Tuesday, August 6, 2013

I think somewhere between writing my last post and getting up out of my chair I realized that "choosing joy" was just kind of bullshit and not really gonna happen for a while.  Maybe bullshit was the wrong word choice.  I think "long shot" is a better description.

I don't know if I was in shock longer than most or refusing to grieve to the depth that my feelings really went.  Or maybe the miscarriage just erased any acceptance or hope I had built.  But something has hit me.  Completely overtaken and consumed me.  I am not ok.

Ive reached out for help, but returning the phone calls is just too much work at this point.

Someone messaged me recently asking how I'm doing it....how I'm holding it all together.  I think if they were at my house everyday they wouldn't be asking me that.  They'd probably suggest a shrink.  Or maybe just a shower.  Both would be valid suggestions.

My response was simple.  I had no choice.  Actually, I had two choices.  I either kill myself or I survive it. And I'm not sure how option A pans out at the end and I'm afraid that if I were to take that option, I would never see my daughter again.  So I'm left with option B. Survive.  Now I just need to figure out how.

For the first time in my life, this is the only circumstance that time is not healing.  Not yet anyways. Hurtful friendships, bad relationships, work stress, etc....all went away or worked out with time.  This just keeps hurting worse.  In the beginning we were surrounded by so much love and support it was like there were people all over the country holding the weight of this for us.  And now as time and people have naturally moved on....its like the weight on my shoulders is just unbearable.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


This blog is so tough for me, for a few different reasons.  One of those being, I don’t want to come across as if I’m looking for sympathy.  I am very aware that my story is tragic.  That every person who reads this does feel bad.  And I do appreciate the supportive messages.  I go back and forth of wanting to share and then not wanting to ruin someones day with a reminder of how shitty my circumstance is.  But I cant help but come back to how much comfort I found in reading other stories of loss directly after we lost Elliston.  Even today, I still go back and read blogs of other baby loss moms….if no other reason than a reminder that I am not the only one.  THAT is why I will continue to be up front and honest with our journey.

Ive been reading lately about Joy.  The difference between happiness and joy.  And how possible it is to experience grief and joy at the same time…. If you choose to. 

It has been a BATTLE lately, to keep myself from feeling entitled.  Sometimes I feel entitled to be in a bad mood.  Not just sad, but a terrible, mean mood.  I have felt entitled to my doctor’s attention.  Heaven forbid 5 minutes pass without my question being answered.  And now, I feel entitled to having a baby.  A perfect, healthy baby.  About a week and a half ago we had another miscarriage.  My struggle to fight off entitlement has gone to a new level.  I.AM.PISSED.  And I am for sure not choosing to find joy in anything.

I found a blog of a woman who passed away a few years ago from a rare disease.  One specific entry was titled “Define Joy”.  She knew she was losing her life, and when someone asked her how she would define joy, this was her response:

“She didn’t ask what brings you joy…. She asked for it’s definition.  And I had to think about it for a bit.  I tried to think of what REAL joy feels like to me… not the fleeting moments of happiness or elation, but the real, deep down, nothing can touch the lightness of my soul kind of joy.  Here’s what I decided for myself:  JOY- the unwavering trust that God knows what He’s doing and has blessed me with the opportunity to be a part of it.. not despite what’s happening in my life but because of it.  When everything earthly feels heavy, He gives me an internal lightness that can’t be touched.”

So, I’m not there.  But that’s where I’m headed.  I will choose joy again.  I will be sad.  I will grieve.  I will be broken.  I will be angry.  I will question.  I will doubt.  AND I will CHOOSE joy.    

Thursday, May 2, 2013

It really is a miracle

Almost two weeks ago, I witnessed the birth of my great nephew.  That is seriously so embarrassing to say.  My baby nephew (21) and his girlfriend Samantha brought into this world the sweetest little boy, Mr. Jameson Thomas.  I definitely shocked myself with how comfortable I was with being there.  I did not intend to be in the room….but it was going so beautifully, I think my mind needed to see a birth go correctly.  To go just the way it was intended.  I only had one “moment”.  The moment Jameson was born and cried for the first time.  My mind literally paused for a moment and I wished to know the cry of my daughter.  I think that’s normal and understandable.  I didn’t try to grab Jameson and run, so Id say it was a success.  J 
I don’t have a problem with pregnant people.  I don’t even have a problem with babies.  None of them are Elliston.  In some situations, I have had to give myself a little pep talk before hand so I can act normal.  Of course, little girls make me wonder.  It may make me sad, just thinking about if Elliston would have hair like that.  Or if Elliston would like peas now like that little girl.  I have read lots of stories, and completely understand how it happens, of women isolating themselves from anything having to do with babies and children.  For some reason, that has not been a huge issue for me.  Not that I haven’t had the feelings.  I just don’t sit there.  I think the main issue for me is baby girl showers.  Something about them just reminds me of mine and how blissfully unaware I was that day of what was to come.  Either way, Elliston was celebrated and loved and put on display to everyone watching the ultrasound that day just how stubborn she was.  And that she loved The Foo Fighters.  Seriously!  She would not turn her head so we could see her face.  After 45 minutes of sweet talking and sugar and juice, Colby put headphones on my stomach and turned on Foo Fighters and she turned and smiled…..well yawned and then a little something I like to think was a smile  J

Birth.  It really is a miracle.  Thank you God for the opportunity to see it go perfectly.

Monday, April 1, 2013

It's a careful dance I haven't quite figured out yet

I know I haven’t written in a while, and there’s a few reasons for this. First and foremost, my job. Property management isn’t anyone’s first choice of a career to begin with. Its something you fall into and realize you can move up and make decent money without needing a degree. My specific property has a high maintenance demographic of residents and is pretty much twice the size of your average apartment community. Drama all day, everyday. Secondly, I feel like everyday someone new is announcing their pregnancy. I am genuinely very happy for each of these people. I’ve actually not posted things at times because I don’t want to be that horror story that should be kept from all pregnant women. Sometimes I think it would have been better to have my blog out there in the universe, for other baby loss moms to stumble across but not have made it so open for my facebook community of friends. It’s a careful dance I haven’t quite figured out yet.

But…..I quit my job. Financially a good idea? Not at all. Emotionally a good idea? Absolutely. I am committed to my daughter. I will not let the feelings and emotions get swallowed up in stress of work and business. I need to heal. I need to process. I need to think about her. I need to figure out this new person that I am. A mother who has a daughter that died. A mother to future children that have an older sister that died. And part of that processing, for me, is this blog. For what seems like the majority of you who are currently pregnant, if you stop reading and just scroll past my blog, I understand. I probably would too. In fact, I know I would. Will this happen to you? Hopefully not. Most likely, no. Could it? Yes.

Life altering tragedy is something that is no longer foreign to me. Colby used to ask me why I always see and prepare for the negative. And quite simply, my response would be that if I prepare for the worst, anything better than that is a pleasant surprise. This situation certainly did not help change that mentality. Although I will say that it strangely is making me work to not have that view. I make more conscious decisions to not think negatively. Which is strange given that the worst case scenario possible actually did happen……and I was not prepared. But it was out of my hands. It’s all out of my hands. I can drive as safe as possible on the highway, but everyone else’s poor driving abilities are out of my hands. Our next pregnancy will be a day-by-day, hour-by-hour, conscious decision to not be checking to see if the baby still has a heartbeat. It’s out of my hands. I’m not ready to sit here and say, “It’s in God’s hands”. I think He understands why that statement is difficult for me to say. And I think He’s ok with that for now. I can’t control everything that happens to me. No matter how much I will try, I can’t control the outcome of my future pregnancies. I can’t be guaranteed that Colby will make it home from work safely. I can’t be certain that North Korea is not going to bomb us sometime soon. (How crazy is that?!?!?)

2 HUGE positive things that have happened: #1 Colby got a new job. A GREAT job. A job that has made it possible for me to take a step back. #2 my company that I tried to quit altogether has created a new position for me. To work under one of the owners in a low stress, corporate office position. So I am still employed, taking another week off, and my boss is someone who is committed to my healing even more than I am at times. I didn’t think I would be saying this anytime soon….but we are feeling watched over and pretty blessed right now.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Yep, I'm still alive. Still breathing. Still processing. Still hurting. Still missing. Still loving. Still crying. Still anxious. Still scared. Still stressed. Still proud. Still.

If you remember, Colby and I had a miscarriage in September of 2011. We were 10 weeks along. An old acquaintance messaged me when we found out we were pregnant that time and shared that she was pregnant too. We were even due in the same week. We chatted back and forth for a few weeks, but when we miscarried, her and I lost touch. She went full term with that baby, but ended up losing him during delivery. The cause of his death was never discovered.  I was so devastated for her, but I had recently found out I was pregnant with Elliston, and out of fear....I never said anything to her. She has been a rock for me these past few months. Reaching out to me when I'm sure it wasn't easy. Listening to me go on and on, when I know she was still healing too and probably needed to talk herself. She has shown me Hope. And taught me that hope and joy and hurt and grief can coincide.  Seriously people, this girl is amazing.  Today, she is just about 37 weeks pregnant. Ready to have her rainbow baby.  I am still figuring out what I now think the purpose of prayer is.....but take 2 seconds and send up a prayer, a thought, a good vibe....whatever....for her peace.  She is already the mommy of one sweet little boy in heaven, but is so deserving to bring home this next little one. I can't even imagine the mix of emotions.


Sunday, January 13, 2013

You have to endure it.

I had thought that returning to work may help me move forward.  I was wrong.  Very wrong.  My job is going through a stressful season.  I dont sleep at night because i am stressed about work. My mind and emotions are consumed with the death of my daughter, yet i am forced to push it aside because i have work work work.  Every night I breakdown because I dont have the mental or emotional capacity to balance both.  You know that crazy thing your brain does when you've had too much coffee?  You know you must eat something, drink a big glass of water, open a window.....something.  That is my brain everyday.  I feel like an idiot because im thinking about so many things at once, when really, my main thought is, "I want to hold my daughter." In all honesty, I feel like I'm on the edge of entering Crazy Town.  All this to say.....I havent had the ability to put into words this latest part of my journey. 

A blog that I follow referenced an excerpt from an advice columnist name Sugar.  Someone had written to Sugar about the stillbirth of their daughter.  I have read this excerpt everyday since she posted it.  It puts into words what I cant, and has given me hope that I havent yet felt.  

"Here's just some of it...
"Though we live in a time and place and culture that tries to tell us otherwise, suffering is what happens when truly horrible things happen to us.

Don’t listen to those people who suggest you should be “over” your daughter’s death by now. The people who squawk the loudest about such things have almost never had to get over any thing. Or at least not any thing that was genuinely, mind-fuckingly, soul-crushingly life altering. Some of those people believe they’re being helpful by minimizing your pain. Others are scared of the intensity of your loss and so they use their words to push your grief away. Many of those people love you and are worthy of your love, but they are not the people who will be helpful to you when it comes to healing the pain of your daughter’s death.

They live on Planet Earth. You live on Planet My Baby Died.

It seems to me that you feel like you’re all alone there. You aren’t. There are women reading this right now who have tears in their eyes. There are women who have spent their days chanting daughter, daughter or son, son silently to themselves. Women who have been privately tormented about the things they did or didn’t do that they fear caused the deaths of their babies. You need to find those women, darling. They’re your tribe.

I know because I’ve lived on a few planets that aren’t Planet Earth myself.

The healing power of even the most microscopic exchange with someone who knows in a flash precisely what you’re talking about because she experienced that thing too cannot be over-estimated. Call your local hospitals and birth centers and inquire about support groups for people who’ve lost babies at or before or shortly after birth. Read Elizabeth McCracken’s memoir An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination. Find online communities where you can have conversations with people during which you don’t have to pretend a thing.


This is how you get unstuck, Stuck. You reach. Not so you can walk away from the daughter you loved, but so you can live the life that is yours—the one that includes the sad loss of your daughter, but is not arrested by it. The one that eventually leads you to a place in which you not only grieve her, but also feel lucky to have had the privilege of loving her. That place of true healing is a fierce place. It’s a giant place. It’s a place of monstrous beauty and endless dark and glimmering light. And you have to work really, really, really fucking hard to get there, but you can do it, honey. You’re a woman who can travel that far. I know it.


You will never stop loving your daughter. You will never forget her. You will always know her name. But she will always be dead. Nobody can intervene and make that right and nobody will. Nobody can take it back with silence or push it away with words. Nobody will protect you from your suffering. You can’t cry it away or eat it away or starve it away or walk it away or punch it away or even therapy it away. It’s just there, and you have to survive it. You have to endure it. You have to live though it and love it and move on and be better for it and run as far as you can in the direction of your best and happiest dreams across the bridge that was built by your own desire to heal. Therapists and friends and other people who live on Planet My Baby Died can help you along the way, but the healing—the genuine healing, the actual real deal down-on-your-knees-in-the-mud change—is entirely and absolutely up to you..."
          Dear Sugar: July 15, 2010--How You Get Unstuck

I miss her.  I miss myself.  I cant be afraid to move forward from this sorrow.  She is not there.  

Monday, December 31, 2012

Goodbye 2012

Its New Year's Eve and Im sitting in front of our pink Christmas tree that I cant bring myself to take down.  I am reflecting over this past year and all of the highs and lows it has brought.  I would have expected to feel like this is the worst year of my life and in some ways it is.  Even though we lost our baby girl this year.....we also fell in love with her this year.  I spent 9 out of these past 12 months carrying the greatest light that has ever touched my life.  As devastating as her death was and still is, darkness will never overshadow the light. I am coming out of 2012 a better person because of my little Elliston Rae.  I embrace 2013 with HUGE open arms.  May this be a year of promise and more light for my family.