The Baby Shower.

I woke up early that morning.

The rush of excitement to see my friends, family, and all the planning of the past few weeks filled me. Of course there were still more things to do, like the set up and making sure all the food got there. Then there was getting ready and making sure I put my feet up before I’d be on them all day. While I was constantly going over this checklist in my head, Jensen’s assuring ‘Go Mom!’ kicks made me smile.

When I stood up from my bed, I swore Jensen had dropped even lower. His weight gradually had been getting lower and lower over the past few weeks, but today he was the lowest. I waddled down the steps and we all started moving everything to the car. There was all the decorations and the table clothes that needed setting up before anything else, which was perfectly fine with me. As usual, I had to wait until after ten to get something to eat. Mr. I-don’t-like-mornings still hadn’t let me eat breakfast like I normally did before I was pregnant.

The boxes of my mental checklist were being marked quickly. On days like these, the hustle and bustle makes time go fast. Before I knew it, the guests were arriving.

I greeted people as they came. The first thing they probably noticed was my huge belly and my white slippers because no shoes would fit right. It seemed like the whole room filled up in under twenty minutes. Everyone was talking and laughing. Jensen kicked when he heard different people’s voices. I imagined this was how it was going to be from now on. His presence in the world brought happiness already and it would continue doing so when he would be in my arms.

My mom told me to go in the back while they played their first game, so I could eat. I can remember eating and a little one came up to me and asked what Jensen was doing in my belly. I smiled and told her he had been sleeping because we had a busy day. She touched my belly and asked if he was right there. Then he kicked. He was going to be friendly and love to interact with his cousins and friends.

After I was done eating, I remember walking out the door and seeing the huge, blue, ‘BOY’ balloons with the presents on the one side and diapers on the other table. I felt so blessed that Jensen and I were loved by so many.

The games had finished and everyone was eating. It was the perfect time to start opening gifts. I opened clothes, diapers, car seats, gift cards, pacifiers, books, stuff animals, bath needs, towels, and anything else you can think of. It was all there. We only needed to get a stroller which would be covered with all the gift cards. Everything was set for his big arrival now. All I had to do was get everything washed, unpacked, and assembled. Those things and of course waiting.

When everyone was getting ready to leave, I hugged them all and felt Jensen moving around. It was a tight squeeze so I felt him pretty frequently. In between every goodbye, I laid my hands where I knew his put was and then would trace down where his back was. He liked when I did that. He would move to follow my hand. Now looking back, a lot of those goodbyes were the last ones he had. They departed from us happy and thinking our future would be bright.

No one ever expected the worse was about to happen in a few short weeks.

My family helped take all the presents back to my house. We had to put them in the closet/laundry room because we still had to figure out everything with his room. I remember we went through each outfit and every book. In my mind, I had to organize everything so it would be easier for us to put away. Diapers in one corner, the bathing stuff in the other, and everything else had its place too. The clothes came with us so they could be washed.

Then we went home. Happy with how they day played out. I spent the evening reading the ‘Wishes for Baby’ and ‘Advice to Mom’ cards. Each out loud so Jensen would most definitely hear. I put them back in my purse so I could read throughout my appointments and ultrasounds, or whenever I felt like I needed to see them.

I was going to be a great mom.

That thought played in my head over and over. I was nervous, but I saw how much he was loved and I knew everything would work out just fine.

As quickly as the day went by, sleep welcomed me. Jensen and I had our nightly routine of reading a book and him kicking me until I laid on my left side. I’d be seeing him the next day and letting the ultrasound technician know how the shower went.

I dreamt of what he would look like that night. We were in the hospital room and I was holding him. He was snuggled so close to me and I was humming a lullaby in his ear. His body was warm and his hair smelled like a new baby.

Everything was perfect that day.

Love Day.

Being a mom has taught me endless love.

Not just on Valentine’s Day, but every single second of each day.

When I imagined Love Day with Jensen, I pictured making him heart-shaped pancakes with strawberries (all cut up and easy for him to eat), doing a mini photo shoot with here at home, and having a mommy-son date night. He would be in Valentine’s Day themed pajamas in the morning and jeans and a button up shirt for the evening. I’m sure there would have been a craft we would have done to give to grandma and grandpa. There would be smiles and giggles. All would be right.

really miss him.

A weird part of this ‘holiday’ is I’m not even being triggered. Maybe it’s because I’m extremely sick and still trying to get better? Or the weird way it seems like a lot of big days have fallen on Tuesdays? Then I think that today’s not really a holiday, but I still wanted to spend it with Jensen and make it another great day for him. I keep telling myself, ‘It’s just a Hallmark holiday.’ But I realize I’m not sad because I’m not spending it with a boyfriend or a guy. I just want Jensen and all the days I should have had with him. Lately, for me, I’ve been missing him in the smallest moments. Ones where I wonder when he would be crying or get mad at me. He’d pout, fake cry, and turn his face so red. It’d be frustrating in that second, but I want that. And there are others when he’d fall and get back up on his own. I wonder how that first time of him getting back up on his own would feel. Like he could do something on his own and didn’t need me; I’d feel so proud and sad at the same time.

Those are the moments I crave.

Honestly, I’m thankful for today. The day I found out I was pregnant was when I knew what love truly was. I swear I felt my heart grow five sizes bigger. It has only grown and radiated. When I woke up today and saw all those hearts and words of love, I just felt it. There has been lovely loss mamas sending me hearts with Jensen’s name and letting me know he’ll never be forgotten. I received his drawn portrait and am amazed with how adorable he looks in it. There’s a love craft planned for tonight that I’m really looking forward to. Maybe I’ll even have a mini date night with myself if I’m feeling up to it tonight.

I just feel so loved today.

It’s amazing to me how in this darkness of grief we can see light and feel love. How even in our worst days there’s something to smile about. That from this great physical distance between Jensen and I, he feels so very close to me. It’s all from this endless love that one little boy continues to bring me.

Which brings me to something I want to share with you guys…

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I’ve been thinking about starting an Etsy shop to spread the love I have for Jensen. The items in it would be customizable to any child; I promise I’m not that crazy to just offer Jensen’s footprints! It’ll be items like the one with Jensen bear and of course other ones too. I thought today would be the perfect day to share with you all and to see what everyone thinks. You all have helped shaped this journey so much for me that I appreciate your feedback.

I hope you all have a gentle Valentine’s Day full of love.


Happy forty-five weeks in heaven, Jensen! Today I’ve felt all the love you’ve been sending me and I hope you’re feeling all the love I have for you. I know you’re hand making me cards for when I join you in heaven and I’ll be so happy to see them. Thank you for giving me this endless love; I’ll cherish it every day of my life.
I miss you. I love you.

The Gift of Hope.

All of Jensen’s Christmas presents should be bought by now. Even though I know I would keep finding more and more to get him.

The freshly, fallen snow should have fascinated him all throughout the weekend.

I should be watching him grow each day.

He should be here, but he’s not.

There are times during the day where I’m just grief-stricken and in utter disbelief of my life. In fact, all of these should moments are completely different that what I ever intended. I haven’t bought one Christmas present for anyone so far this year. The cold and snow are just annoyances to me. The only growth that surrounds me is my growing strength to face another day and soon, another year.

Quite frankly, I’ve been negative about all that’s happening around me. Frustration has taken root deep down. I know it’s just my mind trying to navigate grief throughout the holidays and it trying to conceive that Jensen isn’t here for his first earthly holidays. Each day I instantly think of all the ‘shoulds’ I thought I’d have. Reality has a funny way of telling me that they are not happening, but there are beautiful moments that happen because Jensen did live and is very loved.

As I’ve been writing this, I was sure I had introduced Jensen’s brick in Stow protected by the Angel of Hope. Turns out, I haven’t written about this beautiful memorial that was built by pure love. If I end up finding a post where I talk about the first event, I’ll hyperlink it here. Long story short, there is a book written called The Christmas Box by Richard Paul Evan which is about a mother’s grief of her child. The book was a really big hit among grieving parents who wanted to honor the story, their grief, and children, by bringing an Angel of Hope statue to their town. Eventually Stow, Ohio saved up and was able to also get an Angel of Hope to honor all children gone too soon. You can find out more on their website, here. On that link you can also buy a brick for the Stow location. If you’re not by me, there’s a ton of different amazing locations where the angel is. That list can be found, here.

Shortly after Jensen was born, I stumbled across the Angel of Hope. Since he was cremated, I don’t have a spot to go for him. I knew I wanted to though. Being able to buy a brick right in front of the statue was a way I could get out of my house and visit Jensen in a spot. I’m able to take flowers to lay on his brick and also on the base of the angel. I know I’ve just said this, but the location is breathtaking. It’s quiet and solemn. Every time I’ve been there I’ve just been able to let my tears flow. And, there’s something about seeing your child’s name that makes you pause.

Here is Jensen’s brick. Flowers from his mama and pennies from his grandpa.

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Well, yesterday we were invited to go to the Annual Candle Lighting Ceremony to honor Jensen and the rest of the children who do and don’t have bricks. It was so frigid outside. The snow slushed under my feet and I had to really watch that I didn’t fall. Once we made it to the group, I was just in awe. The amount of people there was so overwhelming and not in the way you’re thinking. My world really shakes when I know there’s so many other people feeling how I do. Obviously, everyone is in their different stages of healing, but to grieve a child through the holidays… there’s really no words of comfort.

When we a lit our candles, it was just a wave of light that warmed me even through the freezing weather. I always say Jensen is my light and constantly have candles burning in my house. Every time I see flames, I feel his presence. We felt it so much last night, that my dad’s cup lit on fire and he had to throw it down. Laughter is sometimes much-needed in these moments. To be able to smile through the tears and not knowing what to say really shows something.

Of course the parents who put on the ceremony were able to share and talk. One thing really stood out to me. They lit five different candles and one of them was lit for the love parents have for their children, even through death. He said, something to the effect of, look how much each and every single person there loves the child they are there for. That even through the freezing cold temperature, we stand there to show our love. To show that no matter has happened, this love is so strong. It’s unbreakable. My first thought while standing there was, I would stand out here every night if that’s what Jensen needed. Then I thought, I would do anything for Jensen. There is literally nothing that would stand in my way if it was something I had to do for him.

You can’t see this, but I’m sitting here just crying and having to keep pausing to wipe my eyes so I can see. It is crazy for me to think what I would do for him even though he’s not here. It’s like I challenge myself to an even more outrageous act and there’s not even a second of doubt that I wouldn’t do it. Often I wonder how that would be if he was actually here. Would it be more or less? Or would it just be different? Most times I think it would just be different…

Back to where we were originally.

All those ‘shoulds’ are never going to go away. Even when Jensen is supposed my age now, I’ll try to imagine what challenges he would be facing and how it would be so fulfilling to see him overcome them. It’s hard for me to think of what I’ll actually be doing in twenty-three years, but it’ll never be what it should have been. No matter, with each candle I light, whether it be in ceremonies like last night or in the comfort of my home, I do it as a promise. A promise of love and to keep doing everything in my power to show him that. Right now, that’s to get keep living and doing the best I can.

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Dearest Angel of Hope, keep Jensen and all the children taken to soon safe in your reach. I look to you for hope, love, and the will to keep pushing on from day to day, month to month, and year to year.


Just wanted to add, I will be going on vacation this week. If you haven’t put your child’s name on this post, please do before I close the comments on Tuesday. In case you didn’t hear, I will be going to Punta Cana this week and offered to write baby names on the beach. I already have a lot of names which is heartbreaking, but I’m happy to help and to remember Jensen and all his friends. After I get back, I will be posting an album of all the pictures Jensen’s Facebook page.

Healing Therapies.

Breathe in, one, two, three, four.

Breathe out, one, two, three, four.

I remember when deep breathing and counting were going to help heal the supposed worst pain of my life: giving birth. Even during my labor with Jensen, I don’t think I needed anyone counting for me. The contractions didn’t hurt, but I wanted some normalcy while I delivered him so silently. After he came into the world my body started healing, but emotionally, I didn’t even know how to begin healing. I was in pain and my brain instantly went into shock trying to protect the influx of emotions. During that time, I had to focus on healing my body by sleeping and trying to eat. That was the best I could do.

When I had to focus on emotional healing, I was lost. I felt alone and didn’t even know where to start. For the first few weeks, I just sat and stared into the nothingness. Everything felt numb and black. Even now, I can’t recall those moments or it just spirals out of control. The second week I looked in Jensen’s hospital bag. A brochure fell into my lap about online and in-person support groups. From there, I found You’re Not Alone – Love Letters from Loss Mom to Loss Mom, so many blogs journeying through others’ losses, and support near me. I read and read through so many pages, learning about how other’s heal. I realized how much reading through their words had helped me.

Then I decided to write Jensen’s story and share.

It felt so healing to write his name. To let the whole entire world know about him and his impact on my life. I needed to share the good, the bad, and the ugly. There would be a lot of ugly, but love always paved the way for the good. Six months later, it’s one healing therapy that I do every single day.  Usually with hot tea in my mug and candles lit throughout the whole house. Sometimes I want to share with the world and others, I keep it between Jensen and I. I haven’t missed a day of writing since that two-week mark. Getting all my emotions out on paper, or laptop, has let me sort through it everything.

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As much as I wish writing could just heal me and I’d be perfectly back to normal, that’s not how grief works.

Talk therapy has done so much good for me.

One of the hardest things I’ve done post loss was making an appointment to a therapist. I did not want to ‘be weak’ and talk to a counselor. The first time seeing her, I was terrified. Then being able to say his name, talk about how I was feeling out loud, and not feel judged was healing. It encouraged me to go to my first in-person support group, then the second. I spend a lot of time with talk therapy, six times a month to be exact. Sometimes, like this month, I’ve gone to other groups or events where I could talk more about Jensen. It’s been one of the most healing therapies I’ve done in my life after loss. This journey is so lonely and knowing there’s so many people to support me is, well, bittersweet. It breaks my heart knowing these amazing, strong women have felt this way and are able to channel that to help me and so many other moms going through loss. Reaching out and letting others know you need help, is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but it’s helped.

There’s no rulebook on what to do after your child dies. That’s what makes finding these healing therapies so individual and hard for people to narrow down. I believe it’s trial and error. What works for me, might not work for the next person and that absolutely fine. I will say, if you are a support person reading this and wondering how to help your loved one, the most healing therapy someone can help with is saying their child’s name. It’ll open the line of communication between you two and might help find what the other person needs to heal.

I’d also like to say one more thing, losing a child takes a lifetime of healing. Please be patient with them or yourself and never feel like they or you need to put your grief on a timeline. Loss moms and dads are trying to figure out their new normal and how to move forward with their life. Be gentle with our hearts, we’re doing our best to find our healing therapies.

Even if it begins with breathing in and out.

Beliefs & Spirituality.

I just want to start off saying, this topic brings a lot of emotions when talked about. There have been centuries of wars started over religion and differences in beliefs. This post was not written to harm others or to push what I believe on anyone. I’m not like that and I value differences in opinion. It’s fascinating to hear what other’s think about the world and their spirituality. There’s no right or wrong in what you believe.

Beliefs, spirituality, and faith are as individual as each person or their journey in life. For me, it’s something that’s constantly changed as I’ve experienced different situations or learned more information. When we were young, we didn’t go to church or were pushed to believe in a certain thing. I mean, we celebrated all the holidays and learned about Jesus, but we were able to explore it all in our own time. That meant learning about any religion I could find and even more ideas about the afterlife. Like I said, I found it all so fascinating,

To put it bluntly, I believe in God and the afterlife. Yet, there’s so much more to what I believe than just that.

Before I get into the details, I want to make something clear. I do not find it comforting for people to tell me Jensen is in a ‘better place.’ There’s no better place for him than in my arms. It’s not comforting to know that God needed another angel and He somehow chose Jensen. More than anything else, it angers me and it’s not fair that he died. Believe me, I know he’s a special boy, but his innocent soul deserved to live so much longer. If you hear me talking about him being in heaven or being an angel, it’s because I can. That sounds ridiculous, I know. BUT, until you’ve walked in my shoes and experienced losing my son, you don’t understand what is comforting to me. It’s okay if I say those things because sometimes that’s the only thing keeping me being here. Knowing he’s protecting me and will be there when I die. As I said, faith and this journey is individual.

Now I’ll get back to the prompt.

Yes, I believe in God, but that doesn’t mean I’m angry with Him and it doesn’t mean that my faith wasn’t shattered. Most days, I’m still so mad and don’t understand why this is happening to me. I find comfort in a lot of verses, not all of them. One of my favorites is below, Jessica, from Lettered Hope, made this for me. It comforts me to pray and put my worries on God. If I say I’m praying for you and/or your angel, I don’t mean it in a bad way. It’s what helps me make sense of this loss. I believe God hears me and tells the children in heaven that they’re being thought of. Then I think they can just hear me too. I remember not praying for a few weeks after Jensen died because I was so angry, which was weird because I did a lot of work in the bible when I was pregnant. It was Jensen and I’s routine every night to pray. I can remember screaming till my throat would bleed asking Him why. Why Jensen? I know there’s not a reason for his death and I won’t know until I’m dead. There’s nothing good that can come as a result of Jensen not being here, but I’m being lead into healing through knowing I will be with him again.

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After losing Jensen, I understand how people don’t believe in God, or well any higher power. It’s not fair, especially when we’re led to believe that He put this pain on us. I get it and your beliefs are justified, just as mine are to my understanding of this.

Another belief I have, is in spirit communities; I’ll try not to go too deep into this, unless you’d like to know. When I talk about this, I literally feel crazy. I believe that everyone has a soul and that our souls are connected with those that mean the most to us. Some know this as soul mates, but I believe in a soul community. These souls stay around each other for all eternity and come back here to earth and find each other again. This can be from partners to children to friends, but we’re constantly searching for one another. I think Jensen and I’s souls have been connected for a long time. As any mother, I had a bond with him when I was pregnant, but I get a lot of signs that I know are from him. In my letters to him, I’ve said that we’re two souls who search for each other, but are continuously just out of our reach. Maybe this goes along with not only wanting to see him again, but one day seeing him grow? Who knows, I’m still working on this belief.

The last thing I want to touch on is heaven. I really believe there is a home for us after we die. Maybe we go there to rejuvenate for another life or we stay there forever, both comfort me equally. I think heaven is different for everyone. Sort of like everyone has their own house and inside is what makes their soul happy. It could maybe even be your house transported into heaven, which I wouldn’t be disappointed about! Sometimes I think my heaven will be walking right into my front door and picking Jensen up from his crib. Then just holding him and studying every detail of that moment. We’d never run out of diapers and food. My heaven is just us together in his nursery, watching whatever’s going on outside his window. Hopefully my other family would be there and so would Leo and Poe. But as I said, everyone’s heaven is different.

I often think about Jensen’s heaven. Maybe his is with me and that’s why I always have so many signs. I think he’s with my grandma being held, I have a feeling that would be apart of hers. Maybe he’s growing or waiting for me to get there so I can see that. I hope I can revert back to twenty-two and we can grow together.

Jensen will always be my heaven and I have faith that he’ll be eagerly waiting for his mother’s embrace.

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Dear World,

I always believed in the beauty that surrounded me. The crisp, fresh air would fill my lungs as I drew a deep breath. Colorful flowers would beckon me to stop and smell them; I would pick a bundle and put a few in my hair. Each time I would step outside and enjoy the splendor that is this world, I thought I  knew my place. Even when I didn’t understand why something was happening, I could get lost in the stars. My hands would run through the grass calling out for me to just lay there and feel grounded.

When I learned Jensen was growing inside of my belly, I couldn’t wait to introduce him to you. There are so many opportunities you offer to each of us. In my dreams, I imagined him falling in love with all of your wonders and wanting to explore new places. Maybe I could even show him what you have done to comfort me. I’d see him play on your beaches and make sand castles. Our backyard would be full of mud pies and lullabies. He would be a fearless little boy and I hoped he would find his place here, just as I thought I had.

He’d grow up picking the flowers in a garden we’d make together, bundling them so he could give them to me. So proud that he had discovered a different part of you and bringing that beauty in our home.

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Deep down, I knew there was an innate darkness you had in your trenches. I didn’t think I would ever meet that part of you, until I did. You and my body were two of the only things I trusted with him. On that windy, spring day you flipped upside down letting darkness blanket over all the beauty I once found solace in.

You’re still upside down and I don’t know how to trust you anymore.

Bringing a child into this world is supposed to be the most natural act a person can do. There is nothing natural about him dying before he could leave my womb and discover you. Instead of him picking me flowers and discovering each constellation in the sky, his absence has brought me an eerie darkness. For awhile, that’s all you let me see and feel. You turned so cold, unlike anything I had experienced, especially after the warm nine months I carried him.

There were parts of me that came unearthed too. This overwhelming anxiety and depression that has made itself home in my body. A sense of dread each time the phone rang, wondering what other horror had escaped your trenches. The feeling of no fear, even when it was presented. There was hatred and a bunch of it towards myself and everyone and thing that was in close proximity. I felt betrayed by myself. All deviant feelings that I didn’t know existed were flooding me.

Since I never had you turn your back on me before, I shut you out. I didn’t believe there would ever be beauty in you again. How could there be?

Then I saw him with you.

You let him paint the sky with blues and oranges. He draws me to the prettiest flowers, that only little boys would choose. I feel his warmth as the sun creeps through my curtains and wakes me in the morning. The birds sing with him as I open the windows to welcome you in. He’s the shooting star that I make a wish on. You haven’t broken your promise to him and I. I see him discovering you in ways I could never imagine. Even though I can’t see his imagination spreading across his face, I feel his excitement as the seasons change. He has found his place in the world when he’s not sleeping in the clouds.

Oh world, I’m so angry with the darkness you’ve given to me. Most days I wish I could just get a tall enough latter to join him in the clouds, but I know that’s impossible. So, I live for the moments where I see his light. Somehow when I can’t see this, I remember he is doing all what I ever wanted him to do. He’s exploring the parts of you I’ll never see, until I’m free from this darkness and hold you have on me.

Love,

Danielle
Jensen’s Mom

Lemons & Lemonade.

So, I’m going to break the rules on today’s prompt. Chalk it up to having an emotional morning or just a horrible past six months, my mind is letting me delve into the ‘lemonade’ I’ve made since Jensen’s been born.

This prompt was inspired by a new show, ‘This Is Us,’ where a couple was pregnant with triplets. Long story short, one of the babies died (either shortly before or during birth) and the doctor was talking to the dad about baby loss and how you have to continue on for your family after this tragedy happens. He spinned the saying, ‘When life give you lemons you make lemonade,’ and added on to it with his own personal story of loss. There was also a line about (along the lines of), even given the sourest lemon you can make something resembling lemonade. I probably should have re-watched before I started typing, but as I said, emotional morning.

When I first saw the video, I thought, yes this is it. This analogy is perfect, everyone should see this. Until it weighed on my heart a little more; maybe I just know how to sour everything. I kept thinking, yes this works for life and can be applied to loss, as it was presented in the show. There’s a point, I think, in the loss journey that you there’s more positive than negative. People are able to see all the good they’ve helped bring into the world in honor of their babies and to help others out. I understand the analogy perfectly and believe one day I’ll even be able embrace it.

Right now, I can’t.

I’m not saying there’s no positives ever in my life after loss, but right now it’s very hard to see. Instead of sticking exactly to this prompt, I’m going to keep the analogy used, but share it in a way that represents the grief journey I’m going through.

To make lemonade, a person needs water, lemons, and sugar. The water is the base of the whole drink, you add in lemons to give the sour punch, and then end off with the sweetness of the sugar. Obviously, right? When we talk about it metaphorically, lemons are always given to us when life isn’t going our way. Jensen’s death has been the biggest, sourest lemon ever given to me. Since we’ve been molded to only see the sour part, we don’t look beyond the lemon. An outside person might believe I can use the lemon and make it ‘somewhat resembling’ lemonade. I’m challenging you to relook at this.

Instead of thinking of me getting the biggest, baddest lemon, think of it like the sugar has been taken away. Before, there was such much sugar that even if I got another lemon, I could just sweeten the rest up. Without sugar in lemonade, it’s just really sour lemon water. I can keep squeezing and making the most out of all the lemons ever given to me, but without that one ingredient, it’ll never be the same.

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Continue reading

Creative Heartwork.

“I need to have a part of Jensen on my forever. Everyone needs to see him on me.”

A few weeks after Jensen was born, I kept repeating those words. My heart hurt that no one could see my baby in my arms and I wanted to somehow prove to the world that I was his mother. That and I wanted to feel physical pain, there was so much emotional pain that I needed to focus it somewhere else.

So we got tattoos.

Even though the one I got wasn’t the one I originally planned, I’m so happy it worked out that way. The celtic knot for motherhood is forever on the back of my neck. It’s beautiful and to me, represents that Jensen will always be with me. The pain I expected it to bring wasn’t there. Instead, the humming of the machine relaxed every muscle in my body. After it was all done, I was so proud Jensen was honored there for the rest of my life. I loved that I was able to find the design and put his birthday underneath it.

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As much as I love sharing my first Jensen tattoo with everyone, I think a lot of creative heartwork happens behind the scenes. It’s sharing your story online and at in-person support groups. Or it can be the connection you make with other loss mamas and doing anything you can to be there for them. Maybe it’s writing your baby’s name hundreds of times in every font you know how to do. It could be framing your favorite outfit of their’s in your favorite spot, so you can see it everyday. If a baby is buried, you can be creative during all the holidays and anniversaries and decorate their spot. SO many things that is creative and comes from the heart.

For me, it seems like I share all the creative heartwork that I do for Jensen. I love showing how much he means to me and my creative side. Today i’m going to share something a little more personal. As I’ve said before, when people walk into my house, Jensen is everywhere. Most people wouldn’t even notice the stack of notebooks of letter, filled with love, that I have written to Jensen. It started when I was pregnant, I would write a verse and then tell Jensen all about my day. When he was born, I started drawing him pictures and adding color to every letter. It was my way to be creative with him while I let all my emotions out on the paper. Every single word filled with love and appreciation to him. These letters have became my favorite part of the day and are a huge part of my healing. It’s my favorite heartwork I do for Jensen.

In between all those love letters, are drawings and letterings of his name or anything that reminds me of him. Today, I keep writing his name over and over again. If you’ve been following along, you all know Tuesdays are hard for me. They’re even harder when I can’t be creative and do things for him. All I’ve been able to do is writing his name. Even finding the words to this Capture Your Grief prompt has been difficult. This Tuesday marks twenty-seven weeks since Jensen was born sleeping. All those weeks ago, I bought my first remembrance bracelet to remember him by. It was Aries constellation bracelet, that I wear everyday. I never imagined then, that six months from that moment my favorite heartwork would be the letters I wrote to him just two days before his birth.

Tonight, as I continue my private, creative heartwork for Jensen,  I’ll be thinking of the love we show to all our babies everyday. Even in our deepest pits of pain, we continue creating beautiful things to honor our angels; out of these dark pits, blossoms the loveliest flower.

Happy twenty-seventh week in heaven, Jensen. When you look down on me from heaven, I hope you see all the creative heartwork that I do all for you. I miss you. I love you.

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Symbols & Signs.

The morning Jensen was born, my best friend came to the hospital. He brought flowers and just sat and listened. It was fairly early when I texted and told him Jensen was born so silently. I remember just talking and explaining it, I don’t even know if I was crying or if shock had taken my tears. He had to be so brave coming into that room. It’s not the scenario anyone expects to walk in. Usually there’s the baby being passed around and the mom is beaming. Anyways, during our talk he told me, “Jensen will come to you in a red bird and a blue bird.” I remember the thought of a sign from Jensen giving me so much hope.

It would be a happy moment that he was with me even in his death.

When we got home from the hospital, I completely forgot about our conversation on the birds. There were no birds going to come in my room as I let the darkness cover me. I was dragged out of the house to go on a drive two days before his funeral. We drove all around the county and ended up going to eat at a little restaurant that I’ve been to countless times. I sat down in one chair and didn’t like it, so I sat in the chair across the table. It felt better about that chair, weird I know. Then I looked up at the wall, one I’ve looked at before, and I saw my sign. A picture of a red bird and one of a blue bird right beside it; my sign from Jensen.

I remember just staring at it and not listening to a word my mom said. All I could do was point at the pictures and say, ‘he’s okay.’

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‘Walk for the Angels.’

One in four pregnancies end in loss.

My heart knows that fact, but even with online support, it’s hard to see that statistic in person. Maybe that’s why when I heard over six hundred people registered for the God’s Tiny Angels ‘Walk for the Angels,’ my heart skipped a beat. It was still just a number until I saw the line of people waiting outside the church to register. Even then it still didn’t click.

Yesterday was my first remembrance walk since Jensen has been born. I made big orange and navy buttons with a white J in the middle. We went out and bought bright, orange bandanas. I needed to be prepared for the day because I didn’t really know what to expect. It would be the first time I was around a huge amount of people who have been effected by loss, not just the small groups I was used to. There would be a lot of stories and emotions all in one room that I had to be aware of. I probably should have warned my family and Frank about those raw emotions that radiate off.

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Then there we were, in the sea of people in an ocean of grief.

The board members of God’s Tiny Angels spoke of sharing, healing, and helping. Their pillars of support and what they strive to do. I cried as the spoke knowing that each of those have shaped my grief journey. Jensen and I’s support heard those words for the first time, that didn’t come out of my mouth. They heard and they saw love, loss, and the magnitude of how many people are touched by angels. I think the heaviness of sadness was felt by everyone there, but we could surrender ourselves to that emotion and let hope flow in by walking for them.

Each step of the walk, I kept thinking of taking the steps for Jensen. He’ll never be able to take the steps for himself, but he had so many people there for him. As did all the babies gone too soon. The walk was peaceful and hundreds of balloons floated above our heads, symbolizing Jensen and all of his friends being with us. I also thought of the walk as journey of grief too. Although we have to take our steps to move forward, there are always people around to help us keep walking. AND we are always surrounded by our angels.

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As we got back to the church and went to the courtyard to release the balloons, I really could see how many people were there. Families grouped together with their buttons representing their child and packs of pink, blue, and white balloons everywhere you looked. Music was being played and we were asked to release our balloons and messages of love to the clouds, knowing our babies would see them. We let go of our pack of blue balloons with the glimpses of orange lettering on the cards. They danced up to the clouds, not alone, but with all the other balloons from each family. In that moment, it clicked. Each of those hundreds of balloons represented a baby gone and a family whose life was changed forever.

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I watched Jensen’s balloons until I couldn’t see them anymore. Tears fell down my cheeks, the release of love and loss is therapeutic. Although I couldn’t see the balloons dancing in the wind anymore, I knew he still saw them. He grabbed them and played with the balloons in awe. Maybe he was read those messages, but he already felt the warmth of the love we have for him. That’s all he’s ever known.