Thursday, July 15, 2021

I can do hard things


 There is something to be said about self-love… the importance behind it. The Why behind its importance. There are many times that it so easy to forget about yourself in this life. In a career, in a relationship, when you are a parent, when the outside world teaches us that we are never good enough. Media takes over and promotes that we need to fit a certain mold. Or we need to follow a set of rules for our life to matter. I am here to change this thought process. I am here to call attention to this. Stop paying attention to the copious amounts of negativity surrounding you and start looking deep within yourself to find the love of your life…. Search within yourself to love the most important person you will ever be with, start giving that person that energy they deserve. That person is, and always will be, YOU.

 

Now, bear with me because I am going to gas myself up a little bit here, and no it isn’t because I am cocky, it is because I am a god damn cheetah and I deserve to love myself. 

Let me preface this post about myself to tell you that it has taken a long time for me to understand the relevance as to why I need to love myself. Ive learned that you cannot pour from an empty up, as cliché as that sounds. I am not the prettiest, smartest, funniest, skinniest, most succession woman in the world. You know what, that is OK! I am so much more than being the best at any of those things. What I can say about myself is I am strong, determined, beautiful, caring, successful and most importantly 100% true to myself. I am never afraid to face a fear or challenge head on. 

 

Almost a year ago I was faced with a challenge. A professional one. At a time in my life where I was loving my career. I found out, in the middle of a global pandemic, that my team was being let go. Now before this could happen, we needed to spend the next month ensuring that all outstanding work was completed and that we could hand over our relationships to someone else. Did this hurt me? Sure a little. But it didn’t stop me. I worked that last month doing exactly that. I pushed to continue to grow myself as a person. I joined the unemployment world for the first time ever in my life. I jumped feet first into finding something new. You know what the positive to that is? Because of my continued passion and building those relationships, it only took me 6 weeks, 25 job applications, 8 interviews and 3 job offers to determine my next step.

 

I have now been in my new role for just short of 9 months now, and I will tell you, I am killing it. It has given me confidence in myself that I truly can do anything I put my mind to. It has given me more successful relationships, career advancements and the courage to step outside of my comfort zone. It was an interesting dynamic to do everything via a computer screen when finding my role but like other things, I did what I had to do.  

 

Today, for the first time in 16 months, I drove myself to one of our offices in Stamford to meet my leader face to face. I was able to meet some of the agency partners that I’ve only met on the phone. I smiled and laughed. And you know what else? I broadened my horizon, again. I introduced myself and showed a little bit of me. I have earned a few different achievement badges within my time here, and today I am presented with a certificate that will be shared with thousands of other people that have yet to meet me. These people will see my name and my accomplishments. These same people that were able to see my name and a picture of my family when I was showcased in a pride post last month. I may still have doubts about who I am as a person. Sure, there are some days I look in the mirror a little disappointed in myself or grabbing a chunk of my skin that has carried three children. I have to tell you though, I see below that surface. I see that fire, desire, passion, accountability, and strength in that woman, and I WILL NOT GIVE UP on her. 

I am worth more than what anyone has to say about me that doesn’t know me. I am worth everything that this life has to offer. I have to tell you all, I am so proud of who I am now and who I have yet to become.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

8 years.


 8 Years. So much has changed. Yet, so much remains the same.

This week my body and mind remember so much, that on any given day I cant seem to find the details.


I started my bereavement group almost 8 years ago. It had been 10 days since Delaney died. It had been 5 days since I was released from the hospital. This was the first time I was sitting in a room, face to face telling “strangers” our story. The first time we shared even an inkling of our story was not even 24 hours after she died, via social media and a phone call. A phone call that changed my life. This amazing woman Lisa, had a daughter Delainey, whom became a member of this club when she lost her daughter, Tylee. And she introduced us to a set of moms whom had lost their son, Luca. The first time at our grief group, was another mother’s first time, whom also had a Delaney.


At this bereavement group, this was the first time we had to tell our story out loud, especially so new in that new journey. You tell it through tears, snot, hyperventilating and in this fog that cant be described. I remember surveying the room…. There weren’t tissues…there were other families that were there. But why? Babies aren’t supposed to die. Why were families here? It was then that I started to understand this new club that we were apart of. This new space that didn’t feel right but knowing there were others, made it feel real. 


The more and more we went to these meetings, we heard more and more stories. More and More babies names. More families devasted by the loss of their beautiful child(ren). I learned that tissues were there, just hidden. A way for you to not feel like you needed to suppress your tears. Each meeting you could tell your story. You skip yourself. It was a safe space. A space in time that you could share all of the things you wanted to. Without people looking at you with a pity. Or saying some of dumb things that *outsiders* of this club could say.


Sometimes we would share some of the awful stories that friends, family, coworkers would do or say to “help us move on”. Some days we would find joy and laughter in rejoicing positive changes with each others lives. My meetings became a pivotal spot in my process of gaining my breath back. My heart, in all of its broken form, started to mend. Gathering space for other peoples babies. Growing again. I worked through some of my hardest and darkest moments along side these women, men and their children. I learned to tell my story in a way that felt comfortable. In a way that I could manage to tell a stranger, regardless of the strangers feelings. I learned I didn’t have to shelter anything that I didn’t want to.


I have changed how I tell me story many times over the course of the past 8 years. And today I am blessed to have our two beautiful sons. Our rainbow babies. They love to share time and space with their sister that lives in the stars. At the age of 5, they portray her life better than most adults. Pure love, pure innocence and zero fear of talking about their sister, who died.


The story of Delaney has grown and evolved, just as my love for her has. She is not my daughter who died. She is my reason for getting up each day. She is the whole reason I become a Mama. She gave me strength I didn’t know existed. She gave me love that helped emerge my soul. She gives me peace on my hardest days. Because yes, even after 8 years, I still ache for her. A mothers love is endless. So that love will end when I do. I am so grateful for the time I had with her in my womb. The hardest pregnancy that I fought with all my might to get through. And this life, that I continue to fight with all my might, to get through. I tell you without my Delaney strength, there are many times I would’ve given up that fight.


8 years ago, I became a Mama. HER Mama. 8 years ago, I went through 27 hours of labor knowing that my 38.5 week old growing baby had died inside my belly. 10 days from her due date. 10. I remember the feel of her. I remember the fear of what delivery would be like before we knew she had died. I remember the shift in that fear of delivering her knowing she died. I remember that dropping to my knees while I sat there alone with the Sono Tech… I remember the feeling of my inner self leaving my body shell. It was like floating above my body looking in on someone I didn’t know. 


I often tell people that have met me after the loss of Delaney, that I’m not the same person. There is this quote that says: “When my baby died, I was suddenly caught up in a tornado whirlwind, spinning around in circles and upside down, finally dropping at lightening speed back to earth, but in a totally different place from where I was first picked up, and unable to find my way back to the place I had been before. That place no long we exists.”



I am here with you, if you are a parent that knows this loss. After Delaney, we experienced a miscarriage. One I don’t often speak of. I don’t know if it is due to the amount of time that had passed since her. Or if my body didn’t allow me to connect. The loss, although hard, felt different to me. The time and space hadn’t allowed for me to ache as bad. That loss almost prevented me/us from having our boys today. In Delaney’s fashion, she sent us a message to TRY again.


8 years. 8 years old our beautiful daughter would be on May 17th. A day that gives me such love. A day that fills my emptiness with fullness. The days that lead up that day are hard. My body, My soul, My Heart, my inner space feels. It aches. It remembers. I get phantom arms. I carry the heavy weight of knowing my body failed. And then, her day comes. Delaneys day, our day. The day she became a daughter and I became a mother. The day that she was placed upon my chest. The most beautiful girl I had ever laid eyes on, became my world. I will always share her. I will always allow for her in this time, in this space.  


To all families near and far, to all bereaved families near and far: I hold your children in my heart. The greatest of all of my accomplishments in life, becoming a mother is by far my best. I am who I am because of them. My three children and my lost bean. 

My daughter died 8 years ago in her physical form. Her life will continue to be celebrated. He name will continue to be said long after I am gone from this world. Delaney Ann Miller: Meaning: 'Angel from heaven' or 'descendant of the challenger'. I am your Mama. You are my daughter. My first born.

I have a blood clotting disorder. I had a blood infection. And this claimed your life. My body failed me. I forgive my body. And thank you for keeping your brothers safe. 


Delaney, my wish for you this year, is that you know how loved you are. That you know how missed you are. That you look down and smile knowing you are apart of us. A part of me. Thank you for choosing me to be your Mama. And sharing this space with me.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

A year later


One year. It has been one year since I was clearing out my desk with the 
items I would need for our two weeks at home. I remember being with my coworkers thinking how crazy this was. What would it be like to be home for two weeks with my toddler twins while I work? I remember the day before Rach,and I took the day off. We went to lunch, had a few cocktails, went to a few stores in hopes we would grab the things we needed for Easter and the boy’s 4th birthday: Just in Case….

I remember the feeling of being so scared, knowing I could see my family but soon cutting that off too. The first couple of months seem like such a blur. I went from getting up and dressed like an adult like I was going in to the office. Jeans, make up, nice blouse etc. I remember dressing up for Zoom and Teams meetings. One year later and leggings are my dress pants.

Then we got to spend the boys 4th birthday with just them. We had a super fun Car Parade for them and blew kisses to our friends and family. We had a zoom Easter and waited for the Easter Bunny to do a town wide drive by. I was starting to feel the fatigue within weeks. That feeling of sadness. The feeling of needing hugs. Lots of them.

Mother’s Day was the first time we decided to “break the rules” and spend some time outside with my mom and one of my sisters. I remember the feel of those Masked hugs. The tears, the fears and the joy of seeing the boys with their big cousins. Then we went back to lockdown mode.

May 17th, a hard day for us that we usually spend with the most important people in our life came…. What was this going to be like? Our tribe showed up. Surprised us with a parade for Delaney. The people that celebrate her life with us, did. They stood outside of their cars and played the song we always play for her. We cried. We purged our emotions. Later that night I have planned a live candle lighting for her for all the people that wanted to join…. My family surprised us again and showed up in the backyard with the cupcake we had dropped off to them earlier for them to celebrate with us via Live FB.

This was the day we shifted. We, I, could no longer stay separate from them. This is when we opened our world to have our Pandemic Pod. I remember the sense of relief I had knowing that I would see some of the most I needed to. I was now months in to having the boys and working from home. Rach was still in the office. They ended up shutting down for a total of 5 weeks. And two of those were because we were exposed to Covid

Mid-Late June I eased up on allowing the grandparents to start helping with the kids. For all of our sakes. For all of us to have a “Sense of Normalcy”. I wish I kept track of how many times that phrase has been used by us over the past year. 

Summer. Outside. Weather. BBQs. Pool time. Park time. Hikes. Longer days. SUN. SUN. SUN. Tractors. Bikes. Bubbles. Chalk, Scooters. Walks. Beach. Anniversary Trip. 20/40 Party. Memories. Cookouts. Campfires. S’mores. Sunday Dinners. “Sense of Normalcy”

Summer was a breath of fresh air. All the things we needed. We made some amazing memories as a family. The boys learned how to ride bikes with training wheels, they were swimming without floaties (with help) We were outside and, in our backyard, more than we had been in the past few years we had lived here. It was the best part of the entire year.

 

The stress of working from home was taking its toll. Not having an escape at the end of each day. The clocking in/out was blurred but the mixing of my home office and my dining room. I moved my workspace about 8 times to try and find a comfortable area. There was talk around my company that layoffs were coming and we were all convincing each other that it wouldn’t be us.

August came. Rach and I had cancelled our 10-year anniversary trip to NOLA but did take a trip to the Cape. Three days away together. Was amazing. A much-needed breather for us both.

A few days later, I remember my friends, coworkers and I receiving an email of a mandatory meeting that we all needed to be on later that day. We weren’t all in the same one. Which of course, turned into us all freaking out. My friend Jamie came over to sit across the table from me while we took our separate calls. On her end of the line she was being told that there were changes being made but that the people on her call were safe. Looking across the table to me, as I received the news that 40+ other people on the line were being told that our positions were no longer needed, and we would be unemployed a month from then. I spent the first two weeks of that limbo month freaking out about what I would do to provide for my family. How would we get through this? So deep into the pandemic and I was just now losing my job. I was joining the millions of people looking for employment. The first time in my working career that I had lost my job. I applied to everything. And I mean everything. I didn’t care what it was if it was something. We were also waiting to hear about school for the boys.

Maybe me losing my job would be ok for a little bit with the boys not returning to school like planned. I remember the tears. Lots of them. A company I loved, a career that I worked so hard for, was gone. I remember the bitter feelings of “why me” but quickly shifted to why not me. I wasn’t untouchable. I must admit that this has now been a blessing in disguise. After 6 weeks of being unemployed, I have a new Career, with a new company that I like even more! And those 6 weeks, I was able to regain my strength as a Mama. Those months, a full half year with the boys home most of the time, took a toll. I never realized how quickly I could lose patience. But, those unemployed weeks. That was me and the boys. We had so much fun. We explored together. We did so many projects. And I started to gain self-respect back. (and all the weight I had lost the year before)

November, we had our first Covid Scare. The boys had a virus that we learned Pediatricians aren’t taking appointments and thus the first of the Miller Covid tests happened. Luckily, no Covid. The holidays we did our best to make the most out of them. My youngest sister couldn’t be with us for Thanksgiving. Our Aunt, Uncle and Cousin in NY, couldn’t come due to them having Covid. They always spend the holidays with us. It was a smaller family gathering. But our Boys kept saying “it was the best day ever”.

New year, new “Sense of Normalcy”, boys went back to school for hybrid learning. They were so excited to see other kids. They wanted so much of the school they remembered. They had grown so much over that past year. It has truly been amazing to see all the changes. Now, here we are, ONE YEAR LATER…

So, what do we do next? I must tell you, that I don’t even know. I never knew I could be a work from home person. I definitely have my struggles. I miss having co workers to banter with. GOD I MISS DRIVING TO AND FROM WORK. I miss ordering lunch with my friends and just chatting. I miss my friends. I miss not seeing all my tribe. I MISS HUGS!!!!!!!! There are so many people I can not wait to hug. Even that ones that are uncomfortable with hugs. 

We are taking the boys on our rescheduled trip to Florida next month. I AM FREAKING, but we are going. We have a private house we are staying at. We will take all the precautions we need to, but I really really NEED a new “Sense of Normalcy”.

I love you all. I miss you.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Moments....

Moments in time… 
There are moments that we can replay in our minds, moments that are so vivid that it’s as if we can transport back to that time and space.
Then there are moments that disappear as if they never even happened.
Moments that we also try to forget, ones we push so deep down to try and “block”. The problem with the ones that we block from our memory is that they are still there in our subconscious. Waiting. Perhaps there they come back as a chill on our skin, a déjà vu moment. Or one of those debilitating moments that make your knees weak and make you feel like you’re going to collapse. The space where a past moment comes flooding back and takes you back to your reality.
It’s truly amazing what our minds can do to us. Mentally strong and together one minute, completely destroyed the next.
Mental Health is so truly important. However, so taboo and sheltered. BUT WHY? Why is it so hard for us to speak about? Why when it is something that is so truly important do we hide? Shouldn’t mental health follow the some serenity “prayer” for an addict trying to get their life back?
“Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference? Wouldn’t this help those who hurt and ache have the knowledge to push harder?
I’m stuck where I always get stuck this time of year. All year really. In my reality of this thing called life, over the past six years, six months and thirteen days. Stuck in the balancing of happiness, joy and grief.
It’s something I am aware of. This person that I am. This woman that I am. This mother that I am. This, wife, daughter, aunt, sister, friend, colleague that I am.
I am in the moment. I stay in the moment when I can. But life is also wrapped up in other moments. Moments when I see a beautiful little girl with curls, helping her younger siblings. Moments that make me smile and find envy at the same time. Looking at other families have all of their children present but always knowing that I am one who doesn’t. Knowing that WHEN, not if, but when I mention our daughter around the holidays, that someone will make one ofthose comments.
I am in the moments where my two rainbow babies are no longer babies and I yearn for more. I cling to the last of the firsts we get. I cling to the moments. The ones that I can so vividly remember of them. The joy they have. The love they have. The innocence they have.
I look back often on moments. I can see how much has changed over the years. For the most part it has been strong growth. Good moments. I cling to these more often than not. I am in a space where my mental health is something I care about now. I’ve learned that self-care is about my physical, mental, and emotional work now. I’ve learned that the baggage I carry with me is layered.
I started on a journey to become the best me because of one of these moments. A moment where I looked at a picture of myself. A woman I couldn’t recognize. I lost the person I was the day that Delaney died. I became the person that I am now every single day since. I’ve grown and changed. I have quickly come to see how many flaws I have. But I also am embracing them. I looked into the face of myself in this photo and saw a broken, shattered woman that has neglecting her own needs for years. I am slowly taking them back. I am actively working on it. Why? BECAUSE, because I accept the things I cannot change and I have the courage to change the things I can. I have the courage to lose the ‘weight’ of the world I’ve packed on literally and figuratively. I cannot change that our daughter is no longer, physically on this earth, however, she is still so very much “alive” in our home. In our family, in our heart. I am accepting that more. I allowing the comments to not affect me as much. I’m teaching so many others in a positive way instead of harping on what they say. Education is key.
When it comes to taboo topics that we choose to not discuss, we should choose education. We need to break the silence and stigmas about uncomfortable conversations. We need to make the uncomfortable space, comfortable. We need to embrace the moments. 
The good moments, the uncomfortable moments. We need to embrace life…..
Today, although still very flawed, I look in the mirror and I am starting to know this woman. I’m starting to see her. The layers that have been tucked away. Today, I am ME.
I am a work in progress. I do it for my kids, my wife, my family….and I am doing it for me.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

6th birthday

Sitting here, on May 16th, as I’ve done for the past 6 years. Aching. Yearning. Lost. Weeping. Heavy arms, broken heart. I sit here and I feel all of the memories flood back. So vividly as if it were still happening. The week in May between Mother’s Day and Delaneys birthday is an emotional mash up of what was, what is and what can never be. The physical and mental angst of grief.... sitting here thinking of how six years ago I held my wife hand with our family surrounding us. We were numb. We were in shock. We were waiting for my labor to kick in. 

I replay the day as if I’m stuck in it. These memories that are so real. I find myself trying to remember everything else from the 38 weeks that I carried her in my body. I think of the process of getting pregnant with her. The excitement and fear of becoming a mama. Planning out all the fun baby planning milestones. Pick a name, the first most important decision you make for your child after you decide to have one. I remember being afraid to eat anything that could harm her. I wouldn’t even touch coffee. I mean, I was extremely ill with hyperemisis so my diet consisted of potato perogis, crackers, ginger ale, sour popsicles, bananas and water for months and months. I remember the flutters that started. I cling to her movements and wish I could remember them as vivid as do remembering what the feeling of her lifeless body felt like in my womb. These memories that are thought to be cellular. 

“Cellular memory can refer to: A variation of body memory, the yet to be proven scientifically hypothesis that memories can be stored in individual cells. A recognition of a memory of an incident, event, or experience which is at once felt throughout the body ie the memory at the cellular level”

It’s interesting what our bodies can do with cell memory. How trauma can be stored and rear it’s ugly head. I think back on these 27 hours of laboring her. What would it be like to meet my daughter? I didn’t think of how not hearing her cry would destroy my world. I didn’t think of the face my wife would make meeting our child for the first time. The faces that she made when she would read books to our daughter. Both of us sharing the fears of being good parents for her. Each sharing promises of the things we would never let our children go through. Thinking of how she would look, how she would feel. Spending 27 hours surrounded by our loved ones trying to hold us up while we were falling apart at the seams. 

I think back to her delivery and how scared I was. I was afraid to push to hard, I was afraid to hurt her. I was still trying to fathom what would happen when she came out. Would they be able to do anything to save her? 

I count down the hours to the deep breath and calming peace I receive on her birthday. When I play two songs for her and blow out a birthday candle. It’s the release of exhaustion and tears, followed by a smile and a wish for her. 

It’s my Delaney strength. The reason for my being now. She is the reason I exist. Being her Mama is what I was meant to do. I don’t get to mother her physical being. But I do mother her soul. 

This year would’ve been an adventurous one. A year where our plates and scheduled would’ve been even more full than they are. We would’ve either had a little girl in dance, karate, softball, soccer, or whatever else made her happy. I would hopefully gotten Racheal used to doing a curly hair girls hair. I imagine all the things she would do and all the things she would love. I imagine the messes she would make. I imagine her being the best big sister and a mini mother hen. I imagine her to like singing and dancing like her mama, and love being outside doing projects with mommy. I have these amazing dreams and in them I get a glimpse into our life of how it could have turned out. 

People look at me with sadness when I say her name. I don’t think that people will ever understand the depth of peace it brings to say her name, see her name and hear her name. It shows that her life does matter. It proves that just because her physical body isn’t here with us, she will always be a part of us. She’s 1/3 of my heart. I will love and miss her until my last breath. 

I may have my bad days. My sad days. However, I’m no longer a grieving mother  much as I am a bereaved mother. There is a big misconception between the two. Learning to parent a child whom isn’t here on earth has been an interesting task. Floating between caring what others think and not giving a shit what others think. I find joy in the time I had with her growing in my womb. I have those memories to always reach back for. I have those memories to cling to on the days where I’m stuck in a bit of self doubt. When I go to the ugly part of guilt. I am her Mama. Delaney is my daughter. My beautiful first born. My little girl that died before she was born. My little girl who is the most beautiful little girl I’ve ever seen. 

Don’t be sad for me. Say her name for me. Remember her with me. If you knew me when I was pregnant, remember the joy she brought us. Don’t cry for me. Write her name. Smile when you do it. Remember a little girl that has brought so much power in her name. Don’t forget her for me. Hear her name, don’t stop listening when we talk about her. She is always going to be a part of us. 

Happy birthday, Delaney Ann. My wish for you is..... (close eyes and blow)

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Pregnancy loss and infertility

Sharing my story.... always feels like I’ll miss something. A little about me. I live in CT my beautiful wife, Racheal. I am a relationship manager by day, loving wife and mother by night. 

Mother... A title I have dreamed about since I was a child in pigtails. A place I couldn't wait to be. I would love to share my journey of how I became a mother to Delaney, Tristen and Teegan. 

Like some love stories go, you fall in love, you get married, you start a family, it's all white picket fence storyline and rather boring to the outside eye. However I dreamed of this "boring life for as long as I could remember. I couldn't believe how awesome it was to find out we were pregnant. It was our first iui cycle in Sept of 2012. I remember how anxious I was to pee on the stick for the first time. When it came out positive, I ran outside screaming to my wife, whom at the time was walking our dogs, to tell her. We couldn't believe it! How the hell was this so easy??? Fast forward five weeks and I ended up in the hospital. I was also so lucky to develop Hyperemisis Gravendarum. What the hell was this? Yea I'm the 1% of women whose body produces too many hormones that pregnancy is not a fun place. The pregnancy was hard to say the least, however Racheal and I watched my growing belly. We picked out our theme, Dr Suess. We found out we were having a little girl. Our very own ray of Sunshine. We talked about her in pigtails on the first day of school, and what she would look like. We read to her and told her all about the world she would be coming in to. We counted down the weeks. We decorated her nursery, we washed her clothes, we sang to her. I was almost time! Our baby girl had so much love she would be coming to. We did our baby classes and got prepared for delivery, breast feeding and being a family of three. In a terribly sick pregnancy all we could do was hang on to the fact she would be here soon. In my third trimester I started to gain weight finally. 36 weeks that all changed. Something changed. Something was different. We were blissfully unaware. We were naive. 

At 37 weeks I told our OB that something was wrong. I told her that Delaney wasn't moving as much. She told me that this was normal. She told me that she was running out of space and that "you're carrying a watermelon in the size of a watermelon how much do you think she can move" words that will haunt me for the rest of my life. Here I am a first time Mama, and my dr knows best, right? Wrong! I called the dr two days later and told her I still didn't feel right and she advised me to drink juice to feel her move and she would see me in two days. 

Today was my last day of work, 38 weeks, I can't believe how close it is to meeting our daughter. I hope she loves us. I hope we give her the world. It was my 38 weeks appt and I get to hear my babies heartbeat...except I don't. There isn't one. The nurse couldn't find a heartbeat, a second nurse couldn't find it, the Dr couldn't find it and sent me to get a sonogram. I sat in the sonogram room, alone, afraid, and knowing before anyone could say the words...my baby was dead; my daughter...dead. Babies don't die after 12 weeks? It's too late to have a miscarriage. Everything is ready though. What do you mean there is no heartbeat? The sound of silence walking back to my dr office as I collapse to my knees. How the hell do I call my wife at work and tell her our baby is gone? But wait she is still inside me, what do i do now? My
Hospital bag is at home, do I need it now? 

I drove myself to the hospital and waited for my wife to get there after her hour commute, I waited for our families to come, all who lived over an hour away. I sat there quiet. Is my baby dead? Or can they save her? My BP started to rise. I had to give birth vaginally. 27 hours of induced labor. Delaney was born. 7:20pm on May 17th, 2013. She is beautiful. She is still. She is perfect. Silence. Complete silence resonated the room. She was here. Our daughter. I'm a mother. Except was I? I became extreme eclampsic and coded 5 hours after delivery. Super scary. My wife almost lost me after we just said goodbye to our first born. 

The Drs ruled her death as an "unexplained fetal demise" WTF is that! WTF does that mean? No I didn't have a fetal demise. My baby died. My daughter named, Delaney, died! 

After seeing specialists and having multiple tests done, we found out that I have a blood clotting disorder called factor V lieden, I was pre eclampsic and I had a blood infection that went into the placenta and took away the nutrients from Delaney causing her death. 

Life after that was no longer about me. It is about her. I live and I love for her. I'm a warrior mother. I have this strength and I know it's her. I call it my Delaney strength. Grief is a life long journey now. Cycles and hamster wheels of balancing life and loss at the same time. 

Since losing her in 2013, we did 7 rounds of iui in 2014, the last one ending in a miscarriage in October of 2014. How did this happen? Were we ever going to have a rainbow baby? We went on to seek adoption and quickly learned it wasn't for us. After one more round of IVF, we found out we were having twins. Two boys. Another scary pregnancy with Hyperemisis. This time watching every thing as though these babies would die on me too. Living most days hour by hour. I developed a condition called Colastasis and again pre eclampsia. My body was literally trying to kill my boys! Not again! The difference is that now I had a voice. Now I knew what to look for, now I wasn't afraid to push back on my drs, I wasn't afraid to march my ass to labor and delivery for a piece of mind. This time I have Delaney watching us. 

Our rainbow babies were born via emergency c section on April 6th, 2016. Almost three years after we kissed our daughter. I know she protected us all. Against all odds, with my body trying to take them and my life, we survived. She kept us safe. 

Life after loss is no longer about the past. Because there is none. Life as you knew it is over. Life is now about living for and existing. I no longer live for me. My life ended on 5/17/13. I started living for Delaney that day. I live for all three of my children now. All three of my children. My boys will know all about their sister. How she brought them to us and kept them safe. I know our girl is always around. I feel her. And I know that for the rest of our life, she will be. 

Never be afraid to use your voice. Delaney gave me mine. She taught me never to stop pushing for what I believe and to never be afraid to challenge someone else's word. She gave me life because the day she died, I started living for her.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Starting over. Again

Starting over. What does that even mean? How does the words "starting over" sound like the biggest and scariest words I've ever heard (next to the words, there is no heartbeat)

Starting over.... Using this context in perhaps a directional sense wouldn't be too scary. Using this context in the possibility of rekindling a friendship may not be too scary. Using this context on reaching a specific goal, school, work, etc again maybe not too scary. However using the phrase "starting over" in trying to conceive after the loss of a child almost sounds like a foreign language that even the best of Rosetta Stone can not help you learn.

We all have one life and some of us are learning how to live it day by day, some of us can only live in the past, some of us can only dream of the future and lose sight of anything present. Some of us are bereaved parents and we are living in the minute because the life we knew completely stopped and we started living a different life the very second our child died.

Starting over. Two words. 12 letters. Deep breath. Starting over.

We want so bad for our daughter, our first born. We want Delaney here with us to hug, hold, watch grow, smother with kisses, teach, parent, love. We want to cross on the wall her growth and date it. We want Delaney to watch a little brother or sister to grow up. We want Delaney to help us show a child how many things in life are possible with love. We don't want to know the fear that starting over has brought.

We know many people will think a second child will heal the loss of our first born but in the starting over it has left a sad an empty truth.... Delaney isn't here on earth. She isn't growing. We aren't parenting her. We aren't etching the growth chart in the doorway and making memories. We can't do those things. She isn't here.

Delaney gave us the courage to try again. But in doing so we have learned more things about ourselves as well as how we now need to grow our family.

In the past few months I have gone through countless tests on what it will take to deliver another child. We have had to have a Psych evaluation to tell us if we should be parents (even though they know about Delaney). We finally have a cause of death for our sweet girl. I have a blood clotting disorder called Factor V lieden which caused an infection in my blood that went into the placenta and resulted in my baby girl not getting the nutrients she needed. Although this may be a scary thing to have the team of Drs we built felt confident that I could conceive and that they would do everything they could for me and another child.

So here we were with a plan. A course of action. We thought. After months of iui's again and months of negative pregnancies and now having no more sperm we have decided to stop trying. It is so hard physically and emotionally each month to have the not pregnant line show up.

Although this isn't the way we wanted to have our family, it looks as though adoption is going to be our next move in starting over. There are so many children in this world that need a family and we have so much love to give.

Life never turns out the way we plan it, but never let this defeat you. Grow, evolve, push forward through all the storms and find the rainbow on the other end.

Delaney is our child. I grew her. I birthed her. We love her. She will protect us and help us get through this life.