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.

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Marching for Hope

March 30, 2016 at 8:28 pm | Posted in life after loss, Love | 2 Comments
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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.

 

 

 

Hope is a 4 letter word

January 22, 2016 at 4:44 pm | Posted in Grief, life lessons, Love | 12 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.

 

what i have learned in the 10 years since Jake died

August 31, 2015 at 9:44 pm | Posted in Death, Grief, Jake, life after loss, Love, why I write | 11 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.

Bittersweet

August 8, 2015 at 10:44 pm | Posted in Grief | 4 Comments

It is hard for me to believe but these 2 celebrated their 8th birthday!  I am so thankful and lucky to be their mama.

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And, the twins started 3rd grade last week.  Here is a picture from the big 1st day.

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I did my best to focus on the positive.  The first few days of August were so busy with birthday fun and getting ready to go back to school that I almost forgot to brace myself for the bittersweet days.

I did not let myself think about Sawyer who would have started kindergarten.   I tried to ignore the dates on the calendar.  I know it is not possible but I really want to find a way to skip this month.   I am not ready.  I do not know how to live through the 10th anniversary of Jake’s death.  I will get through this August just like the other 9 Augusts without Jake – I just do not know how.

According to the Jewish calendar the 10th anniversary/yahrzeit of Jake’s death was actually on Thursday.  So maybe I lived through it already.

Fine Tuning

April 28, 2015 at 10:35 pm | Posted in Grief, life after loss | 5 Comments
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quote -sails-quote

The other day was kindergarten round-up (the “orientation” for rising kindergarteners).  Sawyer would be have been 5 in November and he should have been there that day getting a tour of the school he should be starting next school year.

I know that I am not supposed to grow him up in my mind but sometimes I find myself wondering anyway.

My therapist suggested that I slightly adjusting my thinking – kind of like those radio dials we used to turn until the station came in more clearly.  For example, one of the twins goes to a doctor in the medical building attached to the hospital where Sawyer died.  One day Evan was going instead of me.  He had not been there yet so he asked me to clarify which building.  There are a lot of medical buildings in that area so I tried my best to explain but was not making any progress.  Finally, I said “remember the turn around where we waited the night Sawyer died?”  He got it – and knew exactly where to go for the appointment.

If I adjust this conversation slightly in the future instead of giving directions that involve “where we waited the night Sawyer died” I can say “where we park for the doctor.”

This August Sawyer would have started kindergarten (it would have been Jake’s 10th birthday and the 10th anniversary of his death but I am not going to think about that today).  Last week was kindergarten round-up.  Sawyer was not there.  He will not be there on the first day of school.   I am trying to adjust my thinking but I am still working on the fine tuning.

should you switch ob/gyns after your baby dies?

October 20, 2014 at 10:18 pm | Posted in Jake, life after loss, Sawyer | 4 Comments
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After Jake died we did switch ob/gyns but not initially.  Evan and I decided that so few people knew Jake and our ob/gyn at the time was one of those few.  It also seemed daunting to start all over with a new doctor.  We saw her throughout the pregnancy with the twins however, we switched right after.  I will explain that story in another post.

I still go to the ob/gyn group that we saw during my pregnancy with Sawyer.  I love the doctor who delivered Sawyer but I decided to switch doctors within the group for my annual check ups.  Just like after Jake died it seemed like starting over with a new doctor was too daunting.  By staying in the practice I have not had to start over from the beginning with all the forms.

I (most likely along with a majority of the female population) do not love going for my annual check ups.  I wonder if the waiting room is so upsetting for everyone.  How does it feel to look at all the happy baby pictures on the walls when you have not buried 2 babies?  I do not think that there ob/gyns who specialize in bereaved mothers but maybe they are out there.   Would you switch ob/gyns if your baby died?

neighbors

September 15, 2014 at 10:40 pm | Posted in Grief, life after loss | 12 Comments
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Our old neighbors stopped by the other day.  They moved over a year ago and we have not seem them.  We really like them and the twins played all the time with their oldest daughter.  We were sad when they moved and we have missed them.  So I was not prepared for my crazy mix of emotions when they drove up.  Although now that I think about it, I should have been.

We were pregnant at the same time.  Their 4-year-old boy happily raced up our driveway.  My thoughts not so unexpectedly went to our never will be 4-year-old boy, Sawyer.  And then out of the car toddled their youngest daughter.  I remember her mom telling me that she was pregnant. I was so very happy for them and extra excited because I was hoping to tell them in a few weeks that we were expecting too.  I never told them because I miscarried.

We caught up and watched the twins and their 3 children run around.  They asked about our other neighbors.  I told them about the new neighbor baby born in August and the other one born in  July.  I am so very happy for those neighbors too but I could feel the pit in my stomach and the familiar lump start to grow in my throat.  We chatted until it was time to get their kids back in the car.

I kept it together until they drove away.  I could not hold back the tears any longer.  I miss Sawyer.  I miss the baby I miscarried.   I am happy for our neighbors but sad for us.  I do not actually want their babies but seeing them makes me miss our lost children.  Those feelings are so hard for me.  Why can’t I just be happy for other people and not sad for who is missing from our lives?

Luckily, the twins were waiting for me to make their dinner and for that I am eternally grateful.

 

 

 

The Happy and The Sad

August 26, 2014 at 8:14 pm | Posted in Grief, Jake, life after loss, Love | 10 Comments
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The happy and the sad are so closely entwined during the month of August that I have whiplash.  Jake’s birthday, my parent’s 50th wedding anniversary!!, more yahrzeits, more birthdays and tomorrow will be Jake’s death day.  I know there are only so many days in a year so birthdays and anniversaries have to overlap at times but August for me has overwhelming extremes.

At 6:14 am tomorrow, it will be 9 years since we last held Jake.  The day after will be the anniversary of his funeral.  And all the days after that will continue to be bittersweet but maybe one day we will hold sweet Jake again.

Family Picture - August 27, 2005

Family Picture – August 27, 2005

 

Comment for a Cause

August 10, 2014 at 11:58 pm | Posted in Grief, Jake, life lessons, Love | 1 Comment
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Jake’s 9th birthday would/should have been later this week.  I am not sure that we will ever know why Jake left us so soon but I do know that Evan and I would have done anything we could have to prevent it from happening.

Unlike Jake, every twenty seconds, a child dies from a vaccine-preventable disease. Every twenty seconds, more parents are living in a world without their child/children. I do not want any parent to lose a child to a preventable disease because they did not have access to a medication.

Heather Spohr has partnered with Shot@Life, a campaign of the United Nations Foundation, to help provide life-saving vaccines where they are most needed. For every comment on Heather Spohr’s Post “A Chance For Health” or social share post received during the month of August, Walgreens will donate a vaccine to a child in need around the world. 

Every child deserves the opportunity to have happy and healthy firsts.  For Jake’s 9th birthday please consider clicking on this link and commenting on Heather’s post .  Every comment gives another vaccine to a child who needs and wants one.

 

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