Saturday, September 28, 2013

Mom

I vividly remember being in grief counseling and trying to explain to Gary and to our counselor how I was not really a mom.  I mean, I was...but I wasn't.  I had the stretch marks and the c-section scar, but I had no late night feedings and diaper changes and intricate knowledge of what it was like to parent.  They were both so sure that I was a mom that in time, I came around and agreed that I was a mom.  For the months that I carried Allie under my heart to the years that I have mourned her, I am indeed her mom.

Miranda made me a mom for the second time.  It's very different this time around.  With Allie, being a mom meant exhaustion from crying and grief and longing to hold her.  With Miranda, being a mom means exhaustion from playing and feeding and laughing and living and all the while, trying to make sure that I am doing the best job I can for her.

Being a mom to Allie meant talking about her and remembering her.  Being a mom to Miranda means living in the moment and giving her all I have to give, even on those days when she was up most of the night and Gary is at work and I can barely keep my eyes open.

Both definitions are of a mom - it's the subtle nuances that make them different for me.

Now I can add the words "stay at home" before the mom.  And holy crap - for those of you that are or were in the same boat, why are there no awards for this service?  Every day I think I should get a plaque and balloons and national recognition that we made it through the day.  And that's on the good days!

Here's what I have learned about staying at home (that work for me).  GET OUT OF THE HOME!  All kidding aside, we are trying out different gym classes and possibly a music class.  We have met up with friends for lunch.  We have run errands.  We have driven around aimlessly just so Miranda could sleep.  Gas prices be damned.  On the days when it's just us and this house for 10 hours a day, it ain't pretty.  I have learned that we need to leave once in a while.  If not in the car, then in the stroller for a walk.  Miranda loves the fresh air and the sunshine and I love the times when she is quiet and happy and at peace!!

Being a mom to Allie is easy.  Emotionally hard, but physically easy.  Being a mom to Miranda is emotionally easy but physically hard.  My love for the girls is the same but my actions around that love is different.

October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.  We will light a candle on October 15th and we will possibly attend a balloon release.  My mom and I are attending a Zumba-thon for UNITE.  I do not attend meetings anymore but I feel so strongly about what they do and how they were there for me.  I feel good doing these things in Allie's memory.  I am proud to be her mom and in time, look forward to sharing the love I have for her with Miranda.  

Every second of every day, I worry about Miranda.  Is she too hot or too cold?  Is she tired or does she need to be changed?  Is she happy? Does she know she is loved?  I eventually step back and inhale deeply and remind myself that I am a good mom and that she is fine.  More than fine.  She is thriving.  It's just that I have no experience with the baby that thrives.  My only experience was with the baby who died.

But no - that's not true and I refuse to have Allie remembered like that.  When she was here, she was very much alive and as long as her dad and her sister and I are here, so too shall her memory be.

I love both my girls so very much - even if in different ways. Love is love and I now truly believe...a good mom is a good mom. 

1st gym class

Goofing Around

Celebrating Fall

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