Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Does She Know?

My Missing Baby - by Unknown Author


Does she know how much I love her?
Does she know how much I care?
Can she feel my arms around her?
Even though she isn’t there?

Can she feel the hurt I carry,
Deep inside here in my heart?
Can she see me cry these tears,
Because we are apart?

Does she miss me, like I miss her,
From the depths of my very soul?
Is it warm where she is?
Not like this world - so cold.

Does she see me when I’m lonely?
Feeling empty, low and blue.
Oh God, I hope she sees me,
In everything I do.

I just need to know she’s near me,
So I can breath her baby smell.
I need to feel her in my arms,
So many things I want to tell.

I want to tell her that I miss her,
And how much I love her so,
I need her to know how much I need her
How I didn’t want to let go ……..




Saturday, June 11, 2011

Team Janessa 2011

I tend to do these March For Babies posts late. Both years I have had to wait for the MOD to post the team pics up on their website. We bring a camera but for some reason we never seem to get a team pic with ALL the team members in it. There are always a few that sneak off to the bathroom!


We had another AMAZING turnout with both team members and donations. We had 45 team members make it to the walk and together we raised $3,035.00! We surpassed last year's total by $510.00!

Thank you to everyone for your support. Doing this in Janessa's name means so much to us. The money we raised will possibly prevent another family or families from experiencing the death of their child(ren). To spare a family the pain we carry, I would walk endless miles.

My friend Amy came the day before to help me do all the last minute preparations. She was such a huge help and I appreciate everything she did.

We did up some new shirts this year. Jonathan needed a new one and so did JD, as well as all the new team members that joined. We even had a surprise team member or two show up at the walk. This time we made her footprints her original size, added the pregnancy and infant loss awareness ribbon, and on the front of the shirt put her Butterfly Footprints.


JD wearing his big sis' team shirt
We made up buttons this year for the family and anyone else who wanted one to wear. I brought the extra ribbons from her one year memorial service to pin on as well.


My cousin, Jen, surprised us by having bracelets made up for all the team members. They have her name on it as well as white butterflies. Each time I see a white butterfly I think of Janessa. She only wore two outfits and both were white. The symbolism of the butterfly is why I created Butterfly Footprints. The bracelets also happen to be the color of the March For Babies.


The weather was slighlty better than last year. We are hoping that we will get lucky one year with sunshine! It would be nice to take it a bit slower and be able to take in the day for what it is. A day to help all babies have a chance at life and a day to pay special remembrance to our baby girl.

The place we walk is very nice. There are three different location MOD walks in our state and we choose this one. Last year we had many of our team members express how much they enjoyed it. This year quite a few members inquired to us about whether or not we were doing it in the same spot and we're glad we chose to do so. This will probably be the location we use each year.

 As you complete the walk they hand you a sticker and when JJ approaced the finish line, the gentleman asked him who he was walking for. JJ told him that it was for his sister Janessa. The man then asked if she was here. JJ told him "No, she is in heaven." That volunteer gave JJ both a sticker for him and one for Janessa. He has it in a bag ready to bring it to the cemetery for her.


Riding three miles in a stroller really works up your appetite.

Miss Mikhaila here was due one month after Janessa.
Isn't she a doll?

And wipes you out.

JJ

We did a small balloon release before we left the park. We wrote some messages to her on the balloons. Thank you Kim for bringing those for us.



After the walk, some of the team joined us for lunch. It was nice to spend some time with them.

I remember sitting at my computer the morning of the day before the walk. I checked the team page and the emotions took over me. I sat and I sobbed. I was so touched by the generosity that our friends and family were doing in Janessa's name.

Her life may have been brief but she continues to impact this world.




Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Bereaved Mother



“Do not judge the bereaved mother.

She comes in many forms.

She is breathing, but she is dying.

She may look young, but inside she has become ancient.

She smiles, but her heart sobs.

She walks, she talks, she cooks, she cleans, she works, she IS,

but she IS NOT, all at once.

She is here, but part of her is elsewhere for eternity.”

- Author Unknown



Friday, May 27, 2011

International Babyloss Mother's Day 2011

Last year I had an amazing IBLMD with two wonderful mommas. I wrote about it here.

For those unfamiliar with International Babyloss Mother's Day, you can visit the official website to learn more.

I knew that I defnitely wanted to have another meet up again this year. Unfortunately Stephanie was unable to attend but I was able to meet up with Kristin from Once A Mother again.

Last year, at our balloon release we had a beautiful thing happen. When looking at the pictures of the release we saw three baby faces in the clouds. You can read about and see the pics on that post. It was an amazing sign from our little girls. As a gift this year, Kristin brought me a picture of the release in a beautiful angel frame with Janessa's name in beads across the top.

A crazy detail about this is we all became pregnant very shortly after that day. I was that day but it was too early to know yet. We have all gone on to have healthy rainbow babies. Actually, Kristin went on to have twins!

We met up with our children and husbands. We had lunch at a park, went for a walk, and then visited Janessa's grave. We had visited Kristin's daughter Peyton's grave last year. At the cemetery we released some balloons in honor of our little girls.






I find that last shot breathtaking.

I wish we would have had more time that day.

Thank you Kristin for sharing this special day with me again. 



Saturday, May 14, 2011

Two Years

Two. That is how old you would be today.

I wish I could get a glimpse of the two-year-old you. I stare at your picture and wonder so often.

I remember your big brother, JJ, at two. How smart he was. How much fun he was. You would be so full of life right now. You would be learning so much and we would be living and seeing the world again through your fresh set of eyes.

They tell me that you will never have to experience the pain of this world or the ugliness that seems to be more prominent by the day. I try to find comfort in that. To know that you only knew love here and now you only know peace.
You will never have teary eyes or a broken heart. But I have trouble with that. You see, my sweet Janessa, I wanted to wipe those teary eyes and kiss away the pain. I wanted to protect your heart and when the time came when I no longer could, I wanted to help mend it.

This world can be an ugly place but it is also incredibly beautiful. Life can be full of pain - your death has shown us an extreme of that, but life is also full of joy and beauty. Beauty you do not get to experience. I picture you in the most beautiful place of all, and you may see beauty that I cannot fathom, but I wanted to watch you grow and experience this beauty here with us.

Maybe one day I can arrive at a place where I can take full comfort in knowing that you are where we all hope to be. But now I sit here and selfishly wish you back to my arms.

I long for you more than my written words could ever tell.

We have a special day planned out today. Visit with us if you can.

Happy 2nd Heavenly birthday Janessa.

Mommy loves you.


Friday, May 13, 2011

May 13th

Pic sent to me today from Mary Yee. Thank you.
Today was a beautiful spring day. Exactly like the one on this day two years ago.

This date will always lay so heavy on my heart. Two years ago today, her little heart stopped beating and ours shattered.

Last night, I could not sleep. The whole timeline of events played over and over in my mind. These flashbacks come so often still but these were so intense it felt like I was physically there. I felt the fear, the devastation, the shock, the pain.

I cannot believe I survived this.

So much has happened in these past two years. They seem to have flown by so quickly. I am able to function but the grief, the grief is still very present. Tears lay behind each blink, pain is still behind each smile. I think about her all day.

I have read so many times how year two is just as hard as year one but in different ways. It is so very true.

To know I have to live without her for the rest of my life can be at times completely overwhelming. I feel so weak, so broken. There are moments where I feel as though there may come a time where I can no longer be strong. I fear a future meltdown where this all becomes just too much.

There are days where I look into the mirror and see these eyes looking back. They are new eyes. Still stranger-like. I have been trying to get used them since she died. They lack the spark they once held. I only see sadness. They fool many but they have seen things no mother should.

Some days I look myself in the mirror and have to talk myself into being able to go on with the day. I tell myself that I have made it this far and I can do one more day. I still take one day at a time. People think and tell me they admire my strength. What they don't see is the mom, wife, woman, who still struggles with everyday tasks. I still find daily duties to be incredibly overwhelming. Some days around here I label as "FAIL" at the end of the day. I have learned to accept these. To cut myself some slack.

Each day I acknowledge all I do have in life to be grateful for. I use this as motivation to keep on trudging through the waves of emotions that at times almost pull me under. I have learned to accept the wax and wane of grief. I ride the waves instead of drowning in them now.

I hold onto the words and writings of other moms who are much farther on this path of childloss. They tell their stories and write how with time the pain continues to dull but they say it never ceases. I don't know how it ever could. I hold onto the promise of days where the pain is not so intense. To days where I may feel complete joy again...or take my first real deep breath again.

I know that some days she is sending me some extra love. Her spirit finds me and pushes me on.

If she comes to visit me, I wonder if as I sit here typing this, if she is sitting close by me wiping the tears that are falling down my cheeks. If you are my sweet angel, or if my words find you, please send Daddy some extra love. His heart has been so heavy lately.

I love you babygirl.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Room Reveal

I thought I would show you all how JD's nursery turned out. You all have read my many posts about how special Janessa's nursery was to me and how very emotional the process of remodeling it was. In the end, I felt able to begin packing away her items and preparing for her little brother's arrival. It took me almost umtil the end of the pregnancy to really start doing anything to the room. I needed to do it in my time. When I felt ready.

It turned out very nice. I chose a theme that he could stick with you foe awhile. With JJ, I chose a baby theme and he quickly outgrew his room decor. JD's room is a very comfortable place. I chose calming colors for the walls and I really do feel relaxed while in there. JD seems to feel the same. I sometimes bring him in there when he is being a bit fussy.

So here are some pics.....

As you enter...




A stereo for his lullabies :)



Full of toys...

What do you all think?



Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Dear Janessa

Dear Janessa,

Hello babygirl. I have been missing you so much lately. I of course, miss you each and every day but lately the sting of your absence seems to be a bit more painful. I cannot believe it has been almost 2 years since you were physically here with me. You would be turning 23 months next week. Your 2nd birthday is right around the corner. I wish I could have had the chance to see the toddler you would be right now.

Two-year-olds seem to be everywhere I look lately. I have even found a few in my arms recently. I find joy in these little babies but the tug at my heart, at my soul, is too strong not to acknowledge. It leaves me with such an ache for you. I watch them and know you should be doing all that they are. I try and picture you doing those things, what you may look like now, and how cute your little voice and words would sound. I imagine you driving your big brother crazy. I think of all the mischief you would be getting into.

I wonder what it is like where you are. What you do to fill the time. What time feels like there. I wonder if you miss me, miss us. I wonder if all you know is peace and love. I send you my love each day.

I remember holding you in the hospital. Your Daddy had left the room for a few minutes. I sat there rocking you and humming the lullaby I always hummed to your big bro, and now to JD as well. There are so many things I wish I did with you that day, so many regrets, but I am glad I got to do that. That is one of the few things I will get to do with all my children.

I recently read your little brother his first storybook. I sat on the floor of his nursery, your old nursery, with him in my lap. He looked so curiously at all the colors on the pages as I read the words aloud to him. I am so incredibly blessed to have him here with us. I love that I get to do all these things with him. I am just sad I never got the chance with you. I know you watch over your brothers. I wonder if you were with us that day.

I believe my words and thoughts find you, wherever that may be. I know your spirit finds me as well. I feel you.

So my sweet angel, I would like to read you a story now. One of my favorites. Its perfect just for you.

I Love You As Much... by Laura Krauss Melmed

Said the mother horse to her child,
"I love you as much as a warm summer breeze."

Said the mother bear to her child,
"I love you as much as the forest has trees."

Said the mother camel to her child,
"I love you as much as the desert is dry."

Said the mother goose to her child,
"I love you as much as the endless blue sky."

Said the mother sheep to her child,
"I love you as much as the grass on the hill."

Said the mother mouse to her child,
"I love you as much as the grain in the mill."

Said the mother goat to her child,
"I love you as much as the mountain is steep."

Said the mother whale to her child,
"I love you as much as the ocean is deep."


Now sleep, child of mine, while the stars shine above-
I love you as much as a mother can love.

Love, Mommy



Friday, February 18, 2011

Hope

I love this idea! Franchesca from Small Bird Studio has created a blog hop. It will be hosted on the 19th of every month. Its purpose is to clebrate hope. The promises, things, people, places, memories, signs, anything that brings us hope.

This week's question:

What small {or big!} miracles have brought you hope lately? I hope you'll share a piece of your journey by joining the blog hop :)

From the start of this grief journey hope is what allowed me to survive. I mentioned it in a post recently. "In those first few weeks my husband and I talked a lot. Planning and talking about the future seemed to help. It gave us a lifeline of hope to cling to." At the time I was not sure it would ever be possible to be happy again. All I could do was hope that someday in the future we would again feel joy.

Our son JJ kept us going. He supplied us with a reason to live when it felt like we had died. When we were expecting JD it gave us hope for the future of our family. He has brought some new energy and lots of additional love to our home. We are grateful and blessed to have him here.

Very slowly over that first year of grief colors started to show through again, aromas smelled sweet again, the taste came back in food...I laughed. At first it hurt to laugh. Then I felt guilty for laughing. Eventually those feelings faded. It felt good to be able to enjoy parts of life again. Although these senses made a comeback none have returned in their original state. It has been 21 months. I hope one day to see the world and its beauty as I once saw it.

"When great souls die, our reality, bound to them, takes leave of us. Our minds formed and informed by their radiance, fall away...And when great souls die, after a period, peace blooms, slowly and always irregularly. Our senses, restored, never to be the same, whisper to us. They existed. We can be. Be and be better. For they existed" -Maya Angelou

As each of these senses returned I worried Janessa was slipping further away from us. I was blessed however to receive some beautiful signs from her. These brought some comfort to me and let me know she is still around me...

While picturing her face a pure white feather floating by me, glancing up when my heart is heavy and seeing an angel and a butterfly in the sky...


...a butterfly flying around us on the beach, a hummingbird flying up to our heads as we broke ground in Janessa's garden, while standing at her grave asking for a sign feeling a warm breeze that wraps around my body like I've never felt before, capturing the faces of babies in the clouds on International Babylost Mother's Day with two other babyloss mamas...(all three of us became pregnant shortly after)...


...thinking of her and in the next moment having a beautiful butterfly knock on our window in the middle of the night...



...a sense of pure peace that fills that my soul every so often. In those moments I know she is close by me. I can feel her. Those moments give me hope that she is not completely gone. She may be gone from sight but not from my heart. I beleive she is in a place far beyond my comprehension. I beleive she can feel the love I send to her each and every day.

I hope one day to see her again. I beleive I will.

I read a quote soon after Janessa passed. It gave me a perspective that I cling to. I hope that one day she returns to my arms. The hope that I will see my daughter again makes it easier to continue on.



"They say that time in heaven is compared to 'the blink of an eye' for us here on this Earth. Sometimes it helps me to think of my daughter running ahead of me through a beautiful field of wildflowers and butterflies; so happy and completely caught up in what she is doing that by the time she looks behind her to see if I am there...I will be."



Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Monday, February 7, 2011

Baby Shower


On December 5th my mother hosted a baby shower for me with the help of my sweet friend Julie and cousin Jen. It took me a long time to decide whether or not I wanted a shower this time around. You can read about that here. But in the end I came to realize that JD's arrival was definitely something to celebrate. I worked very hard through his pregnancy to grasp at the joy amongst all the worry and stress. We had so much taken from us and I didn't want to continue to let joy be sucked away.

It was a great shower. Good food, great company, games and wonderful much appreciated gifts. We are still stocked up on diapers and wipes for atleast another two months.

A special treat was that one of my friends in real life, Amanda, who was also expecting her rainbow baby was able to make it. (You can read her story here.) We attended the same school and played field hockey together as well. And for kicks here is a throwback pic:

I am #11 & Amanda is on the far right. My cousin who helped with the shower is #14
Amanda and I always got along but were never close. In late February 2010, nine months after Janessa died, I learned her daughter Stella had just passed away twelve days after birth. Even though we had not spoken since high school except some brief FB interactions, I shed many many tears for them upon hearing the news. I knew the pain they were feeling and I was so saddened that she had embarked on this journey of loss. I reached out to her shortly after. Since then we have kept in close contact and it has been nice to be able to talk to someone who understands 100% and that I also knew before Janessa's death. My shower was the first baby shower she attended since losing her daughter so I was touched that she was able to come. Here we are with our bumps.


I am ecstatic to announce her rainbow Eleanor arrived on 1.25.10.

Isn't she adorable?
Even though this shower was for me it was only the second shower I went to since losing Janessa. We attended the shower of my husband's godson last summer. I could never have attended one for a little girl and would probably still struggle through one today. I was a little overwhelmed at first and it took a good hour for me to relax enough to enjoy myself. I am not sure I hid my uncomfortableness very well. In the end I had a great time and we are so grateful for all the wonderful items we received for JD.

My cousin got me a beautiful pandora bracelet with all 3 of my children's birthstones. I am always so touched when anyone remembers Janessa and includes her. Her boyfriend also got us one of the most delicious cakes I have ever had. It was so cute as well.


I appreciate all the work that was put into the shower. Thank you ladies!

            My Momma and I                                    My cousin and I



Somehow Julie managed to escape the photo op! But here she is helping me with the gifts.


I did have two other helpers as well. My niece and son :)


I finally finished up some thank you cards and would like to apologize for them being sent out so late to everyone. Just know I was so happy to see those who came and it meant so much to have you all celebrate this little miracles arrival. I truly believe that each baby that makes it here safe and healthy is just that...a miracle.


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