If You Were Here Today, You’d Be Sixteen Months Old. 


The fifth of every month weighs heavy on my heart, this month is no different. 

I didn’t know if I wanted to write today, maybe this would be the first fifth I didn’t write on. For the whole morning and most of this afternoon, I laid on the couch crying. Sixteen months. Time hasn’t soften the loss of you like everyone thinks. In fact, it’s done quite the opposite. I hate that there’s this distance between the last time I felt him, not knowing when I’ll finally see him again. 

Those thoughts are haunting. They take me to a place I don’t like to travel often. I get lost in them, trying to figure it all out and wonder where I go from here. 

As I sat there, I didn’t want to write and tell you all this. I want everyone to know this hurts and it’s not how it should be. 

If he was here today, I’d make him funfetti cupcakes to celebrate another month of growing. He’d have blue frosting all over his face and just laugh. People would think I was crazy for celebrating each month and maybe we wouldn’t if I didn’t know what losing him was like. I do now and if I had that knowledge, we would celebrate. 

It’s a dreary day, but no rain, so we would have went to the zoo to walk around. He would know what sounds the animals made and mimic them. I can imagine him pointing then making their noise, then look back at me with that look. The look that only children give their parents. A look I so desperately wish I could’ve got from him. 

I would buy him an animal book to read for bedtime. He already has so many books as is, his collection would have only grown in sixteen months. That book would be read at bedtime, after our nighttime routine. On the drive home and listen to music he’d dance in his car seat to, until he fell asleep. Then I could shut the music off and listen to him breathe as I drove. That would be my most favorite noise in the world. 

Maybe we’d stop by grandma and grandpa’s house to show him our adventures to the zoo. Who knows, maybe they would have been the ones to take us, but we would all be together. A family should always stay close. 

When we got home, we would be together. He would tear through the house and want another cupcake that I would probably give him. Sixteen months is something to celebrate. After his face was all blue again, it’d be time for a bath. All his favorite toys would be brought in to help him get clean. He’d get dried off in his little robe, then into his pajamas. Slowly, he’d grow more and more tired until it was time to read the animal book we got earlier that day. With each word, his blinks would get longer until dreamland welcomed him. I’d lay him in his crib, shut off the light, and tiptoe quietly out of his room. 

As I would prepare for bed, I would get ready for the next day. There would be no worries, no death, no grief. Just him and our life. 

That’s how this day should be as he turned another month older. 

This post was inspired by the ’30 Day Writing Challenge For Stillbirth Mothers‘ day five prompt. 

Allowing Myself to Feel Whatever I Need. 


I’ve been staring at a blank screen for an hour. There’s so much to say, but the words can never accurately describe the madness inside. Sometimes I wish I could let this pain consume me from the inside out, that it would eventually take over and be in charge for good. 

It’s been six weeks. 

Instead of wanting to drink my sorrow away, I should have a happy sixteen week baby bump. I wouldn’t know he was a boy yet, but I would be happy to find out soon. I looked in the mirror this morning, thinking of the grey shirt that’s hanging in my closet. The one I used to document his short ten weeks. If things went differently, I’d be wearing it today wondering if my anatomy scan would go more smoothly this time around. 

This isn’t fair. Six weeks ago, I still had hope everything was going to be alright with Huxley. He had his big brother watching from above. 

Miscarriage hurts. 

Damn it, it’s more than hurt. I’m drowning over here in what could have been. My longing for Jensen is even more intensified, I’ve never squeezed his Molly Bear more than I have since I miscarried. I’m literally gasping for air and it feels like my head is continually being pushed under. 

I’m supposed to be ‘strong.’

I should just get pregnant again to mask the pain. 

At least I’ve already went through the worst part of my life. Miscarriage should be so much easier after having Jensen. 

Focus on the good in your life, not the pain. 

It’ll get easier. 

I don’t want to be strong. I don’t want to feel anything but how I’m feeling right now. Another pregnancy does not take away that they lived and they matter. You’re right, I have lived through the tragedy of having my full term child die before he was born. I’ve cried everyday for him and it hasn’t gotten easier without him. 

Why does our society diminish pregnancy and infant loss of any gestation or age? It’s not easy and I know grief and death is uncomfortable, but this is my life. 

I should have a sixteen month old baby boy and be sixteen weeks pregnant today and because they’re not, I’m allowed to feel whatever I need to get by to the next moment. 

My Collection of Drawings. 

Tonight is a bad night. 

My heart feels so heavy and all I want is just one more moment with him. Maybe just one picture I haven’t ever seen of him. I want Jensen here with me. 

It might be the influx of rainy days we’ve had here or the anticipation of the beginning of my Jensen anniversaries, but it’s hitting me hard. The silence feel more real than usual and the sound of rain drops are coaxing my tears. I just want to sleep and never wake up again. Dreaming is the only time I get to see him moving. 

When I’m having moments like this, right now, it’s hard to see how far in my grief journey they I’ve actually come. I take for granted the things I can do now that I wasn’t able to just last year. Heck, just in the last six months. While looking through my Jensen album on my phone, I came across this picture that I just added a few days ago. 


My cousins daughter drew this for me, to put on my fridge of course. It’s of her (with the hair), me underneath her, then under me is her little sister. To the right of her is Jensen with his hat and her spelling of his name. When I see her, she asks me to spell Jensen’s name for her so she can write it down and I have a little collection of her Jensen drawings. 

It warms my heart to get her drawings of her and Jensen. I know she’s and all of my family think of him, but this is tangible for me to hold in my hands. On the other hand, it breaks my heart. She drew on picture of Jensen crying and said he was crying because he missed his mama. Then she says she misses Jensen. 

All I can say is I do too, then think of how it all should be different. 

Back to where I was going before. Last year, I could barely be around her and her siblings. It’s not that I wasn’t happy to be around them, it’s that I was sad for me. He was missing from the picture and it was too much (sometimes it still can be). Yet, I can play with them and talk about him now. 

If I hadn’t have got this far into my healing, I would never have my collection of Jensen drawings, nor would I have had the light moment tonight in the midst of this dark grief. 

Just when I needed to see something new of him, I did in the imagination of another missing him. 

How I’ll be Celebrating Jensen’s Twenty-First Birthday. 

This past weekend, my parents took my brother and I to Tennessee. It’s always bittersweet to go on family vacations or getaways; I constantly see the missing piece. Of course we find ways to incorporate Jensen when we go somewhere. At the beach we write his name or I’m taking pictures of his footprint. When we knew we were going to Nashville and Lynchburg, I was weary of how to make a new memory with him that was unlike I had before. 

In Nashville, we didn’t really have to opportunity to do anything besides walk around and eat (and drink). I was determined to do something special for him the next day in Lynchburg. When we first got there, I was so amazed by the Jack Daniels’ distillery. There was so much to look at and learn more about. Within the first twenty minutes, I found this huge visitor registration book. 

It was a perfect way to put Jensen’s name in the book and in their database. Other people could see and read his name. I scribbled our information down and was happy to leave his mark there. 


We began our tour shortly after signing this book. The grounds there were so beautiful. It was way bigger than I imagined and I had butterflies following me throughout the entire time. Everywhere I looked, they would be floating by my head. Jensen and Hux telling me hello, we’re always here with you. 

After our tour and tasting ended, a bunch of us went to their bottle shop. When I learned they could engrave on the bottle I wanted, I had an idea. This is another way I could incorporate Jensen, now and in the years to come. I picked out my favorite tasting whiskey and what I wanted engraved on the bottle. 


I bought my son his first bottle of whiskey at fifteen months old. That would sound like something a horrible parent would say, but knowing our story it makes sense. His bottle is to be open and drank on his twenty-first birthday. Not a drop until then either. Which seems like a long time from now, but this is how I can parent and keep his memory going. 

Honestly, it’s crazy to think I’ll be grieving for that long. That on his twenty-first birthday he won’t be here, or any until then. One year without him felt like a slap in the face. Missing him will be forever, but somehow by planning this one, tiny detail of that day made me feel loved but. 

In these little moments, I can do something for Jensen. They let me bring him alive again. This little bottle of whiskey will give me something to look forward to on his big day, twenty years from now.  

Life after loss has been a dysfunctional mess, but days like these are so much sweeter than I could ever have imagined. 

One of the Hardest Posts I’ll Ever Write. 

I wish what I’m writing right now would be the good news I hoped it would be. What it should be. 

Truthfully, I had been keeping a little secret from you guys. Hiding my hope and (yes) excitement for the future. You see, the Wednesday before Mother’s Day the word ‘positive’ boldly presented itself right in front of me. I was blessed with another baby, another pregnancy. Jensen had handpicked his little brother or sister for me. There the fire of having a living child was reignited. 

The past weeks were full of anxiety and guilt and joy for this new life inside of me. I’ve been sick to my stomach and craving avacados. Eleven days ago I even saw his or her’s strong heartbeat on the ultrasound screen. Ten perfect weeks of pregnancy. 

Late last night, I noticed light, brown spotting. Of course I was concerned. I read through all the baby blogs and boards. My mind kept telling me, it’s just old blood. Everything has went so smoothly. Then this morning, it was back. The spotting went off and on, I thought about going to the doctor first thing, but figured I’d just rest unless it got worse. 

Then it did. 

My mom and I went to the hospital. Still, I was so confident nothing was wrong. There was no pain or any other symptoms. They took my blood and urine. It said I was pregnant, but we needed to scan just to see. 

I should’ve known when she didn’t let me see the screen. Part of me did know, but I was holding onto hope. 

Loss had already struck, it wouldn’t hit me again. 

We waited in our room for what it seemed like forever. Today there was a ton of trauma patients. There were so many people being wheeled to the rooms beside me. I told my mom that I wasn’t high priority, they were just getting to everyone first. There’s nothing wrong. I really didn’t think it could happen again. 

He came into the room, muttered some words, but all I got out of that cacophony was ‘there wasn’t a heartbeat.’

I don’t know what’s going to happen now. In the blur of the conversations after those words, I know I’ll either miscarry naturally or have a D&C Monday. This weekend was supposed to be happy, I was going to announce to the rest of my family. Show them the baby’s ultrasound, have hope for the future. 

Mentally and emotionally, I know I’m in a sort of shock. Different from what I was with Jensen, but still shock. I am angry and feel as if having a living child is not in my cards. 

There’s nothing that’s going to make this ‘better.’ This baby is not in a better place and I don’t want to hear about God’s plan for me. I’m in pain. Losing this child hurts like hell. I loved and wanted him or her so much. It wasn’t just a few cells, it was my baby. Just like Jensen is my son. 

This is my child. He or she was here and so real. I miss them already and hope Jensen will take care of his little sibling. 


Although I don’t know when this will be posted (I’m writing this on my couch after just leaving the hospital), I will probably be MIA for the next couple weeks. If I do post, it’s not going to be ‘happy,’ my second child just died. 

I do appreciate all of your support through my journey of loss and love. It’s not one I’d ever wish on anyone. 

May We All Heal | Magic


Magic was something I believed only to be in fairy tales and children’s stories. Of course I would always want to pretend unicorns existed and that maybe there were witches in Salem that got away. I even planned on reading all these magical journeys to Jensen. But, I knew a genie would never come out of a magic lamp or (unfortunately) Hogwarts never existed. That’s just not how the world works.

Or maybe, magic forms in other ways here on Earth.

I don’t know how else to explain how a little boy completely changed my world. It was by some chance that I got to be his mom. That I got to feel him grow and see my body change to provide him the best home. I know science can describe pregnancy and what comes along with it, but experiencing it firsthand is indescribable. It feels magical that this little baby is planted inside of you and with love is made into a little person with distinct facial expressions and emotions. All the while your hopes and dreams transform to want to do the best for your child. Just like the body transforms, your whole being does as well.

Maybe love is a form of magic.

Love really does feel magical. Being a mom is pure magic because there’s no love like one between a parent and their child. Jensen took this dull world and left his footprint on it, yet he never even took a step. To see how much my son can positively affect another person, means everything to me. The love I have for him and the every parent has for their children keeps the world turning.


That’s why I believe we can see love as a form of magic. But, I wish I could have used all the magic I felt when he was with me to let him live forever.

 

What Happens Next?

I didn’t know if there would be some kind of epiphany that would happen when Jensen turned one or what? The anxiety driven part of my brain told me this day would be a turning point. For some reason, I felt like I had to decide between these two extremes of how to honor Jensen during year two and beyond: privately or publicly. Which sounds really crazy because I’ve shared almost everything in the past year. Yet, in the lead up, I kept questioning if I should keep going on.

Is this still helping me?

Is this still helping others?

Do I just seem like a crazy person?

Maybe the question I was meaning to ask myself wasn’t if I wanted to keep sharing or not. I think it was more of me questioning if it would be socially acceptable to keep sharing in the way I am. Even though I’m the person that will tell someone else not to worry about what others think, I worry. In our culture, a year is well passed time to ‘heal.’ Although, I can tell you I wept most of the weekend because I missed Jensen so much. Year two is going to hold a lot of hard moments. Ones that will knock me on my feet, just like year one. It will also hold light moments full of love. Just look at his birthday celebration. The notion of me needing to be completely healed is ludicrous. What is completely healed anyways?

Throughout this whole time of sharing, I’ve felt healing with every word I’ve written.

The answer to my let-me-question-everything-I’m-doing to honor Jensen and have me heal seems pretty simple. Just because Jensen turned a year old doesn’t mean everything has to completely change. There wasn’t a sign to tell me to stop sharing or anyone who told me I was crazy for sharing his birthday. It all felt like my new normal.

So, what happens next? 

In short, I keep writing and sharing as to what I see fit. As long as it’s still helping me and other parents who are experiencing loss, I don’t see why not. But what will she write about?

Fortunately, I was numb this time last year. That’s how I was able to get through Jensen’s funeral and Mother’s Day. Easter is coming up this Sunday and it’s the first one I’ll spend without Jensen. There’s going to be a lot of grief that I have never even thought of that will happen and I want to share those moments. In May the May We All Heal Project is happening, which I’ll be sharing everyday (hopefully on here, but definitely on Instagram).  There’s also Bereaved and regular Mother’s Day, which will be interesting to feel and experience past the numbness. SO many sharable moments just in the near future.

I’d also like to talk more about mental health, like I did about PTSD. It was good for me to share my experiences with that and to let others know they’re not alone in those thoughts and feelings. Maybe I could even delve into more about PTSD and bereaved parents. Who knows? Most topics are just going to happen naturally. Nothing in the last year has been forced and neither will this second year of blogging through grief.

Most importantly, I’m going to share more about Jensen. I’d love to share his close up picture and maybe even more. There has been so many memories from my pregnancy that I didn’t share last year, that I may or may not get to this year. I just know that I’d like to be able to share and show him off as much as I can. Obviously I’m one proud mama, so I have a lot to talk about.

No matter what I write about this year, I’m going to keep sharing how Jensen continues to walk with me through my life. There will be a plethora of footprint pictures and ones of his ultrasounds in nature. I’m not done sharing and I don’t see it stopping any time soon. It is my hope that you all keep walking with me through this messy journey of loss and love.

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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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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