Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Dear You, Tell your story.

I'm a sucker cards and stationery.

I love Brian Andreas and his StoryPeople.

And Curly Girl Design. (That's where this one is from.)

And, I found another one today while I was in Hallmark.

The Kelly Rae Roberts Collection.

It doesn't have cards or stationery,
but it does have cute magnets and wall hangings.

And, I found a few that I thought said things so well.

I wish they would have had this one there.
I would have bought it.
I would read it every morning.

And remind myself that
it's really going to be okay.

It would be there to remind me
on those mornings when
I don't feel like getting out of bed
or answering the phone.
And my heart is aching.
And I miss my daughter.
And I miss our family.
Or, what could have been our family.

I can read it when
I feel like I should be over all of this.
Like I shouldn't be so sad
or so sensitive.
And there's that voice in my head that says,
"Seriously, you should be over this.
Get over it.
Move on."
But I'm still sad
and missing her.
This could remind me that I will be okay.
For realsies.

I would read it when
I make phone calls to nurses
and prescriptions to take
and shots to jam in me at 3 am
and calendars to keep track of
and doctors to visit.

And then, 
when I realize I'm going to be okay,
I could say this:


That's what I need sometimes.
A good swift, kiss in the arse.
A reminder to be strong and courageous.
A reminder that I will not be crushed
or destroyed
or alone.

"We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed." 2 Corinthians 4:8-9

I can will be tough
and courageous
and strong.
I am not alone.

However, I ended up buying a small one of these:

I bought it to remind me that my story, 
no matter how 
or annoying
or unhappy
or never-ending it seems to be.
Or how much I want it to be over, 
it is important.
And it matters.
And I need to tell it.

We need to tell our stories.

Tell your story.
It matters.
And it helps people.
It helps you.
It helps us.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Pumpkin Delivery

Last night a dear friend swung by our place to drop something off.
I was poking my eyes out with hot skewers and rolling down slides of razor blades working on grade cards.
I was completely up for a little diversion.
Something that she and 2 year old daughter made.
She said that hot glue guns and 2 year olds aren't the best combination.
Parker has been potty-trained since she was about 18 days old.
So, I'm pretty sure she's mastered the hot glue gun, too.

Isn't this fantastic?  
So creative and thoughtful.
But, it's just totally...fantastic.
(Like, totally...like, yeah.)
And a great (and the only) Halloween decoration in our house.

It's a pumpkin wearing a hat!
It's brilliant.
And it has braids.  
Only a genius with a huge heart could think up something like this.
Forget carving and guts and stuff.
Totally going to glue felt and balls all over my gourds next time.
(Said that for you, A & G).

Thank you for the wonderful gift.
And, since I can't pose the Magster with it, Fergie will have to do.
So great.  
(Dave was disappointed he missed the delivery.  He was busy at the JuCo having students watch him cantor and gallop.)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

1 year

Before I even start--prayers are needed for a friend of a cousin.  Last night, another mama (a friend of my cousin) delivered her stillborn daughter.  She had been on bedrest and the doctor was trying to hold off delivering until she was 35 weeks.  Her 35 week mark would have been Friday.  Just a few days away.

Please keep the family in your prayers as they prepare a memorial service and deal with the loss of their daughter.

One year ago today, the Magic was just beginning.

October 18 was the day Maggie was conceived.

Please.  Don't get uncomfortable.

Or grossed out.

Dave wasn't even there.

He was shopping somewhere in Wichita or something.

I don't even know where he was, actually.

I think that's funny.


It's weird how you can go from such a high
to such a low
in such a short amount of time.

I didn't realize how that Monday
one year ago
could change
Absolutely everything.

And, I wish I could go back a year ago and enjoy those moments again.
The moments of high hopes
and nervousness
and innocence.
I wish I could enjoy those moments of only thinking,
"I hope I'm pregnant.
I hope it works."

Because now, it will be,
"I hope I'm pregnant.
I hope it works
and I hope her heart never stops beating."

Because even with a positive result,
it doesn't mean it's for sure.

One year can change so much.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

October 15

The past week has been harder than normal.
Maybe it was because there have been so reminders.
Of what should have been.
And what isn't.
For me.
And for so many other families.

I knew October would be a hard month.
This was the month that Maggie joined our family.
But, on top of that, October is the month to remember our children.
Lost through miscarriage
or stillbirth
or ectopic pregnancies
or infant death.

Just in the U.S.,
2,000 women lose a baby every day.
From iamtheface.org.  
That's 730,000 a year.
And, those are the ones that are reported.
That doesn't include those that people don't talk about.
Or the ones in the other 190+ countries in the world.
If we did, there would be more than
138,000,000 babies lost each year.

And, for some reason, this still isn't an urgent matter.
The medical field still cannot find explanations for 50% of these deaths.
So, 69,350,000 babies die in one year
for no. reason. at. all.
We have no explanation for why they died.
And, still, nothing is done.
It is still not really talked about.
You don't see anything in the news.
And we still, in 2011,
cannot give families answers about
why their child died?

I'll get off my soapbox now.
I was saying that this month has been hard.
And my coworkers knew that.

They knew that I would be struggling a bit more.
And they didn't ignore it.

And think that if they didn't mention it, i wouldn't have to think of it.
Instead, they acknowledged how much
this sucks sometimes.
And, I was reminded that it's not everyday that you work with people who are so
and gracious
and supportive.
Thank you.

And finally, October 15.

A day to remember.
We lit a candle to remember Maggie.

And we lit 6 more.

For Nancy and her daughter, Violet.
Who has been gone for only 6 days.

For Jennie and her son, Owen.

For Heather and her son, Isaac.

For my cousins and their sweet babies.

For the Kings and their babies.

The sixth was for others- whom I will not name for privacy.
But you know who you are.
I lit a candle for you and your babies.

I prayed that we will find peace 
as we continue through this journey.

Fergie even helped.

And, I didn't want to blow them out.
It felt like another goodbye.
Even though it's not.

From this website. Love her stuff!

Thursday, October 13, 2011


I have mentioned Heather before.
I have mentioned that she is not creepy or stalkerish.
I'm pretty sure she's not a 40 year old man that lives in his mother's basement playing creepy video games all day.
In fact, I'm pretty sure she is an amazing, caring, beautiful mother who is part of the same stupid club I am.
We met through the this website when it was doing a series on pregnancy and infant loss.
She lost her dear son, Isaac, several weeks after Maggie died.

Since October is Pregnancy Loss and Infant Loss Awareness month, Heather and her family walked to remember her dear son and the steps he will never take.  They joined hundreds of others to remember the other children and their families.

Since the closest Remembrance walks are 3 hours away from us, Heather let a balloon go in honor of Maggie.
And, even though it's just a balloon,
it is so much more than that.
It's acknowledging her.
And not ignoring and brushing over the fact that she ever existed.
It's remembering her life.
And remembering how my life has changed because of her.
And remembering that I am a mama.
Even though my daughter is dead.

And it's overwhelming to think that all of these balloons represent
the love
and magic
and hope
and excitement
and overwhelming joy
that families felt for these babies.

But they are also reminders of
the pain
and loss
and grief
and the overwhelming hole
that families feel when that child is taken
too soon.

October 15 is the National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.  People observe the day with remembrance ceremonies and candle-lighting vigils.  Finally, they end the day with the International Wave of Light, where people around the world light candles at 7:00 pm (whatever time zone they are in).

I am hoping I can remember to light 2 candles on Saturday night.
To think of Maggie
and thank God for her.

And, I'm also going to light another candle to honor of 2 college acquaintances who just lost their dear daughter, who was due in January.
Although I have not spoken with them in years, I hope they know they are in the thoughts and prayers of many.  And that, although, their daughter is not where she should be.
Or where we want her to be, she is at peace.
And I hope she is playing furiously with her new friend, Maggie.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Nettie and I=BFFs

So, my obsession with Jennifer Nettles has been multiplied by 42,538.
I think I will name our second-born Jennifer.  Or Nettalie.  Or Nettie.  
Nettie Harder has a nice ring to it.
(It's way better than some other options Dave has suggested, like Richard).

Last night Dave and I went to see Sugarland in concert.
Crossing this off of my bucket list.

Swoon.  Love. Obsess. SheisfreakingamazingMrBigglesworth.

She is in-cre-i-ble.  That's Spanish for incredible.

I could have watched her all night.
Holy pipes, Batman.

I'd totally let her be our roommate,
if she needed a place to stay in Kansas.
And Jennifer Nettles and I could be best friends.
And she could sing to me all the time.

She was so good that
I cried during the concert.
Everyone else is dancing around.
Singing along.
Cheering and whistling and screaming.
And Dave is just about to take a picture of us.
And I had to shove his hand down.
And say, "Not now! I'm crying."
She was THAT GOOD.

It was one song.
It got to me.
But it was just what I needed to hear
after how I had been feeling all week.

In fact, the song, "Little Miss" has turned into a project.
A way to share challenges.
And realize that we'll all be alright.
We'll be okay.

And, just because this was my second favorite song from the night.
I think about Maggie every time I hear it.
(I think it will take you to youtube to watch it).

And, a special thanks to my internet-friend-who-isn't-creepy, Heather.
Yesterday, she went on a Remembrance walk for her son
and Maggie's new friend, Isaac.

And, she let a balloon go
in memory of Maggie
and the millions of other babies
and their families.

Thank you, Heather.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Things are adding up...

For the last few days I have had people ask me how I am doing.
More than usual.
And, honestly, I don't know how to answer.

My go to answer is, "I'm hanging in there."
Because I am.
I have to.
And that is a way easier answer than the truth.
But, I do have those days.
And, lately, those days have been more often than not lately.

I wish I could pinpoint it to one specific thing.
But, I think things just keep adding up.

First, there's this.

Apparently, there is no "take me off of your mailing list because my daughter died" sign-up.
Or, at least, I don't know about it.
I got all this in one.freaking.day.
"Your baby's an infant now...
Get your baby's pictures taken 
and put it in a cute book.
And then feed her some delicious formula."

Oh wait, I can't.
And a box in a field.
My Maggie.

I got these in the mail and my heart just sank a little bit.

October is the month I got pregnant last year.
It is so hard not to compare this year to last year.
I understand, it's a whole new bag o' chips or whatever.
But, it's still way too easy to think about 
last year
and what we were doing
and compare dates
and feelings and 
And not get my hopes up 
and expect and want and hope and pray that the same thing happens 
(minus the whole no heartbeat thing, of course).

I don't want to get my hopes up.
But, they already are.
They have been.
Until I think about the possibility that this could all happen again.
And then my heart sinks a little more again.

And, in case you haven't noticed,
everyone and their brother sister is pregnant.
(Sidenote: If you are pregnant, I am not directing this at you, 
I'm not mad at you.
I'm heartbroken that my daughter died).
When I say everyone, I mean like a crapload of people.
I counted my facebook friends who are pregnant.
Because I am like that.
And I tend to perseverate on things until I drive myself (and others) nuts.
(Ask D...he will vouch for this, I'm sure).
And, guess how many?
There are 21 people in my facebook world who are expecting their own bundle.
Which is great
until I am reminded that I never got to finish my story with Maggie.
Or, that my story about Maggie didn't end the way I thought it was going to.
It didn't end the way it should.

October is Pregnancy Loss and Infant Loss Awareness Month.
October 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.
(I'll write more about that later).
I love that there is a day to remember.
To remember babies and infants.
And their families.

In fact, I have spent too much time at this website.
I have read too many stories of other women.
And it makes me feel better.
And worse at the same time.
It reminds me that there are others like me.
Who have gone through this, and much worse, and survived.
And I'm glad that I'm not alone.
But I'm so sad that this happens so often to so many other women.

And my heart sinks even more.
Because I wish I wasn't that statistic of 1 in 4.
And I wish I had more of Maggie than just a box and drawer.


Sunday, October 2, 2011

Goings on in November

Back in June, I posted about some exciting happenings going on in November.  I didn't write anymore because I didn't know the details.

But, I know the details now.  And, I'm freaking out a little bit because when I type this and click "publish," it means that this is actually happening.
And, like I said back in June, this is kind of out of my element.

On November 11-12, one of the local churches is hosting something called a "Sister Care" Seminar.  It is a 2 day conference- the goal is to "validate women's gifts of caring and equip them to respond more effectively and confidently to the needs of others in their lives and in the congregation."  Basically, it's a workshop for women on how we can respond to and help other women in our church congregation.  (If you want more information about these seminars, go to this website.)

Anyways, I am speaking for about 10-15 minutes on Saturday afternoon about my experiences with Maggie.  They would like me to speak about my experience with Maggie and her stillbirth but also how other people (specifically the church community) helped or could have helped more with her death.

To say the least, I am nervous about this.
I'm sure I'll be nervous to speak in front of strangers.
I'm nervous that I'll get all blubbery and won't be able to stop.
And, I'm worried that I won't be able to convey my thoughts and feelings well enough in such a short amount of time.

But, I am honored.
Honored that I get to talk about Maggie and her short, sweet life.
Honored that people think my experiences with Maggie are important enough
to share with others.
And important enough to help others.

Any woman can attend this conference, so if you are interested let me know.  It is $45 for the two days if you register by October 15 ($50 after that). I can get you the information or, at least, whom to contact if you want more information. If you cannot attend, I am going to try and post (somehow) my presentation.
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