In October 2013, there was a beautiful monument dedicated in Manahawkin, NJ. On this monument are names of babies who are gone but never forgotten. They will forever be in our hearts. Brayleigh Elizabeth is on this monument with many other babies who I have gotten to know through their moms with the TEARS Foundation.
Tomorrow is Father’s Day. I am not 100% sure how Sean feels about this. I am sure very similar to how I feel on Mother’s Day. I know it is hard because it wouldn’t be fair to Lorelai for us not to be just as happy as would be before Brayleigh. We will wake up, Lo and I will make breakfast, and celebrate the awesome dad Sean is. But something will be missing. Even though Brayleigh will be missing in person, she will always be with us in spirit.
I think that probably the hardest thing about Father’s Day is finding something for Sean. One of the things I like most are cards. I love getting/giving a card just because, holidays, etc… But trying to find a card in the card isle for a father who lost his second daughter is a lost cause. I know that a lot of people feel like this topic of pregnancy and infant loss is so hush hush. But please know that this is a real thing. 1 out of 4 women will go through what we went through or something very similar. For me I can get a card from Lorelai and add Brayleigh’s name. What about the many women who don’t have other kids? What do they give to the man that has been there for them every step of the way after their loss? What about the father’s that might have lost an older child? I am not saying that there needs to be a huge selection but just something that we can give to the men in our lives that deserve it the most. Something that acknowledges that they have a child in heaven.
I want to wish all the fathers with kids on earth and in heaven a wonderful Father’s Day!
There are few words that hit me like a ton of bricks.
“How many kids do you have?”
How does one answer that when you have a daughter but also had a stillborn baby? Do you say 2, and hope that is the end of the conversation? Do you deal with the guilt and just say one? or Do you put it all out on the table and say 2 one here on earth and a beautiful angel in the sky. I use a mixture of the 3 answers. Usually just saying 2 and changing the subject quick. Sometimes saying 1 and dealing with the instant heartache I feel like I have somehow betrayed Brayleigh. The people who I think will understand I use the last answer. One here on Earth and a beautiful angel in the sky.
“When are you having more?” “Wait til you have another.”
I did have more. I went through almost 9 months of pregnancy, almost 9 months of planning for Lorelai’s little sister, building hopes and dreams, and a c-section. I just didn’t get to bring home a baby. But I had another daughter. A daughter who was too special for Earth. A daughter who will always watch over us.
“Lorelai is so outgoing, wonder what your next will be like?”
You have no idea how much I wonder what my next one would of been like. Yes I have already had my next. She was born sleeping. I didn’t get to see what color eyes she had. I didn’t get to see what kind of personality she would of had.
“Wait til she has a little brother/sister to play with and take care of.”
Lorelai does have a little sister. One that she understands was here with us for a short period of time. She understands that Brayleigh is in Heaven and watches over her. What she doesn’t understand is that her little sister is not here with her everyday like all of her friend’s siblings. I see her take care and play with her baby dolls. She would of taken really good care of Brayleigh. I would give anything to have Brayleigh here to for Lorelai to play with and help me take care of her.
I know I can not expect everyone to know/assume/understand our situation. I do however want more people to understand that every 1 in 4 women will suffer a pregnancy loss. Please help us Break the Silence. More people need to know that this is more common then you would think.
Many cultures believe the that butterfly is a symbol of a soul or of a passed love one. I have heard many stories of a butterfly appearing at a specific moment when only a loved one would know to. I have also seen this happen. The one I saw gives new meaning to butterfly kisses. Butterflies have become a big part of my life. I find them to be fascinating. This is why I started Butterfly Dreams. To me some of the butterflies I see hold certain dreams. These dreams are the ones they were meant to be spent with the loved ones that have passed. My biggest Butterfly Dream is of my daughter Brayleigh. There are certain times I see butterflies that it reminds me of the dreams I had of my family. The little baby who never came home with us, the little sister that Lorelai doesn’t get to grow up with, and the family with dreams of becoming four. Yes those were the dreams that I felt were lost better yet taken away from me. But now I can look back and see that those dreams were not lost. Brayleigh did come home with us just in a spirit that I know is always around. Lorelai plays with her little sister in the form of a bear that she plays with and sleeps with every night and she will get to grow up with her memory in her heart. Our family still became four but our forth is in heaven watching over us.
This Christmas I asked for cards to place on our christmas tree that were addressed to Brayleigh. On Christmas Day we opened them. There were messages about love, remembrance, and strength. Love of a baby that didn’t take a breath of air, remembrance of a girl who touched so many hearts, and strength for a family that will pull through together.
This holiday season we were surrounded with loved ones both family and friends. These are the people who were there for us through the ups and downs of the roller-coaster we were put on blindfolded on March 27th. These are the people who helped us make decision we were never prepared for, the people who are always there to talk to, and the people who mention her name. I am forever grateful for these people and you know who you are!!
I wrote this the night of the hurricane. I thought I had lost it but here it is…i was a little bored that night.
Hurricane Sandy came up the East coast this past weekend and decided to make a hard left turn right smack into New Jersey! I would like to thank her for allowing us to have a wonderful night of high winds, heavy rain, power outages, and many pictures online of complete chaos. I saw pictures of down trees, the ocean and bay meeting across islands, boats and houses floating away, and believe it or not sharks swimming down streets. Although the shark pictures could be up for debate it could happen right. I also was able to take a picture of our own personal destruction. A beautiful tree that has been in our yard for 25+years. My mom and dad planted it in front of our house. We had no idea it had gone down until mom looked out the front door. Out of all the trees in our yard we thought this would be the last to go down…boy were we wrong. It will be so odd to look at the house and not see it.
Our power went out earlier today and after a few hours came back on for about an hour or so and went off again. It tried a couple times after that to come back but didn’t work. I would like to thank the electric company for working so hard to restore power. You never realize how important something is to you until it is gone. I would also like to thank all of the emergency response personnel for helping to keep us updated on the storm and evacuations as well as rescuing so many who thought they could wait it out. I don’t know what in the world they were thinking…
I have surprisingly only heard the fire sirens a few times today. I was expecting to hear them more. I hope this means that people were smart enough to stay off the roads although some of the pics on Facebook would tell a different story. But it wasn’t just cars on the roads. I saw a video of someone riding their jetski down a road on LBI I think that’s where. Probably not the smartest thing that person has ever done. Along with videos/pictures of people on the roads their we’re a ton of trees down on houses, cars, and power lines. I have an idea although I can’t take credit for it how hard would it be to think about putting the power lines in the ground and get rid of telephone poles…ok I know I know it probably has been thought about. But in storms like these you wouldn’t have to worry about trees coming down on lines plus there would totally be an advantage to not having telephone poles the stupid and drunk drivers wouldn’t be able to hit them…but that I’m sure would be a huge debate on what would be better.
Now can we take a look at the whole shark swimming down the street thing…WHHAATT! (said how Lo would say it…in complete shock..) That is crazy. I saw two different pictures online. One looks like a shark swimming down the road like he is going to work singing along to the radio. Almost like something you would see everyday going to work. IDK it kinda looks like maybe someone got bored and has the latest photoshop and got a little drunk at the local hurricane party. The second one looks like the shark is just chillin out in someone’s front yard maybe wanting to join in on the local hurricane party maybe waiting for someone to feed him. IDK it seems crazy! I would die. I can tell you two things that come to mind one not that I have ever wanted to walk through a flood but I for damn sure will not now and two if I was thinking to myself I’m not going to evacuate I’ll just ride it out and then saw a shark trying to move to higher ground I would be asking him for a ride too. Crazy stuff going on today.
Today was my Dad’s birthday as well. I know he probably wanted to let us know he was around but this is a bit much. I would of been ok with a little storm but instead we got a crazy hurricane that just won’t give up…
I feel like I have completely gone on and on about the hurricane but it is 11pm here in New Jersey and I am up keeping an eye on our fire and not falling asleep with this crazy wind. I feel torn about waking up in the morning. On one hand the storm will be over but on the other we will be able to see the destruction that Hurricane (enter explicit word here) Sandy has left for us and our neighbors.
My white flag is up and I’m surrendering…TKO GOES TO HURRICANE SANDY…