I have no idea where this post is going or from where it is coming. I just need to write. So many things are floating around in my brain.
Yesterday, I couldn't get out of my mind the fact that it was the last full day Grady was alive two years ago. On said day, I was ignorantly blissful that we only had four days until he would be born. On this day today, we were down to three. Again, blinded as to what was to come. Excited about what was to be and who would be arriving in such a short time.
I can't help but think back to last year, too. So, to remember more clearly, I just read this post that I wrote a year ago. I was so thankful to my sweet friend Jenny for coming to give me a hug. For recognizing it was a tough time for me.
***Speaking of Jenny, she survived 94 days of bed rest and gave birth to a beautiful baby girl on November 5th. Her name is Ruth, and both mom and baby are home and doing well.***
It's tough this year, too. In some ways, I think it's harder than last year. I attribute that to the fact that my beautiful Matthew is here. Let me be very clear that he is his own person. Not one second do I mistake him for Grady or wish he was Grady or think he is Grady. However, Matthew is a living baby boy. Praise the Lord for the gift of his life! He is living, and as much as I would love to deny it, I can't. He is a reminder, in many ways, of who is not living. A reminder of someone who never had a chance at life outside of my womb.
And even though I've said it many times before, I will say this again...
I cannot imagine my life without Matthew!
Yet, I still grieve Grady.
And I know, truly know, that if Grady had lived, Matthew would not be here.
I can't choose between the two in my heart, nor do I want to. It becomes gray and cloudy. It is not black and white when it comes to my love and feelings for my two boys. Just like I could never choose between my two living little girls.
What IS very clear is this...
God's plan included Matthew as a living part of our family. God's plan for Grady was for him to live only inside of me. Grady's purpose was fulfilled in the 36 weeks and 4 days that his heart beat inside of me.
I can't tell you the number of people who have looked at Matthew and said, "See, everything happens for a reason." It happened just yesterday. It doesn't make me angry, but it does make me want to shout the importance of Grady's life and that Matthew doesn't take his place.
I know I'm a broken record. So, I'll stop.
I doubt that I will be able to retreat and journal to Grady this afternoon between 4:30 and 5 like I did last year around the time he died. In fact, it has been a very long time since I've written in my Grady journal. I will, however, sit at the dinner table and probably remember that's where I first suspected something wasn't right. I couldn't sit at the dinner table last year on this day.
Other thoughts to share...
I had an amazing "conversation" with Matthew a bit ago. He "talked" to me in his sweet, baby voice and flashed his cute smile, and I wished our video camera was charged. How terrible...we haven't videoed since we left the NICU. BAD MOM!
I am finally reading "The Secrets of the Baby Whisperer". I've had the book since Emma Grace was a baby. I went looking for my Dr. Sears "The Baby Book" and found that one instead. Seems I got rid of the other one. The book talks a lot about respecting your babies. I've always tried to respect my children, and I've been thinking a lot about those who don't.
Speaking of, as I was taking Emma Grace to school this morning, we came up to a stop sign to see an unpleasant exchange between a young boy and his father. This boy was clearly upset, trying to fight back tears. His father was angry and the boy snatched his book from him just as the bus came. As the father walked away, the boy yelled something across the street. My heart literally broke for that boy. I prayed aloud for him as we left the subdivision. I don't know details and the boy could have clearly been in the wrong. But, as parents, we set the tone for our children's day. Don't get me wrong. There are definitely mornings when things don't go as smoothly as I would like. But I always try to send the girls off with them knowing I love them and with things resolved so they don't dread coming home or carry the situation with them throughout their day. I'm afraid that young boy isn't very happy today nor is he going to want to go home this afternoon...
I'm trying hard to get Matthew to love sleeping in his crib. He struggles to go to sleep, and I've never been one to let my babies cry it out. He will go to sleep, but he won't stay asleep. I haven't tried at night yet. I'm just still trying to get him to nap well in his crib. He's having a bit harder of a time than the girls did. I'm open to suggestions!
I've always loved the ultimate crib sheets for babies. It was my most favorite baby product with the girls because I never had to change the fitted crib sheet. But I noticed with the two new ones I have that they smell awful. I wash them, but there is a "chemical" smell to them. Well, turns out the lining on the new ones is now made of PVC. I don't even have a PVC shower liner in the girls' shower! It is still on Matthew's bed for now, but rest assured it won't stay. As I was feeding him last night, I got the idea to make my own. They can't be that hard, especially if using the current ones as a guide. I'm hoping to enlist Aunt Barbara's help, and if she can't help me, I'll have to find someone else who can sew. I can't stand the thought of Matthew inhaling those chemicals.
I think we will make cupcakes this year for Grady's birthday. I don't think I'm up for another rainbow cake. When making cupcakes, I usually go for white cake with vanilla frosting. But, I really love yellow cake with chocolate icing. If I make those, we can put blue letters on top of them to spell his name and whatever else we would like to say. Well, within 24 characters at least. We talked about going out to dinner. We'll see...
I wonder if this day is celebrated in heaven? The one when someone enters the pearly gates to sit/stand at Jesus's feet and walk streets of gold... If so, I'm sure it's an amazing time. I can only imagine!