Friday, September 18, 2009 them or leave them

So my sister and my Mom have taken it upon themselves to let me know I should be done talking about Elora on any kind of regular basis anymore. A few of the better gems are:

From my sister
"you having a birthday party and even posting photos is very sad and disturbing..."
"I do not want my friends to see how disturbed you are..."
" in the present not the past."
"As for your group. They are dwelling in sorrow from what is sound like. It is a perpetual circle."

From my Mom
" should remove her from your messages, but definitely not from your heart."

The things from my sister were not a real shocker, she has expressed her distaste for how I have honored and grieved since last year. It seemed especially the pumping, wierded her out the most.
On the other side of the coin, I have made many new friends and have been invited into a family of angel mommies who understand me. Some of the words of support and wisdom they have given me, have helped pull me up when I feel like I'm falling into the pit.

"You keep remembering your princess angel baby. Keep doing what your doing. No one should ever downplay someones grief like that."
"We are here and know the pain you are going thru EVERY day and that you will miss you daughter EVERY day for the rest of your life."
"We need to worry about ourselves not other people."
"Noone can tell you how to feel, act, or live until they have walked in your shoes."
"Just because we are sad and grieving for a child that was taken from us too early, does not mean that we still arent living.. it just means that we need a little more support to get through the day."
"The loss of a child, or the grieving that goes with it is not an addiction, it's a process. There is no set length of time for that process, especially when that grief is over the loss of a child. And there is absoulty nothing unhealthy about it."
"It still amazes me how I can be in so much pain and still be alive, but I am. So I go on living for my family..."
"We arent "living for the dead", but we are letting them live through us. To me, that is the best that we have!"
"For those people who think we should get over it, I challenge them."

I could probably go thru the THOUSANDS of posts on MISS and find words like this in every other one! What's really sad is that I have found more comfort in the words and virtual arms of people, who were strangers a year ago...then the people I want it from, who are supposed to love me and be there unconditionally.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

What God is saying to me today

I know it's just a crazy Facebook App, but for some reason this hits the nail right on the head.

Kim got a message that on this day, God wants her to know...
... that every little part of you is magical.

Yes, even the parts that hurt, even the ones that are feeling disease right now. It's alright to love what is in pain. More than alright, that's ...exactly where your love is needed the most. So why not touch that part that hurts and smile at it, at yourself through it, and whisper: ''I love you.''

It's like when I finally decide to go that rare church service cause I happen to be back home or something. The sermon is always what is going on in my life at the moment. I'm not nearly as religious as i used to be, but it's these times I pay attention to the most. Like God wanted to make sure I heard the message he had for me...and today I'm listening as well.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Been away a while

I know I haven't posted in quite a while, I think I have just been using Facebook as the quicker way to talk to everyone. I do have some news to report though! I finally got Eloras urn and it's all put on her memorial shelf

I also made my own cremation bracelet, as I was having so much trouble finding anything that I really liked.

I'm sure there is lots more, but I don't want to bog down this one post with all the shit I should have posted in the last month or so. Back soon with more updates...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Gentle Fathers Day wishes

It must be very difficult
To be a man in grief,
Since "men don't cry" and "men are strong"
No tears can bring relief.

It must be very difficult
To stand up to the test
And field the calls and visitors
So she can get some rest.

They always ask if she's all right
And what she's going through.
But seldom take his hand and ask,
"My friend, but how are you?"

He hears her crying in the night
And thinks his heart will break.
He dries her tears and comforts her,
but "stays strong" for her sake.

It must be very difficult
To start each day anew
And try to be so very brave--
He lost his baby too.

Author Unknown

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Remembering Babies this Memorial Day

A lot of the Moms on the MISS foundation forums have their babies buried in a cemetery. While we chose to have Elora cremated, so we could have her with us even if we have to PCS; it's one type of routine we won't ever have, of going to her gravesite to visit her. I do often hear though, from some of these other Moms, that sometimes they will clean around a headstone of a nearby baby if it seems no one has been around lately.

Some have even left flowers or little gifts for others when they are there for special celebrations or visitations of their own little ones! Many have also stated, that should it be done for them, it would be wonderful to know someone else is thinking about them and how we're all in this same boat together. That being said, I was inspired by these Mommies to do something like that here in town.

The funeral home where we had Eloras service, owns a cemetery here in Spring Lake. I found out that they have a special section just for babies! I think I am going to buy a whole bucket full of carnations on Memorial Day and place one on as many babies headstones as I can find. One Mama even decided to "adopt" a stone of a baby or two who has been gone for more than 50 years. No one is probably around anymore to place flowers or keep the weeds away. I think that sounds like something else I could do to fill this empty time I find myself with. Time that I should be chasing down a 9 month old instead.

I will take my camera and see if I can find one special baby who needs some attention. Maybe Elora will even point me in the right direction!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Myth of Silence

Myth of Silence
by Rob Steiner

The modern image of a man has certainly evolved from our culture. More and more we have seen an enigma on how a ‘man’ is supposed to behave. Long gone is the image of yesteryears of man off to work and wife stays at home tending to household duties and mothering the children. Fatherhood seemed to be somewhat more of a hat or a role that men put on. Children approached dad as they would approach a boss or manager. Social rules were more defined, clear cut; it was well known how children were to behave around parents, how women were to behave in front of men and in retrospect how men behave towards women and children.

Over the years, we have literally seen an evolution, a shifting of social expectations between men and women. More women have gone out into the work force and became co-workers with fellow men. We have seen more men participating and being active in the home. However, there is still a paradigm that has not followed the tide as closely, despite the age of information that has been passed down. There is a stereotype that plagues men despite our modernization. To this very day, tears are still considered a sign of weakness. Still prevalent is the myth of the ‘strong silent type’. Media continues to show successful, masculine, virile heroes as anyone who is able to face any situation head on with either rational or excessive violent passion. All we need to consider are past blockbusters as the Rambo and Rocky series, the popular Schwarzenegger films, Braveheart and more recently 300. However, submitting to such a stereotype may also cause conflict, not only within us, but with our significant other.

When grieving the loss of your child, it is natural for men to want to “keep it together” for the sake of our partner. And that is certainly a plausible cause. However, grief is patient, and if left unattended, will rear her embrace soon enough. In fact, it is reported that the average man usually experiences the severe pangs of grief 6 months after the initial event. This is partly due to our setting aside our own feelings to take care and protect the mother of our bereaved child/ren. This is okay, as we are instinctively hardwired to protect our family in such a manner. But heed the warning: do not ignore the grief. In fact, I would encourage embracing it as quickly as possible.

To accept your loss is not about trying to block it out of your mind. Instead, it has to do with realizing the loss will change your world, and that you’re still meant to have a whole and healthy life in this new and different world. It is just that the new world is composed of a new “normal”, one without your little one(s). You can identify all your losses in your brain, but true grieving requires you to use your heart.

To be silent may be golden, but to stay silent may be costly. Love’s natural tendency is to flow outwardly with expressions such as smiles, kisses, touch and comfort. Grief is also one that has a natural nature, one of sorrow, loneliness and isolation. But the healing process is the giving a voice to and crying through sorrow and pain. A man needn’t feel ashamed of the tears shed, for every tear that I have shed for the loss of our little girl was the result of my love for our little Zoe. What father doesn’t share a special place for his daughter? A tear shed before your partner serves to confirm that she is not alone in her grief and sorrow. It also demonstrates that this is just not a bad dream to awaken from, but a reality that you are willing to walk through with her.

Indeed, a man’s courage and strength is not measured by how strong and silent he remains, but his strength is measured by the compassion and tears he is able to share.

The shortest verse found in the Bible is located in John 11 verse 35 where only two words are written, “Jesus wept”. Whether you believe that He is real or fiction is immaterial, the fact is that entire civilizations, laws, and moral compasses and teachings were formed based on this man. Certainly, if he was able to shed a tear, I can to.

Written with love in memory of Zoe Reta Mary Steiner, born with angel wings on August 4, 2006. Rob is one of our new volunteers. If you would like to correspond with him about father's grief, you may email him at

Monday, April 6, 2009

So I had a session with a medium

Well I think the reading went well...but now Im second guessing a few things I said. I thought i was being careful, I made a point to ask generic questions, or so i thought.

Anyway, Renee did have both my grandmothers there as well as the baby. Asked if something was wrong with her heart...I think thats maybe her sign she got for the fact that Eloras cord had a blood clot or the fact that it was during labor is when we found out there was no heartbeat. Because she also said that Elora was perfectly healthy in every way. The grandmother whose name we gave her, said she was beyond proud that we used it! That she never thought she was special enough to be honored like that.

I did ask about her eyes and hair since I wont get to see for myself, and she has my blue eyes and blonde hair. The baby is around us and I was right to assume the little white butterfly I kept seeing in the yard a couple weeks ago, was her. As far as getting pregnant again, she said don't be surprised if it does happen. She did see another one waitng in line to come to us. I dont think it'll be soon, cause she said just to relax and keep doing what Im doing. I dont need to do IVF or anything like that.

Im looking forward to another reading soon. Fifteen minutes just isnt long enough, and I forgot a couple questions anyway.

The Destination

There is NOT ever a destination that you get to with grief. If you are trying to get over it, you are setting yourself up and will never get to that destination.
...there is no magic place when you wake up and say "Whew, I'm glad that's over".

A great bit of wise words from someone on the grief boards.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

New sense of direction

There was a woman on the MISS foundation board that contacted a NILMDTS photographer in their area, and got me to thinking. So I followed their lead and did the same thing the other day. Well today I met a lady who has been with the organization for almost 2 years, but Womack didn't know it existed. It took a couple who had already done research and known about NILMDTS, to tell the nursing staff, which led to them contacting the lady I met today. She has agreed to let me go to a session with her, and be there as someone with personal knowledge and sympathy.

I took photography in HS but have never done anything with it, and even though I am not on the caliber of a lot of those with personal studios...this I think I can do. To tell you the truth, I wouldnt be at all disappointed if its the only reason I used my picture taking skills. What is the wierdest thing though, is that since coming back home Ive had this amazing since of peace and calm wash over me.

I have an odd feeling this is the beginning of something wonderful in my life. I can feel the grey clouds parting and the sun beginning to shine through.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Seven months

Hard to believe its been seven months already. Part of me is doing really really good, and sometimes the other part comes out and i just cry and cry all day. I officially stopped pumping on Sunday night, luckily i had only been pumping twice a day for the week prior and once a day the last week before I stopped. My breasts didnt really start missing being used until about Wednesday afternoon, but it has been ok physically.

I made the down payment on my reborn doll with the tax return last month. The woman doing her has just started painting the skin this week. Im super excited to get some pics soon! Im also going to have a 30 minute session with a medium/psychic on April 2nd. Can't wait for that!

Monday, February 16, 2009

More pain in my future

I have been dreading this day, and have been crying on... more than off all night. I know am going to have to feel and face the things i was able to prolong by pumping. Like the way the my full breasts made me feel like I was a new Mommy, even though I had no baby to show for it. Im afraid of how much more my hurt can hurt, and if this will be healthy for me mentally. Pumping for that precious boy is all that made me get out of bed every morning.

Well, its not how I wanted it to end, but it seems my recipient Mom is done with me sooner than expected and without warning. (Another topic in and of itself) Now I need to figure out how to slowly stop pumping milk to where it wont damage me too much physically, and emotionally. I guess in some way it's a Godsend, cause last week I was going to post about how I felt a bit like a traitor, with my hands always smelling of breastmilk and baby lotion. I probably even smelled like I had a baby at home...

Please pray for gentle days ahead. This isnt going to be easy.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Journey

Yeah it's been ages since I posted, told ya I was that lazy. However I was inspired by an uplifting article that has a great explanation of grief and how we travel through it. It not only will make me think of grief this way from now on, but I hope it helps my family and friends understand my grief better too.

The Journey by Mindy Wilsford

Before we go through a loss like this, we assume that grief is like falling into a deep hole. We think we will start climbing a ladder and as we get closer to the top things start getting brighter and brighter and we keep feeling better and better until we finally step out into the sunshine where the birds are singing and beautiful music is playing and our grief is over and we are then officially "over it".

Instead, I have found it is like being plunked down into the middle of a mountain range. We start on the top, with the breathtaking view, when life is wonderful. We are just walking along, basking in the sun and the beautiful scenery when suddenly we fall off a cliff. Now we are lying in a deep, deep valley: bruised, confused, hurt, scared, and lonely. We soon realize that there is no easy way out, no rescue in sight. The only way out is to do it ourselves.

So we start working our way up the mountainside, sometimes walking, sometimes crawling, and often stumbling. It is very hard, very discouraging, and very exhausting work. Finally we reach the top and see the sun again for a while. Maybe the top will be flat and we'll get to spend a little time up there enjoying it, or maybe it is very steep and as soon as we get there we have to start back down the other side into the next valley again.

The one thing we notice is that there are mountains as far as the eye can see. Somehow, we have to make our way through them if we are ever to get out. That thought can be overwhelming and cause us to give up for a while. But eventually we realize once again that the only way out is to keep going, so we start again: down one mountain and up the next. And sometimes on the journey, after a particularly hard stretch, we think, "I'm so glad I finally made it through that." And then we stop and look around and realize that we've been here before! All this work and we've gone in a circle and we're going to have to do it all again!

And sometimes as we are climbing, we look up to see if we are getting any closer to the top, and we see a boulder heading our way. If we are fortunate, we manage to avoid it. But usually we can't, and it hits us head on and sends us tumbling back down to the bottom. Sometimes when we are in the deepest part of the valley, we just sit, exhausted. And we might notice some things around us that we never saw before: flowers and animals and a gentle breeze in the cool of the valley. There is a world down in the valley that we never even knew existed, and there is beauty in it.

And sometimes at night, when all is quiet, we can hear the others who are in the valley weeping. And it is then that we realize that we are not alone, that others are making this journey too. And we realize that we share an understanding of the journey and of the world of the valley that most others don't. And it gives us strength to start the climb all over again.

Sometimes as we are climbing the mountain, a helicopter may come by with some of our friends in it. Seeing us struggling up the mountain, they shout encouraging things like, "I know just what you're going through; I went on a hike once." And "At least you have your other kids to make this climb so much easier" and "You are so strong; I know I couldn't make this climb." Or they ask, "When will you finally get over these mountains and be yourself again?"

And we try to tell them about the journey and the world of the valley, but the sound of the helicopter drowns us out and they can't hear us. They throw down some food to give us energy, and it does, but some of it just pelts us on the head and makes the climb even harder. And then they leave, and we breathe a sigh of relief that we can get back to our climb in peace.

As we make this journey, we start to notice that we are becoming a little bit stronger. When we get to the rough patches we now see that we are shaken but don't always fall. We find that sometimes we can walk upright now, instead of just crawling. And sometimes we can see a rough spot ahead and manage to find a better way around it. And once in a while we crest a mountain and see that the top is very flat and very beautiful, and we get to spend quite a while resting and recovering on the top before starting down again. And we notice that we are getting closer to the edge of the mountains; they seem to be getting a little smaller. The mountains are not as tall, and the valleys are not as low or as wide. In fact, we can now see the foothills, and it gives us hope.

And throughout this journey, we see the others who are traveling it as well, sometimes at a distance, and sometimes up close. And we encourage each other to keep going and to watch out for certain things. We talk about the journey and the world of the valley. Finally, someone else who understands! And we cry together when it is just too hard. And sometimes, we catch a glimpse of someone who has made it to the foothills. And we are so excited for them, and we become even more determined to keep going because someday, we too, will make it to the foothills.

So my point is this: everyone starts on a different mountain. No two journeys are the same. Some people spend a lot of time in the valley at first, and some have more time on top of the mountain. But we will all be both on the mountains and in the valleys. And we will all someday make it to the foothills. I promise.