Thursday, February 28, 2013

12 Weeks

I have been dreading this day for...well 3 months.

But the day lost a lot of it's sting for two main reasons:

1. She was born on the 29th so Feb 29 doesn't really exist, right?

2.  I spent pretty much my entire day dedicated to her memory.

- I started a Facebook page for her:
 In Loving Memory of Claudette Elyse
I am so excited to start this page to break the silence further. Say it Out Loud!
We have even decided to have "Friend Friday" wherein another one of my many friends I have made in this journey will share her story.

- I created an event page to start the journey toward adoption:
 Rummage Sale Fundraiser
Yes, that is correct Dustin and I are starting the journey to adoption. We have wanted to adopt kids way before we had any children. I would be lying if I didn't say it does make me feel a little guilty to be discussing another child when ours has only been buried for 12 weeks, but I know this process will take us years and we want to be prepared when there is that knock on the door. The fact is no one could or ever would replace any of our children. I keep hearing my daughter's voice saying this is what you should do. So we are doing it!

My friend told me God has a way of paying for what he orders! Well he already dropped a $5000 donation to the cause via some of the most generous couples I know. We have NUMEROUS donations of furniture and clothes and movies and everything you can imagine. The bake sale is already getting me salivating. This sale is bigger than I could have dreamed!

So when I checked the time I was shocked to find it was already 5pm! Instead of spending the day drowning in sad tears, I was teary all day because the love being pour down on us. 

Happy 3 months my little Claude-hopper!

12 weeks ago

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Life Jackets

11:45am The Tsunami hits (Click here if you have no idea what I am talking about)

The aftermath:

12:30pm Friend post picture of her darling baby wrapped in an elephant blanket on Facebook. Every time I see an elephant I feel like Claudie is saying hi.

2:20pm  My new dear friend who has also lost her precious child and I are discussing her son's turning 10 months and Claudette turning 3 months this week. She is my rock and I can just pick up my phone and FB her anytime I need to vent and I hope she feels she can do the same for me.  As we are FB chatting the doorbell rings. UPS was dropping off the garden stake we ordered weeks ago for her grave until we afford an actual headstone.
It's not perfect but it will have to do. After you loose a baby you find that everything out there is either super cheesy or super expensive. I have yet to find the perfect memorial to her and not sure I ever will. My dad read her this prayer as he held her for the first and last time and it means so much to me now.

4:00pm ON THE DOT The snow starts hitting as predicted. Round two of snowmageddon 2013. I was starting to get anxious for Dustin to get home, less b/c of the storm (he has 4WD) and more because I need a big ole bear hug from him.

5:42pm Dustin arrives home mail in hand. After said bear hug he hands me the mail. The newest copy of New Horizons was in the pile. I am immediately was struck by the title of issue:

 1743 (Ok I am guessing on the time, but it within seconds later) I open the book to check out the article and instead turn to this:
It is the story of Emily Sarah Tracey. A daughter of an Orthodox Presbyterian minister that was born stillborn many years ago. It was articulate and profound and insightful. Honestly, a bit surprising coming from a minister on what is considered a "woman's subject". But it is not a woman's subject. He had been profoundly hurt and moved by his' daughter's life and death, such that even though it happened in 1987 he was grieving and will for the rest of his days.

The last paragraph of the article stands out to me:

"Above all else, I have learned there is grace to help in the time of need. In childlessness, miscarriage, stillbirth, living with children's with disability, or anything else in life or in death, God's grace is sufficient," Stephen J. Tracey

6:15pm Dustin and I eat dinner and can't stop talking about how unusual it was for New Horizons a magazine for issues affecting the Orthodox Presbyterian Church to have an issue on infertility, let alone on article on a STILLBORN DAUGHTER!

7:20pm Start putting kids to bed.

7:45pm Still putting kids to bed.

8:20pm One of said kids fake a need for a bathroom visit.

8:30pm Look for movie on the TV. Can't find anything great so settle on The Words. All I know is it has Bradley Cooper in it, so I am game. Dustin is less thrilled. Movie starts.

8:41pm One of other said kids fake the need for a drink.

Around 9pm Upstairs is quiet and we are watching the movie. Basically, it is about a man who steals a story and writes it as his own. The man whom he steals the story from had a baby daughter that dies.Dustin and I are of course touched by his grief and start thinking what are we watching.

A few moments later The movie shows the book the man writes about loosing his daughter...Claudette shivers...Claudette cries. THOSE WERE THE WORDS ON THE PAGE!! Was his daughter's name Claudette?? I am not completely sure to be honest. The movie was poorly written (which is ironic since it is about a literary genius), but there is no denying the book he writes has the name Claudette all over it. Dustin and I are speechless. What is going on? What is someone trying to tell us? What lesson are we supposed to learn her? I mean first the elephant picture. Okay, I get it elephants are a common baby theme. Then the plaque came in good timing. I needed that after the horrible morning I had. Then the magazine. Things were starting to get weird. Even Dustin admitted it was odd timing. But the movie too?? I mean a movie about a baby girl dying possibly with the name Claudette?? I mean the name Claudette isn't exactly as common as Katie. I only know of four of of which is a celebrity.

Tonight 9:04pm  (Now) I still don't get it. I don't really know what all those little or big things meant or mean. But I am pretty sure they mean something. Perhaps, the something is that God keeps throwing me life jackets in the midst of the tsunami.

Monday, February 25, 2013


Picked up Henry from preK, driving along with the kids quiet in the car and BAM! It hit like a tsunami. Within seconds I was uncontrollably crying. It doesn't normally hit as hard when the kids are around. It is usually in the wee hours of the night when my mind gets a chance to process everything. Perhaps, it hit because this week she would be 3 months old.

Has anyone seen The Impossible? If you haven't, you should. It is an incredible movie based on a true story about the tragic tsunami in 2004 that hit the Indian Ocean and killed over 230,000 people. There is a scene wherein Henry and Maria and their three sons are having an incredible Christmas vacation swimming at the pool and then BAM the tidal wave hits and the ground beneath their feet shakes all while the sun continues to shine over their heads. This is all I can compare the feeling to. Like I am drowning. Like the water overtakes me and I struggle to know if I will ever just getting to wading the water again.

I remember weeks before I delivered Claudette, telling my husband that I felt as if I was walking along the beach and every once in a while feeling the water on my toes, but had yet to feel the tidal wave of grief everyone else seemed to feel over loosing my mom. Little did I know how big a wave was soon to hit. 

Honestly, I feel as if I have been riding waves for 12 weeks. Up and down. Up and down. Sometimes I get slapped in the face with water. Sometimes I feel stronger for being able to ride them out to the shore. I remember the first time I swam in the ocean I loved riding the waves so much that I stayed in for hours. Then when I laid in bed that night I kept feeling the up and down motion even though I was out of the water. I pretty sure this how I will feel for the rest of my days.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

What's in a Name?


What's in a name?

Well a lot actually. I know my name, Alyvia Cecile has caused years of psychological damage. I mean try being a four year old writing 6 letters in your name correctly and then once you finally do someone calls you Sylvia instead of Alyvia.

I have 4 sisters whose names start with an "A" and the first "i" is changed to an "y". Confused? Let me give you examples: Allyson, Annye, Audra (she got away without the "I" rule) and Aryn. My parents wanted an Olivia, hence, Alyvia was born. I have spent half my life going around saying like Olivia with an "A". Then I will often hear "oh, I get it now. What an interesting name." I laugh about the time I put my name on the dry erase board of my patient's room and he asked me, "is that the bacteria growing in my belly?" "No sir, that is my name." The Cecile part comes from my great-grandmother who was native French.

When I had my first daughter I promised myself I would not put her through this drama. Amelie (think Emily with an long "a" sound) Cecile it was. You can imagine my dismay when they called "Ammmily" at her 1st pediatric visit. And so the vicious cycle continues. Sorry hun. We will pay for the therapy.

My mom's name was Claudette Olive Wright. We teased her initials were COW and she even had a brief period wherein she decorated the kitchen in cows in tribute. I always thought her name was so dramatic and perfect for just her. She often teased that no one would ever name a child after her. On her death bed I promised we would name our third child after her. Truth be told, we going to even if she was dying or not. She was a great woman and her named should be passed on. At the time Olive was becoming more popular and we thought we might use that for a daughter and Oliver for a son. We had wanted Henry our son's middle name to be Oliver but as soon I ordered the monogrammed diaper bag I knew I didn't want to walk around with the word H.O.E. (Henry Oliver Elliott) spelled out. He instead is Henry Hudson Elliott.

As soon as I told my mom we were naming the child after her, she said "Oh no one wants to use Claudette!" I knew right then we were going to have a daughter and name her just that. 

After we confirmed indeed we were having a baby girl I look up the meaning of Claudette...

Claudette \c-lau-dette, claud(et)-te\ as a girl's name is pronounced klaw-DET. It is of French and Latin origin, and the meaning of Claudette is "lame" or "dies young".

Yes that is right the meaning of our daughter's name is lame and by most definitions "dies young"! What were we to do? We couldn't give a little baby a name like that. I still loved the name and wanted the tribute to my mom, so we decided to find a good solid middle name, hence...

Elyse \e-lyse\ as a girl's name is a variant of Elisa (Hebrew), Elissa (Greek), Elizabeth (Hebrew) and Elysia (Latin), and the meaning of Elyse is "God's promise; from the blessed isles; God's promise; God is my oath".

God's promise seemed like the perfect offset to dying young. Little did we know we couldn't have picked a more fitting name.  Our perfect little Claudie lived up to her first name and died young, too young just like her grandmother in which she was named after. But her middle name also lives up to its definition. God IS my oath. God's promise HAS guided us through this journey and continues to allows for HIS Glory to Meet My Suffering.

This long winded rant (at 1am might I add) is to share with you a name change to the blog. It will no longer be named Livy Cel (an affectionate nickname my sis Ally Jo gave to me) but will now be Claudette Elyse, a name that means so much more than I could have ever imagined.

Thursday, February 21, 2013


So today we got hit with a blizzard. It was fabulous!! I love snow days! They are always such a great reminder of WHO is in ultimately in charge, forcing us to calm down our hectic lives and refocus on what is important.

I was a little concerned last evening when I realized I hadn't got this week's groceries yet...
...and there was a 90% chance of freezing rain/blizzard by morning.
But after a long work day true to form daddy came to the rescue..

Since daddy couldn't make it out of the drive way he was able to spend the day with us too. He had to work and shovel...

...most of the day but just having him here is so comforting.

Since I now had a fully stocked frig, I decided to make a my favorite breakfast for everyone.
Almond French toast (and yes mommy made the bread too)

I think little miss likes it as much as me. She had four pieces...and a fifth for lunch.
 We had an afternoon treat of chocolate snow ice cream.

Pork roast and root veggies cooked low and slow all day and the house smelled exactly as it should on snow day.

Daddy took advantage of working from home and we watched Argo while the littles napped.

After they woke up, we decided to take the your brother and sister sledding across the street to Suicide Hill.

Despite Henry's shoes falling off twice and the snow drifts reaching Amelie's chin, we had a blast. Shh, don't tell your brother and sister but daddy and I might sneak back over there after they are asleep...only teasing (well kinda).

It seems whenever something happy happens, I miss you more. I couldn't help thinking about you so much today. When we found out you would be a winter baby, we were so excited that we would have an excuse to snuggle up in the cold with you. The winter has been mild so there hasn't been too much time until today to reflect on the sad reality that you are not nestled in my arms as the snow falls outside. But right now Henry is snuggled up next to me watching a movie and Amelie is snoring away as daddy attempts to shovel...again! And even though I am miss you terribly, I can honestly say I am happy for the first time in a long time. Is it possible to be sad and happy at the same time? Must be, because I am.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

10 things you should know about your daddy

He drinks. Yep that is right! Your daddy has spent many a night outside the house sitting on the front porch sipping on his ice tea, occasionally boulevard wheat, a gin 'n tonic or a glass of Malbec.

He smokes. Yes ma'am I know you wouldn't believe it to see him, but daddy loves a good cigar. It started on our honeymoon and he has been on the search for the perfect one ever since.

He beats. It doesn't happen often, but there have been occasions. Most times it is directed to me, but just this Saturday he beat your four year old brother. I swear I will never play Super Mario Brothers again with him. He loves any Wii games really cause that is when he can really beat us. However, he won't even get close to me when it comes to Scrabble. That is when mommy gets her revenge.

He laughs. Daddy has a weak spot for silly comedies. He loves to laugh and will take any chance he can to have a good one. He has one of those deep great laughs too!

He cries. Yep, like I have told you before Real Men Cry and your daddy is a real man! I have never thought him so manly then when he was loosing it over loosing you. I don't like apathetic men and crying shows passion at it purest form.

He snores. BAD. It is enough that it would have woke you up out of your sleep whether you were sleeping in the bassinet next to our bed or in your crib at the other end of the hall with the door closed. We have all come pretty accustomed to it and don't tell him but find it kinda endearing. That reminds me, "Honey, have you scheduled your sleep study yet?"

He cooks. Daddy isn't one of those boys who think a women's place is in the kitchen and loves splitting the cooking duties with me. He can put together a mean lasagna with the best of them and just last week made a decadent double layer chocolate cake by scratch that would give most grandma's a run for their money.

He cleans. We have a rule around here: If I make the food, daddy does the dishes. If daddy makes the food, daddy does the dishes.  It works out pretty well I have got to say.

He thinks. You know how I mentioned I hate apathy? Well, your daddy is NOT! He thinks thoroughly and acts passionately. I love this about him! Most fall nights you can find mommy and daddy sitting on the front porch, ice tea in hand, discussing a social issue of some sort. His passion for learning has been passed down to your brother and sometimes before bedtime they both just lay on their bellies and discuss a topic at length. Currently they are discussing different home structures.

He loves. You have already know this one. You know that daddy talked to you and kissed you and shared his dreams with you. What you don't know is that he leaves the light on in your nursery every night. That he is devastated by loosing the dream of watching his curly haired, button-nosed, tomboy grow-up. That daddy would have changed your diapers and brought you to me to nurse every night, as he did with your siblings. That he would have bathed and tucked you into bed with books, songs, prayers, kisses, and more books every night. That he would have attentively cared for your every need before you even knew you had one. Daddy loves you and Henry and Amelie and me like only daddy can. Daddy also loves God as much if not more than he loves us. Hard to imagine huh? He prays and reads and guides us to God's love and for that and so much more we love him back!!

Happy Father's Day! 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Love You Two

In May of 2011 mommy wasn't feeling so hot. She thought she had an infection.

As you can see by daddy's reaction it was way more than an infection:

A few weeks later mommy got even bigger news, twice as big to be exact!!

I almost fainted when the ultrasound tech said, "I hear two heartbeats...and they are sharing the same sac! THEY ARE IDENTICAL!!!" Wowza!!! Over the moon. I just know you are girls. Although, I won't know for sure for a while yet.

I left the OB office trying to get a hold of everyone to tell them. I knew I couldn't tell daddy over the phone after his reaction to find out about just one of you. So I went as soon as I could to go get my mom from dialysis and tell her.

Here is her reaction:

Priceless huh? Did you hear her say and "Rochelle is having them too??" Grandma is a twin and her twin sister Rochelle's daughter was having twins at the same time. Twins run in our family something fierce!

It was pretty estastic time.

We celebrated Aunt Rochelle's and mom's birthday with a big party at our house on July 21st.
I had been bleeding and cramping all day, but thought little of it. I had called the doc and he said to come in on Monday. I was fine with that. You were still ok. Just normal implantation spotting they told me.

Daddy and I were so extremely excited. I can never remember feeling more blessed by God's choosing us for care of adorable identical twins. Here is a posting I placed on facebook:

"God is so good! How am I so blessed to be having twins?!"

I went in for a visit with a high risk doctor a couple weeks later since they thought you might be sharing the same fluid as well as the same sac (there is usually a divider). The perinatalogist said you both had no heartbeat. I thought my heart stopped as well. You were almost 10 weeks old. I couldn't stop looking at the screen; you were holding each other. Are you still holding each other? It brings me peace you have each other.

I kept screaming, "I can't tell my mom! I can't tell my mom. She will be devastated." The doctor said your mom will understand more than anyone. She was right.
I am so happy she got to hold you first.

So today you both would be one years old...and we did have a big party but it was for daddy's and Uncle Drew's 33rd. Told you twins run like crazy in this family. Can you imagine how crazy fun the party would have been if both sets of twins shared a birthday? Mommy has an history of going all out for first birthdays!

Happy big one!

I love you two,

P.S. Give your little sis and grandma a hug from me, ok?

Friday, February 15, 2013

Hey Lovey!

Good morning little miss Claude-hopper!

I miss you so much today...but you already know that.

Yesterday was St.Valentine's Day. All in all it was a really good day!!
We started the day by making heart-shaped pancakes with your brother and

Then we made little personalized Valentines.
(The mess was horrible by the time we were done)
Henry was less than impressed with all the pink this holiday brings...

Amelie couldn't get enough of it!
(Pretty impressed she did her name all by herself.)
I made you a little Valentine...
(Sorry, we are not blessed with crafty genes)
Poppy stopped by and brought me treats. He has done this since I was a little girl. It means more than he realizes.

After naps and swimming lessons...

We made heart-shaped pizza.

Daddy brought me home the best chocolate in town...
...and a gorgeous card filled with handwritten words on that mommy will treasure for always. I will save you from embarrassment by sharing it.

Mr. and Mrs. G offered to watch your brother and sister so we could go out for a bit.
While they were having their little party...
(We found out Mr. Henry likes to cheat at Candy Land)
we were having a little party of our own...

At first mommy felt silly wearing the dress I got to wear at your funeral, but as your cousin Cahlea told me, "all outfits really do is hold memories." So I decided to add another memory to the pretty black and gold dress Aunt Jan and Cahlea purchased for me the night before we buried you. By 9pm I was feeling less like a grieving mommy and more like a hot date.
It was so nice to sit and talk with daddy about how silly your brother and sister are and how much we wish we could watch you grow with them. We love to sit and dream about our future together.
Isn't daddy handsome?
 Currently, we are discussing our plans for this old house. PAINTING is #1. The brown has got to go, right?! We also want to put in a perfect little patio in the back and have a great play area for Henry and Amelie. What do you think they would like more: a sandbox or their own little flower garden? I want them to do a flower garden were we can watch little flowers get bigger in honor of you. Would you like that? Valentine's day is such a nice time to just get away to talk and dream a bit. Mommy and daddy think it is very important to take time to do this no matter how much time or money you have.

Today while Henry was at PreK, your sister and I went to go visit your grave site. I feel bad I have only been there a handful of times lovey. But I know you are not there and honestly I don't like the idea of your shell shivering in the cold. At breakfast I asked what the kids wanted to bring to you. Henry wanted you to have a snack. He thinks you are hungry. He worries about if you are hungry or need a diaper change a lot. He decided an apple would be a perfect treat for you. (We don't need to tell him about the fact you don't have any teeth). Amelie said, "she needs her baby toy mommy" and brought down the little red headed rattle doll she had on her car seat when she was a baby. I decided to bring your less than creative Valentine and off we went to drop Henry at school and then visit you.

I was devastated when I got there and realized the beautiful pink roses daddy and I brought you a few weeks ago had flew away in the wind. Amelie and I decided to zip up our coats and go hunting for them. Your sister ran around finding baby pink roses and singing loudly, "Clean up! Clean up! It is what we have to do! Clean up! Clean up! It's fun for me and you!" I found it less fun and cried miserably as I gathered the now faded and frozen roses that had been so beautiful the day we got them.
(Pleased with herself for gathering all the roses back together)
After we tried to put them nicely back together, I stood there in tears and didn't know how to say goodbye...again. But true to form big sis was a big boss and said, "it's too cold out here! Let's go!!!" And ran to the van.  She is right.  It is too cold out there! Glad you are not there and are instead nestled in grandma's arm and Jesus' embrace.
(A snack from brother, a toy from sister, roses from daddy, and Valentine from mommy. All for you my lovey.) 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Return to Zero

I was so excited to learn of an upcoming movie that will tell the real not just the "reel" story as director Sean Hanish puts it of the aftermath of stillborn loss. I was shocked to read recently in an article from the NYT "Breaking the Silence" that while 2,500 babies die a year from SIDS, 26,000 die annually from stillborn loss. How many of us as moms know to put our newborn to sleep on their backs to prevent SIDS? Yet, there are still so many who don't even know that babies can die in this country so close or during the birthing process. What a huge health disparity. As a nurse, I know knowledge is power in order to prevent future death and injury. But I had no clue that 1 in 160 pregnancies ends loss after 20 weeks. Statistically speaking that means you will be affected by a stillborn loss, more directly put...

 you will know someone or be someone that loses a child.

I personally have a hard time with the word stillborn (see my post "Words/Phrases that Drive Me Nuts"). Although I feel the word takes away from the humanity of the child a bit, I also realize it is an important term we must educate ourselves on and empower ourselves and our healthcare providers against. I have yet to speak to an OB who hasn't had this happen to one of their patients, so why don 't we hear about how to decrease the risk and increase the knowledge?

I feel like it has to do with the age of the child. For some reason, we value life based on how old a person is. Anyone who has had a miscarriage or lost a grandparent has heard these questions:

How far along where you?  I found myself not wanting to answer this question b/c people assumed I couldn't be attached if it was only 10 weeks.

How old was he? Oh my granddad was 82 when he died. I guess since he lived a long wonderful life his loss is less.

It is like death is acceptable at certain stages in life: in utero and old age. This to me points to our lack of respect of life in general. While I understand on some level the acceptance of death for our elderly, I struggle immensely with our acceptance with it in our babies. When I loss the twins at 10 weeks, one of the first things I heard was 1 in 4 babies die in the 1st trimester we just don't know why, natural selection of sorts I guess. OK?!? So it just happens all the time. I guess I will just move on then?! Then when I lost Claudette days before her due date, I was left with little to no information. I thought this must not happen often. I was wrong! There is very little real info out there on the web and textbooks on stillborn loss.

50% of parents who lose their child will not know never know why.
This is too much!

In our case, we found out why and it could have been prevented.
This is unacceptable!

That is why I am thrilled that next year Return to Zero should make it's way to theatres to educate others about the devastation that unfolds when your baby is born sleeping. And as an added bonus for me Minnie Driver, who happens to be one of my favorite actresses of all time, stars in it!

Even in these early stages of loss, Dustin and I feel a deep need to spread the word. While it is very difficult to relive the details of our that dreadful day it was also the day our daughter was born and we love to talk about her! So we beyond excited a movie will come out that will give another reason to share our beautiful Claudette with the world as her name will be in the credits!!!
Click here to see Our Story on the Return to Zero blog

Friday, February 8, 2013

Baby Pink Rose

So it has been 10 weeks. Crazy. Life is still a blur. In some ways I feel worse now then last week or the week before. I was told it was because...

...everyone is moving on and we can't.

Last night we went to a support group for families of a stillborn baby. It was horrible and helpful all at the same time. I can't believe how much Dustin spoke. It made me happy he was able to share his emotions. I have to say it is very disturbing that some were many years out and nothing had really changed for them.  All the couples were grieving as if it happened yesterday. I think up until that point Dustin and I felt there was going to be some magical date in which our grief would be less but as one father mentioned the pain never gets better just the way you learn to deal with it. I knew our pain would always be real and palpable. I guess I just didn't realize how much.

So now we how do we move on? Do we even want to?

Part of that question was answered for us in a slight way this week. I thought I was going to be able to quit my job but for significant financial reasons this is not a possibility. It felt like a big kick in my already bruised gut. Quitting work was for two main reasons: to spend time with my children who have really only know pregnant-tired mommy and not crazy fun mommy and to give my diabetes a fighting chance. After a day of crying and hiding in bed I realize it is for the best and as I told my friends,

 "mommy is putting on her big girl panties and moving on."  

But am I really? The short answer is no. I will go back to work and face reality as my husband has been forced to already. I will continue on with the land of the living but truth be told a part of me has died. A part of me went with my mom and Claudie and is hiding in their graves. No it probably isn't healthy, but it is the truth.

As I sit here and write this it I look up and realize the sweetheart rose I took from her grave at her funeral and put in our living room is still sitting untouched, water (although almost evaporated) still in vase.

Baby pink rose 12/6/12
Baby pink rose 2/8/13

I am not one to ever keep flowers after they have died, but this one looks beautiful to me and almost still alive. Yes, it is smaller and will probably fall to pieces if someone picks it up, but I love it. And I guess if people realize that a baby pink rose still hasn't even died from her funeral then...

Claudette Elyse Elliott's okay to not move on.


Monday, February 4, 2013

Babies, Babies, Preggos, Babies and More Babies

So the whole world is either pregnant or just delivered the most delicious little babies. And why is Target having a big baby sale this week? Could they have least had the decency to have it before I spent all that money on diapers and swaddlers.

You know when you are in another state and you all of sudden notice all the MO license plates? You never notice them when you are actually in Missouri. You know why? Because you are one of 1000s of them. You don't stand out. It is when you are in Iowa and see all the IA plates that you realize you are the odd ball out. Sorry for the rough analogy but it is all I got this am. Basically, my point is the whole world seems to be pregnant and having newborns at the exact moment I'm not. When I was pregnant with my first I felt like was the only person in the world to have a baby. It all seemed so special and wonderful. But now I am sitting here with a swollen belly and an empty crib and I feel so lonely.

The other night there was a segment on the news about Kate Middleton and all the excitement surrounding her pregnancy. My husband and I just looked at each other. For some reason it dawned on us that moment no matter what happens in the future, a pregnancy will never hold that same excitement it holds for so many others. It is a hard reality. Pregnancy has always been such a fun part of the journey to baby for us. Yes, my pregnancies were often riddled with complications and trials but they were also filled with joy and anticipation that is unparalleled. Now our new reality is that fear will most likely be greater than is healthy. It seems so lonely at times but then all of sudden you are driving along in IA and you see that MO plate and it reminds you there are others (too many others) and even though we are not in the same car at least we are on the same road.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Breaking the Silence

Such an important video.

Please watch:

Approximately 3 million babies are stillborn each year throughout the world. In the US, that's one baby, one family, every 21 minutes. To learn more, and to contribute your own message of encouragement or understanding, please visit

P.S. Thanks for all the scenes with elephants