Wednesday, March 23, 2011

BLM Connections

The sad reality of losing a child is that in the weeks following your loss you find you are not alone in this grief, meaning that we now belong to a "club" of BLM's (baby loss moms) and dads. It is sad but a blessing to have others to share our stories with.  I don't know that it's possible for anyone to completely understand what it feels like unless it has happened to them.  Of course people (especially those with children) can try to imagine (though why would they want to) how it might feel if they lost one of their own but the reality of it actually happening is something so extreme that I think even those of us who have experienced this kind of pain can't quite get our heads around it fully.  

I'm thankful to be living in a time where technology can connect us and with just a few clicks of a mouse we can find others who understand us and who can offer support that might otherwise be missing in our lives.  Having access to so many stories like ours is bittersweet.  We've established our "new normal" and have new people to share freely with.  On the other hand, some days it is a lot to take in - knowing how many of us are out there feeling this way, and new ones found each day.  Some days it's like watching a news channel that continuously runs stories on losses.  We wish we could put a band-aid on it and stop the bleeding so to speak.  Why can't we just stop this? Does another family really need to go through this kind of heartache?

A fellow BLM (Molly) has an angel, Hayes, who was born into heaven on August 18, 2010.  I'd like to think he is up there playing with Sofia and that he was smiling at her when she walked through the gates. Hayes' mom talked with me a few times when she saw my blog and decided to create one in memory of her son.  Now I follow her blog as well.  This week she posted the below poem and I cried as I read it.  First of all I was surprised I hadn't seen it yet because in the first few months following our loss I read a bunch of poems.  The part I said before about belonging to a "club" of BLM's, well, Molly posted a link to another BLM's blog on her blog, where I saw she found this poem.  We are all connected in some way, and there's something positive (albeit sad) about this kind of bond.  The poem rings true to our reality.  It doesn't matter if it was last week, last month, last year - the feeling (at least for me) is like I lost my child today EVERYDAY.

Love you Sofia. XXOOXXOO

From Slideshow

"I Lost My Child Today"

I lost my child today.
People came to weep
and cry As I just sat
and stared, dry eyed.

They struggled to find
words to say To try
and make the pain
go away. I walked the
floor in disbelief.
I lost my child today.

I lost my child last month
Most of the people went
away. Some still call and
some still stay. I wait to
wake up from this dream
This can't be real--
I want to scream.

Yet everything is locked
inside, God, help me,
I want to cry.
I lost my child last month.

I lost my child last year.
Now people who had came,
have gone. I sit and
struggle all day long, To
bear the pain so deep inside.

And now my friends just
question, Why? Why does
this mother not move on?
Just sits and sings the same
old song. Good heavens,
it has been so long.
I lost my child last year.

Time has not moved on
for me. The numbness it has
disappeared. My eyes have
now cried many tears.

I see the look upon your face,
"She must move on and leave
this place." Yet I am trapped
right here in time. The songs
the same, as is the rhyme,

I lost my child......Today.

~Netta Wilson~

Monday, March 21, 2011


A few nights ago as I cried myself to sleep out of sadness and wishing we had Sofia with us I remembered something my Granny once told me.  She said, "Don't wish your life away!".  That was years ago and until then I wasn't as conscious that I said "I wish..." before my sentences.  I must have been saying it a lot back then because even though Granny is one of the most outspoken ladies I know it was enough for her to put me in my place and made me take notice.  Slowly over time I've come to realize that wishing for something to occur doesn't make it happen - taking action does.

For as long as I can remember I've wanted to be a photographer.  Not just someone who buys a camera and thinks they are - I wanted to expand on my skills that I'd learned from photography courses in college and experience from years of taking photos.  A few years ago I made a decision - not a wish - to do just that.  Even if it's part time I'm still achieving that personal goal (still a work-in-progress).  It's a balance with my personal & social life and having a full time job but it works.  And thankfully I have it as an outlet as I continue to grieve for our daughter.

But not everything is that easy.  I wished for a baby and we were elated to have one only to lose her in the end.  Now I wish for her to be here.  I wish to have just one more moment holding her.  I wish I could have my friend Jen take photos of us with her so I'd have a bunch more.  I wish to be a mom and not have to visit my baby at a cemetery.  All of these are wishes that cannot come true.  How do I take action on these? I can't.  It's a frustrating place to be mentally.  I'm a "fixer" by nature and I can't fix this.  It sucks.

One thing I have learned both from Granny and from Sofia is to not take what we have for granted.  I will always hold on to those few hours we had with her in the hospital and I'm thankful I didn't lose her sooner, else I wouldn't have seen how beautiful our children would be.  Some day we hope to see her in the face(s) of her sibling(s).  I hope happy days are in our future.


Last Friday I went with Tim to get his tattoo in memory of Sofia.  He's been wanting it for months and I've been so busy I haven't had time to design it.  He finally made an appointment and gave me no choice but to sketch out a design.  We used Sofia's actual footprint (to scale) and had a rose go across with her name above the stem.  Originally we were going to have her name on the stem but it would be too small and the letters would have bled together.  It only took about an hour and he's very happy to have it done.  He chose to have it on his chest, above his heart.  He likes to say that "Sofia walks all over him"...his attempt at being funny. :) I'm still trying to decide if I will get one, what & where on my body.  I'm so particular that it'll probably take some time to decide.  

From Slideshow


This morning Tim asked about opening the door to Sofia's room and organizing everything (stroller, car seat, swing, bouncer) that currently sits on the floor in there.  He wants to have the room open so we can feel closer to her and less "shut off" from it all.  I think we might do that, if we can find a place for everything.  I just want it all to stay nice & clean and untouched.  I suppose at some point we need to keep it open, so we might as well take the steps to do so now.  I'm just overly sensitive to that room and will freak if anything happens to it.  It's one of only a few places that I feel like I can connect with her.


Moose is at the vet for an overnight stay (surgery in the morning).  I'm a bit anxious not having him here and thinking about the poor guy alone & scared at the vet office.  Tim gave him an old tank top to snuggle with.  I just want him to get the surgery over with and be back home where he belongs.  Maggie has been struggling missing her pal.  We took her with us on a car ride to visit Sofia tonight.  She was a little confused but at least she got to go along.  Dogs aren't allowed at the cemetery so she had to stay in the car.  I think she was upset seeing all the open grass - she wanted to get out pretty bad!  
From Other Photos
From Other Photos

Decorations made by our niece, Lily.  Sarah said when they drove away Lily said, "Good-bye baby Sofia, love you".  I'm so glad she knows about her cousin and that she's allowed to go visit.  I remember stopping by one night after work and Lily showed me the decorations she made and the larger blue butterfly she found at the store (and insisted that Sarah buy for Sofia).  She was so happy to do something nice for Sofia and it made us feel good.  
From Other Photos

From Other Photos
From Other Photos

My cousin Helen also stopped by the weekend before last and brought Sofia pink roses & this huge lady bug. Her son made a 'Sofia' sign out of plastic to put up by the antenna.  We were both touched that he did this at school for her.  It is the validation we need that she is a part of this family and that she is - and always will be - loved by many.
From Other Photos

My sister also paid Sofia a visit and brought this cute little bug decoration.  
From Other Photos

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Dream of belly kicks

Last night I had a dream that I was pregnant with Sofia and she was moving around and kicking me.  Oh how I miss that feeling.  We were at my parents house in the backyard walking around and you could see her moving around.  In real life, the last time I visited my parents while pregnant with Sofia I had Tim take photos of me to document week 39.  It was almost like being back there, back when everything was great and I was just waiting to have her within the next two weeks.  It was always a comforting feeling when she would move around.

When my alarm clock woke me up I was upset.  I wanted to fall back to sleep and be with her just a little bit longer.  Tim thinks maybe it was her way of saying hi.  I miss her so much.

Photo taken on week 39 in my parents backyard:

From Slideshow

Saturday, March 12, 2011

5 Months

It's crazy how fast time goes by.  I've probably thought and said this a hundred times in the past few months.  We both can't believe how quickly time can pass yet feel like it stands still.

We stay busy, we venture out, we smile & sometimes laugh, but we still have an enormous void where our baby should be.  The thoughts pop into my head randomly throughout every day.  It might be a simple task like putting on my shoes and *BAM* I'm brought back to that day.  When moments before I might have been smiling I'm suddenly crushed and ready to burst into tears.

Something strange occurred on Friday morning.  While I was in the shower I noticed a strange mark on my leg.  I kept trying to figure out what it was, where it could have come from but nothing made sense.  It was a marking that looked like someone's hand but without the palm.  I kept trying to recreate the mark on my other leg and in the place next to the mark but nothing worked.  I was perplexed (and still am).  I hadn't been holding my leg.  Tim was at work (and hadn't been holding my leg either), and I wasn't resting my leg on anything that would have made the mark.  It was simply unexplainable and it stayed there for at least an hour.  I had to get dressed for work so I'm not sure how long it lasted but it was gone when I returned home yesterday.  To some it might sound strange or silly but I know others out there will understand that part of me wonders if it isn't something more...

We visited Sofia today.  The weather is starting to get a little warmer and tiny blades of grass are beginning to emerge from the ground but likely there will be more snow before we can officially say good-bye to winter.  We decided to take home most of the Valentine's decor and put out some more Spring-like things to brighten up her spot.

My mom had been there earlier in the week and she dropped off a flag that sticks in the ground.  It has a white background and a black 'S'.  I was upset to find that the wind had blown it away and was nowhere to be found.  We saw another baby's grave with a similar flag stand and theirs was missing too.  It makes me sad thinking it might be up against a fence or being run over in a street somewhere.

About a month ago Sofia got a new "neighbor" in the row in front of her and slightly to the left.  It's always sad to see the ground like that, knowing the stage of grief the baby's parents are likely in.  There isn't a stone in yet (probably due to the season) but they did bring up a nice little angel statue.  Here's a photo of it and you can sort of see Sofia's things in the upper right-hand corner distance.

From Slideshow

We brought some bright butterflies and a cross with tiny roses on it.

From Slideshow

From Slideshow

From Slideshow

We also saw a new pink rose and a little monkey stuffed animal; thank you to the person(s) who brought these.

From Slideshow

In the row behind Sofia's is a plot of a baby boy born last August.  We saw a new note with a little stuffed animal.  Wow, the father is in Iraq which means he is grieving for his son way across the globe while his wife is here without him.  He can't go to his son's grave.  We had a feeling of sadness come over us when we saw this.  Tim had a tear on his cheek.

From Slideshow

Across the street there is a tall statue of Mary.  We often go over and look at it as we did today.  It's nice that Sofia has so many nice statues around her.

From Slideshow

Five months.  I still can't believe it.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Back in Time

The day we found out our baby had died was the day we began moving every baby item in the house into the nursery.  The pack n play, strollers, car seat & bases, blankets, books, etc. were all moved into Sofia's room.  The room is so packed full of things now that we can barely walk in.  Since we have pets we keep the door closed but every now and then we go in and look around.

Today was one of those days.  Walking in the room is like stepping into a time warp.  Even more so since I rarely go in.  The vent is closed so it's cold and the only sound is the tick-tock of the lady bug clock  I bought in Breckenridge last summer. Otherwise it is complete silence.

It's a strange feeling; it takes me back to happy times when we were anxiously awaiting the arrival of our first born.  I remember clearing out the room and Tim painting from floor to ceiling in a soft shade of sky blue.  I remember the nights after work paining the bugs on the walls and clouds in the "sky".  As my belly grew, I sat in the rocking chair when my Dad came over to hang the mirror over the changing table and put up the shelves on the wall that he made to match the white shelves I found at the flea market.  I distinctly remember she was kicking me a lot that day.  I remember Tim surprising me by assembling the crib one day before I came home from work.  We were so happy then.

The blankets from the hospital are still wrapped in our plastic"take-home" bag.  Every now & then I take one out and hold it close and try to catch her scent.  In some ways it makes me feel closer to her.  I just wish I was holding her in them and not stuffing them back into a bag for preservation.

The room is filled with so much love, happiness, hope... Maybe that's why when I go in it is just for a short while, to ensure none of those elements somehow escape when the door opens.

I went to Kohl's this weekend and they are selling the "Kohl's Cares" books and stuffed animals with the Eric Carle book.  Since we already had a smaller version of the book (a gift from my parents while I was pregnant), I decided to just get the caterpillar.  The lady bug is cute too but I have several lady bugs and thought the caterpillar was pretty cute.  I'm sad that I'm buying it for a room where no child can see or play with it but eventually we hope that won't be the case.

My sister-in-law, Sarah and the girls bought a rubber ball for Sofia's room recently.  It's green and has lady bugs on it.  It's a nice addition to the room.  It's nice that we can still add to the room even after she is gone.  For her, for her future siblings, and for us.

Here are photos of Sofia's room before we lost her (before we moved everything from the rest of the house in) and of the caterpillar and lady bug ball...

From Other Photos

From Other Photos

From Other Photos

From Other Photos

From Other Photos