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.

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The Due Date.

This week marks the one I should have had another baby in my arms. Thirty weeks ago, I had a miscarriage at ten weeks along. I never thought I would lose another child after Jensen died because I didn’t think the world could possibly bring me more sadness. Knowing I was pregnant again, brought me so much joy and hope for the future. When I began spotting, that feeling of dread completely took over my body.

I can’t do this again. 

When I got home from the ER after they told me he was gone, I was so hurt and angry. I couldn’t process the emotions I was having well, so it just all turned to this ball of confusion and hate towards the world. While I was waiting to have my D&C, I can remember feeling all the hope I had built in those few short weeks escape. I never want to be back in that place again. Because of that, I have completely shut off that time in my head. It’s why I haven’t really reflected on my miscarriage as much I should.

The flashbacks I have from the actual surgery haunt me too. There will be times I’ll lay down, have my arms extended out while I lay down, and can remember being strapped down under those lights. He was still in me and even though I knew he was gone, I still felt full. I remember wanting to rip out of the restraints and just run away. As I laid there, I felt like I was abducted by aliens as the doctors and nurses walked around and prepped. I felt so out of control. The reality is I was and there isn’t anything I could do about that.

In the time since I woke up in recovery, dealt with nasty nurses at the doctor’s office, to now, I’ve felt and been through so much that I haven’t felt comfortable in sharing. I know I’ve touched upon this in other posts, but I feel so guilty about it.

It has been so important for me to share my loss journey with Jensen and I encourage others to share their stories as well. Yet, when it comes to my miscarriage, I cannot bring myself to talk about how I’m feeling. It has deeply affected me and caused me to question where my life would be if I didn’t have that experience. I also wonder how it’s changed me again as a person.

Honestly, I don’t know where I’m going with this post. I just knew I needed to get these words out of my head. Grief is messy. It’s complicated and sometimes unexplainable. This grief for me is silent and I know it shouldn’t be because so many others have experienced this as well. In the next few days, I hope my complicated feelings will begin to make sense to others. All I can say is I’m doing my best each and everyday to heal and remember.

Before I go, the one thing I learned from my miscarriage is that all of our stories are important and matter. Miscarriages are very serious. They’re not something to be brushed under the rug and forgotten about. Mothers and fathers who go through this experience do have an immense amount of grief and their babies count. On the other hand, I understand feeling isolated and not being comfortable to speak up. This is your experience. No matter how you choose to express yourself, you’re doing what’s best for you.

I am forever thankful for my little space on the internet and all of the support I have continuously received for almost two years now.

Twenty-One Months.

I woke up today with the weight of the fifth.

It’s been twenty-one months and I wonder if I’ll ever skip this monthly routine and be able to breathe. Then I realized how scary that notion was and would much rather feel its pull on me.

When I was thinking of what to write today, my mind sort of blanked. The other day I read about how one mom wanted to stop writing about her grief so her friends and family stopped worrying about her mental state. I instantly thought if my loved ones questioned mine. This has brought me perplexed feelings, mixed with the usual struggle I face.

Is it so wrong to include him in my everyday life?

My parents and brother are away on vacation, so I’ve felt a little alone for the last two days. Not that I haven’t talked to other people or felt left out. I’m extremely close to my mom and dad and talk to them frequently throughout the day. They say his name and will listen to me talk about him, even if they’ve heard the same thing a million times before. I can’t describe how hard it is not to hear someone else say his name and with them gone I wondered if I would hear it today; when I really needed it…

As they soak up the sun, I’m braving the tundra to take care of their house and animals. Today, one of my tasks was sending out an Etsy order. My favorite woman who works at the post office was there and we struck up a conversation about our houses. I was describing how each room is painted and I got to Jensen’s room.

The only room that isn’t similar to the rest of my house is Jensen’s room. My son’s, who died. 

She did a good job. When I talk about death or say my son died so matter-of-factly, I usually get this shocked face. I don’t even mean to say it so coldly, I just wonder if people hear me talk about him and they just don’t ever think I bring him around. Maybe they do know he died and just don’t want to bring it up either. I mean, it’s not a conversation ice breaker: how are you feeling about your child that died almost two years ago? As well as she did, I criticized myself when I got to my car.

Did I say that just to hear his name or to talk about him with someone? Will the ‘he’s dead’ tagline ever stop? Do we ever really get over this whole awkward grief stage or can someone blossom into a confident grief? Is this even making sense?

When I finally got back home, my mom and I FaceTimed each other. She said she was thinking about Jensen today and my dad had wrote his name in the sand for me to have. They took a picture and sent it to me today. I asked her if she realized it was twenty-one months today and she didn’t.

It doesn’t feel like he’s been gone that long. 

I agree.

It feels like yesterday that I was planning for his arrival and was starting my twice a week ultrasounds appointments; not two years. Although his body is physically gone from this world, his spirit is always around. He is remembered by pictures and J’s, stories and chocolate milk, and most of all, when someone says his name.

I’ve decided, it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks. As I journey through life, I will continue to grieve the loss of my child. He will forever be apart of my story and I have no worries about how I live my life after loss.

My intention for today was to feel any emotion that came my way all the way through. No matter if it was anger, sadness, or even happiness. The days not over, but I’ve welcomed each emotion and let it wash over me; just as the waves washed over his name.

Intention.

Each day, I wake up with the hope to make each day the best it can be.

Four days into the new year, I’ve really thought of resolutions and goals for myself to achieve. The problem is since I’ve had Jensen huge chunks of time feel completely overwhelming. For me to set a resolution for the whole year is not possible. It causes me more anxiety than motivation and quite honestly, I don’t need anymore of that in my life.

When I was pregnant with Jensen as 2015 turned to 2016, I only made one resolution: to be the best mom I could be to him. I never imagined leaving the year without him physically with me. My goal for the year seemed impossible since I couldn’t mother my child the way I wanted. As everything with loss, this changed my outlook on how I would ‘celebrate’ all the following new years. Last year, I didn’t even make any. I stayed at home by myself and cried the entire night. Nothing could bring me the happiness I once had and it felt silly to even try to plan for a year knowing how differently they can end up.

This year, I wanted it to be different. I wanted to feel different to how I approached the upcoming year and take control. It’s the one thing I haven’t had throughout this journey, and a huge part of me wanted to take it back. So, since Christmas I’ve taken the time to really think about what I needed out of the year or even just through the day. The word that kept popping up in my head was intention.

Now this may seem like a broad word when it comes to a resolution or word for the year, but it’s what I need to live this life after loss. Each day I want to set my intentions and commit to them. No matter how small or big they seem.

Intention. 

I intend to be the best mom to Jensen I can be.

I intend to be the best person I can be.

I intend to find moments full of him.

I intend to do great things.

I intend to try to find something to smile about every day.

I intend to say his name and share his story whenever I can.

I intend to be.

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Photo by Roxana Soriano Rebolledo

Christmas Traditions.

Throughout the year, I love being able to go to different events that support parents who are journeying through pregnancy and infant loss. The holidays can prove to be very difficult and isolating; especially since Christmas is mainly focused on children and New Years marks a different time (or more time away from your child). I am so thankful there is a rich support community near me to offer Christmas and holiday programs.

Last year, I found two that really called to me. One through a children’s hospital that has an amazing support group and the other through the Angel of Hope Christmas Box organization. Both are very different, but still so meaningful. I know it can feel very nerve wrecking to attend an event like this, so I want to share my experiences to give an insight of what happens.

Akron Children’s Remembrance Service

The first service I went to of the holiday season is a more formal one. It was in a theatre with quite a bit of seating. Before the actual day, parents are encouraged to preregister their child’s name and send in a picture so they can be presented in the program and on screen.

There is a huge range of ages in children, which I think is really special. For me, it brings confirmation of other for my motherhood. My son is grouped with children who are young adults. In the service they’re not valued any less or looked on differently just because of their time on Earth. They also have one set of parents each year share their story of loss and love. The past two years, I’ve uncontrollably cried throughout this time. It’s something about being able to connect with another person and know how they’re feeling throughout it.

This year’s was about an hour to an hour and a half long. Every baby’s name was read out loud with a bell that chimed after. It’s grounding to see the big list of name and to see their faces on the screen. So many stories and so much love that remains.

During the service, I sat with my mom. We got there a little late and by that time they had already ran out of candles that were to be lit during one of the songs. Well, my mother decided Jensen couldn’t be the only one there without a light, so she pulled out her lighter and had it shining instead. Little moments like these really let me see how much my family cares. Of course I know deep down they do, just making sure she felt like he wasn’t left out made my heart smile.

Overall, I really enjoyed this service and to see the fact that I’m not alone throughout this.

Angel of Hope

This is my favorite event of the year. Every second Sunday of December this group gets together to honor our children gone too soon. This is where Jensen’s brick is too. The idea is the angel protects those around her while providing hope to those that need it most. I absolutely love reading all the names on the bricks and the little sayings. It’s heartbreaking to see them, but somehow it makes me feel like they’re all connected and together. Since Jensen is cremated and I always have his urn, it’s actually nice to have a place to go too.

The event is outside, so yes it was very cold and windy. My mom and dad went with me, which is always awesome to have both of their support. They need these days as much as I do. Everyday they grieve Jensen’s loss too.

We all meet right in front of the angel and are giving candles to light. This is actually a task in its own to keep them lit with the wind. They go through their program of their background, poems, and stories. I can’t even remember what was said because I was so in the moment. All their words just settled inside. There were tears shred, lots of hugs, and of course flowers given to the angel.

I know I always say this, but seeing the amount of people there and feeling what I am in that moment makes me feel less isolated. It was beautiful seeing everyone’s light too. Lets me know that when they looked down over us, they could see the light just for them.

On Jensen’s brick, I left him flowers. Which I leave because I know he would have always picked them from me. My dad leaves pennies every time he visits too. These are the traditions we have started because of him and I know he will forever be remembered.

Twenty Months.

December is here once again. This time it brings me to the twenty month mark and being in the midst of the second holiday season without Jensen physically here. Time has deceived me. It doesn’t feel like this many months have passed, I even had to count them twice to make sure. The second year of grief with the holidays is impossible to comprehend.

Lately, I’ve been overwhelmed. I have not wrote a lot for others to read or have done a lot of self care. With my Etsy shop, school, and working, I can barley keep myself afloat on top of grieving and missing him each day. There’s a lot more going on too, it just isn’t the right time to share. The words that are bouncing around in my head don’t make sense when I put them on paper or screen. I’ve just been focusing on making it through the present day. There’s been a lot of deep breathing.

In the past few weeks, I’ve been thinking a lot about the holidays, of course, and how different they would be with Jensen. I wonder what big present I would’ve got him or if he would have been afraid of Santa. Sometimes I just want to know if he would have snored or what would be his favorite movie. I’m constantly haunted with these unanswered questions and I would do anything to have them answered.

This holiday season is different than last year’s though.

You could say that there’s a ‘lighter’ feeling, but it doesn’t seem like the exact right word I’m looking to use. I guess I’m more open to seeing some of the good that’s going on around me. For instance, I decorated a lot more this year and haven’t had an anxiety attack when I’ve been Christmas shopping. I’m also not dreading the day of, but I’m still not big on the change of the year. Somehow it feels like if I’m just stuck in 2017, that I wouldn’t be even further away from him.

I never thought I could make it here to this day. Almost everyday I’m shocked I can wake up on any given morning and my body not be broken. SO many people who never lost a child told me that time would heal me and my heart. I didn’t believe them then and I still don’t now. My heart hurts. There’s not a day that passes that I wish I could go back in time and deliver him a week earlier. I’ll always want another moment with him. Knowing I’ll never have that is the worst feeling. No one could possibly describe it.

Just earlier today, I saw an informational ad about depression. They listed of all the symptoms and I just sort of laughed.

‘If any of these symptoms last longer than two weeks, you could be clinically depressed.’

What does it make me when I’m depressed for twenty months and most likely the rest of my life? I don’t really think about those questions, but with the contrast of the ‘happy’ and ‘cheery’ holidays, it really shows. For all this time, I have lived without my child and know that I will never see him physically again. Christmas music and lights don’t change that fact. Yes, I want to celebrate more and am open to that, but it’s still not the same.

It never will be.

I guess I just would like to say is no matter how you feel during any point of the year, a grieving parent (and anyone really) has the right to feel whatever they need. We can’t get down on ourselves for not feeling what we’re ‘supposed’ to feel. This is a journey without any rulebook.

Say their names. Tell their stories.

No matter if it’s been twenty days, months, or years, our children did live. They matter and love never dies.


Tonight, I’ll be attending a Christmas program from bereaved parents. I plan on updating everyone on how it goes and want to post a little more this month since school is over on the 13th. Continued thanks to each and every one who has followed me through my journey. If you need anything from me, even just to listen, please reach out.

5 Tips to Tackle Grieving This Season.

Tackling Grief
The upcoming holidays can seem like a daunting task to anyone who participates in them. They’re even more so when you’re grieving the loss of your child or children. I know just thinking about spending another Thanksgiving and Christmas without my son, Jensen, brings me such heartache. In my first year of grief, I wished there was a guidebook in how to journey through the long winter days.
We all know this book doesn’t exist.
What helped me tremendously was reaching out to other loss parents to talk, vent, and just share about my child and what was going on around me. Sometimes, I found myself in vulnerable positions without being able to reach out. Grief had tested me again. Through a lot of tears and running out of family-filled rooms, I learned a routine to help combat the mix of my grief and the holiday cheer.

These are my 5 tips to tackle grieving this season.

Breathe.

This may sound like a simple task, but in the heat of the moment it can be hard to catch your breath. For me, not seeing Jensen at Thanksgiving dinner or opening up presents really let reality hit me square in the face. I felt like I was hyperventilating in those moments. The world was spinning around me and grief was the one pushing it faster and faster. Then, I remembered to take a deep breath in and out.
I was still living in the nightmare that is my reality, but focusing on my breath allowed me to take care of my mental and emotional needs.

Recognize what you’re feeling.

Grief has made me feel more emotions than I ever thought I had. I used to want to hide away some of the forceful ones like anger and envy. They made me feel like an ugly person. By ignoring those feelings, they were more likely to come back and in a much stronger wave.
Recognize what you feel. In that moment, you’re feeling what you need to and maybe it will help you understand why. When I saw the little ones in my family with food all over their face, I was so angry. I wanted to project it on them, but I wasn’t angry at them. As I took my feelings in, I was able to understand I was angry Jensen wasn’t here with food all over his face.
The more a person is in situations like these, the better it is to recognize the emotion and tackle grief before it snowballs.

Take the moments as they come.

This has always been my biggest challenge. When I think about living through the holiday season, I don’t see the days in-between the big ones. Everything is weighing down on me and I feel like I have to live through two months in one moment.
Obviously, this isn’t true.
We have lived through the worst days of our lives. No matter how different our stories are and how time feels when we look back on those days, we each took the moments as they come. That’s how we get through each and every day, before and after loss. Don’t take on these next weeks all right now. Take them as the moment comes.
Small victories make big differences.

Celebrate when you can and break down if needed.

As hard as it seems, don’t feel guilty to celebrate or break down.
It feels hard to think we’ll ever truly celebrate after loss and if we do, it’s not as full as it used to. That’s perfectly fine. Just don’t be afraid to smile or attend an event because your child isn’t there. Take something that reminds you of him or her and talk about them when you can. Give yourself permission to smile and enjoy a day.
On the other hand, don’t feel as if you have to attend every holiday event or get-together. You are the only one who knows your exact grief. Don’t mistake this as a sign of weakness. If you do decide to attend and feel overwhelmed, I hope you remember to breathe, but it’s okay to breakdown too.

Always know you’re doing the best you can.

If none of these tips to tackle grieving this season help, I hope you can take away this very last one. You are doing the best you can. It might not feel like it in certain moments, but it’s true. No matter if you decide to stay in bed untilJanuary 2 or go to every get-together possible, you are a super hero.
Wishing you all a gentle holiday season from my grieving heart to yours. 

Nineteen Months. 


This is how he would have looked last year around this time. Seven months old and going into his first set of holidays. 

I won this portrait from For A Moment Portrait last year during Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. When I won it, I was so excited because I never win anything and everyday when I woke up I pictured what he would look like. I still wonder what he’d look like since. 

She sent me Jensen age progressed to six/seven-ish months right before his birthday. I remembered being terrified to see what how it turned out. What if it wasn’t the way I had pictured him? Or what if my reaction was bad? It was the same feeling I had when Jensen bear arrived home. I built up the courage and carefully took it out of the envelope. My eyes were closed before I turned it over and saw him. No matter what it ended up looking like, I always had my image of him. So, I took the plunge. 

It was him. 

He had the curly hair inpictured and looked more like my mom than I had imagined, but it was definitely him. His eyes were opened, which I’ve never seen before. He looked happy and that brought me peace. 

Sometimes I wish I would get an age progression drawing for every year. Just to peak my curiosity. If I was any good at drawing, I’d do it myself, but I wouldn’t give him the justice he deserves. 

I’m not sure why I decided to share this image today. 

His smiling face has been right in front of me for almost seven months now. It didn’t feel right until now to show it off. 

Maybe it’s the time of year? Heading into the second holiday season without him and all I want is to see his face and how much he’s grown. Time doesn’t heal all wounds. My heart longs for him more and more as each day passes. I hate not being able to plan which presents he’d open up or decide when he should get a picture with Santa. And I wish for the everyday things, like making sure he was warm enough to go outside or wiping off food that missed his mouth.
Time doesn’t make up for all the moment I should have had with him. It’s been nineteen months and the pain hasn’t lessened. Has it changed? Of course. But the weight in my heart is stil there. The tears still come. I’m still dreading the holidays and the year change. And in less than six months, I should have a two year old. 

Each day for the rest of my life, I know I’ll make it through. The smiling face I see in front of me now promises me that. I’ve lived the worst day of my life and I know it should be different, but I promise him and myself that I will be the best I can be. 

I’ll continue sharing his story and never letting his memory fade away. 

How I Honor My Son on Halloween.


Halloween is most definitely a kid’s holiday. They get to dress up and be whoever they want to be, while they get all the candy their hearts desire. It’s full of fantasy and fun. Just what little ones love. 

For some, like myself, our children do not get to traditionally partake in the festivities. It’s the first holiday of the season and the start of complex grief. Even if a loss parent has living children too, they will always see their missing trick-or-treater. For mother’s without living children, it feels like they could hide away and avoid the entire night, which is perfectly fine if that’s what they choose. 

Last year was my first without Jensen. There was a lot of mixed emotions, but I felt like Jensen and I needed to be apart of the night. Honestly, I didn’t know how to pull it off. With a lot of thought I came up with an idea that I used again this year. 

Last year’s candy bowl including Jensen’s first Halloween ‘walk.’

I had a graphic made with Jensen’s name on a pumpkin that said, ‘Happy Halloween to Heaven.’ Above and below the picture says thank you for letting Jensen walk with your child and to check his story out here. It was a great way to give back to neighborhood children while sharing Jensen’s story. I felt like this was a perfect option for me to be involved. 

As I said above, this year I did the same concept, but a different graphic. My mom and I packed the candy with the slips. It’s a way we can feel closer to Jensen and not let this night overcome our grief. 

This year, I also decided to carve a pumpkin for Jensen. Of course I used a big J to represent him on it. I love that I’ll be able to sit near his pumpkin and be able to pass out a little of his light with the candy tonight.

It’s not a huge gesture, but it makes me feel a little more in control of my grief while making sure Jensen’s name never fades. 

Reflect. 

I have a son that I carry in my heart. I am never without him. Anywhere I go, he goes with me. 

This October didn’t go as I originally planned. I wanted to write each day according to the Capture Your Grief prompts. Life had a way of cutting in. Through pregnancy and infant loss awareness events, my mom being hospitalized, and a lot of work, I wasn’t able to complete them all; and that’s perfectly okay. I did what my grief and I was able to do. For that, I am so proud of myself and the little boy who has motivated me to keep pushing through the days. 

Reflection is important when journeying through grief. Even if it’s just reflecting on the previous day. Since I’m halfway through my second year (which seems absurd), I find myself reflection from last year. I’ve found I’ve grown tremendously. This year, I wasn’t hard on myself if I wasn’t able to post a prompt or a picture. I know others see the love I have for my son and my motherhood is completely valid. Although, I would never say I’m comfortable in my grief or even with what has happened in my life, I’m thankful to see how far I’ve come. I wish with all my might Jensen was here to physically be apart of this journey. 

This month has been a beautiful healing one. It always amazes me how complete strangers can come together and be so supportive, even after all the loss. Before I began writing this post, I went through all my pictures from this month and the ones that moved me the most were the balloon releases and ones with my family. Every release is painfully healing. Each of those balloons mark a child gone too soon and those who grieve their loss. In all the photos I have from them, there’s way too many in the sky. What you don’t see in the picture is the tears and comfort by family and friends. 

I’ve also noticed a difference in myself accepting the change of the month. If you’ve read my blog for awhile, you know the change of the month has been very hard for me throughout my journey. This month, I’m ready for it to end. Which sounds weird since I was looking forward to advocating each day. The thing is I raise awareness about pregnancy and infant loss everyday as I know all parents do. It’s a nice month to come together, but when it ends it doesn’t mean we have to stop talking. With that being said, I’m not ready for the second set of holidays without Jensen. I don’t think that will ever get easier. 

Tomorrow is the first of the holiday season. I’m going to touch on some things then, but with reflecting comes looking towards the future. It’s going to be rough. I’m going into the day with high hopes and have plans to incorporate Jensen that I’ll be sharing. It’s going to be hard seeing kids his age, it always is. I’ve come to a point where I know when to step back and know it’s okay to succumb to that grief feeling. 

No matter what, I’ll make it to the next day. 

I’ll be thinking of those balloons in the sky and what they represent tomorrow. Instead of just seeing the kids trick-or-treating, I’ll also see the ones who aren’t physically there. 

I wish this awareness month didn’t exist and babies didn’t die, but I’m so glad I have you all to walk this journey with. Thank you for letting me share Jensen and I’s story this October and every other time. I’ll always remember the community who lifted me up when I didn’t feel like I’d ever stand again.