Monday, December 28, 2009

Particularly Sad Today.....

I haven't been here for a while - my heart is always here, but it seems like life moves too quickly doesn't give me a chance to sit down and let my feelings out - not like it used to. I have this heavy weight on my chest and I'm not sure why - guess I just miss my little boy. Every day I think about him and although I know I am lucky, I am blessed, I am happy there is something so incomplete in my life - its the loss of my little boy.

It never really goes away - not like when a relative or a friend passes. Over time you learn to live without them - carry fond memories and can speak of them with some sense of peace. Not me, not yet. I just can't seem to get that painful knot out of my throat - the one that makes it hard to speak. Tomorrow is another day - a different day, but he'll still be gone.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

October 15th - Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day

In 1989, President Ronald Regan declared October as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. This has proven to be instrumental in bringing the needs of bereaved parents to the forefront. In addition, several years ago, October 15 was declared Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. On this day, parents, grandparents and friends around the country light candles at 7 PM in honor of babies who have died.

Please take a moment to light a candle for one hour on October 15th at 7PM to remember all of the babies who have died.

An Angel in the book of life wrote down our baby's birth and whispered as she closed the book... too beautiful for this earth.

Saturday, September 26, 2009


I just love this.... Thank you Jenna's mommy (Abiding Hope Collage). I needed something else to finish the photo frame collage I am making for Daniel (its hard when you only have one picture). This is perfect.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


After I gave birth to Daniel my mind and my body were in desperate need of a baby. There were, of course, the phantom belly kicks - the ones that make you, for a moment, feel as if you still have your baby inside. For a while I would stop what I was doing to listen for what I thought was a crying baby. Also, each time I would hold Sean or do certain things with him I would have flashbacks to when he was a baby. Some how my mind was able to take me back to his infancy in a fit of desperation.

I also shed my thick beautiful hair - the hair you can only get when you have pregnancy hormones raging through your body. I had lost some hair with Sean but it wasn't until after I stopped nursing him. With Daniel I shed hair right away and in amounts that seemed unbelievable. Even my husband commented on how much there was. A glaring sign that I was no longer "pregnant" and there was no one to nurse.

The past few days I have been shedding hair - I'm done nursing Mia and I think all the "feel-good" pregnancy hormones are leaving my body. As I bent over and swept up the long strands of hair on the bathroom floor this morning I had a flashback to just a year ago after losing Daniel.

Funny how the small and mundane every day tasks can be constant reminders of our losses. I am constantly catching 423 on the clock, in license plates, lottery numbers, etc. Its the little things that make it hard to get through a day without being reminded of the intense saddness that I hold in my heart.

Friday, September 18, 2009

I Should Have Known Continued.......

Someone commented on my previous post and asked how I could question God's will. I wasn't questioning His will at all. In fact, I wasn't even thinking about God. When we first lost Daniel I found it hard to not blame God. I was very angry. I couldn't understand why he would allow yet another loss in my life - let alone the loss of my son. Over time I have learned - or at least have come to interpret - that God doesn't make things happen in our life. I believe that things happen and God is there to help us, to guide us through life to make the right decisions and have faith and hope in our lives. Religion is a touchy subject, but I have always been open-minded to how each of us wants to include God in our lives.

If I am questioning anything - it is my ability as a mother. I carry around a lot of guilt for each of my children - like when Sean split his lip open when he was two years old or the fact that Mia has a bad cough. The same goes with Daniel's death. I remember John said something in the hospital while we were waiting to deliver Daniel - "Do you think he was in pain?". I of course said no but the thought crossed my mind and I often wonder this. As a mother we don't want our children to hurt.

Realistically I know its not my fault - I did not intentionally hurt Daniel just like I didn't intentionally get Mia sick, but its hard to let that go. The commentary said something about God now haveing a perfect little angel. Well I'm happy for God but, honestly, the selfish part of me would take that perfect little angel away from God in a second if I could.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Sean's Dime

Earlier on when we first lost Daniel I had posted something about pennies and dimes - they are signs from our loved ones up in heaven. The other day Sean and John were up in the baby room at daycare. They brought a plant to Mia's teacher for her birthday. As a part of the conversation Sean brought up Daniel. I don't have all the details but as they were leaving daycare they walked passed Daniel's bench. The bench was placed there by the daycare to remember Daniel. As Sean and John passed the bench Sean spotted a dime. Not sure who that was from but it was a nice sign from "someone" reminding Sean(and us)that everything is okay.

I Should Have Known....

I tell myself that all the time. As much as I have accepted Daniel's loss and as much as I am so happy to have my daughter, there is this terrible guilt that consumes me. I should have known things weren't right - I wish I could go back and DEMAND that I be checked more thoroughly. I spoke but no loud enough and the ignorance of not knowing what could happen made my voice that much softer. I should have known and if I had he might be here.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Awkward Moments!

I am constantly grappling with the following question: How many children do you have? I have heard this discussed by other mothers of angels and everyone has their own spin on it. I want so badly to say I have three children, but I always find myself stuttering and saying "I have a 4 year old and a 9 week old at home". It's the best I can do. I guess there is a time and a place for everything, but at times I just want to blurt it out - the only problem is I can hardly speak of my loss without crying. I get so choked up and it doesn't help when I see the sorry look in the other person's eyes.

In an effort to get my body back after two years of being pregnant I joined the gym at work. Part of joining involves a fitness check including weight, height, measurements, etc. Included with the membership is a personalized workout program. I was asked what my goals were and I explained I wanted to work on my core and drop some weight mentioning that I had back-to-back pregnancies. The fitness coordinator asked how old my children were and I said "four and two months". She looked puzzled and looked back on the sheet. I explained that my son was stillborn, with tears in my eyes of course, and that was that. A very awkward moment but I'm sure it won't be the last and it certainly wasn't the first.

A Special Gift.....

Life is zipping along and I must say that for the first time, in a long time even before we lost Daniel, I truly feel happy about life. Not that I didn't appreciate being blessed with my husband and son, but I spent the last 4 years dwelling on what I didn't have instead of focusing on all the great things I did have.

This past weekend we had the honor of christening our daughter Mia - a blessing from God that we would not have today if Daniel had not died. It was a great day - very busy - and it was so nice to be able to celebrate having her in our lives. Mia received lots of gifts but the most precious gift of all was one that we received from a friend who in his own life has had struggles and in the midst of them found the compassion and empathy to remember our pain. The gift was one for us, but I could see one day giving it to Mia because she should know that she is here with us today because Daniel isn't.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Still Here.......

I have been meaning to write - the lack of input here is certainly not related to lack of need or desire - I guess I've been so busy with life I just haven't been able to make it back here. I notice though, when I'm feeling really down, I have this need to revisit this place. I think about him all the time - I guess it never really goes away no matter what life gives you later on.

I don't want to be ungrateful.... I have a beautiful little girl who I am so thankful for..... but I still feel like I'm missing someone. I still feel cheated. I'm not sure if some where in the back of my mind I thought may be having another baby would fix things but I know now it doesn't. When I see brothers - two little boys - it makes me sad. When I see the obvious gap between my kids it reminds me of what we lost. When people say "now you have one of each" I smile but inside it turns my stomach.

It doesn't get better - it just is - I've accepted it but it still makes me so sad sometimes. I look out my son's window at the tree we planted for Daniel and its getting so big.... just makes me wonder what he would look like right now, what he would be doing, or how our lives would be - at the very least I know we wouldn't have that tree.

I guess today is just a bad day and I will get through it, but for those who are wondering... I'm still here and I still miss my little boy very much.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Life's Recalculation

In the last few years - more so this last year - I have become much more aware of what life is truly all about. I think at some point in time I believed that you could control your life's destiny, that everything can be perfect and as you want it to be if you just work towards that which you envision.

I know now - with 32 years of wisdom under my belt - that sometimes life is what ever comes your way. People will die (including babies) whether it be tragically sudden or of old age. What you have in life now isn't a true indicator of who you are or who you will be. Unmet goals aren't necessarily a sign of failure but a "recalculation" in life's GPS. Once you can accept what you have and stop focusing on what you don't have, life gets so much easier to live.

Below are a few thoughtful words passed along via e-mail that I felt were worth posting.

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone...
4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first pay check.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, DON'T take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion, Today is special.
22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will this matter?'
27. Always choose life.
28. Forgive everyone and everything.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give it time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood.
38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.
41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
42. The best is yet to come.
43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
44. Yield.
45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift."

Sunday, May 17, 2009


The excerpt below is from the blog of another mother who found it in another mother's post. I find myself at a loss for words sometimes and its not that I am not feeling anything right now, just that I am very confused about how I feel. I think the quote below sums it up pretty much.

"The Lord makes each of our children just as He sees fit. Some have red hair, some blond, some have blue eyes and some brown, some have hot tempers, while others are mild mannered. Some have developmental delays, and some have physical impairments. Some are meant to stay for a long time, and others only a moment. He trusts these children, His children to us as gifts. They are not ours, but His and they each bless us in a different way and take up residence in a different part of our hearts we never knew existed. Even the children who are only with us briefly bless us with immense gifts that will never be erased or forgotten. One doesn't replace another and each one is as valuable as the next. I have been blessed FIVE times. I am still trying to wrap my mind around that and find contentment with the blessings He has bestowed upon me even when there is pain intertwined with the joy. I am learning that feeling joy for the NEW thing the Lord is doing in my life does not replace the loss that I feel daily." (

Our children are always our children no matter the circumstances. I think that speaks true for any parent in any situation. We have to remember that we are blessed to have what ever God gives us.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Light a Candle

Our little boy Daniel should be celebrating his first birthday tomorrow. How we wish we could have seen him grow. Nothing can get back what we lost, but we will always continue to love him and be his parents until we meet up with him again one day. We love you Daniel!

To light a candle for Daniel click here.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Praying for Andy

April 24, 2008, the day I returned from the hospital after giving birth to Daniel, was a beautiful spring day, much like today, and although I still looked very much pregnant and I was feeling so very sad, I remember just wanting the sun to shine down on me. Our neighbors' good friend, Andy, had stopped by their house and both John and I were outside in our neighbors' yard at the time. Andy walked up and with a very sincere look in his eyes and sound in his voice he told us how sorry he was for our loss. He was probably one of the first people we saw after losing Daniel and his heartfelt sympathy at the time helped to satisfy the need for acknowledgement that many parents suffer from following the stillbirth of their child.

Today is April 18, 2009, a beautiful spring day, and I spent some time this evening at church praying for Andy - the same man who was able to provide me with a few moments of comfort during a very sad time in my life. I hadn't seen him in a long time and although he looked much different I could still recognize him by his eyes - the sincere eyes that expressed their sorrow to me just a year ago. Andy is very sick and is fighting a rapidly progressing stomach cancer that has spread to other parts of his body. He has two young children, 4 and 1, and a wife whose love for him seems unwavering.

I wish I knew what God's plan is for Andy. Sometimes with great suffering its hard for us to understand why and we are forced to trust that God's plan is one with purpose. During the prayer service the priest mentioned that Andy said that he "trusted God". I hope that in his trust he will find peace. As Daniel's birthday approaches, I find myself being more and more affected by the heartache that Andy and his family must be feeling. I only wish I could offer him the same comfort he offered me. Please pray for Andy.

Update: Andy passed away today - Wednesday April 22nd - the same day we found out Daniel had died. God bless his family and may they find peace in knowing he is in heaven with the angels.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Flowers for Daniel

John often visits Daniel at the cemetery, so the other day he stopped to get him some flowers. The woman at the register asked what they were for and he stated "a grave". She said she was sorry but proceeded to ask for who and he stated "my son". Again she apologized but continued to ask how old he was when he died and John told her that he was stillborn. Again she apologized but drummed up the courage to mention how she had a miscarriage at 12 weeks exactly one year ago. After some discussion about her wanting to try again and her husband feeling like he was too old to have anymore children, she made a comment about how ironic it was that they crossed paths. I suppose her knowing our situation and her feelings with today being her angel's anniversary made her feel like talking with John was a sign.

After their conversation John left the store with Daniel weighing heavily on his mind. As he got in his car, the radio station he usually listens to was announcing a contest where you can call-in and win $99. Since the timing was right, John proceeded to dial the number. The line rang and instead of the radio station an answering machine picked up and there was a little voice on the other end that said "Hi Daddy!". I think John was a bit taken aback. Clearly he had dialed the wrong number, but its always nice to know that there are signs all around us and it always seems that our ability to see them is strongest during the hardest times in our lives.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

"But We Have Daniel"

I took Sean for his 4 year old check up this week and I am so glad I did. I had a really good time watching him interact with the nurses and the doctors and seeing how wonderful he is.

Several times during the exam from different people Sean was asked if he had any brothers or sisters. Each time I interjected and stated no and each time Sean gave me this confused look. I couldn't help but feel guilty. Its not that I don't acknowledge Daniel - he is a very big part of our life. I just don't want to get into a conversation about my stillborn son with complete strangers.

When Sean finally saw the pediatrician, she again asked at one point during the exam if he had any brothers or sisters at home. I stated no and he jumped in and said "but we have Daniel". The doctor looked at me strangely so I explained to her how we had a baby last year who was stillborn. She said "I see" and Sean just nodded his head and I smiled at him.

Later on I told him how proud I was of him for remembering his little brother. I did tell him that sometimes mommy doesn't mention Daniel because it makes me sad. I want him to know that its okay to talk about him - I wish I had half his courage and clarity. Not a day goes by where I don't think about my little boy in heaven - not talking about him doesn't mean he's not on my mind and in my heart.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

For Under the Tree

I'm posting responses to these questions for Under the Tree

How long have you been blogging for? Why did you start? What do you want from writing?

I've been blogging for almost a year - a few weeks after losing my son Daniel. Frantically searching for answers as to why my son died I stumbled upon the blog of a woman who had lost her first child. It made me realize that you can never forget - you must always remember and continue to love your baby no matter where he or she is. From writing I wanted to find remembrance for my son, but I soon realized that it serves as an outlet for my grief and I hope a place for others to go should they find themselves walking in my shoes.

Where is safest place for you to share your feelings? Is there anywhere you feel completely accepted just being however you are really feeling?

I'd have to say Babycenter Community has been a safe haven for me. Surrounding myself with others who have been down the same road has allowed me the freedom to speak without feeling utterly insane at times. I also know I can talk to my husband -it may hurt him at times to hear me still be so sad, but I know he understands and he will listen.

Can you recommend any books that you have read that have given you a new insight, hope or courage in this new life you find yourself in?

I never finished the book because I got to chapter 3 and something inside of me snapped. The book is entitled "A New Earth". I try to go back to it every now and then when I find myself feeling down.

How would you describe yourself before you lost your baby. How have you changed, who are you today?

Ignorant. Selfish. Unappreciative. I can't say I've completely changed but I am so much more aware of myself. I am much more aware of other people's lives - their hardships and struggles. This makes me more understanding and less self-absorbed. I love my family with all my heart and try to pay more attention to every fleeting moment. Life is so precious. Above all I have learned acceptance and imperfection. Life is not easy and it is not perfect but that's okay and sometimes we have to allow ourselves to just give in, feel, and get through.

How do you think you are coping? Do you see any light in this road or is it all dark right now? Where do you imagine yourself to be in a years time?

I think I am coping well now. I don't think I coped well initially. There is a light at the end of the darkness but it will always have dull glow. In a years time I hope to be loving each one of my children - the first who taught me so much and challenged me every step of the way, the second whose loss brought me clarity, and the third who I hope to meet in a few months - the child who will truly benefit from all his or her mother has learned along the way.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Sean's Bookmark

A few weeks ago Sean made this picture at school. It is a picture of him protecting Daniel and I from flying boulders. I know Sean has the same thoughts and the same sadness as we do - he just can't articulate it as well, but it does come out at times and in his own way.

Children are truly amazing - there is so much that goes through their minds. We may think that they are too young to understand things but they understand - the only difference is that they may not truly understand the magnitude or degree of the event at hand. I was once told that it was a wonderful thing for us to be able to show Sean how to openly love and express sadness from loss. Sheltering him would have only left him with lots of questions and the belief that it is not okay to feel.

I believe in being honest with children and as hard as it is to watch them cope - it will help prepare them for the rest of their lives. Sadness and pain is inevitable - its how we choose to deal with it that makes all the difference.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Learning Love

Some people may wonder how a person can grieve so deeply for someone who existed for only a short time. Its not about time spent - its about time anticipated. We love our children from the moment we become aware of their existance and it multiples each day. There was a very good article in Newsweek regarding stillbirth that I would encourage you to read - it may help you understand.

The end of Daniel's life was the start of a very different life for me. I learned so much more about love this past year than I gathered through out my entire life. My greatest teacher was my husband. He has such a sincere heart and everything that he has done for me and our children has helped me to better understand what love really is. If you put your heart first then everything else falls into place. It may not be instantly apparent but later on it all makes sense. John held Daniel for as long as he could because his heart told him too - I didn't only because I didn't want to let my heart feel - something I regret. I remember the day we buried Daniel - John insisted on carrying the tiny box to the funeral car. At the time I wasn't so sure about it, but I look back and I am just so proud of him for his insistance. He visit's Daniel frequently and finds comfort during that time spent with him - I still have a hard time going to the cemetary.

John's devotion is a good lesson in love. Sometimes you have to do what your heart tells you because in the end your heart will be better off. I am learning to follow my heart, but a life filled with repressed feelings makes for a hard habit to break. On this day I just want to thank John and my two boys for teaching me about love. I think I get it now. Love you guys so much!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

To Write Their Names in the Sand........

I just wanted to post this picture and thank the people who barely know us yet took time out of their lives to write Daniel's name in the sand.

Someone once told me "No one will ever understand what you have been through unless they themselves have lost a baby". I see that now. Only those who have had to endure such heartbreak can truly understand how heavy this weight is that I have to carry.

Acknowledgement and remembrance are the only things that help. I have a folder of pictures for Daniel and most are pictures of things - stones, benches, bricks, trees - all inanimate objects that I use to remember him. Seeing his name in the sand makes me feel like there is someone out there who cares - he has made his mark in this world - he will be remembered. I'll try my best to keep doing that for him because its the only way I can be his mommy.

To Write Their Names in the Sand

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

For those who are still following.......

The picture in my previous post was done by an artist Katie Berggren. I started to look through her other work and found a picture that I liked and wanted to include in this photo collage of Daniel that I am trying to do for my bedroom. I wanted to do something but not anything over the top - something with a mix of obvious (his footprints) and not so obvious (artwork) that will remind me of him. So I found this picture and, for me, it sort of symbolized how Daniel will always be that baby in my belly but not in my belly. The woman reminds me of me - not then but maybe now. Here is the author's description of the picture "Like Water" "When I envision being like water, I visualize complete flexibility, flowing with what the day brings, going with the moment, not getting caught up, yet staying alert and aware."

I ordered an 8x10 of the photo and felt compelled to include in my message to her why I was ordering her art. She sent me my order with a little note about how sorry she was and an extra gift - another picture. She doesn't have much of a description for it - and the beauty of art is its interpretation is all up to the person viewing it. The picture is entitle "Little Secret"

I just feel like I have been bombarded with things that have had a purpose lately - or may be now I am just able to find a purpose in things - where as before I was just too caught up in myself to notice. I still don't have the reason or purpose for losing Daniel. The only thing that I can even fathom is that here I am now - at almost the exact same point in my life as last year and I feel like I am reliving it, but only as a different person. Older by a year and much wiser by a million years. It's a very strange feeling but one that makes you tip toe through life instead of dashing to the end of each day.

So here is my "little secret" ........

Thursday, January 1, 2009


I happened to be home the other day and caught a segment of Oprah. Her show was about people who have displayed resilience during difficult times in their lives that allow them to continue to live each day. Here is the segment I caught. I believe that there is a very valuable lesson to be taken from it.

This woman and her husband had taken years to conceive their son. On his 2nd birthday they asked a friend to fly them to Indiana (I think) to celebrate with family. During the flight the pilot made an error which caused them to crash. The woman received burns on her body and was able to get out. The husband had repeatedly tried to save his son but could not. He had burns on 75% of his body, 2 broken arms, and massive head injuries. He told his wife he was sorry and they both watched the plane burn with their son inside. The husband went off to try to flag down help that the pilot had left to find. When help finally arrived the helicopter saw the husband standing and waving his broken arms. They picked him up and then his wife. When the woman got in the plan she saw a man who was her husband that she did not recognize because his head was so swollen. He later died.

Now this woman was left with no husband or son. She grieved certainly, but one day realized that rather than focusing on what God had taken away or trying to figure out why God would let this happen to her she decided that she was given a wonderful gift for some time and that she was so lucky to have had it. She was able to spend 10years with her wonderful husband and two years with her son as a family.

I guess the point is that we are sad during difficult times because we often focus on the fact that we no longer have the gifts that we were given. If we can find the courage to be grateful for what we did have and what we can have one day then that makes living so much easier. So I ask myself "What were the gifts that God gave us - even for just a short time - that we should be grateful for?"

- Daniel, obviously was a gift in himself. For the 8 months that we had him with us we found joy in knowing we would have another child so we spent much of that time happy and excited - eagerly waiting for him to arrive.

- Sean was given the title of big brother. If you ask him today he will tell you he is a big brother to Daniel. I often teeter on whether or not that is a good thing or weird but if he can find the positive in this who am I to take that away. He is a big brother and Daniel will always be his little brother. Sean is the epitome of resilience and I have learned so much from him.

- Although lossing Daniel was extremely hard we received gifts as a result of it. We were reminded of how much we loved each other. I learned how much I needed my husband and how strong he really was. I think we both learned how lucky we were to have Sean in our lives and how wonderful he is - not just because he is our son.

- I also learned that John has been through many emotionally difficult times and he has some how managed to deal with them in a very healthy way. I look back and realize that many of the little things I did during this horrible time were pretty cowardly. I think I deal with things via avoidance while John grabs a hold of the moment and takes it for what it is. In the end I think I was given the ability to listen to my husband (most times) because he does know a few things - I guess ")

- Lastly I think I was given the ability to look at people differently. To not just see them for what they appear to be but to try to look deeper.

We all have problems. Each one of us has been through some crappy stuff - no one is more worse off than another. Its how we choose to look at it and what we choose to do with it that makes the difference. So for this year I am choosing (at least for today) to thank God for the gifts I have been given and find the new gifts I received as a result of losing my little boy.