Saturday, 31 December 2011

Goodbye 2011

Good bye & good riddance 2011.   Those are my sentiments about leaving the worst year of my life behind & starting what we hope will be a new year with new hopes.  Although this captures my feelings entirely, I am riddled with guilt for it.  After all despite it being the worst year of my life, literally, we were blessed with the our son coming into our lives briefly but with significance.  If it weren't for that significance it couldn't have been the worst year. 

So, I guess I have to re-state things, good riddance 2011, the worst year of my life, for having met & having to say goodbye to my son James.  The cruelty of this blessing will not end b/c the year turns over but in some way it'll feel good to have it over non the less.

I guess this is the life sentence of a bereaved parent, the pain & promise woven together in everything, every breath, every opportunity, every hope. 

No resolutions this year, no point, still at the everything is beyond our control so why bother stage.

Hoping you will join us tonight as we prepare to let out this year James.  You are always close to my heart & top of my mind dear angel boy.  Wishes for a different kind of new years eve swirling in my heart today.

Sending love xoxoxoxo Mommy

Monday, 26 December 2011

It's over.  It was such a whirlwind that I have barely had a chance to reflect.  A few moments stand out.

We visited a lot this holiday season, our times were positive & Jeven was spoiled & had a endless fun.  These were the precious moments, these were also the ones that made me wonder how things "could" have been. 

Got some news about a cousin due a few weeks before we are, they are having a boy.  The news pricked my senses, I felt hate in my heart for their good fortune & resentment for the son we are missing.  This was but the beginning of a weekend full of focus on what we hope will be our 3rd child.  I felt a hole where James should have been but more over, the sting of realizing others are replacing their memories of him with our 3rd.  James 1st birthday is but a few short weeks away & he is far from the minds of his family, but not his parents.

Holidays are over, I'm exhausted - burnt out a bit if I'm being honest, but I feel no relief for having survived - I'm actually angry for having had to survive.

Another few weeks to survive & then hit re-set and start all over again...

Monday, 19 December 2011

The tree

We put up our tree last night.  This year we decided to get a real tree, felt Jev was old enough to appreciate it & although we're a little late, in it came.  Jev was very excited, raring to put on the ornaments & before we even knew it the tree was being trimmed!  I was feeling pretty sick yesterday from fatigue & pregnancy related stuff so I was in charge of prepping ornaments to be hung & handing them to Jev & Mike.  I watched Jev & Mike together putting on individual ornaments & thinking about how significant this first was for Jev & Mike & then it hit me. 

I was overcome with emotion and at first, for a split second, I thought I was moved by watching Jev's excitement & realising the significance of this event.  Then my emotion became mixed, joy as watched my oldest marvel & squeal in delight & grief for my youngest who was never going to get a chance to have this experience.  I bought a special ornament, we buy one every year with the year on it & this year represents James.  It says "Always remembered 2011" and I watched as Mike hung it in a clearly visible spot & felt a moment of calm as I thought in some small way we had brought him along in our tree trimming evening. 

Still feeling very fragile and the sight of the tree feels different.  How is it possible for everything to feel only half full? Only have partial meaning? I guess these are the moments that have to be redefined b/c they can't ever feel the same.  Strangely, I hadn't realised but I would have preferred to not have a tree this year.  This of course is completely ridiculous b/c I would never deprive Jev of such an wondrous experience, but my heart feels wounded again. 

I am officially dreading the holidays, which begin for us on Tuesday with Hanukkah.  8 days of torture with Christmas to throw salt in the wound right in between. 

James, hoping by bringing you along in our family times, you get to experience a glimpse of the times we had hoped to share with you.  While our love makes us sad that you can't be here with us in person, it also leaves us hope you are with us anyway.   Missing you so much it hurts. 

xoxoxoxo Mommy

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Sometimes I forget

Sometimes, I forget.  I forget that life is never going to be the same, not even the most minor parts. 

Yesterday night we headed to Mike's annual work Christmas party.  We had a babysitter lined up, it's the one thing we do every year.  As we prepped to go, I wondered if someone would say something about James but left it really at that.  My expectations were similar to last year, when I pregnant with James.  Boy was I wrong.  That party, all parties will never be the same.

We sat with people we know, who know about James & then the rest of the table filled.  Two other couples, one visibly pregnant with their first baby.  The mom, speaking about how easy her pregnancy has been, how she'll be off mid March, how they need to start getting "ready".  I sat beside her, she was a beautiful person but all I could think about was James.  The same script ran through my mind, "you have no idea how you're world could be ripped away" all the while hoping she never has to know. 

While I am visibly pregnant as well, just not obviously as far along, no one asked me a single question.  I was left to sit & remember the previous year & strain to remember how it felt to have James with me.  I realised how close we are to when our world fell apart just a little over a year ago & how clueless I was, how unprepared I would be.  The night brought back happy hopes & crushed dreams.  I wanted to leave from almost the moment we arrived.

The rest of the night was filled with my own sensitivity to comments from those who couldn't know & who's comments one year ago would have rolled over my shoulders like nothing.  Not last night, never again.

We came home, exhausted - by far the latest night I've had in months & emotionally wanting to distance myself from my feelings.  Then a sleepless night with Jev pulling a crazy all nighter, even when in bed with us.  At almost 4;30am I finally had to leave the room, I came downstairs & cried tears that I have been holding back for a long time.   Tears for me, tears for James, tears for the past, tears for the future, tears from frustration & fatigue, tears for tears.

Today I still feel sensitive, like I could breakdown but overall, I am just reminded that nothing, no celebration, no tradition, no holiday will ever be the same & that makes me sad.  Next week, will be my next adventure in firsts & I think if yesterday night is any reflection, it will be a hard one.  I am closer to anger then I've been in a while, but, in light of all the things we MUST face without our son, I doubt it's anything less then a normal.

James, I slept close to you last night in your room & missed you deeply.  Felt your younger brother or sister last night for the first time in a while & wished it didn't remind me of how much I miss you.  Hoping you will give me the courage to make it through the next week and a bit more with some composure. 

Sending all my love xoxoxo Mommy

Thursday, 15 December 2011

"The" visit

Yesterday was the dreaded appointment where James was found to have no heartbeat, just a little less then one year ago.  I have not felt fear like that in as long as I can remember, close to tears, shallow breath, heart pounding & almost unable to form a single word.  The midwife was late, I was pained waiting every moment knowing what I was potentially facing.

B/c the midwife remembered us from last time, she brought us into a different exam room - a little kindness that helped me so much.  We went straight to finding the heartbeat & right away 2 little kicks but no heartbeat.  I knew if there were kicks that had to mean everything was fine, but with each passing moment that no heartbeat was heard, my throat tightened a bit more & the hairs on my arms & neck stood on end.  Finally, a heartbeat.  That beautiful sound - Mike heard it first, I had to clear my mind of my own pounding heartbeat & focus & finally there it was.  The little bugger was hiding deep in my pelvic area - little bugger with a that beautiful heartbeat.

I almost burst into tears as she spoke to me & I tried to compose myself.  No questions to ask, our appointment ended quickly.  I had to come down off the adrenaline of panic & then relief.  A trip to Starbucks was next, to celebrate.  I treated myself after all what could be more worthy of celebrating then a heartbeat?

James - as I sat there remembering us together that fateful day, I couldn't believe I was there again - without you.  Someone asked about your locket today & I got to tell them the truth & talk about your life.  What a wonderful gift to be able to talk openly about you.  Missing you, wishing yesterday's appointment was one year ago & you were still with me/us.  Now just trying to get through the holidays without you. 

Hoping you celebrated with me yesterday & that your essence was in that gorgeous heartbeat. 

Missing you & hoping you are near.  xoxoxoxo mommy

Tuesday, 13 December 2011


Over the weekend we spent some time with our neighbours.  A strange dynamic at best, but for the most part good people and an opportunity to spend some combined adult & kid play time.

Only one thing that has stayed with me.  One of the couples are our former neighbours, the ones that lost their son Lucas at 25 days.  They have since had a beautiful rainbow baby, a daughter Olivia.  The other couple know both of our stories, Lucas' and James', so there was no need to pretend.  The strange part was that all I could think about was that Jeven is the age that Lucas would be & how hard it must be for them & looking Olivia, made think about how things should be for us & I felt a deep sense of loss. 

I was so affected by this that I couldn't sleep the whole night, all I could see in my mind when I closed my eyes was Andrea's face (Lucas' mom) and the emptiness I felt watching everything unfold that night.

It's been several months since I've been able to go to the bereavement group b/c it's not open when you're pregnant.  I have found that since I've stopped going I feel very far away from my feelings & find myself back to feeling isolated.  So I found it strange to be in a room with other bereaved parents & feel so far apart. 

Tomorrow is our midwife appointment.  I am grateful for any prayers or good wishes anyone might want to send around 9am b/c all I'll be thinking about is James.  My poor baby without a heartbeat, me laying on the same examination bed, almost one year ago at the exact same gestation, so unprepared, life about to change permanently.

Deep breath for all the things I can not control.  Deep breath for all the hopes I can muster.

xoxoxo missing & remembering every second.  Mommy

Thursday, 8 December 2011


It's been a strange time.  Things have been busy, time is seeming to fly by & I feel like I am getting swept along, like I'm caught in the under tow in a stream that is rushing & gushing.

I have tried to make a conscious effort to not allow myself to go to the scary place where all my worst fears live.  I have been successful for the most part.  I still have moments where I have flashes of ugly moments & on occasion am snapped into reality where I realize how close we are to when we lost James, both in gestation & his angelversary.

I am forcing myself to forge on, holidays coming fast, colds & flu's whirling around at home and my sanity holding on by a thread.  The most insignificant things, songs, TV shows, deep breaths all bring about tears & that familiar yet hated thrust of the chest, that comes from deep down where the most painful grief lingers.

Sometime between now & next week James died almost a year ago at this point in my pregnancy.  I can't feel this baby moving but they say it's b/c the placenta is forming anteriorly (in the front).  In my mind it's just another form of torture.  Next week I see my midwife & this will be the equivalent check up to the one where we couldn't find James' heart beat.  I am numb at the thought of all this but completely tortured.

All this & the torment of getting closer to the holidays & the missing stocking still burning in my mind.  100% powerless to protect this newest child from harm, to be able to share the upcoming holidays with my youngest son, against the cold/flu season, against the tears which appear on whim.  Feeling alone, powerless & like this torment will never end.  I keep telling myself, something got to get easier - right?

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Dec 1st

Today feels like a day of contradictions.  2 years ago today a little boy was born to neighbours of ours & his brief life would touch us deeply.  He was born exactly 3 months after Jeven & we felt an instant connection to him.  Although we knew he had a battle ahead of him we hoped & prayed for the best possible outcome.  In life's cruel way, 25 days later he grew his wings.  Back then, we did only what we knew how & sent support & food hoping to help his parents in some small way.  Little did we know then that this would also be our reality almost a year later.

Today I am planning to bring over a card to honour Lucas' birthday.  I am nervous but hope the gesture helps them to know we will never forget him.

In sharp contrast, my friend, one that I've come to know only because of having lost James is having her rainbow baby today.  She has a scheduled C and may have already delivered him safely by now - fingers more tightly crossed then ever.  I woke this morning anxious at the thought.  I have a card for her as well, welcoming her miracle & remembering his older sister.  All I have to do now is wait for word & in the mean time wait & pray for his safe arrival into this world.

What a strange contradiction, to have to write a birthday card to a child gone too soon, and a birthday card to a rainbow baby who's sister left too soon. 

Please send all your prayers & best vibes for the birth of this very special little boy and that he arrive healthy into the arms of his very loving parents. 

James, please hold Emma Jade's hand as she guides her little brother into this world safely.  Please also give Lucas the warmest hug and remind him how much he is loved, remembered & missed by all but most of all by his parents. 

Missing you & moved to tears often these days. I hoping you are always near & know how much you are loved & missed.
xoxoxox Mommy

Friday, 25 November 2011

3 instead of 4

Holidays are coming....I've started to decorate & the glaring absences are striking.  The most striking are 3 stockings instead of 4.  I've pondered getting a mini stocking but what would I put in it?  Then I resign that there will just always be one missing.  I can almost see in my mind what things could have been like, a warm blanket that once you take it off leaves you cold, chilled to the bone.

Jev has been sick again, poor little guy.  Tis the season of flu & colds especially at daycare.

There is now more talk about "when the baby is born" and it makes me feel uneasy - we are still so far away from that being reality & we still need to cross that invisible milestone - the one where we lost James.  Then we have to cross the most dreaded first, his first angel day - I'm already bracing myself for what I am afraid are some emotional days ahead.  It seems like they are stacked one on top of the other.  The only good thing is that our next scan is before James' day & all I can do is hope that we get there & that everything is healthy.  Then with that behind us, I can focus on getting through "that" day. 

Remembering the good, bad & ugly these days & trying to dissociate myself from connecting this time from the last to preserve my sanity.  I'm also trying to dedicate time to each of my children in my quiet moments.

Missing you angel & hoping you'll send me some ideas of how to include you as we approach the holidays b/c I am desperate to feel your presence.

xoxxoxoxo Mommy

Monday, 14 November 2011


I'm having trouble sleeping.  As I lay awake last night waiting & hoping for sleep to set in I had a revelation.  Both my grandmothers, who, amazingly are still alive, lost babies.  My Meme I remember her telling me, lost a daughter on the delivery table.  She had described going into labour & needing a C section.  I remember her saying she woke from the surgery to find out her baby had died before being delivered - cord accident I think, cord wrapped around her neck.  Marie was her name, first born, before my mother - she only speaks of this every so often. 

My grandma's story is different, she had delivered a son who was healthy but during war time.  She was forced to up root her family & travel to safer place.  Being a Jew made times dangerous in Europe, so towards a safer existence they all went.  I don't know what the exact circumstances are but the baby boy previously healthy became sick & later died in my grandmother's arms.  Her choice to carry her baby boy now sleeping with her& the other children or find a place to leave him so the rest could move to a safer place.  What a horrible choice to have to make.  She made the most difficult decision, one that I'm sure haunts her to this day, she left her angel baby behind.  I have never heard my grandma tell this story, not until recently did I have this much info about it.  My heart breaks for her as I think about it now.

I wish I felt I could speak to my grandmother's about their losses.  One is so deaf i doubt she'd even understand what I was saying, the other, so closed about it that I wouldn't even know how to broach the subject.  What a terrible legacy to have to carry on. 

Today I was flipping around looking at some poetry written by other angel mom's and was moved to tears several times.  The power of the written word - especially when it feels like you are reading your own feelings, thougths that until you saw someone else write them were but screams in your mind.  

Feeling you close today angel. xoxox Mommy

Friday, 11 November 2011

Is there anything more beautiful then the sight of your unborn child's heart beating?  Had you asked me this 2 years ago, I'd of thought the question was crazy.  Today, however, I can't think of anything more gorgeous then that. 

Did the screening today & although everything is fine, I didn't walk away as elated as last time - guess knowing I have to wait another 8 weeks before I see him/her again is weighing on my mind.  Just have to take it one day at a time & picture that gorgeous beating heart in my mind.

James I held you close to my heart as the technician searched for the nuchal translucency today - felt flutters of panic in my heart & just pictured you near to calm myself down.  Now comes that worst of it, the lead up to when you left us, both in the weeks of gestation but also your angel day is coming. 

Missing you angel xoxox Mommy

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Roller Coaster & good bye

What a roller coaster recently.  I have swung from paralyzing fear to pure panic, to elation to sadness all in the same week - sigh.  It has been one for reflection & realization - this is going to be hard & I am going to need a team of supportive people & professionals to get me through it.  I am going to have to trust my instincts even if they are wrong while trying to stay mindful.

I learned that my family experienced a loss, an uncle who has been sick for some time passed on.  It is a mixed experience for me, his passing was merciful as he had suffered for a long time, it has made me aware of the cycle of life - even though I don't really believe in that anymore - it has made me feel for those left behind.  I hope that James and my Pepe received him with love & he is watching up above & can feel all my fond memories of him.  Funny how since James left I all I can think of is honouring the life of person who has passed. 

James, I think I can feel your little brother or sister now but I worry that he/she will stop moving like you.  I need your help to stay patient & positive.  I'll see him/her tomorrow again at the screening & would love for you to hold my hand b/c your dad can't be there.  Keep your Tonton Maurice company since he's new & tell him how much we love & miss him.

xoxoxox Mommy

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Breathing again

I can breath again - at least for now.  Mike ended up coming with me & I'm so grateful to have had him there.  The first thing we saw was the baby's heart beating - the torso was the first thing to pop on the screen & both Mike & I zoomed in on that little beating heart.  I welled up with tears.

We had the most wonderful technician - it was as if she was sent to us from heaven - maybe James had something to do with it.  She not only did the usual but went well beyond - she had asked us before our history so must have known how important all the little details were.  I told her how grateful I was for her - I'm not sure she really knew how much I meant it.  She even marked the nuchal pocket & told us it was normal - a complete angel.  Measured the heartbeat & even let us hear it, my heart was overwhelmed with joy, relief & love, I feel really lucky to have shared with moment with Mike, the only other person who was with me when we couldn't find James' heartbeat - it just meant so much.

So, I know this is still early but I need to savour this day, what feels like a victory.  I know tomorrow things could change, but I get to go back on Friday and see it all over again -I can't wait! 

James - I know you were there & smiled over us as our hearts lept with joy at the good news.  What a relief to know you are always with us.  We started talking about your angel day - it's coming fast & we hope to make it a celebration. 

I'm totally exhausted now - hoping I'll sleep well tonight, maybe you'll visit me and we can celebrate today together there.  xoxoxox Love you Mommy
My anxiety reached a whole new level today.  I have been thinking non stop about Friday & been flipping around looking at some info from other angel baby moms on pregnancy after loss.  Then I realized that everything I heard in groups said that the mom's knew something was wrong, I feel like something is wrong.  It was then that I decided I had to do something.  I couldn't sit & wait for the next 3 days, this level of anxiety can't be healthy for anyone let alone a baby, if it's still alive.  Then the next brain wave - I have an extra requisition for ultrasound - the one I never used to confirm heartbeat!  Next obstacle getting an appointment - I called & they had a cancellation for today - booked!  Now all I have to do is sit & wait....the hardest part.

I am terrified & prepared all at the same time for something to be wrong - D&C is what I'd be facing.  I'm also desperate for my gut to be wrong - please be wrong.  Only a little under 2 hours now until i know.   Next posting will either be- here we go again or -I can breath again - for now.

James, please be near during the ultrasound, I'm going to need all the extra strength I can get. 

xoxoxo Mommy

Monday, 7 November 2011


It's coming this Friday, the thing I thought I'd be desperate for. Thing is it seems to be eating away at my subconscious.  Ultrasound 1.  I had the choice, the requisition was in my hand, I could have had an ultrasound to confirm heartbeat, but just couldn't bring myself to do it.  what if it didn't?  I just wasn't prepared for that, so i decided to wait.  I thought i felt some movement & now I don't - my immediate thought - it's dead.  My next thought, if it's alive & we go past 12 weeks & something goes wrong, I'll have to deliver it sleeping again.  Mike says it's normal but I have to marvel at how different my mind is this time around.  No comfort, just landmarks of a different kind with ominous forecasting.

We also found out that a close friend of Mike's is due the same month as us, while in my heart I know how special this is, their first child has borough them so much joy, my gut says, one more baby to mark what should have been if something goes wrong. 

The very question of am I nervous about Friday immediately brought tears to my eyes.  I look at the sachet that holds you my angel & the happy ending we have been praying for seems like such a remote possibility.  I used to have a grain of hope, now I have a wave of lost hopes. 

Deep breath - 4 more days to go. 

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Feels as though it's been a while since I've been able to write.  In truth, I've thought about writing everyday but finding the time or right moment just hasn't seemed possible.  I've been struggling in truth with the worst of the 1st trimester stuff, trying my hardest not to complain but struggling just the same to function.  I've tried to strike a balance between the must dos & the optionals but have felt for the most part useless.

I did have a rare moment earlier this week.  I got to speak about you, James, in the real world where ordinary people were just not prepared, but it felt good to talk about you.  A colleague that I haven't seen in some time remembered that I was carrying you & was surprised to see me, thinking I should have been off on leave.  Eventually she assumed she was mistaken & i quickly reassured her she wasn't & told her that you had died.  She was shocked & I could see her discomfort & wishing she could take her questions back, but I was happy to speak about you, even the harsh truth of it all.  You felt present to me in those moments & still smile when I think back.

The rest are my regrets, I am stuck, I had visions of doing the most wonderful thing with someone who embodies honour & strengh.  The truth is that I have been so immobilized that I haven't been able to fulfil my commitment. I feel like I've let you down, feel like you deserve all of me but recently I've haven't had control of me.  I think of you everyday, cry for the moments lost, see your face, long to be able to hold you & hope to be able to honour your life.

Wishing we were planning for another brother or sister with you here but hoping you are near & hoping you will pass some of your essence on if we are fortunate enough to welcome another healthy baby into our family.

Missing you with every shred of my being angel xoxoxoxoxo Mommy

Friday, 14 October 2011

Special thanks to Lea for posting this extraordinarily well written piece.  I was touched beyond expression & felt like the author was writing my own story.

The Heartbreak of Infant loss

James I sent your name to be included in the basket of rememberance in Carely Marie's rememberance day celebration in Australia.  I miss you always angel & will remember you & all the other angel babies gone too soon tomorrow.

xoxoxox Mommy

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Somehow I thought I'd be better prepared this time around.  The truth is that I feel more out of control then the first time I did this.  I can't seem to get any aspect under control, my feelings, the sickness, my stress, feeling paralyzed.  You'd think 4th time, I'd have a clue, apparently not - what I've got is the worse case scenario on replay.

Work is just simply out of control, I am constantly feeling anxious, like nothing I do has any impact, but so incredibly busy that I don't have time to stop & grab food - even when I need it.  It's so consuming I am evening dreaming about it at night.  Then, I come home, completely exhausted & feeling sick from having to neglect myself all day and the guilt & pressure of wanting to care for my family weighs heavy.  James plays in my mind with every flash of nausea, every cramp, every twinge, every questioning look.  I feel tortured & I'm terrified that if I don't get things under control we'll be right back where we started.

I worry about disappointing especially some of the most important things I've become involved with & I promised myself I'd take a breath & try and slow down when things felt like they were spinning but easier said then done.  My anxiety quickly turns into a tightness, quickening of breath & my hands begin to shake.  I wish I could tell you it was for really significant events but unfortunately not - just events that make me feel more out of control, unable to complete whatever it is I'm working on.

I am wondering what I need to do to feel more in control, how to delegate things better at work, how to take a step back, how to breathe again.  Hopefully these answers will find me b/c I don't even know how to begin looking for them.

James - I'm feeling guilt for walking this road again without you.  I hope you can help me find some balance as I seem to be losing my grip - the one I fought to find when you left us, the one that I am lost without.

Missing you angel xoxoxoxox Mommy  

Monday, 10 October 2011


Well it's thanksgiving day & the big celebration is over.  I've learned that if nothing else, losing James makes very aware of all the things I am grateful for.  This year, that was punctuated when I paused to think of what I might say if asked around the table.  I wasn't asked but still can't help but be reminded to be thankful for my children, Mike & the possibility of one more.  James, I am thankful to have had him our lives, even as brief as it was, but I am not thankful for him to be gone.  I hope this will reconcile in time.

This past week was the beginning, people began to notice - I was very uncomfortable b/c it's still very early but I had to remind myself that this is #4 & I guess that's what happens, the body just goes.  I had several moments of panic, I had to really stop & think about what I was panicking about & realized I didn't want people to notice b/c that shifted their minds away from James.  I was desperate - even with people who didn't know, think i may have even had a mini panic attack.  Aside from the fact that I don't know what to say when people congratulate me, I don't want them to congratulate me.  They try and reassure me that everything will be fine.  How do they know that?  How can they promise such a thing?  One angel baby mom said it best so far- she wished me a boring & uneventful pregnancy - perfect!

Here goes the basket case everyone has told me about.  I tried to explain it as follows- I have a grain of hope & a mountain of fear. 

I think I dreamt of you last night angel, missing you all the time & hoping you are near this Thanksgiving weekend.  Love Mommy xoxoxoxoxo

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

I am so moved.  I have learned that there are pure hearted people out there & I am so filled with wonder & gratitude that I'm at a loss for words.  I am filled with emotion, gratitude for kindnesses from unexpected people, people who have been consistetntly generous, from family. 

Thank you to everyone who has acknoweldged James' life.  He left us way too soon but has shown me the capacity of other people's ability to love & give beyond themselves in ways that go well beyond what I ever thought was possible.

James, I feel you close with every surprise & every gift.  I miss you & think of you constantly.

xoxoxox Mommy

Friday, 30 September 2011

In the memory of James & Nicholas

Today I am asking for your support.  We lost our second son, James, in January 2011 and have been working hard to put the pieces back together.  While we feel like we've come a long way, we also realize there's still a long way to go & that really we'll always greive his loss.
In the efforts to move forward we've been tremendously fortunate to be connected to other parents who are also angel baby parents.  One in particular has been a pillar for me, Leanna, her support has seen me through some of my darkest days, the ones when I wasn't sure there would be light again.  She has become a dear friend & her son Nicholas was born 3 years ago on November 7 & they will be celebrating & honouring his life again on that day this year.  To that end, Leanna & I have joined our efforts to put together comfort or memory boxes together to provide to Southlake Regional Hospital, where James was born & St. Mikes Hosptial where Nicholas was born for other parents who are beginning this journey. 
Below is a letter that Leanna wrote sharing an opportunity to run/walk in honour of Nicholas as well as outlining the comfort/memory boxes & asking for your support.
 I am asking that you read below & if you are able to please support us in honouring James & Nicholas by remembering them & the significant part they will forever play in our families lives.
With much love & gratitude,
Caroline, Mike, Jeven & Angel boy James
Dear Family and Friends,

It’s hard to believe that we are approaching Nicholas’ 3rd Angel Day. The past three years have been intense, unpredictable and full of unimaginable grief, but they have also been filled with hope, inspiration and an incredible amount of healing. Although it is painful to not have Nicholas here with us, his spirit and his legacy have infused our family with indomitable strength and immeasurable love over the past 3 years. We remember him often, we honour him daily, we love him unconditionally. He is forever a part of our hearts and our souls.

Many of you will remember that for the past two years, on or around November 7th, our dear friends, Marcus and Meagan Olson participate in a duathalon in honour of our baby boy. The experiences we have witnessed on these days have been truly beautiful and perfect. We are so thankful to have such a wonderful and positive focus on a day that is extremely emotional for our family. This year, on November 5, 2011, we will again be participating in the same duathalon and dedicating the day to Nicholas. We are very blessed to have such a wonderful support system.

This year we would like to invite anyone who is interested in being a part of “Team Nicholas” to participate. Marcus will be racing in the long (3.8K Run – 10K Bike – 3.8K Run) course. There is also a short (short (1.9k Run-5k Bike-1.9k Run) course for those who are interested.

The duathalon will be held on Saturday, November 5, 2011 at Sir Sanford Fleming College in Peterborough, Ontario. The course is completely off road and is a mix of single track and open trails. If you are interested in participating please contact myself or Marc and Meagan directly. There is certainly power in numbers and we look forward to another inspiring day!

The following link will direct you to the Dirty Duathalon website – for registration and information.

Last year we invited family and friends to donate to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Southlake Regional Health Center in honour of Nicholas. We were overwhelmed with the response and humbled to be able to contribute to such an important initiative in Nicholas’ name.

This year, we have another vision to celebrate and honour Nicholas. Jim, Evan, Kyle, Madison and I, along with some very generous friends and family, will be creating some special Hospital Memory/Comfort Boxes for the labour and delivery ward of our local hospital. During the past 3 years I have been fortunate enough to meet and support some extraordinary parents who are suffering the loss of their babies. It is my understanding and my experience that not too much exists in terms of tangible care and support when you are forced to leave the hospital with empty arms.

It is our hope to provide items in these packages to newly bereaved parents that may help in memorializing their babies. When parents are forced to face the unimaginable; saying goodbye to their children, tangible things such as pictures and hand/footprints aren’t often thought about until it’s too late. Our goal is to offer comforting options... options that are not typically thought of in the fresh stages of grief.

Our Memory/Comfort Boxes will include the following:
• Tea light
• Journal & pen
• Angel Wings
• Small blankets
• Small knit hats
• Disposable cameras
• Water soluble ink pad and paper for hand/footprints
• Poems and support information

Jim, Evan, Kyle, Madison and I would like to invite you to support “Team Nicholas” in honour of our son, Nicholas Warren Reeves, this November 5, 2011.

By donating any of the above items for our Memory/Comfort Boxes or by visiting the Angel Wings Memorial Boutique ( and donating via PayPal you will be helping us to celebrate Nicholas’ life, honouring his memory and supporting newly bereaved parents in creating precious memories of their children.

I would also like to take the opportunity to introduce you to a dear friend and fellow grieving mother, Caroline. Caroline said goodbye to her second son, James, at Southlake Regional Health Center on January 20, 2011. Caroline has become a beautiful friend and is offering her time and her heart to this wonderful cause. It is because of our friendship and her support that we dedicate the Memory/Comfort Boxes in James’ name as well as Nicholas. I am certain that they are magical friends in the clouds.

We thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for taking the time to consider remembering our precious Nicholas in such a special way.

If you are interested in donating items for our Memory/Comfort Boxes OR if you are interested in contributing a monetary gift to help in purchasing the items for the boxes via PayPal please visit the following link ( There is a “donate” button on the left panel. Please be sure to indicate your donation is for the Memory/Comfort Boxes.

As we hope to deliver the boxes on November 7th, 2011, donations would be appreciated by October 21st, 2011. This will give us 2 weeks to create these special memoirs. Thank you so much.

Every donation provides hope. Every gift is precious.

With Love and Gratitude,
Marcus, Meagan, Noah and Finnley Olson
Leanna, Jim ,Evan, Kyle, Madison and Angel Baby Nicholas Reeves

Sunday, 25 September 2011


Seems my subconscious is working overtime.  I've had the craziest of dreams - from friends losing their babies to being in the middle of Columbine mass murder & having to protect Jeven.  I wake up almost exhausted from the various tragedies that play out in my dreams - sometimes they even haunt me the next day.

Things are still so early & yet I feel need to fast forward to the end & know how things turn out.  I told myself that I would cherish every moment but each cherished moment is also drenched in fear of not getting to the next cherished moment.  Oy - double edged sword I guess.

Was moved to tears today - the rushes of raw emotion come less frequently these days, so I am always caught off guard when they do.  Mostly I feel damaged, seeing the world so differently then almost everyone I know.  This afternoon I felt pure grief again & transported back - back to the beginning. 

No telling what my dreams will be like tonight but I hope my tortured subconscious will be gentle on me tonight.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Last week someone asked me for the first time about my cremation lockette.  I had convinced myself that no one would, since it's been close to 7 months since I've had it.  I was momentarily paralized, I have thought many times how I would answer if questioned & then there it was & like all the other firsts I froze. 

The setting was awkward, across the table in a work meeting that was about to begin & being chaired by myself.  It seemed like when the question was asked the whole room fell into a hush & the way it was asked took me by surprise; "What is that?" as she motioned clearly to my neclace & pendent.  I panicked a bit, I think I may have even stuttered at first, a million thing rushing through my mind - what do I say? how should  I answer? do I want to share this with all these people? Is it professional? - then my answer; "It's a pendant".

I've been somewhat tormented since, thought about approaching the person when I see her next and telling the truth & rationale for not sharing.  Then I think about something that was talked about in group, that's it's our choice to share our story, not everyone has the right to know & that we can choose.  I also think about the inside voice in my head & heart that screams the truth everytime I'm in one of these situations & feel a little prick of hope that James hears my heart louder then my head anyway. 

More baby dreams last night, not as clear but clearly baby dreams.  Sigh.

Missing you angel all the time & hoping you are near.  Love Mommy xoxoxoxxo

Monday, 19 September 2011

2 lines

On Saturday there were 2 lines in stead of 1.  I was surprised - I spent the last month fully convinced it wasn't going to happen.  I am very excited & frightened to death all at the same time.  Now let me take a moment to acknowledge how early & premature any planning or expectations are but I feel James' essence in this news. 

I had a dream last night, I was giving birth at the hospital & the next thing I know I am home with no memory of what happened next.  My parents tell me I delivered a baby girl, I still have no recollection although in my dream I try desperately to remember.  Mike is no where to be found & my dream continues & eventually ends without me seeing my child.  I think, as I reflect on things that this is my anxiety talking & I know there will be much more to come. 

I have also decided to take a class with Mike to devote some time to nurturing our relationship, it has come a very long way & we have re-connected in the last few months since James' should have been delivery date.  I just want do my part to make sure we stay that way.  The kicker is that these classes (Ballroom dancing - yay!) fall on the same nights as the bereavement group.  I have felt it missing (I missed last class) but I remind myself that as much as I need the release, I have some strong relationships, my blog & I can always return when it's over.  I know I can reach out if I need it - just come to look forward to my safe place in the group.  I have felt valued, understood, safe & helpful to others there.  I have been reassured I've come a long way & have further to go.  I have made friends & felt love there.  I will miss it - for now. 

Feeling you near James & hoping you will hold Mommy's hand through the scary times ahead.


Wednesday, 14 September 2011

A cynic

When did I become so cynical?  I find that I don't believe in anything, unless proven otherwise, especially if there is an element of chance.  I don't remember being this way.  It's changed the way I practice at work, others have even pointed it out. 

Especially things I want most - I just find I am cynic - believe it'll likely not happen before I ever allow myself to believe it will.  Not interested in any more disappointments I guess. 

Recently I've seen my share of pep talks - none of which are directed my way but all of which have bothered the heck out of me.  I guess I find them purposeless, maybe even a bit deceiving.  Lord knows I'm not in the mood for any words of encouragement - I am frustrated & cynical and want to be allowed to be this way b/c this is how I feel.

It's not socially acceptable to be openly grief stricken all the time, it's not acceptable to be angry, cynical, frustrated.  There only seems to be room for upbeat naivete, well sorry that girl is gone & I'm not in the mood to be anyone that I'm not right now.

I'm sure that pendulum will swing back - maybe my optimism or at least realism will return. 

Remembering moments with you although brief all day to today angel.  Always in my heart - Love Mommy xoxoxox

Saturday, 10 September 2011

What a day - you know it's rough when you have 2 entries in one day...

Today was a day of celebration for a first cousin of mine -a bridal shower.  I have thought back to those days, when things were idealistic, bright for the future & romantic.  How I wish I could still live in the innocence of those days.  I am thrilled for her but can't help but wonder what life will hold for her.  Lord knows this would never have seemed possible to me back then.

From the moment I got out of bed, all odds seemed stocked against me - nothing I did seemed to end in anything but disaster.   I finally made it to the shower but I knew then that I could only barely put on a happy face, today was foggy day with my grief very close to the surface.  I managed to hold the heavy grief in but found it hard to muster a smile at all times.  I'm sure people wondered "what's wrong with her?".

I was asked the how many children question but my grandmother - who doesn't know anything about James b/c of her age & not wanting to cause her any pain was right there & I didn't want to try my pilot reply with her there.  So I said out loud - 1 child & in my mind & heart said - here on earth & one in heaven.

I'm tired, frustrated & sad tonight.  No celebration will ever be the same  - sigh. 

Heavy hearted without you tonight angel. xoxoxox Mommy 

Seems everywhere we go there is a child, or a character or some reference to the name James.  Each time I hear the word I feel a little prick in my chest, a slight inhale & then a wish that things were different.  I have found that all I can do is accept b/c what are my alternatives - run away, go cry, be angry?  I want to do all the above, but mostly it's just not reality & no way to live.

Somewhere deep inside I am hopeful that the recent bombarding of James is my angel sending us little signs to let us know he's with us.  It seems that the increase in "James" encounters really ramped up around Jev's birthday & has continued while we were away on vacation.  I know I thought often of him & wondered about what things would be like if he were still with us.  Isn't this the every day thought of the parent who's child has died? 

Jev has also made the leap from crib to toddler bed.  One more departure from his baby days & one more reminder that our baby is missing.  I have also given much thought to how I wish to answer the ongoing questions about how many children we have.  I haven't landed yet exactly but I think I'm going to try and answer 2 & if questioned just try and be honest.  I'm sure there will be a few shocked people but I'm starting to lose my care for others discomfort in what is my reality.

We have also decided that we are ready to try again.  There I've said it - I have felt like I am carrying a horrible secret, mostly b/c I'm afraid of all the possibilities.  I think I'm going to try and be open about this in the hopes that by being able to vent and not hide that my anxieties will be lessened.  I'd be open to any pearls of wisdom on this one b/c I am also aware that by having access to vent, I could escalate my anxieties rather then soothe them...

Missing you constantly my angel xoxoxoxxoxo  Mommy

Friday, 2 September 2011

What a difference 1 year can make.  Yesterday was Jev's 2nd birthday & although it was a wonderfully special day, i couldn't help but thinking about how different everything felt from last year.  I was so naive last year, unprepared for what was to come. 

Here's a picture of the birthday boy chowing down on pizza:

Here's a picture of the two of us:

Our day started with a special trip to the play park where I watched my little big boy play, run, scream with joy.  I watched him watching other sibling pairs & try and join in.  I felt my heart break, knowing his brother should be here with us & be able to have the sibling banter that he was trying to imitate.  I had watched Jev playing with an imaginary friend the week before, speaking to someone, offering them a plate as he played in his play house in the backyard.  I remember feeling heavy & wishing he didn't have to pretend.  Now it occurs to me as I write this that maybe it wasn't pretend, maybe he was playing with his brother.  I've heard that kids are much more sensitive to spirits.  How I hope this is the case.

I realized yesterday that with every moment of celebration there was the feeling that something was missing, make that someone. 

My gratitude for Jev is also laced with a growing void for where James ought to be.  How terrible I remember thinking that even the celebrations are clouded with grieving.  I know the "firsts" are always the hardest, but I am still bothered by how the grief creeps in - especially in the happy moments.

My fear has also ramped up recently, i find myself putting Jev to sleep for the night & taking a physical and mental pictures b/c I am afraid he might not wake the next morning.  Every morning, I breath a sigh of relief when I hear him & take an extra second to hold him b/c I am never sure I'll have the chance again.   What a terrible way to live.

My earth angel is 2 & I am so very lucky to have him with us.  He is the joy in my life & for that, especially after losing James being afraid of losing him is normal I'm sure.

James, we kept a cupcake for you angel.  We miss you constantly.

xoxoxo Mommy 

Tuesday, 30 August 2011


What a weekend...seems we've embarked on a new chapter of our journey as parents with Jev.  We had our first friend birthday party & then of course we had Jev's 2nd birthday party.  It was a rocky & emotional weekend for me, the kind that I hate most, the kind where I have to stuff my emotions down & pretend that I'm great.

At the friend's bday party, his grandmother approached me exclaimed "so you're expecting?!"  Since this isn't my first encounter with this kind of foot in mouth comment, I replied without having to think or miss a beat, simply "no".  She was so embarrassed she just kept going on about how sorry she was, how she was told "everyone" was pregnant, so finally I had to stop her & just simply said "well I guess everyone but me".  A final apology and I had to walk away.  Sigh - if it hadn't been the first few minutes of the party I might have tried to find a way to leave - but for my earth angel I stuffed it down.

At Jev's party it was a flurry of activity with things running pretty smoothly - a day so jam packed that it seemed over just as quickly as it began.  There were marked moments for me where I noticed the absence of my youngest son's cries, gurgles, touch.  In those moments I paused & then stuffed it all down & went on.  I was fortunate enough to have a friend I have met through my bereavement group come with her earth angel & she took a moment to really check in with me & for a moment I was able to be honest.  My biggest regret was not lighting James' candle.  I wish I could say I forgot but I was too concerned about keeping it safe - with 8 toddlers running through the house I had visions of it being knocked over, a child being burned -the candle being ruined, so I chose to light his candle in my heart instead.  Now the waves of guilt won't stop.

To top all this off, yesterday our pet bird, booger, died.  I found him of course, I was stunned, I couldn't move when I found him but I was numb.  I went on the rest of the night like a robot, thinking in the grand scheme of things no loss is as significant as James' loss.  But I was kidding myself, the waves of grief poured over me after Jev went to bed, for our pet, for our James for all the milestones we've missed, for the insensitivity of the those who can't know any better.  The stuffing just poured out & it feels like there's still more there. 

I said a few weeks back that "you have to have a personal relationship with your grief".  In the moment I thought wow how very insightful but strange.  As I have thought more about it - I realize that initially I didn't know my grief & that made me feel like I was going crazy, confused, immobilized.  Now, I do have a personal relationship with it, when it comes, often uninvited & without warning I recognize it & despite often hating it, I know I need it.  When I stuff it, it becomes toxic until I have no choice but to let it out - all over the place.

Good night sweet bird, we will miss you.  James -missing you deeply sweet boy & hoping you will stay near as we celebrate Jev's birthday - for real - on Thursday. 

xoxoxoxoxoxxo Mommy

Thursday, 25 August 2011

The universe

A coworkers who I believe is fast becoming a good friend said to me that she puts things out in the universe & that it answers her.  For a moment I thought this was a neat idea – that if you put things out there sometimes an answer appears, so I thought I’d try it.  I’ve been thinking about volunteering my time with bereavement based agencies & using my experience to support others during their darkest times.
The universe answered me.  It answered me through my other colleague telling me the medically fragile child we reviewed on Friday is in intensive care with his mother by his side soaking every last moment of his short life.  It answered me again, having a coworkers come in within the same hour with her 4 wk old daughter.  I felt a crush of irony & also a mix of anticipation to hold this beautiful little girl & then being repelled by the idea.  The universe answered again, another coworkers with her 7 wk old son & then a crush so deep I lost my breath.  My son would have been 8 wks old, I am overwhelmed by the feelings of loss one parent is facing today as she watches her son dying & then the cruel irony of the calm, blissful ignorance of those with their infants.  Still at work & wanting to leave but chained to my desk waiting for a call & hoping above all hopes the universe doesn’t answer me again.  So, I am officially withdrawing my thoughts from the universe & retreating to my inner sanctum.  
My emotional self is annoyed that all attempts to be sensitive are long gone.  I lost my child, my child should be coming for office visits, my child should have been born, I am still grieving, I miss him every moment of everyday & the universe keeps shoving into my face.  Sounds of an infant’s gurgle interrupting my thoughts as I type.  My flight response is back,  these are the moments I am most alone, trapped in a hell no one understands.  I need the universe to buzz off!
My intellectual side says, there is work to be done & I am headed in the right direction.  My intellectual brain says slow down, the time isn’t right.
I still hope to help others & would still like to volunteer my time, but next I’m keeping the stupid universe out of it!

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

I have found myself a bit confused lately.  I find myself struggling again to reconcile the unimaginable with the world that keeps moving on.  James is certainly a distant memory in the minds of most & I often find myself alone wondering if this thing really happened. The reality check of course if when I remember what should have been. 

I found this quote on the Silent Grief-Child loss page & couldn't believe the timing of it b/c it has been in the last week that I have found these thoughts to be more intrusive but when I read it, I realized that it is a common experience & wanted to share it here. 

"Did this really happen, or is this just a bad dream?" This is often the first thought of the day and the last thought of the night for every bereaved parent. Child loss is so hard to believe!

Feeling your absence all the time my love & hoping you will join us at your brother's birthday party this weekend.  I know he would want you there. 

xoxoxoxoxoxoxox Mommy

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

I am still surprised by the waves of grief when they come.  I forget all too often that the most difficult thing that has ever happened to me only happened a few short months ago.  I've become so good at carrying on that some days I even convince myself.

I was speaking with a friend after attending my perinatal loss group & was relating to something she said about missing the strangest thing when I realized we SHOULD have a 6 wk old infant & have been at home changing his diaper.  I felt things tighten up & I no longer had any words to share, just this longing for this to be different.  As the night went on, the tightness changed to heaviness & what I thought was anger/frustration with things changed to despair for all the things should be.

I realize more every day how significant planning Jev's 2nd birthday is in my recent waves of grief.  I am keenly aware of the missing child at his brother's party & I am also aware that either then Mike & I, no one else will notice.  I plan to light James' candle during the party so I can see his light - some days, most days it's just not enough.

Friday, 12 August 2011

I'm disappointed in myself.  A friend who has been very good to me since James died told me she is expecting her 2nd baby.  My gut reaction was ouch - it hurt to hear her news & then came the jealousy - the pure unreserved anger inducing jealousy followed by a quick prayer that her pregnancy is a healthy one with a live baby at the end of it.

I had planned to visit a friend this weekend, one I met after James died, her baby girl also died 2 weeks before James & I have felt connected to her since.  She is expecting her 3rd child in January & the thought of seeing her pregnant has me spooked - I'm not sure I even want to go.  I know in the past I have given myself some slack & been gentle on myself when I haven't felt up to it, but both these women I consider friends, they are kind, patient, supportive women but I have a little hate born from jealousy in my heart.

If I could control my mind, I would flip the switch to elation & ignorance for both - maybe then I'd feel like a normal person again.  Instead I am left uneasy about these terrible feelings, ones I hate myself for having & feel even worse for not being able to control.

I hope both will understand - I hope one day I will understand.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Walking the plank

Earlier this week I had a group meeting with PBSO (Perinatal bereavement services Ontario) - am a regular and hope one day be able to facilitator at these meetings.  I arrived early -no one else was there & I couldn't bring myself to sit alone in the parking lot so I parked across the street where I could watch the lot & waited for a familiar car or face to arrive.

As I watched I had a strange experience, an almost out of body experience.  As the first & second people arrived I watched with the feeling of an outsider looking in, watching the quick steps of one & the slow tentative steps of the second.  I watched as one looked around almost wondering it seemed how she'd gotten there & then motioning self consciously to her cloths, her belly - looking for her belly & then hoping no one else noticed it was no longer there.  My heart ached as I watched her b/c it seemed like I was almost watching myself, I could so relate to the subtle non verbal gestures of self doubt, longing for something gone, wondering how life could be so strange & cruel & then trying to cover it all up in an futile effort to carry on - just put one foot in front of the other.  I watched & the wished that I couldn't relate so acutely to what I was watching.  Watched & wished I wasn't there for the same reason & then having to take the same walk down that same plank, inside.

Then as I made my way across the street to the meeting, I had to fight the urge to drive on past & felt heaves of hurt & sadness as I walked toward the meeting.  But I made it inside & it was one of my more emotional meetings. In the end I was glad to have gone.


Monday, 1 August 2011

The weather has been good - we even got a break in the intense heat.  Had a week of vacation which we spent together the 3 of us & really got some quality family time which I have been longing for.   For the last few days though, I have been feeling heavy hearted.  Maybe it's the good - the great time we've had, the quality time & it's made me think of all of the things that should have also been. 

I have tried to focus on the good - be grateful for the great but still my heart remains heavy.  I have been wondering where the person I used to be went & how I got to be where I am, who I am.  I feel the need to make some changes, personal ones.  I know it's the human condition to always want more - I actually want less, less of the rhetoric & more authenticism from myself.  I don't want to only go through the motions, accept the way things are, the way they've become.  Time to start re-focusing on me, re-discover myself in this life despite it's cruelty.  My children deserve that & I know it'll be hard work, I have been conditioned & comfortable putting myself last, pushing beyond my limits for others.  Now I have to find a way to work my own value back into life & place myself in the cue of the deserving.

Sounds great - now I have to do it. 

James my love - I am missing your place in our trips, in our routines, in Jev's play & fun.  I miss not counting you in the list of guests at Jev's 2nd birthday party, not being able to see your innocence & bewildered joy at all things new.  Jev's new daycare has started & I think it's going well but he cries & breaks my heart as I would do anything to protect him, shield him from hurt & pain.  Please continue to watch over him & comfort him when mommy can't be there.  Missing you my baby boy & sending all my love wherever you are.

xoxoxoxoxox Mommy

Monday, 25 July 2011

Wishing on a rainbow

So the saying goes you wish on star, only these days I find myself wishing on a rainbow.  I've not only begun to feel like I can bare the thought of it, I've found myself desperately wanting it.  Only, not this time & wow - what a rush of emotions.  I guess I have been so focused on the rainbow that I didn't stop to consider how I'd feel if it didn't happen the way I hoped, as quickly as I hoped or if it might not happen at all.  I know I've started asking for more miracles & I wonder if I am asking for too many.  Asking James to send us a rainbow - not to replace him - but to shower it with the kind of love & gratitude that you have when one of your other children dies but also to feel that joy of holding your live & healthy child.  I want Jev to have a sibling - he would be the best big brother & I just thinking of the fun & mayhem they could have warms my heart at future possibilities & breaks it for things that should have been. 

I guess that's why I have been feeling angry lately - too many conflicting emotions, disappointment at another missed opportunity, being reminded that I'm rarely in control - especially where my body is concerned & that I'll probably be in this spot again.  I totally get the reference now about the rainbow coming after the storm & wonder if the storm ever really dies down or just get tucked between the colours of the rainbow.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Panic & miracles

Wow - it feels like an eternity since I posted last.  Seems that since our "due date" things have felt more "normal" more "in control"...until late last week that is.

Now I realize this strays a bit from my usual choice of topics, but in the end it all ties back together.  Mid to late last week, we were faced with our deepest fear.  Jeven became very ill, scary ill, omg I am afraid we're going to lose him too ill.  We spent our time between doctors & eventually at Sick Kids for 2 days - saw 8 doctors in 3 days & rode the emotional roller coaster that is reserved for parents who have already had a child die - only this time we thought we were going to have to watch it happen right in front of our eyes. 

He's fine & going to be fine, but the momentum of doctors, concerned looks, residents interest in his condition, calling in of specialist on favours, swabs, exams, tests - we prepared for the worst.  I thought of James often - asked for his help to keep his brother safe here with us, prayed for a miracle.  In the end he will slowly recover & we are home together this week & next week too, we got our miracle. 

Now all that's left is my anxiety - the feelings of panic, the overwhelming fear that Jev could die too.  I think my deepest fear is wreaking havoc with my rational self - I'm trying to pull back & know it will take some time but wow - the fear, wow the panic, wow -I'm out of control all over again - but grateful, so incredibly grateful for having Jev with us, healthy.

James - thank you my angel for watching over your brother & mommy & papa too.  Missing you everyday & hoping your angel wings are tightly wrapped around Jev keeping him safe.  If you can help Mommy find strength to not smother Jev, I'd be grateful - I only want him to feel free, confident, have fun & not feel my worries, my trepidation, my hesitation.  If I can give Jev those gifts, I feel I will have also paid a tribute to you angel, all the great gifts I would have loved to give to you too.

xoxoxoxo with gratitude for our miracle & tremendous love my angel - Mommy

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

wrapped in his wings

I have read many posts about angels coming to visit in many forms & told that at some point I may be blessed with the same gift.

We celebrated Canada day over the past weekend & it was wonderful - beautiful weather & lots of genuine family time.  Each day, although we didn't do anything overly special there was a reminder and maybe even a visit by James.

On the Friday we visited a cherished friend & ended up a the park with Jeven.  While playing a strange little boy, older then Jeven approached us & wanted to play with Jev & the ball we had brought along.  Jev who is usually a very tentative child with other children at first, seemed to play more quickly with this child.  At some point, I asked - what's your name - to avoid having to encourage Jev to throw the ball to the "boy" - he replied James.  I lost my breath, froze for a moment & marveled at the coincidence - my thoughts went to how Jev & James would have been brothers & played in the park - just this way.  Then I wondered, could my James have come to visit & play with his brother through this other child.  Could he have chosen this child b/c he knew that his name would let me know he was there?  Too strange & not sure I totally believe it but I want to.

Saturday we spent again with one of my oldest friends & Melissa.  Our kids played at the park, we embraced another beautiful day & I got to hold Melissa, feed her, rock her gently to soothe her, watch Mike fall in love with her & cradle her - much the way I would imagine he would with any child of ours.  It was a good day - filled with the essence of James.  Then as we prepared to leave, my dear friend gave me a gift, a Treasure Bean made with love by another angel mom who pays tribute to lost angels.   My friend was ever so gentle when giving it to me & graciously insisted I open it when I was ready.  When I did, I felt love & joy for it is so much more beautiful then I expected.  Mike & I shared a moment of gratitude & love for James & that tribute now has a place on our mantle with James' candle.

Sunday was also beautiful and on our way out to the park Jev held James' locket in hand - something he hadn't done for many days.  His hold is always so gentle - just in the palm of his little hand.  I told him "That's James" & he closed his hand around it for a few moments & then released it.  My heart was full, is still full remembering it.

There were some confusing moments thinking of what could have been, but overall, my boys kept my spirits high - surrounding me with their love & presence.   The most I have felt joy & peace since James grew his wings & I think it might be b/c for the first time I felt like I was wrapped in them.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011


Something amazing happened.  On one of my worst days, the dreaded day, I learned something.  There are people out there whose hearts are filled with love, compassion & greatness.  I learned that there is a community of people remembering & supporting James, that I have been blessed with having made connections over the last 6 months to some of the kindest, giving & altruistic people I have ever known.  Those who give honestly, speak gently, love unconditionally & without need for gratitude. 

I have also learned that there are some very special people already in my life with no frame of reference who somehow just "get it".  The most tuned in, sensitive & perfect people who will willingly walk into the path of this destructive force because you are standing in it & they won't let you stand there alone.

I have felt in my life that I've lived a life unrelatable to most & never bothered to try so when James' died, I was devastated but sure that this was another check in the unrelateble category.  I was so wrong, I feel more love, acceptance, support and genuine human goodness in my life then I ever knew or believed existed before. 

My sincere gratitude to everyone who has taken the time to read my posts, leave comments, email, call, visit, message, light candles and more that I'm sure I don't even know about yet.  You have renewed my faith in humanity & I feel very blessed and grateful for each one of you.  Knowing James is remembered is a kindness that resonates so deeply I can't begin to find the words to thank you.  I hope to be able to offer this incredible support other angel moms & dads so that they can feel the incredible support that those of you out there have showered upon me.

With deepest & most sincere gratitude, I thank you.
James you are loved & beloved my angel. xoxoxoxo

Monday, 27 June 2011

Empty arms pt 2

The day is almost gone now & I've come full circle - like I've cycled in a day through the throws of the grief cycle.  Now I'm angry, exhausted & simply want my baby.  Tonight when I go to bed this terrible thing will be done, but never over.

I am completely grateful that no one else I know who's been pregnant has had to live this nightmare but am angry for having to be the one it happened to - why me? not fair! Sorry this one is just raw - not censored & definitely not directed at anyone. 

My child should be with me tonight & I guess he is but not the way we planned & I am not satisfied with that reality.  Tough - I have to live without him & I have no choice.  I am angry for that. 

Wish this day could have ended on a different note but the charge of going on with life after his is so blatantly missing fills my frustrated heart.  Love is timeless, endless & it endures so with that I know no matter when we are reunited it will be like that night we held you in our arms - even though you were already gone.  I long for one more moment, to see your face once more, to feel your fingers clasp mine, to watch you live.

I feel the day slipping away & it's like you are slipping away with it - all over again.  Desperate to hang on, but knowing I can't & completely sick of feeling helpless.

My love for you is beyond the written word, my need for you is beyond the loudest cry or farthest reach, the hole in my heart will never be healed & my memory of you will never fade.  My arms ache without you in them & I miss your life in my life.

Empty arms

Head pounding from the grief, eyes blurred from all the tears, body heavy from the exhaustion of feeling & arms empty. 

Beautiful day outside, sunshine, warm & the slightest breeze.  Walked for a bit & felt wrapped in the quiet perfection of the summer weather - I hope that was you James. 

Unmotivated to move, but not wanting to waste this perfect day that my angel has sent me.  Thinking of finding forget me not seeds to plant not sure I have the stamina to from place to place. 

Blessed with support from incredible people who remember & honour your life & support my life without you.

Missing hearing your coos, looking at your face, smelling your hair.  Missing you snuggling in, hearing your cries, feeding you, missing introducing you to your big brother, watching you with your Papa. 

Holding you deep in my heart & grateful for your perfection, no matter how brief.  Hoping you are safe above watching over your brother the way only an angel can.  Missing you with every fibre of my humanity & looking forward to the day we can be together again.  

Sunday, 26 June 2011


Tomorrow is "the" day.  I have found things flooding my senses these last few days - seeing pregnancies everywhere, feeling like everything around is focused on newborn babies or pregnancies.  I had been feeling this way just over a month ago & was ever so grateful when it seemed to pass, but in the last few days it's back.

I've been feeling rather numb in the last few days, neither dread, nor fear, nor sadness.  I have no idea what I'll do, I've taken the day off, but it seems inevitable now - the day will be here & gone before I know it.  I feel like tomorrow I cross some twisted finish line. 

Jeven has been noticing my cremation locket these last few days and holding it in his hand, I keep telling him that it's James and he said his name for the first time.  Not sure I believe in coincidences, but the timing of him tuning into James seems appropriate.  Who knows what's out there, up there, beyond - just seems that my boys timing blow me away every time.

I think I'll light James' candle tomorrow, I'm still toying with seeing baby Melissa &/or going to for a walk somewhere beautiful or for lunch with a very good friend.  I am going to be extra gentle with myself tomorrow & hope James will hold my hand as I walk through the day wishing & wondering for what could have been - to have been holding him in my arms instead of only in my heart.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

almost here...

I had hoped the saying "almost here" would have been in reference to James' arrival, not the anticipation of his arrival date without him.  I have invested some energy in putting off thinking about it, I have needed to harness my energy as all 3 of us have been sick & I have needed it just to get through each day. 

Now it's almost here, literally around the corner & hope that I have enough time to make a plan.  I had originally planned to stay close to home, be somber, grieve privately.  Then I realized that my husband had forgotten about the day & made plans to go golfing.  When I reminded him, he offered to change his plans if I wanted him to - being sick & in my determination to not "go there" I didn't say - yes i want you to cancel & he didn't instead he booked his tee time.  I was furious - I thought, here I was ready to try again & he's going golfing rather then staying back & grieving the absence of our son on his due date.  I never believed that he would forget James but I certainly arrived at the place where I felt he no longer cared.

Then I got to thinking - was there a way to look at it differently?  Without judging his way of coping? 
It dawned on me that maybe there is no honour in staying home & crying privately - maybe the idea of being out, doing something enjoyable with people I love is a better way to remember & honour the life of my son.  The truth? I am sad that I won't be able to spend the day with my husband, disappointed more so which does leave me wondering.  Will I be able to enjoy any part of that day?  I don't know - but I'm starting to think it might be worth trying.

So, in my new frame of mind - I wonder if I should visit baby Melissa - hold her, feed her, love her in honour of James - or maybe this is a disaster waiting to happen.  Maybe I should go for breakfast or lunch with a friend, go for a walk somewhere beautiful if weather permits with a friend. 

I'm really for the first time looking for feedback from others about what your experiences say in context of my thoughts.  I know I'm the only one who can truly decide but value the experience & wisdom of the great community out there.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Fathers day


We missed you today angel, you were in our thoughts & missing from our celebration.  I know Papa silently longed to feel your strong kicks or to have met your beautiful face already - we would have been so close now - anything is possible. 

We are all sick, Papa & I are trying our best to take care of Jev & realize if he felt this badly earlier in the week, it explains a lot - poor little guy.  I couldn't help but think of what it would be like to be this sick with you still in my belly.  I love those moments when I'm lost in my fantasies about having you with me. 

I haven't gone back to see Melissa again, I want to but using my sickness as an excuse not to go.  I'm still excited to have her here - just missing you I think.

I hope you and all the other angels did something special for all the Papas missing their angels today.  I know your Papa would love to have a visit from you soon.

I love & miss you angel.  xoxoxo Mommy

Wednesday, 15 June 2011


Since my initial elation over the birth of a very special girl, I've thought of all the very precious moments we will miss. 

The moment of knowing you did the most incredible thing & gave birth to a living child
The moment you hear that perfect life cry for the first time & can exhale
The moment you have him in your arms for the first time
The moment he looks at you with a tired glare
The moment you watch your husband stare in awe as they meet for the first time
The moment you know you've just grown your family
The moment you can look at him all wrapped up in his bassinet & he's peaceful - a miracle
The moment you hear all his tests are back & he's healthy
The moment you know you have this innocent life, this miracle in your life to take home & rejoice in.

So many moments we'll miss - so many wonderful moments that today keep me feeling like maybe it's worth doing it again. 

Previously the "what ifs" kept me from feeling ready, but in the last few days, it would seem I can't even feel the "what if".  Hopefully this means I'm moving in the right direction, not on a impulsive collision course with heartache.

Thinking of you James every second & imagining your beautiful face in all the moments listed above.  It would have been my great honour to have shared them with you.  Love you angel xoxo Mommy

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

She's here!

My very good friend who was pregnant at the same time as me, who was due only 5 days before James had her little girl arrive today.  The news has hit me in a surprising way.  I am happy - I am all but jumping out of my chair to run to the hospital to see her.  I feel like this little girl is the living tribute to James - she'll forever be a symbol of what he would be doing and I feel energized by it.  I feel like having a special relationship with Melissa Jacqueline will bring me closer to James - that maybe sometimes I'll see some of his essence in her smile, in her breath, in her face...crazy I know, but I'm feeling it passionately...

My attitude toward my other friend from group has also changed - now I feel hope for her - now I feel almost a competitive spirit & rush to try again.  I'm confused - how can I feel competitive about such a thing?  My husband put it nicely - that I want to be where they are.  Maybe there's truth in that - right now I can't delve into the logic of it, I feel it so passionately, I can barely breath. 

Slow down crazy girl - one day angry, resentful for others blessings, the next shocking with terrible words, the next avoiding all things pregnant & the next an insatiable urge to have another baby.

Riding this crazy wave & going to wait until tomorrow to decide if I'm going to see this little miracle - too late tonight & feeling too impulsive.

Welcome to the world Melissa Jacqueline - James I hope you will watch over her & us tonight & continue to fill hearts with joy.  Feeling you close tonight angel xoxoxo Mommy

Friday, 10 June 2011

shock factor

I had midwife care in my pregnancy with James & therefore, no contact with my family doctor who is also an OB & delivered Jeven.  I went to see him today about an issue I've been having since delivering James & we spoke about things for the first time.

I sat in the waiting room fretting about how I was going to explain what happened, going over every possible way to describe it, anxious at choosing words to really capture what happened.  Then I transferred into the room & waited, now my anxiety was really escalated b/c it was going to happen soon - I was close to tears & had to do some cleansing breaths to control myself from completely breaking down before he got there.

Then he arrived & started by noticing that I hadn't been there since Oct - when we had originally discovered we were pregnant with James - he said it would seem that I must have had a miscarriage - this is where things started to unravel.

Me:  I had more then a miscarriage,
Doc: What do you mean?
Me: I guess it might be a miscarriage to some, but was way more then that to me,
Doc: How, what are you talking about?
Me: I delivered a dead baby, that's what,
Doc: Stunned silence

I was instantly filled with guilt for the shock factor in what I had just said - but still choked & couldn't bring myself to apologize.  The truth is, for all my rehearsing of what I was going to say - I never would have expected that to come out of my mouth.  The raw unbridled reality of what had happened just spilled out of my mouth before I had a chance to even think about it.

Wow - I still feel badly - I do have to say though, my doctor was very sympathetic, not that I left him much choice.  Our visit ended with him rubbing my knee and saying how sorry he was & to hang in there.  I think he'll probably think about that shock tonight as he drifts off to sleep.  Sorry Dr. K.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

baby steps...

The term - "take baby steps" has been used often by others to support me recently as a a way to describe how I should be kind to myself as I struggle to move forward.  The thing that strikes me is that it's such a common turn phrase that no one thinks about what they are saying.  I know I'm extra sensitive but "baby steps" - I definitely hate that saying now.  I can't begrudge anyone - it took me a bit to clue into why whenever someone said that to me, it didn't make me feel any better.   Definitely something I'll think about before saying again to others.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

what is wrong with me?

What is wrong with me?  Why is it that good news - news for someone who deserves it - who's experienced this journey & who will take every second and cherish it - is upsetting? Why is it that I can lose a whole night's sleep & feel close to tears since hearing her news.  Why am I feeling angry, resentful, cheated? 

The old me - would have rejoiced, the new me - I thought, would have been filled with hope for those who have lost & are now blessed to be pregnant again.  Instead I'm bothered, angry- feel even a bit betrayed for having been pouring out my aching soul & all the while she is blessed - again.  Now I feel guilt for what I just said, for the fact that it is true - where has the good person in me gone? 

I have been torn about attending a butterfly release event - cringing at what I expect to be an outpouring of grief all over again.  I've been on the fence but leaning towards going - until now.  Now I feel that I don't want to see others pregnant, with new born babies.  I don't want to be a puddle to have to pull it back together to go our Niece's first communion afterwards.  Now I don't know if I'm going to have the courage to go.  Now I think my drive to remember James & honour his memory may not be enough.  What kind of mother does that make me?

Filled with doubt about who I have become this morning & questioning my relationship with the world.

Saturday, 4 June 2011


Funny the things that remind you that you are "just pretending"...

Taking long deep breaths - reminds me that I'm actually breathless most of the time - still trying to catch my breath...and that long deep breath feels like the first breath I've drawn in a long time;
Night time - I can never wait for it to be a certain time to day so I can have to quiet but it never fails, when it comes so does the torment.  Most often I push aside, every now & then when I have time or privacy to engage it, it frightens me b/c of how deep & raging & lonely it is.

Today I am not sure - I really struggled with my earth angel & the demands of an out of the ordinary kind of day.  Today I am not sure if it was my earth angel that was challenging or if it was me.  Today I am worried that I spilled my lack of coping onto him & am doubting myself as a mother.  Today I realize how the time is racing toward that "day" & am feeling completely powerless & looking for a miracle that make it stop.  Today I think I may have failed & I hope that tomorrow I can redeem myself.

Tonight I am alone with my thoughts & feeling  numb but having a hard time catching my breath & reminded. 

Hoping I can have the strength to make you proud & find some strength to be the mommy I could have been to you & be the one that your brother deserves.  xoxoxox Mommy

Challenges & quotes

Every new day brings a new challenge in this journey.  Today brought the, Are you expecting a baby? challenge...I answered the question non chalently as the person could truly have no idea, & I'm sure he didn't notice the storm that was raging in my mind & heart.  I find it amazing that we can hide so well that others have no clue.  In that moment, I raged at his stupidity at asking, I raged at having to answer no, I poured sadness as I wished to have the privilege to still have James with me so I could answer yes, I ached from the pain of being without him, I missed his life in my life, I grieved for his life not being my life.

Then the - "Is this your only child" challenge came & although this is not a new challenge, I always struggle with how to deal with it.  Today we chose to say yes, today it was easier to say yes but my heart rips a little & the guilt engulfs my breath taking it away when we do.  Horrible, horrible choices to ever have to make.  Horrible, horrible choices to have to make every day.

I found some posts in various places that spoke to me over the last few days that I wanted to share:

Wish List

  • I wish you would not be afraid to mention my baby. The truth is just because you never saw my baby doesn't mean he doesn't deserve your recognition.
  • I wish that if we did talk about my baby and I cried you don't think it was because you have hurt me by mentioning my baby. The truth is I need to cry and talk about my baby with you. Crying and emotional outbursts help me heal.
  • I wish you wouldn't think that I don't want to talk about my baby. The truth is I love my baby and need to talk about him.
  • I wish you wouldn't pretend my baby never existed. The truth is we both know I had a baby growing inside me.
  • I wish you wouldn't judge me because I'm not acting the way you think I should be. The truth is grief is a very personal thing and we are all different people who deal with things differently.
  • I wish you wouldn't think if I have a good day I'm "over it" or if I have a bad day I am being unreasonable because you think I should be over it. The truth is there is no "normal" way for me to act.
  • I wish you wouldn't expect my grief to be "over and done with" in a few weeks, months or years for that matter. The truth is it may get easier with time but I will never be "over" this.
  • I wish you wouldn't think that my baby wasn't really a baby and it was blood and tissue or a "fetus". The truth is my baby was a human life. My baby had a soul, heart, body, legs, arms and a face. My baby was a real person. My babies due date, Mothers Day, celebration times, the day my baby died and the day I lost my baby are all important and sad days for me.
  • I wish you understood that losing my baby has changed me. The truth is I am not the same person I was before and will never be that person again.
  • I wish you wouldn't tell me I could have another baby. The truth is I want the baby I lost and no other baby can replace this baby. Babies aren't interchangeable.
  • I wish you would understand that being around pregnant women is uncomfortable for me. The truth is I feel jealous.
  • I wish you would understand what you are really saying when you say "next time things will be okay". The truth is how do you know? What will you say if it happens to me again?
  • I wish you would remember the father. The truth is he is suffering too.
~Author Unknown~

All of the following quotes come from Silent Grief - Child loss support:
I often found myself feeling angry at the world following the death of my son. How could this happen to me? I felt like I didn't deserve this. And, then I crashed with guilt for feeling this way. Grief is so complicated
Finding the "new normal" following child loss is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. It takes a long time and a lot of hard work!
Never in a million years did I think this would happen to me! Child loss is the most unexpected, out of the norm, kind of loss. It truly is the "unthinkable.

Monday, 30 May 2011

Moving backwards to move forward?

I have been reflecting on my last number of posts & thinking about how there are more falling apart posts then posts about hope, gratitude & moving forward.  The thing is, I wonder if by falling apart, if by having the emotions rush uncontrollably, if sinking rather than swimming is moving forward.  The shock wore off a while back, but maybe my mind simply repressed my ability to really experience my grief.  I have struggled to access the tears, often feeling like a heartless bitch, that I can't even cry for my own son.  Maybe my mind has unlocked this part & I am moving forward by being able to move back.  Back to the depth of despair, back to feeling breathless, back to head swimming, back to public displays of emotion but forward to facing reality- as I cringe writing it b/c I am certainly not feeling ready nor wanting it to be reality.  Shitty reality - and the anger comes again...

I hate this journey.