Monday, April 30, 2012

Sunday, April 29, 2012

perfect day

Here's how I see it: I can let what's happening right now break me (like it has before).  I can complain, stomp my feet, whine, feel sorry for myself


I can let it go.

I don't have to let the broken, bitter people hiding behind anonymous complaints hurt me.

I can extend grace, kindness, and love even though I want to scream, shout and find those who are using us in an attempt to gain, or make a point.

It's a choice.

Today I chose to stop obsessing over it and have a wonderful day.  We worshipped, had lunch with friends, then ventured out on an afternoon walk with neighbors to a nearby park so Bennett could experience swings for the first time.  On the way to the park we stopped to chat at the community garden.  On our way home we spoke with a different set of neighbors, then went to their house for drinks.

It was a day of sun, fellowship, friendship.  It was perfect, it fed my soul.

It's evening now.  The day has almost come to an end.  I'm sitting on the couch writing this.  The dog is snoring on her bed, the baby is sleeping.

As evening fades into darkest night outside I feel saturated with the simple beauty of life.

And I know, whatever happens, whatever roads I must travel, whatever is before me, I am not alone.  

Romans 8:31: What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

Saturday, April 28, 2012

here we go again

Charlotte's birth is being investigated again.  When this has happened before, when her birth and death have been questioned, when our story has been posted to sites that are actively, strongly, passionately against midwives and out of hospital birth I've felt a mix of emotions: sad, guilty, frustrated, lost, depressed, angry, bereft, grief struck ..

But this time,

oh this time ... 

I'm mad.

When does a complaint become harassment?

How many investigations will be ordered before her file is shut for the final time?

Why don't we, her parents, get a say in all this?

I think (hope) this will be a quick one, more of a formality because an anonymous complaint has been lodged and must be attended to, but formality or in-depth study of the case aside, it's frustrating and infuriating.

And it all comes back to politics.

This is the third time there has been controversy and strife and complaints filed. 

Fourth if you count the time immediately after her birth and death.

This time I'm mad to my core.

I hurt for my midwife who has to go through another investigation.

I ache for our family as this investigation turns the tide of our conversations.

I worry something I've written or said has brought this upon us.

I wonder if I've spoken too soon about finding peace in unknowns and uncertainties.

It's nearly the second anniversary of her death.

Two years.

Let her rest.


Let our family be at peace as we heal and cobble together a life without her.

Friday, April 27, 2012

grief at twenty-three months

I can go back there in my mind.  All it takes is a song, the smell of a warm spring day, the newness of baby skin.

When I think of that time it's like the air is being pulled from my muscles and bones by a fierce wind.

There are songs I cannot listen to.  Glory Baby by Watermark especially.  I curled up on the couch in the yoga pants I wore while I labored, an old shirt - my breasts bound beneath to suppress milk production -, the grey sweater I wore the last time I held her, and listened to it over and over as the weather jumped from sun to rain outside the living room windows and the hours without her stretched into days, then weeks.

I can't even go to Glow anymore.  It hurts to return, though I found comfort and the dearest friends there.

Honestly, I don't even cry that often anymore.  I've been attending weekly counseling sessions since January.  I haven't cried once.  Last week I stood at the front of a classroom and laid my soul bare as I listened to the shush of tissue being pulled from boxes, my heart clenching as I exposed the regret and shame I feel knowing she died alone.  But I didn't cry.

I cried so much when she died, in that first year, on her first birthday, when Bennett was born and spent a week in the NICU.  Maybe I don't have tears left. Maybe the tears are deeper now, beneath a hard layer of grief and time.  To access them I would have to open myself to that fierce wind, let it pull the breath from my body.

The enormity of my loss doesn't strike me as often as it once did.  I used to get pummeled three thousand times a day; now it's part of me: my story, my life, my history.  So ingrained her name no longer sticks in my throat, the thought of her still body doesn't make my eyes well with tears.

But I can't escape the pain.  Grief with its recognizable signature comes to call even when I avoid triggers.

It's there, it's me, it's bound to my spine, woven throughout my soul.

And when it visits, it hurts.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

that time I almost burned the house down

If J reads this I'm gonna get a (well deserved) scolding ...

Last week I was rushing around like mad trying to get myself out the door for the speech at the college class.  I showered, flat ironed my hair, fed Bennett, prepared his things for my mom, all in a rush with a nervous stomach.

The next day I went upstairs to pack my bag for our weekend away.  I picked up the pile of new dresses, which I had set on top of the dresser.  "Hmm," I thought, "they're warm, that's odd."

I reached inside the dresser for a tank top.  "Woah, the whole inside of the top drawer is hot!"  I pulled my hand out and looked around.  My flat iron was switched on.  I gingerly picked it up.  "Hot, hot, hot!!"  I dropped it on the dresser, pressed the off button, waved my fingers around.

I picked up my new!! clothes and searched through them frantically.  No burn holes.  I ran my fingers over the top of the warm dresser, no scorch marks.  After my flat iron had cooled I picked it up, switched it on.  It still works fine.

I hope, hope, hope I didn't leave it on from Wednesday morning to Thursday afternoon, but I'm kinda afraid I did.

I thought my flat iron would turn itself off after an hour if left on.  Now I know that wasn't actually part of the instruction manual, I just made it up in my head.

How could I forget to turn it off??

What if I had burned holes in $80.00 worth of new dresses??

What if the house caught fire??

I need to be more careful, slow down, think things through.  I've been forgetting a lot lately, skipping steps, missing important details.

I cannot believe how disorganized and forgetful I've become.  I used to be SO put together, quick to start and finish projects.  Now it's a good week if I manage to respond to all my emails and keep the family (and house) intact.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Oh my stars guys, I'm exhausted.  Bennett isn't quite crawling, but he can get where he wants to go fast.  It seems like it happened overnight.  One day he was inching about, not making much progress, now I step out of the room to make a sandwich or brush my teeth and he's on the other side of the room putting Isabel's rope in his mouth.  He gets super frustrated if he can't quite get where he wants to go, or if I take away what he is aiming for.

And to think, I was worried about filling the days before Charlotte's birthday.  This one flew past!

When did your little start moving?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Monday, April 23, 2012

Sunday, April 22, 2012

the lilacs are blooming

And the spring breeze whispers through the leaves: soon, soon, it will be time.

I hate spring.

We are in a funk here; those blues, we've got 'em.

J's grandmother died a few days ago.  It's been a difficult few days in the midst of an emotional time.

Lilacs, lavender, a warm spring day - it all reminds me of her.  When, if ever, do the memories become sweet instead of bitter?

Saturday, April 21, 2012

on the town

The birthday surprises are over!  I'm exhausted!  J had a good time, but said I planned a girl weekend.  Oops - mental note: take J shooting for next birthday.  Buy J a gun for his next birthday.  That will win him over for sure!

We left B for the entire night; it made my heart clench, it did.  I was fine until I woke up at 6 am and pumped 8oz of milk in twenty minutes (with a hand pump no less!).  Then I missed him and couldn't wait for a few hours to pass so we could snuggle (and nurse).  Kid didn't miss me at all, he sure knows how to break his mama's heart.

Herewith a whole bunch of grainy shots from my phone.  J says he will buy me a phone that takes fabulous pictures if I make money from this here blog.  Then, he says, it will be a business expense.  Now taking donations!

I kid.


Four star hotel with a Starbucks in the lobby that delivered to the room 24 hrs. a day

A few minutes after we checked in


Wore a different dress. Portland is so casual one can wear jeans to any dining establishment

In my next life I'll love big cities and I will live here.




Personal heaters at every table? Yes please!

Thirty minutes outside Portland lies a twenty acre bamboo farm.  We bought four plants to shade the back patio

Burgerville for lunch



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