Forever Loved. Never Forgotten. Sweet Landon’s Journey of being planted on Earth as a little Daisy to Bloom in Heaven.

 

{Warning: Explicit Language}

 

The Mindful Mama Blog will be honoring all those sweet babies planted on Earth to Bloom in Heaven today. Today is October 15th, Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Day. I am helping Break the Silence surrounding Pregnancy and Infant Loss and it’s a Privilege & Honor to do so. I know you may feel uncomfortable reading this and I know you may even roll your eyes. But today, just for today, open your Ears & your Heart.
One of my best friend’s son, Landon was born sleeping on April 30th, 2018. 1 in 4 women will lose babies during pregnancy. These are Not statistics or numbers. These are the Women in our lives. Our wives, girlfriends, mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters & friends. But it’s also our dads, grandfathers, husbands, uncles, brothers and friends. Tonight homes will be lighting candles for all those babies born sleeping & born too soon.
The Mindful Mama Blog will be honoring one sweet Baby Boy born sleeping today. My sweet friend Madison has decided to share her Story with all of you. It’s been an honor to host birth stories on the blog, but this is a really special one 💙

 

***Warning: The contents of the following blog post & Birth Story are Raw, Honest & may be Traumatic for some readers. The content of this birth story and journey may be a trigger to families who have dealt with unexpected birth plan outcomes. Please do not read on if you have anxiety related to your own (past or upcoming) labor and delivery experiences. I say this warning because, pregnancy and birth is Hard, really really Hard, but also incredibly transforming no matter the outcome. Please pause and take a few breaths to choose whether or not to Read on**

Here’s Madison’s Story… As always, every Word, Picture, & Song was chosen by the Mama to help paint a picture of her Story, Her Voice & Her Journey.

 

Music: Find You Here-Ellie Holcomb

One year ago today, I found out I was pregnant with Landon. It was the happiest day of my life. Matthew and I were so excited, I remember like it was yesterday…I could even tell you the outfit I was wearing. Red flannel, leggings, and my white converse. We spent the day at the aquarium and then went along to tell our parents the amazing news.

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Along the way of our pregnancy journey, I picked out shoes, clothes, a nursery set, completed a registry, planned baby shower etc. It was an amazing time!

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We found out Landon was a boy right before Christmas and I was so beyond excited I was going to be a “boy mom.” I always knew I was going to be a mom of boys, so it was not a surprise to me. I was THRILLED to give my husband a son.

A little boy to follow in his daddy’s footsteps. I have never been so excited for something, this was almost a two-year wait, and we were almost there!

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As we started prepping for my due date, with stem cell kits, what I should bring to the hospital etc. it hit us like, “oh sh!t, there really is a baby coming.”

Everything we prayed for, is coming true.

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On April 27th, I went for my typical sonogram and there Landon was, kicking, moving, playing and being his active little self. His heart rate was perfect as well as everything else about him. I went home that night, and Matthew and I laid in bed with our hands on my belly feeling him dance the night away.

We went to sleep not knowing what the next day would bring. 

April 28th 2018, I woke up feeling “off”. I didn’t feel like me. Something was wrong, but I didn’t know what, I guess you can call it mother’s intuition. Something was telling me to go to the hospital. Now, anyone who knows me, knows I have a horrible fear of doctors and hospitals…so for me to go, I knew something had to be wrong. Matthew was at work, and I had my mother in law take me to North Shore LIJ. I walked in, and I could tell they were like, “here’s another pregnant mother who thinks something is wrong….” As soon as they hooked me up to the sono machine, I knew it. I lost him. There was no flicker. No movement. Nothing. A Still baby. I remember her saying, “is it hard to find his heartbeat?” I responded, “no, where is he heartbeat? Does he have one?” At that exact moment, my mom walked in and we both looked at each other so confused because I JUST had a sonogram yesterday. My doctor called me and he asked if I wanted to deliver there, or at St. Charles where I was originally supposed to deliver. I chose to go to St. Charles in Port Jeff. All during this time, my husband has no idea wtf is going on. So, I had to make a call that, they can’t find our sons heartbeat. Honestly, from Coney Island, to Long Island it takes about 50 minutes, Matthew was there in about 30. We both cried, but we also said, “maybe this machine is wrong, maybe it’s broken, let’s see what Gus says”.

 

Once we arrived, I walked into a room with a ladybug on the door, representing a Stillborn, it was confirmed.

and that’s the first time I heard, “I’m so sorry for your loss”.

I looked at my doctor and said, “I want this is be a miracle baby, I want you to lay him on my chest and he starts to cry” his response was, “this is not going to be a miracle, he’s gone.” Matthew and I were both thankful he was so blunt about it, and he was right, he’s gone, there was nothing we could do. I asked him another question, “what do we do with his body” and he responded, “you have a funeral and a burial, just like you would with anyone who would have passed”.

So now, at 30 years old, I have to plan a funeral, a burial and customize a headstone? This isn’t how my life is supposed to be. This isn’t right.

I was hooked up to IV’s and they treated me as if I was giving birth to a live baby. They had to make me go into labor, which is very hard to do when you still have 9 weeks left. It took two days for my body to go into active labor. I tried to keep a positive face on while our parents, siblings and my grandma were all around. I had to set the tone, I didn’t want anyone worrying about me, I put myself second, and worried all about Matthew, and our families. I knew I could handle this, I knew I was strong enough to pull through and I knew I was going to grow from this fu*ked up situation, because that’s exactly what it was, fu*ked up.

Thankfully Matthew and I didn’t have to plan much when it came to Landon’s funeral, I wanted to get all the details out of the way before I held Landon, I felt like my head would be more “there” than it would be after I had him. We discussed which cemetery we wanted him to be buried in, but not only are we buying our sons plot, we are buying ours as well, again, fu*ked up. We had nurses come in and tell us about support groups, and all feelings I’d be feeling (which I’ll get into later). If we wanted pictures of/with Landon, and we did not, we were so against pictures, to the point we were yelling at the nurses to stop bugging us about them…we did wind up giving in, and I’m SOO happy we did. Instead of our families waiting in the waiting room to hear the amazing news I had Landon, they were all in and out of my room crying because they knew what’s to come. 

Monday, April 30th 2018, was a bit of a blur to me, I don’t remember much. I DO remember Matthew never left my side, every time I opened my eyes he was there, every time I needed a nurse, he would step in and take care of me before they even had the chance to. I kept feeling the urge to push, and I knew the time was coming. I had everyone in the room with me. This was not something that could have been done on my own. We are a family, and we stick together. Matthew was to my left, and my sister, mom, dad and Matt’s mom were to my right.

A time when we are supposed to celebrate life, we all fell into tears when Landon was born silent at 7:57pm.

Matthew fell on me, and the only crying I heard was my husbands, and for the first time I felt like I failed as a wife, a mother, a sister, a daughter, a daughter in law and as an aunt. I did not want him right away, I didn’t want to remember my son like that. I told them to take him back, wash him up and dress him. About 30 minutes later, but felt like an eternity, the nurses come in with Landon in a little bassinet. Mind you, these nurses shift was over, over an hour ago, but they just couldn’t leave, and my heart will forever be with the Labor and Delivery nurses at St. Charles. I finally got to see the little boy Matthew and I created. Oh my God, he was perfect. He really did look like an angel, I can’t even describe it. I felt whole holding him, my heart needed him. I wish I could describe him, but I can’t, he was that amazing. His smell was incredible, something I’ve never smelt before, it was heavenly. I wasn’t crying holding him, I was at peace. Our family came in and they each got to say their hello and goodbyes. Matthew and I got time alone with him before we got to say our last goodbye. We didn’t cry, we hugged him, kissed his nose, lips, cheeks, forehead, eyes…his entire face, but a sense of anxiety started to come over me, and I had to hand him back. I felt a feeling I’ve never felt before, was this what a broken heart felt like? Was this way the nurses were coming in to prep me? In my entire 30 years alive, I’ve never felt like this. The nurse asked me, “do you want him to stay in the room with you tonight?” I answered right away, “absolutely not”. I have no judgement to mothers who chose to, but my son should be waking up to eat in the middle of the night, and Landon wasn’t going to do that, I couldn’t have him next me. I just couldn’t. 

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Music: Home-Chris Tomlin

The next morning, I was discharged. I left with the clothes I went there in, and no baby. Imagine the feeling, walking passed the waiting room of excited grandparents and family members, and they see a mother walk out of a delivery room empty handed?

 

No one will ever understand, unless you’ve been through it, as a parent. The next few months were a blur.

That following week we had the funeral and burial for Landon. The church was packed, and even though I could hardly see out of the puffiness of my eyes, I noticed how incredibly loved Landon was, and how supportive our family and friends are, and we thank each and every one of you from the bottom of hour hearts. Matthew and I planned a 2-week vacation to Florida, and it was the first time in my life, I actually understood the term, “I need a vacation”. I really couldn’t tell you anything about that trip, again, it was a blur. We went down to VA visit Mavie (my niece), who was just 6 weeks old at the time. I was dying to see her, and I didn’t want anyone to think I was avoiding them so I went. This was probably the hardest thing I did. 

The same anxiety feeling I had with holding Landon, was the same feeling I got holding Mavie. Her eyes were closed, and it hit me.

Music: The Way (New Horizon)-Pat Barrett

It was too soon, but I stuck out my trip, again putting on a strong face. 

Now, for those of you who don’t know, I’m a nanny, and my boss gave birth to a baby just 4 weeks before I gave birth to Landon. Going back to work was one of the hardest things I ever had to do. But, it’s my JOB and I had to go back. The first month back was the hardest, every time he cried I felt that pain again. It was almost as if I had PTSD and crying triggered me. Every baby I hear crying, is a trigger. I wonder if it’s because I was told Landon would never cry, but even to this day, a crying baby, a sleeping infant and a newborn bothers me. But why didn’t it before? Why was I able to see newborns right after Landon, and now I can’t? I question whether or not I could hold my next baby. If I’ll ever be able to look at them sleeping, or listen to them cry.

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Grief is something that doesn’t have an answer. I have ZERO control over my emotions. Another thing I’ve learned, DADS GRIEVE TOO. All you hear about are the moms, but my husband, is just as broken as I am.

I think my mind is just starting to come down from the past 6 months. It was very hard for me to be around pregnant women, I was happy for them, don’t get me wrong, but I was broken. I was pregnant, I was supposed to have my baby, and it was taken away from me in a matter of 24 hours. He was kicking, breathing, living and moving one day, and the next his heart stopped. Jealousy? Definitely. I’m jealous of happy families, of families that are pumpkin picking with their babies, and get to post pictures of them with pumpkins, and the dads holding them. I WANTED THAT! THAT SHOULD BE ME! But it’s not, and I wish it was.

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Instead, I’m picking out pumpkins to put at his grave site. Instead of making my husband and our families happy, I tore them down. I failed them. I failed everyone around me, including myself. 

There are feelings I’ve been feeling that I can’t even explain, and I’ve mentioned to people before that you don’t understand because you aren’t ME, or MY HUSBAND. It’s something that cannot be explained with words, losing a child is something that shouldn’t happen in life, that’s not the way it works, our children are supposed to bury us. So, all of my excitement from buying clothes, planning a shower, picking out a nursery set, are gone. Everything I planned for, is gone.

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I often sit at home by myself and wonder what I’d be doing right at that moment if Landon were here. Would he be sleeping in bed with Matt? Would I be feeding him? Would he be in his jumpy? Would I be watching BabyFirst TV? Would I be out with my friends and their babies? 

You see, I know our families think of Landon, but they don’t think of him the way I do. The second my eyes open, he’s on my mind, not ONE SECOND goes by that he isn’t. NOT.ONE. Where would his pack and play be in my living room? Would he have liked this toy? I bet he would have loved Sophie…etc. a mom’s thoughts are very different from any family members thoughts. This is just a GLIMPSE of my everyday life without Landon. 

Music: Fear is a Liar-Zach Williams

Am I depressed? Absolutely not.

I live every day of my life for Landon. I live a life Landon will never have the opportunity to. I am more positive; my faith is stronger than ever and I am blessed that God chose me to be a mommy of an angel. Not many moms can DO MY JOB. They say a stay at home mom is the hardest. I think the hardest job is of a grieving mother, that has to go on every day of her life, deal with every day struggles no one knows about, and do it with a smile on her face, to me, THAT is the hardest job.  I wouldn’t wish this on anyone.

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*** 1 out of 4 women lose a pregnancy, and if it was going to happen to anyone in our families, God chose the right person. I can handle this. I got this. WE got this. Landon will forever be in my heart and his presence is so known it’s incredible. 

The reason for my post today is because as mentioned I found out I was pregnant a year ago today. Ironically it is Stillborn awareness Day and I think everyone should know what goes through a grieving mother’s head.

This is something that affects 1 out of 4 women, but it is the least spoken about. I truly hope my post brings you awareness of just a FEW of my daily struggles as a wife, mother, daughter, sister, daughter in law, aunt, God Mother, friend etc. 

Please be easy when you speak to grieving parents. Again, you don’t know their pain, or their whole story when it comes to coping. ****

If any mammas would like to reach out to chat with me my inbox is always open (m.del1109@yahoo.com) <3 

 

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In Mindfulness,

Melissa

3 Comments

  1. Very powerful. I cannot imagine this experience, but I can see how it’s changed you in many ways. There is a meditation app called Expectful that has guided meditations for pregnancy and pregnancy loss. I found it helpful.

  2. I love you Mad, your story touches my soul every time I hear/read/see your words. You are soooo unbelievable.

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