I keep reading about how so many baby loss mommas are doing good in the name of their children. It makes my heart ache because I want to do something too. Franchesca, the woman who designed my blog and made Addie's memory box, is collecting blank journals. She blogged about it here and I'm going to send her some. But I feel like it's not enough. I've been wanting to find a way of donating something other than money to the hospital where she was born, to help other families like ours. I keep coming back to memory boxes. The one I got while at the hospital was great...but I think families might enjoy a little more. So, I'm calling out to all of my friends and family and my blog friends. Any ideas on would be helpful. I'm looking for a place to get hand or footprint kits, nice cardstock for the footprints, and any other suggestions. I still haven't found boxes the right size yet, but they are going to be hand decorated and all in different patterns. I do have some things I am pretty sure I want to include...like finding Certificates of Life that parents can have, maybe some candles, maybe talk to Carly from To Write Their Names in the Sand and see if she'll provide me with gift certificates for a sunset name pic and some others. I hope I can get this together. I would love to be able to do some good in her name.
Please consider helping out with Jenna's Journal Drive. Franchesca has come up with a wonderful idea and I would love to see her reach her goal! Just click on the link above or the button below for more information.
So, the doctor's appointment is over. Such a big weight off my shoulders. Overall, my doctor is very happy with everything. She is astonished by my weight loss. She actually asked my husband if I was really eating, not just starving myself. She's shocked I actually listened to her, but, as I told her, I have great motivation: I want another baby and I want to be healthy for that child. I know I still have a long way to go, but I've also come so far. I know I'll never be supermodel skinny, but if I can lose another 50 pounds, I'd be happy. More is even better, but I'd be fine with 50.
We've been given the green light to start trying again next month. She's still very concerned that we aren't waiting long enough, but she also understands how hard it is to wait after losing a child. She's been very good to us, I'm so thankful to have found this office. All of the doctors I've seen there are great. She made it clear, though, that if we were to get pregnant soon, another c-section is guaranteed. But, I'm not worried about it. I knew the chances of me having to have another section were pretty big so I've accepted that fact. Especially if we have the antibody issue again. I'm okay with it.
I'm just glad it was good news. We're still waiting on some blood work results but all is go! Now starts a whole new journey. I just hope we can stay positive through it all.
Today marks 5 months since we said goodbye. Surprisingly, I'm not as tremendously sad as I have been on her past birthdays. I wonder what that means. Of course I still miss her, nothing will ever take that away, but I'm not so sad that I can't function. Maybe this means I am really healing...maybe this means I AM in a healthy place...maybe this means I AM ready for another child. I hope so!
Addie, I miss you more than you can imagine. Your little feet left such an impression on my heart. On all of our hearts. Your family loves you everyday.
I've lit a candle for you today. Happy 5 month birthday little one!
Ever since she told me she shipped it, I've been anxiously awaiting the arrival of the memory made for me by Franchesca of Small Bird Studio, Abiding Hope Collages, and Abiding Hope Memory Boxes. Well, today it came and its absolutely perfect, just right for Addie. Franchesca personalized it with Addie's name, but surprised me with adding her butterfly footprints to the side. I LOVE IT! I'm such a dork, but I cried when I opened it. Its just the perfect little place to put the pouch that holds Addie's cremains. Thank you so much Franchesca, its beautiful!
Ok, I think its time I admit this...I'm scared at the thought of trying to have another baby. I'm scared that this will happen again. I'm scared that I won't survive the loss of another child. But I don't want to give up. I'm not ready to give up.
I go to the doctor later this week. I'm almost afraid at what she'll say. When we saw her in September she gave me some advice, which included losing some weight. I am a big woman, always have been, but I worked my ass off (literally) the last 3 1/2 months to lose the pounds. I'm just afraid she'll say its not enough. From the day we found out Addie had died to now, I've lost 70 pounds. I still have a lot more to lose but its a start. I just hope its enough for now.
I'm really not ready to give up on the thought of carrying another child. I know there are "options" but I'm not ready to go that route. I have 2 very good friends who have offered to be a surrogate, but there's nothing like the bond between a mother and child. I want to have the experience of carrying my own child again. I don't want to give that up. But am I really ready to face another loss? Can I handle the death of another child? I've barely kept my head above water with losing Addie, how the hell would I handle losing her brother or sister.
At the appointment in September, my doctor seemed very hopeful. I flat out asked her if she thought we should try to have another baby. Basically she said she is not ready to make that decision. She wants to see how the next pregnancy goes before she advises us to continue or to stop trying. I know there are treatments for what they believe caused Addie's death, but they are risky. Still, she says she will follow us all the way through, that, when we are ready, she will do everything medically necessary for us to have a healthy child.
What I know for sure is that I'm not ready to give up. I never realized how much I wanted to be a mom until I found out I was pregnant with Addie. I'm not ready to look into surrogacy or adoption. I just hope that this won't happen again. I just hope I am able to have a healthy child. HOPE is the key word.
So yesterday I realized that maybe I'm not doing as well as I thought. That my perception of myself was way off. Then again, maybe I was being oversensitive, but still...how could I have been so far off? How is it that people around me see me so differently than I see myself? Perception sucks.
Ok, lets start over. Yesterday, Patrick asked me to read a message from his sister's best friend. It was about a celebratory dinner for her new little one who is due to be born in March. In it she mentions that Amanda (P's sister) thinks we won't come but that Julia (Amanda's friend) wanted to extend an invitation. That part of the message stuck with me all through my workout and in to lunch. Patrick and I had stopped at Chick-fil-a for lunch and I just couldn't hold it in any longer. I asked him if he remembered the days that were listed in this message. If those days were weekdays, I would understand Amanda saying that we probably wouldn't come. Afterall, a three hour drive is kinda long, especially when we would have to work the next day. P couldn't remember the days, though. Still, the message was bothering me. Then it hits...maybe I'm too hard to be around; maybe I'm not handling her death as well as I thought; maybe I really am a downer; people don't want to be around me; I'm just kidding myself when I think I'm doing okay. All those thoughts opened the flood gates. It hit me HARD. Even if my mind is playing tricks on me, do people really not want to be around me? I have a few close friends who don't care...they've been with me through everything, good and bad. And so has most of my family. But it hurt to know that my in-laws might feel like they're walking in eggshells around me. Yes, I've changed; I won't ever be the person I was before Addie died...but I'm still Mary. Yes, some things are hard to be around, but I'm working through it. Exposing myself to situations that involve children and baby showers and pregnancy has helped me. I don't cry nearly as often; I can hold babies without tearing up. I have toughened up a little. Yes, there will be things that set me off, but sometimes I need to cry; its good for me.
I know I pissed P off yesterday. He wanted me to talk to him but I don't know how to express what I was feeling at that point in time. It was like a reality check...I had to face what might be the truth. Maybe I'm not doing any better than I was when I found out she had died. Maybe I'm just kidding myself when I say I'm working on being a happier me; maybe it's not meant to be. P says he thinks that its possible his family doesn't understand how I feel, but that mine does. I still don't completely understand this logic but I see his point. My mom lost her oldest child...she knows what its like. I'm sure she has given the rest of the family some guidance; hell, I would need it if I wasn't the one who had to go through it. I never thought we'd have to experience the death of our child. I don't know. But his family has never had to deal with this. But why didn't they ask? Am I really that unapproachable? Yes, talking about her might make me cry, but hearing my daughter's name means so much to me. For someone to acknowledge her existence is the best present they could ever give me. P thinks I should tell his family this. Good idea on paper, but how in the world would I start that conversation..."So, just wanted to tell you that I want you to talk about my dead daughter, that its okay to bring her up. So what if I cry? Its gonna happen, I need to suck it up." Yeah, I don't think so. I don't think that's a conversation that will ever happen. I just wish I could stand outside of my body and see how the rest of the world sees me...maybe then I will understand how they perceive me. And then, just maybe, I can really start working on a better, happier me.
I feel like I've had a set back. WTF.
So is it totally wrong for me to want to yell at my coworker when she complains about her 16 month old son? I just want to scream "Cherish your child!" She constantly complains about his neediness and not getting enough sleep...she has no idea what it feels like to get so close and then not get the chance to have those experiences. I have to bite my tongue not to say anything. I know she doesn't know what happened. I don't share my loss with many people, especially at work. But I am so tired of hearing "when you become a parent" or "you don't know how it is when you have a child." I just want to smack her. Really not a good start.
I want to say thank you so much to Small Bird Studio for the great job desiging my new look! Franchesca did a great job, her work is beautiful! Thank you so much! I love it...it says so much about Addie! Its perfect.
So, in keeping with my promise to be a happier me, I did several things I haven't done in a long time over the weekend. It was a great weekend, I'm glad I did it.
Saturday night was a girl's night. I haven't done a girls night in at least a year, so this was almost like a new experience. Several friends and I went to Drag Bingo. Yes, I said Drag Bingo. It's exactly what it sounds like...men in drag calling out bingo numbers. It was a fundraiser for a good cause and it was hilarious! They did several games, and during the breaks, there was a drag show. All I have to say is OMG! I've seen a drag fashion show before but it was nothing like this. Those men had so much personality...words can't even describe it! Of course, I'm sure the alcohol helped too, lol (it was held at a sports bar)!
Sunday I did something I haven't done in over 15 years; I rode a horse! I used to love riding; now my niece is taking lessons. Her teacher is a friend of mine who has asked me several times if I wanted to ride. So, Sunday, I did. And I loved it! I just might have to do it more often.
It was a good weekend. I've missed this...I've missed enjoying life. Almost as much as I miss her.
I had to share this post from a blog I follow. The blog is called Dear Stevie written by a fellow BLM. I read her post this morning, Light as a Feather, and it really hit home simply because I'm trying to do the same. I'm tired of being sad all the time, tired of carrying such a heavy weight on my shoulders. I know my heart will never completely (that's just a fact I have to face), but I'm trying to make the conscious effort to be happier; to surround myself with the people I love and enjoy their company; to do all the things I love; to live my life the way I used to, before my world came crashing down. After all, I will soon be an aunt again to a fourth nephew. I want to be able to hold him, enjoy him and spoil him. I don't want to be afraid of losing control. I don't want to resent him because he certainly doesn't deserve it, nor does my SIL. I've struggled with being around her while she's pregnant, especially over the holidays. Truth be told, I think I'm a little jealous. It sucks feeling like this, but everything I've read says its normal. Still, I don't like the feeling...I'm not the jealous type.
Sorry, I went off on a tangent. My point is that I am making a valiant effort to return to my old self. Yes, I still miss her...more than I could ever explain. Only a parent who has lost a child could completely understand this feeling. Regardless of how much I miss her, I want to be who I was before. I'm focusing on my mental and physical health. I'm working out, eating better, and starting to do the things I used to enjoy. I need to do this; I can't continue to go through life in a fog. I know that doesn't mean I won't have bad days...I'm sure I will. There will be days where I miss her more than usual, but I think I know how to handle it. One day, I will be as close as possible to the person I was before her death. Its a tall order, I know, but that's my goal..I can only hope I am successful.
So, I received the last of the pictures Heidi was able to retouch. I couldn't be happier with them. She did such a wonderful job on all of them. Thank you so much Heidi at Heartprints Photo Retouching.
"When you lose a child, your life doesn't just change. You're shattered on the inside, blown to bits, your heart broken. It takes a long time to come back together again. I'm not looking for your pity. It's better for me to talk than to keep everything all inside. I don't want you to think I'm selfish, but can't you see how much I'm hurting? Sometimes I take out my baby's things...smell them, caress them, hug and kiss them and rock them until the tears stop falling. Please don't turn a blind eye to me. If you think its too painful for you, multiply that by infinity and you might have a vague idea of how much pain I am in. I did not ask for this to happen. I do ask for your love and support. If you can't think of anything to say, then just listen to me. Let me borrow your shoulder. Surely you are stronger than I am, and you can help me by simply being there."
Wow is all I can say about this. I pilfered this from a picture posted on the Baby Loss Momma's Facebook page. I have to say I love this. Its so fitting, so true. This is exactly what I have thought on many occasions. I have felt selfish; that I am relying on my family and friends for strength too much. But I know I couldn't survive without them. And the line about the baby items...I still sleep with the blanket Addie was wrapped in. No, it doesn't smell like her anymore, but it has become my security. Never thought I'd be 31 years old and still have a security blanket. Oh well.
I have been shattered; I have hurt more than I ever thought possible and the hurt keeps coming. But I am lucky to have people that care enough to offer their support without being asked. Slowly, the pieces are coming back together. Slowly my heart is healing. But there is one piece that will never be replaced. The piece, in the shape of a butterfly, should fit in the middle of my heart, but instead, that piece will spend eternity soaring with the stars. Love you baby girl!
It was one year ago today that I got my BFP. Why am I even thinking about this? Why do I even remember this? Would it make a difference to me if she were still alive, would I still remember this moment in my life? Regardless of why, this is apparently a day I consider an important anniversary. She is, after all, my first pregnancy.
I remember exactly how I felt when I saw that word in the window. My immediate reaction was tears. I was so happy, happier than I have ever been in my life. At the same time, I was scared out of my mind. There were a lot of questions as to whether or not I could actually carry a child to term, or whether I would be able to give birth due to injuries I sustained in a car accident. And I was scared for all the normal reasons too. But the happiness overwhelmed them all. I remember debating whether I should call my husband and tell him or wait until he got home. I'm glad I waited because the expression on his face when I handed him the test was priceless. He probably doesn't realize it, but his eyes told the whole story. I never knew what people meant when they described someones eyes actually smiled, until that day.
That day began 9 months worth of hopes and dreams. That day began an experience I will never forget. That day, I realized I was going to be a mom. An indescribable feeling.
Today is going to be rough, I think. To use lyrics from a favorite song, "what hurts the most was being so close." I think that really is what hurts the most. We got so close to having her in our arms, we got so close to actually meeting her.
Even though I know her death wasn't my fault, I have never felt like more of a failure. I've struggled with this thought, and I continue to struggle with it. I KNOW I couldn't have prevented it, I KNOW I can't change it, but the word FAILURE just keeps flashing in my mind. I've failed at my first chance to be a mom...what if I don't get another chance? These are the things I think about...sometimes I wonder if I'm going nuts. Yet, I still seem so normal, at least to me I seem normal.
On a brighter note, this morning I received a special email from Carly Marie Dudley. She runs the "To Write Their Name in the Sand" blog/website (among others). She was doing holiday giveaway over Christmas and I was chosen as a runner-up. She sent me a beautiful image. She does such wonderful work. Thank you Carly!
It was a nice surprise and brightened my day.