Friday, October 26, 2012


So, I don't think I ever posted my awesome Easter pictures.  I did Valentine's but not Easter.  I was going through pictures, looking for one with all my kids, but I ran across Easter instead.  I couldn't stop laughing.  I just had to put this together and give you all something to enjoy today!  Priceless and classic, and yet my very best attempt!!

I know, I know.  It's Halloween next week and I'm posting an easter picture.  Get over it.  It's fun!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Capture Your Grief - Day 23: Their Name/Their Photo

Day 23: Their Name/Their Photo

I very much DO feel comfortable sharing my babies' photos.  I know that not everyone is comfortable seeing them, though.  So, proceed with caution.

First up is my baby girl, Taylor.  Remember, I never got to see her.  We aren't even positive Taylor was a girl, hence the androgynous name, but I strongly feel like Taylor was a girl.  This is my angel girl...

See how she's in a praying position, kneeling with her hands clasped?  What a righteous little spirit she is!  I love her so very much!  I wish so much I had seen her, but this is second best - an ultrasound photo just 3 days after she died that shows her kneeling in prayer.  It tugs at my heart strings a LOT.

As for Seth, I've shared pictures of him, kind of.  They're all wrapped in a blanket or of his feet or hand, but I've never posted his face here.  Today, that changes.  Remember, he died at 16 weeks gestation and wasn't born until 19w4d gestation, nearly a whole 4 weeks later.  So please be kind as you view him, if you choose to do so.  I think he's a handsome boy.  I try to imagine him fattened up like a full term bouncing baby boy.  Here, he's all muscle, no fat and incredibly tiny.  He was 6" long and only 3 ounces (though he would have been closer to 9 ounces if he had been born closer to when he died).  Proceed with caution and kindness...

His eyes were open when he was born, though some pictures were edited to have them closed as I know it freaks people out a bit to see them open.  I'm sharing color pictures, not black & white because I think he's beautiful like this.  See the polka dots?  This is why light blue, and to a lesser degree navy and red, are what I associate with him.  So tiny, so perfect, so handsome.  My Seth!

These are my children that don't live with me.  These are my children "with wings."  These are my children that I only get to cuddle teddy bears to represent.  These are MY CHILDREN.  Don't you just love them, too?  Oh, they are so precious and wonderful!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Capture Your Grief - Day 21: Alter/Shrine/Sacred Space

Day 21 - Alter/Shrine/Sacred Space

These are my shelves for my babies.  I've combined them since then because neither filled a full shelf.  The top is Seth's.  It includes pictures of him, and of me holding him.  The box holds the bracelet/bow set that we were photographed with, and the box was sent by my aunt and cousin after he was born.  Then is my Seth Bear holding the hat sent my Calvin's Hats.  The yellow onesie is how I told Ben we were pregnant this time.  In front of that is the diaper set from Teeny Tears (who did a blog post about the diapers made for the memory boxes I am making in his (and Taylor's) honor).  The blue folder is from the hospital, papers and pamphlets talking about grief and the papers from the mortuary about burial.  Then is the stack of blankets I talked about already, topped with a key chain dangle from Beadiful by Jennifer Sanchez that has Seth's photo on the front, and also a tiny blue-dressed angel bear that's closer to the length Seth was.

The bottom one is Taylor's.  It has my Taylor Bear, the weighted heart sent by A Heart to Hold, the key chain dangle that has Taylor's ultrasound picture on the back (Seth's picture on the front) and miniature purple-dressed bear that's closer to the length she would have been, her tiny hat from Calvin's Hats, and the big red picture has the ultrasound photo where she was in a praying position and the quote I relied on so much by Joseph Smith.

So this is how I honor my babies.  This is how I remember them.  Unfortunately, I have to keep it all in my room because Ben thinks it's "gross" to display any of the photos where others can see them.  He doesn't grieve for them; he says he has nothing to grieve because he never bonded with them, despite holding Seth's tiny perfect body.  So I mourn alone.  I remember alone.  I love alone.  But I will never forget my babies.  I will never stop loving them.  And I look forward to the day that I will get to be with them again, will get to raise them, will get to hug them.

I love you both.  Taylor & Seth, you are in my heart and in my memories always.

Since I wrote all that a few weeks ago, I added all the candles from the Wave of Light on the 15th on the bottom shelf, combined the items for both my babies on the middle shelf, hung the pictures of Seth on the wall, and the top shelf holds my scrapbook of both babies, a scarf a sweet loss-mama friend made for me that looks like the awareness ribbon (half pink, half blue) once you put it on, and once I print out more pictures - they'll go into the 5 picture frame with the pictures of my other 3 babies.  

Capture Your Grief - Day 20: Charity/Organization

Day 20: Charity/Organization

This one is hard.  There have been so many places and people that have really touched my heart.  I think the two that have meant the most have been NILMDTS that I talk about often, and also Molly Bears that I've mentioned recently.

NOW I LAY ME DOWN TO SLEEP is the organization that provides free photography for bereaved parents.  Actually, I found out recently that, if you know that your baby has died while you're still pregnant, they'll do maternity photos for you before you deliver and then still do the newborn photography for you after your baby's birth.  I found out a few days before delivering both times.  Other parents lose their babies during child birth or soon thereafter.  Heidi, from NILMDTS gave me so many pictures of Seth that I treasure so very much.  I look at them often.  I continue to study him, just as I did in the hospital.  I know that not everyone can find the beauty in him, but I do.  I think he was a beautiful little boy and I love looking at his pictures.

MOLLY BEARS is a non-profit company that makes teddy bears for bereaved parents that are weighted the same as their lost baby.  They personalize each of them, not only to the RIGHT weight, but also so that each bear is as unique as each child.  I hold my Taylor Bear and Seth Bear.  I cuddle them.  My kids cuddle them.  I kiss their heads as I would my babies' heads.  They have brought me so much comfort.  Taylor Bear is weighted to 2oz, Seth Bear to 3oz.  Some are 9 lbs and more.  Find their facebook page, too.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Capture Your Grief - Day 19: Project

Day 19: Project

 I made a facebook page called MOMMY'S HEART IN A BOX that covers a few different projects I've started as a result of my losses this year.  It started with memory boxes...

The include a journal, tissues, two tiny stuffed animals (one for the casket, one for mom to keep), a Scentsy travel tin, matching Teeny Tears diaper - gown - and blanket, matching burial outfit - hat - and blanket, matching bracelets for mom and baby and a scrapbook/photo book.

Then, it kind of expanded to include memorial graphics as I had been making some for others anyway and really enjoyed it.  PLEASE feel free to request a free graphic on the facebook page!!

And then it expanded further as people began requesting the tealight candle holders I had made for the Wave of Light on the 15th.

I try to keep as busy as I can to block out as many emotions as I can and to keep things positive.  Any time I start losing sight of my mission to help others as they grieve, sadness starts to overtake me.  Someone posted an article in one of my loss groups that said that mothers who lose their children at any age or stage of pregnancy are 300% more likely to die in the first two years after their loss.  Then it drops to something like 115% more likely than mothers who have not lost a child.  They said they didn't track the difference in types of deaths, so they didn't know if the increase was due to suicide or what-have-you.  However, I don't think it matters.  Once you've lost a child, you figure you have someone you long to see waiting for you in heaven, so if you should happen to get in a wreck or something, you're less likely to fight to stay alive than you would if you hadn't lost a child.  The article said that it didn't matter if these mothers had other living children or not.  Anyway, so I just keep myself busy so that I don't have time to entertain such thoughts.  I find others to serve, even if the "others" are my angel babies.  I have no time to dwell on grief and I prefer to keep it that way.  And hey, helping others is always great, right?!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Testing Continued...

Remember my post back in August, 2 Week Follow-Up & Testing?  In it, I told you about how I was having some blood tests done, then a sonohystogram (SHG), and then if needed, we'd consider genetic testing.  Well, it's time to follow up with all that...

As expected, the initial blood work came back clean and clear.  No antibodies attacking "pregnancy products."  No clotting disorders.  So we did the SHG this week.  When I realized that both Taylor & Seth had anterior placentas, whereas my other 3 had posterior placentas, I told my midwife about it.  She said it sounded like perhaps I had a uterine septum.  My family history suggested that I prepare to hear that I had uterine fibroids.  I considered hearing that whatever problems were found would be fixable.  I considered hearing that any problems would not be fixable.  I started working through the emotions so that I wouldn't freak out too badly.  I never considered preparing myself for what I heard - nothing.

Yep, my uterus is about as healthy, clean, and clear as they come.  No problems at all.  No scarring.  No fibroids.  No septum.  No size problems.  It's slightly tilted to the front, but that's not an issue.  My ovaries are fine.  He even showed me the egg I am going to release from my left ovary this month, perfect, happy, and healthy.  I halted in disbelief and asked "now what?"  He said that women who miscarry have a 70% chance of carrying a healthy, full-term baby next time.  Well, my "next time" also ended in a loss.  He said (and this is not Dr. Silver, but someone else who will be sending a report to Dr. Silver) that, if it happens again, I should have the "pregnancy products" tested for abnormalities.  I wanted to do that, except insurance doesn't cover it and it's expensive.  So he went back to how 70% of following pregnancies are just fine.  Odds of losing a baby between 13-19 weeks gestation are approx 1% to 5% chance.  That 70% is about recurrent miscarriage, as in 4-19 weeks, both first and second trimester.  When you've lost two babies in the second trimester in a row, that "only 30% chance of miscarrying again" feels horrible.  When you've been in that 30% already, you feel as though your chances of being in that 30% again are much higher.  And the thing is, I can't seem to find the odds of loss after two second trimester losses in a row.  Has anyone out there in the blog-reader's world had a background like mine and decided to try again?  How did it go?  I REALLY want to hear responses on this one.

In the mean time, emotionally, I'm not ready for another pregnancy now.  I had anticipated answers this week.  I anticipated hearing that something was causing my losses and I'd be able to have another baby.  I anticipated that I might have to wait so I could fix things, or that I'd be able to have early ultrasounds done to see what my chances in keeping each pregnancy would be.  I didn't anticipate being told "well, you just happened to receive two flukes in a row, but try again and you never know what'll happen, hahahahaha!"  Yes, I got to my car and cried my eyes out because there was nothing wrong with me.  My babies were perfect (as far as ultrasounds could tell) and their home in my body was perfect.  There was no obvious reason for either of them to die.  But they did.  And I have no answers.  If you've never been through this, I'm sure you're thinking I'm some kind of nutcase for crying over having no problems.  But remember, it also means no answers.  Can you tell I'm still working through the emotions of this?

To say "this sucks" is an understatement.  I get so angry and sad and confused and afraid that it makes me want to puke.  It's like I can feel my emotions working their way up from my tummy to my throat and they stay logged there, haunting me, hurting me.  This sucks.

Capture Your Grief - Day 18: Family Portrait

Day 18: Family Portrait

We are re-taking our family pictures soon.  I think we're going to stick with red, so I'm having a red jacket made for Seth's bear and Taylor already has a red bow.  That way, we can add our baby bears to our picture. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Capture Your Grief - Day 16: Release

Day 16: Release

I tied Taylor & Seth's balloons together.  Like I said a few days ago, I didn't want to let go of my balloons, as though I were letting go of my babies again.  So keeping the balloons together was like keeping my babies together.  I need them to stay together, my two babies.  Plus, I didn't want to lose them in the sky.  I wanted to be able to find them easily.  It was amazing how many people were there, how many babies' names were read, how many balloons were released.  Sad, really.  But it was nice to be surrounded by people who "get it."  I love speaking my children's names.  I love making sure they are not forgotten.  And everyone there was doing the same thing, speaking names and remembering them. 

Capture Your Grief - Day 15: Wave of Light

Day 15: Wave of Light

October 15th is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness/Remembrance Day.  Across the world, we light candles at 7pm in our own time zone so that, lit for one hour, it creates a wave of light worldwide.  I am honored to have had the chance to participate and include the angel babies of my friends who are becoming like family to me.

As I was lighting the candles, Keith (my 6 year old) asked me what I was doing.  "I'm lighting candles," I replied, trying to keep it brief and only answer what he wanted to know.  But he continued.  "What are these for?"  Sigh.  "Each of these candles is for a baby that died, like Taylor & Seth."  ...  "Mommy, I love all of these babies."  He said it after the most solemn momentary silence.  I knew he meant it.  Then, he sat and watched as I continued to light candles.  When I was done, I asked him if he wanted to say anything to the babies, or to Taylor and Seth.  He told all the babies that he was sorry they died, and he told Seth and Taylor that he loved them and wanted to play with them.

So, as I post these pictures, know that it's not just me remembering your babies, but my tender-hearted Keith, as well.  I know sometimes it seems as though you are the only one who thinks of your babies, but I assure you that I think of them often, too.  I lit 23 candles last night.  That's 23 babies together.  Maybe I'm sentimental.  Maybe I make things up.  Maybe my imagination is wild.  Maybe this is complete blasphemy, but I just don't know.  I like to think that, as we on earth get to know each other and share our angel children with each other, they are brought together in heaven, too.  Some of these children are those of friends I've only met online in support groups, but they've touched my heart.  Some I met online and later in person, and it feels like their angels know my angels.  I like the thought that our babies are not alone, but surrounded by the loved ones of those we connect with.  That's why I chose to light candles for each of you.  Because your babies are keeping my babies company, they are their friends.  Thank you for sharing them with me.


I want to mention that I didn't get everyone included that I wanted to.  I somehow missed a print up for Baby Carter - April 2009 - child of Tonya Carter.  And I really wanted to include Autumn Anne Phillips - daughter of April Philips, but I don't know her birth date, only that it's sometime in March 2009.  I have a neighbor that is one of the most amazing women I've ever met who has lost three.  I don't think she named them, nor do I know their dates, but I'd like to include them.  There are a few others, too.  And if you'd like to be included in this candle lighting for next year, let me know.  I'd love to keep our angels close together.  And remember that they will be thought of in my home every time I light candles for my own children and every time I pass my dresser full of candles each day.  They are remembered.  They are loved.  They are missed.


Sunday, October 14, 2012

Capture Your Grief - Day 14: Community

Day 14: Community

This was my first "event" honoring my angel babies.  It was the Utah Share Walk to Remember.  I met up with my friend, Kris, there.  I met her in a Facebook loss group, realized she lived in Utah, and so when I went near her town one day, she and I met up!  I was glad to be there with her.  She had her whole family there to support her and remember her baby boy, Luke.  I went alone.  My photo collage of this day will likely be repeated soon, but I'll change up the pictures to capture the day to coincide with the topic when it comes up again.

It was a really sweet event.  They talked about the organization's upcoming activities, then a beautiful poem was read, a song called "Beautiful" was sung, we walked around the park (walking the steps our babies will never take), then there was another song followed by each child's name being read and balloons being released as the name was read.  There was one family who had 9, yes NINE, losses.  I was surprised that, as Taylor & Seth's names were read, I didn't want to let go of my balloons for them.  It made me so sad to let them go, as if I were letting go of my babies again.  I forced myself to do it anyway and held back the tears that were so very near the surface.  Heck, even the piano music playing before the event started made me fight back tears!  They had several different items for sale, such as the two Christmas ornaments I bought.  I'm shocked I didn't take a picture of the adorable front - a foot print with 2012 below it.  Then they personalized them as desired, so of course I added their names and dates.  I'm hoping to make a "baby's first missed Christmas" ornament for each of them this year, too.  I'm glad I went and I hope to be able to make it next year.

I'm also hoping to take part in the "Running With Angels" event next year.  My dear friend, Ashley, ran remembering Taylor earlier this year, as I was pregnant with Seth. 

I know some people think it's weird that I don't just "get over it" but keep doing things to remember and honor my babies.  But, I'm their mommy and I don't want them to ever be forgotten.  They're my babies and I won't ever stop loving them.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Capture Your Grief - Day 12: Scent

Day 12: Scent

It took me a long time to think of a scent.  Even now, this is more on Ben's behalf.  My friend and doula, Denise, used a lot of the oils that are part of this blend on me while I was in the hospital.  I used it again in the car after I was finally released from the hospital and Ben said that the smell reminded him of the hospital.  He's not too thrilled with the scent anymore.  I don't relate it, which is odd but I don't.  I don't think I have any scents that bring up memories of either of my angel babies.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Capture Your Grief - Day 11: Supportive Friends/Family

Day 11: Supportive Friends/Family

My friend.  My doula.  She was there when Kiersten was born.  She was there again when Seth was born.  She came to his graveside service.  She's the one who came and took care of me and my house the day after I got home from the hospital after Seth was born followed by the unexpected D&C.  Denise - you are such a fantastic friend.  You're always there when I need you.  You teach me.  You respect me.  You are kind to me.  You love me.  And I appreciate you and all you do for me.  Thank you for all you do for me.  Thank you for never denigrating my grief or my pain.  Thank you for remembering my angel babies.  Thank you, Denise.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Capture Your Grief - Day 9: Special Place

Day 9: Special Place

After finding out Taylor had died, I went to the Mount Timpanogos Temple the next day.  As I continued to endure the emotions of losing my baby girl, I continued to go there to find peace.  It is pictured on the top left.

After finding out Seth had died, I went to the Jordan River Temple the next day.  I've been there a few times since then, too.  It is pictured on the bottom left.

As I miscarried Taylor, I spent a lot of the night in Kiersten's room.  It's so beautiful in there!  The walls are a gorgeous turquoise with glitter in the paint, and it is adorned with a crystal chandelier.  When I'm in there, I feel like I'm in a blue Celestial Room.  It makes me feel close to Taylor.  I don't yet have a place that makes me feel close to Seth, but being in this room even 8 1/2 months later, I feel like Taylor is there surrounding herself in the beauty of the room and the emotional imprints in that room.