Saturday, December 31, 2011


2011 was a rough year to say the least. That doesn't mean there weren't great things that happened though.

It started off looking up. Nick was starting a new job after being out of work for 3 months. AJ was turning a year old and we found out we were expanding our family.

Not long after all of the excitement of those wonderful things it all seemed to start going downhill. I remember this guy on tv talking about how the world was going to end on May 21st. I felt like my world did end that day. I was blessed with the most beautiful baby boy born18 weeks too early. We spent a lot of the time after Ryan was born trying to get back to living and not just existing and going through the motions.

Now we spend our time making sure we remember, honor and love Ryan every single day. We're better people because of him. I'm a better mom and Nick is a better dad. I've made some new friends because of this. I've found a wonderful doctor who was like an angel the night Ryan was born. Changes have been made at the hospital to help other families who have to go through this same thing. Lots of money has been raised for the March of Dimes in honor of Ryan thanks to our very generous family, friends and even strangers.

As 2011 comes to a close I'm sad to see it go. Sounds crazy after everything that's happened, right? It feels like a new chapter is starting but it's hard to anything new without Ryan here. I've had to "re-learn" how to do things...and it's not always easy. We'll get through like we always do but it's not easy.

I pray that 2012 is a healthier year filled with a lot less tears. I hope it's filled with a ton of happy memories. I hope...

I love you sweet boy...forever and a day.

Thursday, December 29, 2011


For a while now I've been saying I just want this year to be over. There has been so much pain and heartache. Now that we're only 2 days away until 2012 I'm having trouble letting this year go. I'm hoping next year will be a healthier and happier one but at the same time I feel like turning that calendar to a new year puts me farther away from Ryan. I guess it's a new chapter of sorts and I don't like it. It's been 7 months but once it's 2012 it'll be "last year". That sounds and feels like a lifetime.

I think the little baby boom that's happened around us lately has been sending my mind into overdrive. I've been having more flashbacks and have been thinking about the night Ryan was born a lot more lately. Today we were in a store and I saw a display of the small decorative flags like we have at Ryan's grave. I went through them all looking for a cute one for a holiday or occasion I didn't already have one for. Then we looked around the rest of the store and I found a few other little things for Ryan. I started to cry. I realized that the items I was getting weren't really for Ryan, they're for help me feel better. All I can do is decorate his grave and make it look nice. I can't go into a store and buy him a cute little outfit to wear. I can't buy the toy that I think he'd love. Instead I buy things for his grave and anything I see with his name on it. I sleep with his blanket and teddy bear to feel closer to him. I pull out the box with his pictures and trinkets in it. I usually sit there and cry missing him so badly.

I'm not really sure where this post is going...I just needed to write get some of this out.

I love you and miss you my sweet boy. Forever and a day.

Sunday, December 25, 2011


There have been many days on the calendar that I've wished I could fast forward right through. Ryan's due date, the 21st of any month and Christmas.

I knew it was going to be tough. I didn't imagine the roller coaster I'd be on. The last few days have been a series of ups and downs and everything in between.

We've got a beautiful new addition to our family. Brynn arrived a little before schedule on 12/20. She's a cutie. I was a big ball of emotions hearing the news she was here. I was so glad she was a SHE! So glad that she was here safe and sound. Then I thought about Ryan. This would be the first baby I've held since Ryan. I should be holding Ryan still. I was nervous about seeing Brynn for the first time. I wasn't sure what my reaction would be. It's one of those things that no matter how much I think I can predict what I'll feel or what will happen it's not always so.

It felt so good to hold that little girl. That tiny little one. She fills a tiny piece of that void that I will always have. Holding her brings a calm over me. She's a sweet baby and seems pretty laid back. I like to think that when I'm holding her and she smiles that Ryan is whispering something in her ear.

Christmas eve and Christmas have been very hard. All I could think about was what we're missing. A part of our family is missing and no matter how many ornaments or stockings or trinkets we have Ryan will never be here with us in the way that I want him. I know he's watching but at the holidays that doesn't bring much comfort. The anger typically takes over. 7 months later and I'm still as pissed off as I was at the end of May. I don't know that I'll ever get passed it. Some days it feels like an impossible task.

Today I was trying to cook and get dinner ready. I couldn't keep my thoughts straight, couldn't focus. In the end it all came out ok but I hate that feeling.

Nick and I went to see Ryan this morning. We happened to be there when Ethan's mom and dad went to visit too. I was so glad to run into them. I needed that hug from Ethan's mom in the worst way. I cried my eyes out for a good few minutes and then we left.

We got a phone call when we got home that there was another new addition. Our very good friends welcomed their new baby boy. He came earlier than expected but is healthy and came out screaming according to his mom. I'm so glad that everything is ok with mom and baby and that he too arrived safe and sound.

I had moments of missing Ryan so badly and moments of pure happiness watching AJ play with all of the goodies Santa brought him. I could still hear whispers of people talking in the other room, no doubt they were talking about me/us. I know it's out of concern but I hate that people walk on eggshells when they're around sometimes. I guess that's something I'll have to get used to.

I'm not going to lie, I'm glad Christmas is over. The anticipation was there as usual and the days were hard but we made it through just like we always do and we always will. Thanks to my teammate for always reminding me that we're in this together. I love you.

To those of you who sent a nice message, card or good thought our way, thank you. I appreciate you all so much.

To my sweet boy - I hope that you all had a nice family dinner up there. You've got some great cooks with you and I hope they spoiled you like they used to do to me. I wish you were here. Thank you for watching over Brynn and Evan. I love you with all my heart, forever and a day. <3

Monday, December 19, 2011

Silent Night

After Ryan was born I would have flashbacks about the night he was born. It was like I was reliving it all over again. It would stop me in my tracks and I could feel the tightness in my chest. My therapist said it was PTSD. It started to happen less and less as time went on. Before tonight I can't remember the last time it happened.

I'm not sure what triggered it tonight. I was walking to put some of my chocolate supplies away. Was it because I was in and out of the room that Ryan should be sleeping in right now? Is it because Christmas is less than a week away? Is it just something that happened because I miss him every single minute of every single day? I don't know.

I was walking down the hallway when all of a sudden it hit me. I could hear myself crying that night. The sobs that I cried after the doctor said that there was no fluid around him and that I was going to deliver. It's hard to shake the sadness once it happens. I'm hoping some sleep will help and that tomorrow will be a new day.

As I've been sitting here thinking about that night one thing struck me. I never really thought about how quiet the room was. I had just had my second child but there wasn't the cry a new mother longs to hear. I can remember the nurses by the isolette talking quietly so I wouldn't hear what they were saying about Ryan. I remember laying there in disbelief and the silence was deafening. The only cry I heard was my own...not unlike many of the days since that night.

I miss you so much sweet boy. I love with all of my heart, forever and a day.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

New Friends

Yesterday I went to breakfast to meet with two other moms. It was so nice to sit there and be with them and talk about our kids. It was our boys that brought us together.

Ryan, Hayden and Ethan are buried next to each other. I got to meet Ethan's mom at the mass I spoke about. Hayden's mom reached out to both of us after that. We have all been emailing and set up a breakfast meeting. I can't even begin to explain how nice it was to sit there with two other moms and tell our stories. To talk about the good days and the bad days, to talk about the range of emotions you can go through in a matter of minutes and to hear them say "Me too". Those two simple words can make a world of difference. People will sympathize but until you've walked this path you truly can not understand what it's like, but they do. And as much as I wish none of us had to go through this I'm glad that they're there with me.

Our meeting was filled with hugs, laughter and tears. There's a connection there that some people don't have after knowing someone for years.

We've all found similarities and "coincidences" in our stories -- who had the same doctor or who's got the same names in their family. I'm not sure they're coincidences at all. As Hayden's mom said -- I used to believe that things happen for a reason and after all of this it's hard to believe that but I know that SOME things really do happen for a reason.

Our boys got us together. I know they're up there watching us, smiling at the good work they've done.

Thank you Ryan, Hayden & Ethan.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Funny Boy

I've told you how AJ makes me/us smile every day. Lately he's been hysterically funny -- and he knows it. He's at the age where he does things for a laugh. it's amazing what he retains and remembers. You don't even realize he's paying attention but he's always listening.

Have you seen that commercial with the people in the mini van that break out into Ozzy Osbourne's "Crazy Train"? Yeah, AJ does that. One morning over the monitor we hear "bum bum". Nick and I look at each other "that sounds like that commercial". Next we hear "ay, ay". Yup, definitely doing the commercial. I don't even know when he's seen it or how many times.

He's a huge RIT hockey fan. He'll chant RIT every chance he gets. He's starting to know the other chants too. He even does the arm movement when "Jump Around" comes on at the Ritter. And now he'll actually ask to watch hockey.

Tonight we were watching Jeopardy. It's just starting the music is ending and the announcer says "This is...." and AJ goes Jeopardy! HUH?! When did he learn that?

Every day it's something new. I can't believe how fast he picks things up.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Birthday Wishes

I'm a planner by nature. I like to have a plan and try to stick to it. I like to know what's going on and when. Lately I've gotten used to the fact that things don't always go as planned. I never know how my day is going to be or what will set me into a tailspin. Celebrating seemed to be the last thing I wanted to do. I didn't know how I could celebrate and be happy when a part of me is missing. Today I figured it out.

Today I had one of the best birthdays I've had in a very long time. We had a plan and it went off without a hitch.

We had a nice breakfast all together, then we met Lauren and Cole and AJ went to spend the day with them.

Nick and I went to the tattoo parlor. I finally got both of my tattoos. I waited so long. I'm so glad I got them. I love them and can't stop looking at them. (I went to Physical Graffiti for anyone who's wondering)

After the tattoos we went to see Ryan. We spent a few minutes and then headed to lunch. We had a nice lunch together. We then met Lauren, Tom, Cole and AJ at the RIT hockey game. The boys had a great time and so did we.

It was the perfect day. I got to spend some time just me and Nick. It was like we were dating again! :) Then we got to have some great family time. I seriously could not have asked for anything more.

I also had so many birthday wishes...from Facebook to email to phone calls and messages. Thank you!

I hope this is the beginning of a wonderful year.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Making Connections

Today there was a mass at the cemetery for families who have buried children over the last year. We got to the small chapel and sat down. AJ is at the age where he's learning if he does the opposite of what we're asking (ie. whipersing instead of shouting to hear his echo) he gets attention. The mass had barely started and Nick went outside with him. Nick ended up missing the whole thing. I felt terrible. I so wanted them to be there as I went up and lit the candle when they called Ryan's name and gave me his ornament. Sometimes it's hard to grieve while AJ is around. I wanted so badly to have that time to site and reflect and focus on Ryan and there AJ was causing a ruckus. It left me and Nick angry for a while but I guess it's something we need to learn to balance. Looking back we should have just gotten a sitter but AJ is usually good when we go out so we didn't even thing about it. Next time.

While we were there I was looking at the program they handed out. All of the children's name's were printed in it. I recognized 3 or 4 from the section that Ryan is buried. One name stuck out though and the family was right in front of us. I knew he was buried just 2 spots down from Ryan but there was something else. I couldn't figure out why I knew the name. All of a sudden it hit me. Sitting in front of me was one of the founders of An Angels Love. (I've written about the great things they're doing). I asked someone who was there with the family if that was her and she said that it was. At the end of the mass she introduced me. I was a bumbling mess! I was so emotional from the service and had so much I wanted to say it came out in one big jumbled mess. We did agree to go and have coffee one day so hopefully I can get my thoughts straight by then. I hope this connection helps me on this path. I hope it enables me to further help someone else going though or who will go through such a loss.

After the mass we went to see Ryan. It was so sad. Usually when we/I go there's no one else there at the same time. I can count on one hand the number of times I've seen someone else there. Today we were all lined up in the front row staring down at our child's marker. You could hear the sniffles coming from all of us. Everyone was hugging. What an awful club to belong to.

There was another first for me today too. Today was the first time that I said Ryan died. I always say passed away and if I was talking to someone close to me I always said "when Ryan was born" or something to that effect. "Died" just sounded so harsh and final to me I couldn't bring myself to say it. Someone asked about Ryan and it just came out. I was surprised myself. A baby step? Maybe.

I've set up our team for the March of Dimes walk in May. This year it's the day before Ryan's birthday. I'm hoping to recruit some family and friends to be walkers on our team (you can sign up to be a walker and not actually walk -- you can still help fund raise) Ryan's Racers. I can't think of a better way to celebrate Ryan's birthday than raising more money for this cause.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Not Feeling So Merry

Other babyloss parents will tell you that the holiday season isn't easy. Thanksgiving was tough but we made it through. The hardest part for me (other than people constantly calling AJ "the baby") was being so far away that I couldn't go see Ryan. My sister asked me if I wanted her to go. I jumped at the chance. She, her husband and my nephew went and spent a little bit of time with Ryan on Thanksgiving. She even was able to Skype with me while she was there so I could "be" there too. It meant the world to me.

Decorating was hard for me. In fact, it's still not really done and I just don't have the desire to finish it. We put up the tree and at one point I stood back and watched as Nick showed AJ how to hang an ornament. That's when it hit me like a ton of bricks. There's a piece missing. It should have been that exact scene but I should have been sitting with our 6 week old. Instead we're hanging ornaments with his name on it and we're making a stocking to hang knowing that he's never going to be here to see if there's anything in it. I honestly don't know if we didn't have AJ if I would have decorated at all.

It's such a strange place to be. I want to be so excited for AJ, and most of the time I am, but then on the other hand I'm so sad for what we're missing. I feel like I need to be two different people.

My sister got Ryan a little Christmas tree. She even decorated it with lights and a couple of ornaments. My mom bought him his "first Christmas" ornament for our tree. My BIL and SIL also got us a beautiful ornament with Ryan's name on it. I got a cute little Santa ornament and wrote his name on it. Seeing his name always makes me smile. We picked out a toy we would have gotten for Ryan and donated it. I think these things will help me get through this month.

I miss you so much sweet boy. I love you with all my heart and I always will.