Friday, April 27, 2012

In the News

Jamie and I decided shortly after our daughter's passing that we wanted to give back to the community through fundraising, which is why we signed up for the March of Dimes: March for Babies yearly walk event. As we got closer to the event (which is tomorrow), we decided to increase our reach within the community by not only involving our friends, family & coworkers, but by talking to our local news station and newspaper. Believe me, this has been a tough and tearful task as the memories of Naya's hospitalization came surging back each time we retold her story or a photo of hers was shared.

But it has all been worth it. An article in the New Times was published yesterday which described our team's goal to support research and programs that help moms have full-term pregnancies and babies begin healthy lives.

And today, our story aired on KSBY. The story (which I just watched) was put together wonderfully and brought a tear to my eye. Here is the link to the video.

As the article and story both stated, the generous gifts that have been provided by you for the March for Babies event will be used to bring comfort and information to families with a baby in the newborn intensive care units.

If you would like more information on the March of Dimes: March for Babies, you can go to:

Or if you would like to help by donating to our team, you can either visit the team page or purchase one of these bracelets.

Thank you KSBY, New Times, friends, family and readers of our blog. You've listened to Naya's story and supported us beyond belief.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Today should have been joyous. Today, we should have been celebrating the fact that she was here and 3/4 of the way to her first birthday. We should be watching her crawl along and pull herself up and toddle around the furniture. She should be sitting in her high chair and exploring the tastes of different solid foods. She should be laughing. She should be babbling. She should be here. She should be 9 months old today and we should be celebrating. I shouldn't be visiting her grave and giving her flowers. I should be holding her in my arms and giving her a hug. She shouldn't be buried in the ground away from her family. She shouldn't be dead.

Instead, I spent the day crying. I do this every 14 & 24 of the month. I wonder if it's going to be like that forever - I am always going to hate those two days and be completely useless? Am I ever going to look back on her birth and smile instead of cry? I am ever going to stop feeling so broken? Is this pain ever going to stop?

I know the answers to these questions - it will never fully go away but will dull in time. I have mixed feelings about that - sometimes I just want all of this pain to go away because it is so unbearable. I want to be able to get up in the morning without this gigantic weight pulling me down. But at the same time, I don't want to heal. I don't want the pain to go away because then it's like she never existed. And she did. She was my daughter and I will never stop wanting her back. I will never stop aching for her. I miss her so much and I just want her back. But that will never happen and everyday that goes by is just a reminder of that.

Happy 9 months baby girl. I love you. I miss you so much.

Sunday, April 22, 2012


Halfway there. I am officially halfway there - 20 weeks pregnant. Even though, I am technically more than halfway because I will be getting induced between 38-39 weeks, this is still a huge marking point. This has truly been the longest 20 weeks of my life. I have spent this entire pregnancy thus far counting down the days to hit certain points just so I have something to look forward to that isn't 9 months away. At first, it was making it to seven weeks because that's when we had our first ultrasound with our perinatologist. Then it was 9 weeks to hear the heartbeat. Then it was 12 weeks to know that we had passed out of the danger zone of the first trimester. After that, it was 13 weeks to the NT scan for chormosonal abnormalities. And now, I've hit another marker - the halfway point. I feel like I've been doing this for years. Which is ironically sort of true - I've been pregnant for 15 out of the last 20 months. By the time this is over, I will have been pregnant for almost 2 years straight.

I have never been one of those women that enjoy being pregnant. For one thing, I'm short. There is not a lot of room in my abdomen to begin with so when I'm pregnant, I get pretty huge and very uncomfortable.  And believe it or not, I swear I am getting bigger faster in this pregnancy. This is me at 19 weeks with both Naya (left) and nugget (right). Clearly, much bigger right?

Now here is me, 39 weeks and 3 days pregnant with Naya.

If I was that big with her - how much bigger am I going to get with this one? It's freaking terrifying.

But I am getting ahead of myself. 20 weeks. I am only 20 weeks and I can really only allow myself to take this one day at a time. The next thing to look ahead to is our big anatomy screen with the perinatologist on April 30. Once we get past that point, I know I will start feeling a little more hopeful about the future because right now, I know so much can still go wrong. Luckily, I have a very busy week to help keep my mind off things, including our big March of Dimes event on Saturday, April 28. But more on that later. I'm off to lie on my bed and eat some sugar to make this baby move around.

Thursday, April 19, 2012


Lying on my bed feeling the nugget kick makes me so happy. I love this little person so much already. I can't even begin to explain how much this pregnancy has helped me. It's given me such hope that there still can be joy in this world and that I will have happiness in my life again. This baby has actually made me look forward to the future and totally given me a reason to wake up in the morning.

I'm so glad that I am in that stage where I can feel him/her move on a regular basis now. (I'm at the halfway point.) It is so reassuring. That first 16 weeks or so were such torture - I literally checked to make sure I wasn't bleeding every hour. And this one is already such a character. We had an OB appointment today and it took her forever to find the heartbeat because s/he was moving around so much. (Yes, not being able to locate a heartbeat can be terrifying but I wasn't scared because I could feel nugget moving while she was looking with the Doppler. In fact, you could actually hear the movement. Another week and a half til our anatomy scan with the perinatologist. I am excited and terrified at the same time. I will feel so much better when I know that everything is developing the way it should. It's so strange how different my worries are with this pregnancy. I never once even considered that things wouldn't turn out perfectly with Ty and Naya. Ultrasounds were for seeing the baby and maybe finding out a gender. Now, I am worried about heart anomalies and whether the intestines are developing as they should. I could care less if we catch a glimpse of the junk.

This entry turned out longer than I intended though. I'm going to go back to lying on my bed and feeling my wiggle-worm at work now.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Release days

One thing I've learned about grief over the last 7 months is that it doesn't get less painful, it just gets easier to cover up. It gets easier to get through the day because you become more and more practiced on pretending that you are okay and not dying inside. It gets easier to recognize your triggers and avoid them. It gets easier to put on that mask everyday and pretend to be a happy, functioning person. Believe me, you are still hurting the same inside as you were before but the time that has passed makes you that much better at pretending.

While most days you can avoid the pain and function, there are some days which you have to let it overwhelm you. You have to give in to the pain and deal with it for that one day (or two, or three, or week or whatever it ends up being) so you can heal. Those days give you the opportunity to feel your emotions and, essentially, release them. Yesterday was one of these days for me. Yesterday, was the 7 month anniversary of Naya's death.

Anniversary days are notorious for the grieving (as are holidays). They are a reminder of what we once had and what we lost. Death anniversaries are even worse because we are able to put a definitive number to how many days it's been since we last saw our loved one and how long we've been missing them. It makes you face the reality that they are gone all over again. And it sucks.

Yesterday, I just let the emotions of the day take me. For one, I knew a day like this was coming - I had a good two week run of normality and for the grieving, this never lasts. Plus, the day fell on a weekend that Ty was with his dad and Dan was working. I was alone and able to let my emotions out. I woke up and went to the gym for an hour. Afterwards, I grabbed some Starbucks and took it to the cemetery and had breakfast with my daughter. And cried. A lot. I stayed there for about an hour, then drove home. On the way home, I listened to the playlist we used at Naya's memorial service. And I cried more. When I got home, I opened her door and went in her room (something I've actually done quite a bit lately but that's for a separate post). I sat in her chair, wrapped her blanket around me and read the nugget a book. I cried while doing it but I was proud of myself. It was a way to share my Naya with her little brother or sister. Afterward, I took a shower and drove out to have lunch with Dan, shopped and then went to work. All-in-all, I'm glad that I let myself have a day because I needed it. I miss her. So much.

Anyway, before I start crying even more than I already am while writing this, I wanted to mention that Dan and I had bracelets made to sell for our March for Babies walk. They are purple rubber and say "Marching for Naya" on them. If you are interested, here is a link to our wepay store and you can order one. All proceeds will go to the March of Dimes (less the shipping).

We have two more weeks left before the walk and we are very excited to be one of the highest fundraising teams in the nation! We would love to stay that way, so any little bit helps! Thank you all in advance.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Some pics from the Vacation

I promised to post some pics from our vacation, so here are a few of my faves:

How cool are the clouds reflecting on the building on this one?

Our neighbor while at our hotel (we stayed on 54th & Broadway)

Ty and I in front of the Statue of Liberty. They are doing construction on it so we weren't able to go inside but it was still cool to visit. Ty loved it. I like it because you can barely tell that I was almost 18 weeks pregnant.

View of Central Park from the Top of the Rock

Ty is a huge Beatles fan, so the first thing we did was visit Strawberry Fields
and the Dakota (where John Lennon lived and died).

This tree fascinated me. This tree is known as the "Survivor Tree," as it was plucked from the wreckage of the World Trade Center, nursed back to health and replanted at the memorial site. It was the only tree at the site that was in bloom while we were visiting. The significance and symbolism of this tree was not lost on Dan and I. We felt a real connection with the tree and could identify with its rocky past. While the whole memorial is quite emotional, this tree made me cry. 

Where one of the towers stood.

Times Square at Night. This was Ty's favorite spot in the city.

Where we ate the last night we were there.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Back Home Blues

It's hard coming back home. When you're on a vacation, it's so easy to pretend your someone else. I think that's half the reason why we go on vacations in the first place. When you are away from home, you distance yourself from your "real" life and become a part of where you are. You are able to pretend that the place where you are vacationing is your "real" life because it is, for that short period of time. It makes it easy to forget about all the life events that brought you there because you don't have any daily reminders. Everything is new. And for someone like me, that's a good thing.

I still cried everyday while we were in New York but for that whole week, I didn't feel nearly as awful as I normally do. I was able to fully immerse myself in my vacation reality and, in a way, forget about my real reality. I got to be another person, one without the troubles, burdens and baggage of my real life.

But coming back home puts everything in perspective again. I am no longer some carefree person roaming around the city. I am returning to my life as a mother whose child died. That is my reality and, unfortunately, my identity now. I will never not be this person. I can take "vacations" from my reality but it's something that I always and forever come back to. This is who I am now and I hate it and can't escape it.

I can completely understand why people run away and completely change their lives after experiencing a loss like we did. There I times when I really wish we could just pick up and move away and start all over, away from all of the reminders - the house that we planned to make her home that now holds a room whose door is permanently closed, the hospital where I gave birth to her, the Target where we took her on her only outing that didn't involve a doctor's office, the cemetery that hold her remains. It sucks because I was actually happy with my life before. She made it absolutely perfect. Now, it all just reminds me of what I'm missing. Of what's gone and never coming back. I would love to run away because everything in my life is a painful reminder of what could have been. And it sucks. And it hurts. And it's draining. And it's hard to pretend that it's not - which is what we now do in our new reality.

I need a vacation.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Just a small update

I'll be back to more regular posting come Sunday, as Dan and I decided to take Ty to New York for spring break and it's hard to post on an iPhone. I am sure this post is going to be riddled with typos and autocorrects but oh well. I just wanted to say thank you to everyone for all of the good wishes and congrats that you all have given us and about our little nugget (our nickname for this baby). We really do appreciate and I hope to be able to respond to all the individual messages when we get home. Right now, I am just exhausted and have to get my pregnant butt to relax. We had a long couple days - walked all around midtown, central park and the upper west side yesterday (Ty had to see the Dakota and Strawberry Fields) and we went to the 911 Memorial, explored lower Manhattan and walked the Brooklyn Bridge. Exhausted and my feet hurt. If I knew how to upload photos from my phone, I would because I've got some good ones. I'll post a whole bunch when we get back, as I do have some more things to talk about, especially in light of some of the things we have encountered. But more on that later. My old ass is going to bed.