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Showing posts from March, 2011

16 week appointment - boy or girl?

I arrived thirty minutes early for my appointment this morning.  I have no idea how I managed that one as the calendar at home and on my phone had my appointment marked as 9:00.  I decided to check in and wait in case the doctor was able to see me sooner, but that did not work out for me.  I didn't get called back for my ultrasound until 9:50.  By that time I was ready to scream with impatience and nerves. The sonographer was able to take multiple clear images of little spark.  She was amazed by how well baby did at showing off heart, organs, brain so she could take a good look.  She said that seeing the four chambers of the heart clearly at sixteen weeks is very, very unusual.  Good job, little spark. The tech was the same one we saw when we went in last February to look at Charlotte's heart. She remembered me, asked how old Charlotte is now.  When I told her what happened she stopped scanning, rubbed my arm, said she was sorry.  There were tears from that point on, not co


Feeling a little better today.  What's helping - ice cream, a visit to the chiropractor, a nice roaring fire - all good things.  J is feeling a little out of sorts today.  I can see now that this is just how it will be for the next six weeks. Grumpiness, fighting, frustration all brought on by the anger that we're preparing to remember, not celebrate, Charlotte on her first birthday.  (Even Isabel is out of sorts, but that's because she is on steroids for an infection and so hungry I'm afraid she might eat us while we sleep.) The doctors have finally sorted out what is wrong with my sister.  After a month of pain and health issues they discovered her appendix is the issue and she is having it removed tonight.  My mom was supposed to fly to Idaho to be with her after my appointment on Thursday, but after much mad texting between the three of us she bumped her flight up and arrived last night.  The Lord worked that one out perfectly (as He does) since the appendix issue


I'm so grumpy right now I don't want to live with me. I don't know if it's the pregnancy, the lead in to her first birthday, the weather - it's rained 26 of the past 27 days or something insane like that. I know I live in Oregon, but that's a record even for this wet state - or everything stacked together that's making me act like a crazy person. I'm not a very nice person right now.  I'm so angry, I want to throw things, smash dishes, break all breakable things.  Anyone else?  Is it because her year is coming to an end and part of me thinks snarling at people and breaking things will slow time down?  Or am I snarling at people because I want to be left alone, but when I am left alone I want someone to sit with me, ask how I am?  I'm so contradictory and hormonal I fear I've regressed to age fifteen. I've never coped with endings, or change, very well.  And there's many endings and changes happening here.  I'm not sure why o


I'm having a hard day.  Woke up grumpy after staying up too late the night before with friends.  Wishing I could help my sister out as she is still struggling with her health, but she is in Idaho so not much I can do for her.  Spent the day moping around after finding out my sister-in-law had her baby.  All is well, baby is healthy, thank goodness, but I'll be in a slump for a while now, it's just the way things are. So bad day, made better by J's suggestion of a cheeseburger for dinner.  And then, BAM, the sky fell.   Sweet Emily is 17 weeks pregnant with her rainbow and her water broke.  What the (insert word of your choice here)?!   I believe in God, in his goodness, grace, and kindness, but right now I just don't understand Him or His role in any of this.  Honestly, I'm rather upset with Him at the moment.  Emily lost a baby, she lost her Aidan, she needs to keep her Acorn.  Last week my friend Annette lost her Little Bee.  She needed to keep her baby

Thoughts on the one year milestone

It seems like every other person I know in dead baby land is coming up on the one year mark, or has just passed it.  Blog post after blog post, mama after mama, question on top of question: what do I do?  What if no one else remembers?  How do you handle this??  Once again, this is where a manual would come in handy.  When it comes to milestones the one year mark is a close second to "hardest thing in this dead baby mess."  The most difficult thing?  The first days and weeks.  They flattened me, just completely annihilated any sense of who I thought I was or wanted to be. The first birthday is such a big to-do when the baby lives.  It's about cake smashing, and wrapping paper eating, and general disinterest in what is going on.  It's more for the adults than the celebrated baby, but that didn't stop me from thinking about Charlotte's first birthday when I was still carrying her. Those of us in dead baby land want to celebrate too, but we're on the outs


I spent most of my day with a dear friend who fed me pizza and homemade chocolate cake for lunch.  I arrived home just after J who was running back out the door to buy nails to finish up the shelves in the bathroom (so excited about this!). "What's this box on the back of the couch?" I yelled out the door at him. He ran inside, pulled the lid off, "Someone at work gave us a gift." (The nice person from the Christmas party who talked about Charlotte, said she thought about us often and how difficult it all must be.) A baby blanket.  A plush giraffe. Pure sweetness and kindness, but it's left me feeling like spending the evening deep breathing, or hiding. The first thought that popped into my head when I saw the contents of the box: More baby items to give away or sell someday, but that box will make a nice memory box. Well, isn't that optimistic of me? I'll write a thank you note.  I'll tuck the box away in the second bedroom where w


Little spark said hello for the first time last night.  A quick flutter, a hey I'm here, swimming around, hanging out, growing (please). These feel like big milestones. I've crossed into the second trimester, whew. First time hearing heart beat via doppler, whew. First definite flutter, no questions about it, whew. There's a cynical part of me that doesn't put much stock in these milestones.  I feel like I can do this, I can do early pregnancy, the second trimester, maybe even the third, but maybe the third is where it all goes wrong ..?  We don't know what happened with Charlotte so there's no way to know if she stopped growing, or didn't grow correctly, or what happened.  The lack of concrete answers makes me crazy sometimes. On Friday my midwife said something along the lines of, "Everything looks healthy and normal," and I sarcastically responded, "Yes, I've heard that before." And she calmly said, "Well, that'

14 week appointment

And we have a heart beat via doppler, a nice strong 144 bpm.  Thank you, little spark, mama desperately needed that reassurance. I've gained four pounds, which puts me at a grand total of five, which prompted J to say over dinner, "You're going to be fat, babe."  I laughed louder and harder than I have in a long time with an orange slice hanging from my fingers and juice dripping down my hands.


I need to take a moment and thank everyone who responded to my last post.  I was in a state about her birthday: fretting about needing to do something, wanting it to be beautiful, feeling completely alone and lost.  And then I hit the panic button (also known as a blog post) and my fabulous friends, family and readers showed up. I almost have a fully formed plan now and instead of worrying about not knowing what to do, or disliking the outcome, I'm feeling a little excited.  I don't want to stress about her birthday and so many have offered to help/are helping the pressure is off and I feel able to relax.  Thank you to everyone who volunteered to be event planners (especially my Seattle team) - the ideas are pouring in and I am loving what's taking shape. J is even starting to get into it now that a bit of a plan is developing.  Over dinner we talked about what we want to do and the order of things.  After we compiled a rough list of who may attend/has expressed interes


When Charlotte died we were entirely lost, so much so we didn't hold a memorial service or interact with the world in any way.  We retreated for a good long while, but now that her first birthday is coming up I want to do something . The good, kind, wonderful people at the birth center have agreed to let us hold her first birthday ___ (drawing a blank here, what do I call this thing? It sure isn't a party or celebration or shindig) on the property so now I need to figure out what  to do. J is useless.  When I asked if he had any thoughts last night he said, "I don't want to face that."  I expected to be the one planning everything, but I'm still frustrated with his inability to handle most anything having to do with Charlotte. There are a lot of us working through our babies first birthdays right now.  Every day it's another first birthday and another beautiful commemoration.  So, what did you do?  Who did you invite?  Should we have a small remembra


It's pouring rain outside.  So much so I've abandoned my plans to go to the store and am packing Charlotte's things instead.  How have we managed to accumulate so much in ten months?  She is loved, that girl.  Or, perhaps, we are loved. As spring and its rains come so will her first birthday.  Two months to go and it's already proving difficult. I've been struggling with what to write here so I haven't been writing as often.  I miss her.  I'm trying to find space in my life and heart for little spark.  There's not much more to say. From "Interim" by Edna St. Vincent Millay (This poem should be read in it's entirety, but it's really long so a simple excerpt will have to do) “I had you and I have you now no more.”   O little words, how can you run so straight          Across the page, beneath the weight you bear? How can you fall apart, whom such a theme Has bound together, and hereafter aid In trivial expression, that hav


Charlotte, I cannot imagine you as a ten month old. I can't see you scooting across the floor, or thinking about pulling yourself up, or rolling over to reach a toy. I can't hear you babbling away about your little life, the dog, your toys, books, mama, daddy. It would all make sense to you, but we would hear nonsense coming from your sweet self. I think it's time to pack up your things, love. We will buy a nice chest with your name engraved on it someday, but for now it will have to be a plastic tub - or five.  Putting away your things doesn't mean I love you less, but when I was in the middle of my very, very dark time I realized I need to start making room for your brother or sister. You will always have space here, that spot above the fireplace will be yours as long as we are here and if we move from here we will find a new place for you.   I don't look through your memory boxes, or pictures, so why have them out in the living room? I've just reali


I have a cold and I'm miserable and my silly brain has decided that little spark is not okay.  I'm feeling better emotionally, I'm up and out of bed and functioning like a nearly normal person, but the past two days I've been worried about the little one. I think there needs to be a place for women like me.  Quiet, calm, beautiful, on a warm island with doctors and midwives and someone to answer questions any time of the day or night.  My midwife is great.  She bumped my appointment up a week when I asked and she would be willing to answer questions any time of the day or night for me, but I want someone in my house. I'm sure little spark is fine.  I still have symptoms, my belly is growing, signs point to all being well, but I think hearing the heartbeat would calm me down quite a bit.  I feel like I'm waiting for this baby to die, which is exactly how I felt when I was pregnant with Charlotte.  Only I'm not sure if it's intuition like last time or

Spontaneous Beach Trip

I sent J an e-mail at work Friday morning: "Let's go, beach, you, me and Isabel, tonight."  It was such a nice break!  Yes, I don't do much outside of housework and baby growing, but it was still a nice break.  We went further north than we usually do and stayed at a bit of a dive (yet it had resort in its name) in a small town.  The restaurants had slow service and the people above us decided to party like (relatively tame, but too loud for us) rock stars half the night, but it was still nice to go away. We broke lots of rules.  We didn't plan the trip or set a budget.  I allowed myself a caffeinated beverage, Isabel was allowed to jump on and off the bed, and even stay and cuddle for a while (she is not allowed on any furniture at home) and we called the front desk on the upstairs group and when that didn't quiet them down J stood on our bed and hit the ceiling loudly and repeatedly.  Okay, that last one isn't really a rule, but it felt risky as there

Equilibrium Regained

Our furnace broke, which forced me out of bed, and now I seem to be feeling better.  Thank you dear Isabel for shedding hair all over the house which gets sucked into the furnace and makes it stop functioning properly. I've sorted some things out in my head and I think I'm ready to face the world again.  I believe I've been expecting a lot of coddling this pregnancy, and not receiving it - in fact receiving the very opposite: unkindness and negative comments from unexpected sources - left me feeling defensive and angry. I didn't expect this pregnancy to be so much about other people and how they are feeling. And I know that's the selfishness of loss – I don't really think I'm the only one who lost something or someone when Charlotte died – but my loss is the biggest. I lost a child, my firstborn, dreams upon dreams, and so much hope. I wanted everyone around me to gently hold all I lost and orbit around me while I carried this baby. But some are hol


I seem to have lost the will to live. I've definitely lost the will to get out of bed. Soon it will be two weeks since I retreated to my bed in a haze of righteous indignation.  I've been out a couple times, but not very often. Thank goodness for the bookstore as working there has forced me to leave the house the last two Monday mornings.   I've always been able to pull myself together before, but the usual reasons don't seem to matter this time around.  My nice, please everyone, take care of things side has disappeared entirely. The house is clean and dinner is on the table most nights, but the main force behind everything is J.  The poor guy works really, really hard and comes home to the Miss Havisham of the baby loss world.  And normally that would shame me enough to make me do something besides all of this nothing, but my responsible adult side is nowhere to be found and my teenage side could care less. J is taking all of this in stride.  He says things like,

New Lullaby Winner

I had one person fail to contact me after I announced the winners.  I picked a new one this morning and the lucky winner is #16: MEK.  Will you please contact me at so I can pass the code on?