Sam is an angel that was brought into my life. Here is our journey back home...

Sam is an angel that was brought into my life. Here is our journey back home...

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

It's Christmas Day

It's Christmas Day and I feel almos foolish to think I actually thought year number 2 without Sam would be a smidgen easier than the first.
Shit! I'm wrong!
This sucks. We stop at the oasis for Starbucks and my eyes begin to flow at the sight of a father and son hand in hand.

I allow my head to be filled with the guilt that struck me so early on.
I'm sorry for not giving my husband a son, my daughter a brother, completing my family.
I know it's not my fault. But this Christmas season has brought out that mother instinct, the one to protect the young at any cost.
I just want my son back. Even if its for a split second.

I imagine him riding around in this truck that we would have bought him this year for Christmas.

I can hear him babbling some gibberish that only daddy and I can understand.

I imagined him opening his gifts this morning and either being a terror to his big sister or the most sweetest little boy to his mommy.

But I'm not having any of that. Their only dreams that will never come true.

We will never have a complete family. We will never have a complete holiday.

Merry Christmas baby boy, mommy loves you.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas

I've been having a really hard time with Christmas this year and Lucas is doing even worse.
Those feelings and thoughts are for another post. I just wanted to drop a quick hello and picture of the girls with the "big guy".

•Side note I have about 4ish post sitting in "draft" mode. I may be sorting through these and posting them over the next couple weeks, I hope.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Silence

I felt it. I was thick neither one of us wanted to say anything but we both felt it. The anger both filled is at the same time. It was almost like I could see it enter the car and pry our mouths open and force us to swallow its bitterness. Our chests puffed out as if the anger was too big to fit in our lives at that moment.

never the less anger made its way in and fill our brains with the questions and sarcastic remarks toward our creator. Just like it always does. Never actually invited always an unwelcome guest.

We never said anything to each other. He looked a few times and I glared. As if to study it looking for an answer. Looking for a final answer as to why our creator took our son from us.

But I didn't find it.

Still we sat there stuck in traffic in a small town near our home. At a dead stop in front of a church with a huge banner swaying between the columns that would welcome the Saturday church goers.

A picture of what is supposed to be The Creators hands holding a baby still in the womb. Next to the hands was Isaiah 44:2.
There it was reassuring me that Sam was in His hands before he was born, "under his care". Then why'd he let him die. He's supposed to be a loving God. Why could he take good care for my son.

Why'd He choose my son to die and not yours.

My eyes felt with tears as we pulled away. Tears of anger. Tears of relief. Tears of pain.

And again anger consumes my thoughts. The stronghold strikes again.

Fuck you anger. I want my baby boy!

Monday, October 22, 2012

I'm leaving

I never thought this would be me. You know the mom that wants to stay at home with her kids. I always thought of myself as the mom that couldn't wait to get away from her kids. The independent mama who worked full time and managed the house at night. The mom that was confident leaving her kids with someone else.

It's not me. I'm not the mom I thought I once was. It's not that it wasn't hard leaving Michalina, but I got used to it quickly and knew really nothing else. It was what I always knew would happen. With her I had tunnel vision; have a baby, stay home for the summer, return to work in August. That was it. I guess I never really pictured myself getting so attached to my children.

Sam has taught me different.

He has taught me that my dream job is to be a mom and the very best mom I can be. He has shown me my true purpose in life.

Mother.

But I can't live up to that lesson. I can't keep that promise.

Money. The root of all evil.

It's money that holds me back from living that lesson, that dream.

Because of money I am unable to stay home with my girls and be the mother I want and know I can be.  I return to work tomorrow.

That's the thing about being a teacher. There is very little leeway when it comes to working options. I don't have the choice to work from home or return part-time. There are students there awaiting my return. They need me, but I don't need them.

He says it can't be done. He says it's too much to leave; a teacher's retirement plan, a teacher's benefit's. I never thought my life, my dreams would be run by money. I never have let it before. Why am I allowing it now? Having breathed death, I say, "What if I/we don't live that long?" "What if I die old with regrets?" I have always thought I lived by my life's motto, It's the risks you don't take, you always 
regret.

I have been blessed with some very understanding team mates and colleagues. I have been granted a transition to ease my way back into my duties; aka leaving Vivianna. I don't know how I would be if I didn't have this easing. Even still, I will be in my office wiping away the tears that scourer my face leaving tracks of sadness while milk sprays from my chest into tiny plastic bags awaiting an infant that refuses to be fooled.

I have had kind words told to me and offers of assurance and peace, but save your breath. I know she will be left in good hands, I'm blessed with that option, I know that. That is not it. I'm not only leaving them, I'm leaving my hopes, my dreams, and exclusively breastfeeding. So save your breath because you can't replace my hopes, dreams, and bonding.

You don't understand, you can't.

What if she dies while I'm away and I miss another goodbye? What if she has a "first" while I'm away? Death has changed me without ever asking for permission. I've tried to tame those ill thoughts of death and negativity but it's hard. Even when I'm able to wrangle the demons they are still waiting and taunting me in the corner, laughing at me.

No matter where I am, where my thoughts and grief are, I'm leaving you day dream. Goodbye.
I'm sorry I let you down.


Birthdays

Birthday's. Ah, birthday's. 
Everyone wants to make a big deal out of it...except for you. 

In my family we have always made a big deal out of birthday's. We usually go out to eat and exchange gifts. Well things have been different for me since Sam died. And that makes it hard for them to accept. 

I hate my birthday.

Any parent who has lost a child could sympathize with me. It's hard to celebrate another year of life when you have buried your own child. 

Now, I'm not asking for a pity party on my birthday or trying to offend anyone by not cooperating. I'm just asking for it to be quiet. Just me and my family. 

I wept on my birthday as I gave Sam his pumpkin and parented him the best I could. 

I still want to be with him. I still want to curl around his casket and hold his little body as I drift away. 

Birthday's. 
Another year of life.  
Another day closer to holding my baby. 

I love you baby. 
Mommy loves you.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Capture Your Grief: Week 1

I have been participating in Carly Marie's Capture Your Grief photo challenge. You can read about this challenge here. This challenge of course goes in hand with Infant and Pregnancy Loss Month, the specific day being October 15th.
Instead of overloading my blog with 31 posts, I thought I'd break mine into weeks.

WEEK 1
Day 1: Sunrise

Day 2: Self portrait before grief
This was a hard one. It's always hard for me to go back and look at the ill prepared stefanie.
The stefanie who didn't see this life coming.
The woman I never thought I'd be.
The mother who parents an angel.
You can read more about those feelings here.

Day 3: Self portrait after grief
I chose a picture of me at Faith's Lodge placing Sam's painted heart rock at the base of a tree near the bridge. I can remember those feelings the emerged when I looked around at the hundreds of other rocks thinking, I'm just like all of these other moms that have painted a rock for their dead child/baby.
We are a part of the same group. The community that no one wanted to ever enter.
This is a picture of me 6 months after Sam was born and died. It was also the same week we found out we were pregnant with Vivianna.

We were entering a new state of grief.

Day 4: Treasured item
This one was hard too. You see, when you bury your baby that you never really got to know you treasure everything the has to do with them. There are lots of things I treasure that have to do with Sam.
To name a few…
His green hat he wore in the hospital
His shirt he wore in the hospital that still have his blood stains on it.
His hospital bracelet.
His clothes he never got to wear.
His room he never got to sleep in.
His hand and foot prints.
Everything that's little boy in this house is Sam.
His pictures.
Proof that he is real.
Proof that he lived. (Remember in IL babies that are stillborn do not get a birth certificate, proving life)

This picture especially gives me all of that because it brings me right back to holding him,
smelling him,
touching him. God, what I would give to touch him again!

Day 5: Memorial
For this I chose a photo of us, again at Faith's Lodge, this time it was for a tree planting. The tree planting was to fill the grounds Faith's with new life after a devastating storm in July of 2011. Kind of ironic that families were there to plant new life in memory of a life that ended too soon.
This tree was the first "memorial" that we did for Sam. Since then we have planted an identical tree in our back yard.
Faith's Lodge means so much to us. We love to give back to them when ever we can or visit.

Day 6: What NOT to say
I have been blessed with mostly kind words or actions. Very rarely have I encounter a stupid comment or disrespectful re/action.

Then there's this statement, "You're SO strong!"
I hate it!
I'm not really sure why that statement bothers me so much. But what I do know is that it is mostly said to me when I am weak or when I want to be weak and swallowed by my grief (because some days I just want to be sad). Or maybe because I feel like its because of that strength my son died.

I'm not strong.
I'm only surviving until the day comes that I get to hold my son again.

Day 7: What to say
There nothing sweeter than hearing his name.
Writing his name.

Sam

Sam

Sam

Talk about him. It doesn't make me sad.
What does is when you are afraid to say his name or don't say his name st all.
You'll see. I can have conversations about my son without tears.

I'm a proud mommy of an angel after all.
I just parent from a different side of heaven.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Death and Fear

I had a horrible dream last night. I dream the is sort of a possibility, but only to people who have experienced the "impossible".

I had a dream she was going to die. I had to say goodbye to the little girl who has helped put light back into my life.

Here's the dream-like part; I knew how, when, and what time she was going to die. I remember clearly in my dreams being forced to say goodbye, begging with fate to not allow this to happen; to change its mind.

Just like reality, I knew it was a loosing battle and I cried over her still breathing body and wanting to tell her all the things I needed to tell her. But of course all I could think of was, "mommy loves you."

I woke frantic after my poor attempt at goodbye to be staring right at her, still sound asleep ignorant to my horrible nightmare.

I laid there watching her chest, up and down, in and out…and the dream begins to replay in my mind.

Tears begin to roll down my face. I could only see her silhouette through the ocean that has formed in my eyes.

I can't loose her too.

That statement has become a frequent one lately. Sometimes as a quiet whisper and sometimes said out loud.

I guess it is creeping around more often because I will be heading back to work in a few short weeks.

What if she dies while I'm at work?

Sick. I know but that's my reality.

I don't want to head back to work not just because of the whole fear of her dying while I'm not around but because I just don't want to leave her. I want to be with her, them all the time. I fear I'm going to miss something. The something that could change everything. The something that could be marked a milestone.

She only wants me. Does she sense my fear? Does she know? Does she feel the same?

Nightmares and fears.
Fears and reality.
Reality and death.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

A look back


Do you ever look back at old pictures, I mean old pictures from 10+ years ago, of yourself and see you as a different person? Not like a different person personality wise. A different person like someone that is not you. 

I found myself sorting through some old stuff of mine at my parents house the other day and came across some old pictures of me in high school, me with ex boyfriends, and me as a small child. I looked at those and felt completely removed from the person I was looking at. I felt like it wasn't really me. It was of some one different. Someone who I never thought would give birth to her stillborn son. Someone who I never thought would be living the life she is today. 

I was never one who thought I would live to be in my twenties let alone now my thirties. I don't know why, I just thought as a teenager that I would die before then. Not because of my life style but because I just could never see that far into the future. 

I guess in a sense I did die.

I died at the ripe old age of thirty-two. 

I buried myself on May 9, 2011. My name is even on the wall to prove it. 

Except I'm not in there. 

Look over one more. There.
I'm in with my son.

Curled right around his little white casket. Holding tighter than I ever thought possible. 

I was dead for 1 year, 2 months, and 1 day. I knew I had to live when I gave birth to my daughter, my rainbow in a perfect storm. 

I still reside in that mausoleum with Sam, but a new me has appeared. I'm still trying to figure out who she is, but I do know that she is not the same girl in those pictures. She is not that same girl from a year ago or 2 years ago.

Looking at those pictures I see innocence, immaturity, possibilities, a journey.

Never did I think that person in those pictures was going to be me.

Kids

Kids.

Just the word alone has really been bothering me lately. I think it is more the plural part of it more than anything. After Sam passed away I would say "kids" in conversations, get that puzzled look from people as they glance over at the only "kid" standing near me. That usually was my cue to either tell Sam's story or interject his name.

Now there's no explaining to be had.

I say the word "kids" and people can undoubtedly agree, "yes, kids".
I don't like it.
I miss the opportunities to tell my son's story and spread awareness about stillbirth.

I find myself using the phrase, "the girls" more lately. To me, this is a way of not forgetting to include same in my "kids" ratio while still referring to my only living kids. 

Do you ever think about that? Think, that one small word could rock someone's world and send them into a valley of grief or anger?

Who know such a stupid word would bother me so much. Maybe there will be a day that I won't think of it that way. Maybe there will be a day that I don't have to feel the need to tell Sam's story to the world (i doubt that will ever happen). Maybe people will hear me when I say kids and know that I am including Sam into the factor.

I could always talk to people about my THREE kids...

Until then, my girls and I know who's missing from the kids in our family.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Those moments.

Have you ever had those moments when there's just someone missing. You know if they were there they would love what you were doing. If they were there the moment would feel perfect. You want so bad to call them up and invite them, but you can't. You can't invite them or share the experience with them because they've died.

Last night was one of those moments.

We had a couple hours of opportunity open to go on the boat. The weather was perfect and it was a weekday so the lakes would be quiet. We packed up and headed out as quickly as possible so we could collect as much sunlight as possible. This was vivianna's first ride on the ski boat.

That's when it all came rushing it. It's like a whole football team charging you at once. You can see what's coming and put on your padding to cushion the hits but when you do get tackled it hurts worse than you thought. Almost like you shouldn't have bothered with the pads, they didn't help!

Vivianna's first boat ride…Sam never had a first boat ride. Another dream shattered and torn from me.

Damn it! I wish he was here. I wish he never had to leave me.

Sam, were you there? Were you with us?



On our way home we saw this beautiful sunset filled with so many colors. I asked Michalina what she thought of Sam's beautiful work. Her response, shouting to the heavens, "Thanks Sam for the beautiful sunset!"

Lucas and I well up with tears.

With the sunlight reaching through the tiny crevasses the clouds left, I ask her, "Do you know what those are? Those are the angels singing."

She remains in the intense stare at the sunset and reveals the most content, happy, proud smile.

I will never forget that smile it was as if Sam reached out and hugged her. She was immediately connected to him.

Those moments when someone's missing and he reaches out and fills your heart with love.



Saturday, August 18, 2012

Time and memories

Ever feel extra attached to your rainbow for fear that it might be your last day together?

Today is one of those days for me.

Yea, I am that freak of a BLM that constantly checks to see if her baby is breathing, kisses and tells her baby "I love you" every hour, and protects her with every thing I have. But this time around in motherhood I don't care what people think about that.

Today it's worse. I find myself staring at her to burn her sweet face into my memory. I'm trying to recall every moment today to retrieve for my "happy" memories later. Begging for the moment to never end.

To know what it's like to loose a baby is gut wrenching but allow it to play out in your living children is disturbing. I hate that I think this way but I'm afraid if I don't I'm going to take my girls for granted.

I don't want to die with regrets.
My family is my world.

Holding moments and memories close to my heart and clinging to hope.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Whirlwind

I'm not sure I know where to begin. I've thought about this post for weeks. How I'm going to tell my fellow bloggers what it's like to birth s rainbow and the emotions that come with it, but I've delayed. Partially intentional and partly not.

I just have yet to sort through these emotions. I don't even know where to begin. I almost feel like I'm in those early stages of grief again. Those days I felt twenty emotions all at once. I live day to day knowing and feeling incomplete while gazing I to the eyes of joy. I can't look at Vivianna with out thinking how happy she has made me…us. But I also see my son. This doesn't make me sad it just makes me think. If that makes any sense. She is here because he is not.

I listen to the random Michalina-ism's and my heart melts. Today she told the lady I've become close with at Sam's park, "look isn't she the cutest alive baby ever?"
Why does she have to live this life. The life of a selected four year old to have held her dead brother. The life of a big sister that has to visit a mausoleum to "see" her brother.

I look at her interacting with V and see a family missing one. We will always be incomplete. I will always be missing my little boy.
A life I still wouldn't trade. A life touched by my angel boy.

Monday, July 16, 2012

She's here...

Well without further a due...I had my rainbow on Thursday! Vivianna Samantha was born at 3:51 pm. Of course named partly after her big brother. She is doing well and so is the rest of our family. I will post more of her birth story when I have a bit more time. I wanted to share her picture and arrival with you all because I know some of you have been patiently waiting.
Thank you all for you continued prayers and thoughts throughout this journey. I couldn't have done it with out you.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Waiting...

Time seems to be moving at a snail's pace as I sit here waiting to be induced and meet our new addition. I am overwhelmingly calm. I know that I have no control over the outcome of today. I am here and doing what I am supposed to be doing, the rest is up to God. Now I know God and I have not been very cordial this past year. But I think it is for good reason on my part. I have had a very difficult time being able to put my full trust in him like I had May 8, 2011. I have admittedly kept him at arm's distance. I fully accept that he is in control of this life I lead, although that is hard at times to swallow. I know that there is only so much I can do.

Today I have missed Sam more than I have in a long time. I miss holding him and feeling his skin. Don't get me wrong there is not a split second that goes by that I don't miss or think about him, but today, on my indication day he is really on my mind and heart. I hope he is here with me in the room. I hope he is sitting right next to me snuggling up and keeping me calm.
I love you baby boy.

The nurses have been great so far. They were nice enough to put us in a new room so it looks nothing like the room we delivered Sam and Michalina in. Yea, it makes us a little bit more comfortable, but what I think is really putting us at ease is this experience so far is way different than our last two kids. However, now that I type that I am reminding myself of the unknowns. The unknowns are also what scares the shit out of me. I don't know what it is going to be like to actually know that I am going to go into labor. With both my other children I went so fast and was in denial the whole time to even think about what was actually happening. With this one, I have time to think. If anyone knows me well, ring me time to think is not always a good thing.

How to curb anticipation...

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Unknown

I have less than 1 day to go before I meet my new addition to my family. I sit her in the glider that I hope I am holding my little girl in by the weekend nursing her and filling her healthy body with nutrition.
But I can't shake all of the pressure that come with Thursday.
People are praying for her safety and health at this very moment. They are also praying for her arrival. Praying for her to arrive alive. I can't help but think this is my responsibility to do so. I mean who else is going to do that? I never thought the pressure to deliver a live baby would be so much!

Now I know no one means to put this pressure on me. In fact I am putting pressure on myself. But man, is it overwhelming!

I just pray that I have a living, breathing, healthy baby in my arms Thursday.

Friday, July 6, 2012

6 days and counting…

Well in less than 1 week I will be bringing another baby into this world. My induction date has been set for Thursday. Needless to say I am a nervous wreck. So much so that I am barely sleeping at night.

I'm scared!

Scared I'm going to not make it to Thursday.
Scared I'm going to deliver in a silent delivery room…again.
Scared I'm going to let my excited daughter and family down again.
Scared I'm going to have to memorize another one of my babies faces quickly before death takes over.
Scared I'm going to have a little lifeless hand in mine with purple little nails not not squeezing back.
Scared that all the joy I've allowed myself to have these past couple weeks is going to be crushed…again.
Scared to relive the worst and possibly more again.

I want so bad to be excited. I thank this little girl every time she moves. I thank her for those reminders that she is still alive. I am joyful and grateful for her life and treasure every deco d I have with her. Just scared that God is going to tear it from me any second. Or worse yet, allow me to gaze into her beautiful eyes only to say goodbye.

Please God rid me of these awful thoughts and feelings. I'm too weak to hold this weight of worry and grief. Free me from these thoughts. Free me from terror of evil. Help me.

I'm scared.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

As promised…

These are the two outfits I've been working on. Hope you like them as much as I do. I have one more to do of the pink one but different material.
Next is a tutu outfit for Michalina because of course now she wants one too. Then baby legwarmers.
Wish me luck!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Confessions of THIS baby loss mama...


I must confess...
I am more prepared mentally, emotionally, and physically for this baby to die than I am for her to come home.

I know that sound morbid and sad, but that is my reality. That is the reality of many other mothers who have lost an infant. I mean I am ready; I know what outfit she would be buried in, I know that the cemetery has agreed to let her be buried with Sam if need be, I know the plaster impression kit I will bring to the hospital, I know who to call for pictures, I know what will happen as time goes on in the hospital, I know how it will feel to walk out with a box instead of a baby, and I know who I want contacted. Even though I know both a living and a dead baby experience, it's the worst experience that sticks with me. Don't get me wrong I remember what it was like to bring my daughter home, but not bringing my son home is more fresh in my mind. I know that there is no make up time with a baby that never comes home with you. I know that the hours spend with a still baby is precious and the only moments I will ever get. The moments that have to last me a lifetime. 

With only weeks away I am finally making a conscious decision to "get ready" for this baby. It is crunch time. We may be meeting this baby in a bit more than 2 weeks if I induce. This has been really hard on me. I think and I am reminded of all the things I did leading up to Sam's birth. I did a ton of stuff for Sam. Every time I was out and about I was searching for cute little boy things, whether it was clothes or baby accessories. With this baby, I have steered clear of the baby section and try hard not to look at all of the newborn stuff. Maybe it is out of instinctive protection of my heart or maybe it is out of frugalness to not load up on things  that may go to waste. In my leap of faith to "prepare" I have done things for her knowing it may be the only thing I buy/make for her. 

A few weeks ago Michalina and I spent a while in Sam's bedroom just reading books, talking and playing. I don't know why, but it was something we did and enjoyed. I sat in the glider, in his room, for quite a while. I sat there and rocked staring at the crib filled with his clothes that were never put away, never worn. As I rocked it was apparent how comforting it was to be in his room, with his things, his stagnant dream. I was surround by Sam in a room he never was in. I knew then that I needed a room for this baby. Just in case she didn't come home, I would have a place, besides the mausoleum, to visit and be comforted by her. 

So, it began.

I told my husband about my thoughts when he got home. Although it took some time we have been slowly moving things into and out of the rooms. We are keeping Sam's room and turning the office in to the new baby's room. Of course, we will be moving the crib, bookcase, and dresser into the baby's room. But nonetheless, Sam's room will remain the same. We are too attached to his room to paint over or wipe it clean. I remember spending hours painting his room and making sure it was just right of our first little boy that to remove that would be too much. We have been moving very slow at this. We have not yet put his clothes away and have not moved the crib. When we started moving things I took pictures and cried like a baby. It was hard to do. I felt like I was disappointing him, like I was forgetting him and moving on. Of course, none of that is true. I will never forget my first born son, I have not moved on. Sam is forever a part of my heart and my life, I am living not moving on. 

Besides preparing a room for the new baby I have made some things for her. I had searched here and there for a cute outfit to put her in at the hospital and never had any luck. There was one that I liked I just couldn't bring myself to actually buy it. So....I have made two outfits so far. I will have to post the pictures when the second is completed-I have one thing left to do. I made these outfits knowing she may wear them once or multiple times. I have prepared myself for that mentally. I am content with that. 

However, other than two outfits and a room transition started, I have nothing ready for her homecoming. I hope that I am frantic when we get home trying to figure out what to dress her in. I hope that all of Sam's diaper's and wipes will be used for her. I hope I will be able to set up the bassinet beside my bed. 

But I know...

I have no control over her fate and the plan that waits. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Memories and Moments

I relived some memories today. Memories I didn't expect to effect me like they did. The last time I was in the birthing unit at the hospital I delivered both my children at, I was given the news that would change my life forever. I was nervous going there and the days leading up to my appointment there but I didn't think i would step off the elevator and feel my heart thumping all the way down in my feet.

We had a scheduled BPP today. Not because there is anything wrong but because I'm trying to do everything in my power to monitor this baby.

We entered room 312 for our NST and a brief conversation with a nurse that was as sweet as pie. She could see our pain and sorrow. She made a note on our file to keep us out of room
310, the room we spent 24 hours with the news that our precious boy was not coming home with us. She held my hand as I sat there and cried. She hugged me when I needed it and reassured me she would do what she needed to to make us comfortable.

I laid there hooked up to the monitors and watched as the baby accelerated and decelerated as I calmed down. When I first arrived, the baby illustrated my stress and anxiety with high peaks and no relaxation. I was able to calm down enough to get a fantastic NST reading and an 8 out of 8 on the BPP.

Being back in those rooms felt like I was drowning in a sea of grief and pain. I stared at myself in the mirror in the bathroom glaring at the gown. That gown took me right back to the moments of excitement before i delivered Sam.

Moments before my world came crumbling down around me.

Crying knowing I was going to be strapped on the bed for monitoring just the same as I did, again moments, before my world was shattered.

Moments.

These moments that meant nothing to me a year ago are not marked by the death of my son.

Moments of excitement quickly, I mean quickly, followed by gut wrenching news.

All in all I'm glad I was able to enter the birthing unit and the rooms that gave me such agony before I deliver this baby. It gave me a test run I never could imagine. I felt comfortable, uneasy, and anxious all at the same time today.

Moments I anticipate.
Moments I will never forget.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

What do you say...Michalina-ism

What do you say to your four year old who mentions this out of the blue...

"Mom, when I go to heaven can my body go in Sam's wall with him?"
Yes, baby you can.
"Daddy and the workers are going to have to smash the square with Sam's name on it so it says Michalina and Sam"
Yes, honey they will change it for you. 
"Mom, I don't want to be in a box. Don't put me in a box, Okay? So, I can play with my Jesse doll."
 Why
"Well, I can't play with my Jesse doll if I'm in a box. So don't put me in one, okay"
Okay
"But you have to dress me. Dress me real pretty."
As tears roll down my face at the thought of this process...
Can we not talk about this anymore?
"Okay Mommy."

How does a four year old have such an old soul? Why does she have to experience and think about these possibilities? Four year old shouldn't have to think or request where they want their bodies to be buried when they die.

But that's my four year old's reality. God, it kills a little piece of me every time she talks like this.

This is my normal.
This is her normal.

This is our reality.

How do you find a path through that?
It's a long journey....

Sunday, May 27, 2012

I need to tell you something…

I sit in front of Sam's wall and talk to the tiny white box hidden away from my sight.
I tell him things about what's been going on in my life. Tell him the same stupid things over and over again…
Mommy loves you…
I miss you so much…

That's always bothered me. That I didn't have some profound conversation with him after I gave birth. All I could say, repeatedly was, "mommy loves you." and "I'm so sorry, baby, I'm so sorry."
And still I have nothing clever or profound to say.

I tell him how his bedroom door has been open for almost a week now. How I opened it a week ago as a test to me. After being closed for over a year I wanted to see if I was ready to walk passed his open door without utter sadness crippling me. I tell him I'm doing better. I'm no longer drawn to my knees in tears and desperation to bring him back. Everything in his room looks just as it did when he was alive. Maybe that's why I closed it because it reminded me of death rather now it reminds me of his life. Mind you I would still give anything to fill that room with life and not just any life but Sam's life but now I don't want to close the door because of pain. I want it open because of the closeness I feel with him while in that room.

I miss you Sam.
Mommy loves you!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Even though...

Even though it's only been one year, one week, and six days is it time to do things differently?

I love it! Do things differently. That's a joke. There is no timeline in grief. Screw time. Just like it's screwed me.

Lately I have run into two people who have felt that I should be doing things differently in my grief. People that have judged where I am at in my grief and felt that I owe them or others something. I mean after all it has already been one year, one week, and six days...

Is there a disclaimer in grief that says after the one year marker you should do things a certain way?

I don't think so. That's a crock of shit if you ask me. My world has been turned upside down more than most would ever know and you are trying to tell me how I should go about living my life?

NO!
I'm not depressed.

I have, and do, give myself many smiles and much "happiness".

Are they different smiles and laugh's than they used to be before I buried my son?

Your damn right they are. They will always be different. My life has been changed.


I know my grief.

After all, it's been one year, one week, and six days. I know this thing called grief that follows me forever without rest. I know it's movements. I know it's manipulations.

I don't fear my grief. So don't make me shelf it for your pleasure.

I know when to be gentle with myself and I know when to push myself through the grief that I battle daily.

It's not going anywhere. Grief that is.
It's here for good. It's not a bad thing. As long as you get to know it. My son is dead for God's sake. You want me to curb grief? Not going to happen. It will creep in when I allow it. It doesn't abide by your rules.

Respect me. Respect my family. Respect my grief...my forever grief.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

How do you tell a friend...

...even though it's been one year, one week, and six days you are still hurting.

The hurt is not lighter. Not easier.
Just different.

I'm hurt because I have some friends who won't talk to me because of their own fear...
I'm hurt because some see me as the same person I used to be.
I'm hurt because some deserted me.
I'm hurt because some have forgotten.
I'm hurt because some won't say his name to my face.
I'm hurt because some won't even read my blog for fear of stirring up uncomfortable feelings.

I'm just hurt.

It's not about your closure. It's not about you. For once I had to be selfish and deal with my loss. Not the loss of your friend. I am still Stefanie.

Like me, for the Stefanie who has given birth to death
or
Hate me, for the Stefanie who is selfish in her own grief.

I have learned to put all these feelings of hurt and loneliness on the shelf. I have learned to rid my life of senseless negativity because I have other things to focus on. Others things that are not even known by most readers and friends.

To stir up those shelved emotions is big. When a grieving mother is asked to discuss feelings, it's different. It's no longer a casual conversation. It's an invitation into a battlefield. Your asking me to enter a place I felt I have conquered.

Please don't make me go there for your own self righteousness.

I'm exhausted.
I'm hurt.
You left me. Your were my friend. Where were you to hold my hand in the darkness?

After all it's been one year, one week, and six days...

Allow me to introduce myself.

I'm Stefanie. I am married to the love of my life. I have three children; one is my sunshine in my darkest days, one soars high in the sky with his wings spread wide and a gleaming halo, and the other fills my life with hope. My life has been changed by experience. I walk a journey through grief. I'm learning everyday to live my life all over again. Please be gentle....

...even though it's been one year, one week, and six days.



Friday, May 18, 2012

One Year Ago Today....Part 2

It has taken me over a week to write the rest of this. After Sam's first angelversary/birthday passing I have been on an emotional roller coaster. Celebrating my husband's birthday the same day as Sam's, Michalina's fourth birthday two days later, Mother's day one day later and the one  year marker of Sam's memorial/funeral, and other reasons I'm not ready to get into. Needless to say I am drained. I am drained. I am drained.

These are thoughts that ran through me leading up to Sam's birthday and one his day.

One year ago today I awoke naive...

One year ago today you gave us news that you were on your way...

One year ago today your big sister was filled with smiles that she was going to finally meet you...

One year ago today we accepted your forthcoming two weeks early and excitement began for Daddy's lil' birthday gift...

One year ago today we arrived at the hospital and heard the news that you have gained your wings without Mommy ever knowing...

One year ago today your Daddy crumbled at the knees in utter desperation after hearing the news that his newborn son was already in heaven...before he could even say hello or goodbye...

One year ago today you changed our family...you made us four...

One year ago today you slipped silently from my body in the arms of an unfamiliar doctor...

One year ago today I laid in a delivery room praying out loud for you to cry and prove everyone wrong...

I can still hear my words...
Please baby breathe, breathe Sam breathe. 
Cry Sam, please Sam, please.


One year ago today we were told by an unknown doctor that you enter into heaven a day or days prior to your beautiful entrance...


One year ago today our lives changed forever...


One year ago today we had to deliver the news to friends and family that your much anticipated entrance into this world was over and never to be...


One year ago today you Big sister walked into the room with a confused look wondering why her brother kept his eyes closed...


One year ago today your big sister proudly held you and called you her brother...


One year ago today we said hello and good bye to our sleeping angel...

One year ago today you changed our lives forever...


One year ago today I had to physically let you go to never hold you again...
...never...
to see you smile...
hear you cry...
to see your chest rise and fall with every single precious breath you took...
...never to live the hopes and dreams we had planned for you...

One year ago today our world fell apart...

One year ago today we exchanged a promise...
...a promise to never forget...
...eachother.

Mommy loves you sweet baby boy, Mommy loves you.
Happy 1st Birthday, Sam.




Monday, May 7, 2012

One year ago today…part 1

It might have been 1 year ago today that you took your last breath…

It might have been 1 year ago today that you gave me your last nudge…

It might have been 1 year ago today that said your good-byes…

It might have been 1 year ago today that you heard my voice for the last time…

It might have been 1 year ago today that you tried to tell me you were in trouble…

I didn't hear your calling…

I was oblivious to you…

Just another pregnancy I thought…

Another baby to bring home to cuddle and love…

I'm so sorry baby…

I'm sorry I let you down…

I'm sorry I disappointed you…

I'm sorry I didn't savor those moments I did have with you alive…

I'm sorry…

As you took your last breath…I wish I was there to hold you…
comfort you…
see you looking back at me…
Tell you I love you…

I love you, Sam.
Can you hear me, Sam?
I love you and miss you!
Can you hear me, Sam?
I'm sorry for not being the mom you needed at the time you needed me most.

Can you hear me, Sam?
Mommy loves you…
Mommy loves you…
Mommy loves you!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

In his memory

We are finally home after driving 370 miles, one way, to Faith's Lodge in northern Wisconsin. We had very different plans this time when we went. We went there to volunteer and participate in a tree planting in honor of Sam.

We arrived Friday early evening, tucked into our hotel in a neighboring town and the anticipation began. I  always get so excited when I have a chance to talk or go to Faith's Lodge. Lucas and I have found so much peace there. When we went in November we were there just the two of us for a week away from reality shortly after we lost Sam. I wrote about it here.

This time was different, we had Michalina with us.

She was elated with joy to be able to go to Wisconsin to see Faith's Lodge. She wanted to see where mommy and daddy stayed when we were "in Wisconsin". She was ready to go in her adorable shirt I made for her, special for the tree-planting occasion. A shirt that says, "My little Brother's an Angel"
I would love these shirts to be a part of Sam's Promise.
Once we arrived, Michalina was prepared to tell every one about her brother and tear her coat off to show her t-shirt to anyone who would look her way and listen. It still amazes me how much of a proud sister she could still be to a brother that is not even here. 

After I gave Michalina her much anticipated tour, Lucas noticed the pier sitting on shore. He of course could't wait to jump out of the car and tell Evelyn that he will do the pier. He suited up and began lugging what he needed to be in his glory of pier work.
The day was filled with love and hope of families who have all said good-bye way too soon. There was a brief beginning ceremony and the planting began. We headed to our spot to plant our Silver Maple that was assigned to us and began digging. Okay, I din't do any digging, Lucas did all the dirty work. I maintain the 4 year old that was not as into the tree-planting as I has hoped. 
Sam's tree is on a hill next to the lodge amongst many other tree's all in honor of a child or baby that has left this world too soon. Being surrounded by people that know exactly how you feel and how your life has been changed forever is something I have a hard time putting into words. Comfort. 

Spending a weekend with mothers, fathers, and siblings that know what it is like to be blind-sided by the most traumatic event is incredible. We had many conversations with parents where we exchanged stories, the feeling you get from these parents is normalcy, comfort, and understanding. Lucas and I were talking and we agreed that we can talk with parents like us and not sit in the uncomfortableness of feeling sorry for us or people staring at you trying to figure out what life must be like in two seconds you allow them to stare you down. 

Hope is what Faith's Lodge offers. Hope and Peace.

Here are a few news clips from the event. They were featured on Minneapolis news stations the night of the event. If you look closely on the channel 4 news clip you can see us behind the couple by Sam's tree. 







Thursday, April 19, 2012

Just when I thought...

Just when I thought I was through this part of grief, it hit me like a ton of bricks tonight. Strangers no nothing of Sam's existence.

Tonight I had Mom's Night at Michalin's preschool. We had a blast! She was so excited to show me all the work she does throughout the day. Moving from on thing to the other. Hopping all over the place in excitment.


As I sit there and watch her in her glory and glomming with pride, I sit there wanting to scream. I scan the room and begin to notice the mom's. The mom's that are ready to pop with their newborn babies at any moment. The mom's that are proud to put their bellies out there for all to see. The mom's with their preschooler's sibling in tow. The mom's juggling the unmanageable time between their preschooler and toddler that is starving for mommy's attention.

I try to remain focused on the reason I am there. Michalina. She needs a mom that is inthralled with all that she is doing. A mom that is free of grief. A mom that is free from the pain.

I struggle to give that to her. Even when I know it is what she deserves. My mind wanders. My heart begins to slowly crumble.

I desperately want to inform each and every one of those moms, Michalina is not my only child. I have a son in heaven. He was born in May. If he were alive he would be here too. 


I sit there in silence. Struggling to maintain focus on the sunshine in my world. She looks at me with innocent eyes, eyes that are suffering too. But she doesn't know it. She is unaware of the difference between her friends younger siblings and hers. Unaware that most babies don't live in heaven. Unaware that she has an angel next to her.

Why do I continue to feel the need to prove Sam's existence. To strangers. What do they care about my tragic loss? Would they care? Should they care? Do I look as different as I feel? Can a stranger see my pain? I want them to see. I want them to know. I had a baby boy and he was born May 9, 2011. Michalina has a brother.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Time STILL Doesn't Stand Still.

Can I just say how much 11 months sucks! I was never one to be down and out on the 9th of every month. Yeah, I would think about what he would be doing as he got older but 9 and 11 months has kicked my ass. 9 months, I have no idea why this hit me hard. 11 months, yesterday, has been really hard!

I don't know if it was a culmination of things yesterday or if it was the fact that I can no longer count his absence in months. My friend Rachel just blogged about this a few short days ago. She mentioned the same thing about her little girl, Kayla. Sam will have been gone for more than a year as soon as the clock strikes 12 on May 9th. This hole in my heart seems to be never ending and growing larger in diameter.

11 months also marks some milestones in his life. I can't stop picturing him walking and babbling in conversation with his sister. I find myself trying so hard to fill this gaping hole. 11 months is making me realize this hole is never going to be filled. It is my storm cloud that will follow me for the rest of my life. Until I am able to hold my baby boy again. Nothing will take the place of where my son's memories, hopes, and dreams were supposed to be.

11 months. It's been hard to try to find the balance between honoring my husband and my son's birthday. Both on the 9th. I want to honor my husband, his life, and his own grief. On the other hand, I want to drown myself in my sorrows and honor my son by dedicating my time to him.
It's hard. I have always carried this guilt about Sam being born on my husband's birthday. I feel like I took his son from him on the only day that is to honor him. All he ever wanted was a son, and I gave birth to his dead son on his birthday...Now before any one starts telling me, there's nothing you could have done, I know that. I know that I couldn't control when I went into labor or when Sam died. But there is still guilt. Guilt that I have taken the one thing my husband wanted more than anything. Guilt that I had his son on his birthday only to say goodbye never to say welcome.

11 months. I have been living this life without my son and soon it will be 1 year. I want to so bad get over the first angelversary hill. And yet there is a part of me that wants to stay right here for the rest of my life, never to have to endure the 1 year marker.

11 months. Yeah, my grief has changed. Matured. Tumbled. Evolved. My grief journey has been a path I never thought I would take. 11 months have past in this new life yet I feel so stagnate. I am disappointed that in 11 months I have not better honored Sam's memory, Sam's life. I had/have plans to do so much for this community yet I allow stuff to get in the way. Hold me back. Sam deserve a better mother. 11 months of not doing the boxes for the hospital like I wanted. 11 months that I have not contacted the hospital to do more for moms like me. 11 months that I have not started his non-for-profit, Sam's Promise. 11 months I have not contacted my state government to get them to acknowledge my son's life.

11 months it too long. 1 day is too long. 1 second is too long. I still want my baby boy back.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Her kind soul strikes again

Yep, she's done it again. Last week Michalina had a dentist appointment on a very WINDY Wednesday. Excited as she was to see the salt water fish in the waiting room she was even more excited to see the dentist, Dr. Scott. Just like any dentist he makes conversation with the patient that can't always respond because the have a mouth full of hand.

As Michalina does with anyone when she is super excited she was running her mouth and couldn't stop talking. So, whenever she got the opportunity to talk with out a hand or tool in her mouth she was talking-about everything. She shows him her "Sam bracelet" and tells him, "I have a baby brother named Sam. Yeah. He's in heaven." Low and behold he replies with, "I have a baby in heaven too. Do you think they might be friends?" Michalina doesn't respond. I guess because she doesn't get that response often so she was caught off guard because believe me she always has something to say.

The conversation then turns to me. He tells me what a wonderful idea it is to have that for her and where I got it. I'm sure at this point my eyes where lighting up. It's not everyday you come across people in our community. I eagerly tell him about the bracelet and  how my husband made it for her at Faith's Lodge and what a wonderful place it is for parents like us.

Fast forward to the end of the great check up...

Every good kid gets a prize. So which one does my daughter pick for the extremely windy day? The balloon! A purple one, of course.

The purple balloon makes it to the car and is good company until...she tells me she wants to, "-send it to heaven for Meleah."

Side note and background: Meleah is another angel I have met on this grief journey. Meleah's parents have become close friends of ours. In fact Meleah and Sam share the same "park"; Meleah in the cemetery and Sam in the mausoleum. We pass by Meleah every time we come and go from Sam's park. You can read about Meleah's mom here at here blog.

Back to the balloon.

I tell her we need to let it go at home so it can escape the trees and power lines. We make it home and she can barely wait to send a balloon to heaven for Meleah. 
The pink flower and butterfly are also from Michalina to Meleah. She picked them out while shopping for Sam's Easter decorations. 

Such a compassionate soul at only 4! She never ceases to amaze me. The compassion and love this small child has gained since holding her still brother. Nothing I ever want her or any of my other future children to experience. She has not only gain a brother she has gained a compassionate soul. 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

The door

My morning began with Michalina calling out, "Emergency, emergency! Theres an ant in the bathroom."

In an effort to rid my house of the ants that seem to be taking over lately, I vow to myself that I am going to vacuum the whole house today. I was determined to suck up those sons of a bitches! 

I finish the downstairs and head upstairs to the second part of the battle. Yep! Ants upstairs too. Upstairs is done, then I came to the last room at the end of the hallway. I was faced with the door that has rarely been opened for the past 11 months. The door that sheltered the shattered dreams and hopes for my little boy. 

With vacuum in hand, I placed my hand on the doorknob, took a deep breath and opened it. Immediately, my breath is taken away (literately) by the rush of dreams that were supposed to be. I kept my head down and tried to focus on the carpet and the task at hand. Yeah, that didn't last for long. I quickly was being suffocated by the overwhelming should haves, dreams, and flashbacks. I am sobbing while I vigorously push the demon vacuum back and forth. I continue until my tears are blinding me from what I was in there to do.
I find myself slumping over his crib filled with his clothes that have been scattered about after my husband and I angrily looked for something to bury our only son in. I held a onesie that said "mommies little man" on it and cried. I wanted to see him in that onesie so bad. I wanted him to be in that outfit. I wanted to hold it and smell him. Instead I smell my detergent never tainted by the fragrant smell of a newborn. I shuffled through other clothes that I remember thinking, I can't wait to see him in this

A onesie that said Handsome just like daddy,
Daddy's little monster...

Clothes filled with dreams and hopes for a future that was never going to be. 

I began going through parts of his bedroom. I was ready for him. I was ready for there to be a newborn baby boy entering my family within weeks from when I diligently fixed and prepared the perfect space for him. I couldn't have been more prepared to bring home a baby alive.

I see the bouncy on the floor in the corner that is falling apart. I am swarmed by the memory of trying to put it together with Michalina the week before I gave birth to Sam. I remembered her and I put it together with the certainty that her little brother was going to be in it shortly. I remember how excited she was to help me and how it didn't matter to her that we goofed up and had to tackle it again to make sure we put it together the right way. 

And there it sits, still half way put together. Frustration of a very pregnant mother written all over it. Failure, it says, laughing and mocking me. 


I have been toy with the idea of opening his door for about a week now. I don't know why, but I have been wanting to go in his room lately. Today I just felt that I had a purpose that was not driven by curiosity of grief and sadness. It found me, still managing to wrestle me to the ground. In tears on the floor of my son's bedroom. 

I close the door and whisper, Mommy loves you Sam. I miss you so much. I'm sorry, I wanted to protect you. I love you. I love you. 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Empty.

I don't know why I am surprised by this feeling. I shouldn't be because I have felt this overwhelming emotion many of times. But this time I can't stop thinking about it.

I was at Sam's Park on Sunday, just as I do every week, and the feeling got me. Empty arms. I sat with my arms aching with emptiness. It's like reality cam whipping around the corner again, pointing at my arms and laughing. Grief is funny sometimes. I almost feel like it's mocking me at times.

There was nothing different this time. I walked down the pathway to the mausoleum with Michalina, my chair, camera, and book in tow. This time required a flower change since Valentines day was long gone. I opened my chair and began to cut stems and prepare the bouquet for a new spring look. Michalina rode her bike around the courtyard as I did my thing. She is pretty used to the routine. When I was done, I sat there. Empty. I did what I had come to do. Now what? I was still left with arms that are empty and heavy at the same time.

It's that heavy empty feeling that has been with me since Sunday. Why is this new to me? My arms have been empty since May 9, 2011. Maybe it's the anticipation of the upcoming month of May. I don't want May to come, yet I want it to hurry up and go. Ah, anticipation. That's a whole other post.

Just feeling heavy with emptiness lately.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Before the Morning

Early in my grieving I posted a lot on the Babycenter forums for mothers of stillborn babies . In my months of posting, desperately wanting to connect to people like me, I met a women that sent me this song, Before the Morning by Josh Wilson. It is a Christian song, so when I found that out I was reluctant for a couple of reasons. My first reason was because I was never one for Christian music, I don't know why, but some songs really bothered me. My second reason, I was more angry at God than I ever have been. I blamed God, I sometimes still do, that he took or allowed my son's death. It was the last thing on my mind- listen to a Christian song possibly about a God who took my son from me. It wasn't happening. 


Months passed and I came across it again. I clicked on the link and began listening. Oh, I think it was after the first verse I was in tears! I have grown to love this song. It is a song that fills me and comforts all of the emotions I have on a daily basis. This song gives me permission to hope and be sad at the same time. 


I am really trying to fill my life with hope lately. I want to believe so bad that there is life after loosing my only son. I want to believe and trust in the God that has him cradled in his arms. I want to find hope that I will be able to take a baby home and relive the life of a newborn in my house. 


That is exactly what this has been for me, a dare. A dare that taunts me into believing in the morning that I will wake up with my little boy in my arms again. But then some how the guard goes up to protect my broken heart from hurting again. I try, I need to believe there is a reason to live. To live with hope. Love. Purpose.


...just fight the good fight because the pain you've been feeling, it's just the dark before the morning... This is just what life is for me. Every morning I wake up knowing I have to fight the a good fight to make it through another day with a gaping hole in my heart. In my life. The hole will never be filled. Not by another baby. Not by some grief advice. Not by the love of the people around me. Sam is a missing part of my life that I have to some how find hope in. 


The dark before the morning is horrible. Filled with such anticipation. I cling to this song to find hope in the morning waiting for me. The blazing light blinding as I reach for my little boys hand thats been waiting for me. 
Hope.

Do you wonder why you have to,
feel the things that hurt you,
if there's a God who loves you,
where is He now?

Maybe, there are things you can't see
and all those things are happening
to bring a better ending
some day, some how, you'll see, you'll see

Chorus:
Would dare you, would you dare, to believe,
that you still have a reason to sing,
'cause the pain you've been feeling,
can't compare to the joy that's coming

so hold on, you got to wait for the light
press on, just fight the good fight
because the pain you've been feeling,
it's just the dark before the morning

My friend, you know how this all ends
and you know where you're going,
you just don't know how you get there
so just say a prayer.
and hold on, cause there's good who love God,
life is not a snapshot, it might take a little time,
but you'll see the bigger picture

Would dare you, would you dare, to believe,
that you still have a reason to sing,
'cause the pain you've been feeling,
can't compare to the joy that's coming

so hold on, you got to wait for the light
press on, just fight the good fight
because the pain you've been feeling,
it's just the dark before the morning
yeah, yeah,
before the morning,
yeah, yeah

Once you feel the way of glory,
all your pain will fade to memory
once you feel the way of glory,
all your pain will fade to memory
memory, memory, yeah

Would dare you, would you dare, to believe,
that you still have a reason to sing,
'cause the pain you've been feeling,
can't compare to the joy that's coming

Would dare you, would you dare, to believe,
that you still have a reason to sing,
'cause the pain you've been feeling,
can't compare to the joy that's coming

com'n, you got to wait for the light
press on, just fight the good fight
because the pain you've been feeling,
it's just the hurt before the healing
the pain you've been feeling,
just the dark before the morning
before the morning, yeah, yeah
before the morning


BEFORE THE MORNING LYRICS - JOSH WILSON 


Sunday, March 4, 2012

Helpless

Really missing my baby boy today. I don't cry everyday, but when I do, I let it out. I am not one that can control the level to which I cry. I don't know if it is because I'm not feeling the greatest today, but man do I miss that little guy. You know when you are sick and you have that feeling of helplessness. Well feeling cruddy just amplifies that for me.

With both of my kids I was never one to take belly pictures while I was pregnant with them. I think with Michalina I have one about a week before I delivered her and that is it. If there was any "belly pics" they were unintentional and a a family gathering. I just never thought I looked very good pregnant. I was large, round, and just unattractive. I am not one that was small to begin with so for me pregnant means house.

So, I was looking back at pictures today from Michalina's 3rd birthday party just days before I had Sam. I came across a photo that was candid while we were opening her gifts. You can see just how large I am. But now, I treasure that picture. I look at the smile on my face and the ignorance written all over my face. I see a girl who was just going through the movements of being a mom to a 3 year old, being pregnant, and working full time. A girl who is trying to balance life with out enjoying the small things. A girl that will, in days, live through the worse thing imaginable. I feel sorry for this girl. I am haunted, although never publicly admitted, by the regrets I have with my little boy.

I regret not soaking up every moment I had with him alive.

I regret not taking belly pics.

I regret taking his life for granted.

I regret not documenting his life while he was alive. Now I am left trying to keep his memory alive.



Never once did I think of what could have happened. I feel like during my pregnancies I must have taken a invisible teen pill. Remember being a teenager and having that invisible feeling the "it won't happen to me" attitude. I had that. As bad as I want it back I feel sorry for that stupid girl. 

I do remember one thing. On that day, the day of her party, I remember having a friend feel Sam pushing what I imagined was his butt towards my belly. I loved that moment. I wished I remembered more moments like that. The moments when Sam was alive. The moments I will never be able to get back. 

Stupid girl. 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Jaded

This is a post that has been weeks in the making. So, I am sorry it took so long for it to actually be finished. I will apologize a head of time for any disconnects and confusion this post may bring.

There has been something on my mind that I feel desperate need to write about, it has only been recently that I knew how to put my feelings into words. Desperate in a kind of way like I need to write to organize and release some emotions. Recently I was put into a situation were I have felt my character, my grief, my decisions, and my new journey have all been judged; all by the unexpected.

Of course this was all completed indirectly; you know with out actually saying this. I am I guess once you experience grief like we have I believe we are put into a category unlike any other. We have experienced the ultimate. To bury our babies our young children. I'm sorry if I offend others but there is no comparison; not a sick child, not the loss of a sibling/parent/spouse, not even a handicap child. I'm not saying that these are not terrible things to go through. These all come with there own set of trials, heartache, and challenges. I'm saying that they cannot be compared. I can't even compare my loss to another stillbirth. I may be able to relate in some ways better than someone who has had the loss of a loved one. But I cannot say I know just how they feel. That would be unfair.

I also know that each journey is different. Even thought it may seem "fine" from the outside doesn't mean that person is not shattered and tattered on the inside. I have no right to pass judgement on their decisions or character. There is one thing I've learned thus far, things and people are not what they seem.

I guess what it comes down to is this, I feel like my grief has been judged and disrespected. I feel I was asked to complete tasks that I was not ready to do and be a person I cannot be at this time. As selfish as that sounds only a baby loss parent could understand.

I found this quote on Pintrest the other day. I feel this sums up exactly how I feel.


Only trust someone who can see these three things in you
The Sorrow behind your smile,
The Love behind your anger,
and the Reason behind your silence.


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Congenital Heart Defect Week

In honor of my fellow baby loss mothers, my niece, my dear friend and her son Braden, and a friend that recently lost her son with a CHD, I need to share some awareness about CHD. CHD effects 1 in every 100 births. There is an adorable picture of my niece with a cute lil' onesie on saying, "I'm 1 in 100", I wish I could get my hands on it. I would love to share my niece's story but I am not sure my brother would approve. Let's just say she truly is a miracle in the making. This little girl fills you with sunshine the minute you lock eyes with her. She has endured more than most children her age and has conquered more obstacles than we ever thought possible. She is a true inspiration!

There are tons of outlets out there if you or someone you know has CHD or has a baby/child with CHD. Mended Little Hearts has been a help to many families I know. Here is a page on their site that has a load of resources.

Francesca at Small Bird Studios has had a guess blogger on the other day to share awareness on this matter. Click on this link and take five minutes to read about Cora.

This Valentines Day and all through February, don't just think of the cute lil' hearts that cover cutesy cards and decorations, think about the hearts that are scared, broken, and mended and spread the word about CHD.

Congenital Heart Defect Week February 7-14.

Heart of Gold Charity in Braden Petska's memory.