Wednesday, August 28, 2013

on fear, discouragement and friends


I've been writing and writing and writing lately. Sorry about the absolute cascade of posts, my brain is in overdrive lately.

Life feels so hard right now. You know how you enter a season where everything piles up and you feel completely snowed under? And then you sift through the mess and it turns out there's not that much going on, you're just not handling any of it well? I feel like that right now.

This pregnancy is really putting me through it. I am in so much pain most days feel endless and I don't sleep much at night so there's little relief there. I'm going to my chiropractor next week (finally!) because when I tell him I feel like my pelvis is breaking in half he'll (fingers crossed) nod wisely and then fix it.

I'm feeling so discouraged and disappointed. I know it's the third trimester blah-de-blahs and the PTSD piling up in my head, all trying to be heard as they jump around in there creating pure chaos and fear, but knowing what the problem is doesn't make it go away.

Yesterday two mamas who have also lost reached out to me - without even knowing I needed it - and I came away from those conversations feeling blessed to have so many who understand holding my hand and encouraging me. I seem to have forgotten that pregnancy comes with ten weeks or so of what feels like absolute madness. As one of my friends reminded me last night I need to take it one day at a time, refuse to let the fear take over, and lean on Jesus and the strength He provides. That's always easier said than done, but it's still a very good reminder.

One of the best gifts Charlotte gave me is the friends I've met since she died. Through telling her story I've built a little community and I am lucky to have so many I can talk to face to face who understand. I value the friends who haven't been there as well, especially as they've held me up and encouraged me through something they don't understand. And of course I appreciate all of you for reading my repetitive words and providing encouragement from afar. When I feel like this I tend to hide and isolate, but I can't do that, there's too much going on, and I think that might be a very good thing. In fact, it may be exactly what I need even though I feel like I don't want it. 

  

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

too soon


I was composing a post in my head about enjoying this insane toddler time with Bennett. It was all about slowing down, finding his pace and being okay with it. It was about his need to carry handfuls of toys with him everywhere he goes and how I'm learning to leave five minutes early so we have enough time for him to get everything in the car by himself. It was about appreciating these last weeks with just the two of us. It was about loving and raising a very busy toddler who keeps me exhausted and entertained.

This afternoon as I rocked Bennett down for the nap he refused to take I thought of the post I've been composing over the past few days. As I sat on the couch eating lunch and taking a few moments to myself while he knocked on the door of his room and called, "Mama! All done!!" I thought about how important it is to slow down. How popular it is to have "analog weekends" and just be with the people we love. I try to leave my phone at home at least once a week. And if I'm out with Bennett I zip my phone in the diaper bag and don't look at it because these days that feel endless now will soon be gone.

And then all of the thoughts about taking time to be patient and let Bennett be a toddler collided with the messy reality of this world. My heart hurts for friends and strangers today. The Stones, a beautiful family I will never meet, said goodbye to their precious baby boy Kaden yesterday. Just last year, in May, they said goodbye to their twins, Julian and Preston. And that, well, it doesn't make sense at all.

I feel tasked to love Bennett well. I feel a need to be the best mother I can because some children we don't get to raise, and far too often the time we have with people is not enough. I was texting with a friend today about how this third baby is my hope, a sustaining force. I can't deny that stories like the Stones make me afraid. I don't know how I would survive the loss of another, but if you had asked me what I would do if Charlotte died when I was pregnant with her I wouldn't have had an answer then either.

We go on because we must. For those who are hurting today, I pray you find the courage to continue. And please send the Stones love and strength as they face life without their boys.

Monday, August 26, 2013

confessions


I let Bennett misbehave a little at certain stores. Goodwill: Yeah, my kid is standing in the cart yelling for food, what's your point? Target: Sit down, buckle up, behave kiddo. This is a classy joint.

Sometimes I tell Bennett I need to do something really fast while he eats. This means I'm sitting on the couch just out of sight reading a few pages of a book or checking my phone.

When I feel really unmotivated I open the Baby Center app on my phone. Five minutes on those forums has me throwing my phone down in annoyance and happily folding laundry.

And speaking of the Baby Center forum: I find it irritating when everyone is sharing little slip-ups (having a soda, forgetting a prenatal or twelve) and one sanctimonious person says, "I gave everything up when I became pregnant for the health and safety of my baby." That's great, but you're sharing your awesomeness in the wrong place.

I am SO irritated all.the.time. I told J everything and everyone annoys me, so much so I want to tell strangers to stop talking near me. I'm afraid he's going to have to bail me out of jail before this pregnancy is over.

Per my mama's suggestion we have started watching Duck Dynasty and I am hooked. I think it would be fun to spend a week with the Robertson family, but I don't want to eat squirrel, or frog.

I hate walking around barefoot. Even in my own house. I wear flip flops in the summer and slippers in the winter because I don't like even one speck of dirt touching my feet.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

ten weeks of nesting


The slightly crazed clean everything top to bottom phase of this pregnancy is starting. The only problem is my lack of energy and inability to do much before I have to sit on the couch for a few minutes two hours and recover. The other day I washed the outsides of two kitchen cabinets before giving up. I haven't resumed that project.

But I have cleaned out Bennett's closet and washed/sorted clothes for baby girl. While doing that I discovered we have fifteen sleep sacks (give or take a handful) but no diapers. Somehow I completely overlooked the fact that this little one will need diapers.



And this afternoon I cleaned and reorganized the front closet while Bennett was napping. One of the things that made me want to buy this house was the great storage. We have closets galore, which is nice since the house is older and the bedroom closets tiny, but that front closet has been more headache than asset. Every few months it gets so messy and crowded I can't find my shoes or get to the mail (although I'm pregnant enough now it's best to just send Bennett in for the mail) which means I have to haul everything out and reorganize. When Bennett woke up from his nap I was still in the middle of my project. He came out to the living room and declared it a "mess!" but was happy to help me finish my task.


Before                                 After

Much of the overcrowding in the front closet stems from our abundant love of jackets and my complete lack of control when it comes to reusable bags. I love them all, even the ugly ones, but I don't even use them for groceries anymore. I can hardly remember everything on my list at the store - and usually I forget at least one thing/bring home ten items not on the list - so reusable bags have fallen by the wayside. When I cleaned the closet out this afternoon I finally hauled most of the reusable bags out and shoved them in the closet at the top of the stairs.

This is how I clean. Stuff that won't fit in the front closet moves upstairs. Random items that are cluttering up Bennett's closet get shoved in a plastic bag and tucked in the hall closet. In a few days when I tackle the hall closet I'll sort through that bag make it fit somehow and all will be well and organized.

I am way too cranky to manage deep, deep cleaning. I would love to hire a service to deep clean the house before baby comes, but that seems overindulgent as I am able bodied. Able bodied and exhausted but I can still do the work if it must be done. Although this afternoon when I bent over to rearrange some shoes I threw up a little. Really. It was the perfect example of adding insult to injury: you're already cleaning the closet, why not create a little extra work?

favorite season


I think it's time for my annual 'is it fall yet?' post. Fall is by far my favorite season and with the weather a little cooler and the skies a bit overcast in the mornings it's on the horizon. We still have to get through September, which is often our hottest month, but maybe we'll have a cooler end to summer this year. I've been complaining about how hot it's been this summer, but it hasn't really been too bad. We've yet to hit 100 or over, I think, though 95 is too close for my liking.


We've had a great summer with plenty of trips and outings to keep Bennett happy, but I'm ready for the first fire of the year, warm clothes, boots and hats. I prefer summer clothes to winter clothes and I have some skinny jeans I can't wait to put Bennett in. I also can't wait for the days when I don't have to think about sun hats and sunscreen (sorry about the fair skin Bennett!) when we go for a walk around the neighborhood.

I've looking forward to warm meals, hot chocolate and fresh bread. Today I have to work on my September meal plan and it's going to be difficult to refrain from adding in cool weather foods. I'm on the hunt for a good homemade hot chocolate mix too. I don't drink coffee, but I do enjoy my hot chocolate. Are you ready for fall? Or do you want it stay warm forever? I am lucky to live in a near ideal climate (for me). Plenty of rain, a little sunshine, not too much heat or snow.  

Bennett is using a hanger as a gun, and pointing it at me in a slightly threatening manner so I better go. While we were away last weekend the men entertained themselves with countless Nerf gun wars so B now knows shot, dart, gun etc and most everything is a gun. Or sword. It's lovely. And after writing this I need to fix myself (or ask J to) hot chocolate.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

through the lenses


My computer was out of comission for a few days, which means I didn't blog for a bit. I could've used my phone, or J's computer, but I prefer writing from mine. How's that for particular?

I'm in the middle of planning Bennett's second birthday party. I can't believe he's been with us two years. In fact, two years ago tomorrow I was 36 weeks pregnant and in labor and delivery for a night.

I'm trying to hold the perspective I gained from Bennett's birth over the sorrow of Charlotte's. Her birth altered me, but so did his, and as I anticipate a third birth I am using everything I have to hold the lenses created by each experience in place: positive over negative, joy over sorrow, a baby who comes home over a baby who became ashes.

All the little moments that make up my life inform what comes next and how I respond, but my prior birth expereiences are the most powerful number in this equation. I haven't been blogging as much partly because of computer issues, but also because I'm stuck in an endless loop of third trimester worry and excitment. To be honest it's a little boring and emotional around here lately with a lot of random tears and frequent grumpy spells.

Wash the baby laundry. Hyperventilate while folding. Think about how I can give birth again as I've done it twice without medication and can easily choose a little help if needed this time. Panic at the thought of feeling like I did during Bennett's birth.

And on and on and on.

Keeping the lenses aligned and forcing the positive outcome to consistantly hover over the negative is exhausting. Sometimes peering through the dark to the light feels overwhelming. I have to remind myself that Charlotte's life wasn't all dark. Within her story there was life, beauty and joy. And the way Charlotte changed my life is incredible. Within the changes she wrought there is light and I have to seek it out and rely on it to help me see through to that second lens I developed when Bennett was born healthy.

And I have to keep squinting and holding the lenses in place because when they are properly alinged I can see hope and strength. I can see the little one kicking away as I write coming home. I can fold her laundry without fear. I can wonder if we'll ever settle on a name. I can talk about when she is born, not if. I can imagine her here. I can dream. I can believe. I can trust in the faith that has sustained me. I can make it through the upcoming weeks with anticipation and a soul that lifts hope over worry and fear.

Light over dark. Life over death. Hope over fear. It's a precarious balance and my perspective as I peer through the lenses is shaky at best, but there is strength to be found in my children, what they have brought into my life and how they have shaped my heart.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

the view from here

We're on our last summer vacation. One more weekend of fun before the weather turns and baby comes. Of course I'm blogging from my phone while J runs B around outside so he doesn't wake everyone else in the house. We've got 8 adults and 7 littles in a big house on the Deschutes River. This area - Sunriver/Bend is one of my favorites.

We've been talking about buying a canoe for a long time. When J found one in Bend for a great price we decided to go for it. Yesterday B would not nap even though he was exhausted so we took the boat out. I loved putting the boat in at the marina, floating for an hour (J did all the paddling) then getting out at the place we're staying.

What I did not love: at the very end of our trip B fell asleep. I thought we might be able to get him up to the house without waking him. Unfortunately I was sitting offset and when J stepped out on the dock we went over. I have never tipped a canoe before, and I've certainly never done it with a sleeping toddler in my arms. We went all the way under and I was on top of B because I could not shift my weight quickly enough to avoid landing right above him. I felt so bad for B. That has got to be one of the worst ways to wake up. I got out of the water and up to the house so fast. I didn't know I could move that quickly while pregnant. The water was quite cold and all I could think about was getting away from it. Of course B cried for less than five minutes and was happily playing in the boat on the lawn with the other kids within the hour. Sweet boy is fearless and brave. I've never seen a kid take on the world like he does.

Parenting is teaching me so much about myself and how I approach life. As B runs around this huge house with the other kids I worry. I think: he's not in sight, I don't know what he's doing, should I check on him? But he's fine. He'll come find me if he needs me (or if he's hungry). I think the Lord gave me this incredibly independent child because He knew I would hold on too tightly otherwise. It's good for me to see that B needs me, but he can also be just fine without me. He's not even two and he's learning how to exist with others and be his own person while I learn over and over to let go.

And years from now when he finds himself over his head in dark waters hopefully (with the Lord's help) we'll have done enough that he'll once again find his way to the surface, even though I won't be pulling on the back of his life jacket and hauling him to safety.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

charlotte,


It's been long enough now I don't know exactly how old you would be. The intense counting and marking of days that pushed me through the first year has dissipated. I no longer notice every 14th that rolls around simply because you were born on a 14th. Although sometimes I find myself crying for no reason in the grocery store parking lot and when I look at my phone I realize it's a 14th. Missing you is so much a part of me it is always present, though most days it is background.

It's been 3 years and some months since you were born. You would be old enough to be your own person with a strongly developing personality. I was going to start you in ballet this fall. I wanted to see if you possessed skills I most definitely lack: rhythm, the ability to find a beat, and the coordination to dance to it.

So much time has passed and so many seasons and changes have come and gone I feel a growing gap between us. I watch your brother change and grow. I look at pictures from a year ago and marvel at how much he's changed. But you are frozen as my forever newborn. I hate not knowing who you would've been. Who you were meant to be.

I'm trying to figure out how the puzzle pieces that are my children fit together. You are my first, the one who made me a mama. Your brother is my light and joy. And your sister is my hope. How do I present all three of you to the world? How do I present myself - or at least the mother side of my life - to the world? How do I bind you together when your brother and sister will never know you? 

I talk about you. I write about you. I don't hide the fact that you died. I try to keep your memory close enough that you are always part of our family. But it doesn't feel like enough. Probably because it isn't. I want to know what you look like. I want to enroll you in ballet. I want to know your dreams and what you want to achieve. I want to know all of the beautiful and exasperating parts of you. I wanted you to live. And if sometimes in the everyday busyness of life you feel forgotten, or moved to the side, I want you to know you are loved and missed and forever my first baby.

Monday, August 12, 2013

when it's all said and done, just who will you be?


We had the 28 week appointment today followed by an informal hospital tour. We talked about the upcoming ultrasound at 32 weeks to check growth, biophysical profile tests, non-stress tests, pulse ox, and how it's already time to come in every two weeks for appointments. I can't believe I'm far enough along to be thinking about all of this.

I like the quick hospital tours with a nurse (Bennett's pregnancy) or midwife (this pregnancy). I have to know where to go and what to expect, but I don't want to join a group of expectant parents. I don't belong in that group. I'm awkward to have around, especially for first time parents.

And speaking of not belonging ... I'm part of an online group of naturally minded moms where everyone recently shared pictures of their little ones. That tripped me up for a while. I wasn't sure how to share about Charlotte, but I wasn't comfortable leaving her out. Most of the moms know about the loss so it's not like I was sharing new information, but it's still hard to figure out how Charlotte fits in. Eventually I shared a picture of Bennett and mentioned we have two girls as well - one in heaven, one due at the end of October.

Now that thought brings me back to the 28 week appointment wherein I asked about going past 40 weeks. I'm not sure how I feel about the matter. I know a lot of people who do and everything is just fine, but I also know a lot of stories from the other side as well. I don't think I'll feel comfortable going past 40 weeks, but I don't want to be induced either. I went through this same issue with Bennett, but was told going past 40 was not a wise idea. And then I ended up losing my mind and begging to be induced long before 40 weeks came around. Hopefully this one comes early like her siblings and it will be a non-issue.

And that little paragraph brings me back to all of the natural minded moms I know and how strange I feel in their world. I don't feel completely comfortable in the medical world, but there is enough of me planted in the loss world to feel wary and a little panicked by the natural minded world. After Charlotte died trying to find my place in these disparate worlds has been a continual stretching process.

I remember feeling this way at the end of Bennett's pregnancy. Lost. Panicked. Reluctant to read or hear anything about overdue, or not quite due, or laboring mamas. Really uncomfortable in my "natural moms" groups. It's like I hit the third trimester and the "panic about everything" button in my brain gets flipped. I feel alone, but I don't want to spend time with people. I feel like no one understands me or what I'm feeling. Kick counts make me nervous, and realizing I haven't really noticed the baby moving all day sends me into an ice water drinking, sobbing, side lying mess, but when I think of having to get the baby out and all that entails ... oh dear Lord. My mind is constantly flipping between "get the baby out!" and "leave the baby in!" I just want it to be over. I just want to know how it ends.

I'm always going to feel like I can't be wholly myself in any world. I'm way too fragmented from all that has happened to exist perfectly in one place. It's been hard for me to let go of my original thoughts and ideas about birth, but when standing in the hospital room this afternoon I realized this is how it is now. It's not perfect, it's not what I want, but if that hospital and those caregivers get my baby here safely I can let go of what I hoped for when I initially thought about birth.

So here I am. 28 weeks with baby #3. Preparing for the onslaught of appointments that come at the end. Hoping for calm. Praying for peace. Feeling more unsettled than I'd like. Wondering where I'll be, and who I'll be, after this one is born.


Friday, August 9, 2013

for the growing one


Darling girl, you still don't have a name. We'll get there, I promise. I think we have a top three, but your daddy is wavering/on the fence/undecided/can't find the perfect one.

Last night I dreamt that I discovered the perfect name. I eagerly texted J at work (who replied right away which is how I knew it was a dream):

"I have the perfect name! Sacred Heart!"

"That's the hospital where Bennett was born."

"I mistyped, I'm so excited. Sacred Hope!"

"....."

And then I tried to convince him how perfect it was, but I'll spare you that. My brain is really going haywire right now. If I introduce you to "Sacred" eleven weeks from now please gently tell me that names can be legally changed.

Since we don't have a name I've been calling her the growing one, which seems to work just fine. Not as cute as the other nicknames we bestowed on our littles (Charlotte was blueberry, Bennett little spark) but she's the third so we're a little lazy.

I have nearly everything I want/need for the growing one. It was so fun to go shopping last weekend and buy things (at full retail price! ish. I had a few coupons) just because I liked them. I thought a little about what I needed, but mostly if I liked the look of it I bought it. Like these hats from H&M. So adorable, right?

My parents bought us the swaddle blankets I wanted. I have a set of Aden + Anais swaddlers for Bennett, but I wanted a girl pattern for this baby.


I would like to buy some Baby Legs, a girly sheet or two, two-three warm sleepers (the ones I bought for Charlotte are lightweight for spring/summer) and a tiny headband or two. I want something simple, sweet and small for her newborn photos. I'm thinking a tiny white flower, or maybe a white and pink flower. Even if I find a tiny one it may not fit her head if she is sized like her siblings.

My mom and I (more like my mom) need to paint the nursery more of a gender neutral color (cream maybe) and J has a few things to hang and then we will be ready! 10-12 weeks left! I suppose I could go over 40 weeks this time, but I don't like the thought of that so I'm not entertaining the notion.

Are you getting excited?

Thursday, August 8, 2013

today


I finally have it set up so I - or anyone - can reply to comments. Oh my word, that took me forever to figure out. Know how I solved the problem? I asked someone else to fix it for me. I was hoping to include a facebook comment box as well, but that, my friends, is never going to happen. I know some don't comment because it's difficult or doesn't work. I tried changing to the Disqus platform for a while, but that didn't work well at all so we'll just have to stick with this for now. I've contemplating a move to WordPress (as I do every few months) but I don't think it will happen - even though it would make a lot of things easier.

How was that for a boring paragraph?

I had my gestational diabetes test this morning. I had a 2 hour one, which will soon be the new requirement, but is new enough that everyone was confused as to what I was doing and why. Apparently it's taking too long (as in weeks) to do the 1 hour test, then the 3 hour, then set up nutritional counseling for those who need it so the new deal is going to be a 2 hour test and that's the only one you do.

I hate that test. I should've refused. The drink burns my throat and makes me sick. And I had to fast 12 hours before the test. Making a pregnant woman go without food for 14.5 hours is not nice.

My mom watched Bennett while I did the test. When I arrived home they were out front and both were quite wet. My mom is very easy going, which is necessary with a kid like Bennett. "He knows how to turn on the hose," she said. And not only that, he knows how to aim it at people. Oops. Sorry, mom. We've been trying to break him of that habit, especially since he trapped us in the house while he decorated the front stoop with hose water. My mom has a lot of grandchildren, she can take a lot of hits, but she looked a little worn out. I feel for those who receive the full Bennett treatment. Smarty Pants McGee outwits me on a daily basis, but I'm used to the constant chaos.



And now I really need to get off the couch, stop eating chocolate chips, and clean. Or maybe I'll make the cinnamon rolls I impulse bought at Trader Joe's yesterday ... I have to get my sugar fix just in case the test comes back high, right?

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

that was a fun one


*Thanks for the comments / thoughts on my last post. Now and then I get hit by the 'what am I doing and why??' monster. And then I'm reminded that writing is something I need. When I feel like I'm not connecting it's because I am lost and disappointed. A lot of my discouragement with writing has to do with my hope to be published, but even if that never happens I need this space to process. Thanks for letting me be real.*

A few nights ago I had a really bad nightmare. It was so vivid and real it scared me. I could not bring myself out of it even though I could feel myself trying to pull away and wake up. In the dream my baby died, but I don't think it was this baby because I was only 12 weeks along and I kept saying, "At least I have this one," and then pointing to my belly.

It was really strange because I knew I was losing a small, early baby (at one point I was sitting in a large pool of water somewhere watching myself bleed, knowing I was losing the baby and there was nothing I could do) but I was giving birth at the same time. It was so strange. And some of the images were direct flashbacks to Charlotte's birth.

When it finally happened she was born into my hands (yes a she, of course). I don't know why I insisted the baby was 12 weeks when it looked more like a 30 week baby, but I was convinced she died at 12 weeks. The baby was born in a round cage made of yarn. She was perfectly formed. Someone else was there briefly, a friend I think, and I mentioned over and over how perfect she was (also reminiscent of Charlotte's birth).

I walked around with the baby. I held her in my hands and went to find a midwife or doctor (but not one I know, I don't know who I was searching for). As I was walking I heard some people ahead of me. I quickly stuffed the baby under my shirt because I didn't want them to see me carrying a dead baby. I climbed a spiral staircase, opened a door at the top and stepped into a room. I reached under my shirt, pulled the baby out and said, "Here she is."

That's where the dream ended.

I was so disturbed by the dream I've tried to forget it, but it won't leave me. If I had any artistic skills at all I could draw a vivid picture of the baby and what she - and the ball made of yarn - looked like.

Dreams are a way for the mind to process and cope with difficult things, right? What are you trying to process / understand brain of mine?

28 weeks - third trimester - tomorrow. The last few weeks of this one are going to be fun (read: sarcasm).

Monday, August 5, 2013

in search of direction


I'm in one of those ruts where I don't feel as connected as I would like. I know there are people reading, but I don't know why you're reading. What posts do you like? What topics are you tired of? What brings you back? What brought you here in the first place? I don't blog for money or page views, but knowing what you like still helps. It gives me direction, focus and new things to write about.

And I absolutely understand if this sweet face is what keeps you interested. He is a wonder.



Sunday, August 4, 2013

30!


My response to turning 30? Eating somewhere around 14,000 calories in a two day period.


Yesterday I went shopping and out to lunch with a friend who is due six days after me. We're both having rainbow girls. I bought a lot of clothes for the growing one and a few fall items for Bennett too.


We had dinner at the park. J offered to take me out, but I just wanted to hang with my boys and let Bennett play and splash. So we bought sandwiches and hung out at the park for a while and then we went home and I finished off my cheesecake from lunch.

"I want a picture with me and Bennett, but I'm not going in there."





Birthdays make me so sad now. I've cried today. It's hot. I'm pregnant and emotional. I think it's just hard to be a year older without my Charlotte. Overall it's been a good birthday, but there has been some sadness.


Friday, August 2, 2013

offensive and insensitive {*possible trigger*}


I follow quite a few pro-breastfeeding / natural birth sites on facebook. This is World Breastfeeding Week so a lot of conversation and promotion has been popping up in my news feed. And now there's even some controversy.

According to one blog this image was originally posted by a facebook page called "Mama Drama." I have no idea if this statistic is accurate or what facts (if any) it is based off.



The blogs and posts I've read focus on how an image like this is not the way to promote a cause, but I instantly thought of all the women who have lost babies.

I think breastfeeding is important and I think it's best for babies but I also understand and acknowledge that breastfeeding is not the only answer. And once you've buried a baby things like breastfeeding vs. formula feeding become a lot less important. I think making women feel bad for how they choose to feed their babies is shameful. I'm glad formula exists. I think parents are lucky to have the option should they need it, or choose to use it.

The mother, or mothers, who slapped this ad together didn't stop to think about the 1 in 4 women who have lost babies. They didn't think about the mothers and fathers who have cried over tiny coffins. They didn't think about the guilt that comes with the loss of a baby. They didn't think beyond promoting their agenda and pushing their ideas. And I agree with other bloggers, an ad like this is not the way to convince people to follow your point of view. Not only is this ad thoughtless, it's hurtful and insensitive.

Parents are humans, which means they fail, but choosing to feed a baby formula over breast milk is not a failure. It's a choice, it's a necessity and sometimes it is the best option. Ads like this make me angry because they focus on the wrong question. Whether or not you fed your baby formula isn't going to matter seventeen years from now. What will matter are the countless hours of parenting and the years of effort you put forth to create a kind, smart, loving human being.

Are you pouring love into your child? Then you, my friend, are a wonderful mother.  

Thursday, August 1, 2013

between here and there


I'm a little bit stuck. I'm in that "Oh hey, I should write something, but I don't have anything to say" head space. I'm grappling with the final weeks of this pregnancy. I'm afraid I've worn out your eyes on this particular subject. The third trimester always puts me in a spin. Wednesday next week I'll be 28 weeks. If this baby comes at 38 weeks (like Charlotte) I have 10 weeks to go. That doesn't feel like very long at all.

At 3 this morning I was half awake when Bennett rushed up the stairs and jumped in next to me. His heart was beating so quickly I could feel it against my arm, his breath escaped in gasps and bursts. I patted his back and talked quietly to him until he calmed, then carried him down the stairs, back to his bed. I can't believe he is old enough to come running when he has night terrors. He didn't even cry, he just came to find us. How did I - mother of worry and panic - help this independent spirit grow? I am clinging tightly to these last few weeks with just the two of us. There is a shifting, even a slight mourning, as I shuffle heart space to make room for what is to shortly come.

Every time I see the due date written at the end of October on the calendar I think about how much time I have, how many things have to come before:

Family reunion: over

30th birthday: almost here

Bennett's 2nd birthday: scheduled

Our last summer trip: happens in two weeks

Cooler weather: it was 65 today! (this one isn't going to last)

The space between here and there is shrinking. I have a few things I would like to buy, but I could bring a little one home tomorrow and be just fine. 90 days until her due date. Ready for the panic?

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