Thursday, February 28, 2013

What's normal now

Have you ever stopped everything you're doing, sat down, closed your eyes, and really concentrated on how you're feeling? I use to do it every now and then, just to check in with myself, but it's been a long time.

That's what I did this morning. I cleared my head and pondered the question, "How am I feeling?"

I searched deeply and came to one conclusion. I'm empty. I feel numb.

My life has become unrecognizable as a life. My days are filled with loneliness and sadness and meaningless tasks. Yes, I can feel okay. Yes, I can feel horrible. But there is no happiness. There is no joy. There is no longer purpose and ambition. There is a void. It's in the shape of a little brown-eyed boy that's always missing. Every moment of every day. For the rest of my life.

What's left is a shell of who I once was. A person not living, but existing. A person just trying to make it through to the end.

That's what happens when your baby dies.

Babies are hope and life, future and purpose, joy and meaning. The death of a baby is the end of those things.

I looked down deep and came up empty. There is not much left of who I once was. I know too much now. I know that happily ever after is a myth. I know pregnancies end and babies die and love can't save anyone. I know that prayer doesn't change the outcome, only the perspective.

Now that I know these things, there is no going back.

My life right now is long nights and empty days. It's a world of only online friends who have also lost a baby. It's a word of "normal" people who have no clue what I'm feeling. It's a world of babies, and mine was stolen. How do I ever fit back in?

For the past 10 months, I have cocooned myself away. I know that has been my saving grace. I've shut out people who don't get it, and anyone who refuses to face our pain. I've cut out people who are hurtful and rude and ignorant with their ideas/comments. I've blocked out most everyone who has a healthy baby. Why? Because my fragile heart can't take it.  Because I did nothing wrong and they did nothing right. Death has taken what's mine and I am defenseless. So I protect my heart with the utmost caution.

Normal for me is living life with a piece forever missing. It's learning how to incorporate the hurt into everything I do and everywhere I go.

Normal, for me, is waking up every day to a home without his sounds and smells and needs.

It's just another day, in another month. This will never go away.

This little guy is always missing.

My little love <3


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

This moment in time...will you play along?

Every day in grief can be different.

Some days are calm. Some days I can feel *somewhat* like a normal person.

Some days are nightmarishly painful. Some days I can hardly get out of bed because I just don't see any point. Some days all I can do is hurt and cry.

Some days are a mix of the two.

There are times on some days when I'll feel a sense of "I can do this...I'm going to be okay". Then, minutes or hours later, I'm sobbing my eyes out all over again.

That's just the way it is. I've learned to accept that. I can stop what I'm doing, cry it out, and then get back to things.

I know living in the moment is helpful.

When I look back too much on the "what should have been" moments, I'm angry and sad.

When I look to the future and see that Samuel is always missing, I'm  heartbroken and empty.

When I'm just still and look at this exact  moment in time, sometimes, I can feel calm.

I miss him all the time. That never goes away. Ever.

I love him all the time. That never goes away. Ever.

But sometimes, I can just *be* and it's okay.

Today is 10 months, 1 week and 6 days since we said hello and goodbye.

For this moment in time, I'm okay.

I think of Samuel with love and he brings joy to my heart. He's my little love, forever <3
Where are you in this moment?

If you have a blog, will you write about this and then comment with a link below? If you don't blog, will you answer with a comment below?

We're all in this matter what this moment is like for you <3

Saturday, February 23, 2013

It's always the same

He's always gone.

I've had some bad days lately. I don't think I can explain what it feels like. I want things to be different so badly I could just explode.  I hate this with every fiber of my being. I'm not okay that he's gone. I'm not okay with people acting like it's not a big deal. I'm not okay with life going on for everyone.

Doesn't everyone know a beautiful baby has died?? How can you go on when that's true? Everyone - at the very least, everyone who knows us - should be horrified and grieving deeply right along with us. There should be no parties, or laugther, or happiness (and certainly no pregnancies). But those things are happening right now, as I sit here dying.

Everyone who knows what happened should be so mad at God for abandoning us and not being who we all thought he was. But, instead, they keep on living their "good Christian" lives as if this didn't happen. It baffles me every times I think about it.

How can people still believe in healing when my beautiful little baby died while we begged for his life? How can anyone still have faith? I have no idea.  I guess it's because it wasn't their baby whose life depended on a miracle.

Mine did and now he's gone. How can I ever believe again?

I've been abandoned and forgotten.

Last night, I sat in Samuel's room, holding my bunny, and crying my heart out. I'm so broken. I am missing out on his life and I can't stand it. It's killing me.

Do you know what it feels like to carry a baby, to love them and want them, to deliver them, and then not even get to hold them? To not get to smell them or hear them? To have to hear on a phone call that he's died and know there is nothing you can do to be with him? It's maddening and gut-wrenching. I truly believe a part of my soul died in that moment. There is no coming back from that.

Our family is forever broken. That will never change.

I found a new blog today and I read something that really resonated with me:

"Grief is very strange... That first year, I was in such a terrible place of upheaval - emotionally, physically, mentally, rationally, spiritually. Sometimes it felt like someone had taken a giant eraser and wiped everything familiar out of my brain and replaced it with garbled nonsense. I was completely baffled on how I was supposed to go on with life without her. Everything seemed so pointless and mundane compared to what I had just been through and I didn't know how to survive. I couldn't kill myself so I just trudged on, pushing my way through the nightmare that had become my reality. That was what the first year was - trying to figure out how the hell to get through the day and doing whatever it took in order to do so."

I just nodded alone as I read that. Upheaval is the perfect word. That's exactly how I feel. Just trying to make it from one day to the next. Not having any clue what's going on, why it happened, how how to deal with it.

I just wanted to keep him <3

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Hospital Boxes, Revisited.

Remember the hospital box fiasco? Well there is not much to report on the hospital front. I've left messages with several people but never get a call back. Even the social worker who was "eager to help in any way she could" (yeah, right) has never called me back. There is something about Mankato...I don't know what it is. I suppose all call her again one of these days, but I just know she's the wrong person to work with.

Anyways, these beautiful boxes have just been sitting in Samuel's closet for months and it was breaking my heart. So I decided to send them to the mother's I meet in All That Love Can Do. So far, I've been able to send out 3 boxes! The problem is that they are SUPER expensive to ship with the beautiful boxes, so I had to forgo them and just send the contents. Oh well, I know it's still meaningful to the families. I am really hoping to make these care boxes a regular thing I do with the group. I'm trying to figure out how I can raise money to make them and ship them. (If you have an idea, please comment below!!).

I'm just so sad that Mankato was not open to them. I don't know how to reach the other parents in my own community who are doing a beautiful and selfless thing by carrying to term. I'll keep thinking and working...hopefully things will work out soon.

I hope someday that All That Love Can Do can be a major player in the babyloss/carrying to term world. I'd love to see brochures and materials in hospitals so families can make more informed decisions about the benefits of carrying to term. I'd love to give a box to each family to let them know they are doing a beautiful thing.

Franchesca, of Small Bird Studios, is going to be designing a custom website for me in March. I can't wait! I know it's going to be so beautiful! I don't know much about how to reach a wider audience, so I'll have to keep brainstorming on that as well.

One more fun thing... I've been asked to write for the upcoming United Through Pregnancy and Infant Loss newsletter. I'm excited to share Samuel with a large audience and to hopefully get the word out about carrying to term. It comes out March 1st; I'll post a link when it goes live. I was honored to be asked (and nervous too... they have thousands of readers...eek!) 

I know my Samuel is making a difference in the lives of other families facing this terrible road.

Missing my bunny today <3 <3

Sorrow vs. Anger

Many times, anger is easier for me to express than sorrow. I don't know what to do with sorrow. I mean, how often can you feel like your heart is ripping apart? How many times can you cry until you literally have no tears left in your body?

I don't know.

I've done it so many times and yet I still keep on going. There is healing in tears. When I don't cry all day and then finally sit down and just let it out, I feel better for that moment. I need to get it out. I need to know how deeply I miss him.

But, still, for some reason, I turn to anger a lot of the time. Maybe it's becuase I can actually do something when I get angry. I can scream, I can yell, I can throw things and rip things and dream up ways to hurt someone/something. It feels like I'm actually accomplishing something. But I also hate it. I'm not this person. I used to be calm and happy. (Ok, maybe a little excitable at times...).

The truth is...I'd rather let people see my anger than see my sorrow. Seeing my sorrow is like seeing my heart and that's too much for me. My heart is not for everyone. It's for Samuel and Bryan. (I think Bryan is the only person I've sobbed in front of).

I can talk about it though, and tonight (well, actually, it's 2am) I'm just so very sad.

Last evening, I day-dreamed of him taking a bath with bubbles and toys. I pictured him splashing and making a big mess everywhere while we laughed and played with him. I think he would have tried to eat the bubbles. And he would have sucked on the washcloth. Maybe his hair would be long enough for a tub-time mow-hawk??

My heart is so heavy. I can't believe I'll never get to do that with him. I can't believe I missed out on his only bath. I think I hate Mankato for not having a NICU and Rochester for sending me home. I always have to live on Bryan's memories and the video. Why did a random nurse get to bathe my baby instead of me? I don't know. Because that's just my life.

Look at how cute he is all soapy and wet <3 <3

I have no idea why she held him like this. He's sitting on the bed and she's holding him with her hands. I would have done it way better. My poor little guy : (
look at that curly hair. I love him so much!
I'm just so sad he's not here with me.

I miss him so much.

Monday, February 18, 2013

"Give them a year"

A certain phrase has been used in relation to us several times. Just give them a year.

I think it means that people shouldn't expect anything from us for this first year without Samuel. I think it means they need time to heal, so, for now, it's okay if they don't participate in life like they did before (the key words being, "for now").

What I don't understand about this line is that it implies that we owe people something. It implies other people have say over how long we grieve, or the things we do.

Here is my take on this (read, one of the only two opinions  - mine and Bryan's - that matter since it's OUR grief).

I will not be pushed. The first year is in no way the end of our grief. As I get closer to it, I realized this to be more true than I previously may have thought. If I only "get" 2 more months to grieve, what on earth will I do after that magical point in time when suddenly grieving the death of our son is no longer an option?

Do people think I'm going to wake up on the morning after his first birthday and say, "Oh, good! I'm done with all that..."? Do people think his absence will suddenly be no longer felt? That I will miraculously want to hear about pregnancies, babies, other people's children,  while attending all types of parties/events/holiday festivities? That I will be "back to my old self" just because the calender says it's been "long enough"?

I don't get it.

To me, that will just be the start of the year where we grieve the loss of our one-year old son. 

I know my grief will change. I know that I'm not experiencing the same grief I was at 3 months out, 5 months out, or even 8 months out. It does change. I have better days and horrible days. I have yet to have a "good day". I have not stalled out. (Even though sometimes I just want to sit in the dark for the rest of my life).

I know I am forever changed. There is no "back to my old self." (Who, really, can go back? You learn and grow and change.) What's been done can never be undone.

There is a huge part of me that wants things to be different. I wanted us all to be happy together. You don't always get what you want. So I do what I need to. I protect myself above all else. If you feel sad /hurt/angry that I don't want to attend your babyshower/wedding/event, I'm sorry you feel that way. If you feel bad that I don't want to have game night, get together for dinner, or want to spend time with your children, I'm sorry you feel that way.  Your sadness of losing me is nothing compared to how I feel about losing Samuel. Yes, those who know us will have to grieve the loss of who we once were and that's hard, but giving us a timeline or end date will in no way help us or make us suddenly want to be with you.

In a very small way, just like us, our friends and family will just have to face that what should have been and what is actually happening are two very different things.

I know my friends and family want us to be happy again. Does anyone think I don't want to be happy too? I'm a normal human being. I want happiness just as much as most. But it's not a choice. My broken heart is not something I'm choosing. It's something forced upon me and I'm trying to figure out how to live with it.

So to those who are "giving us a year", I say this: I will take as long as I need, totally independent of what you "give" us. If I never want to go to a family event ever again in my life, that's my choice. (No, I don't think that will be the case). If I never want to be around the babies who have been born into the family since Samuel died, then that's my choice.

I will never stop loving or missing my baby. Not because I can't "move on", but because he's my little guy. He's a part of me forever. There is no endpoint.

Every day is just another day without him. I don't care if it's been 10 minutes, 10 months, or 10 years, this little boy should be here <3

Saturday, February 16, 2013


Well, it's starting... the first birthday reminders. 

I opened the mail today and found a magazine for Samuel. In huge letters on the cover page were the words: "How to Plan the Perfect 1st Birthday Party".

You know what happened? I said the first thing that came to mind. Loud and proud.


(I'll let you add the rest).

What else can you say?

If you know me, you know I don't swear. But I don't think there is a better word to describe how it feels to know you don't get to celebrate your baby's first birthday (or 2nd or 3rd, or 30th, or any).

I want to scream at the person who would dare write such a thing and then have the nerve to SEND IT to me.  How dare anyone celebrate a first birthday when I don't get to!!! (yeah, I know...).

It makes me sick to my core that the biggest thing other parents have to worry about at this point is how to impress their friends and show off their fabulous birthday-throwing skills. I could throw up right now.

I don't even know what to do with myself.

I'm envisioning ways of destroying the magazine... burning, ripping, cutting, burying, running it over with my car over and over again...nothing is bad enough and it won't change anything.

What a fricken nightmare.


I'm so upset. Yesterday was bad news. Anger and sadness, all day long.

I miss him so much I can't even function. How can I possibly get through the rest of my life without him? I have no idea. I just keep going, day after day. One step and then another. What else can I do?

I can't believe this is my life.

Sometimes I think there is no way this all actually happened. I must have made it all up. It's too horrible. Who ever heard of PUV? Who ever heard of babies dying for no reason? Me, that's who. Gross.

My precious little love, my heart and my soul, my beautiful boy, is gone.

My heart is broken and my whole earth shattered.

What a fricken mess. 

I miss my bunny <3

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day

One of my favorite songs for Samuel is called "Up to the Moon." I saw this today and it was perfect for my little valentine.

I love you up to the moon, 
and I love you big as the sky. 

You'll always be my little man, 
I love you the best a mama can.

I couldn't sleep much last night, so I slept in today. I was sad and grumpy when I woke up.

But instead of moping around, I decided to try to make today as nice as possible for us. Since I couldn't take Samuel to Bryan's office to bring him balloons like I would have, I decided I would do the next best thing.

A few weeks ago, we ordered ourselves some super cute shirts with Samuel on them. Mine is on the left and Bryan's in on the right.

This afternoon, I put on my Samuel shirt and went to the store to find the biggest balloon I could. Sadly, the big balloons were dumb and crazy expensive (no single balloon is worth $30), so I just got a nice Happy Valentine's Day balloon and another plain latex one, that I wrote "We love you" on, and bundled them together.

I got us both some Starbucks (buy 1 get 1 free!) and headed to his office. He was very surprised and happy to see me!

No, it wasn't how it should have been, but it was what I could do. I'm glad I did it. (Plus, he said he was the only guy to get anything delivered).

He surprised me with a dozen beautiful roses when he got home. He opened his cards and gifts from me and Samuel, and then I opened his gifts for me. He got me some truffle chocolates and an amazingly thoughtful ring that says Samuel. It's perfect.

Now I have a visual reminder of my two loves; one on each hand! I have such an amazing husband and I love him dearly.

We had a yummy dinner (I even made cheese fondue for starters and chocolate mousse for dessert). I'm glad we had a nice evening together. I'm very sad Samuel is not here for love and hugs and kisses.

We miss him so much.

10 Months

Wow, here we are... 10 months. That's too long.

I miss him tremendously.

If he were with me today, I'd take him to the animal shelter and let him play with puppies and kitties for as long as he wanted. I bet he would have loved it.

Then, I would have taken him to the carousel at the mall. (I always regret that we didn't go for a ride while he was here).

Since it's also Valentine's Day, we would have taken an embarrassingly huge balloon to daddy at work and then taken him out to lunch. Me and my two loves.

Instead, I'll just miss him and cry and try to find a way to make it a nice evening for just the two of us.

Today should be so different. Everyday should be so different.

I feel so empty all the time. My days and nights, weeks and months, all just blend together in one big empty ball of sadness. Honestly, sometimes I stop and think about what I'm doing and have no idea how this much time has passed. We are WAY too close to his first birthday.

Ten months later, I know my grief has changed. I'm not the total mess, the can't-possibly-function person I was in the beginning months. Sadness and emptiness are just part of who I am now. I struggle all the time with questions about what us and why our baby. But there are never any answers.

Anger and deep sadness can creep in at any given moment, so I know I have to be super careful with who I allow in my life and where I go.

I can not stand the sight of a baby. I literally cringe and turn away if I see a stroller, car seat, or the like. The sounds of a baby crying, cooing, or babbling are enough to make me lose it and run away. I just can't handle that someone got to keep their baby when mine was stolen away.

It's not okay with me that this happened. It never will be.

He should be the baby in the cart, cooing and babbling. He should be the one I spend my day with. He should be here and that's all there is to it.

I really wanted to keep him.

Today we celebrate love.

I love my two boys so very much <3. We will light his special candle while we eat dinner and spend time talking about him and looking at pictures. It's all we have.

To my two special valentines, one in heaven, one here with me, I love you both <3

Happy 10 months in heaven, Samuel. Mama and daddy miss you so much! We can't believe it's been this long. Every day brings us closer to seeing you again, but they feel so long and empty without you. You are our special little guy. I wish I could give you a thousand kisses on your chubby little cheeks. Happy Valentine's Day. We love you, Bunny <3 

Love, hugs and kisses,


Sunday, February 10, 2013


It's been a very bad couple of days. I'm so hurt and angry.

I sat down and wrote a long post about what I was feeling and why. Then I realized I have no desire to give anyone who loves attention any more of it. So I didn't publish it.

Instead, I'm going to focus on Samuel. My beautiful and darling little love.

I saw an angel, of that I'm're beautiful, it's true. We shared a moment that will last 'till the end. I saw your face in a crowded place and I don't know what to do.... 'cause I'll never be with you.

When I think of him, I feel so much love and joy in my heart that he is mine. When I think of how he fought so hard to stay here with us, despite it all, I'm so proud of him. He was a strong and brave little guy.

I miss him all the time. I wonder what he would be doing and how he'd be growing and changing.

Our lives are empty because we are missing out on such a special little presence in our home.

There should be giggles and new words and learning and growing. There should be toys all over and stinky diapers and messy hands. It would be awesome. We should be going places together and exploring this big world together. I wanted to be the one to teach him.

I just really miss him.

I'm so sad he didn't get to stay.

I guess when you're fighting with heaven over who gets to keep someone so beautiful and wonderful, heaven is always going to win. He was too beautiful for this ugly world.

Samuel <3
I was at the grocery store on Friday and I saw all these super cute little doggy balloons.  They have weighted feet, so they actually "walk" on the floor.

I imagined taking him out of the cart and seeing the excitement on his little face as he scooped them up.

If he were here, I would have bought them all for him <3

Friday, February 8, 2013

okay, maybe not today

I was on the cusp of losing it, but I backed off. Here is what's happened since I wrote earlier...

First, I had a complete breakdown. Sobbing, screaming, throwing things, imagining ways to off myself, etc, etc. I stood in my bedroom and screamed for a few minutes (yeah, I know that makes me sound like a crazy person. Oh well, it's my life).  It was all I could come up with to do.

What do you do when injustice is so overwhelming and there is absolutely nothing you can do to change things? You scream and sob from the depths of your soul for things to be different.

Since I know I can never follow through with my plans for running away forever, I called my therapist and asked if she could get me in today. She did. I sobbed my way out to the car and drove over to her office.

As always, I went in a mess and came out a (somewhat) sane person again.

I need to put firmer boundaries in my life. I'm not in any way ready to be around kids/babies yet, so I should have said no. It was too much, too soon.

I DO NOT want to know about ANY pregnancy, unless it's a rainbow baby. If you don't know what that is, then you should not be involving me in your pregnancy. I will not be happy for you because I'm so sad for us. If you think that makes me a bad person, then you don't understand and that's all there is to it.

Bryan and I always do our best when we just stay home and spend time with each other. I don't know why we let other people in, when so often it just leads to horrible days like today.

Today is just a reminder that life goes on for everyone else. We are not ready to join back in. We are forever changed.

Now there is one more family in our extended family that we can't be around any more. Yes, we are choosing that. It's way too painful any other way.

What an absolute mess, all because we wanted a baby to love and raise.

breaking point

I figure there must be a breaking point at some point in all this mess. A point in time when your heart hurts so much and your soul has been ripped so many times you just give up. You become irreparably bitter and angry. I feel that happening today.

I'm so repulsed and horrified I can't even handle it. I want to scream and cry and rip my own heart out because it just hurts too much.

I believe I'm on that edge of just becoming a bitter, empty and angry person for the rest of my life. It's ugly but it's how I feel right now.

The other day, when my sister-in-law was here, she kept her coat on the entire time. I just knew in my heart she is pregnant and wanted to hide it from me.

Well today I comfirmed it's true.

I think I'll just go and die somewhere.

I can't even keep one baby and she somehow get's to have 6. This world is disgusting and horrible and unjust.

I hope I never ever ever have to see or hear anything about this or any other baby ever again.

Do you know what worse than death? Wanting to die but not being able to. I can't leave Bryan behind. I can't do that to him.

But today I wish I could. 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

An Island in the Sun

This song has been in my head all day.

(the video has some's just the song I like)

"On an island in the sun, we'll be playing, having fun....we'll spend some time forever...we'll never feel bad anymore. "

It makes me think of heaven. We'll get there and be with Samuel forever and ever. I can't wait <3


Yesterday was a very sad day. A friend who I've met through All That Love Can Do, delivered her baby boy, Emery. She had carried him with so much love. He had been diagnosed with anecenephaly during the pregnancy, but she never gave up on him. (Read her blog, here).  It was beautiful to watch her love him and make the most of her time with him during the last few months I've known her. She was induced on Sunday night and was in labor for over 60 hours before he came.

Needless to say, following the updates on her page and watching and waiting for him to arrive brought back all the memories of Samuel's birth. I was in labor for what seemed like forever too. I hurt for her and I hurt for me. I remembered how tired and worn out I had felt. I remembered feeling like it was never going to end and I would be in labor forever. I also remember not wanting it to be the end. I loved having him with me!

When I heard he was delivered and only lived a few moments, I cried. He is so beautiful and it's not fair that another mama has to live without her little love. I sobbed for her, and for me.

I had this image of Samuel welcoming Emery into heaven. It was beautiful but heartbreaking. They should be here with us.

As it so often happens now, the tears were followed with anger. Where are you God? How can all these loved and wanted babies die when so many babies are perfectly healthy and born to undeserving and unloving parents?

The injustice repulses me.

Now I know what it's like to be on the outside of the story. Man, it's so hard. You are powerless and heartbroken. All I can say to her is "I'm so sorry".

What a mess. I'm ready for heaven <3

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Living with grief

Grief steals your joy.

It breaks your heart.

It robs you of enjoyment and peace.

It shades your world. 

It makes all things that should be good, suddenly turn bad.

It's heaviness can leave you unable to stand.

Grief is sneaky and unpredictable; just when you think you've got it figured out, you fall right back to zero.

It makes other mothers seem like the enemy and other babies like my worst nightmare.

It makes simple tasks like running to the store seem overwhelming.

It forces a wall around my heart and life.

It often leads me to say and do things I would have never normally done.

Grief is beautiful because it tells of deep love.

Grief is ugly because it's uncontrollable and relentless. 

It whispers in your ear all the "what might have been" and "what should have been"  things you are missing every moment of every day.

It pulls you down and down and down until you don't even know how to get up again.

Grief lies to people it's not affecting. It says I'm controllable. I'm a choice. I'm linear, with a beginning middle and end. I shouldn't take long at all. I can be gotten over quickly if you just work hard enough. I'm not really a big deal

To those it invades, it tells the truth. I'm unavoidable. I'm relentless. I'm messy. I'm never going away. I'm always with you.

When death follows love, grief is unavoidable. Either now or later, that's your only choice.

Grief is my new normal. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

My birthday

Today is my 30th birthday.

I've  had a dream for awhile of how this day would go. There would be two parts:

1. Remember Monica's 30th birthday on Friends? That's what I wanted (well, the black tie, silver service, part). I imagined crisp white linens, sparkling silver, chef-prepared hors d'oeuvres, a decadent birthday cake, beautifully wrapped gifts and friends in their best attire. It was going to be amazing.

2. After a wonderful night of celebrating, Bryan and I  would set off for England. Ever since I spent a couple weeks there in high school, I've been dreaming of the day I could return. I figured my 30th would be a perfect time. I loved the people and the landscape and shoppes and the feel of the little towns. It's my kind of place. It would have been such fun!

Up until last year, this was my goal.

When we learned Samuel was sick, all things other that his life (such as wild fantasies of European travel) immediately became ridiculously  unimportant. I would have traded anything and everything for his health. Anything beyond that was just so incomprehensibly frivolous.

Now that he's gone, that's even  more true. Things just don't mean much to me anymore. That party idea makes me cringe. How superficial could I be? All I want on this earth is to spend the day with my little guy. That's my dream birthday.

I still would have loved to travel, but the health insurance company now owns all our spare money and doctors appointments, Samuel's birth and bereavement used up all Bryan's vacations days. So it wasn't even an option. 

So, like just about every other aspect of my life, I changed my plan for today.

Since I couldn't have what I want, a fun day with my little family, I decided I was going to do something special just for me. I got up, picked out a nice outfit to wear, I did my hair and even put on some jewelry. I had told Bryan the night before I wanted to meet him for lunch at the new Indian restaurant and he agreed. I decided I was going to use the spa gift card he had given me for Christmas, and I made an appointment for a massage and a pedicure. I had a counseling appointment in the afternoon, but the rest of the day was free for me to do what I wanted.

I got myself all ready and drove over to the local coffee house for my free birthday drink. I got it, sat down in a comfy chair and read for awhile, since my spa appointment wasn't for another hour. It was nice.

While I was enjoying my coffee, I got a call from my sister-in-law, Angi. She always calls on my birthday and the kids sing me my birthday song. It was very sweet. She told me she and her oldest three girls were on their way down to surprise me with a visit. They had a special gift they had made for me and wanted to give it to me in person. I agreed. It's been a very long time since I've been around the kids so I knew it would probably be good to spend time with them.

I called to move my spa appointment back, I told Bryan we'd go out tomorrow instead, and I went home to clean up and make lunch for us all.

I always feel badly because they live 2 hours away and it's a very long round trip to come see us. My counseling appointment would fall just over an hour after they arrived, so I wouldn't be able to spend much time with them. She told me not to worry, that was okay with them. I tried not to feel guilty.

They arrived with hugs and beautiful drawings and a very special bracelet the girls had made with my, Bryan, and Samuel's initials on it. It's very special and I will add it to the treasured things I have for him.

I still felt bad my time would be so short, but it was all I could do. The girls played and looked at Samuel's things and I even did some nail painting. It was very nice of them to want to help me celebrate my birthday.

I had to leave and go to my appointment, but after it was over I came home to find they had left some sweet notes and a birthday balloon. I know Angi cares a lot about us and wants to help me in whatever way she can. It was very thoughtful.

As much as I enjoyed seeing the kids, - they are so loving and sweet and I do miss what we used to have -  it was very hard because I wanted to spend the day with Samuel. I want us all to be together. I wanted him to know his cousins and have lots of fun with them. It's very sad that can never happen.

After I got home, I sat down and cried for a while. I just miss him so much and I hate my life. I hate that being around kids is so hard for me. I hate that I feel like I have no say in how my life is turning out. I hate that my dreams can never come true.

I cried for a while, then realized I just didn't care anymore about this day. I just wanted it to be over. I cancelled my spa appointments and put on pjs. I watched tv for awhile until Bryan came home. He tried so hard all day to give me a nice birthday. He is such a good husband.

He sent me beautiful roses, and called several times to see how my day was. He had gifts for me when he came home and a lovely card from him and Samuel. It was very sweet. He is always very considerate.

Unfortunately, by the time he got home, I was so upset and down that I wasn't good company at all. I opened my gifts and thanked him, but I couldn't help myself and broke down crying because I just wanted us all to be together. There is no happy birthday when your baby is missing.

Finally, I realized I was just done with it all. I just wanted the day to be done forever.

I went upstairs at 6:30pm and cried myself to sleep. I hate this and I miss him.

After a few hours, I woke up and came back downstairs. I apologized to Bryan for ruining his plans. He had done so much to make it a nice day for me. I guess it was all just too much. He obviously understood.

I ate some dinner and decided I would write about this day of mine.

I know there are so many people who care deeply about us. I know people want me to feel better and to find happiness again. I try to feel very appreciative of those people who do their best to give me a nice day. The notes and texts and gifts were very kind. I know they would do anything to help.

It's just that I'm so empty inside. There is a massive hollow spot where joy and passion and fulfillment should be. When he died, I died inside, right along with him. I don't know how to fix that. I'm not sure it can be fixed. I just keep moving forward and maybe someday I'll find some of it again.

So I guess to sum it all up, it wasn't happy, but it was a birthday. I guess I'll try again next year.

Thank you to everyone to tried to make it a good day for me. I appreciate that you care.