Sunday, July 19, 2009
Today John and I went to the hospital to see them. I cried in the car on the way there, and I cried when we got there. We stayed for a while, and I thought about Lia Rose much of the time that I was there. I kept it together, and then, I did something I was not sure if I would be able to do. I held Morgan Taylor, all 6 lbs 12 oz. of her and thought, this should have been me last month. I cried, but through those tears I once again could see the beauty of the moment. It was a difficult thing for me to do, but I did it. Morgan is beautiful, and I feel that longing to have a baby of my own to hold. The sheer joy on Leslie and Jody's faces is amazing. I cannot wait to be there. I want to be a mother to a child on this earth. I know that Lia Rose would want that too.
I am proud of myself. I suppose it is another step in the healing process. Jody and Leslie were great too. I think that they understood how difficult it was for me even just to be there. I didn't even know if I could really do it until I walked into that room.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
It was in a way nice to see what Lia could have looked like, and what size she might have been.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
John placed a dozen orange roses at her tiny grave. He took some pictures of the marker and of the roses at the marker with his phone. While we were in the car he just said, "I should be holding my baby girl and asking my dad for help, but instead I am visiting my baby girl and my dad at the cemetery." All I could think was that this was so unfair.
John is my strength, he is my rock. Today I tried to be his. I hope that I did a good job and I don't know if I did, but I hope so. He has gotten me through the darkest and most difficult of days, through the tears that seemed endless. His arms tightly wrapped around me feels like the safest place in the world. I cannot thank him enough for all that he has done. Father's day is a difficult day when you are missing your dad and your child.
Now, on to the gifts from above. I find coins, mostly pennies, everywhere. I have a jar that I put it all in. Today, I was thinking that it would be really nice to find one and then there in the parking lot of Home Depot in the parking spot next to us was a penny. I picked it up got in the car and showed John saying, "She is thinking about us." We were then on our way to walk around the outlets near our house for a little.
We walked around for a bit and we were walking near the fountain. I turned to John and said, "Maybe I should make a wish with Lia's penny from today."
John said, "No, you always save them, I think you should save it."
No sooner did he say that when he looked down and said, "But why don't you use that Penny?"
I looked down and next to where we were standing at the fountain there was a penny. I picked it up, looked at John and said, "I think we should make a wish."
He agreed, as he held my hand and said, "Let's both wish for the same thing, but not tell each other."
I smiled at him knowing exactly what he was thinking...I hope pennies from heaven can grant wishes. We could use a rainbow.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
This morning John and I were talking in bed about some of the things that need to get done in the house.
He said, "I should really finish Lia's room."
My eyes welled up with tears, not because I was so sad, but that he referred to the baby's room as Lia's room.
He apologized for saying it, but I simply told him, "It is Lia's room until it isn't. Maybe she is in there playing in the rafters."
John said, "Well then I really should finish it, I bet she would like it."
I simply smiled at him and said, "I bet she would."
It is her room right now. The room is gutted and I look in it and think of all these different things, but mostly I look in it and I think of her. I think of how excited we were and all the plans that we had. That room got put on hold, and that is ok. We will probably start it up again soon. It may be therapeutic for us to work on it. We'll do everything except paint. That will wait until there is another one on the way. Hopefully that will be soon too.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
The mass was very touching and the priests homily was as well. He spoke about pictures and remembering. How the pictures can bring back the memories in an instant, but also you remember just at that spot. It is very true. I can look at our picture of Lia Rose and so many memories come flashing back into my head. The awful memory of the moment that I lost her. The memory of holding her in our arms. Memories of the excitement about going to see the sonogram pictures and memories of being excited about what the future held. I will always have those memories, some good, some bad, but I do not want to forget.
The mass continued and they sang some of the songs that they usually sing at masses when someone has passed. Those songs always get to me. They also gave single long stems roses to everyone that was there as a remembrance. It was just a touching mass all around.
After the mass they had refreshments in the parish center. We went and signed their mailing list so we could get notified of other such events as it isn't our parish, but a nearby one. As we were sitting the priest who said mass came over and introduced himself. We got to tell him our story and I appreciated that he listened. He acknowledged the fact that I was pretty far along and for that I was grateful. Many people don't even think about it. We told him that we do have pictures and he asked how the hospital was. He heard our whole story, slightly abbreviated while he sat and spoke to us. It felt good to talk about it to him. I think that John and I will make this a tradition.
Friday, June 12, 2009
As far as that goes...I am not pregnant yet, which is good because apparently although my doctor said we could start trying, he didn't want me pregnant yet. Now it is really official, so last month I suppose was just practice. His advice was great, he said, almost word for word. Don't worry (to which I laughed at) You need to have sex like you did when you first met, the best babies are conceived after a bottle of champagne in a hot tub. Seriously, go to Meehan's have a few drinks, go home and have sex. See you in three months or your first pre-natal visit. I hope it is the later.
I had to cancel my appointment with my therapist yesterday because I was sick. I didn't want to get her sick seeing as she has an infant at home. It was my first session since she has come back from her leave. So, my big question is...How do you not worry? I am a worrier by nature. I worry about lots of things, but I try to balance the worry. That is what I am going to do now. I just don't know how to do it. I like to know things and have information. I feel well equipped with information. I know that there aren't exact answers to any of this, but if there were just some things I could know it would help.
The weather continues to be horrible as well, but my newest thought on that is...
You need to have the rain in order to have the rainbows. I am just hoping that there is a really big rainbow after all this. I could use that right now...
Sunday, June 7, 2009
Yesterday I came home with an incredible tension headache. I got home around 7:00 ate dinner and by 7:30 I was probably sleeping. Muscle relaxers and Advil can do the trick. I slept pretty much straight through and boy did I need it. My head is on the verge of hurting today, but I am almost willing it not to.
I came home to a nice surprise though. It made me laugh and cry all at the same time. I got a package from my best friend Lisa. In that package were random things that made me smile and some to make me cry, but not those sad tears of grief. They are the tears that come when someone does something that touches you deep within your soul. The kind of tears that help to clean out those sad feelings and the kind that help you to heal. In that package was a book, a DVD and chocolate a funny sign and a card with a heartfelt note, (that was the first thing that made me cry). That package also contained something very special. In a little gold box, the box itself is perfect, with a butterfly and a rose on it, was a gold ring with a rose. This box and ring belonged to Lisa’s grandmother who recently passed away. She said that she saw it and knew that I should have it. It is something that I will cherish forever. The ring is several sizes too big for me, but I love it any way. The thoughtfulness of that gesture warms me through. Most people are truly amazing! The miles may separate Lisa and I, the whole country between us, but I know that in our hearts we are right next to each other. Helping each other through the crumby times in life and there for the happy ones.
I am a strong person! I will get through today! I will get through the week, the month, the year! It will not be without help though. I can get frustrated because so often people do not understand, but those that do have truly helped me. I can do this! I will do this! I have to do this! There is no place to go but forward. I hope that the future holds wonderful and good things. I hope that I will be blessed shortly with a son or daughter, a brother or sister for Lia Rose. I hope that I will continue to find joy in the small things and continue to see Lia in the beauty and wonder of the world.
(I did do just fine...I had my moments, but I managed through them. I am a better person because of it.)
Friday, June 5, 2009
What a week so far! I think this will be broken down into more than one post. This week was the first week in June, the week that my baby girl Lia Rose was due. The last sonogram I had of her on January 1, 2009 gave her due date as June 1st. The doctors gave a due date of June 4th. Needless to say it has been a difficult and trying week.
June 1st was a difficult day all around. I couldn’t concentrate at work. I just wanted to be surrounded with the things that I love and wished I was not at work. Thankfully the people that I was with were great and two of them have been through similar experiences with a late loss. That has proven incredibly helpful. It is refreshing to see people who have overcome and have children and have been in a similar situation. The grief is overwhelming sometimes and then sometimes there is something happens that can make me smile through the tears.
June 2nd was possibly more difficult than June 1st. An unwanted monthly visitor decided to show up. We are trying so I was really hoping for something to look forward to. This was not the month though. Maybe I needed to get through this part without being pregnant again. Maybe it is so that I can look at the next pregnancy and not think about the fact that I found out the week Lia should have been due. I can make up all sorts of reasons, I am sure I could come up with something for every month. Now all I can say is maybe next month. Back to WAITING and you know how I feel about that right now.
June 2nd did have some smile through the tears moments. I had a terrible day at work. I decided that I was not pretending to be ok. When someone asked, “Are you OK?” I politely said, “NO, I should have been due this week.” I had to, I couldn’t make it through unless I could speak those words, at least that it what it felt like. My principal saw me and popped into my room and was so supportive and wonderful. That truly helps to make it easier. I don’t feel the pressures of the work day and know if I need a break, I can take it. Oh…but the smile through the tears moments…let me get to those.
I was walking in from work, my eyes welled with tears, searching for my keys. I looked down and spotted a patch of clovers and right there staring at me was one with 4 leaves. I picked it up and smiled at the heavens through my tears and thanked my little angel. I then taped it and put it in a journal of randomness that I am keeping. That evening John and I had tickets for a Phish concert. We are going to three shows this week. Anyway, the concert was at Jones Beach Theater, seeing as we love the beach it is a great atmosphere for us. It had rained pretty heavily prior to us arriving and as we were sitting in our seats I watched two rainbows surface in the sky. I pointed them out to John and said, “I think that it is Lia Rose shining down on us, letting us know that everything is going to be ok.” John agreed! It is amazing how you can turn these things into something with so much meaning. I now see Lia Rose in all the beauty and wonder of the world. I think that is a blessing.
The Phish concert was great. I had my moments of teary eyes, but it was so good to just get lost in music. To let go and just feel music running through my blood. It was a great set and I soaked up all the good energy. I am hoping tonight’s show will be even better!
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
I have a pen-pal (now email pal) that I have been writing to since the 3rd grade. We have never met, but we have kept in touch through the years. Sometimes more often and sometimes less often. I had sent her a Christmas card with a note in it that I was expecting and when I was due. After I had the miscarriage I tried to contact her, but she must have changed her e-mail address because it kept getting sent back to me. I heard from her this morning and in her e-mail she congratulated me and said it must be any day now. She was right, it should have been any day now. I wrote her back explaining what happened, it brought back those memories when I was writing it. I suppose that while I was on my way to work I was thinking about how I was going to respond to her. I knew that any response would have made her feel bad, but I had to let her know the situation. It is always awkward to tell someone who doesn't know what happened. It happened a couple of times at work with some people there.
When I was almost at work the Jack Johnson song If I could came on. There is a line in the song that states, "They say that new life makes losing life easier to understand." I thought to myself, what if that lost life was a new life? It doesn't make it any easier to understand at all. It is so much more difficult to understand that. Your grieving process is so different.
I grieve for my grandmother and think about the things that she wasn't here for, but then she lived her whole life and saw so much. I have memories of her from so many events in my life. When you lose a new life you grieve for what you don't have and the memories that you can't make. I will never get to hear Lia say her first words or take her first steps. I will never see her off on her first day of school. These are memories that I don't have, but I long for them. Yes, there will be other babies, I know this in my heart, but they will not be Lia. I will always know that Lia should have been ______ this year. (Fill in whatever milestone you wish). I also know that if I did not lose Lia, my next child may not be here. It is hard to think about it sometimes. In my day dreams I can picture Lia growing to be a beautiful little girl, but that is not reality. I will never see Lia Rose grow up, again that is a memory that I will never have. I do not get to look back and remember her childhood when I am older. I get to think of all the things that should have been. She cannot be replaced, she will always be my first child.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
I am trying to be optimistically cautious with this as I know it is going to be a difficult week. I do not want to set myself up for disappointment, but how can I help it? It just seems like one big coincidence. Well now I just have to WAIT and see. (ugh---I still hate that word)
Monday, May 25, 2009
Thursday evening we went to Cafe Buenos Aires to celebrate a friend who graduated with her Doctorate. It was a nice relaxing evening with good food and good people. Those are two of my favorite things to be perfectly honest with you. The combination can't be beat. Friday I got to just chill out, do a little shopping and had a lunch date with a friend who I haven't seen in a while. It was nice to be able to chat about what I have been through over the past few months. There were actually some things that I could laugh about and I guess in a way that felt pretty good. I can talk about losing Lia Rose without crying and that feels good too.
Saturday was another beautiful day filled with food and friends. We were off to a barbecue and it was delicious. There was a newly pregnant girl there and my friend had warned me. I wasn't sure how I would handle it, but I did just fine. A few sad moments, but I snapped out of them. Later on I had to check with my husband because I didn't think she was so nice and I wanted to make sure that it was the case and it wasn't because she was pregnant. He agreed with me and I felt a little better.
Sunday was a day spent wandering around Manhattan and I mean that quite literally since I think that we walked something like 80 city blocks. It was another gorgeous day, we weren't sure because of the threat of thunderstorms, but it couldn't have been any better. We went to a street fair and wandered around Central Park which was a blur of people and activities. We found the Alice in Wonderland statue which made me smile. I have a picture hugging the Mad Hatter. The architecture and foliage in the bark is truly spectacular. Do you think it is the most famous park?
We then got to go the Guggenheim for a Frank Lloyd Wright exhibit which was very cool seeing as he designed that Museum. His work was so ahead of his time and much of what was on display in this exhibit was never built or destroyed. John is very interested in his work and designs. Lunch was at a little Greek place that we found on Columbus Avenue called Kefi,we were starving, but the food was wonderful. Then it was the long walk back to the car. My legs ached, but it was that good kind of ache that makes you feel like you accomplished something great.
Monday was the catch up day...Laundry...cleaning...shopping, but we did have a great breakfast at Maureen's Kitchen in Smithtown. Yummy...I feel good having accomplished a ton of stuff in the house and outside as well.
Long weekends like this make me not want to work at all. There are 14 days left with the students though! That puts a grin on my face. I am hoping for another week with more good moments than bad moments. I really do feel that Lia Rose would have come to the world this upcoming week and that she wasn't waiting for her due date so these next few weeks are bittersweet. I do have lots of fun stuff going on though...That helps.
Again I start the week feeling refreshed and renewed. I like to start it on a high note this way it takes a lot to bring me all the way down. I hope that I stay up, but time will tell on that one. I am sure that there will be moments.
Friday, May 22, 2009
John and I started last weekend with a nice dinner at one of our favorite places, but we don't go too often. It is called Lucy's and it is delicious. It is a quaint little place in the Town of Babylon. Another reason I like it is because my grandmother was named Lucy. It was so nice to be out to dinner and relaxing in decent weather and it was the start of what was going to be a very nice weekend and week.
Saturday we planted Lia's weeping cherry tree. We dug up the spot where we were adding to the tree and it looks beautiful. We will be adding a few more plants to that area, but I am not sure what yet. It is nice to look out of the window and see something so pretty. It was purchased with a gift card from some of my co-workers from one of my buildings and I think that it is perfect.
Sunday was a get dirty outside day because we planted a good part of our vegetable garden. It wasn't the nicest day, but it felt good to be digging in the earth. Now we get to watch our seedlings and seeds hopefully grow and produce lots of good food to eat. We did well last year, and this year we planted a bigger variety. Now we have to WAIT! Again, with waiting. It is a word that I am really disliking more and more. Trying to be patient is difficult.
I got through the work week pretty well too. One of my buildings was closed on Wednesday and Thursday because of, as the kids say "the swine." I had a swine flu vacation day on Wednesday and only had to go for a half day yesterday and now it is a four day weekend. My parents and I went to the beach and it was so refreshing. It is my favorite place and one of the reasons I don't want to leave Long Island.
I am feeling hopeful this week. We are trying again and that is one less thing that I have to wait for now. I am hopeful that we will be sent a brother or sister for Lia Rose very soon. Maybe I am too hopeful, but I need to have that hope. It is the hope that keeps me going everyday. Lia should have been born the first week in June (June 4th was her due date). I think she was coming in May. She is my angel now and I know that she is always with her mom and dad.
(on a side note, I haven't played around with adding links or pictures too much, I hope that it works)
Sunday, May 17, 2009
I have been thinking about what should have been coming 3 weeks from Thursday(officially) and being hopeful about what will be. How do you balance it all? There is just so much on my mind. I am trying to relax about it, but I don’t think that I was relaxed about anything the first time. How can I be relaxed about it now?
People forget, people don’t realize that every day is still hard for me. Their lives go on as usual, but mine is forever changed by what has happened. I am so grateful for the people who do remember and who, although have never been in my shoes seem to understand. Many people forget. That is something that is difficult for me.
I know there is hope inside somewhere because I can see myself as a parent, but right now that seems like the distant future. It feels like a child playing the mother. Will it happen? When will it happen? Will I have to wait a long time? I want a family. I want a brother or sister for Lia Rose. I want to feel the joy of having a child and not the pain of losing one. Is it so much to ask for? I don’t think that it is.
Monday, May 11, 2009
I did it! I made it through my “first” mother’s day. I say that it is my first because I am a mother. I have a child who is buried in a cemetery near my house. Her name is Lia Rose Grande. She was born and sent to heaven on January 2, 2009. Does this make me any less of a mother? I gave birth to a baby, a perfect little baby, who was not strong enough or big enough to survive in this world. I did one of the hardest things a mother will have to do, which is lose a child. I held that perfect little baby and fell in love, a love that was so strong that it truly amazes me. And then I think….
In Sunday Mass yesterday during the Ave Maria, I cried. I cried for my daughter, I cried for my husband, I cried for me. I also thought what a paradox. My daughter could have been born any day now, instead we are trying again. The other paradox is that right now, birth to me is not associated with new life, it is associated with loss. The innocence has been taken away like the ground being pulled from under my feet. Birth and rebirth are all associated with new-life and new beginnings. I could look at it as a new beginning which would be “Life after Lia” but somehow that just doesn’t seem right. I mean it is a different life for me now, but it isn’t a new life. I don’t feel reborn, I feel a bit beaten down.
I talked with my mom yesterday who tries very hard to understand, but really can’t. She has never been in my position. She has never lost a baby. I do my best to explain to her, but it is still tough. I know that she wants to take my pain away, but she can’t. No one can! I don’t want anyone to anyway. It will evolve and one day the pain won’t be so great. My mother told me that next year there will be a sister for Lia Rose. I really want to believe that, but right now I am having a tough time. I am trying to stay so positive, but it is quite difficult. I told my mother that I could just not be sure that would happen. I never had thoughts like that before Lia Rose. Now I just have an endless amount of questions. Will this happen again? Will I be able to conceive? What if I am not able to conceive? Can I go through something like this again? Am I strong enough? These questions never occurred to me before Lia Rose, but they occur to me now in “Life after Lia.”
Today at our church there is a special mass for couples trying to conceive. It couldn’t have come at a better time since we are starting to try this week. We are going to go. I could use some extra blessings. I just want it to work!
I have previously written about pennies from heaven and if I believe in that, then I have to believe that 10$ bills from heaven are even better. My husband and I were in 7-11 yesterday morning getting cups of coffee. He went to pay and when I looked down I saw a bill on the floor. I picked it up and went to hand it to him because I thought he had dropped it. He just looked at me and said, "That was Lia Rose letting you know that she is thinking about you today." I knew at that moment that I really had to try to have a good day. I think all things considered I did ok.
Saturday, May 9, 2009
I want to wear a big sign that says, "Don't forget me! I am a mother too! I just don't have my child here. She should have been making my belly nice and big, but she came too soon!" Maybe a sign that says, "Mother to an Angel!" Something anything...
I got a card for Mother's day from my Mother-in-Law yesterday. It was like a mass card so there are people praying for me somewhere. All over really she sends us cards like that all the time, but this one made me cry. She acknowledged the fact that I was a mother and that makes me happy. I am not sure who else will and it hurts a little bit.
I don't think people know what to do for me as far as Mother's day goes. I know what I want is to be thought of as a Mother. I am a Mother. I am a Mother to Lia Rose Grande who was born 22 weeks too soon. I went through labor and delivered her and held her just like any other Mother, but I did not get to come home from the hospital with a baby. I fell in love with my baby girl, who was already an angel. I think that is the most unfair thing!
It is very bitter sweet for me. We are finally able to try again and really she could have been born any day now. My due date was June 4th and then they told me June 1st I was convinced she was coming into this world in May. Unfortunately she came into this world in January.
What do you say when someone asks, "Are you a Mother?" Do you pick and choose who you tell or do you just keep it to yourself. I don't know...but I am not sure I am prepared to hear those words tomorrow.
With what price we pay for the glory of motherhood. ~Isadora Duncan
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
How long has it been since you lost your child/ren? Has your grief changed at all? Is your life becoming any easier or is it just harder as time passes?
I lost Lia Rose on January 2, 2009, so just over four months ago. My grief has definitely changed during this course of time and I am sure that it will continue to change. I lost her at 18 weeks pregnant and at the time I thought that I would never get through a day without crying. Just last week I realized that I had gone five days without shedding a tear, but then have cried pretty much every day since then. I see an evolution to the grief though; it is definitely not as profound as it was when it first happened. About a week after we lost Lia Rose, it was an extremely rainy day. I truly felt like I shed as many inches in tears as it had rained. I just cried all day long. It was cathartic. I think that I needed to do that. It was the only day that I cried like that. I feel like I do really well and then something happens and I hit a brick wall. Taking a few steps backwards from where I was. My due date is coming up on June 4th and I feel like getting past that will be a huge milestone in this grieving process. I am anxious because I really do not know at all how I am going to be that week. Sometimes my anticipation is worse than things actually are, but there have been a few times where that is not the case. I do feel as time is going on it isn’t necessarily easier it is just different. It isn’t all consuming like it was at first. I can think about it and be sad for a little, or a while, but generally go back to my day.
How do you feel when you see pregnant women when you are out and about?
I see pregnant women all the time. I know about 20 some odd pregnant girls. Many of my friends are currently pregnant. Some have just recently given birth, which has been difficult for me. Some are due after I was. I am a school-based speech pathologist and working in a school I am also always surrounded by a couple of pregnant women. I am not sure what it is or why it is happening, but there are some that I am fine around and others that I have a tough time around. There doesn’t seem to be much rhyme or reason to it. I really can’t explain it. When I see pregnant women out and about often I just think, I wonder if that is what I would have looked like. Some days I handle it fine and some days it sets me off. It is the unpredictableness that makes me crazy. If I knew that something was going to bother me all the time I could handle it, but one time it does, one time it doesn’t. It is just so inconsistent.
What’s your therapy in the aftermath of losing your child/ren? Do you go to counseling? Do you do artwork or some kind of exercise or do you simply just let yourself be? What helps you?
My husband and I have actually gone to therapy together and separately. It has been extremely helpful to me to talk to someone who is not involved in the situation and reassure me that I am and we are doing ok. My husband has been extremely supportive through this situation and so have most friends and family. It has helped me to talk about and write about what has happened to me. I reached out to friends when I needed to even if it was on Facebook or an e-mail. I didn’t always want to talk, but I found that chatting with friends was helpful. Talking to people who have had losses has also been helpful to me. In particular, speaking to someone who also had a loss at 18 weeks was an excellent support for me. I have written some poems and participated in the March for Babies through the March of Dimes raising a nice amount of money since I only decided to do it one month before the walk. I didn’t know if I would feel well enough because I had surgery the month before. I am trying to do things that will help me honor and remember our daughter and that really helps. My co-workers got us a gift card to a nursery and we were able to buy a weeping cherry tree to plant in our yard for her. I think they are beautiful and it will always remind me of our angel.