Happy Birthday, angel

Celebrating Ethan this year was different. I didn’t cry as much as I used to (I’ll get to that in a minute)It s, but the impact of his loss was still the same. After putting it off for so long, I finally decided next year, I’m going to get Ethan his grave marker.

You’re probably wondering why so long since it’s been several years (seven to be exact). Well, a grave marker, to me, is the realization of ‘Yeah, this really did happen.’ The finality of it all.

And you know what? It really fucking sucks.

I can have all of the memorial tattoos, the little signs throughout the day that Ethan is watching over me, the little keepsakes about him, but there’s nothing more permanent than, ‘I just buried my infant son’ than a grave marker.

Ethan deserves to have one. each time we go to visit him, we see more graves around him and it breaks our heart just a little more. We’re glad he has company, but we’re also sad that he has company, you know what I mean?

It’s a long time coming and he needs one. And we need one for him. He needs to have that permanent stone so we’re in the process of getting one that would have Ukrainian lettering on it.

Celebrating Ethan this year was different. It was a quiet day spent between the two of us (Bear was at school). There was the obvious sadness but there was also joy in celebrating him.

I miss our son terribly and I hope he’s making a lot of friends and spending time with family up in heaven. It seems the mourning period takes on new levels with each passing year. I could be bawling my eyes out one year only to not cry as much the next, like this one.

But I also realized just because I’m not crying it doesn’t mean I’m finally over it. For one, you don’t get over losing a child; you just learn how to deal with it as time progresses. Two, mourning can morph into different things.

I decided to be more business-centered and concentrate more on building wealth this year. While I was super successful at it, it was just a cover of mourning. If I keep busy, I won’t have to think about it so much. And yeah, it’s worked. Our bank accounts look a lot better, our credit is amazing, and I didn’t have to spend too much time thinking about Ethan.

But late at night, that’s when the thoughts come in. That’s when it hits. And that’s when it doesn’t matter if I’m on my way to millionaire status or if I’m writing a juicy screenplay, I don’t have a son and I should have two. No amount of money and success will ever bring Ethan back.

So yeah, this year was different in honoring Ethan. I’m still new to the grieving process, even though I’ve been here for seven years. I hope one day, I’ll figure out the right way to grieve. I just don’t know what it is yet.

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What It’s Really Like To Survive The Death of Your Baby

Remembering Ethan

Weird.

That’s really all I can muster. It’s weird. Not a bad weird. Definitely not a good weird. Not weird.

There’s a hole within you that will never close. Sometimes it gets bigger and overwhelming. Sometimes it returns back to size. But it never closes. It never heals. It’s just kinda…there.

I lost Ethan seven years ago and I had Bear five years ago. I still feel someone, something is missing from my family. It’s not a situation where one loses a job, and they can get another. You wreck your car, you can get another. You end a relationship, you can be in another.

When you lose a baby, there’s no guarantee you’ll have another. Or, if you even want another.

2011 was a difficult year for us for I had two miscarriages that year – an early miscarriage in the spring when shook me to the core, and later, my late-term loss with Ethan, which flipped my world onto its axis.

There’s a feeling of constantly playing catch up. Every time we do something for Bear, we always think, ‘We should’ve done this already.’ Whenever Bear discovers something, we think, ‘His brother should’ve introduced it to him by now.’ There’s always that feeling of constantly trying to do something but felt like it should’ve been done before.

And it sucks, for real.

Sometimes the grief is small and unnoticeable. And sometimes, it hits me like a Mack truck when I’m having a relatively good day (which is the worst because it literally comes out of nowhere). And then sometimes…I’m just numb to it all.

You remember your life in two distinct phases – how you were before the epic loss and how you were after. Parts of you remain the same, but it’s very different. If you were easygoing, you might be more quick-tempered. If you were materialistic, you might not put so much value into things and possessions like you used to.

The grief comes out in different ways. You might be angrier than before. You might be confused when you knew what you wanted down to the letter. You’re trying to figure out this new normal, this thing that you didn’t ask for nor did you want, this club you’re forever a member of…while you’re trying to stay sane.

I often link to this article because it explains how I feel.

I don’t talk about Ethan very much but it’s not because I’m “over it” (I never will be), or I don’t want to make anyone feel uncomfortable (because fuck your feelings when it comes to my grief), but rather, I want to protect him.

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Us in our  maternity shoot with Bear and our Molly Bear Ethan.

I’ve never shown a photo of Ethan online and I asked family and friends not to. One, I don’t want to satisfy anyone’s morbid curiosity. Two, I want to hold onto the images of him that I do have. He’s finally hanging up on our walls at home and that’s a huge step since there was no evidence of him previously.

Bear is still trying to grasp the concept he had a brother before him and it’ll be a while before he does. We don’t force the issue. As we plan to TTC for another sibling for Bear, we do wonder how we will explain Ethan to them as well.

So yeah…surviving your baby’s death is weird. Angry at God, angry at the universe, angry at people who have normal, uncomplicated pregnancies; angry at those who can conceive just by sneezing…

And then there’s sadness. Heart-wrenching, inconsolable sadness that will follow you for the rest of your days.

Somewhere along the line…one smiles. Smile that you saw how beautiful your baby was and happy your baby doesn’t have to live in world that can be so cruel. And hope one sweet day, you can meet them again.

And then the weirdness isn’t so bad, after all.


Please light a candle for Ethan and all babies lost on this day at 7 PM.

 

Why I Decided To Risk It All and Treat Myself

Okay, that title is being hella dramatic but bear with me here.

I get iffy about Mother’s Day. I still have a mother here and I’m one myself. But I always feel there’s someone missing. For those new to my blog, I lost our first son, Ethan, several years ago due to incompetent cervix and subsequent premature birth. He lived for two hours.

Ever since his untimely passing, I feel a bit awkward on Mother’s Day. I kinda treat it as any other day, honestly. I don’t go too out nor do I expect it from others. I’m sure to wish other mothers (including mine) a Happy Mother’s Day but that’s about the extent of it.

This year was a bit different.

I think I’m starting to turn over a new leaf in my life, a new page in a storied book. It seems things are finally settling down and everything I ever wanted is finally coming to fruition or within my reach. This is becoming one of my best years ever and it can only get better, honestly.

I decided to splurge.

I splurge once a year. If you were to look into my closet, you would see a variety of clothing from discounted Macy’s and it-had-to-be-on-sale Target. I only have 8 pairs of shoes (and trust me, I actually had to count them since two of them are winter shoes; I wear the hell out of my Sketchers.) I keep old, worn clothing because vintage is now in and I figured I can get a second life out of them shits.

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I do spend money on makeup but even I can admit I don’t wear a lot of makeup (honestly, I don’t. I’m actually makeup-free about 99% of the time). I decided this year, I was going to spend a bit of money and invest in something I’ve always wanted. My husband decided to treat me as well. It was a good weekend.

So, blah blah blah…here’s the loot:

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I’ve always wanted a pair of Uggs but let’s face it…I have to really love something in order spend a minimum of $100 on a pair of shoes, right? Not even my sneakers cost that much!

Still, when I was trying on the shoes and OMG, they feel so comfortable, I had to swallow my pride (and paycheck) and get them.

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I ended up getting the low ones because the higher ones I wanted were too hard to navigate my big ol’ clown feet in them (I’m a 10-11 women’s). I had a similar issue with the middle calf ones, but the low ones were perfect. I was bummed that the color I wanted – brown – was too tight on my feet but these black ones were perfect. I don’t get it, neither.

I also love how these really do look like typical boots so unless someone actually knows the brand or they’re staring a bit too hard at my feet (eh, why?), you can’t tell.

To purchase, click here.

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It’s been years since I’ve had a watch. I mean, at least 10. It’s been a very long time. I have nothing against watches but I also don’t waste my time buying an expensive one if I know it’s just going to look pretty collecting dust.

As I walk often (up to 20 miles a week), Maks has implored me to look into getting the Apple Watch to track my fitness. Previously, I was looking at getting a Fitbit. I wasn’t too sold on getting an Apple Watch for a few reasons. One, they’re very expensive and I was afraid it would’ve been an issue of me getting a watch that would collect dust.

Second, I don’t like to wear watches at all (of course, that brings the question why would I get a Fitbit since it kinda looks like a watch?).

I was finally convinced by reading this news story.

Apple Watches rely on photoplethysmography — a long, complicated sounding word with a fairly simple premise. Because blood with oxygen is red, it absorbs green light. The watch uses green LED lights paired with light‑sensitive photodiodes to detect the amount of blood flowing through a person’s wrist, according to Apple’s website. During beats the amount of blood in the wrist is greater, and between beats it’s less. Flashing the LED lights hundreds of times per second calculates the number of times the heart beats. The sensor can support beats ranging from 30 to 210 per minute.

I decided I have a kid who depends on me and life is too short to keep waiting for the right time. It was time to get an Apple Watch.

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She’s purty, isn’t she?

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And it’s pretty accurate!

To purchase, click here. (You can also purchase through your cell phone provider if you have Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, and AT&T)

So, this Mother’s Day has been better than the last years, but it’s not to say the last years were bad. They were pretty great as well. This year’s was pretty dope, tho. It just means I’m finally getting the peace I deserve.

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Eyes were intentionally closed. I was relishing in snuggles. 

Next post will be the creative ways I used some of the products in the latest Shea Moisture box! Post on Wednesday!