Sunday, January 30, 2011


****Possible triggers in this post****

We found out three weeks ago on January 10th that Harper is going to be a big sister!  I am 7 weeks pregnant with our rainbow baby!

I managed to talk my OB into seeing us much earlier than she wanted to so we could rule out another blighted ovum.  The fear of that happening again was overwhelming.  So last Wednesday at 6 weeks and some change we got to see our Pooh Bear, as we are affectionately calling him/her, flickering away on the ultrasound screen.  What a relief that was!  Of course there are a million other worries but right now we are just happy to know that there is somebody home!  

We are full of so many emotions -- joy, hope, fear and sadness.  Joy for the little life that is growing and the hope that we might get to bring this baby home with us.  Fear that the worst will happen again and we will lose this baby, too.  Sadness for the dear one who is not here with us.  

I know a lot of moms expecting a rainbow baby start a new blog but I am not planning to.  Harper is and will always be a part of this baby's story and it isn't possible to separate the experiences.  Harper has and continues to shape our lives.  I hate to lose any of my readers but I totally understand that it can be painful to read about someone's pregnancy in the midst of loss.  

For those reading that have not experienced a loss, please understand that this baby in no way could ever replace Harper.  And that just because we are expecting another baby, we are not automatically "better".  We still grieve and hurt for the daughter that we lost, we always will. Creating another life doesn't take that pain away, their lives aren't interchangeable.  

I borrowed this from Angela's blog:  "Rainbow Baby" is the understanding that the beauty of a rainbow does not negate the ravages of the storm. When a rainbow appears, it doesn't mean the storm never happened or that the family is not still dealing with its aftermath. What it means is 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.

I realize that it is extremely early and anything can happen but right now we are hopeful and trying to enjoy every minute of this pregnancy that we are blessed with.  

Saturday, January 29, 2011


Well, the whopping 11 entries made for pretty good odds, since I chose 2 winners! ;)

I used the website to choose my winners and then I couldn't figure out how to show that here, so you will just have to trust me!

Winner #1 is Tiffany at Holy Pee Stick, Batman!!

Winner #2 is Mary at Addison's Wings

Congratulations to Tiffany and Mary and thank you to everyone who participated!  I enjoyed learning more about you ladies and about your hopes for this new year.  I will be in touch with the winners for addresses and such.  I hope you all have a nice weekend!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Giveaway time!

I finally decided on what I would like to give for my very first give away!  It will be The Year of The Babylost Calendar for 2011 put together by the very lovely and talented FranchescaCarly!

If you would like to enter to win, please leave a comment on this post telling me something interesting about yourself or what your hopes are for the coming year.  I encourage you all to enter to win this beautiful calendar.  I realize that January is almost over but you have 11 more months to enjoy this inspirational calendar.  :) I will leave the drawing open until tomorrow, Friday the 28th at 11pm eastern.

P.S. I will be picking TWO winners!!  Good luck!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Today marks seven months since Harper made her way to her Heavenly home.  Somedays I can hardly believe that it has been that long as the memories are so clear and just come rushing in at a moments notice.  Other days it feels like I have already lived a lifetime without her as the memories are more blurry; in those blurry moments I am saddened because I feel so far from her.

It is interesting to think of where my life was at this exact time last year and where it is now.  We had just found out we were expecting and naively thought that a positive pregnancy test automatically meant that you would get to bring home a baby in nine months.  How*wrong*we*were.  In the last year our lives have changed dramtically, we have become different people.  The old Rhi and Chris never to return.  We are the proud parents to our spirit baby or as a dear friend put it, parents to our beautiful baby in the sky (I love! that description).

The day we knew Harper's early arrival was imminent, we had a meeting with the hospital's lactation consultant and one of the staff neonatologists.  We discussed kangaroo care (skin to skin contact and therapy that has been shown to improve cognitive function for preemies) and breast feeding challenges in the NICU, which basically amounted to me pumping with a industrial strength hospital breast pump and using my milk for tube feeds.  We were up for it, all of it, what ever it took, we would do it.  The consultant even brought out her binder full of success stories with pictures of babies born at or before Harper's gestational age.  These kids were thriving, which was surprising to me.  I was feeling better about her early arrival and we were prepared to set up camp in the NICU for how ever long it took to get our girl healthy enough to bring home.  Of course I had the obvious worries about her prematurity and what kind of impact that would have on her life.  I was so scared that she would be in pain or suffer - neither of which appeal to any mother.  We had accepted it though, this was going to be our life - no matter what happened, we were going to parents to a micro preemie and we would get through this as a family.  I never once thought Harper would die.  Not once.  I am not sure why this never crossed my mind.  I guess I thought that since I had taken great care of myself, only ate healthful foods, took my vitamins religiously, and did everything 'right' that she would be OK.  I could not have fathomed how terrible of a turn our life would take.  And as you all know, the worst thing imaginable happened, our daughter didn't make it and our lives were shattered.  Our lives forever changed.

I have grown so much in the last seven months.   I have been at my weakest and at my strongest.  I have loved so much deeper because I know how quickly it can all go away.  I know how it feels to hit the bottom, to feel so lost and so helpless to grief and to feel that you have nothing to live for.  Thankfully, I also know what it feels like to start to feeling good again with the bad days getting fewer.  I can finally smile and laugh again and mean it.  I have learned that Chris and I are so strong and going to be OK; we can get through anything since we have already been through the worst hell possible.  No matter what happens in my life, I will keep breathing even though I may not want to or don't feel I can go on. I have learned how very precious every life is and how everything can change in an instant.  Above all, I know I am blessed and I am so lucky to have known the soul of a tiny little angel girl who continues to make an impact on so many lives.

This quote was sent to me by a dear friend yesterday and I think it so eloquently describes how we feel about our angel babies.

A butterfly lights beside us like a sunbeam
And for a brief moment its glory 
and beauty belong to our world
But then it flies again
And though we wish it could have stayed...
We feel lucky to have seen it.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Dear Readers,

I just realized that I have exactly 50!! 'followers' or readers of my blog!  I am honored that so many of you take the time out of your busy lives to read about my sweet Harper, leave comments, and continue to show me so much love and support on my journey of learning to live without my daughter.  It is humbling to know that so many people would even want to read about our life.  Everyone of you means so much to me, every comment reassuring me that I am not alone and not crazy mean the world to this baby loss mama. I have felt so much love here and I would not be where I am today without your friendship. Thank you for continuing to remember my daughter.  And thank you for showing me just how much good there is in the world despite all of the pain.  Much love to all of you!

P.S. In honor of all of your faithful support, I want to host a giveaway!  I want to bring a smile to your faces as you do to mine.  I am not sure what I want to give away yet but I have a few ideas...more to come on this!!  :)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Love at first sight

A year ago today I took a pregnancy test and after two years of trying we were finally blessed with a BFP (big fat positive).  Two beautiful lines that changed our lives forever.  I will never forget the absolute joy that I felt that day and in the days and months following.  I had a special little secret.  I was going to be a Mom, what a feeling to know that I was nurturing a little person inside of  me, that I was solely responsible for the health and well being of our child.  We were blessed with a miracle and absolutely over the moon!  We had so many hopes and dreams for our little bean.  At this point last year I didn't know who my baby was yet.  I didn't know that her fate was to be an angel in Heaven.  I had no idea what was ahead of me but I was in love.  So in love and I still am.

Making the decision to have a child is momentous.  It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. 
 ~Elizabeth Stone

Saturday, January 15, 2011


Here is a picture I took of Harper's tree during our winter snow and ice storm.  Her tree was beautiful and all a glisten due to the ice crystals; when the sun was shining down on it, it looked as though it had beautiful white lights covering it. 

I haven't been blogging much lately and I have been feeling guilty about it.  I have been at a loss for words.  I don't really feel that I have anything new or inspiring to say.  Just the same thing that I have been saying for the last six and a half months.  I miss my Harper, my heart, my world.  I wish she was here.  I wish my life was different.  Words cannot do justice to hole that we continue to have in our hearts.  

I wanted to share some posts that have really hit home for me from some of my BLM blogging friends in the last 6.5 months.

Here is what Tiffany, who's beautiful son Julius passed away due to SIDS, has to say about people asking her if she is "feeling better".

Emily reflects on the good of 2010; the sweet memories that she made with her son, Aidan, while he was still growing inside of her.

Jennifer who lost her son, Kai, in June posted this yesterday and I could identify so strongly with her words.

Kristin wrote this on her daughter's 6 month angelversary about how much her life has been changed forever since losing her Stevie.

Julie, mom to Alistair and Lambert, posted this video that she made on her blog.  It is titled, "What we would like to say to well meaning people" and I just love it!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

I went there...

I have been trying to keep my blog positive as of late; trying pretty hard not to bring anyone down. I try really hard to live a better life and be a better person for Harper, knowing that I am a true reflection of her. I try not to talk bad about anyone; I try to live by the golden rule -- to be a good person.  But, events of this day can't go unmentioned....

I have the pleasure of working with THREE pregnant women. Yes, 3!  Two of whom don't really bother me.  One is a first time mom who really cherishes her pregnancy, the other is a fellow BLM (and such a sweet person). She is about 20 or so weeks pregnant and I am so truly happy and excited that her rainbow baby is thriving.  She lost her daughter, Caroline, in May of 2010.  A rainbow baby is a baby born after a loss. A "rainbow" after the horrible storm that is having your child die.  A rainbow baby will never replace our lost children, but will help patch up a part of the hole in our hearts that they left behind. 

For a mother who has lost her child, it is hard to be around pregnant women and infants.  For me, it is suffocating.  I can't handle all of the "talk":  doctors appointments, baby names, ultrasounds, etc -- it is so freaking painful.   I usually just shut down and stare into space.  I try to put on a happy face but sometimes it is impossible.  Even when they are good people and even when they are considerate of my fragile feelings, it still hurts because they have something that I desire so much.  I am going to be really honest here.... unless it is with a rainbow baby, I have a tough time being truly happy for someone who is pregnant.  I know that probably sounds so broken and twisted of me, but it is true.

It is even harder to be around people who are totally oblivious and say really stupid things.  Today for example, one of the other women who is expecting was talking about her last OB appointment, etc.  She was saying how much she really hopes that her baby is a boy because she "would just fall out if I had another girl!"...  that she just "couldn't handle another girl".  Another girl?!  Seriously?!?  "Fall out"?!?  I just wanted to scream at her.  She just kept going on and on about it and then finally looks over at me, hesitated, and stammered and said, "Uh, I mean, I will be happy if its healthy."  Perfect!  Sure you will.  As hard as it was for me to do, I bit my tongue.  I looked at the floor and didn't say a word.  I just don't understand how it must feel to be that naive about pregnancy and about life.  To just assume that your biggest worry will be the gender of your baby.  How about worrying about if he or she will make it into the world safely; or if he or she will be healthy; or if the baby will even make it to the next ultrasound.  How about just being thankful that you are even pregnant at all, especially when so many of us want nothing more than to have another chance at parenthood.

I am stunned that anyone would say this and impressed at how quickly people forget what another has been through.  In fact, I am stunned that people in general can be so selfish that their baby's gender is their biggest worry during pregnancy.  I guess I need to start carrying a big sign that says..."My daughter died, remember?  I am in pain.  I am wounded.  Please, spare me from your selfish bullsh*t!"