Friday, December 31, 2010


I know I've said I think about babies and pregnancies in terms of "hopefully," but it breaks my heart to hear others do it.

This evening as we said bedtime prayers, Matt was saying thanks for the last year.  He listed off so many of our blessings.  And then he asked blessings for the new year and things we are planning for and added "And hopefully to have a new child this next year."

Hearing it from my husband just tore my heart out but really put me at peace too.  I'm not alone in this.  I'm not the only one who is scared and wonders.

Cora's death didn't just affect me.  It affected us.  I think it's easy to forget sometimes that he's a grieving parent, too, because he deals with it so differently than I do.  But that doesn't mean he doesn't feel it.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Disconnected (pregnancy mentioned)

I feel like I'm lying to people when I talk about being pregnant.  I'm starting to feel it physically more, which is good, but when it comes to the idea of actually having a baby come feels like a sham.

I had such an instant bond with Cora.  It felt surreal, in that you can't really comprehend what it is actually like to experience something you haven't yet, but I could dream about her in a real way.  I expected to get a baby out of it.

I didn't with Erin and Patrick.  And especially not now.  Maybe it's not "especially" in that it's harder for me now than it was with them, but because I was expecting it to get better or easier being 4 1/2 years removed and having had 2 live births since.

But I don't.  I don't believe it.  Not yet.  And that fact makes me want to cry.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

And time just moves forward.

As New Year's approaches, it's always a little hard for me.  Another year.  Another year without Cora.  Another year further from holding her, touching her, whispering gently to her.  Another year further away.

Sometimes I wish I knew the exact date of my death.  Morbid? Maybe.  I don't long to die.  I have way too much to live for right now.  People who need me more than Cora does.  Whom I need as much as Cora (and since there are 3 of them, they win).  But if I knew I was going to die, say, August 4, 2065, then I could count down.  "55 years, 7 months and 1 week until I see Cora again."

It's not to say I don't appreciate my time here.  I'm grateful for every day.  But you can be grateful for the time you have while still looking forward to what it will be like.

I have an image in my mind of what it'll be like.  It'll probably be a million times more beautiful than anything I can imagine.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

redheads and angels

I teach in the primary Sunday school in my church.  The class that Cora would be in actually sits in front of mine during our sharing time, before we split to individual classes. ((The first Sunday I started teaching was actually Cora's birthday, and when I realized that was the class she should be in...that was hard.))  Today that class had a visitor.  Well, they had 3, but there was one little girl in particular.  She was sitting right in front of me, and she had the most gorgeous red ringlets.  I had a hard time both not staring at her, and not crying.  Over and over my mind kept saying "That should be Cora.  That should be Cora."  It really made me miss her.

And this evening I decided I should get some cards made while I'm still feeling decent.  We have 3 good friends due before the end of February.  So I pulled out my mini acrylic "new baby" stamps.  I've never really looked at them before.  One of them said "our sweet little angel."  I admit, I pulled it off and threw it away.  I'm never going to use it.  I just don't have that reference anymore.

I have a sweet little angel.  I cannot use that term for Erin or Patrick (they don't have clothes that use that phrase on it).  Cora's my angel.  I envy people who can call babies angels and have no reason to cringe at the word.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve letter

((Every year I write Cora a letter and stick it in her stocking on Christmas Eve when I fill the others))

Dear Cora,
I'm getting ready to stuff your siblings' stalkings, and it makes me sad that all I have for you is this letter.  Each year that passes hurts just like the last.  I have so much that I've been blessed with, but I still ache without you.

I love you my darling girl, and that means I miss you more than I can breathe sometimes.

But I am so grateful I was blessed to be your mother.  Your short life changed me in so many amazing ways.  You are here with me always and I am grateful for that.

I love you angel girl,

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Not 3. This is my 4th child.

I'm getting tired of people congratulating me on baby #3.  I have baby #3.  His name is Patrick, and he's currently trying to climb on my back.  I adore him.

Erin (who is telling me she's hungry and not understanding when I'm telling her it has to cook) is baby #2.

Cora was, is, and always will be my first baby.  Just because I didn't get to take her home, and or take all the pictures of her I have of her siblings, or having her family pictures, doesn't mean she's not my child.

In ways, she's more my child that Skittles is right now.

But I can't forget her.  I have to acknowledge her.  She's my firstborn, always and forever.

And I miss her so much.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Pregnancy mentioned

I just wanted to let everyone know here that I got a positive pregnancy test this morning.  Most of my pregnancy goings-on will be documented on my other blog, but if my previous two pregnancies are any clue, I'm going to be really emotional and fearful at times, and it feels like this would be a better place for that, since it really is Cora related.  I'll try to have a warning in the title though.

My due date is hard to explain to people.  "September 2nd, but we'll be inducing early, so end of August."  I should probably just say "end of August," right?  I hate trying to explain to people why I'm already planning on inducing.  Especially when they're very pro-natural-birth.  I can't explain the panic attacks and the nightmares.

With Patrick I had decided I wanted to go into labor on my own.  I made it to 39w3d before completely losing it when talking to my OB.  My blood pressure had been steadily rising with each appointment (not dangerously, but enough to show a lot of stress), and she said that she could tell how stressed I was as each appointment came and went (I was going 2x a week), and with the nightmares it was just getting out of hand.  She reminded me that going into labor, while a good thing, probably didn't have enough benefits to warrant the amount of stress I was enduring.

So I don't plan on doing it again.  Even if it's an induction at 39 weeks instead of 38, I think I can handle a week past my loss point if I know when it's going to happen.

Anyway, needless to say I'm very excited and extremely terrified all at once.  *deep breaths*  What will be will be.  I'm just going to celebrate every second I have with my little Skittles.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

All the ways that she is here.

Sometimes it gets so easy to see all the things we don't have, and forget the things that we do.  Cora may not be here physically, but she is here, all around me.  I have bought something for Cora every Christmas so far, and so after my last post in a fit of depression, I'd thought I'd share her things.

2006 was my first Christmas without her.  On top of it being that, and her should-be first Christmas, I was also pregnant with Erin and therefore very emotional.  I found a book, called A Christmas Bell for Anya, and it made me cry so hard I had to buy it.  The story is of a bellmaker in Russia and his 8-year-old daughter.  2 days before Christmas a revolutionary mob tore through his little village and Anya was killed.  He lay in his cold empty house for 2 days, and then on Christmas morning he heard the bells.  Anya had been chosen to be an angel in the village's Christmas pageant and he had made her a special bell to ring, and that morning the bells were ringing without her.  But he seemed to hear her voice in the peals and she said to him "Christ was born so that I may live again.  Ring my bell for me on Christmas morning and remember."

So I went on a search for the perfect bell.  And it was really hard to find one that would actually ring.  I found a set of 6 that would go on the tree.  (Erin and Patrick have been ringing them since the tree went up.  It makes me happy).
And then after I'd given up on finding the perfect one, I found this.  And yes, I ring it every Christmas morning.
In 2007 I wasn't looking for anything in particular.  It was Erin's first Christmas, so that day I was actually looking for an ornament for her.  And I found this
It sits on her shelf and is up all year round.

In 2008 I was pregnant with Patrick.  I decided to make us all stockings, and I couldn't leave Cora out.  I told my husband that it broke my heart to have it empty on Christmas morning, though, so every year Santa has put chocolate covered orange sticks in there for the family.  Last year I wrote a letter to her and put it in there on Christmas Eve.  I plan on doing that every year.
Last year I found this gorgeous angel.  It says "Perhaps they are not stars in the sky, but rather openings where our loved ones smile down to let us know that they are happy."
And this year, I bought this.  It wasn't specifically for Cora, but I decided to buy it specifically so I could put her name on it.
And of course, every year I make her a snowflake.
She isn't completely gone.  She is all around me.  Sometimes I forget that though.  It's good to remember.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

No presents under the tree

I've done a lot of wrapping in the last few days.  Lots of paper, ribbon, tape, and labels.

Not once have I written "To: Cora."

Sometimes I don't notice.  Like today, when buying gifts with money sent from Grandma Linda and Grandfather Pat.  Erin was running around like a crazy woman and Patrick woke up as Mr. Hyde for the second day in a row.  I was trying to find good gifts for them (yes, while they were there) and my husband, trying to avoid people in the aisles, and trying to keep them calm.  I was focussed.

And then I started wrapping.  "To: Dad," "To: Erin," "To: Patrick."

There are no presents under the tree for Cora.  When it comes to money, we tend to be more practical, so buying something for a child that isn't there just doesn't make sense.  But that doesn't mean it doesn't hurt.  What is the thing that she would be over-the-top excited for?  What would I get her to wear that would look okay with her complexion and curly red hair?  Would I have gotten her and Erin dresses to match?

It's not just the first Christmas that hurts, it's every Christmas.  Christmases that I'll never get.  I miss her so much.  I miss not getting to write her name on labels.  Something so simple, it seems, but so very, very huge at the same time.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A letter to the editor of OK! Magazine

To whom it may concern,

This afternoon (Dec. 15th, 2010) I was standing in the line with my groceries when I noticed the headline "Kendra Loses Her Baby!" complete with the subtitle "Tragic news!"  With tears springing to my eyes I opened the pages to find out how far along in her pregnancy she was, and if they knew why the baby died.  I was horrified to find out that she hadn't been pregnant and that her living son was alive and well, and all that had happened was that she sent him to live with is father.  I admit I was livid.

On May 1st, 2006, I was 38 weeks and 1 day pregnant with my first child, a daughter to be named Cora Rei.  I had an ultrasound that day and my doctor told me that her heart was no longer beating.  I was induced the next morning and I gave birth to her lifeless body which I later handed the director of a funeral home and I never saw her again.  I have 3 pictures.  I lost my baby.

I asked those standing around me in line (the store was very busy) and every one of them said that they'd assumed that she was pregnant again and had miscarried.  I do not believe that this is some misunderstanding because the phrase "to lose" someone is commonly used to signify the death of the person in question.  This is an egregious misrepresentation of the truth that is at best disgusting, and at worst an unfeeling mockery of the pain of hundreds of thousands of grieving women who actually have lost their child(ren).  It should be acknowledged and corrected.

You should be ashamed of yourselves.

With ire,
Brittanie Cannady

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I feel like something is missing.

So, I look around at my Christmas...the tree...the gifts under it...everything, and it feels like something is missing. The obvious answer is that, well, something is missing; or rather someone.  It's still a frustrating, lonely feeling though.

I miss her at Christmas time more than I do just about any other time of year.  Christmas and her birthday, but the Christmas season lasts longer than the buildup to her birthday, so it's more drawn out.

I've talked to women who say that they know when they're done having kids because they "feel complete."  I envy that.  I will never feel that.  I ceased being complete on that nightmarish day when my doctor told me that her heart wasn't beating.  I'd give just about anything to have that.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Really disgusted.

I try not to get too overly political.  Or even overly religious (but, I'm a very religious person so that obviously leaks out here).  I try not to be too judgmental or hateful.  But this really sickens me.  Westboro Baptist Church has been protesting funerals for quite a while, and I think that's disgusting, but this particular one has hit me so hard because of their reasons.

Members of the Westboro Baptist Churchare planning to disrupt Edwards' funeral Saturday, saying the wife of formerSenator John Edwards is "going to hell" because she admitted to doubting her faith when her oldest son died in 1996.

Really?  Guess what....I doubted my faith when my daughter died too.  I felt betrayed by a Being who was supposed to not only be all-powerful, but infinitely just and merciful and loving too.  And how was Cora's death any of those things?  It took me a long time.  It was actually only months, but it felt like eternity.

Maybe it's just because this hits so close to home that it upsets me.  It upsets more than I would have expected it to.

I don't consider these people Christian.  They are probably one of the least Christlike groups of people I can think of.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christmas in Heaven

This is such a sweet song.  Go here to Sarah Schieber's website to here the song. 

December hasn’t changed
This town looks the same
They still light that tree in the city square
There’s red, white, and green shining everywhere
And I wish you were here
And I wonder . . .

Is the snow falling down on the streets of gold?
Are the mansions all covered in white?
Are you singing with angels Silent Night?
I wonder . . . what Christmas in Heaven is like 

There’s a little manger scene
Down on Third and Main
I must have walked right by it a thousand times
But I see it now in a different light
Cause I know you are there
And I wonder . . .  

Are you kneeling with shepherds before Him now?
Can you reach out and touch His face?
Are you part of that glorious holy night?
I wonder . . . .what Christmas in Heaven is like 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Angels on the window

I just want to apologize for taking so long on the snowflakes.  I've had a bit going on, but I haven't forgotten.

((hugs)) to everyone



Eli and Jett

Marshall and Jonah

Logan, Brody and Wyatt



Name snowflake tutorial

Fold down one corner to square off paper, lining up edges and making fold very crisp.
Cut off excess
Fold in half along long edge, making fold very crisp
Fold in thirds, making edges as even and possible and corner pointed
Cut off excess.  From here is where you make your cuts.  For a name snowflake I write the name on it and cut around the letters (using an xacto knife for centers of letters)