Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Christmas is almost over.  I sit here in the quite thinking.....missing Adelyn more than I have in awhile.  Maybe it's because all the hustle and anticipation is over and the "after holiday" let down has started - when I feel that way it always brings up my grief a little more.  Maybe it's just the time of year.  Maybe it was seeing my living kids get showered with presents and Adelyn can't get any.  It's probably a combination of it all.

We had a good Christmas, despite me hiding one of Sierra's presents so well I couldn't find it.  I was so frustrated yesterday I wanted to cry.  I looked everywhere and still nothing.  She wanted a Gingersnap dress up outfit and a ginger baby doll.  Gingersnap is from Strawberry Shortcake, the 2003 version.  So, neither of these things exist.  It took a LOT of work on my part to come up with these, but it was worth it seeing this face:
Anyway, the outfit wasn't too hard to make up - jeans, a white shirt (I added a picture of Gingersnap and created it on CafePress, love that site), a pink cardigan and a bucket hat with a gingerbread man on the brim.  Got it all pieced together, and was SO excited to see her face.  Except I couldn't find the pink cardigan shirt.  I bought it at Old Navy a few weeks back, I even remember what else I bought the same day.  One thing is a coat that is hanging in her closet for next year.  Figures I can find that but not what I need.  I was so frustrated about it, but gave up looking around midnight on Christmas Eve and grabbed a pink long sleeve shirt instead.  Sierra did notice and said the pink shirt was supposed to go over the other shirt, I felt awful at that point.  I told her that Santa sent me a message saying he lost it or it fell off his sleigh and he would send it to her via her elf next week.  Now should I buy another one or see if it turns up?  If I wait, it won't turn up and if I buy another one it will!

The Ginger baby also has a story....I did find a Gingersnap doll on Ebay and showed it to Sierra and asked her if that was what she wanted.  Nope, she wanted it to be "born baby" (what she calls a newborn baby) without hair.  Ah!  So when we got down our Christmas decorations from the attic, I had Trevor grab a few bags of toys from up there.  I found one with 2 baby dolls, I thought they were 18 inches like American Girl dolls but they were only 14 inches I think.  I knew they were up there, I had been trying to decide what to do with them.  Sierra needs another doll as much as she "needs" more clothes!  But, I remember when I bought them.  It was almost 3 years ago, during an after Christmas sale.  I bought 2 because they were so cheap and made by the same brand of dolls I collected as a kid.  When I found out Adelyn  was a girl, I planned on giving one to her and one to Sierra.  One was a baby and one had hair like a "big sister" type doll.  Perfect.  Of course I never gave them because Sierra always had a specific doll she wanted the past 2 years.  Then I thought I should just give them away becuase Sierra only plays with one doll really.  But I couldn't because of the memory attached to it.  So I made this baby into the ginger baby - found a gingerbread doll outfit, gingerbread diaper, made a gingerbread bow and found doll jeans/white shirt like Gingersnap wears and put a gingerbread man on it.  I was proud of it, and glad I found a use for the baby that was sort of bought for Adelyn.  In case you are wondering, here is the outfit and doll:
And here is what Gingersnap looks like on the older version of Strawberry Shortcake:
Coen got mostly "recycled" and hand me down toys.  He is too little to understand, so why spend money on things he doesn't need?  I'm actually impressed with how little we spent this year, makes me happy to not have to worry about a large credit card bill!  And everyone is very  happy with their presents.
As for me, my favorite gifts:

I just wish there was a 2 year old girl in the middle instead of a pink tree.....

Merry Christmas everyone!

Thursday, December 13, 2012


12/12/12 was the date of the annual Pregnancy and Infant Loss Memorial Service at the hospital where Adelyn was born.  We have gone every year.  I can't believe this is the 3rd one, the 3rd Christmas without Adelyn.

Back in 2010, it was the first time I had been back in that hospital since leaving without Adelyn.  It was hard, but I'm so glad I went.  It was here that I first met a fellow baby loss mom who had lost her precious baby girl exactly two weeks after Adelyn, in the same hospital.  And, if you can believe it, she stayed in the same room as I was in with Adelyn.  When I was at the hospital again to have Coen, the nurse that helped me the day Coen was born and also the day I was discharged, was the same nurse that took care of her when her baby was born/died.  Just one more way the two of us are connected....her daughter's name is Addy (short for Adeline).  Isn't that crazy?  I truly believe our girls brought us together.  She has been a great support for me these past two years.  We don't often find the time to get together, but we text a lot and she always understands.  Although our situations are different in other ways - mainly she doesn't have any other living children, yet - we were going through the same things at the same time, in simlar "stages" of grief also.  She was even brave enough to come up to the family birth center to see Coen the day he was born because she was there for one of the support group meetings.  I might add that this was only a few days before her daughter's first birthday in Heaven.

Anyway, back to this year's service.  My stomach was in knots on the way.  Over 2 years and even after the birth of a healthy baby at that hospital, and I still don't like the place very much.  Of course Sierra had to use the bathroom almost as soon as we got there.  I dreaded it.....because the smell of the soap there makes me sick.  It reminds me of being there after Adelyn died.

The kids behaved rather well.  Sometimes I wish we wouldn't bring them, so we can hear the speakers and socialize afterwards a bit more.  But, I want my kids to be involved and to remember Adelyn with us.  There aren't many memories of her, but we can form new memories as a family as we do things to remember her.  Plus, after being away from my kids all day, I hate to leave them at night too.

There was a speaker there who lost her son in a car accident 31 years ago, and she is also a certified grief counselor.  I found myself nodding in agreement to so many things she said.  Actually to everything she said.  I wish other people could hear her speak, so they could get how I feel, and realize that it is normal.  I will never get "over" it, I will never be the old me, and I don't need to go to counseling to talk with someone who has never experienced this.  I don't see how in the world they could help me.  Because yes there are stages of grief, but it's not like you go through the stages and that's it, you are done grieving.  As the speaker said, you are never done grieving.  We will grieve for our children until the day we die.  Grief comes and goes, it has its peaks and valleys over time.  Certain times will probably always cause a peak in my grief, like the month of September and the holidays.  Other things are random.  For example, I'll go weeks of listening to Sierra talk about a little girl at her baby-sitter's house who is around the age Adelyn would be and it doesn't phase me.  And then it will hit me that this is what it would be like to see her with her little sister and my heart sinks.

Hearing this woman talk about how her son died on the way to that very hospital, and how she couldn't step foot in it for a couple years - it made me feel "normal".  In fact it made me feel pretty good, it only took me a few months.  And also hearing that 31 years later, she is still grieving and still does things in her son's memory, validates how I feel.  Often times, that's all I want, are my feelings validated.  I don't want to be told to move on, or get over it, to seek counseling, that I should be grateful for my living kids, that at least I have other kids.....etc.  All things the speaker talked about.  She referred to people who haven't lost a child was "civilians" which I thought was kind of funny, but fitting.  Losing a baby puts you in the club no one wants to be in - the "baby loss mom" club.  No one else will ever understand.

All in all, even though it is still hard to go in that hospital, I am glad we went.  It was nice to talk to others in the "club", even if it was briefly.  And even if I am exhausted tonight because we didn't get home till after 9, and by the time we put the kids to bed, did dishes, packed lunches and got everything ready for the next day - I didn't get in bed until midnight.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Holiday Season Guilt

So it's well in to the holiday season and I'm feeling guilty.  Adelyn's tree is one of my favorite decorations, yet I haven't finished it yet.  It's up, and I turn it on, but barely half the ornaments are on it yet.  What is wrong with me?

I am just so busy, and we've all been sick.  I think Coen is finally on the mend, he went back for his check up Wednesday and no more wheezing and his ears seemed to be clearing per the dr.  I was annoyed at the appointment, because they weighed him and according to their charts, he gained 2 pounds in 5 days?  No one noticed until I brought it up, then the dr. was just like "oh yeah they probably weighed him wrong."  Didn't offer to reweigh or anything.  So now when he goes back it will look like he lost weight.  And since he was well enough he finally got his 12 month shots.  Poor baby has been through so much.....and let's add a reaction to the shot to the mix.  He got a huge welt and red mark on his arm.  I feel SO bad.  I hate shots.  It must hurt, and I feel guilty I did that to him.

I did manage to get Christmas pictures and they turned out cute.  I just ordered my cards there, I figued there was no way I could get the kids to cooperate to take my own pictures.  I tried to take a matching PJs picture in front of the tree after we got it up last weekend, and I was glad I just ordered the cards.

My problem with ordering the cards, is that Adelyn is not represented in them at all.  I try to include her in a subtle way, so as not to make anyone uncomfortable or take away the joy of the season and the happiness we feel for our two living kids.   I've just been so rushed in all aspects of life that I hadn't put much thought into it.  Perhaps an ornament with her name on it would have been a nice idea to put in the pictures (remember that for next year please!).  If I took my own pictures, I would probably either include Adelyn bear or her pink tree in the pictures.  Or, even do a collage style and put her butterfly footprints as one of the pictures.  Last year I included the words "faith hope love" which remind me of her, and each of my kids.  I saw a card somewhere that had those words and I wish I could have used it.

So I started feeling very guilty and needed to find a way to include her.  I started with a label to put on the back of the card, with her footprints and a small quote.  Then it printed off the labels and I decided people may not look at the back of the card.  So I went out and bought clear labels and printed her footprint to stick on the card by our names.  But it doesn't show up well on the card and I didn't like it.  Frustrating!  I settled on printing her butterfly footprint on a white label after all, cutting it out and sticking it in the top corner, since she watches over us.  I like it.  Next year I will do better though.

I was sitting here cutting the excess white off the footprints and sticking it to 40 some cards.  The things we do for our children.  Adelyn, I hope you are watching - I am doing this for me and for you, to be sure you are not forgotten.  I miss you, and have been thinking a lot about what we would be buying for you this year.  At 2 years old, Sierra was into dolls and Dora.  Instead I am buying balls and trucks.....my how life can turn out so different than what you expected.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Round 3

We are on round 3 of antibiotics for Coen's ear infection.  He first got sick way back on his 12 month well check, almost 2 months ago.  He had an ear infection and a cold, and was wheezing a little.  The doctor didn't feel it was bad enough to give him breathing treatments.

So he took the antiobiotics and seemed better by his birthday party.  But I guess he wasn't, because when we went back for the ear recheck, he ended up running a fever the day before.  And the ear infection hadn't cleared, so we got stronger antibiotics.

After about 5 days on the medicine, he finally seemed better again.  Then, as soon as he finished the medicine, he started with a cold.   And he still has it.

And what do you know, at his ear recheck both ears are still infected.  And the doctor heard him wheezing and sent us with breathing treatments.  Coen hated the first one in the doctor's office, screamed the whole time.  But since we have done them at home without the mask, he likes to put the adult mouthpiece in his mouth and doesn't fight it as much.  We also got another antibiotic for the ears.

I'm hoping this will clear him up.  His ears had no chance to drain since he has constantly had a cold.  It doesn't help that Sierra and Trevor are coughing and a bunch of the kids at their baby-sitter's house have been sick too.

I hate my baby being sick.  He has to go back again on Thursday to check his lungs.  I really don't see that the breathing treatments are necessary, as I never noticed him wheezing and he isn't acting sick.  He is sleeping fine, eating fine - just a tad crankier than usual at night before bed.  But, if it makes him get better faster, I will do it.  It's 3 times a day, which means I am going to have to get up at least 15 minutes earlier during the week to give it to him before work.  I already get up at 5:40......so I will have to get up even earlier than I did when I pumped.  Not liking this one bit.

Really hoping there is no round 4 because then we will probably be heading towards ear tubes.  I know it's not a big deal, but the thought of watching my baby be wheeled away for surgery leaves me in a state of panic already.  This is why I cannot allow myself to think ahead.....