Sunday, May 30, 2010

Her beautiful name

Charlotte: Little, Tiny, Feminine, Free
Ava: Bird (Hebrew, German, Latin, English) Voice (Persian), Life (Latin) Breath of Life (Old English) Sky or Heaven (Akposso)

Our sweet little bird.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Mary Oliver

From In Blackwater Woods

Every year
everything
I have ever learned

in my lifetime
leads back to this: the fires
and the black river of loss
whose other side

is salvation,
whose meaning
none of us will ever know.
To live in this world

you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it

against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Small Steps

I've found that getting up, taking a shower, styling my hair and putting my contacts in makes me feel better. I may then crawl back into bed, or spend the entire day on the couch, but at least I don't have unwashed hair scraped back into a ponytail.

I spent the day in bed, watching Hotel Babylon on Netflix. I love British television. I wish that hotel existed in real life so I could go to London, move in, and have them take care of me. If I really think about it though, it would be a lot less personal than the fabulous care I'm currently receiving.

Thursdays and Fridays are proving to be the hardest days to get through. Thursdays because I was in labor all day and Fridays because Charlotte was born on a beautiful Friday morning. Each Thursday and Friday feels momentous, and then I realize it's only been two weeks and I still have the rest of my life to live without my Charlotte.

I'm sleeping without the aid of Ambien now. Or trying to at least. I just had a bath, drank some herbal tea and took liquid Valerian root. That stuff is disgusting in liquid form, but it should work better than the pill form I was taking.

My goal is to take the dog for a walk tomorrow. I didn't get out of bed at all today so tomorrow I must force myself to do something. And the poor dog has been so neglected I'm afraid she may declare mutiny soon.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A little anger

This afternoon I snapped at a guy who came to the door. I answered because I thought it may be someone dropping off food, or another delivery person with flowers. Instead it was a guy selling something, his shirt said Honeywell and he said something about signs in yards, so it was probably home security systems. He started talking and all I could think was, “I really want to tell you to go away because my baby just died. I want to say that and make you feel bad for knocking on my door.”

Instead I interrupted his spiel with, “We’re not interested, thank you.” “Not interested in what?” he responded, but I had already closed the door. “Not interested in whatever you’re selling,” I muttered as I shuffled back to my spot on the couch. Maybe I should put a sign on the door: Warning! Grumpy, tearful, angry, grieving person inside. No solicitations unless you have food.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Outside

This morning I decided it was time for me to venture outside. I have a box of books from the bookstore, plus scores of books on my shelves I haven't read, but I decided I wanted to go to the library. (I'm glad I live in Oregon. Even though it is the end of May it is overcast and rainy today. I'm not sure I can handle sunshine right now. Usually I can't wait for the rainy season to end, but this year I may be okay with it extending through June).

We were gone less than an hour, but that was definitely the limit of what I can handle right now. It was more difficult than I thought it would be to find books to read. First off, I've read so many books it's hard to find something I haven't read already. This is especially true because I worked at the bookstore for so long and most of the new books available at the library I read as advance copies six or more months ago. Add in the fact that every other book has a baby, or someone wanting, or not wanting, a baby in it and I was lucky to come home with more than one book. I think the library should be divided into sections based on how one is feeling, or what one is experiencing. It would be so much easier if I could go to the 'your baby recently died' section and select a book that way.

I really thought I was up to a trip out, but oh my was it draining. For some reason I feel like I should be up and around. No one is putting this expectation on me, but I'm starting to feel a little bit pathetic with all the couch sitting and bed wallowing.

Whenever something happens to me that I can't control, I tend to focus obsessively on something, or somethings else. Lately that's been my weight (I know, I just had a baby, but seeing as that baby isn't here it's hard for me to accept the physical changes) and my worry about what I will do in the future. I find if I think too far into the future, say to next Wednesday, I start to panic about what I should be doing.

When I worked at the bookstore I had a bad habit of saying "I should have done ..." or "I should read that ..." One of my co-workers would always respond with "Don't should on yourself." I think it's time for me to take my former co-worker's advice.

It's time for me to stop worrying about the quantity of ice cream and M&M's I'm consuming (uggh, a lot). It's time for me to stop worrying about when I will be able to button my pre-pregnancy jeans (On the positive side, at least I can get those jeans on). It's time for me to stop thinking about the 7 pounds I still have to lose to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight and the 5 extra pounds I wouldn't mind losing after that.

And I really need to stop worrying about what I will be doing six months from now. Or even a week from now. As it says in Matthew 6:34: Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Week 1

One week ago I was in labor and so excited. Soon, soon I would get to meet my little girl. Now I find myself on my estimated due date lying in bed and crying my eyes out. I have hard days and easy days - moments of laughter followed by moments of tears. I had a bad moment last night. I woke up, realized I wasn't pregnant, rolled over to see the baby in the co-sleeper and suddenly understood she wasn't there and would never be there.

I spent a long time talking to Patricia last night trying to process what happened. I asked her question after question and she answered each one as best as she could. The hardest thing for everyone is the lack of answers. We got a preliminary report from the county coroner; nothing was wrong with Charlotte structurally. Now we have to wait for blood results and other tests to come back. I am beginning to think we may not get any answers. Often in these situations it's impossible to provide answers.

I don't regret going with Bella Vie. I can't imagine having Charlotte anywhere else; she was loved by everyone at the birth center. However, I can't help but wonder what would have happened in a hospital setting. I know we made the best decision for us and I don't blame the midwives for what happened, but I can't help wondering if there was something I could've done differently so I could have my Charlotte here with me.

Tomorrow it will be one week since my daughter was born. One week. Sometimes I can't believe it's already almost been a week. Other moments I feel like time is dragging. What will I do when Jonathan goes back to work?

I can't help but wonder if I can get pregnant again. How long I should wait before I get pregnant again. Patricia says we should gather as much information as we can so we can be prepared if we decide to try again. Ideally someone would tell me in 8 months, or a year, or two years you should try for another baby. Your baby will be healthy and you will have a normal delivery. Since that is impossible, I will have to wait and trust that God will let us know when the time is right.

Right now I am clinging to the positive as much as I can. I had 39 beautiful weeks with my Charlotte. She opened her eyes and looked at me and her Daddy before she was put on the ambulance stretcher. I got to hold her for two precious seconds before the midwives started working on her. Jonathan and I are surrounded by love and prayer and we are not the only ones who miss our Charlotte.

Patricia took a beautiful picture of the lavender at Bella Vie on the morning Charlotte was born. I put a picture of Charlotte in the frame with the lavender. I carry that frame with me from couch to bed, from bed to couch and it brings me immense comfort. Every time I look at it I feel like my Charlotte is nearby and knows her Mama loves her.

I leave you with this:

Glory Baby - Watermark


Glory baby you slipped away as fast as we could say baby…baby..
You were growing, what happened dear?
You disappeared on us baby…baby..
Heaven will hold you before we do
Heaven will keep you safe until we’re home with you…
Until we’re home with you…

Miss you everyday
Miss you in every way
But we know there’s a
day when we will hold you
We will hold you
You’ll kiss our tears away
When we’re home to stay
Can’t wait for the day when we will see you
We will see you
But baby let sweet Jesus hold you
‘till mom and dad can hold you…
You’ll just have heaven before we do
You’ll just have heaven before we do

Sweet little babies, it’s hard to
understand it ‘cause we’re hurting
We are hurting
But there is healing
And we know we’re stronger people through the growing
And in knowing-
That all things work together for our good
And God works His purposes just like He said He would…
Just like He said He would…

BRIDGE:
I can’t imagine heaven’s lullabies
and what they must sound like
But I will rest in knowing, heaven is your home
And it’s all you’ll ever know…all you’ll ever know…

Monday, May 17, 2010

Charlotte Ava

At this point I don't feel like I can write out my entire birth experience, but I will say it was a good one despite what happened at the end. Our little girl, Charlotte Ava, was born on 5/14 at 10:10 am. She left to be with Jesus at 11:47 am. These past few days have been hard ones, but we are surrounded by loving and compassionate people. I don't know what I would do without my midwives. They've loved and pampered me so much & I know their kindness is helping me heal.

The physical discomfort from the birth has almost abated entirely, but my milk came in today and so far it's been a painful experience. I've been taking a lot of herbs to suppress the milk & I'm hoping the process of drying up the supply won't take very long. I thought today was going to be the hardest day because a lot of people warned me it would. I prayed for peace and calm for today and I am so glad God answered that prayer. I cried some this morning, but for most of the day I've been feeling relaxed and calm. My midwife gave me a massage and I think that helped me stay in a good calm place. I don't know what the next day, or the next week, or the next month will bring. Right now I am thankful for family, friends and loving midwives. I miss my Charlotte but I am glad she is safe in heaven.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wishin' & Hopin'

I'm 38 weeks, 6 days & I am ready to meet my little girl. I've been staying busy, maybe even too busy, but I'm getting tired of waiting. When I went in for my weekly appointment Monday my midwife noticed I was having contractions. I couldn't feel them, but she definitely could. I've been having Braxton Hicks on and off, but nothing painful. Despite all this she will probably decide to make a late appearance. She has until May 31st; I really don't want a June baby. I have no reason other than I found out I was pregnant last August and that just seems like a long time to be pregnant.

Today I spent time with a friend who delivered at Bella Vie a month ago. Every time we get together she tells me more about her experience there and I can't wait for it to be my turn. I still haven't fully accepted that I'm going to have a baby, even though I've been carrying one for nine months, but once she's here I'm sure it will set in.

I had four friends due before me. Now that they've all delivered I feel like my turn should come tomorrow. My little one is still small, at 37 weeks she was thought to be 5 & 1/2 lbs. If she needs to grow a bit more I understand, but I am getting restless!

Reading has been my best escape and constant friend lately. I'm averaging a book a day right now which makes me feel like I'm back in high school when I had tons of time to read. I'm hoping to finish The Time Traveler's Wife tonight. If only I could travel a few days in the future and have my baby ...

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