Hanging In There

I feel like this is my standard response lately to any questions in regards to how we're doing...we're hanging in there.  I'm hanging in there.

And truly, it's accurate.

Some days are better than others -- heck, some HOURS are better than others...I'll find myself navigating between being so happy for one of the bigger kids in doing something (like Patrick's math sheet he brought home yesterday -- SO PROUD of him for his little kindergarten math skills) and then incredibly sad the next minute remembering that we won't get to see that for Clark....Clark won't be going to kindergarten, and the sadness sets in again.

It's tough.  It's really fucking tough.

And I know a lot of it is also coupled with the wild and erratic postpartum hormones that are raging through me as well....but yeah, it's been tough.  So I'm hanging in there.

The outpouring of support, love, and comments after the Love What Matters article posted has been amazing -- and truly, I've gotten to connect with a lot of people who have gone through something similar and it's been great, super helpful to continue to talk about our little ones that aren't here with us but instead live in our hearts.

I have Clark's cape and ultrasound picture sitting next to my bed and truly, he is always on my mind.  I don't feel like a second has gone by since October 11th that I don't think about him...it's completely consuming.  And I know that not even 2 weeks past since when we said hello and see you later it's still very raw and new, and I'm sure as time goes on and our lives return to maybe a semblance of normalcy I won't be thinking about him every single second of every single day, but for right now I am.  And you know what?  That's okay.  Because there is no time limit on grief.  And I don't think you can judge someone for 'continuing to dwell on their dead baby' until you've been in their shoes -- which God forbid I don't wish this on anyone.  But if you're sitting there, rolling your eyes at this post wondering whyyyyyy Alex here keeps dwelling on this and writing about it, maybe unsubscribe or stop following me.  Because grief is personal and however long someone grieves is the right amount of time.  So yes, I will continue to talk and share about my own grief and missing of my son for however long I want...because it helps me; it's part of my grieving.  I long for the little person I'll never get to hold and snuggle again and I find solace here in my blog sharing about him and talking about him and keeping him very much alive inside of me.

This past week we have gotten some of the sweetest most memorable things from our friends to honor sweet Clark.  A garden stone for our garden (from an old college friend -- literally brought tears to my eyes!!), a double star for birthday buddies Clark and Goose (from a high school friend who's been a staple in letting me snap her family these past few years) and his ultrasounds turned forever embroidery hoops from my crew of Internet homies.  I.am.just.speechless.  The outpouring of support has just been wonderful and truly has helped us every single day in remembering and honoring our little C.

And speaking of that, Clark's TinySuperheroes' link has generated $1750 thus far -- over 53 capes!!  Speechless over this too and the support from family, friends, and complete strangers to empower other kiddos on the waitlist to get their capes -- capes that we know mean SO MUCH to these kiddos and families.

I saw these family jammies on Etsy and NEEEEEEDED to get them.  We saw "You serious Clark?" all of the time (also huge Chevy Chase/Vacation fans over here) and when we decided that if #4 was a boy we'd name him Clark, we've said it even more.  I felt like these jammies would be the perfect family pajamas for us this holiday season (and you bet I'll have some fun pics with them coming too!) and just another little sign when I came across them that Clark is always with us :)

I feel like I should give a little pump update too -- things are going really well with that.  I have a donation already coming up next week (I think I will have about 200oz frozen by then) and it feels really REALLY good to be doing this.  Yes, pumping is a huge hassle, but I don't seem to mind it at all...I guess I just feel so connected to Clark doing it, that this was his milk and since he can't be here he's sending it off to these little ladies and men who need it...and that makes me happy.  So I don't mind pumping and hold Clark near to my heart when I'm doing it.

Mike got me a breastmilk necklace after Rosie and I'm definitely going to get one made (or some piece of jewelry) with this milk of Clark's too...just haven't decided what yet.

Earlier this week the nicest gal came and picked up Clark's hand and footprints to get his Patty Cakes made.  We've had these done for all of the other kiddos (so 80s but I SO LOVE THEM) and I am SO SO SO glad the amazing nurses were able to get Clark's prints made (thank you Model Magic) the day he was born so we were able to get those sent off to match his big siblings'.  Hopefully we'll get them back by Christmas -- fingers crossed on that one.

The toughest part of today was that Mike got a call from the funeral home that Clark was ready to be picked up...gah.  This was TOUGH...so tough.  We still are trying to decide what we are going to do, but we did manage to make a decision that we wanted him cremated...and now we just wait for what comes next, that I think both of us know we need to discuss but don't want to.  Until we can do that, we will just have his ashes here with us which kind of brings a sense of comfort that all 6 of us are together again.  But it also brings a flood of emotions too with it.  Just a really tough day.

We are really trying to keep busy -- mostly for the big kids, cause they don't really understand why mom and dad are still sad and why mom doesn't want to get up and run around and play (still trying to FORCE myself to take it easy and not overdo it...I'm still just 11 days post-c-section and do need to really take it easy for another week or two)....and that's tough for them to really grasp.  Mike has been so awesome with getting the kids to their events (soccer, dance) and then our parents have been a huge help too while I've been kinda out of commission with driving and running kids places.

We are slowly getting back into it and trying to return to some semblance of normalcy -- but, like I said earlier, it's really hard, because my mind immediately goes back to Clark, who I should still be carrying for another 15.5 weeks, and then floods of emotions set in with missing my little bump of his, not having a newborn to snuggle come the end of February, having a solid 15+ months before having another baby (if that's something we decide we want) is even a reality, and on and on and on.  There's so many household things we were planning on doing soon (basement reno, moving the kids' bedrooms around,  new seating configuration in the van and car, etc...) and now all of those are just on hiatus (for now? forever???? I DO NOT KNOW.).  And anyways, these things make my head spin and it is tough.  I'm doing my best to focus on the good, focus on the big kids...but it is still tough.  I'm hanging in there though, as has been my jam the past several weeks. 

We are hanging in there.

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