There have been some significant events happening the last few days that have had a huge impact on my mood. I have never been this anxious, this stressed or this depressed before. These events were unexpected, they have put us in a very tough spot and we have some pretty big decisions to make. Like I've said before, we never get a fucking break. Yes, this deserves swear words. I can't elaborate much on what is going on as there will be a resulting lawsuit but just know, things are not great right now. There are some very dark times ahead and my ray of sunshine is the only thing that gets me through. It has really put the pressure on us, it is making us face some very difficult choices, some of which we aren't ready to make but have to regardless. It's not a good place to be and I really hope this can be resolved quickly. It has gone on many more months than it ever should have.
I will say this, PTSD is something new to me, as is my anxiety. I use to be a care free person, even after the boys died I was more depressed and sad than anxious. When Bee was born it was a trigger. On January 8th, 2013 my life, my mental health became an issue. Her birth brought on a whole new level of things I did not experience before, things I did not feel and things I did not think. I know I've mentioned that on here before. After her birth I started having flashbacks, after her birth I had huge anxiety issues regarding her safety, I was afraid someone would hurt her or she would die somehow. I had a hard time being away from her (and still do to this day) My sleeplessness began after she was born, my inability to concentrate happened after she was born. Every side effect of PTSD and anxiety came about after she was born. Obviously that is the case as I was able to work and function well before her birth. I've only dealt with PTSD for 18 months. I've only dealt with true anxiety for 18 months. It's new to me and I have to a plan to tackle the symptoms but it will take time. Sometimes in life people don't see eye to eye. Sometimes in life there needs to be an intervention, though you have done so much to prevent it from happening but sometimes it is warranted.
This whole situation got me thinking. In times like this I struggle, I REALLY struggle because I don't like to ask for help when I need it. There is the occasion someone offers help and I take it, but there are times where I say no I'm okay when really I am not. I don't as for help, it's hard for me to do. I don't want people taking pity on us or helping us. I feel the time to help has passed. But when there is an offer to help and you know you really need it, how do you deal? I think about the offer I had today, one that ideally would be in our best interest but one that requires an extensive amount of strength on my part. It pushes me to face something I never thought I would have to do but it could really benefit us in our time of need. I've really been thinking about why I am having such a problem with this offer and all I keep coming to is embarrassment. I am embarrassed. I am embarrassed that I even need help. I am embarrassed by our situation. I don't want people to see me in my weak state, I don't want them to see me torn apart, destroyed to the core. I need to appear strong to the general society even though I have crumbled inside. I feel people look at me and judge, I feel they look at me and take pity. All these feelings are new. I feel embarrassed by seeing people I knew before it all happened, I cant explain it but embarrassment is the only word I can come up with.
Sure, I know I have nothing to be embarrassed about, but I feel it. Maybe there is a different word for what I feel, but I cant find it. The death of the boys changed me but Bees birth completely changed me as well. Some days I cant even function as a mother. At least before she was born I was able to get up everyday, shower, eat, go to work, get stuff done but once she was born, that all went out the window. It's odd to think that her birth would be my trigger, would be the event to cause my PTSD and anxiety and perhaps it doesn't make sense to some, but I cant explain it. All I know is times are very tough, and yet again getting treatment is being pushed to the side because of struggles. I don't know if I will ever be on the right path. I don't know what the future holds and I surely don't feel great about it. I don't have any hope, I don't have any thing to look forward to, it's a damn good thing I have Bee, no matter what is going on all it takes is a few minutes snuggling with her to help me calm down a bit. And as I write this, the smell of ribs simmering in the stove is making me look forward to dinner tonight, but beyond that, I just don't know. I thought this would all be over, I thought we would be getting our feet back on the ground, I thought I would be given the opportunity to address my PTSD and anxiety but some major changes have to happen and those were not expected.
It'd be much easier if we only had one hard decision to make, but right now there are quite a few and with my partner in crime being swashed at work, a lot has been left on my shoulders and I cant carry it well. I know I surely cant carry it alone. And now motherhood calls (I swear they lie at daycare, saying Bee sleeps for 2 hours became I only get 20 mins when she is home)
There is no doubt that the death of a child changes a person. There is also no doubt that the birth of a healthy, living child also changes a person. Trying to discover ones new self can be a challenge. It's something I have struggled with for the past 4 years.
Before Bee came along, even before Stephen came along I was one well organized person. I had a routine, a schedule, I even had my meals planned out a month in advanced. I was organized to a T, some may say I was a bit anal. But, it's what worked for me, it allowed me to write goals and focus on achieving them. It allowed me to feel accomplished and successful. It allowed me to push myself to achieve the best possible outcome. It allowed me to get shit done.
Fast-forward to today. I plan meals about 15 minutes before it's time to eat. Some days I feel so tired and so lazy that we make oatmeal for dinner (with a side of fruit I don't have to cut up). I don't have a schedule, we don't have much of a routine, I have yet to set any goals and feel horribly disorganized. I feel overwhelmed by having to do so much but not being able to pinpoint what and when to do it. I have to start writing lists, for example, Bee goes to school Tuesday so I am writing a list. I'm sure I have to go back to the doctors to go over my test results. I also need to go through a few closets and get rid of some more clothes. I also need to update Baby's Nest and contact more companies. I also need to write my bio for the PALs network (more details about that soon). There is so much I have to do that if I do not write it down so I can visually see it, it wont get done.
It is vastly different from how I use to be and I can honesty say I don't have much get up and go to get back to the old me. It suited me then and though I do believe some routine and schedule would benefit all of us, going back to being that anal retentive is not in the plans. I would just like some organization though, I don't like wandering around mindlessly trying to figure out what to do or eat because I feel so overwhelmed.
I will admit, I have been pretty lucky in my grief journey that nightmares of tragic events have not happened. I've never had "bad" dreams about Ty or Jacobs death or having children die......until the other night.
Bee was acting off and seemed sick so I took her to the hospital to have her checked out. Stephen was out of town for work so it was just her and I. The er doctor agreed something was off and sent her for a MRI. We were then sent to the oncologist who told us that Bee had brain cancer and they weren't sure if they could save her. They said they had to immediately start chemotherapy. They dressed her in a little hospital gown and had us walk down the hall. My last memory of the dream was of Bee and I, hand in hand, walking down the hall to start chemotherapy. It broke my heart. I remember feeling so sad, I couldn't stop crying, I woke up crying. It really has shaken me up.
I know life is not guaranteed and I guess it just made me realize that Bee could die too. I mean I know everyone dies but I meant before she lives a long fulfilling life. It makes me want to bubble wrap her and how do I, someone with horrible anxiety and fear, balance feeling comfortable enough with protecting her but also allowing her to live. I know I can only do so much and there are things I shouldn't do because she deserves to live life. I know something could happen at any moment, just because we have experienced tragedy twice does not protect us from future tragedy. It could strike at any moment and its one reason I live with anxiety and fear, I feel if I relax a little, if I don't prepare then something will strike. I fear something happening to Bee all the time, I guess it goes with the territory, this dream just made me realize there are some things I cant stop and that terrifies me. It makes me incredibly nervous and so very sad. I still feel sad from that dream, even a few days later. I just need Bee to always be okay.
My hope is not to have any more dreams like this. I have lucked out so far and I hope I don't have anymore. My heart can't take even sad dreams about tragedies. These nightmares shake me to the core and severely affect my awake state. I really do not need these to become a common reoccurrence, I already struggle with flashbacks while awake, adding nightmares onto the platter and losing sleep will not be a good combination.
All I can do is hug Bee and do everything I can to keep her safe, teach her how to be safe and limit her exposure to known dangers, toxins and other things in todays world.
I was sitting in the lab waiting to have my blood drawn this morning, running my health card through my fingers. I looked at it, I looked at the woman in the picture. I've changed so much since that photo was taken. I've lost 40lbs and it makes me look like a different person. I then glanced at the date and the tears started swelling in my eyes. I was brought back to 2011. Stephen and I were married in May and I remember praying that Jacob would live at least 3 months, just until I could get my name changed so he would be born a Nelles.
When Ty was born, because Stephen and I were not married at the time, everything related to him was in my maiden name. It bothered me. I know changing ones name when getting married is a very personal choice and by all means, I fully support not changing your last name, but for me it was important. I wanted to take his last name and when all the paperwork for Ty had my maiden name, it hurt.
So after we got married, I prayed for Jacob to hang on, along with many other things, because I had to wait 3 months to officially change my name. I remember the 3 month mark, I woke up early and headed to the local government office, all my papers in tow, and changed my last name. The same day, I went to the hospital and had them change all my records so no matter what happened Jacob would be born a Nelles.
There I sat, thinking about how much changing my last name meant to me because I wanted the child I was carrying to have the same name when he was born and died. I tried to keep my composure but I let a few tears slide out. I took another quick glance at the date and then put my card away.
Life has been filled with many ups and downs lately. I have not been in the best health and trying to figure out what is wrong is a waiting game. My anxiety when feeling ill just makes things worse. It's like a bad cycle, I get worried about passing out which makes me feel more lightheaded which makes me more worried about passing out. Same goes for getting sick. I would just like a good few months of feeling well. I can handle the not feeling well mentally but add physically and it just makes things miserable.
Speaking of miserable, when I went to pick Bee up from school on Thursday her eyes were so swollen, I knew she had been crying. They told me she had cried since lunch (3 hours straight) it broke my heart. I felt so bad and I really feel like she is picking up on my mood because she has been out of sorts lately too.
There is a lot going on, I just cant talk about it right now. It's just hard, it wasn't expected and on we still go. If anything, it has given me more motivation to finish my book, especially since my story went viral for a 3rd time. I know my story needs to be out there, I just need to focus my mind on being able to write.
On a sunny side, we received our spring pictures back from our photographer. Let's just say there is one tear jerker. I'll post it in a few weeks, but it is perfection. Simply perfection.
Today was a tough day. Today was an emotional day. Things have been very difficult lately. I feel immensely overwhelmed with all that has happened recently and when I hit this point I start to shut down. I find myself disassociated with the world. I start to get annoyed and really bothered by every little thing. It just makes the big things all the more stressful. My thoughts get really strange, I don't like them. Not in a harming kind of way, just it's really hard to explain. I was told this was normal for PTSD. I was told this was one of the symptoms.
In all honesty, the hard part began Sunday. We had to run to our local Target to pick up a blanket for Bee's bed (of which we may eventually get the mattress, who knows) and since it was raining out I decided we'd just walk around the mall for a bit. As we were leaving Target to enter the mall, the Target employee at the checkout saw my tattoos and asked about them. I gave my usual schpeal (sp?) that we had two little boys who both passed away and those were their foot prints but I found myself starting to get choked up near the end, which has not happened in a long time. She said they were very sweet and that I carry them with me all the time close to my heart. I didn't expect that answer but I said yeah, thanks. It was nice and we started to walk into the mall. We didn't make it very far before the tears started falling. I fell apart to the point that we had to leave. I have not had to leave a store because I was crying for a few years now. I had gotten that under control pretty well. But it just hit like a ton of bricks.
Then there was today. Drop off at school did not go well. As soon as I put Bee down she started to cry and wanted to be picked up. I got down to her level, embraced her, kissed her and reminded her that she would stay there and I would be back, I promised her I would be back (yes in the back of my mind I always worry something will happen to me and I wont be there for her and that kills me) I stayed for a few seconds and distracted her with toys but it was very busy and loud so when I started to leave she cried harder. It broke my heart. I felt like the biggest piece of shit ever. But I left because I knew I had to. I made the decision to run all my errands and then check in. I called back around 10 and they said she had settled. I'm glad she did because I couldn't.
I was leaving her through naptime today so I needed to occupy my time with something rewarding. I had been wanting to go back to a local antique store that's about a 30 minute drive from where we live. I had been before and I just wanted to go back, see if I could find anything for Bee's room. So I went. But as I drove my heart started to race. Even as I climbed the stairs to the store, I couldn't settle. I walked up to the third floor and began to look around but I was not enjoying it. My heart was in my throat. I was sweating with anxiety. I couldn't focus but I kept walking. I just walked and looked and picked out a few things. I spent 2 hours walking around (which trust me, it could take 4 hours there) and headed home. I just wanted to get Bee. I needed to see my little girl. I missed her and I felt horrible.
Upon pickup they told me she had a good day. She was a bit upset at first but they brought her to the toddler room (which is quieter) and she settled down. I hope they do this often because she is use to more quiet. As usual, she LOVED being outside, went in the sand box, played with bubbles, owned the toddler outdoor equipment. She ate well (given her food is always dumped on the table, who needs plates right?) and even...wait for it...wait for it....TOOK A NAP. Lordy, what has school done to my little girl? She sits while eating, wears a bib, doesn't scream, takes naps? Can I sign her up for every day? No, not really, I love being around her. I am very thankful she did nap. They said she laid on her cot and cried for about 10 minutes, fell asleep for 35, woke back up and cried a bit more then fell asleep for another hour...AN HOUR?????? I'm so thankful she seems to be adjusting well, but I couldn't do it today.
There is just so much double standards of death and grief going on, things are busy around here, things happening I cant mention yet (but will in a few months once they settle) it's just overwhelming. I need to get back to counseling and I need to get back to acupuncture. Those are my solaces. They are apart of me.
On a side note, I did find a cute little table for Bee's room, I love old furniture but this piece really smells like old furniture....I spent an hour sanding and fixing it and will paint it. If anyone happens to know how you can take the smell out of old wood, let me know! I usually don't mind it but its powerful. I also found two more bee books to add to her collection. And lastly, I like antiquing, it's fun and I have a new passion for finding the creepy and very odd items. It's like a little game. I can count antiquing as my new hobby/interest. It's a part of the new me.
I rocked Bee to sleep longer than normal tonight. I just had to sit and hold her, feel her warmth, smell her sweet, sticky forehead and feel her chest rise and fall. I needed her in my arms. Today was a good day for us. I really took in all that Bee is. I found myself staring at her many times just thinking how.....how did I luck out to have such an amazing little girl? She is the perfect mix of rough and tumble (loves her trucks) and pretty and proper (loves her purse and tutus) I mean I could not ask for a more awesome daughter. I already have the perfect one. She is amazing. Speaking of Bee.....
I received an e-mail the other day from a lady, which it was a beautiful email, but she mentioned something that I had never realized before. She said that she had been following my blogs and that I talk a lot about PTSD the death of the boys but I only touch on raising Bee. I guess there are a few reasons I don't tend to talk about parenting Bee. 1. I'm protective of her, she didn't choose this life, I don't feel she should be over exposed. 2. I think the main reason is because, if you're a parent you will understand, parenting is tough stuff. It's not for the faint of heart and it is not easy. I don't feel talking about it is necessarily appropriate because yeah there are moments Bee drives me absolutely crazy, but what 18 month old doesn't come with an adventurous nature? It's just how kids are at her age but I don't like talking about it because I know there are mothers out there who would give anything to deal with the struggles I sometimes deal with. I don't want to offend anyone and I don't mean to but for this one post, let me indulge you.
Bee is a mini-me. Every time I tell my mom what kind of shenanigans she is getting into she tells me it sounds very familiar (meaning I was a rebel child as well). I get a leg up because she's like me so I understand how she works. But, there are days where she makes me eat lots of chocolate, lots of chocolate!
However, I would NOT for a moment change any of it. I know I am blessed to have Bee, I love that girl to infinity and beyond. I wouldn't trade her for anything. I also know the personality and qualities she show now are going to help her in life. She is and will always be an amazing girl. She is very independent. She is a thinker, she is a mover, she is a doer. She climbs, oh my how she climbs. I cant tell you how many times a day I say Bee get down or Bee be careful. I'll be completely honest, I'm a bit surprised we have not been to the ER yet with all her crazy antics. She likes to explore, she likes to stay busy, she is wild, she is fiercely stubborn but above all else she is my daughter and my world. Yes, there are days where she drives me crazy and I truly do believe I have a ton more patience to deal with her because I realize how lucky I am to have her in my life but that doesn't mean we don't have our bad days. There is a reason she starts "school" this week. Some days it is too much, some days I cant handle it. Parenting regardless of loss is not easy. I just feel I need everyone to know that yes even we have hard days parenting a toddler. We aren't an exception because of our losses, we still struggle, Bee still knows how to "push our buttons". So while most days I only talk about the good, it's because I choose too, it doesn't mean we don't have bad days (we do, trust me we do) but shes 18 months old, it's just who she is and its how she is at this age. It does not for one minute change how I feel about her, nothing ever could. I choose to see the good in life everyday, including the hard ones, including the times my daughter behaves like me (can't really blame her) because I know, as hard as this parenting bit is, it's also the most fun, rewarding and adventurous time I will have in my life.
Just when I think Phoebe can't get any cooler or more awesome, she goes and totally rocks her first day of school. Since I have had about 30 people ask me how her day went, let me break it down here for all of you (easier than typing 30 different times).
Bee was her normal self this morning and I was oddly not horrendously anxious (I think we both hit the point of being more than ready for this). We packed her bag, piled in the car and headed to school. I kept making exciting sounds about going to school and hoping it would hype her up. We entered the building and she started throwing a fit, not because she wanted to leave but because she wanted to get down and play. We were guided to our room and I put her down. I stood there for a few minutes while Bee happily went off and started playing, interacting with the other kids. Then I made a hard decision. Would I acknowledge that I was leaving (which I fully intend on doing) or just go. Seeing as this was her first day, I decided the later. She was happy I didn't want to upset her. I was told that she did pretty well, once the door started to open and shut more she became upset but was comforted by the ladies holding her and, strange child she is, once she put her coat on she settled in. I was told she had a lot of fun outside (of which I totally believe, girl loves being outside) and that she ate her snack well (wait, you're telling me my daughter sat and ate a snack? Okay I don't believe that....) So there were tears...but not a lot.
As for me, I left and decided to go treat myself to my new fav Starbucks drink, blackberry mojito tea lemonade. I drove back close to her daycare and sat in the car. I made the plan to check in at an hour and see how she was doing, I actually intended on picking her up after an hour because I was sure she would need it. The hour passed and I called. They told me she was adjusting well (and I believed it because I did not hear her blood curdling in the background). They told me she was having fun and currently eating her snack. I made the decision to let her stay until after lunch. That's when the tears started for me. It wasn't anxious tears, it was more tears of relief. Relife that she was okay and that I could have some me time so I headed to do some antique shopping.
I picked up lunch for myself knowing Bee would fall asleep in the car on the way home and went to pick her up. I walked in and there she was, sitting at the table (SITTING) with her bib on (BIB ON) eating her food (EATING). She was content, she was happy and though she ran to see me, we sat back down to finish her lunch, with all her new friends. We finished and headed home and as suspected, she was out before the car started moving, good thing I packed my lunch. Next time, we will try a nap there!
It was my first Bee free day and did I enjoy it? You bet I did. Did I feel guilty? A shit ton. Do I feel like a horrible mother for leaving her? Yup, to the fullest extent. Do I feel even more like a horrible mother because I actually enjoyed my few hours away from her? Oh lord, it's tremendous guilt.
The thing I learned today is that, when a mother takes a break from her children (which every mother needs and if you know Bee you know how spirited, adventurous and strong willed she is, I need a break) it does not lessen her love for that child. It does not mean she doesn't like her child, that she doesn't want to be around the child or that she doesn't love that child. By no means did it hinder any of my love for Bee. It made me miss her like crazy but it gave me time to breath. It gave me time to enjoy, it just plain and simple gave ME time. Me time is something I have not taken in quite sometime (not since Bee was born especially) but it is something I need. I love Bee to friggin bits and pieces and LOVE every single second I spend with her, but I do need a break. Parenting is tough, I need a break but Bee also needs a break from me. She needs to socialize, she needs other structure, she needs other interactions. She was happy and content when she woke up and we had a great after noon together. So the first day was a successful, I feel like a horrible mother and we'll do it again.
Tomorrow we take a step..a HUGE GINORMOUS step. It is one I didn't think would come, it is one I am horrifically anxious about but it is one that has to be done. Tomorrow is Bee's first day of "school". We decided to call it school because she loves school buses, seeing the kids walk to school and talking about school so I'm hopeful that she will be as excited tomorrow when she gets to go.
When I was pregnant with Ty, the thought of daycare didn't even phase me. I had worked in daycare centres before and I loved them. I had high hopes to excel in the business world. It was set, Ty would go to daycare and I would return to work. But then Ty died.
Things started to change when I was pregnant with Jacob because we knew if he lived he would be sick. I didn't intend on going to work while my son was fighting for his life in the hospital but thinking into the future, the thought was when he was well, I'd return to work as I still had the ambition to make something of myself in the business world. But then Jacob died.
Fast forward to our current state. Bee is alive and well and I have not returned to work. I am currently unemployed until I get through the Trauma program at the hospital to help cope with my severe anxiety and PTSD, which have significantly hindered my ability to work. It's a long program with a long wait to get into. It has allowed me to be at home with Bee but, I can't reply on Stephen being able to watch Bee for all my appointments (he works everyday) so we needed another solution. That's when I made the call. It was a call I dreaded. I put it off for so long and even when they called back, I kept putting it off. I didn't want to do it. I felt horrible. I cried so many tears thinking about what I was doing to Bee. She is going to be so confused and sad and frightened and the thought that I am doing that to her kills me, it KILLS me. But it has to be done.
Tomorrow we pack her "school" bag and make the drive. I know I have to be excited for her, I cant let her see the shear terror that will be hiding inside, waiting for the moment I can let it loose. I have to smile, I have to make sure she is okay and I pray that she holds it together until I leave. Ideally, I'd love to see her happy and excited and not phased by me leaving. If she cries, I don't know how long I will be able to hold it in. As soon as I leave, I intend on going to sit in the car and ball. I am bringing my laptop and plan on writing more of the book. I figure strong emotions will lead to good writing. I mean, if I can see through the tears that is. I will call and check in at an hour and if she is not having it, I will pick her up. If she is okay I will let her stay another hour but it is her first day and my first day and 2 hours is more than enough. It's a start, it's a step. It's not one I wanted to take, it's not one I thought I would have to take but the day is here.
Eating breakfast with all my kiddos.......sigh.......I must admit, they did pick out one awesome little girl to send our way. Even on the trying days (as are all days with toddlers) she is my world.
Is Folgers in your cup.....not really, actually I dislike coffee so that would not be the best way to wake up. It's with Bee next to me! That girl wakes up so happy every single morning. She wakes up with so much get up and go, so much motivation, so much joy that it spreads like wildfire. It is hard to wake up and feel anything but happy and blessed when my little girl is rubbing my back saying Hi Mommy and giving me a bazillion kisses. She likes to sit and chat and snuggle and oh how it melts my heart and makes me so happy. Some days the happiness sticks and I feel like today will be one of those days. I mean really, there is no better way to wake up.
Today I feel broken...so...very...broken. I don't like the feelings I am having, I don't like the thoughts (not harm wise, just not being able to say positive, feeling like the victim). It's hard work to try and see the light at the end of the tunnel, to try and stay positive and to try and keep going. I am beyond exhausted at trying so hard. Some days I really just want to throw the towel in. Some days I pray we could just catch a friggin break, honestly, just for once I'd like a break. I'd like a "normal" life.
I wish I could go back, back to the days before all of it happened. I wish I knew or could remember what it felt like to live so carefree, to be so oblivious, to be so innocent. I want to feel the joy, the happiness, I want to feel life and love it. I'm tired of struggling. I'm tired of not being able to make decisions, I'm tired of being so forgetful, I'm just so tired...so...very...tired.
I feel like I am drowning in my sorrow lately, I feel my depression is defining me and I don't want it too. I want to define me but I don't know where to begin. How do you build from rock bottom? Where do you start? I don't even feel like I know who I am anymore or what I like. I thought I found a new passion in re-doing old furniture but my latest project has me doubting my abilities. I have so much doubt...so...very...much doubt.
I look at Bee, I look at myself through Bee. I am becoming a mother I do not like. I am becoming lazy and doing things I never wanted to do. Perhaps part of that is having an idealistic view of parenting but learning realistically, it was all a dream. But if that were the case, it would be yet another dream smashed to pieces. Smashed...to...pieces.
I'm stressed, I'm anxious, I'm afraid. I don't have answers to our problems, I feel like I'm a big part of causing them yet I can't stop, I have no way out. I simply do not know what to do, where to go, how to get out. I wish I could go back, back to the days before it all happened. I wish I could remember how easy it was to set goal and achieve them but these days, just taking a shower, getting dressed and eating are the only goals I can seem to get done. I'm working on Bee's big girl room and it is not turning out how I imagined. Perhaps my imagination is running to wild and I need to tame it. Perhaps I am setting up unrealistic thoughts and ideals to escape reality. I just want to escape.....just need to escape.
So much is happening and I know in the long run it's for the good of our family but right now it is hard to see. I'm loosing patience with all this waiting (not with Bee) I'm becoming very critical of everything I do, everything I say, everything I am. Perhaps it comes with the territory of being a parent.
I don't know much anymore, I have a plan but it is taking a very long time to get there. My patience is running thing with life. It needs to hurry up. I have waited long enough, now is my time. I need to feel whole again, as whole as I can feel with Ty and Jacob not being here. I need to feel that sense of life, the one I use to live for. It has to be somewhere, it has to.....I need to find it, search for it and bring it back to life. I just need a break. I can't wait until our family camping weekend, I need to reconnect with nature and my family. It will be good for the old soul.
Bee and I decided to go out for breakfast this morning but we didn't feel like going to sit in a restaurant so I packed a picnic, ordered our food from Edgar and Joes (a local café) and headed to sit with the boys. I decided I wanted breakfast with all my children.
I sat there thinking about where I was. Here I am, 30 years old, eating breakfast in a cemetery just to be with all my kids. Did I ever envision this would happen? Not for a second, I couldn't even fathom what was occurring but there I was.
It reminded me that even at 3/4 years in, my grief over Ty and Jacobs death, my sorrow at times is still as deep as the day it happened. So many people expect us to be over their deaths but how do you get over the death of someone you love? Do you ever? No, you don't. It seems that in the infant loss world we are expected to get over our childrens death but we do not expect the same for someone who losses a mother or spouse. They are entitled to their greif years later but we are not? Is that fair? Sure isn't. My love for Ty and Jacob is just like any other mother who loves their children. It is never ending, it is powerful it is strong. Ty and Jacob taught me what it is like to be a mother while Bee is teaching my what it is like to be a parent. But, just because Ty and Jacob do not reside in our home, eat our food, breathe out air, walk on our grass does not mean my love, sorrow or grief for them will ever be gone. It is my life sentence. I am shackled to the pain of sorrow. Yes, there are days where it isn't as deep but days like today remind me of my great love for Ty and Jacob.
Sitting in the cemetery enjoying breakfast with my crazy awesome, beautiful, loving, kind caring little girl would not have been possible withouth Ty and Jacob. They have taught me a lot about life and I am thankful for that. They have shown me that my love for them is deep and it will always be. People say time heals all wounds but this is a wound no amount of time can heal. How do you heal your love for someone who is gone? You don't. You live with it, you find a place for it and you cherish what you had but you never heal from the death of a child. That day will never come. I will always love them, I will always miss them, I will always see the injustice in this world and I learned that at an early age.
As we were packing up to leave, I said to Bee "it's time to go goodbye" to which she said "bye ty, bye acob" and blew two perfect little kisses. The tears that had been puddling in my eyes came pouring out. Bee, I'm so sorry you have to grow up eating breakfast in a cemetery. Its a shit stick we were all dealt. I am sorry you know the routine of how we say goodbye to the boys because we go so often. I am sorry you don't have your brothers here and I'm sorry you know about death at such an early age. I'm sorry you may not be understood when you choose to show your love for your brothers even though they are not here. I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry. This is not the life I envisioned, this is not what I had hoped for or planned for but here we are. There we were, eating our Sunday breakfast at the cemetery so we could all be together. How again is life ever fair?
The strange thing about grief is that it really can catch you quite off guard. Sure, there are times when it is expected, anniversaries, certain songs, certain smells etc but then there are the times where you wonder where the heck it came from. One minute you are enjoying some ice cream and the next minute you are at home staring at a diaper bag and getting very emotional.
Bee and I were going about our day today, celebrating the fact that she is 18 months old (um, hi, how did that happen?) and chasing Charlie. Just another normal day for us girls. I was chasing Bee who was chasing Charlie and we were all having a great time, laughing, running being silly but one of the times I rounded the corner it hit me. Not literally hit me but, there was the diaper bag. The diaper bag I bought myself while pregnant with Bee. The one gift I allowed myself to buy before she made it here safely. I was always worried it would jinx my pregnancy because I had purchased it before we knew she would be coming home with us but I needed to have it.
The diaper bag was hung by the front door as we had just returned home a few hours earlier. It hung so innocently. It was filled with things Bee needs or may need while we are out (mostly a gazillion snacks). Its our every day diaper bag, I carry it with me at least once a day every day as we try to keep busy and get out to do things. But today, today while chasing my little girl who was chasing out cat it hit me. I become overfilled with emotion at the sight of this diaper bag. I stopped and relished in the moment. I wasn't necessarily sad that Ty and Jacob weren't here (I mean I always am) but it was more that Bee is truly a miracle. She is here, she is healthy and she is alive. She is my world, my everything. I live for her. She was squealing with joy and it filled my heart with sorrowful happiness. How long I waited for moments like these. How much I had truly missed with Ty and Jacob. It was all right there with that sight of the diaper bag. I allowed my mind to wander for a few moments, to think what should be. I pictured Ty and Jacob running around chasing Charlie with Bee, or chasing eachother. Inevitably one of them would trip or hit a wall and the tears would begin but mom would come to the rescue with a hug and a kiss.
As my mind wandered back in to reality, I let myself take a moment and then I continued to chase Bee. Such innocent moments caught off guard by grief. I know these days will continue to happen, but I am thankful to get periods of space in between.
I always say Bee keeps my hands very full and while she does, they will never be quite full. They will always be missing something, there will always be an empty part.
As my cousins wedding approaches this Fall, I can't help but think of celebrating love and joy amidst tragedy. If anyone knows anything about this, it is most certainly Stephen and I. Two weeks before our wedding is when we found out Jacob would not be coming home with us, only 6 months after burying Ty.
We debated whether or not to get married, we were both filled with grief. We lived in sorrow and we're faced with a long, emotional next few months with Jacob's journey. But, we decided to celebrate something we could celebrate, our love for eachother.
On our wedding day, we were well aware of what we had been through and where we were headed. Tragedy was all around us but for that one day we chose to celebrate love above all else.
You see, my cousins dad (my uncle) passed away a few years ago. I know her wedding day will be hard. I know she will feel it isn't complete, it isn't right. Her dad should be walking her down the aisle, but he isn't. It doesn't mean the day has to be ruined, it doesn't mean the day has to be filled with sorrow because weddings aren't about sorrow. Weddings are about happiness, love, joy, becoming family. I do hope for her, she can see the celebration amidst the tragedy. I hope she can softly acknowledge her sorrow in her own way but to enjoy the day. I hope she has a beautiful day, a beautiful ceremony and truly feels the love surrounding her. It's a day about her, it's a day about her love for her future husband. It's a day about love and life. It's not a time to reflect upon the sorrow in depth. Just like our wedding day was not the time to reflect upon Ty or Jacobs death. We were able to see the love, to see the celebration and it was one of the best days. People still say to this day that our wedding was the best they had ever been to. They said they could feel the love and had such a nice time. It is very possible to celebrate love amidst tragedy.
We all know my uncle won't be there, just as we knew Ty would not be with us and Jacob wouldn't even get a chance to come home. There is sorrow but in sorrow is also love and celebration.
I have another friend who is getting married on July 31st. Her father also passed away, he will also not be walking her down the aisle (though their ceremony is much different in India). I know she has sorrow but I also know she sees the love and is choosing to embrace and celebrate the good. She is celebrating something that needs to be celebrated. I only wish we could have flown to India to be with her!
There is always something to celebrate, even if so small and hard to see. There is always love amidst tragedy and that should be celebrated. So whether you are getting married, having your rainbow baby or another love filled life event, know that it is possible (and okay) to celebrate love even surrounded by tragedy. Love is above all else, it is what will get you through.
I look forward to my cousins wedding, seeing all of our family , enjoying time together, celebrating her journey into becoming a Mrs. and surrounding her with love.
There has been a recent change in my mood that I find a bit backwards. As many of my regular followers are aware, you know I LOVE a sunny but cool day. I basically love Fall (as hard as that season is) but the weather is gorgeous. I use to live for those kinds of days and though I still do for the most part, I also find myself craving rainy days. I never use to like rainy days, I accepted them and made due when I had to but I use to despise them for ruining my plans. However, recently I have become quite saddened when the weather is predicted to have rain and it doesn't rain. Most days I just want a good rain. Heck, I'll even take some storms. I just want the beauty and power of nature to pour down upon me.
On a side note, we had some wicked storms today and I LOVED it!
It's going on Day 3 of the latest panic attack. This one has been relentless! I have had to heavily rely upon my Rescue Remedy day and night, but I am thankful it takes the edge off. I suspect over the next day or two things will start to calm down a bit. I've taken to gardening to help me relax a little bit and I swear, one of these days I will try yoga. I have just been filled with anxiety lately and it will not give up.
Having PTSD and anxiety is strange for me. I never use to be this way and sometimes I wonder if it's "all in my head" because that's what people tell me. That's what people say about mental illnesses. Here's the thing, its never in someones head. Unless you struggle with it yourself, I think its hard to understand but it is NEVER in someones head. Why do I bring this up now? I am filling out the forms for the Trauma program I am waiting to get into. It's a good 10 pages front and back with question after question. As I read through the questions they resonate with me. They resonate with me so very much. What I feel, what I think, my body's reaction to PTSD and anxiety clearly happen to others because they got the information for the questions from someone. Things I thought only I experienced are on these pages that I hold in my hand, my life is on these pages. I flip through checking off yes, yes, yes, sometimes like I have something to prove. YES, this happens to me, it must happen to others.
It asks about how frequent these attacks are, how frequent these thoughts and feelings are and it allows me to reflect. I know I struggle on a daily basis but now it can be recognized. I thought I was the odd ball for strolling every day with no relief but it appears I may not be. Just like having Ty die and then to add to that, Jacob dying, I felt so alone, so very alone. I feel so alone with my PTSD and anxiety struggles. No one really gets it unless they walk in those shoes as well so to see it on paper, to know others are circling yes to the same questions makes me feel like all these thoughts and feelings belong somewhere. It makes me feel like this is the program I needed 4 years ago. Sure at first it may have been "just grief" but 4 years in it changed. It got a name and it now has a plan. I know I have a long road ahead (6 month wait to get in) followed by 44 weeks of group therapy once a week for 2 hours. But, it is where I belong, these pages tell me its' where I belong. These pages tell me that these 3 day panic attacks are normal to those who suffer. I'm not the odd ball with anxiety and I guess its because I don't know anyone else who suffers PTSD or anxiety like I do that I felt so alone. I've never had anyone to talk to about it like I have with infant loss. I have a great support, no a FANTASTIC support system for the part of us that lives in infant loss, but when it comes to mental illness, I am alone. I don't have someone to talk to about daily struggles, about feelings, about fears, about my anxiety or flashbacks. People who don't struggle don't get it, just like infant loss.
But I have yet to find that other part of me, the other support group and I really think this program is what is truly needed. Given, they try to encourage you to be gentle with your triggers and avoid them and well hey, pretty tough task for me there since one of my biggest triggers is the hospital and guess where the program is at? Yup, same place! Different part of the building, but the drive there, the parking lot, the small, the thoughts, the feelings, they all come back time and time again. I don't know how well I will do the first few times but I sure as hell will try.
Of course, the reason behind all of it is for my precious little fire cracker of a daughter. I refuse to let any of this inhibit her life. Perhaps its the reason why tomorrow, against every inch of my being, I am going to check out a daycare centre, just see what its like, see what they can potentially offer. If anything, it is making me face something I do not want to do but feel that it will inevitably happen at some point.
On a side note, Bee has been rocking it. She is a smart, strong willed, independent, determined, climbing little spirit and I love her to bits and pieces. I cant believe she is 18 months old, I mean how did that even happen? Shes a full blown toddler now and rocks everything she does. She is doing well with potty training, learning so many new words everyday, has become best buds with the cats, is starting to find her preferences for food, still waking a lot at night and taking a blink of a nap but I tell ya, parenting a rainbow is no easy task, she makes it all the more challenging but in that, we both grow. It'll never be easy, there will always be the reminders and now that she can say Ty and Jacob and knows where their pictures are and blows kisses to them, yeah heart tugging and teary eyes has been happening a lot around here lately. Such is life though, the life of parenting a colourful rainbow. Wouldn't have it any other way.
Today seemed like the perfect day to have a full blown panic attack. You know the ones where you start shaking uncontrollably, start feeling sick to your stomach so you take meds because you swear your going to puke which makes you more anxious because you don't like puking, crying over the little things, swearing, unintentionally hurting yourself (probably from the shaking) my poor feet took a beating today with all that was dropped upon them.
I downed the Rescue Remedy and chilled until it kicked in. It always makes me sleepy and feel a bit off but it does a great job at taking the edge off my panic attacks. It's been a while since I needed it but I know it will the daily regiment for a few days, until I can settle down and get over this panic attack. They never last just one day, they have to linger. At least I know why this one happened but unfortunately I have no control over the reason other than to wait.
I'm just thankful it was a gorgeous day outside so Bee and I could get out. We ended up bringing our car in and is it just me or does anyone else find that there is always something else wrong with the car other than the reason you brought it in? I was just going in for a Groupon oil change and ended up needing a few new filters (of which are not the cheapest puppies on the planet). They also ordered the wrong one so our 45 minute appointment ended up taking two hours. Bee and I did get to enjoy a short walk, followed by some delicious Marble Slab ice cream and a visit to a really cool book store I never knew about. Me in a bookstore is never a good thing. If you have ever been to our house, you know it is filled with books and they just keep growing. I told Stephen, if this was our house (we only rent) our living room wall would be floor to ceiling, wall to wall of a built in bookshelf for all of our books, I'd even put a little track in at the top and have a swinging ladder. Even that wouldn't be sufficient for our book addiction, but it's not a horrible addiction to have. I may not have much time to read now (other than kids books to Bee) but I really look forward to when Bee is a bit older and we can get into some of my favourites from my childhood. Read books upon books every night with her before bed, yeah I look forward to it. Not that I don't enjoy our time now, but I'd like to read some books with more sustenance because I already know everybody poops, Skippy John Jones is crazy, Robert Munsch is still a fantastic author, as is Nancy Tillman (who makes me cry) and so much more.
Bee is showing a real interest in trucks so I bought a few more trucks books and figured we might as well start on the dinosaurs as well. Funny thing, I bought mostly "boy" themed books, I should mention, I do not believe in boy or girl themed anything, but society does so when I purchased books about trucks, science and dinosaurs, the cashier asked if we had boys at home. I said no and hesitated to say anything else but since I was having a shitastic day anyways, I decided to bring it up and say, well we had two little boys but they both passed away. He was actually quite sincere in our discussion afterword's.
Any who, life still goes on at the Nelles household. Stephen is super busy with work, I'm super busy with Bee who is superb at keeping me on my toes, I'm also waiting to get into the trauma program and am trying to keep it together in the mean time. I have also taken a huge step and started applying for childcare. Scary........I go for a few tours next week just to see, see what the prices are like and how I feel because I am pretty sure the day will inevitably come. As much as I'd like to think that our book will be a New York Times Best Seller.....pipe dreams....
Ty died and we grieved. We saw various counselors who all told us we were grieving. All the thoughts, emotions and feelings were all from grief. Then Jacob died and we grieved. We saw even more counselors and were told yet again that all the thoughts, emotions and feelings were all from grief. We were then blessed with Bee and I continued to see various counselors after she was born. I was yet again told that all the thoughts, emotions and feelings were from grief. I was told that after Bee was born, my grief was re-born because I now knew exactly what we had missed with Ty and Jacob. I was grieving for them more than ever before. But when does it change?
I just felt I had to write about this because so many grieving parents are told "its just grief" when it truly could be something more serious. I'm thankful I had the opportunity to meet with a special mental health team who not only saw that it was more, but gave it a name and helped me with a plan. Whether it has only been a few months, a few years or many years, don't ever discredit what you feel with "just grief", it may be more. I never thought it would be trauma, I never thought I' ever be diagnosed with PTSD. But it happens, it happens to a lot of people and I'm not ashamed of it, just like baby loss, I will openly talk about it to help others in the same situation. I don't like feeling alone and I don't want others to as well. I'm Jessica and I have PTSD, General Anxiety and Separation Anxiety and while those are "labels" they will not define who I am. I will w
After such an amazing day, so much joy and happiness, the sadness still tugs at my heart. It's really hard for me to see Bee with older kids, specifically kids that would be Ty and Jacobs age. She has so much fun with them, she loves to watch them and interact with them. But I see it, it KILLS me, I mean KILLS me. She should know what its like to have older siblings. She should be use to it and so should I. It still takes my breath away sometimes. It still stabs me in the heart repeatedly. She has so much joy and she should every day. She loves older kids and being around them, I just wish she could do it everyday. It just never gets easier. I cry for me, I cry for Stephen but I also cry for Bee.
I have a love hate relationship with Josh Groban. Though, I wouldn't say hate, I would say sad. I have a love sad relationship with Josh Groban. It started shortly after Ty died. I wanted a song for Ty, a song that connected me to him, a song that reminded me of him. One day while driving (one of the days I had to pull over because I became so overwhelmed with tears and emotion) Where You Are came on. I knew at that moment that was Ty's song. The words hit it head on. It became Ty's song and I listened to it for months with eyes full of tears and a heart full of sadness. I bought all Josh's CDs and just listened to his music, crying many days. His songs felt so powerful, so emotional, so true. The words of many of his songs spoke to me. I became a fan.
Then came Jacobs pregnancy. After we received his diagnosis I heard that Josh Groban was coming to our town. I immediately bought tickets. Ty had the chance to hear Dave Matthews, Jacob would get to hear Josh Groban. I looked forward to the concert, albeit, with some anxiety because I didn't want to completely lose it at his concert. The day approached and I "forced" my husband into the concert venue. At the time he was pretty sure he was not going to enjoy it but went for us. Turns out he really liked it, Josh is a funny guy and his concerts are great. We took our seats and I brought out the Kleenex. Josh started singing and the tears started flowing. Jacob started moving around and the tears flowed even more. Jacob was enjoying the concert, he was truly enjoying the concert, he loved it and it made me feel even more connected to him.
The concert ended and I went home to continue listening to Josh's CDs. Yes they made me cry, they still do. His voice is just so powerful, his words hit my soul, they connect me to Ty and Jacob. They remind me of being pregnant with both of them. They remind me of them dying. They remind me of their funerals. They are a constant reminder of the boys but I cling to his music. I told Stephen if Josh Groban ever comes back, no question we are going. I'm sure I'll ball my eyes out but it's happening!
Today Josh Groban was on Ellen. I cried. He sang a song I had never heard before and yet I cried. I thought of being at his concert with Jacob and it made me quite emotional. I felt sad. I miss Jacob.
Today also marks the exact date 4 years ago when we found out Ty was Ty. I downloaded Timehop on my phone and it's a bittersweet app for me. So far everything had been about Bee but today it was like BAM, here is a reminder. 4 years ago you found out you were having a little boy. You had innocence, you had joy, you had life. 4 years ago you opened that envelope and saw the blue cookie.
Tonight I sit listening to Josh Groban and thinking of the boys because it is that kind of day. I will let the tears fall and remember being pregnant with Ty and Jacob as Josh sings those powerful words. Sometimes I feel like he is singing directly to me. Here is to hoping he will come back
And not the Kevin type. I am in a very limbo mood lately. It seems I am in a shock state of mind. It's like I have been so anxious and stressed that my mind has temporarily shut down and I'm just going as I need to. Things are happening around here, nothing we ever expected but it's also not necessarily a bad thing. I wrote a pro and con list and the con list only had one check mark. It's not even a significant check mark.
I can't specify as nothing is set in stone yet but things are moving. They are moving rather quickly too and it's not small things. It's a very big thing. But, when I think about it, I think this thing is what I need. I have hit a point and this is one way to help. I look forward to it, as do a few others. I can't say I am overly anxious about it, of course it is there but not as bad as it has been even though things happened suddenly and we have a bunch of things to sort out. In fact, there is only one unsolved issue with this thing that is happening that is the only thing causing some stress. But other than that, my mind is just going.
I do hope in time we can resolve this one issue or it may lead to some more anxiety but, I know we will figure something out. May not be the best for the situation but it will have to do because it's happening. Well, we're pretty sure it's happening. So here is to new mysterious, unresolved adventures.
In case you have not heard, there is a new movie out, which aired on Lifetime, called Return to Zero. Its a movie about a couple who lose a child, in fact, its about a couple who experiences a stillbirth. There was a lot of hype about this movie in the baby loss community and for many good reasons. The movie, though not the same for everyone, really showcases how it is to experience a stillbirth. Or so I was told by many people who watched it.
I have chosen not to watch it at this point. I am not ready. I have been incredibly emotional lately. I'm vulnerable and weak and cannot take going through the experience again. I've been having flashbacks as is and I didn't need any more prompts. I do hope that one day I will be able to watch it but I cant right now.
However, I do encourage everyone who has not experienced stillbirth to watch it.
Somedays it doesn't seem real. Somedays it feels like it never happened. Somedays I feel such a disconnect. Somedays I wonder if Ty and Jacob really existed and really died. It seems so long ago, it seems like it didn't really happen. It seems like those few pictures and memory chest I have are not really mine. I feel like they belong to someone else and I'm just keeping them safe. I mean how else could it be explained? Surely I did not go through two pregnancies and have to bury my two boys, there's no way. That couldn't have happened to me. Somedays I feel like pinching myself to remind me that yes, yes indeed it did happen and yes, those baby boys were yours, yes they are buried and yes they did exist.
A lady across the street is pregnant, visibly pregnant. It's hard to see, not because I miss being pregnant but because I see her innocence and joy. My innocence and joy was ripped away from me, not once but twice. No matter how many times I ever get pregnant (which at this point is no more) I will never have the innocence and joy back. I mean to some extent there may be joy, but mostly pure, unedited fear, terror and worry.
I miss the innocence, I am jealous of those who still have it but I pray they get to keep it. Doesn't mean it is any less hard on me, or any of us for that matter. Even those of us who have been blessed with rainbows, that didn't give us innocence back, joy yes, but innocence, we will never get that back. We can never change that. It's hard to see, it's hard to deal with and it's hard to talk about because there is so much judgement with how us grieving moms feel. Those who have not walked in our shoes feel they can tell us how we are suppose to feel or that we shouldn't miss being innocent etc. How about everyone just let us grieve, let us feel our feelings because they are validated. You may not understand but I don't criticise for things you do that I do not understand. I accept it, I accept that is how you are and still love you all the same.
Don't judge us grieving parents because things we do don't make sense to you. You can never understand the depths of our pains, you can never understand the depths of our inner grief. You can never understand why we do things certain ways but please know that is how it will be. Once you have something taken from you that you can never have back, something so pure, something so real, something so loved, you are changed forever.
So for today I will let myself feel sad at the fact that I have no innocence and I will feel jealous of those that do. It is hard to see and it brings a host of emotions but I am entitled to those emotions. It's the only time I will EVER use the word entitled.
As much as I had an amazing time on our vacation and as much as we are still dealing with this one unresolved issue here that is causing so much stress, I am glad to be home. One of the things I promised Bee was that her and I would start doing more things. Now that the weather is nice, I want to make sure we are out more. We've only been back a week but so far we have been out for a walk everyday, that included playing at the park, we've went to the library to sign up for cards and take out some books and cds (of course we've also had dance parties listening to the cds), we had a playgroup and Bee loved seeing her "Car Car" best guy friend (one of them), Bee had her feet properly measured so I could get some shoes that actually fit her feet, we went grocery shopping, went to the market, visited Pioneer Village for a few hours (of which I am sure we will do lots) and ate lots of ice cream.
It's so nice to be able to spend time with her. It's so nice to be getting out of the house, even if I have to force myself. It is a step in the right direction for both of us. We are pushing our boundaries little by little and we are both thankful we have a steady home to come back to if its all too much.
I can't say things are great here, a lot is going on and we are trying to work through it all, but the important thing is that we are working through things and I have given some of the control over to others to handle since it's all too much for me. I have been put in a very weak, vulnerable and emotional state so I need to have others help me, as much as I want to do everything myself.
Our trip was truly amazing, eye opening, refreshing and perhaps I will write about it one day but I am still shaken from the near death plane crash we experienced. No lies, not exaggerating, our plane almost crashed on take off. Have any of you seen Mayday? Its a tv show about plane crashes. They often show planes thrashing from side to side, taking nose dives, people are screaming and crying, the lights flicker etc...that actually happened to us. I was crying and shaking, people were screaming, trying to protect Bee as much as I possibly could, all I could think was how happy and innocent she was and that hell or high water, if we were going down, I was going to try to save her life, even if it meant me giving mine to protect her. It was the most terrifying few moments of my life and I am so thankful I am still here to write about it, lets just say we wont be boarding anymore planes anytime soon. You know, because my fear of flying wasn't hard enough before, now this had to happen......having a near death incident really affects people.