Wednesday, December 7, 2016

There is Purpose in your Name

Ryleigh:

I felt you so close to my heart today and not in a go crawl into a corner and cry way (even though I did cry missing you today, but I only cried a short amount which is really big for me). But today I felt close to you in the way where I am finding some purpose that I can do in your name. I want to help other mother's like me and I want to pray for babies like you (even though you are my one of a kind sweet angel). I want to bring hope in a hopeless situation or I want to help spread the peace God brings to mother's like me who miss precious angel's like you.

I have a friend who had the "terrible" no good appointment of being told her fluid was gone. That her little girl, Claire, had 5-10% chance of living. It brings me back to hearing that you had a 2% chance of living. My mind selfishly went to you. Then I dropped my head and prayed for the family and for peace and healing. God still surrounds me with His peace, and I hope to share His peace with others.

Ryles, I'll never know what your laughter sounded like. I'll never get a text from a teacher telling me that you cried about missing me. I'll never get to see you sit in Santa's lap physically. I'll miss so many things like that. But you are a part of every. single. thing. I. do. You are a part of me that will never die. My soul will even carry your memory into Heaven one day. And until then, I am going to keep searching for purpose, for acts of love to do in your honor and to show Christ's love that's been poured out for us this year. Mommy is starting her hormones again tonight. I should be a nut job for a couple of weeks. Holidays without you and hormones shall be an "interesting cocktail" of emotions. But I am thankful to remember your life. I am thankful for the medicines that will help to one day get pregnant with your brother and sister, but I would give anything to change our journey.

I often see parents rightfully being sad that their children are growing so fast. (I know I would have done the same thing if you were born). But for the record, I would have given anything for you to hit a week, a month, a year. But I don't judge them for what they say, because I am not on their journey, just as they are not on mine. If I have learned anything it is that we are all on our own journey in life. We all face disappointments from time to time, we all face loss, regret, and all of the other bad things. But one thing all of us humans have in common is that we are God's children. We are loved and we have purpose (even if we are still in our "searching years". Your life had purpose baby girl and I hope that the name Ryleigh will provide a sense of peace or love to someone. I hope women like me may see that I've been on their journey and that can understand that someone half way understands them. I hope you always know that I strive to make you proud.

Today, during rainy day recess I let my students watch "Family Circus Christmas" a cartoon I adored as a child. I quietly teared up wishing I could share a piece of my childhood with you the way I do my students. But then I realize once again, you know all of me. You are created of me. You are in a place where Jesus can show you my heart. I'm glad you'll never suffer the pain so many have to, but I'll always wish I could have changed things for you. I love you to Heaven and back. -Mommy

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Short Ramblings

I had another decent day. Two in a row with only one cry that lasted under a minute. That's so good for me. It's weird to explain that I emotionally hurt deep down every day, but I can suppress it better some days than others. My hormone tomorrow should change this emotionally positive mood tomorrow and for the next two weeks I will likely cry my emotions that I feel I have no control over out. I tell myself every month, I will not let the medicine alter my emotions. I will be strong. I will lean on God... and while I do still lean on God, my emotions win when progesterone plays a roll. But I love the medicine. I love getting smileys saying that my body is capable of another child, a sibling for our girl. It is so worth every tear. Our children are so worth every sacrifice we make and I hope I do a great job of showing them one day.

I am tired, so I am turning in rather early. <3 Love you much. --Ryle's mom

I love you sweet girl.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Open Wounds Turn to Scars

I had a good emotional day, which means it was a busy day. As always I pray to God and I talk to my daughter on the way to work, but today wasn't a crying day. Today was a forcing myself to listen to a talk show the whole way to work type of day. An escape from reality if you will... but those days sting a little because I carry some guilt because I know that with time this hurt will fade. I recognize it even now as the tears come less often. I remember the fresh wounds of my grandparents death and how over time the wound was not so fresh. I recall how one day I woke up and realized I had accepted their death and while it hurts still to miss them, the type of hurt changed. It's like a cut, when it's new it hurts so bad for someone to bump it... but then a scar forms. You never forget the pain that came with the scar, but it stings less. The scar stands as a reminder of a deep hurt, that doesn't hurt so much anymore. I fear the day Ryleigh becomes a scar on my heart. For some reason I fear the emotionally healing that I already feel, because I am so scared it will make her less a part of who I am. But I reason with myself, she will always be who I am. I will never love her any less. I will always miss her, even if I don't cry every day.

I realize it is hard for anyone to truly grasp our loss, because it is our baby. I see her pictures that I have in the empty nursery all the time. (Yes, I occasionally do walk in, more than likely to get the Roomba un-stuck or to hear her heart beat elephant, and yes I have photos up from when she was still with us). But I choose not to share because I don't want people to feel hurt for us when they see her pictures. I don't want the pictures to represent our loss, I want them to represent life. & they do. I swear there is so much love in one picture that I framed that it's become a favorite. I don't cry at it any longer. I smile most times. I am so thankful for memories.

I have a lock box of her things. After she passed, I often sat in front of it for a long time sifting through the items that were hers. Her footprints, photos, cards people sent, scriptures written while I was giving birth. Then the last thing I would do before putting the box away was sniff the hat she wore. It smells like the pink bottle of Johnson baby lotion and a mixture that is her sweet baby scent. I fear one day I will smell that hat and the scent will be gone, actually I know it will. Because just like the wound that heals into a scar --the scent will fade too. Life will move on. That is the hardest thing I face--is knowing that life will go on, and it will do so without our kid by my side. That is a hard pill to swallow. But one I must learn to swallow, because I recently made a choice that I don't want to live life miserable and bitter. I want to be a great person. I want to represent Jesus in a real way. I want to give to the poor, help the lonely, be an aid to women who face loss like me, I want to live a great life that impacts the world. I don't want to be miserable. I want to be a mother who makes her daughter and God proud.

I so enjoy church now. I feel closer to God at church and while I draw closer to the Lord, I feel closer to our daughter. & I am learning acceptance of God's will. I view Bible stories differently. I think of Noah. I often think of the fisher-price version of here is a man in a boat with some animals and there's a rainbow at the end... but can you imagine what he really went through? The mourning over the loss of his friends? The anxiety as waters arose around him and he didn't see land? Then I think of Sarah in the Bible who spent years wanting a child, I have never stopped to think about how often she cried and worried... but what I like about all of those stories is the fact that they have a good ending. Now, Ryleigh's death was not a good ending... but actually her death was not an ending... it was a beginning of eternal life. As Christians, we never have a true ending. We have eternity of happiness. That is where I find my strength. That is why I can write this blog without blubbering like a fool. (Now grant it I am not on my hormones this week, so this can change, give it a couple of days).

I am longing for the spring. I look forward to it. Spring means life and hopefully I'll be finding out that there is more life inside of me to add to our family then. I won't have time for super sappy blogs when John or Allyson come, and I look forward to giving up the old me and giving our kiddos 110% of who I am to ensure their happiness. Until then, I'll try to appreciate where I am now in life. I pray that if you read this, you realize I am really doing what I consider well. I also hope you know it is my outlet and not used to reach out for pity. It's just me writing about life.

Oh, and don't be afraid that you complaining about a bad day will hurt my feelings. I have bad days too that don't have anything to do with our loss. It's called being human--you are allowed to say you spilled your coffee and it was a bad day. No need for apologies.

Lots of love and hugs... ~Ryleigh's Mom~ P.S. my love for you never changes.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

The Pain Jesus Knew He Would Endure, but He Did All Things in Love

We watched a movie about aliens tonight, yet somehow it still made me think of Ryleigh. At one point the woman in the movie got to see her whole life ahead of time, she saw the magical good times she would face in her life... and she saw the painful gut-wrenching moments. She saw her daughter dying of a rare disease. She saw her husband leaving... and despite knowing the pain that was in her future she did not choose to alter her future. She chose to live her life and embrace every good moment, even knowing the future would bring pain.

If I ever had the opportunity to choose meeting Ryleigh despite knowing I couldn't alter her destiny, I would choose meeting Ryleigh every. single. time. Even if I had to experience the greatest pain of my life, because I had those moments of greatness. I had those nights of her touching me from the inside of my stomach, those moments I held her, the seconds of her looking in our eyes. The love that entered my heart the day I became a mother will never be able to be described in words.

And then I think, I bet Jesus knew what he was to endure. He knew his friends would deny him, He knew that he would suffer undeniable pain in the name of love... and He went through it all anyways. There is no deeper love than that. I understand the sacrifice he made for us better now.

I'll never be able to describe how much of me is missing and how much of me died with her that day. And how the tears don't stop over night. And how I miss who I was, but would not change a thing at the same time.

God is the only one himself that knows the grief I still endure, and how I want the grief to go away. But how I don't want it to at the same time, because my pain shows she existed.

I miss you Ryleigh with every single ounce of me. I love you.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

I want you to know how I really feel

I am thankful for the Mac Book my husband got me for Christmas. I am desperate to let emotions go. I am desperate to yell my intimate thoughts on paper... or a computer.. whatever. In our generation it is all basically the same anyways.

I often have emotional mornings. I'll never let anyone know at work, but you see I drive to work. 55 minutes one way. That is a lot of time to think... unless I focus in on the Kid Kraddick morning radio show. But mornings like this morning my mind escapes to my child. A relationship I am struggling to establish how to work out in my mind. I knew her less than 2 hours in person, but I mourn her like someone I had known my whole life. But I reason with that in this manner: She was created 1/2 of me, she was formed and grew in me, so she was and is very much a part of me my whole life. She is indeed a piece of me. So I tell myself as a mother I am allowed to still feel her absence, because when she died I lost a huge part of me... of who I always dreamed of being. My mind on my drive often drifts to my daughter. The sweet tiny baby with my cheeks and a replica of her father's face. I go back to my darkest days. The days I couldn't look at myself in the mirror after she was born because she had my cheeks and I couldn't bear to look at myself anymore because it made me long for the child I held so temporarily. My mind also slips to the night I came home from the hospital when the strong drugs began to wear off and I finally felt the deep gravity of the child I loved so dearly for 26 weeks passing on my chest. Make it no mistake, I am thankful I brought sweet girl into the world and I am thankful if she had to pass on I was holding her. But no body in the world (even those who have been through similar situations) knows what it was like for me to look into our precious God given creation's eyes and then have to face a nurse nodding her head yes that she had passed. All the while trying to remain as strong as possible because I refused for few moments I had with us to be turmoil. I took in her life and the beauty that it was. I prayed for her, sang to her, I loved her with everything in me, and I tried my hardest for her to see my smile despite the tears that ceased flowing. I held my deepest sorrow for when I sat in the recliner days later. I never want to feel that pain again. It's the type of pain the cripples you, that makes you wish you could close your eyes, and just temporarily disappear. Make it clear I never wanted to die and I don't wish to die now, but at that moment I needed an escape from reality. I wished so bad that Neverland was a place. I wished for a magical place that I didn't feel the pain I felt. Then the next day getting texts from my husband of her casket--our kid's casket. Would this be ok he so nervously texted. I was supposed to pick out her outfits every day, not her casket. I am still thankful he picked it out. I am thankful he planned it. I couldn't have. But I am thankful I did write her obituary, my gift of words to her. It's all I had to give her.

The days following the funeral all feel like such an emotional blur of both physical and mental anguish and pain. A blur of healing from a surgery and trying to figure out how to function. I cried. A lot. I beat myself up for not kissing her lips, my greatest regret. But she was so very fragile and seemed comfortable in my arms on my chest. I am thankful I kissed her sweet cheeks, but fresh out of surgery I couldn't bend much and didn't want to harm her. So I just held her and kissed her cheeks. I never once thought "Kiss Ryleigh on the lips while she is here". I just stared into her eyes and kissed her cheeks, sang to her, prayed for her, did the best job I could. But days after she was buried, I mourned not kissing her lips. And I am sure if I would have, I would have another "I wish I would have" done thing. But I have learned to mentally cope because I will kiss those sweet lips one day in heaven. (Please don't judge me, I am so scared someone would think, "Who wouldn't think to kiss her child? I promise I showered her with kisses on her cheeks, but mentally I wasn't stable at the time). Another fear days after the funeral I had was panic attacks over ants getting her. Morbid, I know, but it caused me to have a major meltdown before being explained that the type of casing she was in prevented such. I hated those days. I still hate the memory of those days, but here I am writing them. But I hope writing them will help me heal from my dark days. I never want to lose the memory of her, but I desperately want to be in a place where only the good and happy memories surface.

I want to state I really am doing better, sometimes I think I am having a really bad day, but then I recall I had a lot of worse days.

And I want you to know that when you ask me how I really am doing I'll always say "I'm ok" because I can't talk to people publicly about it. At least not out loud. I can't. It's too much for me to share the deep emotions I still feel. Actually I have learned I like for people to just treat me like Christina, the old version of me. But I do like to hear her name so please don't ever be nervous about speaking of her to me.

I am a new version of me. There is an underlying missing piece of me and I miss the old me, which sound very selfish. But when I say I used to be genuinely happy I was. Now I have moments of genuine happiness tainted with moments of sadness. It's confusing to go from being the 100% happy person to the girl who fights daily to have an emotionally stable happy day. But my goodness I do love my happy moments now. I cherish the times I am laughing with a co-worker, a student, a friend, or a family member. And y'all, my class, my Lord knows my love for them. They keep me busy and I prayed for the perfect class for me this year. God gave me a busy one with a lot of energy this year. And I love it. I don't stop and when I don't stop, I don't have time to wallow in self pity. I am just me again, a teacher who loves her class.

And I am making so many close friends here lately. My friendships that existed have grown stronger, like the bond that we now hold is deeper. Because I saw which friends were really there for us. And I am making so many new friendships... lol and the majority of them are all pregnant. I won't lie I was once nervous about how I would function mentally around pregnant women in the future. I didn't want to become some jealous ole hag... and I am not! That's one thing I can honestly say. If anything, I am thrilled for them because I know the feeling of excitement knowing that there is another precious miracle to love. I think God made a lot of my new friends pregnant for a reason, I think he wants me to still praise Him for life. So I do, and I pray for my pregnant friends all of the time. I can't wait until I am the pregnant one again. (We get to start praying for one in two months, and you best believe the count down is on. And I will be a mom of two before you know it. (One always above).

I can not help but tell you guys I am made to be a mother. I know in my deepest heart that I will be a great one. I consider myself a good one even now. I bear the scar to show that I am a good mom. I will make mistakes just as all parents do, but I will have patience and a love for our children. I will take them on grand adventures, I will read to them, I will bathe them every night in their pajamas, and I promise you they'll be tucked in knowing they are loved. I will rock the raising a kid thing one day and I can't wait to watch our baby or babies grow.

If you read this long, Thank you. I pray you treat me just like you would every day tomorrow or whenever I go public with my post, please act like you didn't read it at all lol. Just so I can feel normal. I hate being pitied (and I know you think I just shouldn't talk about it to avoid being pitied, but I can't stay quiet.) I just want someone to understand me because holding everything in and always pretending to be strong is hard and I need an outlet.. and I swear I don't want your pity. I just want someone to understand how I am ok and I am not ok all at the same time. That sometimes I never know when an emotion will hit. And I want someone to know that somehow I survived the best and worst day of my life and the days that followed.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

The Holidays are here

I've seen Christmas trees long before Halloween and I've avoided it like the plague...maybe because I am more of a wait until you eat turkey first girl. But this year... I'm struggling with it all. I'm thankful for the break, trust me, but I can't help but feel sad. The holidays are about family and I can't deny the sense of sadness I feel knowing that this was supposed to be the year my husband and I got to partake in the "Christmas with a child" activities. As always, I feel I was robbed of this. I even came home and cried after the school dance, which I enjoyed at the time. But when I got home mentally I thought about the fathers dancing with their beautiful daughters and I felt sorry for Travis. He got robbed too of moments like that. But I know there is reason why God took her and that He is a God of good. But to say I won't have an emotional Christmas is a lie. I miss you Angel. I wish you were going to see Santa. I love you always, Mommy

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

July was my October

We should be in the single digits. 9 days until her due date. I should be nesting or resting or doing whatever moms do before birthing their first born. But I'm not because October, which was supposed to be our month to meet, came too soon. July was my Ocotber and while I never question God's whys I do ache for the what might have beens. I'm home sick today, woke up with a headache that felt like I got hit by a Mac truck and a bad cough and my chest hurts. Hoping my over the counter meds that are more expensive than even going to the doctor work. I always feel like the worse teacher when I take off, usually I try to push through, but here lately I just don't feel like my body is up to being pushed to the limit. Sometimes in my mind everything that happened is like a blue that never occurred, like my mind tries to block the loss, but can't. I have no choice but to try to be cheerful and to try to be me, but it's odd because I am not me that I once was at all. I am now Christina, the girl who lost her baby. It's my own fault that I'm known for it, I talk about her all the time. I guess that's the mom in me always wanting to share about her kids too much, but I'm the girl when I speak of my child who gets sympathetic looks. Then I feel guilty for even mentioning it. I don't want attention or sympathy off of my child, but I also can't shut up about it. She became a huge part of who I am, and subconsciously I guess I share for that reason. I never told her birth story, and probably won't share much, but I will share that within a few minutes of her coming out of the womb we learned she would die. It was no surprise, we knew what we were facing. After the NICU team giving a viliant effort our child was placed on my chest where she opened her eyes and looked at me. She wrapped her hands around mine and Trav's hands and I prayed over her loudly giving thanks To God for our creation. I told her how much I loved her and how much we prayed for her and I told her I was so sorry my body had failed her. I said everything I needed to say, and kept it together. I wanted to be brave so she didn't sense our sadness, but I cried, who wouldn't. We don't know the exact time she passed even though they officially announced it a few hours later. She drifted to meet the Lord on my chest. I remember it really hit me coming home from the hospital. The lady pushing my wheel chair said, "Didn't you just have a baby? Where is your baby?" I dropped my head and shared that she was with God. That was the first time I got a sympathetic look from a stranger about my child. I felt terrible for the girl. I still feel terrible when I share my loss to someone, like I just kind of blurt it out, then feel terrible. Getting back on track, the night we came home we slept in the living room. I had to sleep in the recliner due to pain from the csection. We watched Netflix, "Walt before Mickey". I can remember not being able to sleep despite the ambien I was given, and Trav falling asleep. It was in that moment that I felt the tremendous loss. I cried out in anger and recall Trav waking up to comfort me. I woke up several times that night having panick attacks and screaming out in pure turmoil. She was everything I ever wanted from the moment I was a child and she was gone. The next days were even harder, getting texts from Travis who bravely planned her service, I remember when the casket was shared with me nearly losing it. I mean hoenstly I should have been sending him pics of the overly priced high chair I wanted, but here I was getting a little white casket in my messages. It was by far the most challenging week of my life. Fast forwarding to now, I'm mentally stronger every day. But I am anxious, I am anxious as to when we can try again, I am anxious about how my body will hold up after a classical (not typical) csection, I am anxious to lose another one of God's creations in me. I smile all of the time and it's genuine. My class this year will never know how much they are loved by me and how much they are getting me through. I am very capable of real smiles and times that I even feel like the old me. But on days like today, where I stayed home sick (and I legitimately have a cold or bug Bc it's going around my classroom), all I have time to do is think. And I miss our child. I miss Ryleigh. I know I couldn't control a complication at conception, but I do hold the guilt and regret. I pray God gives me a shot to be an earthly mom and give her siblings, but to say I am terrified of the journey would be pure honesty. I trust in God's plans, but know His plan is not always ours. But fear is not trust, so I am trying hard to overcome that.