There’s a hole. 

There’s a hole where you should be, snuggled up between your daddy, your brother,
and I.
If I close my eyes and wish really hard I can feel you there. I can imagine the slow rise and fall of your chest, right where you should be laying with us. I can imagine the smell of your hair. The feeling of your little hand resting on me. 

But when I open my eyes you’re gone and my heart breaks all over again. 
It’s been over two years now. 880 days 18 hours and 53 minutes since you left us and I still can see you perfectly in my minds eye. I can picture every detail of your tiny little body. I long to hold you in my arms again. To tell you I love you one more time. To never let you go. 

There is so much I regret my darling son. So much I should have done and I hate myself for not doing. Till the day I die I’ll wish I’d never let you go. I wanted to keep you with me forever. I was just so scared and so confused. They don’t teach you how to say goodbye to part of your heart. That’s what you’ve always been, a part of me. 
I see you in everything, everywhere. Still in the dragonflies and now in your brother. The way he lights up at me, I know you would be the same. 

That hole is there because you will never get to look at me that way. I’ll never get to hold your hand and walk with you or watch you learn or snuggle up with you at the end of the night. And it makes me so very sad. 
There’s a hole in my life where you are supposed to be.  It’s your spot. No one and nothing can take your place sweet boy. So I live with the hole. At least when I close my eyes you’re there. 💚💚💚

I love you Grae💚

Looking In. 

Sometimes it feels like my life isn’t really mine. 

When I look back at what has happened. Losing Graeme. Raising Kurt. I think to myself how did I survive this? How am I still standing?

Sometimes in grief you shut down or you shut it out. It’s like you close the screen door. You can still see it and smell it. You can still feel the cold chill of the pain but you’re not really there. 

To be honest with you and myself mostly. The last time I really let myself feel the grief of losing Graeme was his birthday last year. I feel like a horrible mother to him saying that. But emotionally I was drained. Kurt came and it became easy to distract myself with his precious perfect little self. Graeme was obviously always still on my brain. Still right beside me, watching over us. 

But for a while. I put my grief in a box. Occasionally opening it a little. Letting the pain out. Honestly I’ve kept that box closed for so long now that it’s overflowing. The grief is bursting out and I’m finally comfortable letting it.

I was scared of that grief. 

Scared of what letting go and feeling that pain again might mean. 

 But it feels better getting it out. Not living in fear of my grief. 

Holding things in becomes toxic. 

Not speaking your truth, poisons your soul. 

I feel like I was doing myself and my sons a disservice by pretending to be okay. 
Because let’s face it I’m not okay and I don’t have to be. 

I’m living a life no mother should ever have to live. 

Yes I am better. 

Yes I am happy. 

Yes I am still broken. 

I think this may all just be part of this life. Part of learning to live again. 

So I say this to anyone who’s just okay. 

You don’t have to be. 

You can be sad. 

You can be broken. 

Because being okay isn’t always okay. 

The grief stays. 

It’s been almost 2 years now since we lost Graeme. Honestly just typing that makes me a little sick to my stomach.  

The days since he left us have been far different than I ever thought they would. My days are finally filled with the sounds of life with a little boy. My social media is full of happy pictures of a smiling goofy little boy. I’m sure everyone thinks that I’m all better. That the grief is gone. 

In a lot of ways I am better. Kurt has given me the love and happiness I so longed for. He has healed my broken heart. 

But I’ll let you in on a little secret.  

My heart still has cracks. 

The pain lingers on. 

The grief stays. 

And it always will. 

My life while filled with joy and laughter is also filled with wonders and what ifs. What would my life with 2 little boys be like.  How would they be together. What would Graeme’s personality be like compared to Kurt’s. Would he be quiet, would he be sensitive or would he be loud and goofy like his brother. 

When I see two little boys together it will always make me sad. It will always make me wonder. My life will be spent telling Kurt  about his big brother. Hopefully in a way that will show him all of the love Graeme made us capable of. But it will never be spent watching my boys grow up together. Which will always break my heart. 

The grief will always be there. And honestly I would only have it one other way. My boys would grow up together. But they can’t. 

The grief means that Graeme lived. They he was here even if only for a little while. 

So the grief stays. 

Kurtis Graeme <3

Well! In the chaos that is having a newborn and moving I totally forgot to announce our incredible little boy’s birth!

After being induced for high blood pressure and 16 hours of labor, Kurtis Graeme Graupmann was born on May 13th at 10:57am. He was 7lbs 3oz and 20 inches long!

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The past 2 months have been an incredible, overwhelming, amazing whirlwind of an experience. I’m totally in love with him and I know Graeme has been watching over us.

Miracles are real and dreams do come true. I’ve learned that for sure.
So if you’re pregnant after loss or still trying, or scared to try… Don’t give up, it can happen.

Kurt’s proof. ❤

Here are some pictures of the last 2 months!!

DG

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Waiting to breathe

When you become a part of this devastating community, effectively you know too much.
They say knowledge is power, and while I agree in most cases.
In ours I can say it tends to be our burden.
When you lose your child, your entire life is upheaved, it’s like being thrown in a cement mixer for eternity.
Up is down, left is right, you’re tossing and turning and getting thrown around with no idea if it will ever end.

When you become pregnant after losing your child.
It’s all of that on steroids.
Our emotions already running high become clouded by hormones and fear.
Posed with all of the knowledge that we’ve gained, it becomes unbearable.
Some might simply say “why not use that knowledge, those statistics the way that you’re supposed to, to ease your fear and calm your nerves.”
That my friends is impossible. Once you become the one percent, all you see is that one percent.
It becomes impossible to separate your loss from your current pregnancy.
It becomes practically impossible to separate others losses from your current pregnancy.
I honestly don’t think anyone who has lost really sees themselves holding their living baby at the end of all of this.
That’s not saying “Abandon all hope, Ye who enter here”
If there is one thing that all of us cling to, it’s most definitely hope.
Hope keeps me going, functioning, motivated.
The hope that at any time now, our second precious son will enter this world screaming, that hope keeps me alive and moving forward.
In all of this fear and knowledge I hold on to hope.
I try to trust my instincts, knowing they’ve never really failed me before.
I try to have faith.
But let’s be honest faith and trust are lacking.

I don’t believe in the divine anymore.
I don’t believe in fate.
I used to be the one that said “everything happens for a reason”
Now I realize what a load of shit that is.
Nothing happens for a reason.
This world, this universe is chaos, nature is an uncontrollable force that does what she pleases.
It’s her world and we just live in it.
Accepting that, in that very brief moment, made losing him just a tiny, minuscule bit less shocking.

Trust is harder. I lost all trust in my body when it turned against my son.
I know that it was trying to protect me from the infection that was plaguing both of us.
That doesn’t make it any easier, given the choice to be sick and him live versus being well and him dying.
My choice will always be his life, but I didn’t get to make that choice.
My body betrayed me and it didn’t ask how I felt about it.
So trust is hard.

Kurtis and I’s pregnancy together has been 100% different from the start.
Graeme and I had trouble from the beginning. Just 8 weeks in.
You would think that this would bring some sort of comfort in the wait for Kurt’s arrival, but it doesn’t always.
I feel like I am holding my breath, constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop, for the bottom to fall out.
Like it has most of my life.
It’s only when I reel myself back in and think of my husband that I realize the bottom isn’t always going to drop out anymore.
And at over 36 weeks. So close to the finish line, things become even more muddled.
To see the light at the end of the tunnel, the rainbow after the storm, coming into focus but just out of your grasp, becomes this overwhelming, confusing, seemingly never ending task to complete.
To be so close but feel so far away is as maddening as being at the very beginning of this road.
So I hold on to hope, I try to believe that we will get to see our sweet Kurt living outside of my womb.

If there is one thing that I know with every fiber of my being, it’s that Graeme is watching over us, and while he may not be able to keep us safe, he is doing his very best.
He is a part of us down to the DNA and through out the universe and I love him even more for that (not that it was possible to love him any more than I already do)

Graeme and Kurtis are my reason to live.
Regardless of what has happened or what could happen.
I live my life for them.

And over the next few weeks or until our sweet little man makes his appearance, I’ll be here with the two of them holding on to hope.
Waiting to breathe.

I needed this.

I wrote this the other day because I needed something I could repeat over and over again.

My baby is safe
My body will not betray me.
With everyday that passes
With every kick I feel.
I realize that we are safe
He. Is. Safe.

I let go of fear
I let go of anxiety
I let go of doubt

I trust myself
I trust my body
I know that this pregnancy is not my past pregnancy
I know that my angel is watching over me

I. Let. Go. Of. Fear.
Everything will be okay.
Because everything is okay.

It is in perfect love and perfect trust that I welcome this precious miracle into the world.

Everything. Is. Perfect.

Overcoming Fear

It was bound to happen.
After you lose your child, you become a completely different person.
I’ve covered that I know.

Pregnancy after losing Graeme though is more than I could’ve ever imagine.
I will be 24 weeks tomorrow and up to this point everything with Kurt has been perfect.
I’ve had no reason to be afraid other than what we went through losing Graeme.
Which as tangible as that is.
It was a completely different situation.
I struggle to remember that.
I also struggle to remember that other peoples losses are not my losses.
A very recent loss in my precious family has shook me to the core, and if I’m really honest with myself.
That’s where the fear has grown.
It’s always there but when people you love go through this devastating loss, everything flows back.
The waves come crashing back in and any control you thought you had disappears completely.
Then the fear just simmers, until eventually it boils over and you lose it completely.
Now I’m trying to pick it back up.
Put all the pieces back together and understand what they mean.
Conversations with my sisters in loss and my husband have really helped me to understand where all this is coming from and how to manage it.

I had to give myself a pep talk last night.
Standing in the mirror, keeping eye contact with myself.
I saw that scared little girl from years past.
The years where everything fell apart. The years that the bottom always dropped out.
I had to remind myself that, that is not my life anymore.
In the years since I’ve been with Andrew my life has been completely different.
Everything has changed for the better.
So the first root of my fear.
The thought that the bottom will drop out.
It’s not real.
It doesn’t always drop out anymore.
I have to let go of that.
I have to put that fear away.

As I stood there and the tears started to flow.
I tried to remind myself that Kurtis is not Graeme.
That our pregnancy with Kurt has been 110% different then our pregnancy with Grae.
With Graeme’s pregnancy trouble started almost immediately and then just continued from there and while I did a lot of things the same.
I’ve done a lot of things differently with Kurt.
And as much as it’s not alike.
One thing that gives me peace and strength is that, Through everything Graeme fought to be with us.
He did not die in me, his heart didn’t stop beating until after I held him in my hands.
If I know anything for sure, it’s that Kurtis is strong like his brother.
The debilitating fear that this precious boy will die in me.
It’s not real.
I know.
I’ve seen him in my dreams.
I’ve told him about his big brother.
I truly believe that he will survive.
I struggle to remember that.

All of which is completely situational, This is all I have.
It is not said to diminish any precious life that flickered out before their birth.
Nothing in the world could diminish their lives.

I just have to hold on to what I have. Because it is all I’ve got.

My mantra must now be
that Kurtis is strong like Graeme.

When I get these “Doom Surges” as another blogger so brilliantly called them.
I have got to remember that I’ve seen this baby boy live and he will.

Everything is going to be okay.

Everything is going to be okay.

Fear is contagious.
It spreads like wildfire.
I’ve got to put it out before it consumes me.

Confront your fears, list them, get to know them, and only then will you be able to put them aside and move ahead.
Jerry Gillies

I believe that Kurtis will make it.
I know he will.
Graeme is watching over us.
He is apart of me and a part of Kurt

We WILL get through this.

I believe.

I know.

I love you more than words little boys.

Inside This Hole

Breathe
Let it go
Learn to live inside this hole
You’ve lost control
And all you know
Is that this is not the way it’s supposed to be.
This life is yours
Your heart it pours
With love and heart break untold
A life lost
A life new
A life you never thought would be yours.
Your new normal
Not understood.
Your new world
Not understood.
Yet Life goes on
Your heart mends
The hole remains
There is no fill
So
Breath.
Let it go.
Learn to live inside this hole.

DG 2013

Silent

I’ve been silent about my grief lately.
I’m tired.
I’m still lost.
As Graeme’s due date approaches I sit here, almost numb.
I know that I am not ready for it.
I don’t know how I will react.
My son is so much to me.
It is so overwhelming that I’m beyond understanding everything that he has become.

I’m almost 12 weeks pregnant.
That added a whole other aspect to this month that I knew I wasn’t ready for.
Don’t misunderstand, I am beyond grateful for this little ray of hope inside me.
I am totally in love with my sweet growing child.
But it brings another vast sea of emotions into my already enormous ocean of grief.

I am terrified. For obvious reasons. Especially as I approach 15 weeks again.
The consciousness I have of our great loss of Graeme is heightened by Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month and all of the stories being shared across the world.
The fear is so overwhelming that I opted to stop taking part in CarlyMarie’s Capture Your Grief.
The grief is just to much most days.
It over shadows my joy.

I feel guilty. That I’m trying to bring our next sweet baby into the world just a few short months after losing Graeme.
I worry that he feels like we are trying to replace him. Which will always be impossible. He is our first son. He always will be. Our love for him is forever.

There is some joy in this too of course. The thought that Graeme wanted this for us. That he is watching over us. Probably giggling at Mommy for being irrational about I everything. That he has become this all knowing boy that he would have been here with us. That he loves his baby brother or sister just as much as mommy and daddy. That he is okay with all of this. I know he is around me. I feel it still in every fiber of my being. As always I am eternally grateful for that.

Hopefully as the next few weeks past. And we get through all of this. I’ll start to feel less everything.
All I can do is continue loving my children.
And know that no matter what comes that love will get me through it.

Thinking on a dear friends recent post. Maybe we won’t be shadows forever.

Taking it back

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Halloween is approaching.
If things had gone the way we planned, Graeme would be here in a few weeks. Halloween would come and we would celebrate his birth.

Instead, he’s gone and Halloween is coming wether we are ready or not.

Today I decided that I was finally ready to decorate. I decided to take Halloween back.
Even though I know that it will be inevitably sad, and incredibly hard, I want to celebrate Graeme’s life just like I would have if he had made it through all of this.
Halloween had always been my favorite holiday, and Graeme would’ve been my Halloween baby.
Today I’m taking that back.
I’m using Halloween to celebrate Graeme’s life.

Honestly it’s fitting,
The Mexican holiday Day of the Dead** is directly fallowing Halloween, it’s something I find fascinating and beautiful. A celebration to honor and remember all of the loved ones they have lost. It is not dark or devastating. It’s prayer and love and devotion
It’s beautiful.
So this is my mission this Halloween and every Halloween for the rest of my life. To remember and celebrate our sweet, amazing, little Halloween boy.

Today I took it back ❤

*** Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de Muertos) is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico and around the world in other cultures. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed and visiting graves with these as gifts. They also leave possessions of the deceased.

3 months

I started writing this on August 6th but I found it hard to get the words down. So I’m going to attempt to get it out. I’m sorry it’s been so long since I’ve written.
It’s been a busy busy month.
Trying to get back into the swing of things is a little more difficult than I imagined and much more difficult than I actually let on.
But people have grown weary of my grief.
So I put on the face and soldier on.

3 months, little man.
I cannot believe that it’s been 3 months since you had to go.
Every day since you left is still just as hard.
It still hurts more than I can say. Learning to live without you is something I never wanted to do.
But I do, because I have to.
The only other choice is not an option.

There isn’t a moment that goes by that I don’t think of you.
We’d be 29 weeks now.
Getting ready for your arrival.
But instead we are apart.
You are gone and I am here with out you.
There is nothing more painful than that.

I see you in everything I do.
Everywhere I go.

You are all things encompassing me.

I feel so grateful for your energy around me.
I know that you are here and I hope that I never lose that.

You are my brightest light little man.
You are everything I dreamed about.
Everything I have ever hoped for.
Everything I have ever wanted.
You’ve made your mommy and daddy so very proud.
I just wish you could be here to experience all of our love.
I’m so so sorry that you couldn’t be.

I love you Graeme. Now and forever.
Always<3

To our son <3

Two months, three days, six hours and, one minute, and with every sentence I type, another minute goes by.
It’s been since so long since you left. My dear sweet boy.
And not a second goes by that I don’t feel your loss.

We fought so hard, you and I.
As proud mothers go,
You’ve made me the proudest mother of them all. I will never forget how strong you were, even at 15 weeks old, you did everything you could to stay with Daddy and I.

There was nothing we could have done my love. If there was, you would still be with us.

But you are still with us in spirit, I known that Graeme, I feel you everywhere.
Thank you for the dragonflies that fly outside of our home.
They bring me so much comfort because I know they are from you.

I see you in the clouds, I see you in every ray of light.
I feel you in every ounce of hope I’ve had since you’ve been gone.

You were taken from us far too soon.
I hope you know that every tear I cry is a testament to my love for you.
It’s so overwhelming sometimes.
The realization that you aren’t going to have the life you were supposed to.
Daddy and I wanted nothing more than to see you take your first breath, to teach you to walk, to kiss your first boo boo, to see you grow up, to fix your first broken heart, to teach you to be a man, and to see you become that man.
My dear sweet boy.
We had such dreams for you.
They didn’t leave with you though.
I know where ever you are.
You are becoming everything we hoped for you.
And one day if we get to meet your baby brother or sister, you will be there guiding them and loving them through anything we could go through.

Even though you are gone my darling, you are still the light at the end of my tunnel.
You are everything beautiful and pure in our world
You are Daddy and I’s single greatest masterpiece.
You’ve made us better just by being here.
And our love for you is eternal.

No matter how many seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, or years go by.
We love you Graeme.
We always have.
We always will.

You will never leave our hearts.

We love you, and we miss you always.

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“Please know that your baby is at peace- the most truest of its kind- and you will be with your baby again. You will continue to live- life is different- and you will be a better person because of the utter heartache you have endured. Little things will not matter- complaining is pointless- your realization of how sacred life is will be multiplied ten-fold. Take care of yourself- hang on to hope”

A dear friend from the WTE October board sent me this quote the other day. I think it speaks volumes.

When the words don’t come

Words are hard to come by for me
lately.

In conversation and in writing.
I feel as though I am at a complete loss.

I’m in a rut.
I know that.
Although I’m not feeling as depressed as I was.
I am feeling rather numb.
There is so much going on around me and I hardly know what to do with my self.

Next Saturday will be two months that Grae has been gone.
Two months.
I can’t even fathom how all of this time has gone by when being pregnant felt like an eternity.
I would be 23 weeks today.
1 week from viability
14 weeks till term
and 17 weeks to go.
Instead I’m here forever mourning the loss of our son.
Still asking why.

I thought that by now it would be easier to do and see things.
Walking by the baby aisle
Seeing gender announcements
Seeing newborn announcements
But it’s not.
It’s the constant reminder that I will never get to do those things for Graeme.

I feel completely lost right now.

So lets try to focus on the things that help shall we?

My husband and his never ending support has been my saving grace in all of this. He has been so kind and gentle with me. Never giving up. I could not survive if it weren’t for him. My light in all of this darkness.

I also could not survive if it weren’t for the new women I have in my life. My sisters in loss. Being there for me in every time of doubt, every tear, every drop of anger or pain. They are the ones that truly understand me. They give me hope that we will be able to get through this. With out them I would be absolutely crazy.

And then there’s my Graeme. His spirit stays with me. I know this because I feel him with me constantly. I see him in miraculous ways.
For example: the other day I went outside to glaze the stones I painted for him and when I sat the stone down a dragonfly landed right on his name and then flew off and landed on my foot. It sat there for at least 30 seconds. At that moment I felt overwhelming joy. It was the first time I have felt truly happy since all of this terribleness happened. I have seen dragonflies outside of my house everyday since then. Even as I write this another one landed on my leg. I would be remised to say that it’s not my son staying with me through all of this.
I feel lucky to have those moments and that faith in him.

He is my faith now.

So as I continue through this journey. I’m going to try to focus on these things.
In hopes that it will get easier along the way.

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Grae sitting with me ❤

At a loss for words.

I’m suffering from life block right now, writers block as well.

I want to write, and express myself. 

I want to feel all of the thoughts I’m having but it seems like I’m just subconciously blocking them, until I can’t block them anymore and I emotionally explode.

This numb phase sucks, and maybe its weird that I actually want to feel this pain but I need to, I have to, in order to survive this. 

I guess this is emotional overload.

I hope it passes soon.