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.


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


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


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.