Group.

Group.

Patrick and I had finally went to a group support that had people there. The first one we went to was in Fond du Lac. The person running the group had not lost a child, which I would never wish upon anyone, but it would have been nice to talk to someone who knew EXACTLY how we were feeling or what we were going through. Talking to these two ladies at this meeting tonight gave me comfort. I can’t speak for Patrick, but it helped me knowing I’m not alone.

First the two women shared their stories of losing there children. It’s hard for me to tell their stories because I fear I cannot do them justice, but neither woman had gotten to bring their children home. These two women continued to live their lives and have more children. One was nine years ago and the other was two I believe. They still ache and grieve for their children that never had gotten a fair chance, a shot at leaving the hospital, but they live on by talking about them, helping others, and continuing on living their life. We had also shared our story and told them our fears and concerns, which were the same or similar. When the first lady, we’ll call her A, had her child after losing her baby, she told us she was constantly ensuring her baby was breathing, that she only had gotten a few hours a sleep a night. She never got to bring her baby home, but the fear of losing her next child was still there. The other lady, B, was currently pregnant. She also has fears that her baby will be sick, that she will not be able to take this baby home either. She said she’s waiting for the bad news, for the other shoe to drop. A fear her and I both share is that we are afraid and unsure how to separate the next baby from the one we had lost. That it will take the place of the angel baby. We both know our angel babies can never be replaced, but that fear is still there. I’m worried I will try and pick up where I left off with Gemma, treat that baby like they’re her. Gemma was her own person. She will never be forgotten.

Family support also came up. A’s family was not very supportive. Some were but most just moved, don’t talk about her baby or get uncomfortable if they see a picture or hear his name. B’s family was more like mine, which I’m eternally thankful for. Our families talk about our girls, and do things in their memory. Keep in mind A lost her baby nine years ago and B lost hers two years ago.

I had told them something that had hurt me on Easter, which I never thought of doing myself or asking my mom to do it either. I was hurt that my mom had not thought about getting an Easter basket for Gemma. She had gotten one for the three other grandchildren, but not Gemma. I told myself that Gemma doesn’t need one, she’s in heaven, but it still hurt. I felt as if she was forgotten already. I know my mom didn’t mean any harm by it and just like me, I never thought to mention it to her or even do something for Gemma instead. Both women had mentioned that I could still do a basket for Easter or hang a stocking for Christmas. I wish I would have thought about doing that, but I didn’t. They said some women put letters to their child in the stocking, or items in remembrance of them. One of the ladies also had a first birthday party for her baby where the gifts would be donations to the NICU where her baby was and the other would take her other two children out and do something fun in remembrance of her baby. I’m unsure of what we may do because Gemma’s birthday is the day after Christmas and it is also my nephew’s birthday. I don’t want to take away from his birthday, but it’s also my baby’s birthday. I love my nephew, but my baby was my true love. He will have many days to celebrate with his mom and family, my baby only had gotten nine weeks and six days.

I also want to say I do not know either woman’s story, they merely shared a page from their book. I am also by no means judging either woman, their families or how they grieve. I admire both women with how they can continue to go on because most days I want to give up and be with my Gemma.  Group was comforting and I know I will continue to go.

 

 

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January 11th, 2018

 

Pain.

Pain.

It’s been over a month now that I had lost my baby. I’ve never felt more empty, alone, or dead inside than I do now. I’ve struggled with depression since I was a teenager. It was always up and down and had gotten pretty bad before I had Gemma. I finally decided to talk to my doctor a month before I was due to get a hold on it. I didn’t want to get postmortem when I should be taking care of my beautiful baby. My pregnancy was hard because I went through it alone for the most part. Patrick and I live 45 minutes apart, he worked part time, was tending his garden full time, and was in school full time. He wasn’t around much which was extremely difficult for me. I went to almost all my appointments alone and lived by myself. So it was just me and Gemma. I needed to be better for her, to be able to give her the care she deserved, so I did get better. I was on medication and Patrick and I were doing okay so I felt better.

Then Gemma was born. Patrick was around every day for the first week or so, the after that he was busy at home so it was just me and Gemma again. That was hard again. I had to take care of a newborn on my own. He wasn’t around for a couple weeks stopping over here and there. We fought a lot. I was stressed taking care of her alone and she wasn’t really on a schedule yet so I was so tired. I was also breastfeeding so even if he did come around that day to help out, I had to feed her. Still not much of a break. He did eventually come around and step up. It was so nice to have a partner in raising and taking care of Gemma. He would get up with her in the middle of the night change her if she needed it and hand her to me to feed. I did start pumping which was nice because then I got to sleep when he fed her. I miss those days so much, just being home with my baby, having my family whole.

I was only off 6 weeks, which now I’m so angry that’s all I got with her. I would just be going back to work now. Why is it that mothers get such a short time off with their baby? That’s wrong. Other countries get 6 months minimum paid to be off after having a child. If I was with her, maybe she would still be alive. I would have gotten more time with her. But what if I was the one to find her not alive? I could never imagine the pain, seeing her purple and not breathing, giving her CPR and trying to call 911 while trying everything in my power to save my daughter’s life. Patrick did that. That’s a burden I’m thankful I never have to carry, but he does.

I miss her so much. Nothing I do or people say make anything better. Crying in Patrick’s arms gives me comfort, but it doesn’t help. I have been having bad thoughts lately about wanting to be with her. I get so sad because she needs her mommy, she’s just a baby. My heart aches and breaks every time I think of her. She was my baby cakes. Being a mom was the greatest joy I could have ever imagined. She literally was my whole world. How can I go on without her? I want more children, but then I don’t. I can’t. I’m so hurt and broken I can’t foresee having more children. I just want my Gemma back.

Patrick and I are going to a group meeting in Appleton tomorrow night. It’s for people that have had miscarriages, stillbirths and lost a child under a year old. I’m nervous to go, but it will be nice having people around that can truly sympathize with what we’re going through. I will let you know how it goes.

I bought a couple books, but don’t like them. The first one is When a Child Dies, stories of survival and hope edited by Richard S. Hipps and When the Bough Breaks, forever after the death of a son or daughter by Judith R. Bernstein, Ph.D. I want to read some books that relate to my situation of losing a child to SIDS or losing an infant under a year old. I enjoy reading and reading books the help give hope to losing an infant may help me; bring me out of my depression a bit. If anyone has heard of any books, please recommend them.

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Easter.

Easter.

Easter was a hard day for Patrick and I. Of course we missed Gemma, but it was the first holiday without her. She also had never gotten a single holiday. I wished she could have gotten one. She was alive for New Years and that’s it. I feel as if New Years is a holiday for adults. We were invited to a few Easter celebrations, but I wasn’t up to be around families with children. I didn’t want to be around them because they were going to be having a great time, smiling, laughing and sharing beautiful moments together as they should. It hurt too much to know I would never get those moments with Gemma. I was robbed of all those small, precious moments.
Gemma’s New Year was memorable though. We were only home from the hospital a few days at that point. Patrick was going to change her diaper and she used to get so upset she would scream. When she would scream she would also tense up and poop. So dad was changing her, she was screaming and she shot poop at him. Literally it fired like a cannon. Patrick stood up so fast, Gemma was screaming and I had to help. There we were, mom was holding Gemma’s legs, dad was wiping her and Gemma was crying. I believe she had also spit up on Patrick as well. He was covered in spit up and poop, but we were so happy to be home with our beautiful baby girl. I’m so happy I have these memories and small moments. I wish we could have made more and continued to grow.
That’s what bothers me the most. Everything was perfect. Patrick and I were better than ever, we had beautiful Gemma, we had a routine with who had Gemma when one of us was working, and we were looking for a house so the three of us could be under the same roof finally. I miss those days. What I wouldn’t give to replay the that time we had with her, over and over again. What I wouldn’t do or give to have her back. Why was I given the most precious baby to have her taken from me in such a short period.
My sister had her baby a couple weeks before I had Gemma, so Erza, my sister’s baby girl, and Gemma were close in age. Everyone has been keeping Erza from me because they’re worried seeing her will be too painful. My sister also feels guilty that she still has her baby when I lost mine. I don’t want anyone to feel that way. I want people to cherish the time they have with their children whether they’re newborn or 40 years old. I encourage people to take more pictures, take videos, hug them a little longer, give them a kiss, tell them you love them because you never know when you will lose them. You never expect to lose a baby, but I did. Seeing Erza was just like seeing my niece because she’s not Gemma. They are so different which also made it easier. I just hope my sister won’t take her time with not only Erza for granted, but with her other daughter Elise. That time is so precious.

 

Erza Mae January 24th, 2018 & Gemma Nova February 15th, 2018 both babies are about 7 weeks old.

Anger.

Anger.

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…

Gemma, February 18th, 2018
To my precious Gem

To my precious Gem

Baby cakes,

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.

Love mommy.

December 26th, 2017
Another terrible day

Another terrible day

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 January 27th, 2018

Gemma, mommy loves you more than herself. More than you will ever know. Mommy will see you again one day. I cannot wait.

Voices From Heaven

Voices From Heaven

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.

 

Sandi Kaiser

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Gemma Nova Reiter-Guralski December 26th, 2018 – March 5th, 2018