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