In Between

I never thought I’d be one of those moms who only visits the cemetery every once in a while, but that’s who I am now. And I never judged those moms before, I just thought I would be different. Going to her grave was comforting. Visiting made me feel close to her. I didn’t think that would ever change.

But grief has different seasons.

Before Noah was born, I stressed about how I was going to fit those two parts of my life together – living life without my firstborn and mommy to a newborn. How am I supposed to have a place in my heart for unimaginable pain and absolute joy? How am I supposed to balance exhausting grief that seems to take all of my energy and loving and taking care of this sweet new life who needs the best of me? I never doubted that there wouldn’t be enough love to share between the two, just whether I would have the energy to give each of them what they deserve.

And then Noah was born early.

I spent the next few days after his birth thinking more and more about him and less and less about her. Even though it was the anniversary of her death and her first birthday. I didn’t have the energy to process everything and worry about Noah and think about her. My mind just focused on Noah and getting him healthy and home. I didn’t even make a conscious choice…it just happened. Having a baby in the NICU is exhausting. I felt like already I was choosing Noah over Hannah, and I felt like a horrible mom.

And the days have turned into weeks and months.

All this time I’ve been afraid that I’m not grieving her anymore. Not true. Not even possible. My grief has just changed. The all day, every day crying is gone for now. There are some days I don’t cry at all. But it doesn’t mean that I’m done grieving her or that I’ve squared all this in my soul and I’m ready to ‘move on’. I hate that phrase. If I live to be 100, I still won’t have moved on.

So that’s where I am now.

Noah is 6 months old and Hannah would have been 18 months on Tuesday. As I watch his personality develop, I find myself more than ever imagining what she would be like and look like. I try to find similarities between them, but I’ll never really know for sure. I don’t even know what color her eyes are, but I will soon.

I’m in between.

In between savoring every single second I get to spend on this earth with my precious family and longing for when I get to Heaven and am able to spend an eternity getting to know her.

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10 Comments

Filed under Grief, Hannah, Noah

10 responses to “In Between

  1. Kathie Gore

    You are such an inspiration to anyone who has lost a baby or grandchild. You give us hope. My thoughts and prayers are always with you.

    • Kathie,
      That is sweet of you to say! I just want people to know they aren’t alone. I’m so sorry that loss has touched your life. It’s such a blessing to be able to share my story and connect with others.
      Amanda

      • Kathie Gore

        I believe you spoke with my daughter Lynsey Slaughter. Thank you. She found comfort in speaking with you.

      • Yes, I have spoken to her. I’ve been thinking about her a lot the past few days, so I messaged her again this morning to check in on her. I’m so sorry about sweet Evan. Please let me know if you guys need anything!

        Amanda

  2. Karen

    Amanda, you are a dear! I can’t imagine what you and Zach and your families have lived through in the last two years. I hesitate to even make this comparison because I know it was so less significant, but I had a miscarriage at 16 wks (many years ago). We had two healthy boys–ages 9 and 10. I got pregnant with mixed feelings about the pregnancy (both of us). By the time we “accepted” it–I had the loss, the day before Thanksgiving. What guilt! Six months later I was pregnant again (and ok with it). I still often think about the baby I lost–at that time you weren’t told the sex, etc. but just as you know, your energy and time goes to the newborn. I am blessed to have watched a beautiful daughter reach the age of 28! God has blessed you with Noah, and hallelujah–you will get to see Hannah again I’m Heaven! Don’t ever feel guilty about not loving both–you are an inspiration to many and show your love for both in everything you do!

    • Oh, Karen. I’m so sorry to hear about your sweet baby. I don’t think your experience is any less significant. I know you can relate, and I know you will see your baby again! Thank you for sharing about your loss.

      Amanda

  3. Janelle

    Love you Amanda! You are an amazing mommy to both your babies!

  4. Always such beautiful and insightful words! I admire you so for your courage, your faith, and your perseverance. God bless you sweet girl and your precious family – love that boy!!!

  5. Staci Phelps

    Oh, Amanda. You touch my heart so much. Noah is so blessed to have you for his Mom and sweet Hannah lives in your soul with such a fierce love that I know you feel it every moment of every day. Noah will be a source of a constant supply of love and happiness and joy that words cannot describe, and yes!–one day you will meet your beautiful daughter and have an eternity to spend with her. Your words are so insightful and I hope time continues to heal and you become more and more at peace with the world that is yours with a baby in your arms and one in heaven, too. Love to you and Zach.

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