Thursday, October 27, 2011

one of those days

today is just one of those days, where the grief seems insurmountable.

maybe it's because it's so gloomy and chilly outside.

maybe it's because i didn't sleep well at all last night. making me exhausted today and extra susceptible to the grief.

or maybe it's because i was just thrust against my will in a one-way conversation with the computer support person about how his daughter is turning 1 this weekend, and they are going to throw her a party. btw, if you care, he is just SO excited to see what she does with the cake they bought her. he's sure she is going to make a mess of it. {mind you, i asked for none of that. i was just calling to get my work computer fixed}

anyway, i'm not really sure why i'm in such a mood today. i guess it's just one of those days...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Heartache of Infant Loss by Laura Schubert

"Infant loss is nature's cruelest practical joke. It's investing all of the required time and effort into pregnancy, only to be robbed of the result. It's cradling a body that grew within your own and trying to reconcile the cold, lifeless form in your arms with your memory of the baby who turned double flips in your womb.

It's worrying that you'll forget what your child looked like and snapping an album's worth of photos that no one will ever ask to see. It's sobbing so hard you can't breathe and wondering if it's possible to cry yourself to death.

Infant loss is handing off a Moses basket to the nurse who's drawn the unfortunate duty of delivering your pride and joy to the morgue and walking out of a hospital with empty arms.

It's boxing up brand new baby clothes and buying a 24-inch casket. It's sifting through sympathy cards, willing your foolish body to stop lactating, clutching your baby's blanket to your chest in hopes of soothing the piercing ache in your heart.

It's resisting the urge to smack the clueless individuals who compare your situation to the death of their dog or who tell you you'll have another baby, as if children are somehow replaceable.

Infant loss is explaining to your 7-year-old that sometimes babies die and being stumped into silence when she asks you why. It's watching other families live out your happy ending and fighting a fresh round of grief with every milestone you miss.

It's being shut out of play groups for perpetuity. It's skipping social events with expectant and newly minted mothers because, as a walking worst-case scenario, you don't want to put a damper on the party.

It's listening to other women gripe about motherhood and realizing that you no longer relate to their petty parental complaints because, frankly, when you've buried a baby, a sleepless night with a vomiting toddler sounds something like a gift.

Infant loss is pruning from your life the friends and relatives who ignore or minimize your loss. It's recognizing that, while they may not mean to be hurtful, the fact that they don't know any better doesn't make their utter lack of empathy one whit easier to bear.

My baby girl would have been 5 years old this month. I don't know what she'd look like, what her favorite food would be. I've never had the privilege of tucking her into bed, taking her to the zoo or kissing her boo-boos. I will never watch her graduate or walk down the aisle.

Infant loss is more than an empty cradle. It's a life sentence."

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

and the grief goes on...

just because his angelversary has passed, the load has not gotten any lighter. i still miss my son so desperately. last week i was so completely drained from all of the anticipation and stress of his angelversary that by friday i could hardly focus. i spent pretty much the entire weekend laid up on the couch, in seclusion, watching movies and pinning {my new time suck hobby since deactivating my fb acct for the 2nd time - if you're on pinterest, look me up!}.

and even though i'm over that hurdle, i'm starting to anticipate the dread of the upcoming months. this will technically be our 2nd holiday season without Juju, but since we were in such shock and denial last year, it really feels like our 1st. for the most part, we have decided to ignore the holidays once again. i know that one day i will feel up to "celebrating" again {or at least i hope}, but this year it still doesn't feel right.

i know these next couple of months will be hard, not only for myself, but also for a few of my dear BLM friends as we head for holidays and angelversaries. today, my heart is with my dear friend tiffany and her family as they mark the 1st angelversary of their amazing girl Ellie. i got the opportunity to meet tiffany and her family back in july when i went on my getaway to MN. and just like all of the BLMs that i have come to know since losing Julius, i feel a deep connection to her and her baby girl. so my heart is extra heavy today. if you get a chance, please stop by her blog and read all about her precious Ellie and say a little prayer for them.

Friday, October 14, 2011

1 year

a year has passed since i last held my baby boy. the ticker on the side has gone from counting time in months to years. it makes me sick to my stomach to see that. to realize that that much time has actually passed. it's just not right.

the few days leading up to the 12th were absolutely terrible. my heart fought hard to make time to stop, but to no avail. the 10th was a holiday from work for me, and i had planned to take off on the 12th, but at the last minute i decided to take the 11th off too. i just didn't think i would be able to concentrate if i went to work.

since D was also off on the 10th, we just spent the day together at home. on the 11th i went to a local pottery painting studio and spent some time there painting some pieces in honor of my boy.

a froggy {i know his eyes are weird, but in my defense i was distracted by the woman who walked in with her 1 yr old son planning for his 1st birthday}
my awareness ribbon

then i swung over to the local newspaper to get some copies of the paper since his memorial ad that we placed for him was in it.

his memorial ad
i stopped by ben & jerry's binge on some ice cream, because it was that sort of day. and then after D got off of work, we went bowling.

he comes with us bowling. unfortunately i sucked.
i didn't sleep well that night as the anticipation of the next day took over my thoughts. i woke up on the 12th with tears in my eyes and a very heavy heart. and after i wrote my letter to Julius, i got up and got myself dressed {a huge accomplishment in my eyes and worth mentioning}, and went to see what D was doing in the office so we could start our day. we loosely planned to spend that day together at the zoo in nashville. we wanted to do something that we would have done with Juju if he were still here with us. we wanted that day, though painful, to be about his life and honoring him. so after making breakfast, we headed on the road up to n'ville.

since there was a ton of traffic due to an accident, it took us a  little longer than usual to get up there. and by the time we arrived, it was almost lunch time and we were starving. we decided to grab something to eat close to the zoo. and with the help of urbanspoon, we discovered that there was a {highly rated} cuban restaurant close by. being half-cuban and originally from s. fla i was so excited to find this restaurant. i haven't had cuban food in a few yrs {since i was last home visiting my family}. so we stopped, and as soon as we walked in, the song "here comes the sun" by the beatles came on in the restaurant {i blogged about the importance of that song, and the beatles some months ago}. so when i heard it, i just knew that Juju was with us. we had an amazing meal {even D thoroughly enjoyed the meal and gave me credit for picking the restaurant, which he never does}.

after eating we headed over to the zoo. as soon as we got out of the car, i began 2nd guessing my decision to go to the zoo. i mean, i know that it's a family place, but i guess i didn't realize the amount of babies that would be there. it seemed like every single person had a stroller. D asked me several times on the walk up to the admission booth if i wanted to just abandon the idea, and go watch a movie instead. and i was pretty close to taking him up on his offer. but i decided that for Juju i would suck it up, and follow through. i'm not sure why, but i just really felt like we needed to do this. and honestly, i'm so glad that i did.

the amount of kids in the zoo was really suffocating at first. but D did such of good job of distracting me. we really spent the whole time being silly, and talking about Julius and what he would be doing if he were there, and just all the memories we made with him. it was a fun time. after the zoo we went and had an early dinner at another restaurant i wanted to try {i really wish we had gone back to the cuban restaurant}, and then headed home where we did a small impromptu balloon release. i'm so glad that D and i spent the day together this way. 
my "i can't believe i really have to send balloons up to my little man" face

going up to him

then yesterday i got the opportunity to honor my baby boy and spread awareness about SIDS in another unique way, but that will have to remain a secret for now. :) 

i want to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone who thought of us, said a prayer for us, sent me messages and emails. i was so overwhelmed not only by sorrow that my baby boy was no longer with us, but also by the intense love that everyone showed us. there is no way we could have had such a peaceful day without it. and not only that, but i'm so proud to say that we made our fundraising goal! we planned to raise $5k for Julius' memorial fund at CJ Foundation in 2011 for SIDS awareness and research. and because of everyone and their generosity, we not only met that goal, but we have exceeded it!! thank you all who contributed, or even considered contributing. it means so much to have you help us remember and honor our son's precious, amazing life in this way!

though i'm generally not comforted by poems that are even remotely "optimistic" or poems that have a positive spin on them because i'm still so angry about Julius not being here with us. i received a card from the wonderful people at CJ Foundation the day before Juju's angelversary with part of a poem in it that really stuck with me. and after receiving all of the love and support that we did on his angel day, i know why...

"The tide recedes but leaves behind bright seashells on the sand, the sun goes down but gentle warmth still lingers on the land. The music stops and yet it echoes on in sweet refrain...for every joy that passes, something beautiful remains." - MD Hughes

Friday, October 7, 2011

winner and *another* giveaway!

the winner of this month's Juju giveaway {the t-shirt and pin from Remembering Our Babies}, chosen at random by, is BECKY!!
congrats girl! please send me an email with your info and what size shirt you would like, and i will get your order placed today. and hopefully, you will get it by the 15th.


and i just wanted to let you all know that there is another giveaway going on right now in honor of Julius {and you don't have to be a BLM to enter this one}. the girl who has been at pretty much all of our life events since 2009, and was the 1st person to meet Juju, our dear friend and photographer, Whitney of Caught You on Camera, asked me a few days ago if it would be alright to do a giveaway in remembrance of Juju in order to help us raise money for his memorial fund at The CJ Foundation for SIDS. and of course we agreeed.

to enter this giveaway, all you have to do is make a donation to Julius' memorial fund {in ANY amount}, and then email the donation receipt to the winner will be chosen at random using and will win an 11x14 canvas wrap of the photo of your choice! anyone can enter this one, even if you aren't local or a former client of hers. please check out her post for more details on how to enter. she will announce the winner on Julius' angelversary {the 12th}. thank you Whitney for helping us remember the life of our amazing son!!! ♥

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

i want him back

i want him back...still. i miss him...still.

i would give anything to wake up from this nightmare and find him curled up next to me. i would give anything to have oct 12 be just another day instead of the worst day of my life. i would give anything to stop the flashbacks.

daily i ask the question "how am i supposed to live without you?" i still haven't gotten my answer. all i know is that since oct 12 i have woken up everyday. i have gotten out of bed. i have done things. i continue to live despite my asking not to.

i don't know if i will ever get the answer to my question. i don't know if this pain will ever get easier to bear. i know the pain will never go away. for i will always want him back, i will always miss him, i will always love him. that little boy became my compass in life on may 30, 2010. without him, i'm lost.