Monday, October 31, 2011

My "little" lesson

When I was pregnant, I told everyone that I hoped Brody wouldn't come on Halloween. If he was here with us today, I don't care when his birthday would be. 

This weekend was strange,I had my ups and downs. I did a balloon release on Brody's due date (October 29th) for him and 20 other angel babies. I wont go into detail about it because it will be a very special separate post. Yesterday, Adam and I took new fall flowers to Brody's grave site.
  I've said it before, the grave site has always felt so peaceful and warm to us. I feel like if I set up a camp site and stayed there, I would never have a bad day again. 
The fresh ground with no grass left me feeling empty inside. It made me realize how very new this all is. I remember talking about what we were going to put on his grave. He was only alive when he was inside of me so he never had anything that was actually his. No sentimental teddy bear or blanket that he snuggled with...just me. I remember saying "Well, we could put some Tums in with him, he really liked Tums". It sounds funny but I was a little serious. I searched in my mind for something that meant something to him, something that made him feel better.

I thought a lot about his delivery. It was so different than what I had always pictured in my mind, yet it was still so special. I also occurred to me how very scared I am to get pregnant again. I want to make Brody a big brother so badly but I just don't know when I will be ready to have a different focus on something other than him. I am so very scared that this will happen again. 

This weekend was full of scary costumes and Halloween festivities and I felt like a real life walking zombie. I felt like a shell, a shell of my self, just going through some motions. I went places but couldn't remember how I got there, people talked to me but I feel like I never heard a word. 

I had a few conversations that were so meaningful that they feel like the only memories I have of this weekend. Most of the conversations were with friends, very dear friends that have been amazing through this journey. Another was with my husband, these are the conversations where I don't have to hide my thoughts or mask my darkest fears, because he has the same ones.
One of those conversations was with my niece, My husbands brother's daughter. She is three. Yes, one of those meaningful conversations I had was with a three year old.

Her and I were sitting on the couch, she was cuddled up next to me looking at my necklace. She asked me what it was. I told her "This is Brody's necklace, that is why there is a "B" on it". "Awwe" She responded, "I seen him on the puter". Her mom informed me she asks a lot of questions and she tells her what she can understand. Something I admire about her mother, she tells the truth and she doesn't keep the truth from her children either. She then asked me if Brody liked the color blue, I told her he likes green the best but he loves all the colors. She smiled. She said "Did Brody trick or treat?" I said "no, he didn't go trick or treating". She gave me that look like she felt bad, her head a little lowered and a sideways smile. She then looked up with enthusiasm like she had just had an epiphany and said "say trick or treat". I did. I said "trick or treat". "Brody heard you", she said. I could feel warmth through my body and warm tears in my eyes. "I bet he did", I said. She taught me something so simple. When I talk, Brody can hear me. I can share everyday with him. I can tell him "Trick or treat" or I can tell him "Merry Christmas" and he will hear me. I can say "Mommy loves you and misses you" and I know he will hear me.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Time heals nothing

When you go through a loss, of any kind, there are things people say to you that they think will make you feel better. Among those is the ever so popular "Everything happens for a reason". Some days I like it, some days I hate it, absolutely hate it! I know God has his plan and I have never once looked up and asked "Why, why me", I just have faith that Brody needed to be in heaven more than he needed to be here.

Taking second place for most popular "I am trying to make you feel better but really it will make you feel like crap" comment is "Time heals all wounds".Time is such a funny thing when you are grieving. Not funny like cats and dogs on America's Funniest Home Videos kind of funny, funny like you just can't comprehend it so you say it's funny, kind of funny.

Time flies by but stands so still all at the same time. You want to move on from the days of sitting in a dark room staring at the ceiling but you miss those warm tears running down your face. You eventually want to get back to "normal" but normal is....What is normal again? Normal means nothing anymore, you have to search for a new kind of normal. You have to create a new normal, starting from scratch. Time is moving further and further away from the first and last time you held your child in your arms and kissed his forehead. Time makes you start to forget the details of your pregnancy, the details of your labor, and the details of burying your first born son. You might think I want to forget those things, but they are the only memories I have of Brody.

That horrible day in the hospital was only 2 months and 8 days ago, but it seems so far away. I was numb, I was horrified, I was abnormally calm, I was insane, I was grateful, I was lost, and most of all I was dying inside. I would go back there in a second. I would go back, even if I knew the outcome. I would go back to soak it all in. I would smell Brody more, I would kiss him more, I would look at his fingers and toes, I would take off his hat to see his hair. I would do it all again, I would put myself back into the rawness of the fresh grief to see him one more time.

Yesterday I was closer to that day. Tomorrow will be one more day further away. Time is the enemy when your grieving. Time heals nothing. 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Please don't trip on those eggshells or choke on that foot

I get it, talking about your dead baby is taboo but I want so badly to have a little part in making it not to be. We talk about other people who have passed. We honor them and the things they have done in their lives and sometimes we laugh and smile about their unique characteristics and traits. 

I went to the hospital today for a test on my gallbladder. The technician proceeded to ask me a few questions. First, was I pregnant? I wanted to say "Yes, Yes I am, Saturday is my due date" I couldn't say it because it would have been a lie."No, I'm not". "Do you have a baby?" He was asking because he wanted to make sure I was not breastfeeding. My response "Well, I delivered my son on August 21st" His eyes lit up and a smile grew on his face."Still born" I continued. His eyes turned away and the smile disappeared. He said "I'm sorry"

I laid down on the table and He said "If your worried about your necklace, it will be fine" I told him "Okay, thank you, those are my son's initials, his name is Brody". "Okay" was the only thing he could say. I knew he wasn't being rude but he just didn't know what to say. Then I felt bad, I felt like I was the one who put my foot in my mouth. He proceeded to tell me about the loss he had experienced in his life. He had never lost a child but he had experienced loss in many other ways. I think it was his way of saying he was sorry and I wasn't alone. He had lost his mother and I had lost my son. I began to wonder if he thought I was a mother even though my son was in heaven. I still thought he was a son, even though his mother was in heaven.

When I was leaving, He gently touched my back and guided me in the direction to the waiting room and said " I am so sorry I had to ask you those questions, you were a great patient". 

I can't help but wonder if my heart will always skip a beat every time someone asks me those uncomfortable questions that I am dying to hear. And that I'm dying to answer.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Hello, I'm Tia and I am a mom

"A mother's joy begins when new life is stirring inside... when a tiny heartbeat is heard for the very first time and a playful kick reminds her that she is never alone." 


I fell in love the minute I took that pregnancy test, that is also the very second that I became a mother.Adam was on night shift and I took the test in the evening (don't ask why). I didn't sleep a wink that night. There were so many emotions going through my head that I couldn't wait to share with my husband. The test I took in the evening had a very slight line but it was there for sure. I took another one early before Adam got home so I could show him a "really good result".


  After trying for what felt like forever, I finally "passed" my pregnancy test.


I had always struggled with what I wanted to be when I grew up and then one day it hit me like a brick...I wanted to be a mom. Brody made me feel like I was the best mom in the world because from that point on,everything I did was for and because of him. I made the decision I was going to be a stay at home mom and Adam loved the idea as well. I was never more happy in my entire life. I researched everything on breastfeeding and was determined to be the best at it. 


My life was consumed by this new joy. I would like to think all mothers are consumed by the life of their children. I know that's not always the case and I pray every night for those little ones.

Since Brody grew his wings, I have been asked about a hand full of times by strangers if I am a mom or if I have children. My answer is either: "Yes, but he lives in heaven" or "yes, I delivered him still born on August 21st". My answer will never be "No",even after I have other children. Because you see, Brody will never and could never be replaced. Could you replace one of your children? No one in their right mind would say to someone, pick one of your children to say goodbye to, just take your pick but then tell them it's okay because they are young and can have more children. It's the same for us grieving mothers with empty arms. Our children will never be replaced by "trying again". Its not about failing and "giving it another shot".


So, I was not just a mom for almost 8 months, I am a mom and will be forever

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Privacy Policy?

I guess some people would say that this blog is sharing too much information and that it should be a private matter. I guess some people would say that. I imagine that to some people this is not the "right" way to grieve. 

Here is why it is "right" for me: 

As I was thinking about how very blessed I am to have wonderful family and friends in my life, I thought about the people in the world who endure this pain with not one person to talk to,not one person to lean on. I am lucky in the fact that I have a husband who lets me grieve my way and family and friends who support me every step of the way. Some people unfortunately do not have that. Some people have no one in their lives to support them, and I want to be that person for them. I want other grieving mothers to know that I will always be that shoulder,that ear, that someone to sit and cry with.

That is what this blog is about. Its about mothers who have lost their children and keep all the hurt inside because the people around them think talking about their babies is just too taboo. That the loss should be personal and kept inside. Bottled up so deep. 

Let me say, everyone has a different way of grieving, there is never a wrong or right way. It's about what makes you feel good (good meaning what gets you through your days).Some people grieve silently and that is great for them, some people grieve publicly and that is great too.

I never imagined I would grieve this way but I also never imagined I would be burying my son. I am doing what comes naturally to me and what helps my heart heal,if only a little.

Almost all of the grieving mothers I have come across and gotten to know since Brody's death have different ways of healing but also have one thing in common. They love their children so very much and want to talk about them to anyone who will listen. Imagine having a child and not being able to talk about them. I am only doing what every other new mom does, sharing stories of their babies. Please believe me when I say, I wish with all that I have that my stories were about Brody not sleeping through the night,about him crawling, about him breastfeeding, about him smiling, and about him crying hours at a time. Unfortunately, the only story I can talk about is his death, that's all I have.

I wish that no one ever had to lose a child. I wouldn't wish it upon my worst enemy(which I hope that I don't have any). This loss is only understood by those who go through it. So if you have a friend who has endured a loss; say you will be their shoulder, their ear, their buddy to cry with. Tell them they can talk about their babies and their children if they want to, let them say their names, let them remember and celebrate their children their own way because that's what is right for them.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Feeling the Love

I can't explain the pain of losing a baby. I have always have been able to express my feelings and often put them into words with poetry, but this is pain that is just simply indescribable. 

It's a feeling so deep that in the past two months, I have become a different person. I am completely changed forever. I said to my husband one night "I feel like we are never gonna be the same" and he responded "I don't wanna be". 

I know people change after they have children. Maybe they look at the world differently or get inspired by their babies to look at the glass half full. I am no different. I am a new mother too! Brody's short life inside of me and his death has shown me a new kind of love. A love that is bigger than the pain. It's love from God, it's love from Brody, it's love from my family and friends, and most of all it's love from deep within me that I feel now has to be shared with the world. 

After I came home from the hospital some of my family and friends wanted to give us space, and I respected that so much. Others sent us their love in many forms. In the days and weeks following Brody's death, we were overwhelmed with the love we were shown from everyone. We received dinner from friends from a restaurant down the road, hand delivered by the owner, who is also a very dear friend of ours. I will never forget what she said to us. With her hands full of dinner and her eyes full of tears, she looked me in the eye and said " So many people love you guys". My broken heart started healing that very second. 

Everyday, our mailbox was full of cards. We received 40 cards and letters...40!
 Adam and I got cards from family members (some I had never met), friends (some I hadn't spoken to in years), a nurse that held my hand in the hospital, and from people I didn't even know. 

I was beside myself with the love and I still am. Maybe Brody's short time with me was to help bring out the love deep within my soul. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

What if today would have been the day?

Brody's due date was October 29th. Today is the 19th of October and I have found myself wondering if today would have been the day. I was sitting outside drinking my coffee and letting the sun shine on my face. All of the sudden, I couldn't catch my own breath and what is left my heart felt like it  was beating out of my chest. What if I was in labor right now? What would it feel like? What if today would have been the day he was born? 

As a teenager, I thought I had a few broken hearts. I have learned a broken heart is not just tears, it really is a heart that is broken. A heart that just is not whole anymore. Will it repair itself enough for me to love another child someday? 

I try not to consume myself with "What ifs", but today, I just can't control it

Sunday, October 16, 2011

October 15th

I would like to think it was more than just a coincidence that Brody's due date (October 29th) was in October, which just so happens to be Pregnancy and Infant loss awareness month.

In October of 1988, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed October as National Pregnancy and Infant loss Awareness month. October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant loss Remembrance Day.

I think October will always be difficult for me because of his due date and with the day fast approaching, I can feel the pain flowing through my veins like a cold liquid. Sometimes I just stare this blank stare and hope to catch myself before anyone else does. Sometimes I don't know what to say to someone when they ask if I'm okay. I usually blurt out the "yeah" or "I'm good" like it's some sort of reflex but then I start to think about it. Okay? I'm not sure I will ever feel okay or good ever again.

Brody's Daddy and I took a private approach to Remembrance Day, since it is our first . We took balloons to his grave site, attached little notes to them and sent them up in the air.  I never cry at the cemetery. It has always been a happy and peaceful place for Adam and I. We smiled as our balloons almost instantly disappeared into the wind and clouds. Remembering Brody, talking about him and doing things in his honor make the cold liquid feeling in my veins a bit more easier to handle.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Why a blog?

I have started this blog because I noticed my Facebook page turning into a shrine for Brody and while I am totally okay with that, I am not sure all my friends are. I know what your saying "who cares?" right? Well, I've always cared a little too much when it comes to other people and I, in no way want to make anyone uncomfortable.

Among a long list of things that I want for this blog, here are just a few: a)a place where I can discuss my feelings about Brody, Brody's entire story, and answer questions I know everyone has but is too afraid to ask. b)Show everyone how very proud I am of being Brody's mommy and talking about him helps my heart heal (if only a little) and c)I hope to maybe, just maybe help other heal as well.