Friday, July 30, 2010

Is it possible to miss a place this much?

It's been nearly 2 years since I last visited Jenny Lake.  I suppose that it makes sense that I would miss the lake itself so much, I miss it nearly as much as I miss Cora.  But really, I miss the feeling there.  I miss the contented peace, the feeling of home, and the closest to being complete as I could and can ever be.
I ache to go back.  I suppose, maybe it's because I physically can go visit Jenny Lake again someday, and I won't actually be able to hold Cora again.  Not in this life anyway.
I want my rainbows to grow to understand what Jenny Lake means to me, and to love it too.  I want them to not only appreciate it's geographical beauty but also its spiritual beauty.
I want to go back.  Oh how I want to go back.  To just sit on a rock in the sun with my feet in the cold water and be close to Cora.  I want it so much right now that it almost physically hurts.
I miss my baby girl.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


My sister-in-law delivered  a baby girl yesterday.  I didn't realize until my brother called me to tell me that she was in labor just how anxious I was starting to get as she approached my loss point.  That day in her pregnancy would have been Saturday night/Sunday morning.  When I realized that she was in the hospital and on monitors and such things, and everything would more than likely be okay from then on out, I realized just how relieved I was.  I have been anxious the past couple of days, but didn't know why.

It's strange how I project my anxieties onto others' pregnancies, when I'm emotionally involved.

Izzy was born yesterday evening, weighing 6lbs1oz and 17in long.  And I am so glad she's here safely and healthy, that I am near tears.

Saturday, July 24, 2010


Rainbows are amazing things.  After the violence and trauma, gloom and darkness of a rainstorm, you get beautiful vibrant color.  Rainbows bring hope that the world will be bright again, that the sun and warmth will return.  That's why, in the loss community, we refer to children born after a loss as "rainbow babies."

Rainbow babies don't replace their siblings.  They don't erase the grief of the storm.  But they bring back hope and joy.  Each baby brings happiness all their own.

I don't mention my rainbows here often.  I don't feel like it's all that appropriate, given I know some people reading are in the middle of the storm.  It's hard to see and hear of others' rainbows when your own is nowhere in sight, and the pelting rain and thunder surround you.

But I want to take a moment to be thankful for them.  Cora's death had a real affect on how I parent Erin and Patrick.  I think the most important way is that it has made me more thankful for every single moment I get with each of them (even the screaming ones and the poopy ones).  I am humbled that I got lucky enough to have two perfectly healthy babies after Cora's death, with only very minor problems.  They have given me reason to live, not just merely survive.  They have given me hope.  And while I don't think I'll ever feel whole, they fulfill me in a way I can't describe.

Anyway, if you'd like to see more about my rainbows, I keep a separate blog for them (less words and more pictures) here.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Faces of Loss

I was introduced to the blog Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope by another angel mommy friend, and submitted Cora's story.  I just wanted to pass it along.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


I would have loved to have seen her smile.  Just once.  That smile that babies give their mommy and only their mommy.  I'm sure it would have looked pretty much exactly like her siblings', because they all three are basically identical.  But I wanted so much to see hers.

I would have been such a different person if she hadn't died.  Sometimes I miss that person I was, but I think most of the changes are good ones.  I'm starting to understand that.  I'm starting to see the person God is making me into through this.

But that doesn't make me miss Cora any less.  I don't think I'll ever be one of those "grateful for my trials" people.  I can accept it though.  I can look back on it and understand the necessity, in the plan of her eternal existence, and in mine.  I am grateful for the positive aspects of my character that were born when she died.  I am grateful for the fact that Cora made me a mother.  She was the one who made that change in me.  I was already a mother when Erin and Patrick came along because of Cora.

She taught me how to love above and beyond myself, to sacrifice nearly everything for another person.  The only thing I did not sacrifice for Cora is my own life, which I would have gladly had I been asked.  There would have been no question.  She taught me that I have that in myself.

But I miss her.  And I will always miss her.  I will always ache for her.  But today I am not angry about it.  Today I am at peace.  And I'm grateful for that.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Cora's new video

Thanks to all of you who sent me pictures!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

These Shoes

I am wearing a pair of shoes.
They are ugly shoes.
Uncomfortable shoes.
I hate my shoes.
Each day I wear them, and each day I wish I had another pair.
Some days my shoes hurt so bad that I do not think I can take another step.
Yet, I continue to wear them.

I get funny looks wearing these shoes.
They are looks of sympathy.
I can tell in other's eyes that they are glad they are my shoes and not theirs.
They never talk about my shoes.
To learn how awful my shoes are might make them uncomfortable.
To truly understand these shoes you must walk in them.
But, once you put them on, you can never take them off.

I now realize that I am not the only one who wears these shoes.
There are many pairs in this world.
Some women are like me and ache daily as they try to walk in them.
Some have learned how to walk in them so that they don't hurt quite so much.
Some have worn the shoes so long that days will go by before they think about how much they hurt.

No woman deserves to wear these shoes.
Yet, because of these shoes I am a stronger woman.
These shoes have given me the strength to face anything.
They have made me who I am.
I will forever walk in the shoes of a woman who has lost a child

((I don't know who wrote this.  I can't find anything online.  I found this poem shortly after Cora was born, and it just resurfaced and I thought I'd share))

Saturday, July 3, 2010


The night before last I dreamed about Cora's birth.  Over and over.  Well, not her actual delivery, but about being in the hospital afterward.  Everyone kept asking me where my baby was.  First it was nurses and doctors, who in real life obviously knew what was going on.  Then the dream transformed.  There was a celebration going on outside the hospital (and it trickled inside, too).  Everyone was so happy, and dancing around.  Every time someone saw me they'd ask me why I wasn't resting, and where was my baby?

That was a lot like my real-life experience.  I worked at a gas station convenience store that rented $1 movies and sold 40oz of soda for $.60 (that was including tax.  It was listed on our board as $.57).  We had people coming in regularly.  I had been working there for my entire pregnancy with Cora.  My last day was the night Cora died, which was 2 weeks before I was due, so nobody was surprised when I suddenly disappeared.  My boss told all my coworkers that my baby had died, but none of the customers knew.  Coming back to work was so hard.

Well, first of all, I wished that the world would just stop for a little while.  Everyone around me just went on living their lives, going on like everything was normal and happy, and my world was crumbling around me.  I wanted everyone to just stop.  I wanted to stand on the rooftops and just scream "MY BABY IS DEAD!!"    But life just went on.

So I went back to work, and several times a shift for that first week I got asked, "Oh, you're back, how's your baby??"  Everyone was so excited.  So many had sort of experienced my pregnancy with me, watching me go through it, watching me be violently ill (some customers, literally), watching as my belly grew.  Some of the customers talked about her by name.  They'd see me and I'd see their excitement in their eyes, wanting to hear all about this baby they had anticipated.

I think only a woman who has had to explain her loss to someone unsuspecting can really understand the guilt that the sadness in someone else's eyes upon hearing the news causes.  It hurt me to see them hurt by my telling them that my baby had died.  I got so many gracious hugs.  I had so many people tell me of their own losses.  But the hardest part by far was the horrified shock on their faces.  It made me wish that everyone could have just known, so I didn't have to see that.  So I didn't have to hear the excited anticipation that was supposed to be what I was sharing in.

My dreams last night were more peaceful, but my heart is still unsettled.  Maybe all the tears I've shed while writing this will help me come to peace again.