#TheStoryOfLogan

rise + shine morning ritual

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This morning as I looked at my steaming cup of tea I could feel the steam lapping at my lips teasing me like a dream. A bit of unresolved mystery of a fleeting moment. A moment that feels so real, but is evaporating at the same time. So much of my life is like this right now. Moments where I  just sit in the fog of what I’m missing. What I feel my life could’ve been, should’ve been with all my children. I find myself missing moments he should be here, I should still be pregnant. What would our life have looked like?

There’s still times it feels like a bad dream, a fog that has settled that I should awaken. Then the fog lifts and I’m reminded that this is no dream. My nightmares of sorrow coming true over and over. There’s not a day that my thoughts don’t turn to you.

#CaptureYourGrief #PhotoChallengeDay2

The Missing Boots

Forever and always I will look forward to the fall. The change from the heat of the summer so heavily filled with Logan’s memory of his brief 1 day with us into a new chapter. It seemed fitting the first year after loss to watch the season change into a season where everything felt as barren and brown as I felt.

This fall I’ve smelt the crisper air and am once again hearing the cheers as the home football team scores a touchdown. I still am enjoying a new breath of fresher air from the summer heat. It starts a season that seems filled with kid-centric holidays and gatherings. From the pumpkin patches, to halloween where they seriously seem to knock down your door! And all of that just bleeds into Christmas and toys and innocence of Santa being able to grant a wish.

I can’t help but think as we move into the season it’s one more time without all of my children with me. As we walked amongst the apple trees I couldn’t help but see other families with siblings and wonder what ours would be like if they could have been here. There should be 2 on Earth and one still growing inside of me. That fact that any future child will be a 4th and not 2nd is a hard one to swallow. I know whenever someone asks me how many kids I have, they are probably not wanting the whole sad backstory. They mean merely to be polite and probably don’t really care whatever that number is.

It is something I still grapple with each day when to protect my heart from the pity stares of the truth or denying my true number of children. For me they know they are in my heart no matter what is seen in front of the world. I will always see another pair of shoes that should be filled.

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Stepping Into The Great Unknown

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This week I stepped out into the great unknown. I finally found my Why in teaching oils and why I could no longer keep from teaching about what I’ve learned and benefited from these oils!

I started using lavender oil a few years ago when my first was born and someone told me it could help her sleep. At that point so sleep deprived I said YES! Only problem was someone told me about this, but no other follow up about how to use it or differences in oils or what a diffuser was! I eventually gave up and thought I don’t have time for research I can adjust to the no sleep and gave up on it until my 2nd pregnancy. I had done some more research on my own and knew what a diffuser was and really liked how Tea Tree smelled in my shampoo and made our stinky bathrooms smell so much better!

We actually brought our diffuser to the hospital and I was so grateful that I could make our room smell more like our home as we held Logan with us. Everyone who entered said I wish all hospital rooms smelled like this! This is way better than the stale air that is associated with hospitals. All I knew was that the smell was something I was familiar with and has brought me back to peace with Logan’s memory. I have loved lavender so much that I even placed some at Logan’s grave so he can still smell mommy when I’m not there. YLinddist_FBprofile3

Eventually after coming out of some of the haze and talking to so many other mothers of loss I now realize how common stillbirth can be. In the U.S. it’s approximately  24,000  which is an average of 1 in 160 births. Recognized miscarriage losses are even more common 1 in 4 pregnancies. With Logan we know it was a cord issue that was the ultimate cause of his death. Do I think making a lifestyle change such as reading more into chemicals in our household could’ve prevented his loss? No! But if there is a chance that I could’ve made healthier decisions for myself and my children would I change it? Yes!

I found out through some more research that some chemicals I have been using in my home could be linked to infertility. To me this was a total game changer. I went through my house with my Think Dirty AP and put in products throughout my house. Anything remotely associated with infertility I decided needed to be changed. The problem was what do I change it with?

I did my own research into companies and guidelines in what chemicals and products that I could use to replace those associated with the funk I was trying to rid my house of. A friend had told me that she felt the same way about the stuff in her household and had been using the Young Living line of products for cleaning and diffusing around her house. I looked through their catalog and how they made their products. I was so amazed. They don’t use pesticides, they harvest by hand and have a promise of how the products are made from the Seed to the Seal they are ensuring their safety.

This week I was able to lead my first of hopefully many classes in teaching about making yourself educated as to what is in your home. I am so excited for this education journey and can’t wait to see what more I learn from others as I grow on this journey. If you have any interest in learning more or setting up a time to talk please comment below and I would love to get in touch!

If you would like more information about enrolling see my earlier post Why Essential Oils

A long overdue thank you

I had every intention of writing this thank you months ago, but going back to the hospital in my mind is a place I can’t go often. It’s something I carefully have trained my mind to avoid to stay functional. In order to properly say this I needed to:

I know that you did not go into your calling for birth to have nights like when Logan so forcefully entered on July 26th. That you thought Labor and Delivery was caring for babies who were crying and healthy.

I remember hearing people telling my mom you are so lucky to get to be around babies at work. I can remember her cautious  answer was, ‘most of the time.’

I read a OB who had been quoted that the Labor and Delivery ward is 95% of the time the happiest place in the hospital, but the 5% that remains is the saddes part of the hospital.

I cannot express my appreciation for your compassion and love that you shared with Logan and us. Compassion is not some checklist they taught you in medical school and it truly made us have the best hours with Logan.

To the ER nurse who rushed me in and stood with my husband through uncertain pain. The neonatologist with tears in her eyes. The midwives who told me ‘it’s not your fault.’ The L&D nurses who knew I wouldn’t want to eat and brought me endless cups of ice water and jello. The pernatologist who drove to another hospital looking for more keepsake items to remember Logan. For timing vital checks so we could sleep because we were so numb.

I know days like his are not what you probably thought of when you went into your professions. I’m sure people unknowingly say your job must be so happy. I know you probably give an answer similar to my mom’s that most of the time it is.

Please try not to become hardened by days like his. I know there is probably another family who will go through loss and need your same compassion.

Please remember to close that hospital door because to a loss mom the sound of a newborn crying and happy birthday are needles into an already shattered heart. Remember that her walking out of that hospital without her baby was the last thing she wanted to have happen.

The walk to her car without her baby while passing other rooms with crying babies or the nursery will probably be crushing her and an extra hug may not hurt right then.

I know you probably went home and hugged those you love. I’m so grateful for your love. You gave us both space and comfort. If there can ever be a time for me to pay it forward I will do my best to live up to the status you have set.

Thank you for your support. Thank you for being able to serve in the the saddest part of the hospital when the world only thinks of the 95% of happy days. You deserve recognition for your hardest days on the job.

With gratitude,

Sara (Logan’s mommy 07/26/2016)

 

 

Why Behind the Willow Trees

I decided to call my writing behind the Willow Trees because when we were in the hospital room, our room had a label of a small post-it sized picture of a willow tree. This was supposed to signify to not only nurses and doctors, but the custodians, food prep and other staff that although this room is normally a labor and delivery happy room, today it is not. There will be no crying baby when you enter this room. You will instead be seeing crying family members making memories of their too short time together all as a family.

I am sure for many of the staff they would take a deep breath try their best to just get in get what they had to do for their job in our room and leave as quickly as possible. To try to not linger thinking about what this day was like for the family on the other side. I know from personal experience with so many of the staff who have stayed in contact with me that they were personally touched by what they found from our family on the other side of this door. They helped us bathe him, they cried with us mourning our tragedy. They prepared memories of and whatever they could find to give us. I have a feeling their special love is why I now have 4 extra-large water bottles, uncountable number of breastfeeding support items and all the extra tissues they could scrounge together.

I wanted to let others see a deeper look into our family on the other side of the Willow Tree. That when you open this door this is the family you will find, we are broken and hurt but we are growing through this. Willow trees are capable of bending to outrageous poses without snapping and one of its most valuable traits is in its flexibility. The message of the willow tree is to adjust with life rather than fighting it, surrendering to the process. It reminds us to surrender to our innermost selves and gain a deeper understanding of our subconscious. It is a tree that can survive in challenging conditions. It’s symbolic meaning is that even through great loss we have the ability to grow and potential for something new. The image of the willow tree is our path to stability, hope and healing.

The tree is also symbolic as we have it placed on Logan’s headstone. In the book the giving tree the tree gave the boy everything she had so that the boy would be happy. The tree loved him more than she loved herself. She sacrificed her own self for the boys happiness. This is the story of parenting. That you wish you could give everything to watch your child thrive and be happy. Just as in the book your relationship and needs of your child will change, but you continue to do what you can. We will adjust as the tree and grow around our pain. We have continued potential for greatness and a deeper love through this pain. As the book says, “and the tree was happy.”

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Wave of lightning 


Today is a nationally recognized day of remembrance for pregnancy and infant loss of those lives gone far too soon. 

This month:

We remember the babies born sleeping. Those we’ve carried and never met. Those we’ve held but couldn’t take home. The ones who came home, but couldn’t stay. 

Help break the silence and remember with us by lightning a candle at 7 pm for remembrance. Unfortunately our family is not alone in this unimaginable pain. No matter how small they mattered and are always a mystery of who they would’ve been. They matter because they were here, if only for a moment.

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My Tribe circle 


Yes it’s totally hipster to talk about friends as a tribe, but you know friendship doesn’t explain how much some of us have been through together. When you can find someone who knows your story your triggers it’s so nice to not explain it again. I think that’s part of the reason it’s harder to make friends as an adult. We’ve got more of a story and usually more mess that we’re self conscious if they will accept us for the mess that’s us! 

I know this past year would not have been the same without having my friends who know the loss of a child. Who can get when you text “I just am crying in the parking lot of Target because I walked by the baby clothes and just lost it!”

I think everyone knows it’s sad to lose a child. After you lose a child it becomes clear that: time does not heal all wounds. Time allowed me to go from crying each day all day to having some days I get without tears. I still have constant thoughts like; There should be 2 in my backseat. It doesn’t mean I’m at peace or forgotten him because I now cry less. My tribe who knows loss can understand. Some days are fine, some are like it’s happening all over again. 

Grief doesn’t go away. It becomes a piece of you. It can rock your whole being and sense of who you are. I remember hearing afterwards someone saw me and said “oh, just the same old Sara!” I thought, how in the world could I be seen as the same? It’s those members of my tribe who understand that I want to talk about him! I want to hear them say his name. I want to know when he comes to visit and sends them a rainbow or dragonfly! 

Those inner friends who have seen you at your most broken and not run away or told you to get over it, because your grief was an inconvenience to them. Thank you for my amazing tribe of mama Elephants who’ve got my back! We are the protectors of those most vulnerable! We are warrior women! 

Beauty of October Sunrise 

The calendar hit another first of the month. Another day further from you in my arms, but closer to meeting you again. I knew coming up that October would be hard. Last year October felt like a stab in the gut. Logan should be here and we should have pictures of him at the pumpkin patch. We should be deciding what cute Halloween themed onesies he’d be wearing. 

I still feel it this year, when deciding on costumes what would he like. He’d only be a little over 1 so I’m sure I could convince him to be a pumpkin like his sister was our first Halloween in our new home. 

October is hard for another reason, it’s infant loss awareness month. I know before this I only knew October for breast cancer and pink shirts everywhere. 

Last year I found out about a project ‘Capture your grief’. It was starting by a photographer who experienced infant loss and she wanted to use her art as therapy. The idea is not to have great photos that belong on walls, but capturing where your memories are that day and she gives you prompts. Last year I was too raw to think through each day. Some of these assignments are just downright hard. This year I’m giving myself grace to remember, and grace to let go of some hard memories. 

This morning for the beginning of October the assignment was sunrise. I was at first mad at how cloudy it was that there wasn’t looking like much of a sunrise. Then slowly the pink filled in under the blue. I couldn’t help thinking that this is just what this month needs! A little more blue to go with all the pink in October! 

It Is Well

I used to be a person who loved a good RomCom cry, or at least a socially appropriate cry. Today was the first time in a long time, and it was just because of the words in a song. 

“When peace like a river, attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roar;

Whatever my lot, thou hath taught me to know, it is well with my soul.” 

The first chord rang and I knew it was coming, it built to the reframe and I had full blown snot and eyes swollen pink from the alligator tears flowing in the middle of church. The sky not the grave is our goal. It just becomes real when you go through something so deep and a loss that challenges what you thought were truths. 

The story of this song is of total tragedy. Horatio Spafford had moved his whole family to the U.S. and he lost his son at age 2 in the Chicago Fire of 1871. He also lost his business and his family was financially ruined. By 1873 the family decided to refute Europe, but at the last minute he decided to stay back and finish some work in Chicago before joining them. The boat the rest of his family was on collided with another ship and the only survivor was his wife. She sent him a telegram saying “Saved Alone, what shall I do.”

Shortly afterwards he sailed to Europe to meet her. The captain took him to the bow as they passed the water where his families ship sank and his children lay. Afterwards he felt so inspired he wrote ‘It is well.’

There is so much we can’t begin to comprehend. Although this is tragedy, I know God is there in the broken pieces. I think back to the peace in the room as Logan was baptized and prayed and sung to. There was no more of the Holy Spirit than what he felt in his short life. 

I will always and forever be  blubbering baby when I hear certain songs. So if you happen to be sitting next to me when they come on, please pray you have a tissue! 

A rush of memory


I’m not really sure where I am right now. I’ve had a strange rush of Facebook memories that have been reminding me of what trajectory my life was once headed. I see pictures of my daughter a year ago and remember how excited she was to give her baby brother hugs inside my womb. I remember Logan kicking my ribs and the constant craving for mint taste and the heartburn I had. 

I long for that easier life. I remember just being ready to meet him and for our life to become a family of 4. 

Life has changed so much in this past year. In ways I never thought before. 

I have heard so many times “you are so brave.” Or “so strong.”

But this wasn’t a challenge I had chosen. I’m not actually any of these things. I’m just trying to get through each day. I don’t want to be a grief role model. I don’t want to. I wanted the normal before grief and a constant ache from the empty feeling in my arms. 

As his birthday is getting closer I feel his name get mentioned less than before. I think it gets easier for him to be the elephant in the room maybe thought about, but not mentioned. I was so desperate to hear his name one day when I ordered my coffee I gave my name as Logan, just to hear someone call it out loud. 

I will never be able to yell his name as he takes forever getting ready or to keep him from running into the street. I won’t have that exasperated name I yell as I’ve told him for the 10th time to pick up his room. It’s a small thing, but it felt so good to hear out loud. I have so many future memories without him, I am still struggling with how to incorporate him into them without him here.