Thursday, February 21, 2013

Three Months

Bo has now been in Heaven for longer than he was on earth.
For longer than he spent in my womb.

It has been 13 weeks and 1 day since my miscarriage.
I would be 25 weeks pregnant today.

Today, I should be registering gifts for my baby shower.  Planning the details, like what food would be served, what the theme would be, and who to invite.

Instead, I had a memorial for my baby boy.  I spent time thinking about him and doing things in his memory.

Brick Wall picture I did for Bo <3
Bo's origami coyote I made him
Bo's pebbles <3

Bo with his coyote

Bo's memory box I made him

Bo's memory box full of the special items

Bo's table
We love and miss you, Bo!  We think of you each and every day.
Happy 3 month Angelversary, baby boy! <3

Monday, February 18, 2013

I did not lose my child

I hate that term.
I didn't lose my child.
But yet, I use it all the time.
We all do.


Because we dislike the term death more.

Nobody wants to hear about death.
Nobody wants to talk about death.
Even though death is a part of life.

That is another term I hate.
I didn't miscarry my child, either.
I carried my baby the best way that I knew how.

But, I will still say that I had a miscarriage over my baby died.

I still say that I lost my baby, even though I didn't.
I know exactly where my baby is.  He is in Heaven.

So, even though I may still say that I lost my baby, I didn't.

And, even though I may still say that I miscarried my baby, I didn't.

My baby died.

I did nothing wrong.
I don't know why my baby died.
I have no explanation.
But, I do know where my baby is.
And, I know that I will see him again, one day!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

A loss is a loss

A loss is a loss, so why are they treated differently.
A death is a death, so why are some deaths recognized, while others are treated as if nothing happened.
A person is a person, so why does it seem like some are more important than others.

I honestly hate the differences that are so apparent between losses/deaths.

When someone passes away, the family is giving so much to help them during their time of need.  People bring food, help take care of housework, help with the children, send sympathy cards, send flowers, offer support, call, attend the funeral, etc.

This happens for most deaths.
Not all.

You see, not all deaths are treated the same.

I had a miscarriage.  My baby died.  I was not that far along in my pregnancy {only 12 weeks when I had the miscarriage}, and my baby's heart stopped beating way before that {at a little over 7 weeks G.A.}.  But, why should that matter.

Read that paragraph again!  My baby's heart stopped beating.  He lived.  He died.

He is a person, just like everybody else.  So why was his death treated differently.

I wasn't able to have a funeral.  I didn't get that many phone calls.  I never received a sympathy card in the mail.  I never got flowers.  Nobody came to help me.  I did my own cooking and cleaning.


Why didn't people help me, like they help others when a loved one passes away?  Why wasn't my baby's death acknowledged?

Honestly, I don't know.  I don't have the answers.

But, I must keep living.  I must keep honoring and remembering Bo.  I must do the best that I can.

So, I have a memorial every month and on major holidays for Bo.  I remember him every day.  I miss him. I love him.

And, I do my best to help other BLMs.  To offer support, comfort, healing, hope, and encouragement.  To let them know that they are not alone on this journey.  To let them know that someone does care.  Someone does acknowledge them, their babies, and their losses.

I found this quote, and I think it fits some of what I am trying to say.

"Is the death of a fetus easier to endure than the death of an older child?  Is the grief of losing a limb greater than the grief of losing a life?  There is no such thing as greater or lesser grief.  One person's sadness is as great as another's."
- Author Unknown

Friday, February 15, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

I couldn't get this posted yesterday as I was having too much fun celebrating Valentine's day with my fiance, but here it is now.

Our day can best be imagined/described through pictures, so forgive me for the overload below.

"I love you" french toast for Justin!

"Heart" french toast for me!

View from our picnic table where we ate a late lunch!

Us after eating lunch!

{I think this is the best pic I have taken in a while!}

Justin looking at his gift {a "book of love - love coupons}!

We had someone join us for lunch!

I burnt my fingers cooking dinner! OUCH!

Got these hearts in the mail from Rhonda {a great Valentine's day gift}!

Also got my rock in the mail from Kyla {another great Valentine's day gift}!

So beautiful!

Bo & his Angel friends celebrating Valentine's day {each heart has a name}!

Since the names couldn't be seen on the hearts, I wrote them on the table!
Bo's Valentine I made him! <3

My fiance and I ate breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert together.  This is something we don't often do, even though we spend pretty much every minute of every day together!  We also don't usually go out {leave the house}, unless we absolutely have to, so it was nice walking down to the park to eat our lunch.  We are definitely planning on doing that more often!

Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed our day together!  And I enjoyed sending love and happy thoughts to Heaven for Bo and all other Angel babies!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

I am a Mom

Many people do not know this unless they know me personally or read my blog.

You cannot tell by looking at me that I am a mother.
I have a child.

He is not here on earth with me, but he is mine.
I carried him, protected him, miss him, and love him!
I was never able to hold my baby in my arms, but it does not make me any less of a mother.

I had hopes and dreams for my child.  All of which changed on the day I found out he died.
A lot of things changed on that day!
I changed.
But, I am still a mom.

{There is a lot that goes to this conversation, but this is the part that matters!}
During a conversation, it was said to me that I was not a mother.  I looked at the person that said this and screamed, "I am a mother!  My baby died!"

Just because my child is in Heaven does not make me less of a mother.  I do things to honor and remember my son, instead of taking care of him.

On this earth, I will never get to see, touch, hold his hand, hug, or kiss my son.  I don't get to feed him, change him, bathe him, rock him, or put him to sleep.  I won't get to see his first steps, kiss his boo-boos, help him ride his bike, or play with him.

I do not get to share so many special moments with my son.  But, I do get to see him again!  We will meet in Heaven, one day!

Until that day, I get to honor and remember him.  I will talk about him.  I will always miss and love him!  I will do things for and in his memory!

So, no matter what anybody says:

Monday, February 11, 2013

Walking With You: Finding Hope & Healing

February 11, 2013 ~ Finding Hope and Healing (With or Without a Rainbow)

For this post, we will share our experiences with longing for another baby to fill our empty arms.  Some experienced a subsequent pregnancy after loss.  Some may be fearful of embarking on that journey again.  Some may not be able to have another child, whether due to infertility or other reasons.  Some may have found that having another baby, however precious a gift, was not the key to healing the grief.  Can you experience hope and healing...even if there is no rainbow after the storm?

Oh, how I want to be a mother to a child on earth.  I have always wanted to be a mom.  That was my dream as a child.  To grow up, get married, and have children.  I honestly thought that by this time in my life (at the age of 26), I would have at least one child.  But, if I am going to be really honest, I thought that I would be done having children by now.  I thought I would have my own home, with a husband, and 2.5 kids.  But, instead, I live with my fiance, in a house that he rents, and we have 1 child in Heaven and our furry child here with us.

I can't say that I am not happy because I am.  But, I am also sad.  

My thoughts about being a mother have changed since my baby died.  They actually changed a few years back (before my miscarriage) around the time that I was 23, but they have definitely changed even more now.  You see, I did not think that I could get pregnant.  For a long time, I thought that I would never have a child of my own.  Not a biological, blood, created by me & my partner, carried in my womb child.

Then, I got pregnant.  I couldn't believe it.  God had given me such a great gift, blessing, and miracle.  I was pregnant.  I was going to have a child of my own.  Guess again.  I had a miscarriage.  My child was born into Heaven.  He never experienced this earth outside of my womb.

Do I want a baby?  Yes.  Do I want to get pregnant, carry my baby full-term, give birth, and raise my own child on earth?  Yes.  Do I want this right now?  I don't know.

I am scared, anxious, nervous, and not sure if I am ready to have a baby.  If I get pregnant again, I know that I will be so scared.  Scared that the same thing will happen.  Scared that I will not be able to protect my child, again.

If we do not or cannot get pregnant again, we are open to adoption. So many children need homes, and we are more than willing to adopt a child and provide a home.  And, if worse comes to worse, I believe I will be fine with us just being together.  As much as I would love a child, I know that I can be happy with just my fiance and me.

After all is said and done, though, I know everything will happen on God's time.  I am trusting in Him to guide me and give me what I need to do His will.  He will provide hope and healing to me, no matter what, as long as I have faith and believe in Him.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Walking With You: Mirror, Mirror ~ The Comparison Trap

February 4, 2013 ~ Mirror, Mirror ~ The Comparison Trap

Mothers often fall into the trap of comparing ourselves to one another.  This is a trap many women fall into.  We compare our families, mothering styles, fashion sense, careers or lack thereof, bodies, etc.  Even mothers with babies in heaven compare the way we grieve our children.  I know...sad...but we do it, if we're honest enough to admit it.  So, how can we find freedom from this?  Sharing is a start...telling the truth...admitting the struggle.  I think, then, we will see that we all love our children, regardless of how we choose to remember and honor their lives...whether publicly or quietly...with big parties or simple moments of remembrance.  Be real on this week's post, and let's free ourselves from the trap of comparing!

No comparing...but, isn't that part of human nature.  I know I have done it more times than I can count.  I have definitely compared my pregnancy, miscarriage, and grief to others.  Not that I really wanted to, but it happens.

Grieving - I know how to do this, but I have falling into the comparison trap.  I have read and saw the way others grieve and wondered if I grieved hard or long enough.

I have seen more loss in my life than I wanted to.  My brother passed away when I was 9.  My papa passed away when I was 17.  My baby passed away shortly after I turned 26.  I have also had several friends, cousins, uncles, and my great-grandparents pass away during those 17 years.  Death.  It happens.  We cannot have life without it.  But grieving.  Grieving is another story.

There is no book that describes how we should grieve.  Is it supposed to be different for each individual person?  Are we supposed to grieve differently for each person we love that has passed away?  How long are we supposed to grieve?  If we don't grieve the person who passed away, does it mean we love them any less than the others?  There are no specific answers to these questions, that I have found.  But, each individual person has to answer these questions for themselves.

My grief is not your grief.  We will grieve differently.  No matter how you grieve, it is not wrong.  It does not mean that you did not love the person.  I have learned through my personal situations that I grieve each individual person that passes differently.

My brother was the first person I knew to pass away.  I was only 9 years old.  I still grieve for him to this day, but I know he is in a better place.  He had several disabilities/disorders, which kept him from living a happy, healthy life on earth.  When he passed at only 13 years old, I accepted that God took him to end his suffering.  I knew he went to Heaven.  I know he is up there running around, playing, laughing, talking, etc.  All things he could not do on earth.

When my papa passed, I accepted that his life had come to an end.  Again, I still grieve for him, but I know that he lived a full, happy life on earth, and now he is living his eternal life in Heaven.  It was the natural order of things.  To live a full life on earth, than go to Heaven to spend eternity.

When my baby passed, I could not accept it at first.  It is still hard to this day to accept that I will not get to see his beautiful face on earth.  There are no answers to the questions that I have.  There was no reason given for why he passed.  He was just starting his life within me.  How could he be gone so soon?  I still want to curl up in a ball in bed and cry.  I still want to know why.  I still have questions.  I know that Bo is in Heaven, but I don't know why he couldn't spend more time on earth with me.

For each person, I grieved.  I loved them all.  But, I have grieved the hardest for my child.  I love him.  I miss him.  And, I have unanswered questions, which makes it even more difficult to accept that he is gone.

Honoring & Remembering - I have definitely done this throughout my life as well.  I think this is mainly where the comparing comes in.  I see how other moms remember their children, and it makes me wonder if I am doing enough.  Am I really showing people how much I love and miss my child through what I am doing?  {As I sit here and type this and read over it, I can't help but think now that I really don't care.  I know how much I love my child.  I know how much I miss him.  What I am doing is helping me heal and remember, so that is all that matters!}

Every month, and on holidays, I have done something for my baby boy, Bo.  I have a candle that I light for him on his angelversaries {month 1 and month 2}.  My fiance and I bought him a stocking and ornament for our Christmas tree.  I made him another ornament/tree topper for the tree.  This blog was made especially for him.  Originally it was a way for me to share with my family {since they all live on the East Coast, and I live on the West Coast} my progress through my pregnancy.  Now it is my way to remember Bo.  Writing helps me.  I am healing through my writing.

I also love to take pictures.  I have started taking pictures for other bereaved families.  This also helps me to heal.  I am honoring Bo by helping other families to remember their children.  I am trying to put together a list of resources for grieving families and for individuals who have suffered losses through miscarriage.

I am doing what I can with what I have.  That is the best that I can do!  That is all I need to do.

I remember my baby.  I will not forget him.  I love him with all of my heart, soul, and being.  He is and always will be my first child.  We were not able to spend much time together on earth, but I know I will see him again one day in Heaven.

Until then, I am going to continue to honor and remember him.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Walking With You: Overcoming Guilt and Embracing Joy

January 28, 2013 ~ Overcoming Guilt & Embracing Joy

One area so many mothers struggle with is guilt, especially those who experience the loss of a baby/child.  We want to address this struggle in this post.  It will help mothers quietly battling guilt for living life and experiencing joy to know they are not alone.  Other moms silently battle this as well.  Whether it is the startling first time you really laugh after losing your child, or whether you have experienced the healing balm of joy for years, share your thoughts on this week's post.

"Whether it is the startling first time you really laugh after losing your child..."  It is kind of funny that this is in the description of what I am supposed to write about.  The first time I remember really laughing after my miscarriage, it shocked me.  I abruptly stopped because the sound was so foreign to me.  It was too joyous.  My baby had just died.  How could I be laughing?  I was supposed to be grieving, not celebrating!  How could I enjoy life when my baby did not get that chance?  So many questions, thoughts, and concerns went through my head.  I felt so guilty.  I began crying.  I sobbed.

I felt like a failure!

Guilt.  It can sneak up on you.  It does sneak up on you.  It has happened several times between my miscarriage and now, just 2 months, 1 week, and 4 days later.

I felt guilty about having my miscarriage.  Maybe I did something wrong.  Did I do something wrong?  I don't know.  I would like to think that I did everything right, but I don't know.  Could I have done something different?  Could I have ate better?  Could I have stopped drinking coffee and sodas completely?  Could I have exercised more or less?  Would any of it helped?

I felt guilty about telling certain people and forgetting to tell others.
I felt guilty about failing my baby.
I felt guilty that my body could not carry my baby full-term.
I felt guilty that even though I could get pregnant, I could not deliver a healthy baby.

I felt like a failure!

One day, I felt so down that I just started sobbing.  My fiance sat down beside me and asked me what was wrong.  I told him, "I am a failure!"  He asked me what I was talking about.  In between sobs, I rambled off something like this:

I am a failure.
I failed at being a mom.
I failed at being pregnant.
I failed at being a daughter.
I failed at being a sister.
I failed at being an aunt.
I failed at being your girl-friend/fiance.
I failed at being a student.
I failed at life.

This was one of my weakest moments.  Just writing about it now makes some of those feelings come back.  It makes my cry.  I am not sobbing this time, but the tears are definitely there.

The guilt and the grief were too much.  I could not handle it, so I would just break down and cry.  I would listen to songs that would make me cry.  Sometimes I would feel like I wasn't crying enough.  How could I truly be grieving if I wasn't crying?  Then there were some days when I thought that I was letting it all consume me.  I thought that I was thinking too much, doing too much, crying too much.

Luckily, I can say that I no longer feel like a failure.  I now laugh and enjoy life.  I know that I have to.  I know that Bo would want me to.  I still have days where I cry, where I feel down, where I just want to curl up in a ball in bed and sleep for days.  But, I am doing better!

I look at life differently now.  I do my best to enjoy every minute of it because it is a gift!  We are not promised tomorrow!  I love deeper, I laugh harder, I live fully!  I do this because Bo didn't get the chance.  I do my best to live my life in a way that would make Bo proud!