Loss of Innocence with Hope

February 25, 2014

* just a reminder that March 15 we are asking that to honor Jude and Brinly, our recently stillborn twins, that you do a random act of kindness in their honor and post it here or email me (more info in the post before this).  I'm posting some images my sister made.

Obviously as the world goes on, my has yet to move forward.  I've been having some thoughts with my current HATE I super dislike you right now feelings toward "Hope" and wrote a poem:

How you have deceived me.
Why do you haunt me?
Why won’t you leave me alone?

Over the years  Hope has grown into a Villainess
That taunts me
And makes me think my dreams will come true
And makes me somehow believe that this isn’t the end
and that my wish will come true
That my prayers will be answered
She makes me think that somehow, someday, someway

Then Hope, that sneaky thing, hands me the very thing I was waiting for
On a platter
Wrapped in beautiful shining paper, with the most beautiful bows you have ever seen.
One bow is blue.
The other pink.
And they are alive.

I begin to embrace Hope as my best friend
She has finally allowed the horse to reach the carrot
She has finally allowed Leprechaun to reach the pot of gold.
She curls up by the fire with me and we relax for once together.
 For the first time in my life, I believe Hope.  I 100% trust her
instead of half trust her that this is real.

Before I know it the lights flash and my world has been shattered.
I search around blindly in the dark screaming for Her
Tears rush down my face faster than the fastest river and I call to Her
Despite the diagnosis I believe this can be turned around.
I try to grasp to Her as tightly as I can

But at the doctor looks into my eyes and says in the saddest tone I have ever heard
“Can I break your sac of water?”
Hope for the first time leaves me completely alone. 

As the waters pour out of my body, leading to the imminent death of my
Ever-so-longed-for-ever-so-prayed-for-ever-so-deeply-insanely-loved son,
His water’s puff out the last tiny glimmer Hope had left in that god-forsaken room.

In those horrific hours I was relieved that I had lost Her.  Finally I could move on.
 In the morning, the nurses brought my dead child, still warm from the strong heartbeat that had
Been beating through his veins but stopped to short by the impact of labor.

I stared at him speechless. 

My husband beside me.

The entire earth quiet as we looked down at what we had been allowed to create together.

And there She was. 
We did NOT invite Her in.
She came back without permission.
My tearstained husband said to me:
“He is so cute.  He would have been so cute.”

I always imagined Hope to be soft and gentle and sweet and subtle.

But that’s only when She is playing Nice.

In times like these She is violent.  She is loud.  She is aggressive and She grips with a strength that takes away your breath. 

Without warning, She grabbed my husband.  She dug Her fingernails deep into his skin. She sprang into his soul and possessed his mouth.  He said

“This makes me want it more.  We are so close.”

8 failied IUIS.  3 IVFs.  4 Dead babies and we are holding one that is just 21 days away from a place he could survive.  But we are holding him.

Before I could get in the defensive position and  block my own logical senses, before I could stop Her, Hope possessed my own soul as well.

Without warning that small flicker of a candle reappeared. 

In what cruel world does Hope enter the room as we hold our dead child?

In what cruel planet does something keep teasing you, and following you, and attacking you to keep on going when so many things have gone wrong?

She is heartless and stops at nothing.

They say Hope does not disappoint us but I have never experienced disappoint at the level I did that day.

That cold day that I was in the labor and delivery suite laboring and delivering my stillborn son just 3 weeks after doing the same with my daughter.

I am so bitter towards HOPE because she has brought me so high and without warning dropped me on cement.  She stood back and let the birds eat at me as I lost my heart. Twice.

I am so scared of Hope because when you finally become friends with Her there are still no promises.

I am so frustrated with Hope because I can’t shake her.  Even after these insane losses with insane fertility treatment I’ve taken 2 pregnancy tests (negatives)because I myself have slowing become insane and Hope tricks me into thinking maybe.

Although I’m speechlessly angry at Her, she is winning this battle because we haven’t fully chosen to give up on Her.

If Hope is alcohol, We are an alcoholics.

If She is a drug, we are addicts.

If She is song, we are signing.

If She is a poem, we are reading. 

But the innocence of a heart that has never been broken is long gone.
We don’t look at her with na├»ve,  longing eyes anymore.
We stare at her with a cold expression.  A guarded, cold, sterile look.

But we are strong.

We remain eye contact with Her.

We look Her in the face even after what She has done to us.
And though we may be fools, as we move forward with this fight,

We whisper “maybe. We hope.”


How YOU can help. Plus My First GIVEAWAY!

February 14, 2014

With the official due date of Jude and Brinly approaching at lightning speed, I often think how I will feel.  The original due date when I got pregnant was March 31.  BUT with twins they never let you go past 38 weeks so the due date I told people was March 15...just 4 weeks from now.

So many mourning families handle these things differently-maybe a birthday cake for their child's "angleversary" each year on the date of their actual birth.  Since both were born before they could have been viable, I personally don't really like the idea of doing something on their birthdate although I'm sure I will when the fall comes.

All this to say, many people have asked "how can I help?" or "what can I do??"  I have been helped in SO many different ways.   Strangers and friends alike giving so kindly and freely to help us.  Amazing. 

But this cry for help is not for money or for things.

It's a cry for YOU to do a RANDOM act of kindness on March 15 in honor of Jude and Brinly.

Anything.  Buy someone a coffee in the Starbucks line.  Leave flowers on a porch.  Send an encouraging note.  Treat your spouse to dinner or give a struggling family/couple a date night out.  Volunteer somewhere.  Pick up garbage in your neighborhood.  Anything kind and warm and loving for someone else- to turn this sad sad day for my family and I into a day where I can fight back against the cruel sadness that will try to sneak in and keep me down.  Perhaps knowing that Jude and Brinly's short little lives IMPACT people across the country on their due date in the form of random acts of kindness will be our attempt to experience some form of "beauty from ashes"and honor our children through encouraging and celebrating love instead of curled up in a ball of defeat.

It's a month away but if you are willing, to participate in ANY SHAPE or form, please share it here on my blog in March.  I will do a reminder post in a couple weeks.  Whether 1 person participates or 100 I want this to be a day of kindness and WOULD LOVE to hear what you did to participate and know that something awesome is being done, inspired by J and B. 

For everyone that participates and shares what they did by posting on my blog a small description or image or emailing me @ holly.benson@yahoo we will do a random drawing as one of our random acts of kindness to give a gift certificate prize to the winner (more details in March)  :)  So for now, I invite you to simply think about it. 

I wish I could say that I am amazing and awesome and a "wonderful Christian" for thinking of this, but I'm totally stealing this idea from a face book post I saw from a stranger awhile back.  I love it though and think its the best way to honor J and B. 

Amazing Grace-Amazing Gifts

January 31, 2014

In situations like what Darren and I have just gone through, there truly are "no words" as many people have written.  NOTHING can bring J and B back.  NOTHING can explain WHY?  However, certain responses have brought comfort-women that have been through similar losses and promise the pain gets easier.  Nurses who cried while I cried at the hospital.  There is a principal at my school who simply just gives me a little hug every time she sees me-she doesn't "bring up the topic" but she is showing that she knows I'm still hurting.  So kind.

I guess I thought I would write this post to give people ideas of how to reach out to people in tragic situations.  Of course we are all different, but here are some ideas of how to show you care in a personalized way if someone close to you faces similar circumstances.  In regards to losing a child/children our greatest fears are that the babies will be forgotten.  The majority of us WANT to talk about our babies instead of brush it under the rug like nothing happened.  Here is a list of amazing/creative gifts given to Darren and I in love that are outside the box and so kind, again, the idea is to help you maybe reach out to a sister suffering a miscarriage or a friend going through a bad 20 week ultrasound, etc.:

1.  The necklace I wear every single day.  It's from Etsy but appeared on my door step with the letters of each child's name that I lost.  Who ever gave it to me didn't put their name on it which made it feel that much more powerful and loving.  J, B, J, I.  This was so amazing as it showed this person really values all my losses.

2.  A charm for a necklace I also got in the mail.  It has Jude and Brinley's name on the front and "too beautiful for earth" on the inside.  It is beautiful.  Also a random act of kindness from a stranger.

3.  My mom bought me a ring that says "too beautiful for earth JB" for Christmas.  I love this as I can wear it everyday. My favorite part of this is mom got herself a ring too that says "I carry your hearts in my heart" My mom also got special Christmas ornaments to put on the tree each year to remember the twins.  She gets it.

4.  Stephanie @ http://wannabe-mama.blogspot.com is a co-worker (due in just a couple weeks) and for Christmas she got me this awesome present from a company called "A Heart to Hold."  It's incredibly intimate, and can be found at http://ahearttohold.com/. This company makes a stuffed heart that weighs the exact amount of the baby at birth.  Stephanie got me 2 hearts.  1 for brinly at 13 oz and 1 for Jude at 1 pound 3 ounces.  It was so amazing to hold those (and emotional).  I put them in the memory box to hopefully tell my rainbow babies someday about their older siblings.  Beautiful.

5.  Stephanie and follower blogger Meg @ http://www.skinnymeg.com  set up a 2 week fundraiser to help with hospital bills.  They shared the link and raised over $2000 towards our $3000 bill.  It was so humbling and touching.  Paying a huge hospital bill to leave the labor and delivery ward empty handed and broken hearted is one of life's cruelest things. 

6.  Fellow Blogger Lost Stork @ http://whereisthatbird.blogspot.com recently purchased me a massage.  So thoughtful.  She also made a very kind image and put it on her blog in memory of J and B.  We have never met in person.  She became pregnant with twins while I was losing Jude and has been so understanding, sensitive, and supportive. 

7.  My mother/father in law took care of the funeral costs/cremation and picked up Jude's ashes for me and are storing them till I am ready to move forward with spreading them.  I love this too because it's not like we don't have $200 to pay for this, BUT, this is one of the saddest things to EVER swipe your own debit card for.  If you have someone who has lost, helping with the funeral is so thoughtful to take off that burden.  It is the most nauseating action to ever have to complete seeing your child's name on a death certificate in an ugly funeral home and signing off permission forms.
8.  This Picture.  A woman who lost her own child at 39 weeks makes these for mommy's who lost their babies too soon.  She doesn't even know us but sent it to a mutual friend who sent us the pictures.  I LOVE them.  I just developed a couple for me and my family.

These are just the beginning of kind things.  Willow tree angels (I have 1 for each loss), journals, cards, meals, books, etc are all virtual hugs.  I got tons of cards from blog followers that would say something as simple as "this is from a random person from a random place who prays for you daily." One of my old students hand-made me a baby blanket for the future she is so eagerly looking forward to.  The comments on this blog and the many prayers have also been so touching and a reminder that we are not alone.   Thank you.

Darren and I are moving forward and trying to grasp the hope that is left that we will someday bring home a live baby from the labor and delivery ward.  I love the Bible verse that says "We are pressed down but not destroyed."  That sums up where we are at.  I have never been so "pressed down" in my life, but I am alive, therefore not destroyed. 

*I have to add something so sad it's actually funny.  Yesterday at my massage the woman asked about my thyroid meds.  I told her my thyroid was normal but since we are trying to conceive I have to make sure its just a bit lower.  She looked at me with a huge smile and said "So you are actively trying to get pregnant??" (in a super happy tone).  I smiled and say yes.  "Fun!!!!!"She replied in an even happier tone.  Oh man.  I had to laugh about it afterwards.  I spared her the details and said "yep!" ha ha.

My Bucket List:

My Bucket List: