Tuesday, December 30, 2014


From the title of this post one may assume the subject matter will be about how we need to utilize technology less, put down our phones, live life, etc, etc. and while I do agree with those statements, that's not what this is about. Well, actually it is but not in the sense most would think. This post is about my safety blanket, my peace of mind, my angel care monitor. 

If you aren't a new parent or you haven't lost a baby to SIDS you may be thinking, "angel care monitor, what is that?" So I will fill you in. 

The angel care monitor is a baby monitor. It connects my bedroom with Harper's. When she cries, I can hear her.  This lovely device also has video. So, not only can I hear her when she cries but I can see her too. I can watch her playing, sleeping or losing her mind if I take to long to go to her room. So why is this monitor so great? The big selling point for me wasn't these features. Let's be honest, there are a million other monitors with those features (and better cameras) but what this monitor has that others don't is a movement sensor. These is a sensor under Harper's mattress that senses her breathing. If it doesn't detect movement, it alarms me to check on her. And on the monitor in my room I can lay and watch the little pendulum swing with each breath. I can literally watch her breathing. 

This machine has given me restful sleep, something I didn't think would ever be possible after losing Avery. That is until recently. Lately, my sweet, little, innocent Harper has decided she will sleep great but keep me up. She now likes to do a sleep crawl around her bed at night. She loves to squash herself up in the corner in a tiny ball, knees tucked under her. Cute yes, problematic for me, yes. The problem with this is, her chest is raised off the bed and she's as far away from the sensor as she can get. Needless to say, Harper is giving us multiple false alarms every night lately. And by multiple, I mean like 6+. 

My once loved peace of mind monitor is now doing the opposite and keeping me up. One would think the easy solution would be to stop using the sensor. And yes, that would be the easy thing to do but my life is no longer easy and I can't. I have this completely irrational fear that the first time I try to let her sleep all night without it something will happen and she will stop breathing and I won't know. I won't know until it's too late and I will have to relive that horrible nightmare all over again. 

Irrational, yes. But can anyone tell me without a doubt that will not happen, no. And because of that I cannot simply unplug the damn thing like I would love to. I would love to be a normal mom. Once who doesn't have the crazy woman monitor in her baby's room. One that doesn't have to see the pendulum swinging every time she wakes up at night. One who just does a peek in to check on their baby. Not the one who absolutely cannot sleep without a machine telling her it's all ok. 

When you lose a child, rational thoughts seem to go out the window. Your paranoia increases a million times more than the normal parents. Nothing is as easy as just simply unplugging that sensor.  The sad thing is when it does sound, I'm numb to it. I'm not even afraid that something is wrong. So why can't I pull the plug?!?!?

I'm addicted to this piece of machine. I can't let it go. I can't sleep without it and if I try, I'm paranoid and I end up turning it back in and falling into the old routine. Just a few more weeks I keep telling myself. Once she hits one and the SIDS risk diminishes. Once she hits one.  Until then, I guess I'll just wait for the inevitable false alarm. Back to living on a few hours of sleep and lots of caffeine I guess. 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Christmas is coming

I've been waiting for the day when I could send out cute photo Christmas cards. When we first got married, it was just us and let's be real, nobody wants a card with pictures of a newlywed twenty something couple on it. So we waited. Then Avery was coming and I looked forward to Christmas and getting her all dolled up for Christmas cards. Her first Christmas she would have been 6 months old. I had the cards all laid out in my head. Those cards never happened. Nothing I had planned happened. So I gave up on the perfect Christmas card idea. 

That was until Harper came. I've been looking forward to her first Christmas. She's almost 11 months and is so much fun. We spent a cool November morning at a Christmas tree farm taking pictures for our cards. I planned to bring the Avery best with us, but it was wet and a hike through long, wet grass to get to the photo spot. In fear of getting the best dirty, I left her in the car. It wasn't a big deal at the time. I planned to take some pictures at home for Christmas with Harper and the Avery bear. But once we received out pictures back of Harper my heart broke. 

I hate that I have 2 beautiful girls but only one gets to be smiling in our pictures. I took some of Harper and the Avery bear in front of our tree, but it's not the same. It's never going to be the same and it's never going to be what I want. Never. 

My next dilemma can when it came time to make those perfect little Christmas cards I've been picturing since we got married. I had the oictures, even if they weren't how I imagined, both girls had representation. I found a cute design, picked the pictures to be used but then stopped when it came time to sign them. Do I include Avery and risk people thinking I'm absolutely weird for including my dead daughter? Oh do I leave her off and add another huge crack to my already overly scarred heart? I chose the later. 

I picked up the cards this week and thy really do look great. It just still breaks my heart that she's not there, sitting next to Harper, smiling, posing and hamming it up like her little sister. I'm sure I'll go through this same heartache very year. Maybe one day it will get easier. But this year, it still sucks. 

In so many ways Harper has helped heal our hearts but there are equally so many times where having her here and getting to experience things as parents is an ever present reminder of our missing piece. 

To be honest, I thought I was ready for Christmas but really, I'm ready for it to be over. 

Tomorrow makes 2.5 years since we lost her. 2.5 long and painful years and tonight I just can't keep it together. Can someone please push fast forward and get me past this month?