"Some people only dream of angels; we held one in our arms."

Below you will find Austin's story in multiple parts in order to tell the full story of my pregnancy, his birth, funeral and the months following.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Austin's One-Year in pictures

Here is a picture of Hayley and Alyssa sitting outside of Austin's grave on his one year anniversary. It was a beautiful day to remember and honor him!
Here they are with their balloons before we released them. They were so excited to do this again, and this will be our tradition every year.

A beautiful sky, as the balloons float off to heaven for little Austin.

Close up of the balloons... the girls picked the colors: blue, yellow, green and white! (That is a big change from their normal pink and purple of everything!)

A glimpse of the surroundings of Austin's grave.... more pictures/reflections to come!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

this time.... last year

this time.... last year! And so begins my trip down "memory lane." I woke up this morning and thought about where I was this time, last year on June 8th. The memory is so vivid; it feels like it was just yesterday. I could barely get out of bed last year on this day, and when I finally did, I knew I had to get myself to the hospital. I finally was admitted for what would be a long week and a half of ups/downs; highs/lows; joys/sorrows; waiting and hope.

This time, last year, I was in the hospital, hooked up to machines, receiving blood transfusions, and being reassured that I just had to hold on a little longer. This time, last year, as the day wore on, I went into labor. I went into labor and was scared to death. For the first time, I wasn't sure if I was going to hold on to the little baby, and I feared for my life. This time, last year, I was set to deliver by C-section. This time, last year, almost at this exact time, the contractions stopped, and I held on to hope that I was going to be the "Miracle Baby" story. This time, last year, I began an extremely intense roller coaster of emotions, and I remember almost every waking moment.

I am not really sure how I feel today; it still feels a little surreal. I just know that the next week and a half will be filled with memories of what happened those long days in the hospital, and what might have been.... I miss my little Austin....

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Where does the time go?

Wow, it has been a long time since I blogged... I think the last time being a holiday weekend. Holidays are always tough; as is any occasion that allows you time to reflect on life and take a break from everything. Although I didn't write, Mother's Day was particularly tough, and it came out of nowhere... isn't that how it always happens. I thought I was just fine, but it hit really bad that Sunday night, and I just couldn't stop crying. As with the entire year, that too passed.

This past weekend, we celebrated my daughter's 3rd birthday, which she has highly anticipated for the past three months. While the day was extremely fun and she had a blast (how can you not when you are three?), there was an overall tension that I felt in anticipation for her birthday weekend. I know this is due to the fact is that all I could think about was where I was last year at this time... in bed, anxiously awaiting every day in the hopes that I would make it another day through the pregnancy. This time last year, I was naive, innocent, hopeful... and while I was on bedrest and in a great deal of pain and angst over what was going on with my body, I held on to the hope that it would all be worth it for my little one. Amazing how a year later, the circumstances can be so different. I am not as naive and innocent, and it has been an extremely difficult year, but I still hold on to hope... and that hope is what gets me through these difficult times, and the inevitable difficult moments that lie ahead...

This brings me to what has caused me to write tonight, as I feel I am trying to avoid the inevitable and deny that I am anxious about the looming first year anniversary date. My wonderful friend (and grief counselor) called me tonight and said that I needed to get out of my denial stage that the date is approaching, and make sure I have something in place for that day. I know I need to, and I feel like I somewhat have a vision in my head, but I just feel like I want to be able to honor the date, yet not have a day of mourning and sadness. With that said, I know that I want to have people with me that day, and I think the best people and support I need for that particular day would come from my friends, as opposed to family. I just feel like I have had a difficult time relating to my family during this time, and I think this will cause me further stress for a day that is going to be hard enough. But then I feel guilty, in that if my family finds out, will they be offended?

So I guess if you have any suggestions as to what I can do on this day... I would greatly appreciate it! I keep all of you in my thoughts and prayers often.... and am so grateful to have found this blog as an outlet for my feelings.

Friday, April 2, 2010


Spring is most definitely in the air, and while I have been away for quite some time, it doesn't mean that I am completely over everything. In fact, I fooled myself into thinking that Springtime would erase the pain and I would finally be starting anew... how many times I have been telling myself this, and yet, I still have to remember that this journey takes time.... and a change of a season is really only that.

I have been really busy the past month, which is why I haven't been posting, but I have been thinking about my own grief, the grief of all of the women that read this, and I have kept you in my thoughts and prayers. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to call in to many of the phone calls with the Anchored by Hope group; however, I am following along in my book, and it has brought me so much comfort. It is amazing how the verses selected just make such complete sense, and how very important and real it is to feel all of the many emotions that we all feel.

Anyway, Austin's tree has bloomed, and I found it very ironic that 17 blooms were to be counted as of last night; it does look so beautiful, and I am so grateful for the people that planted it because last summer I didn't realize how much it would really mean to me. Also, this week, Austin's headstone has finally arrived... ugh... that is something I have been dreading, and I didn't think it would be here that soon... nonetheless, it is, and I guess it is time that we finally put it where it belongs.

I hope all of you are doing well and are able to find some peace and most certainly, some hope this Easter weekend. As the flowers bloom and the weather gets warmer, I know the moments of sadness, grief, anxiety and loneliness won't disappear, but at least the dark, dreary, grey and cold days seem to be behind us.... and for this, I am extremely grateful.

Happy Easter....

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

lingering thoughts from yesterday...

Yet, in spite of the change that has occurred, I just feel sad and still a little broken, and maybe even helpless, when I have moments or days like these....

Monday, March 8, 2010

Change or Still the same?

Wow... it has been a long time since I have posted, which sometimes I feel is almost a good thing. Not posting as much means that I feel like I have gotten somewhat back to a normal life; I am busy; I am happy. But am I? Sure, the crazy work days are exhausting, and I am not consumed with grief anymore, but once again, my lovely friend, "the heavy, weight feeling," has returned the past couple of days. Nothing that I can't handle; nothing compared to the way it was; but still a lingering pain that I can't seem to shake. So as I am sitting here replaying the events of the day, and just catching my breath after a long day of work and class, I find myself wondering, what is it that I can't shake?

And then I think about how much time has passed; how much time really has gone by since my life changed forever. I think about how far I have come; how far I really have come throughout this whole grief journey. I think about what I really was like those early months of denial and shock, and I am proud of myself for how far I have come. But then I also think about how much the one year anniversary looms, and questions flood me as to what am I going to feel; how am I going to act; am I going to have this "achy" feeling until then? Questions that I know I can't possibly answer; questions that I know I can't let consume me; questions that nonetheless invade my thoughts throughout the day, especially right now.

So, I have been thinking the past couple of days (maybe, it is the return of the warm weather that is kind of bringing things back to me) of how I am going to honor Austin's one-year-anniversary. I was so scared and in denial last year at the funeral; I was so numb to anything; perhaps, this year I should do something that really honors him. Do I keep it small and private to only a few people, or do I plan something that allows my whole family to take part in. (Remember, I have had a hard time dealing with my family, and have been pretty closed off to most of them in regards to Austin.) I don't know, part of me thinks a one-year-anniversary has allowed me the time to work through all of my issues and finally "celebrate" his life. It is a couple of months away, so I don't need to decide now, but I guess that inevitable date has started to creep in my mind.

While I know my grief journey isn't over, considering the thoughts that I have been having the past couple of days, I do feel so blessed to have found some positives throughout this. The whole time, even from the very beginning, I knew God hadn't abandoned me, and I knew that He was going to work through me in ways that I didn't know He could. I knew that I was going to be changed, and I knew that despite the horrendous grief and suffering I experienced, I was a better person for it.

I say this after pondering how I have changed. During the online bible study last Thursday, one of the questions asked us to consider how we have changed, or what positives have come as a result of our situations. One particular blessing that I take from all of this is how I am able to look at almost any situation from a different perspective. As a teacher, I deal with a variety of students coming from different backgrounds and home situations. For some reason this year, it feels like more than ever, I have so many students dealing with loss, grief, anxiety, stress, depression, or some other emotional struggle. While I have always been sympathetic to them, I feel more than ever, I am able to use what happened to me and reach these students in ways I have never been able to before. I don't have to tell them what I went through; I don't have to even talk to them about what they are going through; I can look at them and understand; I can look at them and see the sadness and the pain; I can look at them and actually empathize. I look at them, and see them not as a student in my English class, but as a person, who needs to be reached sometimes at more than just an academic level, but sometimes they just need to know that you understand.

So, as I am sitting here wrestling with my uncomfortable and nagging aches and pains, which I have come to accept is my body's way of dealing with my stress and grief, I do give thanks to God for allowing my perspective to change, and for ultimately allowing Austin's life to give me a way to change how I look and interact with others.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


What's in a number? Well, let's just say, 17 never held much meaning until this past year. And now, here is another 17th; a date every month that has become easier to deal with, but the events replay constantly and it just serves as almost an entire day of remembrance.

As I am sure we can all relate, we are constantly trying to find ways to make something unique related to our situation. At least I am. So of course, I knew something was different about today's 17. When I went back and checked, I realized that this is the first Wednesday the 17th since June 17th. I guess that makes sense, considering today marks 8th month.

So, if you can't tell, I am not really in the mood for writing today (going back to work after a 2-week snow break is taking its toll!), but heres to another 17, as my life remains forever changed.