Tag Archives: Hudson Ruth

Prayers for my son

All the parenting books say you need to get your kids into a bedtime routine.

So, we do a few things every night before we put Anson down in his crib.

Bath Time is most certainly Anson’s favorite.
Story Time is next: sometimes just one book and sometimes a few, but ALWAYS “Sleep Tight, Sleepy Bears.”

Then songs: sometimes just one song and sometimes a few, but ALWAYS “With Anson in the Family, Happy Happy Home”

And always, before I put Anson down in his crib for the night, I say a prayer for him.

We all have dreams for our children. We know we want the best for them, and we want them to be the best they can be. That’s the big picture. But there are these little prayers:

“Tonight, my prayer for you is that you have good friends in life, the kind who look out for you.”
“Tonight, my prayer for you is that you always see the good in others, even when it isn’t easy.”
“Tonight, my prayer for you is that you like getting a little exercise.”
“Tonight, my prayer for you is that you learn to push yourself.”
“Tonight, my prayer for you is that you aren’t afraid of things you haven’t tried.”

And on and on.

Usually they just pop into my head as I’m putting him down, but there are some that are a little more profound.

Like how I want our son to know about his sister, and how I want her to be a part of his life, without him feeling like he has anything to live up to.

We have two very big pictures of Hudson hanging on the wall of our staircase. Anson is often fixated by his sister’s face as we walk up and down the stairs. I like to think he knows that face is important.

Next to the big recliner in our living room (where I have often nursed Anson since he was brand new), there is a picture of the skyline taken from Hudson’s Hole at Vet’s golf course. It was given to us by Grandma and Grandpa Dub on Hudson’s 1st birthday. Ever since Anson was a tiny baby, he locks in on that picture, cranes his neck to get it just right in his view. I like to think he knows that place is important.

I wear a necklace every day with Hudson’s name and birthstone. Sometimes when I’m holding Anson, he’ll get a look of intense concentration and grab at the little round part with her name on it. I like to think he knows that name is important.

While the pain of losing Hudson is pushed to a small corner of my heart to make room for all this crazy elated joy over watching her baby brother grow, I do still feel that pain. I’m glad that as a mother, I can see my son and share the experience of raising him with my husband and not be overwhelmed with the “What We’ve Missed”. And I guess that’s just one more prayer for my son:

“Tonight, my prayer for you is that you focus on all that you have in this life, instead of on the things you don’t.”

Because even though his big sister isn’t here for him to grow up with, she is a part of his life every day.

Tagged , , , ,

Sky full of stars

Hearts break every day, but there’s something about the loss of a child that does something different… not better, not worse, just a deeper impact on the heart. There is this new connection I feel to other mothers and especially to other mothers who have lost a child. And every time I hear about babyloss, my heart feels that deeper-than-a-break stab, my throat tightens, I hurt from missing Hudson.

A few months ago, an acquaintance of mine lost her toddler in a freak accident. She has an older son who now sees his baby brother in the stars.

And of course there’s this Coldplay song.

Catchy hook, easy to remember lyrics, the perfect song to belt in my car with the windows down in the summer sun. And I can’t hear that damn thing without thinking of my friend’s baby boy, his big brother looking out the window at the nightsky and exclaiming that he can see his baby brother.

And I belt it anyway.

And I send a little love across the universe to my friend, and her family.

You know when you’re singing and you start to cry?

When I belt out “I think I see you-ooooooooooo” I think of Hudson’s beautiful little face too. I think of her as a star in the nightsky: maybe a little wistful that she didn’t get to spend this life with us, but surrounded by such beauty, contributing to the awesome sky-scape with her own unique light, eager for the day Anson looks out the window and shouts to Mommy and Daddy that he can see his big sister in the stars.

Tagged , ,

It’s the 2-year anniversary of the worst day of my life

On Hudson’s birthday, we celebrate. Today, I do my best to ignore the date, not to think about the early hours of July 14, 2012. The day my heart broke. My record-setting tears day. The day we went home without our baby.

There were several other Worst-Days that followed, but July 14 was the day that our daughter’s heart stopped beating. We’ve spent every day since missing Hudson, wishing that there were some time machine that could take us back to the early hours of July 11 and change everything.

Hudson changed everything for us, and in so many good ways that I chose to focus on instead of the few wrecked ways that I never could control.

So on the 2-year anniversary of the worst day of my life, I’m going to stay busy. I’m going to enjoy my son, my precious Day-Maker who changed everything AGAIN when he arrived on the scene. I’m going to appreciate my wonderful family and my amazing husband.

And I’m going to ignore the date.

Tagged , , , ,

The Day I went into Labor

Two years ago today, I went in to labor with Hudson Ruth.

Two years ago today, I kicked the day off with one too many bran muffins, played 9 holes of golf and went out to lunch with the Hubs, went to my scheduled doctor’s appointment, had my membranes stripped, and 2 hours later ate a Subway sandwich and took a shower before heading to the hospital to meet our daughter.

Baby Dub.

And of course, last night my dreams were all about labor.

Let me tell you right now that I don’t have any desire to go through that again.

There is no part of me that feels like less of a woman because my future children will be delivered by C-Section.

Before we had Hudson, somebody told me that the throes of labor were similar to a runner’s high. I am here to tell you that I did not get that, not even one little bit.

Back to my dreams. I’m miraculously something like 37 weeks pregnant with a little sibling for Anson and we haven’t found out what gender we are having. For some reason the delivery room is also somebody’s very nice outdoor patio. There are 6 other women in labor in the same room (er, on the same patio?), and Dr. M informs me that I am “Complete” but I have only felt one contraction and it was like, 2 hours ago, so I’m not exactly sure what we are doing here. “Is this baby just going to fall out of me?” I ask. Evidently that’s not how it works. In my dream, Dr. M is so happy for us, and there are other women pushing babies out all around me, and I’m supposed to have a C-Section, I know, but I’m just standing around, dilated to 10 centimeters and excited for this boy or girl to “just fall out of me.”

Dreams are weird, man.

I had a fleeting thought as I was getting ready for bed last night – tomorrow is the 2 year anniversary of going into labor with Hudson. Two years ago we weren’t These People Who Have Experienced Awful Loss. Two years ago we were innocent.

Two years ago I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to have a baby. And unfortunately, the taste of motherhood I got in the days that followed was far from the expected, far from the experience we deserved.

And here we are two years later and I’m writing this while my 5 month old plays on his piano key play mat. I take a break from typing to help him get his foot untangled from the little jungle birdie, and he looks up at me and smiles his delicious grin, and even though two years ago we kicked off the hardest days of our lives, I feel happy, blessed, in this moment.

I love my two gorgeous children more than I can ever express with the written word. It’s a warmth in my chest, a lump in the back of my throat, that burning sensation in your eyes, a smile you can’t seem to wipe off.

Life went crazy two years ago. There have been some dark days in the past two years. I am far from the person I planned on being. But today, life is the most beautiful it has ever been.

And forever, there is only ONE THING I would want to change about This Life. I wish, forever, that we got to live This Life with Hudson.

Tagged , , , ,

4th of July

If there’s one day of the year when I should write, it’s today.

This is the day we looked forward to with so much anticipation back in 2012: Hudson’s Due Date.

On this day, two years ago, I watched fireworks and cried as I realized that I would not be getting my 4th of July baby. Our little firework showed up a week later and filled three days with so much.

The arrival of Summer 2013 was difficult. Summer belonged to Hudson. Warm weather, beautiful sunrises, gardening, golfing and spending time in the sunshine made me wistful for our sweet girl. And even as summer began in earnest and we KNEW the Bullet was on his way, I spent the month of July with a lump in my throat and the Missing-My-Girl just a bit heavier on my heart.

My mom told me once that you can’t truly begin to get over a loss until you’ve gone through a full year, because you need to experience all the holidays and milestones without that person.  Making our situation even more difficult: That year full of Firsts-Wthout should have been a year full of Firsts-With our baby.

And today was Anson’s first 4th of July.

Every once in a while I will pick up my baby and realize he’s mine.  I’m not sure if that makes sense to anybody else. In the Year of Firsts-Without, I remember comforting myself from time to time by imagining our future children and how wonderful our life would be together.

We are living that life now, in the Year of Firsts-With-Anson, and it’s better than I could have imagined.

As a parent, you hear this a lot: “Enjoy this phase, it goes so fast!”

Anson’s first four months have gone by awfully fast. It’s unbelievable how slowly the last half of a pregnancy can drag on, and how quickly that same amount of time can fly with an infant.

Another thing you hear fairly frequently from parents who’ve been there, done that: “Every stage is better than the last one.”

This, I can also vouch for. Every single day is better than the last one. I can’t explain it, but it’s awesome. Anson changes so much from day to day. I swear I went to get him one morning and he LOOKED OLDER. This morning, I tried to sit Anson up on his own and he went timber the second I took my hand away. By the afternoon, he could balance himself sitting up for a couple of seconds!

Though I miss Hudson every single day, today, I’m so grateful for the Firsts I get to experience with Anson.

On Anson’s first 4th of July:
Like a true American, he puked on himself before noon.
He had a yelling match with his cousin C.
We learned that he is un-phased by the erratic POP and BANG of fireworks.

And there was this:

Sweet, sleepy boy.

Sweet, sleepy boy.

Tagged , , , , ,

Let’s pretend it’s actually June 13

Making the time to write has been challenging for me, but I’ll spare you the excuses  and just leave it at this: I have a four month old.

And it’s the best.

June 13 marked Anson’s 4 month birthday (yes, we celebrate month birthdays around here). It also marked the one year mark (exactly) since we found out we were pregnant with the Bullet. It also kicked off Father’s Day weekend.

I found myself thinking (amidst the whirlwind that was that weekend) how very grateful I am that we knew we were pregnant prior to Father’s Day 2013. Remember how the Hubs didn’t want Father’s Day to even be acknowledged last year? Ugh. My heart aches thinking back to those incredibly hard 11 months between the loss of Hudson and the hope of Bullet.

How did we even function?

Our days are filled with so much joy because of Anson. He’s truly a blessing, the love of my life, the never-fails-to-put-my-life-in-proper-perspective little dude who puts more huge smiles on my face than I ever thought possible. Before Hudson, we didn’t know our lives were so empty. With Anson, we get to experience daily what our short time with Hudson gave us a just a beautiful glimmer of.

And he’s an awesome baby. All boy, with delicious rolls of chunk on his thighs and forearms. Yes, his forearms. Kissable cheeks, enviable eyelashes, the definition of Baby Blues. He smiles when he’s smiled at. He flirts. His laugh, while hard-earned, will send me and the Hubs into fits of giggles that result in more laughter from Anson… the highlight of any day. As his personality emerges more daily, I discover how much he truly is like me and like the Hubs – a bit of a showoff, likes the sound of his own voice, enjoys entertaining a crowd and can’t help but check himself out if there’s a mirror present.

My baby makes people who are done having babies want to have more babies.

My baby also makes me a big fat braggart.

Joy: synonym for parenthood.

And without further ado (and to spare you anymore of my incessant bragging), pictures.

Anson's skeptical face

Anson’s skeptical face

These days it is hard to keep his fist out of his mouth...

These days it is hard to keep his fist out of his mouth…

Handsome Anson

Handsome Anson

Yea. He sucks his thumb.

Yea. He sucks his thumb.

Or... his entire first.

Or… his entire first.

Money shot. That face!!

Money shot. That face!!

 

Tagged , , , ,

Just another day, right? Nine Months

Yesterday, a girl who I went to college with posted a picture on Facebook of her 9 month old twin boys, with the caption, “Happy 9 months old!” She had her babies the day I started labor with Hudson, and I didn’t even realize how close they were to each other until I saw that post. I saw her chubby sweet-faced twins and I got a little choked up because…

I can’t even imagine what Hudson would be like at nine months.

I feel worlds apart from Hudson, worlds apart from the person I was when I went into labor on July 10, worlds apart from where I want to be, and kind of in limbo about the whole thing.

Do I want a baby, or do I want Hudson?

Both.

Do I want to be pregnant, or do I want Hudson?

Both.

I want desperately for my life to be different, for events nine months ago to have taken place so differently, for our spunky and sweet little lady to be here in the kitchen with me as I write this. I don’t get to have that life.

Writing is great for helping me to put all of this in perspective, but so is reading from time to time. I finally decided to read Harold S. Kushner’s When Bad Things Happen to Good PeopleI was hesitant to read such a “cliche” grieving book, but after reading about 60% of it, I realize there is a reason this book is so highly recommended to people after a loss. The honesty and logic with which Kushner tackles the business of reconciling belief in God to a world where good people experience so much pain is JUST WHAT I NEED at this point in my journey. I need logic right now, because my emotions are a mess. I need logic right now because I never dreamed we’d be this far from our girl without another baby on the way. I need logic right now because I realize that this world is not fair, and the world is not in the business of handing out miracles, and I need to be okay with that. I need to not take it personally.

But I am so tired. So tired of being saddled with this sadness. I want to carry a torch high for my beautiful daughter, to remember her in ways big and small, to memorialize and celebrate and honor this brilliant, but brief, life. But does doing this mean that all my future happinesses will be bittersweet?

I LOST it in a restaurant last week having lunch with my dear friend, whose daughter was stillborn three years ago. I was talking about this business of being saddled with sadness, carrying a torch for Hudson. She told me that during her pregnancy with her son (who is now a little bit over 1), she noticed little body positions that he would do that were just like the ones they’d see in ultrasounds of their daughter. She told me that her husband, her son and her daughter all had the same eyebrows. She said, “When you have another baby, you’ll see all these similarities, and those can be your torches.”

I burst into tears, this unstoppable force and release of pressure imagining how wonderful our future children will be, how wonderful our daughter was, how inextricably connected I am to my husband because of our children… ugh. Just WHOOSH… tears and a weird, elated laughter at how good that release felt, and how much I needed to hear those words:

“Those can be your torches.”

The further we get from Hudson’s life and death, the harder it is to imagine what life should be like right now. And that’s probably a good thing. I need to be experiencing this life as it is, not as I wish it was.

Something bad happened to us. We are good people. Until time machines (or miracle machines) are invented, there is nothing we can do to change the fact that our daughter – headstrong, funny, gorgeous Hudson Ruth – didn’t live. We can only control how we choose to live this life that we have. And maybe nine months from now we’ll be worlds apart from where we are today… until then, we can only take this life one day at a time, carrying our silent torches for our beautiful baby and missing the world that would have been so beautiful with her in it.

Tagged , , , ,

A weekend of reminders

This was a weekend full of reasons to miss our baby. It took me a little by surprise.

We have made it through several months now without Hudson. August, September, October, November and December, all have passed without having our firstborn daughter at home with us. Some weeks are better than others. The holidays came and went, and despite a few tear-filled days, we survived. This last week, I started a new, exciting job and I’ve been so caught up in that opportunity that even the thought of Baby Dub Dos started to take a backseat.

Temporarily.

Because this weekend, I was hit smack in the face with missing our girl from so many directions I was left reeling, missing my baby, and wanting a baby.

We went to the one-year birthday party of our friends’ daughter on Saturday. She’s a spunky, beautiful, fun little girl with amazing parents, and we certainly wouldn’t have missed her party. But to kick things off, there was a video slide show (set to the best sappy tunes) that featured pictures of this sweet little gal through the first year of her life. I was doing pretty good until the pictures from the holidays. Then I started to choke up, and had to stop watching and look around wide-eyed to prevent tears from running down my cheeks.

Then, today I was in the car with my husband on the way to the grocery store, and overheard on the radio that some country music star named their daughter Hudson.

Come on!

Then at the grocery store, I caught sight of a couple from our birthing classes. They weren’t there for the last couple of classes, but they stay in my mind because they weren’t going to find out what they were having. They had a girl.

I’m missing my girl like crazy this weekend, and I’m also missing out on being a mommy. Even though no baby could ever be Hudson, I still wouldn’t mind being pregnant right now so at least I’d be that much closer to experiencing motherhood the way it should be experienced. So here I sit, missing our daughter, missing our baby, missing A baby, and wishing I were pregnant as of yesterday.

Without the new job as a distraction, this would be the only thing I can think of: Baby Dub Dos. As of this month, we are given the all-clear to start trying for Baby Dub Dos.

I realize this puts a lot of pressure on my baby makin’ parts (and on the Hubs!), publicizing the status of our baby attempts in this way. But lets face it, everybody knows that’s our top priority. We might as well have everybody we know rooting for us along the way.

This was a weekend of reminders. Reminders of what we are missing and reminders of what we have to look forward to.

Reminders of what is important.

Tagged , , , , ,

To New Beginnings

The year 2012 is in the books, over and done with. Thank God.

I am sure it hasn’t gone unnoticed that I’m a fan of lists, goal setting, etc., so you can imagine how I embrace the concept of New Years Resolutions.

I love them.

I spend considerable time on the dawning of each new year evaluating my life and where I’ve come, evaluating the coming year and the opportunities I want to seize. Some of my resolutions make repeat appearances (you know, eat better, exercise more, drink less, etc.), and some are more specific to the year and what is going on in our life at the time.

Last year, my resolutions were about a healthy pregnancy, creating a life for our daughter, investing in my friendships and relationships with more intent.

You can’t very well set a resolution to lose 20 pounds in a year when you’re certain to gain at least that.

This year, I didn’t spend a lot of time in reflection on the year that has passed. It was momentous. What more can be said? Beautiful, amazing things happened, and awful, heartbreaking things happened. We have lived through five full months without our precious Hudson, and somehow we are still here to see 2013 and we still have hope for more beautiful, amazing things to happen this year than awful, heartbreaking ones.

Instead of a list of personal goals and resolutions for the year 2013, I talked with the Hubs today about what we want to work towards together this year. We create a life together, as a team, and our shared vision helps direct the things we want to work on as individuals.

That’s not to say that the old standbys to eat better, exercise more, drink less went unmentioned (More Salads in 2013!).

Here’s to healthy bodies, healthy minds, healthy wallets and healthy relationships in 2013.
To the year of Baby Dub Dos (fingers crossed).
To the year of new career endeavors.
To the year of making a difference.
To the year of creating a new kind of home for our children.

Our lives were changed forever by the life of our beautiful daughter, Hudson Ruth. The year 2012 brought her to us and took her away from us. The best thing in my life came last year, and better things are sure to come in this one.

To 2013!

Tagged , , , ,