Monday, November 22, 2010

A tiny house guest

I signed up for a visit from Patches the bear, a cute tiny little bear who has traveled to many baby loss families...we had the pleasure of being one of them last week. Here are some pictures and highlights of his time spent here.

Patches with Audrey's hospital blanket and bracelet along with the rose that hung on our door.

This puppy is the one gift we were given by a dear friend when we lost our first baby to early miscarriage.

Audrey's hand and foot print

This lovely garden ornament was a gift from our funeral home and made by a local artist.

Patches hanging on the wall with Audrey's pictures

 Watching me work from my makeup case (messy case at that).

And lastly....there is a rainbow on the horizon......

Thanks for the visit Patches!

If you would like to sign up for a visit, go to Patches button on my sidebar and get added to the list.

Friday, November 12, 2010


Today my grief feels so raw again. It's a rainy morning, I'm gripped with longing, longing to hold Audrey. I am struck with grief over what our marriage could have been at this point had we not lost her. Today I am pissed off that I didn't get to give birth to Audrey, but that she was surgically taken from my womb. I will never be the same again. I feel so ruined.
Today I have so much to accomplish, a hard working weekend ahead of me.  I feel like I just lost her yesterday. The demands of today seem too much to handle. I haven't cried in, well I can't remember how long, but now that the flood gates have opened I can't seem to stop.

Grace, oh how I need grace.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Blog Anniversary

On this day last year I went public with my blog. It took me a few weeks to write the story of Audrey's very brief visit here, and gain the courage to share it. As I sit now and think back on those days I see a stark contrast to who I am now in some ways but some things have remained the same. I was a very private person and it was hard for me to be so vulnerable at first. I took the risk of starting a blog because I was desperate for a release. I had so much inside I needed to just get out into the atmosphere. I've been journaling for years and it became time for a new level. Now I feel like my life is an open book and I'm pretty okay with that. I know now that I'm not a freak, many others have and are experiencing the same range of thoughts and emotions. That makes it easier to write whatever comes to mind, and I put a lot less pressure on myself. I started out a baby blogger and now I feel as though I've made it through elementary, I kind of feel that way about my grief too.

I started with the title of my blog being Faith, Hope and Loving Audrey. I don't remember the day I decided to shorten it and I never mentioned it here I just did it. And the reason, well, this space along with my life became less about faith and hope than it was about loving Audrey. I longed for hope, and struggled to keep faith. Do I still? Sure I do. I used to feel ashamed of that, hence the title change. I no longer felt the content was worthy of such a title. Those first months after we lost Audrey I felt close to God, I felt like all I had was faith, then suddenly He felt so distant- I became distant. I started to doubt all that I believed, I lost hope for my future. I was being swallowed up by my tsunami sized grief as I explained in this post.  Now the image that comes to mind is more like me carrying my grief in a hobo bag that is actually kind of pretty. I've managed to contain it in a bag that is always with me, and at times I trip and fall, the contents spill out all over, but nonetheless I can carry it now, instead of it carrying me. I can look at the contents whenever I want, I can set the bag down when it is too heavy and I can do so in public or in private. My faith and hope are slowly being restored-they look different now. Maybe more realistic. Maybe I have a more accurate understanding of who God really is and who I am in and through Him. But I'm still here,still working it out, it still hurts.

I'm interested in exploring what the next year will bring and how the tone and content of my blog may change. Change is in the air and I feel good about it. I'm not okay going about it without Audrey but I'm learning to accept that I don't have a choice. I can't bring her back and I'm tired of wishing I could. I won't forget her but I must keep going and give my life room for joy. That means giving less time to the grief that tries to steal all of my attention. It's hard, I've given all of my attention to the grief, but now I feel the pressure of setting boundaries, though it feels like a healthy step to take. So here's to the end of one blog year and on to the beginning of a new....

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Day 30

A dream for the future~
I have always loved traveling! My dream is to see more of this world, period. I'm open to going anywhere, anywhere at all. I love flying, I love learning new languages (I'm not fluent in any other), and I love people! I'd love to afford to travel to many places in a leisurely fashion, but I also think it would be awesome to work for an artist or band and tour with them for a year. That could actually happen and is more likely than me coming up with money to say... tour Europe for 3 months.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Day 29

My hopes, dreams and plans for the next 365 days~

That's a lot to think about considering I'm learning to take life one day at time. But, for the sake of this post I'll venture beyond.....

My biggest hope is to bring home my rainbow baby and successfully manage being a mom to her and Audrey.
The second, to continue being married. I know that probably seems weird to include in the list, but I can't just take it for granted. I feel like it has to be intentional now more than ever to work on our marriage remaining.
I hope to make more money these next 365 days than I did the last.
I hope to continue on the creative journey that I have been expressing myself through these days.
And I plan on getting back into really good shape. I miss working out. I miss running. I miss feeling physically fit.
That's all I have.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Day 28

What is in my purse ~

Okay, so I dumped it out but I had to arrange it a little...yep that is a pile of receipts under my sunglasses. I thought a picture would be a lot more interesting than telling you in words.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Day 27

My worst habit since Audrey's death ~

I avoid the world. If I don't have to do something or be somewhere I will stay in my pj's, not do my hair or makeup and I'll even avoid phone calls. I shut out everyone and everything and revert to my little corner, the blog world.  I can easily spend an entire day this way....or at least until my husband comes home, then I have to cook and talk out loud. Then, I feel bad for 'letting myself go' although Jamie has never said that.

That's probably the worst habit. I do have others.

Day 26

My week in great detail ~

I am actually having a very busy week so I'm behind and I will sum it up pretty quick, instead of giving great detail. Now, this is an ever changing schedule like I mentioned in my 'day' post.
Sunday ~ Jamie bathed dogs while I changed sheets & dog beds, did a few loads of laundry, and baked a cake. In the afternoon we watched a movie, I napped then we headed to a new friend's house for dinner, then home for me to get on my call for the Threads of Hope Bible Study.
Monday ~ OB appointment in the am, along with making and returning phone calls. Ran errands came home for lunch and more laundry, then off to a Chiropractor appointment. When I came home I discovered a box on my doorstep, it was the Still Life Travel Journal!!!! Opened it up and was SOOO excited, but had to make dinner instead of diving into the contents fully. After dinner I watched TV while I started on a candle order and of course looked at the travel journal and marveled at all it included. And of course I made some time for blogs.
Tuesday~ Worked diligently on my piece for the journal and a few candle orders. Did dishes and more laundry (I do one load at a time, so it's never really complete) plus I didn't do much laundry last week so I have more this week. =0 Talked to my sister on the phone for 45 minutes.... In the evening I worked in the salon, threw together a pizza and crashed on the couch in front of the TV.
Wednesday~ woke up at the crack of dawn for no good reason. Tackled some computer work (perfecting salon website, struggled to fix my pay pal button for blog, returned emails and fb messages). Finished candles and packaged up the travel journal. Took them all to the post office. Took a nap and ate TWO chocolate bars! Well I didn't mention that I had eaten breakfast and lunch, so the nap and chocolate came in the afternoon. Did some dishes, cooked dinner and am now blogging.I will probably go put away MORE laundry after I am done.
Thursday~ in the morning I will clean the house or at least start and get through a few rooms. In the afternoon I'll meet a friend for a walk. Then I'll come back to do some hair in the evening.
Friday ~ This is my usual busiest salon day, so it will be spent between the salon and on in between this is why if you see- what seems like- me on fb all day, that's why, because that is how I kill time when my appointments aren't back to back. It rarely happens that they are because I over-shoot the amount of time I'll need for each appt. (remember the OCD post) because I can't stand being behind/late.
Saturday~ Salon in the am. Freelance hair and makeup for a photo shoot out of town in the afternoon and into the early evening. Home to host Jamie's cousins for a backyard bonfire with roasted marshmallows and smores.....fingers crossed for the appropriate weather. =)

Well, that's it in a nutshell, like I said this is not detailed but I can't imagine anyone would really wanna know much more.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Day 25

My day in great detail ~

 When I am getting out of bed I put my right foot out first, then swing my left leg over, both feet go into my slippers, then...... No really, I'll stop right there.  Can ya tell I'm feeling a little sacrcastic tonight? Some days are incredibly boring, well I'm not bored but I can't imagine you caring to read about my activities on some days. Others are quite exciting like Saturday for instance. I have no schedule, my schedule is my clients' schedule- whenever someone needs my services that is when I work. It keeps it interesting, I don't love doing the same routine every day. Routine has it's benefits but for the most part I enjoy the adventure of each week being different. Anyway here goes:
5:15 am wake up, get ready and head out of the house for a freelance client.
6:45 arrive, apply makeup, style hair and go back home/salon
9:00 first salon client
11:00 break time, join my husband on the couch as he watches movies through Netflix instant stream.
12:00 eat lunch, continuing to veg on the couch
2:30 back into the salon to prepare for next client
3:00 client
4:00 client
5:00 client
5:30 eat dinner that my dear husband started preparing
6:25 leave for another freelance client
6:40 arrive at hotel, attempt to valet park by unloading makeup chair, case & hair bag. Valet wanted to move my car and it didn't start. UGH. I will now be late (which I HATE) so in order to get my car out of the valet lane I have to do a little trick to re-set my car's computer that takes TEN minutes. I call my client who is waiting upstairs to say I'm here but gonna be late to come upstairs. HOW EMBARRASSING! All the while my car is re-setting - BTW- I must have key in ignition for this, sitting there looking like I'm doing nothing- a lovely valet girl is inside the hotel holding/ guarding all my stuff instead of parking other people's cars who were also waiting for me who is taking up the whole lane because I was in the middle enough to not allow for anyone to get in behind or in front of me. Yeah, nice huh? I finally made it through the excruciatingly long ten minutes and Ms. Valet told me to pull around to other side of hotel and just park in a no park zone and she wasn't going to tow or charge me. Phew, how nice! Then I was escorted by a bell hop who helped me carry all my stuff to my clients suite. Yeay for nice people... and I will definitely recommend this hotel!
7:00 apply makeup, style hair and do so professionally yet hurried-ly ( if that is even a word). Because I am making her late for her evening.
8:00 leave hotel and head to the grocery store
9:15 arrive home, unload groceries (find my hubby has left so I must do all the grocery work myself, poor me)
10:00 hit the shower and watch tv as dear husband comes home
11:45 wake up from the couch and drag my exhausted fat butt to bed.

Day 24

Where I live ~

I live in Des Moines Iowa - what I feel is one of the most misunderstood places of America. We are not potato farmers, that is Idaho. In fact I'm not a farmer at all, nor have I or any of my family ever been anything remotely close. Don't get me wrong I have nothing against farming, it's just that in my travels and living in larger places such as LA I've heard people say the most incorrect and stereo typical things about my home state. And those who do the hard work of farming here are commonly into corn, dairy, and pork, although we have probably every type of agriculture throughout the state. We also have an increasingly large number of vineyards...that's right, Iowans make wine too. The population here (the capital) is a little over 500,000. Des Moines is the place for the insurance and finance industries. During the two years surrounding an election this is the place to meet any presidential candidate of your choosing as we hold the caucuses, a major event in nominating the president. This place is literally crawling with campaign offices, flyers and signage galore. We are becoming more and more diverse every day, which I love! In the 7 years since I moved back I've seen this place grow tremendously in every way. We have a few cool areas with great boutique shopping and awesome restaurants. There are many hidden talents here such as phenomenal, salon &spas, photographers, tattoo artists and clothing designers. We have art galleries, a great music scene and awesome events. And yes we rank pretty high for our annual art festival and our downtown farmers market (rightfully so, seeing how we are a farming state). There immigrants from many different countries coming to our area as well, which I love to see. That was my favorite part of living in a major metropolis- meeting people from all over the world and learning about their cultures. Oh, yes and then there is education...our public school system leaves a lot to be desired, not unlike the rest of America, but we have some pretty great colleges throughout our state. So annnnyyyway, my immediate neighborhood consists of mostly Caucasian middle- aged families and our block is mostly retired folks. So, needless to say it's pretty peaceful and quiet here. I like it. It's taken me a long time to appreciate it because I miss the ocean SOOOO bad, but the cost of living is much more practical for us here and I've come to accept a slower pace. We won't stay for the rest of our lives though, one day we'll move closer to a coast.
I guess what I'm trying to say is Des Moines is not so bad, there is quite a bit to do here. The state of Iowa has a lot to offer as a whole... with beautiful lakes too- for you nature lovers. I'm trying to convince you that this would be a good place to visit! Heck, this would be a great place to consider moving if you 're looking to re-locate. ;)
Well, this is where I live!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Day 23

A YouTube video that makes me laugh ~

Friday, October 22, 2010

Day 22

A website that has been meaningful to me since my loss ~

 Uh, how about every single one of the blogs I follow!?
 I can't say there is one website that has been meaningful from the beginning but Faces of Loss has meant a lot to me since it began this summer, for all they are doing to raise awareness and allow us a place to tell our stories in one place. Still Life 365 has been a wonderful place to see others express their grief,  a place where everyone's artistic expression is accepted. And ...Glow in the Woods...what a wonderful compilation of articles by various writers who so eloquently put into words what we in the baby loss community universally go through!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Day 21

A recipe ~
I hate cooking.Although I hate it, I do it because it is cheaper and healthier than eating out. I put together the easiest things I can for dinners. I like to use very few ingredients for meals. Baking is another story, as you saw in my post a few days ago. There is one recipe that I feel is share worthy because I fell in love with Cuban food from Versailles, a wonderful restaurant in Los Angeles, and I had to learn to make some Cuban food when I moved back to Iowa. There are no Cuban restaurants here. So I did online searches for a similar dish I would order there that was my fav. So here it is (and it is more than a few ingredients).

Carne Con Papas

2 lbs. beef stew meat
3 white or yellow potatoes
15oz. tomato juice
32oz. beef broth
1/2 small white onion
1/2 green bell pepper
3 cloves of garlic
1 tsp. cumin
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. Spanish saffron (yes, I use a lot, you don't have to use as much -I love the strong flavor)
pinch of salt

Chop green pepper, onion, and garlic finely or put in a food processor (that is what I do). Heat olive oil in pressure cooker on medium heat. Saute green pepper,onion,garlic,cumin and saffron & cook for about a minute then stir in tomato juice and broth. Bring to simmer, add the beef and potatoes. Cover with lid of pressure cooker  and cook under pressure for about 30-45 minutes.

Serve over jasmine or basmati rice. I also warm up some black beans with a dash of vinegar and onion powder added. And when I have been really ambitious or craving the full dish. I also fry up some plantains, mmm mmm good!

I went out and bought a pressure cooker just for this recipe- that's just how much I HAD to get me some Cuban food! This might discourage you from trying this recipe but I tell you a pressure cooker is definitely worth having  if you don't already. I also make beef stew and chicken curry in mine. It makes meat soooooo tender! They only cost about $25 and it comes with very thorough instructions that I suggest following. If I can do it anybody can!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Day 20

A hobby of mine and how it has changed since my loss ~

A hobby I've always had but have gone years between practicing is painting, drawing, and crafting. What has changed about it is that I need it now more than ever. I need to lose myself in whatever it is I'm creating 1) because it allows me to take my mind off of the grief. 2) It can help me dive fully into the grief and express it where I might not find words for it. 3) I find a sense of accomplishment which in turn brings about some freedom, some healing.

A painting I submitted to Still Life 365 representing all that I lost when Audrey died.

A lamp shade I recently made. It was plain white. I added all the fabric and made the rosettes.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Day 19

A talent of mine ~

Hmm, well since tomorrow's post is about a hobby which is closely related to my talent, I'll go with the less obvious...the thing that you wouldn't know about me. I make cakes for my family's birthdays, mostly the kids but I've tried my hand at adult versions. I'm still perfecting my fondant techniques but I guess you could call it a talent of mine. I hate cooking but love to bake and I'm good at baking about anything I've made so far. You won't be able to taste but I'll give you a look....

For my niece's 2nd birthday...and my 2nd try at fondant icing.

For my mom's 1st try at 2 different kinds of fondant.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Day 18

My wedding ~

Let me start by saying Jamie and I met in high school. A mutual friend revealed that he had a crush on me. He being too shy and didn't approach me, so I took the initiative to talk to him more and see if I was interested. After a few rides to and from play practice and home he asked me to go to a football game with him. At the game I sat with him and some of my girlfriends, us girls all decided he was too nice and a little nerdy for this bad boy lovin' girl. I was so rude to the poor guy and after that night he didn't speak to me again. Fast forward to 2003. I had just moved home from California. It was a funny chance encounter where my sister had been meeting up with some guy friends who had motorcycles, I told her I wanted a ride. So, she asked one of them if the next time they all got together I could have a ride. One agreed. She then told me  "Hey, you might know this guy, his name is Jamie etc. etc." I say, "Yeah, I know him. Did you tell him who I am? Cause he probably thinks I'm a real b*@!h and won't want to give me a ride!" I  proceeded to tell her about high school. So she informed him of who I am. Surprisingly he still agreed saying that indeed I was not nice to him, but he would trust that my sister was being truthful in saying how I'd changed. The night I met him again he pulled up in his truck, driving past the meeting spot on his way home from work to get his motorcycle. I will never forget the thought that ran through my mind. "Holy crap, he's grown up to be so cute! Oh, God help me I might be in trouble with this one!" Yep, I got butterflies in my stomach the moment I saw him. I had no intention of dating anyone, I had plans to stay in Iowa for about a year then go back to California. Needless to say those plans sure did change. It was really ironic too how I began working in theatre as we started dating. I hadn't been involved in theatre since high school. We got engaged in July 05. He proposed while we were on a trip to Chicago it was as romantic as it could be out on the Navy Pier at 98 degrees and record high humidity, completely sweaty. The poor guy, I've put him through so much. Not only did I reject him in high school I did it again a year after we were dating. He asked me to marry him once and I said no, broke up with him, got back  together and broke up with him a second time, then back again. I decided around Christmas time of 04 that I was worthy of a nice loyal man who cherished me and to stop jerking him around. I told him so and it took him 7 months to propose again which I don't blame him for - but can you believe I had a deadline in my head that if he didn't ask me again by such and such date I was outta there. Now I roll my eyes at myself. I had a feeling when we went on that trip that he might propose. He made me wait until Sunday, our very last stop to confirm my suspicion. He won't admit it, but I think he feared that I might say no again and he didn't want to ruin the whole weekend. Again, can't blame the guy. So here we are....

My handsome man

Goofing around

His parents, who are no longer on this earth with us.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Day 17

An art piece that moves me ~

I recently found this artist through another baby loss mom on SO many of her pieces move me. I wish I could afford to buy all that apply to motherhood and grief! This just nails it for me, what a picture of this past year, me feeling dark and vulnerable with my heart just hanging out there for all the world to see, yet I'm hiding my face because I can't bear the thoughtless comment or look of disappointment coming from anyone. And some days I might be hanging my head in shame...shame for the way I my body failed Audrey, shame for the way in which I am grieving her loss and how that is affecting everyone in my life.

Please Be Kind

Please Be Kind

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Day 16

A song that makes me cry or nearly ~

 My question is.... On what day? This past year I've cried to anything from "Every Rose Has It's Thorn" by Poison to Louise Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World."  Then there's the song from Audrey's funeral, and a song from my grandma's funeral, and another my aunt sang to me up to the day she died. I'm sorry but I'm gonna have to be kinda lame and not really answer this one. There are just too many variables. Most songs just don't hold the same meaning for me anymore either.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Day 15

Double Post Day!, what do I like about my house?

I have a love/ hate relationship with our house. It is a home that was built in 1932, a ranch style. It has been "added onto" twice. It was once the farm house of an apple orchard. I love that our house has tons of history and that it happens to be the only one of it's kind for blocks around, due to the fact the farmers slowly sold pieces of the original land over many years, I believe starting in the 50's. It's kind of cool to think about how we are in the heart of the city and all my neighbors' houses and the surrounding streets were once apple trees instead. What I hate is the mess! We are updating it and by that I mean gutting it, re-designing parts of it and putting it all back together. The process is grueling. My husband is amazing though, he can do all the construction and he does it well, so I like what we have done so far. We just pick an area rip it up, make it pretty, take a break for awhile, then it's on to the next area. We've been here for 4 years and we are over halfway done with the remodel. All that is left is the kitchen and living room, then the outdoor siding. We hoped to have it all complete by now but decided to do it as we could pay for it rather than get a loan or put it on credit cards. So, without further ado I'll share some pictures with you.

The dining room

My husband's best work...vaulting the ceiling

And my favorite...a screened in patio in the back, just off the dining room.
I'm glad we are doing these thirty posts and that this is one of them. So often I look at all that still needs to be done with such dread. But, I am proud of what my husband has accomplished, and doing this really helped me appreciate how far we've come.Maybe I'll dig out the disk of "before" to show you at some point. And really I do have the easier job of picking the colors and painting, and adding all the decorative elements. By the way, the dining room rarely looks so clean as it serves as my art studio most days. 

I Remember

Today I remember our babies with all of you. I am so pleased to see filled with love and honor for all those lives that mean something to us. To recognize that we need not be silent, that it's okay to talk about them. Being a part of this community for a year now, I see the great strides we've taken to gain voices for the children we mourn. I can only imagine what next year will bring! It is so sad to think that we will add to our family in great numbers by next year's Remembrance Day.

Last Sunday my husband and I went on a walk to remember. It was a small walk- like around the building- on a hospital campus. About 300 people attended which was the largest turn out they had ever had in the eleven years they've hosted. They had a beautiful ceremony with songs, poetry readings, a harpist playing, all in an auditorium lit only by candlelight. They gave each family a white rose with a white ribbon where you could write a message. As soon as I saw the white roses my eyes welled up with tears, that's Audrey's thing- roses, white or soft pink. White particularly because that was what our hospital taped to our door to let others know we had a baby who died. And pink because I received so many pink roses from the moment I was admitted and on through her funeral. So, as I was saying the ceremony was beautiful, I shed many tears and at times I wanted to lay on the floor and just have an ugly, gut bellowing cry- you know the kind you would reserve for home alone. I left feeling rather disappointed though. The ceremony took place first then the walk, and last we placed our roses in a memorial garden and spoke our babies' names into a microphone as we laid them at the base of an angel statue. That was also beautiful.
What left me wanting was the walk. As some of you who've been following me for the duration know, I wanted to plan a walk. I thought there wasn't one in our area, then I found out about this one so I felt there would be no need for another. I guess what I'm getting at is after thinking about this for a week I still think I want to put one together, I imagine getting the community involved, one where we really walk - in public. Not hidden, not where only the people coming and going from the hospital see us. Not one where only couples who've lost and their children attend. One where we get teams together (our entire families) to wear t-shirts that represent our babies. One that is announced on the news not just at the hospital and funeral homes. This is not a new idea, it's what cities across the country are doing. We are behind- like most things, being in a state were our biggest cities are a far cry from being big metropolises. I'm writing all this to get your opinions and any ideas. I hate to compete with one of the three hospitals but I really think we can do better. I would be willing to work with the hospital if it weren't for the politics. Too many people are left out- this is a Catholic hospital and it was a very Catholic ceremony. Where does that leave everyone else who didn't give birth there, or are from rural areas, or are uncomfortable with a religious ceremony? Like I said I'm open to comments, I welcome them, I'm kind of begging for them! What should I do, where should I begin?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Day 14

A non-fictional book that is meaningful to me since my loss~

Drops Like Stars by Rob Bell. The description of the book is just this, " A few thoughts on creativity and suffering."  It is a very short book but packs much punch, gives you something to chew on for a while. This book touches my soul on a level I cannot fully articulate. I've written a little about it here before. At the time when I bought it, it came as a  large hard cover book, now a paperback is available with some beautiful photography, and includes only 6 chapters-but not what we normally call a chapter, one page may have one sentence on it and the next seven, then before you know it it's on to the next chapter. He quotes artists and writers and brings together the art of life, he makes suffering beautiful and honest.Of course I would recomend this book to anyone as a good buy but if you are too broke or reluctant, you could sit at B&N and read it within an hour, that's sitting and pausing between his thoughts to get all philosophical -that's what I do anyway.

I've read a handful of other non-fiction books since losing Audrey but frankly, I can't remember enough about them to make mention. They were mostly self-help grief books that I know have made a difference in me- allowing me to see that all I've been going through is normal, which is good but not as meaningful to me.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wow, I held a baby

So, another baby was born. We have become friends with a neighboring couple (mostly to the husband) in the few years we have lived next door to one another. We mostly talk to him because he is outside working in the yard, and we have attended a few of their 4th of July parties. Though they are only a few years older than us (we are starting late and they started waaaay early-like age 14) their daughter just gave birth to their first granddaughter. As you can imagine, they have been over the moon about it since the day they found out. We never really knew their daughter until about the last 3 months, and their whole family has been so excited that our babies will be playmates. Anyway....she was born the 1st. We got a text and a pic, which I thought would be the extent of our interactions until we ran into each other in passing. We said congrats, she's cute, you know the usual.
 I got a phone call the 4th.
Me: "hello?"
New father: "Hey, Michelle we are next door and are you busy-I mean we want u see our daughter, we wanted to come over but- well are you busy right now?!" reallllllly fast, I can hardly understand him.
Me: " Uh, well, um not really, sooo did you want to come here or you want me to come over there?
He: "It doesn't matter, we just want to show you!"
Me: "Well, um, how long did you plan to be there?"
He: "About another 30 minutes!"
Me: " Uh, let me just come over there, I'll uh be there in a few minutes." I say as I am looking out the window to see a lot of cars in front of grandparents' place and in the driveway.
I think to myself as I'm throwing on a pair of shoes "It will be okay, there are a lot of people there who will be passing the baby around, not too intimate- probably won't draw attention to the fact I won't hold her. I'll  just be in and out. Besides, sounds like they have somewhere else to be soon."
As I walk in the door, around the corner comes mama and baby. Baby is dropped into my arms, while she says, "wanna hold her?"
Uh wow okay, I'm holding the baby! Interesting that even in the midst of grief and fear of holding a baby my reflexes didn't break. I put my arms out like anyone would when you have a baby in your bubble. I imagined that going down differently.
Surprisingly, I did okay. The blood rushed into my cheeks and I got very hot and couldn't sit down once again. But I held her and looked at her. I'm glad that's over with. One little thing at a time right? That was probably the best way it could have happened. I wonder if they did it on purpose because all those visitors were around the corner in the kitchen when I entered the front. There were only three of us in that huge living room, yet everyone else seemed to be crammed into the kitchen. It surprised me so much when new father called me because he never has and he talked to me like we were best friends. I literally walked over there in shock. Then it was shocking to be handed the baby like I was such an important person, they were just waiting to introduce her to. I feel like I was just adopted into their family without knowing. The best part is I was able to talk about Audrey while holding her and the parents didn't get all weirded out like a lot of people do. Who knew that long conversations in the yard - mostly just in passing, with new grandfather would lead to a little healing for my heart. Of course I thought of losing Audrey but more-so I was just happy that they got to bring their gift home.

Day 13

A fictional book that is meaningful to me since my loss ~

I have not read any fictional books since my loss. I couldn't fathom reading anything that is imaginative up to this point. I've done nothing but grasp for the truth, and search for reality-others' realities, and what is my new reality. I love to read! I've just been reading story after story of other moms who've lost- boring answer- I know.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Day 12

Something I am OCD about~

Being late. I hate being late! If I am it's because something out of my control has happened or I really don't care about the thing to which I am late. For instance when I have grown to hate a job I tend to arrive 5-10 minutes late. Or if I have a family function that....well I'm gonna stop there in case someone in my family is reading. heh heh.... Annnyway, I like to be 5-10 minutes early.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Day 11

A photo of me recently and how I feel about seeing it now ~

 - A very recent photo (a week ago).This is my little sister and I.
She is about to have her 5th baby at the end of this month. So about how I feel....I feel two worlds colide. I am pregnant with my second rainbow and she with her 4th. She had a miscarriage with her first and has gone on to have perfect deliveries- all natural- with the rest. She is really good at being pregnant and bringing my nieces and nephews into the world -like she was made to make babies. I love her tremendously and would want nothing less for her. I on the other hand feel like I am not so good at this, but am holding my breath, hoping to be proven wrong. I hope I can look back on this picture in December and have joy. Joy because I am holding that rainbow and she hers, not grieving for another baby lost. I agreed to taking this picture because I thought, either way I'm gonna want to remember this and I hope it isn't because it will be a keepsake in another memory box.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Day 10

A photo taken of me more than 10 years ago and how I feel seeing it now ~

 First of all I can't believe I'm sharing this with all of you! But second, I had to so you too would see how fun I used to be.
Yes, I said I used to be. This picture was taken exactly 10 years ago- in the fall even. I was at 6 Flags Magic Mountain having a blast, acting very silly, I was living like a child in that moment- as you can see. When I look at this picture I grieve for that girl I once was. I can't imagine letting myself go like this- practically embarrassing myself. If you can't tell I was jumping up and down because we were finally going on a ride(can't remember which one) that I had been anticipating- totally acting like a kid!

I miss her. I feel like I don't even know her. Life has become so serious, so mundane, so GROWN UP. 

I was Miss Adventure, spontaneous, a little wild- in a good way! I could be uninhibited whenever I wanted to and without any substance- it was el naturel- let it all (personality) hang out and have fun!
Now it's all I can do to leave the house and when I do I'm the person you will definitely NOT notice, just blending in with the crowd.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Day 9

A photo I've taken since our loss~

Yes, here it is, her headstone arrived. I just took this photo about a week ago. Nothing drives home the reality that you are a parent to a dead child like a solid piece of granite spelling out the facts.
I love the font. Those are her actual feet. I came up with the quote-if you'd call it that- about the flower.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Day 8

A photo that makes me angry/sad ~

I think it speaks for itself. I am not this kind of Christian.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Day 7

A photo that makes me happy~

My dogs are such a blessing to me. They bring me comfort and make me smile. This is my littlest doggie Lucy. I call her the queen because she rarely lays on the floor or any flat surface, she thinks she is royalty and must have a pillow or two or four...I can't seem to capture her on our bed where I have quite a few layers of pillows, where she is most of the time. She's just too cute!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Day 6

20 Things that calm me..

1. The ocean
2. A warm breeze
3. Sunshine on my shoulders
4. Keepsakes from my aunt and grandmother
5. My dogs
6. Music
7. My husband's hand on the small of my back
8. Fleece, chenille, and silk blend blankets
9. Chai tea
10. Community
11. A walk
12. Prayer and meditation
13. Solo road trips (with good music)
14.Writing and journaling
15. Creating something with my hands
16. Comforting others
17. Nostalgia
18. Stretching on my fitness ball
19. Escaping into a movie or t.v.
20. Hugs

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Day 5

My favorite quote~

This has changed. I am the type of person that goes through phases- I mean we all do but, for me it's pretty evident. I can look back on periods of time and have a song, outfit, quote, food and smell that I associate with whatever I was going through at that particular time in my life, whether it be happy or sad. Then I move on to my next phase, when I love something I love it til I'm sick of it or something comes up that is more interesting. There was a time when I lived in L.A. that I was dating a Latin boy named Carlos who loved Depeche Mode, now I've always been a Depeche fan but I now associate certain songs by them with him. Every time I spot a certain color of brown fall boot, it also takes me back to that time along with a plaid coat I still have and the smell of satsuma, that's what I wore that fall I dated him ever-so-briefly.
Does everyone do that?

Well, that was a a big bunny trail I took you on just to say that right now my favorite quote is:

"We are healed of suffering only by expressing it to the full." Marcel Roust

That is where I am in my life. I cannot deny the pain I am going through for anyone. I cannot down-play the affects of grief to make others comfortable because I WANT to heal. I NEED to heal, therefore I will express it fully.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Blog award

Hi all! I've had the honor of being nominated for this blog award not once, not twice but four times! Thank you to Alissa, Shandrea, Kara, and Kristie I am seriously behind on all that I wish to write. Life is looking kind of normal these days-I mean that in a way that would seem normal to an outsider that is, like a busy routine. So without further a do I will list my most newly viewed, blogs. Some of these ladies may have already been nominated, not sure.......

1. Post award on your blog along with the person's name who nominated you.
2. Pay it forward by nominating 10 other blogs that are new to you, and post with their links.
3. Contact those who you've nominated so they can accept and do the same.

Lula's mommy
OWS this blog is not about baby loss, but it is SOOO worth the reading. She is a beautiful, deeply spiritual woman who writes from her soul.

I hesitated to accept this because I hate the thoughts of leaving anyone out. I even considered listing my entire blog list but I simply don't have the time for that!

Ta ta for now!

Day 4

Day 4- My favorite book. Has it changed since my loss? No.

Years ago I read this book, Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers, I borrowed it from a friend. It has made the biggest impact on my life, it is the most memorable book I've read, and I've read many books, I'm an avid reader. This is a must read for every woman! We all desire to be loved unconditionally and this book is such a beautiful, well written love story. For those of you who aren't into fiction or Christian fiction, I say give it a shot anyway..I'll bet you won't be able to put it down either! In fact I need to get my own copy and read it again!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Thirty posts: D3

A television show that has helped me get through my loss or that moves me, is the TLC show Hoarders.

The reason I say this is because I watch all the same t.v. that I did before Audrey died. But during my 11 day stay in the hospital I watched marathons of that show. It broke my heart just as much as it grossed me out to see all that these hoarders were holding onto emotionally as well as physically. I hate to admit that it also made me feel a little better to be watching something that dealt with reality- reality that we humans are fragile and broken and imperfect. I felt so imperfect sitting there in that hospital room and by no means did I think I was better than the hoarders just suffering in a different way. I didn't want to escape my reality with comedy, I was sure of that and I pretty well knew that show was safe- in that I wouldn't see some happy family with a new baby. It was also shocking enough that it really did take me away from my life for a while, holding my attention, which even now is hard to accomplish.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Thirty posts: D2

Day two: *a movie that helped me get through my loss or that jumps out at me.*
I would have to say Couples Retreat jumps out at me, for no other reason than this is the first movie we went to see after our loss. I remembered sitting in the theatre and thinking about Audrey every few minutes. I had to keep telling myself to come back to the movie and when I would I would laugh, then I'd feel so weird laughing, it just felt wrong. I remember being so exhausted when it was over because it was such an effort to feel joy, sorrow, guilt, and confusion all at the same time. Any time I've walked past that movie in the video store it just takes me right back to that night.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Thirty posts in thirty days. D1

Like I said in my previous post, I am behind, I'm going to play catch up quick, because I really like this idea, now hopefully I can find the time to actually post each day.
Day one:
I have a hard time narrowing down one song that reminds me of Audrey, so many of them do now. I guess I have to say the "one" that would really srike a cord with me if I heard it play on the radio is With Hope by Steven Curtis Chapman. I chose this one because it is the one song we had played at her graveside service. If you want to hear it scroll down to my playlist it's on there.

And here is the list if you'd like to do this project as well.
still life with circles: Thirty posts in thirty days.:
"Day 1 - a song that reminds you of your child, or one that you can't listen to anymore and why.
Day 2 - a movie that helped you get through the hard times, or one that jumps out at you after your loss.
Day 3 - a television program that helped you either get through hard times or that moves you.
Day 4 - your favorite book. has it changed since your loss?
Day 5 - your favorite quote.
Day 6 - twenty things that calm you.
Day 7 - a photo that makes you happy.
Day 8 - a photo that makes you angry/sad.
Day 9 - a photo you took since your loss.
Day 10 - a photo taken over 10 years ago of you and how it makes you feel seeing it now.
Day 11 - a photo of you recently and how it makes you feel seeing it now.
Day 12 - something you are OCD about.
Day 13 - a fictional book that is meaningful to you since your loss.
Day 14 - a non-fictional book that is meaningful to you since your loss.
Day 15 - what you like about your house.
Day 16 - a song that makes you cry (or nearly).
Day 17 - an art piece (drawing, sculpture, painting, etc) that moves you.
Day 18 - my wedding/future wedding/past wedding.
Day 19 - a talent of yours.
Day 20 - a hobby of yours and how it changed since your loss.
Day 21 - a recipe.
Day 22 - a website that has been meaningful since your loss.
Day 23 - a youtube video that makes you laugh.
Day 24 - where you live
Day 25 - your day, in great detail
Day 26 - your week, in great detail
Day 27 - your worst habit since your child's death.
Day 28 - what's in your handbag/purse
Day 29 - hopes, dreams, and plans for the next 365 days
Day 30 - a dream for the future"

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Look At Me NOW!

That is the theme I saw tonight as I walked the very looonnnnng seemingly never ending halls of this particular NICU. You guessed it ...this whole post is all about triggers, so beware.
There were posters of child after child holding their preemie baby pictures while smiling proudly. It was clear by the faces of these adorable kids that their parents have told them all their lives what miracles they are and what odds they overcame. So why was I there? My husband's friends had a baby yesterday... we went to see him....and might I add WHAT WAS I THINKING!!!???  I was having a good day today and thought, well he is a boy and I can probably handle it. I've known for about 7 months that this and a few other babies are going to be born between now and January. So to myself I said, "Time to be a big girl Michelle, it's been a year, you should try to look at another's newborn, it might not be as hard as you imagine." Well it was harder. I did fine going into the mom's room, but as it came time to go see baby boy another couple we've never met were visiting as well. As we walked those halls the new-to-us-guy said, "Wow look at these babies, they are SO tiny!" I caught a glimpse just as he was making the statement and I felt the heat rise in my cheeks. ( I get beet red when nervous, anxious, sad, mad-anything intense at all) I was walking looking straight ahead and I would see poster after poster on both sides but trying so hard not to focus in on them, for fear that I might fall apart.  They would pass one by one, but I wouldn't allow myself to turn my head to really see them, that was just my peripheral. You see, we were under the impression that he was in the part of the nursery that needed extra care because he has some fluid on his brain, but no. As we were making our way down those halls my wonderful husband points out to new guy that our daughter was about that size ( I assume pointing to one of the pictures) and that she was only 1 lb. 13 oz. ect. ect. It was a bittersweet symphony to my ears. On one hand I was so happy to hear him tell her story but on the other I just wanted to focus on the baby who is alive down one of these long freeekin halls! When we arrived, the mom proudly boasted that he was the  "biggest baby in here" and "can you believe there are 50 babies in this NICU!"  I felt like I had to do something painful like get a shot, inside I was saying lets get in and get out, get this over with already so I can get the hell outta here! Am I happy for them -of course I am! I just didn't prepare for all the comments that would make me think of all of us. I had to stand, I couldn't sit down- I tried but I needed to feel the pressure in my feet- I don't know maybe to balance the pressure I felt in my face. I really thought it might catch fire! I positioned myself to be the furthest from the baby, I had no intention of holding him, nor did I. Between the complaints of how long they had to stay (standard 3days) to how bad it sucks that big sister had to wear a mask because she had a nervous cough, I wanted to get outta there. As us ladies were talking the dad pipes up "Hey ladies, us guys are going to head downstairs and let you visit."
I quickly rained on that parade, shot my husband the look, and said,"we gotta go let our dogs out" -classic excuse. Then of course I heard,"oh, you don't want to hold the baby?" Me- " No, no baby holding for me, we really need to get going, just wanted to stop by and see him though."
I can't imagine holding any baby but my own, I just can't do it.
I was so thankful for my husband tonight, when the dad was complaining about staying overnight again, Jamie said , "Yeah try like 11 nights dude."
And I wanted to say, AND....not get to bring your baby home!
And when the mom said more than once how amazed that there are 50 babies in the NICU, my mind would wander to the question of how many might die, a reality that this couple cannot begin to grasp (thankfully for them).
And at the mention of wearing a mask for a not-cold-related cough, of course I was thinking, "You self-centered people have no idea that a lot of these babies are hanging on by a thread and IF your kid  hacked her germs all through these halls and killed a baby you'd never know, you wouldn't be the one losing sleep over it, the parents would all the while you get to bring your "normal" sized, healthy baby who just needed a little monitoring home. So suck it up, hell why don't we all wear a mask, we don't know if we are carrying a virus!"
As we left I looked a little bit closer at my peripheral  vision of the posters and thought how awful that none of our babies can say,"look at me now!"  growing all big and strong. I really need this to not send me to the couch for days. I've already eaten too many oreos to mention while I wrote this post...that is one of my coping skills-eating anything that contains chocolate.

Giveaway number three!!

Head over to Audrey's Little Light to enter to win a candle just in time for October 15th!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Third Day & Anchored By Hope

Third Day is my favorite Christian band! I just wanted to stop in quick and share this video with you. I've listened to this song over and over and over again since we lost Audrey and I think it is one of the many things that have brought a glimmer of hope and healing to my heart. I haven't been spending much time here in blog world. I've found myself pulled in the 'real life' direction a little more these days but I'm still stopping in and reading your blogs, although not commenting much, please know I think of you often.
I started the Anchored By Hope Bible Study and after just two weeks I know more healing is taking place in me. Last week our leader said something to me that was simple yet profound. I said I wanted to draw closer to God through this study because I've been feeling more and more distant the further out Audrey's loss is. I said how I want to get back to the way we were ( God and I). Her response was that it is a lot of pressure to put on myself, that our relationship would not be the same again. Duh me! I figured this out about all my other relationships but didn't factor in the reality of my disappointment toward God, the ways in which I don't trust him as I once did. I'm looking forward to all that I will get out of this study as hard as it will be, I still look forward to it.

Sending much love to each of you!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I love the internet!

I can't express it enough, there just aren't words that describe how much I LOVE and appreciate you, my followers, my friends. This past year I have felt so much love and support here, unlike what I have felt in real life. I have to say I was not surprised at the outpouring of kindness from this community surrounding Audrey's first birthday. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for your comments here and on fbook and to those who sent me a picture of Audrey's name! Thank you to all who sent cards and emails including you lovely ladies from BLM Pen Pals! There are just too many to mention.
And last but not least here are some of the gifts we received from a few of my friends (IRL)...

A non BLM- one who "gets it" her! And a BLM and long time forever friend.

Ladies, you know who you are...C, I'm so glad you've become such a great friend to me and I so appreciate that you not only remembered Audrey, but you took the time to pick out flowers and a balloon to put on her grave. You are one that I can trust with my feelings. Thanks for being here for me and not being afraid to talk about her!
A, I misss you sooooo much. I really wish we lived closer to each other and I especially wish that I could have been the friend to you like you've been to me through your loss ( if only I knew). I'm so happy that we're in touch again and I love you more than words! The book is beautiful. Thank you for being you, a great friend!

Unfortunately I did not experience the same from my own family. I shouldn't have been surprised, but I was. I was deeply disappointed that not one of my family members called or sent a card. Two relatives sent me messages on fbook, but I can't help but think that was due to my fellow baby loss mommas posting on my wall. Who knows, but it errks me that so many of them had to see my status and said nothing. I am going to turn my irritation and hurt into activism. I will speak out about this "taboo" subject! Look at all the support cancer survivors get! We don't get crap! Don't get me wrong cancer survivors deserve all the support, BUT WE DO TOO!!! I am so excited for the Faces of Loss Faces of Hope October campaign that just started. If you haven't checked this out, donated or submitted your photo I highly encourage you to do so! I just went there today and my picture should be up in the next few days or so.

Much love to you all!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

My own September 11 tragedy

I really need to just speak freely here. I find it rather difficult to separate into two blog posts so often and today I just can't make that happen. My grief and joy are intertwined daily. So I guess what I'm saying is, if it's hard for you to read about subsequent pregnancy today's post is not one you'll want to read.
Triggers have been going off for me left and right these past few weeks. As seahorse gets bigger, kicks me harder and my belly grows two thoughts occur to me 1. It reminds me of the time I had with Audrey in the hospital after my water broke because without the fluid I could feel her every move. 2. I never made it this far with Audrey and it pains me to constantly compare these things. Every time I log onto Fbook and see all my cousin's babies I think of how I want seahorse to know them and be playmates, but I still feel the pain of how they are all around the age of Audrey. I guess I thought having a rainbow would be a little easier. I knew a rainbow would never replace her or make the pain go away. I just hoped that as time goes on the joy of a new baby would far outweigh the sorrow of losing one. Maybe it will one day. Right now though I feel ashamed when I curl up in a ball and cry so hard my abs hurt, this has to affect my seahorse. And I feel ashamed that days, even a week here and there have gone by that I think of Audrey but not with sorrow, jut like a fleeting moment of remembrance. I'm tired of the pain, I'd like to put it behind me. Not that I will EVER forget Audrey but that I'm not caught up in the tragedy of it so often. It's less often than before but sometimes it's jut like it was yesterday-that's what I wish would stop-being broadsided with it out of no where. I really can liken it to the twin towers coming down (or a natural disaster). Just like 9.11.01 Everyone remembers where they were that day. It changed everything. As much as has been cleaned up and restored, those towers will never again be. That part of the country will never be the same, all of America will never "get over it" we've just found a new way of living because of it. Years later there is no debris left just the emptiness of the space where those buildings once stood, the memories of the lives that were tragically lost, and the sacrifices so many made to pitch in and help rescue those trapped by it. I feel like that in my baby loss world. I'm looking at my life in pieces scattered all over the ground, just as I feel like I'm making headway on putting it back together I become overwhelmed and tired of being strong so I fall in the pile of rubble. It will probably take years to see no signs of destruction but I want it to be now. I'm weary from cleaning up this mess. Thank God I have this community to help, to encourage, to chip in and rescue. But we're all weary at times and sad because each of us has to do the same in our own lives. Where is the rest of the world...those who are stronger, who aren't weary from having lost a child? Most hustle and bustle through their own lives....we who are grief stricken have no direct effect on them, so why stop and help out? Don't get me wrong I have a few really awesome people in real life who are willing to share the burden of my tragedy. I speak of society in general here.
I just wish there were less debris hanging around, yet it keeps me feeling connected to Audrey. Like the hospital bills for instance, we are only just beginning to pay for her doctor and NICU bills (took them all long enough to figure out what insurance wanted to pay) and I continue to pay for my hospital stay. And by the way my husband's insurance wouldn't cover anything because she didn't leave the hospital alive...yeah we might have been able to fight that but can't afford a lawyer or the emotional toll. And now the new baby bills (the high tech ultrasounds) are coming in and money is getting really tight. The driven person I once was would be really resourceful and go out there and get more clients and work really hard to pay the bills. But, this is the mess I describe, ME-I'm the mess. I can't bring myself to that driven place- I just can't find it in me. Again, feeling ashamed, I have a baby on the way to take care of! Money isn't going to magically fall into my lap! I'm full of the knowledge of how to succeed and I can sit and come up with great ideas, but it stops there. In fact I remember comig up with all these marketing goals and my business plan while pregnant with Audrey. I would be with her during the day and work in the salon every night and on Saturdays. My business would be booming in no time. Well she died and as much as I tried to keep my career plan alive it died a little too. I'm not following that plan now. I did one big event. I'm not busy every week let alone close to being busy every night. I wanted to do more for Audrey it seems. I feel like I'm cheating my rainbow by not being everything I can be because I'm knee deep in Audrey sorrow. Not so much active -crying -my eyes -out- sorrow, but an invisible force that weighs heavy on me even as I go about everyday tasks- just getting by.
I need a new counselor, but even that journey sounds exhausting...finding a new one that is. I've been ashamed to admit that I may have PTSD. We discussed it a bit and she has no experience with it so she couldn't make a clear diagnosis. I've had past trauma, and those are the vivid reoccurring memories that have evidently been triggered by losing Audrey. Often I find myself alone in my search to find answers and direction as to how to overcome or get through whatever I am labeled as. Most of the time I don't care about the proper label just that I find healing.

More than fearing something bad will happen and cause me to lose this baby, I fear I am screwing her up when I have such bad days. I just pray and pray that God will protect her from my emotional turmoil and I try to lay it all at his feet so I'm not thinking or crying or fretting too much. But, I have my weak days when I fall apart and can't seem to leave it in His hands and trust Him to heal my brokenness.
Sorry this is soooo loooong. I really needed to get some of this out and I probably should have done it over the course of a few posts. You're probably wondering about the pictures. I thought I would do something visual to show how my world looks to me. The first you probably recognize, me in pieces. The second is a picture of Jamie and I and the third is really hard to make out- I think- is my salon. Interesting how they turned out. I randomly cut them, threw them on the table and scrunched them together. I find it most interesting that the picture of me and Jamie and I are at least recognizable, which are the most important. The salon- well it's hardly easy to make out the floor from the ceiling, hmmm.
Thanks to all who stuck with me through this entire post.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Happy Heavenly Birthday Audrey

Dear sweet baby Audrey,
I can only imagine how you spend your eternity in heaven. Anyone who believes in heaven has their own notions of what it is like. Some imagine that our loved ones are looking down on us, sending us signs or making things work together for our good. Some believe that those who've died become angels. The bible says, "No one has ever imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him."(1 Cor.2:9)
So if we imagine the opposite of everything that is here on earth (the evil) that is what heaven is like- only better than we can ever fathom. There is no pain, no tears,no burden, no trouble, no hunger or thirst and no death. So I think you can't possibly even know that you are separated from your mommy, you are too whole and complete by being with Jesus. If you did know and you could see me, wouldn't that bring you pain to see mine? Or you can see me but it doesn't cause you any pain-maybe because you can see all that I will one day inherit just like you? I imagine that when I get to heaven, we meet again and the bond is instantly restored. For you it may be like when we meet someone new here on earth and we feel a connection to them- like we've known them all our lives- only for you and I it will be much, much deeper. I imagine that you are not an angel, because angels have hard work to do. The bible says that God has given the angels charge over us.(Psalm 91:11-12) I think we have appointed angels form the moment we enter this world, he doesn't need anymore than when he created the heavens and earth. Or does he just keep appointing more and more to minister to us left behind? If so how does he possibly chose who to appoint to who and when? Maybe this makes me selfish or lazy but when I think of going to heaven and becoming an angel it doesn't sound appealing to me. I mean I don't want the responsibility of caring for someone here on earth.In heaven we are to have fullness of joy- FULLNESS of joy!(Psalm 16:11) We couldn't possibly have that joy if we are assigned as angels to rule over the earth fighting off evil could we? I also imagine that you never sleep, you're in a place called paradise, a place we are promised rest, you probably never get tired so there is no need for sleep. If there is no hunger or thirst you probably never eat or drink. Or do you and it is purely for the taste and nothing goes to waste?
These are just a few of the things I think about here far far away from you. We know so little about heaven and I certainly look forward to the day I see you again. Words can't begin to express how I long to hold you again.

For my readers: Thank you all so much for your continued support and love. I've received so many loving comments here, through email and on Fbook. I appreciate you all so much. And as far as my ramblings about heaven goes..I am in no way offended by others beliefs about where our babies are and how they spend their time, whether as angels or not... and I hope I haven't offended you! Whatever brings us comfort is what we go with right? I am such a realist and I always want to know the facts and as much as I seek facts about heaven I'll never really know until I get there.
Tonight I will draw the name of the winner of a custom scrapbook candle...if you haven't already head over to Audrey's Little Light to enter!

Monday, September 6, 2010

It's giveaway time again...

Head over to Audrey's Little Light for another custom candle giveaway. In honor of Audrey's birthday Friday the 10th, I'd like to bless another mommy with a memory candle.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

When September ends...

Today I have a cry hangover. This is really all I have to express what I'm feeling.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Just keepin' it real again

So often I come here and have a plan as to what I'm going to write. Many times I think about it days before I get here to put it in writing. I like to collect my thoughts and put them into a theme, organize the chaos, make it all sort of make sense. I've been at a loss again lately as to what to say. It's September. The month that forever changed me last year. I have nothing organized or collected. My thoughts and emotions are all over. I just simply hurt. I'm gonna just drop it all off here, bare with me.
Some days it feels like the bandage on the wound of my soul is containing the hemorrhage. The last few days I feel like I'm getting blood everywhere. I'm angry. I feel alone. I feel rejected. I hate myself for so many reasons. I'm sick of being a wallflower. I've always been one to listen more than speak, desire to learn more than teach, give more than receive. Years ago I learned how to foster my self esteem (that which was robbed when I was abused). I worked to get it all back. Now, since I lost Audrey I'm back to feeling extremely insecure. It doesn't stop at feeling insecure as a mommy to the girl I lost but in all areas of my life. What happened to me?! I can't seem to get it together. If a client doesn't come back I feel horrible about myself. If I'm not included in someones plans my feelings are hurt. I'm jealous of people for various reasons (and not just the usual baby parents). I seem to be sitting frozen watching everyone else live while I merely survive. Even when I'm moving or involved I'm not fully there, totally engaged. Like I can't tear down the wall I built. Everything seems just within my reach but I can't have it. Like when you are trying to reach the pull switch to a light , you're on your tippy toes and you feel the string slipping through your fingers but can't get two fingers to grasp and pull. THAT is how I feel about my career, our finances, the emotional intimacy of our marriage, my friendships, my relationship with God, my relationship with myself. I am grasping but not reaching anything! I just wanna scream! These things are my fault. I mean I don't have the energy I used to to put into these things to reach my goals. That's where some of the hating myself comes in. How long? How long will I NOT have motivation to change? How long will this grief affect me this way? How long til I figure out who I am again? How long will I go un-noticed, un-appreciated? How long before I accomplish something I can be proud of? I feel like the only thing I'm good at now is dealing with death.
I wish I could just run away from it all! Go get a totally new life, just disappear, re-locate, change my name. I'd like to become someone new and surround myself with all new people. Well, that's exhausting! Never mind that. I almost deleted face book and my blogs two days ago, this is how crazy hurt and emotional I've been. I need my counselor back. We are on a call-in-30-days basis and I think I need to go see her instead. I feel crazy again.
Oh Audrey, I miss you so much.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Remembering Your Baby

Hello Ladies. I am trying to compile a list for myself of all your baby's birthdays/anniversaries so that I can remember with you and send you a little something. This means ALL you followers! I have many who read but only a few comment, so don't be shy.
I'm doing the same on my facebook, so if you'd like you can comment need to do both though.
Thanks! Hope you are all having a peaceful day!

Monday, August 23, 2010


Hello friends. As I mentioned before I have submitted some of my artwork to Still Life 365 and another piece is featured today if you would like to check it out. The talented Franchesca, who most of you know, is participating in a sketchbook project for her Jenna. I thought it would be fun to get in on this cool traveling exhibit too, you might want to consider it yourself! You don't have to be an artist and you don't have to go through an acceptance process, everyone can participate. The theme I chose is "Lights in the distance." Like Fran, I had a hard time choosing a theme "Facing Forward" and "Adhere to me" came in close second and third choices. Distance is the word that kept coming back to me, there is a lot I can do with that word and it seems to be an ongoing theme in my life even before Audrey.
.....And Fran I plan to drive to Chicago to see yours!
Hope everyone has a peaceful Monday!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Thinking of you a lot

Last weekend I went to the hospital and relived those moments we first lost you. As daddy pulled the car around I waited at the bottom of the elevator watching as people came and went to and from the maternity floor proudly wearing their stickers. As one man came off the elevator he had a bounce in his step, a new dad bounce. I thought to myself. "This is one of the best days of his life. Your daddy didn't get to come off that elevator with a bounce. " Then I imagined what all those who loved us and wanted you to live must have looked like walking in and out of those doors. I saw myself coming through those doors with you and leaving without you. I despise that stupid blue awning, just because that is the landmark to the doorway of sorrow for all of us who love and miss you. I sat there for maybe 5 minutes and it felt like I relived those 11 days of being there, I bawled. I met eyes with people who were bustling in and out and just couldn't control myself, I couldn't hold the tears that I have for you. Those were some of the worst days of our lives. I felt the distance between us like you'd just been ripped away from me, it was so real in that chair just waiting for daddy. That's something that's pretty normal for me now, just crying in public. I can't reach the shut off switch.
There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of you, but lately reaching milestones with your little sister brings me right back to memories of you that cause me to linger a little longer. I think about what I was doing when I was pregnant with you, about your ultrasounds and the position of head up feet down with legs tightly closed you liked. August was my last month with you. With your first birthday approaching of course I think of how I will honor your memory. How I hope the people I love the most won't disappoint me and forget about us.
My heart has been heavy for all the wonderful mommies I've met who have babies you probably know and love. My heart is heavy for all our neighbors who just lost their homes due to the flooding, and the moms who fear losing their kids in this war and who have, for all the people unemployed right now, for the two people I know who've recently become paralyzed. You are in such a better place little girl, I know you suffer nothing and for that I am thankful. I just wish for me- for us you were here or I were there.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Day of Hope

Bittersweet day. As I prepared for this day since I first found out-gosh-weeks ago, I found it healing and uplifting to help another babyloss family hold onto the precious memories of their baby. I bought a box and painted it myself, got a candle and added my own embellishment, found a frame that was perfect for the theme I was pulling together. I remembered fondly how many things the hospital and various members of the community provided us. Some wonderful ladies from a church, crochet or knit blankets, booties and hats and supply the hospital with handmade outfits in various sizes. Besides the hat, booties and gown, we got a blanket to keep and one that she was wrapped in for burial. We were given a handmade quilted envelope to keep papers in, a personalized bracelet the nurses made, hand and foot mold and prints a memory box and a memory book. We were also given a stack of papers which included a list of local resources and a book called This Little While. My hospital is good at this.

I had a hard time figuring out what I could do to beyond all of that. So, I came up with the items that were missing for us. I included a disposable camera and some pampering products (of course being the salon girl I am) Shea butter and lavender bath salts and a room/linen/body spray of calming essential oils and as you can see a teddy bear. I found a really cool sympathy card at our farmers market that was made of recycled paper and flower seeds that you plant! I forgot to take a picture of it, but you literally plant the card in the ground and up pop butterfly and hummingbird attracting flowers!

So I was feeling a lot of hope leading up to this day. Now that it's here I'm just weepy. I feel so bad for this family I don't even know. My heart is just broken that someone else out there will need this box. I approached this as a ritualistic way of honoring Christian and Hope , Audrey and all our babies that have already died. Today the reality of this pain dropping the floor out from under another couple hit me. But it feels good to be a part of something bigger than me and to honor so many babies memories. Like I said, a bittersweet day.