Responsibility.

Caffeinated, Scattered, Impatient

If I would have had this prompt two years ago, my mind would have thought of a completely different response. I would have thought about who or what was responsible for Jensen’s death. Although I know nothing is or was, somehow I would have put it on myself. Maybe I still do sometimes, but I know I did all I could do.

This morning when I looked at the prompt, images of my life and the two little’s I’m responsible for popped in my mind. I think responsibility continuously changes throughout our lives. When you’re younger you have chores and duties you’re responsible for. Then as a teenager, you have a ton of responsibility and are gaining independence as well. Now as an adult, with my own house, work, car, kids, and going back to college, I feel like I’m responsible for the world around me. Well, I don’t feel responsible, I am responsible for them.

At this current time in my life, I’m responsible for three people: Mila, Jensen, and myself.

Mila

She’s the first person I see in the morning and the last before I go to bed. All my time is spent with her and she is my FULL responsibility.

I encourage her to explore. We both do activities to help her learn and grow. Our whole schedule is set around what is best for her needs. Some nights like last night), I have to stay up with her because she’s either starting to have nightmares or just not wanting to sleep. She’s my shadow and wants to constantly touch me to know she’s safe. She’s mine, on the good days and bad. Sometimes when it’s completely overwhelming for me, I just look at her and realize she’s becoming this little human and I want her to be the best person she can be.

Maybe I overcompensate with her sometimes. I think parenting after loss has possibly complicated things most parents would overlook. When I was pregnant and first came home from the hospital, I just thought she’d die too. I felt like my only job was to keep her alive that I didn’t see what else I was doing for her. That sounds ridiculous, but it’s so true. A part of me will always feel responsible for her actions. I want her to make mistakes and learn from them, but I want to be able to help her no matter how old she is.

Jensen

As much as Mila is mine, Jensen is too. While pregnant with him, I was super strict on what I could do, eat, or whatever other restrictions there are in pregnancy. I read to him every night and only missed one doctors appointment (out of like 100). For some reason it feels like I had more control over his pregnancy, until the end of course, than Mila’s. Then when he was born, everything went dark. I didn’t really care about anything else that was happening around me. I didn’t even care about myself. That’s when I found this awesome community of parents who had lost their child/ren. They knew exactly how I felt and helped me find a purpose again.

Parenting a child in heaven has responsibilities. It’s different than parenting a living child, but just as important. I think one of the scariest things for a loss parent is having their child forgotten. For me, it feels like I’m responsible for not having that happen. I have to honor and remember him in the best ways I know. Just by writing this and saying his name everyday keeps him remembered and thought of. I also feel like I need to advocate for pregnancy and infant loss. When I found out Jensen died, I honestly didn’t believe that could happen. In my opinion everyone should know realistically what the statistics are. Jensen taught me that anything can happen to you.

Me

And me, I have to be responsible for them and maintaining so much in my life. I parent Mila and Jensen. I do everything that needs to be done for my house. I’m going back to school and there’s just a lot in between. All these things I’m responsible for and I wouldn’t have to any other way.

I think something that I need to do, but don’t ever find the time for us focusing on self care. I feel that. I want to be responsible in helping me and I try. With all these things I have to look after, I have to remember to fill my cup too.

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Life, Death, and Grief.

Today’s May We All Heal prompt is Life & Death. I wasn’t particularly interested in the prompt when I first saw it, but thought I might tackle it when the time came to write. BUT here I am and I’m still not feeling it. Sort of weird how a single idea can be off putting to you for no apparent reason. Instead I decided to check out A Year of Journaling Through Grief and pick one of the prompts there to choose something close to the original prompt.

Remember, it’s perfectly okay to go off path with these prompts. May We All Heal is to help you with exactly what the title says: healing. Do what’s best for your heart, mind, and grief.

Today’s prompt: Do you think your grief will ever end?  Why/why not?

Needed, tired, introverted.

(I just want to point out whenever I specially feel this way, I sort of brush things to the side instead of working through them. Feels like a little gain I’m making today.)

This is Jensen. He is my firstborn. I’ve never shared this picture of him. Every morning when I wake up, I think of him. When I go to sleep at night, I think of him. Throughout the day, there are reminders of him and all I wished he could have been. He died, in my belly before even having the chance to live like you who is reading this. And to those who are reading this and have lost a child, I think you know the answer to the prompt above.

When a person gets pregnant, they’re already bonded to the child inside them. Fathers bond with their son or daughter as well. This bond is a little thing called love. We plan to love our children, no matter what happens, until the day we die. It doesn’t change if they die before us.

Many people describe grief as love that has no where to go. Maybe they are interchangeable in this circumstance, but grief feels more complicated. For me, the initial reaction is always love. Then there’s a lightening bolt that slowly travels to the depths of my mind and begins a grief attack. They’ve evolved and changed since those beginning days and it’d be ignorant to say they won’t change as I grow older and experience new things.

Do I think my grief will end? Absolutely not.

I think it’ll become more manageable in the future, sort of like it has now. There will be different things that trigger me knowing what he should be doing. I’ll always want to know what he looks like or what his interests are. There hasn’t been a time where I would wish I couldn’t give him a huge hug. And I know when I’m an old lady (hopefully) and know it’s almost my time, that I’ll be happy and one I’ve waited all this time to see him.

My grief will be with me till the end and there’s nothing wrong or weak about that.

——————————————————————

While I was writing this prompt, I kept thinking of a drawing by Mari Andrews that I thought perfectly described grief. It only took me ten minutes of scrolling to finally find it, but I had to share it with you… especially in this post.

In the beginning…

Every April since Jensen was born, I recognize it as the hardest month to get through. There’s a mix of sadness and joy. April welcomed my motherhood, twice! But when it’s over and May begins, I can finally take a deep breath.

May let’s me celebrate my motherhood. It lets me recognize that there’s no right and wrong way to parent, especially Jensen who isn’t here and how to parent Mila after losing him. I’ve always thought of the saying, April showers bring May flowers, since Jensen’s birth. That’s how my life feels now. All the tears and hardships April brings, let’s May be a little more beautiful and light. May also brings May We All Heal (MWAH) to help get through some difficult parts. Mother’s Day can be triggering and most of the time is. There’s also Bereaved Mother’s Day and it can all seem overwhelming. With MWAH, I like to blog, take pictures, or create every day. Last year didn’t go so well, so I’m going to push myself and make time for my grief and this part of my motherhood.

Today’s prompt is In the Beginning. I might not follow every prompt from the MWAH prompts. Another site I might be using if need be is here. There I read before journaling or writing you should write three emotions you’re feeling before you begin. After those three words, I’ll write. Thanks for joining me this May.

Calm, loved, valid.

There are many beginnings in life.

Each day, school, a new job, relationships, learning to do something new, music, books, and the list could go on and on.

Then there’s the actual beginning where you’re born, pretty obvious, huh? We could also argue the moment you’re conceived is the beginning. Thinking that way, we can say everyone alive and dead had their start. Two people came together to make a person. This life is so unique at the very beginning. But, I think most people would say the beginning of their life is the day they were born.

Before I was pregnant with Jensen, I thought the same thing. Then I heard his heartbeat and saw him on the ultrasound screen. He was there and had an entire way of living inside of me. I found out what music he liked and when he was most active. He was read so many stories and we did a lot of walking. That was the beginning of my motherhood and I didn’t quite realize it until it was too late. I was conditioned to thinking his life would start when he was born. Never did I think he would die beforehand. It felt like he died before he lived and it still feels like that. But he was stillborn and was a handsome, little man. Through his birth, something else was born too.

His death and birth began a completely different life for me. It was a beginning to motherhood I didn’t want. I was different. The one thing I thought would never happen, happened.

That beginning feels like so long ago. I’ve morphed into this new person who sees beginning and ends in a new light.

I don’t think I really began a new part to my life until I got pregnant with Mila and it directly goes hand in hand with Jensen’s beginnings. Her birth brought something new to me, but he was always in mind. Their journeys are their own, but forever connected too.

There are many beginnings in life, but my favorite has been motherhood.

Yes, death stole the traditional sense of me mothering Jensen, but that’s where it began. It’s brought me to where I am today with both Jensen in my heart and Mila in my arms.

Happy Tears & Rainbow Babies.

Everyday I try to incorporate Jensen in Mila’s life. Just because he isn’t physically here with us doesn’t mean he isn’t her big brother. I often wonder what questions she’ll have about him as she gets older and why I call her my little rainbow. It’s HUGE for me to let her know how special her and Jensen are to me.

Another huge activity I like to include in our everyday life is books. Sometimes Mila brings me like 20 books to read to her throughout the day… which sounds overwhelming, but I love watching her interact with them. I’m always on the lookout to find children’s book pertaining to loss. Books are a great way to sort of break the ice in those early conversations by using a familiar medium. A few weeks ago, I was contacted to check out Happy Tears & Rainbow Babies by Natasha Carlow that centers on those topics.

Happy Tears & Rainbow Babies.jpg

Not to spoil the story for you all, but it’s about a family who go out on a walk to the park. The family is portrayed after the authors family, with Rosie and Capi her own children being presented in the book. While at the park, the children see a rainbow and the parents explain how beautiful and meaningful rainbows are to them. Not just rainbows we find in nature, but also ones born after loss. I find the story very sweet and loving. It introduces a real way to talk to children about their siblings who have passed. I would also like to add, there’s a religious tone to the book that mentions God, Noah, and praying.

Natasha does a great job of sharing her family’s story of life after loss. She focuses on creating a safe place for discussions on miscarriage, loss, faith and hope. It’s very brave for something to openly share their story and feelings. This book will be able to help many families who share the same beliefs and similar journeys.

I really did find this story to bring a happy light on rainbow babies. It doesn’t diminish the sadness of losing a child/ren, but shows how we can remember them with subsequent children too. With me having Mila in mind, I know she would love the bright colors in the illustration. Along with the message, I know Mila, at her age now, would like to point out the animals and everyday items she interacts with as well. But most of all, I think the description of happy tears and letting children know that a person can live with grief and it’s okay to be happy too.

Happy Tears and Rainbow Babies is being launched today, May 1, 2019 at 10am on Amazon. I hope you can check it out and let me know what you think.

This post was inspired by Happy Tears and Rainbow Babies by Natasha Carlow.  If you’d like to know more about the book click the following links…
Happy Tears and Rainbow Babies Amazon Page
Happy Tears & Rainbow Babies Information Page
Natasha Carlow’s Facebook Page
Natasha Carlow’s Instagram Page

Motherhood is messy…

Motherhood is messy… and I’m not talking physically messy with Mila playing in mud, food, and whatever else she can get her hands on. It’s also mentally messy and challenging, especially when parenting after loss.

Last week, I got tagged in a comment on a blog post about how grief slightly lifts after a rainbow turns a year old. I read it and had to think on it for a long while. Then today when I was looking in my memories on Facebook and on my phone (the little baby Mila pictures are just too adorable), I came across a blog post I wrote a year ago today. Essentially, it’s all the post birth/days after I had Mila triggers that I didn’t expect to have. I never had the ‘typical’ bring your first baby home and everything feels magical moment and bringing Mila home didn’t really change that.

Don’t get me wrong, Mila is magical in ways I can’t even explain. She makes me smile everyday and keeps me on my toes. Anytime I’m sad, she’ll snuggle me and I love watching her explore the world. My life has been improved because of her, but I wouldn’t say my grief has lightened. It’s evolved like it had before she was even made.

Now that we’re past the year mark, I would say certain parts have lightened. I can be around babies more and not worry so much. Pregnant women still get me because I wonder if they’re going to be the 1 in 4. And Mila, she doesn’t trigger me in ways that I thought she would. I love seeing her grow and I wasn’t worried about her getting hurt or pushing the limits as much as I thought I would. I encourage her to climb and if she falls, I don’t freak out. She isn’t my trigger, but the absence of Jensen and not seeing him get bigger is the worst. Maybe they go hand-in-hand, but I won’t let my brain make that sort of connection.

I sort of think there’s this misconception where a rainbow baby comes and there’s a lot of happiness. This hasn’t be the exact case for me. There’s a TON of happy days with Mila, but grief still happens…

Missed Milestones

After Jensen was born, I was pretty well aware of how many weeks had passed, then months, and years. Those first few months, I was in this huge fog and couldn’t accurately picture how big he’d be. With Mila, I can see her growth and try to picture Jensen there. I make it a big deal to capture her growth every month. I don’t want to forget and deep down, I still think she could be taken away from me. On Jensen’s birthday this year though, I felt like I was on the verge of tears a lot of the day. It was a good day, but thinking how he’d be so into blowing his candles out and wondering what his reactions would be seemed more intense to me. I think his birthday will always be somewhat tricky, especially with hers only nine days afterwards. The other milestones I’m weirdly aware of at the moment is that he’d be starting preschool this fall or those huge ones.

Holidays

The holidays still suck for me. I love watching Mila get to enjoy them, but it’s in the back of my head that he’s missing. Knowing he’s missing when all the other kids are around… hurts. I want him there. It’s hard to know there’s always one more that should be with us. I do hope the holiday grief will lighten in the future.

Random Grief Attacks

There’s just days when grief knocks me on the ground. I try to distract myself and pour myself into Mila, school, projects, my house, and a ton of other things, but it doesn’t help. I can be completely fine on the outside and managing but the grief is like a fire inside of me. This time of the year is awful for me. Their birthdays and the holiday and the thought of spring bringing rebirth has gotten to me since he’s been born. When she was younger and would cry so much, I can remember just feeling so down on myself. Like, I would just want her to stop crying for a minute to just give myself a second, then I would feel awful. All I wanted was to hear Jensen’s cry and I was wishing for hers to stop for a minute. I felt like I didn’t deserve her. Then that would kickstart my head to somehow blame myself for Jensen dying. Grief is crazy and it’s random like that. Even now, I’ll get frustrated when she doesn’t listen or if I’m just tried and need her to go to sleep. Then those thoughts creep up.

Grief and all the triggers haven’t went away. They’ve changed and hit me at different times than they did before. I’m learning how to distinguish negative thoughts and seeing what part of me needs to be looked after. Losing Jensen has completely changed my life. It’s changed the way I view the world and others. He’s taught me how to love fully and not want to lose loved ones. Losing him has taught me to be a better parent to Mila than I thought I ever could be.

My motherhood is messy from grief, but wildly full of love from my two babes. There’s no ‘right’ way to be a mom or journey through life after loss.

Jensen’s Third Birthday.

After a little social media break for the weekend, I wanted to share about Jensen’s birthday and his party. As you can see in my previous post… the day before his big day was hard. I was so afraid I’d wake up and feel super negative on Friday. Fortunately, that wasn’t the case at all.

Mila and I had a quiet morning and read On the Night You Were Born again. She cuddled Jensen bear and I told her about the importance of the day. Obviously she doesn’t get it yet, but I feel like telling her is needed. After getting ready and dressing her in her blue and orange dress, we went to brunch. I think that would have been something we would’ve done with Jensen. His day would’ve been special if he was here and it should be now too. Mila sure enjoyed it too though.

When brunch was over, we went to get Jensen’s balloons, cake, and ice cream. I think it’s awesome that we still have a party for him, but it sort of stings too. At this point, I feel as if he’d want input on his parties and certain things. It’s hard to see a whole range of different party supplies and be stuck. Maybe no one else thinks of that. I just always wonder what his interests would have been. Those type of thoughts probably won’t stop with me. My imagination is always running, especially about Jensen.

We ended up picking a nice chocolate cake, blue balloons, and a big silver three. The funniest part of the day was being stuck in the car with Mila and my mom with all the balloons. It’s so nice to be able to smile during the hardest times.

At home, his little party started. We had Mila and her cousin play and the adults got to talk. Of course we took 100’s of pictures as we do. We got to sing happy birthday to Jensen and help blow out the candles. The kids also got to dig in to the cake. Mila maybe got a little too into it… she’ll have no problems on Sunday. Then we got to let balloons with messages go. This has been our little routine for his birthday for all three of them. It’s such a release and I just love feeling supported on his day. Mostly, I just know he’d love it too.

After his birthday, I definitely needed a break. I didn’t even get on social media or really have my phone a lot the last week. Around this time of year there’s so much going on and too many thoughts to process. There’s been so much I learned through my grief and life since he turned two. Everyday I wish I could see him and know his little personality more. I miss him more than words can describe and love him even more than that. I’m so thankful for all the support him and I have.

Now we’re onto another year of grief. I don’t know where it will lead my family, but I know Jensen will be right there with us.

It’s still hard.

Three years ago, I had the worst day of my life.

It’s easy and hard to put myself back in that exact place. I can remember it like it was yesterday and at the same time I don’t know how I did it. The whole things strange. I can remember my actions and the timeline of events, but not how I felt. My brain trashed that.

All week I’ve been so worried about how I’d be today. Mila has been super needy the last couple days and I didn’t know how everything would wind up. Would I feel overwhelmed or like I should hide away? Or would she pick up on my emotions? Mostly I just didn’t want to let her down for reasons unknown to her. One day I think she’ll know this days significance, but now… well that’s be impossible.

When I woke up this morning, I felt that familiar brick just weighing on my chest. My mind just kept saying three years ago today he died. Three years ago, you’re life flipped upside down. I can’t stop them and they felt like they wouldn’t end. As I was caught up in them, I felt a little nudge from Mila. As per our usual morning routine, she brought me a book… My Mom is Magical. We laid down together and I read her that book and the other five she brought me. She cuddled up on me and I put on her favorite movie, Boss Baby, and just were together.

The day has still been hard. I’m overly tired, have no appetite, and am super emotional. My intense grief takes the same form. Sometimes it feels like I could drown in it.

Before I had Mila, I cringed when other people said their other kids were the ones that helped get them through. Now I get it though. Today she’s reminded me to eat. Not because she was hungry, but she’s literally brought me food. She rubbed my arm during my nap, because that’s what she does when we go to sleep at night. I feel like she knew I needed it. All day she’s been completely in tune with me…

After her morning nap, I sat on the floor with her as she played. Everything sort of hit me from the last three years. I just started crying. He’ll be three tomorrow and I was trying to imagine what it’d be like having him here with us. They’d play together and hate and love on each other. It’d be chaos, but in the loveliest for. I just needed to release the pain from his loss and the longing of having him here and just loving the both of them so much. I’m unsure how long I was sitting there crying, but when I looked up she was standing in front of me. She just looked me straight in the eyes and it felt like she knew everything. Then she touched my cheek and just gave me love (hugs). She sort of just leaned on me for awhile, went and got another book, then sat in my lap to look through her book.

She’s really saved me today and I know Jensen’s close by too.

I know one day I’ll have to explain the significance of today and tomorrow to her. Sometimes I don’t know how it happens or what I’ll exactly say, but it’s inevitable. She loves looking at Jens and I think she knows he’s important in our family already. One day, I hope she becomes understanding and accepting of all people. I hope she’s mindful about different journeys in life. I want her to be proud of hers and know that her big brother is always watching out for her. That’s one gift Jensen has taught me and will get to teach her.

This life is full of ups and downs. It’s simple and complex at the same time. Today I’m sad and mourning my son, just as I’m so thankful I have my daughter here with me. Tomorrow is a new day and it’s our day to celebrate.

Tomorrow he turns three.

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.

3.21.2019

There were a lot of world and national “holidays” that were recognized today. Of course today was 3.21.2019, which is World Down Syndrome Day. If you’re not familiar with Jensen’s story, after his anatomy scan, they told us he would have Down syndrome. This day took on a different meaning for me. Every year, I rock my socks with Jensen bear and now with Mila too (I posted a picture of all of us on Instagram, which is hilarious because Mila kept ripping Jensen bear’s socks off). It’s another thing that Jensen has brought to our little family that I’ll definitely continue doing with Mila. I’d like her to learn all about Jensen AND appreciate the fact that every single person is different in the world. Instead of looking at these differences like they’re bad, we should honor and celebrate them.

Although I knew one of today’s celebration, I learned another too. It’s National Single Parent’s Day. I didn’t really think much of it after I first heard, then it made me really think. Everyday, it’s just Mila and I. Yes, we have an awesome family and Jensen always in our hearts, but I’m her one and only.

I haven’t really thought about how it’s just me for a long time. In the beginning, Mila cried constantly and I would think how badly I needed a break or just a second to take a breath. Parenting after loss and being a new mom was difficult for those first few months. Then there’s times I wish I could share her new things she does or all the pictures I take with someone. I didn’t plan everything that I’ve been through in this crazy life, but especially not this.

Tonight when I was giving Mila a bath, I really needed to use the restroom (TMI, sorry). I tried to wait till she was done playing in the water, but I couldn’t. It was so fun watching her splash and I didn’t want to end her fun. Weirdly, after knowing that there was this day for single parents, I was almost hyperaware of what our normal. I thought, if someone was here during this, she wouldn’t have to stop her fun because of me. It’s not disappointing to think about, but it’s almost like I think she’s missing out. Anyways, I wrap her up, but her in the bathroom sink and everything is normal. I could tell she wanted to go back in the bath and play, so I did something different. Instead of waiting to take a shower after she went to sleep, I just brought her in with me. Something that I couldn’t do before, I was able to now. And let me tell you, in that exact moment, I was so glad no one was here with me.

I got to hold her and really look at her discover something new. She liked how each bottle made different noises and how the water felt on her arm. When she saw me wash my hair, she wanted to help out. It was a whole new adventure for her to be in there with me and it was just as new for me too. I got to see how the water droplets hit and stayed on her face. Then after I would try to wipe them off, she’d stick her face right back in it. When she was experimenting with the noises, I really got to stare her eyes. Who knew trying to really look at your kid’s eyes would be so hard, but I finally got to really look at them. A light brown on the inside then darken up to a deep blue ring on the outside.

And to think I would have never gotten those moments with her if things weren’t different. It also makes me wonder how I missed moments like these with Jensen, so getting them with her is just extra special.

After our shower, I got her in her jammies and read the same book twenty-five times. We crawled into bed after all the reading was done. I laid there, playing with her hair and just reflected on everything that her and I have: a house that we love and is perfect for us, food that I love making for her, a comfy bed, Jensen watching over us, a family who loves us, and most importantly each other. I love where we are in life, even the hard moments.

I’m unsure what the future holds, but I do know we’re going to be perfectly fine. Being a parent no matter if you have a partner or not is full of ups and downs, but so worth it. Everyday I just look at her and am so happy she’s physically here with me because I live the other part of my motherhood not being able to see my son grow. Jensen taught me to never wish a moment away and it really prepared me for Mila. I’m so thankful for all the responsibility I have in raising her. Yes, it means less sleep, less time to myself, less (sometimes) sanity. It also means, I get to feel and have all the pride, all the time, and all the love.

Hi Again…

It’s been nine months since I’ve last posted and none crazy ones at that. In one more month, Jensen will be three and Mila will be one. If you told me three years what would have transpired from then to now, I would not have believed you.

I never would have believed that my baby would have died. There is no way I could have imagined planning his funeral or even going to it. That first year… it was the hardest in my life. Each day new struggles presented themselves, but through it all, I made it. I thought the second year would be way easier, but I learned loss and grief doesn’t really give you a break.

Year two brought different emotions and changed grief. Pregnancy after loss didn’t make things easier either. Jensen and Mila’s due dates were so close. I was afraid she was going to die 99% of the time. Weirdly, being pregnant again made me feel closer to Jensen. Maybe it’s because that’s the only time I got to spend with him. I wrote a lot to Jensen in that span of time, so that probably has a lot to do with it too.

Then this year. We’re headed straight to his third birthday. Three whole years with your child takes a toll. I think a lot of people believe once you have your rainbow that things get easier. For me, it didn’t. I saw all the things firsthand that I missed with him. There were a lot of times I overcompensated with her because I thought I needed to prove that I would’ve been great for the both of them. I tried not to change my life too much when she was first here by writing and keeping up with everything. When I realized I couldn’t, I felt like I had let Jensen down. Mila… wasn’t the easiest baby. There were lots of times I could barely take care of myself. She hated being put down. Mothering her was so challenging, on top of feeling like I was neglecting the way I had learned to mother Jensen. Slowly I learned I could do both, just not in all the ways I thought I had to do before.

I want to get back into writing and creating for my Etsy shop. Miss Mila has been better in playing by herself and napping. It’s cleared space for me to do some serious heart work. I’m unsure with what I need to continue writing about here. Some days I’d love to write about Mila adventures. Most moments are wild here and I feel like we always have fun stories to share. Then I feel like this is my Jensen space, but this is apart of his story too. He’s always with us and talked about. So maybe in the next few weeks, I’ll rework this site and make it inclusive to all aspects. We will soon see.

Now that I’ve taken a paragraph to ramble, I guess what I really want to say is we’re still here. We’re figuring out this life after loss and parenting too. For me, losing Jensen hasn’t gotten easier. There are days where it feels like it just happened and others I’m so busy with everything that it feels lighter. The waves of grief have gotten longer, but they crash hard. No matter if you’re in the raw part of your grief or years out, there are always ups and downs. Through it all, we’re never alone.

Thanks everyone for sticking around and reading this way past due update. I promise it won’t be another nine months.