The Kids Who Made Me Mom

What a strange day this is. I think it’s usually full of expectations that rarely are all fulfilled. A day that’s hard for women waiting to be moms, wanting all her kids in a picture, babies that weren’t big enough to hold. If you are missing your child, longing for one wanting this day to be looking different, I see you, I feel you and I understand all the feelings of this day.⠀⠀

If you are blessed enough to have all of your children in a picture you have no idea how blessed you are. I am holding 2 girls who have taught me so much about life and my 2 in my heart ❤️ who have taught me more about love.

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You have all made me a mom and made me understand and appreciate all the Mom’s in my life. Happy Mothers’ Day to the many amazing women and moms who have shaped me and my girls. To the moms that are watching my babies in heaven for me. #whatshehastaughtme is how to love and that love never goes away!

Capture Your Grief

Over the last 2 years I’ve known October as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month. This year the milestone of this month came in like a quiet lamb and was fitting for the sunrise today.

The benefit of having kids who decide to both wake up early is that you get to open the blinds and enjoy a slow Monday morning snuggled in bed with my miracles. I still will always wish there was a little boy snuggled in here with them, but until I can hold them all in heaven I’m going to cherish these moments here with them.

Meaning of a Rainbow

If you’re a part of the infant and pregnancy loss community you probably already know the term Rainbow Baby. A rainbow is a baby born after the storms of grief from miscarriage, still birth or death in infancy. It’s supposed to give us hope of new coming.

It’s hard for me to explain how a rainbow pregnancy/baby are not all happiness and smiles. It’s hard to explain how an expectant mother can’t be absolutely excited every moment, especially after enduring so much loss.

There’s the fears that now there is a new baby to focus on that everyone will think we’re better or now we’re normal again because we’re having another baby. It’s the fear that we’re having another baby to replace the one who died. And the biggest fear that now there’s a new baby everyone will have forgotten the ones who’ve died.

The anger that comes when people say, “Now you’ll know how hard it is with 2 kids.” or how they ask the living child “Are you excited to be a big sister now?” I don’t know how to answer these unknowingly curel questions. I do know what it’s like to have 2 kids. Do I answer with, ‘Do you know how hard it is to parent when one of them lives in heaven?’ Or do I answer, ‘I know how hard it is to be up all night crying for a newborn who isn’t crying?’ It’s questions during pregnancy that completely have forgotten there was another one in between.

It’s complicated because we fear being happy for this baby, while at the same time wishing our other child was here. It’s a fear that this child will have unreasonable expectations to live their life and the life for their sibling(s) who couldn’t.

The pregnancy after loss is nothing like the one before. The innocence is gone that every pregnancy ends in a happy and healthy mom and baby. We had hoped our first rainbow pregnancy would be this child, and ended in more of the storms of grief for what couldn’t have been.

A rainbow doesn’t come without the rain and the storms of grief. Just because you see a rainbow, doesn’t mean the storm is over. Even in the eye of the storm there is quiet for a moment to recognize this pregnancy as its own, not tangled in the memories of the past. It’s not always a long moment, but when it comes the moment of peace and rainbows is so welcomed.

Hoping For A Rainbow

There is no safe time of pregnancy to announce where loss isn’t a possibility. I know that no matter the length or outcome of this pregnancy we won’t get through it alone. It takes a village.

A rainbow is a promise of sunshine after rain. Of calm after the storm, joy after sadness, peace after pain and love after loss.

Well, it’s come time for the post I didn’t know if I would one day get to write or if I would decide to share with the world. This time felt calmer and I’ve enjoyed my time with just keeping the circle small. I’m to the point where I’m ready to share this new part of our pregnancies journey. We are hopeful for a different ending, but loving this baby every moment we are able to spend together.

The real fear for me has been what reaction or stupid thing will I hear someone say and pretend I’m ok even when those words crushed me. It’s not that anyone is purposely trying to hurt me. I think everyone sees a baby as nothing but joy and innocence and it’s harder to explain when you’ve gone through an entire pregnancy only to not go home with your baby. The list below is the questions I dread and the basic answer is because it’s complicated!

1. “Is this your first?”

Ok, you don’t know how many miscarriages, abortions for medical reasons, stillborn, multiples who couldn’t thrive a woman has already had. This is way too complicated, especially considering miscarriage is 1 in 4 pregnancies! Unless you’re her doctor this makes no difference to you so please just stop!

2. “How many kids do you have already?”

I absolutely hate this question! Do I say 1, since she’s the only 1 living. Do I say 1 on Earth and 1 in heaven? This is actually my 4th pregnancy, but my 3rd only lived inside me for 10 weeks and we know so little. It’s a complicated question, so just don’t ask.

3. “Do you want a boy or girl?”

Ugh, I really just want a baby that cries after delivery who is breathing. Boy, girl or alien doesn’t matter to me. It gets more complicated after loss. A boy can remind me of what I’ve missed with Logan. But I also don’t want a boy that lives in the shadow of a dead child. A girl can be complicated because I’ll be thinking what she would be like with Logan, or wishing she would have been a boy like Logan. Like everything, it’s complicated!

4. “Are you excited?”

This is really a moment to moment question. I know it’s hard for most to think of a pregnancy as anything but exciting. There’s mixtures of excitement, hope, fears, anxiety, terrified. They all basically live together right now. So if I go from smiling one minute to crying uncontrollably it’s probably a combination of all of this plus you know pregnancy hormones!

5. “It’ll all workout. You deserve this after everything.”

Although I’d like to think I deserve that, I’ve felt that before and been completely broken. I’ve had to be reminded in the hardest of ways that we live in a broken world. I’ve lost well past the 12 week “danger zone” and then loss upon loss with our miscarriage. Sometimes there is no silver lining. Sometimes life just sucks.

7. “Are you doing anything different?”

So by doing different, I’m assuming you’re asking me, what will I do to try to not have my baby die? Well my 2 losses did not occur through any faults of my own or my care providers.

In case anyone doesn’t already know how this is not my fault: Logan moves in labor, his ultrasound 2 days prior was head down and no problems. Come delivery he went breech and landed on his cord when my water broke. The miscarriage I will never truly know, but most likely it was just not the right combo of cells to grow. Miscarriage happens 1 in 4 pregnancies. When we had our ultrasound during this we were told we were the 5th one that day. So if you haven’t suffered this loss, be thankful, but you most likely know several others who have.

Deep Within My Soul

The saying time heals all wounds must never have felt a wound like this. a wound that changes you to think what would be different or what are we missing that I think everyday.

The saying “Time heals al wounds” has never felt like such bologna to me as it has these past 18 months. It changes you and your feelings forever, but to say I’m healed feels like a lie. Like I would be saying I’m always ok with my child in heaven.

Yes I’m sure heaven is great, and sadly I know lots of other babies are up there with him. It still doesn’t mean I don’t wish he was here with me. Recently it’s been the thought of what would our family look like with him here. Would we make the same travel plans? Would we be getting a babysitter? Then there’s every family photo without his growing face. He should be walking and babbling and being a toddler terror by now.

I can remember in early grief days after getting home and reaching out to someone else who had lost a baby. I remember as I wrote to her thinking she’ll know how to keep breathing, keep trying. Look at her, she’s gone on to have another child. Life has gone on her for her. I realize these past few months how right she was in her honest response to me.

She told me that grief still sucks, even after 3 years. Having to take care of another kid and husband when all you feel like is broken. It just plain sucks. The best thing to do is get support.

Her words feel so true. It just plain sucks. I think how unfair and cheated I feel to have been so close to taking him home with us! I feel anger for every other family that has had this suffering!

I’m not sure if it’s as common for everyone, but my first year of grief was much more about keeping his memory alive, trying to not let him be forgotten as memories of 2016 fade into the past. For me the 2nd year has been for me. It’s been about trying to find a way to give out grace. To not say ‘yes’ to every invite to a party every weekend. It’s just that sometimes seeing families with siblings kills me. I think I should have 3 in my home right now. I should be pulling my hair out from no sleep and having 2 under 2! It’s about trying to make more time with my daughter and husband.

If I say no to visitors or trips don’t take it personally. I’m just giving myself more quiet time that I am just realizing how much I truly need. It’s a different place of needing quiet for me. A place where the heartbreak club feels so real.

Wave of lightning 

Help break the silence and remember with us by lightning a candle at 7 pm for remembrance. Unfortunately our family is not alone in this unimaginable pain. No matter how small they mattered and are always a mystery of who they would’ve been. They matter because they were here, if only for a moment.


Today is a nationally recognized day of remembrance for pregnancy and infant loss of those lives gone far too soon. 

This month:

We remember the babies born sleeping. Those we’ve carried and never met. Those we’ve held but couldn’t take home. The ones who came home, but couldn’t stay. 

Help break the silence and remember with us by lightning a candle at 7 pm for remembrance. Unfortunately our family is not alone in this unimaginable pain. No matter how small they mattered and are always a mystery of who they would’ve been. They matter because they were here, if only for a moment.

Beauty of October Sunrise 

Each month we see pink for the warriors who have fought the battle of breast cancer. We see it in stores and even the football fields. This month few outside our community know that this month has had another dedication since October 25, 1988 when President Regan proclaimed this month Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month. A month of remembrance of loss of those tiniest babies we hold in our hearts. https://tinyurl.com/ya342hte

The calendar hit another first of the month. Another day further from you in my arms, but closer to meeting you again. I knew coming up that October would be hard. Last year October felt like a stab in the gut. Logan should be here and we should have pictures of him at the pumpkin patch. We should be deciding what cute Halloween themed onesies he’d be wearing. 

I still feel it this year, when deciding on costumes what would he like. He’d only be a little over 1 so I’m sure I could convince him to be a pumpkin like his sister was our first Halloween in our new home. 

October is hard for another reason, it’s infant loss awareness month. I know before this I only knew October for breast cancer and pink shirts everywhere. 

Last year I found out about a project ‘Capture your grief’. It was starting by a photographer who experienced infant loss and she wanted to use her art as therapy. The idea is not to have great photos that belong on walls, but capturing where your memories are that day and she gives you prompts. Last year I was too raw to think through each day. Some of these assignments are just downright hard. This year I’m giving myself grace to remember, and grace to let go of some hard memories. 

This morning for the beginning of October the assignment was sunrise. I was at first mad at how cloudy it was that there wasn’t looking like much of a sunrise. Then slowly the pink filled in under the blue. I couldn’t help thinking that this is just what this month needs! A little more blue to go with all the pink in October! 

No Ruler to Measure Grief

So many people who have contacted me since I started writing with their own stories. These are stories of old wounds, vulnerability and reopened scars and the memories that haunt us at night. They usually start with a disclaimer “it doesn’t compare to what has happened to you” or “I wasn’t as far as you were.”

These disclaimers make me think that at some point our society decided that we need to rank measures of loss. That for some reason some hurt was worth more than another hurt. We try to minimize our hurt and be a martyr. I’ve learned that to rank a loss is just cruel. The worst thing that could happen did and that’s all that matters. The weight of your loss is not transferrable and not measurable. If it’s heavy for you it should be acknowledged and that’s really all that matters.

I want to thank the many people who have opened up and shared stories of their scars. They are all special and unique and part of what bind us together. We all have struggles and are all trying to persevere.

There is enough suffering to go around and it can be overwhelming. We don’t need to put comparisons or disclaimers on our emotions.

Some of best advice in those darkest first months was to try to talk to myself like I was talking to my best friend. She let me acknowledge I was in the trenches and to remind myself to be kind while I was trying to fight a war with myself.

If your waiting for a permission slip to feel complicated things all at once here it goes. Remember your allowed to be happy about good things while your sad about good things. Your allowed to be proud of every mountain you have climbed. You are not obligated to justify your feelings. Especially feelings of grief. You are not obligated to minimize your loss.

We are all here to bear witness to one another. To lend a hand when we see someone slipping. I hope that you know this is not a competition of who has it worse. No one really wants to win that competition.

Remember to be to yourself. To talk to yourself as if you were your own best friend and not the guilt tripping enemy you maybe listening to in your head. I’ve found that grief is a complication of emotions of sadness mixed with happy mixed with another sadness about feeling happy. Remember your not crazy, it’s just grief. And anyone who thinks grief is a smooth transition of checkmarks is probably living in some crazy sub-universe!

Why I Write 

If we haven’t already met, hi I’m Sara! I’m writing this blog for my son Logan. His time in this world was a brief 14 1/2 hours, but so much love was shared during his short time here. I write to families who have experienced grief, and to those who support them on their journeys.

I write about what has brought me joy and what I wish others would understand about the complexities in my mind as I navigate new normal. Ideally, I’m writing in this public manner because I was tired of whining in my journal about wishing more people would understand my thoughts after. I want people to not walk on egg shells around me. I want people to know what has helped and what still hurts. Some of my writings are for me to get the day off my chest. While others come after I think now I have the perfect thing I wish I would’ve said at the time. There are many times where it’s easier to write it down and send it into cyberspace than to try to think of the right words in the moment.

I hope that you feel free to share any of my writings if they are helpful to you. I want to thank each of you for taking the time to read any of my posts and getting to know me and my family.

Sara

When The Waves Hit

Until this wave I had forgotten how grief can physically hurt! How your arms long for something that you can no longer hold! Grief can tear you up until you are raw!

#infantloss #lifeafterloss #oneinfour #writingisthereapy

Most of the time I feel pretty together. There’s many times now where I can put the memories aside and focus on the present. A feeling of being both present and also my mind on Logan has become my new way of thought. I feel I’ve prepared myself for the dark days when I know they’re coming. For the holiday celebrations and making time for myself to have my time alone. I feel like overall I’m getting better at managing my life with grief as a partner.

Every so often there’s a wave that will come out and even though I think I’m ready for the grief it seems to almost swallow me whole.

The other day at church I felt this wave as I watched a family walk up with their baby to be baptized. It wasn’t the ceremony that got me, it was actually seeing the baptism gown. I was hit with a wave so hard I felt that I couldn’t run fast enough to get away from myself. The sudden memory of Logan in the same gown that myself and my daughter had worn. The memories of him cuddled in his blanket in his casket instead of a bassinet.

Until this wave I had forgotten how grief can physically hurt! How your arms long for something that you can no longer hold! Grief can tear you up until you are raw!

There’s times can come crashing down reminding you of what you don’t have. How overwhelming the sense of anxiety is when you’re in the thick of it.

I know times like this are now a regular part of my life.

That in between the waves, there is life. That some days I’ll see it coming and others where the day will wash over you. I may have some more learning to do from these waves.

I know that without my support I would allow myself to get swallowed. To be surrounded by those who understand why some moments I have to walk away and not have to explain has allowed me to allow myself to surrender to some of the waves that hit.

This week was a reminder to me that sometimes I still don’t know as much as I think I do.

In order to heal you’ve got to feel.