Friday, November 27, 2009

25 Days of Giveaways - Day 4!

First of all, THANK YOU to Tina at Living Without Sophia and Ellie for putting together the "25 Days of Giveaways".

If you are just now learning of this event, Tina has arranged with several lovely ladies to offer a creative giveaway for 25 consecutive days this Holiday Season. What a wonderful way to share some comfort and 'cyber cheer'.

The Holidays will, no doubt, be extremely difficult for those of us in this babylost community. It is very hard to find joy and peace when we ache so badly to have our babies with us. It is our hope that we can provide some warmth this Holiday season with gifts made with love and a deep understanding.

In reading many of your ideas of how you will be celebrating your Angel's this Holiday Season I realized that ornaments, special momentos, etc. for your trees or otherwise is very popular. So, in keeping with that idea I have created a special ornament to share with you.

Below are some pictures of the one I made for our sweet, Nicholas... (please note the Angel Wings!) Of course, I will personalize your ornament.

To enter, please leave me a comment describing why you would like to win this special ornament. I will chose a name randomly at the end of the day!

Good Luck!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving to my American Friends

Just a quick note to wish all of my wonderful, supportive, fantastic, American friends a very peaceful Thanksgiving.

Although it is not a holiday here in Canada, I feel for you all. Holidays are so very tough. Tough to enjoy without our babies here with us.

Your babies are with you. Safe in your hearts. In all of our hearts. I am thinking of you all and our Angels today and always.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Everday Life - Altered

This is a quote written by a fellow babylost mommy. I saw it on facebook and was given permission to share with all of you. Just makes you think.

"At the end of the day when I crawl into bed and all the lights go out, my thoughts can finally rise to the surface.
Yes, I'm a little bruised, slightly broken, and permanently scarred,
but I'm still here aren't I?
I'm still fighting,
I'm still waking up everyday to go through it all over again.
At times this life may be hard as hell,
but it's still a gift and I'm going to live every moment of it."
Written by: Michelle Moist

This quote (as many have) really spoke to me. Our lives are forever changed. We forever have grief in our hearts, loss in our souls. We forever struggle with the fact that what we have experienced is permanent. There is no changing it. There is no getting our babies back.

I think this permanency was one of the many things that devoured my mind in the early days of losing Nicholas. I was completely devastated that our life as we knew it was drastically altered. That nothing would ever be the same again. Not only was I grieving my youngest son, I was grieving the loss of a beautiful, peaceful and content life with my family.

Family days would be different. Family pictures would be different. The holidays would be much different. My heart would eternally be different. The hearts of my husband and my living sons... would be different.

This has been one of the hardest things to accept throughout this lifelong journey of remembering Nicholas.

We have gone from deep, deep despair and sadness to feeling a sense of strength for enduring such heartache. We have gone from utter hopelessness to hopefullness in bringing a new baby home to our family. We have gone from missing our baby boy so intently in the ravages of new grief to remembering him, talking about him and including him in our family every chance we get.

I must admit that there are some days, some moments when the tidal wave of grief hits me again. That the permanency that is the loss of Nicholas breaks down my "strong" barrier. Just this past weekend, I had a day. A bad day. I cannont pinpoint what brought the wailing from my chest again, but it was there... and it was unstoppable for some time. It was the first time in a long time where I longed so desperately to hold Nicholas again. To have him safe inside me. To feel his soft skin on mine. I held his blanket that day, to my chest and imagined him wrapped in it again. In my mind I could feel him. It was real again. All too painfully real.

Of course, there is stress. Everyday life stress which just seems to multiply by 1000 when your heart is already heavy with grief. Will it always be that way? Will all of life's stresses ware us down that much quicker and easier because of the weight we will forever carry? I hope not.

My husband and I have, together, been somewhat unbreakable throughout this horribly difficult time. We have stuck it out together. We have cried together, held each other. We vow to keep Nicholas' memory alive, together.

But I don't think we actually grieve together.... which is natural, I guess. Lately it's been hard. Harder to express to each other how the other is feeling. Harder to try to guage each other... enough to help anyway.

There are work pressures, there are family and friend pressures. There are holiday pressures and new baby pressures. All pressures that are to be expected. Some that are completely uncalled for, but there, nonetheless.

I am sad. Sad that we have been forced to face some of these pressures. Stress that is unnecessary. Stress that could have been avoided. In some instances we have been placed in an impossible position - to honour our baby boy's memory with grace and dignity or to dust the whole experience and his existence under the rug in the name of family.

In some cases, family just seems to be a word. As far as I'm concerned you must earn the title. You must show you care. You must put down your own inhibitions and reach out in order to show love and support. In some cases, we have not seen this. We have been disappointed and disheartened. We have longed for acceptance, for some level of understanding and empathy. For whatever reason, it's just not there. And we are not prepared to pretend like it is.

We are not prepared to pretend like it's okay not to acknowledge Nicholas. Not for anyone. He is always a part of our life. A part of our family. The hardest thing for me to understand is that he is a part of our extended family too. They have suffered a great loss. I am the first to admit that, but one must show that he matters. One must show that our feelings matter when they are communicated. If this doesn't happen, we are forced to become defensive. A survival mechanism. A mechanism for surviving the death of our son.

The only thing we can do, as parents, for Nicholas now is to honour his memory, lovingly. When his memory is not honoured it stings and it stings very, very badly.

We will fight for him. We will love him. And we will honour his beautiful, short life until we meet again.

Friday, November 20, 2009

A Blessing

Wonderful Freja's Mommy's posted this Blessing the other day. Wanted to share with my followers.

A Blessing

Blessed sister, beautiful one
with broken wings.
Your journey is a difficult one
that no mother should have to endure.
Your path is steep, rocky and slippery
and your tender heart is in need of gentle healing.

Breathe deeply and know that you are loved.
You are not alone,
though at times, you will feel like a
desolate island of grief
Close your eyes.
Seek the wisdom of women who have walked this well-worn path before you,
and before,
and before you yourself were born.
These beautiful ones
with eyes like yours
have shared your pain, and
weathered the storms of loss.

You are not alone (breathe in)
You will go on (breathe out)
Your wings will mend (breathe in)
You are loved (breathe out)

~ Mary Burgess
Author, Mending Invisible Wings, a healing journal for mothers following the loss of their baby through late-term miscarriage, stillbirth, or neonatal death.

Kreativ Blogger Award! Thank you!

Thank you for nominating me for the Jus and Kat for nominating me for the Kreative Blogger Award!

Here are The Rules:
1. Thank the person who nominated you for this award.
2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
3. Link to the person who nominated you for this award.
4. Write 7 things about yourself that people may not know (BONUS: My 7 Favorite Things List follows).
5. Nominate 7 Kreativ Bloggers.
6. Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.
7. Leave a comment on each of the blogs, letting them know they’ve been nominated.

1. I believe in Angels, now more than ever.
2. I have a tattoo of a ladybug on my lower back - which I got over 10 years ago by the way - can you say foreshadowing to this?
3. I am addicted to coke (coca cola).
4. I am terrified of losing another child.
5. I pray nightly to get a glimpse of Nicholas in my dreams.
6. I hate anyone touching my feet.
7. I really enjoy a few choice soap operas.

My Nominees Are:





Once A Mother


Lost For Words

Wish I could choose more than 7 - I love and appreciate you all!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Remembering Nicholas Around The World

I have been wanting to do this for some time and will surely be adding....

I have received so many little gifts and thoughtful cards from women I can't say enough about. Our bond is one of deep grief, but also one of strength, courage and friendship.

I thank you all so much!

As I Sit Here...

I sit here, at this very moment and am listening to our 5 year old read our 3 year old a book.

I love the conversations you overhear when they don't know you are listening.

What a special moment.

Had to share.

Our Angel Will Never Die....

I think I have posted this poem before, but it never ceases to move me.

My husband sent it to me yesterday.... I was having a tough day. Crazy emotions and VERY painful braxton hicks.

An Angel Never Dies

Don’t let them say I wasn’t born,
That something stopped my heart
I felt each tender squeeze you gave,
I’ve loved you from the start.

Although my body you can’t hold
It doesn’t mean I’m gone
This world was worthy, not of me
God chose that I move on.

I know the pain that drowns your soul,
What you are forced to face
You have my word, I’ll fill your arms,
Someday we will embrace.

You’ll hear that it was meant to be,
God doesn’t make mistakes
But that wont soften your worst blow,
Or make your heart not ache.

I’m watching over all you do,
Another child you’ll bear
Believe me when I say to you,
That I am always there.

There will come a time, I promise you,
When you will hold my hand,
Stroke my face and kiss my lips
And then you’ll understand.

Although I’ve never breathed your air,
Or gazed into your eyes
That doesn’t mean I never was,
An Angel never dies.

Author Unknown

Monday, November 16, 2009

I wish you enough...

My mom sent me this forward the other day. Normally, I am not fond of forwards, but this one got my attention. Thought I would share with all of you.

I wish you enough...

Recently I overheard a Father and daughter in their last moments together at the airport. They had announced the departure.

Standing near the security gate, they hugged and the Father said, 'I love you, and I wish you enough.'

The daughter replied, 'Dad, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Dad.'

They kissed and the daughter left. The Father walked over to the window where I was seated. Standing there I could see he wanted and needed to cry. I tried not to intrude on his privacy, but he welcomed me in by asking, 'Did you ever say good-bye to someone knowing it would be forever?'

'Yes, I have,' I replied.. 'Forgive me for asking, but why is this a for ever good-bye?'.

'I am old, and she lives so far away. I have challenges ahead and the reality is - the next trip back will be for my funeral,' he said.

'When you were saying good-bye, I heard you say, 'I wish you enough.' May I ask what that means?'

He began to smile. 'That's a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone..' He paused a moment and looked up as if trying to remember it in detail, and he smiled even more. 'When we said, 'I wish you enough,' we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them.' Then turning toward me, he shared the following as if he were reciting it from memory..

I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright no matter how gray the day may appear.

I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun even more.

I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive and everlasting.

I wish you enough pain so that even the smallest of joys in life may appear bigger.

I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting..

I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.

I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good- bye..

He then began to cry and walked away.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

8 Weeks to Go...

It's been a little while since I wrote about "Little Miss Sunshine". We are so grateful for this new little blessing. So thankful to feel hope again. Hope for the future. Hope for our family.

Nicholas will always be such a strong, special presence in our lives. This new precious soul will not take his place, nor will any type of guilt or pressure be placed upon her because of her brother who died. Rather, her arrival, in just a few short weeks, will bring with it a new beginning...

Little Miss Sunshine will open our hearts again. Make us believe again. Allow us to continue to heal our broken family.

We certainly have found joy and happiness in each other in the past year; in our summer cottage, in the renewed hockey season for the boys, in gymnastics classes and just plain having fun as a family. But I think this new baby will bring a new sense of purpose... a new meaning to 'we must move forward'...

But there is always a scar. There is always the grief that is buried deep inside.

In the early stages of this journey I didn't believe that the feelings of grief, sadness and despair could live side by side with the joy and love in my heart. But, as time has shown, they can. They co-exist in a web of emotions. Sometimes one overtakes the other, but, for the most part, they have settled in... together.. allowing us to put one foot in front of the other, enjoy our boys and their growing up while loving Nicholas deeply in our hearts.

Such strong opposites.... grief and joy.... yet they seem to mingle together so easily when the time is right.

I had an OB appointment today and things look good. Phew. The baby's head is down and we're ready to go... I go for another ultrasound next week to ensure that my placenta has moved up far enough, so I look forward to another sneak peek of our babe.

My husband got the paint done in the baby's room. It looks great. It has been emotional.... rearranging which would have been Nicholas' furniture, painting the walls, clearing out some clothes.... but also a little therapeutic. The door sits open now. And it's a little easier because it's like it's a new room.... just getting used to the idea.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Fun in the Leaves

Thank you to Holly for creating such a simple and beautiful piece of art with our baby boy's name. Oh, how I LOVE to see his name.

What a really nice surprise. Thank you, Holly!

This picture reminds me of Evan and Kyle jumping and playing in the leaves this past weekend. I think this is Nicholas' way of joining his brothers.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Ladybug

I have often been mesmerized, even envied stories of people who see or feel 'signs' from loved ones that have passed away. I remember reading certain, magical stories about how particular numbers or letters would begin to pop up for no logical reason. Numbers and/or letters that had significance to the love one who had passed. These 'signs' gave the ones left behind comfort, hope, and a reminder that their loved one was never too far away.

I would read these stories..... in magazine aritcles, listen to them on talk shows, cry over them in "Chicken Soup For The Soul"... but, not once, did I ever consider myself one of 'these' people. It wasn't because I didn't believe what these people were recounting was true for them, it was because I never thought that I would be one of those people who would so desperately be looking for comfort in 'signs'.

And then, we lost Nicholas... and I have found myself looking for these 'signs'. Looking for validation and reassurance that our baby boy is close by, watching over us.

There have been one hundred and one different little things that I could attribute to being a sign from our Angel, if I really grasped. However, this past weekend, on Nicholas' Angel Day there was a particular constant that I can't stop thinking about.

On Friday night, my husband, the boys and I headed up North to our "Heaven on Earth". We unpacked, warmed up the cottage, had some dinner, got the kids off to bed and tried to relax in anticipation for what the next day was going to bring. I went to the washroom to wash my face for bed and there on the faucet was a ladybug. Beautiful and red and perfect. I called for my husband to have a look, as finding a ladybug, in the cottage, in the middle on November, in Canada, is extremely unusual. It has always been said that ladybugs are a form of good luck. I took this tiny sign as an omen.... we were going to have a peaceful, sunny day for Nicholas' Angel Day.

The next day I packed a backpack of water bottles, snacks, mitts and hats to take to the race in honour of Nicholas. Once we arrived, I pulled out my water bottle and found a perfect, sweet ladybug clinging to the side of it. He/she stayed either on the water bottle or on my finger for most of the afternoon. My immediate thought was - now EVERYONE is here, celebrating and remembering...

The morning after Nicholas' Angel Day we were packing up to go home from the cottage. My husband and I walked down to Nicholas' stones (as we always do before we leave) and there, on his stones were two ladybugs sunning themselves in the cool morning glow.

I was shocked, moved and delighted all at the same time.

Coincidence? I would like to think that our boy was sending us some kind of message.

A message of love.

A message of comfort.

A 'sign' to let us know that he is always with us.

PS. Our two other boys are now calling ladybugs "Nicholas".

Monday, November 9, 2009

Nicholas' Angel Day

Nicholas' Angel Day on Saturday was beautiful. Unusually sunny and warm for an early November day in Toronto. I am certain that Nicholas had something to do with it.

I must say that the old saying "the anticipation is almost always worse than the event itself" was fairly accurate for us. I have been a super mess for the past couple of weeks.... remembering every single thing leading up to saying goodbye to our precious boy.... but, overall, Saturday was pretty peaceful and positive.

We are so thankful to our wonderful friends for racing in honour of Nicholas and for giving us a focus for Saturday. The race was a success and proved to be very therapeutic.

We started our day by sending messages to Nicholas on blue balloons.

Each of the boys had something special to tell their brother.


Team N.R. at the race

A tribute to our Angel.

"Happy 1" cupcakes for Nicholas.... only one little guy missing.

Thank you to everyone for their thoughts, love and prayers over the past several days. Just knowing that our son, Nicholas is remembered by so many helps to heal our broken hearts.


Friday, November 6, 2009

Remembering and Loving you on your Angel Day

My last couple of post have been pretty down. Today isn't a whole lot different. We have passed the time (1:34pm) last year, on Friday, November 7, when Nicholas was born and I am now remembering those invaluable few hours we held him in our arms, smelled his sweet skin, wept and smiled, kissed and cuddled our baby boy.

I feel you, Nicholas. I feel you close, in my heart. I feel you every day, but today more than ever as if you are trying to offer mommy some comfort... peace. We are heading up North tonight, to our 'Heaven on Earth'. I feel like it's the closest we can be to you. A place that has always been a source of warmth and solace. A place where you, no doubt, would be making a million beautiful memories with your brothers.

I am searching for it, desperately. I am searching for peace in my heart, calm in my soul. Thank you, baby boy, for guiding mommy through the sadness, through the grief. Telling me, 'I love you, Mommy. I am with you. I am close. I too, long to be in your arms, but please know that I am even closer, in your heart, where my journey started in the very beginning'.

You have taught us so much, my love.

You have taught us how to love like we have never loved before.

You have taught us the gift of true, unguarded compassion.

You have taught us that we have strength that we never thought we would ever need.

You have taught us to hope. To cherish the simple things. To treasure the moments that may seem unforgettable to others.

I am grateful to feel your magic. The magic of connecting with you. Through sweet, pure signs. The rainbows in the sky, the hearts in our pictures that seem to always find a discreet place, the Angel Wings I make in honour of you...

Thank you, Nicholas.

Thank you for the gift of you.

Thank you for blessing us with your beautiful life.

Thank you for trusting us, your family, to hold you safe in our hearts.

Thank you for joining us on this important journey and thank you for imprinting your life on ours forever.

You are forever our third baby boy. Forever mighty in our hearts and souls.

Love you so much,

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Dreaming of you...

Dear Angel,

Mommy is not doing very well. But you know that right? I know that you don't want me to be sad, but it's like this overbearing force is creating massive lumps in my throat, weight on my chest and pain in my heart.

Buddy, I'm trying. I'm trying to be strong and "get through" the next couple of days with some sense of grace, but, truthfully, I'm a mess. I can't begin to tell you how much I miss you, how much I miss what you might have been. I was shopping today and stopped in front of the birthday candles. It took everything in me not to reach out and grab the #1 for the top of your cake....

I keep telling myself that we have been through the worst. That saying goodbye to you this time last year was the single most heartbreaking moment of our lives. But I feel that pressure again, only now, I feel it in full force. There is no shock protecting my soul. No numbness to hide behind. I feel it and I feel it hard.

I think of you and find it hard to catch my breath. I dream of you and my eyes become glassy and distant. I ache to have you in our lives - here - in our home.

Dreaming of you eternally, Nicholas and as your Nana says "Kissing you goodnight, always."

Love you,

Monday, November 2, 2009

Thanking you...

I just want to take a minute and thank you all from the bottom of my heart for the love and support you are showing us. From simple emails, to supportive comments on blog posts, to seeing our Nicholas' name spelled out in bright, colourful crayons..... I thank you. Each small gesture truly makes a lasting impression on my heart.

My new friends.

My ally's.

My safe place.

As Nicholas' Angel Day approaches much too quickly, I feel as though I am suffocating again. I am trying to stay busy. Trying to stay 'positive'... I'm exhausted and drained and emotionally worn out. The reality of losing him feels so incredibly raw again. So intense... like I am back in those horribly soul searing moments when we learned of our baby's fate.

I remember, in the early days after losing Nicholas, hearing that, as a grieving mother, you will physically ache for your baby. I did. Feverishly. My arms ached to feel the weight of my son again. My body literally throbbed and pleaded to have him back, safe in my womb. As I slept (or tried to) I clung, for weeks, to the blanket he was wrapped with once he was born and if I woke up in the night and couldn't find it I searched like a crazy woman until it was tucked under my chin again.... soaked with tears.

I have relived our precious moments with Nicholas a million and one times.. and still it's not enough. It will never be enough.

I am terrified that a year will come and go and he won't be thought of again... That the ever looming first anniversary of our baby boy's birth and death is somehow supposed to mean that everything is supposed to be better. That the 'protocol' is that we move on, forget about the torture we have been through...

I'm not ready for that. I don't think I will ever be ready for that. All I can do as his mommy now is protect Nicholas' memory. To help people remember him and what he has brought to our lives. To love him from afar... when I so desperately want him in my arms.

Love you, baby boy.

Nicholas' Name

Don't you just LOVE seeing your Angel's name. Furthermore, doesn't it warm your heart to know that your Angel is being thought of and loved?

Thank you to Alicia at Yaya Stuff for creating such a beautiful piece of art using our precious boy's name.