I remember Brady John every day (and pretty much all day). We all have ways to carve out time for the ones we love each day, whether those people are with us or not. I visit Brady’s grave most days. I look at photos of him (my phone’s lock screen and background are all Brady). I think about him. A lot. These things have become a part of my routine. Sometimes, it’s really nice to do something special in Brady’s memory, something out of the ordinary.
October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month, so it seems fitting that we’d get a very special memory of Brady this month. Brady John Bear (finally!) arrived! I placed an order with Molly Bears back in April, knowing that the wait would be 6-8 months. I found myself consistently checking their website, hoping I would see the status of our bear change from “ordered” to “in production”. That finally happened in September, and I couldn’t wait to see what our little bear would look like.
I’ve been really good about going to the gym and getting back into a good routine, and tonight I just don’t feel like going. To make myself feel less guilty about not going, I am going to do something productive and share something long overdue. Brady’s memorial stone arrived just after Brady’s half birthday, and since his 8 month just passed, it’s about time that I share a little more about it.
It’s hard to put into words why Faith’s Lodge is such a comforting and healing place. On the surface, it’s a beautiful, picturesque setting. It’s pretty much in the middle of nowhere, making it incredibly peaceful. But there’s so much more to it than that. Their mission is to provide a peaceful escape for families to refresh their minds and spirits while spending time with others who understand what they are experiencing. Their slogan – Faith’s Lodge: A Place Where Hope Grows.
The answer ended up being 28, and it wasn’t even close. Because Brady’s due date and my birthday were so close together, we wondered how old I would be when I became a mom. Continue reading “28 or 29?”
The first piece of clothing we bought Brady John was a onesie to help us announce his upcoming arrival. At the time that we ordered it, we didn’t know that Brady was a boy, so I ordered a cheery yellow-striped onesie and figured it would work whether we had a boy or a girl. We chose “Schmitz Just Got Real” as a funny play on words. When you have a child, shit does get real and we thought this was a fun way to share that things would never be the same as they were before.
We drove over to my mom’s house in order for her to take the picture that I would post on Facebook to announce my pregnancy. Jeff and I planned that I would look super excited in the photo, and he would put on his best nervous face. I think we did pretty well.
Of course I’d miss it by a day. I’m just not that organized, and I guess I never noted the exact date in my mind. August 8th, 2016 was the day that we found out I was pregnant with Brady. One year and one day ago.
I might not have burned that date into my mind, but I do have a lot of memories of that day. I remember driving home from work, noting that I was out of pregnancy tests and deciding to stop and get some. Tomorrow would be the day that I could take a test after the two-week wait. After the first couple of months of just winging it, we’d gotten strategic this month. The pressure was on.
The backyard at our new house is amazing. First off, we have an actual yard (buh-bye townhouse), but more than that, it just doesn’t feel like we are very close to other people. Our yard isn’t even a 1/2 acre, but I guess the space must be used well. When we’re outside at night, looking up, Jeff and I have both commented that it feels like you’re at a cabin. The starry sky is vast and stretches out around you in all directions. Looking up at the night sky, I have always felt a sense of peace and calm.
It’s hard to believe that we should have a 6 month old at home. Not a day goes by that I don’t imagine what Brady would be like, and what milestones he would be hitting. I googled “3 month milestones” (with Brady being a micro-preemie, his adjusted age would be 3 months) and laughed when I saw that one of them was “supports upper body with arms while lying on stomach”. Our 4 day old micro-preemie did that… well, for at least a couple of seconds. Those other babies must be some serious slackers. (You can read that story here if you missed it) Maybe adjusted age wouldn’t have been much of a factor with our little badass. That’s just one of the many “maybes” that I’ll never be able to answer.
The day Brady passed away, my parents and sister came over to see me and Jeff. I know that Jeff and I did not want any visitors, but it was one of those times where they said they were coming over and we knew there would be no way to stop it.
I can’t remember much of what was said, as I was in some serious shock, but I do remember my dad telling us a story of a dream he had right after his mom passed away. He and his mom were very close, and my dad was heartbroken when she suddenly passed. Shortly after she’d passed, my grandmother came to him in a dream and embraced him. He asked her to come back and she said she couldn’t and that she was where she needed to be. The dream was so vivid that my dad could actually physically feel her embrace.