Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas

I think I am still recovering from it. Despite being off all week, I have yet to find time to get much done.  I guess we have been too busy playing with all the toys Sierra got!  It is ridiculous - I think we need an addition to our house to fit them all.  She got some good stuff though, just about everything *I* wanted for her.  I say *I* because she probably would have been happy with just the changing table she asked Santa for over and over.  Funny thing is, it's probably the one she has played with the least.  I figured that would happen, good thing I found it on Craigslist!

Sierra also got a huge doll house with all kinds of furniture and accessories.  Little pieces EVERYWHERE!  It's funny because the crib in it plays a lullaby and I hear that all the time.  I knew she would love it because it comes with twins - a boy and a girl - and there are pink and blue things for them.

Coen got some socks, a bib, an outfit and a few books.  I rewrapped some blocks of Sierra's because she had told Santa that he wanted those - no need to buy more baby toys, we have too many as it is.  He also got her Baby Einstein DVDs and some "Baby's 1st Christmas" books that she got for her first Christmas.  I tried to be economical, and she didn't notice!  Neither did Coen, he just sat in his bouncy seat and watched The Christmas Story while Sierra opened his presents!

Then we headed to my parents' house for brunch.  Sierra got lots of goodies there - a Leapster (which she LOVES), a couple board games, a cash register and play phone, lots of books and some little stuff.  Her favorite was the Strawberry Shortcake clubhouse from my aunt - when she opened it she said "It's just what I wanted!" and wanted it to be opened up right away!  She also got a sled, a Rapunzel mini play set, and two Dollie and Me matching outfits from my brother.
Coen slept through the entire thing!  He got a few toys, a baby's first Christmas ornament - not too bad.  Next year when he starts getting toys is when we may have to take two cars to fit it all in!

Sierra didn't nap and had a near meltdown before we left to go to my in-law's.  Sierra got more stuff there, including the Rapunzel tower, an easel, Hi Ho Cherry-O (which we have had fun playing together) and another Strawberry Shortcake play set (a different one - no duplicates this year).  Coen got a bath seat and towel - things he needed.  I can't wait until he sits up so we can use it in the tub and not have to do two baths!

Adelyn even got some presents - a pink butterfly ornament from my mom, an angel that says "When a child is born, the angels sing" from my sister-in-law and brother - that one I think I will put on our tree, not Adelyn's because it sort of reminds me of both Coen and Adelyn - like the angels (including Adelyn and all her heavenly friends) sung when Coen made it here safe and sound - and an angel with the September birthstone from my aunt. On Christmas Eve we got a silver sparkly "A" from my cousins and a bunch of pink butterflies from another cousin. Those are the two cousins who texted me daily right after Adelyn died and throughout my difficult pregnancy with Coen.

I got an iPad!!  We had been thinking about it before Coen was born, so I could use it in the hospital and at home when all I did was sit and feed.  It would have been nice to have in those early weeks, it definitely would have helped entertain Sierra better than TV, but oh well.  We tried to find a used one, but most were scams so we didn't get it.  Plus our car needed new tires and that is way more important.  I'm glad to have it, and glad the bill will come after I get another full paycheck :)  I feel like it gives me more time.  I know I spend too much time on the Internet and Facebook, but I can't help it.  Now I can go online while I nurse Coen or while I am downstairs watching Sierra play.  I feel like I have already had enough time on the computer by the time they go to bed, so I can relax.  And I like playing games with Sierra on it.  Between the iPad, her Leapster and the board games she received, I feel like we have actually spent a little more quality time together lately.  That is much needed, as Mommy guilt was getting to me.  I am always so busy with Coen or general household chores that have to get done, that I was really missing my quality Sierra time.  I felt like all I was doing was correcting her and punishing her for misbehaving.  It's so hard to balance it all.

All in all, it was a good Christmas.  But I was still aware that someone was missing.  A few times I tried to imagine what it would be like if Adelyn was here.  Our house would really be exploding with baby dolls and pink.  It was around that same age that Sierra really started getting into dolls.  Who knows, though - Adelyn could have been completely the opposite.

We missed Adelyn just as much this year as last year.  There were really only two things that made the whole season lighter on our hearts - knowing she had a magical Christmas in Heaven with all her friends, who must be wonderful if they are anything like their mommies I have met - and of course having Coen here this year helped a ton.
Coen's First Christmas - I can't believe it's over already. Time is going too fast.....

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve is one of my favorite days of the year.  This year was much gentler than last year.  However, I did find myself with a lump in my throat when we were watching a slideshow of pictures from past years and the song "Happy Christmas" was playing.  Not sure why, but it caught me.

We have a few traditions every year, like a food exchange.  I was distracted by trying to talk to everyone so I missed a lot of it.  Although we walked away with a ton of candy, which is great because we love it - but not so great for trying to lose the rest of this baby weight - ugh.  We also sing the 12 Days of Christmas - but we get a sheet that says which verses to sing - example this year "10 maids a milking" was to be sung if you are pregnant.  Good thing that one wasn't on there last year - but no one in the family was pregnant last year.  This is my favorite part of the night, and I missed it because I was in the bedroom feeding Coen.   I was thinking to myself that I should have sung the verse for being pregnant and then said, whoops - I forgot I am not pregnant anymore, I was pregnant for so long.  I'm glad I can joke about that these days.

We just set up Sierra's doll house and put out the rest of the presents.  She got that with TONS of little pieces that are going to be all over our house - why did I do that?!  She also got the changing table she wanted for her doll, even though she hasn't been playing with Rosie much at all lately.  Then just a couple books and clothes for her doll and stocking stuffers.  Coen got socks, a bib, an outfit, two books that I bought specifically for him - and then we wrapped some of Sierra's old Christmas books and baby toys so it would look like "Santa" brought him more.  What does  he really need?  She told Santa that Coen wanted blocks, so I did find her old ones that have been put away for years and wrapped them up for him.

Sierra left Santa his milk and cookies that we baked today.  We are all ready for the morning!


As if this post isn't random enough already, I wanted to throw in this poem.  It was from the hospital memorial service we attended for Adelyn, and I really like it.  Especially since I made that candle for her, and seeing it really reminds me of her and is comforting.

I will Light Candles this Christmas
by Howard Thurman

I will light Candles this Christmas;
Candles of joy despite all sadness,
Candles of hope where despair keeps watch,
Candles of courage for fears ever present,

Candles of peace for tempest-tossed days,
Candles of grace to ease heavy burdens,
Candles of love to inspire all my living,
Candles that will burn all the year long.

Love you and miss you Adelyn.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Decorations

I love finding new ways to include Adelyn in our home.  Last Christmas, I bought a lighted angel and hung it in the window of her room to symbolize her.  Everyone who saw it, knew what it was for.  I put it up again this year.

I also bought a pink Christmas tree that I planned to fill with ornaments.  This year, a friend came over to meet Coen and brought 3 gift bags.  A big one for Coen and two little ones.  I assumed one little one was for Sierra, and I was right.  I wasn't sure what the second little bag was for, until she handed it to me and said, "This is for Adelyn."  I think my heart almost jumped out of my chest, it was so happy.  That little gesture seriously made my day.  I made sure to tell her that too.  Definitely she is one of those friends I can always talk to about Adelyn, who always asks, and who I feel I have become closer to because of.  I learned that her father was a funeral director, which explains a lot.  Anway, she gave us a little angel ornament that changes colors and is really cool.  Sierra loved it and pretended it was a candle.  Ha ha.  This was awhile back, but I forgot to write about it - but it deserves mentioning because it was the best surprise to get a gift for Adelyn.

Sierra hanging the little sister ornament on Adelyn's tree.
 Back to my post - that ornament got me shopping and I found a few additions for her tree this year.  An ornament that says middle child - finding this really made me happy.  Another ornament I found was a one that said little sister.  I think I will always consider her a little sister.  I know she is also a big sister, but I don't know how to explain it.  I guess because the only image I will ever have of her is as a baby. 
I also found an angel that says hope on it, and my cousin bought me a larger angel that also says hope.  In one of my many trips to Michael's, I found two pink sparkly butterflies so I got those for her tree also.  I'm really liking how it looks.  Just yesterday we got another angel ornament from a friend - again it made me happy because there was something for all 3 of my kids in her gift.

I love this picture because I feel like all 3 of my kids are in it.
 I love finding new, different ways to include Adelyn in our decorations. Last year I debated on whether or not to hang a stocking for Adelyn.  I wanted to include her, for people to remember her, but it didn't seem right to hang a stocking for someone who died.  I saw some craft ideas from the 12 Days of Christmas with you in Heaven blog posts, and I really liked one.  I modified it, and I LOVE how it came out:
Adelyn's Christmas Candle
I love that it is sparkly and has her name so everyone who sees it knows what/who it is for.  I love that I found a stocking that says hope - I originally bought it as an ornament for her tree, but I used it on the candle instead.  Perfect!

I loved hanging a fourth stocking this year!
And yes our pets have stockings too - they are part of our family!

Sierra in front of our Christmas tree


Monday, December 19, 2011

Forgetting, then Remembering

I can't remember where I read these words - forgetting, then remembering.  I know it was someone else's blog.  I remember relating to it so well.  Especially tonight.

It's not that I forgot that I have another daughter.  Trust me, I think about her every single day.  I guess I just am used to it now, it's just so much a part of who I am that it's just always there.  I forget to be sad about it sometimes.

Tonight I was reading my e-mail and I got a message from my sister-in-law and brother.  They had sent a gift to a little girl in need who was born on September 29, 2010.  I always thought about doing something like that, but right now we are just trying to get back on our feet after 3 months of no paycheck for me.

Something about the message - the way it was written, the music, the words in the little video that played (love, joy, peace, faith) - caught me off guard.  It was written TO Adelyn.  I think because of that, it made me remember that she WAS real.  I really did have another daughter, I DO have another daughter.

I can't explain how it made me feel.  Touched is the best word.  That was the perfect gift, so thoughtful and special.  I love that they remembered Adelyn.  But yet as I sat there and watched it, the tears came.  It made the fact that she isn't here seem so real.  I was really, really sad at the same time.  I miss her and all the hopes and dreams we had for her.  This year is gentler, yes - but when I think back to last year, that pain I felt last year still hurts as much this year. 

I don't even know how to thank them.  Somehow, saying that I love the gift but it made me cry doesn't seem right.  I don't want them to feel bad for making me sad.  I just don't think that anyone who hasn't lost a child can understand why making me cry isn't always a bad thing.  I would rather cry because someone remembered, than cry because no one did.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

All I Want for Christmas

Some Christmas songs will never be the same for me - "Silent Night" being one.  Last year all I wanted for Christmas was Adelyn back.  So every time I heard that Mariah Carey song "All I Want for Christmas is You" I thought of her.  This year, the only thing I wanted was to have another baby for Christmas.  I'm  happy that I got what I wanted this year, since I couldn't have it last year.  I just don't care about anything else.  I don't even care if I get one present for Christmas.  I already got the best gift ever:


That being said, I'm having a hard time getting into the Christmas spirit this year.  No clue why - it's Coen's first Christmas after all.  He's just what I wanted for Christmas.  I think that's part of the reason - I'm just not into gifts or Christmas shopping this year.  I really dislike having to buy presents for people just because it is Christmas.  It gets to be too much, and I don't want to buy something whether they want/need it or not, just because I need to buy a gift.  Plus I'm tired, busy, stressed - I just don't have time.  I'd rather be spending time with my kids, not leaving them on one of my two days off to go buy presents.

Maybe it's just that this time of year will ALWAYS be hard.  Maybe I will always miss Adelyn a little bit more during the holidays.  I heard this song while I was nursing Coen and it really touched me.  So I think this year, it is the song that reminds me of Adelyn.
That was a very random post I know, but this is how my brain works right now.  I was sad when I started writing this, missing Adelyn.  But then the picture of Coen just made me smile and almost forget how sad I am that Adelyn isn't here.  Pretty much that is how it is right now.  I'm not sure how to feel.  I'm so thankful to have Coen here, but there will always be a hole in my heart that only Adelyn can fill.  I wish she was here, but then Coen most likely wouldn't be.  I am not sure if I will ever figure that one out.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Stress

I have so much I would like to write about, but I'm SO tired.  One full week of work is almost under my belt.  We are all fighting a cold, well everyone but Sierra - she's just fighting with us.  I had been amazed at how well she had dealt with a new baby, but I guess it took awhile for it to sink in.  Poor kid has been through so much the last year or two.  She said she was excited to go back to the baby-sitter's house and play with her friends and kept asking when I was going back to work.  But maybe deep down she does miss me, after all it was the two of us doing everything together for 4 months straight and I was home with her for 6 months.  I didn't even take off that long when she was born.  Anyway, right now she can be unbearable and fights with us on almost everything and has gone back to peeing her pants.  Now I know she is doing it on purpose for attention, because she had been completely accident free for awhile before the past week or two.  I don't even know what to do, on top of everything else going on.   It's so hard.

Stress is running high in the household right now.  If we could bottle it up and sell it, we would be millionaires.  And then I wouldn't have to go back to work and a lot of that stress would be gone.  Working full time with a two month old is ridiculous.  There is so much prep work just to get out the door. And then when I get home I feel like all I do is get ready for the next day of work.  Feed Coen, do dishes, cook dinner, more dishes, pack lunches, get my clothes ready (which is an awful task right now, enough to make me cry as nothing fits right), give the kids a bath, feed Coen again, read Sierra 100 books and pray she stays in bed.  By this time I am ready to fall over, but I might squeeze in some computer or TV time.  Then I have to pump, wash the pump, and get to bed.  And hope Coen sleeps all night.  Last night we woke up at 4 and it threw off our perfect routine. 

What happens when I am stressed?  It makes me miss Adelyn more.  Somehow I wonder if she was here, if I would feel this stressed.  It was a lot to go through the past year, and as a result we just made it through.  We didn't do much fun or relax - we just survived.  And now we have a newborn and he takes up a lot of time.  But yet we really need a vacation or even a date night.  I just don't want to miss a moment because we didn't get the chance with Adelyn.  Babies are so precious.

I love having a newborn, but I hate working while having one.  It's almost too much that I don't even get to enjoy him.  I wish I had more time to take off.

TGIF tomorrow!!!!!!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Two Months

Coen is two months old today.  Wow - time flies!  Our big boy now weighs 11 lbs 12 oz and is 24 inches long.  He got his first round of shots at his appointment and did great.  They didn't seem to affect him.  I was worried about that.  I debated spacing them out, but with how hard it was to get an appointment that works with my work schedule and the fact that I have NO sick days left this year, I decided just to get them all.  Sierra got hers on the normal schedule and was fine.  But, I know autism is more common in boys and I'm terrified.  I will probaby worry until he is 2!

Coen slept through the night again!  And this is how he spent most of the day:

I actually mentioned to my husband today that it almost didn't seem like there was a baby in the house because he was so quiet.  He just cries when he is hungry or tired.  Honestly, I think Sierra cried and fussed more than he did today.  She refused to nap and it wasn't pretty from that point on.  I don't know if she was tired or what, but wow.  She argued with everything we asked her to do and it is SO trying.  The teenage years are a scary thought!

On a brighter note, some more cute pictures from Coen's two month shots:


Baby smiles have got to be the best thing ever.  I think I could just stare at him smiling for hours.  It is the best medicine.

Happy two months, Coen Micah!  On one hand, I can't believe it has been two months already.  But on the other hand, it has ONLY been two months?  I can't imagine life without him now - and I'm certainly glad I don't have to.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Back To Work

Wow......what a difference a year makes.  Going back to work this time was so completely different than last time.  I got to hear happy congratulations and talk about my baby to people I hadn't seen yet, instead of deal with awkward looks of sympathy.  My sub this time totally rocked - we got to have a shadow day and go over where things stood so that I am pretty much in the loop.  Last year my sub was awkward, uncomfortable - not sure if it was the situation or if that just made it worse.  I actually denied the shadow day last year because it was just that bad - and I felt like I needed my space.

I had been telling everyone that ideally, this was what would happen - Coen would sleep all night, I would get up at 5 and pump, shower, eat breakfast, get dressed and ready, wake him up, and then nurse him at 6:30.  Trevor would get Sierra ready then one of us would take them over to the baby-sitter's house.  I hoped Coen would eat again at around 9:30 and 12:30 and be ready to eat when I got home around 3:30 so I could nurse him again.  I figured it wouldn't happen, but it was my plan to get on this schedule.  I figured once he started regularly sleeping through the night, it should work out.

Would you believe that today went EXACTLY as I wrote?  Coen slept from 9:30-6:30 when I woke him up!  The only glitch was right after I fed him, he spit up all over me.  One of the joys of breastfeeding is that it didn't leave a stain or stink, so I wiped it up and ran out the door.  Gross I know, but if you knew how hard it is right now to find a flattering shirt, you'd understand.  I cannot be late for work and changing my shirt may have made me late!

So we had a good day.  It was hard to focus on work when all I could really think about were my kids and wondering what I was missing.  I think next week when I have to do all the therapy (I let my sub do it today and I watched which is boring, but I wanted to see what all the kid were working on) it will keep me busy and focused and make the day go by faster.

I'm exhausted so that's all I have for tonight!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow

I feel like tonight is my last night of freedom.  Tomorrow I go back to work and the rat race begins.  I'm not looking forward to it, to say the least.

I mean, how am I supposed to leave these little faces?

My dad was watching her while I took Coen to the doctor's and she picked this flower for me.
 
This one doesn't need a caption - it melts my heart. The hat doesn't help :)
I guess I should go to bed now so I can get up.  Hopefully I have enough energy to update tomorrow, but after work, Sierra has dance class and then we have a birthday party.  Way to start off with a bang!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Overwhelmed

I am feeling just a little bit overwhelmed this week.  Between Christmas, adjusting to two kids, my husband's ridiculously busy work schedule, and the dreaded back to work date for me nearing - it's a little stressful around here.  I can't seem to get anything done and I am home all day.  How in the world am I going to do it when working full time?

I feel like I have 100 half finished projects in this house.  There is stuff everywhere- papers, coupons, cards, TOYS!  It's driving me crazy.  I know I need to learn to live with it like that, it's only going to get worse.  Every time I get in the mood to finish one thing, I get interrupted and the mood passes.  The next time it will be something else I feel like finishing!

I haven't even written in Coen's baby book yet.  His outgrown newborn clothes are still in a pile in his room.  My dad designed and installed shelves in Sierra's extra closet and I haven't  had time to organize it yet (I love doing this kind of stuff).  There is a pile of maternity clothes on the floor in our room.  I need to go through them all - I'm done wearing them. There are a few nursing tops that are so convenient so I am still wearing them - but I'm so sick of the same 5 shirts that I think I am done with them too.   I need to give my neighbor back all the clothes of hers I have had for two years, especially since she is pregnant again now.

Then there is Christmas stuff.  I think our outside decorations are done - but inside there is stuff everywhere.  Our tree has been up since Saturday but with nothing on it.  I finally put some lights on it tonight, I don't care how it looks! Sierra seemed to like it.  The bins of Christmas decorations are stacked in the office room, since this year we cannot use the nursery as a storage room (which is perfectly fine with me, I'd much rather use it for a baby).

I started putting up Adelyn's tree, which shouldn't take long.  I also put up all our stockings - it felt so nice to put up a 4th one this year.  My mantle isn't done yet though.  I decided that I wanted to make a candle for Adelyn to put up there with all our stockings.  I just didn't feel right hanging a stocking for someone who died, but yet I want her to be included with the rest of us. So a candle seemed perfect - I can burn it along with the lights on the mantle.  I want everyone to know it is for her, so I want her name on it.  I bought a flameless candle from Michaels that is very sparkly but when I got it home, it doesn't work! And I bought letters to spell out Adelyn's name, but it is a mix of colors and it didn't have all the letters I needed in red to spell it. So both things need to go back, creating MORE work for me.  It is SUCH a pain to run errands with two kids, and by the time Trevor gets home I am too tired to do it.

I'm not done Christmas shopping.  I just don't even want to do it this year.  I love to shop, but not when I am rushed.  Then it is stressful. Trying to time shopping between Coen's feedings, lunch time, and Sierra's naps is almost impossible.  I get maybe 2 hours, so by the time I drive there, unload them and get in the store, maybe an hour and a half tops?  And during that time I am trying to keep Sierra from getting antsy and usually getting stopped by a few old ladies to ooh and ahh over Coen (that part is fine with me because I was so sad that I never got to show off Adelyn).

I am really starting to get stressed about going back to work.  I am not ready. Coen is still so little.  I wish I could just have one more month.  When I think about it too long, I get depressed and almost cry because I am sad about leaving him and worried about how I am going to manage this.  Then I tell myself that if I could get through the past year, grieving our daughter while being pregnant with our son - then truly there cannot be anything I cannot do. Right?

I keep listening to this song over and over when I am in my car to remind myself of that.  "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, stand a little taller....."  Sierra even knows the words now and sings along!  Really only the chorus applies to me, but I love the song.  Thanks to Sarah S. for getting me addicted - and finding this awesome acoustic version for me.  Love it!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Pinkalicious!

Yesterday I had a much needed girls' day with Sierra.  I feel like I haven't been able to enjoy her as much since Coen arrived because I am always so busy with him, and because I feel like I am constantly on her case to give both me and him some space -she is always in his face!

We went to see a play based on the Pinkalicious book series with some neighbors and friends.  Before the play, Sierra's best friend's mommy had a little tea party and lunch for the girls.  Sierra was SO excited to see her best friend - they used to go to the same baby-sitter but Sierra has been home with me this school year so far and her best friend's mom took a year off after having a baby in the spring. So they have been missing each other!

I think there were about 14 little girls at the tea party - wow!  It was so cute to watch Sierra and Lilly.  At one point, they went in the bathroom together to go potty and refused help from anyone.  I had to laugh and think to myself - "it starts already!"  They were even already asking about sleepovers!
How cute are they?
I'm so glad my daughter already has a best friend at 3.5!  And happy that her best friend is just as crazy about her!

At the tea party, I went to check on them and they were playing in Lilly's bedroom.  She shares it with her big sister.  That room is jam packed with "sister" stuff - pictures, picture frames - you name it.  I noticed it probably more than anyone else would.  It hurt - made me sad for Sierra that she doesn't get to experience that.  I was so excited for that stuff.

The other thing that is hard for me is that Sierra's best friend also has a little sister who is 6 months younger than what Adelyn would have been.  I always imagined that the two of them would have been best friends like their big sisters.

I guess I am thankful that I can now think about these things and be ok - not be reduced to tears like I was from the moment I heard that baby was a girl until she was a few months old.  I think Coen played a big role in that.

The play was funny and entertaining - both the play itself and listening to Sierra and Lilly giggle and talk during it.  So cute!
They even got to dance on the stage afterwards!

As much as some things still hurt, I am very thankful that I have a little girl to do all these girly things with.  Life would be much more difficult if I didn't.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

O, Christmas Tree

We got our Christmas tree today.  It was fun.  We got to ride a tractor and walk around.  Coen slept the whole time in the Moby Wrap.  I'm still figuring it out and I don't think he was in it quite right, but he was happy.

The tree is up but not decorated yet.  I will get it done before I go back to work.

Here's some family pictures from our tree shopping.


Speaking of Christmas, I didn't get around to writing this yet.  We were at our neighbor's house on Thursday making bows again - Sierra needed a new one for Christmas pictures!  They were in the midst of getting out their Christmas decorations also and had a Playmobil nativity set.  The kids were playing/fighting over it while we were finishing up.  It was an interesting conversation, but it made both of us stop and laugh.  Especially when we heard, "But God is a boy!!"  Ha ha.  Then they started talking about Jesus and Sierra mentioned that "That's where my baby sister is - with Jesus!  She takes a bath with him and eats with him, too."  I guess she must have asked about that stuff and we told her that Adelyn does those things in Heaven (or up in the sky as Sierra says).  It was kind of peaceful thinking of it that way.  It was also one of those moments where I felt to proud of our biggest for being such a good big sister to Adelyn.  But it also made me sad that she has to talk about her sister in Heaven.  Sometimes I wonder what the other kids think, and worry that as she gets older they might make fun of her or think she is telling stories.  I think that it is one thing I might have to make sure her teacher knows about in case it comes up.  I wish I didn't have to think about these things......

Friday, December 2, 2011

Freak Outs

So I had two pretty good freak outs today.

Coen slept 9-7!! last night (and 9:30-5:30 the night before).  I woke up at about 5:30 and laid there, waiting for him to wake up but he didn't.  So it was either wake him up to feed him or pump.  I never wake a sleeping baby at night, so I decided to get up and pump.  Before I did, I wondered if I should go in and check on him. And then the freak out occurred. What if something happened to him while he was sleeping?  He got out of his swaddle me blanket and it smothered him?  Or he rolled over and fell victim to SIDS?  What if I went in there and he was dead?  It sounds so harsh, but this is what I was thinking.  And you know what - I was SO scared, I could not go in and check on him.  I went downstairs, pumped, came back to bed and fell back asleep.  I woke up to a crying baby at about 7 and was relieved.

Later today, we were at the mall waiting for the elevator.  There is one elevator in the main mall, so there was a line of strollers.  It was taking forever because by the time the people got off the elevator, the door was closing too fast and no one could get on.  I had Coen in his stroller and Sierra was standing right next to me.  The door opened and I was trying to hurry and to get in and hold the door - so I had Sierra go first so the door wouldn't close on her.  I was right behind her, putting my hand next to the door to hold it open but it started to close and wasn't stopping.  I panicked and pressed the button quickly, hoping the elevator door would open back up but it didn't.  So it closed, and Sierra was in it and I wasn't.  She started screaming.  I didn't know what to do, I felt torn between my two kids.  I couldn't take the stroller up the escalator, but what if Sierra got off and wandered somewhere, or worse yet someone grabbed her?  The other mothers told me to run after her and they would watch the baby.  So I left my baby in his stroller, with my purse and all on it, and RAN up the escalator to get her.  I got there just as the door shut again.  So I ran back down the escalator and when I got there she was off the elevator already standing next to one of the women, tears streaming down her face.  I scooped her up, shaking, relieved that both my kids were ok.

I told the story to a few people, who said it was sort of funny after the fact.  No, not at all.  Sierra screaming in the elevator, so scared and alone, has been replaying in my head since, haunting me.  Just like the words the doctor spoke on September 29, 2010 "I'm sorry, there is nothing we can do - she's gone."  I felt so helpless in that moment today - it reminded me of how I felt as I laid there listening to the doctors work on Adelyn.  Completely different, yet the same. 

Things are just SO different when you have had a child die.  Nothing is funny or taken lightly when it concerns your children's safety.  I have already had one of my children die - I cannot have something happen to another one of them.  I'm not sure I could come back from that.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

4:30 in the morning

No, it's not 4:30 am right now.  But I WAS up at 4:30 this morning to feed Coen and wanted to write what was going through my head then.

I was so exhausted and overwhelmed yesterday I was ready to lose it.  Being tired makes me cranky and I felt like I was not being a good mommy to Sierra as a result.  So we decided to have her sleep over my parents' house so I could get some sleep - at least if she wasn't here I could sleep in with Coen a little later.  Sometimes he wakes up to eat at 4 or 5 and then I go back to sleep but Sierra gets up at 7.  That hour or two of sleep is like a tease and often makes me more tired.

So I dropped her off but it was hard to get out of my parents' house because Coen was awake and smiling.  When we got home he was awake and alert, even after I fed him!  He was up till 11!  I tried to feed him again right before he went to sleep but he didn't eat much before he fell asleep.

As I mentioned before, I always pump before bed. But last night it was already 11 and I was exhausted, so I decided to skip it.  Since he didn't nurse very long, I probably should have.

I went to bed right after him and he slept till 4:30 am.  So I got 5 straight hours of sleep.  It was lovely!  I felt more rested even at 4:30 am than I have in awhile!  Which is probably why I remember what I was thinking while feeding him.

I woke up pretty uncomfortable because I didn't pump and it had been awhile since he had a good feeding.  As I sat there, I remembered a conversation I had with a friend the last time he slept long about how uncomfortable it was.  She said how that is the worst feeling.  Many times when people make comments like that, I answer them in my head, but never out loud because I don't want to sound negative all the time and down play what other people think is hard - it is hard for them.  Usually I will think about how everything is so much harder when you have lost a baby.  So in my head, I was thinking "yeah try having that feeling for DAYS and yet having no baby to feed.  Constant uncomfortable reminder of what you should have."

And so at 4:30 this morning, that is what I was thinking about.  Then I started thinking about Adelyn and the days/weeks right after she died.  I wish I could forget how awful it was to have that full feeling that you get when you miss a feeding - for like a week straight.  But I remember it like it was yesterday.

I miss her.  I catch myself thinking about her randomly like that.  Having another baby has been so healing, but it does bring up a lot of things that remind me of painful memories - like what happened this morning.

We love you baby girl - you are never far from our thoughts, even if it may appear that way to others.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Some Things to Smile About

I realize my last few posts have been a bit gloomy.  So it's time for a happy post :)

Some things to smile about today:
-Sierra slept till 9!! And so did I!  I'm still tired because the 3 hours at a time of sleep just isn't cutting it.  But sleeping in helps!
-We got out our Christmas decorations!  The one I am most excited about getting out is Adelyn's pink Christmas tree.  Although I was very sad that one of the ornaments I bought for her last year broke :(  For some reason when something of hers breaks, it bothers me WAY more than usual.  Like when the night light someone gave us broke.....
-I went shopping all by myself today!  I was only gone for about 2 hours because I can't leave Coen for much longer than that.  I got a few things crossed off my list though.
-I exchanged the pink scrapbook for a blue/green/yellow one.  I'm not sure if I should smile about this, but it's over with.  The scrapbook colors match Coen's baby book, and that makes me smile.  I like to match, a trait Sierra has inherited.
-I finally caved and let Trevor give Coen his first bottle tonight.  And he did GREAT - no problems!  I was so worried.  And now I will move on to being worried about him not wanting to nurse if he gets too used to bottles while I am work.  Believe me, I will always find something else to worry about.
-I knew I would find a way to coordinate girl/boy outfits :)  Supporting Daddy's alma mater!


And seriously - how cute is this video? I dare you not to smile!

video

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Baby Shower

I went to my first baby shower since Adelyn today.  I'm not sure I would have been able to do it, if it weren't for Coen.  I'm still not sure I would have been able to do it if it was for a baby girl.  So thankfully my friend is having a boy, like everyone else I know right now.

I still feel a bit weird about how everyone just assumes babies will come home.  And it's hard to hear people talk about how excited they are.  Those feelings in regards to babies and pregnancy were robbed from me the day Adelyn died.  I wish I could be naive again.

I hate how I often don't know how to respond to certain questions or feel uncomfortable about them.  Just a simple question from one of the ladies at our table (who I didn't know) - she asked if we had found out what I was having when I was pregnant with my kids.  I felt like that question was relevant to all three of my kids.  We did not know Sierra was a girl I said.  But then if I said we did know our second daughter was a girl, but she died so the whole gender topic was really touchy when I was pregnant with Coen and I don't want to talk about that - that would be too much.  So I just said no, but I felt guilty about it.  I feel like I betray Adelyn when I do that.  I almost feel like I am a hippocrit because I get so mad when others don't acknowledge her, yet here I am doing it.  I hate that - I just never know how to go about this, and it comes up a lot.  Maybe I need to just start talking about her and not care if it makes them uncomfortable.  But then I get the pity stare and people never look at me the same.  I become "the one whose baby died."  I'm more than that.

Anyway, the comment of the day from Sierra: "Well we are at a baby shower, but where's the shower?"  Kids are so literal!

My kids were all dressed up for the occassion, so I might as well show them off here too.

Sierra didn't want to stand still - she was on a sugar high from the cake.  She wanted to know why we were eating cake but no one sang happy birthday.  Ha ha!

Coen's face cracks me up in this one.  He just looked so much like a little man today - love it!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving was a frustrating mess - literally and figuratively!  We made the mashed potatoes for the second straight year.  Last year, I waited to the last second so they would still be warm and we were late to dinner.  This year I decided to try it a different way and make them in advance and just warm them up when we got to my aunt's house.  Except apparently when you let the potatoes cool before mixing them, they get lumpy.  So we made a second batch and mixed them together.  It made a huge mess and had both of us frustrated beyond belief.  And we were pretty much late to dinner again.

Trevor was trying to help by getting Sierra dressed and doing her hair.  He gave her two ponytails and they didn't look bad!  Except for the red and green Christmas hair bows he put in her hair!  Somehow he thought they matched this shirt:
I see no red in this shirt!  I keep telling him to please leave dressing Sierra to me because I usually have a specific outfit in mind for special occasions.  I know I sound crazy, but she is my only little girl that I get to dress so let me have my fun while I can!  It usually ends up causing more work.....as in today.  She decided to lay down with a blanket over her head right before we left because she skipped her nap and got tired.  And then her hair became a mess so I had to redo it.  Her hair is too fine to stay put in ponytails!

Coen spit up all over his shirt minutes after I put him in it. What is this spit up thing anyway? Sierra spit up like twice in her whole life.  I completely freaked out when he did it today, because it was more than he had ever spit up.  I was worried that this meant he was going to have reflux. 
I kept him in the shirt anyway!  It was such a hectic day that I barely had time to take any pictures.  I'm not happy with the ones I did take either.  It's so hard these days - Sierra poses or makes silly faces!

Grief caught me off guard today.  I thought once we got through all the "firsts" that it would be easier.  In some ways I feel like maybe it is just as difficult this year.  I still miss her just as much as last year.  No, it isn't so raw.  I'm genuinely happy for the most part, but still sad and missing her at the same time.  This year no one mentions her anymore.  I feel like they forget her, like they think I am not sad or having a hard time at holidays anymore.  Especially now that we have Coen.  Everyone is so busy fussing over him that I think they forget the reason he is here - because she isn't.

I actually overheard a comment about how nice it is that my brother and I both have "one of each" and they are so close in age and how "perfect" it is.  I know what was meant by it, and I know it came from a well-meaning place.  But I can't help but be bothered by it.  It makes my blood boil.  I do NOT have one of each, I have TWO daughters and one son.   It's comments like that, that make me think she is forgotten.

When we were at my in-laws, there was this sad song playing on the TV and when I looked up at the screen, I saw a picture of a baby girl with a big bow in her hair.  I almost couldn't contain the lump in my throat.  And then there is this baby doll in a cradle that sits in front of their fireplace.  Last year when we were there, it bothered me.  The cradle reminded me of a coffin for one.  When you pick the baby doll up its arms fall limply to the side.  That is one of the images that haunts me - I remember seeing Trevor holding Adelyn and her arms did that, so lifeless.  Very often when I see baby dolls - even Sierra's favorite doll Rosie - with arms like that, that image flashes in my head.  This year, seeing the doll reminded me of last year and how much I hurt.  And once again I saw that image of Adelyn's lifeless arms in my head.

I didn't expect to have a lump in my throat all day long.  I miss her.  As absolutely crazy and frustrating as the last few days have been, I find myself longing for more of it.  I wish I had a 14 month old little girl to chase around too.  I know that would be pure craziness, but I don't care.  It would be better than her not being here.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Hormones

I am so, so sick of dealing with hormones!  Why did I think that magically after 6 weeks they would be gone?  Ha ha!  I think they are worse right now.  I'm not sure if back-to-back pregnancies makes it worse, or I just don't remember last time because the grief overpowered everything.  I'm so done with hormones, but I know they are not done with me.

Today was one of those happy one minute, sad the next kind of days.  Is it because the holidays are approaching?  I was thinking this year was going to be totally different - happy because we get to celebrate a baby's first holidays.  It helps, no doubt, but I'm kidding myself thinking that it is going to be all happy.  Maybe it is going to hit me a bit more than I expect this year, because last year I think I was still numb.

I felt as emotional today as I did when I was pregnant.  I don't know what it was.  The first thing to make me cry was this article:
http://www.readability.com/articles/vk4wya5m

Then it was watching the X Factor.  Sierra was napping and I was nursing Coen.  Everyone was darn good this week, but what got me was LeRoy Bell singing "Angel" - which was played at Adelyn's funeral.  That was quite a moment, hearing that song while I was sitting there nursing Coen.  Then my favorite, Josh (can't spell his last name) dedicated his song to his daughter.  Father/daughter moments always get me, because I think of Sierra and her dad's relationship and the one he never got to have with Adelyn.

Then of course, today is Ryan Elizabeth Watt's first birthday in Heaven.  I wore my shirt to honor her today:
I thought of her mommy today and how she is not only missing Ryan but also Ryan's dad, who is deployed.  I thought about all the other families missing their babies, how there are so many names on that shirt and so many more who have joined our babies since the shirt was printed.

Sigh......I just want to feel like myself again.  I want someone to tell me how long it takes for the hormones to go back to "normal."  I'm sure there is no answer to that, but of course I forgot to ask at my dr. appointment this week.  I'm sick of hot flashes, mood swings, impatience.....I am sure my family is even sicker of it than me!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Oh, What a Day....

I hate to bore you by going through the events of my day.  But, it has been one of those days filled with moments that were so awful I wanted to cry and laugh at the same time and then some that gave me goosebumps.  So I must write about it.

I thought it was going to be a good day.  Look at that happy baby this morning!


I even managed to get us all out of the house and to Coen's photo session on time.  But of course they were running late.  There were two people working, and when it was our turn we of course get the young, inexperienced one.  Coen had been fine and sleeping the whole time we were waiting, but then he started fussing. The photographer was clueless and I was basically telling her what I wanted, but she wasn't really even doing that. Then Sierra started acting up and wouldn't listen or move out of the way.  I can usually tell within minutes if we are going to get any good pictures or not - and I knew within seconds this was not going to go well.  Finally I gave up and said we were done, because I saw people waiting and felt rushed.  I was so frustrated I wanted to cry.

The photographer was going through our pictures and I asked her if she had experience photographing young kids because it didn't seem like she knew what to do.  I wasn't trying to be rude, but it was a very BAD experience.  She just seemed like a deer in headlights.  Finally she said that there were no more appointments once they finished the one after ours, so we could try again if we wanted to.  Why didn't she just mention that when he was fussing during the shoot?  She just kind of sat there and said nothing! 

I knew Coen was tired and/or hungry and if I could just get him to fall asleep, he would do fine.  The JC Penney by our house only has a potrait studio for the holidays because there isn't enough room.  So it is crammed. I found a few chairs and sat there and decided to try to feed Coen.  I sat there and nursed him with a blanket over it for privacy (ha, yeah right).  A worker kept walking past us to go in this door that my stroller was almost blocking.  I felt bad but I wasn't getting up to move it when Coen was finally content and eating.

About 10 minutes later, Sierra says "Mommy, I have to pee."  At this moment I wonder why I wanted her to be potty trained so badly. So I asked her if she could hold it, of course she said no.  I forced Coen to be done eating and ran to the bathroom.  Wouldn't you know that it was closed for cleaning. Really?!  I asked a worker where another bathroom was before Sierra had an accident and she took us up the very slow elevator to the third floor.  Sierra made it without an accident.

Then I finished nursing Coen back on the chairs by the portrait studio.  Sierra was whining that she was hungry - I was too - and of course I left in such a rush that I didn't pack snacks.  But we were there and I didn't want to come back - plus the coupon I had expired today - so we were trying again if it killed me.  I bribed Sierra to behave with a trip to McDonald's.

Things went better with the other photographer and Sierra even behaved.  I got what I wanted - pictures similar to the newborn ones of Sierra, although I think hers are better.  I will post when I get them back, because the whole picture thing needs an entire post dedicated to it anyway.

Sierra wouldn't let me forget McDonald's, so off we went in the rain.  Probably the highlight of my day at this point was seeing that the toy in the happy meal was Hello Kitty - for those of you who don't know, I have a slight obsession with Hello Kitty.  And so does Sierra - my brainwashing worked :)

There is a bank right across from the McDonald's, so even though it was pouring I was determined to do the last errand I had planned - open a savings account for Coen.  I had his social security number with me and everything, so I was doing it today.

As we sat down, I noticed a picture of a double rainbow on the lady's desk.  I always notice rainbows now, so I commented on it.  She started telling me the story behind the picture.  Her brother passed away and was an organ donor.  They had a memorial serivce for all the people who donated organs, and during it there was a completely round, circle rainbow.  And then a double rainbow.  In the picture, it looked like there was an opening in the sky above the rainbow, like a stairway to heaven.  It was an amazing picture.  Then she started telling me how ever since that day, they notice rainbows all the time and think of her brother when they see them.  She said when her niece got married there was a huge rainbow that looked like it was going into the ocean, and then another one in front of her brother's old house. 

I was getting goosebumps - here I am, opening an account for our little rainbow baby, and the woman doing it is telling me stories about rainbows.  So of course I had to tell her the story.  I started by saying on the day Coen was born, my cousin had come in to take pictures of Sierra meeting him.  On her way home, she saw a  rainbow in the sky - and it was a beautiful, sunny day - no rain.  Here's the picture:
So then I decided to just explain why rainbows mean so much to us - I gave her the short story.  I said that babies born after couples have lost a baby are referred to as "rainbow babies" because they represent the beauty after the storm.  I just said that we had a baby who passed away in between our other kids and so Coen was our rainbow baby.  Usually when I say that, people look at me with pity.  Not her - she was so moved by it, she was teary eyed.  It was one of those strange moments when you feel so connected to a person you don't even know.

And so, what a day it was!  Our night wasn't much better - but it's almost time for bed and I look forward to sleep every night.  Even if I only get a few hours of uninterrupted sleep!

Monday, November 21, 2011

6 weeks

How has it been six weeks already?  Part of me feels like the time has gone so fast, the blink of an eye.  Wasn't it just yesterday that I was holding Coen for the first time?  Yet part of me feels like he has been here forever.

Today I had my lovely 6 week check up.  It was SO weird to be in that office with a baby.  Almost exactly one year ago to the date, I was in that same office for the same 6 week check up.  Except that time, I had no baby and was going over autopsy results.  What a difference a year makes.

Another weird thing about today is that I am almost positive that the same woman that was leaving the hospital with her baby at the exact same time as me, was sitting in the waiting room today.  It had to be her.  I was going to say something, but then Coen pooped and trust me you can hear that from across the room. And so I got preoccupied and a little embarrassed!

I left the appointment in a strange mood.  Sad that it is all over and that I am 99.9% sure I will never get to do it again.  I keep telling myself that at some point, my child bearing days have to be over.  I thought I would be happy for it to be over - I can't even put into words how hard the pregnancy was.  There is also a little bit of relief that it's over, mixed in with some happiness.  I mean, I can NOT wait to have my body back!  Granted I have quite a few more months of breastfeeding and some weight to lose before that happens.  But I have spent the majority of the time since June of 2007 either pregnant or breastfeeding.  I believe there are about 10 months out of that time when I was neither.  Yikes....

I thought about Adelyn so many times today.  I drove past the funeral home we used.  I drove past a Catholic Cemetary, and when I do I wonder if we should have buried her there?  Of course being in the dr. office always reminds me of her.  I actually got to talk about her today as well - both at my dr. appointment and during a play date this morning.  I can't tell you how much I love being around people who want to know about Adelyn.  Just being able to say her name or tell her story to someone who hasn't heard it.  It's like a gift.  I will never tire of that.  In fact, after today I feel like I really need to chat with some of my friends who walk this journey with me.  It's been awhile and it is a needed part of this process, to talk or visit with othe rmoms who understand.

The song "Someone Like You" by Adele came on in the car - for some reason it reminds me of Adelyn.  Actually it reminds me of when I was pregnant with Coen and an emotional mess, especially this lyric:
Nothing compares
No worries or cares
Regrets and mistakes
They are memories made.
Who would have known how bittersweet this would taste?
Plus the tone of this song just suited how I was feeling at the time.  It takes me back.

And so I should be getting to bed.  I have lots of blogs started in my head, so expect some more frequent posts to come.  If I can find the time......

Friday, November 18, 2011

Scrapbooks

I love to scrapbook.  Yet I never seem to find time.  I mean to - I really do.  I think I finished Sierra's scrapbook that included her first week in time for her first birthday!  I like to scrapbook when I have little momentos to include in it - hers contains her hospital bracelet (one is in her baby book since they wear two), my room sign, the tag from her bassinette, her footprints, cards from flowers we received, etc. 

 A sample page of Sierra's scrapbook.

The cover of Sierra's scrapbook.

I decided awhile back that I take too many pictures to do scrapbooks, and that I would save scrapbooking for special occassions where I have little things to put in it that couldn't go in photo albums.  So basically I thought the first week or so and then maybe first birthday and decide from there.  I was going to scrapbook for each birthday until I realized how many pictures I have from Sierra's second birthday.  It would take forever and be SO expensive to buy all the page refills!

A week or two before Adelyn's birthday, I decided that I wanted to make a scrapbook for her and finish it by her first birthday, even though I started but never finished Sierra's first birthday scrapbook.  I hate when I do things like that, but I have to be in a certain mood to work on it, and I was in an Adelyn mood.  I think I felt like I had to do all this before the new baby was born.

I  had one solid pink scrapbook that my aunt gave me, and since I decided I wasn't doing more for Sierra, I decided to use that one for Adelyn.  I printed out pictures, bought some paper, I was ready to do it.  But then I didn't get to it .  I think part of the problem is I want it to be perfect since it is all I will ever have for her.

Fast forward to this morning - for some reason I was thinking about scrapbooks.  I guess because now I need to do one for Coen.  I thought I lost his footprints, bracelet, and tag from his hospital bed, so I was really upset.  Turns out my husband put it up on the shelf in his room and I found it.  Relief - now I had something to put in his scrapbook, lol.  I remembered my aunt in law giving me one for Sierra's baptism.  Oh, wait, maybe that is why I was thinking about scrapbooks because I was thinking about what and when to do Coen's baptism.  Maybe it was because we got a thank you card from my nephew's baptism?  Or a little bit of all of it?

Anyway, I wondered what happened to that scrapbook (obviously I had yet to use it 3 years later - oops).  I had a pile of other scrapbook stuff on a shelf, but it wasn't there.  Then I realized there was a drawer underneath the shelf.  In it was that scrapbook.  But in that drawer, I found something I wasn't expecting: a pink striped scrapbook with three places for photos and under it a place to put the baby's name: 

I totally forgot I had bought this scrapbook for Adelyn.  It's very similar to the one I have for Sierra, in that you can put her name on it.  Seeing this so unexpectedly made my heart sink.  I wondered if I should go ahead and use that one for Adelyn's scrapbook, since that is what I intended on using.  But I don't think I can, because seeing it makes me SAD.  And it  has a place for 3 pictures and I don't really have 3 pictures I like of Adelyn.  There was also a pack of baby scrapbook paper, so I looked through and realized it is pretty neutral, so I could use it for Coen's scrapbook.  And of course some I can use for Adelyn's.  My new goal is to have it done by  her second birthday.  I will do it!!

I think that I might try to exchange the scrapbook for a blue one for Coen. It seems like the right thing to do.  I just can't use it.   I look at that scrapbook and it reminds me of the the happy, preparing for Adelyn times.  Those are some of the hardest memories for me.  I can't explain why - I guess because of how things turned out, those happy memories make me very sad.  It just doesn't seem right to use a scrapbook meant for happy baby pictures for a scrapbook about my baby who died.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Zulily

Darn you Zulily.  Not only do you tempt me EVERY day with cute kid stuff - which I have resisted so far, but today you made me sad.  I've gotten accustomed to all the big sister/little sister matching stuff I can never use.  And it is EVERYWHERE!!

Lately I have gotten even more into hairbows.  Partly because now I know Sierra is the only one I will get to have fun with girly stuff, so I am going to go all out while I can.  Partly because my nieghbor taught me how to make bows and it was fun and easy and cheaper than buying them.

Never expected the combination of bows and big sister/little sister. But yet, this is what Zulily had today:


Ugh.  I totally would have bought the little sister bow for Adelyn.  If I wasn't so broke right now due to not working, I just might.  For what reason, I don't know.  Maybe because sometimes doing things like that makes me feel better?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Look Alikes

Everyone keeps saying how much Coen looks like Sierra.  He does for sure, like a boy version of Sierra.  When you put their pictures side by side, Sierra looks so girly compared to him.  I'm not sure what it is though.

Today we were outside because it was a beautiful fall day.  Sierra was playing at the neighbors.  Coen was fussy, needing to fall asleep, so I held him.  He was wearing a hat because it was windy and cool.  He finally fell asleep in my arms.  As I looked down at him, for the first time, I saw Adelyn in his face.  It was eerie, the resemblance.  I think the hat and his eyes being closed helped.  I didn't really think he looked like Adelyn at all initially.  Which is strange, because I think Adelyn looks a lot like Sierra and I think Coen looks like Sierra!

I guess we make babies that are similar looking?!  It will be interesting to see if Coen still looks like Sierra as he gets older.  I think he is going to be a mini Trevor, while Sierra is a mixture of us both.

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Comment I've Been Dreading

It took an entire month, but someone finally uttered THE comment I have been dreading. I was at Sierra's dance class tonight and a bunch of the moms and dads were chatting while we waited.  The one mom next to me started asking questions about Coen - how old he was, what his name was, etc. And then she made the well-meaning comment of "Oh how nice you have a boy and a girl."  Of course this woman didn't know my story, so I tried not to let it bother me.  But still, it got me thinking.

Why does everyone think it is "perfect" to have a boy and a girl? Why is it better  to have one of each than to have two girls? 

I'll tell you what is "perfect" - for all your kids to LIVE.  That's perfect.  Boys, girls, whatever - but living, healthy babies/children are what matters.

And so that is one thing that my family will never be - "perfect."  Because someone will always be missing.  Adelyn didn't live, she isn't here with us.  Perfect would be for us to have both Adelyn AND Coen. Because I always thought if I had three kids, I would want two girls and a boy.  I never thought I would get it the way I did.

From afar, perhaps we look like the perfect family.  But as I now know, looks can be deceiving and you never know the whole story.  So don't judge until you do.

Just a little vent for the day.........

Thursday, November 10, 2011

One Month

It feels strange to be acknowledging monthly milestones again.  I went from marking each month that went by without Adelyn and thinking about how old she would have been to now celebrating each month with Coen.  It's weird to be doing the normal monthly baby thing - taking pictures, writing in his baby book, recording his height and weight (his 1 month check up isn't till next week so I don't know yet).

Coen slept from 10-5:30 last night.  I woke up at about 3:30 and realized he had not been up yet.  I got a bit nervous and was almost too scared to go check on him.  I rolled myself out of bed and went in his room and his arms jerked - that cute little startle reflex that newborns have.  I was SO relieved.

Normally every night I pump before I go to bed, so I will wait a little after Coen nurses before bed.  Well last night I was so exhausted, I decided not to.  So of course this would be the night Coen decides to sleep.  Not that I'm complaining about his sleep - but I woke up SO uncomfortable.  What to do?  I couldn't fall back asleep feeling that way, and I didn't want to wake up Coen because if he is going to sleep all night, I'm not going to mess with it. So I got up at 3:30 am and pumped.  Ugh.  Once he gets into a predictable routine and sleeps longer, I won't wake up to pump.  No way - my body will hopefully adjust.

This is the best picture I got of him smiling today - however, as you can see Sierra's head is right there.  I'm sure it's the first of many picture of him that will turn out this way, since she is ALWAYS in his face!

I can't believe it has been a month already! Wow.  I've gotten pretty good at juggling them both, but we will see what happens when I go back to work.  I only have four weeks left :(

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

It's Been Awhile

I haven't had time or energy to blog in awhile. Coen is a good baby, he rarely fusses.  But I haven't gotten more than 3 hours of uninterrupted sleep in a month now and I'm tired.  I usually blog at night before bed when I have my "alone" time, but lately I have been too exhausted to think.  I should go to bed, but instead I tend to stay up for 2 hours after Coen goes to sleep so I can enjoy some alone time, and so I can squeeze in one extra pumping session.  I feel like a cow or something, I swear all I do all day is feed Coen, pump, wash pump parts, repeat.  I'm trying to pump in between feedings when I know he will sleep for awhile, so I can stock up for when I go back to work.  Which is way too soon.

Tonight both kids (I still smile when I talk/write about "both kids") were in bed by 9:30. We are getting good at this.  I have been trying to get rid of old stuff and sell what I can, donate what I can't.  I gathered a lot of newborn baby girl clothes that we won't be needing anymore and sold it on Ebay.  Some clothes were Sierra's, but most were outfits I bought for Adelyn.  I was packing it up tonight and it made me so sad.  I have to be honest and say that it's been awhile since I've felt that way.  But I know it will creep up every now and again.

I was sad because I can't believe Sierra is 3 and a half already.  Looking at her old clothes brings back memories of her at Coen's age.  Just for kicks, here's a picture of her:
And Coen at about the same age:
I'd say they have the exact same mouth! 

So anyway, parting with those baby clothes was harder than I thought.  I found two things I had bought for Adelyn that had butterflies on them and I second guessed getting rid of them.  I thought about refunding what I sold it for and keeping it - but for what?  Clothes are meant to be worn, not put away in a box and cried over.  So I taped it up and got it ready to mail.  But I felt very sad.  I will never need newborn girl clothes again.  But, even had Adelyn lived, at some point that would hold true.  Can't keep having babies!

I took pictures of all my favorite outfits I got for Adelyn, and I have hundreds of pictures of Sierra wearing the outfits that were hers, so I shouldn't be so sad.  I saved two special outfits of Adelyn's and I will save some of the stuff that both Sierra and Coen wore, the yellow neutral stuff - just to show them how tiny they were.  I wonder if I should have saved more of Sierra's stuff, because she asks a lot of questions about her as a baby now that Coen is here.  But I think there are some 0-3 month girly stuff that I am more attached to that I can save.  I like to have the things they both wore.  Like this:
Yes, I staged them in the same outfit and pose.  Can you tell which is which?

That was a random post, started last night but finished this morning because my pictures weren't uploading!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A Different Child

I found this poem shortly after Adelyn died, and hoped someday I would get to really understand the meaning. I wanted to share, because whoever wrote it got it SO right.  I love it, but it's a tear jerker.

A Different Child
A different child
people notice
There's a special glow around you
you grow
surrounded by love
never doubting you are wanted;
all you have to do is look at the pride and joy
in your mother and father's eyes

But if sometimes
between the smiles
there is a trace of tears,
one day
you will understand
You'll understand that
there was once another child
a different child
who was in their hopes and dreams.

That child will never outgrow the baby clothes.
That child will never keep them up at night.
In fact,
that child will never be any trouble at all.

Except sometimes, in a silent moment,
When mother and father miss so much
that different child
May hope and love wrap you warmly
and may you learn the lesson forever
How infinitely precious
how infinitely fragile
Is this life on Earth.

One day, as a young man or woman
You may see another mother's tears
Another father's silent grief.
And then you, and you alone
will understand
and offer the greatest comfort.
When all hope seems lost,
you will tell them
with great compassion,
"I know how you feel.
I'm only here
Because my parents tried again."

Sunday, October 30, 2011

I Just Don't Know

Being pregnant again after losing Adelyn was difficult.  Painfully difficult.  But the outcome was so wonderful, that I almost forget how hard it was now.  Isn't that how it always is with pregnancy and childbirth?  Otherwise, no one would have more than one child.

But I have to say, even though we had such a wonderful birth experience and so far a wonderful baby (right now he sleeps, cries when he wants to be fed, and is content again after being fed) - and this outcome is obviously completely the opposite of our last pregnancy with Adelyn - it is taking me back to those early days after losing her.

I just don't know how I made it through that.  I really don't.  The only answer I can give when people ask is because there was no other choice.  And Sierra of course.  But wow.

Right after delivery, so many of the things I had to do, reminded me of how I did it with Adelyn. Getting out of the bed for the first time, it's so yucky and awful - how did I make myself do it when I had no baby to make it worth it?  The physical pain, not being able to sit comfortably.  The bleeding, the cramping.  And yet, no beautiful baby to stare at and think, it's okay because I have him/her.

Probably one of the MOST difficult things for me after Adelyn was when my milk came in. That was awful.  I wonder if most people realize or thought about that happening.  It was a constant reminder that I should have had a baby to feed.  And my gosh did it hurt.  I was so uncomfortable I could barely sleep.  I wondered why anyone would choose not to breastfeed after going through that!

And now with Coen, I get to experience nursing again.  Sometimes, especially in the beginning, it hurt!  But nowhere near the engorgement and emotional pain of NOT having a baby to nurse. But every time I deal with leaky boobs (what is it about fresh air after a shower that does it?  I feel dirty again!) it reminds me of how I felt after Adelyn. Any time I think that Coen really needs to wake up and eat to relieve me, I think of how I couldn't do that last time.  And I wonder how I did it.

With every happy baby card we get in the mail, I think about how different it is this time.  The funny thing is I think we got more cards when Adelyn died than we did when Coen lived.  But that's ok.

This time, we are getting adorable baby clothes instead of angels and memorial ornaments.  Have I  mentioned how overwhelmed I am at the amount of baby clothes we received?  I didn't realize we would get so much!  We actually didn't need much to begin with because we had a lot of yellow/neutral stuff from Sierra that we can reuse.  Probably it looked more like a boy anyway! 
I'm sleep deprived from waking up to feed a living baby now.  Not from crying myself to sleep.

Last year I think we took Sierra to every single pumpkin patch or festival or Halloween party.  I think it was in an attempt to keep busy and focus on the fact that we still had a child to do those things with.  This year we didn't even get around to getting a pumpkin!  But it's ok, because we are busy doing all the "normal" things people do after having a baby.  Except that to me, those "normal" things don't feel so normal.

It feels strange to get a birth certificate in the mail that doesn't have a huge deceased stamp on it, to receive a social security card, to have to fill out papers to add Coen to our health insurance.  Tonight, I hung his newborn picture on the wall and put some in frames.  It felt SO weird.  Like it really looks like a family with 2 (living) children lives in this house.  Is it really MY family?  I swear every time I load both kids in the car, or realize that MY car has two car seats, I catch myself smiling.  It feels odd to have moments where I feel so complete.  I can't believe that I honestly feel happy more often than I feel sad now.

And yet I still miss my baby girl more than ever.