I received a rocking chair while I was pregnant with Ty at one of his baby showers. I guess you would call it glider, not a rocking chair, but regardless. I was rocking Bee tonight and she was fighting sleep like usual. I rocked her for a good 30 minutes which almost made me fall asleep. As I sat there rocking her I thought about that chair. I started to think about it because as I was rocking her and getting sleepy I thought they should make automatic rockers for adults. I always find it so soothing and I wish sometimes they'd have automatic ones for me. It led me to think about how many times I have rocked in that chair to put myself to sleep.
The first few weeks after Ty died I was often up in the middle of the night, teddy bear in my aching empty arms, rocking away. Rocking away my sorrows, back and forth, back and forth. I rocked until I couldn't keep my eyes open, I even fell asleep in that chair once after rocking for hours. I use to rock for hours because my heart was so hurt and my mind could only wander. I couldn't sleep. My sweet little boy was dead. He was gone, he'd never fill our home with laughter and tears. Instead, I filled our house with tears.
That rocking chair held me sobbing for so many nights. We then became pregnant with Jacob and for the first 18 weeks I would dare not sit in that chair. When we found out about Jacobs diagnosis it became our spot. I use to rock for hours singing "you are my sunshine" to him and rubbing my belly. It was our spot. It was my solitude. It yet again, rocked me to sleep many nights. It held my empty aching arms and sobbing tears.
Jacob was born and he died and once again, many nights I was up rocking in that chair. Absolutely heartbroken and devastated that this chair had been bought for me to sit in while holding my living child and rather here I was for the second time with it holding me, sobbing and mind wandering. Still childless.
We then became pregnant with Bee and I couldn't stand to look at that chair but because we are poor, we could not replace it (I don't know if you know this but gliders are not cheap). So I decided to re-do it. I added more padding and changed it to yellow fabric (to match Bees room). About half way through my pregnancy I felt comfortable sitting in it. This time, I sat and prayed my heart out. I sobbed my heart out, I pleaded with God to let Bee live. I prayed to not need this chair to rock me to sleep anymore. I prayed that instead I would be rocking my living child to sleep. I prayed I would be sitting in that chair nursing my wee one. I cried and cried thinking about this chair and all it has been through.
3 years after I received this chair it is finally servings its intended purpose. It shows its wear, just like my heart. Worn and squeaky from so much heartache and use.
As I sat there rocking Bee tonight I got emotional. 11 months ago we moved into this new house, Bee had her own room and it's where the chair was placed. I sat in that chair for the last month of my pregnancy with her (before I was admitted to the hospital) and continued to plead and pray to God to not let her die. To let her live and come home healthy with us. I can remember sitting there holding onto my Bee belly for dear life. Tears streaming down my face and my heart skipping beats. We were so close to meeting her and yet I had so much doubt about what would happen. I swore if she died everything was going, including the chair.
But Bee didn't die and today that chair holds both of us. We have rocked to sleep almost everyday since she has been home. We have nursed and read books in that chair. It has a new purpose now. It creeks and wakes Bee up and I still have an issue looking at it but we're still poor so on I rock. I know one day it will make its way out and will be replaced with a new life. I don't care if that new life is used from someone else, new to us is perfectly fine. But for now, that chair that held me crying for so many nights, now holds me rocking my daughter to sleep and to comfort her. It finally has good memories.
The chair shortly after we got it, all set up to welcome home Ty.
The chair after I re-did it, all set up to welcome home Bee.
Just a reminder that our episode of The Doctors TV show will air this Wednesday October 30th. Check your local programing for channels and time! If you watched today you most likely saw our promo. If not, I'll upload it tomorrow for you all to see, but watching the show on Wednesday will be even better!
The tough gets going. I've always wondered what that saying means. I don't know why I thought about it the other day but for me, in my life, when the going gets tough, I eat lots of chocolate. Makes so much more sense!
I've been feeling pretty down lately. Just generally sad. I can't pinpoint why and I know I'm do for a good acupuncture session, but that can't happen until I get my EI this week. Until then I have to hold on. I've been thinking a lot about what has happened in the last month. From my story going viral, to our trip to California, to our episode of The Doctors airing this Wednesday (October 30th, check your local programing for time and channel) It all seems like it never really happened. I mean yeah it was great and all but nothing has changed. I know some people may not understand how I view it like that but how I see it is, yeah these things happened, we inspired a lot of people but we're still us. We're still struggling. I'm still struggling. The bills keep coming, the inability to go back to work is crushing our finances even more, life is still happening. The weather is getting colder, the cats still needs to be fed as does Bee. Our life hasn't really changed much from before all of this happened. I know it's impacted thousands of other people but for us, we're still here plugging away.
I guess in a sense I am sad that we still have to struggle. After all we have been through I just want a break. I need a break. I know I didn't want to come back from California because it was such a nice and needed break. To not have any responsibilities to worry about was amazing. It felt so freeing yet it went by in the blink of an eye.
Some days it's hard to see the blessings. I know we are blessed but there is so much more to life that we want to live. We have started to write our book and I can only hope it brings even more people hope and inspiration. I know it's a direction our life is going that was not planned but we're use to things going not as planned and we hang on by the seat of our pants and the love in our hearts. Chocolate also helps, lots of chocolate.
Whatever this funk I am in, I hope it goes away soon. I don't like feeling this way and if Tuesday can hurry up and get here so I can get my EI and have an acupuncture session done, I know it will make a difference. It always does. It's my drug of choice and the best part is, it's non habit forming (though I'm kind of addicted to it) perfectly legal, perfectly safe and the best part, it truly helps. Until then I am downing the chocolate and forcing myself to take in my blessings.
And I think reminding myself that there are always people who have it harder than us is a gentle reminder that even though I am struggling, I'm not alone and I am blessed to have great support.
We went apple picking and rode on a train
Our pumpkins (we carved another one today) Of course I had to do a bee on for Miss Bee.
Embrace the life you never planned on
Never regret something that once made you smile
Fight for what you believe in
Follow your heart
Like all holidays so far this year, Stephen and I will be participating in Halloween, even though it's not technically a holiday. I'm going to call it one though because it involves us having to acknowledge an event many people participate in, something more than run of the mill.
And in true first holidays for Bee, we are going all out. Stephen and I are dressing up as vampires and Bee is going to be a bat (I hope you get that). I have a few decorations up and bought candy. However, I'm not sure the candy will be around still come the 31st, I may have to buy more. Lesson learned for next year, wait until October 31st to buy candy, your waistline will thank you.
But there is something about Halloween that bothers me a bit. I can totally pinpoint it too! For once I'm not clueless as to why I feel a certain way. Decorations, humm, well thats been tough. I can't bring myself to decorate for Halloween, I have bought pumpkins and leaves in reds, yellows, oranges and browns. I've even bought a few fall owls, flowers and a flag but I cannot do Halloween. I cannot do the gore, the broken limbs, the skeletons, the scarier side of Halloween, I can't do it because I've lived it. There isn't much else scarier then watching your son die. I've seen blood, I've seen dead people, I've had to order real headstones so all of this fake Halloween stuff, I can't do it. I don't think I ever will but at least I can stick to the fall decorating and go with that.
You may have noticed the new addition to our home and blog page. At the suggestion of many, I decided to add a donate button. We are trying to raise funds to cover my medical expenses as they are not covered by insurance (naturopath, acupuncture, chiro, counseling). All of these services have done amazing things as far as my PTSD goes but I still have a long way to go. The decision was made with my psychiatrist that I am unable to return to work at this point due to my PTSD which will leave us with one small income. I don't expect much, even $5 or $10 can help out. But it's there if you would like to help out.
In other news, Bee has grown so much in the last two weeks! It was like she hit 9 months and decided she needed to grow up. She went from just army crawling to properly crawling on all 4, pulling herself up, standing by herself and walking (while holding onto things). I also spot some teeth starting to peak through! It's been a fun week sleep wise, or lack thereof but I can't deny that I LOVE my midnight snuggles and yes I'm exhausted and I'd love to sleep but I know these midnight snuggles won't last much longer. I can sleep when shes 15!
She truly is the light of my life and I hope I can give her the world. I hope I can show her life and what it's all about and help her hold onto the innocence she has. We won't have a big fancy house but we will have something much more valuable, love and memories. If we've learned anything from the boys death it's that material things do not matter (though realistically to grow our family we will need to move into a bigger house or at least a full house with a basement, nothing fancy smancy). I want to be able to garden with her, create a compost, build a tree fort, lay out in our hammock looking up at the sky, plant an apple tree and eat fresh picked apples right from our tree. I want to be able to sit outside at night and have bonfires, roast marshmallows and hotdogs. I want her to indulge in smores and stay up past her bedtime while we tell stories around the campfire. I want this for all the children that come into our life, however that may be. I want a house that foster kids can feel is truly their home, even if for a short time. I want people to come over and feel so welcome that they sit back and put their feet up on the table (which we don't mind, it's comfy).
I know we have a long way to go and we have a lot of work to put in but I know it will make it more worthwhile when we get there. I just wish I could find the energy to do more. I still have many days where I feel defeated and I don't feel like doing anything (which is hard when trying to write a book). Sigh.....oh life, are you ready to give us a break yet? Our vacation was so amazing but now we are back to reality.
I can feel myself starting to come down. I think I am safe to put away the facade, you know the one where I appear smiley, happy and normal? Yeah that one, I can put away the brave face for a few days. I've worn it a lot the past few weeks with everything going on and I've worn it well but for today I am allowing myself to feel sad. I miss Ty. I miss Jacob. The irony that Ty's birthday is on the international day of remembrance for perinatal and infant loss never escapes me. In fact, it makes me a bit angry. I feel like he gets thrown in with all the other babies, he doesn't get his own day. Jacob has his own day and he has October 15th, or he should. I feel I can't recognize Jacob on that day because it's Ty's day. But then I feel Ty is forgotten because so many people are busy remembering all other babies on that day, in addition to their birthdays, that Ty, well he's just one of millions. But he's so much more than that to us.
Bee and I are having a quiet day, no sleep will do that to you but since I didn't get out to see Ty on his birthday, we decided today was the perfect day. As I was standing in front of his grave my womb felt the emptiness I experienced the day after giving birth to Ty. I remembered how it felt to wake up with an empty womb and aching arms. I remember leaving the hospital in shock with just a little box to remember my sweet baby boy.
I had such a heavy heart as I stood there. For the life of me I can't even remember what we buried him in, cue the guilt. I know he is wrapped in a blanket my mom crocheted him but I don't remember what it looks like. I'm scared, my memories of him are fading and I don't want them too.
I found my journal that I wrote in shortly after Ty died but I am yet again scared to open it. I am scared to read those gut wrenching words. My heart is hollow and heavy enough as is, do I dare bring myself to read those words. I know at some point I will and at some point I will post them.
But for today, I feel sad. The tears are flowing easily today. The season, the weather, the lack of sleep all bring me right back to that day. A lot of people talk about the "firsts" when going through loss. Your first holiday without your loved one, your first dinner out without them, your first celebration without them. One thing that is different for infant loss parents, well most of them, is that we grieve a whole set of firsts yet again when our rainbows come along. All of Bee's firsts come with such heartache and happiness. Carving pumpkin for the "first" time with our child should be exciting but there is most certainly a hurt there. A hole that can never be filled. At a time I should be celebrating all these firsts, and we do, I still feel sadness. I feel sad that it's our first Christmas with a living child, I feel sad that it was our first Thanksgiving with a living child. All of Bees firsts are so heart wrenching. It's hard to balance the happiness with hurt.
There does come a time when one should allow themselves to feel the hurt. It is exhausting to keep up the facade and we are not helping anyone, especially ourselves, when we keep it all in. I really do hope there comes a day where Bee can see the happiness in my eyes not just the hurt. I know she sees the love but I don't want her to always see the tears. It's just been hard emotionally lately. All I want to do is go back to California. All I want to do is escape this life for a bit more time. To be able to escape and not worry about anything was much needed. We are back to the run of the mill and the struggles that come with grief and sacrifices.
I am back to the heavy sadness I felt 3 years ago. I remember waking up so sad, we both cried all day long, it's all we knew that we would do. We were preparing for Ty's funeral. Our first child, a wanted and loved child did not come home with us, rather we had to bury him in the cold ground. As I stood at the boys graves today I also remembered when we were preparing for Jacob's funeral. We decided to visit Ty before we buried Jacob and as we pulled up, I was so out of it. I saw them setting up for a funeral and I thought and believe I said out loud, oh look another child is being buried. Another angel is joining the children's section. I do believe it was my husband who reminded me it was our second son that was going to be buried. That moment was so raw for me. We were there to visit Ty and I was so out of it that I forgot that it was my other son we were burying. They were preparing for us, for my Jacob. How could I forget?
Fall brings such a mess of emotions and as we celebrate Bee's firsts, I become more vulnerable. So for now, I will let myself feel what I want and take each day as it comes.
Happy 3rd Birthday sweet angel Ty. Not a day goes by that I don't think about you. You have taught me so much and even though you were only with us for 37 weeks and we never got to meet you alive, I thank you for those beautiful 37 weeks. I may have only held you once but you are in my heart forever.
Thank you for teaching me about life and death. Thank you for allowing me to see the real beauty in life. Thank you for allowing me to see what truly matters in life. Thank you for taking away my needs for material objects and replacing them with love, memories and adventures. Thank you for allowing me to learn to speak up for myself. Thank you for allowing your dad and I to grow closer. Thank you for sending us a beautiful rainbow. Thank you for teaching me how to be strong. Thank you for teaching me how to be resilient. Thank you for allowing me to become a mom. Thank you for allowing me to call you my son.
You may not be here, but you are in my heart forever and always little man. Love you to the moon and back and can't wait until we meet again! Until then, lots of hugs and kisses.
It's been a tough week emotionally. I feel like the boys memories are winding down as we approach Ty's 3rd birthday. I felt motivated this year between Jacob and Ty's birthday, like there was a new sense about me. But as the 15th of October approaches, I find myself sad.
I've been thinking a lot about life lately. Our trip was so amazing, I felt so rejuvenated, until we got home. It seems we are back at it. I've been thinking a lot about grief and what it means. For me, especially at this time of year (it's Thanksgiving here in Canada) grief isn't only about Ty and Jacob dying. Yes, them specifically are a huge part of my grief but there is so much more to it. When Ty and Jacob died, so many more things died with them. I grieve the loss of our innocence. I grieve the loss of our hopes, dreams, future. I grieve the loss of the life I thought we would have. I grieve the loss of everything we had worked so hard to have. I grieve the loss of excitement and joy. I grieve the loss of our finances. When someone you care about dies, it's not only about them. Each person has such an impact on our lives that when one is gone, we grieve so much more than just the loss of them.
But at the same time, we are blessed. I think it goes without saying that the one thing we are incredibly thankful for this Thanksgiving is Bee. I don't think I could have made it through another Holiday without her here. She truly brightens my life. She has given me my life back. At the same time I grieve, I also live. I live through her.
I also feel the need to mention something you should probably never say to a grieving mother. It's been said a lot to me, especially since my story has gone viral and it angers me a lot. So many people have said something along the lines of, oh I know how you feel, my pregnancy with my baby was rough, we thought we were going to loose the baby. Please don't EVER say that to a grieving mother because you know what, you don't know how it feels. You don't know how it feels at all. Yes I'm sure the thought of losing your child was scary but there is a HUGE difference between that and actually losing your child. You really don't know how it feels so please stop using that as a comparison. I was talking to another actual bereaved mom the other day about this. Almost experiencing one thing and actually experiencing one thing are different and should not be compared. It's like people lessen our feelings by saying things like this. So please, do not use this comparison while talking to a bereaved parent because unless you have buried your child yourself, you don't know how it feels.
Just be thankful on this Thanksgiving that you don't know what it truly feels like.
Happy Thanksgiving, what a difference a year makes!
I know it's been quite a bit of time since I posted but as you all know we flew out to Los Angeles to be on The Doctor's. It was an experience of a lifetime and I have so many stories to tell, however, I was and still am incredibly overwhelmed and unable to focus on much. I feel I have so much to do here, like we went on vacation and now we are back to reality. Stephen broke his tooth on the plane ride home, he had to have it removed, our fish tank sprung a leak all over the living room carpeted floor and some of Bees books. I continue to fight to get on LTD until I am in the right mindset to make a decision on returning to work. I have household responsibilities, 100's of messages to read through and reply to some, Thanksgiving, Ty's Birthday, visits from my Mommy (which I hope allow me to get a few things done) the list goes on and on.
I understand why I cried when we were leaving LA. I did NOT want to come back. It was so nice and so needed to just enjoy life. To have no commitments or responsibility for a short period of time and instead we were able to enjoy the beauty that is California, I miss it. I miss the ease of it. Here we are, back at home. Struggling with hard decisions, praying some sort of answer to our prayers about a house are answered. Don't get me wrong, we LOVE where we live but in order to move our careers and life forward, we need a larger house.
So many media requests, so much interest in a book (I find it hard to write, I never seem to have a lot of time) but first and foremost comes Bee. She will always be first and right now she is very mobile, keeps me on my toes and now that she is at a fun age, more awake during the day, starting to get naps on schedule, we will be formatting a daily schedule so I can make sure she is experiencing life as much as she can. Road trips, walks, day trips, visiting the library, crafts, pictures, reading, colouring, you name it. She needs the setting of growth and development.
I promise I will one day write about our trip but for now, enjoy this little beauty.