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 ❤

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Cleaning out my closet

Sounds easy enough; clean closet and finish unpacking from when we moved here in September. I know it should have been done sooner but I have been putting it off. I have the biggest closet by far out of anyone so a lot of things get shoved in there. Last month husband was off and everyday I would tell myself I was going to do it. It is so much easier to do it when he is home so he can watch Avery while I clean. Avery loves to help but she makes more of a mess and I really wanted to get it done. Of course the month flew by with a dirty closet still on my mind. Now it’s a new month and husband is back to work and I am still thinking about that dang closet. So I decided today would be the day.

I kept telling myself that I was just to lazy to clean it before but when I walked into the closet the real reason was staring me in the face. The blue tote sat in the middle of the room needing to be put away. What is in the blue tote? My son’s belongings. After we had Mason and we weren’t able to bring him home it took me a long time to figure out what to do with all of his things. We had his molds of his feet and hands, footprints, pictures, cards and blankets. You name it we had it. Of course the big items would stay out for what we were hoping would be another baby. I left his clothes in his closet because I was 100% sure we would have another boy and it made me happy to think that Mason could pass down his clothes to his little brother. Lo and behold we had little Avery. Who would have thought that out of a family of all boys (my husband’s side) a little girl would finally come 🙂 I tried my hardest to put Avery in the neutral clothes I had but I couldn’t do it. They were meant for her brother that wasn’t here so I put them to the side.

I wanted a special place for all of our mementos of him and I couldn’t bear to put them in a tote pushed to the back of some closet. So the only logical place would be to put them in my hope chest which sat at the end of our bed. I was really happy about them going into the hope chest. The only problem is that we have moved three times since we had Mason. So his things have to be moved into totes to be transported. He has two totes filled with all of the things I kept of his including some clothes that I couldn’t bear to put on another baby or give away.

When we moved in I promptly unpacked the first tote. For some reason I couldn’t bear to unpack the second; so it got left until today. I am going to rewind a little. The past three nights have been rough with Avery. She just simply does not want to sleep. The first night we finally got her down at 12:30. The second night it was 10:00 and last night it was 11:30. Since she is not sleeping well that means mom isn’t’ either and Avery is a little bear all day because she needs her sleep. Last night I was at my wit’s end. I kept watching the clock tick by knowing I had to be up at 5:15. All I could think about was everything we had on our plate for today; laundry, toddler time, cleaning and a bath. I ended up taking her back downstairs while she cried it out after me getting very frustrated with her. Immediately after she fell asleep I felt bad about how upset I got with her. The guilt is still clinging on big time. Back to the tote. As I was putting Mason’s things away I started thinking about how nice it is to do so. Folding all of his little clothes and blankets. Making sure everything is arranged nicely so it fits in the hope chest. It made me have that great feeling that I long for; I was able to take care of him even though he is not here. Looking at his pictures and realizing all over again what a miracle and blessing he is. After years of infertility we finally won our lottery; we got our babies.

Feeling like I needed to go and squeeze Avery and tell her how much I love her I went into her bedroom where she was playing so nice with her books. Then I smelled it; yup she pooped. I laid her down to change her and it all hit me; the gas, the frequent stools, the not sleeping, the runny nose; she is getting more teeth. Ugh, I felt like such a jerk. I was so frustrated with her I didn’t even realize she was hurting. All she wanted to do was hold my hand and cuddle. All I wanted was some sleep.

All of these thoughts and feelings washed over me. All of the nights I prayed, wished and hoped for little clothes to fold. All of the nights I cried wanting a baby to cuddle and hold hands with. Now I have two and I let my lack of sleep frustrations and sadness take over me. Sometimes I forget how happy going through Mason’s things can make me. In those late night hours I forget how wonderful it is to have my little Avery to hold hands with.

Today Avery is getting smothered with love and I am going to pick a picture of Mason out to hang in our room. I will be happy to fold those little clothes and clean up the messes. This is what I prayed for, wished for and hoped for. I am happy to be cleaning out my closet.

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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 🙂

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Why I try to be thankful everyday

After the slew of things that have happened to us over the years and the demands of everyday life sometimes I forget to be thankful for what we have. I try everyday to remind myself to be thankful. Here are a couple of situations that arise that make me think about what to be thankful for:

  • When days get frustrating with my daughter (like right now when she is climbing on me while I type) I think about what life was like without her and I am so thankful to have her.
  • When I miss my son so terribly it hurts. I think about the days of Clomid, negative pregnancy tests and procedures. It reminds me of how happy he made me when he was in my belly and how much he taught me about love and life. I also know I will see him again someday ❤
  • When I get sick I think about what life was like during chemo. A little sinus infection pales in comparison to all of the days and nights when I felt like absolute garbage.
  • When I get frustrated with my new hair. I think about the days when I had none or very little. I also know how lucky I am that mine came back.
  • When I open the checkbook and my stomach falls to the floor. I think about how lucky I am to have a warm place to live that we own and to be able to stay home with my daughter.
  • When Christmas gets expensive. I am thankful to have family to buy for and the real reason for the season.
  • When my body is sore and out of whack I think about chemo. I actually am thankful for chemo because without it I might not be here to type this.
  • When I get upset about not being able to have more children of my own I think about my hysterectomy. If it wasn’t for my hysterectomy I wouldn’t be here to raise the one that I have here with me.
  • When I wonder why in the heck I am blogging. I think about the followers I have and the thoughts that are out of my head and on paper. I also think about the people who have messaged me, etc and told me how my blog has made them smile or feel better. For all of those I am thankful.

What makes you thankful? I am sure I have tons more but these are the ones that come to mind 🙂

 

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This little foot print makes my heart smile everyday 🙂

 

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!

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Our perfect picture 🙂 Sorry about the glare

 

 

 

People are AmAzInG- Part 2

Pressing forward to the people in our lives that did so much for us while we were going through hard times. This is the second part of my People are AmAzInG posts.

I was in the hospital on bed rest when I was pregnant with my son and I received tons of visitors, cards, letters and flowers. Some of them really surprised me.  Some of the cards came from patients at the hospital where I worked. It was so nice to know that they were thinking of me along with my friends and family. When my son passed away I could not believe the outpouring of support we received from people in our community. More cards, letters, flowers and momentous came to our door. People brought food so we didn’t have to worry about cooking. That was so nice because the last thing I wanted to do was go to the grocery store. We had a small private memorial service for our son and the way our family and friends pulled together was amazing. We had a lunch at our house and I don’t think I had to lift a finger. They all made the food, brought tables and chairs, plates, napkins and cups. People dropped off books about grief and angel figurines.  My friends and family were kind of “on call” for me. I would call and they would come over or talk to me. They were always checking up on me which was much appreciated. I didn’t always feel like talking about what happened but it was so nice to just talk to people about anything. My co-workers at the time were pretty awesome too. They sent some things to the funeral home and sent me a card. A couple of them came to visit me in the hospital too. I am kinda weird and I saved all of the cards that we received and I keep them with my sons things. It is nice to see them when I go through his things to see how many people cared about him and us 🙂

Then I was diagnosed with cancer. I was at work when I found out so obviously my co-workers knew about it. It was a Friday when I got the news so it was kind of nice to have the weekend to process everything. I spent a large chunk of the weekend shopping online for preemie clothes to keep my mind off of the “cancer” Saturday morning I had a knock on the door. The NP that I worked for dropped off Sprite and chocolate for me. I ❤ Sprite. It is my absolute favorite drink in the whole wide world. I am a firm believer that Sprite helps a person out in any type of situation. If you’re feeling down, drink a Sprite; if you’re sick drink a Sprite. That bubbly goodness will make you feel so much better. For added joy have it on ice 😀  Anyway back to the story. She was so helpful and nice to us during our cancer journey. She organized a meal plan for us. Three nights a week we had supper delivered to us. My friends and family brought us supper over. I couldn’t believe it! If you have ever been through chemo you know the last thing you want to do is cook. Since we were getting food three nights a week I basically never had to cook because we would have leftovers. Not only was the food nice but it was good to chat and visit with everyone. Then everyone could see Avery too 🙂 I was amazed that people would actually want to take the time to bring us food. Now it wasn’t just sandwiches or something. We would have a five-course meal. There was dessert, meat, potatoes and snacks. Someone even brought us Erbert and Gerbert’s. I LOVE that place and the closest one is an hour away. I actually gained weight during chemo.

Again we were flooded with cards and well wishes. People sent us packages in the mail for Avery and sometimes there would be a little extra for us 🙂 Speaking of Miss Avery my friends threw me a baby shower. I didn’t want to have one since I had one only a year ago for my son but they insisted. So in about one week they put one together so I could have everything before she came. It was at my house one evening. I had lots of friends and family come over and we received such nice gifts. I even had people send gifts along with others for me. People that I used to work with or I kinda lost touch with over the years. It was so nice. Not only because we received a lot of things we needed but it was a night where I didn’t have to think about the “cancer”

When Avery came home we had a couple small issues. I needed a babysitter when I had chemo and a ride to and from. I had chemo every three weeks and it was three days at a time. The first day was the longest about eight hours and the next two days were four hours. Well it’s kind of hard to find someone to babysit smack dab in the middle of the day. Plus Avery had that wonderful little condition where she would quit breathing when she ate so some people were too scared to watch her by themselves. I really can’t blame them because it freaked me the hell out when it happened. But we did have a couple of friends and family that would watch her and drive me so it worked out. Usually my husband stayed home on my long day so we only needed babysitters for two days.

After I was done with chemo I was able to enjoy the rest of my maternity leave with my baby girl. Then I went back to work part-time which was so nice because I still felt like a walking zombie. If you have ever had a major medical problem then you know all to well the expenses that come with it. We were trying to keep up with the medical bills but for some reason it was never enough. I won’t go into all of it but lets just say I yelled a lot at quite a few people in the billing department at the clinic.

Then a little angel appeared at our door. Our neighbors at the time have a pig roast every year and the proceeds go to a person or persons that have had a major medical problem (usually cancer) They informed us that we were chosen to be the recipients that year. OMG I didn’t even know what to say! I think I was in shock for a couple of days. Of course we said yes and thank you. So it began, well for them anyway. I can’t even imagine the planning that goes into this event. It is held at a campground a couple of miles from the town that we live in. So we were able to spend the night and have some fun. People donate gift baskets and they are raffled off and other larger items. There are games and food. Oh the food 🙂 They sell t-shirts beforehand so everyone wears them the day of the pig roast. My friends and family helped in the gift basket department and with some other planning. It still amazes me that this couple dedicates probably six months or more of their life every year to help someone else. I am going to call them “O” and “T”  So “O” is a cancer survivor and actually just got cleared!! He put his five years in and now he is done going to the oncologist 😀 Yay for him!!  “T” has become a good friend of mine and we still talk to this day 🙂 I can’t say enough about them. It is a huge weight off of someones shoulders when they are able to pay some bills and get those horrible bill collectors off their back. “O”, “T” and their daughter will always have a special place in our hearts. I can only hope they realize how much we appreciate what they did for us! Every so often you meet or become closer with extra-ordinary wonderful people. They are definitely those people!! One of the best things about this is that now we are able to help with the pig roast and donate to the other recipients. Last year I helped with the kids games and donated a gift basket.

We also received some donations from a craft sale. As I have mentioned before I ❤ craft sales. One of my friends I will call her “LB” was involved in a craft sale. She decided to donate some of her profits to us. Well two other people jumped on the bandwagon. Plus she had people coming up to her that couldn’t attend the sale purchase something or give a monetary donation to us. How wonderful!! We are very grateful to all of them 🙂 I know what it takes to set something like that up since I used to do direct-sales. It can sometimes be a pain in the bum but she never complained and was always very upbeat 🙂

I really hope I didn’t forget anyone and I apologize if I did. Still have a little chemo brain going on 😉 Sometimes it can be hard living in a small community. Everyone knows or thinks they know your business. But we have found out it can also me truly amazing 🙂 People that I hadn’t talked to in years sent cards or letters wishing us well and were praying for us. We actually had a couple of churches put us on there prayer-chains. At times I was actually at a loss for words (which if you know me you know that doesn’t happen like ever) when people were doing all of these nice things for us 🙂 I am truly humbled by all of the support we have received. Thank you everyone so so so so much!!! There is a special place in our hearts for all of you ❤

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Avery sporting her Pig Roast onesie 🙂

People are AmAzInG- Part 1

In the past couple of years we have a had some bad things happen to us. We lost our son, I got cancer and our daughter came into this world two months early. Through those things I have learned that people are truly amazing. Yes we had some bad experiences being in and out of the hospital and we have had some people who were not so nice to us but all in all people have been wonderful to us. So I want to give a big shout out to those people who have helped us through these hard times. I have decided to split this into two parts because there is so many people to recognize.

First off is the medical staff that cared for me, my son and my daughter. My OB/GYN is amazing. She has been with us through it all. I started seeing her when I was trying to get pregnant so we have been together a long time. I think she was almost as happy as I was when I got pregnant with my son 🙂 When I lost my son I asked the nurse to please call her and tell her what had happened. I didn’t want her to come in thinking everything was fine and then bam not so much. So a little while later there was a knock on my hospital door. It was her. She came in on her day off to see us; totally unexpected. I had to have an ultrasound before I had him and she stayed with us for the ultrasound and talked to us after the ultrasound. She hugged us and made us feel so much better. She always made sure I had the best care possible. She checked up on me and made me feel so comfortable. I couldn’t have asked for more. Than I got pregnant with my daughter. Her awesomeness continued. This time around I was sooo nervous. So I was very pesty wanting to come in and hear the heartbeat and all of that good stuff. She always obliged my requests and assured me everything was going to be okay. When I found out I had cancer she was on medical leave but after I had my daughter we had another knock on the door. She came to visit us and see how we were doing. She is an amazing Physician and a wonderful person. I was obviously upset when I found out I wouldn’t be able to have more children but I was also upset because that meant I wouldn’t be able to see her anymore 😦  There are countless other things she has done for us but I should probably move on because I have so many other people to acknowledge.

As I mentioned in a previous post the nurse I had the day I lost my son was amazing 🙂 I hope she knows how great she is ❤ After I had my son I met another great nurse. She was the head of a program they call TLC that they have at the hospital I had my son. She is the one who took some pictures of my son and she gave us tons of info and made sure that we got his hand prints, hand molds, and foot prints. She called me for a year after I had him to make sure I was okay and to answer any questions I had. That has got to be hard job and she does it so well. She made sure that everything went smooth for the rest of our stay. Actually all of the nurses and Doctors were great the whole time I was in the hospital. (I was on hospital bed rest for two weeks before I had my son)

The Doctor that delivered my son is also pretty special. I am sure that is not what he had in mind that day when he walked into my room. He was on call all weekend and was very compassionate. He asked me what he could do for me and I said “I want to go home asap” Less than 48 hours later I was on my way home 🙂 Actually all of the staff that weekend was pretty great. When I was pregnant with my daughter I came in on a Sunday because she wasn’t moving. The Doctor that delivered my son was on call and both nurses that I mentioned before. They were all so genuinely concerned about me and my daughter. They all knew I had been diagnosed with cancer and were very helpful that day. A funny story about that day. I ended up going in by myself because my husband and step-son were hunting and I had upset myself so much that I didn’t want to wait for them to get home.   After we found out everything was okay and I put my time in on the monitor they were going to discharge me. I had the Doctor and nurse in my room and they kept looking around and I was thinking what in the world are they looking for. The Doctor asked if I was alone. I said yes and thought oh crap what is going to happen to me?!?! (I watch way to much ID Discovery) Then he asks “Does your husband ever talk?” Omg I laughed so hard!! I couldn’t help but think was this a burning question with the staff we had gotten to know so well over the past couple of years. I replied, “Trust me he does, I have to live with him”  Now he does not think this story is very funny especially when I tell it over and over. I think it is and everyone that hears it thinks it is. Sorry husband but I had to tell it again.

Moving forward (gosh we know a lot of people) The Doctor that discovered my polyp is also my OB/GYN’s husband. The day when I came in he decided to do an exam. Thank God he did. I don’t think I ever properly thanked him for that. I can’t imagine what it was like for him to have to call me and tell me I had cancer. I think I was so stunned when he called that I never said that I really did appreciate what he did for me. I would also like to thank the PA that did my first exam when I was pregnant with my daughter. She convinced me into letting her do an exam and boy am I glad that she did because it helped narrow down the time-frame as to when I got cancer.

One more shout out to the OB department and then I promise I will move on to something else. As I mentioned before we stayed at the Hope Lodge when our daughter was in the NICU. Well a nurse and two medical assistants from the OB department set that up for us. We had no clue what we were going to do when I left the hospital. I was able to stay for four days and I believe it was the second or third day all three of them came to visit. I was happy they came to see me but then they gave us the awesome news of what they had done for us!! I had never even considered staying there and having it all set-up for us was wonderful 😀

On to the Oncology department. (I promise this one won’t be as long) First off my second Oncologist; she was wonderful. She overloaded me with anti-nausea meds so I was able to take care of my baby girl instead of being in the bathroom sicker than a dog. She listened, answered questions and really did care about us. She is very straight-forward, knows what she is doing and always has a plan. She reminds me a lot of my OB/GYN. Two very smart women 🙂 Then comes the nurses that administered my chemo. What a great group of people! They made me feel so comfortable and I really enjoyed talking with them. They would actually sit down and talk to me about how I was feeling. Of course they always asked how my daughter was doing. If you know me at all you know that if you care about my kids you are awesome in my book. At my last chemo I received a lot of literature about “life after chemo” One thing that stuck out to me was how people have a hard time not communicating with the staff on an almost daily basis like they are used to. In my mind I was kind of thinking yes I appreciate everything they have done for me and I will miss talking to them but I am running very fast out of this chemo room and I hope to never be back in that chair. Well after about a week I totally understood. When you are receiving chemo you pretty much have access to someone 24/7 to ask questions too. There is your Doctor, the nurses that give you the chemo and the nurses and Doctors that are on call that you have access to. After your done with chemo you don’t have all of that access. Of course you can call if you have questions and things but for some reason it is different.

Last but not least the NICU staff. This one is going to be a little shorter because I kind of already wrote about them. (Not like any of these people will be reading this but you never know) Avery’s Doctor was awesome and so was the rest of the staff !! We were invited to a picnic for the NICU last summer and I was really looking forward to going and seeing everyone but we weren’t able to make it. I am hoping for another opportunity to connect with them.

I have a hard time telling people how I feel and such so writing is a good way for me to do so. Maybe it’s the face to face thing. I know I have probably forgot some people but this is getting really long and if someone does read this they are probably asleep. Thank you to everyone that cared for all of us and we really truly appreciate each and every one of you. Even if we are “quiet” or have a hard time “expressing” how we feel please know we are very thankful. I know days can get hard especially in the field that you work in but try to remember how good you are at your jobs and how you have touched our lives and I am sure countless other patients and their families.

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 🙂

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My baby shower for Mason ❤
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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 ❤