Thursday, September 27, 2012

Love One Another

Marriage is hard enough without losing a baby. But when you do... all hell breaks loose.

At first you are both in shock, and God allows that for quite some time, just so you don't kill anyone I think. Then you are sad, angry, sad, angry, withdrawn, depressed, sad, angry. They cycle goes on and on.

In the midst of all the emotions that come with losing your sweet angel, you lose one another. The very person that you clung to when her heart stopped beating, the person that lost it with you at her funeral when "Sweet Zoe Jane" was played. The person that helped you to make this precious baby is someone you hardly recognize a few weeks after.

Men and women grieve differently. If there is ANYTHING that I can tell all of you who have lost a is this. Women are all feelings and emotions and questions. We want to talk about it. We want you to know and remember our angel baby. Men are all work and denial and " I have to be strong and fix this". Losing a baby is something that cannot be fixed. It can send you in a downward spiral very quickly if you do not cling to one another.

When you are at a place of peace, your husband is just starting to grieve. He was strong for you, now you have to be strong for him.

No matter how I felt, I got up everyday. I made lunches. Dressed kids. Got them to where they needed to go. Did homework. Washed clothes. Cooked meals. I wanted to stay in the bed and cry all day and wish Zoe Jane into existence. I cried in the shower so he wouldn't feel obligated to hold me so much.

But in the three months after losing her, he felt as if he had lost me. I was a shell of the person that I once was. Our love for one another was in question because I was using all of my love up on a baby that is already in Heaven. She knows that I love her. I am her Mother whether she is here or not. I spent every bit of extra energy that I had grieving my precious child. I just wanted to hold her one more time. I just wanted to see her breathe. I didn't care that I was pushing my husband away. I didn't care that I wasn't kissing him the way that I used to. I didn't care that I just held his hand as a way to steady myself because I was so exhausted.

I should have cared.

Conversations and events of the past few weeks have taught me that my husband thought that I no longer loved him. He needed me to love him and appreciate him and to tell him these things. I felt like I had a free pass until I was ready because I had lost a baby.

The person carrying a baby will always grieve harder. We felt those flutters and kicks. They made us sick, they made us wonder and they made us smile and dream of a future. I know that Bryan misses Zoe Jane too. He has her name tattooed on his arm and I love to look at it. He loves her too. We just grieve differently.

I think the best thing one can do is let the other grieve in their own way but assure the other they are loved. They are wanted. It is something that you must go through together because you both know how the other feels. You just don't process it in the same way.

Zoe Jane has been gone for four months now. Of those four, I can honestly say that I didn't show my husband how much I loved and appreciated him nearly enough. I was too wrapped up in my own grief and struggling to get through the motions of each day.

We are diligently working on loving one another. We want our family and our lives to be normal again.We want to be happy and joyful. The thought of the holidays without our sweet little girl hurts so much, and we talked about it while looking at Christmas decorations yesterday.

Love one another, hold one another and be a unit of strength. The loss of a child is great enough without losing the people that you love the most who are here with you. Never forget the important people. Hold them close and forgive the little things. Sometimes just having them is enough.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Checking Out

The sad thing about life is that people hurt you. It is inevitable. Some intentionally try to destroy you and others just break your heart due to their own selfishness. You have to learn who really loves you and cease to be around those that don't have your best interests at heart.

Holding things together after you lose a child is a superhuman task. The desire to sleep for a year is so strong that one must drag out of the bed everyday. I admit that I have been checked out for a few months. I haven't been the best person that I could be, but I felt like under the circumstances I should get some time to think, process and grieve the way I needed to.

Relationships and friendships suffer, your marriage suffers. You feel the need to hit a rewind button and fix the things that you let slip by you. The things that you knew were happening but you wanted to ignore suddenly explode in your face and you can't do anything about them. All you can do is try to repair the damage that was done while you were checked out. It isn't easy.

I am so glad that God has Zoe Jane with Him and she never has to feel any pain. She will never have her heart broken by anyone, she will always be happy and never have to go through anything that we on Earth must endure.

I miss my little girl. I wish that she was here. Just this morning I was thinking of how tiny her little perfect feet were and how I wish that I could kiss her toes. I know that she is happy and I know that I will see her soon. Heaven just seems so far away...

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Zoe Is Not A Butterfly?

So people think that I am crazy. My sister says that I am losing it, my husband thinks the same thing...and I think that people just pretty much stay away from me in general because they don't want to feel uncomfortable at any point in time.

I think that when you lose a child you border on insanity. Your thoughts are consumed by this love of your life that you can never see or hold again. You constantly wonder what if and why. You search for little clues that their spirit is somewhere out there in the universe and you cling to ANYTHING that makes you feel better.

Yesterday I was told that "Zoe is not a butterfly." Well. No Shit. I know this. But I sure like to think that when I am thinking about her a lot, or when I am sad and missing her.... that if a butterfly dances across my path it is God sending me a little bit of her from Heaven. It makes me feel better. It makes me smile and have joy for just a few seconds and that is healing.

I don't really care if you think that I am crazy. I am going to talk about my child whether she is here or not. She is my little girl who didn't get to see this world or fulfill any of the dreams that I had for her. She will always be remembered by her Mother and I would feel like I was letting her down if I didn't keep her memory alive.

I may never have a biological child of my own... so she is the only little bit of me that was ever here. I got to see that precious face that was part of ME.

I do not know why God chose Zoe Jane. Was it that he had mercy on her and us? Was she going to suffer? I choose to not think of that. I choose to think that He needed her in Heaven for a special purpose. I will not consume my life and thoughts of her suffering... because she didn't have to. She never felt pain. She never felt sorrow. She is surrounded by the best love of all.

I hope that every time you see a butterfly you think of someone that is close to you. I hope that you notice how blue the sky is, how green the grass and how tall the trees. Grief makes you see things in a different light. So let the butterflies come... and let me be with my good thoughts of a tragedy that tried to throw me into darkness. Zoe wouldn't want us to be sad. She needs her mother... even from Heaven.

Friday, September 14, 2012


Yesterday several things in my life became very clear. One is that we ALL miss Zoe. It isn't just me. I was doing some paperwork and Keira was sitting next to me with her head on the table and I asked her what was wrong.

She looked up with tears in her eyes and said that she missed Zoe. She said that she wanted to be a big sister. She didn't think it was fair that her sister was in Heaven and not here in person.

It broke my heart.

I held onto her while she cried it out and I let the tears flow. The honesty that came from her little heart was so touching. I explained to her that Zoe was still her sister, she was still a big sister and she could talk to her whenever she wanted.

She said that she saw a butterfly at school on the playground and there was a little boy messing with it and she told him that was Zoe and he needed to leave her sister alone! Then she smiled as she told me that Zoe flew away and that little boy couldn't mess with her anymore.

I also realized that while I have spent the last several months grieving so hard over Zoe Jane, I haven't allowed my husband to grieve. He has worked extra hard, moved us into a new place and held everything together when I was too tired or sad to do it. There have literally been days that I just wanted to stay in the bed and do nothing... he is the reason why I get up everyday.

He needs to be able to grieve, but I don't know how to guide him in it. Or if I should even try.

Losing a child tests your marriage because along with all of the normal issues that a marriage endures, death just compounds them. You seek for answers from one another, knowing the other doesn't have them either. You seek God, but sometimes praying is too hard because you just forget how to pray. The very things that used to hold you together start to tear you apart and you have to find the glue quickly.

I am sad to say that I have been too focused on my own grief that I have neglected the grief of my family. My husband, who does so much to keep things going... I feel like I have let him down not only by not being able to carry Zoe to full term, but by not allowing him the necessary feelings to get through it.

We will never get over this, but through the process of grief and reflection, we may get through it... and I would rather have my family by my side instead of doing it alone.

I want us to be happy and carry Zoe as a sweet memory. She makes going to Heaven even more exciting. I just hope that I can be strong enough to be the mother and wife that I am supposed to be while we all work through this. There has to be a reason, and the tests we have endured are so painful.... but if it brings us all closer then it is worth it... tears and all.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Flags and Butterflies

Last night I met with a group of mothers who have also lost children. It was a little awkward at first, because they all knew one another and I didn't know them, but we soon began talking and it was nice. It was nice to hear their stories, to paint little candle holders for our babies, eat and drink. It was comforting to pray over the flags that we made to send to Australia in honor of our little angels.

I felt a great kinship with these people. We all have grief in common. We all want to talk about our children who are in heaven. Not one time did any of them look uncomfortable when I spoke of Zoe Jane. They didn't  try to change the subject. They speak of their children in the same manner.

It is a twisted road that we travel dealing with grief. This week has been especially hard for me because Tuesday was my due date and it was not only the end of my pregnancy, but the end of the journey of what would have been her birthday with the hopes and dreams that surround it. I keep thinking that there could have been something I should have done different so that she would be here with me right now. I feel guilty on days where there is a little joy that creeps in. I feel sad when I think about how I didn't get much time with her. I feel happy when I see a butterfly dance in front of me and pause for just a moment.

A few people have asked this week when we will try again and I can honestly say at this point that I am not interested in trying again. I feel like I would be trying to replace her. I don't want to replace her.

There is a reason. I know God had a reason. He has said that she was just too beautiful for this Earth. I have heard this message from more than one person who has kept us in their prayers. I know that He needed her in Heaven, but I sure wanted her here.

I was rocking my nephew to sleep a bit ago and kissing his little head. He is such a sweet and happy baby and I would like to think that Zoe Jane would have had the same type of spirit that he does. He just looks at you as if he is all knowing... and then he breaks out in this huge grin and sticks his little tongue out at you... I love this little guy more than words can say. Being around my nephews has helped me a lot after losing Zoe. They were the first people I wanted to be around after leaving the hospital. I just wanted to kiss and love on them.

October 15th is Infant Loss and Remembrance Day. Bryan and I are helping to sponsor the annual event this year at The Collins Home with a few other parents of angels. The lady that is in charge of the event contacted me the other day and I was glad to help. I feel like this is something that I can work towards to make me feel closer to others and work through some of my pain. Speaking with the other parents about it last night, one of the girls said "it will be a lot of fun". Then she caught herself... as if we aren't allowed to have fun because our babies are gone. I hope that we do have fun. I hope that it is the best night ever. I hope that we are all tied together with a bond of friendship that through this experience, only we know. There is much love and friendship through loss. One finds the strong friends who support you through everything.

Thank you to all of my friends who love and support me and Bryan. We love you more than you know. I am constantly overwhelmed at the things that people do out of love...  These photos are of the butterfly bouquet that we received on Tuesday, September 4th, Zoe Jane's due date. A beautiful, dear friend of mine, Melanie Gloster, commissioned all of these butterflies from our friends... each one was decorated and held a special message, poem or verse for our little girl. She and Missy Lyda put them together and left them on the doorstep to our work. We love you all so much... We were surrounded by butterflies on her day and they will ALL be treasured forever.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Offensive content... please read...

I was told to take down a blog today because I told the truth about a situation with our business and it offended some people.

This is going to offend even more people.

If you don't want to read my blog... then don't read it... if you are not here because you care, then stop reading NOW... if you are here to read the goings on of the life of a Mother who has lost her child only to use her words of grief against her and her family... then you need to reevaluate your lot in life.

The whole purpose of this blog is so that I can vent. It is not meant to hurt people, to harm people or to offend anyone. You read this because you want to. If you read something that you do not agree with or that you do not like, then it would behoove you to talk to me about it personally before spreading rumors about the things that are the TRUTH in my blog around town.

You know who you are, I know who you are, and I think that you are the lowest of the low....

I do this because I hate therapy, it is expensive and I have no insurance. I would NEVER wish this pain and grief on another person, no matter how much I disliked them. I would NEVER run and tattle about something they were obviously upset about. I would try to think about their life and how it was affecting them... take some time to walk in my shoes.

Are you married? I am.
Do you have a business to run? I do.
Do you have stepkids? I do.
Does your stepson have cancer? Mine does.
Does your partner's ex pay child support and insurance? Mine doesn't.
Did your baby die? MINE DID.
Are you sad about it? I am.
Do you still have to work? I do.
Are there rules and regulations keeping you from working?  There are for me.
Are you pissed because you aren't getting paid this week? I am.
Are you hurt because you should have had your baby this week? I am.
Do I get into your business? NO I DON'T

So when I am upset because we can't get people to cooperate with us to get a business to resume its normal operations and I VENT about it because we are normal people and have bills to pay... employees to pay... and kids to take care of... maybe you should cut me some freaking slack.

Do you want to pay my bills this week or cut the hours for my employees?

Do you want to tell my kids that we can't go out to eat because we just really can't afford it this week?

If I can't tell the truth on here then where can I tell the truth? If you don't like it then don't read this blog. It is unfortunate that I can't SEE who reads my blog. I get anywhere from 200 to 500 hits per blog.. so plenty of people read it. Most people take what they want from it but understand that this is my way of getting through the pain.. the sadness.. the things that really piss me off.

How can I find joy again when there are constantly people out there just being complete A-holes?

When you lose your baby you really find out who your friends are... you realize what is important. You realize that material things don't matter so much. All you want to do is genuinely smile again, or laugh from the belly... or just feel the sunshine on your head.

I have found that a lot of the things that I have said that are negative ring true. I hate that. I hate that I can't just be positive and glass half full again. I used to have faith in people and really give everyone the benefit of the doubt... now.. I just have no faith except in the people who have shown it.

Today when I arrived at work there was a flower pot sitting on the porch. It was pink. It was full of butterfly cut outs. On those cut outs were messages from people who care. People who remembered that today was Zoe Jane's due date. People who love us. They surrounded me with butterflies. They surrounded me with love... that is what got me through this completely horrible day. The people who truly love and care for us took the time to let us know...

As for the person who read my blog and was so offended because I told the truth about being upset because we couldn't operate under a normal capacity today... you can kiss it. As we say in the South to people that we would rather cuss out.... "Bless your heart".