I wish there was a way to take all my memories from my head and put them on tape somehow. I feel like I’m forgetting memories of Gemma. They’re already fading. I don’t want that. I need to remember everything about her. Every moment we shared, but I can’t, which breaks my heart. I feel like a bad mom because of it, or that I must not miss her or love her because I cannot remember every detail about her short life. I just want it to stop. I wanna go back and ensure this never happens. I want my baby back! This isn’t fair! I’ve waited so long to have her, I’ve done everything in my power to be the best mom I can, I made sure to keep her healthy, but she still died! How is that okay?? There are so many people that are terrible people and parents who have children, but I can’t? Why? I’m a good hearted person. I would give up my life for my Gemma. What more could I have done? Maybe I went back to work too early? I should have been there. Now I don’t even feel like a mom anymore. How will I remember to be a mom when I have more babies? What if I can’t have anymore children? Was Gemma it? I just want my beautiful, sweet, happy, smiley, talkative baby back. Please…
This was our first picture together. I was so sad thinking we didn’t get this moment photographed, but daddy got it, which I appreciate it more than ever now. I still remember that day perfectly. Most importantly, I remember this moment the best. Holding you for the first time, feeling how warm and squishy you were. What I wouldn’t give to relive that moment. I loved you immediately.
Now you’re gone, but my love remains. You are in my thoughts everyday. Some days, like today, are harder than others, but I know I will hold you again one day. You, my little girl, are my heart. Mommy can’t wait to be with you again. Until then, you are in my heart always. I love you my precious Gem.
Today has been a very hard day. On my way to Patrick’s from work I couldn’t keep it in any longer and lost it. I way driving on the highway and crying so hard I could barely see. I miss her. Today I’m more upset that I was given such a beautiful little girl for her to be taken from me in just 2 short months. Why was I given Gemma for her to be here a short while. I don’t feel that I am strong enough to handle the pain of losing my daughter. I get through the days because I’m an empty shell. I’ve lived with depression since I was a teenager. I know how to fake it.
When I was driving home, I needed to hear her. I needed her. I had my phone connected to my car and had her videos playing through the car speakers. I wish I had gotten more videos of her talking, of her smiles, but it would never be enough. It still doesn’t seem real that she is gone. I still feel as if she will be back. I’m so upset with myself for having this beautiful baby because I didn’t get to keep her. I’m upset because I gave my everything to her, my entire heart and she’s gone. What was the point of loving her with everything I had she she would be gone in 2 short months? What was the point of making sure I could provide for her, give her everything she could ever need? I’m mad that I was given the most perfect baby girl for her to be taken from me.
I’m terrified to have anymore children. I wanted a few kids, but now I’m scared to lose them like I lost Gemma. I know if I lost another baby, I would throw in the towel because it’s a sign I’m not supposed to have children then. With that, I’m scared to love another baby with all my heart and I lose that one too. Makes me worried I won’t form a bond with my next baby; detach myself so I won’t get hurt again. But then what’s the point of having another child if I won’t give it everything I have just like I gave everything to Gemma. I know it’s too early to be thinking about another baby, but I miss my Gemma so much.
What I wouldn’t do or give to have her back. See that beautiful smile, hear her coos, snuggle her, clean and dress her in pretty clothes, nurse her, even smell her. Nothing has her scent on it anymore. I hope when I get her little lamb back, it smells like her. She used to drool on it, as gross as that is, I hope it carries her scent.
Gemma, mommy loves you more than herself. More than you will ever know. Mommy will see you again one day. I cannot wait.
I know I was little, I know I was small.
But God held out His hand, and I heard Him call.
I followed His voice, I felt His embrace.
As He lifted my soul with care and grace.
He carried me to heaven, He showed me the way.
The great gates opened up; now Heavens where I play.
Please don’t be sad and all full of sorrow,
Just think of my smile as the sunshine of tomorrow.
For now I am an angel, I even have wings,
And now I get to do a great many things.
I look upon you from Heaven, what a beautiful sight,
And listen to your prays as you lay down at night.
Although my life was brief,
And you wanted more time,
You filled my life with happiness,
And forever that will be mine.
I went back to work for the first time since Gemma’s death. On top of not wanting to leave Patrick and not getting the comfort of sleeping by him, I’m sick. First day back and I’m sick. It was hard at times, I tried to stay busy for the most part. I work at a factory operating a wax press, so I just kept putting out molds. Kept my mind busy. It’s been 3 whole weeks since I lost my baby. The love of my life. The reason for my existence.
I was welcomed back by a few friends of mine and had learned last night that one of my friends I work with had also lost his grandson to SIDS. His grandson was about the same age as Gemma. When he was telling me the story I started tearing up. I didn’t want to cry at work. I was trying to be strong. He had said his grandson had just stopped breathing in his sleep and they couldn’t get him to wake up. He had also said the parents ended up breaking up. I hope Patrick and I can continue to stay strong and be there for each other. He’s really been my rock, support and angel. Gemma gave me her daddy.
My friend had also told me the parents had gotten a alarm for their next baby to alert them when the baby stopped breathing. I want to get something where I’m alerted when the baby’s heartbeat stops. He told me sometimes the alarm would go off for no reason or the baby would take a second to breath and it would alert the alarm. He said the parents were constantly anxious and would watch the baby sleep. They ended up sending the alarm thing back. He said his grandma told them if the lord wants that baby, no alarm will stop the lord from taking that baby. I didn’t like hearing that. Made me upset. The lord TOOK that baby. I’m sure they wanted their baby just as I wanted my baby.
The only thing keeping me going some days is that I know I will be able to hold her again one day. I want to be able to hold her now. When I first lost her, I seriously debated on taking my own life so I could be with her. She needs her momma. I need her. I wanted to be with her so bad. I still do, but I know I have to keep going for her. I need to be strong for her daddy. He needs me. He can’t lose me and his baby girl all at once.
All in all, work was bearable. I was sad near the end of the day and wanted to throw in the towel and go home, but I forced myself to stay. It was nice to see the few friends I made there, but being at home with Patrick would have been nicer. I had my baby’s mittens to keep me grounded and the locket with her name, birth and death dates that I had gotten from Patrick’s dear friend. Those few things kept me sane, along with my mom texting me to make sure I was okay.
We had finally done the thing we have been dreading. We picked up Gemma’s remains from the funeral home. We had decided to get her cremated. I didn’t want to put her in the ground because Patrick and I are in the process of looking/buying a house. I didn’t want to then find a house so far away from her burial site and I want her with me always even if she can’t be with me alive. Her urn is beautiful. I will have to post a pic in here later. She is currently at my mom’s house because I don’t want her to be alone. There’s always someone there.
Along with her remains we had gotten her book back that I read to her before we said our last goodbyes at the funeral home. We she was with us, I had read that book to her twice. The first time her dad was there with me at my apartment and she was nothing but smiles. She was so happy I read the book to her and I wished her daddy would have recorded her on video, but he didn’t only because I had finished feeding her and I wasn’t dressed appropriately. But her smiles while reading to her, I will treasure forever. I wanted to cremate her with the book, but her dad had suggested we didn’t and we can one day share the same book with our future kids.
I still have so much pain even thinking about having more kids. I miss having my baby and dedicating my day and my life to her, but I cannot have another baby right now. I just want my Gemma and that baby will be its own person, they will not be Gemma. What I wouldn’t do to be able to hold her again. Nurse her, snuggle her, take a shower with her or rock her to sleep. I wish I could kiss her and get her to say “Aahh” with me. She used to say Aahh when I kissed her on the lips. Her Nana had did that one time and she continued to say Aahh every time Nana kissed her on the lips. It was the cutest thing; Gemma kept doing even with her momma and daddy. It’s also hard for me to shower. I feel sad because I was so used to taking a shower with my baby. She screamed if I put her in the baby tub and I hated that. Patrick’s friend had said he used to just take them in the shower with him when his kids were babies and they liked it much better. I tried it then and Gemma loved it. She had gotten to cuddle with me and I got to get that baby nice and clean. Every time I showered, so did Gemma. Every other day. Now when I shower I feel alone. I miss having that slippery baby with me and talking to her as we both got clean.
I want to get a urn necklace so I can have my Gemma with me everywhere I go. I’ve been looking, but the ones I really like are cheap which I assume the metal is cheap, and the ones I don’t like have the metal quality I do like which are more pricey. Along with that, Patrick and I have to find another small urn for the purposes if we would happen to split up. I would never want to keep Gemma from him, but of course I want to be with my baby too, and he said he would never want to keep her from me. Any other couples deal with something like this. How did you work this out? Why do I even have to think about that? Patrick and I are stronger than ever, but you never know. Even in 20 years, it could happen.
Gemma February 13th, 2018 & January 17th, 2018
I wasn’t able to compose myself the last few days to write anything. I’ve been feeling broken, empty and void of any life or love. I miss my baby. I’ve had a few people tell me she’s blessed to not be able to experience any pain, heartbreak or loss in her life. She is in a place where there is no pain, heartbreak or loss. But she will also never get to experience love, joy or happiness. She will never get married, have children and have her own life achievements. I never got to experience any holidays with her. Easter is coming up and she didn’t get a chance to wear her beautiful Easter dress, she didn’t get to celebrate Christmas or her first birthday. To me, she is not in a better place. She was safe, healthy and happy here with her mommy and daddy.
There are days where I’m not even sure I had a baby. Was she real? Or did I actually lose her? It doesn’t feel real. Then I look at pictures and feel love, happiness and pain. Sometimes I cannot even look at her pictures because it’s too painful. There are other times where I just want to watch her videos, look at her beautiful smiling face and cry. Why get out of bed? Why can’t I just stay in bed and mourn my baby, or look at videos and pictures? I want to cuddle her like I had got to the night before she passed away. That’s a memory I hold dear.
We had gotten home and I needed to take a nap before work since I work 3rd shift. She needed to eat too and I hated wasting my pumped milk when I was with her, so her dad had told me to just lay on my side and have my shirt off so I could feed her while I slept. I was so nervous I would roll on her or my breast would cover her nose when I fell asleep. He assured me he would watch her as she ate and I slept. He did. Once she was done eating and fell asleep next to me, he left her there to cuddle with me. I treasure that memory. That was the last time I saw her alive. I’m so thankful I had gotten that with her and I’m so thankful her dad watched over her to ensure she would be okay. She had then passed away in the early morning while I was at work that night.
So for me to hear that she’s “in a better place” in hard for me. That night with me was pure bliss. So much love was shared between the three of us. She had brought me and her dad closer together and now with her death, we are even stronger. I’m thankful to have Patrick in my life. I wish we would have been a family, but Gemma had actually brought us closer together and her death made us so strong. When I break down, he’s there for me. When he breaks down, I’m there for him. I know the death of a child often breaks couples or marriages apart, but we have made it work. I do hope it continues.
I miss you Gemma. I hope you are looking down at your mommy and daddy and see how much we love and miss you. We will see you again one day. Mommy will hold you in my arms again one day my precious Gem.
Patrick and I had gone to a group therapy tonight. We were the only people that showed up except the person running the group. Not exactly what we had in mind, but we still had a wonderful talk with the lady running it. We had told her what had happened with our Gemma and that its been 2 weeks now. 2 weeks. I haven’t heard my baby cry or coo for 2 weeks. I haven’t nursed and haven’t seen her beautiful smile for 2 weeks. 2 weeks ago I lost my true love. My precious Gem.
We had talked to the lady about our fears of losing another child. I cannot speak for Patrick, but I know I am terrified to have another baby, raise it with all the love I had also given Gemma, and then that baby dies too. Whether it be SIDS, an illness, or an accident. My heart cannot take losing another baby. I would feel that someone or something is telling me I’m not meant to be a mom. Not only am I afraid to lose another child, but I am also afraid that I may feel detached to my next baby. Detached because that baby is not my Gemma and because why love it with everything I have when that baby can also be taken from me in a blink of an eye.
Gemma was just starting to come into her own personality. She would mimic my coos, she had ticklish spots even though she wasn’t sure what that strange sensation was yet, but she did squirm. Her little toes would completely spread open when you touched her feet and Nana always said she could climb trees with those toes. She enjoyed being read to, for the most part, and liked being sung to. I miss that baby with my entire being. Every fiber in my body aches for my Gemma. It’s a rough night and talking about her is too much tonight. What I wouldn’t give to have my baby back.
You’ve just walked on ahead of me,
And I’ve got to understand,
You must release the ones you love,
And let go of their hand.
I try and cope the best I can,
But I’m missing you so much,
If I could only see you,
And once more feel your touch.
Yes, you’ve just walked on ahead of me,
Don’t worry I’ll be fine,
But now and then I swear I feel,
Your hand slip into mine.
I’m part of a few breastfeeding support groups on Facebook along with extended breastfeeding support groups. There are so many things I loved to do with Gemma. I could go on and on all day long, but one in particular was breastfeeding. I loved it. That is one of the things I miss the most. It’s similar to when Mommies get that “achy womb.” I suppose I long to breastfeed and have the “achy boobs” (And I mean that literally too because it is quite an adjustment to suddenly stop pumping and feeding). I miss breastfeeding my baby in particular, not just any baby would do. That bond shared between a mommy and her baby breastfeeding is unlike any other. I’m not shaming bottle fed babies, as Gemma’s Daddy bottle fed her when I slept or was at work, and I’m not shaming formula fed babies. As long as that baby is happy and healthy, food is food.
People posts in these groups and it’s not always about breastfeeding. Today in particular a lady had posted about putting her baby on his tummy to sleep. That was a trigger for me and I felt that I needed to help that mommy and her baby. I know back then every baby was on their tummy and some babies only sleep on their tummies, ect, ect, ect. But my baby had in fact died because she was on her tummy. She did not turn her head to the side when she could not breath and smothered herself.
Everyday I beat myself up for allowing her to sleep on her tummy as does her Daddy. We go over it again, and again in our heads, why didn’t she move her head!? WHY!!?? She did pick her head up all the time, hold it up high for long periods of time. She did move her head from side to side when she was on her tummy. She had before slept on her tummy and was alright. I had put her on her tummy along with her dad. It was good for her gas problems and she seemed to like sleep on her tummy. If I could go back, I would never EVER put her on her tummy until she was able to roll from tummy to back and back to tummy. I feel like a bad mom. I feel like I had a hand at losing our daughter’s life. I made it OK for her to sleep on her tummy. Never will I make that mistake again. It had cost me and her Daddy dearly. I don’t think I’ll ever get over this. Because of this guilt, when I saw that post about the baby on his tummy, I had to chime in. I had to save this baby.
I had told the mommy what had happened with my Gemma and that I too in fact thought she would be OK on her tummy, but I was wrong and now she is no longer here. Other babies might have been OK on their tummy and other babies might only be able to sleep on their tummies, but is it worth the risk of your baby’s life? No. She had later posted that she had watched her son sleep and he was unable to move his head in his sleep once his nose was flat with the bed. She said he will continue sleeping on his back. I had also shared this information with Patrick and he too was concerned and made sure I warned her and told her about Gemma. Once she had posted about keeping her baby on his back, Patrick and I were both relieved. We felt that we had a part in saving this baby’s life, even just a little one. I don’t want any parents to go through what Patrick and I are going through, ever. We will continue to push “Back to Sleep.”
Gemma & Daddy February 3rd, 2018 & Gemma’s Memorial Card