...my journey through the valleys and over the mountains as i learn to live with the 'new' reality of losing xavier ian. this is a place i can jot down thoughts, feelings, and things i am learning through this journey of life.

if my dreams came true...

Lilypie Angel and Memorial tickers

since the nightmare began...

Lilypie Angel and Memorial tickers

Sunday, June 10, 2012


nobody congratulates you when your baby is stillborn [and for good reason, i guess] but, that just makes it all the more tragic.  not only has your baby died, but people act as though you have not just given birth to a beautiful baby; as though you are not a  new mother.  when you think about it, it's even more difficult to be a mother to a dead baby because there is less of a support system immediately available to you.  most of us have to search out a new support system and may even lose someone from our previous support system.  all that said, there was one woman who had a stillborn daughter years before me that congratulated me on the birth of xavier a few months after his stillbirth.  i shared pictures and she looked at them and commented how beautiful he was.  she recognized that i was a new mother; i had given birth; my baby was beautiful and she congratulated me.

i cried tears of joy, possibly the first tears of joy since i lost xavier that day.
thank you lari.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

another giveaway...

still standing magazine is doing a bunch of giveaways to launch this magazine for those that have dealt with child loss or infertility...here's the latest giveaway!
click here to check it out

Thursday, April 26, 2012


sophia & ellie's mom [tina] is doing an awesome giveaway for their 3rd birthday!!!
check out franchesca's blog for the details...
please click this link to read all about it!!!!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

dare i dream again...

my relationship with andy is going so well that i'm afraid if i write about it i may jinx it.  well, i'm writing about it anyway.  the last time i remember feeling so good about my marriage was when i was pregnant with michael.  i was still full of dreams.  i was still innocent [for the most part] and i still thought i could live out my dreams.  then, money got tighter and we stacked up bunches of credit card debt, miss andi was born, and i quickly realized that my dreams were just that, dreams.  dreams are not real.  dreams do not come true.  reality set in.  my marriage was a mess.  our finances were horrible.  all we did was argue.  then there were these two beautiful children that we were trying to hold it all together for and i don't think we did a very good job; expecially after losing xavier.  after losing xavier i stopped dreaming.  i was afraid dreaming would end in disappointment and hurt.  if i didn't dream, maybe i wouldn't be disappointed.  just maybe, i wouldn't add any hurt to my already aching heart.  i still don't dream like i used to.

so, here i am.  i finally feel like it's all working out.  i finally feel like we're figuring out this marriage thing and raising children thing and grief thing.  i finally feel like we're on the right track.  i'm sure there are still going to be bumps and potholes and road construction with detours, but we've made it this far on the journey through life together and i feel confident that wherever we go on this journey it'll be together.

of course my counselor is quick to remind me that there will be 'bad' days and on those days i need to remember these 'good' days.  he also reminds me that i should keep in mind the 'bad' days on the 'good' days to keep everything in perspective.  i have a tendency to be extremely happy or extremely depressed!  i'm working on that.  i'm working on stabilizing my emotions.

counseling is hard work.  marriage is hard work.  parenting is hard work.  grief is hard work.  but, i have a feeling that in the end it will be worth all the hard work!  and maybe, just maybe one day i'll be able to dream again, without being gaurded, if only for a moment! 

Saturday, April 7, 2012

three years ago...

three years ago he was alive. 
three years ago my marriage was falling apart.
three years ago i thought the worst thing in the world would be a divorce.
i was wrong.  i wish i hadn't found out i was wrong.
the worst thing in the world is a dead baby.
my innocent baby who never had a chance to live outside my womb.
three years ago my view of the world shattered.
three years ago i re-examined my God.
three years ago i never thought i would be able to say, "three years ago."

i can't believe how far off three years ago seems
and at the same time
i feel it like it was yesterday.

three years ago on good friday i heard xavier's heartbeat for the last time.
xavier ian swords

Friday, March 30, 2012


last week i lost my focus.
after counseling i always e-mail chris a synopsis of the session (or rather my version of what we talked about).  the first e-mail i sent was the usual, "here's what we talked about," and "here's what i took from the session," but then i continued e-mailing and chris didn't answer and i sprialed out of control!  i stopped focusing on me and began focusing on why chris wasn't replying until today when i drove past the office and saw his car and finally felt calm.  i knew chris was okay; i started to think about the past week and realized that i sounded like a lunatic in my e-mails.  now i'm a bit anxious about my session next week with chris because he still hasn't replied to my e-mails! 
hopefully he can find the humor in me freaking out!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


i feel like i don't belong:
     in the house i live in.
     with the young mothers at church.
     in this babylost club.

why don't i belong?
     i'm not like anyone else in that house!  i'm loud and creative.  at the same time i'm an adult and a child; a mother and a daughter; a wife and a breadwinner.  i just feel out of place.  i'm messy.  i'm neurotic.  i'm traditional and a feminist.  i am an artist!  i grieve and art is my outlet for my grieving.
     i do not stay at home with my children [my husband does].  i do not cook meals or manage the finances [my husband does].  i do not take care of all the little day to day tasks [my husband does].  i work a job and a half.  i feel guilty about that.  i go to counseling every week [sometimes twice a week].
     my baby wasn't even considered a baby.  he only has a death certificate because we had him cremated [otherwise he would have been disposed of with biohazard waste from the hospital].  i never felt him move.  labor was painless.  some people didn't even know i was pregnant and then he was gone.

how do i go about changing when i don't have the energy to even have a decent conversation with my husband after i get off work?  i'm doing my best to avoid and ignore and it's not working so well.  all the little things are starting to get to me.  i feel judged.  in reality i'm probably judging myself a lot more harshly than anyone else. 

i need a friend who is within arms length.  i have friends in other states or towns, but nobody close here in goshen.  life isn't easy.  marriage isn't easy either.  my job isn't easy.  i'm physically and emotionally drained at the end of most days.  i don't get enough sleep quite often.

i will say my counselor is amazing!  he feels that i have put such high expectations on him he could never live up to them.  i beg to differ.  some people need to be told what to change and some have to figure it out for themselves, even if they've been told before.  chris gets that and he patiently waits for me to figure it out on my own.  he can see grey areas and believes that there is no one right answer...maybe everbody is right.  sometimes i get angry and throw a pillow at him.  he usually gives it back.  sometimes he cries with me.  sometimes he laughs at me.  sometimes he gives advice [rarely does he give advice].  he always listens.  i suppose all counselors should be good listeners, but chris listens in between sessions via e-mail and voice mail and texts.  chris truly cares about his clients and if xavier hadn't died, if we never moved out of the farmhouse i may have never met chris.  chris is one of the best counselors i've ever been to and i've been to several!  i truly believe God brought chris into my life for this time for a purpose.  i've learned that i grieve effectively, sometimes i just don't realize what i'm grieving.  i have all the tools i need...in fact i teach others the tools i need...but, i don't use them in my personal life.  i'm normal, if there is such a thing and normal is not perfect.    

Thursday, March 15, 2012

march 15, 2012...

it's been quite a while since my last post.  i just don't feel like i have anything to say that is helpful or important.  i've been e-mailing my counselor a lot...like a LOT!  he even replies every so often.  i still feel like i'm on a roller coaster.  i think about xavier everyday, just like i think about my living children every day.  i've been doing expressive artwork.  i've been journaling some.  i've been working on my relationship with my husband.  i've been working a lot...a LOT!  i haven't been facebooking much, but i try to get on at least every couple of days and see what's going on.  i guess i'm just giving a boring update of my life.  not much to say. 

Monday, January 23, 2012


i've always been a fairly honest person, but you can only be as honest with others as you are with yourself.  i'm more honest with my counselor than anyone else and i think that is because i answer questions he asks not realizing that i'm going to say something out loud that i don't want to believe.  sometimes i'll answer a question, then gasp, and i think that's horrible.  apparently i'm not horrible.  apparently my thoughts are normal and natural reactions to the situations in my life.  so, i've been thinking a lot about honesty lately and how honest i really am with myself.  i need to be completely honest with myself so that i can be completely honest in my relationships.  this year i want to be honest and true to myself.  i want to be better than i am.  so far i'm not really doing anything differently than i ever have, but it's only january.  maybe with spring and warmer weather in a few months i'll get motivated.  i really hope so.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

grief is a journey, not a destination...

sometimes i forget that grief is a journey and not a destination.  today my journey led me through a torential downpour that stopped me dead in my tracks.  out of nowhere i just started crying, for no apparent reason, and i'm at a standstill.  like so many other things...grief is a journey and not  a destination.