Hoping for our rainbow

Written 5/30/15

I cannot believe we finally have a positive pregnancy test. When you make that decision to try to have children each month that passes by waiting feels like it takes forever. So far I am fortunate that it hasn’t taken too long each time we have tried. My heartaches for families that struggle for months or years to concieve. It’s just not fair that so many wonderful people have to struggle, when others get pregnant and don’t even grasp how lucky they are.

Right now I don’t really know how to feel. I am definitely happy, guarded, and cautiously optimistic. I want to be happy and nervous like the pregnancy with Berkley but, I feel like I wasn’t scared like I am now. I was affraid of the worst happening but that was in the back of my mind overshadowed by my naïve sense of security. Thinking it really doesn’t happen to everyone so I hope I’m fine. 

I am scared now because, I am happy right now yet, very affraid. I don’t know what I would be like if I have to endure another loss again. I just want to be like the lucky ones. The ones that just get pregnant and deliver healthy children. I know I will never be that lucky because, I am so scared by the very traumatic loss of our first born. Each pregnancy will most likely be stressful and full of fear because, I know what intense pain that lays on the other side of the pure happiness. What I would do to be naive or have any sense of normalcy and have a happy pregnancy like I did with Berkley.


Written 7/10/15

It has been a little over 8 months since our daughter passed away and life is beginning  to change. We decided to take a vacation for our anniversary that was May 29th. We headed out to visit our niece and to go back to Glacier National Park.

Glacier is such an important places for us. It is the most beautiful place we have ever visited in our lives. We first went out there two years ago and fell in love with it. I was sitting on a ledge on the side of the mountain looking at a bright green valley that had several small water falls running down the side of it. In that moment I felt an euphoria come over me and I thought to myself this is what heaven must look like.

When Berkley died I had nightmares and racing thoughts as I tried to fall asleep every night. I would replay our real nightmare. That night would start to replay over and over in my head. It was torture. That is why I would drink a lot or drink Nquil for a couple months to try to escape from our nightmare. When that didn’t work anymore I learned to replay our trip to Glacier out in my head. I would think of every detail from that trip the beauty, happiness and hoping that was what heaven was like.

This year we went to our happy place and that feeling returned. We laughed, hiked, camped, reconnected with ourselves and each other. I think this week in our happy place helped us find our happiness again.

Which brings me to fourth of July weekend. We have been hermits when it comes to interacting with friends and extend family. This past weekend was filled with family, friends and happiness. We went to Brainerd and surprised our friends at a racetrack that they were at. It was such a great day.

At the end of the day I was just sitting there with them and I felt that euphoria feeling again. I haven’t felt that feeling for a very long time, let alone just feeling happiness. Happiness without the but or what ifs. Just happiness. I wanted to start crying because I am so grateful to just be able to feel that feeling again.



Pain and Time

This pain is so unimaginable and I have never felt this intensity of pain in my life. When I was in high school I lost three very good friends of mine. One a year starting in 9th grade. These were some of the closest friends I had and when I lost them it was the closest I have been to feeling this type of pain. I still think about them on their birthdays and the time of year they passed away especially.

The days after I gave birth the Berkley the pain began to rise. Many nights would be spent crying hysterically until I would fall asleep. Some mornings I would wake up only to start crying like that again until I fell back asleep. I would make myself get out of bed, try to eat, and take a shower. If I did those three things It was a win. Tony stayed home with me for the first week and then my little sister flew in from Florida the next to stay with me. Even though I wasn’t much company.

I was in so much pain physically and mentally that I shut down. I couldn’t have imagined the pain until I had experienced it myself. There were times that when I was crying my arms would ache like there was a need to hold my baby that was so far away. I could also feel pain searing through my bones as I lay in bed crying hysterically. There were many times I would get into the shower start crying, begin gasping for air, my knees giving out as I sat huddled in the corner of the shower trying to pull it together or at least catch my breath. I began to have panic attacks on a regular basis and I was lucky if I only had one a day. After one of my panic attacks I went to the bathroom to get tissue to blow my nose. I looked at myself in the mirror and didn’t recognize the person staring back at me. It was like I was looking at a stranger. I took a picture to send to my sister to see if I had officially lost my mind.


Mentally I wasn’t doing much better. I do not know where that month went. I was on autopilot. I remember going through the motions but, I wasn’t in my body it felt like. I was like a zombie if I wasn’t crying. I remember staring out the window one November day. Knowing it was deer hunting as I sat there wearing a long brown sleeve shirt and my blonde hair pulled up into a long ponytail. I fantasized about just starting to walk through woods and fields until someone accidently shot me thinking I was a deer. Thinking to myself that I don’t know how anyone survives this pain and not wanting to live without my daughter here with us.

My husband is my rock, my world, and knows me better then anyone in this world. I would think to myself when things were at the lowest, “I Love him, I love him, I love him”. During this painful time I could remember what love felt like.

I spent my days trying to dig out of the hole I was in. I fought everyday to survive, change, and grow from our daughter’s death. My friend sent me books that she read when she lost her son. I found Facebook groups, blogs, websites, and my doctor made us come in to see how we were doing too. That is when we began therapy also. I read many psychology articles to try to understand what I was going through emotionally. Slowly days became a little less painful. I could make it out into public and return to work. I could make it through work without having a break down most days but would lose it as I drove home by myself.

Slowly as days passed we learned to carry the pain, we began to cry less days, and could think about our daughter in a beautiful way. As I began to have good days Tony began to have his break down days. He had carried me for so long and put me first even through the death of his daughter. Most people think that it is me suffering so intensely from the loss of Berkley but, my husband carries the same pain as I do. He just doesn’t express it like me.

Our daughter would almost be 10 months old right now and the pain is changing. The pain can hit me like it did before in the early days but, that doesn’t happen as often. The pain has turned into an ache for her, wondering what she would be like or where she is today. We see her life as a beautiful thing and can feel the love we have for her over anything else. Beautiful sunrises and sunsets remind me of her the most. They give  me a sense of hope and remind of her beauty.





Our second child

Sharing the news that I am pregnant with our second child publicly is scary for me. With my pregnancy with Berkley I was announcing right at 12 weeks when I was “in the safe zone”. I was the happiest I had ever been expecting to be mother soon. Now I am scared to tell the world that we are expecting our second child because, I do not want to have to publicly announce a child has died again.

We are beyond grateful that we are expecting our second child to join our family this January. We are very happy but know this pregnancy is so much different from our last. Physically the same but, mentally much different. 

We found out on an early Friday morning as we were getting ready to leave for our road trip out to Montana. To be honest when I saw those two lines show up pregnant we were beyond happy. I also felt there is no way this baby is going to stick around. I mean why would it? Here we are going on 16 weeks and it’s still hanging in there like a champ. 

The farther I get into the pregnancy the more it sinks in that we might be bring a baby home in 5 months. I am detached from this pregnancy in a way that I am in love but, haven’t allowed myself to feel the love like I did with Berkley yet. I know this baby deserves all the love that Berkley had but, now I also know the pain that is on the other side of that love. I have an amazing doctor and a new therapist that has a lot of experience  working with mothers that have lost babies. They both reassure me that what I am feeling is very normal.

I know I will love this child just as much and know in my heart I already do. I saw it already on a ultrasound at 12 weeks and we find out this weekend what gender our second child is. We are very excited and already have names picked out for both genders. 

Tony, me and our families are beyond excited. 

Why I write and share our story

Early in our mourning process I was full of anger, sadness and so many emotions it is hard to explain. In the first week after Berkley passed away I was searching for blogs that other mothers have written. These blogs gave me comfort and hope for our future.

When Berkley died I felt so vulnerable and felt like a victim. I felt like no one could understand what we were going through and didn’t know how to interact with us. That is when I thought maybe I can tell them. Maybe I can share my story and help another family after they lose their baby. I will keep my daughter’s memory alive and try to share how much her life impacted us. 

I am honest even if it’s too hard for some people to read because, it is my truth that I am sharing. The love, the happiness, the depression, the hope and the pain. They are real and they are mine.

Writing my blog is one of the ways I work through her death. It allows me to write it down and put it into the universe. Changing my secrets into an empowering quest to find myself again. 

I do not want my daughters death to feel like a secret that people are too afraid to bring up. You won’t remind us our daughter died because, we think about her everyday. Our days are much better and are full of happiness most days. If you want to talk about our daughter you will not ruin our day or bring up hard feelings because, she is never far in our minds. 

A letter to our daughter 

Last year we spent Mother’s Day much different then we are spending it this year. Last year we saw you for the first time and found out you were a little girl. That was one of my happiest days of my life. The reality of seeing you and knowing who you were.

From that day on we spent the rest of the pregnancy imagining what life would be like raising a little girl. I was so happy imagining a little girl following her father around the garage. Our little daughter playing dress up with her mommy. We fell in love with you so fast and started to plan our future with you, everything was imagined with you here with us.

You are gone, and that is why life is so hard these days. We will never know what color eyes you had, what color your hair would have been, what you would look like as you grew. We never heard your first cry, first laugh, or watched you take your first steps. We never got to see you off for your first day of school, watch you get married or start a family of your own. Our family will always be different with out you here. 

That’s why life is so different, so hard and full of pain. We have a lot of things we have to come to terms with. Things that will never make sense. 

They are so hard because, you taught us what unconditional love is, what beauty is, what is like to love and lose. I could have never imagined life this way. Without you. 

Losing you has changed me. I know an unimaginable love that exist in parents. Even though you are gone, I still worry about how you left, were you ok, did you suffer and are you okay now? So far from us physically but you make up every ounce of us mentally and spiritually. 

You taught me how strong I am. How strong our marriage is. Our rose colored glasses have been shattered and we can see things differently then we ever imagined. Our beliefs about what life on earth is about and why things happen is this world. You taught me the importance of compassion, understanding, and how to be a better person. 

We fight everyday to be the people we used to be. We will never be exactly those people again and that’s ok. Losing you makes me want to be a better person, wife, friend and mother than I ever could have been. 

Last Mother’s Day you were here and I felt like I wasn’t a mother yet. This year you are gone and I feel more like a mother than  I ever have because, you taught us what is like to love your child so unconditionally that even in death we still feel the love for you over anything else. I love you more than you will ever know, our beautiful Berkley.

The world keeps turning 

It has been a little over five months since our daughter passed away and our lives were turned upside down. Last year was a rough one and our family was hoping 2016 would be filled with nothing but good things. Ha, it’s almost comical how much more you can happen right when you think you can’t possibly handle anything else. Last week Tony had surgery to have a big chunk taken out of his back. They think it is skin cancer but they are not sure. We hope it isn’t and that will hopefully be one  less thing to worry about.

Life threw another horrible curve ball into our and most importantly one of our best friend’s lives. My friend Mel’s husband passed away in a car accident on his way to work three weeks ago. This has flipped our world upside down again. We have a hard time trying to come to terms with a such a devistating loss. Mel, Seth and Olis were one of the families that we were truly happy for. I know that is bad to admit but, it’s hard to be happy for people right now. This will hopefully go away soon because, the guilt that I feel for feeling this way is ripping me apart.

Seth was an amazing person. There are not too many men in this world like him. Strong, loving, hard working, loved the simple things in life and he would do anything for his family. His wife Mel has been friends with Tony and I since we were 15 years old. She has been there for me through out the loss of Berkley. She always was checking in to make sure we were ok. She is a loyal, funny, kindhearted person that is a friend I love endlessly. Mel and Seth have a beautiful son Olis. He is nine months old and is the only baby I have been around since we lost our daughter. He is amazing and brings happiness to everyone around him. He is probably one of the cutest babies out there but, I am a little biased since he has been flirting up a storm with me lately.

Petron Family Go Fund Me

Tony and I are having a hard time wrapping our heads around the horrible things that happen in this world. We don’t understand how a loving husband would be ripped away from his beautiful family in an instant.

This has compounded our loss. We are not only grieving for our daughter but, our friend and their family. I feel myself growing darker and full of sadness.

It’s so hard to relate or interact with anyone. We are so sick of bad news and sadness yet we feel trapped. When you have conversations with anyone that tries to make small talk I find my self miles away. Conversations are usually full of problems that are real to them but to me I would give almost anything to have, “those problems instead”.

I know it is our situation and that is why I feel this way but, I am sick of feeling like this. I understand the reasons why. It’s like my head and heart are on two separate pages. I can’t wait to just be happy again. I will never take that for granted again. I am still fighting everyday to climb out of this hole but, it’s not easy. I do have happy moments and people have commented that they have seen glimpses of the old me but, I just want feel like myself again.

The art of grieving

There are 5 stages of grief; denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. These stages of grief are fueled by intense emotions and irrational thoughts. For the me the stages bounce all around. I can tell I am healing and moving in the right direction but, I still move through all 5 of them.

There are more good days than bad now but, she is always on our minds. No matter where or what we are doing. There she is. We are always thinking about what our life would be like with her and what she would be like. She would be four months old now and would have grown so much. I know that we are in the acceptance stage but are lingering in the depression and anger stages also.

Right now it feels like our theme song is “Paint it, black” by the Rolling Stones. You wish everyone could feel your pain, but in the same sentence you wish no one would ever know this pain. The anger is so irrational. Just seeing a pregnant women is annoying. I can be having a good day and it can change everything. Something that I thought was so precious is now aggravating. I know why I feel this way and that emotion is fueled by the pain of our loss. This is not a feeling that is constant and it is showing itself less than it was but, it’s still my greatest hurdle to overcome.

I know that we are starting to step into the acceptance stage. We are making great strides in the healing process. We are letting some of the guilt, denial, and bargaining go. I am taking the little accomplishments as they come. I went and spent time with one of friends that I really missed. This is a dear friend that I treasure. She is one of the friends I was pregnant with. She had a son and he is several months older than Berkley. I went to her house planning on staying for a little while and ended up staying most of the day. I held her son. I spent the day with her and her baby. I shockingly felt good about it. I wasn’t sad and was genuinely happy about spending time with both of them. I know I couldn’t have done this a month ago.

We are facing every emotion as it comes. Whether the emotion makes sense or not we just accept them. If I want to be mad at the world or cry. I am and I do. After I get though those emotions I usually feel better. I am hoping the days keep getting “easier” and we continue to move through the grieving process. It feels like you are stuck in these strange feelings and are being controlled by an irrational thinking process. It’s a mess and there is no art to it. We are just doing what we can, when we can. I sometimes look at pictures of me before I knew this pain and think “I miss that person.” I wonder if I will ever be that person again or will everything be a compromise. I will probably be truly happy one day but, I wonder if it will always be followed by “I wish our daughter was here too.”


Searching for Answers

When we found out that our daughter had passed away there were so many questions racing through our heads. We were wondering how this could happen and why it would happen. She was due in just a few days. How could she pass away so suddenly after such a healthy pregnancy? My doctor called my pregnancy a “text book” pregnancy. The morning sickness in the first trimester was horrible, then just heartburn, and pregnancy induced carpel tunnel. Besides that I felt great. I remember thinking how great I felt and I couldn’t believe how active I still was even during the last few weeks of pregnancy. I was even joking with my doctor about great I felt at my last appointment on that Monday before we lost Berkley.

We were hoping that we would get some answers why our daughter passed away once she was born. After being thrown into this reality we have learned so much. Stillbirths still happen and some women never get an answer why their child passed away. Right after Berkley was born our doctor could see what happened.

Berkley had a velamentous cord insertion. That is where her umbilical cord inserted on the edge of the placental plate instead of in the center. So it was connected to a weaker spot and the connection ruptured. This is just a random occurrence. Nothing genetic or anything that could have been prevented while she was developing. The frustrating part about this diagnosis is that it is something that they look for at the 20 week anatomy scan. Berkley’s scan came back normal. Umbilical cord insertion was marked as normal. When it wasn’t. If it would have been seen she would have been monitored more. We will never know what the out come would have been if it was seen.

In the beginning this pissed me off more than you could imagine. I couldn’t get over the “What if” and “how did this get missed”. I started researching the diagnosis and the more information I found the more angry I would get. It is something that has a very high survival rate if it is caught and it is highly detectable on an ultrasound. The anger and what if game was consuming me.

I had to let those thoughts go. The answers that I found were not the ones that I wanted. That wasn’t my situation and we can’t bring our daughter back. What happened just happened and it is what it is. We cannot change things that have already happened and we just have to learn to live with the loss of our daughter. Her life was short and it is hard to come to terms with that fact. I am so grateful though, we were able to have our daughter for those 9 months. We grew to love her and will love her until the day we die. Knowing that love is one of the greatest gifts in this life and I will not let her death over shadow the beauty of her life.

The choice

We have to make a choice every morning. I knew that I didn’t want my daughter’s life to be the reason why I would lose control. I knew that I had to change.

I slowly went back to work. I started going out into the public again. Going to places that I go on a regular basis. I am fortunate that my family/coworkers told a lot of the people that we see on a regular basis that I lost my daughter, so I didn’t have to explain. When I started going to the places we would go to for lunch in the small town. Several women’s eyes would fill with tears when the first saw me, they would hug me and tell me they were sorry for my loss. I started to go grocery shopping by myself. These are fast trips and are still very hard for me to do.

My anxiety was out of control and I was carrying around baby weight without a baby. I decided I needed to start going to the gym again. I would sometimes cry all the way to the gym because I was having a bad day but, I made myself go. I am going 4 or 5 days a week to try to calm my mind and get back into shape.

My relationship with my husband is the most important thing to me also. I am so grateful that he is such an amazing person. I knew he was in extreme pain also but, he still would get up every day go to work and make sure I was ok. We knew we had to communicate our emotions with each other and try to understand each other’s grieving process. He would hold me when I was crying uncontrollably and he wasn’t afraid to cry in front of me either. Seeing my husband cry, made me love him even more. Losing our daughter has made our love even stronger.

We started going to counseling together. We wanted to make sure that we were moving forward in our grieving process. I am reading books, talking to other bereaved mothers in online groups, reading articles and blogs from other mothers. Talking to other mothers that know exactly what it feels likes helps me a lot and so does reading their blogs.

In a world full of people that haven’t experienced this pain there is a club of parents that didn’t chose this life but, are living it. Their words give me strength. They understand the intense emotions, the strange triggers, the healing process and that we will not get over this tragedy. We learn to live with the pain and hope the intensity goes down with time.

We made choice. We make a choice every day. Our daughter’s death will not destroy us. We will live for her. I can feel the change within me already. I am still a very broken person but, I am a stronger person. I am braver and I don’t care what others think about me as much. I hope we continue to grow for the better.

I do not believe in Karma. Everything doesn’t happen for a reason. We just live in a broken world. Full of tragedy, things that don’t make sense and things we cannot control. We just have a choice to make about how we respond to the tragedies in the world. We chose to fight, love, and grow from the pain we are experiencing.