Friday, August 31, 2012

Pretty Sunset pictures

These are pictures of the sunset from the first day of school. It was so beautiful.  I was privileged to get to see it with my own eyes.  :)

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Monday, August 27, 2012

First day of School

Today in Texas, most parents were hurriedly rushing about the house, fighting back the tears as their children got ready for the first day of school.  Some were taking their babies to Preschool or Kindergarten and some were watching their senior walk out the door to drive themselves to the first day of their last year in school.

Graduation Cap 

I was up bright and early this morning getting my oldest son Payton ready for his second week of school, as he started last Monday.  I read of many mommies who were getting their babies ready for school today and fighting back many tears.  I spent the morning in prayer for each of them.  Praying each had the strength they needed to make it through the morning and the portion of the afternoon before they pick up their precious gifts from the Lord from their first day of school.

It wasn't until I was driving back home from Payton's school, that I realized , we baby loss mommies will never experience those tender moments of joy, pride and fear as we drop of our angels at school for the first time.  There will always be this empty place in our lives, in our hearts, and in our shopping carts, where their school supplies should have been along with their happy eager faces as we get ready for school time.  

I read not long ago in the book Heaven is for Real that the babies and children are still in school in Heaven, and that the little boy had to do homework and loved it.  Our babies aren't missing anything here on earth.  They have the best teacher of all, with the most experience.

They are happy there.

I truly believe that although we miss our sweet babies,and want more than anything to be able to pick them up and hug their necks, and ask how their first day of school went... we are blessed.

I have a feeling that tonight... if we look into the sky, we will see our babies first coloring project.. they Lord has been working on it with them all day.  
Big Pink Crayon
Orange Crayon 
Blue Crayon
Yellow Crayon
Purple Crayon
I can't wait to see what they have drawn ! 
I know it will be PERFECT!

I will post pictures of the beautiful sunset tonight.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Christmas Time's a comin'

As of today folks Christmas is officially 120 days away. 

That's not long! 

Christmas is usually one of my most favorite times of year.  
I can celebrate the birth of my savior AND 
get to spend time with my family. 

I have the pleasure of seeing true joy and wonder in my son's eyes. : )
What more could I want?

This year, I am approaching Christmas season with hesitation and fear.

My second son, my baby boy who was supposed to be six months old at Christmas this year... won't be here.  He'll be having the best Christmas in Heaven.

This makes me hesitant and not sure I even want to have Christmas without him... although all of my favorite people will be there... my oldest son will still be happy... just my sweet angel won't and it makes me horribly sad.   I remember the joy I had in my heart in 2011.  I was 4 months pregnant with Jacob during Christmas.. as my husband and I hurriedly shopped for things for my son I remember saying , just think, this time next year, our little boy will be crawling all over the place... looking at the presents.. it hurts my heart to know now what the naive me didn't.  Our little boy won't be crawling looking at presents... he has the greatest gift of all... an eternal life in Heaven.

I have been looking for ways to remember Jacob at Christmas this year, starting with the ornament he'll have on the tree for his first Christmas.  I found it while looking online at the Hallmark website.  It's perfect for him.  It matches the onesie he wore while I was in the hospital perfectly.  I vowed to search every Hallmark store around until I could find it.  

I am happy to report that yesterday, on my first attempt, I found it and bought it.

I think I have decided it will hang on our family Christmas tree in our living room, and I will also make him a special ornament or two to hang on the boy's miniature Christmas tree that will be in Payton's room.

I found this idea on Pinterest, for a DIY Baby's first Christmas ornament... I think this is a lovely idea... and it is so very easy to do!  On the back side of the photo, it says Baby's first Christmas 2012

I know my sweet baby boy would be beautiful inside an ornament. <3
 As Christmas approaches, I can't help but begin to think about how I will decorate Jacob's headstone.  I have been thinking for a good while, that I want to buy a pretty wreath and hang it around his horse's neck.  We'll see if that looks funny or not..   I also want to have a flower saddle made that looks "Christmasy".

I know just like every other holiday.. the preparation is probably going to be worse than the actual day.. we will get through the best way we know how.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Rock-a-bye baby

Today, Monday the 13th day of August 2012, Jacob's headstone was delivered to our small church home where my sweet baby rests.

 On Friday,Jacob's six month birthday, I contacted the monument company to confirm exact date of completion of Jacob's headstone.  The owner explained that it was completed, and that it would be delivered Monday. We agreed to meet at the cemetery at 9:30am.  
 (Afterwards, I wonder if they didn't deliver it Friday because they realized it was an anniversary and didn't want to make it difficult on me)
The gentleman explained to me how everyone that walked by loved his headstone and said " awww, look at the horse".  He also told me that it was absolutely beautiful and he thought I would be pleased. 

I left home early this morning that way I could be at the cemetery when the truck arrived.  Payton and I got there about 9am and moved his bees and pinwheel that way the men would have room to work.  Then it was time to sit and wait. 

I had called the local christian radio station and requested they play Safe and Sound by Matthew West, I thought maybe if I stayed close to the car I would hear it and be reminded through song that Jake is Safe and Sound with the Lord in Heaven.  It also reminds me that I am Safe and Sound with the Lord here on earth.

I didn't get the chance to hear it because the delivery people arrived early.

I explained where exactly they needed to take his headstone.

I watched them back up the truck, get out the shovels and level.
I watched the man shovel away the dirt and grass to make the perfect place to place the base of the stone.

I watched as the men slid the pieces of Jake's horse off the bed of the truck and slowly moved them through the cemetery gate.

And, within twenty minutes of the men arriving, they were done.  Jake's horse was finally assembled and with him forever.

On the back it says:,
My love will fly to you each night on angel's wings 

We Love and miss you
Mommy, Payton, Papa, Mimi, Uncle Cody, Aunt Jackie, Adleigh
Jacob is special. 
 He had to have something original.  
He does for sure have a very special horse.  His horse fits him.

I couldn't be happier. <3

Friday, August 10, 2012

Controversy: baby photos online

Jacob was born still 6 months ago today.  About 5 months ago is when I posted the first picture of Jacob to my Facebook account, after it had been retouched some by Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep.  I was so very proud of my precious son.  The sweet baby boy whom I love so very much.  I wanted all of my closest friends and family to see him.  I just knew that everyone would adore him like I did.

I was wrong.

I began to notice that friends and former co-workers who were once my friend on Facebook were gone.  I didn't realize the reason at the time.

Not long later, I was visiting the District Clerk's office where I worked for four years,up until last Fall.  We had a really good visit I thought.  After I left, a lady whom I've gotten to know pretty well called me on my cell phone to let me know that two of the ladies who had once been friends on my Facebook were gossiping about me.. and one was telling the other " She put pictures of her dead baby on her Facebook, who would do that?".  I was crushed.  My feelings were hurt that people who I thought were my friends could be so ugly and insensitive to my pain.  I just lost my child.  That was MY Facebook page.  No one had the right to judge me.   I went to remove said people from my friends list to realize they had already removed me themselves.  I shrugged it off.  These people obviously weren't my friends, nor did they care about me, so I didn't have the time to care about them...

I began wondering how many other mommies had suffered this problem before.  I asked the support group I was a member of and many people said the same happened after they posted pictures of their precious baby.  Many mommies said not only had their friends reacted negatively to their photos, but some family members had as well.  I couldn't believe my eyes as I read the horrible things that these poor hurting mommies had endured.  

Yesterday, I got my own dose of negativity from a family member.  I was on the phone having a seemingly normal phone conversation with a relative when it happened.  We were talking of local news events, Payton and the weather... when all of the sudden, said family member blurted out, "I saw pictures of "the baby"(said member didn't even acknowledge he had a name) on Facebook the other day... your other relatives showed me."  "Why would you put pictures with the caption "Stillborn" on them on Facebook?".  I suddenly got defensive. (Mind you I purposely never had shown pictures of Jake to this person because I didn't think they could handle it). I told this person that I wasn't the only person to ever post pictures of my baby to Facebook and if they were to look at other Facebook pages of parents of stillborns or any infant who has passed away, most have pictures of their babies.  Even though they have passed away, we still love them, we are still proud of them.  Our hearts still smile when we see their sweet faces and little footsies or whatever picture we have of them.  Parents of stillborn babies, or any other baby in Heaven shouldn't have to hide our grief and hurt, just because others are afraid of it, or don't think they can handle it.  

In my very honest opinion, we as individuals should be allowed to post whatever we want to on our own personal Facebook pages without judgment from others when it is regarding our babies.  I would dare to say that most people have never experienced a loss so great as losing a child and it is very easy to say "well, I would never post those... I wouldn't say that... I wouldn't" .. The truth is these other people do not know how they would behave or what they would do because thankfully they have never stood in our shoes and won't ever have to.

Yesterday I asked other mommies of stillborns:

 Have you lost friends or been the victim of ugly remarks because you posted a picture of your baby to your Facebook or blog? Did family members have problems viewing them?  

These are some of their responses( i've edited out names for privacy):

  • I've had several people delete me as friend's on FB. I'm not sure if it's due to all the photos, the sadness, or depressing things I post. (As some have told me that). I don't care. I post pictures of my darling son. I'm a proud Mama. I have yet to hear anything truly negative or bad, but if I do, I will delete them.

  • I posted pictures of my son and had family members question me for doing so saying I should be sensitive to other peoples feelings. The way I look at it is people aren't sensitive to my feelings when they post pictures of their living children and why should they? It's their child, they're proud of them. Just because my son is in heaven doesn't make me any less proud of him. He's my beautiful baby and I'm so proud to show him off. It took me a while to accept that some people may freak out about it but I'm at a point now where I am tired of caring what they think. 
  • I've avoided posting photos other than the one of his feet because I'm so afraid of what someone will think of him. I'm so protective of his photos. Maybe one day I'll be brave enough to share them. 

 I hate that any of these mothers have to experience these problems.  I hate that the stress of other's opinions is added to the heavy weight of the pain of losing their children.  However, maybe to be fair to our non-baby loss friends and family.. at least maybe we should consider posting photos in black and white or after they have been retouched some, if your sweet baby had extreme discoloration around their face.

I love each of my baby loss mommy friends and want you all to be happy and proud of your babies.  I am so happy you stand up for the new generation that isn't afraid to share about your loss.. and won't keep it in, just because others are uncomfortable.

Happy 6 month birthday Jacob! <3
Mommy Loves you! 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Monday, August 6, 2012

Not your ordinary pictures

I haven't laid in bed unable to sleep for a good while and I'm grateful for that. A couple of nights ago I randomly woke up about 1:15 and wasn't able to go back to sleep. My pregnancy with Jake and my hospital stay was on my mind. I was thinking about the fact that I wanted professional maternity pictures made, but never had them made... I wasn't expecting to deliver Jake 4 months early.
Instead, the maternity pictures I have are ones that I took of myself with my phone. 

The first one is from the first time I visited the ER, my mother in law was with Payton in the waiting room and asked me to take one because he could not come see me. 

After that I was sent home on complete bed rest... only to come back 2 days later after my water broke.  I shot some while bored in my hospital room one day not long before I was flown to Houston.
These pictures depict a mommy who knows she may not see her baby boy moving in her tummy for very much longer. I wanted a picture of exactly what I saw... 
My pictures document the hurt of a lengthy hospital stay trying to save Jake. I remember laying in bed after my IV was removed from my arm, hurting and not being able to believe the size and color of the bruise...  but thinking how willing I was to have this monster bruise if it meant saving my sweet boy.
I think the flash interfered with how dark and painful this bruise actually looked.

When my family would come visit they took photos of Payton and I. I'm so happy to have pictures of myself and my boys. I laugh because I really don't remember being as huge as these pictures make me look. I'm not sure if IV fluids puffed me up some or if somehow I'd managed to hide Jake's baby bump from myself really well. :) Needless to say,these are the only pictures  I'll ever have.  
Haha, Payton and my mother bought me new nighties.. this one said I need my beauty sleep since I was woken up it seems like once an hour every night...

These photos aren't what most people have... I don't typically look back on these and smile... these are just more reminders of the hard battle Jake and I fought and all the confidence I had in my precious boy. I wasn't ever going to give up on him and was clinging to him tightly...
I had my phone on my tummy, trying to make Jake kick it off. : -)  I'm still convinced I wasn't that huge... lol

My maternity pictures include ones that I quickly snapped as I was being whisked down the hallways of one hospital,  en route to the next hospital where my world would come crashing down 2 short nights later. 

This was the flight paramedic who came to scoop me up and fly me away

These are pictures I don't visit much in my phone, and have only looked at once from our camera. My heart breaks seeing my smiling naive, stubborn face knowing what the lady in those pictures didn't know then.  I never dreamed just a week or so later I would be planning Jake's funeral...

Did you have time to have maternity photos taken if you wanted, or did you miss the oppurtunity too?  Do you think you would smile when you looked at them and remember your sweet baby living happily or be sad at the reminder of your baby leaving for Heaven?

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Don't know if i'm ready

 I put a call in to the monument company earlier this week to ask a couple of questions and was informed that Jake's rocking horse headstone will be ready by the middle or late part of next week.  I was shocked... initially when I ordered it , I was told it would take a minimum of sixty days.  Thus, I was expecting a completion date of somewhere around the 18th of August or later.  Now, it is very well possible that Jake could get his headstone for his six month birthday in Heaven.   I think I was counting on that extra week to get my bearings straight.. to prepare myself for seeing Jake's rocking horse there with him.  Now, I don't have that.  Now, I just have from now until Wednesday at the earliest to come to terms with Jake's headstone being delivered.    I have been looking for the perfect flowers for his vases and I haven't found any that I just love... I know silk is the way to go because in this Texas 106 degree heat.. fresh flowers won't last... it's just hard to make that decision.  Hopefully this shopping will keep my mind occupied until his horse is delivered next week... then I'm sure I will find something else to fill my mind and time.
This is the example rocking horse from the company I ordered 
Jake's from

On one hand I am very happy that it will finally be there and there won't just be his little bees and pinwheels... but then again like Jenn mentioned the other day - it's the finality of a headstone... the permanency that makes it not so nice.   I feel like the lyrics to the song 'Over You' by Miranda Lambert.  This song says that mid-February shouldn't be so scary... and that is when Jake was born February 10th, February shouldn't have been so scary...

"It really sinks in ya know, when I see it in stone
Cause you went away,
How dare you?
I miss you
They say I’ll be OK
But I’m not going to ever get over you  "

Mommy loves you Jacob Austin!

Friday, August 3, 2012

It's hard to say goodbye

Ok, so I've waited a couple of days to post this because sometimes I feel like I repeat myself over and over again... maybe just change the pictures.  Maybe it's official i'm a broken record after all. :)

These lyrics sum up how i'd like Jake to be... just with me - not so much in a song...
Put You In A Song <3

Yesterday Payton and I were out and about and I decided that we would go visit my Jakey at the cemetery.  When we got there everything was as it should be.  The bee pinwheel I bought for him a couple of weeks ago was standing like it should, his bee and mini yellow pinwheel were standing upright beside it.  

I love the big smiles on the bees.   I am saddened though each time I must drive to the cemetery to see my baby boy instead of being able to hold him in my arms.  I am saddened that all I have to see are bees.  Oh how I would love to see my sweet baby boy's big smile.  I know it would've been beautiful.


 All I see when I visit my baby is this small square of red clay, where my baby boy's tiny body is resting.  It is the only place where I feel like I can talk to him.  Yesterday I told him how much his mommy loves him and misses him.  I told him that I brought Payton with me to see him.  I told him that he would be getting his horsey soon and how I couldn't wait.   Then it was time to go, it is almost a 100 degrees and keeping myself and Payton out in the heat for long amounts of time doesn't make sense, even though it's the only way I can visit my boy.  I would love to spend all day with him, but  that's not feasible and there is no reason to stay there all day long.
Payton wanted me to take a picture of him on the way to my car
This is when I say Goodbye each time I visit
I love these crosses above Jake's grave, but I hate this view.   I hate getting back in my car knowing that I am leaving Jake here.  I sometimes just sit in my car and stare... dreading the moment where I turn my car and can no longer see him.  When I am turned facing the road ... back to my daily life.  Yesterday after visitng the cemetery we needed to go to Wal-Mart for a few things.  Of course Payton had to go to the bathroom while we were there and the bathroom in the front of the store was closed, soooo we went to the back... and had to walk by this... the baby section. My worst enemy.   I went to visit my baby yesterday but he doesn't need these things... he never will.  It's hard.  I hate it.  We turned the corner, and faced diapers and clothes and such... oh how I wish I had a button to make these things disappear on cue.
I am lots better than I was a couple of months ago.  But, my heart still hurts.  
I have a feeling it always will.
 Next Friday Jake will have been in Heaven 6 whole months.  A half a year already... I'm not sure where the time has gone or how life has continued on. I found out earlier this week that his headstone will be finished and delivered sometime in the middle of next week or closer to the end.  I keep trying to imagine how I am going to react when I see it being installed.. the truth is, I have not the slightest idea.  I want to be excited. I mean I don't have much to be excited about... but it  also makes me sad... Jake will officially look buried.  He won't just have a tiny space there in our small cemetery, but an actualy headstone and everything...