Sunday, December 28, 2008

Grace

A friend gave me this set of Philosophy bath & body products - Amazing Grace.

On each bottle there are comments about having grace in difficult situations. I'm not sure if she bought this particular set for me because she thinks I have grace or she liked the scent - it's a delicate, feminine scent.

I'll take it either way.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

37 Years

Tomorrow will be the 37th birthday of my cousin who was stillborn.

I talked with my aunt a few days ago, lent her my copy of this book and told her that I plan to leave flowers on Keith's grave soon.

Today, I was able to cut some fresh flowers from our yard (some kind of white perfume-y flowers). I tied a note to the vase "You are Remembered." After church DH, Ethan & I went to the cemetery. I knew that Keith's grave was near the fence line of the cemetary, but it took me a few minutes to find it. I knelt down to leave the vase & just paused for a moment to think of this cousin that I never knew, but will never forget.

Isn't that what we all want? To have someone leave flowers in memory of our babies 37 years from now?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Weekend - Remembering

I received the Christmas card that DH's grandparents made. I've scanned it in, but I'm having a heck of a time attaching it to my blog. : (

This past Friday, we had a some friends over for BBQ. Even better - another couple did all the cooking & clean-up, everyone just gatered at our house. One of the women Jan said that she was looking at our family website, she read about our Sara. She told us her family's story. Her older brother & sister-in-law lost a baby. It was a cord accident. He was born alive, but it sounds like he had brain damage from a lack of oxygen and died within a few days. We talked about remembering the babies and how this loss changes your life.

Saturday night, DH & I went to his company holiday party. I talked to the wife of the couple who lost their daughter over Memorial Day weekend. I had sent a Christmas card to them, saying we were thinking of them at this bittersweet time. I hope I didn't ruin her evening. She was so strong & brave. It was nice to talk about our daughters and we talked about some grief books we've read.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving Recap

We got a sneak peek of the Christmas card that DH's grandparents designed in memory of Sara. On the cover was a Christmas ornament made out of blue paper that had been embossed (I think that's the word) so there was a raised pattern. In the center of that was an angel. The angle was from the back, like you're looking over her shoulder - the wings were there and then the side of her face.

Inside the sentiment was along the lines of,"As the Baby Jesus inspired Christmas, let the children in your life inspired your Christmas. In Memory of Sara Elizabeth." I'll be sure to scan it in when we receive ours in the mail.

We spent Thanksgiving Day with DH's family. We have 2 nieces & a nephew from this side of the family. The oldest girl is your typical teenager, spent most of the day texting her friends. But the 2 youngest (10 y.o. & 6 y.o.) are greedy, disrespectful brats. They fought with each other & their parents, cheated at games, and are simply horrible to be around. I won't go into all the family history & drama. But it makes me sad that these hateful, mean children continue to be mean and hateful - primarily because their parents do a crappy job of parenting. And our Sara, who we planned for and we discussed parenting before we ever got pregnant, is gone.

Today we had a nice Thanksgiving with my family. Nothing that stands out, but sometimes that's what makes it special - just a day with family, enjoying each other's company & good food.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Sunshine & Rain

One of our local weathermen has a stupid gimmick. When he gives the next day's weather forecast, he rates the day, gives it a number. "Tomorrow's going to be a 7 folks." It annoys me, a stupid arbitrary number that HE assigns. A 7 vs. a 9 may be the difference of a few degrees, a slight chance of rain. I keep saying I'm going to email him and his TV station to complain, but I haven't yet. Not all days can be Chamber of Commerce days, beautiful, sunny, 85 degrees days. We need both rain and sunshine to grow plants and vegetation. It will get cold during the winter. It's simple science.

A few days ago my friend Lori wrote that rain reminds her of her son Logan because it was a rainy day when she lost him. That made me think of needing rain & sunshine ,literally & figuratively, in our lives to appreciate the other.

And so I leave you with a little Joy & Pain

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Ex.act Re.plica

If you haven't read this book yet, you should. It's a beautiful memoir of a stillbirth and a SPAL. Although we have our own stories, the events that led up to the loss of our babies, there are other details that we can all relate to.

I don't want to give away any of the details, but I laughed at an absurd story she shared, a misunderstanding. It reminded me of an absurd misunderstanding I had in the hospital. Our nurse shared a story of another couple, their baby wasn't expected to live but a few hours. The father said out loud, "Grass! I want my baby to experience grass." My first though was "Why would you want your dying baby to smoke grass? But I guess it would numb the parents' pain." The nurse continued, the father ran outside and picked some grass from the hospital lawn. (Oh yeah, lawn/grass, that would be more appropriate.)

I cried a lot too. Ms. McCracken wrote about wanting to know the names of all the babies who have died, to tell their parents "It happened to me too." so they would feel normal and to remember their babies. I know this feeling too well.

It's a quick read, I stayed up too late reading it, but I finished it over a weekend.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

At arm's length

My friend M called me last week to wish me a happy belated birthday. great.

When I saw her name pop up in the caller ID, I thought twice about answering. I talked to her back in March, played phone tag for a few weeks over the summer, I was busy at the moment, but I decided to talk. Yes she has said some thoughtless things over the past 2 years but we've been friends for so many years, I don't want to let that ruin our friendship. But when she wished me a happy belated birthday, my attitude changed, I didn't want to have a friendly chat with her. She seriously doesn't get how losing Sara has changed me - especially since I lost Sara on my birthday. She could have just said that she was thinking of me, that we haven't talked in a while, she didn't have to bring up birthdays at all, she was already 3 weeks late with that.

M. had told me back in March that she was pregnant with her second child, not very far along at the time. She told me last week that she's having a C-section the day after HER birthday. Now I really didn't want to talk to her. I don't even know if she's having a girl or a boy. Yes, part of this is due to jealousy - I can not enjoy a pregnancy, I don't want to talk about hers either.

I wish I could sit down and tell her how her thoughtless words have hurt me, but knowing how little free time she has had for me over the past few year, I know we won't be having that conversation any time soon. Don't get me wrong, I think she has been a good friend in the past, but she is horrible at time management and has different priorities than me. She works full-time & travels a lot and often puts her job before her husband & son (as I see it). There have been several times over the past few years (before I was ever even pregnant with Sara)that she would flake on me when we had made plans to meet for coffee or brunch, usually for work things that popped up.

So I feel myself putting distance between us.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

More Butterflies

Well one more. I went to one of my favorite local gift shops a few days ago. They have 10+ Christmas tree decorated, each with a different theme. One of the trees has these glass ornaments which I've never been a fan of, I find some of them a bit garish. But as I walked by this tree, this butterfly caught my eye. (The yellow & blue one there.) I couldn't resist, I bought it. When I got home, I was putting it away with other ornaments & I happened to read the tag. "The butterfly is a symbol of immortality. Since it evolves from egg to caterpillar to chrysalis, and then emerges as a butterfly from it's cocoon, it represents the soul and the cycle of rebirth. A pair of butterflies signifies marital happiness."

And just so you don't think Ethan is ignored around here this is an ornament I bought for him.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!







The "face" is in the wood grain of our fence.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Distractions

Monica & Ya Chun tagged me -

1. Where is your cell phone? In my purse
2. Where is your significant other? Working in his office
3. Your hair color? Brown
4. Your mother? Awkward relationship
5. Your father? Adore him
6. Your favorite thing? Baking
7. Your dream last night? Don't remember.
8. Your dream/goal? To raise an amazing son.
9. The room you're in? Study
10. Your hobby? pastime? baking/crafts
11. Your fear? Another loss
12. Where do you want to be in six years? Here is good.
13. Where were you last night? Home
14. What you're not? Pregnant (in a good way.)
15. One of your wish list items? Update the kitchen
16. Where you grew up? Texas
17. The last thing you did? Ran errands
18. What are you wearing? Sweatpants & T-shirt
19. Your T.V.? Off
20. Your pet? Sleeping.
21. Your computer? An outlet
22. Your mood? Upbeat
23. Missing someone? Always
24. Your car? Clean
25. Something you're not wearing? a hat
26. Favorite store? My local ACE
27. Your Summer? fun
28. Love someone? Of course.
29. Your favorite color? green
30. When is the last time you laughed? Earlier today- at Ethan
31. Last time you cried? Last night

Well, it looks like everyone I can think of has been tagged.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Halloween

I like Halloween and fall in general. I like the Harvest/Fall festivals with baked goods & hand-made crafts for sale. We enjoyed pumpkin smoothies last night. As an adult, I prefer funny & clever costumes to scary ones.

A few weeks ago, DH & I went to a big craft store. They had Halloween decorations for sale. One of the decorations was a 'zombie' holding a head. That just doesn't sit well with me. I don't want headstones decorating my yard or skeltons sitting around. It brings me back to my dead baby and I don't want to think of her in those terms - creepy, scary, frightening.

She was a beautiful baby, so serene and peaceful. But I'll always be haunted by that day, the nightmare of a day when we lost our precious Sara.

Ethan's not dressing up this year. I borrowed a costume from my sister, my nephew was Bam-Bam from the Flintstones when he was 1.5 years old. Ethan didn't like it, he just liked to pet it, like a cat.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Random Thoughts

Yay! I finished my on-line training. I've been feeling so overwhelmed since Ethan's birthday. I was supposed to start this training on the 6th, didn't start until the 13th. But I'm done with that. I need to come up with some more questions for my class's next exam and I have to keep up with the grading. I admire teachers who work full-time and have families. I'm going crazy trying to have 1 class and a 1 year old at home. Hopefully I'll be less bitchy now, with one less item on my plate.

We finally got serious about weaning Ethan. DH has been putting Ethan to bed for several nights, but I would still nurse him during the day. We started giving him whole milk right before his birthday. So Saturday night, DH put him to bed. Ethan woke up around 3am and basically screamed/cried until after 4. We were all up. He woke up again around 7 am. We were exhausted and frustrated. I gave in because I needed sleep. But that's been it. Ethan will actually take a bottle from me or just let me rock him. I still pump a bit, just to relieve pressure. Hopefully in a few days, it'll be over. It's been emotional. I've been breast-feeding from day one and here he is 1 year, 10 days+ old.

DH & I watch The Biggest Loser. The elimination round always frustrates me, you'd think they were being sent to the gas chamber, they get so emotional. Two weeks ago, one of the husbands, Ed, was sent home. The next week his wife, Heba, kept saying,"I lost my husband last week." No, Heba Filter, you didn't LOSE your husband. He's at home, eating carrots and drinking lots of water and trying to lose weight. I hope you're voted off next week.

OK, time for bed. BTW, it's my 101st post.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Butterflies



DH's aunt made this wonderful wall hanging for us. It reads, " A butterfly lights beside us like a sunbeam, And for a brief moment its glory & beauty belong to our world. And though we wished it could have stayed, We feel so lucky to have seen it."

A few weeks ago I bought some metal butterflies to hang in the guest bedroom. Friday I bought two blue beaded butterflies to hang on our family Christmas tree. (There will be several other butterflies on Sara's tree.)

A few days ago, I learned of another young couple who live nearby, friends of B's, who lost their 3 year old son. My heart breaks for them. He was very sick, but saying good-bye is always hard.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Happy Birthday Ethan!!




On Saturday we invited family & friends over to celebrate Ethan's 1st birthday. It was a beautiful day. He had fun playing with his cupcake. He had icing all over his face & arms; I had to give him a quick shower & change clothes before we could open his mountain of gifts.

I had light a pink candle for Sara, it was burning in the kitchen throughout the party. DH & I commented later on seeing butterflies flying around the backyard.

If I don't post for a few days, don't worry. I'm feeling overwhelmed by my class right now. I have to come up with an exam, homework assignments and do some on-line training of my own. The hard part is doing all of this while Ethan naps or at least plays by himself.

Have a good week!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Remembering...

Thinking of my friend B. How very quickly the past two years have gone by. How our lives have changed. I know our baby girls are together, watching over us and their new siblings. Love you!!


I should be in bed but I don't know where to go.
DH & I have both been feeling icky this week, sore throats. I feel fine now. This morning we brought flowers to church in honor of Sara (B also brought flowers in honor of her daughter). Roughly 30 minutes into the service I could tell DH wasn't feeling well. So I suggested we leave. We picked up some medicine on the drive home and he's been resting most of the day. He had a fever, achy, etc... Ethan wanted to play with his Daddy so much, but we didn't want him to get sick.

I told DH that I would sleep in the guest bedroom, closer to Ethan's room and our bed is already full of cooties. But now I don't want to. There's no TV in the guest bedroom nor adequate light for reading. Maybe I'll sleep on the couch.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Oct 2 Recap

I received many cards, emails and phone calls and for those, I am thankful.

While Ethan took his morning nap, DH & I went through Sara's things. That was the hardest part of the day. Touching things she touched, her blanket, the snips of her hair, the untouched photos of our precious daughter. She existed!!

For lunch we picked up sandwiches, packed food for Ethan and went to a park for a picnic. It was a beautiful day, we saw several butterflies. It was very peaceful.

That evening we went to my parents' house for dinner & pink cupcakes. We released balloons at sunset. At one point, the balloons formed a 'S'. They were too far away to get a decent picture.

During dinner my 5 y.o. nephew said, "Tonight is sad." He also said, "There are two birthdays today." I'm sure he's just repeating things his parents said, I don't want to upset him by questioning him. I hope we'll continue this tradition for my nephews, my parents, Ethan, for DH & me.

I received several emails from family & friends thanking me for the seeds and to say they were thinking of Sara & me, DH & Ethan. I thanked them for thinking of Sara. That's what this is all about isn't it??

One friend said that her 4 y.o. daughter planted the seeds and said, "These seeds are special." Why? "I don't know, they're just special." Yes, Sweetie, they are special.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Breast Cancer Awareness Month



For Monica and her grandmother.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Birthday Wishes

Two years ago, in the early afternoon of October 2, my wonderful husband & I drove to my dr's office, naively believing that our lives were perfect, that we would soon hold our daughter. Instead our world came crashing down. We did hold our daughter, only to tell her how much we love her and will always remember her and to say good-bye.
It was also my 33rd birthday.

I'm ashamed to admit this, but I hate that Sara died on my birthday. It's such a small part of the story, it doesn't matter what day - she is gone. But everyone celebrates their birthday in some way, even if it's just a private dinner with your closest family or you just splurge on yourself. I just want to feel somewhat normal on one day and I can't do that. If Sara were alive, I would be so obnoxious about the 2 of us sharing a birthday. Instead, I'd rather ignore the day. I can't do that either, it's Sara's special day.

Not many people ask what I want for my birthday, but it doesn't matter. My heart is screaming, "I just want Sara." I know that's not possible. No other gift can measure up. I do appreciate any gift that I receive, but I could do without the cheerful gift wrap and other signs of celebration. I can't celebrate. There's a hole in my heart that won't heal.

Last year, we had a plan for Oct. 2 - we went to the hospital where Sara was delivered, we left a care package for the next couple who has a loss, we went to the jewelry store for a new charm. I already have my charm for this year, the motherhood charm. We'll go over to my parents for dinner/dessert/a balloon release. During the day, we'll probably go through Sara's things - her pictures, the cards, her blanket. I'll finish decorating the cupcakes for dessert. But a big part of the day will be spent with Ethan. Ethan, our blessing after losing Sara.

I make a wish list for gifts - more for Christmas or anniversaries - I'm OK with those days. I still think of Sara & reflect on our lives, but it doesn't hurt as much. I can celebrate others' birthdays. Just not my own.

That said, here are a few things I'd like for my birthday:
A good night's sleep.
A clean house, including the wood floors buffed.
A third arm, so I can hold Ethan & do other things.
To lose the last 15 pounds of pregnancy weight.
A peaceful day.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Christmas Cards

Earlier today, DH's grandmother called to RSVP to Ethan's birthday party. She said she also had a question, I figured she wanted to know what size clothes Ethan wore or other gift suggestions.

DH's grandparents have made their own Christmas cards since they got married in 1950.
I'm blown away by that. Now you can go to any craft store or on-line and buy any supplies to make a card. But they started out cutting out everything by hand. Take that, Martha!!

So DH's grandmother asked if they could make this year's card be in memory of Sara. I was so touched. I started crying before she could finish the sentence. I can't wait to see the Christmas card. I hope we get a sneak peek at Thanksgiving.

Weekend

Dh & I went to a fund-raiser dinner Saturday night - all you can eat shrimp. I think we hurt ourselves. We left Ethan with my parents. We were asked several times at the dinner - where was Ethan? Next time we'll bring him.

One of my family members was at the dinner. Within the past few years she helped open a maternity house - a safe place for single, pregnant teens to go. My cousin adopted her 2 children through a maternity house. The teens don't have to place their babies for adoption, but they have to plan - either place for adoption or be a good parent.

I'm really moved by this. You would think after losing Sara, there would be some jealous for these teenaged girls - pregnant when they have no business being pregnant. I'm looking past them & focusing on the babies that hopefully will be placed for adoption. Through our support groups and blogland, I've learned of so many couples who have turned to adoption. My cousin is playing a role in families being able to adopt a healthy baby. I told her that I would like to help with their fundraising later this year.

Ethan is thisclose to walking. He'll stand by himself for several seconds or walk while someone holds his hand. I put out my fall/Halloween decorations, including a jack-o-latern bucket. DH came walking through the dining room, holding Ethan's hand. In Ethan's other hand, he was clutching that bucket. He's ready to go trick-or-treating!!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Reschedule

I started my period last night, a couple of days early, so I had to reschedule my dr's appt for early November.

I'm relieved a bit. I'm tired & emotional, I don't need to sit in a waiting room surrounded by pregnant women a week before Sara's day. I'll get through October and then go.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Mixed Emotions

Like I started in my last post, these next few weeks are full of mixed emotions. The things I'm looking forward to, I'm also dreading.

Tomorrow is my dr's appt. I completed the new patient forms. I wrote a few sentences about losing Sara. There was a grid to complete with the birth info of my living children. I put Ethan's info in the column for the 2nd child. OK so I'm not exactly looking forward to the dr's appt, but it has to be done at some point. I'm feeling anxious about it. I haven't had one of those horrible raw-pain kind of days in quite a while. I can feel it building though, especially with Sara's day coming up quickly. I'm afraid that going to the dr's office is going to be like pulling off the scab. I'm almost sure it will upset me to talk about her. I'm preparing myself for the worst, hoping for the best.

After the appt., we'll be running some errands, picking up stuff for Ethan's party. I am looking forward to that, but it makes me a little sad that I'll never throw a princess party for Sara. Please don't suggest that I can buy the glittery pink decorations for her birthday. I'm not comfortable with that. I can decorate pink cupcakes, release balloons, make public memorials for her, but I can't buy decorations for a little girl's birthday party.

So we're just over a week away from Sara's day. I plan to bake cupcakes to share with family & release balloons. I'm looking forward to just think about her, to take time out of our schedules and focus on Sara Elizabeth. I know it will be sad. Just having Ethan makes it a little more bittersweet. I know now what we lost, not just a baby, but all of the experiences we've had with Ethan already.

Ethan also brings us so much joy. He cutting more teeth and we haven't slept well this week. But no matter how fussy and grumpy any of us are, I wouldn't trade him for the world.

This morning DH & I met a couple who had 5 children including a set of twins. We mentioned that we have an 11 month old son. The wife asked if we plan to have more. I said no. Right away, she asked, "Why not?" I'm sure she had her arguments ready, they had 5 children, everyone should have a herd of children. I answered, "We lost our first daughter, I can't go through that (meaning the nerve-wracking pregnancy) again." The room was silent. In a mean way, it felt good. The wife was kinda a bitch, little snide comments here & there. She asked, she just wasn't prepared for the answer.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Time flies by

I can't believe it's almost the end of September. My class has their first exam this week. While they take the exam, I'll be working on the homework assignment for the next 2 chapters - which they'll start the following week.

I have my doctor's appt later this week. fun. I usually don't mind physical exams, it's the emotional side I'm dreading.

A friend asked me a few days ago if the weather was reminding me of being pregnant. I haven't really felt that way. I think it's because we live in a different house and town than when I was pregnant. I'm not driving around town thinking, "I used to eat there all the time when I was pregnant." We're in a different setting, so I don't relate my pregnancies with this town.

After the doctor's appt, we will run errands - buying a charm for my bracelet, buying supplies for Ethan's party. That's been a reminder. Sara's and Ethan's birthdays are just 9 days apart. I should be planning Sara's 2nd birthday party, instead, it's Ethan's first. I am sending out the packets of seeds soon. We'll have dinner & dessert with family & release balloons on the 2nd. So we'll honor & remember Sara.

Their birthdays will always be entwined. I can't believe it's almost been 2 years since we lost our Sara. How time flies. or is it "time slips away"?

I'll write more another time, I'm worn out.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Anxious

I'm feeling anxious today. We live in Texas, not near the coast, but we'll get rain & wind, possibly up to 60 mph. We live in a 100 year old house. I have mixed feelings about that. Yes, it's 100 years old - it's survived other bad storms. Some of the windows still have the original glass. Well, I'm not sure if it's really original, but it's old, thick glass.

We have lots of big trees around our house. I'm nervous that one of them will blow over onto our house or send limbs flying around doing damage.

We don't have any interior rooms. All of the rooms, bathrooms included, have windows. For my peace of mind, Ethan will sleep in our room tonight. DH's office is on our property & it's on a concrete foundation, not pier & beam. It has 2 small windows, so if need be, we can hide out in there for a while.

I watched the damage that Katrina did on the TV. I know we're not in that situation. I remember feeling depressed after watching it. I've tried to prepare as best we can - water, canned food, batteries & such.

I've lived in Texas all my life, and this is the first time I recall feeling so anxious. What has changed? I'm a Mommy now. I can't bear the thought of anything happening to Ethan or to DH or myself. We have to take care of him.

BTW - I think I found what to write inside the greeting cards - what do you think?

"Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.
- Irish Proverb"

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Helping w/wording?

To honor Sara this year, I bought packets of seeds & will give them to family & friends. I printed out labels that read " Sara Elizabeth, October 2, 2006, When the flowers bloom & the butterflies arrive, please think of her."
I'm tucking them inside greeting cards before mailing, the seed packets were flimsy just inside an envelope. I want to write something on the blank greeting card. For some people it's easy - they continue to honor Sara and I can acknowledge that. But other people we don't see or talk to often - distant family/old friends. I need a general message, just a sentence or 2. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The past few days...

Well, I survived the garage sale. We sold all the big items - strollers, bouncers, etc... Lots of baby boy & maternity clothes, but there still seemed to be a lot of that. I didn't cry! I came across a pair of tiny navy blue pants that Ethan wore. I can't believe how much he has grown!

People will buy/take anything. The previous owners of our house left a FryDaddy with grease in it. I put a FREE sign on it & someone took it!! We made a nice sum of money. I set it aside to help pay for a new dishwasher.

Sunday at church Ethan was restless, so I took him to the nursery, hoping he would nap. Nope, he wanted to play. Sitting there watching him play, I thought about Sara & cried a few tears. I took him to the play room where other toddlers were playing/watching videos. I made it back in time for the sermon. The sermon was about life being not what we planned. We know old people die, but young children aren't supposed to. But the preacher's sister died when she was 2 days old. I was already thinking of Sara, I sat there with my head on DH's shoulder & cried for her.

The past 2 nights I've had dreams regarding Sara. She rarely shows up in my dreams.
In the first I dreamed that I was alone in a conference room thinking about Sara and suddenly a group of other parents appeared, they too had lost babies. I just happened to choose the conference room that they met in.

Oh man! Now I forgot my second dream. I started this entry on Tuesday, saved the draft, came back today and I've forgotten my second dream.

I started teaching an English class at the local community college. I'm really enjoying it. I hope the students take away a better understanding of grammar. Most of the students are a little older, not 18 year olds. But I didn't know any of them before this semester. They don't know me as the woman who lost a baby. They just know me as the English instructor with a goofy sense of humor. I kinda (Yes I teach English, but use 'kinda')like that. To them I'm normal. One of the students is pregnant and so far, it hasn't bothered me. Sure I think about Sara sometimes in class, but I haven't mentioned her.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Pink Rose Award




I read the story behind this award and was inspired by it.

I have quite a few Pink Roses IRL - Monica, Monica, Lori and B. To Monica for being pregnant with Andy while I was pregnant with Ethan. You were a lifesaver many times! Your wit & humor helped me very often. To Monica H. for always knowing the perfect way to honor Sara as well as enjoying Ethan and for your yummy baked goods! For Lori for listening to us vent and cry during support group. To B. - for living near by. I'll never understand why we lost our beautiful daughters within the same week - such an odd coincidence. But I'm glad to have a familiar person nearby who understands what DH & I are going through.

For all the other parents we've met IRL at our support groups. We couldn't have survived those first few weeks without your kind words. You inspired us to try again.

To my aunt - I'm so sorry for your loss so long ago, but your sweet advice has helped us during the past 2 years.

To all the mothers who have lost their babies. This is such a horrible club to belong to, but you are all such amazing, strong women and mothers! I'm sorry I don't have time to name everyone.

Friday, August 29, 2008

New Patient Registration

Because we moved, I'm changing my gyno. I'm due for a annual exam soon. I choose a doctor in a larger city, not my small town. I'm a private person in some ways and prefer to be anonymous. I don't want to run into my gyno or her nurses at the grocery store.
I received the new patient forms in the mail today - general stuff, medical history & such. Of course they asked about pregnancies.
Have I ever been pregnant? How many times? How many living children do I have? How many miscarriages or abortions have I had? For each child born living, complete their birth information - weight, vaginal or C-section, etc... They didn't even ask about stillbirths. I'll write an explanation about Sara in the margins. It would come up anyway. Pregnant twice, 1 living child, no miscarriages or abortions, they'd want an explanation.

It just hurts, hurts that I have to explain, hurts that they didn't ask, like a stillbirth doesn't matter. Losing Sara was the reason we induced labor early with Ethan and they would probably ask about that. Hurts that I'm not normal.

It's almost been 2 years since we lost Sara and today a seemingly simple form from a doctor's office is bringing up a lot of pain.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

New Photo

I changed the photo on my blog. I wanted something that represented Sara & our love for her. I was probably 36 weeks pregnant with Sara when we took that picture. I planned to use it for her birth announcement. I used rubber stamps and pink ink, spelling out "Baby Love" across the top of folded cards and then mounted this picture below it. I had the envelopes addressed. I just needed a picture of Sara and her birth information and they'd be ready to go. Instead I gave a few close family members this picture and a small black & white photo of Sara.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Garage Sale

My sister has 2 little boys, so Ethan received a lot of their hand-me-downs. Together we have A LOT of baby stuff - clothes, car seats, swings, toys, maternity clothes. So we decided to have a garage sale. Neither plan to have any more children.

The boxes are taking over my guest bedroom, the bigger gear is stacking up in the garage. The garage sale isn't until September.

I was going through stuff, starting to price it. I reflected on buying some of the maternity clothes when I was pregnant with Sara, others I borrowed from my sister. I had given back my sister the shirt I was wearing the day we lost Sara. I didn't want to see it again. But I know it may pop up at the sale. Also I may see the dress I wore to my nephew's baptism. I was 7 months pregnant & borrowed a black, red & white dress. I wore that dress again to Sara's memorial service. I don't want those items back. They bring back such sadness. I can remember that sadness without an article of clothing to bring it back.

I went through clothes that Ethan has outgrown. I kept a few special pieces, pieces that I bought for Sara, but Ethan wore (just neutral stuff, no girly-pink stuff for my little man.), things to show Ethan's future wife when they are expecting. "Look how tiny he was!"

Don't worry, Sara's things are neatly packed in a storage tub and that is under the guest bed.

I'm organizer by trade and personality. I really get the idea that you don't need to keep things to remember. But there has been a little sadness going through these items which aren't needed in my life anymore. It's OK. I have Ethan in my house and Sara in my heart.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

This week...

Monday night my friend B & I had dinner with another woman who lost her precious daughter. Her name is Sara, her daughter is L. B, Sara & I all grew up within roughly 30 miles of each other, although Sara lives a few hours away now. We have all been emailing each other and knew Sara would be visiting family, so we decided to get together. I'm sure to other people at the restaurant, we just looked like 3 women having a serious conversation. How surprised they would be to know our common bond.

Tuesday evening I called my cousin N. He was my aunt & uncle's baby after a loss 35+ years ago. He admitted that his family didn't talk much about his brother, but he often thought about Keith. N remembers being told to be thankful for his life, because Keith had died. N didn't take to meaning he should feel guilty, but instead grateful. He told me that when school or sports were hard, he reminded himself of his brother that didn't get to experience those things and N was able to. I wanted to talk to N because I wanted his point of view as the baby after a loss, N said he thought we would parent Ethan fairly and Sara would be remembered because I was calling, asking for his input when Ethan was even 1 year old.

Wednesday morning I lit a candle for Jimmy. I thought about how 2 years have quickly passed. How Andy brings joy to his Mommy & Daddy and Jimmy will always be remembered.
I babysat for my 5 y.o. nephew. He will start kindergarten in a few weeks, so we practiced his math skills by baking cookies. DH and his band practiced at our house. DH smoked a brisket, everyone joined us for dinner. Isn't that what life is about? Family, friends and cookies.


Thursday has been a quiet day - cleaning up after the big dinner, running errands.

Friday morning I will light a candle for Baby Sam.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

"Life Is Good"

My family took a little vacation to San Antonio for a few days. DH, Ethan & I went into a Life is Good store. They have some cute t-shirts, esp. the Monkey and Peanut . We didn't buy anything. I felt like if I bought a shirt with just the company's motto on it, I'd have to add a footnote. "Life is good. (Except that I miss my Sara everyday and will continue to do so. Please remember her.)"
Ethan flirted with the sales associate there and she gave him a balloon on a string. He was so delighted by this yellow balloon bouncing above him.

The next day we went to SeaWorld. DH & my father were in the front seat, my mother, Ethan & I were in the back seat. Ethan fell asleep on the drive to the park. He is so beautiful when he sleeps. I watched my mother watch him, she started to tear up. I reached across and rubbed her arm. "It's OK, we will always miss her."

Life IS good. (Except that I miss my Sara everyday and will continue to do so. Please remember her.)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

UGH

Yesterday I started my period. It's been nice not having one. My last period was in January 2007!!
Today I'm feeling weepy, nothing's really set me off, just hormones. Damn hormones. And I keep snacking. Damn hormones!

Ethan has had a runny nose for a few days, he's not sleeping well, so neither am I. He's taken 2 15 minutes so far today. When I hold him, he snuggles into my neck. I know he's wiping snot on my hair. Oh well that's what shampoo is for.

Monday, July 21, 2008

How old are you now?

Yesterday we went to a family reunion. I was telling a story about another cousin Amy being mistaken for my mother; a stranger thought Amy & I were mother & daughter. I commented "She's like just 3 years older than me." My sister corrected me, Amy is more than 3 years older than me. OK Technically she is 4.5 years older, it's not I was thinking 3 years & she's really 15 years older. Amy's brother said, "Yeah Amy's going to be 40 this year." I said,"Oh is she that old?" Another relative, who is 40+(?) sarcastically said,"Thanks a lot." Then they were teasing me for sticking my foot in my mouth. But the thing is I have to truly remind myself how old I am. I 'think' I'm 32, like I'm stuck at 32. I'm 34. I didn't really 'celebrate' my 33rd or 34th bithdays. I know I've received cards and gifts for those birthdays, but Sara's death is ALWAYS the first thing I think of now for October 2. I remember DH's grandparents mailed a package to me for my 33rd birthday. My mother-in-law had to intercept it, take out the baby realted gifts and gave me the safe one.

So how old do YOU 'think' you are?

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Church of Will.ie Nel.son

Like any good Texan, I love Will.ie Nel.son. DH & I danced to "Blue Skies" at our wedding. I have a picture of Will.ie in the guest bathroom.

Recently I read his book, "The Tao of Will.ie." It was spiritual and some just plain old common sense for having a happy life. I felt peaceful reading it. One of the chapters reminded me of my friend Monica's recent blog about standing still. Will.ie wrote a song, "St!ll !s St!ll Mov!ing to me."

http://stillisstillmoving.com/?cat=35
I hope the link works, scroll down a bit for the lyrics and the short chapter.

Ethan had his wellness check on Thursday. He weighed 23lb, 14 oz and was 30 inches long. I think the length is off. We measured him at home with a yardstick, it looked more like 28 inches.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Facts of Life

"You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have the facts of life."

In the last few weeks, while poking around in gift/antique shops, I've come across 2 books about talking to children about grief & death. I didn't buy either of them. I know at some point we'll have that talk with Ethan. Already I talk about Sara to him, I point out her picture and just refer to her, so he's used to hearing her name. Most parents dread the "Where do babies come from?" question. We're facing the "Why do babies die? question. I don't have an answer to that, how am I supposed to explain to a child?

Saturday, June 28, 2008

We did it!!

I've spoiled Ethan by letting him nurse to sleep, he's been a bad sleeper, waking once or twice a night & in the last week, waking up every 2-3 hours. It was rough, I was grouchy & making silly mistakes, using the wrong words, etc...My lack of sleep was wearing me down.
Thursday night while I took a bath, Ethan cried. DH tried to soothe him, but Ethan just cried. I cheated, nursed him until he was almost asleep & then put him in bed. He slept through the night!
We had decided earlier this week that Friday night we were going to try to Ferberize him. Around 8:30pm, we fed him, put on PJ's, read a couple of books, general bedtime stuff. A little after 9, we put him in bed. He played in his crib for a few minutes, realized that he was alone & started crying. I stuck to my guns. I followed the method & checked on him at 5, 10, 15 minutes. I would talk to him & rub his back, but couldn't pick him up. By 9:45 he was asleep!!

By 10:15, he was awake & crying. So we started over - rubbing his back & talking to him, but no holding. He went back to sleep within 10 minutes! He woke up maybe twice during the night, but I gave myself permission to not get up with him.

At 7:30 DH got up, Ethan woke up too. DH changed his diaper, put him back in his crib, so he could go to the restroom himself. He went back to Ethan's room & he was asleep! We went out for a breakfast & then to the hardware store. Ethan was getting fussy & sleepy. I fed him a bit & put him down. He's been asleep for 1.5 hours!!

Why did I wait so long to do this??

Monday, June 23, 2008

SARA & swimsuits

Last year at Sara's birthday, my sister gave me a little sign that she had had embroidered for us. It said " Serving as an Angel, Reigning Above." It's in a picture frame & sits on Ethan's bookcase. This morning I was playing with Ethan & I glanced at the sign. I realized that my sister designed it so Sara's name was there: Serving, Angel, Reigning, & Above are stacked, lining up the first letters. I've been looking at it for almost 9 months & I just now noticed it!

Earlier today Ethan & I were at his water baby class. There was a few students, one was a little girl, 6 months old. She didn't look like Sara, Sara had more hair at birth than this little girl than at 6 months. But this little girl was wearing a pink tu-tu like swimsuit. Very girly, not my style. But I don't even get to make that choice for Sara, those silly, insignificant choices were taken away from me.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Hiding grief?

A few days ago, I started reading Va.lerie Bertin.elli's autobiography. Her parents lost a baby when he was 17 months old. They had a 4 y.o. son, the 17 month old & the mom was pregnant with Valer.ie. They were visiting a family friend, the toddler got into some poison & died. Heartbreaking. Valer.ie wrote that she didn't even know that there had been another brother until she was a teen! The family didn't talk about him, all of his pictures were put away.
When Valer.ie's grandmother died, her own son was 17 months old. They were at the cemetery, she saw her brother's tombstone, realized he was the same age as her baby she was holding & it hit home - what her parents & family lost.

It made me sad, the parents having to hide their grief, to not even talk about their son. We proudly display Sara's pictures & other mementos around our house. We talk about her. I can't imagine having to hide my emotions. I'm not ashamed to cry in front of people - this is my child we're talking about. I see other people cry for less. I lurk on another message board & I often see people ask for prayers for their pets who are sick or saying how heartbroken they are after the pet dies. I'm a huge animal lover, but really, after losing a baby, I have to roll my eyes a bit. It's a dog.

My grandparents lost a son, my father's younger brother, in a car accident. We never talk about him. I think about him & a cousin who was stillborn 2 years before I was born. (I need to go put flowers on their graves.) I understand what my grandmother & aunt went through, but in this day & age, I can freely talk about my emotions, something neither of them got to do.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Follow-up

The bigger issue to Ethan still breast-feeding is his ability to go to sleep. He nurses to sleep at night and for naps. A few times, he has fallen asleep in my arms as I sway, rocking him. Earlier today he fell asleep on the couch, cuddled up with me. But when I tried to carry him to his crib, he woke up.

DH's mother is coming to stay with Ethan, so we can go to The Cure concert. I hope he'll wear himself out, dragging himself around the house. I have plenty of breastmilk on hand, plus he eats lots of baby food, I'm not worried about him starving, just that he'll stay awake all night.

I was talking with my friend B. She was telling me about things that she does with her daughter, "spoiling" her. We both agreed it's because we lost our first daughters, our parenting style will be effected.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Confession Time

At almost 8 months, Ethan is still breast-fed. I planned to nurse him until he was 6 months old. He takes a bottle of breast milk from me very well. He'll drink a 2 oz. bottle of ready-made formula on his own b/c he can hold the bottle by himself. A couple of times a week, I'll make a small bottle of formula in his little bottle that has handles so he can hold it by himself, so he can get used to the taste of formula, but he doesn't finish it. But worse, I don't stick with it. I don't want Ethan to cry, I know he's comforted by having me to cuddle with. I know it's because I lost Sara I'm spoiling my son. I always give in to him.

Don't get me wrong, I know all the benefits of breast-feeding, but I'd like to return to work in a few months, I can't still be nursing then. I want to be able to leave him with family, friends, a sitter and know that he will eat well. A couple of weeks ago, he spent the night with my parents. He ate the baby food and drank breast milk that I sent along, but not the formula. Part of me is frustrated - why didn't I introduce formula at an earlier age? The other part of me says it'll be OK, enjoy this time with him.

Care to share any stories of weaning your babies?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Memorial Day

On Monday, DH received a phone call - one of his coworkers lost his 16 year old daughter in a car accident on Sunday. I think I met this coworker once at a holiday party, but not his daughter. Still my heart aches for this family, such a tragedy. I understand the pain of losing a child too soon. I know they wish they could see her one more time, to hold her one more time, to stroke her hair, to kiss her cheek.

The family created a slide show of pictures of their daughter. I was a little jealous, all of the memories they have of their precious daughter, memories I'll never be able to create with my Sara.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mother's Day

Mother's Day was nice. I was able to sleep in a bit - which is always a welcome gift. DH made bacon & eggs for breakfast for us. I was given a bird bath - it's ceramic with blue butterflies around the rim. Ethan 'signed' a card for me - with his hand print. There were also butterflies on the card.
We worked around the house, unpacking a few boxes, clearing out the garage, hung some pictures - getting settled into our house. DH made dinner for me - bacon wrapped shrimp & shark, asparagus, wine & a berry cobbler.

It was a peaceful, bittersweet day, my first Mother's Day with a live baby in my arms.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Ethan's Baptism II



My friend B & her daughter D. and me & Ethan at their baptism.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Movie Review

Last night Dh & I watched Jun.o. We knew what the basic plot was & still chose to watch it. Overall it was a sweet, witty story, but we knew it could be upsetting, it was about a pregnant girl afterall.

Near the end, there was a scene - the girl & her boyfriend were laying in the hospital bed together, the baby had been born but wasn't in the room with them. (I don't want to ruin the story for anyone who wants to see it.) Just that image brought DH & me back to the night we lost Sara - the 2 of us holding each other in a hospital bed, crying, I was no longer pregnant, we were heart-broken.

Monday, April 28, 2008

New House & Ethan

The front door


Ethan's closet/bookcase


The lock inside the guest bedroom closet


Ethan!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Busy, busy

Monica tagged me - 10 things that are keeping me busy.

1. Trying to sell our old house. We'll be going back there tomorrow to repaint, mow...We live 2 hours away from our old house, so it's not like we can just swing by after work to do these chores. I just want it to sell soon.
2. I've also been reading Eat, Pray, Love; also bought it at Cost.co. I'm enjoying it, but I don't have much free time to read.
3. Setting up our new house. There's still a few boxes to unpack & sort everything out, trying to find places to display everything.
4. Choosing paint colors for the kitchen & laundry room.
5. Planning a family vacation - nothing big, just a few days in San Antonio later this summer with my parents, sisters, brothers-in-law & their kids.
6. Exploring my new town. I grew up in this area & I know the general things - the larger stores & things to do. But new stores & cafes have opened, just new things to discover. It's different being here as an adult vs. a child - my mother was very practical & doesn't like to just stroll, poking around in quaint little shops.
7. Trying to lose weight.
8. Trying to meet new friends.
9. Cooking/Baking - DH works at home now, so I make lunches for us. I don't want to get in a rut, just having sandwiches every day. Also I'm trying to make fruits & vegetables for Ethan - cook, puree, freeze.
10. Honoring Sara. Her pictures & other memorials are around the house. It'll be 2 years since she died before I know it.

OK, gotta get ready for bed.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Ethan's Baptism

On Sunday we had Ethan baptized. It was a very special day because we were able to coordinate with our friends who lost their daughter 4 days after we lost Sara. Their little girl D. is 2.5 months old and was also baptized yesterday. Ethan was a little restless, but was a doll during the baptisms. The preacher began the sermon, saying how this was a special day, to have Ethan & D. baptized together a year & a half after their big sisters passed away, how it was healing for the church to share this day. Unfortunately, I didn't hear much more than that, Ethan got fussy - he was due for a nap, so I had to sneak out to the nursery.

Several people stopped me later, saying how special it was for us to have our babies baptized together. I'm not a very religious person & I won't go into my beliefs here, but I felt like this needed to be done - to introduce our babies to our church, for these people to see our babies, the faith & strength that helped us through the difficult time, that continues to help us.

After church we had separate parties. DH & I just invited our families over for lunch at my aunt's house. It was a beautiful spring day. I had kept the decorations simple - just blue, green & yellow stuff - plates, napkins, cups, tablecloth & cupcakes. But I had a pink candle & pink roses for our Sara. Saturday when we were setting up for the party, I went in to my aunt's kitchen to cut the roses to fit the vase. The radio was on, Clapton's "Tears in Heaven" was playing. I broke down. I understand his lyrics too well.

I miss you Sweet Sara.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Damn Solicitors

Today I got a phone call from the funeral home that handled Sara's memorial service, of all things. The name didn't come up on caller ID & I didn't recognize the number, so I was completely caught off-guard. The man identified himself as an employee of the funeral home. I stopped breathing for a moment, I just knew he was going to say that they had made a mistake with Sara's ashes. No, he wanted to offer pre-paid funeral arrangements to us. The practical, polite side of me wanted to say,"No, thank you, I no longer live in that city." My emotions overtook me, I could only say, "No, No" & hung up on him. He's probably used to those reactions.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Small Scare

Over the weekend we went to a family reunion out at a campground roughly 30 minutes from our house. DH camped out, but Ethan & I came back to sleep in our comfy beds.

While we were out there, I sat in my car to nurse Ethan. He started to fall asleep, so I put him in his carseat. His ear was bleeding!! My first thought was, "He didn't fall, why is there blood coming from his ear??" I yelled for DH, who was already walking over just to check in on us. It turns out that Ethan just needs his fingernails clipped, he scratched his ear & then that ear was pressed against me, making it smear & look alot worse.

Another thing that freaks me about this house is the distance from the master bedroom to Ethan's room. In our old house, all the bedrooms were down the same hallway. Now our bedroom is in the front of the house & Ethan's room & the guest bedroom are in the back. We have the monitors set up, but those first few nights, he felt so far away from me. I'm getting better, maybe once all the boxes are out of here & I feel more settled, I won't feel like he's so far away. AND once those boxes are gone, I'll gladly post some pix. I need to take some of Ethan as well.

Our house is full of windows. Unfortunately for our fat cat, the sills are too narrow for him to spread out to bask in the sun. He has to sit upright.

OK, gotta go.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

New House & Old House and Ethan's 6 months old

New House - We have trash pick-up twice a week. We can't put a trash can out, they'll take the can, the City wants the trash just in garbage bags. OK whatever, it's different.

Our mailbox is on the front porch. I know the mailman will freak me out one of these days.

There are still a bunch of boxes to be unpacked. I look forward to Ethan's naps so I can get some work done. I think the essentials are unpacked, just not put in their proper homes.

Old House - is still on the market. I'm so frustrated. I know our house is a nice little house for the price range it's in, but we have some trashy neighbors renting the house across the street & they are not helping us. We could do all sorts of repairs, but those people would still drive away potential buyers. UGH!! I hate this.

Ethan had his 6 month wellness check on Friday. My once little Peanut weighs 20lb, 7oz & is 27 inches long. I like his new pediatrician. He sat down & talked with me about Ethan's development, eating habits, etc...He's not the young hipster we had before our move, but I liked that I wasn't rushed out the door.

OK, I have to go unpack more.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

New House

So we moved this weekend. We rented a moving truck. The website recommended a certain size for a 3 bedroom house, we have a 3 bedroom house, so that was the size we rented. Well....
We ended up filling that truck twice, plus a 16 foot flatbed trailer & a couple of smaller loads in pick-up trucks. UGH!! I really don't think we have that much, but some things are awkward & don't pack neatly into little boxes.

Our 'new' house is 100+ years old. I plan to do some research on it once we're settled. Previous owners updated the kitchen. There's lots of cabinets & I think everything will fit, just not where I would have liked to put it. For example, I like to keep my spices near the stove, so I can add them as I cook, but the cabinet closest to the stove is being used for coffee grounds/filters/mugs & the top shelf is very high. I'll probably rearrange everything after a few weeks of use.

Most of the house has the original hardwood floors - beautiful! But at night they creak. Spooky. The first 2 nights I could barely sleep - between being in a new place, Ethan up several times & the creaks, I couldn't relax. There's is still an old heating grate in the main hallway. It's uncomfortable to walk over barefoot (when I have to get up at night to check on Ethan), so we put a rug over it. It's a jute rug that the cat loves to scratch his claws on. So late at night, I heard this thumping noise. I peeked in the hall, the cat was scratching at the rug, the rug was picked up just a bit, but then dropped down on the hollow vent, which would echo. I hope I get used to these noises soon.

OK It's time to get ready for bed. Another busy day tomorrow. I miss my friends in A-town.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

This pisses me off.

Last week in a small town near me, a 18 year old boy shook his 2 month old son to death. That makes me so angry. I can handle pregnant women(as long as they don't take their babies for granted) but people who abuse and kill their own children need to be beaten within an inch of their own life. I would do anything to have a few more moments with Sara. But this idiot boy kills his son out of frustration. He was arrested on capital murder charges. I hope he's castrated, he shouldn't have more children. I know plenty of couples who would have loved to adopt a baby from some kids who weren't prepared for the responsibilities of parenthood. Instead an innocent baby is dead.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

For your viewing pleasure...

Ethan & my 13 year old cat, Brody. Such love! Such disdain.

Ethan eating avocado - yum!


Ethan playing air guitar.


Sorry the pictures/captions aren't lining up properly. I don't have time right now to fix it, Gotta scurry.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Remembering...

Yesterday Ethan & I took my car in for an oil change. We waited in the little lobby. An older(late 40's-early 50's) man came in. We made small talk - weather, housing prices. I was holding Ethan on my lap. The man asked if Ethan was my only child. I figured I'd never see him again, so I said yes. He said that I was very lucky. Then I had to speak up, I told him we lost our first daughter. He paused for a moment and then said, " So did we." She died a week before her due date. His wife had some health issues, so they never tried again. I told him that I was very sorry to hear that. He said that it was the hardest thing in the world, he & his wife still talk about their daughter. Then other people came into the lobby, I agreed that it was the hardest thing, paid my bill & left.


I get it Sara, I'll always talk about you!

Monday, March 3, 2008

1 Year 5 months

since my beautiful daughter has been gone. I think about her everyday. Sometimes it hurts so much - why was our daughter taken from us?? The pain can still be so raw. Other times I'm at peace, I know Sara will always be a part of our life, a part of our family.

I miss you my sweet Sara.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Moving

DH & I have talked about moving from the North side of town to the South to be closer to his jobfor several months. Well a few weeks ago, my sister said "It would be nicer if y'all lived closer, so I could see my nephew more often." I guess the timing was right. The next day, I started looking at houses on-line & then shared my crazy thoughts with DH. He really liked the idea of moving to a smaller town - but yet bigger than the towns we each grew up in. After looking at a few houses in person, we kept coming back to a historic 100 year old house in town. It's so charming, 3 bedrooms/2 baths, original hardwood floors, a cute porch for rocking chairs, several huge pecan trees. One of the big benefits was that there is a separate man-cave attached to the garage - that will be DH's office - he'll telecommute. It's a new building, has A/C, electrical, phone & cable lines. Yes, we'll even have indoor plumbing!

I've been asked if I'm sad about moving from this house. I am. This is our first house, we made it a home. We made our mark on it - painted our colors, some upgrades. We have some wonderful memories here. DH proposed here, I was pregnant with both Sara & Ethan here, we celebrated birthdays, holidays and anniversaries. We also mourned the loss of Sara here. We'll be able to take Sara's ashes with us when we go, so that's not an issue. We'll miss the wonderful friends we have here. We'll miss the cool things this city has to offer. But we're looking forward to the change.

I was concerned about putting our house on the market, the showings to be specific. What could I do with Sara's ashes? I didn't want to leave them on the shelf in the living room. I was afraid that I would forget to take them with me if Ethan & I had to leave the house in a hurry if a realtor called to show the house. I could not put her ashes in the storage unit. So a friend suggested a decorative box. Wouldn't you know it, I bought a large decorative box a few weeks - with butterflies on it! I knew I would use it for Sara's things, but I was thinking cards & such, but it'll work for her ashes & pictures until we move into our new house.

My turn

Monica (her link is to the right)tagged me, I'll try to tag 3 others, but I think most have been tagged already.
The rules:

1) Link to the person who tagged you (see above).

2) Post the rules.

3) Share six non-important things / habits / quirks about yourself.

4) Tag at least three people.

5) Make sure the people you tagged KNOW you tagged them by commenting what you did.

Six non-important things about me:


1) I have a penpal that lives 2 hours away from me. (It was 3 & 4 hours away during high school & then college.) I met Justina in the 6th grade, in the 10th grade her family moved away & we started writing each other. This was before the internet, so we hand-wrote everything. Now we still hand write about 80% of our letters, the rest are written in Word, but still mailed. We rarely call each other, but do email often & get together maybe 2X a year.

2)I have a huge family. My grandparents had 9 kids, 2 sets of twins. My grandfather was quoted "When they started coming out in two's, I knew it was time to stop." My grandparents had 25 grandchildren & many many more great-grandchildren. There majority of us grew up in a 10 mile radius of each other. (No we're not inbred.) As my generation has grown up, gone off to college, married, ran from the law, whatever, we've become spread out, but now DH & I have decided to return to the area. Heaven help us.

3)I bake a damn fine buttermilk pie.

4)I was in 4-H from the 4th grade to the 10th grade. I raised pigs. I wanted to raise lambs, they were cuter & didn't stink as much.

5)I love puns, any kind of word play. Speaking of farm animals, I used to own a cow. After the cow had a calf, I changed its name to Decalf because it had been 'de-calf-inated' HA! I kill me!

6)I'm obsessed with Hawaii. After spending 10 beautiful, healing, spiritual days there in January 2007, I can't wait to go back.


OK, I looked & everyone I wanted to tag has already been tagged.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Butterflies & a new normal


When I was pregnant with Ethan, I went to the fabric store one day looking for a craft project - anything that inspired me. I came across some fabric, a brocade with colorful butterflies. I bought a few yards, not even knowing what I would do with it. I figured that I could find someone to make an Asian-inspired top for me; I don't really sew stuff like that,I just do very simple stuff. Well a few weeks ago I was inspired - I could sew a wrap! I finished it Saturday morning & wore it to a wedding that night. I got a few compliments on it. Most of the people who said anything wouldn't put the butterfly/Sara connection together, but it was just one more way for me to keep her near me.

At the wedding I talked to 2 women I haven't seen in years. Both knew of my loss and it felt good to share my story with them. I couldn't help but think in the back of my mind, "We're at a wedding, everyone else is dancing & laughing & joking around & simply having a fun evening. I'm talking about my dead daughter and how she touches my life daily. This is my new normal."

My friend Becca & her husband brought her new daughter to the wedding. (We left Ethan with my parents.) So I finally got to meet little Miss Darcy. It didn't work out for us to visit when they were in the hospital like we originally planned. Darcy is perfect and so precious. She felt like a feather at less than 8 pounds compared to my chunk at almost 18 pounds. Sunday we stopped by their house for a little while & we took a picture ofthe 2 of them. Cute uh?


Sunday we went to church - the church Becca & I grew up in, the church we got married in. As we were going up the stairs to the balcony (where families with small children are encouraged to sit), we noticed a plaque with a list of names for who memorials to the church had been given. There was Sara's name! And below it, Elizabeth's. It made me stop for a moment. I wasn't expecting that. I knew that money was donated to the church in Sara's memory, but I never thought about the church acknowledging it in a permanent way. It felt good to see her name engraved, it will be there for years to come.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Busy, busy

I was feeling overwhelmed last week - just taking on more than I could handle - working part-time with Ethan at my side, the poor kid doesn't have a routine - so he doesn't sleep well which means I don't sleep well. In addition to the regular day to day cleaning, we're trying to put our house on the market in early March. I don't get much 'me' time. My DH is very capable of taking care of Ethan, but some times Ethan refuses to take a bottle, he's a boob man. So of course I have to stay near him.

I'm learning to ask DH for more help, not letting the frustration build up.

We put an offer on an 100 year old house. It's in a small town, near where I grew up, my family will be near by. The owners counter-offered with a price that we feel is still too high - the house isn't perfect, although it is livable. So we're gonna look at some other houses in the area.


Saturday night we went to a potluck dinner with one of our support groups. There were 8 couples and 14 children - some born before the loss, most born after. What an inspiring evening, such a loving supportive group.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

JOY!

Yesterday my friend Becca gave birth to her daughter Darcy Grace. She weighed 7lbs, 13 oz, measured 20.5 inches. Becca isn't a friend from blogland, I know her IRL, Becca lost her daughter Elizabeth 4 days after we lost Sara. I couldn't be happier for them. Ethan & I plan to visit them tomorrow, I'm so excited.

Ethan hasn't been sleeping well, he's been snotty. oh hell it's been weeks since he slept through the night, not just because of a cough. So I haven't slept well either. It's really wearing me down. My neck hurts. I'm still working part-time. DH & I want to put our house on the market in March, we've done a few repairs & I've packed up a few boxes of photos, other decorative pieces. But there's more repairs, painting, packing, deep cleaning. I'm feeling overwhelmed. I do this to myself. I need a break.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Eye Doctor

Several days ago, another blogger Coggy wrote about going to the dentist after the loss of her son & I was reminded of my eye doctor appt a few weeks after losing Sara.

This was a new doctor for me, never meet him before. Of course I had to fill out the new patient paperwork & I think I had to mention that I recently was in the hospital. But I kept it together until I actually had my exam. The doctor asked when I had noticed a change in my vision. It was while I was pregnant with Sara. I started crying. The doctor gave me a tissue. I remember that it was the cheapest, roughest tissue. For an eye doctor, he didn't care what his patients put near their tear ducts. He was sympathetic, let me pull myself together and we finished the exam.

Of course I needed a new prescription. I looked through the frames on the displays, I kept coming back to one in particular - one of the cheapest & I thought they were cute. Then I noticed the name of the style on the earpiece - Sarah. I knew they were the pair for me.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

I'm sick

I have cedar fever. I guess if you're allergic to cedar pollen, you shouldn't live near Cedar Park. For the past few days, my allergies would kick in, I'd take some meds & I'd make it throught the day without any problem. Last night we went out for dinner. I had started coughing earlier in the day & continued to take my allergy meds. I hacked through the meal, I could barely taste anything. At home we watched a movie & I blew my nose the entire time. I had a tissue mountain by the end of the movie. I didn't sleep well, Ethan was up twice. When we got up for the day around 7:30, I was still hacking & achy. I went into work for a few hours but left after lunch, I was so miserable. I had a fever of 100.4. Ethan's fine. I took his temp, yes, rectally. I was so glad he cooperated for that.

I'm trying to get some rest, not exactly easy when Ethan depends on me. DH may work from home tomorrow to help out.

BTW, the movie we watched - " Six Pack" with Kenny Rogers, a young Diane Lane and an even younger Anthony Michael Hall. Classic!!

Edited to add: I spoke too soon. Ethan is so congested. Last night he went to bed at 10:30, woke up screaming at 12, 1:15, 2:30, 3:45. At 3:45, I brought his swing into the nursery so he could sleep upright. I slept on the the guest bed in the nursery. At 6 he woke up again. DH took over then. We read about saline drops, squirted those up his noe & fed him. He & I slept for 3 hours. It's gonna be a long day.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

These are a Few of My Favorites Things

and least favorite too....

By Ethan James

I love watching bubbles on my bouncer. They are so cool.

I love watching football with my Daddy. Especially the Aggies beating the Longhorns & the Sooners winning the Big 12. I missed watching the OU/Texas game by a few days- how did it end again Andy??

I love laughing. I laugh at anything. Sometimes I laugh at my Mommy's boob. I wonder if I'm giving her a complex.

I love going fast in the car, I hate stop & go traffic.

I love warm bathes, but hate getting my funky neck scrubbed.

I love listening to my Daddy play guitar. So soothing. He's a rock star. FREE BIRD!!

I love that my angel sister Sara is a part of our life.

I like to be fussy while my Mommy & Daddy watch TV. I'm supposed to be the center of attention!

Speaking of, I love controlling their lives. If I have a bad day, they have a bad day. If I'm awake, one of them should be awake too.

I don't like naps.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Back in college, a good friend of mine got pregnant & so married her boyfriend. 10 years later, they're still together and have 2 children.

The situation inspired me to write a short story about a young couple in college, the girl gets pregnant, they get married but they lose the baby. What would happen to their relationship without the baby? I never actually wrote the story, it's been rolling around in my head for these 10 years. One thing that kept me from writing it was how could the baby die? One of my aunts lost a baby at full term, but that was in the early 70's, surely there were advances in medicine since then to prevent babies from dying. Back in college I didn't know anyone else who lost a baby. I was aware of miscarriages in the first few weeks, but for my story to work, the baby had to be carried for full term.

Sadly now I know too many ways for a baby to die. I find new blogs every few days, written by grieving parents trying to find their way. My heart aches for every baby that dies, for the parents feeling so lost, so isolated, so heartbroken.

I can't write that story now. I'm in a different place now and the story would have a different feel. I couldn't 'wish' a stillbirth on anyone, even fictional characters.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Lucky

I keep forgetting to mention this little story. At Thanksgiving, my 4 y. o. nephew said, " You're lucky to have another baby." That kid makes me smile with his wisdom. I don't know if he overheard someone saying that or if he came up with it on his own. He 'knows' we lost Sara, as much as a 4 y. o. knows these things. His mother was pregnant while I was with Sara, although 3.5 months ahead of me. They talked to him when Sara died, explaining that she was in Heaven. My sister said that he often mentions "the baby that died". They have a small picture of Sara in their living room. That makes me so proud - proud of them for displaying it & just a proud mother seeing my beautiful daughter.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I did it!!

Last night we were out & about and so decided to go out to dinner. Ethan was sucking on his hands & I knew that he hadn't eaten for over 2 hours. Could I do it? Could I breast feed in public? We were in a back booth. I draped a receiving blanket over my shoulder, covering Ethan & my boob. My jacket covered everything else. Ethan latched right on, nursed for a few minutes. I don't think anyone even noticed. That was my biggest fear regarding breast feeding in public - what if I was confronted by someone saying "You can't do that here."?? I didn't want to get kicked out of my favorite Mexican restaurant. But all went well.

I mentioned that I'm working more than I'd like to. I shouldn't complain about the number of hours, it's only about 15 hours a week. I've been an assistant to a mortgage lender for the past 2.5 years. I take Ethan with me and that gets tough. He needs my attention - diapers, feedings, soothing him to sleep. So it takes me twice as long to finish my work. Some days as it gets close to the end of the work day, Ethan gets cranky. Then I have to chose - put him down for a nap and work later or finish any projects that need to be done that day & listen to him cry, then leave & put him down for a nap at home. He doesn't sleep well there - too many distractions - dogs in the house, phone ringing constantly,etc...He only sleeps for 30 minutes at a time vs. 1hour+ at home. Then DH & I suffer at night.

So how do I resolve this problem?? By running away. DH & I have been talking about moving closer to his office across town. If & when we do, I would no longer work as an assistant - not worth the pay to drive across town. I've been looking into other things I could do from home - there's options. Eventually we'll put Ethan in daycare & I'll return to a full-time job.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Happy Birthday Boys!!

Today is DH's 33rd birthday & Ethan is 3 months old. Yes, we chose Ethan & DH to share a birthdate - the 11th. Ethan & I share our birth month - October.

Ethan is getting so big, he's discovering his toes & smiles more.

The other day, we all went to the office supply store. On the way, Ethan got really fussy. While DH went in the store, I stayed in the car to feed Ethan. I made a bet with Ethan - that DH would ask if he could buy some new computer software. If he didn't ask, Ethan would win & could have 2 blow-out diapersin 24 hours without me complaining, if he asked I would win & Ethan couldn't have any blow-outs in 24 hours. I lost, DH didn't even mention software, Ethan had 2 blow-outs the next day. I'm not making that bet again.

I've been working more than I'd like to, Ethan doesn't sleep well there & then DH & I suffer b/c Ethan wails when he's so tired. More about that next time, I need to go do dishes & get ready for work.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Jealousy & Other Feelings


Earlier this week, Monica & I got together to discuss motherhood after a loss. We brought up feelings of jealousy towards pregnant women. I have strong feelings of jealousy and sadness if I talk to the woman or overhear her, especially if she's complaining about petty stuff. No matter how many times I am pregnant, I won't be able to completely enjoy another pregnancy like I did with Sara. I was nervous with Ethan, I could enjoy moments - when he was kicking, hearing his heartbeat, watching him on the monitor at an ultrasound, but for the most part there was an underlying nervousness all the time. I'm jealous that I lost my innocence when I lost Sara.

But when I see pregnant women out shopping, at restaurants, my first thought isn't a jealous one, it's "will she lose her baby?" Statistically speaking, other babies will die. I wonder if that woman will turn up in my support group. I don't wish harm to any of them. I'm just aware now, aware that babies die - whether it be a cord accident, a genetic issue, a virus that the mother has passed on, the mother & unborn baby being involved in an accident or an unknown cause.

I can be around pregnant women, but I have to be able to have some control of the situation. We have several friends who are pregnant, I can chat with the women about their pregnancy. I ask the questions & they reply. Sometimes I bring up Sara, as in, "Sara measured X at Y weeks, while Ethan was Z." I think any woman who has been pregnant would do the same. I don't want to frighten our friends talking about losing Sara, but if it makes them be more aware, ask their doctor more questions, it's worth any moments of uncomfortableness.

I'm trying to start Ethan on a daily routine. Usually I let him sleep in his swing or bouncer, but today, he was put in his crib for his mid-morning nap. So far he's slept for 45 minutes, but it sounds like he'll be waking up soon.

I've included a picture of Ethan in his Santa suit, you shouldn't be denied such cuteness.