Friday, April 27, 2012

Babies Everywhere

I’ve been particularly hesitant lately to write about my feelings on pregnancy announcements and recent births because I’m afraid to upset anyone else.  Both have had a huge affect on my emotional state and this is my spot for healing and sharing with other baby loss moms.  So, just know that my intention is not to make anyone feel bad. 

Until recently I thought that seeing or being around pregnant women would be the worst thing ever, but it’s not.  Seeing beautiful, healthy babies enter this world has been heart-wrenching.  Again, I’ll re-iterate that I am beyond happy for the new parents that their babies have entered this world and are happy, healthy and extremely loved.  The heart-wrenching part is knowing that I won’t have that experience with Sam.   I will never experience delivering him.  I will never experience him being laid on my chest after being born or watching Ryan cut his cord.  I’ll never have a Mommy and Sam picture in our hospital bed.  I’ll never have a proud poppa picture of Ryan holding Sam all wrapped up in his hospital blanket. I’ll never have a picture of our family of 3.  I’ll never have those cute pictures of “I’m xx months today.”  I’ll never get to dress him up in cute little outfits.  I’ll never get to be exhausted from night time feedings.  I’ll never get to smother him with kisses.  I’ll never have snuggle time.  Ryan and Sam will never get Daddy, son time lying on the couch watching the Phillies.  It just breaks my heart into a million little pieces.  I miss my Sam so much and tell him everyday how much I love him and wish he were still growing in my belly.

It’s also extremely hard to hear new announcements that friends are expecting their little bundle of joy.  That doesn’t by any means mean that I don’t want to be told.  Life goes on.  I am at an age where everyone I know is having babies.  I know it’s really hard to tell someone who just lost their child that you are expecting.  I had to do it when I announced I was pregnant with Sam.  It broke my heart to know I was making someone else sad.  If you are reading this and someday have to tell someone you are pregnant after they’ve experienced loss, I have just a few tips.  Tell her one on one instead of in a group.  Understand that she may need space.  There may be days she can’t be around you or can’t talk to you.  It’s not because she’s mad at you.  She’s just having a hard time dealing with her loss.

I’ve definitely learned that there is no escaping all of these babies and pregnancies.  I think I would need to move to a secluded island free of modern technology.  I’m sure eventually I will just get used to it.  For now, every time I log onto Facebook, read a gossip magazine or turn on the TV I brace myself.  Every celebrity is pregnant and plastered all over People and US Weekly.  Facebook is swarming with pregnancy announcements and new babies.  Facebook even has a fun functionality that if one of my friends comments on a non-mutual friends photo of a new baby or baby bump it pops up in my news feed…great!  And don’t get me started on TV shows.  Even Ryan has noticed that every show has someone pregnant.  The worst is Glee…why on earth did they need to have Sue Sylvester get pregnant???  Really???? 

I have no idea what the future holds for me, but I really hope that one day I can look at pictures or hold a baby and not feel total sadness.   I know the pain will always be there, but I have to believe that eventually the pain won’t be as intense.  

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Second Verse

The other night dear
As I lay sleeping
I dreamed I held you in my arms
When I awoke dear
I was mistaken
And I held
My head
And cried

All my life I’ve found joy in the first verse of this song, but the second verse has become my new reality.  It’s been a tough week.  So many people I know are reveling in the first verse, their lives are full of sunshine and happiness.  It’s a very weird feeling to be so happy for others but be lost in the pits of my own grief. Don’t get me wrong, my life isn’t total darkness.  I have a wonderful husband, lots of loving family and friends, I am healthy, I have a home and a job.  I am very thankful for these things.  I just can’t shake the feeling that I’ve been short changed.  I was given a taste of the dream and what my future could be holding my sweet baby.  It’s very hard to watch other people actually living the dream.  I know in my heart that someday my dreams will come true, but for now it’s just really really hard. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Sam's Memorial

Yesterday we had a memorial for Sam and interned his ashes at the Memorial Garden at church.  It was just our little family (me & Ryan) and Pastor Jim.  I’m very thankful that we have such a special place for Sam and he can be in the same place as his grandmom.  It is beautiful there this time of year.  The grass is green and all the trees are just getting buds on them.  I was worried because it was supposed to rain, but it ended up being a beautifully warm sunny spring day. 

My Pap made sure to make his presence known.  There were birds chirping the entire time we were in the garden.  One bird in particular stayed on the same tree branch overlooking the garden the entire time and even a cardinal stopped by.  When I was growing up he used to always watch the birds outside his living room window that would stop by his many homemade bird feeders.  He always had his bird book and binoculars handy in case there was a bird he didn’t recognize and would always point out which one was which to me.  To this day I still can’t pick out birds, but I still liked looking out the window with him.  I know he is telling Sam all about the birds up in Heaven and even still cursing out the pesky squirrels and chipmunks trying to eat the bird food.  I imagine the chipmunks and squirrels are just as mischievous in Heaven.  I hope Sam enjoys it as much as I did.

I have always struggled with my faith, but lately more than ever I believe there is a Heaven.  Yesterday, a lot of the things Pastor Jim said to us stuck with me.  From the moment we lost Sam I always believed that I will get to see him again someday in Heaven, but hearing Pastor Jim say those words yesterday meant a lot.  He said that someday, when I get to Heaven that I will immediately know who Sam is and Sam will know his momma.  Also, for the first time I didn’t feel a fear of death.  I don’t have a particular reason why, I guess it’s just the experience of going through this loss.   I don’t plan on leaving this world anytime soon, there are too many things to do and too many people I love here, but I do believe that there is a life after this one.  A life with out pain hurt and tears.  A place full of light, love and happiness.  I know Sam is living that life right now in Heaven.

Sam - We hope you are happy and feel loved.  We hope you are enjoying getting to know your Grandmom, Great-Grandpap, Great-PopPop and all of your angel baby friends.  We hope you are playing, laughing and learning new things everyday.  We love you very much and send lots of hugs and kisses to Heaven just for you.

Love –
Mommy & Daddy

Friday, April 13, 2012

Should Be

I’ve been living in the land of “should be” lately.  Yesterday, I should have been starting my 28th week.  I should be in my 3rd trimester.  I should be in the home stretch.  I should be starting birthing classes, looking for a pediatrician and planning my maternity leave at work.  I should be picking out nursery furniture and a color to paint the walls when we close on our house in a few weeks.  I should be going to my baby shower on Saturday.  I should be stocking up on diapers and baby supplies.  I should be complaining about my back hurting or how hard it is to sleep as my belly grows bigger.  I should be counting down the weeks until I get to meet and hold my little one.

All of the “should be’s” also make me think of the things I shouldn’t be doing. I shouldn’t be trying to lose 3 inches and 5 lbs of stubborn weight that won’t go away. I wasn’t supposed to be worried about baby weight until I had my son in my arms.  I shouldn’t be enjoying drinks with friends.  I shouldn’t be planning on going on vacation in July.  July I should be delivering my son. I shouldn’t be going to my son’s memorial on Sunday.   I shouldn’t be sad everyday, but the reality is that I am.  I will carry this sadness with me everyday.  Reality really sucks!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


For anyone that hasn’t gone through the loss of a child, being there for someone who has can be a scary prospect.  I’ve been there.  There have been a few people in my life that have lost babies prior to me losing Sam.  Looking back on it, I know I didn’t always say or do the right thing out of fear that I would only make the person feel worse or more sad, or just due to the sheer fact that I didn’t fully understand what they were going through.  In hindsight now, I wish I could go back and do a lot of things differently. 

Sam has brought me closer to quite a few people over the past 7 weeks.  I’ve always valued my friendships and loved my friends and family, but losing Sam has amplified that love.  I feel a deeper love for my family and friends.  So many people have been there for me, loving me and supporting me along the way.  I keep hearing about my strength and courage, but I think it also takes a lot of strength and courage for my friends and family to be here for me during this time when it’s hard to know what the right thing to do or say is.  I’m lucky to have amazing people in my life to hug me a little longer and tighter these days.  I’m lucky to have a best friend that will travel 500 miles to spend a couple hours with me on one of the saddest days of my life.  I’m lucky to have a mom that has been there for me everyday taking care of me, whether in person or over the phone just listening.  I’m lucky to have a father-in-law that will stop at a turnpike stop just to give me a hug and make sure I’m okay (we happened to be driving past each other randomly).  I’m lucky to have a  bestest cousin that will patiently listen to all my crazy rantings and just agree with me and isn’t afraid to ask me questions about what I’m going through.  I’m lucky to have friends and family that will check on me and remind me that I’m strong and can make it though this storm.

Sadly, I’ve also questioned old relationships.  I’ve had my sadness compared to other’s sadness, when there is no comparison.  I’ve felt the deafening silence of no words at all from friends and family I thought I had a better relationship with.  I try not to be angry about these things because it may be they don’t know what to say.  It still disappoints me though and I can’t help but distance myself from these people a little.

I have also distanced myself from friends that are expecting.  I feel intense guilt that I can’t be the friend I should for them, but it’s just too hard.  Even though I’m happy for them, it’s too hard to see the happiness and to see everything that I should have but don’t.  It’s too much of a painful reminder of my loss.  It makes me question too, “Why me?” while they are probably thanking God that they aren’t in my shoes.  Who can blame them either; I would be thanking God everyday for my healthy baby if that were the case and would not wish these shoes on anyone.  My fear is that these relationships will forever be different.  I just pray that one day I’m strong enough to be there for them again.

The most normal I have felt in weeks though was last night.  I had dinner with a friend who is also a baby loss mom.  For the first time I was able to sit down and talk to someone else who knew exactly what I am feeling and has been through similar emotions and fears.  I finally felt like I could speak freely and nothing I said sounded crazy because the friend sitting across the table from me had felt the same emotions.  I have no idea what the future holds for me, but this friend inspires me.  She has shown me that while the pain will always be there; there is happiness and hope in the future.