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.

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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 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.

Continuously on the Mend: Sickness, Anxiety, and Pregnancy After Loss.

**Trigger Warning – this post talks about pregnancy after loss.**

Well, my plan for posting and writing a lot during February sort of failed this past week. Unfortunately, I’ve been the sickest I’ve been in a while since last Tuesday. Actually, it kind of began after my glucose screening test and just continued to get worse. I’ve sworn up and down that the test is what jump started my sickness, but maybe that because I absolutely hated it.

The first few days I battled a nonstop fever. I had ice packets on my head and belly. It’s terrifying to think my body could overheat and the baby could get hurt. I also was thinking how if Jensen would be here, I wouldn’t be able to be down like I was. He would need me to be up. That fact hurt. I tried not to let it get me down and just focus on helping what I could. The fever finally broke on Friday (yay)! Since then I’ve not yet hit 100%, I can’t stop coughing and my lungs are over-producing phlegm. It’s been all so attractive.

My anxiety has been entirely too high. Not only with being afraid of the fever running to high to hurt her, I’ve been just in fear she’s going to die. Just plainly putting that out there. If I don’t feel her move every twenty minutes, I’m just laying here poking and shaking my belly. She’s probably really annoyed with me, but as soon as she moves I feel at ease. I will say the last two days she’s not ‘slowed down,’ but I feel like they’ve changed. Or maybe I’m paranoid because she’s definitely moving around in there.

With all the anxiety and sickness, I’ve been exhausted.

I’ve probably slept more this past week than I have in three months. Yeah, I’ve needed it. Rest and fluids are the only way someone can get over a sickness, especially when they’re not allowed to have most medicines.

Anyways, I’m veering off to mostly complaining about being sick now. I wanted to share something that happened today. When I woke up, I felt a lot better and could even breathe out of two nostrils. Yes, I celebrate any little victory. Instead of just sleeping the day away again, I wanted needed to be productive getting ready for the baby’s ‘sprinkle’ this coming weekend and organizing the baby stuff in her room.

A lot of Jensen’s things are being used by his sister. Literally the totes we filled almost two years ago have been pulled out and gone through. His swing and crib are up. All the diapers, wipes, and other necessities are in place for her. It’s sort of insane. Well today, I knew we were going through another layer of totes. This held his stuffed animals, baby book, and a little frame that says, ‘My First Year.’

Deep down, I knew we were going to come across these things eventually. I didn’t realize how hard the frame and baby book we’re going to hit though. The frame, which should be filled of Jensen’s progression pictures are empty. A year of photos that never came. I wish I would’ve thrown it across the room with all the stock pictures inside of it. They made me so angry. Then his baby book. Honestly, I didn’t look through it. I know how far I got and what came next. The last time I saw it was a few days before he was born, when I was filling it out and put it in a bag so I could take it to the hospital. It never made it there and it’ll continue to remain empty.

The juxtaposition of the emptiness of these memories and how full her room is just broke my heart.

It reminds me of how fragile the life growing in my belly is. How this time two years ago, I was full of hope and not even thinking Jensen could die. He had so many things as well, I never thought they would be packed away in totes and only being used, for the first time, by his sibling. I am so thankful for her and him, but there’s a huge chance that her things will be packed away too. Never used.

Today reminded me of that. I’m also reminded that pregnancy after loss is the second hardest thing I’ve ever experienced. Each day I hold on to hope that she’s going to be here in a the blink of an eye and what happened to Jensen isn’t going to repeat itself. I tell myself every day that this is a new pregnancy. It does not erase my pregnancy with Jensen, but it doesn’t make it the very same either. I won’t lie, it is exhausting worrying that she’s going to die constantly and I get so angry knowing that I feel this way because my first child died. I would do anything to have the innocence I had with him.

That’s just not my reality though.

I believe she’s going to come out kicking and screaming with Jensen watching over us. I have to believe that. Every time I look in her room, I hope she’s able to use every single thing in there and learn what was her brothers too. With each of her kicks, I miss him even more.

I’m surviving this life and pregnancy after loss in the best way I can.

One of Jensen’s stuffed animals waiting to be cuddled by his little sister.


Fingers crossed that tomorrow I’ll wake up and feel even a little bit better. I have a big week coming up and want to share baby girl’s name with you all on Wednesday! That way I can call her by her name instead of a variety of nicknames. I also do want to share the nursery with you all and show how Jensen has influenced so much of it. We also have a 3D/4D scan coming up (after she didn’t cooperate during the last one). So a bunch to share concerning the baby, but a lot of it is intertwining with my grief and how closely their birthdays are going to be.

I just wanted to say thank you all again for everything! Hopefully this sickness will go away so I’m able to share some more What’s Your Grief Photo Challenges.

Twenty-Two Months.

Another month has passed; twenty-two to be exact.

When I woke up this morning, I felt the fifth. I know I’ve used that expression before, but all I kept saying is, ‘it’s Jensen day. It’s the fifth.’ Honestly, I thought this would pass. I wouldn’t even be telling people his age in months if he was here. Sometimes when I talk about him, I’ll say he’s almost two, yet when this day comes I could probably tell you the months, weeks, and days probably down to the minute.

His loss still feels so fresh.

Today, I checked the prompt for the What’s Your Grief Photo Challenge: pain. I’ve felt all types of pain since Jensen’s birth. Heck, I feel like I’ve been through all Dante’s nine levels of hell. When I read it, I didn’t want to focus on any more pain. Even though I tried my best not to focus on it, I was stuck at my three-hour glucose exam for Jensen’s little sister. I had to give blood four times, twice from both arms. It made me feel weak and sick to drink whatever they put in that. The three hours went fairly quick, but when I got home, I crashed on my couch after getting sick. I was in pain and usually on these days I celebrate Jensen.

In some ways I did. I told the lady working  and the other girl in the waiting room about him after they asked if this baby was my first. It stung. No, she’s not my first. She has a big brother in heaven who watches out and protects us both. I’ll never deny him, even if it would seem easier to random people. Somehow I would rather make every person in the world ‘uncomfortable,’ if it only meant for me to say his name. Maybe that makes me selfish, but that’s the only way I know how to mother my son.

Jensen’s absence has brought me so much pain and longing. I want to end the day focusing on what I wanted to give him: life experiences and love.

After I woke up, the first thing I looked at was the hands on my wall that we did on Jensen’s first birthday. I think the last time I shared them was that week. It forever shows me protecting him. Today, I felt like it showed me that he’s had my hand throughout my journey through hell and back. That he’s been right there through it all. It also has our family surrounding us. This reminds me that whenever I am drowning in pain, there’s hands reaching out to help me back up. To pull me out of the pit of despair. There’s twenty hands on the canvas today, but there’s two more inside of me, holding me up on another hard day.

Grief journeys bring their own individual pain and trials. In my twenty-two month journey, I’ve realized we don’t have to do this alone. Nor does the love and memory of those who have gone ever have to go away.

Hello February!

Since announcing my sweet, little rainbow almost two weeks ago, I haven’t had the right words to thank all of you for your kind words, thoughts, and prayers. Each was read and taken to heart. They lifted my spirits and let me know how loved this baby, her brother, and I are loved. I am truly grateful for all of you for your constant support.

For February, I wanted to be able to write more and let you all know how I’ve been with my pregnancy after loss while preparing for Jensen’s second birthday and his sister’s birth. I found this photo challenge on Instagram and thought it would be perfect to take on.

Mood: tired and thankful. 

Today has been absolutely crazy. Throughout this pregnancy, I haven’t been able to sleep well at night through the morning. I cannot get comfortable and she moves all the time. When she moves, I always just pause so I can capture every moment. Jensen never moved as much as she does and I continue to cherish all those memories with him. If anything would happen to her, I want to be able to do the same.

Anyways, I had to go to a doctor’s appointment and felt the anxiety of it as soon as I woke up. It was an okay morning and I was trying to be positive before I went. This past Tuesday I took the glucose test and would find out if I passed or not today. Other than that, I just worried about hearing her heartbeat. Long story short, I found out I failed the one hour glucose test by a few points and have to go to the three-hour one… I was so angry. After I got back to my car, I just kept telling my mom I was fine when I had Jensen. I wasn’t even close to the number. Why was it different now?

Immediately after (and for three more hours), I pouted and felt like my body was going to fail her too. Of course, even if I would fail the three-hour test and would be diagnosed with gestational diabetes, I’d just have to monitor those levels. Logically I knew that, but hormones and the fear of losing her whipped around my head.

When I got home, I just kept thinking about the appointment and my reaction. I was so caught up on the negative that I couldn’t appreciate the positive. Her heartbeat was strong and I’m measuring right on schedule. She has moved all day and tomorrow I’ll be twenty-nine weeks. I made some tea, while I looked at Jensen’s pictures. If I had this type of appointment with him, I would’ve been so happy. So I decided instead of being upset by something I can’t even control, I wanted to be thankful.

I picked out one of my favorite mugs and saw this…

My whole world.

Yes, I am so tired. Tired of feeling so much worry and the weight of grief on my shoulders. I was tired of being angry today and honestly, I’m just physically tired in general.

On the other hand, I am so thankful that words would never be able to describe. Thankful for your support, the baby thriving in my womb, and the boy who I’ll forever carry in my heart.