Saturday, December 22, 2012


We are expecting Baby Preston #3 in June!

I've been wanting to blog about this for awhile... but a few reasons have kept me from doing so... I wanted to be sure to get past the first trimester. I feel like half the world doesn't know what to say to us, so I thought I'd keep this mum for the first twelve weeks. Most of our friends and family know our good news. I, also, don't care what people think... but, I still don't want to hear anyone's comments about this being too soon or we are moving on... or whatever lovely comments some people come up with. We are so very excited and this baby was very much thought about and prayed for... I just don't want to hear crappy comments. When your baby has died, then feel free to tell me what you think.

I'm currently 16 weeks. We had a peek ultrasound on Wednesday. Baby looks like a girl! In my heart of hearts, I'm so very happy. I feel like this baby will NEVER replace Jovi. She'll never make us forget. We aren't moving on. Jovi will FOREVER remain part of our family. She will always be our second baby and first girl. This baby will, though, bring back a lot of joy to our house that left when Jovi left. This baby will help us with healing. This baby girl will, even, be a glimpse into what we could have had with Jovi. This baby won't be thought of as Jovi, but we will be able to have a baby girl who lives.

I'm learning so much about faith... yet again. Baby isn't even here, yet and I feel like I've had many prayers to God about faith and have already had to rely so much in faith that everything will go well. I can't imagine how it will be when baby comes... I, truthfully, just don't think of that. If I go anywhere near, I get panicked and scared. I am just living in today. Enjoying this baby now and the tiny flutters I'm beginning to feel.

I wish, now, I would have blogged about how I felt in the beginning. A big reason I've been writing is to, hopefully, be able to help other mommies in the future. I know when we first found out, we didn't really talk about it. I didn't really think about the baby. I struggled with this baby vs Jovi and how this baby wouldn't be here if Jovi was still alive. I had to realize that I didn't choose what happened to me. I didn't make the choice between baby and Jovi... I was given this. We are making the very best of our situation. We are doing our best to continue to survive and enjoy life. We are doing our best to give Cash a normal life... which includes siblings on Earth for him to play with. So, I absolutely know I struggled and didn't think about the baby too much. I remember feeling so scared in the beginning. Just feeling so vulnerable... I still feel vulnerable now, but that feeling has faded.

Thankfully, by the time we were able to find out baby's gender, I had thought long and hard about this baby. I had processed a lot of that struggle I had in the first few months. I am getting so much more excited and I have moments where I am so elated to bring another baby home. Finding out she was a girl was so good. We all were feeling girl. Cash, included. Cash can only talk about a sister. We didn't tell him about the baby until 12 weeks, so for the last 4 weeks, he's been talking to my belly saying, "Hi, sister!". We tried telling him that baby could be a boy... but he was very much in love with the idea of having a sister. I'm so happy for him. I'm so happy he gets to enjoy another sweet baby girl. I, honestly, just feel so entirely blessed we've been given another chance. I had felt like I had lost my one and only chance to experience a daughter. I did get an amazing experience. I had the most amazing time with Jovi and the 16 weeks we spent with her were the best. She is SUCH a blessing in our lives and I know we wouldn't trade any of those moments in for anything. When she died, I felt like we'd lost our shot. We lost our baby girl and all the hopes and dreams we had for her... were just gone in an instant. It feels like we get some of those dreams back. This baby won't be Jovi... but we get to be blessed with another shot. Another chance to experience pink, bows, daddy's girl, mommy-daughter shopping dates, ballet recitals, boyfriends (oh boy!), weddings, first grandbabies from our baby girl.... I know some of those are so far off, but they are things you want to experience with your babies. I feel just so, so, so blessed for another shot. I do feel like a girl will be scarier. A girl will bring up more memories and emotions just because of Jovi.... but, I do think a girl will be so good for our family. I know Jovi isn't sad. I know Jovi can't feel replaced. I know Jovi would want us to continue living... Not moving on... Not forgetting... Not replacing... but continuing to live and enjoy the joys life has to offer. We are trying so hard. A friend mentioned how sweet it was to think Jovi could have just been with this baby... that they met in Heaven. I love that thought. I can only imagine Jovi is looking down on us... smiling... happy to be a big sister! We are all very blessed to have a direct lifeline to Heaven....

It has definitely been a mix of emotions from the minute we found out this baby was on the way. But, mostly, it's already been so good. We are looking forward to a whole new life. We are looking forward to baby snuggles and baby cries. I can't wait to even be woken up at night again... I can't wait to tell baby about Jovi. I can't wait to tell her what an amazing big sister she has... I can't wait to share all our memories with Jovi... Just everything about her big sister.

Jovi- I know you don't feel replaced. I know you are happy. I know you are watching us and happy to see we are trying so hard to continue on without someone so important. I hope you know how much I miss you. I hope you get each and every snuggle and kiss I send to Heaven. I hope you know at every family event we've gone to without you, I've thought all about what it'd be like if you were there. You will always have a spot in my heart. It will never be filled or replaced. I will always tell your siblings about you and your amazing smile and those pretty blue eyes. Your sweet personality, your sweet little voice... and just how much you loved to be held. What's going in Heaven today? I can't wait to hear about how Jesus's birthday is in Heaven... I can't believe you are experiencing it before me. I love you soooooooo very much, to Heaven and back.

"And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love." Romans 8:38

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

I. Heart. You.

Jovi girl- did you know you saved two (that's right TWO) babies lives? We got your heart valve donation letter in the mail this last weekend. You save two babies. Your aortic valve was sent to New York and your pulmonary valve was sent to California. How many poeple can say their babies saved lives? I can... and as hard and sad as it is, it feels to good to be able to say my baby saved two babies. My baby saved two families from having to experience what we've had to experience. You continue to make me proud even though you are in Heaven. I will have to say that I hope these babies change the world. I hope at least one set of parents contacts us. I'd love to hear how they are doing... I'd love to see a baby who is living because of you... who is living with a piece of you.

I miss you more than words can say. Life continues to be so very sad without you. We are learning to find joy in your absence. We know you'd want that. I love you sunshine, to Heaven and back.

Saturday, December 15, 2012


I hate SIDS. I know this is a statement everyone can agree with, but let me explain my reasons.

SIDS took my daughter. SIDS made it so Jovi is no longer here.

SIDS is so broad. In fact, if you want to get technical- Jovi's autosy diagnosis isn't "sudden infant death syndrome". Jovi's autopsy diagnosis is "sudden unexplained death in an infant". So, technically Jovi didn't even die from SIDS. But, yet everyone still deems it as SIDS... so much easier to say than she just suddenly died for no explanation as an infant. Most ME's (medical examiners) are leaning towards Jovi's cause of death or  SUID (sudden unexplained infant death). I've, also, read articles saying that it's looking like the SIDS stats are going down, but that's just because of the new cause of death change. Of course, "SIDS" will go down if it's no longer classified as SIDS but as SUID or SUDI (sorry for all the acronyms).

I hate that people think SIDS is actually preventable. If you successfully follow steps 1, 2, and 3 then your baby will survive. Incorrect. I hate that people think if your baby dies of SIDS then somehow you did something wrong. Incorrect. I, often, find myself wanting to explain and say we were good parents. We didn't smoke around our baby. To be even more honest, she was NEVER around cigarette smoke. Our baby had NOTHING in her bed when she died. Our baby slept with a fan. Our baby slept with an AngelCare monitor. Our baby was breastfed. Our baby didn't have a blanket on. Our baby was wearing just a simple sleeveless onesie when she died. She couldn't have gotten too hot. Our baby was well-cared for... Our baby did sleep on her tummy... we were instructed by medical professionals NOT to sleep our baby on her back. She side-slept (while being swaddled) until she could roll. I, then, decided a baby who could roll onto her belly needed her arms so I took her swaddle away. We did everything we could to keep her alive. I hate that there is this philosophy that it is actually preventable. It isn't... babies have been known to die in parents arms (while parents are awake), in hospitals, in swings, in bouncy chairs... where there were ZERO suffocation hazards. I, strongly, believe that SIDS has more to it than safe sleeping. I do believe in putting your baby down safely. I do believe in doing everything you can to keep your baby safe sleeping, but I still think that sometimes that isn't enough.

I hate that we have no reason for our babies death. When the detective came to our house, his exact words were, "there are no signs of suffocation". Her autopsy results saying UNEXPLAINED death. We have nothing. Our baby just died... no reason why. I hate that. I like reason. I like to know why. But, this is something I'll (most likely) never know. I have no reason to lean on... I have no way to prevent in the future. I know, first hand, that sometimes regardless what you do your baby doesn't survive. I can't wait to get to Heaven and see the entire picture... I can't wait to see God's entire picture and entire story.

Jovi baby- you are missed so much. Your stocking is hung for you. It was sad to hang that up and have you not be here to enjoy it. I don't doubt you can see it and know we are still honoring and remembering you. What are you doing this minute in Heaven? Will you come stop by for a visit in a dream of mine soon? I miss you SOOOO much. I love you, baby, to Heaven and back.

We didn't forget you in our family pictures.

"Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty? They are higher than the Heavens- what can you do? They are deeper than the depths of the grave- what can you know? Their measure is longer than the earth and wider than the sea." Job 11: 7-9

Monday, December 10, 2012

5 Months

Holy cow. Where has the time gone? How has it already been five months since I've seen your pretty blue eyes.... No matter how much time passes, the fact that you are gone still just seems so entirely unfair. I never knew I could just miss someone so, so much.

We've been hanging in there during this holiday season. Mostly, I'd love to just sleep it away or pretend it wasn't happening. I'm so thankful for Cash. He continues to force us to continue on as normally as possible... as I'd love to skip out on numerous activities this season, I can't for his sake. I know it's good for me, too. I don't think skipping things now is a good set up for future holidays. We have to keep going. We have to keep trying.

We got a beautiful ornament and picture frame engraved with Jovi's footprints. Cash saw them and asked if they were Jovi's feet. I told him they were. He said they made him sad. Then, asked about why she was in the ground. Then, so sadly said, "She doesn't even poop in her diaper, anymore.". All I could think of was the smallest things make me so sad, too. I didn't think I'd ever miss changing diapers, but I do. It breaks my heart he has to live this, too. Just like we crave Jovi back in our house so much, so does he. She left a huge impact on all of us...

My work party was this weekend. A co-worker asked, "Are the kids with your mom?". The simplest of statements... and yet, it stung so much. She realized later what she said and was sure to mention she meant Cash. I know she meant nothing by it and the fact she remembered I DO have two kids is nice. But, it was still so very hard to swallow. I cried all the way home because I didn't get to go pick up my baby who was too little to spend the night at my parents house. How I just wish things would have been different for us...

I feel God in my life so much more now than I ever have before. My faith in Him has grown so much. I can see Him everywhere. Part of that has to be because I've relied and trusted on Him more than ever... and part of it has to be because a piece of me is already with Him in Heaven. I know I say it all the time, but I'm so thankful for faith. I'd be lost thinking this is the end.... this is by no means the end. Thank you, Jesus.

Oh, Jovi. I could never say how much I miss you. I never before knew I could miss someone this much. Everything we've been doing, I think of how it'd be if you were here. You are always missed. You are always thought about. I just miss you. I just miss you soooo soooo soooo very much. Do you remember how you loved to snuggle? You were the best baby. You never cried as long as you were in someone's arms... You wouldn't last long in your swing or laying on the floor. You just loved to be held... and I loved it! I finally got a snuggler! I miss you more than words could ever describe, baby. I love you to Heaven and back.

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


2012 has been a year... I find myself saying how much I want the year to be over and how much I want 2013 to be a fresh start for our family. Obviously, this is the year Jovi died. A few weeks ago, my gpa had a stroke. Last week, my other gpa didn't get great news regarding his lung cancer and had to have some different procedures done. It was after the last gpa's news came in that I decided I very much disliked the year 2012. Recently, though, I've realized how can I hate this year? Yes, 2012 is when I lost my baby.... but 2012 is when I got my baby, too. Jovi was born this year. This year is the only time we had with Jovi. Jovi was only here in 2012. As I've realized this, it makes me want to hold onto this year for as long as possible. As soon as we enter the next year, this year we had with Jovi is gone. We will be in an entirely different year and she won't be there. Because 2012 is the year Jovi arrived, I love it. While this has all been so entirely difficult on us and while we have days we wonder how we can survive without our baby, we'd still do it all over again for the same (or even less) amount of time with her. So, here's to 2012... for bringing me the sweetest baby girl and for giving me some of my most favorite and cherished memories.

Jovi baby, I miss you so much. As our Christmas tree is set up in our living room, I can't help but think you should be here crawling over to it and taking off all the ornaments. You should be coming to all the family events. You will not be forgotten this Christmas. I bet Heaven is going to be amazing. I can't imagine what the celebration for Jesus's birthday will be like! I can't believe my sweet girl gets to witness it before I do. I send you kisses every single day and hope you receive all of them. Do you remember that one day Finney threw up? Your daddy handed you over to me and you had an explosive diaper (he didn't know) all the way up your back and all over Daddy's pants? Your daddy and I could only just laugh... and decide who was cleaning what. :) I love you, sunshine, to Heaven and back.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33

Monday, November 26, 2012

Past Few Days.

I just got a letter from SightLife. I received a letter from SightLife a few days ago and hadn't opened it. It was addressed to Daniel and wasn't a logo I recognized, so I just didn't open that piece of mail assuming it was junk mail. Today, we received another letter in the mail from SightLife. I thought it was interesting so I opened this one. "We are sorry you received a letter stating your loved one donated their corneas (essentially)... we can assure you your loved one did not donate... there was no opportunity to donate..." Thank you, SightLife for reminding me of all the opportunities I (we) missed out on in Jovi's life. Thank you, also, for saying she didn't even qualify to donate. You were right, that was a big mistake to send out those letters. I'm so thankful I hadn't opened the first which was basically "Happy holidays (why can't we say Merry Christmas anymore?) and thank you for your loved ones cornea donation.". I might have had a heart attack. I've been waiting patiently for the letter saying her heart valves were placed with a donor... never did I think I would have gotten a letter saying we donated other things... and I didn't know. I know mistakes are made, but even the apology letter was so sad. Merry Christmas to us.

Thanksgiving was an okay day. After all our festivities I did come home and have a good cry. We are missing out on so much. Our in-laws have a new baby. She doesn't remind me of Jovi. She doesn't look anything like her. She's starting to smile and coo... starting to do so much of what I really remember and love that Jovi did. She's not Jovi. She can be a constant reminder of what we don't have, though. She reminds me that I didn't get to feed Jovi on Thanksgiving or I didn't get to bounce her around when she was crying during games. She just reminds me of what I'm missing. I'm so very thankful she doesn't look like Jovi or that I really don't struggle holding her or seeing her. Sometimes (especially Thanksgiving) can remind me very much of what we are missing out on... but, we've gotta get used to it. She's going to be around for a long time. I am hoping that when she surpasses Jovi's age, she'll be doing so much less of what I ever saw Jovi do, so the reminders won't be so present.

Jovi- as each day passes, this doesn't ever get easier living without you. You will forever be missing our family. You will forever be thought about and wondered what ______ would be like if you were there. I, honestly,  cling to knowing I get to see you again. I think of you everyday. I think of how life would be with you here everyday. Do you remember how you hated sleeping in your bed for the first few weeks? You could only sleep in my (or Daddy's) arms. I loved every minute of snuggle and sleeping with you. I miss you more than words can say. I love you, sunshine, to Heaven and back.

"Now they were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them. And when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”
Luke 18: 15-17

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


While Thanksgiving is neary upon is, I've been trying to remind myself I still have things to be thankful for... yes, it's going to be a hard holiday. I seem to have harder days leading up to the holiday, then the day itself isn't actually as bad as I thought. I've always tried to remind myself that I still have a lot to be thankful for and realizing I will still have a good life. It will be entirely different than I had ever thought or what I had planned, but it will still be good. Even now, in the midst of losing our baby, we still have things to be thankful for... so here goes...

I am thankful for God. I'm more than thankful He sent His son for me. The sacrifice He made means more now than it ever has before. I'm thankful for eternal life. I'm thankful for Heaven and can't wait to see what it's like!!! I'm thankful we get to spend forever with Jesus. I'm thankful we get to spend forever with our loved ones. I'm thankful that this life we live is bigger than we could ever imagine. The things that happen to us will play out in a much bigger story than where we are the only characters... our lives and the way we live them is bigger than we can comprehend. We, often, forget. God's story didn't end when the Bible ended... it's still going. It's still being written. We are part of it now and someday we will get to see that big picture and suddenly everything that happened in our lives (good and bad) will be understood. I'm thankful we get to live a life of meaning and purpose. I'm just so thankful for my faith. I'm just so thankful for the unfailing love we get to receive.

I'm thankful for my family. I'm so blessed to have an amazing husband; he always works hard for our family. He loves me so much. He is the best dad I know. He encourages me... He gets me... I'm just so thankful to be spending my life with my best friend. I'm thankful for Cash. He's so fun. He's kept us going. He's made us get up and continue living life as normal as possible. He is so sweet. I'm thankful for Jovi. I'm so thankful for every moment I had with her. I'm so thankful for all of our memories. I'm thankful she never had to go through heartbreak or a terrible sickness... I am thankful for that. I'm thankful for my parents and my little brother. My dad was a huge help the day Jovi died. My mom (and dad) have been so great at being there and listening to all my possibilities on why Jovi died... and have been there when I'm feeling sad. They've made us countless dinners and kept us company when Daniel is working. I'm thankful for my in-laws. They are so supportive. I'm thankful my mom-in-law is able to watch Cash while I work. I'm thankful they always bring up Jovi and aren't afraid to speak her name. They always make me feel like she's important.

I'm thankful for friends. I'm thankful I have had some friends really step up and be so supportive. I'm so thankful for some new friends I've made in the last few months. I'm thankful to some who also listen and read my countless emails/texts on SIDS. I'm so thankful I have people to make me get out and even have fun and enjoy myself.

I'm thankful we have a warm roof over our head and always have food in our house.

Jovi baby- you will never, ever be forgotten or replaced. You will always be our daughter. You will always be a part of this family. You will forever have a place in my heart that will never be filled and will always be open and waiting for the day I finally get to come to Heaven and be with you. Our lives will forever be missing you until we are reunited. I miss you more than anything. I always think about you and what you'd be doing if you were here. I think about you a lot in the car and wish you were there... babbling in your carseat. I can't wait to hear your voice again. I love you so very much... to Heaven and back.

I'm thankful for this photo as it's my very favorite.

"Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls."
1 Peter 1:8-9

Friday, November 16, 2012

My BIG girl...

Happy EIGHTH month birthday, baby. How is it possibly fair you are celebrating in Heaven? How is it possible I've not been able to see you on your fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, and now eighth month birthdays? It doesn't seem possible... or as I always say... at all fair. Somedays I wonder how I'll celebrate dozens of more birthdays of yours without you. Somedays I want nothing more than to just come and see you. I hope you are getting some super big snuggles... I'm sending you lots.

I'm sitting next to Cash right now and he has a little fever. I should be sitting here stressing and hoping you don't catch whatever bug he has... but I don't get to... I guess I should be thankful you don't ever have to experience yucky sick bugs. It's hard to be thankful for anything that involves you being in Heaven.

I was giving Cash a bath last night and thinking how much fun you guys would have had taking baths together and if you weren't in the bath at that moment, you'd probably be close to crawling. Sitting and moving all around our floors... My mind can't even think of what you'd look like at this age. I just think of you as sixteen weeks... maybe just bigger.

I miss you so very much. I wish so much you were here. I wish you were snuggling with us on the couch right now. I wish I got to snuggle you when you were sick. I wish I didn't have to miss out on so much of your life. I know Heaven is amazing. I'd do anything to just be able to come for a visit... I love you so much, little girl... to Heaven and back.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

4 Months

How can it be? How have we hit four months already? How come I have to see four months without you, but I didn't even get four months with you? This all so unfair.

We hit your four month anniversary while Cash and I (Daddy had to work... bummer) were away on a trip. We were "helping" my aunt after she had surgery. I wasn't much help... I did a lot of child wrangling... but my mom did all the cooking and cleaning. Anyways- being out of town made for a good distraction. But, made coming home hard and so very sad. Being away takes your mind of things. I still thought of my sweet girl the entire time. I thought about what it'd be like if she had been there. Coming home missing one very important person is so hard. It's just the huge reminder that Jovi isn't here. It hits all over again that we have to live with this. It's always hard coming back to reality.

While we were away, I was able to meet Katrina. Katrina is my friend I found on the CJ SIDS parent page. She (in a roundabout way) knows my family down there. She lost her sweet Rowan to SIDS in May. We've talked a ton, texted lots, and sent back and forth many emails. We finally got to meet face to face. I've been meaning/needing to blog about meeting her since I got home, but everytime I sat down to write about I couldn't do it. I can't even explain how it feels to just be with someone who gets it. Everything we said, the other understand. Completely. How I wish we never had to be friends... but we can't change our fate. We have to be in this club. I'm SO thankful for her and thank God for putting her in my life. I really can't say how it feels. I think of her so much more than just a friend... she gets it. She gets how it feels to celebrate holidays without your baby. She gets how it feels to be terrified. She, so sadly, gets what it feels like to have to continue living after losing a love of your life. She just gets it. I really can't think of anyway else to say it... it's just such a blessing to have someone who is grieving like me... I was tearing up just having to say goodbye. She just gives me more of a reason to keep visiting. I'm sooo thankful God has given me her. She, also, has a little boy who is almost three. Cash and Jack had a great time. I was sure to tell Cashy that Jack had a little sister in Heaven, too. He said "They are playing together!". I'm sure they are.... maybe they even helped bring us together.

Jovi Sloan- I miss you more than words can say. I missed you so very much on our trip. I was, constantly, thinking how we'd have to be so careful shutting the door to the stairs if you were there. I'm so thankful for you. I'm so thankful for everyday I got to spend with you. Do you remember when we all went to the Fourth of July fireworks? You slept through them all. You were so sleepy, you didn't even wake up when I put you in your carseat when they were over. I loved snuggling with you during the firework show. I'm so thankful for all our memories. I wish we were able to have many, many more. I can't wait to see your beautiful face. I love you to Heaven and back.

"You can enter God's Kingdom only through a narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose the easy way. But, the gateway to life is small, and the road is narrow, and only a few ever find it."
 Matthew 7:13-14

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


I know death can turn people away from God or it can bring them closer. Jovi's death has definitely brought me closer to God. I feel like the day she died, shows God so much. It was no coincidence all the people God sent to me on that day. I've constantly thought I suddenly feel Heaven and can feel God so much more in my life. I see Him everywhere. I just realized it has to be partly because a piece of me is already in Heaven with Jesus. A big part of me went to Heaven on July 10th and will stay there until the rest of me makes it there. No one worry... I'm not having any thoughts about needing to get to Heaven tomorrow, but I can honestly say I can't wait to get there. I've always been afraid of dying. I'm not anymore. I can't wait for the day I get to see Jesus. I can't wait for the day I no longer feel pain, suffering, or grief. I can't wait for the day life gets a trillion times better than it is now.

People may wonder how I can feel faith and love for God even though my baby isn't here. For me, it's more I can't imagine life without Him. There are days I'm so, so sad and heartbroken and I'm only standing because of Him. I did/do have so many questions. I had to work through so many. There came a time that I had to just accept that God didn't save her. For some reason, unknown to me, God decided not to save my baby. Accepting that is difficult and so very sad. But, I don't have a doubt in my mind that someday I will get to Heaven and I will know why and it will all make sense. I have no doubt that God will make the best of this situation. Without this faith and hope in God, I'd be so, very lost.

I've definitely felt angry with Him and that doesn't mean I don't occasionally still do. I've wondered "Why us?"... or compared myself to other parents... or just plain cried that it isn't fair. It's not fair. God never promised us a fair life. He never promised that those who loved Him would have it easy. He did promise though that He'd always be there. He did promise that He'd always comfort us. He did promise that we will get to live forever with Him. I'd say those promises are pretty great. Very great.

Before Jovi died, I was very blessed (I still am blessed) and had never experienced the death of someone I loved. Jovi threw me off my seat... Her death shook my world and made it really feel destroyed. I've questioned life more than ever and have searched more than ever. Even when I'm angry with God, I still always come back... needing/wanting Him more than I did before. I can, honestly, say if it wasn't for God... I wouldn't be getting out of bed. He makes me want to keep living. He makes me want to help others through this awful, terrible thing we've been forced to deal with... He makes me want to strive to be better. I'm so thankful for everything He's done for me... so very thankful.

Jovi- I continue to be so thankful for every minute I got to spend with you. Remember when you were just born and I held and snuggled you for forever? You didn't even get weighed or measured for over an hour. I loved that. I miss you so much. I still think of you every second of every day. What are you doing right at this moment? I love you, sweet girl, to Heaven and back.

"The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." Deuteronomy 31:8

Sunday, November 4, 2012

It's Official

Jovi has officially been gone longer than she was here... how is that even possible? People always say that once a new baby is in your life, you can never remember how life was like before they were here. The statement is so true. I remember wondering how I'd handle two kids... if I could ever love a baby as much as I loved Cash... and then she arrived. It's amazing how they just fit right into your life. Just days into her life with us, I remember thinking I couldn't even remember what it was like with just one child. I was so in love with her... I don't know what I was even worried about. What no one tells you though, is when your baby dies, you remember exactly what life was like when they were here... life still doesn't feel normal without her even though we've now lived the same amount of time without her as we did with her. It's still weird to only get one kiddo ready for the day. It's still weird not to have a baby crying in the middle of the night. It's still weird I only put one kiddo to bed. It's still weird... it still doesn't feel right. I have read that missing someone so much means you loved them so much. I'd rather remember and feel weighted and older than to just forget.

There are numerous times I want to tell everyone in our community that we took the bullet for them. I just want to say... "Don't worry. I took the bullet for you. Your baby will live because mine didn't." It's so hard. I constantly see a baby and the first thought in my mind is wondering if she'll live or not. Then, I remember the statistics. She will live. I don't ever want babies to die. I never want another family to go through what we are going through. I never want that... not ever. But, that doesn't mean I don't wish it wasn't us or that I feel like we really took a major bullet.

I know I've written about time before... but I feel like I've aged so much in the last 116 days. Years... I feel like years have gone by in some ways. It feels like she was just here yesterday and my mind can barely comprehend she's been gone as long as she has... then in other ways it feels like she has been gone for decades. Ugh.

I have been reading the Bible lately. I'm trying to read it in a year. I've started in Genesis. It was interesting to read that in Bible times if someone (Jacob when "lost" Joseph) loses a loved one, the mourning period was 70 days. 70 days... that's a ton of time. I'm sure they still mourned their loved ones after those 70 days but there was 70 days just contributed to mourning. We don't do that here in America. It's nothing... You are expected to return to life as soon as possible. While I've never felt anyone saying that we need to move on or get over Jovi... I do feel like life just keeps going. We have no practices to let families just grieve. I think that's pretty sad.

Speaking of our country, did you know to claim your baby on your taxes they have to live for six months? It's not the money.. it's not at all about the money. It seems like they are saying my daughter didn't live... that to be qualified as your child our baby needs to live for six months. We give many people free health care, many people quite a bit of money for free food, we give many people tools for school (computers.... books.... iPads....), but to receive any penny for your baby, they must live for at least six months. I, also, think this is very sad. Please, I'm all for helping people out. I don't mind helping people with healthcare or food that need it... I just find it so sad that my daughter isn't deemed "our child" until she's lived long enough.

Anyways- Jovi baby, you are missed. I went to Auntie Jo's birthday today. All I could think of was that I'd never be able to hang out with her for so many hours during the day if you were here. I'd much rather have spent the day with you... unable to do certain things because I still have a nursing baby. I still cherish and love every minute we spent together. Do you remember when you would throw up on your sheets multiple times a night... at least three times before you'd fall asleep... and I'd have to change them everytime? Do you remember when I'd have to change you multiple times in the morning to get your outfit just right? I loved every minute with you. Every. Single. Minute. I can't wait to see your beautiful face. I can't wait to worship Jesus together. I can't wait to snuggle you. In the blink of an eye for you, sweet girl. I still miss you every second of everyday. I love you to Heaven and back.

"But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:31

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Happy Halloween, Baby.

Yesterday would have been your first halloween. I was heartbroken that that I didn't get to dress you up. I didn't get to show you off in your sweet, girly costume. Your brother was so sad you weren't here. He even said, "But, I want Jovi to see my costume.". We assured him you could see it and that someday you'll tell me how cool he looked as Captain America. Yesterday wasn't the same without you. I would have done anything to have you out trick-or-treating with us. You were so, so, so missed. We trick or treated to your grave. Did you see the pumpkin we left you? I would have never thought I'd have to visit you at the cemetery on holidays. I'm so thankful people still remember yesterday was going to be hard. People acknowledged that we are missing someone so special.

I dreamed about you the other night. It was so good to see you.... to hold you and to snuggle you. I'll pray for more Jovi dreams. I LOVE them.

You are so very missed. You always will be. I'll always be missing you. I can't wait to come and see you. I know Heaven is amazing. I'd do anything to know what you are doing in this minute... are you being rocked by angels? I love you to Heaven and back, baby.

Captain America Cash

You wearing your brother's robot costume

"But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him." 1 Corinthians 2:9

Monday, October 29, 2012


I have so many wishes since we lost our baby. I wish, first (obviously), that she was here. There are still days that I just sit and wonder why this was our fate. Why us? We're good parents. Good people. Why did she die? But, I get pretty much nowhere with those questions. I have no answers. I find myself wondering so often why my baby died. I was watching "Beethoven" with Cash the other day. Beethoven saved the little girl from the pool and all I could think was "Why does she get to live?". I know the statistics. I know rarely babies just die. I know this doesn't happen to many statistically. But, once it does happen, the statistic seems huge. We had a less than 1% chance of this happening to us. Less than 1% (.01%-.05% to be somewhat exact) and it still happened. Suddenly, statistics seem huge. Suddenly even 1% seems like a huge statistic. I wish I didn't know. I wish I never knew babies could just die. I can't say how vulnerable I feel after everything we've gone through. How suddenly it seems everything is going to happen. How suddenly a super small percentage feels HUGE. How I still breathe a sigh of relief when I see Cash's smiling face after he's been sleeping. I never care anymore if he wakes me up at 6:30 am... at least he still woke up. I've been doing so much better at not checking on him 100x's in a night, but I'm still so thankful when he does wake up. I wish I just never had to experience this.  I wish I didn't hold babies now and have to wonder and be sure they are still breathing. Ugh. I wish life hadn't taken this turn.

We miss you so much Jovi girl. I wish so much I could see you playing with Cash. Life is so much harder without you. Memories of you continue to fill my mind each day. I can't wait to see you. I'm so curious to what you've been up to... I've been sending lots of kisses up to you. I sure hope you are receiving every single one. I love you to Heaven and back.

"I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what He has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord." Psalm 40: 1-3

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


I feel like all I ever do is blog about the bad/hard days. I'm sure it's because when it's hard... I'm so much more feeling the need to blog or to just write to Jovi. But, I do have good days. I do have days where breathing feels easier. I do have days where I feel like a smile isn't forced. I do have days where I can, honestly, say I can/will do this. Good days just feel lighter. Easier to live. Easier to breath. Easier to smile.... easier to do everything. It doesn't mean I don't think of her any less. I still think of her all day long, but the thoughts are better. Good days are always very welcomed. It's such a roller coaster. I'll have a good day, then I am back down into a bad day. But, that's okay. It's how this all works. I'll never get over her or move on, so good days/bad days will be a part of the rest of my life. It's amazing how it can still feel so raw at times. Like I am back to the day she died. There are days I wonder if I'm making any steps at all or if I'm still stuck. Stuck where I was over three months ago (already?). But, then I have days that are good. Or days I can pick up a book I stopped reading just weeks after she died. I read the book all the way up until the lady's baby died (baby was found to be incompatible with life while she was pregnant) and couldn't bring myself to read about the funeral or how she survived. All I could relate to was that her baby died at the time and I didn't care about after that at the time. I picked up the book yesterday and have really been liking it. I want to get my hands on everything on how people survived after loss. When months ago, all I did was google stories about other mom's who lost babies. Or only read the baby's story about how/why they died. Now, I'd much rather read life after the baby. How they are living. How they are grieving and what is working for them. I'd say that has to be growth. I've gotta be headed in some good direction however slow it may be.

Cash has been so sweet lately. He's really been talking a lot about Jovi. Asking a lot of questions or simply just saying memories about her. I love it. I love that he brings her up. Today we were playing at a friends house. They have a little baby. I saw Cash looking longingly at the baby boy. Then, he said to the big brother, "My baby is in Heaven.". It was so matter of fact. It had a hint of sadness, but it was so sweet. So innocent. And he brought up and acknowledged he had a sister all on his own. When I first heard it, it made me tear up and want to sob. Heartbroken that he doesn't get to experience Jovi's life and friendship; that he has to have a sister in Heaven. But, later it made me even smile a little bit. He brought her up. He remembered his baby all on his own. I love that.

Jovi girl- we had dinner at Nana and Papa's today. After cleaning up, I was sitting on the couch just thinking how you should/would be sitting and playing with toys. My mind can't even comprehend what you would be like at seven months. I can't wait to see. I'll say it until I'm blue in the face that I can't wait to see you. It still feels so strange living without you. I (we all) miss you more than words can say. You will forever be our baby. You'll forever be the girl who left such a major impact on our hearts and lives. I cherish EVERY single moment I spent with you. Thank you for waking me up at night. I love those extra minutes (sometimes hours) we shared.... I'll forever be grateful. I love you to Heaven and back.

"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; ;and when you pass through the rivers, they will sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior." Isaiah 43:2-3

Saturday, October 20, 2012


It still astounds me that time just continues to go by... and goes by so fast. Your 7 month birthday was celebrated in Heaven. You've now had 3 milestones in Heaven. We've gone your entire fourth, your entire fifth, and your entire sixth month without you. I can't for the life of me imagine what you'd be doing or what you'd even look like. I can't wait to get to Heaven and see your face. I sure hope and pray that I get to see you grow up. I know I say it all the time, but I hope more than anything you are a baby and I'll get to watch you grow even if it's so fast. I just want to see you grow. I can't believe life continues on. People forget and time moves on. We are doing our best to keep living, but we will never "move on" and we will never forget you. You will always be a part of our family. I will always and forever think of how life would be if you were here. It's been so interesting in this entire situation to see who has rised together with us. To see who understands that even though time has gone on that I still have moments where it seems impossible to keep going. That my heart still aches for you every single minute of everyday. That my first thought in the morning is you aren't here. There are those who don't remember or those who forget or just don't understand how entirely difficult this is. I can say I haven't been the best with death. I can say I haven't been there for those who have lost. But, if I've learned anything the last few months, I've learned how people want to be treated. So, thank you to all of you who still remember Jovi. Thank you to everyone who hasn't been afraid to be my friend or talk about Jovi. Thank you to everyone who hasn't forgotten. Your random texts or messages mean more to me than I could ever possibly say.  

Jovi- I still miss you all day long. I still think of you all day every day. We went to the pumpkin patch and I couldn't help but cry when we got home. We will never get to take you to the pumpkin patch. The nevers are so hard. I feel so cheated. Another bereaved mom posted about how she feels like she prepared and did everything she could to pass a test and she failed. All those around her were cheating or didn't study and they passed. I can so relate. I think every day of the day I finally get to come to Heaven. I can't wait for you to lead me around Heaven. I can't wait for you to tell me all about Jesus and what you've been doing. I can't wait to enjoy Heaven with you. I miss you so, so, so very much. Life will never be the same. I love you to Heaven and back.

"The righteous pass away; the godly often die before their time. And no one seems to care or wonder why. No one seems to understand that God is protecting them from the evil to come. For the godly who die will rest in peace." Isaiah 57: 1-2

"He will wipe away tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." Revelation 21: 4 (I can't wait for this day)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Life As I Know It

Life has been hard lately. The SIDS run last week then a balloon release for Infant/Pregnancy Loss this week. Too many hard events together. I'm so sad I even have to go at all. I didn't really want to go to either event. No one should have to go to an event to honor their baby in Heaven. Ugh. Well, I survived them both, so that's good I guess. Yesterday, I didn't even want to go to the balloon release really. I will always go to honor Jovi, but so wish I just didn't have to go. I'd just much rather her here. But, that isn't an option. Jovi's in Heaven and I was forced to be a bereaved mom. Yuck. I hate it.

I cleaned her carseat out today to give to another mom. It was heartbreaking. It smelled like her and still some of her sweet hair on it. It's done though. I never have to clean it again. All of the laundry was done when Jovi died, so I had absolutely nothing that just smelled like her. Her carseat did, though. It was very hard, but her carseat is such a huge memory to me. She sat in it a lot. She threw up in it a lot. I swear I was always cleaning that thing out. It's sad to see it go, but I'll always remember it. I have lots of pictures of her in it. I'm glad that another mommy/baby can get use out of something that means a lot to me.

While looking for the manual to the carseat, I found all of Jovi's cards from her baby shower. It was so sad to read them all. It was so sad that the last time I read them I had no idea that she was going to die. I was so naive. I hate that I know now that babies just die. I am terrified to bring another baby home. I am so sad we have to know that babies just die. All in all, it's just so, so sad.

I do know I have some peace and comfort that some other parents don't have... I believe SO much in God. I know Jovi is in a better place. I know she is with the very best babysitter... ever. I know she will be okay until I can get to her. I've never in my life felt God so much in my life. I've never in my life contemplated life and death. I've never in my life understood so much the sacrifice God made sending His only son to die for me. I've never in my life needed God like I do now. I'm so thankful for all He has done for me. I'm so thankful that He has given eternal life. That I will get to spend eternity with my family celebrating Jesus. It's pretty great, I'd say. I know I get to see Jovi's sweet face again. My faith is easily the only thing that's getting me through each day... I'm just so thankful.

"Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered- how fleeting my life is. You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand. My entire lifetime is just a moment to you; at best, each of us is but a breath... and so, Lord, where do I put my hope?  My only hope is in you." Psalm 39: 4-5, 7

Friday, October 12, 2012

3 Months

Three months.... Thirteen weeks since I've seen that sweet face of yours, Jovi. I can't believe it. I can't believe I only have roughly 3 weeks left and then you've been gone longer than you were ever here. I'm heartbroken still. I'm so sad still. While the world moves on, we are still left with the extreme sadness and loss of our baby. Somedays, it's so entirely unfair.

We took family pictures without you. It was so bittersweet. You should have been there instead of us having to use the "J" from your room to include you in our photos. Cash did so good. Did you watch and see him just acting like a big goon?

That's about all I've got today. I miss you more than I could ever say. I love you so much... to Heaven and back.

"Why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.” Acts 1:11

Monday, October 8, 2012

Run for the Angels

The SIDS run was yesterday. I was dreading it. I was so sad that I had to go to run a run to honor my dead baby. I didn't want to go. People kept asking me if I was excited... I wasn't at all. It made me sick to my stomach even thinking about going. But, of course I went for you, Jovi girl. It turned out so much better than I thought. I made (with the help of Nana, some great-gma's and an auntie) rosettes for everyone to wear who ran for you. It was so fun seeing your face on everyone. You had a great turnout. So many people love you. It was so great to be able to get out with everyone to honor and remember you (and all the other local babies lost to SIDS). It was so much better than I imagined. I could talk about you all day, so it's nice to get a day to even just celebrate you. You are so loved. I know you had to be watching. Did you get the balloons we sent to you? Cash was so cute after the run. In the car he said, "I won the whole race!". He was very proud of himself and so excited to have a race number! Nana and Papa threw a BBQ after... it was all in all a good day remembering you. We felt so blessed and loved by everyone who came to honor you. We can't say how much it meant to us.

I've been fixated on you and SIDS lately. Thinking how you were not by any means the classic SIDS baby who had no symptoms then just died. You had so many symptoms... at 4 days of age, you started this weird vomitting thing where you would have a HUGE throw up then stop breathing. You'd usually recover well. Sometimes you'd just turn a dusky color. Sometimes purple... sometimes you'd get a hoarse voice. One time you entirely stopped breathing and we had to call 911. You continued these barfs till at least three months. They were only occasionally... but they were always terrifying. These barfs is why we were instructed to sleep you on you side. Once you could roll from your side to your tummy, we took the swaddler off and the sleep positioner out to make your bed safe. You never slept on your back. You wouldn't. I, also, witnessed numerous of these big barfs in your bed and can only imagine they wouldn't have gone over well had you been sleeping flat on your back. You had terrible reflux. You did a high pitched breathing noise all the time. You dropped from the 90% percentile in weight (at 2 months) to the 50% percentile (autopsy weight)... you were so scrawny! We do not have scrawny babies in our families! I just can't help but think everything went together. You didn't just die. You didn't die because you were tummy sleeping. You had something in you that couldn't have been working right. You showed us lots of times that things weren't normal. I, so often. wish I would have pushed harder to get a diagnosis for you. But, then I always wonder what if we would have ended up here and known it? We lived our last few months with you happily. Blissfully unaware you were going to die. I'd much rather have it that way then had known your death could happen any day. You've taught me so much. You were the best little girl. Despite your numerous health scares, you were the easiest baby. You never cried. Ever. I love you so much. I enjoyed every second of everyday we spent together. I can't wait to get to you and spend FOREVER together with Jesus. It's going to be amazing. I miss you so much. I know you are doing well and I know you have to be having a blast. You are with the best babysitter ever. I love you to Heaven and back.

Daddy and Cash

Kathy, Kaleigh, Amanda, Mommy, and Linda

Jessie, Landon, and Logan

Erika and Kaleigh

Megan, Frank, Kevin, and Jessica

Jennifer and Kim

Uncle Justin

Brett and Ada

Uncle Max

Nana, Papa, and Uncle Max

Grandma, Auntie Jo, and Milo

Finney, Chris, and Meredith

Nana and Papa

Lori, Hillary, Lydia, Sadie, and Carla

The Memory Table

Us crossing the finish line

Balloons sent to you

Your family.
All but the last two photos were taken by Melissa for Inland NW Sids Foundation's Run for the Angels 2012

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Peds Floor

Oh Jovi. Your cousin was born today. I wanted to go see her. I braved the hospital not thinking it would be as hard as it was... It hit me like a ton of bricks when I walked onto the Peds floor. Of course, they were put her there. Of course, they were put in the room next to yours when you were born. Of course, they even had your nurse. I had no idea it'd be so hard. It wasn't hard seeing the baby. I am so happy for them. After losing sweet Aliyah, I'm so very happy for them. I am so happy they get to have life back in their house. But, the hospital was so hard. I walked right pass the room where you were admitted when you had your fever. All I can think of is this isn't fair. I should have my almost 7 month old baby. I shouldn't feel like I can't breathe when I walk on that floor. I should have you in my arms. I miss you more than I can say. I miss you every minute of everyday. I love you to Heaven and back.

Jovi was admitted for a fever at 5 weeks of age... I thought that was hard...

Monday, October 1, 2012


The guilt doesn't eat at me anymore. The anger doesn't eat me up anymore. I've talked about that recently, but what I forgot to mention was the panicked feeling I still feel since Jovi's death. Nothing could ever explained the sheer pain I felt the day she died. Nothing can ever explain what I felt like hearing her alarm, picking her up, making my phone call to 911, and talking to dispatch. Nothing. I could never describe how awful it was or how entirely panicked I felt. By the time help arrived, I was definitely still very panicked, but didn't have to be the one doing CPR anymore. I didn't have to be the one who tried to save her. The (couldn't have been more than) five minutes until help arrived was so awful. That panic still hits... and hits hard. I'll just be driving and bam.... I'm taken right back to that moment of opening the door and hearing that sound. I can still see that day so clearly. Every image and detail is still very much strong in my head. That panic feeling is so terrible and something I wish upon no one. It definitely comes so randomly. I'm sure with time, it has to get better, but I still feel/remember everything on that dreadful day. Ugh.

Anyways, Jovi- we miss you sooooo much! We went to the park today and there was a little boy toddling around the park. It made me so sad to think that I won't get to see you toddling around at the park. We, also, cleaned up Cash's room. I put a bunch of toys away in the bin of baby toys and remembered that you will never play with those toys. I never even got to pull out one toy out of that bin for you. You are still in so many of my daily thoughts. Your brother misses more than you probably realize. He has talked a lot about you lately. He says he wants us to go to Heaven or that he wants to go to Heaven. I try to explain to him that he can't go to Heaven anytime soon and try to tell him that you are having fun until we get there. We've hung out with some babies and I think that's why the questions are back full force. Poor little guy, even asks, "When we have another baby will she have to go to Heaven, too?"... what three year old should ever have to think of such a thing? He was so good to you. He loves babies soooo much.Your daddy is missing you so much. We all just miss you so much. Life is still so hard without you, but we are learning to live and find joy even without you in our arms. We know we will get to see you. What seems like eons for us is only a blink of an eye for you. It will never be the same without you here. We love you so much.... to Heaven and back.

"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; He rescues those who are crushed in spirit." Psalm 34:18

Monday, September 24, 2012


Oh, grief. It pretty much sucks to say the least. There really isn't any way to sum up what this feels like... super sucky, sh*tty, the worst thing ever.... nothing. I've tried to come up with some adequate way of explaing what if feels like to lose a baby, but I really just can't do it.

For me- it's been so difficult. I stayed in the "what if's" or "if only's" for the first entire month. They were so hard. The guilt was so heavy. I felt like there was still some hope she could come back. If only I'd woken her up sooner plagued me daily... all day long. I felt so guilty for the way I laid her down. I've worked through the guilt, mostly. Of course, it still flares up from time to time but not near was often as it did in the beginning. I was the best mom I could be to Jovi. I did everything I could for her and I don't doubt that anymore.

The anger set in after that... I remember so often being just so ticked off. So mad this had happened to us. So mad that moms who neglected their babies still had them. So mad any mom still had their baby in general. So mad at doctors for not saving her. So mad that she didn't have certain tests done when she was alive. So mad at myself. Mad that God allowed this to happen to my family. Eventually, I worked through most of that... We all did the best we could with Jovi, doctors very much included. I still can't say why she died. But, I don't think God violently/madly took her away from me. So when the anger left (mostly, of course)...

I was left with just extreme sadness. At the end of the day, my baby is still dead. At the beginning of every day, my baby is still dead. Every day, Jovi is still dead. It's so hard. It's so sad. The hope that she will come back is gone. I don't have anyone to be directly angry at anymore. I'm just so sad. Some moments are just so entirely hard.

I still have hope for our future. My life with Jovi was headed one direction and the day she died it shot in an entirely different direction then I had planned. I do believe our life will still be good. Our new path isn't doomed forever (although, I feel so vulnerable now). I pray, hope, and am trying so hard to have faith, that we will continue an amazing life despite the death of our baby.  But, I'm still very sad. I miss her so much. I, so often, think of her. She's still my first thought in the morning and the first at night. It's amazing how such a short time with her left such a huge impact on my (our) life. I do feel so entirely blessed for every single moment I spent with her and am so thankful for all the memories. I'd do this all over again even if we only were allowed the same amount of time together.

I love you, Jovi, to Heaven and back.

Jovi's favorite apple toy

Just going for walk in June

Jovi LOVED her snuggle wrap