Random ramblings of a grieving mother.

I was ironing clothes for my two kids (i hate ironing but do it because i don't want them looking all wrinkly), and it hit me.

Devon's second angelversary is in three weeks.

During this time two years ago, I was breaking in Renata the Sonata and preparing to install the car seat base, blissfully unaware that my life was about to be shattered in a matter of weeks. Days. Oh, how I wish I could remember those days with happiness instead of sadness. Oh, how I wish those hadn't been the last days I'd had with my son.

The pain of his loss hasn't lessened with Mia's arrival. I am beyond grateful that she is a part of this family, but that doesn't make me miss her big brother less. I think about him all the time, but as we get closer and closer to the day he was born sleeping, I think about him almost every moment of every day.

It still amazes me that the littlest things can set me off. Folding Mia's baby socks made me cry the other night. The stack of clothes I bought him - but he'll never wear, and I can't bear to part with just yet - fell out of the closet last week, and I bawled my eyes out as I folded them neatly and stuffed them back on the shelf. I follow a few of the moms from Devon's bump month board on Instagram, and they're planning birthday parties for their almost 2-year-olds. I am so happy that they have those adorable little babies in their lives, but it hurts my heart to watch them grow up and know that I will never celebrate an Earthly birthday with Devon. I will never be bitter or angry towards them, but I am bitter and angry towards my own situation. I discovered last year that Devon's angelversary came with a few weeks of "God, why did you have to take MY baby? Why did it have to be ME that has to go through this?"...and even though I try to fight them, I do let those thoughts linger ever now and then. Why ME? Why MY baby? I try to stay positive in my life because 1.) it feels better to be positive than negative; and 2.) I want my children to see the positive side of me only. But as we inch closer to that angelversary, that negative side rears its ugly head. I only put up a half fight to ward it off, too.

It is emotionally exhausting to live through the loss of your baby. You never know when you're going to have good days or bad days, when something as small as a baby sock - or something as big as watching Return to Zero - will ruin your entire day. I am always on the edge mentally, expecting the worst but hoping for the best. While my optimism is stronger now than it was in the weeks after my loss, I am still not the overly optimistic person I was before Devon died. I totally expect that one of my living children will be taken from me, thoughts that I know will probably send me back to therapy because I just can't live with that fear for much longer. The anxiety, the fear, the sadness, the hurt, the anger...I can suppress it and accept it, but it's hard as hell to move past - and it's impossible to fully forget.

I have met more loss moms over the last year, and their stories break my heart. I watch them go through all the things I went through - absolute disbelief and denial. Unbearable sadness and heartache. Anger - SO much anger. They live in this fog, this haze, just trying to survive each breath without losing their minds to the grief. But then, as the time slowly passes, they come out of that fog and start to live again. They get in shape, pick up new hobbies, have more babies. They have more happy than sad days, don't dwell on the circumstances of the loss as much, start to move forward. But they never, ever forget. I certainly will never, ever forget.

For those who continue to read my blog - even with my depressing posts - thank you. Thanks for your kind words, your support, your love. I will need that more than ever as I come up on another year without my sweet angel boy. It's funny how time continues to move around you, even when your world is standing still.


Return to Zero.

I knew about Return to Zero from various loss sites and knew the movie would be coming out on Lifetime. I knew when the first airing was on because my Facebook feed was flooded with people - loss parents, supporters, people who enjoy Lifetime movies in general - providing feedback. I saw it on my TV guide but didn't record because, well, I didn't know if I had the strength to watch it.

Turns out, I did.

I found the movie on my On Demand channel and, without second thought, hit the play button. I sat on my couch for an hour and 45 minutes, praying both kids would stay asleep so they wouldn't hear or see the crying puddle their mother had turned into. That was one of the most intense experiences of my life; I had a knot in my throat and stomach the entire movie. I've never felt that way watching a movie before - but I've also never watched a movie I could relate to so much.

For those who don't know, Return to Zero is about a couple who lose their baby at 38 weeks and the aftermath. It hit so close to home on so many levels that it was emotionally jarring. I was suddenly thrown back to August 18, 2012, in the quiet maternity ward of Reynolds Army Community Hospital, the place where I was told my son no longer had a heartbeat. I didn't go home like they did in the movie; I stayed, and labored, and cried in a quiet delivery room as the RN and OB carried my angel boy away. I spent time with him, held him, rocked him as I signed the papers signifying his death. We had a memorial - one I barely remember - and we had him cremated, his ashes sitting in a blue box on my dresser. I remembered the dark hole that the lead character lived in, and I cringed at the ridiculous crap people said in the movie (although I never had someone tell me Devon was up there picking out a healthy baby for me; I would have slapped that person if I'd ever been told that). I recalled the tense moments between me and J, the ease I shut him - and others - out as I figured out how to move on after my baby had died on my watch. I remember the guilt, the anger, and anguish...it all came back so clear as I watched.

I cried the entire movie. God, did I cry. I sat on my overly warm couch, curled up under a blanket I didn't need but wanted anyway, and I bawled my eyes out. I almost threw things, because I remembered it all, and it hurt. I could've stopped the movie and made the hurt go away, but I didn't. I watched, and I wept, and I remembered.

But you know what? I am SO glad I watched the movie. I am SO glad that this movie was made, was put out there for people to see. No one wants to talk about pregnancy and infant loss because it's taboo. I think some people truly believe that something as awful as a baby dying never happens, but I am living proof that it does. Return to Zero was spot on with the experiences, and the emotions, and the things that can happen after you experience such a devastating loss. I hope it was an eye-opening experience for people, that those who have never gone through this can sorta understand what really happens when a baby dies.

At first, I regretted starting the movie with no one else to watch it with me, because I thought I would want the support. But I'm glad I watched it alone, because I could really remember, and really cry, and get through the movie at my own pace while dealing with all the emotions. It was probably the hardest movie I'll ever watch, but it is also one of the best I'll ever watch.