Friday, March 29, 2013

Losing Your Baby

There is nothing easy about any of this. Absolutely. Nothing.

With time, you don't think about the severity of the situation as much. But, then there are the moments where you realize that this is the rest of your life. For the rest of your life, you will live missing someone. Missing someone an insane amount... the "it's hard to breathe" kind of miss. The rest of your life.

You get to live the day your baby died... Time and time and time again. If it wasn't hard enough doing it once, you get to do it over. and over. and over. While you get to live it over and over again, you will change the outcome in your head a hundred times. You will wake her up sooner. You will check on her and realize she isn't breathing, and save her. She'll be saved in the ambulance. Then, you realize that it's all the same. The outcome never changes no matter how many times you analyze that day and attempt to change it. You realize this, but yet you still think about the day often and still try to change what happened.

You will attempt to find every single reason why your baby died if you were left with "sudden unexplained death in infancy". You still won't get it. Almost 9 months after your baby died, it will still boggle your mind how your baby could be here, then not be here. It will still boggle your mind that your baby died for an unexplained reason. While you have to stop researching because that starts driving you crazy, you still won't get it. You will know there are mysteries on this Earth that we aren't meant to know. There are things we won't know until we get to Heaven, it still won't make sense and it will not make any sense. You will start to just accept that you will never know, but it will really still just boggle your mind. It will still just not make any sense.

You'll hear your three year old talk about Heaven. Say that he wants to go... or say he doesn't want to go.  He'll question why his sister died. Every time you realize that he has had to grieve a big person in his life, it will make you just want to sob. He'll say "She doesn't even poop in her diaper anymore" or "I didn't get to see her go to Heaven" or "Can't we just go visit her". You'll grieve with him and for him... and then you'll realize he is just a little boy and he shouldn't have to do this. If you get pregnant again, he'll use phrases like "when the new baby goes to Heaven..." and that'll just kill you, too. Because to him, babies going to Heaven is normal. You'll check on him while he's sleeping often. You'll thank God every time he wakes up. You'll never be able to discipline him well for coming out of bed 100 times, because your baby died while she was sleeping... and you don't want him or you going to bed mad or frustrated. You'll learn from his child-like faith.

You'll make other mommy friends who've lost their babies. You'll connect with them. You'll need them. You'll thank God every day for them. But, you'll have days you still feel entirely alone. It'll just feel so lonely.

You'll feel crazy. One minute you are smiling, and the next you are sobbing. One day is easy to be around babies and the next day is just too hard. One day you'll feel okay, that you can do this and the next will feel nearly impossible to get out of bed.

You'll have to decorate your baby's grave for holidays instead of celebrating them with her. You'll always be on the lookout for items for her grave to make it look "cute".

If you decide to get pregnant again, it will be so scary. Every day will be a different day. You'll pray to God to just let her live. You will learn a whole new kind of faith.  You will question if there is anyway you can love this new little bundle of joy as much as the bundle of joy you had to bury. You will question everything you did when you were pregnant the last time. Did this contribute to her death? Did this or that? Then, you'll realize that this new baby is only here because your daughter died. You'll realize that someday this new baby will realize this, too. And then you'll question how you can possibly raise her knowing that she was wanted and she is loved, and not just because her sister died. How can you raise her making sure she doesn't feel "second"... You'll have days you are over the moon excited to see her, though. You will have moments where you cry just thinking about holding life again. Holding your baby... Holding your living, breathing, crying baby... And the thought of that will make you smile because it is so good.

You'll be mad at God. Sometimes so very angry. Then, you'll realize He is still good. You will realize He has never left. Your relationship with Him will grow and you'll realize how He is in your house more than He was before. You'll realize He gets it. You'll suddenly have a whole new respect and understanding for God sending His only Son... it'll hit home to you more than it ever has before.

You'll realize your life will still be good. You'll attempt to make the best of your life everyday. You'll gain a new perspective on life.

You'll realize this is your life... that you will live with this every day. You'll have days that feel impossible and days that do feel possible. Nothing about losing your baby is easy. Absolutely nothing.

Sunday, March 24, 2013


Thank you all for supporting my sweet Jovi's blog. I love that it continues to get read and it means the world to me that I have people who come back to read her/our story. To show my appreciation, I wanted to do a little giveaway. I would like to show my appreciation by giving away my "favorite" (who wants a favorite grief book?) book on loss- "A Grace Disguised". If you want to be included, post a comment on this post. Thank you all for supporting our family and continuing to keep Jovi's story alive. Giveaway ends a week from today. I'll post the winner on Monday, April 1st. Good luck!

Friday, March 22, 2013


I've been putting off blogging about the week of Jovi's birthday because it was super hard. I've finally been feeling better... But, it's good for me to get this down before I forget.

As usual, the days leading up to her birthday were the most hard. Thursday was the very hardest. I cried pretty much all day. I gave some candles, cookies, and a birthday card to all the local people who were connected to her. I worked on them Thursday, so it just cemented so much of what I was missing. I had to make cookies for my daughter's first birthday... in Heaven. I wasn't making them for her to eat... it was so others could remember her. I wasn't making a cake for her to eat and demolish. It was a super rough day. By far the hardest day of the week.

Friday, we packed to get out of town. We had thought we would do a big party for her birthday, but as it got closer, I couldn't do it. There was no way I could "celebrate" her birthday with a ton of people. I had no idea what to expect from that day and suddenly couldn't imagine doing it with a ton of people. We decided to get out of town and go to an indoor water park for a few nights. It was a good idea. We went and visited Jovi's grave on our way out of town. We decorated it all up for her birthday. Sent her balloons to Heaven and sang her Happy Birthday. It, again, was so sucky. We didn't get to sing her happy birthday here and see that darling smile. Instead, we sang to Heaven and just hoped she could hear our tune. Jovi is buried in the baby section so we took pinwheels for the other babies around her, too. It was a great thing for Cash. Kept him busy and he wasn't constantly asking to leave like usual. I think we will always take him a chore to do... It worked really well. We kissed her goodbye and then headed up to the condos.

Saturday was not as bad as the days before. Saturday was her actual birthday. We spent the majority of the day at the water park. It was nice not to just sit at home and think about everything. The water park was filled with one year old baby girls... I swear. It's often hard not to think about how unfair all of this is... it's all VERY unfair. Thankfully, the babies didn't bother me too much. But, I did look at them, often, and think we SHOULD be able to do that with Jovi. It got harder as the day progressed. Jovi was born at 7:18 in the evening, so times in the evening were hard. It was sad to see the clock and actually know this time last year we were just meeting our little girl. Ugh. There really isn't anything easy about any of this.

Sunday was better, again. It almost felt good to have the day behind us. I was exhausted. I know Daniel and I were both just done and spent the day lying around our house after the drive home. This week has been better. Lighter, again. In some ways, hard. We are now embarking on a whole new set of dates and memories. "This time last year... we did _____________ with Jovi". So, I'm sure a whole new set of issues and emotions will come up. I know tomorrow is the day she first stopped breathing last year. A big day of her life and a big day that I question. We'd love prayers as we head into reliving days we were blessed to spend with her just a year ago.

Jovi Sloan- I miss you more than words can say. It seems surreal, sometimes, that you aren't here. I can't believe we are living life without you. You are such a blessing. The day you were born is one of my very favorite days ever. I loved you from the moment I saw you. I remember snuggling you the night after you were born and not being able to sleep. I was just so excited to have you in my arms. Know not a minute goes by that I don't miss you or I don't think about you. I hope Heaven was extra amazing on your birthday. I just can't wait to see your pretty face. I miss your blue eyes, your sweet smiles, your giggle, and your stories way too much. I love you, sunshine, to Heaven and back.

"No one can comprehend what goes on under the sun. Despite all their efforts to search it out, no one can discover its meaning. Even if the wise claim they know, they cannot really comprehend it."
Ecclesiastes 8:17

Saturday, March 16, 2013


Happy 1st Birthday, Jovi Sloan! I wish more than anything I was able to wake you up with birthday kisses. We are sending lots to Heaven and hope you have been receiving every single one. I can only imagine the celebration today. I love you, birthday girl, to Heaven and back!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Lila June.

I rarely blog about this sweet girl, but as I'm coming into the last trimester... I figure I should! She is very much a part of our story and a part of this new road we are headed down.

She's looking excellent so far. Healthy... moves and is pretty active. Not near as active as Jovi was, but still enough. There are days that I don't super remember I'm pregnant. My mind is so preoccupied with Jovi that I just don't really remember. But, then I have days that I'm so excited. I'm so excited to meet her and so excited to snuggle her. I'm so excited to just hold a living, breathing, crying baby of mine.

She hasn't came without fear. I'm constantly reminding myself that fear isn't from the Lord and to trust in the Lord with all my heart. Mostly, I do. But, I'd be lying if I said it didn't still creep in. Like today for example- we are in the middle of doing her room. It's basically done (thank you, hubby!) and today washed all the clothes we have and started putting them in drawers. I, almost, couldn't do it. I had a near panick attack and was suddenly terrified of putting all these things in drawers and then just having to put them all back in boxes because something happened to her. But, I realized that isn't going to happen. In Jesus name, this sweet Lila is going to live. So I finished. I put them all away in drawers... organized. It was a huge feat for me.

We redid the entire room. We made it over from Jovi's room to Lila's room and they look entirely different. I'm glad we did. As hard as it was to paint and cover up Jovi's room, in the end- it's nice and refreshing to have a new, fresh start. It's starting to look like a real room for a real baby. Making it even more real that we have a baby coming. I don't think much about bringing her home... I just make it through each day. At this point, just anticipating the day she arrives and I'm so looking forward to that day. But, I don't think much after that... I figure what's the point. We have no idea what to expect. There are things we have talked about... we know we will be so cautious. We know things will be different. We know there may not be a lot of sleeping. But, other than that, not much. We will deal with it when we get there.

Jovi Sloan- you will never be replaced by your sister.I have this calming feeling that you know that... I do wonder, often, how these new babies work. Have you met her? Did you get to meet her before she came down here? I can't wait to find out the answer to that. I know you would have been the best big sister... I know you will still be the best big sister even though you are in Heaven. Watching over her... I wonder often if she will look like you. Will she have those pretty blue eyes? Your sweet smile? Or your fabulous chimpanzee hair? Do you already know what she looks like? Know we will think of you always and still the same even when Lila comes. You'll always be our Jovi Sloan... I love you so much, to Heaven and back.

"For God did not give us the spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."
2 Timothy  1:7

8 Months

There are times this all feels surreal. My daughter can't be in Heaven... this didn't happen to me. But, then I remember. It did. In one minute my entire life changed. In one second, my whole world took an entirely different turn. One I never really saw coming. I hate reliving July 10th. I, sometimes, wish it wasn't me. Wasn't me who was here and found her. Wasn't me forced to remember that day the rest of my life. Yes, my husband has to remember. Yes, it was awful for him. But, this house can sometimes just remind me so much of that day. I can open the door to our bedroom and feel hit in the face with the realness of that day... reliving it... hearing that alarm... Calling 911 and how dispatch spoke to me. I can remember the exact spot I gave her CPR. I can remember the exact spot I just sat on the floor until someone told me to put on shoes and get in my dad's car. I can remember it all. Every second. Every sound. Every smell. Everything. I just hate that frantic feeling. Thankfully, with time it doesn't hit near as much as it did. I remember times I'd be driving and the memories of that day would just hit hard and sudden... It'd happen often. It doesn't as much. Still hits as hard. The memory is still very strong. But, at least not as often. Thankfully, other memories are starting to come back... good memories of my precious baby.

I was reading in my devotion today about how many people God saved. I, often, wish I would have tried... At least fully tried to pray for Jesus to bring her back. I didn't.. I knew she was gone at the house. I had some faith in the car ride over, but I knew. I do wish I would have believed then... I do now. I do believe He could have saved her. I know He could. I don't know if it would have helped, but it could have. My beliefs have changed, though. I believe in God more now and the miraculous hand of God more now than I ever have before. I believed in God when Jovi died, absolutely, but it's nothing like my beliefs now. Anyways... my devotions talked about resuscitation vs resurrection. While I wanted more than anything for Jovi to be resuscitated... she was... but in a different way. A way better way, really. She was resurrected. She gets to live life with Jesus. She doesn't have to live here on earth suffering anymore. She gets to live with her King.... and she gets to party and worship Him forever. While I'd have done anything that day (still would do anything) to have her resusciated, she was... just different than what I wanted. But, it's still good. It's still very good for her.

Jovi girl- I miss you so very much. I am thankful you are with the best babysitter ever until I can get to you. I can only imagine what you are doing... I know you are up to way more than my mind can even comprehend. I can't wait to see you. Life is still not the same without you. I wish I was stressing about your party this weekend... I wish I was calling to see who could make your cake or deciding if I'd make it myself. I know whatever we would have done... it would have been amazing... because you would have been there. I miss you more than words can say. I love you, sunshine, to Heaven and back.

"And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am."
John 14:3

Monday, March 4, 2013

The Perfect Gift.

My grandpa's service was Thursday. It wasn't too bad, actually. Until the end when he did the ship analogy which the pastor did at Jovi's service, too. I don't think any of us had dry eyes realizing Jovi was there... She was there as he walked into Heaven and she welcomed him! It brought it all home. It's been quite interesting that the last two weeks my devotionals have been all about Heaven. I loved it... I know Heaven is beautiful and so amazing. Way better than our minds can even comprehend... And Jovi is there. Experiencing Jesus first hand... It's incredible, really. Sometimes, I remind myself thinking she really is lucky. Lucky to be there. It's just so much harder to realize that when she didn't live a long life here on earth. It's just so hard to realize when she wasn't suffering. She was just here... alive. Smiling. Happy. Then, just gone. In an instant. But, she is blessed, really. She doesn't have to experience suffering or heartache or devestating news or tragic circumstances. Sometimes remembering her life is better there than it ever would have been here, does make it a little bit easier. Even though sometimes remembering that is quite hard seeing as I think she had a pretty good life with us while she was here.

Gpa's funeral brought lots of family from out of town. One of which my Aunt Becky. She's been working on the "Jovi Quilt". And the quilt has finally arrived. It's beautiful... in fact, words can't even describe how amazing it is. It's made of all her clothes, blankets, toys, etc. A sweet pair of shoes are sewed onto it... it was little pockets of her jeans... and in the pockets she sewed little like stuffed animals out of her clothes. It's priceless. I LOVE seeing it in our house. All of her stuff out on display. I, especially, love snuggling up with it and remembering every little outfit. She did such an amazing job. Even a little rattle from her little snuggle bear is sewn into the quilt. It's better than anything I could have imagined and means more to me than I could ever say. I find myself just staring... and touching it. It's another piece of her we get to enjoy here and another piece that shows she lived.

Jovi girl- I miss you more than I could say. I wish I was stressing over cake pops and tutu's for your upcoming birthday party. I wish you were here to meet all the family members (especially those who never got to snuggle you). I just miss you. Life will never be complete until we are all together again. What are you doing right now? How I'd love to just get a glimpse of you these days... I know you'd be a big girl and so cute. I love you, sunshine. to Heaven and back.

The Jovi quilt- a picture doesn't do it justice
Ship analogy that showed up in my book after the pastor said it at Jovi's funeral.

"Then I saw "a new heaven and a new earth," fo rthe 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, preapared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice fromt he 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 wil be with them and be their God. 'He will whipe 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." Revelation 21:1-4