Tuesday, November 18, 2014


There is so much good that has come out of our experience with Sloane. As Josh has told me, sometimes a tree must fall so that the others can have more light. We have definitely had an increase in light since our Sloane died. People have been so wonderful to us, and I want to record some of the things that have been the most helpful. While I recognize every person's experience and feelings and reactions and personalities are different, at least I can offer one insider's perspective on what has helped. Maybe this can help me help someone else in the future, or help someone else help someone else.
  • Be there. The first 2 weeks, we did not want anyone to be there emotionally. I wanted to cry in my bed every day and have Josh hold me because he was the only person who could possibly understand what I was feeling. But now, it has been helpful to have people just be there and be willing to talk to about Sloane, but also be able to talk about normal, every day life things, too. We are still people. 
  • Ask questions. Sometimes it is hard to know how to bring up Sloane, but just like any proud mama or papa, I want to share my story and my love. If something is too private or personal, I will let you know, so don't worry about bringing something up that is uncomfortable. No one wants to feel sad and isolated, so it helps to talk, and when others aren't afraid to ask questions, it has helped me to talk. 
  • Be practical. The first few days after I got home from the hospital, I had friends bring pads, kleenex, stool softener, and cabbage. These were life savers, and things I probably would have dealt with not having, but helped the physical aspect be so much more manageable. People also brought us meals-comfort food took on a whole new meaning. When you are physically taken care of by others, it makes it easier to take care of yourself emotionally. 
  • Be proactive-find a need and fill it. I am guilty of asking what I can do, and offering my assistance if needed, but I am not good at being proactively helpful. I think this is a talent that some come by naturally and others have to develop over time. When you are trying to get by day to day emotionally, it is hard to think of how someone else can help you, so it was so helpful when someone would just do something. 
  • Reach out. We have been so touched by the people who have thought to send a card, text message, email, or Facebook message. It is such a small thing, but it means so much to know others are thinking of you, even if we are not very close of friends. 
  • Remembrances. Because remembering Sloane and making her a part of our life is so important to us, we wanted to surround ourselves with physical reminders of her. The donations people gave helped us do this, and I had sweet friends get me necklaces to help me remember her.

As people have helped, they have often downplayed their service to us, saying it's nothing compared to what we have lost and gone through...but to us, these seemingly small acts of service have been our everything. When our everything was taken, these "small" acts became all we had, and I will be ever grateful for all of those who watched over us, loved us, and cared for us during the worst time. 

There are still days, hours, and minutes that everything seems wrong and nothing seems right.. times that missing Sloane is all-consuming. But it is good to think of blessings received, even if it not the blessing we would have chosen or that we want. 

Sunday, November 16, 2014


Shortly after Sloane died, I wanted to go to the temple right away. This was not usual for me. I have always enjoyed the temple, thought it is beautiful, felt good when I am there, and believed in the ordinances that take place there, but I have never really been one of those people that could spend hours upon hours there. There was a large part of me that went because I knew it was the right thing and I knew I should, but not always because I wanted to, even if I was always glad I did afterwards.

But I knew that the temple would be a place that I could feel Sloane with me. This was more than a belief, or a nice idea. I knew it.

I waited a little time before going to the temple to make sure I was healed physically enough to be able to be comfortable while there. We went on Friday en route to Josh's marathon.

While I expected to feel immediate peace and joy, instead I felt sad, but sad in a good way, if you can relate to that. I was so sad not because I didn't feel her presence, but because I did...she was there, but this made me miss her more. This sadness was short-lived, however, and I could spend the majority of the time thinking of her peacefully and in gratitude that we can be together again. It made me so thankful that Josh and I were married in the temple...something that I always wanted, but never fully comprehended the importance of until losing Sloane.
I know she is ok and that she is doing good and important things helping others. She is ok, and so I will keep trying to be ok without her here.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


I had my 6 week follow-up doctor's visit today.

There has been much anticipation surrounding this event for me ever since I called and made the appointment. I have been anxiously looking forward to it, knowing that I would be able to ask questions about Sloane and about my body. I had also been nervous about it, imagining it would be difficult to go back to the place where I had been so many times while pregnant with Sloane and see the people that helped me with her. The office also happens to be in the same parking lot as the hospital, so I knew that would be difficult.

Just as everything else has been, it was a mix of emotions going back, but these emotions were stronger than I anticipated. You see, I have been doing ok lately, and while I am having a hard time with the fact that I am doing ok, the truth is that I have been doing ok. So I thought that while it would be hard to go to this visit, it would be ok.

It was not really ok. I was quiet on the car ride there, I teared up walking inside and avoided eye contact with everyone, hoping to not see any pregnant women. I felt out of place in this place, because I was not pregnant and I did not have my baby. I felt like I didn't belong, because the only reason I ever went there before was when I was pregnant. I continued to tear up as I checked in to the office, and I started crying when they called my name to go back to the exam room. I started crying more as they got my weight and checked my blood pressure.

As much as you mentally prepare and visualize something difficult coming ahead of you, I don't think you can ever fully anticipate the range and depth of emotion that you will feel until you are in that moment. It was hard.

When my midwife came in, who continues to be one of my favorite people, we hugged and cried a little bit, but then it got better. We talked about Sloane and how her cord was long, and most likely, it got loosely knotted up when she was smaller, tightening once contractions started. We also talked about how if she had been alive during labor, she would have been able to help more with her positioning in the birth canal and probably wouldn't have come out chin first, which I like to think would've prevented some of her bruising and scratching.

I am recovering "beautifully" from the delivery, which is just another testament to me of how amazing bodies are. I have been in awe of myself (and pregnancy and birth in general) to a new level since having Sloane, and I continue to be amazed at what this body is capable of.

We also talked about the future and what that looks like for my little family. Josh and I have decided to try again right away for another baby. We have gone back and forth about this, and I have read countless other experiences and stories to try and wrap my head around what the best decision is. The truth is, there is no "best." Like everything else, there is no solution, no answer, no right or wrong in this situation. Which helps, but it also makes it harder because then we have to make our decisions and deal with the consequences. That's life, it turns out. So we have decided that it seems best for us that we try to have another baby.

Part of this decision is because we have loved the practice we have been at so much and would love to have another baby with them as our medical team. They know us and our story and that alone will make a world of difference. We know and trust them because they were there in our hour of need. Our midwife supports our decision to try again, and I know she will do whatever she can to help make it a good experience for us. I know it will be hard and there will be times I am nervous and anxious and unsure, but I know I will have the support to get through it. I will be able to have more ultrasounds this time and I will be able to get induced at 39-40 weeks. These 2 things already give me some peace. I think they will also let me come in to check the heartbeat whenever I want, which I imagine will be quite frequently :) I also imagine that I will become very familiar with using the nurse's line!

In this hard time, I am again grateful for the support of those around me. Today, I am especially grateful for a supporting midwife and practice.

Thursday, November 6, 2014


While 26 is not typically a milestone birthday, this year seemed big because of the unexpected change of not having Sloane here with us to celebrate. I had not really spent a lot of time thinking about my birthday (preoccupied with other thoughts...), but luckily, I have some great people who helped me avoid a potentially hard day by making this probably the best birthday yet. Pretty crazy.

The celebrations started Friday night when Josh took me to see Newsies in Philadelphia. It was awesome-high energy, active, and so fun!

On Monday, we went to Baltimore to see Josh's mom who is singing in an international chorus competition there this week. We spent the day together which was a nice treat. 

My actual birthday was relatively low-key, with the exception of getting a different car...that took up a lot of the day and ended up being a surprisingly fun process. The best parts of the day though, were getting surprised by friends "scattering sunshine" into my life. 

2 lbs of Sour Patch Kids (favorite fave candy ever), lined leggings, a sunshiney yellow hat, a picture of sun shining through the Sacred Grove, and lots of pictures of sun! 



The sweet YW in my ward also came over and put sunshines all over my front door and left sunshine cupcakes. 


Not pictured: my mom sent a little package with everything yellow in Wal-Mart that would fit into a small box...yellow washcloth and hand towel, yellow loofa, Juicy Fruit, Carmex, yellow sticky notes, peanut M&M's...you get the picture. 

Life is hard, but it is so much better with great friends who look out for you.