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. 

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To Anyone with a Fragile Heart:

I want you to know you’re not alone.

Since my son, Jensen, was stillborn last April, I’ve found myself living with a heart that has been hastily taped together. There have been so many moments I didn’t believe I would be able to make it to the next. My heart felt like it was going to collapse and it still does to this day.

Lately, I’ve collectively felt what has been happening around the world. This could be you reading right now whose baby has tragically died. I know this journey you’re facing because I’m living it every second. This past few months I’ve seen so much loss. From the tragedy that happened in Manchester earlier this week to the person in school that doesn’t think their life is worth living. Even the people who are being mentally, emotionally, physically, and sexual abused. I feel like I’ve been extremely empathetic to every story I hear.

I’m sorry to each person this has happened or is continuing to happen to. I see you. It breaks my heart that you’re feeling this pain.

I will never be able to take your pain away, but if talking helps ease it, I’m right here. There have been times I’ve felt lost, but knowing there was someone who listened, that wanted to help strengthen my heart made me feel less afraid. Less fragile. It is terribly vulnerable to talk about your demons, but opening up and releasing those feelings can let someone know how to be there for you.

Please don’t ever feel alone in this world.

Here’s a little secret. To some, I’m a fellow loss mom or a substitute teacher or the girl down the street. In each of these roles, I’ve heard your story and feel everything that’s going on in your  life. When I see you struggling with your relationship, loss, or even yourself, I want to run up and comfort you. The worst is or has happened and left you broken. Each time I see you I want you to know you can come to me because ultimately we have lost part of the same thing.

Through each and every of  our difficult unbearable journeys, we have lost a huge part of our innocence. Nothing will ever change or bring that back. We now see this fragile world for how it actually is: broken.

The glue holding the world together is you and me and our relationships we build to strengthen each other. We’re able to help each other pick up the pieces. We are each others shoulder to cry on. when we are connected we become stronger. We fit in this beautifully, fragile community of survivors.

You are never alone.

You are so wanted

You make an impact on this world.

You are loved.

Remember, I’m always here for you.

Love,
Danielle
Jensen’s mom

May We All Heal | Timeless

It’s early in the morning here. I couldn’t sleep last night and found myself staring at the clock.

4:25

The time that ended all other times flashes across my bright phone screen. My body is telling me to go back to sleep, to get lost in my dreams and push it aside. Of course, I didn’t listen to my body. I woke up, made tea, and looked at today’s prompt. Timeless.

Funny how the universe works right? Or maybe it’s the mind, constantly working and trying to make everything connect.

In the past two days I’ve been in a serious battle with my depression. Nothing I can’t handle, but it hurts. It’s impacted everything I’ve written and drawn for May We All Heal. Today is no different. The pessimism in my drawing taunts me.

Timeless. Any other millennial would have thought of an infinity sign. Just think of all the pretty synonyms: unending, forever, and vastness. This page could have truly been beautiful and filled with positive thoughts.

Instead, a clock flows out of me. Although this clock looks broken, it really isn’t.

Time stopped at 4:25am on April 5, 2016. It was the exact minute Jensen was born into this world. At that same time, he was taken away; breaking our physical connect forever. This very minute, halted my world. It stopped so hard and quick that all the minutes and hours fell from the face of the earth. Just like my world crumbled around me. All I could do was watch and feel the sharpness of the pain. Time felt like it would never go on again.

Then I asked about him.

Just a mother trying to learn all she could about her son. In the same day my son was stillborn and it felt like nothing would ever make me smile or feel anything but gasping for air, I learned he in fact had ten fingers and ten toes. That made me smile and feel a blanket of warmth cover me that I hadn’t felt since I heard he was gone. Hearing about Jensen… feeling the unending love I had for him… somehow it made the sting of everything lessen in that minute.

So the clock’s gears started back, slowly. Some would say barely visible in the first few months. They couldn’t see the littlest one though, its way in the middle working overtime. This gear doesn’t tire or need greased. It keeps moving, even when the others don’t want to budge.

This gear will infinitely turn. It never even stopped when the world did. One day, it’ll almost coax all the others back to as they did before. A part will always be missing and there’s no numbers to even tell how long or judge how long the clock takes to make its way around.

And that’s okay.

Because love is timeless. 

Love does not judge. Love motivates. Love keeps turning, no matter if it’s the only one doing so.

Jensen is my love. He does not judge his mama and only motivates her to do better. The love I have for him and I know he has for me will always be.

This love is timeless.

A List of Five Positive Things in My Post Loss Life.

April, Jensen’s month, has come and went to very quickly. The fact May will be here next week is absolutely crazy. A mix of the lingering sadness of Jensen turning one and the anxiety to what May brings has almost pushed me over the edge; and I only just got back from vacation.

This morning I was super triggered.

A big thought that circled my head was, I didn’t deserve Jensen and he was taken away from me because I was a failure. This was obviously emotionally charged. I don’t believe any of our babies died for a certain negative reason. BUT that didn’t stop my thoughts from making me feel like the worst mom in the entire world. I cried the entire way to therapy and even when I sat down on the couch to tell her about everything this month held.

She calmed me down. Told me my anti-self was in control right now and I knew she was right. After I spilled everything that was weighing on my heart, she gave me a list of suggestions to help my anxiety. It included laughing, reading out loud, and smiling at myself in the mirror. One really jumped out to me today and I wanted to share it with you all.

A list of five positive things in my post loss life to remind me there’s more in this world than grief, anxiety, and depression.

1. Jensen

Obviously, right?

The most love I’ve ever felt in my life revolves around him, even in death. From the moment I found out he was growing inside me and for the rest of my life (and beyond), I knew he would always hold the biggest piece of my heart. He brings me so much happiness and peace when I think of our time together. I literally use his name for grounding techniques during anxiety attacks. He walks with me through my life and I’m so happy he’s mine.

2. Family and Friends

Every family member and friend I have is as unique as they are to my grief journey. No matter if it’s a text to see how I’m doing or a whole day spent with them, they are so important to my life. They make me smile, laugh, and feel so very supported. Even when they don’t know what to say, they’re there for me. To listen and let me know that I’m going to keep moving forward. Most of all, they let me know Jensen will never be forgotten.

3. Leo and Poe

My two little kitties are such a positive light in my life. When I’m sad, they let me hold and pet them. They will find me wherever I’m crying and just sit there until I stop. Both of them are so different, but each know how to make me smile. Let me tell you, pets are such a stress reliever. It’s actually well talked about and proven that when you stroke an animal, your stress decreases.

4. Nature

The sun, wind, flowers make this heavy air feel so much lighter. Maybe being by the beach has this on the top of my head, but even today in my small, Ohio town, I felt so much peace. Seeing the trees and feeling the sun’s warmth on me relaxes me. Every part of nature is positive and healing to me. I’m so ready for summer to be here though!

5. The Loss Community

Without the loss community, I don’t know where I would be right now, besides feeling like a complete crazy person. Support is necessary and when I’m hurting I can reach out. The projects that take place throughout the year are so perfect and really help an aching heart. Through my tears today, I told my therapist how I was able to look forward to next month and it’s challenges, just because I know my tribe of beautiful mothers will be here to help me along.

PTSD: Part Four

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During the last few months, I’ve been talking about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and how it affects me a loss mother. I am the type of person that has to make sense of everything that is going on with me. Probably a little controlling on my part, but that’s how I’m wired. Depression, anxiety, and grief have flooded my life the past (almost) ten months and I thought there was something more going on with different experiences I’ve had since Jensen was born. That’s when I started researching. I came across Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and rolled my eyes thinking only people who’ve went to war or are in horrible accidents have this disorder…

But the more I was researching, here, about PTSD, I found a lot of the symptoms I had were very similar to what was being described. Even when as I read the fourth one just now, it’s exactly how I am in certain situations. Again, I am not a therapist or psychologist. The symptoms I researched just made sense to me and my situation. It is a way I can understand my grief and what I’m feeling. Speaking to other loss moms, I know I’m not alone in feeling these different things. This little four post series is just letting you know that if you do have these feelings, there are others that are facing them as well. For a symptom refresher, here is the list one more time.

  1. Reliving the event.
  2. Avoiding situations that remind you of the event.
  3. Negative changes in beliefs and feelings.
  4. Feeling ‘keyed’ up or being on the lookout for danger.

With each on of these posts about another symptom, I find myself just marveling how I am facing each one when I’m writing. I pulled of the VA’s website again to really see what feeling ‘keyed’ up is like. Two things jumped out at me immediately, having a hard time sleeping and not being able to concentrate. This would make much more sense if you were sitting with me at this moment. Although this will be posted in the afternoon, I’m writing at 1:30 in the morning. I never sleep. It’s so hard for me to really settle down and relax. Honestly, I’m afraid of having horrible nightmares and I’m just on edge. There’s a fear that something bad is going to happen tomorrow. Because why wouldn’t it? The paragraph also talks about being jittery and always alert. This really distracts me from sleeping. I’m constantly moving while laying in bed. No wonder why I can’t peacefully fall asleep. Then comes the concentration… I can’t think long enough to make myself just sit still. Like me writing right now, there’s a hundred different places I want to go with this post. Yet, my train of thought gets cut off and something else jumps in its place. Which causes me to get angry and irritated myself; I guess that means ‘keyed’ up.

Maybe that just my severe anxiety?

But, another part of this symptom talks about outside triggers. They talk about being surprised by a loud noise or a surprise. For me, it’s babies crying and a rhythmic beeping. Although I am thankful there are babies crying out in the world and that another mom doesn’t have to deal with silence, it hurts. It sends me up the wall because all I want to know is what Jensen’s cries would sound like. I want to be able to pick those babies up and just cuddle them and make them feel better. But then I don’t. It sends me spiraling to all the what ifs and sadness. Then I get mad at myself because I want Jensen. Panic ensues and this is all triggered by one cry. The beeping noise is a little weirder. Let’s say when I’m at the grocery store and the cashier is scanning all the items, that beeping morphs into a heartbeat sound. Just thinking about those beeps and the silence of that last ultrasounds triggers me. It’s not something I’ll ever be able to prevent, but I can feel it coming. Sometimes they’re louder than the other, but that’s real.

It also talks about sitting with your back to the wall at a restaurant or anywhere you go. For me and my situation, I would say I’m hyper aware of where I sit or stand in public. I’m always scanning. In those moments, I’d be able to tell you how many babies are there and where they are. It’s almost like I’m trying to prepare for that cry. I want to have all my guards up so I don’t feel like I’m spiraling to a complete panic attack. It’s rough. I know it’s not really a lookout for danger, but it is a lookout for a trigger. A baby is harmless. They are innocent, sweet, and deserve all the love in the world. But for me, it’s more complicated than that. I see all those things in a child, but I also see the space Jensen should occupy. Feeling that loss every time you see a beautiful, little baby breaks my heart. I don’t want to see them and instantly go into a panic attack, but I can’t control it. Now that I’ve really thought about being keyed up in situations, it’s perfect to explain it.

Living with PTSD after loss is a part of my life now. I face almost every symptom every day. There are days where I can try to be so strong and only let a few get to me, but I’m working on it. Losing Jensen has a ton of different layers of pain and healing. These four symptoms of PTSD are four big ones. It’s impossible to tackle the realization that my life will never be what I planned, grief, anxiety, depression, PTSD, secondary losses, and so much more all at once. If you’re going through all of this, please know that you’re not alone in this. I know how overwhelming losing a child is and everything else that we have to face. Sometimes it feels that no one will ever understand all of this feeling, but there will be people (like me) that can relate and just listen.

If you’re reading this and you’re a support person… first of all, thank you. You have no idea how much it means to be there for a your loved one. Second, be patient. As I said above, we can’t tackle this all at once. No matter if its weeks, months, years, decades, or even a lifetime, the best thing is to just have someone listen. If you see your loved one is struggling and are being triggered, ask them what they need. Everyone is different in that way and sometimes they just need to escape that situation.

This concludes this four-part/symptom discussion about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. There’s a huge possibility that I come back to this or even symptoms of depression and anxiety in the future. I think it’s crucial for people to talk about mental health and how it’s normal for people to battle. It helps us know that these aren’t crazy thoughts, in the most crazy time of our lives.

The Places We’ll Go.

“So be sure when you step, Step with care and great tact. And remember that life’s A Great Balancing Act. And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed) Kid, you’ll move mountains.”

Dr. Seuss 
Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

I don’t know what I want to say today. My mind is fuzzy and, quite honestly, I’m exhausted. Some Tuesdays make me feel like this. The past weekend, I haven’t felt like I have succeeded. My depression was telling me that I was worthless and no one could ever help me. That I was alone and feeling all of these emotions because I deserve it. I thought of Jensen and could only think how poorly he would be thinking of me. I wouldn’t be the role model I had always wanted to be for him. And there were moments this weekend that remind me of those first few days after getting back from the hospital. Ones where I didn’t feel good enough to keep fighting… to keep living.

It’s scary to feel like ‘A Great Balancing Act’ isn’t tipping in the right direction. Maybe I’ll be the unlucky percentage once again.

Then there are moments and decisions that bring the scale back with a great force. Ones that make you smile and feel so strong that you’ll actually move the biggest mountains. They’re the ones I feel I could hear Jensen cheering for me. I don’t have to watch my step carefully, I can blindly jump in these times and take the good feelings in. It’s when I actually feel like I’m doing my best for him and that these bright moments will always outshine the dark ones. Just like love overpowers grief.

Yesterday I had this moment. But instead of blindly jumping, I was intently focused on one little boy’s foot.

 

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At forty-two weeks, Jensen would most definitely be experimenting with standing and trying his very best to stumble walk. I would encourage him to keep standing and have him practice walking with me by putting him on my feet. We would take big steps together. He would learn to walk and I would beam with pride. Before, when I looked down, I saw my naked feet and the empty floor. I don’t have him looking up at more or I can’t help him learn to walk. It was empty just like everything else feels. Now, and forever, he’ll be walking with me through life.

I will always take the steps that he was never able to.

Just as he would be getting to a point where he would start learning how to walk, I’m at a point in this grief journey that I’m starting to get better with my stumbling. I never expected it to be a straight and narrow journey. In fact, I thought it would just go downhill from the second he was born. How would there ever be a way I could smile when my child died? I’m not saying I’m full of smiles all the time. Heck, I was just at a spot on Friday where I thought my life didn’t matter. But I will tell you, if there is anything that gives me strength it’s Jensen and knowing that I’ll forever be his mom.

Now, with this new tattoo (which is my third for Jensen), I feel that with each of my decisions that the scale judges, I can literally see him making them with me. I can see those steps. He’ll be on the upward hills and the downward spirals. Through each, he’ll be there with every step, cheering me on. Yesterday and today, I find myself just staring at my feet and marveling his footprint. Of course it makes me laugh because he had my feet. I can see my little mini-me mimicking my every move. But it’s heartwarming to know this is just another way I can honor him. It’s another way I can bring just a little more of him into this world and leave his footprint everywhere I go.

Cue all the feet pictures in the future.


Happy forty-second week in heaven, Baby J. You are beyond loved and missed every second of the day. All I wish I could do is pluck you from heaven and hold you in my arms. I hope with the big decisions I’ve made today that you are cheering me on. My soul feels you close to me and now I can see it with each step I take. And oh, the places we’ll go. I miss you. I love you.

Nine Months.

In my house there’s a room that remained empty for almost nine whole months. There are white squares on the wallpaper and one navy and orange wood wall. The curtains are drawn and frame a picturesque, snowy backyard. Its grey rug in the middle of the room calls out to be sat on. It yells for you to read all the books packed away in storage. Although it looks like any normal room, there should be a crib, a changing table, and bookshelves full of adventures. Instead, the only signs that it was anyone’s space is his name, weight, and birthdate written on the chalkboard paint right as you walk in.

For all this time I hated its emptiness, but there was no way I could take seeing his empty crib. It stayed waiting for Jensen and all his things. A nasty reminder of how life should have been.

Recently, I’ve gained the courage to actually use his room. The first step in this process has been putting up a big piece of furniture, a futon. In fact, it’s a grey futon with navy and orange pillows. My mom and dad came over to help me put it up. We decided the best place for it to sit was where Jensen’s crib would have welcomed his dreams every night. I truly believed that seeing his room being used would help heal my heart. That it wasn’t just a room that held stillness. As we assembled and centered it on the wall, the room started closing in on me. This just wasn’t how it was supposed to be.

I took a huge deep breath and tried once again to accept my reality.

Yes, I had to accept Jensen wouldn’t be using this room. At nine months old, Jensen isn’t in there standing on his crib mattress, waiting for me to pick him up. Instead of him crying to wake me up, there’s nothing but silence. There would be no bedtime stories or a room full of toys. I wouldn’t hear him jump out of his bed as he grew older. He wouldn’t race to his window to see if the snow had covered the street beside us, hoping school would be canceled. There would be no slamming of his door or sneaking out of it. None of these dreams will ever become memories. The futon in his room would always remind me of that.

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Today when I walked in and seen the image above, I smiled and then cried. No matter how much this futon reminds me of all things I don’t have with him, he is so present in this home. In the navy and orange, I see the color of crayons he would pick. The squares on the wall could only help grow his imagination, maybe he’d even become a better drawer than me. Who knows, maybe when he would have been older, he would have wanted this very futon in his room. He probably would think it was cool to have some place to hang out and play video games. I cried today because I wish I knew him at nine months and everyday of his life. His room would’ve become such a huge part of his childhood and now it’s up to me to use it.

I can’t bear to use see any other colors than the ones I picked out for him. It will always be Jensen’s room. My hope is to use his space to be close to him and do what I can in his honor. It took nine months for me to put a futon in there, so it might take nine more for me to actually sit there for a while. Everyday I’m doing my best for him and for me. Even if that means accepting what shouldn’t be.


Happy nine months in heaven, Jensen Grey. You are loved and missed beyond what words could ever describe. I hope you like the futon that occupies your room. It really is comfortable and I could really see me sitting there and watching you play. I hope you have your big nine month sticker on and sending me a most special snowflake. I miss you. I love you.

Peace, Love, and Rushing Around.

I’m home!

It has been such a crazy week of vacation that I’m glad to be back to the peace that is my little house. Not writing for this whole time has been strange. I’ve felt all these words and emotions built up. I plan on expanding on some of them in the next few weeks, but today is a little catch up.

Tuesday has quickly snuck up on me this week as I figured it would. Thirty-seven whole weeks have passed since Jensen’s silence birth. Even though I had the past few days to relax, I woke up with great anxiety again. I’m missing him so very much. Walking into my house last night, I was glad, but my heart was so heavy knowing I wasn’t coming home to him. I wouldn’t be seeing his excited face as I went to pick him up after a week of not seeing him. Grief didn’t take a vacation as I did. I can’t say it welcomed me home, but it changed and felt different while I was gone and came back.

Today has felt even faster for me. I woke up late and had to start getting things done around the house. My mailbox was full of beautiful Christmas cards from other loss mamas, two new ornaments for Jensen and our tree, and of course bills. It was such a happy welcome home. Each card that was sent to me warmed my heart and the ornaments, they were so perfect. I kept thinking about their warm wishes and the comments and messages I received while I was gone. My tribe of mamas are always showing me they care and Jensen will forever be remembered.

Along with my vacation, I wanted to update you all with all the angel names I wrote on the beach. Well, my phone didn’t take the trip very well. Not to go into great detail, but I wrote all the names and took the pictures in the first few days. Then, all of a sudden, my phone had deleted ALL my pictures from December and eventually factory reset the last day. Frantically, I had my mom and dad help me with all the baby names. I wrote and wrote and wrote as my mom took the pictures and my dad checked them off the list. It was such a rush, but I am 99.9% sure I have all the names as I did before. The pictures are on my mom’s phone and I am going to download them tomorrow and hopefully will have everything on Jensen’s page by Friday.

With all the names, I am going to post about my experience with others while I wrote them. It was an interesting process and there were a lot of reactions from others. There was nobody that came and said they had lost their child, which I am thankful for. But there was a lot of people who went and said your children’s names out loud as they walked across the beach. I said them with them proudly each time. They were very taken care of and the waves washed their names peacefully away.

I just want to again, thank you all for trusting me with their names so I could write them along with Jensen’s.


Since there’s only five days left till Christmas, I wanted to share a very special ornament I received today. Especially since I’ve been slacking off on sharing all the ornaments I wanted to with you, I blame vacation. This ornament is from Lachlan’s mommy and my very best friend, Melissa.

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This beautiful blue and orange sparkly ornament has Jensen’s name on the front and 2016 on the back. It’s personalized just for him and holds so much meaning in my heart. Lachlan and Jensen were born just days apart in April. They should both be eight months old and getting spoiled during their first Christmas. I hate the way Melissa and I met, but I am so thankful for our friendship and to know Lachlan and his family. Friendship in the midst of grief is hard to come by, but here we are finding some kind hope and walking with each other in this unknown future.

Although I haven’t told Melissa yet, when I opened her Christmas care package today on Jensen’s thirty-seventh week in heaven, I broke down in tears. It’s not only an ornament for me to remember him by, it’s one that he would’ve absolutely loved. He would have been amazed that the blue and orange that decorates him room would be on our tree. I see it as a little present for my son, the first I have received for him during Christmas. My heart is truly touched.

Thank you, again, Melissa for this beautiful ornament. It will be one of my favorites to put up every single year. You have been such a great support system for me and I will never be able to thank you enough. Although I know we both would have rather this holiday season to be so much different, I’m glad we’re able to be here for each other.


Jensen Grey, I love you so very much. Happy thirty-seven weeks in heaven. You are the light of my life. Thank you for protecting your whole family through our travels and vacation. I felt your presence as I wrote your friends’ names on the beach. My mind let me know how much you loved playing on the beach and watching the waves come in and out. You give me more strength than I ever though possible.  I miss you. I love you.

Back to December.

The month I’ve been actively avoiding has finally arrived and I’m terrified. I’ve honestly been putting off talking about how it’s here. It’s like if I don’t talk about it, then it’s not really here. It’s just hard. If December goes as quickly as November, I’ll be out of 2016. Out of the year Jensen was born in and into new waters. As hard as this past eight months has been, there was still so much love and happiness.

I just want to stay here forever, or at least on November thirtieth.

As we all know, December holds some pretty big events. We have Christmas, Advent, and the New Year. For me personally, I’m going on vacation, we found out big Jensen news this month, and it’s my first year decorating for the holidays. Jensen will also be apart of at least two Christmas ceremonies that I’m going to. They’ll definitely be sad, but I’m glad I can enjoy those events in remembering him with others. Most of all, it would be Jensen’s very first Christmas. There were so many things that I had planned for us and they just feel lost to me. Kind of like how I feel lost in December. The clash of grief and celebration should be ‘interesting’ to navigate. Such a horrible juxtaposition that no one should experience.

BUT, here I am. Although I’m doing this blindly, I am going to honor Jensen and this month in the best way I know possible. Starting with the Christmas tree.

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This month, I want to share certain ornaments on our tree and tell their meanings. There’s a lot of Jensen incorporated here, along with all Jensen’s friends gone too soon. I’m looking forward to telling you all about them.

I’m also planning something for my trip. We’re going to the beach in the middle of the month, but I want to bring Jensen and his friends with me. On Jensen’s Facebook page and probably on Instagram, I’m going to post to see if anyone would like to have their child’s name written on the beach. Hopefully I can get a lot of sunrise/sunset pictures to make it look beautiful! So, be on the lookout for that. I want to be able to just make an album on his page and tag people there. Or if you have loss mama friends, you can tag them on the post and on the picture when it’s up. Like I said before, I’ll talk about this more Monday or Tuesday.

With all that said, it’s going to be a pretty busy month. As always I love to share with you guys and keep you updated on this journey of loss and love. I’d also love for you guys to share some of your special ornaments or even your Christmas trees with me. It’s so nice to see how other’s honor their babies through grieving while trying to ‘celebrate.’

Just a reminder to everyone who’s having a hard time with the upcoming holidays. You’re NOT alone. Grieving through the holidays is so difficult to process. On the outside it looks like everyone is so excited for the big day, but you feel its eternal doom.

Feel how you need to feel. Cry, in front of everyone if you need to. Decorate or don’t. Recognize Christmas or any holiday you observe, or just act like it doesn’t exist. Do what you need to do to survive the holidays. There’s no right or wrong way. Let your heart lead you. No matter what, you’re not letting yourself, your family/friends, or your child down. They’re so proud that you’re surviving and doing the best you can.

If at anytime you need support, feel free to message me to talk or anything at all. I’m here for you just as I know you’re here for me.

A Letter to My Heart Thirty-Four Weeks Post Loss.

Dear Heart,

I felt you cracking even more as I woke up this morning with my cheeks already wet from crying in my sleep. Quite honestly, I was shocked that you could still be beating after thirty-four weeks of constant heartbreak. Maybe I should have listened to you the second I woke up, but I pushed you to keep going. You’ve surprised me for all this time and today I was going to take charge of my emotions. I made myself feel logically with my brain and ignore you.

Your beats quicken as I rushed around before I left. Tears were still falling down, but I still didn’t want to listen to you. Heart, sometimes feelings have to go to the back burner. My life needs to be compartmentalized to be semi-normal. It seemed like every song on the way to the gym were sad songs. I didn’t think I’d be able to make it there through my sobs. But I did. When I got there, all I did was take a deep breath and continuing pushing on. That’s what has gotten me this far.

While working out, I didn’t feel you beating harder or even quicker. It’s like you had given up on me, like I had you. Somehow we both kept beating on, like old friends talking through a disagreement.

During therapy was the first time all day I realized how hurt you were. Words didn’t seem to come out of my mouth, but tears continued to fall. I hadn’t looked in the mirror all day, but the look in my therapist’s eyes told me all I needed. It was a look I had seen every time someone saw me in the beginning. Your brokenness had carried through my eyes. It even carried through the words I managed to utter out. She helped me recognize you were hurting even when I tried to hide it.

I want to feel like we’re healing together, but the Jensen-sized hole in you is so apparent. On the outside, I’ve gotten better with living with that hole. It’s hard living without him, I know you feel it too. But even after knowing how broken you felt today, I still kept pushing you to the side.

At home, in our safe place, I kept busy. I mindlessly washed, folded and organized my clothes. Your beats quickened more as thoughts crept in my mind. Visions of me reorganizing Jensen’s clothes as he would be getting bigger now. I’d probably be frustrated with the weather changing back and forth, not knowing what I would need to dress him in for the next day. Usually you and I would let these visions play out, but I stopped it. The closet is now color coded in it’s appropriate spot. I thought this would help calm you, knowing that one more thing that had been weighing on my mind was done.

Night spread across the sky and I know we’d have to be settling down. I made dinner and took care of the cats. There was music on in the background, as there always is. I know we both cannot take the silence, even at day two hundred and thirty-eight. You even eased as we danced and though of his rhythmic kicks. I even smiled and my eyes were finally dry. Everything seemed to be going okay.

Until that song played. The one we listened to when we first found out Jensen was growing. It was long before we first heard his heartbeat and we hadn’t heard it since his heart had stopped.

| I want to tell you
How much I love you
I’m drowning in a sea of love |

I knew I had to listen to you then. I couldn’t do anything else but that. The sobs were uncontrollable and even though everything else felt number, the edges of your broken pieces plunged deeper in my soul. Screams were stuck in the back of my throat, but I couldn’t let them go.

The shower helped. It let me feel like I was drowning as I sat in there, letting the hot water sting my back. I hugged my knees and listened to you. Oh heart, I miss him too. There isn’t a second that goes by where I push thinking of him aside, even though you’re the one that doesn’t get my attention. I sat there feeling that hole that you constantly feel. It’s an abyss of emotions and pain and love that demands to be felt. When you dive into it, you have to wait till it spits you back out.

After it spit us both out, I had to take care of you first. You’ve called out to me all day and I’ve ignored you. I’m so sorry for that, heart. If you hadn’t kept beating strong through your brokenness, I wouldn’t be here. We would be talking about Jensen and sharing him to anyone that’ll listen. So, I did what I knew helped string together some of your broken pieces.

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Truth be told, heart, I’m jealous of you at times. As much as Jensen loved the sound of my voice, your steady beating helped him fall asleep. You were the constant and comforting sound he heard at all times. I wish I could’ve sung to him twenty-four hours a day, but you cared for him in that way. You were one of the first and last things he ever heard. Sometimes I don’t care for you or listen enough to you enough as I should. We’re both learning this new life together.

I’m listening to you tonight, my steady companion.

All my love,

Danielle


Happy thirty-four weeks in heaven, my sweet love. I wish I could whisper in your ear how much I love you. With every beat of my heart, I miss you more than words could ever describe. You are the light in my life. You help me heal and are the one thing that makes my heart warm. I promise to take care of myself and be the best mommy I can be to you.

I miss you. I love you.