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.

 

 

 

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Return to Zero – Breaking the Silence

May 16, 2014 at 7:26 pm | Posted in Grief | 5 Comments
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Return to Zero premiers May 17th (tomorrow) on Lifetime at 8 pm/7pm central.   This is the first movie made about the stillbirth of a child.   The mission of the film is to break the silence surrounding stillbirth, miscarriage and neonatal death.

“The impact that one stillbirth has on the mother, the father, their family, and friends is devastating — a shock-wave of pain, guilt and then, too often, silence. The majority of those affected, especially the mothers, suffer in this silence often believing that their grief and trauma is theirs to bear alone.

While planning to entertain and enlighten all audiences with a dramatic tale of the strength and resilience of the human spirit, RETURN TO ZERO intends to break through the silence and become a beacon of cinematic light to the millions in search of answers, understanding and healing.”

Unlike the new show Resurrection, I know that I will be watching Return to Zero.

Wave of Light for October 15th

October 15, 2013 at 5:12 pm | Posted in life lessons, Love | 5 Comments
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Every October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.  We remember our children every day but tonight we will light candles.

WaveofLight

Atlanta Walk to Remember

September 8, 2013 at 10:48 pm | Posted in Jake, life lessons, Love, Sawyer | 5 Comments
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“A wife who loses a husband is called a widow.  A husband who loses a wife is called a widower.  A child who loses his/her parents is called an orphan.  But there is no word for a parent who loses a child, that’s how awful the loss is!”  Jay Neugeboren

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 babies together.

This year the walk  will be held on October 6th.  For more information and/or to register for the walk click the following link:

www.northsidepnl.com/atlanta-walk-to-remember.html

Happy Mother’s Day??

May 14, 2013 at 10:14 pm | Posted in Cemetery, Grief, Jake, life after loss, Love, Sawyer | 3 Comments
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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 have gone to the cemetery the last seven Mother’s Days.  I know that some people consider this morbid.  For me it is my way of taking care of my children who are not physically with me.  It gives my aching arms something to do (even if it is clipping grass and cleaning headstones).  It brings me some peace.

This year I noticed something different.  There was a sign at the entrance to the cemetery:

Mother's Day Cook out

Maybe the cemetery has a new marketing person.  Or, maybe I have missed the sign in past years.  Either way, it just seems odd to have a Mother’s Day cook out at the cemetery.  And, what would one do with a t-shirt from the cemetery?

Stuck

November 26, 2012 at 10:48 pm | Posted in Death, Grief, life lessons, normal? | 17 Comments
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Thank you Brooke from by the brooke for writing about the book, Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar.  The book is written by Cheryl Strayed, who was formerly the anonymous online advice columnist, Dear Sugar.  The book is a collection of letters written to Dear Sugar and her responses.

One letter is from a bereaved mother, Stuck.  Stuck’s baby died.  I want to share the wisdom that Sugar so powerfully offers.  The following is part of the advice that Sugar wrote to her:

Dear Stuck,

I’m so sorry that your baby girl died.  So terribly sorry.  I can feel your suffering vibrating right through my computer screen.  This is to be expected.  It is as it should be.  Though we live in a time and place and culture that tries to tell us otherwise, suffering is what happens when truly horrible things happen to us.

Don’t listen to those people who suggest you should be “over” your daughter’s death by now.  The people who squawk the loudest about such things have almost never had to get over anything.  Or at least not anything that was genuinely mind-fuckingly, soul-crushingly life altering.  Some of those people believe they are being helpful by minimizing your pain.  Others are scared of the intensity of your loss and so they use their words to push your grief away.  Many of those people love you and are worthy of your love, but they are not the people who will be helpful to you when it comes to healing the pain of your daughter’s death.

They live on Planet Earth.  You live on Planet My Baby Died.

It seems to me that you feel like you’re all alone there.  You aren’t.  There are women reading this right now who have tears in their eyes.  There are women who have spent their days chanting daughter, daughter or son, son silently to themselves.  Women who have been privately tormented about the things they did or didn’t do that they fear caused the death of their babies.  You need to find those women.  They’re your tribe.

I know because I’ve lived on a few planets that aren’t Planet Earth myself […]

This is how you get unstuck, Stuck.  You reach.  Not so you can walk away from the daughter you loved, but so you can live the life that is yours — the one that includes the sad loss of your daughter, but is not arrested by it.  The one that eventually leads you to a place in which you not only grieve her, but also feel lucky to have had the privilege of loving her.  That place of true healing is a fierce place.  It’s a giant place.  It’s a place of monstrous beauty and endless dark and glimmering light.  And you have to work really, really, really hard to get there, but you can do it. […]

You will never stop loving your daughter.  You will never forget her.  You will always know her name.  But she will always be dead.  Nobody can intervene and make that right and nobody will.  Nobody can take it back with silence or push it away with words.  Nobody will protect you from your suffering.  You can’t cry it away or eat it away or starve it away or walk it away or punch it away or even therapy it away.  It’s just there, and you have to survive it.  You have to endure it.  You have to live through it and love it and move on and be better for it and run as far as you can in the direction of your best and happiest dreams across the bridge that was built by your own desire to heal.  Therapists and friends and other people who live on Planet My Baby Died can help you along the way, but the healing–the genuine healing, the actual real deal down-on-your-knees-in-the-mud-change–is entirely and absolutely up to you. […]

Yours,
Sugar

I have been living on Planet My Baby Died for 7 years.  I do not know if there is a separate Planet for when a second child dies.  If so, I have been on that Planet for almost 3 years.  Either way, here I am trying to live.

A Walk to Remember

October 14, 2012 at 10:32 pm | Posted in Grief, life after loss, Love, normal? | 9 Comments
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Every day 13 babies will be lost to SIDS and other sudden, unexpected infant deaths.

One horrible day in December 2009 our baby, Sawyer, was one of those 13.  We remember Jake and Sawyer every day but today Evan and I participated in our 7th Walk to Remember.

The first year it was just the two of us.  Jake had died a few months before the walk.  Evan and I could barely talk about our child’s death let alone listen to the other sad stories parents were sharing about their losses.

Today we had the twins with us and we were there for Jake and Sawyer.

I can now talk about Jake and Sawyer.  I listen to others as they tell about their sons and daughters.  I still wish none of us had to live in a world without our child/children.

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 is burning for at least 1 hour, there will be a continuous wave of light.

Family Portrait

August 28, 2012 at 9:58 pm | Posted in life after loss, Love, normal?, twins | 14 Comments
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Here is our family.  One of the twins pulled out her markers after school and this is what she created for me.  In case you are not sure who is pictured here I will explain:
  1. I am on the left side and look as if I have never seen a brush in my life.  However, I do have a nice purple bow in my hair.
  2. Evan is way on the right.  He is very tall.  And thin.  He could also use a good hair brushing.
  3. In the middle are the twins.  She is in pink.  He is in blue.
  4. Also in the middle, and above the twins are our dogs, Buddy and Baby.  They usually have their paws planted on the floor.
  5. At the very bottom of the page are our fish, Fred and Rose.  Fred was recently renamed Lightening Flash Fred.
  6. Which brings us to the circles in the middle. . .The larger of the circles is Jake.  The next largest circle is Sawyer.  The smallest is for the baby .  I did not realize they even knew that I was pregnant.  I was wrong.

Miscarriage

May 28, 2012 at 10:28 pm | Posted in Grief, life after loss, normal?, pregnancy | 18 Comments
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The doctor who told me that I was most likely having a miscarriage put me on bed rest for a few days.    Bed rest for me equals time where my thoughts can take over any rational part of my brain and run wild.  Bed rest means that I can not resort to my usual defense of keeping so busy that I do not have time to think.

I cried on the couch as I watched the twins play.   I was so lucky that my mom was able to come to town.  I told her that she did not need to come.  I knew by the time I spoke to her that no amount of bed rest was going to help.  She said she wanted to come anyway.  I did not argue.

I thought writing about it in my last post would somehow help.  I reread my post and it turns out that I did not actually write what happened.   So here it is, I had a miscarriage.

I will be fine.  I will continue to get up and live just as I have every day, week, month and now years since Jake and Sawyer have died.

Planning & Hoping

May 22, 2012 at 10:40 pm | Posted in Grief, life lessons | 20 Comments
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Many doctors told me that I could not get pregnant again after Jake had died.  We tried clomid, letrozole, IUIs and eventually IVFs.  We went to several infertility specialists in town and then flew to New York to get yet another opinion.  The doctor we ultimately had the twins with was so sure that I would not get pregnant that Evan and I nicknamed him Dr. Doom and Gloom.

We shocked ourselves and Dr. Doom when I had the twins.  We went back to Dr. Doom when we were trying again.  He again told us that we had little to no chance.  Again, we surprised everyone when we had Sawyer.

Evan and I did not think it was possible to get pregnant on our own until a few months ago.   I was late and thought to myself there is not a chance in the world I am pregnant without the assistance of lots of drugs and doctors.  However, there it was . . . the 2 pink lines on the pregnancy test.

I showed Evan the pink lines.  We both just stared at each other.  We were happy.  Very, very happy.  In all honesty, I did not believe that it could really be true.  After Jake and then Sawyer died there is always a part of me which expects the worst but I try to hope for the best.  There are so many stories of people who get pregnant after years of infertility.  I thought maybe just maybe this could be happening.

Until I started to bleed.  Evan and I went to the OB.  He confirmed that yes I was pregnant but I was most likely having a miscarriage.  He asked if this baby was planned.  I wanted to shout that we had not planned for this baby but then again we had not planned on burying 2 of our sons.  Instead, Evan came up with the perfect answer, “We were not planning but hoping.”

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