This topic has been on my mind a ton lately so I figured I'd write out my feelings for others to relate to or maybe learn from...Let me start here...
I have two healthy, amazing, fun young children. When Asher was a baby, he exceeded nearly all of his "milestones" until he started missing his speech milestones. He was my first that I got to watch grow. I was a stay at home mom and I'm a bit neurotic about teaching. So I worked with him a ton. We read everyday...all day. He loved to read. We used flash cards at an early age and he learned how to sign. Of course he spoke, but not a ton. At the time, a woman was in my life that I had considered a friend, though she truly wasn't and looking back I realized that her tearing me down was a way for her to feel better about herself. But she would, nearly weekly, tell me how delayed my son was. She would talk about her speech therapist friend, how she talked to her about my child, how she agreed that he was severely delayed even though she never met him. She told me how brilliant her son was, and how severely lacking mine was.
Though I stood my ground and knew deep down that my child was fine, her words stung and I continually questioned my parenting. But I watched my child. I saw how he was running and jumping at an early age. He rode a 2 wheeler without training wheels before he was three. He potty trained himself at two and a half. This person, who was so hurtful, broke me a bit. But then I started watching her son as she was watching mine. He didn't jump when Asher jumped...he didn't didn't run when Asher ran...he still wasn't potty trained the last time we spoke which was nearly three. None of which was bad or delayed in my eyes, but honestly, it felt so good to see her child not do things my child was doing.
I hated feeling that way. I felt like I was stooping to her level. I would bring things up to her in a way to defend Asher. And it troubled me. I was judging her son, just as she was judging mine. I justified it at the time by telling myself that I was just letting her see that all children grow in different stages...but in actuality, I was trying to hurt her as she had hurt me over and over again.
We split ways a while ago and I have since realized that she was a person in need of help. She was trying to make herself feel better. She was trying to, and probably still, putting people down to build herself up and I'll probably meet another person like her in my lifetime. A bully really. Which I've never dealt with before, so it's taken me awhile to put it all into perspective. And in the meantime, I've had Greyson who also, is a late talker. And for awhile, I let her words creep back into my mind. I keep worrying there's something wrong. I feel like I have failed...again...even though I have tried so hard to bring him up and teach him. But all of a sudden, just in the past few days, I've realized, that her hurtful words were just that. Hurtful words. Spoken by a bully who needs help. And though I've always felt that children grow and learn on different time frames, and thankfully, most if not all of my friends feel the same, those words that were spoken over 3 years ago, still crept in and took root.
So this is what I'd like to say...You can't put a child's development in a box. They are literally all different. And another thing is that it takes a village to raise a child. It takes the help of our family and friends, their encouragement and love and support. Not judgement.
I believe that growth milestones are horrible things for the most part. My childrens height and weight have been nearly always in the 90-100 percentile. Luckily their doctor rocks and even in their more girthy stages, she never labeled them overweight. I have friends with children who are barely registering on the milestones and some of their doctors have labeled them as too little...but they eat like horses and are super healthy. Yes, there are those who are actually too heavy or too thin...but if your child is eating and healthy...they are probably fine! and vice-versa. Some kids are just tiny....some are giants...hence my children.
I also believe that developmental milestones are nearly the same thing. I think they are awesome in a way...I like to see what my child will start doing within each particular month...but what if they don't start doing it? What if they don't start for months and months. What if people you know start labeling them as delayed? How would that make you feel? I think these milestones are a good gauge and you should pay attention to your own child. Watch what they're doing and if you're concerned, talk to your doctor...but follow your instincts too.
We have just recently had Greyson checked with Early On for his speech. He's still not speaking, but does use signs. He passed all milestones but speech. So he's getting therapy. And I love it. We are learning new techniques to help him speak. But the more I research his milestones the more my concerns melt away. He is doing physical things that far exceed his expected milestones. Things like jumping and pedaling and running. He's super active and super physical. And all of a sudden I've realized that those hurtful things said by that hurtful person so long ago had crept back in and made me feel inept and scared for my child. When in reality, my child...my children are awesome. They are fine.
So here's the thing. Love on your family and friends. Encourage them, so they can be empowered to listen to their own instincts. Don't judge other's children, instead use that time to love on and listen to and observe your own children. Raise your child in love and show that love to your family and friends. Let's focus on our own families as well as supporting our friends rather than breaking them down. Words hurt. And they last, no matter how much you justify your responses.
21 October 2012
This topic has been on my mind a ton lately so I figured I'd write out my feelings for others to relate to or maybe learn from...Let me start here...
15 October 2012
Wow! It's been awhile! Sorry I've been so out of touch. I need to get back into writing. I think I've just been so spent with the boys, I end up just chilling when the silence finally comes. Sorry!
I wanted to talk a little bit about Infant Loss and Remembrance Day. What does it mean, to me, that is.
I posted today on Facebook about it. I think I posted 3 posts. All about loss and remembrance. I think a day like this is awesome. I think its important. But does it make me sad? Usually not so much.
It's been nearly 3 years since I've lost Selah. Nearly 6, since I've lost Jorai. I still miss them dearly. I still struggle at times with guilt and anger and loss. I still have nights where all I can think about are the nights I birthed them and held them and ultimately had to hand their bodies over to someone who would forever take them away. I still struggle. But I also still laugh, a lot. I still live, a ton. I still love, always.
You see, a lot of people have a hard time hearing this. A lot of people in "my community" of loss parents, have a hard time with the expression of "feeling or being blessed" but that's how I truly feel. If I'm being honest, if I was never given my crazy daisy boys, Im not sure I would have ever recovered. I'm not Job. I know this to be a fact and in a way it makes me feel horrible, but that's life. I know, deep down, if Asher and Greyson never came into our lives, my outlook would be different. But today it's not.
I feel blessed. I truly do. I birthed two amazingly awesome girls that for some reason God needed. And though at times it pisses me off that He needed them more than he thought I needed them, I know they're with Him. And what better place could there be? In the presence of God. Isn't that what we all want? Of course I would love to have a daughter. I would love to experience pink and all the nuances of girlhood. I would have loved to see the person(s) Asher (and Greyson) would become with older and younger sisters...but to be honest, we wouldn't have Asher or Greyson without the loss of Jorai and Selah. And I LOVE my boys! They are crazy and full of energy that deplete me at times. But they're my boys. They are my boys, the children that God wanted me to have. I can't ask why He needed my girls. It doesn't matter right now. What matters are my boys. Raising them and teaching them and loving them. Laughing with them and playing with them and reminding them that they have two awesome sisters up in Heaven waiting for them.
Sorry...I'm rambling. It was a long day with the boys and to be honest, I think the rum and coke my awesome husband made me is making me chit chatty! I guess this is where I'm going...
Thank you for all your prayers and thoughts today. They mean a ton. But I have to say, I'm OK. I don't need prayers, other than for my sanity with living with two crazy boys! What I do need is prayer for all your pregnant friends. I need prayer for babies. For miscarriages and SIDS and congenital defects. I need prayers for the rare, possibly, genetic connections to gestational loss. I need prayer for babies growing within as well as growing on this earth. I want people to know about stillbirth especially. I don't want people to become scared, but at the same time, I want people to be aware. I want people to know that stillbirth has a much higher rate than SIDS, even though it's only SIDS and miscarriage that we hear of at the doctors. Stillbirth has a rate of 1 in 115 births, which is roughly 26, 000 a year. 26,000! What was the SIDS rate in 2008? 2,353.
When I was pregnant with Jorai, I worried about 2 things. Miscarriage and SIDS. When I reached the 12 week mark, I thought I was in the clear. Little did I know...Little did I know. Remember, what's the SIDS rate? 2,353...and the stillbirth rate? roughly 26,000!
So to be honest, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day means outreach to me. Yes, of course it's a way for me to remember my children...but I do this every day. There's not one.single.day that I don't think about my daughters. Not one day. I don't need a special day to remember them. But it gives me the box I need to stand on to reach out to others.
So, thank you for your prayers and thoughts about me and my daughters. But please, please, pray for your pregnant friends. Pray for their babies both inside of them and the ones whom have graced our lives outside of the womb. Babies. They need our love, but they need our prayers too.
For my girls, I love you and on this day, please know I miss you dearly. As I do each and every day. You will forever be missed but we all will be patiently waiting to meet you in Heaven. We're proud of you and long to get a chance to laugh with you and hug you tight. I miss your beautiful faces. Your perfect bodies. Your impact on our lives and the lives of our family and friends will forever be imbedded. You are both completely and utterly amazing. Give a shout out to the Big Man for us and let Him know that though we may not fully understand His plans...we're more at peace with them than ever. But between you and me...they still suck in my opinion!
For all of you who are still reading...pray like mad for all the babies out there. I'm so sick of hearing that another family has to travel down this road. Pray! Just pray.
To all my babyloss friends out there...my heart aches for you as always. We traveled down the road that is indescribable. I love you all. You are awesome and amazing and each one of your children will be forever engraved in my heart.
16 August 2012
After living with and raising two healthy boys for the past four years, I still freak out all the time that they will die in their sleep. Today Greyson was still sleeping at 4:45. He didn't make one sound from the time I put him down around 1 and I was starting to worry. He normally naps for 2-3 hours, but he had been sleeping nearly 4 hours. I was going to post on facebook if I should wake a sleeping baby or not...but then my first thought was..."what if he's dead and then I have to let everyone know we've lost another babe.".
I know. I'm crazy. So...
I went upstairs, praying the whole time, and crept into his room and touched his arm. Cold. His skin was cold. Too cold. My heart sank. I couldn't see him breathe. I couldn't hear him breather. I touched his tummy and still, he didn't move. He was still. I panicked. I tried to feel his breath...and still nothing.
And then it happened. He moved. He rolled over and then he woke. He was fine. The kid was just sleeping. He probably needed it. I probably should have let him sleep longer, but no. I freaked out.
I know. I'm crazy. I often wonder if I would be this way if I hadn't held two of my children's lifeless bodies in my arms. I always thought I'd be a super relaxed kind of mom...I'm realizing I'm pretty far from that.
Mothers of loss, does this sound familiar, or am I just in my own little crazy world over here?
10 August 2012
In two days I am finally getting memorial tattoo's for my beautiful baby girls. I've thought a ton about this. I've never gotten a tattoo before. It's something I've wanted for so long. I have a ton of friends that are inked and I find them beautiful. But I've never found anything that I've wanted to place on my body forever...but then Jorai passed...and then Selah. I thought about getting tattoo's of their names, and of their foot prints or their hand prints...but then I found it. Something that represented them perfectly and something I knew that I could look at for the rest of my life and love. A sweet little swirly, girly heart. Two actually. A similarly different one on each wrist with Jorai's name under the one on my left wrist, Selah on my right.
I've gotten two questions when I've told people about my memorial tattoo's. One is simply, why am I getting them. The other is if I'll get tattoo's for my sons as well. SO first off, I'm getting them because living with loss is hard. It's a challenge every day. It's hard to describe to someone who hasn't gone through it, or some other dramatic loss. But nearly every day I'm asked or reminded about my girls. And describing a life of having four children but only being able to enjoy/see/live with two of them, is so hard.
Having Asher and Greyson is such a blessing. I laugh every day and I enjoy my life...but there's always a huge part of me missing. There is always a hole...kind of like this gaping black hole that hides in the corner of the room, waiting to suck me in...but I'm always to stay just out of it's reach and keep myself breathing. hmmm....I can see my boys, and hug them, and laugh with them...tickle them, read to them, kiss them and play with them. They're here. Living and breathing and occupying my space.
Because I don't have that with my girls, I guess, I just want a piece of them on me at all times. I want them with me, physically. My memory of them in my arms is all I have and even those are fleeting. I have a few photos and blankets that touched them. But I want a piece of them with me. I want to look down at any time and see their names blazing on my wrists. I want them a part of me physically and I want a part of them, as much as can be, physically here. They get forgotten, not talked about, and pushed aside by too many, but not by me. This little outwardly expression of the impact their short lives have made upon me, will forever be etched into me. In a way, this little expression can never be taken from me. Maybe it's just my way of holding on to them.
Anyway...on to question two, will I get tattoo's for my sons as well...probably not, but the verdict is still out. Why not? Well, for me, like I said above, they're here on this earth with me. I see them and hear them and smell them and can touch them. They are here, reminding me they're here every second of the day. I can share them with people in a physical way. In a way I will never be able to share my daughters.
I don't know. I'm super nervous. I'm super excited. And I simply can't wait. Six years ago I had both the physical and emotional pain of birthing my first daughter, silently. Three and a half years later, I had the same pain birthing my second daughter. On Sunday, though the pain scares me, it also excites me. To feel anything other than sorrow for my daughters will be wonderful. To feel pain, plus have a little piece of them place upon my body forever, is a little indescribable.
02 June 2012
I have to admit that some times, I truly fantasize about death. Not because I'm morbid or suicidal. Not because I truly want to be, but because I'm only half...or maybe three quarters here on earth.
I fantasize about who I'll see first. Jesus? My grandparents? Friends? Or will I see my daughters. Will I care? Because if I'm being honest here, I feel like I'd push all the above to the side to get a clear look at my girls. I know, as a Christian, that's horrible. I know there should be no one more important than Christ. But to just get a look at my daughters. To feel them and talk to them and look into their eyes. Wow. I can't wait. I have a lot of living to do. For Christ, for myself and for my living children. But I seriously can't wait.
I have to say that one of the things that crushes me about non-believers, is that they believe when their loved ones die, their gone. forever. Period. Never, ever will they see them again. I can't imagine a loss like that. I believe I will see Jorai and Selah again. I believe I'll see my Grandparents and Jeff and Susan and everyone else again. I have lost them for a little while, or really what seems like an eternity...but I do know that I WILL see them again. I seriously think, if I didn't believe that, I would never have made it out of the darkness alive. I would have drowned.
Five years ago today, nearly at this moment, I was trying desperately to rouse my dead little girl within me. I already knew she was gone. In my mind and soul, I knew. But my heart. My heart wouldn't believe. So I drank juice and soda. I took a hot shower and laid on my side. Poking and prodding my stomach. But there was only stillness.
I feel like these days have turned into a movie I can't shut off. Life happens. You remember some, forget some and in the end, you just live. But a loss like this, it happens like a slow motion movie. And it embeds in your mind like writing in wet concrete. Every moment. Every decision. Every second is there. Every excruciating second. And you can't shut it off. It's just there, playing in the background, waiting for you to realize it's there. Haunting you in a sense.
Some people don't understand why we celebrate the births of our daughters. Really, is it something we should be celebrating? It was a horror movie played out in our lives...why are we celebrating it? Why not sweep it under the rug and pretend it never happened?
June 3rd and December 21st are times in our lives that are painful, yet beautiful. Our loss is profound. The emptiness that was left behind after the loss of our daughters will forever be reverberating and deafening. Yet, their lives were untouched by this world. They were needed for a higher calling. They are still with us, waiting for us. They're still our daughters. Still the boys sisters. They are still loved and missed and wanted. I still carried them and held them and kissed them. We still mourn and love them from a far.
Five years ago on June 3rd, I lived through one of the darkest times of my life, yet held one of the most brightest gifts I've ever received. Though I never wanted to let her go, she was never mine to keep. And I know that one day, we will be together again. For that, I celebrate her brief life on earth and the promise that one day, the emptiness that was created when two little girls were torn from my arms, will be filled with such joy and love that I'll finally be speechless.
You were so wanted. So loved. You were beautiful and long. Wow, you would have been tall. Your fingers were so delicate, yet long as well. I know you would have played piano! Your lips were dainty and bright. Your cheeks were kissable. I look at your pictures now and see that you were a perfect mix of both of your brothers. I see them both in your beautiful face.
You have touched us in a way no other has before. You have changed us and for that, I thank you. I thank God for the brief time we had with you. I thank Him for being able to held you and kiss you. I miss you. I just miss you so much. We're happy down here. The boys keep us busy and our lives are filled with laughter. Something I didn't think was possible five years ago. Our house vibrates with laughter and love. Yet, your missed. Your presence and laughter are missed. I can't wait to give you all the hugs I've missed giving you these past five years. You are always in my thoughts and always in my heart. I love you sweet girl.
16 April 2012
I purchased a ton of Bum Genius diapers for my first son, and though we loved them, we found them to be a little snug for the monstrosity I call Asher. I was able to get through almost 2 years with Asher and then we had to put him in disposables, because he was just too big and we could no longer get a good fit in the BG. We also had/have fuzzi bunz, which are a little larger and a few Thirsties, which were lovely.
Then we had Greyson, who at first we thought was going to be our little guy...but not so much. Weighing in at nearly 30 pounds at 14 months and in 2T shirts, he not only has some girth but also a long torso, making the BG nearly impossible to wear. We can get them on, but the velcro tabs are barely on the sticky tab and they sit right at his upper thighs. If we're not careful, they cut up his legs. Which happens nearly every time my lovely husband helps out and changes a diaper. We can still get a decent fit using fuzzi bunz and and awesome fit in the Thirsties Duo.
So here's my quandary. Do I give up , sell my lot and just use disposables or do I try and sell my well worn BG and use the money to buy more Thirsties for the next year or so that we need them. I know I could go the cheaper way and get pre-folds, but I've never been a fan of them. I hate the thought of putting more money into diapers, but I also know I'll be saving in the long run, and since he won't be in the Thirsties for too long, I may be able to get a bit more out of them, compared to my well worn BG. But I just can't figure out what I want to do!
Any advice out there?
My sweet Selah Mae should have been born on this day, two years ago. To think I could have a 2 year old daughter running around, crushes me. To be honest the day started just as any other day, and like any other day, the crushing feeling of loss sneaks up out of nowhere. Coupled with my current sleep deprivation, the day has been a rough one. It's strange really. Some "big" days come and go with little to no sorrow and then wham-o, it hits you like a ton of bricks.
05 March 2012
Wow, I keep thinking, "I need to post...I need to post, something!". But then I don't and another week passes. I look back at my pre-kiddo days and notice that I posted a ton. A ton. Obviously after the girls I posted for therapy, but I also used to post a ton on Asher so I would have his memories written down. Poor Greyson. I have posted no pictures...very few posts. Well, let me say, I LOVE MY SONS! And all the lack of posts do not represent my loss of words or memories of them...just lack of time! Which I guess is a good thing, but I do want to share. So here's a quick update...
28 February 2012
Totally random. But today I've been a bit weepy...not sure why...hormones or the loss of the house we really wanted or exhaustion...I don't know and it doesn't matter. But as I was sitting here tring to complete my BSF study for the week, this song popped up. It's always held such a special place in my heart so I wanted to share. It's Broken Things by Julie Miller. Such a beautiful song.
05 February 2012
A friend came up to me last night to tell me that I've been on her heart and in her thoughts and prayers, or more so, my losses have been. And I was touched. It's been a while since someone has told me that they have been thinking of our losses. And so we started talking about loss and trauma and such and I was telling her that I've gotten to a place where I feel OK about things. I mean, don't get me wrong, it still sucks and I miss them like crazy, but on a day to day basis...I'm OK.
Well, last night, I couldn't shake the tattoo feeling off. And then this morning it hit me. What I think I really, really want to do. It's perfect, I think. And I just can't shake it. Using white ink, a small heart on each inside wrist with Jorai's name above the heart on my right wrist...Selah's name on my left.
Love of my heart, why must we part?I said a prayer on a heavenly startGive me this day shoulders of strengthTo carry the burden of time taken away
I woke last night to a voice in the hallI heard you calling my name
I rushed to meet you, found nothing at allAll I could hear was the Salt Lake City rain
Love of my heart, where do I startTo patch up the pieces of the old-fashioned heart?When will it turn, what lessons could we learn?I'll be counting the days 'til the sun will returnI woke last night to a voice in the hallThought I heard you calling my nameI rushed to meet you, found nothing at allAll I could hear was the Salt Lake City rain