Monday, December 31, 2012

Hope for 2013

In about 14 hours the nation will be celebrating the closing of 2012 and the beginning of 2013; a chance for many to put a year behind them and look forward to a fresh start, a new beginning with a new year.  I’ve never been big on New Year’s; I’ve never really made resolutions I wanted to stick to, I’ve never wanted a fresh start or to forget the previous year.  This year however, I have very strong feelings about ringing in a new year. 

The start of 2012 was full of excitement.  I was starting to feel less nausea, starting to get that pregnancy glow and really excited for the months to come.  We spent hours making Avery’s room just perfect.  We had doctor’s appointments, ultrasounds, the joy of hearing her heartbeat; so much of the beginning of 2012 was about her and us getting ready for her.  May approached and so did our fears about being parents.  We both wanted to be amazing for her.  As May ended, labor neared.  June 5th-the big day!  We were induced!  Avery had other plans and after laboring for 16 hours, Avery pushed her birthday to June 6th when she entered this world.  She was perfect!  Our lives were forever changed!  June 8th, we took our little girl home so full of excitement.  June 9th the three of us celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary.  We enjoyed 6 amazing days in June.  June 12th our world was rocked.  Avery left us.  The rest of 2012 is a blur.  But what I do know was the rest of the year was about her too; writing to her, finding ways to remember her, sharing her story, sharing her pictures, etc.  2012 was completely about Avery.
Now time is once again forcing me further away from the time I had with Avery.  I am full of trepidation as the year comes to an end.  I don’t want it to end.  I want to be in 2012, her year, forever.  After thinking about my anxiety over the New Year for a while, I realize that I know 2012 is always going to be her year and even when 2082 rolls around, 2012 will still be her year and no matter how far I am from the time she was here, she will always be with me. 

What I think gets me the most is that 2012 made me realize that life sometimes does not go as you had planned.  We spent so much time planning for Avery, so much time thinking about how we saw our lives turning out and yet here I am, nowhere close to living the life I had planned.  2012 was supposed to be the best year of my life.  I had a plan entering 2012 but God had a different plan.  This in itself scares me. This shakes me to my core.  No matter how much I plan, I realize those plans can be tossed out the window. 
So as 2012 comes to a close and 2013 looms on the horizon, I am scared.  I like to be in control.  I like to have a plan.  I like knowing what to expect.  2012 taught me that I am not in control.  But while I am scared, I also know that I have a God that loves me and wants good for me.  I have a God who wants me to allow Him to be in control. 

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Jeremiah 29:11. 
While I don’t understand God’s plan, I do know that He is in control and His plan is in place.  I should not fear the future knowing this.  God can do more through me that I can do by myself.  2013 looks like a big question mark to me but I know God has a plan and as scary as that is for me, I am working on accepting that.  I pray that I can truly allow God to work through me in 2013 and lead me down the path he has planned.

Some things I hope are part of God’s plan for me in 2013

·         Growing in God’s word

·         Finishing Avery’s memorial playground

·         Finding a SIDS organization to be a part of

·         Focusing on my marriage

·         Getting healthy

I pray each of you who reads this allows God to use you in 2013.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas This Year

There is no big tree this year,
No presents all wrapped with care.
No communion by candlelight,
No driving to see the pretty lights at night.

We aren't spending the day with family,
But instead it's just daddy and me.
It doesn't make sense, we don't know what to do,
Christmas just isn't the same without you.

I wish you were spending Christmas here.
I wish this Christmas I was holding you near.
I wish we were spending Christmas as a family of three.
We love and miss you our sweet Avery.


Friday, December 21, 2012

FInding a glimpse of light when surrounded by darkness

To put it mildly, this past week, I have been quite a mess of emotions.  I’ve been feeling very anxious with Christmas and New Year’s approaching.  I am dreading of facing those holidays physically as family of 2 instead of 3 like I thought we would.  The looming holidays are exhausting enough.  Then the tragic events that happened a week ago in Connecticut have brought back a wave of emotions.  In some ways, I feel it has renewed my grief.  It brings me back to where I was 6 months ago, when my grief was so raw and I was still in shock.  The ache I feel in my heart for all of those families whose lives were turned upside down in an instant is deep.  Hearing daily that yet another innocent child is being laid to rest makes me relive those first days after losing Avery over and over.  My heart breaks for those families and they are in my prayers as they too approach the holidays without their angels.  It is so overwhelming how unfair life can turn out. 

Yesterday, anger was my driving emotion, as you can tell from my post.  Today, even though I am emotionally exhausted and would love to just go to sleep and wake up after the holidays, I am trying to be positive.  I am trying to remind myself that there are many people who do care about us and do remember Avery constantly.  I am trying to remind myself that while this life does not make sense and this world is unjust that there is still good to be found.
I’d like to post about a few good things that have happened recently.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

I need to vent before I explode!

Warning...this post is being done via my phone and is probably mostly rambling, ranting and raving.

Today I am beyond irritated. I really hope I can make it through the next day and a half of work without losing my shit on someone. My anger is at a boiling point and I'm afraid one wrong move or saying may set me off.

I'm Italian, I already have a short fuse. When I was younger it wouldn't take much to set me off. As I've matured, and become a people pleaser, I've learned to bite my tongue. Instead of snapping, I hold it all in. A LOT.

Good for those who cross me, bad for me.

I try to pray about it and am getting better at praying and letting it go but there are just some times when I can't let it go. I've had a few of those lately and they are really bothering me.

My mom is a non-emotional person. She left to go home (5 hours away) straight from Avery's services because, and I quote "she needed time to herself". I was hurt, but I let it go-she doesn't do well with emotions I tell myself. Then she went weeks without calling. It was "less painful" for her to text me. Again, hurt, but I brushed it off. Now, she calls every 2 weeks or so. An improvement some may think, but no! When she does call she talks only of herself, my sister (and the loads of drama associated) and very, very rarely does she ask how I am doing or even mention Avery's name. She never acknowledges the 6th or 12th of the month and until I brought it up, she didn't even ask if they had ruled a cause of death. For her own granddaughter!

With Christmas right around the corner and the recent tragic events in Connecticut, one would think a mother would reach out to her daughter who is grieving her own child. But no, not my mom! It's too hard for her. Well, I've about had it! I'm sick of the lack of caring she shows me, I'm sick of biting my tongue when she does call and rambles on about herself! I'm sick of not saying anything because I don't want to upset her! I'm upset! I'm angry! Does any one care how I feel?!?

That feels a little better.

Another recent incident where I would love to really just tell someone how I REALLY feel occurred this week. We had some lovely family members take some pictures of their teenage daughter holding a beautiful wooden letter A for Avery. It was beautiful, it made me feel loved and reassured me that Avery is not forgotten (one of my biggest fears). Well, another family member who doesn't like this portion of the family, for some ludicrous reason, decided to turn the picture away from Avery's memory and make it about him (his last name starts with A). All of this was on Facebook. Thank God I saw this while at home because I lost it. I was so hurt that someone would take something that someone else did in memory of my beautiful daughter and make it about themselves. I mean how insecure of a person must you be to do this! Well, against my emotions, I did not respond. I'm not one to fuel drama or upset anyone so I let it go. The next morning, my amazing father in law defused it in a much more PC way than I would have by kindly reminding him that in our minds A will always be for Avery. I let it go. Until today when the family member in question sent me a backhanded apology. Basically stating that he didn't mean any disrespect to us and that it was a dig at the family member who took the picture. Apology NOT ACCEPTED! You were wrong sir, this was not the time or place for family drama!

If you are going to apologize, apologize. Don't make excuses. You were wrong, say you were wrong! This irks me so bad. I own up to my mistakes, I don't shift the blame.

So me, again not wanting to fuel any drama, politely said that I didn't think it was appropriate to dig at them using Avery. What I really wanted to say was...well, I won't post that, it contains a few too many expletives.

I guess what people don't understand is that I dot have the energy for this CRAP. For once in my life, I wish people would care about how I feel. Care about how I am doing. Maybe it's my fault for always letting people off the hook. Maybe I'm grieving too hard still and my emotions aren't in check am I'm overreacting, but I'm so tired of feeling like I am constantly being walked all over. I'm constantly biting my tongue. And I'm so tired of it. I'm so irritated that people only care about themselves. Here I am struggling to make it through each day and some of our own family is too self centered to even care.

I am beyond thankful that we are going out if town in a few days. I need some quiet time. We need time together away from everyone to just be.

After reading this post I realize that it sounds like all of our family is horrible. That is not the case, for the most part these people are the exception not the rule. They aren't a true representation of our whole family unit. We do have lots of supportive and caring family members who love us dearly and I truly feel care. It is still just so disappointing to me that the ones mentioned above are so clueless to anyone but themselves.




Thursday, December 13, 2012

Please support this petition!

Yesterday, another BLM posted on her Facebook, that a website had posted a picture of her daughter’s grave online without her consent.  Shocked and appalled, I asked for the website name.  As I went to the website and typed in my daughter’s full name, I was disgusted to find that the website also had a photo of Avery’s gravesite posted.

A picture of MY daughter’s grave, posted without MY permission!  I couldn’t believe it.  The website claims to do this for people looking for ancestry information, etc.  I however, am not comfortable at all with this.  And, if you become a member, you can sponsor your own child’s “memorial page” so that there are not advertisements on it for a fee!  They are attempting to make money from this!!!!  How disgusting!

I personally do not want a complete stranger hosting a site with MY daughter’s information on it and I do not want a site that has not receive my permission to make money from my daughter!  I am outraged! 
Upon calling the cemetery, they were completely unaware that this was happening.  They were very kind and understanding however, the cemetery is a public place and they cannot prevent this from happening.  Dead end.  I’ve attempted to email the site but have not heard back yet.  They have no listed phone number for me to call.  I am at a loss for what to do to get this information removed and I hate not having control over something related to MY daughter. 

My friend who told me about this site created a petition against this website asking for the removal of children’s gravesites unless permission is given by the parent.  This is something I strongly support.  If this bother’s you too, I ask that you sign the petition to stop unauthorized pictures of babies and children’s graves from being posted on the internet.
Thank you!

A typical day gone wrong

Today would have been a typical day for me if we were to go back in time a year.  My afternoon consisted of dropping off holiday coupons to our employees at our different doctor’s offices.  This in itself sounds like a very harmless afternoon.  A year ago, it would have been something I enjoyed.  This year, it was hell. 

It started off by dropping the coupons to our pediatric office.  Going to this office is hard enough; Avery never made it to see her pediatrician outside of the hospital.  Luckily, I avoided any babies.  However, as I was leaving, a little girl, who was maybe 6, stopped me as I was leaving and asked, “Where’s your daughter?  Why are you leaving without her?
                Insert knife into heart.

I responded that I wasn’t a patient, that I worked here and I was just leaving the office.  I wish I was there with Avery, I wish I had left her with some of our employees for a quick moment so I could just run to the car.  Instead, I am just reminded again that I am a mother with an angel for a daughter. 

                The knife twists.
I suck it up and get in the car to drive to the next office.  As I am waiting at a red light, I hear sirens.  An ambulance comes speeding by and it’s not only any ambulance, but THE ambulance.  Ambulance number 24, the one that took Avery from our house that day, the one that we followed to the hospital while it was blaring it’s sirens and racing to the hospital. 

                Twist the knife again and dig in deeper.
I am forced to follow the ambulance the whole way to my next stop, the OB office.  The same OB office I spent 9 months in and out of while pregnant.  The same office I have been avoiding the past 6 months.  Luckily, they had no patients this afternoon so I knew I wouldn’t face a waiting room full of kids and big pregnant bellies.  What I wasn’t expecting was the smell.  As soon as I walked in, the smell overcame me.  It reminded me of waiting in that waiting room so many times, waiting in the exam rooms, getting ultrasounds, all moments when Avery was happy and safe inside of me.

                Let’s add a punch to the gut to the knife in the heart.
After almost running out of that office, I think I am done with the pain of my afternoon work errands.  I head to another office that has no memories tied to it of Avery.  I enter the office with high hopes.  As I chat with the employees, our new girl, who just started a week ago, attempts to make small talk by saying, “I heard you just had a baby, that’s awesome.”

                Where’s the closest bridge that I can jump off?
The room gets silent as I nicely explain to her that yes, I did just have a baby but unfortunately she passed away unexpectedly.  It really was the icing on the cake but I couldn’t fault the poor girl, she didn’t know.  She is a really sweet girl and was just trying to be nice.  I could tell she felt awful.  On my way out, I pulled one of the employees of the office aside and asked that they make sure she didn’t feel bad for what she said.  Which ultimately led me to have a long conversation with this employee about how I am actually doing, it was a nice talk but not one I was prepared to have. 

A year ago, stopping in to these offices, driving from site to site and making small talk with employees would have been a breeze.  It would have been a welcome change from my normal office routine. 
I have quickly come to realize nothing will ever be easy again.  There will always be places that are deeply connected to my memories of Avery, there will always be ambulances crossing my path and there will always be the innocent people who try to make normal small talk without knowing how much it pains me. 

Not only do I have to deal with empty arms for the rest of my life but I have to deal with the fact that my life will never be normal again. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

I've never been more homesick than now


I am really struggling with hitting the half year mark today.  I cannot believe it’s been half a year since that awful day.  Making it worse is the fact that it is a very dreary, rainy day.  This adds more sting to the pain for two reasons.  One, I normally visit the cemetery on Avery’s special dates (her birth date and angelversary) and today looks like one of the few that I cannot go there.  I know I don’t have to go to the cemetery to be close to Avery, I know she isn’t really there but I find peace there so not being able to go today is making me very anxious and uneasy.  The other is the fact that it is such a rainy day.  It was raining the day she was born and rained every day she was here with us.  The rain reminds me of her and the days following us losing her.  The rain today makes me feel like I am back in June.  The rain reminds me of the fresh pain, my raw emotions I felt during the summer. 

Today, I am feeling very homesick for Avery, for Jesus, for Heaven.  Last week, we attended a candlelight service at the cemetery.  At the service, the worship band played Mercy Me’s Homesick.  A song I had heard many times before but a song that I do not remember hearing in the past 6 months.  The words hit me very hard last week, for the first time I really felt them, they were my thoughts, they were my feelings, and they’re my longing for my reunion with my daughter.  These lyrics describe exactly how I feel.

If you’ve never heard this song, I recommend it.

Homesick by Mercy Me

You're in a better place, I've heard a thousand times
And at least a thousand times I've rejoiced for you
But the reason why I'm broken, the reason why I cry
Is how long must I wait to be with you

I close my eyes and I see your face
If home's where my heart is then I'm out of place
Lord, won't you give me strength to make it through somehow
I've never been more homesick than now

Help me Lord cause I don't understand your ways
The reason why I wonder if I'll ever know
But, even if you showed me, the hurt would be the same
Cause I'm still here so far away from home

I close my eyes and I see your face
If home's where my heart is then I'm out of place
Lord, won't you give me strength to make it through somehow
I've never been more homesick than now

In Christ, there are no goodbye
And in Christ, there is no end
So I'll hold onto Jesus with all that I have
To see you again
To see you again

And I close my eyes and I see your face
If home's where my heart is then I'm out of place
Lord, won't you give me strength to make it through somehow
Won't you give me strength to make it through somehow
Won't you give me strength to make it through somehow

I've never been more homesick than now

She's Always on My Mind

For my beautiful daughter as we mark 6 months of life without her…

You’re On My Mind

I wake up and my heart starts racing,
You're on my mind.


I force myself up to face the day,
You're on my mind.

I let the shower wash away the tears that fall,
You're on my mind.

A blank expression stares back at me as I get ready,
You're on my mind.

The car is too quiet as I drive to work,
You're on my mind.

I spend the day in my office trying to focus on work,
You're on my mind.

I drive home and let the tears of the day fall,
You're on my mind.

Daddy and I try to pass the hours and entertain ourselves,
Your on my mind.

Dinner time comes and goes,
You're on my mind.

More quiet time,
You're on my mind.

The day ends and sleep calls,
You're on my mind.

I lay awake reliving every memory of you,
You're on my mind.

Eventually I drift off to dreamland,
You're on my mind.

No matter where I go, or what I do,
my thoughts always turn to you.

You're always on my mind,
And always in my heart.

Monday, December 10, 2012

My worst fear realized

What do you do when you expect answers but are given none?  Your daughter was healthy, yet she is gone.  Nothing could be found that would have caused my beautiful, perfect 6 day old daughter to suddenly leave us!? WTH?!?

How do I accept that?
SIDS…

My worst fear as a mom has become my reality.
SIDS…

Takes the lives of 2,500 babies in the US annually…that’s almost 7 a day and yet they don’t know why.
SIDS…

It doesn’t matter if you take the precautions they recommend, it can still happen.  I read the reports, the statistics, I took all the precautions and yet we were told…
SIDS…

Thursday, December 6, 2012

6 Month Birthday

June 6, 2012 was the best day of my life.  Six months ago we were full of joy and excitement.  We finally were a family of three.   Our little girl was finally here with us and we were parents.  Six months ago my future included watching my daughter grow from a cute little baby into an amazing young lady.  Six months ago I was highly anxious about becoming a mother, nervous about raising Avery and not wanting to make any mistakes. 

I cannot believe it’s been six months since Avery blessed us with her presence.  All morning, I’ve been imagining what our life would be like right now if it would have turned out the way I planned.  How would she be sleeping?  How would we be coping with work and a baby?  How many teeth would she have?  Would she be crawling? How long would her beautiful hair be by now?  Would she still have her chunky cheeks?  What would be her favorite foods? There are so many questions that I will never have answers to.

It’s so hard only having 6 days of memories of our little girl.  We’ve missed out on so much.  I am a mother yet not all at the same time.  Today we should be celebrating half a year with our princess.  I’m trying to focus on those six days we did have but it is still so hard not to dwell on what may have been.  I am blessed to have been able to carry Avery, give birth to Avery, feed Avery, cuddle Avery, to feel her warm skin next to mine, to dress her, to change her, to wrap her in my love, to see her smile, to see a little of her personality shine through, to talk to her and to tell her I love her.  Today, I am trying to focus on what I did have.  I have to remind myself that even though it will never be enough, I am blessed with what I was given as there are many mothers who won’t experience those with their precious children.
I hope Avery is celebrating her 6 month birthday in heaven with her friends and family up there.  I pray that she has met those children whose mothers have been an amazing support to me through the last 6 months.  I hope she knows how much she changed us and how much we love and miss her.  Until the day we meet again, I will always remember the amazing day in June when Avery entered our world and changed us forever. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Facing my fear

Today was a really hard day for me.  I didn’t get much sleep last night and while I wish it was because I was up with a fussy baby but that is not the case.  I just couldn’t sleep and so I laid there and my mind wandered.  A few months ago, a sleepless night was very common.  Slowly, my sleep is getting more regular.  A few months ago, I would relive that horrific day over and over in my mind when I couldn’t sleep, sending me into more of a panic.  Now, I am able to mainly refocus my thoughts to her and the time I did have with her when the bad memories creep in.  My sleepless night last night wasn’t as bad as it would have been a few months ago.  Somehow my grief is evolving and that scares me.  When I am deep in my sorrow, I feel like I am not so far distanced from the time she was here.  When I am deep in pain, I know how much I miss her-my heart literally hurts for her.  Lately, I don’t cry as much or have as many days where I simply cannot get out of bed.  It scares me that I will move on without her. 

I’ve said it many times, I loathe the term “moving on.” To me it implies putting the past completely behind you and forgetting it.  Because of this, I will never simply move on like many have implied I should.  I will never put Avery behind me or forget the little girl who changed so many people’s worlds in her 6 days here on Earth.  But, I have to admit, I am progressing; moving forward perhaps? I don’t know.  All I know is I am able to function a little bit better. 
I’ve digressed, sorry.  Back to why today was hard.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Thanksgiving recap

Well, we survived Thanksgiving and I have to admit going away was probably the best thing for us.  It wasn’t that I didn’t know it was Thanksgiving.  I knew what day it was but not being in the same place, going through the motions of our old Thanksgiving routine, was extremely helpful.  Don’t get me wrong, it still hit me hard that it was Thanksgiving, another holiday without Avery, but it was different because we weren’t doing what we would have been doing with her; it made it easier to get through the day. 

It was also nice to be somewhere where nobody knew us.  I didn’t have to worry about going to the store and seeing someone I hadn’t seen in a while.  I didn’t have to worry about people asking me how I am doing.  I didn’t get the “looks” I get from people who feel sorry for me.  I didn’t have to worry about making small talk.  We were just able to be us.  We were able to blend in and get lost in the crowds.  I am very grateful that we were able to take that trip.  We were able to relax more than we have been able to in the past 5.5 months. 
There were two experiences that really stand out to me from the trip.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Running away

We are leaving today to escape for Thanksgiving. We didn't want to do any of our previously "normal" holiday traditions. We don't even know what normal is for us anymore. So to avoid the torture of sitting through Thanksgiving around everyone else who still has a normal, we are going to Vegas-almost as far away from anyone's normal as possible.

I've heard from some that running away may not be the best, and that may be true, but I really feel like it will be best for us this year. We usually spend Thanksgiving with my mom and sister. This year I was looking forward to taking Avery to my moms house. This would have been her first big trip away from home. She would have met her cousins and spent time with her grandmother. It would have been nice.

If we would have kept those plans this year, I would have been slapped in the face with my sisters 2 beautiful children, one who is only 5 weeks older than Avery. Undoubtedly, she would pawn them off on my mom so she could go out with her friends. (She's a very young mother who goes out more than I think necessary sometimes). I also probably would be forced to have dinner with my moms friend's 2 week old little girl. Please don't take this the wrong way, but that would have been hell for me. Not because I don't love these people, I do. But it would have been just torturous watching everyone else have what we want and seeing how much they take it for granted. For my sanity and the keeping of relationships, it's best I don't go this year. I cannot be held accountable for my actions right now, I have no control over what cones out if my mouth sometimes. My mom and sister probably will never understand but that's ok. I only have the emotional/mental capacity to worry about me (and my husband) right now.

So, off to Vegas we go. I've always wanted to go but never had the chance. And while I am excited, it's not the same excitement I would have once shared because I know I shouldn't be going. I know this is an escape trip and the place I really wish I could be is with Avery and my family. I would give anything to give up any vacation or trip to have her back and spend the holidays with family-dysfunction and all.

I'm not sure how this weekend will go but I do know that Avery will be with us, she always is.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Butterfly Clover

Today was an especially hard day.  I’m struggling with the fact that this is my life now.  I have to go through everyday facing the reality that my daughter is not here and she will not be coming back to me.  I’m not sure how I’m supposed to accept this.  I HATE this.  And some days it just hits me like a ton of bricks.  Since today was one of those days, I went by myself to the cemetery just to “be” for a little while.  I needed to cry, I needed to talk to Avery and God, and I just wanted to be close to her place.  While sitting there in the cold grass, I noticed that there is more greenery growing in over her place.  The dirt and sandy are almost covered; another sign marking how long we’ve been without her.  As I looked, I noticed lots of three leaf clovers covering her place.  As I sat one clover in particular caught my eye.  It was close to her stone and it only had 2 leaves that resembled a butterfly.

This little clover shaped like a butterfly made me smile in the midst of my overwhelming emotions.  It was like Avery was there, saying “Mommy I’m OK, I love you.”  I thought about leaving the clover but decided I wanted to keep it safe.  So I took it home with me and pressed it to keep.  On days like today, the smallest things can bring a little light into my heart. 
Here is a picture of the clover Avery left for me. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

5 months without her


It’s been 5 months until our little girl was stolen from us.  They say time heals, but lately I’ve been feeling the opposite.  The further I get from the last time I held her, cuddled her and rocked her to sleep, the bigger the hole in my heart feels.  Every day without her makes this hole grow just a bit more.  Another day living this new reality; the one where I am reminded over and over that my little girl isn’t here growing in front of my eyes. 
It seems like every day it sinks in even more that I was actually pregnant, I actually had Avery, we actually held her in our arms for 6 days and now she is actually GONE.  My daughter is gone.  She is gone, stolen from me and no matter what I do, I still can’t change that.  I HATE THIS.  Sometimes it just hits me and I lose it all over again. 

The past week has been one of the worse yet.  I haven’t had any motivation, I’m tired all the time, I don’t just cry, I have sobbing fits where I can’t breathe and I feel like I will be sick, I haven’t stayed at work a full day and I am withdrawn.  I have a feeling the time between the 6th and 12th of every month is going to be one to test my strength over and over again.  I don’t know how I am supposed to continue to do this day after day, month after month for the rest of my life.
 I am barely making it though now.  The only way I am making it though at all is because of God.  Even in my darkest days, he is gently leading me through.  If it wasn’t for him, I’d be curled up in bed every day trying to sleep the pain away.  Don’t get me wrong, I have those days where I give in to the temptation and stay in bed for hours.  And I have many more where that is all I want to do but he is there pushing me to get up and live.  I don’t like the life I am being forced to live but I am thankful that He is still here.

I miss my girl more today than I did yesterday.  5 months without her, 5 months of missing her, 5 months of being so broken hearted.  5 months and time doesn’t seem to be healing anything, it actually seems to be making the hurt worse. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

A Haircut with God

I’ve needed to get my hair cut and colored for at least the past 2 months. I don’t really give much thought to my looks anymore but my hair is starting to be more work than it’s worth and I have some big work meetings coming up soon so it really needed to be done. I’ve been dreading going to my normal hair salon as there is a girl there who is pregnant, very pregnant.  She is a nice enough girl but she is one of those that as a BLM you look at and think, really?!  The universe has a funny way of being fair.  I say this not trying to sound judgmental.  She is very nice and I am sure she will make a fine mom, she just is very annoying to me right now and I really don’t want to be in such close quarters with her. 

So, I decided to switch it up and find someone new to do my hair.  I’ve been putting this off because I knew how it would go…

 Hairstylist:  “Hi.” “How are you today?” Me:  “Hi, nice to meet you.  I’m fine” --LIE

Hairstylist:  “What do you do for work?” Me:  “I work, blah, blah, boring, boring.” –NOT SO BAD
Hairstylist:  “Are you married?” Me:  “Yes, I’ve been married for 5 years now, my husband is amazing.” –AN EASY ONE

Hairstylist:  “Do you have any kids?”  Me:  RUN, HIDE, CRY
This is typical talk when you are meeting anyone new and need to make small talk to get a conversation started.  For a normal person, these questions are harmless, I’ve asked them myself.  But to a BLM it can incite fear and panic.  That’s how I’ve felt all day.  I have been so nervous for this appointment.  I even thought about cancelling it (and have once prior).  But against my better judgment, I kept the appointment, put on my fake face and my armor over my heart and headed to the appointment. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

30 Days of Thanks


With Thanksgiving right around the corner, everyone and their mom seems to be participating in the 30 days of thanks on Facebook or on their blogs.  I really like the idea and I even through about taking part but I am in such a dark place, I haven't been able to bring myself to do it and for that I feel like a horrible human being.   
I know I have a lot to be thankful for but the one thing I wanted most isn’t here so I feel like I have nothing.  I am not even sure that makes sense.  Maybe it’s just me not wanting to be happy.  I really don’t know.  I just can’t focus on what I AM thankful for when so much of me is still questioning WHY she is gone.

I’ve questioned God a lot lately.  At first, I felt like a bad Christian for doing this.  I mean, God is God-who questions the creator of Heaven and Earth?  He knows all and has given us so much yet I am left feeling abandoned, crushed and disappointed.  Why would He do this to us? Why would He do this to anyone?  Doesn’t He get how awful this is? How am I supposed to turn to Him, when He could have saved her and didn’t?  Why put me through such a crappy childhood and then give me Avery to carry for 9 months, to hold her for 6 days and get my hopes up that I was going to be able to give her the family/childhood I never had?  Why break our hearts like this?  The truth is I will never know the answers to these questions.  And while I’ve been questioning Him a lot lately and feeling bad for it, yesterday our counselor reminded me that there is nothing wrong with questioning.  He is our Heavenly Father and like earthly fathers, we are allowed to question.  She reminded me that even though I feel a million miles away from Him, He is still there and is listening to me through my anger and tears.  And while He isn’t giving me answers, He is listening.  And for some reason, that makes me feel just a little bit better.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

View From Heaven

View From Heaven by Yellowcard

i'm just so tired
wont you sing me to sleep
and fly through my dreams
so i can hitch a ride with you tonight
and get away from this place
have a new name and face
i just aint the same without you in my life

late night drives, all alone in my car
i can't help but start
singing lines from all our favorite songs
and melodies in the air
singin life just aint fair
sometimes i still just can't believe you're gone

and im sure the view from heaven
beats the hell out of mine here
and if we all believe in heaven,
maybe we'll make it through one more year
down here

feel your fire,
when its cold in my heart
and things sorta start
remindin' me of my last night with you
i only need one more day
just one more chance to say
i wish that i had gone up with you too

and i'm sure the view from heaven
beats the hell out of mine here
and if we all believe in heaven
maybe we'll make it through one more year
down here

you wont be comin' back
and i didn't get to say goodbye
i really wish i got to say goodbye
and im sure the view from heaven
beats the hell out of mine here
and if we all believe in heaven
maybe we'll make it through one more year

i hope that all is well in heaven
cuz its all shot to hell down here
i hope that i find you in heaven
cuz i'm so...
lost without you down here
you wont be coming back
and i didn't get to say goodbye
i really wish i got to say goodbye

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

5 Month Birthday

5 Months ago our family grew from 2 to 3 at 2:27am. Our little Avery entered this world and changed our lives forever. I still can't believe I was only able to hold her in my arms for 6 days. She was so perfect, so lovely, so amazing.

Today is such a hard day. I should be taking cheesy monthly pictures and updating what milestones she has hit. Part of me wants to look on Baby Center to see what she would be doing at 5 months but that would just be rubbing salt in the wound. What's the point in torturing myself? I will never know what Avery would be like at 5 months and it breaks my heart.

Today should be a happy day, celebrating another month with our precious baby. I tried to remember the good and tried to stay positive but I cannot. She isn't here and it just isn't fair. Watching her grow for only 6 days is not how I saw the future. This is not anywhere close to the future I saw. I want my future back.

Happy 5 Months Baby Girl. I miss your sweetness more and more everyday.


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Butterflies


I’ve been having a pretty rough week.  Even when trying to escape the pain, the overwhelming reality of this huge whole in my heart still finds its way in.  I’ve put on my fake face and made it through the last few days.  And I’ve had good moments in the midst of my pain.  Today, we volunteered to help some good friends move.  Not that I love manual labor but they have been great to us and getting out of the house sounded like a great idea.  And it really was.  During the few hours we were helping them I was surrounded by beauty and a positive reminder.
On the way to their house, I grabbed a healthy breakfast (McDonald’s) and while in the drive thru, there was a huge butterfly that followed us through.  Then when we got to their apartment I saw at least 3 different butterflies.  On the way to their new house, I saw so many more along the road.  It seemed like I saw more butterflies in the 4 hours we were out this morning than I have in one day. 

Since losing Avery, I’ve noticed butterflies and dragonflies more than ever.  Normally they are dancing around when I am visiting the cemetery or floating through my backyard while I am outside with the dog.  I’ve always associated them with her.  Not that I think she is a butterfly, but I sometimes think they are sent my way just as a way to make me smile and bring peace.  After having such a rough week and seeing so many today, I decided to see what symbolic meaning butterflies have in different cultures.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Welcome to Grief-Land

Welcome to Grief-Land, the most miserable place on earth.

Just when I think the rollercoaster ride I am on is entering a slow, flat, straight part of the tracks, I quickly realize I am simply, slowly making my way up and up, higher and higher, each semi-ok day just a click on the track as I make my way to the top.  I am simply just approaching the top part of the track, the part right before I am sent speeding down the tracks, on a stomach churning free fall.  That’s what I think the past week or so has been; it’s just been leading me back into an all engulfing grief free fall-a place where my anger, bitterness and depression all surround me and pull me down.

Just when I think I am OK with STILL waiting on answers, I am reminded how much I really, REALLY need them to call.  I call at least once a week and am told each time, soon.  They’ve been saying soon for 6 weeks now!  I called on Halloween and was told they would be meeting on Thursday to discuss Avery.  So, today I called again.  Just to be told, something came up and they didn’t actually discuss her.  SERIOUSLY?!?  Are you kidding me?  I understand there are probably tons of last minute things that come up with you are a medical examiner but wouldn’t you think that you would make a case like ours a priority?  It’s so infuriating!  If their office was actually located in the town where I live, I would probably have made a visit by now.  So here I sit and wait; letting my frustration stew until I am boiling mad. 

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Day 31: Sunset

This project has really made me think about aspects of my grief that I may not have contemplated yet. I am very thankful for Carly to host this. While difficult, I am glad I participated.

To close I found a great quote:

“Dusk is just an illusion because the sun is either above the horizon or below it. And that means that day and night are linked in a way that few things are there cannot be one without the other yet they cannot exist at the same time. How would it feel I remember wondering to be always together yet forever apart?”
― Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook

Avery will always be with me yet we will always be apart this side of Heaven.

I love you sweet girl!

Halloween


So, it’s Halloween, a holiday that has never meant much to me.  I didn’t think this holiday would have much of an impact on me, but it has.  I am pretty much steering clear of Facebook today because the few times I went on, I was bombarded with pictures of other’s children all dressed up for the day.  Pictures that I thought I too would be posting.  Today is another day that is not turning out the way I saw it only short 5 months ago.  5 months ago, I envisioned being excited to get home from work and put Avery into a cute baby costume.  I still envision her in a cute little monkey outfit, with her cute chubby cheeks peeking out. She would have been the cutest monkey ever! Here in Florida, it is normally hot on Halloween.  I remember thinking that we probably would only visit our family on Halloween so that poor Avery in her costume wasn’t uncomfortable.  But this year, the weather is perfect!  It may have almost been a bit cool for her, but she would have been comfortable in her fuzzy little costume.  We would have been able to spend more time outside and with family.  But instead of this, here I sit, alone with no traditional Halloween plans.  Our plans for tonight consist of looking for silk flowers for her grave, trying to find a place to photograph the sunset for the last day of the capture your grief challenge, going to dinner and then turning out all of the lights, avoiding children at all costs and watching a movie.  I absolutely HATE that these are our plans now.  This is not how it was supposed to be.
Today has also made me realize that Christmas is going to be terrible.  I really think we are going to pack up and go out of town, avoid Christmas all together.  I am sure our families will miss us, but I just want to pretend Christmas isn’t happening.  I’ve decided today, I am cancelling Christmas.  I am also scared for the future.  How do I do this year after year?  She isn’t coming back and everything I face will be without her.  I just cannot fathom how I will get through this year after year. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Day 29: Songs


Today’s challenge was to post song’s that remind you of your child or have been a part of your journey.  There have been many amazing songs through this journey that I couldn’t pick just one. 

Day 27-28

I’m a little behind on the Capture the Grief Challenge, something I told myself I wouldn’t do but it happened.  Such is life.

Day 27 was supposed to be artwork.  This is a combination of a few “art” pieces.  The left is the prayer flag I sent for Carly’s Beachside October 15th ceremony and the middle is a luminary I made for Avery for a Beachside October 15th ceremony.   One of my favorite “art” pieces we have for Avery is her “A;” made by one of my amazing friends before Avery was born.  She designed the letter to match Avery’s bedroom theme perfectly.  It is one of my favorite pieces in her room and it means a lot that one of my friends spent so much time to make it so perfect for Avery.  The bottom right is a piece I just recently received by another great friend who often leaves presents for us at Avery’s graveside.  It is a pink butterfly with her name in the middle.  It is super cute and most importantly, it makes me feel good that people still think about Avery and bring her gifts.


Day 28 was supposed to be a memory of your grief journey so far.  I chose to highlight a memory that was a positive memory from this journey.  I’ve been on the journey for 20 weeks and mostly have negative memories.  I am really trying to focus more on the good than the bad so I picked probably one of the best nights I have had in the past 20 weeks.  This picture is from the beachside luminary October 15th event I attended hosted by Elizabeth Ministries of Melbourne.  While the event was emotionally draining, it was amazing to be surrounded by so many amazing families who are traveling this grief road with us.  Some were further in their journey while others were newer to it than me.  But it was so comforting to hear their stories, to see that many have found some peace and comfort and that they all are still standing.  It was an amazing evening and I am very thankful to have met these amazing people. 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Tears at Disney and a Random Act of Kindness

This weekend we went with our brother and sister in law to Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival.  They go every year and have always asked us to go.  This year, we decided to join them.  We’ve avoided Disney with the family as we didn’t want to be surrounded by happy families but we thought Epcot, especially the Food and Wine Festival, would be much more adult.  Boy, were we wrong! Once again, we were blindsided with families enjoying their day with their beautiful children.  There we are wanting to escape, have some fun, try some good food and drink and we are reminded yet again of what we DON’T get.  Who goes to a Disney park and cries?  I do, I guess.  Almost immediately I regretted going but we were already there so I committed to getting though the day.  While it was hard seeing so many babies (especially those in HER stroller), we enjoyed ourselves overall.

There were a few moments that especially stuck out.  One was while waiting for my husband and brother in law to meet us.  I was just sitting, starting to allow the sadness to sink in, tears staring to form and out of crowds of people comes a beautiful butterfly.  It really appeared out of the thick of people, made its way over to me and danced around just long enough to bring a little smile to my face.  Instantly I thought of Avery and felt like she had a hand in this butterfly making its way to me.  The same thing happened again later in the day.  As I was sitting, allowing the emptiness to creep in, a bubble floated right in front of me.  A lone bubble, a child’s bubble.  It wasn’t long until I was surrounded by them.  And again, I smiled.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Here come the holidays


Ready or not, here they come!  The holidays are coming and the mere thought of them literally puts me into a panic.  Over the past few years my husband and I have often joked how holidays just don’t feel the way they should because it was just the 2 of us.  We both looked forward to being able to celebrate this year as a family of 3.  Now, realizing that we have to go through the holiday season this year without Avery is unbearable. 
Halloween isn’t one of my favorite holidays but I envisioned actually carving a pumpkin and picking out a cute costume for Avery.  I pictured going trick or treating with her cousins and stopping to show her off to our friends and family in town.  Since we cannot do this, this year we’ve decided to go to dinner and a movie on Halloween so we can completely avoid trick or treaters and hopefully everything that we will be missing.

Thanksgiving is normally spent at my mom’s house out of town.  I looked forward to taking Avery on her first road trip, having her visit her grandmother and her cousins she wouldn’t have gotten to see very often.  I pictured relaxing with her outside by the water.  Now, I am completely avoiding Thanksgiving.  Not only is it another holiday without her but my sister also has 2 kids; one 18 months older than Avery and the other only 5 weeks older than her.  I just can’t handle being around them and seeing everyone fuss over them.  I love them but I just can’t handle that right now.  So we are taking an anti-Thanksgiving trip with our best friends.  We will be spending Thanksgiving in Vegas.  Nothing screams anti-Thanksgiving like gambling, buffets and shows.  I am looking forward to getting away on this trip.  We plan to also take a day trip to California.  I am going to try to take my own beach picture of Avery’s name in California and her name in Vegas. Something I plan to do on all of our trips now.  While I am excited to get away, I know I won’t be escaping the holiday all together.  I know it is still going to be hard.  Bottom line is, it is still going to be Thanksgiving without her. 

Day 26: Her age


Avery was only 6 days old when we lost her.  6 days will never be enough but I know I also wouldn’t be satisfied even if I had 6 million days with her. I mean, how could any parent be fully satisfied with any amount of days they had with their child?  I am however thankful that I was given 6 beautiful days with her.  I will forever cherish each second of these 6 days.  I remember so much about that short period of time.  I could tell you who visited us and on which day.  I could tell you what she wore, what time we went to bed and exactly what we did during the day each of those days.    My husband and I fell in love even more during those 6 days.  Those 6 days will forever be ingrained in my mind and will always be a cherished period of time.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Day 25: Babyshower


My friends and family threw me and Avery an amazing shower when I was 29 weeks pregnant.  We did the shower early because my sister, who lives 5 hours away, was 34 week pregnant and we wanted her to be able to attend.  Looking back, I am so glad we did the shower early on.  We received so many gifts that it took us the next two months to get everything organized and her nursery ready. 
The day of the shower was a great day.  They put so many cute touches together to make it a beautiful shower.  Her cake was amazing, the food was fantastic (which was wonderful to a big preggo lady like myself) and the games were fun.  More importantly, our friends and family were all together to celebrate Avery.  There were almost 30 people in attendance and I think it took almost 2 hours for me to open all of the gifts.  Avery is truly one blessed and loved little girl.  She was spoiled before we even made her grand entrance.    

Looking back, I still can’t believe how na├»ve I was to assume our story would end with happily ever after.  The shower was 3 months and 1 day before I buried my girl.  It still amazes me how quickly everything can go from perfect to a complete mess so quickly.  Avery barely was able to use any of the amazing gifts we received at her shower.  I hate that there are so many things she never even touched.  I cherish her gifts, especially those she actually used.  And I cherish the memories we made during that shower.  I am thankful for the family and friends we have that love Avery. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Day 24: Siblings

This is a picture of Avery with her 5 older boy cousins. Since she was our first and doesn't have any siblings I decided to post her pictures with them. Avery was the first girl born into my husband's father's side of the family in over 50 years. To say she was the princess is a complete understatement. Her closet is still busting at the seams with clothes.

She was loved and wanted by so many, including these boys (although at first they weren't sure how they would incorporate her into baseball, they later decided she would be the best girl baseball player ever). Growing up, I am sure she would have hated having these 5 tough guys looking out for her (and so would boys her age) but they would have been her protectors.

They love her. They all wore pink to her service and keep their Avery bracelets in a special place. Even the youngest who is only 3 perks up whenever he hears her name and asks about baby Avery. They all love her and remember her, I just wish I could have watched them all grow up together.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Day 23: Their Name/Photo

This is probably one of my favorite pictures of Avery.  It was taken on Sunday, June 10, 2012.  My husband was napping and then ran errands so Avery and I had the afternoon alone.  She was in such a good mood and was making the cutest faces.  I tried to catch her little smiles and silly faces with my camera but most of the time I missed the moment when she smiled.  But in this one, I caught her beautiful smile.

It’s so hard to see this picture and know that within 48 hours of this photo she as gone.  She was so perfect and amazing.  I am thankful that she and I were able to spend some mommy/daughter time that day. 

Day 22: Place of Care


This photo was taken just a few minutes after Avery was born.  My husband was my best caretaker when Avery was born.  He was by my side through my labor and c-section.  Once Avery was born, he didn’t leave her side while I was in post-op.  He made sure his little girl was taken care of and not alone.  He was there for me the 2 days we were in the hospital and when we were released to go home.  I don’t know what I would have done without him.  Recovering from a c-section is much harder than I anticipated.  It was hard to get out of bed, hard to get situated in a comfortable position to nurse; it was overall just hard to get around.  But he was there helping me each step of the way.  Not only was he there for me, he was there for Avery; making sure she was 100% happy.

Even after we lost Avery, he has been my caretaker.  He continuously puts my needs above his even though he is in pain too.  I would be lost without him and I am thankful God blessed me with such a wonderful husband.

I think I've reached my breaking point...


Tonight insomnia has become my enemy again.  I can’t sleep so my mind runs wild.  As I lay in bed trying to sleep, my mind drifts to the past.  Monday nights/early morning Tuesday is always very hard for me.  Tonight is no different.
19 weeks ago at this time, I was up for a late night feeding with Avery.  What I didn’t know at that time was this midnight feeding would be the second to last that I would ever share with her.  This time 19 weeks ago I was slightly anxious that my husband was going back to work in the morning and it would just be Avery and I.  I was nervous about being all alone with her for the first time because I was still I a bit of pain for my c-section but I was excited to spend the full day with my girl.  Unfortunately, I never got to see that part of my future.  When my husband’s alarm went off for work that morning 19 weeks ago, just an hour after I dozed off after checking on her in her basinet beside me, our world shattered into a million tiny pieces.  As I lay in bed tonight, trying to sleep, my heart throbs with a pain so deep it physically hurts.  She isn’t here and like every Monday night for the past 19 weeks, I relive those beautiful last moments I had with Avery when the world was still perfect.  I can’t believe how quickly your life can go from absolutely wonderful to a nightmare that you just wish you would wake up from. 
Monday nights also bring me back to 20 weeks ago, when I was anxious and barely able to sleep because the next day, I was headed to the hospital to be induced.  Just 20 weeks ago, my life was bright and so full of hope.  That night, I couldn’t sleep, so around 3 in the morning, I woke up, ate some cereal and just sat alone in the living room, relaxing in the peace of the middle of the night and enjoying her dancing around inside me.   It was such a calm morning.  We were all so excited that Avery would be making us a family.  Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined I would be sitting here like this tonight. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Day 21: Special Place


Yesterday’s challenge was to post a photo of a special place.  We have Avery’s picture in pretty much every room of our house. After she passed I went on this hunt for photos of her.  I was so afraid that I would barely have any photos.  I am glad to say that after compiling pictures that everyone took over her 6 days, I have over 150 photos.  So I have taken many and placed them throughout our house.  I love that her pretty pictures surround us.
The picture on the left is in her room.  It is one of my favorites.  This picture also has some decorations that we had in her nursery, a picture of my husband and her, a cross from her services, a balloon that my best friend left for her at the cemetery and a few other little items.  The picture on the top right is a family photo frame that hangs in our dining room.  And the picture on the bottom right is of shelves in our main hallway.  The upper shelf has a picture of her with a cross faith candle.  The lower shelf has her candle, her picture and a picture of my cousins and I with my grandmother, Diane,  this was taken the Thanksgiving before she passed away.    This is my grandmother who Avery received her middle name from. 

I could go on about each of these, but I am emotionally exhausted and have been for the past few days.  I'm just so tired of everything, I don't even have the energy to put it all down on paper. 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Day 20: Charity/Organization

This is a photo of my Avery sunset picture that I had blown up on a canvas from Carly at Carlymarieprojectheal.com. Carly does amazing things for the baby loss community including this Capture Your Grief Challenge. Visit her site if you haven't before and see the wonderful things she does.

Next to the sunset is my Avery bear from Molly Bears. The bear weighs 7lbs 15.5 oz. Being able to cuddle this bear that weighs the same as my Avery is comforting. My husband and I love having it near and holding it in our arms brings us right back to how she felt in our arms. I recommend checking them out and if you can donating to their great cause!

Both if these groups are amazing and I am thankful for their contributions to our community.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Day 19: Projects

Today’s challenge was to post a project you have worked on.  I haven’t been part of any outside projects yet only projects for myself.  These projects have helped me while grieving. 
The top left shows all of the scrapbooking supplies I have bought.  I haven’t stated the scrapbook yet but I fully intend to work on this.  After losing Avery I realized that her baby book that I received at my baby shower was going to be left 99% incomplete, I decided I didn’t even want to start it.  So, instead I am going to make my own baby book scrapbook.  I can make it her book that looks complete instead of the blank pages haunting me every time I open it.

The top right is my blog.  I started this as an outlet for my feelings.  I never intended to actually share it with anyone.  But after reading the blogs of so many BLMs, I decided I would share it during this project.  I can’t believe anyone reads my ramblings but maybe something that comes across on this blog will help another mom not feel so alone.

The bottom left is my journal.  This is where I write to Avery.  I started the journal 2 weeks after losing her as a place to tell her how I feel, how much I miss her and how much I love her.  In the beginning, I wrote to her every day, I felt like my time with her was so short that I need to tell her over and over how sad I was without her.  It was really good for me to get it out.  Now, I don’t write to her as often but it is my special place; a place where I connect to only her. 
The bottom right is the prayer flag I made for Carly’s Luminous Light Ceremony.  This was the first “crafty” thing I did after losing Avery.  It was really nice to put so much thought into something that represented her.  I was so pleased and in love with it, I want to make another for her room. 

I really hope in the near future I can become part of a project that isn’t just for “me.”  I would love to be part of something bigger to help other families in similar circumstances.  I don’t think I am quite ready to be a help to others yet as I still feel like I need help myself but I really feel the pull to help others in the future.