Saturday, October 15, 2011

I never knew lighting a candle could be so hard...

In memory and support of all the angel mommies and their angel babies, I lit my candle, as did many other mommies around the world.  I never thought it would be so emotional.  If I'm being honest, I never thought much of it at all.  I knew I would do it just because it was one more thing that I could do, even though I didn't see that it would have much effect, aside from making me feel good inside, knowing that I was honoring the angels.  It was the principle of feel like I was doing something. 

I lit my candle, sat Andrew in front of me, then added the urn.  Though Andrew's ashes are in the lamb and not the urn, the urn still represents the babies, our angels, taken to soon, but being cared for an loved at the feet of beautiful angels that will hold them until we are able to ourselves.  The more I sat, the more it hit me.  It is so hard.  To say I cried is an understatement.  The wounds are still fresh.  

I went online and shared my pictures with the other angel mommies who are my greatest support system.  They have become a family, even though I've never met a single one of them in person.  We share the good, the bad, the graphic, the a way we are bound together by a connection so strong that I have no explanation.  I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy, but I'm sure glad that having to go through it I have found these wonderful ladies.  I wanted them to know that I, too, was burning my candle for them and theirs, just as they were for mine.  A very strong and courageous woman, Nikki, has went above and beyond trying to spread awareness for lost angels.  She has shared pictures of balloons with all of our babies' names, as well as a t-shirt with all the babies' names.  Too many names.  Too many. 

Looking at the picture and hearing the feedback on how beautiful it was sent me overboard.  I know that my emotions are raw and show very clearly in the photo.  It's not staged or fake.  Looking at the picture hits me because I feel the pain and see it in myself.  I only wish I could plant a kiss on my baby and not a stuffed animal that now holds his ashes.  I am thankful to have him here with me, though.  I am so glad that I fought for that in the hospital and didn't just let them lead me along.  I wish there was a way to spread more awareness to women that they have more rights than they may think.  While I was in labor, I was on the computer researching other women's stories.  Researching my options.  When I found out that I had the choice to go out on my own with my son's body and not just have a community scattering of ashes that occurs once a month at the hospital's butterfly garden, I knew I wanted him home with me.  I hope that a woman in a similar situation may happen upon my blog and fight for her own rights and that they may learn something beforehand, before the chance is taken away from them and it is too late.  It's hard enough when you are in that moment to think at all, but it is so necessary to how you heal, I think.  I keep being so open and honest in this blog for that very help others that may find themselves frantically searching for the same kind of information I was.  

In memory of all our babies gone too soon, too precious for this earth, and all the mommies who will always love and miss them.  I love you all. 

Light a candle on Oct. 15 for babies lost to miscarriage or stillbirth

Friday, October 14, 2011


Yesterday was both the anniversary of the day when my husband and I first met...and never separated.  For 15 years, I can count on one hand the nights we have been apart since.  He is my other half.  We are basically one, as cliche as it sounds.  We just ARE.  I could not imagine life any other way, even when it gets a little rough. :)

It was also the 7-year anniversary of my first loss.  At 14 weeks I began spotting, went to the ER, and learned there was no heartbeat.  I had never even heard of this happening this far along, or a heartbeat stopping while the pregnancy continued.  I can still remember the surrealness.  The feeling that I was going to die right then, as if an atom bomb had just exploded in my face.  I didn't know how I would survive it, and had I not gotten pregnant a few months later and had my rainbow, Trevor, I don't know that I would have survived at all.  Trevor didn't replace my lost baby, but it helped feel that emptiness in my heart and in my arms.  It helped sugarcoat the pain of grief a bit.  It helped me believe that the missed miscarriage, along with being in my second trimester, was a less than 1% occurrence.  It sucked I had to be in that 1%, but SURELY it would never happen again.  I had another baby...everything was good, right?

Now, here I am with three more losses, more emptiness and aching in my heart and in my arms.  No answers as to why....I seem to be perfectly "healthy."  Who knew within seven years time I would become a mommy to four angels that were just too beautiful for this earth?  I never would have imagined, though it is always a fear.  What will the next few years bring?  I hope it is happiness.  I hope that the depression, the losses, the hurt, the pain, the PHYSICAL ailments that go along with all of it...I hope they are gone and I will be looking back and thinking, "Wow.  I remember those days.  So crazy how hard everything was, but I'm so thankful now."  I HOPE that everything will fall into place and I will be able to put this all behind me, in a sense, and it will just be a memory of all the bad luck.  I've been waiting to move forward for so long...

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The heartbreak of infant loss

The heartbreak of infant loss
By Community Columnist
Oct. 6, 2011 | (9) Comments
Did you know that October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month? I'll bet not. Despite the infant mortality crisis that's been at the forefront of Milwaukee's public health news for months, the only people who have more than a cursory comprehension of what it means to lose a baby are those who've lived it.

Infant loss is nature's cruelest practical joke. It's investing all of the required time and effort into pregnancy, only to be robbed of the result. It's cradling a body that grew within your own and trying to reconcile the cold, lifeless form in your arms with your memory of the baby who turned double flips in your womb.

It's worrying that you'll forget what your child looked like and snapping an album's worth of photos that no one will ever ask to see. It's sobbing so hard you can't breathe and wondering if it's possible to cry yourself to death.

Infant loss is handing off a Moses basket to the nurse who's drawn the unfortunate duty of delivering your pride and joy to the morgue and walking out of a hospital with empty arms.

It's boxing up brand new baby clothes and buying a 24-inch casket. It's sifting through sympathy cards, willing your foolish body to stop lactating, clutching your baby's blanket to your chest in hopes of soothing the piercing ache in your heart.

It's resisting the urge to smack the clueless individuals who compare your situation to the death of their dog or who tell you you'll have another baby, as if children are somehow replaceable.

Infant loss is explaining to your 7-year-old that sometimes babies die and being stumped into silence when she asks you why. It's watching other families live out your happy ending and fighting a fresh round of grief with every milestone you miss.

It's being shut out of play groups for perpetuity. It's skipping social events with expectant and newly minted mothers because, as a walking worst-case scenario, you don't want to put a damper on the party.

It's listening to other women gripe about motherhood and realizing that you no longer relate to their petty parental complaints because, frankly, when you've buried a baby, a sleepless night with a vomiting toddler sounds something like a gift.

Infant loss is pruning from your life the friends and relatives who ignore or minimize your loss. It's recognizing that, while they may not mean to be hurtful, the fact that they don't know any better doesn't make their utter lack of empathy one whit easier to bear.

My baby girl would have been 5 years old this month. I don't know what she'd look like, what her favorite food would be. I've never had the privilege of tucking her into bed, taking her to the zoo or kissing her boo-boos. I will never watch her graduate or walk down the aisle.

Infant loss is more than an empty cradle. It's a life sentence.

Laura Schubert of New Berlin is a mother, teacher and two-time breast cancer survivor. 

I Would Die For That

So emotional and powerful.  So sad that so many of us can, and have to, relate to this, but it's nice to see someone out there spreading awareness and talking about it.  <3