I simply cannot believe 2011 is almost over. This year has gone by in one sense, extremely fast, though at times it was the also slowest. The year started off with such good news, hope after such tragedy. A Positive pregnancy test to start it off and a roller coaster of a year. The first few months were great. We had become pregnant again and this pregnancy was a breeze, I didn't have morning sickness, I had lots of energy, I was terrified yet a bit excited. Things were looking up, ultrasound after ultrasound (the first 4) went without any problems, we saw Jacob's heartbeat early on, we heard it early on, we grew to let go of the fear and learn to love. Then 2011 turned into the second worst year. Hearing the words "your baby is incompatible with life" it all went down hill from there with a wonderful wedding somewhere in all of that mess. A day to celebrate as it was the only thing to celebrate, the love Stephen and I have that no boundaries can break. We picked May 20th, the same day as my parents, in hopes that the date would bring us as much luck and love. It was a day that went by so quickly but was filled with so much love and laughter. A day I will always treasure. After our wedding is when the journey with Jacob began, we had to make sure we were prepared. We had to make sure we were setting everything up for his hello and goodbye. We found hope a long the way with the growth of kidneys and accumulation of fluid, we were told his prognosis changed to "we don't know, it's a wait and see situation now". We waited, we enjoyed every minute we had with him. We documented all our trips, his kicks and hiccups and spent the last month of his life with me being in the hospital, away from my home. He was born and we spent two loving, heartbreaking days with him and a week later we buried our second son, right next to our first. The last few months after Jacob's passing have been a blur. I can't believe next week will be 4 months since he was gone. It has flown by in one sense, not really being in the moment it has all meshed together. My memory, concentration and focus are gone. We are trying to deal with the financial loss we have incurred over the last year. We are trying to plan for the future but we know we are not in control of the plans for us.
We are trying to think about our next steps and how to achieve them when we have no energy or hope. We are contemplating huge decisions and it's scary. I sit here thinking back a year and feeling the same feelings, this time its doubled. This time I have guilt for not equally splitting my grief between both boys. I have guilt over the fact I have done things for Ty but not Jacob and done things for Jacob but not Ty. I have even less hope then last year, even more doubt, worry and bills that have piled up. Last year I had hope that 2011 would be our year but it wasn't. Now I wonder if 2012 will be or if we will be stuck here, burying another child, worrying about finances like we did all throughout 2011. Or will it be our year, will we accomplish our goals...will we finally be able to see some sunshine in our life? 2011 was such an emotional roller coaster with all the ups and downs with Jacob and having to deal with burying yet another child, our second son. We again, went to the hospital delivered a baby and came home empty handed. We again made all the plans for a funeral and designed another headstone. We again took down the baby items and put away the clothes without them being used. We again started counseling to deal with such a loss. We again held our heads high and put on a fake smile when we were breaking to pieces inside. We again reply to "how are you doing" with "we're okay, hanging in" when I really want to say "horrible" but don't want to burden others with our problems. We again dealt with the hope of moving but can't seem to find any place. We again deal with having to answer "what happened" and have no real answers. We again have to deal with "are you going to try again". We again have to deal with planning another year of firsts for Jacob along with a second year of Ty's. We again have to go through the emotional turmoil any way of bringing home a child will bring. We again have to wonder if we will ever hear the words "mommy or daddy". 2011 was a bunch of repeats I wish I never had to repeat and I can only wonder if 2012 will be a better year.
We have goals. I said since it was 2012 we should set a list of 12 goals......here's what we have so far:
1. Stephen to get a permanent job with benefits
2. Me to figure out and deal with going back to work
3. For us to pay off some debt (this one will be very tricky if we hit any more bumps in the road, we'll just be further set back once again)
4. Move into a house (or a bigger apartment but we have our hearts set on somehow getting into a house)
5. Continue to change our lifestyle to a more healthy lifestyle, less meat, local products, natural products, loosing more weight and getting on a better routine
6. Bringing a child into our lives somehow
7. No matter how little we have I believe it is always still very important to give to those with less
8. Become more involved in our church
9. Finally go on our honeymoon (if we can afford it, even a night in Niagara Falls)
10. Continue to find the new "us" and for each of us to find our new self
11. Continue to look at the positives in every situation, even as hard as it is sometimes
12. For me to continue and grow my sewing business and learn how to sew and make new things to sell to help raise money for Memory Ty's
I think it's a pretty good list. Nothing on that list is too unrealistic (well maybe #4, getting into a house will require a lot of which we have little so that one will be tough) but everything else I think we can accomplish. I just hope and pray with ALL my heart I do not sit here a year from now writing about burying a third child and still being stuck, with even more bills and problems. I pray I can not write due to my arms being filled with a little one and not having time to write because we have somehow been blessed with getting into a house and we're so busy celebrating a great year....I can only pray and ask for prayers and try to find energy to get some of the 12 goals accomplished.
I was looking through pictures the other day and in the last year with the exception of our wedding and Jacob's NILMDTS photos we have no pictures of Stephen and I together. No pictures of the two of us just randomly taken. We have so many from before but none within the last year (unless professional with the two events above) but other then that there is not a single one. I use to be all about taking pictures but I guess I'm afraid of what I may see when I look at a picture of the two of us. I often stand and stare at our photos from a happier time while I brush my teeth and think, if I took a photo now what would my smile be like, what would my eyes show you about my soul. Surely, they would not look as happy as the person in all these other photos. Even the NILMDTS photos show my sorrow. I can say out of the photos we do have you definitely see a whole lotta love and a different kind of happiness, maybe joy. I know our wedding day was a day filled with joy. Hard to imagine or see that only two weeks before that blessing of a day that we found out Jacob would not be coming home with us. I don't see that at all in the wedding photos other then the picture of me holding my belly and of Stephen and I at the table both boys caskets were on, you see love, life and happiness and it was because we promised ourselves to have a wonderful day because it was something to celebrate. Given, when we were planning our wedding I envisioned it a lot differently because we should have had our little 6 month old boy with us, dressed up in his cute little tux. Instead he was with us on our wedding day as a beautiful butterfly and wonderful weather. He was on the table represented in white carnations and in our hearts and the minds of many. He and Jacob (who at the time we still thought was a girl) were represented through two build a bears (Jacob in a dress which we now look at and chuckle a bit) that is the only picture of us with our children on our wedding day.
There won't be any more photos of them. I wonder if there will be many more photos of Stephen and I. I know for our future children there will be but a part of me is scared to hang photos from the current time, I'm scared to look at them and see the sorrow and hopelessness. They will never be the same. The couple in the photos we have now from the past do not exist anymore. They have been replaced by a couple who has endured the depths of hell in their lives. Their eyes tell the story of the sorrow, their smiles are forced and not necessarily cheerful.
I wrote this blog a few days ago but then my parents were up visiting and we got busy and now I just woke up from a very much needed nap (which I never do) and can't remember what other things I was going to type. I know there was something but I can't recall it...Not much else is going on, waiting for the New Year to get here so we can start over yet again and pray this year is better than the last 2. I've been thinking a lot about some pretty big decisions we have to make and wondering how everything will play out in the next few months. I just hope some good news comes our way in January to gives us a head start on a great year....
So we won't be moving anytime soon it seems. Every chance we are presented with always falls through. It's exhausting. I decided I'm going to stop having hopes and dreams because in the last year all but one have been dashed. Stephen said 2012 was going to be our year but I don't see how it can, I was really hoping we would be out of here (and I'm still working on the blog as to WHY we need to be out of here and it's not petty little things either) but suffer on we must. It's like a serving of suffering every week...we never seem to get a break and it doesn't look like there will be one anytime soon either. I feel so hopeless. This last year has been hell and it just seems there is really no end in sight. We can't seem to catch a break and have anything good come our way, after all we have been through we must suffer more.
I laughed at myself earlier when Stephen and I were talking about what I was thankful for recently, with obviously never ending bad news coming our way it's really hard to see much but I did and I laughed because the things I am thankful for are so sad and yet so many people take them for granted. I am thankful my cycle started, yes it had be be kicked in with meds but it started, that is one thing down....not sure how it will go the next month or two but at least I know my body is still capable of doing its bodily duties. I am thankful the colposcopy showed there were no cancer cells to even be tested. I am thankful that as of right now I have lost 20 of the 30lbs I gained with Jacob. I only have 10 more to go to loose all Jacob's weight and 19 more to go to loose all of Ty's weight. It's not as much about loosing weight as it is to be healthy but I'm not going to lie, seeing those numbers on the scale (and 2 in one week) makes me feel okay. I don't feel much these days, these meds take away all my feelings I just exist for the reason of existing. I'm beyond exhausted, these meds are also causing me not to sleep which is horrible. I feel even less like a person then I did before. I not only lost the old me but gaining a new one is impossible. When we can't start over with newness in our lives it's hard to define what I want my future to be like. I envisioned actually being able to decorate a nursery and have the space to put up a Christmas tree next year but it looks like that hope and dream will be dashed like so many others. How can I go on and pretend everything is okay and try to piece back my life when I'm stuck in the tragedy of the past year. Had we not lost the boys we wouldn't have had to take a year off of work and we'd be able to afford a place. We'd both be working and bringing in money at good jobs. But such is the unfair life. We deal with so much more then most realize. We not only deal emotionally, physically, spiritually, mentally and financially but we deal with so many thing within each of those categories.
It seems we are going to be stuck in the tragedy of life for awhile longer. I'd say when we win the lottery things could start to go better for us, at least in the sense we could start over somewhere new (we don't ask for much just a roof over our head that isn't covered in mold or mouse feces), but we don't buy lottery tickets so that's kind of not going to happen as nice as it is to think about. I guess I'm looking for an easy way out, after everything we had dealt with over the last year it would be nice for something easy and good to come our way. I'm too tired to have to keep struggling through life trying to get by and it's really starting to affect my faith and my out look on life. I'm beyond exhausted and it makes doing anything really hard and the things we have planned seem nearly impossible especially since I am struggling so much and have no idea where my life is going. I'm not going to even get into the issue of God right now, let's just say I have some words and feelings for him. He likes to get our hopes us, put things in front of us only to take them away and I'm tired of it. I've dealt with enough, I feel like just giving up and stay as a recluse in my tiny unhealthy unsafe little house. It seems Stephen and I must do things for ourselves and since we have, or at least I have, no energy because it's all being consumed by grief we will have to climb even more mountains.
Sigh.....I just pray 2012 starts off with a BIG bang of good luck to keep my hope up throughout the year...Lord knows I need it.
I've been thinking a lot about Christmas recently, I'm sure everyone has as it's that time of year! Stephen and I chose not to participate in Christmas again this year, we didn't do it either last year. I guess in one sense we aren't participating but it's more in the commercialized aspect of Christmas that we aren't participating. We're still going to church and will be with our church family on Christmas day but that's the extent to which we are celebrating. Having not done the commercialized aspect of Christmas the last two years I think we have come to find the true meaning behind the holiday season and really started to shape how we want to participate in the future. I've seen a lot of people debating the whole "Santa" issue but to each their own. I don't care if you do or don't but I do care that you don't make it all about presents. That's not the reason for the season (we all know Jesus is) Our world is so material greedy that most stress out at a time of year that should be filled with love, laughter and lots of good food. So many people we know are stressing out over the perfect gift and how many gifts to buy, what to by, when to exchange...it's all about gifts gifts gifts.....well I can say that will NOT be a part of our Christmas tradition. We have come up with the 5 gift rule. 1. Something they want 2. Something the need 3. Something to wear 4. Something to read and 5. Something to donate. Of course I will always do stocking, stockings were and still are my favourite tradition around Christmas. Our children will have everything they need and there is no reason why once a year they should be beyond spoiled when they already have so much and others are suffering with very little.
We will still set up a tree and decorate it because I love that tradition as well. Every year I will get a new ornament for all of our children that way when they grow up and move out and have their own little tree, they will have some decorations. We will cook a family meal (my personal fav is the about 10:30 delicious brunch followed bu the 5:00 dinner) but it won;t be stressful, it'll be about enjoying time with our loved ones and being appreciative of what we have. Stephen and I have paid the ultimate price to learn the lesson of being appreciative. We have learned the lessen that material objects simply do not matter but what is even more important and priceless is time spent with family and friends. It's about love. God is love, Christmas is about his son, given Jesus wasn't born on Christmas but that's when we celebrate him.
Everyone talks about it being Jesus' birthday so why not have a birthday party for Jesus. Sure, our kids probably will be made fun of a lot, after all they are children of Stephen and I, but I think it would be another fun tradition to start and instead of getting birthday presents for Jesus, our kids can buy a gift for someone in need. We'll incorporate birthday streamers and party hats as well as a cake into our Christmas tree/Nativity Scene and singing of traditional Christmas songs...the Nelles household will be a crazy mismesh of holiday traditions but you can bet it will be full of love, life, laughter and LOTS of good food! (Just not the orange chicken crock pot recipe disaster from a few days ago)
We are still undecided on the whole Santa debate. In one sense I love the magicalness of Santa and teaching children to believe even when they don't see (like God and Jesus, that's a good Faith lesson....I think I just thought of how to handle Santa if we choose too) anyways, the downside is that Santa seems to be the only thing people think about during the Christmas time. I think it would be valuable to teach our children about the real St. Nick and encourage them to be extra giving through the holiday season (as our kids will grow up in a household of always doing things for others and giving to those in need) but just doing the whole "Santa" thing and leaving it at that, it doesn't fit with our family. It's like the tooth fairy and the Easter bunny. I like the idea of showing our kids to believe in something even if they don't see it, I think that is a great lesson in life but there are also other ways to do it that aren't so commercialized. I guess we can debate the Santa issue when and if we ever get the chance to so for now he is....in the North Pole.
Having had a stress free Christmas the last two years (in the one and only sense it was stress free because we weren't worried about gifts or money or food or stretching ourselves between all of our families) we have really gained a valuable insight to this time of year. We won't ever participate in the commercialized aspect of Christmas like we use to. Our kids will not get tons of toys, there will be no need. Instead we will teach them about helping others, we will create our own family traditions for this time of year, we will cook lots of good food, spend time with family and friends, we will sing carols and when our kids wake up on Christmas morning we will be going to church. They won't even care about presents. Maybe we'll do their 5 gifts Christmas Eve and they'll be excited to wake up to family traditions and time with family instead of material objects that mean nothing. I can't tell you what I got as a present year after year when I was young but I can tell you I remember the traditions, going to my grandparents house and playing with my cousins, the talks, the food, the treat jars from my grandma...it was about time and memories not material objects and I want my kids to have that too. I want to instill that value into them. No matter where we are in life there are always people who are in more need then us. Our kids will have what they need, clothes on their back, food on the table, warms beds to sleep in at night, they may not have the newest cellphone (they won't even get a cellphone until there much much older) they won't have laptops when their 5, they won't have the latest toys, they will have love, true love from a very loving family, they will have traditions that are out of the ordinary but done out of love for each other. They will have plenty of good food and good times spent with loved ones. They will have memories to cherish.
I am thankful to have had the opportunity to really sit back and look at this time of year in a whole new picture. I know it came at a horrible cost but I am thankful to have come to the understanding of what this time of year really means. What this time of year will mean to my family in the future. It has helped shape yet another aspect of our lives, one for the better. I am thankful for that. Kids can't unwrap love and time but they can feel it deep within their hearts if people just show them.
Merry Christmas Everyone, please say a special prayer for us that next year at Christmas we will be celebrating the birth (or close to it) of our own child (adoption or our own) and that all our wishes, hopes and dreams will come true in 2012.
We went to visit the boys today and to our surprise, Jacob's headstone was in! I can't express how at peace I feel knowing they now are not only laid to rest but they have the proper respect shown to whom is underneath the soil of the earth in those two plots. Words cannot express how thankful we are to everyone at Harrison Pensa for raising enough money to pay for both Ty and Jacob's headstones and from the bottom of our hearts a huge thanks to Cheryl (http://www.customrockcreations.ca/) who worked so hard to make sure Jacob's was in before Christmas, all her kindness working with us, her compassion and all her wonderful work for Bereaved Families. This journey has been a hard one but we have met so many wonderful people a long the way.
I just wanted to say thanks again to Trish Roberts (http://customconcept.ca/) who gave so much of herself and her time free of charge through Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep to make sure we had breathtaking photos of our journey with Jacob.
The boys headstones, side by side....the only two pieces of land we own are also the most precious (and notice the little stones, one of a butterfly and one of a sun Cheryl left for us, it made my day)
I was going through Jacob's box of his things last night and all I could smell was that awful NICU smell, the chemicals and sick babies, the smell of death. It made me sick to my stomach. I pray I NEVER have to smell that smell again. It's a good thing I have another much better smell associated with him. It just brought me back to those two days, those two precious days we had with him. The amazing nurses we met, seeing our family and friends and how much support we had, kissing his tiny little head and holding his tiny little fingers, watching him fight so hard but continue to struggle. Stephen and I knew on May 2nd that Jacob's journey would not be an easy one, it was long with many tears but we would not change our decision, ever. Those two days we spent with him, as hard as they were to see him so helpless fighting for his life, those were two of the most cherished days we will ever have (and the one we had with Ty). It's amazing how many memories a smell can bring back. I can remember every single second we spent with him, I can see his eyes (a picture I wish we had taken) but a picture I don't think my mind will ever forget. He surely had his daddies eyes. Hearing him cry for a very brief second only once. Seeing him with his hand by his ear (where it was pretty much the entire time I was pregnant with him) Staring at him for hours on end, looking at the love we had created. We never had any of these moments with Ty and I deeply regret that but I am thankful we were given the chance with Jacob. It's hard to feel thankful for something that was so very tragic but it's a balancing act with grief. Just like balancing my grief between both of my boys so I don't feel guilty I am grieving one more then the other.
I sit here writing this as I am looking outside the window, if I wouldn't know better I would say it was no where near Christmas. The grass is green, the sun is peaking through the clouds. I have avoided all retail stores as much as possible and we are not doing any gift exchanging family get togethers this year so it is very easy to let this holiday slip by quietly like we did last year. I had the urge today to bring out our big Christmas tree, the boys have a few too many decorations from their little angel tree (if you see any angel ornaments I would love if you could send two for my boys, I decided from now on every year we will have our angel tree and decorate with only angel ornaments but there hard to find, or ones about Christmas in Heaven) but we simply have no where to put it. I can only imagine Stephens reaction to walking in the door and having the Christmas tree in the middle of the hallway, or living room. I guess it has to stay away for this year, we are limited by our space yet again. Last year I noticed that because we did not celebrate Christmas, the year seemed strangely long. When you avoid one of the biggest holidays of the year it really throws your year off but my heart is too broken to even recognize the festive commercialized holiday season. Our intentions are to go to church Sunday morning (we would regardless) and then have lunch with our youth minister lady and visit the boys to put up their snowman and take down their Christmas tree. The snowman is going to look quite silly with no snow....but hopefully it holds off until Jacob's headstone gets in (in a week or two)
I find I am still really struggling and I don't know if it's because of the time of year or because I'm dealing with double grief. The meds are still making me feel funny, I am so brainless and foggy and I really do not like it but I told my psychiatrist I would try them for 6 weeks and give them a fair chance. I haven't slept in a few weeks, last night wasn't too bad once I feel asleep so I'm thankful for that but it seems I can sit here all day and not think about a thing but the minute my head hits that pillow the worries come up. The worries about money, about bills, about work, about future children, about the house, there's so much to think about but it only comes up at night when I want to sleep. I am trying to get back on a decent sleep routine so I can get a good month or two in before I have to get up for work (given insurance thinks I'm ready to go back, not what I think personally because there is a HUGE difference) but when I can't fall asleep I sleep in later and go to bed the next night at a later time. I've tried working out, I've tried baths, I've tried tea....nothing works. The only thing I can see working is if some of my worries seem to disappear and there is no end in sight for some of them. Some of them will involve taking a huge leap of faith and starting over with a fresh mind in sight. It's scary, I'd love for things to go back to the way they were but they never will. Stephen and I are forever changed and I think our new lives should reflect that as well. I have a lot of thoughts running through my head, a lot of big decisions have to be made and I don't want to make them, given our bad luck it really terrifies me they won't work out and we'll end up set back further then we already are but I simply can't go back to the way things were before, not with everything that has happened. I so baldy want to hold on to what I do know, but what I do know causes so much more stress and grief and I don't need that on top of everything else I have so I need to put one foot in front of the other and trust in myself and Stephen to work through everything else that has happened as a result of loosing both the boys. It's not fair we have to deal with all this but so is life. We know how unfair and unjust life is and we aren't going to be handed a silver platter to wipe away all our worries. We don't have that kind of luck in our lives. All we can do is pray to God, he knows what we need and he knows our worries and we can pray he helps solve some of them.
Sigh, I am ready for this year to be as over as I wanted 2010. Stephen seems to think 2012 will be our year and I hope and pray to God he is right. I can't handle anything else so I really hope good things start to come our way. We have paid our dues on tragic events in our life, we need some good, we need some sunshine, we need a break.
I've seen a certain message everywhere I go lately which says "Do the best you can with where you are and what you have now". I am really trying to do the best I can with where I am and what I have right at the moment but it is very challenging when there are outside factors pushing me to do above and beyond where I am and what I have right now. I think this statement can apply to objects, such as the house we live in but I also think it applies to things in life. At the same time, I'm a worrier, I always worry. I always think about the future and say if only...if only and when, when we have this and that. It is hard to live in the moment when I am not in a very happy place at the moment. It is hard to live with what I have and where I am when I want more. I think it is a good motto to live by and I will certainly aim towards working with what I have and where I am but when others expect me to do more, it's hard. It's hard to accept what I have in my life right now when I want more, I want to better the where I am and what I have. I want to be satisfied but then I'm not really doing the best I can now am I?
It just fuels the thoughts I have had lately. I've been doing a lot of thinking about what steps to take next, I keep saying it depends on Stephen but really it's also on me too. I know life is short and that any minute spent feeling unhappy, stressed out, anxious or blue are not really worth it. I always try to be positive and it is very hard most of the time, at least right now, but I try. I don't want to lead a stressful life. I want to rid my life of the stressors that are in it but that means taking some HUGE steps that Stephen and I may not financially be able to handle. I find the biggest stressor right now and it will always be one of the top ones is money. In the last year Stephen and I have worked a total of 2 1/2 months. Before we lost Ty we were both working and able to bring in a good amount of income and we adjusted our lives to that income, then we lost Ty. Ever since we lost him we have been trying to stay above the red line of debt but bills keep piling up. We both made the decision to take time off to spend every minute we had with Jacob and that was a huge hit to our finances but worth every single second. Since loosing Jacob Stephen has found a temporary job that ends in March and then, well we don't know where he will be we can only pray God gives him something. As for me, I am simply not ready to return to work. Someone said to me the other day "you went back to work 4 months after Ty, can't you do the same now?" Well, for one, its really no ones business about my return to work but I'll lay it out. 4 months after we lost Ty I was already 9 weeks pregnant with Jacob, my mind was elsewhere. As soon as we found out we were pregnant I put off grieving for Ty. We spent 9 months with Jacob knowing what was coming and after he passed away was really the first time I felt I could grieve for Ty but at the same time I now was also grieving for Jacob. So not only am I grieving the loss of one son, I'm only now dealing with the loss of my second son. After we lost Ty I was in shock and numb until we found out we were pregnant with Jacob, then I changed my focus, this time, we are not pregnant nor will we be anytime soon so this time I am dealing with a lot more on my plate then before. I can't even fathom going back to work but the thing is, even if I am not ready, we are broke and have bills that have been piling up something needs to be done. I started sewing and am hoping to sell some things but that will just lightly brush our stressors in regards to money. But that stressor will always be there. We lived comfortable before but the next two years will be hard to trudge through as we try to piece our life back together and someone what of a hurry because bills have to be paid.
The other issues with being off is Mat leave for if we try to get pregnant again. Given everything that has happened I may not qualify for Mat leave next time around so I'd be off a whole year with no pay, we can't afford that but at the same time, if anyone, I deserve to have that year with my child. After loosing two children you would think no matter what qualifications are I would be able to claim it. I have put in years of hard work, 3 solid years going into EI and then after loosing Ty I had to take time for myself. After loosing Jacob, I need time for myself but the worry about not qualifying for EI is scary. We can't afford for me to be off a year with no pay. We've barely managed this last year. It's only thanks to God that we have some how made it through.
The house is a stressor (I'm still not done the blog on why we need to move) Not knowing what the next few months will bring is a stressor. I can't do the best with where I am and what I have because it is not working but for me, I have so much on my plate there's not a whole lot I can do right now. I am trying to take it day by day and do the best I can but when so many things depend on the future, it's hard to focus, it's hard to heal and grieve when all of these things are piling up. I really wish there was a magic money fairy, or a bill passed that says for anyone who has lost a child they are entitled to a year off with pay from the government. Not only do parents take a hit with having to pay for funerals, headstones, coffins, they also pay for it emotionally, physically and financially. At a time when parents need no more stress added to their lives after the loss of a child, there is so much more that is added to the plate and it just pushes people further down, me especially. Us loosing the boys is unfair, but even more unfair is the fact that no matter how we feel we are being pushed back into life at a rather quick rate and can't handle it, at least I am having a very hard time at it. I'm really struggling and the added pressures are making it worse. I will try to take it day by day and live with what I have and where I am for me. No matter what stressors are in my life, I have to live with them and do the best I can. Here's to doing what I can with where I am and what I have......let's see how this pans out.
Yesterday's appointment went really well, there weren't even any cells to biopsy so for the time being I am cancer free. I go back every 6 months until I have to regular paps. I was quite nervous about the colposcopy because I read it can hurt but it was just like a regular pap, in fact it was quicker and I'm so glad I finally had it done so it is over with and I don't have to worry about it anymore. On top of mother nature finally co-operating things body wise are starting to go better. Now if I can loose this jelly belly, I need to find the motivation and energy to do so.
Today has been a quiet day. I find the medicine makes me brainless even more so then not taking it. Before it was filled with the boys, setting goals and trying new things and now it's just like....there. I can't think, I have no focus, I am so disorganized, I can't remember anything, I can't concentrate....it's horrible. I have a feeling this will hinder my grieving more but I have to at least give it a try for a month and see if the side effects settle down. I surely cannot go back into the real world feeling like this, it's much worse then just dealing with my grief. I really do not like the way it makes me feel...which is nothing. I want to feel, I need to feel, pushing down all that's going on is not fixing anything it's just prolonging the inevitable. I still don't feel like getting out of bed, I'm still exhausted and un-motivated but now on top of all of that I'm like a walking zombie. When I go back in 6 weeks I'm going to tell him I don't want to be on the meds anymore. I will need some more time to appropriately learn how to deal with my grief before I go back into the real world but at least I can maybe get some sleep now and make it through the New Year and then try other things.
I attempted another Pinterest recipe tonight, orange chicken in the crock-pot. I HIGHLY recommend NOT making it! Stephen and I could only manage a few bites before the gagging started. It was like warming up OJ and pouring it over chicken...so not tasty. I'm praying the bourbon chicken for tomorrow goes a bit better. It seems I have had two good hits and two good misses on there so far....really hope tomorrow is another hit.
Other then that, can't really say what else happened today because I don't remember. These meds have shot my memory ability. I do vaguely remember walking to Metro to get some groceries....at least I think that was today. Hummm.....sure do miss my mind, even if it was full of grief at least I knew and was aware back then.
You know what's really hard for me to deal with, well there's a lot, but one thing that breaks my heart is that Stephen likes to go see our friends who have young kids because he loves babies now. He wants to play with them and pick them up and give them hugs and it breaks my friggin heart to pieces. It makes me feel like such an incredible failure that I couldn't give him the chance and twice at that, to have that with his own kids. It breaks my heart to know how wonderful of a father he is and will be. It breaks my heart that he doesn't have that chance with his own kids, to play with them, pick them up, give them hugs, kiss them, read them bedtime stories....everything. He will never get to do that with Ty or Jacob and for the time being he is looking to others to fill that void in his life. I feel so worthless in that sense. I couldn't give him one thing he really wanted. He always tells me he doesn't see it like that but I do. To watch him with others kids, to know how amazing he is as a father....why can't he have the chance to not have to see our friends kids but his own. I just pray God does give him the chance and hopefully sometime in the next year or two.
In other news my progesterone pills worked. That's all I'll say about that. I'm really glad they worked, I was starting to get worried and it was making me anxious but one thing down, 99 more things to go. I kind of knew they would work by today because God does seem to have a sense of humor and I have to be tested for cervical cancer today and I thought I'd have to cancel again (I was scheduled before but was pregnant so they couldn't do it) but the lady said they still can, maybe TMI but that is something big in my life right now. Two very important things are happening today. I'll be honest, I'm not too concerned about the cancer because given everything we've been dealt the last year it wouldn't surprise me if that was added to our plate and you all know how I feel about my intuition....I don't trust it so who knows. I just pray it won't take too long to hear the results, though they'll have to grow a sample so it may take a little bit of time. It seems one stress leaves and another one takes its place.....Here's too a week of waiting, a stressful week, not because of the holidays but because of a very important test and it's results. It will have an impact on our future one way or another.
It's day 3 of my medicine and I think I'm feeling a bit of relief. I still feel anxious and worried but I don't feel the heavy pressure on my chest. I have started having hand spasms though, my thumb, it just moves on my own. Kind of creeping me out! I do find they put me in a fog though, before I was in a fog because I had so much on my mind I couldn't straighten it all out but now I'm in a fog because it seems my mind is empty. I'm not sure that's a good thing. At some point I will have to come off these meds and I fear it won't be a good time to have to deal with everything then....I'm worried everything will come rushing back that's why I didn't want to take them. I want to feel and deal with things now but I realized I wasn't because my grief was so deep in my soul I couldn't bring it up. But then again, it's like I don't feel much now and I don't like that either. Ahhh....if I was able to get some more time off and not have to worry about finances I would do this without the meds but it seems the real world will not leave me a lone so I have to do something. There is no magical money fairy who will take care of us for a year or two so on I go.
I have to say, not participating in Christmas the last two years has kind of been nice. I think we have learned how we will handle Christmas's from now on. Everyone we know is so stressed out, running around, buying so many gifts, making sure everything is perfect and I just look at them and wonder. They have it so wrong. It should be an enjoyable time of the year, you don't need many presents, you just need lots of time with loved ones and some good food. I'm going to write a blog on Christmas day about how I envision our future Christmas's to be....I really think the way we have done it the last two years has taught us a lot.
I've been having problems writing lately (as you can notice from the lack of blogs) but I have been dealing with so much I just can't bring myself to do it. I've also been busy sewing away because there are a few people who already want to order things so I must get some things finished and ready for January. We are broke and if I'm not going back to work yet...yeah we need to figure out how to get income from somewhere else....I'll post the link once everything is done and ready to go. You can also look on faccebook under Tycob's Boutique. I have some pictures up there now but nothing is for sale yet. I need to figure out how much shipping will be but there is no way I am going near the post office until the New Year...I was in there at the beginning of the month and it was CRAZY so I can only imagine how it is the week before Christmas.
A lot of things have happened for Jacob that didn't happen for Ty. Since Jacob lived we have had an incredible amount of mail for him and it just seems to keep coming, it's a sad reminder that he is no longer here but it is nice to see his name, it means that he WAS here. Ty didn't have any of that and it breaks my heart. He was here just as much as Jacob, just because he didn't take a breathe doesn't mean he didn't live within me. I feel so many people just wave him off simply because, according to the province, he never was. I carried him for 37 weeks he sure as hell was. Every time we get something for Jacob it makes me realize we'll never have that for Ty. This is another difference in my grieving of my two baby boys. One seems to be acknowledged more than the other, one is spoken of more than the other, one receives more than the other, it's always a constant battle between grieving the two when it seems the world only recognizes one. I love getting things with Jacob's name on them but I wish I had them for Ty as well. The hard part with getting things with Jacob's name on them is I still don't have any use for them, I won't be getting the child care benefit, the government won't be putting money into an RESP....I still don't get the chance to do something about all this mail coming for Jacob because he is not here. Life just sucks at the moment....little good things are happening I just wish something big would happen as well.
This post is just an addition to all of yesterdays feelings. I have been so stressed I have been feeling so sick to my stomach. Today is day one of meds. A few things happened yesterday and today that have just pushed me above and beyond what I think I can handle. I'll start with the good.
I love church, I love being at church. I was so stressed out and anxious yesterday and was contemplating not going to church to help set up for the weekend but I pushed myself to do it. I'm so happy I did. There is something about being at St. Aidan's that no matter how bad I feel when I go in, while I am there I feel such peace. Sometimes I wish I could live there to lessen this anxiety and stress. We were there for an hour and I just felt so peaceful during the hour. Of course when we left everything came back but for one hour yesterday (I count that as a blessing) I did not feel anything but peace. I'd say that's a small miracle.
Another, we spent the evening with my best friend D. When I am with her and Stephen for once I honestly feel a sense of happiness, not joy, that will take a long time to get too but true happiness. I smile and I laugh and I'm not just faking it, I honestly feel it deep down. D is going to England in January to study law for two years, I am heartbroken she is leaving, I'm going to miss her so damn much but I know it is for the better of both of us. We have plans for great things when she comes back. She is someone I don't just consider a "friend" she is and always will be much more to us, a true member of our family. She had shared the most dark and intimate times with Stephen and I, she was there holding Jacob during his last few hours of life, she has done so much for us, raising enough money to cover the boys funeral expenses and headstones (my parents and Stephen's parents paid for Ty's funeral expenses) but she has gone above and beyond what I expected out of any friend. I love her to pieces and I'm really going to miss her. I balled the entire way home because I know how hard it is going to be and how much I am going to miss her but I am so proud of her for getting this chance and I know it is for the better for both of our futures. I also sit and think of what Stephen and I have planned for the next two years....praying God helps deliver our plans but we'll have to wait and see.
Now the bad....oh where do I begin. I can't do into much detail because I don't know who reads this and I don't want it to get back to anyone so I will generalize. Let's say I received a "political" e-mail this week, someone checking in, seeing how we were doing, wanting to know what our plans for the future were. I thought it was nice but it was needed. I responded telling them I was having a very difficult time, I am really struggling, we're really struggling and I was honest about how I felt and what I was thinking. The person's response to that e-mail was not expected. It was rather cold and heartless. I can't say what it is but I was astonished someone has that cold of a heart. It was like a punch to the stomach. I'm already down and out and then for them to do this on top of everything...wow, all I can say is wow. So of course I am even more stressed out, upset, frustrated and I'm needing a break even more. I need people to back off.
As for the other issue, again I can't say much but it has to do with me not returning to work yet and the politics of all of that. It sounds like they may not approve a longer request to be off work, it sounds like there are somethings that may be very unfair in my opinion. If I were to go back to anything right now, it would be disastrous. I just want to say to all these people, seriously, haven't we been through enough, can't we get a break? Why is life so unfair for two hardworking people who have been to hell and back in the last year, why must it keep on being crappy? Do they not understand all this added stress is just making things a lot worse. I wish there was a magical money fairy, one who would just deliver us a nice check to cover expenses for two years, we don't ask for much but we do need a break. We have so many bills piling up, faster then we can pay them off. We need time to get our heads back on, time to figure out our life and where to go, time to grieve, time to heal, time to recover, no one gets how hard it is when they just keep adding additional stressors to our life.
I have fought so hard to do this on my own but it is time, here's to day one of being on meds, it won't solve the financial aspect of grieving but hopefully it will lessen my anxiety and stress. I am sucking up my pride and giving it a try. I can't go on living when I feel so horrible and I know it will take time but with politics and bills at my door I have to do something. It's not fair by any means but that is life.
I know I haven't been writing lately but I have been REALLY struggling with everything and even writing seems to much to handle these days. It use to be my escape, a place I could just get everything out but when there is so much going on I can't even seem to get one thing out. My mind is in such a jumble I don't make any sense. I thought trying to learn a few new things (like sewing children's albs for our church) would be great. I use to excel on learning new things because I was always able to figure them out but even now, I struggle. I get frustrated and mad at myself for not being able to figure the easiest things out. It gets really bad sometimes. My counselor did say my mind would come back and I hope she is right because I really miss it. I go back to the psychiatrist on Monday and I'm hoping he can help a bit more. I decided I need to at least try the meds he gave me because I'm pretty close to hitting rock bottom. My sleep is all off, I'm not eating right, I have no energy to exercise and instead of getting better I seem to be getting worse so I'm sucking up my pride and am going to try these meds out. Even if it is only for a month or two, maybe it can help me start to climb back up from the bottom of the pit.
There's nothing in particular it's just EVERYTHING....every little thing. It's hearing people announce they are pregnant, or knowing people who are pregnant who are complaining, it's seeing parents who should NOT be parents pop out kids like their popping tic tacs. It's the frustration of not being able to handle simple things, it's the frustration over feeling so overwhelmed that I walk around each day and don't get much done because I can't think. It's the frustration that I can't think, it's the frustration and anger that my body STILL thinks it's pregnant. It has been almost 15 weeks and my body still thinks I'm pregnant, seriously....it's like adding salt to a open wound. All I want to do is get better, I want to get back in shape, loose the weight, live on, but I can't. Every time I take a step forward I take two steps back. It's the worry about fiances and the world pulling at me to get back when I know I am no where near ready and if I were even to try, it would get ugly. I may very well have to check myself into the 7th floor of B Building at Vic. I need my time, I need my space and no one seems to understand that. Even people who have been in shoes similar to mine do not understand. I am on a different grief journey then most, my life is different then most. I'm at a different time on the grief path, I'm only now able to start to grieve Ty.
We got pregnant with Jacob 10 weeks after we lost Ty, given we didn't know until 14. I had no time to focus on grieving Ty, I had to focus on the new life within me and it is only now that I have the chance to grieve but on top of grieving him, I also have to make room for grieving Jacob. How can I fairly grieve both of my boys, how do I split the time? I have so much guilt if I think of one more then the other. If I do things in memory of one more then the other. If I talk about one more then the other, I feel I am not being fair to either of them. I have so much guilt about loosing my boys and even more guilt on how to grieve them equally. I love them both so much and I'm guessing its similar to people who have living children, they may talk more about one of their children then the other, though I don't know if they feel the guilt of not recognizing the other as much but I surely feel it. I feel I have to stick up for Ty more because no one really knew Ty like they did Jacob. But then if I am focusing on Ty I feel horrible for not acknowledging Jacob. I'm sure this will ruffle feathers but I'm saying it because it is on my mind. This is one difference in grieving two compared to one. I have to split my grief and trying to equally split my grief makes me extremely guilty sometimes. Given, people who have one loss and living children may feel guilty they don't grieve their losses as much because they are busy with their living children but it is one difference. Again, not saying your one loss does not mean anything but how I deal with grieving my two boys does pose challenges for me. If I think of Ty then I feel guilty for not thinking of Jacob. If I think of Jacob or look at all the things we have (which is a lot more then Ty) then I feel incredibly guilty. I feel guilty that Jacob got more then Ty, that more people know Jacob then Ty so I try to fix it by talking a lot about Ty but then I feel guilty for not thinking about Jacob. It's a fine line balancing the loss of my two boys and allowing myself equal time to grieve both of them. I grieve the loss of two sets of hopes and dreams. Ty was suppose to be a starting pitcher for the Blue Jays (along with a Chef, Priminister and Ranger) Jacob was going to be our Missionary (along with animal shelter owner, adoptive parent and Priest) I grieve knowing what Ty's first day of school would be like, would he or me cry more, the same with Jacob. I grieve not knowing how much brotherly love my boys would share.
I grieve being denied the joy and excitement of pregnancy. I grieve not knowing how to smile after delivering a baby because all I can think about is my baby dying. I grieve not knowing what it is like to have a baby in your arms and look into their eyes, to see a connection I would have with no other. I grieve knowing the only sound I heard when both my boys were born was the gut wrenching cries coming from the depths of my soul. I grieve having to install the car seat only to have to take it out because it will not be used. I grieve having to take down the crib, set it back up and having to take it back down again. I grieve not knowing whether the money I spent on the car seat was a waste because I don't know if I will bring home a baby before it expires (yes car seats do have expiry dates) I grieve the closet full of baby boys cloths that have now been washed twice but never worn. I grieve struggling with my self-esteem, the ability to be able to trust my instincts or ability. I grieve not being able to handle simple situations.
I grieve other big losses in my life as well. Stephen and I WILL be moving soon. We don't know when or where but it is a must. This house is falling apart, it's dangerous and affecting our health, so it is happening. As much as we need to move though, this is the only place my boys know. This is where they spent their entire lives. Being taken away from that (as much as it is needed) will be a struggle. My best friend is moving to England for two years to go to law school and as much as I am so proud of her and happy for her, it's still me loosing someone to go eat lunch with (D, eating lunch via Skype is not the same) She is one of the only ones who talks to me about our boys but also knows I like to be distracted every once in a while and hear about other things. She has been by our side (for Stephen and I both) through loosing Ty and Jacob. She was in the room as Jacob was passing away, she shares a bond with our boys that other then my parents, no one else has. At least she comes back in two years and thinking of all that Stephen and I have planned in two years....it'll be different. I have lost myself, I know I won't ever find the old me and I am okay with that but finding the new me is just as challenging. Finding a way to motivate myself to get out of the bed on days Stephen works, it's not going so well. I feel if I can stay inside from the world and work on what I need to I may eventually re-appear. Home is comfort and that comfort is going to be ripped away when we move (but at the same time I do look forward to moving, we need more space and as you will see in a few posts from now, there are 65 VALID reasons we HAVE to move, it's not petty little things either) I want a new place to call home, one that we can really make our home. One that we can live in for many years to come and I pray to God, one that is filled with the laughter of children. It will always be filled with many tears for Ty and Jacob but I hope I do get happy times. They may not always be joyful but at least happy. The last year has been nothing but sadness, anxiety and fear (minus our wedding day, the was a pretty happy and joyful day) I do not know happiness. I'm still in grieving land while others move on. I will never move on but live on...I just don't know when.
There's not much anyone can do, but getting e-mails from people letting us know they are thinking about us is always helpful. I received one the other day from someone I don't know but found our blog and to know that even through my struggles I am still making a difference in someones life, it makes me smile, if only for a moment. No one can really help us with what we need. We need time, we need new space, we need to be able to afford the time we need (mostly the time I need) we need hope, we need prayers (okay I guess there are some things people can help us with) we need to heal, we need to grieve, we need to do things at our pace, it may take awhile but pushing to do things, especially that I am not ready to do, is only going to lead to disastrous things. I am struggling, I'm not going to lie or hide that. Even if you see me and I smile, know that in the depths of my soul I am crying, I am struggling, I am hurting. I can only pray that I continue to have the strength to fight back and not let myself slip into a place I do not want to be, even if it means taking some medicine for awhile, I have to do it.
I know I haven't written in a few days but I have been too busy being exhausted. I have been dealing with A LOT and really struggling with everything. I am having really bad anxiety attacks, lack of sleep and getting the wonderful cold Stephen decided to share with me. I have also been trying some new designs on the sewing machine as I want to learn how to sew more items to sell, broaden my variety. There's nothing in particular that has made me seem to become worse, just a bunch of little things that have added up. People I thought would understand or be there have vanished, no one has mentioned our boys to us or said anything about Ty's second or Jacob's first Christmas. Maybe people don't realize that we love when people use our boys names, we love when they send a card to the boys or a special present for the boys. Just because they are not here doesn't mean they don't deserve the recognition of being our children. That's only the beginning of the grief I am in. There is so much more and until I can get it all straightened out.....things are not looking good. Praying I continue to have the strength to at least get out of bed every day, shower and eat. Some days even those tasks seem monumental. I just wish we would get a break and God would start to answer some of these prayers to help ease my worries.
I am constantly being reminded that only my world has stopped with the loss of Ty and Jacob. The rest of the world keeps on moving and it keeps on trying to pull me back in. Why am I not allowed the time I need to grieve? I am trying my hardest to grieve and heal but things keep piling up and adding to the stress. How am I ever suppose to get better? I think it should be required for any mother who looses a child to have a MINIMUM of one year off life (expenses paid by someone else of course because the bills don't disappear). How are we suppose to heal when new things are added weekly that we have to deal with, they just keep on coming. I feel I keep pushing my grief down because life is knocking at my door and I have to answer it. But I know in order to heal I have to deal with my grief, however, I can't because of all the bills piling up, because even after all I have been through I still don't get a break.
The stress I experience is astonishing to myself. For a person who use to be so laid back I am flabbergasted at how ill I am handling all the things piling up. I use to welcome it but I wish it would go away. I am physically ill from the stress on top of mentally and emotionally ill. My jaw is killing me, I have TMJ and when I am stressed I crack it like crazy (just ask Stephen, it annoys him so much) but I cannot help it. It's almost like a nervous twitch. It not only hurts my jaw but creates so much tension in my neck and shoulders and gives me headaches. On top of the fact, I can't seem to get a pound off my body (which I am trying to exercise everyday from now on) and my cycle has not returned which is a whole stressor within itself. Why can't the world go knock on someone else's door and let me deal with what I need to deal with. Let me grieve in the time I need...not what everyone else seems to think I need.
How can I be expected to return to a high paced, multi-tasking, butt covering, stressful job when I struggle to dress myself, I struggle to use the blender and vacuum, I struggle with getting my butt off the couch because I simply have NO energy. Grieving takes all my energy. I'm a clutz, I'm very unorganized, my mind is never in the right place, my memory is shot and I am trying my hardest to try to fix these things but I feel so pressured to hurry up and get back into life. How can I handle going back into the world when a sink full of dishes or a messy bed make me feel overwhelmed. How can I get past the mini and major meltdowns I seem to experience everyday. One little thing, the tiniest thing sets me off and I am gone for the day, I simply cannot recover that day. I seem to be misplacing things all the time, forgetting about things that need to be done, sitting and staring off into space for hours on end. I am trying....but trying takes time.
The other issue with trying is that I am seeking professional help but I am not the only one in London who is seeking it. People can't make appointments to see me every week, they simply cannot. They are busy with others as well so I have to wait. And, since we have been off of work for the last year, we can not afford to pay for services that are not covered. OHIP is not to keen on paying a lot of money so my visits have to be spaced out. I'm doing as much as I can but it keeps kicking me in the butt.
I just wish we were provided with enough money not to have to worry about rejoining the real world until I was ready. Even 2 or 3 years. One year for each of my losses and another year to actually be able to experience fulfilling the motherly urges I have and bringing a baby home. It's not that I don't want to ever re-join the real world, in fact I look forward to it. I have some goals for my career and I do intend on reaching them but I need time to heal first. I need my mind to clear. I need to let my meltdowns disappear, I need time to breathe and focus and try to figure out how to piece life back together. Where do I find the energy to do more then one thing a day? I have a lot I need to figure out and it will take time, why does no one seem to get that what I really need is time? Why am I not allowed to have the time I need? Why do others seem to think they know the time I need? Your not me and I wish you never are but you do not understand the current me and the lack of ability I currently have. Maybe because most know me as a very strong willed, independent person and they do not see how weak I have become. For those, I am not the same person nor will I ever be. I have become so dependent on others, I am weak, I am irresponsible in a sense, I cry at everything, I forget everything, my mind is currently taking a vacation, just talking to people confuses me. I can't think of the proper words to use sometimes and sometimes I can't even spell the simplest of words (poor, a few night ago, it was bad) How do I go back into the world when the world I am in is falling apart and I am trying my hardest to piece it back together but it is and will take a long time? I need a break.....I need to figure out how I am suppose to provide for my family (if insurance simply chooses not to cover me anymore because they seem to think I am quite fit to go back to work) when I am incapable of doing so many things. I have to re-learn how to live and I need time. I need to finance time but I have no idea how to right now. It sucks because we have bills, we have health needs. If these were not there, we would be okay but they are and we need to figure out how to deal with it in a sense that I am not being pushed beyond my limits and set myself back even more.
I need the worry about finances to go away, I need the stress of the moving world to go away, I need it to stop knocking at my door because I am just getting out of the shower and will not be answering the door for awhile. Give me my time world, cover my expenses while I grieve my time and heal. The added stress is not helping, it is making things worse so please stop.
If only life were easy......can't I get a break?
There were two new things I tried yesterday and failed at both. I had high hopes for one but not so much the other. The first was stuffed peppers for dinner. I've had stuffed peppers before and I really like them, however, my recipe not so good. I followed two different recipes because we didn't use meat so I was substituting some of the things from another recipe. I used the ingredients listed in both of them and mixed them all together. They looked really good and smelled delicious while cooking but when it came to eating it...fail. It just tasted...not right. I think the sauce I used tastes better on pasta not stuffed in a green pepper. We both were only able to manage getting a few bites down before it was too much. At least I know I can't mess up tonight's dinner, Chicken Rogan Josh with Basmatti Rice and homemade chicken fingers tomorrow with homemade fries and roasted brussel sprouts should be fairly easy to handle too.
The second was a homemade weight loss body wrap. From everything I read it said I should loose a few inches after I was done...I did not. The thing was, everything I read said I should be sweating a lot and I didn't sweat at all, in fact I was very very cold so I don't think it was effective because I was not sweating. Tomorrow I am going to try again but only do one area so I can wrap myself in warmth and sweat! I also have a gift certificate for a spa in town that is for a detoxifying body wrap so I'm looking forward to that. The good thing is my skin is nice and soft.
I was contacted a few days ago by a lady who has had 3 full term losses. Her two little boys were stillborn and her little girl lived 8 hours. One of my DS moms passed my name a long to her and I am so thankful she did. I can't wait to hear all about her angels and what influenced her to try again (she went on to adopt and then have her own after adopting). Meeting people who have had more then one full term loss really helps me. I like to talk to them about trying again and how they made the decision to. How their 3rd pregnancy went, what kinds of things helped them, was there anything they did in the 3rd pregnancy that I should do. It's different for us who have no children when it comes to trying again after more then one loss. Some of us are too afraid to try again because of what we have been through and don't think it would be possible to go through a third. Some of us are weary and wonder if we will ever get the chance to hear the words "mom". I like to hear how others dealt with it, how others dealt with the knowledge that it may happen again and Heaven forbid, it does happen again, how do you pick up after a 3rd loss? What kind's of things help them get through everyday, how do they incorporate all their angels into every life? Do they refer to them as "our angels" or like me "the boys" or do they call them each by name. Do they do other joint things together or everything separate? What did they feel when it came to trying that 3rd time. What helped them get through trying again for a 3rd time and being pregnant for the 3rd time not knowing what would happen in the end. I know everyone is different and we all grieve and react to situations differently but for someone who has been in my shoes, pretty close to my exact shoes, I want to know what helped her, what made her decide to try again (and the 4th time at that) I want to know how it has affected her life. I want to know how it felt to plan a third funeral. I need to prepare myself for the same because if we do try again there is no guarantee we will bring a baby home. I look forward to hearing her story and listening to her advice.
Today has been a hard day. I find I have NO energy. I barely have enough even to breathe and I can feel the depth of my pain in my chest. You know it's not going to be a good day when even your socks don't match. I set one goal for myself today, something so simple but it seems so hard to accomplish. All I want to do is lay on the couch with the boys and snuggle. I just can't do it today. I am so tired from everything. Maybe a nap is just what I need. Or maybe I will snuggle up on the couch, throw a movie on and just manage to do what I can. I don't think I can even write more I am just so tired and out of it today. Yet another Dr's appointment to go too tomorrow and hoping she gives me what I am asking for. Praying tomorrow brings a better day.
Everywhere we go, everything we hear, everything we see has to do with children and it constantly tugs at our heart. Children are something Stephen and I want so badly but can't seem to get right. It is on our minds and in our hearts 24/7. We understand NO child will EVER replace Ty and Jacob but when you prepare to bring a little one home from the hospital, you set up the nursery, you take all the classes, you buy all the clothes, diapers, bottles, wipes and toys and you are left empty handed (and twice for us) how do we turn those every so present urges to mother and father into something? It is very hard to mother when my children are not here. We are constantly talking about what we want to name our next children (boys: Noah, Isaiah and Matthew are what we have discussed lately : girls: Matea, Sophia, Fiona and Evelyn) we envision that dream, like we did with Ty and Jacob. We envision bringing them home and bathing them, taking them for walks, changing their stinky diapers, being sleep deprived....we both envisioned that twice now and have been left with empty hopes and dreams. We can no longer envision bringing a baby home, we can no longer envision hopes and dreams only to have them dashed again. We are left with desires we cannot fill. We are left with decisions we wish we never had to make. We are left with planning things you should only plan when your 80. We have no little ones to parent and that makes being a mother and father hard. How can we be a mother and father but we do not parent? Where do we put those urges? Do we put them into others children? Do we put them into our cats? Even if we did, we are still left with a huge hole in our heart and nothing to fill it. Some say we have it easy because we don't have to deal with the stress, the hustle and bustle of everyday life with children but I welcome the stress, I say bring it on. I would give anything, take anything to have my boys here, to have someplace to put all this motherly instinct to.
Stephen and I parent in a much different way then those with children. When you are an angel parent you don't plan 1st birthdays, you don't potty train, you don't teach children colours, letters or numbers, you don't teach children about others who have gone before them, you don't plan how to design a "big girl" or "big boy" room, you don't talk about the transition from crib to toddler bed, you don't talk about milestones....angel parents plan funerals, they design headstones, they teach others about perinatal and infant loss, they go broke from all the bills that pile up because they have no energy to get out of bed to work, they let things pass by, the days mesh into one, they plan how to decorate their children's graves, they plan 1st angelversaries. It is a different lifestyle to be an angel mom. I know once we even do have children (biological or not they still will be our children) it will still be a different style of parenting then normal "moms" ones who do not know loss do not know what they have, do not know how blessed they are. Most only see how stressful being a parent can me and I'm sure there will be times when I have little patience for a child of mine if they are miss-behaving but what I have over those is the knowledge that life is so very fragile and that little things do not matter. Who cares if my baby vomits all over my new shirt (it's only from Goodwill) it means nothing. Who cares if I vomit all over myself while I am pregnant....I'm blessed to have life inside me. Who cares if we have the latest gadget, or fancy floors. The blessing is what graces those fancy floors, the blessing is time away from gadgets with family.
Being an angel parent is one of the hardest things we must do. Just because our children are not here does not mean they don't mean something to us and we want to live on in their name and remember them. We want others to acknowledge their short but precious lives. Figuring out how to incorporate them into our lives leaves one to determine what is appropriate to others. I feel like we have to protect our children and their memory but others may find offense in the ways we do it. I don't really care and that may be harsh but how do you think angel parents feel when someone tells them a picture of their child who is no longer here is offensive. I will remember my boys in the ways I want to. I will not not cater to others needs or feelings when it comes to remembering my boys nor should I have too. Being an angel parent and figuring out how to take cafe of the motherly instincts is hard. All I want to do is care, care for the life that was inside of me for 9 months, I want to change diapers, I want to be up all night, I want to be chasing after a little one, I want to be kissing boo boos and ouchies, I want to be teaching ABCs and 123s but I don't get to do any of that. Instead I visit two graves every day, I sit and wonder how it would feel to have little loving eyes looking back into mine. I wonder how it would be to lay in bed all day with your baby next to you, being lazy for the day. These are all things as an angel parent I have not had the chance to do, not even once. My cats are the closest thing I have to taking care of my motherly urges but it is not the same. I know that being an angel parent will make me a different parent if we are ever blessed with children. I know I will have so much more patience and flexibility because I know things don't matter, I know life is so much more important and I think being an angel parent, that is one of the greatest lessons I have learned. It's about life and time not materials.
Stephen and I have also decided when we have kids we are NOT doing the whole extravagant Christmas thing. There is no point to all the stress or greed. We will decorate and have fun as a family and our kids will get one thing they want, one thing they need, one thing to wear, one thing to read and one thing to donate. We can do things like decorate cookies and sing carols...spend time together and eat good food. It's not about commercial or material crap, family and life are more important, we've learned that over the lat year. I don't remember any of the presents I received as a child, sure there was probably a barbie or something I REALLY wanted...but I don't remember the gifts, what I do remember is the time with family. The Christmas breakfasts and dinners, the time playing with cousins and friends, the snow ball fights, the snowmen (as it usually snows in Christmas) I remember time not things and I want my kids to have the same. I want them to remember time. It means so much more to be to remember family traditions (my brother and I use to open our gifts to each other Christmas Eve) Life is about the memories not the materials.
I think for any holiday or birthday we will do the same and if people want to buy our kids things, we'll limit it and ask that they donate something as well. Our kids will have everything they need and a few things they want but they will not be spoiled by greed. I also think a large chunk of gifts will be homemade. Some may think homemade gifts are a cheap way of getting out of giving a real present but I think homemade gifts mean so much more. Thanks to pinterest, I am becoming a huge DIY. It fills my need to learn new things...I love learning new things and will share my DIY journey on here once we have the room to really get down to it. I see many funny blogs in the future....for the "mishap" DIY projects...
It may not be the new "calendar" year but it is Advent and with that comes the new Christian year. It is a year Stephen and I are praying becomes our year. The sermon today really hit me. It was about having patience and waiting according to God for blessings to occur. Easier said then done right? I have been really trying to have patience but for the last 18 months I have been patient to bring a baby home and when that hasn't happened it makes it harder to be patient for other things but I really can not force or do anything to make anything happen sooner then what God wants. So again, I sit in patience waiting for God to show us his plan. It is a new year and we pray that new years blesses us with a new house, a new job and a new life. We have been patient and will continue to be I only can pray that God has something planned soon. Speaking of patience, one of my mommy angel friends who sends out cards every once in a while sent me one that other day that said "God please give me patience....and give it to me now" I think I mentioned it before but it is SO true. Patience is a hard thing to come by these days with everyone's busy hectic lives but I have found I am learning how to accept it more. I seem to be finding patience in things I never use to (waiting in line at the grocery store...those little really meaningless things) and if I find myself getting worked up I simply say, it is not worth it, and distract myself by doing something else. Patience is a very hard lesson for most to learn but I know the rewards are great, after all isn't patience a virtue? Don't all good things come with patience? I promise to myself to be more patient...I will wait for what God has planned. I may sit and complain sometimes but, like I was reading in James last night, I can't ask God for something and then doubt he will do it. I have to have hope and faith and...you guessed it patience! The last two days have really opened my eyes to hope and patience and my goal is to work on them more throughout the week.
I've decided I will share a little bit of what Stephen and I have been waiting for. I know I keep mentioning to pray for us but haven't given much detail about possibilities we are waiting for...well one was the job and he got that, the other things is a house. We need all the prayers we can get to help God get us into a house. A few weeks back a very kind lady mentioned to Stephen that her and her boyfriend are going to be possibly moving in together and they want to rent a house out and asked if we were looking for a new place....OF COURSE WE ARE!!!! So he told her we would be very interested (AND WE ARE!!!!!) and now we are just waiting to hear if and when. I really think it will just come down to when and how much. I'm not going to go into a lot of details but this is an AMAZING opportunity for us and something I have been praying for, for over a year. So I ask that all of you who read this, please pray God blesses us with this opportunity to get into a house. As soon as I know more I will post. I feel really good that this very well may happen (and if not we're still moving) but I think this is a lesson in patience from God. We probably won't know until the "calendar" new year but we have been praying our hearts out that this house in is God's plans for us. Please pray for us.
Please also pray for the deer at Woodland cemetery. The last two days I have visited I have cried a lot. Not necessarily because of the boys but because today was the second time I saw a deer who was severely limping. This is the second one I have seen, I saw one yesterday two and it breaks my heart so much to see them in pain. I just want to wrap them up in a warm blanket, keep them warm and dry until their leg heals and then set them free. But since I cannot do that and I'm sure I'll continue to see them in pain every time I go visit, I pray that God heals them. I pray he takes their pain away because it hurts my heart so much to see them limping in pain.
I've been talking to some of my angel mom friends lately. I've talked to some with one loss, some with two, some with four and some with eight but the one thing all of us share in common is the lack of living children (I'm sure this may ruffle some feathers, but oh well deal with it, it's my life) We were talking about how different it is for us around the holidays with no living children because we don't really HAVE to decorate or celebrate. We don't have any little ones running around that want to go see Santa, or decorate the tree, hang the stockings or open presents. A lot of us are trying to figure out what to do and most, like us, are just letting it pass by. Many of us are left with deciding how to do anything even though our angels are in Heaven. Do we go all out and celebrate like we did before we knew loss, do we alter it and still partake in some of the celebrations or do we flat out ignore it and treat any holiday like any other day. When we don't have other children that depend on that "holiday" experience we all grew to love, we are faced with choices. Last year we set up a tree for Ty at his grave and hung his stocking. That is all we did, absolutely nothing else. This year we have a tree at the boys grave and one for them on their shelf and if I can find Ty's stocking we'll hang those up as well. One of my mommy angel friends suggest putting little prayers in the boys stockings and I really like that idea. I'm also going to get them angel stocking holders for their stockings but again, other then that...nothing. It will just pass by like any other day. Stephen said to me earlier that he hopes next Christmas we have reason to celebrate, or be close to it and I can't agree with him more. But we will wait and see what the New Year brings and how festive we feel next year. We did get invited to have lunch with a very nice lady from church after Christmas morning service (which we skipped out on last year but have to go this year as Stephen has a reading to do) so we will do that. But our house is undecorated, no gifts for us and though the boys aren't here we have made many donations in memory of them. It's hard when you have this motherly urge but no little one to put it into. Being an "angel" mom is so very different then being a "mom". I only pray I get the chance to be a "mom" one day and wonder how that will affect the "angel" mom side of me. Learning how to incorporate our angels into everything leads to some hard decisions. Plus with out them here and no other little ones, it is very easy to let things pass by. We don't have reason to do anything, I guess in some ways it could be considered a blessing but I much rather have my boys here and have a CRAZY house then the silence we will endure.
Since it is the New Year (Stephen and I have many resolutions and ways of life we will be changing) my goal (with many prayers) is to get into a house, get Stephen a permanent job (his only goes until March) and give us the opportunity to bring life into our house with a new addition. Please pray for God to bless us (and this house would be one of our biggest prayers answered)
Everything in life takes hard work, if you are just handed things you do not appreciate them as much. I'm thankful my life is taking hard work because I surely do appreciate everything I have much more. I also feel a lot better after my post yesterday. Thanks for hanging in but I just needed to vent somewhere.
Paypal (after 8 months) finally straightened out my account (and I closed the one they were having troubles with) but that means I can now START SELLING THINGS.......yahhh!!! I have been sewing away for weeks but now I can sell things for Memory Ty's and start filling meaningful memory boxes for the hospital and paying it forward to other angel moms through various ways. I have been waiting a long time for this and now that it is here I hope it is successful. I have not finished the website yet but as soon as I post things and get everything in order I will post a link here and I hope all of you can spread the word! It'll grow like wild flowers.
I have been changing things in my life to live a more natural and healthy lifestyle. This includes using natural house and personal products. I've been using some natural products for a few days now and though I don't see much of a difference (the little I do see is better) I can feel good knowing I am not loading my body with chemical crap. Once we move into a bigger space I'm really going to dive into making my own dish soap, laundry soap, shampoo, face wash....all the good stuff. When we have children I'm also going to stick to cloth diapering and cloth wipes. It may be a lot but I am doing everything I possibly can to get all the toxins out of my body. If we do decide to get pregnant I really want to make sure I am doing EVERYTHING possible to give the baby the best chance possible and if it means smelling like a tree, so be it. We'll see what other aspects of my life it changes, perhaps my mood, my energy level, who knows, the possibilities are endless. I'll share my experiments along as I go and if I find something really good I may share it. So far the bar of pure glycerin soap seems to be working really well, my skin isn't as dry, I feel clean, I don't smell like flowers, it cost next to nothing...I'd say that choice was a win. I am not sold on the shampoo and conditioner bar yet...I'll give it a few more weeks but may need to switch it and and the face wash is working the same as what I use to use...maybe a bit better...that one may take a few weeks to really notice the difference though, however it's all natural so at least chemicals aren't going into my body. There is a store downtown in the market we have here that is all natural products and I think I'm going to be a frequent shopper there...at least until I can figure out my own natural products...next weeks experiment, DIY weight loss body wrap...let's see how that goes!
I had to bring Milo to the vet today. I called this week and they said they couldn't take him until next Saturday but I told them he had to come in this weekend because he isn't feeling well. I knew he had an ear infection, I just didn't know it was double. They gave him a steroid shot (for his asthma) an anti-biotic shot (for his ear infection) and ear drops. Poor little guy is passed out from all the med and not feeling well. I'm just glad I was pushy to get him in today, can you imagine how bad the poor little bug may have got if I waited a week? On our way there we passed a pretty bad accident....I prayed whoever was in the car was safe but it was bad....I don't know how anyone could have come out of it and not be hurt or alive....it really shook me up to see it.
I also bought some fabric to re-do the rocker for the nursery I am going to do when we move..bright yellow. I have so many ideas thanks to pinterest! I also popped by to see the boys and got quite upset at seeing that little little horn was limping. I hope he is okay and he heals.
I plan on spending the day sewing away. My goal is to have everything up and running by New Years and I think it's doable. Though we are moving next year so I hope I can still get everything done while we deal with that. It may mot be until the Spring but it WILL happen (watch out for my next post on why we need to move....it's a good o
There is something I need to get off my chest because a few angel moms have said some things to me and it is really bothersome. Please do not call me judgmental in my grief. Everyone grieves differently and having a second loss I also grieve differently. I do not want people to think I am discrediting any loss because I've been there I know how much it hurts to loose a child but what many of them don't understand when they tell me things like "a loss is a loss" and "it gets better with time" is that they have NEVER been in my shoes so they cannot begin to fathom that there is a day when it will get better. I once only grieved the loss of one child and it was heartbreaking but I was able to live. I know how heartbreaking any loss is but when it comes to loosing two my grief is so very different (as it always is person to person) because I have had twice the loss. It does not discredit anyone else's one loss but it makes my grief journey so very different. People who have had a loss but still have a child at home, I am not saying your loss means nothing because it does, to you and to me but please don't tell me my thoughts and emotions are not right. You have a child at home you know you are capable of producing a living child, you know your body has the ability to carry and give birth to a living child, you have self esteem because you have successfully carried and gave birth to a child...I do not have this knowledge. My body has not yet been able to produce a living child to bring home. My self esteem is shot to shit because of this. I am not saying because you have other children your loss means nothing all I am saying is, don't tell me I'll have a baby one day, just because you have does not mean I will. You at least know you are capable of producing live children, I do not is all I mean by that.
It doesn't lessen your loss anymore then my one or two but at least you know you can have children because you have had one or more. That is something I still do not know and it makes my grieving for wanting to be a parent all the much harder because I don't know if I ever will. Stop saying I am judgmental because I am not. I wish none of you had to know the loss of even one child but unfortunately you do and so do I. What you have though is the knowledge and ability to produce living children, this I do not have and it makes my grieving very very different from most, not saying it's more then anyone else but it is different. Until you have had two losses yourself and walked the road I am walking, you have no right to say I am being judgmental. My mind, heart, thoughts, feelings, emotions, self esteem are on such a different path, as is everyone who grieves, as we all know. But until you walk in my shoes don't say I am being judgmental because you have no right. You do not know how it is, how the thought process is to have lost two children and still be childless, I do not know if I will ever have the ability to bring a child home and some of you have that. It has NOTHING TO DO WITH YOUR LOSS, that isn't even a part of it. It is strictly the fact that you KNOW you can produce living children, I do not know that and it makes my grief so very different, not any harder because one loss compared to two doesn't make it any harder it's just so very different.
Maybe I am not wording things right but I have NEVER said someone else's loss was less because they have only had one. I have NEVER said that and I never would because I know how heartbreaking any loss is so stop saying that I am. I never have and never will. All I have ever said is that my grieving and mindset are so very different from others (which everyone grieves differently anyways, we all know that) if I even mentioned about others still having children it's because at least they know they can have kids. It has nothing to do with their loss...I know I repeated myself many times but I needed to get this across because I'm tired of others criticizing my grieving. I'm tired of others judging me for how I feel and what my thoughts are. I'm tired of people telling me my grieving is not justified that I should see things differently. None of you have been in my shoes so none of you can really talk. If you think the way I say things is offensive then don't talk to me, don't read my blogs, it just goes to show none of you know the real me. I don't know if the people who have been saying things to me will even read this but I needed to get it out there and for those that read this and you are one of them...it's time to cut ties. I have enough shit to deal with in my life I don't need to be told that I am not grieving properly or that I am discrediting others losses because I never have and never will do that. I don't need this shitty drama in my life when all I am trying to do is piece some sort of life back together and until you have been here (and I pray no one ever does) don't judge my grieving, in doing that you are doing the exact thing you are criticizing me for.
I have been working my ass off to try and get Memory Ty's up and running, it is deep in my heart to help others who have had a loss, to pay it forward, to make other baby loss mamas smile, even if just for a second and never would you see me saying, oh you have another child at home, I'm not going to help you because you loss is not as important. I would NEVER say or think that. I will help any baby loss mama because I know the pain. I would help their other children in any way I could. I know how heartbreaking loosing a child is and I am going to do everything I can to help others who have to go through it, even if they have other children, it does not matter. They all still have a broken aching heart and empty arms. So for all who criticize my grieving and say I am being judgmental why don't you take a moment to look deep down inside yourself, you after all are the ones being judgmental. I on the other hand am doing everything I possible can to help other baby loss mamas, children or not, to make them even feel a bit of peace for even one small moment of the day, what are you criticizers doing? You say my heart is not understanding a loss...I think you are all very sadly mistaken.
How many of you have sponsored angel tree children, how many of you have sponsored Molly Bears for other baby loss mamas, how many of you sit for hours upon hours, days upon days sewing until your hands simply do not work anymore, how many of you make Christmas ornaments for other angel babies to send to their mamas, how many of you make something for an baby loss mama that will remind them of their sweet angels....and some of you say I am the judgmental ones....you are so very wrong. It would be nice if you would stop criticizing my grief and take a moment to see the real me and understand that I would never discredit someone else's loss simply because they have only had one. Maybe you think by things I say that that's what I'm trying to say but I sure as hell am not. It's a shame you think that way. I've never once said anything like that. I would do anything for baby loss mamas, regardless of if they have only had one loss or children at home but many of you don't see that.
And to all the people who are kind and have given me my space and understand my grieving is so very different, thank you for being so wonderfully supportive, it is nice to know who I can count in life, given most of those who criticize I have never met but there are a few I have. It hurts to think people think I would discredit a loss because that is the last thing I would ever do. I live my life to help other angel moms and if they can't see that, then it's their loss. Maybe their too selfish or to absorbed in their own world that they do not see how much I would give to help those with a loss. And for those with children, you will never understand how I feel in regards to feeling worthless, because you have produced a living child, you know it is possible, it has nothing to do with your loss. So take a moment to stop criticizing my grief and look at all that I am doing to help others. Whose the judgmental one now?
I find it a bit hypocritical when people tell me "we all grieve in different ways, we all have had our losses and we grieve them differently" yet those are the same people criticizing what I am saying about my grief not understanding that they are not in my shoes and my grief is different so are my thoughts and emotions and the way I view things. Until you have been where I have been you have no right to criticize my thoughts and feelings. And even if you have been there, we all deal with grief differently. I have mentioned before that I wanted to talk to someone who has more then one loss (and up until recently I didn't know anyone, I do now) and that still didn't have children at home. I've said I never met anyone like that but I have never said because our losses are more, those words I have never said and never would and I don't know why when I have said that people immediately think, oh she thinks she has it worse. I've never said that. When I said I wanted to talk to someone with more then one loss it's because we are in a different tier of grieving. It's different for us mamas who have only had losses and no living children because when it comes to parenting and how to parent or how to take care of the motherly urges, when it comes to holidays and to know whether to decorate, celebrate or not and when it comes to talking about trying again and the thoughts, emotions, feelings behind trying again and going through another pregnancy, those things are very different to us from those who have children. Again, no where in there does it say your loss is not as important and I really wish people would stop thinking that.
If you managed to get this far, thank you for letting me vent. I don't know who reads this but maybe some of you feel the same way, maybe anyone this is directed towards won't even read it but I had to vent, I had to get it out. It is not doing me any good to keep it bottled up so thank you for sticking through it with me. It is not directed at most of the people that read this but maybe it is for someone or two. I don't even know who reads my blog anymore. Others may think "whoa where did that come from" to you I say, it's the ugly side of grief. And for any of you who read this and feel the same...many many hugs to you. It is not easy I know. I understand everyone grieves differently and I will always be here to help any baby loss mama out. It's what I now live for.
This blog may have been all over the place and very long and I do apologize but I had to make sure my point was clearly stated more then once as not to create any confusion. Unfortunately, this is the ugly side of grief. One many do not want to see or hear about and if your one of them, then stop reading but I really write this blog for myself, it is therapy for me. I have a right to say what I think and feel and if anything does offend anyone then stop reading. I would never discredit someone else's loss simply because they have only had one. I have never said that and quite frankly it hurts to think some of you see me doing that since I have never said anything even close to that regard. Just because you think you may know what I am thinking or taking my words, re-constructing and using them against me...your so very wrong. I put this out there for all the other angel moms who have to deal with shit like this too (I know a few of you will read this and totally relate), to let them know they are not alone. I hope I have made my point very clear because I do not want to have to keep dealing with this.
*Please if there has been a point where I have said "My two losses are far more important than your one" or "My losses are a lot worse because you have children at home" I'd like to know where I've mentioned it....good luck finding it because you won't ever see that.
I decorated Ty and Jacob's tree today and dropped it off at their graves. We have one exactly like it at home, only difference is theirs has dinosaurs on it and ours doesn't. There will be more winter decor to come. I look forward to next Spring when I can plant a nice little perennial in between their headstones and make a connecting garden (and fix the children's garden, it's so sad looking...but I have plans yes indeed!)