“Suffering Olympics”

I’ve been reading When Empty Arms Become A Heavy Burden By Sandra Glahn & William Cutrer, MD. It was a gift from a very special friend. At first I can honestly say I didn’t want to read the book. I KNEW I was infertile, and I KNEW I lost my children. How could this book help me? But it has, it tremendous ways. There are even several chapters that don’t actually fit my circumstance, but they too have helped me in other aspects of my life. I’ve had questions that I never had the courage or resources to ask, that were answered for me. But enough about that, on to my point…

There is a chapter in the book about the “Suffering Olympics” that infertility couples seems to go through. Where everyone tries to make you feel better by “one up-ing” you with their experience(s). I have been taking a lot of the book for its infertility help, but also applying it to the loss of Willow & Hazel. Luckily, I have only had one instance of “One upping” with the loss of my girls. An instance of, ‘I’m sorry what happened to your girls, but this happened to me. See it could have been worse. I was devastated by what happened to me. You were lucky with how you lost your girls.’ Those were not exact words, but it was approached that way.

I was so mad and angry at this person. No part of what happened to James and I was lucky. We both lost our children. Don’t you see that, this is not a competition to see who has suffered more. We have both suffered enough. Neither instance should have EVER happened. I hope you can see that (well theoretically I say this, they do not read my blog).

I’m sorry you feel you must make this a competition. There is no ‘lucky’ or ‘better way’ for a child to die. I hope you find your peace soon.

Hell Week

**Contains Triggers**

This week has been hell for the last 3 years, but this year it decided to raise the bar a couple of notches
The 9th marked 3 years since my little girls were born.

The 10th marked 3 years since Willow died

Now, on the 10th we also had to put our dog, Cortana, down. We got Cortana as a rescue during my cycle for the girls as a gift for them.

Just minutes ago, on the 14th we had to put Valentine, our cat, down. We’ve had her for nearly 9 years.

On the 17th it will mark 3 years since Hazel died.

I really just don’t feel like I can take much more. I’m sitting here crying in bed while my husband was at the emergency vet. I didn’t even get to say goodbye.
I can’t stop crying while staying up with Dex who is really congested with a bad cold. I’m feeling at a horrible low point.
While both pets were ours, and I’ve cried and cried over them, I feel horrible and don’t know what to do for my husband.
Valentine was my husband’s first cat when we were dating. She wasn’t our first cat together, but Valentine was ‘his’ cat and Cortana was ‘his’ dog. I don’t know how to comfort him while I’m grieving too.
My heart can’t take much more this week, this year, or this lifetime…..
Struggling with infertility and childloss, your pets become your fur-babies. They comfort you in ways humans cannot. They are there without the need to say words that unknowingly hurt, and show nothing but companionship and love.

Pet leave silent footprints on our hearts…

Happy Heavenly 3rd Birthday

I can’t believe it is 3 years already. I can only imagine what you would look like and be into at this point. If your little brother is any indication, I’d say I’d really have my hands full.

I cried most of the morning for you yesterday. I was writing the date at work, and realized that the next day was the 9th. I couldn’t believe it. I hadn’t realized it was that late in the year. Things seem to tend to blur together now.

This year, your birthday is hitting hard again. Dadda and I had to make a very difficult decision and make a very hard call yesterday. Cortana, your doggy, the one we adopted just for you girls, will have to be put to sleep tomorrow. The Vet wanted to do it today, but we refused.

It helps knowing that we are giving you a really awesome birthday gift. What little girls don’t want t puppy for their birthdays!? So, Happy Birthday Willow & Hazel. We love you and miss you dearly. Enjoy Cortana my little mogwais.

With all our love,

Mommy & Dadda

If roses grow in heaven

Lord please pick a punch for me

Place them in my daughters’ arms

And tell them they’re from me

Hello, old friend, I see you’re back…

*contains triggers/MENTS

Well hello, Old friend. I see you’ve showed up unannounced again. Shows how close we really are, no introduction or reminders needed. Just pop in and just as quickly be on your way. 

This time it was at the mall. The 3 of us were shopping for winter clothes for our rainbow about to turn 2. He grew 3 inches since July, and all his pants are way too short. 

As we leave I see the Christmas clothes and swoop by with the stroller to see if there is anything cute for his picture with Santa. 

And there you were, standing there with a sly grin next to the rack. It’s been awhile since you showed up and stayed with any longevity. Sometimes you text or call, but then aren’t heard from again for awhile. This time your presence lingers. You show me the Mickey Mouse Christmas dress that Willow & Hazel would look so incredible adorable in. The two on the rack are 3T as well. Dex LOVES Mickey Mouse, so of course they would too. I break down sobbing right there in the store. You caught me soo off guard. 

James runs ahead and had me push the stroller out of the store while he pays. I try and collect myself and walk away. I didn’t say goodbye, I knew you’d be back eventually. The problem is, you never really left. You hang around, stalking, waiting for me to drop by guard. This time though, you’ve hung around. Almost every day I hear from you. 

It’s been nearly 3 years since the girls died, the first year I relied heavily on you, you carried me everywhere. Last year, you popped up right after Dex arrived and around milestones with him (you weren’t going to miss those, were you?) but largely stayed around the edges. 

So why? Why are you hanging around so much this last month? Do you feel like family? Must you come to every Holiday? 

Well, my friend Grief, consider yourself uninvited for the Holidays. You’ve overstayed your welcome this year. We need some distance and time to grow apart. A distant memory, never forgotten of course, but pushed to the back. 

I can think about my daughters without crying now. I can smile when I think of them. I can feel joy when I think about them, so it is time you moved out of town. I don’t mind the occasional visit every now and then, after all, you were a big part of my life and of memories of the girls. 

Goodbye means forever, so let’s just say goodnight. 


A different kind of post

This post is different from my normal posts. It isn’t about my grief and it really doesn’t have anything to do with it. It’s just about me. 

I have been struggling pretty badly with feelings of adequacy. I know I need to address them, but when I’ve tried I always get brushed off. 

It feels like all my friends from HS have made something of their lives. They’ve made a difference. They are pursuing their dreams and getting doctorates. Things I will never have. Jealousy maybe? They can expand their families without having to spend $10k for just a small chance. 

I had to put my dreams of a doctorate to rest 4 years ago. If I wanted a family, I could never pursue that dream. I’m not saying that those with a doctorate can’t have a family, I’m sayin WE couldn’t afford both. Period. It was either go to school, or do IVF. Not both. Period. I would like to add that I regret nothing. I would do it all over again in an instant, but it does leave me feeling inadequate. 

I’m not as smart at they are, I’m not published, I haven’t made some big profound difference in the world, hell, I can’t even get my photography or crafting business off the ground. It all leaves me feeling like a failure. I can’t even get drunk and end up pregnant. I can’t even try and get pregnant. I have to spend months prepping, and go to a sterile OR for even a 30% chance. 

I know a lot of it comes from going to HS where I did. I left home at 16 to attend the Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics, and Humanities. Though, I think there was a slight name change? Think of being 16, going to live in the dorms at a college, and being surrounded by the smartest 100-150 kids in your state. I went from being one of the smartest kids at my school to just being average or below at that school. BUT, it prepared me for so much in life and academics. It changed my views on the world. I loved every second of it (after the first 2 weeks when I called begging to go home… I hadn’t made friends yet and not being an absolute genius I was being made fun of). 

So, you can imagine that most of my graduating class are now doctors, lawyers, in politics, own businesses, speak multiple languages, or pursuing higher degrees and being all around top rate citizens. Then, there is me. I didn’t go to my 10 year reunion. You see why? 

It feels like every little piece of something I can call my own, gets taken away. Even my losses. Recently someone very close to me, my sister, lost her son. It devastated the whole family over again. Including me. Now, I even have to shares my losses and grief with someone. They can’t be ‘mine.’  When I grieve my daughters, I have to make room and grieve my nephew. Those days can’t just be about my daughters anymore. 

I know that may sound horrible, but it’s how I feel. I still grieve my nephew and celebrate his life. I know the pain my sister is going through and I wish she didn’t have to know it. I don’t want her or any one else in my family to stop sharing his story, or celebrating his life. I don’t want my sister or anyone else to shy away from all this. That is NOT what I want. I don’t want them to feel bad for celebrating my daughters or her son. 

I’ve always remembered all my online friends’ losses with my daughters, so I don’t know why this is any different. 

Anyway, I know this post has been all over the place. I know it is depressing and weird. I’m not looking for sympathy or ‘back patting.’ I just needed to get those feelings out. I needed to write them down. Blogging has always been very therapeutic for me. 

Now for a cookie 🙂 



Tonight, October 15th, 2015, at 7PM local time something amazingly beautiful took place. A wondrous wave of light spread across the world making its way time zone to time zone creating a beautiful glowing light in the darkness of many lives. This glow shed light and awareness for all those children gone too soon. It united the world one candle at a time, family by family, spreading love and compassion across the globe. 
Tonight, we stand strong and break the silence on pregnancy and infant loss. May our lights shine bright and be a beacon in the night.  
Tonight I light a candle in remembrance of all children lost, no matter the age or gestation. 
Willow Anne Roark

12/09/12 – 12/10/12
Hazel Jaymes Roark

12/09/12 – 12/17/12
“Each new life, no matter how brief, forever changes the world.”
My nephew:

Ivan James Snider

04/07/15 – 04/14/15 



If you have requested to follow me on Instagram, please let me know somehow. You can PM me on Twitter @Karoark, email me at kastreet@gmail.com, or comment below. I have had a few people request that I can’t figure out if they are just trying to add to spam my feed with products they are selling (bot accounts or selling accounts) or are truly wanting to follow with personal accounts. 

A sisterhood no one asks for

  Stayed up way past my bedtime, but the ribbons for tomorrow turned out amazing. I’ll wear it tomorrow and get a lot of questions, but just like every year I’ll also get a few silent nods as tears well up in a stranger’s eyes. In that moment, we will no longer be strangers. Instead we will be family. Bonded by grief and compassion. Sisters and Brothers, pillars of strength to lean on.