Wednesday, December 25, 2013
Tuesday, December 24, 2013
Monday, December 2, 2013
It is so hard to believe that it has been three years since we lost Logan. These three years have flown by with painful speed, but also healing waves. I’m not going to lie and say that its been easier than I imagined, some days, sure it has, but others I feel like I’ve been hit by a Mac truck. I can say though that at year three the mac truck days are less than they were at year two. I feel like I’ve settled in on my new reality. That having a stillborn son is part of who I am, its intertwined in the fabric of my being. I don’t feel like I’m bitter or hateful because of it, I feel like I’ve been enriched with experience and love. I don’t know how or when I got to this point, but I can say without a doubt that I have been blessed with amazing people in my life who have helped me get here. I have family and friends who don’t bat an eye when I mention Logan’s name, they know he is a part of my story; he is a part of my day to day life. These are the same people who send me emails, texts and FB messages saying that they are thinking of me and my family today as we remember Logan, amazingly and incredibly blessed am I.
As I was getting ready for work this morning I began to think about those parents whose children have died when they are still babies, maybe even toddlers, but those children have lived. I have often wondered what it would have been like if we had lost Logan after he was here for a while… is that pain more intense? Does it make it easier having those memories? I have always had that question… is it better to have no living recollection of our babies or does having those memories lessen that pain? Is it better to not have a memory of the first time they rolled over or is it easier to have that vivid memory and the happiness you felt? I know that neither one of these situations is easy and I only have experience with one, but if you ever wanted to know the randomness of a mothers grief, this is a prime example.
I submitted my story to be included in the book Return to Zero, unfortunately it did not get chosen to be published in the book. BUT, they have teamed up with http://reconceivingloss.com to have the stories that were not chosen for the book to still be published. As a way to remember Logan today, I submitted a shortened version of our story. I took days one, two and three and cut them down to 1500 words. Hopefully our story can help someone else realize they are not alone in this journey, even when they feel they are.
Here is my submission.
Tuesday, November 30, 2010 was a day that changed my life forever. It was the day I started my journey of living with a child in Heaven, a piece of my heart permanently missing. Logan hadn’t been moving much and so I called my doctor’s office. I was told he had probably turned around, so I couldn’t feel him kick. I was told to lie down and focus on movement. I was at work, I concentrated as hard as I could and tried to make him move... nothing.
As soon as we get to the doctors office we are taken to a room for a non-stress test. For 15 heartbreaking minutes the nurse would find a heartbeat then dismiss it as mine. Finally, a midwife came in and after 5 minutes with nothing, its decided we need a sonogram. Johnny and I already knew. We walked into the sono room only to find the tech who told us Logan was a boy. She squeezed the jelly on my stomach, moved the wand into position and there he was, motionless. I saw out of the corner of my eye the tech look at the midwife and shake her head. The midwife came over, touched my leg and said, ‘I’m sorry there is no heartbeat, He’s gone.’
Gone? Why? Where do I go from here?
Heartbroken, we are sent back to a room. Our doctor came in to explain our options; induce labor now, tomorrow or wait for nature to take its course. We chose to induce labor the next day.
That night was a blur, I remember sitting on the living room floor talking and crying with my parents. My dad said that if he could have taken Logan’s place, he would. I fell asleep crying, asking God to please have Logan be alive…
December 1st, we arrived at the hospital for our 7A.M. check in time. 14 months before we were here in labor with our daughter; same hospital, same floor, same nurses, but this time was different, very different. Amy, The first nurse I talked to instantly knew who I was and walked us to our room. Tears streamed down my face as I stood in the delivery room; feeling lost and scared. Amy cried alongside with me; she was the nurse that would deliver Logan. Amy hooked up the monitors and left for the day. Shortly after my parents and our dear friend Jen arrived, having dropped everything to be at our side. Around 8:30 Dr Langaker came in and explained what was to happen. I was paralyzed with fear, and in a room full of loved ones I felt so alone.
Dr Langaker tried to explain everything in the gentlest of terms but also very honestly. I asked her how long I would be waiting for Logan to be delivered; she said that it would depend on how my body reacted to being induced. At 24 hours we could reevaluate ‘other options’. Thankfully we didn’t have to go down that road.
7 P.M. Nurses Amy and Heather came back at shift change. They were so great, they loved on me like they had known me for years and allowed me to grieve however I needed to.
By 8 P.M. I was not progressing, I was thankful as this meant that Logan was with me a little longer. They decided to increase the medication to start labor, and at 8:30 P.M. the contractions started. I was offered an epidural and several times I refused. My heart felt conflicted, “Why should I have relief if it hurt Logan when he died?” I still hope that Logan died peacefully and I didn’t cause him to die. I eventually took the epidural and cried myself to sleep. I know what is coming, my baby is going to be born, but he will not cry, he will not move, he has died.
At 1A.M. I woke abruptly as I knew something was happening. I called out to Johnny asleep in the chair saying I need a nurse. We found the call button. Amy came in, checked, and said that I was fully dilated and ready to push. It was time to call the doctor. I asked Johnny to go get mom from the waiting room.
Mom and Johnny came in just as they wheeled in the bassinet; another scene that is burned into my mind. I remember being joyful when I saw Lexi in her bassinet, but this bassinet brought tears and the reminder that Logan had already died.
With Johnny and Mom by my side, Amy delivered Logan. The doctor didn’t get there in time. He blessed this earth on December 2nd at 1:10 AM. He weighed 2 lbs. 6.8 ounces and was 15 inches long. Logan Joseph Clear was born without a breath, without a cry, but he was here.
One thing that I didn’t think about was what would happen after Logan was delivered. How it would feel to hold him and love on him knowing that he wasn’t alive. The nurses were great. They cleaned him up and gave him to me as soon as he was born. I will never forget that moment, I was afraid to hold him, fearing I would break his already fragile body. Mom also held Logan; Johnny and Dad chose not to, and that is a decision one has to make for themselves.
Mom and I took turns holding and loving him. We talked to him and told him how much we loved him. They took Logan from the room and took measurements and made plaster imprints of his hands and feet. When they brought him back he was dressed in a blue gown that had footballs sewn as buttons, a blue and white knit cap and a matching blanket. He was dressed as if he was a living child, that meant to world to me. They also brought a camera for us to take pictures. I don’t remember how long he was with us in the room, but they allowed us as much time as we needed. When they finally took Logan I told him that I would see him later, fully intending to see him before we left. I never did, it was just too hard. A decision I regret.
They transferred me to a different floor to shield me from the other live births. Once settled Johnny and I fell asleep, curled up in each other’s arms, trying to find some comfort.
At shift change, Amy and Heather brought us several scrapbook pages with Logan’s name and foot and hand prints, they brought the foot imprints, and even printed off and burned a c.d. of all the pictures we had taken. We exchanged hugs and I tried to express my thanks to them. I couldn’t have asked for a more caring, compassionate pair of nurses.
Next, we had to make arrangements for Logan. What to do with his body? Where to have his body sent? We decided on cremation, so if we ever moved we could take him with us. As I came back into the room I saw Johnny on the phone with the funeral home making arrangements for our son. I listened as he explained that our son had died, he was stillborn, and we needed to make arrangements for cremation. It was something that Johnny felt he needed to do, he wanted to handle this part of our journey, being a husband and dad. In that moment my admiration and respect for Johnny was unparalleled, and through our journey he continues to amaze me.
That afternoon, the doctor came and brought discharge papers. I was ready to get out of the hospital, ready to see my daughter, but this meant that I would be leaving the hospital without Logan. I was leaving him there, in the basement morgue waiting to be picked up by the funeral home. If I left it meant that I could never see him again. Everyday happy couples leave the hospital with their newborn babies, but not us, not today; we were leaving with empty arms and heavy hearts.
Since then we’ve been on a roller coaster of emotions. It’s been hard trying to be the support system for each other when we’re using all our own energy just to get through each day. We’ve been impatient with Lexi, maybe a little too often. We’ve let friendships slip away that we shouldn’t have. We have had to find a new normal. Trying to rebuild our marriage and family out of the ashes of what was to be. It’s been difficult, at times unbearable, but we’ve learned that Logan allowed us to see the world in a different light. We need to cherish the things that we hold most dear. We need to live life a little more. We realize bad things happen, but if we hold on tight and ride the storm we may just see the rainbow.
I also just want to say thank you to everyone who has held our hands, given us hugs and thought of us during our journey. It helps knowing we are supported, it helps knowing that we aren’t being looked at as fragile. We love you all so much and can’t even express our gratitude… words simply aren’t enough.
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
I know that life can be hard.
I know that life can hand you some real doozies that make you feel like you can never recover.
I also know that life can be full of joy.
I know that life can be rewarding.
I know that life is precious.
I know, for a fact, that no matter what life hands you, you CAN recover.
I know that sometimes, people forget the hardships others have been through.
I know that sometimes, people don't remember that at this very moment others are struggling to make it through the day and therefore don't treat each other kindly.
I know that sometimes, people act harshly and say harsh words only because they don't know how else to act.
I also know that everyone is struggling with something that no one else knows about.
I know that I have forgotten the struggles of others and thought they were being selfish or 'not themselves'
I know that sometimes, ignoring and avoiding can hurt worse than harsh words.
I had someone yesterday tell me that she remembered Logan. She thought about it often but didn't know an appropriate time to say anything or if it would be appropriate at all. Her telling me that she remembered him made my heart soar! Simple, thoughtful words can sometimes be all you need to get through the day.
Remember to tell those around you that you love them, that you remember their hardships and that you are there for them, unconditionally.
I know that I'm not alone, and for that I'm thankful.
Monday, June 3, 2013
Sometimes everything is fine.
Sometimes you feel that your grip is loosening from everything you've tried so hard to keep together.
Sometimes a blog post, a Facebook status, a Pinterest pin can make you remember things you would rather not. Sometimes that same post can make you cherish the things in your world... imperfecrly perfect. Scraped, bruised and scarred feeling blessed to be traveling this journey. Feeling at times that you are the only one that's ever been on that journey, traveling where no one else has traveled and then seeing a partial footprint on the road in front of you, dust on the horizon or maybe even a shadow in front of, next to or even behind you. A glimpse and reminder that you are NEVER alone.
I know that my life is not what I planned and I'm thankful that it isn't. I'm thankful that the road that I'm traveling my be mine and mine alone, but I know that it intersects with others roads. I know that it travels parallel to others and when I'm in a valley those traveling on mountains can reach down and give me a helping hand up.
Lesson for today.... know that you are not traveling the bumpy road alone. You are given traveling companions... these companions come in many different shapes and sizes; just know that they are there for a reason. They may need you as much as you need them.
Thursday, May 23, 2013
This is the form that you can use to become a local leader.
Basically as a local leader you pledge to raise awareness of the movie and get others to pledge to see the film on its opening weekend. An opening weekend hasn't been determined yet, and really is hinged upon the proof of an audience. The ultimate goal is to get 150,000 people pledged to see this movie on opening weekend. With this number of pledges the producers of the movie can prove to the powers that be that this film has an audience, that this story is one that needs to be told.
Wait, you've not heard about the movie Return to Zero? Watch this... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Gq7OL-0fs4&feature=youtu.be Now you know exactly why this is so precious to my heart.
I'm so excited that a movie of this kind has been produced. I'm hoping and praying that this movie is released in theatres. Hopefully by allowing the entire world to see inside of a different world, a world that involves heartache and loss... a world that unfortunately 1 in 4 women live, EVERY DAY!
If you don't want to become a local leader in your area, that is totally fine. Use this form https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1HqU43R7iij8WJt1bavZkmjhmPdci56qakUUKt2VfvWg/viewform
and indicate that I am your local leader.
I don't have all the information yet, but on the Return to Zero site they do have a pretty great Q&A http://returntozerothemovie.com/blog/?p=761
I know that I've said this before and it may sound odd to hear... but I feel so very blessed to be a part of this community. Would I change the fact that I know what this baby loss community is all about? Absolutely... but the fact is, I can't. I can choose to look at the fact that our baby boy is watching down on us and I feel that he would be proud of what we are doing, with the resources we have; connecting with others in this community and trying so hard to break the silence. Trying so hard to make sure that others don't ever have to grieve alone, in silence.
Its a small thing to pledge... but it means the world to this community that has to tiptoe around their pain because its easier for others. It means being able to say openly and honestly that I lost a child, I was seven months pregnant when we discovered that his heart was not beating. I delivered him, the exact same way I did our living daughter... only we didn't hear a sound from him... he didn't open his eyes, he didn't grab our fingers, he was born still. He silently entered this world and until the day I die he will be the reason I am not silent.
With love, and hope and appreciation,
Thursday, May 2, 2013
I've never really felt comfortable in conversations about Jesus, the Bible or how or what I believe. My statements have always been that I believe in God. I believe in Heaven. I believe that we were created by God to do God's work. But specifics were never something that I got into. I'm not going to say that I am 'comfortable' but I am certainly closer than I have ever been in my entire life.
Let me first go into this saying that I wasn't really sure that I wanted to go to this conference. Not that I didn't want to be around my mom or any of these women, I just thought that I had other better things on my priority list. I could spend the weekend with my hubby, who has been at my parents house again. I could certainly save the money that I would use to buy meals and such to pay bills or spend on other unnecessary items.. but, this was something my mom really wanted to share with me, and we really don't get to spend much one on one time with each other; So I left for mom and dad's house on Thursday night thinking that if nothing else I'll be able to have a little time with my mommy! Jill Kelly was the first speaker that night. I had never heard of Jill Kelly and probably wouldn't have heard about her if I hadn't gone. Her son, Hunter died of a genetic disorder at 8 and a half. So there, instantly when she started talking about her son dying I was in tears! She said something that really registered with me that I had NEVER thought of before... her son's first words were to God. Her son's first hug, was hugging God. Who better than to raise our children, watch them grow and play than God. AH.MA.ZING...... (right then, I KNEW I was meant to be at this conference)
The rest of the weekend was really wonderful. Liz Curtis Higgs spoke on Saturday (and did part of this rap). Saturday night was a concert from Jeremy Camp. On Sunday Angela Thomas spoke. They were all REALLY good speakers!
I met some really fantastic women. Made some friends. Learned about myself. Learned about God.
I feel blessed and humbled that God thought so much about me to speak to my mom (and to me) to make sure that I attended. He knew who would be speaking when mom registered us LAST YEAR!
I'm making it a goal to start reading the Bible. I'm going to look into some devotional lesson plans.. that will direct me, because right now, if I were to pick up the Bible, I wouldn't really know where to start.
If anyone has any idea of where to get a good guide, please let me know.
Have a great Thursday! (It's snowing here in Kansas... yep, It's May 2nd and SNOWING!)
Thursday, April 18, 2013
Friday, March 22, 2013
My aunt is in the hospital and not expected to make it. I'll be honest in the fact that I have never been super close to this side of the family, but in my book, family is family, no matter how many times we talk in a year, you are still loved. it still hurts to know that today, in the hospital there is family gathering to say their final goodbyes. Heartbreaking. To know that their end on this earth is coming and we can't do anything about it.
I've read that to pine for Heaven is a good thing. To say that you can't wait to get to Heaven shows how much you love, understand and trust God. I honestly have such a hard time with this. Sure, I know that Heaven will be free from pain and injustice, but selfishly I want those that I love to be here, with me. So I can know that they are okay, or if they aren't okay, I can try to help them be okay. It's a battle I guess; of what I'm not so sure, but it's a battle. Maybe my own mortality? Maybe the fear that everyone I love will eventually leave me and I'll be alone?
So, to my family... I love you. I'm sorry that your heart is hurting. I'm sorry that your goodbye is going to be full of tears and fear and pain. I'm sorry that I can't ease that pain. I do know, however, that she will be going to a better place. She will no longer be in pain. She will be greeted on the other side by those that left before her. She will be waiting on the other side when you make that journey when it is your time.
I'd like to send out a challenge in the universe, to this world wide web of ours... When saying goodbye; don't forget to say I love you, don't forget to squeeze a little tighter when you are giving goodbye hugs and always always always watch them as they leave, wave until you can't see them anymore and say a little prayer that they journey is a safe one.
I hope your weekend is filled with love.
Thursday, March 21, 2013
Last night Lexi and I made pizzas for dinner. I went and bought the premade crusts, the pizza sauce and the toppings after work and so when we got home we went into the pizza making business!
She had so much fun doing making it herself. She put on the sauce, cheese, carrots (because we had to get some extra veggies in), pepperoni and hotdogs (on hers, not mine) all by herself. It was hard, but I restrained from telling her it was 'too much, too much, too much' or 'oh, you missed a spot' or 'why don't you put it on like this'. I didn't realize how much of a control freak I was until this little bundle came into our world!
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
This morning as I was getting ready for work she stumbles into the bathroom, climbs on top of the toilet base and tells me that these (her eye lashes) are her eye brows. So, I so "Nope, bug, those are your" and she interrupts me with a growl and says "NO MOM, these are my eye brows" so I finally get to tell her that those are her eye lashes and the ones above those are her eye brows.. again, a growl with an argument, but as I finish blow drying my hair she says with total conviction that 'these( her eyebrows) are her eyebrows, duh, I told you mom!' Really?!?! She's only three!!
Some of her favorite things to say are:
Lasterday (for anything that happened in the past) "Lasterday was my Birthday."
Saturday is by far her favorite day of the week to talk about, EVERYTHING is on Saturday. "Jillian's birthday is on Saturday" "Balentine's (Valentine's) is on Saturday, Mommy?"
I just fine.- This is one that she says quite a bit when she's being told to not do something or stop doing something. She also uses this for when we are getting on the dog, "Mom, Daisy's just fine"
Monday, March 11, 2013
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
I had insomnia my senior year of highschool and I think it was because of all the oranges I ate.
I hate laundry, but love the smell of fabric softner.
I don't own an iron.
I've always wanted to ride a bull.
I said my first curse word in third grade and thought I was a big deal.
I am the baby.
I was the oops in my family, my oldest sister is 12 years older than me, then my next sister is 10 years older and my brother is 6 years older.
I'm often told that I have an old soul, hippie soul maybe.
I find the positive in most any situation.
I like to be crafty and feel like a failure if something doesn't turn out the way I have it pictured in my head.
I wanted to be a lawyer when I grew up.
I am a pretty dang good shot... but I don't own a gun (unless you consider a bb gun)
For my 5th birthday I got a bb gun, it's a tradition.
I didn't get my ears pierced until I was 13. They closed and then I got them repierced when I was 22, since then I've gotten an additional hole.
I have two tattos.
I believe a hug and a 'sorry' can fix most fights.
I don't like fish, but love shrimp.
I talk to at least one member of my family every day. (mom, dad, sisters or brother)
I feel like I lived in Leave it to Beaver land for a majority of my childhood.
I was a tomboy growing up, playing in the woods and building forts.
I knew every single name of the people I graduated with, and I'm friends with most of them on Facebook.
I have a love affair with Dr. Pepper and fried pickles.
I'll do another post like this sometime soon... kind of fun. Link up in the comments and we will keep this going. What should I know about you?