The Reason

This blog was started as a way for me to record our, my daughter Luisa and our family's, journey with Amniotic Band Syndrome that presented itself on the head of our sweet daughter. And has turned into a journey of dealing with a fatal prognosis, and the very premature death of our sweet baby. My great hope is that we might be able to help at least someone, if not more, by sharing this experience.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Let Down

Yesterday I woke up groggy, and cranky. And I thought to myself, "What is my problem?" As I got in the shower and started thinking about Christmas and what a great Christmas it was and all of the days leading up to Christmas and how much I really enjoyed it all, I realized that I was cranky because I was suffering from Christmas let down. Last year, the holiday season was hard. I was trying to stay positive and have good holiday cheer, and really, for the most part, I was successful, but it took conscious effort. A lot of it. This year, I think I really wanted to make up for the things that we missed out on, or that I missed and I just threw myself into this holiday season with more crazy black friday shopping than I have ever done in my life, tons and tons of baking, and making homemade gifts like a mad woman. All things that I love doing every year, but this year I did them with reckless abandon and I LOVED IT! And then watching my boys on Christmas day, the happiness, oh it was wonderful. And then unwrapping a gift, the first gift, to Karina (our new little girl joining our family in May) brought tears of joy to my eyes. So then waking up on Monday was a big bummer because I felt like I now have nothing to look forward to but a big fat ominous black date, December 29. And the three days that follow it. For December 29, 2010 and the days following were some of the worst in my life. And then I cried. I sat down in that bathroom and cried. I cried for the pain that I went through last year, and I cried for the loss and I cried for this upcoming anniversary. Then I went on with my day, and at the end of the day I was so exhausted and worn out, and I cried again for the same things. And then my husband came back to our room, and we talked, and we held each other and I fell asleep and I woke up this morning feeling quite better. I don't feel the black ominous date of December 29 looming at me like it was yesterday. But it is definitely on my mind. I can't keep the memories of what I was doing on this day last year, and how I was feeling on this day last year, out. So I don't. I just let them come and feel a pang of sadness within myself. I think its good to feel emotions unreserved at times. I don't think its good to get lost in them or let them consume you, but I do think its good to just let them come. I think avoiding them or hiding or burying them is, in a way, being dishonest with yourself. So I let them come but almost always, accompanying those difficult emotions I have the thoughts and rememberances of beautiful and good things, things to be very grateful for. So this is how I am doing today.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

This morning we went to the cemetery to visit Luisa's grave. We are up in Utah for the holidays. It was a beautiful day and a beautiful way to start our Christmas Eve. We bought her a little white Christmas tree and decorated it with bright pink ornaments and a bright pink butterfly on top. I love it. Looking at it makes me happy. Its cheerful. The butterfly is significant to baby-loss Moms because many hospitals, including the one I delivered Luisa at, put a paper butterfly on your hospital room door when you are there going through that difficult trial, as a symbol to the other hospital staff to be sensitive and respectful. That"s why, in the baby loss community, many baby loss Moms are referred to as Butterfly Mommys. I feel happy to be a Butterfly Mommy today. Of course, I don't ever want to be in a position to bury a child again, I feel such peace today. And I am grateful for that. I would hate to spend my holidays depressed and miserable.
Like I said, the cemetery was beautiful. My husband and I are very impressed with how decorated the cemetery was. There were tons of wreaths and poinsettias and mini Christmas trees, and even a few large Christmas trees, spread all through out the cemetery. And as I looked around, I felt a sweet strong feeling of love. I felt love for my Luisa, and my husband and my boys and the new little girl in my womb, Karina. And I felt love all around me. The love that other families had for their loved ones that had passed on. Beautiful it was. The tears came, but they were brought on by the Spirit of Love that was there, not by sadness.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Year Ago Part I

A year ago.... we had just gotten back from visiting family up in Utah the night before. With two young boys, it was a tiring trip. We busily and excitedly got ready for the day. An exciting day. Ultrasound day. We took the boys to the sitter and made our way to the ultrasound office. We checked in, waited, got called back, got gooped up and it started. All was normal. But it wasn't normal. The word normal will forever stick out in my mind from that day because the ultrasound tech used that word for everything at the beginning. Until...she said, "now let's take a look at the head..." Pause. Silence. Up until that point she reminded me of the teacher from Ferris Beullers day off, but instead of saying, "Beuller, Beuller" , she kept saying, " and here is the _____, strong and normal." And this silence gave me a sick feeling in my stomach. And I finally asked, " Is it normal?" And thus began our whirlwind of a holiday season. No, not normal. No not perfect. But beautiful nonetheless. A beautiful, but exhausting whirlwind of emotions and events and thoughts and growth.

I really was not sure what this season would do to me. But, ironically, its mostly been normal. Our Thanksgiving was quiet and lovely. I did some hard core Black Friday shopping and got some killer deals on gifts for the boys. Of course, when I have a quiet moment to spare, I recall the events of last holiday season, and my heart aches for that mother, and I think to myself, "Oh, I do not want to go through that ever again." To be honest, I don't think I could.

It is hard to remember the past, but I know that its good for me. Catharsis for my soul. I remember thinking at one time that it totally sucked to have this happen during the most beautiful time of the year. But, I think, that its the perfect time. For, when I think of Luisa, and all that we went through, my thoughts always eventually turn to the Saviour, and this is His special holiday.

So this first anniversary, the date when we found out that we were to be the parents of a girl that had a slim to none chance of survival, has been ok. It's been normal. Cleaning, errands, wrangling young children. And now this wonderful moment of quiet to ponder and reflect.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Coming upon the end of a year

I am a horrible blogger. I didn't start this blog though with the intent to blog. I started it with the intent to record a very important event in my life. For me, this blog has really been more of a journal.
At the end of this month it will be one year since that fateful day where we went to the gender ultrasound that changed us forever. I cannot believe that almost a year has passed. I am glad that its finally here though. I am glad that time, in true fashion, has marched on, whether I was ready for it to march or not. Its almost satisfying to look back on what has passed, and how I've gotten through it, knowing that I really am a better person for it. Not a perfect person, by any means, but definitely better. I am a bit anxious though to see how the next couple of months will be as we come upon these meaningful and emotional anniversaries. Wow, like I said, I can't believe its here. It just seems like, for awhile, I was quite literally just barely putting one foot in front of the other, and then gradually I would add to that. And now, here we are.
It has been said that we need to prepare for the future ( as much as possible), remember and learn from the past, but we need to live in the present. That is something that I have really been trying to do these past couple of months. And maybe thats why I have been absent from this blog.
But, there is news in our lives here. I. Am. Pregnant. Yes, its true. I'm in my 15th week or there about. I was actually pregnant with Luisa at this time last year. I almost feel like I get a do over. My due date is May 19, just 3 weeks after Luisa's due date. I am so happy and grateful. It has been a hard pregnancy though. The hardest one so far. I'm sure the emotional anxiety is not helping. But, so far so good. Thank you for reading. More to come as the anniversaries arrive.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

8 Months

It's so interesting how trials shape who we are. Whether or not we want them to. Will we allow those trials to help mold our characters, our selves into something stronger, more beautiful, more interesting, more enlightened, more wise? Or do we fight against those trials and become instead hardened, and bitter, and angry, and ugly? I think it is an ongoing battle of our human selves. To let go, and let God, or to kick against the pricks. Clearly, the better way is the first way.

Today as I was driving by the cemetery that we have here on our little city I yearned to stop and take a little walk and run to the store real quick to pick up some flowers to leave on some sweet soul's grave. I wanted to stop and take a breath and ponder about life, and death, and spirits and heaven. And cemeteries, I think, are a good place to do that. But, I glanced at the thermometer on the car that read 108 degrees and sighed and thought to myself, not today.

I've also been wanting to do some service. I've been meaning to call the nurses at the hospital that I delivered Luisa at to see if there is something that I can do, or donate to help them with the service they do with their Baby Loss Committee. I really hope that I can do something. I often think about those sweet ladies. I think of them as earthly angels to me. I think that when I think of them I will always feel a swell of gratitude in my heart for the kindness they gave me.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

6 and 7 months have passed

I feel like I should write something today but I'm not sure what so this might be a little disorganized.

At the 6 month-i-versary my husband, two boys and I were in our van driving to Utah and Idaho for our annual summer vacation up to the great north. While in Utah we did stop at Luisa's grave with my parents. Its a beautiful spot that I love in a beautiful city that I also love.

Now tomorrow marks the 7 months since Luisa's birth and death. Today I was talking to a sweet lady at church and I had mentioned to her that I am at peace with Luisa not being here on Earth with me and that I had been at peace for awhile. But that I still am on that path of grieving. The thing that I struggle with now is anger and irritability. But not at her being gone, just generally but I know that it is somehow connected to her death. And this sweet lady had said that its sadness being brought outward. And I thought about that. Because, in all honesty, I don't feel sad. But if I consciously bring up my emotions right now about having lost a child, I do feel irritated and angry. And I thought some more, and I think she is right. It is sadness. Sad because I wanted a girl so so much, and although I know I will see her again, she's not here now. Sad because I had a plan and now that plan doesn't exist and I wonder to myself, should I even bother having a plan? I mean I am in the Lord's hands. Sad because we have been trying and trying to have another baby for several months now and we are not, yet. Not that the trying isn't great, but you know...

The Lord's plan is better than what I could come up with for myself, but its not easier.

Ever since Luisa's stillbirth I still, subconsciously put a hand on my womb. And it was empty. That gave me a slight pang of hurt. Her original due date has passed and I still put my hand on my womb, and I still feel a pang. I just feel that it should not be empty. That makes me angry and irritable. Those feelings are there and manifest themselves with me being cranky, fiesty, sarcastic, impatient. But now that I realize what I and my emotions are doing, it is time to face the music, so to speak, and figure out what to do next. Yes this path of grievance is quite the journey. So, now I know specifically what I need to pray for, right? Thats a good thing.

On a better note, I was thinking of the beauty that I have also seen on this journey. I have changed for the better in many ways. I feel that I am able to see people in a new, kinder light. I have seen such sweetness and thoughtfulness given to me. I have an aunt up in Idaho. She told me that she is going to plant a tree, a memorial tree in her yard up there in Idaho in honor of Luisa. I can't remember what tree, but I do remember she said it had white blossoms. My heart was filled with gratitude and light when she told me. It made me so happy.

So I pray that I can, not just recognize the kindness and good qualities in others, but that I can take that and then in turn be a little kinder to those around me. I am sure it will help my crankiness and irritability :).

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Faith and Perspective

During one of my daily scripture studies, I came across this quote from a leader in my church:

"We live to die, and we die to live again. From an eternal perspective, the only death that is truly premature is the death of one who is not prepared to meet God."
-Elder Russell M. Nelson

And who is better prepared to meet God than a sweet, innocent baby? That statement brings me comfort.

Having gone through the experience of losing a child to death and then going through the grieving process has really opened my eyes more to trials and hardships that we all go through. It is my belief that life was meant to be hard. And I think that if we look hard enough we are always going to find someone who is in a worse spot than we are. These hard times in life are a test of our faith and commitment to our Heavenly Father. Keeping in mind that others are going through really difficult times helps to keep my own situation in what I think is a proper perspective. Its not easy, but like I said, life is not supposed to be easy. In that same talk by Elder Nelson, he goes on to say:

"...our faith now becomes part of our posterity's faith later..."

Thinking about that helps me to see that me having faith that all will be well is not just for me, but for my family and loved ones,too. Again, not easy, but I know its the right thing to do.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Tonight I read back from the beginning of this blog. I cried for that Mother, and find it hard to believe that that Mother is me. Looking back, I cannot believe what I've been through. Going through and reading what I had wrote while in the thick of things brought back to me how truly painful that time was. I am so glad that I remembered to mention the blessings, too. Such as the peace and love that I was blessed to have and the kindness and service that was rendered to me. Because the pain is very distinct in those entries. At least for me. Don't know if it was a good idea to go back and do that, but it's done. I am so grateful to people, friends, old and new who reached out with words of love and support. I will never forget you and hope that I can give back in that way many times throughout my life. I truly hope that Lord will bless you.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

In Place

They finally got Luisa's permanent headstone in place. I can't wait to see it in person. This is a picture that my mother in law took. I think it is lovely.

Last night as I was talking to my husband I realized that the 5-month-iversary of Luisa's death has already passed and I didn't even give it a thought. On June 1, the date of the 5-month-iversary, I was at a new doctor, just a family doctor, getting blood work done to make sure all is well, especially with my thyroid. And it is. But, honestly, I did not even think about it being the 5-month-iversary. I thought about her, I do every day, multiple times a day. But it was just a regular day doing regular things. I wonder if people think me cold and unfeeling for having passed the day this way. If they do, they would be wrong. But, I think its a good thing to have forgotten the 5-month-iversary. I think it shows that we are moving forward. And do you know what I think is so wonderful? We are moving forward AND she is still in my mind and in my heart. It is possible to move forward and not forget.

We still feel negative affects though, from having lost a child. My biggest hurdle lately has been emotional fatigue. I just feel done. I am not sure what I am done with. Just done. I want a break, a vacation. I don't want to be needed, I just want to refuel myself a bit. I just feel so tired of doing, I just want to be. And I am really looking forward to this summer to just be with my boys and enjoy them and have fun with them.

I still feel a loss and tender feelings. Sometimes I get so irritable for no reason. Or I feel so awkward for no reason. Some might say, who doesn't? But its different then being irritable and awkward pre-Luisa. And I think it is my inner self still trying to adjust and move forward. Although moving forward is a good thing, and the best thing in my opinion. Its not always the easiest thing. But I feel peace knowing that we are making steps in the right direction. I know that she has moved forward. I am sure that she is one busy little angel. I love her so. Her headstone is in place, she is in the right place and we are in our right place.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Cheerfulness, delight, gladness, happiness

For my scripture study today I read about joy, and I found this:

"...weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." - Psalms 30:5

Although we will experience sadness, and hard times that cause us to weep, hopefully those experiences will also bring us to our knees to Him who can show us and give us joy no matter what is going wrong around us.

"This is the day the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it." - Psalms 118:24

I think to feel joy or see what there is to have joy about in our lives is a choice; we have to want it to have it. Like most things in life that are worth it, it takes effort. But joy is there to be had.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Doing Well

Ever since our trip to Utah and visit to Luisa's grave and recognizing that I needed to put my energy amongst the living, I have noticed a change. I feel a little lighter than I did before, if that makes sense. Not saying that I am without bad days, because I still have bad days, but the grieving is not as painful. Mother's Day was nice, relaxing, and I thoroughly enjoyed being a Mom this day, cherishing little round faces smudged with chocolate all the more then I have before. I hope and pray that others that grieve can feel peace and find solace and learn and grow through the process.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Due Date

Tomorrow is April 29. A rather insignificant date to most people, even to me until just recently. April 29 was Luisa's proclaimed due date back before we knew of her ABS and Acrania. Just a little bit ago I was not looking forward to this day. But, today I am okay, resigned, even at peace. Why?

Well, last week we went up to Salt Lake City, Utah for Easter, to visit family, and to visit Luisa's grave. I was sooooo looking forward to this trip. And it was a nice trip, but it was not what I had anticipated. I had planned to go visit her grave everyday that we were there. The first day I brought the little boys with me. A mistake. I won't tell you what they did because it was totally irreverant, and boy-like. We put pretty pink flowers on her grave. The second day, I went alone. It was nice, peaceful. I put a beautiful, fresh bouquet of white shasta daisies on her grave. I cried a bit, pondered much. The third day, I went with my husband. We put a very pretty, girly pink easter basket flower arrangement on her grave. I loved it. I wish I had taken a picture, but I didn't think to. And I thought. And thought. And we left. And I thought some more. Through the rest of our trip, and into several days of being home, and this is what I have come up with.

I think, with this visit, I was expecting a grand, spiritually illuminating experience. And it wasn't. It was nice, quite normal actually, and that was not what I had anticipated. That third day that we were at her grave, this scripture came into my mind:

"...Why seek ye the living among the dead?" - Luke 24:5

This scripture is in reference to the resurrection of Christ from the tomb, but it struck me as being pertinent to my situation right there at my daughters grave. She is not dead. She is not there. Her body is, for now. But she is with our Father in Heaven. Wow. So awesome for her. And she, and my Heavenly Father, and my brother Jesus Christ, and all of my other loved ones that have passed on before her, want me to be among the living. I know that she has moved on, and I need to as well. I need to spend my time and energy in becoming the wonderful and supportive Wife that my husband needs, and into a strong, nurturing Mother that my sweet ( although at times devilish) boys need, and deserve, and a righteous Woman so that I can be in Heaven eternally with my family, with my sweet Luisa.

So tomorrow will come and with it I will make the most of the day by being among the living, most especially with my husband and children.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Monument

I think my grandmother is a saint. She is very dear to me. She is a woman that has had a lot of sorrow in her life and has seen several loved ones pass away before her from a very young age, including one of her sons. She sent me the following poem with a beautiful figurine of a mother with two little boys.

The Monument

Before He sent His children to earth
Gave each of them
A very carefully selected package
Of problems.

He promised, smiling
Are yours alone. No one
Else may have the blessings
These problems will bring you.

And only you
Have the special talents and abilities
That will be needed
To make these problems
Your servants.

Now go down to your birth
And to your forgetfulness. Know that
I love you beyond measure.
These problems that I give you
Are a symbol of that love.

The monument you make of your life
With the help of your problems
Will be a symbol of your
Love for me.
Your Father.

by Blaine M. Yorgason

Friday, April 1, 2011

April 1st

Today is April 1st. A big day for pranksters and jokesters, but not a day of pranks and jokes for me. This marks 3 months since the premature birth of Luisa. I am sad. Not in the depths of despair sad, but just a touch of melancholy, I guess. I bought some white shasta daisies to commemorate the day. They look pretty on my table, and do lift my spirits a bit. Its days like these that I really, really wish we lived in Utah so that I could go visit Luisa's grave. I would love to be there right now to put some fresh flowers on her beautiful plot of land. Anyone in the Salt Lake area feel like doing that small service for this melancholy Mommy :)? Luckily, we will be there in about 3 weeks. I can hardly wait. But, I guess for today I will let myself be melancholy and enjoy the Shasta daisies and maybe I can think of something else to do to lift my spirits. Right now, I am drawing a blank. Suggestions? Anyone?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Life and Death

I have been inspired by this song. Often when I listen to it, I close my eyes and I can clearly picture myself standing alone at Luisa's grave. Taking deep breaths as if physically inhaling so deeply will help me to cement all that has passed more deeply to myself; truly etching the whole experience on my heart. This song puts me in a contemplative mood.

It has been said that, "...Life's starkest reality is death...It is a universal commonality, one thing which every mortal shares with every other mortal, this in spite of earthly status and accomplishments. Every man or woman is born, and every man and woman must die." - Robert L. Millet and Joseph Fielding McConkie.

Life and death are so intertwined. It doesn't matter if we are rich or poor, smart or not, we all, on this earth, have been given life. And in that same thought, rich or poor, smart or not, we will all experience death.

But what can make us different from one another is how we handle life and how we handle death. Do we live life to die? Or do we live life to live? When death comes, do we celebrate the life that was and the life that will be, or curse the event that will inevitably come to all of us? Honestly, I have done both.

To my sweet daughter, Luisa,
I love you so much. I am forever grateful for the lessons that I have learned and am still learning in this experience. Whenever I have the chance to ponder on your sweetness my eyes are wet with tears, but not tears of sadness; tears of humility, of overwhelming love, tears of gratitude that you chose me to be your mother. I love you, I love you, I love you.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Two Month-i-versary

I think of my sweet Luisa on a daily basis, but it seems that the past couple of days, including today, she has been in my thoughts more prominently and my heart has felt more tender and sensitive with memories of her. And I just realized a moment ago that today marks two months since I delivered Luisa at Banner Estrella hospital ( the best hospital with the best nurses EVER). I wonder if my spirit realized that before my human self did and that is why I have recently been more emotional in regards to her. Either way, I'm glad. I want to remember, I like to remember. As of now, when I think on her, thoughts of Christ are right there with those thoughts of her, and then thoughts of Heavenly Father. And I think about how blessed I was with peace and great love and support from family and friends. Those are sweet things to think upon. I want to share with you a quote from C.S. Lewis, that I just read over on the blog Amazing Mikayla Grace:

“Grief is not, as I thought, a state, but a process.
Like a walk in a winding valley which gives you a new landscape every few miles.”
- C.S. Lewis

I love that quote, and I believe that it is true. Thanks to you who keep up with this blog and send me your loving thoughts and support through your comments, messages, and prayers. I feel so grateful for you all.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Blechiness and a Date

Do you know what is sad? Things have been so out of whack for us the past few weeks that I feel like I have not had time to ponder on my sweet baby Luisa. And you know what? Although I feel like we are doing pretty well, overall, with this whole grieving thing, I still need time to just ponder on her and feel emotions connected to her and remember how special her life is to me. I NEED that. Right now. I am not ready to be done with grieving and I know that is ok. Its just been harder to do. And you know what is just a pity? The cause of our out of whack-ness is microscopic. Not able to be seen with the naked eye. That would be bacteria, or a virus. Sinus infections, ear infections, croup, blechiness and LOTS of crying. We don't handle illness well in our house. I just put the kids down for naptime/quiettime and I stood in front of Luisa's Memory Wall ( we put up a memory wall that I will hopefully post pictures of soon. With her picture and a dress and some other momentos) and breathed. It was nice. I felt like I was breathing in her memory as I stood there. And I felt like I was breathing in her sweetness and love. And Paul Cardall was playing in the background and I just felt the need to share these thoughts.

A few weeks ago I decided that I needed to date myself. My husband and I are pretty good about dating each other. Every Friday night. Whether we go out or stay in, we date every Friday night. And its nice. Last Friday was Olive Garden take-out with a diet Cherry Coke and The Last of the Airbenders via Netflix. Date night is a tradition that I love and that we need. But, in my quest to evolve into this new woman that I am becoming now having gone through this difficult, yet beautiful experience; I decided that its high time that I start dating myself. So now, every Thursday night is my date night...with myself. The first date stank, as first dates often do. I cleaned bathrooms, and I vowed never to waste a date night doing THAT again. The second date, I read and read and read a really good book. It was lovely. The third date, I decided that I needed to go out. So I went to Michael's and bought things that I really don't need and it was awesome. And then I went to Kohl's and bought not one, but two dresses ( one for church, and a sweet one for hubby date nights out). Ahhh, bliss. And I went out to dinner at Paradise and enjoyed being me... and I thought... and thought... and thought upon my daughter. And how happy I am that she is my daughter...forever, and I know she is. And I felt my spirits being lifted. And I knew then and know now that these dates with myself are not just nice, but necessary. So, tonight, for my date night, I am going to a church activity for just the women in our congregation, and then I think I might go to Coldstone. Or Trader Joes. Or....who knows. But I am looking forward to it. And my husband? Well, he's getting used to it, and once the kids go to bed, I know he enjoys having some time to himself to do really important Geek Guys things. Like, play games on his phone or Playstation. So its kind of a date night for himself, too. I think we all should date ourselves.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Lessons Learned

I have learned so much from this experience, this journey with Luisa. One reason why I feel such love for her, and so thankful that she was a part of my life is because of how much I learned and how much I've grown. Although the change has not been easy, I do not regret, or despise, or shun anything that has happened concerning Luisa. I still feel some pain, now and then. Usually, recently anyway, its only been when I am with a pregnant woman or a new mommy. I do feel a bit of pain, and its difficult, but its getting better, its getting a bit easier, each time I happen to be with one of those two types of women. But here are some lessons I have learned:

1. People are beautiful, much more so than I really realized before.
2. The relationships we have with our spouses, our children, our parents ( through blood and marriage ), our siblings ( through blood and marriage ) and our close, dear friends are things that are truly priceless and most important, being trumped only by our relationship with our Heavenly Father. I see the people in my life differently. I love them more dearly. I feel more grateful than before that I have them in my life.
3. Pregnancy and child birth are truly miraculous events. That is something I took for granted before because both of my previous pregnancies were totally easy and both of my boys were and are completely whole and healthy. It is a miracle that we have so many healthy, happy children running around this place.
4. There is beauty in death. I do not mean that in a weird, goth way. What I mean is that, death is a transition from our earthly life, to our eternal, heavenly life. The beauty of it is, it brings a closeness to those that are left here on earth that no other event really can, and once you have experienced the loss of a dear, loved one, it brings a depth to your character that no other event can. There is also beauty in knowing that your dear one is going home. To their real home. To their real parents ( because I believe in a Heavenly Mother as well) to be in a state of joy and happiness that is just not possible here on Earth. At least not consistently possible.
5. Our relationship with our Heavenly Father is essential, plain and simple. Read your scriptures, pray, meditate, be obedient, repent NOW, so when hard times come, which they will, you will make it through. I am so grateful for the relationship that I had with my Heavenly Father before. I know thats why I haven't fallen into a pit of darkness and despair. I can see how that can easily happen in a situation like ours. I know its because of the faith that we had, as well as that of our dear family and friends that we were lifted and able to move forward and that is how we still do it today, and that is how we will be able to make it through the rest of our trials. And I am so grateful for the relationship that I have with Him now. It has only been strengthened and more developed.

I am sure there have been more things that I have learned but those are the things that stick out to me right now. I hope that for anyone going through a hard time right now, especially the loss of a baby, or anyone for that matter, is able to see the good in what they are going through and be able to make that difficult time something that will make them stronger and be something they and those around them can benefit from.

Happy Valentines Day

Happy Valentines Day to one and all. I love Valentines Day because we get to celebrate two of my favorite things, love and friendship, with two more of my favorite things, chocolate and flowers. Its awesome.

When I first started this blog it was because I felt an urgent need to record what we were going through with Luisa's diagnosis of Amniotic Band Syndrome and then Acrania. I wanted to make sure that everything that I was feeling, and thinking was recorded. As well as the events, and information, and the blessings. The journey ended so soon, much sooner than I anticipated. But, it happened how it happened, and I know there is a reason, and I have accepted it. As time goes on, I feel less of a need to blog on Luisa's blog, and more of a need to record the events and thoughts and feelings of what is happening with my boys. Since this blog is dedicated to Luisa, I won't be sharing our other stuff on here. I might be doing it on my regular blog (, but I might just do it in a different way altogether. So you will see less, and less of me here. But if you are interested in what we are up to you are welcome to read my other blog ( see above ) or find me on facebook.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

One Month-iversary

Today marks one month since I have delivered Luisa's stillborn body. Yesterday was worse than today, I think, because of anticipating what this day would be like. I wasn't sure if I would be emotional or sad or what, and yesterday I was pretty bummed out. But today there were some sensitive moments, but overall a very peaceful day. I had a sweet friend, my old roommate from college who is living here in Phoenix temporarily, pay me an unexpected visit. Luckily, today, I decided to get dressed and not stay in my pajamas all day. She brought me a pot of bright, happy, yellow Gerbera Daisies to plant in a memorial garden for Luisa. And chocolate truffles ( that'll lift me out of any slump). And then my sweet, adorable, almost-ready-to-start-her-80th-year Grandmother called. She never calls. But she did call, today. She just wanted to see how we were doing. So, it really was a nice day.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Last week was my first full week back to life. It was a toughy for me, as stated by my previous post, but I survived with a smile still on my face. Despite what some people might think, I am actually happy. I still smile, and laugh, and enjoy. But something that hasn't returned is light-heartedness. Don't know if that makes sense to anyone else but me, but I don't feel light hearted. But I also don't think thats bad. I have a different perspective on my purpose in life, that's all. Anyway, today I wanted to mention kindness.

Last week, at the beginning of my toughy week, I went to Frys Marketplace to get some things so that we can actually eat good food that I have prepared in my own kitchen, because up till last week we had been surviving on the generosity of some sweet ladies from my church who brought us GREAT meals, and LOTS of it so that we could eat some then and freeze for later. And that supply was gone. And I think we were getting tired of pizza, Dominoes or Papa Murphys, love them, but we were reaching our limits. So I went to Fry's, a big step for me to getting back to life. Got the "race cart", the best invention ever with two small boys, got the groceries, rang them all up, went to pay... and I DIDN'T have my wallet. And of course I didn't have my checkbook because who carries those around anymore. Ugghhh. So, I sincerely apologized to the cashier, promised to be back in 20 minutes to pay and pick up my groceries and headed out the door sooooo annoyed with myself. When all of the sudden this sweetheart of a girl, about 12 or 13, who reminded me of my niece back in Utah, came up to me breathless ( she had been running apparently) and said, " Excuse me, excuse me. But, um, my grandma wants to pay for your groceries. Can she do that." Oh, so nice. But I said, "Oh no. Thank you though. Tell your Grandma thank you, but thats ok. I'll just go home and get my wallet. Thanks again." And then she left. So I start getting my two boys strapped in the car when this sweetheart girl runs up to me again saying, " Ummm, my Grandma ALREADY paid for your groceries." So then this sweetheart girl ran all the way back, got my groceries, brought them out to my car, and I tearfully thanked her and asked her to please tell her Grandmother how thankful I was for her kindness. I love hearing stories like this. I love that it happened to me. I felt so humbled, and pretty undeserving, but very, very grateful.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Struggle, The Solution

I went back to church a couple of Sunday's ago. Going to church these past two Sundays has been hard. I usually love going to church, but to be honest, these past two Sundays, I have dreaded it and although I do learn something, I don't feel the same spiritual refreshment I have gotten in the past. Why? That is a question that I have been asking myself. It could be because there are lots of new Mommys and babies in our congregation. It could be because people really don't have experience with a Mother in my position so they either make really awkward weird comments or avoid me altogether. I don't really blame them, but I don't like it either. It could be because I am a different person now and I just don't feel like I can go be the same person I was before and I am kind-of awkward myself.

My husband has totally gotten back in to his routine, and that was something that did not sit well with me. Going back to work was not as big of a deal, but it was the other stuff. His church responsibilities, and other miscellaneous responsibilities that keep him from cuddling with me on the couch, and holding me and comforting me the way I felt like I needed.

I tried to express these struggles that I was having to my husband. Seeking from him some comfort and peace through all the inner turmoil I was feeling. I knew that I would be sad about Luisa passing away, but these other struggles were unexpected and I was not handling them well at all. While expressing myself to my husband, the things he did and said did not bring that peace and comfort I needed, and then I felt worse.

In the midst of this I cried and prayed and read trying to understand what to do next. And an answer came, "Go to the temple." So I did. And while there I realized that I was going to him, Brent, my husband for comfort and peace, but what I REALLY needed, was HIM, Heavenly Father. It is only through Him that real comfort and peace can come. So simple, but I just didn't see it. While at the temple I also had more thoughts and direction come to me that I needed. Things that are so simple, but very profound. Also, very personal, so not something I can share on a public blog. But I did want to share this:

"There is a beauty and clarity that comes from simplicity that we sometimes do not appreciate in our thirst for intricate solutions." - Pres. Dieter F. Uchtdorf ( taken from his talk: Of Things That Matter Most

I am finding that the things that matter most, the truly essential things of life are simple things. The solutions to our problems and struggles are simple. This does not mean easy, but simple.

Ever since that enlightening day at the temple I have felt so much better and I feel like I know now what direction to take in my grieving and where to go having had gone through such a difficult and yet amazing experience with Luisa, my daughter that I love so very much.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Stylish Blogger

Thank you Jamie and Melissa for giving me this award. So here are the rules:

1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you this award.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Award 15 recently discovered great bloggers.
4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award!

Here are seven things about myself:
1. My name is Kathleen, but most everyone calls me Kat ( except for my family ), but I do not like cats.
2. I am a teacher by trade, elementary school, I taught 1st and 2nd grade at various times for 6 years and I have been a stay at home mom for about 3 1/2 years. And today I decided that I am going to be a professional Mom because although I liked aspects of teaching ( the kids, other teachers ) there were a lot of aspects I didn't like ( the paper work, NCLB), and I want to spend my life doing something I love, and right now that is being a mom. Although I think being a baker would be great too.
3. I have a big fear of flying in an airplane through a tornado with scorpions crawling up my leg. It hasn't happened yet THANK GOODNESS!
4. I love to drink hot cocoa. I even had a hot cocoa bar at my wedding reception. Unfortunately, living in a hot desert, my hot cocoa season is very short.
5. I am Puerto Rican. Well, half Puerto Rican, so I guess I'm Gringa-Rican. My mom was born and raised on the island, a beautiful place that I love, and my dad is from California. They met at college and the rest is history.
6. I hate cleaning bathrooms, especially showers and I hate potty training.
7. I love hanging out with my husband, taking my kids to the park, Cherry Coke, chocolate chip cookies ( and the dough), the band Coldplay, earrings and taking sunday afternoon naps.

That is basically me in a nutshell. Now this next part is kind of hard for me because I have not recently discovered 15 bloggers, so I might have to break the rule here. I hope thats ok.

1. Kara from Karinne Claire. The first baby loss mom that I "met". I will always be so grateful that I discovered the blog about her sweet daughter that also passed away from Acrania. She is a very hopeful and positive person.

2. Joanna from Beloved Vitoria. Oh how I love this sweet mother from Brazil, and her sweet daughter Vitoria. A true miracle. Vitoria is an Acrania survivor and she just celebrated her first birthday! I am so happy for that family.

3. Jennifer from Eli's Valley. This mother has some very profound postings that I have really enjoyed reading.

4. Sheri from Desperately Seeking Solid Ground, who's daughter Olivia also had ABS on her head resulting in premature delivery.

5. Amy from Bethany-Hope, another baby loss Mommy with some thoughtful postings.

6. Jamie from Forget Me Not Oh Lord who has been so sweet and uplifting for me during my own difficult time.

7. Melissa from Amazing Mikayla Grace, I have been touched by her story, the story of the premature death of her daughter, as well as her, Melissa's journey of healing.

Ok here is where I might be breaking some rules... I am just going to stop here because those are my most recently discovered blogs. Not quite 15, but all 7 have been helpful to me.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Luisa's Burial

We buried Luisa on Jan. 11, 2011, in Salt Lake City, Utah. It is such a beautiful spot. We had my husband's brother take pictures. I know it may seem strange, but I really want to remember everything, and pictures are the best way to do it. Even though it was so hard and I cried a lot. There was a very distinct sweet, peaceful spirit felt. Even though this experience is rough and challenging, I have found some beauty, or have traded the ashes of this experience for beauty ( see Isaiah 61: 1, 3 or this post).

“For the one who dies, life goes on and his free agency
continues; and death, which seems to us such a calamity, could
be a blessing in disguise...” - Pres. Spencer W. Kimball

Saturday, January 15, 2011


Two weeks ago today I delivered my sweet baby Luisa's still body. Last night as I was driving to Fry's Electronics ( my husband's favorite store ) with our two little boys I had an intense memory of being at the hospital and delivering my child. It was so intense that not only did I feel those emotions so intensely that I started to cry, but I also could almost smell the hospital room. And it didn't smell bad, but that is just how strong the memory was. It really caught me off guard. So today I decided to do something to kind of commemorate the day, in a way. I bought a bouquet of daisies, white pom daisies. I love them. I had a bouquet of white pom daisies and red roses for my wedding. I bought a beautiful arrangement of white pom daisies, spray pink baby roses and evergreen for Luisa's grave. And we had everyone at the burial service put a single white daisy on her casket. I remember standing in front, shivering, feet frozen, and taking a deep breath of that lovely daisy scent, and it actually made me smile, right there at my sweet Luisa's burial service. That is how much I love daisies. So today I bought some daisies and once again they made me smile.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Maternity Pictures

These pictures were taken two days before the final ultrasound of Luisa. They were taken by Lori Calhoun at Calhoun ink. I didn't get maternity photos with my boys. I have never been fond of my prego belly. But I am so, so happy that I have these pictures. And the next time I have a prego belly I will proudly flaunt and celebrate it.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A New Life

Yesterday we made the looooooong drive from Salt Lake City, Utah back to our home in Phoenix. After we unloaded the car, got the kids settled in bed, got ourselves settled in bed, I said to my husband, " I feel like I am starting a new life." And I really feel that way. But, I can't say that I am comfortable with it...yet. I think I can be comfortable with it, and I think I will be. But, right now, not so much. There is no way that I can go back to being the same person that I was before this experience with Luisa. I don't even think I really want to go back to being that same person. But, I feel awkward, and just not quite sure what to do with myself.

Today was harder than I thought it would be. Being at home, having a "normal" day, except for I am not sure what a "normal" day is for me anymore. I think I have to create a new "normal". It is just a strange place to be in.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Beautiful Day, Difficult Day

Beautiful day of peace and rest...for my dear sweet Luisa. Difficult day for her Mommy. Today we buried her body, in the cold, hard earth. In a beautiful plot, surrounded by trees and looking out towards the mountains. As we pulled up to the spot where Luisa would be buried, and our family started pulling up behind us, and I gazed out over the lovely cemetery it dawned on me that I, plain old, simple, average Kat Simon was just about to bury a child. A sweet, strong spirit, but my child. Oh, a mother should not have to bury her child. It feels so surreal. But mothers do. I'm not alone in this. But, wow. It. Was. Hard. But, beauty was still there. Peace was still felt. Love was there. I love her so very much. I am amazed by how such a small baby girl could have such a big impression on not only my life, but others lives as well. I am so grateful for the lessons that being her Mommy has taught me.

Monday, January 10, 2011

In Utah

About a week ago, I delivered the precious body of my stillborn daughter, Luisa, at Banner Estrella Hospital in Phoenix, AZ. Banner Estrella was a wonderful hospital, once we were admitted. I started off hating them because of the wait, but then their kindness, compassion, and gentleness, as well as being very competent at their jobs, caused both me and my husband to fall in love with them. I really will be forever grateful for Nurse Darleena, Nurse Nancy, Dr. Suarez, Tammy the photographer, and the other few medical staff that I met.

Tomorrow I will be burying Baby Luisa in a lovely cemetery at the foot of the mountains in Salt Lake City, UT. We have no family in Arizona. My husband and I both moved there (separately) for work, we met there, got married and live there now, but eventually want to move back here, to Utah. Although, to be honest, being here in the dead of winter is not helping Utah win any points with me. It is C-O-L-D COLD!!! And the snow, oh the snow. It's everywhere, even in my car. Not melted, but whole and frozen, inside of my car, because its so cold. I grew up with seasons, and cold winters, but I have been in the hot desert for years now, 8 1/2 I think. So its been awhile. But my husband grew up here, and all of his family is here and the cemetery where we are burying Luisa is so peaceful and so pretty and my husband's grandparents and great-grandparents are buried there. It just felt right to bury our sweet Baby Luisa there. A lot of times when we come to visit ( especially in the summer when its hotter than Hades in Phoenix, and beautiful here ) I do feel like this place, this area is home. I was actually born just south of Salt Lake City, and also went to college not to far from here. So, this place is special to me too, for those reasons. We also got married here in Salt Lake City and it is so so special to me for that reason as well. So I am happy with our decision to bury Luisa here.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Renewing Strength

Yesterday we made the long 10 hour journey up to Utah to bury our sweet Luisa's body. Her burial service will be next week. 10 hours is a long time to just sit. I tried to read, but my heart was just not into it. Then my mind started wandering, and I had a brief memory come to mind of a conversation that I had with my 3 year old. He had said, "Mommy, I want Luisa to come out so I can play with her." This was before she passed away. But yesterday while on our 10 hour journey my mind responded with, " I did too." I then had a brief image of smiling and laughing with a sweet, chubby baby girl and that was the beginning of the end of me being strong for the day and the rest of the journey was a combination of tears and trying to hold back tears.

So today I vowed to start the day anew on a strong positive note. The only way that I know how to do that is to start the day with scripture study, meditation and prayer. This routine, unfortunately has not been happening lately. But today it happened and what a difference it makes. I was drawn to Isaiah, because there are a few scriptures there from Handel's Messiah, and my recent performance of The Messiah is still fresh in my mind.

Isaiah 40: 31 - "But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary, and they shall walk and not faint."

I felt my strength being renewed. With this in mind I felt ready for the day. We went to the cemetery and saw the special, peaceful spot where sweet Luisa will be buried. We ordered daisies to be put on her casket by her big brothers and cousins, and a nice evergreen floral arrangement since it is so stinkin' cold and snowy here and an evergreen arrangement is the only thing that has a chance of lasting more than a day.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

At The Hospital

We checked in to the hospital on January 1, 2011 at 1 a.m. When we got there it was very quiet and there was no one there except for a few nurses here and there. From the very minute that we got there we were treated very gently and with great compassion and kindness. After all the craziness of trying to get in to the hospital, I really didn't have high expectations for them. Although I delivered my youngest son there and had a great experience, the agonizing wait killed my hope of having a good experience there. But they absolutely, 110% redeemed themselves. The nurse went through some information with me, the on-call doctor came in and spoke with me. And again, they were so kind and gentle. The started the induction via vaginal pill at around 3 a.m.

I slept for a few hours, and when I awoke I felt some mild contractions. I got another round of the pill at around 9 a.m. ( it has to be done every 6 hours) and within a couple of hours the contractions were much stronger. By around noon, I was in pain that was just on the brink of becoming unbearable. I contemplated getting an epidural, but I really, really did not want to. For a couple of reasons. One, they had told me that this induction could take as long as two days, and the epidural would wear off long before then. And although you can get more, with each dose the epidural becomes less effective. The other reason was I did not want to be numb. I wanted to feel whatever I could of what was left of my time with Luisa. The nurses thought I was kind of weird, and I even thought that I might give in because I am a pansy when it comes to pain. But I wanted to give it my best shot. So I discussed it with my nurse and decided instead to get a pain killer given through the IV just to take the edge off. And it helped a lot. It took the edge off, but I could still feel everything. I wasn't numb.

I had strong contractions, I had back labor ( which I am still sore from) and at around 1p.m. I felt that intense pressure and urge to push. I freaked out for a couple of different reasons, I think. I was worried about pushing without an epidural because I have never done it before. I was worried about my first reaction of seeing Luisa's small, precious, yet deformed body. I had quite a bit of flexibility with the entire labor and the delivery was just as flexible. I kneeled on the bed, breathed a couple of deep breaths, and the bag of waters came out, in tact, with baby Luisa inside. Once the bag of waters fell onto the bed it broke. I was so sad that I couldn't feel her exit my body, I just felt the bag of waters ( which felt like a medium sized water balloon exiting my body, a very strange sensation). I cried and cried because she was so small and I couldn't see her at first. The nurse and the doctor gave me a few moments of crying, and then swiftly moved into action.

I just want to insert in here real quick that the two birth defects that she had, as I mentioned before, were Amniotic Band Syndrome, which that then caused Acrania. We thought we saw a faint mark on the top of her head and coming down onto her face where the band had been, but the band itself was not present. The brain was not exposed to the air, there was a very soft tissue covering it, but it was very soft. I think I remember being able to see the form of the brain under the tissue.

The doctor checked out Luisa, wrapped her delicately in a small cloth, and handed her to my husband, by my request. I had the opportunity to carry her in my womb for several months, I felt her move, I felt her life, I felt her spirit. Unfortunately, my husband didn't. I really wanted him to hold her for the first time. That was the most special moment of this experience. I saw him immediately bond with her and fall in love with her just like he did with our other two boys. To say that it was special doesn't describe it enough, but it was so, so , very, very special. I fell in love with my husband all over again, but ten times more. Then it was my turn. Tears welled in my eyes, my heart swelled with love and tenderness. I was amazed with her tiny features and so sad that this was the end of our time together here on earth. But peace was there. We had my husbands parents bring our boys to the hospital to say goodbye, as much as a barely 3 and 1 1/2 year old can, we had the Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep Photographer take some pictures which are so, so precious to us.

We spent a little while longer with her, and then it was time to say goodbye. We prayed together, and then peacefully let her go.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Getting to the hospital

We found out on Dec. 29, 2010 that sweet Luisa no longer had a heartbeat. The perinatal specialist doing the ultra sound called the hospital that we were planning on delivering at and spoke with the doctor on call from the practice I go to, to inform them of our situation. He then told us to go home and pack the things that we would want with us at the hospital, and that the hospital would call us that afternoon to inform us of when to come in. So we did just that, made arrangements for our two boys, and then waited. And waited. And waited. And finally in the early evening I called them to find out what was going on. The hospital said that they were packed and that we were on a list, the priority list, but that we wouldn't be going in that day, but most likely the next morning.

Dec. 30, 2010, our 4th wedding anniversary. We didn't really celebrate it. My awesome husband was very thoughtful and gave me a beautiful card and bouquet of roses with chocolate. But, overall we just were not in the celebrating mood. We got up, got ready expecting to get a phone call from the hospital that morning. But, we waited. And waited. And waited. And in the late afternoon my husband calls to find out that we were now #2 on the priority list and that there was a slight chance that we would get in that night, but it would most likely be in the morning. Devastation. The hospital was managing to make an already difficult, awful situation worse. We were in such mental and emotional agony. And we were upset and ANGRY. They did not call that night.

Dec. 31, 2010, New Years Eve. I completely forgot that this was a big party day. I felt despondant. I felt dejected. I felt at the bottom. I felt that I and my dead child did not matter as much as the live babies being born. I felt so, so very low. We live in a big city, there are quite a few hospitals here. I really wanted to just try a different hospital, but I was just not in the state of mind to try and figure the logistics of it. My husband made some more phone calls to the hospital and to the on call doctor. The day passed, still no phone call. The hospital had the same story; a lot of women coming in and having babies and no rooms available. In the evening I got a call from my sincerely apologetic and concerned Ob/gyn. Due to the all around craziness, there was missed communication and he did not know of our situation until that day. He said that they had so many women having babies there was a waiting list just to get in to triage, and they had just gotten permission to have a non-labor and delivery floor in the hospital opened to labor and delivery patients. He said he would do everything he could to get us in, but it was not looking like it would be that day. I was beyond devastation, I was numb. With the encouragement of my husband's parents, who had come down to be with us to help us with our two little boys, we decided to go see a movie to help us take our minds off. We went and saw Tron in 3D, which was really cool, and we walked in the door at midnight feeling a little more relaxed.

Jan. 1, 2011, within minutes of the start of the new year my phone rang. It was the hospital letting us know that they had a room ready for us and to come check in at the hospital at 1 a.m. We were pretty surprised but we were ready. I knew that Luisa had moved on, and was happy, and perfect and beautiful. And I knew that she wanted us to move on, but I felt like we couldn't until I delivered her sweet, precious body. It was an awful, horrible feeling and position to be in and one that I really hope no one has to go through.

Sunday, January 2, 2011


Yesterday, Jan. 1, 2011, 1/1/11, our sweet daughter, Luisa Kathleen was born still. the labor was about 11 hours. An induced vaginal delivery. She was tiny. So very, very tiny. More fetal than infant-like. 7.9 oz, 8 inches, and fitting perfectly in the palm of my hand. The estimated time of death was approximately 2 weeks ago, so her sweet body had already started to shrink and deteriorate. But, I can tell you, that it was still special to hold her tabernacle of flesh and oh, so tender bones, that housed such a beautiful, special spirit. Our journey with her life, diagnosis, and prognosis has just ended, and it was way, way too short. Now our journey with grieving, healing, and moving forward begins. My heart aches, I weep because I love her. But I have peace of mind knowing, and I mean KNOWING without a doubt that this was her designed plan, designed by Him who knows all and knows what is truly best. And I have peace KNOWING that she is with Heavenly Father and she is happy. And I have peace KNOWING that we WILL be together again, all of us, living in our Heavenly Home with our Heavenly Father, and all of our dear loved ones who have left this mortal life and enjoy Eternal Life as an Eternal Family.

But I am human. So I still feel the pain of loss. I will still feel sad. I will still weep. My heart will still ache. But the peace is still there.