Monday, July 15, 2013

Its been a while

Ugh...I can't believe that its been about 8 months since I wrote in this blog. I have started and stopped several times. Its not that I didn't have anything to say, its just that sometimes my thoughts are so jumbled and I have a hard time focusing on a single concept. But, tonight, tonight, I realized that I need to write. I need to share my thoughts, my changing grief, my changing life. So, I am just going to start and see where it takes me.

A lot has happened in those 8 months. I have been pregnant 3 times and lost three babies.  My mom passed away after 4 months of agony. I celebrated my first mother's day without my mom and my son. We honored Caden's first angelversary - one year in heaven.

I have found comfort in new friends who share my grief, new friends who are not afraid to say his name or honor his memory. I have found comfort in knitting hats for little angels who mommies will share my grief. I have found comfort in sharing my joys and sadness with others in this journey, in extending help to others who are now finding themselves in this journey of forever grief. I have found some joy again in spending time with family and I have come to be even more thankful for every moment I have with my two boys here on earth.  I have come to know that I will never stop missing Caden and that loving and missing him will always be a part of me. My new life and the people that share it with me, I mean truly share it with me, understand that and make this journey just a bit easier. I didn't chose this journey, but here I am and I am making the best of it.

Thankful that Caden's marker was finally installed just days before his birthday and I could bring him birthday flowers. 
Caden Joseph Tozier, I hope that you know that you will always be with me and I will always be with you. Loving and missing you always, mom <3

Thursday, October 18, 2012

5 months

Dear Caden,

Today is your fifth month in heaven little one and I miss you just as much today as I did the day I had to leave you. Your two big brothers are growing so much each day and I am so thankful for every amazing day with them, but loving and being thankful for them does not mean that my heart doesn't ache for you. I never knew pain like the pain of not being able to have you here to enjoy each day with your family, and see your brothers love you and teach you. Brady talks about you often, I think he still doesn't completely understand that you aren't coming back- he is always talking about "saving" stuff for you. While I love that he remembers and speaks of you, I wonder about the day he realizes that you aren't coming back. I will always feel guilty for making his first experience as a big brother so complicated and traumatic. I know he misses you too.

I had my 5th support group meeting and they have really helped me deal with your death. I still feel guilty and have regrets, but their support and guidance has been amazing. I have met some really great people, especially other moms who have lost their babies...I think we all  are comforted by the thought that you are playing together somewhere and watching over us. It sure is nice to be able to talk about you with moms and dads who understand what its like to lose a baby-I love to speak and hear your name.

On Monday, I lit a candle for you and in memory of all the others babies gone too soon. I sure hope that wherever you are, you could feel my love rising to you, just like smoke rising to the sky. That day, I recieved a beautiful necklace made for me by another baby loss mom. It has your name engraved on it and it lays right near my heart, where you will always be.

Your big brother Brady had his 3rd birthday party and it was nice to spend the day with family and friends , but I sure wish you could have been here to celebrate with us. There will always be a space for you my little man, it could never and will never be filled.

I love you and I miss you little one. Today, tomorrow, and always my love is with you and I carry you in my heart.

Love always,

Sunday, September 23, 2012

two steps forward....

So, its my third week of work and things were going okay, I was beginning my "new normal".  This past week, at group, I publicly addressed my personal guilt over Caden's death. It was odd to share something so personal, so emotional, but I did it, I needed them to know. A confession of sorts, I guess. Of course, people expressed that I did the best with the information I had. And I can sort of see that, but the guilt still sits there like a rock in my heart...I just can't seem to get rid of it, can't seem to chip away at it. I just can't seem to get rid of that guilt and  the feeling that I let him down. I dream, I hope, I pray, and I sometimes even plead for the ability to go back and change my actions. I know, I know, silly and pointless, right? And yet, I can't help but think it, for even the tiniest chance of it occuring....even if its only in my mind. Okay. I sometimes pretend that I did things differently and I let the scenario play out in my mind like a movie and for those few minutes I can pretend, pretend that I saved him, pretend that he was born alive, pretend that I saw him open his eyes and move his little body, if even if just for a few precious minutes.

Recently, my two year old declared that he was no longer using a sippy cup, because he was "a big boy now". He then takes the cup and  says, "we'll save it for Caden, when the doctor fixes him and he comes home." That just broke my heart. Not only do I carry the guilt for letting Caden down, I also feel like I let Brady down lose his first little experience a loss like this at such a young age. I know that he doesn't fully grasp it because he is always wanting to "save" things for Caden. It really touches me, but it breaks my heart too.

Last night, while driving home I just broke down( oddly, my breakdowns seem to occur most often in the car). I just suddenly felt Caden's loss as if I was experiencing it for the first time again. I don't know if that's normal, but I cried the whole way home, with my heart breaking all over again. So, I'm in this "new normal", but I'll never really be normal, because I will never have my Caden with me(except in my heart). And sometimes, when I allow myself to really think about it, I just can't believe that this had really  happened and I just hate the reality of his absence...I really really hate it.

And oh, by the way, in case you've missed my coverage of it prior posts,  there is no "reason" that you could give that would make it okay for Caden to be gone. NONE!  I have begun  to realize how truly pointless that  saying is as a source of comfort.  My baby boy has been gone for 4 months now and I still miss him as much as the day he left.

Two steps forward,one step back, but I keep on trying and I will make sure that no forgets you little are loved, you are missed, you are never forgotten.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

The start of a new normal?

So, I started a new job last week as a part-time preschool teacher. Even though its only part time, its still a lot of work considering planning and preparation. During open house,  I saw a mom with her newbie taking her 3 year old to see her new teacher and I couldn't help thinking  "that should be me", but I focus on my classroom and talking to my parents and pretend to be unfazed.  For me, part of my new normal means pretending, pretending that I am not upset or that something doesn't bother me, when it actually does.

Another new normal, the realization and acceptance of the fact that I may never fully forgive myself for not going to hospital that Tuesday night. It may sound crazy because I know that on a few occasions I have pronounced that I am at peace with things...lie!  I don't care what anyone tells me or words of comfort they may bring. There is not a week(sometimes a day) that goes by where I don't replay that day in my head at some point. Sometimes, even, I almost  trick myself into thinking that I am really there and I decide to go to the hospital and Caden is born, but this time I get to hear him cry,  or at the very least, hold him while his heart still beats.  Sounds crazy, right? Well, I don't care, sometimes its what I have to do.  Believe me, I've tried all the angles with myself and no matter what I always end up in the same place...guilt. So, instead of continually trying to get out of guit, I have decided to take a new approach....acceptance of the fact that I probably won't ever fully forgive myself. I didn't trust my gut and I let my worry about what others think of me guide my decision-making. Never again. So, while I will never fully forgive myself, I learned a very good, very difficult lesson. I just wish I wouldn't have had to lose my son to learn it. And now, in his honor, I will always trust my gut and never allow what others think of me to guide important decisions.

A little off my topic, but I just want to say how much it means when friends and family acknowledge you my precious little one. I can't help that it hurts that there are still people who have still never done a thing or said a word. I hope that someday you will give me the strength to forgive them. But, there are also some wonderful people, some I haven't even known very long that send messages that warm my heart and say to me  "you mattered", "our beautiful little Caden mattered", and even though you didn't live outside me, you mattered. You were a person with fully formed fingers and toes and the most perfect little button nose. And those people...I love them for it, for if not for them, surely the healing process would be longer Maybe you could send them some special blessings from above that their kindness is returned.

I love you and miss you so much my little one..tears fall constantly in my heart and I hope you know how much you are loved, missed, cherished and remembered.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A couple thoughts...

It was a long night- my mom had another sugar crash. When I finally felt like her sugar was up and she was stablized, I headed home. And for some reason, all I could think about was Caden the entire drive home. How much I missed him.  I saw this quote recently on another baby loss mom's facebook page:

"‎"If you know someone who has lost a child and you're afraid to mention them because you think you might make them sad by reminding them that they died, they didn't forget they died. You're not reminding them. What you're reminding them of is that you remember they lived, and that's a great, great gift." Elizabeth Edwards

I thought that is pretty much right on. I hope to get people to understand that. I never forget about him.

Also, this post was recommended by a friend and for fellow baby loss moms or for those trying to understand a little more, its a good read:

"The live on planet Earth, you live on planet My baby died"

And I'm still there, the one relieving thing is there are other people living there with me and we are helping each other survive life on that harsh planet.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Catching up

I know, I know , its been awhile. I'm finally catching up with life around me, so let me catch you up with what has been going on.

Holidays- Ok, so I know that 4th of July isn't exactly Christmas, but it was the first major holiday I had to deal with since Caden's death. The hardest part was facing people that I thought let me down, people who didn't think it was important enough to come to Caden's memorial or graveside service. Suprisingly, these were mostly family members. I had been thinking, wondering, all day, how I would handle it. I am not a confrontational person, but I am not very good at hiding my feelings either. So when we pulled up to the house, I could feel the pit in my stomach growing, the tears in my eyes welling, and butterflies in stomach. Thankfully, I phoned my mini AMEND help line aka one of the wonderful AMEND mamas who have been there for me. So, when you read this, thank you so much dear friend.  I find it hard to understand why family who live 15-20 minutes away can't find a few minutes to attend a service for a family member's child. It's not like they are distant family members, they are close and live close by.  My aunt and uncle flew in from NY to be there, but people couldn't drive 15 minutes to be there for even a minute. I had friends that I hadn't even seen in a while come to his service so I just can't understand. It hurts that they felt that it wasn't important enough to show up to my son's service- that he wasn't important enough. When its a celebration,  everyone can make sure to be there, but they couldn't be there for Caden, Jon, and me and that hurts. I don't think I will ever feel the same about them. Those same people, upon seeing me for the first time after Caden's death, still never made an attempt to offer any condolences to me. Inside I wanted to scream "Why weren't you there? He was real, he was beautiful, we loved him and he's gone, doesn't that matter?!!"  But, I didn't. I am not exactly looking forward to more family events in the future.

Final Results- Well, apparently, the OB I consulted with isn't exactly an expert in heart defects. Because, it turns out that Caden's heart defects were minor and he had no other health issues. In fact, my placenta was the cause of his death. I was heartbroken, I didn't fully understand the cause of death-placental maturation defect, so all I felt was an incredible guilt that it wasn't his heart but my body that killed him. Getting the results was difficult and then you have to jump through more hoops to even get somebody to explain it to you- get a referral, get insurance approval(or pay around $200), get all the records sent and then make an appointment for sometime to just tell you what the freakin piece of paper means. I just don't get it? As if we haven't been through enough. When I watch Dr. G, she calls the family and talks to them for like 5 minutes and bam, problem solved. You mean, that they can't take 5 minutes to explain what this thing means. Thank God for google, at least.  I did discover through internet research and Down Syndrome pregnancy boards that the placenta also carries the extra chromosome which can result in defects in the placenta, which is why they monitor Down Syndrome Pregnancies closely in the last trimester. I will never turn down screenings again and I sure hope that if in the future, a mom turns down an amnio that MFMs will at least have the decency to give pregnant these potential problems(given that Caden had a soft marker for DS), as well as let them know that there are non-invasive tests like Materniti21 available.

My 2 older boys enjoying Sanibel

Finally, we took a brief family vacation to Sanibel Island. It was nice to get away for a bit, it really was, but there was this feeling that it just wasn't complete, that someone was missing. Don't get me wrong, I had a nice time with my family and I feel blessed to have my 2 wonderful boys with me, but I still miss my Caden and it just hurts that he was not there with us.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Some days

A friend whose mom recently passed away had posted "some days are harder than other"  Yep...that's pretty much how it goes. There are some okay days and some days that a hair out of place can bring on tears.

I haven't really written the last week, because my thoughts have been kind of all over the place and not really centered on one theme, but I got to a point today where I needed to write after a recent conversation with a family member.

Its hard for people to understand-friends and family, especially when the loss of a child is still so new, that you don't just dust yourself off and keep going. Yes, I realize that there are things I have to do, but the task of keeping composure and being "on" for my young toddler are about all I can handle some days. So, just when you think you doing ok and someone comes along expecting more and making you feel guilty about not doing more, it can bring the whole facade crumbling down...and then back to bad day. I'm not perfect and maybe there are times when I can do more, but I am honestly doing the best I can here. I mean, I just lost my month ago?

At my first group meeting, I think it was similarly expressed by others how some people don't understand that we don't just "move on". I realized after our discussion that I can't change how they react to my grief and that everything I am feeling and doing is normal. However, how can I get past feeling bad about it? I get overwhelmed pretty easily these days and sometimes it makes me so mad that they just can't understand that.   They are lucky that they don't have to understand it the way I do.

One other tidbit I learned at the group meeting was that most of the other parents who have lost a child( I say most, because its based on my experience in the group) also hate when people say "everything happens for a reason" I think one of the other mom's said it best when she said it "makes me want to hit you in the face" much.  I wish I could have been more vocal about how saying this to a parent who has lost a child is not ok, but maybe I will start today.

It just sucks big time that my little boy didn't make when so many others did...why, why, why?

Some days my heart aches so much that I just don't want to do anything but feel the sadness and if no one is around...cry.

Some days I just wish that this could all be nightmare and I will wake up soon...the other days, I just feel it without physically wishing it.