Sunday, January 24, 2016

"I don't have good news...I'm sorry..."

Those aren't the words you want or expect to hear at an 8 week ultrasound. 

This past Wednesday we found out that our baby, who we saw on an ultrasound the previous week, no longer had a heartbeat. We will never get to see who baby Sprout was. We will never know if the baby was a boy or a girl. And now the teddy bear I got Noel for Christmas that said "Big Brother" seems really silly, or just really painful.  

How does this happen?  How have we been pregnant 5 times but only have two living children?  Have we won the worst lottery ever? Every time I think "Why me?", I ask myself "Why not me?"  What makes me think I'm immune to loss, because I had already lost two babies? That should be a good enough reason, but because I have a lot of friends who are multiple loss parents, I know there is no immunity, no guarantees.  

So now what?  Where do we go from here? What does the future hold for our family?  I wish I knew. I wish we could just stop grieving already!  My heart, mind, and body are so tired. However, I will not give up hope. Lola and Noel, my rainbows, gave me that hope, so I will continue to hold on to it.  

Thursday, August 13, 2015

If Only

I took the kids to Lyndhurst Splash Park today. There was a little boy there, I think his name was Chad, who started playing with Lola, sliding down the water slides.  They were running around with Noel, having fun.  Chad looked like he was about 4 years old and had dark red hair. I spotted his mom; she was a redhead, too. No one would ever believe that I have two redheaded boys.  What are the odds, with parents who don't have red hair?  It was then that I realized Chad could have been you, Dylan.  Same age, same hair color. This is what it would have been like, what it should be like, watching the three of you play together. Thank God for sunglasses because tears were running down my face. Lola was running after him, giggling.  Chasing after her big brother...  

A woman came up to me and asked if they were all siblings. I said no, that Chad wasn't my son.  She remarked that she wondered because they all seemed so close in age. I wanted to say that my kids ARE all that close in age.

Later on, I was sitting at the computer with Lola. She saw the screensaver and said "Aww, it's baby Lola!"  I said no.  Then she said "It's Bubba?"  Nope, try again.  "Oh, it's baby Dylan!"  Yup, your other brother.  Someday she'll understand who you are, Dylan.  You'll always be her big brother, her guardian angel. You will always have a place in our family. Sometimes it feels like a hole, other times it feels like a gift. You have taught us all so much. You have made us realize what's truly important in life.

Today, though, I wanted you here.  I imagined you here.  

Today, I had 3 living children, if only for a brief moment.  If only.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Happy Birthday, Shrimp!

So today would have been our third child's due date.  Such a difficult time for me right now; so many emotions. How do I mourn a child that I never got to celebrate?  How do I not fall into the pit when I'm pregnant again and need to keep my head as sane as possible?  I imagined Dylan talking to me tonight, telling me that he's taking care of Shrimp and not to worry.  I never really worry about them; I know they are safe and loved.  I'm just sad for them, for us, for our family.  When you picture your future family, you never envision that you'll have more children in heaven than on earth.  It just doesn't seem right or fair.  I believe that Dylan would want me to focus my attention on raising Lola and getting Speck here safe and sound.  But...the pit is never far away.  I just posted a link a couple days ago to a woman who wrote that being pregnant with a rainbow baby is like tight-rope walking over hell, hoping not to fall in.  I also know some loss moms who liken it to jumping off a cliff blindfolded.  My sentiments exactly.

So how do we mark Shrimp's due date?  I guess the best thing we can do is be a family: hold the child that we do have here and give her lots of kisses, while we hold the children that we don't have here in our hearts.  And Speck?  Lucky for me, I get to "hold" him all day long.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Mourning myself

2 years, 6 months, 3 days, almost to the exact hour.  That's how long it's been since Dylan was born.  Subtract 8 days, and that's how long "the old Missy" has been gone.  Over the past couple years I have heard multiple times from friends that they missed me, the old me.  I've been told that I'm still the same person, by others.  Truth is, I miss myself.  I know I'm not that same person.  It would be impossible to be.  The old Missy knew life  in a much more innocent, even naive way.  She knew people died, even babies, but that would never happen to her.  She didn't do anything to deserve something like that.  Didn't most people create their own sadness?  I didn't choose for Dylan to die.  I didn't do anything, that I know of, to cause his death.  I had a normal pregnancy like everyone else.  I was excited, scared, and nervous, like everyone else.  However, I didn't go into labor.  I didn't get to be rushed to the hospital by Tom, dragging along a pillow and hospital bag, wondering how the birth would go.  I was rushed by an ambulance- a ride I barely remember- and rushed even faster into an OR with a mask over my face and nurses furiously prepping me for surgery. I could have died.  So could Dylan, that night.  I am forever grateful that, by some miracle, he didn't, and I was given 8 amazingly emotional days with him.  To say that I was forever changed by his birth, life and death is an understatement.  I often think of the things I used to enjoy. I am physically, emotionally, and mentally a different person.  I am stronger than you can imagine even when the tiniest memory can bring me to my knees.  I live for my family and its future.  I have never been a public speaker but somehow bring up immense courage when asked to talk in front of groups about Dylan and our subsequent loss of Shrimp. My family is proof that life throws you many curve balls.  You have to change and adapt, and I guess that's what I have done.  But I will probably always mourn the old Missy, just like I will always mourn Dylan.  When he died, part of me did, too.  I hope that the new part of me that was added, the one who sees life in a whole other way, can be an even better Missy.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Baby Speck

So, here we go on another pregnancy journey. Dylan is now slated to be a really big brother; his sweet sister Lola here with us, a sibling in heaven with him, and a new baby swimming in my belly.  This pregnancy almost identically mirrors his.  Dylan was due on 12/26/10.  This baby is due on 12/20/13.  So many emotions, so many fears.  But, I learned through Lola's pregnancy and my loss after her, that I'm not in charge.  I cannot determine Speck's fate.  I'm just here for the ride.  

I hope you all will join us on the journey.  I always say to my baby loss mom friends, "Rainbow pregnancies are no joke."  They are extremely difficult to get through on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis.  So, I appreciate any support and forgiveness for my craziness over the next 6 months.  

I'm so happy that Dylan came into our lives.  He has forever changed my family and what I thought it would be.  But I wouldn't change anything.  

Thursday, January 24, 2013

When goodbye comes before hello

I usually write exclusively on this blog about losing Dylan, but, with a broken heart, I'm including another loss. Dylan and Lola now have a brother or sister in heaven. We didn't know we were pregnant until I miscarried this week. What a blow this has been. As if losing one child isn't hard enough, we are now dealing with the loss of another. We didn't even have a chance to get excited about this baby. There was no positive pregnancy test- until it was already over. August 18th would have been the estimated due date. I can already imagine Lola running around, curious of a strange baby in her house. But that baby will never be.

Three pregnancies; only one living child. I will now say that the most disappointing aspect of my life has been trying to have a family. I never imagined in my wildest dreams that I would lose a child. And after Dylan's death, I prayed that I would never know another loss. It couldn't happen again, right? For some people, their big dreams come true. Seems that for me, it is my worst fears that are realized.

Dylan has a new playmate, which is sadly comforting to me. I have never really worried about where he is; I guess I know in my heart that he's being taken care of. Now I know that he has a hand to hold and someone to play trucks with. If only I could have held that hand, too.

And so we continue our journey, now a family of five. I will continue to hug Lola tightly- I do every day. I know how precious her life is and how quickly it could be taken away from me. I pray that she never knows the heart ache I have experienced as a mother. Being a parent is a very hard job. Being a loss parent is indescribable.

Friday, January 18, 2013

4 simple words

On this date last year, I was 19 weeks pregnant with our second baby. We had just gotten through Dylan's first birthday, which was hard but not as bad as the anticipation that had built up for months before it. I had survived about 14 weeks of morning sickness and a trip to the ER for excruciatingly painful kidney stones- which is even more frightening for someone who has already lost a child and didn't need to be hanging out in the hospital that he died in. We had scheduled our "big" ultrasound for January 18th. For most people, it's where they get all excited about finding out the gender of their baby. For Tom and I, there was a lot of fear and anxiety. We had seen our baby on the big screen already. I know what other moms don't, though. There are no guarantees that there was still a heartbeat. I was terrified the entire time, but started to relax as my doctor started the scan, telling us everything we were looking at the whole time. He knew Dylan's history from our chart- he had scanned him, too- and we knew that we'd be seeing a lot more of Dr. Muise over the next 19 weeks or so. When he was done doing all his measurements, he asked if we wanted to know the baby's gender. We said yes, and I waited for him to confirm my hunch that Baby Mathews #2 was a boy. Then he said 4 amazing words that I will never forget: "Your daughter is perfect". I had waited what seemed like forever to hear that. She was perfect. She is perfect. Dylan was going to have a little sister.