Take a second….

Please, sit back just for one second, literally I’m only asking for a second actually maybe even a millisecond. I want you to just put yourself in my shoes and imagine how heartbreaking and earth shattering it would be to lose your child. I know no one wants to and I do not wish this on anyone but you can imagine it as much as you don’t want to. In that time I bet you it was the scariest thing and yet it was just a thought, well that’s my life.

Believe me when I say this, I would NEVER be here if I had any sort of control. I didn’t ask for this. I wish I could change it all but I can’t and never could. You may think that someone could “move on” after losing someone but I can tell you right now I will never move on from Lachlan. You can say, time heals all wounds but I have already discovered thats simply not the truth. He is my son, he will forever be a HUGE part of my life. I don’t care if you don’t like that because it’s a fact. I have not woken up once in the last 284 days and felt calm or relaxed, I wake up most days panicked and anxious. I wake up everyday wishing this life was a nightmare and I could wake up from it unfortunately this is forever reality.

I would never even for a second change being able to spend those 33 weeks with our boy, to get to know him, to love him, to meet him, to hold him in all his perfection and wish I never had to let him go. Nothing changes the fact that we had to say hello and goodbye in the same day. When you lose your child you lose many pieces of yourself, a life you had already built and dreamed is gone, *poof* without your knowledge or input, it changes you A LOT.

This does not mean by any means that my son is a bad thing or something we shouldn’t talk about. He is the most amazing person I have ever met and will forever be interwoven into our family no matter if we have no living children or 10 he will be a constant part of our family. Nothing could ever change that.
Lachlan my boy, I love you unconditionally (as does daddy) and am so grateful to be called “Lachlan’s mommy”. It is the best and most amazing title I could ever ask for, I wish I could hear it out of your mouth or even anyone else’s, thank you my forever baby. You will be forever remembered, loved and cherished, I promise you that my beautiful son.

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8 Months or a Brick Wall, you choose.

Lachlan should be 8 months old today. I know that he would be a mama’s boy but know he also would have been daddy’s boy. It’s sad to think he would have outgrown his first packers jersey, we bought, by now but it will always fit on Lachlan bear. It rips my heart out to see all his clothes but never get to see him wear them. On the last day of one month and the first day of the next it feels like I relive what happened 8 months ago. It can be so triggering to be getting to end of the month. My soul hurts and aches for our baby boy.
Today when I woke up to 8 months that Lachlan was born into this world still I realized how much of my heart and emotions I really do suppress on a day to day basis. Sometimes it seems to me that I am trying to be the girl I was before but the problem is I’m not. My son is dead. My thinking is different. My emotions are different. Everything is different. Things aren’t done on a whim anymore, they are more calculated as I don’t know what reaction I will have to any situation. It feels like I have no control over my emotions or when they decide to hit. It’s hard to explain but I have come to realize that many loss moms in my community feel this way as well. I’ll give you an example….
I was at Walmart, ugh I cringe just thinking about going there but I can’t avoid it, standing in line waiting to return an item. I had been there earlier in the day and ran in to get ONE thing and of course it was the wrong thing (shows how quickly I go in and out of Walmart on most trips). When I went back to return it there was a lady dealing with a return and then one lady behind her with a small boy probably around 2.5 years old. He had curly blonde hair, blue eyes in his plaid shirt and jeans. He was very sweet trying to help his mom bring the heavy water bottles (the big water cooler ones) back. First I started to think what would Lachlan be like around this age. He would have been such a cute little boy at that age. He would have a head full of dirty blond hair and green eyes just like his mama. I have always had that feeling. He would be such a spitfire. This little boy’s attitude made me think Lachlan would be similar in wanting to help mommy with everything. As he continue to try to help, his mom was getting really annoyed with him and I just couldn’t hold back my tears. I don’t know exactly what it was, the whole moment, wanting to smile at the little boy who now was looking at me or to just tell her to enjoy these moments. It’s so hard to not know what you will encounter out in the world especially when it’s so hard to pinpoint everything that could be a trigger.
On a daily basis I think of all the things Lachlan should be doing and all the things we have already missed out on and will continue to for the rest of our lives. I will never actually know the colour of his eyes or what his smile looks like. Not his gummy smile or even one with any teeth (baby or adult). One thing I never thought of until I was at a wedding after he died…. I will never get the mother son dance with him at his wedding (I sobbed like a baby, such a trigger and not even one I considered until it happened). It is a horrible feeling to know I will continue to get older but our Lachlan never will. He will forever be our baby. We will love and miss him everyday for the rest of our lives, no matter what happens or if we had 20 more children. Lachlan could never be replaced.
Lachlan baby we love you and miss you. Mommy and daddy will forever talk about you to ensure your legacy lives on forever.

 

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Self-Compassion

This was written yesterday and meant to be posted then….

Today I am not going to follow the prompt as I have too much else on my mind. In order to show self-compassion for myself I have to let my mind go where it needs to go. It is an important day, Fridays hit me really hard especially if I have to work on them because I find myself hiding my emotions. It’s hard not to. It is 30 weeks today and it hit me really hard because we are coming up to it being more time that we have been without Lachlan than we had him. It’s very hard and heart shattering. The feelings I thought may ease over the last 30 weeks don’t seem to have changed very much other than I miss and love him more if that is even possible. I just want to be able to embrace Lachlan in all my love for the rest of my life and I will but it will be in different ways. It might be buying him something at the store to bring home that reminds us of him. It could be lighting his candle all the time. It is Lachlan’s Love and creating certificates of life for other loss moms to be able to memorize their babies as well.

I cannot express what it means to have met my son, to have a connection that only a mother understands and to hold him and love him unconditional. I cannot believe that 30 weeks ago I had to say hello to my perfect silent baby, Lachlan and then say goodbye to him all at the same time. My heart seems to be in a million pieces but it continues to beat somehow. This little boy changed me as a person even before he came into this world and once he came into this world only to not come home with us I changed even more. I am definitely still a part of Melissa that I was before but not exactly someone that I even recognize anymore.

Looking at these pictures that I posted today I feel like I don’t even know that girl anymore. It feels like that person who from years ago because I could never find that same person again. It’s insane to see my smile in some of my pregnancy photos with Lachlan and just see the amazing happiness in my eyes. When I smile now, I can see something else in my eyes like something is missing which clearly a big piece is gone. To the outside world it’s a smile that looks genuine and real and maybe some people can see different, I don’t really know.

I enjoyed taking pictures of my boy so often while he was in my belly. I loved seeing him grow day by day. Week by week. Month by month. It was amazing to spend that time with him watching him grow from the outside and continue to watch his progress. The first time I heard Lachlan’s heartbeat was one of the happiest days of my life. Ryan and I waited so long in the doctors office that day to hear his heartbeat. Once we heard that quick 165 bpm heartbeat we both smiled from ear to ear and I remember the doctor saying to Ryan, “can you hear that dad?” The tears in my eyes just came without even a thought after hearing those amazing words said to the man of my dreams about our first child.

It just doesn’t make sense that this is where life has us. An empty nursery full of furniture, toys, clothes and everything we could ever imagine for our beautiful boy and we didn’t get to bring him home. I will never understand why our healthy baby died and the doctors will never be able to tell us it seems. After what felt like half my blood was taken while in labour with about forty viles followed by about 6 a few weeks later, an autopsy, lots of genetic testing and many other tests I cannot even say the name of. Nothing.

He was absolutely perfect. So what the….

There will never be a reason to why. Ever. There would never be a justification even if there was a reason but I just want one to blame it on something other than my body. I know deep down I did everything I was supposed to but I still go to that dark place of guilt and blame as well. It sucks. I wanted this little boy living more than anything in this world.

None of the doctors can give me any insight which is hard… I have heard “sometimes these things just happen” or “this was a fluke” from health care professionals. Why do we know so little about the human body that there are so many babies dying each year? This doesn’t make sense to me and feels unacceptable. I hate every minute of this. Maybe if I had one more ultrasound between 25-30 weeks, maybe later in those weeks something would have triggered to them to get him out sooner. Unfortunately that is not he case and they chose to assume since I was young and healthy I was the “token” pregnant woman as the OB stated.

We fell in love with our baby the minute that second line showed up on the pregnancy test and we will love our little boy until the day we die. Nothing could ever change the unconditional love that we have for Lachlan and nothing ever will  we love and miss you sweet boy.

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Relationships

Capture Your Grief: Day 21

In the beginning everyone wants to say something and know what happened (even though we have no answers, Lachlan was perfect) but let me tell you the real ones stick around. We see this constantly, our true family and friends. I have realized just because we share a bloodline or have been friends for years does not mean people stick around or even offer support or empathy. Most people show sympathy, I challenge you to look it up quickly and see if you do understand the difference. I am so happy to have those of you who have showed empathy and who continue to support and love our family of four (Apollo always included).

I’m going to talk about my biggest supporter in life. The most amazing man. The father of Lachlan. Ryan has been my rock. From being separated for four months because of work and moving across the country after only a year together we have been through a lot together. We have always stuck by each other’s side through the good times and bad.

I knew Ryan was going to be an amazing dad and even though Lachlan is not in our arms, he honours that little boy so much. The look in his eyes when he held his son in his arms, even through the heartbreak, you could see how proud he was and how much he loves that little boy of ours. He is an amazing dad and always will be. I wish I could see his interactions with Lachlan right now, their bond and the way it would have grown over the last 29 weeks.

Men and women grieve so differently. I now understand why after a child dies so many relationships dissolve. This is not an easy street to walk especially when it feels so damn lonely. Unfortunately when you feel you are walking alone your significant other feels the same way and there becomes this big rift in the middle of the relationship that sometimes you can never get back. Relationships take work as it is but it takes so much work after losing your child to keep a relationship in a good place because of all the hardship and horrible feelings we feel together and also separately.

We are fortunate to have noticed this very early on after Lachlan was taken from us and got help to work together. I am not ashamed to say we asked for help because that is what made our relationship stronger when it felt like it might all fall apart. After Lachlan died I literally felt like everyone and everything was leaving my life which was in a sense true. I felt like Ryan would just one day get up and decide I was useless and not necessary in his life which was a huge internal battle I faced.

I have to say that Ryan has always been the type of man to clean the house, cook us dinner and do the laundry, well let’s be honest he has a hand in everything. He does so much around our house it’s unreal. When I found out I was pregnant with Lachlan and was so tired he picked up all the slack and let me rest so often. He was the one who did everything for a long time. It was the same after Lachlan died, his wrist was broken but he would do anything and everything he would to continue the upkeep in our home.

Today is your birthday and I feel like saying “happy birthday” just isn’t a thing for us right now. I hope that my love has a gentle birthday today and that we can make some memories of us while honouring and remembering Lachlan. Our life is about doing things for him and our birthdays are no different. Our baby will be included in our day today and we will be sure of that. His candle on his urn will be glowing while we are home and Lachlan bear will come with us on our journeys if there are any.

I love you with every ounce of my body and soul. You are my soul mate, I am so glad to have found the person who was made for me and have no doubt in my mind that is the case. Have a gentle day today my love while we recognize your day of birth.

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Gratitude

Capture Your Grief: Day 20

In the journey of this grief it can be very hard to show gratitude. It is hard to feel grateful for anything when our son was taken by death right from our grasp. Life seems to be black and white now, like the colour has been drained and I don’t know when it will come back. In the first year I’m not sure I’ll see any colour, instead I’ll just continue to be hit by triggers and days that hurt so bad. Friday’s, the 1st, Halloween, Christmas, New Years, let’s be honest ANY “holiday”. There are many days that it feels impossible to get through but somehow we are coming out on the other end while remembering and honouring Lachlan’s short but meaningful life.

I am forever grateful for the people who have stuck by our side or who showed up to give us their love and support. Whether you text/call/come over (if you are close enough) to check in once a day or once a week or even once a month, it matters to me and I am thankful.

For those who made us food so we would actually eat, I am thankful.

For you who are still here now by our side or even for you reading this right now, I am thankful.

I am thankful for each of you who helped to honour and remember Lachlan on his 6 month anniversary with us, even if it was so late in the morning, it was for him and other babies taken too soon in our community.

For those of you who think of our boy and let us know, I am thankful.

For a community of amazing women that I didn’t even know existed who make sure I continue this journey without being alone (even if I wish none of us had to be here), I am thankful

For those of you who were able to join us for the remembrance walk to love, honour and keep Lachlan’s memory alive, I am thankful.

For those who lit candles to remember our baby boy, I am thankful.

I am forever grateful for my best friend, soul mate, father of Lachlan, better half and love of my life, Ryan. This is the most amazing man that I could have ever picked to be by my side. I am so thankful for every part he has had in my life. He is an amazing father (he honours Lachlan’s memory in everything he does), husband and man in general. I cannot believe how much he has done and continues to do for me even with a broken wrist at the beginning of this journey.

I am thankful for our amazingly, loving and adorable dog Apollo.

I am so grateful for the 33 weeks, 231 days, 5544 hours that I got to spend with Lachlan on the inside. I am happy to have had that understanding of him, the ability to feel him, love him, talk to him and know him. I would never change the fact I had that time with my baby even knowing what the outcome would be: death. I would do it all over to be able to hold my son again. I wish it was forever and he was alive but I know that is not our reality. I am never waking up from this nightmare.

I am also so grateful to be Lachlan’s mommy. He is the only person who ever heard my heartbeat from the inside. He is and always will be such a special and huge part of our lives.

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Healing Therapies

Capture Your Grief: Day 18

First I want to say it is more like calming therapies. I would like to say healing but I’m unsure at this moment if I truly am healing or if it’s just my body and mind being able to cope. That probably sounds very confusing to most people but it’s just something that I wonder. Am I truly healing or do we just get better at dealing with this horrible fact that our child will never be in our arms again? It’s hard to know really.

I do things that help my mind release in different ways. Talking about Lachlan is a big thing that I do that helps my mind calm down. I will be forever grateful for those of you that will allow me to talk about him and will say his name. I know death is scary and hard, I get it, you see it when you look at me and you don’t want to face it. Don’t avoid me even if you don’t know what to say, I may be different now but I am still a person too. The support of you being there and caring about Lachlan and us is what matters not saying the right thing. I promise there is no right thing to say, it will never come.

Somedays it helps to just be able to talk about anything on my mind and someone to understand and I turn to people who have been in my shoes. The only person who can truly relate. I wish none of us had to lose a child but this community I am truly grateful for. It is the place where I feel less alone, I feel respected and always heard. Every baby lost is different, no one grieves the same. We are all unique in our own way but it’s so helpful and calming to know that I’m not alone even though it feels very lonely.

Lachlan’s Love which was created to begin to create Certificate’s of Life for other babies born still is something that definitely gives me calming and I hope helps heal other bereaved parents. I always have Lachlan’s candle on his urn lit while I create these beautiful one of a kind certificates. No one certificate is every the same since they are made by hand and can be customized to the baby. I want to ensure that bereaved parents have something that can signify their child’s life even if they can get a government issued certificate (which is not always the case).

Creating things that remind me of Lachlan and that keep him ever present in our lives are the things that help my heart. They calm me but my mind is always something that is ever present in what has happen in our life. Lachlan will never be something that leaves my mind or heart. He will forever be there and we love him so much little boy. There will always be a light that shines bright in my heart and constantly in our home that reminds us of you.

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Dear World,

Capture Your Grief: Day 13

We miss our son. It hurts so bad. I will never stop missing him as long as I live. Please be gentle with my heart. It shatters way to easily these days.
There are many things that come as big slaps in the face now that Lachlan is not here. Today for instance Similac sent us a pamphlet that said, “your little one is getting bigger” (6 – 24 months). I whispered, “I wish” (and maybe a few other things) as I tore it up and threw it in the garbage. I can’t deal with that but I have to. Why can’t I have the option of telling them hey my son died, wanna stop sending me this shit?! It sucks. It’s like a dagger in my heart every time I see something in the mail directed to me that should be for Lachlan but I cannot use. These things are so hard to see, the tears just flow and I have no control over absolutely anything it feels. I also thought I was able to cancel all the notifications through email but somehow they sneak through every now and then.
This is our life, Lachlan is not here with in our arms and that will forever be something that I question. It will forever be a reminder that nothing in life is a guarantee. I love you baby boy. I am proud to be your mommy, always and forever.

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Lemons + Lemonade

When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade right? Or do you throw them at people?

Lemons alone cannot be made into lemonade, it requires other ingredients and it’s like the store is sold out. Lemons alone would make pure lemon juice and drinking that would taste fairly awful I personally think. It would make your lips pucker, your mouth water and you would be able to feel the bitter acidic juice as you swallow. The taste would probably linger for a while.

Since we have come home from the hospital without our baby things have definitely changed for us and so have we. We have become stronger together through grief even though we do struggle.  We may look like the same couple with our puppy Apollo but there is so much missing from us now. It’s like that bitter taste that lingers for a while but it actually never goes away, it continues and it hurts. Nothing will ever replace Lachlan or change what we have experienced. I will never look at the loss of our son and say “everything happens for a reason” because that is just not the truth. I do not believe there is any reason for this to happen. Of course, Lachlan is our amazing baby boy and I would never want to not have experienced him, held him or loved him for the time I got to but his death is tragic.

Through this little boy I have created Lachlan’s Love, I have only just started but think it will be very helpful for other grieving families as it has been for me. I have started with personalized certificates of life for our children taken too soon who a lot of the time do not receive any type of certificate. I will expand to other things as well at some point, I have lots of ideas in mind for the future. Creating these certificates personalized for each baby while thinking of Lachlan, always with his candle lit, while I create helps my heart. I enjoy being able to give this little something to these parents to hold close to their hearts for their beautiful babies. All these amazing women deserve so much more than what I could ever give them. They are such an amazing community and support system. I wish none of us needed this support but it is amazing we have each other. Thank you.

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Creative Heartwork

Capture Your Grief: Day 11

Oh how I want everything in the world that has Lachlan’s name or picture on it. It could literally be a scrap piece of paper with his name, just to see it, especially written from someone other than me. Many fellow loss moms in this amazing community have written Lachlan’s name or done something special in his memory like light a candle. It is so amazing those little heartfelt things for Lachlan from women connected through our babies. They are absolutely amazing mommas.

I have many things and some of those things came from very special people in our lives. One of the first gifts I received was a necklace and keychain (pictured) with Lachlan’s name on the keychain and the letter “L” on the necklace. Two amazing friends had these made for me right after we came home without our son, not to mention many friends including those two filled our fridge and freezer with food while we were in the hospital. Our friends have amazing hearts, we are so thankful for them in our lives.
I created a charm bracelet in memory of Lachlan (pictured on the blog) that I’m absolutely in love with. I make sure to wear it during very special days. My ring I wear every single day, it doesn’t really come off my hand.  I have so many things with Lachlan’s name or the letter L. I cannot even explain it. I am constantly wanting different things created in memory of Lachlan for me to wear, hang up or just have in my life. I already have plenty of things in mind but I’m awaiting getting a necklace with his handprint on it and I cannot wait to buy it! I am also planning to get a tattoo on my left foot for my sweet sweet boy. I cannot wait for that.
These little reminders of Lachlan mean the world to me. I think of our son constantly, nothing is truly a reminder for me, more a reminder for others that I am an invisible mother but still a mother. It hurts so bad that I cannot mother Lachlan here on earth everyday but I am going to continue to mother him the best I can by keeping his memory alive forever. Even if that just means in our house and family. Thank you to lose who talk about and remember our boy with us <3. Truly means the world.
You will forever surround me. I will make sure of this as no matter how long you are gone you will always be with me. I carry you in my heart and will wear you on my soul for the rest of my life.

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Symbols + Signs

Capture Your Grief: Day 10

I believe that Lachlan is in everything I see and do. A symbol for Lachlan for me is eagles and feathers. I believe that he is in the air, the clouds, waves. In a sense he is a part of everything that I do throughout my day. We have released balloons and lanterns for symbols of our Lachlan in memorial and it is helpful to do these things for us. I always look at the sky and think of our son. After coming home from the hospital without Lachlan I began to see white feathers everywhere that I looked. It is probably a coincidence but I am just going to let it be a little reminder maybe he is around somewhere as it makes my heart feel a little lighter. I want to be able to feel Lachlan around and I believe that when his candle is lit is the best time. It is nice to sit with his light shining and just enjoy that time to do things for him or while thinking of him. I will continue to look for little signs and symbols in life that my sweet boy will always be around in one way or another.

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