Post Mila Triggers.

Photo by Katie Finnicum at Simplicity of Grace.

When Jensen died, all my dreams I had with him were stripped away in one moment. I was looking forward to sleepless night, poopy diapers, and the unending adventure that is motherhood. I didn’t get the first two things and was continuously reminded about others that I wanted too. Even now, as I’ve just passed his second birthday, I can imagine him as a two year old.

In the early days of my grief, my brain was so cloudy. I couldn’t process his death or even think about how he would have changed or his actions. Yes, I knew I was missing out on so much, but in the midst of intense grief my brain made me focus on just surviving. Now, with Mila’s arrival, I’m experiencing different emotions in my grief I didn’t know was possible. Every little and big thing she does that I never even considered with Jensen will strike me.

With these new feelings, I wanted to share how certain things have triggered me since little sister’s arrival. I hope in sharing these, I’ll feel less alone or guilty that these special, special moments with her have a cloud of grief hanging over them… I guess this is parenting after loss.

Holding her for the first time…

When Jensen was born, I remember asking the doctor if he had all ten fingers and toes. I just needed the whole thing to feel somewhat normal because it was anything but. With Mila, I didn’t hear her cry right away so I remember having a mini panic attack and asking if she was okay. Then I heard her cry…

After the doctor cleaned her off and suctioned everything out of her nose and mouth, she was placed right on my chest. I can’t remember if she had a diaper on, but I don’t think so. It didn’t matter anyways because she was right there: a living child in my arms. I remember being faced with wanting to cry happy tears for her being safe and then immediately after sad ones because I never had that with Jensen.

Seeing my family with her…

This was so hard in the hospital and still now when people see her for the first time. When Jensen was born only one of my friends came and my mom and dad didn’t stay the whole time. I felt completely alone and heartbroken and everything a new mom should not feel. If I could travel back in time, I would go to myself right then to just hold me. I’d go get Jensen from the room next to us and tell myself how perfect he was. I would hold him and show her she didn’t do anything wrong at all.

My time in the hospital now was more… light. She’s healthy and everyone wanted to see her. They took her and held her. The room was rarely quiet, unless it was nighttime and just her and I. Each time someone held her, they just smiled and talked so sweetly to her. Don’t get me wrong, I loved it. I do every time someone falls in love with her. But each time, I think of him.

Being wheeled out of the hospital…

Right before we left the hospital with Mila, I was already crying. I felt exhausted and I could feel all my emotions bubbling up. She was in her car seat ready to go and all my bags and flowers had been packed in the car. The only thing left from me having a living child at home was the wheelchair ride down to the car.

As soon as I sat down, I was sobbing. I was thrown back to leaving the hospital without him, only holding his stuffed elephant. Goodness, I can’t even describe the pain I was in that moment. When they sat Mila down on my lap before the started wheeling me, I didn’t even know what to think. I hated it because I knew I should have been happy (and I was) and all I could feel was my heart skipping and breaking all at once.

Shower time…

After getting home from the hospital this time, I asked my mom to stay with me for a little while so I could shower. During both my pregnancies, shower time was my favorite. Jensen and Mila would dance away in my belly and I could feel them move to the warmth of the water. After Jensen was born, I took a shower after getting home too. I broke down. I’m pretty sure I’ve blogged about this before, but being in the shower and feeling my belly so empty made it even more real. I cried for myself and I cried for Jensen. In that one shower, I had never felt more vulnerable, until the one I took after Mila.

I asked my mom to sit in the room with me. Mila was still in her car seat and I had the hot water turned up as high as I could. When it hit my back, it felt like a corset of grief broke open. The sobs sounded a lot like before. My mom had to be mortified and asked what was wrong. Why was I crying after everything? After composing myself a little to talk, I told her what was happening in my head…

I was happy Mila was healthy and safe at home. That’s all I asked for during my pregnancy, but my heart hurt. I missed Jensen and everything that had transpired in the last few days are all I wanted with him. It hurt not to have those memories. I told her I was afraid that he’d be forgotten now. That no one would ever say his name again and sometimes that’s all I want to hear.

God only knows what she was thinking. She probably thought I was a hormonal lunatic.

The little things I never knew about before…

Before even giving birth to Mila, I knew I’d be triggered by certain things. I was prepared for all the firsts and coached myself into not having them be ‘bad’ triggers. Jensen wouldn’t want me to take one moment with her for granted. He’d want her and I to be happy. In the ten days I’ve had her, she’s surprised me with different things she does. Even the ones that I never expected.

Instead of listing everything, I want to share something that happened yesterday… After a long walk and spending time with my mom and my friend, Becka, we went home. I fed her and changed her diaper. After a big afternoon, I knew she would be tired, so I set up a nap area for her and I both. I wanted to be close to her to hear her breathing, it’s the one thing that gets me to sleep well now. Anyways, I woke up after a little while and she was still sound asleep. I had my arm close to her feet and before I knew it, she moved them and they were resting on my arm. The warmth of them and just the way she did it gave my chills. I didn’t want to move and hope she’ll do it again in the future.

When she finally did move again, grief hit. I never imagine something like that with him. It was always the big moments I knew I was missing… my mind protected me from so much.

As I sit here and reread everything I wrote, I just want to say I know reading this is triggering to so many. I am beyond thankful for both Mila and Jensen. Honestly, I never thought I would take her home. I cherish every second I have with her and love making these memories. The whole entire thirty-nine weeks with her in my belly, I just was preparing for her to die, which sounds awful. With that said, I didn’t even think about triggers until they were right in front of me.

It’s always been important to me to share this journey and this is just one part of it. I’ll never forget Jensen or stop seeing where he should be in our home. I also hope Mila grows up knowing her brother and how much she is loved and wanted. Parenting after loss is a new road in this journey that I hope I can continue sharing.

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Jensen’s a Big Brother!

On April 14, 2018, Jensen’s little sister, Mila Rae, came in the world at 1:14am, kicking and screaming. Hearing her cry was one of the sweetest sounds I have ever heard and the moment they placed her on my chest is indescribable. The first hour of her life was surrounded by family and full of love. She was introduced to her big brother in that first hour by seeing his picture and his Jensen bear.

I never wanted that hour to end.

Pregnancy after loss has been the second most anxiety/paranoid-filled journey that I’ve been on, only behind losing Jensen. I tried not to take a moment for granted with her. There were a lot of ups and definitely downs, but we made it. Jensen has another thing to check off his to-do list. I truly believe he sent her to me.

They are the only ones who know the sound of my heart from the inside. I made them with all my might and will love them for the rest of my life and beyond.

Although there is so much more I want to say, I’ll write on a different day. Today I wanted to introduce you to my rainbow, Mila Rae, little sister to Jensen Grey.

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The Bittersweet Reality of Pregnancy/Parenting After Loss.

The morning after Jensen’s second birthday, I found myself in the hospital for extra monitoring. I woke up with an excruciating headache, swollen hands and feet, and vision changes. All of these are signs of preeclampsia. After an hour of the headache not easing, I decided it was best to be safe than sorry, with the help and encouragement of my family.

Honestly, I was terrified even though I felt her kicking. We had just hit the thirty-eight week mark and her brother’s birthday had went off without a hitch. I know how fast things can change though. All I could think was they wouldn’t be able to get her out in time or maybe my minds just telling me I’m feeling her, but I’m actually not. Each of these thoughts resulted in her death.

When they wheeled me up to triage, I just kept wanting to hear her strong heartbeat. Thankfully, the nurse didn’t even have to search for it. Turns out, my excruciating headache and vision changes were just from a migraine and the swelling was from being thirty-eight weeks pregnant…

The rest of the weekend, I was on edge. Jensen died over the weekend after being thirty-eight weeks and I was preparing myself for that. She continues to surprise me. Everyday she moved constantly, letting me know she was a-okay in there.

At thirty-eight and two, I held my breath. That’s when he was born. I had never been pregnant for longer than this amount of time. When I went to bed Sunday night, I tossed and turned, fearing what would happen when I slept.

Then I woke up with one thought…

Mila is officially older than Jensen was ever able to be.

There was such a mix of emotions this morning. I smilies because I knew she was still with me and doing her morning stretch, but tears fell from my eyes. This milestone was only made for her because of the death of her brother. I wept because I wish I could have had him for another day and everyday for the rest of my life. It’s not fair that his time was cut short. Then I wept because I still have her. She’s brought me so much hope and an ability to look towards the future with a smile.

It’s a lot of emotions for this hormonal, grieving, pregnant momma.

I can’t imagine my life never having Jensen and his story in it. Do I wish he could have lived instead? Absolutely. Has his death completely changed my life? Yes. Will it alter the way I parent Mila? For sure. Without Jensen, I wouldn’t have been able to advocate for myself during this pregnancy, like I didn’t with him. It’s also allowed me to celebrate every week with her, in small ways. Every movement she makes, I smile (sometimes I yell too because she’s really hurting me at this point). When I think about the next few weeks with her being a needy newborn, I know I’m preparing for being exhausted and overwhelmed. Yet, I would choose having these pregnancy pains and her screaming 24/7 than not having her at all.

The silence and stillness that flooded my life after Jensen was born was the absolute worst thing ever.

As much as I’m looking forward to every moment with her, I know the same feeling of her achieving all the milestones in front of her will feel so bittersweet. I’ll be so proud. But I know in the back of my mind, I’ll wonder when Jensen would have hit them and/or how he would have helped her get to them too. I’m so scared to not be a good mom to her for this reason. All I want is to give her the world and encourage her to be the best human she wants to be.

Part of me thinks, when I see her it’ll just feel natural. For almost three years, I’ve waited to have a living child to parent. My dreams of having her in my arms are so close to happening. To watch one of the biggest parts of me grow and conquer the world around her makes my heart skip a beat.

As hard as it’s going to be in this new chapter of grief, I know he’ll always be walking with us and would want us to live bravely. It may feel extra bittersweet some days. There will be times I breakdown because parenting a child in heaven and one on earth is hard. Yet, for some reason, these little souls chose me and I’ll be damned if I ever let them down.

Jensen’s Second Birthday.

I can’t tell you how well Jensen’s second birthday went.

It was such a beautiful day outside, which was a huge contrast to the snowy and rainy week we’ve had here in Ohio. Honestly, it was like the day he was born. I remember it being so nice outside while I sat in the hospital. It was nice on his first birthday too. Maybe that’s his little gift to us as we celebrate his day.

Throughout the day, I received so many messages and comments. Thank you to everyone who reached out and said his name. It made me feel like I was getting this huge, constant hug throughout the day. In person, my house was decorated and we went to get his cake and balloons for later in the evening. We talked about him and looked at his pictures. I bought fresh flowers that were blue and yellow, there wasn’t any orange, but they were still beautiful. Everything went so smoothly.

Another part of his day I was so thankful for was my appointment to monitor Mila. Let me tell you, I was terrified for it. All I could think was why wouldn’t it happen again on his birthday. In the waiting room, I felt my stomach drop waiting to go back to the ultrasound. His birthday was staring at me on the screen and I just hoped to see her heartbeat, even though I had felt her move all day. She was great and let us see her face, finally. In the NST room, they let me have it to myself and let me talk about Jensen. The doctors and nurses all made it a point to say something about him and ask how I was doing. I felt very supported, which is needed on days like that.

When we got back home, we had a little family party. It’s important to me that I have a cake and blow candles out for him every year. Yeah, it sucks he’s not here to do it himself, but I want to make sure everyone knows everyone knows saying his name or talking about him doesn’t make me sad. He deserves to be celebrated. My cousins’ children drew me pictures and held Jensen bear. They sung ‘happy birthday’ so loudly and we left off balloons so Jensen could play with them in heaven. I cannot imagine their thoughts on everything. It would be so hard to grasp, but they do a great job of it. Hopefully, Mila will be just as accepting and loving to her brother’s big day. I never want to make it seem like a depressing day, as hard as it may seem.

After everyone left, the day sort of settled on me. I wrote Jensen a letter and just talked aloud to him and Mila. It turned into me singing the songs I sung to him in the weeks before he was born. I’m not sure how long I stayed up to, but I know I fell asleep singing to him and feeling his sister roll around in my belly.


It feels weird to know I’m in year three of grief. The Jensen anniversary days will end here shortly, his funeral day/getting his ashes back is the last one left. Yesterday was hard on me too, but from the day of Jensen’s birth to his funeral all seems like a blur. I think my brain is doing that to protect me and lessen my pregnancy anxiety.

One of the things I promised Jensen for year three was to write more than I did last year. Granted, pregnancy after loss deterred me from sharing a lot, it has been so helpful to share what’s been on my mind. I know this year will be… different with Mila’s arrival and going through a new type of grief. In the next few days, I’m planning on sharing some ending thoughts on this pregnancy and getting prepared for her.

Again, i want to thank you all so much. It’s been such a crazy journey through life after loss. For two whole years, so many of you have witnessed my growth, grief, and love for my little man. Just knowing his story has been heard is the greatest gift.

The Worst Day.

Most people don’t usually wake up and know the worst day of their lives is about to happen.

I know I didn’t.

There was a few times in my pregnancy with Jensen that I woke up knowing I might be hearing news that wasn’t perfect. The day we got the results back for Down Syndrome, I had a feeling it would be bad, but nowhere near the worst day ever. When I had my D&C last summer, I knew it would a very, very hard day. It was, but it wasn’t the worst.

Two years ago, I woke up with all my hopes for the future. I felt off, but I was looking forward to seeing Jensen on the ultrasound screen. Even when I didn’t feel him move throughout the morning, I somehow held on to hope. I never truly believed something would be that wrong. People who never have been through that experience wouldn’t. They don’t know what it’s like to be in the waiting room you’ve been in so many times before and have worried thoughts while it feels like everyone surrounding you. They don’t know what it’s like to sit there waiting for the ultrasound tech to say, ‘there’s his heartbeat.’ They don’t know the stillness in the room where she goes and gets the doctor. And they most definitely don’t know what it sounds like to hear someone tell you your child doesn’t have a heartbeat.

Those words still take my breath away.

Parts of that day that have been flooding my mind this year, that didn’t last year, was the walk out of the room. How did stand up after hearing that? I don’t remember moving my feet to walk out of the building and into the car. Maybe I floated?

I can vividly remember being in the ‘big’ triage room at the hospital, which I think they only give to people whose baby has died. When my mom came in the room, I knew it was all real. Even after seeing his lifeless body on the screen over and over again. My blood pressure spiked so high after she arrived. Everything went black and I’m not sure if I was breathing. Part of me wishes I would have just stopped breathing there, checked out of everything that was happening. I do remember saying, I can’t do this again. I don’t want to be pregnant again and get attached to another baby. In that room, I just kept saying I want him out. I didn’t want what was happening. Of course, right? I was afraid of the physical and emotional pain to come. It felt like I needed to just run out of the hospital and get cold air in my lungs. Somehow that would have reached him and he would have been fine.

The walk back to delivery room was… different. Shock shut down my brain. I remember those steps and I was well aware of what was going on around me. The nurse was talking to me and asking questions. I don’t really remember seeing the hallway, when I recall it, it’s like her and I were in a bubble until we walking in the next door. That door can burn in hell for all I care. I don’t think I ever touched it, but every time it opened and closed I wanted to scream.

I didn’t go back to sleep until the next night, when we got home.  The morning of the fourth, I didn’t know I was going to have the worst day of my life, but right before I fell asleep on the fifth, I knew I had experienced the worst two days of my life.

Last year, I almost wished I could have went back and did it for my old self. There are a lot of changes I would have made and still would make if I could go back. Hindsight is 20/20 or that’s how the saying goes. This year, I’m terrified to even think I could experience stillbirth again. I’ve been overly monitoring Mila’s movements and have a bag packed, ready to go, if I feel like I need to go to the hospital for extra monitoring. Today, I’m so aware of the reality of what happened to Jensen, which is always in the back of my head, but it’s different today (and it will be tomorrow and probably the rest of my pregnancy with her).

I’m taking the rest of the day to just breathe and honor this twenty-four hours for what it is. Tomorrow, will be the time to celebrate Jensen’s life and how it’s changed mine in so many ways. My heart is heavy with grief, but full of love.

He’ll never be forgotten.

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The Last Movements.

I remember this day two years ago as well as I remember yesterday.

It was a Saturday and I was thirty-seven weeks and six days pregnant. It was sort of  a quick day. We were rushing around getting last-minute things ready for Jensen’s arrival. Somehow it felt like the next two weeks or so were going to go by really slow, so we left a few things last minute.

He was low at this point and there was all types of pressure happening. I was so swollen. My face was so puffy and my feet looked unnatural. I never said how miserable I was when I was pregnant with him and I have no idea why because I’ve complained a lot in the past few weeks with Mila. For some reason, every day with Jensen felt like a blessing. I was fearful about Down Syndrome and can remember when they told me he tested positive for it that there’s a chance he could die before birth, but it was low after so many weeks. I don’t know. When he was with me, I felt myself more calm.

Anyways, there was a bassinet at my grandpa’s house and we were looking for other things for my house. His basement was full of my grandmother’s things, which I asked to have and still have them up in my house today from that day. My grandma passed away when I was very young, so her things are one way I can touch what she touched or have that connection. One of the things from that day was an old, orange car that was a cologne bottle. It looks so cute in Jensen’s room. I picked up a lamb she hand-made, so he could have it too. That’s now in Mila’s room, with her odd collection of lambs that I’ve picked up over the months. There’s a couple other things that I brought home with me of theirs. I wanted to bring apart of my family’s history to him, so he knew he’d always have someone watching over him and that he was surrounded by love.

While we were rummaging through the basement, my mom called my one cousin over and we looked through old photo albums and my grandparent’s love letters. I can still hear my grandpa reading them out loud. We saw their wedding photos, which I had never seen before. I was sitting on the couch in front of the window and my cousins daughter was sitting right next to me. All of us there were just listening to my grandpa talk and all of a sudden the lamp to the left of me flickered and Jensen made a big movement. I asked my cousin’s daughter if she wanted to feel him and she could. Then we wrapped the night up after a half hour. When I went to bed, I read Jensen a book and fell right to sleep after the busy day.

I didn’t know then, but that was the last big, memorable movement I’d ever feel from him.

Some part of me thinks that was him letting me know he was in distress. I thought he was just moving and I wish (so damn much) that I would’ve thought that movement was a little rough for him. It really haunts me. I wonder if that was his last night alive, of course I can’t know for sure. Another part of me thinks that if it was him letting me know he was going, that it wouldn’t have been a bad night to go. That whole day was about him and how much love is in our family.

I’ve been over that last weekend with him so many times in my head. For some reason, this day has stuck out for me. Although I can’t speak for other moms, I know I have tried to see where I could’ve saved him, many times. It’s like I have to put the blame on me at some point. I can’t explain it, but I feel like I should’ve known.

Throughout today, I’ve been thinking about two years ago and how different I wish it could all be. Mila’s had great movement and was monitored earlier. I’ve been on edge all day, wondering if this would be the last day I feel her move too. Honestly, I feel so guilty for all my pent-up anxiety and treating these days like they were two years ago. I just never thought he would die. I never thought I would remember his last movements because we should’ve had a lifetime of them…

Tonight, I’ll be watching my belly roll as Mila gets ready for her arrival, thinking of Jensen’s friend Alonzo as his family celebrates his second birthday in heaven, and as always, missing and loving my boy who I am so thankful made me his mom.

The Thirty-Nine Week Rule Sucks.

My constant current view lately.

Its been another night of fighting sleep.

Me and the early hours of the morning have become well acquainted in the last week and a half. Please don’t tell me how I won’t be getting sleep when Mila arrives. It’s a different type of insomnia of worry and fear that people wouldn’t understand unless they’ve went through the loss of their child. Honestly, I would love to be able to sleep or get tired at night. Instead, I find myself getting quick power naps throughout the day that are keeping me going. How? I have no idea, but here we are.

The last time I wrote here, I said I would update everyone about Thursday’s appointment. Before my appointment, I went to Instagram and asked other moms if they had been induced early with their subsequent pregnancy. While there are some countries that will induce early, as in 37 or 38 weeks, the United States has this lovely 39 week rule. In short, doctors and hospitals and research want pregnant moms to wait until 39 weeks for induction, unless there’s a medical emergency with the mom or baby. You can look it up on Google easily, I’m too lazy to post links right now. Long story short, in the late 90s/2000s, people were scheduling inductions and c-sections for reasons such as they wanted a certain date and doctors would go along with it. This led to babies being born prematurely and having to spend time in the NICU. To prevent the rise in c-sections and NICU stays, they implemented waiting till 39 weeks was best.

Don’t get me wrong. When I was pregnant with Jensen, I wanted him to stay put until he was ready to come out. I didn’t want ANY intervention or pain medicine. The thought behind waiting 39 weeks is great for certain situations and if it has helped babies, then awesome. I’m in no way a scientist or researcher in this area, so I don’t mean to sound cynical with what I have to say next.

What I am though is a mom that’s baby hasn’t made it to 39 weeks.

Jensen was born at 38 weeks and 2 days. We were monitored twice a week by ultrasound at the hospital and the doctor’s office. Everything on his scans looked great and they in no way thought he was in distress while he was in the womb. Yet, in one moment, his heart stopped with no warning.

Fast forward to this past week. On Wednesday night, I couldn’t remember the last time I felt Mila move when I got home. I ate dinner and laid on the couch watching TV with no sound and prompting her to move. Nothing. Instantly, I started panicking. After an hour of more stillness, I decided it was time to go to the hospital. When I finally arrived it was around midnight and they got me right in. I didn’t cry and tried to be as strong as I could on the outside. On the inside… well that’s a different story. They ended up having to have me on the NST (non-stress test) monitor for most of the night. I wasn’t going crazy, Mila was having either a very long nap or a lazy spell. Her and I’s heart rate when we first got in there was skyrocketed, but they both came down, thankfully. Since it took her a little while to get some movements in, they ordered an ultrasound. All the tests came back perfectly and she’s measuring ahead. I ended up getting home at 4ish with her finally deciding to give me huge movements.

The very next day I had my second appointment at my doctor’s office. I went in with my knowledge of inducing early (37 or 38 weeks), my history of stillbirth, the previous night’s experience, and knowing what is best for my mental health that directly has an impact on Mila. I asked for an early induction for the sake of all those things and I was told the earliest they could was 39 weeks.

Part of me was happy there was a set date, but the majority of my mind and body know there’s no guarantee of that week coming. No one, not even my doctor, can promise me she’ll live until that point of time. Jensen never got that chance and so many other babies didn’t and won’t either.

Yeah, I could look at statistics for stillbirth, recurrent loss/stillbirth, and even live births. It doesn’t help. My child was the one before. I am the statistic and could very well be again. When Jensen died, I needed to know all those numbers to know I wasn’t alone or think I did something wrong. Knowledge has always been so valuable in my eyes. I still am glad I know all those stats and what can happen, but it has plagued me to not want to sleep, connect, or even feel hungry until I’m starving. It’s the loss of innocence that was stolen away from me two years ago that I wish I could just get back for the remaining time I’m pregnant with her, then I’ll take it all back.

never thought I would say that, but here I am, terrified that if I go to sleep for too long at night she’ll stop kicking or have distressing movements and I’ll miss them. It’s terrifying.

People don’t understand the PTSD after loss. Last year, I had horrible flashbacks and nightmares nearing Jensen’s birthday and you can bet I’ve gotten them this year too. Since I’ve known Mila’s dates were so close to his, I’ve wanted her out before the big day. I won’t go on about this since I talked about it in my last post, but I’ll tell you, I probably won’t be sleeping much during his birthday week and all of week 38.

This is why the 39 weeks rule sucks.

There’s so many reasons why she should be induced this coming Friday and I can’t do anything about it. I’m afraid that I’ll unintentionally hurt her from my fear and anxiety. The whole no sleep thing probably is messing with her, as well as my lack of proper diet. (If you’re worried, I do eat. I set alarms on my phone to make sure I’m getting enough and have not missed a day of prenatal vitamins. My body is just not getting hungry like a normal person’s does at this time. This happened for months after Jensen was born, so I learned ways to make sure I was being as healthy as I can be even when I didn’t want to eat.) I also know that there’s not a switch of these feelings going away when she’s born. There will be a whole other set of complex emotions I know I’ll go through. Yet, the lack of control that I feel is happening as I wait these last few weeks is horrible. What will switch instantly is being able to see her alive. Having her breathing in my arms and feeling like I (or anyone else) can help her if she needs it.

I’m not ‘tired of being pregnant’ or just want her out for the hell of it. That’s where the this 39 week rule messes with women who are just trying to do what is best for their self and child. I don’t feel heard or that my feelings are validated at this point. The only thing, besides being able to have Jensen back too, is to have Mila in my arms alive and healthy.

All I want is to hear her screaming the second she is born and finally being able to see her face. I’m just trying to make sure that happens and not let death steal her away too.

So, here’s to the next (less than) 3 weeks of no sleep and endless kick counts.

I’m trying…

First birthday photo shoot.

Two years ago, I never imagined I’d only have sixteen days left with Jensen.

Everything was all ready for his arrival. All I had to do was go to my appointments and wait for him to make his big entrance outside the womb. I can remember being so swollen and tired, but so excited.

I took those last weeks for granted (or maybe I’m just being hard on myself). It didn’t feel like he was going to die and on his scans, he looked perfect. There hasn’t been a day since I heard those words that I haven’t wished I could go back and get him out early. Or at the very least, read a book to him one more time or just tell him I loved him again. I hope he heard me singing or speaking calmly the last time he heard my voice.

I hope he knew he wasn’t alone. 

It’s been a HARD few weeks for me. With his second birthday coming up quicker than I can process, I’ve felt like a failure to him. Last year, I planned a party and felt like I was doing all that I could do for him. This year, I haven’t planned anything and I feel like I can’t ask for help. I know, I sound pathetic right now. I just want to see his name and I don’t want anyone to forget about him. That’s one of my biggest fears about parenting him. He’s the first thing I think about when I wake up and I send my words to him every night. Right now, I just don’t feel like I’m doing enough for him and he deserves the world.

Mixed with all those feelings of inadequacy of parenting him the only way I can, pregnancy after loss is driving me to the brink of insanity. That’s not me being dramatic.

Jensen and Mila’s due dates are three days apart… I’m literally reliving the same timeline with her as I did him. Words cannot describe how scary it is thinking I might only have sixteen or so days left with her. In my  head, if she’s not out by the fifth, she’ll be gone too. It’s terrifying to feel like I’m living with a ticking death time bomb in my belly. Yeah, I know stress and anxiety isn’t good for me right now, but it’s ever-present. Somehow I think if I can just get her out at thirty-seven weeks, I could save her.

I wish it was different.

Part of me thinks if I could just sleep until she was born, maybe I’ll make it through this. Another part of me doesn’t allow myself any sleep because this is all I could have with her. No matter what, I’m still thinking of Jensen and I hope his presence never leaves us alone.

Stillbirth isn’t a joke. It’s a lifetime… presence/experience/tragedy, that people just don’t shake off. Jensen’s death impacts everyday of my life, even almost two years out and I can imagine it stays like that forever. It affects this pregnancy and how I’ll, hopefully, parent Mila outside the womb.

Stillbirth has changed my world. 


Before I end, I want to say a few more things…

  1. I don’t know when I’ll be induced or what’s going on until Thursday. Her growth scan is that day and I’m going to ask to talk to the doctor about everything. I will try to update when I know.
  2. Continued thanks for everything who has supported me through this crazy journey. I know I’ve been quiet on here, anxiety and grief have just created such a block for me.
  3. Lastly, with Jensen’s upcoming second birthday, I would love to see his name written if anyone has time. If you do, I’d be so happy to see them through Facebook, Instagram, or a comment on here. I hate to ask for anything, but it would mean a lot.

Twenty-Three Months.

Dear Jensen,

Another month has passed without you physically here and there’s only one more until you turn two.

I’ve been going back to the last few weeks we had together. The whole world was before us. I had never been so excited and nervous for someone to come into my life. You were with me, but I had all these dreams for you outside the womb. I remember being so swollen, but still walking strong and acting like nothing could bring me down. Honestly, nothing could because my baby was about to be born.

How could anything silence that excitement?

In my mind, we had six weeks left for you to get here. That March, I packed your hospital bag, put the car seat in, and felt as prepared as I could. Even though there was probably so much more I needed done. At this point, I was seeing you twice a week at ultrasounds and loved seeing your personality shine though. It brings me to tears not knowing how it would have evolved with you.

When I dreamed of you, I pictured dark hair and chubby cheeks. There were so many dreams during that time; both while I slept and when I was awake.

Last year, as I prepared for your first birthday, all the emotions and memories flooded my mind. It didn’t seem possible a whole year had passed already. I say that and instantly think how long that first year was though. Words flowed through me and I was able to eloquently express the thoughts in my mind. I felt like I needed to because your story had to be told, this grief needed to be out there. All this Love was radiating through me and the only thing I felt like I could do was write it out.

Fast forward to this March, the second March without you. All those same emotions are bubbling inside and that love, it’s only grown stronger with each day that’s passed. I feel them in the ocean of tears that are falling down my face right now. All I want is to hug you so tightly and see you throw a tantrum because you’re nearing your terrible two’s. I want everything that I’ll never be able to have with you. It kills me to know it’s impossible for me to ever get too.

This year has added grief too. Your sister is growing rapidly and her kicks almost knock me to my feet if I’m not ready. Your guys’ due dates are only three days apart and I feel that pressure. Instead of just imagining being pregnant and going through the same routine of when you were in my belly, I’m actually going through it. It’s so hard for me to differentiate the outcome of her birth. I feel as if she’s not born before your birthday, she’s going to be gone too. It’s terrifying and I’m afraid to talk about it all because if I say it out loud it might be true.

There’s a happiness in seeing a lot of your things being passed down to her. I smile when I see your swing sitting in front of me or certain clothes that she’ll wear hanging in her closet. She’ll be wrapped in your blue blankets someday soon and I already see parts of you in her with the scans. You’re so present in protecting her and sending me signs to let me know it’s all going to be okay.

I want you to know I feel you with my every second of the day.

With that happiness comes a great sadness. I wish I could have seen you use all those things. I wish you could lay your head on my belly and feel her kick. I wish you would be involved in welcoming her in a different way. I wish I didn’t have to be scared of the day that took you away.

I just wish you were here.

Keep shining through, Jens. You are forever my little love and light of my life. Happy twenty-three months in heaven.

I love you, always.

Mommy

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Today is all about love. Not just intimate love, but love in general. We can feel this deep passion for our family, friends, and even those who aren’t with us anymore.

When I was growing up, my parents never really put a ton of value in today. I always was told today was a ‘Hallmark’ holiday, which I’ve sort of just taken into adulthood. Even when I’ve been in relationships, I’ve always thought of today as cheesy with long lines to go to the movies and out to eat.

Two years ago, I felt a different kind of love on this day. I had Jensen moving in my belly and I wanted to celebrate him. He would always be my Valentine and I believed every year moving forward, we would be able to be together and have our day together. Much like it would be everyday, but maybe we would get dressed up. Last year, a bunch of us from all over the world got together and did a craft to honor our babies. It was so nice to be able to talk and create something with my hands. I definitely needed last year.

This year, the first thing I said when I woke up was, ‘Happy Valentine’s Day, Jens. I love you and you’ll always be mine.’ Then I felt bad when his little sister gave me a kick like, don’t forget about me, mom! Anyways, I’ve taken today to still recover from this sickness and just reflect on pictures, ultrasounds, and how much love I have for Jensen and this little babe.

Since I want to spread the love, I want to share Jensen’s little sister’s name with you all.

I hope you all are having a gentle Valentine’s Day and are surrounded by your loved ones.