7/18/14

Release from Grief: A Seed


A Seed

There are no magic words. No one tried and true method of how to cope with loss. The loss of a baby is more than the loss of an adult. They both sting, hurt and make you angry, but from personal experience I see loss of a baby (early or late) is harder. With an older person you have memories, even if you only had a year with that person you have them to hold and cherish. You can look back and smile and refeel the warm happy times (grant it this takes time to get to but you have it to get it to). With the loss of a baby you don't have that as much. You might have the happy moment of finding out your pregnant, maybe the happy time of feeling them kick. But your actually memories of them may never consist of more than that, cause their time in being alive maybe didn't even happen for you. For me I had two weeks. Two weeks of time, but that time was spent in worry, fear, and just plain stressed. My baby girl was alive because of tubes and wires and to be honest barely alive. There was a the one happy moment of hearing her cry and the rest looms like a huge cloud blocking out that tiny sliver of sunshine. My miscarriage isn't any better. We had already been through stress with other things, other kinds of heart ache and uneasiness, so to learn the baby we had wanted to much wasn't even given a chance from the start...well lets just say coping doesn't come easy with that.

So where do you start? I feel now 6 years from Kaitlin and 2 from Sage that I am in a better place. A more stable ground under my feet. It hasn't been easy and I'm sure I will still struggle from time to time, but right now I want to share with you HOW I got here.

Coping is something that happens from the moment your loss happens. If your eating and drinking, trying to live, your coping. You do have to find your way back to being a functioning persons...reality. The pain of losing a baby hurts and cuts us deeply, but we are still living and thats important to continue to do. So at first we learn how to take an hour at time. Then maybe it's a day, a week a month. We might set an internal goal of not crying for an hour. Maybe it's something we have to do... like committing to making it through an 8 hour shift at work. For me I remember trying to figure out how to grocery shop. I was supposed to go back to normal. Meet with friends, grocery shop, cook and clean (I was a stay at home wife). I pushed back the tears to go sledding, I talked myself into going to the grocery store, I forced myself off the couch to vacuum the floor. Looking back I'm not sure if it was helpful, but it is how it was. Through it all I dealt, I cried, and I was depressed. But my perspective on things started to change back then...and it's the seed that was planted then that created what is now. I don't think it has to be planted back then however, it can happen now. Wherever you are in your grief, let these words be a seed. A seed of hope that someday you will climb from the darkest days, moments and time and find a light that will help you release your grief.

This is how the seed was planted with in me: I laughed. I felt horrible guilt for it. My baby just died, why am I laughing? Why am I not in bed crying? But if I were to die would I want that of the people who loved me? Would I want them crying and depressed for days/weeks/months on end. No I wouldn't. Kaitlin was my little girl, I knew she wouldn't want that either. She would want me to laugh, to smile and enjoy life. Miss her...YES Love her...YES Cry...Sure but LIVE too. So I laughed watching my friends slide down the hill and wipe out at the bottom. I learned how to smile at those with big round pregnant bellies. Everyday removing myself from sitting and sulking got a small bit easier. It wasn't an instant switch. I still had many dark days, many guilty moments, but I did plant that seed then and there of brighter days ahead.

For full disclosure, let me say I had tried to commit suicide when I was younger for stupid boy problems. I woke from it and learned that I was being very short sighted and that I wasn't thinking about those that DID love me. So during my dark days after loosing Kaitlin I had to remind myself of that experience. Sure it would be easier if I had just died, leaving the pain behind me. But what about my husband, the future children we had hoped to have, the friends and family that surround us. Everyone has someone and if you leave you leave that someone with no longer having you, but also no longer having your baby either because chances are they wanted you to have that child too. So in reading this, it's your promise you're going to live. Because through YOUR life you will give your angel life. 


This might be where my views differ from the vast majority of the world, but here we go. I call my babies my angels but I do no believe in a heaven and a hell, or a God. I believe in energies and spirits. I think that when we pass we become a spirit/energy that lingers to be with those who loved us. Your baby had only you and their father and YOU knew them in a way only a mother could. You held them in your womb, felt them and/or the pregnancy giving them life. You have a connection, a bond, that no one else can have so your angel has the strongest connection with you. So their spirit is going to attach themselves to you, and some cases maybe even only you. So their little spirit lives WITH you. They get to see and feel things through you. I believe they are always there during the happy times and catch our tears during the saddest. They love and protect us when they can, but they also rely on us. Our babies didn't get to feel the sun, smile at a happy thought, smell a rose... but they can through us. So at some point after loosing Kaitlin this thought was planted in my head, the seed. It stuck there and blossomed into my way to cope. I feel my angels here with me, they calm me when I need it, they guide, and the love and in return I live for them.

Maybe your don't believe in spirits. Do you believe in memory? Because even if you don't believe in the energy that surrounds us, you can atleast agree that YOU are one of the few people on this earth who KNOW who your angel is. As we grow we weave ourselves with others through just our day to day interactions...your baby didn't have that chance, so their life relays on YOUR memory. I promise you, you will never forget them. I'm 6 years away from Kaitlin's NICU stay, and honestly I still remember cupping my hand over her little head. I remember sitting beside her and watching her move, I can still hear the beeps and whirs of the machines. Two years away from Sage and I remember laying on the bed in pain during those last few moments of her “birth”. The memory will not disappear, it is apart of you.

Side note:
Food for thought. Our sweet little beings are obviously little humans, who would and might (as spirits) grow to have thoughts and such of their own. How do you think your angel might react if you decided to toss in the towel yourself. I think Kaitlin and Sage would have been disappointed. I think they would have sulked and held resentment towards me.
 

7/11/14

Release from Grief: Introduction


Introduction

Welcome to my blog series called a Release From Grief. Let me start with that I'm NOT an English major or a perfect writer. I'm SURE you will find mistakes. Try to read the words and meaning of them and understand this isn't meant to be a famous novel. It's merely my sharing how I've found a release from my own grief. This method I know can be used beyond infant loss. I've found ways to incorporate it throughout all my lives struggles. This bit I wrote specifically with infant loss in mind.

I've had two losses myself. I'm not an expert in anything, but can share with you my experience in coping and dealing with them both. Kaitlin is our first child. I had a long difficult pregnancy with her. I was sent for emergency surgery at 20 weeks for a cerlclage (stitch around your cervix). I was also put on complete bedrest. I spent a over month in the hospital. At 29 weeks she was born 2 lbs 10oz. Her health however quickly deteriorated. She had surgery day of birth, fought infections, and ended up at a point of no hope. We choose to take her life support away and hold her. She lived for an hour on her own. Kaitlin changed our lives and made us parents. We did go on to have another child, another loss and another child. Sage is our second angel. A blighted ovum which is where the amniotic sac develops and the placenta do but the baby does not. It's my belief that a baby did form but stopped before we could see it. As the fertilized egg separated into baby and placenta/sac, the baby part stopped moving forward due to chromosome abnormalities. Just like when a baby's heart stop beating at 8 weeks gestation. My losses don't make me an expert, but they do make me experienced.

I truly hope that atleast ONE person can be helped with my words and that is my goal in writing this. I'm always here to talk at just an e-mail away.

The first part of the blog will be released starting on Sage's 2nd Anniversary on July 18th,2014. It will come out a section at time for the next few weeks every Friday.

6/30/14

14-18 week Tiny Diaper


 Tiny Diaper for
14-18 week Angels

Materials:
Flannel
Ribbon (1/8 in)
Sewing Machine
Thread
Scissors

How To:
  1. Print and cut out pattern from paper.
  2. Lay out your flannel and trace on the diaper pattern. (You can layer your fabric and cut two out at a time). Cut out diaper. You will need two for this project.
  3. Lay diaper cuts with right sides facing each other.
  4. Stitch around the edge leaving a gap along the long edge of the diaper.
  5. Trim around the diaper be careful not to get too close to the stitch. Don't trim gap area (can leave that whole edge alone actually, just round the corner.)
  6. Turn the diaper. It will be hard trying to get it through the crotch area. Just keep working it slowly bit by bit it will eventually give.
  7. Poke out the edges with a pointy tool of some kind (I like a knitting needle, but I have also used crochet hooks, kabob sticks, etc)
  8. Top stitch around the outside closing the gap.
  9. Stitch on a 14-16 inch piece of ribbon on the back of the diaper. (about two inches)
  10. Fold and tie, you've made a diaper!

These can be donated to your local hospital as keepsakes for losses in this gestation. They could attempt to put them on the baby's as well but most of the time they are too fragile. I like to include two in the kits I made JUST in case they put one one the baby the parents still have one to take home. Add ribbon and turn them into ornaments.