Sunday, July 24, 2011

July 23, 2011: Birth of Julian's song!


NO, not birth of Julian....

... just his birth song!

I have been procrastinating writing his birth song for a while now for a couple of reasons.  One, my experience with Bella's song eclipses anything I could have ever imagined in terms of how powerful or poignant a song can be.  I had the honor of singing that song every night to her momma's belly, at the moment of her birth, through every operation and hospital procedure, through a thousand lonely moments in ICUs, and finally, the moment she went to heaven.  I don't mean this the wrong way, but how do you top that?  I was intimidated to even go anywhere near my lucky yellow note pad where Bella's song is still penciled in on the top page, with Providence the song right behind it.

The other reason was much smaller... between Ali's song and Bella's song, I had this thought, "What else do I say to my new child I haven't already used in either previous song?"  I am not the world's most prolific songwriter, so I was worried I didn't have enough unique words of advice in me.

So, tonight, I enlisted Ali and mommy's help, and we all wrote the song together, as a family.  I also switched things up by writing it on the ukulele instead of guitar.  I thought that would help separate it in my mind from comparing it to either prior song.  We were all sitting at the dinner table, and I ran and got my uke and my lucky pad of paper.

Sure enough, it had *one piece of paper left.*  No joke.

We picked the tune that Ali and I wrote together a few years ago that is a mashup of Tiny Bubbles, and our own creation, and used that as the skeleton to hang the new words from.  This is a useful way to write a gift song for someone if you are hung up about writing a melody and chord progression from scratch.  Don't bother, unless you are trying to get it published.  Then, you'll need permission!

With great input from Ali and mommy, the tune was finished, and I played it through from beginning to end.

As soon as I finished, Ali chimed in, "That was too LONG."

To which I replied, "That's funny because I was just thinking that it was too short."

To which the wisest of the three, Angelique, said, "That means that it's probably just right."

And that is how it went down.

I'll record a scratch version of it soon enough, but suffice that Julian got his birth song played to the belly tonight just like old times.  When I finished, I reached out and put my hand on the belly, and it was vibrating with energy.  I have been a little distant from holding and touching the belly to date, and tonight, I really gave Julian some love for the first time.

This grieving-while-parenting-while-preparing thing has not been easy for me.  I know that what I am about to say is not "true" (just like most fears) but I am going to write a little about my fears, hoping that by seeing them and sharing them, they dissipate a little...

I fear that when Julian comes, I am going to forget about Bella just a little bit, by virtue of how present a new baby will require me to be.  I don't want her to get squeezed out by the newest edition.  She's not here to compete for attention like a living sibling is.

I am also afraid of feeling joy again for a baby.  I know she wants me to... but it's like the age old conundrum widows face regarding re-marrying or even dating after the death of a spouse.  How do I let myself feel happy again and have those feelings again for another?

As we get closer and closer to Julian's birth, a lot of what I would call - for a lack of a better label -  PTSD over Bella's birth is surfacing with greater frequency and intensity.  I had to be strong - stronger than ever in my life - when Bella was born, and I don't consider myself that strong a guy.  Her birth scared me more than I could ever say.  Hence, I am scared to even walk into that same hospital again.  That last trip took so much out of me.  I'm afraid of going back.  I almost wish we were delivering in a different hospital, just to help with ameliorating the trauma.

Please don't get me wrong.  I am not without gratitude for this opportunity.  I am simply not without fear either.  I know that we all live with fear, and that it is a normal, natural part of being alive, and being a human being.  It's just that the past two years were full of a bit more fear than any other two years in my life, and I am still reeling from it internally.  I wish I wasn't.  I wish I was stronger, but I'm not.  I'm a scared little kid inside a 38 year old body, trying to keep it all together.

What am I gonna do?  Keep moving.

God night.


  1. Tim - you will never, ever forget Bella. Life will fall into place as it should when Julian arrives - you'll see. This is probably one of those proverbial between a rock and a hard place times that you just have to accept for what it is. So glad Julian has a song now - and so glad that Angelique keeps you and Ali on center! Love you guys, Terri

  2. I learned about EB from a friend, a home health nurse who was caring for a little girl with EB. That little girl died just hours before her baby brother was born. I was so horrified by this story... how could the parents possibly endure the worst pain any parent could experience at the same time as one of life's greatest joys, the birth of a new child? This story haunted me for days. In fact my Googling to learn more about this disease is how I found your journal and I have been reading it ever since. You are an amazing and inspiring family. Thank you for sharing and writing of your experiences. I suspect you have impacted many lives in ways you cannot imagine.

  3. Awww this is so sweet. I'm so glad Julian has a song and you can sing it to him now. Can't wait to hear it. Best of luck to you all as you prepare... Much love from MN!

  4. Worry about nothing pray about everything. Always sounds so simple but is one of my biggest struggles. Know I am praying and that your fears are just, aren't we all children of God? :)

  5. I think, like Bella.....Julian was given to you for a reason.
    I really, really, really wish your Dr would allowme to photograph his entrance like Ang and I talked about. It'd on my calendar anyway, and will be there with camera to take his first pics when you are ready ( or at home on call since I'm so close!)
    Lots of love as that day gets closer...

  6. I felt the same way...3 times...the first two I wasn't worried too much, but with Joey I was worried, not that we'd forget Garrett, but that we'd think about him less and less each day. I feel guilty when I talk to others about my kids with EB and only mention Sami and Joey. Sometimes its easier not to have to explain every time, but of course I feel guilty for not mentioning Garrett. In someways it gets easier, but in other ways it gets harder.

  7. All the fear and worries in the world won't stop Julian from arriving and capturing your heart. As it should be! I am sure Julian will have his own important lessons to teach his new family about healing and finding peace. And I know you will never let Bella's memory die and Julian will grow up knowing about BOTH of his special big sisters.

    It will be ok! I know I haven't been through it but I also know it will be ok. Amazing, even.


  8. So glad you wrote the song and it's awesome Ali was involved! Makes it different than the other two songs and gives it a unique touch. Looking forward to hearing it -post it as soon as you can!

    What to do? Exactly what you are doing. Recognize it, talk about it, write about it, pray about it and have your blog community pray about it.

    It's going to be ok. It's going to be ok. It's going to be ok!!!!!

    Healing is hard. Who in the heck ever gets over losing a child?

    Not for a second will you ever forget Bella. You know that. Being busy and happy with your other two children could never ever in a million years cause you to forget the love and happiness Bella brought.

    Tim - she loved her family. You are honoring her by your life as a family. You know that.

    Hey! You are going to have a boy! HEY! Ali gets to be a big sister again! AND you are ready with the song.

    What a blessing! What a Bella Blessing!

    So wonderful. It's going to be such a beautiful moment when you meet Julian. So cool, ya know?

    Prayers and joy are with your family.

    I forgot - when is the due date???


  9. Of course you won't forget her! You will need to tell Julian all about his big sister and that will keep her alive in all of your hearts! Blessings on all of you!