Ronan. Sometimes I just sit here at this computer screen, wondering what to write because the only words I can think of are… I just miss you so much. That’s it. I just miss you so much plays over and over in my head like a broken record that I will never turn off. Tonight, I guess I have a little story for you that is mostly about your sister. I’m not going to lie, Ronan. I was a little unsure of how things would be once she got her. All of my usual doubts filled my head. The thousands of questions. Will I be able to love her enough? Will she love me as much as Ronan did? Can I still be a good mom? Am I worthy of loving another child? What if we don’t connect, bond, etc… What if I am still so numb, that I feel nothing? Am I betraying Ronan? Would he be mad or sad or jealous? Am I hurting his feelings by having another baby and loving it? The things I worried about in my head seemed to be never-ending and oh so dramatic, but they were my real life thoughts about all of this.
Then that day came that your sister was placed in my arms. I can honestly tell you that I was so overcome with so many different feelings, that it was hard for me to feel a thing. So I just stared at her while she stared at me. The first thing I whispered in her ear was something like, “Ronan loves you.” Then my mommy mode adrenaline rush of I can do it all kicked in. So it was a constant stream of auto pilot everything. Feed baby. Change baby. Sleep baby. Tend to mama just pushed out a baby war wounds. Eat mama. Sleep mama. Drink mama. Shower mama. While taking care of other kids, laundry, people wanting to meet her, phone calls, emails, a few blog posts, foundation things, don’t forget to grieve mama, the questions of “how are you really doing from my friends and family seemed constant. But with all that adrenaline rushing, I was able to keep a safe distance away from really feeling that deep connection with your Poppy sister. Oh, I knew I loved her, but I had been keeping myself so busy as if to not let myself fall in over my head. My guard was still up I guess you could say. My mind was still trying to go to that place of don’t get too attached, in case something happens. So, I guess you could say at first, I was dating Poppy in a way. Testing her out to see how things were going to go.
I’ve spent the past few weeks, slowing everything down. I’ve spent the past few weeks, letting myself and my relationship with Poppy unfold a little more. We spend much of our days, sitting quietly. Her constant need to be fed has helped us to bond. We do everything together. I can’t even put her down in her crib to sleep, so she has been sleeping in our bed. For as slowly as I’ve watch things unfold, I can’t stand the thought of being separated from her. I talk to her a lot, even when she is sleeping. My favorite part of the day is when I lay her down to be changed and she just stares at the big picture we have of you in her room and while she is staring, she smiles at it from ear to ear. She’s been doing this from really early on, when babies aren’t supposed to smile at all. She started this at about 2 weeks when babies are supposed to be blind as a bat. I watch her and say things like, “Is Ronan telling you secrets again?” I scoop her back up, rock her and then sometimes look down at her and think to myself, “Are you really Ronan? Because if you are not, I had no idea I would be able to feel this way again. This close and this strongly connected to a new baby after losing my everything. Either you are Ronan or Ronan sent you because he could not take how sad I was anymore. He sent you to try to help fix my heart and soul. He could not have picked a more perfect baby girl to heal my heart.”
The past few days, I’ve felt nothing but this euphoric happiness. Happiness that has only come because of your sister. I see it through everybody, but it’s through myself that I can actually feel it. I am not dating Poppy anymore. We are full on in a crazy, love affair, forever will be married, marriage that I am over the moon about. I without a doubt know, none of us could have really survived this life and lived this life in the way we should be living it, if it were not for your sister being born. Everything has shifted in such a good way. The energy in our house has changed. I’m getting more of those beautiful moments in life that I often talk about from the simplest things. Beautiful moments seem to be everywhere I look, Ronan. I am no longer fighting them or scared of them. I feel so lucky and blessed and this is all due to this gift you have given us which is her.
Dr. Sholler has been in town and you know I am always crazy happy when she is here. Your daddy, Poppy and I picked her up from the airport on Sunday. Before she got in our car, she sent me a text. “Can we hike?!” I laughed out loud. I said to your daddy, “Giselle wants me to take her inferno hiking. She is such a badass.” I told her of course we could. Your daddy said to me, “Are you sure about that? Did you tell her how you almost killed your intern, inferno hiking?” I told him to hush, that she didn’t need to know that. I did warn Dr. Sholler that it was going to be hot, but she was totally game. I was feeding Poppy in the backseat of the car when she arrived. Your daddy parked and went to walk to get her. As soon as she got in the front seat, she scooped up your sister into her arms so she could hold and love on her. I was blown away. Watching the two of them meet was something that will stay in my mind forever. They sat and stared at each other for a long time and Dr. Sholler was such a natural with your sister in her arms. That’s what makes her so different from other doctors, Ronan. She doesn’t have that compassionate chip missing, for being such a bloody freaking genius that a lot of people do. She doesn’t have a fucking ego or agenda. She cares so much not only about her patients, but the family’s as well. Even the one’s with the dead kids. That is so beyond rare. She is such an anomaly in this world. She is my hero and I am so proud to be a part of the things she is doing and will be doing in the future for these kids fighting Neuroblastoma. I will forever be sorry that we didn’t find her sooner.
I took Dr. Sholler hiking. We talked a lot about cancer things, but other things as well. I asked her the million dollar question which was, “What do I need to do to make sure Poppy doesn’t have cancer?” I said, “Do I do nothing and just trust in the Universe that completely screwed me over? Do I start having her urine tested? Do I get her blood tested? Scanned? Please, just tell me.” We talked about how a urine test after 2 would be a non invasive way to just make sure everything is o.k., but ultimately Dr. Sholler wants me to just trust in you. She told me that your sister is fine and is going to be fine. I tried my best to listen and trust in that, but it’s really hard to do so when your entire world has been shattered. Fast forward to today to prove my point on that.
I fed Poppy this morning. I burped her after. I set her in her bouncy so I could pack Liam and Quinn’s lunches. I heard Poppy coughing a bit so I picked her up. Bright yellow vomit/spit up goes flying all over my shirt, not once, not twice, but three times. I go into show your daddy. I see Poppy looking a little pale. In my mind I’m freaking out and everything in me is screaming, “SHE HAS CANCER!” Your daddy makes light of it. I do not. I text our pediatrician. She texts me right back and says it’s probably curdled milk, but if I want she will check her out and feel her tummy. I of course, ask her to make me an appointment to bring her in. So, I sit and wait at home for our appointment. My mind goes to all of those awful places while the tears pour down my cheeks. This is my life now. This will always be my life now. I’ll never escape this world where a little thing is just a little thing. A little thing to me, will always mean cancer. I know I have to learn to let some things go, but today, this lesson was lost on me. Today, it was all I could do not to run down to the hospital demanding to have her scanned. Dr. Campbell calmed me down and told me everything it could be, none of it being cancer. She pushed down on her tummy and told me it was soft. She told me your sister is fine. Your sister is fine, Ronan but I will never be fine again. Not when it comes to normal things like yellow spit up, tummy aches, aching muscles, headaches… I will always think the worst. I thanked Dr. Campbell and she told me she would do tummy checks on Poppy everyday if I wanted her to. That she would come by our house even and to text her whenever I was feeling uneasy about something. I smiled and thanked her again. Once again, I am so lucky to have such an amazing doctor who truly cares, taking care of our family.
We are home. I am exhausted from not sleeping well last night. I guess I was also a bit wired from the amazing night I had with Dr. Sholler and some great peeps from T-Gen. I took Poppy with me. She goes everywhere with me and didn’t make a peep. Best baby ever. So many wonderful things are in the works and I am so honored to be able to be surrounded by such amazing people, who share the same dreams and visions as I do. Together, we are going to do extraordinary things.
I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe.