Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Parents of an Angel

We are slowly creeping up to another anniversary. This one I am not looking forward to as it is the day Ella left us. However, it is the day I became a parent to an angel. We received this list of things to do for an angel’s parents from our support group. As we reach one year since our little girl flew to heaven, I still want to talk about her, hear her name, and have others remember her. Thankfully Ella’s Halo is helping us to keep her memory alive.

20 Things parents of Angels wish you would remember:

1. I wish you would not be afraid to mention my baby. The truth is just because you never say my baby doesn't mean he or she doesn't deserve your recognition.

2. I wish that if we did talk about my baby and I cried you didn't think it was because you have hurt me by mentioning my baby. The truth is I need to cry and talk about my baby with you. Crying and emotional outbursts help me heal.

3. I wish that you could talk about my baby more than once. The truth is if you do, it reassures me that you haven't forgotten and that you do care and understand.

4. I wish you wouldn't think that I don't want to talk about my baby. The truth is I love my baby and need to talk about him or her.

5. I wish you could tell me you are sorry my baby has died and that you are thinking of me. The truth is that it tells me you care.

6. I wish you wouldn't think what has happened is one big bad memory for me. The truth is the memory of my baby, the love I feel for my baby, the dreams I had and the memories I have created for my baby are all loving memories. Yes there are bad memories too but please understand that it's not all like that.

7. I wish you wouldn't pretend that my baby never existed. The truth is we both know I had a baby growing inside me.

8. I wish you wouldn't judge me because I am not acting the way you think I should be. The truth is grief is a very personal thing and we are all different people who deal with things differently.

9. I wish you wouldn't think if I have a good day I'm "over it" or if I have a bad day I am being unreasonable because you think I should be over it. The truth is there is no "normal" way for me to act.

10. I wish you wouldn't stay away from me. The truth is losing my baby doesn't mean I'm contagious. By staying away you make me feel isolated, confused and like it is my fault.

11. I wish you wouldn't expect my grief to be "over and done with" in a few weeks, months, or years for that matter. The truth is it may get easier with time but I will never be "over" this.

12. I wish you wouldn't think that my baby wasn't really a baby.  The truth is my baby was a human life. My baby had a soul, heart, body, legs, arms and a face. I have seen my baby's heartbeat. My baby was a real person.

13. My babies due date, Mothers Day, celebration times, the day my baby died and the day I lost my baby are all important and sad days for me. The truth is I wish you could tell me by words or by letter you are thinking of me on these days.

14. I wish you understood that losing my baby has changed me. The truth is I am not the same person I was before and will never be that person again. If you keep waiting for me to get back to ""normal" you will stay frustrated. I am a new person with new thoughts, dreams, beliefs, and values. Please try to get to know the real me-maybe you'll still like me.

15. I wish you wouldn't tell me I could have another baby. The truth is I want the baby I lost and no other baby can replace this baby. Babies aren't interchangeable.

16. I wish you wouldn't feel awkward or uncomfortable talking about my baby or being near me. When you do, I can see it. The truth is it's not fair to make me feel uncomfortable just because you are.

17. I wish you wouldn't think that you'll keep away because all my friends and family will be there for me. The truth is, everyone thinks the same thing and I am often left with no one.

18. I wish you would understand that being around pregnant women is sometimes uncomfortable for me. The truth is I feel sad that I'm no longer pregnant.

19. I wish you wouldn't say that it's nature’s way of telling me something was wrong with my baby. The truth is my baby was perfect to me no matter what you think nature is saying.

20. I wish you would understand what you are really saying when you say "next time things will be okay". The truth is how do you know? What will you say if it happens to me again?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Amazed and Exhausted

We are so amazed by all of the support we received for our first event.  Ella's Halo Bowling for Babies raised $7000 to help babies and families in the NICU.   Over 150 bowlers came together to help Ella's Halo raise money and to move our mission forward.  Thank you to all of our family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, doctors/nurses, and acquaintances who came out to help support our cause and to remember our little girl.

A big thank you to our event sponsors:

Red Roof Animal Hospital
Outdoor Bunker
KLN Enterprises
Visual Impact
Ella's Friends in Heaven- Anna, Baby Van Zee, Dylan, Faith, Jace and Sophia

Also thank you to all of our lane sponsors:

Carr's Tree Service
Wagner, Falconer & Judd, Ltd.
Broadhead + Co.
Ottertail Aggregate
K5 Construction
Wedding Designs and Rental
Natural Nutrients
Ella's Cousins- Kellen and Shea
Ella's Fargo Friends

Thank you also to all of the individuals and companies that donated to our raffle.   Thank you to all of our volunteers that helped make the day go so smoothly. Thank you to Faith's Lodge for donating your Hope Rocks CDs to each of our bowling guests. Thank you to our wonderful host Park Tavern.  We couldn't have done what we did with out all of you.

And thank you to the lovely ladies that make up Ella's Halo Board of Directors. They volunteered at the event, shared their ideas, and dedicated long hours to ensure that we put together a wonderful event that our guests would enjoy and to help make Ella's Halo so successful.

We still can't believe that our first event is over. Now we are exhausted!  But amazed by our little girl's spirit and how her memory is living on in Ella's Halo.  See you in 2011 at our next Ella's Halo Bowling for Babies!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Can't Hardly Wait

We are a few days away from our first Ella's Halo event! I can't wait for Saturday to get here. Tickets for Ella's Halo Bowling for Babies are still available. Check out to register for your tickets.

There are so many fun raffle prizes available too. I can't wait! Stay and Play packages in Perham, a villa stay at Giant's Ridge, Twins tickets, jewelry, Chanhassen Dinner Theater tickets, Mall of America gift set with tickets, Target gift cards, TPC golf package, gift cards to various restaurants in the area, autographed sports memorabilia, Saint's tickets, and so much more. The raffle will be at 3:00 pm and you must be present to win.

Ella's Halo T-shirts and bracelets will be available for sale. I just can't wait! And each guest will receive a Faith's Lodge Hope Rocks CD.  And of course, there will be pizza!

We are looking forward to seeing you at Park Tavern on Saturday from 1-4! We can't hardly wait!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day

This year Mother's Day brings up so many emotions; happiness, grief, and fear. I am so happy I had the chance to be Ella's mommy and to spend the day reflecting on how much a little baby has changed me. Grief because I am sad I don't get to spend the day with her and I miss her so much it still hurts. And the feelings of fear to move on and have other children, fear of not feeling like I was a good enough mother to Ella, and  fear that I won't be the mother my other children will need.

Last year for Mother's Day I got to hold my daughter and this year I am only holding on to a memory. Sometimes life just doesn't seem fair. Why on a day that should be happy is fear tangling its way into my grief? It is hard enough to deal with the pain from the past but it is even harder to be slapped in the face by fear of your future, fear of a new baby's future. How can I be a good mother when grief is so deep within my heart?  These are questions a babylost mother thinks about on Mother's Day. Grief will always have its ugly arms wrapped around us.

This isn't how I imagined I would feel as a mother to an angel this Mother's Day. But I embrace the feelings of enjoying the day with Ryan outside remembering our baby, to be sad with grief to know that she isn't here in my arms this year, and to be gripped by fear about the future. All these emotions make me a mom...a mommy to an angel.

Thank you to all of the mothers that inspire me everyday. Thank you to mothers who show us their unconditional love, give comfort when we are sad and teach us to face our fears. Thank you to my mom who is always there for me and for my mother-in-law that loves me no matter what. And thank you to Ella for always letting me be her mommy!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

National Nurses Day

National Nurses Week begins each year on May 6th and ends on May 12th.  And today is National Nurses Day!  Thank you to all the nurses out there that work so hard each and every day.

Nurses are the people that helped make our life in the NICU for 83 days bearable.  They are the ones who helped to educate us about NICU terms and equipment, taught us how to care for our micro preemie, and supported us through the entire experience.  They are amazing people who are so dedicated and compassionate that they deserve a day to celebrate their hard work. 

The NICU nurses not only cared for our daughter but they cared for us too.  When Ella was in the hospital I made a sign with a picture of all of her primary nurses standing beside her bedside.  It said "Ella loves her nurses!"  And I believe she really did!

Monday, May 3, 2010

2 Weeks

We are less than two weeks away from our first Ella's Halo Bowling for Babies.  Things are coming together and we are getting more excited by the day! 

If you haven't purchased your tickets for the bowling event please go to our website at and click the events tab to register.  Tickets are still available so register for yours today!

Bowling registration starts at noon on May 15, 2010 at Park Tavern Bowling and Entertainment Center in St. Louis Park, Minnesota.  Each adult ticket includes shoe rental, bowling, one raffle ticket, pizza and a drink ticket.  Kids tickets are available for purchase including shoe rental, bowling with bumpers and pizza.

We have many items up for raffle for our Ella's Halo Bowling for Babies.  Twins tickets, play and stay golf packages to Perham, Minnesota, gift cards and more are just some of the raffle prizes.  The raffle drawing will start at 3:00 pm and you must be present to win. 

See you at the lanes on May 15th!