Sunday, February 26, 2012

What I Really Think

Still, to this day, there are many times that what I portray outside, doesn't match what I am thinking or feeling on the inside.

Take this weekend, for example.  I was at my neighbor's 5th birthday party.  The almost 1 year old little girl of one of our friends had surgery last week to remove a cyst/growth from her head.  Scary.....but it went well and so far, doesn't seem to be anything to be too concerned about.  I was asking questions, we were all talking about how it went.  Her mother started saying how awful she looked right after the surgery, and how the doctors didn't clean her up very well and there was all this dried blood still on her head.

Dried blood........a trigger for me.  I start thinking about Adelyn and the dried blood around her mouth and eyes that is VERY noticeable in the pictures the hospital took.  Or maybe it is meconium that is all around her mouth, I'm not sure.  But for some reason, hearing talk of dried blood and people not cleaning someone properly after a procedure, made me think of Adelyn.

So the conversation drifted towards other people's surgeries and/or c-sections.  But I could no longer focus on the conversation.  What did I really want to say?  I wanted to chime in about how the nurses NEVER cleaned my daughter off after she was born/died.  To this day, it makes me so angry.  It was like they didn't care, they could not even clean her up for the picture they took?  Then I started thinking about how awful those pictures are, and about the day when I first saw those pictures and what an awful day it was.  I have almost never been so disappointed, I was hoping for a nice picture to remember my daughter by.  I guess that was too much to ask for/hope for - it shouldn't be though.

But instead I said nothing.  Why??  Sigh......

Friday, February 24, 2012

A Day in the Life

My day starts bright and early at 5:00 am.  I usually get right up after my alarm goes off, because I know if I don't I will fall back asleep.  I go downstairs and pump.  At about 5:30 I come back upstairs and shower.  Then I go back downstairs and eat breakfast, pack up the pump, and set something out for dinner.  Then I go back upstairs, and do my hair and makeup and finish getting ready. 

As soon as I am dressed and ready, I go in and wake Coen up and get him dressed, usually around 6:30. Trevor gets Sierra up and dressed - I pick out her outfits for him but he does do her hair!  She is usually not a happer camper and does not want to get up.  She often screams and cries but is usually ok by the time she makes her way downstairs to me.  Coen will nurse for about 20-30 minutes and often has a diaper disaster during that time.  Usually right when we are heading out the door!

While I feed Coen, Trevor makes our coffee to go, loads up my bags into my car, and lets the dog out.  Then he gets Sierra's coat and boots/shoes on.  Sometimes he loads Coen into his car seat, sometimes I do.  I make sure I have his bottles in his bag and hope I remembered to put extra clothes in it too.  Once everything and everyone is in the car, I drive them across the street to the baby-sitter's house.  Why do I drive them, you might ask?  Because it is winter, and putting a baby in a coat to walk him across the street is a pain.  Plus I have to carry his bag, him, hold Sierra's's a lot.  If I drive across, I just jump in my car after I drop them off and head to work.  I might start walking them over when it gets warm and I don't have to bundle the baby up.  It's much easier to just put him in his carseat with the Bundle Me over him.

After I drop them off, I head to work.  Usually it is about 7:20 when I leave, sometimes 7:25 if I am running late.  I get into whatever building I am in for the day and sign in by 7:40.  What happens next depends on which school I am at for the day.  If it's the elementary school, I either have a meeting in the morning or some prep time to prepare for the day or do paperwork.  9:00 I start seeing groups of kids, and they are pretty  much back to back all day.  If one group runs late, it messes up my schedule for the rest of the day.  At about 10:00 I made sure to have a prep in my schedule, and this is when I pump at work.  While I pump, I check e-mail, write an IEP or record data from my morning sessions.  Then it's back to seeing students until 12 when I have lunch.  After lunch I have another prep, because I can't see students then (all kids are either at lunch or recess frm 12-1:10).  So this is my second pumping session of the day.  Then I continue to see students until 3:10.  If I am at the middle or high school, I start seeing kids almost as soon as I get there, but it isn't as busy.  I usually catch up on paperwork or make phone calls to parents on those days.

After work, I often run an errand before I pick the kids up because I have no other time to do it.  This week I went to the bank and post office one day, today I stopped at Auto Zone to get a bulb for the car's headlights.  Stupid stuff like that.  When I get home, I let the dog out and unload my bags.  Then I walk over to get the kids.  As soon as Coen hears me, he starts crying.  It is SO overstimulating when he screams, Sierra is talking, I am trying to talk to the baby-sitter to find out how the day went.  Then I get home and Sierra wants a snack and a "movie" on - so I have to do this before I start feeding Coen.  Which means I do it while he screams because he wants to eat as soon as I pick him up.  Once I get it all set up, I sit down to feed him and usually use the iPad to check e-mail, Facebook, etc.

After Coen is finished, I start dinner.  This can be difficult when Coen cries and Sierra is literally running around singing at the top of her lungs.  Sometimes Trevor gets home in the middle of this, sometimes not.  It depends how busy he is.  This week it has been after 6 every night.

While dinner is cooking, I feel like I have to ignore the kids and keep doing my nightly "chores."  This includes washing the bottles and pump (I hate doing this), washing coffee mugs from the day, and any other dishes.  It might also include emptying the dishwasher, feeding the cat, taking out the garbage, etc.  We have not been sitting down to eat dinner until close to 7 all week, which is too late in my opinion but it is all we can manage.

After dinner, we finish any other dishes and pack our lunches for the next day.  By this point, Coen is fussing and ready to be fed and put to bed.  I do that, while Trevor gives Sierra a bath and gets her ready for bed. Or if Coen needs a bath, Trevor does dishes/lunches while I do that because it hurts his back to bend over to bathe him.  Somewhere in between there, Trevor irons his clothes for the next day.  Yes, my husband irons....I tried to do it once but it wasn't to his standards so he does it himself.

Once Coen is asleep, I pick out clothes for both kids for the next day.  If it is early enough, I will finish getting Sierra to bed - brush her teeth, read her a book, tuck her in.  She can be difficult to get to sleep, and it is often after 9 before she is in bed.

By this point, I am exhausted and ready for bed myself.  But no - I have to pick out something to wear the next day, which still isn't fun because I don't have much that fits.  I am getting there very slowly, but it's still very frustrating.  Then I might blog, e-mail, go on Facebook for a little bit.  I try really hard not to get sucked into the computer, but it's hard. 

Right before I go to bed, I pump again.  I hate the before bed pumping, and think I should probably give it up soon.  Because after I pump, I have to wash everything so it's ready for the morning.  I do have two sets, but I don't have time to wash after the morning pump, and I need one clean one to take to work.  I actually tried to quit the before bed pump, but I woke up so engorged and uncomfortable and I HATE that feeling because it reminds me of how I felt after Adelyn died.  That was absolutely awful, one of, if not THE, worst physical reminders.

If I get to bed by 10:30, it's a miracle.  It is usually 11 when I get to bed.  Sometimes - more often than I like to admit - it is closer to 11:30. Which is not enough sleep! 
And so that is a day in my life during the work week.  I wanted to write it all down so I can remember how crazy it was, because one day I am sure I will long for these days.  Right now I feel like I am just going through the motions, surviving, getting done only what has to get done.  As you can see by my day, there really is very little time to actually sit down and enjoy my kids.  I get to spend a lot more time with Coen because I breastfeed him.  But I miss being able to sit down and play with Sierra every night.  She is at such a fun age for a little girl, I love playing dolls and dress up with her.  I want to take in every moment of that because I never get to do it again.

So it's Friday.....and I am going to try to lie on the couch and watch something off my DVR because I am so behind.  That is, IF I can stay awake.......

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Coen was baptized on this past Sunday.  It was hard to decide where to have him baptized, but I think we made the right decision.  Here's why -

We got married at the chapel where I went to college, because we lived out of town at the time and didn't really belong to a church here.  Plus I wanted to get married at my college because the church is beautiful, and let's face it, the church I belonged to my entire life was pretty much a basement!

Anyway, when Adelyn died we were not sure what to do about a funeral.  We were in shock and in a haze of emotions.  Someone suggested we call the priest who married us, and so Trevor did.  He was more than willing to put something together for us, and it was perfect.  We have always liked him, he is not your typical priest.  Very down to earth and easy to talk to.  We kept in touch with him, he sends us anniversary cards every year too.  We even had lunch with him last year right after I found out I was pregnant with Coen.

It seemed perfect to have him baptize Coen as well.  The only catch was that it would have to be in the same chapel as Adelyn's funeral.  That is the only time we have ever been in this chapel, our wedding was in the main church.  I wasn't sure how it would be to go back to that room again.

In the end, I decided that if I could have Coen at the same hospital, I could do this.  And the more I thought about it, the more I decided it was yet another way to tie Adelyn and Coen together.  I really felt like she was there with us.

I will admit I was a little distracted by the memories when we were there, a little shaky and nervous.  Honestly when I get like that, I hold on tight to my kids.  So I just loved on Coen a little more than usual to make up for missing Adelyn.

Everything went perfectly, Coen didn't even cry when the water was poured on his head.  I brought my candle that my friend made for me with Adelyn's name on it.  At the beginning of the service, Fr. McCool mentioned Adelyn and the last time we were there and how it was a sad time, and now it was a happy time.  He then randomly asked us what the largest piece of glass was in our car.  We were confused, but answered the windshield.  Then he asked what the smallest piece was - the rear view mirror.  I can't remember exactly what he said, but basically he was saying that while the past is important and it is necessary to look back sometimes, you have to keep moving forward and keep focused on the future and not dwell in the past.  I really liked that analogy.

This is by far my favorite picture right now.  My cousin, Coen's godmother, said the way the light was shining through the stained glass almost looked like a rainbow.  How perfect.  I felt like it was Adelyn shining down at us from Heaven. 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Adelyn's Valentine

Remember when I posted about making this centerpiece for Valentine's Day?  Well,  I finished it weeks ago, but never got around to posting a picture.  Here it is:
Pink roses, pink butterflies and hearts

My favorite part is her name, subtle yet it is there.

This is the little angel I saw at Michaels, it reminded me of Adelyn. Love you baby girl!

The heart wreath made of pink roses, I love it!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

4 Months

Coen was four months old on Friday! Where does the time go?  Obviously, too quickly!  This is the first monthly update that has been late - a testament to the craziness that is our household!  I have NEVER not taken a picture on the exact date each baby turns a month older.  I always pick my favorite outfit so I can remember it, and take a picture to put in the "Baby's First Year" frame I have.

Well, Friday was crazy - I had to rush to Target after work to pick up a prescription.  I felt lousy at work Thursday and it was the final straw - 2 weeks of feeling sort of yucky - so I went to the doctor.  My regular doctor is in the same complex of office buildings as my OB/GYN.  This is the first time I have been to that area for a doctor appointment, not baby related, in a LONG time.  It was so strange, actually.   I felt like I was going to the wrong building!  Not sure if I actually have a sinus infection or not, but I was willing to try something because I just wanted to feel normal again.  However, I couldn't make it to pick up on Thursday because Trevor didn't get home from work till 7 and the pharmacy was closed.  Since I didn't feel 100% all week, lugging two kids out after working all day was not going to happen.

Anyway, after I got the prescription I had to rush home to pick the kids up, feed Coen, then rush back out the door at 5:30 for Sierra's dance class.  By the time we got home and ate dinner, Coen was tired and cranky and not having a photo session.  So I had to wait until the next day.  Although I did take a few on his actual 4 month date.  There were a bunch like this, but this one is so silly and cute:

Coen doesn't have his actual 4 month check up until Thursday, so I am not sure how much he weighs.  But he has pretty much outgrown 0-3 month clothes, although I sometimes still squeeze him in my favorites!  I think he actually got to wear all of them - whew!  Some only got worn one time, and some of the neutral stuff I had from Sierra he never wore because I liked the new, "boy" stuff better!

Coen likes sitting in the bouncy seat and watching TV.  We usually put on Baby Einstein while we eat dinner to keep him happy, although he is almost always happy.  He smiles all the time now, all you have to do is talk to him and he usually smiles.  He laughs too, but every time I try to get it on camera, he stops!  Coen finally likes to lay in his floor gym and grab at things and look around.  He does not like to be on his belly though.  He does push his head up now, but not for long and not as well as Sierra did at this age.  He is better at grabbing for things and holding onto toys than she was at this age though.  Coen is just like his sister at this age in one way though- he drools constantly!  Some days aren't as bad, but it seems to be worse at night when he is tired.  He actually really likes to grab his bib and put it in his mouth!  Coen also likes to hold a little blanket, or sometimes the burp cloth, and "chew" on it! He also really likes his Bumbo seat, and he looks like such a big boy in it.  He goes right to bed around 8 during the week, very little fussing or effort go into getting him to sleep, and I have to wake him up at 6:30 to feed him before I leave for work.  On the weekends, he often sleeps until anywhere from 7 to even 8:00, depending on what time he goes to bed.  So many people say how "lucky" we are that he sleeps and is such a good baby.  That's a hard thing to accept - really, the people whose other baby died are lucky?  I mean I know what they mean, but still.  I never thought the word lucky would describe this household when it comes to babies.  I was so worried because Sierra was also a very good baby, she slept through the night regularly from 6 weeks on, and wasn't fussy at all.  I think Coen, so far, is actually even easier (and I hope I didn't just jinx myself).  Coen is still only on breastmilk, and usually eats about 5 times per day.  We have a pretty good schedule going as far as feedings.  I'm keeping up with him and freezing milk, so I'm very happy about that. 

I had a hard time picking out what Coen should wear for his 4 month picture shoot by me.  He is kind of in between sizes.  I settled on this outfit, because it is so cute but not practical to actually wear beause it has buttons, not snaps.  With the amount this baby poops, there is no way I would let him wear this! But it is such a cute outfit!

Happy 4 months, Coen Micah!  I can't wait to see what you discover next, although I really wish time would slow down and let me enjoy every little thing you do.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

February 7

One year ago today, I found out I was pregnant with Coen.  Wow........

Just like many things in my life, on one hand that feels like forever ago, but on the other hand, I can't believe that was already one year ago.  Time flies.

I never really posted much about my pregnancy until I was pretty far along.  It was just so hard for me to be happy about it, when I was still so heavily grieving Adelyn.  I do remember that day though.

I had been feeling nauseous and really emotional the entire week prior to taking the pregnancy test.  In fact, it was exactly how I felt when right before I found out I was pregnant with Sierra.  I wondered if I was imagining the symptoms though, because I wanted so badly to be pregnant.  I couldn't believe that it would happen so quickly and so easily, even though it always had before. But after losing Adelyn I felt like my luck changed forever and nothing would ever be easy again or turn out how I wished.

I remember trying to wait it out until after my period was late, but I felt so awful I just had to know.  I couldn't wait.  It was a Monday, the Monday after the Superbowl. I remember this because that Saturday my brother had told me that they were expecting their second baby, and I cried for the rest of the weekend.  I couldn't even go to watch the Superbowl at my cousin's house, because I was so miserable and weepy, and I was so afraid everyone would be talking about it.  I just couldn't handle it.  Now I realize that part of my reaction was due to my own hormones.  I realize even more how much more the hormones affected me because I was also grieving.  Now that they are finally back to almost normal, I can tell a huge difference in how I handle things.  I know time played a role in that too, but it is a huge difference so there has to be more than just a few months time that has changed things.

I think that I took the pregnancy test when I got home from work, before I picked Sierra up.  I wasn't sure how to feel about it - excited first, scared second, sad, guilty - everything.

What a year it has been since that day.  9 of the hardest months of my life followed by a beautiful baby boy who made that very difficult pregnancy worth it. 

Monday, February 6, 2012


I am exhausted tonight - Coen woke up crying at about 11, right as I was heading to bed.  Not sure what his deal was, maybe gas?  But he went back to sleep by 12 and so did we.  Then around 3 we heard a conversation coming from Sierra's room - I don't know if she was talking in her sleep or woke up for a little, but we heard her all the way down the hall.  She's always got something to say.  It was just enough to interrupt our sleep, but we didn't have to get up before she was back asleep.  Needless to say, I slept from 12-5 with one interruption......not enough.

Today at work was a typical day.  I am almost caught up, so I decided to rescreen a few kids my sub had flagged.  As I checked the one paper, a date jumped off the page at me.....9/29/11.  It was the date my sub had screened this student.  Of course seeing that date, Adelyn's first birthday, made me think of her. 

Then I heard one of her songs on the radio on my way to run an errand before picking the kids up.  That isn't out of the ordinary, but this song isn't on the radio all the time like it was all summer, so it's not as common to hear it now.

I stopped at the Dollar Store to get some cards.  While I am there, I always check out the book section just in case there is something good.  One book caught my eye because it had a pink rose on it - another reminder of Adelyn.  So I picked it up - Chicken Soup for the Mother's Soul.  How fitting.  Curious, I opened it to scan in.  I read a little, and it was about a plumber who happened to be fixing something in a house when the couple got a call concerning their unborn baby's ultrasound and freaked out.  The plumber then told them how he and his wife had lost their firstborn son a few days before birth.  His point was that it is out of our control what happens.  I can't believe I opened the book and it went right to this page, I mean how often do you read about babies dying?

To think I was so worried that Adelyn would be forgotten.  She is always sending me signs that she is still watching and around.  I hope that she sends them to others as well.  And I wish people would tell me about them, so I know they remember her too.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Selective Memory

I so wish I had a selective memory. 

Isn't it strange though, how our memory works?  Why do I forget where I put my keys, my cell phone, or a piece of important paper at work?  Yet, today at a birthday party, I remembered that my friend had a cousin who had baby girl right before Adelyn was due, September of 2010.

Maybe it was seeing them that triggered it, I don't know.  But it's something I wish I had forgotten.  It's not something I need to know or that is important to me, yet I remember.

So the whole time we were at the party, I couldn't help but watch this little girl.  She was so cute.  All I kept thinking about was that was exactly what Adelyn would be like now.

I don't know what it was about this particular little girl that got me.  I see my neighbor's daughter, who was born three months after Adelyn, and I have seen another little girl who was born 2 months after her, and I talk to a coworker whose daughter was born a month before Adelyn.  At first of course all three of these baby girls were VERY hard for me (why did everyone have to have girls around that time - ugh).  But lately I have been just fine with them.

Not this one, no.  I can't explain my thoughts.  For the first time, I think I saw/imagined Adelyn as a toddler.  I don't think I ever really pictured her, although I had thought of what she would be like.  Many things were going through my head - in a way I sort of liked "seeing" what Adelyn would be like, so I kept looking at the little girl.  Maybe it helped me imagine?  Maybe I was curious?  On the other hand, it made me realize a little more what we would be doing now, what we are missing out on, and how much I wanted another daughter.  It made me realize just how much it still hurts.  Coen has  kind of pushed away those feelings the past 3 months.

There has been a lot that has been triggering memories for me the past week or two.  I have heard about a few acquaintances having a second daughter, and that is by far the hardest thing for me.  Then it seems like everyone around me is having or just had their 3rd child, and that just makes me realize more that one of my 3 children isn't here and I will constantly be reminded of that when I see these families with their 3 kids or hear them talk about how hard it is having 3.  I know in my head I will be thinking, "not as hard as having one of those 3 kids die."  But I probably won't say it, although sometimes I think I should.  A little reality check can't hurt sometimes.  I know even I need to be reminded to count my blessings.

Another thing that has been on my mind is someone I work with had a baby girl this week, delivered by the same doctor who delivered Adelyn and Coen.  It's kind of weird how things work out, that my doctor delivered her daughter - because I actually gave her something of Adelyn's for her baby, because I knew she would appreciate it.  I know she prayed for us a lot and she is a very sweet person.  I think this is why I have been totally okay talking to her about it all.  It just got me thinking a lot.  My mind keeps remembering the day Adelyn was born, instead of remembering the day my first daughter was born, which would make more sense since this is my friend's first child.

So anyway, all these things have been on my mind and seeing that little girl today was the final straw.  I felt the tears welling up as soon as I got in the car to leave the birthday party.  Wouldn't you know soon after, Sierra's song - Bruno Mars "Just the Way You Are" - came on the radio. We played this song at Adelyn's funeral for Sierra and it always reminded me of her even before Adelyn died.  That didn't help my emotional state.  But I made it home without crying - until nap time when both kids were sleeping.  I was laying in bed, catching some rare alone time with the hubby, when out of the corner of my eye I saw Adelyn's urn on our chest of drawers.  And that was it - for the first time since this post when I sat rocking Coen to sleep right after he was born and looked at all the traces of Adelyn in the room - I cried for my baby girl.

I just miss her, and even more so, I miss all that could have been.