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...

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.


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 

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.


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. 

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.

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.




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.