Thursday, October 6, 2016

42 days postpartum MothersMilkBank

This is possibly Leeona's final gift to our world. She gave every bit of herself that she could. She was able to help the lives of five children with her organs, and she will now gift children of the NICU, the milk that was intended to nourish her body.
     I read something, I believe on the mothers milk bank page, that was written by a bereaved mother. It said something about milk being the tears your body cries for your infant. Its true, I have cried and cried, so many days I feel like I can't stop crying, and then there are days, that my body couldn't produce another tear if it tried. Here they are though, here are the tears that my body has cried. Not my eyes, My body begs to take care of her. But it can't. It is my job as her Mom to make the best choices for her.  Her father and I chose to donate her organs, because that was what was best for the world. That was what made her live on in others, and hopefully, that is what she would have wanted. So then, when my chest was engorged, and felt like it was going to crush me, if I didn't do something, I knew I HAD to do something.
     I expected everyday, to panic if I had to pump. I expected one day it was going to hit me, hard, that this wasn't right, I shouldn't be pumping, I should be nursing. Although these thoughts did cross my mind, it was never in anger, it never caused me anxiety. Those were the times that honestly I felt closest to her, like my little Leeona was guiding me. She was holding my hand, and walking me thru it. She was right beside me, telling me, that I was doing the right thing.
     I donated 202 oz of her milk. I have a little over 100 more oz that the milk bank is unable to use, do to pain meds after my emergency surgery, that milk will go to my sweet nephew who is on his way in a few short weeks.
     This has been another step in my healing process. She is still with me, where ever I go. I have stopped pumping now, and have begun the process of drying up. Still tho, when I think of her, or when I hear a baby Scream and cry, my body cries for her.
     I know my daughter is loved, and I know she has touched the lives of many. In her short nine months that she lived, she has saved the lives of some, and helped the lives of more than I may ever.
     Many see the lives of stillborn, as never living. My daughter lived for ten months, and then she died, and then she was born. Those ten months are the best months of my life. And I would do it all over again, I would feel this pain tenfold, as long as I could feel her wiggle and hiccup in my belly again.
Leeona Christine Marie, Where ever you are. You are loved, by so many.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

An open Letter to the Support group Admins, who betrayed my love. { 38 days PostPartum }

     Irony is when your original plan for your daughters nursery was Peter pan and tinkerbell, and in fact she ended up in never land.

     Irony is when you tell someone days before.  "I can't imagine what you're going through" and boom. It happens to you...

     Irony, is when the most pain and betrayal you've ever felt, in your entire life comes from a support group.
     I joined a "Infant Loss Support Group" on facebook. This was a forum where I was able to freely express my emotions. I do this on my blog, too, but having endless support, and response from people who truly feel your pain, is an invaluable gift. I posted pictures of my baby girl, instantly tons of people said, I'm so sorry, I am here for you, please, message me if you need too. All of these people actually meant what they said. They know me, they are me, they feel my pain.
     I've been a part of a new mama group on facebook since I got pregnant, and they were awesome! full of support, and full of love and advice! Sometimes that page is hard to look at now, to go to, and ask for advice. I did right after I loss my daughter, and they responded with love. I went in search of a Infant Loss group, hoping to feel the same love, and support, I found it! Those Moms are the definition of love.
     Unfortunately, part of the rules in this "support group" is that if you have a photo of your child and they are no longer living in the picture, you must only post it in comments. You can't post it on the page. I didn't read that until I already had. My heart dropped when I read it. I went on with my day, but the more, and more I thought about that rule, the more emotion stirred in me. I feel so betrayed, I feel so much betrayal.
     A lot of people have said "It wasn't meant to be" think about how that sounds to a Mom. "Your baby wasn't\meant to be alive" it sounds horrible. Never once have I felt offended by that though. Because I know they are saying it hoping it would make me feel better. When someone says "You're lucky you had a c section, when I had my baby I ..." I'm not lucky. I had a caesarian because my babys heart was giving out. She was dying. She did, die. It never offended me though, I know they don't mean any harm. They just don't get it.
     This infancy loss group, did not mean anything by it. They think its better to post the living babies freely, and the dead babies in the comments. It bothers other Moms to see dead babies. I tell you what, the photos I have of my daughter are BEAUTIFUL. My Daughter was PERFECT. She looks like a sleeping baby in these pictures, you would never ever know the difference, if I didn't tell you. If a photo of a "stillborn" ( I hate that word) triggers extreme emotions for you, then I'm sure a photo of a living baby will to, because in photo it is the same thing. Believe me, I understand how seeing a tiny baby can make you cry, because sometimes I see them and just want to hold mine. I get that. But seeing a baby is seeing a baby... Mine looks just like theirs. They don't ban photos of extreme premie, because those are easy to look at. NOT. seeing a premie, is hard, living or gone, babies who are born way to early, in a photo you KNOW they are fighting for their life, or have already lost it. They don't ban babies who are born "deformed" (Again, a word you shouldn't apply to a baby) who pass away later. WHY? Because they SHOULDN'T! Because they  are beautiful, they are perfect, every child, is beautiful and perfect.

I should clarify, "stillborns" are not banned, they are just to be kept in the comments only, because you know; Stillborns bother some people, and people don't like to see them... Its hard, you know, keep them tucked away unless some one straight up asks for it.

     Their rule is "rarely Enforced" and its "not the end of the world to post your baby in the comments". Its true, it's not the end of the world. Especially not for me. My support system is HUGE. My support is amazing, I live in a small town, and my child's name has rolled off the lip of so many in our community. My family is huge, I will not end my life. I have enough support that I know I will get through this.
     I am not going to lie, I have looked over the edge of a balcony and wondered, would that drop kill me? I never seriously contemplated jumping, I would never put my family through that. But as a Mom who's lost their child, I see how some people could do that. Unfortunately I am not the first one in our family to loose there child. So infancy loss is not a taboo subject in my home. I am able to take refuge in those conversations, and those people who know my pain.

      If I had no support, if I had no one around, if I didn't have Matthew, Leeonas Dad, I could understand making that jump... I get it. So if that Momma who has no one reaches out, to a support group, and someone says to them : it's not the end of the world, to post in the comments.... It COULD be the end of her world. It could. If your last place you have to turn, is to the one people who are NEVER supposed to judge you, who are supposed to be your safe place, your shelter from the cruel world, and they betray you, I get it.

I know that admin is trying to do what is best for everyone in the group, and she had complaints about "post mortem" photos in the past, but she never enforces the rule.

If you don't enforce the rule, I encourage you to take it down. I know you're trying to appease everyone, but I ask you to hear my plea. When people say the wrong thing, it stings. When a support group makes you feel like you have to hide your sweet child, it tear your insides. Any support group should be 100% safe. And honestly there are enough stigmas in the world, there are enough places where people can make you feel bad about it. Where people  can make you feel like you aren't really a parent, because well, they never lived.
     My daughter did live, she lived nine beautiful months in my belly, she kicked, she moved, she hiccupped all the time. Her life counts. She is real. I am a Mom, I am her Mom. Telling Moms not to openly post about there babies in fear someone won't like it is perpetuating that culture. That stigma that there babies don't quite count as much as someone else's does.

     Have you ever herd of rape culture? You literally just looked at a rape victim and said don't talk about it unless someone asks. It really is something that should be kept to yourself unless someone needs to know.  Do you see that?

Oh, and by the way, what were you wearing when it happened. Not that short skirt, right?

I know I already posted this picture to my blog before, but this bottom picture, I believe in black and white is what I posted. I assure you, she looks just like a baby who is living, but asleep.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Matthew {37 days Postpartum}

     Flipping through the pictures of our daughter, she is perfect. Ten little fingers, ten little toes, a beautiful face, and in one photo, that I have only shared with few, she has beautiful brown eyes, they are a mirror image of her Daddy's. As we sit there, someone says that they never really saw the love I had for Matthew, until this person saw us holding our daughter... That statement is almost offensive to me. I always tell Matt, that I have loved him, my whole life. Well, technically it's been like half my life. Matt and I have had some ups and downs, to say the lest. When you find your soul mate young, the way you find their soul, is just that; young. Especially when you're dealing with a teenage boy. I'm not going to say he hasn't pulled me through the mud, because he certainly has. He will be the first to admit it. I cried so many tears for that boy, so many, but I never left his side.
     One of his redeeming qualities through our younger years, and now, was that he too, never left my side. Sure, we broke up, we even dated other people, but when my home life fell apart at my feet, he was there. When my parents divorced; right there. When my Dad moved out of state, when my sister had a small gypsie phase, and disappeared at her own will, when doctors told us my grams life would likely "expire" with in hours, you guessed it, Matthew put me back together. If I didn't love him, though, I wouldn't still be with him. I would have walked away, long before today. I wouldn't have put up with his shit, with his attitude, with his problems, and his flaws. I wouldn't have it any other way though, those issues have never been enough to take the place of the love I have for  him. Anyone who actually took time to know me, to know him, would have known long before, that my love for him, was, and is nothing but pure, and strong.
     Matthew has always had a spot in my life, always. When we were kids he was always my best friends "boyfriend" I remember four different friends that claimed him as theirs. Of course, I'm talking fifth grade stuff. The first friend held his had once, it was our gossip of the week. The next year, another one of my friends kissed his cheek, and ran away, CRAZY! Eight grade though, was the first time I actually noticed him. The first time I probably ever really had more than one conversation with him. It was September 11th, and we had a fire drill at our school.
     He was such a goof. He was funny, and he was happy, about seemingly, anything. I had turned 13 two months before that. I remember, at thirteen years old thinking to myself, that is the type of person I'll have to marry. That is the type of person, who will balance me out. I really didn't think it would actually be him. We were outside, in the chilly weather, waiting for the firefighters to "clear the school" and little did I know, I had started to fall in love with him that day. Who can say that? Who can say they remember the day they started to fall for the love of their life.
     I'd made up my mind, I was gonna make this boy MY boyfriend. I was gonna do it, I'd walk up to him, say something, I had no idea what, but I would say SOMETHING, and make this boy find me interesting. HA. Right.
     Eighth grade Kassie, in fact, has no balls, and would never do this, even if she had the chance. Thing is, is that, I didn't have the chance anyway.
     The way our school worked, eight grade students boarded "shuttle busses" at the end of the day, and were brought to the elementary school, where we would meet the other busses and unload, to get on the correct bus. We all boarded up that day, and lookie there! An empty spot in Matts seat, and an empty seat in front of him! Guess where I ended up? The seat in front of him, because the girl in front of me, sat down beside him, and held his hand!-  She was best friend number four. - I later learned, she snagged him up. Again Matt was "Dating" my best friend.
     Turns out, two weeks later, she caught him being too nice to another girl, slapped him in the face, and cleaned her hands of him. We all stayed friends, and in December of that year we started dating. I didn't put dating in quotes this time, because it lasted well into the next year, and I truly believe that I fell in love with him during that time. Everyone told me I couldn't possibly know what love was, but I have never had a moment since, where I didn't want to be with him.
    Shortly after, we found out his Dad, was my next door neighbor. Matthew visited his Dad a lot more then. One day my mom and I were driving up the drive way, and I saw a pair of jeans on the ground. I knew they were Matts, he had a big old hole in his backpack and (somehow) didn't notice they fell out, I grabbed them. My friend Aleta, and I decided we were going to take them to him that night, so we did. And that was the first time I ever met my Father in law.
     So with out that little back story I just gave you ( even though I still think they don't believe it) Imagine how that looks, your sons girlfriend, that you didn't know he has, shows up at your door. When you answer the door, she introduces her self, and produces a pair of his pants to give back to him.
If I only realized how inappropriate that innocent action probably looked.
"MATTHEW! There is, um, someone here for you. She has your pants." Shaking his head.
Nice, Kassie. Nice first impression.

     Eighth grade Kassie no longer exists. This Kassie has balls. Matthew has rubbed off on me a little, I have slowly absorbed part of his carefree attitude. He has taught me that I am beautiful, and to not be afraid to be me. He has shown me, that I am strong. Our love is strong. Our love does not move mountains, true love never does. Love shows you how to climb mountains, to go over, and down the next side, so you can look back, and see how far you've come. I don't know how to climb this mountain, but we will do it together.

This is, and may always be my favorite picture of us. We had Just graduated eighth grade, and were standing outside of my parents house, We were just little babies, with no idea where our love would go. No idea that together we would create a miracle.