I’m so excited to share this Momma today. She’s brought so much comfort and happiness to other Loss Moms through her art. I know she has touched so many lives including mine. Not to mention our sweet Angels share a name. When I gave her this day for her story to be posted she told me today just happens to be her birthday. Join me in honoring and wishing this amazing beautiful Momma a very Happy Birthday today!
Name– Tara Denz
Angel baby– Avery Robert Denz
Type of loss– Avery was stillborn due to an incompetent cervix
Home state– Illinois
Best advice you’ve received– Grief does not have a timeline. You are allowed to grieve at your own pace and when you need to.
Favorite place you’ve ever visited– This one is difficult to answer. I want to give a three part reply. Prior to getting pregnant with Avery, my husband and I visited Italy. It was so incredible and magical to be around such history and culture. While I was pregnant, we visited a small town in Pennsylvania. There was nothing around but that time I felt very bonded with Avery. We antiqued around to find treasures for his room and enjoyed dreaming of all the beautiful things we would do together. After the loss, and just recently in fact, we visited Puerto Rico. It was nice to get away from all the triggers in daily life and to get back in sync with my husband. Loss can be straining on a relationship and taking time for eachother is very important.
Biggest accomplishment– My son, Avery who will always be my angel and my muse. I published my first coloring book recently and I feel very accomplished, although I still have many books to go.
Ways you honor your angel– Well, in October 2016 I participated in Capture Your Grief where I decided that my sunset dedication, which landed on Avery’s due date of October 31st, I was going to include other babies. I had a small group of angels where I wrote their names on leaves and tied them to the balloons I released in Avery’s honor. I then compiled all the photos I took and made a YouTube video titled The Avery Project.
In December 2016, I started The Reclaimed Memories Tree Project where I drew pictures of over 120 angels that included names, quotes or birth dates. I then mailed the ornaments to the families at no cost. As of now I continue to work through a grief journal that is called Avery’s Garden Grief Journaling Project. All the pictures in the journal are in celebration of the angels Avery and I have met. I take those pictures and then create a coloring book for purchase. Avery’s Garden Coloring Book series will feature as many angels as I can. I believe that this is a calling for my gift and I have yet to really discover the full potential. All proceeds go towards my dream of creating a treehouse retreat where families can go to be with eachother and nature again. My link for my GoFundMe is at the bottom.
Describe yourself in 4 words– Passionate, loving, giving, creative.
What food you’ve never tried and why– There are probably many, but it’s only because I have never seen them before. I love new foods and will try almost anything once!
What inspires you– My son. My baby has unlocked a part of me that I think had been dormant for a while. He has led to to so many new lives and angels from all over the world. The Angel Mom Community inspires me daily and are incredibly uplifting and caring souls. Because of them I believe in true kindness. Nature inspires me as well to believe in true beauty.
In August of 2015, my husband and I decided to change our lifestyle and try a new way of eating called Whole 30. I had struggled for years with PCOS and weight from my interactive thyroid. One month in and my periods stared to regulate and my weight was dropping. I followed the lifestyle through to January 2016 when I decided to challenge myself and eat fully raw for the month. I was feeling amazing and better than I had in a very long time. In January and February of 2016 I didn’t have a period and I thought for sure I had shocked my body somehow eating the way I was. Despite several pregnancy tests coming up negative I still didn’t have an answer. Until March 10, 2016.
I came home from work tired and defeated and took another test. Only this time the digital screen was looking back at me with the word I had been wishing since we had started trying for 5 months prior. Pregnant. I smiled and started crying and waited for my husband to arrive. His reaction was priceless. It was real, and as the planner and over achiever that I am, I began to go wild with ideas.
On Easter we told my family that we were pregnant. I gave my parents a gift basket with a framed quote, champagne and a hand painted sign that I made. We video taped their reaction and plastered it all over online. Things were magical.
My first ultrasound was with my mom. Hearing Avery’s heartbeat and learning he was due on Halloween! My pregnancy was perfect, not a problem, pain or discomfort in sight.
Sigh. Fast forward to Thursday June 16, 2016. I went to work in a long black floral dress. As I went to the bathroom I noticed a tiny speck of blood. I immediately called my doctor and he made an appointment for me later that day. I called my husband and bursted into tears as I asked him to leave work to take me. I was panicking. I left work immediately and met my husband. I went to the washroom again, no blood. I felt relieved….there could be anything wrong. I was just overreacting. Wrong.
The doctor examined me with an intern. During the exam he asked the intern “do you see that?” See what? I thought. He sat up and as clear as day gave me the news. “Your dilating and your water bag is starting to breach into your vagina.” I couldn’t move. I couldn’t think. All I remember is a wave of heat followed by shaking. Mu heart pounding out of my chest. “What you have is considered a weakened or incompetent cervix which will result in the loss of your pregnancy”.
I began to sob…how was this happening? He said he was going to call a colleague and left my husband and I alone. I just kept saying I’m sorry. I’m so so sorry. I felt so responsible. How did my body fail me.
We were given a 10 percent chance that an emergency cerclage (stitch) could be done. We were sent to a city hospital an hour away. We were seen immediately and were told that they would elevate my feet overnight and hope that the bag would go back in.
I was allowed to go down the hall to the bathroom. While in there, I suddenly felt something inside me starting to come out. I placed my hand on the outside of my vagina and felt what I first thought was Avery’s head. I had never been pregnant before and my mind was a total mess! All of a sudden there was a burst and water went everywhere.
I screamed calling for the nurse and walked back to the room to face my husband that this was it. Avery was going to die.
For hours I waited for a overnight room. And then was induced into labor. I was given dissolving pills that made my body go into shock and had waves of extreme cold. I was having contractions while convulsing from my low temperature. The pain medication that was given only lasted about a half an hour so I felt every part of Avery’s delivery.
At 3:37 AM on June 17, 2016 Avery Robert Denz was born. Unable to take a breath and passed away. He was 20weeks and 4days gestation.
On Father’s Day we met with my friend and funeral director to pick out an urn and a necklace to encapsulate some of his ashes. Life would never be the same.
I was given 6 weeks maternity leave and while we sat outside days that followed, a red cardinal appeared on our fence. He came every day and sang from the peak of our roof. We saw him even at our parents homes and during a day trip into Michigan one afternoon. That is where his symbol came from. Avery’s cardinal lives in our tree and is always circling around our home. I know it is my baby. We are connected in ways that I can only imagine is fate. He is mine, and I am his. He stayed throughout winter and now that Spring is here he is back to singing from all the tree tops nearby. He even visits at my work.
Avery’s Garden was created in June and it ignited my love and understanding of nature and signs we are given. I often receive iridescent raincloud rainbows as well as I reminder he is near.
-Connect to Tara-
Facebook: Avery’s Garden
Go Fund Me at: http://www.gofundme.com/averys-garden-treehouse-retreat