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Tuesday, August 31, 2010


I drink coffee with a straw. Well, actually, I drink everything but water and tea with a straw. I always cry when animal rescue commercials come one. I have loved the paranormal ever since I was little.
When Steve is going to arrive somewhere and he calls to tell them when he'll be there, he always uses odd amounts of time. "I'll be there in 12/33/7 minutes." He has a particular order in which everything has to be done. He only likes to wear white running shoes. He has an emotionless outward demeanour, but the softest heart I have ever known.
When Dayne eats spreadable cheese and crackers, he always has to cover every little bit of the cracker before he can eat it. Before he will leave me, any time, he HAS to say "I love you mommy, you're the bestest mommy in the whole world, and you look beautiful. and I love you" and I HAVE to reply "I love you Dayne, you're the bestest Dayne in the whole world, and you look handsome, and I love you." He is incredibly shy until you get to know him.
Every time we let the dog out, he goes into the back yard and rolls around on the grass making a noise that sounds just like a bear. We always joke that there's a bear in the back yard. He is humongous, but he thinks he's a lap dog. He gets up on the bed every morning to greet Dayne, he sniffs his face and ears to say good morning. When he gets excited, he carries around one of Dayne's teddy bears.
I often wonder what Alexandra's little quirks would be. What would her taste be like? I have ideas about how she would be. I knew how it would be when she was a baby, how I would dress her, what I would buy for her, but I think a lot about how she would have grown. Would Alexandra have chosen pants and a baseball glove over pretty little dresses and tea sets?
Would she have been as particular as her big brother and daddy?
There are a few things I know though. I know that Alexandra would have had the same values as our family. She would have always said please and thank you, she would have said excuse me when she wanted to interrupt other people that were talking. She would have had manners. She would have understood that all living things are special and she would have loved animals. It's why we chose the picture for her headstone that we chose. It perfectly described our family. It was one of the only things that was a guarantee in our minds.
I missed out on so many things with my daughter. I missed out on seeing all of the little quirks that make me smile about the people that I love. I can only hope now that she is not missing out on all of our little oddities, that she is around us, watching us and smiling when she sees Dayne making cheese and crackers, or the dog rolling around in the backyard growling like a bear. I wonder if she is sitting beside Steve as he drives his dump truck. I am sure she is proud of what a great man her daddy is and what a great boy her brother is. I am sure she has looked in on our dog and giggled as he slept on the couch, snoring away, like an old man. I wonder if she is here with me, when I am alone and thinking of her.
We are missing out on her, but I hope that she is not missing out on us.

Monday, August 30, 2010

August 29th, 2010

Yesterday Alexandra would have been 4 months old. Yesterday was also Dayne's birthday party. It was a hectic day, but it was a nice day and I believe that Alexandra was watching over Dayne as he played at Chuck E Cheese and opened his presents. She was there to watch him blow out the candles on his Buzz Lightyear cake and his Batman cake. She was there beside me, pushing me forward, saying "Mama, it's ok to laugh and smile, today is a happy day!" There was an air about the day, a calm amidst the chaos.
No one at the party mentioned Alexandra. I brought her up several times, much to everyone's shock and dismay. A few people commented on how they hadn't planned on mentioning her. I heard about how this was a day of celebration and they didn't want to bring it down by talking about the baby lost. I kept mentioning her...If people see that it's ok, maybe they won't think of my daughter as an off limits subject. She is not a subject and she is most certainly NOT off limits. She is my daughter! She is not here with us right now, but we love her and we miss her and we talk about her often, and it's ok.
That's what I want everyone to know. It's ok to talk about my daughter. It's ok to bring her up...please do, it would make me very happy to hear her talked about by someone other than myself. To hear someone say, "I bet Alexandra is smiling watching Dayne right now" or even "I bet Alexandra would have loved this"
I put her angel wings on her bedroom door, in a frame. I hoped that someone would comment on them, or stop and look so I could explain that these were Alexandra's wings...No one did.
I am sad that I don't have my daughter. It is depressing that she isn't here...But my baby is not a sad secret! She's not something that we shouldn't talk about, I want the world to hear her name, if we don't talk about her, how will her memory ever live on?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Little One

Little one, little one,
Where have you gone?
Your leaving has darkened
The brightest dawn.

Why have you left us,
so soon, so soon?
Where can we look for you?
Over the moon?
On butterflies wings?
In the heart of a rose?
Who knows, who knows,
Where a little one goes?

Where I have gone,
I am not so small
My soul is as wide
as the world is tall
I have gone to answer
The call, the call
of the one who takes
Care of us all
where ever you look,
You will find me there
In the heart of a rose,
In the heart of a prayer
On butterfly wings,
On wings of my own
To you I am gone,
But I'm never alone
I'm over the moon,
I am home

 Jim Howard

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Dayne's Birthday

Today is Dayne's birthday. My boy is 5 years old today...he starts school next week. It makes me sad. Something that I struggle with is how quickly Dayne is growing. I used to make jokes about how he's supposed to stay little forever. I have almost made similar jokes recently and I stop myself. I feel guilty making these jokes.
Alexandra will never get older, she will stay a baby forever, she will never grow. I feel like I am subconsciously wishing something bad to happen when I say that I wish Dayne would stay a little guy forever. I feel guilty when I say things like "My baby is 5"
My BABY is almost 4 months old. My little boy is 5. How can words change so much? I have always called Dayne my baby and I have always told him that he was going to be my baby forever and now those words stir up such sad emotions in me.
I wonder if words will ever, ever be normal again? Will I always cringe when someone refers to their living child as an angel? Will it always make me feel guilty to wish that Dayne would stay my little guy forever? Will I always feel this way about these things that used to be so normal to me?
Words used to mean nothing and now, they mean everything.
Happy Birthday to Dayne, from his baby sister in heaven. His birthday wish is that his baby sister in heaven can see him open and play with his birthday gifts.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


I have been working hard to try to be happy these last few weeks...Who has to work at being happy? It's probably more common than I think, right?
Sometimes I think about what happened and I am struck with denial. I start to wonder if there was a mistake. Maybe something happened and it wasn't MY baby that was lost. This is crazy, I know it is. I held my baby right after she was born, I held her in my arms for hours. I looked at her, waited for her to take a breath, I know that she didn't. I was there when they searched for her heart beat and didn't find it. I was there through it all and still denial sometimes creeps up on me.
I believe it's part of me not accepting that something so horrible could have happened. It couldn't have, it wouldn't be fair.
My dreams these days have been strange dreams about little shoes and memories of my pregnancy and my loss. Hawks transform into storks, but none have my baby. I wake up wishing for those nights where there were no dreams, just darkness.
I wake up and have to fight myself to get out of bed. My heart is sick, it needs to rest.
I am bothered by the fight about talking about Alexandra, not talking about Alexandra, dealing with people's response when I talk about her, dealing with my guilt if I don't.
"The medical world has come so far, but these things sometimes happen. Think about how it was 50 years ago, so many more babies make it now"
Mine didn't.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Other Mother's Words

I have started logging into facebook every few days to change my status. Each time I change it to a poem or quote about pregnancy and infant loss. Sometimes I think people probably don't want to read about it. Most times I think that I don't care what other people want to read about. I know, I know, that is not very kind, and I try to be kind, but what is that status area for anyway? Isn't it for sharing where our head is at? Well, my facebook friends, that is where my head is at. My head is wrapped up in thoughts about my daughter lost.
There is no status update more true. So, I share those quotes without apology and I figure, if someone else doesn't like them, they don't have to read them.
Today, I'll share this one here. It's too long to share on Facebook. It made me cry when I read, it's so, sooo true.

My Mom Lies

My Mom, she tells a lot of lies She never did before. From now until she dies, She'll tell a whole lot more.
Ask my Mom how she is And because she can't explain, She will tell a little lie Because she can't describe the pain.
Ask my Mom how she is, She'll say, "I'm alright". If that's the truth, then tell me, why does she cry each night?
Ask my Mom how she is, She seems to cope so well. She didn't have a choice you see nor the strength to yell.
Ask my Mom how she is, "I'm fine, I'm well, I'm coping". For God's sake Mom, just tell the truth just say your heart is broken.
She'll love me all her life, I loved her all of mine. But if you ask her how she is, She'll lie and say she's fine.
I am Here in Heaven. I cannot hug from here. If she lies to you don't listen, Hug her and hold her near.
On the day we meet again, We'll smile and I'll be bold. I'll say,You're lucky to get in here, Mom With all the lies you told
Author Unknown

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Alexandra's Headstone

It was such a busy day yesterday. My mind was stuck all day on Alexandra's headstone. It should have been there and I was too busy to go see. As I ran around the house, getting Dayne and I ready and doing some cleaning before we went to my Grandma's house, all I could do was wonder about it. That was where we spent most of the day and part of the evening.
When we left there I was hurried to my sister's house, where I would wait for Steve to come and get me. He had worked all day and part of the night. It felt like the day took forever. As I sat there at my sister's, I couldn't understand what was taking Steve so long to get there. When he arrived, Dayne and I were waiting outside for him.
It was dark as we drove into the cemetery. I noticed all of the small lights near the graves. So many of the graves have things that light up. We had never been there when it was this dark before. It was peaceful and beautiful. Steve and I discussed how we would have to get the little light up rock that I have had my eye on. It would fit right in and Alexandra would love it.
As we got closer to the children's area, I couldn't see the stone sitting on the cement above Alexandra's grave. I said "It's not there" and Steve responded with "Yes it is" right as my eyes adjusted to see a small square that was more black than the night. It was Alexandra's headstone. Her monument.
I nearly dove out of the car to get over there and see it. Steve was hot on my heels. Dayne wandered over, talking to himself about what this new thing was at his baby sister's resting place. Steve kneeled, staring intently, reading, checking every letter, looking for any flaw. I just stood there, staring in awe. There were no flaws, no misspellings, no errors at all. It was just perfect. The perfect description of our Alexandra and our family now.
Her spot...Her only place in this world, is just perfect. And within the contentment I feel because it's so perfect, there is a deep, deep sadness, because my pride is over a headstone and not a milestone.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

August 21st, 2010

This last week has been hard. I don't know why. I have been getting used to one bad day here or there, but a whole week of horrible hasn't happened to me for quite some time. I don't know how it began, it just hit me like a ton of bricks. There was no slow creeping, just SLAM! Everything hurts.
We went to the store to find new shoes for Dayne. WHY does the little baby girl stuff have to be so close to the small boy stuff? It doesn't even make sense to have baby girl stuff there, but yet, there it is. Taunting me. Chanting about how I don't have a little baby girl to put those cute little clothes on. I tried to avoid looking at them, but at some point I noticed these little boots. They were brown and had little flowers on them. They were SO tiny. They probably wouldn't have even fit Alexandra, she had big feet. But, I had seen them last year and I wanted to buy them for her. They were on sale and as I looked at them I thought about how excited I would have been. I would have made Steve buy them right there, with talk about how important these boots were for Alexandra, and what a good deal it was, you couldn't pass it up! And tears tickled my eyelashes.
We had just come from the cemetery. We normally go on Sunday, but we went on Thursday to see if Alexandra's headstone was there. We had been told that her headstone would be installed this week (over a month late) it wasn't there and I was hurt. Of course we have to wait, of course we do. I just felt down.
When we got home, I emailed about the headstone and within minutes got an "out of office" email back. It said that no one was in the office until the 23rd or 24th. As I cut up potatoes for dinner, I cried. It was a total break down. I thought that our daughter would never get her headstone. I thought that it wasn't fair that we had to wait so long. I thought that it wasn't fair that I was worrying about a headstone when I should be worrying about spit-up and lack of sleep from getting up in the night with a baby. Nothing felt fair and there seemed to be nothing I could do to get out of the funk that I was in.
We did get an email back from about the headstone later though. It said that it would be installed late Friday or early Saturday. We are going today, as soon as Steve is done work, to see it. I hope that they have come through on their word this time and that it is there when we get there. I don't want to think about how much it will hurt me if it's not there.

Friday, August 20, 2010

We Have A Winner!

I've been having a rough couple of days, so this is something that will bring me some joy today.

This morning we wrote down the names of everyone that commented on my 100th post.

Then we got Dayne's Chuck E Cheese hat


We put all the names in the hat and Dayne stuck his hand in there, mixed them all around and pulled one out.

There's Dayne holding the name he pulled!
So, our winner is Jessica Todd! Please email me Jessica, so you can pick which piece of jewelry you want.

Thank you all for reading and thank you all for commenting. I will have more of these giveaways as time goes on. It make me happy to spread a little bit of love from Alexandra.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Day of Hope

Today is a special day. I'm sure that all of my babylost mommies know what day today is, but I thought I would share it with everyone else. Today is the "Day of Hope" August 19th is the day that we openly speak about our losses. Where everyone can openly speak about their loss, the loss of their children, their nieces, nephews, grandchildren, their friends lost babies.

Lets take this day to celebrate our children lost. Please stop by and read all about this very, very special day.
And for me:

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Beach

Today we went to the beach. I thought it would be a nice way to get out and have fun. I must say that I DID have fun with Dayne at the beach. It was difficult for me though. Seeing all the tiny little girls running around. I had bathing suits for Alexandra already. Clothing was something I was excited about, so any event that would require out of the ordinary clothing becomes difficult for me. I find myself thinking..."I had the most perfect outfit for Alexandra to wear to this/here/for this" And then when I see little girls wearing cute little outfits I think about how cute Alexandra would have been.
We didn't take a special picture for Alexandra today. A dear friend of mine has already taken pictures of Alexandra's name on a beach in the sand, so I decided not to today. I ordered my treasure bean though and as soon as I get it, I will take pictures everywhere with it. I'm very excited to have that special way for Alexandra to be in my pictures.
For the time being, I took many pictures of Dayne. I have thought about posting one, but I don't want to hurt anyone, so have decided against it for the time being.
I do hope that Alexandra was watching her big brother play in the water today. We saw a hawk on the way to the beach and on the way home and it made me wonder if Alexandra was close by, coming to watch Dayne play in the sand.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Birth Certificates

We did not get an official certificate of birth or a certificate of stillbirth. We got a really beautiful certificate of life from the hospital. It was printed out and filled in by one of the nurses. It says:
This is to acknowledge the life of Alexandra Elizabeth Monique
silently born to Melissa and Steven. It has the hospital, her birthday, weight and length as well as the nurses that helped us during our stay.
At the very bottom it says "In memory of my small gentle presence which touched the lives of all who knew me. With the greatest love they have ever known"
I didn't know that some people are fighting to get a birth certificate of some sort for their babies. I was so heartbroken to find this out.
This was posted on another board and the mom gave me permission to share it with you all. It is for all of those mommies that didn't get a birth certificate.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

"I am NOT an only child!"

I was talking with Dayne yesterday. We were eating some ice cream and having a chat. He told me that a boy on a show that he watches is "an only kid" The conversation took a bit of an emotional turn after that. I SHOULD have kept my mouth shut, I don't know what happened, but for some reason I said "Well, you're an only child too, buddy" It clicked for me, right as the words poured out, that he shouldn't be an only child right now. I didn't correct it, I felt awful, but I didn't think that Dayne had caught it and I didn't want to upset him.
He kept it going though, by responding to me with "I am NOT an only child!" I knew that he said that because he didn't really know what an only child was. So, for the first time I did something that was extremely painful for me, I excluded Alexandra. I didn't know how else to end the conversation and I wanted to cry just allowing the words to leave my mouth "An only child is someone that doesn't have any brothers or sisters"
Icy cold guilt rushed through my veins. I instantly felt like a horrible mother to both Dayne and Alexandra. My brain went numb and stopped helping me to figure out how to correct this conversation. Dayne became the hero of our talk, when he replied "Oh! But I have an angel for a baby sister!" He had a HUGE grin on his face as he said it. He won and he was proud. He did what I couldn't.
When I explained the story to Steve, I told him that it's amazing the Dayne has such an uncomplicated understanding. It's not about how something is thought about "technically" it's about how it just is and Dayne gets that. It seems to me that no matter what, I can always get the most honest answer from Dayne. He says things with truth and without the complication of worrying how other people view things, what other people think or how other people will perceive him, he just is.
I'm going to try to take a note from the Dayne and just be honest in the most simplistic sense...perhaps that will save me some guilt in the future.

And from Alexandra:

Friday, August 13, 2010

My 100th Post

It's been such a short time, I can't believe that I have made 100 posts on this blog already. It has been therapeutic, to say the least. I have felt love and support from so many of you. I have noticed that a lot of other angel mommies do little giveaways on their blogs. In honor of my 100th post, I decided to steal the idea ;-)
I will leave this "open" for one week, at that time, I will take the names of everyone that comments and put them in Dayne's Chuck E Cheese hat (he asked to help.) The name I draw will win a special gift from Alexandra.
If the winner is an angel mommy, she will get to choose one of two personalized necklaces from Kristi at Bugaboo Jewelry.
If the winner is not an angel mommy she will receive a piece of jewelry from fjj_creations, a store that makes awareness jewelry. The piece will be for pregnancy and infant loss awareness.

For the angel mommies, from here are your choices:

For the women that aren't angel mommies, from, here are your choices:

Good luck to everyone, I hope that whoever wins, loves their extra special gift from Alexandra!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

An Angel For A Sister

Dayne is starting school this year and it has been brought to my attention that I should make sure Dayne knows not to talk about Alexandra to the other kids. You know, it could traumatize them...Imagine what their parents will think! Do you REALLY want to force a parent to have to explain that to their child?
While I can certainly sympathize with how difficult it may be to talk to your child about death...I'm sure that most of you know where my mind is going there. My son had to learn in a very different way. My son had to learn from experience.
I don't like to make people uncomfortable, I really don't. I would hate for a child to be upset by my son talking about his baby sister that lives in heaven. At the same time, my main concern is for my son, and after all he's been through, I am not going to tell him he can't talk about what happened.
Why can't my son be proud of his sister? Why can't my son talk about her? He has just gone through the worst experience of his life, how is bottling it up going to help him? And how will he feel if he is told that his sister is not to be spoken of? Like she's a dirty little secret. We dare not talk about the baby lost in front of those delicate ears of others that have not experienced such a loss. Why can my son not be the voice that educates others about how it feels to lose a sister? If that's what he wants to do, why can't he? What is it hurting, really? Why should Dayne have to hold his tongue?
While I understand the way it must feel to be put in an uncomfortable situation, where you don't know how to respond to a 4 year old that tells you his baby sister is an Angel that watches over him, or how his baby sister was buried in the cemetery with a park, or that his baby sister lives in Heaven, PLEASE understand how HE must feel. How uncomfortable it must be for a 4 year old to find out that his baby sister, who he was excited to meet, whose only wish was to teach his little sister how to play superheroes and how to say meow, will not be coming home. Imagine how he must feel to have to visit his sister in the cemetery, to never get to laugh with her or play hide and seek with her. To never get to tease her or protect her from the mean boys.
PLEASE, imagine how my son feels before you criticize me and remind me to tell him not to be proud of his baby sister, who peeks on him from heaven.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I Need Help...

I have been searching for the infant loss bracelets. You know those pink and blue rubber ones? I have not been able to find them in Canada, and certainly not in my city.
I would love to give them to people at Alexandra's memorial, but need for them to be very minimally priced and available either in my city or they need to be able to ship to my city for a reasonable price.
I have found two places that ship internationally, from the US, but one is not shipping for the month of August and one cannot meet a reasonable shipping price, sadly.
I'm asking my readers to please, please help me find these bracelets in Canada. I need them before September 3rd, so if they are being shipped, time is of the essence!
Thank you all!

The Dream

I read a lot of loss blogs and I read a lot about moms having dreams about their babies lost. I was always a little jealous, I thought that if I just had a dream and Alexandra was OK, I would somehow feel just a little bit better.
Last night, I had that dream. That dream that I have been waiting for. I sat in a room with my daughter in my arms. Her head at my knees, as I was bent over cooing to her, talking to her. She looked just like I remember, only her eyes were open, and she was full of life. In my dream, there was no shock, it was as if she was never gone, she had always been here with me.
She lifted her head, just a little bit and snuggled it up to my face. That's when I woke up. It was such a short dream. And, though her eyes were open, I don't remember what they looked like. And thought she was full of life and the dream was completely calm and happy, when I woke, I was swept over by sadness.
I thought the dream would make me feel better, instead, it reminded me, even more, of what I have lost; of what I am missing out on. That stings terribly.
And I'm torn. I want to dream of my angel again, to see her living, and happy, and cuddling up to her mama, the way it SHOULD be, but the sadness it brings, is almost unbearable.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Impact Of Grief

I know that I have talked about the timeline other people have on my grief. I hate it. I have noticed though, that people don't just put time lines on other people's grief. They also hold judgments about how people should grieve. I've seen this so much, for so many people. When I hear people passing judgement on how someone is dealing with a horrible situation, how they are grieving, or how they are memorializing a loved one, I can't help but wonder where they got the idea that it was OK to judge?
I don't think I will ever understand the mindset that comes with deciding how some other person should cope with a loss. I mean really, who do people think they are?
I believe that grief is the most complicated set of emotions that a person can go through. You have sadness and anger, you feel defeated and tired. You are on a roller coaster daily...And if that wasn't bad enough, you get to have random strangers telling you how you should grieve, how you shouldn't grieve, what you're allowed to say and do and what you aren't allowed to say and do. And for what? To make themselves feel better?
When are we, as human beings, going to get over our own hang-ups and just be supportive of other people when they are dealing with a loss?

Monday, August 9, 2010


Sundays have almost always been our family day. When Steve isn't working we take day trips, we go to the zoo, the science center, fun, family things. When Steve is working, Dayne and I hang out, we watch cartoons, we cuddle, we play quiet games, just the two of us. We always schedule Dayne's birthday parties for a Sunday. It's a day when memories are made.
We started our family Sundays because it was the only day that Steve could ever get off work in the summer, and it stuck. Now, we've added something else to our Sundays. It's the day when our entire family is the cemetery. Sundays, usually at night, before Dayne goes to bed, we file into the car and head to the cemetery.
Dayne plays at the park while Steve and I sit on the cement above Alexandra's grave and talk. Sometimes Steve fusses at Dayne to be careful where he walks, or not to go near the road, sometimes Dayne fusses at Steve to play a game of superheroes, and sometimes, it's just a perfect, quiet moment. Always though, no matter who is talking or who is fussing, it's a picture of our family. It's a few moments that always shows exactly what our family looks like, how we are, WHO we are. And on our Sundays, in the cemetery, I feel that there's no disputing where Alexandra is. In those family moments, she is there with us, no questions about "Do you think she's here with me now?" no "She's always in your heart" Alexandra is really and truly there with us, our family is really and truly complete, in those moments, in the cemetery.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

I Lost My Child Today

I Lost My Child Today

I lost my child today.
People came to weep and cry,As I just sat and stared, dry eyed.
They struggled to find words to say,
To try and make the pain go away,
I walked the floor in disbelief,
I lost my child today.

I lost my child last month.
Most of the people went away,
Some still call and some still stay.
I wait to wake up from this dream.
This can't be real. I want to scream.
Yet everything is locked inside,
God, help me, I want to die.
I lost my child last month.

I lost my child last year.
Now people who had come, have gone.
I sit and struggle all day long.
To bear the pain so deep inside.
And now my friends just question, Why?
Why does this mother not move on?
Just sits and sings the same old song.
Good heavens, it has been so long.
I lost my child last year.

Time has not moved on for me.
The numbness it has disappeared.
My eyes have now cried many tears.
I see the look upon your face,
"She must move on and leave this place."
Yet I am trapped right here in time,
The songs the same, as is the rhyme,
I lost my child......Today.

by Netta Wilson, 1996

September Long Weekend

We have made the decision about our September long weekend.
Last September long weekend we were in Banff. It is the place we go whenever we have time. I love it there. I could tell that something was going on, but I didn't really realize. I DID think that Steve would propose to me that day, but I thought that it would be over dinner, and it wouldn't be romantic. He had everything all planned and set up before we got there...I had no idea.
After he had distracted me in the Cascade Ballroom, he left. A few minutes later, the concierge that had been used to distract me, directed to me the stairs outside the ballroom. As I walked a few steps down I saw rose pedals. I thought that they were from a wedding that had just finished in the ballroom, but when I kept going I discovered that I was wrong. The rose pedals went to the bottom of the stairs and at the bottom, made out of more rose pedals, there was a heart, in the middle of the heart, was Steve, down on one knee.
My reaction was pure shock. And as I reached the bottom of the stairs, with tears in my eyes, Steve started to talk. He had a little speech planned, and I must admit that my shock and surprise kept me from remembering his words that day. I only remember him asking me to marry him. And as a small group of tourists clapped and cheered, I said yes.
He chose the most perfect ring for me, just my style. I was ecstatic. We went out for dinner to celebrate. It was one of the happiest moments of my life.
On that day, I thought about our future. Our wedding, our future children, our life together. It was everything I had ever imagined and everything I had ever dreamed of and I was truly, truly happy.
I never would have guessed, not in a million years, that on the one year anniversary of our engagement, we would be having a memorial for our daughter.
The decision that we made for this September long weekend, the opposite of that magical long weekend of last year...Our daughter's memorial. Allowing our family and friends to celebrate the life of a little girl that they never got to meet. To say goodbye to a little girl that they never got to watch grow or see smile...A little girl that most of them never got to see.
If someone had told me last September long weekend that this is where I would be in one year, I would have told them that they were a liar.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

If I could wish on a star...

I see things like this a lot. If you could have anything, do anything, wish for anything...My wish used to be unlimited money, so I could rescue all the cute little animals that needed love, so I could donate unlimited amounts of money to any charity that happened to knock on my door...or my heart. Unlimited money so I could pay for everything Dayne wished for, anything Steve wished for, anything anyone I cared about wished for.
What a stupid wish.
When I hear these conversations now, I avoid them. I dodge the question, change the subject, leave the area, pretend I didn't hear. Dayne's wish was the greatest wish. How a 4 year old can voice the most thoughtful and heart felt wish ever is beyond me. His wish is to have super powers, so he can fly up to Heaven and visit with his sister.
My wish is close...but I'm more selfish than Dayne. It's why I avoid the topic. Why should I bring anyone else down with my wish? I remember when I was pregnant with Alexandra, I started a conversation on a parenting site. It was about what everyone's biggest concern was with their pregnancy. There was a few sad answers, for a successful pregnancy after a loss, for a husband to not be away in Iraq when the baby was born, to carry this baby to term. My intention was for a lighthearted conversation and it didn't really work that way. I felt, how could I be so flippant about this kind of thing? Ugh, I felt like such a jerk.
I also felt like, maybe some people wanted me to feel like a jerk...for being so self centered. It's a risk I don't want to take, having people think I am a downer, or I am trying to ruin their fun, or make them feel like they are so below me that they would think of such selfish things.
Everyone everywhere aside, I would wish for my daughter to be here with me. I would wish that not only was my daughter here with me, but that she was born living, and would die of old age, long after I am gone. I would wish for her life, not because I'm more aware than everyone else, just because I miss her and I want her here with me, I want to watch her grow up and I want to argue with her about her boyfriend when she's a teenager. I want my daughter back.
That's my wish...for Alexandra.

Friday, August 6, 2010

My Birthday

Today is my birthday. I'm 29 years old. It was supposed to  be to be the first birthday that we celebrated as a family of four. I can't help but feel extra sad today. I miss my little girl, I want her here with me.

The Empty Place
Since you’ve been gone
there is a place
inside of us
that is shaped like you
so empty now
that place which is filled
with so much love
for you.
––Juliana Bibas

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Things that Remind me and things I Remember

There are things that I run into that remind me of Alexandra or something to do with my pregnancy. Usually, they smack me in the face when I least expect it.
When we were in the hospital, waiting for Alexandra to be born, it was shortly after lunch and the nurse came in. She smelled strongly of spearmint gum. Not just any gum but the kind that is supposed to help clean your teeth. I told Steve at that time, that I just HAD to have some gum. And off her went, to the gift shop downstairs, to buy me some spearmint gum.
I've bought plenty of spearmint gum since I had Alexandra. I am an avid gum chewer, I always have gum in my mouth, hiding under my tongue usually. The other day though, I happened to grab the same kind of gum I had in the hospital. When I opened the package the smell filled my nostrils. The memory slapped me the face. It was too sudden, I couldn't possibly have been prepared. I choked back the tears, turned away from Steve, composed myself quickly. Tried to smell that smell again, to replace the memory with being home with Steve and Dayne. No dice.
A few days ago I as on my way to therapy. I was taking the bus, reading a book. I thought it would be nice to have the time to myself. The bus began to pass a strip mall. I saw one of the stores and thought about getting the swine flu vaccine...we had gone to that mall. My mind scanned it's memories...there was something more. As it popped in, punched me in the gut. I immediately regretted having put my book away to look out the window. Why Melissa, why couldn't you have just kept reading?? The memory was vivid. There was an office behind this mall. In the office there is a place where you go to get ultrasounds done. This was the place I had been twice before. The last time I was there was the day we found out Alexandra was a girl. the ultra sound technician had chatted with me the entire time, I had told her that I was sure the baby was boy. I had a boy and was sure I was having another boy. She was going away for Christmas and she was excited.
Once all the boring stuff was done, Steve was invited into the room. I smiled at him, excited, he thought I knew what the baby was. When she said girl, she explained that the baby had made it VERY obvious that she was a girl, there was no question. I was shocked.
My mom and stepdad had been in the waiting room with Dayne. When I came out, I couldn't contain my excitement, I tried to trick them, but they guessed right away. We went for lunch at Harvey's after my appointment. On the drive over there I told Dayne he was getting a little sister. He said "Um, well, I actually don't like little sisters..." And Steve and I laughed. I said "You will buddy, you'll love your little sister more than anything!"
I had a chicken burger, it was supposed to be more healthy but it didn't taste very good...gross actually. Dayne got a little coloring book and felt pens as his toy. We tried the poutine, it was really good. We chatted about baby girl things and my baby shower. I thought about how it would be to have a daughter. I couldn't make the smile leave my face. A little girl and a little boy. Our little family.
The memory flashed through my mind so quickly, from the time I first saw the mall it took seconds for my eyes to move to the Harvey's restaurant as that day played out in my head. And the tears began to tickle at my bottom eyelashes. I blinked quickly, looked down. "Don't cry Melissa, don't cry" I kept telling myself. The thought of having a breakdown on the bus, in front of all these people, they'd think I was crazy.
I kept the tears at bay, and I made it to my appointment. On the way home I stared at my lap until I was sure there was no way I would look up and see anything traumatic.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Mind VS Heart - The Battle

I feel like my mind and my heart are in a death battle. My mind sees so many ways to help people. My mind tells me to "get up!" and "Do something!" My mind wanders and seeks answers. My mind tells me to let go of the negativity, to not hold onto the bitterness, to become more aware of the world around me. My mind works FOR me. It is more clear now than I think it has ever been.
My heart has been defeated by my life. My heart is tired and doesn't want to fight. My heart isn't ready to let go of the sadness. My heart wants to be wrapped up and left alone. My heart doesn't want to help anyone just yet. My heart isn't ready.
My mind tells my heart to let go of the sadness. To wrap up Alexandra's memory in love and to share it with the world in every way it can possibly imagine. My heart rejects the idea and tells my mind that it's too tired and too hurt. It's too defeated to do the work.
My mind and my heart battle. I have days on top of days where my mind is winning. My mind is clear, my thoughts are of the good things that Alexandra can do, the gift that she is, even when she's not in my arms. And then, out of nowhere, my heart takes over. It's subtle. The clarity slowly becomes foggy, the calm in my heart and in my mind slowly turns to depression. It's at that time that the battle is really going. My mind pokes at me "Why are you feeling like this?" "What is wrong with you?" "I thought we were doing better?" "Don't you realize that there are things that have to get done?" "Don't you see that dwelling here, in the sadness, does not help Alexandra's memory?"
And at those moments, my heart chimes in "I'm too tired" "It's too hard" "I'm not ready" "I just can't"
And the battle continues.
I feel as though *I* am not a part of this battle. I am an innocent bystander. A victim of things out of my hands. "No, I can't go out today, the battle within me is raging on and my heart is winning at the moment. It says I'm not ready and should sit at home and cry instead. Thank you so much for the offer though."
I can only imagine that one day, either my heart or my head will win and something will drastically change. Though, I hope they come to some sort of agreement and allow me to have both functioning properly at some point.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Alexandra gave me the gift of sight.
Well, of  course, I could SEE before I had her, I am not blind, nor was the literal sense. However, I WAS incredibly self centered. You know, people always see that as a bad thing, if someone says you're self centered, there is clearly something wrong with you. I disagree. Humans, I think, are self centered by nature.
We walk around, in our own little world. When you are out grocery shopping, do you notice everyone around you? I didn't. I was always thinking of what I needed to get, how much of a hurry I was in, what I had to do when I got home, what my plans were for next week, and on and on the list goes.
Taking away my daughter made me notice other people's daughters. I was sad about this, I couldn't help but notice little girls in little outfits that I would have picked out for my daughter. Little baby girls with brown hair and blue eyes, just as I pictured my daughter.
I tried to avoid noticing the little girls, when I did this, I started to notice other things. So many sad souls, so many forgotten people. I never noticed how many people live out of shopping carts in my city. I always thought this was rare, something pretty much exclusive to the bad areas downtown. This is not so.
I now notice disabled people and how many people overlook them, or speak in a cold way to them, make fun of them, treat them poorly.
I now notice people from other countries, struggling so much to adapt to this new country, struggling to learn the language, to be understood.
I now notice other people's tone, the look on their faces, their mannerisms.
Somehow I know this was all around me before, and yet, I never noticed it. It's like my mind had put up blinders to the world. How could I miss so much sadness and so many small wonders all at once?

Monday, August 2, 2010

A New Poem

The other day I was on a loss board when I found this poem. The woman that wrote it lost her son Blayze on January 25, 2010. I asked her if I could share her poem here and she said that would be fine, so here it is...I think you will all really like it, it's a beautiful, heart touching poem.

Mama you look sad today
I wish it weren’t so
I know it’s because you love me
But had to let me go

I’ve made a lot of friends
They’re angel babies too
We laugh and sing and play
The fun is never through

One day will come
And my name they’ll say
“It’s your turn, the time is here
Your mama comes today”

Please do not rush to me
That day will come due
Until then I’ll play and sing
And learn all about you

My grandmas tell me stories
My grandpas sing to me too
They talk of you and my daddy
And the things you used to do

I know it sounds so busy
But time is different here
In your heart and on your mind
I am always near.

Katie Finn