Sunday, April 26, 2009

Under the Tree - April

1) How long has it been since you lost your child/ren? Has your grief changed at all? Is your life becoming any easier or is it just harder as time passes?
Next weeked will mark the one year angelversary of my twins Cole and Breanna. Cole was born on May 3rd 2008 and passed away almost 3 hours later. Breanna was born on May 4th 2008 and passed away almost 30 minutes later. As their one year appraoches I certainly find myslef much more emotional but certainly leaps and bounds from where I was a year ago and even 6 months ago. This is most likely a result of the antidepressants I was put on after my melt-down at Halloween. As their 6 month anniversary approached I felt this overwhleming sense of hopelessness and I just could not and did not want to endure the agony of greif any longer. I worried that I would feel like this forever and that the pain would never go away. So I finally seeked medical help and have felt like I am dealing much better now. I hope that with time I will be able to come off the antidepressants and that the overwhelming pain and heart ache will subside. Part of me really feels that once I have another child that I get to take home, care for and raise, I will feel more at peace. No one will ever replace Cole and Breanna but I believe that having a child in the family will bring some joy into my life.

2) How do you feel when you see pregnant women when you are out and about?
Wow... that is quite the difficult question to answer since for me it changes as time passes and also changes based on my mood and even changes based on who the person is. I'll start off by saying that in most circumstances when I see pregnant women or babies, especially twins, it's like a train wreck that I cannot take my eyes off. I know I don't want to look and see but I'm just fascinated and can't stop starring. I used to get sad when I saw little babies but now I feel more like I did before my loss, a little bit of "oh so cute" joy and a little bit of jelousy (like when am I finally going to have a baby). Although, I still have not actually spent any length of time with or even held a baby since my loss. I have this incredible desire to hold a baby but I know that I will just break down and cry and I feel bad doing that with someone else's baby and having them feel uncomfortable.
As for pregnant women... they seem to be ALL around me right now. Just about every week I find out that someone else is preggers. For the ones that have also had a loss or have been supportive of my loss, I am so happy for them but also a bit nervous because I don't want them to suffer any more pain and loss. For random aquintances that naively flaunt their pregnancy and symptoms, I awe at them and wonder how people can be so oblivious of all the awful and terrible things that could happen and that there are NO gaurantees. I cringe when I hear them say things that assume a happy ending. I know, and hope, that nothing will go wrong because odds are everything will be fine, but I wonder how they can be so blind. After all the pain that I have gone through how can they be so confident that it can never happen to them. Towards strangers that I see around I worry for them that something could go wrong and they might lose the baby and I wonder if they will know what to do in those precious few hours that they have with their baby and whether they will know where to get support from.

3) What's your therapy in the aftermath of losing your child/ren? Do you go to counseling? Do you do artwork or some kind of exercise or do you simply just let yourself be? What helps you?
I would have to say that my saving grace has been other people that I have met that have also suffered a loss. In particular Jane, Nat, and Nicola have been my biggest form of therapy to just talk about the day to day ups and downs. I met them all early in my greiving and I really don't think I would be doing as well if I didn't have them. I also went to groups (where I met Nat and Jane) and found lots of websites/message boards full of supportive people that have had a loss. I also have been a psycologist, Dr. Donohoe, who is fabulous and keeps me sain about what people that have not have a loss are thinking. I'm so thankful to have been seeing him once or twice a month and especially when I had an emotional breakdown in October. I immediatly went to him and he directed me to the help I ultimately needed, antidepressants, my best therapy!!

To participate in Under the Tree go to

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Under the Tree - March

I am trying to catch up on my responses to Under the Tree so here we go for March.

1) Do you have a special place in your home for your baby/ies? What is it like? Do you have any rituals that you perform in memory of your baby/ies?
The first place of rememberenace where I think about and feel close to my babies is at the cemetary. We don't have a grave stone yet but a wonderful friend of mine, Jane, made two stones with Cole and Breanna's names and we have placed them there. During the months following their deaths my husband and I would go weekly to visit and sometimes bring a blanket and have a little family picnic there. But then winter came and we haven't done that in a while. I hope that we restart that again now that the weather is nicer.
Another special place of rememberance is a garden box my husband and I built and planted some beautiful flowers in last summer in our backyard. I just finished planting some new flowers today and look forward to seeing them grow. Purple and yellow flowers seem to be the most prominent colours which represent Winnie the Pooh and Eeyore.
As for rituals the one that comes to mind right now is my obsession with anything Winnie the Pooh and Eeyore. We had decorated their room with a Winnie the Pooh theme and then the day before their burial we went out and bought them some gifts to be buried with and we were drawn to these Winnie the pooh and Eeyore stuffed animals, and now it has become our symbol for them. Soon after their passing I discoverd Peek a Poohs, cute little Winnie the Pooh charms with interchangeable costumes, and now my collection is huge!

2) If you believe in an afterlife, do you receive signs from your baby/ies? Have you ever felt their pressence? Do you find them in nature? Do they visit you in your dreams?
I really wish they would visit me in my dreams but I have not gotten much sleep in the past year so it has not happened yet. One thing we did do a few months after they died was that we saw a psychic. I just needed to know that they were alright and the psychic put my mind at ease. Although nothing she said has come true (I was supposed to get pregnant really soon), it helped at the time and it was what I needed then and I'm very glad we did it.
As for finding them in nature.... I often think of Cole when I see butteflies. They flutter about all curious like and checking out the world much like how I feel about Cole. He was so eager to get out and see what the world had to offer. It brings a smile to my face whenever I see a butterfly but then I feel guilty because I feel like I'm only focussing on Cole and leaving Breanna out. (This has been a huge issue I have been struggling with for months and it warrants its own blog post some day.)

3) Do you have a special poem, song, prayer or quote in memory of your baby/ies?
I find music so powerful in guiding my emotions and have found several songs that I connect with and express how I feel. But I have two songs in particular that remind me of my babies.
Even before I was pregnant I remember listening to the song Childhood dreams by Nelly Furtado and could not wait to have a son, a "little boy made for me in the stars". Cole was that little boy made for me in the stars and whenever I here this song I think of him.
Breanna's song is completely different. When she was born I could not believe how absolutley adorable she was, like a little china doll. As I held her tight I sang to her quietly You are so beautiful to me, and that song will always be Breanna's song for me.

To participate in Under the Tree go to

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Under the Tree - February

Well, it has been a really long time since I have blogged and today I literally spent the entire day reading blogs (and crying) and thinking about Cole and Breanna and their first angelversary which is fast approaching. At one point I came across a blog created by another greiving mommy where she is trying to get mommies of angels together to share their thoughts and feelings. At the end of every month she posts some questions that everyone answers on their blog and to create a network of support. I think I'm going to try and do this every month so that I am sharing my thoughts and feelings regularly instead of just bottling it all up. So I'm two months behind and will start from the beginning with the February questions.

1) How long have you been blogging for? Why did you start? What do you want from writing?
I started blogging in May 2008 just after my twins Cole and Breanna were born premature and subsequently did not survive. I spent the first few weeks in utter shock and disbelief and spent my days surfing the web looking for ..... I don't know what.... but something to help me with my grief and get through this emense pain. I found several message boards for people that have had a loss and found comfort and support there. Soon after I realized that I wanted to keep a record of my journey and discovered blogging. Unforunately, as soon as I started back to work I no longer had the time or energy to continue writing. I always wanted to because I found it so helpful and healing to write out my feelings but I just didn't, which I totally regret because SOOO much has happened. Anyhow, recently as Cole and Breanna's 1st angelversary approaches I have been feeling overwhelming saddness and thus spent the entire day reverting back to the first days after they died, staring blankly at my computer, surfing the internet and looking for something.... again I don't know what but I'm hoping I have found it.

2) Where is safest place for you to share your feelings? Is there anywhere you feel completely accepted just being however you are really feeling?
The best resource I found to share my feelings was the SHARE message board and chat room. But like my blog, once I was back at work I no longer had endless hours to surf and read people's messages. Instead I found some email lists for people that have suffered loss of mulitples called LAMBs. I read most of the emails but rarely respond. I also found several groups on Facebook that I have found helpful. But I have found the most comfort from meeting and getting to know actual people in my area that have also had a loss. Natasha, Jane, and Nicola have become my lifeline. They understand me and are willing to listen and I would do anything for them aswell.

3) Can you recommend any books that you have read that have given you a new insight, hope or courage in this new life you find yourself in?
The first books I read were Empty Cradle, Broken Heart which Natasha lent me and Loving and Letting Go which Jane lent me. They both really helped me deal with my loss and some major issues I was dealing with especially when I hit a huge regret spiral 6 weeks after the loss. Another book I read more recently which I really liked was Second Chance by Jane Green. It's about a group of friends that deal with the sudden death of a friend. It had nothing to do with baby loss but for some reason it really helped me to see how other people deal with greif and that I was not going crazy.

4) How would you describe yourself before you lost your baby? How have you changed, who are you today?
I certainly was naive about pregnancy. I knew that I could miscarry in the 1st trimester, but after that I figured everything would be fine and especially after I passed the half way mark I never imagined that life could take such a dramtic turn for the worse. I had such a tough and long road of fertility treatments to get pregnant that I figured that once we passed that obsitcale we would be fine. I also was quite outgoing and an extrovert.
Now I would say that I am much more nervous and anxious about what the future holds for me. I avoid new people and most social situtations. The one positive is that I am certainly more compasionate towards others. I listen more and I realize now how painful losing someone, anyone that you love is. I am now much more determined to give back and help others. I am trying to start a memory box program in my area to help other's who experience a loss by giving them items to help them create and save memories with their baby.

5) How do you think you are coping? Do you see any light in this road or is it all dark right now? Where do you imagine yourself to be in a years time?
I think I am coping okay.... although I had a major melt down at halloween and I had to be put on antidepressants. Since then was coping fairly well until this past week. As Cole and Breanna's 1st angelversary approaches I'm starting to feel more emotional and anxious of what the next few weeks have in store. I was hoping to be pregnant again by now but that is not the case. And to add insult to injury, several mommies of angels that I have met in person and through facebook and several other freinds and aquintances are pregnant and some have even had their babies. I am certainly happy for them but I really wish my time would come soon. I haven't reached the point of utter desperation and hopelessness that I experienced in October, but I certainly am starting to get frustrated. I feel like I have dealt with my loss and done my grieving and now I'm ready to move forward. Like my bog title says.... Life continues but we will never forget. So I'm ready for life to continue. Only time will tell.