Sunday, December 11, 2016

I. Can't. Even.

I realize I haven't blogged in a million months. Things are crazy and I barely even have time to brush my teeth. But, I'm taking time out now to address something major. I'm sick of sitting and cringing every single time I hear the below phrases so can we please... pretty please... band together and stop saying/doing this crap?

I'm starting this post off with some background real quick. If you are new to my blog, my daughter, Jovi Sloan, passed away to SIDS four and a half years ago. It was/is brutal and something I wouldn't wish on anyone. No one deserves to know what the loss of a child feels like. The love of Jesus and the hope of being reunited with my daughter pulled me through and continues to pull me through on the dark days. Did you catch that? I love Jesus. Jesus is my man.


1.) God doesn't give you more than you can handle. 

Um. What? This is bull sh*t. Because, while I didn't die when my daughter died, it sure as hell felt like I couldn't handle it. In fact, there's still days where I feel like I'm barely keeping my head above water. This isn't helpful. My baby who was here one second and gone the next was/is horrible. I can't even explain the weight of what I felt in the beginning and hearing that God wouldn't give me too much wasn't at all helpful. Not even a little.

2.) Jesus's arms is the best place for a baby. 

What the what? Last time I checked, babies were supposed to outlive their parents. Maybe Jesus's arms are the best place for a mom... but, stop and think about this. It's a sweet thought. Don't get me wrong. I love that Jesus has a hold of my tiny tot, BUT I still want her here more than I want her with Jesus. Let's do a rephrase, "I can see Jesus rocking your precious baby until you get to her again." Nailed it.

3.) God needed another angel. 

I'm still not even convinced that babies become angels. Maybe? Who the heck knows. It doesn't help thinking of her with wings and a halo anymore than it does to think of her being better off in heaven. And. He needed my baby to become the angel? Let's stop and think about this for a second... Do you want to give up your child to become an angel? You don't? Then, don't say it.

4.) God needed another flower for His garden. 

Who are you gonna give up for a flower in God's garden right now?

5.) You are young enough to have another baby. 

No baby can replace the baby I lost. Did you catch that? Let me say it again and just let it sink in. No baby can replace the one I lost. Okay... moving on.

6.) When my dog died....

I believe dogs are family. I believe you love your dog to the ninth power. But, a dog isn't a child. Please stop comparing the death of my child to your dog... cat... gerbil... bird....

7.) Friend request. 

I was inundated with friend requests when Jovi died. Something ridiculous like 64 requests in the first few days after she died. Please don't friend request someone just to know their drama. Facebook has a little thing called messaging. Send them a message. You'll never know when they might get it. I had a mom message me 18 months ago and I just learned about the "other" folder about a month ago. It was there. And it came to me at a time I needed it. It was remarkable. She didn't try to be my "friend". She sent me a heartfelt message and she moved on. She didn't need to see the drama unfolding on my Facebook page.

8) "Do you know how she died?"

Don't gossip about a family going through hell. Does it really matter? And if you must know, ask someone who is your best friend about it. Not Joe Blow from high school.

9.) Oh man... I had the worst week...

Please don't tell me you've had the worst week ever the week my daughter died. Your broken house appliance is nothing compared to the huge hole in my heart. (Ps. You can tell me all about your crappy week now... just don't in the first few weeks/months).

10.) Run the other way. 

If you see my swollen, puffy eyes in the grocery store. Stop and talk to me! I know I now sound totally unapproachable and I'm judging every word, but I'm not really.

Tell me you're sorry.

Tell me you have no words for me.

Give me a hug.

Tell me you can't fix it.

Tell me your praying for me.

Tell me you'll watch my big kids.

Tell me it wasn't my fault.

Tell me you are thinking about me.

Tell me you are there for me.

Tell me your heart is hurting with mine.

Tell me you are so sad.

Tell me you miss seeing her face.

Speak her name.

Bring me dinner.

Tell me Jovi was beautiful.

Tell me she's missed.

Tell me you think about her.

I'm speaking in "me's" here because I'm just going back to the beginning. I, honestly, don't need a dinner now. I'm remembering those first few months of sheer awful and trying to convey how to help your friend, your acquaintance, your sister, your brother.... just be there. Be present. A simple "I'm thinking about you" goes a long, long way. The people I remember the most were the ones who were just there. Those who hugged me and said how terrible this was... those who just didn't leave. Those who didn't try to fix it. Those who allowed themselves to try to think of the unimaginable. Those who let themselves go to that place for just a minute to try to understand how I felt. Those. Those people were my lifeline and those people helped me keep going and helped keep my head above the water. Be empathetic. Don't try to justify my loss. Don't try to make it seem better than it is. Because it f*cking sucks. It's the worse. There's no justification to my daughter's death that will help me feel better in this lifetime.

If you don't know me, pray for me. Tell me your sorry. Shoot me a message on Facebook. Respect my family and my privacy.

Please can we end this? Share this. Teach this. I think it's safe to speak for anyone who has experienced a significant loss... I can't just be speaking to the child-loss mommas...

Let's all throw out sympathy and embrace empathy. It'll go so much farther and impact so. much. more.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

All the Feels

Our camera was sitting on the counter and I just put it away in its spot in a cupboard. It's been sitting on the counter for weeks in preparation for our new little guy's arrival. I'd see it cooking the kids' breakfast (okay, putting waffles in the toaster), it'd catch my eye when cleaning the kitchen... It was a symbol of excitement that a baby could come any day. I remember telling my husband we needed to charge the cameras and how this was not only exciting because a baby was near, but, also, that I had faith that this little tot was going to live and that's big for this baby loss mama. I had a little sting of sadness as I put it away knowing that the excitement of impending "Meet Baby" operation was now over. 

Jett Max made his entrance into the world two minutes before midnight on April 9th. It was one of the most magical days of my life as is the other days that I've first caught glimpse of each of my four babies. He was a surprise... In more ways than one. We didn't know we were incomplete as a family or that we needed another being in our house until we learned of his presence months ago. We knew he would be our last and decided to mix it up and not find out his gender. There was much anticipation upon his arrival as we finally found out if we had a son or a daughter. He's been nothing short of sweet. He's brought that sweet newborn smell back into our house. He's made Lila a big sister and he gave Cash a brother. He's completed our "little" family. He's even slightly less stressful as I feel more confident... I've kept two alive. I've raised a rainbow. I can do this. 

With that being said, he comes with a mark of sadness. Each of his firsts is our last. His first car ride was our last time bringing a baby home from the hospital. I cried upon this realization (Thank you post partum hormones). Not only cried but, also, insisted to my husband that we couldn't possibly say no to another one of these sweet, perfect gifts. I'm sure he thought I was going insane as weeks before we had laughed... Okay seriously contemplated, too... About how we were going to handle three kids here on Earth. 

As the post partum fog has lifted and I'm finding I'm more of myself (no longer crying over car rides and umbilical cord belly buttons) I've realized that these emotions are going to come regardless of its it your first baby and last or your tenth baby and last. We can't continue having babies to keep those emotions at bay and at some point, we have to be done in baby land. Our life won't be over when we don't have a baby in the house anymore and my role as mom is going to change but I  will be just as needed and just as important taking kids to soccer games and piano practice as I trade in changing diapers and nursing. We will enter a new phase and it will be good and it will be wonderful. It's okay to mourn what we are trading in, but just because it's different and new- doesn't mean it's going to be any less.

I'm excited to see where we go and how my kids grow. As I've accepted this today, doesn't mean I still don't struggle with letting it go. If you see Jett out in tiny clothes, it's simply because I can't let go of the incredibly tiniest of tiny newborn sizes. And that's okay. 

Monday, January 25, 2016

Not Prepared.

I knew losing my baby was going to be so hard. I knew I would miss her every. single. day. I knew that years later, life would still not feel right. I knew that my soul would ache for her sweet little self every day and I knew that my life and myself was changed. As the years have gone by without Jovi, I've realized how much I lost when she died. Much was lost the day she died. More than I think I still realize... dreams, futures, stress was gained (multitudes of stresses). Not to sound so depressing, I should add that I gained so much insight and so much perspective along with all that I lost. I will forever wish my child didn't die to be where I am today though.

What I didn't realize is that my sweet boy would still long and ache for his sister three and a half years later. I didn't realize that he would remember. It seems sweet that he does but it breaks my heart that he hurts. I didn't expect tears on Christmas because Santa didn't fill her stocking. I didn't expect almost nightly conversations (lately especially) about Heaven and Jovi. I didn't expect nightly comments of how much he's missing her. I didn't expect comments of "Why do our babies die?".  I wast ready for passing a cemetery on a field trip and his innocent voice telling his best school friend that he has a sister who is buried in a cemetery because she died. And that sweet school friend already feeling awkward by death ignoring Cash's honest comment. Not prepared. Not in any way. I sort of thought he would forget. Not totally... We have pictures of Jovi all over and we speak of her often. She hasn't been placed away or hasn't been forgotten in our home. I mean the tragedy and the sadness. I thought he would vaguely remember he had a sister and more because we reminded him. We kept her memory alive. But, that doesn't seem to be the case. He's remembering on his own. I never wanted him to realize how unfair it was... and he has. He has asked why our babies die... why others don't. Why his sister died and others didn't... He had always sort of just accepted what happened to us and I had always hoped that he wouldn't realize that it is so, so, so unfair. But he does. And it's a killer. It breaks my heart in so many ways. He should never have had to endure this and it's awful he has to continue. My heart is hurting for him. I just wasn't prepared for his heart hurting and how that makes a mommy feel...

He had retired his sweet Jovi bear who slept with him for a couple years after Jovi died. She was so well loved and one day, I realized he had retired her to his little rainbow sister. The other night I went to tuck him in and realized Jovi bear was back in his bed and it was like a punch to the throat and a sheer indication of his hurting little heart. He's such a sweet and sensitive little guy and I realize he's doing all the right things and seems to be grieving in all the right ways. His mommy just wasn't prepared for his hurting heart.

Be praying for my little monkey.