Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Beware, you may cry...

I found this today, which is actually a song. I changed "sister" to "brother", and the age is a bit different but that's okay. I feel like this would be Josiah's song, if he could write it. Jonas would be 2 years and 9 months old as of yesterday.

i have a little brother
but we never got to play
he said hello and said goodbye
the very same day
daddy was so quiet
mommy cried and cried
grandma took me to the park
my parents stayed inside
i have a little brother
i saw his foot slide far
across my mommy’s belly
like a shooting star
i painted him some pictures
of a rainbow on the bay
my brother took them with him
when she went away
people see my family
my brother and me
they say that we have two kids
but i know we have three
i have a little brother
this year he will be two
i like to think of all the things
he and i could do
we’d strum the ukulele
and race the wooden cars
and when he grew up big enough
i’d teach him monkey bars
people see my family
my brother and me
they say that we have two kids
but i know we have three
i have a little brother
he's somewhere up above
i send him secret wishes
and messages of love
he plays with every brother
and sister who is there
on a rainbow-colored playground
floating through the air
i have a little brother
and though it makes me sad
i like to do my puzzles
and wrestle with my dad
my brother does this wiggle
he dances like a clown
sometimes i don’t mind it when
he follows me around
we are all a family
branches on a tree
my brother is my brother
and he will always be

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Beautiful Song

My dad attended the annual memorial service today in Sidney for parents who have lost children. I'm thankful that he could be there since I couldn't. They show Jonas' portrait in the slide show, along with many other babies and children of all ages. He said they sang this song and it means a lot to him, so I thought I'd share it. I love the lyrics. Thanks, Dad!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Missing you

Dear little Jonas,

I've been missing you a lot lately. Maybe it's just the holidays. Knowing that our little family will always be minus one no matter how much fun we're having. Maybe it's all this difficult stuff we are going through. It all started with you. I don't want you to feel bad about that. You had no choice in the matter. I will never blame you. But life has never been the same and never will be. I hate being 2.5 hours away from you. When I want to go see your final resting place, I can't. I can't even make sure it's clean and organized. I hate picturing you under the cold ground. I know it's not you under there...you're somewhere far better. But I wish you at least had a blanket or something. :(


Sometimes I have to write "ugly". Unless I want to fool myself into thinking that life is totally fine now, even 2.5 years after. It's just not. Yes, I am strong and I have endured so much. It could have been worse. And yes, Julien brightened my life more than anything else has since then. But if I am going to be honest, I need to say that I still struggle immensely sometimes.

Tomorrow I am going to an endocrinologist about the Hashimotos thyroid thing. I am also going to request to have all my hormones, including my adrenal glands tested. Whatever I can do to heal, I am going to do it! I overhauled my diet completely, and I hope I can keep that up as difficult as it is. I will keep everyone updated on my health.

Thanks for listening to such a downer post!


Thursday, November 3, 2011

One Year Ago

One year ago today, I was ready to meet Julien, my rainbow baby! I would be heading to the hospital that night to be induced. I was so scared but so relieved for that stressful pregnancy to end with a beautiful breathing baby! After a very long and terrifying labor, our little Julien Reese entered the world and entered my arms and entered into a family who needed him so very much. He filled a void in my heart and I'm so glad he's mine. So happy first birthday tomorrow, Julien!

A little update on my long journey to wellness. A couple of years ago I wrote about finally finding the reason behind my long list of symptoms--I had hypothyroidism. I was treating myself for awhile until I got pregnant with Julien. Pregnancy can raise your thyroid hormone levels, so I no longer was considered "hypo" during that time. A few months after I had Julien, I began to notice many changes in my mood. I blamed most of it on the crazy changing hormones that is typical postpartum stuff. But over the summer and very recently, I felt a new low. I suspected thyroid issues once again, but because of insurance issues (or lack thereof) I had trouble getting seen. I finally found a doctor and had my thyroid tested again. I was once again diagnosed "hypothyroid" and put on meds. I also just recently had an ultrasound done of my thyroid, and it turns out that I have "Hashimotos disease". This means that my immune system is attacking my thyroid gland to the point that it is not producing enough hormones which is wreaking havoc on my mind, body, and adrenal glands (stress coping gland). I will be seeing an endocrinologist next month to find out what the next step will be. My thyroid is very abnormal in appearance as well, but they did not see anything that looked cancerous, thank God. In the meantime, I put myself on a gluten-free diet because there is a direct correlation between autoimmune issues such as Hashimotos, and celiac disease. Joss has been on a gluten free dairy free diet for almost a year, so I know all about it and the amazing changes that can come from removing these allergens. I've felt for quite some time that many of my health issues stem from gluten, but I haven't had the strength or will-power to attempt the diet. Joss must be so strong! ;) After finding out about the Hashimotos, I decided that that was the go-ahead I needed to go gluten-free. I am expecting to see some massive changes in my mind and my health...not to mention my appearance, which honestly has suffered because of my unbalanced hormones.

So that is where I am at today! I believe it has all been building for a very long time, and my pregnancies exacerbated everything...especially the loss of my little Jonas, which put me over the edge in a sense. Jonas would be 2 and a half years old now. I almost went to a grief support group a couple of months ago, but it never worked out and maybe I'm not in the right mindset to go back to that place right now. Someday I will be.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

In Memory

Lots of memories flooding back to me as a baby girl was laid to rest today. I feel like I should write something today in memory of one of Heaven's newest little angels. Like me, her mommy's dreams were crushed after 9 months of carrying her within. Something so unexpected that changed her and her family's life forever. Life will never be the same for them. That doesn't mean that it will never be beautiful again, because it will. A different sort of beautiful. But only in time. And not anytime soon.

I'm so sorry this had to happen. Why did it have to happen? Something so unfair with such gut-wrenching pain. No one should have to bury their child. Please don't tell me it's God's will. Because the immediate thought is, "What kind of God would take a child from her mother?" I don't believe it's God's will. I believe it's part of residing here on Earth, which is full of so much pain but also full of so much joy and beauty and love. I believe that because it happened, God will use it for Good...somehow. That's just what I believe. I don't claim to have the answers, though. I will find out for sure someday when I'm reunited with Jonas.

On the subject of grief. It's so complex! Raw grief is the worst. Those first few months. When you wonder if you'll ever stop crying. Every time you take a shower you burst into tears at the thought of what just happened to you. Did this really happen? Is this really my life? It wasn't supposed to happen to me. Why didn't the doctors see anything? Could this have been prevented? if only...if only...maybe it's my fault...maybe it's something I ate...Why why why? (It wasn't my fault, it wasn't something I ate...) Yes that horrible raw grief is the most difficult. And then the grief changes into something different...For me it was a sort of peaceful depression. Mixed with crazy hormones that are trying to get back to normal. The world spins around and around and all you see are babies and pregnant women. Movies are full of everything that makes you sad. Your arms are empty. You find yourself comforting those who are trying to comfort you...no one knows what to say, and you don't know what to say back...sometimes silence and a hug is the best response.

It is by far one of the worst things a person will go through. And I HATE that someone else has to experience it. My heart breaks when I hear about another angel. It's so sad and all I can do is pray my heart out. Not only are you grieving, planning a funeral, and burying your child, but you are also a post-partum woman! Anyone who's had a baby knows that it takes time for a woman's body to heal after giving birth. Your body knows you just had a baby and kicks into full gear producing milk and going through hormone changes. To put it lightly, it's not fun.

The good news? There is healing! Lots of ways to heal, too. What would I have done without my family and friends? Especially my mom. She listened to me burst into tears while talking on the phone. She listened (and still does) to all my woes and angry venting. I was hurt by well-intentioned people during that awful time, and my mom listened when I felt like I couldn't share with anyone else. I can't imagine her pain as well--the loss of a grandchild is also something that no one should experience. As cliche as it may sound, I can't imagine how I would have gotten through that time without God by my side. I remember feeling a sense of peace as we drove to the hospital to give birth to my son, knowing fully well that he would not be coming back home with me. It's during those dark times that you really understand that there's someone greater looking after you. Something bigger. Full of perfect love.

Time has healed, and is still healing, my own wounds. It's been 2 and a half years for me, and I look back at that time in my life and my heart hurts because I remember vividly how dark my life felt. As the years keep coming, though, life gets brighter and brighter. I wish only the best for this family as they grieve. I hope the journey is smooth and bright. I hope they feel peace along the way and seek out family and friends to get them through. Sending loving thoughts and prayers their way.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Long Overdue

I've been meaning to write for awhile now--so here I am, finally getting a small window of opportunity to do so. I've been very sick and in the middle of relocating across the city, so things have been eventful.

I've been wanting to share some photos of Jonas' 2nd birthday. It was a windy day, but a peaceful one. This was Julien's first year celebrating his big brother's birthday.

This year on Easter, we tried to tell Josiah about the death of Jesus on the cross. But how the heck do you explain that to an almost 4-year old? Well, this was his response. He said, "Jesus died like Jonas died. Jonas is in Heaven and Jesus is in Heaven." So, maybe he's starting to understand. I've always been worried about how to explain Jonas to the boys. Josiah is just now getting old enough to understand that he has a third brother who is a baby and who died. Telling Julien will be a different situation. He won't realize until he's much older that he probably wouldn't be here if Jonas had not passed away. I hope he doesn't feel pain when he thinks about that. I hope he realizes that there's a reason for his life. That's the only thing that kept me sane while pregnant with him. I love him so much. I try not to dwell on the "what ifs" because life is what it is and I'm here right now raising two beautiful boys. It's an important calling.

I'd like to get this book for Julien. It looks perfect for this situation.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Happy Birthday, 2-year old!

Happy Birthday, Jonas! I wonder what you would be like as a 2-year old. Walking, of course. Talking a lot--maybe some terrible two-ness. You would be so cute and you'd probably be picking on your older brother a lot! I'm sure you two would fight, but that's what brothers do. I can't believe it's been 2 years. Last year on your birthday, I told you that you were going to be a big brother. You were a wonderful guardian angel and now Julien is here being a cute little chubby baby like you would have been. He is excited to celebrate your birthday for the first time! We'll be going out to the cemetery soon to release balloons and give you a few other gifts. We love you so much...we always think of you...we'll always be a family of 5, not 4. Happy Birthday, sweet little boy!

Mommy, Daddy, Josiah, and Julien

Friday, February 18, 2011

It's that time of year again

February means that March is quickly arriving. March means that my baby Jonas will turn 2 on the 12th. It really came up quick. I've been so busy with the new baby that I hadn't even thought about this sad day coming up. Which might be a good thing. Last year, I dreaded it for months and months. This year I have my new blessing, Julien, to help get me through that entire week. The 11th will always be the most painful day because that's when I found out. Last year Jonas' birthday was a very peaceful day, so I anticipate that every year will be peaceful.

It used to be that seeing babies made me sad after I lost Jonas, but now when I see a 2-year old I still feel a slight pain in my heart. Sometimes I don't even think about it, but other times I can't help but think that Jonas would be that tall and that terrible. ;)

I know that with each passing year, the hole in my heart grows smaller and smaller. I don't think it will ever be gone for good, but just not as evident. Like I've said before, Julien brought with him so much joy and peace for our family. I see both Josiah and Jonas in him. I look at his face and thank God for bringing him here safely. I don't take him for granted. Whenever he cries a lot and I get a bit frustrated like any mother does, I quickly retract those feelings and enjoy hearing the sound of a baby crying.

Sometimes we slip up and call Julien "Jonas". Sometimes we call him "Josiah". My dad still calls my sister Brianna "Brittney" and vice-versa. It's kind of funny. Julien is about to outgrow all of Jonas' baby clothes. At first I felt weird about dressing him in Jonas' clothes that he never got to wear, but Julien also wears Josiah's old baby clothes and I don't want to have painful memories associated with clothes. Now I will remember Julien wearing them. :)

Recently I read the book "Heaven is For Real". It's a book of the accounts of a little boy who says he went to Heaven during a life-saving surgery. I don't want to ruin it for anyone who plans on reading it, so stop reading this if you plan to. The boy's mother had a miscarriage before she had him. He didn't know this, but told his parents that he met his sister in Heaven and she kept hugging him. She told him that she couldn't wait for their parents to arrive in Heaven so she could be with them.

I couldn't help but feel so much joy reading that. If it's true for them, then it's true for us. Jonas is anticipating our arrival. That means that he is probably spending time with our relatives who have already passed away.

I haven't written in awhile for obvious reasons. Julien will be 4 months old already in March! Life is good right now. Next month will be difficult, but it must come and go like it did last year and like it will forever.