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

 

 

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Fabulous Friday

June 26, 2015 at 4:44 pm | Posted in life after loss, Love | 3 Comments
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I am trying to stick to my spring resolution of looking for happiness.  It is not always easy but I did not have to look very far today because when I went to write this post this is what I saw on WordPress:

hurray

How fantastic is it that the Supreme Court ruled today to legalize gay marriage nationwide?! And it is great that WordPress is helping to celebrate the good news.

Other, more local, happy moments I found are the following:

  •  I am always joking that I wish I could wrap the twins up in bubble wrap to protect them from the world.  Well, the other weekend they wrapped themselves up. . .

Bubble Wrap

 

  • Did you know that there are shirts with built-in chest protectors?  I learned about them this week.  The twins went to baseball camp and came home asking for shirts to protect their hearts.  How could I not get them?

Heart Protectors

Hope that you all have a fabulous weekend!

my rainbow catcher

January 16, 2015 at 4:44 pm | Posted in Grief | 4 Comments
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Some days it is hard to find rainbows.  I wanted to share the one we found today with you all.

rainbow

 

Rockstar Ronan & Rainbows

June 24, 2012 at 10:52 pm | Posted in Grief, life lessons, Love, silver lining | 3 Comments
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Rockstar Ronan

In August of 2010, Ronan was diagnosed with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma cancer. He died on May 9, 2011 in his mother’s arms after an 8 month battle where “he never gave up until he was told it was time to let go.”  Maya made her son a promise that she would continue to fight for him until cancer survival rates start to improve and eventually a cure is found.   The Ronan Thompson Foundation was created.

Childhood cancer is the number 1 disease killer in children.  Pediatric cancer only receives 3.8% of all cancer research funding.  Maya is out there finding the doctors who will make the most difference in fighting childhood cancer.  The Ronan Thompson Foundation is raising money to fund the research.  Maya meets with and helps other families with children who have neuroblastoma.  Maya has also created a list of things that we can all do to help and live like Rockstars.

I know that what I am writing here is a fraction of all that Maya and Ronan have done and continue to do to change the face of childhood cancer.  However, I do know for certain that Maya and Ronan are changing the world for the better.

Rainbows

As always I am still searching for rainbows.  Here is the one I found today. . .

Thank you to Glenda for suggesting I write about Rockstar Ronan.  Thank you also to Jessica who mentioned Molly Bears.  If you have any other organizations that you would like me to write about please let me know.

Sunshine and Rain

January 30, 2012 at 11:14 pm | Posted in Grief, life after loss, normal?, silver lining | 7 Comments
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Weather is a great metaphor for life – sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s bad,
and there’s nothing much you can do about it but carry an umbrella.
~Terri Guillemets

Thank you for all the well wishes.  Today was sunny and both of the twins went to preschool.   This time of year the birthdays, anniversaries and yahrzeits for Jake and Sawyer are over.  The “pressure to be happy because it the holidays” is over too.   The dark days are a little less dark.

It helps that the sun has been shining and this winter has not been too cold.  There has been a lot of rain and sometimes there are storms.  It is all part of life.  I wish some of the storms were not quite so severe but no one asked me.

When it does rain the twins usually belt out a few verses of “rain, rain go away.”  This brings a smile to my face.  If that does not do the trick then I can always fall back on the song Blame it on the rain by Milli Vanilli.  “You can blame it on the rain. . .You got to blame it on something” is then stuck in my head for the rest of the day.  So, even on the dark rainy days there is some light.

Life Lessons

January 2, 2012 at 10:50 pm | Posted in Grief, life after loss, life lessons, silver lining | 9 Comments
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Here are a few of the things I have learned so far in life. I did not necessarily learn them in 2011 but now seems as good a time as any to share them.  Do you have any you would like to share? 

This list is not complete and will most likely be ongoing for the rest of my life.  They are in no particular order. . .

  1. When asked,  “How you are?”  Most of the time people just want to hear the response, “Fine” and go on with their day. 
  2. Hug more.  One of the twins loves to hug and be hugged all the time.  I will actually be hugging him and he will say, “Mama, I need a hug.”  I answer, “I am hugging you right now”.  He responds, “Hug more.”
  3. Look for rainbows.  
  4. Listen carefully.  The twins wanted gelt, the chocolate coins which are given out at Hanukkah.  However, they kept asking, “Is it time for Hanukkah guilt?”
  5. Music makes people happy. 
  6. Tutus also make people happy (see above).  And, apparently ties can be the reason for really big smiles.
  7. Sleep.  Grief (along with life in general) is exhausting
  8. Life can be heartbreaking, unfair and unexplainable.  No one ever promised any thing different.
  9. Treasure the moments – you are never sure just how many you will have.

 

Somewhere over the Rainbow

December 14, 2011 at 11:22 am | Posted in Grief, Love, silver lining, twins | 11 Comments
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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

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