Friday, January 9, 2015

I'm moving...

after much thought i've decided to move and start a new blogging space for myself.

but i will continue to keep this blog public so that it can be a resource to someone in need. and, if you are reading along, and would like to contact me, please don't hesitate. :)

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Right Where I Am 2014 Edition: 3 Years, 9 Months, 2 Weeks, and 4 Days

this is my fourth year participating in the RWIA project. here are my first, second, and third year entries. every year it seems to sneak up on me, and it's been no different this year. and yet again i find myself wondering how another year has passed without Julius.

a few months ago our family expanded yet again. Julius' baby brother, rainbow #2 (E), was born. life has been busier than ever with a newborn and a toddler at home. but grief is the friend that never goes away. and why should it? after all grief is the price you pay for love.

i have found joy again. my rainbows bring me nothing but happiness, and laughter. don't get me wrong, we still encounter the daily struggles of parenting a toddler who is too grown for her own good, and a newborn. but i'm so thankful to be experiencing those struggles. every single giggle, kiss, hug, meltdown, etc. is a blessing for me. i'm almost in tears thinking about how happy i am to be an earthly parent again. i didn't think i would ever get another chance after Julius passed away. i didn't believe i would ever enjoy life again.

just as i parent my rainbows, i find myself parenting my grief and Julius' legacy. some days grief remains in the background allowing me to breathe a bit easier. but days, like today, it has me by the throat - choking me. all it takes is one trigger to send me down a downward spiral. an article on a popular website that was supposed to be written in jest. and it would have been funny if i were anyone else but myself. planning for the baptism of E, and remembering the baptism of his older brother. or even looking at pics of my boys and realizing that i will never get to compare how they look at months 5-12.

sister is such a great sibling and she continues to be super affectionate with her baby brother, which is also bittersweet. she still doesn't quite understand what has happened. but she has taken more of an interest in the book "Someone Came Before You". she reads it frequently, and asks us to read it to her. she understands the pics in the book, and can point out that the mommy and daddy are "sad" and "crying". but she doesn't really comprehend why. and i know that my grief will take on yet another form when she does get it and begins asking questions about Julius.

so almost 4 years later, grief is still a very real part of my life. but i continue to feel more and more like i am "living" instead of just trying to get from one moment to the next. i continue to live my life focused around love and the love i have for my children. and i continue to take it one day at a time parenting all 3 of my children.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

i never said "goodbye"...

since Julius passed away, i have been beating myself up because i never got a chance to say "goodbye" to him. by the time i made it to the daycare he had already been taken to the hospital. and by the time we got to the hospital, they informed us that he was gone. i can't express to you how heartbroken i have been because i never had the opportunity to be there.

but this weekend, i saw this video of one of the keynote speakers at the 2012 TCF conference, and the words she said were so powerful, i burst into tears several times. one thing she said about saying "goodbye" is that if we had the chance to do everything again, and were given the opportunity to say something to our loved one before they passed away, would we really waste our breath on saying "goodbye". no, we would probably use that time to tell them that we love them.

oh, that choked me up! she was so right. i would say "i love you." and i am thankful that i DID have the chance to tell him that very thing when i went to feed him hours before. a little of the guilt was lifted from me when i heard those words. but how i still miss him so.

if you would like to see the powerful (and funny) closing remarks from Darcie Sims check it out below...

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

4.5 months

this should be a joyous time, rainbow #2 is fast approaching the 4.5 month mark, but i'm filled with fear and anxiety. this is the age Julius was when he passed away. and with both rainbows when i have gotten to this point, i panic inside. will history repeat itself? i feel like i'm constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop. and now particularly because rainbow 2 is a boy, i feel a heightened sense of impending doom. it makes me a little nauseous to be quite honest.

i wonder if i will ever get to see a little boy of mine live past 4.5 months. i beg the universe to give me the opportunity for a long life with this son (with both of my rainbows for that matter). the passed 2 weeks i have felt as though i'm holding my breath. i'm just trying to make it through the month of july. this is just the 1st of a series of milestones that i'd like to pass with this little boy. and even when i make it passed this milestone, it will still be deeply saddening because i never got the opportunity with Julius. bittersweet is what it is.

on top of this, i've heard of 2 or 3 other families in the last 2 months who have recently lost their little ones to SIDS and are just beginning their grief journey. my heart hurts for them. for us. this is an awful reality. losing a child is just so unnatural, and i hate that anyone has to feel this kind of pain. every time i hear of a new loss, i flashback to *that* day, those suffocating emotions of just being shattered and broken, lost and alone. how will they manage to make it through? how will they go on? how did i?

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

mom of multiples

of course when i decide to almost give up on this blog, i find some inspiration on new topics to blog about. go fig!

i've been thinking about this a lot since L's arrival. typically in the midst of some incredibly hectic, chaotic moment in which i'm desperately trying to juggle the needs of both of my living children. like when baby girl is being a diva, and L needs to be fed. and after i get both kids settled, i take a breath, stare at them, and thank the universe for allowing me to have such a moment.

it sounds crazy, but it's in those moments that i feel the most peaceful. after baby girl's arrival, i was just so happy to be actively parenting again. but, again, i felt a bit like a fraud. at that point, i was a mom of multiple, but if you didn't know our story, you wouldn't know. and when we were out in public, strangers always just assumed that she was our first.

now, while we still get those hurtful comments from strangers (which will never end, i'm convinced) about how now i have 1 girl and 1 boy (ugh!), they now SEE me as the mom of multiple children. i've found that i get more of an opportunity to talk about Julius though. sometimes people will ask if i have any other children, so i get to talk about all 3 of my kids. it's nice and hard but comforting.

i think back to the time when my grief was just so fresh it was suffocating, and i NEVER would picture that in a few years i would have 1 rainbow, let alone 2. i didn't even think i would survive losing my firstborn. many days i prayed not to. but now i'm the mom of 3 beautiful amazing kids. and i'm so thankful i have my 2 rainbows to help me through the dark days without my son.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014


in a week and a half i will have a 4 year old. my firstborn son will be turning four, and yet i have no experience dealing with planning a celebration for a 3-almost-4 year old. i can't ask him what kind of cake he prefers. i can't pick out a theme for his party based on his interests. i can't send out invitations to his friends. so i find myself doing what i have done for every.single.birthday he has had - living in denial for a while before stressing and worrying endlessly that the things i have planned for his day will never do my love for him justice. how i wish every day that things were different.

our family has changed yet again. we have welcomed a 2nd rainbow - our 2nd son (L) - into the world. he is just months old, and such a wonderful combination of his older siblings. baby girl is absolutely head over heels in love with him. to witness her affection for him is so bittersweet. though she took no interest in my pregnancy with him, she became attached to him immediately upon seeing him. very much like the love a mother has for their child. she kisses him about a million times a day (if not more).

it's been very emotional and i really try to take things moment by moment now. i have had some instances of deja vu with L that make me catch my breath. we've got some major milestones coming up in the next few months, and i'm trying hard not to lose my sanity just getting through them. i know i had a hard time with baby girl, but with L being the same gender as Julius, it kicks that PTSD into high gear. So if you have a minute to spare, please say a prayer for us and my sanity.

i'm not really sure what i will do with this space. i think it's time to give up thinking that i will regularly update it. we've had so much going on in our lives over the last year, and i don't see that slowing dow any in the near future (at least i pray it doesn't). i think i may just leave it public for now and update on Julius' special days. but if i do blog, i will most likely pick it up over at the blog i started for baby girl, which i will keep private (for access and the link email me).

Thursday, January 16, 2014

sweet opportunity

over the last year or so i've been contacted several times by people who want me to help promote their websites or review their products. usually, i delete those emails because i can tell that the people who sent them have no clue about my story or my son {especially when i see what they are asking me to review}. my blog started off being about my pregnancy with Julius, and then morphed into being about my life with him, and is now about my grieving his loss. to talk about anything other than that just doesn't feel "right" to me.

last week, i got another email with a similar request. but this one had an entirely different feel. a woman contacted me from the company Everlasting Memories, she started off by explaining how she had found my blog, and who she was. she had read about my son, and even shared a story of loss with me. she cared. and she offered to send me an item of my choice from their website and asked if i would be willing to give her some honest feedback on it.

i'm always looking for new ways to memorialize my boy. but it seemed too good to be true. honestly, when i wrote back, i was fully expecting to never hear back from the woman. but i did. and quickly. she sent yet another sweet, caring message. so i decided to take some time and pick out something. they really have so many pieces to choose from {cremation jewelry, urns, photo keepsake jewelry, etc.}. but in the end, i took the suggestion of the woman, and went with a photo keepsake necklace.

i sent her the picture last friday, and i got it the actual necklace this past tuesday {though i didn't get to see it until wednesday - my birthday - because D didn't bring in the mail the day before}. i really love it. the pics don't really do it justice. on the back of the necklace i had "Julius Luciano/I carry your heart in my heart" engraved. i really do need to take better pics of the necklace itself. and i really wish you could see the quality of it. the dog tag itself is pretty large. larger than i expected it to be really. you would think it would be really heavy, but it's not. and the picture is so clear. his amazing smile really does come through on it. which is one reason i was so drawn to a photo necklace. now i have a way to show him off, even if it's not in the traditional sense.

i know not everyone likes keepsake jewelry. but if you are looking for something, i would highly recommend taking a look at what Everlasting Memories has to offer. and i am so deeply appreciative to them for giving me a way to carry my boy around {in a more physical sense} with me.

forgive the low quality instagram pic