About our blogger: Brittanie
Brittanie was married to Matt in June of 2005, and shortly thereafter became pregnant with their first child. Unfortunately Cora Rei was stillborn on May 2, 2006 (38w1d) due to a cord accident. Brittanie has since had two "rainbow babies" (so called because rainbows bring color back in to the world after a storm): Erin Rielle was born June 7, 2007 and Patrick Reese was born February 25, 2009. She is currently a stay-at-home mom, enjoying every moment she has, and trying to see every day as the miracle that it is.
Shortly after Cora died, I felt like everything I saw around me symbolized her. We were very very poor, and I could imagine myself up to my ears in pictures in figurines if I bought every one. So I made a promise to myself, that I would buy things when, and only when, something really and truly whispered to me. So, I have a few things. It just so happens I find more things around Christmas, and maybe that’s because it’s such a sentimental time. I had managed to get something for her every Christmas until last year. I just didn’t see anything that spoke to me. And I accepted that. If limiting myself from buying too many things is okay, I need to accept the opposite as well.
But when it was happening again this year, it did upset me. I have an ornament for everyone in our family already. I love walking through the Christmas stuff, and I love decorating, but it just made me so sad. Maybe because we’re yet another house further removed, and I’m just not feeling her here as much yet (we haven’t gotten her shelf up yet, I only located the shelf last night). I guess I needed that connection or something.
So I was just wandering at Target, when I saw this ornament. A single, ceramic white feather. It was almost electric, my fingers went tingly. One of my original baby loss mother friends (I can’t for the life of me remember who), mentioned that when she saw lone feathers floating around it made her think of her baby. It felt like her telling me she was still there, and I really needed that.
Yep, we’re moving. Quite unexpectedly. Matt got an amazing transfer offer, and it’s the kind of thing that would be a great opportunity and we had no real reason to stay where we are.
So right now, I’m in the process of getting the house ready to sell. Part of that is “de-personalizing.” Apparently it’s better not to have your personal family pictures up on the walls, so the prospective buyers can picture themselves there, rather than just seeing you.
So tonight I’m packing Cora’s shelf. I hate putting it away. The other pictures…well…I have the rest of my family HERE every day to look at, so that’s not really a big deal.
But it’s so sad to me. Her whole life fits into one small box.
There’s the added emotion of moving further away again. It’s not just time that separates us, it’ll be another few hundred miles as well, and it’s amazing how much that hurts.
It’s interesting how a picture can take you right back to the emotion of the moment it was taken in. I was looking at old pictures a while back, trying to find pictures of me and my youngest sister (long story). And I came across some pictures of me after Cora was born, but before I became pregnant with Erin, holding other people’s babies.
I’ve shared this one before
It was taken 5 days after my best friend had her baby that she had been pregnant with me with.
Later came the blessing of that same sweet baby.
And then the baby of another friend I had been pregnant with, just another month later. Read the rest of this entry »
Seven years ago today I held a perfect redheaded angel in my arms. For just a few moments the grief slipped away as I was surrounded by and in awe of her. I didn’t get to hold her in my arms for long, but separation will never change that she was, is and forever will be mine, because families are forever.
I love you sweet Cora Rei. Thank you for all the gifts you have given me, and the person your presence has helped me become. I hope you are celebrating your beautiful day will all the other angels in heaven who love you. Thank you for the friendship of their mothers. You have more impact than I could ever have imagined.
We went out for her birthday dinner yesterday
And today we had her cupcakes. Blackberry, because she told me to. Read the rest of this entry »
April 30th, the last day Cora was alive. As much as I have come to terms with some things, it’s still hard. I STILL have the “if only I’d done this,” and “I should have done that,” thoughts that pop into my head, forever haunting me.
In the end, no matter what, she’s not here. She’s not here. And that hurts more than anything I could ever express.
I’m supposed to be planning a birthday party. Instead I’ll make cupcakes and release butterflies. As much as I love that tradition, it’s just not the same.
So, I have become pregnant again. It wasn’t planned, but I’m excited…most of the time. When I’m not terrified.
I have such a hard time talking about pregnancy with people. I’ll only be 6 weeks on Monday, but since I get so very sick, I don’t even try to keep it a secret. And of course, pregnancy means people want to talk about babies.
They don’t understand what torture that is for me.
They don’t understand that every plan of after birth is prefaced by a “Hopefully.”
Hopefully, when the baby gets here….
I’ll be nursing this baby. Hopefully.
Erin’s going to love helping with the baby. Hopefully. If all goes well. If my baby doesn’t die sometime between now and then.
Read the rest of this entry »
Cora’s caterpillars arrived. Hopefully we have warm weather this year so we can release the butterflies and have them be warm enough to fly away.
This picture was taken April 2, 2006, 7 years ago tomorrow.
This was a woman who, though still very much struggling with hyperemesis, was happily expecting a baby. And not just “expecting” in the pregnancy euphemism sense, but literally expecting a baby. There had been a lot of loss in my family, but I had made it not only out of the first trimester with a living baby, but I was so close to the end. I was 34 weeks pregnant in this picture and a baby’s chances of survival at birth at 34 weeks are nearly as likely as a full term birth. Not only that, but she was perfectly healthy. The ultrasounds and tests all came back perfectly. I was going to have a baby, it was only a matter of time. I loved looking at baby clothes and had everything planned out at least a year in advance. And I was so ready to just not be where I was anymore (sick), and just get on with the whole mom thing.
That woman is gone now. Read the rest of this entry »
January 21, 2013 ~ Steps Back into Life
Share about your first steps back into life. What helped you survive in the world outside as you took those first tender steps? Are there still tender areas for you today, living in a world that doesn’t embrace or understand the loss of a baby/child? How do you cope with those struggles? What advice would you offer those new to this walk to encourage and bring hope? How has this changed for you from the beginning? If you are in early grief, what do you fear/struggle with as you try to navigate a new normal….life without your baby?
For the first 3 1/2 years of our marriage, Matt was going to school at BYU-Idaho in the very small town of Rexburg, Idaho. I was pregnant with Cora there. I worked at a gas station/convenience store that would sell 40oz soda for $.60. Being a college town, you can imagine how busy we were because of that. And there were the regulars. It was amazing how many people came in multiple times a day for their soda.
So they knew me, and it was quite obvious that I was pregnant. Read the rest of this entry »
Sometimes it just hits me over the head the little moments I have or will miss. I was watching Erin, thinking about all the things I’m looking forward to with my living children, and it just hit me that I’m not going to experience those things with Cora.
I don’t get to watch her pick her own clothes out for the day, or go shopping with her. I don’t get to hear her talk about her day or what she wants for her own future. She doesn’t get to tell me her dreams, even the bad ones. I don’t get to see her interact with her siblings, and ask me for another baby.
I’ll never get to pick out/make prom dresses with her, or see her graduate from high school or play a sport or an instrument or be in a play. I won’t get to hug her on her wedding day, or sit with her while she is in labor with her own babies.
I know I’ll get to see her again someday, deep in my heart. But that doesn’t fix this. It doesn’t give me back all the things I’m missing now. And that hurts.