Brady John · Life After Loss

Faith’s Lodge

It’s hard to put into words why Faith’s Lodge is such a comforting and healing place.  On the surface, it’s a beautiful, picturesque setting.  It’s pretty much in the middle of nowhere, making it incredibly peaceful.  But there’s so much more to it than that.  Their mission is to provide a peaceful escape for families to refresh their minds and spirits while spending time with others who understand what they are experiencing.  Their slogan – Faith’s Lodge: A Place Where Hope Grows.

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Brady John · Life After Loss

28 or 29?

The answer ended up being 28, and it wasn’t even close.  Because Brady’s due date and my birthday were so close together, we wondered how old I would be when I became a mom. Continue reading “28 or 29?”

Brady John

Special Onesies

The first piece of clothing we bought Brady John was a onesie to help us announce his upcoming arrival.  At the time that we ordered it, we didn’t know that Brady was a boy, so I ordered a cheery yellow-striped onesie and figured it would work whether we had a boy or a girl.  We chose “Schmitz Just Got Real” as a funny play on words.  When you have a child, shit does get real and we thought this was a fun way to share that things would never be the same as they were before.

We drove over to my mom’s house in order for her to take the picture that I would post on Facebook to announce my pregnancy.  Jeff and I planned that I would look super excited in the photo, and he would put on his best nervous face.  I think we did pretty well.

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Life After Loss

Ugh, Baby Showers

You’ve already heard my thoughts on pregnancy announcements here, and now I think it’s time to discuss another, somewhat related, trigger.  The dreaded baby shower.  Keep in mind, I’ve never been a huge fan of showers… but I have also not dreaded them until now.

I think some of these situations happen because we’re into the 5th month since Brady passed away.  Those peripheral people in my life have started to forget that I experienced a loss.

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Brady John · Life After Loss

Happy 6 Months, Brady John

It’s hard to believe that we should have a 6 month old at home.  Not a day goes by that I don’t imagine what Brady would be like, and what milestones he would be hitting.  I googled “3 month milestones” (with Brady being a micro-preemie, his adjusted age would be 3 months) and laughed when I saw that one of them was “supports upper body with arms while lying on stomach”.  Our 4 day old micro-preemie did that… well, for at least a couple of seconds.  Those other babies must be some serious slackers.  (You can read that story here if you missed it)  Maybe adjusted age wouldn’t have been much of a factor with our little badass.  That’s just one of the many “maybes” that I’ll never be able to answer.

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Life After Loss

Grateful

I am grateful for my life, and sad that my son isn’t here.  Those two things are not mutually exclusive feelings, and while that might not sound earth-shattering, it has taken several months for me to come to this realization.

Recently, I read an article about a young, healthy woman, Lauren Bloomstein, (a NICU nurse, actually) who died from HELLP Syndrome.  (It’s long, but you can read it here if you want).  While I had a very short amount of time to accept my diagnosis, I’ve always understood the gravity of HELLP Syndrome, and how sick I was in the hours before I delivered Brady.  However, it’s taken me several months to come to terms with the fact that the decision to deliver wasn’t a decision of my life or Brady’s, it was a decision that was best for both of us.  HELLP is not a slow killer, and had I not been under the care of competent doctors, I truly believe I wouldn’t have made it long.

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Brady John · Life After Loss

The Dream

The day Brady passed away, my parents and sister came over to see me and Jeff.  I know that Jeff and I did not want any visitors, but it was one of those times where they said they were coming over and we knew there would be no way to stop it.

I can’t remember much of what was said, as I was in some serious shock, but I do remember my dad telling us a story of a dream he had right after his mom passed away.  He and his mom were very close, and my dad was heartbroken when she suddenly passed.  Shortly after she’d passed, my grandmother came to him in a dream and embraced him.  He asked her to come back and she said she couldn’t and that she was where she needed to be.  The dream was so vivid that my dad could actually physically feel her embrace.

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Brady John

What’s in a Name?

It dawned on me last night, as I listened to a friend talk about how they chose their baby’s name on a podcast, that I hadn’t shared how we came up with Brady John’s name.  I even looked back at my earlier blog posts to make sure.  There’s a brief mention of why we chose John, but otherwise, nothing.  Like most stories, there are two sides.  In this case, I’ll share mine and my husband’s.

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Brady John · Life After Loss

To the Person Who Doesn’t Know What Happened to My Son

To the person who doesn’t know what happened to my son,

You didn’t just make the worst mistake by asking me how he is or how he’s doing. I know you think you did. This has happened before, many times. This isn’t the first time, and it won’t be the last time. And trust me, it is far from the worst thing you could have said. The worst thing you could have said is nothing. Think about it, tons of people know what happened to my son and won’t ask about him. You, on the other hand, care enough to ask about the most important little person in my life. You looked at me and thought, “Ah, it’s been a while, the little man must be here!” I know my answer wasn’t what you were expecting, but I’m not mad you asked.

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Brady John · Life After Loss

Brady John: The Beep

This story is of the first time Brady showed himself to us after he left our earthly world.  It happened in the early morning hours after he had passed away.  Jeff and I had spent a few hours at the hospital with Brady, and then had made the drive home.  I don’t remember it at all.

When we arrived at home, it was still very early in the morning.  Probably sometime between 4 and 5 AM.  We knew we needed to call our families, but we weren’t quite ready and it was just really early still.  We decided to try to get some sleep.  If you’ve ever been in this situation, you know sleep is near impossible.  We had only slept for maybe an hour and a half before we were called into the hospital, so our bodies and minds were exhausted.

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