Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Must Read

With Max finally sleeping through the nights, I have been able to pick up some books that have been on my reading list for a long time. One of these books is "An Exact Replica of a Figment of my Imagination" by Elizabeth McCracken.

The book is a memoir about McCracken's stillbirth of her baby boy and a subsequent pregnancy. The author applies honesty, wisdom and even wit to a painful event. I have been finding so many similarities between her and my emotions (with the big difference being that I would never be able to put them into words the way McCracken did).

Ultimately, “An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination” is sad and at times tear-inducing. ­McCracken offers an unstinting account of her grief and the outlying emotions it engenders, from embarrassment to feelings of failure to misdirected anger. It definitely is a good read and I would highly suggest it to anyone who has not experienced the loss of a child but knows someone close to them who has experienced such a loss. The book will provide much inside to the many aspects of grieving a baby or child.

I will leave you with one of the most moving passages from the book. ­McCracken imagines her tragedy as a comic book in which her baby is fine in one panel, and then: “In the next panel, seconds later, something is supposed to intervene. . . . But Superman never shows. I can see it so clearly. In one panel we are safe and stupid. In the next we’re only stupid.”

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Heart of the Matter

I am currently reading a book (Emily Griffin's "Heart of the Matter")...a just for fun book with no mention of infant loss and the darkness that follows.

So as I picked up the book this evening all curled up on the sofa, this is what it's first page revealed:

"Whenever I hear of someone else's tragedy, I do not dwell on the accident or diagnosis, or even the initial shock waves or aftermath of grief. Instead, I find myself reconstructing those final ordinary moments. Moments that make up our lives. Moments that were blissfully taken for granted - and that likely would have been forgotten altogether but for what followed. The before snapshot."

This whole weekend I have been thinking about the "ordinary" things that we did during our last weekend with Lucas. This weekend just 2 years ago, we took our little bundle of joy out for his first trip to the babystore, which is about a 30 minute drive away from our house. I remember how nervous we were to drag him out there. I was planning on nursing him in the car, so we even dragged the Bobby pillow with us. I remember how proudly we walked through the store and how strangers would give complements on Lucas' beautiful big brown eyes. I also remember that it was a nice sunny fall weekend. The air was chilly and Lucas was all bundled up. He slept for most of the time that we were out and we were so excited that the little trip went well. We discussed at length how happy we were that our little man was with us on the way home. We stopped at Chipotle to pick up lunch. We came home and discovered that our heat had turnt off. My husband later discovered that the heater was broken and frantically went to Home Depot to purchase some space heaters. We spend the rest of the afternoon and evening upstairs in the bedroom with the door closed to keep the heat in the room. I played with Lucas and he smiled for the first time at me. I even was able to get a snapshot of his smile. Most importantly, I remember how blissfully happy we were.

I wonder if I'd remember all those little things about our ordinary weekend if it wasn't for what happened.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

What a great Surprise

We returned from a great trip to Germany and England and had a fabulous time. We spent a ton of time with my parents, brothers & sister as well as good friends. We also enjoyed a ton of good food and were just happy as can be being together as a family 24/7.

Today as I was looking through our pictures I saw these two below and was so surprised to see who made an appearance in the pictures. Just look right over my shoulder and you can see a very special little boy being part of this fun time with my baby brother, Willy. Those are the little things that just brighten my day and fill my heart with joy.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Happy 2nd Birthday Sweet Lucas

My little bundle of joy, we wishing you a wonderful 2nd birthday. Hoping that you are having a fun party up there in heaven with lots of yummy cupcakes, balloons and of course many loving friends. We miss you terribly every second of every day and wish that we could have woken you up this morning with lots of birthday kisses.

Here is the birthday cake Mommy baked for you. I know you've seen it already from heaven since it was done yesterday but thought I'll share the pictures. Mommy baked the cake last year for your 1st birthday for the first time and I just love to spend the entire day to bake this cake for you. It gives mommy lots of time to remember every little bit about you, the day we first met and the wonderful month that we spent together as a family. This is your special cake and I will continue to bake it for your birthdays all those years to come.

We also took some balloons to the cemetery for you along with some pretty flowers that Oma & Opa all the way from Germany sent for you. And of course, we let some balloons go up to the sky with our birthday notes. Hope you got them. Oh and I also hope that you don't mind that we let your little brother keep one balloon. Max really liked them and I am certain that you would have loved to share with your little brother.

Love you endlessly,
your Mommy, Daddy and Max

Friday, October 8, 2010

Healing Power

With Lucas' 2nd birthday being only about 2 weeks away, I am really amazed at how Max as an addition to our family has helped our hearts to heal. He brings so much joy to us and really has showed us over the past 8 months that we are still capable of being a happy family. A family that is missing a little boy in every single picture, on family trips, holidays, birthdays and during our day to day activities, but happy nonetheless. Smiles, giggles and even laughter that comes from deep down your stomach (you know the one that makes your eyes tear and makes you hold your stomach) have made their way back into our house these past few months. I can truly say that I am happy these days.

I think of Lucas often and miss him terribly, but it's different these days. It does not hurt as terribly. It's more of a constant little sting. Of course I wish that Lucas was still here. And if there was anything in my power that I could do to change what has happened I would give 110% or more to reverse it.

Max, my little man, you will never know how much you have changed our lives. When I thought that I would never be capable of being happy, you slowly made your way deep down into my heart and started fixing what was shattered into millions of little pieces after we lost your big brother. With every little smile, giggle, touch, hug and now even kisses you put the broken pieces back together like a puzzle while constantly reminding me of your big brother Lucas. Both of you are so precious to me. Even though my heart will never be whole again and there will always be something missing for as long as I live, it is as close to being whole as it can get and it's all thanks to you my little sunshine.

Here are some long overdue pictures of Max (it was tough picking on the pics, so there are quite a few).

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Will it ever Stop?

With Max getting older and us venturing out more and more, it has been inevitable that we meet other Mom's with children that are almost 2 years old. Whether we are at the library, the pool, the park our the playground, we meet Mom's with young children. Lately, the tough part is when we strike up a conversation and the casual question of "how old is your child" gets the response that he or she is almost 2 years old. It immediately causes a big sting in my heart and I have to fight back tears. It is just so hard to swallow that Lucas would be their age right now. And it just hurts so much to see them interact with Max and it hurts even more to see Max all fascinated by the older children. I am sure he would love to have a big brother around to show him the ropes.

Hope that the intensity of this pain will lessen as time goes by. Just another facet of the grief journey that I will have to live with since I am not certain that this will never fully stop.

As always, missing our sweet Lucas.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Day of Hope

Remembering my sweet Lucas today and every day.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A Beach Trip

We made it and took our annual beach trip, but the trip was more than just a visit to the beautiful sand and crashing waves of the ocean. I've always loved the ocean and back then when it was still just me and the hub, we'd go to the beach at least once a year. Then the summer of 2008, it was me, the hub and our sweet Lucas growing in my tummy. We felt so incredibly happy and couldn't wait for our trip to the beach the following summer.

Last summer, I could not even fathom to think about going to the beach. My dreams of taking my little 8 month old boy to the beach were destroyed. We were devastated and barely managed to do our day to day activities. We just weren't in a happy place and for sure not in a place to go to the beach and see all the happy parents with their little ones playing in the waves or sand. We've just lost too much and the pain of missing Lucas was too raw and most days just plain unbearable.

This summer, we took Max to the beach and what a wonderful trip it was. There was much laughter and joy. We still missed having Lucas with us and reminisced about having a 20 month old to watch after in addition to our 5 month old. We will never be complete and will always miss our little angel, but we are also in a place were happiness is surrounding us daily thanks to Lucas' little brother.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Another 24th

It is hard to believe how time has flown by since we last held Lucas in our arms. So many things have changed. It's been a rollercoaster ride of emotions and yet on the 24th of each month I still feel the aching pain, yet not as sharp as it once was, in my chest.

Having an infant at home really has taken up all of my time, which I am so grateful for. However, when I try to really reflect and understand how I am doing with my grief, I don't get very far. I am either too exhausted by the end of the day or Max is ready for another feeding.

I know I am better and most of the time I can say that I have come to terms with what has happened to us. I still don't understand why it had to happen to us and probably never never will. And then at times I just wish I could turn back time and know the things I know now. How badly I wish that would have been able to tell the doctors that Lucas had a heart defect.

So today it's been 19 months since that awful day in the emergency room, 19 months of pain, anger, sadness and devastation. But it's also been 19 weeks trying to balance the pure joy that Lucas' little brother has brought to us alongside the missing of our Angel.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Shirt Says it all

Max you mean the world to me and your Daddy. You have been with us for 4 months now and you have been such a blessing for our hearts and souls. Even on our darkest and most uggliest days you make us smile. We were often told that having a you after your big brother passed would help us find joy in our lives again. You have brought so much happiness to us in such a short time, so when I saw this shirt I knew you just had to have. "YOU ARE OUR (MY) SUNSHINE."

Thursday, May 27, 2010


Avoidance is not an official stage in the grieving process as described by many experts. However, as many of you know we all grief the loss of our little ones differently. I have discovered and it has become quite clear to me over the past month or so that avoidance is part of my grieving process.

I feel terribly guilty, ashamed and sad that I have been avoiding this for so long. Lucas has been gone for 19 months now and I still have not been able to do this one last final thing. We have not been able to decide on Lucas' headstone. His grave only has his temporary headstone because I have been avoiding the decision for so long and it is now turning into guilt.

We have discussed what we would like to put on his headstone several times, but then could never place the order and make it final. Buying the headstone makes his death so final and permanent. I just can't bring myself to do it and I wish that someone could make the decision for me. Also, it seems that I somehow want the headstone to show how much we love him and how much he is missed. But no words can really do that and I just need to come to the realization that it is not the headstone that shows our love for him. It is how we carry him in our hearts for the rest of our lives.

Missing our little boy terribly.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

3 Months Old

Time really has been flying by these days and on most days I am not even certain what date it is. Max is now 3 months old and I can't even begin to express how much joy this little man has brought to us.

Here are some pics of his 3 months home photo shoot (he really didn't want to smile for the camera yesterday):

Sunday, May 2, 2010

A Special Day

Someone very special to the world of miscarriages, stillbirths and infant death has put it upon herself to designate May 2nd as the International Babylost Mothers Day. The day is of great significance for any mom who has lost her child or even children especially if she does not have any other children on earth. Just because a women loses her only child does not mean she is not a mother anymore. She is a mother with all of her heart and soul and deserves to be celebrated as a Mom.

I remember last year's Mothers Day. It was supposed to be my first Mothers Day and I was looking forward to it while being pregnant with Lucas, but it was not the happy event that I had hoped for. The day felt empty and it was just plain horrible. To the outside world I did not look like a Mom and to most of my family & friends I was a Mom for the one month that Lucas was with us. Needless to say, I felt out of place and just plain miserable on a day where Moms get lots of hugs and kisses from their children.

Thank you Carly for creating a day for all Mom's who have lost their children.

Friday, April 23, 2010

11 Weeks

Our little Max is 11 weeks today. Time is flying by and I can't believe that April is almost over, which means May is right around the corner. May is the last month of me staying at home. Come June 1st I will have to go back to work and I am not looking forward to leaving my cutie. I don't even like going upstairs to take a nap because I don't want to miss out on anything he does.

Max has been doing great. He is growing and thriving. He has become quite the chatter cat and loves to smile. It is so rewarding to get his little grin when you talk to him. My favorite part of the day is waking up in the morning. Max sleeps in the middle of our bed and when I open my eyes I get the most adorable smile from him.

Here are some newer pictures of Max:

Yesterday, we had a special little get together. Over the past year I have become friends with two other baby loss moms our area. We met at an infant loss group and have been supporting each other through the winding roads of grief, grieving while hopefully expecting and grieving while enjoying our rainbow babies. Stacy and Carly have been a tremendous help to me and I am beyond thankful that they live so close to me and that we are able to get together whenever we would like to.

Here are some pictures of our rainbow babies, Eliana, Finn and Max. It was hard to get all three of them to look into the camera, but maybe next time around all three of them will be able to sit up a little better. Also, check out Stacy's blog for more pictures .

Saturday, April 17, 2010

You Never Know When....

Since Max has been born, we have been thinking and talking a lot about Lucas. There are always tears when we talk about our little angel in our house, but they are controlled and in the comfort of our home.

The other day Max and I went to our favorite store, Target, and I ended up browsing the baby clothes aisles to see if they had anything cute that I would want to buy. And there it was...the cutest onesie in bright green that caught my eye . The second I turned it around to look at its front, the tears started rolling. The front read "Best Little Brother in the World." It hit me hard right then and there in the middle of Target. I dropped everything I had in my hands and just made my way to the exit as fast as I could.

Max is the little brother but he will never get to do "brother-things" with his big brother. He'll never get to take away Lucas' toys or run after him. He'll never get to hug and kiss his big brother and they'll never get to have a fight.

You never know when it may hit you and how hard it will hit you.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Should Haves & Should Nots

While Max is sleeping away in his Baby Bjorn, I am pondering about the life that we will never get to experience. The life of carefree parents that don't know what it feels like to have lost a child. Even though Max has brought much happiness and joy to us and we love him with all of our hearts, I can't help to think about the "should haves" and "should nots." There are many and below are just some roaming around in my head.

The house should not be filled with silence while Max is sleeping. There should be lots of laughter and giggles from a squirmy little man.

Experiencing Max develop and explore the world should not be so new to us. We should know what an almost 2 month old does and whether or not Max is developing just like Lucas, is advanced or behind.

Parenting should be second nature to us and we should know what to do and what to expect over the next few months. For instance, Max hates, absolutely hates, to go to sleep at night time. We should know how to fix it or tell ourselves..."this is what worked for Lucas" and try the same with Max.

I should not fear to put Max to sleep and jump up every time I hear a noise from him (maybe this is why he doesn't sleep too well). And I for sure should not freak out every time Max falls into a deep sleep and his breathing gets very shallow. I should not have the need to constantly check if he is breathing while he sleeps.

I should believe the doctors when they tell me Max is a healthy little boy. He for sure looks like it. And I should not respond to someone that asks how Max's doctors' appointment went that "he is supposedly healthy."

We are beyond thankful to have Max with us and we treasure every moment of it while we are missing the little 17 month old that should be running around in our house. While the focus of missing Lucas has shifted a little to taking care of Max 24/7, I could continue on and on with the list of should haves and should nots. Unfortunately, the reality is that I will always think in terms of should haves and should nots. Every stage that we will experience with Max will add new items to the list.

Friday, March 19, 2010

6 Weeks Old

Our little Max is 6 weeks old today and I can't believe how much he has changed already. The changes are not only physical but also behavioral. Max for sure loves his food and it shows. He also has lost a chunk of his hair and is sporting some very prominent president corners. I hope that new hair will fill them in soon. His eyebrows are growing now too. At first he didn't have any, then they looked like someone shaved them off and now he actually has eyebrows.

Max is awake a lot more now. He usually is up for at least an hour after his feedings (we try to avoid this at night, but are not always successful). He is ooooohhhing and ahhhhing when he is awake. Max is also looking at his toys, swinging his cute little hands at the Mrs. Giraffe and Mr. Monkey on his activity mat. He is holding on to anything that he can reach...oh and yes he already broke my necklace. He pulled on it and it fell off my neck. My husband and I could not believe it. His newest adventure are his attempts in standing. Max's leg muscle seem unbelievably strong. He stiffens his little chunky legs up and he stands. It makes him look like a big boy and it is happening entirely too fast for my taste.

Lastly, Max has smiled at us but not regularly. The gummy little smile just melts your heart away and I can't wait to get my daily dose of them. His smiles are hard to get and I have not been able to capture them on camera. It seems like there is a lot more to smile about while he sleeps than being awake.

To sum it all up, Max loves to eat, play and being held. He enjoys his baths, activity matt and bouncy chair (for a limited amount of time). Max absolutely loves going for walks and likes being carried around in his Baby Bjorn. When it comes to sleeping, our little man pretty much seems to think that sleep is overrated.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Rainbow Baby

After becoming part of world of parents who have lost a child (or children) due to miscarriage, neonatal/infant death or stillbirth, I also quickly became acquainted with the term RAINBOW BABY(IES). Babies born to families after the loss of a child are often referred to as "Rainbow Babies." The idea is that the baby is like a rainbow after a storm. "Rainbow Babies" is the understanding that the beauty of a rainbow does not negate the ravages of the storm. It goes without saying that when a rainbow appears, it doesn't mean the storm never happened or that the family is not still dealing with its aftermath. What it means is that something beautiful and full of light has appeared in the midst of the darkness and clouds. Storm clouds may still hover but the rainbow provides a counterbalance of color, energy and hope. A rainbow baby shows its parents that there is joy and happiness to life.

This is were we are today. We are beyond grateful to have Max with us. He is a beautiful little soul and has brought so much happiness to our family over the past 4 weeks. It feels good to remember how happiness feels. We are constantly missing Lucas especially when we look at pictures like these:

Lucas taking a bath:

Max taking a bath:

They are brothers for sure and look so much alike. We are happy to find all these similarities between the two, but it also makes us miss Lucas even more.

Tomorrow, we will start a journey of "NEW." Max is one month old tomorrow and from there on out everything will be new to us. We never got to experience life with a newborn beyond the one month mark. We are excited to be at this place in our lives and we enjoy every minute of it; however, we are also moving cautiously and hope that the joy will never end.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Just Pictures

Things have been very busy around here and I have not had much time on the computer or to even put some thoughts into our life happenings of the past 13 days. Max will be 2 weeks old tomorrow and it seems that time just flies by. We smother him with kisses and hugs every day and hold him ever so tightly to make sure that he knows how much we love him.

Max appears to be a healthy little boy with a never ending appetite. His doctors' appointments have been going well. He is starting to gain back his weight. We will visit with the doctor again on Friday and I am hoping that he will be back at his birthweight then.

Enjoy the pictures.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Our Blizzard Baby

I am happy to announce that Max Oliver arrived safely on Friday, February 5th at 4.12PM. He is 20 inches and weighs 8 lbs 4 oz. His cheeks look just like they looked on his last ultrasound picture and I am not sure how we are going to be able to stop kissing them. We came home yesterday afternoon and are so happy to have him here with us.

Here are a few pictures of our cuddly little guy.