Words.. from a scattered brain. 

“So how is motherhood going?” 

Well……. There is only 1 day left in October and I’ve been meaning to write for months now but haven’t found the time or energy to piece my words together. 

The summer and fall have flown by. The winter is coming and I can honestly say I’m not looking forward to it. This summer wasn’t much of an enjoyable summer either. Being a new mom comes with its challenges but being a new grieving mom along with a side of vertigo/ dizziness and intense postpartum emotions is beyond challenging. Unfortunately I’ve still been dealing with inner ear issues which has caused me to not be able to even wear Jett in a carrier since I’m afraid I will lose my balance. This also limits me from going places most days as it’s very uncomfortable to walk around. I’ve been working on treating it which has helped but I can’t say it’s not frustrating. On top of that are the crazy hormones that I’m dealing with after having 2 back to back pregnancies. So many changes in my body along with the trauma of last year which I’m shocked at how much it can affect you physically. Again, slowly but surely we’re in the process of dealing with this. Also, being puked on, peed on and spat on is not exactly that glamourous either. 

I’ve also had to face the dreadful questions like “is this your first?”. On top of already being so exhausted from new mom sleep deprivation, I usually always answer with “yes” instead of explaining my first born. It’s always so tough finding the right words on the spot. This will be a life long thing I will have to learn how to do. And learn how to say it right. I’ve had some people refer to Jett as my first born child which is also always tough to hear sometimes and was the one thing I feared would happen. That Jubi would be forgotten. Sigh… It’s not easy being a grieving mom. 

My life consists of always trying to find joy in each day yet my heart is more empty than it was yesterday because I’m farther away from my memories with her. Grieving moms always have to try to find a way to honour their child who has passed as well as not focus too much on the passing since death makes people feel uncomfortable. I was once that person who never wanted to talk about dying kids because it never had happened to me. I didn’t have to worry about it. Unfortunately, we don’t get to choose who loses a child and who doesn’t. That’s the scary part. 

I often look back at pictures, since they’re all I have left. I can remember her smell in some of the photos, the way she’d turn her head and yawn. Some days it feels like I’m living in a parallel world with what has been and what is now. 

What is now is that I am the mother of a 6 month old who is very active, doesn’t sleep through the night yet, and cries when I put him down. Shouldn’t I be thankful I have a live baby now though? And that he’s healthy? Sure. But I can be thankful at the same time as being frustrated and tired. 

Watching Jett grow is exciting but painful. It’s painful because of the longing of not seeing Jubi and him grow together. I already miss 10 Christmases from now, 10 birthdays from now and even 10 school years from now. What it would be like is something I will never know. And that is the most painful part of being a parent to a rainbow baby. 

My thoughts are so scattered (can’t ya tell?) mostly because I’m tired and I haven’t written in months, so I try to say everything I can in one post. 

But that’s impossible. There aren’t enough words in this world that explain how much I long for my baby girl. 

So how motherhood is going for me is far different than it’ll go for most. Not all, but most. 

Until then, I’ll be looking forward to the day where there will be light and hope again. 

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One year later.. 

Today on the 17.07.17 marks 1 year since our jubilee began her eternal celebration in the heavens. She left us swiftly in the night yet peacefully. I can remember the day like it was yesterday. It was then a painful journey began for us as parents. We left our home of 9 weeks at the hospital with our lifeless baby girl in our arms and drove to a funeral home to drop her off. Something NO parent should ever have to do. We sat there for hours planning her memorial and how we’d combine 9 weeks of her life remembered in 1 day. Later that year, we then went on to celebrate our first anniversary as newly weds and to make life a bit more bitter sweet, we also found out we were unexpectedly expecting again. This year has by far been the hardest year of my entire life, filled with much blessing and sorrow. Our faith, marriage, and our character has been tested and stretched far more than I thought I could bare. But we’ve done it. And we make it through everyday. I don’t know how, but we do. 

We’ve had so many people around the world be touched by our Jubilee’s short life here on earth. I’ve gotten email after email saying how they have been impacted by her. I’m so thankful for that. But it will never make it easier missing her. Some days, it gets harder than I could ever imagine. Some days, I don’t know how I survive. Everything I’ve ever dreamed of motherhood being has been completely flipped around. I’ll never feel complete as a mom because I’ll never have my baby girl in my arms again. 

 There has been a rainbow of hope that’s shined in these dark times. I feel blessed to be currently holding my sleeping little boy on my chest as I write this. I am so thankful that he came to us, completely out of plans. No, he doesn’t make the grieving process easier but he does remind us that there is hope. 

So today on 17.07.17, I remember my jubilee and the impact she had on my life and thousands of others. We celebrate in knowing that there is and will always be an eternal hope that we will meet again. 

Hope for the best 

It’s hard to believe that I’m just about 31 weeks pregnant with our baby boy. As much as this pregnancy has flown by, it also has taken its sweet time and felt like some of the longest moments of my life. Whenever I miss Jubilee more than usual is when it feels like this pregnancy is never going to end. 

Lately, I’ve been pretty over sharing my body with humans. Having 2 back to back pregnancies have been incredibly exhausting and I’m really looking forward to giving my body a break from pregnancy. Thinking of how I will still need to share my body while nursing and the pressure that comes along with that is also overwhelming. I will be very glad once our baby is eating solids! 

I’ve been going through all kinds of emotions lately. In realty, I’ve been preparing for this baby and buying things I never got a chance to with jubi. as fun as it is, it’s also very nerve racking to think that anything could happen and I may not get to bring this baby home also. A lot of people have said to me “everything is going to be okay.” I would love to believe this but the truth is I don’t and I can’t until I see that our baby not only makes it through birth but lives longer than 9 weeks. I’m worried that I will be a constant basket case for when our boy is home and I’m constantly monitoring him for his breathing and making sure he’s alive. Or listening to him swallow and making sure he doesn’t choke (jubi use to choke when too much saliva accumulated in her throat due to no esophagus connection) 

It feels as though the baby purchases I have made will have to be returned one day again. It all feels make believe. I’m not sure how to cope with grasping that our reality could be having a healthy baby in our arms in less than 10 weeks. I’m not quite there yet and not sure I will be until I witness that moment myself. 

Many of my friends babies that were born at the same time as Jubi are starting to walk& talk. There’s much joy and pain in wondering what life would’ve been like if Jubi were here today as a healthy baby also. Would she been walking yet? Or saying “dada/ mamma”? And putting anything and everything in her mouth? I will always grieve these milestones with her. 

She would’ve been 10 months this month. It’s crazy that it’s almost been a whole year since her birth. I still haven’t been able to look at any pictures of when she was born. I immediately feel too angry if I even try. Not because I am angry at her birth but because I have so much grief in not experiencing what most mothers experience when their child is born. 

This is also why I can’t allow myself to feel connected to preparing for our boy yet because I am still uncertain of what can happen. 

Not working for the past 9 months have also taken a toll on me. I’m so incredibly bored. I wasn’t mentally capable of going back to work when my maternity pay was up. When I started to feel ready again, I was already too pregnant to be considered for most places. I chose not to return to my old job teaching as it would’ve been a bit too difficult being around so many small children that soon after our loss. I wish I would’ve been stronger to go back to work immediately. It would’ve helped us a lot financially especially in these last intense months. I do miss working and hope to be able to return when life plateaus a little bit. On the contrary, I am incredibly thankful that I’ve been able to be off and rest my body during this pregnancy, as it has been needed.

There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about Jubi and my boy. I think about what it would be like if they could meet. 

 I long and will continue to long so deeply for the day our family will be whole again. 

Until then, I will keep hoping for the best. 

New year feels.

It’s 2017. Wow. It’s been a while since I blogged last. Not because I haven’t had anything to say but more because I’ve had so much to say, I don’t know where to begin. So this will probably be scattered thoughts, but that’s my reality.

We are now 23 weeks into our second pregnancy. We are expecting a baby boy this time around. As happy as we are, this pregnancy has come with many mixed emotions that don’t allow me to fully answer the most common questions I’ve gotten this pregnancy. I will often be asked if I’m excited, how I’m feeling, did I get testing done for this baby, will it be born in the hospital or not, and is it healthy. Imagine being asked all those things after losing a child. Pretty overwhelming, isn’t it? I’ve been feeling frustrated having being faced such questions.

I never thought talking about pregnancy and my birth plan would become so sensitive and personal but loss and trauma does a lot to you so unfortunately it has become this way. I feel very awkward answering all of these questions because I don’t really have the answers. When I was pregnant with Jubi, none of these questions were ever mentioned and I was able to go about with my pregnancy fearless and full of joy. I really wish I could say I could be doing the same thing this time but it is not so. I understand the concern of having a healthy baby this time around, believe me I really understand. However, whether this baby is healthy or not, it doesn’t mean it’s less viable than any other life. We made the decision to love and accept any child in any form when we chose to have children. No medical test or procedure will ever give me full peace of mind that everything is fine and that baby is ok. I don’t put my trust in systematic ways, I trust in the creator of all life. What usually makes me feel the most at peace is when I feel my boy moving inside me and dancing with joy, especially on my bladder. This also brought me a lot of peace when I was pregnant with Jubi, not knowing her condition. I just knew there was life inside me and that’s all I needed to know then and that’s all I need to know now.

The holidays this year were difficult. Christmas was horrible and new years wasn’t any different. I bought Jubilee a Christmas dress last year, thinking she would be wearing it this year but she’s not. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about her lately. She’s in my every thought all the time. Most people may believe that we’re “okay” now since we’re good into the second pregnancy and that life is wonderful. It’s actually the opposite. Daily life hasn’t been easy. Carrying this child has come with so many emotions. Trying to figure out how to constantly explain to people that this is our second child and where our first one is gets exhausting. But I do it because I never want Jubi to be forgotten as one of our children. I want to include her always. So as painful as it is talking about her sometimes, I do it, because I want to be able to honor her as much as I can.

I often wonder who this little person is inside of me. Jubi’s personality often amazed me. She was the greatest. Such a fierce fighter yet a soft deep soul.  Being her mom was and is the greatest blessing in the world and knowing that I get to be that again for this little man is incredible. Motherhood felt so temporary after Jubilee died. It felt as though it was ripped out of my heart and my life but thankfully, this baby has been able to restore certain aspects of that. It’s still a healing journey because I don’t know what will happen in the end but I have a bit more faith everyday than before.

On a side note, Elijah has been back to work after the holidays. It was so nice to have him home. We moved and are living simply, trying to save some money and figure out our next steps. We’ve had a lot more bills than expected entering the new year so I’ve been trying to come up with ideas on how to save and how to make some money on the side. This is has been fun for me because it allows me to get in touch with my creative side again. It’s been kind of boring not working but I know I wouldn’t be able to handle my job while being pregnant again. I’ve also had the luxury of being able to stay home so I’m very grateful for that.  I’ve also began writing a book on my experience of having a child pass away. I want people to know my story, and I want to be able to help other moms mend broken pieces of their hearts as I am learning how to do as well.

As the days go on, even though they are difficult days, I’m blessed to be able to have a place to call home and to have the privilege of being a mom to 2 amazing kids.

 

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The joy amongst the grief

I went to my doctor for a check up and for an explanation to some strange symptoms I had been having for a few weeks. I was convinced that it was most likely stress from everything that had just happened. My doctor said to me, “do you think you’re pregnant?” I laughed in her face. I told her that it was impossible. There was no way that I could be pregnant. She wanted to send me for an ultrasound anyway to make sure everything was ok and back into place from having Jubilee. I agreed with confidence, firmly believing that I was definitely not pregnant. 
That evening, Eli came home from work and I had explained what the doctor had told me. We both chuckled and to prove my point, I decided to take a pregnancy test. That’s when my world changed. 

Unexpectedly, I saw 2 pink lines pop up on this pregnancy test. I couldn’t believe what I saw at first so I shook it a few times, in shock, thinking that would make the other line disappear. Obviously it didn’t. I yelled at Eli to come in and check this “broken” test. We both looked at it, speechless. Instantly, I felt a wave of fear and anxiety come on to me. I started to cry and say, “how could this be happening? How could this be true? We just lost our baby girl and now we have to share love for another baby in the midst of grief? What if something is wrong? What if this baby dies too?” I was so confused. 

The weeks leading up to the ultrasound were long. They felt like years. When the time came, I anxiously went and what did it reveal? A peanut looking human, with a tiny little heartbeat. I was obviously pregnant. I caught myself smiling with a couple tears of joy but instantly felt guilty that I was happy. 

As weeks went on, we decided to keep the news secret from most people until I would feel ready enough to share. To be honest, there was and still is never really a point I feel ready to share this kind of news. My daily thoughts revolve around, “what if something is wrong? What if something happens? Why would I be so lucky to have a healthy baby this time anyway?” 

As time has gone on and I am now almost 15 weeks pregnant, I still battle with these thoughts. It’s still hard for me to believe that I could take this child home from the hospital alive. And I still don’t fully know if that’s what will happen. What does that even feel like anyway? What’s it like to wake up and breast feed your child in the night? Do they live longer than 9 weeks and 4 days? And what’s it like to go for walks around the neighborhood? And to even get them in and out of a car a thousand times a day? Will I get that this time? I don’t know. 

But what I do know is that this whole pregnancy was not in our plans and was prevented as much as we thought would work. However, God obviously had a different plan for us and even though the initial news came as a shock, we have been able to come to a point where rejoicing in this new life, for however long it’s here for, is our life song. My husband, being the awesome rock he is, reminds me of this on the hard days. My heart can’t help to know that God must be in this. He must be in control because clearly I am not. This wasn’t the way we planned this part of our life and I can now say I’m thankful for that. Sometimes, God will flip your life upside down and inside out to bring you back to the reality of what He’s called you to do. And it feels so right once you’ve figured that out. 

I struggle mostly with people thinking that “we’re ok” now since we are having another child. This child does not come close to replacing our first born Jubilee. No child ever will. There will always be a huge hole in my heart that longs for her here on earth. I will never fully feel “ok” since I don’t have my oldest here to watch over my youngest. I’ll never know what it’s like to see all my kids interact together. There will always be a special someone missing. However, I am so excited to get the opportunity to be able to honor another one of my children. There is no greater blessing than this. I’m thankful God would again choose someone like me to mother another baby. I don’t fully understand why, but I will never stop being grateful for this privellege. 

Since much is still unknown and will be until I hold this baby in my arms, all I can do is hope& pray that all will be ok. The doctors words are irrelevant at this point. They may tell me all is ok or they may tell me the opposite. To me, nothing will make sense until I see my baby’s face. I pray that I get to experience this moment. 

Nobody expects to have to walk down this kind of a journey to having children. Infant loss is a real thing. Miscarriages, still birth and losing a child after birth happens way more often than you may think. I know I’m not the only one. I also know I’m not the only one that has felt this way about having a baby after a loss. All I know is that any life is a gift, no matter how long it is. 

Grieving Jubilee is still my daily reality. I still have sleepless nights because I miss her so bad. However, there is a new joy in the midst of this grief because of a new life. I’m so proud that I get to call Jubilee the “big sister” now. She will always be my first born& the first one who stole my heart but I know she won’t be the last. 

Moving towards light. 

It’s hard to believe it’s already October, let alone autumn. The air is changing, the leaves are changing and so am I. I like autumn because it reminds me that it’s beautiful to let things go. Moving into this new season as well as this new year, I also feel a bit sad. We made many memories this summer. It feels funny and foreign to be moving on from this summer and the joy Jubilee brought us this year. I’ll never move on from remembering her joy but I am ready to step into new beginnings. 

My daily thoughts are still consumed with Jubi. Everywhere I turn, I see things that remind me of her. I think of her constantly and still dream of her almost every night. In a strange way, everyday it becomes a tiny bit easier to deal with the fact that she is not with us on earth. I never understood what people meant when they said “it gets easier”. I honestly thought that was the most insane thing anyone could ever tell me. How could it get easier? How could life ever be good again? These were my thoughts. 

And some days, they still are. However, it’s been a bit easier to deal with these days. I know what to do now when I feel frustrated, sad or angry. As much as it has been hard to trust God in such a hard time, I’m learning that this is one of the only ways I can feel at peace. I need to talk things out with Him, and know that He is still with me, especially on the days it doesn’t feel like it. 

I’m still getting to know this new me and all the new that is within me. It’s been an incredibly painful process but so rewarding as well. Elijah and I have both found a stronger love for one another. We often laugh together more than we have in a while. We are able to talk about jubilee with smiling and laughing and remembering her with such great joy. That is what she brought us. So much joy. I know she sees us from heaven and this compels me to be a better mom and wife everyday. 

This future for us is still unclear. I’m not really sure where to go from here. But one thing I do know is that I’ve been inspired to write songs more than I have before. Jubilee has pulled out so much raw emotion from the depths of me that I didn’t know I had and caused me to redesign my way of thinking and how I see eternity. She’s the inspiration to my worship. 

I’ll never fully understand why Jubi couldn’t be with us on earth longer than she was. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again; losing a child is the most painful thing anyone can walk through. Even though I may be feeling a bit “better”, my heart still aches daily and it will for the rest of my life. The aching just becomes a bit easier as time goes on. And what makes it easier as well is knowing that Jubilee is in eternity. As hard of a concept this may be, it’s true. I know she’s there and we were even blessed enough to find out what it looked like when she arrived, through God’s words to a family friend. This brings me peace in knowing our child was welcomed in by the arms of the father. 

A song that has been on my heart lately has been “No longer Slaves” by Jonathan David Hesler. 

I’ve had a lot of fear since Jubi left. Even in small things. Always thinking something bad is going to happen. I have never been this way so it’s been a foreign feeling to me. One day, I started singing the chorus to this song 

“I’m no longer a slave to fear, I am a child of God” 

I started playing this over and over again on my playlist. The more I played it the deeper the words sunk in. I still play it often, as I am learning how to walk away from unnecessary fear. It’s a process but I am glad I’m learning how to lean on God in all things. 

Like said, in still unsure what the future holds. Some days are still a nightmare but I know who can bring me back to perfect peace and help me move towards the light. 
“You split the seas so I can walk right through them, my fears are drowned in perfect love. You rescue me so I can stand and sing I am a child of God.” 

It’s ok to be real. 

It’s been hard to find the exact words to say lately. People have asked how I’m doing and I usually respond with saying “I’m fine”. Same with Elijah. The truth behind these two words are much less than fine. In fact, it’s the complete opposite of everything that “fine” means. 

It kind of feels like I respond with those words because a lot of the time, I don’t feel like sharing how I actually feel or if I did, I feel very alone in my response. The truth is, there are very few who can relate to the kind of pain we’ve been going through. And even then, those do not fully understand your unique journey of grief, as everyone’s is very different. 

My battle lately has been that many around me are continuing on with their lives with their jobs, kids, their husbands or wives. Life hasn’t stopped happening around me even though it feels so numb. I’ve been doing my best with holding it together and trying to be happy for people who I really care for and love. It’s a battle I always feel I lose because I end up breaking down due to the hole in my heart without Jubi. 

It’s been 2 months and 1 day since she passed. I was solidly reminded of this again by recieving our funeral bill and her death certificate in the mail. (Not the most fun weekend we’ve had) These 2 months have been a blur in the dark. Like I said before, it’s hard to find the words how to explain my exact emotions. My reality revolves around how I can continue to live out her life and preserve her memories. People move on with life but I’m not ready for that. In fact, I don’t know if I’ll ever be. I had someone say to me “forget about what’s happened, and just keep moving forward.” … This is only one of the, if I can say, idiotic comments I’ve received in this time of grieving. There is nobody in this world that could ever make me forget my daughter and all that’s happened. Maybe that is how some people deal with situations like this, but I value the existence of Jubi and always will. 

I really want to be ok. I want to be able to live again like normal. Every time my phone rings, fear goes through my bones because it reminds me of the night my phone rang when Jubi was on her last breaths. Every time I drive by the hospital, I shed a tear. I could list many more things but none probably make sense to most people. The fact is that saying “I’m fine” is usually the farthest thing from the truth. 

Like said, the goal is to be fine again, and to be ok again. I have been working through my emotions with talking to certain people and trying to figure out what is the next step for a new job for me. Most of you know that I have worked mostly only with children. This isn’t a career path I can jump back into again, for obvious reasons. The things that will make me “fine” again will be finding out what will make it a bit easier to live this life. 
I’m hoping “being fine” can be our reality sometime soon again. But until then, I know it’s ok to be real. 
Btw, just a pic of Jubi’s adorable little big toes. Because I miss them a lot.