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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 …
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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.


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…

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. 


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 …