Hennes & Mauritz's Room

With all the financial responsibilities that come with adulthood, it seems that my wardrobe is suffering a horrible and slow demise. On a month long hiatus from work, I've been in a mall a few times a week (when I was feeling well), with my sister who was preparing for an upcoming trip. Although I've managed to shop with my eyes only, I succumbed to the pressure once strolling through Century 21 and H&M earlier this week.

I was so excited to be in an H&M that wasn't crowded and actually had a variety of sizes. I've been to H&M''s in Manhattan during the past few weeks - between being overcrowded with people and the ridiculously long lines, I'd always leave discouraged and empty-handed. With this location out in Long Island, in a quaint little mall, I was actually able to see the clothing, try everything on and only be on line for about a minute. With the exception of items for the husband, all the items I purchased for myself were $7 or less (per piece) - and they were all full priced (gotta love this place).

Century 21 is amazing, but sometimes I get overwhelmed by the amount of stuff. After telling myself that I wasn't going to buy anything,I spotted an awesome little jacket as I followed my sister to the fitting room - which was amazing and turned out to be only $9.99 after the discount.
I also purchased a pair of sandals from Nine West that were on sale for $19.99 - which I almost purchased full price a few months ago (glad I'd initially walked away).

In all, I was able to pick up a few things to spruce up the wardrobe at affordable prices. Although the bills must be paid and money must be saved, I had a quick reminder this week that there's still a little wiggle room to treat myself once in a while.

what's next?

You were born with potential
You were born with goodness and trust
You were born with ideals and dreams
You were born with greatness
You were born with wings
You are not meant for crawling, so don't.
You have wings
Learn to use them, and fly.
~ Rumi

photo via tumblr

I was in a very negative space last night and into this morning. For the first time in my life, I have no idea what's next or even have an idea of what I want to do with my life. I seem to have run out of ideas and may have lost passion. I've never been this person. I'm known to be driven and always on the move  - now I feel lost. In the past two years or so especially, I've been trying to figure out what my gift is, and what my purpose in life is. When I got pregnant, I felt as though God was giving me purpose and I began planning everything around Jolie, but now that she's gone, I'm even more confused than I was before.

I prayed. I cried. I prayed some more.

Yesterday also made it 3 weeks. I couldn't help but to wonder how things would be different had things not gone so wrong. I wondered how big my tummy would be...I tried to remember the feeling of Jolie's movements when I was carrying her...

I'd planned my life so much around bringing a child into this world in October and making all sorts of preparations in the meantime, that I hadn't really thought about anything else - so now that it's not happening anymore, I don't know what I'm supposed to be doing...I can't come up with anything.

I can't even think past today.

I pray that I will find clarity as time goes on.

heatwave: 106 degrees +

As you may have heard, New York is experiencing a heatwave and today was absolutely disgusting. Temperatures reached about 106 degrees today, factor in the humidity and felt like about 115 degrees. On days like today, I'm glad I don't have a perm or weave, because I would have definitely lost my mind out there today. Big Sis and I even resorted to buying McFlurries, and from the exit to getting into the car - it melted.  Can you imagine?

I was hoping to go down to Battery Park tomorrow, but I know my husband is not gonna have that in this heat, lol.

Today I went into my job to have my evaluation done. Between my self evaluation and the evaluation done by my managers, we seemed to be on the same page. I'm doing well and meeting requirements, but not going above and beyond. This was no surprise. At my last job, I went above and beyond to the point where I was working almost 60 hours a week sometimes, never spending time with my husband or family and I started getting stomach aches every time I walked into the building. With this job, I've made an effort to do what I have to do, but not get to the point where they keep adding on responsibility while my paycheck stays the same. As an over achiever, it sucks to know that I'm not working at a level that I know I can - but I have no work stress at this time and I do get awarded as the top sales person from time to time. I'm basically buying time until I get on the path to where I really want to go. I no longer want to be taken advantage of and breaking my back for companies that I don't own...but I do enjoy my current job.

On another note - it was so nice to see my co-workers. I haven't been to work since everything happened and am not authorized by my doctors to go back as yet. Although I've only known these people for a short time, they've been so supportive throughout this whole ordeal - I got so many hugs today. I thanked everyone for the flowers, the edible arrangements, the cards, the texts, phone calls, facebook messages - they're amazing!

By the way - have you ever had a Chicken Cesar Salad Pizza? To die to for!

sunday's taste of home.

1. Pretty flowers outside of church 2. Hubby giving kisses to our niece
3. My favorite thing to eat in the whole world: oxtail, salad with rice and peas 4. Grace Fruit Punch
5. Red Velvet, Banana Pudding, Bread Pudding 6. My niece and me

getting better.getting worse.

Since everything happened, I haven't been alone - not once - except for today.

Today I had 2 hours to myself.

My husband drops me off to my sisters when he's going to work and picks me up after. If she has an appointments where I can't accompany her, she'll drop me off at my dads house and then gets me after. Everyone has been scared to leave me alone but I told my sister that I'd be ok today for that short time.

The thing is, if I'm not around anyone and have no one to talk to, my mind starts running wild. I still cry everyday, but I'm doing much better than before. One of my biggest struggles is dealing with the flashbacks. Randomly, moments from the day Jolie was born will pop up in my head and will bring me right back to that space - my watering breaking on the toilet - giving birth to my daughter just a few minutes later on my sisters couch - the chaos in the house - being in the ambulance, crying - watching my husband crying and praying while he's holding our daughter as EMS gives her oxygen...

There are times when I blame myself for what happened.

There are times when I feel that God did this to punish me.

There are times when I feel as though I'm making up this whole thing and the only thing that makes it real is the picture that I keep of my daughter as the screen saver on my cell phone. The nurses had taken a photo of her for me. I took a picture of the picture to keep on my phone, because one day while at my sisters I just needed to see Jolie's face and I couldn't, which resulted in a meltdown - now I look at her whenever I want.

There are times when I cry myself to sleep praying that I will see her in my dreams.

Sometimes I feel that I'm getting better and there are moments when I'm sure I'm going ten steps back. Everyone says this is normal - but sometimes I feel crazy and as though I'm never going to be able to get past this. Never in a million years did I think I'd be waiting for a funeral home to call me back, to tell me when I can pick up my child's ashes.

I would do ANYTHING, ANYTHING, ANYTHING to still be pregnant today.

a surprise.red velvet ice cream.one step closer to laying Jolie to rest.

I can't believe it's already been 2 weeks since everything happened. Last weekend the medical examiners office called to see if I'd started making funeral arrangements for Jolie, and since I wasn't going to start the process without my husband, we had to wait until yesterday when he was off work to make our way over to the Funeral Home. My sister had done all the research and contact for us and also accompanied us to the home yesterday. My husband was contemplating on whether or not to even take me because I've been randomly loosing it without warning. My sister said it would only be paper work - so I made the decision to go.

The process was quick and easy. The Funeral Home Director was so nice to us- he didn't even charge us a fee since Jolie is just a baby. We do however, have to pay a fee to the crematory and will have to pay for her urn when we finally pick her up. The catalog had a section for infants and children - we choose a little pink box made from bronze, that will have her name and birthday inscribed and we choose a baby girl angel to go on the box as well. Between them picking up Jolie, having the cremation done and getting the urn - we should have her home with us in a week and a half to two weeks.

Shockingly I didn't cry...I almost did because my husband kept repeating, "I never thought I'd have to do this for any of my children". I had to stay strong for him, because he's the one that picks me up when it all becomes too much, so I have to do the same for him.

We'd made plans to meet up with  B (my best friend since 5th grade) for lunch afterwards to keep our spirits up and brought my sister along since her girls were out with my dad. Despite how much we ate, we had to stop at our favorite ice-cream place afterwards to satisfy our sweet tooth. Usually I'm very boring with my ice cream - vanilla or cookie and cream only but my sister yelled out that they had a Red Velvet Cake flavor. After a sample, I had to have it!
After ice cream we were convinced to stop by another best friends house. There, another friend (and co-worker) came by to surprise us with a card. I figured everyone at work signed it - and they did - but once I opened it, I was shocked to see it was full of money. Of course I lost it and started crying - I couldn't believe it - I wasn't expecting that at all. We'll be using the money towards buying our daughters urn and the rest will going in a savings account that we started for Jolie, which will now go towards our future children.

I am so overwhelmed by the amount of love and support that we've been getting over the past 2 weeks. I always knew I had good people around me, but everyone had gone above and beyond in ways that I've never expected, to help us get through loosing our child. As much as it hurts not to have my daughter here, she's been showing me so much and teaching me so many lessons about life and all the people in it.

There are moments when I cry and try to figure out what I've done in life to deserve all that has happened - but then there are moments like those when I'm shown how blessed I really am and how much I still have to be thankful for.

no tears in the concrete jungle.

When I was pregnant, I yearned to have my mother around, and after Jolie's passing I've been needing her even more. Unfortunately she wasn't able to fly up to New York right away, but I'm grateful for her short but very love filled visit. Yesterday was our only full day together during her stay and when she asked me what I wanted to do, I didn't hesitate to suggest Manhattan. Granted I should not have gone to The City yesterday - I'm not supposed to be doing THAT MUCH walking as yet (I'm paying for it today)...luckily the heat wasn't as bad yesterday so I was pretty cool for the most part. Besides, my husband has been able to get more sleep since he now has the car to drive back and forth to work since I can't go back to the office as yet, hopping on the train on going about my business was the best thing to do.

On the train ride over we also realized that it was Lil Sis' first time in Manhattan. She was in awe as she walked out of Grand Central and into a sea of skyscrapers. By the way, I can't get over the fact that my baby sister is growing up so fast. She's 11 now, almost taller than me and no longer a little baby whose diaper I have to change.
After walking around for a bit and undecided on what to do, we figured we should eat lunch first. We decided on Ruby Tuesday - a much swankier version than we're used to outside of Manhattan, lol. As we waited for our table, we sat next to the cutest little family - a husband and wife playing with their baby girl. She was such a happy little baby, cooing with us and reaching out her hands to us with the biggest laughter I've ever heard from someone so small. As much as I love babies, I had to try to turn away and try to tune her out, because her parents were playing with her the same way that I imagined my husband and I would play with our baby girl. It hurt so bad. The couple was called to be seated before us as they had been there first, as she stood up I realized that the mom was carrying another bundle of joy in her tummy - I kept thinking how lucky and blessed she was...and as painful as this process is right now, I know that eventually God will bless me with my own little family one day.
Lunch was filled with so much laughter from our table. Myself, Mommy and Lil Sis kept cracking jokes and laughing at the most ridiculous things. We ended up getting a variety of appetizers to share between the 3 of us and fresh juices.
My moms strawberry lemonade was amazing! You could literally taste
the freshness of the strawberries in each sip! So yummy!

Good ol' Buffalo Wings with Blue Cheese and Celery
Springs Rolls
Chips & The most amazing Artichoke Dip
They've recently added Gourmet Cupcakes to the menu - Red Velvet & Carrot Cake
After lunch we walked around for sometime again before randomly deciding to go to The Empire State Building. None of us had ever been...so why not? Being up there was so surreal, this city that seems so big was so miniscule all of a sudden. Everyone and their huge ego's looked like ants...it puts things into perspective. We are so small in this thing called life.

And there you have it...my first day without crying in the past 2 weeks.

I hope to have more of these days.

Thanks for your support during this difficult time.

Yesterdays Follow Up Appointment

Yesterday made it 10 days since my daughter made a short but very impactful time on earth.

The appointment was set last week but I hadn't thought about it much. In the morning my sister took me to Ikea to pick up a few things for my place and on the car ride home knowing that it was almost time to go to the doctors, I broke down. I felt myself getting angry. Had I been home by myself I'm sure there would have been some broken glass and a complete mess created in my fury. Why didn't the doctors keep me when I kept telling them I was in pain? Why did they keep sending me home? They could have prevented this! I just started blaming everybody. I started blaming myself for not going somewhere else and getting a second opinion.

Once we got back to the house my sister called my dad on the phone to help calm me down...it worked a little. She took me out for pizza and then we made our way over to the office. The receptionist could not find my name on the appointment sheet, then she asks me, "Are you pregnant?"... my insides burned..."I was", I told her.

I sat down only to have a pregnant woman sit right in front of me a few minutes later. I couldn't help but to steal glimpses at her stomach and I felt myself getting jealous. Tears started to fill my eyes but I did my best to hold them back. Another couple of minutes later, a 2nd pregnant girl sat in front of me along with her childs father. They looked so excited and happy - the same way myself and my husband were everytime we'd been in the very same waiting room. This is was my first time every being in that office and not being pregnant. It became too much for me and I went outside and burst into tears on the side of the building. A man came outside, saw me crying and asked if I was ok - I couldn't even answer him. He said although I was a stranger, that I could talk to him and that he doesn't like to see a woman cry. I still couldn't talk, he asked me if I wanted him to get the girl that I came in with (my sister) and I shook my head, yes. When she came out I fell into her arms and just bawled my eyes out.  Everybody in that damn waiting room was pregnant except me.

After calming down we went back inside (making sure to sit somewhere else) and I was called in about half an hour later while my sister was in the restroom. I was so nervous to go inside without her, my eyes were still full of water. I made my way to my room with the nurse and sat down, then she asked, "what is this appointment about?". I kept wishing my sister was there to explain because I couldn't...I started crying, the poor nurse had no idea what was going on and did her best to console me. Through my tears I managed to explain what happened - well, the gist of it. She felt so horrible for asking and gave me the biggest hug. My sister came in a little after and sat next to me. Instead of asking me to get on the bed, the nurse went to get to a portable machine to check my vital signs. She gave her condolenses once again, gave me another hug and told me to hang in there before letting me know that the doctor would be in soon.

Luckily it was a doctor that I really liked and one that had nothing to do with the days leading up to Jolie's birth. However, she did have all my information and results from all the tests that they took after her delivery - my placenta was fine, bloodwork was good - I had a healthy and normal pregnancy. She brought in another doctor to help give us some answers that we were desperately seeking.

Since this all happened, I've been obsessively researching what could have went wrong. Based on my findings it was either one of two things - the unexplainable preterm delivery or an incompetent cervix. Based on their findings and the events leading up to the birth - the elusive preterm delivery. We also discussed what to do going forward because I'm not going to give up on my dream of starting my family.

The doctors have given me all the answers that they can...the rest will come from God.

one foot in front of the other.

Today is a new day.

I woke up without tears in my eyes this morning...

...after receiving the phone call from the medical examiners office on Saturday, today's focus is to contact a funeral home to make arrangements for my daughter. We decide to have her cremated. My sister will be helping me with the process since I stay with her during the day while my husband is at work. I definitely cannot handle that on my own.

Yesterday she had a little bbq in the afternoon in her backyard. I watched my little nieces playing in the spinklers and just marvelled at how happy they were just running around in water. Kids enjoy the simple things. I'm learning to appreciate the simple things again that I'd gotten in the habit of overlooking because I've always been in search for something bigger and better. I'm learning how to take it slow...and I'm enjoying it. One of my favorite parts of the day is waking up, looking to my right and seeing my husbands face...I love that man.

a week without Jolie

Today makes it a week since I've given birth to my daughter and had to say goodbye to her within hours. As usual I woke up with tears in my eyes...another morning of trying to find out if I'd been dreaming this whole time. I stared at her picture for a minute as I do frequently through the day, reassuring myself that my mind did not make her up and she was here.

We'd been invited to the wedding of my husbands supervisor weeks ago, and although I thought of cancelling since Jojo's passing, we thought it would be a nice distraction.

I was doing pretty good this morning until I saw the Pampers commercial - the one where they show the ultrasound and lots of newborn babies. I randomly burst into tears. Just last week I saw my healthy baby girl sucking her thumb on her ultrasound and now she's gone. My husband helped me to pull it together and we made our way out to the Long Island Sound for the vow renewal. It was so beautiful out there, I was excited to be out the house and on the beach to watch a couple re-commit their vows after 20 years of marriage...

...then I got a phone call from the medical examiners office asking if I'd begun to make funeral arrangements for the baby. When a baby is born and passes within 24 hours, an autopsy is required. When I called for an update back on Tuesday, they told me that it would take weeks to get the results of her autopsy because babies require microscopic examinations. However, he was now informing me that her body could be released before the results come back since they've already taken their samples. Then it started to hit me that the world "funeral" and my "baby" were being used in the same sentence. I knew I'd have to make arrangements but I thought I had a couple more weeks before having to face it. My eyes filled with water as I hung up the phone and I buried my face in my husbands chest, trying to hide my tears from the other guests. I told him what the phone call was about and he did his best as usual to concole me and told me that we'd deal with it during the week.

The wedding was beautiful and I was ok once I started talking to my husbands co-workers and getting to know them.  However after dinner it started getting harder and harder for me to breathe. I kept thinking about the medical examiners office - making arrangements for my daughters body - I just wanted to scream. I told my husband I wasn't feeling well, from the look on my face he knew what that meant. We were out of there within 3 minutes after a quick good bye. I didn't even make it to the car before I started crying. I felt like I couldn't breathe, my head felt funny - I thought I was loosing my mind and really scared my poor husband.

I'm home now and contemplating going to a bbq that we were invited to later this evening. I know it's good to get out and gain back some sense of normalcy, but I'm nervous that someone is going to offer their condolences or ask me what happened. Sometimes I'm ok sharing my story (which I will share here when I'm ready) and sometimes I just cry as the whole thing replays through my mind - my mood is very unpredictable when it comes to talking about my little one in Heaven.

It's been a strange week. Yesterday and Thursday were my best days...I felt like I was progressing and today I feel like I'm going backwards.

There are times when I've felt as peace with Jolie's passing:
  • God doesn't make mistakes, and although I don't understand why this happened - one day I will
  • If she survived she would have more than likely had a difficult life. Being born at 23 weeks, she would be at high risk for brain damage, cerebral palsey and numerous other health issues
  • I got to see her, hold her, touch her and talk to her
  • She is now in the care of God - what's better than that?
  • I am alive...the fact is that I could have died. I wasn't able to give birth in a hospital. I was not under the supervision of doctors and nurses.I wasn't hooked up to an IV, a heart monitor - things could have been worse...but that's a story for another day
But there are some moments where my thoughts get negative:
  • Why my child?
  • Why have me get so attached to her and then take her away?
  • This is my fault for not getting a second opinion
  • Envy and anger towards people who were having children that they didn't want and/or don't take care of
  • I was angry at the doctors who kept telling me that everything was fine when I kept telling them that I was in an incredible amount of pain
Up and down - back and forth my feelings go.

I've also been obsessed with researching the cause of me going into labor at 23 weeks.

So many people I know have lost their first child and I didn't know that until this happened and they've now shared their experiences with me. My dads neighbor shared with me that she had a miscarriage when she was 6 months pregnant with her first child, and that her 2nd baby went full term but was stillborn...she went on to have 3 children. One of the nurses in th hospital shared with me that she has 2 children but has had 5 miscarriages along the way - the stories kept pouring in.

In all, this week has been tough - but I have an amazing husband, family and friends - I feel for women who have to go through loosing a child alone. I've also gotten some resources for some support groups which I'll more than likely attend.

I'm mentally preparing myself to make arrangements for my daughters body next week, as well as a follow up at the doctors - but I'm not going to put it on my head too much.

I'm finally learning the meaning of "taking it one day at a time".

Thank you for your prayers, support and encouraging comments - I appreciate you.


First I need to thank all of you for your well wishes and prayers during this difficult time.

I never imagined something like this happening to us - but it did and it's hard. However, with the support of family and friends I'm able to cope a little better as the days go on. 

Tomorrow will make it a week since my baby girl was born and passed away just a few short hours later - on the day that my sister and I were supposed to start planning the baby shower. I still can't wrap my mind around the whole thing - if my didn't have my husband, the rest of my family and friends - I wouldn't be able to come back from this.

My husband is back at work (as a coping mechanism) while I stay in the care of my sister during the daytime until he picks me up in the evenings. She makes sure that I'm eating, resting and let's me cry on her shoulder as many times as I need to during the day.

This the most difficult tine in my life but I feel myself getting stronger as each day passes finding solice in the fact that I did get to see my little darling breathing and moving her little hands and feet. She is perfect - so beautiful. Looking at her picture used to make me cry, now it gives me a sense of peace and puts a smile on my face. She looks just like me. When I'm in bed I close my eyes and I can picture myself giving her a bottle, changing her diapers and playing with her.

I miss her so much.


On Saturday July 2,2011 , my daughter Jolie unexpectedly made her debut into the world after 23 weeks and 5 days at around 6pm. At 9:56pm she passed away and though I know she is safe in Heaven there is now a hole in my heart. As much as it pains me to post this, I am doing so because my husband and I need your prayers - we cannot get through this alone. It has been a struggle for me to wake up every morning and get out of bed, but with the support and prayers of friends and family I know that my husband and I will get through this.

Please pray for us.


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