Posted in Grief

Small Moments Spotlight #12

This week, I want to ask a favor.

I’m featuring just one post.

One post from a woman who has had one of the worst weeks of her life.

One woman who epitomizes strength and sacrifice for her beautiful baby boy.

One woman, who although she is feeling buried beneath her sadness, found joy in a small moment with her son.

One woman, who will make it through this … who will make it to the other side, stronger and even more sure of the brave decisions she has made.

Please go read And Now For Something Completely Different … and please leave a comment for this beautiful woman who could really use one right now.

Much love to you, Law Momma. You are brave and beautiful.

I am honored to know you.

Thank you to all of you who submitted a post for this week. You can expect to see them in the week’s to come!

If you happen upon a post that captures a small moment, or if you’ve written one yourself, please use my “contact me” tab (it’s up there at the top in the navigation bar) and send me the link. I’d love to feature you here.

If you’ve been featured here in the Small Moments Spotlight and would like the button, let me know and I’ll send it your way.

A touch of life

I received an email a couple of weeks ago from a lovely woman who is a new friend to me, a fellow writer and mother named Jessica, from Four Plus an Angel.

She attached a link to a post that she believed reflected a series of small moments from her life.

Jessica wrote:

Your site and all it stands for is beautiful. I lost my daughter a little over three years ago and since then, have learned that life is truly about the smallest of moments because they may be all you have.

I wanted to share a post with you I wrote on the most recent anniversary of her passing. I think it truly illustrates how our family has learned to live through the big and small moments.

I clicked on the link to her post, Today, and was so incredibly grateful that she reached out to me … that she wanted to share her story with me.  Her words are painful and beautiful and brave.

The more I read of her story, the more I knew that Jessica was a perfect fit for Small Moments Mondays. I asked her if she would consider sharing her story here and she generously agreed.

After you read this post, please go read Today, Thoughts on Thanksgiving, and The Autism Story.

Jessica inspires me to be even more grateful for all that I have … and all that I’ve lost.  She is strong and beautiful and appreciative in the face of tragedy and loss.

She is remarkable … so simply remarkable.

Thank you, Jessica, for sharing your story here. It is so incredibly generous of you.  I’m so honored that you wanted to share your story here on in these small moments.

Much love to you, lovely one….

A Touch of Life — by Jessica

The triplets were born at 28 weeks.  28 weeks and 5 days to be exact.  I was counting.

I lived in the hospital, staring at my feet and a calendar on the wall, x’s marking each day that the mix of medication and bedrest had given my babies.  After the threat of delivery at 19 weeks, 21 weeks, 24 weeks and every few days from then on, making it to my last trimester seemed a miracle.

I knew that my babies would be in the NICU and I was as prepared as any soon-to-be mom of triplets could be.  I had toured the unit, watched the babies born too soon struggling with life, given the nurses the eighth degree, researched feeding and bonding and every possible medical complication under the sun and I was ready.  We could do this.

But when the time came, and my babies and my body could not wait any longer all my readiness fell to my surgical slippered feet.

Nothing could have prepared me for the delivery of three babies at once, the sea of hospital masks, the hum of machines, the buzz of anticipation encircled by the quiet of hope.

As the first baby came there was no calm before the next.

There was urgency and monitors and calls for oxygen.

There were NICU teams and respiratory therapists and relays to incubators.

Baby A, my little girl, was brought past me first, all of her 2 pounds 10 ounces shocking me into the delicate world of mothering a preemie, though not as alarming as the 1 pound 14 ounces of her brother, the next to wriggle his long pink limbs near my face.  As the nurses brought them to me, one tiny baby at a time, I wanted to take in their every feature and hold them and love them but it was not yet my turn.  They needed intensive care and I felt that need and urged the nurses along, fighting my yearning to take trace every ounce of their fragile babyness.  I would see them soon enough.  Forever was ahead of us.

There were moments between the delivery of Baby B and C, my son and my next daughter… enough for me to take in the what was happening, settle into my excitement and wait for her.  As she came by I adjusted my focus, trying to see her 2 pounds 5 ounces of features through the mask of oxygen, already mingling with her labored breaths, and as I tried to move my hand to her face she held me first.  Her tiny pink fingers, white at the tips as they wrapped around mine.  And I did not feel that urgency I did with her siblings.  The nurse pressed forward with her before I was ready for her to let go.  I wanted to keep her there, suspended at my cheek, squirming with new life, explaining to me that she already knew who I was.  My first touch from one of my babies, who, entwined with her brother and sister, had endured the push and pull of life all those weeks that labor threatened.  She was here, and so was he, and so was she.  All alive and fighting, a testament to faith and hope and unending love.

And this small moment, this first touch, was the clearest, tiniest, most profound moment of my life, of my pregnancies, of our 77 days in the NICU, of my marriage, of my days as the mother of four living children, and the mother of one who is not.

One who stopped to tell me that she was okay, and I am her mother and always will be.

One who squeezed a moment of her short life into my waiting hand before she left this place for another.

Please, please go visit Jessica at Four Plus an Angel.  You won’t regret the time that you spend there with her.

Thank you.  From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for reading Jessica’s story.

You can also find Jessica on Facebook and Twitter.

How Do I Do This Again?

I have sat down to write no fewer than what feels like a thousand times and I can’t formulate my thoughts into a whole.  My writing has become stream-of-consciousness at best.  I sit down to write, I struggle through a few sentences, and then I walk away.

So, in an attempt to get back in the swing of things, I’m going to just go with my stream-of-consciousness writing and I’m hoping that you’ll all bear with me.

I feel like I’m betraying my mother-in-law’s memory by blogging so soon after her death.  How can I write about everyday things when I have the gravity of her death on my mind?

I want to be able to write about the joys of summer, ice cream sandwiches, kiddie pools, and bike rides, but my mind is consumed with the fragility of life, fear of more heartache, and ways to hold my family even tighter.

I was lying in bed last night, thinking about how much fun it would be to go camping.  My mind wandered to when the kids are a little older and I had visions of them wanting to sleep in their own tent.  My heart started to race and I nearly had a panic attack lying there.  I realized that I truly doubt that I will ever be able to let them have that kind of freedom.

When we were at the dentist today for Katie’s check-up, the dental hygienist led her out of the room without me to choose a reward for being so well-behaved.  Anxiety gripped me immediately.

I’ve always struggled with anxiety, with fears of the worst possible thing happening and I’ve spent my share of hours talking to a professional about it.  But now, I am feeling that familiar panicky undercurrent, nipping at my feet and it scares me.

My mother-in-law had struggled with health problems for quite some time and I think in some strange way, we took for granted that she’d always get through her challenges.  She was so upbeat and determined.  The latest hospital stay and her subsequent death truly caught me off-guard.

Now I’m feeling afraid of my own shadow.

I want to be carefree, I want my to make my children laugh, and I want to loosen my hold on them just a bit.

I want to blog again about happy and trivial things.

I’m going to keep writing and hope that little by little, I’m able to breathe a little easier and laugh a little quicker.

Thanks for hearing me out.

About me

Nichole Beaudry @NicholeBeaudry Location: Northern California
Each and every day, I strive to appreciate the wonder, beauty, and whimsy in the small moments, the moments that, when strung together, form a lifetime.
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