Friday, February 10, 2012

All the little siblings...

Sometimes it seems like every one of the moms I met while pregnant and a new mom are having second kids. I see photos of the little ones, brand new, and all scrunched up. They are super cute. Then I see their toddler siblings, looking in awe; smiling, laughing, poking, squeezing, trying to hold them. I think about how we so looked forward to Saoirse having a sibling. She would have been a great big sister. I can just see her coming up and wanting to help - feed the baby, bring the baby a blanket, put on the little socks, wrap him/her up, put him/her down for a nap. I can imagine she would just look out for him/her and be sure that he/she was ok. She always wanted to help, and she was always mindful of what was around and what we needed. Somehow she knew that she was supposed to be kind and helpful to others. She was quite the little sharer, and always liked to make sure everyone she played with got to share her toys. 
I always wanted my kids to be a little farther apart in age (Mike wanted one right after the other it seems). I was determined to have one at least somewhat consistent on the potty before I brought out more diapers. I'm sure we would have compromised on that at some point. When I got sick, we were resolute in the fact that I would have to wait at least two years before getting pregnant again. That way I would be out of the highest risk zone for relapse, and we hopefully wouldn't find ourselves having to make a nasty decision. When Saoirse got sick, we knew that we didn't want to put our energy anywhere else but towards her. We knew that if we could get through treatment without distractions, and could focus all our energy on her, she would be better for it. We were focused, and it didn't bother me that we had to wait to have our next baby. 
But now, I am slapped in the face with the realization that not only do we still have to wait for my health, but we will not be bringing a new baby home to his/her sibling. Our next baby will be a first. He/she will be the oldest living sibling, and will therefore have those responsibilities. He/she will not be our first baby, but will be raised as such in the sense that he/she will get all the attention, all the toys, his/her own room. That baby will not benefit from knowing Saoirse. Knowing the strength and goodness that she was every day. Knowing how hard she fought, yet how happy she was. Knowing just how amazing it can be to live, even though your body is destroying you from the inside. He/she will not have her to look up to each day, to model him/herself after, to follow around and learn by example. That child, that hasn't even been put into practical idealism, will never know the most beautiful person I have ever met. That child doesn't exist yet, and I already feel bad for him/her - for what he/she will miss. How will we tell him/her about Saoirse? How will we be able to convey what she meant and what she stands for? How can we even fathom to share what we know of her with this new baby? I can't imagine that we can do her justice. 
So now, we wait. Wait for the all clear from my doctors. Wait for my body to be healthy and free of chemicals and toxins. Wait for our 24/7 job back. There is one thing for sure; the new baby's middle name will be "Saoirse." 

20 comments:

  1. Oh, Kezia. I am so sorry. (Sending you hugs)

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  2. my cousin and his wife lost their first child a few hours or so after he was born. they were prepared for it -as much as you can be- so it wasn't a shock. a lot of problems found in utero gave a grim prognosis for survival...but still, they had time to think on it. they had decided to, and did, take photos of him with everyone. they also decided to have more children and that they would be aware of their older sibling. but had no idea at the time how they would deal with that. this was about 10yr ago. she has had two boys since. those two boys know that they have an older brother. he may not be here, but he was the first born and he was their older brother. his memory is kept alive with them, via the parents. it's certainly not the same, but Saoirse is and always will be your first. she will be the elder sibling to your other child(ren). she will be a bright light to them, to learn of her and think about her and share memories of her with you.

    hang in there. i hope you get that all clear very soon.

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  3. I understand. Saoirse was your first child. Her new siblings will learn about her after he/she grows up. I know it is sad that she will not be around with her new siblings in the future, but they "know" about her when hearing the stories and seeing the pictures of her. They will probably feel they know her and feel her presence. I think it is nice to give Saoirse's name for her future sibling's middle name.

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  4. Although I've not met your family, I've heard your story through a friend. My heart breaks for you, because no one can understand what it is like to lose a child if they haven't lost a child (I lost a sibling to cancer). However, there is hope - it will get better. It doesn't seem so right now, but it will. And your new baby will be a new blessing. You will tell him/her about Saoirse when you are ready (I have a little sister who was three when my 14 year old sister died of cancer. The time will come for you to share about Saoirse's life). You will find the words to convey what she meant and what she stands for, because God will provide you those words and that inspiration. You will have the strength to share what you know and your LOVE for Saoirse will do her justice. You have suffered a great loss and while you cannot change it, you can allow it to inspire you to live on with the same courage, happiness and love Saoirse had. In a way, she will live on through you. Be positive, God is on your side and loves you dearly. You will get through it. With love, N.

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  5. First off I think it is awesome you want to have more kids. You will and you guys will be awesome parents. As for how you will share Sairose with them. Just think when they are old enough to understand you can show them the Blogs, videos, facebook, the CNN stories, everything. I think by seeing that and reading all the comments about how she made 1000's of us better people and "aware" of childhood cancers they will fully understand the remarkable little light we know of as SAIORSE. How proud they will be of her and you. How proud they will be to share her name. XO Julie

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  6. Kezia,

    I understand what you're saying about that your new child/children won't have Saoirse there with them to play with, to be taken care of by her, to mimic, to look up to in the traditional sense, etc. (And I agree that Saoirse would have been an awesome big sister and a great helper.) And it's OK to grieve that loss for you and for Mike and for her future siblings.

    But Saoirse will always be your first child and Saoirse will still be his/her older sister. She/he will learn about her through pictures, videos, stories about her, the impact she has had on so many (even those who never got to meet her), etc. I believe Saoirse will still be a part of your daily life and that he/she will just know. My husband was adopted and if you ask him when he found out, he says he just always knew (adopted as a baby). I think this is how it will be with Saoirse's siblings - they will just have always known they have an older sister who was kind and loving and brave and beautiful (soul and physical) and who helped change the world for so many people. And they can look up to her in terms of her spirit and the lessons so many of us learned through the stories, pics, etc. you shared about her.

    And I agree with Julie that the older her sibling/siblings get and the more they learn, the more and more proud they will be - to be her sister/brother, to have you and Mike as parents, to be a Fitzgerald! :)

    And I agree with you that Saoirse was such a beautiful person - what a blessing to have known her and to be her mother.

    I'm sorry for your loss, Kezia.
    Lots of love,
    Courtney Rasey

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  7. Beautiful writing, Kezia. I think you will be able to have more than one children and will be able to teach them to be strong and brave like Saiorse. I know that every one of your will remember her and cherish her existence and carry out her dream and belief. I pray for your full recovery and wish you to have many children in great health!

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  8. This reminds me of a family I know who lost their beautiful 2 year old daughter, Chloe Rose Border, in a tragic pool accident. Months later they found out they were pregnant with another sweet baby girl, Amelia. I can tell you from watching that family that Amelia was the most wonderful blessing to them in their mourning. She is now 4 and absolutely LOVES her angel-sister. She talks about her frequently and even talks TO her. They are best friends even though one is gone. She believes her sister is in Heaven with Jesus and is excited for the day she will get to meet her. It's inexplicably beautiful! Chloe is as much a part of that family today as she was when she was with them. She isn't an idea, a notion, or a memory. She is a real, beautiful, wonderful person that is with them every day. They share Chloe with Amelia openly and lovingly. Just beautiful. I believe when you are blessed with Saoirse's sibling that all these concerns will melt away. He/she WILL have a big sister and they will know Saoirse through your love for her. :)

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  9. I am in your situation now. I lost my son to neuroblastoma last April, and I am now pregnant again. I wonder how I will tell this new child about his/her big brother - how wonderful he was. I get sad when I think about how we WON'T have Alexander there with us, to give kisses to the new baby, or to wear an "I'm the big brother" shirt or things like that.
    One day at a time - that is all we can do

    Nancy
    http://thecookiegal.wordpress.com/

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    1. Nancy sorry to hear, I lost my daughter Alexa in December and boy is life difficult. wanted to say God Bless you and your New Baby, that is such a joy to hear. You are so right, One day at a time, in my case right now, One moment at a time. Best Wishes!
      Darlene
      alexamariesanner.wordpress.com/

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  10. please know that Saoirse is with you always. She was the most beautiful baby. My heart is wounded by her early physical departure from all of us. I will be praying for you. With Love, Dawn

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  11. You are so thoughtful and are such a wonderful mother that although this baby will be the first in many respects I have no doubt that you will find a way to let this child know the love and spirit of Saoirse. And this child will be be one of the luckiest for having such a great family.

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  12. Kezia, I've been reading your blog and your husband's blog for a long time and have been following your story. It gives me such inspiration. This is the first time I've felt compelled to comment and respond to your writing. I was born after my eldest sibling died as a baby and I never got to meet him. However, I am so so so connected to him. In a strange way, I believe I am being watched over by him. I feel his presence all around me. I believe he is my guardian angel and when I need strength I literally pray to him. (I'm not very traditionally religious). When I went off to college, when I was homesick at summer camp as a child, when I moved across the country as a young adult - I asked him to keep me out of trouble, to give me comfort, to make sure I was brave and good. I still feel him around me some nights in my apartment. My mother told me about him and what happened to him when I was a very young girl - and sometimes I wished she hadn't. It seemed as soon as I learned about "where baby's come from" I simultaneously learned about "how babys can die". Later as a teenager I was angry that I learned about him so young. But maybe I wouldn't feel this way now if she hadn't told me then. [Parents are human, they just do the best they can. And I am not a parent yet. Who knows when the "right time" to tell a child is? No one.] My mom has worn a necklace around her neck every day of my life that has his name inscribed at the top, then my living brother's name, then my name. I believe that because my brother and I soaked up love in the same womb (the same primordial stew, if you will), and are of the same genes - that we are of the same fabric, the same skin, the same lashes, the same laugh. I don't believe in reincarnation exactly, but I believe I am a piece of him and he is a piece of me. I hope your new child(ren) feel similarly because he is a joyous brother to have and I adore him with all of my heart. I know it is possible to feel a connection that is beyond this earth with an older sibling you've never met in-person. Stay strong.

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  13. Wow, I don't think any of your posts or Mikes hit me like this one. And that is saying a lot because I bawl like a baby over most of them!

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  14. Thankfully, you have this blog that he/she can someday read and get a glimpse into the beautiful life of Saoirse...

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  15. Kezia and Nancy aka:Cookiegal,

    God love you both. Hang in there I hope you two can speak as I feel in my heart that since Nancy has experience the same loss and is currently experiencing the next chapter in her life that she may be a great oak tree for you. You both are in my prayers.

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  16. Oh wow, what you and your family have been through. I found you through Circle of Moms, as both of our blogs are up for the top 25. I also lost a daughter, the pain is just overwhelming and I can't imagine the battle you have been fighting of your own as well. My youngest son never knew his sister either and I hate thinking that he will grow up never knowing her. Wishing you lots of strength.

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  17. Kezia, I can feel what you are saying, straight from the heart. I have Joshua who is 3 and wanted him and Alexa to have each other so badly. Before I had Alexa I had this fear that Joshua would not have a sibling to grow up with and love. Their relationship was amazing, and now its up to me to keep it alive, since he is so young. But I also want to have a sibling, that is here on earth with Joshua, to grow and play. I pray it can be that way, but it is a fear, and also a fear that I will not be able to "do Alexa Justice" in explaining to her younger sibling how fearless, beautiful and extraordinary their angel sister is, and the unexplicable joy she brought to us. I am so scared Joshua is going to forget what it was like to love her, hold her hand and act like a little Daddy to her. But My fears are being melted away, because I see everyday, endlessly, Joshua bats his lashes at Lexi's pictures, talks to her out loud, dreams about her and tells me we will see her again one day. I will say to you, when you have another baby, the love that you have for Saoirse will be "built in" to your new baby, remember, You, your husband, Saoirse, and any other babies you are blessed with are all one unit, so tightly bound by love and God that love shines through everything, you will set the tone for bringing Saoirse into your new childs life, and I believe you will do it SO WELL! just look at how you are bringing Saoirse and her love into strangers lives. Since My family is in your situation and I do have Joshua, I can tell you, the love you have strengthened and the love that will continue to bloom because of Saoirse is something special you could never explain to others who haven't been there, and You actually have more love now than ever, and it doesn't stop here.
    Darlene

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  18. when you have another beautiful child, Saoirse will be there to guide, love & cherish her sibling. she will be there for them spiritually, this i TRULY believe. they will have a bond unexplainable to anyone on earth. i am inspired by your strength and amazed with abilty to express through your blog... you are sooo going to be such an asset to others fighting this horrible fight, NB. I pray for you and your family & will forever be touched by your story;)

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