Sunday, January 27, 2013


Since Jovi died, I've never really felt panicked except when thinking about the terrible day she died. That could put me in a panic in an instant or even for a while opening the door to our bedroom... that made me feel panicked. I, often, do well in public settings... putting on a brave face. I rarely feel that out of breath and I can barely breathe feeling... I rarely have just felt panicked. Until this weekend... I had my first panicked... couldn't breathe... would have broken down walls to get out of there feeling...

It was my sister-in-law's baby shower. I love her to death. I was at this baby's delivery. I wouldn't have missed it. Well, I didn't think I would until what happened at the shower. I have two sis in laws. Both have new babies. One's just one month (boy) and the other (girl) is literally the exact age now that Jovi was when she died . The one with the girl warned me she was coming. I'm around the baby enough that she's not awful. But, I've been sort of dreading this age for her... but I prepped myself and just told myself I'd tune her out. So, two babies at the shower for sure. I show up (after my hair straightener breaking and Cash being sick/fanagling a babysitter...) and find there are two other babies there as well. Four babies total. Two are just one month old, the one Jovi's age, and then another who was 8 months... a girl... AND named Jovie. I can't even say how awful it was... I can't even say how I felt... just that I literally at one point in time could have clawed my way out of there. The entire time...two whole hours.... hearing her name... over and over and over again. And it wasn't my Jovi.  No... because my Jovi is dead and hers is alive. It was the biggest slap in the face. She was sitting. Laughing. Playing. Playing with Ari, my niece. My Jovi never got to do that. Crying. Whining. Being called Jovie... being introduced as Jovie. I couldn't even look at her. I couldnt' even talk to her mom, really, at all. Yes, it wasn't my Jovi... but she was still Jovie... she still had the same name... and I never got to see my baby at eight months. Jovi would be ten months... but seriously. What are the odds... a baby girl named Jovie so close to her age. The entire time is was blaring in my head.... her Jovie is alive and mine is not. I couldn't even look at the other babies. I'm pretty sure every single one nursed at some point. I have been around babies a lot since Jovi died. In fact, I work at a Peds office. But, it killed me to see them loving on their babies. Even they were so difficult. Looking at all of them with their babies and wondering how in the hell we are where we are and why we have to do this. I'm not kidding. I spent the entire shower holding back sobs and having it blasted in front of me that my baby is in Heaven. That my baby isn't here. I don't get to talk about how she kept me up or say I need to leave because she needs a nap. I couldn't get out of there fast enough. I sobbed the minute I stepped into my car and literally cried the entire rest of the day. I don't even think I've done that in forever. It is so entirely unfair. And being there was such a reminder of what I don't have. Her Jovie was breathing. Her heart was beating. I don't wish any of this on anyone... I really don't. But, I do very much wish it wasn't me. I very much wish my baby was here. I very much I didn't have to take her a Valentine's present to her grave. This weekend has just been a huge reminder of how entirely unfair this all is...  I never got to introduce her at a shower... "This is Jovi"...  I never got to see her play... I never got to hold her while she was sitting... I never got to even see her sit... I never got to see her really interact with other babies... I didn't ever get to hear that big baby laugh or see that big baby toothy grin. Sometimes I'm just so reminded of how we were so robbed out of her life... Sometimes I'm just so reminded of how much we are missing.

Oh Jovi. What I wouldn't do to be with you right now... I missed you an extra, extra amount this weekend. I sent you lots and lots of snuggles and kisses and hope someone gave them to you... I just miss you so very much. Words could never explain what it's like to live without you... I miss your sweet face... I miss your sweet smile... I miss your laugh... I miss your little baby chatter... how I wish I got to see you grow. I love you so very much, to Heaven and back.

"You are so good to me... You heal my broken heart..."
You Are So Good to Me- Third Day

Friday, January 25, 2013

Child-like Faith

Cash: "Mommy, when this baby goes to Heaven, can I have a baby brother?"

I know his question was completely innocent... that's the thing. It breaks my heart that he thinks you only get new babies when previous babies go to Heaven. It breaks my heart he has to know babies go to Heaven at all. He doesn't know that babies can live and you can still get a new one, even though the sibling is still here. I almost wrecked the car when he said this... but then had to remind myself- he thinks it's normal. I explained to him that we had to pray to Jesus that this baby could stay on Earth and grow big to play with him and maybe when the baby is big and still living here, mommy and daddy could still give him a brother even though baby Lila was still alive. So he says...

"Jesus, please let baby Lila get big to play with me." Then waits a few moments and says...

"He said, Yes!"

Insert sobs here.

His child-like and blind faith inspires me to have the same kind of faith.

"Now the just shall live by faith; but if anyone draws back, my soul has no pleasure in him." 
Hebrews 10:38

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Then vs. Now

Things have changed so much in six months. I'm not by any means over my baby. I won't every be over my baby. We will never move on. We will never forget her. We will never replace her. She will forever be a part of our family. But, my thoughts have changed since the very beginning or since that first month. I have recently been in contact with a few mommies who are just in the beginning and I remember it so much. I say all the time you couldn't pay me billions of dollars to go back to the beginning.... Here's why-

1.) Nightmare
The entire first month Jovi died, I would wake up and everything would seem okay for a split second. I remember so vividly sun would be shining through the window... then I'd realize I had that terrible pit in the stomach feeling... then I'd remember Jovi's death wasn't a dream. This was real life. It was horrible having to remember every. single. day. I can wake up now and instantly remember this is my life. Jovi's gone.  I also thought if I cried I wanted her back hard enough, she'd come back. I don't cry for her to come back anymore. I cry all the time because I miss her and I crave to see her, but I know she isn't/can't come back. I, also, would think that someone was going to just show up on our porch with our baby and say that they made a mistake. I no longer think that's true. Jovi's in Heaven. She will never be coming back to Earth. 

2.) Why?????
I constantly asked why? Why? Why? I wanted an answer (this I still do). I asked our peditrician probably on repeat why she died. I asked over and over again to Daniel. I asked over and over and over in my head. I researched SIDS. I'm pretty sure I spend countless hours those first few months simply reading and trying to figure out how she was just here then gone... This was all before we got the autopsy back. I hoped the autopsy would have an answer. Free time was consumed by finding an answer. Once the autopsy was in, I was crushed we were left back where we were before. No answers. I still searched. Lately, I've realized I don't ask why as much. Don't get me wrong, I still wonder why but my mind isn't dwelling. I'm starting to accept we will never know. My baby was here then just gone for no reason we will ever know. I can't remember the last time I read a SIDS article. It's not because I don't care, it's just because I was driving myself crazy and realized I have to finally accept there won't be an answer for us.

3.) God
I for the longest time couldn't accept God had anything to do with Jovi's death. She died from an accident... I'm not sure what I thought but I know I just couldn't believe God had anything to do with her. This has, also, changed. He did. He had something to do with her death. I believe my God is all powerful. The master of the universe... If I believe these things, then I finally had to accept He did have something to do with her death. More than I'll probably ever realize here on Earth. I'm not sure if Satan took her or it's because we live in a fallen world or if God did take her because this is part of His plan... I do know He could have saved her. I believe in miracles. I believe God saves. He could have saved her, but He didn't. The story of Jesus has helped comfort me. He didn't save His own son for the better of the world... He will make this for His good. God will work Jovi's death for His story and for GOOD. I no longer think her death was an accident. Nothing is an accident. Our lives are so much more than just us and what's happening to us... There is such a bigger picture... I can't wait to get to Heaven and see it all layed out. I love that our lives mean more than we will ever know.

4.) What if's?
I replayed the day Jovi died over and over again. Daydreaming about the different scenarios. I found her as soon as the alarm went off and saved her. I had it all layed out... She was breathing by the time EMS arrived... Or I didnt' even have to hear the alarm. I just woke her up before she died. Or EMS got her breathing and she was fine when I got to the hospital.I replayed this day over and over again in my mind. Analyzing every different outcome we could have had... I don't so much do that anymore. Of course, I still wish it didn't happen and one of these events did, but I really believe this was just meant to happen. I can only replay that day and it really doesn't get me anywhere. Again, I had to finally accept she was gone and nothing I did or daydreamed or replayed could change the outcome. I can't remember the last time I did change the outcome of that day. The day she died is HUGE in my mind. But, I think I'm finally accepting it for what it is. I can't change it. No matter how hard I try.

5.) Blanket
I slept with Jovi's blanket the entire first month (maybe more). I no longer have to sleep with anything to sleep. I also took sleeping meds that first month. I no longer need anything to sleep to sleep.

6.) Clenched jaw
I used to have my jaw clenched so tight my jaw would hurt by the end of the day... I think it was out of stress? Maybe trying not to just sob all day? Not entirely sure why I did that. I don't do it anymore or near as much.

These are just some of the big ones I remember. Things have gotten easier with some things and others have gotten harder. I, honestly, think I miss her now than I did in the beginning. I'm pretty sure I miss her more everyday I don't see her. I thought I missed her then, but the missing just grows and grows. And while I feel like I've processed some questions or ideas, others have taken their place and I need to work through them. This is a never ending process. I still think some days feel entirely impossible. I'd say time could be measured in days now vs hours like the beginning. I have had more better days than in the beginning. It's just a neverending process, really. But, I'm trying. Trying so hard to push my way through.

Jovi baby- I miss you. I miss you more and more everyday. I think about you all the time. I constantly wonder what you are doing or what you look like. You are always in my thoughts and always on my mind. I think, often, about the day I get to see your face. I can't wait. I really can't wait. What are you doing right now??? I love you so much, baby, to Heaven and back.

"Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, ,but then we will see everyhing with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely just as God now knows me completely." 1 Corinthians 13:12

Happy birthday!

Happy 10 month birthday, Jovi Sloan! I'd imagine the celebration in Heaven was amazing. I think so often about what you look like now... Are you big? Are you still a baby? Are you a girl? Who do you look like? Are you growing at an average baby speed or did you just get big real fast? It's all such a mystery and I can't wait until the day I can find out.

We love you and miss you so very much. I'm pretty sure I miss you more and more each day. I love you to Heaven and back!

"Now let your unfailing love comfort me, just as you promised me, your servant." Psalm 119: 76

Saturday, January 12, 2013


You visited me in my dreams last night, Jovi. You had been lost and I was looking all over for you. I found you and you were so happy. I picked you up and you just put your little hands on my face and put your face close to mine and just had the biggest grin. You kept giving me sweet baby hugs like you were so happy I had found you. I could tell by your eyes and they way you acted, you knew exactly who I was and you were so glad I was finally there. You hadn't been crying and you didn't seem scared, just seemed so happy we were together again. I was more than happy. I just remember feeling so happy. I didn't have an ounce of sadness in me. My baby and I were back together. You were bigger. You could clap... oh and your laugh... it was the sweetest sound. We played and I just held you. I couldn't take my eyes off of you and I couldn't and wouldn't set you down for a second. I kept kissing your sweet cheeks over and over, you were just laughing and loving it. Then, it was over. I woke up and you were gone.

I wonder if this is how it will be in Heaven. You don't seem to realize I'm missing or you do and you aren't sad about it. Maybe every time someone comes into Heaven you hope it's your mommy. I know you aren't scared and I know you aren't craving to see me like I am you, but maybe you are waiting for me. Maybe you are watching and waiting so patiently for your mommy to return. Maybe you ask the angels "is my mommy here yet?". I know you are enjoying your time without me and I know Heaven is exponentially better than anything here on Earth. I know you are having a blast with Jesus but I never really thought you could be waiting for me to come. I can't wait for our reunion. I can't wait to see you. I can't wait to hold you. I can't wait to hear your laugh. I can't wait to kiss your cheeks. I can't wait see your pretty eyes. I just simply can't wait. I can't wait for Heaven. I can't wait to meet Jesus. I can't wait to see Him. I can't wait to feel happy all the time. I can't wait never to feel sad again. I can't wait for everything not to be marked with a hint (and sometimes WAY more than a hint) of sadness. I can't wait for our family to be back together. I miss you so much. It was so great to see you and I loved every second of that dream. I have been thinking about you all day. I'm so glad I got to see you. But, it still makes me sad to wake up. To go back to living without you. Will you come visit me again soon? I love you so much, Jovi, to Heaven and back.

"I close my eyes and I see your face.
If home's where your heart is then I'm out of place.
Lord, won't you give me strength to make it through somehow.
I've never been more homesick than now."
MercyMe- Homesick

Friday, January 11, 2013

6 Months

Wow. Where has the time gone.... How have I not seen that precious face in six whole months?!

The day before your six month anniversary was rough. Someone on Facebook had basically written she did "everything" to prevent SIDS and her babies are all alive. I find I take a lot of offense to saying SIDS is prevantable. I know I've blogged on that before, but what she said was so rude and offensive. I read it the day before your six month, so it made that day so hard. I had a lot of tears streaming down my face at work.... It was just a sad day. I just miss you so very much then to hear some people think I could have prevented your death- it kills me. I would have done anything to keep you alive. I did do everything to keep you alive.

The six month actual day wasn't awful. Some people remembered which was so nice. Thank you to everyone who did and those of you who remember every month. It means so much.We were able to have an ultrasound on baby Lila. She is a healthy, perfect baby girl. It was so nice to have something fun on such a sad day. Daniel and I ended the day with PF Chang's. All in all, it wasn't awful. I'm sure I got all my grieving out the day before since it was a sucky day.

Jovi- I still can't believe time continues to move on without you. It feels like you were just here yesterday, but also feels like I have seen you in years. I miss you more than I coudl every say. You are always remembered. Always thought of... never forgotten. I continue to always think about how life would be if you were here. We all miss you so very much. You have left such an impact on all of us. We miss you so very much, baby girl. I love you to Heaven and back.

"I wanna sit at your feet
Drink from the cup in your hand.
Lay back against you and breath, feel your heart beat
This love is so deep, it's more than I can stand.
I melt in your peace, it's overwhelming"
The More I Seek You by Kari Jobe

....I can't wait for Heaven and to sit with Jesus....

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A New Year

We survived.

We made it.

We made it through Thanksgiving, Christmas and rang in the new year without our baby.

We did it.

I'm glad these holidays are just about over. I've been thriving on routine. Thriving on normalcy. Thriving on things being the same. Thriving on quiet time. Thriving on reading my devotional and grief books. The past week and a half, those have been gone. I wasn't sure how'd I'd make it, but I did. And, it wasn't super awful. I am looking forward to getting back into the groove of our normal and getting back into our routine.

Christmas Eve was the hardest day. I think Daniel would say the same. We visited Jovi and that's always hard and emotional. I think visiting her on holidays is even harder than on normal days. It just cements so much more she isn't here. It just cements so much more she should have been here. It made me think about all the things we would have been doing. She'd be wearing a pretty Christmas dress. She'd have opened her Christmas jammies. She would have woken up and played with all her presents from Santa. She would have came to all our family functions. She would have been so very spoiled and so very loved. But, no.... we don't get that. Instead, we got ornaments to honor her for our Christmas tree. We got sad eyes. We had empty arms. We got to send her kisses to Heaven instead of kissing those cheeks. Christmas Eve I just felt like I was missing so very much. We went to Daniel's family for dessert/hang out. I was just feeling so very sad. But, pushed on and made it through. The evening ended witnessing a baby come into the world. My sis-in-law had her baby that night. I got the pleasure of being there. It was so refreshing to be a part of life. To be a part of something good. To witness good. It was very much needed on that sad day. Baby Winston is such a blessing. I seem to find myself finding excuses to just go snuggle him. I think him being a boy makes him much easier to be around for me. Maybe it's because he's still little, but so far it's been so nice to be able to hold a sweet, tiny baby. It makes me realize that our new baby is going to be such a major blessing. I can't wait to hold our living baby.

Christmas was much better. I am thankful we did so much grieving Christmas Eve. I'm thankful Christmas wasn't awful and I can say, it was even enjoyed. Cash was so fun. Every present he was so excited about... even clothes! He made our day. Christmas was just better. I felt lighter. It's amazing how even though she's been gone for longer than she was ever here, I still think of how it'd be if she was still here. Every house we went to, I imagined her crawling about. Trying to get to everyone's Christmas tree. Trying to fit naps into our busy schedule. If we would have been super relaxed and let her eat foods that we never let Cash eat at that age. I just realized recently how not only were we so cheated out of her life, but we are cheated out of so much in our next babies, too. I'll never be able to sleep with my babies. Jovi didn't die co-sleeping, but I won't be able to do it, anyway. I loved sleeping with Jovi. I loved snuggling her those first few weeks of life. I won't ever be able to just lay my baby down anywhere for naps for a long time. I don't think I'll even be able to let this baby sleep in a different room from me for a long time. I won't be able to leave the baby for a long time. We lost so much.... As I'm sitting here writing this though, I realize how much more precious the time we have with our kids is now. How much more we will cherish Cash and our future baby(ies). I never took Jovi for granted. I thanked God for her every single day. I can't imagine how we can cherish time even more, but I know we will...

New Years was uneventful. Just another day filled with thinking what it'd be like if she were here. Yesterday, I was thinking how entirely different our lives are now. I've never been thrown so off track from where I'd thought I'd be. We are so different. Everything is so different. I'm going to try hard this year to find joy. Even though my baby is in Heaven and I have to continue living here. I want to start realizing the joy around me. I know it's there. I've seen glimpses. So, as we continue down our new path and our life that is so different than what I would have picked for myself, I pray we can continue to see the joy God has given us. I've already been reminded we still have hope. With Jesus, we will always have hope. This isn't the end. So, here's to 2013... I pray its a gentler year on us and I pray for joy.

We can do this.

We can survive.

"May the god of hope fill you with all the joy and peace in believing, so that the power of the Holy Spirit may abound you in hope." Romans 15:13