Friday, August 6, 2010

Airplanes

Dear Stevie,
Eight months ago, I was sitting on an airplane. I was on my way to Whistler, BC, reading a book called "You: Having a Baby." I had just found out I was pregnant the week before, and trying so hard to imagine what August would be like. What I'd feel like, what I'd look like, what I'd be doing on your due date.

I never imagined I'd be sitting on a plane, again.

Dad and I are leaving tonight to go on vacation. We're headed to Colorado, to stay at Dad's grandparents vacation home in Grand Lake. We fly home on August 15th, the day you were supposed to be born. On that day, I should be either huge and comfortable, waiting for labor to begin, or maybe even already home, adjusting to life with my newborn. But I'll be on a plane. Probably crying on Dad's shoulder.

I know August 15th was just my estimated due date. I know chances are you wouldn't have actually been born on that exact day. I know. But August 15th was the day I had circled and and wrote, "Baby day!!!" around, the day I had set an alarm for on my iPhone (like I was going to forget it!), the day I spoke of whenever someone asked, "when are you due?" The day that signified so much. August 15th was supposed to be the day my life would change forever. It was supposed to be the day I became a mother.

Now, August 15th is just another day. A good day for traveling, I guess.

The last time I was on an airplane, I was so full of hope. I was scared as hell, but I was so excited. So, so excited to be your mommy. I was at the beginning of a journey, and my eyes and thoughts were fixed on the future as I felt the plane barrel down the runway and lift off into the sky.

When my plane takes off next week, my thoughts won't be fixed on the future, they'll be fixed on the past. On all that's happened between the last time I was sitting there, staring out the window, watching the cars and houses below get smaller and smaller, and now. On all my unfilled expectations. On all my broken dreams.

Funny how my journey sort of began...and will end, on an airplane. It's like a strange sense of closure or something. I've come full circle.

I am excited to go on our trip, I really am. I think it will be good for Dad and I to get away together and just relax and enjoy each other's company. I think it will be good to have a change of scenery. But as we get closer and closer to August 15th, I feel my heart getting heavier and heavier.

I love you, baby. I wish you were coming with us to see the mountains. I'll carry you there, in my heart.

Love,
Mom

19 comments:

Andrea said...

Beautiful. I so wish this wasn't the way it was either. She'll be there with you. Enjoy your vacation.

Lisette said...

I love this post ((HUGS)). I hope you have a good trip.

Lilly's Mom (Desiree) said...

Praying for you as next week approaches. Hope you and your hubby have a wonderful & relaxed vacation together.

Emily said...

I will be thinking of you and your husband and little Stevie a lot over the next week because both of our babies were due on the same day. I too have "Baby Due!" on our calander on August 15th...and yeah, now it's just another day.

Wish it wasn't.

Enjoy the vacation.

Julie said...

ken and i are about to go on a trip together, too. glad you and andy will get some special time together. i promise to think of you and stevie on the 15th.

Anonymous said...

New poster, but have been reading your site for quite a few weeks. Not sure why you caught my eye, I've never lost a baby or child. However, my sister-in-law, after trying for 18 LONG years, got pregnant around the same time as I, in 1995. We both had so many dreams for these two babies, each our first. About a month before she was due, her Emily stopped moving, etc. Mom spent a month in the hospital, and when they finally had to deliver Emily, she was nearly full term. She was very much alive, but due to a chromosomal defect, wasn't meant to live. After a month on support, and after the doctors performed all the tests they needed to, they took Emily off life support. Meanwhile, I'm very pregnant and feeling so darn sad and guilty and heartbroken. Sis-in-law and I would break down in tears at the thought of each other -- she because she knew I would be feeling badly, and I because I know how long she waited for her child. I was at the hospital being induced when they decided to take Emily off life support. Fortunately (or unfortunately, not sure which), my son wasn't quite ready so we waited another week to try again. Well, my son turned 14 years this May. He's very healthy, but I wonder how much his life would be different had he had Emily to teach him, laugh with him, etc. The in-laws went on to have their rainbow baby 14 months after they lost Emily, and their son is now 13 years old - a blessed child.
Thanks for listening. I've wanted to share this with so many for so long. The guilt sometimes eats me up - why was I the lucky one when she, a truly remarkable, wonderful person, had to suffer this tremendous loss? Can she ever stop looking at my son without seeing Emily's shadow? Should she? It's like being a lone survivor from a plane crash....

Best of luck to you and your husband as you find your path. Thank you so much for sharing your story of loss and grief, and indeed, I believe you are going to turn this into an act of love in Stevie's honor. Your writing is rich, full of feeling, and entertaining, and I love your photography, also.

Blessings -
Kristin in Elk River

rebecca said...

Ah, Kristin this was such a beautiful, but sad post. I have thought often about how I'll feel as my due date for Lily approaches, I imagine it will be a very difficult day. So much focus on all the unfilled dreams and hopes I held for her. Thinking of you often as this day approaches for you, praying that you find some peace and hope for the future.

Hope's Mama said...

Seems August will forever be a tough month for us both. Hope was due August 14. She didn't arrive on her due date either (some five days later to be exact) but that date will always sting a little bit, as I'll always wish she was born on that day. Alive. For nine months, all I'd done was look forward to that date.
Thinking of Stevie today and her special mama.
xo

Patty Bishop said...

I think of Stevie, and you both every day. Your posts are amazing and I thank you for sharing with everyone.
August is a sad month in our house also; my baby to have been born Aug 1, 1990 and my daughters baby girl born Aug 4, 2009 and became an angel Aug 9th, 2009. (we just celebrated McKenna's 1st birthday). The 12th we will celebrate her Angel birthday.
Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you always.
Grandma Patty

Erin said...

I'm so glad that you and Andy are goig away to spend some time together. I hope you have an awesome trip, and I'll be thinking about and praying for you extra hard on the 15th.

Violet1122 said...

I know the loss of Stevie will be with you the entire time you are on vacation - but I do hope you will be able to find some peace and relaxation.

I think about you often, and I'll be praying especially hard for you on the 15th.

((Big Hugs))

butterflymom said...

Thinking about you and hoping that you and your husband find some peace and relaxation on your vacation...

Antoinette said...

As a BLM what else do we get to "hold onto" except dates, memories, anniversaries and anything else that will keep those babies alive!! It is so sad to think that you started on a plane and ended on a plane **sigh** But the vacation will be a great way for you and your husband to reconnect, regroup, and relax!! I never told anyone my actual due date, I always would say "I am due the end of March" because I was convinced she was going to be early. She measure 2 weeks ahead all the way until the end, and I literally thought I would explode if she didnt make her entrance sooner. WELL, I was right/wrong in so many ways. But on March 29, when my due date rolled around and I realized she was gone, never coming that day or the day before or the day after reality set it. I was no longer in the "fog" i was dead on (no pun intended) in the grief. I wished I did other things that day, actually I DID do things that day....but I wished I did things WITH her instead of because of her. They say that once your due date passes the pain lessons. Well, for me it was not a fact. Instead I was now fixated on newborns instead of preggo bellies. I knew she should be here by now and THAT is what she would look like, act like feel like. No more kicks, or heartburn or aching rib cage from her feet, THAT was my baby...**sigh**....Thinking of you and hoping that Aug 15 is gentle on you (((hugs)))

Lori said...

Hoping that your vacation is one that gives you some peace and togetherness in a way that every day life sometimes just takes away. Especially when every day life is just so sad and hurting sometimes.

I'm so sorry she's not with you for the mountains either, but I love you carrying her in your heart!
xoxoxo

Andrea said...

Kristen,

Christian's due date was not bad, but the days leading up to it were sheer torment. I kept looking into the rear view mirror and thinking of what should have been and comparing it to my reality. However, to manage, I tried to honor his little life and focus on what I could do to be good to myself.

Sending you lots of love and I hope that you and your husband have a restful trip to the lake. A retreat to nature in peace and quiet soothes the soul. Know that we will all be honoring Stevie Joy's life WITH you.

Much Love,
Andrea

Mary said...

It will be good to get away for both of you. I know it will be hard on the anniversary but hopefully your time away will help ease everything.

Courtney said...

Thinking of you so much my friend as you embark on this milestone. Wyatt's is next month and having already gone through the year of "firsts" and knowing what to expect, it isn't any easier.

Sending you tons of hugs

Anonymous said...

I followed your link from the baby center forum. I lost my son only a week and 5 days ago. I delivered him at almost 22 weeks. My profile name is SienaNathan. Anyway, I just cry all the time- especially at night like now. I can't stop thinking about our baby, and it seems no one else is comfortable talking about him. My sister in law is 11 weeks pregnant now, and I just saw her for dinner, very hard. When I look at her I want to cry. It was me who convinced her to try for a baby b/c I was pregnant! Time is going by so slow right now for me.....I don't want any more sympathy flowers ..I just want my baby back. It took almost 2 yrs to get pregnant with him...so I can't imagine a rainbow any time soon. It is an overwhelming weight that is on me, a tight knot in my throat and when I try to speak, just tears

Jo LeFlufy said...

My due date was today, August 10th and I just got off a plane as well. Strange. It's only been 9 weeks since our daughter succumbed to illness, but some days, like today, it all comes flooding back. As I was flying home last night, I was thinking that our daughter (her name was Cora) only lived for 30 hours, but her and I got to fly together to another hospital. I was thinking that I wished my husband and I were the couple two rows up from us who couldn't get their little baby girl to settle down and sleep for the flight. What I wouldn't give for a moment like that with our daughter. What you wouldn't give to fly with yours. I'll be thinking of you on August 15th. You and Stevie.

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