Eleven

August 14, 2016 at 6:18 pm | Posted in Grief, Jake, life, Love | 7 Comments

Happy Birthday sweet baby Jake – we miss you and love you today and always.

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land of denial

August 8, 2016 at 9:14 pm | Posted in Grief | 7 Comments
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I am in denial.  Buddy (our older smaller dog) died last week.  I know it is true because I was there and because Evan posted it on Facebook but somehow it still seems unreal.

I should be some sort of grief expert by now.  I am not.  As the twins said, “It is okay mama, Buddy is now playing with Jake, Sawyer, Mom Mom and Grandpoppy.”

Wonder how long I can stay in denial. . .

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Research & Rainbows

July 22, 2016 at 4:44 pm | Posted in Grief, Jake, Sawyer, silver lining | 2 Comments
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Evan and I have spent the past few days at the March of Dimes national conference. We met amazing people and other family teams from all over the country committed to the cause of healthy babies.  We heard doctors speak about the research that is being done to lower the alarming rate of infant mortality.

Every year 23,000 babies in the United States of America do not live to celebrate their first birthday due to prematurity alone (this number does not include still born babies or babies who die do to known or still unknown birth defects and genetic conditions).

Jake and Sawyer will forever be a statistic of infant mortality from the years 2005 and 2009. I cannot change those facts.

I can commit to doing whatever I can to help reduce those 23,000 deaths of babies born too soon. I do not want any other families to stand by/watch their child/children take their last breath.

In one discussion at the conference, the topic of “Rainbow Babies” – babies born to families after the prior death or stillborn birth of a child – came up. I am so thankful to the March of Dimes’ doctors, researchers and volunteers.  Without all of their hard work ours and many other families’ rainbow babies may not be here.

As I have written about before, the twins and I are always searching for rainbows.  We have not had a rainbow baby after Sawyer (he was a rainbow himself, of course), but perhaps our rainbow is a part of lots of other little babies we are helping through the March of Dimes.

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.  – Dolly Parton

A “rainbow baby” is a baby born following the death of your child.  Urban Dictionary defines a rainbow baby as the following:

“In the real world, a beautiful and bright rainbow follows a storm and gives hope of things getting better. The rainbow is more appreciated having just experienced the storm in comparison.

The storm (pregnancy/child loss) has already happened and nothing can change that experience. Storm clouds might still be overhead as the family continues to cope with the loss, but something colorful and bright has emerged from the darkness and misery.”

After Jake died Evan and I both knew that we wanted to try to become parents again.  I mistakenly thought that after your child dies you should get some sort of “get a baby free pass”.  There was no pass for us.  When we did start trying again we found ourselves on the roller coaster of infertility.  We started with cycles of injectables.  We moved onto 6 rounds of IUI’s (think turkey baster if you are not familiar with this term).  Finally after 2 IVF cycles we were so very lucky to have our own rainbow babies in July of 2007.

In the fall of 2009 we once again had a rainbow baby.

Who knew another storm would come so soon?  I am trying to learn from the twins how to look for rainbows everywhere.  Some days it is harder than others to find any light through the darkness.  The twins are pretty good teachers because the other day I looked out of the office building where I was working and this is what I saw. . .

After a hurricane comes a rainbow – Katy Perry

 

 

July 18, 2016 at 8:14 pm | Posted in Grief | 2 Comments

quote - Anne Frank no need to wait

Jake’s Journey and Sawyer’s Strides – #7 March of Dimes Family Team in the Nation!

May 20, 2016 at 6:14 pm | Posted in Grief | 4 Comments
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Very exciting news that Jake’s Journey and Sawyer’s Strides is the #7 March of Dimes Family Team in the nation!

march of dimes 2016

I would be lying to you if I did not admit that I wish I was writing about something cute or funny that Jake and Sawyer had done.  I will never be able to write about Jake and Sawyer’s adventures that they would have had in this world.  Despite the fact that they are dead,  they have taught me and continue to teach me so much about life and love.  I am proud and lucky to be their mom.

Thank you, thank you to all who have supported and to continue to support our family (our March of Dimes team and otherwise).  I am hopeful that there will be more teams in honor (as opposed to in memory) of children because of Jake and Sawyer.  Thank you all so very much!

Mother’s Day Marketing

May 12, 2016 at 11:10 pm | Posted in Grief, Jake, life, Sawyer | 6 Comments
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As I have done every year since Jake died, I went to the cemetery on Mother’s Day .  It is a very busy day at the cemetery, possibly the busiest day all year.  I understand that the marketing people want to make the most of the day.  There is always a little table set up.  Last year they gave out gift bags.  The year before there was a Mother’s Day cookout (along with free t-shirts).  This year they opted to give out a survey and a rose.

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I do not have any better ideas for their marketing team but I do appreciate their effort.  Death is a part of life that is difficult to talk about.  I appreciate their efforts to help grieving family and friends.   I think I will write on the survey that a flower and a survey are better than a cookout at the cemetery but I do wonder what they will come up with for next year.

 

Mother’s Day (& may the 4th be with you all)

May 4, 2016 at 10:04 pm | Posted in Death, Grief, Jake, life, Love, mother, mourning, Sawyer | 12 Comments
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There is not a day that goes by that I do not think of Jake and Sawyer, but some days are harder than others.  Mother’s Day is one of those days.  Logically it is just another day.  They are both gone every. single. day.  It is not like the first days, weeks and months after they died when the tears so often streamed down my face without me even realizing.  Now most of the time my tears are tucked farther away.   The sadness and the joy of loving Jake and Sawyer is a part of me.

I know I am not alone.  There are so many other mothers in this club with me.  There are mothers who this is their first Mother’s Day without their child (or maybe it is the 2nd or 22nd since their child died).

There are also mothers who have died leaving behind their children.  This is perhaps their children’s first Mother’s Day without their mother (or maybe it is the 2nd or 22nd since their mother died).

There are motherless mothers and motherless fathers. 

There are spouse’s who are filling the role of both parents on Mother’s Day.

Death is part of life.  And no matter how hard some days can be life goes on.

As I have already written, Mother’s Day is not my favorite day.  I try to focus on the 4 positive pregnancy tests and the 4 live births.  I also try not dwell on the 2 emergency C-sections, the NICU, the miscarriage and the 2 deaths.  The truth is that all of these events have made me a mother.

I know that this day is hard for so many.  There are the other mothers in the club whose arms will also ache to hold their children.  There are others who are missing their mothers, grandmothers or partners.  I send hope and hugs to you all.

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Saturday

April 28, 2016 at 10:38 pm | Posted in Grief | 5 Comments
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Early one Saturday in August of 2005 was the first and last time that Evan and I held Jake.

Late afternoon one rainy Saturday in July of 2007 Evan and I met the twins for the first time.

Another Saturday, in December of 2009 Evan and I were told that Sawyer was dead.

This Saturday we will walk in the March of Dimes, March for Babies with 2 of our children and in memory of our other 2.  There should be something good that comes from Jake and Sawyer’s lives.  There is nothing that will bring them back but this Saturday we will hope for the bright futures of other babies.  Thank you to all who are walking with us and supporting us.

Just drive – help everyone arrive alive

April 18, 2016 at 10:08 pm | Posted in Grief, life | 5 Comments
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We are all busy.  We all have too much to do and not enough time.  We often multi task which includes doing other things while driving.   Last week, the world lost an amazing person I was lucky enough to know.  He was biking with his cycling group and struck from behind by a car and killed.

I wish there was something I could do to make this nightmare better for his family and friends.  I know that there are no words that will bring him back. However, maybe if someone reads this and thinks to take the extra time to slow down or pay attention a similar tragedy could be prevented.

His death was sudden and heart breaking.  All was fine and then it was not.  I want there to be something good that comes from this tragedy but right now there is another mother living in this world without her son, another wife without her husband, more siblings without their brother and a community that has lost a beloved and wonderful person.

I wish there was something more I could do.  I wish no parent had to live in a world without their child.

http://www.ajc.com/news/news/crime-law/henry-county-physician-struck-killed-while-riding-/nq2Jg/

 

Marching for Hope

March 30, 2016 at 8:28 pm | Posted in life, Love | 1 Comment
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I do not like it but I have accepted the fact that Jake and Sawyer have died.  However, I refuse to give up hope that other babies can live.  I do not know how to save these lives but the March of Dimes does.  Please if you are in Atlanta consider walking with us on April 30, 2016.  Click this link to join Jake’s Journey and Sawyer’s Strides.  If that is not in the cards, consider whether you can support us in our fundraising efforts by clicking this link.

Every day, thousands of babies are born too soon, too small and often very sick — just like Jake was almost 11 years ago. Likewise, thousands of babies are born with birth defects or unknown medical problems that cause great hardships or unexpected deaths — just like what happened to Sawyer more than 6 years ago. We will be walking in March for Babies again this year because we NEED to do something about this, so that no family has to go through what we dealt with when Jake was born at 26 weeks, and no family kisses their child goodnight and never gets to kiss them good morning the next day like what happened with Sawyer. And we need your help. Please support our walk and fundraising efforts. Every dollar makes a difference. And in our case, every $1 = $2 due to a generous match by Northside Hospital. The March of Dimes uses the funds on key research, education and outreach programs. But we need your support. Nothing can be more important than all of us having healthy babies. Making a secure donation is easy: just click here. Thank you for helping us give all babies a healthy start! And thank you for helping us honor and remember Jake and Sawyer’s far-too-short lives.

 

 

 

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