Showing posts with label birthday. Show all posts
Showing posts with label birthday. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

happy birthday, ainsleigh hope!

We celebrated Ainsleigh all day today. This year has zipped by! It is a blessing to be mama to a girl who is so full of life and energy. I've been feeling really down, but this morning we spent time with Ainsleigh's almost birthday friend, and another good friend, and it lifted my spirits so much. Maybe because we all brought treats ... We gave the little girls pedicures and I felt better emotionally than I have in DAYS. We need our friends, sisters! 

Darling, darling Ainsleigh girl,

You are one!! What a fun year it's been! You like to sit in mama or daddy's lap while you play. You love your brother because he makes you laugh. You can walk a little bit, but you prefer crawling. You love food - oranges and grapes are your favorite. You talk and sing all the time. You are VERY, VERY loud. You love music - you clap and bounce when your brother turns it on. You like to put things on your head. You're developing a sense of humor. You call your people mama, dada, and bra (brother). You know how to wave and stack, and climb. You celebrated your birthday by climbing on the kid table with the toy bus. You fell off and hit the side of your eye. You might have a tiny shiner for your first birthday party!

We love you so much, and we are so happy you are ours. There is a part of me that needed you so much, baby girl. You won't understand until you yourself are a mama, but when I say you are my hope I mean you literally made it possible for me to breathe deeply after years of shallow gasping. You are the answer to so many prayers.

Love you, Ainsey girl!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

on birthday grief

Celebrating birthdays with my living children is one of my biggest triggers.  It's the one time I hide my sadness from them because I don't want them to feel the weight of my sorrow on their special day. I want them to feel the sheer joy and heartfelt relief we experienced when they were born and we heard them cry for the first time.

After a nearly silent birth - or a completely silent birth - hearing a cry as you labor to bring a baby into the world is like birthing with a symphony in the background. That one cry lights up every nerve ending in your body and makes you so glad you held on through the trauma and fear that accompany pregnancy after loss.

It feels a little unfair that I am so overwhelmed and emotional about birthdays. Unfair to the kids that is. I asked a friend to make a tutu for Ainsleigh to wear on her first birthday. I asked for a pink tutu even though I remember the one that hugged Charlotte's cold feet for a photograph. I have to find a way to hold the image of Charlotte's feet next to the image of Ainsleigh in a tutu without falling apart. It's a hard balance. Just looking at the tutu makes tears come to my eyes, but I want to see Ainsleigh walking around looking gorgeous on her birthday, so I'll put aside the sadness for a day. I'll sit on it if I have to, if that's the only way. I'll pretend it doesn't exist just for a day. It's not a betrayal. It's not. It's coping.

When you wait so long for something getting it feels a little unreal. Looking at Bennett and Ainsleigh playing on the living room floor makes me pause sometimes because they are a dream come to life.

The other thing about waiting a long time for something, or someone, is that when you get to the place you've been dreaming about - a first birthday, a live birth, a year of growth and discovery - the achieving is weighty. And in this case it's tinged with sadness too.

There's a lot of, yay, a girl, we had a girl, and we've had her for a year, praise the Lord! and there's a lot of, but I want both my girls, but why couldn't Charlotte live, who would she be, how would we be ...

I don't want my kids to spend their birthdays competing with someone who isn't here, so I smile and sing 'Happy Birthday' with tears in my eyes and the understanding that in a few years they'll see the tears so I'll have to sing the song without the tears. And every time I wrap birthday presents I cry because it makes me realize how gone Charlotte is. How she never had time to be. How I'll never know what she would have loved to receive as a gift.

Ainsleigh is nine days shy of her first birthday. And I am glad - so incredibly glad - that she is here. That she climbs on furniture and falls off chairs and stands up in the shopping cart after escaping her buckle and generally leaves me feeling exhausted and like I can't keep up.

But I wish there were two pink tutus sitting on the back of the striped chair in the living room waiting for party day. I wish there was a four year old here. I wish I had my C, the missing piece to my B and A. I wish I had them all because then life would be purely sweet, and there wouldn't be that bitter tinge of grief that rings every celebration with shadows and guilt and that mean spirited thought: you should be happier.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

B is 3 (almost): digger party!

Try explaining to a 3 year old why their birthday party is happening before their actual birthday. You'll need about three days.

I felt really disorganized, but everything came together and he had a good time. We stuck to a family only party, because in our family that is nearly twenty people. Add in friends and we need a backyard extension.

Monday, September 9, 2013


Bennett is two today! (Here's his birth story) I love how his little personality is starting to develop and shine - he's a little trickster. Honestly, this post is more for me than you, but I hope you enjoy it.

I love how Bennett:

- says "choo-choo."

- opens and closes his hands when he talks about birds.

- says "yand" for "land" and "yike" for like.

- enjoys reading and loves the "bia bia!" (library).

- says "moon, back" when I ask him how much I love him. I'm still waiting on that first "I love you!"

- calls his daily vitamin his "ibis."

-  calls "bis" bacon and "pis" pizza.

-  names his friends and cousins when we are discussing daily plans because he thinks every day should be spent with friends.

- can carry on a full conversation with us now.

- still wants to be rocked to sleep at nap time.

- bends over and slaps his knee when he finds something particularly funny, or when he thinks he is being clever.

And of course I love how wonderful the last two years have been.

Sunday, August 4, 2013


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.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Three: Charlotte's Day 2013

On Charlotte's birthday we spend time together as a family. Last year we went to the beach, this year the zoo. Once again I spent Mother's Day crying on and off, but haven't shed a tear today.

It was a tough day, but okay too. For the first time in a week I didn't think about guilt or fault or blame. I just leaned into my family and enjoyed the day. Three years ... in so many ways it feels like a blessed miracle that I'm still alive and breathing and living without her. Some of that blessed miracle is all of the people I've never met who remembered Charlotte with us today. Thank you for loving her and supporting us.

If only ...


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