I wrote a series of blog posts about my path through grief. I called it a Release from Grief, because in many ways I feel I'm beyond it... I don't grieve the loss of my precious babies anymore...I'm in a new place with no name...but I've found a way to release my grief and move to here. It might not be for everyone as we all walk very different, very personal paths, but I wanted to share :) Here is the complete blog series together in one post:
seed has grown, become something new, something different than the
see it started. It may wilt on occasion, but with some TLC it will
come back full bloom, facing the sun and ready for bright tomorrows.
It won't leave you. Even if the flower wilts and seemingly dies, a
seed will always remain for it to regrow.
written this just to share my own personal thoughts, feelings and
ideas while struggling with the loss of a child. You might agree or
might not. Thats alright. We live in a huge world full of different
kinds of people. Different types of people. My way is NOT the way for
everyone. My way is merely a suggestion on how you might find your
way. I have in no way perfected this method. But I have found a
release from grief. Let me explain.
experience I seems like many drown in their grief. They hold on to
the grief thinking they are holding on their babies and I feel there
is a great separation between the two. Your grief is sadness, anger,
isolation while your baby is love. How are they something to be kept
together? They are opposites (in my eyes). As soon as you find a way
to come to this reality and truly focus on JUST the love, just the
bliss you felt when you found our you were pregnant, seeing you
baby's face, etc...then the grief can start to crumble and break off.
Use that love as a shield against the grief. Now this isn't something
that will work right off. Everyone needs to go through the stages of
grief. I just find there are some that seem to live in a stage
forever and I would for them to find the same release I have found
and that is where I feel this method comes in to play. There is no
time frame for grief and I know it can last years. But at some point
I know I realized I was tired from it. The pain was too much and hard
to bare and I wanted to find a way out. I stumbled and fell a few
times, but this is just merely what helped me, and I truly believe it
CAN help others.
often than not feel at peace with my losses. I don't spend weeks
dreading their angelversaries. I don't even dread their days as much
as I used to. I found a release as I surfaced from drowning. As I
felt the sand on my toes I stood, walked and felt surrounded with
love and warmth. Your angels don't need you to celebrate their day if
you don't want to, you celebrate them everytime you think about them.
Somewhere in my stumbling and falling I discovered there is a place
with in me where Kaitlin and Sage are always celebrated, loved and
cherished. As long as I live that place will forever live on. There
is my release. I don't grieve the loss of them, I instead celebrate
the life they had and the life they gave me. This wasn't an overnight
process. I still might fall on occasion, but mostly I now know how to
fly myself. Falling is okay, but don't give yourself permission to
stay laying there. Rest for a moment but always sit, stand and walk
again. Their memories rely on us to keep them alive, keep them
experiencing life as well. Someday I hope you find your release from
grief :) How you get there is yours to find. Use my words as a guide
or find your own, but I truly with my whole being hope those who have
been touched with infant loss can find a release.
section might seem redundant. But It's from a previous portion I
wrote and felt it needed to be said, it's something I encourage
EVERYONE to do. Share your loss, share your experience, just share.
don't have to share them with the world, you don't have to talk and
talk about your few days pregnant until those around you think you've
gone mad. There are so many different way to SHARE that don't seem
like “sharing.” Lets start with one simple fact, don't hide them.
They are apart of you, the new you. In order for people and you to
understand that new you, they need to KNOW why you changed. No all
people will NOT agree with it. They've probably never experienced it.
If they did it might have been in a time they weren't allowed to
process and deal with those feelings...so understand you will not
find acceptance with all of those around you. I try to accept the
comments they make as just ignorance. And not ignorance in a negative
way... just they don't KNOW. It's like telling someone you understand
what it feels like when their house burns down. You can't unless
you've experienced it. Have you lost everything you had accept the
clothes on your back? Have you stood by and cried seeing the place
you felt the safest turn to rubble? If the answer is no, then you
CAN'T relate. You think you can so you say things like I understand,
but you truly can't. Just like a person who has never experienced a
loss can't help but think they have the best advice, but they don't.
And honestly NO ONE has the best advice, you need to stumble around
and figure out what your new path is. Talk to people, get
opinions...something will work, somethings won't...but you will find
your footing again. So this is why I say share.
with future people. As you go on to make new friends, don't afraid of
talking about your loss. It's apart of you just like all of your
other life experiences. It has molded you into who you are, it's
nothing shameful. It's not meant to be swept under the rug. If you
had a child that died at the age of two you would talk about them,
but for some reason an infant loss isn't supposed to be. I'm not
saying shout it from the roof tops (even though I don't think there
is harm in that either), but we often get a pit of our stomach worry
when someone asks how many children we have, or brings up pregnancy.
Then the struggle in your in mind begins... do I say something? Do I
just stay quite? Do I omit my angels? I'm all for honesty. Say it,
say you have so many losses, say you have had that experience. I can
tell you in my 6 years of being honest, I rarely come across a rude
person. Sadly most of the rudeness comes from family not strangers.
also empowers. It empowers other women and men to be willing to say
HEY ME TOO! It's scary, but honestly our world is changing and people
are realizing that loss happens. It's not a comfortable topic so many
stray away from it, but they know of it and most have sympathy for
those who deal with it.
I once was exposed to someone who was talking about a miscarriage and
how worried she was about the current pregnancy. How scared she was,
etc. I remember thinking why it's just a miscarriage. That was my
being ignorant. It was before kids for me, before I realized what it
was like. It's just like when people talk about their house
flooding... like mine did. People on the outside think we got tons of
money from the insurance company, that we were recovered with in
months of it happening, and that we are back to normal. In reality,
we didn't even get enough to put the downstairs back to how it was
before the flood, not to mention the countless personal items we
lost. We are still recovering 3 years later as you can only do so
much. Yes we use the basement again as a living room, but it's not a
“finished” room. Then the back to normal.. HA! We lost all of our
baby items that we saved from baby one, so we had to rebuy them all
when we got pregnant again. People don't step up and help you as much
with baby two as much as they do with your first...so it was on us.
People don't get how we talk about a plan on IF we ever get a the
flood warning like we did before. How we worry when it rains. How we
still try to find things we lost in the flood forgetting we LOST them
in the flood. So many things are not normal now... but it's our new
normal. I couldn't have understood what flooding was like, until it
happened to me. But I am honest about the flood too.
sharing will empower someone else to share and perhaps even help them
realize they aren't alone. However I do understand not everyone is
comfortable with this.
you're not comfortable sharing verbally. Share on paper. Journaling
for some can be a very powerful tool. Something they can turn to,
write in and just have that release. Kuddos to you if you can, I envy
you. I never could. It wasn't my outlet. It seemed to easy to do, but
it wasn't for me. I felt awkward writing, clumsy and just plain not
into it. So I abandoned it. I tried it...because at first I was
worried my feelings weren't normal, that I would be laughed at, it
still didn't work for me. But over time I've realized that I'm not
normal, I'm ME. My grief and feelings will be different and the same
in many ways compared to others.
I stress don't stuff your loss down deep inside of you like your
trying to “forget it”. Share it, even if it's ONLY with yourself.
I work on and off with Still Birthday, the wonderful creator of it all Heidi holds a special place in my heart. Her kind words, encouragement and patience helped me through my at home miscarriage in ways she will never even realize. She was my go to and I appreciate it with all my heart.
I like to donate when I can so when she asked me if I would be interested in making the scarves for her Love Wildly event I jumped on board!
The photo isn't the best, but here are some of them :)
They are made of fleece. Each one has a machine embroidered appliqué on them of three hearts. One in pink, one blue and the larger one purple. The fabric used on the appliques are from scraps I have from making outfits and blankets to be donated in my kits. So they have a special meaning.
Want to learn more about Still Birthday? Check our her website here:
did I ever resentment my two angels from time to time. I will be
honest sometimes I'm downright mad at them. If Kaitlin could have
just developed properly I might have my three children right now.
(Not that I realistically think SHE had any say in matters either).
Sage too, I wouldn't have had to spend another 5 months of
disappointments if she could have just stuck around. Sounds awful of
me right? It's normal. It's part of playing a victim, but I try to
remember they are a victim too. If only MY egg/body could have worked
right they would be here right?
then resenting the medical staff, my doc for not seeing what was
going on, the NICU nurses for maybe missing something. The NICU doc
for maybe throwing in the towel too soon...etc. Even though I kno
they all had her best interests at heart, that they were fighting
WITH us and not against us. This kind of thinking will just sink you.
And to be honest we all sink some before we learn how to float. Then
you sort of do this bob on top thing on occasion. Or take a few steps
back towards the water during your life before you turn around and
walk forward again. Really though loosing Kaitlin and Sage is nature.
took a hold of my children and took my children from me. Nothing to
really blame there. We as a human race save ALOT of babies that
shouldn't be saved. (I'm not saying I want that to end). From
Nature's standpoint we are going against genetics. Now the weak
survive along with the strong. A child born at 24 weeks for example
is given about a 50% chance of survival... they normally walk out
with lots of complications, but they live. 100 years ago... a baby
born at 24 weeks would have been treated like a baby born at 20 weeks
now. A baby born to soon to be helped. (Listen don't quote me
directly on the numbers I use, this is just a food for thought sort
of thing). Now fast forward 100 years and perhaps a baby born at 20
weeks will be able to survive too...but as humans we are supposed to
carry our young in womb for 9 months. Born a little sooner might work
out alright in general, but we keep our young alive when they are
born drastically earlier than planned.
of thinking has helped me immensely. How can I resent the medical
system for giving me a chance to carry Kaitlin to term. Kaitlin
should have died around 20 weeks. We stitched my cervix closed so she
stayed within until 29 weeks. Then she should have died shortly after
birth, but because someone knows how to perform surgery on such a
tiny being she lived. Because we have antibiotics, can give blood
transfusions, and have meds that help preemies she lived for two
weeks. Sage isn't immune to this either. In the past I would have
realized I was pregnant and thought all was well, up until the day it
wasn't. But with Sage I got to have an ultrasound (well a few of
them). I got to prepare. I knew she wasn't going to stay around and I
got plan for that. I knew why I lost Sage. Medicine tells us that
babies just stop developing for genetic reasons. Before I can only
imagine a woman's pain in wondering why her pregnancies didn't stick.
I can imagine the blame one might have felt. It's a small comfort in
knowing that it's just nature. It's nothing I did, its nothing the
baby did, it's just how things happen.
end though it nature. It goes back to the why me question. I am a
product of nature so it's the reality my children are also prone to
nature's laws. Not every egg with be perfectly fertilized or grow the
way it should. Not every person's body is a perfect host for babies
to grow. All we can do is be thankful for the technology we posses to
help fight against it.
what ifs, things you wish you had done differently at the time of
your loss, things you think if you went back and changed it would
change the outcome. There is no changing, no going back, etc. Your
angel is your angel, it's harsh, but true. It takes awhile to realize
this...I used to wake thinking Kaitlin was still in the NICU. I used
to hope and believe Sage was still growing in my and what I had
passed was just a large clot and all was well. Then I played the what
ifs. Was it the fact I touched Christmas lights that caused Kaitlin
to have issues, I colored my hair I should have never done that. What
if I hadn't? What if I wasn't taking certain medicines could that
change if Sage would have lived or not...I drove myself mad...but it
didn't change anything. It didn't bring them back. Nothing will. So
you have to face reality, Your baby is GONE.
there is the how you would have done it differentlys. How you might
have dressed your angel yourself, how you might have not flushed that
clot down the toilet. How you would have made the experience more
special or just different. That can't be changed either. But it's
okay. It YOUR experience. At the time it was what you needed to do.
Sometimes we are medications that hinder us from seeing things
clearly, sometimes your just so caught up in the moment you don't
know what more to do. Hindsight is always clearer. Your angel though
feels the love you have for them NOW and thats all they need. They
are balls of energy and light...feelings I truly believe help
nurturer them, just like breastmilk might a newborn. Share your
feelings with them. You can speak out loud or in your mind, they hear
you. They know you love them without having to put on a grand show of
things. You don't need to release 1000 balloons, or light 100
candles, they know cause you feel it. I've told people many times
that if you feel you didn't get to say something to a passed loved
one, say it NOW. They hear us, they truly do. I know this only based
off my own experiences... cause I feel it. You can take me on my word
or not, but it goes back to memory. Even if you didn't love how the
last moments you had with your child went, the love is still there.
You love your child no matter how horrific their birth was, let that
LOVE be what you choose to focus on. Remember it, hold on to it, and
keep it with you on the surface. Let it float and the bad memories
sink a little out of focus. You can't get rid of them, but you can
choose what you want to keep upfront.