The Baby Shower.

I woke up early that morning.

The rush of excitement to see my friends, family, and all the planning of the past few weeks filled me. Of course there were still more things to do, like the set up and making sure all the food got there. Then there was getting ready and making sure I put my feet up before I’d be on them all day. While I was constantly going over this checklist in my head, Jensen’s assuring ‘Go Mom!’ kicks made me smile.

When I stood up from my bed, I swore Jensen had dropped even lower. His weight gradually had been getting lower and lower over the past few weeks, but today he was the lowest. I waddled down the steps and we all started moving everything to the car. There was all the decorations and the table clothes that needed setting up before anything else, which was perfectly fine with me. As usual, I had to wait until after ten to get something to eat. Mr. I-don’t-like-mornings still hadn’t let me eat breakfast like I normally did before I was pregnant.

The boxes of my mental checklist were being marked quickly. On days like these, the hustle and bustle makes time go fast. Before I knew it, the guests were arriving.

I greeted people as they came. The first thing they probably noticed was my huge belly and my white slippers because no shoes would fit right. It seemed like the whole room filled up in under twenty minutes. Everyone was talking and laughing. Jensen kicked when he heard different people’s voices. I imagined this was how it was going to be from now on. His presence in the world brought happiness already and it would continue doing so when he would be in my arms.

My mom told me to go in the back while they played their first game, so I could eat. I can remember eating and a little one came up to me and asked what Jensen was doing in my belly. I smiled and told her he had been sleeping because we had a busy day. She touched my belly and asked if he was right there. Then he kicked. He was going to be friendly and love to interact with his cousins and friends.

After I was done eating, I remember walking out the door and seeing the huge, blue, ‘BOY’ balloons with the presents on the one side and diapers on the other table. I felt so blessed that Jensen and I were loved by so many.

The games had finished and everyone was eating. It was the perfect time to start opening gifts. I opened clothes, diapers, car seats, gift cards, pacifiers, books, stuff animals, bath needs, towels, and anything else you can think of. It was all there. We only needed to get a stroller which would be covered with all the gift cards. Everything was set for his big arrival now. All I had to do was get everything washed, unpacked, and assembled. Those things and of course waiting.

When everyone was getting ready to leave, I hugged them all and felt Jensen moving around. It was a tight squeeze so I felt him pretty frequently. In between every goodbye, I laid my hands where I knew his put was and then would trace down where his back was. He liked when I did that. He would move to follow my hand. Now looking back, a lot of those goodbyes were the last ones he had. They departed from us happy and thinking our future would be bright.

No one ever expected the worse was about to happen in a few short weeks.

My family helped take all the presents back to my house. We had to put them in the closet/laundry room because we still had to figure out everything with his room. I remember we went through each outfit and every book. In my mind, I had to organize everything so it would be easier for us to put away. Diapers in one corner, the bathing stuff in the other, and everything else had its place too. The clothes came with us so they could be washed.

Then we went home. Happy with how they day played out. I spent the evening reading the ‘Wishes for Baby’ and ‘Advice to Mom’ cards. Each out loud so Jensen would most definitely hear. I put them back in my purse so I could read throughout my appointments and ultrasounds, or whenever I felt like I needed to see them.

I was going to be a great mom.

That thought played in my head over and over. I was nervous, but I saw how much he was loved and I knew everything would work out just fine.

As quickly as the day went by, sleep welcomed me. Jensen and I had our nightly routine of reading a book and him kicking me until I laid on my left side. I’d be seeing him the next day and letting the ultrasound technician know how the shower went.

I dreamt of what he would look like that night. We were in the hospital room and I was holding him. He was snuggled so close to me and I was humming a lullaby in his ear. His body was warm and his hair smelled like a new baby.

Everything was perfect that day.

The Unspoken.

Today I cannot talk about my nitty-gritty unspoken encounters and thoughts I’ve had the past six months. My heart is already heavy with longing and sadness. I think most people would be surprised to know there are a lot of things I haven’t talked about here. Seems crazy to think that since I’ve tried to be completely honest about everything.

Somethings are secret between Jensen and I.

Somethings I whisper in the morning to help make me through the day.

Somethings I’m not ready to talk about.

And somethings, I just want to be selfish about.

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Little Leo Comes Home.

If you’ve been following along in our journey of life after loss, you’ll know at the two month mark we got a kitty, named Leo. He’s the most adorable, orange kitty cat that I’ve ever laid my eyes on. All my life I wanted a black cat named Poe and an orange one named Leo. In December of last year, we adopted Poe as Jensen’s kitty and he’s been our little trooper. He’s seen us at our best and our absolute worst. There were days when I was still pregnant that Jensen and Poe would cuddle with each other. He was super protective over me and Jensen while he grew. After Jensen was born, Poe knew. I was at a point where I needed something to hold and cuddle, but Poe was going through a weird phase. That’s where Leo came into our little family.

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Always right by my face.

The first night in the house, Leo slept right between Anthony and I. We soon found out he loved to be held and cuddled. He’s right there when I’m cooking and likes to be covered up by blankets. Yes, he’s spoiled. In his defense, I made him that way. I needed something to look after and care for physically. He would listen to me as I sung to him and told him stories about Jensen. My voice relaxes him and he’ll fall asleep as I hold him in my arms. My little Leo has helped me heal. He’ll always hold a part of my heart. (So does Poe, don’t get me wrong! He’s very much loved and cuddled when he pleases.)

Yesterday, Leo had to go to the vet. He had to get fixed, which is a normal and routine surgery that many animals get. Poe had it done as well as my parent’s pets growing up. It’s just how it goes. The night before, I noticed I was starting to get really upset. I kept telling myself everything would go smoothly, just as I always believed it would with Jensen.

Then loss and grief hit. What if Leo dies too?

Death takes over my head sometimes. It took my baby away and taunts me everyday with that fact. Leo can easily be taken too. I didn’t know how I would handle another loss. It would make me question ever getting close and having feelings to something ever again. Because life ends, but it shouldn’t end on my son who was supposed to be safe in my belly and my cat who would be doing a routine surgery. I was hurting and I couldn’t sleep, not that I do anyways.

So, yesterday morning rolls around and I have to force him in his carrier to take him. He meowed the whole time and gave me the saddest eyes. As I drove, he scratched the entire surface of the carrier to try to escape. With each of his meows I wondered if this was the last time I’d hear him. Would it be the last time he heard my voice calming him? This might sound dramatic, but we never know when the last time for any of us will be.

After dropping him off and having the girl there promise me she would call afterwards to let me know he was okay, I got in my car. The memories of leaving the hospital without Jensen came to me in full force. I was leaving empty-handed, full of worry, and not knowing what the future would be like. The silence in my car was broken by my sobs. I miss Jensen. This life is so hard after losing him. It’s not just losing him either; it’s the loss of the innocence I held in this world. Death took away my son from my belly, it would be easy for him to take away my cat laying on the table. Loss and love battled each other for who would win out. I remember through my tears and driving, I just prayed God and Jensen would watch over Leo and he would have a fast recovery.

When I walked into my house, Poe gave me the same look as he did after Jensen was born. He was looking for little Leo and didn’t understand. I would say yesterday was definitely hard for me. I kept wrestling with the idea that bad things happen to good people. Coming home to Poe was nice, but I knew Jensen should have been there too. He should be with me everyday. Then my kitty wasn’t here either. Life after loss hurts. Living with this pain everyday is tiring and it comes out of little things.

Later in the afternoon, the humane society called me. I was anxious to hear how surgery went and if he was recovering well. Well, it went so well that when he woke up he was being a sassy, little boy. He hissed at everyone and didn’t want to be around anyone else… but me. When I came and got him, he stopped hissing as I soothed him with my voice. We came home and I held him as he slept for the better part of the evening. Last night, he stayed in my arms, just purring away. He’s still a little sore today, but he’s recovering and letting Poe take care of him. I’m so thankful he was able to get through surgery and be his little ornery self afterwards.

It brings me delight to see him back home, but it also makes the hole I have in my heart for Jensen sting more. I can imagine how complete the house would feel if Jensen was laying with Poe, Leo, and I on the couch. My life will always have Jensen missing, but we’re learning how to live again.

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Happy to be home.