Tuesday, May 28, 2013


If all goes as planned, we will get to meet our little baby girl tomorrow. I thought writing down all of these feelings would be good... Good for me... and good for my mommy friends who have babies coming soon.

We decided to go induction route. I swore I'd always never be induced. But, suddenly the "perfect" birth isn't a big deal to me. Pitocin? Who cares... C-Section? No big deal... A live baby? Yes, please. That's all I care about. It's crazy how different my life is and how different my views are... all I care about is a safe, healthy, crying baby. I don't care about how she gets here. We've been doing non-stress tests twice a week and little Lila likes to make her mom worry by having a few heart decelerations for no reason at all. So, we decided with our OB and pediatrician, that another week in there wouldn't do her much good. At this point, may be best just to get her here. It was a decision we prayed about and talked about... and it just felt... right. We just decided Friday to go with Wed, May 29th. That was my original due date with Cash and he was born on a Wednesday. We were first told we wouldn't be able to get on the schedule for Wednesday; Labor and delivery was too full. But, our OB went over and discussed the schedule and our nurse friend happened to be standing there and said she'd come in for us and be our nurse (Thank you, Rufus). It's a long story about our nurse friend's work schedule, but it was meant to be. That night after we made our decision and got on the schedule, I saw two rainbows. TWO. I felt that had to be a sign from God that our little rainbow baby is going to be okay. The first one I saw was a little one... but the second, was huge. A perfect rainbow.

I have a hard time thinking about her delivery. Jovi's birth day was one of the very best days ever. And my best and very favorite memory of her. I'm terrified of thinking at every second of her... and her delivery. And how I felt this with Jovi or that with Jovi. I want Lila's birthday to be a lot about Lila and not filled with thousands of thoughts of her sister. Or not filled with lots of tears because her sister is in Heaven. I'm wanting the big birthday of Lila to be different that Jovi's birthday. I've craved different with the two girls... different room decor... different clothes... different everything. This very much concerns their birthdays. I just don't want Lila's day to be filled with memories of her sweet sister. Of course there will already plenty of emotions knowing her sister can't come see her after she is born... or the fact the last baby I had and held of my own, she died. It's going to be an intense day as it is. I just don't want it any harder than it has to be.

I have the hardest time realizing and accepting that I'm going to have a live baby. I have a hard time realizing she is going to be healthy and strong. I have a hard time realizing I get to have a baby again. I can't say that "she'll be here Wednesday". It just feels so.... weird. I am sure because we had so many plans. So many plans for Jovi's life and they all died on the day she died. I have a hard time making plans or saying "this will happen". Because, sometimes it doesn't. I just have a hard time accepting that it's fact that Lila will be born alive (which seems so weird since Jovi died after she was born). I just have a hard time saying it. Realizing it. I am sure because our lives changed so much. I'm sure it's because we said so many times that this time next year Jovi will be... and then we could no longer say that. It's such a mix of emotions.

While I have a hard time remembering she will be alive, I can't wait to see her. I've thought about this day for months. Who will she look like? Will she look like her sister? Her brother? Will she have her own look? What will I feel like when I see her? I have a good SIDS friend who just had her first baby after the loss of her precious baby. She said her heart is almost full and it made me cry. It made me cry to think that I could feel almost full again. That Lila won't come and fix everything, but she will come and she will help heal me... I can't wait to see her face. I can't wait to snuggle her. I think people are going to have to fight me for her for a long while... because I just want to hold her.

With this pregnancy, I've learned so much about having faith and trusting God... I feel like everyday is a new day of learning to trust even more. He is so good. And has provided so much- from financially to emotional support to just a peaceful feeling when I need it most... I feel so blessed to get another chance to be a mommy of a baby again.

I have no idea what to expect when she's born. I have no idea what to expect when we have to bring her home. I have no idea how I will sleep. I haven't thought about any of this... I have made it to the day she's born and that's it. I can't process anything after it... I think that's okay. Why stress when I don't know how it will go...

I just know I'm full of every emotion today. And I do know I will make it through.

Jovi girl- do know tomorrow your mommy will be thinking of you so much. Know your mommy still thinks of you so much. We went to the park the other day and all I could think of was how you should have been there. How I wish I could see you toddling all over the park and trying to climb all over the equipment. I miss you more than words can say. We had the prettiest sunset the other night... and it looked like Heaven was right there. It felt like I could just drive to you. I had some tears wishing and realizing that it just wasn't that easy. I'd give anything just to see you for a minute... Do you remember your birthday? I still remember the joy I felt when I saw your face for the first time and when I got to snuggle you for the first time. It will forever be one of my very favorite days. What a blessing you are to this family... I love you so much, Jovi, to Heaven and back.

"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."
2 Timothy 1:7

Jovi's Room

Jovi's Room

Lila's Room

Lila's Room

Lila's Room

Friday, May 24, 2013


Someone asked me the other day, if they could ask me something regarding Jovi, but it might be too personal. I assumed it'd be the usual... how did she die? Or what happened? Or what'd the autopsy say? I get those, often. And I'm prepared. Easy answers. But, this person asked what I had learned since Jovi's death. It through me for a loop at first, but then really got me thinking. I've learned so very much.

I've learned more about God, God's love, faith and trust than ever. I've searched for answers... I've questioned God... I've searched for Him... I've wondered and questioned more than anything before. I feel like I know God more than ever. I feel like I've learned to trust (mostly). I still have my days of sheer panic, but I do know that He's always there. I've found a new look on God... and have found how loving He really can be... I never questioned my faith so much before... And have never felt so loved by God.

I've learned to be a better parent. Sometimes Cash can be incredibly difficult. He's very stubborn. He can get up 7+ times in one night before going to sleep... He can really push his limits. I used to not have a lot of patience. Now, I simply remind myself that I'd do anything to be doing this with Jovi and my attitude with him changes in an instant. I most definitely have more patience. And more love for him. I feel like he's really become my little buddy over the last year. I thoroughly enjoy him. Even when he is being a stinker.

I don't sweat the small stuff. I realize there is so much more to life than the measly small stressors that I used to stress about. Even bigger stressors... Oh the BBQ broke? No big deal... the car is making a weird sound? Whatever... it can all be fixed. No need to stress. After going through possibly the worse thing that can happen to someone, you gain a much larger perspective on life. Cash can't draw a person and the other kids can? Oh well, at least he's alive. I just don't stress over what I used to... I still stress. It's just bigger things. Like will my family be alive tomorrow? Will Lila live? Will Cash wake up from nap? I still am relieved, thankful, grateful when I see his smiling face after he's been sleeping. Even if it is 6:30 am. At least he's awake...

As cliche as it sounds, I've realized life can change in an instant. Life in one second can take a whole new turn... one you never saw coming. So I really try to live like I don't know what's coming and love my family like I don't know what's coming. It really is true. Daniel and I argue much less now. I think we both realize how trivial things can be. When Jovi died, I was going in to wake her up so that we could go to Target and find shoes for Cash for a wedding he was going to be in. And then she was gone. I went from wanting to go to Target to calling 911 in an instant. I went from having a precious, sweet daughter... to suddenly have to deal with the fact I'd never get to see her precious face here again on Earth. In an instant. She was here. And then she wasn't. That makes you realize life can change in one second... One second is all that it takes. I've strived to become a better person. I've strived to be better. Because you just don't know what's going to happen tomorrow.

I could never say I'm thankful for Jovi's death, but I have learned things through it. So very much. How I wish I could have known these things without her having to die... But, through it all I've realized, too, that we are still blessed. My life is can still be good. Jovi's death isn't and won't be the end to our story. It's a tragic, awful, terrible thing that happened to me, but it won't be the end of me. I can't let it take over and define who I am. Instead, I'll try to become better. Strive to live a life that would honor her... that honors my family... that honors God. In the midst of all the clouds and all the sadness, in the midst of the depression and the days filled with tears, I do try to remind myself there is still light in my life. More light than I ever realized I had before...

Thank you, Jovi Sloan, for teaching your mommy so very much.

"Tears may flow in the night, but joy comes in the morning."
Psalm 30:5

Thursday, May 16, 2013


It's been so long since I've blogged. I have been having some good "up" weeks... after some terrible down weeks (maybe some of the worse in a long time), it's a nice change. I hate the down weeks... especially when I'm knocked down for weeks at a time. But, I've been feeling a lot better. We've, also, been really busy with swimming and soccer for Cash. Keeping us busy is always helpful. I had also been reading the Bible front to back and started in the old testament. It's pretty condemning and there were a few scriptures that were hard to read and swallow. That didn't help my already in-a-funk mood. I've been reading "Love Wins" by Rob Bell and am really enjoying the different take on God from the old testament. He really enforces love and how God is love. I needed that reminder... it's been a good read for me at a perfect time. Daniel has been reading books by Rob Bell and showed me another good thing he wrote about questioning God. He stated how it's okay to ask why or okay to ask God questions. Moses did... pretty much every time God asked him to do something, he questioned back. Jesus asked, "Why have you forsaken me?" on the cross... that really hit home and was freeing to hear. I feel like so many people after Jovi died, gave us that response of needing to "accept" it or just take what God gives us. It's freeing to know while I do have to live it, I can wonder why we have to live it. Or question why it happened to our family at all...

We've hit a lot of milestones in the last week. Jovi baby, you've been gone for ten whole months. It feels like a lifetime since I've held you... It still can feel surreal that you aren't here and have been gone now for so very long. We miss you more than we could ever say. I miss your sweet smiles, your precious hands, and your skinny lil' feet. It breaks my heart knowing our time with you was coming to an end this time last year... we only had six weeks left. How could I not have known... I hope you know how loved you are... and how entirely missed you are...

Mother's Day came and went. It had some tears, but wasn't super terrible. We stayed really busy and that helped. I woke up feeling sad that all my babies weren't here to celebrate, but the day got better as it went on. I survived. I made it through and I guess that stands for something. I was blessed to have Jovi in my arms last Mother's Day and many of my mommy friends who have lost babies didn't get one Mother's Day with their sweet babies, so I even felt a little bit blessed knowing I got to spend the day with her at all... It's crazy how you remember things. I even remember what she was wearing last Mother's Day...

Jovi Sloan- I miss you more than I can ever say. I miss your pretty blue eyes... your amazing smile... I miss how you'd talk and talk... I miss your sweet giggle (every part of me wishes I had a giggle on video)... I just miss having you hear. It's so hard to imagine what you'd be like now or who you would look like or what you would look like... I hate that I can't just know what you'd look like today, at 14 months. Happy 14th month birthday sweet girl. I know Heaven is more than amazing... I can't wait to see you... I can't wait to see you... I love you so much, baby, to Heaven and back.

Mother's Day 2012

"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." Romans 8:20

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Pregnant after SIDS

“It is understood that the beauty of a rainbow does not negate the ravages of any storm. When a rainbow appears, it does not mean that the storm never happened or that we are not still dealing with its aftermath. It means that something beautiful and full of light has appeared in the midst of the darkness and clouds. Storm clouds may still hover, but the rainbow provides a counterbalance of color, energy and hope.”  (http://whereheartbreakmeetshope.wordpress.com/2011/09/17/trying-again-bringing-home-baby-after-loss/). This article has been very helpful to me. 

This quote says just how I feel about Lila. She doesn't change what happened with Jovi, but what a ray of light she has and will bring us. People often ask how I'm doing. As Lila's due date approaches, I have days of sheer terror and days of good. I have nights filled with no sleep and nights filled with sleep. It's all new and feels like uncharted territory. I'm very blessed to have friends who have lost babies and are now pregnant. Two of which are due within a month of Lila's due date. Having them makes me feel slightly less crazy... we don't have anyone who has gone before us though. There are no books that tell you how to parent after your baby just suddenly died for no reason that could be found on an autopsy. Somedays are all around difficult and I feel entirely insane. Recently, I've started waking up just assuming Lila has died. Not fearing even. It's weird. Then, she kicks and my heart is so happy she hasn't died. I think it has to do with the fact Jovi died while I was napping.... While I was sleeping my baby just died. So, I guess it's only natural I would think it would just happen again. 

No one gets it, either. No one gets how neurotic I will be. Or my irrational reasonings for wanting this or that... I'm so happy that more people don't have to get it. They haven't had to live through what we have. But, sometimes I wish people would just try to understand a little bit more... Things with Lila will be very different than with the other two kids. I don't think of bringing her home much... I don't think of being her mommy much. I'm trying to get through being pregnant with her first (as I now know so much more about loss during pregnancy) and then I will deal with having a baby again. I do know she will never sleep in a room without eyes on her for months. I don't foresee myself putting her into a bed and shutting the door for a very long time. I will probably not sleep for a while... I'd imagine sleep will be difficult. I know at some point in time, I will be so tired, I just have to sleep. But, in the beginning I think sleeping will be so hard. I will do anything that is recommended or advised by our pediatrician or by the Safe Sleep campaign or anything that appeases my own mind, to keep her alive. No matter how irrational it may sound... Once you go through one child dying, you will do anything to keep the next alive. Anything. This is the big one no one seems to get. I've talked to numerous people about this tip or that tip and people will laugh and say that's crazy... or she'll be just fine... or babies are so resilient. But, what they don't remember and have never experienced is that for me, babies are not those things. Babies are not always just fine. Babies aren't always resilient. What I, often, want to say is I put Jovi down for a nap and 90 minutes later, she was dead. So, yes, crazy it may be to you, but I will do it. Because to me, anything is worth a healthy, living baby. Who continues to live, breathe, and be part of our family. A sibling for Cash... so Cash doesn't have to do this again. A daughter for us to experience first steps, first teeth, first day of school, crawling..... I want those things so very much, so I'll do my very best to be able to ensure those memories for my little family. 

I stress, often, about Lila's delivery day. I, thankfully, have staffed my entire hospital room pretty much. I have friends coming to be our nurses and our pediatrician is coming... even though I know everything will go just fine... it will be so comforting to have a room full of people who get us. A room full of people who know our story. I stress, often, about getting an epidural or not getting an epidural. I didn't get one with Jovi and her delivery and recovery was immensely easier than Cash's delivery (I got one with him). But, I don't want any out of control feelings... I've felt out of control plenty in the last 10 months. I don't want to have to be strong... I've been strong enough the last 10 months. And, I, sometimes, don't want any baby's delivery to be better than Jovi's. Jovi's was so good. And, it's one of the few memories I have with her... that I don't want someone's to surpass it. May sound silly... but it is the truth. I stress about this happening or that happening... but I'm trying so hard to be faithful. And have faith as big as a mustard seed... I can do this. Lila is going to come out pink and crying... Alive. 

I've started non-stress tests twice a week. They are so nice to give me a nice peace of mind. They help a lot and just help with reassuring me that she is okay. And healthy. And strong. 

Overall, being pregnant again is stressful. It's hard and very emotional. I struggle with feelings of Jovi vs Lila. I struggle with parenting Lila so she doesn't think or dwell on the fact that she is here because her sister died. I struggle with having faith 100% of the time... But, then I do have hope. I do have peace and I do think about the huge blessing Lila has already been to our family. We are all very excited to meet her. Very excited to hold her. I can't even wait to see her face for the first time and snuggle another one of my very own babies. In the midst of this storm, I'm still so very excited and anticipating her arrival very much. In the midst of it all, I'm striving to remember the good. Striving to think about good.... Good thoughts. God didn't give us the power of fear... is on my mind constantly.

"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of respect, whatever is just, whatever is our, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if something is excellent or praiseworthy, think about these things. And what you learned and received and heart and saw in me, do these things. And the God of peace will be with you."
Psalm 63:6-8