Living with the loss of stillbirth and learning to live in the sunshine of our new normal.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

I have so many blogs in my head. I don't know if I will get to any of them, because I make myself too busy. Too busy staring off into space. Too busy making excuses, lists, messes. I need to get these messes out of my head and onto paper before I lose them forever.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Sometimes I feel like I am going to break apart. Pieces of me flying in different directions. It doesn't take much to shatter me. It's a horrible feeling, because I think, look at everything I have. This beautiful life I've been given. My beautiful rainbow girl who spins light into everything she does. But I still think, this is wrong. Raising Sophia alone is wrong. Without her sister, without the best friend she never got to meet. I think, since she's all we have left, we will give her everything. We will spoil her and keep her surrounded with love and support. But it's still not enough. We can't buy her the life she was supposed to have.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Day 28- Memory

I have been working on the Carly Marie Project Heal Capture Your Grief photo project. Slowly. It went through October but I haven't finished it. I have all of my pictures, but I haven't gotten them all up yet on FB. This is the hardest one for me. The memory. The Memory.

When I was 16 weeks pregnant, Mike and I went to Fetal Photos. We have a long DVD of our baby dancing in my belly. She was actually pushing off of my bladder and bouncing from my ribs and back again. She was opening and closing her hand. The tech said she was saying hello. That is the day we found out we were having a daughter. I was speechless. I was ecstatic. I refused to tell anyone because I thought it was a mistake. We waited until our 20 week appointment to tell anyone because I thought the news would change. But after we left Fetal Photos, we went to Target to buy our daughter her first presents. Shoes, of course. I knew from the moment I saw them, that if I had a daughter, I would buy her these tiny ballet slippers. Mike insisted on the sherpa boots, which are identical to a pair I own. We took the shoes home, never thinking that our daughter would not wear them. Not imagining for a second that the shoes would sit unused in a box, on a shelf in a closet.

Seeing these tiny shoes causes me actual physical pain. Remembering the awe of that day. The hope. The blind joy. This is my day 28.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Gasping For Air

There are days that I really do feel like I will drown. After almost 6 years, that hasn't gone away. The times when the loss of our daughter is so real that time stands still.
All Sophia wants to do is play with other kids. And when it's time to go home, she doesn't want to go. And tonight she said, "All I want to do is play with my sister." Because in her eyes, everyone else has a brother or a sister. All of her friends have someone to play with. How do I explain to my 4 year old that the one thing she really wants, we can't give her?

Saturday, October 13, 2012


I'm sitting outside of the Share Walk. I'm in the parking lot of a funeral home, and I feel like I just ran away from a funeral. All week I've been unsure if I would attend the program this year. It looks like I won't. I've been weak and unstable this week. Its starting, the Holidays Without Her. October starts it and it doesn't end until mid-march. I am unable to stay here with all of these families who are also missing their babies. I feel like an outsider, an imposter, and I don't know why. Why can't I belong to this amazing group? Maybe it would help. But I'm sitting in the parking lot instead.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

I wish I could still write. I wish I could draw or paint. I wish I had some way of getting this stuff out of my head so I could think clearly. I wish I had a way of expressing and remembering.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I feel like I spend a lot of time tip toeing around myself and my feelings. Because I know how crazy I can be and I know how delicate my everyday sanity is. An article about taking pictures of a stillborn baby makes me shake. We didn't take enough pictures. I wanted more, I just wasn't strong enough to say please.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Birth Plan

I was just thinking about how much time I spent writing up a birth plan when I was pregnant with Charlotte. How we paid for and went to classes on pregnancy and birth. And how we didn't bother when I was pregnant with Sophia because we knew it was out of our hands. I think about that sometimes, about how sad it is.

Friday, August 31, 2012


It doesn't matter if its because the sky is on fire, or because the blue moon has disappeared. No matter the weather, I am thinking of you.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Can't Not Think

Charlotte, my baby girl. My tiny princess. I know it's not your birthday, but I can't stop thinking about you and I had to write it down. This would have been a big week for you. You would be starting Kindergarten. We would have walked you to school, right up to your classroom. Kisses for mommy and daddy, giggles and hugs for Sophia. What clothes would you have worn? What size shoes would you be wearing? I can almost picture you sitting at a tiny desk, listening to your teacher, big, intelligent eyes taking in everything around you. Almost. We were almost there, but instead you were taken away with the wind. Gone in an instant that has turned into an eternity.
Will it always be like this? My lists of what should be, what could have been? You sister is the most amazing thing in the world, but she isn't you. She is not, has never been, a replacement for our little star. I can watch her grow up, see into her eyes, hear her laughter. And I enjoy it. I revel in it. But I cannot help but wonder how similar you two would be. How different. Sophia loves her preschool. She gets to play with other kids, and it reminds me how lonely she is. She talks about you all the time. I hope you know that. I hope you can visit her dreams. I wish she could know you like we did. I wish I knew how to handle having two daughters but only being able to raise one at a time. I hope I never make her feel set aside, I hope she never struggles with being an only. Because I don't think she is an only, but it's so hard to explain that to people when they ask.
I'm sorry that I leave you alone. That I've stopped talking to you and I don't visit your headstone. I feel like you're nowhere and I am struggling with that. I am struggling to believe. I am struggling to keep walking in the right direction, when most days, I don't know up from down. I struggle to be a good mom, when I feel like i'm being punished for losing you. By losing you. I don't know what to believe.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

If she hadn't died, I would be registering Charlotte for Kindergarten right now. Maybe even today, I would be inside an elementary school with my little girls standing next to me. We might be meeting her teacher, she would be smiling shyly at her soon-to-be classmates. If she hadn't died.

Monday, June 11, 2012


I'm listening to this song for the first time in 4 years. I used to sing it to Charlotte in the car. I have to start believing in fairy tales again before Sophia is too old to believe. I have to help her believe before its too late.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

You'll still hope

Not even 3 minutes into Private Practice from last week, and I had to turn it off. Amelia going into labor.. How matter of fact she is about it, knowing she wont hear her baby cry. How she is acting so cold and so business-like. That's how I was. I just went through the steps to get it over with, so I didn't have to think about what was happening. Or what was going to happen. They don't tell you, when you're in that situation, that you'll still hope. You still hope that when your baby is born, the doctors were wrong and you will hear crying. That everyone and every test was wrong. They don't tell you that.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

A kid by any other name

We're at the zoo. We're sitting in the Aisian Highlands, eating lunch. A small boy, maybe 5 or 6, just climbed up on the barrier fence that's about 3 feet off the ground with a 2 foot fence on top of that- perfectly safe if you're standing on the ground. It's a 10 foot drop from here. His mom glanced up and then got back to her food. As we're sitting in shocked irritation at the lack of parental responsibility, his mom says to his little sister, "Charlotte, eat." It feels like she punched me.

For the record, the kid was within arms reach of me (about 8 feet away from his mom) and if he had leaned over the railing or looked at all like he would actually go over, I would have both grabbed him, and said something to his mom. Instead I sat in quiet distain for someone who has no idea what is going through my mind.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Every once in a while on Pinterest, I will get stuck. I only see pins that will fit on certain boards. Many nights, it's Charlotte's board. Occasionally, I will search her name, just to see what pops up. Tonight that was not a good idea. A photo of a beautiful little girl with blond hair and brown eyes. Someone else's Charlotte. Never mine.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Mike and I got new phones a week ago. If I can actually blog from my phone, I think I can try to update more often. We'll see if this works.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Sophia refused to eat her carrots at dinner. Refused. She fell asleep while pouting at the table. I sent her to bed. Mike went up to snuggle her. So she fell asleep thinking I'm the meanest mom in the world.
Being a parent is hard.
Being a parent when you're angry at the entire world is harder.

Sunday, February 26, 2012


My baby girl. My sweet little angel. My first and always princess. I have written this birthday letter a thousand times this year. I have written it and torn it up and let the pieces float away in the wind. But now that it's time to send it, I can't remember the words. I can't remember anything but how sad I am without you. Everyday, I miss you. For five long years. For five long years. My baby is five years old, somewhere. I guess I tend to think of you living somewhere else. A long vacation from this angry life. An alternate universe, where my baby didn't die. Where you are growing up, one day at a time. But I can't place myself there with you. I can't be with you where you are. But every day, I wonder.
What I miss most are the tiny things that most people don't think about. How it would feel to hold your small hand in mine as we walk. What it would feel like to feel your breath in my hair when you hug me. The sound of your laughter as you chase your sister at the park. What would be your favorite movie? Your favorite color. Would you be a picky eater like Sophia? Would you have nightmares? Are your eyes blue? Is your hair blond? Do you look like your daddy? Like your sister? Do you have my temper? Where are you?
Today was a beautiful day. When we got to the cemetery, the birds were singing. The sky was bright blue, and Sophia sent you some balloons. Sophia had to smell every color of rose on your headstone. Pink first, then red, and finally white. When we left, she kept talking about "the flower place."
Charlotte, my heart is aching. I know that people say that all the time. A broken heart aches. But my chest is throbbing from wanting you. I lie in bed most nights and it's all I can do not to scream. You should be getting ready for Kindergarten. You should be getting put in time out for pulling your sister's hair. You should be here with us. For five years I have struggled not to be angry. Not to question. But I am still struggling. Even when the sun shines and the birds sing. I need to feel you, to hear your voice. Please help me to listen. Please help me to remember to breathe. Please, wherever you are, know me. Remember me. Let me always be your mommy. I love you, baby girl. I love you with every ounce of strength I have. Happy birthday in heaven, my love. Remember to listen for my voice, because I will never stop calling your name in the wind.

love, mommy.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Five years ago today, we were told our daughter had died.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Five years ago tonight, I felt my baby move for the last time.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Five years ago today, my baby was still alive.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

We recently bought a king size bed. Our old bed was lumpy and bumpy and squishy. As much as I never thought I would have a Family Bed, we've got one. I never in a million years thought that I would be okay with co-sleeping. Before Sophia, I lived in I Would Never World. And co sleeping was part of that world. At this moment, she is in her own room, on her own bed. By the time I go to bed, she will probably have stumbled into my room. I'm okay with it. I love waking up with Sophia snoring next to me. I love how excited she gets on the rare days that all 3 of us wake up at the same time. She giggles and squeals. "Mommy! Daddy!" and silliness ensues. I love hearing her giggle in her sleep. I love comforting her when she is having a bad dream. I love having a bed big enough that I'm not sleeping with my butt hanging off the side.

A few nights ago, I was wide awake while Mike and Sophia slept. Sophia was right next to me, snuggled up with her head on my right arm. The thought occurred to me that there was still plenty of room on the bed. The space between Sophia and Mike at that particular moment was enough that we could have fit another person. I couldn't help think that Charlotte was supposed to be lying there with us. She was supposed to be filling that space. I tried not to daydream too much about it, but I reached over and I laid my hand on the empty spot on the bed that I wished my daughter was laying in. For a few seconds, I allowed myself to picture the four of us snuggled up together. Waking up together on a weekend, giggling. Talking about our dreams, our plans for the day. The four of us.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Even after 5 years, there is not recovery. There is no "better". Days aren't as long as they were, I don't cry every. single. day. But I am not better. I will never be okay with it. I'm not alone in that. I can't be happy about that, but I can find comfort that I know people survive this.
The last few nights when I step outside of work to get some air, I feel like the moon is mesmerizing me. I glance up at it and I get dizzy, like I'm being sucked into it. It's so hard to explain, but it makes me feel a little panicky. I know that sounds crazy.

Monday, January 30, 2012

How many just-turned-4-year old's birthday wish when blowing out their candles is for "everyone to have a nice time" at their party? That's just how awesome my Sophia is <3
After she would unwrap a present, she would run across the room to give the person (who gave it to her) a big hug and kiss. My 4 year old is amazing!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Today after we had Sophia's birthday pictures taken, we let one of the balloons go for Charlotte.
Later, Sophia made up a story about how her sister died. She told Mike that her sister had gotten run over by a big, rusty car, and died.
Even later, she told our friend that her sister is Charlotte, and we sent her a balloon today.
These are big steps. Huge.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

So yesterday was Mike's cancer check up. He got the results of his CT. Dr. Chandramouli said the scan showed no signs of disease, and his bloodwork is okay. Which is good. Dr Chandramouli also set up an appointment for him to see a surgeon for his incisional hernia. Also good.
He also talked to him about some other, not so good things. But we've been aware of those things for a while now and we're dealing with them. It's not necessarily health issues, but if I got into it here, he would probably hate me for a few minutes.
So overall, good news.

Monday, January 16, 2012

I'm staying up late to watch ZombieLand, because if I go to bed before my Tylenol PM kicks in, the wind will give me nightmares.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Today was a better day. I only half-cried, twice. Once when I was talking about the infant car seat we have- it's "expired" but I wont throw it away. It was bought for Charlotte. Sophia can use it for her "babies". I wont throw it out. And once when my friend and I were talking about pregnancy and birth. I don't know if I will ever have a "typical" birth experience. It's something I always wanted, and it was taken away from me twice. (Although Sophia got here safe, so who cares how she arrived? Other than the stress and the fact that it was unexpected.)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

I tried to go to bed. I tried to go to sleep. It was early, but all I could think was that I wanted to be alone. So I lifted Sophia's head off of my right arm and gently laid it down on her half-pillow (the only one that fits in between Mike's and mine on our bed- because if she doesn't have her own pillow when she's in there, she rests her giant 3 year old head on mine, and then I might as well sleep on the floor..)
Today was a bad day. Tonight was a bad night.
I mentioned putting Sophia's booster seat together. She reached the 40 pound weight limit for the 5 point harness, so we had to convert it. My 3 year old is the size of a small 6 year old. My three year old is the size that I think her sister would be, at 5. My three year old put her arm around my neck today and said, "Don't cry, mama. Please don't cry." I told her I was crying because she is getting so big, which is partly true. I told her I am happy to watch her get bigger, which is all the way true. Even on the bad days, the days I feel hopeless and empty- I am thankful to see one of my girls growing up.
I can't explain how hard it is to not be angry. How exhausting it is to constantly be thankful and grateful and happy and how hard it is just to try to be normal. How lonely I feel sometimes.
Tonight, because today was so bad, I am going to be selfish and sad and angry.
But when I go back to bed, I will slide my right arm back under Sophia's giant three year old head, and I will take a deep breath, and I will close my eyes, and I will stop.
There was not much good about today.
The car failed inspection. Again. So we continue to drive it on expired plates and wait for the sensors to reset. And hope I don't get pulled over because they could (and would, because that is our luck) impound the stupid thing.
I had to turn Sophia's car seat into a booster seat. Which took a ridiculous long time. And I cried while I took it apart. And I cried when I buckled her into it. It feels like I'm not keeping her safe anymore.
There is other stuff. So much more. All I wanted to do today was stay in bed and sleep and cry and pretend that I don't have responsibilities.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Today I cried because Sophia doesn't have a sister to play Barbies with. I have to be her sister because her sister died.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I never (never ever) thought I would be the mom to an only child. Even though I am the mommy of 2 perfect girls, Sophia is an only child. I don't know if she always will be, but it's hard to think that she might.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

I'm on Google, looking for pictures to use as inspiration for Sophia's birthday cake (I know what I want it to look like, but I have to see what it would look like..) and all I can think is, "Charlotte's 5th birthday.. Charlotte's 5th birthday.." It's not fair to my amazing, brilliant, fun, sparkly, sassy, perfect, almost-4-year old. It's not fair to anyone. It's just plain not fair.