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Something You Probably Don't Know...

I had a doctor make a promise to me in January of 2018. A promise that now, looking back, I should have known she couldn't keep if it came down to it.

Today I got a phone call and a voicemail while out shopping with my kids. We had planned a fun day out and had just gotten started. I clicked the little voicemail icon as the kids tugged on my legs.

"Hello, this is your insurance company. We are calling to tell you that a decision has been made on your final appeal. The decision...the decision has been upheld."

My heart sank. I sat down on a small bench listening to the entire message as tears began to form. I spoke softly to Mira and Edward, Hey guys, could you sit down next to me for just a moment, please? I need to take a minute. They didn't notice the tears, but they did manage to sit still while I took a deep breath.

In January of 2018, our world stopped when we learned that we would lose yet another child to a fatal prenatal diagnosis.

Mere minutes after receivin…
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Even if Not...

I noticed only recently something about myself. Something awful. Something hard.

I take so many pictures and videos of my kids.

What? That's not awful. Or hard.

So let me add this: I take so many pictures and videos of my kids because I fear I won't have enough when the day comes we have to bury them.

I hate that. Hate it.

I look at their faces as we sing our Happy Birthdays and open presents.

I make cute signs and dress them up for the beginning of the school year.

And then I click click click all the while, wondering, how hard is this going to be when they're gone?

The thought is never an if. It's a when.

I hate that. Hate it.

I'm not negative, pessimistic, or morbid. I'm typically a joyful optimist.

A joyful optimist who has buried two children.

A paradox.

One that brings me such joy I can hardly contain the love I have for the people in my life. My love goes deeper than I could have ever thought possible...

because my loss has gone deeper than I could have …

The Hardest Part

One year ago today I had my very last prenatal checkup. I saw both my maternal-fetal medicine specialist and my ob/gyn. My blood pressure was great. Gabriel was still there and moving. There was no indication that within 24 hours my liver would start to fail.

I didn't know that April 13th, 2018 would be the last time I ever saw my baby on an ultrasound.

It would be the last time I heard his heartbeat.

I didn't know that the next morning a pain would begin. The next day I would meet my sweet little 2-month-old nephew. I wouldn't be able to eat because I just wasn't feeling well. I would stay up late with the pain, sipping water and waiting for it to pass. The next night would be spent in the ER, not knowing we would be meeting Gabriel face to face just 10 hours later.

One year ago was the beginning of goodbye to this teeny boy.


And I had no idea.

Wednesday morning. It's time to get ready to leave.

Except it's 3:00am. I keep waking up, worried that I've lost …

Heart Shudders

All morning since I opened my eyes my heart keeps fluttering. It feels like tiny doses of adrenaline are being pumped straight inside and causing it to bounce around. This will likely continue for a little while.

Gabriel's birthday is next Monday. Our baby boy. One year old. I should have pictures of him at 3 months smiling. 6 months eating solids. 9 months crawling. He should be almost walking by now, trying to chase after his big sister and brother.

Instead, he is dust. Inside a box that collects dust.

So much dust. My heart shudders because it has a longing to be with him; with all four of them. Caught in a battle of beating and wanting to stop. Stuck in the in-between. So I feel the fluttering.

I think of all the ways I 'could' or 'should' honor him at this one year anniversary. I compare myself with other loss moms who do such beautiful remembrances; those who have words of honey to describe their journey. Mine have been bitter and resentful. Mine have not bee…

Just a Little More Time

I can only think of one word to describe how I feel right now.

Agony.

On May 1st, 2018 I wrote in a notebook: A new month. I feel like the boys are gone with April and I have another year until I can really grieve again.

My body must have been waiting. Tomorrow is April 1st and I feel it all. I haven't cried in months. I talk about the boys regularly and I do not cry for them or for me. I surprise myself in the way I tell their story, our story, without my eyes even welling. I cried for the first time today in a very long time. I hid my face from Jamey, not wanting him to see the deep sorrow I feel.

I want to pretend it's not there. That I'm not sad. I don't want to cry for my boys.

My body fights me on this and forces me to feel every feeling. I'm afraid the feelings will swallow me whole. And some days I'd be fine if they did.

I don't know what I want. I want to be near to people and I want nothing to do with them. I want to be coddled and held and I don&#…

Blood and tears.

I struggled with sleep for a long time after Gabriel was born. In the hospital, I was encouraged to rest as much as I could, but every time I closed my eyes and opened them again I would get a rush of adrenaline. (For the previous post to this story, click here.)

Where am I? What has happened?

Waking up the morning after his death is a relief; an end to the pain-filled night. My mom comes up to the hospital first thing in the morning and Johanna makes the 7-hour trip back home to her family.

Multiple visitors come and go throughout the day.

I am exhausted. The magnesium drip is stopped after its 24-hour timer is up. I know I'll be able to get up and move around soon, but I am still in an incredible amount of pain. A headache starts. My shoulders tense. I can't relax.

Everything hurts.

Pain medication isn't touching it.

The doctor comes in to check on me. "Where are you at on the pain scale?"

NINE. A nine. Please. Someone, make it stop.

I'm given a dose of fent…

A Piece of My Heart

I sit down at my computer to write, and I'm shaking. Maybe it's the coffee. Maybe. It's time to finish writing out Gabriel's story.

I shake every time I begin. Every time I talk about him. It's not noticeable to others, this physical response to talking about my boys. But it's there. More of a trembling I would say. The boys are gone; that fact never changes...but my body feels it more in the storytelling.

I've shared much about the day before and the day of Gabriel's birth. I've shared snippets even of what it was like mothering him in the days after he was gone. Eleven months. Our boy has been gone for nearly eleven months. And the last time I wrote about our hospital stay was 8 months ago.

I'm ready to talk about him more. Talk about those last two days we had with him in the hospital and the love that was showered on us by everyone we came into contact with during our stay. I'm ready to share the details about preparing for goodbye, hold…