Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Five years

It's currently 4:34am on Oct 3rd. I'm wide awake. Ethan comes to our bed a couple of times a week. Usually I can sleep with him, tonight/this morning, he was rolling all over me. I've been lying in the guest room, trying to sleep for over an hour. It's just not happening. Yesterday October 2nd was the 5 year anniversary of Sara's death. Five years! Five years is a long time to live with a broken heart. The weeks leading up to her days always seem to get jumbled together, I get my days confused. Of course, I plan two parties for my children roughly a week apart, some things get mixed up.

 On Friday, DH & I talked with Ethan, we wanted him to understand why we release balloons to Sara, why Mommy is so sad at this time. He'll be 4 next week. I thinks he wants to understand, but death is such a huge concept, it's difficult for a liitle boy. He asked when Sara would be alive again. Breaks my heart. I think all the talk about a little girl that he couldn't see was overwhelming. On our way home from the balloon release, Ethan asked if we could stop talking about Sara. Perhaps he wanted his mommy to be happy again. He kept wiping away my tears, telling me it was ok. I told him that's it's ok to cry when you're sad.

 For my birthday, I got my birthstone charm for my bracelet. It's right next to my charm of the mother and baby. Ethan says the baby is him and the birthstone is the light that always shines on us. He really makes my heart burst with happiness.

 Sara's balloon release was nice. There were 13 of us there this year. My mother-in-law took flowers to her church in Sara's Memory. DH & I sent 2hibiscus plants to our church, although we didn't attend services. My mother-in-law also bought some milkweed plants, one to plant near Sara's tree and one for our house. Milkweeds attract monarch butterflies. Our little girl is so very loved. I made cupcakes with buttercream icing. I ordered some edible butterflies, so pretty.
My nephew, Ethan, and nephew watching Sara's balloon float away.

 Friday 10/7 This week has turned out to be so emotional. On the 1st, some friends of DH had their daughter. They live across the country, so I know we won't be visiting them, I have been able to buy gifts for her without issues.

 On the 3rd, I took a couple of butterfly cupcakes to my friend. She lost her daughter to SIDS 11/2 years ago. I haven't seen or talked to her for months. We met after she lost her daughter, I sent a card, encouraging her to call if she wanted to talk. But we only talk when I bring my shoes in to be repaired at her shop. She is pregnant again! Due at the end of December. She seems very happy and I'm happy for her.

 That afternoon, I picked up Ethan from day care. His hand was swollen. It wasn't broken or sprained, must be infected. Poor baby had to have blood drawn and get 2 shots in his legs. It could have been serious if I had waited, the infection was already spreading up his arm. I was stressed. Why did this have to happen this week?

 On Thursday 10/6, one of my oldest friends had her daughter. A beautiful little girl. She sent a picture and I held my breath. She delivered at the same hospital that I did. Her little girl was wrapped in a blanket, the same printed blanket that Sara was wrapped in. I am happy for my friend and her family. Just sad for my Sara. Why couldn't she have had a chance?

 We had Ethan's birthday party on the 9th, I can't believe our little boy is already 4!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Baby shower

Today I attended the first baby shower for a little girl since losing Sara. I was lookking forward to seeing friends, the guest of honor, plus a few others. At first we talked about the wildfires around our region in Texas, people we knew who evacuated or even lost their homes. I ate the yummy, beautifully decorated cake. As my friend opened presents, I was able to oh and ah over the little outfits, the soft pink blankets, etc... When I got in my vehicle, I cried. I cried for my Sara. I can't believe it's almost been 5 years that she's been gone. A couple of friends were talking about throwing themselves( they're not pregnant, their children are in elementary - high school) a baby shower, just to open the presents. I mentioned that I wanted to get married again just for the gifts. I thought, that might be a good idea. So many families are having a tough time now, because of the economy or now the wildfires, what if I threw a "baby shower" asking for essentials, we can open them, eat cake, drink wine and then donate the items to families in need. I would organize it in Sara's memory....but it would break my heart at the same time. But that's my life, the very thing that breaks my heart, inspires me to lift up someone else. I'll need to decide something soon. October 2nd is approaching fast, I'm already planning Ethan's 4th (!) birthday party, a day school Fall fund raiser and a family reunion.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Baby gifts

A good friend is pregnant with her first child, a girl. She's registered at t@rget, so I checked out the registry online. I thought to myself" I'll pick out some cute clothes for her.".

Today I went to the store & printed out the registry. When I got to the baby department, I looked over the registry. I found the onesies and gowns and caps, but nothing seemed to match the items on the registry. The descriptions or price didn't match, frustrating. I found a little pink girlie toy and the little mittens so she doesn't scratch herself. I bought some other practical things.

I finished shopping and headed out. This is the first baby gift I bought for a little girl since losing Sara. Driving home, I teared up. I was frustrated not finding the items my friend registered for, but I didn't want to keep looking or browse through other baby girl stuff. I just thought of Sara and all of her little clothes that is packed away, never worn. I couldn't buy other girly things.

I hope I can make it through the baby shower.

Monday, July 18, 2011

As Time Goes By...

When I was roughly two months pregnant with Sara, we went to Boston for a few days. We stopped at a bookstore near H@rv@rd and decided then and there that our baby would have a Cur!ous Ge0rge themed nursery. We bought a stuffed George there. We were able to keep the nursery simple with red and yellow bedding, a few posters. At the baby shower, we received a few toys to decorate the room. Looking back, I was glad that we were able to use the George theme for Ethan after losing Sara. I know other parents struggle with "should we use the same things for a subsequent child?". If we had chosen a pink girly theme, I would have been sad to pack it all away when we were expecting our son. All of the baby gear we choose was gender-neutral, even after we found out that we were having a girl. Her feminine clothes were the only things that we packed away. (they are still under our guest bed.). Ethan used the car seat, stroller, and diaper bag intended for his sister. He's outgrown that first car seat and stroller combo long ago. We still use the diaper bag when we travel overnight. But my little boy is growing up. At three years and nine months, my little man has decided that he has outgrown Cur!ous Ge0rge, he now wants a space bedroom. He has the inflatable planets and glow in the dark stars. Really the only thing left to do is to change out the George posters for some space posters. (and any other accessories we come across.). It's bittersweet knowing my baby is becoming a little boy. I want to encourage his love of space and science, but I might be a little sad when those monkeys finally come down.

I started a scrapbook for Sara when I was pregnant with her. I didn't put much in it - a few pictures of me pregnant, her ultrasound pictures, pictures from the baby shower. Then we lost her. I put a picture of her in the book. I've added poems, symbolic pictures of our trips to Hawaii, balloon releases in her memory, the cakes I bake for our birthday, a picture of DH, Ethan and me at Sara's tree every year - to see how the tree and Ethan are growing. I am happy to say that there are only 3 empty pages left. It's not am end. I'll buy more pages to add to her book, to continue to remember and honor my precious daughter.

Monday, June 6, 2011

More Good-byes

I'm heart-broken. I found out a few hours ago that my cousin lost her twins at 16 weeks.

Several years ago, she was married, they were not able to get pregnant. Eventually they divorced, there were other issues. She got married again a couple of years ago. They went through fertility treatments to get pregnant, resulting in twins this spring. Those babies were so loved and wanted from day one.

I am so sad for them.

6/7 Edited to Add: I went to buy a card today. Just being in the sympathy card section made me so aware of our losses. I picked up a few other little things. The total: $10.02 -10/02 Sara's birthdate. I started tearing up, these lost babies will always be a part of our lives.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Where I Am Right Now

This theme came at an appropriate moment for me. (I started this post back on May 26, so my time frame is not exactly correct.)

Thursday evening, I went to my nephew's graduation from pre-K. During the ceremony, a slideshow of the class was shown. Most of these kids have attended this day care/day school since they were infants, so there were pictures of these 4 & 5 year olds at school since they were little babies, becoming toddlers and now ready to start big kid school. I started tearing up. My Sara should be turning 5 later this year. I see my nephew, her cousin growing up and it made me miss her more. ( because Sara was born in October, she wouldn't have started kindergarten this fall, but next. We're going through the same thing with Ethan. Academically, he's ready to move up to the pre-k class this fall, but he won't start kindergarten until 2013. This will also give him a chance to mature.)

A few days ago, a friend told me about her friend who just lost her daughter and I've been emailing her, hopefully providing some support. My friend had lost her first son, we meet at a support group. I've revisited those first few days, weeks of losing Sara. The extreme pain and sadness, the fear of what my life would be.

But four years, seven months and 25 days later, I can say, I am enjoying life again. There hasn't been a day that I haven't thought about Sara. We moved to our current house when Ethan was 6 months old, but I have momentos of Sara throughout the house, especially butterflies.

Most of my co-workers don't know about Sara. I told 4 of them. I know they might have told others and I'm OK with that. I'm not extremely close with my co-workers, but I'll share my story when the time is right.

I adore my son and he adores me. I love being his mommy. Because he was conceived barely four months after losing Sara and was born a year and 9 days after her death, their stories are completely intertwined.

I'm able think about Sara or talk about her without breaking down, sometimes though, it's just too much and I need to cry for her. Somedays it still feels unreal. I was pregnant with my daughter, gave birth to her, but she's not here with us.

DH & I planned to have one child, of course we have two. But we know we're done, no more babies for us.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


So many babies have been aanounced recently in my life: my dear friend Monica due in September, my friend & former roommate is due in October, my cousin is pregnant with twins! Probably due in November, DH's college friend and his girlfriend are expecting also in October. I am happy for each of them, thinking positive thoughts.

Last year, I learned of a local couple who lost their daughter due to SIDS. I sent a card and when I visit her business, I ask how she's doing. I offer to meet for coffee, to talk, but she doesn't take me up on the offer. I knew the anniversary of her daughter's death was coming up. I couldn't remember the exact date, even checked the local paper for obituary records. I knew it was in the spring but Easter moving around threw me off. I've been needing to stop by her shop, but wanted to have time to talk with her, not just rushing in & out. So finally, I decided to stop by on my lunch hour on Friday. I had written a short note, just to let her know that I was thinking of her and her daughter. When I drove up, there was a sign on the door that she would be closed on Monday. Monday is the anniversary. She told me that she and her 4 y.o. Son will spend the day together. He misses his sister. Please think of this family as they mourn the loss of their precious daughter.

Last summer Ethan & I went to a water park along with B, her daughter D, and my sister and her older son. Thursday morning out of the blue, Ethan said, "remember when we went swimming with D?". DH & I were surprised that he even remembered going, no idea what made him think of it.

Later I was emailing B and mentioned Ethan's comment. She said thAt was too weird. That same morning, her daughter said, "remember when Ethan rode in the car with me?". (B had driven all of us to the water park.) Ethan & D were 2 - 2.5 y.o. At the time! I am amazed by their memories.

Friday, February 25, 2011


A few weeks ago, we went to church. I often use church as a time to mediate/pray, I don't always focus on the sermon. So I missed the first part of our pastor's story. When he was in seminary, he spent 12 weeks as a chaplain at a hospital. The first week and the last week that he was there, he counseled families who lost an infant. He felt unprepared to help those families. He asked why? why him? His classmates didn't go through that situation.

Now in the 20 years that he has been at our church, he has given 3 funerals for infants and 2 memorials for stillbirths. Those 2 infants from his seminary years helped prepare him for other losses.

I started crying, I just wasn't expecting my Sara and the other babies I know to be mentioned in the sermon. I think I also cried, thinking 5 babies in 20 years doesn't sound like many. But 3 of those were in the last 4 years. One of the babies died when I was in my late teens/early 20s. The mother reached out to me after Sara died. Sadly I don't know who the fifth baby is. I haven't attended this church regularly, except for when I visited my family, since '94. I keep forgetting to ask my family about this baby.

While I cried softly, the woman in front of me turned around and squeezed my knee, asking if I was OK. She works with my friend B, B who lost her daughter - the 2nd stillbirth. It was a very sweet gesture.

I'm been thinking about how our blogs and the Internet in general change the way we grieve, we can grieve more publicly. I think of past generations who were encouraged to just forget the baby who died or just never speak of him or her again and to move on. Now we write about the process, those first days, weeks of raw pain to months and years later, how that baby continues to touch our lives. Recently I learn of a couple who lost their 4-month old daughter. I assume SIDS. The baby was at the babysitter's and she stopped breathing. The mother had a blog, writing about her daughter prior to her death. She has been writing now, getting 100's - 1000's of replies. I've read a few of the replies, most coming from mothers, not necessarily dead-baby mamas. I can relate to the sudden loss and trying to figure out where you fit in the world. Before the Internet, I would never have even heard of this family and their loss, now I could follow their story - are they in need of help? (it sounds like they have a good support system.)

**Warning - tasteless comments ahead.**

A few weeks ago, an old college friend found me on facebook. He is a stay-at-home-dad to his 2.5 y.o daughter. We talk about potty training and brief overview of what we've been doing for the last 10 years. I hadn't told him about Sara, just waiting for the right time. He mentioned that his wife worked at a children's hospital. I asked if she was a doctor. He replied back that she was a "pediatric pathologist - a cutter-upper-of-dead babies.". I was just shocked that he wrote that. He's 35, not 16, making juvenile jokes. I was offended. I think I would have been offended even if I hadn't lost Sara.

I wrote back "please do not ever refer to your wife's job in that way again. In Oct 2006, we lost our first child, Sara was stillborn at full-term due to a cord accident. Since then I have met too many families who have lost children. I found your reference to be tasteless. She plays an important role, helping these families find answers, it's not a joke."

I hope he feels completely awful, as he should.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

More aloha...

The other night I was talking to a follower blogger and we agreed that some days we just have nothing write about or we have second thoughts about sharing things. But I do have something to share. Four years ago this week, DH and I went to Hawaii, an amazing trip that helped heal us. Just four months after losing our Sara, our beautiful son was conceived there. Now we are going back. By the time I actually post this, we'll either be there or be back.

This time, it's a very different trip. Ethan is going with us as well as 3 other people - a couple who have been to Hawaii several times and a singleton who hasn't been. The 2 guys are DH's college buddies, they were groomsmen in our wedding. We'll do some of the same things again, try some new things. We are so excited.

I will bring a picture of Sara, as I did four years ago. Hawaii always makes me think of my beautiful Sara.

1/24. We're in Hawaii. : ). I was looking through a cabinet full of games, puzzles and books and found a book I left here. Four years ago, late in my pregnancy, I started reading "Little Earthquakes" by Jennifer Weiner. It's about a woman who lost a child due to SIDS, she ran away from her husband, and ended up befriending a group of women each dealing with issues relating to motherhood and/or trying to have it all, etc... I was enjoying it until Sara died. I bought it along to Hawaii and left it here after reading it. Just seeing the cover, brought me back to our first trip, I could see myself laying in bed, reading the book and crying, thinking about my Sara. I'm tempted to bring it back with me, but probably won't.

Soon after finding the book, I told DH about it, how it brought those raw emotions. A few minutes after that, a huge butterfly flew by. I know Sara, you are always with us, everywhere.