Chapters of Life

My husband travels for work. This week he left for a good amount of time. It’s the first time he’s been gone since we lost our baby, about a month and a half ago. I’ve been making progress, but once he left I was faced with a lot of feelings that I’ve been too distracted to feel completely. It’s a new level of grief. Everyone around me seems to move on with life. I’m trying to, but in a way I’m still stuck in the heartache of missing my baby and my pregnancy. I’m missing the way it was. Change can be so hard.

The following is something I wrote after he left. Thoughts and feelings flowing…getting it out…releasing it to the Universe. It’s my therapy. Praying for continued healing for myself, and anyone else who has felt the pain of losing a baby. Healing Blessings to you!

I’m recognizing this time in my life as a chapter of pain. For whatever reason, God decided that this time in my life would revolve around a searing pain so deep that nothing else will ever compare. No breakup, loss, or death has ever felt like this. It is raw, unimaginable heartache. The reason it cuts so deep is that I lost a part of myself that I’ll never get back. Losing a part of yourself is different than losing someone else. It is a different pain. You don’t feel complete anymore. There is an empty hole where that part once was, and life will never be the same. Yet pain can teach us something. To recognize happiness better than we ever did before. And I will always look for the lessons, even when the pain in my heart is breaking me.

It’s tricky when you miss a baby who wasn’t born. The face of the one you miss is grey and blurry. A life that I loved more than my own, and I’ll never even know what she looked like. There are no solid memories of them on Earth, just memories of pregnancy and what might have been. You miss the dream of them, the plans you had for their life. There is no lifetime to grieve, for they never took a breath. Instead, just a short span of time when they were one with your energy. That is what I miss the most, her energy mixed with mine. Sometimes it feels like I’m missing a ghost.

Time moves on…days, weeks, and months. They are unfolding. Yet the pain is still there. It’s still the same. The peaceful space between the unbearable sadness becomes greater. But the grief hides in the shadows of my life and sabotages me when I’m alone. It hits like a freight train. Her absence haunts me. It leaves me feeling afraid, nervous, unsettled and anxious. I’ve never felt like this before. I’m afraid of losing everything else, now that I know how easy it is to lose. It’s hard for me to be alone. Yet sometimes that’s all I want. Don’t forget her, for she is so much of me. She is still here, yet at the same time she is gone forever.

I understand, God. You want me to feel the pain of her absence, and I do with every cell of my being. Feeling the sadness has helped me to recognize happiness and joy much more clearly. I embrace this chapter of pain and know it is a great lesson in my life, although heavy and sharp. I release it to the Universe, in the hopes that someday soon this chapter will pass in my book. And a new chapter with a much happier ending will begin to unfold.

Visiting God’s House

After the whirl wind of events I found myself completely drained of energy. I needed to just check out and spend some quiet time recharging and healing. Sometimes the best thing for me to do is just step away from everything and be present in the moment.

Several things have unfolded in the past couple of weeks. We picked up Delilah’s ashes from the funeral home. It was an extremely difficult day, and I felt emotionally raw. I stood in the funeral home bathroom before we received her and almost lost it. It took all of my strength to keep it together and not crumble. Standing in front of the bathroom sink staring into the mirror I closed my eyes and felt massive white angel wings embrace me and hold me tight. I know that it was Delilah comforting me.

~It’s ok mommy. I’m still here~

Marc and I left the funeral home and headed straight to a bar. On the drive I held the box of her in my lap. The same familiar energy that I once felt in my womb, I now felt radiating from the box.

We toasted Delilah with a drink, we cried, we laughed, but most importantly my husband and I bonded. This has rattled us to the core, leaving us fractured in unexpected ways. You really don’t know someone until you grieve with them. This has threatened to rip out the bolts of our relationship, yet we’ve held on tight to our marriage. We are weathering this storm together because that is what we promised each other. Through sickness and health. Through good times and bad. I am proud of us for keeping US together through this devastating time.

In desperate need of some happy QT we escaped to Santa Barbara last weekend. We visited the historic Mission there and I was greeted by an insane spiritual energy. Our tour of the grounds led us into the most beautiful church I’ve ever seen. Without even thinking about what I was doing, I went to the front of the church, sat down in a pew, bowed my head and prayed. I prayed for Delilah, for my husband and I. I haven’t felt that close to God in a long time, but on that day I felt him all around me. I felt him with her. As I talked to God, tears streamed down my face. I turned around to the pew behind me and there was my husband, fighting back his own tears. We both felt God’s love that day. I think that Delilah led us to the Church so that we could experience God’s healing love.

This week has brought the return of my menstrual cycle and with that brings mixed emotions. It is a sad reminder of what was lost. However, with it brings the hope of conceiving another miracle.

The other day I was driving in my car, thinking about Delilah and getting emotional. I had my IPhone music on shuffle, and out of 2,000 songs “Hey There Delilah” began playing. This is the song that inspired us to name her Delilah. I couldn’t believe the timing of that song coming on in the car. It made me cry, but tears of comfort and relief. Then, I heard her sweet voice in my mind.

~My mommy and daddy loved me sooooo much that they didn’t want me to suffer on Earth. So they let me come back here and be with God a little longer!~

I believe she wants me to know that this is what she tells her spirit friends in Heaven. She brags about her mommy and daddy and their profound love for her. She is so proud of us for the way that we love her, and the choice we made to spare her.

When I got home, I got my period for the first time in six months. She knew it would be an emotional day for me, so she made her presence known.

~I’m still here mommy. Don’t you worry.~

Adaptation

I know I’m finding peace. I know this because I’m doing things I couldn’t have fathomed doing three weeks ago. Yesterday I went to the zoo. The Zoo. Swarming with children, babies, and pregnant women. Instead of having to look away from them, I found joy in their smiles. I found happiness in their excitement. I was able to look at pregnant women and pray that their babies would make it into this world, and not meet the devastating fate that we had. I was able to heal a little in this environment.

It has been a process to get here. Right after we lost Delilah, it was emotionally painful to see pregnant women and babies. Why were their babies healthy and ours was not? What had we done wrong? I realize that these are ridiculous thoughts, but I’ve learned that they are normal reactions when you experience pregnancy loss. I was bitter and jealous, two feelings that I despise. So I am very proud to be making this progress.

Last night I had a dream and it was very reflective of my shift. I would like to share it in this space.

It was a stormy night. I was travelling with a female companion whose face I never saw, but she was familiar. We were both riding on one bicycle. I was pedaling and she was riding on the back of my seat. I was pedaling so hard through the storm, trying to move us down the road. But the harder I tried to pedal, the slower the wheels went around. It felt as if my legs were moving through thick mud. It was exhausting and I had the overwhelming fear that I could not carry both of us much longer. It made me feel ashamed and guilty. Just as I was about to give up, our surroundings shifted. Now we were at the top of a snowy mountain, standing in front of a steep slope. Other people whizzed past us, skiing down the slope. The slope was extremely steep and I was terrified to ski down it. I told my female companion “My legs won’t hold me, I’m not strong enough, I’m scared!”

I was alone in my fear and self-doubt. She went down the slope without me. She left me on the top of the mountain.

Feeling sure that my legs weren’t strong enough to hold me up, I lay down on my back and proceeded to slide down the mountain. It was a long, cold ride down, but an adrenaline rush. When I reached the bottom I looked behind me and saw the huge mountain in all of its glory. I couldn’t believe I made it to the bottom! I looked around for her, but was she gone.

I woke up.

Dreams like this are special to me, because I know that they carry deep meaning. Initially I thought that the girl was Delilah. I was trying to carry both of us through the turbulent journey, but it became too heavy, too exhausting. As hard as I tried to pedal, it just didn’t get us anywhere. When we were on the mountaintop I was too terrified to go down, so she proceeded without me. She continued alone, towards her own journey.

Upon further analysis, I had another interpretation of this dream.

This experience has changed me so much. I am not the same person that I was before my pregnancy. It has opened up my heart to be more compassionate and kind. I am so much more aware and considerate of other people’s battles. We are all someone else’s children, and that makes us ALL precious in some way. The female companion in my dream may have been a version of myself that I got tired of carrying. Tired of carrying the ugly, the mean, the insensitive, the critical, the grief, and the past. I was ready to let her go so I could move on and grow into a better version of myself

Laying down and sliding down the mountain was me adapting to a terrifying situation. I didn’t give up. I just changed my plan.

 

Snapdragons in Heaven

It surprises me that I’m choosing to openly share things such as the following. But I believe that meditation of the mind can be very powerful, and maybe it can be helpful to someone else who is grieving a loss.

I’d like to share a powerful visit I had with Delilah through meditation. I created a “space” in which I can visit her. This space is somewhere between the realms of our existence. Her spirit exists in this space, and she is accessible to me. The following is an account of my visit with her.

The space was white in all directions, with no walls. Slowly, picture frames began forming all around me. The frames held all of the memories of my life thus far. Good memories and bad memories. I had the ability to add and subtract any of them. She is on my mind. The girl I lost in life. I’m not even sure what she looks like so visualizing her is difficult. But I know her Soul. Then, the space begins to shift into a room. It has four walls, a floor, and a ceiling. Furniture begins to fill the room so that it becomes the bedroom of a little girl. A canopy bed, dolls, a table for a tea party.

I know that she is coming. This is her bedroom. A door forms on the far wall, and it bursts open! She comes through, a girl of about five years old. White puffy dress, long auburn hair that ends in curls, her daddy’s blue eyes, and freckles on her nose. She knows who I am and runs towards me. We embrace.

She tells me sweetly,

~I’ve missed you mommy!~

She takes my hand and leads me through another door that brings us outside into a field of rainbow colored snapdragons. They appear to be dancing in the breeze. The sky is blue and it is sunny. We dance through the tall flowers and lay down on the earth. We craft flowers into head crowns and I place one on her head. She is my fairy princess! I see her tiny hands. With them she touches mine. Her voice is sweet and she is so happy.

I ask her a very serious question because I need to know the answer,

~Delilah, why was your heart broken?~

She responds to me,

~Because, God made me special!~

I reply,

~But why did God make you special?~

She tells me in a very affirming way,

~ Because God wanted us both to grow.~

It’s as easy as that for my daughter. Her soul is so wise.

Time in her realm moves faster than in mine, and we both know that our time for this visit is running out. I don’t want to part.

I say to her,

~Promise me that you’ll come back to us someday.~

She gives me an honest answer,

~I promise that I will try!~

But I don’t like that answer and plead with her,

~Why can’t you promise me that you WILL?~

She replies,

~If I don’t come back it is because I am staying here to watch over everyone.~

I can accept that. I just don’t want her to disappear forever.

I kneel down and hug my girl. This is not “goodbye”; it is “see you later”. This is our special place. I am free to return any time I’d like and she will be there to meet me.

I have an Angel and her name is Delilah. She has long auburn hair, blue eyes, freckles, and lives amongst the tallest Snapdragons in Heaven.

 

Link to this guided meditation:

Healing Kit

Since Delilah’s departure, grief has taken her place as my constant companion. I am becoming very familiar with grief, and it’s fickleness. Grief is fluid and ever changing. It is never concrete. It can have you feeling despair one moment and peace the next. It is a constant flowing river that I am riding, until I feel strong enough to put my two feet back on the ground again. To be honest, I have no idea when that might be, and that’s okay. I am grateful that I have the time in my life to really dive into the healing process and go wherever the river takes me. To my surprise, the gaping wound that left me broken a few weeks ago is beginning to mend itself back together.

The most terrifying thing about life is loss. We will all experience the loss of a loved one. When we do, we are given a very important choice. We can put the pieces back together and live life to the fullest, or we can let life slip away from us. I think it’s important to always remember that our loved one wants us to be happy, and continue on our Earth journey.

I miss Delilah desperately, every day. I miss being pregnant with her. It was the happiest and most meaningful time of my life so far. But God had a plan and there was no way to alter it. She has gone, and I’ve been given that choice. I want my life. I miss being happy. So I’ve begun to laugh a bit more and not feel guilty. She wants that for me.

This ordeal left me stripped of all emotions. Literally. I remember feeling like I’d never care about anything else again. I’m beginning to recognize distinct things in my life that are huge components of my healing process. I like to think of these components as a “Healing Kit” for grief. Everyone’s healing kit will be different. But these are the components of mine at the moment:

Time

Support

Relationships

Therapy

Exercise

Nutrition

Music

Writing

Spirituality

Reading

Animals

Nature

Laughter

Meditation

I try to focus on a couple of these things every day, and they have the power to save me in a weak moment. Focusing on my healing instead of my sorrow, is definitely helping to soothe the pain of heartbreak, and to move me forward with a happy mind and peaceful heart.

An Open Letter to The Bump App

Well Said Leo’s Mummy!!

The Legacy of Leo

Dear The Bump

I could quite easily condense this letter into two short, rather predictable words, but it wouldn’t be nearly as worthwhile for space on my blog.

You see, I waited until I first heard my much sought for baby’s heartbeat before downloading your app. It was one of my first tentative steps to realise that we were finally pregnant after three years of fertility treatment, including two cycles of IVF. We could breathe and finally join the club. The pregnant club. Whilst we waited to join the elusive parent club.

After you hear that your baby’s heart has stopped beating, your world stops. It shatters. You have to process the reality of delivering your sleeping child. You spend three precious, unforgettable days with your baby in your arms. You then hand him over to a midwife, and leave the hospital, empty. An ache so deep, so physical.

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Everything Happens For A Reason

I woke up today at 5AM with my mind and body in a state of panic. I observed my husband sleeping so peacefully beside me and it made me realize how alone I am in my grief. I’ve come to realize that my grief is in a category of it’s own.  Along with the mental grief, my body grieves, because my body was her home. My body is physically grieving her absence.  I have these bouts of panic where my body seems to scream at me: “WHERE IS THE BABY??!!” As if my body has forgotten that she is gone. This 5AM alarm made sense when I got out of bed later and realized that my body was ready to feed her today. There was milk for her. But she is not here to receive it. What a beautiful thing a woman’s body does to prepare to nourish her baby. What a horrible thing to be reminded of when there is no longer a baby to nourish. I keep comparing it to a royal kick in the teeth, because that is exactly what it feels like!

A few days ago we went to the funeral home to start the process of getting Delilah’s ashes. It was surreal. Very difficult to write “Mother & Father of the Deceased”, when you’ve never even seen your daughter, or held her. As we sat there signing the documents, all I could think was, we should be picking out a crib and a stroller right now. I would have never expected to be picking out an urn for our baby’s ashes. Another thought I had as we walked the cemetery grounds was, Is it more tragic to leave behind a lifetime full of loved ones and memories, or to leave behind a life that you never even had the chance to live? It’s something that’s been on my mind and surely puzzles me.

I’m still struggling to understand why this happened. She was literally my hopes, dreams and prayers packaged into one tiny body. The loss in my heart is profound and deep. This meditation popped up on my news feed today and it was exactly what I needed. It felt appropriate to share here. Maybe I will never fully understand this loss. But to try and hold onto my belief that Everything Does Happen For A Reason…definitely brings me a tiny bit of peace, and returns me to some sense of Faith, that God has a plan, and this was just a part of it.

How I’m Doing

Some days my brain can’t seem to form one single thought. Other days the thoughts come so fast and hard I feel if I don’t write them down quick enough they will crush me like an avalanche. Today is one of those days.

Each day seems to greet me with the same question. “How are you doing?”

The honest to God truth is I don’t know how to answer that question, because there are a thousand answers and I don’t know which one to give you.

I am alive. I am managing to eat, sleep, laugh and smile.

I am sad. I wake up to tears and fall asleep to them.

I am fucking pissed off. (Sorry Grandma). But I am. Out of 100,000 babies ours was the one that won the Congenital Heart Defect Lotto.

I am completely lost. I was going to be a mom. That was my next job, and the one I wanted most. Once again, I am back to the drawing board. What am I going to do with my life? What is my career going to be? What corporate institution will I have to return to and give two shits about? I am completely overwhelmed with having to give up my dream of motherhood at the moment, when I was so close, and return to a life I was impassionate about.

I am broken and empty. My body has been through a trauma. My body is in shock and literally wonders, “Where is the baby I just grew for 5 months?” It is a hormonal rollercoaster that leaves me in a place between hopelessness and hopefulness. My mind can’t keep up with the ups and down of this ride that I never wanted to be on in the first place. I didn’t stand in line for this ride. Yet I’m forced to ride the waves of its unpredictability.

I feel like Marc and I took a giant step forward, to end up taking multiple steps back. We are in the middle of a tornado trying to hold onto the pieces of our lives as they rapidly swirl away from us. This is not where we planned to be.

Everyone keeps telling me how strong I am. Positivity is a mask that I easily wear to be strong for everyone else. When tragedy strikes your own life you don’t have a choice. What is my alternative option? Give into the darkest thoughts I’ve ever had? Give into the urge to want to go be with my daughter? It is easier for our spirits to heal than our minds and bodies. My spirit is at peace. My mind is not. There is a lot of darkness there that seeps through when I am alone.

Sometimes I catch myself going through the checklist of rules I followed for this pregnancy: I began taking prenatal vitamins months before we even tried, never drank or smoked, ate healthy, exercised, didn’t touch the cat litter, didn’t eat sushi, didn’t go to Mexico with my family so I wouldn’t catch the stupid Zika Virus. I was so aware of the rules, and so abiding. But it didn’t even matter. In that regard I feel completely defeated.

In my heart I know that “everything happens for a reason, it wasn’t meant to be, God works in mysterious ways, etc. etc.” But it’s still hard to digest. The worst is when someone says, “There will be other babies, and you still have time”. It’s like telling a widow “There will be other husbands”.  Delilah was her own person. Half way baked I like to say. She will never be replaced. I want that baby. It is hard to get over the fact that I will never have that baby. Our baby.

If there is any positive that can come from this, it is that another woman going through this finds my blog. If I can be a support to one other person, then I can find a little bit of peace. I know I’m not alone in this tragedy. I’ve already been connected to other women who have shared this horrific experience, and our stories unite us. The world is a very scary place, but if we can unite in our stories it is a little less terrifying.

So when people ask me how I’m doing, it is an impossible question for me to answer. I just am. I don’t know how else to explain it. I am here, I am trying to smile more and cry less. I am trying to pick up the pieces of my life and move forward. I am trying to take care of myself. I am trying not to miss my daughter so much that it destroys the rest of my life. I am.

Heavenly Escorts

As far back as I can remember my psychic ability has been strongest in the dream state. I am able to connect with tarot cards and “see” the symbols and messages, however most of the spiritual messages I’ve received in life have come through strongest in my dreams. This is very common for people with psychic ability. Throughout the years I’ve had many dream visitations from loved ones who have passed, and several premonitions of things that have happened. You can tell the difference between a regular dream and a spirit visit because it’s as if time stands still, everything is extremely vivid, and they deliver a specific message. Whether it be something that they do or say, they make it very clear that they are there with you for a reason.

I should have known when I had five dream visitations from loved ones who have passed that things were quickly changing for Delilah. It was the week of our anatomy scan (18 weeks pregnant) when we learned that something was wrong with her heart, but we weren’t aware of the severity. We still had a lot of hope. For five consecutive nights, I was visited by three beloved pets who have passed on (yes animals have souls and they continue on in the after life), a childhood friend who passed away way before his time, and my paternal grandmother, who preferred to be called “Nana”.

All of the animal visitations were very similar. Cuddles, happy faces, wagging tails, messages of comfort and reassurance. The visit from my childhood friend was similar. He was hovering above me and just holding my hand. All of these spirits had the same message.. ~We are here~.

My dream visit from Nana was the strongest. I’m laying in bed and the phone rings. But it is not my cell phone. It’s an old fashioned telephone. BRRRRIIINNGGG!!! The ringing wakes me up. I answer it. “Hello?”…..She replies…..~Gigi, It’s Nana…~ When she was alive, she always greeted me on the phone like this. I got out of bed, gathered the phone in my lap and sat down on the floor by my Wiccan altar, where we went into a very deep, serious conversation. I don’t recall what was discussed, as the visit began to dissolve. I think my own soul was protecting my conscious from the information.  But looking back, I know what we discussed. She was letting me know that they were all preparing and gathering around to escort our baby girl to the other side.

It didn’t register that this was what was happening that week. The onslaught of visits worried me a bit but in my heart I held out hope that this was their way of letting me know that everything would be okay. In my mind at the time, “okay” meant that Delilah would be born and live a long, healthy life with her daddy and I. Their version of “okay” was that she would pass peacefully, and be greeted, protected, and loved in heaven. They were her Heavenly Greeting Committee, her own personal escorts. It gives me peace to know that they were waiting for her when she passed, and that she was welcomed into Heaven with open arms.

 

 

 

Replacing Grief With Appreciation

If there is one thing I’m becoming aware of in the midst of this loss, it’s how precious and fragile life is. There are no guarantees for any of us, and tomorrow is not promised. As much as I miss Delilah, I’m trying to hang onto being present in my life and appreciating the loved ones that I still have around me. It is so easy to get wrapped up and isolated in our grief, but then we are at risk of missing out on moments with loved ones who will not be here forever. A wise, dear friend wrote to me this morning, “It is good to have those moments of remembrance tucked into each day so you can fully grieve.” It is so true. All of us who are grieving need to fully embrace those moments of sadness, tuck them away in our heart, and return to the present moment, so that we don’t miss out on all of the life that still surrounds us.