Hope is a 4 letter word

January 22, 2016 at 4:44 pm | Posted in Grief, life lessons, Love | 10 Comments
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quote - love - mlk

In 2015 we had a failed adoption.

Evan and I thought about adoption since we started talking about trying to have more children after Jake died.  We started infertility at that time too.   We were so lucky, fortunate and blessed to have had the twins and Sawyer with the help of lots of medical professionals.

In 2013 we revisited and moved forward with the adoption process.  There were a lot of rejections along the way but in August 2014 we were picked by a birth mother.  She was young, homeless and stated that the birth father’s whereabouts were unknown.  Evan and I met with her once for lunch.  On a separate occasion I was able to go to a doctor’s appointment with her.

On New Year’s Eve day we got a call that she was in labor.  Evan came home from work.  We told the twins and started to pack the car.  I took our dogs to be boarded with the vet. By the time I got home we had gotten another call telling us not to leave quite yet.   The birth mother started to have second thoughts and a potential father had entered the picture.

The baby was born on 12/31/2014.  Evan and I spent the next few days on a horrible roller coaster waiting for the birth mother’s decision.  A few days into 2015 we were told that she had decided to parent the baby.

Over the last year I have gone from sadness to anger (with lots of emotions I cannot identify in between).  I have rationalized that we helped this baby and his mother but he is not ours.  He is being raised by his mother, who, with help from us, is no longer homeless.  Hoping 2016 brings good things for everyone.

 

holidays and hope

December 30, 2015 at 10:44 pm | Posted in Anniversaries, Grief, life, Sawyer | 7 Comments
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The anniversary of Sawyer’s death (the Jewish yahrzeit and the English date) were both this past week.  I know that these anniversaries can be tough for me so I try to keep extra busy.   I have been volunteering for an organization called Second Helpings.  Restaurants, grocery stores, corporate dining halls, farmers markets and schools with a surplus of food are connected with shelters and food pantries.   I signed up as a substitute driver for a few shifts over the holidays.  The twins are on vacation from school so they helped too.

It is just basically driving and loading/unloading the food.   The twins sat in the car listening to their books on CD while I navigated from the store to the shelter.  All was going fine until I realized that the drop off location was around the corner from the Atlanta Medical Examiners Office.  After the emergency room this is the building where Sawyer’s body was taken.  Evan and I went there to meet with one of the pathologists a few weeks after the autopsy.  All my attempts to distract myself failed as soon as I saw that building.

I miss Sawyer on the anniversary of his death, on holidays and every day.  I know that this season can be hard for a lot of people.  I wish I could make things easier for everyone but since I can not I send you all hope and hugs.

The only outfit I bought for Sawyer

 

 

unplugged

December 18, 2015 at 5:14 pm | Posted in Grief | 7 Comments
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unplug

So, I have been trying to unplug Evan.  He spent part of the other week in the hospital due to pneumonia and breathing complications.   His doctor admitted him from the office but Evan waited 8 hours for a room at the hospital.  Hour 7 when a guy started smoking an e-cigarette in the waiting room I started to think I would just take Evan home.  Finally, they called Evan’s name and an orderly wheeled him towards his room.  When we started going through the maternity ward Evan asked the guy if there was any other way to get to his room.   The guy responded “no” and I was not sure if I was going to start crying or laughing.

Evan spent a few days in the hospital and I did not take any babies while passing through the maternity ward to visit him.  Evan is better and back to work.  Evan and the twins have gotten sick before – I know that sickness (and hopefully getting better) is part of life.  I am just not as good at handling it – maybe if Jake and Sawyer had not died I would be better with these situations.   I will never know.

November 30, 2015 at 11:02 pm | Posted in Grief | 5 Comments

image

Six

November 17, 2015 at 9:58 pm | Posted in Grief, Sawyer | 8 Comments
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Sawyer

Happy birthday sweet Sawyer!

I have no words today for how much you are loved and missed.   So i am borrowing the ones from your headstone:

There are stars so far away we only see their light long after they are gone.  Their memories keep shining ever brightly though their time with us is done. 

I will look for you in my dreams.  Love you always and forever.

Hearts

November 10, 2015 at 7:22 pm | Posted in Grief, life, Love, twins | 7 Comments
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Today the twins had their check up with the pediatric cardiologist.  They were both rock stars during the tests.  Their hearts are structurally normal.  Everything is fine.  We will continue regular activity and come back for our next check up.

These are the results that I want to hear but I would be lying if I said that was all I want to hear.  I know that it is not realistic, but I want someone to explain to me the cause of Sawyer’s death.  I want there to be a medical answer – something I can protect the twins from ever getting.  I want to understand but I know it is very possible that will never happen.

In the meantime, the doctors want to continue to monitor the twins hearts while they are still growing.   Medical discoveries are being made every day.  Maybe one day the channelopathy (or whatever caused Sawyer’s death) will be found.

All I know for sure is that I will continue to love the twins and protect them the best that we can.  And their brothers will continue to live on in all of our hearts forever.

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Remembering

October 20, 2015 at 9:36 pm | Posted in after death?, Jake, Love, Sawyer | 6 Comments
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quote - thank you

For remembering Jake.

And many thanks for remembering Sawyer.

I am forever grateful to all who keep Jake’s and Sawyer’s memories alive.

Life goes on (as it should) but another one of the important lessons I have learned in the 10 years since Jake died is I am no longer the same person.  Some call it their new normal.  I do not think there is anything normal about outliving your child/children.

As a surviving parent I am left to make sense of the unexplainable.  Some say that we all have purposes in life which we fulfill throughout our lifetimes.  So does that mean that Jake and Sawyer just fulfilled their purpose very quickly and therefore they had very short lives?

I wonder what were their purposes?  Are Evan and I supposed to help or continue their purposes?  I may never know the answers to these questions but I do know that I want Jake and Sawyer to be remembered.

The other day there was a discussion in the back seat of our car about ages of the twins’ friends and their siblings.  One of their friends has a brother who was born in September of 2009.  Another friend has a little sister born in December of 2009.   After we had dropped off their friends, Evan and I talked to the twins about their little brother, Sawyer, who was born in November of 2009.

Remembering
By Elizabeth Dent

Go ahead and mention my child,
The one that died, you know.
Don’t worry about hurting me further
The depth of my pain doesn’t show.
I’m already crying inside.
The tears that I try to hide.
I’m hurting when you just keep silent.
Pretending he didn’t exist.
I’d rather you mention my child.
Knowing that he has been missed.
You ask me how I was doing.
I say “pretty good” or “fine”.
But the healing is something ongoing.
I feel it will take a lifetime.

 

 

October 15th

October 14, 2015 at 9:32 pm | Posted in Jake, life lessons, Sawyer, traditions | 3 Comments
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quote - candle - 2015

Tomorrow is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.  As part of the day, everyone is invited to light a candle at 7 pm in all time zones, all over the world.  The idea is that if everyone lights a candle at 7 pm and keeps it burning for at least 1 hour, there will be a continuous wave of light.

Today and every day I miss Jake and Sawyer but tomorrow at 7 pm we will light candles.  This year I will once again hope that the light from all the candles will make the darkness of the unknown a little brighter.

Update – October 15, 2015 at 7:30 pm:

Remembering Jake and Sawyer and all the other babies gone too soon

Remembering Jake and Sawyer and all the other babies gone too soon

 

Walking to Remember – Together

September 30, 2015 at 10:36 pm | Posted in Grief, life | 3 Comments
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One of the difficult and important lessons that I learned after Jake’s death is that I cannot do this alone.  After Jake died, Evan and I were told about support groups.  At the time, I could barely come to terms with the fact that Jake was dead and I was not.  The thought of going to a group where everyone told their own tragic story of their child’s death seemed unimaginable to me.

Then one excruciatingly dark day in January of 2006, I realized that I needed to know how other parents got up every morning and live in a world without their child/children.  Evan and I decided that it was time to go to a support group.

Every year since Jake (and then Sawyer) died we have walked in the Atlanta Walk to Remember.   It is an event to connect parents and families together to express grief and remember our babies, and to raise awareness.  It is not a fundraiser.

It is just a time to remember our lost babies together.

This year the walk will be held on October 4th.  For more information and/or to register for the walk click here:

Atlanta Walk to Remember

what i have learned in the 10 years since Jake died

August 31, 2015 at 9:44 pm | Posted in Death, Grief, Jake, life, Love, why I write | 10 Comments
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Dear Jake,
Another August has come and gone – the 10th August since you left this world.  I honestly was not sure that I would make it – 10 years seems like an eternity at times but I still find it so hard to believe that it has been that long since your dad and I last held you.

The first thing that I learned is that I will make it through the days, months and years without you.  I do not like it and it is excruciatingly hard.  But, your dad and I were not given a choice.  We are still alive.

I started writing this blog when you were gone for 5 years.  Five years also seemed impossible.  You would have started kindergarten and your brother Sawyer had died so unexpectedly 8 months earlier.   A therapist and a few friends suggested I try writing.  I thought why not – maybe I can help myself and possibly help others.

I think I had visions that one day I would change the name of the blog to something other than a mourning mom.  It turns out 5 years later I am still a mourning mom.  I have not found a cure for hydrops or premature birth.  In fact, we still do not even know what caused Sawyer’s death.  I have not started a non-profit or a race.  And, I still have days when I cannot stop crying because I miss you and your brother so much.

I wanted to write what I have learned in these 10 years living in this world without you.  I thought I could write one post to sum it all up but it is not quite that easy.  So, this my sweet Jake will just be part 1.   I will write to hopefully help others through their own journey.  And, even if I cannot help others I know that in another 5 years I will look back on these posts to help myself figure out how to survive the 10 year deathiversary of your baby brother.

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