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. 



Monday, May 16, 2011

The Chase

A little baby is crying.

I can hear it. My oldest son can hear it too.

It is a haunting cry.

He starts to run towards the sound of it. I understand why he does but I know he shouldn't. I yell to him, "No! JJ come back!".

He continues to run. Fast, frantically. JJ does have so much speed when he runs.

I keep calling to him and then I take off after him.

I continue to yell, "JJ, stop!". He ignores me and keeps going.

I can feel how badly he wants to reach this baby.

But he cannot.

I seem to know this already. I know that we could run forever and we would never get to that baby.

He keeps on running as though he knows where he wants to get to.

I can still hear the cry. I know it can't be her. Can it?

I am now sobbing, I yell out, "JJ!...please stop!...come back!........she is, dead."

The baby's cries stop.

I finally catch up to him. He never did reach her.

I know she is close by. I can feel it. But I know she is out of reach.

I grab him, we fall to the ground. We are both crying.

The baby is silent. 

She is gone.  Again.

________________

Dreams have a way of pulling out so much of your subconcious. I had this one this morning.

You see, we chased the dream of having a baby girl/little sister for 31.5 weeks.

We were so excited. JJ was too.

We almost had her. We were so close. She was almost in our reach for us to have forever.

It haunts me each and every day that we did not get to hear Janessa cry. The sound of the silence in the room when she was born was deafening.

We did not have JJ come to the hospital until after we gave Janessa to the nurse. It was the biggest mistake and regret we have. I feel his grief would be easier to navigate if he had met her. There would be so much less for him to wonder about. He "chased" information and details about her for months after her death. He still frequently does. We have told him all we can but his little mind still churns and processes. As he gets older, he will process her death over and over again far into adulthood.

The sound of JJ sobbing at her funeral still at moments echoes in my ear. The pain and sadness he was feeling that day, I wish I could have taken it away for him.

_________________________

God knows I would run forever to get to her.

But she is out of my reach.




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.


Thursday, May 5, 2011

May

Janessa's Garden
The month of May has arrived.

May brings warmer weather, flowers, the smells of spring, sunshine, and new life.

New life. May did bring me new life. JJ was born on Thursday, May 29th in 2003. After that, May represented the time we recieved our most treasured gift in life, our son. We were shown a type of love we had never known before. I looked forward to planning each of his birthdays and those who know me in real life, know I throw one heck of a party!

Six years later, May brought me death. Thursday, May 14th, 2009 our beautiful daughter was born still after passing the day before from a placental abruption. Holding her in our arms we once again felt the love of what only a parent could know, but this time- May also brought us pain and sadness. Pain we never could have imagined. The worst type of sadness that exists in this world.

We buried our child on Monday, May 18th, 2009.

May and I now have a bittersweet relationship. Each May we get to celebrate JJ. We give thanks that he is here and has filled our lives with such love and joy. Although I wish time would slow down, I still look forward to his birthday. A day just for him. A day that we celebrate his life.

It is him who allowed us to keep trudging on through the pain of losing his sister. I am scared to think where I would have let myself go if he didn't give me reason to keep living.

But now each May I endure my daughter's birthday without her. I visit a cemetary instead of a party. I bring her gifts but not of toys. There are no dolls, tiaras, or tea cups in our home or to be given. Instead I buy flowers and balloons and place them upon a scared piece of earth and hope no one takes them off her plot. We sing happy birthday to a cold headstone instead of holding our little girl in our arms feeling her warm arms around us.

The days leading up to her angelversary, birthday, and each holiday are always worse than the actual days themselves. I can feel it; the extra weight on my chest, the tears building behind every blink, the sadness that I feel throughout my entire body.

I miss her so much.

We have planned out what to do on her birthday this year. We just have to work out the details. Last year we had a large memorial but this year will be small and private. It will be her daddy, her two brothers and I spending the day thinking of her, celebrating our love for her, and enjoying life that day--for her.

"As long as I can I will look at this world for both of us. As long as I can I will laugh with the birds, I will sing with the flowers, I will pray to the stars, for both of us."
-Author Unknown



Tuesday, May 3, 2011

JD's 4 Month Letter

 
JD,

You turned 4 months old on April 27th. That was last Wednesday. Yesterday you turned 18 weeks. How are you 4 months old already? How quickly the time is passing. I want to pause these moments. Freeze this time with you. But I know all too well that the pause button doesn't work not even when you plead for it. So I will cherish each day with you. Burn these moments into my memory all while trying to enjoy and stay in the moment.

Today at your 4 month check up you weighed in 15 pounds and you were 25 1/4 inches long. I have nicknamed you my chunkey monkey and my rolie polie. Your chubbiness just makes you that much cuter!

Since you were out of character and extremely fussy after your last vaccines we decided to split them up today. We will have to go back in a month for the second half. I hope you feel well tomorrow when you wake up.

You are probably the happiest baby I have ever known. You greet us each morning with the biggest smiles. You instantly put me into a good mood. Thank you for that. Mommy needs that still. Your morning good-moods could stem from the fact that you sleep about 10-12 hours straight each night. You have done this since 9 weeks old. You usually fall asleep all on your own between 7:30-9 p.m. and awake around 6:00-8:00 a.m. Mommy thanks you :)

I have read a few times about rainbow babies being extremely happy babies. I am starting to believe there may be something to that!

During the day you drink about 7 ounces every 3-4 hours. You mostly drink 4 bottles a day. Your reflux is still a nuisance but the medicine you are on seems to keep you comfortable without pain. You even smile right after spitting up! You no longer make the faces while spitting up like you are in pain. Since you feel better so does Mommy! Your new little rock and play seems to help as well. It keeps you inclined and you now sleep in there in place of your bassinet which you outgrew. WE LOVE IT and wish we had it from the start. You are not a noisy sleeper anymore. There are no more grunts and groans but I was able to capture it on camera for you to listen to when you are older. Thought you should know what you put us through :)

Now that you are more comfortable you let mommy get more things done around the house. I enjoyed carrying you or wearing you in a sling but your weight was wearing on my shoulders and back. Now you excitedly play on the floor with your play gym and love to pull on your dangling toys. Sometimes you play until exhaustion!


You are starting to pick your legs all the way up and also kick them in the air. You once again enjoy bath time and now you kick and splash mommy the entire time! I am looking forward to see you playing with your little feet.

Your head control is getting stronger and once Mommy can get Daddy to put it together you should have fun playing in your excersaucer.

You can roll from your tummy to your back and have done this from very early on but due to your reflux, tummy time around here is very limited. We try once in awhile but your tummy doesn't agree with it and usually ends in a mess. We will keep trying.


You little man are teething. There is no question. On April 14th I found the little tip of the tooth that is trying so fiercely to exit your gum. It is right under the surface but has yet to emerge. You are a drool monster and since you have already started bringing your toys to your mouth, everything goes in there now! I swear you may chew off your finger.


Your favorite thing right now is chewing on your burp cloths. Mommy uses Gerber cloth diapers for burp cloths and they have become your "blankey" or "lovey". When you are sleepy you love to cuddle it to your face. I make sure to bring an extra one with us wherever we go.


Going back to how happy you are...on April 16th Daddy got your first real laugh. Leading up to that, Mommy would only get these half chuckles. You would try to laugh but it was almost as if it got stuck in your throat. You have only done a real laugh once or twice more since that day. You are really making us work for them!

Your big brother thinks you are just the cutest little kid ever. He quite frequently and randomly tells us how cute he thinks you are. He says, "JD is sooo cute I wanna squeeeze him 'til he pops!". Doesn't sound too nice but he means it with love. Don't worry, we won't let him pop you. He is also starting to teach you life lessons. The other day while your big bro was unhappily doing his homework, you were fussing near him in your chair... JJ looked over at you and said, "JD, life is rough sometimes." Now this is true JD, but life can be sweet too.


We love you JD. We look forward to watching you continue to grow but if you can, would you slow down a bit!?

Love,

Mommy xoxo



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