Friday, December 28, 2012

Moving Forward

It's been a week since we went to the doctor and were .... well we are still devastated.  I still don't know what to do with our Christmas cards and feel guilty for not sending any to all the families that sent theirs to us, especially since no one even knows what's going on much around here.  The hardest part is mostly over.  I'm finally sleeping at night again, I'm not crying every time I see Lloyd playing, I didn't collapse in his closet this morning when I picked out his clothes and saw the quilt I'd made for ABC laying on the shelf, I haven't had to leave the room to curl into a ball in a few days at least.  But my soul still aches for her.  

As usual it took a while for Coach to open up at all; he just wants to be strong and caring and my protector.  But inside he's just as hurt.  I always feel less alone once he and I have healed enough to even be able to talk about it.  We're both nervous about the testing results and I'm not all together sure how well I'll handle it if something very serious comes back.  Although the thought that nothing comes back is equally as difficult.  That's my major struggle right now, just the waiting to see the doctor again and feeling constantly anxious about this inconceivable testing that we had run to see if it's something preventable or just a painful but inexplicable loss.  Getting or wishing for answers isn't ever simple, and this is so complexity's hard to even explain.  

Supposedly they can tell the gender and if certain chromosomal anomalies come back the gender is important in explaining why.  I'm not sure if our doctor will tell us in order to prevent more heartache, but we both so strongly felt she was a she.  I knew Lloyd was a boy so I feel like my intuition is right, although we may never know.  I know what we would have named her, but I don't know if I can even use that name again should we have or adopt a girl in the future.  I feel like she'll always be a part of me, that she wasn't nameless.  

I've always been open (to the point of some people, I'm sure, not understanding why) that I've lost babies.  To me I have 5 children now.  I don't care that some never had heartbeats, that I never felt them move, or even that I was deprived of holding them.  They were ours, we made them with so much love.  We'd already welcomed them into our hearts.  I've never had to deliver them as some people have, and I think that's a kind of pain even I haven't known.  That in at least that way, we've been spared.  But they're still mine. Ours. I know some people view me as causing myself undue pain by viewing it all this way, maybe I am, but I can't help feeling it.  I have 5 children; 1 on earth and 4 above us.  

Christmas was agony, completely unaided by my not being able to sleep for days and only getting 2 hours that night alone.  Seeing so many babies and siblings playing together and watching Lloyd playing with his Uncles and Aunts made me leave the room so many times.  He deserves a play-mate, a special confidant that only a sibling can be.  I can't give up hope when I see him in situations like that.  I can't help but thing God wouldn't give me this sight so I could ignore it.  Already someone has asked us when we'll decide to give Lloyd a sibling.  "We'll just see what happens," always has been my response--even befre.  But he's already got siblings, in a sad way to me.  

Some don't think we should try again, some believe so strongly that our odds are so good (the doctors included--she's always so optimistic for us), and we're still here trying to heal.  This heartbreak continues to bring us closer together both as partners but as a family.  We hold each other closer, kiss more passionately, and snuggle more tightly.  But only time will tell what we decide.  I'm coming to my own conclusions but I know Coach takes longer with decisions like this; we're both also waiting on those awful tests we initially were so adamant at having done.  I just hope they don't make the decision for us. Although I don't know how they would.  But there's always something you haven't even imagined.  Especially at 28 and 31, we seem so young in age (gosh how many nurses told us that at the hospital: but you're so young to know so much pain) but we've gone through so much both apart and together.  Together we've gone through an incredible amount in just under 4 years of being together.  I know it's why people think we've been together so much longer.  

I just hope people stop looking at us and wondering why we only have one; we only have one because, for whatever reason, we do.  We want more.  But not everyone is lucky enough to live in ignorance.  We never take anything for granted; and honestly, it makes us better than most (and that sounds arrogant, but it's not it just seems to be the truth).  We cherish everything we have because so much of what maters has been taken away.  

So we're healing.  Slowly.  But together.  Always together. 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas Traditions

Christmas Eve for our family has just as many traditions as Christmas day.  My dad always made Jambalaya and we made cookies together, so I made cookies with Lloyd this year for the first time and he had so much fun.  I made my usual sugar cookies but didn't use the royal icing because of his egg allergy and the powdered sugar/water combo didn't look or taste much different.  Although he did break out in a rash later after eating one, but we think he might have reacted to the mints we had crushed and used as sprinkles.  Poor guy, always allergic to something despite my best efforts.  The past few years Coach's family has also come over for Jambalaya on Christmas eve, so it's started a new thing I think we'll continue and enjoy. 


my sweet boy giving me kisses.
Christmas Morning was low-key for us this year, which is pretty much every year to be honest.  Lloyd got a basketball hoop that he was all over once he saw.  Our power was out due to a large storm that blew through early that morning so much of our usual Christmas activities were altered.  Even my in-laws house was without power longer than ours, so we were cooking all the Christmas brunch at their neighbors and bringing it back (dancing between the raindrops).  But it was nice and quiet with just our family and that was nice, even though I missed my sister (and brother-in-law) terribly all day.  Lloyd made out like a bandit with his Papa making a train track for him, Coach's Aunt (and family) giving him a Cabela's ride-on four wheeler, his uncles getting him some neat blocks, and his Miece (Coach's mom) putting his favorite puffs in his stocking--this kid is blessed.  Coach and I faired pretty well too, and I'm enjoying my new converse, yoga pants, and make-up as we speak.  All in all, a pretty nice day.

two points!

new skidder's shoes, this kid's feet grow so fast!

Lloyd's Christmas PJs

helping Daddy, this is exciting stuff.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Broken Hearted

There are so many young girls, really, who pray every month "oh please let my period come, please" who have no idea how much they may want the opposite one day. To be given the blessing of holding the beautiful mixture of two people, in their waiting arms: safe, healthy, and crying. Every month I prayed for a child, but not just a baby--a baby I get to carry for 10 months and hold alive in my arms when it is all through.

I have one living angel. I chase him all day, laughing down our hallways. Wipe his nose, feed him his favorite vegetables, bribe him to eat his meat with katsup, hold him when he falls, read him Brown Bear until I barely need to look at the pages, and rock him to sleep. But I also now have four angel babies who I never got to hold, or see, or touch, or feel stir within me.

I hold on so tightly to hope every time but this one feels particularly harsh. We had a heartbeat, a flickering peanut on the screen. Which meant only a 5% chance of loss. I breathed a little easier as my pants fit tighter and tighter. But now I feel like I should have known.

The nausea ran into loss of appetite, but I thought "maybe this baby is just different". My symptoms became less severe. My hormones were still high, I was still debilitatingly exhausted. I still could feel my growing belly. But at some point she left me, so soon after we'd seen her life beating before us. I know I "couldn't" have known; but I also know I ignored my unease and just prayed feverishly that, for once, maybe God was just giving me an easier path.

I don't think God knows how to do that. Not for me at least. My path is always seeming to be filled with these events that cause my soul to be broken. Rehealing, but with all these fissures unsealed. It makes me wonder, every time, what kind of God could do this to us? My mom didn't believe in a God, she said, who caused loss or who would intentionally take away those we loved. But it's hard to see that in these times. When I have to go have my baby removed, tested, and analyzed because they can't seem to live within me.

I feel SO broken. It's all I feel. Like my body is in a thousand, broken, irreparable pieces. I know I'll begin again. But I hold all these lives I've lost within me every day. They make my soul ache so acutely.

I have a stack of beautiful Christmas cards I can never mail because they announced a life who will never join us, a big brother who never may get to be one. It feels like hundreds of people knew, people I don't even know or care about, because two family members who have no concept of our losses and nerves can't seem to understand that when we say "it's very early, please don't tell anyone until after our 12 week appointment" they think we are just being overly cautious and ignore our wishes. And now I have an inbox full of pity and "we understands" when I know they don't and I'm irrationally furious they knew in the first place. I know the fury is the pain of all this, but it seems so rational now to just hide within this anger if it makes my pain bearable even for a second.

Watching my incredible husband let himself break down when he doesn't think I'm watching. Is the worst of all. He lost her too. His baby. Our family. But he's so strong for me. So strong that I feel a tightness in my chest thinking that I get to spend my life with him. That I could never lose him; that I just want to burry myself in his arms every day, every moment, forever. This first gift I was given: my partner. Who has always and will ever be, the only person who lets me be the weak one. He makes me so safe. I hate that this keeps breaking him too. For him as well, this baby is the worst of them all to lose. Like that five percent will haunt us forever, our hope gone, the ache feeling our family isn't complete tempered with not knowing if we can chance going through this again. Our marriage can always withstand it, but can our hearts? Can we as loving parents, continue to look at our son and wonder "is he all we are to be blessed with? He is so much of all the good things on this earth, should we just be satisfied? And grateful?"

I can't seem to answer any of it right now. I wish I could hold her. It's 4:00 in the morning and even the sleeping pill they gave me so I can make it through tonight and to the hospital tomorrow afternoon isn't working. I'm here, holding the latest of my swollen bellies because tomorrow I'll be barren again. I'll re-pack my maternity clothes knowing I can't bear to see them. I'll hold Lloyd tight as I cry.

He just kept signing "hurt" today watching me moan, tears run down my face in sheets, howl with pain in the doctors office. Yes bubba, Momma is hurt. On the inside. But you heal her. You still make me laugh through all this and you remind us why. But yes, momma "hurt". Kiss it better. Rock me to sleep. You've always had my heart in your hands. My sweet sweet angel, the words I've murmured to you every morning since you were born. My sweet angel. Hold tight to this innocence, I pray you no hurt. If that is all I accomplish in this life is to spare you the pain I have so endured, my success will be measured in your beautiful life.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Mommy Diary: 18 Months

Developments this Month:
  • Words words words. So many words. And new signs: Potty, hot, and cold.
  • Time-outs for rough behavior.
  • Testing/busting every boundary you throw at him. 
  • Hilarious personality traits continue to abound.
  • Growth spurt and feeding frenzy.
It's little kid is constantly cracking us up.  He is such a hot mess.  He LOVES talking on the phone to his Aunt Caitlin, bringing you books to read repeatedly over and over again (ugh Brown Bear), dancing, showing off his big belly, and torturing the dogs.  He has so much energy it makes my frazzled brain spin, if only I could siphon off just a little... If only.

We made salt-dough ornaments and this kid had so much fun,  maybe this weekend we'll make sugar cookies.  The sheer laughter was worth the mess. Boy do we love this age!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Project 52 | Week ?? | BFFs

Because I couldn't live without this girl.  No one else could have put up with my insanity over the last few years, cried with me, and made me feel both more crazy and more sane at the same time.  If someone had told us we'd be so close back when we were in college at UNT judging each other (me: she was an lush with a side of floozy, her: I was a stuck up snobby bitch) that we'd be so  wrong, so important to each other--we would have laughed in their face.  It's funny how stupid stuff sometimes brings you together for the rest of your life.  Because I truly believe she'll be there forever.  And in my children's lives as that fun person they love, that cool Auntie they wish was their Mom.  haha.  She's going to me my babies' Lorelei Gilmore.  I'm cool with that.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Mommy Diary: 17 Months

Good lordy I'm late, I know.  Especially since next week he'll be 18 months old (nooooooo!!!!).  But here we go. eek.

Developments This Month:
  • Clearly articulated words and phrases are continually flying out of his mouth.
  • We got our first "Papa" which made Mommy cry. 
  • Distinguishing "hot" food and items (aka my flat iron); he waves his hands over the food and repeatedly says "ho(t) ho(t) ho(t)".  It cracks us up.  Now before anything is eaten: "ho(t)?"
  • Getting into EVERYTHING (i.e. Mommy's popcorn that was on top of the counter and pushed back, he's so flippin tall!). 
The term "Mischief Managed" came into play a lot this month.  He is absolutely hilarious and so much fun.  As a Mom, I adore this age. We can run multiple errands, go out to eat, play with older and younger kids, and he's just so curious and imaginative.  I get lots and lots of fun things to "eat" from the play kitchen.  He's obsessed with watching the lights click on and off on the 800 flashlights his Papa has bought him and carries them around the house all day to torment the dogs with. 

We've also had our fair share of rough hitting and tantrums this month.  "Mini Caitlin" came to stay for a few weeks in the middle of the month.  He has this incredible temperament that reminds me so much of my sister at this age and apparently his Daddy too; it has it's hilarious and wonderful positives and it's lovely downsides.  If he didn't look so much like his Momma, I'd seriously doubt whose child he is.  He's definitely willful, but I enjoy it.  It's a learning experience for both of us to figure out how to explore boundaries and consequences.  He's been pretty good and "apologizes" (aka hooking his arm around your neck and giving you lots of tender kisses); he's only had to go to time-out twice.  Both were on particularly difficult days for me and weren't solely his fault but I regret not having the patience to continue to be communicative with him about his poor behavior. 

I swear he understands everything, so I have continued to speak to him as an adult even during his difficult days.  Children are so much smarter than most adults give them credit for, and honestly I get 100's of comments on how much older he seems that other children his age or older.  Caitlin credits how I speak to him with the majority of it, but I also think it's a bit of his environment and just him.  There is some of his Momma in there somewhere I guess.  Old soul's me and my little boy.