Saturday, October 15, 2016

Wave of Light

In June of 2011, I had a miscarriage. A tiny baby I think of as Butterfly flitted in and out of my life in a matter of days. And suddenly I was the one in four women that has lost a child.

This year I experienced that pain again. This time I carried my sweet little boy Gabriel Wyatt beneath my own heart for 11 weeks and 3 days before we found out his own tiny heart had stopped. This was a familiar pain, but in a far more profound way than I had experienced it before.

Today, participating in the Wave of Light, I remember both of the babies that I'll never hold in my arms. Tonight I said a prayer for them, and for all the sweet children gone far too soon. May comfort come to all those who light their candles tonight.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Forcefully Four

October 12th is here again already! My not-so-little AJ-Bug is four years old today!  I can't believe it!

He is going to wake up from his nap any minute, so we're going with bullets here!  Here's what AJ is like at FOUR!

  • He's my rough-and-tumble boy!  He's constantly jumping, rolling, bouncing and taking risks. I see ER visits in our future. So far, no major injuries, but he did dislocate a bone or tendon in his elbow a few weeks ago--and it was just a minor fall! Luckily the immediate care doc figured it out quickly and within minutes he was saying it didn't hurt one bit!
  • He's talking a lot these days--and MOST of it makes sense! He still has some speech issues, namely he can't say "l" sounds and a few others.  It's cute to hear him talk, but I hope it works itself out eventually so he doesn't have issues in school.
  • He is an EATER!  Sometimes we have to MAKE him stop eating! I wish he'd eat some veggies, but he loves fruit and he eats way more meat than Tyler ever has! We have a lot more things to choose from with AJ.
  • He is definitely not a laid back child. He has quite a defiant streak that we are struggling with lately. He will completely ignore instructions, or do something again that you've just told him not to. We are doing our best to be consistent and stop these behaviors, but it's rough sometimes!
  • That said, when he's good, he's so good and sweet! 
  • His favorite thing in the whole wide world is to be TICKLED! Seriously, it's my part time job.
  • His favorite book is "The Book With No Pictures". It's hilarious and he knows it by heart and can recite it.
  • He likes to watch Paw Patrol, Blaze, and Loud House.
  • He loves to play board games. We've been playing a lot of Chutes and Ladders and Candyland, along with a few others. He is getting at least 4 new games for his birthday!
  • His best "buddy" is our old fat cat Tippy. He just adores her.
Tyler's on fall break, so I took a few days off work. Adam will be off tomorrow and Friday too. Mom and I took the kids to Conner Prairie (a living history museum) and had a good time. As predicted, he woke up and after some tickles is now playing with a birthday gift, so I'll leave you with some photos of his birthday cuteness!

In a covered wagon

Me and my boys!

Aw he looked down!

Paddling a canoe

Tyler taking a turn

My Tyler-man

Friday, October 7, 2016

Song Lyrics for Loss: I Will Carry You

This song is all kinds of heartbreaking. It reminds me to be grateful for the time I had with my baby. It's more religious/spiritual, but I just love the message.

"I Will Carry You (Audrey's Son)" Selah

There were photographs I wanted to take
Things I wanted to show you
Sing sweet lullabies, wipe your teary eyes
Who could love you like this?

People say that I am brave but I'm not
Truth is I'm barely hanging on
But there's a greater story
Written long before me
Because He loves you like this

So I will carry you
While your heart beats here
Long beyond the empty cradle
Through the coming years
I will carry you
All my life
And I will praise the One Who's chosen me
To carry you

Such a short time
Such a long road
All this madness

But I know
That the silence
Has brought me to His voice
And He says

I've shown her photographs of time beginning
Walked her through the parted seas
Angel lullabies, no more teary eyes
Who could love her like this?

I will carry you
While your heart beats here
Long beyond the empty cradle
Through the coming years
I will carry you
All your life
And I will praise the One Who's chosen Me
To carry you 

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

The memorial

Sunday was the Memorial of Ashes.  The hospital where I had my D&C is one of several in our area that offers an option of communal burial of ashes of miscarried babies.  They have a service twice a year and invite the families that have had a loss to attend.  The nurses told me about it the day of my D&C and asked if we would like to have an invitation sent to us. I said yes immediately.

(Side note: I never got an invitation (story of my LIFE), so I called the hospital last week and the rushed to send me one).

We decided we would all go (Mom, Adam and I, the kids, and my sister Michelle).  It was very nice. It was held at the funeral home at a local cemetery. They had a large room set up with chairs. At the back of the room were several tables. We were immediately offered a program, and they gave each of the boys a brightly colored paper sack with a few little toys and a sucker, which I thought was both thoughtful AND smart. There were also strips of ribbon that you could write messages on, which would later bed tied to two wreaths they would take out to the memorial site. Each of us took a ribbon and wrote a little message to our baby boy. There were also tables with cookies and water at the back of the room. 

We took seats and waited for the service to begin. While we waited, a woman was playing the violin, which was lovely. The service was only 20-30 minutes at the most. They recited a poem and there were some readings. I don't remember much. I alternated between bring brought to tears when a particular phrase would resonate with me, and turning my attention to the kids. I didn't regret having them with me for a second, as it helped to be reminded I still have them. Tyler shed a few tears too, poor thing. But the boys were very well behaved, in fact all the children present were.

On particular thing they said that hit me hard had something to do with the fact that our relationships with our lost children haven't ended, they have just changed.  That made me cry in particular. I guess it's been awhile and I'd moved on, but this brought me back to the grief that will never really go away. And that's okay. I let myself feel it, but I don't feel that it's swallowed me back up.

At the end of the service, they invited the guests up to tie our ribbons on the wicker wreaths and they gave out carnations to put at the memorial site or take home.  Then we all filed outside and walked across the cemetery. I didn't feel comfortable taking pictures inside, but I did snap a few at the site.

At the site itself, there was a large headstone with a statue on top of a little girl and a lamb. Behind the headstone is a stone bird bath.  The funeral director took the top off of the bird bath and placed the wooden box that contained the ashes of all our little babies over the stand, which had a hole in the center.  The box had a latch on the bottom so they were able to pour the ashes into the base of the bird bath through the bottom of the box. It's sort of hard to explain, but that's the best I can do.

The read a few more statements and a lady sang a song I didn't recognize and then they said we were free to go, or stay and talk, they even had grief counselors available.  It was a very nice service and I think it's wonderful that the hospital offers something like that.  They will provide the babies remains to the family if requested, for a private service (which we all know just isn't a viable financial option for most people) but it's so wonderful to have a second option, particularly one where the families can be involved. And I'm glad I now will have a place to go when I'm thinking about my little boy.  I grew up going to the cemetery to my sister's grave, and I always was grateful we were close by, since I didn't know her and don't have memories of her in other places. It's the same with my son, if I want to be physically close to him, I can visit the memorial. I am glad for that.

Finally, I think it's time to share that we picked a name for our little boy. He is Gabriel Wyatt. My little Gabe. Mama love you.

Here are the pictures I took. I will try to go back sometime when there isn't so many people.
"What the heart has once known it shall never forget."

"My Precious Innocence. You are part of me and will lie in my heart forever. i will always remember you. This memorial is dedicated to all children regardless of their age."

One of the wreaths with the ribbons bearing messages from the grieving families.

The birdbath