Monday night I had the rare treat of shopping without children. Livvy and Sammy were at Awanas, and Ben was at home with Tom. While perusing Cost Plus I ran into an acquaintance...a friend of a friend type thing. But anyway, we started chatting.
How's business?", "How's Tom?" and so on.
And then he asked that question. "So, how many kids do you have?"
"Uuuhhh... Well.... Uuuhhhh.... Three." I literally said that, the "uuuhhh's" and all. I can't imagine what he must have thought. Oh well.
If the kids had been with me they would have happily and loudly said, "We have five kids, Livvy, Sammy, Ben, Noah and the baby in mommy's belly." They tell anybody and everybody, including the old couple behind us in line at the grocery store and the check-out clerk. They talk about Noah freely and include him in every family count there is, and all family pictures. I wouldn't have it any other way.
I've answered the "How many kids do you have?" question before including Noah. But for some reason that night I didn't. Not including Noah in my count of children last Monday night left me feeling sad...like I not only denied Noah, but I denied God in a way by not acknowledging what He had done by giving us Noah and taking him away. It's a hard one.
Today, Octoberr 15th, is the National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.
It was one year ago this week that we found out we were expecting baby #4. I've shared this before but will again, I wasn't excited about it. I didn't think I was ready. I was enjoying and wanting more time with just the three that we had.
It was six months ago today that we met and said goodbye to Noah.
It seems very surreal... did we really just go through that? Did we really have a baby six months ago? He died before we ever got to see him take a breath. We held him for 8 hours, gave him to the gal from the funeral home, and went home. How could we really have been through that? How could six months have gone by already? Did six months ago really happen?
Every now and then I look through Noah's pictures on the computer (none are up in the house yet, except his hand and foot print molds; we're still very much a construction zone, no room for pictures). I see Noah's box on my dresser every morning. I have the blue blankie replacement tucked under my pillow.
I don't think about Noah every minute or every hour. But...sometime during the day his memory always comes up. Sometimes it's when I'm looking at the kids' stair-stepped height. Sometimes it's when I see a friend with their baby who was pregnant at the same time as I was. It's always when I sing the kids' their night-time song and point to each one of them tucked into their beds, Livvy, Sammy, Ben, point up for Noah and point to my belly for the new baby (the kids' idea). At some point during every day I remember again that he, my little Noah Tobias, is not here with us, he's missing.
I saw this song posted on Molly Piper's blog. I know it's written for families who lost a loved one in the 9-11 attacks, but...it's true of us too:
You're Missing, by Bruce Springsteen