Sunday, November 27, 2011

Mourning Clothes

Well, it's been awhile.

It's not that I haven't had things to say, it just seems to take a lot of energy to express them sometimes. So I think of an entire post in my head, and then by the time I want to type it, my motivation is gone.

I face this Christmas with an odd mix of anticipation and intense sadness. I've seen some Christmas lights, heard some Christmas songs, and seen some decorations, and they make me sad. But I also still love them. So it appears that my ridiculous love for Christmas is still there, despite the heartbreak I feel at facing this first Christmas without my baby girl.

I have decided to do a tree for Georgiana. My plan is to do this every year I am still on this earth to honor our girl. I bought a white one, with pink lights, and pretty much just bought any ornament that I felt had some connection to her for me. Some were obvious picks--owls and butterflies in the colors of her nursery. Others I'm not really sure why I chose them--a hot pink deer? Who knows, but it made me think of her. My husband and I both love animals. We think she would have grown up loving them too. Maybe that's why. I really felt in so many ways that I knew her, that I knew what she would have been like. I'll post pictures of her tree soon.

So onto the title of this post. Mourning clothes. I have always admired the way traditional Jews mourn their loved ones. They truly shut their houses down to grieve, to create "a time to mourn." After Georgie died, I had maternity clothes and a few items I had bought to wear after (presumably) we were all home from the hospital. I couldn't bear to look at any of it, let alone put it on my grieving, defeated body.

Our wonderful families did many things for us in those first few weeks, and one of those things was my grandmother going to the mall to buy me some soft, stretchy items, that also had some fashion, to wear in those horrible days following the most horrible day/night of my life.

I have worn them ever since. Not all the time, but most of them have become a regular part of my wardrobe. Many times, especially in the last couple of months, I have thought to myself that I should let them go, that it's actually not doing me any good to keep wearing them.

I finally decided this weekend that I'm going to box them up before Christmas and give them away. In a sense, the mourning clothes are at an end for me. I have started to realize that the mourning really does not end. It lessens and begins to live alongside other things, like tiny glimmers of hope and life moving on, and the intense, fierce love that remains inside of me for my daughter. But the clothes, and their connection to that time, need to be boxed up and given to someone else, for my sake. Hopefully I'll get a few new items for Christmas.

The same goes for most of my maternity clothes from my time with Georgie. I have about 3 items I'd like to keep with her things, and the rest I've decided need to go to someone who needs them more than me. I will never wear them again, even with future babies, and they really aren't doing any good in a box.

Now, onto something beautiful and precious to me: Georgiana's birth announcement.

I struggled a lot with this the last few months, whether or not to do an announcement. I wasn't sure how to do it that wouldn't be overwhelmingly sad. I didn't know if it was fair to send that kind of announcement, uninvited, to people. But the more I thought about it, the more I thought, I would have done this anyway, if she had lived. It became very important to me to have one for her, but it was a very very tough decision for me.

A wonderful friend of mine offered to make them. I have known she and her husband for several years now, and they are both so special to Dave and me. She was so excited when she found out Dave and I were going to have Georgiana. She has mourned with me, and has loved me and been such an incredible friend throughout this whole, awful year. She is a very talented graphic designer, artist, and she made these for me, and refused to let me pay her.

She has a great company that I'll tell you all about soon when she gets her website going. It is very special to me because she has a baby shower invitation based off the one she created for Georgiana's shower. All the proceeds from any purchase of that invitation will go to Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep. I know that will really hit home for so many of you BLMs, how she has reached out and made our grief and what is important to us part of her business.

I want you all to see this, because many of you won't receive one in the mail. So without further ado, a true piece of heavenly grace:

Monday, October 31, 2011

Can't Sleep

It seems to be a fairly common phenomenon amongst most BLMs that sleep can be an elusive thing.

When we were leaving the hospital after we lost Georgiana, the medical staff gave me sleeping pills. I took them religiously starting that night, so overwhelmed with grief and fear I didn't even think about it.

Cue to seven months forward, when I decided to get off the Ambien. I had a couple of really bad nights (i.e. less than one hour of sleep), and have had a couple of good ones (i.e., more than six hours of sleep).

Tonight is not so good.

I've been up since 2:30 am and finally just decided to come out here to the den and write. The dogs are snoozing next to me on the couch.

I have thought many times about what C.S. Lewis wrote at the beginning of his book, A Grief Observed. He wrote, "no one told me that grief felt so like fear."

It's odd to think about unless you've gone through it, but it's true. Grief, in its worst moments, really does feel like fear, that horrible panicky fluttering that hits your chest when you realize something has gone horribly wrong. I began to feel it when the doctor told us that fateful night at the hospital that she couldn't find a heartbeat. When I was 38 weeks pregnant. It was impossible. I couldn't even fathom it.

And the fear settled in.

Most days, I pray fervently for God to lift it from my heart and mind. Many days He does. Other days, I feel it much more strongly.

I decided a few days ago to start a Novena. For those of you who are not Catholic, a Novena is a special nine-day prayer in the Catholic church where you ask for a special intention or special graces from God. I never thought much of Novenas until right after Georgiana died, when we were back in our overwhelmingly empty and quiet house and I felt absolutely attacked by evil and despair. These two things, I have come to realize, are very real and tangible, the seen and unseen, right?

In those early early days, I started a Novena. I focused on St. Joseph, the protector of the Holy Family. I prayed for St. Joseph to help protect us, and to protect our entire family. I prayed for more children, I prayed for my child in heaven, I prayed for the two of us left here on earth--her mommy and daddy.

After a few days of the Novena, much of evil feeling that was in our house lifted. In its wake was a wrenching sadness, but some of the fear I felt had left.

Since then, I've been a fan of Novenas.

So I began another one a few days ago.  I have started praying as well to St. Lucy. For some reason, I feel a lot of connection between her and our Georgiana. To me, St. Lucy's story represents the difference between physical sight and spiritual sight.  During her martyrdom, she lost her eyes.  Even with no physical sight, she led others to Jesus because of her faith, because of her true sight.

This battle between what is real and what we see is so intense in us mamas who have lost our babies. It's easy to get sucked into the idea that our children have died, they are buried in the ground. It is so easy to feel despair on those worst of days when the rest of our lives feels like forever.

I have to remind myself, though, that although all those things are real, they are not necessarily true, at least in the grand scheme of things.

Don't worry, I'm not under some mistaken illusion that my daughter did not die. No, that part became very real to me very quickly after everything happened. What I mean is that our faith teaches us to look beyond this earthly life, and death, to look beyond the grave.

I think of the line in Corinthians--"oh death, where is thy victory?"  I never understood the magnitude of those words until I lost my child.  If you let it, death will conquer you. Every dark thought that comes up will seep through your soul and make you feel despair.

This is when I think on St. Lucy, a saint whose name means light, who, despite having no physical sight, saw to the true reality, to what was waiting for all of us who love Him and have faith.

What is true is that my child's body is in the grave, but she is not there. She is with Jesus, in a far better place than I can ever imagine. My mother-in-law said to me early on to think on what a beautiful life my daughter led--from the safety of my womb to the glory of heaven. Not too shabby, when I think about it that way. That, I am thankful for. I miss her here on earth, but I am thankful for that.

Now, safety of the womb? That's a whole different post...

I pray for light in the darkness, that my all too human heart, that misses my daughter terribly every minute of every day, will align more closely with the truth, that my daughter is alive and well with Jesus. I pray that I feel some of that joy, and not so much of the sorrow, and sadness, and yes, fear, that hits me.

I pray that for you all too.

It's now 4:21 a.m. Time to watch some useless TV and hopefully pass out on the couch until I have to get up for work.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


For all of you who might still check my blog (even though I've barely posted in over a month, we'll get to that later) I'm asking you all to please send a prayer up to God with my intention attached it. Trust me that this is something important to pray for.

I'll post more later. Much love.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


This was read at a funeral I attended the other day. A great man who had lived a long life and whose life was captured in poetry and song. At the end of the service, I felt as if I knew him well, even though I only know his wife.

Simply beautiful to me. Captures day-to-day living perfectly right now.

"Heavy," by Mary Oliver
That time
I thought I could not
go any closer to grief
without dying

I went closer,
and I did not die.
Surely God
had his hand in this,

as well as friends.
Still, I was bent,
and my laughter,
as the poet said,

was nowhere to be found.
Then said my friend Daniel,
(brave even among lions),
"It's not the weight you carry

but how you carry it -
books, bricks, grief -
it's all in the way
you embrace it, balance it, carry it

when you cannot, and would not,
put it down."
So I went practicing.
Have you noticed?

Have you heard
the laughter
that comes, now and again,
out of my startled mouth?

How I linger
to admire, admire, admire
the things of this world
that are kind, and maybe

also troubled -
roses in the wind,
the sea geese on the steep waves,
a love
to which there is no reply?

Sunday, July 31, 2011


I actually had the best Sunday today that I've had in months.

Last Sunday was not the best. Dave and I went out to Georgiana's grave for the first time since her funeral. Georgie is buried in babyland, which is a smaller part of a bigger Catholic cemetery in OKC. I was very upset when I saw the state of babyland. Maybe I didn't notice it at the funeral. All things told, I wasn't noticing much at her funeral except her, me, Dave.

Back to babyland. The grass is dry, there are hardly any plants, or trees, and it's just...ugly. I'm not sure right now what I'm going to do about it, but I'm going to do something to make it much better. Not just for me and my baby girl, but for all the parents who have had to bury their sweet children there.

Onto today.

This weekend, our good friend Nick is in town. We went to mass today, had lunch, and then went and hung out at my parents' house. We played board games with my brothers and sisters, swam, and had a great dinner. It was a good day.

Do some of you notice though, that even on a good day, it's still not good anymore? I still feel so...tired, so worn down, so so sad, all the time. Even when I'm laughing, it sits there at the back of my mind.

Even good days feel bad most of the time, but I guess I'll take what I can get, which is better than four months ago. But there is a part of this, at my core, deep within, that doesn't get better, that feels the same that it did the second I learned my daughter had passed away. I don't know if this goes away. There are moments when it just all feels like too much.

But I keep on keeping on, because that's what you do, right?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

4 Months

Yesterday marked four months. I was a swirl of emotions all day yesterday and today, but keeping it together and plugging along for moving's sake. We are in a very small 2 bedroom apartment for the time being, but it fits us well and it's cozy. The buildings themselves have a Section 8 feel about them, but I'm not complaining.

By Friday of last week, we were getting the h*ll out of dodge (and by dodge, I mean Colorado Springs). I feel an amazing sense of relief to leave that house and not have to look at that hospital anymore.

I reflected yesterday, as I have every month on the 20th, about her funeral. There are many memories, snapshots if you will, from that day, that I can hardly bear to remember. Closing the lid to her coffin with Dave, having to walk away from her gravesite (willing myself) and realizing I would never again see her on this earth.

It is better being here in Oklahoma City. I am around my family, this is a new yet familiar place, and I am starting many new things. Changing environments can be very good. The ever-present sadness remains, and I spend many moments of the day just repeating to myself that this life does not last forever. It's so hard sometimes.

A sweet mama whom I do not know lost her little girl Ellianna a few days ago. Please pray for her family. They have been on my mind a lot, as I remember the raw hell of the first few days and weeks.

Love and prayers to all of you. Love, most of all, to my sweet Georgie. I miss you so much, baby girl.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Dog Ate It


Today has been exhausting. We are moving in three days. The movers came to pack up today. They actually did a really great job and were very helpful, and for a small tip, we were able to get them to pack up a lot of stuff that we're taking with us (versus going with the movers to temporary storage) (bonus!).

Tensions have been high. I've been very tired. I feel like a 90 year old trapped in a 30 year old's body. At one point today, I just gave up, I pray that God has no more "big ones" for me.

It's hard to put moving into words. I think it would be great if there were a book that didn't just deal with loss and stillbirth, but also had the following chapters: (1) moving and stillbirth; (2) grocery shopping and stillbirth; (3) job change and stillbirth. On and on...

The point is, Georgiana and her passing affects all of it. I am actually looking forward to moving to OKC, but she has just changed my whole view on...well...everything.

You all are probably wondering about the title of this post.

So...when we went to our first SHARE (pregnancy and infant loss support group) meeting, it wasn't even three weeks after Georgie had passed away. We called SHARE, and they were having a meeting the next day. When we got there, they gave us a memory book, flowers, and about six grief books.

Our dog Bingley (the goldendoodle) destroyed all six books.

I had the books sitting on one of our kitchen chairs because we had our last meeting tonight in Colorado Springs. I was going to bring the books back to the SHARE library. When we got home from church the other night (it had been storming so we left the dogs inside), Bing had apparently had such a panic attack without us (he's a little high-strung) that he tore all six books off the chair and chewed them all up.

Picture it...we get home...I realize pieces of grief books are all over the floor (Silent Grief, Empty Cradle Broken Heart, They Were Stillborn, When Men Grieve).


Me: "Great. We have ruined the pregnancy loss books. Good thing we're moving because we'd probably never be invited back to SHARE."

Dave: "Well, they're just chewed around the edges.  We can return them. It'll be ok."

(insert wifely glare from me)

Me: "We cannot return them like this. We have to buy new ones."

Of course our dog had to destroy the few things in our downstairs that do not belong to us.  And grief books to boot.

To say our life is messy now doesn't even begin to describe, but I think this situation encapsulates the whole thing perfectly.

Back to moving...

Saturday, July 9, 2011


Ugh. I hate moving.

I hated moving before. Now I really hate it.

And I have no energy for it.

Dave and I cleaned our closets out today, trying to get ready for the movers to come next week. We probably cleared about 9 trashbags full of clothes we were throwing away. Sad, right? Wow. I can't believe he and I even have that many clothes together.

Of course, I ran across lots of the clothes I wore while pregnant with Georgie. I had a small laundry hamper in the corner of my closet that had a lot of the dresses I wore in the third trimester. One was a really sweet little navy dress with red roses on it. Another was a random strappy dress, blue and white, that I wore just three days before she died, for St. Patrick's Day.

Needless to say, I felt about 90 years old after cleaning the closet out. A year ago, I would have bounced into another project right away. Today, I finished, rolled into bed, and cried.

This doesn't even include the feeling of dread I have about packing up her nursery. I just can't stand it.

One of the hard things about "dealing with everything well" is that everyone thinks I'm doing ok. Well, I'm not. I'm able to work, and clean up (most of the time), and talk to people, etc...I look "normal," most days.

But inside, I am still raw. Everything hurts. Breathing hurts a lot of the time. Sometimes it's one minute at a time. Sleep is good when I get it, not often. Mornings are a nightmare, repeated every day.

Everyone thinks I'm doing great. My counselor, who specializes in late term pregnancy loss and postpartum, says I am doing better than any woman she's ever seen who has dealt with a stillbirth. I just don't know how to take that. Does that mean I'm better at hiding it than others? That I am better at putting on a normal face?

Well, whatever it looks like from the outside, inside it mostly feels impossible. I told Dave maybe I should just collapse in a crying heap in the corner and rock myself back and forth. Then people will treat me how I feel, not how they think I feel based on how I act.

This post was supposed to be about moving. Then it turned into a rant. Oh well.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Hairy Quatter

I thought that post title might get some of you.

For those of you who don't know, Dave and I have two sweet doggies as part of our family.

Quatro is on the left, the black and white one. He is a Havanese that my family gave me nearly 5 years ago. He is quite a well-traveled doggie. He has lived in Oklahoma, Wash, D.C., Hawaii, now Colorado and soon back to Oklahoma. He knew Georgie very well, once getting kicked by her so hard he hopped off the couch in surprise. He also would not leave my side the entire day she died, trailing me around the house so much so that I remember commenting about it to Dave. He knew. He has known since, and has been even sweeter than he ever has been, which is hard to do.

Our little (now 50 lbs, not so little I guess) goldendoodle is Bingley. He has a lot of connection to Georgie. God gave us both him and Georgiana last July. They also both get their names from Pride and Prejudice, my husband's (yes, my husband's) favorite book. Bingley is just like his namesake, sweet and cheery.

More on Bingley in a later post.

On to the story for today and the title of this post. Dave and I were in bed talking this morning about the final upcoming Harry Potter movie, which I am actually excited about.

Dave pets Quatro and says, "Maybe we should call him Hairy Quatter." Quatro, you see, has many nicknames: Quatter, Quatty, Quatty-bear, Quatty-pig, it goes on and on...we're silly people.

I laugh a little in response.

Dave just keeps on going.

"Hairy Quatter and the Sorcerer's Bone."

"Hairy Quatter and the Chamber of Treats."

"Hairy Quatter and the Half-Poodle Prince." (reference to Bingley, who is half Golden/half Poodle)

"Hairy Quatter and the Doggley Hallows."

"Hairy Quatter and the Order of the Kleenex." (Quatro has an obsession with Kleenex and likes to run under the bed with them to his "cave of treasures," as we call it)

I don't know why, but by the end of this I was laughing so hard I was wheezing. You know, that kind of laughing where you're laughing so hard you're not even making a sound? Other than my daily soul-crushing open my eyes moment, it was a great way to start the morning.

I have a funny husband. Even funnier doggies. A good family. I am thankful for these moments, and thankful that I still have the capacity to laugh like this, even after all the awfulness we've been dealt.

Love and hugs to all of you.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July!

This is one of the most complicated 4ths of July I have ever experienced, and hopefully will experience.

This 4th of July marks our last 4th of July on active duty. Dave and I both separate from the AF this month. This was a plan we already had, but was somewhat accelerated by the untimely death of our firstborn.

Dave and I have both deployed--he was in Baghdad, I was in Afghanistan. We were separated for nearly two years during our marriage because of our military service. I'm proud to have served, but glad the time is coming to an end.

I look forward to beginning a new chapter. We're moving to Oklahoma in about a week and a half.

I thought today that we never did have a 4th of July with Georgiana. We conceived her sometime after the 4th of July, and by this year she has been gone a little over three months. I know she would have grown up loving this holiday. I had many plans for her, and unfortunately our plans are vastly different than they should have been.

We spent the 4th going to lunch, going to see Cars 2 (do not recommend, we were baffled by the plot) and then coming home and continuing our movie spree with Independence Day. We grilled and I made a salad.

All in all, today was immeasurably sad, but I also had some moments of peace. I am glad for those when they come, and I cling to them and am grateful to them for what they are.

I am missing my little girl today. I looked forward to a life of telling her about how mommy and daddy served in the military, about a life of teaching her the patriotism that I was taught.  I also have moments of looking forward to my future life, though always missing my baby girl who should be here.

Happy 4th to all of you!

Thursday, June 30, 2011


It's odd when something like this happens. All around, words fail.

Here are some recent attempts at words:

"Everything happens for a reason."  I've heard that one a few times. For all of you out there who haven't experienced loss, that line is not so comforting.

"We really thought you'd be over this by now." Lady at my office said this to me the other day, after I decided not to go to an office picnic because a baby that was born on the day Georgiana died was going to be there.  "Over this."  There is no getting over this. And trust me, I am not even close to the point where I can truly say, "yes, I've accepted it and gone back to normal living." That may never happen.

"I was so upset when I heard. All I could think about was, 'what if this happened to me?'"  This comment is so offensive to me, it almost makes me laugh.

Since Georgiana died, I have had a constant feeling upon me, stronger at certain times, always stronger late at night and in the morning when I wake up.  Until we went to see the counselor, I couldn't name the feeling.  Fear?  Not quite.

Feels more like being dead inside, like wanting to die.  It's odd. And horrible.

I felt it like fire when I laid on the table and was told by the doctor there was no heartbeat. I felt it in those first couple days in the hospital, especially that first night after she was born. March 20 and March 21st, easily the worst two nights of my life. The night of March 21st, I lay all night in the bed, feeling utterly alone. Praying fervently. Asking God, where are You? Where were You? Feeling evil and blackness, drowning in it. The nurses coming every couple of hours to check on me. Hoping it was all a bad dream. Empty empty pain.

The therapist put a name to it--dread.  Dread.  This is it. Much more than fear. A mix of intense fear, panic, sadness, emptiness, exhaustion.  I don't know why I've been asked to carry this, but it's like a stone. Others are uncomfortable with it. I am too sad for some people, I can tell. Many people do not speak to me of my child.  Even I paste on the face of okayness and every few days feel as if I will collapse from the sheer exhaustion of it all. The exhaustion of simply trying.

It's day to day surviving, and it simply sucks. I was driving behind a driver yesterday who had a "breast cancer survivor" sticker. I was thinking about that, and what it would feel like to be a survivor of that. I would think it would be a triumphant sort of thing.  Being a survivor of this involves no triumph, more bitterness.

It's hard to have hope right now. I have a hope for heaven, but that feels so far off that it is very dim. There is only so much hoping for heaven I can do right now. The nowness, the burden of being on earth, tends to outweigh it. I often find myself asking why any of this even matters. I don't get any of it. I have a constant prayer to God right now that doesn't quit--Why, God? Why?

I have struggled a lot lately. In the last couple of weeks, nearly all phone calls have tapered off. People expect you to "snap back," somehow. I can't. I don't know how. I feel angry about many things lately.

For example, only a handful of people recognized my husband for Father's Day. I was so angry about this I could hardly see straight. I don't know what the alternative would have been, but I felt like it should have been different. Then again, I don't know if it would have been different if Georgie had lived. Either way, it makes me angry.

This is not one of those situations where you just "think happy thoughts."  It just doesn't go away like that.

Sometimes I wish all I felt was sadness. Sadness is just one of many awful daily, sometimes by-the-minute, emotions. Sadness, yes, but anger, frustration, self-blame, exhaustion, insomnia, fear, panic.

Feelings I don't feel so much anymore: carefree (nope, gone, probably not coming back), happy, like everything is going to "work out" (because face it, we don't really know).

As a BLM friend wrote in one of her last posts, she's a crappy friend now. Yeah, I feel that way now. Crappy friend, wife, daughter, etc...Probably not so fun to be around me anymore. Sigh. Life is just too hard sometimes.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


So Dave and I went to see a counselor tonight.

To recap the conversation, a few short points:

- How are you sleeping? "4 days out of 7 per week, not bad. 3 or so days per week, bad. Can't fall asleep, wake up in a panic, can't go back to sleep, horrible nightmares." That's totally normal.

- How would you, in a word, sum up how you feel? "Empty." Oh, that's totally normal.

- Are you going to try again? "Yes, but I'm convinced I won't be able to get pregnant again." That feeling is normal. You'll have a hard time going through a subsequent pregnancy.

She specializes in marriage and family counseling, particularly in child loss, even further in infant and pregnancy loss. She told us that in her professional experience, infant and late pregnancy loss is the hardest thing to deal with that she has seen with her patients, in terms of the feelings that come along with it and the accompanying physical and hormonal issues the woman deals with.

It feels good to be validated and to be told that no, I'm not crazy. On the other hand, I feel so angry that I even have to go see a counselor because my daughter died. I will never understand the why of this, and I am pretty sure that question will haunt me the rest of my life.

It's so frustrating and I so miss my daughter. It's hard to accept that in a fundamental sense I have no control, I really couldn't have saved her, and that I never get to see her again until heaven. Most days lately, that just feels like such a long time.

Last night, memories of when we were in the hospital came to me. I remembered being in the hospital room, holding her and caressing her sweet head and face with my hand. I can still close my eyes and remember how her beautiful, soft little head felt under my hand. Sometimes I can actually feel my heart beating out of my chest as if it wants to go to her.

On an up note, my daughter has changed me in ways for the better. I try to be more kind to people, and this is because of her. I cling to the small things now to be grateful, and this is because of her. She has entirely changed me, and I pray that God give me the strength to use that change to help other people.

Love you, my Georgie-girl. Miss you so much, Mommy.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Three Months

I've been in a bit of a lull the last couple of days. I spent the latter half of last week dreading what I was calling the quadruple whammy in my head--Father's Day, Sunday, 3 Months on Monday, 3 Months From Her Birth today.

I am sitting at the end of the quadruple whammy and feel like the air has been sucked out of my lungs. But I guess I have survived. I pray for a life beyond day-to-day surviving, but I know it's a long time coming. The rest of this year just looms for me right now.

I thought I was exhausted when I was pregnant.

I had no idea. Grief is a whole different exhaustion, awful, soul-draining.

Yesterday, I was impressed with myself for getting out of bed, getting dressed and going to work. 3 months without my daughter kept running through my head. And yet somehow, I still functioned. And was productive. And yet I hated it. Hated it. I hate it all. I am ready for Christ to come, anytime. I am so ready to see my daughter again. And I cannot imagine all the years ahead.

I also got to hear a colleague of mine (whose child was born in the morning of March 20th, and my daughter died sometime that afternoon, yes) say the most asinine things yesterday. I was sitting in his office with another colleague, and the other colleague was teasing him because he is moving in a couple of weeks to Hawaii.  The other colleague said to him, "Stuff just really seems to work out for you. Why is that?"

He picks up a coffee cup on his desk that says "Faith" on one side and the verse "For I know the plans for you, says the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (I'm paraphrasing, forgive me if this isn't verbatim).

He points to the word "Faith" and says, "See this verse? If you have faith, good things will happen to you. I'm a great example of that."

I could literally feel the world screeching to a halt as I sat there.

Before, I would have dismissed that comment as stupid. Now it's just absolutely offensive. For all of you mamas, papas and families who have lost a child out there, my guess is this entire line of thought rings a little hollow.

I have always been blessed with strong faith. Before, I took it as a gift from God. Now I take it as a lifeline. I understand that a lifetime of faith, of prayer, has led me to this moment, to this struggle. I know it will lead me through other struggles in my life. I pray to God fervently that this is the worst one I have to endure.

I guess what I'm saying is that, for those of us who have faith, we never really know, do we? The last time I checked faith did not equal totally happy life on earth. The comments of my colleague make me angry, like somehow my faith is deficient and that's why life sucks so bad right now. It's irritating to me that a fellow Christian would say this to a non-believer and just turn him off. This is like Christians who say it should all be "ok" because there's a heaven to look forward to.

The last time I checked, I still have to make it through this life before heaven. And this life feels unbearable most of the time right now, despite my faith, despite my assurance of heaven.

The gospel of wealth. Ever heard of it? Such B.S.

Admittedly, as a Catholic, I'm probably pretty comfortable with the suffering side of the faith. We don't tend to shy away from it. Ever read descriptions of the Sorrowful Mysteries? Those confront true human sorrow face to face.

Despite that, I do expect more from my fellow Christians. I know this Christian colleague was trying to testify or minister to my non-Christian colleague, but really? The whole comment just sucks.

I need to stop stewing on this. It just happened to happen on the wrong day. The wrong day.

I have spent the last 2 days in a 3-month lull, thinking to myself, what is three months? Three months since her death? Or do I count three months since her birth, the next day. Three months, a quarter of a year. Three months, a third of my pregnancy.

Ugh. I wish I could turn off my brain. Sometimes it just doesn't work.

I miss my Georgiana so bad. Today I talked to my mom about what to put on her grave marker. Her grave marker. Her grave. How could my child's name ever be in the same sentence as the word "grave"?

The whole thing makes me cry to God, why? Why God? Why my child? I will never understand.

I am thankful for so many things. Because I know now, I feel it keenly, how much I could lose at any given moment. I thank God for my life, my husband, my family, my talents.

But I am also angry about so many things. For example, I pray to God several times a day right now to please give me the ability again to get pregnant. Three months after my daughter died, I want desperately to be pregnant again. Why should I even have to think about this? I should have a beautiful three month old little girl, who has chubby little arms and legs, and smiles and coos at me. Instead I pray to God to let me have that since it didn't really work out the first time.

Bleh. I need to just go to bed. I'm exhausted and so so over this right now.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

A New Picture

And a new picture to all of you who view this blog, because this picture just looks so much like Dave to me.

Father's Day

In the last week or so, I feel as if I'm "functioning" better than I have in nearly three months. Unfortunately, the heartwrenching pain is still there, but I guess I am acting more like my old self, although I feel totally different.

My entire view of the world is so different. Not necessarily bad, perhaps more real? Half of my soul (with my daughter) has already gone to heaven and it looks like it will not come back.

My heart aches tonight for my husband in a way it hasn't until tonight, the eve of Father's Day.

I stood in the aisle at Target this afternoon, completely baffled by the Father's Day card selection.

Here are the card categories I saw:
- First Father's Day (hm...not so good, covered with rattles and bottles...)
- Father's Day for the expectant father (nope, we didn't quite make that one)
- Father's Day Funny (
- Father's Day From Son (not yet...hopefully someday...saying a prayer as I type)
- Father's Day From Daughter (sigh)

Unfortunately there is no Father's Day card category of Father's Day for Bereaved Parents. I guess the card-making world doesn't expect you to buy a card for a bereaved father. Nothing could be further from the truth. Nothing really gives me away in the outside world as a mother except maybe my changed body, but strangers don't know that. Nothing gives Dave away in the world as a father.

But he is one. 

So there I stood in Target, completely unable to decide on a card. Then a woman with a 9-month old little girl walked up next to me and exclaimed, "there are just so many to choose from!"

Not really, lady.

I finally decided on one from Georgiana with owls on it and one from me. For those of you who don't know, we decorated her nursery in owls. A snowy white owl (which I now sleep with, yes, true) is the first toy I bought for her.

This Father's Day, I am grateful for my incredible husband--strong, supportive, a beautiful soul. I thank God that He gave me such a wonderful partner to go through life's struggles with. I thank God that I am with a man with whom I made a child more beautiful than I ever could have imagined. I thank God for my husband, who made an angel with me, who loves me beyond what I have ever known, who would do anything for me.

I hope tomorrow that Dave feels Georgie's love from heaven. In the midst of my heavy heart, in the midst of my sorrow, I feel it. I am so blessed He gave her to me, even just for 9.5 months. She is the greatest gift I have ever been given.

Praise to you, my God. I don't understand your plans, but I have faith. Thank you for that. Thank you for my husband. Thank you for my daughter.

Happy Father's Day to all the good fathers I know, especially to those men who are fathers to saints in heaven.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Missing You

Dear Georgie, daddy and I are missing you, wondering what you're doing in heaven right now. I wish I was sitting with you in your nursery, rocking you in your chair. Missing you so much, my perfect baby girl. Love you, kisses from here to heaven where you are. Keep asking God to send mommy rainbows. We were so lucky to have you, my beautiful beautiful girl.

Friday, June 10, 2011


That's a lame title for a post, but I can't think of anything else and I need to get myself dressed, out of bed, and to work.

Lately I have felt so much guilt about what happened. Like I should have known what was going on inside my body. I know that makes no sense at all but it's how I feel. And I am so sorry for my girl. She never had a chance. And I can't shake the feeling that I somehow should have known.

In other news, I had to go to the dentist again on Wed (third time in 3 wks) for the same tooth. Apparently my bite was way too high--they drilled on that for awhile to try and fix it again. They also told me my muscles are involuntarily clenching along my jawline. The endodontist asked me "Have you had any stress lately?"

Hah. Yeah, just a little.

So they may have to put a splint in my mouth. We'll see when I go back on Monday.

I have also become firmly convinced that I am now infertile and won't get pregnant. This is probably not true, as I have nothing to point to that would make it seem this way, but I am afraid of it nonetheless.

I miss my baby girl, so much sometimes that breathing seems impossible. Georgie-girl, I love you.

Saturday, June 4, 2011


I broke down in the grocery store today. Babies crying all around us, infant carriers, a little girl saying "Mommy" over and over in her grocery cart.

I couldn't handle it and just started bawling in the middle of the paper towel aisle, with Dave standing next to me and having no idea what to do. So out of the corner of my eye I saw him grab marshmallows, chocolate and graham crackers as we rushed our way out of the store.

I love that man.

Is this to be my life forever? Am I going to constantly be triggered in this way? My heart actually hurts for the thought that I had this effect on someone when I was pregnant with Georgiana.

I pray to God the answer to these questions is "no." But I also realize that God's promises don't necessarily include a happy life on earth.

The rest of my life just seems like such a long time right now. And all I want is my girl. And I don't get her, not for a long time.

My soul is heavy.

I am trying to rest in the peace He gives, in the promise of heaven He gives to us. It's much easier said than done.  All I can do is pray, and have faith, and try to count my blessings right now.

Oh, on the side of "unblessings," that tooth that I had filled a couple of weeks ago? Yeah, probably need a root canal. I'm going to have to suck it up and go to the dentist on Monday for that.

So awesome.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Almost June

My dearest Georgie,

It is almost June, just a little over two months since you've been gone. Almost summer, and your mama is so sad these last three days--sadder than I've been a long time. I miss you so terribly. God has given me such peace about where you are, but this separation is so hard, so so hard. Mommy is finding it hard to get out of bed lately. I feel as if so many people have moved on, and expect me to, and I am stuck in time right now, like the world moves around me and I don't.

Why couldn't I have kept you a little while longer?

I am so grateful for the 9.5 months I had you inside me. You may not remember any of this in heaven, but you kept Mommy morning sick the whole time you were inside me. You also gave me terrible heartburn, and I just knew you'd have a lot of hair, and you did! You had such beautiful dark blonde hair, especially at the crown of your head and in the back. You had the most perfect face I have ever seen--so beautiful.

You loved fruit, especially watermelon and peaches. You also loved cream of wheat and yogurt. And cold ice water. You would have continued loving all these things if Mommy had been able to keep you longer.

You loved to dance in my belly. I remember the first time I felt your beautiful flutter, on a special Wednesday night in October. Your daddy started talking to me, and suddenly there you were. A beautiful little flutter that got stronger everyday.

You loved to kick on the left side of my belly. One time Quatro was lying next to me on the couch, and you kicked so hard he felt it! He looked at me in surprise and jumped off the couch!

You also loved to get your tiny little bottom squeezed under my ribcage. You had a tiny little bottom. Where did you get that from? Certainly not from me. :)

We had a few special nights near the end when I couldn't sleep. So I woke up, went downstairs and sat on the big chair and talked to you. I talked to you about all the great things we would do together, how happy you made me, how special you were.

We had such a wonderful Christmas together. You got so many presents! A stocking with an angel on it, full of fun little pink shoes, a little sippee cup, little onesies. You were given a beautiful little pink dress. A dress nobody ever gets to wear, a dress I will keep special in memory of you.

I am so thankful and so glad for your little life. If God told me He would rewind my life and give me the choice to go through this or not, I would still choose to go through it because I knew you, even for a little while. What a blessing and what a gift.

The first time I really saw your face, when you were born, oh I was so in love with you. My heart was so broken from falling in love with you so much, a deep deep love I never knew I could have. I am still in love with you, and wish so much you were here with me. My heart is still so broken.

I am so broken over your beautiful christening gown, which we never christened you in.

I am so broken over your beautiful gold shoes, which we buried you in. How is that possible?

I am so broken over your nursery full of your things. I cannot open the door, can barely look at it. How can I ever decide what to keep for you, what to use for another child? How can I ever make myself put it all away, or even open the door?

I am so broken over the joy we all felt, only to turn into the worst sorrow I could (n)ever have imagined.

I am so broken over my own sorrow, over my family's sorrow.

So broken, little one. Missing you so much.

I hope you feel my love from here. I hope God cleanses my love and strips away the sadness, confusion and bitterness that often surrounds it right now. I hope you feel nothing but the unimaginable devotion and joy I have about you, my special one.

So much love to you, my saint baby. So much love.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


For those of you who know me well, you know I love music, and I love to sing.

I put some songs together (down below) that remind me of Georgiana.

I pray they bring you hope!

Love to you and to my sweet baby girl.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

God's Promises

I have been trying to be more mindful of who God is the last couple of days.

A good friend reminded me the other day that my perception of God in my mind is not really who God is.  This is a true piece of wisdom to keep in mind.

The grief is there, but it warps out of focus lately when I start to think God is not there, God did this, God does not love me.

This is my perception, and not the reality.

God does love me, He does answer prayer, He is there.

This is hard to see sometimes.

But as so many remind me, Jesus never promised there would be no suffering.

In fact, just the opposite.

Jesus said we would experience suffering, and that we would experience more as believers.

He also said He is the way, the truth and the life, and if we believe in Him, we will not die, but live forever.

So...(1) suffering; and (2) heaven.

I will take the suffering if I can get to the heaven part.

But, please, God, let me have some living children before I get to the heaven part.

Amen, amen, please God, amen.

Love you Georgie. Miss you more than life. Love you, Mama


She had her baby.

Her baby was born to heaven first. Then born to earth.

Instead of well wishers, there were mourners.

Instead of tips and advice, there were books on grief bought.

Instead of her child burying her someday, she buried her child.

Instead of carrying a child in her arms, she carries the child in her heart.

She began filling out the family bible. Under "Children," she wrote "Georgiana Bliss."

She covered all the blanks that would never be--baptism, confirmation, wedding--with stickers, because she could not bear to see all the blanks.

Her child lives in heaven.

She lives on earth.

She is divided.

The world is upside down.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Not me. Not right now.

But once.

I love both these pictures.

Dave and me in Hawaii.

The dog at the bottom, covered in snow, is our little Havanese, Quatro.

Clinging to God.

Clinging to happier times.

Please Pray

I ask you all for extra strong prayers as our daughter's death shakes our foundations.

I pray to God to make me gentle, make me kind, and give me wisdom.

Georgiana, pray for us.

I Will Carry You

"I Will Carry You" by the Christian band Selah.

I heart. It makes me cry. It gives me hope.

Georgie, I will miss all the little things with you, my baby. All the little things.

Monday, May 23, 2011

(Bitter)sweet Memories

I realized my last post puts my mind in the ditch.

On Friday, her 2 month mark, I went to the grocery store. I bought her flowers, a bunch of multicolored roses and a bunch of pale pink, almost white, roses.

I baked a banana cake for her. It was delicious.

I bought a candle for her and lit it on Friday night. The scent is called "Pink Sands." It is beautiful.

I thought back to the day of her funeral. I wore a black dress my grandmother bought me, one of about 8 I had to choose from. A black shawl. My feet were so swollen, my belly a deflated, saggy, empty pouch.

I looked at myself in the mirror that morning. I wore berry lipstick, the rest of my face pale--a face that walked the valley of the shadow of death. So pale. My eyes so swollen. It was as if I looked at someone else. I looked at my mouth, my chin, my jawline. It looked just like her face. I looked down at my still swollen hands. They were replicas of hers. Or hers were replicas of mine? My mind swirled.

I hurt from birth. I dragged more than walked. I could smell the cabbage on my skin, from what had been used to try and stop my milk from coming in.

Dave and I walked together, in front of everyone else, broken and clutching each other's hand. I felt like running, screaming, away from my life. I knew there was nowhere to go.

It was a dreary day, with the cold rain pelting us as we walked in the chapel. We drew to Georgiana, to her little casket. She was wearing what would have been her christening gown, the most beautiful dress I had ever seen. She was wearing gold shoes her uncle Clay picked out for her, gold shoes that sat on the table at her baby shower just a little over a month before. A beautiful bonnet. She looked so gorgeous, so...quiet.

She wore a beautiful pink and white blanket her Nana bought her.

Dave had bought her a little pink hippo for Valentines day. It's name was "Big Kiss."

Here is what the tag reads:

"I'm a hippo that's red and pink
I look this way because I think
Of you each and everyday.
I love you more than words can say!"


We tucked it in with her.

I gave her my most prized possession, a little white hankie my dad gave me at my wedding, stained with the joyful tears of nearly three years before when I had prepared to walk down the aisle, to a new and different and exciting life.

I now have another white hankie, from her funeral. I placed the joyful one in with her, tucking it under her right hand. I put a beautiful bracelet on her left hand and a rosary.

I keep the sad hankie now. It looks just like the one I gave her, but it is so very different.

Dave gave her his Iraqi campaign medal, tucked just over her heart. Our brave little soul, going ahead of us, preparing a way for the rest of us.

I felt as if I would collapse during her Mass. I didn't. I died all over again inside.

We walked out to bury her. Her little coffin sat outside, being rained on. There was a fresh hole in the ground. The priest gave me a crucifix for her, so tiny. I stood there and stared at all that was left of my daughter on this earth, a coffin ready to go into the ground. I could not breathe.

I realized everyone else was waiting for me. I stepped forward and put either arm on each side of her coffin, encircling her inside me one last time. I laid my cheek on her coffin. I talked to her. I held her for the last time. I prayed to God.

I willed myself to walk away. If I hadn't made myself, I never would have. I would have begged them to bury me in the ground with her.

How I miss you, my sweet Georgiana.
I have to remember the memories from this day, as there are so few we have now. It is so important, for my beautiful little daughter, for me.


Love of my life.

Dark Thoughts

Warning: This post is not for the faint of heart. It will make you sad, and will probably frighten you. It's okay if you don't read past this.

Friday marked the second month mark without Georgiana. Oddly enough, despite being immeasurably sad, I felt as if 1% of me was back that day. I realized that day how unbelievably sad it really was. I also realized that on that day, back in March, I felt Georgiana for the last time. I had her with me here on earth, body and soul together, her body within my body, for the last time. This day will forever mean joy and sorrow to me.

Lately I spend a lot of time trying to keep the awful thoughts out of my head. It does give me comfort that my daughter is in heaven, that her happy little soul is with the Savior. A priest told me on Saturday it is the best place for her to be.

My logical self knows that. I can understand that comfort with my logic.

My emotional self has a much harder time with this.

Most likely, Georgiana died from what is called a velamentous cord insertion. The pathologist deemed that there was a placental abruption due to velamentous cord insertion.

For those of you who don't know, a placental abruption is when your placenta tears away from the uterus. This cuts off blood flow and oxygen to the baby.

What does this look like? Blood. Lots of blood when my water broke, and afterwards. I didn't understand anything of what had happened until my water broke. Much more blood when I was in labor. Blood when she was delivered. Much more than there should be. When I saw this the first time, after my water broke, I knew something really wasn't right. The nurse tried to convince me otherwise. I could tell from the feeling in my heart, from the look on my mom's face, that something wasn't right.

Of course, already nothing was right, because my daughter had already died. I already knew that. I had already heard the words from the doctor as she ran the wand over my 38 week swollen belly.

"I'm looking and looking, and I can't find a heartbeat. I'm so sorry."

My heart smashed to the floor.

I died.

I started hyperventilating. I couldn't catch my breath.

I heard myself say, "Are you sure? Are you sure?"

She silently turned the ultrasound screen toward me. There was no flutter of her heart, like I had seen before. She was still. She did not move.

I collapsed into Dave. I begged him to stop touching my belly.

Later that day, when Georgiana was born, the doctor, the nurse and my mom looked at her placenta. The cord was inserted on the side of the placenta, not in the middle where it should be. Most likely, the cord pulled the placenta away. There was an area of clotting on the placenta about the size of a baseball, where it had torn away.

When we talked to the doctor later, she said she "couldn't say for sure" this caused Georgiana to die.

I feel pretty certain about it.

Memories of this day are horrific, seared in my mind. Right now I relive them everyday, usually in the morning when I wake up, sometimes at other times when they come into my head unexpectedly. They are in my mind. They are a horrendous pit in my stomach. Sometimes I allow them to play like a film. Sometimes I push them out. Sometimes I have no choice, and they play anyway.

Really, though, the first dark thought that often plays in my head is how angry I feel right now. The focus of the anger changes, but often spotlights on God. How could God have created her, and had a hand in creating her life support system that ended up faulty? How could what He created to give her life also take her life?

Why did this happen to me, to my family? All I wanted was my daughter. I was so ready to be a mother to her--outside the womb. Everything was ready. The dresses, the onesies, the booties, all washed and ready. Her nursery, so perfect, so beautiful, just waiting for her. The swing, the bassinett, her crib. Her beautiful pink dress her Ya Ya gave her for Christmas.

And now, nothing.

I am so angry. So beyond angry. So even beyond rage. There is no word in language for it. It seethes beneath the surface. I try to talk it away, to reason it away, but it doesn't always work right now. The tears are hot and flow like a waterfall, an angry waterfall.

The priest told me all I can do is give the pain and anger to God, and ask Him to transform it. I know that's right. That's all I can do, it is the one thing I can control. So I do it. I offer it to Him. I ask Him to transform it, to turn the anger into more love for daughter. As if it possible to feel more love for her. As it is now, the universe cannot contain it.

I pray. I cry. I scream out loud, and more often scream in my head. I am still angry. I give it to God. I pray to Him for strength, to re-work this path I'm on called life.

It makes no sense to me. None of this.

The second dark thought I have is of her little body in the grave. This one I wish I could stamp out forever. This one comes in my head when I least want it, when I least expect it. In the middle of the dark night, in the middle of a conversation.

I will not visit the cemetery for a long time. Not until I can trust myself not to claw my way to the earth to her little coffin. What would I do if I did claw through the earth? I have no idea.

My body longs to be close to her, even in her death. She is so much a part of me, so much of me has died with her. I am unsure whether that large part of me will ever really come back.

I told my mom this last night, the first time I had said it aloud to anyone. She cried and said she understood, but that I need to remember that her body is just her little temple. That her soul is not there anymore.

I know she is in heaven, with a new heavenly body, more glorious than I could imagine.

I know it does not matter to her now that she is buried in the earth.

But, oh, it matters to me. Her precious body matters so much to me. Her earthly body is still so sacred to me, so, so sacred. So sacred that it's absence, that the thought of it in the ground, is almost too much for me to bear.

The incredibly pervasive evil that surrounded us, especially after we returned to Colorado after her death has gone. Whatever was there has realized it has no souls to take now. We talked to the priest about this too. He was going to come exorcise the evil from our house, and told me to pray a Novena in the meantime.

I started the Novena on a Sunday. I chose St. Joseph because his feast day is March 19th, he is the protector of the Holy Family, and so I knew it was right to ask him to pray for my family, for my baby. I know Georgiana knows him. I was certain he would help us, he would ask God to protect us.

On the second day of the Novena, the evil left.

The evil leaves a pervasive sadness, a grief that cannot be described, a daily terror/pain that I feel certainly destroys me daily, it is so intense.

I am left with thoughts of her in the grave and I have heard "where is your God now?"

I know He is there. I wouldn't have made it over 2 months without Him.

Oh God, I trust in you. I need so much from you right now. I know you will not leave me.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Losing a child is like a huge sucker punch to the gut. It literally feels like this. And unfortunately it's like getting punched every morning, over and over again.

I have had so many swirling emotions since Georgiana died. Anger. Confusion. Sorrow. Frustration.

Yesterday, I was talking to one of my paralegals and she was telling me about a guy she knows who is probably cheating on his wife. They have a new baby.

I found myself thinking, "why does he get to have his baby and I can't have mine?"

I was very angry thinking about this.

I know in my head that life is unfair. Dave reminds me it's a fallen world. I know this. But sometimes it's hard to convince my heart of that, when everything screams inside of me how unfair this whole thing is.

How is it that people get to have children and then treat them terribly, or don't appreciate them? All I wanted was to be a mother to my child, and so much of that experience has been ripped from me.

I know, I know. Bad things happen to good people. I get it. But there is a part of me that doesn't want to get it, the part of me that knows no peace right now.

Then I went to the dentist today. For those of you that know me well, I never have a good time at the dentist. They always find something wrong with me. Today was no different, and of course, worse than ever.

Dentist: "So, what has changed in your medical history since last summer when we saw you last?"


Me: "Well, I got pregnant, and I lost my baby."

Dentist: "Yeah, miscarriages happen all the time."

Me: "I didn't have a miscarriage. I had a stillbirth."

Dentist: "A what?"


Me: "A stillbirth. I was full term."


Dentist: "Ouch."


Then the dentist gets his tool and starts to examine my mouth.

Dentist: "Wow..."

Me: (muffled, his hand is in my mouth) "What?"

Dentist: "You have a really bad cavity. One of your teeth is basically decaying out of your head."

Me: "Oh. Of course."

Dentist: "You know, I've been a dentist for nearly 30 years, and I can tell a lot about a patient's lifestyle just from looking at their teeth.  You really need to stop drinking so much soda."

Me: "I don't drink soda. I drink about two Diet Cokes a week."

Dentist: "Oh...well, I guess it's just bad luck."

Me: (in my head) You've got that right.

So of course I get to go next week and have some massive dental work done.

I called Dave and told him, and he said, "well, that sucks, but it's not that big of a deal."

He's right. It's really not that big of a deal. Nothing really is anymore.

But it still sucks.

Life is just all about throwing the sucker punches lately. Compared to losing my baby, this is a small one. But I feel it nonetheless.

Two Months

Sunday marked two months without you.

It feels like an eternity and yet also feels like it was yesterday. The timelessness of grief.

I can still feel you in my arms, in my belly. I remember the last time you moved. I will always be able to remember exactly how, and where. And where I was. And how I felt.

I can still remember how your face felt against mine. Your beautiful, beautiful face. 

I still remember how I felt when I saw you, how my heart broke again and also burst with love for you. How I would have traded places with you, how I still would. 

A parent's love is so much like God's love.

I am reminded of the moment Jesus was crucified, and God turned away because even God Himself could not bear the pain of watching His own son die. I understand that pain.

As time passes, I think each morning that I am one step closer to my daughter in heaven, yet one step further away her little life here on this earth. Like many things right now, it comforts me and yet it pierces me. My sorrow is so deep that at times it chokes me and I can't imagine another day of this, much less many years.

Dave and I talked yesterday about what Georgie would have been like. He thinks she would have been really fun. I think she would have been really sweet. When she was inside me, I loved to talk to her and feel her move. I loved when her Daddy talked to her and she would move even more.

I am realizing that a huge part of me is gone--my heart, my soul. I am realizing I am not going to get it back, at least not this side of heaven. I do need to figure out how to function without that huge part of me. I imagine this is how someone feels when they lose a limb. The limb is never coming back, and the only thing to do is figure out how to function without it, how to compensate. This is how my heart feels now that Georgiana is gone.

Georgie, what would we have done together at two months old? I would have so many sweet and breathtaking moments with you, and now I won't. You are part of me, I am a part of you. I hope you feel my love where you are in heaven, that you look on your mommy and daddy and feel the immense and unconditional love we send to you. I pray for the day when I meet you at the gates of heaven and I am whole again. Love you, my little saint, Mama

Friday, May 13, 2011

I Have a Lot to Say Today

Grief is a circle, not a line. Sometimes it feels right up on me, like I've just been punched. Other times it's like the space between blows and I think maybe it's getting further away from me. Then it hits me again.  Like a circle, around and around.

The best thing all of you can do for me right now is pray for us, love us and not expect us to get over this. We won't. I'll "move on," so to speak, have joy again, have more children (God willing) and live the rest of my life as faithfully as I can so I can meet my daughter again.

But I will never get over this until Heaven. Until then, speak to me of my daughter. Acknowledge that she was real, beautiful, perfect. Speak her name to me. I have never heard a sweeter and yet more piercing word, but her name, she, is with me all the time.

Acknowledge her. My first daughter. A child of God. A real person. A granddaughter, a niece. Hopefully, someday a sister.

I want to hear her name, spoken, in prayers, whenever. I promise that it won't make me more upset than I already am. To not speak her name hurts even worse, and makes me feel as if the world won't acknowledge that she lived, that I was pregnant with her, that she was 21 inches long, 7 lbs 13 oz.

Act like she doesn't exist to me and I will not hold back with you. They always say that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

No, hell hath no fury like a grieving mother.

Ok, no more posts for awhile. I will not lose it in the airport. Been there, done that.

On A Side Note

That relative who was pregnant? She had a miscarriage.

My heart is heavy. I am sad she miscarried. I do not understand.

I'm sitting at the Colorado Springs airport right now. I look around me, and not a single person looks happy around me. Maybe it's just my perspective, but I feel like I can read suffering on a face now. I look at mine every morning in the mirror.

I want to say to all these people that if I can make an effort, so can they! But then I also realize that I have no idea what they're going through either, just like they don't know from looking at me that I lost my child.

Just had to get that off my chest.

In happier thoughts, I'm going home this wkd to watch my brother Hunter graduate from college. I am so proud of him and really looking forward to spending time with my family.

My husband always laughs about how much my family loves being around me, and how much I love being around them. He's right. :)


"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding." -Proverbs 3:5

I have to try to focus on what you were, what you are. I have to try to focus on your life in heaven, your joy, your peace. I try to focus on my precious time with you inside of me for a short, perfect 9.5 months.
I try not to focus on what will never be, at least in this life. It makes your mama too sad. But then your absence hits me like a tidal wave, and I focus on it anyway.
I see the sliver of light coming out from under your nursery room door, and I focus on it.
I think of the Halloween outfit your Ya-Ya gave you that you will never wear, and I focus on it.
I think that I will never breastfeed you, or teach you to walk, or teach you to say Daddy. I focus on it.
I look at my childbirth-ravaged body in the mirror as I go to take a shower, and I focus on it.
I know God has plans and hope for me beyond my wildest dreams. I cling to that. Up until this point, the love of my life and my wildest dream was you, my dearest Georgiana. You are the love of my life.
That is what the wall of your now empty nursery says: “Georgiana--A Dream Come True”
You were a dream come true, to all of us. But that dream was far too short, especially for me.
I have to hope that God has more in store for me, that He even has--joy and happiness--at some point.
I like to think of a couple of options for Heaven:

1. When I arrive there and meet you, my beautiful, perfect daughter, you’ll still be a baby. God will allow you to grow in heaven, in front of me, in front of all of us who love and miss you desperately. Then I won’t miss out, but my joy is just delayed right now. I like this thought.

2 Maybe you will be a little girl by then, a few years old. I can picture you. A thick head of honey blonde hair. Beautiful porcelain skin. Big deep blue eyes. Your perfect mouth. I will know you as a little girl, but God will give me all the memories, and in His perfect grace, make it as if I knew them all along. He will wipe every tear away when I finally get to meet you again. I will forget that I had sorrow. There will be just you and all those I love there with me.
I love you, my baby. I will miss you all the days of my life. You are my heaven. You are the promise for me. I look forward to that. Always, Mama

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


"Behold I make all things new." -Revelation 21:5

Grief is like a car wreck.  You are driving alone on a road, the sky is sunny, not a care in the world. Then you get blindsided by another car. Your world spins out of control. You literally spin in circles. Glass breaks and shards fly everywhere. The pain is searing, the noise, unbearable. You're disoriented, confused. You think you might die. You cling to the hope that you won't. You're panicked.

In the aftermath, you sit in shock and disbelief and wonder if this happened to you. You wonder why this happened to you. You tell yourself you're ok, and then you look down and a huge shard of glass sits in your chest. You hadn't even realized it was there before, but now that you realize it, you realize how badly it hurts.

This is grief--thrust on you, unrelenting.  It makes no sense.

This is how I feel now that my child is gone.

I have always considered myself a take-charge, positive person. I have always told myself I could handle whatever life throws my way.

This is too much even for me. I wish I could just set the grief down and tell it I'm moving on, but unfortunately it doesn't work that way. It assails me. My dreams haunt me. Memories hurt worse than physical pain. I would take any physical pain over this, anything.

I realize that it does not "get better." It ebbs and flows, like waves crashing on me. It ebbs, and I start to feel slightly normal again. It flows, it crashes, and I'm left floundering and barely hanging on. There is no controlling it.

I found out yesterday that a dear relative of mine is pregnant. All I could feel was anger, hurt and confusion. Why now? Why right after my daughter died? Why less than two months later? Why?

Why has this turned my world so upside down that I cannot be happy about a pregnancy? That the mere thought of babies and children makes me feel like I'm dying all over again?

I could say I feel happy about it, but I'm not being honest with myself. When I found out, I fell in a black hole, I couldn't breathe.

I will pray about it. And pray for her, and for the little life that grows inside her. And for myself. That's all I can do right now. And it has to be enough.

This morning Dave and I were talking about Georgiana. We went to a SHARE meeting last night, which is a group of people who have experienced miscarriage, stillbirth and infant death. No way to describe other than a room full of heartache, but somehow comforting and helpful nonetheless. Exhausting, but helpful. At the end of the meeting, we received a white rose and a white carnation.

I put the rose in a vase and threw the carnation away. When Dave asked me why, I told him Georgie wouldn't have liked carnations. Dave told me Georgie would have liked Jean Claude Van Damme movies.

I told him I doubted it.

It struck me as I walked upstairs how loved Georgiana is. I can't imagine the love she feels in heaven--beyond incredible.  Beyond that, so much love comes to her from all of us on this side of heaven, and I know she feels that. I think my love alone must hit her like sunshine everyday, or at least I hope it does. It swells in my heart and threatens to burst out of me. It is joy and pain all at once. I want her to feel the joy, and not the pain. I'll reserve that for myself and keep that until it passes away like all things, until Jesus makes all things new.

I have faith that there is joy in the morning. I admit that I don't know when the morning will come, but I trust and have hope that it will.

Georgiana, my love, my life, my star, my saint. I hope you feel the love I send you for the rest of my life. I pray to God every minute that He brings me to you someday. We all miss you so much and feel lost without you. What a beautiful little life I had with you. We talked, and I sang to you, and Daddy and I loved you everyday of your little life, and still do, and always will. Do you remember when you used to hear Daddy's voice, and you were so excited that you moved around? You loved your Daddy so much. Do you remember when you and I would poke back and forth, when you would kick me, and stretch, and hiccup inside me? I cherish all those things now, even more than I already did. I wouldn't take it back for anything. You are the most important part of my life. I love you, baby girl. I miss you desperately. I send you all my love, every minute, every day. I can't wait to see you again. Love, Mommy

Friday, May 6, 2011

Missing You

"Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows." -Luke 12:7

My baby Georgie, I miss you so badly today. I missed you so badly yesterday, and the day before. How is that we never met face to face, and yet I knew you so well? You blessed me beyond belief. I know our Lord set you apart when He made you. And He knows all the hairs on your beautiful, perfect head.

I look at my own hands and feel my heart break again. Your hands were just like mine. I look at photos of you and your hands were little miniature versions of mine. I look at them and am reminded of you. It hurts and warms me at the same time.

Your mama is still left on earth without you. My faith sustains me here, my child, but the days and nights are so long right now.

I wonder if this will ever get any better short of heaven? Every morning that I wake up is so unbelievably hard right now. My heart is pierced every morning again, and again. I feel like a shadow of myself.

I found out today about 3 other women who experienced a stillbirth like me. All went on to have more children. I pray desperately to God right now that He gives Georgie brothers and sisters.

The stories of this tragedy happening to other people seem to come out of nowhere right now. I still gape in shock when I hear about it, even though the reality has happened to me too. I think if they can do it, so can I.

On a side note, I hate the word "stillbirth." I don't know what else to call it, but i hate it nonetheless.

Tomorrow I'm going to an "International Babylost Mother's Day" breakfast.

I also hate the word "babylost," but I guess I will hate all these terms that remind me that my daughter is no longer here with me. I am meeting with other women tomorrow who have experienced this.

One of the women I have come to know over the last few weeks lost her baby girl when she was born. This woman has been trying for several years to conceive again. She just found out she is pregnant.

Please pray for her and her husband.

This week one of my co-workers, but someone I also consider a friend, told me she was going to start going to church again. I praise God for this. We will pray for her too, and for her husband, who is a brave warrior often gone on missions defending our country.

Finally, I make a plug for one of my favorite Christian artists--Danielle Rose. Her songs have been very comforting to me right now. There is a song called "Abraham's Offering" that is particularly beautiful. I remember that Pope John Paul II loved her music.

My love to all of you out there praying for us. Please pray for all of us who suffer from this tragedy. There are so many of us out there.

My love to my baby girl, Georgiana. How badly I long to see her again.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Weight of the World

"Be still, and know that I am God."  Psalm 46:10

This post is a lot of random thoughts, because there is a lot going on in my head right now.

I went back to work today. I may not have gotten there until 10 am, but I am convinced God helped me pull myself out of bed and take every step needed in getting dressed, in the car and to work.

I woke up this morning, and as usual, everything flooded into my mind at once, as it has every morning since Georgiana died. Mornings are the hardest. Evenings are the best right now because I know I can sleep. The sun seemed harsh flooding in the window, my stomach felt like it had a boulder sitting in it. My back hurt. I could actually feel the grief lines on my face.

Then I looked around my room, and it was covered in rainbows. Rainbows on the ceiling, on the walls, on the floor. I stared at a particularly bright one on the ceiling, sighed heavily, and got out of bed.

Fast forward. I'm dressed, albeit uncomfortably in a uniform top that does not quite fit my new mother's body. The U.S. military is not exactly forgiving when it comes to women's uniforms.

I'm driving on my way to work, struggling to focus on the act of driving. I drive past a row of houses I always drive by in the morning, and movement catches my eye. I turn my head and there, right on the side of the road, are about 30 beautiful whitetail deer.

I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders today. But God gives me little pricks of light. I have to sit up and take notice of them, even if I don't feel like it.

Back to self-pity for a moment. Here are some things that happened today at work that I'm angry about:

1. A coworker came in and said, "I'm glad you're recovering from your situation."

Recovering? Huh?

In a very real sense, there is no "recovering" from the "situation" of losing a child. I know the pain will sit in my soul forever until I meet Jesus in the light of heaven. It does feel very like when Simeon told Mary that "a sword would pierce her heart." A sword has pierced my heart, and it often feels like being pierced again and again. Unfortunately, that wound stays, and will stay until I am reunited with my Heavenly Father, with my Georgiana. But God also tells me in my heart that there is a reason I am still on this earth. Trust me, I have tried to bargain with God to take me, but apparently that is not the plan right now. I know I will get better. I know there will be joy. I know this. It's just not right now.

But again, there is no "recovery" from this kind of "situation."

2. Most of my other coworkers either (1) did not say a word, or (2) did not come to my office at all.

To put it mildly, this annoys me. I can understand in my mind that many people do not know what to say. If I were on the other side of this nightmare and this had never happened to me, I don't know if I would know what to say either.

The problem is, when people don't say anything to me, it makes me feel as if they don't believe it ever happened at all, that they don't recognize Georgiana as real. The truth of this is that I had a daughter, my unbelievably beautiful daughter. The truth is that my daughter died, my little person that my husband and I created in our love together with God. It is the greatest thing I have ever done, create my daughter. And she was taken from me. My heart is ripped and torn.

And people say nothing. It's not the right thing to do.

A couple of options for what to say to a grieving parent: (1) "I'm so sorry."; (2) "I'm praying for you."; (3) A hug; (4) Asking me about her, what her name was, anything.

I guess one good thing about this whole situation is that I will always know what to say, what to do. That is a grace I've been given from this. It is grace at too high of a price, but it is still a grace and I will do good in His name with this grace when I am stronger. I do not fear death and I do not fear sadness anymore. I think someday that will give me a great capacity, with God's help, to give comfort to another woman experiencing this tragedy.

Oh and I heard a crying baby in our office today. Remember when I said this is as if a sword pierces my heart? A sword pierces my heart when this happens. I even wonder if the cries of my other children will pierce my heart like this, a joy mixed with sorrow. I think probably so.

Here are some things that are not so bad:

1. Some of you may not know, but another attorney in my office had a son born the same day Georgiana died. I dreaded seeing him, talking to him, anything. I was convinced if I never saw him again, it would be ok with me.  He came around the corner of my office, crying. He told me how sorry he was. I told him if I had no faith in Christ, I would have killed myself by now. He said he totally understood, and I believe as a parent, he understands and can imagine how it would feel. I asked to see a picture of his new son, Abram. I looked at the little picture and didn't feel as much pain as I thought I would. God is with me. I know this. Then of course, I thought, well, he's cute, but not as cute as Georgiana. I felt bad about this for a split second, but then, thought, every mother feels this way, that her kid is the cutest. And that made me smile a little to myself.

2. Work itself.

I admit, I'm completely exhausted from a 6 hour workday. I feel as if I'm about 90 years old. I feel like a kindergartner trying to play a lawyer, and could not remember the most basic things today. But it was a small step in the right direction. I don't deceive myself and tell myself it's only getting better from here. I'll stumble, but small steps are good things. I have to be at peace with that and know my limitations. I have to remember that in my weakness I am strong.

Enough emoting. Onto brighter topics.

What I am grateful for:

1. My wonderful friends and family, especially my incredible mom. I think I must have been given the best mom on the planet, and have felt that way for a long time. As I mourn the loss of my child, she mourns the loss of her first grandchild and she mourns her own daughter mourning, and she courageously walks through this pain with me. I am so beyond blessed to have her. I pray to God that when I reach heaven in a great many years from now, she will be standing at the gates with my daughter in her arms.  I love this thought.

2. Dave and I are so blessed to have so many otherwise wonderful families. Our wonderful, supportive siblings, who have all cried with us. My beautiful sister, and her penchant for baking in a time of crisis, who is as much a part of me as I am of her. My two incredible brothers, who have knelt with me and cried many tears of sorrow. I am so thankful for them. My father, a warrior of a man who prays for me, loves me and tells me to put on the armor of light. He is right.  Dave's two wonderful parents, his strong, faithful father and his lovely mother who truly feels like a second mother to me. I love her for the beautiful pink owl I wear around my neck that is a constant reminder of my daughter. I love her for her beautiful soul, her kindness, that she cries with me. Dave's two brothers, who were there for both of us and continue to be with us still. Dave's brother Tom has offered to let me throw a tube TV of his out the window. I may take him up on that. It is very tempting. My beautiful aunts, grandmothers, cousins, it goes on and on. I know how much you all cry for us and with us. I feel this, and there is a true healing unity to the sorrow.

3. Beyond that, Dave and I are so blessed with a wonderful group of faithful and supportive friends. To all of you who have called and emailed, know that I feel your love. It does make a difference to read your words, to hear your voices. I am making small steps to call you back, and haven't been able to call anyone yet. I will soon. Know that I love all of you, how much I appreciate the love and support you have given us. We will talk soon, I promise. And rest assured, when you go through life's troubles like this, I will be right there!

4. I am so thankful that God made me--fearfully and wonderfully--with a soul made to love Him, made to know Him, a soul made for hope. My mom said this to me the other night--that if there was no heaven, our souls would know it and would just stop, just die from this kind of pain. I believe that. God made my soul for Him, made my soul to hope beyond this world. This world has so much divinity in that it is God's creation, but we are not made for it. Our souls bear that imprint. I have hope even in the midst of such brokenness.

5. I am most thankful for my beautiful daughter Georgiana, that I have a child who is a beautiful shining saint now in heaven. If I could take this back so that I never had her, never had this pain, I never would. I would go through this again and again just to have had the brief time I had with her. We know how much Jesus loved children the most, that He told His disciples to let the little children come to Him. I know He loves my daughter more than I could, which is hard for me to fathom. I know at the same time that He holds her and keeps her until we meet again, that He sorrows with me, that He never leaves. I know she knows a joy right now that I will never know in this life, and that gives me a deep joy in my soul. I know she has escaped the pain of this world, but also that we will see her again and that we will be reunited for eternity. This is the reality that helps me continue to try and walk this journey on earth.

As my beautiful friend Annie wrote to me in an email: "Be strong, mama! He will not abandon you."

She is absolutely right. I am a mama! I weep with Mary. And He will not abandon me. He never has. I feel Him with me.

May we all try to be like Christ in this way--constant, loving, loyal beyond all pain and sorrow. May we all be warriors for the truth. May we have the courage to walk through that pain with others when we need us. May we stare death, pain and evil in the face and tell it that it has no power over us, that our God is greater than all these things.

Love is stronger than death. Let us spread the message. May we walk this narrow path, steep and rocky as it may be. May we all be united in Christ in His heavenly love for all of eternity. May we have the courage to believe, to have faith. This is my prayer.

I will remain faithful to you, my God.

I send my love to you, our perfect baby girl Georgiana. How we all yearn to know you, how we all ache for you, my beautiful child. My heart has opened so wide and holds you in a love I never thought possible. I ache for you, my baby, I can't wait to meet you in heaven.