Saturday, January 12, 2013


Last Saturday evening, Rich and I brought the girls to LaSalette Shrine to see the lights before they shut 'em down for the season.  Maybe lame but we've found that the best way to enjoy holiday attractions is to visit them after the holidays.  I read posts on FB of folks sitting in traffic for two hours and at the end, not even able to get into the parking lot.  We waited in traffic for approximately 2 seconds.  Our timing was impeccable as the lights flashed on right as we turned into the parking lot.

When I was pregnant with Abbey, we sold Rich's Saab to a couple who lived somewhat in that area.  For some reason, I started thinking about the night we finalized the sale and dropped the car off at their house.  I had followed Rich in my car and Abbey had been kicking up a storm to the music I was playing.  On the drive home, I told Rich how I thought the baby was going to be a concert pianist.  Well, more like I dreamed that she was going to be a concert pianist.  Seems ridiculous now but we were just doing what all other expectant parents do.  We imagined what our baby would look like.  We speculated on whether we would have a boy or a girl.  We had hopes and dreams.  I sometimes can't believe how naive I was.  

I don't know why these memories resurfaced when they did.  My brother also lives somewhat in that area so it's not like we never drive through there.  Maybe because I had tucked in the back of my mind that I should ask Rich about lighting a candle for Abbey at the shrine.  Maybe because that's just what happens with memories.  They come and go at seemingly random times.

I sometimes feel like others forget what I went through because of where I am today.  I went to hell and back.  Yes, I survived and I know I'm so very lucky compared to others but that shouldn't negate my feelings.  I still carry around a chunk of guilt and grief in my heart.  Some days it stays deeply burrowed against my soul but it's there and always will be.  My baby suffocated inside of me.  She didn't die a sudden, painless death.  It was slow and she struggled to live.  That will stay with me always.    

During one of my MFM appointments when I was pregnant with the girls, I was handed my medical file (yes, they still used paper back then) and asked to turn it in at the front desk on my way out.  It had been a hectic day and the office was more crowded than usual.  I was still waiting for a nurse or someone to come back and tell me that it was okay to leave so I did what most others would do in that situation.  I flipped open the file. Unfortunately, it opened to Abbey's autopsy report.  Not the glossed over summary, but the real deal.  The words were in front of me and in my mind before I could think to stop reading.  That is something that no mother should ever have to see.

I realize that I haven't been as open here as I once was or have been in the past.  I've been holding back recently because half the time I feel like there's some sort of backlash when I share something personal.  I'm probably just oversensitive.  This process of grieving has been a strange, sometimes irrational one.   


Abbi Strickland said...

I came across your blog a few months ago and have been loving it ever since. I would like to say that I really appreciate the times that you open up and talk about Abbey. I think it's easy to tell yourself that you are living in the past or something, but you're not. You are completely valid in your thoughts and feeling about her. I don't think you should ever be expected to "move on" and forget that you had another daughter. I feel a connection to you, not because I have ever experienced anything like that, but because my name is Abbi. My parents were told they wouldn't have children and, in brief summary, when they had me (their third child and first girl), my mom didn't believe I was hers until I was about 2 and she finally allowed herself to accept that she had a healthy baby girl. I don't tell you this for sympathy or anything, I using it simply to explain how your blog helps me understand my parents' love and appreciation for me. I'm 18, so sometimes it's hard to see that (haha), but your writing and your adoration for all 4 of your daughters has really opened my eyes to how dear I am to my parents. Thank you.

Jennifer said...

I found your blog about a year ago on a popular Disney message board. I was drawn here for three reasons: your love of Disney, that you had triplet girls (we have twins), and Abbey. Like you, we love Disney, and we had twin girls after losing a son to an umbilical cord accident. It was wrapped around his neck 5 times. I too carry around guilt and grief in my heart. I think of him every day. Just wanted to let you know you are not alone! Thank you for talking about the grief that seems to never end.

Stacey L. said...

My son had a vanished twin, and while not at all the same as your loss, it's still a loss. I don't tell people because no one really knows what to say about it. There are times where I think about what it would have been like to have twin boys( i had healthy twin girls 8 years after my son)and at times it's very hard. Thank you for sharing your story. It is something that is helping you and a lot of others.

Eileen Ward said...

I love writing my blog, but I never feel comfortable enough to write about my depression. We live in a time of social networking where we are always trying to one-up and compare ourselves to other people. No one wants to admit that they aren't as 'great' as everyone else. I'm constantly shocked when people who are seemingly super happy with everything going for them, come to me with their stories of crippling depression, pain, frustration and difficulties.
I'm sick of always comparing myself to other people, and am immediately drawn to bloggers, like yourself, who are able to be frank and honest. Write what you need to, because it's your therapy--it helps you heal, and ultimately, that's what the most important thing is.

Hope's Mama said...

I know I mostly only comment on the Abbey related posts, but this time it is a coincidence as I've been away for two or three weeks and not really reading or commenting on blogs. I just opened up blogger now, and here was this post. I want you to know I understand every word. I too have been so lucky and blessed since Hope died, and I wont ever lose sight of that, but my heart will always hurt and I think over the Christmas and New Year period, memories are always that much closer to the surface.
Thinking of you and your lovely family, Sarah xo

Anonymous said...

I, too, very much appreciate the posts about Abbey. It is a very real part of you are and what you still struggle with. You lost a child, and that will never be o.k. Don't let anyone tell you to just get over it.

Lisa said...

I love reading your blog for all aspects of your life. You should feel free to discuss whatever you'd like to--this is your blog, afterall! I'm so sorry for your loss...and also so happy for you at the beautiful family you have now.

Chantel said...

It is hard....I know where you are coming from. Thing went so "right" for us after Curtis died, we have 2 living children and love them and enjoy them. But the hell we faced and the grief and guilt that still haunt us. I think others see us and think we are okay, we are healed and everything is just fine. It isn't. I also think you probably don't recieve the same comments as when you post light and airy stuff because people don't know what to say. Or it scares them, because it is reality. I used to be that way before Curtis died. I would read and my heart would hurt for them...but reality of it all scared me. I really hadn't experienced death until Curtis died. And when you have a bunch of young parents reading your blog.... people dont know how to deal. But I recently read an article that talked about speaking yur loved ones name who passed away only serves to help our process and helps us cope. So keep talking about Abbey. You can bet in May she will have another flower for her at the Angel statue.

Anonymous said...

I've been reading your blog since I was pregnant a year ago and googling "top baby blogs". Yours has become one of my favorites, largely for your candor. I live in the south, and its so common to put on a picture of perfection down here and it is so refreshing to read about REAL people. You are so brave to open up about your life, the good and the bad, and just know I think you are amazing!

Sarah said...

Thank you for your kind words and sharing your stories and/or why you read here. I know I'm not good at responding to comments in a timely manner but I really do appreciate them. Writing helps but also knowing that I'm not alone. That's why I share.

Angela Bailey said...

I've never lost a child, but I carry a different sort of grief...the inability to be able to conceive a child (at least at this time...I will always have hope!) It isn't always rational. It isn't always something anyone (even people who go through "the same thing") can understand or relate to 100%. It's ok to be sensitive sometimes. :-)


Cindy said...

I hope that reading everyone's responses helps you to understand that you are not alone. when you put yourself out there, there are people who will make disparaging remarks. But there are more people who will understand, sympathize, support and love you for being honest and real. thank you for sharing your private thoughts and feelings. It helps us all feel not so alone in grief and guilt that we will never get over.

Sarah said...

Angela and Cindy - thank you for your comments.

Debbie said...

We have alot in common. We both love Disney, we love to sew for our girls, I mean I did when mine were little, we love photography. By the way my husband surprised me with a camera upgrade to a Nikon 7000 for Christmas, and we both know what it is like to feel the life of our children die within. We both had our children born still. Saturday January 12 is my son's birthday. He would be 31. I know that he would now be "full grown", but it is sometimes as raw now as it was those many years ago. Now that his sister's are grown, and starting their own families, I picture what would he be up to...would he have found the "right girl"? Would he have kids of his own...So, yes I understand why no matter how "good" your life is, no matter how many other little girls you have in your life, there is always going to be the one that is missing. Any time you want to talk of her, you do it. We understand. Thanks for letting me talk about my son.

Sarah said...

Debbie - I have some readers/commenters I recognize and their stories stay with me. You are one of them. Thank you for sharing your son and thank you for your comment.

Souza Sisters said...

Somehow I ended up with my records from being in the hospital when I lost my twins. I can remember reading them over and over. Seeing the "word" PROM made me feel awful. It was my body that failed my children. I carry that guilt with me everyday. When we found out we were expecting twins again I was scared out of my mind. What if my body failed me again? Luckily I had amazing care and delivered 2 healthy girls. I often feel people think that since we were able to go on and have more children that we should be "over" what we went through. Until someone has lost a child they can't possibly understand what it is like. The pain. The grief. The guilt. And the fear of it happening again. (((HUGS)))

p.s. I love reading your blog also! And I can't wait to hear about your second Disney trip :)

JD said...

Another voice to echo the encouragement to continue to share your story. I've been following your blog for a few years since I found it through The Bump. A week and a half ago my friend's sister's baby was born still, and while I can't imagine what they are going through, I felt like I could understand a little bit because I had read your story. I was able to tell them about First Candle, which I learned about here, and it has been enormously helpful for them. Thank you for telling us about Abbey; by doing so you're helping others as well.

Staceroo said...

I've been following your blog for over two years - i feel as though I know you and your girls in some small way, all four of your girls. Share only what you want to share but know that so many people hurt with you when you write of your pain at losing Abbey, and so many feel so connected.
And as an aside - I love the sewing projects - my wee girl is only 2 (we have three adult boys!) and I wish to sew for her - You inspire me!

Anonymous said...

Hi Sarah, love your blog and have been following it since we gave birth to our triplet girls almost 4 years ago. Do you still use the same photography equipment as is listed on the blog?
Nikon D7000 camera

Nikon 35mm, f/1.8 lens
Nikon 85mm, f/1.8 lens
Tokina 11-16mm, f/2.8 lens

Nikon SB-600 Speedlight

Love your how your images come out and need a camera update.


Siné said...

I've been meaning to comment on this post for a few days now. In the wake of 2 miscarriages, I find myself very grateful for all you have shared about Abbey. It helps to know I am not alone in grieving for my children. I also wanted to share something I came across in my reading. There is a Catholic shrine in New York City dedicated to babies lost through miscarriage and stillbirth. They allow parents to enter their children's names into their "Book of Life" and they keep a candle burning in memory of the children as well as offer a Mass for them once a month. The link to the shrine is:

Many blessings,