Thursday, December 30, 2010
When I look at last years year in review, I'm thinking that it is going to look a LOT different. My life is a lot different. From an outsider's perspective, it looks pretty darn good. And it is. But it is still complicated, and twisty. Dark yet light.
Well, enough. Here we go.
January: I was in the second trimester of my pregnancy. I started seeing a psychologist again as the ptsd kicked into overdrive approaching the different milestones in my pregnancy.
February: Had our anatomy scan to find that we were having a healthy, beautiful baby girl. I was terrified beyond belief, yet not very relieved after the scan. I had a perfect scan with the twins, too.
March: Found out we sold our house!!!!! Passed the 21 wks 3 days milestone (when my water broke). Immediately started looking for a house to buy. Passed the year mark of when my water broke (march 29th)
April: Passed the 23wks3 days milestone (when the twins were born). Had a French teacher come to stay with us, along with 15 French students in our school district. Raised over $2,000 for the March of Dimes and walked 6 miles (me in a wheelchair since I was too nervous to walk!). Celebrated (mourned) Sophie and Aiden's first birthday in Heaven. Moved into our new house.
May: Finished up a challenging school year. Got situated in the house. Finally began buying things for the baby and working on a nursery.
June: Spent waiting in anticipation. Walked miles each day trying to start labor. Visited garage sales. Tried to stay calm.
July: Avery is born!
August: Learn to care for miss Avery.
September: Hubby is back to work.
October, November, December: Struggle to get through the holidays without Sophie and Aiden, but also enjoyed Avery's firsts. I went back to work in November and hubby took the month of December off. We visited friends and family.
I have such a hard time putting into words what this year has been like. In certain ways, I can't even remember parts of it. Other parts are crystal clear. So much of it was unlike anything I ever dreamed of. Motherhood (to a living child) is not lost on me-I am SO grateful. So often I find myself crying at the prospect of the most simple things. I still most times cannot even believe that Avery is here, safe, and that she's mine. I often have to pinch myself. I am so grateful.
And then sometimes I'm still so bitter and full of resentment. I wonder why my babies had to leave; why I had to be the one to experience this.
I've met so many friends through this blog. A few of whom I would consider my best friends (don't know if that's creepy or not, but it's true). A few who I feel such a bond with.
My life is full of so much good and still so much sadness. I don't anticipate this changing in the next year.
Or ever, really.
Be safe ringing in this New Year. Wishing you all a peaceful and happy 2011. :)
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
I want to lay down and scream.
Kick my feet. Cry. Yell.
My face is red from tears.
I feel like I'm back in this horrible place again. I feel like it's early days-the days when I had just said good-bye to the twins.
I am so mad.
I want to fight. I want to come at someone, and yell at them. Yell at them until they understand.
I thought I was over the comment B's grandma made.
But. You see-B has a cousin, D. D was born at 24 weeks in 1984. And he is alive, and well, and with some minor delays in learning and some social aspects, he is an all around healthy young man.
So I want to say to her-that my "bad seed" could very well be her friggin' grandson.
I want to call certain members of hubby's family and ream them out. I want to yell at them and make them understand. I want them to understand how much they hurt my husband, and in turn, me. I want to make them apologize and make them take back every hurtful thing. I want to change them into exactly who I want them to be.
I want to tell my piece of junk father that he is a piece of junk and I don't want to waste my time having a superficial relationship with him.
I want to RIP up the Christmas letter I got from my friend who is pregnant with the twins. I want the pictures of baby A and baby B to be MY baby A and B. I want to go in reverse, and I'm still pregnant with the twins and they are just fine.
I am yelling. I am screaming. I am crying.
Because none of this can be done. And I am selfish. And I should just be happy with what I have.
I want. I want. I want.
I scream. I throw a fit. I tantrum.
I want people to understand how bad this hurts. That it's not something you "get over."
I want to MAKE THEM UNDERSTAND.
I am just seriously having a rough time. This Christmas feels so much worse than last. That may be because I pretty much don't remember anything about last Christmas. I just feel like it's more real.
I am so MAD at this world. I'm mad because our babies died. I'm mad because people get treated like crap.
Ugh. I'm sorry this post is so angry. I just needed to get it out. My grief cycles are coming back to anger more and more and I'm running out of techniques to deal with it. I'm feeling a little helpless and trying to stay strong for Avery so she doesn't have a psycho mother. I'm honestly usually very ok, but sometimes I just need a good, long vent.
Thanks for reading if you made it through--and I hope your holidays are peaceful and not quite as angry-making as mine!!
Saturday, December 25, 2010
I hope your holiday was peaceful. You were all on my mind. We are at my mom's relaxing-A is taking a nice, long nap and we are relaxing in front of a fire. xoxo
Monday, December 20, 2010
You won't believe what I did this morning.
Well, you might. I'm not sure if this is just crazy Christy, or a baby loss thing, or an IF thing.
Anyway, this morning, I took a pregnancy test.
You all screech to a halt, right? What in the world?
Are we trying to get pregnant? Not at ALL. In fact, with sleep deprivation and going back to work, let's say it's been a while, since *ahem* AND we are on birth control. OH, AND-don't forget-I have to take a pill to ovulate.
Oh, and since I've been taking birth control, I've been having regular periods.
But then, I think I feel flutters in my tummy.
What if I missed it? What if those are kicks? What if I'm like one of those girls on "I didn't know I was pregnant"? What if the bleeding hasn't been periods and I'm just bleeding and I'm like 16 weeks pregnant and I've been drinking SO much caffeine and taking antibiotics and not taking any folic acid. I did have some breakthrough bleeding a few months ago.
But, duh, I'm not feeling flutters. It's gas.
But what if it's flutters? What if I missed something? What if it's a miracle, and I'm one of those people that got pregnant on birth control and didn't know it?
But seriously-I'm not pregnant.
So I go to bed. And I'm awake off and on all night and I think I feel weird things and am I gaining weight? and I dream that I'm pregnant and it's actually twins and with bedrest this time they'll make it. I'll have my twins.
I'll join mothers of multiples. I'll go to the big consignment sale because I'll need extra stuff.
So this morning I wake up, and I dig around in the cabinet, because I know there's got to be a leftover pregnant test in there somewhere.
But, seriously-there is NO WAY you are pregnant. You are crazy.
But if I just take the test, then I'll know for sure and know that I'm not doing anything that would hurt the "babies."
So, I do.
And I swear-my heart POUNDS as I watch the little timer flip on the digital test. And then, minutes later, it pops up NOT PREGNANT (DUH). Then I have to hide it. Put it in the package. Wrap it in toilet paper. Put it in the bathroom garbage. Take bathroom garbage downstairs and put in big garbage. Take that whole bag out.
This is ridiculous.
I am RIDICULOUS.
It's something permanent inside me, I think. Expecting the disappointment. Always wondering if maybe a little miracle will happen and I won't have to try. Perhaps even expecting immaculate conception, I mean, really? REALLY? Shouldn't I just be happy with Avery right now? Shouldn't I just be glad I don't have to worry about ttc right now? Shouldn't I be focusing on her?
I feel so sad. And crazy. And I look at Avery and there is a little shadow around her, next to her.
I look and want to see her brother.
Only she's not Sophie, she's Avery.
Man. Oh, man. This is what I call permanent damage.
Thursday, December 16, 2010
At any rate, the book took me back. But I was ok. I held it in. Then I opened the book. She had written in it.
"*2009* You were always wanted and always loved."
Seriously. That is what it said.
So I opened it and started reading. As I flipped the pages, a card fell out. Apparently I had just placed it inside the book after reading it. It was a baby card and where it said "Ten fingers" and "Ten toes" she had crossed it out and made it "Twenty fingers" and "Twenty toes."
I couldn't help it. I couldn't stop myself. Brian wasn't home to help. And I just sat there, with A on my lap giggling as the puppy walked by, sobbing uncontrollably.
These moments, they get you from nowhere. This horrible longing for what you didn't have, what you never really had at all, it seems, and what is NEVER going to come back.
There are triplets at my middle school. I didn't know. Today was their birthday. I thought of my sweet friends, Nan, and Kerry, and Rachel, and wishing it was THEIR triplets at my school.
I clicked onto Yahoo and there was the headline-Mariah Carey is preggo with twins!
My friend who is pregnant with boy/girl twins wrote to have dinner. I can't do it.
A good friend who lost twins-her sister since then has had TWO sets of twins (seriously)-and she has to meet them for the first time on Monday.
Another bloggy friend who lost twins just found out her close friend is having twins.
Friends are without jobs, without their parents, without their siblings.
It's the holidays. I think of my bloggy friends who have yet to have their rainbows, or ones who tragically and horribly are without their rainbows as well.
I'm thinking of you. I'm sending ALL my love to you. I'm pouring my positive thoughts into the universe to send them to you.
Please know that I care.
Saturday, December 11, 2010
I just went upstairs to put the baby to bed, and since it was so dark I hadn't drawn the shade in her room. I swaddled her and sat in the rocking chair and as she fell asleep, I looked outside at the winter wonderland swirling around out there (movie moment, yo). Tears fell slowly, but it was a different kind of tears than I've been shedding recently. They were tears of gratefulness-for Avery, for Sophie, for Aiden.
In just two short weeks back at work, my stress level is right back up to super high. Middle schoolers-seriously. I love them, but man, it almost seems like each year they care less or perhaps I just have less patience :) At any rate, when I get super stressed out, I clean. When I get depressed, I clean. I am the opposite of a hoarder. Going through a closet or a drawer and filling up bags of garbage or bags for charity gives me a rush. So, today, I asked Brian to hang out with Avery for a few hours so I could give the house a good cleaning. It didn't need to be cleaned-I had a party Friday night and had cleaned for that. But it seemed this morning like every cupboard or drawer I opened was giving me a mood! So I just attacked. I filled bag after bag-rummage sale, garbage, Goodwill.
By the time I made it upstairs I was running out of steam. I needed to soak my stupid feet (never in my life had an ingrown toenail, but one too-tight pair of Nikes and one week at work later, I've been to the podiatrist twice and had two mini toe surgery-like procedures :( ) and so I just decided to dust and clean the bathroom and then I'd soak and take a shower. Well, when I dust, I have to dust the memory box for the twins.
Most of the time I don't open it. I have to be in a really good place to look through or have a specific reason for going in. But today I decided to open it. I've been in a pretty bad place lately-I find myself crying a lot-almost everytime I'm alone. I just needed a release. So I sat down on the floor and I went through every last thing in the box. I've decided I need to do something for myself in memory of the babies, because it's been too long. I've always coveted the necklaces I've seen other bloggy mommies get, the kind where you can get a mini copy of the baby's footprints on. Have you seen them? I'm not sure exactly where to get one, but I kept their footprint cards out and will scan them in. I feel so bad because I also really want to get a drawing done of the only picture I have of them together, but it's kind of expensive and it always seems like other stuff comes first in the budget. My being off work was kind of bad money wise for us, and I couldn't seem to get my shopping (ahem, Target) under control. I also really, really want to have Fran at Small Bird Studio do a bloggy makeover for me. So, anyway, after Christmas I'm going to see what I can afford. I asked hubby to start a little savings account for me for memory stuff so I can have some things to look forward to. I like having a goal!
While going through the pictures, I let myself really, really look at them. I am so shocked by how much they and Avery look alike. It makes me feel so proud and so happy. They were just SO beautiful. Seriously. I know that it's hard sometimes to look past the skin color and bruises and all the rest, but once you can, they are just gorgeous.
Damn, I wish they were here. I really, really wish they were here.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Brian, me, a squirmy Avery, our dog, Louis, who doesn't listen ever, two teddy bears honoring the twins, and a camera with a timer that we have never used before.
I wish I could show you all the random ones along the way to the picture we finally chose!
So after we got the picture done I decided I was going to use Shutterfly to make the cards. I just ordered a super cool photo book from them, too-I love Shutterfly. It's so cheap, and easy, and I love how they deliver right to your house instead of visiting the store with the nasty germ covered photo machines and having to go out in the cold, snowy weather to pick them up!
The other reason I love them is because they just have more choices. My sister married into a family that is Jewish, so I like to send cards with "Happy Holidays" or ones that even say Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Kwanzaa, etc. So I get more options with shutterfly as well.
I went in and designed my card. Here is a picture I did not use, but it's close to the original (I had the wrong one in here before! hehe):
And I think I'll include A's first visit with Santa:
Shutterfly has all sorts of cool stuff. You should check 'em out. Just sayin.
Here are some links for easy navigating:
· desk calendars: http://www.shutterfly.com/calendars/desk-calendars
· photo cards: http://www.shutterfly.com/cards-stationery
· Christmas gifts: http://www.shutterfly.com/photo-gifts
· Birthday cards:http://www.shutterfly.com/cards-stationery/birthday-cards-stationery
Sunday, December 5, 2010
I dreaded the day for so long.
And, seriously, that place has memories. There is a bathroom I can't use-it's where I lost my mucous plug. I have so many painful memories there-and even the happy ones seem to cause me pain. I think of sitting in the teachers lounge having everyone tease me and ask me questions about having TWINS!
The ladies I was pregnant with (there are NINE!) are now starting to get pregnant again. Ya know, to have their babies exactly two years apart (not that there's anything wrong with that, I'm just so jealous!). The office secretary chose my first day back to tell me her son in pregnant with twins.
But it's more than that. It's the holidays. It's just missing them. It's NOT KNOWING THEM. It's the fact that I want to throw a screaming fit where I lay down and stomp my feet and scream and cry and throw things. It's the fact that I have a stocking with their names on it. And they have triple the ornaments on the tree that Avery does. And we took our holiday picture today with two teddy bears instead of two fricking 20 month olds. It's the fact that they are NOT HERE and everyone thinks I'm ok because I have Avery.
And then there are the tears of happiness. Of gratitude. The moments where I'm pinching myself, trying to figure out if this is actually real-that my beautiful daughter is with me and we are going to celebrate her first Christmas.
I had a meltdown at Thanksgiving. Hubby's uncle sits down to dinner, and-no lie-his opener for conversation goes like this:
"So, M (his daughter) loves to baby-sit. She baby-sits all the time. She baby-sits for some twin babies now. There are so many twins being born nowadays, can you believe that? She loves those twins. They are so cute."
Brian: "Not a good subject, M."
Like in the movies, all 14 mouths stop moving, forks clink to the plates. I cry and excuse myself.
What the HECK? Seriously? That's what you're going to try to talk to me about? Although, it was his wife who, while I laid on bedrest before the twins were born, said to me, "Don't worry about it. There will be other pregnancies."
I know this is coming off as bitter, but I think I've been holding it in for a little too long. I am MAD. I am so ANGRY they are not here. That I have this spot in my heart that is so, so empty.
And I am not alright.
And Avery makes my world SUCH a better place-but she can't bring them back.
And that is all. They are not coming back. Never, ever. And sometimes I just.can't.handle.that.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Seriously-I am one lucky, lucky person. I'm sitting here, in my warm, beautiful house with my husband who, in my opinion, happens to be the best husband on this Earth (at least for me!), I'm looking at the baby monitor while A sleeps peacefully. I'm full of yummy food. Tomorrow we are packing up to go to B's aunt's house, and then heading to a hotel with a waterpark with my sister and my nephew.
On Monday I go back to my job-a job that I enjoy, that I am good at, that pays me enough to keep my house and my car and buy cute, fun things for A for Christmas.
I have the best mom a person could ever, ever have.
And I sit here, crying.
Because I miss them. Because holidays bring that grief right back-it hardens the edges at first and then soon I am a mess.
I know that people are sad when they have to go back to work after maternity leave. But it is different for me, and I am slowly realizing that what's going on is I always feel like it's going to be the time when I have to say good bye to Avery. I'm still waiting for that other shoe to drop. I'm still just not sure that this happiness is mine. I'm more depressed about it than I should be and I feel guilty and selfish.
Why, when I tell myself over and over that I need to just be happy and thankful for what I DO have, do I still let myself wallow?
Because-no matter what great things happen to me from now on, it doesn't change the fact that Sophie and Aiden are dead. That I will carry this with me forever.
And I am so thankful for them and for everything that I have-I'm so happy. I feel warm and fuzzy.
And yet I feel incomplete.
All of you out there-I have a hunch you know what I mean. So full, but so empty. So happy, but so sad.
And maybe some of you don't have a whole lot to be happy about right now-and I am so sorry. Sometimes these holidays remind us of everything that we are missing.
At any rate, I want you all to know that I'm so thankful for all of you. Thank you for supporting me. For listening, and commenting, and understanding. For reading my journey even when it's hard for you-or makes you feel sad.
Friday, November 19, 2010
I am so thankful. So relieved that it's over.
Thank you all for the support :)
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Do you remember last year, how upset I was that B got back some scores from a test and he had missed by 4 or 6 points???
Well, anyway, he did. And I was devastated. It was his second try at something that is very hard and has no clearcut way to pass and they don't give you any feedback as to why you didn't, except the score.
It broke my heart to see so much more disappointment-one more thing that didn't go his way. And while it didn't compare to, say, his dad dying or the twins dying, it just added on top of all that grief.
So this year, I helped him as much as I could. We contacted teachers from all over the US in his content area that had passed, we ran his lesson ideas past all different teachers, we videotaped 3 different days.
Ok, so he finds out his scores on Friday morning.
If you could, could you send up the number "275" to the universe and hope for a positive outcome!?! I would SO appreciate it :)
Thinking of you all xo
Monday, November 15, 2010
At one point she left to the store to get something, and she was excited when she got back because she had brought B his favorite snack and she gotten each of us one of those $2 Crossword puzzle scratchoffs.
She smiled at me, and said, "You love those, right? They're your favorite?"
I simultaneously had my heart melt and almost burst into tears.
You see, after my water broke, when I was in the hospital, Brian and I would celebrate each night at 9:40 p.m. We had made it another 24 hours. Each night, B would go to the gas station and buy us fun snacks or drinks and he'd get us each a $2 crossworld puzzle. It was our way of marking that we had made it another day pregnant.
And I hadn't seen one since then. We used to do them often, as a fun thing at the end of the work week (I know, we are nerdy). But ever since, we just didn't buy them. We didn't speak about it; we just didn't do it.
I scratched mine off, and I didn't win. While I was in the hospital, I used to tell myself things like, "If this one is a winner, both of the babies will live." And then if it wasn't I would tell myself how silly and stupid and pointless that was.
I don't know where I'm going with all this, I guess nowhere. I think it's just that there are these things that pop out at us. You just never know...
Friday, November 5, 2010
"watched the ultrasounds, super excited! you are in my prayers, just remember God chose you for a reason, and that reason is because you and hubby are great parents and He knows that you will be wonderful parents to these two little ones! He knows He wants you two to raise these Children of God because He knows your hearts and knows you will do an amazing job! love you bunches!"
So, I read this and I am totally offended. And I know I've mentioned before that I definitely do have faith, and I believe in God, and while I am not a typical every-Sunday church goer, I do believe that God is a warm and loving and compassionate God. I believe that I pray to him for strength. And I know that none of us out there have the same beliefs about religion at all-and part of why I'm sometimes hesitant about it and organized religion in general is because I respect everyone's different beliefs and don't at all think that one could possibly be better than another.
But, seriously? If this were true-if we all get pregnant because God knows our hearts and knows we will be great parents-then why do crackheads get pregnant? Why would he create life in someone that will abort it because of whatever circumstance? Why are there a billion kids in foster care? And why did my children DIE?
I am at a hotel right now-I came with my husband to a teaching conference. The other teachers here know our story and I have had a few run ins that I really didn't think I'd have to face anymore.
And one of the biggest ones is at least two people have looked at me so compassionately and said, head tilted, "I am so happy for you." And it's nice to hear, I suppose. But then the look straight in the eye and say, "It all happens for a reason, you know."
And I know some of you all believe that it did/does happen for a reason-and if you believe that, I respect it-and I'm certainly not saying you are wrong. And honestly, I wish I did. I wish I could believe that someday I will find out there was some thing I just didn't know, like they had to die so that something would happen that would save the world or soemthing-maybe it would make me feel better.
But I just don't believe it.
I mean, when you don't get a new job. Perhaps that is a time for "Oh, it all happens for a reason-a better job will come along."
But, anyway. I wasn't expecting it, and on top of the twin news I just feel very off kilter, very weepy, very ready to crack. I go back to work in 24 days and my stomach is tying itself slowly into little knots.
Ups and downs, right? Ups and downs.
Monday, November 1, 2010
I have two very close friends where I live.
One of them is pregnant, and I've been SO at peace with it-so proud of myself.
At a routine u/s, she found out she is having...
you guessed it-
I can't stop crying. My head is pounding. I cried on the phone when she told me. She cried, too. That's the kind of friend she is. She's been there through it all.
I hate this.
I cried so hard I threw up.
The thought of having to see them-makes me ill. Cute little pink and blue. Twin baby pictures.
I don't know how to do this.
I got the call right before we were leaving for the cemetery because it is the 2 year anniversary of when my father-in-law died of cancer.
I thought of them so much yesterday. They would be 18 months old. Trick or Treating in fun costumes.
Of course I am so thankful for A and so glad that she's here and I love her more than anything-just really, really down.
Would love any advice on how to do this-with my friend. Anything you've used mentally to get through?
Bad, bad day.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
I have desperately wanted to dream of Aiden and Sophie.
I have tried so hard to open my eyes nice and wide to look around to see any possible way that they are in my life (in a symbol/form).
When we came home from the hospital empty handed, it was the beginning of Spring here in the midwest. It seemed as though each time I would go outside, there were two robins in my yard. I kept telling myself it was the twins, watching out for me. I would get so excited when I would see 2. I would scream with glee and call my husband out if they came to sit on the railing of the deck.
But, the thing is, a lot of times there were actually 3, and I just ignored one. I'd look out and convince myself that there were 2, and one had just flown away.
I don't know. I guess I just wanted so bad for it to feel like a sign.
On the other hand, and I know for some people they just don't understand, but I am completely arachnophobic. Not like, I jump if I see one and use the vacuum to suck it up. But-completely frozen in place, can't move, lose control and can't even go close enough to the spider in order to suck it up with the vacuum.
I mean, the definition of a phobia is an irrational fear of something. So, duh, I get it. It's not rational.
But I have always felt like seeing spiders is like impending doom. I feel like they mean something bad is going to happen. In reality-spiders come in when it's going to rain, when the weather changes, etc.
I also have nightmares. It's almost always the same one-in my dream I'm asleep in bed and the spider is hanging from it's web from the ceiling, twirling down toward my face.
Now-and this is funny looking back, in fact I lose myself in giggles when I tell the story in real life-but I actually gave my husband a bloody nose during one of these dreams. In my sleep, I was so scared of the spider, that I grabbed a pillow and swung it from one side of me to the other, and whacked my husband HARD in the nose with my fist. Yikes!
Anyway, yesterday I was sitting on the floor playing with the baby, and a giant (for me-I know there are bigger) spider crawled ACROSS MY HAND. Normal people might be a little grossed out. I screamed and almost dropped A, she started crying because she was scared (which made me feel quite bad) and I went up against the wall. The carpet in my basement is dark and a little long and I need to find that spider!!! I needed it to be dead. I couldn't find it, and Brian was still at work, and I just started crying in hysterics.
I feel like a moron even typing this. I know it must sound so stupid.
But it shakes me up. I wonder to myself---what is coming???
I guess I just feel like the symbolism in my life is negative, and I'm wishing for more positive symbols.
I guess, really, I just keep waiting for that other shoe to drop. I would like to come to some acceptance that A is here to (hopefully) stay. See, I still can't even write it. A is alive. She is here. She is staying. Will it always feel like saying/writing that is some sort of challenge to the Universe-I feel like I am mocking, daring. I just want to believe it. I want to know it.
Saturday, October 23, 2010
This week was my "real life" friend Julie's daughter's 1st birthday. In Heaven. :( My husband and I drove to the cemetery to leave her a pumpkin and some balloons and as we were pulling away the balloons randomly came apart and flew off into the sky. I told my friend that her daughter absolutely needed them right that second for her party up there.
I then started to think about some of the stuff that we tell ourselves/say to make us feel better. I mean, what a lovely thought, right? I love thinking about balloons making it to Heaven. I love thinking about all our babies playing together, having cupcakes and wearing party hats and chilling with their great-grandparents.
I'm not really going anywhere with this, I don't think, I just don't know if my "old" self would have thought this-I believed in Heaven, but I guess I didn't think much about what goes on there. I haven't studied the Bible thoroughly to know and I can't find scripture that says explicitly what babies are like in Heaven (i.e. do they get new bodies? they couldn't stay so little/fragile-what about baby embryos that are miscarried?) and my pastor friends agree that they go there, though they don't exactly know what to tell me. I think I remember hearing once that everybody gets a new body there-a perfect, healthy one at the "perfect" age.
So, I believe what I want. That they are happy, and free, and giggling and having birthday parties with their friends and all of my relatives and I'd like to think that maybe they are NOT watching me-I don't want them to see me sad, and perhaps that sad that Avery got to stay and they didn't? (though I do find comfort sometimes when people tell me I have angels watching over me)
But then-I feel like they can't feel sad. I want where they are to be perfect. I think scripture does say whether or not they can watch us on Earth, but again, I've never really studied the Bible or gone too deep into any of it.
Actually, while I say that I want to sincerely apologize right off the bat for offending anyone out there reading this, because I know I sound like a total moron who knows nothing about religion but wants to believe in it. I mean, it's not quite that bad, but I know I probably sound stupid.
Ok, so my point is, what do you all think? Tell me!!!
Sunday, October 17, 2010
I love this place. I love this blog. I love this community.
I mean, I know none of us realllllly want to be here, because the ticket in is the worst thing possible. But since we didn't get a choice, we really are lucky.
And I've been thinking lately about how sometimes I think I seriously don't know who I am anymore. I mean, which me am I?
Are you confused yet?
So, I'm not really "out" about my blogging life. I mean, I have a private blog where I post more pictures of A and little things about her life, and I have written about grief there, but it's for my family members and in the beginning when I would start to write about how I really felt, they all thought I was suicidal and were calling to make sure I was still alive. They couldn't handle how dark my thoughts were then.
So I found this. I found here. And I could write possibly the darkest thoughts ever, and people would say, "Hey. Been there. You're not crazy." and most of the time, that's really all we want to hear, right?
So that's how it's been. I blog here for what I really need, and I "blog" there for my family to see a little of what grief is like and some more pictures of A.
Until I started adding a bunch of BLMs to facebook. My mom called and said, "Who is that girl named Brianne that posts on your wall all the time? She seems so nice! Her baby is so cute! How do you know her?"
And I was all...um.....uh.....well, you see.
I seriously imagine that's what it felt like back in the day when it was NOT cool to go online to try to find dates! Ya know, when everyone on the internet was a creepy stalker and really a 60 year old 500 pound man child molester sitting on the computer smoking and eating microwave burritos.
I didn't want to lie. BUT I didn't really want to say, um, well, I met her on the internet? I don't exactly know why-mostly because my mom is kind of old (hehe) and she'd be like, what? who?
And seriously, does she stalk my facebook or what, my mom? I mean, geez!
So I don't even remember what I said. Something like, "Oh, she's my friend from California. You don't know ALL my friends, mother!"
Then I won an AMAZING piece of art from the talented Franchesca at Small Bird Studio. I didn't really want to post a picture of it on here because it is of my last name. Although, I'm not really sure I can even pretend that I'm anonymous on here anymore, anyway. But people are instantly drawn to it and always ask me where I got it.
Why can't I just lie, again? So I say, "Um, well, I won it in this blog contest and well, ya know, and the artist, she uh, she lost a baby, too, and um."
I'm a freak. I've been "out" with my husband since the beginning. I think he never thought it was strange (or at least never told me) because he was so glad that something helped me, he saw how excited I was when I get blog comments and so he wasn't going to question anything. And even this year when I found out we were going to California next summer and suggested maybe meeting one of my BLM friends, he thought that was a great idea! But my mom, my friends, I think-they will think I'm nuts.
So that's one part. Then there's the part of how I'm not sure I feel like I'm being entirely real on here, either! I mean, don't get me wrong-my feelings are real. I'm not exaggerating; I'm not sugar coating. But there is a lot more to me! I'm funny! I laugh a lot! I have interests!
And you guys....I swear! A lot! I have a problem! I walk around my house saying "Bitches and hos!" for NO REASON. There are no bitches and hos here. But I like to say it. I enjoy the word douche.bag ( I think it can be adapted to many situations).
I'm obsessed with the Gilmore Girls. I want to move to Stars Hollow. (It doesn't actually exist-I know this). I'm a sucker for Lifetime Movies. I wanted to be one of the "Friends".
I watch CNN all the time-I love politics and I'm super liberal and get really mad when people are not open-minded.
And I watch Dexter and True Blood! How opposite from the Gilmore Girls! I listen to Eminem AND Phantom of the Opera AND Michael Jackson. I love to scrapbook. I love to read. I love to go to the movies. I love to drive as fast as I can with the music as loud as I can. I'm constantly getting yelled at by my husband because I forget to turn the music down before I turn the radio off and it blasts him when he drives next.
I LOVE to clean. I get totally nuts when there is any sort of clutter at all. A great day for me is re-organizing drawers and closets.
I'm a good teacher. I am on every committee there is. I love the kids.
Bitches and hos! I like to end sentences with a random word. Like a comma, yo. "It's so nice out, yo!" or comma, bitches. "That was such a good movie, bitches!"
I had a verbally/emotionally abusive father. My sister is really my half-sister, which we didn't know until we were 25 and 32. She's cold and stand-offish because my dad was a (get ready for it) total douchebag. I"m oversensitive and cry too much for the same reason.
I don't know.
I don't know why I just typed all of that. But it felt good! I'm both of these people, but I feel like I'm separate. I'm not just. I don't spend all my time grieving.
But I don't swear on here. And I don't tell anyone else my "real" feelings.
I think it's ok. It's ok, right?
Thursday, October 14, 2010
One of Sonja's quads, Liam, who is a 28 weeker was just hospitalized with RSV. She's hoping he recovers quickly and that his 3 siblings don't have it as well!
Rebecca has a close friend (Tiffany) who has been there for her through the loss of her baby. Now, her friend's son suddenly died at 4.5 months old-so, so horrible. THEN, and this just makes me sick to my stomach, someone left a horribly cruel comment on Tiffany's blog, so she had to make it private. People seriously just sicken me. At any rate, you can leave support on Rebecca's blog.
I posted to the LFCA, but in case you don't read that, I thought I'd ask to send you there as well.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Things have been going overall pretty well around here! My maternity leave is going by so quickly-but I can't complain because I got so much extra seeing as how I'm a teacher and Avery was born in the summer. We took some pictures on Sunday since she turned THREE MONTHS old!!!
Otherwise, we have been staying busy. I've been having some crabby, hormonal issues with going back on bcp and menstruating and all that fabulous fun so I've been a little tense, and quite honestly, sometimes a little depressed. But nothing I can't shake off with a smile from the little one or a nice talk (cry) with the husband.
There is one thing, though, that I can't escape. It's that damn ptsd. I've seen a psychologist for it, as it was the absolute worst during weeks 21-28 in my pregnancy. I did everything I could to change the bedroom at my old house-painted, turned the bed, got all new sheets and bedding, threw away the clock that was on the wall-everything that triggered that moment when my water broke.
But now, I live in a new house, and the stress of the pregnancy is gone, and still sometimes I fall into bed at night, turn over onto my side, and I can hear the pop. I have to stop, and tell myself-this isn't happening. It's over. It's the past. But to some extent the damage is done, and the events start to replay in my mind...the drive to the hospital, that nurse, "Please note that half of the stomach is soft, half is hard."
I can replay the whole thing, event for event. My time on bedrest is sort of blocked out until 2 weeks later when I wake up in labor.
I'm thinking it's time to go and talk to someone about this again, but honestly, for me-it just hasn't helped much. Maybe I just need more? But I talk a lot about it with my husband and certain friends, and write about it here, and honestly, getting to know someone new and paying all that money-I'm not sure it's worth it unless I'm pretty sure it'll make something better.
Could it be the cliche that I just need more time? I'm not sure.
I hope all is well. Sending thoughts up to my friends who are still fighting like mad to get/keep those rainbows. Love to you all. xoxo
Monday, October 4, 2010
When I went back to work last fall, I felt so different than before. So distracted! I know most of it my students didn't pick up on-but I also had way less patience. I blamed it on leftover grief, ttc, and later my very stressful, risky pregnancy. I had so much anxiety that my mind was somewhere else. I let SO many things drop at school-things I loved to do, committees I was on, extra-curriculars I loved to do with the kids. I put off doing my work and would just surf stupid websites during my prep time. I didn't design anything new (yawn! how boring!) But I didn't figure it'd last.
But, here I am, and I have my darling baby and the stress of pregnancy is gone, and there's no TTC in my near future, and I'm even off work, and I'm still SO distracted. My husband, who teaches in the same school district in which I work, will come home and want to vent, or bounce ideas off of me (we both teach the same subject, so my program feeds into his) and I can't even listen to him. He gets so annoyed with me because he thinks I just want to do something else-but I really just can't do it! I can't focus-I lose concentration-I feel....well, sometimes I feel dumb. Dumb because a lot of times I don't even "get" what he's talking about because it doesn't...I don't know, register or something. And I know so much about what he's speaking and I used to feel so much passion for it!
Does that make sense? I just still feel so weird and I'm wondering if I should mention it to my doctor? Do you all still have this? Is it just me? Will it eventually go away?
I have made a decision to only use the internet when A is napping. I am SO bad about it. Sometimes, while I'm feeding her, I'll open the lid of the dumb lap top and just click aimlessly. Why? No clue. Because I can't sit still! Because I get "bored" feeding the baby? WTH? So I had to put the laptop in the other room. But my brain constantly is looking for something to do. A distraction. Something I can "click."
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Does it feel like you just hear so much sad news? Or does it just overshadow the good news?
I don't know. I've been thinking so much about some of my fellow bloggy mamas lately-begging the universe-please let IVF work--please please please let those twins be ok--please let all rainbow babies be healthy. And I sometimes focus so much on it that I am stalking people's face.book and letting myself maybe get too involved. Perhaps it's unhealthy. I just want everything to get better for people. And when it doesn't-I get SO frustrated. And it's not even about me!
At any rate, today has been a weird day for me. I've spent a lot of it crying. First I found out some bad news about a few bloggy friends. Then when A woke up I realized that her fussiness lately may be a little more than just fussiness because she woke up sounding congested. I called right away and we took her into the pediatrician and she is diagnosed with RSV. She's not even 3 months old yet :( Doc said she picked it up most likely at the doctor's office when she had her 2 month well visit. She's been spitting up and having weird eating habits since then.
I am terrified now because 500 babies a year die from this. Doctor says it's mild-that she's not wheezing-that A was full term and she's healthy and a great weight. I keep thinking I know I've read stories where someone had a sickness, but an ok from the doctor and their baby went to sleep and didn't wake up.
I can't think she's going to die everytime she gets sick. Rainbow mommies, does this go away? I think I know the answer to that.
Anyway, then my cell phone starts beeping like crazy-just as I'm getting A settled next to her humidifier. A 7th grader from my school died last night.
I want to reach out to that mom.
But wouldn't she just laugh at me? Our loss is not the same.
But anyway. A 7th grader died in a car accident and she was with two other girls from my school, both of whom I can only imagine will have ptsd from this.
Ugh. I need to get myself in a better place so that I can do positive things for people. Instead of sitting around and crying and feeling life all of life is a bad place!!!!!!!!! I'm super sleep deprived and worried and all around a disaster. But, as usual, it helps a little to pound this out and hopefully a nap and a warm bath and some snuggles with the sicky-poo will help.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
I feel guilt about so many things. And I don't exactly know how to stop. We all know how much guilt there is surrounding trying to be a mama to babies that aren't with us anymore. Then there is guilt about being "good enough" ( a good enough wife, daughter, etc.).
As I make my way through this journey of being a parent to a living child, I've felt a lot of guilt about things (which I'm pretty sure is natural). You always second guess yourself-am I doing this enough? Is she getting enough of this? Am I reading her signals correctly? Is she happy? I"m only guessing that this gets harder as you go along because providing for an infant comes down to somewhat predictable things (food, change diaper, cuddle, etc. etc.)
But oh-I said it. Food.
I think I've mentioned before that I was not able to breastfeed.
And when I say "not able" I actually mean it-as in I HAD NO BREASTMILK. Not a drop. Not even like-oh, I had a low supply and had to supplement formula.
But I was still told, "You need to try harder!"
Um. Hello? Is this thing on? Did you hear me? I don't have ANY breastmilk.
So people suggested a breastmilk bank. Which I googled right away, of course, and there is one in my state-3 hours away. Not gonna work.
So, anyway-my daughter was starving. Literally. She had lost something like 12% of her birthweight 4 days later.
She had some trouble finding a formula that didn't upset her belly-and I called the ped's office and talked to a nurse. Her suggestion? "If you are having so many issues with the formula, maybe you should think about relactating."
Well, maybe I could if I had lactated in the FIRST PLACE! I was so mad at that lady...grrrrr....
So she is getting formula. Now, I lucked out this time because she is currently using Good.Start formula, and so it's not part of the recall. But it's been a part of recalls before! And so have eggs, and lettuce, and beef, and children's tylenol, and cribs and...
You get my point.
So why, might I ask-are people making formula into something judgmental? All last night I just kept getting ticked off-I kept reading things like,
"Well, breastmilk has never been recalled."
Um, really? Go breastfeeders? Right now?
When they recalled eggs, did someone post, "Good thing I grow my own chickens in my backyard! Go farmers!"
I mean, maybe some of us thought it :) But-it's not helpful. Especially when we are so worried.
I just don't get how we can berate and make other mommys feel so bad-even if it is for a "joke"-to make them feel judged. And yes, if you are able to breastfeed-you should be proud! It's hard work!!! It's not something that is easy for most people. And you should be proud if you own your own chickens, too! But I mean-my body has failed me in so many ways and if I let myself think about it, it makes me feel so horrible. That tiny little voice in the back of your head saying, "You shouldn't even have a baby, your baby can't even do it" could win if I didn't keep reminding it to shut.up.
It's hard to be a mom. To living babies and to lost ones. But most of us are doing the very best that we can!!!!!!
Ok, I just needed to get that off my chest!!!!!!!! :)
Saturday, September 18, 2010
I can't believe it happened.
I feel like I don't love them enough.
I feel like my family doesn't remember them.
I feel like I'm so scared that something will happen to her.
It's so unfair.
I love her so much.
I wonder what it would be like if they were here.
I wonder what they would have looked like.
I feel guilt.
I feel anger.
I feel sadness.
I am elated.
I can't believe she's here.
So, something different. I doubt you're going to make it to the end of this because I have no idea where this is even headed. It's just that my heart is heavy.
Autumn is here. I love it. The changing of the seasons is one of the reasons why I'm not sure I could live anywhere but the midwest. We are wearing sweatshirts and the air is crisp. Upstairs there is an apple cider candle burning, making the whole house smell like autumn.
I'm not sure why, but it is always the start of this season when I get homesick. I live 3.5 hours away from the town in which I grew up. A tiny town of just under 1,000 people. I love it and I miss it. Mostly, I miss my mom-even though I see her as much as I can, I wish she were just down the street. I wish I could stop by whenever I feel like it. I wish she could see Avery whenever she wanted. I wish we could go shopping on Saturdays together. I've lived away for over 10 years now. I have a home here. A beautiful home, a great husband, a good job. I wonder if I will always feel like that is home?
I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I had a really messed up thing happen when I was in college. My parents got divorced. I mean, I know that I'm not the only one with divorced parents. And they needed to get divorced. But it happened like this:
I came home from college because I needed to get a root canal.
That night I was very sick from a bad reaction to the anesthesia.
My dad told my mom that they were going out to dinner with the neighbors.
She told him that she was not going because someone needed to stay with me since I was sick.
He said she was going.
She said she would not and he could just go by himself if it was so important.
So he did.
I went back to school and two days later my mom called to tell me that she was moving out. She did and I never got to go back to the house in which I grew up. I never got any of my things-my momentos and photographs and books. I never got one last look around. I never got to go out to the swing where my grandmother and I used to sit.
When I was little I was very aware of the fact that my parents hated each other. I was VERY aware of the fact that people walking by our house and our neighbors could hear my parents screaming at each other day after day. I knew that when my dad was in a "mood" (which was very often) I should retreat immediately to my room, shut the door, and turn on my favorite music as loud as I could.
I knew that when my dad called me terrible names and that I wasn't supposed to believe them.
What I also know is that people have it much, much worse than this. BUT in the interest of being honest, I did not luck out in the father department. He has terrible anger issues and he berated me, put me down, screamed at me, made me feel like nothing I could do would ever be right. He was worse to my sister. He never hit us, but once he shoved me in a closet because when I had opened the scream door to get something off the deck the dog had gotten out. I feel like if provoked, he would've hit me. I never EVER said anything back to him during his rage-I just cried and hid.
He was having an affair with a neighbor. The one he went to dinner with the night of my root canal.
He sucks. And everyone tells me I'm stronger because of it. Stronger because I don't believe the things he told me. Stronger because I can remember in 4th grade wishing my parents would get divorced. Wishing that my father wouldn't use those words. Wishing that my mother would tell him off. Wishing that someone would see.
Three of my grandparents died within one year. Stronger.
I watched my father-in-law die of cancer. Stronger.
I was struck with infertility. Stronger.
I watched my babies die. Stronger.
I would rather be weak, I think.
I have a colleague at work who lost her husband suddenly to a heart aneurysm. We were having a heart to heart about loss and she told me that at this point she's worked so hard in her grief and has made so many changes in herself that she wouldn't take him back. Wouldn't take him back.
I have mulled this over and over.
I can't grasp it. I am sure that I could never say that. That I couldn't say I would never take them back.
But what if to get them back I would have to never have had Avery?
I am so glad I will never have to even think about that because it is impossible.
Ok, I think I need to stop-my brain is nearing it's end of connection-making :) Thank you for reading this if you made it to the end. I am just having one of those days of nostalgia...or something like that.
Monday, September 13, 2010
She weights 12 pounds 11 ounces!! She's in the 90th percentile for weight!!! What a chunky monkey!
She is 23 inches long, which is the 50th percentile.
And her head circumference is 15.7 inches, which is the 75th percentile.
Here is an updated photo:
I look at her and I am so in love. I can see beautiful Sophie and Aiden in her, too, and it makes me happy :) Today marks 17 months since we said hello to our beautiful babies. I can hardly believe it's been that long. We have ice cream every 13th for them-to celebrate that they were here. Hopefully hubby gets home soon so we can go get some!
Thursday, September 9, 2010
I mean, don't you just feel so seriously screwed up sometimes?
I wake up every morning telling myself that I'm ok. That I'm happy. That I'm blessed.
And I mostly am.
But then there's the times when I catch myself thinking - imagine. Just imagine how happy my life would be if it had never happened.
Can you believe it? Can you believe how horrible and nasty I am? Letting myself think about what it would it be like if they had never existed. Think about what it would be like to have a beautiful baby without having to battle grief.
Because I want to be at peace with it. And smile when I think of them instead of cry. And be comforted in the fact that I love them so, very much.
Instead, I have flashbacks. Terrors. My water breaks. Gush. The nurse making notes on the computer. "One half of belly is soft. One half is hard."
"You may have just urinated. You probably just urinated."
My mother, dipping her finger into a little seashell full of water to baptise Sophie because there wasn't a chaplain near enough.
My husband, shaking with sobs. Looking at me to fix the pain.
Seeing people gather around her little isolette.
Watching the numbers slowly go down on his heartbeat.
Decisions. Flash. Flash.
I've seen too many pictures of dead babies.
I watch Avery while she sleeps. And I think of the pictures I've seen of beautiful babies who are dead. I watch her chest rise and fall with her breaths and willing the universe that they continue.
Watching the Angel Care Monitor flash. flash. flash.
I can never be sure she's going to be ok. Never ever. You just don't know what's in the cards.
I don't want to live my life worrying about my daughter dying. Because her brother and sister did.
I feel so unrested. So unsure. So scared.
So happy. So lucky. So blessed.
So freaking PISSED OFF that this happened. So unbelievably angry that they were taken from me.
I am so.messed.up.
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
But in the background, the grief nags at me. The wondering nags at me.
I've been blogging about it a lot actually, but not hitting "publish" because nothing seems to make a lot of sense.
But she looks like them.
And I wonder what it would be like if there were two. Two beautiful babies, one boy, one girl.
I wonder what it would be like if we had one year old twins AND her!?
I feel like I don't love them enough. Or think of them enough.
I feel like I owe it to her to not think of them too much. To not take away from her what I can't give to them.
Having her here makes it all too real. What I really missed out on. What I really lost. What a stupid infection takes away.
I had a c-section and I'm so tired of the comments, "Now you'll never have to know how bad labor/delivery feels!"
The thing is, how do they think they twins got out? I labored, trust me-I labored. I delivered them. The placenta. I had to dilate fully. I did it all. And my babies were immediately whisked away and I couldn't hold them until they were already pretty much dead.
How can I forgot that? I can't. But I guess everyone else can.
But I don't mean everyone else.
My friend T sent me an e-mail saying when she thinks of Avery, she thinks of them, too. I don't think a nicer thing could be said to me. I don't think anything could make me happier.
My friend K got the coolest personalized book for Avery and in it she put Sophie and Aiden's names. I cry when I read it.
My friend J gave us a onesie that says "Little Sister" on it.
I'm so very lucky. So very blessed.
But the nagging feeling is there. The grief recoils and gets ready to strike again-who knows when? Usually when I'm alone and the baby is asleep. I stare at her and I think. Really think. And it hurts so, so much. I hate this hurt. I resent this hurt.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
In real life, I believe we have what I call, "movie moments." You know how in movies there will sometimes be clips where time is going by-or typically where one person is sitting, usually looking out the window of a train or while staring at a photograph-and you can see scenes of their life (their memories) passing through? The viewers see the montage and usually there is some sort of song with profound lyrics playing. Well, I imagine this happening all the time.
When major things happen in my life, I will catch myself having one of these-I all of the sudden and sitting, looking at a photograph, and thinking through my life like it is a series of memories in a movie. When I catch myself, I laugh, and try to think up what song would be playing during this movie moment.
Sometimes the song is what puts me in a movie moment.
I had one of these the other day. We needed groceries really badly, and A hates the grocery store (I think it's the bright lights, even when we put up the canopy thingy on her car seat, she's not a fan) and so B suggested that I go on my own.
Leave the house?
This would be the second time in the SAME WEEK. The first and second time since she was born.
I know. Get over it.
So, I went. And I got into the car, and rolled down the windows (which I don't do with the baby) and I cranked the radio WAY up (which I don't do with the baby) and I drove a "little" over the speed limit on the interstate.
And as my hair was blowing like crazy in the wind, a song came on the radio.
It is called, "Wind of Change" by a group called the Scorpions. It's from the early 90s. Do you know it? It's what we like to call a "Power Ballad." :)
Anyway, I bet you're wondering how I can figure that a song about the fall of the Berlin Wall is my movie moment scene song.
And I guess I don't especially know. But I know the words resonated with me as I belted them out, driving with the windows down.
"Taaaaaaaaaake me-to the magic of the moment, on a glory night-where the children of tomorrow, dream away-on the wind of change (the wind of chaaaaange)."
As I whistled along, I thought about change. And how sometimes what happens in just a moment-what the wind brings along in a moment-can change our entire lives.
I mean, when you think of it, grief is this huge wall. It's put up between us and the rest of the world. All we want is to knock it down. And we dream about it-and some of us are able to knock that wall down. But once the wall is down, it doesn't change just.like.that.
I feel sometimes like 17 months out from holding my sweet twins that I have mostly knocked down my wall of grief.
After all, I was singing in my car at the top of my lungs, enjoying the warm air and feeling....light.
But even if it is down, there are residual effects. Things that have changed me. Forever.
I suppose it's like that in Berlin. You can see where the wall used to be. I have a piece of it (well, I was 16 when I visited Berlin and they told me it was a piece of it when I bought it, but, well, you know) and I dug it out last night.
A wind of change.
My movie moment.
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Lately I have been having these nightmares that aren't really nightmares. I'm not really sure if I can explain this well in writing, but I'll try. Do you know how sometimes you wake up-say, in the middle of the night-and the lighting and the shadows are just right, and along with your brain and whatever you were dreaming/thinking about, you can convince yourself that you see something that really isn't there?
I can remember being a young girl and I had a bean bag chair in my room. One night I woke up and there was something sitting just right on top of the chair and in the dark with the shadows I was absolutely convinced that there was a man in my room-staring at me, watching me sleep.
I'm not sure if you know this feeling. But I was paralyzed in my bed. Absolutely could.not.move. Afraid to scream because I thought he'd "get me" then. I kept blinking, trying to see if it was real, but each time I opened my eyes it was still a man. My parents were just in the next room and finally I let out a yell and my mom came running in and flipped on the light. As my eyes adjusted, I could see that the "man" in my room was actually a jacket on top of my backpack on top of the chair.
One of the first nights home from the hospital the baby just wouldn't sleep unless I was holding her. I was SO exhausted that I could barely stand and knew I couldn't stay awake anymore. So I brought her downstairs and sat in the recliner-her on my chest-with pillows on either side of me to prop my arms up so I knew she wouldn't fall, and tried to doze off just a little.
When I woke up, A was gone and my husband was sleeping on the couch instead of upstairs in bed where I had left him. His head was closest to me and down by his feet, just laying there by herself, was A. She wasn't breathing. I was utterly, completely paralyzed. I started crying and went to stand up and then shook myself and took a deep breath. A was completely safe right on my chest and my "husband" on the couch was a blanket, and the baby was a pillow. I felt insane.
I wish this was the only time. A week or so later I woke up to find the baby sleeping in the middle of us on the bed. I was livid that my husband had put her there. I screamed at him to wake up and kept asking why he put the baby there. I could SEE the baby there.
It was the dog.
Again, two nights ago, I fell asleep hugging a pillow, like I normally do. Woke up to thinking I was suffocating the baby by hugging her on the bed.
I feel crazy. I wake up and stare at the angel care monitor blinking.
I don't want A to have a crazy mom. I want to be normal and happy and just enjoy every second of her instead of continuing to think that she is going to die.
I know that fatigue plays a part in this. I'm so ok (mostly-ha) during the day but I never REALLY sleep. I think all moms relate to this. Even when I know my husband is on "duty" I can't fully fall asleep because I think he's going to sleep through her needing something. He sleeps through a lot :) So even though I am extremely lucky because at 5 weeks A can sleep a stretch of 4-5 hours at night when she's first put down, I can't let myself really fall asleep.
I don't know. I hate these nightmares. I hate feeling like a total freak of a person.
We had our 4 year wedding anniversary this week. We waited until A fell asleep for her morning nap and took her with us out to a nice lunch. Then we came home, got into our pjs :) and watched TV shows and talked about the last 4 years and about our future. It was a nice day. I felt "normal." I live for those moments. Feeling like a family.
I think I'm just tired.
Sunday, August 8, 2010
Really? It all "worked out?" Because I still have two dead babies. And nightmares. And flashbacks. And two urns. And memories.
And, of course, a beautiful, adorable baby to cuddle-but does that mean that it never happened?
Yesterday I spent lounging around my house in my pjs. Gave A a bath, took a nap while she did, cuddled.
But there, in the back of my mind-the date. August 7th. My due date for the twins. Once I put A in her bassinet for the night, I cried myself to sleep. Thinking; remembering.
Every night we take a walk around the neighborhood. I push A in the stroller, B walks the dog. We talk. We smile. We laugh. We dream.
To someone who doesn't know us, we must look like we have it all. A nice house, good jobs, a cute dog, a sweet baby. Two teachers off in the summer, taking care of their new little one.
"She's a keeper."
"You must be just so happy."
"I'm so glad it all worked out for you."
And we DO have so much. We ARE so blessed. We pretty much DO have it all. But, there's more. More to that story.
I guess I should have known better. I guess I maybe thought that once she was here I wouldn't have to be afraid of leaving the house for fear of what people would say to me. After the twins were born, I didn't want to talk to anyone. While pregnant with A, I would make my husband go through the line at stores after a while for fear of all the "Is this your first?" questions.
I guess I'm still tender. I guess I'm maybe not as far as I thought in my grieving. I guess it might always be there-the little voice in the back of my head-the bitter one-the one that corrects what everyone says inside my head instead of aloud.
I guess I will admit that I really thought once she was here I would be "cured." I started to believe what my friends told me-that she would fix the pain.
I guess I'm still grieving.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Avery's due date was July 10th, 2010. I had my 40 week doctor appointment scheduled for Friday the 9th. The week before, I was 3 cm dilated and just a little bit effaced. I asked the doctor how long she would let me stay pregnant before we did anything-mainly because I was SO nervous about going past 40 weeks, and due to the gestational diabetes they have to not let me go too long but not induce me too early. She didn't want to make a plan then, she wanted to wait and see, and I was really sad about this. I work better with a plan!
So by Thursday the 8th, I was going nuts. I was so nervous and anxious and so worried about keeping track of her movements and getting really frustrated that I wasn't having any signs of impending labor. Brian and I were taking 2 or 3 looooooong walks around the neighborhood each day to try to bring on contractions. I'm sure the people in my neighborhood were like, yo, someone help that poor pregnant lady!
Anyway, Thursday morning the phone rings, and it's the hospital. So I pick up, and it's my doctor! She said, "What is going on with you? No contractions yet?" And I just sort of groaned and she says, "We're going to induce you tonight!"
I remember feeling a 500 million pound weight lift off of me. I remember asking if she was for real!? I was in disbelief. Just as more proof of what an amazing person she is, she had the plan in her head the whole time (I was already scheduled into labor and delivery) but didn't want to tell me too early since she was afraid I would develop a lot of anxiety about it. She was so right. I had a TON of anxiety about being back in labor and delivery, about going past the NICU, about just being at the hospital in general. So she told me to meet her at the hospital at 6:00 and she'd get me started since she was on call. The only thing is I had to go to the clinic at noon to have an ultrasound to check her size. One of the main complications of gestational diabetes is that the baby can grow too big, and even though I had been completely diet controlled and my sugars had been great, there was still a possibility.
So we went to the clinic and the ultrasound tech was sort of fumbling around with the equipment because it was new and we were just so glad to see our little girl :) She was moving around a lot and had her hands by her face like usual. It was hard to figure out things on the u/s this time since she was so much bigger, though!
At the end of the scan she told us she would take the biggest of all the measurements and average them so that we'd go on the "biggest case scenario". Well, I have to say that I was COMPETELY shocked when I saw the weight pop up on the screen. Um...NINE pounds TWELVE ounces.
Um, a TEN pound baby? I was terrified. I know most of you wouldn't even bat an eye at this, but I was so scared for a tough delivery because I was scared she would get hurt during it. It had nothing to do with me and my body-just her. And as soon as we were out the door I started to cry hysterically because I had tried SO hard with my stupid diet. I hadn't cheated at ALL-not once-and I had pricked my finger 4 times a day for four months and I had walked after every meal no matter what I was doing and yeah. You get the point.
So the doctor called me back and basically gave me a choice. I could still try the induction. There was a big possibility the weight could be wrong. Of course she could be bigger than the u/s said, too....With an induction, there's already a big chance that I'd need an emergency c-section. With a baby of this size, that chance grew even more. And there was a chance that she just wouldn't fit. That there would be considerable vaginal trauma.
Or I could just schedule a c-section. This surgery has it's risks, too, mostly for the mother. But some for the baby, too.
I didn't need more than a second to decide. I chose to schedule a c-section. With my past, with my post-traumatic stress disorder, with my anxiety, I just couldn't handle having an "emergency" c-section-I knew I couldn't handle the baby getting in distress, having to rush into surgery. With a scheduled one, it would be calm, and planned, and stress free.
So we scheduled for Saturday morning, the 10th, at 8 a.m. We had to be at the hospital at 6. The night before we didn't sleep at all. I could only lay there and think about the fact that the next morning, she'd be here!
When we got to the hospital, I felt good. I felt calm. My mom was coming and Brian would be there. The only part he couldn't be in for was when they gave me the spinal. From 6 until 7:40 I was doing great. And then I literally had a panic attack. I don't know why, really, and it was the first time I had something so---I don't know---real. It happened when the nurse started to shave the area where the surgeon would make the incision. I just started getting really , really scared. I was afraid that the baby wouldn't be ok. That she wouldn't cry when she was born. That something would happen to her. And B was in there, and my mom came, and the doctor came, all people that can calm me, and none of them could. I just wanted to run away. I couldn't do it-it was as if all of the emotions of the past few years were building to an end.
I couldn't stop crying, I honestly felt paralyzed. I honestly didn't want to do it anymore. I wanted them to leave the baby in. But they rolled me into the operating room and started to get me ready for the spinal. I had to lean forward and bunch up my shoulders and there were two anesthesiologists behind me and the nurse was sitting on a stool in front of me with the heart monitor for the baby. She kept moving the monitor, moving moving moving one spot to the next and the sound was on and I couldn't hear a heartbeat at all. I was completely freaking out. I thought, well, I knew it would happen. So I choked out, "Is she dead?" and she just looked at me and was like, what? I guess the sound was on but not the actual heartbeat and the baby was just moving so she had to keep following the heartbeat (perhaps she could have mentioned that to me?). Finally they got done and Brian got to come in. My arms were locked down, which I hated. I could feel a ton of tugging and they told me, "Get ready! She's coming" and I heard the MOST BEAUTIFUL sound I have ever heard in my entire life-she screamed her HEAD OFF! I started sobbing and the doctors laughed and the surgeon said, "Can you just wait? She's not even all the way out yet!"
I saw them pull her out and they brought her up to me and I just couldn't believe it. I wanted to hold her but my dumb arms were locked down, but they held her up to my face and Brian got to hold her and everyone was so happy. It was just so, so different than when Sophie and Aiden were born. I needed it to be so different.
Her blood sugars were great and it turns out she weighed 8 lbs 8 oz. So still a big baby, but not even close to what the ultrasound predicted. I didn't regret anything, though. She was 20 inches and just is totally perfect.
See, told you it was pretty boring :) xoxo
Saturday, July 31, 2010
I was crabby all morning before we left and couldn't really figure out why.
But, really, I know why. It's because deep down, each thing I do with A sometimes reminds me of what I didn't get to do with the twins.
I imagine how different it would be with both of them. How special having twins, you know?
I know this is not fair to A, but I've tried to fight it, and I just can't push it back far enough in my brain.
I celebrate her. But I miss them, too.
I wear my sophie and aiden bracelet. Their necklace.
Today we got home and there was a letter from the county. A's birth certificates.
Imagine my surprise when I open the birth certificates and they do NOT say DECEASED diagonally across the entire certificate.
Actually, they look different overall, but really, the lack of deceased stamp is really a good thing.
I'm so happy. So, so happy.
But I opened the birth certificate and burst into tears as I was coming up the driveway.
I'm sad. I catch myself thinking of the babies. Getting weepy a little more often again. It is just so bittersweet. I love this baby so, so much. More than I could imagine, as you know-but I think we will always feel incomplete without our beautiful first babies.
This is hard. So good. But hard.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
First, though, I wanted to thank you ALL so much for the support on my last post. I read each comment and cried and my heart eased and I just needed to realize that it just doesn't matter. It can't. Yes, my body failed again (day 13 and not a single drop of milk-not colustrum, either-nothing-the ob thinks either it's hormonal or perhaps I had hormonal issues when I was young and my breast tissue didn't develop the way they are supposed to), but I have a healthy baby that is here and thank GOD for formula. She's thriving and gaining weight and happy and that has to be all that matters. So, again, thank you, and I am at peace with it and honestly, while I would have definitely chosen to breastfeed, there are a lot of advantages to ff, and I'm going to embrace them :)
Other than that, I have so much going through my head. It is completely surreal to have a baby here at home. Each time I do something, I am close to tears for the gratitude that I feel. Things I have envied and hoped and prayed for and begged for. Taking Avery to the store. Walking into her room with her. Changing her diaper. Listening to her cry. Giving her a bath. Putting her in her stroller. Playing lullabies. Trying to sing (I stink!) to her. Rocking in her chair. Staring into her eyes. All of it is amazing. And I am the luckiest person on this planet.
But the past is there. Mostly, it's her lips. She has the same lips as Aiden and Sophie. They both had so many tubes and wires on their faces, but you could see their lips very clearly. And when she is sleeping, her mouth makes a little O and I can see what I think they would have looked like. It makes me both happy and so desperately sad that I am so unsure of my emotions. It's wondering how in the world people do this with twins. It's so hard and I start to doubt myself-maybe this all happened because I never could have been a good enough mom to twins. I know that's not true, deep down-you do it because you have to-but the doubt is planted. I think about how different it would be if they were here, beautiful 1 year olds, helping to love their little sister.
While she sleeps, she makes the greatest facial expressions. She smiles, and I'm sure she's talking with her brother and sister. Telling them how it's going. Reporting to them that we are doing fine and that we miss them.
I, of course, have the "usual" irrational fears of something horrible happening to her. Everytime I walk from my bedroom to hers, I feel as though I might drop her over the railing to the stairs on accident after tripping or something crazy like that. I hold onto her so tightly it's ridiculous. I am SO thankful for the AngelCare Monitor (all rainbow mommies should consider this, in my opinion!). I -literally-didn't sleep for more than maybe an hour a day, 20 minutes at a time while the baby was getting a checkup in the nursery while we were in the hospital. I had to stay awake and watch her to make sure she was still breathing. Once we got home and that monitor was on, I finally got some very, very much needed rest (mainly for my sanity).
I'm thankful that I don't (at least yet) have any symptoms of ppdepression. I told hubby he needed to keep an eye on me, just because I feel like I'm a good candidate because of our history.
I am so thankful to be here, on this side of pregnancy after loss. While my anxiety is definitely still there, I'm so grateful that we are not relying on MY body anymore. That I'm not the only one responsible for making sure she's still moving and how often and drinking enough water and testing blood sugar and eating the right foods. I never thought I'd get here and so many of you had to (and still are) waiting for much longer than me. I'm praying for you every single day. I'm hopeful for you.
I still owe you a birth story. It's nothing that exciting, but I feel for my sake that I need to pound it out anyway.
A few pics? Ok :)
Saturday, July 17, 2010
I cannot breastfeed. I have no milk. None. It's day 8 after delivery and after "breastfeeding" every 2 to 2.5 hours for 15 minutes on each side, and pumping for 15 minutes in between each feeding, there are still-literally-drops of milk. Not even a ml.
After she lost an entire pound from her birthweight, I started giving her a full amount of formula in a bottle(was supplenting by cup feeding before that), but still putting her to the breast and pumping, and she is gaining weight again.
But it's too much. I have to quit. It takes so long to breastfeed, then give formula, then pump. And every time I pump and look at those stupid empty bottles, I get depressed. And she has a perfect latch. And she loves to breastfeed. She's the perfect breastfeeder. And again, my body fails. It doesn't do what it's supposed to do.
I've seen a lactation consultant-every day in the hospital and twice in the week since we got out. She told me I did everything I could and shouldn't beat myself up over it. I sat in her office and Avery fed for 20 minutes off both sides and she gained ZERO (they weighed her with one of those sensitive scales before and after). I have pcos and she says they are seeing more and more research with infertility linked to poor milk supply. Heck, I'd take poor milk supply. But I have none. None.
I got the herb fenugreek, which gave me severe diarrhea (sorry if tmi) and gave me a two day long headache.
I give up.
And while I know, rationally, that it's not my fault and that she'll be completely healthy and fine, why do I feel so guilty?
I'm just looking for someone to tell me it's ok.
I know I shouldn't need it, but I do.
I just give up :(
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Anyway, I owe you all a birth story, and I'm working on it. Mostly, though, my feelings have been of complete and total elation along with pings of -how would we have done this with twins? and staring at her and seeing how similar she looks to both of them. It's overwhelming, but being able to bring her home has been the most amazing thing.
Ok, well, it's just about time for another feeding, so I'll go-but I have like 13 posts drafted in my head so you'll hear from me soon! Here are some pics to tide you over :)
Monday, July 12, 2010
Not a pose, I promise-she just loves her brother and sister. :) Brian snapped this picture while we were cuddling and I melted. I love it so much.