Sunday, May 4, 2014

3 years since those words...

There is a side of me that wishes I could blog here more than once a year ... there is a side of me that wishes I could do more for other families waking this difficult road of loss ... and then there is the side of me that lives in this mess of reality, the side of me that hurts and grieves and cries and cries and cries.  The side of me that just wishes I had never heard the words "Sorry, there is no longer a heart beat"

Yes I know three years have past now ... yes I know I have other children ... yes I know my life is full of many wonderful blessings.  And because most of the people in my life would not offer a shoulder to cry on or an understanding ear to this pain I save my crying for times I am alone (the shower, the car, middle of the night when I can't sleep).   I appreciate more than ever the unique band of mothers I still chat with on facebook ... they have sweet babies in heaven with mine ... yes, we each have lives that we continue to live.  Yes, we each have families, busy lives and things we tend to each day.  But what most of the world does not understand and often tells us to just forget are the precious babies we still long to hold, to kiss, to hug and sing to.  We know better than anyone that life is not fair and that we can't always have what we dream of.  We do the best we can to move forward ... but we will not "move on" as we have been told to do by countless well meaning friends and family and even strangers who feel the need to tell us how and when to grieve.  I wish I could mail this post from Still Standing Magazine to every person I have come in contact with after Journey died.  Pain and loneliness are only multiplied when hurtful words are shared.

Something I have been able to do this past year to honor my sweet babies in heaven is contribute to two books written for mothers whose babies have died too soon: 

Because They Lived 
Was compiled by Katy Larson  and resonates with the voices of  over 60 families lives as they journey through loss and find their way to hope. It shares the stories of these little lives that changed the world.....because they lived.   I was honored and blessed to share how our Journey Peace changed me because he did live. 

And just in time for International Bereaved Mother's Day I received my copy of:

Miscarriage Matters to Mothers
written and compiled by Michelle L Myers she shares that "The death of a child is devastating blow to the heart of a parent. When that event occurs before birth, or shortly after, we are left blind-sighted by grief. We come together to share our stories of loss to remember, encourage and honor. YOU ARE NOT ALONE ON THIS PATH. In solidarity we band together with our stories. This book contains raw emotion, the truth told with passion and conviction. These are our stories shared to remember, inspire and validate... miscarriage matters to mothers."

Today I remember Journey Peace because three years ago today I sat alone in an ultrasound room and my world fell apart again ... my baby boy was no longer alive.  Today on International Bereaved Mothers Day I remember the other babies I did not get hold or mother on earth.  I know they are whole and happy and safe in the arms of Jesus in heaven, but that does not mean I do not miss them and love them every day that I live.  

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Day 2: Identity

Their identities?  My sons and daughters 
My identity?  Their mama

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Capture Your Grief - Day 1: Sunrise

 CarleyMarie is the kind and brilliant mind behind The CAPTURE YOUR GRIEF Photographic Challenge for Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month – October 2013.  If you visit her site you can see some of her inspiring writing and photography:

.Last year this event was a beautiful success with over 2000 people from the Baby Loss Community around the world taking part, many of which said the project had made a very moving and profound impact on their lives.

Capture Your Grief is a 31 Day Photograph Challenge. You can take part each day or pick and choose your days. Throughout the month there is a daily subject/topic for you to concentrate on. You are invited to share a photo that captures your journey with each daily subject. You may use an old photo or you can take a brand new one. It is completely up to you. All you will need is the internet and a camera (if you wish to take new photos). It doesn’t have to be some big fancy DSLR – a phone camera or a pocket digital camera will be perfect. Just make sure you only use your own photographs – don’t take someone else’s off the internet, this is your journey, not google’s!  
Below are the 31 daily subjects for the 2013 event. Some of the subjects may not entirely relate to you, or you may not feel comfortable with the subject so you are more than welcome to take a photo inspired by your own subject for that day. (See, it is all about makes you feel comfortable!) If you are looking for inspiration for another subject you can always have a look at the list from last year. My subjects are simply a guideline. Below are also a few extra ideas to spark some inspiration in your own heart.
Wishing everyone a beautiful, heart warming and healing October!


1. Sunrise: Just like last year, I thought it would be very meaningful for us all to capture the beginning of this journey and important month by us all getting up early to photograph the sunrise from wherever we are in the world. I know depending on where you are and what climate you are in that there may not be a sunrise, but if you can still get to a window, snap a photo of the morning. When you share your photo online make sure you write what State/Country you are in and the time of the sunrise. It will be a wonderful way for us all to feel connected.

Here are a few sunrise photos I snapped with my cell phone this morning (around 7 am in Minnesota):

Saturday, May 4, 2013

May 4, 2013 - Two Years Later

I don't have many words this year ... the memory of learning our sweet baby's heart beat was no longer beating during a routine ultrasound two years ago still haunts me ... the less than kind treatment by the first hospital still causes me fear and suffering ... the comforting and gentle love I received at the second hospital (thanks to my doula Sherokee) and from Resurrection Cemetery continue to rescue me ... the blessing of other moms who have walked this horrible road and shared their stories with me continues to uplift me and help me move forward.  I will never "move on", I will never "just forget" the babies I did not get to hold here on earth ... but I try every day to make them proud of their mama and the way I am living for them and their earthly siblings.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

I must admit that yesterday was hard ... I am a mom of many and life must carry on ... no days off, so calling in sick. All week I've been remembering that a year ago we were joyfully expecting a baby and then on May 4th, 2011 we learned his heart was no longer beating. That day began a very sad and lonely time for me. Not many people know what to say when you lose a pregnancy ... many don't even think you have lost a "baby". But he was my baby, he was loved, he was being knit together inside of me ... I could not "forget" or "move on" as many suggested. Perhaps they were well intentioned suggestions, from people in my life who wanted to see me OK again.   Many people are simply uncomfortable with grief and sadness ... since they don't know how to walk through it they are quick to suggest ways to avoid it. But I needed to grieve, I needed to miss my baby, I needed to name him and remember his short life. I've learned from past experience that avoiding grief and sadness, is really not the answer ... it doesn't really go away that way, it just gets stuffed away in some corner and delayed, it eats away at the rest of your life. Walking through it and dealing with all its ugliness is hard, its heart breaking, but its also healing. I had to avoid the people in my life who did not want to hear my sadness, who only wanted to suggest ways to forget what was happening and then there were the many who avoided me ... my phone, my email got very quiet. It was a lonely place to be. But God works in pain, in sadness and in hours of loneliness. He led me places I never dreamed and introduced me to other moms who were walking through their grief, just like me. I have been blessed by many women this past year. These are just a few that God blessed my life with:

Sufficient Grace Ministries
Star Legacy
Anchored by Hope
Grief Journeys
Babies Remembered
Missing Grace

 So, yesterday, on the one year anniversary of Journey's death I remembered and I visited his grave and felt such a peace ... not something I can describe on a blog or in writing,  but truly a peace.   I do not intend to "forget" ... I have 5 babies in heaven and I remember each of them, their names, their due dates, the day they passed ... but I know where they are and I know the God that comforts me and has walked this road with me holds each of them in His hand.  I will meet them one day.  I will not forget their short lives any more than I will forget the lives growing right in front of me every day. 

  And at the very end of the day ... we were blessed with a beautiful sign from above:

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Really don't like November

November is not my favorite month ... most people assume its because the weather is getting colder, and days are getting shorter. And while I'm not fond of either of those characteristics of November, my reasons are different ones. November is the month we experienced our first pregnancy loss (in 2004) . We named that baby Liberty John. I often think we would have called her Libby. I know she was born straight into heaven ... never knew pain or sadness of fear, but still I miss her and wish she could have been a physical presence in our family. I suppose that is a bit selfish ... but its true.

And this year only strengthens my dislike for this month. We expected and planned to welcome a new baby boy on 11-11-11 (cool date for a birthday, ha?) His name is Journey Peace. But he made his journey to peace in May ... again he knew no pain or sadness or fear ... he is full of joy and peace; as I imagine that is all one would feel in heaven. My babies can look right into their Heavenly Father's face and feel such love. But my journey here is not finished and I still live in this fallen world, surrounded by hurt and sadness and fear and I am weary in this battle. Today I am sad and hurt and confused. I want so badly to hold my babies.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Are You Ok?
by Susan M Simpson

They ask if I'm ok,

Which answer would they like?

There's the one that they'll find easier,

Then there's the one that's right.

I could tell them that I'm coping,

That I'm moving on with life.

They'll smile sadly, nod, agree with me,

Not see my inner strife.

But inside my soul is screaming,

It heard that awful lie.

The truth they just don't want to hear,

This pain I have to hide.

My heart, it feels, is broken,

My spirit, that's gone too.

I sense there's no fight left in me,

That went when I lost you.

And this I cannot tell them

There's no words to explain,

And even if there were,

It would only cause them pain.

I can't pretend, I'm not that strong,

It only makes me cry,

Can't say the words to lie to them,

Don't even want to try.

I'm not 'ok' - will never be

Your life changed me, it's true

This sadness that I carry,

Is a mother's love for you.

So when they ask, I'll look at them,

Through eyes that burn with tears.

I won't deny my love for you,

With lies that quell their fears.

There are no words for me to say,

Instead I will just shrug.

And hope that it will be enough,

They'll leave with just a hug.

I know that if they try too hard,

Their words will just hurt more,

Though kindly-meant, they're meaningless

I fight this lonely war.

They'll say 'you'll have another one'

'Just try again', 'you're young'.

'Accept it wasn't meant to be',

'Get over it', 'move on'.

How could they ever understand

This sorrow that I hide,

Sadly, the only way

Is if they ever lost their child.

Other children I may bear,

And happiness might find,

That never will erase the love

For the child I left behind.

So please don't ask if I'm 'ok'

Don't try to comfort me,

The kindest thing to offer

Is a simple 'I'm sorry'.