Tuesday, August 28, 2012

3 babies and a funeral ago

I think about the person I was...3 babies and a funeral ago. That Channan was different than the Channan I know now. When Travis and I got married we were adjusting to marriage and living together. We knew we wanted to start a family early, but were also enjoying each other and the freedom associated with just being married. I felt more carefree, could make decisions easier, would go more places without a worry. When Adrian came along, I was so happy to be a mother. I was thankful that he was sent to make me a mother but I didn't realize what this new found role of mine would consist of. I remember due to Adrian's bad reflux as a baby, it was difficult. But, I felt confident in my mothering with him and confident in my relationship with him. I was apprehensive to take him to an at home daycare, but felt at ease after we got into a routine. I started to realize what it meant to have "your heart walking around outside of your body." When I got pregnant with Ainslee, Adrian was just 7 months old. That's when my guilt really started. I felt that I was going to be battling between loving one child more than the other, spending more time with one child vs. the other. When Ainslee came, it took about a 3-4 week adjustment for me to get comfortable in this new role as a mother of 2. I was so concerned it was going to change my relationship with Adrian and was trying to avoid that at all cost. I started picking up Adrian shortly after my c-section for fear he would hold a grudge against me if I denied picking him up. We did adjust to being a family of four and all seemed right in the world. Days were difficult at times trying to teach Ainslee to nap, or if she was fussy and Adrian needed attention, that could be trying. But, looking back, I was so grateful to have our family of four and my new role as a mother of 2. When we lost Ainslee, I gained my title of bereaved mother. I was still a mother to two children, only now I had to figure out how to care for the one in Heaven. It seems that my roles and hats I wear are always changing, but being a bereaved mother is something that sadly sticks. I can't ever give that title back although I'd gladly do it. Trying to figure out how to fit loss, grief, anxieties, worries into our family has been difficult. It has brought on a whole new responsibility, just as all roles do. Having Hadlee was another adjustment. I had to adjust to my new role of being a mother to 3, one in Heaven. I had to adjust to seeing family pictures of the four of us, knowing there should be 5. I've had to see Big Sis/Lil Sis shirts and have such an ache to want my girls side by side in these. I've had to fight back tears to put on a brave face for my 2 living children. I find myself sighing a lot, thinking of what should or could have been. Hadlee was so needed in this family, and I am so greatful to have had another baby girl. But, I'm figuring out that it doesn't matter how many more kids we have and what the gender is, there will always be a little girl missing. The hopes and dreams of Ainslee were destroyed and ripped from our family. Today's role I carry of being a wife and a mother to 3 has changed me. I reflect on the events of the last 3 years and all it's done to change me. I've slowly started molding into this girl I don't recognize. The fear, the anxiety, the worry, the control, the anger, the depression, the grief, the sadness, all to consume me on a daily basis. I try my best to function and to be the girl I once was, but I'm not sure I'll ever be the same as I was...3 babies and a funeral ago.


  1. Channan, have you read the book "Heaven in For Real" by Todd Burpo? I read it shortly after Ainsley's funeral and immediately thought of you when the little boy told his father about meeting his sister in Heaven. I am currently reading it to Caeden and once again I find myself thinking of you and hoping you might read the book and find comfort in it.

  2. I can relate to this completely. Thinking of you, Channan!
    Love and prayers,