Hope Moms Balloon Release

This weekend, Michael and I attended our second Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day Balloon Release.  Last year, it was connected with a walk, but this year they just did the balloon release, which was still pretty special.

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It was extremely windy, so I had Michael in charge of the balloons.  We had two pink balloons for each of our daughters.  They had pink, blue, and yellow available.  Yellow balloons were generally for the babies who passed before the gender was known.

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Of course, as they were flying away, I was just overwhelmed.  So many little, loved ones were being celebrated in that park.  It means so much to me to know that I have a community of families who have been there.  I’m also thankful for my own community, all of you, who have been through this journey with us.

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Spreading Hope

This week has been crazy with the new dog.  Both Michael and I have forgotten how much work a one-year-old dog can be, but it’s getting better.  It’s really nice that he’s super smart.  I look at it as practice for being on your toes when a baby comes into our family.

If you are just joining this little story, I would invite you to check out my About page, so that this post will make a little more sense.

When I was in the hospital with my first stillborn daughter, a box was given to me by the nurses.  And the second time I was in the hospital saying goodbye to another daughter, I received another one.  They were from a group called Hope Mommies that is here in Dallas.  It’s a Christian support group for women who have had pregnancy loss or young infant loss (usually a year or under).  I attended a walk last October that was hosted by this group.

Well, last Saturday, I met up with some of the girls who were a part of this group, and we put together the Hope boxes, similar to the one I received during my losses.

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We formed an assembly line, filling each box with books, candles, tissues, bookmarks, tea, and chapstick, among other things.

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And after all of the boxes were filled, we each sat down and wrote notes to the women who would receive these boxes.  Most of these notes and boxes will go to local hospitals to be given to women just like me.  I tried to keep that in mind as I wrote a note to these precious mamas.  It was a lot more emotional that I thought it would be.

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If you know someone who has recently gone through a pregnancy loss, Hope Mommies has a Facebook page that you can join.  You will have to go through the admin, though, because the group is very protected, especially the forums.  I’m so glad to be a part of something that can both support and give opportunities to support others.

A Walk To Remember

This past Saturday was Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.  Michael and I decided to do something different this year, and we participated in a walk hosted by Hope Mommies of Dallas, a pregnancy and infant loss support organization.

There were so many people there, honoring their little ones.  We saw friends from church who had experienced stories similar to ours.  I realized that this walk held so much symbolism.  We all have walked this journey, and are continuing to walk this journey, but we walk it together.20161015_091241

After the walk, they had a balloon release, which was absolutely beautiful.  I was very emotional as I watched the balloons float away.

I couldn’t help but think, as the balloons bobbed and danced and floated away, that all of these children were together, dancing in the presence of Jesus, being held in his arms until the day we will all be reunited again.

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The Plan

If you know me, or if you have read this blog for a while, you know that I am somewhat of a planning addict. Planning and organization give me a sense of order in the chaos, and it’s the first thing I do when I feel chaotic. Of course, I know that plans don’t always work out, and the best kind of planning is the flexible kind.

So, once I knew that I would no longer be working at the nonprofit, I started to make a plan of healing. Of course, I would be healing from giving birth, and that required rest. But during this time of rest, I wanted to take some small steps towards holistic healing. Not only physical, but emotional, mental, spiritual, and vocational. I realize that a lot of these things can overlap into different categories. Here’s a couple in each aspect that I wanted to start doing this week.

Physical.

I want to get back into walking and doing yoga. Of course, I can’t do anything too strenuous while I’m still healing. A walk around the neighborhood in the morning with the dog is one of my favorite morning activities. Also, doing 10 minutes of easy yoga after a walk helps set the day up right. I’m using a 30-day challenge on YouTube right now for beginners.

Emotional.

I started back into therapy and also started doing a nightly meditation. I’m a big proponent of counseling, especially during tragedy and grief. Whether it’s individual, group, or even participating in an online forum. I reconnected with a counselor who specializes in pregnancy loss after my daughter died. She is helping me process through a lot of the chaos which is great. Also, at night I’m using the Headspace app to do 10-minute meditations. These are great to calm my mind at night before going to bed.

Mental.

I’m using the free version of the Lumosity app, a collection of three brain games a day. It helps with focus, memory and other mental activities. I also started spending time reading. I didn’t get to read a lot this year because I’ve been having a hard time focusing long enough to get through a page. I want to take advantage of this slower time and get back into reading. Not just fictional books, but non-fiction and biographies as well.

Spiritual.

I have two parts of my day, one in the morning and one at night, to do journaling. In the morning, I’m doing a devotional using the book Anchored. A devotional for pregnancy loss by an organization called Hope Mommies (of which I’m a part of). The morning journal is both for the devotional and as a prayer journal. Then, at night, I have a second journal that I write about my day and also write five things I’m grateful for. This helps me consciously look for places God reveals himself to me throughout my day.

Vocational.

I don’t mean a job, but more just what I do with my time. Right now, I’m focused on cleaning and organizing the house, bit by bit. But eventually, I want to get back into the SPCA and the Alzheimer’s Association. The Alzheimer Walk is in October so I will have a special post about that later. Also, October is Infant Loss Awareness month. There will be a lot of activities surrounding that I want to be more involved in.

Of course, these aren’t all the things I do with my days. But they are things I want to try for at least the next few weeks or months. I do better with structure in my day, so that’s why I love planning so much.

What do you like to do in your free time? Which aspects are you working on or would like to work on soon?