I have been thinking on and off throughout the day about how to begin and write this post.  And once beginning, I ended up walking away for a little while and did a little cooking to refocus my thoughts.  For whatever reason when I am cooking my thoughts seem to come together better and then I am ready to write.  The same thing happens when I go for walks.  This post is on emotions.  Sounds simple right?  But it seems to become more complicated when you loose a child and when you begin to try to get pregnant again.  Something that becomes more intricate because everybody grieves differently.  There are some people out there who just get it, others who try, and yet others who never truly understand.

Emotions are a complicated thing.   I have experienced emotions that I have never really experienced since Samantha died.  I am not the jealous type, but in the early stages when I saw others that were pregnant it made my heart ache.  I so wanted to be pregnant again.  To be able to bring home a healthy baby.  They had something I wanted.  I learned to move past this by telling myself that I didn’t know their story.  Maybe it was easy for them to get pregnant, but maybe it wasn’t.  Or maybe they were facing similar trials like I was.  I didn’t know their story and what led them to where they are now.  This seemed to to help and as time passed the feeling lessened.  Eventually it went away.

I never knew before now that you could be happy and sad at the same time.  Overall, there were times…even multiple days in a row that I would be sad for what seemed to be the whole day through.  However, looking at an individual day or moment in the day I was able to recall being happy and laughing.  This was one of the hardest things for me.  My child died, I am grieving but yet it is okay to smile, laugh, even find happiness and joy.

The decision to try again came with a flood of new emotions.  Sometimes overwhelming, sometimes confusing, sometimes just plain scared.  I have been learning different ways to de-stress and refocus.  I have been placing my energies into walking more, doing more creative projects, organizing, and spending time with people who mean a lot to me.  I have people tell me so much to not think about it.  This only caused me to think and focus, even obsess over it.  This is why the refocusing.  I have to leave it up God.  It will happen when the timing is right.

I can only imagine the emotions that will come when do get pregnant again.  Joy, happiness, excitement. Scared, nervousness, fear, worry.  Sometimes the thought of being pregnant terrifies me a little.  I believe this feeling comes from having experienced the death of our daughter.  There are so many different outcomes and it can seem terrifying, scary, or overwhelming.  It is my belief that when do get pregnant again I have the comfort of knowing that we have a phenomenal support system around us.  Sure there will be times of nervousness, but knowing we are surrounded will bring a sense of peace to help lessen that feeling.

And so continues the flood of emotions.

 

As we move throughout life there are always times we wonder.  It seems that when there is change it cause us to wonder more.  When the change is welcomed, the wondering seems to provide a positive exciting spin on things.  However, when the change is not well received or completely unexpected the wondering seems to take on a different spin.

When I found out that we were pregnant I was very excited.  That excitement lead me to wonder what our family would be like.  We were going from two of us to three.  What would our little one look like?  What would their personality be like?  What would it be like to be parents?  Were we really ready for this?  All of this provided excitement and joy, as well as some nervousness.  We were going to be first time parents.

When I found out that there was no longer a heartbeat the excitement turned into shock and denial.  I began to wonder what happened.  What did I do wrong?  How am I going to get through this?  How are we going to get through this?  What next?  As I began to move through the grief and healing I began to wonder what might have been.  As we approach a year from the due date, I can’t help but to wonder what things would have been like had Samantha made it to full term.  How different the past year and half would have truly been.

Now, as we have made the decision to try again, I find myself and my mind wondering a bit.  Or, more accurately, a lot.  I wonder what I can do to make things turn out differently.  As each month goes by, I wonder why it’s taking so long to get pregnant again and if I was meant to be a mother to children on earth.

There is nothing we did wrong and what happened was completely out of our control.  I’m not going to lie, it does suck.  There isn’t a day that goes by that I wish to have Samantha down here with us instead of up in heaven.  But as time goes by I am trying to learn from it.  I may never truly know why this all happened, but there is a lot I can take away from it.  It all has provided me with a different perspective on life.  I can’t change what happened.  And I will still wonder.

 

 

Happy Father’s Day to all the truly amazing fathers out there.  Whether you hold your child’s hand or you hold your child in your heart, you are a wonderful father.

Thank you to all the dads and granddads out there that have been a part of my life.

 

I am choosing to call this a hurdle.  Some see it as a “the dreaded question”, which is not to say that I haven’t thought of it that way.  I recently had a change of perspective after talking to a friend.  What is this hurdle?  This question?

Do you have any children?  It is a simple question which leads to a simple response…yes or no.  However when you experience a miscarriage or stillbirth, the question is no longer simple.  Sometimes you want to say yes and sometimes you want to say no.  It all depends on your own healing and grieving process.  It also depends on how you feel and your own thoughts on the subject.

For me, I hear myself screaming from inside yes, yes I do.  However, on the outside, with hesitation, out comes a um no.  It tears my heart to say that.  But, more often then not, if I don’t know the person I don’t want to get in to the whole story.  I am not sure why this has been.  It is probably because I don’t want to make someone uncomfortable.  It’s weird, I can put it into words and put it out on my blog.  But when in the moment, something stops me.  This is my hurdle.

I am not going to lie…part of me wants to just say screw it and when people ask, say yes.  But, the part of me that tries to not make people feel uncomfortable, is very hesitant about doing that.  Maybe it’s because of the slew of questions that could follow and how does one answer them.  Like, how many, how old,what’s their name(s)?  I know it’s best to be honest, but sometimes it is hard.  Miscarriages and stillbirth are not black and white.  There becomes a lot of gray that goes with it.

In my mind the answers are simple…yes, I have a child.  She was 17 weeks old and her name is Samantha.  Now, the hurdle…saying it to others, even if they don’t know our story yet.  Jumping this hurdle will be tough, but I believe that it is something that I need to do.  It is another step in the healing process of grief.  Who knows, maybe it will open up a connection as well.

 

When a couple is faced with the loss of a child and having to be in the hospital, the nursing staff plays a key role.  They can either be helpful or harmful to the whole experience.  There are a few moments which are still vivid to this day.  Some of the people we encountered, doctors and nurses, left quite the imprint-both in good ways and bad ways.

Today I would like to take a moment to look at the good.  We were fortunate to have an excellent nursing staff surround us.  If I could remember their names I would thank them individually.  We had one nurse who, on our second day in the hospital, pulled a double shift and stayed with us a majority of the day.  She was the one who was there when Samantha was born.  She was great during the whole process. She made sure to capture moments on camera, take measurements, and gave us time to hold our baby.  She treated us with a great respect.  She treated us like we were parents.  I hope that when it comes time to have another baby, she is there and I can get the chance to thank her face to face for all that she did.

My gratitude and deep thanks goes out to the nursing staff that was by our side for the two days we were in the hospital.  In a way, they helped to make things just a little easier.   Thank you!

 

This past weekend, having an extended weekend, Raun and I decided to go camping.  I grew up camping during the Summer months and have so many great memories.  Raun and I have been going camping for as long as we have been together.  In fact, part of our honeymoon was spent camping and this year (7 years later) we will return to the same campground for a week.

For the Memorial Holiday weekend we headed over to Willow River State Park.  One of the best things about the park is that it is only 25 minutes from our house.  Not only does this park offer the best of camping, hiking, and swimming, but there is a lot of wild life and a waterfall.  On either side of our campsite there are deer trails and while sitting relaxing we would get the occasional chance to see the deer wonder by.  The waterfall is absolutely beautiful.  It has multiple tiers and you can even go in the falls, as well as behind them.

One of our visits to the falls was during the rain, so we were pretty much the only ones there.  Even though it was raining, I was pretty excited to get photos of the falls without other people in it.  Just listening to it’s thunderous roar creates such a calming feeling deep down.  We returned the next day when it was sunny and took some time to just relax on the rocks.  I did venture behind the falls for a little bit to capture some video for Raun.  The shear volume and sound from behind was truly amazing.

We spent part of the day canoeing.  I haven’t canoed since going to the Boundary Waters nearly 8 years ago, so it was a lot of fun to get back out on the water.  The sights and beauty around us made for some beautiful photos.  There were a lot of birds, turtles, and fish to capture on camera.  There were a few times when I would stop paddling and listen to what was going on around me.  Sometimes I would hear birds or catch a glimpse of a fish.  It was calming to just sit back, soak up the suns warm, and take in the scenery.

At night sitting by the campfire is where I was.  Just watching the flames dance and feeling the warmth on a cool night are enough of a reason to sit by the fire for hours.

All of these things are why I love to be outdoors and what calls me to keep going camping.  After the weekend I came back feeling relaxed, renewed, and a sense of calm & inner peace.  Now I am counting down the days until we get to go again.

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