507 Days.

Babe,
It’s been 507 days since you started your journey as a father. That day I showed you a stick I had pee’d on, and you were so excited. It was something you had wanted for such a long time.

It’s also been 296 days since our son was born still. My heart is filled with so much joy that day, learning we had a son! The baby I had been carrying was not the girl you expected, but a beautiful baby boy. My heart has ached for 296 days knowing that we don’t have Gavin with us here on earth. The days go by and I miss him more and more, as I know you do as well. We will never stop missing and loving our first baby. 

You have been an extraordinary father. For the past 291 days you have went to visit out son Gavin at the cemetery. You are to brave and wonderful to go be near him every single day. It hurts me too much to be there every day, but I enjoy our family visits together on Sundays. The care that you have for Gavin’s gravesite and all of the people surrounding me shows me what an incredible father you are. 

It’s been around 172 days since we found out we were expecting our second child together. You knew that I was pregnant before I pee’d on that stick again. I had suspected it for several days as well. It was only confirmed by blood work days later. This pregnancy hasn’t been the easiest on my heart and anxiety but health wise, it’s been great. 

It’s only 61 more days until my planned induction. SIXTY ONE DAYS! I am so hopeful. I love you so much and cant’ wait to spend all the days with you beside me as a father to my children.

Thank you for your love over the past 1131 days; after all you did fall in love with my the day you met me. 

I love you so much.
Happy Fathers Day.

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9 months. 274 days.

You never think that this could be your life. This is the kind of thing that happens on TV or in a movie. Nothing that devastatingly sad could happen in real life, only in scripts played out by talented actors. With the accompanying music that is so heartbreaking,  Well, that just isn’t true.  

Here I am.  -cue the music-

It’s been 9 months since I delivered your perfect body and held you in my arms. Nine months since I had to say hello and goodbye in the same day. Nine months since seeing your perfectly long fingers and toes. It has been 9 months since seeing the heartbreak in all of my families eyes.  Witnessing that heartbreak in your fathers eyes was the hardest of all. We all mourned the loss of your precious life. No one could imagine the pain we were really in, it’s hard to imagine the loss of a child. Every parent, friend or family member we knew got to hug their child or loved one a little tighter that day. I only dream of hugging you and telling you how much I love you. ❤ 

In 3 short months, shortly before what would have been your first birthday, your little brother will be here.  I am hopeful for a different outcome; to be able to bring this baby home. So much has happened in the last year and it’s been quite a challenge most days. I am grateful for the loving and supportive people in my life who have helped my get through the past 274 days without you. Your little brother has been moving more and more with each day and it only reminds me of how much I love (and miss) you. 

Gavin, mommy misses you so very much. I love you so deeply. I carry you in my heart every day. 

A special thank you to Danielle for the beautiful work she does with her wood slices.

“This Is Us.”

I chose not to watch “This is us”, because I knew what happened. I knew that she lost her baby, and it was just too close to my loss to be able to watch it. I’ve seen that I have 10 episodes recorded and maybe I could give it a try. I love the show. I love that they are talking about baby loss, in all sorts of ways. I love that it’s on TV, and so many people are moved by their fake story. I think it helps when I (or any other person) talks about their loss child.

Well, today I decide, I can do it, I can watch it. I was bawling. It was a really great episode, with Toby speaking up and saying that it happened to him too. I often think that fathers sometimes get ‘lost’ in the grief journey.

I am glad that I have David as a great partner and support system. I hope that I have been there for him as well. Losing a baby at any stage is very sad, and hard. Everyone choses to process their pain in their own way. For our family, it will be a life long process.  We miss Gavin every day. Being pregnant with Gavin’s little brother add’s a whole new layer of grief and anxiety. I love both my children. I know Daddy does too!

XOXO

Six Months.

It’s taken me a while to be able to write anything lately. Part of that is because I just wanted to scream, I’M PREGNANT, as loud as I could. Another part of me was scared for the future, for another loss. Today has been six months since Gavin was born and I thought it would be therapeutic for me to write.

First of all, being pregnant again – what has that been like? It’s been a mix of emotions from happiness, guilt, worry, anxiety, fear and love. Let me to back several months ago… It was November and I was discussing with David how we really had to be careful because I didn’t want to have the same timelines. I said it would hurt to much to go through everything at the same time. A few days later I had a conversation with a fellow loss mom who said something like, ‘wouldn’t it be quite the sign if something like that happened?’ I took that thought home and pondered on it for a few days. I said to myself, you know what, whatever happens will happen – and it’s not like I was going to get pregnant right away. I didn’t even know when I was ovulating. Fast forward a few weeks and it was about a week or so before Christmas when I realized that I was late. I told David immediately. He said, “I knew it, your boobs are different!” I was in denial at this point. I didn’t want to believe it was true. I didn’t want to hurt again. I didn’t to love and lose. I didn’t want to face reality. I had a doctors appointment set up for something else, so I decided I should tell my doctor. He asked if I could give a urine sample, which I said not currently. He then gave me the form to complete blood work which would confirm or deny what we thought.  Because I was still in denial about it all, I thought it would be best to get through Christmas and come back to this after. I knew Christmas would be hard without Gavin (and I was right).

David and I have divorced families, so Christmas is a busy time of year with many dinners to go attend. Typically it is fun to spend so much time with our families, but this year our hearts were a little bit heavier. We had purchased wood slices from GreyWoods Design for Gavin’s grandparents and Great grandpa for Christmas. We were excited to share such a beautiful piece with our family members. All uniquely made with Gavin’s very own footprint. They all loved them and many tears were shed. Thank you Danielle for your amazing pieces!

Footprint slice

My brother had gotten this beautiful piece made for us. (We still need to hang it up). The footprints traced from Gavin’s. The words and feet cut out using a scroll saw. He also gave one to my parents. More tears were shed.

There is no Footprint.jpg

As hard as some of the moments were, there is a part of me that is happy that so many people are touched by Gavin.  Christmas day was very hard for me. Since Gavin was born on the 25th, it was exactly 4 months since I gave birth. Gavin was supposed to be here celebrating his first Christmas. In the summer I remember saying to people, the baby (we didn’t know gender) won’t even know whats going on, so not very many presents please! I wish that we had all the presents to give to our little boy!! We went to the cemetery to visit with Gavin and I bawled my eyes out. When we left I told David all I wanted was a hug from my mom. We drove straight there and I just cried in her arms for a few minutes. It felt good to be comforted by my mom. After that we came home and cleaned up and went to another family dinner. It was good to spend so much time with our families, but it was hard knowing something – Gavin – was missing. In the back of my mind I knew I was pregnant.

Finally after all of our Christmas events were over I peed on a home pregnancy test. Dec 27th. It was positive. David was so excited. I was still in denial, not sure if I was ready for this to be true. I felt so guilty for being pregnant. I hadn’t even tried to get pregnant and it just happened. I have met so many moms who struggle with infertility and here I was not really acknowledging the baby that was created. After a few days I realized that I needed to go get the blood work done, this would confirm to my doctor that I was pregnant and I could find out what (if anything) I needed to do differently this time. I was transferred from my family doctor to my O.B. right away. I shared my concerns with my O.B. about having another loss and how anxious I was. All very valid and normal thoughts for loss mothers. An ultra sound was scheduled for the very next Monday. Me being in a rush to see the baby inside of me confirmed, not realizing David was in first aid that day. David and I decided I shouldn’t cancel because it may help my anxiety so I went alone. In the room, the technician had asked if this was my first pregnancy. I cried and told her no, and explained my first son was still born. She was very gentle with me, handed some tissues and when I was ready proceeded. She talked me through the procedure saying there was a sac and a heart beat. She would get through the images she needed too and then turn the monitor so I could see. It was very comforting to see that tiny heart beat that day! When I left I got the images so I could share with David.

Poppy Seed Jan 15

From Feb 5th to 11th we spent time sharing the news with our family and some friends. All are very excited for us. David and I are thrilled!! However, I was anxious because it had been quite some time since my 1st ultrasound. On Feb 21 we had an appointment to hear the baby’s heart beat. It was a beautiful sound! I felt like so much of my anxiety was lifted in that moment. I will still be worried and concerned until I am able to come home with a living baby.

I have spoken to several loss momma’s who have gone on to had (or are having) another child and it’s not an easy journey. I am grateful for their support. I am grateful for everyone’s love and support. We are being hopeful. We are excited to grow our family. As scared as I am some days, I am so happy and overwhelmed with love! Love for Gavin and love for our “Poppy Seed”. It’s going to be quite an emotional journey over the next 25 weeks.

6 Months / 184 Days
Who knew this time could come so fast! I thought today was going to be a lot harder than it has been. Maybe I was building the day up in my head over the past several weeks. David and I have had a good day. We’ve had a quiet weekend at home which was nice. We’ve both thought about Gavin a lot. We went to the cemetery (as we do each Sunday) and it was nice. There is so much love for Gavin and that love is comforting.

 

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. ❤

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.

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