Friday, May 31, 2013

"My Advice to You....." -Trigger

 People often say that they don't know what to do or say to help someone in our situation. The truth is, there is no one right thing to do or say, but here is some advice given to me by other mothers who have lost a child. The advice was given to me personally about my situation. We knew we would be losing Wyatt ahead of time, so we were able to do some of the things listed here that may not have been possible for another family.

What I would like to express clearly is that these are all suggestions.
Everyone needs to figure out what is best for their own situation. We all handle these things in our own way, but hearing what helped others or what others regret, we can handle this experience with more peace.

"The anxiety was worse than the experience."- This is something shared by another mother that stuck with me most. In some strange way, the day Wyatt was born, was one of the saddest and one of the most amazing days of my life.  

"Enjoy every one of these last moments with your precious little one."- This is something that I strove to accomplish through out this challenging and scary pregnancy. I have learned from my previous losses and my amazing blessings, that I do not have control and that nothing should be taken for granted. I focused on what we did have. I celebrated the life inside of me, and I don't regret a single second of the joy he brought us.

"While there is hope, we hope."- This is a quote from an awesome labor and delivery nurse. Even when the doctors said Wyatt had no chance, she understood the heart of a mother who just couldn't give up. 

"Hold your Wyatt no matter what." - There was no way I could have prepared myself for the emotions that rushed through my heart while holding my sweet boy. I am so thankful to this mother for encouraging me to spend time holding him and admiring every little feature. 

  "Make sure you get pictures and molds of the hands and feet."

This is a photo taken by the nurses that I will treasure for ever!

Here are a few other things I would add: 

Be sure to speak up and ask to keep anything that you want to remember your baby.- The nurses put together a heartwarming box with many items that will help us to remember that beautiful day. A mom had recommended that since I had time, to make him something special. The night before we lost him, I sewed a little blanket for him. It was such an amazing experience to be able to do something so special for him.

Bring some sort of lotion or oil to rub on your baby's skin, so you will always have a special smell to remember you precious child.-This is something I wish I had done.

Be sure to have your own camera for others to take pictures. It may seem like a strange thing to do, but those photos can really help in the grieving process-Photos of Wyatt are some of my most treasured possessions. There is a an organization called Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep that was a wonderful blessing for us, but we also cherish the photos we took as well as the photos the nurses took. 

  Here is a good list of things to consider getting photos of: 
        • A picture right after the baby is born
        • Photos of every part of your baby. You don't have to look at them, but you may want to have those photos to look over later and remember every detail.
        • A picture of you holding your baby
        • A picture of other family and friends holding your baby
        • A picture of your midwife, doula, doctor, nurses etc. with you and the baby
        • A picture of your baby's hands and feet
        • A picture of you kissing your baby
        • Your baby undressed as well as dressed if you are able
        • Take high quality photos in a normal setting.-you can always edit later
        • If you are able, a video would be a great thing to have.- I wish we had one
Learn as much as you can about grief as you embark on this journey. 
  • One of the most important things to know is that the timing and process varies from person to person as well as from experience to experience.- We were given a hand out that outlined the stages of grief along with a time line. Thank goodness I new better. That is not how grief works. There are stages that we all go through, but for me it comes and goes in waves.
  • Grief is a very Personal experience. I am still learning to understand my husband's way of grieving.
  • Grief can make you feel like you are going crazy. (I met a wonderful mother soon after our loss. She had also lost her little boy. She came over and just listed to me talk. It was so healing to hear her repeat the words, "That's normal, that's normal. I remember feeling that way or acting that way.")
  • You don't have to grieve alone. I found support locally through a great friend. I discussed my feeling with a counselor. I also sought out support groups online. There are many avenues of support. In some areas it is easier than others, but don't give up.
Find a way to honor your child 
  • I painted a wood box for his keepsakes.
  • I have a special area in my room displaying his photo along with a Candle and Build a Bear made for him.
  • I made a necklace with a picture of his feet and 4 beads representing the other 4 children we have lost.
  • It took me a long time, but I eventually started a blog, a Facebook page and started what I call "Share the Love."
  • I make a point to talk about him and remember him.
  • I wrote a song and put together a slide show
Remember the siblings- Our little guy was pretty young, so we haven't fully explained to him what happened, but he does know that Wyatt is his little brother and that he is gone. We saw some behavioral changes with him, but I think it had more to do with him seeing me crying and the change in my parenting style. We decided it would be best for everyone if he went to my friend's childcare program a few days a week. I wanted him to be able to have fun while I had time to grieve.
  • There are books for siblings.
  • Some children may need to see a counselor of their own.
  • Make sure someone is able to tend to their needs.
Try to remember that most people mean well even if they say things that are not helpful. 
  • I made a point to always hear, "I love you and I care." no matter what was said to me.
  • It is okay to tell someone that what they are saying is hurtful or not helpful.
  • It is also okay to just not respond at all.
  • Everyone one reacts to a loss differently. They may be grieving as well. 
Music and artistic expression helped me in my darkest times.
  • You don't have to be even close to professional; its about the process not the product.
  • This can be something for just you or shared with people close to you
  • Making crafts, listening to music, writing music, writing poems, etc. are all great outlets.
  • Writing in a journal or a blog can be healing as well.
  • String of Pearls is a website that was extremely helpful to me.
  • Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep offered me both support and beautiful photos of Wyatt.
  • Baby Center has a forum, but I would recommend joining one on a site that is just for mom's. who have lost a child. This one has baby pictures all over it.
Songs on my playlist for Wyatt
       (sometimes the songs helped me get my feeling out when I felt numb)


This is my wish. "Maybe some day we can figure this all out." Maybe someday we'll live our lives out loud."

I have decided to live my life out loud today. I hope I can help some others in this journey. Thank you for joining me!


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