Thursday, November 4, 2010

I wish it wasn't so hard

We welcomed our fifth blessing on October 22nd 2010 at 12:31am, his name is Dillon Ray and he is adorable.

But there is always this hole in my heart, it can't be mended or filled. And lately I find myself almost panic stricken.

Not to the point I think I need serious therapy or anything just I wish it wasn't so hard. Since losing Ethan, loss has become so real to me.

I can be laying here with this perfect little new blessing and minutes later fear takes over, all the what if's. It's like sitting waiting for him to be ripped away from us.

Simple things like him gagging on milk, maybe his lips looks a little bluish(OMG what if he isn't getting enough oxygen, to me sleeping with him because I can't stand knowing that in the middle of the night he could quit breathing or lord forbid sids happen. Not like him in my arms would prevent any of that from happening. But yet it allows me to feel somewhat in control and like I'm doing my best to protect him.

I just wish loss didn't ampilify this fear of loss so much. It's not just the new baby it's all my kids. If they go away on vacation I have a few brief moments of painc of all the what if's.

I wish people understood that yes I know how ver VERY blessed I am to have 4 boys at home with me, whom for now I get to watch grow and blossom. But that the fear that comes with a loss is so crazy and overwhelming. I think for most parents who have lost a child, there is a constant fear that something will happen to one of our other kids, to the new baby when we have one.

And for me after Ethan I was petrified to let my kids and husband go anywhere because what if something happened to all of them, lord knows I think Id dig my own grave.

I just wish it wasn't so hard and that others understood while yes Im basking in total love, faith, apperciation of life fear is so very real and its like its lurking around the corner waiting to get me.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Continued Mothering

Today was I going through some other blogs of parents who have lost children and came across the term "continued parenting", that in which parents of lost children get instead of parenting.

We do not get the reward of a kiss, I love you, mending scrapes and cuts. But rather we get to continue parenting the memory of our child.

I loved the term and I got to thinking about it. Once we lose children we tend to lose ourselves even if just for a few. Trying to find a place in this world where we fit in because now we have no physical reminder to others. We feel abadoned by the world often because we are lost as to what is ok, how much outward grief is ok or is accepted by society.

But we still can very much have a continued parenting to our child however we see fit. Sharing our story, making memories by having our childs name written all over the world, writing a book, dedication in making movement from a taboo society with infant loss to a place where true healing begins with the first step of people accepting it does happen and needs to change, and the attitude of baby loss being not acceptable to talk about. Speechs, seminars, events to remember our angels without shame or guilt.

Some people more so than other's. I think when Stephanie said something along the lines of it's no different than the different parenting styles parents have with living children probably struck me the most. It's absolutely no different. As a society we have so many different roles and ways to parent our children. Whether it be parents who baby wear, let their infants cry it out, breastfed, bottle feed, co-sleep etc. We are parent's of angels have that same right to be accepted on how we continue mothering our babies.

I love to talk about Ethan and sometimes yes I still cry, somedays I am fine around other children his age and other's I cannot even look at pictures of friends kids who would be 2 and a half like Ethan. I hope someday that the world and we ourselves accept this continued mothering/fathering of our angels and that it isn't so taboo anymore. More than anything I hope they find a way to stop stillbirth, infant loss from being so common place yet hidden.

I found myself getting upset hearing commercials the other day on breast cancer and the statics are nothing like baby loss, baby loss is double and yet you don't see commercials on kick counts, or ways to try to prevent or at least educate on the topic. But you see commercials about drugs, not to shake a baby etc. (these are all very important topics I am not saying that at all. I just wish it was just as important to raise awarness about baby loss as well)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Today 9 years later

I have always been sad about 9/11 and it has affected me as well as the rest of the world.

But something has changed in the past 2.5 years. Now I know the feeling of losing a child so the death of all those children no matter the age carries a little bit deeper in my heart.

Something about the anniversary I know parents semi dread. I will not compare their loss with mine at all because its a loss of a child and still as tragic. Whether their child was in the womb, at a daycare that day or a grown adult.

I'm sure hearing the words "I'm sorry we don't see any caradiac activity", and turning on the tv or getting that dreaded phone call, are no less painful.

So now 9/11 will always be a little harder than it was those years before simply because we walk in the same shoes now. Losing a child isn't just losing a child. It's losing dreams, the future.

I was reading someone else's blog talking about the pictures and such. And I agree for me I do have picture's of Ethan but if they are too painful I can chose to put them away. As parents dealing with the loss of a child, I know that for some of us the pictures are too much sometimes and others we need them.

But for these families today doesn't just mark the anniversary but the families of these children have to deal with the fact the tv, news, peoples facebook pages are more than likely covered with pictures bringing back all those painful memories. It may be healing but it may not be. For me on the anniversary I can chose to go and hide from the rest of the world and not worry about someone or everyone bringing up the death of my son.

9/11 is not about a day but the loss, of course all the strength that came from it too, but its about people. The people who lost children, spouses, parents etc.

I will never forget

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Life without him

Today I'm a mess
I'm sure I'll be better tomorrow
But today I'm a mess I miss him.

Oh the rollercoaster we must ride the rest of our lives when we lose a baby who was never given a chance, but yet our hearts held so many dreams and future plans for them and us.

I have been doing very well knowing the purpose in Ethan's life. He made me a better me. More compassionate than ever, more willing which I didn't know was possible to step out on a limb for another human being. Wanting more than anything to live my life giving back. Not only did we find his purpose by him leaving us way too soon, but I found my purpose in life.

But still it HURTS.

I have sat most of the morning just wanting to sob and it came and won't let up.

I know life without him will forever be this way, most days up now but days like today catch me off guard and knock me over. I miss him I don't like life without him.

It's been a rocky yet amazing 2.5 yrs but today I am sad that i don't get to watch him stomp his feet demanding something, or that I will never get to hear mommy I love you. I want to see him and what he looks like.

In two and a half years memories are fading and I don't remember what it felt like to hold him, caress his skin, his smell, how it felt to kiss his sweet pure face.

I hate knowing this is just one of those days I kinda get to do this grieving part alone, and it will just have to pass. I cannot make it go away I just need to ride it out. Knowing tomorrow is a new day and that I will still miss him but it won't feel so bad.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

So much thinking

I think I am on total brain overload. For a few weeks I keep thinking about what to write but then I just can't write it out for one reason or another. I'm afraid others will be offended by what I say, what if I say it wrong? I shouldn't be because it's hardly the case usually.

I keep thinking we haven't done a single family picture since Corbin was born and actualyl the last one we did was over 2 years ago. I think I realized why I hate doing them. Ethan cannot be in the pictures too and it feels like he is excluded I hate it. But my goal is to do it the boys all deserve to have those memories to look back on.

Then this pregnancy is going well but I often find myself sturggling to breathe so to speak. One minute I find brief happiness to the next total panic that something is wrong. One morning I realized I hadn't felt this little guy more all morning and I felt the complete anguish from the day we lost Ethan set in. I was almost in tears I was so afraid.

Then I have to tell myself to let go and know those moments not days but moments are all I can have for now.

I had my ob appt a week ago and I just bawled. Thank God my ob is as great as she is she just sits and hugs me and gets it. I just told her how afraid I am and that I am really struggling with bonding with this baby the way I normally would.

I love him of course and I cant wait until he is here but then painc sets in and I am afraid to get close because I don't want to hurt again by him being taken too soon from us.

I am almost 25 weeks and I havent done a single thing really to prepare. Which is fine in the fact I have tons of time still. But the reason I can't is fear.

I dread setting up the nursery and I don't want to have to take it all down if something happens. But it more of this jinxing feeling I have. I am afraid that if I set the room up, hang clothes, buy something that like that he will be taken from us.

I feel sad and angry that I am robbed of a semi normal pregnancy. I want more than anything to be happy, carefree, and joyful but all those what if's just nag the heck out of me.

It hurts to know more than anything I want to love and hope the way I used to. I feel like a horrible mom for admitting that I am having a hard time bonding when I know I want him more than anything, but fear is just in the way. I try my best to push it aside and tell myself there is no guarntee but it will be worth it.

Then I wonder how much more crazy another loss will make me. I don't think I can handle more than losing Ethan and the 4 miscarriage I have had.

Monday, June 14, 2010

My Earthly Angel

Our time is coming to a close and I guess I never imagined finding someone who would get me or at least try to understand me.
Granted I know you’re a counselor and that's your job, but you always went above and beyond.
I remember the first time walking into your office I thought for sure, "this lady will never understand me and I will be the crazy lady who lost a baby". But it’s not at all what happened. Instead you read a brief background about my loss and you’re cried with me.
I admit I was apprehensive at first because I had been hurt more times by others and I thought for sure the things you were saying or your tears were a show to suck me in so to speak.
But instead found out over time that it was your true heart and you were one of a kind.
You helped me get out of the horrible path I was facing more than once you reassured me several times that you didn't just say things because you had to that you indeed did care.
That you were touched by me as a person. That comment itself was probably one of the most treasured things I will carry with me. I hope someday to be as great of a person as you are. That I can be as authentic and genuine even in fear of being hurt.
I keep the relaxation cd with me in times of need, I read your letter when I feel desperate and need some cheering up.
I often find myself laughing at things you did to try to cheer me up or make me quit being so stubborn. And I also find myself in tears knowing that I yet have to experience another type of loss.
When I walked into your office a year and a half ago I didn't think it would be a long term thing at all, I never guessed I would form a relationship that would be worthwhile. I always thought I was inferior only to realize I am right there with you. I always frowned at the thought of a counselor and yet weekly, sometimes more than once a week to every other week I looked forward to seeing you.
You always kept right behind me even when I thought that I would be left behind in the process. There was always a hand held out even if it wasn’t visible.
I am going to miss chatting and spilling my weekly, bi-weekly crap to you. I am going to miss you in general and hope that I learn how to cope with this loss as well as I have learned to cope with Ethan being gone. It’s not a matter of can I? As much as it is I don't want to.
I know nothing good in life is easy but I wish this was easier. I wish I didn't have to say goodbye. And I still picture myself like a stubborn toddler stomping their feet, because it isn't fair and I don't want to say goodbye again.
To you I owe heart and I promise to make you proud.

Always and Forever,

Here and there

The two and a half year mark is quickly approaching fast. Its amamzing how quickly we forget somethings and yet those other things are forever engrained into our heads and hearts.

Twenty nine months ago I thought for sure I would never be the same, that my life was over or at least the one I had always known. And in retrospect yup it is. But its not over it just began that long ago.

I never thought I would be able to get past being angry and bitter. That I would always hate God and that I would just crawl into a hole and die. I think part of me did die but I also think a part of me was born again.

A part I never knew existed. A part where my heart was filled with a love and compassion beyond measure. Sometimes it hurts because I feel like my heart could burst.

I recently did a session for a family who lost their first baby and then I got a voicemail from a mom, who was giving me some information for a slide show and in her message her broke down upon the mention of her Angels name. It was then my heart felt that way. I knew what she was feeling the anguish, pain, raw heart wrenching pain at that. The longing for her little girl.

Then we chatted and it felt so good to be able to tell someone that it was ok to break down and be able to give some guidance on something that I don't think there really is a pratical book for.

Since a year ago I have been so honored to be apart of something bigger than I can ever achieve on my own, and forget all of that anyways. But without having lost Ethan I would have never been on this path.

And I have made some of the most amazing friends because of it. I am able to be more authentic with myself and others, and at the same time be able to help someone walking this lonely path.

So I guess what I am saying is I know that in the beginning of this journey everything was so confusing, raw, painful and seemed un-imaginable even though I was going through it. I thought it would never end and that I was going to suffocate from pain.

But it does change, it doesnt get easier. I could never use that word. Because saying my child is gone, dead, in Heaven etc will never get easier. Looking at the devestation, horror and loss for words in strangers faces will never get easier.

But it does channel differently. My arms will always ache, I will always have my rollercoaster down days, I will still sob and want Ethan here with us and there will always be a milestone we didnt get to watch with him.

No one could have prepared me to lose a child, not then and not even now being through it. But if someone would have told me that I would be where I am twenty nine months later, I would have looked at them like they were crazy and I would have shook my head in disbelief.

But it does and will happen. I was there and I am still here now.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Loss and Living

It has been a heck of a few days and sometimes like these I sit and reflect others I cry. Yesterday was a crying day for sure.

Someone wrote to me and said " I'm always thinking of you. You inspire me to press on. This journey through grief is tough. And sometimes I get tired of putting on a good face when I'm dying inside, because I'm afraid other will judge me. But you're not. Your Bold and Honest and Unfiltered and Raw. It's refreshing. I wish I had your strength."

I sat for a few minutes and let it sink it because I am not very good with compliments at all especially when I feel so weak myself. And I thought yeah I feel pretty special that other's can look at me this way, despite me feeling weak and sorry for myself.

Grief flat out sucks, its hard and it can really suck everything you have out of you. Most of the time and especially in the past I have been known to put on a brave face and say I'm ok when I feel I'm dying inside. Usually because of lack of healthy grieving I was allowed while growing up. I was always taught to supress emotion that it was no good and so I lived in fear of being told I was wrong or that other's might find me odd.

But with some things have been able to be raw, unfiltered, honest and I guess bold. Mostly with Ethan but now Im learning to be all of that with everyday things. But it's sucks sometimes because feel vunerable.

Even with Ethan and those things. I shared some pictures the other day and someone found it offensive and I was taken back because it was another photographer and I guess I never in a million years thought one of my own colleagues would judge and find my son in that way. So I was taken back and I wanted to go back to before I showed his pictures.

But realized I had a choice and that I didnt need that relatonship anymore. That I was an adult I was allowed to be hurt those were my feelings and I owned them. So I cried and I shared my feelings and moved on.

But sometimes being unfiltered, honest, and raw are so hard. Things like the relationship with my father. Here is a man who has walked in and out of my life from the age of 15. And every single time I fall back into being a little girl wanting a dad so bad that I have let him hurt me. Until recently.

I wrote to him and explained my feelings and how hurt I was and what t was I needed now and what i was willing to take. And I got a response that brought me down at first until procesed it and my friend was right. He can't be emotionally healthy so he couldn't have possibly given me the response that would have brought closure. But I was hurt by the lies and I was also taken back because all I ever wanted was to be heard and I felt so far from that.

But I guess maybe in his own way he did say he heard me or at least I hope so. But this is the hard part sticking to my word and not allowing him to bring me down and finally at almost 29 accepting the loss of my father.

He can't and probably won't ever be anykind of father to me. Not because he doesn't want to necessarly but because he doesn't know how. He has spent a lifetime in a very unstable, unhealthy enviroment. So I guess maybe it's best to know that the lack of a father verse having him as he is is better for me and for my kids.

I think I have accepted that for the most part it still hurts but more than anything the constant loss in my life is what hurts the most. It's knowing I was robbed I guess of so much growing up and how I turned out how I am I don't know.

So I guess thank you to my friend who said those kind uplifting words to me today I needed to hear it not even knowing I needed it. I guess being all of those things is good because I am inspiring others to be the same.

But to her I say it's not easy and you will be judged but I guess at some point I made the choice not to care so much. And I will be here for you too. I won't judge and I'll listen to you.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Happy 1st Heavenly Birthday Vayden

Another day in my life when I am blindsided by grief. Another birthday for another Angel who's family has aching arms and yet a heart full of apperciation.

It brings back all those feelings of anger, saddness, hopelessness, confusion and then at the end joy.

As my cyber sister deals with all those minute by minute vivid memorys and heartache, I too sit with her from many miles away. Why? because it makes me think of Ethan and all those feelings I had almost 2 and a half years ago. It makes me sad another mom, dad and sibling are sitting around feeling that pain.

But I do get that joy because stephanie is a great mom and has turned her loss into something bigger to help other familys, and friends. And best of all I know her.

So this year while we celebrate Vayden's 1st Birthday in Heaven from many miles away from his amazing family I too will still sit with her in the mourning booth. Im sad I never got to know this little boy.

Happy 1st Heavenly Birthday Vayden. Eat tons of Angel cake and if your belly hurts I'm sure you have many friends who will snuggle with you.

Here is Stephanie's blog

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Just Blah

Here I am almost 8 weeks into a new pregnancy and I know beyond a doubt that the time I am given is a miracle and to treasure it day by day.  Even if that means tomorrow its all over.

It's hard though I have had so many dreams where at 12 weeks I learn we have a baby who will fight for its life and recieve the horrible term "not compatible with life."  And I either wake up sobbing or can't sleep again. 

Every possible pain, strange twinge that happens, spot of blood.  Anything has me terrified.  I sit and think do I really want to get attached to another life that can be taken away from me?  Granted I think I am safe to say I don't think I will have a miscarriage.  Now yes it can still happen but I think in my heart I know that I won't have to endure that again for the 5th time.  I am not nieve innocence is just gone...But I want to be attached and I want to know if this baby is a boy or a girl. I want to be able to have a name to call this baby and we already have it's name but I wonder if the special people we want to name him/her after will be honored by that still?

But somewhere inside I am struggling to deeply love right this very moment with this baby.  Of course now if tomorrow if I woke up bledding and found out it was over I would be beyond crushed.

I sit and wonder if I am really ready for this full range of emotions rollercoaster I am on now? One minute I will be very up and the next full force crashing down. And most of it alone.

I did decide with all the dreams I have been having that without any question if we were given the diagnosis "not compatiable with life" that I would absolutely carry as long as God gave me.   Several reasons but the biggest one is I cannot and will not have an abortion and if that is the path we are given then I would want to say goodbye just like we did with Ethan.

Sure it would be heartbreaking and it would crush me again.  But I would need that closure and I know with Ethan all I wanted was even a minute with him breathing to tell him I loved him.  And I will take anytime I am given with this child to let them know nothing but absolute love.  Either on earth or if destined in Heaven.

I don't know why I am having these dreams and why I am preparing myself for the worst, but I think after losing so much in life I guess preparation is the key to survival.

I am sure my dreams are just crazy pregnant dreams of course but I just don't want to say I know anything for a fact.  I was sure with Ethan we would be bringing him home and I never thought I would have 4 miscarriages.

I am not really sure where I became a mom.... was it when they layed my first baby in my arms?  Or a few days later?  Or in my pregnancy?  But I do know for a fact that becoming a mom has been one of the most rewarding, time counsuming with every ounce of my soul  things that I have ever been privilaged to do.  I know each of my children has taught me something new and that each of them has shown me a new love.  And loss has taught me to treasure all the time I am given with my children, family and friends.

It's not easy as nothing good in life ever is.  I have experienced enough loss in life and don't know if I can handle any more.  But I am sure this little life will teach me new things, apperciation as well.

Another thing weighing heavy on my mind latley is the end of counseling in the next few months.  I don't have to and I know that but I think deep down I know that I have spent the past year with one of the most loving, caring, life changing people I have ever met.  And I know that she cannot and will not always be my security blanket.  It's like a toddler carrying around a security blanket or stuffed animal.  Sooner or later goodbye will come.  But I feel like that toddler stomping her feet, screaming "but I dont want to".  Sure she will always be 45 minutes away, but its like a best friend going off to war, you don't get those daily, weekly monthly phone chats or chats over coffee.

I want to be able to share my up's and down's and stupid moments.  I want to make her laugh at my stupidity now and then and then laugh with her when I feel uncomfortable.  Like this week screaming out loud in her office, and her lying on her office floor because I was being stubborn, the times a gental hug makes all the difference, a slant of her body to the edge of the chair reaching out to me just to say she cares even if I am doing by best to push her away in fear of being hurt by yet another human being who says they care but will walk away undoubtably, the shared tears. Bottom line the unconditional friendship/love.

But I hate goodbye and I am sick of having to say goodbye.  Sure there is am email that can be exchanged now and then.  But it will never be the same.  I know I can be me there.  I can say the most stupid stuff and she accepts me for me.  Unconditionally.

I have a few friends and a ton of online friends who yes get me an accept me flaws and all but I don't know there is just something different there.  I guess its more uncondtional than I have ever had in any sense of security in another human being.  I can go week after week and break down or say something competly off the wall and the next week she will still greet me with a smile or hug at the end.  She is like the big sister I always wanted.

It's like I get these little glimpses in life of how normalcy should be and how people who are authentic really are.  But its not without conditions the condition here is I have to say goodbye.

But really how do you say goodbye?  I was forced to with Ethan.  I never wanted to it was never in our plans to burry our child first.  Life is not fair that is not at all what I am saying.  I am however saying why do I get handed things like this and have to experience loss all over again.

I cannot imagine life without a simple conversation ever again with her, and I am amazingly blessed to have met her without a doubt.  I would not be where I am today stumbles, tears, laughter, pain and all.  But why do good things have to end?

Why couldn't I have ran into her at a grocery store of later on at some mom's things after her precious little boy is born? 

I feel crazy for even blogging about this because of course I worry I am the only crazy person out there that feels this way.  But honeslty from the bottom of my heart its like losing a best friend.  I share everything with her and even with I feel like the world's biggest loser she is always there reassuring me I am far from that.  She has helped me learn so much about myself and helped me become a better person in general.

It's like she is family according to this quote "What is family? They were the people who claimed you. In good, in bad, in parts or in whole, they were the ones who showed up, who stayed in there, regardless. It wasn't just about blood relations or shared chromosomes, but something wider, bigger. We had many families over time. Our family of origin, the family we created, and the groups you moved through while all of this was happening: friends, lovers,sometimes even strangers."

"You once did something for me more meaningful than the greatest of deeds; you held me in your arms and let me cry"

I am just in a tough place tonight I think.  Pregnancy hormones, experiencing saddness, missing Ethan and just plain confused I guess.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Two years kinda just came and went and the two year mark was much harder than I anticipated.  Somedays I find myself wrapped in complete joy and happiness and realize it and suddenly feel guilty.  But I have to remind myself that its ok Ethan would absolutely want me to be happy.

I am just sad we don't get to hear his laughter....

Somtimes I find myself sitting alone with a big open hole in my heart and I want to be rescued and other's I just want to be alone to grieve.

I guess when I think about this path and journey I am on yes I am forever grateful because without losing Ethan I would not know the people I know and I would not have this great desire to change the world.  Sure I can't make losing a child disappear but I can make it a little easier to bear.

Looking around sometimes I see glimpes of Ethan's life the one he should have and the one I am sure he does have. 

I am overprotective of his things because they cannot be replaced.

But I have had to learn to just let it go.  It's just an item but yes its hard.  A few days ago the dog (yes the pain in the ass, chew everything up one) got a hold of Ethan's giraffe that we bought for his 2nd Heavenly Birthday.  And well it didn't survive.  He has a hole in his head, a missing ear, tail and rather mangled.

It made me pretty sad at first and then I thought about it, its just a stuffed animal it's not Ethan, and had it been one of the other kids stuffed animals I wouldn't have been near as mad.  I am so not a stuffed animal person at all.  Hate the things.. they collect and take over the house.

So I let it go there was no sense in holding on to that saddness the stuff animal wouldn't bring Ethan back and it wasn't like it was his favortie stuffed animal that he wouldn't sleep without.  he simply didn't need it....I did or so I thought.

Now if it would have been the blanket he was wrapped in at the hospital oh good lord you would have to lock me up.  I accidently washed the thing a few months after he was gone and I about wanted to die then.    It took months to let go of that anger, at myself, the hurt that it wouldnt smell like him anymore.  But in reality it would be ok.  But if it was gone that would be a whole other story.

Easter after we lost him my grandmother got all the kids a cake egg with a little sign with their names on it and she included Ethan, God bless her.  Well of course he didn't get to eat it and no I did not keep it I promise. But I did keep the little stick with him name written with icing on it.  Can't let it go no way no how.  It would feel like I am getting rid of a part of him.  Funny its just his name written in icing.  But "ah" it wasn't just that it was someone else writing my sons name and acknowledging him.
Sadly the icing is coming off too :)

Funny I was just thinking about it and it's kinda a reminder really the icing that is... It's like he is here but part of him is missing.  Since part of his name has suddenly disappeared.
It is those little things that we do have though that we can keep and feel like they are here with us.  That is the hardest part.  We collect things to fill that void or at least I do and I think I always will I want things and pieces of him here until I can be with him.

I have the candles from each Birthday so far, a few flowers from flower arrangements from friends this past birthday.  Just simple things I want to hold on it to fill that void.  I don't get to collect his school papers, dates of achievements, lock of hair so this will have to do.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Ethan's 2nd Heavenly Birthday

"What is family? They were the people who claimed you. In good, in bad, in parts or in whole, they were the ones who showed up, who stayed in there, regardless. It wasn't just about blood relations or shared chromosomes, but something wider, bigger. We had many families over time. Our family of origin, the family we created, and the groups you moved through while all of this was happening: friends, lovers,sometimes even strangers."

I had a few of my family, closest friends and Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep family join in celebrating Ethan's 2nd Heavenly Birthday and Dominique and Katherine captured some wonderful images for me.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Poems of true grief

A Mother's Grief
You ask me how I'm feeling,

but do you really want to know?

The moment I try telling you

You say you have to go
How can I tell you,

what it's been like for me

I am haunted, I am broken

By things that you don't see

You ask me how I'm holding up,

but do you really care?

The second I try to speak my heart,

You start squirming in your chair.

Because I am so lonely,

you see, no one comes around,

I'll take the words I want to say

And quietly choke them down.

Everyone avoids me now,

Because they don't know what to say

They tell me I'll be there for you,

then turn and walk away.

Call me if you need me,

that's what everybody said,

But how can I call you and scream

into the phone,

My God, my child is dead?

No one will let me

say the words I need to say

Why does a mothers grief

scare everyone away?

I am tired of pretending

as my heart pounds in my chest,

I say things to make you comfortable,

but my soul finds no rest.

How can I tell you things

that are too sad to be told,

of the helplessness of holding a child

who in your arms grows cold?

Maybe you can tell me,

How should one behave,

who's had to follow their child's casket,

watched it perched above a grave?

You cannot imagine

what it was like for me that day

to place a final kiss upon that box,

and have to turn and walk away.

If you really love me,

and I believe you do,

if you really want to help me,

here is what I need from you.

Sit down beside me,

reach out and take my hand,

Say "My friend, I've come to listen,

I want to understand."

Just hold my hand and listen

that's all you need to do,

And if by chance I shed a tear,

it's alright if you do too.

By: Kelly Cummings

The Recipe to Get Through Infant Loss
Take devastating loss, turn it into healthy grief and find progressive healing
Ingredients Experienced:

14 days of numbness, wishing it was all a dream

A dash of phone calls & emails to inform others of your loss

1 week of memorial planning

1 day of smiling

2 days of feeling guilty for smiling

6 months of adjusting to your new normal

9 months of a roller coaster ride through grief

3-4 weeks of Anger

5 months of Tears

1 month of asking Why Me?

2 weeks of Anxiety

3 days of Denial

3 months of Depression

A little laughter, then back to sad again
Just before the 1st year Angel~ Versary, grab 1 month of Depression

Now that you’ve made it to 1 year you may have had

Several months of Sadness

A few weeks of Fear

Time to gain Compassion

A few months to find Acceptance

And an Unlimited amount of missing your angel
With the above ingredients you can now start preparing for Healthy Grieving
Mix in many months of counseling and/or talking with those who understand. Blend in being able to share your story without becoming teary eyed. Set aside moments for brief meltdowns, and then stir in the strength to get up and keep going. Add in the possibilities of having more children, knowing your angel will never be replaced. Throw in a pinch of fear to try again. Mix in the realization that there will be no crawling, first steps, first day of school, or graduation. Add the comfort that your angel will never know sickness, rejection, or the pains of this world. Set aside both happy and sad tears and know it’s still ok to cry. Mix in life without your angel then sprinkle in precious memories. Cover with hope that your faith will provide you the strength to continue into progressive healing.

Sometimes you will need and will repeat this cycle
Progressive Healing is a constant process, so hold on to your memories, cherish your keepsakes, and never be uncomfortable to say “I Have My Very Own Angel”

*Disclaimer: This recipe was put together to encourage those who have suffered a loss.

Time measurements may vary, and examples given may differ. This is a general recipe put together based on conversations with numerous women who have experienced pregnancy or infant loss

Tiny Angels rest your wings

sit with me for awhile.

How I long to hold your hand,

And see your tender smile.

Tiny Angel, look at me,... See More

I want this image clear....

That I will forget your precious face

Is my biggest fear.

Tiny Angel can you tell me,

Why you have gone away?

You weren't here for very long....

Why is it, yo...u couldn't stay?

Tiny Angel shook his head,

"These things I do not know....

But I do know that you love me,

And that I love you so"
Angela Donaldson Ok here is one

We thought of you with love today,

but that is nothing new.

We thought about you yesterday,

and days before that too.

We think of you in silence,... See More

we often speak your name.

All we have are memories,

and your picture in a frame.

Your memory is our keepsake,

with which we will never part.

God has you in Hi...s keeping,

we have you in our hearts.

A million times we`ve wanted you.

A million times we cried.

If love could only have saved you,

you never would have died.

It broke our hearts to lose you.

But you didn`t go alone.

For a part of us went with you...

the day God called you Home.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Things we need our friends and family to know

The past few days I realized that maybe through this great thing called technology maybe I didn't communicate well enough about my needs to people I talk to online and not in person.  So I took the time to really sit and think about what I need and want from people in my life.  So here it goes...... (this list is complied from other Angel parents as well)

Please please above anything else if I only had one wish it would be to help me remember my child.  Granted he/she is not yours and you didn't know him/her the way I did.  But what I need is people to acknowledge he/she was here. 

If I cry don't worry that you have made me sad.  Tears are not always a bad thing, they help me feel close to my son and they are healing.  Just ask why I'm crying if my tears bother you.

Don't be afraid that by bringing him/her up you will ruin my day, make me sad or hurt me.  I want people to bring my child up more than anything.
Unless you have lost a child please dont tell me you understand because even parents who have lost a child may not understand.  Our losses are all unique, and please don't tell me it will get easier.  Yes time eases pain but the pain will always be there we just learn how to deal with our loss over time but that pain will still be there under it all.
Say my child's name now and then.  Don't just say your baby, he/she had a name.

Tell me your thinking of my child and/or me.

Don't tell me I should be lucky because I have other kids, I already know this but it doesn't make the pain less painful.  And having other kid's doesn't make it easier for me it feels harder.  I not only am dealing with losing one of my children but I also have to help my other children grieve.  And sometimes I wish I didn't have the extra responsibilty right now.  I would rather climb into bed and ingore the world but I can't.

Also don't tell me I can have other children.  First of all how do you know that ? and even if I can the next child will not replace my child.  My child was their own individual and no other baby will fill the void I will always have in my heart.

Don't try to come up with explainations as to why my child isn't here.  Things like he might of had something wrong with him, or God had other plans, he is in a better place, that I should be lucky I have the kids I already do.  These do not help but rather hinder my healing.  Even if there was something wrong with him does that mean I should love him less? or even if God would do such a thing doesn't mean that we didn't want him just as much.  I know you might be grasping at ways to help but a simple I am sorry, or Im here if you need me is all it takes.  And honestly a hug speaks volumes over words.

After the funeral everyone else moves on and I am left alone.  The loss of a child is already lonely and add everyone else moving on and ingoring me makes it much worse.

You may ask if I need something to just call, but really the last thing I will be able to do in the beginning is reach out.  You may ask more than once to sit and talk, go out etc and I may turn you down.  Please be patient with me I am learning to live again and I am still in shock.  Try a few more times and don't give up on me.

If we are having a conversation and your kids are bugging you please don't say anything along the lines of at least I won't have to deal with this or that.  I would give anything to deal with those things.

Please do not ever discount my child to me or my other children.  Don't tell them they are not big brothers and/or sisters regardless of how you think and feel.  This is our choice and the way we have chosen to go on as a family.

If you don't know what to say and feel uncomfortable just say that but that you want me to know you are thinking of me.  Something as simple as that is often much better than silence.

Also please know that as uncomfortable as you might be I am just as umcomfortable if not more so because everyone is uncomfortable and leaves me be.  This is new to me and and having someone to walk along side me and help me when I stumble, or cry with me when I cry will make a world of difference.  You may think bringing my child up will hurt me and I may cry.  I get that its hard for you but its harder to act as if my child never was.  I promise if I cry they will be tears of comfort and love, not because of anything you will do or say.  I'd rather have someone to sit with me and cry with me or just be there than to cry alone.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Today has been a very eye opening day, and I am learning this thing called life is rough.

Today during a stressful emotional conversation online with "friends", someone had said to me that I was "consumed " with the loss of Ethan.

I was very hurt then even more hurt when someone who knows not a dam thing about me said that I am just bringing up my feelings to "get attention".

Well first of all i understand that the consumed part may have came across wrong but the second part stung bad to the point I cut these women out of my life.  I had decided at that one moment I didn't need them and I was tired of feeling like I have to ask people to give a shit about me.  Or to bring Ethans name up in conversation or even a quick note along the lines of "hey I know February is a rough month for you so I wanted you to know I was thinking of you".

It's amazing to me to look at people and listen to the complain about things that seem so insignifant to me.  But I never turn away and I always listen.

(It has also been brought to my attention that I used the wrong wording here by saying listen to others insiginficant problems so I will clarify, what I mean is through the days, weeks, months and years since Ethan has been gone I have listened to people complain about a lifestyle that they wanted and agreed to, or things going on in their lives that seem less important.   I guess that does not mean they are not entitled to feel as they do but to me life styles you chose are your choice I did not chose to burry one of my children.  I was litterly trying to be a good friend were still around for these people right after losing Ethan because I needed them and I wanted them to know I cared about.  Ass backwards yeah probably.  But that is me everyone before myself.)

But when I heard those very words of being consumed and looking for attention my heart jumped and I felt competly out of control.  All I could think of is "Be dam glad it wasn't you that had to burry your child".  Not that I would wish this on anyone because I wouldn't, but for a few minutes I felt like I was under attack and being judged.  Even if I was consumed don't I have the right to be?  Yes I do or at least so I am told I do have that right.  As long as it's healthy comsumption which mine is.

Harsh yeah ok maybe a little.  But harsh I felt I was being ganged up on by 5 or more women who I thought were my friends to learn later after I left the group that I had been banned.  Ok really is this high school?  I left so banning me was to prove a point.

I didn't know by simply stating that I have been hurt that some of the people I thought would stand by me through the years and remember my son had totally walked out on me.

Now I will say these women were incredibly generous with their hearts, financial aspect etc in the weeks and months after Ethan's death.  I think what hurt the most was I thought these people wouldn't be the people that I would have to ask to please keep Ethan's memory alive with me.  I shouldn't have assumed but I did.

I know I was being a bit senstitive and I said I was to blame more times than I can count.  But really I felt like it became a kick you while your down thing.  It was me against them, because I felt one way and the rest of them all felt the same way.

It really sucks that through losing a child you learn who your true friends really are.  I have been told multiple times by some of the people who havent lost a kid that they just don't get it, and you know what I get that too.

A year prior to losing Ethan my friend lost her son, and I had no idea how she felt but I could imagine and I still called all the time or messaged her to check on her.  I havent forgotten important anniversarys because I imagined that those were important to her.

But today I was told they didnt want to bring it up because it was personal.  My point in bringing this out isnt to trash talk them but rather to bring to light the saddness we feel as childless mothers/fathers.  (ok it has been brought to my attention that I am not a childless mother and I stand corrected I am not childless but I am missing one of my children)

Personal or not if you are our friends you will help us remember our child.  Not because you have to but because you know how much it means to us, and just my opinion but friends just do that type of thing.

I have said since day one that my biggest fear is no one being there to help me remember Ethan, and sadly it has come true to an extent.

It hurts more for people to ingore my son that to take the chance bringing it up may be a little painful.

It really sucks that they think we have this new group of parents with Angels who get us so they are not needed.

I am at fault for not just flat out saying hey I need xxxx, but I also did say that many of times on the wonderful world of facebook which we are all a part of I even sent messages.  And at Christmas time I even wrote on the message board that if anyone could find the time to write a little letter to Ethan, us as a family, just me whatever that I would love that.  And I only had two people reach out to me. 

I guess its not quanity but quality I just was bummed.

I have also been told that this is my loss and I need to realize all that matters is I remember, and I guess all I can say to that is...this is where you dont understand.  I have had 5 miscarriages and I thought it was horrible to find out the hard way.  Now each of my miscarriages mean something to me dont take it that way.  It hurts and its hard but something about having to birth my dead child, pay for a funeral, touch and caress his features, to see him and feel him and hold him.  That's where it gets harder.  Some may say I'm lucky because I got that chance.  And to you I say we will never know which is harder.  Until we walk in eachothers shoes no one knows.  I have had both and if someone said pick miscarriage or stillbirth I would pick a miscarriage.  Only because I know what I know now and this is much harder than any of my miscarriages were.

This does NOT mean that if you have had a miscarriage that it can't be the most painful thing to you.  It's your grief and your pain this is mine.
I never really thought my friends would walk out, but I guess the saying goes "God doesn't close one door without opening another".  I guess I will just have to wait and see what that door is.

Monday, February 8, 2010

2 Years without him
Here is the link to the dvd slide show I made for Ethan I hope it works

Here is Ethan's memorial site I created after he left us

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Two year's

Two year's ago I sat eagerly awaiting Ethan's arrival hoping he would come soon.  I was only 34.5 weeks in my pregnancy with him and I thought I was suffering in pain from being very pregnant.  I was rushing my husband to get the room done so it would be ready, my bags were being packed for the hospital, Everything was so rushed towards the end.  If I only knew then what I know now. 

Suffering then is nothing compared to now.  Ingorance was bliss.

Two years ago I heard the most devestating news, "I'm sorry but we don't see any cardiac activity."  I think the world stopped at that moment and I felt so closed in, I couldn't hear a thing after that.  We just sat in that room and cried.  Walking out in the waiting room seeing pregnant women holding their swollen bellys.  I felt myself screaming inside.  Screaming because it happened to me, not that I would wish this on anyone but it was me.  

Two years ago I gave birth to the most angelic little person ever all 5lbs and 3oz of him.  Nothing was wrong with him he was perfect from his head to his toes.  He had a little mark on his nose where his skin was coming off.  I remember being so numb from the moment I left my ob's office.  When they went to hand him to me I don't really remember anything other than just holding him and the rest of the world just disappeared.  I don't remember my nurses, the photographer came and I only briefly remember being irriated because everything felt so posed and I just wanted to sit and cry.

When I was wheeled out of the hospital I was in the wheel chair facing my room and Ethan was just laying in the little bed.  I felt so much heartache leaving him there.  I knew he couldn't come home with me but I wasn't suppose to leave empty handed, and my baby was all alone.  No one else loved him the way we did.
We are embarking on this new journey now and I know that seems strange to hear because we have been living this life for almost two years now.  But this is new, it's a new chapter in our lives.

I found this from a year ago so I thought Id share, its on Ethans memorial site
I'm more broken then anyone knows, because I've seen how some people handle grieving people, like they're plagued, I'd rather not be one of "those" people, so I act as normal as I can be. Why am I ashamed to be grieving still? Its because some of society thinks there's a "get over it" date I should be well beyond. If I'm being totally honest, I don't think I'll ever be beyond it, broken is the new me, I'm getting comfortable in this new state, it feels normal, and comfortable most days, except the days when I need to express the pain the most and don't feel like I can, or that anyone wants to hear it, and those are the days I am screaming in my head because I have so much to let loose, but don't want to seem "Crazy" or like I am dwelling, or not healing, not coping, or having unhealthy grief.

Don’t let anyone tell you where your journey should end or how long you should grieve. Im not done grieving yet and I don’t know if I’ll ever put a time line on it either why should I? I will always be grieving my son but I will learn how to grieve healthy and be able to live my new life. I will tell you it does not go away but I promise the pain does get a little easier to manage with time. But there will be days when it seems like your grief has taken over again just when you thought you got through the healing process. I promise its ok you will get through. Be easy on yourself and put one foot in the other its not a marathon when and if you complete your journey in grief is ok.
I am normal.
I am coping.
I am healing, slowly.
I am still in excruciating pain.
I am constantly reminded of my loss and those reminders knock me down, they hurt.
But I get up, after some tears and bad days, and I keep going
I think I'm doing well even when I'm screaming in my head.
I wish I had more people who understood this in my life.
It would be so much easier to never have to hide how much I still badly need a shoulder.
I need them way more often then anyone realizes or offers anymore.
I'm not over it, I'll never be over it, I wish everyone else didn't get over it so fast, because I feel so alone in all of this now.

I am afraid to heal because I’ll feel less connected to Ethan, I feel closest to him when I’m in the midst of active grief and overcome by pain. My memories are sharpest and hashing out those emotions again helps me to feel nearly exactly as I felt when my world came crashing down, which incidentally was the last time I was really close to my baby
There's nothing wrong with me, my grief is not pathological, I'm not sick, and I'm not crazy! The fact that I still grieve, and have bad days, and feel anguish and sadness and moments of despair and frustration are not symptoms of unhealthy handling of our tragedy, they are side effects of having lost a child, I am not abnormal or unusual because I give way to them and allow myself to feel horribly and irreparably broken, its who I am, what would be unhealthy would be to deny that I am in pain.

The first year was filled with denial, anger, sadness and bargining.  This second year will be more about feeling complete, whole, content and filled with sufficent acceptance.

I say sufficent because I will never fully be able to accept that my son is gone and be one hundred percent ok with it.  I know I have been able to find a purpose in his death but I still whole heartly miss him, the kicks and squirming while I held him under my heart.  The fast pounding of his healthy heart on the doopler.

I know lucky I am to say I held an angel and that beautiful, healthy, amazing little boy was mine.

I will have to learn how to continue to tackel well ment but yet hurtful comments from strangers, and yet offer healing to other families walking this path from the beginnning.

Sometimes I just fall to pieces. ‘I just wish we had Ethan with us.’ … ‘I wish we could call him in heaven. I’d call him everyday.’ … ‘how can we have christmas when our whole family isn’t here?’ … ‘I just wish I could have my baby here with me.'  'I wish we got little snapshots from Heaven to see what he looked like or what he was doing'. 'still struggling to find the right words to say happy birthday and celebrate his life.

Eight years ago when I found out I was pregnant with my first little one I knew fear, how easily something bad could happen.  Getting hit by a car, getting their little hands on something dangerous, getting hurt in a car accident.  I guess I just never really thought I would have to burry one of my own kids.  I always thought they would have to burry me.  Nieve or foolish so be it, I just didn't think this would be my life.

It seems there is always a milestone as we would have with any of our other children.  This is marks the beginning of becoming a toddler and the terrible two's, my ears ache to hear "no" from a stubborn two year old, who is kicking and screaming because I won't give him a cookie at breakfast or upset because I didn't put his milk in the right sippy cup.

I imagine that he would be tall and slender like Blake was, yet dark hair unlike the three other boys.  He would be gental, and loving and yet he would have that demanding two year old personality.

I think he would love playing with cars and balls, and running up and down the hall scretching at the top of his lungs at the other boys.  He would be the wild child, I just know it.

We would be signing him up for soccer this year I am sure of it.  I also think he would be a wise little one who would love to sit and read or should I say look at the pictures.  I think Ethan would be the peace keeper out of all of the boys.

I miss him so much sometimes it leaves me breathless. 

The other day while I was out getting a birthday gift for a friend, I was looking at willow trees.  Someone gave me my first one when we lost Ethan and ever since I have collected them.  All have a different meaning.  Well I was trying to decided which one I wanted this year for Ethan's birthday and a few with tiny babies caught my eye and then one with a mom holding a toddler stretched out against her I believe it was called "Child of my Heart" caught my eye and I thought "yup that is the one.  Ethan would be just about that big."  I will always find it hard to picture him as an older toddler/child he was my baby.  And he really is a child of my heart.

But something about that figure the little boy had dark hair, and I long to hold him against my chest I never got to do that.  The figurine looked like he fell asleep and she was carrying him to bed.  For a moment I felt my heart ache with a tremendous amount of pain.  I will never get to carry a sleepy Ethan to bed.  Someday I hope to get to snuggle with him, I hope he doesnt grow too fast and out grow my lap.  He will outgrow me long before I will ever outgrow him.

My heart is heavy today knowing I never get to hear "mommy I love you", or even maybe some hateful words that I am sure my others will say.  I am learning how to walk this ackward journey without a manul.

If I knew then that the days left were so few, I wouldn’t have prayed so hard for them to be over.

If I knew I was really going to lose him, I would’ve stayed awake longer feeling him turn this way and that, treasure every hiccup, every beat of his strong little heart beating next to mine.

If I knew it would end the way it did, I wouldn't have complained about the time I did get.

If I knew so few friends would get to hold him, I would’ve made sure you were there.

If I knew how much the few pictures we have would mean, I would have had a thousand more.

If I knew memorys slowly fade I would have video tapped everything about him, and our last goodbye at the funeral despite other people's objections.

If I knew

The human capacity for grief is like bamboo-far more flexiable than you'd ever believe at first glance.

It has been a awesome yet trying two years.  Somedays I have had to paddle very hard to keep a float.  Somedays I felt like a fish swimming up a stream and like I didn't get any further than where I started.

But in reality I know I have come pretty darn far.  I have grown so accustomed to drinking from the bitter cup this life keeps offering me that I feel like I can drink and still be able… more than able actually.  I am putting my dancing shoes on again. some days will be easier to dance to than others I’m sure, but I will continue to dance. whether it be as joyful as twirling with the boys out in the sun or as solemn as someone holding me close with hardly a movement to be seen… I will continue on. it’s time to dance again.

Without Ethan I wouldn't be who I am today.
 I wouldn't be a part of most of the most valueable organizations on this planet NILMDTS,
 I wouldn't want to help comfort other's near as much as I do now, because I too know their pain unlike most other people
I wouldn't strive to make such a difference in the lives of other Angel parent's because before it didn't make as much sense as it does now,
I wouldn't have some of the most beautiful people in my life that I call friends Rae, Allison, Sara, Cindy, Stephanie, Jesse, Teresa, Brianna, Cynthia, Holly, I know I am leaving many more out and I'm sorry I could go on all day.  But without Ethan I wouldn't know them at all.
I have gained a extended family through NILMDTS.
This blog would not be here.

So yes somedays it hurts like hell and it still does as I write this, but in the end after some heavy tears I know in my heart that there was a purpose.  Maybe not a purpose from God but I have made a purpose in Ethan's brief life. He has touched more lives in a single day and through pictures than I will ever be able to accomplish in my life time.

So Happy 2nd Birthday my Little Man >Fly High We love and Miss you very much

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Other people trying to find a reason

So today while I was at the chiropractors he had me slide my jeans down a little, and Ethan's little footprints were exposed.

He said well that's a neat tattoo what is it about?  I told him we had lost our son and they were his footprints.  He went on to ask about how old he was and other stuff.

I turned to this sweet older man who seemed genuinly interested, and told him we lost Ethan at 34 weeks into our pregnancy.

He patted my shoulder and turned to me and bluntly said and I quote, "well sometimes those things are for the best, there must have been something wrong with him."

I wanted to start bawling, but soon just blurted out, " No he was very healthy, it was a freak cord accident where the blood and oxygen supply get cut off for a brief time and it kills them".

I think he was in shock but I think I was more in shock.  I mean where did society become a blunt place?

Why can't people just keep it simple and say I'm sorry or something simple.  I know they feel the need to say something, but usually it almost always ends up hurting more.

I hate hearing things like, "God needed an Angel", "there must have been something wrong with him", " It had to have been for the best", "At least it was now instead of when you got to know him".

I mean keep your opinions to yourself, at the time I could care less if God needed another Angel, I wanted my son.

Even if there was something wrong with my son, do you think that would make me love him less?

And how do you even know what the pain would feel like now or later, don't try to minumize my pain.  He was my son and I would love him regardless.  Would you kill your dog or another child because there was something wrong with them?  More than likely no.

I guess it's one of those things we are bound to run into, and somehow use it as a teaching experience.

Had I not been caught off guard I would have loved to tell him.  That no Ethan was very healthy I just happened to be the 1 in 200 pregnancies that had a stillbirth and that more often that not, there is no explanation.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Just when you think

you have a grip on life, well it all changes.

I have managed for months to be strong, and to keep it together inside and out.  I did so well.  That is until today I realized that I am now about 3 weeks away from the 2 year anniversary of Ethans death, learning of his death and the day he came silently into this world.

I feel crushed beyond belief.  I am sad, angry once again.  But I am trying with all my might to just hold on and know soon this feeling will go away for a few again.

But for now I guess I will stay crushed, I will absorb those feelings and just ride it out.

A quote from a good friend Jennifer "Time doesn't heal all wounds, it's mearly a band aid and sometimes the wound bleeds through..."

I cannot believe two years ago I thought I would be bringing home a baby soon, and that I would be able to change his diapers, cuddle, kiss him and watch the amazement of life through his eyes.  I thought my family was going to be complete.

I was not prepared for the diaster my life was going to take on.  I sat by not even a year before and watched my friend deliver her son silently into the world.  And I thought if I was careful and I mean really careful.  Checked his heartbeat like a freak, took really good care of myself and paid attention to movement.  That it wouldn't happen to me. 

Not because I was better than her, but because stuff like that doesnt happen twice especially when it happened to someone you were close with.  Believe me when I say, ignorance was bliss!

Stupid very very stupid to think that way.  Sure it can happen more than once and in fact it happens so much and the world is obvilous to it.

Almost two years ago I went through the most devestating, horrific, terrifying, life changing thing imaginable.  And yet here I stand, but somedays I wish I didnt have to.  Its really easy to be sad.  But its very hard to act happy when your heart is broken.

I wish I would have just let myself really grieve almost two years ago like I should have.  Instead of being so strong like everyone told me I needed to be.  I wish I could have accepted the help of my ob when she came over to check on me and let her just hold me the way she tried to, but I couldn't I was in so much pain and I was so angry.  I wish when she asked me if I wanted to die, that I could have said yes, I mean really who wouldn't.  Facing grief has been much harder.  Instead I sat there cold and frozen not taking in anything.

I guess the next few weeks are going to be another hellish ride through this journey.  I am bracing as best as I can, but it sucks.

I wish I could hold him, kiss his sweet nose, touch his teeny tiny little feet, and perfect hands.  I wish I could hear him cry even if it was for a second.  I wish I would be able to look into his eyes and see what color eyes he had, instead of just imagine.  I wish I could soak it all in just once more.

At twenty eight fast approaching 29 I thought for once in my life I had it all together, only too soon to realize how fast it would all come apart.

The first 26 years of my life were rough but managable to an extent and now I sit here trying to fit the pieces of this jigsaw puzzle of a life back together, but one piece is missing.  So how do you just feel complete when it can't ever be complete?  I guess that's where faith, hope and love fall into place.

Now I wrote the beginning of this yesterday while I was devesated and crushed but I knew today despite wanting to cry I needed to come back to it and find the hope I desperatly need and want.

This is not the club anyone wants to be a part of, too bad memberships are non-refundable.  No one wants to raise their hand and say they are apart of it.  But wait no I do.  Why? because I know that this problem will exist for many years to come. 

I don't want for infant loss to be taboo, I don't want women thinking they have to silently cry at night when the house is silent and no one is looking.  I want for each one of us to be heard, understood and cared for. And I really don't like that stillbirth is so overlooked and overshadowed.  It kills more than SIDS each year and yet no real research is being done.

I hate that my baby and anyone else's baby is not looked at as a baby but a fetus.  Darn it we held them, dressed them, they looked as each of us did when we started this thing called life.  Some call it morbid I call it healing.

I have had many miscarriages and each one of them hurt very much, especially this one I had last November.   I am still trying to find a way to honor that brief life.  To me each of these lives are a gift from God.

But something about holding a full grown baby, who looked just like his daddy and brothers and he even had my nose and dimple (which by the way I hate).  How do you just walk away from that?  I sure can't he was a part of me and he was suppose to make this part of our lives complete.

I guess that's why I write here, because I know too many of us feel this way and I want you to know you are not alone.

It sucks and I mean it, I understand wising for a day or two that the world would just stop because no one likes being on this rollercoaster especially when it feels rather lonely.  It's a ton easier when you have someone to hold your hand and say they have your back.

Well I have your back and it's ok to be mad, sad, angry and disappointed in the world.  And when you get back out of it I will still be here.

I will get through the rest of the day and tomorrow I will get to see someone who has my back, so just ride it out as I tell myself.

Words or wisdom to outsiders

~Please talk about my loved one, even though he is gone. It is more comforting to cry than to pretend that he never existed. I need to talk about him, and I need to do it over and over
~Be patient with my agitation. Nothing feels secure in my world. Get comfortable with my crying. Sadness hits me in waves, and I never know when my tears may flow. Just sit with me in silence and hold my hand.
~Don't abandon me with the excuse that you don't want to upset me. You can't catch my grief. If you don't know what to say, just come over, give me a hug or touch my arm, and gently say, "I'm sorry." You can even say, "I just don't know what to say, but I care, and want you to know that."
~Just because I look good does not mean that I feel good. Ask me how I feel only if you really have time to find out.
~I am not strong. I'm just numb. When you tell me I am strong, I feel that you don't see me.
~I will not recover. This is not a cold or the flu. I'm not sick. I'm grieving and that's different. My grieving may only begin 6 months after my loved one's death. Don't think that I will be over it in a year. For I am not only grieving his death, but also the person I was when I was with him, the life that we shared, the plans we had for watching our children and grandchildren grow, the places we will never get to go together, and the hopes and dreams that will never come true. My whole world has crumbled and I will never be the same.
~I will not always be grieving as intensely, but I will never forget my loved one and rather than recover, I want to incorporate his life and love into the rest of my life. He is a part of me and always will be,
and sometimes I will remember him with joy and other times with a tear. Both are okay.
~I don't have to accept the death. Yes, I have to understand that it has happened and it is real, but there are some things in life that are just not acceptable.
~When you tell me what I should be doing, then I feel even more lost and alone. I feel badly enough that my loved one is dead, so please don't make it worse by telling me I'm not doing this right.
~Please don't tell me I can have another baby. I'm not ready. And maybe I don't want to. And besides, what makes you think people are replaceable? They aren't. Whoever comes after will always be someone different.
~I don't even understand what you mean when you say, "You've got to get on with your life." My life is going on, I've been forced to take on many new responsibilities and roles. It may not look the way you think it should. This will take time and I will never be my old self again. So please, just love me as I am today, and know that with your love and support, the joy will slowly return to my life. But I will never forget and there will always be times that I cry
~I need to know that you care about me. I need to feel your touch, your hugs. I need you just to be with me, and I need to be with you. I need to know you believe in me and in my ability to get through my grief in my own way, and in my own time.
~Please don't say, "Call me if you need anything." I'll never call you because I have no idea what I need. Trying to figure out what you could do for me takes more energy than I have. So, in advance, let me give you some ideas:
(a) Bring food or a movie over to watch together.

(b) Send me a card on special holidays, his birthday, and the anniversary of his death, and be sure to mention his name. You can't make me cry. The tears are here and I will love you for giving me the
opportunity to shed them because someone cared enough about me to reach out on this difficult day.

(c) Ask me more than once to join you at a movie or lunch or dinner. I may so no at first or even for a while, but please don't give up on me because somewhere down the line, I may be ready, and if you've given up then I really will be alone.

(d) Understand how difficult it is for me to be surrounded by couples, to walk into events alone, to go home alone, to feel out of place in the same situations where I used to feel so comfortable
~Please don't judge me now - or think that I'm behaving strangely.

Remember I'm grieving. I may even be in shock. I am afraid. I may feel deep rage. I may even feel guilty. But above all, I hurt. I'm experiencing a pain unlike any I've ever felt before and one that can't be imagined by anyone who has not walked in my shoes.
~Don't worry if you think I'm getting better and then suddenly I seem to slip backward. Grief makes me behave this way at times. And please don't tell me you know how I feel, or that it's time for me to get on with my life. What I need now is time to grieve.
~Most of all thank you for being my friend. Thank you for your patience. Thank you for caring. Thank you for helping, for understanding. Thank you for praying for me.
And remember in the days or years ahead, after your loss - when you need me as I have needed you - I will understand. And then I will come and be with you.

Monday, January 4, 2010


After looking through several other Angel parents blogs, websites etc I've noticed one thing in common, especially in a stillbirth situation.

Regret's... Sadly we all have them and sometimes they can be so strong it leaves us emotionally breathless.  It leaves us unable to focus on anything but those regret's.

I too have many regrets that I can't just get rid of.  Its very draining to focus on all those would have, should have's and could have's.  Of course we could have, and maybe should have and would have had we known what to do and where we would be standing many months, years later.

But its hindsight and we were thrown for a loop when we learned our child(ren) had died.  I think for most of  us the very words of "I'm sorry we don't see any caradic activity", "or hearing our "child(ren) is imcompatiable with life".  Leaves us completly paralized. 

We are stuck in a paralizing world, for me I dont remember a thing after being told my son was dead.  Other than the chilling screams from family members, and my delivery. And I only remember the moments before my delivery because it was like a sceen from a movie.  Horrifying to say the least.  Those memories will be forever engraved in my head. 

But I carry all those regrets with me daily.  And because of the paralizing pain of those regrets this Christmas almost two years after Ethans passing I finally did something Ive been wanting to do forever.  That is capture all of my children together.  When I had Ethan I was so afraid to let my older two see him I wanted so badly to protect them from the pain I was feeling.

Now it's not like I can go back in time and capture a single image of them holding Ethan or even looking at him.  I don't have a single picture of all three of them together and now four with Corbin here.  So on Christmas I had the three boys sit and hold Ethan's picture.

But we are so hard on ourselves wanting to go back in time and make up for all the so called wrong's we created or didn't get the chance to create.

But really we did what we felt comfortable with at the time.  It may not really have been right for us but at the time our bodies and minds were protecting us.

Unless we have known of someone personally who has been through this devestation or have been coached well by a nurse or doctor giving us their loving hand.  Then it's bound to happen.

I watched my best friend say hello and goodbye to her son a year prior to Ethan's loss so I knew a little bit of what to expect.  And I was able to have pictures taken of Ethan.  Not once did I question whether or not it would be morbid to someone else.

Here are my regrets, I didnt ask to bathe Ethan, we didn't bring an outfit out of the store like filled nursery for him to wear and that we would be able to keep later, we didn't bring a blanket of his so we could wrap him in it and keep it with us, we didn't take many picture's ourselves, we didn't let the other boys hold him.  I wish I would have held him longer, video taped his features.  My list could keep going but its more traumatising to do so.

So even been exposed to this situation I didn't think of those things, my brain was flooded and my feelings clouded.

So I challenge you instead of making yourself miserable and wishing for eternity for things to be different.  Why not make it different for another mom walking this life changing path.

Each year on Ethan's birthday we take down two gift baskets to the hospital where Ethan was delivered at.  One for a boy and one for a girl.  Each basket is filled with items of comfort and items that maybe got left behind.  In order to maybe try to rid those regrets from someone else.
A disposable camera, an outfit, a blanket, two books that brought me comfort (Mommy Please Dont cry there are no tears in Heaven and Empty cradle full heart), a hand casting kit, a hand written card from me giving them sympathy and letting them know how to contact me in case they would ever like someone to chat with, poems of comfort, places to go to for support, things to think about like holding your baby as long as you would like, asking to be moved off the L&D floor, music suggestions, a little hair brush.  Anything we can think of.  I wish we could offer more but these baskets are pretty expensive. 

You don't need to do that, its just an idea we do it for Ethan for his birthday.  But you can do something for your hospital that suits you.  Maybe starting a local support group, or attending a current one just to offer support to a member of this sad club we are all in ( how unfortunate our membership never expires).  Writing up something to give to local hospitals with advice to a parent to be in this situation, asking your hospitals to be involved in the beverment program or starting one etc.  But think of all the ways you can make someone else's journey a little less regret-full.

Lastly please be easy on yourself you did what you could at the time.  You are dealing with a major loss and time will ease the burden of regret's.  For now know you did what you knew how to do and what your body and mind was capable of.