mother, I will always look to have Connor validated.  Today that meant that I had to walk the tightrope of enjoying the day for Colby and looking to the future while thinking about Connor and missing him and the possibilities of what could have been.  I cannot put my energy into one area-- grief or happiness.  Instead, I have to multitask the two emotions and hope that one day I can learn to deal with both at once.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

24 hours and 24 minutes

As we approach Christmas (we're 24 minutes away from Christmas Eve as I type this... so 24 hours 24 minutes away from Christmas-- that's pretty cool!) I'm dreading it in a little way.

There's the fact that I'm not the most comfortable with J's family all the time.  We're very different and sometimes it's okay and sometimes it's just downright awkward.  But I digress.

It's bittersweet.  

The sweet: We're gearing up for our 1st Colby Christmas.  We've been waiting for this for awhile.  :)  Obviously he won't remember or care about it.  In fact, I think he just got the best present he could ask for-- he learned how to chew on his hands and he's 100% content with that.  But for J and I it will be fabulous.  

But then there's the bitter: with every first, there's the first that Connor's not there for.  Our first Christmas without Connor.  Christmas is actually 5 months from Connor's funeral and our last goodbye.  It's just so odd.

I know I've said it before, but I think that having Colby almost makes losing Connor harder.  Harder because we can't just be sad about not having Connor.  Harder because we can't wallow or grieve.  He's a constant (wonderful) distraction.  I guess I just don't want to do Connor a disservice by not being "sadder" on these hard days, but I also don't want to do Colby a disservice by being sad on these hard days.

One thing I have learned over these past five months, though?  No matter how hard it is, I can get through it because I have Colby's cutie little face watching me and I know that Connor is watching over all of us from his little spot in the clouds.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


I've come to realize just how much I need to be in control.  I take everything having to do with Colby very personally.  I feel like I need to have a say in everything- from how much he eats to who takes him out of his car seat to who gets to see his things.  It makes me antsy to feel like I'm not in control of the situation... whatever it is.

I've been thinking about this a lot lately and I feel like I might kind of understand why- though I am no closer to overcoming it.  

When we first tried to get pregnant we couldn't.  We consulted doctors, took meds, did procedures... but I really had no control.  It was out of my hands.  The timing, procedures- everything- were put in the hands of the doctors.

Then we finally got pregnant and I was eventually put on bed rest.  Immediately everything became about the babies and keeping them safe.  I told doctors many times that it didn't matter what happened to me- we wanted to do whatever was safest for the boys.  Would I have preferred natural birth?  Sure, but I didn't even mention it because it wouldn't be safest.  My life was immediately about being taken care of by an onslaught of nurses, doctors, and specialists.  I lost control of my pregnancy.

Then I went into labor and had the babies so early.  The boys were in the NICU.  They were sick and I couldn't take care of them.  They were hooked up to machines to stay alive because I couldn't do it.  I had no control of their safety.  I had no control of their lives.  I couldn't help them.

Then Connor passed away on that awful morning.  The nurses bagged him.  The doctors transfused him.  The monitors told what was happening.  And again, I had no control.  No matter how I hoped and prayed, there wasn't anything that could be done to take care of him and to make him better.

Then there was the rest of Colby's NICU stay... 107 more days of doctors and nurses telling us when to pick him up, when to change him, how much to feed him, if we could breast feed, if he should have a blanket on, who to let see him, and on and on and on.

I feel like I have no control and I have had no control.  So, I try to get control in stupid, small ways.  I protect pictures with a vengeance and feel I should be solely responsible for being the one to share them as I please.  I expect people to ask me if they can change my baby.  I expect people to ask before they pick him up.  Advice frustrates me because it feels like others are trying to take control and tell me what to do.

I want the control.  I feel like these are the only stupid little things I can control and it sucks.  It just reminds me of what we didn't have, what control I so desperately wanted and lost.  

And so I am perpetually messed up.  Maybe it's time to see a therapist?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Titles are obviously not my strong suit

Seeing Connor's name in print or hearing his name still sends little spasms through my heart.  In that moment I am forced to remember that everything is not okay.  

Every night I rock Colby to sleep and I'm exhausted from the day, but I always have that moment where I remember that I don't want to be off duty as soon as Colby's asleep.  I want to have another baby to rock.  I want to kiss Connor's cheek as he drifts off with his head on my chest.  

I'm thankful for my breaks during the day.  The brief periods of time where the bottles are washed, clothes are cleaned, and Colby is peacefully napping.  Yet I would give anything to be scrambling for a clean bottle, to be stepping over a pile of dirty clothes, if only because it were Connor that needed something while Colby was napping.  

I can't get over the feeling that not having Connor here is physically easier.  Caring for one 4 month old is easier that 2.  Yet it is so much more emotionally taxing and heart wrenching I find myself wishing every second of every minute of every day that he was here with me.  There's not much I wouldn't give for that.

And we continue to push through, to face the challenges, and to be eternally grateful for the moments we had with Connor and all the moments we have and will have with Colby.