Monday, April 12, 2010

Un-birthday?

What do you call a day that you celebrate your baby’s LIFE a year later when they aren’t even here to celebrate it? An un-birthday party? I don’t know, there’s no cake smashing or present opening. Apparently my idea for a ‘birthday party’ was morbid. It was my attempt for normalcy. An attempt to make a life no longer here be recognized.  I wanted something like this, but now I am second guessing it. Is this the type of thing only people that have lost their child is normal? Maybe that’s the case. It’s frustrating.UpAndAwayBabyShower Birthday party invitations that Danielle made for her son Wyatt. She actually gave me the idea for Nolan’s party. I didn’t think twice about it at the time.

I never got to use the baby shower invites that were made. It’s something that really bothers me. I know it’s silly, but I wish I got to experience those things. At the least, I was hoping on making some invitations, pick a theme, plan a party and to invite people over to celebrate our little miracle’s life.

Am I crazy? Delusional? What?!

What are people really saying? Are they all about it to my face in protection of my emotions? Most likely, I should know better by now. I’ve kind of gotten used to that. They don’t want to hurt your feelings when it comes to something so personal and emotional to someone.

I wanted a ‘party’, a get together, a day  that family & friends get together to remember a life that was so important to us. A life that should be here right now. A life that was told would never be. A life that I live for now. A life that I fight daily for people to remember. I just wanted a celebration of that life.

I am so sick of feeling abnormal. I am told I am so strong and blah blah blah. But I promise you, I’m really not. I just do what I have to do to get through each day, sometimes with a smile and sometimes with anger. I know it looks like I am strong from the outside, but I am also living one of those nightmares. I can’t run from it, I can’t play hide and go seek and it’s to big to put in my back pocket and return to deal with another day. I have to go one, live my life. Sometimes I do want to pretend like I could never live my life, because a year ago, I would have said the SAME thing to someone in my spot.

“Your so strong, I don’t know how you do it.”

For the past 10 months, I have done what I could to keep my mind sane, my emotions somewhat under control with class and share Nolan’s story with pride. I know I am not the only person out there in this world struggling with something upsetting. But in MY world, it feels like the end sometimes.

So when I get excited about something   regarding Nolan’s life only to be shot down, it breaks me apart, makes me feel excluded and it just reminds me once again, we’re not those type of parents.

So in all honesty, I am kind of embarrassed. I have been going around saying how excited I am to plan Nolan’s birthday party. How happy I was that people were hopefully going to come together and celebrate his little life. And now, all I can think about is what people REALLY think. It’s not a true birthday….

I guess it was just an excuse to feel normal.

We will do something, I guess it will be real small, no invitations, no balloons. I’ll bring him a cake with one candle. Just family and a lot of memories of Nolan.

Maybe this whole post is over reacting and I am just overly emotional this morning. In all reality, this is about us. Our family of 3 and what we both want and feel is right.

29 comments:

Brittany said...

Ashley,

I read Danille's post when she first put it up awhile back and I thought the whole thing was a great idea. There is nothing wrong with celebrating your son's birthday and I hope that you don't let some ignorant remarks take that away from you.

If you want invitations, you should have them. (I thought your shower invites were adorable, by the way) I think that Danielle's invites were so sweet and there was nothing morbid or weird about them. Nolan was a special little guy, and he should have a special birthday. I can understand as a mother why this is so important to you.

You should do it the way that YOU want - for you and Chris & Nolan. I wish I could be there to celebrate Nolan's amazing life with you. {Hugs}

Cecilia said...

I think you should do whatever you want to celebrate! You are his Momma and you're allowed to celebrate the way you want, with the people you want.

We have 16 days until Ethan's first birthday, and I've gone through the emotions you've described. I'm still not completely sure what it will look like, but we will do things to honor his life.

Best wishes to you!

Cecilia

Mackenzie's Mommy said...

I plan on throwing a birthday party for Mackenzie. I plan on only doing so this year and then keeping it low key after that. I want to throw her a party and have pictures to put in her scrapbook. I don't care who thinks it's morbid. I'm not pretending she's here, I'm celebrating her life although it was short. Just invite those that can be supportive and leave the rest out. Nolan definitely deserves to be remembered. He was here. He matters.

Brooke said...

It is not morbid! You are his momma and you want to keep his precious memory alive! Do what you want, and don't worry about what other people think about it. At the end of the day he's YOUR son and its HIS birthday.

belle said...

i understand this. i would like to say "do what you want" i would like to say "do what you need to be normal" but since you were honest, i'll be honest.... i KNOW these thoughts you're fighting. i too want a party for my baby! i DO, I DO! i DO think it's normal for us, i DO think we have a right to do what it takes to find happiness where we can but other people DO look at us funny, they DON"T understand! and because of that i ALWAYS second guess what i say and do. not because i cow to THEM, but because i treasure my babies that are not here and i don't want to share them with someone who doesn't feel the same way....

i hope you do have the love and support that you need to have this precious party. it is a wonderful way to honor and treasure nolan! my heart will be right there with you what ever you decide! and i think the invitations are LOVELY!!!!!!

shame on the people around us who judge and kick us when we are down. i hope they never walk in our shoes to learn just how hurtful it is.

maybe this thought will help some??? i'm thinking of having a baby shower for the local pregnancy care center in honor of my daughter's 1st birthday in heaven. it will be in her honor but something that "they" can wrap their thoughts around that is "useful", if that makes any sense????

hugs and prayers for you today. i'm sorry someone has hurt you. you are an amazing mommy who loves her son deeply! what better reason to celebrate a precious life?

Jennie said...

I think you should do whatever you want to celebrate your son. You can make your own normal! I don't know what people have said to you regarding having a birthday party and I do not have kids, so this is just my own opinion, but do what is best for you and your husband! Thinking of you during this difficult time, sweetie!

magdalina said...

I told Aidan that every year we will celebrate his birthday. Our babies were born and we need to celebrate that. We need to celebrate the life that we brought into this world.

Lisette said...

Ashley,

Don't worry about that other's may think. It is normal to feel what you feel.
Nolan is so special and you should celebrate his life the way you want. Whether you celebrate it with just your husband or you have a big party with family and friends. It is important to do this, I know I was also feeling like you.
I have decided that this first year we are going to celebrate Sami's life surrounded with family and friends. The years to come will be very low key.
I really do not care if people think it is morbid. Whoever wants to come will and I know that we will be surrounded by the people who truly care and love my little Sami. Follow your heart, I know you will make the best decision for you, Chris and Nolan. I will be with you in spirit, ((HUGS)).

Antoinette said...

Ashley I think it is a GREAT idea!! I just got my Alice in Wonderland DVD yesterday and watched it...i had started to collect disney movies while i was pregnant to have something to share with Alyssa from when I was a kid...well i have an idea, you dont have to do it but you reminded me of this with the title of your post...perhaps you can play the tea party song from the movie "its a very merry unbirthday for you"....it would be nice to have people singing it or children hearing this...it would just be something silly to perhaps break up the sadness of what that day really means to us moms...people are (curse words) so dont concern yourself with their thoughts...i struggle with this because i swear people are saying its her fault etc...i never will have a reason, and i feel like they think im making it up...whether or not there are reasons these babies are gone and we try and find ways to keep them alive, and what you are doing is a great thing...he is YOUR son and you should be proud of this...i hate when they say im strong too, like should i be weak so this wouldnt have happened to me, is that how we get chosen to have this cause we are strong? NO its not that we are strong we just love our babies....Good luck with the party, the invite is really cute :)

cathy said...

We throw parties all throughout the year, every year, to celebrate important dates. A time to reflect on memories, and have friends and family together to do so with. We celebrate engagements, and anniversaries, holidays, CHRISTMAS-- the celebration of the birth of JESUS over 2000 years ago!!! We celebrate the things that are MOST important to us. When would this not be considered a date that is not important to you?! This date changed your life, and made you a mother!

A birthday is to celebrate the day a mother gives birth, the start of a new life.... not dwell that his physical body is no longer with us.

I only see it as natural to bring the ones you love together to remember something and someone so important. I hope these thoughts help.

valerie said...

Hugs Ashley. I wanted to tell you that I was reading the Family Circle this month and they had a page of nautical themed clothes and accessories. Guess who I thought of? My blog pal Ashley, Nolan's mommy. I wanted to send it to you or at least hopefully you can find it. I find it very interesting that I thought of you a person I have never met, although I feel as if I know you through your blog. Regarding the first birthday of Nolan, do what makes you feel good, do not worry about what people think! BIg or small, fancy or simple, do what you know you want to do! This is healthy for you...a way to grieve and do so in a physical way. sending you hugs and strength for you. Valerie

Aspen said...

There is nothing wrong with celebrating the miracle that IS Nolan. So many lives were touched deeply by your tiny little man! Taking time to truly remember that is a wonderful idea. We should all hope that our lives are worth a celebration once we've passed on.

Tammy said...

Don't second guess yourself. I think a party is a great idea and I think it's far from morbid. Why shouldn't you invite people to celebrate the miracle known as Nolan? I say go all out! Just because he isn't here in the physical sense now, doesn't mean you can't have one helluva birthday party!

ericabaugh said...

I have never lost a baby and so I can't understand the pain that you are feeling or the emotions involved with dealing with your grief surrounded by people who do not, BUT I think celebrating your son's birthday is very important. It is a meaningful day to you and a hard day and you should be surrounded by the people you love. Also, your son had a life and it is important to remember his life. And his life should be remembered by his parents and family just like everyone else's is. As I said, I can't understand your pain, but I still think it's a good idea. And if I was your friend or family member I would absolutely be there with a small token to remember him by. My friend lost her son when he was 30 days old and I am planning to send her a mother's day card and a birthday card because these are significant events that should be remembered, as should her sweet boy. Do not change the way you celebrate your son's life to conform to what you think you should do, do what feels right to you.

Jen J. said...

I think it's a wonderful idea to commemorate little Nolan's life. I think your close family & friends would absolutely be there to celebrate his life with you!

Maddie said...

I don't think there's anything weird or morbid about having a party for Nolan's first birthday. I know other angel Mum's that have done same thing. If people have a problem with it, I think they should just keep it to themselves and think hard about what's the best way to support you and your DH through a day that's going to have some difficult parts.

I've seen an invite somewhere that asks for donations to be made to a specific charity as a way of remembering their child's birthday. And someone else who buys a present for their child each year and asks a charity to pass it onto a child that's the same age their child would be.

Here's some pictures from a first birthday for very special twins - Charlotte and Marianne
http://www.kathi.bohemianmagic.com/twins_bday_1.html

Do what you want to for celebrating Nolan's birthday and I'll be thinking of you, your family, and Nolan.

Maddie x

Maddie said...

Oh - and people call me strong all the time as well, I don't like it either.

Alison said...

Do whatever you feel is right for you and your husband! He is your son, so celebrate him!
My husband and I are going away for the weekend of Moira's first birthday, May 8th. It's also Mother's Day weekend and then she died on the 11th.
We are going to Cape Cod to a house that we usually rent in the summer for a week. The first summer we were there, I was pregnant with Moira, but didn't know it yet. Her name means "star of the sea." So, I feel connected to her there. We will let balloons go on the beach and just be together.
{{{HUGS}}} to you as we both get ready to celebrate our baby's birthdays.

cmatsukes said...

Dont worry what other people say do what is right for you. Maybe a memorial at church would be nice too and celebrate with your family and close friends at a dinner or something like that. I dont think it is morbid at all if it feels right for you do it. Dont worry about the others at christmas they all did not want to read a poem I found about my first christmas in heaven but I read it anyway it was in my house my party and my time for my mom so do what you want. It made me feel good to do it. So that is my thoughts. HUGS Aunt Chris.

Maggie said...

I think that's a wonderful, sweet idea Ashley and not morbid at all! It's a chance to celebrate his little life and remember him. I thought that invite was so sweet. Truthfully, I would probably feel the same way. I would focus on what people thought way too much rather than doing just what I wanted and felt was right. I say, he's your son, you celebrate him as much as you want! :) Easy to say, sometimes hard to do. But I think a small party would be a wonderful idea. XO

kim said...

I've not lost a baby, but if I were to ever receive an invite like this I would be honored to attend. If people care about you they will want to participate. I think it would be a whole lot easier for those who care to attend a gathering, than to pass the day silently. Wouldn't it be more awkward to do nothing than to say "he was here, we love him forever, wont you join us in remembering his special life". I think it's especially touching when people are able to make a charitable act come out of it too. Hope you are able to find a way to spend his day that honors your love for him.

LK said...

I'm sad that anyone made you feel bad about how you wanted to celebrate Nolan. He's YOUR son - do what feels right, and to heck with anyone else.

Sar(Mrs.Teddy) said...

Ashley, I am not sure if something was said or if these are just thoughts you are feeling; but when I first opened this blog and saw that invite I thought it was beautiful. The first thought that came to my head was how touching and just perfect. I think you shoudl do it. I especially love the idea of a walk in Nolan's honour and a balloon release. I think havign everyone dress in red and blue and doing a nautical theme would really make it complete. You are his momma and of course you need to celebrate his sweet little life on his first birthday. Don't let anyone's ignorance take that away from you, you have had enough taken away from you already. hugs, Sar

Nikki B said...

Not morbid. Beautiful. He is your baby and you celebrate each moment you can. Praying.

Saffy said...

I think it's a lovely idea ;)

EvansMommy said...

It is a wonderful idea, and I absolutely love the invitation you posted. It is just PERFECT! Please do not let ignorant people take this away from you. If it is what you want, do it! You are his mama. He is your pride and joy! You should celebrate his precious life however you wish.

All my love and prayers.

Holly said...

I had a big party for Carleigh and I put a lot of planning into it and it turned out how I wanted. The only downfall was that some people didn't consider our feelings when they told us they'd come and didn't show up. That upset me. But I realized that the party wasn't about them it was about my daughter and those who didn't come lost out on something very special they can never get back.

Angie said...

We're still awhile away from Olivia's birthday, but except for that, I could have written this.

I think that you should do whatever YOU feel like and not worry about what people are thinking. I know that's easier said than done.

Pam said...

I always thought that birthday's should be the mother's celebration....that the mother should get gifts instead, or in addition to, the person whose birthday it is. After all, it was she who gave BIRTH to that BIRTHday boy or girl. F the haters, do what you want! It's an important day in your life story and as Nolan's parents, you and Chris should celebrate it, commemorate it, remember it, etc. however you see fit. <3