Friday, January 1, 2016

A journal of grief and healing Part Three

I think the late Sean Leary said it best, "It’s a long road and happens in tiny little steps at first. You’ll find yourself happy too, but there’s a lot of stuff you’ll have to face before that happens. At this point it’s best to just deal day to day or hour by hour and not think too much about the future. Right now your grief is this giant gaping hole with sharp edges but as you move forward in life the edges soften and other beautiful things start to grow around it. Flowers and trees of experiences. The hole never goes away, but it becomes gentler and sort of a garden in your soul, a place you can visit when you want to be near your love. at first it’s all you can do to deal with your basic needs, and that’s what your best friends are helping you with now. Soon the sadness will come in waves, and you have to hold on through the intense parts, letting them well up inside you, carry you for a bit, then subside. It’s all important stuff to feel. Don’t fight it, but don’t get carried too far.
Just hold on. It gets better and you’re not alone. You’re part of this messed up little club now, and the other members will come to help heal your pain with empathy and promise.
You are going to get through this. Even though this loss will shape who you are forever, you’ll be happy again. You will find peace."

>Andy and I are grieving on different paths. We bicker because we don't know how to help each other. Sometimes one of us doesn't want help or to really talk. How do we remedy this and help but let the process do it's thing? How do we just let each other grieve the way the other needs to grieve but have opposing needs ourselves? 11:32pm.  9.4.14

>Took a long Sunday drive today on a long dirt road. Makes me wonder how she would've done on such a long bumpy ride. Maybe she would've slept, maybe she would've cried the whole time. But I imagine her sitting in the back looking out the window with eyes wide. Seeing all the beautiful trees and clouds and blue sky. I'd look back at her and she'd give me a little grin. I wish I knew what her little grin looked like. 9.14.14. 5:00pm 

>One of my greatest wishes is that I could at least get a glimpse of her and see what's she doing. Like I could just look into heaven from the outside, like looking through a window, to watch her through the glass as she lives her spirit life. 9.16.14.   11:56pm

>"The ache to kiss and hold you is immense today. Your soft cheeks and lips. The sweet smell of your breath. I miss you."  9.28.14   9:28am

>I just had a miscarriage. In my heart, I knew it wasn’t going to last. I knew I was pregnant but Andy and I had no desire to tell anyone. We didn’t even tell our parents that we were pregnant again until I knew for sure that I was miscarrying. I was still so disappointed. Again, I have that same guilt that it was all my fault. Why can’t my body do what it’s supposed to do?

>Indi's giraffe costume mom bought for her went empty today. Hard to watch the cute babies and kids in their costumes and the parents having so much fun dressing up with them. 10.31.14  6:57pm

>It's amazing to me how I pretty much constantly feel stabs to the heart of things that make me think of Indi and the little reminders that she's not here are constant. But somehow I've learned to live with it. I realized that, in a way, I've become numb to it even though the pain is intense, and the stabs are always happening, I've just become used to the intensity and that intensity is normal to me now. 10.31.14. 11:54pm

> just had a sudden peaceful feeling while driving on the freeway by myself with no music, just the quiet, that pregnancy will happen when it happens for me and I don't need to be anxious about it.  I felt a mixture of relief and peace driving alone tonight. All of the sudden, the words that I've hated for the past ten months, "pregnancy will happen when it happens and at the right time for you," finally felt like they resonated with me. I don't know why or how, but I felt peace about it. 8:30 PM  November 17, 2014

>Sometimes I feel like Indi is just a figment of my imagination. Like, she's there, but she's just barely there. I'm her mother and the only place she knew mortal life was inside of me but I can only assume who she is. I don't REALLY know her. Can you tell a baby's personality buy their kicks and hiccups in the womb? Can you tell what kind of person that baby will be simply by instinct? I do think there is some intuition that a mother can have on who their child is while in the womb, but the truth is, you can't have a perfect knowledge of that child without really having met them. I feel like I know who Indi is but I know that I don't really know who she is. I wonder what her voice and her laugh sounds like. Is she silly or sarcastic? Could she have been a wild child, rebellious, or disobedient? Would she just have been average or extraordinary? I think a mixture of both. I wish I knew... 12:01am  12.5.14

>It's strange how for the first month or so, pretty much my every thought and action was consumed by thinking about you, my little babe. And now, I guess that word "consumed" isn't the proper word to use anymore. You're still thought about at least every hour. Some days, hours go by where I'm constantly thinking about you, and other days, I think of you several times an hour and then there's days where I think of you once about every hour. You're always there though, at the back of my mind. Subconsciously You're always on my thoughts. I still think that every morning I think of you as I wake up and I know for sure I think about you every night when I lay my my head down to sleep. 12:04am 12.14.14

>You're getting a baby sibling, Indi! We were dreading this Christmas without you but we found out today that I'm pregnant and somehow this softens that ache that we feel without you on what should've been your first Christmas. I feel more hope than I did with my pregnancy in October. I feel stronger and ready for the road ahead. Can you feel strong and be scared at the same time?  12.23.14

>I still really struggle with feeling like I know you the best out of anyone living on this earth and then other times I feel like I have no concept of who you are and you seem so foreign. I don't know why. 12.23.14

>We should've been stressed this time of year that a ten month old would've been crawling around, trying to rip ornaments and lights off of our Christmas tree. That our ten month old should've been ripping paper off of her first Christmas gifts this morning. The comfort of knowing that I'm pregnant again has helped make this day easier but I still long for you intensely. 12.25.14

>Sometimes it feels like a dream. Like she is a stranger. I used to think that I could reach up into the sky and I could feel her reaching down towards me. I really really felt like she was there, reaching for me too. I don't feel that anymore. 1.20.15

>I saw a picture of you tonight, actually one of my most liked photos on Instagram. A picture of me cradling you in my arms right up to my face and I'm nuzzling you with my nose. I remember how soft your cheeks were. Your cute little bum in those striped pants and your tiny little feet poking out in my old baby socks. You were real. You were right there in my arms, my nose on your cheeks. I started rubbing my nose on the palm of my hand, imagining that it was on your cheeks and that this nose that I have is the same nose that nuzzled your cheeks. I all of the sudden had a newfound appreciation for my nose and the fact that it was up against your cheeks. I should've never washed my nose after nuzzling you, so that I could always know the last place that my nose was, was on your cheeks. I cried and cried for you tonight. 1.20.15   11:56pm

>You and I were so connected for so long. The only mortal existence you know is with me. I feel so completely honored for that. 1.20.15   11:59pm

>I've had two very vivid dreams recently about being pregnant or having my own baby in my arms. The first one was so scary. I was big and round and for some reason every time the baby flipped or moved around I could see the shape of the baby through my skin because the only thing between the baby and me was my skin. I could feel the flips and movements so intensely. Then all of the sudden the movements became more aggressive and hurt me, then the movements stopped completely. And all the fear from before came rushing into me. So scared and nervous and anxious. I didn't know the gender of this baby in my dream.

>The second dream was that my baby was a girl and she was born and she was out me. She must've been somewhat older than a newborn because she was very big and heavy and hard for me to hold. And all I could think of was that I wished that I had one of those fabric baby carriers because my arms were so tired. We were at my grandmas house and there were a lot of people there for some reason.  I also noticed that no one seemed excited to see her or even really noticed she was with me. I remember feeling confused and disappointed. Also, I kind of came out of my dream and was slightly awake and was overcome with the thought that I had left my baby at my grandma's and I had to get up out of bed to go get her because I was aching and longing for her so badly. I don't know why she was there but in my half asleep, half awake stupor I really physically and mentally thought I needed to get out of bed to go get her.  

>It's been a long time since I've had dreams of babies and these recent ones were both not that great. 3:02pm 2.1.15

>We're having a baby boy. I so desperately wanted another girl. Not to replace you, Indi, but because I was so ready for a girl. I had figured our whole life around a little girl. It's hard to switch gears and think of having a boy. I'm very grateful for him, but I haven't connected with him as much yet because I'm so connected to the idea of a girl.

>We cried for you today, Indi. Your dad and I started talking about lullabies and how much we wished we could've sung to you. Andy envisioned watching me rocking you to sleep and listening to me sing. He says he thinks I have a pretty singing voice. We're still excited to be able to sing to your brother when he comes, but singing to a boy is different than singing to a girl. Different, but still good.  11:27pm 3.19.15

>The other day I said something to Andy and called him “Dad.” Although Andy and I are already parents to Indi, we really don’t feel like “mom” and “dad.” Those are names given to individuals who raise and parent a child. It struck me as sounding so strange and something that we are not familiar with. Calling Andy “dad” struck a cord and I realized I would, very soon hopefully, be called “mom.” It became exciting and scary at the same time. A whole new world and life that we really know nothing about. It will be interesting to see how Andy and I take on these new titles. 4.20.15 4:53 pm.

>Sometimes, with this pregnancy, I feel like I'm right back with Indira. It's strange to come back to a place that was so special between the two of us, the bond that only the two of us had together, no one else. The only other time I've known these feelings and body aches and sensations in my belly has been with her. I oftentimes find myself comparing this pregnancy to hers and try to find the differences and similarities. Tonight I struggled and felt almost selfish of the feelings I'm having with this little boy, like these feelings were only meant to be for Indi and no one else. I don't think I've really been able to admit this to myself until tonight, but I think I've also, for a small time or two, wished that this baby inside of me was actually Indi. But in the same moment, I'm excited for this little boy and visions of my life with a boy are becoming more clear and refined in my imagination. Every baby boy I see, I picture him as if he were my son and that Andy and I made him. I feel instant connection and love for the baby. But those times have flitted through my mind that this bond I had with Indi while she was growing inside of me, was for her, and her only. I feel like I'm, in a sense, betraying her with this new baby. "Betraying" is a strong word and I don't know if it's the correct word to describe my feelings but I can't think of anything else to replace it at the moment. It just seems like it should be Indi inside of me, not someone else.

>Andy mentioned tonight, that he missed the wonderful and peaceful feelings that he felt in the hospital after Indi was born. I wonder if that same feeling will be present when baby boy is born? A peaceful, hopeful, and loving feeling. Indira wrapped us up in her warm embrace while we were there in that room. I'm certain she will do it again in that moment when we actually become a family of four. "A family of four" still rocks my world and blows my mind. I WILL have two children. You could maybe even say that I have three children if you count my miscarriage. I'm not sure how miscarriages are viewed in heaven and by Heavenly Father. Will he count those tiny lives to us women who began their creation or will they just be fleeting memories. One of the many questions I want to ask/understand in the next life. I know Indi knows the answer. I wish she could share her eternal knowledge with me. I cried hard from the ache of missing you tonight, indira. I love you so excruciatingly.   4.20.15 11:47pm

>PTSD has hit me pretty hard during this pregnancy. I now know what quickly things can go wrong. I bought a heart monitor. It’s so incredible to be able to hear his heartbeat in my own home but it also scared me to use it because, what if one time when I go to use it, I don’t find a heartbeat? The monitor excites me and scares me at the same time.

>Delivery is going to be so intense. Everything that was supposed to happen with Indi didn’t. It should happen with Coen, too. Hopefully it will be a night and day experience. But I imagine we will mourn Indi all over again. We will finally get a taste of what really should have happened.

>We cried and cried in the delivery room for you, Indi. You should’ve been there. I know you were there, though. I know you helped bring you baby brother into this world and supported dad and I to be able to get through it.

>I never really forget about Indi, but Coen has completely taken over my life that it’s hard to focus on her. But I guess that’s the way it should be. She would be happy for me/us.

>People ask me all the time if Coen is my first. There have been a few times when I’ve said yes, because I don’t want to get into the whole thing with a stranger, but, then I feel completely awful about not talking abou Indi. I’ve committed myself to always say that Coen is my second and will always inform people about Indi and her sweetness. Sometimes it’s very awkward and the stranger has no idea what to say back to me but I’m grateful I’m being true to myself and to Indi.  Life is full of hard things and I can do hard things.

>There’s been a few times that I catch Coen looking up at the ceiling and I find him smiling. I can’t help but think you both are talking to each other. Oh how I wish I could see you be a big sister to Co.  

>It’s very important to me to incorporate Indi into our lives. I want Coen to know her and that she is a part of this family whether she’s here or not.


  1. I would also give anything for a peek into heaven. Or a visit in my dreams. Maybe one day. Thx again for your beautiful posts.

  2. Hi Neena! I am one of your most loyal followers on Instagram and through your blog. I'm sure you probably don't remember me but we went to high school together although I think you graduated a year earlier than me. Your blog has been a source of inspiration and light for me and more than once I have commented to my husband about how well you write and express your experiences. You are so brave and strong. You may not feel like that on the inside, but to those who follow you and admire you from afar, you are most certainly those things.

    I've wanted to ask you one question but didn't know how to contact you so I figured this might be the best place. I was also diagnosed with Crohn's disease when I was in elementary school, but luckily I've been in remission for 7 years. I wanted to hear your opinion on whether there is anything I should be aware of when my husband and I decide to start trying to have children. I know that you talk about your Crohn's and then your diagnosis of Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy. Was it because of your Crohn's that you had a higher chance of being diagnosed with ICP? Is this something that I would need to be careful of when it comes to pregnancy, or was it simply that you needed to be in remission from your Crohn's to get pregnant?

    I recognize that this may be totally bizarre to ask and I hope it is not off-putting at all. I just figured that you'd be a good source of knowledge when it comes to this sort of circumstance. Thanks for understanding and I will look forward to hearing from you!

  3. Hi guys,
    Thank you so much for this wonderful article really!
    If someone want to know more about love finds its way I think this is the right place for you!