Sunday, November 24, 2013

It Comes With The Territory...

Writing a blog can be a very interesting experience.  You are able to share the good, the bad... really, you can share whatever you want.  I happen to share a lot.  But in doing so, you open yourself up to the good (which is good!) and the bad (which is just kind of weird, if you ask me) and sometimes... the ugly.

It comes with the territory, I suppose.

Back in the day, this blog was really just a small journal that I started to keep family and friends informed of Gavin's progress during an intense and long hospitalization.  It grew over the years, but it was still small - and people kind of "got me."

Now... this blog has grown bigger than I ever (in my wildest dreams) could have imagined.  Which means I feel I need to write differently.  I feel like I have to choose my words - and describe everything in such a perfect way so as not to be misinterpreted.  That's really hard to do, let me tell you.

The other day my journal entry, "What It Feels Like Seven Months Later," is a perfect example.  In that entry I really vented my feelings... about, well, what it feels like seven months after losing our 5 1/2 year old son while simultaneously anticipating the surprise of a daughter while simultaneously parenting a grieving 4 year old.  I also vented about those "end of pregnancy feelings" that most Moms go through.  The exhaustion... the worries... the guilt... the fears.  I wrote that I have been dealing with high blood pressure issues related to my pregnancy and how they are keeping an eye out for preeclampsia.  It turned out that I ended up in Labor and Delivery because my blood pressures weren't responding to my medication (which has now been adjusted) the next day.  The timing made a lot of people connect those two things - Kate was super stressed and emotional and ended up in the hospital.  I suppose I should have expected the deluge of mail that included lectures... armchair therapists... and ridiculous comments like "go lay in bed and stop trying to do everything or your baby will die!"  I could list a lot more of the ridiculous comments, but I will spare you.

So I thought I would lay out some facts so everyone is on the same page - and no one has to worry that I'm doing anything - in any way - to bring harm to myself or this baby.  

1.  I had high blood pressure during the end of Gavin's pregnancy.  I do not have a history of high blood pressure - it was pregnancy induced.  Once you have a pregnancy with blood pressure issues, your chances of it cropping up again in other pregnancies is high.  So, no surprise, I had high blood pressure issues at the end of Brian's pregnancy.  And here I am again... at the end with Hope.  After every pregnancy, my pressures have returned back to normal.  I fully expect this will be the case after Hope is born.

2.  My blood pressure issues are more of a physiological response to my pregnancy and not necessarily worsened by stress.  That being said - I have carried this pregnancy successfully under extremely stressful circumstances - we just lost a child.  The fact that Hope is here at all is a miracle. And the fact that I am 35 weeks (and one day!) at the age of 43 is a miracle to me, too.  I set it up at home so that I actually have very LITTLE stress at this stage of my pregnancy.  It was the reason I set up her nursery so early... set up the equipment all over the house... washed all of her clothes and blankets and burp cloths and onesies.  It was the reason why I bought, assembled, wrapped and hid all the Christmas presents so early... created, addressed and stamped all the Christmas cards so they are ready to go... put up the Christmas tree and prepared for Brian's December 16th birthday.  I have nothing more to "do" or "prepare" - except grow this baby as long as I can.

3.  I do not have preeclampsia.  They are keeping a close eye on me for signs of preeclampsia, which means that I have excellent medical care.  I go for non stress tests twice a week to monitor the baby... I check my blood pressures at home to keep track of them... I get frequent blood and urine tests to check my levels and to be sure I'm not spilling protein... and when I do have to go to the hospital, I am closely monitored there.  Every single time there has been a problem - it has had NOTHING to do with Hope. She has been growing appropriately and always performs perfectly when they put her on the monitor.

4.  I am not on bedrest - nor does my OB WANT me to be on bedrest.  He said "try to put your feet up" to help with my swollen feet and ankles.  I laughed because, well, I have a four year old.  But the truth is - I drive Brian to school... come home... and I either sit on the couch or sit on my bed until pick up at noon.  Yes, there are seven hours with him until bedtime - but we aren't playing tag or running up and down the stairs and you'll never catch me getting up and down off the floor.  We're sitting on the couch or painting at the art table or, quite frankly, he's watching way too much TV if I can convince him.  But those seven hours can be exhausting because they just are.  I'm sorry, but I think they can be exhausting even if you're NOT at the end of a pregnancy.

5.  Back to the bedrest thing.  My OB actually prefers me walking around to keep the circulation flowing.  Laying in bed for too long puts me at risk for blood clots.  I take all of this seriously - please know this.

6.  I've had several people tell me that I should stop my blog - that it's causing too much stress and taking too much time.  That couldn't be further from the truth.  These are usually the same people that tell me that I'm also trying to spend too much time with Brian and that I need to find time to rest so I'm not so stressed.  And these are also people that don't know me personally.  So let me explain.  My Facebook page pretty much runs itself right now.  Gavin's photos are scheduled until the end.  The last photo will be this Friday night at 6pm, followed by a really special video at 8pm.  I do go on the page and try to read and respond to all the mail and comments - but I don't have to worry about the photos. My blog, when I write an entry, takes all of 10-15 minutes of my time.  I think... and I type... and I push "publish."  That method of thinking and typing can get me into trouble sometimes, but that's just how I write.  Let's take the venting post from the other day and use it as an example.  I wrote that post because, that day, I was really feeling overwhelmed.  Can you blame me?  The way I cope is to get it out.  I wrote about it... I posted it... I felt better... and the next day, I was back to normal.  It works for me.  Maybe it doesn't work for everyone, and that's okay!  But it works for me.  So telling me to stop writing - and then also telling me that I need to find a way to "de-stress" - doesn't make sense.  My writing IS my way of de-stressing.

7.  Venting like I did (and have done - and likely will do again) opens me up to a lot of advice and critiquing and criticism.  I get it.  But, just as in real life, when people "vent" they aren't always looking for you to "fix it."  Sometimes it's okay to just be a present observer... a kind supporter... you don't even have to say anything at all!  Sometimes, just like in real life, people just want to be heard.

8.  It is likely that I will have to go back to the hospital - multiple times or one more time or maybe even today - and it's possible that Hope will be born early.  If this happens, it is not due to me not taking care of myself.  It is not due to me writing.  It is not due to me playing Star Wars with Brian. Please do not infer that it is... because you will be wrong.  Out of all of my pregnancies, this has been the most perfect.  Can you believe that?  We expected these blood pressure issues. But I've never had a more perfect pregnancy - her weight right now is great - and I wouldn't need to receive injections to mature her lungs if I went into preterm labor or if my blood pressures force an early delivery.  This is all good news.  And, to be honest with you, I am extremely proud of myself for how well this pregnancy has gone under the circumstances.  Extremely.  I have had to manage a lot and I feel like I've been handling things well.  No one can make me feel differently about that.

9.  It is, thankfully, not that often anymore that I get mean and hateful comments or mail.  But it does happen.  It just happened yesterday when someone told me, among other things, that "you are so immersed in death that you are emotionally unavailable for Brian."  Listen - I have really learned to let these comments go... all they do is show the person for who they are.  My method in handling them now is this:  I realize that they don't know what they are talking about... or they are just plain mean and are trying to get a rise out of people... or they are projecting their own "stuff" onto my experiences... or they are possibly mentally unstable... and I delete the comment, say a prayer for them and move on.  

10.  I don't have a ten.  So I will say this - I am so, so grateful that so many of you are concerned about me... about Hope... about our family.  I know that so many of you have the best intentions and have become very invested in this little girl who, truly, is being dropped from Heaven.  It warms my heart to know that she will be born into a world that already has so much love for her.

It's all going to be fine.  I just know it.  We are all continuing to believe Hope born when she is ready... and we will all trust that she has many, many angels surrounding her.  It's all going to be fine.



57 comments:

  1. Kate, I'm so grateful you continue to blog. I love hearing about Gavin, Brian, and Hope. Do your best to let the negative comments/advice slide away. It sounds like you are doing everything right. The fact that you have EVERYTHING prepared in advance is fantastic! I'm pretty envious that your shopping, wrapping, and cards are all ready! Continue doing what you're doing and I'm so excited to hear of Hope's arrival!!

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  2. #9....I needed #9. The world needs to fully embrace #9. Thank you.

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  3. Dear Kate, I had NO idea you were receiving all sorts of unsolicited advice, heedings, blame, etc. I feel as though I know you because you explain yourself so clearly. I figured out long ago that blogging relaxes you. Joys multiply when shared, and burdens are lightened by sharing. I am so proud of how you handle nay-sayers. Keep on bloggin', sister! I look forward to your 'chats' every single day! Love, hugs, and blessings.

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  4. I don't often comment because there is nothing really of value I could add. I don't know you or your beautiful family except here. That being said, I often think of you all, say a prayer for everyone and am HOPE-ing for good things for you all right along with so many others. :)

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  5. Beautifully said! You sound like an amazingly strong woman, mom, and wife. I can't even begin to imagine what you have gone through. I have three boys and can't imagine my life without them. Your faith and your determination are beautiful! God and Gavin are definitely smiling on you and your beautiful family! I love how you take everything in stride, even the negative, and put a positive spin on it by giving it to God or just letting it go. If only more people were able to do that in life. Have an amazing Thanksgiving with your family!! God bless!

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  6. I am so very sorry you have to "explain" yourself and your situation. I tend to think people forget that they only see a glimpse of the whole story in a blog post or on Facebook. Too many people are worrying about you and your children without worrying about themselves. I am sure as a 44 year old mother of 4 you know exactly what is needed for you and your babies. Especially with the struggle you have endured to become a mom you more than anyone knows what is best for your body and your babies. Congrats on 35w1day! That is fabulous. You are in the homestretch. Keep doing what you are doing mama. Your kids and family are very lucky to have such a caring mama!

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    1. I agree Kate...you are such a strong person...On what I've been reading in all your blogs you have to be strong...You are the mom an you don't want Brain to see you sad...Kate I don't know you from adam but I love you an your family like they were mine...keep the blogs coming....be safe god bless you an your family...

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  7. I don't even know you but see signs or quotes with the word HOPE in it and always think about you and your cute family. I am so excited to see pictures of HOPE - and also say a prayer for your family. I love your blog- especially since I lost my mom suddenly to cancer and it helps me with my grief.

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  8. I rarely ever comment, because what could I ever say to you that you haven't heard a million times. I pray for you and your beautiful family, and have for years, since Gavin was hospitalized with RSV and Botulism. Our sons were born a little over a month apart. I read your blog daily and feel like we're 'friends' but you don't even know me. You have many old and new supporters, and only a few negative people. Don't let them stop you from writing (and I know you won't!) Please know, there are prayers coming from western PA for all of you. And, frankly, DAMN....I'm amazed at all you've accomplished to be ready for Hope and Brian! :) Way to go!

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  9. You are a very bright young lady. You have brought so much into so many peoples lives by sharing Brian, Gavin an Hope with us. Don't worry about what others think, you continue doing what you know an feel is best for you. People that have never lost a child might think you are putting to much a Gavin, BUT, I say, talking about it an remembering how he was, is VERY HEALTHY. It is when you hold it in that in becomes unhealthy. Praying for them is the best thing to do. Please, keep writing about Gavin, Brian an Hope. By the way, Hope is a very pretty name, an even in the midst of tragedy, there is always HOPE. GOD IS GOOD. I personally love reading about your precious children. My husbands aunt lost a son, an no one ever talked about him around her, an she thought no one cared or remembered him. Keep writing. Your doing GREAT.

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  10. I can't imagine how anybody could spend much time on your blog and not understand how much you love you children and how careful you are to make sure Hope's arrival is as uneventful as possible. I don't know you but I feel like I do and I can only strive to be the mother and wife that you have been and continue to be. So many other women would have just given up, crawled in bed and told the world to "F" off, but you stayed strong because that's who you are. Tell the critics to get over it, they obviously read one post and took it out of context or are just miserable in their own life and want you to be as well. Good luck and God bless!

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  11. I "found" you days before Gavin's death...spent ALL of my evenings catching up to the then current day, crying silently so I wouldn't wake my dozing husband and have to explain why I was crying and time seems to have flown by...the thought of you expecting a baby in December seemed SO FAR away and now you're 35 weeks and her birth is right around the corner! Amazing!! I LOVE reading your blog and keeping up with your family! Thank you for letting us all in!

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  12. Anyone who leaves comments like the ones you just posted about does not belong here on your blog. You are doing everything "more than right." Your love for your whole family shows through on every post. I am so looking forward to Hope being born and reading all about her and your family. Please continue writing your blog. I look forward to every post you make. Sending love, light, happiness to you and your family...

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  13. Kate, you are a role model to so many. In your writing, without knowing it you teach your readers to love stronger, have patience and keep the Faith... Those lessons are HUGE blessings. Most readers will only gain one or two lessons.....but there are those of that realize that there are so many more then what I've just listed. From someone else that needs to write to feel complete..... Keep writing, never stop.

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  14. Fantastic sharing Kate! Thank you.
    Joanne Doyle Kuzborski
    jkuzborski@comcast.net from Avon, MA

    Everyday I look for your pictures and messages.

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  15. Writing/journaling is one of the BEST ways to de-stress. Ignore those hateful ppl and plz keep writing. Any where a person goes that is having "issues" the dr alw ays has them journal. I actually go to a journaling group as part of my therapy. Best wishes for u and ur family! !!

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  16. I am a fairly new reader of your blog. I have so much respect and awe for how you have handled everything that has been happening in your life. I have been praying for you and your family. You should not have to explain yourself to those who have the nerve to leave such comments. I love the pictures you post and reading about your family. Thank you for the time and effort you put into this blog. It brightens my day.

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  17. I know Hope will be born and all will go well. I know I don't know you, but I know enough to know that you do everything possible to ensure her safe delivery.You are also the best parents Brian could ever have in this confusing, strange time.Hang in there
    .Michele from Syracuse

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  18. So sad that you have to justify any of your posts! Good grief you are a very intelligent grown woman, why can't people trust the fact that you would never jeopardize Hope, Brian or your own health. Some people just have too much free time on their hands!
    So many of us admire, love, and support you and your family, THAT I KNOW!
    Carry on Kate! You rock!

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  19. It's sad that there are people out there that think they know best and push their theory's and opinions on to you! You shouldn't have to be careful what you say and how you word things. This is YOUR blog and you feelings. If they don't like it, they shouldn't read it!! I am thinking of you and your family as you near the end of your pregnancy and i hope that it brings you the joy you so deserve!!
    Kristin

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  20. I completely understand the writing as therapy thing - if writing helps you to de-stress, then how in the world would it be helpful to stop writing?

    I think a lot of people - and it is not their fault necessarily, more of a thing that society teaches us - feel like they can control everything if they just do everything "right," and so they think if somebody is doing something - anything - that they deem to be a problem, then they start blaming: "If only you would rest more, write less, do less, do x y and z..." and so on. But they don't know the whole story, they aren't the ones monitoring your pregnancy, and they likely don't handle stress in the same way as you do anyway. People who tend to over-medicalize pregnancy are often the worst about telling pregnant women all the "reasons" they are tired or have high blood pressure or anything, like they are just looking for problems. I am so glad you are having the most uneventful pregnancy you have ever had! You are almost there (yay!!), and from what I have read, I think you have been handling your pregnancy extremely well under your circumstances! :)

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  21. Kate, as my grandmother always said to me...

    "people can only bring you down, if you are above them!"

    And you my friend are soooo above those mean spirited, nasty people. Ignore them and focus on the massive love and respect from the rest of us. xx

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  22. I despise all those "Debbie Downers" out there. Do what works for you and keep deleting the negatives. Hugs, prayers and thanks from our family!!

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  23. Kate, I don't think I have ever commented but now I feel I must - even though there is hardly anything that I can add to the comments of the good people before me (wish you'd install a like button :) There are people who get you (thousands) and people who don't (count them on one hand?) - the ones that don't, have no business to be here. They're not on your side, they're not your friends, let their comments go. You don't owe us anything, you don't have to explain yourself, though you do it beautifully and with so much strength and dignity every single time. Writing is therapy. Don't ever stop. Andrea

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  24. I am so glad that you are able to 'do' #9 with such wisdom and grace. Thank you for your sage, clear, kind response to those who have not thought through your situation as well.

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  25. Kate - Ha! YES! You are absolutely right. Having a 4-year-old alone for 7 hours is exhausting even when you are not pregnant (and are our age!). I have one, I know. She's awesome, but she exhausts me. I cannot imagine keeping up with her while pregnant. You are doing great!

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  26. Ugh I hate that you have to explain yourself to people who read your blog. I read and am simply blessed to follow along on your journey, and grateful that you share so honestly. Praying for you and can't wait to "meet" Hope!

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  27. I really do not like it that you have to explain yourself. Your write so beautifully - I am sorry some feel the need to be so critical. You are strong, you love your family and it is such an honor to follow you and read about that love. Love is what you are about. God bless you. Cannot wait to see pictures of Hope!

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  28. I love your blog! Thanks for sharing your life with us! People that give you all these crazy, unnecessary comments need to find something else to do with their time! Your family is awesome, you are walking a very difficult journey in a beautiful way and I love reading your words. Don't let the weird commenters get you down! Praying for you and expectantly believing precious baby Hope to be born in God's timing! Just a few more weeks now! :) Hugs from TX !

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  29. I love how open and down-to-earth you are. And you should feel good- because you are doing great :) Let the naysayers be and save your energy for the important stuff <3 Much love to you all!

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  30. Hi Kate, I don't ever comment, but felt compelled to say Bravo! Just because you write and share with us, does not mean you should have to explain yourself to these people. They obviously either never had children or don't know how hard it is to raise a child while having a somewhat complicated pregnancy. Not to mention the grieving process. I can't imagine what you are going through, but to me you are one tough lady and I applaud you in all the things you do. Not many could be as open or brave as you are. Hugs from Wisconsin!

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  31. Kate,
    I just wanted to say that You inspire me. Even though I don't personally know you I absolutely love Your Blog. I think it amazingly generous of You to share Your Family and Life w/ us all. I admire you so much for Your courage and humanity. You really have a way of touching the lives of others. Your family is absolutely beautiful. You are a great Person and wonderful Role Model and Mother.Thank You for being Yourself. Don't ever change!!!!<3

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  32. Kate I also have never commented but must say that Gavin's story touched me so deeply that now I am waiting with you with delight for Hope. You are such a gifted writer; it's a blessing to be allowed glimpses of your family and your feelings. And for those of us also grieving, the kind of post where you tell the gritty truth about grief, especially grief in the midst of tending beloved children, are the biggest blessing of all. Thank you.

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  33. Kate, you are amazing. you are doing a fabulous job. and I am just so sorry that people say such ridiculous and hurtful things to you! you are seriously amazing and handle things with so much grace! hugs to you!!

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  34. Kate - I am completely in awe of you. You are such an inspiration to all.I am touched by your openness and honesty. I believe 110% in the"walk a mile in my shoes" theory. I bet no one else could have made it 10 steps. You are both amazing parents who have handled everything you've been given with patience, love and grace. I wish with all my heart that Gavin could've lived a longer life - but I know that the 5-1/2 years he did live he was loved as if it were 100 years. Your beautiful family is such an inspiration! You keep writing from your heart, keep Gavin's angelic spirit alive, loving Brian with all your heart and using all your love to cook Hope just a little bit longer. I'm sure her oldest brother is helping out with that too! Thank you for sharing your beautiful family with us.

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  35. You're an amazing woman thank you for sharing your lives with us...All we can offer is prayer for these people who have no idea how to be compassionate...All of my love goes to you and your family. Please keep sharing, we are so touched by everything you share <3

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  36. I cannot write very eloquently, so I will keep this as short and sweet as I can. To all who read the comments as well as Kate's blog who have not lost a child. The pain and grieving never ends it ebbs and flows throughout your life. My firstborn was stillborn at thirty-eight weeks due to a total placental abruption. Patrick would have been 20 this past October. I have had two children after Patrick died. I still miss my son every single day. I still have days where it is like I am reliving the day he died and you know what, it's 100% normal.

    Grief is a personal experience. Kate, you are where you need to be. You are doing an amazing job with Brian letting him experience his grief the way he needs to. Keep on baking Hope and rest when you can. I can't wait to here of her arrival into this wonderful world.

    Lynne
    mom to three
    my angel Patrick
    my daughter who brought the sun back into my life, Corinne
    my son who surprises me every day, Aidan

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    1. Hugs and love to you! Your signature brought tears to my eyes.

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  37. Kate---I dont comment often, almost never, but I came over from Momastery when Gavin was on his way to the hospital and I have been here ever since. I read, I pray and hanging in there with you has been my own personal way of believing, even willing, Hope into being born. I cannot believe it is time. You have done more that anyone I can imagine given what you all have been through these last months. No one knows what your life really is like from a snapshot, a moment in time, which is what your posts are. If they believe that it gives them some type of insight into what goes on there every moment of every day, they are delusional. Your grief is yours, Ed's is his and Brian's is his all alone. You have done a beautiful job and I thank God you dont let others take that from you.

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  38. Oh, how I wish I could be your comment pre-reader, and delete the hurtful ones before they reach you. You are amazing, an inspiration to so many of us. Your blog has expanded beyond your wildest dreams for a reason, and we follow you with prayers for you all, and joyfully await pictures of beautiful baby Hope. Thank you for baring your soul and sharing the rawness that grief brings mixed with the beauty and appreciation for life that it reminds us all to appreciate.

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  39. Kate, I have been reading your blog daily since April. You have inspired me so and as another person commented, I too fall more in love with your dear Gavin with every post and with you and your openness to share your own vulnerabilities You just inspire me in your parenting and your support as a wife. I don't often comment because i'm not good at communicating this feeling inside of me and i second guess myself but that feeling just says i love this woman, encourage her, she's doing good, keep going Kate. With much love

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  40. Kate - I'm so proud of you for being able to let the negative comments roll off of your back. NOBODY can judge the situation you are in, even those of us who have been in similar situations. No one knows your pain the way you do and no one knows the best way to deal with it. Heck, I'm sure even you some days feel at a loss for dealing with the pain...because some days the only way to deal with the pain is to let yourself feel it. Just like you are doing. Those of us who have lost a child...or anyone who has lost someone close to them...understand that. But the way I dealt with losing my son is not necessarily the way you should deal with losing yours and for me to sit here and say you need to do this or you need to do that would be ridiculous! You keep on doing what you need to do for YOU and for YOUR family - and HUGE kudos to you for being able to keep the peanut gallery at bay. Huge kudos.

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  41. Kate, I probably comment too much and I've been guilty of trying to be a 'fixer' because it's hard to read about someone struggling with such grief and other issues and not want to help or simply be a cheerleader and reassure. You are wonderful and are doing a great job with Ed. jennypage

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  42. Hi Kate - I rarely comment. I just wanted to say that I'm here, silently listening and waiting and *Hoping* with you. I hear you! :) I write the same way - I can identify. I'm kind of blown away that anyone would get the impression you're "emotionally unavailable" for Brian - you strike me as one of the most emotionally available people in this country, if not on this planet. Sending you all strength and love and peace!

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  43. I never comment, but am moved to support you on this post. You do what you have to do, what you want to do, what you need to do - your way. The way that makes the most sense and works the best for you and your family. Keep on keeping on, and don't let the Judgey McJudgersons get you down.

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  44. You're right to be proud of yourself. I think it is a shame but perhaps inevitable as you say that things will get misinterpreted. People misunderstand me all the time in real life, and that is people who know me and who can see my face/hear my tone of voice. And sometimes people give unwanted advice that turns out to be helpful, but more often not.

    You are clearly an intelligent and highly caring person who thinks through the way to go and have done an amazing job at it.

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  45. You Rock! I have to admit that I can't know what you are going through. because I've never lost a child (at least not the way you have.My daughter hasn't spoken to me for about5 years though I still don't know why. My grandchildren (5of them) are leaving home as soon as they are legally allowed. And as soon as they leave they get back in contact with me, which has made me feel really good. Blessings to your family and to Hope. Perhaps you don't realise how much Hope she has given to so many of us.

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  46. You have a pretty big boatload of love coming your way - from people who will never know you, Brian, Hope, or Ed. Who never knew Gavin or Darcy. But still, so much love to all of you.

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  47. You are so right in your thinking your actions your approach to parenting and your grief process. If only there were millions more of you! Congratulations on your progress and best wishes for a joyous birth.

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  48. hi kate,
    i am just a stranger from texas who found your blog through my cousin-in-law this june, shortly after her daughter's sudden passing. i think i have commented on a stranger's blog one time EVER, but i wanted you to know that i have loved reading the stories of ALL of your precious children, and i so look forward to the day that i open this page and see a picture of a healthy, beautiful newborn Hope. i am not an especially religious person, but i believe you are living a miracle right now at the end of this pregnancy, and i hope the people who have learned that they can be cruel on the internet with no consequences do not subtract from your joy. take care.

    peace and love,
    christina

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  49. you totally don't have to explain yourself. although you always CAN explain yourself cause you have a great mama intuition.

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  50. I am a total stranger who happened upon your blog after your post on Momastery and I began following you because of my own pregnancy losses and a toddler and a pregnancy all at the same time. And despite all that, we're still just strangers; I probably don't even have the "right" to write this to you, but I just felt moved to tell you to keep your chin up, you're amazing. And everyone has bad days and good days, and geez, we should just try to be nicer to one another and practice "if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all" every once in a while. I will say a prayer for you, baby Hope, and the rest of your family today.

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  51. I love to think about how many people are praying for you.

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  52. You r an incredibly strong person. I can't even imagine how u hold it all together. Your children, all three of them r so very lucky to have a mom that loves them so much. God bless u and your family.

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  53. This is a perfect post. Good for you for defending yourself and knowing that you are doing what is best for you, Brian, Hope and Ed. And now that Hope is here, WARMEST congratulations! Looking forward to many details!

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  54. First. congratulations on the birth of Hope. She's a beauty! Second, to the person who said that you are too immersed in death to give Brian attention, don't pay one mind to that insensitive comment. I'm sure that person has never lost a child. I haven't but can imagine that there's no way to get over the death of your child in seven months all the while keeping your family together. It sounds like Brian is doing really well! You keep on doing what you're doing because it's right for you and your family...and that's all that matters.

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