what to do when reality bites

May 4, 2017 at 8:18 pm | Posted in Grief, silver lining | 4 Comments
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Here is my reality – I will never be able to bring Sawyer and Jake back to life.  I will never hold Sawyer again.

I will never hold Jake again.

I cannot change my reality but I can help others.   I will do anything and everything I can to prevent other children from dying too soon.  I do not want any other families to have to live in a world without their child/children.

This weekend what I will do to try to help is walk. Thank you to all those who supported our March of Dimes, March for Babies team this year and in past years. Thank you also to the hospital for matching funds.  We appreciate all of your kindness and generosity.   If you would like to support Jake’s Journey & Sawyer’s Strides please click this link.

 

 

Hope

April 18, 2017 at 2:18 pm | Posted in life, Love | 4 Comments
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Some days hope is hard to find.  On my running route, I have discovered a few hints that there is always hope.  One time I stumbled upon this sign of hope:

And, on another run I came across this one:

The signs are on telephone poles but that is okay with me.   I will take hope however and wherever I can find it.

On my run the other day, I noticed that one of the signs had been painted.

I like to believe that I can still catch a glimpse of  hope even though it is now harder to find.

 

 

“Don’t cry because it is over. Smile because it happened.” Dr. Seuss

November 17, 2016 at 1:52 pm | Posted in life, Love | 7 Comments
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Sawyer,
Today is World Prematurity Day so I am wearing purple in memory and in honor of your oldest brother Jake and all the other babies born into this world too soon.  Today is Georgia Gives Back day so I just drove food to a shelter and will be making donations in honor of you and your siblings.

Today is also the day that we welcomed you to the world! Today I want to celebrate wonderful little you.  Today I am going to read all the congratulations emails we received after you were born because last night I discovered your Dad kept them all (and I have never seen them).  Today I will give presents to your brother and sister for your birthday because there do not seem to be any rules on how to celebrate your 7th birthday without you – so,  I am trying to make up my own.  Today I will try to smile, not to cry (but please forgive me if I do).

Today you gave me the gift of being your mama and for that I am forever grateful to you my sweet Sawyer.

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Wave of Light 2016

October 18, 2016 at 7:00 pm | Posted in life, Love | 5 Comments
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We lit our candles on October 15.

candles-2016

This year and last year I made the candles we lit.  I made candles that were given out at the Atlanta Walk to Remember.  There is not much I can do to lessen the pain that a bereaved parent carries throughout their lifetime.  I am hoping that the candle makes their path a little brighter (even if it is only for a little while).

quote - candle - 2015

 

 

Wave of Light

October 14, 2016 at 4:44 pm | Posted in life, Love | 4 Comments
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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.

Atlanta Walk to Remember 2016

September 28, 2016 at 8:18 pm | Posted in Grief, Jake, Love, Sawyer | 5 Comments
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Atlanta Walk to Remember 2015

Losing a child is one of the most devastating and lonely events which can happen to a human being.   I wish that none of us lived in a world without our child/children.  However, the reality is that parents from every religion, class and country have outlived their children.

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 children together.

The 12th Annual Atlanta Walk to Remember is the first Sunday of October.  For more information about the walk in Atlanta click here.  For information about walks and events in other locations click here.

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 due 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

 

 

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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