Monday, February 28, 2011

Sad girl...

I took this picture when we were in Mainz, Germany last April. D and I were walking down an alley and I saw this spray painted on the side of a building. At the time I took the picture I thought how beautiful and random that someone took the time to create an image of a sad girl crying. Now when I look at it, I can sort of see myself. I wish I knew who created the image because I would love to know what inspired her tears.

Just for Aven...

When Aven died, we had the most amazing support system around. I can't even begin to express how grateful we were and still are for the love and support we had and still have from friends and family. Our house was showered with flowers and plants that continued to arrive for days. We had friends arrive with food and sustenance because at that time the last thing we were thinking was that we needed to go buy groceries. We received gift cards for restaurants, cards with words of comfort and gifts in remembrance of Aven. Now that the shock has worn off I am able to fully see just how much love we have around us. I won't ever be able to come up with the words to express just how thankful we are.
My mother is the most amazing woman I know. She is strong, patient, understanding, loving and kind. She was the rock when we needed her to be. She called the funeral home for us, she picked up the death certificate, and she gave me a beautiful remembrance necklace that I will cherish forever. She still holds my hand and hugs me when I cry. If she could take my pain and heartache away, I know she would. On Valentine's Day she mailed a Valentine card for each of us, for D, for Lola, for myself and for Aven. I can't explain the joy I had the moment I saw the little Valentine for Aven. I know Aven watches over her yaya just as much as she watches over me and D. It makes my heart happy to know that me and D aren't the only ones that think of her.
My uncle designed and landscaped a garden in our backyard. He created the Aven Lucia Peace Garden in honor of her life and for me and D so that we would have a place to sit and think about her and relax. He laid down stone, dug soil and planted for a couple of days. D helped some but it was mostly my uncle's project for us. He carefully picked out bushes and flowers for Aven's garden. He selected pretty purple girl flowers that bloom the month of her birth, October. He gave us an angel that we placed in the garden next to the flowers and he laid out a bench right in the middle of the purple sage bushes. It is lovely and one of the greatest gifts anyone has ever given us. Friday I noticed 2 doves sitting under the bench next to the little angel. I smiled. I don't know what it is about nature but I always feel closer to Aven when I am outside with the wind in my hair and sun in my eyes. I guess it is just a reminder that God is still here and that he can hear me.
I know no matter how many tears fall or how many times I need to be reminded that things will get better, my mother, my uncle, D and the rest of our family will be there. I heard a song the other day on the radio called I Won't Let Go and the words resonated...and even days later it is still with me...
It's like a storm
That cuts a path
It breaks your will
It feels like that
You think you're lost
But you're not lost on your own,
You're not alone

I will stand by you,
I will help you through
When you've done all you can do
and you can't cope
I will dry your eyes,
I will fight your fight
I will hold you tight
and I won't let go

It hurts my heart to see you cry
I know its dark this part of life
Oh it find us all and we're to small
to stop the rain
Oh but when it rains

I will stand by you,
I will help you through
When you've done all you can do
and you can't cope
I will dry your eyes,
I will fight your fight
I will hold you tight
and I won't let you fall

Don't be afraid to fall
I'm right here to catch you
I won't let you down
It won't get you down
You're gonna make it
I know you can make it

I Won't Let Go by Rascal Flatts

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Silver Lining

When you think things can’t get any worse, they most certainly can and do. I was laid off Tuesday from a work environment that I loved or rather the people anyway. Whoever coined the phrase when it rains, it pours was most certainly right. Most of the grief books I have read mention a silver lining and that if it is possible to find a silver lining in a crappy situation maybe then moving on and moving forward is possible. It seems absurd to even fathom that something good could have come out of Aven dying but on days like this one, I can appreciate that her little life was great enough to provide just exactly that, a silver lining. If Aven hadn’t of died, it is possible that D and myself wouldn’t be as close as we are today. He is my best friend. I can say this not just using the cliché phrase that married couples use to describe their partner but I can say this wholeheartedly with every fiber of my being that it is true. He is the one that can now complete my sentences before I do. He can read my thoughts. He didn’t have this ability before Aven. Maybe I didn’t let him in then but after the torrential downpour or sadness we have experienced and are experiencing together, something fantastic blossomed. We both know it was because of Aven. She did this for us. Silver lining… I may not have the job that I loved and was comfortable in anymore or get to see my work friends daily anymore but I am looking forward to what the future holds today. Maybe it will be a new job that I wouldn’t have dared apply for or maybe even just the opportunity to dare to dream a little. If I can find a silver lining from Aven, I can certainly find one when it comes to my lack of employment.  Silver linings do exist. I am amazed even as I type this that I can see that today…
Happiness is a choice that requires effort at times ~ Anonymous

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Friday, February 18, 2011


It has been 4 months to the day since Aven was born still.

I wake up daily thinking today is going to be the day that the fog lifts. Today is going to be the day that I get a break from being so sad. Today will be the day. I am always disappointed when I realize today isn’t that day yet.  

I am still holding on to the want that the hope and happiness will come back.  If any of you know me at all, you know how much I hate the lack of control. I plan everything in advance. It is tough for me to not be able to plan when the mourning will stop. I can’t set an end date for it. I don’t have any control over it. I can’t will it away yet.

But I am still here.

And for the moment, I will let the grief control me… still.

"Be still and know that I am God."  Psalm 46:10

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Path...

Before we started on this path, I had no idea what sorrow and grief was. I thought I knew but now that it surrounds me I realize how much I really didn’t know.   It is extremely exhausting.   It feels like I am treading water nonstop and I have been for almost 4 months.  Every once in a while I am able to take a break and breathe and then it is right back to treading water, to hanging on, to barely keeping my head above water, to trying to breathe. 
Since Aven, I have met and become close to several women that have been on this path before me.  They know what the view looks like from my window. They know how easily the tears fall even when you will them away. They know the dreams that haunt you. They know that a broken heart isn’t just an expression of words anymore; it is a real physical pain. They know what it feels like to have your future vanish in an instant without warning.  They know what it is like to fake happiness throughout the day for the sake of others. They know how lonely this road is and even if you have a million people around you it still doesn’t take the void away.  I am walking in their shoes.  It is unfortunate that I met them under these circumstances but I am comforted to have found them. I am not alone in my sorrow. I am walking at their side. I don’t have to explain to them why I still cry. I don’t have to explain the waves of sadness that arise at random times of the day, random instances at random reminders.  They just know.  They were here before me. Unfortunately, there will be women on this path after me...
Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day. ~ Winnie the Pooh

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Daddy's baby girl...

A few weeks ago I woke up extremely early.  D was still sleeping away. I decided to turn over and watch him sleep for a second. He always looks so peaceful when he sleeps. One of the last sonogram pictures we have of Aven is of her sleeping in a way that mimics how D sleeps. They look exactly the same.  When I realized this I got out of bed and went straight to my desk to pull out the sonogram picture of Aven. I don't take the pictures out nearly as much as I would like. I have to prepare myself each time I look at them because seeing them usually brings tears to my eyes. I did indeed cry but the tears were happy tears.  I am still amazed at how much she looked just like him… feet and all. It made my heart smile. It makes me happy that when I now see D sleeping, I will forever think of our sweet Aven.
What I wanted most for my daughter was that she be able to soar confidently in her own sky, whatever that may be. ~ Helen Claes


Tuesday, February 15, 2011


I know life is full of regrets and I know regrets are just wasted energy and wasted thoughts but I can’t help but have a few. I am human. I realize now just how human. There are many things that I wish I would have done differently knowing everything was going to turn out this way.  I wish I wouldn’t have had an epidural. I didn’t know at the time that it was going to be the last time I was going to feel Aven kicking away. If I had known that it was the last time I was going to feel her moving or hear her heart beating, I would have paid more attention. I would have taken more pictures of her, held her longer than I did and sung a song to her. In the moment, it hadn’t occurred to me that I was never going to see her again. In the moment, I was too busy crying to get any words out. In the moment, all I could think was that I wanted to be far away from the hospital bed that I was in. I know for a fact that there would have been no amount of time that would suffice for me to feel that I held her as long as I should have because it wasn’t a lifetime and that is what I wanted.
I am still very thankful that we have more sonograms and videos than average at 20 weeks since that is all we will ever have of her. I am thankful that our 19 week sonogram showed a very active baby with the hiccups. I am thankful that D was able to feel her move before she was born. I am thankful I could feel her moving starting at 16 weeks and that I got a whole month of it.
The staff at the hospital we delivered at was great but I hope that the next woman whose heart will be shattered after delivering her child knowing she will leave the hospital with empty arms, that the staff realize she is heartbroken, traumatized, in shock and sad. She can’t make important decisions and it is possible her family that is with her will be just as heartbroken that they won’t be able to make important decisions either. Please be kind to her. Please take pictures of her baby even if she doesn’t tell you she wants them; she doesn’t realize later she will cherish them dearly.  Please take footprint and handprint impressions for her baby book that she will one day put together. Please know that if she doesn’t thank you, she will later when her heart starts to heal.
I know deep down I did the best that I could at the time. I am hoping that by writing my regrets that I will release myself of them. I can could have, should have, would have, all day long but it still doesn’t change anything.
Promise me you'll never forget me because if I thought you would I'd never leave.  ~ Winnie the Pooh

Forget You, Enfamil!

It is always when things seem to be going “normal” that something or someone has to come along and remind us that our lives are anything but normal. We actually have a new “normal”. Our old “normal” doesn’t exist anymore. Little by little we are adjusting and learning what our new normal will be like, sometimes at the most inconvenient times and sometimes when we least expect it.
We went to get the mail over the weekend. Our mailbox isn’t close to our house really so we drive by it every so often to check it. There was a key in our mailbox indicating that we had a package. It is always exciting to get a package. It could have been anything! I realized when D walked to the car with the package how unfair things are sometimes.  I wasn’t at all excited about the package and actually was a bit stung by it. It was a free package of Enfamil baby formula. I realize Enfamil has no idea our baby died. Our mailbox is constantly full of baby coupons, diaper coupons and now free baby milk. I have already been warned the free diapers will arrive next. I am lucky enough that D usually gets to the mail before I do. He weeds out all of the baby items so that I don’t have to see them or be reminded again that we have no use for those things right now. I have no idea what happened to the Enfamil. I didn’t ask D where he put it but I know it is in our house somewhere, hidden.  
Bless D. Bless him for knowing what my heart can and can’t take. Bless him for having the strength to do the things I cannot. I knew from the look on his face when he realized that I had seen what the package was that he was sorry we got the mail. I know he wanted to make it vanish into thin air. I know that I probably won’t be going to the mailbox anytime soon.  I also know that in time… this shall pass.
Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, February 14, 2011

Dear Aven

I had a dream last night that I was on a raft floating on some sort of river. I was paddling away trying to get out of whatever dark cave I had managed to get myself in. Along the way when I could finally see the light I noticed the river water was actually lined with floating white daisies.  When I finally floated away from the cave, your great great grandmother and your great aunt Connie were there waving me out. Aunt Connie said to me “See you later, Alligator” and of course I responded to her “After a while, Crocodile” and just as I turned around to wave goodbye to them, they shut the door laughing away. I don’t know what heaven is like but I would like to think that wherever they are, they are laughing away and you are close by chasing butterflies with your two boy cousins. I like to think that there are no tears in heaven and that there isn’t a sense of time so the next time I get to hug you, it will be like not a single second went by since we were last together.  Happy Valentine’s Day, baby girl!

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
i fear
no fate (for you are my fate,my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)
~e.e cummings
Love you,


I am the one...

1 out of 4 pregnancies end in Miscarriage, Infant Loss or Stillbirth.
1 out of 7 people suffer from Infertility.
1 out of 100 people are diagnosed with an Incompetent Cervix.

I am the ONE out of 4 people who had a stillbirth.

I am the ONE out of 7 people who suffer from infertility.

I am the ONE out of 100 people that have an incompetent cervix.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


I read blogs and threads all of the time. I used to read them when D and I were waiting to find out if we were pregnant and even the due date boards after we knew Aven was coming. It was nice to read what other women were thinking or if they were experiencing the same sort of things I was. I don't visit those blogs anymore. Instead the blogs and threads I read are on pregnancy loss and miscarriage. I am still amazed even after 15 weeks have passed that this is my world now. I remember being naive and pregnant in a happy state of bliss. It never crossed my mind that my life would turn from ordinary to something that words can't describe. I read somewhere that women that lose thier husbands are called widows and that children that lose their parents are called orphans but there is no word for parents that lose their child because that is how awful it is that no one can seem to come up with a word to call it. As I was reading one of my threads today I came across this poem that someone posted. I don't know who wrote it but I admire them for writing it.

My Mom's a Liar

Ask my mom how she is…

My Mom, she tells a lot of lies,
She never did before.
But from now until she dies,
She'll tell a whole lot more.

Ask my Mom how she is
And because she can't explain,
She will tell a little lie
Because she can't describe the pain.

Ask my Mom how she is,
She'll say "I'm alright."
If that's the truth, then tell me,
why does she cry each night ?

Ask my Mom how she is,
She seems to cope so well.
She didn't have a choice you see,
Nor the strength to yell.

Ask my Mom how she is,
"I'm fine, I'm well, I'm coping."
For God's sake Mom, just tell the truth,
Just say your heart is broken.

She'll love me all her life,
I loved her all of mine.
But if you ask her how she is,
She'll lie and say she's fine.

I am Here in Heaven.
I cannot hug her from here.
If she lies to you don't listen,
Hug her and hold her near.

On the day we meet again,
We'll smile and I'll be bold.
I'll say, "You're lucky to get in here, Mom,
With all the lies you told!"

The Wooden Bench

When I visit the chapel I walk in and go directly to the candles. I light my little candle for Aven and take a seat right next to them. Each time I am there, I sit in the same pew, right by the candles. It is my comfortable spot. I feel like it belongs to me now or I belong to it. I think my tears have marked it so. It is strange how a wooden bench that isn't all that comfortable to sit in has become to mean so much to me. It has become my solace. Yesterday evening when I arrived at the chapel there was a lady kneeling in my spot. She was crying. I lit my candle and sat in the spot directly behind her. I wondered what brought her to the chapel. I am usually the only person in the chapel each time I go. Seeing the lady cry made me sad. What is it that made her cry so. I prayed for her because I know I have looked just like her many times. The look of defeat isn't pretty on anyone.  Maybe she lost her baby too or maybe her mother is sick. Maybe life is just too hard for her. Whatever it was, I prayed that she find strength and courage to get through whatever it was that brought her there. I hope the wooden bench brings her comfort too.

I may not be there yet, but I'm closer than I was yesterday. ~ Author Unknown

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Now I lay me down to sleep...

When my Aven was born, I was lucky enough that my mother and my father in law were there to get to see her and hold her. I wish more of my family was there but it hadn't crossed my mind that I would be having her the day I did since my labor took a long time. My mother said a prayer for Aven as I was holding her and now when I think about the prayer I get tears in my eyes. My mother used to pray the same prayer with me and my brother when we were younger. I was in the bookstore this morning with D and I came across a book of poems by Shel Silverstein called A Light In the Attic. I flipped through it and read a few poems that I remember having read to me by one of my elementary teachers. Nothing like nostalgia on a cold frigid day! One of the poems I came across made me laugh out loud and I am pretty sure I will remember it always because it will forever remind me of my Aven and my mother.

The Prayer of the Selfish Child

Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray the Lord my soul to keep
If I should die before I wake
I pray the Lord my toys to break...
So that none of the other kids can play with them.

By Shel Silverstein ~ A Light In the Attic

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

And the Oscar goes to….

She gets up bright and early every morning. She gets dressed, curls her hair and puts her makeup on. She goes to work every day and acts professional and courteous. She appears to be a strong woman and has it together. She chit chats with her co workers about the weather and random news events. You can’t tell that underneath her makeup and underneath her fake smile and laughter that she is hurting. All she really wants to do is sit on the floor and cry all day. She wishes she had a flashing sign above her head that said “Fragile, grieving mother” because only then would she not have to hide her tears or pretend everything is just as it was before the floor fell out from under her…

We enjoy warmth because we have been cold.
We appreciate light because we have been in darkness.
By the same token, we can experience joy because we have known sadness

~ David Weatherford

Monday, February 7, 2011

For a moment all the world was right ...

A very wise man asked me last week if I knew things would have turned out this way, would I take it back? Would I have rather not experienced any of it at all? I didn't think twice. If there was a magic time machine that I could crawl in and have all of this pain be taken away as if it never existed... as much as it hurts, I wouldn't change it. I am blessed to have known Aven. D and I are both blessed to have known her. She was only here for what seemed like a second but boy did her little life sure change ours forever. We will never forget how we had it perfect for a little while.

Looking back on the memory of
The dance we shared beneath the stars above
For a moment all the world was right
How could I have known you'd ever say goodbye
And now I'm glad I didn't know
The way it all would end the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain
But I'd of had to miss the dance

Holding you I held everything
For a moment wasn't I the king
But if I'd only known how the king would fall
Hey who's to say you know I might have changed it all

And now I'm glad I didn't know
The way it all would end the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain
But I'd of had to miss the dance

~Garth Brooks, The Dance

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Steady hands, just take the wheel…

I woke up this morning crying. This doesn’t happen often but when it does it always startles me. I had a dream that I was talking to a man. In my dream I knew the man only outside of my dream I have no idea who he was. He said to me “There is no way around this, mama. You have to go through it” and with those words I looked at him and broke down crying in my dream but in reality I woke up crying too. I decided that it was time for my weekly visit to the chapel. I go at least once a week to a chapel around town. I light a candle for myself, D and Aven, for my little family. Sometimes I pray, or talk to God, cry or just sit and think. I always feel better upon leaving, like if I gain some sort of strength from laying it all out there weekly for everyone in heaven to hear. If the week happens to be a trying one, I visit the chapel more than once.

When leaving today I turned the radio on and One Republic’s Stop and Stare came on. I haven’t heard the song in a year or so but the words in it hit home. I turned it up as loud as I could stand it and just sat there as I watched a dove fly in front of my car. I have no idea why that song was written or what it was supposed to be about but this morning it was about mine and Dan’s journey in this foreign land of grief. I know I am tired of being in this land; it is a lonely place to be. We are blessed to have friends and family who care and will let us honor our daughter as much as we want, but even still with all of the love and support around us, no one will ever understand what it feels to walk in our shoes. Each day I wake up and thank God for the day but I also plead for strength in moving forward. To pick me up when I fall and to steady my shaking hand as I face life head on with a void in my heart. I think I’m moving but I get nowhere…

This town is colder now, I think it's sick of us
It's time to make our move, I'm shaking off the rust
I've got my heart set on anywhere but here
I'm staring down myself, counting up the years
Steady hands, just take the wheel...
And every glance is killing me
Time to make one last appeal... for the life I lead

Stop and stare
I think I'm moving but I go nowhere
Yeah I know that everyone gets scared
But I've become what I can't be, oh
Stop and stare
You start to wonder why you're here not there
And you'd give anything to get what's fair
But fair ain't what you really need
Oh, can you see what I see

They're trying to come back, all my senses push
Untie the weight bags, I never thought I could...
Steady feet, don't fail me now
Gonna run till you can't walk
Something pulls my focus out
And I'm standing down...

Thursday, February 3, 2011

If it wasn’t for you…

If it wasn’t for you I would be crumpled in a ball on the floor. If it wasn’t for you I would have crawled into a hole and stayed there forever. If it wasn’t for you I wouldn’t have a reason to smile. For every Kleenex you give me, joke you tell me to make me laugh, goofy face you make to make me giggle…for every shoulder you give me to cry on, every word of comfort you provide and for every silent moment, Thank you. You once told me that I was the strongest person you knew but the reality of it is that the strongest person is really you. Love you, D.

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 to try to be so very brave-
He lost his baby too.

~Author Unknown

Baby Steps...

I was shattered into a million little pieces. I didn’t know that was even possible, to be so torn and ripped and trampled on. I left the hospital after having Aven with nothing to hold onto but my discharge papers. We weren’t escorted out on a wheelchair with balloons and flowers. There weren’t any congratulation cards or silly pictures taken. It was a silent slow walk on a cold morning out of the hospital. When we got home my wonderful husband, D, ran into the bedroom and removed all of the baby books and sonograms we had so that I didn’t have to be reminded that they made us leave the hospital without our baby girl. I was okay for a while knowing the sonograms and videos we had of her were in the closet until I woke up a few weeks ago and felt angry. I was angry at myself that I let her pictures sit in the closet for so long.
When I was pregnant I saved every single scrap of paper that had to do with Aven. I had IVF papers, charts, embryo pictures… you name it, and I saved it. My plan was to create a baby book for her that I made completely myself. My baby still deserves this from me. She is still my baby but only now...her baby book will be filled with pictures up until October 29th and none after. Sympathy cards will be placed in the sleeves instead of happy congratulation cards… but my baby is still my baby and she still deserves a book.
I bought the supplies to begin. I picked out cute pink paper with delicate little flowers and hearts. I must have walked up and down the aisles of the hobby store for at least 2 hours carefully picking out exactly what I wanted. I would have spent the same amount of time and energy in the hobby store even if she was at home sitting with daddy. I moved her things to my desk and for now they sit and wait for me because I haven’t built up the courage to put her book together yet. One day soon I hope…Baby Steps…
I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always,
as long as I’m living my baby you’ll be.

Love You Forever~ Robert Munsch

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Hello World...

Yesterday I drove by a pasture of horses. I drive by the pasture of horses every single day and have for several years. Heck, I drive by several pastures with horses. I don’t usually think anything of it or them. Yes, I think they are beautiful creatures but seeing them day in and day out they just become part of the background of my very boring drive to and from work.  But Yesterday, I saw 3 horses galloping together in a pack. It really was a beautiful sight. A sense of calm came over me. It was a split second of peace or something close to it. It actually made me smile. Few things make me genuinely smile these days. So anyway, I continued on the drive and upon coming up to our house I saw a second set of horses take off running after a trash bin fell over. Not only have I never seen horses running out on my drive ever but twice in one day… well that was something special. I think I have a guardian angel that follows me around and I think she has a sense of humor like her daddy. The first set of running horses was to make me feel better and the second set of running horses was just to make me laugh.  Lady A's Hello World sums up the running of the horses. Thank you, Aven.

Well, hello world, how’ve you been?
Good to see you, my old friend
Sometimes I feel as cold as steel
And broken like I’m never going to heal
I see a light, a little grace, a little faith unfurl
Well, hello world….

Hello World by Lady Antebellum