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.

Monday, August 16, 2010


I just poored my heart into a really tough post and hit one wrong button and lost it all! That's all I have to say for now. Maybe I will be able to recall tomorrow what I meant to express here today, but right now I'm exhasted. I was sick all weekend, went to hospital, feeling better and now this. ERG!

Friday, August 13, 2010


Our marriage has always been based on trust and mutual respect, you know two very important ingredients to make any relationship flourish. We are opposites, I the creative somewhat extroverted one- expressive, and he the logical introvert-the thinker. There is balance to our opposite natures, we are good for each other. We've also had some huge fights over the years, trying to make sense of where the other is coming from, again I think like any relationship, sometimes you have to work at it. We have an old house that we are remodeling and by remodeling I mean gutting old plaster walls, re-designing and starting over completely. We've been doing this since the day we got married and we still have a few years ahead of us. Remodeling was tough on our marriage. I didn't agree with the way in which he went about doing it, deciding he'd start a project without first finishing another and/or not covering furniture in the room where he went on a whim and created saw dust or plaster dust. We saw each other through sore backs and various minor injuries. At times I resented the fact that other people were out having fun while we were constantly working on our house. We thought it would be fun to buy old houses, fix them up and flip them. Never again. This was our life.

I was the strong career woman who really didn't need anybody but who loved her husband, and agreed to a more domestic lifestyle, who vacillated between wanting to be a mom and being unsure of parenthood but decided to give him that gift (if I could get pregnant) because his love changed me. I wanted it all and I would find a way to pursue my dreams and be a mom, I was driven like that.

He was mostly satisfied, he had everything he wanted. The classic car, a house he dreamed of fixing up, the wife, a job he mostly enjoyed. He didn't need anything else but he desired to be a father more than I can begin to imagine.

Marriage felt like a true partnership. We both worked hard contributing to the bills and housework. We had about the same desire for going out with friends, how we spent our date nights and we even shared the same level of desire for sex.

All of that has changed now. In the beginning, just after Audrey died we became so much closer than we'd ever been. Holding each other and crying night after night. We were so gentle and kind to one another, always checking in and asking the other how we were really doing. Slowly that began to change. I quit my job to start my business (with his full support). He continued on in his and virtually went back to life as usual. I worried more about him dying in an accident than I ever did before. He started working later. I was home alone to grieve. I got more and more depressed, in fact suicidal and he got more and more busy. It was like overnight there were miles between us. After seeing me cry and hearing about the depths of my soul for months, he no longer needed to ask, he already knew I wasn't okay. So we stopped talking about her for the most part. I went from feeling like our marriage had never been stronger to imagining that it was all about to fall apart. I became insecure, convinced he was having an affair with a girl at work. I based this off an interaction between her and I and he was working late and not calling. I was sure that I was no longer enough for him. I wasn't making about the same salary as he does anymore. Thus making me feel like I wasn't pulling my weight. When I wasn't busy with my business I didn't do anything. I couldn't cook, couldn't get the laundry caught up, I could barely manage to shower let alone be anywhere close to being the wife I once was. I hated myself. I hated my body for not carrying Audrey to term. I hated my reaction to the grief. I still hate how needy I've become. I felt like I failed my husband and he certainly deserved better than me. I began dreaming of him and the girl from work. I told him about the first few dreams in hopes he would offer enough validation and reassurance to obliterate my notion. But he didn't. He also didn't display any behavior of guilt either. I would say to myself that I'm being ridiculous and days would go by that I wouldn't think about it. Then I'd be greeted in the night with another dream of him leaving me or just indulging himself with her. I started to question everything inside, feeling like I can't trust anyone not even my own husband.

We are distant. To anyone looking from the outside I'm sure we seem fine. But inside there is distance. We talked about it just a few days ago, as we have before. We don't know how to fix it but to continue to talk about it, be honest about it. I think if it were up to him there would be nothing to talk about. That's just his style, it always has been. He said he feels sad from time to time about Audrey and that he doesn't like the distance between us. I just pray. I've told Jamie and God how insecure I feel about our marriage and all that I need. I guess I either wait and heal or wait and hear.
I can't speak for him but I think it helps a little that I'm not depressed anymore and I have wanted to go out and do things together. It's in the moments that resemble the old us that I feel closer.
In a season of grief I think the hardest part for the marriage is that the needs of each person can not always be met. As we each change from this tragedy so do our needs. I guess that's why we feel like there is no one answer to fix the distance. We must figure out our new marriage identity together. I think for us first we have to figure things out about ourselves, at least I hope that is the direction of all this chaos. He is now searching for a new job and trying to sell his car. As much as he seems the same he too is different, just not as able to express himself as I do about all of it.
I'm not driven for a career any longer. I want to simply work at my business to earn enough money to be comfortable. I want to live-that simple. I want to raise children and find ways to be happy in the midst of this hole that will remain in my heart for Audrey.
The fights we once had we'll have no more. I could care less how he goes about home repairs. I no longer resent others who are out having fun while we work on our I am just glad we have one because that is ALL we have. I know I certainly have a better understanding of love. I don't want to be right anymore in a disagreement, just come to a solution. I don't want him to do things my way. I just want the respect and trust to grow more in our relationship. I just want to stay together. I just want to love deeper and better. It's simple really- what I want- but it doesn't always come so easy.

This is my long answer to the question, "How has your marriage been affected by the death of Audrey?" asked by Heather at Dead Baby Club

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Untitled piece

Hi lovely ladies. As I've mentioned before I was working on some paintings and they are now complete! I submitted them to Still Life 365 and one of them is being featured today. Through this I learned something about myself. I have been extremely insecure about my art as I only share it with people close to me. Sadly, I've also been such a harsh critic of my work that I've destroyed a lot of it. More and more I am able to silence that stupid voice in my head. So this is the first time I've ever really put it out there and it feels good. I encourage you to check out SL365 and participate in her creative prompts and/or submit work of your own if you haven't already. There are some really beautiful poems and art pieces to be found there.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Audrey's Little Light

Here's a reminder to head over (if you haven't already) to Audrey's Little Light to enter to win a customized candle in memory of your little one. There's just 2 1/2 days left to enter!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Balloon Release

This week we attended the annual balloon release hosted by our local child loss support group. It was an incredible service. I had no idea what was in store. It was like a funeral service, which I didn't expect. As soon as we were handed a program I skimmed it over and welled up with tears. I haven't done a whole lot of crying lately. I thought "oh no, here we go again. I hope I can keep some composure." Every meeting starts with candle lighting. Anyone who is attending for the first time can make a brief statement about who the candle is being lit for and when they died. As well as those who's birth or anniversary falls in the month of the meeting. I started crying from the first person who lit a candle. I couldn't help but think over and over, "This is so unfair! None of us should have to be here!" The service included beautiful poetry readings and songs like The.Butterfly and Who.You'd.Be. Today. I was a ball of tears. There was a new couple there who just lost their son 3 weeks ago who was born premature and lived a few hours. Their story took me right back to the beginning of our loss. They were sitting directly in front of us and as they cried I cried partly for me, remembering what those first days were like and partly just for them. I hate to see others go through this too. Life is so unfair!
At the end of the service we went outside and tied a personal message to our children to a balloon. We heard the song Somewhere.over.the.rainbow and let them go. It was a powerful thing to do, let go. I have to say though, that I couldn't get my balloons to fly away. It actually became a little commical for a moment. I tied one for our miscarriage and one for Audrey together and the weight of the messages didn't allow them to soar. I looked around and those who had more than one loss and some who tied their message toward the bottom of the string were having the same issue. In fact we were on a busy street and many cars were stopping as the road filled with weighted balloons. I wished I had my camera, it was a site to see. For a moment the world had to stop for us. Someone ran inside and grabbed another bundle of balloons so we could tie another balloon on to carry our existing ones away. I didn't get it. Instead I thought the other balloon was to replace the existing, so I struggled to untie the messages and re-tie. The balloon for my miscarriage flew away finally not being tied to Audrey's. I just couldn't get Audrey's to take flight, so finally I removed the message and let it go without, then released the one that was given to me. Later Jamie asked me why I did it that way, then explained what he did (yes we were right next to each other and I didn't notice that he simply tied the last balloon to his and let go). I think that is such an allegory of our grief experiences. He simply let go without a struggle and I'm left behind him to figure this all out. Before we left I grabbed another balloon to take home with me. The next day I salvaged the tattered message to my baby girl and released it all alone in my yard, right outside the window that would have been her's to gaze from. As sad as I felt that I didn't get the first experience in the company of others, I also felt it was just meant to be that way.
It feels like the theme of my life these days is filled with allegories. Allegories of Audrey's life, death and our grief. There's beauty in them.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Audrey's 1st Birthday Giveaway

A few days ago as I was feeling lame I finally got some fire under my booty. I had every intention of doing this months ago and so here it is......Drumroll...... In memory of Audrey and her approaching 1st birthday I will be hosting the first of three giveaways...but you must go to Audrey's Little Light to enter! Head on over... I'll meet you there on the 10th to announce the winner!