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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…
Recent posts

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…

The Grey.

When I write, I'm very deliberate with my words. I'm painting a picture with vocabulary, invoking emotion through little squiggles on a screen. People regularly thank me for my rawness and honesty. They tell me I am strong and they are grateful for my words because in some ways they help them love others better.

My friend circle, my faith circle, they fill my bucket with words of affirmation. I will always be thankful for this safe place to share my real-time raw feelings as we go about this journey of grieving half of our children. Always thankful.
I wrote the most vulnerable piece I've ever written last Friday
I read many of the comments. Not all, but many. Some got pretty ugly...and I had to skim right on by. Other comments and shares, I saved. Not to be creepy, not because I know them.
But because they'd experienced healing because of my words. 
Some were forced to take a step back from the black and white that paints their worlds.
...and acknowledge the grey. 

Dust

Imagine that you're holding your baby. Gently, carefully, making sure nothing happens to him.

Imagine all the dreams you've wished for him.

Think about how dearly you love him. How your heart might explode.

Then imagine taking a polishing rag.

Dusting him off.

And setting him back on your shelf.

I think sometimes it's easy to think of our babies gone on to Heaven in the abstract. They're not really here, they weren't here that long...and they're nothing like the ones running around the house now.

Few people met them. Fewer people think of them most days.

All of that is understandable. I get it; I do. I don't fault a single person for not having my boys at the forefront of their minds (my goodness, Mira and Edward keep me busy enough that they are not always at the forefront of my own.)

But then some days, the gravity of it all hits me.

My perfect, sweet, beautiful boys.

I dust them.

I worry that when their brother and sister run around the house they might …

Connected to Heaven

I've never been one to enjoy sleep.

I know, I'm in the minority here. I abhorred napping my entire life (just ask my mother), and I never understood why anyone would ever want to waste time in the afternoon with their eyes closed. I never drank coffee, (Edward changed that for me) but even when I started the coffee, I still never napped.

Until last May.

I've absolutely needed regular naps since Gabriel died. My brain has refused to function without more sleep. Grieving takes an immense amount of energy that no amount of coffee can fix.

I've learned that I don't hate naps anymore. In fact, they connect my heart to a little bit of Heaven.

Shortly after lunch almost every day of the week, I tell Edward, Okay buddy, it's time to go upstairs.

Every day, he responds, "NO! I don't yike it."

I know, but we need to go. We need rest. Do you want me to carry you?

"Yeah. Caywehyou. Pee Peese?"

We lay down in my bed, and I grab the blanket that lays o…

All Six.

The weight feels unusually heavy today.

Sunday blues maybe.

Lifetime grief.

Missing my boys.

My little Peter Pans who will never grow up.

Sometimes I close my eyes and try to imagine them, but I just can't see it.

Can't see 3 little boys and our girl bouncing around our townhouse.

Driving us crazy. ;)

I don't have to always close my eyes to imagine anymore though.

With the gift of one image.

I can see it.

See them.

All six of us.



Thank you, Laura Mullen, for not only gifting us the most beautiful images of Gabriel on his birthday, but now also creating this stunning composite. We are so very grateful. 

31 Candles

One year ago I turned 30.

Such a big year. So much behind us. So much ahead of us. We found out on October 13th 2017 that we were pregnant with our 4th baby.

I created a sweet little announcement. My heart pounded with excitement as I posted that picture and typed out our news.


I called Gabriel "my favorite birthday gift." And it was true.

I felt like we were in the clear.

That grief wouldn't touch us again in such a deep way.

At least not so soon.

It all looked so perfect.

I didn't know that little yellow pumpkin would be in our home one year later.

And he would be missing.


This day last year, I had dreams of what our family raising 3 kids would look like.

This day this year my 5 year old turned in an assignment for Dia de los Muertos where she wrote about her two brothers in Heaven.

My 30th year didn't turn out anything like I thought it would.

Today? It has been such a good birthday.

I am so very loved.

But my boys. They're loved too.

If I could, I would b…