Being Completely Open with You…

Being Completely Open with You

by Heather Kimble

3825a-1080946_24278190I started blogging to express my feelings after losing Hannah. I also started blogging because I wanted others to know that they weren’t alone in this journey of losing a baby. I wanted to keep myself raw and basically completely unedited as I wrote about my personal journey and feelings. Continue reading

When Enough is Too Much – Victoria’s Story

When Enough is Too Much – Victoria’s Story

by Victoria Salerno

f4f90-imageThere is so much that happens in your life after a loss, things you never even *think* about. I promised Heather and all of you when I joined that I would be 100% honest and share everything, good and bad, easy and difficult.

The last two days have been d.i.f.f.i.c.u.l.t. Both days ended in tears and little sleep after hard conversations with my husband. If you had asked me five years ago if I would ever have to discuss the possibility of us not having our own children, I probably would have looked at you as though you had five heads.

Not have our own children?…..

Continue reading

Happiness Is- Victoria’s Story

“Most folks are as happy as they make up their mind to be”

Abraham Lincoln
There is a lot of truth to this quote. You can only be as happy as you decide to be. I don’t know about you, but some days, it is really hard to decide to be happy. In fact, some days, I don’t want to be happy. I don’t want to force an emotion and a state of mind that I am just not able to occupy.
On days where I just can’t seem to rise above the dark cloud, I turn to my “Happy Box”. My Happy Box got officially created when Heather sent me the most beautiful card. Heather and I hadn’t even met yet, she had just had Hannah’s funeral when she found out I was miscarrying. Our husbands work together and had been discussing Heather’s pregnancy and my issues for several months before Hannah passed, so while I knew about Heather, I had only seen her once in passing. I was so surprised when my husband came home with a card from Heather for me (although, now that I am getting to know Heather, I would not be the least bit surprised- she is truly that thoughtful and kind). While I will not share the exact wording of the card, her words gave me the validation I so desired, gave me a connection to someone who was (heartbreakingly) grieving the loss of a child, and made me remember that I am not alone. 
I had kept items from each pregnancy, though haphazardly stored them in bags or cardboard boxes. When I got Heather’s card, I knew I wanted to keep it close because it was the first thing that had made me smile since the miscarriage. I found a wooden box and put the card in it next to my bed, along with other items from my pregnancies and things that just generally made me smile. I decided I would open the box on days when I was particularly sad or in need of a reminder of how blessed I am.
The box has been an incredible lifesaver for me- I can reminisce, smile, and get lost in a million little things that make me happy- and it has never failed me. I would highly recommend to anyone Mother of Loss that you make a box like this.
Originally, I intended to share photos of each item in my box, but I just feel like some of them are too personal to me. You should have your own things that are unique and special to you. Instead, I will share with you what is in the box, and include several photos.
1) Heather’s card- it reminds me I am never alone and that I have a friend I can turn to
2) My first positive pregnancy test- to some, this might sound a little crazy, but it gives me hope and takes me back to a time when I was carefree and so full of love and hope- and had none of the fear I do now.
3) A picture of Jason and I are on our wedding day- this helps me take myself out of current situation. Sometimes, it is so easy to focus on the here and now, that you forget who you are together as a couple. Looking at our picture, reminds me that together, we can do anything.
4) A picture of my parents and brother- I am so close with my family, but sometimes in a state of sadness, I feel very alone. Looking at their picture helps me remember how blessed I am to have an incredible and supportive family who is behind me every step of the way.
5) A picture of a sunset I took on our deck- one of the things that most relaxes me is sitting on our deck in the nice weather at night. We enjoy the sunset, feel the breeze off of the lake, listen to the wildlife, look at the moon and stars, and also watch the planes- we are directly under the flight path to the Philadelphia airport, so we see all of the planes approaching. There is something so peaceful, simple, and serene about a night like that. Just thinking about it helps me relax.
6) My first ultrasound picture- I am sharing this because it brings me so much joy. I carried 4 beautiful babies, and I actually got to see this baby. This reminds me how beautiful pregnancy is and how blessed I am to be able to get pregnant and experience such a a miracle.
7) A poem called: To the Child in my Heart-
O precious, tiny, sweet little one 

You will always be to me

So perfect, pure, and innocent

Just as you were meant to be.

We dreamed of you and of your life And all that it would be

We waited and longed for you to come 

And join our family.

We never had the chance to play, To laugh, to rock, to wiggle.

We long to hold you, touch you now

And listen to you giggle.

I’ll always be your mother.He’ll always be your dad.

You will always be our child,

The child that we had.

But now you’re gone…but yet you’re here.

We sense you everywhere.
You are our sorrow and our joy.

There’s love in every tear.

Just know our love goes deep and strong.

We’ll forget you never–The child we had, but never had,

And yet will have forever.

Author: C.P. 
8) Some of my favorite Bible verses- here are a few:
Romans 5:1-21

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Matthew 18:14

So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.

Matthew 19:14

But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”

Romans 8:28

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Luke 18:15-17

Now they were 
bringing even infants to him that he might touch them. And when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”
9) A smiley face magnet- because sometimes, all I need to smile is seeing that silly smile.
10) The coming home outfit Heather and I purchased together.
11) Seashells- these aren’t just any seashells- they are from our honeymoon in Ocracoke, NC. It is our favorite place to vacation, and we have done so on several vacations. It was on our honeymoon that we made a lot of decisions about our family, and therefore, it holds a dear place in my heart.
12) Letters- I wrote a letter to myself and a letter to each of my babies. My box has all of the letters in envelopes (that remain unsealed so I can read them as I choose). The letter to myself is about staying strong, my reasons to carrying on, reminders of the hope and joy in my life, and most importantly- a list of all of the reasons that we are strong. Each letter to the babies details my pregnancy, my emotions, my love for them, fun tidbits about different milestones, a prayer for each of them, and a memorial of their life. Some people might be a bit put off about the letters, but they are exactly what I need. They may not be for you, and that is okay!
I have many other things in my box- stickers, drawings, cards, poems, pictures, etc- but those are the basics. I add to my box constantly and each time I open it, it is a reminder of how blessed I am and how many wonderful things there are in life to be happy about.
I would encourage any Mother of Loss to create her own box. It has been therapeutic, validating, and my strength when I just can’t muster any.

Medication – Am I Crazy?

**Always consult your Doctor about taking medication or about stopping the medication. This post is my own experience and for informational purposes only and not to replace the advice and direction of your Doctor.

The day after I gave birth to Hannah (on Christmas Eve) via emergency c-section my Doctor came to check on me and give me the basic rules of recovery. She wrote out multiple prescriptions (and actually dropped them off for us at the Pharmacy) including pain medicine, prenatal vitamins, iron, colace, Zoloft, and Ativan. Wait… Zoloft and Ativan?! By the expression on my face she knew I didn’t want to take those. However, I have an anxiety disorder. I haven’t taken anxiety medicine for years. I don’t like to. I have learned various technics to help control it. I rarely had panic attacks. So why did I need these two medications? I can control this! My Doctor told me that I don’t have to take them but she highly recommended it because of the situation and my anxiety disorder. She explained that I could just take an Ativan as needed (up to three times a day) and it will work right away. She then explained that Zoloft should be taken once a day but will take two weeks to get into my system.

I was initially against taking medication. I can grieve like a “normal” person. I’m not crazy. I can still control it. But I couldn’t control it and I couldn’t grieve like a “normal” person. My emotions were escalated. Nights were extremely hard. I was left alone with my thoughts and there were so many running through my mind all at once. I was exhausted physically and emotionally. It wasn’t until the day after Christmas that I decided to start Zoloft and take Ativan during extreme times of an anxiety attack. Zoloft didn’t take effect until the day of Hannah’s funeral. I felt like I was finally starting to grieve “normally.”

I can barely imagine how I would be without Zoloft and Ativan. It definitely does no come close to making me numb towards my feelings. They just allow me to grieve in a healthy way. I’m not crazy for taking either medication and neither are you. It’s ok. Do not be ashamed of taking any type if medication after the loss of your baby. I’m not longer ashamed. There are many things in life we can’t control and some of us need a little help to grieve “normally.” There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. It doesn’t make us failures. It does define us. We need to grieve. We need to take our time and not rush our grief. If you need medication just every so often, every single day, weeks, months, years, or the rest of your life, it’s ok.

 
Don’t be afraid to talk to your Doctor. Also, don’t be afraid to talk to your pastor, counselor, spiritual leader, etc. about taking medication. Sometimes we need a little extra support from others and to acknowledge that it’s ok.

 

 
 

Journey Through the Darkness of Depression – Day 7

Psalm 22:19

But you, O LORD, be not far off; O my Strength, come quickly to help me.

1. In what specific ways are you having difficulty coping with life?

Finding joy and true meaning to life. Some days are ok, but other days it feels like nothing matters anymore. I’m not the same person I was before. There are things I can’t hear, say, or see because I lose it. Sometimes it just hits me with no specific trigger. I hate feeling sad all the time.

2. What steps can you take to seek help?

My husband and I have been seeing a christian counselor throughout this entire journey. We literally saw him the same day we were given Hannah’s fatal diagnosis and were told to terminate. It is helpful. We aren’t rushed through our grieving etc. I would recommend it to anyone going through the loss of a child.

3. Whom do you know who could brighten your path and help you journey through the dark night of your soul?

That’s a really deep question. My husband has been my rock. He has shielded me from so much during this process.  He has seen me in my darkest hour and has just held me tight. He knows when I just need let my emotions out and doesn’t try to stop me.