Friday, May 27, 2011

Right Where I Am: Two Days Shy of 6 Months and Two Days Shy of 18 Months

This was started by Angie.  I thought it would be therapeutic to write it all down. 

This blog originally started out as a place to put down my thoughts and how I move forward.  It has taken a different direction, but that’s okay.  I like where it is headed even though I will still share some posts about moving forward.  I read a few blogs written by other Mamas who have lost their babies.  I really only follow one of them, but I believe it is helpful to read what other Mamas are going through.  There are, thankfully, only a few people out there that know what I’ve gone through.  It is definitely a tough position to be put in.  I think one day I will share the whole story, but the rest of this post contains some of the story. 
Instead of losing just one baby, I’ve lost two.  Ironically on the same day exactly one year apart.  A lot of the blogs that I read, those Mamas lost their babies due to stillbirth.  I guess you can say I was lucky enough to have my babies with me for a little time before they went to Heaven.  We also had time to prepare for our little angels to get their wings.  With Baby Hope we found out in August 2009 that she had a chromosomal issue which would prevent her from living.  She was born November 29, 2009 (at 34 weeks) and was in my arms for an hour and ten minutes. 

I want to say that I did very well after her birth because I had time to prepare.  It’s true, I had been grieving this angel since we found out she wouldn’t make it in August.  We wanted to try again as soon as we could to have another baby.

We got pregnant again relatively easily.  When we went for our ultrasound at 20 weeks with our specialist, we found out that this baby, a boy, also wouldn’t make it.  (It has since been determined that we are both carriers of a disease.  See this post.)  I went into labor with Ben on November 29, 2010 (at 35 weeks) and he was with us for three and a half hours.  In addition to the genetic disease they both received from us they also share a birthday. 

I feel like I’ve worked very hard, and I have, to be in the position I am in right now.  I love talking about my babies, and I actually dislike when people do not mention them because they think I will get emotional.  I might, but it’s good for people to know that the emotions are real.

Do I have my bad days?  Um, yeah.  I am human.  The worst day, other than Christmas Eve mass, was Mother’s Day.  All you hear all day and see everywhere is “Happy Mother’s Day!”  For the Mamas out there without their babies, it’s kind of a low blow to see it.  I don’t know how to describe it.  (Just a disclaimer:  I’m very happy for all the Mamas out there with their babies.  I love that there is a day to honor you and the rest of the Mamas out there, it’s just tough on us.)  Oh and then in church, I love how they honor the Mamas, but I couldn’t look up and all I did was cry the whole time they did the blessing.  And poor Brady.  He has no idea how to help me during those times.  (I actually don’t think there really is any way to help anyone through it, but he’s here and that’s what matters when I need someone.)  It’s just so different for the guys.  He was able to get away from what was going on.  Not me.

So where am I right now?  I’m in a good place.  We’re going to adopt hopefully sometime soon.  We’re just waiting on the adoption agency to schedule things so we can become active soon.  I miss my little babies every single day.  There are days that I wonder what life would be like if we had either of them with us.  I wonder if we would have gone to Panama City Beach with my family last summer or if we would have made it out to DC this spring to visit the Rivers.  How many times would we have had to take a crying baby out of church or what photographer would we have chosen to take their pictures?  There are so many questions that go unanswered.  But that’s okay.  Somehow this is the plan that is laid out for me.  I’ve come to accept that.  Yes it sucks, and I wish I didn’t have to go through all of it. 

I really think I am a stronger person for going through this.  My faith has been strengthened.  But most of all I know that I have two little angels looking out for me every single day.  It comforts me to know that they are being taken care of by Dean, my brother who passed away in 2003.  They have to be having such a good time with him. 

It’s hard to believe that in two days we should have been celebrating Ben’s half birthday and Hope’s eighteen month birthday.  I think half birthdays are just as good as the regular ones, so how will we celebrate?  We were going to make a half birthday cake, but I think we’re going to make homemade ice cream complete with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. 

A lot of people ask me what they can do to help me.  There really isn’t a way to help me except to be there when I need a shoulder to cry on or to be an ear when I need to talk.  That means the world.  I do ask that the Mamas out there with their children do one thing for me.  LOVE your children, HUG them every chance you get, and even better, don’t just LOVE them, APPRECIATE them.  Loving your children and appreciating your children are two separate things.  Appreciate every minute you have with them, even when they are screaming at the top of their lungs in Wal-Mart as you are trying to check out.  One day you will look back and laugh.  (I know I don’t have experience in this, but it’s more than I’ve gotten to do with my babies.)

I also want to say thanks to our wonderful family and friends.  There is NO way I would be as strong as I am today without you.  You guys have all made us who we are today.  Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.  
To all you Mamas out there that have had to let your children go, I want you to know that you all have a very special place in my heart.


  1. As you can see, the baby I lost is also named Hope. I'm so sorry you lost your Hope, and Ben as well. You have been through an awful lot in such a short space of time, and my heart goes out to you.
    With love, Sally.

  2. Thank you for sharing Ben and Hope's story with us. It is powerful to read your faith has been strengthened. I am just so sorry for your losses--both of your children and also your brother. Thank you for sharing right where you are. XO

  3. I'm so sorry your beautiful babies are not safe in your arms. I'm glad you participated in this project, glad to have found you. sending love, and very best wishes for your future. x

  4. Lacey, I just read this post & my heart aches. I hope things work out for you & Brady to be able to raise children! Adopted children are special children as well!!! You are a very strong person & I know God will take care of your family, in good times and in bad!! Hang in there girl!!

  5. Thank you so much for sharing this. I'm so sorry for your two losses.

  6. Lacey, like Kim my heart is aching for you and for sweet Hope and Ben. I'm so sorry. Hoping with you as you begin your adoption journey x

  7. Thanks so much for posting this, Lacey. I am so sorry that Hope and Ben aren't with you right now. We are in such very different places when it comes to faith, but I really admire the strength of yours.

  8. I'm so sorry for the loss of children, Hope and Ben, and your brother, Dean. You have been through so much and your description of being in church on Mother's Day has me in tears.

    I hope that your little ones' half birthdays pass peacefully for you. xo

  9. Lacey, like you did with Hope and Ben, I carried my son for as long as I could after finding out for sure that there was nothing left to do for him medically that could have saved him. I understand something about how difficult it is to continue carrying a pregnancy despite having a fatal prognosis.
    I am so sorry that Ben and Hope are not with you. I wish you luck and a speedy adoption process. Thank you for sharing this.

  10. My heart goes out to you. I'm sorry for the passing of Hope and Ben. I feel exactly the same way about Mother's Day. Thank you for sharing.

  11. I am so sorry to hear about the losses of both your babies. Thank you for sharing this and I hope everything with the adoption process goes well for you guys.

  12. Lacey I'm so sorry that you have not got Hope and Ben in your arms now, and thank you for sharing your perspective of where you are now. I know what it is like to kiss goodbye to two children, my heart is so heavy for you.
    I wish you all the best luck with your plans for adoption

  13. Lacey, I am sorry that you have experienced so much loss. I am sorry about your brother's death and that you don't have Hope and Ben here in your arms.

    I am in awe of the hard work you have done to be in the place that you are. I admire your strong faith - I am working on mine, which is tattered and battered after my daughter's death. I am inspired when I find other babyloss mamas, especially with multiple losses, who have held fast. I hope the path to adoption and bringing home a new member of your family is smooth and soon.