Review: Return to Zero

Streaming right now on Netflix is the Minnie Driver-led “Return to Zero.” The 2014 film is a brutal, honest and emotional look at one couple’s (Maggie and Aaron) experience after the stillbirth of their son, Arthur. It’s an independent, low-budget movie that also stars Paul Adelstein, Alfred Molina and Kathy Baker.

Watch the trailer here:

I’ve been wanting to watch this for a while after hearing about it in some of the “angel mommy” discussion boards. But, I just haven’t been able to bring myself to watch it as I knew it would be emotionally draining. I didn’t feel comfortable watching it with Brett at home so I finished it last Friday since it was cool, gloomy and rainy on a “summer” day. It took 17 Kleenex to get me through. (That’s on-par with “The Notebook” for me for those wondering.)

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Happy Birthday, Emmett

Happy birthday my sweet baby boy.

I can’t believe it’s been 365 days since I held you. My heart has never loved another thing so greatly until it met you. I think of you each and every day. I still wish for all of the moments that were taken away from you, me and daddy.

I miss you with all of my being but I know you’re in a better place where you aren’t in any pain and nothing can hurt you. But, oh, how I wish I could’ve protected you from that.

Birthday Quote - Emmett

There’s a whole world of family and friends that love you and who never were able to meet you. I hope you look down on them sometimes and see just how loved you are even though you’re so far away.

Your tree is starting to bloom. There are tiny little buds on it ready to blossom in the warm summer breezes ahead. Your Nana sent a cute little solar figurine of a little boy with a turtle that’s sitting under it now. Your Uncle Bumppo sent flower bulbs that me and Daddy will plant this weekend. Your fur brother Dakota sends the biggest cuddles and wet kisses.

Daddy bought a cupcake for your first birthday in heaven. We’ll blow your candle out tonight together and snuggle listening to Disney music for our little Mouseketeer. I hope we can see you in our dreams where I imagine you’re bouncing around and giggly, loving all that life has in store for you.

We love you Emmett. Always.

 

Reasons Why I Share Emmett’s Story

Some people wonder why I’ve been so vocal and willing to share our story about Emmett this year. There are several important reasons that I’ve made this decision. No, it’s not because I want to be that annoying person that is constantly filling up your newsfeed with dead baby stories.
 
Some of the reasons are:
 
1. It helps us heal. It validates that my son was real and that I will always love him no matter how much time has passed. I will never forget him or those few months that I carried him as a part of me. I don’t have much to remember him with, very few photos and only 18 hours of time to hold him next to me. I can never get those moments back.
 
2. I am 1 in 4. They say that 1 in 4 women will experience a pregnancy loss. I don’t buy it. It has to be higher. Unfortunately, the U.S. doesn’t record all losses. I’m still so surprised just by the number of women who have reached out to me with their own stories of loss in the past year alone. If you think you’re alone, you’re not. This is the hardest club you’ll ever be a member of. Period.
 
3. It’s helps others. My experience has helped others in the past year deal with their own losses and grief. While it’s painful to share, it’s also comforting to know that you’re not alone in this. There is always someone to talk to. Even if you can’t talk with your family or friends, there are support groups, mental health counselors and other resources available to you.
 
4. It spreads awareness. The sad truth is that not all pregnancies are successful and not all babies survive. I was naive to think that once we made it past the first trimester we would be ok and guaranteed to have a healthy pregnancy. That wasn’t true. By sharing Emmett’s story, I hope my honesty helps dispel this myth that is propagated by the media and we can shift the conversation to make this a less taboo topic to discuss.

Struggling

Since losing Emmett almost a year ago now, my social media feeds now seem full of a lot of little ones in NICU’s, thanks to all of the targeting from various algorithms.

It has me struggling with our decision a lot lately, wondering if we should’ve tried to wait longer. I know deep in my heart what we did was right. I talked with my longest friend about it a few days ago and she agreed.

But, I hate myself for it. I feel like such a failure for not being able to protect him. I hate all the what-ifs.

Things About My Pregnancy I Was Never Able to Share

things-about-my-pregnancy

There are a lot of things I was never able to share with anyone about our pregnancy since we had decided to wait until the second trimester to let everyone know. By that time, we already had learned that something was amiss so we never were able to share what-should’ve-been-joyful news with most of our family and friends.

I wanted to share a few things about our pregnancy. Some aren’t entirely new but some I haven’t shared with people before.

I experienced horrible morning sickness

It’s really common for pregnant women to have morning sickness. However, mine was really bad. I developed something called “hyperemesis gravidarum” around the 8th or 9th week of pregnancy and it lasted pretty much until I delivered in April.

Let me just say, it was awful. I would eat something and within five minutes would be rushing to the bathroom, enduring violent vomiting (or dry heaving if I didn’t have enough in my stomach). I tried nearly everything. Candied ginger. Mints or chewing gum. Eating smaller, more frequent meals. Saltines. Cold compresses.

My doctor also prescribed me some medication, along with some Unisom, to help with the nausea. However, Preggie Pops seemed to be my best friend during the last few weeks once I found them at GNC. I was popping those things like Skittles to keep my tummy settled. I think Brett was on a first-name basis at the store when he’d pick up their entire supply for me.

The nausea was so bad that I lost weight during pregnancy so I didn’t even look pregnant. I was wearing all of my normal clothes up until the end at nearly 5 months. I think that’s what makes me the saddest sometimes that I never got to experience the joy of looking pregnant and having people come up to me and ask to touch my belly.

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My Christmas Wish for You

my-christmas-wish-for-you

My Christmas Wish for You
by Christina R. Finnell

The snow is on the ground, the lights glisten upon the trees
Stockings hung from the fireplace while Santa’s sleigh bells ring
But something is missing from our home this Christmas

Instead of laughter and joy, our hearts are filled with sadness and pain
There are no presents beneath our tree because you were to be the best gift of all
Instead you sit in heaven with the other angels watching over us

My Christmas Wish for You, my sweet baby boy, is that you know…

How much you are missed
How we will never forget you
How you are with us every day and
How loved you always will be