We’ve been trying to get ready for a garage sale this week (which we apparently planned for the hottest weekend of the year #winning). Part of the massive amount of prep that it takes to get a garage sale ready has included going through Madeline’s baby clothes and toys.
This has got to be a special kind of torture for someone who is as sentimental as me.
Every dress, every tiny t-shirt, they all seem to hold a memory. I find it so hard to put a price on a memory.
I know I realistically can’t keep everything. Right? Can I?
No. That’s just crazy. Especially considering I probably really do have several photos of her in each special outfit. So it’s not like those memories are going to fade away completely.
Maybe it’s just because she’s the first baby that I got to actually bring home. Maybe it’s a little bit because of the loss of her brother. Maybe it’s just that she’s a girl, and her clothes were/are so adorable. Maybe it’s that we decided we weren’t having anymore and selling things makes that decision seem real and final. Maybe it’s all if it, but getting rid of her baby things… Closing that chapter of her life, our lives, man this is hard.
And to think, I just thought we were having a garage sale.
Tuesday night a stomach bug or food poisoning or possibly the plague hit me hard and I was down and out. I can usually push through. I get migraines frequently, so I’ve learned how to parent even while feeling less than 100%, but this was something else. Surely I was dying because I had never felt such an awful combination of nausea and just severe stomach pain before in my life and this is coming from someone who threw up for almost the entire nine months of her pregnancy.
Wednesday reinforcements were called in and Grandma (my mom) came over to babysit Madeline while I slept most of the day unable to move for fear of the pain. After my mom left, but before Patrick came home from work, Madeline curled up next to me on the sofa, stroked my leg, and said, “I’ll take care of you, momma.”
I told her, “thanks, baby. You do such a good job taking care of mom. You are such a good doctor.” (Doc McStuffins is a bit of a hero to her.) She curled up next to me and quickly fell asleep, obviously tired after playing with Grandma all day.
It is in moments like this, laying there on the sofa, even while feeling sicker than I’ve ever felt before, that I realize just how lucky I am to have this sweet empathetic little girl.
Her heart is so big and she genuinely cares about not just me, but everyone she meets. I only pray that she holds on to that with every fiber of her being. This world can be cruel and cold and it is so easy to stop caring so much. But baby girl, never stop. Keep loving, keeping caring, keep being you. You will make a difference in this world. You will be a change.
I was honored to be asked by Lindsey to share Madeline’s birth story over on her new site Pregnancy After Loss Support.
The familiar wave of nausea had hit me hard. I crawled back in bed only to find myself huddled in the bathroom once again five minutes later. I had one test left from this time last year. I knew it was early, and most likely would be negative, but I just had to test to see if there was a happy reason for this sudden nausea. Five minutes later I was back in our bedroom showing my husband, Patrick, what I thought was a very faint line. He wasn’t convinced. The line was “barely there” and we had “just started trying” again. Later that afternoon we ran out to Target to buy another box of tests. I impatiently waited until the next morning to take a test. Almost instantly, there it was, there was no second guessing it this time, I practically ran into our bedroom and to Patrick’s side of the bed. Shoving the clearly positive test stick in front of his face, “now do you believe it?” I asked him. We both looked at it and cried as he hugged me close. Here we go again…
Click on over to Pregnancy After Loss Support to read the rest of Maddy’s story.
My Dear Joshua Patrick,
My sweet boy, oh how I miss you and wish you were here with us today. I would have baked you your very first birthday cake and laughed as you smeared the blue and white frosting across your face as you tried to mash the vanilla cake into your open mouth with your tiny hand. The house would have been filled with colorful balloons and lots of family. We would have smiled as you tried to rip the wrapping paper off of your presents. I have no doubt that your daddy would have picked out every Batman and Ninja Turtle toy in the store. I would snap 100s of pictures of your sweet smiling face. It would have been a beautiful day – a day I would always want to cherish.
Instead I sit here and cry and try and imagine what you would look like today. It is so hard to imagine that it has already been one whole year since you entered this world of ours. I pray that you are enjoying a birthday cake baked by your Great Grandma Jones today and that you are celebrating with our family and friends that we dearly miss.
As we sit here, getting ready to bring your little sister into this world, I pray that you will continue to watch over us. You will always be our sweet baby boy. Our first born. Our dearly loved and very much missed son.
Happy birthday, sweet boy. I love you more!