Friday, 21 October 2016

Capture Your Grief Day 4: Support Circles

At Elliot's meet and greet, we handed out sparklers for friends who wanted to celebrate Annalee's birthday with us in spirit. Receiving photos of our friends and family taking a moment for her brought so much joy to the day. We're so lucky to be surrounded by people who never hesitate to speak Annalee's name; who never stop sending their love on the 20th of each month; who remember her and keep her in their hearts. 

Capture Your Grief Day 3: What it Felt Like

It's impossible to put it into words.

It is every feeling at it's most extreme at basically every moment of every day until you think your heart might burst.

That's as close as I can get.

Capture Your Grief Day 2: Who They Are

Our first positive pregnancy test. Our first ultrasound. The first time I got to experience the glory of maternity pants. The first time I was excited to see my belly grow. The first time we felt baby kicks. The first time we decorated a nursery. The first time we had to come up with baby names. The first time we dreamed about our baby's future.

She is who we'll always wonder about- who she would've been, what her smile would've looked like, how her giggle would've sounded.

She is the missing piece of our hearts.

She is our first daughter, our firstborn.

Capture Your Grief

We're over halfway through Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month (where is time going?). It feels so weird to be going through all of these milestones for a second time, but after months of pushing my heartache aside, I'm excited to participate in #Captureyourgrief again. As hard as it is to do, it always serves me well to speak about Annalee and our experiences. This event is such a good conversation starter and something I'm so grateful for.

It's also a good reminder to speak the names of those babies you or your friends have lost. Life gets busy and as parents of loss continue to heal, they may talk about their experiences less, but that doesn't mean they're not still grieving.

Lots of love to anyone missing their little one this month and always.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Happy Birthday Annalee!

This post has been incredibly hard to write (hence it being 5 months late). I can't believe that it's been a year. It simultaneously flew by and dragged on. I think a big part of me had set Annalee's birthday as a point to get to- just make it through the year, get through the birthday and all will be well. As it turns out, that's not really how it works. The pain doesn't go away after a year, in fact, celebrating the first birthday of a child that doesn't get to smash a cake or open presents feels a bit like starting back at square one.

The weekend before her birthday, we had some family over for an informal celebration. My mom brought wish papers and we all wrote down our wishes for her, lit them and watched them fly up into the sky. It was such a special and emotional moment. What's so heartbreaking/heartwarming is seeing our little nieces and nephews participate in these things for Annalee. I don't know how much of it they understand, but the fact that they include her as part of the family, even without seeing her, is so special.

Eric, Elliot and I celebrated Annalee's first birthday by making a family trip out to Forgetmenot Pond. I got a horrible stomach ache, Elliot had a huge poo explosion all over his car seat and it was so windy that we could only stay for about 15 minutes. I was feeling a bit defeated about it, but wouldn't you know that as soon as we sat down at a picnic table, a little robin wandered right into our spot and I knew she was with us. Perhaps the disaster of a day was her way of trying to make us laugh again.

Happy birthday, baby girl.

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Elliot John Palmiere

Eric and I, our family and friends all breathed a sigh of relief on May 26th when we welcomed our baby boy, Elliot, into the world.

We decided before I even got pregnant that I would be induced around 37 weeks with this baby. While I'm generally not a huge fan of medical intervention, we were desperate to meet this little one before the 38 week 5 day mark when we lost Annalee. As we got closer and closer to the end my anxiety went through the roof. I was scared to go to sleep- to go hours without knowing whether or not the baby moved (there were a lot of 2am doppler checks). As uneventful as my pregnancy was, I was so happy when it was over and he was here. The minute he came out wide awake and crying was he most reassuring, joyous moment of my life. I hate that I look back on his pregnancy as such a traumatic event, but it was worth every minute of stress. I treasure plenty of the little moments with him in my belly, but it may take me a while to fully appreciate the entire nine months.

He's nearly four months old now and he is the most chill baby. He makes us laugh every day- he's smiling and chatting and wiggling his way around. There have been so many moments since the beginning where I catch myself staring at him and wondering what Annalee would've been like at his age. Would she have looked like him? Would their temperament be the same? I think I will always wonder. It'll be a fine balance to ensure that Elliot always knows his sister, but never feels like he's living in her shadow. Without Annalee, there would be no Elliot and I thank her everyday for keeping this little boy safe and bringing him into our lives.


It's been too long since I've posted anything here. So much has happened- the birth of our son! Annalee's first birthday! More to come on both of those...

I think I've been avoiding this space a bit again. Posting here means really facing my feelings and with new mom hormones and the overwhelming joy of a new baby, I haven't been up for dealing with grief. Grief is exhausting and when you're already running on adrenaline and broken sleep, it seems like a better idea to put it on the back burner and power through.

Lately though, I've been thinking more and more about this space and what we've been through and it feels like it's time to get back to it. I'm not doing myself any favours by ignoring things and I feel like in a weird way, I'm seeing our experience with fresh eyes. We're no less devastated about losing Annalee, but I find more joy now. I'm excited for our baby boy to know about Annalee and for her to watch him grow up.