Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Grief Gremlin...

First off I know I always say I am going to start to try to blog again then never seldom do but again I say I am going to try to start again...

So there is this mother in our community that everyone is rallying around in support and care.  She was a former nurse for the same hospital system I use to work for and I had her a few times in both pregnancies with the girls.  She then took a job at a local school as a school nurse where her husband was a coach for the same school system.  For some reason I have always thought of her and liked her even though the conversations we have had with one another were few.  When I was pregnant with Kinley and on the cardiac unit she had came to see me and do heart tones even though they really didn't have too. I was just barely 13 weeks but it was a nice friendly face on a horrible floor and to hear the lovely pitter patter heartbeat of my rainbow baby when they could get them.  We had known each other it seemed thru many friends and I always seemed to be updated on her life because she lived close to me as well.  She lost her husband last year tragically and my heart broke for her and her two young sons.  Well this year she had a whole new grief process to enter because she was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer which also led to a malignant brain tumor.  This is all recent and I don't even have all the facts I am not even sure if the whole family does.  It was terrible news and I felt like I got hit in the stomach when I heard it thru a friend before it was even out in the public.  I can't even imagine what she is going thru as she is trying to learn how to fight this beast.  I saw her the other night late in the night on face book browsing thru posts and liking comments and such.  It put to mind a phrase I have always said and never wrote about in the past.  I thought to myself the "grief gremlin" has got her and more then likely tormenting her.  Now I am not comparing my grief to her's as everyone's is totally different.  I remember staying or trying to stay busy all day and wear myself out as much as possible.  Because I dreaded the night time, that's when your at risk for the grief gremlin....I would tease myself don't feed it after midnight because it gets gross and scary and plays dirty tricks on you.  It's a grief gremlin....In the stillness of the night when everyone is sleeping and lights are low that's when it can get you and tends too.  You are there alone and your thinking and you think and think and get deeper into thought and my friend's before you know it the grief gremlin is there and you have already fed it your tears and quiet thoughts and its off until you are so exhausted you fall asleep.  I have had many of these nights.  It always for me was way harder at night.  The lonely dark thoughts in the stillness of the night.  You try your best to keep your head busy and get on face book, watch a movie, read a book etc.  But the night was always so scary you almost just wanted to get it over with.   Now thru time it did get better.  I never say its because you heal with time I really hate that phrase.  Because to me you do NOT heal.  You get stronger each day, you learn to live with the pain and you learn a new normal of life.  But if you ask me today is your pain less intense I would say NO, the pain is the same it always will be because she is still gone but I am stronger I grow stronger everyday each moment and become tolerant and function with the pain.  I even smile, laugh and enjoy life everyday.  In no way am I moving on or forgetting her but I am still alive and I am living, I am still missing her daily.  I still have nights with the grief gremlin but not as many.  I think because I have mastered a lot of this path of grief.  Every day and every stage of life is a lesson you learn from it and grow stronger.  Just keep getting stronger don't give up.  Embrace your grief and learn from it. Its not a gift, its not a treasure but it is a life experience to learn from and grow and re balance yourself.  

Thursday, April 3, 2014

I am a rainbow

I am not sure if I have ever blogged on this before...but I am a rainbow baby.  My mother gave birth to a sleeping baby boy April 5th 1980 his name was Micah Ren Gerdes.  Looking back at my childhood I had always felt a huge respect towards Micah Ren like he gave me his place.  I always felt in times of danger or need I could tell myself Micah Ren is watching over me he will protect me.  My mother came from a time where people just didn't let mother's mourn their lost babies as they do now and it's more accepted.  That breaks my heart for all of you loss mothers in the past not getting what you needed to help your long grief process.  My mother and I were always close on matter of Micah Ren and we always remembered and quietly celebrated his birthday together.  There has never been a time when I have not remembered.  Most of the time it was just us.  I have always been so intune with him.  I hope Kinley Raye has the same respect and feelings towards Delanie Faye.  I look back to the night before Delanie Faye left me.  This night kills me.  That night, the night of Micah Ren's birthday April 5th 2011 I remember my prayers.  I had asked the lord if anything should be going wrong or happen please let me go into labor or have the knowledge to go to the hospital before something worse happens.  I asked the lord please don't let her be stillborn like Micah Ren.  The next morning she was gone.  Sometime that night something happened to my sweet Delanie Faye.  I will never forget my prayers that night.  I will never know if it was something intuned in me like I knew she was leaving.  I don't know if there was anything I could have done about it, I don't know if this was a goodbye in a way.  I don't know if maybe Micah was her guardian and took her that day so I would know it. 

Saturday, March 29, 2014

My heart is still broken...

Yes if your questioning a grieving mother's timeline of grief.  My heart is still broken.  I often have couple's look at my hopefully and ask the question does it ever get better?  Regretfully I have to tell them the truth.....No.  The hurt is always the same as I have written my theories of that in past posts.  Time is like pain medication.  The throb does numb some because you grow use to the pain and learn to live thru it and function daily.  We are forever chronic pain sufferers.  The pain does not change in my eyes, you my friends just grow stronger day by day and we learn to take this large amount of pain and live daily lives.  Delanie never leaves my mind.  Daily I think of her and wish life had been different for us.  I wish I could complain how tired I am and how I still have so much to do for my sweet Delanie's birthday party next week.  It's a wish and I understand the fact of life is...there is no birthday party next week.   There is only her father and I staring hopelessly into each others eye's and holding back tears at times and then at other times letting them flow freely.  There just no planner and no how to's, to plan your dead child's birthday.  Yes you see other people celebrate it or do cool things in honor of their children and say I am going to do something like that.  But the truth of the matter is you treat it as if it is something sneaking up on you almost like it's going to catch you and you know it and fear it.  Yes I am blessed I met that beautiful soul that day I loved holding her warm little face next to mine and seeing how beautiful she was.  But the fact is I can't erase the pain and hurt the day came with.  And though we want to plan something that day that would be "awesome" the grief in us just wants to run and hide in a hole and hold on tight like a tornado whipping above us and pray we survive it.  I am usually polly positive but I do have days where I feel so let down.  I went the the pain of carrying my sweet baby girl and then delivering her by c-section and yes I would do it all in a heartbeat again even with the same outcome just to let her live and be happy in my belly but the other side of it is I did the work and walked away empty handed.  People might say OH Holly but look at the beautiful baby you have now.....YES she is beautiful and I am thankful and grateful and blessed.  But look at your maybe grown children let's say you have three and they are well into childhood.  TAKE away the middle one...why not you have two should be grateful.  Rainbow babies are not a replacement.  I did not replace my baby girl Delanie Faye.  Kinley I always say IS my bringer of light in the darkness.  She was my beacon of light in the storm of loss.  She brought me light and happiness when my days were rainy and dark.  Just as Dustin did as well.  But neither the first child or the third child is ever a replacement for the second.  I wish all my children were with me but I am very thankful for each and everyone of their souls and every second of time I will spend with them, in Delanie's case have spent with her.  I am grateful Delanie was with us and I gave her a warm loving place her whole life.  I guess it's just crazy each year us grief parent's almost live in a episode of ground hog day...replaying years events.  I would be this right now or that right now and looking at pictures of us this day before this or that.  Why do we always count so much?  Maybe it's because we are always searching for the time lost.  Maybe it's our way to create more or make it last.  It's all we have....

So this is the picture I took this time actually this time in 10 minutes 3 years ago.  I had just gotten in Dustin and Delanie's shirts for her day of birth.  They were perfect.  I was so happy with how they came out.  Sadly in the back of my mind I have to come to grips with is I could never picture them both wearing them and that became a fact.

The fact is I always in the back of my mind knew I would lose Delanie.  I had it blocked well.  But looking back on things I did or how I felt I think in my heart I knew she wouldn't be leaving the hospital with us. With Dustin I always knew he would come home.  He would be very sick and things looking grim but I always still knew he would come home to us.  With Kinley as well I really didn't have the fear as badly as I expected I pictured her with us.  It's really hard to explain its just a intuition type feeling.  But its one you never knew you had until it's passed and you learn over time and experience what it actually was at the time.  I feel so very old from all these life lessons and experiences.  I have had enough to last a life time and then some but they are valuable although very hard to learn.  My heart is heavy tonight and I expect will be over the next coming weeks as I relive one of the most beautiful loving times of my life and also the most raw heart wrenching brutal painful times of my life.  I miss you sweet girl I will always want you.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Life as we know it

Life has changed and is so busy and going by so fast I feel like from the moment I wake to the moment I lay my head down is nothing but that a MOMENT!  Course Kinley is still waking through the night and has recently had her first illness which turned into croup.  Which that then landed her in our bed inbetween two parents mindlessly watching a baby girl breath while she slept.  The croup was not that bad at all I have been thru much worse and a WAY sicker child.  I was telling friend's that it is amazing the difference on how a person can change with life.  I was the mother to a very sick little boy who coded many times with a long NICU stay and then came home on multiple medications, oxygen until he was older then 5 years old and a heart montior until he was over a year old.  I handled him without breaking a sweat and seemed like I was forever sure of my actions and routines in his care.  Then there is this chubby faced little cherub of a girl of mine and she gets a virus and floors the whole house.  The first night I was so scared and she wasn't even that sick I slept sitting up with her on my chest just to feel her breath in and out.  I was a nervous wreck.  It just seems with the unthinkable does happen to you in life you understand how easy it is to be chosen again.  Logically I know she is fine but in my crazy brain I have to convince it.  It really is a mess up there!  Kinley is almost 11 months and I don't understand where the time went and how fast it really flew by.  Dustin will be 11 in March?  I can't picture him being 11 years old he is still very much my small little baby.  Your always at a cross roads as a parent wanting to see your child to the next stage whether it be crawling to walking to riding a bike but then in the same breath you want to revert them back to a tiny fragile newborn.  They both never stop amazing me daily with their new growth and love towards eachother.  Their bond is so incredible and really one of life's greatest treasures to me.  Kinley is so very much wanted by all of us especially Dustin.  I see now how much he needed her and how much he cares deeply for her.  I know that when we leave this world they will have eachother and they will have a forever bond.  Dustin knows her worth he worked just as hard and Kinley feels his unconditional love and devotion and returns in even as small as she is.  I love looking at her look at him and her eyes just sparkle and light up with amazement and I get a little giddy because this is only the beginning of her watching him and looking up to him.  I am excited for the years to come but so much want them to slow down!  I feel like I am not doing enough and not savoring each day enough.  Lord knows I will try harder tomorrow!  Well at least that is what I say each night in prayer = )

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Beautiful gift

Just when I think my first daughter can't get anymore beautiful something comes along in life to remind me her essence is still very much here and she is still very cared for.  I recently came in contact by CHANCE with a local NILMDTS photographer for those of you who do not know the organization it is a non-profit organization that takes pictures of babies that have passed away usually at the hospital or birthing center where they are born into this world.  I was not offered this service and have deeply regretted not hiring a professional to capture the brief wonderful moments we had with our sweet daughter Delanie Faye.  We took pictures with our camera as best as we could but were so caught up in the moments that we really did not take many as we were just trying to soak up every minute of time with her and feel her warmth and love.  This wonderful local photographer asked to see the pictures and she returned some beautiful images to me in a beautiful slide show as a surprise.  I was taken back by how wonderful a gift I have been given and loved watching it about the first billion times I played it.  John and I thought many times on if we should share it with family and friends and decided the safest way would be to put it on our blog.  I know I have not been blogging lately but I do plan to restart blogging soon.  I did want to share this beautiful gift with everyone that loved and cared for Delanie Faye.  Please no sharing, no copying we are very private with Delanie Faye because in this world their are sick people and we would be crushed if her pictures got in the wrong hands and were used without our consent.

Here is the link to her slide show and the password is Delaniefaye
larger view on the weblink 

Or watch below


Thank you to the beautiful angel photographer that helped us out with this wonderful gift

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Life is a current

Seems like when you have rough waters ahead life has a way of speeding up the current to keep you busy to get you thru hard times with more ease.  That is what it was like for John's dad death we were so busy we really didn't have time to stop and soak in the moment that he was actually gone.  Life's current kept us alive, it kept us ever moving on to the new moments and chapters in life.  This weekend we had taken Kinley to the doctor's on Friday and they had diagnosed her with a ear infection but really just fluid in the ear.  We started her on amoxicillin Friday around 4pm.  Woke up Saturday morning to a very allergic hive covered baby.  But nonetheless she was very happy and didn't suspect anything was wrong.  She woke up her normal babbly self.  So we called the doctor and talked and decided to keep her antibiotic free for at least 48 hours since she had never ran a fever and the ears never seemed to bother her either.  So the start of our day!  We fed Dustin breakfast and my mom was here Kinley of course got her's as well.  John and I both wanted a couple moments together so we went out to breakfast and granny stayed with the kids.  We both were at a loss how do you begin to celebrate or not celebrate your lost child's birth?  Really all we wanted was to be with eachother so that is what we did.  We went to the store and got things to cook all meals at home so that we wouldn't have to leave again.  We got home and just spent the day doing average stuff but all together.  I silently watched my little family play on the floor and kept imagining a little two year old sneak up on her daddy from behind on the floor and tackle him.  I know she would be the silent fiesty type, maybe with strawberry blonde curls and fiery blue eyes.  I wished she would be there to make the whole day more clearer on what exactly was supposed to happen.  It's so easy to throw your child a birthday party when they are here but there is no handbook on what you do when they are gone?  Sunday came and Kinley's rash got much better we again stayed close but no real plans we just wanted to be together.  Monday morning we were back to the doctor where we both decided no antibiotics for Kinley because really it was fluid trapped and hopefully it would start to clear up on it's own and we would watch for signs of infection.  We bought a head band to help keep the water out of her ears since she likes to splish and splash in the bath tub.  She really is a water baby.  The week slowly went on and the allergins got higher and since I was not on my allergy meds due to breastfeeding you can imagine this Thursday I am in a sinus attack and sick praying it is just allergies because I am having severe issues on being scared Kinley will get sick.  To other people they might brush it off.  To me I picture any cold giving her RSV and her slipping away from us.  To someone that has had the worst case senerio happen this is what runs thru my head which sends me into full anxiety attacks.  I know this is something I slowly have to deal with and with time I will get stronger and more faith and I will trust that Kinley will get stronger each day to fight what comes her way.  Yes logically I can talk myself down.  But everything is still over running in my head that something will take her away from us.  I constantly need to touch her to feel her and yes is may seem to others that I may be spoiling her but really I am not soothing her, she is soothing me.  She is breathing on me to let me know she can.  I feel her warmth cause it's there and I smell her because she is so sweet and I just breathe the moment in.  Really makes you think not to judge others in their parenting because you never know what that mother or family has been thru.  And yes I am very guilty in this thinking my way of raising a child is the way to go!  But each child is different and with each child the mother evolves into something else something new that is only meant for that child.  Each child making her grow and change into a new person, more educated, more peaceful, more logical and maybe just maybe learning to take things as the come and know that life is ever changing and there is really nothing we can do about it.  All we can do is enjoy this day and pray for the next.  Each night I do this.  I pray for our next day I pray in thanks for all the things that could have gone wrong but didn't.  I pray for all the unknown blessings that slipped into my day without me knowing. 

Friday, April 5, 2013

April 5th...

The counting never ceases to amaze me how it seems to continue even though you think you have gotten passed that in your life you never really truly do.  Tonight I am counting again.  Two years ago I would be sitting in bed tonight telling John I was crazy but I felt something was wrong.  But all the signs where there that she was okay and healthy.  She even had the hiccups that night but I told John I thought they felt different.  She was moving so not much to alarm there.  I kept checking her heart tones that evening with the doppler because I just felt like something was wrong.  Her heartbeat was fine and a beautiful sound to hear.  I kept reassuring myself that I had way to much time on my hands and that strict bedrest had finally caused me to lose my mind.  I went to sleep that night saying in my head if I still feel this way tomorrow morning I will just go in to be safe.  That morning I awoke to a still baby..there was no breakfast demands like usual.  She was silently sleeping, she was gone.  She silently slipped away in the night right inside of me and I didn't even know it happened.  What time was it?  What happened?  What did she think and did she know how much I loved her and how much I needed her?  All I was left with was emptiness and questions and pain.  I miss her spirited little self I love her so dearly.  How much time has changed but some feelings never seem to.  I remember myself this night last year.  I was in bed in the dark and didn't want to be near anyone in this world.  I missed her my heart ached with all it's might and there was nothing I could do to ease the pain.  I felt even more empty and that the universe had to have hated me as I had started my period again...another sign that I was even more empty and there was no baby growing inside me and I was wondering if I would ever have the chance to love again to be a new mother again and to give my family another member to love.  I was at such a low point.  If I only had known there was light around the bend and that about 21 more days from that point I would get the surprise of my rainbow on the horizon.  A new journey beginning a gift from her sister.  Yes Kinley Raye has brought light thru the darkness and my arms are holding tight to her tonight but yes I still ache for my sweet first born daughter to be in my arms again.  Forever missing you my love. 

Please no sharing or copying