Sunday, December 31, 2006
That I will grieve as much and for as long as I feel like grieving, and that I will not let others put a timetable on my grief.
That I will grieve in whatever way I feel like grieving, and I will ignore those who try to tell me what I should or should not be feeling and how I should or should not be behaving.
That I will cry whenever and wherever I feel like crying, and that I will not hold back my tears just because someone else feels I should be "brave" or "getting better" or "healing by now".
That I will talk about my child as often as I want to, and that I will not let others turn me off just because they can't deal with their own feelings.
That I will not expect family and friends to know how I feel, understanding that one who has not lost a child cannot possibly know how I feel.
That I will not blame myself for my child's death, and I will constantly remind myself that I did the best job of parenting I could possibly have done. But when feelings of guilt are overwhelming, I will remind myself that this is normal part of the grief process and it will pass.
That I will not be afraid or ashamed to seek professional help if I feel it is necessary.
That I will commune with my child at least once a day in whatever way feels comfortable and natural to me, and that I won't feel compelled to explain this communion to others or to justify or even discuss it with them.
That I will try to eat, sleep, and exercise every day in order to give my body strength it will need to help me cope with my grief.
To know that I will heal, even though it will take a long time.
To let myself heal and not feel guilty about feeling better.
To remind myself that the grief process is circuitous–that is, I will not make steady upward progress. And when I find myself slipping back into the old moods of despair and depression, I will tell myself that "slipping backward" is also a normal part of the grief process and these moods, too, will pass.
To try to be happy about something for some part of every day, knowing that at first, I may have to force myself to think cheerful thoughts so eventually they can become a habit.
That I will reach out at times and try to help someone else, knowing that helping others will help me to get over my depression.
That even though my child is dead, I will opt for life, knowing that is what my child would want me to do.
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Monday, December 25, 2006
What I wouldn't do for him to be here!
You are felt in the raindrops that fall from the skies
You are felt in the tears that fall from my eyes
You are felt in the sun that shines from above
You are my everlasting love
written by anonymous
Sunday, December 24, 2006
Why today sucked probably more then tomorrow will. I would have been nine months pregnant today. My belly would have been HUGE and we would have been planning the fast-coming birth of our first born. Instead, we grieve for Jack who came too soon and couldn't stay for long. Everyone else has moved on and forgotten while we quietly mourn our loss. We don't want to be a bother and know you don't know what to say so we put on our happy faces and people believe we are OK. We're not OK, we're the farthest thing from it, but don't know what to do to "get better".
I haven't been blogging this month because I was afraid of what I'd write. I've really felt like I'm starting to breakdown, uncontrollably. I know a lot of it is due to lack of sleep. The combination of Jimi's constant late-night potty breaks and having to take Jory to work at the butt crack of dawn. Up until this past Friday I was getting no more than 2 straight hours of sleep. I've been off work since then and have done nothing but sleep, vegetate and sleep some more. I'm trying my best to snooze through the rest of this wretched month. Hopefully now that Jory and I are back on the same hourly schedule, Jimi will get on a better sleep schedule and not have to get up as often.
What scares me the most is how fooled everyone at work is. They've actually made comments to our security guard who is a close friend of mine about how much happier I seem lately. If you remember, one of my last posts, I mentioned how smiling seems to make everyone think I'm OK so they don't bother me or try to entertain me or try to make small talk because they don't know what else to do. Once I started "smiling" they stopped bothering me. I was able to hide in the shadows and come out when I want. I'm not OK, I'm far from OK.
I've never really cared about my personal appearance but lately I've taken that to the 100th degree. I'm glad we have no family or friends here because I would be ashamed for them to see me or our house. I'm a mess, the house is a mess. I just can't find the energy or need to get off the couch or out of bed to clean. I'm a total wreck and can only hope that with a new year I'll find my way out of this dark hole. Unfortunately with Jack's due date coming in January, I don't know how that's possible.
Mama misses you Jack!
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Believed to be the largest mass candle lighting on the globe, the Worldwide Candle Lighting creates a virtual 24-hour wave of light as it moves from time zone to time zone. Hundreds of formal candle lighting events are held and thousands of informal candle lightings are conducted in homes as families gather in quiet remembrance of children who have died, but will never be forgotten.
The Worldwide Candle Lighting started in the United States in 1997 as a small Internet observance but has since swelled in numbers as word has spread throughout the world of the remembrance. A memorial message board is available during the event at TCF's USA website www.compassionatefriends.org. Hundreds upon hundreds of postings are received each year from all over the United States, as well as dozens of other countries. Some messages are in foreign languages.
Here in the United States, publicity about the event is widespread, being featured in the past in Parade Magazine, Ann Landers column, Guideposts magazine, Annie’s Mailbox, and literally hundreds of U.S. newspapers, dozens of television stations, and numerous websites. Information on the Worldwide Candle Lighting and planned memorial candle lighting services is posted on the TCF website at www.compassionatefriends.org each year as the event nears.
The United States Senate has, for many of the 10 years of the Worldwide Candle Lighting, joined in the remembrance by unanimously passing resolutions declaring the second Sunday in December of each year National Children’s Memorial Day to coincide with The Compassionate Friends Worldwide Candle Lighting.
The Worldwide Candle Lighting gives bereaved families everywhere the opportunity to remember their child . . . that their light may always shine!"
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Friday, December 01, 2006
We've had a lot of distractions lately. With Jimi home now we're not getting a lot of sleep and having to chase her around constantly is a huge distraction. Only when she's sleeping do I start to think again. Going through all the TTC steps, doctor's appointments, taking my temperature every morning and getting HCG shots definitely takes up a lot of my time. I'm not sure if all these distractions are good or if it will eventually catch up to me?
I don't want to wake up one day and not have control of whether I can get out of bed or not. I've been there, done that and bought the t-shirt. Depression is a serious deal. Most people know that I'm Bipolar. Obviously un-medicated since we've been TTC. It really hasn't taken control over me since we moved out of Utah. The sunshine does miracles! Regardless, I worry about it sneaking up on me. Since Jack died, I've done everything I can to stay away from medicating myself too much. Instead of picking up the bottle, I started smoking again. Obviously I plan on quitting again, soon. I've tried not to make it habit of taking my Ambien too often to so I don't become addicted. Lately, I haven't needed any sleep aids because I'm exhausted at the end of the day from being swamped at work, taking care of the pups and getting up in the middle of the night with Jimi.
I'm getting used to all the Jacks I come across all day. Whether it be people calling at work or characters on TV, Jack is everywhere. I feel like I'm not doing him justice. We haven't made it to the Angel here in Phoenix yet. Jory and I only have one day off together and it seems it's the day we both sleep in and vegetate. Fridays are normally packed with appointments, dropping Jory off at work, chores and errands. Today we should have made the effort to go, but yesterday was crazy for me and after getting up with Jimi early this morning, I napped too long.
With so much going on and my emotions lately, I'm wondering if somehow my brain is turning them off because I feel like I'm going through the motions of life, but not really living. I still brake down and cry, mostly in the shower and on break at work. I don't really know how to do all this. I don't know how to deal with this grief. I don't know how not to worry about losing my ovaries someday. I don't know how I'm supposed to make it through any more tragedy. I don't want to come off so cliche, but seriously WHY ME? Why is life so easy for some people? Why is getting pregnant and having kids so fucking easy for so many women? Why do I have so many medical issues? Why do I have go through all these trials?
I guess this is the part where I should mention that I'm going to be an aunt. We found out the day I returned to work in October. My baby brother Christopher called and left me a voice mail before I woke up. On my way to work I remembered he had called, so I called him back and he said he wasn't sure how he was going to tell me this other then to just tell me. Even though I thought I knew what he was going to say, I was shocked and speechless when the words came out of his mouth. "Fawn is pregnant". After a minute or two of silence, I was able to swallow the lump in my throat and tearfully tell him I was happy for him. I knew how scared he must have been to tell me. How much he must have stressed about how to tell me, when to tell me and worried about how I would respond. He apologized a million times about the horrible timing. She was on birth control, they hadn't planned this. How unfair it is that they Mistakenly gotten pregnant, when we've being trying for so many years and when we were finally blessed, our son had to come too soon and died. So many thoughts rushed into my head. I wasn't angry or hurt just crushed that again I was being tested. Something else thrown in my face. Jory and I decided then that we would turn this into something to look forward to. Neither of us have nieces or nephews so this is our first opportunity to be an aunt and uncle. Don't get me wrong, it was horribly hard to see Fawn over Thanksgiving and to hear everyone talk about the new baby. I kept waiting for Jack to be mentioned or talked about and when it never happened I told myself it was OK, they don't know what to say and don't want to upset us. But it still hurts. I miss Jack so much. My heart aches for him every day. I just don't want people to forget about him.
A few friends have asked to see pictures of Jack, when we're ready. I don't know why I'm so protective of them. The first thing I told my mother in the hospital was that we would share the pictures with immediate family only. I could just picture her carrying his photo in her purse and showing them to every customer at work. Now I know she wouldn't really do that, but she's a proud grandma. I don't know why I don't want to share them, even with extended family. I'm a proud mother, but for whatever reason I'm not ready to share them/him with the world yet.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Sunday, November 19, 2006
During my doctor’s appointment Friday Nov. 3rd, my doctor found a bunch of cysts already growing in my ovaries. If you’ve read my blog in the past you know that the type of cysts I have (Serous Cystadenomas) will one day become Serous Cystadenocarcinoma the most common malignant tumor of the ovary…CANCER. Before we got pregnant with Jack, we were told we had a little time to try for a baby and if we got pregnant fast enough, we might have time for two. Well, we got pregnant the first try after my surgery so we should have had time for a 2nd. Obviously we never expected Jack to come so soon let alone have him die. We were told the cysts wouldn’t grow as long as I was pregnant or not having a period. So seeing my doctor’s face in shock as he first noticed all the cysts was really scary. I think I’ve had my share of bad news this year, I really don’t need more. I’m fairly certain between Jory and I, a month long mini series might just barely cover our year of hell. Needless to say, it’s our turn to have some good luck!
My doctor said if we were ready, we really should start trying now. If we need more time, I would most likely need to have surgery again to remove the cysts. So Jory and I discussed our options and have decided that since we cannot control our time frame, we have to try.
All along I’ve said I miss being pregnant, and I do. And even though at my follow up appointment in September I told the doctor that I wanted to try again as soon as we could, partly because I missed being pregnant but mostly because I already knew we were on borrowed time. I just know I’m not truly emotionally ready yet. It’s already going to be a scary ride. Your first pregnancy you’re scared because you don’t know what to expect and you don’t want anything to go wrong. But with a second pregnancy after a loss, it’s going to be terrifying.
A few weeks ago I asked Jory if we would be waiting longer to announce our next pregnancy (if we’re lucky enough) and he asked why? It was a good point, had we miscarried within the 1st trimester, we would have written about it. There is no reason not to celebrate the next pregnancy (crossing fingers) as scary as the process may be.
So now it’s out there, we’re Trying To Conceive again, with the assistance of Clomid. Due to my Incompetent Cervix, I will be getting a Cerclage (stitching the cervix closed) at 12 weeks and could be on bed rest from that point on. They remove the Cerclage at 36 weeks to prevent any tearing if you happen to go into labor before they remove it. We’ve prepared for the possibility of bed rest by paying for Long Term Disability because STD only gives you 6 months paid leave. That would only cover the time they put the Cerclage in until they take it out. Obviously if you are on bed rest for 6 months, you’re most likely going to continue until you deliver. Plus I’ll get paid while on FMLA for maternity leave.
I’m not sure how to emotionally prepare myself for this journey. We’re still in so much pain from losing Jack. We know it takes at least two years of grieving before we learn how to live with our loss. We have to look at the possibility of getting pregnant as a light at the end of our dark tunnel. Having another baby is not going to replace Jack. It’s not going to take away our pain. It’s not going to fill the hole in our hearts, but it will enable our hearts to heal a little and fill with love once again.
There are a lot of books on TTC after a loss, I plan on purchasing some very soon. I’ve also found a few online support groups that have already been very helpful. Jory and I also planned on going to a local support group for bereaved parents but our schedule conflicts with meeting times. So for now, I spend most of my day reading my online support boards, rereading the two grief books we were given or searching the internet for others out there like us. All the while, trying my best not to freak out over the medical bills that seem to be coming out of the woodwork. Just breath.
Saturday, November 18, 2006
buying a $400 vacuum sure does!
We never could have bought our dyson without the many Lowe's gift cards we were given for Xmas the year we moved into our house in Nibley, Utah. So Thank You again to those that bought them for us...you ended up helping us pay for the koolest vacuum on the planet!
Monday, November 13, 2006
"The other person I want to dedicate this last blog to is someone I never actually got to meet. Nonetheless, Jack Johnson still has made an impact on my life. My brother Jory and his wife Joey were thrilled to learn that they would be expecting, especially, after having been told they probably couldn't get pregnant. Our families were both very excited to welcome the new member sometime in January. Unfortunately, just about a month ago Joey went into labor and gave birth to a very premature baby boy. Again, I don't know the specifics, but I believe Jack Johnson lived for about six hours and weighed only nine ounces. Although I was, and am still, saddened by this event, I believe that everything happens for a reason. I know that Jack is in a good place and is surrounded by those who love him very much. Jack has shown me just how important, and how supportive, families can be. Growing up in a dysfunctional home, I've never really had a good sense of familial trust. Jack has brought us all together in a way that I believe is for good. Perhaps that was Jack's mission in his short life –to help us realize just how important our own families are. I know that both Joey and Jory will make great parents. I know this because I see the kind of friends they are and because of how they care for their own families. Jory always insists that I call whenever I reach my destination, and I can picture him doing this with his kids when the time comes. I can't wait to hear them complain about their overprotective dad. If Jack is anything like his dad, he is up in heaven putting tabasco sauce on Uncle Chip's Oreo's. Or, perhaps he is convincing one of his great grandparents that they did something they didn't actually do. I will try not to think about what I might be missing out on by not having the chance to see Jack grow and instead see how he helped all of us grow in an instant. I know I will have many opportunities to see Jack in my dreams how he is, not how he could have been. I will see him smile and play and I will be able to hear his laughter. I know we will all get through this, because we are never dealt more than we can handle. I know Jack will always look down on his mom and dad and be proud of what they are and know how much they will always love him. We all love you too, Jack, but you probably already know."
Saturday, November 11, 2006
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Saturday, November 04, 2006
Friday, November 03, 2006
Thursday, November 02, 2006
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
I know it's silly but I was listening to a radio show with a psychic guest. He said that spirits who have passed hear our thoughts, they don't know it's our thoughts because it's so real to them. So I hope you hear me thinking about you all day long. I hope that my sadness doesn't upset you. I wanted you so much, we worked so hard for so long to get to meet you. My heart aches for you every minute. Today I've been feeling you swim around in my belly, even though you're not there anymore. It makes me happy for just a moment then it hits me hard in the heart. I've had to leave my desk a few times and hide my car because I can't control my tears. I have never known such pain and such sorrow, I'm not sure I know how to handle it. I wake up every morning, get out of bed and remember to breath in and out. I will make it through this for you and for dad but it is a long journey.
Family members keep asking me what I want for my birthday this month or for Christmas. No one can give me what I want, because it's you. You are my shinning star Jack. My beloved boy, I wish I could hold you and tell you how much I love you. I talk to your elephant all the time. I hope you hear me and feel my hugs. I kiss it once in the morning and once at night. And if by chance we are given another miracle it won't be replacing you. You, my boy will always be my first born. You will be their big brother. You will be their guardian angel.
Your daddy and I will be lighting your candle tonight Jack. Feel free to come and visit us, we'll be watching for your dancing flame.
Love You Forever Jack!
Missing you, Mommy
Monday, October 30, 2006
Jimi Hendrix Johnson
This is Jimi, she was born in early October. Apparently she's become quite the butterball, when she trys to walk her belly gets in the way. We will be picking her up over Thanksgiving in Utah.
Jimi and Mazzy do not have the same mom, but they have identical markings: white chin and back left paw. She's super cute and we are excited to have her join our family. Mazzy however, may feel differently...they'll get along eventually.
Friday, October 27, 2006
So I guess my talking to a coworker about the lack of support worked. She bought us the perfect scrapbook for Jack and some of my coworkers created a page or added a poem or card. It was very sweet of her and those that participated. I guess I have to find somewhere else to misplace my anger. ;) I am very grateful for the support she has provided me, by telling me her story and things she did for Zoe and steps she took to move forward.
I would also like the thank our friends who called, email and or commented on my last post. You have no idea how much we appreciate all of your continued love and support. I don't think you all understand how much your comments here and there help us. I re-read them daily. They help get me through my work day. They're like little hugs from a far away friend. Thank You!
I should apologize for my last post. It wasn't meant to hurt feelings. My emotions are all over the board and as I said, I know I'm misplacing my anger. There really is no place to put my anger but I know it's part of grieving. I'm not angry at my doctor or any nurse. I know it wasn't my fault, but it was my body. MY BODY failed me, failed Jack. How do you take that anger out on your own body? I know I shouldn't be angry with myself so I guess I've been projecting it on other people. I'm sorry.
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
I know I'm probably misplacing my anger on what everyone is saying wrong. I'm struggling more than anyone can comprehend. Working is as hard as I thought it would be. Had my coworkers shown some support, even through a card or any acknowledgement of Jack's existence would have helped. But nothing, they have shown nothing, given nothing, said nothing. I don't want to hear anymore that it's because they don't know what to say because they sent a card to a former coworker who lost his dad a few months ago. Where is my FUCKING card? Don't get me wrong, there is one person who's reached out. She lost her daughter Zoe two years ago in a very similar situation. I know Jack has brought back all those emotions and it can't be easy for her to deal with. It's not fair that she's been given the responsibility to check on me because she's the only one who understands. How hard is it to say, "I'm sorry"?
I've read recently that when you lose a child people don't know what to say and often say nothing at all. And that often Friends become strangers and Strangers become friends. I see that happening already. I'm hurt that it's happening. The few friends I need now more then ever are becoming strangers. Those friends of ours that have commented on our blogs or MySpaces or email are not who I'm talking about. It's those that I haven't heard a word from. I know they know about Jack, so why? Why would you hide from me? Why won't you reach out? All I need to hear is that you are sorry and that you care. I miss you, I need you. I may not answer my phone at the time, but I need to hear from you. I don't want to be strangers.
Don't be afraid to talk to us about Jack, I'm already thinking about him all the time. I wake up thinking about Jack. I sit at work missing Jack. Today in the middle of a phone call, for no reason, I found myself losing it and I tried to finish up before my crackling voice gave my tears away. I escaped to my car to cry. There's no use in trying to stop crying, it doesn't work. When you think you can't possibly have anymore tears a new wave flows out. I think my coworkers are getting used to seeing my sunglasses on inside, I don't know how else to hide my eyes.
At the end of the night my eyes are burning, chest is tight and I have a dry throat. I try to "get lost" in a TV show, but it's so hard to relax. I feel guilty when I laugh or even smile. Not so much when it's just me and Jory. He's the one person who understands this insanity. He knows if I laugh, it's not me forgetting Jack. I know Jack would want us to be happy but that doesn't seem to help. I miss him more than you can possibly imagine.
Life is so different now. So lonely. So sad. I won't ever "get over" losing Jack. I will always miss him, I will always love him. I will always celebrate his birthday and mourn the day he died. I will cry for him until I'm able to smile for him.
Saturday, October 21, 2006
Friday, October 20, 2006
Thursday, October 19, 2006
We are struggling to accept that the world has not stopped and that this week we both have to jump back on the Merry-Go-Round of Life and somehow manage to hold on.
Monday was my first day back at work and no one (except Jory) seems to really understand how hard this is for me. Today someone asked me if it was Really That Bad to be back at work. I wanted to scream and tell them that not only am I not pregnant anymore, I had my baby boy, he lived and he died and now there is this giant hole in my heart and I don't know how to keep living.
We really appreciate your emails, cards, packages, donations and blog posts. We may or may not have answered your phone call but the voicemails are helpful.
Sunday, October 15, 2006
"There is no greater tragedy in life than the loss of a child. Unfortunately, because our babies live only within our wombs or they live outside of the womb for a short period of time, an uneducated society often minimizes the importance of their short lives and, in turn, our grief is trivialized.” Clair Baca
Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month is in October and Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day is on October 15th. We have succeeded in getting State Proclamations established in 47 States to date (October 11, 2001). First of all, just because we may have states that have not signed, does not mean that the Month of October and October 15th will not be recognized in these states. We are hoping to have October 15th observed all over the world, and we truly believe in our hearts that someday it will be.
“Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day allows us to both mourn and celebrate the short lives of our Angel Babies.” Clair Baca
Not only do we want to reach others who have had similar losses, but also we want to reach people who have been blessed and have no idea of the pain of losing a much-wanted pregnancy or child. We want them to understand that we have lost our unborn and our infant children, and we grieve on a daily basis. We want them to allow us this time to grieve and to remember. We would also like them to grieve with us, at least on this one particular day of the year.
Here is a list of ways to participate in giving awareness and remembrance to our children. Contact your family and friends. Have them participate as well.
Ideas for all of the Month of October
Tying pink or blue ribbons around trees in yards, neighborhoods, and parks.
Place signs and banners in your yard, neighborhoods, and parks.
Contact your local radio stations and television news stations to have them announce that October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.
Write an article and submit it to your local newspapers.
Sponsor flowers in memory of your baby in a church service or hospital.
Have a t-shirt made that says I have an Angel, and have your child’s name put on it.
Ideas for October 15th
Light candles and display them in your windows.
Contact local Radio and News stations and have them announce that it is October 15th, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.
Drive with your headlights on. Also, ask that radio and news stations announce this as well.
Leave your porch lights on. Have radio and news stations announce this as well.
Release butterflies (Can be expensive, but is very beautiful, Use a search engine such as yahoo and type in butterfly release)
Release Doves (You can rent doves that are trained to fly back to the owner)
Sponsor a candle lighting ceremony in a park, church, or local hospital.
Send off a pink or blue balloon with your Angel’s name and/or picture. (Warning Please: If you do this, only send one balloon per child. This is very dangerous for birds and wildlife. The animals can eat the remnants of a balloon and die) (As beautiful and wonderful as it is, I can’t personally recommend it due to my love for animals)
Article Written by: Robyn Bear
Quotes by: Clair Baca
Ideas by: Robyn Bear, Lisa Brown, and Tammy Novak
My Fitness Pal
Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter