Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Cards

Saturday we received several Christmas cards. Two in particular stand out. One we received from a family who lost their 16 year old daughter. They sent a photo card, in the center was a Christmas ornament with her name on it. Then on either side was a photo of the family. They also included a free-form poem, basically listing things that they did through out 2009, meaning that their daughter was with them as they experienced these things. I cried when I read it, so beautiful and touching.

The second card was from a young family, they sent a photo card of their nearly 2 year old daughter. Their poem included the news that they are pregnant again, due in the summer. I couldn't help but think, "I hope nothing happens to the baby." I know I wouldn't be comfortable making an announcement that way.

Ethan was honored in his great-grandparents' Christmas card. They handmake their Christmas cards, have been for 60 years! The cover showed a little drummer boy. Inside they wrote that this was the 60th year of their making cards and it was dedicated to the two new drummers in the family, Ethan and a cousin who started playing drums in her jr. high band. I found it to be a wonderful coincidenece because we took a picture of Ethan playing on a full drum set, then on our Christmas card the message was " I'll play my drums for Him... pa rum pa pum pum..."

Monday, December 14, 2009

Toys and Donations

Since Halloween, the toy manufacturers, as always, have increased the number of commercials they show, especially on the kid channels. Thankfully, Ethan isn't sucked into them yet. One day during a B@rbie commercial, I thought to myself , "Good lord, that's a lot of little pieces. I'm glad, I don't have to put up with all the girlie toys." But I knew as soon as I thought it that I would love to play B@rbies with my little Sara.

Several weeks ago, we received a letter asking for donations to S+. Jude'z Research Hospital. The letter has a postscript. "I hope that your own family never suffers the tragedy of losing a child to an incurable disease."

It stung a bit. Don't try to guilt me into giving money. Yes, I think this is a good cause to give to, but I have chosen other equally important causes to give to, causes that don't make me want to slug Marlo Thomas.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Guess what Ethan said last night "My sister Sara"! In his language, it was more like "my sissis Sawa."

We always end our night-time prayers with "And say Hello to big sister Sara". Last night he didn't want to get ready for bed, so I was telling him that he needed to take a bath, we would read some books, sing songs and say our prayers. Then he said it!

Thursday, October 15, 2009


This is the cake I made for my & Sara's birthday.

Looking back, I think Oct. 3 was harder than the 2nd. There's always so much anticipation before Sara's Day and then it's just over. On top of top, then we shift gears to celebrate Ethan's birthday a week later.

I've been burning a votive candle today, remembering all of the lost babies. The candle burned to the bottom.

Today I went to the thrift store to get ideas for Ethan's Halloween costume. Looking through a rack, I came across a Halloween onesie, I had bought the same one for Sara. I bought it the weekend before she died. I knew I wouldn't do a costume for a 4 week old, but a onesie was OK. When she died, I had a friend return it and some other things to the store. So seeing this onesie again took my breath away. I had so looked forward to seeing Sara in this little outfit, to celebrate a holiday with her.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

This week

This has been a gray, overcast week. I think it has rained almost everyday, except for Friday! Friday was a beautiful fall day. Thursday night I was already feeling anxious & I think Ethan picked up on that. He stayed up too late & then woke up around 1 am. I sat down to rock him & it started raining. I was afraid that we wouldn't be able to go to the park like we had planned. But the morning turned out beauiful - sunny & clear. We played at the park with E for a while and then had a late lunch.

Over the past few days, I received wonderful cards & gifts, appropirate gifts. My mother-in-law came over Friday afternoon & we all went over to my parents' house. I arranged pink & white roses to place at Sara's tree. We released balloons near sunset. It's nice to see the little boys excited about the balloons. Ethan was upset when his balloon flew away, he cried a bit and said, "Bal-loo bye-bye."

We had dinner together & then cake. (I'll post a picture of the cake later.) It was just a nice peaceful day. Of course there were sad moments, I cried several times. But the pain wasn't as intense, as raw as it's been in the past.

As I've mentioned several times, my friend B lost her daughter four days after we lost Sara, on Oct. 6. The couple from our church who lost their 5 month old baby -he was born Oct. 5. So today we all brought flowers/plants to church. The babies' names and names of their parents were listed in the church bulletin. For a moment the 3 of us mothers were standing together, comparing jewelry honoring our babies. I'm so aware of that, our common bond.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Anything would be better

Over the weekend, the brother of an old high school friend died. He was 37, had a heart attack due to an enlarged heart.

His funeral is tomorrow, in our hometown. I'm trying half-heartly to find a babysitter for Ethan so I could go. Funerals are hard - period. I haven't kept in touch with my old friend since graduating. But I know how much it meant to me to have friends and family at Sara's memorial service, so I'll try to go.

But another old friend will be there, M. M & C (the sister of the deceased man) are best friends. M & I have kept in touch over the years, lived in the same town until about 1.5 years ago. But after losing Sara, she said some thoughtless things.

I don't want to be bitter with her, but she doesn't get how hard it is to lose a child, she just always seems to say the wrong thing when I'm hurting. I don't think I wrote about this before, but this was probably the root of it. Six years ago, DH & I lost a friend in a car accident. We hadn't known her for very long, but she was one of those amazing people, she inspired others. I was truly heart-broken when Laura died. When I mentioned this to M., she shared her thoughts about death. She believes that when people die, perhaps it was because something worse was going to happen to them. I find that to be very naive. What's worse than dying young?? To leave your family & friends hurting, heart-broken, angry?

When Sara died, M said the same thing to me again. She honestly believes that. I was speechless. I just don't want to be around her anymore. I hope M hasn't said this to her best friend. Really, it's not comforting.

I just can't imagine anything worse than dying young. If Sara was born alive, but with medical issues - it would be hard and stressful, but I would have my daughter. I would know the color of her eyes, perhaps hear her laugh, feel her warm body in my arms.

I thought of 'bad' scenarios, but I know, like me, my daughter would be strong and she would survive emotionally, even if she was haunted by thos events. Anything would be better than dying young.

And so, I don't want to go to this funeral because I don't want M to try to catch up and act like she never hurt me. Not at a funeral two days before the anniversary of Sara's death. If I go, I'll only stay for the service, not for the socializing afterwards.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Yesterday my aunt & I went shopping. On the drive home, I mentioned a story about our nephew
We talked about how sensitive a kid he is, he's just a great kid. (Can be a little turkey sometimes.) We talked about he "gets it" about losing Sara. Even our older niece doesn't seem to understand, she doesn't ask me anything about Sara.

The talk turned to losses in general. My father & aunt had a brother Calvin, he was the middle child. When he was in the 1st grade, he was hit & killed by a car as he was crossing the street to get on the school bus. I've always known about Calvin & very basic details. My father was 9 at the time, he and 2 other neighborhood boys saw the accident. I can't imagine that pain and horror. My father doesn't talk about Calvin. I want to spent the day with him and encourage him to tell me about his brother.

My aunt was only 18 months old when Calvin died, she doesn't remember him. She said that she had been angry about that, she was cheated out of any memories. I mentioned that I saw a picture of Calvin for the first time within 10 years. I thought my grandparents had hidden the pictures. They didn't own a camera themselves at this time & so didn't have many pictures of any of their children, just some school pictures or ones that other people took. She said that my grandmother always wished that she had more pitures of Calvin.

Then she told me that my grandmother told her (my grandmother died when I was 19) that I reminded her of Calvin, similar personalities. I cried when I heard that. I have a connection to my uncle that I never knew! I wonder if I remind my father of Calvin.

We continued to talk about losses & the grieving process. I mentioned the photography service Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep. My aunt stopped me. She said she suddenly had a vision me of helping other in their grieving process. She didn't know if it would be a paid job or volunteering, but she felt that my grieving would eventually help others.

I don't know where this journey is leading me, but I know my Sara will be with me.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Good-bye Mr. Swayze.

Does anyone think that their baby may be hanging out with celebrities in heaven? I think Sara would want to say "Hi" to Patrick Swayze, being Texans & all. I don't imagine full-on conversations, but I think "I've never met a celebrity, maybe my Sara is hanging out with someone famous."

Good-bye Mr. Swayze, I hope you had the time of your life.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Random Stuff

A few weeks ago, my 6 y.o. nephew was spending the afternoon with us. We played in Ethan's room. Nephew asked "Where did you get that dress?" Sara's would-be baptism dress that is framed and hangs in Ethan's room. This nephew remembers me being pregnant and is aware that Sara died. So I took a deep breath and said, "Remember the baby that we lost, our baby Sara? That was supposed to be her dress." Nephew accepted that answer and nodded. Then he said, "If she were alive and you had Ethan, they'd be friends and play together, like me and my brother!" Yes, yes they would be friends. I love that kid!

Yesterday DH got an email from a friend, asking for our address, they wanted to send us an invitation. They have a daughter who is a few days older than Ethan, her 2nd birthday party would be the first weekend in October. DH replied, "Thank you for including us, but we wouldn't be able to attend that weekend." When DH told me about it, he started to tear up. It breaks my heart that a simple child's birthday party is so upsetting.

I'm interviewing for a new job, trying to go full-time. I miss the social aspect of working. I wonder if I'll be able to take off for Sara's day? At least a half-day.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Whenever I look at a digital clock at 10:02, I think "Sara's birthdate." Anyone else do that?

I can't believe it's almost 3 years since I lost my Sara. I don't know what to do to honor her this year. Of course DH & I will spend some quiet time on her day and then we'll have dinner with my family, release balloons, have cupcakes. But I don't know if I want to do anything "public". Last year I sent packets of seeds to family & friends, I got a good response to those. I know I'll be hurt if people don't respond like I expect, I don't want to be let down.

Later this month I have my high school class reunion - 17 years. Yeah, I know traditionally people have reunions every 5 or 10 years. We missed the 10 year, had an 11 year, so I guess 17 is appropriate. At my 11th, DH & I had just started dating, so he didn't attend with me. I don't know who knows about Sara. I know for certain maybe half of my class knows - either I am still friends with them or they still have contacts in our little hometown. I'm nervous about going, I'm not the girl that they went to high school with. But I want to see some of my old classmates, so I'll go along with DH & Ethan.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


By Christina Georgina Rossetti

REMEMBER me when I am gone away,
Gone far away into the silent land;
When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go, yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day
You tell me of our future that you plann'd:
Only remember me; you understand
It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
For if the darkness and corruption leave
A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad.

( I remember you Sara.)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Random Comments

A few months after losing Sara, DH & I spent a late Christmas with his brother, sister-in-law & their kids and his father & his wife. At dinner the youngest niece was misbehaving. DH's brother said," Yeah if she had been the first -born, we wouldn't have had any more kids." DH & I looked at each other & the tears welled up. We excused ourselves and went outside. When we came back in, sister-in-law whispered a quick "sorry".

A few weeks ago, we had some friends and family over for a BBQ. I heard DH's brother tell some friends,"Yeah,if the youngest had been born first, we wouldn't have had any more kids." I wanted to snarl at him, "I'm so sorry that you have all three of your horrible kids." That stupid comment still stings. One day he's going at say it and I won't bite my tongue.

Several of the friends at the BBQ hadn't been to our house before, I gave a quick tour. While in Ethan's room, one of the women, a new neighbor, commented on the framed baptismal dress hanging there. At first she thought it was Ethan's outfit, but as she got closer, she realized it was a dress. Then she thought it may have been mine as a baby, but she realized it looked too new. So she asked why there was a framed dress in a little boy's room.

How I wish I could have a casual answer. "That old thing? I picked it up while vacationing in the Keys." Instead I take a deep breath and explain how we lost Sara at full-term. I like sharing Sara's story, hoping she'll be remembered.

I had a nice weekend. Friday night we dropped Ethan off with my parents and DH & I went to a BBQ cook-off. My sister's husband is a wonderful BBQ-er. I got to see a bunch of old friends, friends I haven't seen in 15+ years. Today DH & Ethan went to visit DH's mother. I had plans to visit a friend, but the plans fell through, so I went shopping alone. I prefer to shop alone some days, I'm on my time schedule, can go to the stores I want to go to. I went to a couple of children's clothes stores, got a few things for Ethan. I makes me a little sad to see all of the little girl clothes. I feel like I shouldn't even be on that side of the store.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Support Groups

When we lived in Austin, DH & I went to 2 support groups, they met monthly, we went almost every month. It was good for us to talk with other parents who had lost children. I made a few good friends through these groups.

A few months ago, I received an invitation to join a mother's group in our small town. Ethan goes to a church-run day care and a few ladies from the church organized this group. I went the first few months, they were still working out the plan - what would we do each month? Maybe it would have been different if I joined after they were already established, but it felt so wishy-washy to me. Some ladies suggested different crafts to do, quick recipes/grocery tips, fun things to do around town with the kids, etc... There was no focus.

In the grief support group, that was our common bond - grief over losing a child and everything that goes with it. We didn't have a topic of the month. We just shared what ever was going on in our lives. Some months, usually near holidays, we talked about how we planned to handle 'celebrating' those events, but often we just vented, and cried.

Maybe just being "a mom" is too broad of a term. Believe me, I get stressed, but this particular group I didn't click with. If I want to do crafts, I go into my craft room/guest bedroom and find a craft. Or I would join a craft group specifically. I felt like if I was stressed about parenting - say if Ethan was biting, I couldn't vent about that because a craft had been planned.

But usually if I'm stressed and need some adult time, I arrange for Ethan to stay with family while DH & I have a date night. Or I leave Ethan & DH at home while I have dinner & drinks with friends.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Beginnings and Endings

Today I received an email from a member of one of my old support groups, she & her family moved about the same time my family moved. She had a baby boy today - her baby after a loss, after numerous tries. I'm overjoyed for this family.

Today I also received an email from an old friend - her younger brother died today. About 12 years ago, when he was 12, he suddenly become very sick. The doctors belive it was a virus. G could barely talk; eating & swimming have been his only pleasures for the past 12 years. My heart aches for this family.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Always on my mind...

You can close your eyes to reality but not to memories.

- Stanislaw J. Lec ( Polish author)

I haven't posted in a while, but Sara and all of the other lost babies are on my mind. Wednesday Ethan & I went over to my sister's house. Ethan played in the sprinkler with his cousins. The 3 of them get along so well. The younger of the 2 cousins is about 1 year and 4 months older than Ethan. He's thin while Ethan is solid, a big boy. We often comment on Ethan & Justin - comparing their sizes. I can't help but think that there should be a little girl just 4 months younger than Justin running around, laughing as the sprinkler splashes her too.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


DH & I went out of town for the weekend. His band was playing at a wedding, few friends of ours were attending as guests, so I was able to tag along, had cake & wine. : )

The wedding was held in a quaint little town in the Texas Hill Country. I was able to go poke around the cute little shops while the band set up for the reception. For the past 2 years I've been carrying around a tiny picture of Sara in my wallet. I recently bought a new wallet & I didn't want to lose this picture, so it was just propped up against a larger picture frame. While in one of the shops, I came across a tiny picture frame - the perfect size for the tiny picture of Sara. Plus it has a 3-D butterfly on it. I snatched it up right away.

At another shop, the shopkeeper was wearing a T-shirt for a butterfly festival. I asked him about it. It so happened that the butterfly festival was happening that day! Earlier in the morning, 100's of butterflies were released! Sounds amazing. (By this time, most of the shops were closing up, so I didn't get to experience the festival.) Later I found a local magazine and there was an article about the butterfly festival. Families and organizations could sponsor a caterpillar/butterfly cage. When the butterflies are released, the ones that are in memory of community children who died are released first.

DH has been with this band for roughly a year now. He didn't know his bandmates until we moved here. They were introduced by mutual friends. On Saturday while I was shopping, DH was hanging out with one of his bandmates. The bandmate mentioned a trip he had taken to Hawaii and that leads DH to share our story of Hawaii and Sara and Ethan. The bandmate (who is 59) shared his story - his oldest daughter had a stillbirth. DH felt like the bandmate didn't want to talk much more about it, so he didn't pressure him - so I don't have any other details to share.

Last week I read a memoir - The Long.est Ro/ad H0me. It's by the guy who wrote "M@rley @and M.e" His parents had a stillbirth. This was in the 50's. His mother was put under, she wasn't even alert for the delivery. She thought eveything was fine. When she woke up, excited to meet her daughter, her husband had to break the news that they had lost the baby. I can not imagine.

Before losing Sara, I don't recall hearing stories or reading books where the parents had a stillbirth. Now they seem to pop up even when I'm not looking.

Friday, April 3, 2009


(I starting writing this last Friday, the days have slipped away from me.)

The past few weeks, Sara has been on my mind. I guess it started about 3 weeks ago, my sister & I went shopping. We were chatting on the drive. A song started playing. Dea.d and Blo.ated by Te.mple Pi.lots. "I am smelling like a rose that somebody gave me on my birthday death bed." Not exactly a tear-jerker. But what the hell else am I supposed to be reminded of except losing Sara?

A few days later, I got one of those surveys. This time it had a question "The last song that made you cry?" I immediately thought of " & Blo.ated" but I didn't want to explain that story, I didn't know where my answers would be forwarded on to. So I wrote "The Dance" by Garth Brooks.

Several times over the past few weeks, I would be thinking of other things and those thoughts would led me back to October 2006, back to the dr's office where it was confirmed that she was gone, back to coming home from the hospital to an empty, quiet house.

Today (4/3) I realized - it's been two and a half years since we lost Sara. TWO AND A HALF YEARS!!! Every day I think of her, I know she's gone and my life is different because she's gone. I say how much I miss her, but "miss" doesn't feel like the right word. I miss my grandparents who have all passed away, I miss old friends that I've lost contact with. I have memories of those people and those times. My only true memories of Sara are being pregnant, delivering her and then the short time we spent with her. Everything else is fantasies we made up while pregnant. I feel cheated out of so much.

When we lost Sara, we asked our friends & families donate books to libraries in Sara's memory. Several months ago, my mother-in-law gave me a couple of books to donate. I chose to donate them to the elementary school I grew up in. Two of my nephews will attend that school as well as many other relatives & the kids of old friends. It felt good to donate those books. The librarian had commented that she had noticed one of the books recently at a conference and now it was a part of her library!

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Several weeks , possibly months ago, I came across the blog of another DB Mama. I wish I could find this entry back, it was in her archives, not even a recent entry. She wrote about a study that had been done on bloggers, how blogging helps them, like a form of therapy.

When I first lost Sara, I visited a message board for parents who had lost babies. Without knowing these families' stories, I found the message board to be even more upsetting. I found entries that basically said "It's been 6 months, or 12 months, or 5 years and it still hurts." That scared me. What was going to happen to me and to my DH?
It's been almost 2.5 years since I lost my Sara and yes, it does still hurt. But if a mother who recently lost her baby did a search for blogs she could read our stories - from our first entry to the most current. She could see the highs and lows, how we've progressed over time - not just a random post on a message board.

My DH & I used to meet with two different support groups and with a therapist occasionally. Blogging has been another form of therapy. I can share my feelings and experiences with others. I know I don't have many followers, but if you recently came across my blog or others in deadbabyland, you are welcome here. It's the worst club to be a member of, but some of the most amazing people are here.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Baby G.

Last night my friend B. called - another couple from our church lost a baby. Baby G. was roughly 6 months old. I don't have all the details - he was sick, his parents took him to the doctor's office, he had chest X-rays. Whatever was found was not good, he was going to be taken to a larger hospital. Instead he died from respiratory failure.
My heart aches for this family. Baby G. was an adorable little boy, strawberry blonde, curly hair. I've stroked that hair. I've admired him and talked to his parents about how beautiful he was. I want to go to their house and sit with the mother and hold her hand while she cries.
This has brought up old emotions for me - losing a baby unexpectedly. I was putting Ethan to bed last night & just started crying. I asked DH to put Ethan to bed, I needed a good cry. I didn't sleep very well. Ethan woke up once, but I woke up several times, looked at the clock & thought about all the lost babies. So very sad.
Please keep this young family in your thoughts.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


A few days ago, I had a rare dream about Sara. I was dreaming about a song, I remember thinking, "This song is like a conversation between me & Sara." It was supposedly a common mainstream song. Now I can't remember what it was, if the song even exists.
But it made me happy to have a dream about my daughter.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

On My Mind

Ethan's been sick this week. It's funny how I got used to "my time" while he was at day care. Today he's feeling much better and I'm not feeling so overwhelmed & frustrated.

One of the local churches has a sign outside, currently it reads " A baby is God's opinion that the world should go on." Really?? Then what is God's opinion when a baby dies unexpectedly? Or worse when the parents kill the baby?

When my class finishes the lecture early we talk about current events. This past week one of the students brought up a case going on in the Galveston area. The parents abused the 2 year old girl & she died. My student's father is in law enforcement & has been very involved. So we discussed it a bit. The discussion started getting more & more gruesome. It makes me sad. Why did these people even get to have a child if they were going to abuse & kill her?? So I asked the class to change the subject, that it was upsetting to me. (They don't know about Sara.) Another student who is much older than the rest of the class & has 3 grown children pipes up, " Yes, it's upsetting to me too, I have children." Whatever.