Our scare with “Ev’y bear”

We had a scary week with our “Ev’y bear” (as Auntie Chey calls her) last week. She started to show signs of being sick Sunday. By Monday she was coughing constantly and I took her (and Shailo) to our pediatrician. And they sent us home saying Shailo needed his nebulizer but nothing much about Ever. To be honest, I left that day more worried about Shailo than Everly. I couldn’t have imagined how badly the next few days would be.

IMG_3874

By Tuesday evening she was so ill she couldn’t keep food or drink down. By wednesday afternoon she was lethargic and hadn’t peed/pooped since the night before. I couldn’t get her to nurse or eat anything. At that point we knew it was time to take her to be seen. I drove to Urgent Care (to be honest, I just didn’t realize how bad she really was otherwise I would have gone straight to the hospital). They knew right away that she was dehydrated and that they’d be sending us to the ER. Before we left they tested her for RSV. It came back positive within minutes. We went to the ER and again she was seen immediately. In her case since she was dehydrated and her RSV was determined to be bronchiolitis- which is inflammation of her small airways, but they couldn’t tell by X-ray if she had pneumonia or not due to dehydration. It was confusing, but basically once she was hydrated we would either see her begin to get better (RSV) or worse (Pneumonia) and then in that case they would put her on antibiotics immediately.

We were driven by ambulance to Children’s Hospital. Her pulse ox levels were very low and they put her on oxygen immediately. They were frustrated the previous hospital hasn’t already done so.

 

IMG_3873I had a few surreal moments one in the ER and then again at the hospital, where I felt similar, terrible, almost physically painful feelings of fear like I felt when pregnant with our Eisley-girl. I feared we were losing our Ever-girl too. (Ted couldn’t be there with us, which looking back, I wish we could have just made it work because of how terrible it was. It was too complicated… our boys were also sick and we didn’t want to bring that into other families homes!)

Having already lived the nightmare of losing a child once, it was hard to visit similar fears. Like beyond hard. My words cant even express the fear. I had to buckle down and just ride it all out as each twist and turn came to us for Ever! I didn’t want her to sense my fear, so I would sing to her, hum or try to calm her with kisses and soothing words.IMG_3663One of the most difficult things to watch was when they had to put an IV in my baby. The poked, and poked, and poked. She was so dehydrated it was difficult to put an IV in. I held her down through the entire thing. They poked both feet, both arms, one hand… she was so stressed she her clench her jaw, stopped breathing and begin to shake. After everything settled down, and I had a few moments with her to myself. I just held her and cried. Everything inside of me wanted to flip out. My amazing hubby made me snap out of my panicked state. He told me I had to keep it together for Everly. Any other time, I would have probably flipped out at his comment, but this time I just knew he was right (and this was all on the phone).

IMG_3872

Ted wasn’t able to be there with me at all. It was “only” all of 3 days but it felt like an eternity. It was terrible, and lonely and incredibly traumatic to be honest. I felt helpless and I knew that all I could do for Ever was to just hold her on my shoulder, the only position she would let me hold her due to her discomfort and tubes, etc. She never got used to the oxygen in her nose or the IV in her arm. They bothered her until the nurses took them out, honestly. Poor, sweet girl was SO stressed out of her mind during her stay in the hospital. IMG_3871 The first night in the hospital, Everly was exhausted and would fall asleep only to be woken up and checked on every 30 min and then an hour. She was miserably tired. I even “snuck” into her bed once, just to get her to sleep quickly. I couldn’t sleep that night, mostly due to the situation. How can you sleep when your baby is lying so sick? And see that crib above? Everly wanted nothing to do with it.

After an another exhausting day of little sleep I told Ted on the phone that we couldn’t keep going at this rate. They had volunteers, every once and a while, pop in to see if they could sit with Everly. And occasionally I would say “yes” just so I could simply pee. Once time I actually left the room for a coffee. I couldn’t leave her long, knowing how stressed and confused she was already…I just couldn’t walk away.

Finally the second night, I told the nurse I was going to sleep in the bed with her. And they allowed it.

At that point, when I crawled into bed with her.. I felt like I wouldn’t be able to function the next day without just a few hours of sleep. She needed sleep and she could recover better. I just kept wondering how on earth can she recover when she was stressed more than she’d ever been in her life! How was that healthy for her?

And that night… Everly slept SO well. A total of 6 hours off and on, which Ted laughed at, but still it was more than the 2.5hrs the night before!
IMG_3582Sure enough, the next morning she woke rested, she had slept AND nursed throughout the night. She even took her meds without getting sick and had finally peed A LOT which was good sign! She sat up and played for that morning and was beginning to be like her happy, smiley self. 10987389_10152722782831989_8919462880255251472_nBy Friday morning, not even 48 hours later, she was able to get the oxygen off and the Pediatrician told us that afternoon she could go home if she was still on the “up and up”! She said since she was hydrated and no longer needed oxygen, she would likely heal better at home in her own enviroment. I agreed and we were SO ready to get home! I felt nervous leaving, but also felt like I knew the signs now to bring her back if need be.
IMG_3661Above is Ever about to leave the hospital! WOOHOO! The blood tests she had done also revealed she’s severly anemic. So we now give her drops twice daily in juice (or applesauce, etc) like it’s pictured above, until her iron levels are better. Chase had a similiar problem, so that I am not too worried about. 10994585_10152727324571989_3574779648869888800_nValentine’s Day (well, even still!) I had moment after moment of gratefulness. When you suddenly picture the worst case scenario happening (my mind always goes there since Eisley’s death) and then you end up doing so much better than imagined. I can’t even really express how incredible and amazing that is. I feel more aware and grateful for her more than ever before. Above picture: I was washing dishes with her in the bumbo, like our normal every day life, and it just hit me… SHE’S HERE AND SHE’S OKAY. I cried and picked her up and snuggled her the rest of the evening. 1508181_10152727469696989_3150643600025849048_nIn the back of my mind, I’m always afraid of losing another one of my precious babies. And last week really took me, took us, back to memories and places we’d rather not visit again. I am so thankful our sweet Ev’y Bear is still here with us, and thriving! And guess what? One week later and she is 100%. You would never guess she was so sick she was hospitalized just last week! And this little miss has her 1st birthday one week from today!

Two things truly resonated within me this week and I want to cling to them, in seasons of darkness and light:

1. I am a good momma. I’d give anything for them. I feel like God really spoke to my heart this last week and comforted and encouraged me along the way. I don’t want to sound vain, the truth is, I’ve never felt like a good mother. This last week was really interesting for my heart. I want to move forward in confidence in this. I am a good momma to my babies.

2. Good things DO happen to our family. We can’t live fatalistically anymore. I have struggled believing good things for our family lately. I feel like we’re drowning most of the time, so many losses and changes… and the beginning of this year has been incredibly painful and confusing already. I feel that part of the “we can do this” in me just gave up. I was tired of struggle, still am, but I feel energized again. We had a miscarriage already this year, I was “just” almost 7 weeks along. But the grief and pain, stirred up and new, has been so difficult to swallow. Then with Everly so sick I thought “what next?” and “This is our life.” Ted and I have both felt that after almost 5 years of struggle in grief after loss, and then everything in between, we’ve “guarded” our hearts from believing good things like we used to. Walls have gone up in many areas of our lives. Fear based and guarded to have a sense of “protection” and maybe to feel prepared for the next thing to go wrong.

We don’t want to live this way anymore. I don’t know what this looks like. But we’re just going to take it a day at a time. Believing and hoping for good and beautiful things for out family!

Paper Heart Photoshoot – Everly Style

We have a silly, fun “tradition” of sorts each Valentine’s. Since Chase’s first Valentine’s Day we have done a paper heart photo-shoot. And it just became a little fun tradition ever since.  Well, this year, Little Miss Ever joined in :) Be ready to MELT. The beautiful dress she is wearing was made for her by my Grandma, Ev’s “GG-ma”!

IMG_3855EverlyValentinesCollage

IMG_3862

IMG_3857IMG_3890IMG_3861

 After our scare with her last week (I have a blog post in the works about it now), these just feel especially special to me. I am so thankful she is doing so much better now!

I couldn’t find any from last year, I’m not sure if we even did it. I was huge pregnant with Ever (she’s 1 in 2 weeks!) so maybe that was why :)valentines_overtheyears (1) Chaseyboy in years past!valentinesdaycollage_overtheyears (1)

Shailo ages 3 months and 15 months.

Just a fun little tradition.

Thanks for stopping by :)

(Almost) One years worth of cuddles!

I am a lover of documenting moments in our lives. The beautiful, the messy, the posed, the candid, the hilarious, the teary, etc.

Well. this miniseries of photos wasn’t planned. These are moments that are very much real in our lives. Our bed almost always has one, most of the time two kiddos in it by dawn. When the sun rises, Chaseyboy wakes from his own bed and comes to ours to snuggle. It’s a family ordeal. One that some nights require a lot of patience and less sleep than one should have, however I know this isn’t going to last forever… and to be honest, I love it.

Below are pictures of the last (almost) year of morning cuddles with their sissy. I snapped one recently (the very last photo) and decided to look back because I remembered snapping others similar. I put them together and my heart “burst”.

IMG_2980-0

Chase 4, Everly 1 month, Shailo 2

 

IMG_2974-0

Chase 4, Everly 4 months, Shailo 2IMG_2977-0Chase 5, Everly 7 months, Shailo 2

IMG_2971-0

Chase 5, Everly 11 months, Shailo 3

And yes, you bet I will make them do a similar pose when they are adults!

Breakthrough.

 If you’ve ever been in Colorado during the winter season, you know that it can snow one day and melt the next. In fact, it often snows and melts in the same day. True story. And also why I love Colorado: It may snow, but the sun isn’t too far behind. However, with that sunshine means quickly melted sledding hills!  Chase has been wanting to go, but I haven’t had the energy to get out on those days snowy enough to sled. Last week, we finally got out, even though the hill near our home was already melting! We made it work, and the kiddos had a blast!

This day was exactly what our family needed. A little bit of sunshine and fun. As you may have read in my most recent post, it has been an incredibly difficult season for our family. More so than I want to share (at least for now).

This day was a deliberate decision to get out and do something that would impact our family in a healthy way… yes, even something as simple as sledding. I am determined to make many more decisions that are healthy for our family, despite being so “busy” or down in this funk that this momma has been in.

This is our year of breakthrough. I believe it. And this day, I felt it. Here’s to many more…SleddingCollage_1

SleddingCollage_7

SleddingCollage_4Everly’s first time sledding :)

SleddingCollage_2SleddingCollage_6Sledding and snowball fights, but of course! SleddingCollage_5

Please note the boys’ faces behind me sledding! (above)

sledding

It was such a memorable time! Thanks photographer hubby for some fab pics of that day.

SleddingCollage_3

We are about to enter the “snowiest” time of our year until spring, so hopefully that means more times sledding!

Bug Museum

We visited a bug museum with Chase’s homeschool co-op just last week. It was incredible and slightly creepy :) The boys loved it. Here are some photos from that day!
IMG_3144

Chase’s classmates and teacher Miss Isabel 
IMG_3241

IMG_3240

IMG_3238

10151801_10152696953836989_2592950879154343039_nIMG_3239

Obviously the butterflies caught my eye the most. I could have taken pictures of every display though, they were honestly so amazing! IMG_3236

If you know me at all, posting this photo is such a big deal :) Reminds me of my time in a Thai village!  Notice how close Chaseyboy’s hand is… EEEEEP!IMG_3237

My fave of the day. IMG_3146

The exhibits were truly beautiful! We were blessed to be able to tag along! Even miss Ever hung out, literally in the Ergo, during the field trip.

If you happen to be local, or in colorado and looking for some unique, fun and reasonable things to do with your kiddos, check out the  This link to the May Museum!

The part where I gave up.

Until 2014, I have prided myself in being “adaptive”.  5.5 years ago I had our first baby after what (at the time, before having lost a baby) I felt was the worst birth/labor ever., 14 months later we lost our Eisley-girl, 14 months after that the birth of our surprise/gift Shailo, 28 months later we had our sweet Everly!

Aside from having 4 BEAUTIFUL babies… we have moved 8 times, one of which was overseas (during my pregnancy with Everly) where I attended a counseling school. We have each had jobs simultaneously, or we have struggled along as Ted had worked his bum off. Add college for Ted for 3 of those years. Add unpredictable grief. Add all of life’s in betweens…

I felt I had (we had) taken the ebbs and flows of life pretty darn well …*pat pat pat*…

Until 2014… we entered 2014 having just moved back from Amsterdam to no home, nothing but a few boxes of memorabilia in storage. Our plans of moving to Alaska suddenly changed and we found ourselves living with family… again. (They are amazing thankfully, we were so blessed!) We had Everly just shy of 2 months into the new year, and that was INCREDIBLE. We added baby number 3 (4th baby, really. … will I ever be able to just be okay saying the number of kiddos that are with me? Probably not….) and Ted had to go back to work just a few days later. We also went through the process of finding and buying a home. Many  5 hour drives (round trip) to visit homes, and then finally at the end of May we moved and have since planted some roots.

We have a home…

And then it happened… the adaptive, roll-with-the-punches Jami snapped this fall. I have lost it.  I guess I had huge expectations that we would now have time to process the dark times of our life in a healthy way… FINALLY. And that we would have more time as a family period. But honestly, our life is so insanely busy right now, that we barely have had time to process everyday life let alone the really gnarly parts.

Also the whole “keeping the me in mommy…” I haven’t done but maybe 5 things for myself this fall, like blogging, it’s been way too long! Normally by the beginning of a new year I share a post with beautiful moments throughout our year and also a new word for our year. I’m really not in a place to do that right now. My positivity is really quenched. Maybe someday soon, or maybe this is as good as it is going to get this time around. And I’m okay with that…

This is just a season in our lives, one that I know I will look back on and be so grateful for A) making it out alive and B) I hope to make it out a stronger person … and as a stronger family. But I guess I’m kind of over the surviving and I really want to deal with the fact that we. have. lost our. child. Our Eisley-girl.. I want to STOP and just BE sometimes.

It’s ugly, it’s messy, it’s painful. I’m unbearably miserable to be around (Ted basically pushed me out the door to have time alone and to write).  I go to bed feeling guilty and I wake feeling overwhelmed…wondering how I can keep putting my family through this debilitating depression, anxiety and anger. I wish someone could shake me and scream “get ahold of yourself woman!” and I’d just simply snap out of it. But i know it’s not the simple.

I feel guilt and an ache inside when I look at my beautiful little girl as a smile brightens her face… this twinge of guilt knowing that if I continue down this path, I will look back someday, and even now, and realize what a precious time in her life that I just allowed myself to survive, instead of truly live, breathe and enjoy  these precious and fleeting moments, like I used to.

For the first time since I’ve been a mother, and particularly since we’ve lost Eisley, I have completely lost myself… even physically look in the mirror and I cannot believe my eyes. Not just the weight, but my actual eyes, seem different. You know that saying “Your eyes are the window to your soul” … it sounds dramatic but it’s almost like even my body has had enough of me trying to hold everything together over these years. It’s like screw being adaptive! Let’s face this! Every season of life we’ve entered, even when it felt impossible I always been this “I’ve got this” person and I just did it. I don’t even know how, i just thought “Well, I can’t give up” and I (we) made it.

I’ve shared briefly and vaguely on the blog about my struggle with depression. But never this transparent. Perhaps because of the stigma attached to mental illness. And even as I write that “mental illness”, I cringe. It’s like I feel I’m saying “I’m weak” but in reality I know just how strong I’ve had to be. Even when it doesn’t feel that way. I have seen MANY family and friends walk through depression and they are some of the strongest people I know.

I hide it because frankly I feel ashamed.. I feel like there is this Jami everyone thinks they know, but that’s a version of me I want people to see. But even that facade is beginning to crumble. I find myself less and less able to hide… especially in a community where you are around people all. of. the. time. I want to hide away in our home, but I actually can’t, like it’s not even a possibility due to our schedules. Which maybe is a blessing in disguise (no). But I want to just hide away from the world. I don’t want people to see me failing and falling apart. (Yet, here I am sharing! HA!)

This is a part of my journey and my process. It isn’t for attention or for people to feel sorry for me. This is just me. I want to write it out loud (and believe me this isn’t everything). I also want others who struggle with depression and anxiety and anger to know YOU ARE NOT ALONE. No one wants to share this part of themselves. We always want to share the parts we feel we have all together, or appear to have figured out. I have a deep respect for those who are humble and honest with where they are at. It is beautiful to come together in these difficult and dark valleys as well as the mountain top experiences as well.

I think we often fall trap to the lie that if we share these things people will run from us or worse, stay and say something christian cliche when all I want to do is scream Do you not know the same Jesus I do?! He walked through the messy, the gnarly. I know I feel weary of the runners and cliche words hence sharing very little until now. (Unfortunately I have been a runner or a cliche talking fool myself at times!)

I didn’t make a huge list of goals this year, like last year and the years before. I actually have made very few (and that was only with the encouragement of my girl Britt!)

This fall I started believing that I just can’t do this anymore and to be honest, ALL of the members of my family have felt that. Jami – the me, the wife, the friend, the momma, the homemaker, etc…. she’s given up.

But I can’t stay here… I want to start believing that I can again even when it feels like I can’t.

Yet, I also want to be real and honest with where I am at and work through the things I need to as they come and even the moments that have past and are the darkest.

And I want to be gentle with myself along the way (I’m the hardest on myself…)

I also want to do more of the things that are me and that I love and miss.

This is a declaration…

And I’m saying it with faith because I truly don’t know how to get back up from here… but I WILL.

blog_

For my wounded/confused/amazing husband, for my beautiful (probably traumatized) kiddos… for me.

Here’s to a year of BREAKTHROUGH …  here’s to 2015.

Christmas Eve 2014

Christmas has become my favorite holiday since we’ve had kiddos.

It just seems so much more magical and joyous seeing Christmas through their eyes.

I also have loved creating traditions as a new and growing family and even carrying on traditions from our own upbringings.

This December I decided to lay aside a few traditions and we did the traditions that felt effortless and fun, but not an ounce overwhelming. In years past, I found myself to caught up and overwhelmed by too many activities. My deciding factor was the moment I found myself upset, even annoyed, with my kids because of an activity advent calendar we set up that wasn’t going as “planned”. And if we didn’t do one days’ activity, I felt like I was failing.

It was ridiculous. I may pick it back up as they grow older, or maybe not.

More than anything, I want the holidays to be filled with joyous memories, not memories of momma flippin’ out (I already do enough of that :))

One of those we did keep this year was our Christmas Eve tradition of new jammies, a new book and a new game. We get dressed, drive around to see christmas lights, and then come back home for our new story, game and hot cocoa! Here are photos from that evening:

Christmas2014Collage_2 What made this Christmas especially exciting was the pink jammy’d girly pictured. Ever’s first Christmas!
Christmas2014Collage_Christmas2014Collage_3Reality struck as quickly as the camera clicks. :) christmasjammiescollage

Looking back over the years… I am in awe of Chase’s lankiness now and how quickly Shailo’s baby-boy look turned big-boy.

And my oh my, please note how {adored} Ev is by her brothers!

Shailo’s Bug Birthday!

I cannot believe this beautiful blue eyed boy is THREE.ShailosBirthday_2

ShailosBirthday_4 Our Shai is a bug-lovin’ boy! So we planned a bug party for this amazing little guy!

There weren’t a lot of DIYs for this party, it was the EASIEST party to plan and do and also one of the funnest!

ShailosBirthday_

I used a cloud bed sheet as a backdrop and added pictures and shared some stats from his actual birth day.

untitled-228Basically I went really simple:

-Dollar Tree bugs (like ten packs so each kiddo could take some home and some for decor!)

-I used faux grass (also Dollar Tree) in mason jars with faux bugs

-I used little planters (pictured above) with green silverware as “grass”

untitled-59

- I saved a bunch of glass jars and we were SUPER lucky because we have SO many grasshoppers in our backyard. The kiddos spent an hour (at least) collecting them! It was a blast. Even the dads had fun with that hahaha :)ShailoBirthdayCollage_1

ShailoBirthdayCollage_2-We put a little bit of dirt and bugs in the kiddos pool so they could “dig for bugs”ShailosBirthday_3

ShailoBirthdayCollage_3ShailoBirthdayCollage_4We did a “worm” cake but of course! I think he liked it ;)

It was a dirty, messy, super fun birthday that I recommend to any momma with a boy or girl who loves bugs!
ShailosBirthday_5LOVE THIS AMAZING LITTLE WILD AND CRAZY BOY!

Here’s to many more bug catchin’ years with you, Shai!

This beautiful mess.

IMG_8597.JPGI have to write. Even before the internet, blogs, or Instagram…it’s just the way I’m wired. And for years now, I’ve even written publicly, yes. I know that our journey and my personal walk with grief, posted publicly, has touched other momma’s/families who’ve lost a baby.

I filter out what I feel is too much. But share the rest for you, for them…And call me selfish, but sometimes, just for me. To know I’m not alone, to be heard and mostly I write to share her.

My daughter, our precious Eisley-girl.

My mom recently said something that touched me so deeply. She said since I carried Eisley and knew her more than anyone, that when she read what I’ve written and what I’ve shared about Eisley. She feels like she knew her too. She feels like she knows what she was like and who she was and would have been.

That my sharing had given Eisley a personality for her.

I love that.

I want people to know our Eisley-girl. I still struggle with her being forgotten, and to hear my Madre speak this, felt comforting to my heart.

She’s known. She’s remembered. She’s longed for. She’s missed.

4 years since her death and in 3 days, 4 years since her birth… Where am I at now?

Today I was reflecting on … Well, a lot. For one, I realized how thankful I am that God gave us Chaseyboy first. Before Eisley.

What felt utterly impossible after losing Eisley, became possible when I saw this smile and the life in his eyes in the days, and now years, that have followed Eisley’s death.

Chaseyboy has walked alongside us in our ups and downs in our grief. Learning how to live life after loss has been the most difficult journey Ted and I have had to walk.

I struggle with feeling like loss has changed me as a mother, a wife, and a person, for the worst… I feel more emotional, more sensitive… I already felt like a “sensitive soul” but since we lost Eisley I feel like I feel TOO much. I sometimes wish I could just shut it all off, bury my grief and just move along as if I’m the same as who I was before. But again, even today, I look at this face…

IMG_8624-2.JPG

And I’m moved to want to choose life amidst grief. It seems like such a gnarly contradiction… And in some ways it is, but I’ve realized today, 4 years later, that it’s a mess but a beautiful mess.

It’s our life, our loss, our reality.
Our journey. We face it every day.
And I want to embrace this beautiful mess.

There were seasons where I felt like it was all just messy. And finding the ‘beautiful’ parts were difficult.

I don’t think I have to choose between the two, but instead I need to embrace both the beautiful and the messy.

And that’s exactly what I aim to do from here on out. I don’t wanna beat myself up anymore for it not being more ‘beautiful’ or thinking it’s too ‘messy’ like it often feels.

4 years later and I’m finally saying, beautiful mess, I accept you.

Sharing Eisley (on sharing child loss)

This week Chase asked me about Eisley… again. His curious mind, wondering and trying to process things he either vaguely remembers, or things he’s heard and seen. Pictures, memorabilia, even the breakdowns I’ve had (that I can’t say I’m overly proud of).

I remember before I had her as the fear of losing her became greater and greater, I struggled with wondering, do I tell my almost 14-month-old anything? I mean he wouldn’t even remember, right? I knew he wouldn’t understand but would he feel things?

While I was in labor with Eisley, I was given a nurse who had two stillborn babies,her first baby and her third. She had children between and after her losses and she shared with me that she and her husband had decided to tell her other children. They were a part of their family, and they would celebrate them each year.

But what would we do? And if I don’t share now while he was little, then when? Do I ever?

Then I had Eisley, and to be honest, I didn’t really have time to think things through… clearly, anyways. It was all kind of a blur, a fog…a nightmare.

I think I knew deep down, not sharing about her wasn’t really an option. I felt so close with her, and now I felt like a part of me was missing. How could I not share her?

And even the moments, like this week and and the weeks to come – where the haunting anniversaries arrive, memories resurface, pain feels raw all over again,… I don’t ever regret sharing her…

and I especially don’t regret sharing Eisley with Chase, and now Shailo and some day, Everly.

There is truly an Eisley-shaped hole in our family that not only are Ted and I learning to live with. But also our children. They don’t feel the magnitude of what we felt and feel, but they feel something. Chase remembers some things from that time, though he was little.

IMG_8346

And more than that, they too, are processing the questions that arise in them that their minds can’t wrap around. It’s funny, in a childlike way, he has had some of the same thoughts/questions I’ve had for my Heavenly Father.

Like this last week when he said to me, “I know Eisley is with Jesus… But I wish she could come here and stay in our new home with us.”

Oh my heart.

I found myself wanting to say something comforting like, “but she is in heaven with Jesus and I bet she has a super cool room!”

But I just couldn’t. Validation, Jami, it’s what helped you when you needed it most, “yeah, me too, buddy.”

“Well, we can pretend she’s here!” He said and pulled Everly’s little rocker into the hallway.

I didn’t really know what to do or to say. So I didn’t. I didn’t move the chair for hours. But when the house was quiet as all 3 kiddos napped and I spotted the sun shining perfectly on the little rocker. It just broke me. I fell to my knees, put my head down and wept on to the empty rocker.

Even in these painful moments and memories, I still don’t… And can’t… Regret sharing her with her siblings.

Or sharing her with you along the way.

I had this fear she’d be forgotten, like she’d never existed, when we first lost her.

I wanted people to know of the beautiful little girl we held for 45 minutes. I wanted people to know of who we felt she was and to remember how she impacted us and also those who prayed for her.

To not share who she was, who she is and how she impacted our lives, felt like an injustice. For her, and honestly, for myself too. I always desire authenticity, even here on my
Blog. It has helped my grieving immensely, to write about her life and my struggles since she passed, and how we are moving forward as life is speeding by.

I realized, almost four years later, the ache is still ever-present and though it seems different, it isn’t any easier to process. We are still learning how to live with this ache, with the questions that arise in ourselves and in our kids/

This week I have felt so thankful that we decided to share her life with our other kiddos. And that we don’t hide behind close doors with our grief (though at time, we do). That even though the sudden questions may take us aback, we address them.

I haven’t been proud of many moments in my grief these past four years, but this is an area I am very thankful we allowed.

That we accept this as a part of our lives and say it’s okay to grieve and to talk about her. To ask the questions that linger.

We are learning what it means to share her life, to grieve and rejoice, together. Though each grieves so very differently, it is together as a family. And for that, I am beyond thankful.

I wanted to close the doors on my emotions this year, for some reason that I can’t quite pinpoint. But Chaseyboy’s questions and that moment in the hallway broke me.

I’m thankful. So thankful, as we are less than two weeks away from anniversaries.

Thank you for reading my emo blog post. I guess I just want to be sure I keep sharing. That I don’t close the door to the blog world, too. I know this blog has touched so many grieving mommas. I want to say to you that it’s okay to grieve, it’s okay to share and to be heard and feel validated. Your child’s life happened, your loss happened. Speak it, cry it out, scream it out if needed. Be heard by at least one. I’m not saying you must write a blog in order to validate their life and your loss, but I just want to speak it out for you mommas, especially those who feel weak… don’t shut the doors to your grief, don’t fret that you will mess up your other kiddos if you cry in front of them.  It is okay to share, it might even help those around you too.

Sharing has helped in my healing. Sharing has helped in our family’s healing. It’s still painful, but it does helps.

Love,
J