Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Can't be

Mike and I just watched a video of Marcellus and I've been looking at some pictures. Who is that person? It certainly can't be me. Who is that couple so happy with that beautiful baby? Can't be my family. How can it be, how can it be me and my family in those videos and pictures? I honestly don't recognize myself. That can't be me just 3 months ago. It can't be because there's no way I could have been that happy 3 months ago when this is how I feel now.

Three months ago at this time I got to introduce my mom to her grandson, her Lil Boo. It was Halloween and my mom and sister had just driven straight through (with my nephew) from Minnesota. I was still in the hospital, but able to walk and move around a lot better. Mike and I had a good day with Marcellus anticipating our visitors' arrival, telling him all about them. Mike had gotten an orange bucket and filled it with candy. He wrote "Happy Halloween from Marcellus" and gave it to the nurses. I was SO excited for my mom and sister to come and meet my son, to show him off to my family.

I don't know that excited happy person anymore. She doesn't exist right now. Instead all I know how to be is a grieving mother, lost without her son. Beyond that I don't know what to do with myself. I just can't wrap my head around the fact that this is my life. We had a baby, he was perfect, our life was beautiful and happy, but now it's gone. Marcellus is gone and he took so much with him. Right now I just feel so empty.

So where did those people from the video go? Will they ever be back? No, I'm afraid those people no longer exist. Will we find happiness again someday? I don't know. Right now it doesn't feel like it, but I've heard it does happen. Even so, even if we are happy again one day we will not be the same people in those videos and pictures. Those people had no idea, they had no idea what it is like to watch your newborn son die. We do and that means we can never go back.

Here's a poem I wrote a few weeks after he died.

My heart is broken
My soul is empty
My world turned upside down

I am a mother
but something's missing
my baby is no longer around

He was taken
all too soon
we only had 12 days

But in that time
he changed our lives
he gave us memories

Now I sit here without my child
without my son to kiss

When he left he took my heart
he took my happiness

Marcellus, I feel so empty without you here. You made us so happy, everything seem so complete. Without you nothing feels right. I am so thankful for the memories we do have and the videos and pictures. I treasure all of that so very much. Thank you for being in our lives sweet boy. Thank you for being my son. Mommy loves and misses you! xoxox

Thursday, January 26, 2012


Getting the mail sucks! Seems everyone knows that we should have a newborn baby at home. Somehow we are on a mailing list. I'm assuming it's from Motherhood Maternity where I shopped a few times during my pregnancy and then once while Marcellus was in the NICU for nursing clothes (of which I hardly got to use). They would have all my information on file there including his due date. There could be other lists out there who knows. Anyone know how to get off of them? I don't know if I have the energy to figure it out.

A few days ago Sears offered a deal on newborn photos. They don't know that we got our family photos done, that they were done in a funeral home days after our son had died [side note: one of my biggest regrets is not getting professional photos done in the hospital right after Marcellus died, some day I'll probably write about that because it tears me up]. Today we got an offer from Vista Print for birth announcements. I thought about doing birth announcements, even after he died. Just kind of an announcement of his little life. But again I just don't have the energy for it. Mike said there's been other coupons/ads in the mail. He just didn't tell me about it.

If all these companies know he's supposed to be here, shouldn't there be some way to tell them that he's gone? That when he died he would be taken off these "lists." Who would have thought something that was supposed to be helpful and fun to get in the mail would turn out to be so painful. Just as we were done getting sympathy cards, coupons and ads for our baby that is no longer here start rolling in. It's just cruel.

Oh and since I mentioned Motherhood Maternity, let me list out the number of things I didn't get to use. I have two shirts that I was saving for when I was REALLY big that were never worn, a pair of black dress pants that I was going to wear to teach in the day he was born, a couple of shirts I had bought just the weekend before Marcellus was born (I did wear them after he was born), and some of the nursing clothes. I think the week before Marcellus was born I was nesting a bit. The weekend before he was born we registered at a local baby boutique where we were going to get most of our cloth diapers from, I ran a bunch of errands getting stuff and insisted we get a new desk and chair that would work better in his room (since we only have 2 bedrooms it was always going to double as an office), we registered at Buy Buy Baby, and I HAD to have the desk and chair put together within a few days of getting it.

What gets me the most is that the Saturday he was 8 days old we spent a lot of time getting me nursing bras/shirts. I remember being so antsy to get to the NICU, but the store didn't open up until 10am. We got there a little before it even opened and I think I even cried while waiting. I just hated being away from my baby! I remember calling the NICU to check in on him since we weren't going to get there as early as I had hoped. We probably didn't get to the NICU until around 11 because of it. I was so mad about that, not getting there as early as I wanted to. But I knew if I was going to continue pumping as much as I was and then doing extended breastfeeding I had to give myself the best chance at it. I thought getting nice bras and shirts would be helpful. One of the shirts I was going to wear to his baby shower that was scheduled the next Saturday. We never made it to his baby shower, and I never got to wear most of the stuff while he was alive. In fact, I wore the shirt I was going to wear to his shower to his funeral instead. It was a shirt I got for him, so I wanted the first time I wore it to be for him. I also wore it my first day of teaching this semester when I was really nervous because I wanted to feel connected to him. I need to put the rest of that stuff away. I can't just wear it for "everyday". I don't know how I'll feel about wearing the clothes for (hopeful) future pregnancies/nursing. If Marcellus were alive I'd of course use my maternity/nursing clothes for future children, but since he's gone it's like that stuff is special to him. Something I have from him.

Marcellus, Momma wishes you were here to use all the coupons we're getting in the mail. We'd have fun with all those things. I'm sorry for the times we didn't get to the NICU as early as we should have. I wish I would have never left you there without Mommy or Daddy with you. I miss you sweet boy, I miss you soooo much! And of course I love you with every ounce of my being. xoxox.

Monday, January 23, 2012


I love love love seeing Marcellus's name written out. It's such a beautiful name, Marcellus Robert. It's also a name very rich in family ties. Marcellus is my grandpa's name. Robert is Mike's grandpa's name and Mike's middle name. My grandpa is still living, he outlived his great-grandson and never even got to meet him. I often wonder how he feels to have his great-grandson named after him be dead. We were going to use the nickname Marc for Marcellus. Mike's brother's name is Mark. In fact, most of Mike's family does refer to Marcellus as Marc.

There are so many things to grieve with the loss of a child. Included in my grief is Marcellus's name. Sure I can still get things with his name on it and I (and hopefully others) will still use it in conversation. But I'll never get to whisper it in his ear with an "I love you" as he sleeps, I'll never get to teach him how to write it, I'll never see it on his school papers, I'll never shout it out with his middle name included in frustration at him, I'll never see it on any certificates (other than birth and death) or diplomas, I'll never be able to hear it at his wedding, I'll never get to hope he'll pass part of his beautiful name on to his children.

I've asked myself if we knew that Marcellus was going to die, would we have given him that name - the name I love so much and means so much to our families. Yes, we would have. We didn't find out that Marcellus was a boy until the day he was born. We had a girl name pretty set, but were still going back and forth on our boy name. We were pretty sure we wanted some combination of Marcellus, Robert, and Christopher (Mike's dad's name). I wouldn't name Marcellus until I saw him. Because of the c-section and that he had to go straight to the NICU means for five hours he was "Baby Boy Lennon". When Mike came back with pictures of Marcellus right after he was born he really wanted to name him Christopher. I told him we had to wait to name him. As soon as I saw my precious baby boy I just knew he was Marcellus Robert. After spending more time with our son, Mike quickly agreed. It wasn't until a couple of days later we learned that Marcellus means "young warrior." That has affirmed our choice of our son's name. He will always be our young warrior. He IS Marcellus Robert.

To see how beautiful Marcellus's name is written out, check out his memorial post here from "Christian's Beach" If you go to the homepage you can see the names of other babies and children gone to soon written in the sand of a beach in Western Australian. At first I kept comparing Marcellus's sunset to that of some of the other children. I even thought I liked a few of the other ones better. On the website under the FAQs they state "We like to believe that the children themselves choose the time and the sunset that their names are written under. We believe the sunset you receive is the sunset your child has given to you." The more and more I looked at Marcellus's sunset, the more I knew it was just that. It is definitely a Marcellus sunset, a sunset he created just for his mommy and daddy. It is so perfect and when I look at it I just get the feeling of Marcellus. 

"Christian's Beach" is run by Christian's mom, Carly. The main webpage is Carly Marie Project Heal. She has many resources there, including some for friends and family. She's also has a facebook page where you can keep up with all the amazing things she does. We are able to purchase a high resolution file of Marcellus's sunset to support Carly in her mission to continue to help bereaved parents. We will definitely be hanging this on our wall. It is so beautiful! Thank you Carly for all your wonderful work.

Marcellus Robert, you have such a beautiful name. I hope you love it as much as Daddy and I do. I can't wait to shout it out to you on the day we see each other again. You are our brave young warrior. Thank you for the gorgeous sunset. We know you made it just for us. Love and miss you like crazy! xoxox

Friday, January 20, 2012


Why is he dead? Why is he dead? Why!?

Was he even really ever here? If he were here, then how can he be gone? How did this happen? I had a baby, he really was here.

I just spent some time watching some of his videos. All I can do is cry out and say that's my baby, that's my baby. We really did have a baby. He really was here. We really are parents. I really am a mommy. But it doesn't feel like it. It feels so empty and lonely instead.

Three months ago I was blissfully unaware of how my life would soon change so drastically and so quickly. I was happy so happy enjoying my pregnancy, my perfect pregnancy. Then when Marcellus was unexpectedly born we briefly panicked and worried, but quickly the pure joy, immense happiness, and perfect love out shadowed any of that. We were absolutely on top of the world. How do we go from that to this so quickly? Into the deepest darkest utter despair. The greatest pain. Absolute heartache. I still have that perfect love for my baby boy, but no longer the pure joy and immense happiness.

At times it's so hard to believe that he was ever here. That we had a baby...and now he's gone. He's gone. He's gone! He's GONE! And it hurts. It hurts so bad. It hurts more than anything. I often just want to crawl in a hole. And not come out until this life is over. This nightmare of a life.

Marcellus, it's hard to realize that you really were here. That you were with us and now you're not. Mommy misses you so much baby boy. Sooooooo much. I love you more than I can ever even tell you. I love you with all my heart, even if it's a broken heart. xoxox.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

It just happens...

I hate that phrase! "It just happens" this is what we have been told regarding both Marcellus's early arrival and early departure.

Last week we met with a maternal fetal specialist in hopes of finding some answers as to why he was born early. We thought we maybe could even find out something that would connect the clotting issue to the preterm labor. Maybe there was one explanation for both and there was an easy fix to ensure that it never ever happened again. But that is not the case. After being asked a set of questions from the doctor and his review of my records (especially the pathology on the plancenta) we got the answer, "it just happens." Now there is a list of speculation as to what could have caused me to go into preterm labor, but no way to know for sure. There was nothing about the placenta that would have caused preterm labor, such as an infection. And I don't have a classical case of cervical insufficiency for them to think that that's really the cause. Yet again we are left in the dark. The only thing that is certain is that I am at a much higher risk for preterm labor in future pregnancies.

Although we had previously met with the neonatologist about Marcellus's death we asked the maternal fetal specialist his opinion on the clotting/NEC. His response to that was the same. It just happened. We don't know why. It just happens to some babies, even if they have a good chance of survival.

That's not good enough! It doesn't "just" happen. There has to be a reason, right? There has to be something/someone to blame. My son doesn't "just" arrive over 11 weeks early for no reason. He doesn't have over a 90% chance of survival and make tons of progress (increasing his chances) only to quickly die and be taken from us "just because". There has to be a reason. I'm still looking for answers. I'm still asking "why?" Including "why God, why didn't you save my son?" I think I've said it before and I'll say it again. Even though I'm looking for answers, there isn't an answer that would be good enough. Even if God came down here, stood in front of me and told me Himself why Marcellus had to die it wouldn't be good enough of a reason for me to accept. I want my child here with me on earth, end of story.

What we did gain from our appointment last week was a plan for next time. No, we are nowhere near ready to have another child. But it is somewhat comforting to know there are things we can do to lessen our chances of preterm labor and in turn the issues that preemie babies face. When will we be ready to try again? I actually haven't gotten this question a lot, but we do talk about it amongst ourselves every now and then. Like I said we're not ready now, but that question can remind us that there is a future out there.

First of all, now that I am painfully aware that anything can happen at anytime I need to be ready to lose another baby before trying for one. It's a scary thought. Just because we have experienced infant loss once doesn't mean we're exempt from losing another child either during pregnancy, at delivery, or anytime after. All pregnancies from here are on out are going to be full of worry, anxiety, and fear. I need to be ready for that.

I've also been talking a lot about how I wish Marcellus could just come back as another baby, give us a second chance at raising him. I will not be ready to have Marcellus's little brother or sister until I can accept that he or she will not be Marcellus. Right now that is not the case. I don't just want a baby, I want Marcellus Robert Lennon. And right now I want him more than anything. I fear that if we try for another child too soon I will just be disappointed that it's not Marcellus. It would not be fair to our future child, Marcellus, or ourselves.

But when the time does come we will be prepared from a medical standpoint. We will do weekly progesterone shots from 16 weeks on. We will have many ultra sounds to monitor any changes in my cervix and take appropriate measures if there are (mainly cerclage). The doctor didn't think bedrest would be necessary especially since I don't have a physically strenuous job. He did say that I probably shouldn't exercise though.

So I start thinking great, did my exercising during my pregnancy with Marcellus contribute to preterm labor? Something I was trying to do to keep us healthy may have harmed him. The doctor reassured me that there was nothing I did wrong. He even mentioned that if I would see the crack addict moms that deliver perfectly healthy babies at full term I would know it was nothing I did wrong. Wait...was that supposed to make me feel better? Crack addicts get perfectly healthy babies and I don't. How does that work?!

Why was Marcellus born early? We don't know. Why did he get a clot and NEC? We don't know. When will we be ready for a littler brother or sister? We don't know. What do we know? We love him. We miss him. We love and miss Marcellus with every ounce of our being.

Marcellus, there is no reason good enough that you are not with me. I wish you were here with me or that I was there with you more than anything. Daddy and I may talk about having your little brother or sister every now and then, but you will always be our first born son - the big brother of our family. We will never ever try to replace you. We love you baby boy. We love you so very much. Momma's missing you all time time. I miss you so much it hurts. You are always my little mister. xoxox.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Due date

Today is Marcellus's due date. Even if Marcellus would have gone full term he probably wouldn't have been born exactly on this day. But it still holds a lot of importance for us. This day represents all the hope and dreams we had for him and our lives with him. It's the date that we've had in our minds since we found out we were pregnant with him on May 8th, actually probably even before that when we suspected I might be pregnant. It's this date that give or a take a couple of weeks our baby should have been born.

Or it's this date that we would be using to talk about Marcellus's adjusted age as they do with preemies. After this date instead of referring to his adjusted age in terms of gestation (e.g. Marcellus died when he was 12 days old, but he was 30 weeks 3 days gestation), we get to start measuring in terms of days and weeks. This date was the first goal set for getting him home by. It was this date I had in mind when I would say we were "lucky". That's right, when Marcellus was in the NICU I often felt lucky that he came early. Yes we had the struggles of the NICU, but he'd be home soon enough (so I thought) and we were just getting extra time with our baby. We were getting an extra 2 1/2 months with our baby boy. How many parents get to see their baby develop during this time? While I knew it would have been much better for him to go full term and that's what I had hoped for, once he was born early this is the way I looked at it. Now how stupid is that thought, feeling "lucky"?!

Instead this day, what should be such a hopeful and happy time, marks exactly 2 months from when we buried Marcellus. Two months ago I saw my son for the last time, I touch his soft fuzzy hair for the last time, and I kissed his forehead (that is exactly like his daddy's) for the last time. I watched my husband place the lid on his tiny casket. Two months ago a piece of me was put into the ground. This might sound strange, but I honestly don't know what was worse, the moment Marcellus died or the moment the lid went on that casket. I think seeing the casket close made everything so much more real. Although Marcellus had already been dead for days, we had been able to spend time with him at the funeral home. We were able to be a family, just the three of us together. Once that casket was closed there was no longer the three of us. It was back to just Mike and I, just Mommy and Daddy with no baby. Now this day represents crushed hope, dreams that will never come true, and an incomplete family.

I would give anything to hold him again whether it be when he was alive or after he already died. Just to have him in my arms would be amazing. I miss him so much, so very much. I don't know what I'm doing without him and I'm really struggling to figure it out. To figure out  how life can continue to move forward without Marcellus.

My comment above about Marcellus having Daddy's forehead just made me think of all his other features. Here's a rundown of what features he got from each of us. He had Daddy's forehead, nose, lips, hands (identical!) and feet. He had Mommy's chin, eyes, cheeks, ears, and attitude (identical!).

Here's a picture of Marcellus. It was taken when he was 6 days old. He was born with his eyes fused shut (very odd for his gestation) and on this day he opened the 2nd one (left, right opened at 4 days old). He must not have had the hang of having both eyes open and is giving what I like to call his "pirate look". This picture is also the best we have of his hands. If you want to know what Mike's hands look like, this is it. They are seriously identical.

Marcellus, Momma's really missing you. I can't believe it's been 2 months since I saw you last, two months since I got to gaze upon my beautiful baby boy. I wish you were here with us. We would have done everything for you. I love you my little mister! xoxox

Saturday, January 14, 2012


I haven't written in awhile and I'm not exactly sure why. I also haven't written much to Marcellus either lately (we have a journal where we write letters to Marcellus). I think it's because I just don't want to. I don't want to be writing a blog about how my grief journey. I don't want to be writing letters to my dead son. I don't want to! I want to be cradling him instead. I want him here so bad. How did it turn out that instead I have this blog and that journal?

This week has actually been pretty busy and I have so much I could write about. I went back to school this week. I started working on research (well if you can even call it that). All I did this week was figure out the data set I was working with. I tried to take a class and I taught. I don't even know what I want to write about, it all sucked. It all sucks so much. It's so hard pretending to be normal.

I guess the research part was ok. I sit at a computer by myself and usually don't have to deal with other people. The hard part of that is staying focused enough to get anything done. To stay off the internet looking up infant loss related things. I work slowly, very very slowly. But I got something accomplished this week and it was good enough for my advisor at our meeting on Thurs. I guess that means a success.

I went to class on Thursday. Even though I don't need any more course credits I thought this one could be useful for what I do. I figured I'd give it a shot and maybe it would be helpful to have something structured in my day. I was wrong, it was horrible. I didn't know I would react the way I did. I thought I could do it. Right before class started I got really nervous and anxious. I asked a friend to make sure she sat by me. I felt needy, like it was pathetic I had to make sure I was sitting by my friend. But I did need it. I needed to know I wasn't going to be sandwiched between two people that I didn't really now. That didn't know it was hard for me to be there. Then like an idiot I forgot to sit on the end. Sitting on the end makes you feel less trapped b/c it is so much easier to get up and leave if need be. We got to class and I had to take a bunch of deep breaths. At some point I teared up. I'm not even sure why exactly. I was just so overwhelmed sitting there with all those people. I couldn't focus at all. Instead of taking notes for the class I was writing notes to Marcellus. I wrote his name all over my paper, including his nickname "squirmy wormy". By the end of the class I knew I would have to drop. What was the point of sitting in that class two times a week if I wasn't going to learn anything. We had an appointment right afterward so Mike came to pick me up. I immediately started crying in the car. It was too much to have to hold it in like that. To suppress the feelings I was having, it was suffocating.

My reaction to being in class made me really nervous about teaching. I teach the same class three times on Fridays. We only teach on Fridays b/c the class is partly online. While getting my materials organized before teaching the professor that oversees us was around. I told him I was nervous. He asked why b/c it's the same material as last semester. I just blurted out "Well, last semester my baby wasn't dead." I have a hard time not saying anything in situations like that. I don't know if it's appropriate to or not. I guess I don't really care. Marcellus is dead. That affects my every thought and every move right now. I don't think people truly understand that. I am NOT the same. I will not teach the same as I did last semester. I will not think the same I did last semester and I will not act the same I did last semester. I will never be the same. Marcellus forever changed me.

Again I felt needy. I asked a friend to walk with me to my class and stay with me until it officially started. I just felt like if I had been there alone I'd have broken down. My first class was ok. A little shaky at first, but I got the hang of it toward the end. I actually felt pretty good about. I had 15 min in between classes and called Mike telling him I thought the second class would go even better. Well, I think it would have. But there was a student from last semester retaking the course with me. There are 23 sections of this class, even two others at the same time I teach and she's in my section again. It was one of my biggest fears about teaching. That I would have a student from last semester. My students knew the baby was born early, but they weren't told he died. This particular student that is retaking my class might not even know he was born early. She dropped the class at some point. I don't know if it was right before Marcellus was born or sometime after. I mentioned this fear to a few people before starting teaching. They all thought it was very unlikely to happen.

But of course it happened to me anyway. I recognized her right away. The thought ran through my head "Maybe she has a twin sister that is taking it now." Nope it was her. We do activities in this course. The students break up into smaller groups and while they're working on the activities I walk around making sure they're on task and answering questions. She had a question about something else related to the course, I answered it quickly not acknowledging she had been in my class last semester. Well then she told me how she had dropped the class last semester and she thinks I was her instructor before. She said, "you had a baby, right?" Oh stab to my heart, my stomach drops, I had to remind myself to breath. I need to maintain the teacher/student relationship, in my classroom is the one place I really hope I never breakdown. At least she asked me a yes/no question instead of something like "how's the baby?". I answered with a yes and walked away. I had to walk back up to the front and catch my breath. I'm sure I was visibly shaking, but my students were working on their activity so hopefully didn't notice. In my head I kept going "really? this really happened?" but then again I shouldn't be surprised. My baby was born unexpected so early and unexpected died so early when the chances were so low. I shouldn't be surprised when things that have a low chance of happening do.

I was a bit of a wreck after that class. Good think there was 40 minutes between my second and third class. I was able to go talk to the faculty advisor about how I didn't think I could teach with her in my class. I would always be on edge waiting for her to ask something about the baby. Or waiting for a day when I would already be close to breakdown and just seeing her might be enough to push me over the edge. He was very accommodating as we tried to figure out what the best thing to do would be. He will move her to another section that meets at the same time. It won't affect her schedule at all and will ease my anxieties some. He's going to tell her that when students need to retake the class we prefer they take it with a different instructor. Works for me.

After getting that mess figured out I taught my third class for the day. It went so much better. I think being in front of the class and acting "normal" will get a little bit easier week by week. It's still exhausting though. It's exhausting to put grief in a box and set it aside. It's also exhausting to actively grieve. This is all just so exhausting.

I think I need to get better about writing more often. I have so many other things I could and should write about, but I'm running out of writing steam. Plus I feel like my posts are often way too long. Sometimes I feel like I write more about the events that happened and don't focus on how I'm feeling. I don't know I guess I kind of feel like I can't even do this blog right. Yeah, too much going on in my head right now. I will make it a goal to start writing more often again to help myself sort these things out. I will try to write again tomorrow, for Marcellus's due date.

Marcellus, I'm so sorry I haven't been writing more. That I haven't been writing about you here and that I haven't been writing to you as much in your journal. I feel like such a bad mommy for that. I'm a little shut down baby and I'll try to work at opening back up. I just miss you oh so very much. That's the only thing I can think most of the time, just how much I miss you. I love you so much my little squirmy wormy! xoxox

Monday, January 9, 2012

2 months down...

...and the rest of my life to go.

So, we have officially survived 2 months without our little squirmy wormy. I don't understand how we've done it, but I can honesty say today was not nearly as intense as this date a month ago.

I stayed up way too late last night having a much needed conversation with my mom. By the time I got to bed it was right around 2:30am. I started the "at this time 2 months ago..." thing right then, 2:30am was the last time I pumped not knowing my precious baby boy was on the brink of death. It took me awhile to get to sleep after that thought ran through my head awhile. Mike had fallen asleep much earlier and tried to wake up to talk to me when I came to bed. He did the best that he could, but he was exhausted. I wasn't a complete wreck so I let him get back to sleep and just tossed and turned until I could eventually join him.

Our original plan was to go to a cemetery this morning. But since I stayed up so late I didn't get up until around 10:30am. Getting out of bed was surprisingly not as difficult as I thought. Mike had gotten up much earlier around 9am and offered to make pancakes once I got up. He held true to his word and we had buckwheat pancakes for breakfast (ok more like brunch).

My semester started back up today. I had a meeting scheduled at 1:30pm for my teaching duties. As the morning continued I started getting more and more nervous about heading to campus. I had been there a few times over break, but it's like a ghost town then. Today was my first time being there in a group setting like a meeting. I taught last semester before Marcellus was born. I just kept thinking about how the last time I was at a TA meeting, I was 28 weeks 1 day pregnant and happy. I had no idea what was to come. I was actually supposed to teach the day Marcellus was born. The day before I had prepared my material, leaving the handouts stacked neatly on my desk. They are still there, sitting where I left them. I can't bring myself to get rid of them. I don't know why, but they represent one of the last things from my obliviousness, from my happy pregnancy.

The clock continued to haunt me through the rest of the morning/early afternoon as I got ready for my meeting. Mike had the day off so we were together. After my shower I just sat in bed thinking about how we were sitting in a room off the NICU waiting to hear the results of our son's surgery. And the worst time of all, Marcellus's time of death 12:43pm. We both were holding it together pretty well, but there's something about the clock striking 12:43pm on the 9th that gets us. I think it will be this way for awhile. I will need to be aware of my responsibilities on the 9th for awhile and hopefully be able to excuse myself around that time. I even checked to make sure no 9ths or 28ths fall on Fridays (the only day of the week I teach) this semester. They don't, well except for one. March 9th is a Friday, but that's over spring break. I don't find this to be a coincidence. I think it is in God's grace that I have less of a chance of completely losing it in front of my students.

Mike drove me to campus and even walked me up to where my meeting was being held. I didn't want to go in. I got nervous standing outside the door. Was it better to go in and wait or to walk in right at the last second as the meeting was starting? I clutched the blanket they gave us at the NICU, the one that had a matching hat. Marcellus is buried in that hat and we kept the blanket (my mom made him a new one). I wonder what people thought when they saw a 26 year old graduate student clutching a baby blanket...but really I don't care. I needed to have something of his to hold on to. We had wallet sized pictures made for easier carrying and I had a stack in my pocket. I leafed through them throughout the meeting. I also was in my "Marcellus memorabilia", handprint necklace (his actually handprint scaled down), Mommy of an Angel bracelet, and Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness pin.

Mike was being met at a coffee shop across the street by the husband of a couple we've been getting together with. They're son would have been 20 yesterday (happy belated birthday Zachary!). They've been such a great resource to us. We met them at TCF candlelight back at the beginning of Dec. This is the first time Mike got together with him one on one. Actually this might have been the first time Mike met up with anyone one on one. I'm glad that he was able to have that time to talk with another bereaved father about some of the specific things they face as fathers. Mike also has a tendency to worry about me too much. Not that it's a bad thing, but I think he will often not completely deal with what he needs to in order to make sure I'm okay. Sometimes I want him to be able to forget about me and just take care of himself. He was able to have some "daddy time" today and I'm thankful for that.

The meeting itself went surprisingly better than expected. We were in the same room we were for every meeting last semester. I made a point to sit somewhere new. I couldn't sit in the same spot that the last time I had sat there I was pregnant and my biggest worry was when I'd be able to eat next. Although I didn't need to write much down, I took thorough notes. It helped me stay focused on the task at hand and kept my mind from wandering too much. The meeting was also much shorter than had been anticipated by the professor that oversees everything. When we were waiting for the meeting to start a couple of my fellow students said simple things like "I'm sorry" to me. That was helpful as then I didn't feel like my dead child was the big elephant in the room.

After the meeting wrapped up I asked if anyone wanted to see pictures of Marcellus. Everyone did and I was able to share a very abridged version of his life. I hope if anyone wants to know more they will feel free to ask me. I don't know how long it took me to tell them a bit about his birth, life, and what happened when he got sick....maybe 5 min, 10 at very most. I mostly talked about what he was like when he was alive. I can't unexpectedly throw his death story at people. I wish I could have told them more details, but I don't know if they really wanted to hear it. Hopefully people will be willing to ask about him if they want to or to show their support to me.

One of the professors did offer to listen anytime I needed someone to talk to and her office if I ever needed to escape for a moment. She said she couldn't imagine how difficult this is and wishes she had some inspiring words of comfort, but knows there aren't any. I told her her offer to listen and let me escape was more than enough. I also appreciate that she acknowledged my pain and the difficulty it will be getting back into the semester and research. I've never really talked to this particular professor much, but I very well may be taking her up on her offer. As a graduate student I do have an office, but I share it with two other students, one of whom is in there constantly. I don't think it would be fair to him to bust into our office and sit at my desk bawling my eyes out (as will inevitably happen at some point) while he's trying to do his research.

I only set out to make it through that meeting today. And I succeeded! Now tomorrow I will try to accomplish some work on my research, a much more daunting task. I'll probably unexpectedly run into more students tomorrow than I did just today just going up for my meeting and leaving. I officially have my meeting times with my advisor set up for Thurs, so hopefully that will give me a little push to get something done. Marcellus is my motivation. I will do this work for him. I would much rather lay in bed all day feeling sorry for myself. But that is not what Marcellus wants for his momma. If he were alive he would be my motivation to finish up this PhD. It is no different now that he is dead. I will do this and I will do it for him. That doesn't mean I won't struggle or there will be days I intend to work only to be blind sided by some trigger leaving my brain unable to perform even basic tasks. When those moments hit I hope I can find a fellow student or faculty/staff member to support me and let me know it's okay to stop for the day or hole up momentarily to get through it. I can be rather tough on myself, so I hope I can be gentle with myself as well.

Feeling like a failure is already an aspect of grief. It comes from not being able to fully accept that we are not in control of our destiny. Let's just say I have had intense feelings of failure arise for different reasons. As his mother I failed Marcellus by not preventing him from being born early or by preventing him from dying. Yes, this thoughts are irrational. I did everything I absolutely could for him. It doesn't always work to tell myself that. I'm his mother, I should have been able to protect him. I think you will find this thought is common among many grieving mothers (and fathers). I'm afraid that going back to work will intensify my failure feelings. Before Marcellus was born I was struggling with my research. It's not a good feeling to work for days getting nowhere. This is why research scares me right now. I am so afraid it is something I will completely fail at. Then where would I be? A mother without her child and a graduate student unable to finish her degree. Anyway, I don't know where I'm going with that one, but I guess it's something I'll need to explore further.

2 months down, 2 months closer to seeing Marcellus again. I honestly don't know how we've made it 2 months. I really don't know how will make it the next 2 months, let alone the next year. But everyone says we will. Others have done it before us and unfortunately others will continue to do it after us. I don't know how we are doing it, but I know why we continue to try. We do it for our son.

Marcellus, Happy 2 month Angel Birthday! Momma made it through the meeting for you today. Thanks for being with me to help keep me calm. I know you were watching over me. I need your help tomorrow too. Remind me you are there so I know why I am doing this. Also, help remind Mommy that these seemingly little things are big successes. One day at a time baby boy, I'm doing it one day at a time. Love you to the moon and back and missing you like crazy!

Thursday, January 5, 2012


I've been working on getting Marcellus's breast milk donated. A couple days ago I finally finished the last step in the donation process. It was an up and down figuring out how to work it all out. This post is going to be about my experience with pumping both while Marcellus was alive and after he died, and my experience with trying to get it donated.

With Marcellus being such a preemie, there was no way he'd be able to breastfeed for awhile. He wasn't even able to have any milk the first day since he was on the ventilator. That didn't matter, I was going to get him breast milk! Before I was even pregnant we knew breastfeeding was very important to us and I knew I would do as much as I could to keep my baby breastfed. Marcellus being in the NICU made it even more important. It's so important for those little babies to get only the good stuff, the "liquid gold". They warmed me that with having a preemie and a c-section I might have difficulties getting milk. That some times you can pump and not get anything at first and that's ok.

I knew the sooner I started the better. I was so determined that I pumped for the first time before I even saw my baby. I couldn't go see him while I waited for the spinal to wear off anyway, so I got to work. That first time I got 1 ml! Yes, it was exciting to get 1 ml. I was doing something for my baby. I had to label everything with Marcellus's number (9136) and write the date/time. Even though Marcellus couldn't have any milk that first day and then after that he wasn't taking much at first, I had to build my supply up to what he would need. That meant pumping every 2-3 hours. And I did, setting my alarm at night. That first night I was in the hospital and unable to walk Mike was there with me. As long as he was around after I pumped he cleaned my supplies, whether it was when I was in the hospital, we were visiting Marcellus in the NICU, or at home. He was so encouraging to me always telling me how good I was doing.

I talked to nurses, lactation consultants, and watched the video they had in the NICU to make sure I was doing everything I could to not only get my milk in, but to make sure I had the best supply possible. I got discouraged when the second day it seemed like I wasn't getting as much as before. The lack of sleep was getting to Mike so the second night he went home to sleep. He told me to text him how much I pumped though. That night I got 7 ml! I was so excited I called him, I didn't care if he was sleeping he need to know how much I got.

Once I got the hang of it I was comfortable enough to pump at Marcellus's bedside in the NICU. That's when I got the most, when I was with my baby. When I was able to look at him in front of me and know exactly why I was doing it. I never really mind pumping while I was in the NICU when Marcellus was in front of me. When my milk came in I had some discomfort, I'll spare you the details, but I got through it and my supply was established. I was able to stop focusing on pumping exactly every 2-3 hours and more on getting 8 pumpings a day. That meant I could try to get a few hours of consecutive sleep at night.

When Marcellus was 6 days old there was a dinner held for the parents of babies in the NICU. There were 4 other moms there. They all had either experienced or were experiencing difficulties with their milk supply. By that time I was getting 80 -100 ml every time I pumped. I realized how lucky I was I didn't need to struggle with that.

It had almost become a competition with myself. Could I beat my old record for most pumped at one time? I did feel like I was constantly pumping, but like I said while I was in the NICU I didn't care. We were able to put up screens at Marcellus's bedside and honestly I didn't care who saw. I was working hard to get my baby boy what he needed. He kept going up on his feeds and I wanted to stay well ahead of him so that if any trouble did arise he'd always have a good stash waiting for him.

They gave me a log book to keep track of when I was pumping and how much I was getting. There were information things at the top of each page about breast milk and pumping. One of the said "Pat yourself on the back! You have been pumping for at least a week! Hopefully, you are able to get at least 30 ml (1 oz) 7-8 times a day." At that point I was getting at least 100 ml every time I pumped (roughly 8 times a day). Yes I was patting myself on the back, I was so proud of myself! With all the milk I was getting I started thinking about donating some. I heard of the struggles some of the fellow NICU moms were going through and wanted to help. I was going to wait until Marcellus came home to figure out how much extra I had and go from there. The day before he got sick, he got up to his full feeds - 28 ml every 3 hrs (we were so proud of him for that!). I was definitely way ahead of him and rapidly stocking up.

The morning before we got to the NICU of the day Marcellus got sick I had my first time dumping out milk and broke my record. My middle of the night pumping had to be dumped out because I forgot to put it in the cooler, at least it was only 85 ml I thought. My morning pumping smashed my record, I got 210 ml! Made up for having to dump the other one out. That morning I trotted into the NICU with my containers of milk. I told the nurse how I had to dump one out, but was showing off what I did have to bring in. If I would have known my baby was sick I wouldn't have cared about the milk. If I had known he was going to get sick and die unable to use the milk I was getting him I wouldn't have spent so much time unable to touch and hold him because I was always pumping.

But of course I couldn't have known that was coming. Although he was getting sick I continued to pump throughout the day, maybe not as vigilantly as normal. But I couldn't let my supply drop, he was going to need it (so I thought). I remember that night before he died when I came back into the NICU after shift change (about 7:30pm), Marcellus's nurse made a comment about how things had changed in 12 hours. He (the only male nurse in the NICU) had been Marcellus's nurse for the 5 nights prior. He knew my baby boy seemed healthy and well the night before and even that morning when he left (they work 12 hr shifts, 7-7). Then I go to make a comment about how my day started bad by having to dump out my milk. Oh like that even matter to what was going on. Why did I care so much about the milk!

I kept pumping through that night. Spreading it out as long as I could so I could just touch my baby as much as possible to comfort him (at that point we couldn't hold him because of him being sick). We went home late that night (after 1am sometime, and why we went home when he was so sick...I don't know, denial? That's a whole other post). I set my alarm to stay on my pumping schedule. Last time I pumped for my baby not knowing he was going to die was that night, 2:30am on 11/9/11, I got 140 ml.

Throughout the day that he was dying I pumped (never full pumpings) a couple of times, just to make sure I wasn't going to explode. That was hard. Knowing my baby was so sick and my milk couldn't help him. In the back of my mind knowing he was never going to drink the milk I was pumping just for him.

After Marcellus died, a nurse came up to me to talk about what I needed to do about my milk. I have issues regarding that experience. She came too soon, I couldn't comprehend a thing she said plus she gave me some misinformation. All I do know from her coming over there I decided to pump one more time before I left the NICU. I pumped while holding Marcellus. It was the closest I would ever get to breastfeeding him. I just had to do it. It might seem odd/strange/morbid to some, to hold your dead baby while pumping. It wasn't to me, it was important.

Now I already knew a little bit about the Mother's Milk Bank. We're lucky to be in a location that has one. I knew I wanted to donate whatever I had stored in the NICU for Marcellus. It would be Marcellus's donation. What I was undecided about was did I want to dry my milk up right away or continue to pump for a little while longer to donate more? They have a minimum requirement of 150 oz to donate (30 ml is about 1 oz). I honestly had no idea how much I had stored in the NICU, so I knew I couldn't completely dry up until I made sure Marcellus's milk was able to be donated. Another thing about pumping is that it was something that kept me connected to Marcellus. My milk was proof of his existence, it was there only because of him. It was his milk, made specially for him. I did decide to continue to pump and see how it goes.

After he died I felt like my milk supply had just increased. I was very emotional about my milk. I don't remember much of my thought process because I was in such a fog the days following his death. The nurse at the NICU had told me I could take 12 hr Sudafed to help dry up (the misinformation - she also told me she thought I could still donate while taking it, wrong.) I took one the first night and morning. Once I found out I couldn't donate while taking it though I stopped. But I still wanted to do something to slow down my milk. Even if I was going to donate I didn't want to be pumping all the time anymore. I couldn't handle that. A midwife that works with my midwife brought me sage tea to drink. I didn't even think about trying to figure out if it was ok to pump after taking that. It didn't cross my mind since it wasn't a medication. Plus I couldn't think straight at all.

Back in MN I continued to pump. I finally called (ok I had Mike call) up to the NICU (which is stored as Marcellus in my phone) to find out how much milk I already had to donate. The lactation consultant told me I had 70 some ounces there, but only 40 some could be donated. It was because after my c-section I was taking Percocet in the hospital. Ok, so I had to pump another 100+ ounces. I struggled with what to do. Finally I decided to go for it. It would for Marcellus, it would be to help little preemie babies have more of a fighting chance. Especially since formula fed babies have a much higher chance of getting what Marcellus got (NEC). I continued to drink the sage tea on and off just so I didn't have to pump all the time. I didn't care of it took me many days to get the amount needed for donation. I just knew I couldn't handle pumping frequently, especially in the middle of the night. The next day I got a call from the lactation consultant saying she found more of my milk. I had 153 ounces of donate-able milk! Everything I was getting in MN was icing on the cake. I decided to make a goal of 200 ounces. Well I ended up pumping over 100 ounces while in MN. I quit pumping some time before we left there. We were there 3 weeks and I think I kept it up for about a week and a half or about 2 weeks after Marcellus died. Deciding to quit was a hard decision for me. Having milk really kept me connected to Marcellus. I just felt like once it was gone it was like another piece of him was gone. But it got to be too much physically and emotionally on me to keep it up. Once I made the decision to be done I had to be done as quick as possible. I went back to taking the Sudafed while still drinking the sage tea. It wasn't very long before I didn't need to express at all, before I was milkless.

The day we left MN, actually while we were on the way to the airport I had the phone screening for donation and is when I found out I couldn't donate what I had gotten while drinking sage tea. I couldn't donate anything that I had pumped while in MN. I was crushed. We already had it packed up in the cooler and brought it to NC anyway to put in our freezer and try to figure out what we were going to do with it. Thank God the lactation consultant found that other milk I had stored at the NICU to get me above the 150 ounce minimum. I don't know what I would have done if I wouldn't have been able to donate what was there, that was Marcellus's donation. I couldn't let him down.

They sent me the donor packet via email. I took my sweet time filling it out. I'd go to answer the questions and just get overwhelmed by them. It literally took me weeks to finish filling it out and sending it in. I think it took me even longer than it would have because I was mad at them about the sage tea thing. I sent a lengthy email to the milk bank directly and spoke on the phone to the lactation consultant at the NICU. I pointed out the need to have very specific information available for mothers whose baby dies. I was not in the position to be able to make the decision immediately about continuing to pump or to look up information on donation once I decided to go ahead and keep pumping for another couple of weeks. Hopefully I will get the courage to call and check up on the NICU to make sure they are providing mothers with the support they need to make that decision and be able to follow through. The milk bank did give me the name and number of a researcher in NY that does research on breast milk. I have yet to call him to see if he can use what I have in my freezer.

I was able to donate most of the milk I had in my freezer. My midwife had a client recently deliver her baby. I had met this woman at a midwife walk just a few weeks before Marcellus was born. We were due 2 weeks apart. I missed her call and on her voice mail she said she had a 3 day old baby that wasn't getting any milk. She got my name and number from my midwife (who know I really wanted my milk to be used by a baby) and called. She was just looking to get some milk until hers came in. It took a lot of courage to call her back, but I just knew Marcellus wanted me, wanted us, to help this baby. I called her back and she took just 12 ounces, enough to hold her baby over for a couple of days. I told her that I thought of it as Marcellus's donation and he was the one that was helping, not me. She ended up calling again because she was still having difficulty with her milk. Her baby was getting jaundiced and she did notice quite an improvement once he had the breast milk. When she called she told me her baby was getting better and she said "thanks to you and your sweet boy". She has no idea how much that comment meant to me. It was so hard to talk on the phone with this woman. She had what I wanted so badly, what I should have had. She had her homebirth and her healthy baby boy. After I got off the phone with her I had a little breakdown and said "it should be us, we should be where she is. I want to be her!" But I was able to donate most of the rest of the milk out of my freezer, about another 100 ounces. I recently called my midwife for something else and she commented how much we (Marcellus and I and Mike too - he was the one that cleaned everything) had really helped that mom and her baby.

A couple days ago I finished the process to donate Marcellus's milk at the NICU. I had to go get my blood drawn for screening. They pay for it as long as it's at a Lapcorp location. I just picked the one closets to our house and Mike came with. I checked in. Now the typical breast milk donor is a breastfeeding mom that just has way more milk than her baby needs. She is able to feed her baby and provide milk for donation (if you ever have this "problem" please consider donating!). I knew the nurse might think that was the case for me and say something about my baby. She did, the first thing she said to me was "How old is your baby?". I responded by telling her he was born in October but died at 12 days old. She went on to say what most people do that are caught off guard by the "dead baby thing". She said, "Oh I'm sorry, I didn't know". I told it's ok, he's still my baby. Why do people think it's bad to ask me about my baby just because he's dead? He's still my son and I still want that to be acknowledged. Anyway after I told her that she simply stated "He's with the Lord now." The way she said it was so matter of fact. I've never had someone respond that way to me before. She didn't try to say it in a comforting way like "Oh its ok, he's in a better place" or anything like that. She simply stated what she believed and in turn what I believe. She was able to say it with out belittling my grief. I kind of stumbled and told her how yes, he is and that we aren't in pain for him, we are in pain for ourselves. She said "of course you do, because you're not there with him." Somehow the way she said it and everything just made me feel like she "got it".

As a Christian I do believe my son is in Heaven with the Lord, but that doesn't make it any easier for me down here on earth. Most of the time when people try to reference Heaven or Marcellus being an angel, it's in a way to try to comfort me, make me feel better, they say it with a lighter upbeat tone. Well it doesn't make me feel better, it doesn't change the fact that he's not here with me. And just as this nurse said, I am not there with him. While drawing my blood I told her why I was donating my milk and that Marcellus had been in the NICU. She seem thoroughly interested in him and even asked if I got to hold him. I couldn't help but feel that she was meant to be the one drawing my blood that day. I just think of all the ways she could have responded or things she could have said. She also took a risk saying something like that to a total stranger. She didn't know what I believe.

He's with the Lord now. What a simple and powerful statement. Now only to struggle through the rest of my life so I can be there with him. Can't I just be there now?

Marcellus, Hope you're saving Momma a spot right next to you in Heaven. I really can't wait to see you again someday my sweet sweet boy. Also, think of all the babies you are helping with your milk. I'm so proud of you! Missing you every single day. I love you so much! xoxox

Monday, January 2, 2012

No sleep

I can't sleep and I can't stand to just lay there in the darkness with my thoughts consuming me. I thought maybe tonight I'd sleep. I don't feel like taking something to help me get to sleep. I'm sick of that. We went for almost a 2 1/2 hour walk today, so why can't I sleep? I did doze on and off from about 8pm to 10:30pm when I had a killer headache. But now here I am, wide awake, so many thoughts racing through my mind. These thoughts include a variety of things and they just go back and forth in my head. This post might not make much sense or might be rambling, but I guess I will attempt to get these thoughts out of my head.

I haven't started working on my research yet. I told myself this week I need to go to campus every day and do a little bit. It's so scary though. I don't know how I'm going to get through it. I really do think that if I had a more regular job I could handle working. If I had a set job to do with set hours for the day and set goals to accomplish, I could do it. Research though, research takes so much focus and self determination which can be difficult to muster on a good day. Try doing research with your dead baby on your mind...yeah it's beyond intimidating. I don't even want this PhD anymore. It seems so pointless. But I don't know what I would do instead. I just don't now.

I wish my family and friends would call/text me more. I feel forgotten. I feel alone. I know the holiday season is just wrapping up and people are busy, but it's been such a rough last couple of weeks. If you are reading this and you have called/text/emailed/facebooked me I do really appreciate it. Every single time it means more than you think. Even when I don't respond. And if me not responding is deterring you from messaging me, please don't take it personally. Some days I just can't. Some days I don't even have the energy for that. But I read or listen to your message and know you are there. We need you, we really need the support. Please don't always wait for me to reach out. It's so difficult and scary to do. I think I'm getting better at reaching out when I really need to. But sometimes I don't because I'm worried about "being a burden" or "ruining someone's day." In those times it is much easier to accept someone reaching out to me. To accept offers for help instead of asking. It's so much easier to accept an offer for a meal than to ask for one. Or for someone to say they want to come over instead of feeling like I'm dragging them into my hell. And saying "call if you need anything" while I know it's sincere, it's not as helpful as you think. What does "anything" really mean? And half the time we don't know what we need. If you are looking to help I'll tell you this, we get take out a lot. 
We need help. We need support. We need you. I'm sorry if anyone is offended or thinks I'm being whiny or anything like that. While I don't want to offend anyone or make them upset, I don't really care. My son is dead, the worry of offending someone with my grieving process is pretty low on my list. Sorry.

Thoughts of my nephew keep entering my mind. And it hurts. I hate that it hurts. I hate that it hurts when I think of my sister and my nephew. I am truly happy for her that she has such a beautiful healthy son, I really am. And she is such a good mom. But that doesn't stop it from hurting, from the "why can't I have that?" going on in my head, from preventing the "it's not fair!" thoughts. I love my sister. I talked to her about some of this a while ago now. Her response, "No it isn't fair." Thank you sister. Thank you for understanding as much as you are capable of and for acknowledging you can't fully understand. I miss you.

Today on our walk we saw lots of families, one with a tiny baby. The mom was carrying the baby in a sling, something called "babywearing." We were going to do that. We were going to wear Marcellus in slings and wraps. We weren't planning on using a stroller very much because we liked the idea of wearing him. That was hard to see that happy family, like a jab to the heart. The baby also had the same color hair as Marcellus did. At the beginning his hair was dark, really dark. But even in 12 days it really started to lighten. It became this beautiful light brown color and was so very soft. I just wanted to go up and touch that baby, touch that baby's hair. I wonder what the mom would have done if some crazy lady just came up to her crying and trying to touch her baby's hair. Again, the "why can't I have that" and the "it's not fair" thoughts start circling. Why do other people get something that we wanted so bad, that we worked so hard for? Now I by no means wish this upon anyone, but why can't we have that too?

I feel like I'm going absolutely crazy. I miss Marcellus. I miss him! I miss him! I miss him! I can't say that enough. Every time I really think about the fact that he's dead, my head feels like it's going to explode. I'll be going about something and then all of a sudden "My son is dead!" pops into my head without a conscious effort. Well there goes finishing whatever I was doing. I honestly don't think I've completely wrapped my mind around this yet. Around the fact that my son was born and died while his due date is still 2 weeks away. Everything happened so fast and unexpectedly with both his birth and his death. And I don't know why. I don't know why he was born so early and I don't know why he was taken so early. All I know is that I love and miss him more than anything, more than I can even begin to tell you.

With the holidays there hasn't been any support group meetings, we didn't have any counseling appointments. Everyone's busy and not checking in on us as much as before. Most of our friends have been out of town visiting family and having a joyous holiday season. This week friends will return, we have appointments and support group meetings. Hopefully we will find some comfort and/or release in that. And now, it's the new year. What does that even mean? Nothing's magically different because our calendars read 2012 instead of 2011. The best and worse moments of my life happened in 2011. Finding out I was pregnant with Marcellus, all the prenatal appointments and ultrasounds. Of course his birth and our time with him in the NICU are THE best moments of our lives. Then there's his death and his funeral - the worst. A new year just means time is move further away from when my squirmy wormy was here. That we have to learn how to deal with more firsts that our baby should be here for, Easter, Mother's Day, Father's Day, our birthdays, his birthday. And that we have to learn how to deal with anniversaries, of when I found out I was pregnant, first time we heard his heartbeat, ultrasounds, his birthday, his death, his funeral.

I don't feel any closer to being able to get to sleep, but at least I was able to get some of those thoughts out of my head.

Marcellus, Momma can still remember how your soft fuzzy hair felt on my fingers. You had such beautiful hair. I wish I could touch your hair again. I would hold you close up to my face and nuzzle in your hair, feel the softness of it and smell you. Baby I miss you so much, so very very much. I miss you, I miss you, I miss you! And I love you! xoxox