Weston’s second birthday was October 18. The days leading up to it are always stressful. Wondering how I’d feel and how I’d handle the day. His first birthday we got a pack of biodegradable balloons and had Lily let one go in an open field. This year I not only wanted to be around my immediate family but I wanted our close friends to be with us too. I decided we’d go for a long walk at a new path and find a pretty spot to let the balloons go. Lily, Cooper and Wyatt all had their own balloons.
It’s a balance of distracting myself so I don’t feel the pain and also acknowledging the fact that Weston would’ve been two. I think about what he’d be doing at age two and what he’d look like and sound like. How our life would be totally different than it is today. And then I thank him. As much as I miss Weston, I am thankful to have Cooper and Wyatt. Which we would not have if it weren’t for Wes.
On Weston’s first birthday we had dinner with friends to distract me. I didn’t want to think about the reality that Weston wasn’t growing up with us. I didn’t want to talk about it. I also had guilt that I was pregnant with the twins. Were people judging me for getting pregnant again and so soon? They definitely were, even if they never tell me. Especially with the shock that we were having twins! It was as if I was ashamed of our decision. I never want my children to feel ashamed of any thought out choice they make.
This year I took a different approach. I wanted to do something productive and show my children a positive way of dealing with something traumatic. So we went on our adventure. The kids each let go of their balloon and we had a good time talking about Weston to our friends.
Later that night we made muffins and sang happy birthday. It was bitter sweet. Birthdays are my thing. I tend to go overboard. I didn’t want Weston’s birthday to be any different. I ordered lily a moon night light that has a picture of her holding Weston. She was so excited to open it for Weston. It truly felt like a birthday even though the guest of honor wasn’t there.
This year the boys were too young to know what was happening but I worry about the future and all the questions they’ll have about who’s birthday we’re celebrating. On the flip side, I look forward to lily talking about Weston to the boys and explaining who he is.
Lily has recently been asking more questions. She now says Weston has wings and thinks it’s so cool that he can fly and be around us all the time. But she also gets sad that she doesn’t dream about him every night. She says she wishes he could come down and be with us so she could cuddle him.
Throughout the day Lily talks about Weston, especially if she sees the moon. And every night during prayers she thanks him for watching over us. She gives me the strength I need to stay positive and be strong for all my kids. But shoot, some of her questions and the things she says really pull at my heart strings. One night she got really sad that she couldn’t remember Weston too much. Which I don’t blame her, he was only alive for a month, she was 1.5 and the minimal time she spent with him was in the hospital while he slept. It broke my hear that she was so concerned about forgetting him. I had to remind her that we have pictures of them together (I wish I had a million more but the reality is he wasn’t alive long enough to take many of the two of them together).
She asks questions like how does he stay in the sky and not fall down. Which I was thankful that she previously informed me that he had wings so that was an easy question to answer. He flies so he won’t fall!
We hug each other and cry together at least once a week during prayers while talking about Wes. I admire her gracefulness so much and am thankful she was able to meet him. It hurts that she has to deal with this pain at such a young age but I pray it’ll make her into a better sister and person as she gets older.
Nick’s birthday is November 13. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I didn’t want to stop Weston’s feeding tube until after Nick’s birthday just to be safe. So each year on Nick’s birthday I get anxious about the days coming up. I’ll always remember November 14th we took the feeding tube out and around 1am November 15 Weston took his last breath.
On Weston’s first anniversary we also let go of a balloon. Which is what we did this year as well. Nick and I took the kids to the beach and each one of them let a balloon go. I find that being outside makes me feel closer to Weston. It’s more peaceful being outside and I don’t feel stuck. The fresh air helps my anxiety and gives me a sense of calmness.
I typically want to be outside but when we are inside I want some sort of physical touch. Whether it’s holding the kids or laying with Nick. Just something to make me feel not alone. And it helps me appreciate the kids more than I already do. And for nick being by my side through all of it, from two years ago until now and the future.
Mom guilt is still very real for me. Anytime I’m not focusing enough or lily yells at me to “watch the whole time” I feel like I’m failing her. I want to give the kids all of my attention, always. But that’s unrealistic. I do the best I can and I should be better about it but sometimes I need social media to get myself out of my own head and be distracted for a bit. To stop worrying about what COULD happen to the kids if they fall or if they get sick. Then I find myself saying I should be thankful I have children and that i should be more attentive because something could happen any second and I’ll regret not being more present.
The boys are both crawling. They don’t sit still. Lily gets annoyed when they take her things, pull her hair and drool on her. Wyatt has a cranial helmet which means he doesn’t feel anything when he falls. Soon enough I’ll be forced to get off my phone to keep eyes on them 24/7 because they are wild and are going to give me a heart attack and they’re only 7.5 months.