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.

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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.

Going Full Circle

Tomorrow starts the beginning of going full circle. It will be one year since we first heard the words “cystic hygroma” at our first ultrasound. Emmett had developed a large, fluid-filled cyst on the back of his neck, what doctors told us is usually caused by chromosome issues such as Down’s Syndrome, Turner’s Syndrome, etc.

We went from being perfectly elated hearing our baby’s heartbeat the first time and seeing a bouncing blob on a monitor to being completely petrified and devastated in the matter of minutes.

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At that appointment, we were instructed to get a follow-up ultrasound later that week at a different medical center to see if the findings were true. They were… but the news got worse. The advanced u/s machine also detected he had developed fetal hydrops, a condition where his organs were filling up with fluid. This causes them to work much harder and in a fetus that can be difficult to do for a full-term pregnancy.

The chances of Emmett making it the full 40 weeks was going to be a long shot since he had developed the cystic hygroma and hydrops so early. The chances of him ever making it outside a hospital was even lower. The chances of him celebrating his first birthday, lower than that. There was also the risk that I could develop maternal hydrops, putting my health and life at risk. It was a lot of news and information to absorb in such a short time.

They gave us the option to end our pregnancy that day or wait it out to see if things would improve. We did the latter and it was the longest April of our lives.

Continue reading “Going Full Circle”

Connect With Us

Just wanted to take a sec to let you know some other ways you can stay in touch with Missing Emmett:

  1. Email notifications. On the right side of the site, under the search field, click “Follow” and enter your email address. Then, anytime we make a new post, you’ll be notified straight away! (If you have a WordPress site, you can also sign-up by using the “Reader” tool.)

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  2. Facebook. Follow our Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/missingemmett. Receive updates of new blog posts plus other useful resources and information from the interwebs.

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  3. Instagram. Follow Emmett’s mom, Christina, on Instagram @xtinarelacion, where she posts random different photos not just about grief and pregnancy loss, but about Emmett’s fur brother, food, her massive love of all things Disney, and more.
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  4. Crowdrise. Join Emmett’s Sole Mates, a team to support the Massachusetts Chapter of The TEARS Foundation’s annual Rock & Walk Event.

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You can help by “Joining” the team as a participant. Even if you can’t attend the physical event, you can join as a virtual walker and help fundraise along with the other members of the team. You also can “Donate” to the team. Make a gift to help us reach our $5,000 fundraising goal by June 25, 2017. (If you’d like to become an event sponsor, please let me know by using the “Contact” page and I’ll reach out with more info.)

We hope you will connect with us on some of these other channels or share with others who may benefit.

Thank you again for all of your love and support on this journey.

♥ Christina

Sex and Intimacy After the Loss of a Pregnancy or Child

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Note: this topic may be unsuitable for some readers.

Oh snap! Did I just write that? Are we really going here?

Yes.

We all know how babies are made. Still, our society is still very prudish when it comes to openly discussing the topic but we should be able to talk openly about sex and intimacy…and, how both change physically and mentally after the loss of a pregnancy or child. I’ve been dabbling in my mind of writing this post for some time now so I figure the week of Valentine’s Day seems appropriate to publish it.

I was in no way prepared for how hard it would be to become intimate again with Brett after our loss. I craved for physical contact – to be hugged and to have someone hold my hand or caress me in a supportive manner. However, kissing and sex were very difficult for me, and still are.

We couldn’t have intercourse while I was recovering after the delivery as well as the infection that I developed from the retained pregnancy tissue, which was about 6-8 weeks. When the doctors told us that, in the back of my mind, I wholeheartedly thought, “Ok, that’s not a problem. We’ll be back to trying to get pregnant again in no time once my cycle gets back on track.”

I was entirely wrong.

The first time we just tried making out I was in tears within minutes. Hormones raging inside me. Massive amounts of guilt. The deep hole in my chest became ever more evident and I realized I wasn’t ready yet for this type of activity with my husband, a man who I have been with for more than a decade and who I trust with my life and my heart. I felt like such a stupid idiot. This is an entirely natural action and part of life but there was that part of me that felt it was wrong and abhorrent.

Continue reading “Sex and Intimacy After the Loss of a Pregnancy or Child”