Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Checking in

As you probably know from my last couple of posts, we are in MN visiting family. For that reason I haven't been on the computer as much as usual. I do have to admit I have had time to write every now and then though and have chosen not to. I do have so much I want to write about, so much I want to say. I also haven't been keeping up on the blogs of baby loss moms that I read and haven't been posting in the facebook groups I am in. Sometimes I just hate this blog. Sometimes I just hate being part of this baby loss community. Sometimes I just need to step back from it all.

I'm assuming most people read my blog because they either know me personally, are a fellow BLM, or know someone that has lost a baby. I wish I didn't have a reason to have this blog and I wish you didn't have a reason to read it. So every now and then when you don't see me post for awhile, that's probably part of it. I'm just sick of my blog and sick of my grief.

I will give a brief update on our trip. It's going okay. It's pretty mixed. I do want to write a post in more detail on my emotions of being here, so won't say too much now. Also, Marcellus's headstone will be ready Thursday. I'm nervous about it. What if I don't like it? What if it's not perfect? What if it doesn't turn out how I envisioned it? We're having a prayer service at the cemetery with family on Thursday so we can tell everyone about it. I definitely post pictures at some point.

For now, we've flooded his spot with things. He has flowers, solar lights, and toys. It has been nice to be able to visit his spot. Yesterday we stopped 3 times. A couple of times I've been tempted to curl up on the ground next to him and sleep out there.

Marcellus, I am glad we are here able to visit you. And although I know you are not really there, it's almost like we are with you. More than anything I wish you were here to see your grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousin. It's difficult to be here without you, but then it's difficult to be anywhere without you. Mommy misses you so much! Love your right up to the moon and back sweet boy! xoxox

Thursday, May 24, 2012


First I want to share a video that goes with what I wrote about in my last post. I had heard it before and remember thinking "yes, that's it." But I had forgotten about it until I shared my previous post and a friend asked if I had heard it before. The song is Homesick by Mercy Me. And that's how I feel, I feel like no matter where I am I am homesick without my squirmy wormy.

Well, we made it to MN yesterday afternoon. The drive was long and boring and gave us plenty of time to think about what things would be like once we got here. As soon as we got to town we went straight to the cemetery. It was really windy and that annoyed me at first. But while we were sitting at Marcellus's spot, his wind chimes were going like crazy. We ordered the wind chimes online and had them sent to my mom's house, so we hadn't heard them before. I like to think it was so windy because he wanted to play his chimes for us. I immediately started cleaning and straightening things up. Something I haven't be able to do for him since a very long time. I was excited to be there and honestly could have stayed all night. Yes, you read that right. I was excited to be at my son's grave.

To some, excited might not be the word they would think to describe going to your child's grave. And of course, I wish I had absolutely no reason to be there. I wish I never knew that there was a baby section in that cemetery. But since I do and since my son is there, I was excited to be there. Last week at my meeting with my advisors one of them asked me what the most exciting thing I was going to do while in MN was and I immediately responded with "get my son's headstone put in." He looked a little shocked and said, "well, that's probably not the most exciting, but the most important." No, exciting is the right word. It is the most important and most exciting thing we will do while here. This is my life. And these are the things that are exciting.

We stayed at my mom's last night. All of my siblings where here. My 2 brothers, my sister and her boyfriend and their son. My nephew that is just 4 months older than Marcellus. My nephew that is supposed to have a baby cousin here to play with and grow up with so close in age. How am I doing handling being here? Honestly, I don't know. I haven't broken down, but I am feeling a bit detached and withdrawn. I don't know how everyone sees me. Do they see me as I was before Marcellus died? Because if they do I am not that person. Do they see me as a mommy just as much as my sister with her baby in her arms? Do they see me as still grieving? Because I very much still am. Why do I worry about how they see me? I don't know. They are my family and I love them. Right now I just feel like they don't know me anymore. That I don't belong to this family where everything seems to be working out for everyone else. I feel as an outsider I guess. And I'm not saying that's there doing, it could totally be my own issue. That's just how I feel.

I've been so worried about seeing my nephew and how that's going to be. It is hard. It's everything I don't have. Seeing everyone light up and oooh and aaah over what he does. My mom being a grandma to my sister's healthy happy almost 11 month old grandson. I should have my soon to be 7 month old here for her to be a grandma to as well. Instead she takes care of his spot for me when we're not here. That's the way she gets to be a grandma to her second grandson.

It's hard seeing all the little things around my mom's house that are here for when my nephew is over. The things Marcellus will never use. The pack 'n play stored in the bedroom we're staying in. The basket of toys easily accessible, the baby wash in the bathtub and the cute little monkey hooded towel hanging on the towel rack. Yes, I notice all of these things. I notice them and it stings to know they are only for her first grandson, that her second grandson lies in the ground.

Now we are about to head to over to my sister's. My idea, and I want to go. I just know it's going to be hard to see a house full of evidence that a baby lives there and is thriving. I'm going to wish my house looked like that. Instead of the way it does...with things tucked away and the very few things we have that show he was here and the things we have because he his gone.

Maybe detached and withdrawn is the way I need to be to ease into being here right now.

Marcellus, Mommy and Daddy are so glad we got to visit your special spot yesterday. We wish we didn't have to leave you here. That's been hard baby boy. I wish I could be the one taking care of your spot for you all the time, but I am very thankful Grandma can do that. Thank you for playing your wind chime for us yesterday. It was beautiful! I'll be out there to visit you this afternoon even if it is a little rainy today. I was hoping for nice weather because I wanted to stay out there for longer than we got to yesterday since we were so tired when we got in. I love you so much my sweet sweet boy! xoxox

Monday, May 21, 2012

What is home?

Tomorrow we head to MN. To what I used to say was home. Although we have lived in NC for 3 1/2 years now, for awhile I always considered MN home. Growing up I remember this calendar my mom had once. There was a quote on there from a homeless child, "We have a home, we just need a house to put it in." That says everything about what home is to me. Home is about family. Home is wherever your family is.

So for awhile I regarded southern MN as my home even while living in NC. That's because all my family is there. That was until Mike and I got married. We did live together for a bit before getting married, but it wasn't until after that I really felt our family starting. My husband and I, the beginning of our very own family. And NC started to feel like home. When we would travel to MN I started to distinguish it by saying we were going "back home." And I would refer to NC as just home.

Then 9 months after our wedding our family was really starting. We found out we were pregnant! We started getting our townhouse ready to really be a home. A home to our family. The Lennons. And I truly felt at home. The perfect home, my husband, dog, and baby on the way.

Then Marcellus was born early and was in the NICU. We were home when we were there with him. I didn't feel right being at the house without him because the house wasn't our home. The house is just our shelter. Home was in the NICU at his bedside in pod 2 next to the respiratory office.

And then he died. And I have no idea when I will ever feel at home again. Where is our home?

I have to quote my husband on this one. He wrote about this very thing not too long ago on his blog
Which brings me to what is home now?  If Marcellus is our son and your family makes your home then what do you do in our case.  Before Marcellus it was just my wife and I.  This was our home, where we were.  And that was only cemented when we found out about him, I really started to consider NC our home.  We were going to bring a child into the world.  Two northerners from Minnesota were going to have a Carolina baby.  When he died and our family shattered we buried him in Minnesota because we did not know where we would be in 10 years.  The thought of moving him makes me cringe, I never want to.  But now my child's soul is in heaven and his body is in Minnesota.  His parents are left heartbroken in NC, where do we call home?  Is it when we go back to the grave and see his spot?  Do we call that little chunk of land home?  Or can we still call NC home, maybe the hospital was our only true home.  I do not know.  I hate this all, it makes me sick.
That exactly. Exactly what he said. I do not know where our home is. We're trying to build it back up, together. But it is hard and it will never be the same. Although Marcellus was never in this house other than while in my womb, it has felt so empty here without him. It lost the hominess I once thought it had. This house is again just that...a house.

So tomorrow we head for a visit to MN. The main purpose of our visit is to have Marcellus's headstone put in. Will I feel at home there in the cemetery where he is buried? Will I have any sense of home?

Maybe I will feel at home when we have a living child with us. Maybe I will never feel at home here on this earth. Maybe I will not feel at home until God calls me home to be with Him and my son, for all eternity. I don't know where my home is.

The last time we were in MN was for Marcellus's funeral. Packing and getting ready for this trip has triggered a lot of that. Sitting on my bed while two of my wonderful friends helped us pack. Okay, really they packed my entire suitcase because I couldn't even think of what I needed to bring or do to get ready. We were going to MN to bury our son, to bury the most important piece of our home. And now here we are over six months later, going back to visit for the first time since then. Still without that piece, forever without that piece of our home.

Marcellus, we were home with you here. It didn't matter where we were or where we would live, we were home when we were with you. Now that you're gone, we don't know where that is. Where is home? My sweet boy you are in the ultimate home, with Jesus. But your parents, we are here on earth with nowhere to call home. Someday our home will be rebuilt and we will all be together again. Until then, I miss you every second of every single day! Love you right up to the moon and back! xoxox

Saturday, May 19, 2012

My Mother's Day...

...was actually very beautiful!

The days leading up to it on the other hand were not. I've been struggling again with focus, concentration, and motivation. Having so many big dates in one week did not help. And this six month thing, it's tough to comprehend.

I guess I had my breakdown the day before Mother's Day. Maybe that's what allowed me to have a peaceful day on Sunday. I don't really remember much of Saturday. I do remember that on the way home from a friend's house Saturday night I could feel myself losing it. And I did when I walked in the door. Breakdown time. Mike held me and I remember saying over and over again "I don't want it to be Mother's Day!" It just didn't seem right that Mother's Day was coming even though my baby isn't here. I didn't think I would want to get up and go hiking the next day like we planned. I was up way too late because I was afraid to go to sleep. When I feel that way I have to stay up until exhaustion.

We slept longer and left later on Sunday than we intended, but that's okay. Somehow we still went. I felt a little bit of that "I don't want to go, I just want to stay in bed all day" thing, but I set it aside. I decided there are so many other days that focus on the fact Marcellus is gone. I wanted Mother's Day to be just about being his mommy. I wanted to celebrate this special role I have. This special connection to him.

Mike, the dog, and I got in the car and we headed to Hanging Rock. It's about 2 1/2 hours from here. The entire way we listed to our Marcellus CDs and just talked. I'm not even sure about what. When we got to hanging rock it was busy. I was so worried it was going to be like that the entire time. There were a bunch of dogs and Perk was pretty anxious (he's a rescue and has some doggy anxieties).

We soon realized that most of the people that were there were just going up to Hanging Rock itself and back and not the other trails. We, however, were there to hike for the day. And we did. We hiked a total of 8.7 miles. It was beautiful, it was quiet, it was peaceful.

Perk was a great mountain dog.
Pretty flowers!

Mommy and Marcellus at Hanging Rock for Mother's Day 2012

There were many places to overlook the beauty. There was one stretch of the trail that was full of lovely flowers that arched overhead and made me think of the Secret Garden. Perk was having a great time. I just felt so close to Marcellus that day. I could feel his love. I literally could feel his love warming my heart and giving me the peaceful Mother's Day I wanted. I could picture him with us. I could picture us carrying in a carrier. But mostly I could see him at about 3-4 years old. I could see him running along the trail. I pictured him very rambunctious and all over the place. Full of energy, full of life. I pictured him happy and us just content with life.

That was the scenario that played in my head, but our reality is much different. Instead of taking Mother's Day pictures with my baby boy, we included his picture in some of our pictures. Our way of showing the world that yes, he is still with us. He was there on that hike with us.

After hiking the quiet trails, we did go up to Hanging Rock. It was also beautiful, but I enjoyed the peacefulness we encountered on the less traveled trails better. Then while we were enjoying our yummy picnic Mike prepared it started to sprinkle. I was a little bummed because we had yet to go to the waterfall we wanted to. We decided to go anyway. We had ponchos with us and the dog would just have to deal. We drove to the trail that went to the waterfall and it was raining pretty steadily when we got there (so no pictures). We put our ponchos on and headed to the waterfall. When we got there, there was a couple with a dog that must have been there when the rain started. They were trying to stay dry under a rock outcropping. They decided to take off shortly after we got there.

Once again, we were at a waterfall that is usually very busy, by ourselves. It was amazing being there in the rain. Just my husband and I, our dog, and the presence of our son. I think part of what makes me feel so close to Marcellus when hiking and out in nature like that is the wonder of such a place. To be in God's creation like that. It makes me realize how big the world is in comparison to us, how short our time here really is. I think about how long that waterfall has been there and how long it will continue to be there. Compared to that waterfall, my lifetime is nothing. And compared to that waterfall, eternity with Marcellus will be even more beautiful and serene.

It will continue to be a tough wait until the time comes when God calls me home. But it will be worth the wait. It will be worth the wait to get to spend forever with God and my son in a place that is so much more beautiful and peaceful than that waterfall. More beautiful than our human minds can even comprehend. And when I think about that's what my sweet baby boy is experiencing, how can I be sad for him? My mother heart will always long for him, will always wish he was here, will always being missing a piece. The piece he took with him to Heaven. But my mother heart will never have to worry about him. My mother heart will anticipate the day we are together again.

Another thing that helped me have a good Mother's Day was the acknowledgement as a mom I got from so many. That was important to me and I feel so lucky that so many people recognized that. I got lovely facebook messages and text messages throughout the day and a handful of cards and gifts. I hope you all know how much that really means to me, how much that shows your love and support for not only me, but Marcellus as well. Every message was greatly appreciated and helped me feel celebrated as a mom that day. Every time I read "Happy Mother's Day" my heart smiled at the thought that yes, I am the one and only Marcellus's mommy. So a big thank you to everyone that thought of, messaged, gave, and sent me something for Mother's Day!

All my awesome Mother's Day cards! See the blue one in the front? That's my very special card from Marcellus. The pictures on the right is the little homemade package my mom wrapped up my gift in. The first thing I saw when I opened the envelope she shipped it in was "Grandma loves Marcellus", it made me smile.

 A butterfly candle holder a friend got me. It has a butterfly on the other side too. She said it made her think of both my babies, a butterfly for each.

You probably can't see it very well, but hanging on the left is a charm bracelet a fellow loss mom sent me with the card exchange we did. In the center is a mother/child necklace my mom got me.

Gorgeous orchids from a friend. On the orchid is the necklace Mike got me. It is the mother/child charm surrounded by angel wings in the shape of a heart. He remembered I had said I wanted something with angel wings and I love it!

Marcellus, thanks for helping Momma have a good Mother's Day. I was surprised that it wasn't as hard of a day that as I thought it would be, that it was a peaceful day. I definitely could feel your love sweet boy. Thank you for giving Mommy extra love on such a day. I felt so connected to you. I hope you enjoyed the hike and all the pretty scenery. I wish more than anything that you were here to have spent Mother's Day in my arms. That I could have actually mothered you on Mother's Day (and every day). But given that you're gone, somehow it was the best Mother's Day I could have asked for. As hard as it is that you are not here, it does not change the fact that I am your mother. I will always find ways to celebrate being your mommy. I love you right up to the moon and back my little mister! xoxox

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


For the last few weeks I have linked up with Tesha from Tesha's Treasures. Tesha lost her sweet baby boy Jonathan at the end of January. She started this link up to help baby loss moms (BLM) connect and encourage each other.

The previous weeks I have just linked up with whatever I was already writing. This week, the link up, along with some beautiful pictures Tesha put together for Mother's Day (see the end of the post), gave me the thoughts for this post and it's all about a very special community.

The blog link up is an example of the type of community there is among BLM. An instant bond we wish we didn't have. An understanding of something no one should be able to comprehend. I "met" Tesha when she stopped by my blog a little while back, leaving a comment. I am slowly getting to know her through her blog, yet I feel like I know her so well already. Really all I need to know is that her Jonathan is in Heaven with my Marcellus and I feel like she can see into a piece of my soul.

I don't know much about the blog world beyond those written by parents that have suffered loss. But to me it seems like this online community of BLM is rather strong. And it's not just blogs. There are websites, facebook groups, forums, etc. where BLM can all connect. There are many moms that offer ways to help you memorialize your child offering there services for free or at a low cost (hopefully in the near future I can get a resources page together). There are non-profit organizations like A Heart to Hold and Molly Bears that provide comfort to families grieving their child. You can find many facebook pages for small shops run by BLM creating beautiful keepsakes to help you honor your child. For me, there's something extra special about getting a handmade piece from a fellow BLM, it makes it extra special to know that the creator of the piece can understand this horrible aspect of my life.

Often shop owners and blog writers host giveaways (Tesha's hosting one now) of loss related items. I've actually won a few beautiful things myself and am very thankful for them. Most recently I won a remembrance painting by Renee Lange from a giveaway at Small Bird Studios. I will definitely be sharing about it once it is finished. So excited! I won this beautiful necklace from Tiny Dream Shop (donated by Tayler's Treasures). It arrived early last week, great timing with all the big dates I had. The generosity and commitment of these shop owners is astounding. They are helping so many moms through their grief.

A closed facebook group I am in did a Mother's Day card exchange. It was so nice to get a card with words of encouragement from someone else that is there. Struggling herself, but able to encourage me at the same time. She even sent a lovely charm bracelet! It was so thoughtful. I also knew I was able to help her through what I know was a tough tough weekend. One little card making a difference.

Many close friendships have formed through this journey. Some of which have yet to be in person. Just weeks after losing Marcellus, I found Cooper's story written by his Momma on Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope. It was so similar to Marcellus's, so similar. I had to email her, I had to know what it was like for her. We instantly connected, forming a very strong bond. We now text regularly and I know she's there for me at all times. I never thought I could feel so close to, connected with, someone that I've never met in person. But I can honestly see our sons playing together in Heaven. I like to call the two of them heavenly BFFs. That is what can create a bond in a moment that is stronger than one that has taken years to build. Through her I have met a handful of other moms that have also seen the evil that is NEC take their children from them.

I also email back and forth with some BLM I know through other people. A friend of a friend sort of thing. But they are no longer just friends of friends. They are sisters on this walk with me. They are my friends, my support. They check in just to see how I'm doing, they offer their insight on this journey. They've been there on this rocky awful difficult road. They are still on this road, they have just learned how to navigate it. Reading stories of and talking with people that are further along on this journey gives me a glimpse into my future. They survived the first year, 5 years, 10 years...encouragement that I can survive as well. 

I have also met BLM that are local through my group. Those that I do get to see in person, that I can grab coffee or a meal with. Those that we need at least 4 hours to go for dinner because we have so much to talk about. When I'm spending time with these moms I feel comfortable, safe, and understood. Something I rarely feel, especially all at the same time. They can look at me and know how I'm feeling. They look at me and just see a mom. It's really the only time I feel like just a mom.

I guess all this is for me to say I'm so sorry if you are a part of this community. I'm so sorry if this is how we know each other, but I am so thankful to have your support. I love my fellow BLM, I don't know what I would do without you. I don't know how I would get through this without your encouragement, your example of how to move forward, your journey helping me through my own.  

I can only hope that my blog, my journey, Marcellus's story has/is/will help another mom grieving her precious child in some way.

Thank you Tesha for making this graphic for Marcellus!

Thank you Tesha for taking the time and love to write out my son's beautiful (and long) name!
Marcellus, there are lots of other babies up there with you in Heaven. That means there are lots of mommies here on earth missing their sweet baby boys and girls. So many mommies I would have never met if you were still here with us. I love these women so much, I miss their babies with them, but I wish I had no reason to know them. I wish they had no reason to know me or each other either. That there wasn't this community of mommies missing their babies. But here we are and there you are. So I band together with the other mommies and we continue on this journey together. Every time I meet another loss mom I don't think it's coincidence. I think it means you have met their baby in Heaven and you decided we should meet. I miss you and love you my sweet precious baby boy!!! xoxox

Friday, May 11, 2012

6 months...

How long is six months? That might sound like a simple question. Six months is well, six months. A half a year.

But when it is six months spent missing your baby boy, six months is forever. When it's six months since you held your son as he took his last breath, six months ago seems so far away.

But then somehow at the same time, six months ago seems like yesterday. You can't imagine that it's been six months, because how have you continued to live and breathe for a whole six months? And the emotions can be as raw as they were six month ago, like time has stood still.

Six months has no meaning. In grief there is often no concept of time. It's so confusing and can sometimes make you feel like you're going crazy. And six months have gone by, that means I have to continue to do this for another six months and then another and then another. For as long as I live.

Marcellus has been gone six months (and two days). He was also with us on this earth for six months. The 8th marked a year since we found out we were pregnant with him and the 9th marked six months of his absence. That means looking back at the last year of my life, the first six months were spent on top of the world, finding out I was pregnant, hearing his heartbeat and having a couple of ultra sounds, preparing for the arrival of our baby, watching my belly grow, feeling his movements in utero, the unexpected crazy wonderful day he arrived and of course the 12 days we had with him on this earth outside of my womb. In the last six months we watched our son die, planned a funeral, designed a headstone, figured out ways to honor his life and things to get him for the cemetery. For the last six months we have been grieving. We will continue to grieve for the next six months. We will grieve for the rest of our lives. It's hard knowing that there has now been more time since his death than we ever had with him here.

Marcellus, I can not believe Daddy and I have been without you for six months. It was really hard when we came to the realization you were only here for six months. To have the one year since finding out about you and six months since your death be so close. It hit me then, you were only with us for six months total. Six months baby boy, I got six months with you. Most of that in my womb, and 12 days in the NICU. Regardless of where you were, those six months are the best six months of my life. I loved being pregnant with you. Even if you made me really tired and gave me killer heartburn. That's okay, I would do it all over again for you. That time being pregnant and those 12 amazing days. Those six months shaped me as your momma. Why couldn't you have been here for these last six months too? And the next and the next and the next. Why instead do we have to continue to live without you. Six months may seem to have gone by quickly to some, but baby boy, six months without you is forever. Six long months without you here. Sometimes I wonder how I'll get through the rest of my life until I can be with you again. Somehow I will. In fact, I have to acknowledge that I will because of God. Sometimes I forget that. Loving you always sweet boy and missing you so much! xoxox

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Two pink lines

A year ago today I saw the two most beautiful pink lines. How different it felt to see two pink lines than it did 9 years earlier. I do remember finding out I was pregnant with Angela. Her birthfather and I went to the Caring Pregnancy Center for a pregnancy test. I remember the waiting. The anxiety, the fear, the unknown. I remember my stomach dropping when I saw two pink lines. How could it be? I was only 16. The thoughts spinning through my head, I wasn't ready, I can't be having a baby. No, there was no joy when I saw those two pink lines. That doesn't mean I don't love my first born, my daughter I placed for adoption any less. It only means it was unplanned (obviously), I was scared, I didn't know what I was going to do. But those two pink lines symbolize the start of my love for her.

Fast forward nine years, one month, and eight days later. My second time seeing two pink lines. This time they were absolutely beautiful! Oh the joy and excitement I felt when I saw them. It was Mother's Day 2011 and I got the best gift ever. It was to be my last Mother's Day without a baby in my arms.
My positive pregnancy test. I was really active on a message board at the time and someone made this for me. Look how the test line is even darker than the control :)
I instantly became this child's mother. My child. Our child. The little life growing within me, so wanted and prayed for. I already knew what his due date would be before I even took the test, Jan 15th. In 2012 we would have a baby. What a perfect way to ring in the new year!

It's so hard to think about how different life was a year ago today. To be able to say "a year ago at this time, I was pregnant with Marcellus" makes things seem so much farther away from him. The hopes and dreams we had for this year. I never expected I would have no baby in my arms this Mother's Day.

I want to share what May 8th, Mother's Day 2011 was like for me. But I want to do so through telling Marcellus about the day we found out about him. 

Dear Marcellus, A year ago today is when we found out about you. That you were growing inside of me. You were 4 weeks gestation and we were on top of the world. Daddy was out of town that weekend because he was in a friend's wedding. We knew there was a possibility we were pregnant, but I didn't want to test before he left because it could have been too soon. And I didn't want to find out we were and then have him leave for a few days. Mother's Day has always been hard for me because I miss your sister. Not many people see me as a mom to her. I know she has a mom and dad, but I am still her birth mom. It was as her mother that I made the decision to place her for adoption. It was with motherly love I sacrificed what I wanted for what I felt was best for her. Ever since Daddy and I have been together he has always done something for me for Mother's Day. When he went to go to MN to be in his friend's wedding I was so worried about being alone that day. He was able to get a flight that came back on Mother's Day around 6:00pm. We would still be able to go for dinner and have time together. 

He asked if I was going to test that Sunday and I told him I didn't think so because I didn't want to be disappointed if it was negative. But secretly I had planned all along to test that day. I even knew how I would tell him. I got your doggy brother a shirt that says "Only child" crossed out and then "big brother" underneath. 

Because we were really trying to get pregnant with you and I was charting, I was pretty certain that I was pregnant. I knew it was best to test first thing in the morning. So my plan was to stay up really really late Saturday night so I would sleep in late Sunday. Then if it was positive I wouldn't have to wait so long to tell Daddy. Well I did stay up late Saturday night. I was online looking up all things about pregnancy signs. I looked at my chart over and over again. I chatted online with some women also trying to get pregnant from the message board I was a part of. 

On Sunday morning I woke up and wanted to know what time it was before I got out of bed. I reached for my phone and it fell off the nightstand. I had to get up to pick it up. It was only 9:30am. Not too early, but with how late I had stayed up I should have slept a lot longer. When I got up to pick up my phone, I realized I needed to pee. So I thought, well might as well take the test. I did and right before my eyes within seconds there were two pink lines. Not one, but two. Two pink lines!!! Perk was on the bed and I just went and hugged him, told him he was a big brother and jumped up and down. It felt so surreal, I couldn't believe it was actually true. You were on your way! 

Now only nine hours to have to wait to tell Daddy. Wow, those were a long nine hours. I don't remember all of what I did to pass the time, but part of it was taking pictures of the pregnancy tests (yes, I took two). Being online and just being so giddy with excitement and the anticipation of telling Daddy. I talked to him a couple of times on the phone before he got on his flight. That was hard. I knew he wouldn't like it if I told him over the phone (plus I had that cute shirt for Perk), so I did everything I could to get off the phone with him as soon as possible. I got a couple of "Happy Mother's Day" texts from some friends that have always acknowledged me as a mom since having Angela. I thought to myself "if only they knew how true it was this year!" 

I left Perk at home when I went to get Daddy from the airport. Before I put him in his kennel I put the shirt on him. He was great about it. He didn't even struggle at all just let me put it on him. I went to get Daddy and we came home. I had to keep from blurting it out in the car. When we got home I came in the house before Daddy did. I let Perk out of his kennel so he could run up to Daddy. I got out the camera and started recording. Daddy bent over to pet Perk and said "Perkie, what are you wearing?" Daddy was a bit confused. I told him to read what it said. He said, "big brother?" then looked at me and said "Are you pregnant?" All I could do was shake my head yes. Yes! I was pregnant! Later I laughed at Daddy for asking me if I was pregnant. It was funny because the way he said it made it sound like he was shocked to find out. Even though we already suspected that I was.

After hugs and kisses and taking pictures with Perkie in his big brother shirt (he was too excited to really get a good shot). Daddy and I headed out to dinner. We went to a coal fired pizza place. It's the first and only time we've been there. I don't think I could go back just because. Maybe we will go there again someday when we find out you have a little brother or little sister on the way. I remember wanting to tell everyone, the hostess, the waiter, the people sitting near by that we were having a baby. I don't remember what kind of pizza we got, but it was delicious. I remember talking about if we should get dessert and if we did should we share or get our own. Daddy said something like "we can have dessert because we're going to be parents!" Your daddy is cute. I loved seeing him so excited about you.

It was such a happy day sweet boy. I felt like all my dreams were coming true. Finally I was going to get to be a mommy to a baby that was just mine (well and Daddy's too). You were so loved even before we knew about you, even before you were conceived. That day we found out is when we got to really start showing our love for you. When I saw those two pink lines I knew I was meant to be your mom, even though I didn't know anything about you. All I knew is I would do anything I could to care for you and keep you safe. To love you with everything I have. I will always love you with all my might. For the rest of my life I will love and miss you. Forever I will love you. And one day I will be with you again and then we will forever be together. xoxox.

Monday, May 7, 2012


I have had a song on repeat for the last few days. It's called Olivianna and is by JJ Heller. It is absolutely beautiful. I haven't heard any of JJ Heller's other stuff (at least not that I know of). The song is written about a precious little girl with a gorgeous head of hair named Olivianna. She was diagnosed with Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH) in utero and lived for 11 minutes. You can read her story here, on her mom's blog.

This post on Amber's blog talks about how the song came to be (scroll down toward the end, it's a lengthy post). A friend told JJ Heller about Olivianna's story and JJ Heller read Amber's blog. She was so touched that she reached out to the family about writing a song about Olivianna. How lucky they are to have this song written specially for their beautiful baby girl. Olivianna will forever live on through this song and continue to touch the lives of others. JJ Heller actually takes words and phrases from Amber's blog posts and puts them into the most beautiful song. It does such a good job combining the darkness and pain of losing your child with the hope of seeing them again.

Like I already said I have had this song on repeat lately. Hannah Rose made me a CD with songs for Marcellus. Okay, she actually made me two because she's awesome. Olivianna is number 5 on the first one. I've been blasting it in the car, playing it at home. I have even been changing the lyrics for Marcellus. Please take a moment to listen to this heart felt, touching song. I find it amazing that JJ Heller can sing it with so much emotion without having gone through it. From just having read the words of Olivianna's mommy.

Here are the lyrics, Marcellus style. My changes are in between *'s.

"Hearts broke, when your heart stopped beating.
I don’t know if mine will ever stop bleeding.
*12 days* to breathe you in,
I felt the darkness when I knew I couldn’t hold you again,
When I knew I couldn’t hold you again.
You’re in the arms of God,
Just a moment there, is better than here.
Life is short but it is wide, I know it’s true.
You touched, more souls than most people ever do.
You’re in the arms of God,
Just a moment there, is better than here.
You could not stay with us
We will come to you
You could not stay with us
You’re going home, love
Where you belong
Oh my baby *boy*,
I’ll see you soon.
You’re in the arms of God,
Just a moment there, is better than here.
You’re in the arms of God,
Just a moment there, is better than here."

It's a little tricky to get Marcellus to flow as nicely in the song as Olivianna. But I make it work. Mike chuckles at me every now and then when I stumble, but I know Marcellus doesn't care (or maybe he's laughing at his momma too!). 

The song touches my heart every single time I listen to it. The pain she sings about at the beginning, yes I know that all too well. But every time I hear her sing "You're in the arms of God." I just think of how my sweet baby boy is safe. Of course I want him here with me more than anything, but he is safe. And the "You could not stay with us. We will come to you," reminds me that yes one day I will see my squirmy wormy again! And I can not wait. One day Mike and I will be able to go to our baby boy and it will be even more joyous than when we went to him in the NICU. As hard and painful as this is to be on earth without him. It is worth the wait to see him again in Heaven.

Marcellus, tell Olivianna that I am thankful for her special song. It's amazing she inspired someone to write something so beautiful. I miss you so much baby boy and this is so very hard without you. But we will be together again! Until then, you just let God hold you and keep you safe. Momma will be there soon enough, even if it seems like forever to me. You'll always be my little squirmy wormy. I love you oh so very much! xoxox.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

International Bereaved Mother's Day

Today (May 6th, 2012) is a day many people have probably never heard of. It is International Bereaved Mother's Day. It was started by Carly Marie and you can read about it here and on facebook. At the post I provided Carly Marie writes,

"This day was created to get people to start talking about the real meaning of Mother’s Day. Do you know who started it? Anna Jarvis founded the traditional Mother’s Day to honour her mother who experienced the death of 7 of her children and somehow through the years it has turned into a commercialized mess that card companies make millions of dollars from, but the worst thing is that bereaved mothers are completely forgotten."
I actually had no idea that's why Mother's Day was started. But knowing our society now and how yes, generally we bereaved mother's are forgotten, I am not surprised it changed so much.

I personally have mixed feelings about International Bereaved Mother's Day. I think it is a great thing. And that there are many moms out there, who unfortunately, are not recognized as mothers by their family and friends. Of course there's the whole society thing too. Have you ever seen a card appropriate for a bereaved mother in the Mother's Day section? Don't think Hallmark is putting out any anytime soon. There is the Lost for Words card line by Carly Marie and Franchesca. There's also the Etsy shop A Loss Remembered that has cards for parents that have lost a child.

But I have to be honest about my mixed feelings on this special day for bereaved mothers. Yes, I want to be acknowledged as a mother, but I want to be acknowledged with all the other mothers out there. I am no less a mom than my mom or sister is. It is true that my son is not here. But I am still his mother.  I personally feel that having a separate day, puts too much emphasis on the fact that Marcellus is gone. I want to be celebrated as a mom with a son, not as a mom with a dead son.

It is true that I won't do some of the traditional things that moms do with their families on Mother's Day. First of all I don't have my children with me to celebrate. We won't be going to church, at least not this year on Mother's Day. We will avoid places bustling with families out for Mother's Day activities and meals. But I will celebrate being Marcellus's mommy. As of right now I have no expectations for the day, but we will try to do something special. We have talked about driving out to Stone Mountain or Hanging Rock to go hiking. When we were in Asheville we felt so close to Marcellus being in the beauty of nature. We went out to a nice dinner tonight. I guess you could say that's what we did for International Bereaved Mother's Day. It would be way to difficult to go out next Sunday, so I'm glad we were able to go tonight.

I'm sure Mike will get me something (well, he better!). He actually always has (note: in case you're new to reading, I have a daughter that I placed for adoption. She is now 9 years old.). I know that I have some amazing friends and family that will not forget about me next Sunday. It is totally okay to tell me "Happy Mother's Day." Of course, I am still hurting and it will be hard day. How could it not? My baby is not here. But I am still happy and thankful to be Marcellus's mommy. And when someone says "Happy Mother's Day" to me, that's how I will take it. I will take it as they are saying you are so lucky to be Marcellus's mommy...because I am!

At first when I had this mixed feelings about International Bereaved Mother's Day I felt like I was disrespecting the baby loss community. I have now come to realize that I'm not. Today is there for those that need/want to celebrate on this day. For some, maybe they do not want to even acknowledge the traditional Mother's Day. And that's okay, everyone grieves differently and everyone is different. For me I am okay with International Bereaved Mother's Day, but I am adamant about being recognized for traditional Mother's Day as well. There's actually a Birth Mother's Day too that I've never celebrated. So I guess I've felt this way about being recognized as a mom on regular Mother's Day regardless of where your children are.

I wish all woman that have lost babies knew they weren't going to be forgotten for Mother's Day. And you know, I'm sure there are people that won't know what to do and won't tell me "Happy Mother's Day" or even acknowledge me as a mom next Sunday. Yes, I'm also sure that it will hurt when people I expect to have said something don't. If Marcellus were here, nobody would hesitate wishing me a happy Mother's Day. But they will since he's gone. I do know I have some amazing support through all of this though and those people won't forget. I will feel like a mom on Mother's Day, not just the mom to a dead baby.

If you know a grieving mother and don't know what to do for her for mothers day, check out What Grieving Moms Want for Mother's Day. You'll see that the very first and most important thing is acknowledgement.

I wish there was no reason for this separate, International Bereaved Mother's Day. That we were all celebrated equally, regardless of carrying our children in our arms or in our hearts. We are all mothers. I became Marcellus's mom the moment I found out I was pregnant with him (which incidentally was on Mother's Day last year). His death did not undo that.

To all mother's out there that have suffered the loss of a child... I remember you today, on Mother's Day, and everyday! Much love to you all.

Marcellus, I am and always will be your mother. Even if no one else in the world (well other than Daddy) acknowledges it, I am your mommy. Luckily I know there are some people that do see me as a mom and will tell me that on Mother's Day. It will be a happy and sad day. Happy because I get to celebrate being your mommy. I get to celebrate that I brought you into this world. I am so very happy to be your mom. But of course it will be sad because you are not here to celebrate with me. And that will be so evident as other mothers are out celebrating with their children. It's evident when in the card section of the store where there is no special card for me. It is evident when my heart aches for you every day. But the sadness will not stop me from celebrating my special role on this earth. A role that no one else has. Yes, there are many other mommies out there. But no one else is YOUR mommy, just me! Oh how I am so very thankful to be the mommy to you my little mister. I love and miss you! xoxox.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Last week was a super busy week for me. It caused me to fall behind on my writing/blogging. I was hoping to catch up on blogging this week, but I don't think I'll be writing much here this week either. That doesn't mean I won't be writing, this week I am focusing on writing memories of the time my sweet baby boy was with us.

I don't know why I didn't just write them all down right away or keep a detailed journal of his time in the NICU. Mike did keep a journal, which helps with recollecting the memories, but they're not from my perspective. I have started. The first days I wrote about where when he got sick and his death. I wanted to get that one out of the way first so it wouldn't cloud the rest of the memories. I wanted to think of the memories without them being a foreshadowing to his death. I have written his birth story, and the first few days of his life. I write them day by day. I guess that's the way my brain works. I also have his pictures sorted into folders by day. It's been sporadic when I've written them, but I had through three days old (10/31) written before tonight. I actually wrote about Halloween exactly a month ago.

Tonight I wrote about when Marcellus was four days old. Tuesday November 1st, 2011. Six months ago. I told myself if I hadn't written down his memories by six months then I would just have to write them all then. Well, it's six months. I also think this is the first time the dates and days have matched up like that. May 1st, a Tuesday (even though it's now after midnight and technically Wednesday). Seems appropriate to spend time each day writing those memories from six months ago.

What was I doing six months ago at this time? I was pumping in the NICU at Marcellus's bedside. I know that because I have a log where I kept track of my pumpings. It was my first night discharged from the hospital (I thought leaving there without him then was the hardest thing I'd have to do. Oh how wrong I was.) and I did not want to leave him there to go home. If it had been up to me I would have stayed there nonstop. But I did have to take care of myself as well.

The reason I haven't just sat down and written out all this memories is because it's hard. It's hard to really remember what my life was like six months ago. It's hard to think about the fact that he really was here and we really did have him. It hurts to know that we will never have that with our baby boy again. He's gone. He's not here. But he was here. He was here and we made beautiful memories with him. Sometimes they hurt to think about and sometimes they are comforting. I just never know which it will be. Regardless though, it is exhausting to write about. So, after tonight I probably won't be blogging much for the week unless I really have something I need to write about.

I do plan on sharing those memories on this blog. But I want to get them all written out and sorted out first. Then I'll start sharing memories more often. I have 12 days of memories, 12 precious days I don't want to forget.

I would give anything to go back in time six months. To a time where I never expected anything could go wrong. My boy was making progress and we were on top of the world. I want to go back.

Marcellus, I'm sorry it's taking me so long to write about your memories. It's not that I don't want to remember. I'm so thankful I do remember. It just hurts sometimes to think of how awesome everything was then. It's so different now. Daddy and I both miss you so incredibly much. We would give anything to go back to that time in the NICU. To monitors and wires, and pumping. To you. I want to go back to the time you were here with us. When we ere all together. I'm going to get those memories written down sweet boy. I'm going to try my best to do it this time. Will you help me remember? I never want to forget those days. The best days of my life. Love you right up to the moon and back baby boy! xoxox