Thursday, June 30, 2011

Again, For the Love of Angel Mommies

I have found several websites and facebook pages where baby loss moms are helping other baby loss moms grieve and heal. Our babies names are so special and there is just something unexplainable about seeing our baby's name. Perhaps its because we can no longer see our babies, perhaps because a name means they were real, they did exist ... I'm not really certain why, but I do know it brings me great peace and comfort when I see the beautiful ways my babies names have been written by these kind ladies:


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Butterfly Footprints

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Some Thoughts on Art & Grief

As I've spent some time this past month with other baby loss mamas and browsed many sites online, I could not help but notice the art used to grieve. There are photos, drawings, painting, sculptures, jewelry, poetry ... and many more! I'm not certain I really understand the healing connection between art and grief, but for me its has been a blessing to see my angels' names used in some beautiful art and it has inspired me to use my angels' names.
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ImageChef Word Mosaic -

In many forms of art we need to work with our hands. Be it molding or drawing or painting or forming or beading ... there seems to be something soothing about our hands being "at work". And then when we can sit back and look at the piece of art there is a sense of accomplishment or completion. For me, at least, there is something therapeutic about finishing something, completing something beautiful. Perhaps because there was a beautiful little life that I miss, that did not get to be finished ... we never got to see the finished product of the baby we so loved and wanted.

Several years ago when my sister, Missy, passed away I spent hours and hours beading Psalm 23 bracelets because just weeks before her passing she had given me a handmade Psalm 23 bracelet. In those hours that I could not sleep, in those times my mind just could not make sense of anything I was able to "do" something, "make" something, complete something. I think it was also helpful that I was continually repeating the 23rd Psalm over and over as I made the bracelets. Last month, when we learned that the baby I was carrying had died I was crushed, grief stricken and I struggled to accomplish much of anything. Especially during those restless hours in the middle of the night I felt a need to keep my hands busy, so I pulled out my bags of beads. I began to string bead after bead and make bracelet after bracelet. It was busy work I suppose, but not so complicated that I had to concentrate very hard. My mind could reel and my hands could keep working ... something therapeutic about that for me. Through a "God-sidence" I learned to make adorable little beaded angels just after we lost Journey and now I have spent many hours beading angels for other baby loss moms. I have begun to call them my Journey Angels ... they remind me of our sweet baby Journey, but I also hope they will bless each mom's journey as she grieves and heals.

I know I could start a whole other post about this but I feel I should mention that my husband does not grieve this way ... if I had tried to get him involved in beading or anything crafty he would not have found it therapeutic or helpful. Each person will process through grief in their own way, in their own time. There will be things that are helpful to some but cumbersome to others. I hope you find what works for you ... find what helps you.

Friday, June 24, 2011

For the Love of Angel Mommies

There are quite a few talented artists and artisans out there whose lives have been touched by pregnancy and infant loss. They take pictures, write names, paint, bead, sew ... and more, but all to memorialize our sweet babies. I can't even begin to find the words to express my gratitude for the things I have received with my babies names on them. We will never take pictures of these babies first steps, never watch that first tooth grow in, never throw a first birthday party or any birthday party for these babies we lost too soon. But we gave them each a name ... a name picked especially for them and I just love seeing their names and having tiny things with their names on them.

I was blessed to recieve an email today from, Jennie, letting me know she had finished a precious gift for me. To see a picture of what she is sending me please click here

She also has a fabulous personal blog about her life and loss and hope:
My Narrow Path

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My Comfort Bear Has Arrived
Sometimes in the middle of a really sucky day a little something special comes along to brighten our day. I'd like to say thanks to Sufficient Grace Ministries and those who send out their Comfort Bears. A box arrived at my door this afternoon and it was great timing! Please click on the button above to goto Sufficient Grace Ministries Blog and learn about the wonderful ways they minister baby loss moms and families.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Names in Tears

In my husband's hand on Father's Day:

These were beautifully handcrafted for me by another baby loss mom, Michella, from Personalized Custom Creations

Monday, June 13, 2011

One Month

small picture I painted a few days after i learned our baby's heart was no longer beating, I had seen an ultrasound at 6 weeks and 8 weeks with his heartbeating ... but now my baby was just in there ... still.

One month ago ... doesn't seem like that long, yet to me its been a life time.

One month ago my baby left my body, much loved and so wanted but too early and too small.

Today I would have been feeling kicks and wiggles

I would have rubbed my belly and talked to him, but instead I am empty, cold and alone.

I'll go in for more blood work, I'll try not to notice other moms with growing bellies and babies in strollers.

I'll think about "trying again" ... of corse I want to be pregnant again!

But can I stand to lose another baby again, can I live through this pain again?

Answers I just won't have today ... just another something I can't have today

People want me to "move on" ... how do I do that? How do I get there?

Is one month it? Is that really all the time I get to morn?

Friday, June 10, 2011

My Vision Of Them ...

I've had visions or dreams or hazy thoughts about those I love in heaven for years now. Its hard to love someone so much and then think of never seeing them again. One vision I continue to have is of my sweet almost-sister, Missy (not my biological sister but a close friend who lived with us while were in high school). When asked we always just answered "yes, we're sisters" ... anyway we lost our first angel baby back in 2004. Then I lost my sister in 2006 ... there has always been something comforting about the fact that my sister would be there in heaven with my babies. Now, I know there are no tears and no pain or sorrow in heaven, my babies will never know sadness or lonliness, but I'm not in heaven and really have no possible way of comprehending what its like for them. The bible assures me they are at peace and I believe that. Still, I can't help but have these visions and images of of my beautiful sister, Missy healed and healthy glowing and white and she is not alone, she is holding the smallest of my babies with such love and care while the other three sit and cuddle near by. Its a calming image in my mind and it brings me peace. The photo above was the last photo ever taken of my sister, she was visiting my home in Jan 2006, just a few weeks before she passed away. The baby she was snuggling is Zeke (he is 5 now)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

We Named Him Journey

One month ago my world stopped ... seems weird to me now that a whole month has gone by. We were excited to be expecting another baby. We were talking names and dealing with nausea, thinking about what being due in November would be like. But on May 4th at my OB check we found no heart beat on the ultrasound. We had seen that beautiful blinking little heart beat just two weeks earlier and I was still sick as ever, but all for nothing ... my baby was dead. Its such a crushing feeling, physically it gets hard to breath and your mind just wants to scream "how can this be happening again???!!" I was and am so crushed. We have to re-think summer plans as I won't be pregnant this summer and Thanksgiving may be a bit bitter this year ... I won't have a newborn in my arms.

As I've prayed and cried and processed my grief these last few weeks I am so glad I went with my gut instinct to name this baby Journey. It took a few days to think of a name. I put away the list we had started before his heart stopped. Some how I could not use those names as they were names I wanted him to carry on into life and adulthood. I had dreams and visions of what this baby might be, might do ... dreams of kissing his toes, smelling his head and nursing him, but those dreams were lost a month ago. It was so hard still carrying my baby, knowing he was no longer alive. I'd rub my tummy sometimes or talk about myself in the plural sense and then remember ... its no longer "we" ... its just me again. My baby is not alive. At some point in those first few days after the ultrasound the Lord whispered the name "Journey Peace" to me, reassuring me that my baby was at peace ... a peace I could only imagine and not even hope to understand yet.

As I've let this name settle with me and added it to my list of angel baby names ... it holds a certain significance. Both my baby and I are on a journey ... well, all of us humans are on a journey. Some much longer than others, some very short lived. But all loved and created by God. For four of my babies their journey was quite short, they never knew the sight or smells of this earth and they never left a foot print on the ground, but still they journeyed ... their journey took them right from the warmth and comfort of my womb to the warmth and joy and comfort of Jesus' arms. I can't imagine the peace and joy they must live everyday. But my journey and my husbands and for my other 5 babies our journey continues here ... we have seen many sights and smelled many things on this earth, we have left hundreds of foot prints where we have tread. I believe we will one day join those who have gone before us, but for now our journey continues. My baby's journey has come to an end ... he opened his eyes and saw heaven.

Some times I just marvel at the things God whispers to me ... I should probably be quiet more often so I can hear more of his whispers. Journey Peace ... yes indeed, my tiny little baby did journey to peace. I will end my own journey there at peace one day, but until then I carry on here. I carry on to complete whatever work the Lord created me for. Some days its too hard ... I feel too heavy to carry on any farther. Those days I need to be quiet and listen, I need to pray and listen for those whispers from God, listen for what it is he has for me to do yet. While some may take very short journeys (as my unborn babies have), most often when we hear the word "journey" we think of a something that has taken some amount of time. When I hear "journey" it does not really have the same meaning as when I hear the words "trip" or "vacation". A journey is usually a process, and I think most journeys change us, many even challenge . As I a prayed yesterday, that is what the Lord reminded me. I am still on my journey ... my baby was and always will be a part of my journey ... a part of who I am. Because of that little life I am forever changed, everything that I do on the rest of my earthly journey will be impacted by the life and loss of my tiny baby Journey Peace. I am who I am because Journey was a part of me ... a part of my journey.

It has been a comfort to think of his name and the ways it relates to my life ... there seems to be much symbolism in it for me. But eventually I come to another question: "Now what?" So, now there is no baby living inside of me, we won't need diapers as christmas gifts, we will not be a family needing seating for 8 in 2012. So, now what? What do I do from here? I have confidence that God has a plan ... as He promised in Jeremiah 29:11. But right now ... right now I spend time feeling sad, feeling numb, even angry at times. I have this head knowledge and beliefs that My God is great and that His plans are wonderful, but my head and feelings are at odds today. Why must this be part of my journey? Why must I sit here so broken and sad? I don't have an answer today ... not sure I'll have one tomorrow or ever, but I will cling to my God, his promises, his word and I will pray, I will ask what it is He wants me to do today ... tomorrow ... and on my journey. Where should this journey take me? For what journey did my God create me?