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My second child and our first daughter, Camille, died and was born on June, 30 2011 when I was full term at 38 weeks pregnant. I gave birth to my rainbow baby, a second daughter, on August 31, 2012. This is me trying to figure out how to be a mother to my living son and daughter and function in society after our tragic loss.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Magical

It was one of those moments
the kind of moments so filled with magic and joy that you can feel yourself experiencing it.
You know while it is happening that it is special
that your hippocampus is on overload with the instantaneous ignition,
of a bright and fiery memory that will be fixed in your mind for the rest of you life.

Through the process of pregnancy, the death of Camille, pregnancy with Harlow and than the first couple months of Harlow's life...there are recurrent thoughts...One of them is how much I wanted to grow my family, how much I know I will love all of my children completely. Another thought which I know is common among second or third time mothers (even mothers who's first child died) is the worry about the love that will be taken away from the first child , the one who taught you what true love really is, when another child is brought into the family. I was worried I would not be able to love another child as much as I love Kai, but I do. I was worried, while deeply grieving, about the way it would affect him. I worried that I was damaging him by being so damaged. I worried that I was not able to shelter his heart, now I worry that I won't be able to shelter two hearts...because mothers want to do this. I have shed tears in the past couple months about guilt over not being able to give him the attention that an only child is accustom to receiving. He requests to cuddle and I have to say "please wait, I have to finish nursing Harlow, burping Harlow, changing Harlow". I know it is not a bad thing for a child to develop more independence and what time I have to split up between care for my children will hopefully be made up in companionship of a sibling. 

I have been thinking of ways I could retain, sustain, build my relationship with my son. Ever since Kai was a tiny baby we have read to him, he has his own shelf completely packed with books. In our library downstairs he has his own shelves. We read to him throughout the day, after bath every night and before bed. We started with board books, and then short stories, we have moved on to more involved short stories. Kai is 3.5,  he says things like "well actually" and "I suppose", his vocabulary is extensive and that may be because he is exceptional or because we talk to him like a person and not a baby, or because we read a lot of books...maybe it is a combination of all of these things.

One of my favorite childhood memories is sitting on the couch with my older brother and my mother while she read novels to us . She read us Black Beauty, Sea Star, Misty of Chincoteague. She read The Boxcar children and Peter Hale.  I remember my mothers voice and her inflections, feeling warm and safe, loved and taken to another place. I loved the evenings on the couch.... and so the other day I decided to start reading him chapter books. I wasn't sure if he was old enough or his attention span long enough, but I thought that maybe this would be the way I could spend some special time with Kai, help ease my guilt as well as be something we could both look forward to. So while I was shopping at the money suck store (Target- go in to purchase welcome mat, leave spending $100) I decided that our first chapter book would be Charlotte's Webb. I told Kai that we were going to start reading chapter books, there weren't a lot of pictures but he would like to listen to the story. He was excited and asked to start reading it when we got home.

I sat down on the couch and had him sit right next to me. Harlow was laying in my lap. I read the back of the book to him, and told him what the book was about. I read the title and then began reading the book. I started choking up and had tears in my eyes. I knew it was one of those moments that I would always remember. I knew that this was going to be an ongoing experience that he will look back upon with joy, just as I do. I read two very short chapters and said "should we read some more later" Kai said "No, keep reading" I kept reading, I kept checking in with him asking if he wanted to be done. We ended up reading 60 pages! I told him it was time to take a bath so we could make dinner but he didn't want to, he wanted to keep reading. While he was in the bath he said "mama I like reading chapter books, I was using my imagination to think of what the pictures would look like" I told him how thrilled I was that he was enjoying the book and how much I enjoyed reading to him. When he got out of the bath he was in his robe and asking for me to read again. We read more while dinner was cooking. At bedtime we read one of his usual short books. He said he was looking forward to reading some more of Charlotte's Webb tomorrow.

 I will never get to have any more magical moments with Camille. I did have a few, before we ever officially met. One I specifically remember was during an ultrasound. Daryl and I were both there and she was beautiful, yawning, and then she stuck her tongue out at us. We laughed and my heart filled with joy. These moments, these magical moments...I grasp on to them with both hands and squeeze them tight. I breathe them in as deeply as I can while I close my eyes. I want to remember the details.

And so it has begun. I hope we successfully instill a love for books, imagination and knowledge in our son. I hope that this will bring us closer in a new way. I already have a list in my head of novels we will start in the next couple of weeks. I am so excited.


20 comments:

  1. This is so beautiful. You are a wonderful mom and all three of your children are so very lucky to receive your love.

    I hope one day we can build our family and have sweet moments like this.

    Thank you for sharing.

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  2. Love that so much- it really is a magically moment. :) And I love your moments with Camille, I remember those with Jack wish such fondness.

    xox momma.

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  3. This warmed my heart. Magical indeed.

    And those precious moments with our babies...on the inside...with a beating heart...they will be forever cherished.

    Loved reading this post

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  4. That is such a magical moment. I think Kai is exceptional, but I think you're an exceptional mama also. And that's because of what you've learned from all three of your children, no doubt.

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  5. Such a lovely, lovely post. My mother used to read to me, 'chapter books', and I remember pleading and pleading for just one more chapter, just one more page. Charlotte's Web is such a wonderful book and I had to smile at what Kai said to you whilst he was having his bath, how he saw the pictures in his imagination. That's such a leap. From seeing them on the page to holding them in your mind.

    It's very hard when a new baby arrives. Jessica had been the entire focus of my life for nearly three years when her little brother was born. I had horrible guilt for having to ask her to wait. I know it isn't a bad thing but, shortly after Reuben was born, I had a sequence of horrible nightmares of arguing with her or hurting her because I felt so awful. And I hope you're right. I know that I loved having a sister and I cannot imagine my life without her. Now that R is a little older and they can interact and start to play together, it really is lovely so see. Occasional hair pulling incident aside!

    Hope that Kai enjoys the remaining chapters. I'm sure that there are many more books to come!

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  6. It is always the little things that mean the most , and that we can hold onto, whether in the womb or out.

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  7. your blog, so much.
    Never commented before, but followed you since the beginning!
    You're candid, your honest. Because of this, your joy is felt by your readers. Anger ad sorrow, too.

    Today I feel more motivated to read to my child. Kai's imagination comment melted my heart on the spot!

    Anyways, you're wonderful.

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    1. Trav and Lizzie- what a perfectly lovely compliment. I'm so glad you found me and get something from my posts. I know the blogs I read have been a complete lifesaver. I tried to see if you had a blog or email but nothing shows in your profile. If you ever want to share your story or talk please feel free to email me. Thanks again.

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  8. I love your magical moment description! XO

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  9. I love that you are doing this! My mom read us the whole "Little HOuse on the Prairie" series and I still remember it. SUch a great gift you are giving your babies. :)

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  10. I read to Jack and cant wait to read Severus once his colic subsides lol I love your description of magical moments .xoxo

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  11. What an awesome picture, post, everything!

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  12. Really lovely heart warming stuff. I feel the same about books. I began with Hugo from birth with those little black and white board books. Now he seems to like anything rhythmical - I hope he grows up loving books.

    And that photograph - just beautiful!

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  13. Oh, I loved reading with Sam. It was the best thing. I remember reading The Indian in the Cupboard to him when he was 7, and he was so engaged with the story that he picked it up and finished reading it himself. We reached that point when reading out loud was just too slow, and the story was too good to put down. Now I read out loud to an 88 year old woman who has macular degeneration.

    I, too, grieve the fact that Nathaniel and I will never read Dr. Seuss together, and that he won't have his favorite books. We won't have those those books that become the root of inside jokes.

    That's such a beautiful picture of you and your family <3

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    1. Ah The Indian in the Cupboard. Oh I loved that book. Thank you for reminding me of it Suzanne x

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  14. amazing, mama. love to you and your beautiful family. all of you.

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  15. So, so beautiful. What an amazing moment you got the chance to share with your son.

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  16. love this. I needed to read this post. thank you for always speaking from the heart so well. xoxo

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