by Nicole Dodson-Sands
There was a storm a brewing but this I did not know.
The lightning came and struck me I had to let my baby go.
The clouds came and surrounded me the sadness did not seize.
The tears and pain engulfed me and brought me to my knees.
I knew this wasn't over that the storm would carry on.
My dreams to have another were not completely gone.
Then as the storm was fading there was a rainbow in the sky.
I held my baby tightly and wiped the tear drop from my eye.
Nicole is the mama to 8 children that run and 4 that fly. She wanted to keep the memory of her children alive and felt led to become certified as a Loss Doula so that she could help families experiencing the loss of a child at any point during pregnancy or shortly after birth. She has also been called to become a Birth Doula and helps families welcome their Rainbow Babies earth side as well as guiding families dealing with a high risk pregnancy or those that have dealt with birth trauma in previous births.
You can learn more and follow her journey on Facebook or at, Inspired Birth and Families
Sometimes I forget how NOT normal our life is. We have our groove, our system, and the way we make our life work. It’s not perfect, and it’s not easy. We sit out of a lot of “normal”, because it’s easier sometimes. This time of year especially, there is a lot that we do not do, a lot of places we don’t go, and so many people we do not see for months at a time.
We have fun together, the three of us. Most days spent with them are a blast, and we love to laugh. Wyatt’s turned into quite the prankster in the past few months, and he lives to tell jokes, make us laugh until we cry, and the stories, oh his stories. This kid is full of one liners, and I never grow tired of them. He’s naturally a tinkerer, a dreamer, and full of wonder at how and why.
Tonight we had our Trunk or Treat at our church. I took a bunch of little toys (finger lights, dinosaur toys, etc) so people could hand them out to Wyatt and he could have a night of “normal”. Gram made him a new Star Wars mask to wear with his Han Solo costume, a costume that every detail was agonized and speculated over for the past month. We didn’t go to the dinner portion to try and keep him from the food and extra germs as much as possible.
This has been all he has talked about for days… days. Tonight, as we wandered from car to car, pumpkin pails in hand, I watched my kids with wonder. I was at ease knowing that he would get some treats, even if it wasn’t from everyone. Reagan was relaxed and didn’t feel guilty accepting a treat when her brother would have none. But, Wyatt. I cry just thinking about him. Words cannot fully describe the joy on my boys face. The pure, unheld back joy on his face, I will never forget it. Watching his jump up and down realizing, finally, something just for him. His sweet voice, a smile I cannot get out of my heart. Just being 5. There aren’t many moments in public that he gets to just be 5. There aren’t very many moments he gets to do what everyone else is doing, and just be the kid he deserves to be.
I’ve been choking back tears all night, at a moment that most won’t even think about 24 hours from now. A moment so normal to childhood most put little thought into it. At five years old, it’s a moment that’s never happened. Several people bought him special prizes, those ones choked me up, because it meant they purposefully went out of their way to think of my child. To allow him to be just five years old for an hour.
All night he’s pulled out the toys from his pumpkin pail, looking over each one, his smile so big, showing anyone who comes into the room. Tonight, he fell asleep with finger lights on his fingers, glow in the dark spiders in his bed. Tonight, my boy got to be just a five year old boy in a rockin’ homemade Han Solo costume. Never have dollar store trinkets been so valuable.
Our guest author for today is Jessie. She actively works every day on raising awareness about FPIES, a rare form of food allergies, which her son Wyatt, suffers from. She is the mama of two beautiful children and loves to bake and spend time doing crafts, such as making awesome costumes, with them. You can follow Jessie's writing on her blog Hope For Wyatt
I adore the website The Mighty and all the work they do to help bring awareness and take away stigma. I am not ashamed to admit that I have cried over more than one of their posts. When I have read a post about a family that has a similar situation as my own family's or when someone else writes the words that my heart has been longing to hear, it is a healing thing. It is a moment in which I realize "I am not alone!" and that is huge. It can be so very isolating being the mama, the family, of special needs children.
As part of raising awareness is about giving those that often are not seen or heard a voice and a presence, I want to open up this blog to those that would like to share. That would like to have their story or their children's stories told. I am imagining something like The Mighty's posts but poems, photo essays, and more would be welcome. We each have our own special way of sharing and bringing awareness- what is yours? And would you like to share and help spread awareness?
I have been bringing paper and pencils with me wherever I go. As the mama of two little ones who don't have the same nap or bedtime schedule, getting time to be creative can be tricky sometimes. So I sketch and paint whenever I can grab a moment. I feel so inspired by this project that I don't want to miss a single chance to draw when I get the chance. I also am so inspired by the families that have been sharing their stories with me. I am honored to try to capture a tiny bit of what they go through and mostly bring awareness to those needs. There are so many invisible portions of each of these needs that is impossible to fully capture them in a painting, I wish it was. But I know how hard each and every one of these families works to give their child(ren) a life where they can not just survive but thrive.
Some of the upcoming needs I will be focusing on: Hearing loss/hard of hearing/deafness (this is such a big category that I don't feel that one Critter will even vaguely cover it, so there will be quite a few Critters in the future with this focus), diabetes and insulin pumps, glasses and patching, ports, IgE allergies/need for EpiPens, UP, and quite a few more.
Here is a sneak peak of a couple of the ones I am working on...