Our baby gone.

Haddie Bo Bo,

How crazy is it that I find myself looking at a website for grief support for parents who have lost infants.  How is this happening, Haddie?  Is this my reality forever?

Last night was our church group’s first big get together since you have passed.  The last one was for your Daddy’s 30th birthday, 2 days for before you passed.  I was nervous and anxious to go yesterday.  Last time we were together you were sitting on my hip, clinging to me, not wanting me to pass you around.  This time was very different.  We went to Oval Beach in Saugatuck.  I had only ever been to this beach one other time.  It was right after you were born and you sat in your carseat asleep the whole time.  This time I sat on a beach chair and watched your sister play with the other kids.  I didn’t carry your heavy car seat down the sandy hill.  I didn’t slather sunscreen all over your fair skin.  I didn’t try to keep a hat on your bald head as you pulled it off.  I didn’t feed you a bottle in a beach chair.  I didn’t have to wipe the sand out of your eyes as you cried.  I didn’t do any off these things, but oh how I wish I could have.  I wish I was the parent that was juggling a toddler and baby at the beach.  What I would give to have those moments.  I sat in my beach chair and talked about you, cried about you, longed for you.

Today I got a package of photos I printed off of you.  You are so alive in them, so happy, so sweet.  I struggle to believe that you are really gone forever.  I saw you in that casket, I saw where they sowed up your head,  I have your ashes in a box, I should know that you are not coming back.  But do I really?  I miss the way our life use to be, the happiness, the craziness.  Most of all baby, I miss you, and who you were.  You were sweet, smiley, and kind.  You loved to cuddle, laugh, and give kisses.  I was drawn to you probably because you were so different from me.  I want you…I want you…I want you.

Your Daddy and I had some stressful moments yesterday.  We are both hurting so badly and sometimes that doesn’t come out in the most loving way.

Aunt Alisa came over yesterday and brought Everett and Crew to play.  Crew came in and sat on the floor, I was holding Elo.  Elo says, “Awww look at Crew.  Our baby gone.  Haddie gone.”  Elo loves Crew and she misses you, “Our Baby”.  It was good to have a baby crawling around our kitchen again.  Crew was standing against the patio door just like you used to do.  He started standing on his own for several seconds at a time.  It reminded me of what you would be doing if you were still here.  You would have taken your first steps by now and probably saying, “Mama” finally.

I’m so sorry, baby, I love you,


This is from the night before you died.  
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Dear God

Dear God,

Today I cry as I do everyday because my sweet daughter has been taken from me.  For whatever reason you chose not to save her so here I am having to figure this life out.  I know I haven’t led the perfect life.  I have made mistakes, I have hurt people, I have done some bad things.  But during all of that I never doubted you.  I knew you had a plan for me and my life.  Chris and I went to church, we had a small group, we tried to teach our children to love you.  We prayed over them every night for their safety, to keep them healthy, and that they grew up to love you. So I really don’t understand why this had to happen to us.  It really hurts that you chose this path for us to live.  There is something deep inside of me that wants to say you are good.  But this does not feel good.  Whatever this plan is I hate it, with every ounce of my being, I hate it.  I wake up every morning and remember what I don’t have, what was taken from me.  I have moments of strength.  I want to honor Haddie’s life by doing good and raising awareness about her death.  But a lot of the time I just want to curl up in a ball and stay that way until you come back for me or decide it’s my time to go.  I know I should be praying for heaven to come soon.  But I even have a hard time finding comfort in that.  I know that I won’t feel that way when I get to heaven because once I’m there I will be completely fulfilled.  But Haddie doesn’t need me.  When she sees me again she won’t need a mother.  God, I’m so mad, hurt, and just plain devastated and it’s only day 46 of this awful journey.

As angry as I am I can’t imagine this journey without you.  Chris has said it several times, “I don’t know how we would get through this without God.”  It’s true.  But it doesn’t make it hurt less and it doesn’t make me less angry.  I’m not ready to jump on the, “Let’s use this for His glory train.”  Haddie isn’t supposed to be in heaven she is supposed to be here.  I want you to bring her back.  I want you to give me a miracle.  Is there still a chance that this is just a really long bad nightmare and you will be gracious and wake me up? I really thought my miscarriages were going to be the greatest tragedy of my life.

Today in my devotional I read, “I am nearer than you think, richly present in all your moments.”  Do you grieve with me?  Does your heart hurt when mine does?  Do you cry when I cry?  Do you lash out in anger at the people you love because you can’t figure out your feelings?  I am utterly broken inside and I am holding on by a thread.    

Trying to trust,


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“I’m not sad, I’m happy!” says Elo

Haddie Bo Bo,

I know that you know how special your sister Eloise is.  You loved her so much and you showed her by your “Haddie kisses” aka bites, stealing her applejuice, and wanting to do anything she was doing.  I have been worried about her lately and how this is all affecting her.  She knows you aren’t here and she sees me cry often.  We talk about you daily and she sings you songs.  She still calls you, “My Haddie”.  Aunt Emily has been helping take care of Elo when I have to run errands or help at work for a couple hours.  During those times she has had some conversations that I cherish.  Emily has typed them up for us to have:

While I was helping her ride a bike, Elo says to me…
Elo: “Mommy and Daddy are sad.”
Me: “why are we they sad?”
Elo: “because of Haddie.”
Me: “Are you sad?”
Elo: “I’m not sad. I’m happy!”
Me: “Why are you happy?”
Elo: “because she liked me.”

While I was pushing her on the swing…
Elo: “Mommy and Daddy are sad.”
Me: “Why are they sad?”
Elo: “because of Haddie. I sad too. I cry in my bed (starts to fake cry)”
Me: “Where is Haddie?”
Elo: “Up there (pointing up to the sky)”
Me: “Oh yes, she’s up there with Jesus.”
Elo: “It’s too bright, I can’t see Haddie without my sunglasses. I need my glasses to see Haddie.”

Me: “What do you think Haddie is doing with Jesus?”
Elo: “play.”
Me: “She’s playing with Jesus? Do you think he’s tickling her? (I tickle Elo) Did you tickle Haddie?”
Elo: “Haddie bite me. (Holds her arm)

See Haddie, Elo holds you in her heart.  She knows you loved her, “Because she like me.”  I wish I could feel like Elo does.  I wish I could feel happy because I know you loved me so much.  Maybe it’s the guilt I feel for not keeping you safe.  Someday I am sure I will feel happy when I think of you, but today is not that day.  

A friend came over today to bring a meal, she has experienced the loss of her daughter to cancer.  Although your death was so unexpected at least I didn’t have to see you suffer.  It has been 7 years since she lost her sweet girl.  I told her that I am scared to be her, to be 7 years out from the day you died.  She seems to function and enjoy life again.  I know that she still has grief everyday and still misses her so much.  It was comforting to talk and share stories, cry together, and just have that understanding.   

This video is from 3 nights before you died.  I can’t watch it because it’s so special and right now brings pain and anger.  But it’s one of my very favorites.

Love you baby missing you so much it hurts,


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My Girls

Dear Haddie

We have some good friends that are amazing cooks.  I am not a great cook I do spaghetti pretty good, but that’s it.  So they offered to give me teaching lessons.  So we went down and we cooked together.  They have two beautiful, loving, caring, generous, teenage girls.  They are close in age but very different very similar to you and Elo.  Emma is older and she has brown wavy hair and olive skin.  Sammie has sandy blonde hair and a bright smile.  Eloise has dark brown hair, dark brown eyes, and tan skin.  Eloise is outgoing and a little wild.  You had the brightest blue eyes, the biggest smile, blonde hair, and pretty fair skin.  While we were cooking they were hanging out, laughing, and being sisters.  As I stirred the fried rice I fought the tears back.  Watching them is a glimpse into the future of the life we could have had.  The life we should have had.  The life that was taken from us.  I would love to be cooking dinner with my teenage daughters sitting around the counter on bars tools talking about their hair, their boy friends, and whatever teenage girls talk about.  It truly was a beautiful sight that I will always be envious of.  I will always feel like we were robbed, Haddie.  

I still refer to you and your sister as my girls in conversations.  Aunt Alisa has two boys so we would always talk about her boys or my girls and our hopes and dreams for you guys as you grew.  I am not ready to stop saying “my girls”.  I had to fill out a form at the counselor’s office the other day and it asked me to list my children.  I listed your sister and you.  The counselor asked if we had two other little ones at home.  I said, “No, Eloise is at home and Haddie passed away.”  You will always be a part of our family and I will always list you on any form that asks about my children.  I refuse to forget you or not include you as our family.  You make our family complete and now there is a big gaping whole.  

I stopped into Good Earth this morning to pick up some baked oatmeal.  As I was waiting in line the group of ladies in front of me were talking about how one of them was getting married tomorrow.  They were telling the lady at the cash register about their wedding plans and they were all just laughing and celebrating as they should.  I couldn’t help but think back to the day before my wedding and all the fun preparations I did with my girl friends.  So many smiles and happy memories not knowing what the future holds.  So I looked at that girl today, she was so blissfully happy.  She is just starting out this journey and she has no idea what the future holds.  I know I wasn’t thinking on that day of future tragedy that might happen.  

This week has by far been the most “normal” week since you have been gone.  With that being said it has been the hardest week to live without you.  I have had the most alone time this week, just Eloise and me.  She does keep me busy but there isn’t constant flow of conversation so I spend a lot of time in my head.  Today I went over and over the trauma of the day I found out you were gone.  Why do I do this to myself I don’t know?  I can’t seem to stop. It’s truly awful and I cannot explain the despair I feel.  I woke up early and laid in bed and listened for you.  I was hoping I could hear you in your crib talking to yourself.  The way you woke me up every morning.  I wish I could walk in your room and see you sitting there and see your eyes light up when they met mine.  You would crawl over to the side of the crib and reach your arms up and grab my shirt until I picked you up.  I loved watching you reach for me it was my favorite.  I wish I had a reset button.  I wish we could have experienced a miracle.  I wish God still brought people back from the dead.  I wish God would take us all to heaven now.  I wish I had never gone back to work after I had you.  I wish I held you longer that morning.  So many wishes baby….

Your always my girl,


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This is what we should be doing

Dear Haddie BO BO,

What do I do when I am consumed with grief for you….

Sometimes I write to you.  Sometimes I watch a lot of TV to drown out my thoughts.  Sometimes I let it overcome me and I lay down and cry for along time.

Today your sister wanted me to push her around the living room in her little baby stroller.  It reminded me of the time that we put you in the baby stroller and Elo pushed you around.  It was cute until you leaned forward and the stroller went with you.

Here is a picture right before you tipped over!

My goal is to live this life as full as possible to honor you, Haddie.  But sometimes that is really hard when I feel like getting out of bed is an accomplishment.  Is it crazy that you haven’t been here for a month and a half and I still have trouble believing your gone?  Did this really happen to me?  I try so hard to set goals for the day.  Today I wanted to clean the house, do laundry, and play with Eloise.  We went outside to swim in the pool.  I was doing good until I couldn’t stop my thoughts of what it would be like with you here.  So as I am swimming your sister across “the neighborhood” also known as the pool I have tears streaming down my face.  I still haven’t cleaned the house or put a load of laundry in the washer.  Yes it is nice to be sitting outside in the sun on a Wednesday afternoon.  But I would give it all back, and work the rest of my life, 7 days a week, if it meant you would be here. 
This is what we should be doing.

Your daddy and I went to counseling for the first time.  It was hard.  I cried the whole time and I told the guy that I don’t buy into “healing from this”.  So hopefully he doesn’t think I am a lost cause, but even if he does I’m ok with that.  If I have to live without you I am ok living with the pain that comes along with that.  I am ok with crying everyday and feeling like I am just surviving.

In other news I am trying to potty train Elo.  Right now she is sitting on her potty chair watching “Olivia” completely naked.  It’s quite a funny site and I wish you were here to see it.  She is singing very loudly her naked song, “Me naked oh ya oh ya.”

As I was cooking dinner last night I said to your Daddy, “I wish Haddie was here to run into my feet. Or sit in her high chair while I feed her to many graham crackers so I can attempt to cook dinner.”  Life isn’t the same without you and we feel it every moment of every day.  Nothing is the same with out you here.

Love you Bo Bo,


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Haddie’s Best Buddy

Dear Haddie,

Around the time you were born many other babies in our friends and family circles were being born too.  You had lots of friends very close to your age that you played with.  Especially your buddy Crew.  Crew is about 3 weeks younger than you and you guys were the best of friends.  As soon as you saw him you would crawl over to him and bop him on the head and immediately give him a “Haddie kiss” which is also known as a bite.  Crew always handled it so well like a gentleman of course.  It is so fun to be able to see your friends grow because I can see what you would have been doing.  It is also very hard to see them because I think about all the stuff you should be doing.  I love to hold Crew because it’s the closest thing to holding you.

The first time Crew came over after you passed I went to help Aunt Alisa get him out of the car.  I opened the door and he was sleeping.  I started unbuckling him and he woke up and looked at me and gave me the biggest grin and his eyes lit up.  It was so sweet but reminded me so much of you that I immediately started to cry.   I won’t see that look on your face again.  I love to rub Crew’s head when I hold him because like you he doesn’t have much hair either.  Aunt Alisa asks if I am ok when Crew is around and I say yes.  I say yes because I love Crew.  Yes there are times when it is hard and I will cry but it is a “good” hard.  It keeps me close to you, and to feel someone in my arms the same weight as you is comforting.

I received a bracelet today in the mail from an organization called “Tiny Purpose”.  This organization is a support for women who have had miscarriages or lost a child.  The bracelet is pink and has the initial “H” for Hadley.  Inside the card it said, “May you find comfort in knowing the one you lost is safe in His arms.”  I just wish I could find comfort in that, but I can’t, not yet.  I am so furious that you are not here.  It’s only been a month and a half and it seems like forever.  I don’t remember what it’s like to hold you, or smell you.  Haddie I am crying as I write this and speaking your name outloud.  I really do not know how I will survive this misery.  People keep telling me that over time it will get more bearable, but it has not.  In fact it has gotten more unbearable.  My heart aches for you and knowing that I won’t ever be able to hold you again makes it worse.  My thoughts are my own worse enemy.  Yes I know I will see you again in heaven, but you won’t need me.  You won’t need me to hold you.  I am completely robbed from being your mother and I am pissed.  It’s so unfair and my grief is overwhelming. I love to go to sleep because I get a break from feeling this intense torment.  I hate waking up to find out that your still gone and I have to do it all over again.  I wish my prayer could be, “God take away this pain.”  But what if the pain does go away?  Does that mean I will not miss you as much?

There is a picture of you on our shelf in our living room, happy as can be.  Looking at it haunts me of the life we could have had, the life we should have had, the life we did have.

Even though I am struggling down here I know you are smiling your toothy grin up in heaven.

Love you baby girl,


Haddie and Crew

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If you must die…


So I haven’t sold the stroller yet but there is still 1 more day in our sale.  As I was thinking about the stroller some more I remembered the last time you were in it.  It was the week before you left us.  We went for a walk around the neighborhood and you fell asleep.  It was so cute because you were still holding your toys in your hands and your head dropped straight forward.  I didn’t know you had fallen asleep so I was shocked when I looked down at you.  It looked so uncomfortable!

Saturday at our sale I sold our baby swing.  I originally bought the baby swing when I pregnant with your sister.  Elo didn’t seem to like the swing and neither did you.  So I decided to sell it.  Well someone came along and bought it.  Eloise watched as they put it in their car.  She turned to me and said, “Where Haddie swing going?  That Haddie swing.”  She started to cry.  I never thought of that swing as yours so I had no emotional attachments to it.  But Eloise did, and we both cried.

Back when Mama and Daddy were first married before we had you guys we would talk about life and kids.  One of our major hot spots was daycare.  I had always wanted to be a stay at home mom.  I never wanted to have someone else watch my kids more than I did.  I had nothing against daycare, because I had to go to daycare while my mom worked so hard to provide for us.  My mom is my hero by the way.  I was just really passionate about being the primary caregiver for my children.  Well life happened and when we had your sister we were not in a place financially for me to stay home.  So I kept working and we paid for daycare.  Then we found out we were pregnant with you and I still wanted to stay home.  But again we weren’t in a position to do that.  I always said I didn’t want to have kids unless I could stay home.  This is why….I should have never compromised with myself.  Not that I regret having you because I absolutely do not.  But we could have waited….maybe if we had waited I could have stayed home.  This wouldn’t have happened.  You would still be here.  Why couldn’t I have been patient?  I just couldn’t wait.  Did this happen because I had to have it my way?

I have been feeling like a failure as a mom lately.  I feel like I failed you in so many ways.  But lately because we are still here, and we have to live this life, I feel like I am betraying you.  Then I have your beautiful, smart, spicy, sister that deserves everything and some days I can’t seem to get it together.  Today I randomly broke into tears that wouldn’t stop and I looked over and Eloise looked scared.  I went over and I said, “I’m sorry Mama is so sad, but I love you so very much.”  She wouldn’t even look at me.  Now I am failing her and I hate myself for that.  I really hate how I feel and I hate that this is our life.  You and your sister deserved a life together with all the happiness and sadness that come along with that.  I am struggling to figure out how I can do it.

Your Daddy and I are going to our first grief counseling session tomorrow.  I hope that this will help give us some direction in living this life without you.

I love you….and your sister so much.  Living life with you is our greatest joy.


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I’m fighting a constant war in my head…

I miss you, so I look at your pictures.  This makes me miss you more.  I then watch all of you videos and sob through them.  Nothing eases this pain.  Nothing fills this hole.  Nothing makes me less angry.

Haddie,  I am constantly fighting a war in my head.  

“Is she really gone?” 
“Was she really here?”  
“God take me now!”  
“Bring her back”. 
“Wake me up” 
“Why are you hurting me” 
“I can’t do this anymore”. 
“I don’t want to do this anymore”
“Why me?”
We had dinner with some good friends last night that have also lost their precious daughter.  It has been a little over a year from them.  We had great conversation and were able to speak freely.  There was something comforting about being around people that understand the same kind of pain as us.  We felt free to cry together and say the things you don’t say to just anybody.  The scary thoughts or the weird thoughts you have on a daily basis.  It’s also nice to find out your not a “crazy person” and others have thought these thoughts.  As comforting as it was they did confirm that their pain is still very present a year later.  They still have days that they can’t seem to get it together.  They still have days that the tears don’t stop and the aching is unbearable.

Today we are having a garage sale.  This is Eloise’s first garage sale and she is having some attachment issues.  I did not plan for these breakdowns.  It’s kinda hard to make a sale when the child is screaming, “That’s MY toy!”  I am also selling the double stroller that I used for you and Eloise.  I am hoping it sells because it’s heavy and takes up a lot of room in our garage.  I also feel like it taunts me every time I look at it.  I see the spot where you should be sitting and I am reminded of what I don’t have.  Of course I am keeping anything of yours that has good memories.  Which is mostly everything except that stroller.

Our adventures in that stroller

As always Haddie I am missing you today is no different.  I sit here wondering how this garage sale would be different if you were here.  I sure it would be interesting and hard that’s for sure and I would welcome that challenge.  I hope that you and our friend’s baby girl are having a great time today with Jesus.  I can’t wait for the day that we join you.  

Love you so much,

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I’m Drowning…

Haddie Bo Bo,
I am drowning today.  Everyday there is a sadness that I carry around.  But today I am overcome with thoughts of you.  I am missing you and I am surviving moment by moment.  What can I do to get through this day, this hour, this minute?  It’s all I can do to keep going.  If I start to think about how much life I have to live until I see you again it’s unbearable.  God help me.  God help me.  Even though I am surrounded by people who love me I feel alone.  
It’s difficult to say, that living this life is hard, and I am sure it’s difficult for family and friends to hear.  But it is hard its torture.  I know I have things to look forward to for Eloise.  But the pain is so raw and fresh that it is swallowing me whole.  I am so angry that the rest of my life I have to carry this around with me.  I do cherish the good memories with you but they are still so painful.  So sometimes I can’t think about them, because I get physically ill.  Loosing a child is the cruelest event that can ever happen.  
I have been blessed with so many people in my life that have shown us support.  I am a huge believer that family is a choice.  Your Aunt Emily, Aunt Alisa, and Aunt Rachel are my sisters.  I have always wanted a sister…always.  I was so happy to be able to give Eloise the sister I never had.  Aunt Emily was with me when I was told that you were gone and she didn’t leave my side for days.  I called Aunt Alisa and told her at work and she walked out of teaching a class to be with me.  Aunt Alisa called Aunt Rachel and she dropped everything at her job in Chicago to be with me for 4 days straight.  These ladies have kids, husbands, jobs, and so many responsibilities that they put aside to sit with me.  I am forever grateful and the words “thank you” are so not appropriate.  My love and appreciation for them goes so deep.  We were close before this happened but now the bond is so strong.  They each carry a piece of you around their neck and it’s so special, Haddie.  They cry with me.  They cry for you.  They grieve with me.  
We have been so humbled by the love that we have been shown by everyone.  The meals, cards, notes, texts, phone calls, etc. have been very encouraging.  It means so much to us that people have been so generous with their time, resources, and spirits.  It challenges me to be a better person.  It has brought back my faith in humanity.  I wish I could personally thank everyone.  

Haddie we miss you.  I wish you were here.

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Singing with the radio

Haddie Bo BO,

I continue down this road of firsts…

Today I went grocery shopping for the first time.  It was just Elo and me and it seemed like such a daunting task.  First, because I hate grocery shopping.  I feel like I always spend way too much money and I always seem to forget to buy something.  Second, because I would usually take you with me.  Sometimes I would take you and your sister and that always turned into a stressful situation.  Mostly, Elo stayed home with Daddy and you were my shopping buddy.  You always did so great sitting like a big girl in the top of the cart.  Of course everyone loved to see you smile and always commented on how cute you were.  I did find it annoying that if you weren’t clearly dressed in girl clothes people thought you were a boy.  What says boy about your face????  Anyway, grocery shopping today was easy we even returned cans.  It was so easy that I hated it.  I wish you were there so I could juggle the chaos of keeping two kids happy in the grocery store, and finding a place to put the groceries in the cart.  I miss going in the baby aisles for diapers, wipes, and baby food.  I only saw one person I knew at the grocery store I wasn’t prepared to talk so I turned down the underwear aisle.  I also think it’s strange that when you make eye contact with someone you give the polite smile and they usual smile back.  Sometimes I think of it as a game; trying to make the grumpiest looking person smile back at you.  So even though today I didn’t  feel like smiling at people I did.  The one person who refused to smile back really bothered me.  If I can make the effort smile at you ,when my daughter is not here anymore, than you can smile back.  But maybe they are experiencing the same kind of loss and I should give them a break. 

Another first…I caught myself singing along with the radio.  This has absolutely not happened since you have been gone.  It wasn’t the whole song, just a line.  What does this mean? When I realized it happen I stopped and I wasn’t sure what to think.  I am actually too scared to write what I was thinking because it might be true or people might think it’s true.  If people see me laugh they say, “She seems to be handling it well.”  Or “She is doing better.”  Let me be clear Haddie, yes I do laugh and smile, but my world is still shattered. No I don’t cry 97% of my days anymore.  But your still the first thing I think about and the last thing.  

I find myself talking like this a lot.  Before Haddie passed, blah blah blah.  Or since Haddie has passed blah blah blah.  I really really do not like the after.  
I had my first dream about you that wasn’t a nightmare.  You were happy and smiling and I picked you up.  I didn’t remember the dream right away this morning.  But when I did I felt joy and sadness and I cried.  I love you baby.  Thank you for the good dream.  

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