Tuesday, January 29, 2013

I'm stuck in 3 worlds...

I am simultaneously living (unsuccessfully) in 3 worlds in my mind. Theres the world where I am Avery's mother and she is with me. There's the world I dream to have, the world where I get to be a mom again. And then there's the world I'm stuck in currently.

In the Avery world I cling to every memory of her with a passion I didn't know I had. A passion and love I didn't know was possible. I was a mother. Avery was my purpose in life; a purpose that I don't know I had. She was my everything. I want her back with every fiber of my being. I would do anything to have her back with me. But she's gone and I'm stuck in the land of "should of beens."

Then there's the world I want to be in; the world I dream of. The place where we are blessed with a sibling for Avery. A place where I get to actively be a mommy. In this world, I still miss Avery like crazy but I get to fulfill my purpose in life. A place where I get to see my child grow past 6 days into adulthood and get to experience every milestone in between. A place where hope is restored and happiness found. A place where I share Avery with her sibling and get to mother both of them. This is a place I long for. This place feels the closest to normal I'll ever come close to again. This place is what I long for yet is beyond my current reach.

Then there is the place I am stuck. The place where I am trying to figure out where I belong and how I'm supposed to live now. A place where my career means nothing to me anymore. Where my house is too quiet. Loneliness surrounds me in a room full of people. A place where my husband and I don't know what to do with our free time. A place where I avoid crowds and meeting new people. A place with fewer and fewer people to talk to. A place where all that I want and can't have is thrown in my face everywhere I go. I hate this place. Everything about it feels extremely wrong.

So here I sit stuck somewhere in the middle of all of these places with no idea where I am supposed to be. I can't live forever in my fantasy Avery world and until we come to an agreement and put the fear aside, I cannot move to the world I long to be part of. Yet I cannot find it in myself to fully accept the world I am stuck in. I don't want this world. I loathe this world. I want more. Yet I can't have it and I have zero control over getting to that place in life.

So I'm stuck in 3 worlds, trying to be 3 different people. It's a nightmare, one I can't seem to wake up from. A world where nobody around me gets me anymore. It's a very quiet, very isolating place. Oh what I would do to hit rewind or fast forward. Where's the DVR controller to my life when I need it? If it were only that easy.

All I can do is pray, and pray some more. I try to focus on Romans 8:28 but I'm finding it so hard. I really just wish I could have a glimpse at God's plan and be reassured that happiness will find me again. But life doesn't work that way so today I pray for peace and comfort and hope and patience. I need all of that to help me survive my 3 worlds.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Haven of Hope Retreat

I've been wanting to participate in something that brings BLMs together. I've recently found Haven of Hope and they host an annual retreat for moms of baby/child loss. I'm debating going to this. I was curious if anyone else out there has been to one in the last or if anyone is planning on attending.

I'd love to hear feedback on your experience or if you plan to attend.


Please explain how I'm supposed to "fake this, until I make it"

I've had one dream about Avery in the last 7 months and it was amazing. I pray every night that God would bring her to me in my dreams. So far that hasn't happened. Instead I have dreams, correction, nightmares about babies/children.

Each dream is different but the same. Last night for example, my husband and I were in the hospital after having twin girls. It seemed like it was going to be a happy dream but in an instant it shifts. It goes from happy to panicked. In every dream I have involving children this happens.

One minute things are fine and the next minute, I have to save them. Last night, one of the babies stopped breathing. Instantly, I tried to wake them up without success then I start CPR. Every ounce of me terrified for the outcome. In the dream last night just as I was able to start one breathing, the other would stop. Round and round we went until I finally woke up shaking and sweating.

Last night it was twins, it's been baby boys, toddlers, all shapes an size of children. But it's always the same-I must try to save them. And it always ends before I know the outcome.

Thank you SIDS for doing this to me. For making me feel like this. I couldn't save Avery that morning no matter how hard I tried. As soon as I woke up and noticed she hadn't changed positions since I checked on her barely an hour earlier my heart sank. I knew something was wrong. My husband ran to her bassinet, picked her up while I screamed for him to give her to me. I tried to wake her. She wouldn't respond. He called 911 while I checked to make sure she didn't have anything in her mouth and immediately started CPR. I was trembling but calm all at the same time. I was so focused on what I was doing, I didn't have time to fall apart. I needed to save her and I tried, I tried so hard. It was only a few minutes until the ambulance arrived but I hadn't made a difference. She still wasn't breathing. An hour later at te hospital we were given the awful news.

As much as I try to push that morning into the back of my mind, it will always be there. Waiting until my guard is down to attack me in my dreams.

As much as I know we did nothing wrong as parents. I still feel guilty. As much as I know I took every precaution they have for reducing the risk of SIDS, I still feel like I could have done more.

As much as I know barely an hour before she was sleeping safely next to me, I still doubt myself for falling asleep. I blame myself for being tired at 5 in the morning.

As much as I know I did everything I could to try to bring her back, I still can't escape the feeling that I let her down, that I failed at saving her.

My day is shot and its barely 9am. I cannot shake my dream or my feelings of failure and guilt.

For that therapist on Ricki Lake, I'd like to see you try to "fake this until you make it." I cannot fake through this until I make it. This will FOREVER be my life. She will FOREVER be my daughter who passed away for no reason. And I will FOREVER have to live with the memories of that day.

This is my life now and there is no faking it until I feel better. Yes, these feelings are awful but I would rather feel what I feel than to pretend I feel fine. While all I want to do today is curl up in bed (and to be honest, I just might do that), feeling this way reminds me how much I love my daughter and reminds me that no matter how much time passes, she will always be a part of me. Good or bad emotions, they are still rooted from my absolute, unconditional love for her. Faking it would disgracing to her, to her memory and to her life.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Missing the little things

Everyday I live knowing my daughter is not here with me like we planned. Every morning I wake up to thoughts of her. I lay thinking about her and this messed up reality I'm forced to live. Every morning it's a struggle to get out if bed. This is my new normal.

However, there is another part if my new normal. It's the thoughts that hit you out of the blue and throw you for a loop.

This morning for example, I finally found the strength to get out of bed and get to work (30 minutes late, which is also a new normal for me) but as I'm in the shower I begin thinking of Avery. My thoughts wander to giving her a bath and the fact that as her mommy, I never gave her a proper bath. They have her 2 in the hospital, the last being the day we left. I wasn't part of those. Then, once we were home we only did quick sponge baths with her. We had planned to bust out the baby tub and give her more traditional bath the day we lost her. I am a mother yet I've never given my child a bath!?!?

I wonder if she would have liked the bath, probably not. But I missed knowing this for sure. I missed seeing her expressions as the water dripped over her skin. I missed drying her off and cuddling her warm. I missed playing with her beautiful hair when it was all wet. I missed so much and this is only bath time!

That did it. The strength I found in bed to get my day going was gone. I cried through my shower and slowly pulled myself together. But as I sit here at work, I can't help but obsess over all of the things I didn't get to do.

I hate my new normal. I certainly don't feel normal. Not only do I have to struggle with the enormous void in my life but daily I have to battle the little things that take over my thoughts. Things as small as a bath that turn my world upside down all over again. I want her back-I want my life back! But instead I must live missing her everyday until we are once again reunited.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Another milestone

Tomorrow I turn 28, yay (since you can't hear my thoughts, I find it appropriate to tell you the 'yay' is extreme sarcasm, and includes an intense eye roll).

I've never been a big celebrator of my birthday. To me, it's just another day. Well, last year I was 19 weeks pregnant this week and I decided to have my big anatomy ultrasound on my birthday. I thought it would be such an awesome birthday present to find out what we were having and it definitely was. I prayed for a girl and when we found out it was indeed Avery growing inside of me I was over the moon. I envisioned her and I taking about that day for many years to come. Another special bond her and I would share.

Fast forward to present. Tomorrow is my birthday and I don't get to tell my little girl the story of how we found out what she was. I don't get to celebrate my birthday with her this year or any other year. Another dagger to the heart.

Tomorrow will be a very bittersweet day. I am going to try and stay positive and remember the excitement I felt a year ago. It's also going to be a very hard day. Another day I had made up so grand in my head that will now be completely different. My anxiety over this day has come in waves over the last week and I'm praying that I can find peace as tomorrow draws closer.

To honor Avery on this special week, I am thinking of finally getting a tattoo to remember her. It may not happen tomorrow but will hopefully happen over the weekend. I am so indecisive and I want it to be perfect. I have many ideas but I cannot decide. I'll keep you posted if I finally do it.

I know this post is another ramble. That's what happens when I just start typing (especially when I'm at work). Thank you for letting me share my thoughts. I feel a bit of relief now. Maybe I can finally get some work accomplished!

Here are some of my tattoo ideas. I'm planning on getting it on my left rib cage under my heart. I want to incorporate her name like my husband has and an infinity symbol. The first is my husbands tattoo. The second is a pretty, girly infinity symbol that I would incorporate her name in. Next is an idea a friend drew for me and last is completely different with a heart with words (it would say her name). I'd love opinions!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Liebster Award

Thank you Staci at Following the Leader passing the Liebster to me.  The Liebster is a blog award for up and coming bloggers.

This award is given to new or up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers. The award is then passed along to other bloggers in the same category to help spread the word and support one another.
1. Answer the questions the tagger has set for you.
2. Then, create 11 new questions for the bloggers you pass the award to.
3. Choose 11 new bloggers (with less than 200 followers) to pass the award to and link them in your post.
4. Go back to their page and tell them about the award.
5. No tag backs.

Questions from Staci at Following the Leader:
What is something you hope to achieve in 2013?

 Since losing Avery, I feel like my life is empty.  Not simply in the fact that she isn’t here but I feel like I don’t have passion or purpose.  I want to find something that I am passionate about in 2013 and I want to peruse it.  I’m still not sure what that will look like in the long run, but I know I want to DO something that I feel strongly about.  Right now, I believe it will be related to baby loss or SIDS in some way but I am opening it up for God to lead me down the path.  We shall see what He has planned.  Stay tuned to find out more!

What is the best advice you could give?

 Don’t take the people you love for granted.  Enjoy each second you have with them, tell them you love them, forgive quickly and don’t stress over the little things. 

Favorite hobby? Why do you like it?

Right now, writing is my favorite hobby.  I’m not saying I’m great at it but it is a great way for me to release my feelings.  Many times I’ll start out writing thinking I feel one way but by the end, I have taken a completely different direction and feel completely different.  Writing has been my release, my therapy for the past 7 months.  It’s really been the only hobby I’ve done consistently.

 What is your favorite book and why?

My current favorite book is “I Will Carry You,” by Angie Smith.  In the past, I’ve always read senseless novels that were simply for entertainment (I’ll admit, I loved the Twilight series).  Since losing Avery, I have read a lot of books on grief.  Angie’s book was the first that really resonated with me.  Not only was it heartfelt and real but she was able to bring me away from my anger with God when I felt like He abandoned me.  Her book uses scriptures that spoke to her during her time of grief and I was finally able to see that God didn’t leave me and the He is the same always.  I highly recommend reading this book, it helped me turn a new corner in my journey.

What is your favorite "new" movie?

My favorite new movie at the moment is Pitch Perfect.  It’s cute, funny and has fun music.  It’s a movie where you don’t have to think.  The characters are outrageous and it had me cracking up.

What is your favorite "classic" movie?

This is a hard one!  There are so many movies I love.  To stick with a true classic, I’d have to say one of my favorite classic movies is Beauty and the Beast.  I’ve loved this movie since I was a little girl.  Belle was always my favorite Disney princess.  I love that it teaches to look to the inside to find ones true character.  I very much looked forward to growing my Disney collection and watching this with Avery.

What is your favorite holiday and why?

Christmas has always been my favorite holiday.  I love the music, the decorations, the colder weather and most importantly, the greatest gift of all time, the birth of our Savior.  Christmas reminds me of the hope we have for the future.  The peace I have in knowing I will be reunited with Avery one day. 

What electronic device can you not live without?

 My cell phone.  I feel completely lost without it although it is nice to put it away sometimes and tune out the world.

 What is your favorite Non-Profit Organization?

This is a hard one; there are so many great Non-Profits out there.  I’d have to say, right now, I love Molly Bears.  They do amazing work for baby loss families.  Personally, receiving my Avery Bear was a very healing day for me.  To be able to hold and cuddle this beautiful bear, made with love and care to the exact weight of my Avery filled my heart with joy.  I wish I could sew so I could help make bears as their waiting list is extremely long and it pains me to know there are many families who will be waiting for months for their bear.  I highly recommend checking this organization out and donating if possible.

Where is your favorite place to shop?

 I may have an addiction to Target.  When I was pregnant, I was there ALL the time.  My obsession has dropped off substantially but I still go at least once a week.  I love their clothes, their home d├ęcor, etc.  I could spend hours and thousands in Target.  I don’t go as often lately as I generally avoid public places but I still really enjoy shopping there.

 If you could travel anywhere in the world tomorrow, where would you go and why?

 Do I have to pick just one?  There are so many places on my bucket list.  This question would probably have a different answer depending on the day I answered it.  Today, the answer is Fiji.  I’d love to go to Fiji to simply relax and enjoy the beauty.  I can picture myself on a hammock on the deck of a bungalow sitting over the turquoise blue waters.  The water is a calming place for me.  I’d love to go there to reflect and relax.  Near the water is where I’ve really felt the most at peace and most connected with Avery.  So I think Fiji would be perfect. 

 I am passing the Liebster on to the following amazing ladies from some of my favorite blogs:

·         Catherine at Twinkle of Light:  http://twinkleoflight.blogspot.com/

·         Jen at Dear Luke:  http://dearbabyluke.blogspot.com/

·         Melanie at Confessions of a Twin Momma:  http://confessionsoftwinmomma.blogspot.com/

·         Miranda at Learning to Dance in the Rain:  http://msellers3589.blogspot.com/

·         Helz at My Bubba:  http://myweebubba.blogspot.com/

·         Denise at This Momma’s Journey:  http://thismommasjourney.blogspot.com/

·         Calypso’s Mommy at Hiding Scars in my Yarn:  http://scarsinmyyarn.blogspot.com/

·         Brandi at Avery Kate we will see you at the Gate:  http://brandisoileau.blogspot.com/

·         Kerin at For the Love of Angels:  http://fortheloveofangels.blogspot.com/

·         Lindsay at Traces of Ayden:  http://thejonesfamily52009.blogspot.com/

·         Em at After Eva:  http://aftereva.blogspot.com/

Questions for the new Liebster nominees:

1.       What are your hopes for 2013?

2.       What is your favorite quote or motto to live by?

3.       What is your favorite dessert?

4.       Through your grief process, what organizations have helped you most?

5.       What hobby do you participate in most often?

6.       What is your favorite television show?

7.       Describe your perfect Saturday.

8.       If you could change professions, would you?  If not, why?  If you would, what would you become and why?

9.       Where do you spend most of your time online?  What is the attraction?

10.   If you won a trip to any place in the world and you had to leave tomorrow where would you go and who would you take with you?

11.   Why do you blog?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Drowning in Grief

My goal for 2013 was to stay positive. 9 days in and I'm failing. Miserably. I've been drowning in my grief since Avery's 7 month birthday on the 6th.

I've learned grief is like a rip current. One moment you think you're ok, your swimming, enjoying the sea, letting your guard down, going with the flow of the waves and then it catches you. It pulls you under and rapidly drags you out to sea.

I made it through December better than expected. My goal was to be strong. I wanted to be stronger than my grief. I wanted to fight it with all my might, push forward and feel like I was living life. Well, so far that's been an epic fail. I'm drowning and the harder I fight it, the further I'm pulled out.

They say if you get caught in a rip current you aren't supposed to fight it. They say, fighting the current will wear you out and you won't survive. Maybe I should apply the same thought process to my grief. It seems the more I fight it, the more it engulfs me and my entire being. The more I fight it, the weaker I am.

They say instead of fighting the rip current, you should swim parallel to the shore. This keeps you from being pulled out further to sea. Then, once the current releases you, you can slowly swim to shore.

Maybe instead of fighting to stay positive and fighting the strong emotions I've had this week, I should embrace my grief more. Roll with it until this tide passes and it slowly releases its iron clad grip and then I can slowly bring myself back, slowly.

Maybe I've been looking at it all wrong. I've been forcing myself to try to feel better, trying to function more, trying to go back to the 'old me.' I've said I'd never be the old me before, so why do I think I should be back to functioning like I use to already? Maybe I need to cut myself some slack. The more I fight it and force it, the worse off I am.

This journey is exhausting. The rip current of grief has been dragging me further out to the grief sea. And I've been trying my darnedest to fight it, to swim back to shore. I don't see a lifeguard jumping in to save me. I think I need to take their advice though, I need to start swimming parallel to shore, taking it one stroke at a time, until it subsides and I have the strength to swim back to shore. The thing about rip currents I have to remember is, they don't just happen one time, they can strike at any moment. I need to remember that even if I get back to or close to shore, I will be taken out to sea again and again. This is the journey I am on and while the shore may get closer, I will never get out of this water.

Monday, January 7, 2013

10 Tiny Fingers

10 tiny fingers.
10 little toes.
Beautiful dark hair,
And a cute little nose.

I kept you safe inside of me,
For nine months you grew.
You brought to us new life,
And a love we never knew.

You made us a family,
Mommy, Daddy and Avery.
We were finally complete,
And oh so very happy.

Then our lives changed,
You left us too soon.
Now we are left broken,
And so lost without you.

We have hope for tomorrow,
Faith to help us through.
Heaven will be so sweet,
Spending forever with you.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Do you believe in Mom?

I read this on another baby loss mama's blog, http://twinkleoflight.blogspot.com/?m=1. Catherine gave me permission to repost.

In the belly of a pregnant woman, there were two babies. One of them asked the other:
-Do you believe in life after birth?
-Of course. Something must be after birth. Maybe we're here to prepare for what will occur later.
-Nonsense! There is no life after birth. What would that life be like?
-I don't know, but certainly, there will be more light than here. Maybe we will walk with our legs and will eat with our mouths.
-But that's absurd! Walking is impossible. And eating with our mouths? Ridiculous! The umbilical cord is the way to eat... I'll tell you one thing... life after birth is out of the question. The umbilical cord is too short.
-Instead I believe there has to be something. And maybe it will be different from what we're used to in here.
-But no one has ever returned from the afterlife, after being born. Birth is the end of life. And ultimately, life is nothing but a distressing existence in the dark that leads us nowhere.
-Well, I don't know exactly how it will be after birth, but surely we'll see MOM and she will take care of us.
-MOM? You believe in MOM? And where do you believe that she is now?
-Where? All around us! We're inside her and it's thanks to her that we're alive. Without her, this whole world would not exist.
-I still don't believe it! I've never seen MOM, so it only makes sense that she doesn't exist.
-Okay, but sometimes, when we're silent, you can hear her or feel that she is caressing our world. You know?... I think there is a real life that awaits us, and that we are only now preparing for it...

What a great illustration for believing in what we cannot see. While we cannot see God, we must trust that He there. He is in control and He is preparing our home for us. Just as we planned and prepared for our Avery, God is planning for us.

Today marks Avery's 7 month birthday. And while I ache so bad today and I still don't get why I don't get to have my amazing daughter with me, I have to trust that she is there with God in Heaven preparing a place for us to join them one day. That hope and trust helps me get through another day.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

My Project for 2013

2013 is here. I didn't want it to come and woke up this morning hating that time is once again pushing me. Seconds turn to minutes, minutes to hours, hours to days, days to weeks, weeks to months. Whether I hide under the covers or find ways to distract myself, time keeps ticking away. Nothing I do will stop time from pushing me forward.

I was having a rough morning. I wanted to hide but couldn't stand the thought of being stuck in the house with a case of the "why me's?" So my husband and I spent the day out shopping. We bought gym clothes (yep, I made that cliche resolution), browsed for furniture, had lunch, actually grocery shopped (first time in 6 months) and grilled out for dinner. It was a very nice day. It was a refreshing way to spend the day instead of sitting asking why or replaying what could have beens in my head.

Today got me thinking. To help me not spend time dwelling on the whys, every day for the next year, I am going to write down one thing I am thankful for and/or something good about the day. I need to focus on the positive. I need to do this for me, for my marriage and to honor my beautiful daughter. I plan to keep these together and monthly put the list together to reflect in and share here.

Here's to a positive 2013!