Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Sometimes, I Cry

Dear Friends,

Today has been a roller-coaster of emotion. I want to talk to you about that, actually. I am speaking purely from my own experience, and everyone grieves differently. That said, I am guessing that I'm not the only one who has experienced something like this...

The day is fine, but there are little things. And they add up. And suddenly, in the evening, nothing goes right or you suddenly find yourself crying and aren't sure why.

What happened today is that I was basically having a good day, but a few little potholes of emotion or frustration or worry or something happened, and I guess I didn't take time with those feelings as they happened, or, at least not as much as those feelings wanted to be noticed. So they piled up. And that meant that I felt blindsided by the emotions when they took over and I turned into a melty teary mess this evening.

I'll give you some examples of what happened today, so you can see how they might be inconsequential or minor when individual, but how they could add up.
  • I had a chiropractic appointment today, and didn't drink much water afterward, and regardless of hydration, I'm often much more emotionally sensitive afterward.
  • I went to visit Charlie (which was great) and got to read notes people left him in his notebook (which was great) and left him flowers (which was great). The weather even cleared up while I was there! But the ground was still muddy and I had not yet put the tarp in the car to put under the picnic blanket, so I didn't have anything to sit on, and I hadn't brought anything to do while visiting him besides just check the garden. So, despite having every other commitment in my day cancel, I didn't know what to do while there, so I left. And I felt like I should have spent more time with him (should is a horrible word).
  • I also ended up getting a call as I was leaving, so I only whispered goodbye instead of telling him properly.
  • At a thrift store (where I bought a baby carrier and some baby clothes), the clerk asked if the clothes were for my kid. I didn't want to lie, so I said my son is not in these sizes, but they're for a future kid. The clerk focused on that, and didn't ask how old my son is or anything, which weirded me out.
  • Dinner didn't turn out like I'd hoped.
There were several other things too, but that gives you an idea of the type of emotional detritus I was allowing to build up.

But in general, even when it is not emotion in general like today, grief and its effects do not follow a set schedule or a particular type of trigger. I mean, some things are more likely to bring on intense emotion or sadness, but sometimes it blindsides you. Kind of like a migraine. Some people are more likely to get migraines when they are exposed to flashing lights, or certain foods, but that's not always going to do it, and also, they can get migraines at other times too.

For instance, I often get weepy when thinking about fawns, since I saw one that was roadkill shortly after my son died. In fact, that's making me feel sad, just having put this picture here, and thinking about it. But sometimes you encounter something you didn't know was going to make you sad. And sometimes, you are just sad. Like I was tonight. Little things, but sometimes, no cause, no trigger.

And for me, at least, the best thing you can do? Give me a hug. Or a cup of tea. There is nothing to FIX, nothing to PUT RIGHT, nothing you can MAKE BETTER... but you can show you care. And that means so, so, so much.

So to my friends who chat with me when I'm up late because I can't sleep, or who see me start to sob in church and scoot closer to me, or send me a note to say they are thinking of me and Charlie on days that have meaning for me.... THANK YOU. With all my heart.

Most sincerely yours,
~ Sarah

Friday, April 21, 2017

Shoes for 18" Molly Bears

Hi Everyone,

I have finally finished a project I'd like to share!

Molly Bears (Link to Website) is a wonderful organization that creates bears that are the same weight as the infant you lost.

We received our bear on the December 23rd, 2016, and ever since then he has been a comfort to hold, cuddle, and dress. Yes, I like to dress him sometimes. Not every day, but sometimes it's nice to have someone little to care for. Also, I like to take pictures and text his adventures to my husband!

Our Charles Peacock Bear (named after our son), whom we call Pookie.
Soon after I started looking for clothes for Pookie, I noticed that shoes were going to be a serious problem. His feet are not shaped like human feet, so baby shoes don't work, and they are much larger than the bear shoes you can find at certain stores in the mall.

So I have been working on developing a pattern for shoes, which you can see the final version of in the picture above! And I JUST FINISHED THE PATTERN!

Since I know anyone with a Molly Bear has experienced a loss, and I doubt I’m the only one who wants to dress my bear, here is the pattern, available for free to those who want to make their own shoes. Do not sell shoes made from this pattern, or sell the pattern. If you have questions, I can be contacted via glibscribe (at) gmail (dot) com or on Facebook (Sarah Warner), and I will answer any questions posted below in the comments.

This pattern is entirely my own design. I am not sponsored by, or affiliated with Molly Bears. Additionally, Molly Bears appears to have several sizes and designs of bear. This pattern is only designed to fit the style bear pictured above, who is the 18" size.

Also, if you want to share pictures of the shoes you make with this pattern, I'd love to see them!

Printable file with instructions: LINK TO PATTERN

Most sincerely yours,
~ Sarah

Friday, April 14, 2017

Blog Name Change from Clothespress to Charlie's Mama

Hi Friends,

Today I'm going to be changing a few things around here.

First of all, to allay any fears, I will STILL BE POSTING ABOUT CLOTHING AND FIBER ARTS!!!! I love doing that waaaaay too much to give that up!

But as you may have been starting to suspect, I have had some very major changes in my life in the past year, and have been working on figuring out how to integrate that into my online ventures. Namely, I was pregnant, and I had a beautiful little boy, who died 2 days before I gave birth to him.
  • - I will be renaming the blog in his honor.
  • - I will begin including posts about various aspects of life post- baby loss.
  • - I will include posts about resources for Loss Mamas and Loss Papas.
And I would like to tell the story of my son, Charles Peacock Warner (Charlie), my beloved little boy.

In October 2015, we found out that I was pregnant! We were very excited. The little one was due in June, 2016. This was my first pregnancy, and was going to be the first grandkid on both sides! The pregnancy was healthy, except that I had a lot of morning sickness (hyperemesis gravidarum).

The baby was fine, and had a lot of personality. There was a lot of kicking, so we nicknamed baby "Tigger"! (If you haven't already guessed, we decided not to find out the gender ahead of time.) Over the course of the pregnancy, we attended several concerts, and found out that baby loved solo violin, and handbells.

As we passed the due date, I started having braxton hicks contractions nearly constantly for about a week. Then on Thursday or Friday we stopped feeling the baby. On Saturday the 18th of June, we confirmed by ultrasound that there was no heartbeat. I went to the hospital right away, and began the process of induction. Eventually I also opted for an epidural too, so I could sleep, since I was dealing with labor AND grief. My husband was with me the whole time, and our midwife and our families also provided a lot of loving support.

I gave birth to the baby at 7:32 on June 19th, which was Father's Day that year. The baby was born with a double nuchal cord, which means the umbilical cord was around the baby's neck twice. This often is not a problem, but in our case it was extremely tight, which cut off the oxygen flow. It was so tight that after the baby's head was born, the doctor actually had to cut the cord to allow the rest of the baby to emerge.

At this point, husband and I had agreed that he would see if the baby was a boy or a girl, and I would announce the name. He had to tell me THREE times that it was a boy! By the end of the pregnancy, I'd been utterly convinced that it would be a girl. We named him Charles Peacock Warner, and call him Charlie.

We left the hospital with a Peace Bear we were given. Dexter was a huge help to cuddle! We lucked out in getting a plot in the cemetery right next to where my parents will be, and had Charlie's funeral a week after his birthday. Eventually I got a Molly Bear, which we both love. We nicknamed him "Pookie", and I take him on adventures! (I may include pictures of some of these as posts here.)

As the months went by, I realized I was overwhelmed by the resources I kept finding out about, and wished there were a list that organized them and had notes. That is the document I posted a link to a few days ago.

In a few days I will do a post about the statistics of baby loss - which are absolutely staggering.

This loss has had a huge impact on my life, and that of my husband, and on our extended family as well. As we proceed forward, we are learning how to live with the grief over our beautiful little boy. As my aunt said to me, Time does NOT heal all wounds... but as you proceed forward, daily life moves more into the foreground and grief moves more into the background. And we are grateful for all the love and support we have received as we begin this journey.

Most sincerely yours,

~ Sarah, Charlie's Mama

Monday, April 3, 2017

Infant Loss Resource

Hi Friends!

Just one quick thing today. Based on my background, I have been finding out about lots of resources for parents who have experienced the loss of a child due to miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant death.

I have assembled a spreadsheet to keep all the information organized in one place, and wanted to share. Please pass the link on to anyone who needs it. If you know of resources that should be included, please comment below and I will add them.


Most sincerely yours,
~ Sarah