“Good Thing You Didn’t Get Attached” and Six Other Things I’ve Heard.

 Grief weighs so heavily on me. Most days I do not feel like getting out of bed to participate in ‘real’ life. When I actually do have the courage to go out in the world, it never fails that I head something that makes me want to run and hide in bed. This list has been weighing on me for weeks, with the last on it just recently being said to me.

This list isn’t meant to stir up trouble or make anyone weary of saying anything about Jensen to me. Believe me, I love talking about Jensen and sharing his story with others. There’s 38 weeks of his life that I proudly talk about. I have so many ultrasound pictures I’ll show you. I will talk about grief and baby loss. These are just the topics that are going on in my head every second about Jensen and the past fourteen weeks.

Good thing you didn’t get attached.

He wasn’t a puppy. Jensen was my child. He was a sweet baby who has a family that loves him more than anything. I see the picture of his first shoes and just want to cry thinking that people didn’t think I was attached to him. Or I feel as if that he wore these shoes or I brought Jensen home with me, I would be worse off than I already am. I don’t know, I just can’t wrap my head around it. How could I not love him just because he was stillborn. He died and I’m still attached to him. I was ‘attached’ the second I saw the positive sign when I took the pregnancy test. I had 38 full weeks with Jensen and had a lifetime of, well, life planned for the both of us. Just because he died doesn’t mean he didn’t exist and my love for him just ended. He is and always will be my first-born son; I’ll always be attached to him. 

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The Nevers.

Unexpected triggers are the worst. Sometimes the most innocent moments that I’ve encountered since Jensen’s birth have been the worst. Then others are literally so obvious, I don’t know how I get into the situation. No matter how innocent or obvious they are, each result in the same thought process. I like to refer to them as the Nevers.

Why the Nevers? Well, usually an obvious trigger involves a baby or child, but the innocent ones result in the Nevers. Never will I hear Jensen tell me he loves me. Never will I know the color of Jensen’s eyes. Never will I know his laugh. Never will I bake him a cake that he can smash into. Never will we have sleepovers for him. Never will I take pictures of his first day of school. Never will I know his favorite pie. Never, never, never, the list goes on and on.

And trust me, I’d never wish the Nevers on anyone.

Most of the time, I don’t try to dwell on the Nevers, but of course, there’s the triggers. My first ever trigger was leaving the hospital without Jensen. All of that. I could never leave the hospital with him. In the passing weeks, I found there were more triggers that stared the process. I avoid Lowe’s and Walmart. Pretty much everywhere there are newborns and kids. Not that I don’t love them and am so happy for their innocence and happiness they bring to this earth, but all of that was taken away the second his heart stopped beating. My first long time Never was setting up for my cousin’s graduation party. It really put everything in perspective. Yeah, I didn’t have Jensen here as a baby, but I’ll never get him as a child, teenager, and adult. I would never be able to plan any of his birthdays or school parties. I would never set up for his graduation and celebrate his accomplishments that will lead him into adulthood. Those Nevers sting and are hardest to break the cycle.

Of course I do whatever to avoid these triggers at all cost, most of the time it hurts others around me. I’m just trying to protect myself. Last night I was caught off guard. Anthony and I were in our safe place and enjoying a treat: Oreos and milk. I dropped my Oreo into my mug, looked down, and it hit.

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Eleven Weeks.

Einstein theorized the relativity of time. Now I’m not a scientist or have ever claimed to be one, but I think I could explain it in simple words. Time changes speed from different reference points in ones life. Maybe that’s even confusing. An example might be better, Jensen was born eleven weeks ago; it feels like yesterday and forever ago at the same time. Even thinking back to Sunday, Father’s Day, it feels like Jensen’s birth happened after Sunday. Tuesdays always bring me back to the day he was born, but time is relative. My ‘reference point’ or thought process today is all about Jensen… but then it hits me, it’s really been that long since we were last together.

Either Einstein is crazy with all his theories or grief is just making my mind clouded with the thought of his theories.

Eleven weeks. Instead of celebrating with Jensen today, I’ve been to therapy and will being going to a support group tonight. I’m trying with all my might to be focused on me today.  This isn’t fair. He should be growing bigger and his blond hair becoming more and more wild. He’d be growing out of his 0-3 month clothes, but believe me, he’d have plenty of clothes to grow into. I want to touch his button nose and kiss his cheeks. Instead of this quiet house, I should hear his coos and even his cries. I would do anything for a loud, messy house.

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Another one of my favorite ultrasounds. I can see his lips and his hand, always by his face. His cute little heart-shaped face like his momma. Jensen was such a lively baby and would only cooperate if I talked nicely to him. It was so funny, the ultrasound techs would tell me he was stubborn and wouldn’t let them get the ‘right’ picture. I would just say, Jensen please do what they want you to do. Then he would. Sometimes he’d cover his face with his hand and move it to where the ultrasound wand was, so ornery. Twice a week I would waddle to and from my car to go look at my sweet boy. I probably looked crazy, even then, I would just always be talking to him alone and in public. He’d always let me know he was listening.

I’m so thankful to have all of his ultrasounds. They make me smile. This is how I’ll always remember him and our time together; him dancing in my belly and sticking his tongue out at me. He would practice his breathing and just shake his body. When I look at even one of his ultrasounds, I am pulled back to every single time I went to one. Each time he grew so much bigger, even in three days. I love feeling him grow and learning his likes and dislikes at such an early age. Yes even as a little baby in my belly, he let me know. I guess he’s more like me than I ever thought.

Those thirty-eight weeks was the best time of my life.

Here’s a secret and I don’t even know if I should share it. We got Jensen’s hospital pictures close to two weeks ago. I wish I could say that I’ve studied all of them, have my favorite one, and am in the process of printing them out so I can have his little face in my house. But that would be a lie; they sit in his drawer untouched. Do you know how horrible it is to not be able to look at your child’s pictures? They’ve been so beautifully explained to me and every part of me wants to study every part of those seventy images. I just can’t.

They’re so different from his ultrasound pictures. My lively, little boy isn’t in those pictures. What if they don’t bring me my big smile like his other photos? What if I can only see death? What kind of mother would I be if I had negative feelings towards looking at these seventy images? Death, so ugly. I just want to see my little love’s face. It’s not fair that the only time I can look at him is in his pictures. People have thousands of pictures of their babies, I have seventy pictures. I’ll never get anymore. Maybe the pain in that truth hurts more than just seeing death. I’m not sure.

It shouldn’t have to be a thought in my mind.

Death shouldn’t have crept in my body and took my son.

Jensen, I hope in this eleven weeks you’ve felt comforted by my love. I hope you see all that we do for you and know you will never be forgotten. You will always be my sweet, little love and the joy of my life. The thirty-eight weeks we had together were my favorite in my life. Your life was short, but so big. I love you and I miss you. You’ve made this world a much better place.

Father’s Day.

Three months ago I was planning Mother’s and Father’s Day gifts; Father’s Day more in particular. I imagined getting baby and navy blue paint to put on Jensen’s feet and showcase them in crafts for Anthony and my dad. A canvas and a mug for them both, with touches of Jensen everywhere. Of course they would get a picture of them and Jensen in a frame, I would fill all our walls up with Jensen’s face. We would get fun little first Father’s Day cards for Anthony and a grandpa card for my dad. It would be the first of many perfect Father’s Days for our little family.

Instead, I broke down at Hallmark. Well actually my breakdown started in Hallmark, then I ran to the bathroom in the mall to really get into it. I felt pretty pathetic sobbing in the stall, everyone in there had to hear me. At first I was okay. The cute cards got to me a little bit, but I was focused on the ‘adult’ looking cards for my dad and Anthony. Then it all happened too fast for me to comprehend at that time… Little kids came running in, right in front of me, picking out the cute cards I had my eyes one. They excitedly picked out their favorite cards having their mom read them out loud to them. Their smiles lit up the room. Except for the spot I was standing. I stood their paralyzed with my tears building up. Somehow I kept it composed long enough to buy my cards and run.

I’ll remember to just DIY my cards for the next occasion or order them online.

But this post isn’t about me, nor is this whole day. It’s about the two amazing fathers I was blessed with in my life: my dad and Anthony.

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My dad, my superhero.

This is my favorite picture of my dad. I know you can’t see his face and I know I have a thousand pictures of him and I together, but this is the one. My dad has always been my biggest cheerleader, my protector, and the best guy I know. Everyone says that about their dad, but it’s true for me. Even when I’m so mad at him I can’t even look his direction, I still know I would be able to go talk to him about anything. He’s the first person I call when something truly does not go right because he makes it better. My childhood was a dream and it’s because I had him, well mom helped too.

I can just remember when I was first pregnant how scared I was to tell him. For some reason I thought he would be disappointed or mad. I remember puking up water on the stairs before I told them and he came along to help clean it up. He never asked me if I was or pushed me to tell him. When I did tell him, he just smiled and said, “I’ve known all along.” He was there to find out Jensen was a boy and was always wanting to know how my appointments went. When we found out Jensen would most likely have Down syndrome, he told me Jensen was loved no matter what. The moment Jensen was born, he was in the room. He talked to Jensen and held him. He cries with me and listens. Jensen is so lucky to have him as his grandpa. We even got him a #1 Grandpa grill spatula.

There’s no rulebook on what to do when your daughter’s son is stillborn or what to do when your grandson is stillborn. My dad has had a tough role to play since Jensen has been born: grieving his grandson and watching his daughter crumble to pieces. Through it all he’s been so gentle, patient, and kind. He’s handled losing Jensen with such grace that I don’t think I’ll ever have.

I’m so blessed to have the dad that I do.

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A+D=J

On our way up to stay with Anthony on New Years Eve, I cried. It was funny, Jensen was kicking and dancing away all day. I remember feeling every kick and just crying for some reason. Halfway up, I called Anthony and just kept saying I didn’t want this year to end. It was such a great year; I graduated, I met Anthony, I bought a house, I got pregnant, and he was my Jensen. Anthony listened, as he always does, and just reminded me we were going to meet the best part of our future. Our Jensen was to be born in April and that I should be happy because we were going to have so many good parts of 2016. He calmed me down, made me laugh, and we took this picture.

Let me tell you, Anthony is my rock. On day one when we found out about our little Bebe, he was scared, but excited. Through all the good news and the bad, the multitude of appointments, and all my pregnancy hormones, Anthony was right beside me. He read Goodnight Moon and Go Dog Go to Jensen and made sure I took my prenatal vitamins every day. When we got bad news, he told me it would be okay and Jensen was still our perfect boy. We went to baby class together, did the baby shower registry, and planned every last detail. I tried my best to prepare him for our little bundle, but I could never have prepared him for Jensen’s passing. Nor could I have prepared him for this grief that is so woven into our every day lives.

Anthony’s first Father’s Day is without Jensen physically here. It hurts me. We shouldn’t have to spend tomorrow without Jensen, he should be almost three months old. I know he would have been the best daddy in the whole entire world and at the same time, he is.

There’s a difference in parenting when you’re a bereaved parent. We can’t physically hold Jensen or feed him, but we parent him in all other sense of the meaning. Anthony loves Jensen, cares about his legacy, and still does everything he can for him. Sometimes my grief and I take over our relationship, but he’s right here to help. As I’ve said before and will always say, Antony is my rock. I know Jensen is so proud of his daddy. He showed it every time he would hear Anthony’s voice and feel his presence.  As much as I know how proud Jensen is of Anthony, I know the love between them is so strong and so endless.

My two boys. My perfect little family.

Related to Father’s Day, I submitted to Still Mothers a post I wrote about Anthony and his grief. I’d love, if you haven’t, for you all to go read it. I’d really like to say it was an honor to have them publish it on their site and let my family’s story be seen by so many other people. The post, in short, is really about a bereaved father’s grief and how society really needs to take in account that these dads really are hurting too. That not only a mother has lost a child, but the dad too. Click here if you want to check it out.

I’d like to wish all the fathers out their a Happy Father’s Day, especially my dad and Anthony. All you guys out there fathering your own, not your own, or just being that father figure in another’s life has so much impact on this world. To all the bereaved fathers out there, I see you. I see your grief and I want you to know you are as much as a father as any other father. You love and care for child while they’re waiting for you in heaven. You are not forgotten nor should you ever be overlooked. Your child loves you, that you should never forget. If you know a bereaved father, tell them Happy Father’s Day. That will mean more to him than anything on this day.

Space.

Near the end of my pregnancy, I was in hardcore nesting mode. All of Jensen’s clothes were washing, the diaper bag in my car, his car seat set up, the house almost ready, and I counted how many packs of diapers we had over and over again. I had to know we were prepared for Jensen and his first nights at home would go perfectly. An unrealistic expectation, of course, but I had to be sure I thought everything was good enough for him. Even though the house wasn’t done, his nursery and where he would be was all set. My world was revolving around he would be, his space.

As all moms do, I put him before myself and didn’t really care how my space would be. If he was content, I would be happy with whatever. I put myself on the back burner, not that I would have changed a thing looking back. Even after Jensen was born, I was still obsessed with his space. I couldn’t comprehend his space having to change or how it would impact me. His nursery isn’t set up, the swing isn’t in the spot I knew it would go, and his pack-n-play isn’t peacefully sitting in my bedroom. It’s been a week and a half since we moved in and I’m still looking at all those places. All the places he needs to be.

It’s okay I can’t put those places where he should be out of my head, I’ve had to refocus on how he is incorporated in our home. His urn is always in the room I’m in. It might sound crazy to you, but I do move his urn around the house. I have an ultrasound picture on the wall right beside his footprints. His silver J will be hanging in my built in bookcase. Jensen’s bedroom still has his colors on the wall, navy blue and orange. I’ve planned on ordering more remembrance items to display in the house. Every item that I bought with him safely in my belly has a story. I’m still making space for him and probably always will.

Yet, this week I was motivated to make space for me. Space to collect my thoughts, journal, and remember him in. It might technically be classified as a space for him, but it’s intent is for me. In my Mothering Your Heart workshop, we’re focusing on space. Again, I am so thankful for the loss community to help me manage my grief and help me along through this process. It’s helped me realize everything I’m going through is ‘normal’ and okay how I process it. I think space is different for everyone. For me, I had to physically make space to feel like I was connecting to Jensen. My house is so new to me and there’s no where I can really retreat from everything. So I had a huge motivation factor to help push me make space for Danielle. After 38 weeks and 2 days of pregnancy and a little over two months of grief, this momma needed a place to tackle grief and honor her baby.

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That is my safe place. Yellows to brighten my day, words to help me think positive, and comfy seats to welcome my thoughts and emotions. All things to try to make each day a little more bearable. Safe from triggers, negative energy, and loss. It’s the one part of the house I didn’t have planned while Jensen was with me. That spot was supposed to house his pack-n-play. I wonder if he would like the yellow? Or would he be mad that I created this space for me? Sometimes I see it and feel guilty. I would never have bought this little space if he wasn’t here…

I second guess every move I make now that he’s not with me. Doing everything for him came so naturally. Now refocusing my attention on myself just feels wrong. My brain is at constant battle with itself. I don’t want to move forward, but I know the whole world keeps spinning. The whole world is trying to pull me along, but I want to stay stuck. Staying stuck thinking about my little Jensen is much more appealing than playing along with everyone else. I try to play along, then I retreat. I have to create this space for my reality. My two yellow chairs bring me comfort and give me the space I need to retreat from the world.

Jensen would have loved my space. He would be so happy I’m making space for myself and trying to care for my heart. I know he guided me to all the elements that occupy this little retreat.

Oh little love, how I wish I could still have you here. I’d much rather be creating space for the both of us, making sure everything was perfect for you.

Two Months.

Sometimes there are no words to accurately put together a feeling. Sure, there are basic feelings: happy, sad, angry,  etc. Grief takes every emotion known to humans and mashes them all together with no rhyme or reason. Today is one of the days where I can’t even tell how I’m feeling. I’ve smiled and have been able to get some pictures hung up. Tears have also stained my cheeks. In the moment I feel my breakdown coming, I run to the shower. Somehow it feels like the water from the shower hides the tears.

This thought makes me laugh. The only person I’m trying to hide my tears from is myself.

If you haven’t guessed already, today Jensen is two months old. Sixty-one days have passed since he’s been born. At two months old, babies are into complex designs. Which means they are looking for detailed objects instead of plain. Their brains are wanting to process more. He’d be able to differentiate different voices, look at the details in my face, and I’d see his face light up when he sees something new. I would do anything to see that look. Just as I would do anything to have those sixty-one days with Jensen.

Thinking about milestones during pregnancy always excited me. At my baby shower, I received the little month markers. They were shaped as ties. I looked at them and just knew Jensen would updating all our friends and family with these ties. It was another item that I had so many dreams about. Just a simple picture. All the pictures coming together to form a little story. The story of Jensen’s first year of milestones. I wish I could remember what color tie he would have on his picture for today. They’re packed away in the basement with all his other belongings.

Instead of going through ties, I’m going to go through a lot of candles. Actually I’ve went through two today. It’s one way I can connect to Jensen. The flame brings me peace and centers everything. I watch as the flame dances, it reminds me how Jensen would dance in my belly. Here is my photo for today…

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This is my calm space, his flame brings me so much comfort and love. The flames has been dancing all day. Poe and Leo leave his urn alone and have been cuddling with me all day. They must know I need comfort and to feel their warmth. I really want to just be holding Jensen, have him looking at my face, and taking in the complex details.

Usually I reflect on how I’ve processed my week on Tuesday, the actual weekday Jensen was born. It’s my therapy day and a way to track how I am. Today I find myself reflecting on the past month. It’s only my second month without Jensen. I laugh at myself when I say only since it feels like an eternity. This past month has been so much harder. The shock and disbelief of him not being here has gone away. I’ve turned to being angry and am in pain. I physically find it hard to breathe sometimes or catch my breath. Every little thing can set my anger off, which makes me want to distant myself from others. Being in a group of more than three people gives me anxiety. In the first month I found it to be okay since it was distracting me from Jensen’s absence. Now it’s just always there. I hate that I am pushing people away, but I cannot let myself be in a vulnerable situation.

As the day is coming to a close, I’m trying to prepare for month three. I’m anxious to see how I do with swimming. When I was pregnant I looked forward to having Jensen in the pool. He definitely would have been a little fishy. I want to purchase a new, comfy chair for my bedroom for reflections each day. It will be a place where I can just read, write, or think about Jensen. I’m trying to find new outlets for my grief and anger. There has to be something I can do to lessen the intense feelings of being mad. Even if it’s just going on a walk or creating something. By just preparing myself for the next month, I feel a little more at ease.

Month three is another month without Jensen physically here. It’s another month of missing my guy. I know it’ll be a lifetime of missing him. I hope to learn more about myself, continue to grow, and mother Jensen to the best of my ability. They’re probably celebrating his two month anniversary up in heaven. I hope he sees me trying my best and he’s still and always wrapped in the warmth of my love.

Jensen, Mommy loves you so very much. Continue dancing in the clouds and growing your angel wings.

Move-In.

Almost one year ago, I bought my very first house. The three bedroom house needed a lot of work, but I was more than excited to do the complete tear down. I pictured where everything would go and what room would be what the very first second I walked in. It was going to be my very first house and all my own. This little three bedroom home would be the start of my future.

Three months after buying and tearing it mostly down, I found out Jensen was growing in my belly. My very first house all on my own became a house all about the baby. Every room I was imagining a lifetime of memories: first bath, first steps, first day of school. It was all unfolding. The back left bedroom would be the perfect nursery. It had a beautiful window that outlooked the backyard. It was nice, big, and full of personality. That would be my little baby’s room.

All during my pregnancy, we worked on the house. In my head it was closer and closer to the perfect family house. Our little guy loved to come work on the house. The sounds never made him upset. It was like he wanted the house to get done and he loved the work. I can remember being eight months pregnant working, not too hard, but trying to get everything perfect for him. Everyone was helping me out, not letting me lift things too heavy. I would tire easy, then his little kick would get me through the tiredness. He was just as excited to be in here. When Jensen was Jensen and not a little girl, the planning really started. We painted his room blue and orange on one wall and put wallpaper with squares up on the rest. I painted the closet grey. The curtains navy blue with orange accents everywhere. The grey crib with the bright orange and dark blue would welcome his sleep every night. It was unraveling so perfectly. Our little family home would soon have baby Jensen to house.

Then came the smack.

We didn’t get to bring Jensen home. His crib wouldn’t be welcoming his sleep every night. We wouldn’t be able to give him his first bath. His first steps wouldn’t happen here. The floor wouldn’t have little footprint smudges everywhere. All the hopes and dreams for the future ended all in that one second. My little, perfect family home of three became Anthony and I’s home filled with dreams of Jensen that would never happen.

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Our first night, officially staying in the house was Tuesday night; Jensen’s eighth week in heaven. I was so excited to finally stay in this house that I’ve practically tore down and rebuilt. It was so relieving to see all the hard pay off. For it to finally mean something. For our future to be starting. I’d like to say blood, sweat, and tears built this house, which it did, but it was built on the foundation of love and dreams.

The house is filling up with furniture, wall decorations, and kitties. It’s still filled with love, hope, and dreams. Every wall is the color I wanted it to be. The floors are exactly what I pictured and the kitchen came out way better than I expected. All the decorations look exactly how I wanted to when they go up. Anthony and I smile at each other while the cats are running around. We’re trying to play ‘normal.’ An outsider looking in would believe this is the perfect little starter home for a young couple.

I guess our reality is hard for other’s to see. It’s hard to see a baby that isn’t here physically. They don’t see the little, blue urn with two silver birds on it and the candle that’s usually is burning. Our decorations with J’s, his name, and the ultrasound pictures would have people believe the baby is on the way. The boxes in the basement full of Jensen’s would let them wonder why we didn’t have them back in his nursery. No one wants to think of the bad.

In all honesty, I wish I could tell you my first night here at the house was great. I wish I could tell you it’s all that I imagine and that everything feels perfect. It’d all be a lie. That first night was so hard. I saw where Jensen should be every time I turned my head. This house has an emptiness that cannot be filled, not that I’d even want it to be filled by anything else. I couldn’t fall asleep, it felt like the first night after he’d been born. It was quiet even with the tick of the fan and the television on. I guess the first night here in the new house was a way I stepped into my new reality that I’ve been trying to fight back.

Move-in day is the next step in this horrible grief process. It’s apart of the acceptance step in the rational part of my brain. I see his nursery, still blue and orange with the playful wallpaper. The backyard that the window frames begs to be looked at by anyone that walks in the room. My memories from when Jensen was here floods me every time I walk in there. It’s the stillness of the room with the flood of internal emotions that takes me by surprise every time. Jensen’s room will always be that.

I was afraid I would resent this house and his room because he wasn’t here. It’s hard because he’s not here, but so is every single day. I pray every day for strength and courage to go on. This first night I prayed I would make it through even though it hurt so much to be here without him. I dreamed that night of Jensen and being in his room together. Jensen knew how much I loved this house. We built it together. In the midst of his absence, love is still shining through.

Love will keep me in this house. Love will keep me on my feet.

Treading.

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The waves of grief have been so hard ride.

There are no words to describe Jensen’s absence. It’s everywhere, at all times. Life without Jensen is painful and full of longing. The very air that used to bring me life, suffocates me. All my joys have become burdens. The burdens have become even worse. My thoughts are consumed by him and how he’s not here. Babies should never be taken from their mothers. A mother should never have to live without her child.

Yet, here I am. I’m in the after. I’m drowning in the waves of grief. Tears constantly fill my eyes and it’s hard to take breaths. I feel as if I’m spiraling down and down and down. When everyone is around, it feels like their words are in hyper speed flying right past me. It’s hard to look at those I love; I’ve changed. It reflects sorrowfully in their eyes.

I wish I could scream out to them, but I can’t. My words would break them. They can’t understand the words that I constantly keep pushing down more and more and more. Those words, their eyes would reflect something worse than sorrow. They wouldn’t know me, the words would show them how much I’ve really changed inside. All those thoughts and words are true. I am at battle with myself to show them how much I’ve changed or continue trying to imitate my ‘before’ self.

Oh my before self. The self I’ll never get back, not that I even want her back. Danielle before Jensen is different from the during Jensen and the after Jensen. I could go into an in depth self analysis of my three different selves for all of you, maybe I will in the future. Maybe when I can forgive this self or completely damage it. Whatever happens first. As for now Danielle after Jensen, well, I’m just trying to make it through each day.

I try to see all the good in life. I smile when I think and talk about Jensen, until I look and feel. Then it all hits again. He’s gone. What did I do wrong? Everyone tells me I didn’t cause this, but then what did? I’m struggling to fall asleep. I can’t wake up. I’m not hungry and drinking water feels strange. My body is going through the motions, but my brain is refusing to sense them. I snap at the ones around me. My head is constantly hurting. Wait, how am I still awake? I just want my baby. The reality I’m stuck with me right now is hard. Grief wrestles me down and I spend all my energy trying to face it. This can’t be me right now. I’m trying to have the mentality of Danielle during Jensen. I like her the best.

When Jensen was here, I felt pure joy. My days were full of hopes, dreams, and baby kicks. I planned Jensen whole entire future from the second he was born to the day I died. I’m sure he would have rebelled and wanted to change it a smudge, but I know what’s best for him. All the bad ‘what ifs’ or ‘what could be’s’ didn’t even phase me. I would have Jensen, what more could I ever want? Danielle during Jensen was the highest, high in my whole entire life. Nothing could ever have brought me down.

Babies don’t die, until he did.

Then I fell and fell and fell from the greatest, tallest high in my life. I don’t remember the fall, just the smack. Reality hit. My baby, my Jensen died. All the nice phrases that I usually use to comfort myself seem silly at this moment. Well this week actually. Yes, I believe wholeheartedly Jensen is an angel in heaven. I know all he ever felt was love and warmth. He knew peace. He knows me. He is beautiful. He has this HUGE personality. He  is my everything. All those wonderful facts about my baby does not take away the moment his heart stopped beating. Nothing can take away that one single moment.

People always say to me, “I can never imagine what you’re going through.” and I believe them. I never want them to know this; no one should be without their child. People should not feel like they’re drowning in grief, this shouldn’t be the price of love. Love should always result in hugs and happiness. In this seven weeks and two days, I have said the one sentence no one imagines they could say. My child is dead.

Pause. Let that set in.

My child is dead.

Imagine saying that and it being the truth. Saying it out loud is even worse. It’s the worst sentence in the world. It’s the worst fact in my world. Thinking of that one phrase has allowed me to say that sentence. I can’t imagine going through this, but I am. I couldn’t imagine saying that sentence out loud. Even though it’s true. If you want to try to imagine what I’m going through, not that I want you to, try saying that sentence and feeling it. Imagine your whole world crashing around you. Imagine all your hopes and dreams gone, in an instant. I know you can’t. I wouldn’t have been either if you would have asked me seven weeks and four days ago. I feel almost cruel putting these words together. Then I remember these words that are just words for others, are my reality.

On goes this vicious cycle.

Jensen. Love. Happy. Smile. Smack. Pain. Anger. Sadness. Tears. Breathe. Say his name. Jensen. Love. Happy. Smile. Smack. Pain. Anger. Tears. Breathe. Say his name.

I’ll keep reading his name, telling his story, and talking about him. Please keep asking all about him. Ask about me, don’t be afraid of my process. One day the smack will ease. The pain will stay. The anger will lessen. The sadness won’t be as overwhelming. Tears will always come. This is the result of love. Jensen will always bring love, happiness, and smiles. My love is endless. My happiness will stay. Smiles will be longer. This process begins and ends with Jensen. He’s my whole world.

I’ll choose to tread. I won’t let these waves of grief drown me; no matter how hard they try to pull me down.

Forty-Seven Days.

The day Jensen was born was beautiful. Our window revealed a cloudless sky with the sun shining bright. It was so bright and happy outside, I think God made the whole day beautiful because he was welcoming this pure soul. I remember just wanting to paint it black because it was so bright out. It would have been a day where Jensen and I would be sitting outside, watching everything go on around us. I’d probably would have been reading to him and telling him about all the things we were going to do when he got here.

That wasn’t the beautiful day I had though. I sat in the hospital, crying; trying to make sense of everything. I didn’t understand how the world could still be spinning when mine had just violently stopped. How couldn’t everyone feel my pain, it was radiating off of me. My baby was gone and he took a huge part of me with him. I was just a shell full of anger and sadness. How could the earth be so beautiful THAT day, when the most beautiful thing had left? Honestly, I was so angry it was nice outside. It was storming inside my hospital room. That window taunted me.

Today is one of those beautiful days. It reminds me of the day Jensen was born, but a little warmer outside. I keep taking in all the sounds: the birds are chirping, kids are playing, and my family is talking. I’m making no sounds. Here I am sitting outside, thinking about my Jensen. My thoughts always go to what we would be doing. I’d probably be doing what I wanted to the day he was born. Just sitting outside and reading to him. Taking all of his features in. A perfect day.

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I know he’s here with me, I just wish it could be in my arms. Sundays are family days and I’m missing the most important part of my family. I’m stuck here in the after, wishing I could be in the before with him. It makes me feel better to look at the clouds. I know Jensen is dancing with them. He sends me the birds and I swear he runs around with Finnick. Jensen’s spirit is always playful and peaceful at the same time. He makes himself known.

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I’ve been reading You Are Not Alone: Love Letters From Loss Mom to Loss Mom by Emily Long, a lot lately. The book is a huge group of letters from mothers that are on this journey of grief with me. I read them when I need support. Which is like more times than I can count on my fingers each day. It just allows me to feel everything. Cry with other moms, think about Jensen, and just feel. This book has been such a blessing to me. 

Although each letter is different, they all have some of the same themes. Three of them have been able to keep me from breaking down every second of the day.

  1. Love.
  2. It’s not my fault.
  3. It’s okay to feel however I need to feel.

Today I’ve needed all three of these themes. It’s a day that reminds me so much of April 5, 2016, the day my baby became an angel. Beautiful days like today we’re supposed to be happy and I feel about a thousand different emotions. I keep telling myself and reading that it’s okay not to feel just happy.

It’s been forty-seven days since this journey has started and it’s okay I still am the girl that wants to paint all the windows black. It’s okay to be content sitting outside, listening to the birds chirp. It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to be happy the sun is providing me warmth.It’s okay to laugh at the dog running on the pool. It’s okay to feel all this love between Jensen and I.

It’s okay to just be.

In my forty-seven days, I’ve learned to just take everything as it comes.