Sunday, May 29, 2011

5.29.11

I'm tired of this phase.  I have no name for it, but it's worn out its welcome.  I have cried more in the past week than I did in the week leading up to her birthday.  I have cried more in the last week than I have in a long, long time. And it's not the planned cry - the sit down, have a look at her picture, cuddle her bear type.  It's the sudden, perplexing, embarrassing middle of church, throughout supper, while vacuuming kind of cry.

Church, oh was that fun.  Memorial Day weekend so I wasn't the only one crying, but it was so awful because I just couldn't stop.  I cried through the video about our military (thank you for keeping us safe), cried when the music pastor talked of Memorial Day being about grief as well as honor, cried through the singing portion, and then managed to pull myself together for the actual sermon.

The past few days I've followed J around like he may be able to point me somewhere other than here, like he will be able to spin me from this phase into the next one (but what if the next one's worse?).  He doesn't know what to do with me so he's resorted to teaching me X-Box games, suggesting things to do, places to go, anything to make me feel better.

I think some of the tears stem from all the rainbows born recently.  I am so glad for the safe arrival of each baby, but it leaves me feeling anxious, wondering if everything will be okay in September.  What if it's not?  What then?  Those who have never lost a baby wonder how we have lost do it.  Well, I wonder how those who have lost more than one manage it.  How do you pick yourself up after that?  And how do you try again?  That requires a great amount of strength and courage which I cannot even fathom.

I feel so guilty for my inability to just be happy that I'm pregnant.  I know so many, those who have lost, those who have not, who struggle to conceive, who would love to be pregnant so why can't I stop my whining and enjoy every moment with Bennett?

I seem to be full up of ungratefulness and tears.  Not a good, or pretty, combination.  I want a date, a time, a place when I will feel better.  

Will it happen when the sun shines more often?

Will it happen when the calendar slides over to June?

Will it happen when Bennett is born?

I think I expected to feel better after her birthday because this great looming milestone would be behind me, but I am realizing that she can never truly be past.  I carry so much of her with me, thirty-eight short weeks of memories, the sweet and sad moments, there is no behind, only forward.

And, really, there is no better is there?  Just before and after, with and without, then and now.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Right Where I Am: One Year, Two Weeks

Thank you, Angie, for providing this opportunity to talk about where we are in our grief no matter how much time has elapsed since our loss. 

I am just on the other side of the one year anniversary, just able to see the sun on the horizon again after the 14th.  I thought it would be better sooner, that we would have the big memorial to-do we couldn't put together a year ago and then there would be some sort of peace, closure.  And there was peace as well as closure as we stood in the cool May air outside the birth center on the 14th, buried her ashes, remembered her, but the day after was horrendous, as was the one after that, and now nearly two weeks on it's still hard and maybe that isn't the sun on the horizon but a mirage comprised of wishful thinking.

I was doing so well, moving forward, not crying very often, finding my balance, regaining some sense of self, and then her birthday came along and rendered me weepy, sleepless and lazy, or maybe not lazy but grief weary.  It's as if being in May again, this time of spring, growth and so much rain, has completely muddled my senses. I can't seem to forget how awful last year at this time was and my brain insists on working through those days after she died, reliving them, wishing I could restructure her, create a future, elongate her life.

I don't cope with stress well.  I'm angry at so many things, but mostly Charlotte's death.  I'm 24 weeks pregnant with her brother and I have spent much of this pregnancy stamping my foot and being angry at things I cannot change because what I truly want - her and her brother - is unobtainable.  I want to be treated as if every emotion and thought matters, like all my fears and stresses and random blow-ups deserve attention, because I'm pregnant again, and shoot that's hard, but the coddling has ceased, it ceased a long time ago and I don't know why I expected it to resume.

This blog was a lifeline for me in the beginning, still is, but it's shifted to be about so much more than her and I'm not sure if this is the right place to keep my thoughts anymore.  Should this just be about her -a holy forever shrine to a baby gone too soon - or is it okay to shift focus?  She is in everything I do after all, she permeates every action and reaction now.

Faith has helped.  I believe she is in heaven, that we will be reunited.  Church has been hard since she died.  We attend, we skip, we attend, we plan to go, but can't make the change from pajamas to clothes, from solitary brooding (even with two in the house) to social niceties.

I need less now, even in this difficult time.  I packed most of her things in boxes in the attic.  There are pictures around the house, but no longer shelves upon shelves of memorial items.  She lives with us always - her urn above the fireplace, her nearly blooming rose outside, the pictures on our dresser - but there is no longer a need to surround myself with tangible things in an attempt to bring her back.

I've let go of the desperate grief that engulfed me when she first died.  It used to feel like a horrible nightmare I was fighting unsuccessfully to wake up from.  I thought if I closed my eyes and wished hard enough she would come back, but I could never push my mind past the idea that she was ashes in an urn above the fireplace and no matter how tightly you squeeze your eyes shut, even if it's so tight no light peeks through at all, ashes are permanent; they simply cannot reform into a living baby.

I'll never stop wishing she was here, but I have found peace in the solid unchangeable fact that she is not.

I miss her - my first born, my forever baby.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Confused - maybe even a bit disappointed?

I woke up ready to be firm with the maternal fetal medicine clinic, to demand the care I deserve, to "go to the mattresses" in a "You've Got Mail context (which is actually used incorrectly, because "to go to the mattresses" does not mean to battle, it means to go underground, hide for a while) and two minutes into the phone conversation all was sorted in my favor.

Huh?  Why did I have to argue for ten minutes about the definition of my care, and be told I absolutely could not change an appointment on Tuesday, only to be told (albeit by a different person) this morning that no one can tell me I can't change an appointment and if I do my care will need to be reevaluated?

I may face some unpleasantness when I have my next appointment at the clinic at 28 weeks, but I think I can handle that.  I wanted to speak with the Eugene midwife today, but she was at the hospital for an emergency delivery so asking her to begin communicating with my midwife will have to wait until the next appointment.

I think I am a little relived actually to avoid another unpleasant conversation.  I cry much easier since Charlotte died and barely made it through confrontation one without bursting into tears.  I haven't done the whole falling to pieces bit for this clinic yet and I would like to continue in that vein.  It allows me to pretend I'm doing better in that whole regard.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Thyroid upsets & frustrations with 'shared care'

I hashed things out with Dr. B this afternoon.  She wasn't concerned about my levels at all so she didn't call me.  Well, that's a rational explanation, can't argue with her on that one.  However, I am concerned about my levels so for now I am off the herbals and only on the medication.  Dr. B said this is a great sign, that needing less is always better than needing more, and I should have no problem going off the medication (again) after this pregnancy.

And now on to my frustrations with shared care.  What is shared care?  Well, the idea at the beginning of this pregnancy was to see the doctor - the maternal fetal medicine specialist - as well as my midwife.  The past three visits Bennett has been doing well so I haven't seen either of the specialists, just the midwife who practices with them (this is all in Eugene, where we will be delivering).  In between those visits I see my midwife, the one who delivered Charlotte, and the idea was that they would communicate with each other.  Since I've started seeing the Eugene midwife she hasn't communicated with my midwife (is this confusing anyone else?) at all which is frustrating and annoying.

I'm supposed to go back to Eugene at 26 weeks for my glucose test and a 15 minute OB appointment with the midwife.  This morning I realized there is little point to me driving that far (just over an hour) for an appointment my midwife can do. And honestly I would rather have her do it.  When I called to cancel my 26 week appointment and schedule one for 28 weeks, which is when I would need another ultrasound, I was told - no way, no how, we're your OB, you have to come here for everything.  What??  That was not the initial agreement, not as far as I understood it.

Every time I go to that office they question why they are my primary OB when that is not their typical role.  Because Dr. K approved it!!  Because you are supposed to be sharing care with my midwife!!  On the phone this morning I had to pull out the dead baby story to explain why we are working things in this atypical fashion and I am SO tired of having to explain what happened with Charlotte to this office.

Bennett is doing well, he's growing, he's fine.  At this point I want to throw my hands up in the air and do what I wanted to do from the beginning: birth this baby at home.  But the problem is that I need that clinic, I should deliver at the hospital this go round, and I am, unfortunately, stuck.  I don't understand why I can't see my midwife when Dr. K encouraged me to do so from the beginning, and why the Eugene midwife isn't communicating with her.

When the Eugene midwife is back in the office on Thursday I am going to call and attempt to sort this out with her.  Every time I try to explain how I feel, what I want, how we set things up with Dr. K she says, "Well, do you want to see Dr. K?  Do you need time with him to feel better?"  NO.  I don't care about seeing the doctor, I just want it to work how I thought it would.  It is SO frustrating to be "high-risk" but not really; to need the extra care, but not really; to be shoved into the medical world routine of care; to have to fight for what I want, the care I need (and quite frankly expected) to keep me comfortable and sane.

I do wonder if the incredible anger and frustration I feel doesn't somehow circle back to Charlotte dying.  Before she died this small of a situation wouldn't have sent me over the edge like this.  Will I always be more angry?  Is some of that anger not even directed at the situation?  Am I just mad because my baby died and as a result I'll never have what I truly want?

Whew - if you read all of that, thanks.

Monday, May 23, 2011

23w4d Appointment

My 24 week appointment at the maternal fetal medicine clinic happened today because J couldn't make it Thursday.  I'm just glad he could come to one appointment even though it took a bit of rearranging and shifting.

Bennett is measuring perfectly at 23 weeks 4 days which the midwife said is highly unusual.  I guess a day or two in either direction is seen more often.  He weighs 1 lb 5 oz already which explains why his kicks and rolls are so strong now.  As usual Bennett showed off his heart, but refused to move his head from its favorite position: buried into my cervix.  The ultrasound tech asked me if I was feeling tons of pressure and when I said yes she said she wasn't surprised with how committed baby boy is to jamming his head in my cervix.  So once again I had to be inverted for part of the scan, which I hate.  The tech tries so hard to get good measurements without tipping me backwards, but Bennett never cooperates.  We'll see if he stays head down like his sister did.

I had a thyroid panel done at Dr. B's office on the 10th, but never received a phone call with results.  The clinic had a copy of the results and they were not good.  I could throw Dr. B through a window for failing to call me when my thyroid levels are so low.  Something needs to change quickly so I don't end up swinging too far the other way and needing treatment for hypothyroid.  I'm frustrated and upset, but hoping the issue can be resolved quickly.  I think I will drop the herbals for now and stick with the medication because I did well on the medication with my first pregnancy.  I am going to call Dr. B's office tomorrow, give them a piece of my mind and see if we can come up with a solution.

After the ultrasound and the appointment with the midwife we went over to Labor and Delivery for a private tour which they were kind enough to grant us since we live out of town.  The nurse who gave us the tour was confused as to why we were delivering an hour away from home when we have a large hospital here so I had to explain what happened with Charlotte and why we chose to deliver with the specialists down South.  I did not tell her we are not delivering here because I don't trust the hospital here/haven't heard very many positive stories about their birth/mama baby care program.

The hospital is ... a hospital.  The lobby is quite fancy, nicest hospital lobby I've ever seen.  It looks more like an inn or lodge, it's quite strange.  The labor/delivery ward seems nice enough, but I nearly rolled my eyes when the nurse firmly patted the bed and said, "You will deliver the baby here."  Okay, I get it, I won't rebel and try to deliver the baby where I would be most comfortable.  Seriously though, what would they do if you refused to get on the bed?  Don't worry, I'm not combative enough to try, I just don't have that component in my personality, but I do wonder.

We had a big day.  I'm tired.  Next appointment is at 26 weeks for a glucose test (which I loathe, think is useless, don't believe is very accurate) mid-way blood draw including a thyroid panel and OB appointment.  No ultrasound for me at 26 weeks, but I will have one at 28 weeks.

Happy that baby is growing, but still wondering if it will all come crashing down again.

Friday, May 20, 2011

5.20.11

I've spent the past couple of days working in the yard which is unusual for me.  I don't like gardening or weeding and I often wonder how we ended up with so many plants and flowers when the entire gardening process is confusing and slightly annoying to me (plant, water, weed, transplant, cultivate - huh? is pretty much what I know about gardening).

J was mowing the back lawn and I was cleaning out the kitchen trash can with the hose when he said, "Oh, baby what did you do?"  When J starts a conversation with those words things usually don't progress well.  After some confusion and much discussion turns out I didn't do anything all that bad, but I did make a bit of a mistake while weeding, cleaning up the yard.  No big deal at all, J went back to mowing, but I've been in a bit of a mood lately so I slammed down the trash can and stormed into the house.

J came in a while later to me pouting on the couch.  He asked my opinion on something - I can't even remember what now - and I said, "I don't want to give my opinion because I've already caused enough damage today.  I've messed up everything."

He laughed, "Oh, this makes me miss Charlotte.  She would've acted like this when she was four, all over dramatic and sure of the world ending because of one silly mistake."

Then I cried because he never talks about Charlotte like that.  And now I'm worried that he won't talk about Charlotte like that again because it made me cry.  She probably would have been a drama queen like her mama; it's how the women in my family are (or at least how one of my sisters and I behave).  We over exaggerate, slam around, make lots of noise when upset, over express ourselves.

I miss that little girl who never had the chance to be anyone or anything.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

5.19.11

I exhausted myself yesterday and then I slept seven solid hours with only one bathroom trip in the middle.  Perhaps that is the formula I have to follow to sleep now.

I feel disoriented, this transition into the second year is more difficult than I thought it would be or expected it to be.  I thought the 14th was the hard day, but successive days have proved just as difficult.  Random weeping has started up again.  Gotta love that.  It makes me feel more than slightly unhinged when I start crying at dinner with no provocation or warning.

Twenty-three weeks today.  One shy of viability.  This stage of pregnancy, the middle part, seems to be lasting forever.  September is so far from here I can't even see it in the distance.  April lasted a year.  May is well on its way to lasting a year.

As one who has lost a baby there is little room for me to complain.  At least I am pregnant again with all going well so far.  BUT - I'm tired.  I feel like I've been pregnant for two straight years.  I am grateful for this pregnancy, this little spark who is now Bennett, but I would like to stop worrying about every single thing I eat and drink, weight gain, lack of weight gain, movement, growth, appointments, all of the medical care I'm receiving which our insurance doesn't cover, labor, labor, labor.  I would like to relax, but the ease and calm I carried throughout my first pregnancy is long gone.

Today I'll work in the yard, just like I did yesterday.  I'll weed, play with the dog, be grateful my mom helped me with the front yard yesterday so I can sprawl out in the back, sit in the dirt in old yoga pants and a maternity top that is already too tight, wait for the rain to come this weekend, wait for summer, September, Bennett, a chance at parenting a baby who lives.

Monday, May 16, 2011

What now?

I'm tired, tired, tired.  After a solid week of little sleep I took a benadryl tablet to help me fall asleep last night.  It worked well enough putting me to sleep, but I still woke up four times throughout the night.  I thought May 14th would pass and then I would sleep better, but that hasn't proved true so far.

Late at night (or early in the morning?) I sit on the couch in the dark thinking about where I was last year, all of the sleepless nights I racked up after that sad Friday morning.  I remember sobbing in the nursery in the dark, wandering through the few rooms in our house, restless, looking for someone I would never find.  Then Bennett kicks, jolting me from then to now, giving me a new reason to be awake.  Passing the one year mark has made this pregnancy more real somehow.  This babe is coming in September!  I wasn't really prepared for that, didn't allow myself time to process it while preparing for her day.

On Saturday I was reminded of just how much I've changed; how the person writing these words would have been unrecognizable to me a year ago.  I lost so much of me when she died, including my ability to be around people.  As I hid in the kitchen at the birth center watching people mill around the front yard waiting for things to start I realized they had come for us and I was expected to talk to them.

I'm much more comfortable here, behind the words, alone in the house.  I read a book the other day about a woman whose husband dies unexpectedly.  Without noticing she fails to leave the house for a year.  She has her groceries delivered, skips out on events for her son, and retreats from the world.  I understand that need to stay inside, to be in a place where all is controlled, interactions few.

We were blessed to have so many come on Saturday, to have her day be one of love and remembrance, but as I fumbled through my "thank you for comings" and tried to remember how one engages in small talk I wondered if I would be granted less leniency for my odd behavior now that a year has passed.

What is expected of me in this second year?  Is it okay if I'm still a mess? Because so far, two whole days in, I've been a grumpy out of sorts lazy sleep deprived mess.  Somehow I thought the days after May 14th would be easier than this.  Not that I was expecting constant sunshine and blooming flowers, but I really did think I would feel less ... bereft - hungover - unmotivated - sad.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Charlotte's Day Part Two

I haven't found the energy to write about her day (I am having serious sleep issues - as in it's not happening) and I'm not sure if I have words.  I wasn't planning on sharing more pictures here, but I love these too much to resist.

Sweet cards


Saying good-bye


Support


Just two of the people who have helped me through this year. Love that we can still laugh, sorry you're only half in the frame R, you're still beautiful.


We'll always have each other.



Saturday, May 14, 2011

Charlotte's Day

Lots of tears today, but hope too.  We miss our baby girl, but we are blessed to have so many wonderful people in our lives.  We had at least thirty-five people come to the birth center and I know we have many more thinking of us.  Thank you for the cards, flowers, comments on facebook, and comments left here.  It's hard to find words ...

My midwife clipped flowers from the grounds and placed them around the birth center.



We were able to use the entire birth center and it didn't rain (two answers to prayer).  We put pictures and mementos of her in the room where she was born. 


Little brother.


We said a few words, invited others to speak, and then buried some of her ashes and planted the Charlotte rose.




While we planted the rose my good friend sang this song:



We ended with the scattering of rose petals around the base of her rose.



Love and faith have carried us.  Thank you to all who have walked us through this first year without our sweet Charlotte.




I know J and I won't wake up tomorrow and be back to who we were on May 13th last year, but this felt like a big step towards healing and closure.  We've made it through the first year without our first born and though we miss her and wish for her to be here with us we know she is waiting for us in heaven.


Twelve

This is her one year letter which I will attempt to read in front of our family and friends this morning as we celebrate and remember sweet Charlotte.  I miss her so very much.  There's few words, but much sorrow.  I'll post an update about her day later. 


Charlotte,

Had you lived, you would be turning one today. It's hard to believe we've watched 365 days pass without you. There have been seasons, holidays, quiet moments, and laughter too, all without your presence.

After you died we talked about scattering your ashes at Crater Lake or the beach, but neither place felt right. The ocean is too vast for someone so small, that lake so blue it seems endless. I wanted a place we could visit, somewhere that had real meaning, where you existed, where there is love and memories.

So, dear girl, we are leaving a bit of you here at Bella Vie where so much of your life happened and where all of our moments with your living soul took place - including that one breathtaking moment when you recognized our voices and locked eyes with first me then your daddy; a hello and good-bye in one that we hold close to our hearts.

We had the whole world while here and though much sadness came after we want to remember the joy that was our every moment with you.

I hope you are having a fabulous first birthday in heaven. Make the angels sing to you and enjoy cake with your beautiful baby friends.

We miss you & love you very much.  



Wednesday, May 11, 2011

5.11.11

A year ago - Wednesday, May 12th - I wrote the following on my blog (this was back when I had .5 followers).

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 ...


Reading those words now I want to smack the me of a year ago, tell her to be grateful for every moment because the world will fall down around her in two short days.  I want to tell her that at 8 am the next morning her water will break, and what follows at 10:10 am the next day (I probably would refrain from telling her about the 26 hours of labor) will be so far from what she expects she will feel numb for days. (I miss the numbness, the hazy blur of those first days after Charlotte died.)  I want to tell her that she'll never finish The Time Traveler's Wife, or watch the movie, or be able to look at the book again.

All I can think about today is time, which is why that old post came to mind.

9-13, 8 am: My water broke
9-14, 10:10 am: She was born
9:14, 11:37 am: She died

I can't believe I've spent the last year trying to explain how that feels.  It's inexplicable, indescribable, beyond words.

Monday, May 9, 2011

5.9.11

This is not easy.  We are sad, depressed, neither of us are sleeping very well.  I am thankful for friends who leave flowers on my porch, invite me to lunch, send me cards, text messages, e-mails.  In one such e-mail, which I received this afternoon, a close friend told me of a passage she had recently studied in Isaiah. I don't think she will mind if I share what she wrote (emphasis mine):

"In chapter 65 it talks about what the new heaven and new earth will be like.  My heart stopped when I read verse 20: "Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days."  I had no idea that the Bible actually mentions infant death, but there it is.  There is a day coming when this old earth will be gone, and a new heaven and new earth will be created.  There will be no sorrow, no tears, no suffering of any kind.  In this new earth, infant death will not exist.  No one will have to experience that kind of darkness again.  And not only that, but in verse 17 it says, "See, I will create new heavens and a new earth.  The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind."  There is relief ahead for you.  There is a time coming when this burden, all this darkness and pain and sadness will be lifted from your soul.  You won't remember any of the grief you felt since Charlotte's death.  Not only will she be with you, but the memory of her death and all the pain that followed will be completely erased from your mind.  That thought has filled me with peace and hope for you.  There is light ahead in this life, as her death becomes easier to handle - even though there are difficult days still in the mix - but there is a more brilliant, beautiful, warm light ahead when you will feel nothing but peace and joy forever.  God is going to carry you through the rest of your life without her, and then gently set you down in an eternity full of love and no memory of the grief and sadness before it.  And not only that, but no one else will have to go through what you and the other babyloss mamas and daddies have been through, ever again." 


I'm holding on to this idea to help me through the days before her birthday. This is SO hard, so very, very hard, and I really wasn't prepared for how much it would hurt. 

Saturday, May 7, 2011

On Mother's Day

Well this sucks, doesn't it?  Last year on Mother's Day I was four days away from my water breaking, five away from the day my daughter would be born, and die, and mad at J for failing to buy me a present (although I didn't tell him how much it upset me that he didn't consider buying me anything). This Mother's Day I will be six days away from the worst anniversary I've ever had to mark on the calendar.

Whether this is your first year without your babe, or your sixth, or maybe even your tenth, whether you have no living children, or two, or five, or one, it hurts. It hurts to be celebrated when so few know of the one who is missing and it hurts to be forgotten, not even acknowledged as a mother.  Those of us without living children don't receive a smile or "Happy Mother's Day" the week proceeding up to, or the day of, Mother's Day because we carry our children in our hearts. We don't have babies in slings, or toddlers walking next to us, and even this bump of mine hasn't led to a "Happy Mother's Day," which really is fine with me because somehow I think it would hurt more to have Bennett acknowledged, but not Charlotte, the babe who made me a mother.

For the women who have lost children, Mother's Day simply becomes another holiday to smile through for the sake of others, a day to stay home from church because of the inevitable baby dedication, to avoid all stores, but especially flower shops and restaurants; a day to retreat within ourselves and think about the little hands that should be reaching for us, the voices we'll never know saying "Mama," and "I love you."

It is impossible to think of a gift we want, because what we truly desire we cannot have: one more minute, one more kiss, a little more time with the ones we lost.  (Oh, mamas, if only I could give you all that precious moment, but it's not within my grasp.)

I will be thinking of all those who are hurting and missing a child tomorrow.  I wish you peace and gentleness and sweet reminders of babes gone too soon.    

Giveaway Winner

Thank you everyone for the comments on my giveaway post.  It was just the ego boost I needed to get through the week.  Reading through the comments I realized that some of us, mostly those who lost around the same time as I did, are all in the same place of leaving fewer comments/having fewer comments left on our blogs.  None of us are over our losses by any means, but perhaps we are figuring out that "integrating" thing the grief books go on about ... ?

Anyhow, on to the real reason why you're reading this post.  The winner of the book is Molly with this comment: I'm doing a giveaway this week, too. I've been inspired by seeing the joy it gives others to give, so I thought id give it a shot, too! :)

Please e-mail me at rodman.angela@gmail.com with your address so I can send the book on.  I really don't know if I will get it out before the 14th, but the book will be with you shortly.



Thursday, May 5, 2011

5.5.11

It's International Day of the Midwife! If you know me you know how much I love midwives (A LOT) and appreciate their role in supporting families and babies in life and birth. I saw my midwife for an appointment (Bennett is doing very well) before she headed to the state capitol for a rally and celebration of midwives this afternoon so I was able to give her a hug.

Now for the rest of the midwives in my life, and, really, any and all midwives, a big huge THANK YOU for your work.  I have had groups of people in my life hold my hand since Charlotte died - friends, family, J, other mamas - but it was the unexpected support from midwives that made life without her possible.  I've always said that I would be lost without my midwives, not just "my midwife" but every last one who was there for me before and after she died.  If you know a midwife give them a tight squeeze, a hearty thanks, and maybe a cup of coffee too; chances are they're sleep deprived.    

Monday, May 2, 2011

How about a giveaway?

Why?

Because I'm sad.

Because I miss Charlotte.

Because I found two copies of Wherever You Are, My Love Will Find You while cleaning out the nursery.



Because this book brings me comfort and I would love to bring someone else comfort as well.

Because I've written about this book before.

Because my followers have increased, but my comments are decreasing and it's nice to receive comments. (I know, I know I'm a terrible comment leaver too).

So, leave a comment and I'll announce the winner on the 7th, one week before Charlotte's birthday although the book may not make it to the post office before the 14th. This giveaway is for those of you in the United States only (sorry!) since J nearly fainted dead away when I asked him how much he thought it might cost to ship a book to the UK or Canada.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

International Babylost Mothers Day

It's May 1st.  Last year on May 1st we were two weeks away from meeting our sweet girl.  We were different then.  We didn't know how quickly it could all turn around, how within moments a healthy pregnancy can produce a dead baby.

What do I do for the next 13 days?  Do I question the fairness or rightness of losing her?  Do I relive it?  Do I cry every day like I have for the past week?  How do I manage this with any sort of grace or composure?  I feel like it's the second half of last May when I couldn't go out in public because I cried constantly and without warning.

Having Mother's Day on the 8th makes going out in public even more difficult.  I despise television commercials and store promotions and all things that talk about 'mothers deserving' and 'real mothers.'  Today is International Babylost Mothers Day.  This is my day, the one for mamas who hold a child(ren) in their hearts, but won't receive kisses or love from them on the 8th of May.  It feels like the starting line, the beginning of something, the last two weeks before her birthday which is proving to be one of the more difficult times I've had to work through since she died, but it's more than that too.  It's a chance to acknowledge all who have carried, birthed and loved babies who are no longer here with us.

For all of those with aching arms and tear filled eyes my heart to yours on this Mothers Day.  Thank you for walking with me the past year, dear friends.  

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