Thursday, June 28, 2012

Claire's birthday gift to others

Remember how we made Remembrance Boxes for Claire's second birthday back in July of 2011? Well, my husband's good grandmother wanted to help make pretty blankets for the boxes. That took longer than either of us anticipated! Then my printer broke and I was planning to use it to make "In loving memory of..." labels on the bottom of each box. I also needed to print short explanations for the tiny plastic bag in each box (think jewelry baggy). Those were added for saving a lock of hair from the cherished baby. My CD burner broke too, which shut down my idea of giving a CD with songs specially mentioning baby loss. And, to top it off, it just sunk me into a funk to think of families shocked and devasted, opening this meager gift that can't replace their child.  So, with all these hickups, the boxes quickly became part of my craft room decor.
Always on my mind, never at the top of my to-do list. But then one day shortly after my last little miracle was born (I got a healthy girl!) my ARTISTIC friend came to visit. She was not as afraid of those boxes as I was. Most of the blankets were done but I was afraid they wouldn't fit in the boxes. She quickly rolled them up and tied them with a pretty ribbon! Problem solved. I showed her the teeny lock-of-hair baggys. She cut cardstock small enough to fit into the baggy and drew a teeny lock of hair with a short explanation on it. Problem solved! I broke down and handwrote the labels of the bottom of each box. I let the CD become a nice dream. And within an hour 5 boxes were ready to go to my husband's hospital, who desperately needed them!
It felt soooo good! It was exciting! It felt a little like Claire was there too. I am happy to do something I never would have even considered doing if Claire hadn't entered my life.
I've only got a few days until her 3rd birthday comes up! I am determined to get the others done before then! No more procrastinating! Sometimes I think it takes someone who's not emotional about it to help kick it in gear. Pain can paralize you. Pushing through it is so energizing though!

A visit with Anne Shirley

Last night I was woken from a bad dream by my precious little newborn (6wks now). After feeding her I still had that icky feeling that often lingers after even the most abstract bad dreams. So I decided to read a few pages from my Anne of Green Gables series to lighten my mind before I fell back asleep. The books are always light, always positive. I'm on the 5th novel of the rediculously light series (Anne's House of Dreams).
 But last night- when I most needed it, what's my luck? I literally started reading about Anne delivering her first child, a pale, precious little girl. Her ecstacy is quickly squelched when the baby dies. The author then describes her anguish and sorrow - a first for the serially happy Anne. She can not feel any joy in life anymore.
Wow. So instead of being upset by the weird hormone dream, I got to be upset by stirred up memories of my own real nightmares!
I actually really appreciate the author's description of her experience. It was authentic, raw. In some, possibly perverse way, it comforts me to know that women of past generations shared my trials. My pain is not new, uncommon or even unique. Throughout time, it's just that bad. No way around it.
I used to identify with Anne through her imagination and abhorrance of a plain name. Now we are 'kindred spirits' in motherhood.

Dragonfly Lives

It's almost been three years since little Claire was born, lived a brief 4 hours, then passed into a better world while in my arms. How the dragonfly emerged as a visual sign that she visits us I don't exactly know. But, WOW, are the dragonflys present in our family now!
A few weeks ago my husband learned something about these delicate insects. The lifespan of adult dragonflys - those we actually recognize, is actually really short. They spend more time in their developing, 'infant' state than mature. What a fitting symbol for my child, who lived much longer in embryo than out of the womb. The two are kindred beings in a sense.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Painfully Recalling

There are poignant experiences I will never forget. One such was the moment my third child was born. It was a brief but challenging exercise to get him out (he was my biggest baby). Then all at once I felt a flow; suddenly I was empty inside and this beautiful little bundle was quietly lifted above me, swept off to my right. It was as though the air in the room was purified, the lights crispened, something holy entered. Even amid the weight of my grief and disbelief, my whole body surged for him as I reached out for him and exhaled in awe. He was so perfect. I felt such pride for him. All at once I was the richest and poorest mother in the world.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I'm Still Alive!!!

me now, 34 weeks

Baby "Harlee" 26wks

Not sure why I have avoided the blog for soooo long. But, today I decided it is enough!
Obviously, I am pregnant yet again. My husband and I feel this will be our last roll of the dice. We prayed about it the whole first year of our miracle baby's life and a surprising answer was get pregnant (it was either that or adopt).
I felt a lot of peace that everything would be fine.
At a mere 7wks I started bleeding! Was told I had a subchorrioonic bleed - which can happen to anyone, anytime, and likely was miscarrying due to its size. I went home and put myself on bedrest. Confused that my peaceful feelings led me swiftly here! WHY do I seem to get all the random baby problems out there!!!???
Long story short, i am off bed rest now and the bleed has completely healed on its own.
I see amazing high risk docs at Phoenix Perinatal Associates in Mesa, twice a week now. And all is well.
I'm thrilled to be 34 weeks - a week PAST where I delivered my little preemie Trey with the cord 6x around his neck and 2x around his body. No sign of the cord anywhere it shouldn't be with this baby. As of today, no troubles here.

I just want to express to all baby widowed moms possibly trying again, for me the hardest part has been the complete lack of control. None of us have it in reality, but most moms get to ignorantly feel like they are controlling their babie's destiny with a few glasses of water and some prenatals. We know we have no control over this most sacred, special time. It's hard to live with that daily, knowing the heartache that could await.
I went through a little depression with this pregnancy for sure. The lack of feeling in control of my deepest hopes was challenging. But the peaceful feeling won out (I highly recommend prayer before and during pregnancy) and i am ok! Also, my Dr advised me to drink a TON of water and get outside EVERYDAY. Seems silly, but it works! Water boosted my energy, and energy zapped the bluesy fatigue, as did getting moving and getting busy.
Lastly, guess what I have seen at EVERY Dr appt? Every one? A butterfly. It's as if my still born son is cheering me on and trying to let me know it's going to be okay (because I have had many "scary" Dr. visits where it looks like it may be headed south - never does though). From the pattern on the nurses scrubs to a sheet of paper handed to me embossed with it, the butterfly keeps popping up. What a special thing for me to have this connection with the other side! How neat to have family silently helping lift burdens. Special ones, these angel babies.