Friday, September 5, 2014

Time for change

Hello everyone who has been following my blog.

I just want to say THANK YOU for listening to me and for making Hayden a part of your lives.
I am beyond blessed that this little blog reached so many and has had almost 35k page views.

I am going to be a contributing writer for Unspoken Grief and so I will be taking a break (I think) from writing here. After 5 months, continuing to dwell on the negative is getting hard on my healing progress. I could sit down every night and go to that dark place of my grief to pull out new material for a post but I am trying NOT to go to that place so often anymore.

I made another blog which can be found here. Anxiety Cupcake is my way of continuing to write (which has become a huge therapy for me) but the purpose is more for documenting my healing activities and getting back in to the "Sam" I once was.

We are burring Hayden on the 18th of October. At this time still trying to come up with the funds for his burial. Death is expensive. If any of you have been touched by our story and would like to donate towards the cost of his resting place I would be forever grateful. A friend of mine made a Go Fund Me account. Here is the link:

This never gets easy but it does get easier. That would be one of my main pieces of advice for anyone new to this life after baby loss thing. When I started this blog I was in a scary place. I see the light now. I am waking up with a purpose to make positive changes and bring back my old habits. If you are interested, continue to follow me on my new blog. I plan to fill it with recipes, DIY projects, etc.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you,

Hayden's Mama

Monday, August 18, 2014

a house named Grief

Feeling extremely honored to be a guest writer for my favorite child-loss literary website, Glow in the Woods.

It comes from a dark place but it resonates with others in a beautiful way, a way that makes them feel heavy and sad, yet, inexplicably connected. I think that's what gets me through sometimes. Sharing the heavy in a completely non-malicious or selfish way. We are wiser when we understand pain.

I first knew that Glow was going to be an immensely important part to my grief journey when I read these words in the "about us" section.

One of us, only half-joking, said this will be a place where us medusas can take off our hats, none minding the sight of all the snakes. Because not only can we bear the sight of each other—we crave it.

I've been writing a lot of rants and a lot of stories on this blog but this is the first "poem" about what it feels like to lose my son.

You can read it by clicking this link

a house named Grief

Hayden's Mama

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Appreciate everything while you still can

One of my Angel Mama friends came to me with an issue the other day. She said she had been thinking a lot lately about what she would do if she got pregnant again. Would she keep it a secret and try not to get attached or would she openly cherish every minute of it?

I for one have a problem when it comes to amazing life events. I don't realize until long after they are over that I will not get that moment back again.While I am experiencing them I always think I will do it again so its no big deal if I miss out on some stuff the first time around.

 Once I drove across the country and my camera's battery died while visiting friends in the Rockies- about 3 days in to my trip. The charger was packed who-knows-where in one of the bags crammed in the back of the jeep. I went to the drug store and got a disposable and didn't think about it again. I had this awesome Nixon D60 capable of taking all these unbelievable photos of my 3-week experience driving from Vancouver to New Brunswick and I simply didn't worry about it. I didn't go to a camera shop and find a solution, I didn't unpack everything to find the charger, I actually thought that I would do this trip again and I would prepare better next time and make more stops and take it all in next time. Well, needless to say, there was never a next time.

For the most part, I could say the same goes for my experience with being pregnant for Hayden. This was my first time so I certainly was ambitious and excited for all the monumental milestones that would take place in the 40 weeks of my pregnancy but, honestly, after a while I just got tired and I took it for granted. Sure, I took photos on my iPhone of my growing belly, saved the pregnancy test and started a little journal for my son. I talked to him, sang him Patsy Cline and his father read him stories now and then. I planned to get professional photos done during my 3rd trimester and even scoped out Micheal's for materials for a belly cast. There were a lot of things I ended up not doing. I don't even know why. I knew I would never be pregnant with Hayden again, other children yes, but not him. I would never do this for the first time again. So, what exactly stopped me? After going from 130lbs to almost 180lbs in 9 months I guess you could say I felt fat and was concerned about how I would look in pictures. I looked around my apartment and realized there wasn't really any practical place to put a belly cast. I got lazy. I desperately wanted it to be over by 36 weeks. I complained, I bitched, I took it for granted.

Now, here I am with nothing but the little things I DID do as all I have left of this beautiful, intense, most incredible thing I have ever done in my life. I don't have him, the baby, to console my regret. I have bits and pieces and spend all my energy trying to mold them together and make them into a shrine of memory.

So, to get back to the idea of what I would do when I get pregnant again..

I have thought about this long and hard and I have made up my mind on how the next pregnancy is going to play out. Believe me, I am aware that it will be scary, terrifying even. Through another Angel Mama I found an article on pregnancy after loss that explained it quite well. I won't try to regurgitate so here is the quote:

Right. So. Scary? Yes. Impossible? No.

I would cherish every single moment from the time I find out I am pregnant to the time my pregnancy is over. Be it a happy ending with a healthy baby or another tragic loss. The baby is mine, ours. He/She will have the most loving and attentive parents from the embryonic stage all the way through, to as far as we are able to go with it.

I will tell everyone about it right away, in fact, I won't wait. What am I worried about? The possibility that something goes wrong again? Miscarriage? The idea that everyone will forget about Hayden and move on to the newest Lyons' baby?

First of all, most people HAVE forgotten about Hayden. I do my best everyday to keep his memory alive but, quite frankly, this is my small family's loss, not the rest of the world's. I write these blogs, I speak his name, I run the course, make demands from doctors, have meetings for Stillbirth support groups, cry, smile, beg God for time travel abilities, look at his pictures and his box of ashes daily...I do these things, my dearest friends and family they look out for me, hope I am OK. They didn't feel his kicks for months, they weren't in the delivery room. Forgetting something you hardly knew is inevitable. Forgetting what happened to their friend, their daughter, their sister, not so much. It Is my parental instinct. I read somewhere that mothers fight to keep their children safe and beavered mothers fight to keep their children's memory alive. No matter how many more children I will have in my life that will never stop. I will never stop fighting for Hayden.

What about miscarriage? Most women try to hold off until the 2nd trimester to tell people of their pregnancy even if they have never experienced the loss of one. There are so many things that can go wrong in those first 12 weeks. Miscarrying is much more common than losing a baby full term. Once women get past that mark they think they're in the clear- I know I did.

But even if my next pregnancy ends in an early miscarriage, why would I want to keep that to myself? Why would I want to grieve alone? I have already been through the most terribly sad experience a woman could possibly go through and it was my sharing of that experience that helped me heal. Why on earth would I ever want to go through this crap by myself? So, for sure I would share it with the world that I am pregnant again and ask for their positive thoughts and prayers to see it through to a happy ending, and if the end is not happy, then I would need the support and affirmations of strength to see me through that.

I would attach to that baby, yes, most definitely. And not because I have no fear that I will lose that baby like I lost Hayden. I would attach myself because I want to give my unborn child as much love and attention as I possibly can for the time I have him/her. I would take the professional pregnancy photos and I would make the belly cast. I would keep a journal from day one and write it in daily. I would tell that baby all about his/her big brother. I would sing every day. Read every day. I would fill up with so much love every day for that next child.

The next thing I was going to say was that while I would allow myself to love that next baby as deeply as I could there were some conditions I would set. I just had a conversation with Nick about this and it has sort of changed my thinking and my plans.

Originally I felt I would not be able to bring myself to set up the nursery before the baby arrived, or even buy a bunch of things in advance. I felt like, while I would give my whole heart to that child, I would not incorporate the tangibles of expectation to my life. My plan was this: If my next baby is healthy and alive after my scheduled induction at 38-39 weeks (no way will I ever let a pregnancy go past its due date again) I would take the baby home to my mother-in-laws for the first week. Nick could then set up the crib, the change table and all the other baby things in our house. The last thing I felt I would ever be able to do again is pack up all my hopes in to rubber maid containers. These would be precautionary measures. I also wouldn't bring the car seat to the hospital expecting that it wont be empty when we leave. These are the things I feel I could not handle. A baby shower? No way! Not until after that child is home safe and sound. With Hayden I had the most beautiful shower. I had more people and gifts than I ever imagined. The thing is, before you truly know the stats on stillbirth, pregnancy is an innocent adventure that has no possible outcome but a beautiful baby. I am wiser now. I know too much now.

As I explained this to Nick he stopped me and told me how he felt. We never really talked about this. We have been trying to make a baby lately and we both knew we wanted to do this but we never really had a conversation about what would happen when we finally do conceive. His thought process was different than mine and it gave me another insight. He said he knew it would be scary but that life was scary anyway. He told me how much he loved those nights setting up the crib and folding the clothes in to baskets. He said that was one of the best parts about my pregnancy, the anticipation and the preparation. He said he didn't want to miss out on that. If for some horrible and strange reason this actually happens to us again then we would deal with it then. I suppose that that is true! One of the best things about expecting is the expecting part.

Who knows? I certainly don't. How can I possibly know how I will feel when I become pregnant again. This thing is fluid and ever changing. I know I want to do this more than anything I have ever wanted. I wanted Hayden so bad but I didn't realize at the time how badly I wanted him until he was ripped away from me.

An update: I am ovulating.

These are the ovulation predictor test I have taken in the past few days. I am still taking my temperature every morning and it hasn't spiked yet which means I am fertile but no egg yet. I am guessing today is my egg's big debut and tomorrow I will find out if it really was. If this is our lucky month our next baby would be due in April. Just a few weeks after Hayden. I feel hopeful this month. I am praying Hayden will look out for our next little one, his little sibling, and keep him/her safe. I am holding on to the hope that I will not lose my strength if I find out that I am. That I will allow myself to give as much love as I am capable of, knowing that anything can happen. Sometimes I don't know how I will be able to love another baby as much as I love Hayden. it is going on 20 weeks without him now and I can't believe I have come this far. At first I felt like the healing would never ever occur and I would be in the darkness for the rest of my days here. I still cry all the time, I still get angry and sad and confused and forlorn. but, more importantly, I get OK sometimes. I feel good about life sometimes. I feel hopeful. Hayden brings me joy instead of sorrow now. I can fill up with pride when I look at his newborn photos and not just emptiness. It's a strange thing, this journey, and you never do know where it will take you. As much as I never thought possible, life after Hayden is getting better.

I have taken for granted the big epic things of my life in the past.When I was 19 with a head full of dreams I thought I would cross the country so many times I could tire of it. When I was pregnant with my beautiful son I thought that it wasn't important to cherish every moment I had with him because I would have the rest of my life for that. I have been taught, time and time again, by the universe that everything in life is worth appreciating and taking full advantage of every minute you have it. I fully plan to do that from here on it.


Hayden's Mama

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Heartbreaking Item FOR SALE

GRACO playpen for sale.

Never used. 

It's very compact and fits in to its own nylon bag. The bag is grey and I can't remember what the color scheme is for the play pen itself but it was purchased for a baby boy if that helps. My memory is a bit foggy but I remember it was really nice and that we were very happy with it.

It was assembled once and sat in the living room for about a week before it was taken down again in a sad, alcohol-induced baby-thing packing frenzy. All the pieces are still there. I cannot promise the cat didn't jump in it while we were sleeping or at the hospital overnight experiencing the worst moments of our lives. I can, however, promise that it has never been touched with spit-up, a poppy diaper or little magic cranky baby tears. 

I'm not sure what the original price was as it was a gift at the baby shower. Every other item but the play pen was trucked over to the in-laws to lay in storage but this playpen was left here. We have no use for it and would like it to no longer be the first thing we see when open the laundry room door. 

I struggled months with the idea of selling any of these things that were his. And, the idea of selling a gift that was given with love and good wishes seems like something only a horribly ungrateful person would do. I am not horribly ungrateful but since these things are mine to do with as I please now I see no harm in trading it off for a much needed night out to dinner and a movie with my equally distraught husband.

Since this was my first time doing this kind of thing (Motherhood) I have no idea what the retail value is for this item so just make a reasonable offer and count your many blessings that you have a living and breathing reason to be looking at this ad.


This ad is not real so please don't contact me with offers. The play pen is real, and the idea is real but no matter how much I contemplate it sometimes I am not getting rid of his things.

The play pen by the washer is a reminder that he was real. He wasn't just an idea or a hope he was a baby made of flesh and bone and sinew. Ten fingers and ten toes. 

It is heartbreaking, everything is. The sunny weather, the empty car seat, the walking trail, the stretchmarks, the statutory holiday, the overgrown garden, the bins in the basement packed with onsies, the market on Saturday mornings, and yes, the play pen in the laundry room. 

I was once pretty good and burying heartbreak and starting fresh. One sad ending only meant a new sweet beginning. I could hold down a lot of the gunk from my life enough to move on. This is not possible now.

This is the thing that never goes away (fully), that you never start over from, that you never ever forget. This is a child. Yours. 

I will never know where this grief thing is going to take me next. I do know that hiding the evidence will accomplish nothing. The evidence is inside me, on my skin, and in my heart. 

You never forget. 

(funny, the filter used to edit this photo was called 'hope')


Hayden's Mama

Friday, July 25, 2014

Taking back the reigns

I can't remember the last time I felt truly in-control.

It must have been before we lost Hayden. It must have been before the single most important thing I have ever done failed miserably and completely dissipated at my feel at the last minute before it was due to complete. Having that happen really sets the tone for your ability to perform normal tasks afterwards. Simple tasks....1.Go to the cupboard and find a pot 2. Put the pot on the stove 3. No wait, put water in the pot first 4. Okay, now turn on the burner..wheres the lid? Oops that might be too much water... "OK, screw it.. I am not making Kraft Dinner, I'm not even hungry, and I don't remember how to use a fork".
Literally, every day, things were re-learned. I didn't drive my car for a long time after. As soon as my hands were on the wheel and the other cars were moving past me I felt like I was going to cause an accident, I was going to fail at this too...I can't drive, I can't cook, I couldn't deliver a living child so how can I do anything else?

When the reigns have been violently grabbed from your hands during the most important event of your life and the direction you were headed suddenly is not the place you want to go everything changes, YOU change.

My brain is firing neurons in random directions at all times. I try to stay focused on one thing, sometimes I can but many times I am sitting in the middle of a million things I have to do staring blankly into space. Watching a single dust particle dance in the light of the sun coming in through the window. Not really thinking about anything at all just the stillness. Still after Stillbirth.

 I am slowly figuring out how to be "Sam" again... passionate, impulsive, funny....creative, attentive,
I stand in front of the tomatoes in the produce section getting anxious trying to figure out whether I should get the "On-the-Vine" type or not. The same indecisiveness that overwhelms me when staring at my son's urn contemplating removing the screws and taking his tiny bag of ashes out to look at them and hold them for the fist time. My anxiety spreads even over all aspects of my life these days.

Change is taking place, though slowly and inconsistently. Last night I met with 2 amazing women over lattes and chocolate milkshakes. We told our stories and talked about the possibilities for the Support Group we are planning to start in our community. We shared ideas and resources and got excited about what we could do to help others. I am a leader, or at least I was at one time. I CAN do this.
I have been called inspiring, strong, amazing lately, all sorts of things I don't necessarily feel. Taking this group, this project with my sisters in grief, taking it on full force will be something I can grow with, grow back into who I was with. I want to be a place of refuge for other women, I want to be someone who makes changes in the way our health care treats these tragedies. I want to be more than Still.

So, now, almost 4 months later, I remember how to get in my car, start the engine and commute without causing fatal injuries. I remember how to use a fork, in fact, I remember how to use chopsticks. And I don't give up cooking Mac n' Cheese because it's too complicated, I've went back to making spaghetti sauce from scratch and cutting Julienne carrots for salads.

I can't promise I will not break down at the sight of myself in someone else. I can't say that I will follow the rules learned in that Grief Counselling course I took years ago. I will be human. I will be a grieving mother just the same. I will be unapologetic about my inability to stay Still and silent in the face of another woman's pain. Anyway, that is not what I would want to offer her. I would offer my own tears so that somehow they can take away some of hers, I would offer open arms and a strong grasp. These are the things we are made of now.

Somehow, in my attempt to take the reigns back, my uncontrollable amount of love and desire to support will teach me how to be in-control once again.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Guest Post: "Jacob's Story"

My baby’s 6 month birthday is next week, and I have never had the opportunity to buy him anything.  I never bought him an outfit to come home from the hospital in, or a blanket that he will still love when he’s a toddler, or a baby outfit for his 6 month pictures.. But yesterday we purchased his headstone. My baby died inside of my body at 20 weeks old. A part of me died with him.

I am the mother of three boys, Jayden is 9, Joshua is 5 and Jacob is my angel in heaven. I struggled with secondary infertility for almost four years before finally being blessed with my third pregnancy. I found out about our little miracle October 2013.  We were all so excited! We took our boys with us to our first doctor appointment and they were able to hear their little baby’s heartbeat and see him wiggling during the ultrasound.  I had a healthy pregnancy, I felt nauseous daily but never threw up. I was concerned that I had a fever almost every night but dismissed it because someone was getting sick or just over getting sick. It was winter, so I figured there were just normal winter germs going around.

 On January 21, 2014 we all went together again for my 20 week ultrasound, excited to finally know if we were having a boy or a girl. Within seconds of my baby’s image being up on the screen, the tech said “I don’t have good news, do you want your boys in here?” The sound of my screams and cries still haunt my boys as my husband ushered them out of the room. There was no heartbeat, my baby was dead.  My world literally stopped in that moment. How could this be possible? How can I go back in time and change this? How am I ever going to breathe again?

We decided to be induced that day, and left the ultrasound still not knowing if our baby was a boy or a girl. Honestly, I didn’t want my baby to be dead inside of me any longer. I expected my labor to be quick and when we left our boys with my in-laws to go to the hospital, I kissed them and told them I would be home before bedtime. My labor took much longer than I expected and they had to give me double doses of the medication to induce labor. The hospital’s social worker came to talk to us about our options of what we can do with our baby’s body. That was the moment that it sunk in: my baby is truly gone. There’s no going back, there’s no fixing this. We started to plan for a burial before we ever held our baby.

I’m a religious person and I believe in life after death. I could feel my baby’s spirit near several times during labor. It was by feeling this spirit, that I knew we were having a boy. We didn’t have any boy names picked out, I was hoping for a girl and have a beautiful girl name, but I told my husband that we were having a boy and that his name would be Jacob Michael.

As my labor progressed, the pain became more intense.  I didn’t want any medication, although I had epidurals with my previous children. I wanted to feel this pain. I wanted my physical pain to match my heart. I felt like the pain was all I had left of my baby.  Because I was only 20 weeks along, I didn’t have to fully dilate.  I can recall hearing the sound of a heartbeat from the other room, and a woman crying out in pain as she birthed her healthy, live baby.  The pain my body was feeling didn’t come close to the aching in my heart.
Sometime after midnight my water broke. From there, everything progressed quickly. My sweet nurse stayed right by my side once my water broke. I was dilated to a four when I passed a huge blood clot. Soon after, I could feel my baby’s tiny body slip from my body and I cried out “my baby”.  Jacob was born on Wednesday January 22, 2014 at 1:53am weighing a teeny 3 oz. He was here, but will never really be here.  I didn't see him right away, I was so scared to, and I will always live with that regret.  They confirmed that he was a boy. My doctor then had to deliver my placenta which wouldn't detach. That was the most horribly painful experience. Eventually they decided they needed to perform a D&C to remove my placenta and began prepping me for an epidural. I remember sitting on the edge of the bed, leaning into my husband while they prepared me for the epidural, and hearing a dad from the other room coaching his wife through labor. It was too much. I lost it. My baby was gone. My heart was broken. As I was laying on the bed during the D&C I kept thinking someone should be checking on my baby, and then I would remember that he didn’t need anything. But it was so hard to look over to the counter where he was, and know that he didn’t need me, he didn't need anything. My blood pressure dropped dangerously low and that kept me further from finally seeing my baby.

Finally, after a few hours after his birth, my baby was brought to me, already dressed in a little outfit donated by Share Parents. I was so scared to see him. I envisioned him to look like my other boys, only smaller but that wasn't the case. His skin was dark and his body was already changing from death. But all I was aware of was how cold he was. My baby shouldn't be cold. I tried to wrap him tighter in his blanket and hold him closer to me, I even breathed my warm breath on him. But he remained cold.  My husband and I spent the morning with Jacob, holding him, talking to him, loving him. Around 8:00am we asked my in-laws to bring our boys to say hello and goodbye to their baby brother. We spent an hour together as a family of five. I knew it was time to let him go and I will never forget the looks and sounds of my boys crying as the nurse carried Jacob out of the room.

We buried Jacob two days later, on a cold January afternoon.   Leaving his little casket to be put in the ground was one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life. For days I wanted to go back and dig him up and take him home with me. I find peace now in visiting his resting place, tending to his spot, and decorating it. To me, it is sacred ground.

I found out three weeks after I lost Jacob that the reason he passed away is from a virus called CMV. I had never heard of this virus before. It is called the silent killer because there are no symptoms.  I believe the fevers that I had daily were a sign of this virus. But my doctor said there was nothing that could have been done. There was no way to treat the CMV virus.

It has now been almost 6 months. I don’t cry every day anymore, I sometimes even laugh now. But I know that I am not the same person I was before January 21. I will never be that same person. I am forever changed by the death of my unborn baby. We celebrated Jacob’s due date on June 13. That was a difficult day. My boys miss their baby brother and are starting to talk about him more now.  I have met amazing moms and dads that have also suffered a loss and I am so grateful for their examples and friendship. It’s bittersweet because I know I would never have met them if my baby were still alive.  I try to live each day in a way to honor Jacob. I want to keep his memory alive and a part of my family forever.  I don’t know if we’ll have another baby or not, but I will always count Jacob as one of my sons.  I know that one day I will have my Jacob again, I know that all is not truly lost, it’s just so hard to wait. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Guest Post: Lily's Story

My story begins on October 5th 2013. My boyfriend of 8 years and I had just moved in together 5 months prior and kids were definitely not something on either of our minds.  We had a comfortable lifestyle of being spontaneous and carefree.  All that changed when my stomach bug wouldn't go away.  After a day of rock climbing and feeling like I was going to throw up on a mountain, a friend of mine suggested I take a pregnancy test.  Although we laughed it off, deep down I somewhat knew that I could be pregnant.  The next day while my boyfriend was at work, I took a test. And another test...and another test. I prepared myself for the talk we would have to have when he got home.  Although I was 29, I was absolutely terrified to tell him and to actually take that step in our lives.  I have never been the maternal type and I always thought I could live a life without kids and marriage.

He was absolutely supportive in any decision I made.  I decided to go to the doctor and first confirm everything was true because you never know if the baby is even growing correctly, if there is a heartbeat or if it was a false positive.  We went to the doctor the following week and she confirmed that we were 7 weeks along.  Then she pointed out a little flicker of light and said, "That is the heart beat".  That was the moment that changed both of our lives. I am a strong believer in everything happening for a reason and this was the time in our lives that this was supposed to happen.  We realized if we were going to do this, we were going to do this 100%.  After a surprise Disneyland proposal a few weeks later we got married. Everything just felt so right in our little world.

At my 19 week appointment we were told that that little bean in my belly was a girl.  I was over the moon excited because I am a daddies girl and wanted my husband to understand that feeling that a father has for his little girl.  I let my husband name her and he decided Lily would be the perfect name.  We both came to the middle name "Jay", a nickname I call my husband Johnny. I also think of a happy little jaybird when I hear that name. Everyone in our lives were excited for us and little girl things were being bought left and right.  This was to be the first grand child for my family so you can only imagine the excitement when I broke them the news! Unfortunately, that ultrasound would be the final photo I have of my little girl as they never sought to do another ultrasound again because I was healthy and there was no need.

Around 6 months I started having issues possibly related to anemia.  I would randomly black out and was having horrible migraines.  I called the advice nurse and they would ask me questions about passing out but never once was I told to come in to be monitored.  I didn't question them because I assumed they knew best and if feeling her move was all that was important, so be it. I had an appointment scheduled a day after I had a black out episode.  I told the dr. I was concerned for the baby and they sent me in for blood work.  Again, they didn't monitor the baby or my fluids or do an ultrasound.  My blood work came back fine but I was anemic which was true before pregnancy too.  I basically put myself on bed rest, quit my job and focused on resting.

Going forward I never passed out again and was feeling pretty okay throughout the rest of my pregnancy.  My 40 week appointment came a day after my due date (June 5 2014).  I was SO bummed that she hadn't come yet.  I was told not to worry because the first baby is usually late.  I was told to schedule being induced on June 12th if she doesn't come beforehand. That day I felt like I should have pushed for an ultrasound or to be induced sooner but I kept being told "You're young and healthy, don't worry".

On Monday, June 9th I started to have contractions. I called the Dr. to see if I should go in and I was asked if I felt her kicking.  Come to think of it, I didn't feel her much that day but I ate something sweet and waited for the kicks.  Lily Jay was a kicker the whole 9 months and on June 9th, she stopped kicking.  I thought it was weird but I was told it was probably because she had no more room to kick.  Fair enough, that totally made sense.  They asked if I wanted to come in or wait for the contractions to get stronger.  I decided to go in and start this process to finally see my baby girl.

I checked into the hospital and when they went to check the heart beat, there was no sound.  I was thinking, maybe that's not the right machine and they were looking for something else.  Then the Dr came in with the ultrasound machine.  That was the moment our lives crumbled, there was no movement.

The Dr. calmly said, "I'm sorry, there's no heart beat".  I couldn't even cry because I was in such shock, I didn't understand how this can even happen. The dr. said, "It just does, it can just happen".  He then explained that I would have to deliver her naturally since a c-section was pointless at this point. I begged to just have the surgery done because I didn't think I could mentally handle all of this.  Unfortunately my crying and begging was denied and I prepared myself to deliver my precious Lily Jay. 

The next day on June 10th at 5:17pm, after 24 hours of labor my little angel was born. Weighing 5lbs 15oz and 21inches, happiest moment of my life was the saddest day of my life. The baby I loved and carried for 9 months was gone.  My body was empty, my arms were empty and now my heart was empty.  She was literally the most beautiful baby I have ever seen and Im not just saying that because I created her.  She looked JUST like my husband did as a baby and had his beautiful full hair. My husband and I spent time with her the next day and promised her that she would never be forgotten and she would always be our little girl.

Although I was offered to have an autopsy done to possibly determine a cause, I denied having that done.  I wanted my angel to rest peacefully untouched, unharmed and pure.  They sent in placenta for testing to see if that showed any cause. At my followup appointment I was told that my placenta was smaller than normal, which happens at around 42 weeks and can cause the baby to get less blood and oxygen.  I was dumbfounded, then why hadn't my baby been checked at 40 week if there was a possibility that this could happen? The answer I was given was that I never gave them reason for monitoring because I was healthy throughout my pregnancy. I hated hearing that because I knew in my heart I should have had better care, monitoring and ultrasounds done but trusted that the drs. knew best. I also kick myself for not demanding an ultrasound to see how big she was at 40 weeks. I know dwelling on these "what ifs" won't bring her back and will ultimately hold me back from moving forward, so I try my best to not do so.  Instead of dwelling, I want to be a voice so that more babies don't have to have their lives cut short. I filed a complaint with the hospital and demand that they start monitoring babies more, especially if the mom is having health issues.  Also, just because the parents are seemingly young, healthy and in physically "good shape", that doesn't mean that their concerns are less valid than parents who are sick, use drugs or are older. Nothing will bring my baby back but if my complaint can somehow fix the way the doctors are trained then maybe some babies will be saved so that another mom doesn't have to endure the pain that my family has gone through.

Again, I am a believer in everything happening for a reason and I like to see  Lily as only a positive in our lives.  Although the outcome was not ideal, she made me and Johnny way better people.  We got married, moved out of a less than ideal neighborhood, my husband went back to school at night and I left a stressful job. She made me realize how much I do need children to feel fulfilled and  she made us realize that things that seemed to matter and make us upset, don't really matter.  She made us appreciate life more, live life more and to not sweat the small stuff. We decided to have her cremated so that we can spread her ashes in places that make us happy.  We live in San Francisco and love to drive up and down the coast.  The weekend before she passed we took that long drive and talked about all the places we were going to take her. I will keep my promise and take her there, spread some of her ashes and just know that every time I see the ocean, she's there. Another way we want to honor her is to spread her ashes in the soil.
l and grow lilies. The most important thing to me is to not let her be forgotten and I will honor my little ones life the best I can. 

To all the mommies who are going through this, you're not alone. I feel alone a lot too but just know that at least in the U.S., that 1 in 160 babies are stillborn.  There are a lot of mommies out there who are feeling the way you do and if you can reach out to them, you should.  I have been using instagram as a way to connect with other moms in the same situation and it helps heal the hurt.

And to Lily Jay Lucatero, thank you. You have made both of your parents who they are today. Fly high my angel, mommy and daddy love you.