Gift.

My fiancé visits our sons grave every day since the day he was laid to rest. I stopped going every day after a month and only attend weekly with him. Last week when he went for his daily visit he saw a stuffed bear left for Gavin! It was dark out so he asked that I go the next day to see it. I did, but it was very hard for me to be there alone.

We had no idea where it came from. I was so happy and surprised that someone left him a gift. We had my dad and his girlfriend over for dinner the other night, and she advised there was a gift left at Gavin’s grave. I started crying. We knew what they were talking about as we had already seen it. She said there was a card as well and that the bear was to be brought home for Christmas. When we opened the card it said they wanted to leave Gavin a friend to keep him company.

We will cherish this bear forever. ❤

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Writing.

Writing about Gavin can be hard. It brings so many things/emotions to the forefront of my mind. I love doing it, it helps me remember and honour him. It is one of the reasons I started writing this blog. There are other things that I write about privately in a journal. Sometimes I can only write for a few minutes… and then I need to take a break for my heart and my mind.

Today is one of those days.

I miss you son.
Love Always
Mommy

In Lieu Donation

When I found out I was going to be a mother, I was really excited to get involved in some community programs for mothers and babies. I wanted my child to be able to have friends and I thought this would be a great way to meet new people. Sadly, that was not able to happen (this time).

When planning the funeral arrangements we decided to put out a notice for Gavin in the paper. Typically instead of flowers many people chose to offer an in lieu, and for me my first thought was my local library. I knew that they offered a parent and child program, but wasn’t sure what else. We wondered if people ever donated to those things because while we had both seen them, we had not participated in the past. (We will in the future!) To answer that question – YES, so many people donate. Our local library received approx. $950 in donations, as well we have another $400 to contribute. The library staff was very honoured that we thought of them during our difficult time and appreciate the donations. This week my fiancé and I were able to meet with the library to discuss where the funds would be allocated. They gave us several choices within the children’s area. We chose that some of the money be used to develop and expand on the parent and child program, as well to be used for their toy library. I did not know this, but my local library has toys that you can borrow much like books and return. I thought this was a neat concept. Now that I’m aware of it, I would like to use this for when our nieces and nephews come over. The librarian advised that they will purchase new toys with some of the funds. They create name tags for each of the toys and on the tag there will be a note saying the toy was donated on behalf of Gavin. The library asked if they could do a write up to put in their next newsletter.  We are going to save the letter to put in with all of our Gavin things.

We are amazed how loving and giving our friends and family were to take the time and give money to a great place. We’re happy that we will be able to bring joy to so many children and families through this donated money. Thank you family and friends. ❤ Your donations on Gavin’s behalf mean so much to us.

Emotional Hangover.

The emotional hang over is unlike anything else I’ve experienced. I don’t want to move. I think my bed is comfortable, but it’s not really. Now that I am conscious, I can’t stand being in bed. No position is comfortable. I toss and turn wanting to return to some imaginary land. My heart has exploded with pain, anger, frustration and sadness. My eyes, they ache like never before. And those few nights where I’ve literally fallen asleep while crying, when I wake up the morning my tears have dried. The tears form crystals on the edge of the eyelid and I try to open my eyes but I can’t. I literally have to pick away the crystals (another reminder of the agony that the heart has experienced). My mouth is dry. My lips are chapped. I hate dry, chapped lips. I lather on the chapstick but it’s not enough. My body is weak. It all hurts. I feel fragile. I am fragile.

Fragile-Stiker

I am starving. I feel like I haven’t eaten in days. The typical fast food burger will not cure this hangover. No food will because what I really feel is nauseous. My sinuses throb. I didn’t bother blowing my nose after sobbing so heavily. My shins are sore. Why are my shins sore? This one I can’t figure out… My head continues to pound. I feel groggy. My mind is fuzzy. Flashbacks. Negative thoughts. Thinking about the loss; for me, for my fellow mothers, for our children.

SIGH

Day ‘drunks’… those might be worse.

Give Thanks.

I am from Canada so it is not Thanksgiving for me today, however since it has been all over the TV (and because I am a recent loss mom who struggles to remember the things to be grateful for) I thought I would write a post about things that I am thankful for.

  • David, my fiancé. I am not always an easy person to be with. I am moody. I am stubborn. I am a challenge. I am short tempered. I am difficult. I am grateful to have someone who loves me because of all of my flaws. David loves me fiercely.  I wonder if I deserve someone so amazing. Through this difficult journey we are grieving differently and trying to be understanding and supportive of each other, but I think he does a better job at that than me. I love him and appreciate him more than I can express. David is the most amazing father. He is an exceptional person who gives me all of his love. I can’t wait for the day to be husband and wife.
  • Gavin, my son. It has been very difficult to live each day without him, but I am thankful he came into our lives. Gavin made me a mother. Gavin gave David and I a family, albeit, a little different than most, we are a family. Gavin reminds me what love is everyday. Through the loss of Gavin, I am learning new things all the time. I am becoming a better person.
  • My family. My mother who was the first family member I saw after hearing about the loss of my baby. She was the first (well actually second, a lovely nurse was first) person to give me a hug. She was there to comfort her little girl which was exactly what I needed. Over the years of adulthood, my mother has become my very best friend and couldn’t appreciate her more than I do now. My father who rushed to be there for me. He has been a strong and steady support system for my entire life. My brothers who have been more vulnerable than I’ve ever seen them. I appreciate their love, support and dedication more than I can relay back to them. My in-laws; they have been so wonderful my entire relationship, but even more amazing during this horrifying time in our lives. Aunts, Uncles, Cousins and everyone in between, happy to have your love and support.
  • This amazing country CANADA. I am grateful to live in a place with the kind of health care coverage we have. There are so many stresses when experiencing the loss of a baby and I am glad that is not added on. My heart goes out to other loss mom’s who have struggled in this regard. I am grateful for our freedom.
  • For other loss mothers. Melissa, Lachlan and Becklan’s mommy, thank you. You were the first women I really spoke to about my loss and I will be forever grateful for your words, wisdom and comfort.  Your strength and determination has helped me more than you will ever know. To other mothers who I have spoke to – and even some I haven’t spoken with – Thank you! Each story reminds me “we are not alone”. And while none of us want to be apart of this ‘club’, we are all grateful for those loss mothers before us to help us along the way. Some of the encouraging words that I have read in response to other peoples stories or struggles have helped me. Reading Emily Long’s book, From Mother To Mother, has provided several words of encouragement. Zoe Clark-Coates is another author, Saying Goodbye, which has been inspirational. These books can be quite heavy on my heart and I haven’t been able to completely finish them yet, they are wonderful. Thank you. I am sending all loss moms love (even when you don’t know it).
  • My Friends. I am forever grateful to have your unconditional love and support. It hurts my heart that Gavin is not here to be with us, and your children (and future children). You my friends have helped me laugh during some difficult days. You have encouraged me to grieve as I see fit. You have reminded me time and time again that you are there for me.

There are so many other things to be thankful for in our lives, this I know, but it can be so extremely hard. It’s challenging to live life after loss. I want to go back to Aug 25 and spend more time with my son. Gavin was so beautiful and the pictures we have don’t do him justice. I want to hold my son in my arms again. I want to see David hold his son. I didn’t want THIS. I didn’t want this pain. This anger. This emptiness. This frustration. This grief. I wanted a baby to bring home. Instead I have a room full of Gavin’s things; diapers, baby wipes, lotions, shampoo, books, blankets, an empty crib and an empty rocking chair and empty arms. When I sit back and think about where I am at, I can see that there are days I’m forcing myself to try to move forward faster. To get past the pain faster, to be in the future faster. I want this to be in my past instead of my present. I know there is no way to escape this loss and maybe this is my way of ‘handling my grief’ some days. I will continue to take it one day at a time and try to remember the things I am thankful for.

Empty

empty

This is how I feel.

When I met my fiancé, I learned what true love really was. I was so excited when I learned that we were going to be a family. We were so happy! We had talked about planning our future and our lives together and it was really happening!! That positive pregnancy test really changed our lives. It’s devastating to have both of our dreams shattered. It was extreme heartbreak the day we learned Gavin’s heart had stopped beating. I know that I have a family. I am a mother. I have a son. I carried Gavin inside of me for 8 months. I heard his heart beat. I felt him move. I know all of these things, but it is not the same. I didn’t get to bring my son home with me. I didn’t get the sleepless night. I didn’t get to look into his eyse. I didn’t get to see him smile. I wont get the first of anything; crawling, walking, school, and the list goes on. My milk came in several days after he was born but it only hurt more because it was not required. Our bodies do not realize what has happened. Here I was leaking milk and it was just another reminder that my baby boy was not here with us. It’s been 76 days since I was admitted to the hospital. There is not a minute that goes by that I don’t long to have him here with us. I feel different from the inside out. I feel empty. My body feels empty. My arms are empty. My heart has a piece missing.

In the past several weeks I have been able to connect with some really amazing and wonderful people who have gone through a similar situation. It is unfortunate that we had to meet on these conditions. It’s unbelievable how many women in this world have had to suffer this horrible tragedy. These women have been able to help me get through some of the days. We support each other because only when you’ve experienced a loss of this magnitude, can you REALLY understand what it’s like. I am thankful for the words of encouragement. I know that this pain of losing a child, my first child, will never go away – it just gets different. You learn to live with this hole in your heart. missing heart

Gone.

My heart always aches. Even in good times there is an ache because I know/feel something’s missing. Gavin. Gavin should be here. Instead I can only feel him in my heart throughout the day.  I will carry you in my heart forever. I love and miss you so much.

Gavin. Grace.

I wanted a place to share my thoughts, feelings and whatever else I choose along the way. I decided to name my blog space Gavin’s Grace.

Gavin was born still on Aug 25, 2017.
Grace – verb – do honour by one’s presence.

Gavin’s story really starts back in January 2107. I was visiting my doctor and I knew that my period was late. I knew it was very early. I told my doctor anyway and asked when and how many home pregnancy tests you should take. He suggested 2 or 3 and to take the test 2 weeks after your missed period. On Jan 26 2017 I peed on that stick and it showed positive. I was excited and nervous. As soon as David was home from work I brought him into the bathroom and showed him the positive stick. We were happy. We were starting the family we always wanted. Fast forward to May 3 – David’s 29th birthday, which also happened to be the day of our first ultrasound. It was a magical day seeing our baby that was growing inside of me. In June I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Through diet I was able to control my blood sugar levels. On Aug 23 I was going for a regular ultrasound to measure the baby. It was a routine appointment so I was alone. It was during this appointment I was told my baby had no heart beat. I was devastated. Everyone was heart broken. Everyone was looking forward to this baby. It was Aug 25 at 334AM that I delivered Gavin Michael Burt. We did not know the gender of the baby, so while it was a very difficult time, it was joyful to know we had a son.

It has been a very long and difficult two months. More than that, I know that this is going to be a life long journey. The loss of my first born son will always have me question and wonder. I will question why did this happen? I will wonder what kind of man Gavin would have been. I will never forget my first born child. ❤ I will honour and remember Gavin for the rest of my life.

Mommy loves you.
xoxo

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