Silence

Another wake up.

My eyes don’t want to open. I feel hung over.

But it’s not alcohol that I’ve had too much of. It’s the sadness. It exhausts me and makes me feel like I’ve never slept at all, like this last two months have been 1416 hours of being awake. Awake, but a muted awake.

I get up and am alone. Gina has left for work. She’s the only thing that can make me feel better when I get in this rut. She knows every moment of this experience, and has a matching hole in her heart and emptiness in her arms for our son.

It’s silent in our little home. All I can hear is the ceiling fan blades ever so slightly cutting through the air.

But that’s it.

No baby sounds. No crying, no cooing, no breathing. He’s not here.

On a Saturday morning in July of 2012, I got up at 3 o’clock in the morning and peed on a stick. When I saw the second line pop up, I called out Gina’s name. She came over and looked at it, then looked at me with wide eyes and in disbelief. We were pregnant.

We put sweatshirts on over our pajamas and drove to the Walgreens at 3 in the morning to buy more pregnancy tests. I peed on another, and it said pregnant.

We really were pregnant. This was it. We did it. We were going to have our baby, our family.

Here I sit, 10 months later. I was pregnant with our handsome boy. I grew as he grew inside me, I felt his kicks, his hiccups, his tumbling. These movements, indication of his living inside me for 9 months.

And now, nothing.

There is no movement. There are no kicks, no hiccups. We prepared to have a baby and welcome him into our world. We never prepared to lose him. I had to say hello and goodbye to him in the same sitting.

I have never loved anything with all of my being, and so quickly. And just as fast as he came into our world, he left us.

We are empty. Lonely without him. And we wake up everyday to the same bad dream. There is no amount of pinching that will awake us from this.

I yearn to see this face again, to hold him close, smell him, kiss his sweet, soft skin.

Our beautiful boy

Our beautiful boy

Mornings

Mornings can be the hardest. Waking up and knowing he’s not here, wanting so badly to feel him, it eats my soul.

I become this crazed person.

Why? Why did this have to happen to him? Why us? How is it that so many other people have their babies, and this boy, who we waited for and prepared so much for, had to die?

It’s unfair. It’s cruel. It breaks me down. Every. Day.

I want to walk down the street with him. Hold him, kiss him, feed him, love him.

But he’s not alive, and I can’t do that. It’s never going to happen with Luca.

I face this in the morning and have to get through the rest of this day.

 

Playlist

When putting together the playlist for Luca’s birth, I wanted to incorporate songs that moved me, that made me feel. I wanted to be laboring and listening to this music, and feel the love that I had for him and our little family through the lyrics in these songs. He was going to be the start of this new level of our family, and I wanted to show him what a home and love would mean from the very get go.

So I picked music that all had something to do with home, with love, with loyalty, and also with loss. Because my own experience with loss, though a completely different kind, had made me to be the person I was even before Luca was born.

We listened to so many of these songs every morning when I was getting ready for work. Gina was already gone to work by the time I was getting ready, and I would stand in the shower and slow dance with my baby, singing these songs  to Luca.

I sang the Lumineer’s ‘Hey Ho‘ song at the top of my lungs for my son.

‘I’ve been trying to do it right
I’ve been living a lonely life….

 So show me family
All the blood that I would bleed
 I don’t know where I belong
I don’t know where I went wrong
 But I can write a song

I belong with you, you belong with me, you’re my sweetheart
I belong with you, you belong with me, you’re my sweet

Love ‒ we need it now
Let’s hope for some
So, we’re bleeding out

I belong with you, you belong with me, you’re my sweetheart
I belong with you, you belong with me, you’re my sweet’

Luca. My sweet golden boy. My first born. I was his mama. We were his moms.

This Coldplay song  “In my Place’ was also on his playlist, and now when we hear it, we sing these lyrics half through the guttural sobs like a plea,

Singing
Please, please, please
Come back and sing to me
To me, to me
Come on and sing it out, now, now
Come on and sing it out to me, me
Come back and sing it
In my place, in my place
Were lines that I couldn’t change
And I was lost, oh yeah
Oh yeah

Music was always going to be a big part of his life. Dancing was going to be as well.

Every morning we danced to this song. I wanted him to have some Bob Marley in his ears from the womb. Anyone remember that video of the little boy having a tantrum and when his parents put on the Bob Marley, he stopped crying and just bopped his head back and forth? That was going to be Luca.

We had such vivid images in our heads of  holding him and dancing around to these same songs, and new songs to.

There were songs released just before his birth that I could already see us dancing to. I could picture Gina holding him upright, his little body with her right arm and his bobbly head with her left hand. So gently holding him, while she moved her feet and shimmied her shoulders to the newest JT song.

We were so going to show him a few things about love.

And Luca came, and Luca went. Gina did get to hold him and sing one song to him. But I never got to dance with my son.

This family we were so ready to make bigger and fill with more love, is now smaller. Missing pieces, with big gaping holes in our hearts. And these songs have taken on an entirely added meaning of love and loss. A yearning for him to be here and sing and dance these songs with, but that will never be in the physical .

*if you want to hear Luca’s playlist, let me know and I’ll share it with you via Spotify.

Penny Love

Just moments after I wrote  my last post, Penny’s health took a turn for the worse.

Penny has been my pup since the summer of 1999. She’s traveled alongside me for all these years, and has been the best family and show of unconditional love I could have ever asked for in a dog. She was so much more than just my dog.

I always tell people that Jake and Penny were my sacrificial lambs. I got them when I was young, so young that I was not the best parent to them over the first few years. I made mistakes that first time dog parents, especially young ones, often make. I left them alone inside the house for long amounts of time while I was out having fun, didn’t exercise them enough, and I fed them garbage food.

As time went by, they taught me to be a better mom. I made decisions better for all us. Moved us to different parts looking for a better life, moving us to a city that was going to have more places for them to play, took into consideration their nutrition, and ultimately made decisions to insure that my pups would enjoy life and be with me as long as possible. They were my true family.

Jake passed away in 2009, and when he left, it was me and my sidekick Penny every day. She joined me at work, took even better care of  me than she had ever before.

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When I was around her, she never took her eyes off of me, only later on as an old lady when she was taking a snooze. 940942_10151353851475388_492078267_n

Penny had been diagnosed with Degenerative Myelopathy  in 2011. It’s a rare genetic disease that renders a dog paralyzed. Gina and I decided we were going to do everything we could to keep Penny going, even with this diagnosis. She had physical therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic, reiki, dog wheels, and lastly, a stroller to keep her moving.

She had an intense zest for life my Penny did. She was spicy and stubborn……. certainly she was my dog.

We were intent to keep her around as long as she wanted to be. She had become the matriarch in our own home. Gina had fallen in love with sweet P early on in their relationship, and would do anything for her.

While I would travel for work, Gina would be ‘single mom’ with Jack and Penny. She took such amazing care of P even with her now more demanding health needs. I was always so happy to return home to my family. All 4 of us together again.

When Penny was still going strong, we wanted to make our family bigger. We made the decision to try to have a 2 legged kid, after all these years of just us and the fur kids. We were so very excited when we got pregnant for so many reasons, but one of them was that we knew Penny would get to meet the next generation of our family. She’s just one of those dogs, and I wanted our child to know this amazing creature, and at least have pictures with her. We dreamed of this picture of our newborn babe leaned up against a curled up Penny.

Her health had started to decline over the last 6 months, and in January we thought she was going to be leaving us. We talked with our animal communicator who reassured us she wasn’t ready yet. This entire time we were just hoping she’d stay long enough to meet Luca.

And she did her best to make that happen. She stayed, and before we could have them meet face to face, Luca died.

I have to make the picture of Luca and Penny together, up in my mind. And I do.

Luca left, and we were so heartbroken. When we arrived back home from the hospital, we found solace in our pups. Penny’s health gave us something to focus on, and she was as spicy as ever when we got back. It’s like she was waiting for us to come home so we could take care of each other.

And she held on as long as she could. We had a vet come to our home and let Penny go.

She passed on while we were holding her. The second loved one to die in our arms in less than two months.

I told her how much I loved her. That she was the best dog ever. That she taught me so much, and I was going to miss her every day of my life. And I cried.  I feel like the last two months have just been filled with tears, but also with so much love.

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our last picture together, on this earth

This song is currently on repeat. Though about a different experience, the songs speaks to me and hits me in the deepest part of my heart, especially these lyrics:

‘ the reason I hold on
 cause I need this hole gone
funny you’re the broken one but i’m the only one who needed saving
cause when you never see the lights it’s hard to know which one of us is caving

……..I want you to stay’

I wish they could have stayed.

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we have this one last picture of them together