Sunday, April 28, 2013

My October Angel

Yesterday was one of the first warm, sunny days we have had in Wisconsin since last fall. Since I start a new job next week, I wanted to get out of the house and do something, even if it wasn't much, to keep my mind busy. I asked my friend if she would like to go to some rummage sales in the neighborhood by my parents house to get some exercise and browse.

We met at 10:00 and started on the far end of the neighborhood. The grass is finally starting to turn green, the trees are starting to bud. It was warm enough that I only wore a tank top and some Bermuda shorts! As we walked through the neighborhood, the first house we walked up to had several nick-knacks of various types. As I was browsing I saw one particular item that was just WAITING for me. So simple, so beautiful... it was a porcelain Precious Moments angel that said "October". I looked at the price and it was only 50 cents! I don't think anyone else would have cared so much about a simple October Angel, but I did.

I found my prized possession. As we walked through the rest of the neighborhood we ended up looking at probably 30-40 houses. I could not find one other thing that was worth me buying. But that October Angel sure made my day. I was excited to show it to my mother when I stopped by her house. I unwrapped it from the newspaper it was wrapped in and I showed it to her. Her expression was slightly puzzled. She said, "that's nice, but why October??"

I literally had no response for her. I just kinda looked at her and tilted my head with a look that said... "REALLY?" It's so easy for people to forget Ana. But I can't. Even though she is not here she will always be remembered. She will always be my first child. No one can take this away from me. I know she didn't mean to "forget" or let it slip her mind, but at the same time it really hurt me that she didn't remember or wasn't able to put 2 and 2 together. Oh well, I still have my angel!

Friday, April 26, 2013

March for Babies... Success!!

I have never participated in a walk for a cause. However, after losing Ana I felt compelled to do something different, something in memory of her. I decided in February that I would be joining the March for Babies in Appleton, WI on April 20th, 2013. This was completely something new to me. I knew I wanted to help. I knew that raising money was important to help other babies that are born too soon. Although Ana didn't make it, I wanted to help in some way.

I've also never been much for raising money or donations for anyone or any special group/cause. I set my mind to doing the March for Babies and I had to figure out how to raise the money for my first goal: $500. I also knew it was very important to find a good, supportive group of people that would walk on April 20th with me in memory of Ana.

I went to Facebook to announce my walk, the date, and to ask for donations. Through my friends on Facebook (Kelly, Allison, Jennifer, Megan, Karissa, and Mareike) I raised $130. My mother donated $50, my Aunt Polly and my Aunt Diane each donated $20, and my Aunt Annette donated $100. In addition, my sister's "big boss", Missi, donated $40. The donations of the people I mentioned, and the very generous $200 sponsorship from my dentist, I surpassed my goal and raised a total of $560!!

I am very proud of my group that came to walk with me. While my mother tried backing out at the last minute because it was unusually cold for an April morning, I explained again that this was in memory of Ana and how important this was to me to have her support. My mother, my sister, my two best friends (Kim and Jessica), my Aunt Annette, Uncle Dave, Aunt Diane, two of my cousins (Andrea and Brianne), my sister's "big boss" and one of her co-workers (for a total of 12 walkers!) joined me on Saturday in the cold, windy weather to battle the 2 mile walk. While I didn't get a picture of everyone, here are some of our pictures to enjoy. 

Thank you all again from the bottom of my heart to everyone who helped me in some way, shape or form!

 This is a picture of my sister (Jenna), my best friend (Kim) and myself before the walk. The white lei's let others know we are walking in memory of a child who didn't make it. 
This picture is my group walking in the cold April weather.
Top left: my Uncle Dave, cousin Andrea
Bottom left: My sister Jenna, my bff Kim, myself, my Aunt Annette, and bff Jessica
(Some of my walkers had already left)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


It's just over 6 months since I lost my sweet baby Ana. It's been just less than 6 months since I buried her next to my grandfather. It's been just over a year since I lost my grandfather. But throughout all of this, I am a SURVIVOR.

I have my down days, I have my I don't want to get out of bed days. I have my good days where I can function normally and feel like everything is okay. I just have to remember that I am a survivor.

I honestly believe God doesn't give you anything you can't handle and I survived. I was very very ill after losing Ana, both physically and mentally. I was hospitalized the day after I lost her because I had lost over half of my blood and was still bleeding very heavily.

I was in a very dark place after losing Ana mentally. I hated everyone I hated everything I didn't want to do anything. I felt like life could not go on. But I survived.

I still have days where things just aren't "right" and I'm sad but I know that Ana wants me to be happy and she doesn't want to see me down and out. She wants to see her mom as she was while she knew me. Happy, healthy, loving life and living as I should.

Ana is and always will be my daughter. My first daughter. The daughter I always wanted and I DID have. She was a part of me that will never be the same but a part of me that will carry her with me forever. She was born on her father's birthday. She was 16 weeks. She was perfect in every way. I will always love her. I survived and I will continue to be... a SURVIVOR!

Angel Moms (the good and the bad)

Since I've lost Ana I have reached out to several different groups for grieving mothers. Some of them are particularly for stillborn or sleeping babies, some of them are for mother's who have lost children at all ages. I want to say that 99.9% of the mother's I have met have been inspiring, supportive, thoughtful, caring, considerate, and there for me and other mother's 100%. However, there were two particular instances where I've been perturbed by.

The first being a few days ago when I posted on my Facebook page about how Ana's headstone still wasn't in place. A girl, who I have talked to a few times before, told me that I should have gotten Ana cremated because I would "have her faster and closer". I was somewhat thrown off by her comment as I'm sure she didn't mean any offense but it seemed like almost a direct "matter of fact" you should have done this type of comment. I responded by telling her that I am comfortable with where she is at since she's next to my grandfather and that we each choose the best for their children. Well, it sparked a slight debate because some moms took offense to it (like I did slightly) and the she deleted me. I don't think she realized that she was the one that told ME what to do with MY child. But nevertheless, it was my fault (apparently).

The second was a lady that told someone that she should not me posting pictures of her dead child on Facebook and that it was disturbing. Well this is just down-right awful. First off, the pages we are using is created for mothers who have lost their children of ALL ages. Each child is beautiful no matter what and it was very cruel for this woman to say that she should not be posting pictures of her dead baby on Facebook. Does she realize that this may be the ONLY picture we have of our precious children? Just because she lost her child after she had a chance to KNOW him/her doesn't mean the loss is any less. It's a terrible loss that NO parent should have to go through and for her to tell us who we can and cannot share a picture with is just horrible. We didn't get a day to see our child breathing, we didn't get a child to hold for more than an hour or two. We didn't get to know what our children were like and this may be the only thing we have of our CHILD. You can remember the good, the laugh, the eyes, the smile, the voice, WE DON'T GET THAT. Our memory may be that of just a simple picture and for someone to tell us that we should be ashamed... well listen lady YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED!!

A loss is a loss, none bigger or less than another. And I'm proud to say that for the most part I have met nothing but WONDERFUL, SUPPORTIVE men and women and I am so grateful to have met them. They help me know that I am not alone and that I am stronger than this and I will get through it. When I am down, they help me up. I don't know what I would do without these women and I will be forever grateful to them. If out of all of this bad, I have one good thing, it is that of the group of angel mom's I have met after losing Ana. If anyone out there is reading this and needs support, needs someone to talk to, please let me know. YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

Ana's headstone and due date

I can't begin to explain the emotions I had leading up to Ana's due date. It was almost as though I was regressing through my grief. I was angry about everything. I didn't want to hear about anyone's child, didn't want to be around any children. I didn't want to go to ANY store that had children's items, or perhaps a newborn child. I felt like EVERYWHERE I went there was a constant reminder of what I had lost.

For the first time in about a month and right before her due date, I went to her grave. My anger grew when I saw that her headstone was not put in yet. Yes, it's been cold and the weather hasn't been perfect, but it's already April and the ground has thawed and it's not swampy and muddy.... why isn't her headstone in? So I'm sitting in the cemetery and I called the place immediately and asked about her headstone. First, he asked if I was at St. Mary's Cemetery. I said no, she's at Resthaven. Then, he tried to give me an excuse that the ground was wet and "flooded". I told him that I was at the cemetery and that she is on a hill and that the ground it sturdy. I was so angry I started crying. I almost screamed at him. I told him Ana's due date is April 7th (a Sunday, and I was calling on the 6th, a Saturday) and that I was really hoping that she would have her headstone by then. He said he couldn't do it by Sunday but that he would do it Monday.

I went to visit her on her due date and I left her a single while flower. White for her innocence and her purity. Ana's father went there with me and we had time to ourselves to mourn. We had time to think about her and took time to remember that she would have been here on or before that day. That she should be here in our arms but instead she is in heaven. It was a very hard day for me. 

Under Water

For the past month, leading up to Ana's due date I have not been myself. I feel pressure. I feel like things around me are closing in on me. I feel like I'm in a lose-lose situation in almost everything I do. I have been searching for myself and I'm waiting to find her.

Under water, the sounds I hear are muffled. All I can hear is my conscious, my heart beat. My conscious telling me to hold on, to fight, to keep swimming and trying to get to the top for a breath of air. There are giggles and grunts in the faint distance but nothing that can help me. It seems like no one can hear me. Under the water, my voice is mute. I can't breathe, I can't scream. My tears, you cannot notice as they are one and the same as the water I am suffocating in. I start to panic. My heart starts to pound, harder, stronger. What do I do? How can I break out of the water that I'm drowning in? Why can't my family and friends hear me? See my struggle? A numbness starts to take over my body. It starts in my chest and slowly takes over my arms, my legs, my head. Things are starting to go by slower. Seconds seem like minutes, even hours as I struggle to make it to the top for a breath of air. A precious breath of air. But my arms and my legs can't move, I'm sinking deeper and deeper into the water.