Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My Decade - Part II

Topic #32 My Year Competition-Challenge

This is part II of a two part post titled My Decade.  If you have not already read part I please scroll down and begin there or click here to be taken there.


In July of 2005, just 4 months after being told it might take a full year to get pregnant again I felt "not myself" and jokingly said to my sister while drinking a beer, "I'm probably pregnant".  Five pee-on-a-sticks later, one confirming ultrasound and we were sent home with our first picture of Baby K and a lump stuck in our throats.  What if we lost this one too? Our worries had just begun.  I bled throughout the entire pregnancy.  I had doctor appointments almost every two weeks.  Looking back I was scared the entire time I was pregnant.  I rented a fetal doppler machine so I could calm my nerves with the sound of my baby's heartbeat.  I used it twice a day, sometimes more.  That reassuring sound engraved in my memory to this very day. My estimated due date by the doctors was March 19th.  I mailed back the rented doppler at the beginning of March and endured stress and worry for the next 10 days.

On March 10th, 2006 I was induced due to high blood pressure. It wasn't until almost 48 hours later on March 12, 2006, that we finally welcomed our first born.  A son. Our Jacek Robert.  At last.

While in the hospital Jacek lost weight and he got jaundice.  He had numerous appointments after we were discharged from the hospital.  We supplemented his feedings with formula and I cried thinking I couldn't make enough milk to nourish my own child.  It was heart breaking.  It took me so long to understand that it didn't matter what he ate in order to gain weight as long as he gained weight.  By his sixth month check up his growth was in the 90th percentile for head, weight and height.  We finally took a deep breath and began to enjoy our child and our life with him.  I would go through every single worry, every single tear and every stress filled day of my pregnancy again because being Jacek's Mommy is in every sense of the word, completely and totally worth it.

As we were settling into our second year with Jacek our family received heart wrenching news.  One of Darren's young cousins, just 21 years of age had been in a work related accident and lay in an unresponsive coma.  The family was shell shocked.  Danny was a wonderful young man. I had gotten to know him when he came to visit Darren and I in North Carolina.  I had talked with him, given him advice and loved him.  He had a special place in my heart and I would often ask Darren if he had heard from him recently.  Danny got to hold Jacek and feed him his bottle once.  I thankfully have that image to recall.  Danny passed away on April 16, 2007.  His 22nd birthday would have been the 21st of April.

I turned 30 in November of that year and Darren threw me a surprise party.  I had always wanted someone to throw me one and I was humbled to finally get my wish.  My family and friends shared in my day with me, made me feel special and most importantly, loved.  Later that same month I took a pregnancy test, on a whim mostly, but I guess I had an inkling. It was positive.  I was pregnant and scared.  The feeling of loss never goes away.

We went through similar emotions that we did when pregnant with Jacek, however the pregnancy could not have been more different.  It was so different in fact that I was positive I was having a girl.  I did not bleed, not even a spot.  My blood pressure was normal through out.  I didn't gain near as much weight as I did with Jacek.  I felt great, had energy and barely worried.

On Easter, March 23, 2008 Darren's phone rang.  It was his Aunt.  He did not answer.  My phone rang shortly after.  It was his Aunt.  I did not answer but I listened to the voice mail she left me.  She was crying.  Something was not right.  I insisted Darren call her back.  All I remember of what happened after was Darren screaming "Brennan", "not Brennan" over and over again and then he fell to his knees and dropped the phone.  Darren lost his cousin, his kindred spirit, his "brother". Darren could not stop crying.  The other part of him, the one who finished all his stories was no longer here to do so. Brennan had been only 32 years old. I didn't know what to say to Darren. Sometimes I still don't.

On March 25, 2008, just two days after Brennan passed, Darren went out to be with his family. Not long after he left my phone rang.  Darren was on the other end crying hysterically.  I remember asking him several times to repeat himself for I could not quite grasp "Uncle Brian is dead" as what he was actually saying to me.  I sat down on the couch in shock.  Darren was silent on the other end of the phone.  "I don't understand", I said.  "He had a heart attack.  He's dead", he replied.  "How can we possibly take any more without breaking?" I thought.

Brennan and Brian had a beautiful combined service.  I kept looking for both of their faces in the crowd of hundreds of people that came to pay their respects.  It still shocks me that they are gone.  All three of them.  Danny, Brennan and Brian, taken from us way to soon.  R.I.P.

Our house was a lot quieter in the days following the death of Brennan.  Darren was not himself and I soon learned that his life had changed and so had he.  We were both mourning but his life had been impacted by the deaths more so then mine.  It wasn't and still isn't something that is easily accepted.  It never will be.

On August 12, 2008 we welcomed our second son, not daughter like I had believed.  We named him Aidan Laurence Brennan.  After my father and our recently lost Brennan.  A strong name for sure.  Like the entire pregnancy he is nothing like his older brother.  Almost every opposite they could be, they are.  I find that fact, simply amazing.

Dealing with a toddler, a new born and the grief of my husband is turmoil I'd never wish on anyone.  I felt pulled in so many different directions and at a loss on how to comfort my own husband.  I missed him during those first few months after the loss of Brennan.  He was here but not himself.  He tried but only slightly succeded in trying to look ahead.  We knew things would eventually get better but at the time it felt like everything was moving so slowly.  He became angry, a part of the grieving process but difficult to manage being on the other end.  Our relationship struggled a bit.  I held on as tight as I could.

Jacek turned 3 on March 12, 2009.  We had a pirate party.  The four of us all dressed up as pirates and we celebrated.  A little bit of US surfaced again.  Darren began to smile more and we once more started to have fun.

That same month Darren and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary.  We went on a mini-vacation to Niagara Falls.  It was a much needed get away for us.  We spent time together, alone, without kids.  We talked.  We loved.  I had missed my husband.

Aidan, our second born, our thrill seeker turned 1 on August 12, 2009.  We combined his birthday celebration with a luau and invited pretty much everyone we knew.  Family and friends came and shared in the day with us.

And now, life is getting really, really good.

I am amazed after writing this at how much a person's life can change in just 10 years.  I am nowhere near where I started.

I have come full circle and then some.  A decade of change, growth and loss.  Life in all its beautiful and terrible forms.

And the decade ends. The last page read and turned. As I said in the beginning I feel enlightened and deflated at the same time.

Life goes on.  It is what it is.
I am 32.  I am a wife.  A mother. A strong, independent woman.

The next novel awaits to be written.


erica said... you're blogs should come with a warning label: WARNING: must read with tissues..;)

Anonymous said...

What a super job you did on the decade blogging, I had chills and tears as I read them both. Keep up with your writing you've done a great job with all of it.

#1Nana said...

I dropped in to check out the competition, but read your entire post. I was drawn in by your writing and wanted to see how the decade ended. Nice job!

Topical Tuesday said...

Hello :)

Just called by to let you know this was our favourite entry. Congratulations, you won Topical Tuesdays competition challenge. Drop Eliza an email at