Saturday, January 25, 2014

100 is my lucky number.

I really wanted to be outside tonight sawing through some lumber for my latest and greatest project, but alas, the wind is blowing too harshly and Andrew is worried I'll cut a finger off due to poor lighting. So. Here we are. Of course there are many other things that need doing, but this is procrastination at it's finest. And you really don't have to read it. But, just in case you are wasting time like me, here ya go:

1. I miss my sweet Isaac boy of my life. I think of him often. More than often actually. 2. I was born in 1981. I finally made it to my 30's. 3. I was married in 1998 4 months before I turned 18. Can you believe it? Still going strong. 4. My children are the loves of my life, second only to Andrew, and God, of course. 5. Speaking of God. I'm still trying to figure out my relationship with him. And Jesus. 6. I was adopted, and I wish nothing more to forget my adoptive parents. Why? They are sad examples of humanity. 7. My biological father is dead. My mother is alive and crazy somewhere in the USA. 8. I still wish every day I had a Mama and Dad to look after me, and love me. 9. Having parents not care about me screwed me up forever. That, and being molested, beaten, and emotionally abused. 10. In despite of numbers 6, 7, 8, and 9, I am actually a fairly HAPPY human being. No joke. 11. I'm Mormon. I belong to The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter Day Saints. 12. I'm not sure that I am a very good Mormon. 13. I sure hope there was a reason good enough for Isaac to die. 14. I have been trying to get fit and lose weight for the last 10 years. Maybe this is the year? 15. I don't do friendship very well, but I sure do try. 16. I love gardening and roses and mowing and the feeling of the sun on my face while I do it. 17. I could have a love affair with mashed potatoes. And homemade macaroni and cheese. And meat. 18. Speaking of meat, I think I was meant to be a carnivore. But I'm human. Really. 19. I love to sing loud and dance wildly. Not in front of anyone anymore. Just the kids. And occasionally Andrew. 20. I love earth tone colors. 21. I love homemaking. 22. I love cooking. I'm good at it. 23. I hate cleaning up AFTER cooking. 24. I rarely have enough energy to ENJOY cooking anymore. 25. I like the room to be very cold when I sleep at night. 26. I am a night owl. I hate getting up in the morning. 27. I thank God every single day for Avery. 28. I check on Avery several times a night to make sure he is not dead. 29. I still cannot believe Avery came to us. After Isaac dieing and 3 miscarriages. Amazing. 30. I wish I were more calm. And nice. Definitely more nice. 31. I REALLY like the huge water slides at the pool. They make me scream. The kids think it's really funny. 32. I worry every day I am screwing up my kids. I hope I haven't, not too badly anyway. 33. I don't trust people easily. I wish I did, but I don't. 34. I love bare feet. 35. I hate shoes. 36. I love pedicures. Oh. And getting my hair done. 37. I love to go to the movies. Especially for the popcorn. One of my most favorite foods EVER. 38. I love getting mail. Cards. Or packages. I wish I got more. 39. I love talking on the phone. I don't even have to leave the house to do that. 40. My husband is my best friend. 41. Speaking of my husband, sometimes I wonder how I scored such an AMAZING human being as my partner in life. 42. I hate it when my kids get picked on at school. It makes me want to kick some ASS. 43. I have a horrible potty mouth. I need to stop talking like shit. Ha. 44. I love email and facebook and texting. 45. I love blogging, I just don't get around to it much. 46. I love strawberries. 47. I love getting love notes, and writing them. 48. I say sorry a lot, I think that's really important. 49. I fear that another one of my children will die. Everyday I worry about that. 50. I still feel jealous when another woman gives birth to a healthy baby. Why not Isaac. Why not??? 51. I'm not book smart. 52. I'm actually pretty funny. 53. I'm honest. Sometimes too much so. 54. I'm bold and brave. I don't take shit. 55. If someone were to get in between me and my family, I'd flatten them. Wouldn't you? 56. I love yoga pants. 57. I like my eyes. 58. I hate to read. But I do enjoy writing. 59. I love to play in the snow, and outside. 60. I love the water. 61. I love to laugh. So hard I pee my pants. 62. I love shopping. I love shopping for my kids. 63. I love Christmas. 64. I love shopping to find the perfect gift for someone, and then wrapping it up really pretty. 65. I love purses. 66. I love organization and labeling things. 67. I hate being late, in fact, I'd rather be early. 68. The only late thing I like, is my period, when I really want to be pregnant. 70. I would love to live on a farm. 71. I'm good at singing. But I don't sing outside my house much anymore. 72. I love snuggling. 73. I love watching snow fall. And I love the rain. The sound and the smell. And thunder. 75. I miss living on the ocean. 76. I love to feel needed and valued. I value that in friendship. 78. I like making plans and schedules. I am a control freak. Bad habit I tell you. 79. I love the sound of my kids playing and the sound of my children's laughter. 80. I love for people to hang out at my house, and to feel welcome. 81. I love girls night out. And date night. I do both of those often. 82. I like kicking it around the house. Especially with Andrew. 83. I hate the school year and homework. I miss my kids when they are gone. 84. I LOVE summer vacation. I love the freedom of late nights and sleeping in. Wait, I have a baby now. 85. I love baby food jars. 86. I hated that I could not shop for Isaac, I REALLY love that I can shop for Avery. 87. I like soft light. Bright light gives me headaches. 88. I LOVE fire. I love my fire pit. 89. I love my grill. I love cooking out. 90. I love our family cabin in the woods. I love getting away, but not having to go far. 91. I love to feel safe and loved. 92. I love cuddling with my kids, even my big ones, if they let me. 93. I worry every day if I did good enough. 94. I bake my own bread. I love hot bread and also the smell of bread baking. 95. Part of me likes to be a kid with my own children. It's kinda like I get a do over. 96. I love boxes and bins. 97. I like my house to be tidy. 98. I hate to do laundry. 99. Lima beans make me gag. 100. Good hell. I'm glad I can stop writing this list now!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

And I hear voices....

I don't know about you, but I believe in God. I believe in Christ and in His infinite ability to communicate with us. I've been thinking about this blog posts for weeks. I've been meaning to sit down and write more, but life constantly gets in the way.

My son is dead. Isaac will turn 5 this coming April. It seems like forever ago and yesterday all at the same time. Some days I wish I could relive those moments with him alive in my arms, and some days I want to bolt from that reality. I look at little boys his age and my heart cringes. I hate the reminders. Of what should have been mine, of who he should be, and what his presence should be like in our family. He's missing. I miss him.

Some days I still clutch his blanket close, and remember that he touched the same cloth. That he was real and there. That I touched him and loved him and felt his body against mine. I have never washed that blanket. I never will. Touching that blanket is like touching him, we are one. Many days I feel his spirit in and around our home. I know he still lives, he lives in a spirit world, and I know that he is aware of our family and needs. I know he knows how much we love and miss him. I know that  heaven exists, that there are moments where the veil is so thin, that we are surrounded by those gone before us. Heaven is real. This is truth.

Call me crazy. But I have my own friend, spirit, guardian angel, family member - - maybe it's God, even, who communicates with me during only the most critical moments in life. I can count three times I have heard his voice. No, I am not nuts. Well, maybe a little, but not THAT kind of crazy. I think??

My dad, the asshole, the man that he was, chose a woman over my brother, sister, and I. She did not want kids, and apparently he did not either, because he gave us away. He gave us away to his friends. Louie and Val. Who also happened to be child molesters. I don't know how long it look, but Louie was after me. After all of us, I'm pretty sure, and maybe even after his own children. Initially we were made to share a bed with one of his daughters. She wet the bed and saturated my brother and I in urine every night. He and I ended up opting to sleep on the floor, huddled over a heating vent to keep warm. It was better than the other option - being cold and wet. That girl must have been hurting, we all were. I remember a particular moment when I first heard this voice. Louie was naked, in bed, his dog guarding the door way. I was petrified of that little dog, the dog hated me, too. Louis told me to get in bed with him. I felt sick to my stomach. I knew what was about to happen and I was terrified. I heard a man's voice in my head. I cannot really describe it. It was peaceful and loving and strong. Wise and comforting. The voice said: Tell Louie no. Leave the room. The dog will not hurt you. I did as I was instructed. The dog left me alone. And I can honestly say that I cannot remember a time that Louie ever touched me again after that moment. That moment was holy, I walked on sacred ground, I was protected.

The second time I heard the voice was soon after I received Isaac's diagnosis. The days after we knew Isaac would die were indescribable. We were so lost and broken and weary. I was so heartbroken with fear, over the possibility of my child bearing moments ending on that note. I just could not imagine it. Who survives that? As I lay in bed, my mind was wandering. How would I get the children through this? How would Andrew cope? Could I really carry a baby to term that would die? What was it like to have your own baby die in your arms? Would I lose my mind? Would I wail? Would I be strong enough to endure? As I lay there thinking, I heard the same voice again, like an old friend. He told me to let go of the fear. That I would bare another child again. And that the child would be a healthy baby boy. That we would get to keep him.

Isaac came, he swooped right into our lives, and then right back to heaven. Andrew and I knew that we would try again for another baby. What we did not know was that I would suffer loss after loss. I was beside myself. Surely I was not wrong. Surely I had not misheard. People in my life were telling me to forget about it, move on, that it was not meant to be. That I was not strong enough, why was I doing this to myself?  I knew what I had heard, and I knew that I was right. I knew that a way would be made for my body to produce another child. I prayed and prayed again. After 3 tries and miscarriages, I became pregnant with Avery. Avery was born July 2011. He was born alive and well and screaming (best.sound.ever). Never a sweeter victory was felt. We had done it. God delivered.

The third time I heard this same voice was in early March of this year. I honestly don't know that I'll hear him again. Years pass with nothing, after all. Right after Isaac died I made him a custom sign. It's black, his name is cream, and through his name, in white, it reads "loved now and through all eternity". That simple sign and having his name displayed in our home has brought me countless moments of peace. After I made that sign I immediately felt like I should make more - - for other grieving women - - that it was important! I even made a couple of contacts, was told to make up a sample or two. I never did. I was too broken. Stuck in my moments of grief, which barreled down on my family for what seemed like forever. Isaac turned three this year. I was driving to pick up Andrew, and then I heard the voice. I was told to purchase all items necessary to start my business. To press forward and get things started, and quickly. First I felt a rush of excitement. Great news, right!!! And then I immediately felt fear. What would happen if I took the money from savings for my start up cost and totally tank? What would happen if I failed? Was I completely nuts?? I bought what I needed and waited the couple of weeks for every thing to arrive. I anxiously chatted with friends about how nervous I was. And that I was slightly afraid I was off my rocker. Shortly before Isaac's 3rd birthday, BABY BOARDS was born. I have been in business for 1 and a half years, and made easily 1750 pieces for other grieving families. Very few things have blessed my family more, to be doing such a tender work for other grieving brothers and sisters in loss.

Now that I've gotten this all written out, I'm kind of wondering what the whole point was. So now everyone will know how crazy I am?? Perhaps. But really just to share that miracles happen. That God lives, even if you are unsure. I am the one of the most undeserving people out there, can you imagine someone's potential that is much more dedicated than myself? Life changing realizations, friends. Let us all be all that we can be, and continue to work on becoming our best selves. If you know me in "real life", I know you're laughing - - mostly because you  REALLY know how far off I am from reaching that goal. At least we can journey together, right?? Any ways. Lots of work to be done. Time to scoot.

All my crazy ass LOVE,

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Collateral Damage.

So this is my sweet little Olivia. She is 7 years old and is full of life and silliness and laughter. She is also full of anxiety, stress, and worry. As I have run behind on the business end of things, this little sweet pea is who needs me more.

When I was carrying Isaac to term, knowing he would die, it was an extremely hard time for our family. Recalling that period of time in my life brings me to tears. My kids, Andrew, and I were desperate to connect with the baby, but also were full of fear over having to let him go. I really don't know how we made it through those days - by the grace of God, for sure - it was a special kind of hell we were living in. Loving a baby, but planning for his death. Making a birth plan, while planning his burial. Deciding what life saving measures we take for him, or not. Working, sending the kids to school, maintaining our home - - all with the knowledge that every second, of every day, there was a clock ticking off these moments of this child's life. Some of the kids had nightmares, some acted out, some held their feelings close to themselves. And then there was Olivia. My precious Olivia, she never left my side. I knew that she could sense the turmoil in our home and hearts, and she loved me - all of us - with a fierceness that I have not witnessed in a child before. She would love each of us, hold our hands, snuggle closely, tickle backs, touch our faces. She was a constant companion to whoever needed the love she was so willing to give. She is a very special kind of human being.

Isaac came and walked back home to his Father in Heaven. I watched our family fall apart, get back up again, stumble around, until we would walk again. Each of my children had their own set of griefs and worries. Each were concerned not just for each other, and also their grieving mother. It was a heavy burden for them to carry. I had three miscarriages back to back after Isaac died. We kept those secret as best as we could, and we marched through each day, until light and happiness drifted back into our home. Avery came along in 2011, and brought with him a healing wind. He was been so good for our family, he is our heart healer.

Olivia has struggled over the years to find her way. We have watched her closely, observing her peculiar behavior, crossing our fingers that the behavior would pass. Because mental illness runs heavily in our family, each of our children has a 20% chance of struggling in this way - we were pretty confident that she did not beat the odds, and truly, she has not. This sweet little girl has worried for years. Worried about life and death. She's worried over Avery dieing, her siblings dieing, her parents dieing. She learned as a young child things could go horribly wrong, that she was not immune. She has been desperate for comfort, struggling with separation anxiety. She struggles with social anxiety, and navigating the waters of friendship with her peers. She fears so much. It has been heartbreaking to watch her mind go to such a frightened place, it has broken my heart to witness her panic attacks. It has been sad to gently march on with her, knowing that these growing pains she is suffering are so terribly hard, yet marching on, we must. Olivia has begun therapy, we are finding there is a world of treatment options for her, and are very encouraged to see her trying to apply some of these techniques in her life. There are good days, and there are some horrible days. But just as she pulled me through my darkest days, it's now my turn to do that for her.

I have struggled with the decision to share - or not - but decided, because I have chosen to give much of my heart and life to other grieving women, it would helpful, to also be open about this part of my life. Not because it therauptic to share, but because I know there are many many women willing to bare this burden with me. Many of you, as I have not met deadlines have been loving and encouraging and incredily patient with me. I thank you for your love and concern. Baby Boards is not just me - - but it is Olivia, too. It's my husband, my living children, and our heavenly Isaac. Because of our family unit, we continue on doing this fantastic healing work that we do. It would not be possible without them, without Isaac, and without you and your precious children. Together we carry on.

All my love,

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

On heartache.

When I was a young child, we were often bounced from home to home, at the whim of my biological parent's willingness (or lack there of) to take care us. When I was about 3 or 4, we finally landed into a stable home with my grandparents. My mother lived there with us until she ran away in the middle of the night. We never ever saw her again. Talk about abandonment issues, right?

My grandparents are incredible human beings. My grandmother was made to mother, she took incredible care of us. For many different reasons, though, we were placed for adoption when I was around the age of 6, and I will never ever forget the heartache I endured from that loss. I cried myself to sleep every night, for what had to have been months. I truly grieved the loss of my Gammer and Gamper, and my heart was broken.

I remember being that small little girl and pressing my fingers to my chest. My heart physically hurt. I wondered if it would ever stop. In time, it finally did. We were able to visit with my grandparents from time to time, and I somewhat adjusted into my new "home". I carried Isaac for about 13 weeks knowing he would die. I was desperate to enjoy the only time I would have with him, but I was insane with irritation knowing other people passed me by often having no clue what was happening. They would chitter chatter to me about my growing belly and coming baby and how excited I must be. I don't think, even once, I corrected anyone by saying "No, actually, my baby is about to die, we are heart broken".

Isaac was born, we said hello and goodbye in 70 miraculous minutes. It was not until then that my heart truly shattered into pieces. I felt that same damn heart ache again, from childhood, and I remember wishing it away with ever single ounce of energy I had in my body.

The truth of the matter is - broken hearts truly hurt. I would sit and think of my baby, and my heart, my chest was ache terribly. So terribly I never thought it could ever recover again. This physical pain lasted for months. I didn't know how to fix it.

As time has past, little by little, my shattered heart has become whole again. I do not say that lightly, because it took years. Years of grieving and being willing to live with the pain, not knowing when it would ease. For those of you are in the depths of the worst hurt, I promise you, it WILL get better. It will never fully go away, part of my heart is broken over my baby boy forever, but joy will sneak back in, little by little. Keep fighting the good fight. You are loved and needed in this world.

All my love,

Monday, August 26, 2013

This. Is. Normal.

My New Normal.

Normal is having tears waiting behind every smile when you realize someone important is missing from all the important events in your family’s life.

Normal is reliving that day continuously through your eyes and mind.

Normal is every happy event in my life always being backed up with sadness lurking close behind, because of the hole in my heart.

Normal is staring at every baby who looks like he is my baby’s age. And then thinking of the age he would be now and not being able to imagine it. Then wondering why it is even important to imagine it, because it will never happen.

Normal is telling the story of your child’s death as if it were an everyday, commonplace activity, and then seeing the horror in someone’s eyes at how awful it sounds. And yet realizing it has become a part of my “normal”.

Normal is each year coming up with the difficult task of how to honor your child’s memory and his birthday and survive these days.

Normal is my heart warming and yet sinking at the sight of something special that my baby would have loved, but how he is not here to enjoy it.

Normal is having some people afraid to mention my baby.

Normal is making sure that others remember him.

Normal is after the funeral is over everyone else goes on with their lives, but we continue to grieve our loss forever.

Normal is weeks, months, and years after the initial shock, the grieving gets worse sometimes, not better.

Normal is not listening to people compare anything in their life to this loss, unless they too have lost a child.

NOTHING. Even if your child is in the remotest part of the earth away from you – it doesn’t compare.

Losing a parent is horrible, but having to bury your own child is unnatural.

Normal is trying not to cry all day, because I know my mental health depends on it.

Normal is realizing I do cry everyday.

Normal is being impatient with everything and everyone, but someone stricken with grief over the loss of your child.

Normal is a new friendship with another grieving mother, talking and crying together over our children and our new lives.

Normal is wondering this time whether you are going to say you have three children or two, because you will never see this person again and it is not worth explaining that my baby is in heaven. And yet when you say you have two children to avoid that problem, you feel horrible as if you have betrayed your baby.

Normal is knowing I will never get over this loss, in a day or a million years.

And last of all, Normal is hiding all the things that have become “normal” for you to feel, so that everyone around you will think that you are “normal”.

-Author Unknown

Friday, August 23, 2013

Starting Fresh.

So. I used to blog. About a lot of things. My children. My childhood. Overcoming childhood abuse. Overcoming infertility. My faith. My lack of faith. Carrying a baby to term that would die. My grief after losing him. I used to love to write, and then I stopped. Not for lack of audience, but for the wrong kind.

Nosey church members found my blog. The kind that gossip and judge and tell you that you're not doing good enough. Family members found my blog. And not the kind of supportive family members that everyone dreams about. The pain in your ass kind. The "why are you not over your dead baby" kind.

Many of my loss friends had gone on to have Rainbow babies and I had miscarriage after miscarriage. I was angry and I just did not feel like people wanted to read what I had to say. So I quit. I started a business where I could channel my grief in a different way. A way that was giving and loving. And while I LOVE love L O V E my work,I find myself needing more. A way to connect. A way to share my true heart with the women in this sisterhood we all belong to now.

Burying a newborn changed me. Watching my family hit rock bottom changed me. Being stuck in that dark place changed me. My healing heart as changed me. My heavenly son has changed me. Not everyone gets those changes, but you do, I suspect. So I've decided to share again - - to let Baby Boards and this blog become an extension of the Misty I really am, so that you can get to know that person, too.

I look forward to traveling this road with you - let's make a HUGE change happen,