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 (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.