Friday, December 7, 2012

Patience . . .

My dear friends and family,

Thank you so much for your respectful patience. Chris and I have needed time to rest with the idea that we might just have another baby, or two, in the house. Yes, you read that right. I said two. Our gestational carrier is pregnant with twins! God willing, we will have two babies arriving late spring, 2013.

"I will sing the Lord's praise for He has been good to me."
Psalm 13:6

The day the nurse called to tell me that we were pregnant, she gave me the HcG (pregnancy hormone) numbers that indicated just how pregnant we were. The numbers were in the thousands, and having had twins before, I knew there had to be more than one little baby in there. Wow. Another miracle . . . two miracles! I have to say, there was something about that day, a feeling that our little Mila was there. I never forget that this is all because of her. Like I hoped she would, she touches every moment of my life, especially now.

We are almost thirteen weeks pregnant now and things look wonderful. Our babies look great (see below), and our dear GC is feeling good too. I am so proud and grateful as she takes good care of herself, her lovely family, and our babies. She is truly a gift from God.

It's hard to keep up with everything that's going on. I want my focus to be on my family, on Charlie and Sofie, and the holiday season. I want to relate, praise, and understand the miracles God has given us; to our family, the chance to have more babies, and to the world with the gift of His son. I am in total awe.

I will try to keep in touch more often as we enter the new year, but I am also trying to respect Chris's request for privacy. He needs to reflect and enjoy these blessings before sharing them with the world. I do too.

Here's wishing you all a very magical, joyous, holiday season. Thank you for so much love, kindness, and thoughtful prayer. We feel the support around us and we are so thankful.

With Love,

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

It worked!

The title of today's post says it all . . . it worked! Our gestational carrier (GC) is pregnant! I went from being crazy anxious all weekend to numb and surrendered by the time Monday morning rolled around. I found out Monday around lunch time but waited until today to share as we wanted to receive the results from a follow up HcG test this morning. The second test ensures that the numbers are still climbing and our GC is still pregnant. I know I've been 'lying in the weeds' (as my mom would say) for the last couple of days, but we had to be sure.

I am so grateful for those of you who prayed, sent positive energy, thoughts, and love. We wouldn't be where we are today if it weren't for all of you. I've said it a million times, but God is so good! I put my faith in Him and he has brought us to this amazing, magical place. I also believe, with all of my heart, that our little Mila had a hand in all of this as well.

But, as we know all too well, the journey has just begun. More than ever, we need your prayers. While I trust God and the Universe more than I ever have, I have a feeling that Chris and I will spend the next eight months feeling terrified, worried, anxious, pushy, and neurotic at times. Please pray for our peace, acceptance, and trust. Please pray that our GC remains strong, healthy, and faithful.

We have been given the most amazing gift. Thank you for helping us get to this place, and for sharing this journey with us.

Thursday, October 4, 2012


We are waiting.

Last Thursday we had our embryo transfer. Out of eight viable eggs, we had seven embryos. Then, the eighth egg fertilized and started to divide. But then, the strangest thing, only two embryos made it to the transfer stage. We transferred those two embryos into our gestational carrier's uterus, and that is it. There were no embryos to freeze. This is our one and only chance to conceive our own baby. We find out if we are pregnant on October 8.

I can't believe I'm sharing all of this. I am fairly modest and private most of the time, but I have chosen to share some very intimate details of our life all of a sudden. In the past, we would never have shared publicly that we are trying to have a baby. When we did get pregnant, we didn't share until we were well into the second trimester. So, why share all of this now?

Our lives have become extraordinary. Our journey is too big to keep to ourselves. We need help, we need support, we need prayers. How else do we stay afloat without reaching out to others? What I realize is that everyone is going to want to know whether we are pregnant or not. Right away, over and over, I will have to share that, yes, the transfer worked and we are gratefully pregnant. Or, I will have to face the heart breaking reality as I share many times over that no, we did not get pregnant, and no, there will be no baby. I want to say, "Please don't ask me.", but I still need you. We will need help with this no matter what the outcome.

How about this?  I will post here, as soon as I am able, whether there is a baby or not. I may or may not go into details. I may or may not want to talk about it in person. Please let me be. Please know that my gratitude for the love and support we have been given is indescribable. Thank you, thank you.

"Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name." John 16:23

Monday, September 24, 2012

lucky number seven

Chris and I were both born in 1977.

Chris and I were married in the seventh month of the year on July 22, 2000.

Charlie and Sofie were born seven years later in 2007.

Our baby girl, Mila Louise, was born on the first day of the seventh month. July 1, 2011.

I have a total of seven babies. Two here on earth, five in heaven.

Today we have seven healthy embryos.

I have spent the last weekend in pain, bloated, nervous, afraid, pessimistic. We now know that even in the greatest of situations, the worst can happen in the blink of an eye. Today I want to share this bit of hope, of promise, and a whole lot of gratitude. God is good, so good! Please keep the prayers coming. Our embryo transfer will be on Thursday, September 27.

Monday, September 17, 2012

like riding a bike

Today my belly looks and feels like a pin cushion. We have begun our IVF cycle where I am stimulating my ovaries to produce as many eggs as possible, which will then be fertilized with Chris's sperm and, five days later, transferred into my friend's uterus. Three injections into my stomach each day are helping develop the eggs in my ovaries (which my OB so graciously saved after my emergency hysterectomy last summer). Meanwhile, our beautiful gestational carrier is preparing her uterus to carry our baby for nine months. It is very similar to the injections I took when trying to conceive before. Our first and second pregnancies were a result of fertility drugs and doing it all again, well, it's just like riding a bike. It all came back to me. Alcohol swabs, mixing solutions, Q-Caps, needles, syringes, injection pens, Sharps container, etc. Never before have I been so grateful for what I went through to conceive our first babies.

Wow. This all just sounds so crazy, so incredible, and so awesome if it were to actually result in a live baby!

I can't decide how I feel about it all. Today I feel excited for it all to be over, to find out if we get to have another baby. I also feel afraid. What if it doesn't work? What if we just spent over $30,000 on nothing.  No, Chris and I did not have an extra $30,000 lying around. We've had to deplete most of our savings, ask family for help, and live more frugally. This lifestyle will continue as we will have to pay for fertility medication, medical insurance for our carrier, and many incidentals along the way. I'm trying not to complain. We are very blessed and even more grateful. This is stressful and scary. Not only do I think of the money that will have been wasted if this doesn't work, but the time. Time I could have been spending with Charlie and Sofie before they went off to kindergarten, time with my family, time getting back to my marriage, and time focusing on my new life without Mila.

It's been difficult moving on like this. I am not trying to replace Mila, but we are trying to have the baby we wanted, the sibling(s) that Charlie and Sofie wanted. Where is Mila in all of this? She's right here. Right next to me. You may think I'm crazy, but she talks to me. We talk to each other. Since her birth, I have felt her presence, her care, and her wisdom. I even went to an intuitive reading with a friend who works with spiritual guides. She confirmed my feelings and has helped me trust what my heart and mind feel. When I ask my sweet baby what will come of this journey, she tells me not to worry. She tells me that everything is going to work out, that we will have the baby we desire. Mila gives me strength, comfort, and joy as I know she is always near. A wonderful friend said she also believes that Mila is with me, and that maybe she has always been with me. My pregnancy and her birth was just her way of introducing herself to me. Now I know her, now I can feel her.

Only God knows how things will turn out, but I pray that it is good. I pray that, just this once, we be given an easy journey from start to finish. We've had to share what's going on with Charlie and Sofie because there's no way to hide appointments to the fertility doctor every other day, needles and fertility drugs in the bathroom. Such sweeties, they are very excited about the whole process. They love to watch their brave mommy give herself a shot morning and night. They love our carrier and her family and can't wait for another chance at having a baby brother or sister. They are so innocently optimistic right now. I pray that we don't have to give them any more bad news.

I hope you will pray, too. Please pray for our patience, comfort, and acceptance. Please pray that God guide our doctors as they try to perform a miracle. Please pray that God give us the grace to endure whatever lies ahead.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

some thoughts

It's been a tough week. Maybe it's because in less than two weeks, Charlie and Sofie will be going to kindergarten and I will be home, alone and by myself. No baby. No one-year-old. Just a desperate hope that we will blessed again soon.

On Sunday we were at my sister's home for my nephew's 4th birthday party. It was a lot of fun and I was so thrilled to see my six-month-old niece. I love her so much and treasure the moments I get to hold her and snuggle with her. When other people held her or rocked her to sleep, however, I felt jealous. I wish my baby girl was here. Then, after baby Addy spit up in her crib and all over her darling, white cardigan, I scrubbed her crib sheet and took her sweater to the kitchen sink to rinse it out. I felt a sad, sinking feeling in my chest. I want to be knee-deep in spit-up, diapers, and drool. I've missed out on the gross baby chores. Oh, how I would love to be cleaning up Mila's messes.

I've been really worried about Charlie. He's very anxious about kindergarten. He has no idea what to expect and I can't seem to calm his fears. He's been misbehaving, regressing back to some toddler-like behaviors, and refuses to talk about what's going on. I wonder, what has the last two years done to my sweet babies?

It's been a long time since I had the energy and enthusiasm to play with Charlie and Sofie. I'm ashamed and embarrassed to say that the television has been on a lot at our house. When I got pregnant in the fall of 2010, I was good and pregnant. I was sick and utterly exhausted for at least the first14 weeks. I had a little reprieve in the dead of winter, but then came the last trimester and I got tired again. I took lots of naps on the couch while Charlie and Sofie watched a lot of Disney and Pixar movies. I still haven't seen the middle sections of Tangled and The Princess and the Frog. Then, I gave birth to Mila. She died, I almost lost my life, and everything changed. Forever. I tried really hard at first to be normal, to jump in and be the mother of four-year-old twins. Then grief hit me like a ton of bricks and I couldn't cope. I turned on the t.v. to quiet the chatter. With the t.v. as the babysitter, I could read, rest, and cry. Charlie and Sofie have started calling me lazy. It breaks my heart. I don't want to be lazy, I want my life back.

We discovered "big kid shows" or what Charlie likes to call "laughing shows" on Disney Channel. The shows meant for kids 7 years and up. I'll admit, they're funny and kinda cute, but the kids on those shows say "dumb", "stupid", "shut up", and they use a lot of sarcasm. Some of the characters are down right brats and I'm starting to see the same characteristics in my little pre-kindergarteners. Charlie got into Star Wars and has decided that everyone is either a good guy or a villain to be battled. I took a good look at my children today and wondered what happened. What has our tragedy and my horrible state done to them? While I'm sleeping on our couch and crying on my therapists', Charlie and Sofie are being swallowed up by television and denied an innocent, nurturing early childhood. I'm still so angry this happened, that I wasn't able to protect and save our babies, and that their lives are forever affected by trauma, grief, and sorrow. God help us.

This week I am wearing a cute, baby doll style night gown that I bought before getting pregnant with Charlie and Sofie. It has a few small breast milk stains from when I nursed Charlie and Sofie.
I wish I had a baby to feed.

Not only am I supposedly lazy, but I feel so out of shape. I am still short of breath when I exert myself due to respiratory distress after Mila was born. I'm a recovering food addict and compulsive exerciser. I look in the mirror and 135 pounds looks like 300. I feel like a sluggish slob. So, I've started exercising, in a healthy way. Some days it's P90X, other days it's a few yoga poses. I feel more energetic and encouraged to keep it up. Yay me!

Lastly, I want to share a bit about our journey to conceive using a gestational carrier. My dear friend and uterus donor :) started taking her fertility medications this week. We will both be injecting ourselves with powerful fertility drugs both morning and night. We've both been there before and it's not fun. The amazing gift I have today is faith and trust. I have faith and trust in my dear friend to do her part honestly and humbly. I don't have to worry that she's forgetting her meds or not doing it right. If it were some stranger carrying a baby for us I would probably be freaking out. I'm not freaking out. I am full of faith in God's plan for our family and I am so incredibly grateful that He brought this amazing woman into my life seven years ago.

Thanks for reading.

Saturday, August 4, 2012


We need a new roof. Badly. All of our neighbors have gotten new roofs in the last year or two and all of them were paid for by their insurance companies because of hail damage. Our roof looks horrible. It was installed one year before we bought our house eleven years ago and now the shingles are deteriorating due to a manufacturing defect. Apparently we do not have hail damage like all of our neighbors so we do not qualify for a free roof. Three contractors have been to our home to confirm this.

We need a new roof, but we want a baby more.
Yes, that's right. We want to have another baby.

Sofie asked me the other day, "Do all babies cost a lot of money, Mommy?" I said, "No, not usually. We didn't have to pay any money for Mila to grow in my tummy. She was a gift from God. But now, if we want to have another baby we need to pay doctors and lots of other people to help us." Sofie and Charlie both agreed that they'd rather have a new baby than a roof. I agreed.

When I first woke from my coma, my OB visited me in my hospital room and described in detail the two surgeries I had after I delivered Mila. The first was to remove my uterus and hopefully stop my body from hemorrhaging. It didn't work, so they could not close me up. My abdomen was stuffed with surgical sponges and towels as well as a drain. This was to remain in place until the doctors could get my infection and bleeding under control. It wasn't until five days later that my OB and a general surgeon could go back in and stitch me up. I was in rough shape. My OB was so kind as to fuse some of my abdominal muscles back together (a lasting side effect from my twin pregnancy), and she made sure my ovaries were intact, healthy and ready to be used when I wanted to harvest my eggs down the road. I remember laughing in my hospital room that day. Yeah right, I don't think I'll ever try to have another baby again. Enough is enough, or so I thought.

My friends didn't know who they were talking to when I said that we were done, that this tragedy had taken it's toll and there was now way we were going to have any more children. They said it wasn't like me to give up. They were right. It wasn't long before my arms ached, not only for Mila, but for a baby. I thought holding my friends' babies would help, but it hasn't. We want more. We want a sibling, or two, for Charlie and Sofie. Adoption didn't seem like the right choice when we knew that there was still a way to have a child that is biologically ours. As crazy as it seemed at the time, we decided to look into the idea of using a gestational carrier.

A lot of wonderful and complicated things have taken place since we decided to begin this new journey. I will save this amazing story for another day. What needs to be said is that we wouldn't be where we are without our sweet Mila, without God's grace, and the support of some very special friends and family members. As of today, we have signed contracts with a surrogacy agency and an incredible woman who has agreed to be our gestational carrier. She is a friend of mine whom I love dearly and is an incredible example of God's amazing love and grace. We are scheduled to begin our first IVF schedule in September and will need nothing short of a miracle. Yes, another miracle!

What we really need is your prayers. 

We pray that God guide our doctors and help us patiently wait for His will to be done. We pray for strength and courage when things don't go according to our plans, and we pray for security when feel stretched both financially and emotionally.

My biggest fear for the coming months is that in all of our anticipation and excitement for new life, our darling Mila will be forgotten or that the tragedy that brought us here in the first place will be minimized. I am constantly trying to fill our lives with reminders of our precious baby girl. Recently, we planted a hydrangea plant and created a Mila Garden in our backyard. It's a place I hope to go to for connection with my baby and and to remember that her life and her love lives on every single day. Mila came and left us for a reason too huge for me to comprehend. I may not ever understand why things happened the way they did, but once again, we are seeing pain turn into joy. We are finally able to hope for better days. Again, we realize that without the heartache of our past, we would not be able to enjoy the blessings of today.

 Each of us wrote letters to Mila and placed them in the ground with the hydrangea plant. My Gramma gave me gardening lime with the plant to hopefully turn the flowers pink.

Mila's garden isn't finished yet. I hope to get a special statue or stepping stone. In the spring, the plan is to plant some pink annuals in honor of our baby girl. 
Here, and everywhere else we share our story, her beauty lives on forever.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

19 days of living: day nineteen

One year ago today, on Tuesday, July 19, 2011. I sat up in my hospital bed (I never really slept through the night in the hospital. I was terribly uncomfortable, homesick, and haunted by nightmares.), hoping that it would finally be the day I get to go home. I begged and waited for all of my doctors to sign off on my ability to be discharged: the surgeon, the infectious disease doctor, the general physician, and my kidney doctor. The kidneys were the most fragile of my organs and I couldn't go home unless doctors were sure I wouldn't need dialysis again and that my kidney function was improving.

I waited and waited all morning until I was finally released. Everything happened quickly after that. The stitches in my abdomen were removed, my PICC line (a long, slender, tube that was inserted into a peripheral vein in my upper arm, connected to and inserted into a large vein in my chest near the heart to obtain intravenous access) was removed, and my highly potent antibiotics were ordered. We live about two minutes from the hospital, which seemed so odd during those last few days stuck in my hospital room. Like my dad said, we live so close you could spit on our roof, yet I felt so far away. 

When Chris pulled into the driveway I started crying. Not because of everything I had been through, but because I missed my home and my family so much. I had never been away from Charlie and Sofie for more than three days and they hadn't seen me at home in over 19 days! I knew things would be weird and different, and they were. I can't even begin to explain the sadness and anger I felt when I first walked into my home and for the next several days. The house didn't smell good. It smelled like a boy. I didn't smell like my perfume and lotion, like it usually does. It didn't smell like the essential oils I clean with, or the gluten free waffles and muffins I often bake for the kids. It was gross. My dogs were ecstatic to see me and jumped all over me, (That was nice.) but Charlie and Sofie were distant. They seemed awkward and clung to my mother in law. I am so grateful for the way she cared for them when I was gone, but I hated that they found safety in her and not me. I started to wonder if I should be home or not. I was in pain and I could barely walk. I wouldn't be able to use the stairs or lift anything for several more days and I was frustrated. I decided to take a nap in the bed I missed and cried for for days. I walked into our bedroom and was greeted by the bassinet. It had been set up and ready to go before we left for the hospital. It was filled with a full container of baby wipes, the Boppy Pillows (with a new, pink cover for Mila), and piles of laundry that our mothers had folded. My heart sank as I crawled into bed. I felt numb. The kids were being loud and I cried. I felt angry that I couldn't stand their voices, but missed them terribly. They had been through so much and, even though I was home, I still couldn't be the mother they were used to. It just sucked.

Today, a dear friend and neighbor walked over with a card, congratulating me on getting through the last few weeks. It warmed my heart that she understood what these last nineteen days represented. To me, they represent survival, but also survivor's guilt. I still sometimes wish that I had never gotten pregnant in the first place. I hate even thinking that as I love Mila more than anything in the world, but the pain of infertility (which I know all too well) would never have hurt as bad as this does. I keep praying that God give me hope and courage to face what He has planned. I have to believe that Mila's conception and beautiful gestation served a purpose. I try to look back fondly on the days that I carried her and she lived in my womb. It was an amazing time, but I feel heartbroken for the mother that never saw this coming, that will never see, hold,or smile at her baby. We were so sure that Mila would be fine. I still can't explain or understand the horror and shock we felt when she wasn't breathing.  I guess this is it, the low point of the last three weeks. I could go on more, but I feel a pity party coming on and none of you want to be invited, I'm sure.

I still need prayers. I still need people to tell me that Mila touched their lives, too. She was and is a very special baby. I think she knew exactly what she was doing here on this earth, that her time with us would be short. I feel her, though. Every minute of every day, she is with me.

Thank you for reading and for joining me for the last nineteen days. Thank you to those who validated my feelings and shared your own personal stories with me. I know I am not the only one who has lost a baby or a loved one. I know that we all have pain. My hope is to be some kind of inspiration, to remind others that through God all things are possible, and to make sure that Mila's short but extraordinary life touches others. I think it has, and I am grateful.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

19 days of living: day eighteen

I'm almost done. Like I said in my last post, the pressure of keeping up with this for nineteen days has been tough. There isn't much time or energy to blog once the dishes are done and the kids are in bed. I'm just like my babies at the end of the day: tired, cranky, fussy, lethargic. Also, by this time a year ago, I wasn't dying. I was stuck in a hospital room, waiting to go back to who knows what. I was numb, in shock, and very confused. It would be many weeks, if not months, before I began to realize what an ordeal we had just been through. Today, I feel content saying that I did spend the last three weeks living. I said yes to Charlie and Sofie when they wanted to play, I danced, and I sang. I stopped to look at flowers, butterflies, clouds, and people. I smiled, I served, and I told my story when people asked. It's been good.

I've crossed into a new place, it seems. The place where I have funny, smart, five year old twins, AND a beautiful baby girl waiting for us in heaven. I want to live each day humbly and graciously, while never passing up an opportunity to tell people about Mila and the new life she gave me. I feel more optimism and purpose, like I'm ready for God to use me and my story for a greater purpose.

It's surprising to me that, in these nineteen days, I haven't had a really tough day. Usually, there's at least one day every couple of weeks when I miss Mila so much I can't move. I weep for her, and I long to hold her in my arms. Maybe I'm comforted by her presence more these last few weeks, or maybe I'm waiting to be done with my experiment in 'living' so I can really let it out. I'm not sure what this is about. My fear is that, now that the first year has passed, the sting of losing a child will fade. Our experience seems to have vanished for some of our close friends and family. I was surprised by those who never mentioned Mila's birthday or the fact that I am alive and well one year later. On such a sad, yet triumphant, occasion, those people who once prayed and wept for our family appear to be over it. This, if anything, is what has been the most painful. Maybe these people didn't know what to say one year later. I understand. A friend who knows what it's like told me to teach those who hurt me so they will know what to do in the future.

 So, some advice for those who don't know how to console or support a bereaved parent: 
Make a phone call, post a supportive message on Facebook or Twitter, send a text, send a card, light a candle. 
Tell them that you didn't forget, that you know what day it is and you're thinking of them and their loved one. Give a hug, say a prayer, and be grateful it wasn't you. 

I did have one of those days last week when I just didn't want to understand all that has happened. "Really, God?" I prayed. "Why did this have to happen to us?" I found comfort in a Bible verse I am coming to know. It's one that many bereaved parents rely upon for hope and comfort. In fact, there are quite a few angel babies with the name Jeremiah, waiting for their families to join them heaven.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all of your heart."
Jeremiah 29:11-13

I've continued to document some of our special events over the last week. Here are a few photos. 
(And, please, leave my photos here. They are mine to share, not yours to have.)

 Watching the Whiz Bang Days Parade down the street from our house. It was a hot one that day. I was happy that Charlie and Sofie hung in there.

 Sitting on the curb with my babies, waiting for fireworks. See their little toes on either side of me?

I'm no pro when it comes to photography, but here are some of the fireworks. Oooh!

The beginning of the grand finale across the lake. Again, I could learn a thing or too about photography, especially on my phone. And, by this time it was after ten o'clock and Charlie and Sofie were climbing all over me because the grass was tickling their legs. Sometimes I feel like a human bean bag chair, but I love the affection. How blessed am I?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

19 days of living: days nine through twelve

I've realized with this little "assignment" I've given myself, of writing about the nineteen days I spent in the hospital last year, that I could never be a professional writer. Don't get me wrong, I love to write. I could do a book or articles here and there. But creating something inspiring, helpful, or insightful on a daily or weekly basis is not my thing (even though I do a daily reading and writing assignment in my 12 step recovery program). I think the real problem today is that I'm tired. I'm missing Mila so much and I wish she were here, that they could have revived her, that God would have saved both of us. Maybe I'm also suffering from some post traumatic stress disorder. Today, July 12, was the day I woke up from being in a coma to the nightmare that my life had become.

I have so many memories about the dreams, visions, and hallucinations I had in the hospital while I was on many painkillers, paralytic drugs, and sedatives. During the days prior to waking up the doctors and nurses experimented with the level of sedation I was on so I was kind of in and out or half-conscious at times. All I know is that this was the day I was extubated (allowed to breathe on my own, without a ventilator) and fully taken off of sedation. I remember thinking that all of my IV bags were balloons, that the hooks they hung on were decorations to bring home, and that my mom had decorated the walls with baby-themed items (none of these things true, of course). I thought there were people hiding in my room, trying to scare me and I heard many strange voices. I thought people were laughing at me and making fun of me. Sadly, I also thought for a few hours that I had delivered three babies, and that I was waiting to have them brought to me so I could nurse them or at least pump breast milk for them. I remember being mad at Chris because not only did he not bring me my babies, but he didn't even bring me my breast pump so I could at least start feeding my babies breast milk. We've all wondered if the three babies were Mila, and our boy and girl twins lost at 18 weeks in March of 2006. Only hours later, I was embarrassed that I even thought that. I realized that I gave birth this time to just Mila, and that she was gone. Other than that, I had no idea what had occurred in the last 12 days. It took weeks, even months, to piece things together and to grasp the grave condition I was in. Only now am I starting to understand that the fact that I survived is a true miracle.

This week things have slowed down. Chris went back to work and Charlie and Sofie have started two weeks of swimming lessons. Even though I'd like nothing more than to take a nap all afternoon, I've been enjoying the warm weather by swimming at the community pool with the kids and taking out our little pool to to cool off at home. I've also been busy this month with yard work.

While I was in the hospital last year, the weather was unbearably hot and humid. Everyone's lawn, including ours, took a hit and turned dry and yellow. The yard is usually my responsibility and a beloved hobby of mine as well. I love getting my hands dirty and seeing a soft, green lawn as the result of my time and care. Chris didn't have the time, energy, or interest in maintaining the lawn so it pretty much died during the days I spent in the hospital. When I woke up I asked him if he was watering and mowing and he said no. Other friends and family tried to help, but it was a lost cause. One of the saddest moments was when I stepped out of the car in our driveway to see the devastatingly dry grass. I never got it to green up last summer or fall. It served as a constant reminder of the death and loss we had experienced. I hated it.

This spring I promised myself that I would not allow the lawn to die again. I'd say it's been just as hot and humid and our lawn looks great. I've tended to it lovingly, totally determined to keep the grass green, lush, and alive!

This weekend is Whiz Bang Days, our city's annual summer festival. The kids, Chris, and I will go to the parade, maybe a craft sale, and fireworks. Poor Chris took the kids last year on his own and I was sad to hear I had missed it. I didn't realize what day it was when I woke up and I also grieved the loss of so many days of my life. I had not chosen to miss so much. I felt powerless.

Today I have some power and control back in my life. I can't change what happened, but I make choices now with much more confidence and consideration. I don't let others manipulate me or make me feel guilty. I do that enough myself! Today I am grateful not only to be awake and alive, but to be home; strong and present.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

19 days of living: days five through eight

Okay, I might be getting behind on my blog posts, but hey, I'm out there living. And between vomiting children in the middle of the night and loads upon loads of laundry, there hasn't been a lot of time to sit down and be reflective. While I had hoped that 19 Days of Living was going to be full of spontaneity and adventure, it is mostly just living life with presence and a desire to serve God and those around me. I have been reading the book One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. As I read I am learning to look even more deeply into every day events to find gratitude and joy.

On July 5th, day five, we went to the Mall of America to play. That's pretty much all we did. For the last two years I have been either pregnant or recovering from my tragedy. I haven't had the energy or ability to really have fun with my children; to run, jump, and play. Part of my mission this summer is to make up for the time I couldn't be the mommy I wanted to be.

On July 6th, day six, we went to the beach. I am ashamed to say this, but in the land of 10,000 plus lakes, our children had never been to a beach. I had been invited by friends when Charlie and Sofie were younger, and thought, "Are you kidding? You want me to take two toddlers to the beach by myself. No thanks." With Chris's help, we had a wonderful morning. I sat in the shade, relaxing, reading, and writing, while Chris swam with the kids. Then, I joined them in the water. It was refreshing and lots of fun. We will definitely be back!

 Gorgeous, right?
 (Actually, I was just trying to take a decent picture of myself since Chris doesn't like taking pictures. Not too bad, thanks to Instagram.)

Mila was there, too, of course.

Charlie, our little beach bum.

Sofie enjoyed her ice cream treat with Daddy the most!

On July 7th, day seven, we rested. It was an exhausting week, and I needed a nap. I took two.

Today is day eight of living. We didn't make it to church because I wanted to keep sick Charlie home to rest. Of course, like most kiddos do, Charlie bounced back immediately, proudly declaring all day, "I threw up in my bed! I puked! But now I'm better." 

I'm trying to remember that "living" also means caring for myself, being kind and gentle rather than pushing myself back to what I think is normal or back to the old me. The old me, the mommy I was before Mila, is gone. I was thinking tonight, on the way home from my OA meeting, that I feel God's love so strongly since finding recovery and especially since losing Mila. I wonder if I can somehow feel Mila just as strongly. I'm trying. My faith is growing and while it is exciting, it is also surprising. I never imagined myself to be openly spiritual, or someone who praises God without hesitation. The truth is, however, that He is the only real source of strength and comfort for me right now. Chris, Charlie, and Sofie give me the love and affection I so need after not being able to hold my baby girl. My OA fellowship gives me space to share without judgement or feedback, and my beloved therapist helps me heal and look at my feelings from a new angle. But it is God and his son, Jesus Christ, that comfort me, that rock me to sleep, and give me reason to look up and forward each day. Think what you will, but at a time when I would rather die than face another day without my baby, this was the one thing that worked. Like my dad always says, it's a whole lot easier to believe than not. What have we got to lose? For me, the answer was, "not much".

So tomorrow is day nine. I can't believe I'm almost half way through those nineteen days I spent fighting for my life. I wonder if the time went by as fast last year as my family waited, paced, texted updates, ate, prayed and slept. I hope so. By now there was hope. There was a pretty real chance that I would make it, despite the heartbreak I would soon wake to. It's strange that, when I did wake from sedation, although confused at first, I knew what happened and that I was somehow going to survive. My sister wrote on the Caring Bridge one year ago today:

Laura coming out of sedation might be one of the hardest parts of this ordeal. I pray that we find the right words to help her cope and understand what has happened. I hope she finds peace somehow and realizes all of the love and support that has been here with her through this tragedy.

Because of the physical trauma I had endured, I wasn't mentally or emotionally capable of dealing with Mila's loss. Somehow, I knew she was okay, and that I was okay. The prayers for peace and understanding worked, and again, I say thank you.
 getting ready to light some 4th of July sparklers!

Hooray for freedom, and a second chance!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

19 days of living: days three and four

I can't help thinking about where I was one year ago. I've been reading through my Caring Bridge journal, which was lovingly maintained by my sister while I was in the ICU, fighting for my life. One year ago today, this is what my amazing sister and best friend wrote:

As the weekend has passed and I see the big Ooh Aah outside our window at North, I am thinking of so many things. I started this weekend in sadness and fear, mourning the loss of my niece, my sweet angel Mila Louise and fear for the outcome of my best friend and sister, Laura. I have watched her for 4 days now, sad that she couldn't hold her sweet baby like I could, worried for what is to come. I have held a cool cloth on her head to help the fever, held her hand, and sang her songs we were listening to on the radio. If I could take this pain from her and bare the burden for her, I would take this from her in a moment.
But now, I have hope. I hope for the moment she awakes and sees those who love her, I hope for the moment she can hold her special gifts Charlie and Sofie, and I hope for the days when her heart breaks a little bit less. So I will keep singing her songs and holding her hand until this nightmare becomes a memory, and her broken heart gets pieced together.
I love you Laura, more than words will ever know, forever.

One of the biggest challenges for me in the last year has been to accept help from others. Like my sister wrote in other journal entries, I am an independent, stubborn gal. I like to be the one helping and caring for others. Amy is my little sister. I always expected to be the one helping her, until the tables turned. I have gained humility, gratitude, and a huge amount of admiration for my sister. We are no longer big sister and little sister. We are equals, best friends, mommies. Thank you again, Amy, for dedicating your time and for sharing your heart last year. You shared my story with the world, invited love and prayers, and, ultimately, saved my life. I love YOU more than words will ever know, forever.

On to living. Yesterday, day three, was just a day like any other. We took the kids to the splash pad to get some relief from the heat. I went to the chiropractor for a chair massage and adjustment. Then, Charlie and I snuggled on the couch and watched Star Wars. It's his latest love and obsession. Thanks to my dad's (Charlie's Grampa) influence, I am now a fan as well. I almost never take the time to sit and watch a movie, especially in the middle of the afternoon. This was an especially nice treat.

Today is day four, the fourth of July. We don't have any big plans. It's so stinkin' hot outside that we might skip fireworks tonight and just do some sparklers in the yard. I'm loving the laid back pace of this week. I can't do it forever, but it's great for a few days. Yesterday my chiropractor said that I was more flexible than most of her patients. Really? A year ago I was dying. Today I am strong, fit, and flexible. I am very grateful to be a walking miracle!

I'm surprised how I can still find new ways to heal and connect with Mila. For her party on Sunday, I framed and placed on the table her footprints from the hospital. I've kept them there all week. They are cute and precious, like any baby's footprints are, and they make me feel like she is right here in the kitchen with us. It's like she also has a place at the table.

Monday, July 2, 2012

19 days of living: day two

Day two was fine. I feel proud and honored to be Mila's mommy. My Facebook page was on fire this weekend as so many friends and family members remembered our story and our sweet angel, Mila. Today I am feeling grateful, but also tired. I wonder if I'll hit the wall in a couple of days, realizing that I am in year two, that it's been a whole year since Mila was here.

I'm not sure how to think or act for the next few weeks. Last year at this time I was literally nowhere. I was in a coma and completely oblivious to the world around me. I missed 12 days of life, and spent 7 more days stuck in the hospital during a heat wave, much like we are having again here in MN. Nurses said, "Oh, you don't want to be out there. It's so gross out there in the heat and humidity." I wanted to tell them to screw themselves. Are you kidding? I've been here for 17 days! It could have been a hurricane outside and I would have rather been there, with my family, than stuck in that hospital bed.

Today was pretty normal. Chris is home this week for the 4th of July and a little staycation at home. A couple things struck me and tugged at my heart today. The first was when we went shopping as a family. The four of us were walking from the car to the store and I noticed our reflection in the store window. We were holding hands, all four of us in a row. It was like we were this strong force that could not be broken. I admired us and thought about what a beautiful family I have. We are all survivors.

The other funny and joyful thing that happened was at lunch. I am not proud of this, but it made me laugh so hard I couldn't breathe. My husband has a terrible mouth. He's a sweet, kind man, but he sure likes to curse! He said the word dumb ass, as in "What a dumb ass." Charlie and Sofie thought it was funny and, of course, I tried to keep a serious face. Charlie didn't understand the word, and tried to repeat it saying "dumass". "Daddy you're a dumass, Sofie you're a dumass" Everyone was laughing by then, especially Sofie, sitting in her corner of the kitchen table giggling while she said, "Ha Ha, dumb ass, stupid head, shut up!" over and over again. As you can imagine it would with two potty-talking five year olds, it just escalated from there. We had to have another discussion about grown up words and appropriate words at the table. Again, I tried to be serious, but I had laughed so hard at the silliness of it all. My heart felt big as I imagined Mila giggling and screaming with us. It also made me feel reassured that the four of us are ok. We are survivors.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

19 days of living: day one

Today was Mila's first birthday. My head and heart are so full today, so I'm going to try to keep this brief. It was a beautiful day. I was awake and alive. No, we don't have our little Mila toddling around, eating cake for the first time, but we had her spirit all around us. She was everywhere; in the wind, the butterflies, the pink flowers blooming around the yard, and in the full moon at night. We had our family over to celebrate and just be together. Thank you to Dana Gaertner for capturing our day on camera. We can now look back at photos and remember the joy and gratitude Mila has given us. To end the day we ventured out on a night walk to look at the almost full moon and release a sky lantern to honor Mila. It was an amazing, divine day.

 A big, beautiful moon lighting our way to the lake to release a sky lantern.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

it's time . . .

For the last couple of months, I've said to myself, "Gee, I should really do another blog post." I think about what I would write at the time, and then I move on, never turning on the computer or planning time to write. I have had a kind of writer's block in that I have nothing to share, nothing that I think anyone needs or wants to know. I've just been living my life. I've been living as a woman who is a stay at home mom to exciting, entertaining five-year-old twins. I've been living as a woman whose husband might get laid off. I've been living as a woman who almost died only a year ago. I've been living life as a woman who misses her baby terribly and still can't understand how something so tragic could happen so quickly. I've been living the life of a woman who is broken, yet doing everything she can to be present, grateful, awake and aware.

I'd like to share some pictures to show that while there are days when I want to hide and cry in my bed all day, there are also days that I laugh, smile, comfort, and teach. About eighty percent of my days are spent trying to be normal. People who've never met me have no idea what I've been through, and then someone asks about my tattoo (Yes, I got a tattoo for Mila that I just adore!), or asks me if Charlie and Sofie are my only children. Suddenly I have this unbelievable story that I don't quite believe myself. I don't know how to wear it, how to own it, at least not yet. So, here's a quick peek into my life lately.

  Here I am getting my tattoo. It was an amazing experience.

As long as there is time, as long as there is love,
As long as I have a breath to speak your name . . . 
I will love you.

So much of my healing has come from being creative.

 I think this is my favorite picture of Mila and I. It was taken at a time of so much hope and joy. I try not to forget that the nine months I carried Mila were simply extraordinary.

 Charlie and Sofie have made me so proud. 
They turned five on May 31st and the three of us are 'besties' as we enjoy 
our last summer before kindergarten.

We spent Memorial Day at the lake, cherishing family,
 and trying to find gratitude in the every day moments.

 My darling, Sofie, had her first dance recital in May. She totally lost her place and panicked because she couldn't find me in the audience. She danced anyways, and left the stage with a smile on her face!

 Then, only five days after her birthday, Sofie fell at the park and broke her arm. She had surgery to place pins in her elbow and set her arm. It was a strange, surreal night in the same hospital I spent much of last July in. We even had one of the same nurses I had. My mom took me back to the ICU to see with healthy eyes where I had stayed, where my family waited and prayed for days, and to meet the nurses that helped save my life. The last year seemed to come full-circle that night as I was suddenly aware of how blessed I am to be alive. What if I had died? What if I couldn't have stayed with Sofie, comforting her through a very scary time? I was back in the hospital as a strong, healthy, capable, and brave Mommy. I had to be, and it felt so wonderful.

This summer will be different. It already is. Instead of a one-year-old, I have a new appreciation for life and a deep compassion for those who are grieving any kind of loss. I'm taking a "life is short" kind of attitude most of the time. There are days I want so badly to be with Mila that I could leave it all behind, but I don't. I will have eternity with her, or so I am promised. I believe this and now I am trying to live the life God wants me to. I told Charlie and Sofie the other day about why we go to Heaven. I told them that God promises us eternal life with Mila and all of our loved ones as long as we live the kind of life he wants us to: kind, loving, compassionate, and humble. I felt proud and grateful for my beliefs, even though they may just belong to me.
 I felt grateful to be speaking to my children from a place of faith and of hope.

Mila's birthday, July 1, is just one day away. We will be having a sweet celebration with family. We will send balloons up to Heaven with messages to Mila. We will also be lighting a candle at 7:57 a.m., the time Mila was born. I invite you to light a candle as well, if not in the morning, then some time during the day, in remembrance of our sweet angel. On this special day, kiss your babies, grand babies, nieces and nephews. Spend some time with those who mean the most to you. Life is so precious and so short. We never know when it will be time to say goodbye.

Oh yeah, to kick off a year of living with hope, faith, and gratitude, I got a major haircut. It was as if I cut off all of the pain, the hurt, and the death. I feel fresh and ready to live.

Also, in order to rewrite history, I am spending the nineteen days I was so near to death, really living life. I missed nineteen days of my life last year! Charlie and Sofie missed nineteen days of their mother's love and nurturing. I know with all of my heart that Mila would want us to live life to the fullest, now that we have the chance. Please join me for the next few weeks as I celebrate 19 days of living. I will try to post as often as I can to share how we are celebrating our new life and the love little Mila Louise gave us all.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

a busy day

I say this all the time, "busy". We're busy. Charlie and Sofie are busy. I've been busy. It kind of feels like an excuse or an easy response to the question, "How are you?" Yesterday was busy. It was my last day of Early Childhood Family Education, a wonderful program that includes chatting in a room with a group of wonderful, kind, and insightful parents while our kids are in preschool. It was our last day of the school year and possibly my last day ever in this terrific program. I was sad not only because my babies are going off to kindergarten in the fall, but because if Mila were here, I wouldn't be saying goodbye. It sucks and it's not fair. I didn't choose to leave, but I have to.

The rest of the day consisted of lunch, a nap, playing outside, dinner, gymnastics for Charlie, and a walk with Sofie. After our walk, my little girl and I blew bubbles. It was thrilling. We laughed, giggled, and squealed; soaked with sticky bubble solution. The entire time I thought of Mila. Mila would have loved these bubbles and the loud shrieks of joy. The wind carried the bubbles around the yard, some high into the air. I imagined Mila reaching and pointing at them as they floated away. Then I wondered if Mila was riding on one of those bubbles, dancing around in the air, coming back towards me and popping on my jeans. I think of her all the time like this. These moments make me feel light, safe, and peaceful.

Later that night, Chris's mom wrote a message on my facebook page: "Thinking of precious Mila today . . ."  I didn't understand. Why was she thinking of Mila today. Then it dawned on me. It was May 1st. Our baby girl would be 10 months. I let the whole day go by without remembering what day it was. Of course, as always, I thought of Mila all day long, but I didn't realize that another month had passed. I felt terrible.The time has come, I thought, when I start forgetting the month anniversaries, when I stop dwelling on Mila and our deep grief and start living life again.

I guess I'm grieving the loss of my grief. There's a part of me that still doesn't want to go on. I wonder why I had to survive, why Mila and I couldn't be together forever. Then I get busy. My head is so full of plans. Plans for the summer and how I can make up for the worst summer of our lives. Plans for Mila's golden birthday on July 1st. Plans for Charlie and Sofie's 5th birthday. Plans for kindergarten. Plans for the end of my duties on the ECFE Parent Advisory Council. Plans for another baby (somehow).

I also find myself pouring my grief and energy into projects that honor Mila and my experience. I've been trying to rebuild our lawn that was devastated by the awful heat wave we experienced while I was in the hospital last summer. I blame myself. I love doing yard work. It wasn't a priority for Chris while his wife was dying, and by the time I was home and physically able to do anything, we had lost a lot of grass. This spring it has reminded me of our loss and I am happy to say it looks pretty great today. Other than a few bare spots, it is lush, soft, and green.

I've also been cleaning, painting, crafting, sewing, and writing. All of these "busy" activities help me find worth in myself and my survival. They are healing, cathartic, and distracting. I've met other bereaved parents who do the same things to honor their babies or to just escape from the deep grief. Chris writes music and has created artwork for Mila and I. Baby A's dad makes amazing videos of his family and their experience. Baby M's dad writes on a beautiful and profound blog. Baby J and A's mama sews, writes, and seeks solace in her faith. There are so many of us, and we all do something as we try to manage the grief.

I can't promise I won't forget another 1st of the month. My dental hygienist, who lost a baby twenty years ago, confessed that she forgets. The sting is gone. It's just another day to her. I remember thinking that I could never forget an anniversary. Forgive me, sweet Mila, and thank you for the bubbles.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

nine months

I always know when it's time to write again. My heart feels tight and heavy. The tears feel like they're right behind my eyeballs, waiting to gush out at any moment. I wasn't sure what to name this post. I chose nine months because our baby girl would be nine months old now. I saw a baby close to her age at the park yesterday and had to leave. I couldn't help but imagine Mila was alive today, swinging in the baby swing, wearing one of Sofie's hoodies or cardigans. A wave of grief, anger, pity, and sorrow swept over me so fast. I had been having a pretty good day, and then I wasn't.

Sofie's first spring, 2008

I thought of naming this post 7 babies. Sofie has asked me many times, "Mommy, how many babies do you have?" It makes me wonder if she knows what I know, that I have a total of seven babies. I have two beautiful, living children, and five, yes, five babies waiting for me to hold them again some day. We started trying to get pregnant when we were 27. My body was doing nothing. It was like I was in menopause already. It took huge doses of fertility drugs to finally get me to ovulate and when I did, we had four embryos, quadruplets! After reducing the pregnancy to twins (and saying goodbye to two otherwise healthy fetuses), we thought we would soon have the family we dreamed of. Then, at 18 weeks, on March 30, 2006, we lost the remaining twins. We had four babies, then we had none. March was incredibly difficult this year as I felt very aware of how much we have lost. We have Charlie and Sofie, our greatest treasures, sandwiched between two horrific losses. It just feels so sad. Poor us. Someday we will tell Charlie and Sofie about their brother and sister, and the two babies we never knew. For now, whenever Sofie asks, I say that my babies are Charlie, Sofie, and Mila. "Who else?" She asks. I say, "I don't know, who else?" "Molly and Wesley!" She cries out. Oh yes, our dogs Molly and Wesley. I guess they are my babies too.

I've been reading so much about loss, stillbirth, and living through similar tragedies. One book I am reading says that we no longer ask, "Why did this happen?", but begin to ask, "What do I do, now that this has happened?" I am still just so devastated. Now that Mila has died, and we didn't get to bring her home and pour our love and our life onto her, what do we do? Although I wish I could some days, I can't go back to a time when it was just Charlie and Sofie and I didn't want another baby. I have faint memories of those days.


I felt so grateful and so satisfied with my life, but now there is a huge hole. I feel like I have wanted Mila forever. Something is missing now and nothing feels, tastes, smells, looks, or sounds as good as it used to before our tragedy. I wonder if I will be able to go on living this way. Can I live the rest of my life without ever feeling some resolution or peace after our perfect baby was taken so suddenly? I don't want to. I don't see it getting better or easier. What a shame.

After a wonderfully mild winter, we are having an early spring. We have had glorious days in Minnesota where the temperatures are around 70 or 80 degrees in March! I love this time of year. It symbolizes a time of rebirth, and reminds me of the times I was pregnant with Charlie and Sofie, and with Mila. I also could have called this post then and now. Last year at this time I had a big, beautiful belly. I felt gorgeous, not quite so big that I felt gross and awkward, but glowing with life and with love. We were preparing our home and our lives for Mila's arrival and I was looking forward to summer with a new baby. These are some of the happiest times of my life so far. I wonder if I'll ever feel that kind of humble, amazing joy again. Family, friends, and neighbors showered me with well wishes, love, and support. It seemed as if the whole world was waiting for our sweet girl to arrive. Sure, this spring I feel more comfortable, more flexible and physically active, but I would give anything to relive that time with Mila, when she was alive and here with me.



Life is moving forward, and I believe that Mila is here with us for all of it. I don't feel like I need to write to her or visit her because she is here, in my heart and in my soul always. Charlie and Sofie will be entering full day kindergarten in the fall and we are going to continue healing and watching for miracles. Sometimes I think that if I can't have Mila, then I don't want anything or anyone. I feel like a two year old having a temper tantrum. The truth is, however, that we're not done. We pray that God's plan for us includes another baby, somehow. Until then, I will be with Mila and she will be with me. I will pray for peace and accept the love that continues to flow in. There. Now I feel better.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

another birthday . . .

It seems I have started a new ritual of posting here on Mila's birthday. Today our sweet angel is 8 months old. I miss her so much. So, so much.

This week we are also celebrating the birth of my sister's daughter, Adelyn. I was honored to be present during her delivery and the effects this experience have had on me are profound, to say the least. Being there for Baby Addy's birth brought back memories I thought I had lost forever. I remember pushing Mila out, having no idea that our baby would be stillborn. I remember Chris cheering me on the same way my brother in law encouraged my sister with enthusiasm and humor. I also remember feeling so much weaker than my sister was. Infection was taking over and I grew weaker and weaker by the minute.

When Adelyn arrived she was full of life; screaming, wiggling, vibrant life. She's beautiful, like our Mila was. Our traumatic loss caused all of us to worry and fear the worst, but little Addy made it. I'm so relieved, so grateful that she is here. My sister is too. In a way, Addy is the baby girl we all need right now. I feel drawn to her, like she and I share a special secret. When she was crying on the warmer, my voice calmed her. My touch caught her attention. It was quite magical.

It seemed as if Mila and I were a team that day.I prayed that she help bring my sister's baby into the world safely. I prayed that God surround me with courage, strength, and peace, knowing my baby girl was near.

My sister means everything to me. When our baby died and I was fighting for my life, she stepped in and helped take care of my family. She was my advocate and spokesperson. She fed me my first meal, spoonful after spoonful of ice chips, and held my hair back when I couldn't keep anything down. I will never be able to repay her for all she did for me. I'm not going to lie, however. I am so jealous of my sister. She gets to hold and feed her newborn baby. She gets to bring home this new life and enjoy the blissful exhaustion a new baby brings. I'm not sure how I'll handle this joy when my heart is so broken. I feel so bad that our experience casts such a shadow over this otherwise wonderful time.

Today I was driving home and I heard a song on the radio that spoke to me. Lots of music touches my heart lately. I've uploaded most of it onto my phone, of course. So many things inspire me, comfort me, and stir up the emotions inside me.

When you’re dreaming with a broken heart,
And waking up is the hardest part,
You roll out of bed and down on your knee,
And for a moment you can hardly breathe.
Wondering was she really here?
Is she standing in my room?
No she’s not. Cause she’s gone, gone, gone, gone, gone.

When you're dreaming with a broken heart.
The giving up is the hardest part.
She takes you in with her crying eyes.
And all at once you have to say goodbye.
Wondering could you stay, my love?
Will you wake up by my side?
No she can’t, Cause she’s gone, gone, gone, gone, gone.

Dreaming with a Broken Heart by John Mayer

I dream of one day having another baby, somehow. While we've started to look forward to the next journey, we can't help but wish we didn't have to be in this place. I've had a lot of moments lately where I just can't believe what happened to us. I beg God to let me wake from this nightmare. That's not to say we don't have good times and good days. We do. It's just so hard to understand, still, why this happened to us. My therapist has helped me understand that we were victims of a horrible tragedy. I read recently, however, that we have the choice to be victims or victors. Maybe one day I will feel victorious over my loss and heartache, but not today. Today I feel like a victim. A grateful but very fragile victim. Happy birthday Baby Mila. I miss you more every day.