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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Happy 5th Birthday Gage

It's been a long time since I've posted on this site.  We have been busy over the past several months but I am excited to get back on here and get some kits donated.  Gage would have been 5 in February.  I still can't believe its been that long since I last held him or kissed his face.  This anniversary for some reason was especially hard for me.  I have learned that the process of grief truly is a roller coaster ride.  I was also in my last trimester with our 3rd rainbow baby these past few months.  I was much sicker than I have been with any other pregnancy and was off work the last month prior to his arrival.  The long month at home feeling awful gives you lots of time to think. It is hard to shut your mind off at times which easily causes unneccessary fear and anxiety.  We came home from the hospital Easter weekend.  My older boys helped me finish assembling kits that we started for Gage's birthday but needed a few things to be completed.  I am thankful that they enjoy putting together and donating kits that will help other families who suffer the loss of their infant(s).  I am also grateful for the reason we celebrate Easter and the reminder that one day we will be reunited with Gage.

A few local organizations have reached out to me asking for kits as they have seen an increased need for supplies.  I am happy that I can honor Gage by helping others but it breaks my heart to know that so many other families experience what I believe to be the worst thing imaginable.....the loss of a child.

Happy 5th Birthday Gage and Happy Easter.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Happy 4th Birthday Gage

I can't believe Gage would be 4 today. It's even harder to believe how we have lived almost 4 years without him. We were unable to take our annual trip due to sick kids. We stayed home and replanted flowers in Gage's flower bed. We have also been working on more kits that we hope to donate soon. I am grateful for everyone that has supported and continues to support GAGE. I am thankful for the Palo Verde Relief Society who collected and donated hats, outfits, blankets, journals, magnets and seeds. A big thank you to my mother-in-law who continues to help sew blankets and bags and my Aunt Carol who purchased more gowns. I also received a large donation of yarn locally that will make a ton of hats. Thank you all for helping me celebrate Gage's 4th birthday by helping me donate more kits to be given to other families in his memory.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Guest Post: Lisa

Today we are lucky enough to have Lisa with us - she is such an amazing  person who is willing to share her story with usPlease take a moment to read this post and feel free to leave comments in response on our Facebook page

When I was 19, I had gotten pregnant and I lost the baby..it was a hard time for me. I felt so alone. It wasn't my boyfriend's, at the time, and mine baby but it still hit home. 4 months later, I became pregnant with my baby boy Jaxx and he almost didn't make it... he has Williams syndrome and is ok now but still has been in and out of the hospital. When he was 6 months old, I had gotten pregnant again and this time with twins. I was soo happy and I did everything to keep them... about four weeks ago I stated losing blood and I was rushed to the ER. They told me several times there was nothing they could do. A few weekends ago, I found out I miscarried the twins. I was 12 weeks pregnant. I have been in so much agony and pain these last few weeks. I couldn't find it in me to talk to God...but then one night after coming home from the hospital, I saw a shooting star and I felt a big sigh of relief and burdened lifted. I have turned to the Almighty One because I know he does things for a reason. I never felt a kick. I never heard the heartbeat but I know in my heart the Lord above is taking care of all three of my sweet babies. I still question to this day but have to remind myself it all is for a reason and a purpose.

if you would like to guest post with us this month it isn't too late, please send us a message via our Contact Us page. 

Friday, October 16, 2015

Guest Post: Rikki

Today we are lucky enough to have Rikki with us from Happy Haws Homeshe is such an amazing  person who is willing to share her story with usPlease take a moment to read this post and feel free to leave comments in response on our Facebook page

When someone says "1 in 5" what do you think?
I'll give you a hint, it's a statistic.
A statistic I hope you never have to experience.
1 in 5 pregnancies end in a miscarriage.
Recurrent miscarriage consists of 3 or more miscarriages in a row and only 1 in 100 women will have a recurrent miscarriage.

I'm one. I am 1 in 100. 
As for the 1 in 5, I am 1 in 5 in a different way. 1 birth and living baby out of 5 pregnancies.

In December 2012 I married my handsome husband Alex! In February 2013 we decided it was time for us to start our own little family. In March and then later in November I miscarried. With both those miscarriages I had no clue I was pregnant until after I had miscarried and I only made it about 6 weeks (According to my falling hormone levels). 

On March 12 2014 I saw the most beautiful two lines I have ever seen... 
For me, this was the first time I actually got to see the lines and know I was pregnant. I ran downstairs to my husband and I emailed my mom. I was beyond thrilled. I scheduled an appointment with an OB but they wanted me to wait until I would be about 10 weeks. For me, 10 weeks was a LONG time considering I was not very good at making it passed 6 weeks. 
When it got closer to my appointment, I got more and more excited. The day before my appointment I woke up about 9 o'clock at night in the worst pain imaginable. I'd had kidney stones but they could not even TOUCH the pain I was feeling. I got up and went to the bathroom thinking I was just passing the largest stone ever, but there was blood... LOTS of blood. 
I was doubled over in pain i could barely talk. Once i finally caught my breath I remember screaming "ALEX!"
He jumped straight out of bed from a dead sleep. I couldn't catch my breath again to tell him that something was wrong but he knew. He could tell I was in way too much pain. So, we got up and rushed to the nearest Emergency Room. 
It was there that I went through full labor and passed my twins. We had no clue we were having twins and I was crushed. This was my first time really experiencing a miscarriage. Feeling the pain. The loss. The broken heart.
I spent another few hours in the hospital after I passed the babies to make sure there were no complications. 
We got home at 1 in the morning on a Sunday. Alex was kind enough to pin up blankets on all the windows in the room so that I could sleep as long as I wanted. 
Later that day I got up to grab some food and curl back up in bed when the doorbell rang. It was one of my very dear friends and I had to put on a happy face. She noticed I had an ER bracelet and asked. I was not ready for someone to ask. She was one of the only other people I had told that I was pregnant so of course she asked if the baby was ok. I quickly responded it was just another kidney stone and she left. For the next hour I sat in my bed crying. Eventually I cried myself asleep and didn't wake up until the middle of the night and only got up to eat. That routine basically became my life for the next two weeks. I slept. I ate. I cried.

My friend ended up coming back bringing up dinner. She and her husband stayed for a little while, so of course, the truth came out. I had only told our mother's what had happened and that was just through an email. It could never have prepared me to say it out loud to someone.

One evening when I woke up after sleeping all day, I started going downstairs to get some food. I heard Alex crying and talking to someone so I stopped on the stairs to listen.
He was on the phone with his mom. There he was, crying his eyes out, telling his mom how hard it had been on him to go to school while grieving the loss of out babies. 
That's when it hit me. I was being selfish. I wasn't the only one who had lost the babies, my husband had too. I went back upstairs to bed since I knew Alex was coming up to bed. 
That night we laid in bed crying together. 

This was the moment I realized I was not alone, that I would never be alone. Maybe that is what made my next miscarriage much easier to get through.

So, 10 1/2 short weeks later I was losing another baby the morning of my first OB appointment for the baby. This may be too much information (You've now been warned) but I was able to catch the baby. So, we took the baby with us so they could test it to see why my body could not hold on to even one baby!
A few weeks later we went back in for the news. I was so afraid. Afraid of what my doctor was going to say. Afraid I would never be able to have a child of my own.
You know what she said? 
"All the tests on the fetus came back fine. There was nothing wrong with it. Your hormone levels are great, your uterus looks great, so my conclusion is you are too fertile."
Too fertile?
TOO fertile?
What does that even mean? 

Well, this is what It means:
There was a small study recently that looked at women who’d suffered recurrent miscarriages. It found that the endometrium of these women might be extremely receptive to embryos, allowing even poor-quality ones to embed and survive for longer. So, the women studied were falling pregnant very easily, but the embryos weren’t necessarily healthy enough to survive – hence the repeated miscarriages. The media went crazy with claims of ‘super’ fertility, which makes it sound like a positive thing. However, these women don’t have lots of babies, they have lots of miscarriages.

At this point, my doctor said that I may never have a live birth, but she was determined to try!

Only a few short months later I was pregnant again! Thankfully I had the wonderful doctor I did, she calmed all my nerves and fears. She got me on progesterone and closely monitored me my entire pregnancy. Out of my miscarriage storm FINALLY came my rainbow baby boy! :)

My pregnancy wasn't easy and we had many scares but it was SO worth it!

I hope everyone that is going through or has gone through miscarriages gets their rainbow baby(s). 

There are many people who have asked me how I got through all my miscarriages. My answer will always be that same. I let myself grieve, I cried, I prayed, I cried some more, and I prayed a little harder! I've gone through miscarriages that I let myself grieve and miscarriages where I tried to hold it all in. The ones where I let myself grieve were a lot easier to get through. You lost a baby. A human being. It's going to hurt physically and emotionally!The grieving process is the same as if you lost a different family member. I never needed counseling, but some people may need it! Do NOT be ashamed if you do! 

The reason I am sharing my story today is October 15th is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness day. The entire month of October is to be aware of those mothers who grieve in silence. Today is the day we all come together and remember who we lost.
Leave a link in the comments if you end up doing something in memory of your lost ones. I would love to see it! Thanks for reading and sharing with me.

Always Smile!

You can visit Rikki's blog at Happy Haws Home: http://happyhawshome.blogspot.com
f you would like to guest post with us this month it isn't too late, please send us a message via our Contact Us page. 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Join the Wave of Light...

Join the Wave of Light! Don't forget today is October 15th - Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day. We invite everyone, wherever you live, to join us in lighting a candle at 7 PM to help remember all of our Angels. Help us by sharing this image above. 

Capture Your Grief Days 8,9,11 & 13

Day 8 – WISH LIST What are your wishes for this grief journey? What do you need from others? It might be that you want your child to always be remembered. You may wish to educate others on grief and healing. Maybe your wish is to turn this tragedy into something beautiful. Spend some time thinking about what it is that you hope to be able to do, learn or gain from this experience.

My wish has always been to remember Gage and give his life purpose.  I have always wanted to turn our tragedy into something positive and that is why we started GAGE.  I need others to remember him and to not act like he didn't exist. I always include him whenever asked how many children I have.....he was and will always be my child.

Day 9 – FAMILY – What does your family look like today? Who is your family to you? What do they mean to you? 

My family today includes my husband and Gage's five brothers (two of which were born after his death). My family is the reason I continue to live. They understand this process because they too live it on a daily basis. They are my biggest support. My extended family and friends have and continue to provide me with love and support along this journey.

Day 11 – GLOW IN THE WOODS Today I want to honour the beautiful writers at Glow In The Woods, past and present. This was the first place I found on the internet where I could read about other parents experiences with grief. They were literally my light in the darkness. When we become bereaved, in the beginning, many of us look outwards for help. We set out in the darkness of night with a blanket and a lantern in search of others like us. Along the road we usually find someone or something and it is with that discovery that we can walk this road with understanding company and with that, we watch the sun begin to rise over our worlds again. Who was your glow in the woods? Share some resources that have aided you in your healing journey. It may be a website, charity, organization, a person/teacher/therapist/new friend etc. Whatever it is, share what is so wonderful about that resource and how it has helped you. Please feel welcome to share links so that others can benefit.

I immediately joined an online SIDS support group after Gage's death. It really helped me in the beginning to know that I was not alone and that so many others really understood the pain that I was experiencing. It was a safe place to go and get questions answered from people who had experienced this type of grief first hand. I reached a point in my own journey that I had to step back from the group. It was consuming too much of my time and was no longer a healthy part of my personal journey. 

I received a kit with various items from a local organization (Sewing For Babies) after Gage died. The items did and still continue to provide me comfort. This was one of the reasons I wanted to make kits of my own. Here is the link to their Facebook page https://m.facebook.com/profile.php?id=257458498746

Day 13 – REGRETS + TRIGGERS What are some regrets that you have about your experience with grief so far? Do you believe there is a way to heal that regret? Do you have any grief triggers? Maybe it is the pregnant woman in the store or a scent that reminds you of that time in your life. Perhaps it is a sound, song, season etc. Share what pulls on your heart strings.

The trigger that I have has been watching the milestones of my other children. When my now 3 month old flashed me his first real smile I was in awe of the moment but quickly realized that I never got to experience that same moment with Gage.  These moments often bring tears to my eyes. While I'm happy and excited to be sharing these moments with each of my children it's hard to ignore the fact that I will never have the same experience with Gage.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Guest Post: Rudy's Story

Today we are lucky enough to have Sandi with us- she is such an amazing  person who is willing to share her story with usPlease take a moment to read this post and feel free to leave comments in response on our Facebook page

 Rudy`s Story
            In July of 1991 I became pregnant with my fifth child. I can remember it was an extremely hot summer. I was tired and feeling sick from pregnancy. My two and a half year old, Mihkela often took baths with me and one day she asked me why I was feeling so sick. I told her that soon she`d have a new brother or sister. She was thrilled and told me that she would pray for me. We are Christians, I gave my life to the Lord, my Savior, Jesus Christ in December 0f 1974.

        I was informed by two physicians before my marriage that I would be unable to conceive and more than likely be sterile. Remember after being married awhile, I went to my Heavenly Father, knowing He can do ANYTHING because He is Creator most powerful, great and mighty! God is faithful, and Seth Isaac was born. My receiving womb continued to bear four other children, Corey Williams, Johnna Elizabeth, and Mihkela Estelle-Virginia and the child to be born in March of 1992.

       Sure I had the normal feelings of sickness that accompanies pregnancy. Each pregnancy caused its own cravings and this time around it was plums. FINALLY made it through the sick times and I felt so blessed to be pregnant again. It also thrilled me in a special way as this time I was still grieving over the recent death of my father.

       My pregnancy was progressing normally and I felt great, just a bit uncomfortable toward the end. Went for an ultrasound in January and son Corey, and daughters, Johnna and Mihkela accompanied. They were able to see their little brother turn around and 'look' right at us. He wanted us to know who he was. Truly awesome.

       I was quickly approaching my due date and we were busy getting everything ready in order for the big day. I had two friends that both were pregnant also and we had gotten together a few times. We`d kid each other about how big we were getting and strange eating habits.

      Mom arrived beginning of March and was staying until the baby was born. Friends gave me an wonderful shower.

     Went to the doctor`s on Thursday, just before the baby was to be born. Steve was planning on delivering our baby and he was with me when we heard a strong heartbeat. This baby was ready and we were anxious to meet him.

Made this wood carving. Broken Heart.

     Sunday was sitting with my feet elevated, Indian style. My daughter, Mihkela was nuzzled in close and her brother Rudy John gave her such a kick. I saw her move and she said; "Whoa Momma" and she giggled. Never realized he was saying good-bye.

    Monday morning around 5am. I was in my usual comfortable position. I didn't know it yet, felt Rudy move for the last time. That afternoon went for a stress test with my husband to see if I needed to be induced or not. It was March 23. We were joking with the nurses about simple things. Nurse applied the jelly on my belly. Laughed about how cold it was. The nurse moved the monitor around and nothing registered. She tried another monitor. Nothing. Another nurse came in to help, nothing. They called the doctor in. The doctor told us the baby was most likely dead. 

    Reality...it was already hitting Steve. He was being strong for me. We had a ultrasound and a neurologist came to us and looked us straight in the eyes and said, "I`m sorry, your baby is dead." I began to sob and it snowballed into uncontrollable sobbing from the depths of my soul. Steve said, "Sand, its alright" because he wanted so much to console me but I started screaming.  Reality Hit.

    We could of stayed at the hospital. We decided we needed to go home and tell everyone first hand. I didn't feel much like a woman of faith. God is gracious and merciful. I have since learned that we have faith in the midst of terrible pain and sorrow.

Our Adopted Kids. Andrew, Ethan, Grace Rose, and Luke.

    All the tears that were shed when we got home. The kids were looking forward to their new little brother. My labor started. When we arrived at the hospital the nurses were advising me to hold my baby and spend time with him. I said, "I don't think so". I wanted a C-section or to be knocked out. I begged and pleaded and demanded. No one listened. I knew somehow the Lord was with us. At 2am my water broke everything started to happen pretty quickly. Rudy John was born at 8:30 am on his due date, March 24th.It was a rough delivering for both of us. Had trouble delivering his shoulders. He was a big boy. 22" long and 10lbs. 5ozs. The nurses were wonderful. They took pictures and we held him. They left us alone and told us we could have as much time as we needed. We counted all his fingers and toes. He was gorgeous. Strong looking with beautiful dark hair. Then we realized what was wrong with this picture. The joy that comes with a new baby was missing. We held him close and rocked him. I nursed all my other children and could already feel my milk coming in. This little one will not be nursing. We had so much trouble leaving the hospital, Our little boy would not be leaving with us.

     The day we went to the funeral home was beyond painful. Our children and their Grandmom got to meet Rudy and a couple of close friends. Know the Lord was carrying us and holding us extra tight. We held each other tight as well.

     Grief does come flooding in. We joined a club we never wanted a part of. Many days of not knowing how we
Our Bio Kids Today. Johnna, Corey, Seth, Mihkela,
and Luke(he is our youngest adopted-He loves his sibs). 
would ever survive minute to minute. SLOWLY, ever so slowly. Our days were just that days. God somehow picked up or faces and our hearts off the floor. Many people tried to help. Cards and visits, phone calls. One day, a dear person sent a card with this Scripture, Romans 8:38,39.Where it talks about God`s Love is real even in death. Appreciate her reaching out, knew that she had been in the same club as me. She had had a few Miscarriages.

     Its twenty three years since Rudy went to Heaven. We all grieve differently. Looking back someone how we gave each other room during those extremely rough days. We have song that we call Rudy`s song we play every year on his birthday. We all call each other on his day. Not one day goes by that we don't miss him. It hasn't gotten better its just different. 

     We were given a ministry to help other families. Its called "Little Lambs". We share our story and give the family a little lamb. Then six years after losing Rudy we felt we were to bring in kids who never knew the joy of a loving family. In 1999, we got our Foster License and have adopted four children from the system.  -Sandi and Steve

If you would like to guest post with us this month it isn't too late, please send us a message via our Contact Us page.