New Year

Dear Hope,

Well, it’s 2016. A new year filled with hopes and dreams. This is how 2015 started out and we are praying that 2016 is a little kinder to us. While we loved every second with you, we also have to remember what happened. We keep using 2016 as an excuse for everything to change and get better. While, it’s excuse because you can do this at any point, it’s a good starting point for us.

We spent a small part of New Year’s Eve with your Grandparents and Great Grandparents. Your Great Grandparents were visiting from Pittsburgh. We were there for Fourth of July. You were dancing while your Uncle played the guitar. This of course was before everything took a turn for the worst.

Afterwards we went home. It was nice to spend time with your Dad. Of course we took a little nap because we are terrible at staying up. However, we woke up in time to watch the ball drop. Your Dad cried a little. I think it’s being we said 2016 was going to be our year. It was a way for us to put what happened in the past. While we would never forget about you, we needed an excuse for things to get better and starting a new year was the best answer for that.

On the actual day, we did a little shopping and visited your plaque at the hospital. It was nice because it was the first of the year and 5 months since we delivered you. We put some beautiful lilies on the plaque as well. Afterwards we went out to dinner. I started having symptoms the week before so we decide to google them while we waited for our food. All of the signs pointed to…..pregnancy. We decided at that moment we should take a test when we got home.

You’re going to be a big sister! The first test we took wasn’t exactly clear. We thought we could see a faint line indicting pregnant but it was hard to tell. I started thinking maybe it was too early to tell. We went to CVS and bought another one that clearly said yes and no and it came back as YES!

We came and sat by your urn and thanked you. It was very emotional. We have known for a week and I still don’t believe it. Perhaps when we got to the doctor, things will feel more real. Both your grandparents are excited and so is your Aunt Jenn. We haven’t told anyone else yet. We want to wait a little longer this time.

Until next time my love,
Mom

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Holidays

Dear Hope,

Wow! I can’t believe I went this long without writing to you. I am so so sorry. Things are finally settling down at home. We have a lot of catching up to do.

I left off the day before thanksgiving. Well, Thanksgiving went well. I think because I was moving all day, I didn’t have that much time to think to myself. Everything went smoothly and I think you helped with that. You were watching over us, making sure everything went well. Thank you. It wasn’t until everyone left I had time to think and get upset. I really miss you. I often think of how life would be with you here, especially with the holidays.

The next few days we did a little bit of shopping. I just wasn’t into it this year. Dad and I went out on Black Friday but not until the afternoon. It was crowded and we really didn’t feel like dealing with all those people. On December 3rd, I left for Florida on a work trip. I knew it was going to be hard because we were going to Orlando; the happiest place on earth. Last time I was there (April), you were still here and I was excited to think of what the future would look like. However, it wasn’t as bad because Dad came with me. He did some exploring on the days I had to work. One day he said he found the most beautiful scenery and carved your name with a rock. It made me smile.

Hope Carving

The last couple of days, we had to ourselves. We visited some friends in Tampa and went to Busch Gardens. They had a ton of animals there, you would love it. I imagined what it would be like taking you there. We also went kayaking and saw an alligator! Dad was so scared! I was a little but I wanted a pic so we hung around a little bit to get one. When we did, we went back ASAP! The last day, we went to some of the parks. We avoided Magic Kingdom because we thought that would have the most little girls dressed up as princesses. It was a good choice. We enjoyed Epcot, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. Again, we imagined what it would have been like with you there. Of course, we wouldn’t have been there at that exact moment but eventually. We hope to give you a brother or sister one day and we can all share in visiting this magical place.

Once we got back, it was back to reality; Paying bills, going to work, blah blah blah. I also had to fit shopping in there because we hardly got any done. It went by so fast that before we knew it, it was Christmas Eve. Dad had a hard time that day; he was really sad. I was sad, but I was able to be strong for him. He is always so strong for me, that it was my turn. It also broke my heart to see your Mommom (my side) get upset in church. Luckily there weren’t too many kids there but there was a cute girl sitting in front of us. I couldn’t help but to think of you older playing with your doll.

Christmas Day was hard. Again, it’s not how we imagined celebrating. Dad was really sad again and I am thankful I was able to be strong. While I was extremely sad, I had to be strong for your Dad. He doesn’t always show his emotions (although lately he has which is great); I needed to be there for him. We did enjoy time with both our parents but it was still a sad day for us.

Your Grandpa’s side of the family had a Christmas party on Saturday. While it sounded like a good idea when we sent the RSVP in, it wasn’t. We didn’t go. Mommom told us later that not going was the best idea. Two of my cousins are pregnant and there were tons of kids running around, too many reminders.

I know eventually we will have to face everyone. In a way, I think may have been able to handle it, put everything to the side but your Dad wasn’t ready and that is fine, he needs to take his time. I think I can thank therapy for helping me realize this. I go every two weeks and talk about you. She helps me see things from a different perspective. Maybe that is how I was able to be so strong for Dad over Christmas, maybe not. Maybe I was just having a better day. I’d like to think it’s the therapy helping. Dad mentioned coming to another session soon but we will see. He went to the very first one and it wasn’t for him. However, maybe he sees it’s helping me and he wants that same help. I’ll keep you posted although you’ll already know since you watch over us.

One last thing before I go, we are trying again. We are looking to give you a brother or sister in the near future. We want to be able to have children and tell them all about you; their big sister. We will find out next week if we are or not. I want the test to be positive. I am not sure how I’ll handle a negative result. Deep down, I know there is a chance it won’t happen right away but I hope it’s not the case. It only took one time with you.

We never realized how many times we use hope in conversations. Every time I say or hear it, I stop for a minute and think of you.

Until next time,
Mom

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Thanksgiving Eve

Dear Hope,

Well, tomorrow is Thanksgiving. For the first time, we are hosting. I am not sure how it’s going to go. Perhaps I will be so busy I won’t have time to realize I am sad. Earlier this year I imagined dressing you up in a ridiculous outfit and being thankful you were here. I will be thankful tomorrow but not for the reasons I originally thought. I am thankful for the time we did have together. You loved to move around. I miss that. I hope I see a sign tomorrow that you’re with us. Please.

Love,
Mom

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Angry Today

Dear Hope,

If I wrote to you on Tuesday, my post would be totally different. I would say how I had such a good day. While I thought about you, I didn’t get upset; it was almost like a normal day. I would say how I told the therapist this and she was happy I was having a good day. We talked about the grieving process and how there really isn’t a cycle and at any time I can jump from one emotion to the next. However, when I do, the time between the emotions may get smaller. I’ll always grieve you but I’ll have tools to help me get to the next emotion. I would also mention how we talked about Church. I grew up going to church every Sunday and while I haven’t been consistent, I wanted that for you. I wanted to take you there every Sunday like I did with my family. However, that is easier said than done. After I started College, I really didn’t go anymore. I became one of those people who only went on holidays; I still am. However, I didn’t want that for you. I wanted to take you. I am going to try and go this week.

My post would be all positive but unfortunately, I didn’t write to you Tuesday. I am writing to you today and I am angry. I am angry for this happening. Why did it happen to us? There are plenty of people who mistreat their pregnancy and get to take home a baby. Why didn’t I get to take you home? Every day we are faced with people announcing their pregnancies to having babies to seeing people out with a baby to watching commercials with babies in it. We can’t seem to get away from it. It feels like it’s being thrown in our faces that we don’t have you. Yesterday someone who used to work at my job (before I started) came to our office to visit with her new baby. I understand she doesn’t know but everyone at work knows what happened yet they stood outside my cube for almost two hours fussing over the baby. Couldn’t they have went into someone’s office or moved down the hall a little? I had to sit here and hear about how the baby sleeps and about buying a new stroller. Those are all things we were robbed of. It made me angry and I think that is why I am still angry today.

Maybe I needed this. I’ve tried so hard to have good days but it was time to have a bad one.

Love,
Mom

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My Birthday

Dear Hope,

Good afternoon! It’s been a week since my birthday (Nov. 4th). I use to be obnoxious with my birthday; telling people it was my birthday month, week, etc. However, this year was different. I wasn’t excited. In a way it made me sad because that’s who I am. People know I love my birthday. I don’t do it so be self-centered but it’s just a fun day for me. It’s kinda my thing, ya know. Perhaps part of it was because I was traveling for work. Your Dad was also traveling so I didn’t even get to see him that day. I worked from home and was leaving for Maryland. However, I think most of reason was you. I imagined you would be here for my birthday. Or, if you were late, you could have been born on my birthday. I feel like I was selfish before. I didn’t want you to be born on certain days (Halloween, my birthday) but looking back, I just wish you were born in general. I guess I just pictured my birthday being different this year.

I went to my second therapy session. I think it’s going to help. She is an outsider looking in. She is able to give advice without having an attachment to me. She helped me see it’s OK to get upset in front of people, especially my family. I try to protect them by not getting upset. I don’t want to make them upset because they see me upset. At the same time, they are trying to protect me from the pain. She also mentioned if you were upset, would I want you to cry in front of me? Of course! I would want to be there for you. That’s how I need to see my family. They want me to show emotion so they can help me. I am not saying I don’t mention you, but I try to hold back my tears.

Other than that, I’ve had good and bad hours. Sometimes I don’t say good and bad days because you never know. There are times when I am fine all day until I get home. Other times, I am sad in the morning but as the day goes on, I get less sad.

Thanks for sending me signs the last couple of weeks. At first I wondered why you didn’t visit but now it’s becoming clearer. Sometimes I just have to put two and two together. The praying mantises are still at the door. Last week while at the conference, when we got there, the ballroom was called Cherry Blossom. Then, just yesterday, people were speaking Spanish to one another in line and said “cherry blossom” in English and then went right back to speaking Spanish. Sometimes your Dad says I can’t catch a break but when things like that happen, it makes me smile. It’s not a bad reminder, it’s just signs your with me.

Until next time,
Mom

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Halloween

Dear Hope,

Your Dad was away last week for work. He was working long hours so we didn’t get to talk much. I missed him very much. I finally got to see him on Friday. I met him at work and we got to hang out. It was so nice to be with him. We always had a good relationship. Well, not always during high school but that was a long time ago. Often times, people have said they wanted a relationship like ours. We have our bad days but we love each other so much. This whole experience has brought us so much closer. I didn’t think it was possible. I want to spend every second with him. I use to be able to stay down stairs and watch tv while your Dad went upstairs. Now, I go upstairs even if it’s 8pm. I just want to be near him.

On Friday, your Dad pulled some strings to get us reservations at a Gordon Ramsey restaurant. I am a huge fan so it was a nice surprise. The food was delicious but the service sucked. I was a little disappointed. However, I didn’t let it get to me. If there is one thing I learned by losing you, is not to sweat the small things. I was hanging with your Dad and having fun. We gambled for a while. We played roulette at a table and your Dad was having so much fun. We were up but then lost it all. It was a good night regardless.

The next day was Halloween. I won’t lie, we did really well, better than I expected. It was another holiday without you. This time, it was different because you could have been here to celebrate with us. There were tons of kids and it made me smile. I didn’t get upset giving out candy, I was happy. I interacted with them and the night went well. Don’t get me wrong, I was sad at times, so was your Dad. However, it went much better than I thought and I would like to think that is progress.

On Sunday, we celebrated your Grandma’s (my side) and my birthday at Maggianos. Her birthday was on October 29th (she wanted you two to share a birthday) and mine is on the 4th. I use to love my birthday. I would joke about it being my birthday month, week, etc. This time, it just doesn’t seem right. I feel kind of lost. Being obnoxious about my birthday was my thing. Everyone knew that about me. Now, it just doesn’t sound fun. I don’t know. It was a nice time between dinner and cake. I got some money, shoes, a shirt, Jurassic World (YAY!!!!), roses and a fitbit. Hopefully the fitbit will help me become more healthy.

Today started off good. When I came home, I started getting sad. I had a melt down while watching a reality show. Someone was getting married and it just got me upset. Right now, when I think of my wedding, one of the happiest times, I am filled with sadness. It was a time we were so naive and had no idea what was in store for us. I’ll never have that innocence again.

On a happy note, there is a Praying Mantis that hangs around our back door. I brought it up to your Dad and he thinks the same exact thing, it’s you visiting. I know the usual signs are cardinals or butterflies but not you, your different. I like that.

Thank you for visiting.

I love and miss you.

Love,
Mom

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Your Due Date

Dear Hope,

Well the day is here, your due date. I kept busy today. I took off work but had a doctors appointment and then ran errands. I ended the night with going out to eat with your grandparents. Your dad had to work overtime so we didn’t spend the day together. We did celebrate yesterday. I am not sure celebrate is the word but we acknowledged what today is yesterday, together. We got you another balloon and we each wrote on it. Dad was able to be strong and write on this one. He had a hard time when we had the balloon for Remembrance day. We wrote that we love you and will always be in our hearts. Dad even said should include your brothers and sisters so we signed the names your fur siblings. Afterwards I was sad I didn’t take a picture of the balloon but we aren’t perfect.

We also shared a cupcake. Dad said he wasn’t hungry for it but he ate most of it. It was a nice time together. I wish you were here but I know you are in spirit.

I am very thankful for your dad. He tries to look at what happened positively. I know this isn’t a situation we ever wanted to be in but perhaps there is a bigger reason. Dad thinks this may happen to someone we know later down the road and I am going to be able to help them. While we don’t wish this on ANYONE, it happens and will continue to happen in the future. I think he thinks this because we met a lady when we were in Florida. She had lost a child too. At the time, we didn’t think anything of it. Now that this has happened, we were able to reach out to her and lean on her. She was a complete stranger and now she is a great resource. Perhaps, we can be that for someone one day.

I want to help people. Maybe this was my calling. I always thought I was just getting by in life. I wasn’t make a difference. Maybe this is how I can make a difference. If I can help someone like people have helped me, that is enough for me.

I hope you know how much we miss you.

Love,
Mom

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Therapy

Dear Hope,

We received the last of the blood tests (I hope!). Everything came back normal. It makes me sad because everything is coming back normal yet something happened to you. However, your Dad made me see the bright side of it. He mentioned that nothing can stop us from trying again; a little brother or sister for you. Your Dad is really good at seeing the positive in things. After he mentioned that, my day got a little better. I am actually doing OK today. This past week was rough. We did a lot of crying.

We tried therapy on Tuesday. It’s not something your Dad is comfortable with but I think it might help me. It was nice talking about you. I am hoping she will teach me ways to deal with my sadness. Fingers cross it helps.

Monday is your due date. I am not sure how the day is going to go. Your Dad won’t be home at all next week because he has to work. I took off work because I am not sure how I am going to handle everything. The therapist asked if we were going to do anything special. Since your Dad won’t be home, we are going to try and do something together Sunday. I am not sure what we are going to do but we will figure it out. I want so badly to open your memory box from the hospital. I haven’t opened it since we got home after we delivered you. I want to but I am afraid all the emotions.

The therapist suggested doing something for myself that day. Maybe I’ll get a message or something to help keep my mind off everything. I’m still not sure. Can you image me getting upset during a message? That wouldn’t be very relaxing.

The next few weeks will be long. Your Dad is working a lot and I have to travel for work. It’s a little hard to think about because I should be on maternity leave. I miss you BK.

Love,
Mom

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Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month

Dear Hope,

October 15th was pregnancy and infant loss remembrance day. Actually, this whole month is dedicated to Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. I had no idea until I started doing research. I may have never known about this awareness if you had been here. I am trying my best to get the word out. I think I did pretty well on October 15th when I posted a video about stillborns. I saw a couple people write posts about it. Many friends and family prayed for you that day. It was so overwhelming the next day when I got all the notifications.

On the 15th I bought a balloon. I originally tried to find a plain pink one. I couldn’t find one so I got one that said baby. I wrote your name on it and we love you. It made Dad really sad when he got home. He cried. It wasn’t my intention to make him cry. I wanted to let it go when he got home as a way to remember you that day. It was very emotional as we let it go. We joked it would get caught on the house and it almost did. We also lit a candle for you. It was an emotional day but those things helped. It was a way to remember you that I would like to continue. Your plaque should be almost done at Virtua. I hope to visit it often.

We have an appointment this week for a therapist. I am hoping it will help with the grieving process. While I seem like I am doing OK on the outside, I am SO SAD inside. I try to hold it together so people do not worry about me.

I miss you.

Love,
Mom

remberance day before writing

rememberance day Hopes name

rememberance day we love you

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Dad’s New Tattoo

Dear Hope,

Yesterday was a rough day. I have to get the chicken pox shot because they told me when I was pregnant with you that I wasn’t immune to it. So I scheduled it for October 26th (your due date). While doing research, I saw that we need to wait a month before trying to conceive. So I called my high risk doctor (to confirm) and they said to call my regular obgyn doctor. So when I called them, they said I needed to call my primary doctor to see. Then I called my primary and they suggested I call my insurance to find out if I would be covered. Now, you would think I would stop there because I need the shot regardless. It doesn’t matter if insurance covers it or not. However, I wasn’t thinking clearly because I was making so many phone calls. So I called the insurance company and they said I would need the procedure code the doctor would bill as. After that, I finally realized it didn’t matter. It only took four phone calls later. When I go in I am going to ask how long the shot is in my system and when they think I can try. I saw anywhere from one to three months.

If we have to wait three months, that will be devastating. My doctor said to wait a couple cycles before trying again. That meant we could try in November. Now with getting the shot, we may have to wait until December or maybe even January. In a way, I am happy because it will give me more time to heal. I’ve been getting up at 5:30 am to work out. I still have 15 lbs to loose. Well I don’t need to but sometimes I don’t feel comfortable in my skin. I only have four pairs of pants that fit me so I wear the same outfits to work every week. When I look at myself, I am reminded you are not there.At the same time, I know me and your Dad want to try as soon as we can. It just hurts.

On a different note, your Dad’s tattoo is almost finished. If you remember, we were going to decorate your room with cherry blossoms. He already has a tattoo on his arm of a cross. Along with the cross is the birth and passing away dates of his brother and grandfather. He had the artist put the cherry blossoms around the cross. On Saturday, he finished most of the tattoo up with your name in the inside of his arm. It may look crooked in the picture but it is how you look at it. It’s straight, I promise. I hope you like it too.

Love,
Mom

Before tattooThe before shot

middle tattooThe tattoo with cherry blossoms

finished tattooInside of Dad’s arm with your name

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