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Saturday, July 31, 2010

July 31, 2010

I spent most of my day today cleaning. I am sad...just sad. I felt like, if I cleaned, it might take my mind off my sadness. It's easy sometimes, to sit here and get lost in it. To stare at the computer, the TV, the wall, and disappear into my own mind, where the sadness dwells.
Cleaning doesn't help. While I hang laundry I stare at the TV, but my mind has wandered to the sadness. As I vacuum, my mind goes there again. My only hope is to clean until I am exhausted enough to sleep. And so, I cleaned. I did the laundry, I tidied, I vacuumed, I dusted, I even vacuumed the ceiling. I sorted through papers, finding all the pamphlets from my pregnancy. I thought about keeping them, and then I thought better of it. This is not an Alexandra memory, this is me holding onto useless things because it was somehow, slightly connected to her memory. I never read the pamphlets, I was not interested in them...looking at them only reminds me slightly of a prenatal appointment, not Alexandra. So, I tossed them.
It was a lot of work, all the cleaning I did. Yet I am still sad. When I was too tired to clean any more, leaving only a few things for tomorrow, I sat down at the computer and found nothing to keep my attention. The sadness began to creep out of the shadows. I made another attempt to keep the sadness away. I started working. I do work from home jobs now, something they call "blog management" It's not fun, and it doesn't pay well but it does pay, and it does give me something to do, so I do it. Today though, my mind wasn't working properly. Of course, I'm tired, I have stopped sleeping again and I had spent the whole day cleaning to tire myself, so I could only dedicate about half an hour to my work before my brain decided to completely quit on me.
I went back to the random internet other email...nothing. Why does Steve have to be working so late tonight, I complained to myself. Checked the TV...nothing. Dayne is sleeping, so no playing or story reading. And the sadness creeps in...
So, here I find myself, in the sadness, waiting for Steve to come home to distract me.
I do not like this sadness, and I have searched for a reason for it to be here, so strong, right now. There isn't a reason, it's just there, it just hits you sometimes, without warning and for no reason, just...sadness...just missing my Alexandra.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Little Snowdrop

I haven't shared a poem for a long time, so I wanted to share one today. I found this poem when I was searching for one to use for the thank you gifts for the nurses at the hospital.

Little Snowdrop

The world may never notice
If a Snowdrop doesn't bloom,
Or even pause to wonder
If the petals fall too soon.
But every life that ever forms,
Or ever comes to be,
Touches the world in some small way
For all eternity.
The little one we long for
Was swiftly here and gone.
But the love that was then planted
Is a light that still shines on.
And though our arms are empty,
Our hearts know what to do.
Every beating of our hearts
Says that we love you.

Author Unknown

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Happy Three Month Birthday, Alexandra

Today it has been three months since my sweet Alexandra was born. Three months and two days since we found out that our angel would not be born living.
This morning I woke up feeling like I had something to do, but I can't figure out what. Last night I went to bed feeling like something was missing from my arms.It's been like that for a little while now. I feel as if my body is now realizing that I should be caring for a baby right now, but I'm not.
Today I will be extra gentle on myself. I will work on a few projects I have been wanting to get started for Alexandra. I will give Dayne extra hugs.
To do something in Alexandra's memory today, I have started another blog, dedicated to making the pebble pictures that I have made for some of my readers and fellow Angel Mommies. I have no pictures for the blog yet, if you would like a picture done, please email me ( if I have made a picture for you and you would like me to post it on that blog, please comment or email me and let me know.

Happy 3 Month Birthday My Sweet Angel

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sometimes I wonder...

Sometimes I wonder, does it matter HOW Alexandra was taken from us? I often forget to include the reason when explaining my daughter's story. I will remember after they ask, and of course share, she had a "cord accident" As in, the cord had a knot in and the knot tightened enough to cut off her life line.
But why? Why does it matter? Knowing doesn't help, knowing won't prevent it from happening to someone else. Knowing is being aware that we are helpless, really and truly helpless. There is nothing that I could do to save my daughter.
Knowing that this happens only helps to make people paranoid, does is not? So, what good does knowing really do? How can knowing help?
Sometimes I wonder how to respond to people that call about something baby related. Yesterday a woman called, peddling baby pictures. She first asked for Melissa, I said "This is..." Suspicious because the name on my caller ID said "babygift" The woman continued, telling me that my name had been referred to them...Oh, I thought, this must be someone that knows about what happened. A referral seemed more...official to me. But, as she went on, I realized I was wrong. You can receive a free some size that I can't remember, photo of your new baby..." It clicked in quickly. I cut her off. "My daughter was stillborn" Silence. And then stuttering. "Oh, I am SO sorry, I'm so sorry. Please, I'm very, very sorry. I, I'll remove your name from the list. I'm sorry..." I didn't know if she was apologizing for calling or because I lost my daughter. I felt like she went on forever. Eventually I just said "Yes, thank you. Goodbye." and hung up.
How do you handle these people? I feel like this woman was traumatized by my words. I kind of felt bad. At the same time, they really shouldn't be calling people, and if they are going to, they should be prepared to hear that answer at some point.
You know though...I wonder how I was referred to these people? Did some well intentioned friend refer me before we lost Alexandra? Did someone give them my number to get something free? Did they get my name and number from something I signed up for? I should have asked but I didn't think to at the time, I just wanted to get this woman off my phone. To get that number, that "babygift" off my caller ID.
Sometimes I wonder how Dayne is feeling. This morning when I was letting the dog out, Dayne disappeared. I walked up the few steps towards his bedroom thinking he must have gone to hide on me, hide and go seek is his favorite game. Something in the hallway seemed off though, and I realized that Alexandra's door was open and the light was on. I walked into her room and found Dayne standing, right in the middle. I said "What are you doing buddy?" and he replied "Are you still sad because my baby sister is gone?" Gone. He has never used that word. He has always referred to what happened as his baby sister not being able to come home from the hospital, never gone. Something new must have happened in his mind. I answered him with simply "Yes" and walked all the way into the room. I picked up her sleeper off the floor, I'm not sure how it got there, and put it in her crib. Dayne went on talking, "I just wanted to come in and remember my baby sister." "Oh. That's nice to do." "Mommy, remember when the Easter Bunny hid a whole pile of eggs back there?" as he pointed to the corner of the room that holds Alexandra's Bassinet. The Easter Bunny hadn't hidden the eggs there, his cousin had left his eggs there because he didn't want them. When they left and Dayne found them he was so excited. He never ate the eggs though, he isn't a huge fan of chocolate.
Of course I said "Yeah, I remember those eggs." And our conversation turned to how the Easter Bunny gets into small places and if he's big or small, if he's a regular bunny or a big bunny that walks around and is a funny color like blue or purple. As we talked Dayne walked out of the room and back down to the living room. I asked him if he is sad because his baby sister is gone too and he said "sure" He always says that, I'm not sure if he was just done talking about it or if he wasn't paying attention. Or maybe he doesn't understand being sad about it because he never got to meet his sister. I didn't push, I just told him that he can go into Alexandra's room to remember her whenever he likes.
I wonder if I'm doing everything right for Dayne.

Monday, July 26, 2010

July 26th, 2010

Tomorrow is three months since we found out that Alexandra no longer had a heart beat. Today is a sad day for me. It's not overwhelmingly sad, just...sad. I feel extra tired...depressed. But please, don't feel bad for me, this is not a bad day, not when compared to my days past. It's just a sad day. I will cry easily. I will probably ask Steve to go to the cemetery when he gets home, even though we were just there yesterday.
Today Dayne found the biggest dragonfly I have ever seen. It reminded me of a few angel mommies from a loss group I'm in. They see dragonflies a lot. I don't know why I feel the need to write about the dragon fly, but I do.
I also realized something today. Due to some scheduling issues, we have changed the date of Dayne's birthday party next month. I hadn't thought much of it, mostly that we had planned on having the party on the 22nd, but instead were having it the weekend after his birthday (which is in a month today!) I realized that date is the 29th. Four months...Alexandra's four month birthday. And I wondered if we should reschedule, would I be too sad that day?
But after some thought I came to the conclusion that Alexandra would love it if we celebrated on that day. I also decided that it won't take away from Dayne's birthday party, it will make it extra special. I haven't decided yet if I will mention it to Dayne. I think it may be best to just know, within myself and let Dayne enjoy his day. Still, I wonder, would he be happy knowing he was sharing a day with Alexandra? I just don't know.
It's a confusing and winding road that we are maneuvering here, balancing grief and parenting. It's exhausting sometimes, and yet, I am still so grateful for Dayne, my special little guy.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

I'm Not Bitter

I just want to say it, I'm not bitter. I'm not angry. I have felt both of these things, I have let them wash over me, and I have realized that they are not feelings that will heal my heart.
An itemized list of all the wrongs that have been done to me, will only take up extra space in my memory, extra space that could be used for something good...something great.
Hatred and anger towards other people, a God, any God, will only absorb energy that could be used towards something good...something fantastic.
Sometimes, bitterness will creep in. I see it seeping into my mind, it darkens the corners of my thoughts, it oozes into my memories. Like a bottle of ink tipped over, glossing over it only makes it worse. You have to drown it out, wash it away, or it was taint everything. It will dampen and dirty all of your thoughts, all of your dreams, until there is no good left.
I actively work to keep my mind free of this darkness. Mostly, it feels slightly numb, sometimes I feel defeated, often lately, it feels like a new and different form of peace. Somehow, I imagine that this is probably the way my peace will feel from now on. Not serenity, but not torture...something in the middle.
For this new peace, I am letting all the other things go. I am going to see the thoughtless comments for their intent, not the feelings they give me. I'm going to look past the people that hurt me. I will not place blame on anyone or anything, sometimes tragedies happen. I will allow my daughter to teach me that the world has more to it than I can see. There may not be a reason for everything, but you can work to find a moment to think about what you have learned.
I do not want to sound all Pollyanna, I just want to encompass my daughter's memory with only goodness and hope. Beyond my tragedy, there is hope, I just know there is, there HAS to be.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Little Things That I Do...

The day we went to the hospital because Alexandra wasn't moving, I had an appointment. I had it written on a card in my wallet. The clinic's card, with my printing on the back "Tuesday 27th - 1:15pm" I have taken things out of my wallet many, many times since that day, but the card is still there.
This card will stay in my wallet forever. If I happen to switch wallets, I will transfer the card into my new wallet. I feel like I have to carry it around with. I do not know why this is, it just is.
It's like Alexandra's room. There is a box, the stroller box. Steve had finally put the stroller together and had left the box there. It clutters the room, but I just don't care, the box just has to stay there.
There was a picture. On the 27th, after we came home, Dayne drew me a picture on his dry erase board. I kept telling myself to take a picture. He hardly ever uses the dry erase side, he prefers his chalk board. Every time I thought about taking a picture I would tell myself "A little bit later, after I ___" and then I would forget. And I forgot and forgot until the other day, as I cooked supper, I turned around and saw Dayne drawing on the dry erase board. He had erased the picture.
I didn't say anything to Dayne, I didn't want to upset him. I quietly told him I would be right back and I left the room. I cried. I cried over a picture. I cried over the fact that I couldn't take just a few minutes out of my time to take the picture, so I could remember that picture forever, so that I could print it and put it in a scrap book for my little girl. It was a failure on my part. And I still feel guilty about it.
I can't keep life as it was that day, or before that day. I can't freeze time to a day when Alexandra kicked happily in my belly. I can't keep everything from my pregnancy, I can't, and I know I can't...but, just a few minutes of my time and I could have kept that picture.

Friday, July 23, 2010

A Hawk

Not too long ago I talked about the little gifts that I believe are from Alexandra. I left out a special part of the things I believee Alexandra is doing.
I'm not sure when it started, I believe the hawk came around during my pregnancy a few times, but I started seeing it a lot after we found out that Alexandra had no heart beat. This hawk, circling around in the sky, higher and higher until it was gone.
I remember seeing it just after we had Alexandra and I wondered about it. Steve's family believes that eagles are very important, they help carry spirits to heaven. When I first took notice of the hawk, it was to wonder to myself, if this hawk was there to carry my daughter to heaven. Surely, if an eagle carried an adult spirit, a hawk could carry a baby spirit, right? Babies are so much smaller, a hawk could do it easily.
This idea was dismissed by some family members, because their beliefs don't say anything about the hawk, only the eagle. Still, I felt that the hawk meant something. Since that time, I have noticed the hawk more frequently.
It only comes around when I'm thinking of Alexandra. I have tried to will it to come, and nothing. I have tried to sit and look out the window while thinking of Alexandra AND the hawk, and nothing. When I am lost in thoughts of Alexandra and nothing else, that is when this beautiful bird comes around.
If you look up the symbolic meaning of a hawk, you will find this definition:

HAWK - is the messenger. It is also about visionary power and guardianship, the hawk is very protective of the young in its nest. It teaches us about providing for family and self. Hawk teaches us to be observant and to pay attention to what we may overlook. This could mean a talent we don't use, a blessing for which we haven't expressed gratitude, or a message from Spirit. The hawk has keen eyesight, it is about opening our eyes and seeing that which is there to guide us.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

July 21, 2010

Today I watched as a new mail person (a woman this time) delivered my mail. I was sitting at the dining room table when she came. Shortly after, I went to see what she had delivered...just junk mail, or something special? It turned out to be something special.
This post kind of goes along with the people we're thankful for, but since it wasn't here yet, I hadn't thought about the rosary. When I spoke about Alexandra's rosary being buried, a wonderful woman named Michele had offered to make Alexandra a new rosary. It was such a sweet offer, I was very grateful. The rosary arrived today and it is beautiful.
I wanted to take a picture of it, so I could share it here, and as I was trying to think of where to put it to take the picture I decided to also take a picture of the handkerchief. I had put it in Alexandra's memory box. It is too pretty to ruin by using it, and too special not to be with all of her items. So, I went into my little angel's bedroom. Something I do now, on occasion, without breaking down.
While I was in there, I took some pictures, that I would like to share with you all.

Alexandra's memory box. It matches her room perfectly.
Alexandra's memory box, how it usually looks, with her teddy bear and blanket.

The Rosary

The Handkerchief

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Alexandra's Headstone

Alexandra's headstone should be installed any day now. I counted ahead and it was around the middle of the July that I expected to get the email that it was ready to go. I check my email all the time, and still nothing. I know I must have been off in my counting, I must have counted six weeks ahead of when everything was finalized, not eight weeks as I had thought. Yet still, I think that Alexandra has a plan for her headstone.
I have probably mentioned here before that every time I'm having a REALLY bad day, every time an anniversary of something rolls around, something good happens.
Flowers come, a card, the man called about Alexandra's pictures on the two month anniversary of her birth. It's always something, some little thing to let me know that she's there, that she's watching over me. Something to make her mama happy. You know, I am a firm believer in an afterlife, spirits hanging around to check up on us, all that kind of thing, but never in a million years would I have thought I would be saying something like that this. It's true though. Our children are around us, watching over us, hugging us when we're sad, wiping away our tears. If you just pay attention, you will see.
And I wonder, when will Alexandra let the headstone be installed? Will it be the three month anniversary of her birth? The three month anniversary of the day we went to the hospital because she wasn't moving? Maybe a birthday present for mama? Or maybe, it will just be a day that is especially hard for me, a day that I miss her more than I can bear and she will give me that gift. And I will not walk, but run to the cemetery and look at her headstone. A gift that so many people contributed to. I will take pictures of course, and post them here, and I will write about which day it was that my little angel touched, and how she made me believe even more that she was around me, watching over, playing an active roll in my life.

Monday, July 19, 2010

July 19th, 2010

Last night we took Dayne to buy a bike. It was a special surprise for him. Our plan was to buy the bike and then go to the cemetery and after that, take Dayne for a bike ride. When he found out we were going to the cemetery he asked if he could ride his bike there. This was a special thing, to have his sister watch him ride his bike.
We got to the cemetery and I went and sat at Alexandra's grave. I adjusted her teddy bears, like I always do. I fixed her pinwheel and the flower that my sister had left there. Steve had taken Dayne bike out and was letting him ride on the grass, near the road. We didn't want him to be too close to the graves, but not on the road either.
So, as Dayne rode his bike, Steve chased after him, "No, Dayne, don't ride into the bushes!" "Be careful, don't go on the road!" "The brakes, hit the brakes!" Dayne laughed as he does when Steve gets really nervous about something he's doing and I sat there, beside Alexandra's resting place. I smiled. I had a few moments where our family felt truly complete. I told Alexandra, "This is what you would hear all the time at home" That moment, was one of the happiest I have had. Our family was all there, together, sharing a moment, a truly happy moment.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

For All Of The Kindness...

Throughout this time in my life, I have encountered a lot of kindness. I sit here a lot and dwell on the sad things. The promises people made or the things people said they would do for Alexandra and then they didn't and it's not OK for me to do that. Today, I decided to focus on the good things. Of course, I am so grateful for all the people that think about my Alexandra every day, those that have done something with her name, those that pray for her, those that have taken the time to send me their kind words. I'm thankful for everyone that sent cards, flowers, fruit arrangements, books, and everything else that arrived the few weeks after we lost Alexandra. I'm grateful to wear my bracelet with Alexandra's name and birthday engraved on it and the words "Always and forever" I wear it every day and I think of her every time I put it on, take it off, or hear it jingle. I appreciate those that read my blog and have walked this journey with me. I know I am not alone because of you.
I got a handkerchief in the mail the other day. It was from a woman that sends them to mothers who have lost a child. The words "For Your Tears" was sewn onto it in mauve. It is beautiful and touching, and I love it.
In focusing on the good things, I began to look on Ebay for little gifts for the nurses at the hospital and the celebrant. There is a woman that I bought bracelets from for Dayne's teacher's at Christmas. They come with a little scroll with a poem written on it, they are beautiful and the poems are always tear jerkers. The woman has bracelets and necklaces for all sorts of things, cancer, autism, crohns disease, you name it, she's got it. And she had several for infant loss, and they are lovely.
As I was deciding which to get and how many, I started to think that I am missing people. What do we give the photographer to let him know how grateful we are? And who am I missing?
So, I take it here and I ask all of you, who are you thankful for? All the mommies that have lost a child, who impacted your life in the most positive way during your most difficult time? Who do you give the most thanks to?

Friday, July 16, 2010

In Heaven...

There are some things that I refuse to accept, and some things that I refuse to say. There are also some things that I DO say and directly following the statement, I feel like....I shouldn't have said that.
One of the things I refuse to accept is the idea that anything I do (or don't do) is going to keep my daughter here. I was recently talking to a friend about this, and how some cultures believe that holding onto the belongings of someone that has passed away will keep them tied to earth. You are supposed to spread their things around, donate them, give them to friends, strangers, people in need. This way, you are sharing your loved one with others. This is truly a wonderful theory, really it is. However, I don't want to give my daughter's things away, I want to hold on to what I have, and I refuse to accept that my wanting to hold onto whatever I can will keep her here.
I also refuse to accept that my grief will hold her here. It's another belief, that if you cry too much, or hold on too strongly, for too long, you keep your loved one from passing over. I believe this is a way to push people into thinking that they have to let go when they are not ready.
I refuse to accept that someone, somewhere, some higher being, had this planned for us. Nobody planned for us to go through this pain, nobody chose this for us. They just didn't.
The things I refuse to say are more difficult to pin down. They are things that I refuse to acknowledge as well. Something that I have tired HARD to not come out and say are words like "dead" or died" when speaking about my daughter. I prefer "when we lost Alexandra" I don't know why I feel better saying it that way, it seems nicer to me, more sugar coated, and surely, something like this deserves all the sugar coating it can get.
 I refuse to say that I will move on, I will never move on. I hope to move forward one day, but I will never move on. I refuse to sing songs about death, to make jokes about death or to allow myself to think that I understand how anyone is feeling but myself. I cannot comprehend that other moms are in pain when they lose a child. I can comprehend that other people are in pain when they lose a loved one, but I cannot understand completely how they are feeling. Feelings are too personal to be universal.
Something that I have always said and when it slips out now, I quickly regret it is "I was in HEAVEN!" I have used it in reference to my Dayne, while talking to Steve and he always becomes silent and I feel horrible for having it slip out. I say it in reference to my dog, who is quite old and as soon as I do, it quickly puts me in a terrible place.
It's strange how random comments that I used to use all the time, now stop me in my tracks. There are so many other things that I avoid saying or doing and I wonder if I will ever come around. Will I ever be at a place where I don't cringe when someone makes a death joke? Where I don't feel like saying "Yeah, cause death is really funny, right?" accompanied by the most disgusted look I can muster.
Perhaps one day I will simply be able to prevent myself from spitting out sarcastic comments at death joke tellers, but I don't think I will ever find them acceptable. The funny thing is, I can't recall a death joke that I ever found acceptable, but I can't think of one that ever stuck out to me...Now though, no I notice when someone says something that I consider insulting to my child. Our child that we lost.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Debate...

This is a vent. I don't really know why I feel the need to vent about this...Perhaps the fact that I'm sick is making me hyper sensitive, perhaps this is just one of those things that REALLY rub me the wrong way. I don't know, but I don't really think it matters. I imagine that there are a lot of loss mommies out there that will see exactly where I am coming from.
I participate on a parenting website. I enjoy talking to other parents, I enjoy getting input about things going on with Dayne and when I was pregnant, I felt so much better seeing that there were so many other women going through the same things as me. The same pains, the same sicknesses, the same excitement.
When we lost Alexandra, I stuck mainly to a few areas where I wouldn't see the new babies or hear about new baby things. I stuck mostly to a board dedicated to debate. The people there were very supportive of me when they found out about our loss and it was really touching. I have participated in debates about loss since I lost my daughter. I feel that I have done reasonably well with articulating my point of view without getting offended or defensive.
Today I discovered a debate about when a baby dies. The question was in regards to whether it'd God's will when a baby dies or whether it's survival of the fittest. There is this little nerve in my heart that was hit when I read the question. The nerve kept getting hit as I read some of the responses.
This is one of those things that I hate. When someone tells me it was God's will, God had different plans, etc. I want to scream. Why do I need to hear that?
I have yet to hear someone tell me that my daughter just wasn't meant to live because of survival of the fittest though. How could that possibly apply? Her umbilical cord was compressed, had she been outside the womb, she would have lived. The failure was not on her part, or God's. If blame must be placed, it really should be placed on me, for not having her earlier, for not realizing something was wrong.
My reaction, that nerve getting hit, was caused by a few things. First, I hate the implication that something was wrong with my daughter. There was nothing wrong with her, she could have lived outside the womb, she was totally healthy. It was a tragic, tragic accident that stole her from us, it had nothing to do with her ability to survive outside the womb, or something being wrong with her. Which leads me to the big nerve...I cannot handle the idea that someone would think anything that comes even remotely close to blaming Alexandra for her own death. My perfect little angel, she is to blame for nothing.
I imagine some people may end up here at my blog through my comments on that debate, and I imagine they will read this. Hopefully, I don't offend. Hopefully, they see what I am saying, how I am feeling, what I am thinking. Hopefully, people never really think that Alexandra is to blame.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

What Not To Do...

A woman I have come to view as a dear friend and also a fellow angel mommy, showed me this letter today and I feel it really encompasses everything that I have been feeling. Since I am sick today, I am posting this letter instead of writing something original. I do believe though, that this can help a lot of people, those that are close to someone who has lost a child and those that have lost a child. I know it made me feel better to read it and say "THAT! That is exactly how I feel and what I think" I don't relate to every single one of the things on this list, but I do relate to most of them.

A letter from women to their friends and family

by Elizabeth Soutter Schwarzer
I assert no copyright for the material. Please use it as you see fit to help women who have endured this terrible grief. Thank you.

Date: Sat, 23 Mar 2002

When women experience the loss of a child, one of the first things they discover they have in common is a list of things they wish no one had ever said to them. The lists tend to be remarkably similar. The comments are rarely malicious - just misguided attempts to soothe.

This list was compiled as a way of helping other people understand pregnancy loss. While generated by mothers for mothers, it may also apply similarly to the fathers who have endured this loss.

When trying to help a woman who has lost a baby, the best rule of thumb is a matter of manners: don't offer your personal opinion of her life, her choices, her prospects for children. No woman is looking to poll her acquaintances for their opinions on why it happened or how she should cope.

-Don't say, "It's God's Will." Even if we are members of the same congregation, unless you are a cleric and I am seeking your spiritual counseling, please don't presume to tell me what God wants for me. Besides, many terrible things are God's Will, that doesn't make them less terrible.

-Don't say, "It was for the best - there was probably something wrong with your baby." The fact that something was wrong with the baby is what is making me so sad. My poor baby never had a chance. Please don't try to comfort me by pointing that out.

-Don't say, "You can always have another one." This baby was never disposable. If had been given the choice between loosing this child or stabbing my eye out with a fork, I would have said, "Where's the fork?" I would have died for this baby, just as you would die for your children.

-Don't say, "Be grateful for the children you have." If your mother died in a terrible wreck and you grieved, would that make you less grateful to have your father?

-Don't say, "Thank God you lost the baby before you really loved it." I loved my son or daughter. Whether I lost the baby after two weeks of pregnancy or just after birth, I loved him or her.

-Don't say, "Isn't it time you got over this and moved on?" It's not something I enjoy, being grief-stricken. I wish it had never happened. But it did and it's a part of me forever. The grief will ease on its own timeline, not mine - or yours.

-Don't say, "Now you have an angel watching over you." I didn't want her to be my angel. I wanted her to bury me in my old age.

-Don't say, "I understand how you feel." Unless you've lost a child, you really don't understand how I feel. And even if you have lost a child, everyone experiences grief differently.

-Don't tell me horror stories of your neighbor or cousin or mother who had it worse. The last thing I need to hear right now is that it is possible to have this happen six times, or that I could carry until two days before my due-date and labor 20 hours for a dead baby. These stories frighten and horrify me and leave me up at night weeping in despair. Even if they have a happy ending, do not share these stories with me.

-Don't pretend it didn't happen and don't change the subject when I bring it up. If I say, "Before the baby died..." or "when I was pregnant..." don't get scared. If I'm talking about it, it means I want to. Let me. Pretending it didn't happen will only make me feel utterly alone.

- Don't say, "It's not your fault." It may not have been my fault, but it was my responsibility and I failed. The fact that I never stood a chance of succeeding only makes me feel worse. This tiny little being depended upon me to bring him safely into the world and I couldn't do it. I was supposed to care for him for a lifetime, but I couldn't even give him a childhood. I am so angry at my body you just can't imagine.

-Don't say, "Well, you weren't too sure about this baby, anyway." I already feel so guilty about ever having complained about morning sickness, or a child I wasn't prepared for, or another mouth to feed that we couldn't afford. I already fear that this baby died because I didn't take the vitamins, or drank too much coffee, or had alcohol in the first few weeks when I didn't know I was pregnant. I hate myself for any minute that I had reservations about this baby. Being unsure of my pregnancy isn't the same as wanting my child to die - I never would have chosen for this to happen.

-Do say, "I am so sorry." That's enough. You don't need to be eloquent. Say it and mean it and it will matter.

-Do say, "You're going to be wonderful parents some day," or "You're wonderful parents and that baby was lucky to have you." We both need to hear that.

-Do say, "I have lighted a candle for your baby," or "I have said a prayer for your baby."

-Do send flowers or a kind note - every one I receive makes me feel as though my baby was loved. Don't resent it if I don't respond.

-Don't call more than once and don't be angry if the machine is on and I don't return your call. If we're close friends and I am not responding to your attempts to help me, please don't resent that, either. Help me by not needing anything from me for a while.

If you're my boss or co-worker:

-Do recognize that I have suffered a death in my family - not a medical condition.

-Do recognize that in addition to the physical after effects I may experience, I'm going to be grieving for quite some time. Please treat me as you would any person who has endured the tragic death of a loved one - I need time and space.

-DO understand if I do not attend baby showers/christening/birthday parties etc. And DON'T ask why I can't come.

Please don't bring your baby or toddler into the workplace. If your niece is pregnant, or your daughter just had a baby, please don't share that with me right now. It's not that I can't be happy for anyone else, it's that every smiling, cooing baby, every glowing new mother makes me ache so deep in my heart I can barely stand it. I may look okay to you, but there's a good chance that I'm still crying every day. It may be weeks before I can go a whole hour without thinking about it. You'll know when I'm ready - I'll be the one to say, "Did your daughter have her baby?" or, "How is that precious little boy of yours? I haven't seen him around the office in a while."

Above all, please remember that this is the worst thing that ever happened to me. The word "miscarriage" is small and easy. But my baby's death is monolithic and awful. It's going to take me a while to figure out how to live with it. Bear with me.

Monday, July 12, 2010

July 12, 2010

Today it rained. Well, it actually stormed. Rolling thunder, flashing lightening, buckets of rain and pea sized hail. When it rains, I open all the windows in the house and Dayne and I run from window to watching the rain and smelling the air. I love the way rain smells, it's my favorite smell.
Today there was a seagull in the middle of our cul-de-sac, just standing in the road, beak to the sky, in the middle of the storm. Dayne insisted that we go outside and make sure it didn't have a boo boo. I promised as soon as the hail slowed down, if it was still there, we would check. We've been known to try to rescue birds we think are injured only to have the fly away when we get close, I didn't want to get pelted with hail to have that happen. The seagull eventually flew away, which was too bad because I was looking forward to going out to check out the bird.
This morning, before the storm, I babysat our niece. She's one, and looks just like a doll, she's the cutest little things. Her mom and I used to talk about how our daughters would grow up so close because they are so close in age. We did a lot this morning. We went to the park, went for a walk, and walked to my sister's house to visit. We stopped at the store to get some treats. Dayne helped with the door and sat near the wagon just in front of the aisle as I ran down to get some cheezies. My niece fell asleep in the wagon and Dayne and I walked, holding hands and talking. It was just what I imagined for Dayne and Alexandra and I. It made me sad. Sometimes I have a hard time with seeing my niece because she's such a sweet little girl and so much about her reminds me of my dreams for Alexandra. I try very hard to push all those feelings aside though, because I love my niece, I love spending time with her. I tell myself that these feelings, and others that I have, are irrational and I need to move away from them.
It was a fun morning, it felt very busy, and I'm left tired this afternoon, but we had fun and it was nice to spend time with such a little sweet heart.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

July 10th, 2010

Yesterday was a nice Mommy Dayne day. We played outside in the pool, we hung out in the basement to keep cool, we chatted and blew bubbles. It was a nice day, just the two of us. I tried to concentrate on the fun that Dayne and I were having, he laughed and screamed when I sprayed him with the sprinkler and yelled "Do it again mommy!" I took pictures of him drinking from the hose and playing ring toss in his pool.
After we came inside, I started to feel guilty. First I thought, "We should have put something in the picture to represent Alexandra, so she could have been involved." Then I thought "It's not fair to Dayne. If Alexandra was here, Dayne and I would still have our special days, without Alexandra." Then I cried because I felt guilty about thinking about doing something without Alexandra if she had been born living.
When we told Dayne I was pregnant, he wasn't really excited. When we told him he was going to have a little sister he said "Ummm, I actually don't like little sisters..." When I would put baby things together, or shop for baby things, I would always make sure to include Dayne, to make him feel like he was doing something to help his little sister. I SWORE that I would never let a new baby take over. I would make sure to make time for just Dayne and I, so that he wouldn't feel left out or resentful of his baby sister.
I made these promises to myself, for Dayne and I felt good about them. If Alexandra was alive, I would have kept these promises. But she isn't and thoughts of her and the pain creeps into everything. The pain taints the new memories I'm making. When I think back, my memories of everything since we had Alexandra are shrouded with darkness. I feel like I should be taking pictures FOR Alexandra, so she's involved, because it's all I can do. But then I feel like I'm taking away from my time and memories with Dayne and I don't know how to get over this hurdle.
I'm in a slump. I'm melancholic. I'm tired.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

A Reason, a Season, or a Lifetime

At therapy this week, I talked about how Alexandra had affected my life. It wasn't something I had been asked, rather the way my rambling had gone. The words ended up just falling out of my mouth. "Alexandra renewed my faith in humanity."
Long ago I had lost it, I'd become jaded. People just aren't nice, I would say. Like anyone else, bad things had happened to me. I tried to see the bright side of things, no matter what I always kept on going, but the impact on my spirit was unmistakably there. I think I began to take the good things for granted, I overlooked the little gifts that life delivered me and focused on the negativity. Steve used to lovingly and sarcastically call me "Little Miss Sunshine"
After we lost Alexandra people surrounded us with love. There were some people that really didn't understand what we were going through, or make an effort to, but they were far over shadowed by all the people that cared. From those that we knew and loved to complete strangers, people rallied around us. I received phone calls, emails, messages on websites, cards, flowers and gifts and people offering to help pay for everything from the funeral home, burial plot and headstone, to butterflies to release at her memorial. All from people that just wanted to lift me up. It's unbelievable, it's unreal, it's something that I never would have imagined.
Beyond opening my eyes to the fact that all hope isn't lost for humankind, Alexandra also made me realize just how lucky I am for what I have. I'm grateful for Dayne like I have never been before. I am grateful for Steve. I don't even mind wiping my dogs muddy paws anymore because I'm grateful for him and his muddy paws. I'll be so much more grateful for another child, if we ever have one.
I'm still sad. I still don't think it's fair that I lost my daughter. I believe that I could have learned all these things another way, WITH my daughter, not because of her. But, my little angel has a purpose and it makes me hopeful to know that all was not lost with her, she gave her mommy a gift that I never thought I would get. A gift that I will remember always. And while I struggle with being bitter about what happened, and while I struggle with my deep feelings of just how unfair this was, I try to take a moment to remember every day, what my little angel taught me. Love crosses all boundaries, love continues beyond death and love renews.
I have rambled slightly. The whole point of this was what my conversation with my therapist caused me to remember. It's a poem and I'm sure everyone has heard it before, but it has never really rang so true to my life.
For my Alexandra, who I was blessed with for a season and a reason, may I one day be with her for a lifetime.

A Reason, a Season, or a Lifetime

People come into your life for a reason, a season, or
a lifetime. When you figure out which one it is, you
will know what to do for each person.

When someone is in your life for a REASON . . . It is
usually to meet a need you have expressed. They have
come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you
with guidance and support, to aid you physically,
emotionally, or spiritually. They may seem like a
godsend, and they are! They are there for the reason
you need them to be.

Then, without any wrong doing on your part, or at an
inconvenient time, this person will say or do something
to bring the relationship to an end.

Sometimes they die.
Sometimes they walk away.
Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.
What we must realise is that our need has been met, our
desire fulfilled, their work is done. The prayer you
sent up has been answered. And now it is time to move on.

When people come into your life for a SEASON . . .
Because your turn has come to share, grow, or learn.
They bring you an experience of peace, or make you laugh.
They may teach you something you have never done.
They usually give you an unbelievable amount
of joy. Believe it! It is real! But, only for a season.
LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons; things
you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional
foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the
person, and put what you have learned to use in all
other relationships and areas of your life. It is said
that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.

Author Unknown

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Things I'm Missing Out On

Today is a day that I should probably step away from the computer. Go outside with Dayne and play. A day to distract myself. And I will.
For now, I am feeling sorry for myself. I'm feeling sad and lonely and it sucks. We're walking to my sister's house today. Dayne will play in the pool with my nephews and my sister and I will chat. On the walk, we will stop at the store and get surprise bags for Dayne and my nephews. We'll probably get a Slurpee for Dayne and I to share.
I have taken this walk many times since I had Alexandra, but today, it's making me sad. Today memory of a thought jumped into my head. That's the thing that sucks, memories of things I thought would happen. Memories of the dreams I had. Memories of the things I planned to do with my daughter...with my son and my daughter. Memories of little things, like walking to my sister's with Dayne at the side of  the stroller. Having him help with door as we pushed the stroller into the store. "Thanks buddy, what a good big brother you are" I would tell him, lovingly. Proud that Dayne loved his sister so much. Alexandra in her little sundress, with her little shoes and her little sunhat. Or maybe I'd have her in a carrier. I had wanted to try baby wearing with Alexandra. Maybe she would be cuddled up to me, napping, while Dayne and I walked.
I feel like someone robbed me. Like someone stole so many precious things from me. The memories and potential of my little girl and our happy family. We're one short now, but the memories of my dreams are still there and those thoughts, those memories, those dreams, they make my heart feel like it's been broken into a million little pieces, and somehow, a few of those pieces got lost. My heart will never be whole again.

Monday, July 5, 2010

July 5th, 2010

This morning I had therapy. My therapy is at a building beside the hospital where Alexandra was born. I believe the building is considered part of the hospital. The therapist I see works with the social workers at the hospital. Last time I was there I had told her that we still had not received the pictures from the hospital. She quickly looked into it and today, I got those pictures.
The hospital did a surprisingly good job. That's not to say I was expecting BAD pictures, just that I was expecting pictures similar to the ones we took at the hospital, and they weren't just them, the seemed just a little bit different, just a little bit nicer. They made a little birth announcement and one black and white picture of Steve, Alexandra and I. They did a wonderful job. I was happy to receive them. They printed them up and also gave us a CD with a label that is pink and has Alexandra's name on it.
We now have all of her pictures. It makes me sad to think that these few pictures are it. This is all there will be of Alexandra. Last night Steve and I watched a slide show I had made of Dayne. It was pictures from his first birthday to his second birthday. Pictures of us at the zoo, heritage park, family functions and at home. I don't know if Steve was thinking the same things as me while we watched that slide show, I think he was. The thoughts going through my mind were of how there will never be this kind of slide show for Alexandra. Sure, I can make a slide show, I can set it to beautiful music, I can lovingly add every single last picture we have of Alexandra. But, there will be no picture of her looking at the camera, smiling. No first step pictures, no laughing pictures. No pictures of Steve holding her at the park or on the ferry at heritage park. There won't be those pictures, ever. Alexandra's slide show would be full of beautiful pictures of our beautiful baby who was born and will forever be, sleeping.
And it's not fair.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

July 4th, 2010

Tonight and tomorrow I hope to be able to make some name pictures. I have started, but would like to do some more. Each time that I have brought this up in my blog I have forgot to mention that I can't click on email addresses, I really have no idea why this computer won't let me, but it won't. So, if you would like me to take a name picture, please send me an email with the name (or names) you would like done and I will send them as soon as I get them done. My email address can be accessed through this blog, but if you are as confused as me by this sort of thing, I'll just leave it here for you. It's:
Today I am looking forward to going to the cemetery. Beyond that, I have stayed close to home. I am feeling emotionally exhausted. I'm hoping that having something constructive to do will help me a little bit.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Just A Few Things...

You may notice that my blog looks different. It was an accident that I can't figure out how to fix. I like that my pictures fit better on this template, but I wish it had the same background as it did before. I don't know if anyone that keeps up with my blog is the same way that I am when it comes to change, but this is REALLY bothering me.
Of course, there will be some more changes to my blog, as I try to figure out how to change it back and how to add tabs. In the mean time, I hope that no one minds the way it looks now. I do think it looks nice, just not the right kind of nice. So please, bear with me.
On another note, I have finished all of the names that people asked me to do and would love to continue to do more. I really enjoyed doing the name pictures for other moms, so if anyone else wants a name done, please let me know.

You Really Need To Stop That

Something that I have noticed is that everyone seems to have a timeline for my grief. Does that make sense? Everyone else has a timeline for MY grief. If people feel that I am moving forward too quickly there is something wrong with me. If I am not moving forward fast enough, there is something wrong with me.
People comment to me all the time about my strength. People tell me that I am strong, if they were in my "situation" they would be a mess. If they were in my "situation" they would not be able to function as I am.
I truly appreciate the vote of confidence, but I am not strong. I cannot go through my life every day with my feelings on my sleeve. I cannot function for my family if I allow myself to stay lost in my emotions. I have to get out of bed, I have to clean my house, to take care of my family, to run errands and live. Even though my Alexandra couldn't live, I still have to. As much as it hurts, as much as I would prefer to stay in my bed all day and cry, I HAVE to get up. I have to.
That is not strength, it is necessity.
As much as I appreciate the compliments of how strong I am, it really is a double edged sword. While it is kind and makes me feel like I am accomplishing the thing I work to accomplish every day, it also makes me wonder about if these people are some of the ones thinking I am moving forward to fast. Uh oh, do they think something is wrong with me? The thing is, I don't know what is "normal" I am in the dark. My feelings are all new to me. I don't know if something is wrong with me, I don't know if I have lost my mind, I just don't know. And I worry.
And those people that think I'm not moving forward fast enough, those people say things to me, in tones that make me feel like they must believe I am crazy. They tell me I really need to start getting out more. They say I've dealt with this long enough. Like the loss of my daughter is something that you "deal with" and then carry on. They tell me I really need to stop keeping track of the months since Alexandra was born. You know what's weird to me? If she was born living, and here with me now, people would think I was crazy if I DIDN'T keep track of the months. Why is this so different? Because I lost my daughter I should shove it all under the rug? Carry on and pretend nothing happened. Get a life and stop dwelling on my terrible "situation?"
As much as I don't understand my own feelings, I understand other people's even less. WHY do people insist on speculating on what I should or should not be doing? WHY do people feel the need to comment on how grateful they are to not be where I am? As if that makes me feel better. For sure, I'm glad that you don't have to feel this pain, but why rub it in my face? WHY do people believe it's their job to tell me how THEY would handle things if they lost their child?
I can't possibly be expected to process someone else's thoughts on how they would handle such a loss, when I can't even process my own.

Friday, July 2, 2010

July 2, 2010

I have been very open about my loss on this blog. I have spoken a lot of Steve and Dayne and even my dog. I have left out an important part of my life though. Partially because of the connection with what I'm going through now, partially because of the way some people take it, and partially because of the privacy involved.
Today, the connection my mind and my heart has been struggling with has caught up to me and I feel like I have to talk about it. You see, Alexandra is not the only child that I have given birth to and am now without.
When I was sixteen I discovered that I was pregnant. Without getting into all of the details, when I was seventeen, I had my first child. A beautiful baby boy. I spent one day in the hospital with him and then he went home with the parents that I had lovingly chosen for him.
I have always felt that my birth son was a very special blessing. When discussing adoption, I am open with my experience and I always tell people that my first child was not meant to be mine. He was meant to touch my life, to touch my heart and to teach me who I truly was on the inside. Without him, I never would have understood how strong I could be, when that strength was summoned for someone I love unconditionally. The impact my birth son has had on my life, and still has on my life is truly profound, and one day I hope that I can properly articulate it, for him.
When the celebrant was at my house, we discovered that we had this in common. We had both placed a child for adoption. As I broke down that day, I commented that I thought THAT was the most painful thing I would ever go through, but this, this was so much worse.
Placing my child was the most difficult choice I have ever made, even to this day. It was also the best choice I have ever made. The thing that I didn't realize was that, it wasn't final. I still see my birth son. I know where he is, how he is and most importantly, he knows where I am, how I am, and that I love him. He is growing, he is learning, and he is such an amazing child. I blown away by how smart he is, how proud he is of who he is and where he came from.
My heart has made a connection between my birth son and my daughter. My heart tells me that I am the mother of three, but I only have one child. The connections my heart makes are sad. When people ask me how many children I have, I have never known what to say. Do I include my birth son and explain? And now, do I include my birth son and Alexandra and explain?
At the same time that my heart has made this connection, my mind has made the two things worlds apart. Of course my birth son is happy, healthy, growing. I know where he is, I know how he is. I have seen his eyes, seen him smile, heard him laugh. I heard him cry when he was a baby and I held him while he squirmed around in my arms. I chose the life he has.
I had no choice in what happened to Alexandra. I had no say. I will never get to have any of the moments with my daughter that I had with my birth son. And so, they are not the same, but the feelings ARE similar. The feelings I have now are more intense of course, because of the finality of what happened to Alexandra. But those that have placed a child for adoption, surely understand how I feel and what I am saying.
And still, there is another child out there that has lost his sister. And he deserves to be recognized.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Pictures Of Baby Names

I have really been enjoying taking the pictures of the babies names. There are some of you who asked and haven't gotten your pictures yet, if you are one of those people, please don't feel like I am not going to do them for you, I am going to do every baby name that was mentioned. It makes me feel good to know that I am helping some other moms. I love seeing Alexandra's name, and it makes me happy to know I'm able to give that to someone else.
I have not been able to do any pictures today. Today has been an especially emotional day for me and when I got the energy to go outside, it was windy. I promise to get to the pictures tomorrow.
I want to thank everyone for allowing me to take some time with their precious angels while I spell out their name and take their pictures. I feel like I am getting to know Alexandra's little friends.