Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Connecting With James Collins, Jr.

August 19th was a day of remembering my first baby through Carly Marie's Project of International Day of Hope & Prayer Flags.  I had only heard about this through mom's blogging about last year's project.  This year I immediately knew that I wanted to participate.  The purpose of this project, at least for me, was to be a time set aside to quietly think of my two angels as I made a flag that represented my feelings and hopes I had dreamed of for each baby that did not live.  This post will focus on my first angel.

Although my firstborn son died 38 years ago in my last days of pregnancy due to a tightened double-knot in his cord, I never have forgotten my hopes and dreams for my first baby.  Part of that dream was to name him, James Collins Fitts, Jr.  I have always loved my husband's name and looked forward to the day when we would have a son to carry it on.  It is a name rich in family history.  That name ended up being the only part of my dream for him that could come true.  Although it was suggested for us not to "waste" the name on our dead son, we gave him all we could, the legacy of his father's name.  We carried out our plan and never one considered it a "waste" of a name.  As I planned my prayer flag for him, I wanted his name to be big and bright on his flag.  James Collins, Jr. was born and died on May 2, 1975.  I always thought May was a good time to have a newborn.  Nature always planned the spring season to be a time for giving birth.  I could take him outside for strolls in his antique pram and show him the blue sky, fresh air, colorful flowers, butterflies, kites in the sky.  He could hear the birds singing their sweet songs.  I looked forward to all of this with him.
As I made his flag, I hoped  to reflect these things.  Here is a picture or two of his flag I made using some of my rainbows baby clothes hand-stitched by his grandmother Fitts.

The blue satin bordering the flag was left over from making my grandson's baby blankets.  The purple background material was left over from making a doll bed bedding for my granddaughter.  The green at the bottom came from an outfit my mother-in-law made for my first rainbow baby.  The heart in the middle has a hole in it, which represents the hole in my heart that will never be filled until I see my son again in Heaven.  Notice how big and bright I made his name!  The right side of the flag represents my grief.  The rain from the cloud are my tears and the flower bent over with the petals falling off represents grief and death.  The kite is for the things we never saw together.  The left side shows a healing phase.  Sunshine rays are peeking from the cloud, a balloon flies, the flower blooms, the bird and ladybug show life.  The dog is being playful showing happy days.  The blue balloon also represents the balloons I design for other parents that have experienced the loss of a child in honor of my son's memory and my daughter's memory.  Her flag will be my next post.

Monday, August 26, 2013

To Each Our Loss

I'm not quite sure how to put this into the right words because we all grieve in different ways and we all have different circumstances to grieve.   In some ways, I am years ahead in my grief.  In other ways, I am not.  We never get over it.  We each learn to live with our loss(es) in our own way.

We all mourn our differences in loss also.  We have those that mourn miscarriages.  I have had a miscarriage.  I think of that baby a lot. I am sure I will see this child in Heaven one day. Some of us have only been able to achieve a  miscarriage.
Think of the infertile couples.  What they would give to have achieved a pregnancy.  They would have the joy of knowing they had a child in Heaven to met one day.  I was told I was infertile due to as disease I had suffered for years with called endometriosis.  Being told you are infertile is just short of a slap in the face.  I mourned not being able to be part of the "pregnancy group."  Being unable to conceive was just so lonely.  I fooled all and beat the odds and did conceive naturally. I thought I was home free. Nope.  Lost my baby to a 9 month stillbirth.  Then there are the first trimester losses, second trimester losses of which I lost my daughter to stillbirth in my second trimester due to a contorted cord accident.  Her twin was my miscarriage in my first trimester.  Now for the third trimester losses.  I've had that also.  I beat so many odds, yet loss three children.  I did get very lucky and blessed to have 2 natural born sons, my 2 rainbows!

  I've met mothers during the past 10 months who have lost their wee ones to being born prematurely, being diagnosed with a fatal disease while in the womb and carrying them to term, mothers waiting in the NICU waiting minute by minute for month after month to see if their premature baby would make it.  Some have not and some have.  "To die or not to die."  Can you imagine the wait to see if you were going to get to use the nursery at home or a coffin at the funeral home?

I've heard the misery of a few mothers who had to endure the trauma of the aftermath of abortion. 

Then I have met dear sweet mothers who have had to watch their child die slowly from childhood cancer.  These children brought such joy to their parents while being brave fighting their disease.  They have memories, some good ones and some nightmarish ones I would imagine.

So much sorrow each person has had to endure.  Some got to have the honor of being a parent to an angel and some never got the honor of being a parent at all.  Each sorrow is different and yet alike because it all ended in grieving a loss.