Thursday, July 16, 2015

Happy Second Birthday in Heaven

Today, almost exactly two years ago, we were heading to the hospital.  I was in labor, and we were going to say hello and goodbye to our sweet Kale.

I can't believe it's been two years.  It feels like a hundred years.  And it feels like just a few days ago at the same time.  Grief is funny that way.  I miss him.  I miss him a lot, I think about him all the time, I watch the kids his age, and what they're doing, and I picture how he would be doing the same thing.  I watch my older kids play with kids his age and wish they could be playing with him.  I still cry, I still have days where I can't even fathom how my life is supposed to keep going without him (and Miranda), I still wonder what greater purpose is being served by this process I continue to go through.

But today, I just wish I could watch him blow the candles out on a cake, and tear into presents, instead of us taking a cake to the cemetery and not even having any presents.  It's hard, and I'm not sure it gets easier.

This song by Daughtry pretty much sums up how I'm feeling today:

"Today could've been the day
That you blow out your candles
Make a wish as you close your eyes
Today could've been the day
Everybody was laughin'
Instead I just sit here and cry

Who would you be?
What would you look like
When you looked at me for the very first time
Today could've been the next day of the rest of your life

Not a day goes by that I don't think of you
I'm always asking why this crazy world had to lose
Such a ray of light we never knew
Gone too soon, yeah

Would you have been president?
Or a painter, a author or sing like your mother
One thing is evident
Would've give all I had
Would've loved you like no other

Who would you be?
What would you look like
Would you have my smile and her eyes?
Today could've been the next day of the rest of your life

Not a day goes by that I don't think of you
I'm always asking why this crazy world had to lose
Such a ray of light we never knew
Gone too soon, yeah

Not a day goes by, oh
I'm always asking why, oh

Not a day goes by that I don't think of you
I'm always asking why this crazy world had to lose
Such a beautiful life we never knew
Gone too soon
You were gone too soon, yeah

And not a day goes by
That I don't think of you"

So today, for Kale's birthday we are wearing our #kaleblue shirts, we are eating cupcakes, leaving him balloons at the cemetery, and going to a movie together as a family.  I betcha he would have loved doing all of that.  Even if he wouldn't sit still for the movie, he probably would love seeing the Minions be silly and would laugh at them.  

Happy birthday baby boy.  I love you Kale. 

Monday, March 02, 2015

Miles for Kale and Miranda Week 2 Day 1

Yesterday was an emotional day for me.  It was March 1st, my due date for Miranda.  Although I knew I wouldn't hit that day, because I have never had a baby born anywhere NEAR their due date, or even born in the month they were due in.  Even still, it was a bit emotional for me.  And my sweet neighbor blessed her baby girl in church who was born a few days before Miranda.  And then it's been pouring rain lately, which always makes me think of Kale.  All those things kind of escalated into that perfect storm a bit.

I've been trying to get back into running, back into some form of physical exercise.  I never really kept up on the gym, it was rather difficult finding time to go, and someone to watch Martin.  Now that Matt's home every day, because he's still unemployed, it's easier to find to the time to go since he can watch Martin.  I can go in the middle of the day!

So that's what I did today.  I talked myself into changing into warmer clothes and went out to run.  Did it suck?  Yeah, a little bit.  But running is a form of therapy for me right now.  I can't afford a therapist, even if I need one, but running lets me work through the thoughts in my brain, which there are a lot of.  Anger, hurt, heartbreak, jealousy, fear, doubt...the list goes on, and changes all the time.

Right now I know what I need to work on.  I need to work on acceptance.  And that's very difficult.  I don't want to accept the lot I've been given in this life. I don't want to accept that the dreams I wanted won't come to pass.  And many other things.  But these are the things that are holding me back.

One of the songs that came through my playlist today what "Shake It Out" by Florance and The Machine.  (much better song than T-Swift's Shake It Off")  As soon as that song started I admit to the tears starting too.  Running has always made me cry, the endorphin's or whatever just trigger tears whenever I finish running.  But maybe it's just where I am in life right now, which is why I need to accept these things, and let them go.

Maybe the running is working.  Maybe it's helping me sort through all the feelings I have, maybe it's helping me come to terms with Kale and Miranda dying.  Maybe.  Even if it doesn't though, it makes me feel closer to them.  Which is why I keep going.  It's miles I'm running for them.

2 miles down today--Miles for Kale and Miranda.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Miranda Dawn, one of my white roses

I read this story at Miranda's memorial service.  In the vase, I had two white roses, and 5 pink roses.  The pink roses were for each of her family members to give to her.  We laid them on her little casket before we left the cemetery.  The white roses were symbols of this story. 

The White Rose
All the earth’s mothers were gathered together at God’s Garden of flowers, those beautiful budding spirits who would someday come to earth, were nurtured and tended in the gardens.
A loving Father spoke to the mother’s, “See the works of my hands, someday you will be the mothers of these radiant spirits.” The garden glowed with the mixture of all colors. “Choose ye!” He said.
Now in the east corner of the garden pure white roses stood as sentinels. They were not as colorful as the rest, but glowed with a kind of purity which set them apart. One by one Mothers stepped forward.
“I want the blue-eyed, curly hair one, who will grow to maturity and be a Mother in Zion.” Yet another chose a brown-eyed, brown haired boy, full of life and love who would someday be a prince in a grand country. The garden buzzed with excitement as the others chose their own special spirits, those whom they would soon welcome into the warmth and love of an earthly home.
Once again the loving Father spoke, “But who will take the white roses, the ones in the east corner of the garden? These will return to me in purity and goodness, They will not stay long in your home for I must bring them back to my garden, for they belong to me; but they will gain bodies as planned. You will miss them and long for them, but I will personally care for them.”
“No! not I” many said in unison. “I couldn’t bear to give one back so soon.”
“Nor I” said another. “We will take those who will remain and grow to maturity and live long lives.” The loving Father looked out across the multitude of Mothers with longing in his eyes for someone to step forward. Then he said “See the most pure and perfect of all the white one’s? I chose him. He will go down and be a sacrifice for all mankind, He will be scorned, mocked and crucified. He is mine own. Will not anyone choose like unto Him?” A few Mothers stepped forward. “Yes, Lord, I will.” Then another, “I as well”, and “Yes we will Lord”. Soon, all the pure white roses were taken and they rejoiced in the choir of the mothers.
The Father spoke again, “Oh blessed are you who choose the White Roses. Your pain will be a heavy cross to bear, but your joy will be exceeding beyond anything you can understand at this time.”
The white ones embraced their mothers, and so full was their purity and love that filled their souls with such endearment. Each Mother knew they could endure the task. Then the mothers of all the White Roses gathered them, as a hen gathers chicks, and the outpouring of love surrounded each mother and child, as he prepared them for their task. Each mother who bore the weight of the White Rose felt the overwhelming love for God as they all shouted

“Thy will be done!”

Monday, November 03, 2014


It seems like November is the time everyone starts talking about everything they're grateful for.  Thanksgiving on the horizon tends to bring that out in people.

To be totally honest, I've been feeling very UN-grateful lately.  I've been feeling a lot of things actually.  Anger, sorrow, confusion, frustration...the list can go on.  I was talking with Matt the other night about how unfair I had been feeling about our situation.  How going through this process again is just unfair, and how it makes me doubt myself as a mother in a way.  Now, I know that sounds completely crazy, I get that.  But when a situation is out of your control so utterly completely you make reaches of all sorts.  This is a reach I've been known to make.  That for some reason I'm not a good enough mother to get to have the family I desire.  I sit here on my couch and cry about how I'm a good mother, why can't I have these two other children here with us?

A friend told me after Kale died (and maybe it was before) that I need to just feel what I'm feeling.  Not to try to push feelings down because they may not seem like 'normal' grieving emotions.  Feel what I feel at the time, accept it, and move on to the next emotion that's coming.  So that's what I do.  I feel what I feel at the moment.

Those moments when I'm angry at God for having us go through this again, they come and go, like every other feeling I have.  And I realize that a lot of what I feel seems irrational.  And that's ok.

The other night, when I was feeling ungrateful for everything we've been given the past month, (job loss, car loss, terminal diagnosis for another baby, the death of Matt's grandpa) it all just seemed like more than I could bear, and I was telling him about how I thought it was all unfair.  I mean, I realize other's have it worse off than us.  I realize that there are many situations in life that could be so much worse, but right now, to us, to ME, the situations we have been given just seem unfair.

After talking and crying it out for a bit, he told me to go read this talk, given in LDS General Conference in April of this year.  Grateful In Any Circumstances by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf.

And so I read it the next day.  There are so many things that I needed to be reminded of.  There are so many ways we are blessed at this point in our life, even as we're suffering and grieving.  And it's not just tangible things, although I will touch on that too.

"Being grateful in times of distress does not mean that we are pleased with our circumstances. It does mean that through the eyes of faith we look beyond our present-day challenges.

This is not a gratitude of the lips but of the soul. It is a gratitude that heals the heart and expands the mind."

So I starting attempting to be more grateful, and guess what?  I FEEL more grateful every day.  My heart is turned outwards instead of inwards and it makes a difference in our lives.  When I was pregnant was Kale, I was very selfish about everything.  *I* needed to do and provide everything for him for his short life.  I didn't want to accept help, I didn't want others to help us pay for things (even though we needed it).  I felt like I was a terrible mother if I couldn't provide for him everything he needed.  In his case it was a cemetery plot, a burial, flowers, headstone, and a few other little things--blankets, clothing to be buried in, memorial items.  

I've let go of the selfishness with this baby and it's made a difference.  It's made a difference in how I feel, how I act, in every day matters.  My heart has been opened and I've been reminded (multiple times) about how good of a world we truly live in.  How good people are to others.

On that note, here is the point of this long post.  It's for me (and our family) to say thank you.  The past few weeks have been extremely difficult for us, emotionally, spiritually, and for me mostly, physically. (carrying a baby with no fluid is hard, you wouldn't realize it, but at this point in my pregnancy this is the third time I've had a baby with no fluid and with Martin I was on complete bedrest).

We have been beyond blessed with the outpouring of love and support from so many people.  My sister in law Natalie started a funding page to help us cover some of the financial costs we thought we would need for this baby, from what was spent on Kale.  It's only been going for about two weeks and this morning the goal was reached and surpassed.  So many many people, people we know, people we don't know, anonymous people, have donated money to help us.  Our story has been shared and shared again.  We have cried tears of gratitude as we watched that little green bar get filled.  We have been shocked that people care enough to give us this help we need right now.  We have been reminded of how good people are.  We have been so grateful.

So THANK YOU.  Everyone of you.  Everyone of you that has said a prayer on our behalf, that has sent a good thought in our direction, that has given us some financial help, that has given me a hug, sent me or matt a text or email or card or facebook message.  We are grateful.  We may not response quickly, as emotions make it difficult, and sometimes 'thank you for thinking of us' just doesn't seem like the adequate response.  

But here it is anyway: Thank you for thinking of us.  Thank you for remembering our little family.  We are so grateful for so many people.  I want to give everyone a hug.  

To quote President Uchtdorf again: "How grateful I am to my Heavenly Father that in His plan there are no true endings, only everlasting beginnings."

Friday, October 17, 2014

Capture Your Grief- Day 16

Day 16--Retreat

I did exactly that today.  I took my dear husband and we spent the day together.

And now?  I want that every day.  It's been 15 months since we said good-bye to Kale.  And today when we were expecting exciting news we once again received an announcement that a sweet little baby I've been carrying for the past 20 weeks has Potter's Syndrome.

We're doing this again.  We're walking this road of grief and pain all over again.  Only this time we're already carrying a boulder of grief with us down this road.  I can't even put into words the emotions I'm feeling right now, the pain my heart feels.  My brain can't even wrap around the concept.  It's not real, it's a horrible nightmare, a joke someone thought would be humorous.

Shock would be a good way to describe it.  I'm in complete shock.  My thoughts are unfocused, but I need to talk.  Lightning striking our family twice.  The's unbelievable.  We saw the perinatologist that we saw with Kale, and she was just as shocked as us.  No kidneys, no bladder, no stomach.  It's a 1 in 100,000,000 chance of it happening twice.  Unless there's a genetic link, which apparently there is.  We speculated before, but were always reassured that it was a fluke.  However, now at this point, it's no longer a fluke.  Both myself and Matt probably have some sort of recessive gene that when put together causes this.  There are about 14 different types of 'genetic variations' that could cause this.  And those variations?  They raise our odds in having a Potter's baby to 1 in 4. Twentyfive freaking percent.  The fact that we have two happy, relative healthy children is amazing, as odds are generally NOT in our favor.

I'm getting side-tracked.  There are many details that really don't matter, as they don't change the situation any.  The point is, we are having a second baby with Potter's Syndrome.  Unfortunately we have walked this exact path before, we know the steps that need to be taken.  We know what we would change, and we know the final outcome.  We know any time we get to spend with our sweet baby is through the grace of God being willing to give it to us.  We know that our dear child could pass away at any moment.  There is only so much room in there and with the added complication of a cord possibly being laid on, the risk is great.

And while progress is slowly being made in regards to treatment for Potter's, and there is a miracle baby out there, we aren't fortunate enough to receive such treatment.  Our precious child is missing more than kidney's, which makes the treatment (a saline solution to help lungs develop, and then hope for dialysis until a kidney transplant is available) impossible.

Our hearts are broken.  I don't think it matters at what age you loose a child, every dream you imagined for them, being stolen away so quickly and replaced with heartache is unbearable.

So here we are again.  Preparing for a baby that we don't get to keep with us.  Katryn's response broke our hearts: "Dang it.  I wanted a sister".  And I wanted to give her a sister.  Martin doesn't understand yet, but he understands that Kale is in heaven and so I think he'll grasp this quick enough. Having done this before, we can anticipate this baby being born around Christmas time, about 2 and 1/2 months early.

And so we're retreating.  We're taking steps to protect our hearts right now, as they are VERY fragile.  We're drawing our family in closer than before and cutting out the excess as needed.  We know that God has a reason for these babies to be called back to Him so quickly, and I wish we could know the reason too.  I've said it before, and I'll keep saying it.  Going by faith alone is HARD.

And there it is.  Potter's Syndrome take two in our house.  Preparing to bury another child, to have to say goodbye too soon, to have to deal with 50% of my children not being here with me.  It's a heart-ache I can't even begin to describe.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Capture Your Grief-Day 15

Day 15--Community

Day is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.  At 7pm, everywhere around the world, people will be lighting a candle in memory of their baby, and all babies.  Each in their own time zone.  In a way, this creates a wave of light across the world, each group after the other, lighting their candles in remembrance of our babies.

I set up a little corner in our living room for Kale.  One of my sisters in law crocheted this little blanket for Kale's 1st first birthday and it's perfect.  it's the perfect size, and would have fit him just right too.  Another sister in law gave me the little candle and candle holder in the middle.  I didn't have the chance to tell her, but it's so perfect.  I have been on a sort of hunt to find something I could use each year for the Wave Of Light.  And this is exactly it.

And so tonight, at 7pm, I'll be lighting that candle and thinking of Kale and all others who are no longer here with their families.  I have a list of of names in my head and heart of those I'll be thinking of, but at the risk of accidentally missing one I'm not going to post them all here.  Just know, that I am remembering your sweet babies with mine, and my heart is hurting with yours.

Capture Your Grief-Day 14

Day 14--Dark/Light

I don't have a picture for this.  I don't know how I could represent it appropriately.

But I do want to discuss it.  Because there are light and dark sides to this 'after-life' of having a child die.  A before and after.  There are moments when I'm totally at peace with what happened, and then there are moments when I am angry at everyone and everything, when I honestly want to yell at God and tell Him that He was wrong, that my boy should be here with ME.  When I don't understand that there's a purpose behind it all, and a great plan in place.

There are moments when I feel like I'm living a dream, that this life, the life I'm living without one of my children, is really my life.  I wonder how on earth we got to this place.  10 years ago, when Matt and I were dating, I never would have thought something like *this* could happen to us.

There's a quote going around facebook right now, in the baby loss community that says "1 in 4 in not just a statistic, it's me".  And that's how I feel sometimes.  Sometimes I feel like a statistic and that makes me angry, but it's true.  It's me.

It's like living on a yo-yo.  Going back and forth between the good moments and the bad moments.  The light and the dark.  Yes, the dark times suck, but I get through them and enjoy the light times.  I imagine it will be like this forever, and because I'm in a light-time, I'm ok with that.  When I'm in a dark time I probably won't be pleased, but right now I understand that this is how it is.