Tag Archives: loss of a baby

Mourning sickness.

Once again, it’s been awhile since I’ve had the time to write. With my son’s 1st birthday, the anniversary of our tremendous loss, fast approaching I sit here with a mix of emotions. Some things remain the same, some things are very different.

This time last year I was very much pregnant. Excited. Innocent. Nervous. Happy. Busy. Hungry. Uncomfortable. Tired. Very swollen. Eager to not be pregnant anymore, and looking forward to finally meeting our baby boy for the first time. Dreaming about what he would look like, sound like, and what we would do together in the upcoming summer months (and beyond). Funny how your life can change in the blink of an eye.

Today, I’m pregnant. Happy. Unbalanced with feelings of fear, guilt, and, well, did I mention fear? It’s funny, I have heard a lot of stories from people who thought they were ready to get pregnant again immediately after the loss of their babies. I know that Chris and I discussed getting pregnant again pretty soon after we lost Rylan. It was a confusing time for us—and why wouldn’t it be for anyone in our shoes? We prepared for almost a year to have our son and when it was time to be the parents we expected to be, it all disappeared. Our minds and bodies wanted to be parents so badly. It felt wrong not to be. But getting pregnant immediately wasn’t the answer for us. We knew deep down that we didn’t just want to instantly be parents to another baby—we wanted to actively be Rylan’s mom and dad.

Can I honestly say that waiting another 10+ months to get pregnant has given me a clear head or that I’m 100% ready to go through the experience of pregnancy again? No. But I can honestly say that I would never answer that question with a “yes,” whether it was 10 days or 10 years from now. I’m glad that I gave it a little more time, but I think that I’m as ready as I ever will be.

I had no idea how being pregnant again would make me feel. I took the first at-home test when I knew that I wasn’t feeling quite right for a week or so. The reading was negative so I shrugged it off as one of the virus’ sweeping through the office at work. A week after, and a few days late (which is extremely abnormal for me), I broke out the 2nd test that came with the kit. When I saw the positive indication on the 2nd stick, my emotions mirrored those that I felt when I found out I was pregnant with Rylan. Excitement and nervousness filled my body quickly, to the point of trembling hands. I told Chris immediately. I think that he shared the same emotions. Since that time I have been riddled with all-day nausea and fatigue. But that didn’t stop me from taking 3 more pregnancy tests before my OB appointment, just to be absolutely sure that the first test was correct. That is the first “issue” I’ve encountered as a mourning mom, trying again. Without a bump it’s easy to feel like being pregnant can’t be real—even when you find yourself kneeling in front of cold porcelain every day. Today we are 10 weeks along, have had 1 ultrasound, 2 blood draws, and 1 visit with a perinatologist. I have 3 more appointments in the next 3 weeks. It’s overwhelming but I’m glad to be monitored so closely this time around. I think that I will need plenty of “check-ins” to keep my head on straight.

Issue #2: I feel guilt over being pregnant again, with regard to Rylan. I don’t want to give anyone the impression that I am completely “over” the loss of our first baby. That I’m moving on or away from him. That he is being replaced in any way. That he will ever be forgotten or not missed with every ounce of my heart, every single day of my life. It’s hard not to feel that way when you are grieving the loss of 1 baby and trying to get mentally prepared to try for another child.

Issue #3: I feel guilt over not being 100% excited about my current pregnancy. Because of issue #2, and our only other experience with pregnancy, it makes it hard to jump into this one with both feet. It seems unfair to this baby, but I just can’t do it, at least not yet. The doctor put it well when he said (in similar words), “It’s okay to be scared. I’ve worked with many parents like you and it can be difficult to fully connect with your next pregnancy—for fear of being devastated again.” So true.

I am trying to stay positive, but it’s a daily struggle. To say that I’m scared is a serious understatement. My mind is scrambled over the loss of Rylan daily, along with thoughts of a new baby and trying to do things “right.” I continue to take one day at a time. My age paired with a previous stillbirth makes this pregnancy very risky. I know that early miscarriage is common and every cramp or twinge in my uterus shakes me to the core. We’ve only told a select group of people so far, especially since it is still early. I’m trying to do everything different—with hope that this little peanut will have a better chance at life—even though I know it’s not really up to me. I learned that lesson last time. I’ve switched practices and the OB that I’m seeing, along with a new hospital. My doctor is male instead of female which is a little hard to get used to—however, the doctor that delivered Rylan was female and was rude that night until she found out that he died. I learned that being female doesn’t always mean that they relate to you or can sympathize any better. So, I’m giving it a try. He delivered my niece and she is beautifully healthy so I guess that is something. There is something nice, too, about seeing 1 doctor in a small practice versus 10 doctors in a large one. In just a few appointments I already felt more cared for than I did before and after our loss at the last clinic. In many places when you have a baby the office calls you or makes a visit to your home in the weeks that follow. When we lost Rylan we had neither. When I had to attend 2 standard delivery follow-ups in the office I sat in the waiting area, among pregnant women and moms with babies by their side, in tears before going back to the exam room. At the new clinic, I mentioned having some difficulty being around families and babies and the nurse told me they could bring me in through a back door to avoid the wait if need be. I thought that was really surprising and thoughtful. So, I will let you all know how it goes in the weeks to come. So far, we’ve met with a specialist to review our previous records and to develop a plan for the new pregnancy moving forward. A lot of tests and appointments are in our future.

For all of you parents who are reading along with our story, I hope you remember to make decisions that support your healing. I hope that you are surrounded with people who love you and support the person you need to be today. If you have a significant other who shares your loss, make time for each other and find a way to connect. Talk. Laugh. Go out and break up the daily routine. Try not to lose each other in the loss—it’s when you need each other the most, I promise. If there is one thing in life that you can count on, it’s change. Something awaits you around the corner. Hang in there.

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Same time, different place.

9 months. That’s how long I had with my son. When I was fighting for Z’s, jamming my swollen, sausage feet into extra wide shoes, carefully following food instructions at every meal, and fidgeting with one-size-fits-all clothing, those 40 weeks felt like forever. I couldn’t wait for pregnancy to be over. Surely, to return to a state that more resembled “me.” But, mostly because  I would meet my son face-to-face and become the mother I dreamt about being for him for so long. When I look back now, without him physically in my life today, those 9 months feel so short lived. So fast. If I knew then that the only time we’d be together would be with him in my belly, than I would go back today without question to relive that time, and make more of it. I took for granted our time together because I thought that we’d have a lifetime to get to know each other. To make memories. To be a family. I would have talked to him even more. I would’ve read him books every night. I would have had Chris sing him his songs more often. I would have taken a day off of work to focus on us, with no distractions. I would’ve named him sooner so that I could call his name out when I spoke to him. My perception of those 9 months changed so drastically when I found out that my son had died. Now they feel as brief as the blink of an eye.

9 months. That’s how long I’ve been without my son. The exact amount of time that we had him in our life, he has now been gone. What a crazy feeling. Some days it feels like years have passed, although the sad feeling inside often feels as fresh as the day we said goodbye.

So, where am I today? I miss Rylan and the chance I had to be his mom. I still want it back and want to refuse the hand we’ve been dealt. Reality is a dish I just want to send back. And, if I have to accept it than I want something in return—as selfish and ridiculous as it sounds, I want some compensation for our heartache and daily suffering. I want to open my front door one day to the prize patrol on my doorstep with balloons and a fat, oversized check. I want to stumble on the winning power ball ticket in a parking lot. I don’t expect such monetary things to replace the devastation I feel over the loss of my son—I just wish I had the means to pay off all of my bills so I could take the proper time away from work and the world to make grieving for my son the priority it needs to be.

I still have trouble out in the world being with, around, or near families, parents, and children. I’m terrified of babies, especially holding a baby that is not Rylan. I don’t think I have the strength to do it without a box of tissues. And I’m afraid that the despair it could awaken could last for days, maybe even weeks. The last baby I held was my friend’s daughter, and at the time Rylan was warm in my belly and a week from delivery. He even kicked her a little and I joked about him being jealous or trying to get the attention of his future playmate. I remember thinking at that moment how good it felt and how I longed to hold my own baby in the months to come. I was excited. Holding a baby now will be so much different. I imagine I will feel nothing but heartache over what I can’t have with my own son. Just the thought of it brings tears to my eyes. I wonder if the only way to overcome that hurdle will be the day that I’m able to have another child with Chris, if we are so lucky. If we get to hold our own son or daughter in the future. That time feels like such a long way off from now and I’m not sure how to cope until then. I just hope it happens someday.

When I’m not at work, I try to think about where I want our life to go—what we can do to make the best of our now and enrich our future. As individuals. As a couple. And, for the family that we hope to grow in the future. It’s a positive place to focus my energy.

I’ve also felt less than in shape since the delivery. I’m still not able to get a leg into my favorite pair of jeans and fret over wearing a bathing suit in June. Bummer, right?! Because my schedule doesn’t allow for much free time to hit a gym we decided to invest in a piece of exercise equipment that can provide a great workout in a very, very short time. And, wow, did I feel out of shape hopping up on that thing for the first time. But, I do feel good doing something for my health. We’re also trying to eat a little better. It is good for me physically and mentally—and will be very good if I’m ever blessed with a baby again. I feel like every positive step is good for us—we try to set small, achievable goals knowing that they add up in the end.

I’ve recently been feeling less satisfied with counseling. Don’t get me wrong, our counselor is amazing, and I’d recommend her and their group to anyone experiencing grief over the loss of a loved one. Lately, I just feel like there isn’t much to say. I repeat myself a lot and I feel like nobody can really give me what I need or want, which is Rylan back here with us. Sometimes it’s good to have an outside perspective and to be able to tell someone how we feel without judgement—even if it is repetitive. I use to walk out of her office feeling like something new was brought to light or that a small weight was lifted, even if just temporarily. And I know not every session will be groundbreaking. But lately I feel like I’ve left just as I came. Chris and I have talked and have made no decisions yet about whether to stop going…but it is on my mind. I’ll keep you posted on where we end up. I guess I feel like if we stop going and begin to have issues we can always go back, right?

Well, I have to run. Thank you, as always, for stopping in on my blog. I hope that you and your family are finding ways to move forward and support each other during such a difficult time. Remember, even small steps can make a difference and add something positive to your lives. It may not remove the heartache, but it will help you survive. Hugs to everyone.

One small step.

A good friend of mine gave me a very thoughtful gift this past Christmas. Actually, a few thoughtful gifts. She knows how hard it is for me to go to work every day, surrounded by the countless family reminders that are impossible to avoid. The conversations, the stories. The collage of photos and artwork of children, carefully pinned to cubicle walls. Unexpected visits from sick kids sent home from school or daycare. And the millions of other obstacles I encounter. She knows how much it hurts me to feel like I can’t talk about my son. That I can’t have his photo out for people to admire like other parents. That I’m afraid that people won’t want to talk about him or see his picture because it’s too sad or uncomfortable. Because they know he’s not alive. This friend gave me picture frames for Christmas and the encouragement to set Rylan’s picture out on my desk at work. And yes, I said frames, plural, if you didn’t catch that part. She actually gave me 4-5 different styles to ensure that I could pick the one, or couple of frames, that I felt would best fit such an important image. The gift was amazing. Especially the reassurance that putting his picture out in the open was something viewed as a good thing by someone else. Someone that would surely see his picture every time they stopped by. For that I will never be able to truly thank her.

I will be honest with you. Although I set those frames out on my desk shortly after I unwrapped them, they have remained empty for the past month. Partially because my work schedule has been so busy. But mostly because I was afraid. For the reasons listed above. I’ve also been nervous about reviewing the collection of photos I have in that tucked away folder on my desktop. I know that seeing his little face causes mixed reactions for me, a few which undoubtedly bring on the waterworks.

My recent days at work have been more of a struggle. Today was especially hard. And, tonight, before I left work I thought about my friend and her gifts. I pulled together the courage to search out a picture. I printed it, trimmed it out, and placed it in the largest frame. It’s a lovely wooden frame, placed on my desk to the right, and set carefully beside a photo of me and Chris. I suppose I wanted to see our family together. I did tear up a bit. It’s funny how I have a similar photo on my dresser at home—the same one that I say goodnight to before bed every evening—but for some reason seeing it sitting there at work caused a wave of emotions. I’m nervous about the next few days, what people will or will not say or do as a result of my bold step. But, I feel good that I did something for me, for my family. So that people know I had a son and so they don’t forget about him. So they know that I love him and remember that he is still a part of my every day. That I’m proud to be his mom.

I hope that other parents, walking in similar shoes, will read this and feel the same encouragement that my friend gave me. Don’t be afraid to be proud of your babies and your families. You, too, deserve to be surrounded by your family in your every day and be recognized as parents. After all, you did the most difficult thing a parent ever has to do—you said goodbye.

Love and hugs baby Rylan. Your mommy misses you more than the sun misses the moon.

Turning the page.

You can’t have light without darkness. Black without white. Nor good without bad. Life is a balancing act.

Saying that our first holiday without Rylan was difficult is an understatement. Last Christmas we were lucky enough to have our 20 week ultrasound a few days before the 25th…on Christmas morning we hurriedly sat ourselves in front of the tree to tear open the envelope that revealed we were having a son. We were so excited that we tried to prop the camera on the couch in order to record ourselves opening it. What an amazing gift. Not only were we blessed with a child, but also with the first boy in a sea of girls in our family. We thought that nobody could top our gift, our announcement, last year. We held onto the news until we could tell our families and even recorded that too. I came across that video over the past few months and watched it. It killed me for so many reasons. I look back at the couple in the video—the couple that looks and sounds a lot like me and my husband—and ache inside because I feel like they were so innocent and naive. It’s like I’m observing complete strangers. I watch and feel so sad for them. They have no idea.

All of the joy and excitement that was, is now just a faded memory—something that barely feels real. If someone told me about those experiences today, without proof, I’d likely tell them it’s fiction. But Chris and I have been left with plenty. We have ultrasound images to prove that I was pregnant. We have video to prove that other people knew we were pregnant. We have receipts from our baby registry stuffed in my nightstand. Photos and decor from two beautiful baby showers on a shelf in his room. I have a few recordings of Rylan’s heartbeat stored in the memo app on my phone. We have cards wishing us well for our future as a family. We have a basement full of toys and furniture. A nursery full of baby boy clothes carefully placed in drawers and suspended from tiny hangers in the closet. There are children’s books sitting quietly in baskets. Terrycloth towels neatly folded in the closet and baby shampoos stowed away in a bathroom drawer that I just can’t bring myself to clean out. It’s like we’re still waiting for him to come home. Wishing he’d come back to us. Hoping. Or maybe we’re just afraid that changing our surroundings will erase the only part of him we have left. What do you do when all you have are the memories that were suppose to be?

Parents that lose children find so much is left behind, while so little remains to hang onto each day. We do our best to cope. We try to honor our children, by showcasing the love that we have for them in some way. We try to find ways to keep them a part of us and as close to our hearts as we can. We have a picture of Rylan on the dresser in our bedroom and another in our living room. My husband and I wear necklaces every day that are engraved with Rylan’s name and the date of his birth. They were a gift from my parents, given the week of his funeral services. We have a few other gifts—necklaces, bracelets—that were also given to us that we wear in honor of his memory, but not every day. We have tattoos to keep him close and to give us the ability to open up and talk about our son to others. We’ve made donations to children’s charities, in his name, which has been so important to us. To know that our love for Rylan is helping other babies and children is amazing. It’s a way to honor his life and his memory.

All of the above are helpful and good, but they don’t replace or remove the heartache and emptiness that I feel without my baby. The longing to take care of him. It goes beyond “wanting” to be a parent. Once you are a parent you can’t shake the need to be a parent, whether your child is physically here or not. That is one of the hardest parts of this experience. It takes me to a place that is beyond sorrow. It makes me feel like a failure. It makes me jealous of other families, other parents—especially the ones who seem to take for granted what they have or what a miracle they’ve witnessed. When a baby cries in public I want to get out of my seat to calm them—but really it’s just the part of me who needs to hold and comfort my own baby. When I hear a child cry out for his mommy I feel stabbed in the heart because I know that I will never hear the same words from my own son. Every baby that is born healthy makes me wonder “why does it work out for them and not for us?” or “what did I do wrong?” The other night, after receiving the joyful email that my co-worker successfully delivered her baby boy, I stopped at the grocery store on my way home to pick up dinner. I pulled into the first space to find out that it was a “reserved for expectant mothers” space. After some choice words, I backed out and took a spot a few lines down in another row. I haven’t stopped thinking about that sign, though. Maybe I should have stayed in that spot, after all. The words seem so accurate in hindsight. Deep inside my soul I continue to be an expectant mother. I’m expecting to share parenthood with my husband—to be a mom and for my son to exist here in my arms. I know that I sound crazy, and, believe me, I do know what is. But understanding what is doesn’t change what your heart, mind, and body feels should be. If you can’t and don’t want to let go of being a parent to your child, than how do you find a way to loosen the grip? If you can’t loosen the grip, does it mean that it’s a good time to try again?

My husband and I have discussed “trying again” for awhile now. Pretty soon after we lost Rylan, about a month or so, I remember talking about how badly we wanted to be parents—sooner than later. But this kind of grief can be so confusing. At that point I wasn’t sure if my feelings were more about wanting to be a mom, in general, or about the natural need and desire to fulfill my job as Rylan’s mom. I also didn’t want to feel like we were trying to replace Rylan in any way or remedy the depression and despair that has come with his loss. I know full well that nobody could ever replace Rylan or the love that we have for him. I also know that the only bandaid in this situation would be having him back here. Being aware of those things doesnt change the fact that thoughts like those can creep in and make you question your intentions. After months of consideration I can tell you that no matter how much time elapses, I will always fall on both sides of the motherhood coin. I will always want to be Rylan’s mom and feel an urgency to be that now. That is a huge part of what drives my sadness. But I also know that I have and always will want to be a mom, moving forward. And, that is okay. I’m so glad that I finally got there. I do want to try again. I do want Ry to have a younger brother or sister. I do want Chris and I to get a chance at actively being parents—together.

So, here I sit, smack dab in the middle of January 1stand here’s what I know. I know I want to be a mom again. I know I want Chris to be a dad again. I know the road to get there will be bumpy, but for the good of my family I’m willing to get back into the driver’s seat. I won’t lie, I’m fearful of the journeyterrified, actually. But, I have to at least try. I didn’t think that I could survive the past 7 months, but here I sit still writing to you. This year I also want to make some changes. I want to adjust our lifestyle to make family the priority we’ve always wanted it to be—even if it can’t happen overnight. I want to take better care of myself and be a happier person for my family. Do more for others. Do my part in making our life as fulfilled as possible. Lucky for us, we have the best driving force in the world—the love for our beautiful son, Rylan.

Thank you for stopping by…and for being a part of our story so far. My best to you and yours for a happier new year.

Good tidings.

Once again, the hustle of work and bustle of life (and the holidays) have kept me from writing as often as I’d like to—or even need to these days. So, for those of you who read my blog, I apologize. After all, what helps me get through my days is reading the blog posts of others and I know that it can be so disappointing to check in only to see that nothing new has been posted. I really do want to get better about posting more often in the new year.

I’d like to begin by congratulating all of you parents out there—we made it through the biggest holiday of the year. We made it through a multitude of possible obstacles leading up to Christmas. Holiday cards featuring family photos developed on Shutterfly. Those lovely holiday letters. Writing and sending our own cards (if you found the energy to do it). Work parties. Family gatherings. All of those TV commercials that focus on children. Shopping, if you dared—which may have resulted in a few uncomfortable conversations with acquaintances. Stepping into church when you’re questioning faith the most. A possible change in your traditions from years past. Well, I think we deserve more than just a pat on the back! An all-expenses paid vacation, perhaps? Wouldn’t that be nice? Hawaii here I come!!! In all seriousness, though, I hope that you were all able to find a way to make your son or daughter a part of your holiday. The holidays were certainly different for us this year, but not nearly as terrible as we expected—just different.

For one, a very special family gave us the most amazing gift anyone could give. They remembered our son and kept his memory alive in their home for the entire Christmas season. A family in Alabama hand made an ornament for our Rylan and placed it on their tree. My husband and I were speechless. Tearful, but speechless. Our day-to-day doesn’t always allow us the chance to talk about our son. And, because he’s not physically here to share with others the way other families can, we often feel that the love we have for him must often stay inside—only between us and in our hearts, rather than out in the open. This family—whom we’ve never met—did so many things for our family. They thought about Rylan without us prompting it. They believed that his existence and his memory were important. They took the time to make something that symbolized his life. To them it was probably a pretty simple gesture, but to us it meant the world. We will never forget their family—and will also keep their baby, Lucy, in our hearts forever.

Two, I did about 98% of my shopping online this year. It worked out pretty well. I shopped primarily on Etsy.com and managed to get more personalized gifts than if I went out traipsing about the overcrowded malls. It saved me from the additional stress and rush of the holiday. One of the most important gifts that we purchased was from a shop called “Butterstore.” We wanted to give each of our family members an ornament for their tree that symbolized our son. The artist, Shay, creates beautiful, ceramic butterfly ornaments and even worked with me to hand paint footprints and Rylan’s initials on the bottom charm. I can’t thank her enough for creating something so special for us and our family.

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Go to ButterStore by clicking here

We really weren’t sure about decorating our home this year. I pretty much handle the decorating in our house (mostly because I’m so artsy and OCD about it), but I didn’t really feel like I had the energy this time. I was kind of glad when I came home one day after work and Chris had pulled out a few decorations from the basement and left them on the shelf, replacing the few fall items I had put out for Halloween and Thanksgiving. It gave me the little push I needed. I certainly didn’t go as overboard as I normally do, but stringing some lights about the house made it feel warm and cozy. I normally love having strings of lights around and put them everywhere I can—around house plants, under fake snow, and I even caused a shortage once for stringing too many on our tree. I definitely get that from my mom—she keeps lights in her house all year round. Not in a cheesy way—more in that warm, country home kind of way. We also decided to purchase a small tree this year. We wanted it to be Rylan’s tree. We decorated it with ornaments that were special to us and placed a monarch butterfly at the very top. It sits in the front room of our home so I see it every time I pull in the driveway at night after a long day at work. We really weren’t sure if we wanted to get a tree this year at all. To be honest, nothing feels the same anymore and what we normally do in our lives couldn’t feel more abnormal. It was nice that picking a tree ended up being so simple. We stopped at a local place and loved the second tree we looked at—before we knew it we were home placing it in the tree stand. I’m so glad that we decided to get it and it was nice to feel like we were doing something to honor Rylan’s memory in some way.

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We even got the pups to pose in front of the tree for a very brief moment so that we could send out a Christmas text to family and friends on Christmas morning…don’t they look just handsome?! It is my pleasure to introduce you to Sam and Nacho… our spoiled boys definitely give us something to smile about on a daily basis!

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I did make it through my Christmas thank you cards. It took me until the very last minute but I got through them. It was hard, I won’t lie. It took some tissues and some definite courage. I probably sent more cards this year than I ever had—but I felt like we had a lot of people to thank this year.

We decided to stay in this Christmas eve and Christmas day, which was very different as we normally travel all over to see our family. I’ll be honest, it felt odd, but it was kind of nice to be home. Without the rushing around and hours in the car. It was nice to be with Chris and the dogs. We agreed to give each other just a few things, nothing crazy. That was nice because it allowed us to spend more time together in the long run. Rather than being out among crazed shoppers in the weeks leading up to Christmas, we spent our evenings on the couch under a blanket or hanging out in front of our tree listening to carols. On Christmas eve I worked, but that evening was nice. We visited the cemetery to place a tree and candle for Ry. It was VERY difficult, to say the least. I don’t think that I can put into words how that felt. Talk about being in such a different placed than I pictured this year. But I will save all of that for my next post. I really want this one to focus on the positive part of our holiday experience. So that evening we ate dinner, then watched classic holiday shows and sipped cocoa. I also wrapped some gifts pretty late (since I’m always a step behind in life-lol). On Christmas Day we slept in, exchanged gifts, and even gave wrapped-up bones for the pooches to open. Wrapped some last minute gifts, napped a bit, ate dinner, watched a Christmas music special, and even danced in front of the tree to Sinatra (we’re suckers for romance). All in all, it wasn’t too bad. We missed our family, of course. But the day was nicer than we ever imagined it could be in light of what was missing.

We plan to see our family over the next week or so to exchange gifts and spend some time. We saw one set of parents yesterday, as well as my sister’s family. My parents gave us some very thoughtful gifts. A beautiful ornament that they made with a photo of a butterfly on one side, and us with Ry on the other. I cried, but it was really so nice. They gave us necklaces with his name on them and some lighthearted gifts to make us smile. My sister gave us some gifts to make us laugh which was also appreciated.

So here I am, trying to finish my post before running off to work to meet some crazy deadlines. Time to get a shower, take care of the pups, and get my butt to work! At least it’s only one day and than we have a weekend! Thank goodness for that! Well, I hope you all had a lovely holiday and made the most of what you had to work with this year. Happy (belated) holidays!

Plain and simple.

I want my son back. 

I don’t want Christmas gifts. The only thing on my list this year is the one thing that no one can give me.

I don’t want people to pray for me. I’m not like other people. I don’t feel comforted by prayers, nor do I feel like they do anything for me. I don’t want to offend people who read this who feel differently-and I certainly don’t want to offend the people who’ve been kind enough to make time to pray for our son and for our recovery. I appreciate the sentiment. I think some people say “I’m praying for you” as a way to say “I care about you.” I think it’s a way for people who feel powerless in a situation to do something for the people they care about. I really wish I felt differently about prayer, about faith, and about God right now. It’s hard though. During my pregnancy, and for the first time in my life, I genuinely felt that I opened up my heart to God, my mind to religion, and put my faith in Him— that He would take care of my family. Having that little baby in my belly was really the first time in my life that I can remember having so many people pray for us—and on a regular basis. I suppose I look back now and wonder where my faith in God and all of those prayers really got me. It’s one hell of a devastating place.

I don’t want to swallow my sadness and despair anymore in order to keep up with the daily grind of the work week or the expectations and needs of others. I’m so tired. I just wish I could take the time I need to adjust to what has happened to us and to mourn the loss of my baby. No matter how long it takes.

I don’t want to be subjected to the tons of people who have babies without complications and tragedy. Whose families grow as effortlessly as weeds in a garden. They’re everywhere. Everyone but us. I know that people like us exist—because I’ve read stories and met people over the web—but in daily life it feels like my husband and I are so alone. Being expected to survive this loss shoulder-to-shoulder with a world full of people who are so different than us seems impossible and cruel. I wish that we didn’t have to do it anymore.

I don’t want anyone else to put me on the spot when I least expect it. We had to take our dogs to the vet over the weekend and the vet, although with very good intentions, asked us, “ah, you’re both here, who’s watching the baby?” I just shook my head, no. I’ve already had this conversation with him and he must have forgotten. When he walked out of the room my husband said, “I’m sorry.” I said, “It’s okay.” But it’s not. I’m tired of having to explain what’s happened to us. I’m tired of having to tell people that my son has died. It’s like I’m stabbing myself in the heart. Every time I say it I feel like he’s dying all over again. I’m tired of my husband having to feel bad for me when he sees me in pain. I’m tired of having to feel sorry for him and his pain, too. It’s not fair. We shouldn’t be here. This isn’t how it was suppose to be. 

I don’t want anyone else to tell me how I should feel or what I need to do with regard to my son or “moving on” from his death. Good intentions or not, nobody else knows how I feel. I don’t want to know where you think my son is or why he was taken or that you know he’s in a better place. In my opinion, the only better place he could be is in my arms. I don’t want you to tell me that things will get better or easier. I can’t see that. I don’t feel that. No day that exists without my baby, my son, will ever feel better or easier. Not today, not next year, not ten years from now. It will just feel farther away from the day that I lost him. And, stop telling me that we should have another baby. It’s not the antidote for my pain over Rylan. And, furthermore, you don’t know that the next time we try—if I can make it through nine months of extreme fear—that we will leave the hospital with a living, breathing baby. Yes, this can happen more than once.

I’m sorry to the people who read my blog who are searching out hope. Over time I began to feel a sense of responsibility to try to end my posts on a positive note, when possible—to give others some optimism in their journey—to not let my writings get too dark. But I’ve given this additional thought and believe that my initial need to start this site was to tell our story, in the truest way possible. Obviously, I would still like to help other people and give them something to relate to… but first and foremost I need to be honest. So much of my life is filled with lying about or hiding my true feelings from others—this place, my blog, must be more about truth. How I really feel, even if every post says the same thing over and over. I hope that my readers will understand where I’m coming from and not be pushed away.

Until next time I have only one thing left to say.

I want my son back.

Come back soon!

This is just a quick heads up to anyone who stops by… my computer recently crashed for the second time and between work and a commute, finding a time and place to write has been challenging. As soon as I find a solution, I will be back to blogging so please continue to check in every once in awhile. Sharing my thoughts with others has been a great part of my healing process—and knowing that my words may be helping others in some way is also a huge plus for me. I have a lot stirring around inside so I definitely plan to return ASAP.

Thank you for stopping… and wishing you well from afar. 🙂