Practicing Positivity

April 26, 2018 at 10:22 pm | Posted in Grief | 3 Comments
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It is nice to think about trying to make a positive change come out of a negative situation.  But no one can truly make the death of a child into a positive.  That pain never goes away.  This is my reality; our reality.  I miss Jake and Sawyer every day.  I ache for them always.  I cannot make their deaths positive.

I can, however, remember them and love them.  I can honor their brother and sister who are here with us, who also help us remember them.  And, I can try to prevent other children from dying.  I do not want any other families to have to live in a world without their child/children.

So, this coming weekend, I will try to do that by Marching.  Marching in memory of Jake and Sawyer, in honor of our twins (who march with us), and to support the March of Dimes which strives to help every baby be born healthy, so no parent will have to go through what we have lived through and live every day.

Thank you to all those who have already supported our March of Dimes, March for Babies team this year and in past years. Thank you also to the hospital where our kids were all born for matching funds so that $1 donated = $2 to March of Dimes.  The March of Dimes uses the funds on key research, education and outreach programs.  They do great work, and we appreciate all of your kindness and generosity.  If you would like to support Jake’s Journey & Sawyer’s Strides , and make sure my marching helps other families, please click this link.  Thank you so very much.

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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.

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.

Birthday Benches

August 20, 2015 at 11:36 pm | Posted in Grief, hydrops, Jake, life after loss, Love, NICU | 9 Comments
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Jake never left the hospital.  His short life was spent entirely in the NICU.  The only other places Evan and I went with him were the consult room and a small outdoor balcony off of the NICU.

The three of us

While helping with the special project of updating the consult room I heard that the balcony might need some new benches.  It seemed to make sense to me that for Jake’s 10th birthday we should get the benches for the balcony.  So that is what we did.  We miss you Jake.

quote - roses - Lincoln

March of Dimes’ March for Babies

May 12, 2015 at 10:15 pm | Posted in life after loss, Love | 4 Comments
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Last weekend we walked and remembered Jake, Sawyer and all the other babies who were not there to march with us.  In the 1950’s the March of Dimes helped to fund the cure for polio – which led to the effective end of the disease.  Who knows maybe some day there will be similar medical breakthroughs that will help to end infant mortality and there will be less flowers in the memorial garden.

March of Dimes 2015 - memorial garden

Thank you so much for again supporting our team this year and in past years.  We appreciate all of your amazing kindness and generosity.

Still Marching

May 6, 2015 at 10:16 pm | Posted in after death?, Grief, life after loss, Love | 1 Comment
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This weekend our family is walking in the March of Dimes’ “March for Babies” just like we have in years past.  Originally our team was named Jake’s Journey.  After Sawyer died we renamed it to Jake’s Journey & Sawyer’s Strides.  This year the walk is on Mother’s Day weekend.  Although I wish we were walking with all of our children, I think this is as close of a perfect way to honor all 4 as possible.

The mission of March of Dimes is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality.  I believe that the March of Dimes is making a difference and saving babies.

I cannot do anything to bring back Jake or Sawyer but maybe, just maybe, I can help spare other parents the heartbreak of having to live in this world without their child/children.

Thank you to all those who supported our team this year and in past years.  Thank you also to the Northside Hospital for matching funds.  We appreciate all of your kindness and generosity.   Please consider supporting Jake’s Journey & Sawyer’s Strides and click here.

May the fourth be with you

May 4, 2014 at 11:48 pm | Posted in Grief | 4 Comments
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Today is the unofficial holiday, “Star Wars Day“.  I did not exactly feel the force with me today but last week during the March of Dimes walk I really do think I felt it.  I looked around at the crowds and every one there had been impacted by the premature birth of a child.  Our stories may all be different but we have all loved, hoped and in some cases lost.   There were survivors walking among us but many of us walk in memory of our loved ones.

I saw people I have seen walk in years past.  Still walking, like we do, in memory of our lost loved ones. My heart broke for all the new faces I saw last week.  Every year I look into their eyes and wish I could take away the pain.  Hopefully in years to come there will be more survivors.

We will continue to walk if not for ourselves than for them . . .

Hoping for Healthier Babies

April 28, 2014 at 8:28 pm | Posted in Grief, Jake, life lessons, Sawyer | 5 Comments
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Thank you to all of our friends and family for supporting Jake’s Journey and Sawyer’s Strides in the 2014 March of Dimes “March for Babies!”   We appreciate you all so much.  Special thanks to our super talented sister-in-law for designing a new logo for the t-shirts.

Jake and Sawyer‘s deaths were due to circumstances beyond our control. I cannot describe in words how horribly helpless it feels as a parent to watch your child die and not be able to do a thing to prevent it.   The March of Dimes gives us a chance to do something to hopefully prevent another child from dying.  Maybe, just maybe, another family will be spared from having to try to figure out how to live in this world without their child/children.

Evan was the chairperson of the North Atlanta walk this year.   As the twins explained “their daddy got to the park early to put out the chairs!”  Although he did not actually put out any chairs, we are so proud of him for all he did and continues to do in the fight for healthier babies.

Thank you again for supporting our team this year and in past years.   We are grateful for your amazing kindness and generosity – we could not make it through this journey alone.

Tomorrow

November 16, 2013 at 10:40 pm | Posted in Grief, Sawyer | 8 Comments
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The March of Dimes along with other parent groups and organizations in countries around the world dedicate tomorrow to raise awareness about premature birth and how it can be prevented.  It is World Prematurity day.  Hopefully, awareness and support will lead to more healthy babies.  No family should have to live in a world without their child/children.

Tomorrow is also the would be/should be/never will be 4th birthday of our sweet Sawyer.  While he was not premature, there are still no words to describe how much my arms ache to hold this little boy. . .

sweet Sawyer

When the Walls Come Tumbling Down

August 26, 2013 at 6:14 pm | Posted in Grief, Jake, life after loss, Love | 4 Comments
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As I wrote about here, the house where I was pregnant with Jake was sold a few months ago.  We had a room for Jake in that house but he never came home to it.  There was a time after Jake died that I had such anger towards that room.  I wanted to renovate it, destroy it or at least move far, far away from it.

My anger was not rational but it seemed very real to me at the time.  Along with denial, bargaining, depression and acceptance;  anger is one of Elisabeth Kübler Ross’ 5 stages of grief.  I guess I did not have any one to be angry with so why not get mad at a room painted baby blue?  So, when we sold that house we knew that it would most likely be torn down.  The other day, it looked like this:

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The next day when I drove by, all that was left was this:

IMG_3648

It is just Jake’s room.

Now the whole house is gone, but Jake will never be forgotten.  We love you Jake.

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