Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Surprise to NO ONE

Hello neglected blog!

This is…well. This is a blog that I started, as anyone still reading will know, before Oliver was born and died. And after Oliver died it became the place I came to to work through some of that.

It’s not that I’ve finished working through that – heaven knows – but I think I’m done working it out in this space. This space feels too sad to me; it’s disconnected from where I am now. Where I am now is good; where I am now is really pretty happy….and I tried to figure out a way to move this blog with me and I just…couldn’t do it.

So I think that for the moment I’m going to make the radio silence official and stop writing here (or beating myself up about not writing here). I may come back sometimes and put little things up but it won’t be the regular outlet that it used to be. I guess in fairness it hasn’t really been that since the one year anniversary.

In case anyone is even sort of still reading this, I want to invite you to check out the new digs if you are interested – I’ve started a blog called Pintuck, at http://pintucks.wordpress.com. It’s mostly a space I’m using to document some of my sewing adventures (I think I do better at writing when I have a focus like that), but it does venture into life stuff too, a little. And there are certainly lots of pictures of Ani and Sam.

I hope you will come and visit if you are interested. One thing I will mention is that this blog was private – no one in my “real life” circle knew about it. My sewing blog is all bets off – my mom and dad read it; my husband reads it; my friends read it. It’s not that I am desperate to keep this stuff quiet – it’s just that some of this stuff is sad and I’m not sure I want to have a lot of conversations about it with people. So if you DO come visit Pintuck (Come! Visit!) maybe avoid mentioning this space in the comments? Thanks.

And also, a very big and devoted thank you to everyone who read, who commented, who walked with me during this particular window of time. It was…not the best. But you all made me feel like I wasn’t alone. Thank you.

Full Circle

He is here. His name is Samuel. He showed up a good few weeks early (36 and change), and was in the nursery for a day or two figuring out breathing (which, FLASHBACK) but it is so all different this time. Sam just kept getting better and he came home with me. He was 6lbs 4oz (small but mighty I say!). He looks exactly like his dad, and a little like his big sister, and a lot like his big brother did. He is absolutely beautiful. I am so incredibly grateful – to have him here; that he’s healthy; that things were okay; that he’s part of all of us – including Oliver.

Welcome to the world Sam.

Joy comes in the morning.

So I realize I’m posting twice back to back but I had two very different and also very the same things to talk about but the enormity of Oliver’s anniversary didn’t seem like the place to blend other stuff – so forgive?

We had our ultrasounds yesterday for this pregnancy. A regular 19 week ultrasound (general look at all the parts and measure stuff) and a fetal echocardiogram (to rule out the heart defect that Oliver had – not a contributing factor in his death, I feel compelled to mention, though I’m not sure why exactly it matters). Then a regular appointment. Wheeee!

The upshot is it’s all very very very good news. There is no placenta previa this time (YAYAYAYAYAYAYAY! Because that wasn’t fun last time. And it caused so very many problems). There are no heart issues at all. In the words of the cardiologist (a spectacular woman who helped us with Oliver and was there when he died – her face stays with me because I remember she looked as sad as I felt) “Maybe I’ll see you guys in the grocery store or something but I definitely don’t need to see you anywhere else!” She also remembered that we’re at the year anniversary, which I was quite touched by. (I know; it’s probably right there in my file but still).

He’s measuring exactly on target for dates. And yes I did say HE – Ani’s getting another little brother. We are beyond thrilled.

Last time I felt so busy and stressed out – I was still working and I was running around all the time – it wasn’t fun, and I did nothing to get ready for Oliver particularly (in fairness I was pretty much hospitalized from 24 weeks on, but still). So yesterday afternoon Anika and I went out and bought our new little guy two rompers. I intend to celebrate the living daylights out of this little guy – no holding back; no waiting until later. After last year I think I learned that you never know exactly what you are going to get so you’d better go ahead and pour every ounce of joy and excitement into every second you’ve got. I know it’s not how everyone handles it – and lets face it; I got off easy in some respects. I have a little girl at home. In not getting ready for Oliver, I didn’t have to come home to a nursery I had to take apart. It was sort of a blessing I guess.

But I have always hated that Oliver didn’t have a big “mark” in our house. He never got to come home; he never even got to meet Anika. I didn’t have a lot of things I had to put away. With this boy I want things to be different. I want to sew things for him; I want to be READY for him.

I am feeling especially lucky because Dana over at MADE is having “Celebrate the Boy” month, with all kinds of sewing projects and boy related stuff. Dana is one of my favourite sewing bloggers ever – she has great ideas; great projects. I’ve made a few things from her site – a couple of shirt dresses for my daughter; I used her freezer paper stencil idea to make beach pants for Ani too (I traced her sand toys up one leg, hee); I made the market skirt (which is SO MUCH FUN to make and so cute – hey, I should probably post pictures sometime, yes?). Anyway, if you’re into sewing or just want to be into sewing then I definitely suggest checking her site out. In fact, I demand it – go look and play. Amen. I’m totally ready to start figuring out some boy projects for the new little guy.

So now we just need a name for him. We had some girls names short listed but boys names are proving harder. It’s driving me nuts, but really, after everything we’ve been through….what an amazingly wonderful *ordinary* problem to have.

It’s a good day for cake.

I’ve been looking for the right words for this post since Monday and now it is Wednesday. So fail I think, yes?

Monday would have been Oliver’s first birthday. Monday was one year since we had him. One year ago from right now he was alive. How is that even possible? It feels like such a dream sometimes, except when I remember holding him, or what it felt like to kiss his head, or how intensely he looked at me with his huge dark eyes. I miss him so much but at the same time it feels so good and so right to set him free. To let be what was; to let him go willingly to God instead of feeling like I’m fighting all the time, clawing at the parts of him I’m so desperate to hang onto. To not forget.

I think though, what I’ve realized is that I’m not forgetting. Letting him go isn’t forgetting. Letting him go is simply allowing what *is* to happen anyway…..and in doing so, to take joy in who he was and in what he meant to us and what he *will* mean to us and to our family.

Monday we made a birthday cake. My mom and dad were here, and we invited our friends (A, A, and two kids) to come over. The female A, one of my very best friends (and my rock this past year), couldn’t make it but her husband came anyway and brought the kids. Brandon was cutting the cake for everyone and he looked at me and said “Should we say anything?” I was like “Oh HECK no” because lets face it – what a great way to make me lose it completely. My friend’s husband looked up and smiled and said simply “It’s a good day for cake.”

It was perfect.

And she lived to tell the tale.

I totally survived the baby shower. I ROCKED the damn baby shower. Okay, maybe not. But really it was fine in the end. It could have been a lot weirder than it was, I think.

Everyone had a good time; there were no silly games (apologies to those who enjoy silly games at baby showers – I do not. I feel that doing things like guessing how long a piece of string needs to be to fit around the pregnant person cannot POSSIBLY win you any friends. But that is my hang up.). There was some silly discussion (“My baby won’t even EAT white bread!”) and things that had me rolling my eyes, but overall it was fine. We even did talk about Oliver a bit at the end, and that was okay too – the truth is I *like* talking about him; I *like* bringing him up. I don’t always do it with the most grace, but you know – I think I’m even getting better at that as time goes on.

You know what? I think we should leave the baby shower conversation in the dust now :). I feel like I’ve done a totally crappy job of explaining why it was hard or why I was having trouble with it, and….anyway. It doesn’t really matter. It’s over; it wasn’t so bad. I didn’t get the thing I guess I was secretly hoping for (something along the lines of “Gee christy, I wanted to tell you how sorry I am about that but it didn’t seem right to do in email or on the phone so I waited until I saw you in person” from my friend) but in my more magnanimous moments I can fully appreciate that baby death is bloody hard for a lot of people – as it should be – and maybe some people simply can’t figure out what to do or say.

In other news, this pregnancy is still ticking along and I remain so impossibly hopeful that things are going to go well this time. We have the Big Scans next week – anatomy scan in which they will make darn sure to really examine the placenta, and then a cardiac exam in which I am HOPING to find out there is no problem. The heart defect Oliver had carries something like a less than 1% chance of recurrence, but you know – once you’ve beaten the odds the wrong way you kind of hate to count on them too much. Oh, and we should find out if the pea is a boy or a girl. I can’t decide for sure what I think – this pregnancy is much more like my pregnancy with my daughter in terms of symptoms and things, but I don’t know.

Anyway, the scans are Feb 16. (And yes, for those following along at home, that is the day after what should have been Oliver’s first birthday. Wicked!) I definitely appreciate any and all prayers, good wishes, positive vibes, and anything else any of you want to throw out there in the universe for us. To be clear, what we’re shooting for here is:

* NO placenta previa. No no and a thousand times no.

* NO placenta accreta (apparently a fun thing you get to also worry about after a previous previa and c section).

* NO heart defects.

* NO abnormalities, issues, chromosomal problems, anything else (to be clear, Oliver didn’t have any of these – I just figure if we’re wishing for stuff lets go big, yes?).

What we are going for is a completely normal healthy placenta with a healthy full term (eventually) baby attached to it. Amen.

So hey, a couple of you asked me the GTA question last time. The answer is, sort of! I am in Ontario, yes. I live in a city that rhymes with Shmottawa now (HAH! I’m so secretive. Please don’t stalk me or hunt down my daughter okay? Do feel free to drop by for coffee if you like.), but my parents are still east of Toronto, and that’s where the baby shower was.

I shall report back after the scans on the 16th……..eeeep.

Baby Shower: Wheeeee.

So I am here, at my parents house, cheerily helping my mother and my old friend’s mother get ready for the baby shower that we are throwing her on Saturday. Have not seen old friend – she doesn’t live here. To recap for those who are new here, this girl was my best friend in the world from, oh, birth until sometime after university where circumstances and life more than anything kind of pulled us in different directions. (She moved up north and married a guy up there; I went to Boston for awhile). This is the friend who was in my wedding, and I in hers. This is also the friend who – despite knowing what had happened – did not call, write, email, or otherwise acknowledge Oliver’s death.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t struggling with this. We all have these stories – of friends or family who let us down in spectacular ways after losing our kids. I should be thankful, I suppose, that the person who let me down in this case wasn’t someone I counted on as part of my regular support network.

Anyway. My mom offered to host the shower because of the friendship with her mom, and I totally get that – and support it. It’s why I’m here really. But it doesn’t change the fact that I am dreading Saturday, at least a little bit. I hope it will be better than I thought it would be.

So; I am here making cookies and asparagus rolls and trying to amuse my three year old. It’s not all bad by any stretch – it’s nice to spend some time with my family and we took Ani to the science museum today which was a lot of fun. I just feel like there’s this shadow growing over Saturday and I’m trying so hard not to be swallowed by it. I keep getting hit with random stuff like “(friend) has only gained 18lbs!” or “Friend refuses to eat any processed food while she’s pregnant.” GREAT. Good for her. Or something.

I need suggestions people – I can’t drink, (what with the pregnant thing – which continues to go pretty well I think, by the way) and I need to figure out a way to get through this. I’m open to anything – ideas? Conversationally bringing up my dead son with all of the shower guests? (Nah, no reason to dishonor him or be rude really – that’s not fair). Surreptitiously grind up some really processed lunch meat and add it to the crab dip?

Agh. I don’t want to be rude really; I am being snarky here but it’s not what I want to do in real life. I just want to get through it without feeling let down again. But I’m not sure what I want from her either. An acknowledgment I guess. For her to say “Hey, I’m sorry this happened to you – it sucks.” Something anyway….not nothing.

Anyone live in the GTA and feel like crashing a baby shower?? There will be crab dip and snark!

Hiatus, Unintentional.

Pardon me while I take a minute and dust off this blog. Hello? Is this thing on?

Wheeeee.

So, I know I disappeared for a while – kind of a long while actually. I didn’t mean to. It was one of those things where I was wrestling with some things and it caught me off guard. And then some stuff happened and then some more stuff happened and then….then I was wrestling with DIFFERENT things but I didn’t know how to put those things all together and then it became one of those things where there was simply too much and too much old back story to pick up the thread again and write here.

But the thing is, I missed it here and I didn’t want to just walk off into the sunset and let this fall to nothing. So I am back. I think. And I will fill in some of the back story so that when I start my next verbal wrestling match it makes some amount of sense. (Note: I did say *some*. At least there will be context – that’s a good thing, right?).

After we got back from the beaches in October I hit a bit of a low. Not a long one, and not something that flattened me – I wasn’t even particularly depressed about Oliver or anything – just kind of sad in general. It was triggered I think by the H1N1 outbreak, and hearing about a young girl who died in the hospital where Oliver died. And I know – it’s a children’s hospital; one of the best in the province. And the nature of that is that there are kids who will die there. I know there were probably way too many before Oliver died and have been way too many since. But all I could think about when I heard about the eleven year old dying was “Oh God, I know.” I mean, I obviously have no CLUE what the pain is of losing an older child. I can’t begin to fathom what it’s like to lose not only the potential of a future, but the memories – the loss of a person who you will miss whose life is cut way too short. But I do know that the hard part for her parents wasn’t watching her slip away no matter how hard that was. It was standing up – whenever that happened – and walking out of the hospital. That is the part that haunts me; the part I can’t erase. The part where I had to put him down and physically force myself to leave. To walk away, knowing I wouldn’t be back and there was no reason for me to go back. I felt for those parents so acutely.

That put me in a bit of a funk for a bit – and lit a fire under me to get myself and my people vaccinated (done and done). I also put my (now blessedly defunct) professional writing career to good use and wrote a trifold for my doctor’s office explaining the deal with H1N1 and what to do; where to go for information; etc. And then some other dr’s offices in other parts of the province got wind of it and requested copies tailored for their regions, so I did that too. It was fun in the end.

So then the stuff happened. The stuff is simply that I am pregnant again. I am a little nervous but mostly just freakishly happy. It just feels so completely like its own thing – it’s connected to Oliver, a little, but it’s not at the same time – it’s not a repeat of my pregnancy with him any more than my pregnancy with him was a repeat of my pregnancy with Anika. So I’m moving forward in faith and hoping for the best. I’m fifteen and a half weeks now and have had two ultrasounds so far – so far things look good. They won’t rule out a previa this early (Lord, please no), but it’s looking good so far. I have a detailed anatomy scan on the 16th of Feb and a cardiac ultrasound as well, and if both of those things are normal then I “graduate” from being high risk to being a regular old pregnancy. I am obviously praying pretty hard for that outcome – but I’m trying to really stay in the moment and be joyful about where I am at any given moment. So for today, I’m fifteen and a half weeks. Yesterday, on my birthday, I felt the baby move for the first time and I am feeling pretty good.

So I guess that brings me to the bigger and current dilemma and that is what to do with this space. I want this blog to be about my life – the big catastrophic event but also the regular life stuff. Because of when I started it and what happened so soon after this blog became (necessarily) about Oliver; about losing him; about picking up the pieces; and about missing him. And now….now. Now it still needs to be that, sometimes. But not all the time. Because in so many ways, I feel like I’m letting him go – not in a bad way; not forgetting him; but releasing him and releasing him with joy. I LOVED him. He was my son and of course I’d give anything to have him here but he’s not here. He’s free; he’s somewhere else and I’m happy for him. I’m happy he was part of my life, even if it was brief. I’m happy that for the rest of my life he is my son. I believe, fervently, that I will be with him again one day in Heaven. I sincerely believe that. And I don’t know if that’s why I’m feeling more at peace with things or if there’s some other reason….I worry about it, actually. It seems like there are so many people who take a much longer time to let go, and I worry that I’m somehow rushing a process that can’t be rushed or trying to “sweep something under the carpet” somehow. I don’t think I am really; I think that what I would tell someone else writing this is “everyone has their road to travel; whatever that road is. Your road is your own and it will take what it takes.” But when it’s yourself you are second guessing it’s so much harder. So I guess what I’m wrestling with is whether I can let this blog be simply about us and our lives. Whether it needs to be simply a space that is and was about Oliver, and if I want to write about other things I need to go do something somewhere else. I don’t want to – it feels like editing somehow and I don’t want to edit. I just want to be.

I think I’m going to keep writing here for a while and just see how it goes.

And in other exciting news, stay tuned for an update on the baby shower drama. (For those who remember my plight a few months ago, the shower is now coming up in a few weeks….and now I can’t even drink at it. I’m happy I can’t drink but if EVER there was a time where I’d need one….oy.)