Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Far Away

Here we are... About to embark on another new year. I can't believe 2013 is over... I can't believe I survived an entire year where my baby wasn't here. I can't believe I'm going into another year that will be missing Jovi. 

2013 has been good to us. I've found more reasons to smile. I've remembered I'm blessed. I have an amazing husband, a wonderful little man and was blessed with a new little beauty. I have an extremely supportive family and awesome friends. It's been a year filled with laughs and smiles and more tears of joy than I ever thought possible. I've seen a baby get teeth. I've been able to buy a Christmas dress. I've taken a little to his first day of preschool. I've fed a baby solids. I've taken littles swimming. We've gone to waterparks. We taken vacations. I've seen one of my own babies turn 6 months. I've celebrated a little man's 4th birthday. An amazing work promotion for my great hubby. New friends. I've loved. I've been loved. It's been so good. Thanks for the good, 2013. I'm so, SO thankful. 

2013 has came with tears of sadness and low moments, too. My grandpa joined Jovi in Heaven. I went to a baby shower with a baby there whose name is Jovie. I've gone through Jovi's first birthday Joviless... And forced to relive the day she died. I've realized I'll never have a picture of all my babies that doesn't include a grave. I've relived the day we celebrated Jovi's life. I've been to the cemetery more than I'd ever like.... I've lost countless tears and spent countless hours thinking about my baby in Heaven. 

I never thought that'd I'd live through the last half of 2012, never thought it possible to make it through the entire 2013 without one smile from Jovi, and yet, here I am, about to ring in another year. I've made it so far...

 2014... I pray you are more healing than I could imagine. I pray you bring my family more laughs than tears and more joy than sadness. 

Jovi- you've made me want to be better. I will do my very best not to waste a minute here without you. 

"I love you 
I've loved you all along
And I miss you 
Been far away for far too long 
I keep dreaming 
You'll be with me
And you'll never go
Stop breathing 
If I don't see you anymore"
"Far Away" Nickelback

Sunday, December 22, 2013


Dear Jovi,

You have the sweetest brother. He misses you so much. He asks about you so much. He talks about you so much. He sleeps with Jovi Bear snuggled right next to him and says, "It makes me feel like I'm snuggling Jovi". 

Did you see what he did the other day? He saw a man asking for money outside of Walmart. He had a broken leg. Cash was very concerned about him and wanted to go home to take him some of his very own money. We went home, put Cash's money in a bag, added some treats and took it back. Cash gave it to him... And it was all his idea. He has a kind heart. 

I owe Cashy so much. He saved us when you left. He kept me breathing and living. He saved me. He made me keep going. He kept me laughing. He kept me smiling. He gave me a reason to get out of bed. 

He is scared, too. He's scared of losing another sister. The other day he said he didn't want Lila to die. It breaks my heart he has to know. He has to know hurt. He has to know fear. And that he has to worry about another sister... 

Cashy misses you. So much. He still remembers his first sister all the time. 

I love you to Heaven and back. 


He is so silly 

He helps carry Christmas trees
He goes bowling 


Dear Jovi,

We went swimming today. I realized I never got to take you swimming while you were here. I guess I took you to the lake but all I did was out your feet in. I didn't see you splash and squeal in delight. While in the water park, I couldn't help but think what it would be like if you were here... 21 months old... Toddling all around and going down the little baby water slides. How I wish I could see...
Do you have water parks in Heaven? :)

Your brother was so brave and had a blast. Even went down the big slides all by himself! He's getting so big. Your sister loved every minute of playing in the water. She shrieked and squealed... I can't help but think you were smiling watching us play and smile and laugh and enjoy the day.

You were missed so much. You were thought about so much.

I love you to Heaven and back.


Saturday, December 21, 2013


Dear Jovi,

Christmas is here again.... And we are celebrating Christmas again without you. How is it even fair? It feels so much more real this year... More sad and more depressing and more that this is our life forever. We are stuck attempting to enjoy holidays while missing our baby... While missing our sister... I can't help but think what you'd want. What toy would grab your attention or what outfits I would he buying you. Would you be a big girl? Petite? I'd imagine petite. You always were just a little peanut. 

Your brother and sister saw Santa. I always tear up with these "big" milestones. We have a picture with Cash and Santa every year since his first Christmas. It was a family tradition at my house and my mom still displays our yearly Santa photos. I've always looked forward to continuing the tradition until last year... When I had to step foot in the mall without you to take the big traditional photo. I was so blessed to have Cash, but you were missing. It was so hard. This year, however, we had a little lady to take to see Santa with Cash. I have a Santa picture of two of my kids. I rejoice that Lila has lived to see Santa. I rejoice I was able to get her and your brother all dolled up to see Santa. But, again, you were missing. You weren't there. I don't have a picture of three kids sitting on Santa's lap. It's times like these that reinforce we are not complete. We are not whole. We will never have a picture of all of our babies together that doesn't include a grave, a "J", or something else that symbolizes you. 

I teared up putting your footprint ornament on the tree. I teared up hanging your stocking and hate thinking we go another year where it sits empty... But, I feel like we are still including you. And while part of me is so sad to see it hanging, the other part just loves to see your name in our house... Your stocking hanging with your siblings. 

I miss you more as each day passes. What are you doing right now? Are you getting ready for Jesus's birthday? I can only imagine the celebration...

I love you to Heaven and back. 


Saturday, December 7, 2013


I can't believe I am going on two Christmas's without my baby.

Where has the time gone? And to think I have many more Christmas's that I have to spend without my complete family, is heartbreaking.

I, often, feel so pulled in being a mom to kids here and one in Heaven. I want to be an advocate for SIDS and do so much for our local SIDS program. I want to get tons of darling decorations for Jovi's grave... I want to spend more time at Jovi's grave... I want to spend more time thinking about her... I want to blog more... But, then I have to stop and remind myself that she isn't here. As sucky and so crappy as it is, Jovi is not here. Jovi is okay. Jovi is amazing. Jovi is happy. And Jovi knows I love her regardless of what I'm doing. Jovi knows I think about her as I drive the car.  Jovi knows I think about her when I give her siblings a bath and she isn't in there... Jovi knows. I don't have to prove my love to her with fancy decor and hours of volunteering. I, also, have to remind myself that I have two young kids who need me here. Two, on Earth, who need fed... bathed... played with... it's just not my season to be a huge advocate at this time. As much as I want to... I have to remind myself that it's, sometimes, not my season. I have years to volunteer. Years to help newly bereaved families... But, I do feel so pulled between the two... Heaven and Earth.

I'm thinking of making this blog more, too, about letters to Jovi. Letters about what we have been doing and being able to show other families that life can and does continue on... despite a very broken heart. We still smile. We still laugh. We still love... and I want to show that. I want this as an avenue for the sad and so hard days, too.  But, I want to show the good days. The lighter days that are filled with joy.

Jovi Sloan- I miss you more today than I did yesterday. I miss you when your brother and sister wake up and I miss you when I put them to bed. I see so much of you in them and wonder so much about what life could/should be like. I can't imagine who you would be right now or what you would look like. You'd be so big!! My mind can't even comprehend what my 20 month old baby would look like... I'd give anything just for a glimpse of you. I miss you every second of everyday. I love you, baby, to Heaven and back.

Thursday, November 7, 2013


You visited me in my dreams. Whether or not it's really you... I don't care. I still feel like I got to be with you.

I haven't seen you in my dreams in months... for a really long time. I prayed and asked God for a Jovi dream and guess what? I saw you that very night.

We were all on vacation... swimming in a pool. I felt really torn between you and Lila. I couldn't get to you... but you just kept throwing up. You looked so, so sick. You were weak and would just lay around while Cash swam and swam. I finally was able to pick you up. It felt so good to hold you. To snuggle your sweet body. You smiled at me. You knew who I was and I knew you. Every time I see you in my dreams, I am mesmerized by you. I could stare at you all day. I held you and hugged you for the longest time. I know you knew... and I know you felt loved. There's something about us... I knew you the minute I saw you when you were born and since you've passed and I get a Jovi visit in my dreams... it's the same. We just know each other. The bond is still there. I held you and enjoyed every second. But, you were sick. I could tell being with us was hard on you and just not right. So, I gave you one last tight squeeze and set you down... and you just drifted off... and were gone. As if I knew you were better off where you are now... in Heaven. While many would think dreams would be hard, (they are) but they are better than nothing at all. I cherish the few minutes I got with you even if I had to wake up only to realize they weren't true or you were still in Heaven and I still on Earth... having who knows what in between us. I still love to see you.

I've often wondered if you would have lived a really hard life if she had stayed... Did God bring you home early because you would have lived a tragic, hard, or painful life here if you got to live longer? Were you taken early because that was the best for all of us?

I know our reunion in Heaven is going to only be a fraction of what it is here. But, you always know who I am when I see you in my dreams. And I know you will know when I get to Heaven. I can't even begin to imagine what it will be like to hold you for eternity... never being afraid of waking up and realizing it isn't real. Thank you for the snuggles, baby. I loved every minute. I love you so much... to Heaven and back.

"Forever could never be long enough for me to feel like I've  had long enough with you." Train

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


I'm in a weird stage... a weird phase of grief that I don't think I've hit before.

I'm so mad and so bitter that Jovi died. I'm so mad this is my life. I'm so mad that for the rest of my life I get to live missing someone I love so much for FOREVER. There is something about the second year... the seconds of everything... that is so hard. Dare I say harder than the first?! Maybe not harder... but different and harder in its own way. It's so final. So for sure. The reality of our situation has really sunk in. Last year, I think the shock is what got me through all the firsts. The sheer shock of losing my baby made me make it through. The shock has worn off and the reality is now here. Jovi's not coming back. She's gone for the rest of this life. And it sucks. It sucks more than I could describe. I lived all last year knowing she was gone and not coming back, but there is something about hitting the second year that makes it that much more cemented and that much more real.

I used to "look forward" to buying things for Jovi's grave and going to visit. Decorating for each upcoming holiday and visiting on every single holiday or special day or just random occasion. I don't look forward to it now. I hate it. I hate that I have to decorate a grave for Halloween. I hate that I have to go look for decor to take to where my daughter is buried. I hate that I have to do it at all. So, it's been a long time since I've been there. We went recently and it felt okay. Better than I had anticipated. But, I left again... feeling so frustrated with it all. So, so sad.

I used to think an answer to SIDS or why Jovi died would bring her back. As if a diagnosis could change time and I could go back and save her. It's weird because I knew this couldn't happen. Six months ago, I knew an answer couldn't save her... but, I lived in some dream fantasy where I thought, subconsciously, it could. Sort of like the entire first month she was gone, I thought that someone would just show up with her on the porch apologizing that they made a mistake. I, of course, want an answer to SIDS. Want someone to fix this problem so another family/baby can be saved, but it'll bring it's own set of issues, too. Why couldn't it have happened earlier and my baby could have been saved?

I just find myself more mad than I've ever been before. And I just don't get it. For the life of me, I don't get how she was just here one minute then gone the next. What the hell? It still doesn't make sense and there are days I'm just so mad. How can this happen? I think Lila has made that harder. Because I hold her and think in two hours, she could be just be gone... never coming back. Really? How??? Jovi's little body failed her. It just stopped working. Her heart just stopped beating and she just stopped breathing... why? And how was she just gone? In an instant. No warning. No nothing.

Jovi, I find myself wanting to be able to explain to you how much you are missed. And I can't. I can't even come up with words that could explain it. I know you know. I know you know how much I miss you.... how much I love you... and how much I think about you all day even though I don't visit you as much as I used to. I know you know you are loved. I miss you... I'd do anything to have you here now. I love you, sunshine, to Heaven and back.

"Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things."
1 Corinthians 13:7

Thursday, October 17, 2013

J is for Jovi

Jovi girl-

We talk about you so often in this house. We have pictures of you all over the house. I love to look at your face and sometimes stop and kiss you goodnight after I tuck your brother in... there is a picture of you right outside his room. It's perfect. The other day, we had a friend over with a baby who was all over some "block" pictures we have of you. The pictures are mod podged onto wood, so they aren't easily broken by any means. The little boy was playing with the block pictures of you... your brother came and took them away and placed them on the counter. Right after the little guy left, he took them down and put them back in their place. He looked longingly at the pictures and said he missed you so much... and then quietly, sadly added, "I wish Jovi didn't have to die". Ugh. Me too, buddy. I can't tell you how often I wish my life was different or how often I wish.... I crave.... I long for you back in our house... back in my arms. Back to bug your brother and steal his toys. Back so we could all touch your sweet face, snuggle you, kiss YOU goodnight and not pictures or look at pictures dreaming of what my life could be... or what your life could have been. And it isn't just me. It's your daddy... your nana... your papa... your grandma... your grandpa... your cousins... aunts... uncles... and very much your four year old brother. He stayed with Grandma tonight for a bit at Auntie Jo's house. He was at Auntie Jo's when we picked him up after you passed away. His first question when we picked him up was "Where is baby Jovi?". The question and the innocence of his voice still haunts me to this day. When we picked him up tonight, he immediately asked where Lila was... I wonder if he's afraid. Afraid she will just someday leave like you did. I can't tell you how much we all miss you. I can't say enough how much we wish you could have stayed.  

You are my first thought in the morning and my last thought before I go to sleep. You haven't came to visit me in my dreams in so long. How I wish you'd come visit. I love to be able to wake up realizing I'd just spent what felt like hours with you...snuggling you... loving you... I never knew my heart could miss someone so much. I never knew what it was like to lose someone you loved. You and I had a special bond. One that was instant from the start. I loved you from the minute I saw you. You were easy (minus those scary barfs and weird breathing stuff you did). You didn't cry. You loved to snuggle. LOVED to snuggle. As a mommy of three, you are my only one who loved to snuggle and boy did I love those snuggles. I'm so thankful for every moment I stopped to just hold you. You slept in my bed. I'm so thankful for all those midnight sleeps together. Have I told you lately that I miss you? And that I wish you were here? Because that's basically all I can say. How I wish we had ended differently... how I wish you were still here... and how I miss you so much it hurts... every minute of every day. How not a second goes by that I don't wonder what you'd be doing... or how I am drawn to 18 month old girls wanting to creepily just hold them and hug them to allow me to just know what it would be like to have you here now. I want to read you "Rainbow Rob" and "B is for Bear". Remember, "J is for Juice..." I always want to cover that page with "J is for Jovi..." and plaster your face all over the page. I see you everywhere. 

I can't wait for the day I get to see you again. I long for that day... I think about our reunion often and what an amazing day it will be when I get to see your face... one I've missed so much. It's going to be an amazing day. I pray every night asking Jesus to give you kisses and snuggles and I hope you are receiving every single one. Your mommy hasn't forgotten you, baby. Not for a second.

I wish you were here. I miss you more than I could ever even say. I love you, Jovi, to Heaven and back.


Lots of Pictures

Team Jovi at the Run for the Angels
Can you say overwhelming AMAZING support?
To see my sweet girl's face on so many shirts was amazing. Heartbreaking. But, so sweet at the same time. You touched many, Jovi Sloan. 

Honoring Jovi on Infant Loss Remembrance Day... and remembering all her little Heaven friends.
Way too many candles to light...

Jovi in the Parents magazine.
My girl is a star.

Last Few Weeks

Mixed emotions here lately.

We had the local SIDS walk Sunday. It's amazing the amount of people that showed up to support my family... to honor Jovi. There was probably 75 people there to honor my little love. I was shocked and speechless by the love we were shown again. I am so blessed to have such wonderful friends and family. Two friends even put together Jovi shirts. It was overwhelming to see her face on countless people... Amazing and heartbreaking. It was another day of filled with shock, love, and feeling so blessed... but then wishing it wasn't me. Wishing it wasn't my baby... and wishing Jovi was here. It was another day filled with constant reminders that my daughter isn't here. Another day filled with wishing this wasn't my life and that I didn't have to do this. Such a mix of emotions.

Jovi's picture was featured in the Parents magazine in an article about SIDS. Just another wishing it wasn't her face there, but so neat to have her face out there. It was an article basically saying that if you do A, B, and C then your baby will survive. It's entire focus was the safe sleep campaign. It upset many SIDS moms and as I was reading it the first time, I got offensive, too. I did everything I could to keep my baby alive... but then I see pictures of friends babies sleeping on Facebook and realize the safe sleep message still needs to be spread. And, I understand the need for spreading the work to sleep your baby as safe as possible. It's very much needed.

We had to go through another Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Ugh. Another day where I just wish I didn't have to know what that day was or that it even existed much less having to light a candle to honor and remember my own baby. Is this real life?

I can't wait for Heaven. I know I freak people out when I say that. I know it makes people feel weird. But, who wouldn't want to live in paradise forever?! No tears, no sadness, no despair, no anxiety, no stress... just FOREVER with Jesus and those I love... and the precious baby I haven't seen in 15 months. That's what real life I want and that's what real life I can't wait to have... but I'll continue trying to bring Heaven here, too.

"Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,”for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every 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.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children." Revelations 21:1-7

Have I told you I can't wait for this?!

Monday, September 23, 2013


It's been a rough few weeks.

Lila June has officially made it to 16 weeks and 5 days... while her sister left us at 16 weeks and 4 days. It's so bittersweet. A lot of sweet, but definitely some bitter is in there, too. Now, we start a new journey filled of memories we were never able to make with Jovi, but are so happy to make with Lila.

These last few weeks have been hard. Right up there with the anniversary. I was reliving those last days... only with a baby the same age... So, so, so many flashbacks. So many memories. I was so sad to be realizing that at this age with Jovi I only had 4 more days... 3 more days.... remembering everything we did. It was just a lot of "in your face" memories. It was just all right there. It made me miss Jovi even more. It made me remember her even more. It made me realize how much I don't remember and wish I did... I can't remember her laugh... that's the biggest memory I can't remember and the one that drives me the most crazy. I can't remember and don't have a video to jog my memory.

The last few weeks were, also, hard because it brought July 10th back in full force. I can't even fathom how I lived that day. I did... but I still don't get how. I'd be sitting there snuggling LIla and thinking how the hell could I do CPR on her in few hours... then have to say goodbye forever in just a few more? My mind can't/doesn't comprehend how I even did it. It must be sheer shock... I've done it... lived the day my baby died... and yet my mind is, sometimes, still boggled on how I did it.

And, of course, the last few weeks were hard because I feard for Lila's life. We've had a few bumps in the road with her health (little ones). She had her first cold... scary because many SIDS babies have colds at their time of death. There were SO many emotions and SO many tears. Often, I just held her and told her she couldn't leave. I prayed and asked God countless times to let her stay... to stay and live here for a very long time. I watched her sleep. I picked her up in the middle of the night just to snuggle her and feel her warm, breathing body. And, she's still here. We made it through this hurdle. A weight has lifted...

Jovi Sloan- you have impacted me in more ways than one. In your short life, you've taught me just how important, precious, and short life is... I'll do my very best not to waste of minute of my life without you. You've taught me to live each day to the very fullest and to be so thankful to be here. You've taught me to love to the very fullest and to love the life I live. Thank you for teaching me to love more and to love harder. Thank you for teaching me what's important and what isn't... I wish I didn't have to learn this way, but thank you for teaching your mommy the most important lessons I've ever/could ever learn. Thank you for making me a better mommy. Thank you for being a part of our family. I miss you more as each day passes. I miss your laugh and your chimpanzee hair. I miss your lanky arms and legs. I miss your laugh, your red-painted toes, and your pretty blue eyes. I can't wait to snuggle you again. I love you to Heaven and back.

My very favorite pictures of my Jovi girl

Lila at 16 weeks and 4 days

"Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him; GOd is a refuge for us."
Psalm 62:8

Monday, September 9, 2013

In One Year

I'm so different than who I was one year ago... Life is so different. Our family is different. One year ago, we were still floored by our baby's death. I was still drowning in grief daily... all day... Jovi's death has rocked me to my very core. Things have changed, though. Some for the better and others not so much.

Missing- I am quite positive I miss Jovi more than I did one year ago. It seems surreal that she's been gone now for 14 months. Holy cow. I miss her so much more. Because then, I had at least just held her two months ago and now it's been 14 months. 14 big months. And I'm pretty sure I miss her more and more with every passing day... Really. The missing doesn't get any better... and maybe even worse. I just never knew I could miss someone as much as I miss her.

Friends- Someone posted on Facebook how they were sorry for falling away from their friends when their son died... and how they didn't know how to be around friends because they didn't even know who they were. I never realized this, but I can so relate. I still am figuring out who I am in friendships that I had before Jovi died. I'm different now. So different than who I was. Like I said, Jovi's death rocked me to my very core. So, I had an extremely hard time being in "normal" friendships. Because I didn't know how to be normal in them. Because I wasn't normal and my life was far from normal. I clung to some old friends and distanced myself from others. I found new friends, because new friendships were easier. Easier to be me and less stressful. So to all those ladies who I fell away from, I'm sorry. I just didn't know how to do it. I'm so very thankful for everyone who surrounded me... for everyone who didn't leave... and for those who I didn't know and became my friend. 

Family- Our whole family was different. Sad. Tearful. Not smiley. Not happy. Struggling. We clung to Cash. Our life was consumed by our loss. Every conversation was about baby Jovi. Now, we still miss her. So much. But, at least we aren't consumed by it. We talk about Jovi all the time. Her name comes up easily in conversation but it doesn't have to be in every conversation. We talk about her and cry about her. We don't have to cry every time. My husband is so amazing and deals with all my hard days and listens to me talk about Jovi in broken record style. But, we don't seem to have to do that as much. I don't feel loads of guilt for smiling or laughing or for having a good day.

Anger- I used to be so mad about how people who smoked around their babies, slept with them... that their babies lived. I just realized I don't even think that anymore. I just realized this is the way our cookie crumbled. It wasn't because I was a bad mom or we were a bad family. It was just a really shitty deal what happened. "Sometimes life is just a bag of shit," like my friend says. But, I know longer am pissed or constantly comparing how what happened to us wasn't fair. It wasn't fair. It wasn't fair at all. But, it's just what happened. 

Guilt- I know longer (mostly, really) blame myself for Jovi's death or question the day over and over again. Or dream that it turned out differently. Nothing I did could have changed the outcome. Jovi died.... again. A shitty deal. A real shitty deal. The day happened as it was supposed to... I don't know how this changed. I think I just finally had to accept I couldn't change what happened. It just happened and was going to happen no matter what. 

I have a good life. But, I still have a hard time remembering that somedays. I still cry because I miss my baby. I'm not over Jovi. I'll never be Jovi. I'm just trying to make the very best with the cards I was dealt.

Some things to do to help other moms who've recently lost babies-

1.) Surround them with love. Be their friend. Support them. Be there for them. 

2.) Bring up their baby's name. Every parent I've met loves to talk about their baby in Heaven. 

3.) Bring meals, snacks, food... we were surrounded by meals. It was so nice never having to think about dinner when we couldn't even think about anything else. Thank you to everyone who helped keep my toddler fed. And my awesome hubby. And me. The meals were incredible. On top of that, we were given snack stuff for Cash and people even brought him fun toys. We were more than blessed.

4.) Don't forget or think it's ever time to move on. Their baby will forever be missing from their family. Forever. They will never replace their baby. Not with time. Not with a new baby. 

5.) Don't minimize their loss. Don't say "well at least this didn't happen"... or "at least you have another child"... or "this person I know lost 3 kids"... let their loss feel huge. Don't minimize it. Because no matter what, it's big to them. Whether it's a 12 week miscarriage, a stillborn 38 weeker, the 16 week old dying of SIDS, or a 5 year old boy. It's all a shitty deal and is a huge loss to that person. Don't minimize it.

6.) Try to remember those anniversaries. They suck. But, getting a text that someone remembers means so much.

7.) Visit baby's grave if you are close to the family. I can't say how much this means.... I once even received a picture text of Jovi's grave from someone I don't know that well. They thought her grave was decorated cute and stopped to see who the baby was.... the text made my day. Finding surprising things on her headstone is so great. It's never weird. It always makes me feel she is still loved.

8.) Don't make them have to make you feel comfortable. I had to do that so much when Jovi first died. I still find myself in situations where I have to make someone feel comfortable and not awkward. Don't do that... 

9.) Never say they can try again for another baby. They want their baby back. Not a new one.

10.) Just give the family so much grace. Grace to be real. Grace to be who they are going to be... Because they are going to be different. 

*Thank you to everyone who has loved us, fed us, blessed us, hung out with us, befriended us, visited us... thanks for just being there for us! 

Friday, August 30, 2013

13 Weeks

Lila is now 13 weeks (and 2 days... but who is keeping track). I can't imagine losing her in three weeks... How did I not know?! She is such a bright light in my life but can be so hard. Doing so much now her sister did..... Doing so much I remember her sister doing. I just can't imagine losing Lila. I never imagined losing Jovi. She just died. Just like that she was gone... but knowing the possibility is there is so, so very hard.

Jovi- not a day goes by that I don't think of you. Not a day goes by that I don't wish you were here... smooching too much on your baby sister. I was thinking of the first time I get to see you again... Know I think of our reunion often and that I can't wait to see who you are... See your smile... if you've gotten bigger... to hear your laugh... and to just snuggle you. Your mommy can't wait. I love you to Heaven and back.

Sisters at the very same age

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Real Life

Is this real life?

I just came home from a great vacation. It was a girls weekend and it was lovely. Great to see family. Great to show Lila off to family. Great to relax. Great to eat yummy good all day. Soo great to see my friend, Katrina, who lost her baby to SIDS just months before Jovi. Great to meet her new rainbow baby. It was wonderful. Then, I came home.

Coming home is always so hard. Hard because while on vacation it's so easy to just enjoy everything and not dwell on reality and the reality of losing my baby. I find myself not thinking about everything as much when I'm in a new place staying so busy. It was, also, hard to leave a friend who 100% gets my life. I can't say how great it is to be with someone who has been through what I have... Who just gets it. It's so... Freeing. It's just so nice to have someone get it. And then I have to come home. I missed my boys so much... So very much. Was so happy to see them. But, I hate coming home and realizing yet again, the severity of losing my baby. And that I don't get to come home to my entire family. And that I have to deal with losing my baby. I hate this. There is nothing easy about losing my sweet baby. Nothing. I hate just having to ask is this my real life? Yes, Molly, yes it is. This is your real life- forever missing your precious girl.

Jovi- I miss you tonight more than anything. I love you to Heaven and back.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Baby Lila

I haven't written about Lila much. I think mainly because it feels weird... maybe even a little wrong... to write about this new baby on Jovi's blog. And, also, because words just can't even begin to describe the last 10 weeks we've had with her.

When Jovi died, we lost a baby. With her went everything that babies bring... and Lila has brought all of those sweet baby-isms back into our home. Lila has brought us so much joy. It was today that I smelled her and realized just how much I had missed the baby smell... Having her has made me realize how empty my arms felt... and she came and filled them. Having her has made me realize just how much I missed nursing... and snuggles... and picking out girly clothes. Having her had me realize just how empty we felt as a family. Having her has brought so much laughter, light, love, peace, joy, hope... back into our lives. Words can't even describe what she's done for my heart. My SIDS friend said it right when she said she felt almost full. Lila doesn't negate Jovi's life. Lila doesn't take away my love for Jovi. Lila doesn't fill the hole in my heart that was created when Jovi died... but Lila helps. More than I ever thought was possible.

I still wake up most always startled that she has died. Or I guess it'd be correct to say I'm surprised she wakes up. We have an apnea monitor on her now and I can't begin to say how thankful I am for it. We are huge on safe sleep. It's also so sad that I don't and can't cosleep. I let Jovi sleep in our bed until she was 5 weeks and I loved it. I can't do that now with L and it makes me so sad. I still worry about her. I've cried because people have touched her without washing hands... terrified she's going to get sick. I've cried and been ready to go to the ER to admit her for prophylactic antibiotics when I thought I had a staph infection afraid it'd lead to meningitis for her. I'm scared. I'm terrified. Not all the time... but the panic will set in. More and more every day I hope she doesn't die as I love her more and more every day. Every day is getting easier with her. Every day I allow myself to love her even more. And it's scary.

She's brought bittersweet tears as well. She hasn't reached Jovi's age when she died, yet, and I can't imagine how I'll feel then... but already the memories are hard. She doesn't look much like her sister. But, she does do things her sister did. She hates the swing. And her carseat. We ask her, often, if her sister taught her to cry in the swing because "they'll just pick you up". Jovi loved the bath. She'd kick and kick... and flail her arms all around. We always called them her "esercizes" as Cash says... Lila started making the same movements days ago. I just watched her... tearing up remembering saying the same things to Jovi. Tearing up remembering Jovi. Tearing up thinking how I couldn't call Jovi in and say, "You used to do this very same thing!". And tearing up thinking how blessed I am to get another chance. How blessed I feel to get to experience a sweet girl all over again. Again- they aren't the same. But, feeling blessed to be able to experience "esersizes", baby smells, baby smiles, headbands, baby coos, baby feet, baby bellies, baby hands, denim skirts, sleepless nights, crying car rides, little giggles, baby snuggles, eating one handed... all over again. I love it.

Lila and Jovi look pretty different if you ask me. Their personalities are different, too. Jovi was very easy going. Never cared about eating. Barely cried. Nothing really made her mad... She was just so laid back. She was a slender, tiny little thing. Lila is more demanding like her brother was. She's a beefy girl. I love it. And love that she's following more in her brother's footsteps than her sister's. She cries when she wants something... Cries if you hold her the wrong way. But, she is really sweet. And mostly easy going. Just not as much as Jovi was...

Cash is in love with her. Loves her a little too much, sometimes. I am so happy for him. So happy for him to experience a sister again. I love to just watch him snuggle her and talk to her. Always telling her "Your brover is here". He is so happy. He tells me all the time how much he loves her. I think he's happier, too.

Jovi girl, did you teach your sister your tricks? I'd do anything to know if you've met her... I'd do anything even more to have you here. Here to snuggle on her, too. Lila makes me miss you even more. Did you tell Lila to cry in the swing? Did you tell her about the tub? Did you tell her the carseat sucks? I think of you all the time... Never forgetting your precious face. Never forgetting you are part of our family and how you should still be here, too. I miss you more than yesterday. I love you to Heaven and back.

"Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life... and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever..."
Psalm 23:6