Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Christmas Grief

Usually by this time every year, I am eating, breathing and sleeping Christmas. Sadly, I haven't had the time or the will to buy a tree or pull out any decorations this year. I could sit here and write about how I have been so busy with school and the kids, but I'd be lying.

The truth is I am just not feeling it.
A part of me wants to sing Christmas Carols and cover our home with tinsel, but most of me is just sad. I think a lot about what he'd look like by now. My precious boy. I wonder about what his first Christmas would have been like, about the look on his face when his brothers handed him his first present, about the mashed potatoes and soft pieces of biscuit he could have had for dinner on Thanksgiving.
This sucks...*sigh*
I'm trying, though. I even did something I never though I'd attempt again-

 Meet Rocky The Shih Tzu
It's been a couple of years since we've tried owning a dog. The last time we tried, our kids just weren't ready and I believe it ended with an overly-loved-by-two-subconciously-rough-toddler-boys pooch and a kid with deep teeth marks on his hand. I swore I just wasn't a dog person and vowed to keep pets as far away from my crazy kids for as long as I could (for the safety of the animals, really). Somehow, we ended up with this little guy and as much as I hate to admit it, (because I'm really not an animal lover) I kinda' like him. He has brought us a lot of smiles and even has us taking daily walks as a family.

And look-
Fall has arrived

I love how the leaves crunch as we walk
I can't believe it has been ten months. Last year, at this time, my little angel was tumbling inside me as I counted the days until I got to hold him, so I could look into his eyes and tell him I'm his momma. I got to hold him and I got to tell him, but I never got to look into his eyes....and that just breaks my heart.
Grief is such a sad, lonely place. Especially around the holidays. While everyone shops and wraps and decorates and cooks, grievers wonder about that person who should have been there to share the magic. We wonder about our parents and brothers and sisters and uncles and grandparents and children gone too soon. We question if it is OK to smile and forget about the sadness for a second without offending our loved ones in heaven. We think about the memories- good and bad. We hide to cry for a few minutes, so that we can fake a smile for a few hours. We all know we aren't alone in our sadness, yet the solitude we feel is overwhelming.
I'm sorry if you are hurting this holiday season. Please know you aren't alone. I'm thinking of you. I share your pain. I'm praying for you. It's going to be ok. One day at a time.

 Cry. Breathe. Smile.

I will too.
Sweet precious angel, I love you with all of who I am. I think about you, I dream about you, I feel you near. Momma will never forget those 39 amazing weeks and those few hours I got to hold you, feel you and sing you the same lullabies I sing to your brothers. Thank you for picking me.
Your entire life took place inside me. I am so lucky.
Fly high, blue cherub.
I love you.

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Gift of Peace of Mind

Today started pretty bad. I had been up most of the night tossing and turning, unable to get into a comfortable position. I suppose it doesn't matter when you have to empty your bladder six to eight times a night.....or when there is a tiny person beating the heck outta your guts from the inside. Not gonna lie, I kinda' like it :)

Somehow I managed to get through a long day at school. By 2:30 p.m. Pacific Standard time, I was driving down route 66, in my red convertible with my hair whooshing in the crisp, fall wind....ok, not really...I took Baseline and I was in a truck with my hair in a messy bun, but I had the windows down and it felt really good.

Anyway, when I checked my voicemail, I heard a sweet message from a good friend asking me if she could drop something off. She didn't say what, but I like surprises, even though they make me nervous and a tad gassy, so I didn't ask any questions and offered to come pick it up instead since I was in the area.

I pulled up and saw her holding a little bag. Any pregnant woman can tell you the excitement that comes when someone hands you a little pastel-colored baggy.

Ooooooh! what can it be? bibs, bottles, blankies, brownies..... !!!!

Never could I have imagined what I'd find inside.

Last week, I freaked out because I hadn't felt the baby move the way he usually does. After a couple of days of worrying, I asked some of my closest friends for prayers before rushing off to the ER. Fortunately, everything was ok.

I don't know how I will ever be able to express my gratitude for this amazing, unique gift. I can't believe I can listen to his heart whenever I want. I hate to sound like a 13 year old girl (Ok, I secretly like it), but I seriously totally have like the bestest friends in the whole world. You guys rock! Like, yeah! *tear*

But for realz now, yo'-

These women have helped carry me through the darkest days of my life. Never once have they deserted me.  Even before my Ian went to be with the angels, they have always been there. I'll never forget the gifts, the cards, the meals, the flowers, the words, the prayers, the kindness....

I feel blessed.

 I love that I can still see the goodness in life, even after going through something as tragic as losing a child. Something I never thought I'd have to do. I love that the sun still shines through the clouds. And on particularly cloudy days, I love that I can still find it in myself to dance in the rain, even if it takes me a while to gather the will and the strength. I love that because of this wound, I am able to cherish the things I once took for granted. I love that I can hug my babies a little tighter.

I'll never get over it. I'll never completely move on. And I'm sure I'll still have days when I just want to hide in the dark to cry alone. Please know that on the days when the pain takes over, I am still grateful.

Today started pretty bad.....

but it ended so perfectly.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Last week, I added another lesson to my repertoire of Life Lessons I Wish I Didn't Have to Learn the Hard Way. I won't beat around the bush- I have gestational diabetes. I can't say I am surprised, as diabetes runs strongly in my genes.....that, and I have been stuffing my face silly. Fun's over. Time to get serious.

There are some cookies on the table calling my name, but putting myself in a position that may risk this baby's life is not an option. I'm too scared to even think of what this could mean.

Another Ian. No, no, no. I wouldn't survive.

I've been sticking to my meal plans very well. I lost three pounds in four days, which is a good start on the ton of weight I have to lose after this baby is done baking. 

I feel privileged in so many ways. I can't believe God granted me the opportunity to grow another one of His mysteriously complex human beings inside me. What an honor.

I love feeling him move inside me. It brings back sweet memories of carrying my other boys. Most of those memories bring smiles to my face. Others bring tears. It is always clear how truly blessed I am, though.

I watched Rabbit Hole on Netflix a few nights ago. I knew what it was about before I started it and I knew I'd cry (more like sob), but I think I needed that, so I watched it anyway. It was comforting to see people fall apart the way I do almost every day. It made me feel a bit more normal to see people grieving in their own way. Believe it or not, it was nice to see that gut-wrenching pain that creeps up on you during the most inconvenient moments, strike someone besides me. Although scripted, it was healing to see these characters cry for their children the same way I do. Whether it was a four year old boy who ran into the street chasing after his dog or a thirty year old heroine addict who couldn't break the habit, they both had mothers who loved them and wanted nothing more than to have their babies back.


I was hoping to write a bit more tonight, but I can feel my blood-sugar getting low and cookies are not an option. 

I hope you all had a beautiful weekend. 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Selective Amnesia

Disclaimer: I apologize if this post makes no sense. I wrote and wrote and wrote without stopping or looking back.

Last night I had a dream that I was breastfeeding a baby boy. I'm not sure if it was Ian or the baby growing inside me now. Either way, it was beautiful and I was reminded of how much I was looking forward to breastfeeding Ian. Any mother who has breastfed can tell you what an incredible bonding experience it is. I wanted that for us.
I'm trying very hard to be at peace. Some days it takes more effort than others. Today is one of those days. I can't stop thinking about him and my heart throbs with love and pain all at once. Every day, I remember something that my brain had managed to block from my memory in an effort to keep me functioning as normally as possible.
When I stepped into a hot shower after a long, busy day a few weeks ago, I remembered the events of that morning, one bye one. I remembered how I got up really early with a dull back ache and how I stepped into a hot shower attempting to relieve the pain a bit and trying to make baby move. I remember poking my belly and whispering "come on, baby, kick me, move, do something". I remembered knowing in the back of my mind that he was gone, yet desperately trying to hang on to hope.
That could never happen to me, I thought. Never. Not me. That kind of thing only happens to others.
It's impossible to think of that day without shedding a few tears.

I also remembered how a few days before he was born, I was folding his clothes and making space for them in the closet when I had this strange feeling come over me. It was telling me that I was never going to use these clothes, not for Ian. I tried to convince myself that I was being paranoid as I often tend to be about any of my children. It was a powerful feeling, scary and sad, but I ignored it. That same night, I had this sudden urge to google "stillbirth stories". I thought for sure my hormones were going crazy and I was simply looking for a way to have a good cry. I read a few stories, sobbed like a crazy, pregnant lady and went to bed. All these signs God was sending me, yet I chose to cling to faith.

The most painful memories, that just recently decided to slap me in the face as well, are the ones of the few days after his birth. That baby-less car ride home, those cold March days without a warm baby to snuggle with, the sudden bursts of tears at the grocery store or any public place at the sight of any mother holding their infant child, my mom literally lifting me off my bedroom floor every time the pain became too much to bear alone....those memories torture me like no others. I don't know if I'll ever make peace with any of those.

The list goes on and on. I don't know if my brain has suddenly decided to torture me with all of these fresh memories or if it has simply decided that I'm ready to cope with them without losing my mind. I've been crying a lot. A lot. There are so many thoughts and emotions going through me all at once. I feel like I have so much to say, yet I'm speechless at the same time.

I feel like the world has moved on without me. Everyone's lives go on and I'm stuck on that day. I hate waking up to beautiful, sunny days and feeling so ugly and dark inside. I hate having to answer questions from two very curious little boys who wonder if this baby will die too. I hate knowing that I will spend an entire lifetime wondering about a little boy who never took a single breath outside of my womb.

It feels like yesterday, but on the 23rd it will be eight long months since I last felt his soft, little body nestled in my arms. Eight months since his short life inside me changed who I am forever. Eight months of warm, salty tears running down my cheeks. Eight months of wondering what he would look like by now. Eight months of trying to make sense of a senseless tragedy. Eight months of grueling heartache. Almost the same amount of time I spent dreaming of holding him, has now gone by with me looking for ways to live without him.

And now, the only things left for me to do is to be grateful. Hard to believe, but I have found ways to be grateful. I feel so blessed and lucky to be the only one who felt him while he was alive. I am the only one who knew his every kick and hiccup. His entire life took place inside me. He went from my womb, straight into the arms of our Heavenly Father. Of all the mommas in the world, He chose me. Me. I carried an angel inside me. And one day, when it is my turn to go, he will be there, waiting for me. I hope it isn't any time soon, but I look forward to it, the same way I was looking forward to breastfeeding him.

There are no words to describe how much I miss you, little boy. I fight through the pain of not having you (physically) with me. Every. Single. Day. But I know your spirit is near. I smell you often. I feel you with me. I love you, cherub. I know some day we will be together again.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Today, Pain Took Over

I don't even know how to start this post. This unspeakable pain is unpredictable.  I'm so heart-broken, angry, confused, many feelings all at once. I don't know how I manage to get through most days, because today I cried all day long and that felt more "normal" than smiling. The sadness felt like "home sweet home". I needed to cry so badly. I needed to go back and allow myself to feel the raw emotions of that day.
Today was hard, to say the least. Today, I threw all the wisdom and strength I have gained during the past seven and a half months out the window and I allowed myself to scream and pout and kick. I let myself go back to that very moment when my own body betrayed me and I became a walking, living, breathing grave to my unborn child's tiny body.
I wish people would stop telling me how strong I am. I'm not strong! I'm the weakest I've ever been. Some days I have to fight through tears and sorrow just to make breakfast for my little boys. Other days I want to close my eyes and disappear, so that I don't have to explain to anyone why I can't stop crying.
This stabbing, sinking, unbearable pain is so deep, it takes my breath away at times. It makes me question everything I thought I knew for sure, like His presence in my life and my will to keep on going. I question it all, because I miss him so much and I just can't imagine getting through an entire lifetime without him.
It's not fair, it's just not fair. I want to fall on the floor and drown in a pool of my own tears. I'm broken. So broken.
Ian, baby, I need you so much. Come visit me today, please. I need to feel you close.
I don't know what to do with myself. I just want my baby.
Today the pain took over. Tomorrow, who knows?
I'll be OK, I know I will. I'm holding on tight to the three little people who need me here on earth. Tomorrow I will wake up with a swollen face and a wounded soul, and I will make breakfast for the two bravest, most sweetest little boys I know. They need their momma.
I love you, Ian. Fly high, angel boy.

Saturday, September 22, 2012


I always knew I'd be a mom. Always. I'm not going to lie, it's been a lot harder than I ever thought, but it has also been the most rewarding thing I've done in my 27 years of life. I grew up with two brothers and my mom is the only female out of six. Still, I never could have imagined that I'd have four boys. Four!

I always imagined dolls and little, pink toys laying around my home and combing long curls and applying lip gloss to tiny women eager to be all grown up. It never crossed my mind that I'd be helping little boys put transformers together or planning secret missions accross dangerous territory with plastic guns and RPGs at hand.

I believe it's human nature to want what you don't have. For yourself as well as others. When you see a mom with all girls, your first instinct is to ask if she wants a boy and the same thing for moms of boys. I'd be lying if I said I've never had that same thought, but life and circumstances have a way of teaching you to mind your own business.

Not long ago, after Ian passed away, I had someone say "well at least it was just another boy and not a girl". I suppose it was a sorry attempt to be comforting, and I'm sure this person has never had to say goodbye to their baby's little body and watch a nurse put a blanket over his sweet little face while wheeling him out of your hospital room for the last time. And I hope with all of my heart that this person never has to go home with a memory box of their child's footprints and a lock of his thin, brown hair. As insensitive as that comment was, I don't wish this pain on anyone. And just for the record, no my pain wouldn't have been greater had I lost a little girl and no, my pain wasn't any less because I already had two boys at home waiting for their baby brother.

I can't tell you how my heart melts when one of my boys hugs me and says "I love you, mommy" or how happy it makes me to hear them making zombie/ war/ monster/ explosion noises or how I admire their love for one another, even after they get done trying to strangle eachother.

I love watching them play super heros and I can't think of a better way to spend my Friday night than eating popcorn and watching He-Man. I've also developed a unique love for Transformers and Hot Wheels. And bathing with Bubble Gum scented Spider Man body wash makes me feel a little closer to heaven.

Words could never express how much I adore my little boys. I love knowing that they'll always have each other. I hope that they grow to be wonderful, sweet, productive men and amazing fathers.

And my Ian, oh my Ian, my heart beats a little faster whenever I think about him. My third boy. My sweet baby. My angel. With each passing day, I know I'm a little closer to seeing him again. An overwhelming amount of love and pain take over for a few minutes several times a day. Salty tears fill the crevice between my smiling lips while my mind is flooded with all the memories of that day and suddenly I'm there all over again. I can smell him and feel his skin against mine. I love you, cherub.

And now, another boy on the way. And I have boxes full of clothes in all shades of blue. Clothes that were for Ian. Clothes that will bring sorrow and sweetness all at once, when I see this tiny new being fill them. And my boys will always know that they have a brother in heaven. They will always know that they are one of four.

I'm sure having little girls would be a blast and perhaps some day I'll be blessed with one. Right now though, these four boys have my heart. All of it. Each one holding a special place.

I'm just grateful that of all the mommas in the world, God chose me to love and protect them.

And for the record, it's been a priviledge.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

It's a Boy!

A sweet baby boy!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


August 27th was my boys' first day of school. Julian started first grade and Tyler started Kindergarten. I didn't go to school that day, because I really wanted to share that moment with them. Julian is usually my brave boy. Shy but confident. Boy, was I surprised when he started to cry minutes before I walked him to his class. I held him close and told him everything would be well. He stopped crying but I could still sense his anxiety. That is, until we got to his classroom and he saw his best friend from Kinder. After that, he waved goodbye and smiled like the brave, confident boy I know he is.

Next, was my Ty-Ty. I had been preparing for several weeks of tears and anxiety. I was convinced my boy would be that kid. The one who cries and screams and kicks as I walk away every day for two weeks. As a mom, I know my kids like the back of my hand. Or at least I thought I did..... I walked him to his classroom with him holding tightly onto my hand and even hiding a bit behind me. That is, until he saw legos. I had rehearsed speeches and prepared mentally for the tantrums and the fits, but in 2.2 seconds I had been replaced by a bucket of legos. The security he got from my sweaty hand had been replaced by colorful little building blocks....who knew? I waved goodbye and told him I love him, but he was too busy making colorful towers. I did manage to get his attention long enough to take a picture.

I left with a happy heart knowing that my boys were ready to be on their own. It wasn't long before it hit me though. I sat in the car and cried for several minutes, after I realized that these were the very same milestones I'd never share with Ian. The moments a momma lives for, the ones we engrave in our hearts forever, would be the same ones I'd never have with my little boy. I sobbed in the parking lot and told myself how unfair it was. After a few minutes, I was able to pull myself together and go about my day. I never would have imagined the day would end with my in the E.R. with a broken foot after tripping and hitting the floor pretty hard. I'm ok. It's been two weeks and my foot has finally stopped throbbing. Perhaps they can try to cast it again after today, since they had to cut the cast off the first time due to severe swelling. Don't worry. Baby is fine. My arms took most of the fall, plus I'm well padded. Fluffy. Cushion-y. You know? happy

I have a doctor's appointment with my OB in a few hours. I have to leave extra early since crutching your way around a three story building isn't exactly easy when you are pregnant and broken. I'll figure it out though. I've been through worse....

Anyway, I want to thank everyone who has been touched by my the birth of my little angel. You have no idea what it means to me to have so many people share my pain and acknowledge his brief life. I am grateful and so proud to be able to share him with so many. I want everyone to know he was here and that he is part of our family. My heart goes out to those who shared their own experiences of loss and sadness. Please know you are not alone.

I hope you're all having a nice hump day. heart

Monday, September 10, 2012

New Life

I am nearly twenty weeks pregnant.

I'm not sure I am ready to announce it to the world, but you can only hide a pregnancy for so long. The few people who know have been incredibly supportive. However, every woman who's ever been pregnant can tell you that it is nearly impossible to avoid those well-meaning rude remarks about the new life growing inside of you. I've already had a few "I hope it's a girl this time" if, after what I've been through, I really care about the gender more than the safety and well-being of the tiny human baking in my womb. The truth is my life would have been more than perfect with a house full of boys.
And, of course, I could not get half-way through this pregnancy without the "you're having a new baby now, it's time to move on", because it's common knowledge that one baby replaces another, right? ....I might as well make it clear now, NOTHING and NOBODY will EVER fill this empty space in my heart. I still cry for him every day and my heart aches like it did the day I lost him. If anything, I'd say time has made the pain worse, because every day something reminds me that I should be holding a baby boy and my heart breaks a little more.
But, by far, the most unfortunate choice of words were "make sure you take care of this one" by a girl at my doctor's office. That one stung. She made me feel like I had somehow caused Ian's death.

I don't hold these things against anyone. I have learned a lot over the past few months, like that reading between the lines is a waste of time and that it's possible for someone to care about you and still say something unmeaningly hurtful while you're wounded and vulnerable. The biggest lesson though, has been the power of love. Like when emotion takes over and you don't know what to say, it's ok to not say anything. A simple heartfelt I'm Sorry along with a hug full of love and empathy is all you need. No need for cliche quotes or comparing the situation to a possible worst scenario.

I'd be lying if I said I am not a nervous wreck. And I'd really be lying if I said I'm not still grieving. And while the sadness and the anxiety manage to take over sometimes, most of the time I can be happy and thankful that there is a brand new human being growing inside me. I know our angel in heaven is watching over us every step of the way.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Dear Ian

Hi, angel. Happy six months in heaven, pumpkin.
Happy for you, not so happy for me.
I think about you every day, but today I couldn't get you off my mind. I kept thinking about all the wonderful milestones you surely would have reached by now.
I still have all your things. I'm not ready to let them go. I can't believe I have lived without you in my arms for six months. That's half a year!
A few weeks ago Tyler asked me if the reason you had gone to heaven was because he used to lay on my belly when you were inside me. Don't worry, I told him that wasn't the reason and to never think that it was his fault. I think your brothers miss you, they just don't know how to express it. They were so excited to have a baby brother. I remember how they would practice holding you with some of their stuffed animals and how they would tell me all of the wonderful things they wanted to do with you.
I love you so much, Ian. Sometimes I close my eyes and picture you laying on my chest like your brothers used to do when they were babies. And sometimes I can smell you on me.
It's hard not to think about all the things you'd be doing by now. It's hard not to wonder how I'm supposed to get through the rest of my life without you in it.
Please know that the day I take my last breath on this earth, I will go with a smile because I know you will be waiting for me. But hang in there for a little bit, because I still have a few things to do here. You have two brothers who need me and I'd really love to make a few contributions to this planet before I go spend eternity with you.
I miss you, honey, but I'm ok. Momma has good days and bad days, but I'll be alright. I smile more often these days, but I still have the need to shed a few tears for you every day. My heart aches every second of the day, but I've learned to soothe the pain with the love of your brothers and all the sweet memories of you tumbling in my belly.  I could have sworn you were going to be an acrobat :)
I love you, angel boy. Come visit me tonight, please. I need to feel you close. Fly high little cherub.

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Thursday, August 16, 2012


Today I watched my oldest boy turn six.

I remember the day he was born like it was yesterday. He was soft and tiny and perfect in every way. I remember crying when I had to leave him behind in the NICU for nearly three weeks. I remember the happiness I felt when the doctor said I could take him home.

My baby. I will always think of him as the boy who gave me my most important title. The boy who made me a mom for the first time.

It's hard to believe I lived for twenty-one and a half years without him.  It's hard to believe he turned six today. Where has time gone? Not long ago, I was sleeping entire nights with him on my chest. Our hearts in sync. His skin warm against mine. His tiny hand wrapped around my finger.

I'm so proud of the tiny person he's become. So noble and sweet. Generous and shy. Adventurous and curious. Pleasant and warm.

I love you, my little pumpkin-bear. You make me happy every day. Being your momma is such a privilege. Happy birthday, honey. Momma loves you infinity.

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Sunday, August 5, 2012


When I was eighteen I thought I had the world figured out. I fancied my self a wise woman, when (really) most of my wisdom came from fortune cookies and sappy quotes I read on internet chain letters on AOL.
Boy, was I ever so wrong.
I thought I was brilliantly wise beyond my years when life slapped me on the face during the summer of 2009 when a doctor stood in front of me and told me I may have cancer, while acting as if he had just told me that I had an ingrown toenail. I spent that summer crying myself to sleep, worrying about what my babies' lives would be like without their momma, having nightmares about them watching me die, gushing obscene amounts of blood from between my legs, praying I wouldn't pass out until after Joe got home. God was very present in my life that year. I learned how incredibly fragile life is and how not a single second should ever be taken for granted. He also saved me from very painful chemotherapy treatments, because two days before my first scheduled chemo session, after two very humiliating procedures, the thing they called cancer was gone.
That entire ordeal taught me many life lessons, but still, I wasn't perfect. I continued to make mistakes.
It wasn't long before I was complaining about my life and passing judgement on situations that didn't pertain to me. I opened my mouth and gave everyone my two cents on anyone who wasn't living their life the way I thought they should. I let resentment take over and I spoke unkind words, indirectly hurting three lovely, innocent beings I so love, who got caught in the adult crossfire. I haven't seen them in nearly two years as a result.
Then, life kicks my arse yet again, when I realize the very same thing I once criticized others for is the same that is happening to me. I could sit here and spill the details but that would take all night ....and it's rated R.
Still, life lessons kept flowing my way.
Not long ago, just when I thought I had achieved a new level of inner peace, my five year old son starts having inexplicable seizures, all while I'm eight months pregnant. I thought I had seen scary before. Nope...watching your child twist and curl in ways you'd never seen before in the middle of the night is a WHOLE other dimension of scary.
By this point, I'm quite sure God is through handing me lemons, at least for the moment, but then the unthinkable happens... something I always thought only happened to others.

I love you, Ian.

I'm incredibly blessed to have some amazing people in my life who have offered their support, time and prayers during my toughest moments.

I recently found a notebook with a note to myself that said:

Don't worry about what others think. Don't dwell on your mistakes. Try to be a better you every day. Trust God. See the goodness in everything. Be compassionate. Be kind, even to those who have been unkind to you. Make your own path. Think before you speak. Enjoy the small things. Don't waste your tears on anything that's not worth it. Move forward, not backward. Don't be afraid to stand up for yourself. Don't expect anything from anyone. Don't worry about the religious, political or personal beliefs of others. Keep you promises. Life doesn't owe you anything. You want something, go get it. It's ok to get dissapointed, but don't get discouraged. Be you. Give love.

And I wrote that when I was sixteen.

Life has hit me, kicked me, slapped me, stomped on me, chewed me up and spit me out.....but I'm still here. I don't want to miss out on all the wonderful things life has in store because I feel the need to have a pity party.
Everyone goes through things. Every experiences emotional pain. Everyone has something someone said or did to them that left them marked for the rest of their lives. Don't allow those things to define your life. This life is yours. And you only get one.

Sadness is normal. Grief is normal. Anger is normal. Emotions make you human. What's not normal is to sit around, watching life pass you by, waiting for it to hand you all the things others have worked hard for. It's not normal to judge others when you should be focusing on your own faults. It's not okay to point out someone's flaws, in order to distract others from yours.

Lesson after lesson, I still don't know as much as I thought I did when I was eighteen. All I know is this is life is mine and I intend to make the most of it.

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Friday, August 3, 2012

Your Life Goes On

Your life goes on. Mine stopped that day. Just because my heart is still pumping blood throughout my body, it doesn't mean I feel alive. Yes, I know everything happens for a reason. Yes, I'm aware that I have other children who need me. Yes, I've heard that time heals all wounds. Yes, I understand that "life goes on".  I have a calendar. I see the days go by. Yet, every morning since that day, I look in the mirror and see nothing. I see a reflection that shouldn't be there because I'm empty and I feel like I'm nothing. I'm not sure if that makes sense to anyone but me. This sadness is much too deep for words.
Day after day, month after month, my heart aches the same way it did that morning. February 23, 2012 will be forever engraved in my mind. The years will go by and I will always be able to tell anyone who asks about every minute of every hour of that day. Meanwhile, well-meaning people will try to tell me how to grieve properly or how not to grieve at all.
One more day without you. Nearly half a year. I'll never be the same. You taught me more in 39 weeks than I could have ever imagined. You taught me patience and how to love deeper. You showed me how to appreciate the small things and to be humble and understanding. Because of you I speak sweeter and I leave judgement solely to God.
Life is short. I'm not done here yet, little angel. I have to leave a mark on this earth the same way you left a mark on my life. I know one day we'll be together again and I will hold you in my arms for eternity.
Life is short…but a lifetime without you will seem so long.
I love you, Angel Boy. Momma loves you so much. Fly high, sweet cherub.

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Thursday, July 5, 2012


I haven't been emotionally capable of logging into this blog for several months. It's a sad place with raw emotions that I somehow managed to type up while I was half dead inside.
Tears are making their way across my cheeks as I recall those long, lonely nights after I lost my boy. Nowadays, I can smile a lot more and focus on what I do have- two beautiful boys who need their momma, but I still have moments when the brokeness resurfaces and makes me wonder how I'm supposed to get through an entire lifetime without my baby.
Today would have been his first Independence Day. I miss him. Sometimes, I can smell him near me. And other times he visits me in my dreams.
I never knew this much sadness was possible. The what-ifs alone are enough to drive any stable-minded, averagely-sane, semi-normal person crazy. Not saying that I was any of those to begin with....but now I just feel like I've lost my mind on most days. I've become a hypochondriac, over-protective, paranoid, freak who thinks that weird diseases and freak accidents are waiting to happen to her and everyone around her.
And no, the Zoloft didn't help. If anything I'd say it made it worse. Call me weird, but drugging the pain away just doesn't work for me. I want to feel and cry and hurt. I feel a lot better after a good cry than I do after popping a few pills.
A good talk helps too. However, there are those people who mean well and think that by summarizing a lifetime's worth of "wise", cliche quotes that they've heard or read, will wash all your troubles away. You know the ones I'm talking about. "Everything happens for a reason" or "God never gives you anything you can't handle" or "he's in better place", etc.....
And of course there are those who think that a dose of tough love will "snap you out of it". Like I'm just supposed to pick up where I left off before the little person who lived inside me for 39 weeks, the one I so lovingly named and prepared for, the one whom I made a lifetime of plans with, died.
That's right. He died. And I'm not ok. I'm sad and I'm broken and I'm going to spontaneously cry and publicly hurt for as long as I need to, because I'm grieving, and that's ok. I will have days when the sadness will takeover and I simply won't be my "normal" self. And people will judge and talk about how I'm crying my life away and about how life goes on and how I should be happy about my two healthy children, but unless they ever walk down this path themselves, they will simply never know how selfish and ignorant they are making themselves look.
Nobody chooses this. And when it happens to you, you can't choose when or where or how often to hurt.
I love you, Ian. I hope you enjoyed the fireworks tonight, angel. I'm sure you did as you had the best seat in the house- heaven. Fly high sweet baby. Momma loves you.

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Saturday, March 24, 2012


Last December, I had a toothache from hell. At one point, it got so bad that I stayed up all night crying and praying for some relief. With most illnesses you can run to the pharmacy or in worst cases the ER to get some sort of answers along with some meds, but with toothaches the options are limited, especially when you're pregnant. I remember thinking there couldn't possibly be any pain worse than a toothache.

I take it back.

I went to the dentist and had the tooth extracted. My mouth is no longer in pain. But my heart, well, it hurts badly. And I can't have it extracted. No amount of Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen could ease the deep pain I feel inside. At times, the pain is sharp and relentless. Other times, it's dull and achey, but it's always there. ALWAYS.

I'm supposed to be on maternity leave. Please, tell my why I just left a funeral home...I don't understand. It seems like a nightmare. The funeral director keeps talking about prices and "packages" like were here to buy a time-share. It seems cruel to  subject anyone to this after they've suffered the loss of a loved one. I'm lucky that Joe's sisters have handled most of these arrangements for me. I only had to show up to sign some papers, but I can imagine what it's like to have your heart shattered and throbbing with pain, and to want to lay your loved one to rest for eternity only to have a sales person approach you with their robotic, well-rehearsed "I'm so sorry for your loss" script and then attempt to make a sale while you're vulnerable and foggy.

I signed and left. I know I cried because there are black mascara tear trails on my cheeks, but my mind and my heart have blocked out most of the cold details. I don't care for small talk during moments of awkward silence ,while I sign a paper saying it's ok to have my baby buried here. I'm here because I don't have a choice. I doubt anyone has ever seeked their services out of pleasure.

This has truly been my first real encounter with death. There's really no way to describe the physical and emotional toll it has taken on me. There are moments when I feel paralyzed by pain. I have to force myself to function. I suppose that's what brings us all together as humans. No matter what age, race, gender, social status, the end of the day, we all feel pain. At one point or another, we all experience loss and heartbreak.  Pain of any sort is a humbling experience. You suddenly realize you don't care all that much about the petty things.

Excuse my francais, but all the shit that I once swore was my worst nightmare, is the same shit I would trade in this experience for right now. I'd take that toothache from hell back if I could go back and feel my baby moving inside me just one more time. I'd take on everyone else's trouble too, in exchange for a few more magical minutes cuddling with his tiny body.

And excuse my francais some more, but if I ever hear another woman moping and whining about the late night feedings and the loneliness and the fatigue and the lack of support, blah blah blah, I'm gonna have to tell her to shut the fuck up, because I'd give almost anything to have that right now. That's what babies do. Big deal. Get over it. If it bothers you so much then stop having babies.

The only thing that comforts me right now, is knowing that others have suffered or are suffering far more than I ever have, and they are okay.

And in time, I will be okay too.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

I sat in our rocking chair and cried like a baby today. If I could put this pain in a bottle and use it as a weapon of mass destruction, I'm sure I'd have enough to destroy several small countries.

I hurt so badly. I've become really good at lying. I can make people believe I'm okay, when inside I just want to run and scream until I collapse. Sometimes, I can even make myself think I'm okay.

I'm not fine. I'm hurt and I'm lost and I'm confused. I feel humiliated. I feel like life played a very dirty trick on me, by letting me plan and dream and hope and letting everyone watch me get excited about bringing new life into the world, only to take it all back and leave me behind broken and wounded. 

How am I supposed to go through an entire lifetime with this emptiness in my heart? How am I ever supposed to feel complete again? I hate having so many questions with no answers.

My arms ache for him. I fall asleep whispering his name and I wake up with the sting of the pain in my heart. I just want my baby boy. I want him so badly and I know there is nothing I can do to fulfill this need.

I love you, Ian. Last night I dreamed that you were still inside me and I could feel you moving, only to wake up and remember you are gone. I've cried more in the past 19 days than I have in my entire life, and I still have a lot more crying left to do. Please come visit me in my dreams tonight. I need you.

Momma loves you, little precious.

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Friday, March 9, 2012

I miss you more every day. The days go by, but this wound is not healing. I try to smile and stay strong for your brothers, but inside my heart is barely beating. I'm constantly holding back tears and pretending I'm ok, but I'm not. I'm sad. Always sad. The only thing that brings me comfort is knowing you are well and that we will meet again someday.

I feel so privileged to have had you grow inside me. Your entire life took place in my womb. I never got to see you live outside me, but for 39 whole weeks I got to feel you grow inside me. Thank you. I'll hold those memories in my heart for the rest of my life.

The day I said goodbye to your tiny, precious body, I engraved every detail into my mind and my heart- the little wrinkles on your toes, your short, silky eyelashes, the sweet fragrance of your sin, how smooth your cheek felt against mine, how soft your little nose felt on my lips every time I kissed it, how perfectly you fit into my arms... We only had a little over a day together, but I remember every second of it. 

I love you, sweet angel. I always did and always will. I was waiting for you anxiously. Your clothes and your bassinet were ready for you, your brothers were counting the days, daddy was so excited and momma was going to quit her job for you, sweety. I wanted to be home for you, like I was for your brothers.

I love you, baby. I thank God for the 39 weeks He gave us together. He allowed me to feel you grow into a precious baby boy, but He had other plans for you and I know you are well, because you're with Him. You went from my womb straight into His arms. How lucky I am to be the mother of an angel. It hurts, but I know where you are and Who you're with.

I love you, little precious.



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Monday, March 5, 2012

Yesterday daddy and I took your brothers to watch The Lorax. It was nice to hear them laugh. Daddy too. I tried my best to have a good time but the truth is all I thought about was you. I kept thinking that if you were there, you'd be snuggled up against my chest where I could keep you warm and protect you from the noise.

I miss you. I'm never going to get tired of saying that. I never knew I could miss someone like this. When we got home from the theater, I began to cry. It felt so strange being out as a family without you, because you ARE a part of this family.

I know I shouldn't torture myself with the what-ifs, but sometimes I can't help it. I'm in so much pain, I'm surprised I can function at all. The days seem so long, I don't know what to do with myself. This time was for you. I had seven glorious weeks off to be with you, but you're not here. And who was I kidding, anyway? I wasn't going to return to work. I wouldn't have been able to leave you. Anyone who knows me, knows I'm a mommy first.

A couple of days ago, I opened your box. I sobbed as I went through it. Daddy told me I shouldn't have opened it, but I needed to feel you close.

I still can't believe you're gone. I miss your somersaults inside my belly. I miss all the hopes and dreams I had for us. You're gone and I'm left behind with a broken heart and the residuals of your brief existence. A memory box, baby clothes, an empty bassinet, maternity bras I'll never wear, two breasts full of milk- all constant reminders that you were well on your way into our lives. You're still a part of our lives except now we'll have to go visit you at a cemetery. We'll never get to hear you giggle or watch you grow or hear you say "mamma" or "dadda" or have you wrap your little hand around my index finger....I could go on and on.

I never knew it was possible to hurt this badly. 

I love you, my little angel face.


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Saturday, March 3, 2012

I should've held you longer. I should've kissed you more. Words could never describe how much I miss you. This heartache is emotionally and physically painful. Sometimes, I hurt so bad, I feel paralyzed, like I can't move or talk. I just want to lay still and cry.

The first day I pumped your milk, I sat in our rocking chair, crying incessantly. That was your milk. Your food. It was meant for your perfect, little, soft mouth, not for a cold, hard, plastic cone. 

For many months, I had been looking forward to breastfeeding you. Daddy got us a beautiful rocking chair and I had pictured you nestled comfortably in my arms, freshly bathed, in a sky-blue cotton onesie, with your lips latched onto my breast, suckling mommy's milk.

It's been nine days since your birth and I can't help but wonder how many baths I would've given you by now or how many times you would've fallen asleep on my chest with our hearts side by side, beating in sync or how many pet-names I'd have for you. Your brothers know how much momma loves pet-names. Honey-bear, snuggle-muffin, sugar-plum...those are just a few of my favorite.

I miss you, angel. I keep trying to figure out why God needed you more than I did, but I suppose it really doesn't matter. Nothing will make this pain go away. I ache inside, every second of every day. It makes me angry and jealous when I think of all the mommas who got to leave the hospital with their precious, little bundles and I left with a memory box. I can't even bring myself to look inside the box yet. I know what's in it- some pictures, a cast of your sweet, tiny feet, a lock of your hair, your hand and foot prints, the only little outfit you ever wore, the blanket you were wrapped in....I just don't know how long it'll be before I have the courage to look at it. 

My sweet Ian, I want you to know momma loves you. I always did. When I found out you were coming, I was very confused and lost, but I always loved you. For the rest of my life, I will feel like something is missing. The day God decides to take me too, I will not be afraid, because I know you will be waiting for me and I will hold you and kiss you endlessly for all of eternity.

I love you, my little darling.



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Thursday, March 1, 2012


I just don't understand why...he had just been kicking and flipping the night before.

This heartache is almost unbearable. The tears won't stop. I can still smell him on me. That sweet, fresh baby smell is impregnated into my skin. Every time I close my eyes I see his face. I wish I could've seen his eyes just once.

On Friday night, Joe and I decided it was best if the nurse took his body away. We knew we had to say goodbye at some point and we didn't want it to be as we left the hospital. We both held him for a while and told him how much we loved him. We cried together and told him how sorry we were that we couldn't save him. We rubbed our faces against his and kissed him as much as we could. Joe told the nurse she could take him. It hurt so bad knowing he'd be going to the morgue and not the nursery. We watched her as she pulled his little bed out, knowing that would be the last time we'd see him. Joe laid behind me, with his arms around my shoulders and we sobbed together.

I could've never done that alone. I'm so grateful my husband was there to share the pain with me.

Yesterday I lost it. I screamed and cried uncontrollably. Joe tried his best to hold me, but I didn't want to be held. I didn't want anything but my baby. The same one I carried inside me for 39 weeks. The one who made me nauseous and tired and hungry for so long. The one who I longed to hold and feed and bathe. I wanted to feel his slippery little body in my arms. Nothing else would please me. No words of comforts or hugs or bible verses. Nothing.

I ripped a box of his clothes open and I held them tight against my chest. Hot tears made their way across my cheeks. 

What am I supposed to do with all this sadness? The days seem so long. The nights seem even longer. I can't function. My life will never be the same...

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Monday, February 27, 2012

I Miss You

My last appointment before my c-section was today at 10:15. Last week when I made the appointment I would have never imagined I'd be at a funeral home instead.

It's hard to look down and not see my big pregnant belly. It wouldn't be so hard if I at least had my little angel to hold, but the cold, harsh truth is you're gone.

I keep going back to Wednesday night, when I was sitting on the couch, watching my belly wiggle into all sorts of odd shapes. Daddy had his hands on my bump and he was telling me how excited he was about getting to hold you soon. I could see the excitement in his eyes. And your were counting down the days on the calendar. They were anxiously awaiting your arrival as well.

Thursday morning is such a blur. My back started hurting around 5a.m. I didn't think much of it because I was no stranger to aches and pains by this point. But this time it didn't get any better. It only started to get worse. I woke up daddy, called grandma and got ready to go to the hospital. I quickly threw a few things into the diaper bag daddy got us for Valentine's day, including a little pair of yellow duckie pajamas and we took off to the hospital. The pain was becoming more and more intense, and by this time I had realized you hadn't moved much since late Wednesday night. I started to pray for some movement, but it was hard to concentrate with the contractions getting stronger and stronger.

The second that nurse put the doppler on me and couldn't find a heartbeat- I knew. Finding it had never been a challenge and I knew you were gone. They quickly brought an ultrasound monitor and gave eachother strange looks. They were trying not to worry me, but I already knew.

They immediately prepared me for a c-section. Daddy sobbed as they pulled you out with your cord around your neck. I've never heard him cry like that. They put your little head by mine and let me kiss you. Your face still warm from my womb. You were so handsome.

I can't believe you're gone. I miss your kicks and flips inside me. Your things are in boxes in the corner of my closet. Grandma packed them away for me because she knew I wouldn't be able to stand the sight of them.

Right now, I'm angry. Angry that I never got to see your eyes. Angry that I never got to hear you cry. Angry that I have staples across my abdomen, but no baby to hold. Angry that you're gone.

I miss you. I hate that I had to sign your tiny body away to a funeral home today. Today, when I should have been making the last minute preparations for your arrival.

It hurts to say your name. It hurts to have to explain to your brothers that you're in heaven. It hurts to breathe. It hurts to want to hold you so badly. I feel so empty. My sight is clouded by tears 90% of the day. Your brothers know I'm hurting for you.

I love you Ian Daniel. I hope you know that. Daddy loves you too. We found out you were on your way at a very strange time in our lives. I was beyond shocked when I found out you were coming, but you brought me peace and joy.

My heart aches for you, my sweet baby. Even when I find a moment of peace, my heart throbs with pain. I don't know how I'm going to get through this, but I promise you, your short life will not be in vain. You have changed who I am forever. I will never be the same.

I love you.

See you in my dreams tonight my precious little piece of heaven.



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It's 2:11 a.m. I took two sleeping pills, yet I am still awake.

I'm still trying to come to terms with what has happened. I keep going back to Thursday morning, wondering if there is anything I could've done differently to save my baby.

I carried him one day short of 39 weeks. He was full term. Ready to come out and live outside my womb. His clothes were all ready for him. His brothers were anxiously counting the days until his arrival.

It wasn't supposed to happen this way. He should've been home right now, ready for his 2 a.m. feeding. Latched onto my breast. Falling asleep in my arms. We were ready for him.

My arms feel so empty. I miss him. I miss his little kicks inside me. A piece of my heart is missing. I can't believe he's gone. I never even got to see his eyes.

I don't know how I'm going to make it through this. The days go by so slowly. I need him.

I'm broken.

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