Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Happy Birthday Norah!!

Yesterday was Norah's first birthday and I think I am still in shock!  Where has the year gone?  It sure has been an amazing one!  She has brought such immense hope and joy into our lives - so much more than I ever knew was possible.  After losing Harper, I never thought we would find that true happiness and even though we still miss her and always will, Norah has filled our hearts so much and helped them to heal.  <3 div="div">
Instead of sharing pictures from her party (I will very soon!), I am going to post the pictures that I displayed at her party of her from birth until now.  It is amazing to look at all of them together.  I am in awe over how much she has grown and changed.  She is such a wonder to me.  What a happy year it has been!!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Some updates

Thank you for all of your kind comments on my last post.  I truly appreciate it the support.  While this pregnancy is certainly different than Norah's, as in I am not a complete basket case (mainly because she distracts me from myself), it is still very stressful and scary and of course exciting all at the same time.  We only have about 7-8 weeks left and they can't go by fast enough.

It is hard to believe that we are getting ready to celebrate Norah's first birthday this Saturday even though her actual birthday isn't until Tuesday.  I think I am in shock that she is about to turn one.  Where has this year gone?  It has gone by too fast, I will tell you that. I fear that her whole childhood will feel like a whirl wind and that is why I try my best to soak up every moment with my sweet girl.  Even the not so great moments - I always try to keep it in perspective.  She is such a gift and I am so grateful and blessed to be her mommy.

Now onto the gushing and pictures :)

Her vocabulary has been growing quite a bit over the last month or so.  Every time she says something new it amazes me even though Chris and I are probably the only ones who can actually understand what she is saying!  Book, moo, buzz, hi!, deer, Zeus, dog, ball, mama and dada are on the list these days.  You can ask her what a bee says and she will answer back with "ZZZZZ", it's so stinkin' cute!  She is taking longer and longer stretches of walking unassisted but still prefers to hold mommy's hand a lot of the time :)  We have recently moved on from bottles - she just decided one day that she was done with them.  It is so weird but from what I hear from other mamas, I should be grateful that she weaned herself and I didn't have to take the beloved "baba" away.  She is a sweet girl and will give kisses, nice slobbery ones, or a hug if you ask.  She loves to flirt with people in public as long as you don't get too close.  She also has quite the little temper and gets MAD when she doesn't get her way.  I have to restrain myself from laughing at her little tantrums sometimes because it is so cliche - you know, the all out back arching, leg kicking, scream fit that you expect to see in the toy section of Walmart.  Yea, we've got that here and she isn't even one yet.  Am I in trouble??   We are also struggling with a bit of separation anxiety but I hear that it gets better.  She does not like me out of her sight much at all and leaving her to go the doctor is hard.  I usually end up crying, too.  I just feel so bad that she is so upset but I know that she usually calms down after a few minutes.

Here are some recent pics!

Hi Mom!  

A little light morning reading :)

She loves the pool and apparently splashing is very funny!

Hanging out in the ball pit at My Gym.

Yay for swings (at My Gym)!  

Did Hollywood call? 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Where to begin...(TRIGGER)

I have been keeping something under my hat for a while - not really knowing how to bring it up and wanting to be sensitive to a community that I love so much and that has always been there for me. There are so many broken hearts here and there have been so many disappointments that I just haven't felt right sharing.

But I suppose the cat has to come out of the bag sometime so as I cross over a huge hurdle, I feel compelled to finally share some news with you all.  Harper and Norah are going to be welcoming a baby brother in the fall.  October to be exact but knowing the state of my uterus, September may be more likely.  We are very excited of course and just anxious for this little guy to get here safely.  I am 28 weeks and 3 days and just hoping and praying that things continue to go well.  I feel incredibly blessed to have the privilege of carrying another life.  We are so happy to have our family grow to 5 with our second rainbow baby.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Harper's 2nd birthday in Heaven

It is so hard to believe that two years have past since Harper Grace came into our lives and then left us so suddenly. I still have days when I can't believe that this is my life -- that I have a baby who is no longer of this world.  It is such an unnatural thing to live through and I find that it still catches me off guard at times, especially in June.  

When our loss was so fresh I couldn't imagine ever making it two years without her.  I would receive messages from other mommies who had been in our club for a year, two, etc and I just didn't know how they did it.  I had such a hard time seeing the hope that one day I would laugh again and be truly happy.  Now I am that mom and it is very surreal at times.  Norah has healed my heart in so many ways but there is still a sadness and longing for my first born.  Our lives were forever changed the day we held our angel for the first and last time.  That day seems like it should feel so far away but for me it feels like only yesterday.  

For Harper's 2nd birthday I wanted to do something a little different than my blanket making project last year.  I wanted to donate something to our hospital's bereavement services that I wish that I had had the foresight to do for Harper when she passed away.  Another special tangible keepsake since most of us never feel we have enough of those for our babies.  When Norah was born we took hand and foot molds and they are so special to me and of course, I wish we had the same for Harper.  So I decided that is what we would donate this year.  We donated 10 kits. It is comforting to be able to give something back in her honor in hopes that it will help another grieving family in their most difficult time.    

I read this poem at Harper's balloon release last year and reading it still brings tears to my eyes.  I think it is so beautiful so I wanted to share it again. 

Look For Me In Rainbows 
by Vicki Brown

Time for me to go now, I won't say goodbye;

Look for me in rainbows, way up in the sky.

In the morning sunrise when all the world is new,
Just look for me and love me, as you know I loved you.

Time for me to leave you, I won't say goodbye;

Look for me in rainbows, high up in the sky.

In the evening sunset, when all the world is through,
Just look for me and love me, and I'll be close to you.

It won't be forever, the day will come and then

My loving arms will hold you, when we meet again.

Time for us to part now, we won't say goodbye;

Look for me in rainbows, shining in the sky.

Every waking moment, and all your whole life through
Just look for me and love me, as you know I loved you.

Just wish me to be near you,

And I'll be there with you.

Of course her day wouldn't be complete without a balloon release.  We released six pink balloons into the Heavens for our baby girl and we celebrated Harper's short but meaningful life as she has touched so many.  We may have only held her in our arms for a short while but she will remain in our hearts for always.

Norah is wearing a sweet Piglet and Pooh one piece in honor of big sister. 

I love this song and have been listening to it a lot lately.  It makes me think of Harper and of all of her angel friends that are gone from this world too soon.  I know my sweet girl is near and watching over us but I wish I could just hold her one more time and kiss her sweet face again.  I find comfort in knowing that day will come and until then I will look for her in rainbows.  

Sunday, June 24, 2012

On edge

I am on edge and everything is making me cry and my heart hurts.  We had a scare last night with Norah's angel care monitor-she is fine but I really lost it.  As in, couldn't stop crying for hours lost it.  Why do I have to live in a world where babies die?  Why did one of my babies have to die?  Why do any of us have to live here?  It's not fair.  I hate that my eyes have been opened up to this harsh reality--it sucks.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Feeling dumb

Some of you may realize that I deleted the post that went out this morning.  I started working on my post for Harper's 2nd birthday this morning, wanting to make sure that I had plenty of time before her birthday which is on June 25th.  Apparently, I hit the 'publish' button instead of the 'save' button and my post was prematurely published.  I don't like the way this new blogger format is set up - I realize it is not that new but I am not the greatest about posting these days so it is new to me.  Unfortunately I had no idea the post went out until I saw the sweet comment from Jennifer.  I debated with myself, feeling like a fool for screwing up something as important as her birthday post and I had finally decided I was going to leave it since so many had already read it but I have decided that I am not really done with it and I will post the rest on Harper's day.  I am not sure where my head the clouds, I guess.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

It never ends...

I am talking about loss.  The painful, devastating, heart wrenching, gut sucking reality of losing your child.

I was contacted earlier this week by an old high school friend turned facebook friend whom I hadn't talked to in years...probably since my 10 year high school reunion.  She has a good friend who just lost her baby boy and came to me looking for advice.  Of course, I was more than willing to tell her everything I could think of and what was supposed to be a short email turned into a book.  It got me to thinking that after all this time, almost 2 years later the words just poured out of me.  How to be there for a friend who has lost her beloved child.  What a horrible thing to be the subject matter expert on.  Honestly, as much as I was willing to tell her what I could and help her, since what good is it to have gone through hell and back if not to help someone else out, it sucked.  I cried and cried reading her email and writing my reply.  Why does this happen to people?  It's not fair.  It took me back to those early days when I could barely pick myself up off the floor and all I could guarantee to get accomplished in a day was to cry and to breathe and most days I wished that I could just stop the latter.  I know loss doesn't stop but how I wish it did.  Mommies and daddies shouldn't have to say goodbye to their babies but so many do and it breaks my heart all over again every time I hear another story.

Almost two years later and in a totally different and happy place in my life, my wound has been re-opened and my heart hurts. It hurts for me, it hurts for this mama who is just starting her journey down this road and it hurts for so many others who have walked in my shoes.  It just hurts.  I miss Harper.  I wish she were here, too.  I wish life didn't have to be so cruel to some.  I wish this sad story wasn't a part of mine.  I wish.  I wish.  I wish.

Thursday, April 19, 2012


Well, here is another long overdue blog post.  I just imported about a million (well, maybe not really that many) pictures off of my camera and thought it would be fun to share :)

Norah is such a light in our lives and such a little ham bone as her daddy calls her.  I often wonder how we ever lived without her.  She fulfills our lives in so many ways that I never knew were possible.  She is 7.5 months now and still not crawling, why would she when she has Mom to carry her around all the time? She tries but gets so frustrated and much prefers to be on her feet.  I really think she will walk before she crawls.  She loves to sit up and play though.  She has two bottom teeth now and already knows how to use them, it makes me nervous for finger foods but excited, too.  She giggles at the dogs a lot which cracks us up, is such a talker and really likes to "join the conversation"!  She loves to look at herself in the mirror and who could blame her?!? She crinkles up her little nose when she smiles and oh, her little red-headed temper...I think we better watch out, she is a fiery one!   She is such a love and just makes my heart want to leap out of my chest.  I could gush about her all day long but I will share some (a bunch!) of pictures instead!  

Love my toys.

Looking sneaky.

Norah and Daddy on St Patty's day!

Lots of giggles for Zeus!

Laughing at Mommy.

Such a little ham :)

Easter- sitting on the edge of Harper's garden <3

Loves her jumper!

Splish splash Norah loves a bath!

See my teeth!

Big girl!

On a stroll with Sophie!

Yummy sweet potatoes!! 

Are you smiling yet??  Was that too many?!?  I seriously had to restrain myself from posting more :)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Re-post from Small Bird Studios! Please read this!!

Phenomenal piece by Fran over at small bird studios.  If you have not read this, please do.  It is amazing!
When you lose a baby...
You don’t know what to expect.
People surround you. For a couple of weeks. Making sure you are not going to kill yourself, refuse to get out of bed, or start rocking a baby doll like the crazy lady they heard about from a friend.
You get lots of sympathy cards, clearly written and designed to be sent to console a daughter losing her father. Not the other way around.
You get free baby formula in the mail. For months and months and months.
And free baby magazines. And free baby coupons.
You secretly envy every pregnant woman. But not without a tinge of guilt, because you know all too well that she might be one in four- expecting her rainbow child.
It seems like the whole world is expecting a baby.
You have baby stuff around your home. Because you never imagined you wouldn’t need it.
You feel jarred. In the grocery store. At a birthday party. At the dinner table. At Christmas. Driving.
The baby you never knew, but lost changes every part of your life. Every. single. part.
You see baby clothes and it brings tears to your eyes.
You get sick and tired of crying. You never knew it was possible to cry this much.
You find yourself angry at God. Angry at yourself. Just angry.
You sware you can feel them kick but they’re gone. They call them phantom kicks. I call them painful, all kinds of painful. But sweet too.
You know, or you have a strong feeling of knowing what your child would have looked like, and been like. You see a child in the store, or on the street. Their hair color, dimples, smile, their personality and suddenly you are reminded of your child. You miss your child even more, if that’s even possible.
Your Babies R’ Us Registry is still active. There is no delete button on their site. The babies r’ us people don’t make a dime on people like us. Why bother right? You have to call them, plead with them to remove your freaking’ registry, because there will be no baby shower. There is an awkward silence. There is sadness. There will be no baby.
You get hospital bills about 3-4 months after you buried your child. You have to pay for the baby you delivered but didn’t bring home.
You find that moment of happiness in life for the first time, but the guilt swallows it up almost immediately.
You remember the size of the casket. The size of the plot. The face of the funeral director. The expression of those that attended the funeral. The feeling of raw pain, like your chest has literally been ripped open.
Somehow you convince yourself that you deserve happiness. Because you really do. But in the happiest, purest moment, there is still that hole that only they were meant to fill.
People compare your pain to their own pain. The loss of their grandmother, husband, their failed marriage, rebellious teenagers. Somehow this comparing leaves you stranded. If they can compare their pain of a situation to the loss of your BABY, they will likely never get it. Babies are not supposed to die. End of story.
You lost a dream. And it almost feels like you imagined their entire existence up. Their name becomes a distant memory on the lips of others.
There is awkwardness when you talk about your child in a crowd. No one knows whether to cry, walk away or pretend you never brought him or her up.
You lose friends. You find new ones.
You can’t believe that women have actually survived this and you never knew about it. Not really, anyway.
You would do anything for another minute with your child.
You cry when others bring up your child, not so much because it hurts but more so because it such a precious and rare gift.
You long for the rewind button, even after many many instances of acceptance.
You want to know what went wrong, and why…
You find a new appreciation for moments in life that make you laugh… you laugh harder and love stronger.
You know that you can die bitter, or die thankful. There is no in between.
You never ever, EVER get over your child. The one you hoped for, prayed for, carried and loved for the weeks and months they were with you.
You learn to live with the pain.
You are better for having known them at all.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Sketch info

I meant to include this information in my original post but I forgot!  Dana Klein is the sketch artist who drew the beautiful sketch of Harper from my previous post.  She was incredibly sweet and easy to work with.  If you are interested in getting a sketch of your angel, I would definitely recommend her.  She has a website but I had the best luck contacting her on facebook.  :)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

It's been awhile.

I just logged in to catch up on my BLM blog reading and gasped when I saw that my last post was on Thanksgiving.  What a slack a$$ I am.  It's embarrassing.  I honestly feel awful that I don't blog near enough (at all) anymore.  I think about it so much and actually write a lot of blog entries in my head, they just never make it onto "paper".  I think about all of my BLMs and our angels so much and read along with you all when I can.  Other than being a mom to Norah and staying very busy with her, the reason I haven't blogged in a while is that I feel so guilty that I haven't in forever that it seems easier to just not.  I don't even know if that makes sense.  I feel guilty because I wonder if people who used to read here think that now because I don't (blog) that I don't miss Harper with my whole being anymore.  Well that is just not the case.  I still do and I always will.

She has been very close to our hearts the past six months as we have watched Norah change from a newborn to a smiley, beautiful, happy baby--all the experiences that we never got to have with Harper.  I catch myself wondering if Harper and Norah would have looked alike, if her giggles would sound like Norah's, if they would have liked the same things and if their personalities would have been similar.  I know I will never know but I can't help but wonder.

My Christmas present to myself and to a few family members this year was a sketch I had done of Harper from her hospital pictures. It turned out beautifully and is hanging proudly in our entry way with the rest of our family just where she belongs.  

I love it and am so happy that I had it done!  And because a post wouldn't be complete without an updated picture of she is!!  My sweet baby girl!  This is taken on her half birthday.  She looks like such a big girl sitting up by herself.  She is such a doll and I feel so lucky to be her mommy.  My heart seriously wants to burst with the love I have for this child.  I am blessed beyond measure.  

That bow is seriously hanging on by a little red thread ;)