Why did this happen to us?

The million dollar question that is always asked after something bad happens. It is so hard to understand why bad things happen and I truly believe you never fully understand. I know for myself that I will never fully understand why my son went to Heaven instead of staying with us. It was the question I asked over and over again to myself and others. It just didn’t seem fair.

After two years of infertility we had a huge surprise; we were pregnant. It was a whirlwind pregnancy since I was farther along than anyone expected me to be (including myself). Between bed rest at home and in the hospital due to a placenta previa and getting ready for our bundle we were very busy. We were so happy and excited to welcome our baby boy! I never in a million years dreamed that he would be born sleeping. I mean I did everything right. I was in the hospital twice and on bed rest at home for a week to protect him. I was on light duty at work and I never worked alone in case I would start bleeding. We stayed home, skipped weddings and other events just in case I would start bleeding or go into labor. The last hospital stay was for two weeks. Two weeks on hospital bed rest can drive a person bat crap crazy but I was more than willing to do it to protect my baby.

Then it happened that morning where there was no heartbeat. I just didn’t get it. I remember saying over and over “I don’t understand.” “We did everything we were supposed to do.” Everything happened so fast from the nurse coming in and then the Doctor with the portable ultrasound. I think I knew when the Doctor came what the outcome was going to be. Nothing can ever prepare you to lose a child. It’s just not the natural order of things. You are always supposed to go first.

Everyday I wish there would have been a different outcome. I think about what he would be like and how great it would be to snuggle both of my babies to sleep every night. He brought us a joy we had never experienced before. He made my first pregnancy a wonderful experience with so much love. Even though he only lived in my belly; he lives on everyday for me. He taught me so much about unconditional love and what you will do for your child. I learned to be patient and take life at a slower pace. Now I realize how precious life really is and it is because of him. I think he taught me so much more than I could have ever taught him.

To answer the age-old question. No, I will never fully understand why he was taken from us but I know why he was given to us. And I would do it all over again to be able to feel him move in my belly, hear his heartbeat and hold him. Even though it is hard at times for me to talk about what happened or write about it I know that I need too. I think he would want me to ❤

Jeremiah 15

Advertisements

You don’t have to give up hope

During the struggles of life it is hard not to give up hope. It is actually very easy to give up; but don’t. Please don’t give up hope. Through all of the infertility, loss and cancer I wanted to give up so many times but I didn’t. And now I get to watch my daughter grow up; which at one time I didn’t think it would be possible.

Today as I gave my daughter a bath watching the foam letters float around; all I could think about was how four years ago I really didn’t think this would be possible. All of the little things that I get to do with her that would have never happened if I would have given up hope.

After we lost our son there was still hope. Hope for peace and hope for another baby. We were lucky to receive both.

When I think back to those dark days of chemo there was hope. Hope to be cured and hope to never have to go through it again. So far it has come true.

Whether you hope, wish, pray or do all three keep on. Whatever anyone tells you keep hoping for the best possible outcome. You may be surprised how truly wonderful that outcome can be 🙂

Edited Blog pic

What to do when Christmas gets hard

I wish I had the perfect answer or solution on what to do during the holidays when a very important person is missing. Some magical way to take the pain of loss away would be wonderful. Even though I miss my son everyday besides his Birthday, Christmas is always the hardest time. I see tons of toys, clothes and other items I wish I could but him. I wish he was here to help decorate the tree, bake cookies and open presents Christmas morning. But he’s not and sometimes that is a very hard reality. As I have mentioned before when you lose a child you feel like you don’t get do anything for them anymore. While I am out shopping and spending time with Avery I wish there was something I could do for Mason. I want to be able to take care of him but I can’t. So I have to come with ways that make it feel like I am still doing things for him.

For Avery’s two-year pictures I brought Mason’s teddy bear along. Our photographer did an amazing job incorporating the teddy bear into the pictures. When I received my disk of pictures and popped them in the computer I was so happy to see the beautiful pictures. There is one in particular that is absolutely stunning. In the picture everything is black and white except for the teddy bear. Avery is sitting on the ground looking down and the teddy bear is sitting up high like it is looking over her. I like to think Mason does look over all of us and this picture cemented that for me. I just recently made a desktop plaque out of this picture on Shutterfly and I just got it in the mail yesterday. It looks perfect ❤

Another thing I have started doing is lighting a candle every morning for Mason. I have a candle that is battery operated and you can set it for four or eight hours. Once you set it comes on at the same time everyday. So every morning from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. my candle comes on. Most of the time I am the only one awake for a little while at that time so we get to spend a little time together before the day starts. It kind of makes me feel like he is here with me.

Going through pictures can sometimes be upsetting and other times can be nice. Since I made that plaque I have been thinking about getting a canvas print of the picture of the balloons we let go on Mason’s Birthday. Today I actually made one and it is in my cart ready to go 🙂 I can’t wait to hang it on my wall. I know being able to look at that hanging on my wall will make me happy for two reasons: #1 I was able to do something for him. #2 Even though his Birthday can make me sad that was actually a pretty good day and the balloon release was perfect.

I definitely don’t have a solution to making the Holidays easier when you are missing a loved one but I hope these help. I hope you can find a picture of a really great day you had together or light a candle and it will make you feel better. Or just talking about the good times; that always helps. I always say only do what you are comfortable with so if you have something that really works for you go with it. If you have any stories to share or things that make you feel better feel free to comment. I am always up for new ideas to try 🙂 I hope all of you have a very Merry Christmas!

2014-12-06 001 001
Our perfect picture 🙂 Sorry about the glare

 

 

 

October 15

Today is Worldwide Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance day. Obviously this is close to my heart and I am sure many others. Do you know that 1 in 4 mothers experience miscarriage, stillbirth or infant loss? That is a lot. I have always wondered why it is such a “taboo” (for lack of a better word) subject.  When I lost my son it was like people came out of the woodwork telling me they had a miscarriage or stillbirth. The florist delivered some flowers to my house one day that someone sent me and told me that both she and her daughter experienced a stillbirth. When I lost my son I was working at the largest clinic in my town as an appointment coordinator, so when I went back to work I had tons of people coming to my desk giving their condolences and I was surprised to hear how many of them had been through something similar. But there are also people that really think “it” shouldn’t be talked about. What the what?

I just can’t wrap my head around why no one talks about this subject. I get the whole thing about not knowing what to say. (I am the worst when it comes to saying the wrong thing or having things fly out of my mouth) But for God-sakes say SOMETHING. I mentioned that I had a lot of people give their condolences but I also had people flat-out avoid me or even quit talking to me. I didn’t and still don’t expect people to know what to say but they could have at least talked to me. You don’t even have to talk about what happened just talk about the weather or mutual interests. When I would be at work or in the grocery store I would have people turn to avoid me or zip down a different hallway or aisle. I mean what the crap is up with that? It made feel like I did something wrong. I wasn’t asking for hugs and condolences I just wanted to be treated like a normal person. Even saying hi or some kind of weather we are having would have been fine. Except there were those people who avoided me like the plague. My first day back to work I had three male co-workers come up to my desk. The first gave his condolences and said he was happy to see me back. The second and third talked to me about everyday stuff like fantasy football, work and the weather. I was very happy that they came and talked to me and treated me like I was a normal person not someone with a festering sore on her face.

Yes I may start crying if you bring up my son but you did not say the wrong thing. I might be crying for various reasons. Reason #1: I miss him. Reason #2 I am happy you felt comfortable enough to talk with me about it. Reason #3 Sometimes it doesn’t matter what day or time it is I just cry about it. Reason #4 I DON’T need a freaking reason!! Now there are some people who do say the wrong thing. I had it happen to me. One incident sticks out in my mind like it happened five minutes ago. That woman was not very smart and I don’t think she even realized that what she said was very offensive. So if I do start crying try very hard not to feel bad. If what you said didn’t make me cry I probably would have cried that day anyway. A lot of the times it’s not what people say that makes me cry it’s that I was just thinking about him or maybe I was going through his pictures that day.

Now I know there are people who are just so uncomfortable in sensitive situations it makes their skin crawl. I get it but you don’t have to treat me like I was just diagnosed with some type of contagious disease. Just smile, say hi and move on. Or don’t say hi just walk past me instead of taking another route.

No one person is going to understand exactly how you feel. Everyone is different including your spouse, family and friends. One person said to me after I lost my son “Welcome to the club that nobody wants to be in” That couldn’t be more true. I sometimes kind of feel like I am in a “club” or something. I have made some good friends since losing my son that otherwise I probably would have never met or talked too. We all have one thing in common we lost our child or children. I would rather be in a club where everybody wet themselves or something but this is the “club” I was forced into membership for life. That’s right I said for LIFE. Some people think that after it’s been a couple of years you should just get over it or it “gets easier” I on the other hand think that as time passes I learn how to live with my loss and deal with it better. Like this year for my son’s Birthday we had a balloon release. Best idea I have ever had in the history of my ideas. His Birthday became a little more of a celebration instead of a sad day.

Sometimes you run into those people who have the audacity to say things like “She isn’t upset enough” or “She isn’t crying enough” To those people I say “How in the world do you know what enough is?!?!” Everyone is different, if we were all the same life would be pretty boring and everyone would have the same job and wear the same clothes. When you have something happen to you sometimes you have to be strong even if you don’t want to be. I wanted to crawl under the covers and never come out but I HAD to be strong for me, my family and my son. I didn’t want Mason to look down on me from Heaven and see me in my pj’s bedridden for days. Don’t get me wrong I had my days and still have them but I try my hardest to get up and put on a happy face.

Now there are those people in my life that are so wonderful and I probably don’t tell them enough. People that went running to my side instead of turning away. Those people are special. If you have them in your life keep them and keep them close. For example the nurse I had the day when I had Mason was wonderful. She is one of the most awesome people I have ever met. She was with me all day, she stayed late to be in the delivery room and shortly after. She was the one that discovered he wasn’t breathing anymore and she was the one to bring me my son for the first time. Never once did she say the wrong thing to me. I wish I would have expressed to her more what a wonderful nurse and person she is. I even told her I felt bad for her having to deal with me all day. She just smiled and said no problem. Now that is a great person. Of course my friends and family were wonderful and have been to this day. They brought me food, books, treats and were there for me when I needed them most.They gave me memory stones and angel figurines and other mementos.They also listened to me and hung out with me when I didn’t want to be alone.

Sometimes I know I need and I think other mothers need to know that other people think and still think about the child or children that they lost. It’s nice to know that your child is still remembered by people other than yourself. It always fills me up with a great feeling when someone says “I stopped at Mason’s grave” or “He brought so much joy” Because you know what He Lived sometimes people forget that. He lived in my belly for eight months and he brought me a happiness that I had never experienced before. So if you know someone who has lost a child or children light a candle or give them a smile today. That might just be the thing they need 🙂

Losing a Pregnancy, Finding Community: honoring Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Day 2013

InFeRtIlItY

Infertility is the worst roller-coaster I have ever been on. It tests your relationships not only with your partner but with friends and family. Once you get married people think that you should automatically be pregnant. I think people assume that after the wedding you just poof become pregnant. Well for some people that doesn’t happen that way. I found out I was one of them.

Our story begins in September 2008. My husband and I decided to start to try to have a baby. We both expected it to go quickly. He had a son from a previous relationship and I had never had any gynecological problems. We went eight months with nothing then in May of 2009 I woke up with cramps and heavy bleeding. Without a pregnancy test we will never know but after a visit with my provider our best guess is that I had a miscarriage. At that time I really started to wonder why we had not had a successful pregnancy. Well unfortunately you have to wait until a year has passed before anyone will consider infertility an option or problem. So, a year or so went by with no luck I decided to see an obgyn that specialized in infertility. Well he turned out to be no help at all and told me there was nothing wrong with me and to keep trying. I left that appointment feeling so disappointed; I really didn’t know where to turn after that. Luckily, my best friend convinced me to see the Doctor that she was working for at the time. That was one of the best decisions I have ever made. She immediately wanted to get to the bottom of it. After some testing and suggestions with no luck she contacted another ob at a larger facility. That Doctor wanted me to get some lab work done and have my prolactin level tested. When the results came back my prolactin level was higher than it should have been. So I was put on Bromocriptine to regulate my prolactin level and to help me get pregnant. After being on Bromocriptine for a while I started taking Clomid which is a drug that is used to stimulate ovulation. Well, that wasn’t working either. Fast forward to February 2011 we had decided to go ahead and do an IUI. An IUI is a procedure where sperm is inserted directly into a woman’s uterus. So after many ultrasounds to make sure I had enough eggs we were ready to do the IUI. A couple of weeks after the procedure I got my period. I was crushed I really thought that this was our shot and we missed it. After all of the money we had spent on fertility drugs, doctor appointments and ultrasounds I wasn’t sure we could afford IVF. So we decided to take a “break” from trying and save up for IVF. For some reason I had my period on and off for three months and no one could really figure out why. I was feeling faint all of the time and my prolactin level shot up higher than it had ever been before. I always had problems with headaches and migraines but they were awful when I would take Clomid. I kept pushing through because I so desperately wanted a baby. Then all of a sudden I stopped bleeding and life kind of went back to normal.

In July of 2011 I found out I was pregnant. Finally it worked I was going to be a mother!! I can’t even describe the happiness and love I felt when my Doctor called to tell me the great news 😀 Unfortunately my son was born sleeping in September.

After we had our son we knew we wanted to try again. I was prepared for the long fight we had ahead of us. But by some miracle I became pregnant with our daughter in March of 2012. We didn’t have to do anything besides the obvious; no drugs or procedures. She was born in October of that year and she is wonderful ❤

When I was pregnant with my son I wasn’t sure if I could go through the infertility treatments again. I thought if I could have just one little miracle child that might be good enough. I always wanted more children but I wasn’t sure if we could go through it all again. The Doctor that performed the IUI said most people she does this for come in five years later asking her to make it stop. She was kind of a goof. She said sometimes all it takes is your body to be able to get pregnant and then bam it’s like it finally woke up and it can do it on it’s own.

I mentioned before that relationships can be tested during infertility. Our marriage was tested big time. You kind of feel like a failure. Everyone else on God’s green earth can get pregnant except for you. The hormones and drugs you take make you feel crazy in turn that crazy comes out on the person you live with. Let’s just say things could get a little hairy and some situations arose. Also friends and family sometimes act a little weird around you. People don’t want to tell you when they are pregnant or other people in your circle are pregnant. I know they mean well and are only trying to look out for you. I appreciate everyone for looking out for me and listening to me during the rough times. It is nice to have good friends and family. For me I tried to stay positive. I wanted to be involved when people around me that were expecting. I was truly happy for them. It is a little hard I am not going to lie but I didn’t want to be Debbie Downer. The people that really made me mad and do to this day are the ones that are on drugs and can pop out kids like a vending machine. That drives me crazy!! There are so many people that experience infertility that are wonderful people and would make wonderful parents but instead these people that care more about drugs then their kids keep having them. AHHHHHH it drives me nuts!! But moving on lets just say infertility sucks.

My advice to anyone experiencing infertility is to keep pushing forward as much as you can. If you feel like you are at the end of your rope take a break. Sometimes when you do that a little miracle happens ❤ It is totally okay to freak out, get upset and shed some tears. With all of the hormones running through your body I think you are entitled. For the love of God don’t give up HOPE. Miracles happen everyday!! I know that is true I have experienced two of them 🙂 When you finally get pregnant or adopt it is the most wonderful feeling in the world!! I have never adopted but I know people that have and they love it!! When you hold your bundle for the first time all of the treatments and other business you went through is totally worth it 🙂

avery 019
My baby shower for Mason ❤
023
One of Avery’s pics from her 2 year old session. The teddy bear is one the hospital gave us when I had Mason. Love this pic ❤

If Love Could Have Saved You…..You Would have Lived Forever

Today is my son’s third Birthday. I should be making him his favorite meal tonight, planning a big party, giving him Birthday presents, snuggling and doing something special for him on his special day. Instead I am doing my normal routine. See he is not here. He was stillborn. It still kills me a little inside every time I say that. I had planned on writing our story today. But I decided I am not ready for that yet. Shortly after my son was born I decided that I was never going to push myself into doing things I wasn’t ready for; so I am going to talk about our plans for today instead.

Today we are going to the cemetery to do a balloon release.  I am excited and nervous. I am excited that I get to do something for him. See when you lose a child you miss out on taking care of them. I don’t get to take care of him when he is sick, read him books, cuddle when he is scared, make him meals, pick out his clothes nothing. I am not going to lie it sucks. So any opportunity I have to do something for him, I take it. I am nervous because I always have really high expectations for this day. I want everything to go perfect. I want the weather to be beautiful, I want the balloon release to be perfect, I want the new flowers for his headstone to be beautiful. Usually I don’t get perfect days. (I don’t think a lot of people do)

If you asked me what I did last week I would have a hard time remembering. I remember September 30, 2011 like it was yesterday. I relive the whole day from the moment I woke up. I remember what I ate for breakfast, the nurse coming into my room, the Doctor telling me that my baby’s heart was no longer beating, the ultrasounds, the walk to the OR to have my baby, EVERYTHING.

Losing a child is a loss like no other. You have plans for your children. When you find out you are pregnant you wonder; what are they going to look like, what are they going to be when they grow up, whose features are they going to have. Then you set up their nursery, buy tons of cute clothes and toys, finish any home projects before the baby comes and wait for their arrival. (If you are anything like me you wait very impatiently) Then you come home from the hospital with no baby. Everything is ready for your new bundle except you didn’t bring a baby home. It is an indescribable pain.

I am going to try to celebrate my son’s Birthday today as much as I can. It stinks that I am crying off and on all day instead of being happy that it’s his Birthday. I am hoping that the balloon release will help. This is the first year that we have done it so I am hoping we have some good luck 🙂 Usually I do get a little help today from the best guardian angel a momma could ask for ❤ As I look out my window and see that the sky is getting a little brighter and the sun may be peeking out, I know he is already working his magic 🙂

Happy Birthday Mason Anthony! I love you so much and can’t wait to be with you again someday ❤