Sunday, November 20, 2011

Changing grief? Becoming immune?

It is amazing how different this has been since Alana was born. When Noah died, i was in a puddle everyday, all day. Since Alanas death, i have been doing pretty well. It has been 3 weeks today that she was born. I had been pregnant for 17 weeks. I guess i have not even begun to deal with all of this. Today i woke up in a funk. I thought about my Nana, as today would have been her birthday, and then thought about her celebrating her day in heaven with my 7 angels all around her. Then it hit me. I have been on ate verge of tears all day. But instead of crying, i cleaned. I was grumpy with everyone, and i know why. It is because this hurts like hell. Living my life without my babies is extremely painful! Sure, i do live my life. I am happy and find joy. But i ACHE to hold my babies. I miss them. The holidays are coming and they are not with me.

I also am a bit worried about the fact Alana's death seems to not effect me as much as my other babies. Is my grief changing? Am i afraid to let it all out? Am i becoming immune to the pain? Do i think on some sub-conscience level that this is no big deal? I will admit that the backlash i received for my grief has really forced me to feel like i must fake it till i make it. However, i do not even feel like i can be real to myself. Is this a problem?
I guess it comes down to this. Yes, i miss her. Yes, i love her as much as i love all my other kids. But i really feel like i a grieving the end of my fertility, as much, if not more, than the death of Alana. Tuesday i go for a presurgery consult for sterilization. While i KNOW this is my only option, it is hard. If you are one of those that is celebrating this decision, please do not celebrate in front of me. This is extremely hard. because it was not a choice i wanted to make. I didnt really have a say in this. This is not how i dreamed my life to be.
All in all, i know i will survive. i am a bit shocked at the delayed reaction of grief. I know i love all my kids, and everyone who thinks my kids dont count because they were "only" XX weeks, or they never lived outside of my womb, can keep their opinions to themselves. Losing my kids, and now my fertility will always be a huge part of my life, and will play a role in who I will become. I just need to become someone special, and help others, thru my pain.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Erik's 5th birthday

today is Erik's 5th birthday. He was born in the early hours of October 25, 2006. his birth was traumatic and ended with me being in surgery for retained placenta, followed by weeks of iron infusions, and procrit injections.
I have been thinking today about the day he was born, and how traumatic is was. A couple years ago i couldn't even think about it without being in a heap, and it is comforting to know that i am dealing with the trauma of his birth so much better.
last night we had cake for Erik. I made a little cake with lots of love, and shared it with my family. Chocolate cake, white frosting and blue writing. I went to bed shortly after, and talked to him, as if he was there. I told him that i love him, and i wish he was here for me to spoil. I am sad that he is not with me anymore, but I hope he hears me, and i hope he is proud of how far his mom has come over the years.
I also normally do random acts of kindness for my kids birthdays. This year, i am doing an act of kindness for me. I am going out with a fellow bereaved mom, and we will sit and chat and just be. I know i should do something more, but it is just not in me right now. Right now, while i am preparing for the birth of our last child, our last angel, i need to be kind to myself. I need to take care of me, so today, my act of kindness is being kind to myself, which will in turn, help my children, and my husband. Maybe another day I will feel the need to bless the life of another, but today, i am selfishly keeping it to myself.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Alana Grace

We are about to have another angel. We found out on October 15, 2011 that our baby girl has died. Her death was confirmed on monday, oct 17. I am still in the phase of shock i guess. I have had moments of sadness and despair, but really it doesnt seem real. It seems like it is impossible that I have lost another baby. I no longer feel pregnant, though i still look as though i am 4-5 months along. Almost as if i am living in a dream, and maybe i was never really pregnant. Like it was all in my head, and i am not being forced to now say goodbye. however, i know what is coming. I know I will be saying goodbye to our little girl.

We have named all of our angels, because all of our angels, are in fact, our children. While driving home from dinner the other night, we stsrted talking names, and Phil mentioned Alana. I had never really heard the name but it had a beautiful ring in my ears. I googled the meaning of the name, and it means "precious". Precious she is. She is so loved and wanted, and now we are forced to say goodbye.

I am waiting for her birthday. I wish i knew when she will leave my body, and come into the world, but I dont know when it will happen. I keep thinking it is going to happen, and labor is about to begin, but then everything stops. I am feeling ready. I am ready to see her, to hold her.

Alana is my 7th baby to die in the second trimester. My 5th that had died, for no apparent reason. She is my 3rd daughter to die. Alana is my 11th child. She will always be a part of my family, and I am proud to claim her as mine. I wish she were alive, and that i never had to say goodbye, but that is not the case. Now i just pray for the strength to get thru this trial. The strength to stand, to cry, to breathe. The strength to honor her, and to make her proud of me.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Love and Grief

I have been thinking about some things that have been said to me in the past, as well as peoples reactions to my grief.
I would like to start by saying that the amount of love i have for my child, has nothing to do with how long i carried them, how big they were, or whether a pregnancy is planned or not. I wanted and loved, every one of my children, the same, as soon as i saw two pink lines. THAT is when my life with them started. Not once they were born. I did not love my child that i carried the longest, weighed over 8 lbs, anymore than my child that was carried a week less and weighed jut over 6 lbs. The size of my child doesnt matter. I also do not love my 10 year old, more than my 2 year old. Love is not quantified by size, or time spent. I can honestly say that i love all 10 of my kids equally. I do not feel that i should have less pain, when a child dies inutero, because the child did not breathe, smile, giggle, or walk on this earth, than I should if my child took 1 or 1000 breaths. The fact that i never held my breathing child, is actually something i mourn. I am not grateful that they didnt live a while so i would be attached, then have them die. I WAS attached. Emotionally and Physically. I would have given anything to see my child breathe, hear my child cry, and to hold a soft warm body.
I know that many people think i dont have a right to grieve. I know this because i have been told this. I was told i am "sick" for grieving the loss of a child that never lived outside of my body, and i am pretty certain by the reaction of other loved ones, they feel the same way, but chose not to use the words.
I find it interesting, even within the grief community, how judgements are made, and support is given. It seems some people who are also grieving parents, maybe dont "count" my kids as being my kids. maybe dont think that i should grieve them, because they were so small, or didnt live outside of my body. I even think sometimes, that because i dont talk about it all the time, that people feel i have moved on, or I am over it, and dont need that extra hug. I do not spend time in group anymore, because of some personal feelings, that does not mean i dont love, and miss my kids, it just means my situation has changed.
My entire life is not surrounding the deaths of my 6 children. I actually do live "normal" life, taking care of what i need to do, enjoying my life and activities. However, there are 5 days a year, i celebrate my children that died. I celebrate Rachel and Rebecca on September 1, Brock on May 22, Erik on October 25, Joe on Feb 11, and Noah on June 25. I celebrate that I am their mother, and while i dont know why they were taken from me, the fact remains, they are mine. I do not consider myself to be obsessed with the deaths of my children, but I remember them. I think about them everyday. When someone asks me "how many children do you have?", it pulls at my heart. There will always be an emptiness in my heart. There will always be the need for someone to mention their names, or to ask about them.
I also know there will always be judgements, and people will likely always think it is time to forget or get over it. There will be people who dont offer support, or roll their eyes if i say i am having a hard day. I am working on being OK with these experiences, and knowing that luckily, most of the world doesnt truly get the lifelong suffering after the death of a child. I will even be ok when these judgements and feelings come from within the grief community.
Like i have said before. My grief is my grief. This is my journey to walk, and mine alone, because no other mother lost, Rachel, Rebecca, Brock, Erik, Joe, and Noah. But I hope that people keep in mind that Love and Grief are not quantified by the size of the person who was taken from us, or how long this person was on the Earth. As Dr Seuss says, "A person is a person, no matter how small"
I am grateful for the support i have received over the years. I am grateful for the people who dont judge me, who love me as i am, and that are kind to me. I am grateful to be the mom to 10 beautiful children. I am grateful for my good days, as well as my bad as having bad days, reminds me i am still human. I will love them forever, miss them for always. I am their mom.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

5 Years

Five years ago today, I gave birth to my first son. Brock Edward was born at home. He had died a few weeks prior. 3 weeks and 6 days, to be exact. I allowed him to come on his own schedule. I did not want to force him into the world, and I, selfishly, wanted more time with him. I was not ready to say goodbye. He was born around 7 am, after 1.5 hours of labor, very intense labor. He was so perfect, and beautiful, and small. I laid with him, in my bed for over an hour, memorizing everything about him. It was not until the mortuary came, to get him, that I broke down. I was not ready to say goodbye.

The next few days of funeral planning were a blur. I was blessed to go to a MISS conference just about 2 weeks after his birth. Spending a few days learning tools to care for my self, and to help me along on my grief journey. I am grateful I went.
Along the journey of the last 5 years I have learned a lot. I have learned about myself, my relationships, and my family. I have learned who is there when they are needed, and who walks, when times are tough. I have learned that I can honor my children, everyday. I have learned that I will never forget, and that i dont want to forget. I have learned that I am blessed, because I was chosen to be the mother for 6 children, that have died, and I am blessed that i had every one of them in my life.
Today, i am missing Brock, thinking about the the time i had with him, the dreams we had for him, and thinking about the day, that I will see him again. Today, i will serve others, in his memory, I will bake a cake and sing happy birthday, at the cemetery, and I will buy him a birthday gift. He is my child, he always will be, and even though we have said goodbye, he is not really gone. he lives thru me.
Missing you Brock. Happy Brithday

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Its May

May is a tough month for me. My grandfathers Birthday is May 4, and I miss him more than words can describe. Mothers Day, follows shortly behind that, and that is a day filled with mixed feeling and emotions. I miss my grandmother, and my aunt. Both played an important role in my life, and missing people you love is just plain hard.
Then there is the other side of Mothers day. The side that knows i am truly blessed for my 4 living kids. I am blessed to hold them, to talk to them, and to guide them thru life. Then there is the side that feels cheated. Cheated that i dont get to hold, talk to, and guide my 6 babies that are not with me. I am thrilled and blessed to wake up to breakfast in bed, made by my girls. Opening home made cards, and gifts. Yet wondering how it would be if i had 10 kids making me cards, instead of 4.

Sometimes i find it a fight, or a struggle, to learn how to parent all of my kids, without leaving any of them out. Also a struggle to do what i need to do, for all of my kids. Of course, many will say there is nothing i "need" to do for my kids that died, because they are not here, but I still want to do something for them. I am still their mother.
This year, there was something that added to my fight, and I had to make some decisions. There was a walk, on mothers day, for mothers of children that have died. It was something, that I wanted to do, when i first heard about it months ago. Then i learned it would be on Mothers Day, and i think I decided, i would not do it. As the time got closer, I started with a huge internal battle over what to do. I wanted to go and be with bereaved mothers, and have ALL of my children recognized, but I didnt want to take away from my Mothers day with my living kids. I mean, what kind of mother would I have felt like, if i got up early, and took off to the zoo alone, and walked for my dead kids, while my living kids were left with a pancake breakfast that I was not home to eat? Would that be selfish? Would that be putting my kids that passed in front of my kids that live? I would over think this, all day long for several days, then decide, Nope, i cant do it. I am staying home, and going to church. After the walk, everyone was posting pictures of the event, and it started all over again. I should have went, I wish i would have gone. I wish i would have been able to make a footprint with my kids names. But It was too late. And that is OK, because I guess I did what I really needed to do.
I understand the need to do something on mothers day, when your only child(ren) has died. My first mothers day after Rachel and Rebecca were born was not fun at all. I didnt know if i was a mother or not. No one seemed to see me as one, because i was a mother, without a child. The feelings that come from that experience, cannot really be explained. But, mothers day is also hard for those of us that have both kids that are living and kids that have passed. And many times it seems that our feelings are minimized. I have thought that I was alone in these thoughts. That I was somewhat messed up, and that I was feeling like I didnt have the right to feel what i was feeling, until I talked to a couple of friends, and found out they feel the same way. At least, then, my feelings were validated. ( though i dont know why i needed them to be)
I am thinking I might just set something up next year, for those who want honor all of our children on Mothers Day Weekend. Maybe a pot luck brunch, on saturday, and then Sunday with our family. I dont know. I guess parenting in 2 worlds will always be a struggle, but I do hope that someday, i find the balance i am searching for.

Wow, that was a lot about mothers day. Guess i have a lot of feelings on the subject.

Also, in May, is Brock's Birthday. May 22. I cant believe he would be 5. I got some kindergarten info a few weeks ago, and it was shocking. he would be in kindergarten this fall, if i didnt homeschool. A milestone that I dreamed of at one point. Brock died a couple weeks after my oldest daughter was registered for Kingergarten. I remember thinking about how he would never go. It has been a LONG 5 years. he was my first son. And i miss him.
I am not sure what I am going to do for him this year. Most likely a birthday cake, a kindness project of some form, and a visit to the cemetery with some summery flowers. Since we moved so far away, it is hard to get to visit, but I will get there for his birthday this month, Noahs next month, and then for a couple birthdays in the fall.

I feel like my life is changing, my grief i changing, and I am becoming more like the person I hope to become. I will forever honor my kids, and thru me, they will live on. I am proud of them all. All 10 of them, because each of my children have helped form me, and my spirit. They will forever be my kids, and I will forever me their mom.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Strange days.

I am constantly amazed how days can go by, and I am doing pretty well "dealing" with everything, then i get knocked on my butt again.
Often times it is the reminder I need to refocus my energies. To spend more time, quality time, with my 4 little amazing blessings. I feel as though i am constantly trying to balance between 2 worlds. I am trying to parent all of my kids, both living and dead. Sometimes the best balance is hard to find. This "balancing" subject is often on my mind. I never feel as though I am doing enough. Never enough for my living kids, and never enough for my angels. Many will say there is nothing to do for my angels. Afterall, they are in an amazing place, being watched over and cared for by Heavenly Father, and all our family that has passed away. But they are my kids, and i continue to strive to parent them.

I am also working on finding peace. peace with relationships, peace with the events of my life, and realizing I didnt do anything to deserve what has happened to me. Peace with myself. Hmmm. Peace with myself. Why do i feel this will be the hardest to attain? My logical mind knows my body did not kill my babies, yet I am fighting with myself daily with a hate for my body. Peace is going to be very hard to find.

Today has been a strange day. Meeting someone new. Someone that i learned is a bereaved parent. Someone that brought up feelings I never expected. While it was awkward, now that i am hours past the meeting, i can see how this has given me some food for thought.
Now that i have this information, what will I do with it? Quite possibly, nothing. I mean, what can i do with it. But, my hope is, it will allow me to see things in a way i never thought possible, and maybe it will help me gain some understanding.

Tonight, i feel a little sad. Missing my babies. Wishing they were here. Wondering how delightfully hectic my life would be, homeschooling 10 kids! However, I know i am so incredibly blessed to have 4 amazing kids here, that i get to hug and kiss everyday. I am able to help them achieve their goals, I dream of their future, and know that i am raising amazing, compassionate kids.

Tonight, as i get ready for sleep. I will work on breathing. In, and out. I will say a prayer asking for help. I will kiss my 4 kids goodnight, and whisper goodnight to my angels. Tomorrow will be better.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Forever - Rascal Flatts [HD][Lyrics]

Angel Bears

I am working hard on a teddy bear drive. I have decided, ( I think) to name our organization Angel Bears. These bears I will collect will be given to parents of stillborn babies. I know it is not a replacement for their baby, but in my experience, having something to hold on to has helped me on those long, painful nights.

Now i am trying to figure out how to get our name out there, how to bring in the most donations, and how to distribute these bears where they are needed. I am also hoping to collect information on support groups, books to read, and information on planning a memorial service. I would like to put together a support packet to go with each bear.

I really feel good to be doing this. Something I can do in memory of my children. Something to help them live on, and bless the lives of others.

I know i have a long way to go for this to really take off, but the very idea that i started is an amazing feeling!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

So long

I know it has been so long since i have written anything on my blog. It is not because I have nothing to write, in fact, there is always a lot I can write.
I have been struggling with writing anything, because it seems my words are so easily judged, and twisted by certain people, and then recreated to mean what they want them to mean.

I am guessing that some of my biggest "fans" are no longer reading this blog, because they have decided that I am a horrible person. That is OK with me. I have come a long way in the few months, since my family decided that I am no longer a member. That is right. My dads entire family, with the exception of a couple, ( meaning 2 or 3) people, told me i am no longer welcome. Why am I no longer welcome? Well, you see, while I was dealing with the emotional aftermath of Noahs death, I made some comments stating that some family members were not being supportive at all, and i was feeling pretty alone. I never mentioned which family, and the truth is, I have 3 sides to my family. I have moms side, adopted dads side, and bio dads side. Apparently, what i was saying, hit home to part of my family, even though no names were mentioned, and I was told i am self centered and unwelcome.
I was also told that it is "sick" that i consider my losses, to be the death of a child. I dont know what else I could have considered them to be, but I was apparently wrong in this. Also that "normal" people do not grieve over a miscarriage. I always knew I was not normal. so that was OK with me. I dont want to be normal, if that means being heartless, and unloving.

I thought i would take some time to write down some of my thoughts.
First of all. Receiving an email, on my way to visit my husbands family for thanksgiving, explaining that basically I am no longer a member of the family was not easy. I was, and still am, a bit heartbroken. I mean, i was not shocked. Aside from a couple very important people in my life, this family never seemed to welcome me with open arms. I had felt like an outsider, as long as i could remember, as far back as early childhood. I always felt like i had to work extra hard, to earn some form of acceptance from this family, and my feeling was that because i was not a blood relative, i didnt count as much.
The email i received, from my cousin, was full of hate, and lies. It brought to my attention that certain people have been talking about me, in ways that are not true. Stories being told that no one has reason to tell. Made up stories. Stories, that if someone had taken the time to ask me about it, i would have been able to say what was really going on, or to say, I have no idea what people are talking about, but instead, people, adults, family member, and "Christians" are talking about me, behind my back. Yes, It hurt.
Now, i know i have written before, about some hurtful words my dad said to me. No need to go into detail again. Well, i had been working on forgiving him for hurting me. I decided it was time, and i wrote him a letter. Telling him i Forgive him, that I love him, and that i am sorry he feels the way he does about me. I was telling him of my wonderful kids, and how i know i am blessed to be given 4 amazing kids to raise here on Earth, but I do still hurt for my 6 children that have died. I also asked that he not respond in anger, if he does choose to respond, because, as we know, once words are spoken, they cannot be unsaid. To date, I have not heard from him. It was bout 24 hours after I wrote that letter, that my family members unfriended me on facebook. OK. I kind of thought it was funny.
I made a comment about it. Then i get this nasty email from my cousin. Since she decided to pass the email on to the entire family, i figure she wouldnt mind if i shared. So i still have it. I havent shared it beyond a couple people I really trust. However, i have nothing to hide. She also made it so I am unable to respond. This is after stating in the letter something about smart people discuss issues like this. ( but dont even try to reply, because I am too immature to work this out)


So here is the thing. I will just say it. It HURTS that i dont have a dad anymore. The rest of the family, whatever... but why did he ever adopt me, just to walk away when he disagrees with my adult choices? We are not talking drugs, alcohol, or killing people. We are talking about choices, that are between me, my husband, and my God. To have more kids, or to not have more kids. I cannot imagine knowing my child is going thru the hardest time in her life, and instead of trying to be there, and support, I walk away, and allow the rest of my family to attack the child. ( even if child is now an adult).
I also think that every girl, is a daddy's girl. They want nothing more than to be loved by their dad, and yet, i have 2 dads, and neither of them want anything to do with me. I ask myself often what have i dont wrong. I guess it is not punishment, but how does a child not feel punished when a parent wants nothing to do with them?

So, I am trying to work all this out. I have been working this out for 3 months, and yet I have no answers. Of Course there is always, the simple answer of, who cares what they think? But for some reason, i care. I really do care what the people i love think about me.
Maybe a little paranoia is setting in. Unanswered texts messages, no return phone calls, and no emails, from people I love and miss, and wonder, have they joined the rest of the family? People who i thought were supportive and loving to me, no longer want to communicate. Am i one or 2 people from losing half of my what I know to be family?

I wish i was not consumed with these thoughts. It is not like i sit and think about it all the time, but i guess i think about it often enough.

I will end this long, rambling, post, by saying, i am grateful for every family member I have. I am grateful for my friends that have become my family. I do love every family member, blood or not, and it doesnt matter how they feel t about me. I am never quick to cut ties to anyone who held any important part in my life. Even those who no longer care, and hold issue with me, teach important lessons. Today, the lesson is to be even more grateful for the ones in my life i can lean on, when having a hard time.