Pregnancy and Infant Loss Series

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I know I’m late in the game posting about this and honestly, I was wondering if I should. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not ‘over’ anything, rather I want to make a post that will consolidate everything into one.

It’s been a so-so month for me, emotionally-wise. I haven’t felt like I was in the dumps but I haven’t felt 100%. Fall is usually tricky like that. It’s my birthday, then Bear’s, then Maks’s and inevitably, Ethan’s.

I have learned that it’s the time leading up to his birthday that’s worse than the actual day itself. It’s something I still haven’t gotten used to and I’m approaching his five-year angelversary. While I’m sipping on everything pumpkin, there’s a quiet melancholy underneath.

I’m fine for the most part. I think once it comes to Ethan’s birthday, I’ll be happy. I’ll bake a cake, light a candle, and celebrate my baby boy as if he were on Earth.

I did want to show all the new angel parents that, well, a couple of things:

One, you’ll never get over your loss. A new baby won’t make things instantly better. Sometimes, it might make things worse. This is not to deter you from having a baby but to prepare you. There will always be an underlying feeling the things you go through in parenthood is something you should’ve “done already,” even if you already have a child.

Two, a loss doesn’t just go away. You don’t wake up one morning and think, ‘I’m all better now!’ Oh how I wish it were that easy. It is something you’ll deal with for the rest of your life. You’ll be fine one moment and then it’ll hit you like a freight train the next.

You’ll hear stories about women with their easy pregnancies and become instant jealous because you wish you had that problem.

You’ll hear parents complain about how much of a brat their child was and you’ll be jealous because you wish you had a bratty child to complain of.

You’ll have resentment of couples who got pregnant without trying or medical intervention while you’re going through numerous treatments for a pregnancy that’s not guaranteed to stick.

Sigh…I know. I know, I know, I KNOW.

But it does get easier. While you’ll have the aforementioned moments and feelings, you’ll also have this incredible joy about your baby and your pregnancy. You’ll feel proud that you had your angel, even if it was only for a brief time. You’re going to smile knowing they’re in Heaven and hope they’re having a good time.

To the new angel parents and those who’ve followed me for a while, here are links to previous posts and an article I will forever link to that, I feel, best describes what angel parents really go through.

Why Are Dead Babies Still Taboo?

What NOT to Say After a Miscarriage.

How to Cope with Sudden Loss

When Other People Don’t Acknowledge Your Loss

Different Ways to Honor Your Angel

The Land of Not OK (<—– I will reblog this post a million times. Though the Mom speaks of having a special needs child, I also feel this can relate to pregnancy and infant loss as well.)

Love and Light,

Crys

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Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day

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Please join us, along with other families around the world, and light a candle at 7 PM (any time zone) as we create a wave of light to honor lost babies today.

Lost but never forgotten.

Too beautiful for earth.

God’s children.

Does Painful Loss Really Get Any Easier Over Time?

October marks Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month and every October for the past few years, I’ve dedicated the entire month to posting about my experiences with loss and helping other people in similar situations.

As I’m preparing for the upcoming month, which is also my birthday month, I’m constantly reminded of fall. You see, I used to love fall and I still do in some ways. I mean, hello, my birthday? That’s always a plus. Pumpkin spice ever-ree-thang? Another bonus. And come on, Halloween and I get to steal Bear’s candy without him noticing (too much)? Hells yeah!

I’m also reminded with each fall, what will inevitably await me in December – Ethan’s birthday.

Five years ago, around this time, I was pregnant with him. I say I was close to the second trimester but not quite there yet. It was a rather uneventful pregnancy. Got the morning sickness, was struggling with my body changing, and broke out into a horrible case of PUPPPS.

At the time I was a pretty big girl so my OB was concerned about any weight gain I would have. Fortunately for both of us, we found out I tend to lose weight during my pregnancies (I lost 25 with Ethan and yes, I ate a ton).

Everything was fine.

And then, everything wasn’t fine.

I’ll go into detail later about what led to his premature birth and death and why I’m such an advocate for the cerclage (in any form). Now, I just need a moment to reflect.

I talk to Ethan a lot. Maybe not as much as I used to but I definitely talk to him at least once a week. I feel his spirit in my home and sometimes I see different forms of him in quick flashes. The other night, I swore I saw a toddler standing up, wearing a white onesie. At first I thought it was Bear but he was on the bed, asleep. It occurred to me it was Ethan.

I’m five years out from my loss and honestly, I’m struggling to wonder if it’s truly gotten better. I’ll admit the first year really, truly fucking sucked. There’s no eloquent way of putting it. As we celebrate Bear’s achievements and be in awe at his growth, a part of us will always feel like we should’ve done this already. We should have two kids in preschool. I should be juggling with two kids, getting them fed, bathed, and limit their iPad time.

I should be. But I’m not.

And I know some of you who follow this blog are probably thinking, ‘Well, it’s a good thing you’re about to TTC again so you get to have that opportunity!’ Well, no. TTC isn’t a guarantee there’s going to be a baby; just a lot of sex (not that’s a bad thing, mind you). Furthermore, it’s not the same. It’ll never be the same.

There are times where I’m fine and everything’s okay. And then there are times the grief hits me like a Mack truck and I can’t breathe for five minutes. I feel that’s why we spoil Bear because we didn’t have the opportunity to spoil Ethan.

And maybe that’s why we tolerate Bear’s tantrums a bit more because Ethan didn’t have a chance to throw a fit. And maybe that’s why Bear gets away with sometimes having a Popsicle or pizza for breakfast because that’s all he’s in the mood for and I don’t feel like fighting him.

Maybe…maybe…it is.

I leave this post with a song that really helped me a lot in my grief. I hope one day I’ll meet Mimi and tell her in person how much she’d helped me.

How to Deal With the Loss of a Loved One.

I know PAIL (Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness) was last month but I just discovered this video today and I could relate. It is religious-heavy so if that’s not your thing, just grin and bear it. There are a lot of good things in this.

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness: How to Honor Your Angel

October marks Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness (PAIL) month. Over the course of this month, I’ll feature a series of posts dedicated to this month. It’s a bittersweet month for me. Sweet because it’s my birthday month, bitter because I’m reminded of my lost babies (not that I ever forget them).

This marks the final post in the PAIL series for this month. I’m going to talk about the different ways you can honor your angel.

We honor Ethan in a variety of ways. Honestly, we honor him all of the time. Even when we pray, we always include him (and jellybean). But here are just a few things we do:

  1. Tattoos. I know some people love them and some hate them. Maks and I both got tattoos in honor of our boy:

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I know some parents get a tattoo of their angels birthdates, names, and even add wings to signify they’re angels.

2. Balloon release. I know this is up for debate because of the environment factor. We do a balloon release every year on Ethan’s birthday – 12/13.

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3. Memorial jewelry. I had a special ring I wore along with a necklace.
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My ring went missing 😦 but I’m glad it didn’t cost too much. I think it’s somewhere around the house. The stone is Ethan’s December birthstone.

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The birthstone angel part did fall off but the important part – Ethan’s name and birthdate – I still have.

4. We make donations in Ethan’s name. We regularly donate to the L.A. Food Bank and have the donations In Memory Of.

5. March of Dimes. We did this one year and it was a lot of fun (though they are under some controversy as to how the donations are used, so do your research.)

6. Molly Bears. If you had a late loss, you can request a Molly Bear and it’ll be sent to you (though the wait time varies). Molly Bears run 100% on donation. I have an Ethan Molly Bear.

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The below photo was taken during our maternity photos with House of Designs
Mommy,Daddy, Ethan,Yoda

Those are just some of the ways we honor our Ethan. How do you honor your angel?

As October draws to a close, I thank everyone for their support of me and other angel moms. October tends to be a tough month for all of us as we honor our lost babies so we really appreciate your support. For those new to the series and blog, I hope you found the PAIL series posts to be therapeutic as well.