Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Three Months

So, today it has been three months since our life changed. Three months since my day went from "spending the day with the soon-to-be big sister" shopping at the outlets (this was my Facebook status on the day Adelyn was born) to losing my baby girl. It's strange how some moments of that day are crystal clear, and some I can't even remember. For instance, I can clearly hear the pediatrician who worked on Adelyn say "I'm sorry, there's nothing more we can do. She's gone." But yet, I do not really remember holding her. That sucks......

I hate to have my post for this marker day be song lyrics. I mean, the 3 month mark even falls on a Wednesday this month. I hated Wednesdays for the longest time (Adelyn was born on a Wednesday) until 2 things happened: 1-I realized that Sierra was also born on a Wednesday -how could I hate the day we received our greatest blessing? and 2-Time healed some.

That being said, this song has always been a favorite of mine. It came out right around the time I had my first miscarriage back in June of 07. I listened to it, and the whole CD, and it helped me. But now, I appreciate the song even more. Every single word just speaks to me - like I could have written it. So, here goes:

Sober -by Kelly Clarkson
And I don't know
This could break my heart or save me
Nothing's real
Until you let go completely
So here I go with all my thoughts I've been saving
So here I go with all my fears weighing on me

Three months and I'm still sober
Picked all my weeds but kept the flowers
But I know it's never really over

And I don't know
I could crash and burn but maybe
At the end of this road I might catch a glimpse of me
So I won't worry about my timing, I want to get it right
No comparing, second guessing, no not this time

Three months and I'm still breathing
Been a long road since those hands I left my tears in but I know
It's never really over, no

Wake up

Three months and I'm still standing here
Three months and I'm getting better yeah
Three months and I still am

Three months and it's still harder now
Three months I've been living here without you now
Three months yeah, three months

Three months and I'm still breathing
Three months and I still remember it
Three months and I wake up

Three months and I'm still sober
Picked all my weeds but kept the flowers

I should note that the song is NOT about drugs or alcohol. Even though she uses the word sober - she just meant sober as in living without something I guess. I had been wanting to make a video to this song, so I thought the appropriate time would be at the 3 month mark. I couldn't decide what pictures to put with it. I want to do a memorial video for Adelyn, but was thinking that would be more along the lines of her birthday. So, I decided to make the video about our lives in the past 3 months. All the moments that Adelyn is missing from. It's a little depressing, as I added captions to every picture. But, it is honest and how I feel a lot of the times. I may look happy and I might actually be happy and enjoying these moments. But deep down, there is always a hole, always an aching for that little girl who isn't there.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Blessed by my "Biggest"

Today was one of those days where I could have just sat and watched Sierra all day long. I don't know what happened, but I am thankful. I just feel completely and utterly blessed by her. She couldn't be more perfect. If God would have given me a list of traits that I wanted my daughter to inherit, I would have hand picked all the ones she received. The big blue eyes and poker straight hair like her dad, the girly-girl and love of baby dolls like her mommy, the big personality that lights up a room, the ability to make people smile and laugh just by being herself. I could go on and on.....

I can't seem to put my thoughts into words tonight. But I guess what I really want to say is thank you, Sierra. For making me truly smile when I never thought it was possible again. For giving me a reason to get up every day. For giving me the strength to face difficult things. For giving me joy. For reminding me that although we have been dealt a very crappy hand, we are still blessed. For giving us hope for the future. Someday I hope you will realize how much you have taken care of us these past 3 months, without even trying. You are the best gift ever.

This is one of those bittersweet pictures - makes me happy and sad at the same time. Here is Sierra on Christmas morning, putting her ornament on the pink tree that we decorated in honor of Adelyn. So sweet - and you have to love the chef hat that she refused to take off. She is wearing it in every picture on Christmas morning!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Ornaments for Adelyn

I got this idea from somewhere, I can't remember where. Imagine that, me being forgetful! Anyway, I sent an e-mail asking friends to find an ornament on their tree that reminded them of Adelyn and take a picture of it. Then every year when they hang that ornament to think of/remember Adelyn. I had a hard time figuring out how to make a slideshow! Plus I ran out of time. Anyway, here is the final product.

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Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Wish

A Bereaved Parent’s Christmas Wish
By: Emily Hughes-Angel Mom to Jack.

1.) We wish you could understand, that even though we may have other children, or we may be expecting another one soon, it does not mean our hearts are not aching for the child who is not here. If one parent dies, and one remains, you aren’t expected not to miss the absent parent….

2.) We wish you could understand that we are not out to ruin your holiday or to inconvenience you at all. Sometimes, seeing everyone elses joy, especially children’s joy, reminds us of what we are missing so much and it simply hurts…

3.) We wish that you would help us to include our child in the festivities and laughter. Simple things, like sending us a card, including our child’s name means a million times more than any store-bought gift.

4.) We wish you would not take it personally, when we do not decorate or participate in parties. It takes a lot of energy, just to endure the commercials, music and other reminders that sometimes -we just need a break.

5.) We wish that you would allow us space to grieve and to experience the natural emotions that come from having a loved one gone during the holidays, we would do the same for you, if god forbid, you lost a loved one.

6.) We wish you would not take it personally, when we do not comment about your child’s photo with Santa. While we are happy for you and your child, we know in our hearts that our babies will never sit on Santa’s lap…

7.) We wish that you go on to have your happy holiday, and that it is everything you love about this time of year. And that you can appreciate that for us, it just won’t be happy.

8.) But most of all, we wish that you will never have to endure this kind of pain, longing and heart-ache. We wish that no one ever had to know what this feels like.


*I had to borrow this after I saw it posted somewhere else. So far, I'm doing ok. I think it may hit me worse next year, when Christmas will be magical for Sierra and Adelyn would be 15 months and doing a LOT more. This year, she wouldn't really have been able to open presents or anything. But, that doesn't mean I don't miss getting to dress her up in her dress that matches Sierra's, or buying baby's first Christmas ornaments instead of angels.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Is it over yet?

Today was a rough day. Wednesdays I go to the high school, and it's so boring. The school is so big and so few students actually need speech. I know all the special eduction teachers, but not many others. I feel like I could fall off the planet and no one would even notice there. Sometimes that's not so bad!

Anyway, last night one of the teachers I did a social skills group with sent me a text. She has been super supportive to me and we've gotten to be friends. I really like her. We went to lunch the day before Thanksgiving when we got out 2 hours early, and I wondered if maybe she might be pregnant. But I know better than to ask, and honestly didn't want to know. So anyway last night she says she isn't avoiding me but had to tell me something and didn't know how and didn't want to upset me and felt bad. I knew instantly. I'm glad she told me instead of having me hear through the grapevine or just notice, and I'm also glad she told me via text so I wouldn't have to worry about my reaction. Honestly, I decided at that moment that how I feel when learning others are pregnant is that I am happy for them, but not as sad as I am for me.

So back to the high school, they had a lunch for all the teachers and I really didn't want to go. But, free food, and I didn't feel like packing my lunch the night before. So I went, but I felt so uncomfortable. I know that teacher who just told me she is pregnant has lunch the same period I eat, and I saw her out of the corner of my eye and pretended I didn't and avoided her. Not because I'm upset or mad at her or even because I couldn't handle seeing a pregnant person. I was just in such a bad mood I didn't want to deal. I worried someone else would talk about it or bring it up. So I sat with a few special education teachers, but I just felt so uncomfortable. I hate feeling that way. Then "Silent Night" came on and I almost started crying. I felt like I was fighting back tears all day.

I did get some paperwork done while listening to Pandora. Another song that caught my attention was another Kelly Clarkson song. The refrain goes "Is it over yet? Is this as hard as it gets? Is this what it feels like to really cry?" I thought about Christmas - is it over yet?? But on the other hand, I want to enjoy it with Sierra. She is at such a fun age. Why does everything have to be so compliated these days?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Remembering a Special Friend

My original thoughts for this post revolved around awkwardness. Today I was talking to the school nurse and another teacher about potty training. We all have 2 year olds, within a few months of each other. They have boys, but both of them have also had girls in the past 8 months - we were pregnant together. Anyway, as I learn that they are having the same issues with potty training, it made me feel better. But then the conversation turned into them talking about how bad it sucks to have 2 in diapers. What do I say to that? I wanted to scream - don't you know how much I wish I had THAT problem? Would you rather be ME? But I bit my tongue, as I so often do. If I said everything that was on my mind, no one would want to be around me - negative Nancy. I can't help it - I know their problems seem big to them, and would have seen big to me 3 months ago - but these days, the things most people complain about are just so insignificant in the scheme of things. Honestly, you want to complain about your kids fighting? I wish my kids COULD fight, but sadly, they've never even met on this earth :(

When I got home - after my daily cry in the car - there was an envelope from an address I didn't recognize. Curious, I opened it. Inside was this:

And a note from a friend from long ago. Just for background information, I went to Catholic school from grades K-8. It was a small school, my class only had about 15 students. We were all like family. For high school, I went to public school and some of my friends went to the Catholic high school. I lost touch with a lot of them, but they are the types of people you can not talk to for years, but if you ran into them, you would talk for hours and be genuinely HAPPY to see (unlike most of my high school friends). I had recently found JS on Facebook. So, she knew of Adelyn's story. She said she saw the ornament and thought of Adelyn and had to get it for me. She was afraid it would upset me and wasn't sure if she should send it. But, she talked to her sister about it who reminded her of one of our classmates who was killed in a car accident about 8 years ago. Her name was Kelly, and we lost touch after high school but went to the same college and she randomly lived on my dorm floor our freshman year, so we became friends again. One of the sweetest people you would ever meet. Anyway, JS's sister said it was a sign from Kelly, so she had to send the ornament to me. She even went on my facebook page and printed out the picture of Adelyn's footprints and put them in the frame. How sweet.

So, today, I am remembering a lovely girl by the name of Kelly Haley. Gone too soon at the age of 23. It made me sad to think that I hadn't thought of her in so long. But, way back at a birthday party I had when I was about 8, she gave me this nail clipper set. And for the longest time, I kept it - it was battered beyond belief, but I just could not part with it, knowing she gave it to me. I think I finally did get rid of it when we moved.

Kelly - I hope you gave my Adelyn a big hug when you met her in heaven. You are missed, my friend. I hope your family has found some peace over the years.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

You Still Won't Know What It's Like

It's no secret that I am a huge Kelly Clarkson fan. Basically, her album My December came out right when I had my first miscarriage. I was in such a dark place, I could relate to so many of the songs on it. So honest, sad, and beautiful at the same time. Well, after Adelyn died, I went back to that album and have been listening to it. Her new one is good too, but it's not as personal and it doesn't have songs that have as much meaning to them. I was checking my e-mail today and found an article about her new song with a link. So, I went to listen to it. It's called "You Still Won't Know What It's Like." So, she does it again - a song that just speaks to me right now. I'm not sure if the song gives me hope or makes me sad, but either way, I like it. Check it out.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Guilt

It's back - the guilt. I'm going to start this post by saying that yes, I know deep down that I cannot blame myself for what happened. I know I made the best decision at the time, what I thought was right. But still, sometimes, I still feel guilty.

I know that the whole story is not posted here, so I'll write a little bit in this post. When my blog gets a makeover soon :) it will contain the whole story. Basically, we found out at just about 39 weeks that Adelyn was breech. I was terrified of a c-section - how could I take care of a 2.5 year old and newborn while recovering from major surgery? My husband could only take off 1 week tops. I just didn't want to do it. So, the dr. gave us the option - c-section that very week, or try to turn the baby. I thought about it, but really it was an easy choice for me. The only thing that made me think twice was - if I do the c-section, she would be here in like 3 days. I was getting annoyed and uncomfortable and was ready to be done being pregnant (forever - she was going to be our last). But, the fear of a c-section won, and we decided to try to turn her. And it worked - which I wasn't expecting, considering how far along I was. I was ecstatic! I was hoping they would induce me soon after, but no. They didn't schedule an induction until I was 1 week late. And I went into labor the day before the induction was scheduled.

Fast forward a little more than 2 weeks. Labor is going fine, quickly actually, but her heart rate dropped to the 60-70s for about 7 minutes. I didn't know it was that long until I read the records recently. I remember the dr. saying we need to get her out now or c-section. I heard that and pushed with all I had, dr. tried the suction cup but it popped off 3 times due to meconium slippage. Then, her heart rate went back up. Relief. I pushed another hour or so, and now that I looked at the records, know that her heart rate dropped with every contraction but went right back up. This can be normal. But, then the dr. was saying this baby needs to come out. Later, after looking at the records, I learned that her heart rate was too fast at this point. So, she tried the suction cup again and it worked this time and Adelyn was born. Looking at the fetal heart monitor strips that I requested, she had a heart beat of around 150 less than 2 minutes before birth. Then, she came out and NOTHING. No cries, no movement, no attempts at breathing. 18 minutes of attempting to resuscitate her with no luck.

So, in my mind, this baby just did not handle labor. If I had done the c-section instead of doing the version to turn her, more likely than not, she would be here with me. And that makes me SICK. I know that I had no way of knowing this would happen, but I think I was selfish in doing what I wanted - I wanted natural labor and delivery, not a c-section. Sigh......

Now, there's more to the guilt. It's not just about that. I'm feeling guilty that Sierra does not have a little sister. Again, I know it's not my fault, but I feel so badly for her. Even if she doesn't understand. I also feel guilty that I spent 9 months being pregnant and maybe not being the best mother that I know I can be. In the beginning, I was so tired so a lot of time the TV went on and I laid there while she watched. It's all I could do. In the end, I was so uncomfortable and it was so HOT that I couldn't do much. All that would have been fine, if the pregnancy would have given her a sibling to grow up with. But instead, I came home from the hospital sad, miserable, grieving, and physically hurting too. So, I could not do what I really wanted to do with her then either. I still can't. I still find myself with less patience. I snap at her, get frustrated. Sometimes I just have to walk away and go cry. I hate it. Today, my husband and I were both feeling so stressed and cranky, that we started fighting right in front of her. She started crying and I felt SO bad. I hate that my life has turned into so much guilt, and that we have such short fuses lately. I've been so miserable and busy and just barely hanging on, that I don't think we have gotten to spend any alone time together. Usually we do during nap time, but lately we've been out or running errands and haven't been able to. Hopefully tomorrow. Gosh, if we never get any alone time, Sierra will NEVER have another sibling. Ha ha. I found some humor in the situation - that's always good.

Enough ramblings for tonight. I think I am going to go hang out with my husband before he falls asleep on the couch!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Give Me Strength

I'm just having one of those moments, days, weeks maybe even, where I just need the strength to get by, to just do the minimum. I hate doing the minimum - I want to be the best mom I can be, the best wife I can be, the speech therapist I can be, etc. I don't want to just do what I have to. Right now, though, it's all I can do. So I guess in some ways, that is doing the best I can do. I must keep telling myself that.

I've just been feeling so, so sad this week. I'm back to crying every day, reliving the whole experience, thinking about it constantly. And lately when I do think about it/relive it, the pain hurts as much as it did that first day. I know that this will come and go, that's how this ugly thing called grief works. But that doesn't make it any easier to deal with it when it does show its ugly face.

And then there is the constant tiredness. I have no energy. I'm tired ALL the time. I know my job takes a lot of energy - you have to be up and lively for the kids. I know I need to stop going on the computer so much and get to bed. But I can't. I need to write in my blog, I need to read others' blogs or posts on Daily Strength. Because those things make me feel less alone, make me realize how I am feeling is normal considering what I've been through.

So, give me strength to make it through tomorrow. It is our family Christmas party. I saw most of our extended family at the funeral, but still. I know people are going to be asking lots of questions - because they care and are curious - and I'm not sure I have the strength to talk about it. Usually I like talking about it to anyone who will listen. I'm just feeling so sad tonight. Maybe a good night sleep and a new day will put me in a better place tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

My Life

I have to admit, I was feeling sorry for myself today. I'm not sure what it was - going back to the hospital on Monday, hormones, or what - but I was just so SAD today. I listened to Pandora on the computer while I did paperwork at work today and I almost started crying when Kelly Clarkson's "Behind These Hazel Eyes" came on. I know it's about a boy but some parts just speak to me:
"Seems like just yesterday, you were a part of me
I used to stand so tall, I used to be so strong
Your arms around me tight, everything it felt so right
Unbreakable, like nothing could go wrong

Now I can't breathe, no I can't sleep
I'm barely hanging on

Here I am, once again
I'm torn into pieces, can't deny it, can't pretend
Just thought you were the one
Broken up, deep inside
But you won't get to see the tears I cry
Behind these hazel eyes

I told you everything, opened up and let you in
You made me feel alright, for once in my life
Now all that's left of me is what I pretend to be
So together, but so broken up inside

Cause I can't breathe, no I can't sleep
I'm barely hanging on"

The tears did come, as they often do, in the car while driving home. It can't be that safe to be driving while crying, but I guess I'm kind of a pro by now. As I was driving, I had this "deja vu" moment. It made me think of how words can take on such a different meaning, in the blink of an eye. How life can change, in the blink of an eye - or in this case, in the shocking, last second death of a much wanted, loved baby girl. Over the summer, I remember driving around on beautiful day, windows down, radio blaring, Sierra happily singing along in her car seat. I looked back at her and thought - "I can't believe this is my life." Meaning, I have this beautiful, perfect daughter and I'm about to have another one. It was a joyous thought. Today, I had the same thought - "I can't believe this is my life." As I'm balling my eyes out, driving down the street. I still can't believe this happened to me. I can't believe I had a perfect, beautiful baby girl - who looks so much like her big sister - and she died. And no one knows why. Now, that same thought comes from an overwhelmingly sad place. How did this happen? How did my life become about survival - not enjoying, living? When will I think "I can't believe this is my life" in a happy way again? Not soon enough, I can tell you that.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Hospital Memorial Service



Last night, the hospital where Adelyn was born had a memorial service for all the babies that have gone to heaven too soon. The hospital runs a pregnancy loss support group, but I have yet to attend. It is IN the hospital and I just did not want to go back there. For probably a month after Adelyn died, I had anxiety/panic/crying attacks when I would just see a sign for the hospital. It doesn't help that the dr. who actually delivered her was new to the group, so there was this huge sign at the mall with a big picture of her on it. I told her she's haunting me....

Anyway, I decided that this service would be a good time for a first trip back to the hospital. Since I do not get super upset every time I see a sign anymore, I must be getting better. Plus, we could bring kids, so Sierra came with us. Poor kid - anytime I have had to do anything difficult since losing Adelyn, I drag her along - first dr. visit, first trip back into work. She provides a nice distraction. Who knew a 2 year old could give you so much strength? Another reason I decided to go back to the dreaded place, is that we are now sure we want to have another baby, and unless we switch doctors, we will have to go back there. My dr. has been really nice and supportive - in fact, she even came to the memorial service last night. Yeah, what dr. does that?

The drive there was ok. I tried to keep focused and not think back. Then my husband started talking about how he thinks the hospital where I had Sierra is actually closer (it's NOT), so I started thinking about the night she was born. That was good. When we got there, I felt weird because I didn't know anyone and it seemed like a lot of the people knew each other from the support group. I couldn't hear most of what the speakers were saying - no microphone and too many kids. It was probably better that way or else the tears would have come! I don't like crying in front of Sierra because she gets upset and asks what's wrong, and she is too young to really understand what happened.

During the service, they asked everyone to put their ornaments (the little booties) on the tree and say your baby's name. I looked at my husband and was like, I am NOT doing that. So I walked up with him and Sierra and he talked, but I still felt stupid. It was a nice service, and afterwards the one person I did know (the pregnancy loss support nurse gave my number to her and we talked and met once) was there and introduced me to others. That was nice. We ended up staying later than we planned, and as a result I am so tired today. Even with a 2 hour delay that we found out about the night before. We talked a little bit with my dr. and met the support group leader for the first time in person. I left feeling ok.

Fast forward to today, and I am grumpy. I think it hit me today. I keep thinking back to that night and reliving it. I hate that, I try not to do it. But sometimes I just can't get my mind to stop. So all day I've been cranky. I ran some errands after work and got nothing accomplished. As I was driving home, I got behind a truck with one of those window stickers that said "in memory of my wife" and a date of sometimes in August of 2010. I started crying, thinking of my grief and also of this poor man who lost his wife and how he must feel as bad as me and how awful it is.

After I picked Sierra up from the baby-sitter's, I was just done. I think I was feeling every emotion in the book - tired, sad, mad, angry, pissed, annoyed, happy, joyful, thankful (these positive ones were sparked by Sierra, of course), overwhelmed, frustrated.......you name it. I am so busy at work it's ridiculous. It's like all the teachers waited to refer kids until I got back. Then my house is a mess - papers and junk everywhere, dishes needing washed, clothes put away...... Too much that I just don't know where to start. I will say I did get most of my Christmas cards done tonight. I still have some shopping to do and errands to run. I just feel so unorganized. I need a day or two to clean up and organize. But how can you do that with a 2 year old? I could have my mom watch her so I can do it, but the truth is I can't bear to be away from her right now. It's bad enough I have to leave her to go to work. Even when she is driving me crazy, I know I can reach over and give her a hug or receive a kiss or hug from her when I need cheering up. Amazing how much a 2 year old can help you without even knowing it.

Time to get to bed. I just can't seem to get there before 11. No wonder I'm so tired every day. Hoping tomorrow brings a little more happiness in the mix of all the other emotions that I am sure will still be there tomorrow.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Angels

So, I have a slight obsession with angels right now. It doesn't help that they are everywhere right now due to Christmas.

It started when we were shopping for a new kitchen table at, of all places, Pool City. I saw this window angel and I got an idea. We usually put candles in each window of the front of the house. I was debating doing it this year, especially since the nursery is in the front, so I would have to go in there and turn the candle on and of every night. No thanks. But, when I saw the lighted window angel, I knew what I had to do. I tried to find a pink one or all white one, but I could only find blue so I settled on it. And I put it in Adelyn's window. As soon as my neighbor saw it, she sent me a message on chat on Facebook. And she let me borrow her timer so I don't have to go in every night.

Then, while at breakfast with Santa last weekend, they had a backdrop or wooden display of little angels. So I made Sierra stand in front of it and took a million pictures, until one turned out. She was such a trooper. I wanted to use it on our Christmas card. It is my way of including Adelyn.

Then, I went to Ace Hardware to look for Christmas decorations (also the same day I actually bought the angel for the window). I hit the jackpot. They had silver angel ornaments that were engraved! I bought the ones that talked about Grandma for my mom and my mother-in-law. Then I bought 5 for me - and they were not cheap but I "needed" them. I want to do a tree for Adelyn - a pink tree that I saw - and fill it with ornaments for her. Here are the quotes that were on the angels:
"Those we have held in our arms for a little while, we hold in our hearts forever."
"You will always have an angel to watch over you."
"Perhaps they are not stars in the sky, but rather openings where our loved ones shine down to let us know they are happy."
"God grand me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."
"Sisters are angels that lift us to our feet when we have trouble remembering how to fly." I debated on this one, but it may be the only chance I get to buy sister stuff, so I got it. I'm certain Adelyn will lift Sierra up when she needs it. I also bought a rainbow ornament that day - couldn't resist.

Then, I went to Target and bought a bunch of wooden angel ornaments. I was looking for cheap ones that I could personalize. I'd love to get better ones, but I bought over 20 of them, so they couldn't be $10 each or I'd be broke! I am going to give one to everyone who has helped me - family, friends, neighbors, co-workers - to hang on their tree. On the back I will write "an angel watches over you. Adelyn Michaela 2010" I just hope I can write it nicely!

Thursday a friend from college came to visit me and brought us food. Her kids are 5 and 2 so they all played well together. Except for a little fighting over doll strollers and toy cell phones by the girls! She brought me a book called "My Little Angel" by Jennifer Fujita. She said she saw it and knew she had to buy it for Sierra. She also said it gave her chills. I had the same reaction. By far, the best gift we've received. Some excerpts "A little angel watches over everything I do.......She's always on the job. Wherever I go, whatever I do, my little angel keeps me safe. I'm really glad my angel's there whenever I feel sad...or scared......She calms me down. She cheers me up.......My little angel sees the good in everything, even a rainy day." And the part that chokes me up every time "And as I grow...I know my angel will be there. Because she's always watching over me." The book comes with a little angel too. I love it!

I also bought my mom and aunt angel charms for their Pandora bracelets. I had been planning to get my mom Adelyn's birthstone, but the angel seemed more appropriate.

Today I went back to Target to try to finish up some Christmas shopping. I wanted a shirt to wear on Christmas and came across a green one with an angel that says "Hope." So I got it. Then I found a ceramic plaque that says "may there always have an angel by your side." I bought it to hang in Sierra's room next to the cross she got when she was baptized that says "Jesus bless me as I grow. Bless all of me from head to toe."

The final thing to illustrate my angel obsession - I picked the angel stamps for our Christmas cards this year. Why not? I'm kind of at the point where I'm all about doing whatever makes me happy.

Oh - and if anyone sees a silver angel stocking holder anywhere, let me know. I bought Adelyn a stocking and I want to use an angel stocking holder for it. Trevor, Sierra, and I have snowflakes, which I got last year, but they are pretty darn appropriate aren't they? After all, snowflakes are angel kisses from above.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas Shopping

Today I attempted to go Christmas shopping. My mom came with us so she could deal wtih Sierra while I ran in and out of stores at the outlets. I was also looking for a shirt to go with a skirt she is going to wear over the holidays. So, I ran in and out of the million kids stores at the outlets - Children's Place, Gap, Gymboree, Carter's, OshKosh. I found a few things. But, it put me in a bad, bad place. When I attempt to shop for Sierra, I often have to walk through the baby girl stuff to get to the toddler girl stuff. Then, when I stupidly went in Carter's, I saw a few outfits that I had bought for Adelyn and returned (one being a bright pink onesie with little sister written in silver glitter). I also saw some outfits that I had been planning on getting her, but of course never needed. And about 3 or 4 different little sister shirts. I walked out of there almost in tears. I just had to get out of there right away. But of course, I could not find my mom and she left her cell phone in her car! I thought I was going to lose it and start crying in the middle of the place. I know I had tears in my eyes as I frantically searched for my mom and Sierra. I found them and told my mom that we needed to leave NOW. I lost any motivation to shop. I think my cousins and nieces and nephew are getting gift cards. I just can't do it this year.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

All I Want for Christmas

I wanted to write about something else tonight, but I'm too tired to think. I never seem to get to bed before 11 and as a result, I'm exhausted every night. I seriously almost fell asleep watching Dora with Sierra tonight - at 8!

Today while I was driving home from quick Christmas shopping (I'll write about that tomorrow) before picking Sierra up, the song "All I Want for Christmas is You" by Mariah Carey came on the radio.

I don't want a lot for Christmas
There's just one thing I need
I don't care about the presents
Underneath the Christmas tree
I just want you for my own
More than you could ever know
Make my wish come true
All I want for Christmas is you.

I don't want a lot for Christmas
There is just one thing I need
I don't care about the presents
underneath the Christmas tree
I don't need to hang my stocking
There upon the fireplace
Santa Claus won't make me happy
With a toy on Christmas day
I just want you for for my own
More than you could ever know
Make my wish come true
All I want for Christmas is you
You baby

I won't ask for much this Christmas
I won't even wish for snow
I'm just gonna keep on waiting
Underneath the mistletoe
I won't make a list and send it
To the North Pole for Saint Nick
I won't even stay awake to
Hear those magic reindeer click
'Cause I just want you here tonight
Holding on to me so tight
What more can I do
Baby all I want for Christmas is you
You

All the lights are shining
So brightly everywhere
(So brightly everywhere)
And the sound of children's
Laughter fills the air
(Laughter fills the air)
And everyone is singing
(oh yeah)
I hear those sleigh bells ringing
Santa won't you bring me the one I really need
Won't you please bring my baby to me

Oh, I don't want a lot for Christmas
This is all I'm asking for
(all i'm asking for)
I just want to see my baby
Standing right outside my door
Oh I just want him for my own
More than you could ever know
Make my wish come true
Baby all I want for Christmas is
You

All I want for Christmas is you baby
All I want for Christmas is you baby.




All I could think about was how much I really wanted Adelyn to be here for Christmas. That's all I want, and I can't have it.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Strange Things.....

Today has just been the weirdest day. I am convinced I'm going crazy or something. I thought it was a full moon, but it's not until the 21st. So I have no explanation.

My day was going as usual, although Pandora decided to play lots of sad, slow songs in a row while I was doing paperwork this morning. I had some free time so I screened some kids - wow, I used my time wisely today. Imagine that! So, as I'm talking to a second grade teacher about the one student I screened, she tells me she think she's really smart and may need tested for gifted, as well as speech and maybe physical and occupational therapy. She said she was just waiting for his IQ test to come back.

Nothing abnormal about that conversation, but remember it for later.

Then I went to check my e-mail. I got one from the school psychologist who works at the high school about one of my students who is getting reevaluated and I hadn't put my input yet - imagine that! And it starts out "congratulations on the new addition to your family! Hope you are doing well :)" It caught me completely off guard - how did she NOT know? A bulletin was posted at all buildings, and I am positive people talked about it. But I felt a meltdown coming. I composed myself as my Kindergarteners came in for their session. I made it through - barely. Not my finest therapy session. So, then it was my lunch and I was really hungry. But, my lunch is in the fridge in the faculty room, and I really didn't feel like talking to anyone at this point. I knew the tears would come. As I was sitting there debating what to do, the assistant principal walks in to ask me something. And I just blurted out that I was having a bad day and told her what happened. She was confused as well. I told her I was prepared for kids to say something and they had asked, but I had been as "OK" as possible. So then she asked me if I wanted her to just change the subject or leave, and I was crying at this point, so she said she would just leave me alone and shut the door when she left. So I cried for a few more minutes - and picked up my cell phone when I was done to text my cousin. As I opened it to text, it rang. So I picked it up, and it was my doctor calling. How freaking weird is that? If you only knew how hard it is to get in touch with me at work - I travel between 3 buildings and if I am with students, I don't answer. Usually it ends up being phone tag. But I was holding the phone when she called. Crazy. Anyway, she called me to tell me all my test results came back normal. They tested me for a clotting disorder I think and I don't have it. Finally a little good news. We talked a little bit, and I told her about our "whatever happens, happens" plan and she said that sounded like a good plan for us.

Then I had to go see some kids so we hung up. There was a Christmas concert rehearsal so I didn't have students the rest of the day. I passed the principal later, who told me that the one second grade teacher might have a student who needs to be tested for gifted, speech, OT and PT. I told him I had just talked about it with her this morning but that she was waiting for the test results to come back. He then says that they just came back that day. Again......weird.

So, at this point I'm pretty much done. No more focus for me. So I started organizing my files and putting all the kids names on the hanging files so I can find them easier. A few teachers were in the hall talking about Irish twins - you know, siblings born in the same calendar year, but not twins. Apparently, she had a set of them in the same grade. That's just weird. But I had been thinking to myself - before this conversation - that it could be possible for Adelyn to have an Irish twin. Since we are not preventing pregnancy, you never know. Weird, again.

So, in closing - today brought my very firt "meltdown" at work. And in front of the assistant principal. Gotta love it. Can't wait to see what tomorrow brings. We have a speech department meeting and those are always interesting!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmas Card

Here is our final Christmas card. I'm loving how it turned out. I was drawn to it - not too cheery and happy and good message. When I saw the angels at breakfast with Santa, I just knew I had to get her picture in front of them. That is my way of including Adelyn on our card.



Faith Hope Love Religious
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View the entire collection of cards.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Random Thoughts


I have so many thoughts going through my head. I'm not sure where this post is going to go.

First, the positives:
1. my wedding ring is finally fitting! I haven't been able to wear it since May maybe. It was taking longer than it did after my pregnancy with Sierra to fit again and really bothering me. I just felt "naked" without it.

2. I was able to button my 2nd pair of nonmaternity pants today! This pair was always big before I was pregnant, but still. They didn't button a few weeks ago. Now only about a million more pairs to fit into. I've been joking today that with my luck, right after I fit back into all my pants, I'll get pregnant again. Oh well.

3. This book I bought for Sierra called "Countdown to Christmas." You read a page for each day, starting Dec. 1st. The pages for Dec. 3rd are about angels. It made me happy.

4. I went shopping with my mom, aunt, and sister in law this morning. We found some good bargains. That always makes me happy.

5. My 14 year old niece's ring tone on her cell phone is Bruno Mars "Just the Way You Are." That song reminds me of Sierra. In fact, we played it at the end of Adelyn's funeral to provide some happy tears.

6. Sierra ate her dinner tonight!! And it was chili - not a usual thing she will eat.

Wow, more positives than I thought. Now, on to some of the yucky moments of the day:

1. My mother-in-law fell on Tuesday and shattered her elbow. She had to have surgery. My father-in-law does not help her at ALL. That's all I will say about that situation.

2. We went to visit her today and ended up being there longer than I wanted to be. It was freezing in their house and all I could think about was all the stuff I could have been doing/needed to do at home.

3. For some reason, my in-laws have this little wooden cradle with a red headed baby boy doll in it right in front of their fireplace. It has been there as long as I've known my husband. Apparently, someone bought it for them when my nephew was born with really red hair (he's almost 16 now). They don't get rid of anything, so it's still there. Of course, Sierra loves it. I picked it up - bad idea - and his little head fell backwards and his little arms limply fell off to the sides in the process. FLASHBACK - it just reminded me of how little Adelyn looked when she was handed to me. Just like that. And this doll was about the size of a newborn. The little cradle reminded me of the baby coffin they had Adelyn in when we went to see her at the funeral home. We did have her cremated, but since the doctors tried to revive her at birth, she had a tube in her mouth and we had never been able to see her without it. I really wanted to/needed to, so the funeral home dressed her up and put her in a baby coffin for us. I was scared to death as to what we were going to see when we went in, since she had an autopsy. But I am SO glad we went. I left feeling just a tad bit more peaceful.

4. While we were eating dinner, there was a stupid Christmas movie on. I was feeling crabby, like I could cry at any moment. My husband says "oh this is such a stupid movie. I wonder what's going to happen next. She's going to get her family back for Christmas." All I want for Christmas is Adelyn back. So it triggered me, since I was already on the verge - and I had to get up from the table and go upstairs and cry. Then I could hear Sierra downstairs saying "where did Mommy go?" I still try not to cry in front of her - at least not cry for Adelyn. She is too little to understand.

5. Tomorrow I am taking Sierra to breakfast with Santa. Last February I found Christmas outfits on sale at Children's Place for $1.99. So I bought 1 for Sierra, a coordinating one for my niece, and both a boy and girl baby one, since we didn't know yet what we were having. Tomorrow, Sierra and my niece are wearing the outfits. Adelyn's is still hanging in her closet :( I thought about not wearing the outfits because I thought it might be hard. But then I realized, dress or no dress, I'd still be thinking about her. So Sierra and Arlie are going to look adorable to everyone else tomorrow, but to me it will be very bittersweet.

6. Our Christmas tree is outside. It has been sitting on the deck since last Saturday. It poured on Tuesday. It snowed a little bit Thursday and Friday. It finally seemed almost dry. Now, it's snowing again tonight. I want to put it up tomorrow. Not sure it will be dry enough.

7. My husband's back is really bothering him. He has a slipped disk, has had it since he was a teenager. I'm not sure if he will be able to climb up in the attic to get out the Christmas stuff. Or carry the tree inside. That's why it is still on the porch - he doesn't want to carry it down to the garage, only to have to carry it back upstairs. I can help with bringing the tree inside, but I do NOT do ladders and attics!

That's it for now. Good night!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Drained....

So, I'm just feeling really drained tonight. I have been feeling like I am trying to get sick or something. First I had post nasal drip and sinus issues the first week back to work. Now that is mostly gone and I feel nauseous off and on. And really, really tired. I am so irritable and have no patience. As soon as I got home from work, I just felt like someone sucked all the energy out of me. I don't like it, not one bit.

My day started with a birth announcement right by the sign in sheet when I got to work. And, yep, you guessed it - a baby girl! I didn't know the teacher who had the baby, but still. It took me back to how excited I was going to be when it was my turn to have the birth announcement - they do it every time a teacher or staff member in the district has a death in the family or has a baby. How ironic that my announcement ended up being both in one. At least I knew that everyone would know and I wouldn't have to field the "how's the baby?" comments from anyone (except kids).

I wasn't feeling very good off and on, and the birth announcement made me more nauseous. Then the assistant principal came in and said he was going to observe me today. Great - I feel sick and am in a bad mood. We have to get observed once per semester if you are tenured and twice if you are not. I am not- but this is my last year before I get it, so even though I was out for 7 weeks, I would like this semester to count.

I made it through the day and the observation - but I am seriously so unproductive at work it's ridiculous. I see all my students, but during my preps or down time I do nothing. Sometimes I just stare at the computer. Sometimes I chat with other teachers who have a prep. Today the school psychologist came to have me sign off on something and we talked for my entire prep. Oh well. It's fine now, but it's going to come back to bite me in the butt when I am scurrying to get all this paperwork in. I feel guilty that I'm not doing more, preparing for sessions better, getting a jump start on paperwork - but I'm just in survival mode.

Tonight I was walking around with a lump in my throat. Just felt like I could cry at any give moment. I think I must have given Sierra about 1000 hugs and kisses in an attempt to uplift myself. I did work, for a little bit anyway. While I was reading her a book before bed, I was fighting back tears. There's no rhyme or reason to it. Nothing happened that triggered me. I just feel sad and really low. I don't even have the energy to respond to a couple of e-mails that I really want to respond to. I need to pay the bills. I need to get my clothes ready for tomorrow and pack my lunch. So much to do, and normally all this busy work keeps me sane. Not tonight. I wonder if it is because I have been putting on my happy face at work, and by the time I get home I don't have any left? I was worried that would happen.

Thank God tomorrow is Friday! I'm not sure I will make it through a full work week next week. For now, I'm just hoping for a better day tomorrow. And that I'm not getting sick.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Christmas in Heaven

Today when I was at work, I was searching for Christmas stories to read with the kids. I get sick of the same old stuff. As I was browsing, I came across this poem. Since it is now actually December - the 25 days of Christmas - I figured it was time to really start dealing with Christmas without Adelyn. The story behind the poem is this:

Lysandra Kay Bencke was the author's thirteen year old handicapped daughter. On Christmas day 1997, Lysandra had a seizure and was in a coma for five days before she died. During those five days the author wrote the poem "Christmas in Heaven". She sent it out in belated Christmas cards to friends and relativies that year. They also sent it on to other friends and relatives, thus how the poem and the story behind it has been changed.

Christmas In Heaven
I see the countless Christmas trees around the world below
with tiny lights like heaven's stars reflecting on the snow.

The sight is so spectacular please wipe away that tear
for I am spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.

I hear the many Christmas songs that people hold so dear
but the sounds of music can't compare with the Christmas choir up here.

I have no words to tell you of the joy their voices bring
for it is beyond description to hear the angels sing.

I know how much you miss me, I see the pain inside your heart
for I am spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.

I can't tell you of the splendor or the peace here in this place.
Can you just imagine Christmas with our Savior face to face?

I'll ask him to lift your spirit as I tell you of your love
so then pray for one another as you lift your eyes above.

Please let your hearts be joyful and let your spirit sing
for I am spending Christmas in heaven and I'm walking with the King.


Wanda Bencke
"copyright 1998"

Monday, November 29, 2010

Two Months

So, today it has been exactly two months since that tragic day. "The day" as it will forever be known. Sometimes I can't even bring myself to say the date, or say "the day Adelyn died." I don't like to speak those words out loud. I guess it makes them more real.

Surprisingly, today was not that bad. I am still on Thanksgiving break, so I guess it's good that I didn't have to go to work. And thinking ahead, I will also be off for Christmas break on the three month mark. Nice to know in case it happens to be a bad day.

Anyway.......back to today. Sierra had her Christmas pictures at Olan Mills. They were running late - of course - so we walked around and shopped (it's inside Kmart). At one point "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" was playing and it made me so sad. I don't know what it is about that song. I found the Dora Super Babies book that I thought was no longer in print, so I was happy about that. Sierra LOVES that book. Then I found a Christmas Dora giant coloring page book - and she's totally into coloring and Dora right now, and really likes the big pages. As I'm typing this I just had a flashback to the very first set of Dora giant coloring pages that my cousin bought for Sierra. It was "before" and the idea was to entertain her while I was taking care of the new baby. I hate how those fleeting sad moments pop into my head at random times :( So, back to the present, I also found a roll of Dora posters to color - 25 feet! Had to get that, too! Not that Sierra needs any more presents - but these things entertain her. The book and Christmas coloring pages I am just going to give her now to keep her busy. The roll will go into her stocking. I just really don't care about spoiling her right now. It's like I have all this love saved up for Adelyn, but she isn't here to receive it in the way I know how to give it, so I just end up giving it all to Sierra. Or at least trying to.

Sierra did such a good job with the pictures. What a difference 7 months makes. Her 2 year pictures were hard! So many turned out good, and a good chunk of change later, I made my final decisions. I ordered montage prints for my parents and in-laws, and one for us, along with some sheets of different poses, and then they conned me into the disc for an extra $20. I sort of regret that, but at least I can use the pictures for my Christmas cards now and I won't have to stress about getting her to pose for a picture in front of our tree. Although she may actually pose now, which makes me happy :) Did I mention I love pictures?

After the pictures we shopped some more. I decided to "sponsor" an angel and picked a 3 month old baby girl. I thought I could pretend I was shopping for Adelyn. So I got her a glow worm today. I want to get her a toy cell phone, except it has to be pink, and they didn't have a pink one. So to Toys R Us I will go! I am also including 2 onesies that I had bought for Adelyn and even though they still have tags, I cannot return them. I'd like another baby to get to wear them. I did keep a few things of Adelyn's that are sentimental - like the outfit she was going to wear to come home in and her little sister onesie - but most I returned if I could, and a lot of the clothes were Sierra's anyway. As mentioned earlier, I think I will have a boy if there is a next time, so I don't want to hold on to the girl stuff. Besides, even if we did have a girl, we didn't need the new clothes I bought. You should see Sierra's closet. Some day I will post a picture of it!

So, after Kmart we went to the library and got more books, then grocery store to pick up a few things I forgot. I actually made it until this point without crying. I don't know how. It wasn't until I read an e-mail that the tears finally came - but not as bad as it has been. I feel strangely uplifted today. Not sure why. I have been trying really hard to think about what I have, not what I don't have. Plus Sierra just made it really a hard for me to be sad today. She was giving me hugs and kisses while we were shopping. And she just might be the cutest little girl ever. Just wait till I post her Christmas pictures!

I definitely had flashes of the past - while cooking dinner I noticed the clock say 5:46 and that's when Adelyn was born. At this point I then avoided the clock because obviously I knew that 6:04 was coming (the time they prounounced her). The next time I looked at the clock it was about 6:10 and I did for a second start to think back to how we were feeling two months ago. I guess now I am better at quickly redirecting my mind away from those thoughts. I am not sure if that is what I should be doing? Should I let myself think them and be upset, allow myself to grieve? Or should I push them away and keep busy so that I can function? I think some things I just need time to process, and I think about them over and over again, then after awhile I am sort of "ok" with them.

Happy 2 months in heaven, Adelyn. It comforts me to know there are so many other wonderful angel babies up there for you to play with. I just wish their mommies and daddies didn't have to hurt so much in order for that to happen. We love you, baby girl!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Tear Soup

Someone recommended the book called Tear Soup to me. I found it at the library and have to admit, really liked it. So, since I am taking it back tomorrow, I thought I would write down some of the things/parts I liked best about the book. One page has pictures of books on a shelf, each one has something written on it that would be a reason for grief. Among them are "stillbirth" and "pet died." I give the author credit for recognizing stillbirth as a true reason for grief.

"It seems that grief is never clean. People often feel misunderstood, feelings get hurt and wrong assumptions are made all over the place. To make matters worse, grief always takes longer to cook than anyone wants it to."

"All she could taste was salt from her teardrops. It tasted bitter, but she knew this was where she had to start. And for now, it was the only thing on her menu."

"Grandy's arms ached and she felt stone cold and empty. There were no words to describe the pain she was feeling. What's more, when she looked out the window it surprised her to see how the rest of the world was going on as usual while her world had stopped."

"Grandy found that most people can tolerate only a cup of someone else's tear soup. The giant bowl, where Grandy could repeatedly share her sadness in great detail, was left for a few willing friends."

"I feel like I'm unraveling. I'm mad. I'm confused. I can't make any decisions. Nobody can make me feel good. I'm a mess. I just didn't realize it would be this hard."

"Grandy looked forward to getting the mail each day. She dreaded the day when no more sympathy cards would come."

"Thank goodness Grandy and Pops have been married a long time. They already knew each other's tear soup would be different. Secretly Grandy wished Pops would put more flavoring in his soup, but he doesn't want to. And he's perfectly content to dine alone and sip his own soup."

"Making tear soup is hard work. Sometimes it was all she could think about. Even the things Grandy used to love to do, she didn't have the energy for, nor did she care about anymore."

"Some days when you're making tear soup it's even hard to breathe. Some days you feel like running away. You just hope a better day comes along soon. And then comes one of the hardest parts of making tear soup. It's when you decide it may be okay to eat something instead of soup all the time."

"I've learned that grief, like a pot of soup, changes the longer it simmers and the more things you put into it. I've learned that sometimes people say unkind things, but they really don't mean to hurt you. And most importantly, I've learned that there is something down deep within all of us ready to help us survive the things we think we can't survive."

There are also tips in the back of the book that are really good.
-The object of grieving is not to get over the loss or recover from the loss but to get through the loss.
-You deserve to be happy again. Being happy doesn't mean you forget. Learn to be grateful for the good days.
-Remember the past, hope for the future, but live in the present.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Girls, girls everywhere....

So, today was ok. Sierra and I went grocery shopping, finally! My husband cleaned the whole house. I'm talking toilets, showers, wiped down all the base boards, cleaned the hardwood floors, mopped the tile floors, and dusted. That's enough to put anyone in a good mood!!

Trevor and my dad went to get a Christmas tree this afternoon. Bah humbug! But really, I can't avoid Christmas - I can't do that to Sierra. We are doing the minimal amount needed. Tree, stockings, candles in windows, Christmas wreath on door and in windows. That's it.

My nieces came over to visit today. They are 14 and 10. We had pizza for dinner and then Sierra threw up on the carpet afterwards. Great. She was running around after that so I guess she is ok. We watched Toy Story 3 and Sierra sat right next to me and let me cuddle her the whole time :) I can't believe she sat and watched the whole movie.

Just about the entire time we were watching the movie, my nieces were writing messages on Sierra's doodle pro and handing them back and forth. It was so cute, but so sad at the same time. At first I thought - well, look, they are 4 years apart and look how well they hang out together. Then my mind started thinking of Sierra and how she won't get to do that with her sister. I know that maybe she will have a sister someday, but for some reason I'm convinced if we have another baby it will be a boy. And I know she won't miss what she doesn't know or have, but I'll know. I'll miss it for her. It kills me right now :(

So after the girls left, I signed on to Facebook and saw a post from an old friend: "we are having a healthy baby girl." First thought - why the hell is everyone having girls right now? Seriously, it just seems to sting more when I hear people are having girls. And it stings a LOT. Second thought - I wanted to respond "yeah that's what I thought too. Don't assume a healthy baby so soon." Of course I would never do that, but I really, really wanted to. I'm sure her baby will be healthy and fine. And good for her - she's a sweet person and deserves it. I wouldn't want her to know my pain. It just seems like it's only my baby who died, everyone else's is fine.

I did go in the nursery today to put the baby car seat in there. I didn't want to keep it under the stairs and take up space and get dirty. I just took apart the whole thing and washed it. You know what a pain that is, and it never even got used. Boo. Anyway, I didn't have a meltdown when I went in. But the little clothes hanging in the closet made my heart sink a little lower than it already is right now. Everything ready for a baby who will never need those things. Maybe another little baby will need all that stuff someday. But that's in God's hands right now, even though I'm so scared about leaving it that way.

Tomorrow is another day.........

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thankful?


Today has been and up and down kind of day. We all slept in until 8 - which made me happy. Sierra and I watched parts of the parade on TV this morning. Then someone performed Green Day's "Good Riddance" :

"Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road
Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go
So make the best of this test, and don't ask why
It's not a question, but a lesson learned in time
It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right.
I hope you had the time of your life.
So take the photographs, and still frames in your mind
Hang it on a shelf in good health and good time
Tattoos of memories and dead skin on trial
For what it's worth it was worth all the while"

My heart sank and my eyes welled up with tears. How I wish we were celebrating Adelyn's first Thanksgiving today. I thought about last year and how we had taken a photo of all the moms and kids and then all the dads and kids. For some reason, it made me sad. I hope we don't do it again this year, because all I will be thinking about is how Adelyn is missing. But on the other hand, it's priceless. There's Sierra, 2.5 years old, Riley (my cousin's son), also 2 years old, Aiden ("cousin's" son), 1 year old, Arlie (my precious niece), 1 year old, and Lucas (another "cousin's" son), 8 months. What a group - all so close in age, just like we all were growing up. I was so looking forward to Adelyn joining the family to even up the boy/girl mix. I grew up with a brother, 2 first cousins who are boys, and then 2 "cousins" (not really blood related, but they are my cousins in law I guess) who are also boys. I was the only girl!!! You can only imagine how I was tortured.

So, I started getting grumpy. Of course I turned to Sierra for a pick me up. We made handprint turkeys to give to people today, and then she started painting all these other pictures. The turkeys turned out so cute, and she had a blast. Ok, feeling better.

Then Trevor decided he was going to go to his parents' house a little this afternoon. I don't feel like going. I just feel uncomfortable there - basically it's because of his jerk of a dad, but I won't get into that. For once I'm thinking about myself. So, I don't want to go. I feel bad enough as it is. He wants to take Sierra. I don't want to stay home alone on Thanksgiving, but I don't want to keep Sierra from his family. So I snap at him and feel bad. Turns out, Sierra got cranky and took a nap, so the decision was made for me. She's here napping and he went to his parents' house alone. He will meet us at my aunt's house later.

I sign in to Facebook to pass the time and there are all these happy posts about having so much to be thankful for. This makes me resent all the happy people in the world. Sounds awful, but it's the truth. So again I'm grumpy. While I do know I have plenty to be thankful for, it's hard. But I am going to make a list right now before we head over to my aunt's house, in hopes it will cheer me up a little. Here goes - I am thankful for:
-Sierra. Of couse she's #1 on this list. I love that little girl more than anyone or anything in this world. Sorry Trevor! She is the one person who can instantly cheer me up, just by being herself. She's got the biggest personality - the life of the party. We are so blessed.
-my husband. He has really put himself on the backburner for the past 2 months to try to help me out, but I know he's hurting too. He helps me cook, clean, take care of Sierra, in addition to all the man stuff like changing the oil in our cars. He's a do-it-yourself kind of guy, and as annoying as that is sometimes, it's one of the things I love most about him. Probably because it reminds me of my dad.
-my parents and brother. I think I have the best family. I know they would drop anything to come and help me out if I needed it. I had the best childhood - can't think of one thing I would change.
-my niece. As mentioned above, I grew up around all boys. Now more than ever, since Sierra's sister is in heaven and not here with her, I am grateful that she has a girl cousin to grow up with.
-my extended family. I honestly love them all. We have so much fun and truly enjoy each other's company. That is rare!
-my friends. Throughout this journey of grief, I have reconnected with old friends, and made new friends that I didn't expect to be there for me as they have done. And current friends who proved why they are in my life. No one really let me down.
-my job. Yes, most mornings I wake up and dread going to work. I would rather stay home and play with Sierra all day. But, most days I come home from work in a better mood than when I left. That's saying something. I'm glad I can get paid to make a difference in a child's life. I'm glad I have a short work day and work 10 minutes from our house. And I'm REALLY glad I'm off all summer!
-Sierra's baby-sitter. If I have to work, I can't think of anyone better to take care of my most prized possession. She really loves Sierra like one of her own and takes such good care of her. I know if push came to shove, she would stand up for Sierra. That's more than I can say for some blood relatives.
-my neighborhood. Goes along with friends, but I just love the fact that I can ask them to let my dog out and they will. I love that everyone is outside and our kids all play together. So much better than where we lived in NM, when no one came outside.
-our health. This should probably be higher up on the list. Just about everyone in my life is healthy right now. My uncle is receiving treatment for cancer, but I have faith he is going to be ok. So far, so good.
-financial security. While I honestly could care less about money right now, I am thankful that we have the money to live in a nice, safe neighborhood. We can buy Sierra whatever she needs/wants and have money to enroll her in fun things as she grows up. And honestly, most things I have ever wanted, within reason of course, we have been able to buy.

I think that's enough for now. Feeling better - Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Siblings


Today was an ok day at work. Surprising, since I was at the high school and it's my least favorite building. It's just hard working with the same kids on the same things over and over. That's how it is at that level. The kids don't want to be there, and I will have like 2 students tops in a group. Sort of boring. I think that I could disappear and most of the staff there wouldn't even notice. Some days, that's a good thing. Other days it's sort of lonely. As time goes by, I meet more and more teachers there and I honestly really like the teachers. If I was a real teacher, I wouldn't mind working with high school kids. But as a speech therapist, the little ones are where we make the most progress.

I went to pick Sierra up and she was the last one still there. Usually this makes it easier. But today, she just really didn't want to leave and started throwing a fit. It made me sad that she wasn't happy to see me. But I knew the real reason she didn't want to come home was because there are no kids to play with at our house. I started thinking about all the other kids she interacts with - neighbors, other kids her baby-sitter watches - and ALL of them have siblings. I just started feeling so down. So sad for Sierra that she doesn't have one to play with at home. I know, if Adelyn were here, she wouldn't be able to play much yet. But Sierra LOVES babies so much, she would have had a blast helping me with her.

Then, there's the obsession she has with Dora and the Super Babies/aka Dora's baby brother and baby sister. She talks about them constantly. I'm used to it, so I don't cringe as much when she says those words. But, still, it hurts.

Then I started thinking about the Big Sister Dora doll that my mom and I had bought to give Sierra when her baby sister was born. My mom had it in her trunk when she came over to watch Sierra when I went to the hospital. She never took it out after all that happened, and when I was loading up her car after the wake, I saw it in there. So then I started thinking about that and how sad it made me :(

I had been thinking that maybe we should just give Sierra the Dora doll. She'd LOVE it, and while I think she will be a big sister to a baby that comes home with us some day, what if she isn't into Dora by then? She might as well play with it now, while she is so consumed with it. So I called my mom to tell her that and asked about the doll. She got it out to see what it does, pressed something and Dora started singing "I just love being a big sister" blah blah. Ugh. I certainly can't handle hearing that over and over. Maybe we will just take out the batteries until she has a baby brother or sister that comes home to meet her.

So, that's a little insight to how my crazy mind works right now. One thing leads to another and reminds me.

"Well, how can I forget you, girl?
When there is always something there to remind me.
Always something there to remind me.
I was born to love her, and I'll never be free
You'll always be a part of me."

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

What goes up, must come down....

So, I expected today to not go as well as yesterday. I'm not to the point of having multiple good days in a row. I could tell right when I woke up, I was already struggling. Tuesdays I am at the elementary school, where I am usually the busiest. I have about an hour of prep time in the morning, so I tried to catch up on entering data in the computer. It's quite hard to understand someone else's data!! My sub got a little behind, but I was able to catch it up today. After my first group of kids, I had another chunk of time without kids. Normally, this is wonderful. I can write IEPs, organize, etc. But today I just wasn't feeling it. I couldn't focus, and started to feel sad. I worked through it. My next group of kids was 2 first graders. As soon as I get them, the one girl - who has no impulse control, so I was expecting it - says something along the lines of "a lot of kids are talking about your baby. What happened?" Again, I brushed it off by telling her we were not going to talk about it. The session went ok, but a small lump began to form. The next few groups went by without a hitch, and the kids made me feel a little better. After lunch, I had a group of 4th graders who are just working on articulation. Nice kids, "normal" kids - kids that knew I was pregnant and would understand if someone told them what happened. One of the kid's mother had a baby right after me - I guess - I never asked about the baby since I was back, just couldn't. So, he asked me how my baby was doing. Again, I just told him we were not going to talk about that. So now I'm starting to get pissed off. Pissed off because I had to answer that question more than I wanted to today. Even more pissed off because I had to avoid really answering it, sugar coat it, whatever. I know they are kids and don't really understand - but THIS kid would have, and if someone would have told him, they could have spared me that ache today. But no one did. They are too afraid or what? So, I'm not sure how to handle this. Let the kids think my baby is fine and I don't want to talk about her (yeah right, I'd be showing them pictures of her if she was alive), or tell the ones that can understand the truth. Should I ask if it's ok for me to tell them? I just don't know.

So, after this group I had a prep and was chatting with the secretary. I found out after Adelyn died, that she had also lost a daughter at birth about 30 years ago. So, as we are talking, a mother comes in to pick up her child early and notices the birth announcement on the bulletin board for a teacher's baby who was born in August. She starts talking about him and I found myself making one comment and walking away. Yuck.

Then, to top off my pissed off-ness, I had drive over to the other school to work an extra 30 minutes for an inservice that doesn't apply to me. I don't give tests, and that's what they were working on. But I must go, because of the stupid "contract." I was in such a funky mood by the time I got there, that a teacher asked me how I was doing and I said "I'm angry." Usually I just say, ok. Not today.

I found myself kind of cranky for the rest of the night. Snapping at my husband because he didn't want to eat ham. Snapping at Sierra for not wanting to use the potty. But, we ended up watching Curious George together in our bed as a family. Even though for a second I thought about who was missing, it was still a good moment. I don't even watch TV when we do this, I watch Sierra watching the TV. I love to see her smile and make all these little expressions as she watches. I like to think that this is something I do now because of Adelyn. I take the time to appreciate how perfect and wonderful Sierra is. I always knew it, but now I will never take for granted this precious child I was given.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Finally!


It finally arrived - a good day! I can't believe it. I've been feeling "blah" lately - not happy, not sad, just there. I can't decide what's worse - "blah" or having the somewhat highs followed by the really lows.

So, my day started regular. Cranky that I had to get up and go to work. Sierra refused to go on the potty. I got to work and my first group of kids came in. I call them my "normal" group because they are regular kids that just have some lingering articulation errors. Actually, they all are ready to be done except maybe 1 of them. But I had the same 4 kids in a group last year and they were my favorite group at the middle school. So, one says "so, I have to ask you - are you okay?" I thought it was so sweet, coming from an 8th grade boy. I was in a good mood - thankfully- or I may have lost it after that question. I just talked a little about it and said I'm not okay but I am, what happened was awful but what can you do. He says "well, you can make another one." Lol. Let's stop right there buddy! Then he proceeds to tell me that he'll tell the stork to hurry up and bring me another one. Obviously he was being sarcastic but it was funny and cute.

First period I go down to a classroom to work with some kids in the room. After class ended, I was talking to 2 of the learning support teachers. Both of them have 2 girls, like I should have. We were talking about Christmas shopping and they were saying how they had to worry about their girls fighting over presents. And I got a little sad. I wish I had that problem.......

I did get some work done during my prep, but still a lot to do. After lunch I had to drive over to my other school. I do not have a room in this building, but use someone else's. She takes over the room and pisses me off. Every time I go in to get my files, she moves this stupid cart in front of them so I can't get in there. Grrrr.... So inconsiderate. I'll stop there, cause I could go on. It's like an unspoken war - I move the cart, she moves it back the next day. Good thing I was in a good mood today or else I could have let her have it. This whole experience has made me have little tolerance.

So, I go to get my Kindergarten students - first time I've seen these 2 since I came back. The one hands me a picture of a rainbow. I asked him how he knew I liked rainbows and he says "cause you're a girl". Awww. Anyway, for those of us who are unfortunate enough to have lost a baby - rainbow has a special meaning. It refers to the baby you have after the one you lost. After a hurricane, comes the rainbow. "Rainbow baby" they are called. I hope to have one, soon - I think. Still debating on when the right time is. Maybe this was a sign? Who knows. Guess time will tell.

Then I get my first graders. Same kid who asked about how my baby was doing on Friday. He tells me he is scared of 2nd grade. Now, we are not even halfway through first grade! I asked him why, was he afraid of the teachers. He tells me he hopes to get this one particular teacher "because she's hot." I tried not to laugh.

And, the best for last. 3rd grader working on TH - I give him the word broth and ask him to use it in a sentence. He says "Girls wear a broth, but boys don't." Oh my....

I think I could entertain people just by writing about the kids at work! Not sure if they are why I was in a good mood or not. I was due for a good day I guess. The sad feelings came back a little on my drive home and even more so when I went to pick Sierra up and the pregnant neighbor who is due in Dec. was there. She's having a girl - of course! But, I got through it without a meltdown or complete change of mood.

So, in honor of my good mood, I'm going to type out this quote from Grey's Anatomy that I wrote down awhile back. It was the first time I actually sat down and watched TV since Adelyn died. It was the season premiere episode, after the shootings and all.

"Lightning doesn't often strike twice. It's a once in a lifetime thing. Even if it feels like the shock is coming over and over again. Eventually the pain will go away and the shock will wear off and you start to heal yourself. To recover from something you never saw coming. But sometimes the odds are in your favor. If you are in the right place at the right time, you can take a hell of a hit and still have a shot at surviving."

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Climb

I'm embarrassed to admit that a Miley Cyrus song made me cry today. But, it did. I was driving home from our haircuts, Sierra was falling asleep in her car seat. The song came on the radio, and it caught me. The first words are "I can almost see it, that dream I am dreaming" and it brought me back to the feelings I had the other day when I wrote about shattered dreams. So I really listened to the lyrics this time.

The Climb
I can almost see it
That dream I am dreaming
But there's a voice inside my head saying
"You'll never reach it"

Every step I'm taking
Every move I make feels
Lost with no direction
My faith is shaking

But I gotta keep trying
Gotta keep my head held high

There's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be a uphill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose

Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb

The struggles I'm facing
The chances I'm taking
Sometimes might knock me down
But no, I'm not breaking

I may not know it
But these are the moments that
I'm gonna remember most, yeah
Just gotta keep going

And I, I got to be strong
Just keep pushing on

'Cause there's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be a uphill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose

Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb, yeah!

There's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Somebody's gonna have to lose

Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb, yeah!

Keep on moving, keep climbing
Keep the faith, baby
It's all about, it's all about the climb
Keep the faith, keep your faith, whoa

Friday, November 19, 2010

Back to Work

Yesterday was my first day back to work since Adelyn died. For the first few weeks, I actually wanted to go back. I thought being busy and getting out of this house would be good for me. I could not bear to be in this house in the quiet, especially during Sierra's nap time. Then, as I started feeling physically better, I started getting out more. My phone was ringing - or should I say "dinging" from all the texts - my facebook inbox was jammed with messages and invites from all kinds of people. I never felt so popular! So, I started taking advantage of it. Every day, Sierra and I would go somewhere with friends - library class, mall, lunch, dinner, gymnastics class. And suddenly, I was actually enjoying myself. As the last of my 7 week leave neared, I started dreading going back. I always dread going back after being off all summer, but this was different. Somehow, I felt even more connected to Sierra. After all, she had been the glue holding us all together. She made us laugh when I never thought it was possible. She took care of us, without even realizing it. After losing Adelyn, I decided that I did not want to miss a second of Sierra's life. I could experience it with her, but I was robbed of that chance with Adelyn.

But, as we know, life is unfair and I HAD to go back to work. So I tried to enjoy the last few days and prepared myself to be back in the old routine. I was ok until the drive to work. I felt it - the lump in my throat. I fought it back, but it won. Only for a minute. Then I was stopped behind the school bus and the lump was back. My phone "dinged" - text message from my cousin talking about taking her mother-in-law for her colonoscopy. I laughed and decided - it could be worse. The lump was gone! I walked into the office to sign in, and it wasn't so bad. I passed a few people, who said "welcome back!" I made it to my room and through my first group of kids, who seemed excited to have me back. I made it through lunch, but then the day started to drag. I tried to focus and do some paperwork. As I was reading through a report my sub had done to make sure I liked the goals she picked, I noticed it - date team reviewed existing data 9/29/2010. Really? You mean people actually did normal things on that day, the worst day EVER? How dare them. I got a little sad, stared at it for a moment, and moved on. Finally, it was time to leave. I made it through the whole day without a breakdown. Amazing. And, it wasn't so bad. But I have to admit, doing something for the first time since Adelyn died is always hard. I think back to the last time I did it, the last time I was in that building, about how happy and excited I was. And now I was back, without my baby, without that exciting thing to look forward to, and it makes me SO sad.

Day 2: a different school, so like reliving another first day. I get there before most of the teachers, but I was still feeling sad on the very short drive to work. Some things never change - the room I share still had crap and boxes piled everywhere. But - a new computer chair!! Finally - that old one hurt my back. I tried to get organzied but ended up chatting with a few teachers. I was impressed with how everyone in that building treated me. It was like someone had given them a lesson on how to talk to bereaved people. No one made me feel like an alien. There were no awkward, sad looks. Just genuine, caring words and looks. Maybe I was just in a good place that day, so I didn't take everything as people giving me the "poor her" look, I don't know. Most people said welcome back, how's your day going, we're here if you need us, etc. People didn't even seem uncomfortable when I talked a little bit about it. Some of the kids I see slipped - apparently the principal and guidance counselor had talked to them about me coming back and told them not to ask me about it because some things were private. So, 2 kids said "I'm not going to talk about your baby." Well, you just brought it up! One asked if my belly was going to get bigger again - I said I hope not (unless I get pregnant again, that is). And the worst of all - I pulled out picture cards and of course one of a baby eating was on top. A first grader said "how's your baby?" and then "is it a boy or girl?" Darn lump came back in my throat and I thought I could lose it. Calmly, I redirected him and said we were not going to talk about that. And we moved on. At lunch, teachers asked how my day was doing and I told them about that comment. They all seemed genuinely upset for me. I even noticed when talking to the school nurse, who just had a baby girl in August, that she only talked about her older son to me. She did not bring up her baby at all - and I know how hard that is. I'm thankful that she was so considerate. I did talk to her prior to going back to work about how hard it was going to be for me to hear about all the new babies in the building. But she actually listened. Of course there were 3 other women who just had babies and their babies were all healthy. The rest of the day went fast, but I found myself feeling overwhelmed. So much to do, things to organize, and I just couldn't focus enough to get it all done. But, another day checked off the calendar. I'm still counting down until June, when I can be home with Sierra again - and hopefully a little closer to a rainbow.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Shattered Dreams

Since my last post, we have gotten the autopsy results back and I went back to work. While I would like to write about that, I am so tired and those require thought and time to do. What is really on my mind is this:

I always wanted to have a daughter. Maybe it's because I grew up around all boys, or maybe it's because of the relationship that I have with my mother. When Sierra was born, I seriously could not believe I actually had a little girl. Sometimes I would just smile thinking about all the fun we would have doing "girly" stuff together. Anyone who knows me can also vouch that I have enjoyed shopping for her and dressing her!! When I got pregnant again, I truly didn't care if we had a boy or girl. I always thought I wanted one of each - perfect, balanced family. But after having Sierra, I thought another girl would be nice too. I just love having a little girl that much. And I thought about how sad I would be to pack away all her girly things. So, when we found out we were having another girl, I was elated. A lot of people thought I would be disappointed that it wasn't a boy, but I wasn't. I quickly got attached to the idea of matching dresses, tea parties, best friends, and PINK! Never been a pink person either - weird. I remember driving around thinking about the fact that I was going to be a mommy to 2 little girls - and feeling this huge grin come over my face. One time, the song "Daughters" by John Mayer came on and my emotions got the best of me and I started crying - out of joy I guess. Needless to say, that song is now ruined for me.

Anyway, I had this dream at my finger tips and then at the very last possible second, it was snatched away. It makes me feel physically sick that Adelyn was a perfect little girl, but yet she is not here with me. It hurts so much knowing I came that close to this dream. I think it would have been a little easier had it not been dangled in front of me like that. I was almost able to grab it, but then it was pulled away. And my heart is forever broken I think.

Yes, I have Sierra. I love her more than I ever thought it was possible to love someone. Tonight I was reading her a book before bed, and I just got so sad that I would never get to do that with Adelyn. And that Sierra would never get to wear matching dresses with her, or play baby dolls with her, or even fight with her. Life is just so unfair sometimes. We loved that baby girl and wanted her to complete our family more than anything. Why???

Monday, November 15, 2010

First Post

I have been thinking about doing this for a while now. After Adelyn died, people showered me with gifts. I guess they didn't know what to do, but wanted to do something to make me feel better. Truth is, no amount of "stuff" will bring her back, and that's all that will make me feel better right now. I got necklaces, bracelets, Christmas tree ornaments, figures, windchimes, gift cards, a night light, and other things I'm sure I am forgetting. I also got 2 journals. I thought it would be good to write and vent when I needed to. But I don't like to actually write. I change my mind about what I want to say too many times. I like typing better - I can reread and delete or change things around if I want. Plus, I liked the idea that I could vent my thoughts and people could actually read them if they wanted to. So, here goes the blog idea. If anything, I hope it will be therapeutic. I certainly need that right now.....