Friday, 28 December 2012

Meme is coming

James I can just see you standing just inside the entrance way to heaven.  Meme is coming soon & I am torn up thinking of this world without her but know what a wonderful group of family are waiting for her.  She doesn't know you are waiting, I can't wait for her to meet you & care for you in her special way.  Please take her hand as she steps in and help her feel settled and comfortable.

Welcome her in with Pepe, Tonton Maurice, Marie and all the others standing in wait.  I know she is anxious to see you all.  I will shed tears for her and for you my angel and wait to see you both again.

Sending love & searching for the courage to say goodbye.

xo Mommy

Friday, 14 December 2012


These days my life is divided into 3 parts - Pre-loss, Post loss & today Pre-parent.  All of these segments of my life are unique & vastly different from each other.  As I passed through each, I was ultimately changed, evolving through the lessons that life felt obligated to impart on me.

In my pre-parent days I worked as a child protection worker.  In that job, I learned quickly that monsters do exist.  I have met, child abusers, pedophiles and all around bad people.  I was often criticized for being childless & that this made me less qualified.  In retrospect, I did miss some realities of being a parent but it allowed me to approach things impartially & protect children matter of factly.  I have no doubt that I saved at least one life if not more in my 3+ years in this role.

After becoming a parent, I have often looked back on those pre-parent days and wondered how & if I could have done that work with the heart of a mother pulling my heart strings.

In my post loss self, I have not spent much time reflecting on those times, but the events of today in Connecticut have brought them back.  I have seen people's reflections of anger, sorrow, grief and many spouting the shooter as a monster.   My mind was taken back to my child protection days & I was reminded, monsters do exist.  My mind immediately swelled with the pain & fear that parents must have felt waiting & praying for it to be anyone elses child, desperately waiting to see their children's face, eyes, feel their hugs, wipe their tears.  I thought, James, you now have 20 new friends to welcome, guide & stay with until their parents join them on their passing.

I hugged my children, smelled them, kissed them and told them that no matter where they are, even in heaven, I will always come and find them.

Wishing a safe passage to all the children & lost staff from the massacre today & unabiding love, courage and strength to those left behind in the worst moments of their lives.  Today, tomorrow and in your Pre & Post lives may you find those who can help make you move from moments to minutes to hours to days and beyond in this terrible grief cycle.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Kate Middleton pregnant? Not everyone is celebrating.

This article is awesome.  I could have used this read all those months ago when I hated myself for not being able to do anything but swallow hard, blink, hold back tears or rage at the news of anyone else's pregnancy.

Excellently written, honest & totally relateable.

Kate Middleton pregnant? Not everyone is celebrating. Mamamia

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

The Incomprehensible Reality of Rainbow Motherhood | Still Standing Magazine

As the holidays race closer, I have found myself feeling a range of emotions.  Not sure how to make sense of them, so I haven't blogged.

Came across this piece in the still standing magazine & it struck a chord.

The Incomprehensible Reality of Rainbow Motherhood | Still Standing Magazine

Tuesday, 30 October 2012


Halloween festivities are in full swing despite hurricane Sandy & the wild weather we've been having.  Costumes have been chosen, candy bought, pumpkins carved...I can't however, stop thinking about what this time of year would be like if James was still with us.  He would be almost a year and half...what costume would he wear, what interests would he have, what would his personality be like? How wonderful it would be to watch him marvel over all the costumes, smile at every door, delight over the delicious candy & spin from the sugar rush with his brothers.

Hope the candy is sweet where you are angel.

xoxo Mommy

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Here I come

Talk about getting what you ask for...

In my last post I talked about giving back & the opportunity to "pay it forward" if you will.  Well no sooner did I have the post out then another baby loss mom I came to know through the support group reached out to me.  She shared the most wonderful news, she is anxiously expecting again & hoping to get some validation, strategies and reassurance that she isn't losing her mind from another rainbow mom.  Not to mention hear anything other then the cliche congratulations and everything is going to be ok that those who we pray never have to walk in our shoes always say, but that we know better.

Not only did I send her some suggestions, we even got together.  It was SO wonderful to see her, share in her guarded excitement  I SO remember that feeling, hear her fears, relate to everything she said, feel normal again.  I think I helped put a few things back in perspective & reassure her that while it is very different, far from enjoyable or carefree this time around, everything is totally normal.  I listened to her, felt myself being transported back, shared my experiences & talked openly about James without feeling like I had to explain who, how & most importantly why.  Her total acceptance, acknowledgement and joy for his life & his continued presence in mine, stirred something in me.  It's been too long since I've felt normal.  I need to get back to feeling normal, not just pretending to be.

Since then, I have been an emotional wreck, teary eyed, foggy headed, memory flash backs, enjoying tighter cuddles with the boys.

So, in my previous post I asked myself, ready or not?  My answer is: watch out b/c here I come.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Ready or not?

Ready or not here I come!  That game of hide and seek we all played as children, has found new meaning as I battle a game of am I ready or not to take this journey to the next level.  Only I am seeking meaning but find myself hiding.

I have wanted for some time to transform my experience into something meaningful for others.  It has been an extremely powerful & meaningful experience in my life & thanks to a few golden hearted people who have also been there & the help of our local Pregnancy and Infant loss (PAIL) Network, I am still standing and putting one step in front of the other, albeit harder some days then others.

I feel that my opportunity has knocked, ready or not..  Our local PAIL network reached out for parents to be panelists at their bi-annual training for physicians, nurses, midwives etc on sensitivity and early pregnancy and infant loss.  We are to tell our stories & touch on things that were helpful & others that we wished were different.  Our stories are to inform the practice of these professionals as they work with other parents entering this terrible journey.

I am so eager I am jumping out of my skin, ready or not..  My husband on the other hand is not so sure.  I wanted to sit together and tell our stories b/c I feel he has something valuable to contribute, but he isn't sure that allowing the memory to come flooding back won't be ripping the bandaid off his wounds.  While I think I understand, I still want to participate, but am scared no terrified.  I don't think I can go alone.  I'm thinking about asking a good friend to come with me, but I keep having to ask myself, if you have to go alone, can you do it?  should you do it?   I am to reply to the network with my preferred date, but  I am paralyzed by fear..fear of going alone, fear of the flood of emotions, fear of falling apart & being all alone, fear of feeling all alone and then looking around & realizing I am alone.  Why does something so important, so meaningful have to be so hard, feel like such a risk?  I guess the meaningful things generally involve some effort & risk?  or is it that I'm just not ready?

I also reached out and expressed my interest in becoming a facilitator to their open groups, ready or not..  Their response has been one of enthusiasm and I have cold feet.  It has been so long since I've had the opportunity to tell our story, live in that space and think about James and our time together and all the feelings that go along with it, that I worry, I am right for the role?  My head says, you always doubt yourself and prove yourself wrong, you are a trained professional and a survivor with lots of meaningful things to share.   But my heart says you hurt so much, can you really take the chance at making someone else's journey more painful if you're not ready....

So,  here I am at a stand torn between my good intentions and my doubts.  Ready or not...?  

Saturday, 13 October 2012

What You Should (and Shouldn't) Say to Someone Who is Experiencing a Miscarriage, Stillbirth, or Infant Loss | Naturally Knocked Up

Came across this piece in the Still standing magazine.  I have seen this kind of thing posted many different ways, but this one is particularly well written.  Written from the perspective of the person who has lost but in a way that I think those who haven't lost can appreciate.

Wish I could have shared this with others after we lost James, could have spared us many uncomfortable moments, hurt feelings and fractured relationships...or maybe not.

What You Should (and Shouldn't) Say to Someone Who is Experiencing a Miscarriage, Stillbirth, or Infant Loss | Naturally Knocked Up

Our lost youth

This post isn't about my child but my heart is raging b/c another family now has to live without theirs.  Although I hadn't heard about this on the news - don't get to watch much of anything other then Treehouse these days...when I had some quiet moments, I read & then subsequently watched the Youtube video.  Since then, I am consumed with anger at how lost our youth have become & how technology has provided them with a lethal platform for mischief.  I can't even think about what I would do if this was happening to my children but I can only imagine the absolute torture her family is forever left to live with.

I am sending strength and courage to the family & loved ones of this child and hope those who have some responsibility are prosecuted harshly.

Vancouver area teen kills herself after posting youtube video about her being bullied

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Family pictures & Thanksgiving

Since James died, I am a strong believer in family pictures/portraits.  We were never able to have pictures taken of James, no foot prints, hand prints, nothing tangible except his ultrasound pictures and our memories.  As a result, I have adopted the position that you can never take for granted that you will have the opportunity to take pictures tomorrow.  Since that time, we have had family portraits taken annually.

As I searched for a photographer, I had many expectations.  I also received many recommendations and after some research I found someone, not who's pictures impressed me the most, but who gives back to the community through NILMDTS (Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep), photography of babies who have died.  I contacted her immediately.  Here I was looking to capture a moment in my children's lives so I never have to regret not having them & here I stumbled onto someone who gives the most incredible gift during the worst possible moments in parents lives.  I spoke with her that same day & expressed my gratitude, my admiration and our story.

As the days lead up to the photo shoot, I was emotional, sad, weepy, more then the usual.  This year I felt the magnitude of the void that would be in the pictures more then I expected.  Invisible spaces where James should be, smiling, squirming, making faces and tag teaming with his older brother to get out of the confines of the poses they were being asked to hold.  Silly faces, noisy fun and smiles, all the things that I miss so much.

The day after the shoot we celebrated Canadian thanksgiving with very close & special family.  This year we all shared what we were thankful for.  It certainly felt strange to have anything to be thankful for, but I was, thankful for my boys, thankful for our family, thankful for the boys being healthy.  The ability to be thankful has returned but the void, the heartache will never be gone.  So while others proclaimed their thanks, I whispered I miss you.

We are now waiting impatiently for our proofs & I'm hoping for a shadow, smudge or twinkle that tells me you were there.

Missing you angel.  xoxo Mommy

Monday, 24 September 2012

The Moments You Live for After Losing a Child | Still Standing Magazine

Read the headline & was immediately drawn to reading the article.  Read the article & felt it resonate then thought of many of the mamas whose blogs I follow & wondered if it might resonate with them too.

The Moments You Live for After Losing a Child | Still Standing Magazine

Monday, 10 September 2012

Static of words

Funny how time seems to just slip away.  Seems like just yesterday we were waiting for our rainbow & poof he was here, the summer has all but gone and Jev has had another birthday.  Woven throughout have been moments of joy, doubts, fear, pain, love.  I've thought about posting often, gotten a few posts out, but mostly written my blog in my mind. 

I have followed other blogs closely & felt the roller coaster of emotions.  Felt somewhat inadequate in my ability to express my own feelings.  My mind seems disorganized, jumping from one thought, emotion to the other & when I try and write it down, it just doesn't seems to make sense, like I'm missing the most important things through the static of words in my head. 

So bare with me as I try again.  The chain that holds James' locket broke, in my hurry to get something done for Ewan I caught it with my finger and felt it break away.  I was devastated.  I told myself it's only a chain and looked to gather the link that had opened to bring to the jeweller to repair.  I didn't tell my husband, I didn't tell any friends, I broke the chain & felt like I had committed some sort of crime but worse now couldn't be close to James until it was repaired.  No one noticed that I wasn't wearing him, this chain & locket that I have been wearing for the better part of 2 years without exception.  i am dissapointed but not surprised.  My son's memory lives only in the hearts & minds of those whom he has touched most and some days it feels like that is mine & mine alone.  I have since confessed it to my husband who was amazing & I confess here to you that it's still not fixed but a work in progress. Mostly miss having James near to my heart.

1 year, 9 months into this journey the pain seems softer and fewer and far between but it is still there.  I find I look into Ewan's face, who is always smiling back at me, and have flashes of James.  After the flashes, I see my baby's face almost with light behind it and can't help but cry.  My tears are mostly love & gratitude but also fear that it will be fleeting and longing to have seen James smile.  The pain has softened but is still there.

Jev had his 3rd birthday & I struggled this year with how to plan his party.  Things have been rather hectic with Ewan's arrival & money has been tight with maternity leave.  We decided to make it a few smaller celebrations filled with family & in the places he loves most.  One of his favourite things right now are balloons, so we filled our front hallway with balloons & later had some helium balloons too.  When the festivities were over and balloons were getting ready to be popped, he asked if we could send the floating ones to the sky, to James.  There are few things more meaningful then watching our living children play together but knowing that Jev continues to think of James even though he isn't here with us both warms & hurts the heart.  He is just so special, a miracle unto himself that I'm not sure I would have fully recognzied if it wasn't for James' life.

Finally I got to spend time with the first person I met who also lost a child after losing James. Her daughter was born & grew wings 8 days before James.  There a few people who I have met that I just feel a connection to, she is one of them & she has breathed purpose back into my heart and inspired me to try and come back to blogging.  I don't see her often but when I do I feel as close to normal and grounded as it gets.  I guess even after all this time, I am still pretending to live a world as if I don't have a huge hole in my heart.  It's only when I am surrounded by others living with this same hole that I feel whole again. 

Feeling your warmth in my heart this morning angel.  xoxo Mommy

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Day of Hope

Remembering James everyday.  Thanks to Carley Marie for creating this day of hope.

xoxo Mommy

Monday, 30 July 2012


Our family celebrated a great day.  A close family member got married over the weekend & Jev was the ring bearer.  The day & night were beautiful, a wonderful balance of tradition and informality. 

As I prepared myself, I faced another first, choosing to take off my locket in order to wear a different necklace more suited for my outfit.  A gut wrenching, inner struggle that ended with me giving myself permission to take him off.  I grabbed for him all day, and still feel guilt for not having him with me.   I have him back on now but have still struggled with my choice.  The truth is that I have been beating myself up so much I didn't want to tell anyone I had even taken him off for fear that someone would confirm my deepest fear, I have dishonoured my child.  Then today I found a comment by another babyloss parent about not feeling guilt for not wearing memorial jewellery.  I still feel guilt but knowing others have felt this guilt and being reassured feels like a gift.  Perhaps this gift comes from James himself, telling me he knows his locket keeps him close to my heart but he lives there & in my mind every moment, always, locket or no locket.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Love & legacy

It wasn't until after I posted the news about our rainbow that I realized that it was my 100th post.  What an incredible coincidence, I started posting in Feb 2011, one month after losing James and a year and 4 months later I've reached my 100th & it is filled with hope & a miracle.  Thank you James.

Time seems to be rushing by & I am struck everyday by the power of this experience.  I find myself thinking of James more often, loving more passionately and thoughtful about how to make sense & balance it all.  Ewan will often grab my locket, pulling on it and I find myself hoping James is present to know how my heart swells but aches at the same time. 

Early on as a student I studied psychology, I was taught that when trying to help clients cope with challenging emotions, you assist them to condition their responses to stimuli, exposing them to the emotions that are uncomfortable & replacing it with the opposite emotions.  The premise being that you can't experience conflicting emotions at the same time, i.e. you can't be afraid & relaxed simultaneously.   Made sense at the time but  I can confidently challenge this idea now, I live with a conflicted heart everyday that soars with joy & mingles with grief simultaneously, happiness & sadness together.  I watch my boys interact & inhale love & gratitude and exhale the heaviness in my heart.  I would have never believed this to be possible as a student of ideologies & the human condition, but life cut in & has become the real teacher.  Although this sounds like the heaviness wins, it doesn't, it has taken on the the responsibility of protecting James' memory, his legacy, become my motivation that my children will always celebrate each other whether they are here on this physical plain or have grown their wings.

Jev & Ewan holding hands :)

I have read other rainbow parents write & heard other babyloss parents say that they love their rainbows more, not more then their other children but in a way that can't really be completely described.  Perhaps it comes from having lost, knowing it can all be snatched away, that we realize the grandness of the miracle and try to savour, cherish every moment.  Perhaps it is because they hold some of their siblings essence.  I know that I feel it, the overpowering strength of this love, one that is not comparable or completely explainable.  I have felt guilt over it but mostly embrace it b/c if I dont' & lose even one moment in his life where there are no guarantees & death doesn't discriminate I know I couldn't live with that regret.  So I choose to let it flood in.

After publishing this post, I came across a poem written by another baby loss parent about their rainbow, published in the literary online magazine Exhale.  Feels like too much of a coincidence, so I'm posting the link here b/c it says things so simply but captures them completely - Bittersweet

Loving you more & missing you deeply James. 

xoxo Mommy

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Rainbow Ewan

Happy to announce the safe arrival of our rainbow, Ewan James, on June 8, 2012 weighing 8lbs, 11oz. 

We are completely filled with gratitude for our miracle.  Gratitude filled with bittersweet moments & the fear it will all somehow be snatched away again.  Funny how at stage of this journey nothing is the same, the happy moments so much happier b/c we know how fleeting those moments can be & the uncertain moments so scary b/c we know there are no guarantees.

Wondering how James would have looked, how much hair, what colour hair & eyes, about the sound of his cry, how he would have smelled etc. 

Choosing to believe some of James' essence is within Ewan & hoping that he grows up knowing the significance of his middle name.

I look in his face & truly see a miracle.  Our miracle - thank you James.

Sending love your way sweet boy & gratitude for you & all the lessons you have taught us that allows us to cherish your brothers. 

Mommy xoxoxo

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

What is it about a particular place that can make your senses rush with memories and feelings like you are right back on that day?

We have been waiting for our littlest boy to come into the world & I am now past due enough that I have to go in for testing to make sure he is doing well & things remain healthy.   what this means is that I have to head to hospital for these battery of tests & try as I might that is and always will be an emotionally loaded experience.  Yesterday was no exception. 

My fears were that I would have to go the clinic, pass by "the" room but I hoped that wouldn't be necessary.  At first it seemed I might be able to avoid that hallway, the one with "the" room and familiar faces, but in the end I found myself walking that dreaded hallway, seeing a custodian coming out of "the" room emptying the garbage, understanding someone else had started this terrible journey.  I took a breath & tried to compose myself & focus as I made my way toward the clinic office.  As I stood there trying to sort through a blunder with appointments, I was fighting to keep composure, with emotions running high, senses rushing with flashbacks, especially as I saw that one particular nurse, so kind, so gentle with her back towards me.

They eventually sorted things out and as part of their routine questions getting ready to move me to start the procedure asked if I'd been in the clinic before.  I answered yes in a fog but on the loss side, the woman without skipping a beat asked me the year, I however, was so overwhelmed that I stuttered trying to find the answer.  Needless to say, when we began the procedure my blood pressure was high as it seemed reminders were everywhere.  The nurse assumed that it was from being bumped around trying to figure out where to go for the appointment - I corrected her explaining how emotional being there was for me, how directly behind me is "the" room.  She glossed over it and told me to watch TV and relax, we'd take my blood pressure again. 

In the end, our baby passed the test & things appear to be healthy.  My blood pressure remained high & I got out of there as fast as I could knowing I'll be back on Friday if our little boy isn't born before then.  I left the hospital feeling like I was back in the those early dark days, head pounding, in a fog, unable to process basic things, disinterest in everything, just wanting to crawl into bed & disappear beneath the covers.  What a powerful thing, a place, a person, a room can be.

Today, I need to refocus - relax, return to hope for a healthy birth & hope this doesn't act as a set back, locking down my body preventing this baby from coming in his own time. 

Friday, 1 June 2012

Right in front of me

My homeopathic induction took place later in the afternoon on Wednesday.  It was unlike anything I expected - this was my first experience with homeopathy & was a great experience.  Some of the conversation surprised me & some of the questions linger with me still.

She asked me to talk about James, our experience, his birth, what his life & death has brought into our lives, what I thought the purpose of all this was.  It has been so long since I've spoken out loud about him, our time together, and our story of loss.  It felt good, it felt awful.  Images of him raced forward in my mind, like flashbacks & I could almost feel the weight of his body in my hands again.  I realized that one of my greatest fears was that I would forget - we were not fortunate enough to have pictures, or foot/hand prints provided for us - but now I realize that is simply not possible.  Do I still wish for the tangible items, absolutely, do I think I'll forget, not any more, not a chance.

Not surprisingly she felt that my experience with James could be blocking labour b/c of my anxiety and all the emotions connected to that experience.  The induction would be focused on addressing anxiety and she gave me 2 remedies to manage it.

She also asked me to sit with the idea that our unborn could feel that I was afraid he would die.  How that must feel for him?  Talk about conflict of emotion - first a rush of guilt, I never want my children to be affected negatively by my fears, then a rush of anxiety, but I know better then anyone that his death is not just fear, it's a real possibilityy, it is other people's realities. 

We agreed that I need to focus on a vision of what I want-her word, hope - my word, the birth to be like.  She encouraged me to be present with this little boy, that he is what is what is in front of me & I need to connect to him. 

The irony is that for a while, I have felt that I have been spending so much time trying to connect with our unborn, caring for our eldest and everything in between, that I have lost time connecting with James.  I think of him everyday, multiple times a day but just haven't had the time to stop & connect.  Here's the irony, it would seem from an outsider perspective that I have spent more time connecting to him & our experience & not enough to our soon to be youngest.  Now I'm left wondering which is it?   

Last night, with thoughts, hopes & fears streaming through my mind, my locket slipped into the palm of my hand.  I felt immediately that James was there letting me know he is in my heart & reassuring me that despite all the doubt & fear that he is present & will hold my hand.

So the homeopathic induction didn't work but it was a positive experience, loaded with emotion and reminding me my James is present & strong.

In the mean time we keep waiting for our rainbow with hope.

Missing you my angel boy xoxox  Mommy

Monday, 28 May 2012

Hope & homeopathy

What a difference a few hours can make.  Had I waited before posting my original post, it may have had a very different flavour - but it represents the truth & that is the beauty of this forum. 

B/c I am using midwifery care, they provided me with a connection to a Homeopath who does homeopathic inductions.  Before James died, I am sure that my doubts about this kind of treatment would have prevented me from being open minded enough to consider it.  After, and after especially watching all the documentaries, I am motivated to do anything that can help bring our unborn safely into this world.  Don't get me wrong, I still have doubts, they just aren't going to stop me.

I contacted her today to schedue a homeopathic induction - sounds like remedies etc to help move things along & I am reassured by my midwives that it is safe for both me & this baby. 

It is during this conversation that I was struck, I was honest about James' delivery and she was like a rocket, zeroing in on my anxiety, fear, sense of danger.  She spoke of the power of the mind to block labour if there is fear or doubt, she spoke of the sensitivity of babies to mother's feelings of danger & reassured me my body and baby can do this.  It was at the point of reassurance that my body can do this that my doubt raged in - my body can do this? I thought, it couldn't do this last time, my baby boy didn't have a chance to do this last time.  I was angry and frustrated.  Then I took a breath and thought, what if my greatest fear influences the outcome.  What happens if I don't make the effort to re-focus on hope rather then certainty & put in a little work, even if it feels unconventional, b/c a safe delivery is more important then my doubts?

So, I have some homework - try and focus on my first birth experience & pull out moments that made me feel confident in my body, positive moments to focus on & words that can help bring me back there when my doubts creep in.   

I see her Wednesday & I am scared & intrigued at the same time.  I guess I'd better get to work on being present & positive. 

The Homeopath's name is Piper Martin, she also writes a pregnancy blog & her focus of work is on homeopathic pregnancy.  I'm going to attach a link for anyone interested in her work, blog, philosophy etc - she seems like a phenomenal woman.

Waiting for our rainbow to come

I haven't blogged about this topic for a while to quell my mounting fear as we approached the coveted finish line.  Today however, I feel waves of emotion that somehow seem might only makes sense to those who may have also found themselves at this strange intersection in this journey.

Today is the day - the day that was estimated to be the due date for our hopeful rainbow to our family.  Today he remains tightly tucked inside & keeping us waiting with hopeful expectations.  Today is suppose to bring some clarity according to my midwife - all I know is that my strategy on how to cope with this most out of control & terrifying adventure has been suspended as we sit and wait.

For me the notion of clarity is knowing all the things that could possibly go wrong.  Hope on the other hand is the shred that I hang onto that we will have our miracle, our rainbow & not leave with empty arms, again.  As for today bringing some sense of resolution, so far it has brought tears but no revelations other then I am hopeful & afraid.

Up to a few weeks back, my strategy had been, small milestones.  Set my mind to focus on the next appointment, mini milestone b/c the big picture was far to overwhelming & frightening.  I became very good at focusing and redirecting my anxieties back to the next critical date.  Now there are no dates, just waiting.

For me, waiting has been torture, my anxiety has escalated & I admit become intrusive at times.  I am afraid he will die before or during delivery.  All I can do is focus on his precious movements, kicks, hiccups, they are all I have to cling to as we wait.  James is always forefront in my mind & I have coordinated being able to keep his locket with me during delivery - I can't do this without having him there.  I have always hoped that his essence will be present and protect us & his little brother during his most vulnerable moments. 

I also admit that I have indulged my neuroses on occasion, watching documentaries about birthing and impact of drugs and the medical systems' standardisation of birth.  It has absolutely fed my fear about how some interventions can negatively impact the outcome.  I keep reminding myself & saying out loud just to make it real that we are motivated to do what ever it takes to have a live & healthy baby, bottom line.

As I cling to that shred of hope, I believe I can do this. Now all we have to do is wait & pray. 

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Editors response

Find below the response from one of the editors at the Toronto Star in response to the complaint made re: the thoughtless & hurtful headline:

Undertstand that the writers of articles do not generally write the headlines on them. I agree that one is insensitive and will pass your comments on to the appropriate person.
Jim Slotek

Not sure how I feel about this response.  Acknowledgement yes, but feels a little like a brush off to me.  Maybe I'm too sensitive but a two liner response? And where's the apology?

Am I just being a hormonal, sensitive girl?  What are your thoughts? 

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Ignorance in the media - again!

I found the below comment from a mom who was flipping through the Toronto Star yesterday and to her horror came across more thoughtless print.  Here is what she wrote:

In the Entertainment section of today's newspaper (The Toronto Star) an editor was reviewing the movie "What to Expect When You Are Expecting" They gave it a very poor rating but what insulted me the most was the headline they used. "PREGNANCY COMEDY BASED ON SELF-HELP BOOK IS STILLBORN"
She immediately wrote the paper with her concern & complaint & it has since been changed in their online version of the paper.  First, an acknowledgement of her spirit to take action, I know there was a time when I would have been so stunned that I wouldn't have had the courage to do the same.  Second, shame & disappointment with the paper for allowing such a thing to go to print, this means the writer, editor & whatever other screening agents who are paid to scrutinise material before it goes to print, saw & thought no issue with what was about to go to print.  If it had been the Toronto Sun, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised, the Star however, I had a higher expectations.

Mike and I were speaking about it & we agreed that the longer it sat with us and we thought about it, the worse of a blow it felt.  He spoke about media using shock factor to reel in its audience and wondered out loud if this was an unfortunate example of this.  I guess I am more hopeful or naive, hoping that it is the thoughtlessness & ignorance rearing it's ugly head...again.

Either way definitely not something I am prepared to leave unspoken to.  I feel like there have been too many of these recently & so I am committed to do my part & write in and share my disappointment in the quality and lack judgement that the paper chose to exercise here.  I have asked for more info from the above mom to help me direct my concerns - if you are so inclined to share your thoughts with the paper or here in this forum, please feel free.  I would love to hear your feedback & thoughts.

xoxo angel - Mommy misses you.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

International bereaved mother's day

Today is International Bereaved mother's day.  Not sure I know what more to say, not our first, not our last.

I found a new online magazine dedicated to baby loss where moms & dads can contribute articles and other items on a monthly basis called, Still Standing.  Today's contribution is by Carly Marie Dudley about International Mother's day.

I know the idea of a place where I can read & relate appeals to me.  Here's the link -Still Standing - have a read.

Missing you today and everyday sweet angel boy. xoxo  Mommy

Still Standing Blog Hop

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Precious moments, something that I have often thought I would never be able to celebrate for James.  One of those luxuries that while you would never wish it on anyone else, leaves you with nothing but envy & maybe some resentment for those who have it.

I had a precious moment yesterday, against all odds.  During our morning routine trying to get Jev (2.5 yrs) out the door for daycare, at the put on your jacket stage, he reached up cupped my locket in his hand, looked up at me and said "James".  My heart swelled, as he repeated it again & I reassured him, "yes that's right that's your brother James".  We have been working to prepare Jev for what we hope will be his next little brother, teaching him his name, the idea of a baby brother, being a big brother & i have been somewhat tormented at the need to focus on what will be our youngest & nothing tangible to bring Jev back to James. 

Apparently I underestimated the tenderness, insightfulness & memory of my eldest.  He reminded me that mine is not the only mind & memory that James lives in & for that I am grateful.  It is true what they say about children teaching us about life.

My 3 boys, one living, one angel, one soon to be born (hopefully alive & healthy).  I am a blessed woman.

Monday, 16 April 2012

The Aquarium

Since sharing the link to the article written by Macleans & wondering how one magazine could publish such one sided, unbelievablely self centred content, I came across another article.  This one however, is in stark contrast with the one in Macleans.  It's a story published in the New York Times by a father who's child died.  It's raw, emotional, scary & honest and although I have to caution you that it might stir up emotions or nightmares -as in my case, I certainly feel like it deserves to have attention brought to it.

I have rarely seen a forum for such honesty and candid expression of this topic.  If you choose to, go ahead and read it. 

My sincerest gratitude to this father for his courage to write openly about the worst time in his life and sharing his daughter with the world.

The Aquarium

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Letter to Macleans in response to article

For those of you who read my previous post with the link to the story published in Macleans magazine, here is the respone by Perinatal bereavement services. 

If you haven`t read the original article and are interested I`m attaching the link here again: - the-mourning-after

This is the letter that was sent to Macleans in response:
As an organization that supports bereaved parents, we were dismayed by the sentiments included in Ms. Kingston’s article “The Mourning After”. A number of points regarding the concept of “oversharing” when it comes to pregnancy and infant loss were perplexing to us.
The overall lack of understanding and intrinsic fear pertaining to pregnancy and infant loss is obvious.  We are, however, optimistic that these barriers can be broken, and we appreciate Maclean’s for opening the door for dynamic discussion on this once-taboo topic.

We represent the Board of Perinatal Bereavement Services Ontario (PBSO) which was originally founded and incorporated as a Non-Profit Organization in 1992 by four bereaved parents. PBSO has since supported thousands of families who have suffered losses such as those mentioned in the article. We provide a variety of unique support services tailored specifically to meet the needs of perinatally bereaved families. We also develop and implement educational training seminars for health care professionals, caregivers, clergy and funeral directors on how to best support these families.

What Ms. Kingston labels as “oversharing”, we at PBSO encourage as healthy grieving. We do not identify taking pictures or sharing our stories as public parades of grief, but as a sincere acknowledgement of loss. Only when one’s loss is recognized, can one effectively grieve. Our society is not comfortable with death, particularly when involving miscarriage, stillbirth or infant death. Depth of grief is not related to length of gestation but rather to the attachment families have. What is most disappointing is the strong reaction to discourage bereaved families from grieving in a healthy way.

As advocates for bereaved families in Ontario, we are working towards a healthier, more supportive society by having October 15th recognized as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day in Ontario. No one should grieve the loss of their baby alone or in silence.

The Board of Directors of Perinatal Bereavement Services Ontario

Friday, 6 April 2012

Perinatal & child loss discrimination

Seems more recently that there has been public attention to the issue of perinatal & child loss.  Some media related stories have brought it to the forefront, even if it is only short lived. 

After our loss, I quickly became involved with our local chapter of Perinatal bereavement services & in their monthly update this month a link to an article looking at perinatal & infant loss was provided.  MacLeans printed an article on the topic & it summarizes the common prejudice & discrimination that we in our baby loss community feel everyday.  It categorically highlights the "new normal" we are forced to live with.

I am saddened by this article, commend all the comments but wonder how when we are forced to live in a world with such blatant intolerance people can ask how and why we retreat to find kindness within our own international community.  I once lived in the land of the ignorant but hope I would never have passed such volatile and careless judgement. 

The perinatal bereavement agency that provided this link also wrote a letter to the magazine in response.  For that I am grateful even though I doubt it will ever be published and more then likely eyes rolled when reading it.  Our messages must be heard, stories allowed to be told, children lives acknowledged & community allowed to convene without judgement or imposed limits.

I am attaching the link to the story here.  Read it & decide for yourself if it's worth commenting back. The-mourning-after

If anyone wants to read the response sent by Perniatal bereavement services to Macleans, I am  happy to post it. 

James - we will never "get over" you.  You will live in our hearts, memories & family with dignity.  For you & all the other babies gone too soon - I will stand up & say you matter, always will & I will always tell your story (ies).

xoxo mommy

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Back to Numb

Been feeling rather numb recently.  All I can liken it to is non sensical statement that I have heard many times..when someone says they drank themselves sober.  I wonder if worried myself numb.  The idea being that my body just gave out or in depending on how you want to look at it and now the only reaction I have is that of almost nothing. 

I have been thinking about James a lot recently, seen his locket out when I look at myself in the mirror almost like a sign that he's near.  As I get closer to wrapping up work, preparing to hopefully deliver a live & healthy baby, I am reminded that this will be my 3rd labour and delivery.  Even my husband let it slip and called this my 2nd.  I quickly reminded him & he was instantly apologetic and I know it was an honest mistake.  I am frightened, I have some ideas of what I would like this delivery to be like but the truth is all I care about is having delivering a healthy live baby.  I'm going to have to start raising this with my midwives for 2 reasons, I don't know if the delivery will be an emotional roller coaster, I'm at the same hospital and on the same floor where I delivered James and I am worried this one might come faster then expected - it is my 3rd after all! 

Here are my fears:
When I deliver I won't think of James,
When I deliver I won't think of anything but James,
When I deliver I won't have a live or healthy baby,
When I deliver an avalanche of emotions will engulf me & I won't be able to control or recover from it.

My mindfulness class starts this week but with my new numbness I wonder I'll be able to be open & take real advantage or if I'll have to work at leaving my group facilitator hat at the door, like I did with the bereavement group. 

Time will tell....

Missing you & hoping you are near angel.  xoxox Mommy

Monday, 12 March 2012


Anxiety - that seems to be where I live these days.  I keep hearing all the research shows that what you feel during pregnancy, your unborn child feels too.  So, I resign myself to be more mindful, it's never too late is what i tell myself, but each time, I find myself in a cycle of relaxation, building anxiety, frustration & self doubt.  So I tell myself do something about it, anxiety untreated is dangerous, how can I find some strategies to empower myself to release myself, to feel in control again?  I have to do something, I don't like the person I am carrying this anxiety around, I don't like the parent I have become.  I want to relish every moment of my exuberant toddler so filled with happiness & energy.  Right now I can't.

Mindfulness, a fad sweeping the nation, one I've been weary of,  but here I am, willing to try it.  Now try and find a course/workshop that's A - affordable & B- leaves me enough time before the baby is due.  My one girl friend found one, but it's in the city - I'm hoping this is the answer - some time with a friend and the added bonus of some techniques to use as we ramp up getting ready & then as I muddle my through the initial post partum period - when we will hopefully have a live & healthy baby home. 

I am left trying to clear the cob webs & organize my mind, how much of this is my anxiety from losing James & the terrifying notion that we could leave empty armed again?  How much has been the emotional toll of the roller coaster we've been on with Jev's recent multiple health scares?  How much are my doubts about my ability as a parent?  Does any of this even matter? 

I've heard people talk about letting it all go & simply resigning that there is a purpose & things will turn out the way they will regardless.  Although I doubt I could ever completely hand over faith & let go, how does one find the middle ground?  Is this even the answer?


Needing some of your guidance angel, I feel most at peace when I feel you near.  Missing you & wondering if I would have been any good as a parent to you at all or if I can rise to the challenge of honouring your life and taking the life lessons you've shared forward.

xoxox Mommy

Sunday, 4 March 2012

If I had a wish, it would be that my children always know how loved they each are.  If they never have to question in their hearts that I love them each beyond words and without reservation, regardless of circumstance I will have fulfilled my purpose. 

I have spent time, building a career, trying to be a upstanding member of my community, living with dignity and respecting others.  Today, all the matters is my family - I care not about the money & hours I have invested towards my career, being viewed as a contributing member of community, worrying about others.

I have always wanted to be the kind of person who would make you want to go the extra mile for.  The one who despite adversity tries to just keep moving.  I never realized however, this comes at a price - they say the good guy finishes last & I have not always believed this.  After the experiences of the past year, I can not say I am firm in my beliefs any longer.  Although I still feel a walk on the line of advocating strongly & being respectful is important, I wonder if the hard nosed advocate who takes a no holds barred & the spare no one attitude will always end up being the winner anyway.  I realize I am not this person and actually hope I never am, but for the sake of my children, I wonder if I need to grow some courage & strengthen my voice.

I am worried, I feel my emotions running away with me.  I have new regrets that seem to haunt me and I feel I have lost some of my fight.   

Mistakes were made, regrets are formed but the love is indelible. 

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Nuit blanche

As I think about our most recent nuit blanche I can't help but reflect on all the things that have happened since 2012 began.  I realize of course that things didn't exclusively begin in 2012 but rather everything that has happened since the new year has been painted various shades of colour as a result of the "new" normal we live everyday.

I work with people everyday, people who live in impossible situations, people who have to shift their lives, way of thinking just to cope from moment to moment.  What I often see is that these people will often fall into a pattern of moving from one crisis to the other, crisis that they themselves create b/c they don't know how to live any other way.  These clients are among the most draining - but you are always reminded to be grateful for not having to live a day in their shoes.

For me, I am wondering if I am slowly becoming one of them...I feel like I have lived in a constant state of anxiety and moved from crisis to crisis since Jan 1. I wonder if resilience, which is often assumed to be innate, can exceed it's capacity & backfire creating a state of constant anxiety & need for crisis.  I have had some dark thoughts, I live in anticipation of the next "thing" going wrong.  I don't feel myself, I am irritable, emotional and anxious all the time.  My midwife is concerned I am having prenatal anxiety.

I try and explain it this way, imagine, your only surviving child is sick constantly, not just a little bit sick but very sick.  Now imagine your worst fear being that this child will die too - and each time you try and convince yourself maybe it'll just be a cold this time, it's not and the doctors no matter how many you see can't make him feel better.  Imagine your child having a seizure in your arms, imagine your child struggling for breath, imagine your child crying for relief that you can't provide them.  Now imagine your second child died and you miss him but can't access him b/c your every waking thought is your oldest will die too & that you won't be able to go on.  Add if you can, the responsibility of carrying a 3rd unborn child whose safe entry into this world depends completely on you.  Maybe add some sleep deprivation in there, financial pressures, work pressures, husband with a medical condition of his own with complications and ask yourself - would you feel anxious? 

A long winded way to ask, am I really dong so badly? Would anyone else feel anything other then anxiety, emotional, frustrated and stressed? 

My only lingering thought comes from the research I did on prenatal anxiety - babies born to moms with prenatal anxiety are more likely to be sick & require medications and/or have a higher risk of ADD/ADHD. Oy - talk about anxiety provoking!  I can't help but wonder when this ripple effect stops?  What can I be doing to make things better for everyone?  Is this the common plight for those fortunate enough to experience pregnancy after loss? Or is this is just the ramblings of another white night?

Thursday, 16 February 2012

still tucked away...

I've had some time to really mull over my post from yesterday.  The sentiments of my post are still true and  I realize that it is one of my more raw & dark posts - of recent anyhow.  In recent months I've blogged about how my posts seem to lack hope & worried openly about what this means about my journey.  I think that especially over the last 24 hours I've come to realize it's not that I lack hope but rather that I hide my hope, even from myself.   All the little whispers that allow me to carry on - I keep them close, maybe even deny they are there.  I feel that there is so much unknown, including this 3rd child who is yet to be born, that I am afraid to be hopeful b/c I do feel cursed and/or that Murphy's law will rear it's ugly head like it always does and I'll have to start from scratch, again.

I recognize however, that I could never have carried on, made it this far, chosen to try to bring another child into this world if I didn't hold onto hope.  I just hold it close and keep it quiet & then when things go wrong I feel an overwhelming sense of loss of control (that dredded feeling), disappointment in myself, anger at life & grief for all the "should" haves and my still tender heart which misses James.  This blog as much I need it to be about hope, is also about a safe place to openly vent my grievances with life's never ending twists and turns & the hope that anyone who reads it, still knows the light of hope - mostly that I will see my precious angel James again some day - flickers, all be it dimly some days.

I want to thank Cheryl for your comment, reading the other mom's blog was very humbling & opened a new door in my mind.  While I'm not sure where my rift with god will lead me, the post itself was inspiring and I feel it helped me refocus, take a breath & get some perspective back.  I am completly grateful that you took the time to comment & link me to some fresh perspective, on a day when I felt lost & without purpose.

James - missing you and hoping that although I make mistakes, that I can still make you proud. 

xoxoxo Mommy

Wednesday, 15 February 2012


What if despite everything you decided that you would try and stay focused to be sure you lived up to be the "best" mom you possibly could be, for your child here on this earth and the one in heaven.   What if you struggled but knew that nothing this important comes easily or without moments of doubt.  What if despite all your best efforts, you didnt' listen to yourself when it really mattered & something preventable happened?  What if now you are a failure, what if now, trying, pushing on, having faith is all for nothing b/c you know you can't/won't be able to do it.

I have felt over the years that I am cursed, so many trials, so many obsticles to overcome but hopeful that there will be a change in luck, or that it would pay off some day.  If I am cursed, I never believed I could pass it onto my kids - that is one thing I cant' live with.   I draw the line at my children - I am not a religious person for exactly this reason, how can children suffer like this without any good reason?  How can the unfairness of life spoil the innocence of childhood.  No good reason, no sense.

My deepest regrets go out to my children for letting them down & failing when it was my time to come through.

Friday, 10 February 2012

I miss you everyday but the last few have seemed particularly poignant.  I've had strange dreams where I am missing you & crying for you, I've heard songs that previously were just background music on my drive into work but now bring me to tears as the words resonate with the absence of you. 

Feb 12, 2011 we held a memorial service in your honour.  It was one of the most painful mornings in my life.  We got to hold you again, unexpectedly - I was so grateful, yet unprepared.  I had to put you down and have your casket closed - it was like having you ripped from my body & heart all over again.  I watched those who had come to pay respects & support us, I noticed those who were absent, I watched Jev play & come back over & over as if to comfort me- he seemed so wise & tuned in on that day.  I fell apart when everyone left & it was only you, Papa & I - pain & grief so deep I lost my strength to support my own legs.  Half an hour later, it was the sound of your brother's cries that snapped me back to composure.  We had to leave you, how we wanted to pick you up in your bed and take you home with us, but that wasn't meant to be.

As we approach that date one year later, my subconscious has raised you to my consciousness.  Like everything else in this journey, nothing is the way you would expect. 

Stay near angel as Mommy holds you close in my heart and remembers those precious moments when we were together again, no matter how briefly. 

xoxoxo Mommy

Friday, 27 January 2012

Thank you

First let me start by sending out a heartfelt thank you to everyone for your support.  Your comments & messages filled my heart with the same awe and gratitude as last year when I realized how many truly generous people are out there.  You all helped me get through one of my toughest days & for that I am eternally grateful.

For some time now, when I am asked if I'm having my first child by curious acquaintances/colleagues, I have decided to reply by saying that I am expecting my 3rd.  Until yesterday, no one has gone any further but I knew that at some point the inevitable question of how old my other children are, would be asked.  Yesterday the question came, in a room with a few colleagues & I knew as soon as it was asked the mood in the room would change from excitement about our youngest to shock & regret on the part of the audience.  I answered with the truth that my oldest was 2yrs and that my second child had passed away.  The gasps of unsuspecting audience members & then offers of apologies and condolences given.  I thanked them & reassured them it was ok.

I was on one hand nervous but then filled with happiness to speak about James in real time, as an active member of our family - even if it was to the horror of others.  My heart was filled with joy and light the rest of the day - I love being able to talk about him, I get so few opportunities to do so these days. 

 Feeling you closer these recent days & grateful for your presence angel. 

Love Mommy xoxox

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Birthday Photo blog

I thought I would share through photos our celebrations from James' 1st birthday on Friday. 

We kept our celebration small, just the immediate family this year.  There were balloons to heaven, a photo dedication through Carly, donations in James' memory, a tattoo for Papa, music, cake and tears of love.

Here are some of the highlights:

Balloons from Mommy, Papa, Jeven & younger brother to be- Papa even wrote a message.

Getting ready to start

Getting ready to send Jev's balloon up


Papa was next...


Mommy's turn!

It was a cold day but there wasn't a cloud in the sky!  We could see your balloons just keep going and going!
Papa's Tattoo

Your Sunset butterfly thanks to Carly

 Songs of dedication included:
100 Years, Five for Fighting
If I die Young, The Band Perry
Fly, Celine Dion

All in all, the day was one of remembrance, emotion and even some celebration.  I think we all remembered in our own special way.  I hope you felt our love & received our heartfelt messages & gifts.

Happy birthday Angel again, we miss you everyday & hope you'll stay near.

xoxoxoxoxo Mommy

Friday, 20 January 2012

Happy 1st birthday angel

I never welcomed Winter into my heart, though she has been there since he died. The Summer of my life sometimes feels like a distant memory. Although it may have dimmed and faded MY LIGHT IS ETERNAL and like his soul and mine, they will burn and stay alight forever. - Carley Marie Dudley
Since heaven has become your home
I sometimes feel that I'm alone;
And though we now are far apart
You hold a big piece of my heart
I never knew how much I'd grieve
When it was time for you to leave
Or just how much my heart would ache
From that one fragment you would take
Please let this tiny hole remain,
Reminding me we'll meet again
And one day all the pain will cease
When time restores this missing piece
For time heals each tiny part
That holds your memory in my heart.♥
-Author Unknown

Missing you today & everyday angel xoxoxox Mommy

Thursday, 19 January 2012

My worst day

How can one day feel so completely opposite?  This day for our family always will.  4 years ago today was the best day of my life, I married my partner & the one person who helps make me a better person.  A day full of true happiness & hope for the future.

1 year ago today, 3 years later, we prepared for the worst day of our lives, we prepared to go to hospital to birth our already dead child, who we'd learn was a son.  How can life be so cruel?  That day was a foggy one, 2 sleepless nights & a million tears already shed.  Shock & grief so tightly woven together that my brain simply went on overload & seemed not able to process the simplest of things.

All the wonders of a life you dream about coming true 3 years previous & 3 years later horrors no person should ever face all in one day.

So many ugly memories from one year ago.  My worst day would spill into tomorrow when James was actually born.

One year later, I start by feeling numb, simply acknowledging how strange and ironic this life has been.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

1 year ago was the beginning of the end...

One year ago today...just about now, our lives changed forever.   I'll always remember the words of the midwife as she had to accept that she wasn't going to find James' heartbeat..."hopefully it's a boy & he's just hiding, but I have to be honest, I'm worried".

I remember being so shocked & beyond disbelief I laughed in the office out of shock until we left and had to speak the possibility out loud & then I cracked big time.  I spent all kinds of energy that night trying to evoke a kick, a feeling, anything that night to prove he was alive, that he was just a boy & hiding.  I have to admit though that I knew, against all odds & against all hope, I knew.  I didn't sleep that night as I waited for my ultrasound appointment the next morning & prayed.

The beginning of the end was already in motion one year ago today.  

Saturday, 14 January 2012


I've been struck at how other blogs I read seem more hopeful then my own.  This has got me wondering about my journey.  I believe that there have been times when my thoughts have held more hope then they have recently & this makes me wonder if I've fallen off the path or if this is just simply part of it.  I tell myself everyones journey is unique but how can mine seem so stuck, so without hope and others feel it, see it or at least acknowledge it must be there somewhere. 

I'm feeling like I'm life's punching bag, like I can't ever get a break.  The funny thing is that I know I've been given the biggest break of all, another child to potentially bring into this world.  The journey to making this happen just seems paved with challenges & obstacles & I've lost my zest for a challenge as it applies to this area of my life.

I have read the media's coverage of the Duggers from 20 kids & counting losing their youngest daughter at 19 weeks & the criticism of the mom & the family's choice to photograph & put a memorial & memorial video together.  This both angered me for the judgement that others have the audacity to impose without a frame of reference & scared me b/c I was 19 weeks at the time I read the story.  I had nightmares & Mike has asked me from reading anything further on the topic to reduce my stress.  I am still outraged at the media.  What a striking example of how far we are as a Society from being open to & supporting this gut renching time in a family's life.

Jev is still sick, I watched him sleeping this morning & was struck at how pale & sick he looked even as he slept soundly and peacefully.  I can't even imagine the plight of parents of chronically & seriously ill children- I am filled with gratitude for knowing his illness is brief & he will recover at some point.

As James' day approaches & it becomes clear that Jev's care will spill into the middle of next week, any plans of mine to do something over and above or that requires planning are all but out of the question for this year.  I've come to accept that it will be a quiet day with a few special tributes/moments shared as a family & I hope next year will hold more special arrangements & remembrances.

James, you flashed to me many times yesterday as we sat in our local children's hospital trying to get to the bottom of what's making Jev so sick.  You helped me keep my cool & stay grateful for the efforts of the doctors & nurses.  I think you even helped fast track a few things for us which kept us focused & ready.  I hope you visit Jev often and that you can have a special relationship despite the distance.  Your youngest brother is saucy already & I can only imagine the great times the three of you would have had.

I love you angel & hope you'll help me get back to hope.
xoxox Mommy 

Friday, 13 January 2012


What is it about January?  Once upon a time, it was a cold & beautiful time of year with snow painting the landscape & the planning & celebration of our wedding.

Now, it's a hellish month, memories of moments gone too soon & this year a battle against some unknown illness in our household.  Everyone one of us is sick, most notably is Jev.  I've been home with him since Monday & he's not improving at all.  Fevers are relentless, he is so uncomfortable & I have really reached a point where I am starting to doubt myself.  I've done everything I know how to, my instincts seems to even fail me now.  Sure, I haven't slept in 2 weeks between sleep training & now sickness but I can't help but think about how powerless I am & how I feel like I keep letting down my children.

We've been to the doctor, gotten medication, checked in with the doctor again & have another appointment tomorrow.  We've toyed with going to hospital on a number of occasions but the doubts about our own competence to judge the situation seems to get in the way.  The dialogue in Mike's & my head are united in one way, we are scared each and every time that we will lose him too.  We couldn't go on if that were to happen, that we both agree. 

I have a sinus infection brewing with no time to rest or want to be away from Jev for even one second as it seems I'm the only comfort he wants - even if I am a complete failure at bringing it to him.  Every now & then I remember, oh ya, I'm pregnant too - funny how this time feels more disconnected, even when things are status quo.  So there goes my subconscious again, what if this stress, this infection, this dreaded month of January means another loss, another failure on my body's part to cope.  My thoughts are torturous to say the least.

James' day is Friday next week, and I haven't been able to dedicate the time I had hoped to make it something meaningful for me.  Mike as always is completely tuned into how to make it meaningful & will get a tattoo of tribal style angel wings with James name & date.  I had planned to make a donation in his name and pick up some balloons and maybe something else - to be determined to make it a day of dedication and remembrance.  Lord knows, I feel set up to fail at this one too but keep trying to tell myself that the first is going to be the strangest, the hardest, and that rituals can fall out of it or be established after it and to stop pressuring myself to somehow magically know.  Easier said then done.

Wow January is in with a vengeance again and hopefully out like a lamb, this year.  Although January will never be that magical month ever again.

Praying that you are with us and will help us know what we need to do to help your older brother and keep him safe.

xoxox Mommy

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Epiphany 2012

I have had a post in my mind mind for almost a week now but avoided writing.  I have found every excuse in the book to avoid it, this early morning however, the inspiration seems to have returned so here goes: 

Over the xmas holidays I lived with a certain amount of resentment.  Resentment for the reality of living with one living child, instead of two, people's fervour to focus on our 3rd child without any reference to James, news that a relative was expecting another boy.  Whenever I find resentment in my heart, especially when it's directed at someone else, I feel tremendous guilt.  After giving into the feeling & allowing it to rattle around in my mind, I reached an epiphany.  This resentment isn't entirely what it appears to be - sure I'm ticked off that life has handed me this reality and wish others would celebrate & remember with us at the same time, but resentment at the news that another family member is having a boy - no - I realize now that what I felt was guilt.  I have watched my living child play alone, try and join other sibling sets play, gravitate toward other babies, demonstrate a gentle kindness with younger children and hated myself for not being able to have given him a brother to play with.  Hearing the news that his cousin, born only 2 weeks before him, was going to have this miracle hit me where I didn't realize I hurt most, a feeling of failure & guilt for not being able to do the same.

It is the implicitly understood reality after losing a child, especially if already have living children, that you become fiercely guarded & reactive to your living child's well being, emotional, physical, developmental, psychological.  There is nothing in the world that you wouldn't do to nurture them and keep them children for as long as you can.  But, what if there was one thing you knew they needed, one thing you just couldn't deliver.  That has been my torment, knowing a brother should have been here to challenge, nurture, play, fight even with him, helping him grow and him helping his brother. 

We have been hoping and praying to make it to our anatomical scan, we have been hoping and praying to find out that our 3rd child is growing and healthy & with a little luck find out the gender.  I have poured a fair amount of energy into trying to stay focused and calm - as much as possible.  In the last week, with my epiphany, I realized that I have placed some pressure on myself to deliver what I failed to last year, a brother for my boys.  The absolute impossibility of this pressure is responsible for my epiphany, In my mind I know I have no hope of controlling this & that it is a done deal - no  matter what the outcome.  This reality only makes me feel more guilty, less in control and more anxious.  My only hope is that my boys will find a way to be forgiving if somehow I fail them again.

The day came, our anatomical scan took place and we got the news we'd be praying for, our 3rd child appears to be healthy & growing well.  The opportunity to find out the gender was offered & we hopefully said yes, me with the above swirling in my head & Mike with his premonition that we were having a girl.  The scan showed it was a boy & despite everything I wrote above I felt no excitement.  I guess the pressure is really on now.  Keep this baby safe, alive, healthy - deliver a healthy brother to grow & play with my earth angel & know about & remember his angel up above.  In the mean time, all I can do to stay in control of the out of control is breathe.

Missing you angel & wishing I could write a different ending to our story.  xoxoxox Mommy