Lilypie Angel and Memorial tickers

Lilypie Angel and Memorial tickers

23 Dec 2011

Second Holiday Season with Amelia

What an elusive child Amelia is.
First winter with us she was in my womb and all we could do was play footsie games.
This winter she is with us in spirit and all we can do is play clue games.
I love her dearly, but I would love even more just to hold her...

Amelia's First Elka (Tree in Russian :)

19 Dec 2011

Understanding stillbirth

Yep, I'm doing it.  I'm spending days and nights reading through newspaper articles that mention stillbirth for my research project.
Why?  To find out how stillbirth is represented in the news media. 

I'm actually pleasantly surprised by the number of good reports out there on care and compassion needed by the bereaved parents and how to give it best.

I'm also appalled by reports of hospitals "losing" stillborn babies' bodies, leaving parents without closure. Sadly, those reports fail to mention the psychological trauma added to the already grief stricken parents.

And there are times when people refer to stillborn babies as "unborn" or "fetus." In the dictionary, fetus means "before birth" and unborn means "prenatal development stage."  So why are children that have been born still called that? Do they stop being children with their last heartbeat in the womb?

As a parent, when your child doesn't take a first breath and goes to the morgue with a nurse, instead of home with mom and dad, you need all the help you can get to get through the pain of loss. Please don't underestimate the intensity of this event.

For many months of my pregnancy we have dreamed about spending the rest of our lives with our baby, sang to her, played her jazz and The Beatles, read to her. After she was born we only got 5.5 hours to spend with her. And another hour shaperoning her to the Children's Hospital for her autopsy. And another hour before we buried her. Followed by a lifetime without her.  Amelia's life, no matter how short, is very important to us.

And we are not alone in this. Every stillborn parent I've met, in person and online, struggles with the lack of acknowledgement of their stillborn child.  As if their child lost meaning since he or she didn't live outside the womb. Why? This same child was so important before...

15 Dec 2011

Grief is...

It can be a dull ache in my arms, a tightening of my rib cage that doesn't let me breathe, a sharp pain in my heart. When my fingertips go cold and sweaty and a sudden lightheadedness makes me take a seat, it is called grief. Grief, at times, is physical. And there is no pill for that. It exists and I can't pretend otherwise. I don't love it and I don't hate it, I simply live it. And it's not as bad to me as it sounds to you.

On the contrary, I find this physical grief is what makes me feel alive and see the beauty in the world. Sometimes people ask me when am I going to live again, that I should try to move on. Move on from where? Live what? If I didn't live, I'd be with my daughter, and I am not, so I live. Grief makes sure that I am acutely aware of being alive and of the time's passing. I never stopped living. My life changed and now I live a new life, but that doesn't mean I don't live.


The key to grief is accepting life for the lessons it brings.




Love & Light

6 Dec 2011

Normal.

"Normal (for a bereaved parent) is being too tired to care if you paid the bills, cleaned the house, did laundry or if there is any food".

Just read this on a fellow b-mom's link. So very true.
Everything seems like such a dreaded task now, when my body and mind are so tired.

We deal with our bills every three months, mostly when we get an angry letter... Not because the lack of money, but because the lack of energy.

We clean the house little bit by little bit, and only when it cannot wait any longer. Just recently we got a Roomba. It's like a member of the family now, a good little worker too.

Our fridge has been empty for the last eight months. Pizza-vegetable is eaten as often as the real thing these days.

To top it off, in front of me stands an unfolded top-half of our tree, Yolochka, as I call it (Russian for little tree :) The old Alena would have had the full thing up and out by now. Argh.

Oh, and there is the pain of our first winter with and without Amelia. I was looking forward to taking her up the mountains to play with the snow, now I don't know what to look forward too.

28 Nov 2011

The Better, The Worst.

The better I function, the worse I feel.
Not cause of guilt, or regret,
But of the knowledge that
This "new" good, is the
"Old" good's worst nightmare.

25 Nov 2011

8 Months Today

It has been eight long months since I held you in my arms, since I kissed you, since I said good-bye to you. It seems like a lifetime without you, but it went by so fast.

You took a piece of my heart with you, leaving me a piece of yours.



Mama loves you, forever and ever.

21 Nov 2011

That week again.

Got myself a cake. Had a slice. Mmmm, chocolate!

Walked into the bedroom closet. Turned on Lady Gaga.

And danced my pants off!!!!!!!

Yours truly, dancing in the closet!

Feeling much better now. Highly recommend it!


Back to doing social research.

:)

15 Nov 2011

Finally, I saw her in my dream!

I saw Amelia in my dream today.

She came, with all her toys, to save me from this place. There was her Mimi doll, her Chicken farm stack, Ella's teddy bear, and her laughing Dino book. Best of all, she was there. Dark wavy hear, button nose. She looked just like I thought she would, so cute, I didn't care that it was a dream.

I didn't care that in that dream I was in what seemed to be a prison, or a movie theatre of some sorts, she was there, there to get me out of this place.

I hope she comes again tonight...

11 Nov 2011

Silent Mother

For a long time now I've been trying to find a word that would describe me as a mother. I just found it.

I am a Silent Mother.

Not a Tiger Mother, never will be for that matter, not after what I've been through with Amelia.
Not a Dragon Mother either, I didn't get to be one. For that I'm part grateful, part sad.

I am a Silent Mother. My baby was born silent. The room she was born in was silent. The people were silent. There were no congratulations, just silent looks.

I don't tell many people that I have a daughter, I stay silent as they assume I don't have a child. I stay silent to stay sane.

I am silent when I talk to my daughter.

And she, silently, talks back to me.

I am a Silent Mother.

10 Nov 2011

At Night

For the last seven months I wondered what is it like where you are at night. I don't mean your spirit, but you body. The one I carried and cared for, the one I longed to hold, the one I hugged and kissed. As any mother, when I worry about you in the middle of the night, I just want to open the door to your bedroom and see you sound asleep in your crib. But you are not there, and neither is your crib.

So tonight was the night we went to see you at the cemetery. It was everything and nothing I imagined it to be. It wasn't as dreary as I thought it might be. Instead, it was peaceful. The fog rolling over the hill. So quiet.

Sometimes I imagined that at night, when everyone is gone home, you and your friends come out to play on the grass. In my mind I saw you run around, laughing, smiling, playing with your friends. Just what any other kid would do when their parents are not watching. But you weren't.

It kills me that I have to drive to the cemetery to see you in the middle of the night, just to make sure you are ok. It hurts me that I don't have the guts to correct people when they assume I don't have you, just to avoid the awkwardness and the silly comments. It drives me crazy that you are not with me, that I can't tuck you in at night. Yet, somehow, I put one foot in front of the other every hour of every day, and I carry on. Because I love you, and because I am your mother.


Good night my darling, sleep tight and don't let the ghosts bite.


Love you forever,
Mama

31 Oct 2011

Congratulations

We decided to go to the gym everyday this week. Do it together while my hubby has a week off, get into a routine. Got to the gym, everything is great. Of course, the guy taking us through the tour and the sell was our neighbour from before we were even married. Nice guy, we had a pleasant conversation. At some point Amelia came up. We received a nice big round of Congratulations from all sides of the room. We thanked them. Then answered all following questions honestly, but briefly: we had a baby girl, she was over 7lb, that was seven months ago.

The guy obviously assumed she is alive. I mean, that's what most babies do. And we didn't bring it up, we were there for a workout, not a deep sharing session.



It felt good. The idea our baby girl is alive and well. We had a few other times like this, where we left the conversation without telling complete strangers our daughter died. I think it's fair enough. Those moments are so bittersweet. But there is still more sweet in those that the ones where we tell the whole story. I hate those moments, as I usually the one who tries to console others.


So here I am, wondering what my next visit to the gym will be like. And how long can Amelia be alive in that reality.

29 Oct 2011

Lightbulb

I was laying in bed, thinking. Thinking about us, the humans. The way we live, the things we love. I feel that as a whole, as all people together, we are travelling on the wrong track. With all the greed in the world, all the indifference, egoism, consumerism we cultivate, we are forgetting what is really important: each other. How can we not realize that no other physical creation has true value, life value, other than a human. We are the ones who give meaning to things, be it cars, jobs, houses. But we are the only ones carrying real meaning.

While I was thinking these deep thoughts, a lightbulb exploded above my head. I mean I really saw an explosion in front of me, above the nightlight. It lit up the room, just for a few seconds, and it made a sound, but only I heard it. Only I saw it. It freaked me out, enough that I can't sleep now.

I think it was Amelia telling me something. At first I worried, is it something good, or is it something bad? I think it's good. As the thought going through my head at the moment was good, I think it was a sign to say it out loud. So, here it is.

I believe that we, the global society, need to have an Ethical Pact with each other. It is time to take an oath to be true and honest with each other, as we are with ourselves, making sure that all decisions we make are ethical.

I know it sounds hippy, but why not? Why not value a life of a person across the world more than a purse in my hand? Don;t get me wrong, I am all for comfortable living and all for toys and things, but there is no need for extremes. I wonder if this is what the 99% want, a simple Ethical Law that we all must follow so that everyone has enough. So that no-one throws out food while another dies from hunger.

 Think about it...

27 Oct 2011

On this sunny day

I f'n miss my girl. Pardon the language, but I miss her so much, words can't describe it. Every inch of my heart aches for her, ever cell in my body cries for her, every little bit of energy in my soul lives for her.

I have no choice, I must carry on. I smile and live my life, but it's not the same, never will be. A big part of me is missing, I am not the same. So much I, I, I. Sometimes it feels like it's more about me than her. Well, it is. She is too dead to care right now, I'm still alive.

25 Oct 2011

A daughter to be proud of

Amelia turns seven months old today. What a big girl she would have been. Instead, she is even bigger, and better to some degree. As I was driving over for a visit this morning, I realised that instead of twenty or so years, it took just nine months for my baby to reach independence. She is, after all, a land owner and is very self-sufficient. She is mature beyond her years, for she knows what very few of us only suspect. She is as beautiful as an angel can be, even more so in my eyes.

You might think it's just my imagination, but I have been getting to know my daughter for the last seven months, and she is as real as you and I.  She is stronger, smarter, and kinder than anyone else I know. She makes flowers bloom (like a single bloom on her lilac tree in late August), she opens up the clouds so that the sun shines on me when I visit her. She even made the rain stop on a few occasions. And she saved my life, twice, in the last seven months. I know it, as I was there. So, compared to an average seven month old, she is a genius. And I love her more each day.

Those who don't have children in heaven, or whatever you call it, think it's magical thinking. Still, every bereaved parent I met told me they feel their children, they communicate with them. We don't call gravity "magic" anymore, do we?

Amelia's Garden

24 Oct 2011

The Week We Eat Cake

It is that time of the month. It is the week we eat chocolate cake. Feeling the dates creep up on us, it usually starts on the 21st, we go to our local grocery store for a specific cake: same one my mom bought seven months ago tomorrow for Amelia's birthday. We eat it every month. This is one of the little things we do to cope with the crushing pain in our hearts. Same way as we drink beer or wine, cry, etc.

Some people, upon hearing that we eat chocolate cake every month without any concern for our figures and diets, have expressed feelings of jealousy and called us lucky. I am always shocked to hear such a response. Does it really take a death of our own child to let us eat cake without guilt? Maybe for me it did. But I wouldn't call myself lucky for that. I'd rather have Amelia in my arms, and leave the cake at the grocery store for someone else to eat. But I can't, so instead I drown my sorrow with chocolate. So I wonder, don't these people realize it? Do they really think we are lucky because we let ourselves eat cake?  I'm really trying to get my head around the way our life events shape our perceptions. I mean, would you really want to be me? Even if that means you can eat as much cake as you want? I doubt it. So why get jealous?

Just saw this on failblog.org. How perfect is this!

Argh! Time for me to get another slice :)

11 Oct 2011

Thankful for the Love

Amelia and I made a Love cake today. I made the hearts when I was 7-8 months pregnant and she stayed really quiet the whole time, which was very unusual!
It is sometimes hard to find things to be thankful for. When there is too much stress in our lives, our vision becomes clouded. As I stopped to think about gratitude this weekend, at first I felt that I had nothing be grateful for. My heart was hurting, mind racing from a cocktail of emotions. How can I be grateful when my would-be six-month old is buried at our local cemetery?

When I thought about the cemetery, I remembered how we had to pick out Amelia's spot the day after she was born; so beautiful, weighing almost eight pounds. I remembered our family and friends who hugged us as our baby's "treasure chest" was covered with earth, on the spot we picked a week earlier.  

 I realised I have a lot to be grateful for:

I am so grateful for every person who stood by us on that day and the many days that followed. 

I am grateful for the meals, gifts, flowers, cards, walks in the park and everything else that so many people generously gave us. I remember a moment when I was looking around our home, seeing the tiniest details in the beautiful blooms, smelling the scents of the ripe fruit basket, smiling at Amelia's changing table that was overflowing with gentle and supportive cards; I realised that our home was full of love and support, we were not alone. I really mean it when I say Thank you to all of you who made it happen.

I am grateful for my family. I am grateful for my friends. I am grateful for my pets. I am grateful for my life. To me, this is all that really matters.  A bereaved mom once said that you really value life only after you lose life. How true. Another bereaved mom said that losing your child is like receiving a "sick gift." It now makes sense. I am grateful for the way I appreciate life now. Little things don't matter anymore, and it feels good. It gives me more time to appreciate the big, the important moments, people, places.

Hope you all had a good Thanksgiving!

 Love & Light
~A~

6 Oct 2011

Every day

Every day I live without Amelia, I try to understand what happened and learn how to live with it. It's hard to describe the grief of loosing my daughter, but let me try: I'm missing every day of her life that should have been, that could have been, but is definitely not. 

When I saw this video, I realized that I'm really missing Every Day without my daughter.

5 Oct 2011

Understanding each other

I've been thinking a lot about what you, my reader, get from my writing, how do you understand and interpret it? I wonder how do I sound to a person who never walked in my shoes? How can a few words, selected either in the heat of the moment, or after long and careful consideration, convey the reality I live in?

First of all, I hope you understand that what makes it onto this blog is such a small piece of the puzzle. My postings are missing many thoughts, events, and ideas I omit for the sake of saving time, space, and heartache (except for that rambling post about "bad apples," that felt good! :) I rarely mention all the little things that hurt me or give me strength every day. It is hard to keep up with the pace of life as it is right now, the littlest things like house chores can be exhausting. Mostly because of constant reminders of what we lost, like a coffee shop full of babies and toddlers I walked into today. The lady behind the counter proudly told me they hold mom and toddler groups on Tuesday mornings, the ones I was supposed to be a part of. Instead, I told her my daughter passed away. She either didn't hear me or pretended that she didn't. I walked out with a crappy coffee and a heavy heart.

Second, there is each persons' individual life perception. Your lifetime memories, events, trials, and tribulations make you who you are. You might be going through your own heartache right now, or you might be living the happy life (if you are, savour every moment of it!). The joys and sorrows we get to experience help us understand others, be compassionate towards each other.

Third, I wonder at what point do people gain a better, deeper understanding of each other? Until I lost Amelia, I lived in a world of what I now call "regular" life: good and bad relationships, school and work deadlines, family matters, relocation and immigration. You get the idea. I did not have the easiest life, but it was good and I remained optimistic. When I saw people hurting, I genuinely felt for them and tried to help the best I could. I wanted to see everyone healthy and happy. I was not naive, but I was shielded.

Now, I feel like a veil has been lifted. I understand now that it was impossible for me to comprehend and for others to explain the pain they were going through. It saddens me that the sight of me, happily pregnant, made other women hurt. I understand I did nothing wrong then, and now what I feel is not wrong either. It is just life.


So as I try to explain something that can only be understood by being where I am, and I wouldn't wish that on anyone, let me ask you this:

How long did it take you to heal from a bad breakup, or a divorce?

How much did you cry when your pet cat or dog die?

How hard was it to pick yourself up when your parent died?


I hope most of you would say you haven't experienced these things. If you did, I'm sorry for your loss. It really sucks.

But to get back to my point, if either of the things I mentioned above is one of your worst points of reference on the $hit-scale (pardon my English), please try to put it into perspective:

People can be hurt for years by a bad break-up, a nasty divorce. How long does it take them to trust again? After being hurt by someone when I was only 17, it took me over 8 years to really trust someone else.

After losing a pet, the emptiness of your house can be unbearable, the atmosphere forever changed. When my mom and I immigrated to Canada, we had to leave our 14 y.o. cat behind. Knowing that she lived the remainder of her life with someone else, not understanding why we left her, not knowing that we still loved her, still saddens me and makes me tear up (thankfully they are great people and I am forever grateful to them for taking care of our kitty!).

I am lucky that my parents are both alive and well, so thankfully I can't compare there. But I know for sure that when you lose a parent, people never say to you: "You're young, you'll have another one."

What I'm trying to say is that please know that I was where most of you are now: I did not know what it was like to lose a child, I never wanted to find out. All I can ask of you is to have an open mind and don't assume anything. Don't assume that your are going to hurt me or help me by doing or not doing something, don't assume that you can imagine how I feel and know how to make it better. I am not saying this in anger or resentment, I am just saying what I hear many bereaved parents repeat over and over: people assume, but they have no idea. That's what makes people the worst and the best part of grief.

I guess the reason I keep putting myself out there, baring my heart and my soul, is to give you some food for thought, an image of a different point of reference, an explanation why a total stranger might run away from you in tears or give you a helping hand.

1 Oct 2011

Celebration of Life

As I went to bed tonight, memories of Amelia's funeral came flooding in. I am still trying to understand how we had to bury our little girl just seven days after she was born. Instead of a lifetime together, we got a lifetime apart. It hurts me how quickly her life ended, how cruel was this dream.

It often feels like a dream, a really scary, surreal dream. But on nights like this they become all too real. I'd say it hurts more now than it did before, because now I understand how "forever" it is. Nothing else is more permanent than death.

The flashbacks that I get are moments in time that my brain simply couldn't handle six months ago. These memories are safely stored in my head and usually come back around the same dates as the events. Like the feeling of leaving the hospital without my baby; the week leading up to her funeral, all the arrangements we had to make instead of staying in bed with our newborn; the day we laid her to rest.

For her, it was the end of her time here on Earth with us. For us, it was the beginning of our lives without her.

I would like to share some pictures with you, although they are not easy to look at. If you are wondering, it really does help me to go through these, look at them, see them, have them. This is just another angle of the same memories my brain throws at me at all times of day and night. This is also a memory of our physical time here with Amelia.











Pictures were kindly taken by Eugenia Filippova

24 Sep 2011

Amelia and I

Here we are. I'm still learning to smile. It feels so awkward now to smile for pictures. I don't really want to smile, it makes no sense. So what you get is an attempt at a smile... Oh well, such is life.

Also, please note the lovely pancake Amelia's papa made her this morning! Would she be eating pancakes at 6 months? Maybe boiled carrots would be better... I guess this way she can have anything she wants. Maybe later tonight I'll share my wine with her ;)

Amelia's Deathday

It is a hard day for us today. The whole month has been brutal, this week has been almost unbearable, and today is just awful.

I had a plan to post pictures of Amelia's birth for her 6 months, but ran into a bit of a roadblock. The pictures are not easy to look at, let alone share. They are brutal in their nature. They hide nothing. But the saddest thing for me at the moment is that there isn't a single picture of my daughter and I that I can share, frame, treasure. There is one of my husband, my mom, my grandma, but not me. And there is nothing I can do to change that.

So I don't know what to post. I really have nothing here.

16 Sep 2011

Days leading up to the Six Months

It is interesting to see how my posts become less frequent as time goes on. I wish I could say that it's because my grief gets easier with time, but I can't do that yet. For me, grief becomes different, it changes in taste and colour. All sorts of things, places, and people leave different impressions on my heart and mind, altering the way I see, feel, and deal with my loss.

I admit to turning a 360 and shutting out the world lately. Right from the beginning of my grief journey I was very open, hoping to help others see and understand what a bereaved parent goes through, at least my version of it. I wanted to find some good in my pain. Slowly, I started keeping more and more inside. I can't put a date on when it happened, it was a continuous process, but I can tell you why: Some People. The reason is that simple: random individuals.

If you were to ask me right after Amelia died what was the hardest thing about losing her, I'd say it was giving birth to my dead daughter, my perfect little angel, so wanted, so loved. If you ask me now, I'd say people. Please don't get me wrong, there are more good apples in the basket than the rotten ones, but the rotten ones really do stink out the whole orchard.

This post is dedicated to the bad apples.

How can people, from complete strangers to those close to me, hurt more than labouring with knowledge that my newborn has no heartbeat? Sadly, there are many ways. Mostly those are stupid words people choose. I've heard all sorts of things, from "You weren't ready yet," to "You are young, you'll have another one," to "how long are you going to wallow in your grief?" There are also actions: there is nothing worse than a cranky toddler screaming into my head at 8:30pm in an otherwise empty restaurant, because his parents decided that it was ok to sit right behind us instead of choosing ANY OTHER table in the medium-sized place. There also unintentional moments when a new mom would park her stroller right in front of us in the mall, she obviously never lost a child, otherwise she would have recognised the look of complete terror in my face. Hopefully when I have a living child I'll be more mindful of others. So the list goes on. This is not pointing fingers at anyone, I have no "beef" so to speak. It is just a sad reality that I'm facing.

Going back to the words people say, I'm so tired of hearing how I wasn't ready to have my daughter and that when I am, I'll get a living baby to hold and to love. Really??? I was 27 when we conceived Amelia, perfect age: not too young, not too old; have been happily married for a few years now, we own a home, we both have careers and are educated, we are healthy and at a point in life where there is nothing else we'd rather do but raise our daughter. I am more ready than Casey Anthony was, I'm more ready than that mom who dressed her toddler as a prostitute. Yet people who don't know me at all have the guts to say to my face that I wasn't ready yet. One day instead of quietly saying "yes, I was," I'll make them explain to me exactly what makes them say such a stupid thing.

Sadly, this is just a tip of the iceberg. About two months ago I went to a reproductive psychologist (pre- and -postnatal) to seek help. She didn't bother looking through my file before our meeting, so I had to go through the whole "OMG what happened?" thing. It's tough as is, now imagine trying to explain "cause of death unknown" to a so-called health professional. It is brutal. Either way, I walked out of her office 45min later with noting. No help, nothing. And that was not an isolated episode. At this point I am so tired of seeking "professional" help that I think I'm better off without it.

Since Amelia passed on, I have tried many things to help me deal with her physical death. From some obvious choices of red wine and walks in the park, to more exciting ones when I painted with oils, crayons, watercolours, you name it. I wrote, on this blog and in a journal that I started for Amelia when she was conceived. I tried jogging, had a private trainer, took kickboxing classes, did yoga, hiked, and am taking ice-skating lessons now. I sang my little heart out almost daily (even though I'm pretty bad :), played piano, and will take piano lessons in the fall, and I like drumming my djembe really loud. I power-sanded almost every surface in my house, filled-in tiniest imperfections and painted three coats of paint, even in the closets. I grew a memorial garden. I danced. I cried. I screamed. I laughed. I dressed up. I'm sure I'm forgetting something, but you get the idea. All these things helped, some in good, healing ways, others in ways that made me realise I had trauma I needed to deal with. Who wouldn't after what I've been through? Pardon the grim details, but when I pushed Amelia out, the skin on her arm came off. From the force of birth. Yep, I was so scared to hold her, I never got to really see her fingers, the shape of her nails. Every time I exercise, I get flashbacks of being in labour, of giving birth to her, of giving her away and leaving the hospital empty handed, having no other way out than though the fire. Needless to say, I don't push myself too much.

Yet, I wonder why is it that when I tell people that I can't or don't want to do something, like going to the mall or back to the hospital where I gave death (birth doesn't seem to be the right word) to my Amelia, why don't they just accept it as is and leave me alone? Why do people have to push their assumptions and opinions on me, when they have absolutely no clue? I come across it all the time, persistent advice of some sorts. Well meaning advice, but still... Oh, you Must do this, why don't you just try, you don't know until you do. Um, no. You don't know, because You have healthy living kids at home, or you have a dog, or not even that. I don't tell people what to do with their living children, because I don't have one of those and I don't really know what it's like. Why do they feel the need to tell me what to do with my dead one?

Is it because it will make it easier for everyone? I guess it would be a lot better if I just went back to life as it was, then no-one will have to feel awkward around me, and when they ask me how many kids I have I'd say what? None? Hell NO. It doesn't work that way. I have one daughter, she was born still, without a heartbeat. She was full term, seemingly healthy, absolutely beautiful. Do you know that about 30% of stillbirths have no known cause? Do you know that in 2008, in British Columbia alone, over 400 children were stillborn? That's more than one-a-day! At least one set of parents a day in our province goes through hell and back. And then there are those who lose kids in all other sick and horrible ways. These are rough stats and no, I'm not going to dig up their source right now, but it gives you a general idea why I won't say that I have no kids, why I can't go back to that hospital, why I can't jog, why I emotionally eat, and why I can't go back to how I was before. Because before I was probably as likely to say something stupid to a bereaved parent as anyone else. That's why it is time for a change.

That is why from now on, if someone hurts me with an insensitive comment, I will tell them politely that it hurts. After all, wouldn't you?


On this lovely note, I say good night.
Love and Light to you all

24 Aug 2011

Kids do grow up fast...

Here it is. Five months since you passed away. I still don't know what to call it: died, became and angel, or a cloud? You should be learning to sit and stand, instead I wonder how close to going back to the Earth are you? I don't think it's morbid, just a fact of life. The "present" reality. Makes me kind of scared of the future. But since we are, I believe, programmed by evolution to hope and carry on, so shall I.


I don't understand how my grief can be getting better and harder as time goes on. Every emotion has its own wavelength, different feelings come at different times. Moments of intense grief are now alternated with good, even beautiful emotions. When I feel good, I see the tiniest changes in shades of colour, the harmony of sounds around me. The wind touches my shoulders and I think of Amelia, what if it's her little hand, gently caressing my shoulder. I smile as I love my daughter more and more...

But on moments like right now, like today, all I feel is shattered dreams on the edges of what should have been. I can't look back, it feels like I'm in a triangle, where looking back and looking forward still gets me nowhere. Sadly, being "in the moment" really sucks.

Since I'm a fighter, I'm looking for a way to relieve stress that works. None of my former methods of exercising or meditating work. Argh!!! Any advice? Please :)

23 Aug 2011

Gave me hope

“In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.”

-Albert Schweitzer

9 Aug 2011

The Sound Of Grief

I never imagined grief having a sound. Well, it does. From the first moment of my new life, when my brain was in denial and my heart was full of blind hope, my body was screaming inside. You could not hear it, I didn't make a sound, but I was screaming so loud it silenced the world around me.

It has been a constant in my life since. Walking down the street, past a playground, I silently scream until there is no playground. Smiling at friends, lying that I'm ok, I scream until they believe me and relax. In a grocery line-up, stuck between a newborn and a toddler, I scream until I run out of there, tears rolling down my cheeks. Not on purpose, not because that feels good, but because I can't help it.

Thankfully, there are days when those screams come out, when I can't keep it in anymore. Those terrifying animal sounds that come out of me are a relief. If you heard it, you'd probably think I've gone mad. And I have, I mean, I talk to birds and bees as if they are Amelia coming over to say hi, I hug the balloons I bring her to the cemetery, as if I'm hugging my baby. The reality is that, when I seem ok, I am most likely not; when I seem in pieces, I am whole. These bleeding heart screams take me back to the moment I met my angel. That is what it real, what is imprinted in the pieces of my heart, when it was breaking in a silent scream.

I guess it is true, I am a crying bear. 

31 Jul 2011

More each day.

Amelia,

My love for you grows stronger every day. You are in my thoughts, my dreams, my memories; warming my heart, leading me through the days and nights. I feel your kindness gently touching my shoulder, kissing my cheeks. Thank you for the light you bring me in those moments. 

I wonder what is it like to be you. I know that you Are, I just don't know What you are. My counsellor believes I have a case of some "magical thinking" that many bereaved people invent to console themselves. Well, one day we believed that the Earth was flat and we could fall off the edge...

As I sit in our rocking chair, I feel the weight of your body in my belly. I close my eyes and, for a second, you are right here with me. We share a moment of love so strong it knows no limits, no boundaries. No matter where I am, I will always love you and I know no matter where you are, you will always love me.

Sending you butterfly kisses,

Mama

30 Jul 2011

Amelia's Mimi-Doll

When I just got pregnant with Amelia, I was dreaming of making toys for her. You know the kind of "Ugly" toys that run you $40-50 for a bit of fabric and a few buttons. As soon as we felt safe at about four months (oh how wrong we were...), my mom, grandma, and I bought a lot of fun fabrics for all the toys I was going to make for my baby.

On my first Mothers Day we made this Mimi doll for Amelia, and for us. Since then, I spent days and nights hugging, cradling, kissing, rocking her... She gives me comfort in the present and hope for the future. Sometimes I feel Amelia in her. Those are the rare moments when I get to hold her and kiss her cute nose.

Last night Mimi got her first outfit - a tutu that I was going to make for Amelia! Hope you like it :)

Love,
Amelia's mom

14 Jul 2011

Can I take a shortcut?

About two weeks ago I decided to see what what happens if I am withdrawn from the world of bereaved parenthood, so I tried going along with what used to be "normal" life. These two weeks felt very long, painfully low. I realised that there is no way of going around the pain. Instead of letting feelings out throughout the day, in waves of highs and lows, I gathered them all up into one big lump of pain for my brain to sort through during the night.

I haven't slept well since I stopped going on MISS Foundation, a wonderful support forum for bereaved parents. I have been feeling lost in my thoughts since I stopped writing here. I became confused, to the point of sometimes "snapping out of it" to realise all over again that Amelia died. It stopped me in my tracks, sending me into cold shivers.

The feeling of isolation was asso overwhelming. While I have lots of great and supportive people around me, there are only a few who really know what it's like to be here. I actually think it would be a good idea to have a meetup group for bereaved moms and dads, just like they have pregnancy and new mommy groups. It helped me so much during my pregnancy when I got together with women pretty much walking in my shoes, that I can only imagine how helpful it would be to have a group like that. Can you imagine registering a DBMs (dead baby mamas :) group on meetup!? Oh, the new found morbid sense of humour :)

Seriously though, this is what it feels like sometimes. When we joke about taking Amelia out to give her a big hug, is when we realise how horrid the event is.



I guess it's time to paint Amelia's room a pretty green colour. Somehow I know that green and lilac would have been her thing...

Lots of love.


Here is a link to MISS Foundation:

http://www.missfoundation.org/

5 Jul 2011

Once In A While

Ukulele Songs by Eddie Vedder

Once in a while will you try to give
One little thought to me
Though someone else may be
Nearer to your heart?

Will you dream of the moments
I shared with you
Before we drifted apart
Once in a while?

In love's smoldering embers
One spark may remain
If love still can remember
The spark may burn again

I know that I'll be contented
With yesterday's memory
Knowing you think of me
Once in a while

In love's smoldering embers
One spark may remain
If love still can remember
The spark may burn again

I know that I'll be contented
With yesterday's memory
Knowing you think of me
Once in a while


Some things are really hard to put into words. We are all different and that is our most common trait. Personal experiences shape our view of the world, moulding meanings of words into similar, yet as varied as we are, ways of understanding. The words of this song are the closest way or interpreting my relationship with Amelia.

24 Jun 2011

Sequence of Events

Yesterday, the 23rd, was three months since Amelia was alive. Today, the 24th, is three months since she died. Tomorrow, the 25th, will be three months since she was born.

I am struggling with acceptance of the sequence of these events. How can my child be dead before she is born? How can I bury my newborn?

Nothing makes sense anymore, life and everything in it is up for an evaluation, a scrutinizing one. What mattered before, has no meaning, what had no meaning before is now the way of life.


What remains a constant is missing my girl.

15 Jun 2011

Meeting at the Lawn

I bought some beautiful Irises for Amelia and I to share. A bunch of blue and and yellow ones, so bright and pretty. Keeping half of them at home, so that I can look at them and smile, I took the other half to the Lawn this morning.

There I met a very interesting and inspiring father, just in time for Father's day. His son, Tony, died 33 years ago. What a long time... In between our childrens' graves, he told me a heart-wrenching story of his life, as well as a story of his inner strength.

My new friend's words of wisdom are going to stay with me for the rest of my life. You see, there are two kinds of strength, physical and inner. Grief and stress are very physical, you would be surprised. Once your outer shell is broken, your core is all you have to stand on. It's the inner strength that holds us up when life gets rough.

So, how do you build up your inner strength? Well, Tony's dad told me how loosing his son lifted his insecurities and helped him become a better person. I know it sounds very cliche :) Still, it was very inspiring to hear how he believed in himself, and found the strength to grow from his experience. He and his wife have been married for over 33 years, they have grown stronger and tighter together. They have a long-awaited and much loved daughter. It was good to know there is hope...

But for those of you who say: "See, everything will be good!" Here is what I have to say:

Tony's father also talked about the fire of grief. That's where I am right now, right in the pit. There is no other way out of it, but through the thick of the flame. You can't avoid, pretend, or bargain with grief. You will have to face it, sooner or later. It is better to face it and deal with it right away, than try to hide it and have to deal with it later on, which is, according to Tony's dad, tougher.

As I walk on my new path, I am starting to meet Earth Angels. These are people who I believe are sent to us for encouragement, strength, a shoulder to cry on. The ones who help us take the next step. For that, I am grateful.


So the thought of the day is: never do tomorrow, what you can do today.


(As a reminder: nothing here is personal. I am only sharing my deep feelings to help myself and others understand the process of stillbirth grief a bit better. This is somewhat of a journal for research purposes. Of course, all copyright laws apply).

11 Jun 2011

Stolen Memories

One of the hardest things to accept is how much we are going to miss out on with Amelia. It is interesting how the subconscious mind keeps track of important dates, milestones, family moments. Every such moment that comes and goes without her here with us, we notice, we grieve, we hurt. So far, most of these moments catch us by surprise.

I am learning fast though. Started planning ahead around the dates that I know will be hard, like anniversaries of Amelia's death, then her birth. It is such a crazy concept. How can she die and then be born? The word "born" implies a new life... I never thought that Amelia would be born to live in my broken heart.

The saddest part, for me, is that I will never look her in the eyes and see her looking back at me. I never got to see her eyes... Some days, I wish she lived a day, five days, five years. We would have had so many more memories together, the ones I can only dream of now and forever. Other days, I wonder what if she died much earlier, what if I never met her at all? But then I realise that I'll never trade the moments we had together, she is my precious daughter, always will be. I read about angel babies becoming the only "perfect" children in the family. That makes a lot of sense...




I will treasure these moments forever:

Amelia used to wiggle so much all the time, I thought she was going to poke a hole in my belly :) Her favourite thing to do was to push on my ribs as hard as she could, until I had to push them back so they won't break. I guess she was doing yoga, as well as resistance training! Mommy's girl! She also was very good at telling me if she didn't like something, by hitting the offending spot as hard as she could! and she preferred for me to sleep on my left :)


Missing my girl,
A

10 Jun 2011

To the daughter missing from our family picture…

You taught me what true love is,
I saw such beauty in your sleeping face.
I want to nurture and protect you,
To melt in your embrace.

I'll always need you by my side,
I don't know if you are,
So hard to know that I need to let you go,
Before we even said Hello!

You must be free and happy,
As every growing child needs to be,
But you left your mothers arms too soon…
There was so little time for you and me.

My happiest moments will never be complete,
As I'll always long to share them with you,
Wonder if you see the sadness in my eyes,
Hope you hear me say I love you!

7 Jun 2011

What a week...

I made it through.

Grateful to everyone for their support. Thank you for reaching out to me. Thank you for coming over. Thank you for inviting me in. Thank you for talking to me. Thank you for listening. Thank you for your smiles. Thank you for your empathy. Thank you.

25 May 2011

Happy 2 months birthday my angel!

My dear Amelia,

Mommy misses you today more than ever... Went to see you at the Lawn this afternoon. They mowed everything, I was petrified that they would throw out your toys. Very grateful that they left them all under a tree next to you. Had to take them home, so sad... I shared your flowers with another girl, hers were thrown out by the mowers, hope that's ok with you and your little friend's parents... Ended up going to the flower store twice, I guess next time I'll just buy enough for everyone :)

Trying out colours for your room, Home Depot has really crappy paint. I have a feeling green would have been your favourite colour, so the room will be green.


Wish you were here, or I was there... Wither way, just want to be with you, hold you, sing to you...


Love you forever,
Mama

24 May 2011

Hate this day.

I really really hate number 24. Sorry if it's your lucky number, but it's the worst one for me.

Exactly two months ago, on March 24, just before 11am, my world came crushing down. The ceiling was spinning, the ground turned into a black hole. I was lying on a hospital bed, looking into the eyes of a woman I've never met before, begging to wake up. Dan was beside me, crumbling, crying... Our midwifes suddenly appeared in the doorway, their faces pale and full of sorrow. That was when "I'm sorry, there is no heartbeat" became so very real. That was when my hopes and dreams died.

For the last two months this memory haunted me day and night. Every night, my dreams start with that spinning ceiling. I feel that hospital bed beneath me when I see moms and their babies on the streets, hear children play in the park outside our windows...

Tomorrow, I am going to be happy. After all, Amelia will be two month old. I wonder how is she, where is she. I still worry about her all the time, hope that she is safe, that she feels our love.

Hope. Hope is what I lost, and hope is all I have.

23 May 2011

Funny?



Interestingly enough, when I saw this, I let out a little giggle. There was even a smile, followed by a deep sigh...

Reading the comments, I was surprised to find people who thought that it was offensive and questioned the post's presence on failblog. While the writer of the headline should probably stop using his/her thesaurus, I understand that the title wasn't written to offend anyone. Another surprise was to read a comment by another mom of an angel, saying that she didn't find it offensive either.

It made me remember how a similarly "gruesome joke" made us and a few other angel parents giggle. I don't remember what it was about, but it was definitely not something that would have made us laugh before we became Amelia's parents. We definitely need humour to survive, to let some of our emptiness and hopelessness out.

I wonder, what does grief do to our sense of humour, how does it change it?

19 May 2011

To tell or not to tell

Today I decided it was time to sell my dear husband's old barbecue. Cleaned it up, posted it on craigslist, and sold.

Sold to a woman who is expecting a baby girl any day now. FUCK (pardon me). Seriously, dear universe, sometimes too much is too much. Exactly two months after Amelia dies I am loading a bbq into a car for a pregnant woman, holding back my despair, anger, envy. She was so radiant, so happy...

Ended up giving her three packs of diapers we had for Amelia... She didn't even ask why did I have so many diapers... I'm glad she didn't. BUT, there is a but. Why couldn't I tell her that I was pregnant too, that I was there two months ago, that I know what it felt like to have a baby in my belly. Why couldn't I?

When Amelia died, I was so appalled that no-one talked about stillbirth, I swore I'll always tell people my story. Really starting to get annoyed with this whole "never say never" thing. At some point, I would really like to stick to the plan and in this case talk about my daughter.

So why didn't I tell her about Amelia? All I wanted was to say: "watch out, you are not safe!" I'm sure that would have been a hit with her. I sometimes try to protect the feelings of others and not mention the death of my baby. In return, I hurt myself even more as I deny her existence.

Would love to hear some feedback on the matter...

17 May 2011

Tough day

I never knew that it could be so hard to live without Amelia. The older she gets now, the more it hurts. My heart is constantly aching, no mater what I'm doing or how I feel on the outside.

It has almost been 8 weeks, Amelia should be turning two months old. As time goes by, more and more babies her age are getting out and about with their parents. Today, it was brutally painful to see a happy new mom with a baby girl Amelia's age, in an orange BOB just like we wanted, walk past me about a foot away from my face... I think I went into a state of shock as the mom and I made eye contact. I was frozen in my tears, with blood drained from my fingertips, as she was looking at me in stalled happiness.

It has been one of the hardest days to date.

15 May 2011

Running out of Candles

I can't believe I'm almost done with my first box of candles... When I bought it, I never thought that it was my first of many. I just knew that it was something I needed to do.

It has been a hard weekend. I know it's not supposed to be easy. Sometimes I feel that I can't take it anymore. I keep hoping that one day I'll wake up from this nightmare, but it just doesn't go away. Every morning when I wake up in our big empty bed, my heart breaks all over again.

I'm finally seeing a "shrink" tomorrow, can't believe it has taken so long. I guess it wasn't as urgent as it would have been if Amelia was alive. Well, she is alive, even if it's only in my heart...

11 May 2011

Missing my girl

Can't get anything done this morning... I miss her so much. Just want to sit there and look at her picture, stroking her cheeks and kissing her lips... I hate how life just keeps on going, without her.

10 May 2011

Happy vs Sad

Dear Amelia,

How can I feel happy and sad at the same time? Not one feeling after the other, but simultaneously. From time to time, I find myself smiling on the outside while my heart is crying. It is tearing me apart. The more time passes, the stronger this mixed feeling becomes. As I continue living without you, my pain gets stronger as joy becomes more frequent. I heard about this from other angel parents, but never quite understood what they meant. Oh, how true it is that to understand someone you have to walk a mile in their shoes...

I guess the good thing is that the intensity of my feelings goes both ways. Some smiles and laughs I actually feel now. Still, the pain comes back, with a vengeance. The days following your birth I was in some serious denial. I was so good at it, I fooled myself sometimes. Now I cannot hide and must face the day. People did warn me that children change our lives forever... Amelia, you gave new joy to my life, new meaning, and for that I am grateful.

It is true that children make you happy, each in their own special way. I see now how beautiful life is, every moment of it, hoping that you share this joy with me.


Love you forever,
your Mommy

8 May 2011

A Mother

Who is a Mother?

According to Wikipedia, "because of the complexity and differences of a mother's social, cultural, and religious definitions and roles, it is challenging to define a mother to suit a universally accepted definition". Yep, that's it. 


A mother is the one who changes diapers, feeds, plays, teaches, lights candles, grows a memorial garden, keeps a tombstone. Sadly, this mother's day I realised that not all mothers get to experience the "hallmark" motherhood. Today I think of all other mothers who woke up crying, just like I did; all the mothers who are waiting for this day to be over, just like I am.

29 Apr 2011

The Answer?

Most people are wondering what happened and why. I am one of them. For the last five weeks and one day I have been asking the same questions. Today I got an answer.

The answer is: "We really don't know what happened." ....................

My pregnancy was normal, bordering on boring. I was growing well, Amelia was growing well. Yes, I admit to a short bout of depression in the early months, but that wasn't the cause of her death and was easily sorted out with one counselling session. Turned out I wasn't a fan of gaining weight and not being able to snowboard... who knew?!  Yes, I was relaxed about my healthy pregnancy, walked a lot, ate well, prepared for pain-free hypnobirthing (by the way, that worked). No, I never was a crazy partier, didn't do any stupid drugs, wasn't much of a drinker... My midwife was very determined to make sure I understand and accept that it was nothing that I did. Nothing that my body did. Then who did it?

What did the autopsy report say? Gosh, even the words "autopsy report" make me want to scream! FUCK this. Pardon my language.

So, back to the report. It tells me that it identified her body as "Astashenkava, NB girl Mar 25/11." (insert another scream...)
It tells me that she was 38 weeks old. That my pregnancy was normal. Then it describes how we noticed her lack of movement, how I got induced, how I didn't have a fever and was healthy when I gave birth, everything was normal. What is Normal? Really, everything was just "normal?" It then reminds me that I signed the autopsy consent, yes, I remember that...

Amelia had long feet, her foot length measured "more consistent with gestational age of 40-41 weeks." She was also tall, again more like a baby at 40-41 weeks. The rest of her body, her chest, waist, and head measured right at 38-39 weeks. My midwife told me that it means she was supposed to be tall and slender... Great, my perfect little girl was perfect. Ok.

So that's it, she was supposed to be tall. I've always wanted to be tall. My mom told me she always hoped I'd be tall like my dad, but I'm not. Amelia was supposed to be tall, like her dad, like my dad. But she won't get a chance...

Some might wonder, why am I feeling like this? Why am I crying and hurting like this? Because... Just because. I understand how most are too scared to even try to imagine where I am. I didn't choose to be here, in fact, I didn't know "here" existed. The reason I'm sharing this is so that other parents who come "here" know that they are not alone. Sadly, we are not alone.

28 Apr 2011

Love is...

My dear Amelia,

I never knew what love is, until I met you. Every time I think of you, my body trembles. Lately, I've been trembling most of the time, and I'm happy with that. This is the time we are closest to each other.

Time... Time is all we have, and all we don't have; you spent your lifetime with me, I have a lifetime without you. Feels more like eternity to me. An eternity of saying your name, but not seeing your face, your smile.

Still, I love saying your name out loud, it brings me so much closer to you. I feel you in the spring flowers, in the drops of rain. Every time I see a butterfly, I wonder if it's you and smile. Please send more butterflies!

A close friend reminded me of a tree that gets hit by lightning. It twists, changes direction... Amelia, you changed me in many ways...

Love you forever,
Mama

25 Apr 2011

Silly Dino

Dear Amelia,

As you are such a big girl now, I have a book for you to enjoy! While rocking in our chair, I read it to you for the first time today. Hope you heard it.

"Dino wants to play and count.
Help her count the right amount.
Dino sees one shiny sun.
"Bye, bye, Mommy! Time to run!"

Oh, baby, I miss you so..............

Love you forever,
Mommy

Happy One Month Birthday!

I miss you more than ever...

Love you always,
Mommy

24 Apr 2011

Broken Heart

Well, after an afternoon of "pretending," I am done. Done, done, done. On the way home, I actually felt my heart break. I felt it rip inside me, I needed to scream.

I hate being here, I hate being "me" right now. I'm not asking "why me," but I am asking "why?"

(Not So) Happy Easter

This is hard, really f'n hard... I thought I would be crying all day. Instead, I'm just numb.

Keep getting flashbacks to the dreams I had: how I'd be taking Amelia out today, with my mom and grandma, walking proudly with her in the baby-carrier, taking our Easter treats to the church. Instead, I'm home today, alone.

My mom keeps telling me I need to celebrate... The most I can do is pretend.

20 Apr 2011

Gratitude

I am so grateful to all those who support us on this journey. Our wonderful family and friends are our walls and our blue sky, giving us support when we stumble, air when we can't breathe...

I love you guys...

Empty Belly

As if I needed proof of my loss, my body is relentlessly reminding me of it every morning. I look in the mirror, and there is less and less. My body is carrying on as normal, the betrayer. How dares it do that to me? Doesn't it know?

I will never forget that empty feeling in my belly as Dan was wheeling me out of the hospital. It was actually, physically empty. Amelia was out, and not in my arms... She had to stay behind... That was the ultimate feeling of my loss. A gap just below my heart, hollowness.

My initial feelings of wanting to get rid of the weight I gained in pregnancy have changed now. This weight, that I so carefully accumulated (flavoured with chocolate and strawberries, and pasta and steak), was meant for Amelia. This is hers, and I am loosing it.

19 Apr 2011

At 20 week ultrasound

The meaning of a Hard Day

It has been 25 days since Amelia was born,

It has been 26 days since Amelia died...

Angels?

I always believed that there is "energy" out there that some people can recognize as a God, call it an Angel... Since Amelia died, I wonder if this is something humanity imagined to cope with the pain of losing their loved ones. It seems especially true when a child dies, an innocent life, the one who carries so much hope.

Amelia's Birth Story

One of my biggest fears in pregnancy was giving birth...  How much it would hurt, how little privacy I would have, how long it would take to heal.  Oh, how naive I was...

This is Amelia's birth story. I am proud of it, as it was the beautiful pain-free birth that we learned and hoped for in our hypnobirthing class. My daughter deserved to be born in love, and I am grateful to all those around me: my dear husband, my wonderful doula and midwifes, my mom and grandma, and our friends, who helped me along the way.

We started getting worried when our very active baby wasn't moving much on March 23... After talking to our midwifes, we thought it might be because I was having a lot of Braxton-Hicks. We counted Amelia's kicks till 1:30am that night and she gave us 6 kicks in 2 hours that we needed.

The next morning we went for our 38-week appointment. My belly grew just the right amount and everything looked good, but the midwife was having a hard time finding the heartbeat. She got another doppler and after an agonizing search finally found a heartbeat. I knew something was wrong because it was 120 and not the usual 150 that Amelia had. We decided to get a NST at the hospital and headed straight there, having no idea of what was ahead of us.

The hospital nurse could not find the hearbeat either. I proudly found her the heartbeat that the midwife found earlier, I later found out was my own... An obgyn came in with an ultrasound machine and after two longest minutes in my life, she looked at me and said: "I'm sorry, there is no heartbeat." The room started spinning and our life changed forever...

Our midwifes were there in a matter of minutes. Somehow we all still had hope. Or maybe it was just me. They said that the best way to deliver Amelia would be vaginally, but I could not bear the thought of it. Then I realised that our daughter deserves the beautiful birth we planned for her, and she was going to get it. I was already 2cm dilated when they induced me at 2pm on the 24th. We had a long wait ahead of us... Somehow in that time we had the strength to talk about what was going to happen next. I guess because we still had hope that she would be born alive and this was all just a really bad dream...

10 long hours later, after my fourth dose of whatever they were giving me, I was only 3cm and had very mild contractions. That was when I realised that I was not letting her go, I was keeping my body closed so that I can have more time with my baby. It felt strange but I remember thinking that it was not fair to Amelia, and decided it was time... That was about 2:30am. Minutes later my water broke and it started! Every contraction I had, Dan would put his hand on my shoulder and I would completely relax. I felt no pain, just love. My body was doing an amazing job and I was letting it be. I was singing through the transition stage, and it felt so empowering. Again, no pain. When pushing came I just moved her down, bit by bit, I think I was enjoying the process. At 5:08 Amelia Sofia was born, weighing 7lb 12.6oz, 21inch long. She looked so beautiful in her sleep, such soft cheeks, red lips and a lot of hair :)

We spent five wonderful hours holding her, kissing her, loving her. Then it was time to let her go...

I am very glad we got to have the beautiful birth of our Amelia. It was bitter-sweet, but it was filled with love.

18 Apr 2011

Finding my Voice

Since my world was shattered 24 days ago, I felt like I lost my voice. When doctors told me the horrid words: "I'm sorry, there is no heartbeat," my body was screaming so loud it could not make a sound. In the days that followed Amelia's birth and death (or it it death and birth?), I spoke, but had no voice.

I didn't have a voice because words that I spoke didn't change anything.

When I finally had the strength to admit what happened and start looking for people in my boat, I found that their presence in this world made a difference to how I felt. Today, I don't feel alone. Sadly, I feel that there are more of us than we admit. With this knowledge, I hope to one day find my voice.