3:10

I have been falling in and out of sleep in the middle of the night, for several weeks.

This morning was no exception. When I rolled over and grabbed my phone, it read:

3-103:10. On the dot. Thank you Luca.

I think I’ve done fairly well over these last several months, considering. The anxiety has a way of creeping back in, but I have been able in most instances, to talk myself through it. Or a loved one talks me through it, rationalizes the fear and reminds me I’m exactly where one would expect a mother who has lost their child, would be.  And then of course, like a perfectly cued nudge, I will get a kick or a set of hiccups that reminds me I carry life. I hold hope inside of me in the physical form of this beautiful baby girl.

She thrives inside of me, and soon she will be in our arms.

In the meantime, her big brother sends us signs. Luca reminds us that he is indeed around, and that everything is okay.

He does this with the butterflies he’s been sending me everyday. Through the love and support and good intentions of friends around the country and world who send us perfectly timed messages. He makes sure I snap out of whatever spiral I’m in and plays a song on the radio that reminds me of him and gives me an enormous release, just when I need it.

It helps me. Because as I anticipate what may be the most wonderful day of my life, I still feel so sad.

I will get to hold this gift. And look at her. And marvel at her perfection.

And at the same time that I’m falling in love with her, I will feel the longing for wanting to carry both my children in my arms. The physical memory of his weight on my chest will return, and I will be reminded of all that I couldn’t experience with Luca.

I’m not ungrateful. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. I’m so very grateful for what I have. I thank her and I thank Luca everyday.

But being grateful doesn’t erase the pain and the loss that has forever changed me. That hole inside of me will never be completely filled, because he is not here. There is absolutely nothing in this world, that will ever fix the loss of my son.

That’s just the way it will always be. And that’s okay. That’s my reality. I’ve accepted it. I still struggle with the fact that others around me still haven’t accepted it themselves, that they are waiting for some sort of closure to magically happen, or for me to return to the old me.

That’s not going to happen. And that’s got to be okay as well.

The old me died with my son. The old Carla vanished when Luca took his last breath.

With messages through lyrics, on the wings of butterflies, and in the frozen motion of a hummingbird suspended right in front of me, the new me is kept afloat.

 

 

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Remembering

The 10th came and went. Gina and I made our way to Luca’s beach and sat underneath the very last super moon that would occur before she arrived. I stared at mother moon and asked her to deliver our baby girl safely to us. I tried to study all the shadows on the moon, to store it in my memory, to soak her in with hope and excitement.

It was the last 10th we would celebrate without her, and it meant so many different things to us. A new beginning. The next chapter. Another reminder of the finality of Luca’s passing.

Some friends and family reached out to us, lifting us up, as always, on a day that always bring a spectrum of intense feelings.  But overall, I couldn’t shake the same feelings that creep up now and again. Less often for sure, but still there.

Solitude. Guilt. A deep deep sad that I still can’t correctly describe other than saying it’s as if I have a huge hole that has been dug out of my insides and left me exposed.

On Monday, the 17th 11th since Luca passed, I sat in her room, determined to make some progress.

Next on the to-do list was folding and hanging her clothes. Which meant going through all of Luca’s clothes, and deciding which ones to keep for his sister to use and which to give away.

I’m not sure what I expected to feel. I’m never quite sure where my emotions are going to take me, and have been so excited and hopeful thinking about her arrival, that I didn’t really think this would be that hard.

But then I came across the very first piece of clothing I had purchased for him. He was due in March, and I figured by summer, we’d be taking him to the beach, so it was the sweetest tiny terry cloth onesie.

I cried. As I was separating clothes and deciding which ones of his to give away, I cried. He will never wear any of these things.

But she will, right?

Yes. I believe with all my heart, that she will. And she will be so ridiculously cute in it, radiating light from every inch of her being, safe in our arms.

These past few days have gone by even slower than I could have ever imagined.

Gina and I went to dinner Sunday night, and I asked her, just like I used to ask her several times a day after Luca died, to tell me every detail of what happened. Being medicated made the entire experience so blurry, and then add in the time that has passed, and there are so many pieces of it all that I can’t mentally remember.

And she recounted his delivery and birth story, and how she first met him and knew it didn’t look good from the very start. How I got sick and the doctors told us I might need to have a hysterectomy, and I said “we already have our son, I don’t need it anymore if it has to come out”, not having any idea yet, of how grave his situation was.

I remembered that part, and I took a deep breath.

All these details, thinking back to who I was at that moment, the fog I was in, I find myself back there again. I could feel the tears coming down my face while she told me everything. I don’t ever want to forget him or his story, our story.

I want to be able to share with her, about her big brother. When she is older she will know his entire story, but when she is younger she will know how much we wanted him and how much he was loved, and how he is around us everyday. How amazing he was that he wanted his mamas to have a living child, and so he helped us have her. She will always know who Luca is. He will always be a part of her and each of our lives as a family.

All the people in her life will always know and remember Luca. If you are to be in our life, that’s just how it’s going to be. I will not allow my son to be forgotten. That’s part of my job as the mother to both of my children.

I go to my NST’s, I eat, I sleep, I take care of myself for this little miracle in my belly, and then I write for myself and for my son, I talk about him, I reach out to other mamas who have lost their children, I hope, I love, I speak my truth.

Yesterday I finished Luca’s prayer flag for the August 19th International Day of Hope. Today I hung it up outside in our backyard where his sister will play one day.

Luca's First Prayer Flag

Luca’s First Prayer Flag

And in the meantime, we continue to prepare for her arrival. Full of love and anticipation. Waiting for sleepless nights of cluster feedings and feeling her on our skin.

Ready, so very ready.

A Showering

Over the last few months, several of our friends and family have asked us when we were going to have a baby shower for Luca’s little sister. Hearing this question would stop us in our tracks, every time. I don’t blame you for asking, the question is a logical one.

But how do you navigate the expectation and hopeful anticipation of a new baby, when you are still in grief and deep mourning over the one that was supposed to be here and alive?

We’ve answered with uncertainty, because, well, we’ve had several complications along the road that left us wanting to wait until the next week to make a decision on when to proceed with our planning.

Losing Luca after we had a completely healthy pregnancy and excitedly awaited his arrival, robbed us of not only our son, but any blissful naivety that we would experience in subsequent pregnancies. We move forward everyday and prepare for this sweet baby girl, full of light and life to arrive, and sometimes still, the fear lingers. It’s just a real part of life now. We do what we can to suppress it, but everyone who has been through the loss of a child has those moments of darkness and being scared to the bone that are just a part of your story now because of the PTSD.

Many things we purchased for Luca, we kept: clothing, bibs, burping cloths, the cloth diapers that remained after a wonderful group of women within our community sold them on our behalf. Other things we returned, like bottles, baby bath tub, toys, and items that we no longer could bare to look at anymore. Staring at a brand new stroller in its box will only remind you more of those walks you’ll never go on. So yeah, many things we had to get rid of, to once again, maintain some of our sanity. I remember back to those first days and weeks after Luca passed, and it was all about self preservation at that point.

Yesterday we got to experience a love-filled Blessing Way. Some amazing women from our community got together to support and set intention for baby and us, her mamas, for a healthy birth and continuing journey through this labyrinth of motherhood. We felt the showering of love, and were filled to the brim with celebration of our baby girl.

This week, we have finally decided to answer the questions, to let our friends and family be part of the preparation. We will not be having a baby shower for baby girl, but once she has arrived into this world, safe and sound, and we are ready, we will have a meet and greet for her to meet the members of her village. There will surely be a showering of love then, I just know it.

For our friends and family, we have put together a registry on Amazon of some things we would like for her arrival, which you can find when you click here: Baby Girl’s Registry .

Thank you. For the love and continued support.

Love,

Luca and Baby Girl’s Mamas

A Flower Crown and Blessed Necklace

A Flower Crown and Blessed Necklace