Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Oh my gosh...honesty in reporting!

Have you seen the story about the lawsuit over the gender predictor kit?

Here's the ABC story.

But this is the part I LOVED...

Another important issue to consider is that all pregnancies naturally carry a 20 percent miscarriage rate, said Dr. Henry Klapholz, chairman of obestrics and gynecology at MetroWest Medical Center in Framingham, Mass., and a professor at Harvard Medical School.

"At five weeks, quite frankly, you don't know if a pregnancy is 'good,'" Klapholz said. "It's bad enough to think you're going to have a baby because of a positive pregnancy test. Now couples will imagine a baby, then the gender of baby, then the name of the baby — this could be potentially more devastating than a miscarriage."


[emphasis mine]

It's BAD ENOUGH to think you're going to have a baby because of a positive pregnancy test?!?! I'm just busting a gut laughing here.

Insight on jealousy

I hope my friend doesn't mind I post this...but more often than not she says just the right thing and I think other women might need to hear it too.

Eh, I think you look fine in green. :-) Seriously, I
don't know how you could manage not to feel some of
that jealousy. You know, this may sound totally
bizarre to you, but I guess just from empathizing with
you since you lost Alex, I'm uncomfortable around
pregnant women. It's just that I now see things a bit
differently and can't get into all that happy talk --
partly because it seems so unfair that some women can
breeze through all this so easily while you went
through hell, and partly because I now have this view
of the state of pregnancy as a truly precarious one,
in which the afflicted are so often oblivious. It's
like watching an idiot on a tightrope; I mean, I
really hope she gets to the other side okay, but I
just can't stay and watch as she babbles, oblivious to
the danger. So if even people who love you and
remember Alex daily but who have never been anywhere
like where you've been now view pregnancy and
motherhood differently, how in the world could you
expect yourself to be a Pollyanna about everything?
If your FRIENDS' perspectives have changed, why would
you expect that YOURS would stay the same?

Green is not a pretty color on me

I'm jealous. I have admitted it more than once, but now it's really starting to bother me that I'm not normal. I can't bring myself to talk about potential baby names...or joke about how I feel physically...or contemplate how things have changed with each pregnancy. And I really can't listen to women who talk about how hard it is to deal with their children for one reason or another. I feel as though I could launch into a rant at any moment...hard? you want to know hard? try visiting your dead baby at a cemetery, buried under a foot of snow...then you'll know what hard IS.

I don't want to be the person in the crowd that is always bringing everyone else down. And I suppose I could pretend like it doesn't bother me when women around me talk about that stuff...but what would be the point of that? This is so lonely...so frightening.

There is nothing to hang on to here. There is nothing to guide me. Emily Post didn't write about this stuff.

So I'm polite and silent. NOW I understand "Silent Grief." You're allowed to feel it...just don't share it...keep silent.

There is great peace in the silence. I suppose that's a good thing.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Moving forward on a busy Saturday

Today we went on a dog transport. Three American Brittany's to their new forever homes. (This isn't a picture of them...just a picture so you can see how cute Brittany Spaniels are). One little sweetheart, Sugar, had so obviously been used to breed puppies and had been simply discarded because she is now too old, at 10 years old, to reproduce. She would have been put to sleep if not for American Brittany Rescue taking her in and finding her a new home. She was so ready for love and affection...used and broken and lonely. I identified with her immediately. I hope she has a wonderful life ahead of her in her new home.

After dropping the pups off to head off on the next legs of their journey to their new homes, we did what everyone does in Erie, PA...we went shopping. First, a stop at WalMart to buy me some clean pants. One of the puppies had apparently smeared poop all over me at some point and I was exerting all my effort not to toss my cookies at the sight. Thank God and WalMart for short fat pants.

Next, on to Toys R Us to buy a wooden James Engine for Sam...a bribery payoff for successfully sleeping in his own bed last night! Yes, we had to move his bed into our room and put it right next to my side of the kind size bed. But what the hell...whatever works. The next deal...one whole week in his bed will warrant another new train.

After Toys R Us, a stop at Once Upon a Child...a children's clothing consignment shop. One Blue's Clues short sleeved shirt and two pairs of shorts for Sam...and one nightgown for the Beast. Yes, we have given up on cutsie affectionate nicknames for the unborn. We're now attributing the characteristics I exhibit to the fetus. I'm cranky and hungry...and the Beast must be fed every four hours or I feel sick. So...the Beast it is. But I digress. To tell you how I've changed, I saw the nightgown and decided to buy it because it is all white and will be appropriate for a boy or a girl, living or dead. I so regret that Alex didn't have anything until the funeral home retrieved him from the hospital. The next baby is going to have something immediately...no matter what. Yes, I actually bought a nightgown based on the consideration that it would possibly be appropriate to bury a baby in. oy!

Then we went to Max & Erma's and had yummy cheeseburgers. Yes, I'm still craving cheeseburgers.

Now I think I need to go to sleep. I was up at 8:30 this morning. And other than a brief snooze in the van, during which Steve assures me I did not snore and embarass myself, I have not had much rest today. And the constant mediating of disputes between a three-and-a-half year old and a 34-and-a-half year old is enough to wear any woman out.

Sadness and happiness

And as often happens, life goes on. Today I'm anxiously awaiting good news from dbm and Anna. Best wishes to them both and their babies.

Friday, February 24, 2006

the non-post post

I'm feeling negative and crappy and I just have nothing to say. We're going out for pizza for dinner, maybe that will encourage a better mood.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

And the floodwalls give way

Today I cry for my dear friend Julie, and her baby boy, Nick, who was stillborn one year ago.

I will never in my lifetime understand this. Never.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

My day

~The cat just gave his bowl a push from the top of the stairs...it rolled all the way down and landed at my husband's feet.

~I went to the BMV today to renew my license plates on the minivan. The woman behind the counter couldn't figure out how to make the printer print. Her way of handling it...pushing print and standing there waiting....and waiting...and waiting...and saying, "I'm just waiting for it to print." Don't laugh...it did eventually print.

~Sam's going to be, "a man just like daddy," when he grows up.

~I signed up to attend a scrapbooking convention with a friend I've never met (yes...an internet friend...what would my mom say? oh yeah...she beat me to meeting internet friends by like five or ten years. lol)

~With our grocery store discount, we filled up the minivan with gas...at 45 cents a gallon. :o)

~I made a joke that Sam was going to have to sleep in his own bed so Orbit, the foster dalmatian, could sleep in his place. He took me seriously and started crying. Note to self, three-and-a-half is too young for the subtleties of teasing...especially when tired.

~I'm craving cheeseburgers morning, noon, and night. That's got to be a good sign, right?

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

My secret pal rocks!

A while back I not so subtly hinted that I would like a certain crochet pattern. Guess what I got for my birthday?



tee hee...I LOVE it!

THANK YOU SECRET PAL!

no more

Bye bye to the anonymous comments option. To those non-weirdos who are not registered, I'm sorry you won't be able to comment, but I hope you understand.

It's all there is

"One of the things which danger does to you after a time is -, well, to kill emotion. I don't think I shall ever feel anything again except fear."
~Graham Greene - The Confidential Agent (1939)


Well here I am. Paralyzed with fear. My stomach hurts and my neck is tense...all the time. I find that I can't talk about being pregnant unless I'm outwardly happy and sugary sweet. But it's all an act.

I'm terrified to my very core. I spend time thinking about being pregnant and crying when nobody is watching.

I'm afraid to speak. If I say anything negative and something bad happens, I know the guilt I will feel. If I say anything positive and something bad happens, I know the disappointment I will feel. So I say nothing at all.

I joke about being in denial and try to dress it up as something funny or cute. But it's neither funny nor cute. It's well and truly sad. But what is left for me? I feel like I've gone ten rounds with fear and fear is kicking my ass. Fear has locked the door and left the two of us in a room all alone...and is kicking my ass.

My fear of losing this pregnancy (I can't even bring myself to say "baby" yet), is all mixed up with fear of losing people I love...and my own death. I had thought I was evolved beyond that. I had grown to accept that death is a part of life, as beautiful as birth. But I have to admit that I'm still afraid. Fear whispers in my ear, "What if it's not beautiful?"

I did a lot of thinking and preparing to get pregnant again. I waited until I thought I could handle the swirling emotions. I didn't have a freaking clue. Getting pregnant was easy. BEING pregnant...there just are no words.

You see, I never had a problem. I had a perfect pregnancy. I had a perfect little boy. And he died without ever taking a breath in this world.

So for me now, there is no peace in a perfect pregnancy. There is no peace in seeing or hearing a heartbeat. There is no peace in morning sickness or food cravings. There is only the fear. The fear that whispers in my ear, "You've been here before, what makes you think it will be different this time? Perfect only lasts so long."

I so desperately want to ignore the fear. But I'm just not strong enough. And there is nothing to take its place even if I could. I try my best to stay in the moment...the here and now. But that can only work for so long. Eventually I'm going to have to address the possibilities...all of them. But what happened to happiness and love and excitement and anticipation? Where did they go? Has fear really killed them?

(I know it's probably not healthy that I anthropomorphize fear and death and all things nasty in life...but it's the only way I have to describe their almost physical presence I feel in my life at the moment).

Monday, February 20, 2006

I am woman, hear me roar

Laundry folded and put away...check.
Dog vomit cleaned up...check.
Food provided for child...check. (Though I can't claim that I've successfully fed him, since he's refusing to eat more than a bite.)
Dog blankets in washer...check.
Clothes dryer repaired...check.
Dogs out for potty break...check.

Still left to do...
Vacuum and swiffer.
Dust.
Un/load dishwasher.
Never-ending bathroom renovation work.
Nap.

Holiday? Who me?
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I've been lacking things to write about recently, can you tell? Not because there aren't a zillion different thoughts running around in my brain...but because I'm generally too exhausted to actually type them out.
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Yesterday, Sam picked out a beautiful bouquet of flowers to take to the cemetery. But on the way to the car, he asked if he could keep them instead. The payoff smile I got when I said yes way out-balanced the disappointment in again failing to take something to Alex. But hey...the living son's happiness is more important.

I feel like that's a milestone for me somehow.


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I'm completely hooked on the Olympics. Truth be told, I have been a fan since I was a little girl. Of course, back then I was only interested in the pretty sports...figure skating. But now I'm entranced with all the games...even curling (though I don't understand much about it). There is something about being "the best in the world" that is so cool. Last night I watched the four-man cross-country ski relay team from Italy win the gold medal. Winning in front of their home audience...it made me smile and cry all at the same time.
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Sam is currently standing next to me, jumping up and down and blowing a REALLY annoying Narnia whistle in my left ear (thanks so much McDonald's). Gotta go find a way for the whistle to meet its unfortunate demise. [insert evil laugh here]

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Sometimes it's easy to forget

Sometimes I forget.

I forget how small he was.
I forget how sad I was.
I forget the dreams we had.
I forget what should be.
I forget the things I should feel.
I just forget.

But something always reminds me.

A bright blue sky with warm sunshine.
His footprints on his headstone.
Sam begging for someone to play with.
The three of us out sledding.
A conversation with a friend.
The empty crib.

How could I forget?

Why do I have to remember?

Friday, February 17, 2006

Special thoughts

Today I'm thinking of Laura, Justin and Johannes.

Laura and Justin ~ I'm wishing you peace today as you remember your sweet boy.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Not what you'd expect

That should be the theme of my life, right? Not what you'd expect.

So the dishes are CLEAN and it's a beautiful thing! Steve had a cup of water last night and commented, "This cup has never BEEN this clean!" (think Ross on Friends with the oddly placed emphasis in the sentence) Sam is thrilled that there are buttons (I'm thrilled there is a lock to prevent him out from pushing the buttons and sabotaging my dish cycles). I...I am positively...orgasmic...over my dishwasher. The thing is sooooo quiet you wouldn't believe it. Of course, it could be that we've been living with on that literally sounded like a locomotive was driving through our kitchen for the past five years...but who knows. We're oddly sensitive that way.

The shower. What can I say? I spent the whole time in there this morning with my body tensed and my arm ready to hit the shut-off when that first blast of all-cold hit my body...which, of course, didn't happen. It's going to take some getting used to, I think. Again...years of conditioning have apparently scarred my psyche. Let's just hope it's not for life. I know the butt crack may have scarred me for life...talk about nightmares last night!

I'm feeling ok...so that means I'm firmly convinced there is something wrong with this pregnancy. Though I did have a slight gagging episode earlier...hmmm...

Well that is the thrilling update from my day. I promise to write something deep and insightful before too long.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Sometime after 9

3pm is sometime after 9, right? I guess I shouldn't be upset that I passed up a hot shower, clean dishes, and clean laundry to wait for these yahoos to show up to install our water heater and dishwasher. On the plus side, I got a nice nap in earlier this afternoon. But now they're here and I'm slightly afraid.

And what is it with the butt crack? Is that a rule or something?

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Make up for lost time here...

Have you ever heard that song by Tim McGraw with the lyric...Make up for lost time here in my next thirty years?

What exactly is "lost time?" Is lost time when your dreams aren't realized? Or is lost time when you stop dreaming? Is lost time when you're sitting still and quietly enjoying the passage of time? Is lost time when you wish you could have it back?

I began to wonder if the past 18 months or so were simply lost time. But that can't be. As painful as they were, they meant something to me...something that I wouldn't consider a waste of time.

I can see why people want you to "move on" quickly...they see you "wasting time" and don't want you to lose a minute. But what they don't realize is that there is no lost time along the path of life. The journey is what matters. We're all headed for the same destination whether we like it or not. And regardless of whether there are things I would like to change about my life and the path it has taken, it has never included "lost time." Every step, every second, has brought with it something to be learned...something that has helped me become who I am. The journey has been full and beautiful and sometimes heartbreaking. But that is life.

There have been moments when I thought my pregnancy with Alex was a monumental waste of time. And then there are moments like today, a day devoted to the celebration of love, when I realize that I can't honestly say it was lost time. It was time I had with my son...my beautiful son. There's no lost time to make up there.

And the time I have spent mourning his departure from this world...I suppose some might see that as a monumental waste of time. But I see it as spending some time in one place...remembering what was and what could have been. Sure, I'm not "moving on"...but who says the only moments worth living are the ones where you're moving forward? Sometimes, healing comes when we stand still and take a good look around us. Sometimes, peace can be found when we are still and silent. That's not lost time...that's quality time. And I don't think there's anything to be "made up" in quality time.

Needle nose pliers, Cadbury eggs, and other Valentine's fun

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This is the Valentine's of someone who has clearly lost their mind. I was working on a super secret project last night and discovered my dear, sweet, wonderful husband had used the needle nose pliers to pull staples out of the horse fence, bening the needle nose completely out of whack and making the pliers good for nothing more than general plier work. I admit it...I flipped out...over pliers. I asked my trademark question, "Really...what is your problem?" A trademark phrase that is not so cute when asked by a rather mouthy three-and-a-half year old (Hey, at least I'm not swearing anymore...after the dammit incidents). So my dear, sweet, wonderful husband very calmly offered to get me a new pair...a pair that will be just mine...as a Valentine's gift. I told him that while he was at WalMart, if he happened to stumble across some Cadbury eggs, he could feel free to pick me up one or two (or a dozen). Hormones? Possibly.
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Had an OB appointment this morning for absolutely no reason other than to make me believe this doctor is serious about holding my hand through this pregnancy. I appreciated it, even if it made me lose sleep last night.

To answer a couple questions...I am 8 weeks 4 days today. We could not hear the heartbeat by doppler, though we tried (an exercise I should have passed on as it gave me serious flashbacks to the last time I laid on an exam table and heard nothing but silence). Since I had an u/s two weeks ago, I didn't feel the need to ask for one this time. As evidenced by my pregnancy, whatever's going to happen is going to happen. My next appointment will be in four weeks, at which time I will be 12 weeks 4 days...we will definitely be able to hear the heartbeat at that time (provided there is one, of course).

My "condition" is nothing that can be tested for. Nor is it something I "caught." And now...a brief recap of all the other medical uncertainty for those who don't read my entire archive...Gestational diabetes was not responsible for Alex's death. I did not have gestational diabetes...we tested THREE times to be sure. The peri says I just have big babies. The cause of death was severe sepsis. You see, every woman carries around certain bacteria in their vaginal tract. For some unexplained reason, mine went haywire and multiplied way beyond normal limits, ascending upwards, crossing the cervical and amniotic barriers to infect and ultimately kill Alex. It was a one in a zillion occurrence, apparently. No way to tell if it will happen again. There are physical signs that are no different from an upper respiratory infection. If those symptoms appear, I can be treated with antibiotics. If the baby is not viable when/if this happens, it's a 50/50 crapshoot. If the baby is viable when/if this happens, we try to manage the illness with antibiotics so as to maintain the pregnancy until optimal delivery...or we deliver early and pray. Fun stuff, huh?

Yeah...the doctor visits just put me in such a great Valentine's mood.
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Sam was thrilled to learn that he gets to hand out Valentine's today at daycare. He is very clear that he is going to give them to his friends to keep. Oh, yeah...and his girlfriend, Ashley. Have I mentioned that I'm too young for this?
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And honey...I will NEVER eat another McDonald's breakfast again in my life. Burger King Croissanwiches are SO much yummier!
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Monday, February 13, 2006

"You’ve got your hand on a bomb but you don’t want to talk about it over and over, you don’t want to face it – so you talk about something else."

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Why is it some big corporation hasn't snatched up the opportunity to rebuild New Orleans? Think of the positive publicity!
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I'm thinking of Michelle and wishing her all the best.
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Is it possible to eat too much cake? I think so.
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I am officially an old person. I'm listening to the "Adult Alternative" station on Yahoo LaunchCast.
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The crows are confusing me. The signs just aren't clear. I need clarity.
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A pregnant friend emailed me for information on amnios. It seems her and her husband found out they are both carriers for cystic fibrosis. So now they will have testing to determine if the baby has it. Why can't this just be easy?
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The plumber is coming Wednesday to install the hot water heater and the dishwasher. I will have the most deliciously long hot shower sometime Wednesday night...and another Thursday morning. And clean dishes...what a bonus!
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I'm thinking about Lorem and wishing good things for her.
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Why is it that when I send one office email, two spam almost always immediately appear in my inbox?
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I got NO stitching done this weekend. My left wrist hurt and I was too tired to concentrate on it. I think I'm not so excited about knitting. Is it too early to say that? Shouldn't I at least give it a second date?
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I'd rather be sledding with Sam and Steve.
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Can I really still call myself a skier if I haven't been actually ON the slopes in...years?
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Grey's Anatomy last night...wow!
And as a fanatic, I highly recommend following the blog by the writers.
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I have to get to the store today and get my husband and my munchkin something special for Valentine's Day. I have NO idea what.
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The status of my brain as mush will be confirmed once again tomorrow morning at the OB's office. I hope this slows down the progression of dead baby dreams that seem to crop up just before these appointments. Let's see...one with a huge flashing red neon sign that said "Dead Baby #2." And another with a doctor that said, "No matter what you do, this baby will die too." Fun times.
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Do you know of any good non-alcoholic wines?
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Did you see that the Vice President shot a guy by accident on a hunting trip? The funniest comment I've seen regarding this incident is from Call Me Snake.

During the 2004 presidential campaign, Cheney mocked John Kerry for being a "photo opportunity" hunter rather than a real hunter, but Cheney never said what he meant by a real hunter. Now we know.
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I'm working on a "hit list" of businesses I want to hit up for donations to the PAWS 4 A Cause event. But I'm lame and have a fuzzy brain. So help me out. If you were going to a Chinese Auction/Raffle event, what kinds of merchandise would interest YOU?
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I need a nap.
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Sunday, February 12, 2006

This weekend was weird

It was a relatively normal weekend. I would even venture to say that it was good.

Yesterday morning was a Paws 4 A Cause meeting. P4AC is a yearly race/walk that is also a fundraiser for the Public Animal Welfare Society (PAWS). I'm "chairperson" of the donation committee this year and after our meeting I'm VERY excited. We have some great things donated for our Chinese Auction/Raffle already, and the event isn't even until Mother's Day. They raised $1800 last year. I want to exceed that. My ultimate goal is to break the $2500 mark. Mother's Day is going to sort of suck this year, so it gives me something positive to focus on.

After I got home from my meeting, Steve, Sam and I spent some time at Lowe's, ordering our new water heater and dishwasher. I can not explain the anticipation these purchases bring. We have lived in this house for almost five years, and in that time I have had only a handful of actually hot showers. And the dishes have become progressively dirtier coming out of the dishwasher over the past year (hey, it's a 1970-something dishwasher...it's done it's tour for king and country). We also bought some paneling for our bathroom remodel that has been five years in progress. It seems we get one thing done per year, and this year is wall covering. I'm hoping that next year will be a tub and tile recovering.

Today we watched some television (neither Steve nor I were all that impressed with Sideways) and spent about an hour outside in the snow with Sam and his new sled (no pictures, sorry). We had a good time...full of laughs...but I have learned that I am not as young as I used to be...it's HARD getting up and down when you're wearing all that snow gear.

All weekend, in the back of my mind, I've been thinking about how it's been nine months since Alex was stillborn. We visited the cemetery yesterday, but didn't manage any flowers because I'm not going to pay inflated Valentine's day prices for flowers that I'm taking to a cemetery. Anyway...more toward the front of my mind, I've been thinking how I'm not so broken anymore. I was anticipating the big breakdown and I really surprised myself when I realized I wasn't going to have one. I miss Alex with an ache that I can't describe to someone who hasn't "been there." But I'm not paralyzed with it anymore.

There are still things I wrestle with. Like listening to the radio yesterday and hearing Brad Paisley sing, ...It's funny when think about the reason he's alive...Is all because two people fell in love. So what's the reason he's NOT alive? Is it because we didn't love enough? ...Yea there ain't nothing not affected...When two hearts get connected...All that is will be or ever was...Every single choice we make...Every breath we get to take...Is all because two people fell in love. All those things Alex will never get to do. And what ripples has his absence created? Is there someone who will not find love because he is not here? Who was his intended love of a lifetime? What other courses of life have been changed?

I can think about this without it ripping my heart to shreds. Time heals...blah, blah, blah.

There is no point to this post. I'm finding it more and more difficult to concentrate...to harmonize my thoughts into something cohesive. I was like this when I was pregnant with both Alex and Sam...so I guess that's good news for this pregnancy. And we shall not speak of my almost crashing the minivan by driving through a stop sign at a crowded four way stop...because I was talking and not paying my full attention to the task of driving. While such stupidity is an indication that there is really still something going on in the old ute, it does not bode well for my physical safety over the next seven months or so. And it also clearly indicates that my brain cells are not functioning on full power, making blogging an arduous task some days. I'll do my best, but I'm not promising anything.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

My 7 songs

I have over 500 songs in my I Pod, which I keep on shuffle, so it is hard for me to put thru this list because I do not consciously pick my music
Here is what has been in my head recently

1. Le Belage - Pat Benetar - Awesome guitar lick that I can’t seem to get out of my head.

2. Precious Time - Pat Benetar - Because life is too short to waste precious time

3. Nineteen hundred and eighty five - Paul McCartney - fun ragtime style song with a great synth playing in the background. This man puts on a much better Superbowl show than the Stones, and I love the Stones.

4. If you ever stop loving me - Montgomery Gentry - Only God knows where I be, if you ever stop loving me.

5. The fear of being alone - Reba McIntyre - Great guitars and the lyrics are good too.

6 9 to 5 - Dolly Parton - Never expected to see someone dance to it on TV

7. My Old School - Steely Dan Cause I ain’t never going back to my old Schoooooolllllllllll

Believe it or not, only the Steely Dan song is in my iPod

Friday, February 10, 2006

Love is...

I won the "Love is..." quote contest over at Puremood. My submission?

Love is giving a bit of your soul away without expectation or reservation.

Good one, huh? I'm going to try to practice it a little more faithfully in my life. I've got to stop protecting my heart. Love worth having comes at great risk, right?

I even won a prize!

How cute is this candle? And it smells YUMMY!

Thanks PM!

Progress

This is my first attempt at stripes. I ended up tearing it all apart because I didn't change colors the right way. Hopefully I will have time to start again sometime this weekend on a scarf. Keep your fingers crossed. I've also got christening gown patterns calling my name... So much stitching, so little time.

Vintage?

I just went looking online for dishes to match the ones already in my kitchen. The pattern is "retired" and the pattern is now considered "vintage."

Granted, I got them as wedding gifts eleven and a half years ago...but vintage?!?!

Tagged

I've been tagged by Donutbabe.

List seven songs you are into right now. No matter what the genre, whether they have words, or even if they’re any good, but they must be songs you’re really enjoying now. Post these instructions in your blog along with your seven songs. Then tag seven other people to see what they’re listening to.

1. The Song Remembers When - Trisha Yearwood - “There was a God in heaven...and the world made perfect sense...we were young and were in love...we were easy to convince...we were headed straight for Eden...it was just around the bend...and though I had forgotten all about it...the song remembers when.”

2. Pray for Me - Ty Herndon - A plea for help that I can sing out loud in my car.

3. Two Pump Texaco - Diamond Rio - a song that didn’t get air play but always makes me tap my foot and sing along.

4. Now Comes the Night - Rob Thomas - I bought the CD in a very angry mood because the loud drum rhythms were just what I needed to blast in the car. But I found this song at the end of the disc and it made me cry. I love it.

5. This is How a Heart Breaks - Rob Thomas - see the aforementioned loud drum rhythms and “angry” feeling.

6. My Sam’s version of Happy Birthday. It is rather tuneless and repetitive... “Happy Birthday to Mommy” (x 5000000000)...but I LOVED it.

7. WHAM - Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go - It was on Dancing with the Stars last night and I realized how much I miss that song! Too bad my copy was on cassette tape. I think I just might have to go hunt down a disc version somewhere.

Oh Steve of the iPod...let's see YOUR list. But you have to keep it to just seven.

Congratulations B!

Ryan James was born by c-section on Tuesday, February 7, 2006 at 11:51 AM (over a week late). He was 7 pounds. 15.5 ounces and 20.5 inches long. Mom and baby went home late Thursday afternoon and everyone is doing well.

I'm so happy for you and J. Hugs to you all!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Look what I can do!



I think it's going to be a scarf when it grows up. I played with it last night and learned how to do stripes. So I'm going to use the dark purple, light purple, and white that my secret pal sent me and try to make it wearable. Of course, I was just learning last night, so I ripped it all out and it's waiting for me to get home tonight.

No, I'm not doing the Knitting Olympics OR the Crochet Olympics. I couldn't take the sense of defeat if I didn't get my project(s) done. lol

No good deed goes unpunished

We donated a 1995 Chevy Cavalier and a who-knows-how-old Ford F150 pickup truck to charity last year. They came and picked it up at no charge and they sent us all the paperwork they said we would need to file our income taxes and claim a deduction.

In e-filing our taxes, an instruction came up that I needed to file a signature page and a Form 1098-C. Problem is, the charity sent me a Form 8283. Perplexed, I started searching for an answer to a question that is apparently much more difficult than even the secret of life.

I called the IRS. After lecturing me on how I was SUPPOSED to file the paperwork within three days of e-filing and will now "have a problem and will most likely get a notice from the IRS"...when I've been TRYING for three days to get a straight answer...they now tell me I need to file BOTH forms. Now this instruction is not printed on ANY instructions that I can find anywhere...and is, in fact, contrary to the instruction printed on their oh-so-helpful webpage that says I only need the 8283.

So I called the charity to request the required 1098-C. They tell me I don't need the 1098-C because the cars re-sold for less than $500. I told them that the IRS told me otherwise...and the woman laughed!

Why do I feel a tax audit coming on?

(Now I know why people think twice about donating to charity.)

***update***
The charity director called me and we talked about the IRS...laughed about them actually. The Form 1098-C specifically says for donations valued at over $500 and the Form 8283 specifically says for donations valued at less than $500. They were both pieces of cr@p and sold for under $500 so we have the right form. At least, that's what we've decided. Now let's see if we get audited.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Happy Birthday to Me!!!


Thanks to mom for this...




Thanks to my son for this...



Thanks to my husband and my son for this...



Thanks to M (donutbabe) for the birthday card.
Thanks to Heather for the birthday card.
Thanks to Jill for the eCard.
Thanks to AcmePetTransport for the eCard.
Thanks to my Secret Pal for the eCard.

We didn't put candles on the birthday cake. But I still have one birthday wish...
I know I'm not supposed to say it out loud or it won't come true. I think you know what it is though (I'm not that complicated). :o)

Today I'm off to preschool for a presentation of Sam's Book About Sam...then lunch and retail therapy with my mom and Sam. Should make for a fun day. I hope you have a good day as well.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Death

When we attempt to imagine death, we perceive ourselves as spectators.
~Sigmund Freud~

When Death came calling, he only visited me briefly. But he was here...in my body...touching my soul.

Death took only that part of my soul I had given to my unborn son. But he was here...in my body...touching my soul.

Was he icy and cold like something evil? Was he warm and loving like something seen on an episode of Touched by an Angel? He was none of these to me. Death was silent...like a thief in the night...here...in my body...touching my soul.

What he stole can never be replaced. And for that I am sad and angry and perplexed.

But beyond the grief and sadness is a fear that he didn't leave...that he lingers somewhere in my body. What if he lurks somewhere in my soul waiting for me or my next unborn baby?

It's more than finding your home broken into when you arrive home late at night. Is the intruder still there? will I ever feel safe in this space again? And even if he is gone, there is the knowledge that he was there...amidst your possessions...stealing a part of your life away from you without your even knowing it. This wasn't my home...this is my body...my soul.

How do I find that sense of peace again? I haven't felt a sense of immortality since I was a teenager and a friend was involved in a car accident that nearly killed him. I have always acknowledged that life is a fragile and delicate thing that can disappear in the blink of an eye, or the changing of a traffic signal. But we still live our lives with so much trust...trust that the person driving the other way won't cross the line and drive head first into us...trust that we won't be struck by lightening today...trust that the bacteria in our body won't kill us or our unborn child.

We can acknowledge the fragility of life without ever really looking at what it means...how it affects us. Freud was right, we perceive ourselves as spectators. In my case, I was an unwitting participant in Death's game and now I wonder if my trust in life can ever be restored.

I wonder if I can ever again feel as though my home...my body and soul...are even somewhat safe from him. Will I ever shake this feeling that the intruder is still lurking in the shadows?

Monday, February 06, 2006

Welcome to the world Joseph Abraham!!!

Joseph Abraham entered the world Friday night at "sometime around 11pm." He weighs 8 lbs, 8 ozs. Dana couldn't say how long he is...she said she was too tired to really care about the specifics. Labor was "a little longer than she would have liked," but everyone is doing fine.

I love you Dana! I can't wait to see pictures of your baby boy!

A little weird

I was feeling a little weird having so many comments to our "big announcement." I always thought there were lurkers and such around here, based on the statcounter...but now...

It was kind of freaking me out at first.

But then I got this email from a woman who lost her baby in October...
You handled yourself so incredibly well at work the other day and I admire you for it. I had a similar day at work the same day and the next day when I was dragging myself back to my accounting firm I thought of you. I have only read a few entries and wanted to thank you for sharing your feelings. I also wanted to let you know that you helped another person not feel so alone. I hope tomorrow is a better day for you.

If you have experienced a stillbirth or miscarriage, please know that you are not alone. For too long, mothers and fathers have been expected to just pick up the pieces and move on, quietly suffering from the sadness so as not to make anyone else uncomfortable. To you I offer an open invitation to lurk anytime. And be sure to check out the links in our sidebar. I hope tomorrow is a better day for you too.

My biggest fear at the moment is that people will expect me to be "better." I mean, I AM better to the extent that time has softened the raw edges and made the pain a bit more bearable. But being pregnant is a fact that I can barely get my mind around at this point, let alone having it be the magic fix for all my sadness.

In fact, the nightmares are worse and the crying is deep and mournful again. I feel like I need to apologize to Alex over and over and over again. There he is, dead, under a foot of snow...and here I am...but what am I? Happy? Excited? Unable, at times, to differentiate between what was and what is? Yes, I'm so far-gone from reality that sometimes I actually think to myself, "Maybe this is my chance to get it right...to fix it." But reality is there, ready to crush that thought when I let the delusion fade. It won't be fixed. Alex will still be dead under a foot of snow.

And what am I supposed to feel about the potential new baby? I don't believe it will ever be born. I don't. With Alex I was just so sure. And with this potential new life I'm so far gone to the opposite end of the spectrum that I don't even recognize myself. I don't see my life with a baby in it...with two living children. I get to the end of the pregnancy in my dreams and I see no baby.

Now don't get me wrong, I have hope. I just don't believe. It's like the hope of someone who says, "maybe we'll get a miracle," but knows the cold hard facts that make it so unlikely that their wish will be granted. And in a way, I guess that's what it is, after all, isn't it...a miracle? Actually, it takes a convergence of a million miracles to end up with a living baby. And I'm just finding it hard to believe that I'll get that lucky ever again. Who am I to ask the universe for more than I have already? Didn't I learn my lesson the last time?

OK...so maybe my biggest fear isn't how other people will expect me to be...but how I expect me to be...how I expect my life to be...how the universe plans my life to be. I realized, after commenting on someone else's blog, that I stopped asking, "why us?" I don't know when or how it happened, but somewhere along the line, I stopped asking "why" and started asking "now what?" It's doubtful the universe/God/whatever is going to drop the answer to the "why" question in my lap. And even if I do happen to get an answer, it's doubtful that any explanation offered would satisfy me. So it's best that I don't torment myself with that particular question anymore. At some point I accepted this as it IS...my life. And now I need to figure out where to go from here (to the extent that those decisions are within my control).

But this means I have to really think about my own expectations. I KNOW a new baby isn't going to "fix" things. But I also know that the same things hold true in my life that led to our conceiving Alex in the first place. Our family doesn't feel complete. Maybe it never will now that Alex is gone. But we still have love to share with another child. And Sam still wants a little brother or sister to play with. I have to remember that Alex is gone but the rest of life remains. And closing ourselves off to the possibility of love in any form just can't be a good thing.

But it still feels a little weird...Saying goodbye to one dream and hello to a new, but very similar, dream. I hope this one ends better.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Complicated math word problem for the insanely hopeful

Monday at work, I thought I felt a twinge in an odd spot.

Monday night, I went to sleep very early. Sometime in the middle of the night, I coughed in my sleep and woke myself up when my cough pulled a muscle painfully around my belly.

Tuesday I got a bloody nose at work.

Tuesday night I hobbled home from the leg cramps in my legs.

Wednesday I jumped at the chance to make cheeseburgers for Sam for lunch.

Wednesday night, I tossed and turned all night.

Thursday morning, while driving to work and thinking, "Could I be...?" I saw a crow fly across the road and land in a field next to another crow.

Thursday afternoon...



One week later...



One week later...completely convinced that I'm not pregnant. No symptoms. Nothing. I'm having terrible pregnancy nightmares and not sleeping at all. Of course, I've been sleeping for three days because of the stomach flu (and yes...it was the flu...it wasn't morning sickness...I know the difference)...so maybe I'm just not tired.

Something I've been thinking about...if ONE nurse or doctor comes at me with a tape measure at ANY time, I'm going to strangle them with it. They used that thing on me the whole time I was pregnant with Alex and they were off by who knows how many weeks. He weighed over 9lbs and he was only 35 weeks! Tape measures have NO place near me...unless I'm being fitted for some fancy clothes. That's my new rule.

Appointment January 31st. Lord, I'm going to be a fun patient.

We have a heartbeat.

Due date 9/22/06...which means absolutely nothing to us. The doctor's words, "We'll get the baby to a nice viable size, ready to be born, and get em the heck out of there." So I'm thinking sometime early August. Our anniversary is August 13th...that would be nice.

Morbid humor from the appointment.
Doctor: So are you planning for a repeat c-section then?
Me: Don't really care as long as it comes out alive.
Doctor: Ummm...yeah...that would be the goal.
Poor guy.

I think I'm going to go freak out, if you don't mind.

Guess this explains all the nightmares.

Sorry for the delay in posting this. I had to tell mom first (Hi mom!). :o)

To the woman at McDonald's - and other unsuspecting souls

Don't give my husband a "look" when our son says, "Daddy, I'm sorry I don't have a baby brother or sister to play with."

It's none of your business and your judgment is as unwelcome as your pity.

Just let him get through the moment with dignity.

Just let him get through the explanation to our son without making him feel the tears forming in his eyes.

Just let him be.

He is a father to one living son and one dead one...trying to maintain that delicate balance between love and sadness.

You can't understand...so stop looking...this conversation isn't for you.

---------------------------------------

Conversation between me and co-counsel who I haven't seen in months:

A: Don't you have a brand new baby at home? (said with that baby-happy smile)
Me: No
A: No? (obviously confused)
Me: Ummm...he died.
A: Oh...I'm sorry.
Me: Well thank you.
A: I'm so sorry.
Me: Well, I'm sorry there's no easy way to tell someone that news. (really uncomfortable laugh)
A: (running away as fast as humanly possible)
Me: (don't cry, don't cry, don't cry)

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Bad dreams and no energy

It seems that everything is sucking the energy right out of me these days and I'm just not finding inspiration to write. I got word this morning that we are having a belated baby shower for my office neighbor next Friday. The stress of preparing myelf mentally for that is already taking its toll. I just don't know what I've got left in me. I feel the cracks getting a bit out of control.

I'm hoping that Friday will help bring me some balance. My mom and dad are going to watch Sam for the evening and Steve and I are going to dinner and a movie. We'll probably see The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe...I think that's a pretty big-screen-worthy picture. But I'm still debating what restaurant to go to. Steve's letting me choose as an early birthday present (February 8th...next Wednesday). He's such a great guy. Any suggestions? Remember, Steve's a meat and potatoes man...so Chinese is out. :o)

Of course leaving Sam with my parents for the evening has induced subconcious guilt and general nuttiness in my brain that I'm sure has something to do with losing Alex (since I wasn't prone to freaking out like this before he died). Last night I had a nightmare that I was on a road trip with my parents and Sam (don't know where Steve was), and I left Sam in a snowy horse pasture somewhere along the trip. There was major panic and freaking out as I made my dad turn the car around and go searching for him (because I, of course, could not remember exactly where that was). My mom was weirdly asleep during most of it and woke up with a start when I started yelling at my dad to drive faster. The whole time, I kept thinking about how afraid and upset he must be...probably crying and hysterical. There was a sense of increasing speed...like a snowball rolling down a hill...as the minutes passed where I couldn't find my Sam. I woke up feeling like I could cry and it still makes me feel sick to think about now.

Good God, I'm a mess. I sure hope dinner does the trick.