Wednesday, October 26, 2016

What Heals You

Capture Your Grief - Day 26 - #WhatHealsYou

This one is always hard to me.  I still ask Why sometimes.  I have found things that help, mainly writing - whether that's blogging, journaling in my book about Abigail, or just daily journaling and record keeping.  I also have found that the adult coloring books have been good for me.  It's a good stress relief, lets me get my mind on positive things.  And spend some time talking to God.  It's something I can pick up for a few minutes just about any time of day.  Whether that's while I'm sitting waiting for the other kids to finish math problems.  Or after supper on the couch while Gary watches tv.  Here's a current project I just started working on.

My Trip Up Crazy Mountain

Once we reached the top of the mountain the craziness started...

We was hiking up Crazy Mountain, and when we got to the top, we saw lots of crazy things.  I comed with one person, named Britt.  My name is Ruth.  The first crazy thing we saw was a T-Rex playing a fiddle.    Next, we saw talking gummies (bears).  Next, we saw a frog on a fan.  And next, we saw an Anklysaurus singing a song.  And then, we saw a snake whipping a palm tree with it's tail, and the palm tree was saying, "Stop that!"  And then, the T-Rex started to read a book.  Then a Pleiosaurus started eating flowers.  Then the dinosaurs started asking us crazy things.  I decided if we didn't start acting crazy they'd never let us get off Crazy Mountain.  Britt and Ruth was woofing like a dog, to pretend they were crazy so we could get away from crazy mountain.  When the T-Rex, and everything was sleeping, Britt and Ruth snuck away.  They lived happily ever after.  The End.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Britt's Dawn of the Dinosaur

When my time machine broke, I was stranded in the age of the dinosaurs...

I built a time machine, it scanned the dinosaur egg that turned into a rock, so off we went.  But something was wrong, and none of my stuff, and especially my food couldn't come with me.  Then I fell in the Cretaceous Period, in a big pond and went splash in the water.  I was fine, but I knew I wouldn't be for long if I stayed there.  I started walking, when I saw one T-Rex and one Triceratops battling.  The Triceratops started getting tired, so he started running away, but the T-Rex couldn't catch him.  Just then he smelled me, and started chasing me.  I knew I was in trouble.  I grabbed a vine and swung up into a tree where he couldn't reach me.  And you know, that they can't climb with their tiny little arms.  I stayed there, and I was safe, but I started getting hungry.  So, I saw an egg that hatched.  It was a little T-Rex.  I left it, but instead of it leaving me alone, it kept following me.  Even when I said go away.  I finally found another egg, and it wasn't hatching, so I boiled it, after I made a fire with some sticks.  Then I saw a straight piece of metal that was super shiny and clean.  I stuck it with the egg, and boiled it, to eat it.  I couldn't fish like a bear, so then I used the metal stick to catch the fish.  Then I cooked it over the fire, took the scales off and cooked it a little more before I ate it.  I was all full.  But then there was a big BOOM, BOOM, ARRUUUUUUU.  It roared, and I knew that roar anywhere.  It was a T-Rex, the same T-Rex, and it was battling a whole herd of Triceratops.  But the T-Rex grabbed the frill of one Triceratops, and hit the rest with his tail.  Then he threw the first one on top of the others.  He some how beat them all, and ate one of them.  By then it was night so he curled up to sleep.  I looked at my little T-Rex, and I knew I couldn't bring a dinosaur back to my time.  I started back after he went to sleep too, and I saw a Brachiosaurus, she was going to his nest.  She went to sleep in her nest with her baby and her husband.  Then I went to sleep.

The next morning I saw a Brachiosaurus running away from a troop of Velociraptors.  But then I saw a Velociraptor about to cling on, when the Brachiosaurus used his whip tail on him.  All the others ran away.  But they had taken out her husband and most of the herd.  All that was left was her baby.  Then a T-Rex came and started battling the Brachiosaurus, but when she hit him hard in the face he turned into a card. ("What?" I asked.  "Come on Momma, this is a made up story he replied.")  I grabbed the T-Rex card but there was one thing that surprised me.  It was still with me - my special watch.  So when I used the card, and matched it up with my watch, the T-Rex came out of the card.  Opps.  So I put it back in the card.  I put him in my pocket and started walking.  I thought I could use him to hunt for me.  Before you could say, "A mouse in pickles" there was a real big fire in the woods.  I knew I was in the same woods.  Instead of jumping over the fire.  I decided to use my T-Rex.  I got on his back, since he could step over the flames.  We got out of the forest, but then we all needed a bath, me the T-Rex, and the baby that had caught back up to me.  So I got out of my clothes and took a bath in the pond.  After my bath, I got dressed again.

Over the next several days, I managed to get all the dinosaur cards, in every period.  So then I had to match up one of the cards from each period.  I used a T-Rex for the Cretaceous, I used Parasarlopholus, Carnisaurus, and one more a Brachiosaurus.  I was able to come home, and that's how I became Paleontologist Britt!

I Am

Capture Your Grief - Day 25 - I Am

I wish ________________________
I wish I could spend the day with Abigail.  To see who she is, to watch her with her siblings.  To ask her about heaven and the glory and presence of Christ.

I remember _______________________
I remember how much I HATED being there.  Hated needing to be there.  Hated having to go there.  Hated having to stay there.  I have never hated hospitals till then.  I hated the scare tactics.  I hated the policies that aren't there for me, but for their convenience.  I hate how to everyone else it was another day at the office, but for me it was the end of the world as I knew it.  I might have issues now.

I could not believe _____________________
I could not believe just how tiny she was, and yet perfectly formed.  Of course she didn't look like a 40 week old baby, but she was undoubtedly a tiny little human, a tiny individual.  Which it turn left me in disbelief that anyone for any reason, could ever justify murdering such a tiny, helpless person.

If only _______________________
If only I could have held her alive.  It's sad to confess, but I find that I'm jealous of baby loss moms, who were able to have their children, hold them, and see them alive, before they died.

I am _____________________
I am a mother of five.  Three here with me, one in heaven, and one on the way.  I am scared but strong.  I am unsure but determined.  I doubt a positive outcome this time, but hope for one anyway.   I am forever changed.

Picture by Memaw

Monday, October 24, 2016

Conscientiously Becoming

Capture Your Grief - Day 24 - Conscientiously Becoming

"So many of us split our lives into a timeline of before and after our children died. Who were you before your children died? Who are you now? Who are you now in this present moment? What are you feeling? Have you been irrevocably changed by the death of your children? How are you different now? Do you love anything about the new you? Do you want any old part of you back? Who are you becoming?"

This one remains hard.  Because on the surface little has changed.  I was a stay at home, homeschooling mom. I am still that.  In fact right now today, I'm directing house cleaning, we are about to eat lunch, and then we are going to do our reading for the day.  I feel tired, but that is not unusual.  Have I been irrevocably changed?  Of course, I don't know how it could be possible to not be deeply changed, or how it could even be possible to return to the way you were previously after such a loss.  I am not as optimistic. I am more anxious. I am not as quick to laugh.  I don't enjoy college football as much as I use to.  I find I am lonely alot.  I have to honestly say that I still have not found anything about my new self that I like let alone love.  Of course I'd like the bouncy, excited, old me back, but I think I've about made peace with the fact that I can still enjoy life just in a more level and muted way.  Who am I becoming?  Wouldn't I like to know.

(picture courtesy of Britt)

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Sounds, Seasons + Scents

Capture Your Grief - Day 23 - Sounds, Seasons + Scents

Let's see, what reminds me of Abigail...

red leaves
red headed girls with straight hair
birds flying
"Be Still My Soul"
"It is Well with My Soul"
"The Twenty-Third Psalm" (in our hymn book at Church, not the actual psalm)
thinking about heaven
watching my other children play well together
pink and brown
labor stories
New Year's Eve
October is now PAILs month, not Halloween month
clear blue days
rainy days

Let's just be honest.  What doesn't remind me of her?

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Pearls of Wisdom

Capture Your Grief - Day 22 - Pearls of Wisdom

Is there any pearls of wisdom I can share with others who find themselves here?  This question is made all the more real by the fact that another friend had to deliver a baby that she found out had passed at her gender ultrasound... just like us.  I no longer have the problem at being a loss for words in this situation, but more of a what do you choose to share, when the pain is so raw.  There's only so much that you can absorb, when you are reeling from a loss.

  • When people tell you, let us know if you need anything.  Tell them yes, anything they can do to help.  Then let them figure out what that is.  Otherwise you'll never be able to think through what you need and you'll still have EVERYTHING to manage along with grief.
  • Find something that is comforting to direct your energy toward, and don't worry about everything else for now.  For me that's been writing (ALOT) and cross stitching Abigail's stocking.  Everything else got pushed off for a while - exercise, house cleaning, even homeschooling.
  • It is ok to feel miserable.  You aren't going to feel better tomorrow or even next month or next year.  It will get less raw.  It will never be the same, but that is ok.  On the other hand, it won't be like this forever either.
  • Find at least one person that you can talk to about your loss, even if that means 7 months down the road you are still using the exact same words.  Someone who won't be bored with you even if that is the case.  Someone that won't push you to be over it or move on or make your situation feel unworthy.
  • And perhaps the hardest of all for me.  Recognize that you are a different person now.  And try not to be so hard on yourself for not being like you were before.

Friday, October 21, 2016

My Pam-a-we

Rebecca is getting to be a bit of an artist.  She sat down on Tuesday and decided to draw a picture of her family.  I labelled all the people.  And asked her about what she drew.  She has buttons on Daddy's shirt, and he has on shorts.  The dots under the circles are noses, and the lines or smushed circles are smiles, "cause we have different smiles."  We had looked at this really cool book I've bought "A Child is Born" and I had showed them how a 8 week old baby has a big head, but still is kinda a C shape, so all on her own, she drew a C shaped baby.  And she put Abigail beside her, because "she's next after me."  She made her big like her because "I think she's big like me."  What I was most impressed with was her name.  When I sit down and tell her exactly how to write her name, her handwriting is amazing.  We go through it like this - for your R you have to draw a stick, then a bump with a kick, and then for an e, we make a belt and make a C around it.  If you look at the very bottom, without any help she wrote her name REccA, her c looks like an o, but she insist it wasn't, she just messed up a little.  She scribbled something before the A because she said, "I forgot what else was in there."  I continue to be so impressed with her "school work" this year.  She's only got one assignment left in her letter book, and she will have used up all of her preschool books.  I suppose I'll have to think about what to do after Christmas with her schooling.  I really didn't intend to start this year or next with her.  She had other ideas.


Capture Your Grief - Day 21 - Relationships

Relationships after loss are difficult.  You spend alot of time wanting to talk about your baby, but not wanting to alienate everyone around you.  Then when you finally open up, too many people try to fix it with comments like I talked about in the last post, or they don't say anything at all.  And I'm not sure which one is worse.  Every now and then you find someone though, who shares their feelings, and encourages you to share yours.  I've met a few of those along the way.

Perhaps the best relationship growth in this last year has been with me and Mother.  We NEVER got along growing up.  Though I didn't get it at the time, Daddy use to say we are just alike.  I think I get that more and more.  We are both perfectionist, very particular about everything, but somehow those particular things, aren't the same, so I guess that was part of our problem.  Most of it was problem me, being unwilling to listen or learn anything, no empathy or understanding.  Moving away from home, and having kids gave me a whole new appreciation for her, the last 7 years have been totally different.  But for the most part my family doesn't talk about feelings, maybe that's part of the reason I still have trouble talking about things, and prefer to write.  But this year, I have called Mother ALOT, and since getting pregnant again, I might even have crossed into calling too much.  I've always known that she and Daddy pretty much agreed on everything, and she mostly lets him do the talking.  In the last year though, I have talked to her alot about being afraid and missing Abigail, and she's shared what she misses.  She's asked about all the test and not tried to fix what isn't fixable.

I am even more thankful for this when I read about other baby loss moms who have had their mothers act like they are being overly dramatic or have no real problems or who don't even count their child as one of their grandchildren.  She counts Abigail in the grandchild count.  She lights a candle on PAILs day, she put Abigail's name on our family Christmas ornament.  She's never told me it's time to man up and be over it.

Thursday, October 20, 2016


Capture Your Grief - Day 20 - Gratitude

Gratitude in grief is a bit of a difficult subject.  So many people say thinks like "at least you can have other children" or "Be grateful for the children you have" or "look on the bright side."  They seem to think that finding gratitude or being thankful negates the pain and grief.  Too many people use these phrases or others like them whenever you are grieving and bring up your children.  And the not so subtle message is that you aren't being grateful and you don't have a right to feel this way.

There were days right after our loss that I actively sought something to be thankful for.  Sometimes I found it and sometimes I didn't.  Other days, I wasn't trying to be grateful, I just needed to grieve.  I needed to spend time talking with someone about my daughter, about how I felt, about what I missed, and sometimes just doing that helped relieve the pressure of my grief.

Even now, a year out, while I can find things to be thankful for, I still have trouble finding things to be grateful for in this loss.  But there are a few: 1) I have never so tangibly felt the presence of God as I did the night Abigail was born and a few hours later when we gave her up, to never see her again; 2) I have been grateful for the women who reached out to me, and shared their stories and let me know I wasn't alone; 3) I am thankful that others haven't acted as if I have nothing to grieve, so many women in the past were treated as if their baby didn't exist and so there should be no grief; 4) I am thankful that I was able to hold her and see her.  I can only imagine how much harder the loss would have been if we had an early miscarriage, at least I got to see her and know she was a girl.  I can only imagine how much harder the loss was for women years ago,who's baby was taken and they never got to see them.