Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Should Haves & Should Nots

While Max is sleeping away in his Baby Bjorn, I am pondering about the life that we will never get to experience. The life of carefree parents that don't know what it feels like to have lost a child. Even though Max has brought much happiness and joy to us and we love him with all of our hearts, I can't help to think about the "should haves" and "should nots." There are many and below are just some roaming around in my head.

The house should not be filled with silence while Max is sleeping. There should be lots of laughter and giggles from a squirmy little man.

Experiencing Max develop and explore the world should not be so new to us. We should know what an almost 2 month old does and whether or not Max is developing just like Lucas, is advanced or behind.

Parenting should be second nature to us and we should know what to do and what to expect over the next few months. For instance, Max hates, absolutely hates, to go to sleep at night time. We should know how to fix it or tell ourselves..."this is what worked for Lucas" and try the same with Max.

I should not fear to put Max to sleep and jump up every time I hear a noise from him (maybe this is why he doesn't sleep too well). And I for sure should not freak out every time Max falls into a deep sleep and his breathing gets very shallow. I should not have the need to constantly check if he is breathing while he sleeps.

I should believe the doctors when they tell me Max is a healthy little boy. He for sure looks like it. And I should not respond to someone that asks how Max's doctors' appointment went that "he is supposedly healthy."

We are beyond thankful to have Max with us and we treasure every moment of it while we are missing the little 17 month old that should be running around in our house. While the focus of missing Lucas has shifted a little to taking care of Max 24/7, I could continue on and on with the list of should haves and should nots. Unfortunately, the reality is that I will always think in terms of should haves and should nots. Every stage that we will experience with Max will add new items to the list.

Friday, March 19, 2010

6 Weeks Old

Our little Max is 6 weeks old today and I can't believe how much he has changed already. The changes are not only physical but also behavioral. Max for sure loves his food and it shows. He also has lost a chunk of his hair and is sporting some very prominent president corners. I hope that new hair will fill them in soon. His eyebrows are growing now too. At first he didn't have any, then they looked like someone shaved them off and now he actually has eyebrows.

Max is awake a lot more now. He usually is up for at least an hour after his feedings (we try to avoid this at night, but are not always successful). He is ooooohhhing and ahhhhing when he is awake. Max is also looking at his toys, swinging his cute little hands at the Mrs. Giraffe and Mr. Monkey on his activity mat. He is holding on to anything that he can reach...oh and yes he already broke my necklace. He pulled on it and it fell off my neck. My husband and I could not believe it. His newest adventure are his attempts in standing. Max's leg muscle seem unbelievably strong. He stiffens his little chunky legs up and he stands. It makes him look like a big boy and it is happening entirely too fast for my taste.

Lastly, Max has smiled at us but not regularly. The gummy little smile just melts your heart away and I can't wait to get my daily dose of them. His smiles are hard to get and I have not been able to capture them on camera. It seems like there is a lot more to smile about while he sleeps than being awake.

To sum it all up, Max loves to eat, play and being held. He enjoys his baths, activity matt and bouncy chair (for a limited amount of time). Max absolutely loves going for walks and likes being carried around in his Baby Bjorn. When it comes to sleeping, our little man pretty much seems to think that sleep is overrated.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Rainbow Baby

After becoming part of world of parents who have lost a child (or children) due to miscarriage, neonatal/infant death or stillbirth, I also quickly became acquainted with the term RAINBOW BABY(IES). Babies born to families after the loss of a child are often referred to as "Rainbow Babies." The idea is that the baby is like a rainbow after a storm. "Rainbow Babies" is the understanding that the beauty of a rainbow does not negate the ravages of the storm. It goes without saying that when a rainbow appears, it doesn't mean the storm never happened or that the family is not still dealing with its aftermath. What it means is that something beautiful and full of light has appeared in the midst of the darkness and clouds. Storm clouds may still hover but the rainbow provides a counterbalance of color, energy and hope. A rainbow baby shows its parents that there is joy and happiness to life.

This is were we are today. We are beyond grateful to have Max with us. He is a beautiful little soul and has brought so much happiness to our family over the past 4 weeks. It feels good to remember how happiness feels. We are constantly missing Lucas especially when we look at pictures like these:

Lucas taking a bath:

Max taking a bath:

They are brothers for sure and look so much alike. We are happy to find all these similarities between the two, but it also makes us miss Lucas even more.

Tomorrow, we will start a journey of "NEW." Max is one month old tomorrow and from there on out everything will be new to us. We never got to experience life with a newborn beyond the one month mark. We are excited to be at this place in our lives and we enjoy every minute of it; however, we are also moving cautiously and hope that the joy will never end.