Distractions.

My body knows April is approaching.

Honestly, it’s like I have this internal clock that just relives these last weeks I had with Jensen. They’re all happy memories, but the build up to the big day is still so dreadful. It feels like something else bad is going to happen or my body and mind dealt with the worst trauma during this time that triggers everything to be… weird.

I can remember in the early days, I always heard how everything would be better with time. A part of me wanted to believe it. How could someone live with that intense of grief for their entire life? Another part of me thought it’d be awful to lose that connection with Jensen. It’s not that I wanted to be a zombie like I was, but I didn’t want to let go of any of the pain. So, where are we almost three years out? It’s not better. It’s different, but not less. I wonder what he’d be doing or looking like everyday. It’s hard when people ask me if Mila has siblings and I’m unsure if I want to see the look of horror on their face or not. Losing a child isn’t just a thing that happened in someone’s life, they carry it with them everywhere they go.

Lately, I haven’t been sleeping. It’s sort of a new March tradition in my life. Near his first birthday, I had a lot of nightmares. I don’t remember if I wrote about any of them here, but they still haunt me. I’d wake up in a cold sweat and would just not go back to sleep. I haven’t had a nightmare about Jensen since then, but they were awful. It had to be a mix of not knowing what to expect on his big day and just the fear of time moving on. Then last year, when I was pregnant with Mila, I didn’t sleep for like an entire month. I would only get like two to four hours a day. I was processing another year without Jensen and trying to manage my grief with this new life inside me. Then I was in constant fear of her dying. I kept reliving how it felt when he died in my stomach. Anytime I felt like she had gone limp (she was probably sleeping), I’d nudge her and just tell her to move so I could relax for five minutes. I hope she never has to feel that panic or fear in her life.

Somehow now I’m three years out and still not able to sleep. It’s almost one now and Mila’s fast asleep beside me as I type away. Since last week, I felt myself staying up longer and waking up through the night. I think deep down I’m terrified of those nightmares coming back. It’s been two years since I had them and I can still see them play out. I’m also trying to be so positive with her first birthday coming up. She deserves a happy mom and I am a good majority of the time. I just hate knowing my child died and there are days when her smiling face doesn’t even put a dent in how badly that hurts. It’s a terrible feeling and makes me feel like a bad mom to them both.

Now that I think of it, it’s not like I’ve been physically tired during this time when I haven’t slept. My body just turns on autopilot and does what it needs to. If only I could figure out how to do that with my thoughts.

Anyways, I wanted to write today because noticing the lack of sleep and realizing I was distracting myself from thoughts made me realize this is how my depression/grief plays out. Every year, it’s the same. The only outlet I’ve had is this right here. Instead of making something for Mila’s party tonight, I’ve been trying to connect and do what’s best for my mental health… easier said than done.

I don’t know about other loss parents, but finding an outlet and some healthy distractions have helped get from day to day. Writing has always helped me. That’s why I have a stack of journals beside my bed and I’m writing now. When I heard that Jeremy Richman, a dad who lost his daughter, Avielle, in the Sandy Hook school shootings, committed suicide this morning, I just felt it. It being his pain and just feeling out of control. I feel for his wife and other child. My friend, Amber, actually told me about what happened and to check out his haikus too. I read through all the ones he had pictures for and they just echoed through me. Like, how many people just suffer and feel like they’re losing grasp of it? I mean, I do. If I didn’t, I don’t think I’d be awake right now and distracting myself even further from going to bed…

There were three that stuck out to me the most, you can find all of them on his Facebook page, here. I’m going to copy and paste his words. I didn’t know this person, but I don’t think he’d mind if I shared his words on here (mostly because they were public on his page, but I think he’d like to know his thoughts really made an impact on someone who is also grieving).


Untitled on July 4, 2014

Miss my hummingbird

She is everywhere I look

But nowhere I am

Untitled on August 22, 2014

The mirror reflects

A face I don’t recognize

Have you seen my ghost?

Untitled on August 29, 2014

Another first day

Lost in empty yellow space

Haunted by echos


Since Jensen’s been born, I’ve always said I wish I could live on an island with a community of people who’ve lost a child. Everyone would understand. There would be someone to always listen if you needed and if you were having days like the ones I’m having, they’d be patient and help you get to the next day. I know that’s impossible. Maybe this online community is our virtual island where we get to do our best from afar.

And maybe, I’m just distracting myself from feeling what I need to feel and giving my body the rest it deserves.

Mila reading her big brother’s book. She helps heal me in more ways than she’ll ever understand.

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Jensen Grey

Pregnant.

One word can change two people’s lives forever. What better way for a mother-to-be to spend her birthday than knowing in nine short months she would have her bundle of joy.  As soon as this baby’s parents found out, they were overjoyed of course and quickly agreed to a baby boy’s name: Jensen Grey. The baby’s mom knew the baby was a boy before the doctor even told them. They dreamed of holding him, kissing him, and watching him grow. Their dreams for their perfect family had already began to unfold.

The mom-to-be ate healthy, took the prenatal vitamins, and went to every doctor appointment. At 17 weeks, they went for the anatomy scan. The BIG appointment; where you found out if you should be painting pink or blue. The baby’s mom already knew she should be painting blue, but this would confirm everything. Baby was not shy and showed everyone in the room that, in fact, he was a boy. Mom, Dad, Grandma, and Grandpa were all so happy to know they would have their Jensen Grey.

But Mom and Dad got more news than they would have liked. Instead of leaving the doctor’s office ecstatic they were their Jensen, they left scared. Baby Jensen was at increased percentage for Down syndrome. Mom and Dad were told all the bad things that revolved around Down syndrome. They didn’t let this bother them for too long; instead they researched and saw all the positives. The doctors still let them know the risks and even the increased risk of baby Jensen being stillborn. Mom didn’t think that was even possible.

Jensen thrived through all the ultrasounds. He moved when he was supposed to, stuck out his tongue for mom, and even practiced his breathing so perfectly. While Jensen was growing and getting strong inside his mommy’s belly, she got everything ready on the outside. She painted his nursery, bought everything he needed, and had a big baby shower to celebrate his life. Everything in life was going just as perfect as they planned. Their Baby J would be home so very soon.

On April 4, 2016, Mom and Dad went to go check up on Jensen to see how close he was to being born. Mom was 38 weeks with swollen feet and just ready to meet her little man. Everything about this day seemed to go normally, but they would soon find out it was not a normal day. Mom laid down for the ultrasound ready to hear the galloping heartbeat, but there was silence. The doctor was called into the room and they hurriedly looked at the ultrasound screen in frowns.

“I’m sorry, there’s no heartbeat.”

One phrase can change two people’s lives forever.

Baby Jensen Grey was born asleep on April 5, 2016 at 4:25 in the morning. He was absolutely perfect weighing 7 pound 1 ounce and 19 3/4 inches long. Jensen shocked his mommy and daddy with blond hair, since they had dark hair. Baby was cleaned up and dressed, then nurse Angie took pictures for his mommy and daddy to always have. Later that night his mommy was sent back home to recover for the rest of the time. Although Jensen didn’t physically go home with him mommy and daddy, he now is always with them in their hearts.

This 48 hours was all a blur to Jensen’s mommy. At first she couldn’t remember it all, but it slowly comes back to her with each day. The fuzzy, grim phrase the doctor told them now screams in her ears. The empty belly aches of his loss. Her heart breaks more and more with every beat, wishing Jensen’s was beating more. After losing him, she is stuck in a tornado of grief only trying to remember the happy ultrasounds, Jensen’s hiccups, and her dreams for her baby.

My Jensen’s time here was short, but was filled with love. I remember his kicks when he got chocolate milk, turning his head for an ultrasound picture, and rolling to listen to his daddy read him stories before bed. His loss is unfathomable, no words can describe what it’s like without him. Jensen was my whole entire world.

As his mother, I know I have to go through this grief for Jensen. He only knew me as a happy person that would do anything for him. To keep his memory alive, I have decided to do a few things. First, to create this blog to cope with my grief. Writing has always been therapeutic for me and some of this process I think would be able to help other Mother’s of angel babies. Secondly, to help educate other’s on stillbirths and other topics of pregnancy and infant loss. I know I’m not an expert, but I am learning slowly and want to share what I am learning. It is important for other’s to know more of these topics since it’s usually never talked about and should be. Lastly, I want to take part in Random Acts of Kindness in Jensen Grey’s name. It is important to keep his memory alive in a positive way that’s inspired by ours and his love for each other.

I hope you follow me throughout my grieving process, participate in Random Acts of Kindness in Jensen’s name, and share his story. It’s a hard journey ahead, but my love for my Baby J gets me through today. I only hope that I am making him smile as he watches me from above.