Friday, December 30, 2011

I'm on a roll......

I know my posts seem to be far and few between - obviously with the holiday season coming to a close I'm finding myself in a bit of a funk and have a greater need to write particularly tonight where I seem to be on a roll!

I just wanted to tell one more story. My husband delivered a baby boy last night! No HE was not expecting nor is he a doctor. He is a police officer and this baby could not wait to get to the hospital to make his grand appearance.  His name is Drake. His mother's birthday is April 23rd which is Daniel's birthday. Later on in the evening in the break room my husband found a dime on the floor - a dime is what we call "our sign" from Daniel.  He is always with us.

Another good one......

"Don't cry because its over, smile because it happened." Dr. Seuss


Winning the essay contest at work and getting a trip to Disney as well as entry into the Disney Half Marathon is just great. Even greater is the fact that I will be a guide for a U.S. Marine who will be running with the Achilles Freedom Team during the half marathon. This soldier was diagnosed with breast cancer while deployed in Afghanistan and is actively undergoing breast cancer treatment to include a bilateral mastectomy performed in August. I am completely and utterly inspired by her courage and feel so honored to be given this opportunity to learn from her experiences and witness her strength.

Conversely, winning has also shed a lot of light on the stillbirth of my son. I know I asked for this - I wrote the essay to emphasize the positive effects of running, the lessons learned while training for a distance race that can be applied to life and, more importantly, to raise awareness of stillbirth and the impact it has on the women and families that are forced to face this type of tragedy. 

A local newspaper wrote an article about me and I have to do a bit on the Fox news station next week. I feel really vulnerable right now......part of me just wants to crawl into a hole and hide out for a while. I think its because I am being forced to acknowledge my feelings and the events that transpired over three and a half years ago. I'm so used to just tucking things away. Its not like I haven't tried my best to deal with everything but I certainly haven't made it very public!

I refuse to let Daniel's short life be meaningless -- talking about him, helping others because of him and giving unselfishly with Daniel as my primary motivation are my small attempts to find a reason.

Friday, December 9, 2011

World Wide Candle Lighting - December 11th

The Worldwide Candle Lighting is coming up on December 11th. People from around the world will be lighting candles to remember and honor children who have died. Click on this link to learn more about this meaningful event World Wide Candle Lighting

It has been a while.....

Yes, the hustle bustle of the holiday season is upon us!  It is that time of year where work is busy, life is busy and I'm just busy being busy!  So here is my random thought of the day......the sooner we can stop feeling sorry for ourselves and acknowledge the struggles others face the sooner we can move on with living life.

The Duggars lost their baby - it has been quite the topic of the discussion every where. What I am most surprised about is how nonchalant the news seems to be treating everything. I am also really disappointed in the opinions people have expressed. If you haven 't lost a child then you have no business telling people what to think or feel - you just won't understand. I am so sorry for the family - no matter how many children you have or will have you can never replace the one you have lost.

Still missing my little boy - grateful for what I have - but wishing I could have him too!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Disney Marathon Essay Contest Update: Guess What?

I had mentioned in a previous post that I wrote an essay about how running helps me to reach my full potential for a contest at work. Well I am happy to say that my essay was chosen and I won an all expense paid trip to Disney and entry into the Disney Half Marathon in January. I am really excited and honored, but most of all I'm really proud of myself. My essay was truthful and openly discussed my motivation for running which was really nothing more than an attempt to heal over the loss of my son. I have a difficult time openly discussing this loss - so many people just really don't understand - but I can write about it and I have this overwhelming urge to make sure everyone knows that I have another child - one that is not with me, one that I miss every day and one that has changed who I am forever.

In addition to the essay, there was a follow-up Q&A that was posted on my company's internal website. I received a ton of feedback from people including women who have lost children. If they are struggling with the pain I hope that I some how gave them focus on how to heal whether it be by running or simply by talking about it.

I'm looking forward to Disney and to the marathon but most of all I'm looking forward to seeing thousands of inspiring people running their race and reaching the finish!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

An Amazing Gift

Earlier this week I had the honor of taking a walk with a woman who I have the most profound respect for. Her daughter was born full term and died shortly after birth due to anencephaly which is a birth defect where the brain does not develop or fully develop which results in either stillbirth or death upon birth.  This woman learned of her daughter's diagnosis at 12 weeks and after all the struggles of deciding what to do she made a choice....that choice was to give her daughter 10 months of life. What an amazing gift to give....what a great mommy she was and still is. Live in the present - if we don't then we're really not living.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Great Article...."The Heartbreak of Infant Loss"

The Heartbreak of Infant Loss
By Laura Schubert
Infant loss is nature's cruelest practical joke. It's investing all of the required time and effort into pregnancy, only to be robbed of the result. It's cradling a body that grew within your own and trying to reconcile the cold, lifeless form in your arms with your memory of the baby who turned double flips in your womb.

It's worrying that you'll forget what your child looked like and snapping an album's worth of photos that no one will ever ask to see. It's sobbing so hard you can't breathe and wondering if it's possible to cry yourself to death.

Infant loss is handing off a Moses basket to the nurse who's drawn the unfortunate duty of delivering your pride and joy to the morgue and walking out of a hospital with empty arms.
It's boxing up brand new baby clothes and buying a 24-inch casket. It's sifting through sympathy cards, willing your foolish body to stop lactating, clutching your baby's blanket to your chest in hopes of soothing the piercing ache in your heart.

It's resisting the urge to smack the clueless individuals who compare your situation to the death of their dog or who tell you you'll have another baby, as if children are somehow replaceable.
Infant loss is explaining to your 7-year-old that sometimes babies die and being stumped into silence when she asks you why. It's watching other families live out your happy ending and fighting a fresh round of grief with every milestone you miss.

It's being shut out of play groups for perpetuity. It's skipping social events with expectant and newly minted mothers because, as a walking worst-case scenario, you don't want to put a damper on the party.

It's listening to other women gripe about motherhood and realizing that you no longer relate to their petty parental complaints because, frankly, when you've buried a baby, a sleepless night with a vomiting toddler sounds something like a gift.

Infant loss is pruning from your life the friends and relatives who ignore or minimize your loss. It's recognizing that, while they may not mean to be hurtful, the fact that they don't know any better doesn't make their utter lack of empathy one whit easier to bear.

My baby girl would have been 5 years old this month. I don't know what she'd look like, what her favorite food would be. I've never had the privilege of tucking her into bed, taking her to the zoo or kissing her boo-boos. I will never watch her graduate or walk down the aisle.
Infant loss is more than an empty cradle. It's a life sentence.

Laura Schubert of New Berlin is a mother, teacher and two-time breast cancer survivor. Email

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Thank You For Remembering!

It has been about 6 months since the March of Dimes walk and I am intentionally just now saying thank you to all those who donated in honor of my son, walked to help save babies and provided support by just being there with my family on that day. It means so very much to us. Unfortunately I am one of THE worst photographers so I only have a few pictures of the day.

I really want people to understand that giving is more than just opening up your wallet - it is a strong acknowledgement of the heartache and struggles that others are facing -- the value of which far surpasses any monetary donation. Please continue to give, with your heart, to others - its what makes living in today's world more tolerable.

As a reminder, the month of October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month and October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss remembrance day. Please take time out of your busy day to light a candle in memory of all the babies who have died.

Thanks again - we are so appreciative of your support!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Footprints On Our Hearts Walk To Remember

On October 2, 2011 at 1 PM the first annual Footprints On Our Hearts Walk To Remember will be held at East Shore Park in New Haven, CT. This will be the first official event I will be attending specifically to acknowledge and remember my stillborn son. I have gone to the March of Dimes walk but it is more positively focused around saving lives which is wonderful but doesn't entirely meet my specific needs - to remember and acknowledge the little boy I never got to see breathe.

Although I did not raise money this year, I did register the whole family to walk and we will get shirts with Daniel's name on them. This is a pretty special day and I'm both excited and sad. Excited to be surrounded by others who understand, ecstatic that the Hygeia Foundation has raised a significant amount of money this year to support their cause and sad that there will be so many people attending who know the pain of a lost child.

Please consider attending. This is a great cause. We can't save every baby and someone needs to be there to help pick up the pieces when we don't.

I Think I Get It Now.......

For so long I just kept asking why. Why me? Why did my son have to be the one to die? I think I get it now - not necessarily why but rather that things happen - they shape us and make us who we are. We can choose to let the hard times suffocate our living or choos to live.  I'm not saying I wouldn't take it all back if I could. I remember those first few weeks after we lost Daniel where I just couldn't see my life past tomorrow. One day at a time.....but now I can live. I'm trying my hardest to live and its because of him. I am so grateful for Daniel - he is the reason why I do things some times - things that I don't think I'd ever do if it weren't for the tremendous amount of compassion and sympathy that he has helped to foster the growth of in my heart. I needed a reason why, but now I know.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Going Back

I hate re-reading something I've written even if simply for the purpose of editting. I just briefly went back to 2009 and read some of my posts. I'm so glad I wrote down my thoughts and the things that transpired during this time. I couldn't stop crying of course - its so easy to forget things but it is so important to remember. I'm going to have to grab some of those posts and put them some where because some of them are pretty amazing and I don't usually say that about the things I do. Write....I'm glad I did.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Love, Love, Love This Quote

When someone dies, you don't get over your grief by forgetting, you get through your grief by remembering.

For there is nothing more you can do than that. <3

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Bad Mommy.....Better Person

I haven't posted here in a while. I feel like a bad mommy. It certainly isn't because Daniel hasn't been on my mind. I've realized that a lot of what I do today is because of my son, because of the loss, the grief and the heartache. I know I'm a better person. I care for others - complete strangers. I've developed a tremendous amount of compassion for people who are suffering that I never had in me before.

We have to sometimes take what we are handed in life and make it make us. I'm trying - it doesn't make the pain go away but it makes me at least feel like something more than heartache has come out of all of this.

On another note.....I am half way to my goal. For every race I run my company donates $100 to my chosen charity. So far I've run 12 races - 14 by the end of this month. I've chosen Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep (NILMDTS) and the Hygeia Foundation.

In addition, I am one of the finalist for an essay contest to win a trip to Disney to run in the Disney Half Marathon. The 300 word essay had to answer the question - how does running help you reach your full potential? I think what was most significant for me was that I was able to highlight the loss of my son. I am so tired of being afraid to talk about my stillborn son for fear of crying or making someone else feel uncomfortable. I want to raise awareness and let people know that the loss of a child before he is born breathing is as painful as the loss of any other loved one in our lives.

I'm working on being a better person, but I'd like to start being a better mommy to Daniel - I need to visit his grave more often, blog more and most importantly speak of him when I can.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Happy 3rd Birthday!

Wish you were here...its raining...the angels must be crying too. Wish I could just cuddle with you today and watch a movie.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Horton Hears A Who! Dr. Seuss

When I was pregnant with Daniel, we took our son Sean, who was about 3 at the time, to see his first "real" movie at the movie theater. The movie we saw was "Horton Hears A Who!". I remembering saying to myself that this was also Daniel's first movie. Now we didn't and still don't get out to the movies very much so it stands out quite vivid in my mind however I don't think I realized the significance and meaning behind the movie until years later - just a few months ago - when I read this story to Sean in bed one night.... "A person's a person no matter how small." Read it and apply it some time....Dr. Seuss is a pretty amazing writer.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Season of Grief.....Moving Forward

It's that time of the year and the impending season of Spring always seems to stir up feelings of anger, unwarranted guilt, and deep sadness that sit stagnant in my heart. Life seem so much harder when you're consciously carrying around this grief that never really seems to go away. Just as the weather starts to get warmer and signs of winter begin to vanish my heart always seems to get heavier. The heart really does remember. What a helpless feeling! As frantically as I try to find a place to stuff away the pain - there just isn't any place big enough to shove it!

On the one year anniversary of Daniel's stillbirth, we mourned deeply and stayed focused on the loss. Last year we tried to take a different focus and honor Daniel by doing good for others - and ourselves. We raised over $2000 for the March of Dimes.

As a result of the fundraising we received a $100 Macy's gift card which we donated to Doing Good In Her Name. We also received an autographed basedball from Red Sox player Kevin Youkilis which we are donating to Sean's school for an auction. We also made numerous donations to other organizations driven mostly by the empathy in our hearts as a result of losing our son.

This year we will continue to honor Daniel, remember his loss and above all continue to be thankful for what we DO have instead of staying stuck on what we should have. My husband - the wonderful father that he is, had his motorcycle - although the proper terminology might be Harley - painted to honor Daniel.

My plan is to raise $2400 by running 24 races over the next 10 months! For every race I run my employer will send $100 to the charity of my choice. I plan to have the money donated to The Hygeia Foundation, Inc.and Institute for Perinatal Loss and Bereavement and Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep . Running has been my sanity - something I turned to the month's following the loss of my son. I would really like to channel it into doing something positive for others. In addition, we will again be raising money for the March of Dimes in memory of Daniel. If you would like to make a donation in memory of Daniel please use this link to go to my fundraising page Support the 2011 March for Babies Campaign

Can anything good come from losing your child? My heart says no - at least not at first - I don't think you can even see the light at the end of the tunnel years after this type of loss. If I could go back in time and save him....get to bring him home with me alive.... of course I would. I can't and that is the reality. We can only control so much in our lives - fate is is impossible to undo what has already been done, so it is really up to us to make a conscious decision to take what we have been handed and turn it into something that makes us better.