The Places We’ll Go.

“So be sure when you step, Step with care and great tact. And remember that life’s A Great Balancing Act. And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed) Kid, you’ll move mountains.”

Dr. Seuss 
Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

I don’t know what I want to say today. My mind is fuzzy and, quite honestly, I’m exhausted. Some Tuesdays make me feel like this. The past weekend, I haven’t felt like I have succeeded. My depression was telling me that I was worthless and no one could ever help me. That I was alone and feeling all of these emotions because I deserve it. I thought of Jensen and could only think how poorly he would be thinking of me. I wouldn’t be the role model I had always wanted to be for him. And there were moments this weekend that remind me of those first few days after getting back from the hospital. Ones where I didn’t feel good enough to keep fighting… to keep living.

It’s scary to feel like ‘A Great Balancing Act’ isn’t tipping in the right direction. Maybe I’ll be the unlucky percentage once again.

Then there are moments and decisions that bring the scale back with a great force. Ones that make you smile and feel so strong that you’ll actually move the biggest mountains. They’re the ones I feel I could hear Jensen cheering for me. I don’t have to watch my step carefully, I can blindly jump in these times and take the good feelings in. It’s when I actually feel like I’m doing my best for him and that these bright moments will always outshine the dark ones. Just like love overpowers grief.

Yesterday I had this moment. But instead of blindly jumping, I was intently focused on one little boy’s foot.

 

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At forty-two weeks, Jensen would most definitely be experimenting with standing and trying his very best to stumble walk. I would encourage him to keep standing and have him practice walking with me by putting him on my feet. We would take big steps together. He would learn to walk and I would beam with pride. Before, when I looked down, I saw my naked feet and the empty floor. I don’t have him looking up at more or I can’t help him learn to walk. It was empty just like everything else feels. Now, and forever, he’ll be walking with me through life.

I will always take the steps that he was never able to.

Just as he would be getting to a point where he would start learning how to walk, I’m at a point in this grief journey that I’m starting to get better with my stumbling. I never expected it to be a straight and narrow journey. In fact, I thought it would just go downhill from the second he was born. How would there ever be a way I could smile when my child died? I’m not saying I’m full of smiles all the time. Heck, I was just at a spot on Friday where I thought my life didn’t matter. But I will tell you, if there is anything that gives me strength it’s Jensen and knowing that I’ll forever be his mom.

Now, with this new tattoo (which is my third for Jensen), I feel that with each of my decisions that the scale judges, I can literally see him making them with me. I can see those steps. He’ll be on the upward hills and the downward spirals. Through each, he’ll be there with every step, cheering me on. Yesterday and today, I find myself just staring at my feet and marveling his footprint. Of course it makes me laugh because he had my feet. I can see my little mini-me mimicking my every move. But it’s heartwarming to know this is just another way I can honor him. It’s another way I can bring just a little more of him into this world and leave his footprint everywhere I go.

Cue all the feet pictures in the future.


Happy forty-second week in heaven, Baby J. You are beyond loved and missed every second of the day. All I wish I could do is pluck you from heaven and hold you in my arms. I hope with the big decisions I’ve made today that you are cheering me on. My soul feels you close to me and now I can see it with each step I take. And oh, the places we’ll go. I miss you. I love you.

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Creative Heartwork.

“I need to have a part of Jensen on my forever. Everyone needs to see him on me.”

A few weeks after Jensen was born, I kept repeating those words. My heart hurt that no one could see my baby in my arms and I wanted to somehow prove to the world that I was his mother. That and I wanted to feel physical pain, there was so much emotional pain that I needed to focus it somewhere else.

So we got tattoos.

Even though the one I got wasn’t the one I originally planned, I’m so happy it worked out that way. The celtic knot for motherhood is forever on the back of my neck. It’s beautiful and to me, represents that Jensen will always be with me. The pain I expected it to bring wasn’t there. Instead, the humming of the machine relaxed every muscle in my body. After it was all done, I was so proud Jensen was honored there for the rest of my life. I loved that I was able to find the design and put his birthday underneath it.

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As much as I love sharing my first Jensen tattoo with everyone, I think a lot of creative heartwork happens behind the scenes. It’s sharing your story online and at in-person support groups. Or it can be the connection you make with other loss mamas and doing anything you can to be there for them. Maybe it’s writing your baby’s name hundreds of times in every font you know how to do. It could be framing your favorite outfit of their’s in your favorite spot, so you can see it everyday. If a baby is buried, you can be creative during all the holidays and anniversaries and decorate their spot. SO many things that is creative and comes from the heart.

For me, it seems like I share all the creative heartwork that I do for Jensen. I love showing how much he means to me and my creative side. Today i’m going to share something a little more personal. As I’ve said before, when people walk into my house, Jensen is everywhere. Most people wouldn’t even notice the stack of notebooks of letter, filled with love, that I have written to Jensen. It started when I was pregnant, I would write a verse and then tell Jensen all about my day. When he was born, I started drawing him pictures and adding color to every letter. It was my way to be creative with him while I let all my emotions out on the paper. Every single word filled with love and appreciation to him. These letters have became my favorite part of the day and are a huge part of my healing. It’s my favorite heartwork I do for Jensen.

In between all those love letters, are drawings and letterings of his name or anything that reminds me of him. Today, I keep writing his name over and over again. If you’ve been following along, you all know Tuesdays are hard for me. They’re even harder when I can’t be creative and do things for him. All I’ve been able to do is writing his name. Even finding the words to this Capture Your Grief prompt has been difficult. This Tuesday marks twenty-seven weeks since Jensen was born sleeping. All those weeks ago, I bought my first remembrance bracelet to remember him by. It was Aries constellation bracelet, that I wear everyday. I never imagined then, that six months from that moment my favorite heartwork would be the letters I wrote to him just two days before his birth.

Tonight, as I continue my private, creative heartwork for Jensen,  I’ll be thinking of the love we show to all our babies everyday. Even in our deepest pits of pain, we continue creating beautiful things to honor our angels; out of these dark pits, blossoms the loveliest flower.

Happy twenty-seventh week in heaven, Jensen. When you look down on me from heaven, I hope you see all the creative heartwork that I do all for you. I miss you. I love you.

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Inked.

Being a mother is forever and mothering Jensen while he’s in heaven is no different. We are connected till the end of time. He is made of me and I forever have him in my heart.

When I was pregnant, I knew I wanted to do a motherhood tattoo honoring Jensen and our journey together. I had ones with dates picked out and initials. After he was born, I knew my tattoos for him would be a little different. I want to get his footprint on my foot; so he’s always walking with me. It’s such a lovely idea and I have to walk to the steps he’s never going to take. On the day we went to the tattoo parlor, I knew I couldn’t get a foot tattoo. I like the water and we were going on the lake for Father’s Day. I did not want to get an infection or the tattoo to get gross. So I decided to get something else that meant so much to me.

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The Celtic knot for motherhood with baby Jensen’s birthdate. It represents the unbreakable bond that a mother and child will always have. There’s no separation between the two. For me, I loved how it looks like the child is in the mom, just like Jensen will always be with me. Then his birthdate; the most complicated day. A day so full of love and heartbreak. It signifies how my little love came so silently in this world, the end of his BIG, short life.

My perfect tattoo for my perfect little boy.