Living with the loss of stillbirth and learning to live in the sunshine of our new normal.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

'Tis the Struggle

You know the dreams where it feels like you're falling? The kind that you wake up from, gasping for air?
That's how I've been feeling almost constantly for the past few days. Yes, you knew it was coming- another blog about my Charlotte. Because it is this time of year that I miss her the most. That I can't stop thinking about her. About how it felt to lose her. About how it felt to be without her on her first Christmas last year. And about how it felt when she lived inside of me. And all of these things make me feel selfish.
Look at what I have. A perfect daughter, about to have her first Christmas. A wonderful husband, who works so damn hard to bring home the money we need for food, shelter, diapers. And all I can think is, "It isn't enough." Why isn't this enough? I have 1,000x more of everything than many people have of anything. And it's not enough. Which makes me a horrible person. A horrible friend, wife, mother. Because I have so much and yet, I am beginning to wonder, to question.

Up until now, I haven't really questioned. I was a good little solider and I didn't ask (at least not often) "Why, God, why?" And really, to be honest, I'm still not asking that question. What I want to know is "Why not". Why is it that Laura visits my dreams so often. She comes to me and we rarely talk, but we hug and we cry and we love each other. In my dreams she forgives me for being a monster of a sister. For yelling at her for being a kid. For not inviting her to all my parties. She visits me, and I know it's not just a dream. It is a true visit from my sister. But for nearly two years, I have been asking, praying, begging- for a visit from my daughter. The girl I loved from the moment I saw the two lines. The girl I prayed for every night and woke with every morning. I ask God to please PLEASE let me see her, let me hold her again. Even if it's only a dream, please let her visit. Please let me close my eyes and hold my baby in my arms, let me feel what it's like to tuck her into her bed, to comb her hair and hear her voice saying "Mommy". Let me have a little piece of my baby.
But it doesn't happen. It never happens. And all I can think is "why not?" And because I don't get answers from God, I have my own. Because it was my fault? Did I do something, or not do something that caused her to die? All of the doctors can't answer me, and the one who can, God- well, He isn't talking. Does she not WANT to come and see me? Is that why I am not allowed to see her? Does she blame me for not protecting her? Because I didn't. Whatever happened to her, I am the only one who was supposed to keep her safe. Was it something I did even before I got pregnant? Some pill I took, an antibiotic or allergy pill, that messed up her chances of survival? I know we have gone this round before. The doctors could agree on this at least. It wasn't my fault. But what if I could go back and do things differently? It haunts me. Not only because I don't know what the outcome would be, but because I cannot do it anyway. Even if given that chance. Because one little change would take Sophia away from me, and she is my greatest joy. And some people might say that there is my answer. I lost Charlotte so that I would have Sophia when I did. But why is that okay, to take one for another?

It's Sophia now who catches me when I feel like I am falling. It only takes a smile, a laugh, a stinker face. Her calling for mama. And I find my feet underneath me again. And I know this will become less of a struggle. As the years go on, I will find more and more peace. I know these things. But I want to know now. Why not? Why not now? Is it really just the season? Was it the damned book? (Sorry Becca, I'm not blaming it or you- it's just what started me reeling again.) Is it just the feeling that I'm not good enough? Because I cannot do it all, I didn't deserve the chance? Whatever it is, I wish it would go away. I'm so tired. I'm tired of feeling like I am falling into nothing, especially when I know I have so much. I have so many people that will catch me. And I know it, I just can't feel it right now. I'm tired of lying awake in bed wondering what my dreams will bring, and worse- waking up disappointed. Again and again.

But beyond all of this. And there is a beyond. We are celebrating. Everyday, in between bouts of doubt. Sophia is here with us and I am beyond grateful for her. For this chance, to see her unwrap a doll on Christmas. To put her in her Christmas jammies and send her to bed with a promise that Santa will come by morning. I have been waiting for this chance for two long years. And I am not wasting it.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Our First Halloween

Isn't until next week, but we're excited!! I keep forgetting that I have to keep this blog up to date. It seems like I never have time, but that's only because I spend all of my time in the sandbox. Sophia is going to be a pumpkin this year. But we also have a leopard costume and a pink fairy costume (that I made and am kind of embarrassed by). We'll see how many times she allows me to dress her up. Sophia got to meet her uncle Jeremiah and cousin Wyatt for the first time. We're very excited to see them again at Christmas! This month we went to the pumpkin patch with our friends. Sophia, Averi and Makenzie were great about their mommies taking 200 pictures of them. Poor girls! A few days later, Sophia and I took our friends Jessie and Grayson to the zoo. Grayson loves all of the animals. Sophia doesn't love my camera. :) We also went to our first Walk To Remember this month. It's a walk for our lost babies. We had a balloon release and all of the babies names were read. It's a SHARE program, and it was really wonderful. It was also really cold that day. Sophia hasn't been sleeping very well this month, ever since she got sick. So I really should be in bed right now, getting what sleep I can before she wakes up and wants to crawl into my bed. I will try very hard to remember this blog and not wait so long to update it.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Because she is my daughter everyday.

I wanted to repost some of my blogs from Myspace. Namely, the two blogs I posted and left up for a week. I deleted them because it was too much.  But I want them reposted here because Charlotte is important to me every day. Not just the days that someone else remembers her. Not just on the days when I'm sad. Every day. Today. Tomorrow. And I want people to know her story. I want people to know what she was like, but I know I can't share enough of that. You will never know how amazing she was. How she would dance when I ate pizza, when I drank chocolate milk. How she was always moving, tumbling about in mommy's tummy. I can't share those things with you because they're mine. Those things are the kicks I feel late at night when I can't sleep. When I hear Sophia laughing in her sleep. I reposted those two blogs because I want people to know our story because some days I feel as though she is slipping away. Time is stealing my memories, making them fuzzy and uncertain. And I want to make sure that she never goes away. 

The Days Before

I have to start on Thursday. (Because if I started from the beginning, we would be here all day. I have so many memories of our time with Charlotte, that I could literally fill a book. Maybe someday I will.) Thursday, February 22, 2007. (Laura's birthday) When I left work (around 10 am, I was PT) I was on my way to take Mike lunch at work. Before I stopped for our Jamba Juice, I decided to go shopping. Now, as much as I love shopping, and as much as I loved buying baby stuff, I hadn't bought her any clothes yet. I don't know why, I just felt weird buying clothes for a baby we hadn't met yet. But this day, I decided it was time. I went to Ross (because really, I was looking for baskets for her closet). I found the baskets, and 6 or 7 cute outfits for my little girl. I patted myself on the back for finally accepting that we were having this baby soon. I drove to Mike's work, talking to Charlotte the whole way. She wasn't moving much, just a kick here and there. When we got to Mike's work, and I started talking to him, the baby started kicking like crazy. She woke up to do her daddy dance. That's how she was.

Friday I went shopping again. My never ending quest for the perfect diaper bag paid off. At Target, I found a plain black bag with plenty of pockets. When I talked to Mike on his lunch, I told him I'd finally found our diaper bag. I was excited. When we got home that day, we decided to put her bassinet together. I was convinced she was coming early, and we would be bringing her home the next week. I wanted to be prepared. The pack-n-play was a pain in the butt to put together, but we got it done. I even stocked it with diapers.

Saturday morning, I spent cleaning. Throwing out old crap. Organizing new things. That night, we went to Mike's parent's house to make dinner. When we walked in the door, their dog jumped on me. Full on, up on my stomach. My hands were full of groceries, I couldn't stop her. I will always wonder if that had anything to do with losing my baby. Anyway, we made and ate dinner, and I sat in the recliner afterwards. Charlotte was kicking hard. I was still having the strange, dull, pain in my upper right side. We never figured out what it was. Probably just her bum, up in my ribs. On our way home, Mike and I discussed having a small party the next weekend. His friend, Dan, was coming into town, and I said it could be baby's first party. I thought she'd be home by then.

Sunday morning. I got out of bed early, to check online and see if the changing table we wanted was on sale. It wasn't. I ate some Dove dark chocolate and watched tv for a while. When I went back into our room and laid on the bed, Mike asked me how the baby was moving. I hadn't realized it until then, but I hadn't felt her move all morning. I took a shower, and went and made some chocolate milk. I had a diet Coke. She wasn't moving. I didn't freak out yet, though. Some days she moved a lot less than others. But I called Labor and Delivery to tell them what was going on. I was 36w 3d pregnant, and I hadn't felt my baby move all day. The nurse told me to eat something. I said that I had tried milk and Coke, and she got bitchy and said it wasn't enough. So we went out to lunch. (I had gotten pretty upset by the phone call. Who was she to say I didn't know my body better than she? But still, I thought, she's a nurse. I'm a first time mommy.) We ate lunch (soup and salad and apple juice), and went home to do kick counts. I said we would give it until 4 o'clock. I laid down for about 3 minutes and said "Let's go." We drove to the hospital. When we were almost there, I started to cry. Now I was worried.
We got to Labor and Delivery, and there was a man with a bouquet of roses, asking about a patient. (I think it may have been his daughter?) The nurses told him that she had been released that morning and was gone. He got very angry. I remember looking at the roses and seeing that they still had the price tag on them. He stormed out of the room. The nurses turned to us and I told them "I haven't felt my baby move". The nurse asked "Did you call earlier?" "Yes" "Do you know who you talked to?" "No". I'm pretty sure this was the nurse I had talked to, and she didn't want me to know. We were walking down the hall and she asked me what was happening. I said "The baby is being very quiet and it's very unusual for her". At this point, I was freaking out. We got into the room, I changed into the gown, they brought in a nurse (Michelle) to check the heartbeat with a doppler. She couldn't find it. Her hands were cold, and her voice was pretty quiet. She patted my hand and said they were going to have someone else look. Someone else looked. And someone else. And someone said "I'm sorry, we can't find a heartbeat." And someone brought in an ultrasound machine. And a different one. And someone called my doctor. At one point, a new ultrasound machine was brought up, and the tech said "I'm here to check for the heartbeat" And I said "There isn't one." We called our parents. My doctor arrived.

The Day Of- 02.25-26.07

Dr Hansen walked in and sat on the foot of the bed. He said "Hi. Scary." And I don't remember what I said. He took another look with the ultrasound machine. He said "This happens to me about once a year." I know he was trying to help me understand. He talked to us about what was going to happen now. He said more than likely what had happened was that the cord had gotten wrapped around our baby, cutting off her oxygen. He said we were going to be induced. I told him I wanted a c section. I wanted to be knocked out completely and I wanted them to take the baby out while I slept. He told me this was not a good idea. He said I needed to go through the labor process. I needed to bond with the baby. Who was he kidding? I had bonded with this baby for the last 8 1/2 months. I had slept with her, eaten with her. Sang to her. I had felt her kicking me for months. But to be fair, he also mentioned that having a c-section would affect future pregnancies. He wanted me to think it through because I would probably end up with subsequent surgeries if I chose that route. And he knew I did not want to have surgery. He brought in the anesthesiologist to talk to me about our options. Because I had eaten 3 hours previously, if I decided I wanted the surgery, we would have to wait at least 8 hours. Or they could start medicine for induction. Mike and I talked about it. I wanted to get it over with. We decided not to have a c section. (Let me also point out that at this time, I was almost at the point of being unable to make any decision on my own. Mike was my eyes and ears and mouth for the next 2 days. If I was asked a question, I could barely answer it without his help. He is my rock. My strength, and my heart. He is the strongest person I know, and without him, I would never have made it through this.) My concept of time at this point is fuzzy. From this point on, things happened, and while I know the basic order of how and when they happened, I couldn't tell you specific times. I will try not to get too mixed up. Our families came in and everyone cried. (I've been told that throughout the days, I was eerily calm.) Our family members came into the room, and no one spoke much. Mostly, people stood or sat around for hours and stared at me. (This was one of the hardest things for me. The way everyone looked at me. Not really as if they thought I had done something wrong. But like they didn't know what to say, and they thought staring at me would bring the words. I didn't feel accused, but I felt raw from being so exposed to everyone. I really, really, wanted everyone to leave me and Mike alone. But I also knew that they too had lost this baby, and I knew that Mike would need support, because I was unable to give him anything at that time.) Sometime later that night, the nurse gave me my first does of Cytotec, to help soften my cervix. It was the most painful thing they did to me. The nurse (Jodi) gave me a shot of Demerol and some Ambien to help me sleep. The Demerol was really nice. I felt floaty and drunk. But I still didn't get much sleep. Between being so emotionally exhausted, and the nurses coming in every 1/2 hour, it was hard to rest. At some point, Mike took the BP cuff off my arm because it was going off every 15 minutes, waking us up if we drifted off. In the middle of the night, more Cytotec. Not as painful with the Demerol, and another dose of that as well. The next morning, we had more visitors. And the waiting began. They started my Pitocin. I was already having pretty strong contractions by then, and the Demerol wasn't taking care of all of them. At this point, I didn't want to feel anything at all. The nurses said if I wanted an epidural, I had to get it now, because the anesthesiologist was going into surgeries and it was my last chance for a while. So (even thought it was probably only 11am) I got my epi. This was something that had scared me during my whole pregnancy. Just the thought of it had me shaking. But when it came time, it was over very quickly. It didn't hurt, and it started working almost immediately. My nurse kept coming into the room and turning off the Pitocin. I was having contractions so strong, they thought my uterus was in danger of rupturing. Then they would turn it back on to get me going again. On, off, on, off. At some point, I started feeling really achy in my lower back. Then it turned into a pressure-pain mix. My epidural wasn't working anymore. The anesthesiologist came back in (I guess he was between surgeries) and told us it was on a pump and wouldn't run out. I said I could feel my back was very cold, and I was having severe back pain. (The doctor was very nice about the whole thing, but I could tell he thought I was full of crap). He checked the line, and figured out that the tube was leaking, and the medication had been running down my back for who knows how long. I guess I wasn't lying. He fixed the problem, re-dosed me so he wouldn't have to come back, and went on his way. All morning, and maybe even since the night before, a nurse (?) from the U of U was coming into our room. She was part of a stillbirth study, and they wanted us to participate. More to the point, they wanted our baby to participate. They would pay for an autopsy to be done on our girl. This woman was in and out of our room at least 15 times. She wanted us to sign the papers. She kept pleading her case. I don't know if we agreed because we wanted to help, or just to make her go away. I think it was some of both. My doctor came in and broke my water. I really have no idea how dilated I was at this point. Everything is so fuzzy.. Anyway, sometime later in the afternoon, it was almost time to push. Mike and I had turned on the tv finally, and we were watching a classic car auction. I remember Christopher Titus was selling one of his cars, and he had his little girl in the car with him. The nurse (Teri) came in and had me start pushing, just to see how I did. We all watched the car show together for a while. When my doctor came in to deliver the baby, he made us turn off the tv, and I was a little mad. I would've liked the distraction, I guess. But as I look back now, I'm really glad we were focused on the task at hand. For some strange reason, we had two nurses. Teri was training someone named Jan. I was confused as to why this was a good time to have a newbie nurse being trained, but whatever. I had to be told when to push, because I could not feel any of the contractions at all. I was completely numb from the chest down. I started pushing at about 3:50p.m. Mike held my left leg, Teri and I held my right leg. Teri would count, and I would push. I remember thinking how easy it was. After all the worries, all the stories.. This was easy. Like it came so naturally to me. Hold your breath, and push. Have a baby. I pushed for 10 minutes and the doctor told me to stop and push slowly. I didn't. Gung ho. I felt her shoulders come out (because I tore open at that point.) Dr. Hansen asked if Mike wanted to cut the cord, and he said yes. This surprised me, because of our discussions in the past. I loved him so much at that moment, I couldn't breathe. He handed her to Teri, and in the transfer of one person to the other, they almost dropped my baby. My doctor said "Give her to mom. Without dropping her, please." I asked Teri to please wash her off before she handed her to me. She did, and then she wrapped her up and handed me my baby.

Charlotte was born at 4:10p.m. She weighed 6 lbs 2oz. She was 19 inches long. She had dark blond hair. My nose, Mike's mouth. At some point, we were crying. We looked at her, we held her. The nurse asked us if we would like her to be bathed in our room or in the nursery. She stayed in our room. The nurse re-dressed her as I was getting my stitches. They put her in a footed sleeper. It was white and frilly with a pink rosebud at the top. They gave her a white knitted hat. She was wrapped in a green blanket with pink and blue giraffes. We had her with us for 4 hours. She was still warm from my body. We held her, talked to her. Mike would come over and take her out of my arms, and I kept thinking how tiny she looked in his arms. I kept saying "I'm sorry. I'm so sorry." to her. We told her we loved her. We told her how much we wanted her. I told Mike "I'm glad Laura is up there to take care of her." We gave her Laura's name. At one point, I told Mike, "I feel like this isn't our baby. Our baby was so feisty." I regret saying it, but it was what I felt. Our baby was so full of life. She had such an attitude.. Mike said "It is our baby and she was feisty." Our families came in to see her. I wouldn't let anyone else hold her. When it was time for her to go (Primary Children's Medical Center was there for her. That's where they were taking her for the autopsy.) our nurse (Kristy) asked us if we would like to keep her clothes. We said no. We didn't want her to be cold on her trip to the other hospital. She asked if we wanted pictures. We said no. We had taken a picture with our camera. She asked if we wanted hand and footprints. We said yes, please. And then our baby was gone.
A few hours later, my nurse came back to get me cleaned up. Kristy bound my breasts to prevent my milk from coming in (which didn't work..) And then it was time to move to a different room. I believe they said it was because the floor was full. I know they thought I would be better off away from the maternity ward. They took me downstairs (I seriously felt as though they stuck me in the basement.) My new nurse acted as if I was already being a pain. It took a few hours, but I think she finally read my chart, and then she was very gentle and kind. Mike and I both slept in my bed. The next morning, after the doctors and nurses had come to let us know what to look for in the next few days, and have us sign the discharge papers. I wanted to go home so badly. Then a nurse came in and said my bloodwork (They had taken what seemed like gallons the night before. For tests, for labwork, for the SCRN study) had come back and said I was not immune to Rubella. As I was arguing, I was immunized before 10th grade, the nurse stuck a needle in the back of my left arm. It hurt like hell. Burned. I was crying again. Why wouldn't they just let me go home? And then they did. I was wheeled out, bawling. Mike got the car. We got in it and drove away from the hospital without our baby girl. We came home and slept for hours. We buried her on Saturday, March 3. The day my milk came in.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Close Enough

I do not believe that everything happens for a reason. I believe that people who believe that are looking for a way to explain things they don't want to face. No offense to those of you who believe that, I'm just angry. I was talking about it with a very good friend of mine the other day. She said, "I believe things happen the way they are supposed to happen." I said, "I don't." And she said, "I know you don't." Kind of blew me off like I was an idiot for thinking the way I do. Even though she knows why I think the way I do. I think that if she was the one that had lost a child (heaven forbid) she wouldn't have been so nonchalant about it. In fact, I think that probably, if you'd lost a child, you wouldn't believe in much of anything. Until you held another baby in your arms. This one- that looks back at you- who looks like you. Who looks like her sister. Then you could start to believe that it was okay if the world goes on. Then you could wake up (if you were lucky enough to sleep) and not feel like immediately closing your eyes again. I do not believe that everything happens for a reason. But I do believe that there are things that happen that will change the way we see/feel/breathe/believe. That maybe we find reason in the things that at first we don't understand. That there are things that happen that make God sad. That He doesn't strike us down because it's his job, but that it's His job to watch us learn and to grieve for us and with us.

You would think that by now, I would be writing happy blogs. It's strange how I have always written more when I am unhappy. It's a strange thing. But I have realized that I can write more when Ben is in my life. I think he might be my muse. I spent two days with him last week and I felt like writing again. I started thinking in poetry, which hasn't happened in years. Unfortunately, I didn't write it down. These are the things that fall down around us. These are the things we spend our lives picking up.

After 19 months it feels worse. Every day is one day further away from Charlotte. When I miss her, I still put my hand on my stomach, almost like I expect her to be there. I put my hand on my stomach, where she lived for 9 months. Even after giving birth to her wonderful, beautiful sister, my body feels empty. Because she was lost so suddenly. Because she was gone so quickly. The week after we lost her is a blur. I remember flashes. I remember after her funeral. I remember laughing at Mike's friends and thinking, "Oh my lord, did I just laugh?" It wasn't even at something funny. I remember feeling like shit because everyone there turned and looked at me like I'd forgotten that we had just buried my daughter. I remember that. I remember picking out a headstone. I remember feeling her kick. I felt her moving, but when I put my hand to my stomach to feel her, she wasn't there. Sometimes I still feel a baby moving, and I always think it's Charlotte. Possibly because Miss Sophia is sitting here in front of me, babbling and blowing raspberries at her toys. 

I understand how blessed I am. As much as I write about Charlotte, I do not write about Sophia, and I realize that it may seem strange. Here I have this wonderful, beautiful baby, and all I write about is her sister. But I am able to take endless pictures of Sophia. I take nearly a thousand a month. I am able to hold her when she is upset. I am able to see her smile in the mornings. I sing to her, dance with her, read to her. I am not ignoring the fact that I was given the world back after I lost it. Every day- I thank God for what I have been given. I am aware of how lucky I am to have both Sophia and Mike, who keep me going. Who drive me crazy. Who make it possible for me to breathe.

And while all of these things are brewing in my head, because I don't sit down and take the time to blog them out often enough- more and more things happen that build up. Tarina and Neal and Aiden are on their way back to California to start their life as a family. Jeremiah and Felishia brought Wyatt home from the hospital last night, where he had been for several days because he had meningitis. I felt so helpless, being so far away from them, not being able to help. Or even to say somehting that would help. In situations where a baby is sick, I freeze. I feel like I cannot bring comfort. So I ask God to please help Charlotte to watch over her cousins. And I know she does.

And through all of this, through the nights of insomnia, and the frustrating days of not knowing where I fit in as a mother- I have this amazing "new" set of friends. My Online Friends, I call them. And I know that I am so lucky to have them at this point in my life. Especially Lisa- who keeps me sane when I start to feel like I am going to fall apart. I can always count on these ladies to make me feel as though I am not the only person in the world up at midnight with crying baby, that I am not alone in the war on teething.  On the days when I feel like I am a horrible person for ttc so soon after losing Charlotte, like I am an idiot for using her baby book for  Sophia. These women gather around me and reassure me that I am only human. That I am a sleep deprived, babbling monster sometimes, but that I am a mommy- and I am doing an okay job. They make it possible for me to function on 3 hours of sleep, to not only function, but to KEEP my sanity, to be able to laugh and play with Sophia even when I feel like crying. Because I am a mommy, and that's what we do.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I always feel like I have so much to say, and yet, I keep forgetting that I started a blog. Anyway, the big issue today is parenting. I have been on a pregnancy/parenting message board since I was about 3 months pregnant with Sophia. There are hundreds of women there that are basically a big, dysfunctional family. And just like in any situation you will ever find yourself in, there are differences. And I don't mean, "oh, my baby doesn't like that brand of diapers." No, I mean, "I am willing to put my child in harm's way because it's easier than hearing her/him cry." Yes. Those kind. As in, the people I wish I could punch in the face. Only I'm not a violent person. Sigh. And yes, I know that there are 17,000 sides to everyone's stories. Everyone has their reasons for what they do. But I know that babies die every day "for no  reason". We all know right and wrong these days. We have television, and as sad as that is, we can learn from it. We have books, though unfortunately some people choose not to read them. And lastly, we have the good old internet. For finding information, it's great. For making new friends, it's great. The other day, as the discussion was being pulled between whether a mother should be allowed to disobey the law and put her 5 1/2 month old child in a forward facing car seat (because that way the baby didn't cry as much in the car), and what not to feed babies so young as to try to avoid food allergies (milk, eggs, ice cream, nuts..) I was simply amazed at how some of these women not only refuse to listen to the experts (Their argument is always, "It's MY baby, I know what's best.") but they refuse to listen to the women they come to for advice. Now, I will admit that some of the women (including myself at times) jump right on the "You're being bad, Stop it now!" bandwagon, but honestly, we are trying to help. If someone, no matter who they are, asks me a question, I have to assume that they are looking for an answer. Or at least my opinion on what the answer might be. But these women (and I'm not saying they're all this dumb, only a select few) continue to ask a question, and then get extremely defensive when they do not get the answer they were looking for. They say the women on the board are being "rude" and "judgmental". Well OF COURSE we are going to judge you for doing something we think is wrong!  However, I began to defend some of these women (some of the gals do tend to get a bit excitable!) and I was saying.. "I'm sure they didn't mean to put him/her in harm's way. She says she didn't know the right thing to do at the time." I was trying to take a deep breath and assume that they were just stupid, and not cruel. But then, someone pointed out that this person should have looked into the safety of such things before putting her daughter/son in danger in the first place. In other words, if you have a question about something, ASK someone! Maybe not this group of women that all have healthy babies of our own, but a doctor? And I realized that I was being a sucker. By trying to keep the peace and see things from the "other side", I was being blind-sided by stupidity. We just had babies 5-6 months ago! I read all the books I could get my hands on, I asked my doctor idiotic-sounding questions, I researched everything I bought before I bought it. In other words, I prepared myself to have a baby. I didn't just let it happen and hope for the best.

It amazes me how many people have the "It wont happen to me!" mentality. I know firsthand that it will happen to me. I probably at one time, thought I was safe from the worst things, but now I know better. So I try, in as gentle way as I can, to share my knowledge. It can happen, don't sit around and LET IT happen! But they don't want my help, they want my support. And I know damn well they would expect my sympathy if God forbid, something bad happened. And yes, we all know bad things happen to good people, bad things can happen for no reason, you can live in a bubble and still die.. Blah blah blah. But isn't the point to do what we can?
I find myself blogging this here instead of on that message board because I am terribly tired of hearing the complaints about being "attacked" by the women that are supposed to be supportive. I can only support what I believe in, and that does not include being a freaking moron when you are supposed to be a mommy!  This is my own little corner of the world, and I will bitch about whatever I would like to bitch about. I can't even hope that these women will try to listen to reason, because I know that they disagree with what I think reason is. And honestly, that's okay. I know that in life, no matter where you're living your life- we can't all get along. We all see different angles and different stories. And I also know that if I really hated all of the arguing and "drama" that much, i would leave the site. But truthfully, it keeps me entertained. It keeps things light, mostly. But on weeks like this last one, when I fear for other people's babies, I find that it's not so much fun to laugh at people's mistakes. Not when these slip ups include a 5 month old baby. It just makes me sad. I wish I could project my feeling, just for a second, on these women who treat their children like dolls to dress up. I wish they could feel what it is to love someone so fiercely that I would do anything, anything- just to make sure Sophia is healthy and safe. I wish I could show them what loss is, what it feels like to have life taken from you. Because maybe then they would be able to appreciate what they have been given, instead of starting fights over who is being mean to them because they don't know how to safely raise a child. I wish I could make that much of a difference, but instead I will shake my head a lot, be called a bitch- A LOT, and try my best to show what I think is right. Because no only do I try to show, I watch and learn. Sometimes I learn what not to do. Sometimes I actually learn things that even I- self proclaimed baby expert, LOL- did not know yesterday.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Jury Duty

But then again, I was thinking about this post before I was called to jury duty.
 I've been thinking lately about the fact that there are more than two sides to every story. There is obviously my side (the important side!) and there is your side. But there will always be other people's outside views on what they see/hear/feel/think. It bothers me a little. I think because I want to know exactly what people are thinking (here I am, of course, thinking about things relative to my life). I want to know what people think about the things (however random) I say. The things I do. I want to know because I want to be perfect. Yes, I said I want to be perfect. And I know how stupid that sounds. But I want to know all of the facets to the story of my life, and I can't. I cannot know these things because I can only live my side of my life. Am I making any sense at all here? I want to know why I've lost some of my friends. I want to know their side of the story. I want to know what I said/did/implied that made me the "bad guy". I am rolling my eyes right now. I am not the bad guy. I have been, yes. But really, I am only trying to live my life. And if I kick someone because they are lying in the road I am crossing.. Well, it's only because I am in a hurry to become the whole me.
 I've always wished I could see through another person's eyes. (I don't want to walk in their shoes because I'm pretty sure they smell bad.) I want to see the world differently, sometimes. I want to know what a complete stranger is thinking about when they see something that *I* think is beautiful/amazing/ugly/terrifying. I want to understand things that I cannot possibly understand. And I know that I am rambling. I want to know how someone could possibly listen to a Tori Amos song and not find it haunting and beautiful. I want to know why someone can listen to and make any sense at all out of rap. I want to *know* these things. Really know them, feel the truth inside of them.
 And I had jury duty this week, and it made this come full circle. I know we come from all walks of life. But it amazed me how this one story, this one night, could have so many different sides. There was the girl. There was the boy. The neighbor. The police officer. And there is the baby. And there are the outsiders. We hear the story and we all make up our own versions of it. I guess this is why I read so much. I can read a book and the story I read will be different than the one you read in the same book. This fascinates me. And it terrifies me. Right now what terrifies me is that this is not making any sense at all, even to me. I have to make sure Sophia is still breathing, because that is my job. To keep watch over my perfectly healthy little one. Maybe that is why I am so tired. And why I cannot understand my own rambling for once. I will fix this.

Friday, May 23, 2008

House of Representative Bill 5979

I've been thinking a lot lately about what I thought I wanted to say to the world with this blog. I believe my random thoughts should have some kind of point. But then I think, maybe I should really let it just fall out of my head and be as confusing to readers as it is to me.
 Last night I was trying to get Sophia to sleep, and I was looking into her eyes. We don't know yet if they will stay blue like her daddy's, or turn brown like mine. They look really blue, but we know things can change overnight. And I started thinking, what color would Charlotte's have been? I always picture her at 3 years old, with curly brown hair and big blue eyes. I picture her running around and getting dirty, having mommy and daddy make her scrapes and bruises better. The entire 9 months I was pregnant with her, I thought she would grow up to be a little tomboy in pigtails, like I was. She was such an active baby, I knew she would have hit the ground running and not ever stopped. I believe she would have walked and talked early. I think her first word would have either been "dada" or "pizza".  It's funny, the things you assume. When she was in the womb, her dad and I made up an entire life for her. We planned things, we prepared things. By the time her heart stopped beating, she had a fully stocked room, and my bags were packed to go to the hospital. With Sophia, I didn't pack a bag until the day we went in to be induced. With Sophia, everything was different. Although I still believed that pregnancy was an awesome, almost magical thing, it was also nerve racking and terrifying. Every little thing frightened me. When we would talk about our plans for her, I would want to close my eyes and cover my ears. To make plans was to lose them, and I was so afraid of that. But we knew that our life couldn't stand still and hold its breath while we waited for our second daughter. We did make plans, we did prepare. We got to know her. We knew she would be a princess. We knew she would have a personality different from that of her sister's. And she really does do things on her own schedule. With Sophia, I don't assume that she will walk and talk early, as her sister might have. I believe that she will do things when she is ready to do them and no amount of coaxing will hurry her along. She is pretty much right on track for a child her age, and I can only hope that she will keep up. But I also believe that she is stubborn like her parents, and that no timed milestones will convince her to sit up or roll over until she thinks it was her idea. I am in no hurry for her to do these things either, but I will be waiting with the camera for when she decides she is ready. And when she takes her first steps, I believe her big sister will be holding her hand and helping to steady her.
 On another note, a representative in NY has proposed a stillbirth bill that I need to look into. I will be calling/writing my representative to ask him to co-sponsor this bill. You should look into it and see what you can do to help prevent other little girl's big sisters from slipping away. Our babies are worth it.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

My Day So far

My daughter is 16 weeks old today. She is perfect, and she is healthy, and she is finally taking a nap. A year ago, I was praying daily to become pregnant again, and I was grieving deeply for my Charlotte, the baby we lost at 36 weeks. A year ago, I don't think I believed in miracles, or happy endings. A year ago, I was a mommy without a baby. Now I know that sleepless nights really are "that hard", and that they really are worth it. I know the sound of my daughter's laugh. I know the sound of her cries when she is waiting for a bottle. I know that she is having another growth spurt and will soon be moving into bigger clothes, diapers, and beds. I didn't know how torn I would be, wanting to keep her my little baby forever, while at the same time, being so proud of her every accomplishment. Wanting to teach her things, wanting her to  learn from her mommy and daddy. I read to her, I sing to her. I tell her about her big sister, who would have been her best friend and fiercest ally. Today I take it one step at a time, and I take a lot of big, deep breaths. Today I decided to start a blog about my family, my friends, and my life so far. I have always thought long and hard about my blogs before I post them on Myspace, but I figure here I will have more options to let it flow as it comes. Without outlines and notes. This is my life in words. Sometimes they will not be very intelligent, and I do have the tendency to ramble. But this is who I am.