Saturday, March 22, 2008

More Q&A

**Was the cele that big? It looks large in pictures, but was it that large?

Yes. In the beginning it was quite small (in comparison to what it was later). But just before he died it was about 15cm long (nearly 6" long) and about 12cm wide(4.5"). In yesterday's posted pictures (before the hat is cinched down) you can see it's a huge hat (that's post-rupture). Just before it ruptured I had to work really hard to get that hat on and off. When I took it off before his bandages were changed that last time (Just 2 mins before it ruptured) it was literally stuck. It took a lot to get it off. And so you can see how ENORMOUS it was.

**How am I?

I don't know. I know that sounds ridiculous. But it's the best way to describe it. Here's some of the emotions I'm feeling
*Sad, because I can't hold him
*Empty, because my days aren't busy without him
*Angry, that some people who mistreat their kids still have them
*Happy, that I had so much time with him
*Proud, that he was such a fighter, and did so well
*Overwhelmed, because of everything that has happened in the last year (I'll post that at another time)
*Frustrated, because we don't have a place to move yet and we have to be vacated in 12 days
*Fat and Ugly, because I'm only 10.5 weeks postpartum and I'm not skinny yet
*Irritated, by small things

I guess you can see why I don't know how I'm doing.

**How is Oceana? Does she realize? How was she at the funeral?
She's good. She's overtired (which is a cycle she goes through - and is more often than not). We're trying this no-nap CRAP for a little while - because we hate fighting with her every day. She was the first (BY FAR) of all her friends to give up her morning nap. And she's gonna be (BY FAR) the first to give up naps altogether. Argh...
She doesn't realize Joshua's not here - as in, she's not freaking out because she can't find him. She does talk about him. She points out his pictures and when he stuff was out she's talk about it - "Baby dummy (pacifier)", "Baby high-seat (carseat)", "Baby bankik (blanket)", etc.
We're those parents that let our kids run around in church. With the exception of very serious services (like my friend's funeral last year) or churches we are visiting (like never been to before) we let Oceana run around and play (within reason). I was one of those kids that was glued by the tush to my seat in church - that's probably just the old-school way to do it. I think it's partly our church (very laid back in an old bowling clubhouse - not your traditional set-up). So at the funeral Oceana reacted the same way and I didn't care. She was running around, dancing to the music, talking (you can hear her ALL through the video) but I don't care. I started to control her and then I thought, "No. Wait. This is Oceana. This is our family. Of all times I'm not going to feel like I NEED to make her behave like a porcelain doll." She had fun. And I'd rather remember it that way - than Oceana freaking out and crying.
She saw Joshua in his casket, and gave him night-night kisses before we left the crematorium. She doesn't understand death, and for that I'm glad. She'll understand better in the future, but for now she has a very positive outlook on the situation and I love that.

**Did we have an open casket?
Yes. My only issue with open casket was that usually we laid Joshua down with his cele out straight, but in the casket it had to be beside him, which looked strange - and unlike him. But he looked pretty good (considering that embalming is difficult and limited for an infant).

**Where are we moving? I don't know. Uh, I don't know the exact house or neighborhood. But a city about an hour south. Still in New Zealand. Just no longer in retirement village/podunkville.

**Do we have MOPS here?
No, but we have Mainly Music. It's a music hour for parents and under-5's. Quite fun. There's previous posts about it.


  1. Thanks for the Q&A, Susie. I, too, wondered a bit about the 'cele. By the ruler, 15cm doesn't seem big at all, but I can imagine it on a baby, especially as Joshua's head was also tiny.

    I like how you worked out what Joshua wore in his casket. Interesting about how his 'cele was placed, too. When my friend's baby died (severe brain damage due to lack of O2 when the placenta abrupted, she lived a home for several weeks), the mortuary person opened the baby's hands and that's what the mom remembers and it bothered by because the baby NEVER had open hands while she was alive.

    It's amazing the things we remember, whether we want to or not.

    I hope you find a new home soon that you can settle contentedly into. I'll pray for you about it.

  2. Hi Susie & Matt,

    I am not a good writer and I really can't put my feeling into words anyway, so I am not going to try...

    It was exactly a week ago that another blogland friend sent a prayer request with Joshua's link in it. Joshua and your beautiful family have been in our thoughts and prayers every since...

    67 days and 7 hours is way too short for anyone, but the love you gave Joshua, his smile, his deep blue eyes, his courageous spirit have touched so so many people like me around the world. We all miss him dearly ....

    Have a good night.


  3. I think "I don't know" is a fine answer for "How am I?" It's an honest answer. Hugs...

  4. Thank you for sharing your heart. I keep trying to type something but everything I type sounds so trite.

    I love coming here to read how you are doing.

    My question: How has your faith helped you through this? How has your faith helped you through this as a couple?

  5. Hi Susie,

    Thank you for being so open and honest with your answers and I am learning so much from you. I love how you let Oceana be who she is at Joshua's funeral, innocent and happy.
    It is a precious memory of a big sister who loved her baby brother.
    I am praying that the right place for you to live will fall into your lap. A neighborhood full of loving people who take you in and embrace you for who you are.
    And I have to agree with your previous post about your nurse Heather. What a blessing to have her in your life with her love for Joshua. She is a pure God send for sure.
    I am praying for you daily and asking the Lord to gently guide you through to your new home and getting settled in, where you can breathe again, and rest. Praying for your marriage to stay strong and for Matt's heart as he takes care of his girls and misses his little boy.
    I hope you have a blessed Easter and you feel the Lord's gift all over you. You have my heart.

    Love, Laurie in Ca.

  6. Susie-
    I have been quietly reading your blog for a while now. I learned of your story through a link on a blog, on a blog, on a blog... I am sitting here today feeling very similar to you and feel compelled to tell you so. I am sad, empty, angry, happy, proud, overwhelmed, tired, frustrated, feeling fat and ugly, alone and irritated. Our stories are different but what you have written is exactly how I feel.
    In the past 11 months, we have lost 2 baby girls; Finley on April 4th 2007 and Caroline on February 28th 2008.
    I have been reading the blogs of others since losing Finley. It was helpful for me last time. I am finding this to be the case, once again. There are people who GENUINELY know the depths of the sorrow I am feeling. There is no pleasure in knowing that others are grieving. But it is nice to know I am not alone in this journey. There are others walking a similar path with me.

    It is encouraging to know that the thoughts I am having are "okay" and "normal". I am not a horrible Christian because I am angry and frustrated and question this plan of His. I have been reminded that Our God can take all of the emotions we feel. I have found some peace in that. I have also been reminded that He has walked this path before us. He knows the loss of a child just like we do. There is peace in that, too.

    I don't want to be cliche or trite - I get a lot of that because people just don't know what to say. Bottom line, our stories suck. I am just trying to get by like you are. One minute at a time.

    Thank you for sharing your story and connecting with so many other people.


  7. You are strong, and an inspiration!

  8. You are strong, and an inspiration!

  9. All the emotions your going through are normal.Well, shall I say the new normal . May Easter be as gentle on you all as possible.

  10. Hi Susie,
    Thank you for answering my questions. You are an amazing person, and in our prayers.
    I have 4 month old twins, that we are trying to adopt through foster care. (we have had them since they were 4 days old) and the biological mom is going to try to fight us. The thought of losing them is so incredibly scary to me, but seeing your strength really makes me have hope that if going back to their mom is God's will, then He will get me through it. (the mom is in prison for drugs and negleting her other kids, which is also scary to me) Thank you for being my source of inspiration.

  11. I know you don't know me, but I have been following your blog, and thinking about you daily...

    **How am I?
    I don't know. I know that sounds ridiculous. But it's the best way to describe it.

    I don't think it sounds ridiculous - I think it sounds exactly right, and beautifully written.

    Joshua is an amazing baby and angel, and I love reading about his life, and reading about how you are doing, and how your family is doing ♥

  12. Thank you for sharing your beautiful boy and family with the whole world. Praying that you will find a place quickly and that you will find peace with the wonderful time you had with Joshua. Oceana is beautiful.

  13. I am SO sorry for your loss, my heart breaks for you. I just found your site and you are in my prayers! I am truly and forever sorry!