Posted by: angelseashore | January 19, 2011

open enough to feel .. just feel

For the past months, I left my blog silent.  I had a hard time checking emails, phone messages, responding to cards, text messages, and had no concern for myself.  I was awful to myself and my loved ones felt it.  I did not cry.  I was not angry.  I was not sad.  I was depressed.  It paralyzed me from feeling anything really.  All I could do was to avoid things, people, places, and anything that required me to be human. 

It’s been a month since I started therapy again.  Always the skeptic, I asked my therapist if I was a hopeless case.  He surprised me by saying that I was making excellent progress.  He said that I was not the same person I was a month ago.  He’s right. 

I was watching one of the characters on Celebrity Rehab finally say good-bye to her fiancee who died in the World Trade Center 10 years ago.  For the first time in many months,  I felt a feeling.  I cried for her and for me.  My heart is open again – not all the way but enough to think about Riley and for the love I have for my daughter in heaven. 

I realize that I’m not done grieving for her.  But I’m okay.  And maybe I’ll feel total joy again one day though I don’t feel it right this second.  I’m working on it one day at a time.


Posted by: angelseashore | January 11, 2011

Am I still alive?

Man, oh man.. I survived the biggest bout of depression since the first few months after I lost Riley.  I’m alive and I guess that’s all that matters.  Hopefully 2011 will be my year for COMPLETE healing.  I’m back in therapy and working really hard to iron out my fears of losing another baby.. of my life.. of myself..  It’s been good.

I went back to my pregnancy loss support group after 1 whole year.  It’s been a year yet my hands took the wheel and I found myself at the meeting like it was second nature.  I walked the quiet hall to the small room where both agony and healing take place simultaneously.  The minute I see people in the room, my heart automatically breaks.   I know the journey they are going to go through.  But I also feel like I’m home when I enter the room.  Only parents who have lost a baby truly know the crazy emotions and thoughts that flow through our minds and bodies.

For the first time, I went not because I NEEDED to but because I WANTED to.  Riley danced in my mind all weekend and I took that as a sign to go and share my story.  To let babylost mamas and papas that as dark as the road to healing is, it comes- – that’s a guarantee.  Patience and time are the remedies for grief.  I went for Riley because I didn’t want her short life to have been in vain.  It felt so good to talk about her through my tears.  Sometimes I forget to think about her.  I used to feel guilty about that.  2 years later, I know that true healing has taken place.  I don’t need to constantly think of her because she is embedded in my heart.. she’s a part of my soul.  It feels good that I don’t feel so much guilt anymore.

Is  my life completely fulfilled?  Absolutely not.  Am I getting there?  Yes, albeit VERY slowly.  Can’t put a time limit on healing I’ve learned so I’m taking it at my pace and remembering to live life everyday.  This means that I must interact with people aside from my husband and dogs (I know they’re not people but they may as well be). 

To all the new babylost mamas and papas – I’m so sorry for your loss.  You can’t hear that enough.  Healing is around the corner so hang in there.

Posted by: angelseashore | August 2, 2010

purpose of my existence

We’ve all pondered the meaning of life at some point, right?  What was I put on this earth to do.. to accomplish?  The answer to that question has changed throughout my life as I’ve lived life.  It has altered with my experiences.  When I went through  my major bout of depression in high school, it was to help depressed teens around me.  When I went through my religious crises, it was to find what my fundamental beliefs were.  After suffering my first panic attack, it was to find a way to cope.. to get through each day without inhaling large amounts of xanax.  When I was a victim of domestic abuse, I just wanted the strength to get out.  When I married, it was to find meaning in my life aside from what my husband could fulfill.  After finding out I was pregnant, my purpose was to get okay with myself before I could mother a baby.  When I lost my baby, I sought out comfort and the courage to make it through the darkness and sadness.  So where am I now?  What is my purpose??

Part of the reason I started this blog was to provide information and support for parents who were going to have to make the choice to terminate a pregnancy due to a poor prenatal diagnosis.  It was a way for me to give people hope and see that babyloss and terminating a pregnancy in particular are devastating but you find a way to survive.  Never once did I think that I would change someone’s belief on abortion. It’s hard to change someone’s belief system.

In the last month, I’ve had two acquaintences tell me that my story has changed their mind about abortion .. that it’s not as black and white as they once believed it to be.  That there is a whole community of us who chose to terminate but really didn’t have a choice because it was a much loved and wanted pregnancy.  They never saw the human side of abortion beyond the propaganda behind posters and signs and pictures of fetuses and emotionally charged jargon.  I, along with many babylost mamas and papas are the human side.  Everyday, we feel pain and grief  for the baby that we don’t hold in our arms.  You see, technically we had a choice but in our hearts, we didn’t have  a choice at all..

So for now, for today.. the purpose of my existence is to share my story..  with the hope that I’m doing my daughter proud and that her life was not lived in vain.  And if I help someone along the way, I couldn’t be more touched..

Posted by: angelseashore | July 30, 2010

it’s just a little dust, right?

This morning, I was doing some light cleaning because I have relatives visiting today.  I made my way around the living room dusting the television, the lamps, the table and then.. I got to Riley’s table.  This small table which I set up a few weeks after losing my daughter Riley.  Sadly, I have too little to remind me of her as she left us when I was 5 months pregnant.  Too little time to gather precious and meaningful mementos of our time together. 

I do have candles I’ve lit for her over the last year and a half, stuffed animals that friends have given me, a Christmas ornanment with her name on it that we put on the tree last year.  There is also the framed hand and footprint with her name on it.. it’s not Riley’s prints though because we never got to physically see her.  When a friend brought her set of hand and footprints to our pregnancy loss support group, I could not let go of it and she made a copy of her daughter’s and and footprints and framed them for me.  We lost at the same time so I suppose Riley’s hands and feet would have been that size.

I couldn’t believe how filthy the table was.. how dirty I’d let it get over the last months.  Dust covered the few things I have of her and those precious items have been shifted and moved around.  This is the same table that I sat staring at for hours trying to remember how it felt to have Riley in my belly, thinking about the future that we would’ve had together.  I would meticulously dust and rearrange the items so that they were just so.. as I would have straightened Riley’s clothes and smoothed out her hair and gently wiped her face.  I cared for those items as if it were my baby.  It was and is all I have.

My heart is filled with sadness as I see how I neglected her items.  I haven’t sat with her in awhile.  I haven’t looked at her ultrasound pictures (all three of them).  I haven’t taken the time to remember. 

I know I think about her multiple times a day and I know she is with me always.. but I haven’t made it a point to sit with her.  I feel pretty shitty about that.  I know that this is all part of the grieving process and my therapist would tell me that this is a sign of healing and moving forward.  While I understand that it is good that I’m not sobbing every day, I feel like I’m forgetting her.. that one day I won’t remember the joy she brought me as my husband and I watched her moving in my belly in the darkened room.  How we held hands as we dreamt of a new and exciting life to come with OUR baby.

I’m not going to let this derail me.  I’m going to light a candle for her tonight and look through her ultrasound pictures.  I’ve been wanting to for weeks but was afraid of returning to that dark pit of grief.  Since I’m feeling meloncholy already, now’s the time to remember.. really remember.

Here’s a song for Riley:

Anyone else want to light a candle with me?  It seems more powerful.. the thought of many candles being lit with the same intentions of remembering..


Posted by: angelseashore | July 28, 2010

healthy lifestyle: week 2

It is week 2 in my quest to be physically, emotionally, and spiritually healthy.  For me, I can’t have one without the other two.  Usually, by now, I would have been sick of exercising and eating right and in the next few weeks will have abandoned such a regimen.  This time around, I’m actually liking this healthy lifestyle thing..  I’m doing things a little differently this time though.  I’m not setting unattainable weight loss goals –   my wii even cautioned me on this one.  I’m aiming for 5 pounds in 6 weeks. Secondly, I’m not letting my mind get all obsessive on me.  If I miss a day of exercise, I tell myself that I’ll do a more intense workout the following day.  If I eat something that I deem “not good for me,” I don’t derail a whole day’s of eating anymore.. I just make sure that I do a little more exercising that day.  All in all, cutting myself a break and giving myself some breathing room to “make mistakes” has done me a world of good.

body:  I’m continuing with my 30 Challenge on my wii active.  Along with strength training and running, my animated “trainer” has added basketball, inline skating, and tennis.  She tells me that she’s going to introduce volleyball to me tomorrow.  Along with the wii, I’ve also been doing pilates.  I’m fighting the urge to do both in the same day because I don’t want to burn out and quit exercising altogther.

mind:  When I lost my daughter Riley, I was unable to maintain many friendships.  Only those who truly understood baby loss stayed in my circle of friends.  Now that it’s almost been 2 years, I feel like I can emotionally invest in friendships again.  So, I’ve been reconnecting with friends.  This has helped me 1) keep busy and not overeat from boredom and 2) since I’ve been initiating outings, my friends don’t feel like they don’t have to watch what they say or gauge how I’m feeling which makes me feel “normal.”  Does that make sense?

soul:  Since I’m completely off the clonozepam (for anxiety and to sleep), I feel a little edgy though oddly I’m sleeping better than before.  I’m going to go for a Reiki session soon.  After a session, I always feel better and more grounded.  I’ve also been meditating a lot more (which went from none to some). I can’t really afford a session right now but I’m following my mantra of doing things that are good for my soul.

How is everyone else doing?

Here’s a bit of motivation and encouragement:

Posted by: angelseashore | July 21, 2010

burnin’ butt

My butt and thighs are tight and burning.  It hurts but I feel like I’m in control of my life again..

Day 3 of healthy living:

body:  After 288 days away from my wii fit (the wii told me so so I must believe), I started up again.  I did 40 minutes of the wii fit active and it kicked my butt.  My workout was  a combo of cross training of resistance bands, inline skating, cardio kickboxing, and a run/walk sequence.  Ouch!  I’m going to attempt it again though my muscles may be too much in pain.

mind:  My HR department is giving me the run-around regarding my aide’s position.  Usually, I lose nights of sleep over such nonsense.  The new me?  I wrote the powers-that-be my opinion on the matter and told them that I would not be checking my work email for the rest of my summer vacation.  Whatever happens, happens and I’m not going to worry about it.  You can only do so much to have them see your point-of-view.  They’ll have to clean up the mess later if they don’t listen.  Not my problem!!

soul:  The quote that I’m living by: I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.”  Only I can make my life happy and full.  I have to take active responsibility and not be a mere observer in my own life.  I have to make things happen in my life..

I think I’m off to a great start.  Thanks AM for putting up the McLinkey.  It’s really keeping me motivated. 

Alright, I’m going to attempt wii fit active again.   Feel the burn (literally)!

Posted by: angelseashore | July 20, 2010

healthy lifestyle: day 2


It is day 2 of the trifacta of healthy living – body, mind, and soul.

Body:  daily exercise at least once a day.  Yesterday I walked for an hour in the uneven sand.  I think that I’m out of shape because my chest was a burnin’ a little.  Today, I’m going to use my wii fit.  Umm, it’s been quite awhile so I think that the cartoon version of me in wii world is going to hang its head in shame on my behalf.  If you’re as wii fit user, you know what I mean.  It’s amazing how a animated version of yourself can make you feel so bad.  Fun…

Mind:  I’ve been taking way too much responsibility at work and that is going to come to an end.  I will do my best but will not allow myself to take on more than I can chew and stress myself out.  My health comes first.  This has helped me de-stress.

Soul:  I’m letting my heart guide my life.  I’m doing whatever makes me happy and my brain will have to deal with it.

I went grocery shopping today, hungry mind you and was able to stay away from the middle section of the store.. you know where all the goodies are.  I also avoided the bakery and the ice cream aisle.  I came home with a bag of fresh veggies.  Ahh.. small sucess. 

Posted by: angelseashore | July 15, 2010


So the fertility goddess of Cancun did not bless me last month.  I’m one month in of trying for our second baby and I’m already at a standstill.  I’m finding reasons not to go to the bedroom at the same time as my hubby.  “I have to finish this t.v. show” or “Just one more chapter of this book” or “I’m not sleepy yet” or just a straight forward “I’m not ready for bed  yet.”  I’ve been going to sleep around 2 a.m. – waaaay after my husband has already gone to sleep and is snoring away.  I’m a walking zombie as I get up at 6 am to get to work.  My husband has been very tired lately so he hasn’t really thought to call me out on my recent behavior.  I’m sure it’s coming.  He’s been asking me if it’s the right day to try and trying to keep tabs on my cycle – God bless his sensitive soul..

Last night, I actually thought about telling my husband if we could just skip it this month.  After all the waiting around to get the okay, this is what I’m doing?  WTF?  I’m terrified is what’s going on.  I can’t fathom the idea of another loss.. more visits to the high-risk doctor..more anxiety filled nights..  I’m scared – just plain spooked.  As I’m feeling the terror fill my heart, there is another part that is so ready to be a mom.  How am I going to convince that part of my heart to overcome the fear?

This goes to show how grief turns your world upside down, your insides on the outside and vice-versa.  It’s so complex.  Who knew a month ago this is where I’d be. What happened to all the positive mojo? I guess I need to make an appointment with my psychiatrist again.  Maybe talking it out will bring rationale back to my frantic brain.  Why do I do this to myself on such a consistent basis?  I’m such a self-saboteur..

Posted by: angelseashore | July 12, 2010

another milestone

This past Friday marked another milestone in my life.  It’s now a year and 7 months since we lost our daughter Riley.  And it took this long for me hold a newborn or any baby in my arms.  One of my friends from my pregnancy loss support group gave birth to her miracle baby 3 weeks ago.  As my hubby and I drove to their house, I asked him how he felt about seeing and holding a baby that’s not Riley.  He said that he was unsure but hoped that it would be a positive experience.  I felt surprisingly serene.  Home-cooked meal in hand, we went to visit little D.J.O.

There my friend was, feeding her son.  Her husband was lovingly looking at her.  Isn’t this an ideal picture of a new family?  It was  an image I kept while I was pregnant with Riley.  It was a dream that wasn’t realized.  We talked about the labor pains, the contractions, the gruesome details..  I stared at the baby and for a split second let myself imagine Riley as a newborn.  Then she asked me the question.. Do you want to hold him?

Without hesitation, I replied of course.  Could I have done this even a couple of months ago?  No..  So why am I able to now?  The fact that we’re on the baby track helps and the fact that time has passed and healing has taken place.  As I held the baby and examined his tiny toes, button nose, the funny facial expressions, a pinch of sadness passed over me.  I miss Riley so much.

As if she read my mind, my friends proceeded to talk about how they mourned for their daughter who passed away as they were welcoming their newborn into the world.  Amidst their joy, they cried for his older sister who would only be able to see her brother from above.  A new baby does not make things all better..  sometimes it reminds you of the missing branch on the family tree.  There is no erasing the past and your future will never be fully complete.  So bittersweet..

The thought of a second pregnancy is exhilirating but so frightening at the same time.  Sometimes I wonder what the anxiety of what-ifs will do to me.  But at the end of the day, seeing the newborn confirmed just how much I want to be a mother.  Watching my husband with the baby confirmed what I already knew – he is going to make an excellent father.  As I mark another milestone, I anxiously wait for the next milestone – hopefully our own newborn will be on his/her way soon..

Posted by: angelseashore | July 5, 2010

“up there”

My hubby and I just got back from our 2 week vacation.  It was so needed.  This is the first time we have flown in a plane since we lost our Riley 2 years ago.  As our plane was taking off for Cancun, my heart started tightening up and I found it hard to breathe.  I attributed this to my slight fear of flying.  But as I stared out of the window and at the clouds, I got really choked up.  It wasn’t the anxiety variety but rather a feeling of wanting to cry.  I was choking back tears.  Why?

As I looked at the sun setting behind the fluffy white clouds, I realized that I was where my daughter was supposed to be.  Anytime I think of her, I look up at the sky and the clouds in particular.  It’s where we send off the balloons to her, where I look to talk to her.  It’s where she is.  Now that I was flying amongst them, I was sad that I didn’t somehow feel closer to her.  It’s so silly.. it’s not like she was going to be lounging on one of the clouds waiting to wave hello as I flew past.  But it just made her being gone all that more real, I guess.  After a good cry on my hubby’s shoulder, I felt better.  I was in need of a good sob.. I knew it was overdue. 

I explained to by husband why I was crying and he said that he was feeling choked up too as he watched the clouds and he didn’t want to tell me b/c he thought it would upset me.  Now that we are officially trying again, a part of me feels like I’m leaving Riley behind.  That I’m somehow.. letting her down?? It’s been a weird jumble of emotions.  I told Riley many times on our trip how much I wished that we were on a family vacation and that no matter what, she is always in my heart.  I finally feel like I’m emotionally and physically ready to move forward. 

My mom who has yet to tell me in detail about her own experience with pregnancy loss was speechless for the most part when I lost my baby.  She was more touchy feely than anything but she did say something that has stuck with me lately.. She said, “There is a time for loss and sadness but there is also a time for happiness and healing and it will happen in its own time.”  I’ve heard this kind of statement said in many different ways by many people but it did not resonate so deeply with me until I lost my baby.

I’m hoping that we are at the happiness and healing part.. that sounds good to me.


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