Saturday, December 3, 2011

DAY 11

I have decided that I need to relax. I have been trying to do everything at once for the longest time. The holiday season is fast approaching and this is the time of year where anxiety and stress levels usually max out. This year, however, I am going to do my best to relax and enjoy the season. Watching my son take a nap on the floor after playing, not a care in the world (other than getting food in his mouth as fast as he can), I think I am starting to realize that relaxation is very important and just taking a step back to enjoy what I have and the people I love, is what life is about.

The death of my daughter is with me every day. I think about what she missed not being here, I think about what I am missing, her not being here. My heart aches for her and I still catch myself saying "I don't know what I'd do without her" but here I am, Lila-less. My little baby girl.

My heart hangs on every rise and fall of my son's chest. I watch him sleep. Every time he shuts his eyes, my anxiety level shoots through the roof.

My daughter loved to roll, she rolled in her sleep, they say that's how she died from SIDS. It was because she was face down. Yesterday my son rolled onto his stomach for the first time. I was proud and terrified at the same time. I was so happy that he had gotten stronger and learned something and I was just gleaming with pride in my little boy. But what if he does that in his sleep? While he's napping? If no one is watching? Even for a minute. All it took was a few minutes for my daughter to pass away. All it takes is a second of not watching his chest rising and falling.

Every day I live in a state of panic. I am starting to feel more grateful for what I have. I need to realize that every day could be the last with anyone I love, and I need to spend my time more wisely. I need to cherish moments when I can. I need to do more living in the moment.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

DAY 10

Lately for some reason all I can do is clean. I clean everything, all the time. In a week I have effectively cleaned almost every room in the house. I want to change all the furniture and make the house look like an adult lives in it, not a bunch of college students (plus one high school student, and a baby). My husband is actually going along with it. I think he knows I've been really upset lately and for some reason cleaning has been making me feel better. We picked out a new couch yesterday and he has promised to get rid of the old ones (we have three...he collects them). We are also getting a new entertainment center, coffee table and bookshelf. My parents are so happy because they cab finally clean out their house because we are cleaning out ours and they are giving us my great great grandma's dining room table with six chairs and a matching hutch as well as some shelving units, an antique sewing machine, a bed, and a trunk. I am so excited I just had to share. :)

Today has been a good day.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


I'm sorry it's been awhile since I've written. I have been busy and depressed, which usually doesn't happen to me. Usually if I keep myself busy, I feel better, not worse. I'm so excited for Christmas. I already got my holiday shopping done (except for stocking stuffers). I know my family doesn't read this so I can say what I got them :) All year my husband has been whining that he wants a PS3 even though we already have like four XBOX360's....but anyway, I've been dying to tell someone what I got him and so I will tell you! I got him his precious PS3 on sale, black friday, for $200 in a bundle with 2 games. I'm pumped. I know that he is going to be so happy, even if he doesn't show it. He's not very good at showing emotions.

I worked on black friday from midnight to eight in the morning. It was awesome. I fell asleep standing up (at bath and body works). I was doing awesome on the floor and loving sales, and then I got put in the stock room, which I didn't love so much, but it was ok. Anyway, I loved working black friday and then when I went to go home (my dad was picking me up so I didn't have to drive) my dad was like "I'm not taking you home until I sit and drink coffee at barnes and nobles for an hour". Fun stuff....

So on top of everything I still have school and James is teething so he's crabby and tired and in pain all the time and I feel awful because there's nothing I can do to help him. I'm thinking of taking the semester off in the spring. I've just been so depressed and upset and moody and I just need to concentrate on my school work and I can't do that when I have to motivate myself to get out of bed in the morning. On top of that, school starts in february and that's the one year of our daughter's death. I know I'm not going to be in any shape to concentrate on school. My mom is convinced that I am God's gift to this earth and I can do everything at once but I really can't. She was upset when I told her that I wanted to at least cut back on my classes next semester because this is just getting too hard for me to do with work and school and baby and I just miss my daughter all the time and I feel like she doesn't understand. I know she doesn't know what it's like to lose a child, and I'm glad that she doesn't because no one should have to know what that feels like, but she needs to let me do what's best for me and what I feel is best for me at this time is taking a semester off. I love going to school and I love my classes and I know I'm going to go back and take more classes in the summer but for now, I just need a break.

I could not get through any of this without my husband. I love him so much and I honestly don't know if I could have gotten through any of this without him. I know that everyone thinks he's a dick, and sometimes he is, ...a lot of times he is, but he is also the most wonderful person I can always talk to. He's my best friend, my shoulder to lean on, and my most of all my support beam. He's always there for me and I just wanted to say that. He can still be a dick sometimes though... :)

Just so you all know, we are starting to plan our walk to end SIDS which will be held in the Miller Hill Mall in Duluth MN on April 14, 2012. It's our second walk and we are hoping for a really great turn out. Please visit our website for The Northland SIDS Foundation to find out more about our organization and what we are doing to help end SIDS!

Saturday, November 19, 2011


Today started out good. It ended with me being really sick...on the up side, I got extra love from my husband. I got a new jacket today. I have been wanting a snowmobile jacket since I was in high school and my wish was finally granted! ...By my mom...but that's not the point. The point is, I got the jacket I wanted. I also felt like a teenager because after I got my new jacket that my mommy bought me, I drank milk out of the jug...while I was driving. I also learned that in the state of Minnesota, it is perfectly legal for me to drink alcoholic beverages at my parent or guardian's house as long as it's okay with my parent or guardian. I used this fact and twisted it into, "I can drink in my own home, because I know it's okay with my husband who is of legal drinking age". I'm not sure why this made me happy, because I don't drink anyway, but it was a handy fact to know I suppose.

On the sad note, today people were asking me if James (our son) was our first child. I hate answering that question. My best friend and I went to a dinner for OES to eat some delicious meatballs. Everyone was like "awww, baby!" which I have now learned to hate. I hate when people fawn over my baby. It really irritates me. First of all, it makes me think of how people used to fawn over Lila and how perfect she was. Second, it usually leads to a question about how I'm doing (with the death of my daughter), if he's our first, how old I am, and various other annoying questions that I really feel other people don't need to know about me. Third, it's just obnoxious. I feel violated when you smell my baby, just to let you know.

Lately, to help me feel better, I've been reading Texts From Last Night and FML. In case you were wondering, they are hilarious! Although they really don't make it hurt any less, they make me laugh, which is apparently very good for your health.

James update:
He can now jump so high in his bouncer that it lifts off the ground. Scary, but slightly entertaining. I guess that's why they say to only use with supervision.
He smiles AND giggles
He is now officially bigger at almost 3 months old than his sister was at 5 months old. I'm not sure whether to be proud of that or worried.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Today I feel better. I got a new job and my husband has the day off. We can finally spend some much needed time together. I'm still a little stressed out about my homework but I know that I will get it done. In the mean time, I am going to spend some quality time with my little boy and my husband.

I want to cherish the times when I feel okay, because I know the there will be many more times when I am not okay.

When I went in for my interview this morning, the gal that was hiring me asked about The Northland SIDS Foundation and if I had anyone I knew who had lost a baby from SIDS. I am usually okay with people asking me about SIDS and my daughter, but for some reason I started tearing up. She felt really bad about asking me and I felt really stupid because I was pretty much crying in my interview. She said that she knew some other people who had children who died from SIDS as well. I feel much better when other people understand that it's hard. It's always hard. It's forever hard. There is just nothing comparable to losing a child. Every day is different. Somedays I feel like my heart has just been ripped out of my chest, if I had only not brought her to daycare that day, if I had only picked her up early, if I had only...and some days I feel okay.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


I quit my job. My manager was being dishonest with me as well as other employees and I just couldn't take it anymore. Actually two of us quit at the same time. It was kind of epic. I am thinking of just doing what I've always kind of wanted to do and just run my own photography studio. I'm going to school for art and the major I'm going for is something I would definitely have to move to have a career in and I'm just not sure that's the route I want to go or not. I do enjoy photography and I think I have a knack for it. My portfolio is online (click "my portfolio" to take a look). I also make pretty awesome photo holiday cards, wedding invitations, birth announcements and so on. I'm cheap! lol.

I had a dream about my daughter last night. I miss her so much. I keep having dreams that she's with us and we are all a happy family, Her, James, Kevin, Me and Cory. I wake up and I just don't even want to open my eyes. I know my husband, Cory, has been worried about me lately. He holds me tighter at night and wakes me up with kisses and reminds me to eat before he leaves for work. I feel bad that I feel depressed all the time. I don't want to put more stress on him. I know he's hurting too.

Friday, November 11, 2011


Lately I feel horrible. I feel like I fail at everything I do. The worst part is that I feel like I haven't even hit rock bottom.

Monday, November 7, 2011


Today I felt like a complete airhead. I forgot what my manager told me to do. I was out in the field when I was supposed to be in the office pulling resumes to hire someone for our open position. Go me. I had to leave early as it was because we didn't have anyone to watch James and I got half of what I should have gotten done. It was a very unproductive day.

It makes it better when I get to come home to my little guy though. I miss him all the time. My husband told me that he wants to be a stay at home dad because he just wants to be with James all the time. I wish I could be a stay at home mom. I'm glad we argue over who wants to spend time with and not over who has to spend time with him. I don't know what I would do without my husband. Sometimes I get so overwhelmed with everything. I know I take on too much, but I feel like I have to because otherwise I will just wallow in my own sadness over the loss of our daughter.

My list of things I do on a daily basis is this:
Full time job
Full time school
Full time mom
Founder and Event coordinator for The Northland SIDS Foundation

That's just my day to day stuff...not even including my various chaperoning, volunteering and hobbies I participate in.

Short list, lots of duties.

Anyway, back to the overwhelming feelings.
My husband has been with me through many of my hard times as well as many of my happy times. We've been through EVERYTHING together and at the end of the day we can still talk, have a conversation, make each other laugh, kiss, snuggle, and most importantly, be there. I just want to take this opportunity to say that not a lot of people have what we have and I am so glad that we found each other, as corny as that may sound. He is my support beam and I love him.

Okay, so I still haven't gotten to telling you about my overwhelming feelings...I'm so long winded and I apologize. I was telling my husband that I felt very overwhelmed and that I feel like I'm sucking at everything I do. Which I still feel like I am. He told me "You do not suck at everything and it's hard to do everything at once. I know that you are trying your best and I'm sure others know that too."

It made me feel so much better about myself.

Whenever I feel horrible I can always count on him to cheer me up. I think that it's important for everyone to have someone like that. :)

I think I will end my post tonight with my favorite poem. I think of this poem everyday in memory of my daughter. It also helps me feel better when I'm upset. <3
(If you don't have tissue on hand, don't read it)

A Child of Mine
I'll lend you for a little while a child of mine
God sent for you to love the while she lives and mourn for when she's gone
it may be six or seven years or forty-two or three but will you, till I call her back take care of her for me?
She'll bring her charms to gladden you and - should her stay be brief, you'll have her lovely memories as a solace for your grief.
I cannot promise she will stay for all from earth return
but there are lessons taught below I want this child to learn.
I've looked the whole world over in my search for teachers true and from all beings that crowd life's land I have chosen you.

Now, will you give her all your love nor think the labor vain nor hate me when I come to take this lent child back again?
I fancied that I heard you say "Dear Lord, Thy will be done. For all the joys Thy child will bring the risk of grief we'll run.

We will shelter her with tenderness we'll love her while we may -
And for the happiness we have now, know forever grateful stay."
But should the angels come for her much sooner than we'd planned, we'll brave the bitter grief that comes and try to understand.

Sunday, November 6, 2011


Today was HORRIBLE. I still haven't finished any of my homework (which is all do tomorrow night by the way) and I spent my entire morning crying. I usually don't go to church but today I went because they were having a special service for the people who died this past year. As soon as I got there, I turned into a giant ball of tears. I cried through the whole service. I barely made it up to light the candle for my daughter. Cory would have been there but he ended up having to work. A lot of people came up to me after the service, which only made it worse. I didn't want to talk to anyone, I just wanted to go home. I couldn't even speak because I felt like I would just start wailing.

Someone told me today that the loss of a child never goes away.
I told them that I never want it to go away.

Saturday, November 5, 2011


Ok, so I might have to do this week by week instead of day by day. There is just never enough time in the day to get everything done.

My job is keeping me away from my family. I feel like I come home and go right to sleep every night. I miss my little boy so much. I cuddle with him at night but I wish I could spend more time with him to play with him and give him more hugs and kisses. I wish I could quit my job.

At work the other day, Jerry (my co-worker) started to tell a dead baby joke but my other co-worker jumped in and yelled "Jerry! Shut up!" It kind of made my day. Jerry and Michelle are awesome. I think Jerry probably just had a manly brainless moment. He said he was sorry.

We have determined that the number one reason to not buy cologne (we sell cologne and perfume) is "I don't even shower." which was entirely too much information, but entertaining none the less. Next to that is "You're saying really big words that I don't understand."

I really love my job but I miss my family.

Sunday, October 30, 2011


I dreamt about my little girl last night. In my dream she was walking and hugging me. She couldn't do that when she died, so maybe in my heart she is growing. In my dreams, she is still alive. We still haven't read the sympathy cards or sent "thank you" cards to people who sent us gifts and flowers. It hurts to wake up in the morning. At the time Lila died, I was already 3 months pregnant with our baby boy. He is the only reason I get out of bed some days.

I was thinking about her first birthday and how much my husband cried. We (The Northland SIDS Foundation) hosted a pizza party dinner fundraiser to donate money towards SIDS research and awareness. We raised several hundred dollars. My husband and I picked up flowers to put next to her curio cabinet. We also went to Security Jewelers and bought her a Swarovski Crystal Figurine (picture).

My husband and I went to church and lit a candle for her. Later that night, we bought a birthday cake and a "1" candle and let the flame go out by itself. 

Our baby girl still means the world to us.
We miss her.


    My name is Dana and this is my first blog. So...this is about my life after the death of my daughter. I'm hoping that other parents who have lost children will read this and know that they are not alone.

    First off, I should start by talking about my story.

    My boyfriend and I were given the most beautiful gift in the world on September 26. 2010. A little girl we named Lila Anne. She was precious and beautiful in every way imaginable. Some days we would come home early or skip out on things we were supposed to do just to cuddle with her and give her hugs and kisses. We wanted nothing more than for her to be safe and healthy. We did everything we could to make that happen. We protected her in every way we possibly could. We couldn't protect her from sudden infant death syndrome. She died February 17th 2011 while she was taking a nap at daycare.

    Despite having to pick my boyfriend up from work, we beat the ambulance to the hospital. Stop lights, speed limits, and medians meant nothing to me. When we got there, I told the receptionist that our daughter was at the hospital, she had just come in an ambulance, and she was 5 months old. She didn't know what I was talking about because Lila hadn't arrived yet. Not even a minute later a nurse came up from the back room, where the ambulances come in, and hugged us. She brought us to a waiting room and told us that it didn't look good. About five minutes later a doctor came in and told us "we aren't going to be able to save your baby." Part of us died inside. How could this happen? We did everything right. We loved her more than anything. She can't be gone.

    We held her hand while they stopped CPR.

    Sharon, our daycare provider, was in hysterics. She told us how sorry she was and we hugged her and told her it wasn't her fault. She was (and still is) the only daycare lady I would ever trust with my child. She had placed Lila to sleep, on her back, in a crib with only a receiving blanket over her (it was husband and I had usually put her to sleep in a heavy blanket). Lila always rolled in her sleep, so she had found her on her tummy. There was nothing she could have done.

    We donated her heart valves so that her death would mean that another baby could live. We had her cremated and her ashes are now worn around both mine and my now husband's necks as well as on the very top shelf of her own curio cabinet. The cabinet is stuffed full of her favorite toys, blankets, books, and stuffed animals. We have yet to read the book "The Next Place" that was given to us at the hospital when she died.

    I started The Northland SIDS Foundation in an effort to find what causes SIDS and raise awareness.

    This is my story.