the best bad news ever

March 14, 2016 at 11:49 pm | Posted in life after loss, life lessons, silver lining | 5 Comments
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About a month ago, we had a sewage problem at our house.  I will spare you the gross details but the result was that our downstairs bathroom needed to be ripped out.

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It was determined that the problem was a pipe in our street.  The City of Atlanta workers came to repair the pipe.   It took a few days.  At the end of the first day I received a call from one of the workers.  He told me he had good news and bad news for me.  The good news was that they could fix the pipe!  I braced myself for the bad news. . .

He told me that when they were trying to determine the problem that one of the city trucks hit our mailbox.  I waited a moment.  Then I asked,  “Is there more bad news?” He said no, it was just the mailbox.  I smiled and happily thanked him for the best bad news ever!  My standards of what qualifies as bad news has greatly changed since 2005. While a ripped up bathroom and a broken mailbox are not ideal, if that is the worst news I will gladly take it.

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February 19, 2016 at 2:05 pm | Posted in Grief, hospital, life after loss | 8 Comments
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quote -darkness

On President’s Day I took the twins to a go-kart, bowling, ninja warrior play place.  Everyone had a fantastic time until one of the twins decided that he was a much bigger ninja warrior than he actually is.  He hurt his ankle and I took him and his sister home.

The next day he was still limping and still on winter break.  I decided I should take him to the doctor while he was home and preempt the call I might get from school about his limp.  After seeing the doctor she decided we should go get an x-ray.

At this point in the day it was close to rush hour in Atlanta.  The closest place to have the x-ray is the children’s hospital across the street from our pediatrician’s office.  I drive past the hospital where Sawyer died all the time.  I know that revisiting certain places (like the place where Sawyer was pronounced dead) should be avoided.   I was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder after Jake died and then again after Sawyer died.

I decided PTSD or no PTSD we were going for the x-ray.  And so we did.  One twin went into the x-ray room by himself while I stood with his sister in the hall.  I tried with every ounce of my being to shut out the thoughts of standing in this hospital hall staring at the closed door to the room where Sawyer was taken.

A few minutes later the door opened.  I held onto a hand of each of the twins and left the hospital.

ninja Fletcher

Little boy with just a sprained ankle and a mom who would like to wrap him and his sister in bubble wrap.

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.

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.

I still hate cancer

June 18, 2015 at 11:18 pm | Posted in Grief, life after loss | 3 Comments
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I am once again silent and stuck. I am hoping that writing helps.  My amazing cousin’s mom was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer and her heart is failing.

My amazing cousin’s mom and my mom are first cousins.  I am heartbroken for my cousins, my mom and the fact that I feel so helpless.

quote - love never fails

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.

my updated new normal

April 2, 2015 at 11:12 pm | Posted in Grief, Love | 5 Comments
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I am still working on my spring resolutions but sometimes while I am busy focusing on the present, the past sneaks in.  I have recently realized that the past is part of my new normal.  People who meet our family now may or might not know that Jake and Sawyer existed.  If they are people who we see regularly or the twins play with I am never quite sure if they know.  The twins could have spoken about their brothers.  Someone else could have told them.  Or maybe they are a neighbor who saw the ambulance and police at our house that awful night that Sawyer died.

I have found myself telling those people – the friends and acquaintances – about our other 2 children.   It feels like the right thing to do.  No more guess work.  No more pretending.   Once I have shared Jake and Sawyer’s story I can be a better mom to all 4 of our children.

quote - Elizabeth Edwards

baby steps

January 28, 2015 at 7:36 pm | Posted in Grief | 13 Comments
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quote - ernest hemingway

The other day I was alone with a baby. I have not been alone with a baby since my days with Sawyer.

Our neighbor’s baby boy had heart surgery the first week of January.  He is home now and doing great.  I offered to help.  The mom asked if i could stay with the baby while she picked up her other sons from preschool.  As she placed the baby in my arms I silently told myself “I can do this.”  I held him the entire time his mom was gone and I watched his every breath.  He might have almost smiled at me.  My neighbor came home, I placed him back in her arms and agreed to come watch him another day. I did it!

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?

The Bad News and The Good News

September 8, 2014 at 10:45 pm | Posted in Grief | 7 Comments
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The BAD news –  – Jake and Sawyer’s nameplates/headstones are officially rusting (not sure if rusting is the right word but see the picture below).  We spoke to the cemetery people and apparently the manufacturers did not put the correct finish on (or, they completely forgot the finish).  So, this is what it looks like at the moment:

rusting

Do you see the border rusting (or peeling away)?  The letters are starting to go too.  It makes me crazy.  We spoke to the nice people at the cemetery today.  They are going to fix it. The nameplates/headstones and the granite will all be replaced AGAIN.

The GOOD news – –  As part of their Fall collection, Method brought back Rice Milk & Mallow (the scent that reminds us of Sawyer).  And instead of just letting us find it in the store, they sent us all of this!

METHOD IS THE BEST!!

METHOD IS THE BEST!!

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