Aug 30, 2013

It Keeps Going On

It is pretty amazing how one's emotions can change within the span of a day or two. A couple nights ago I was overcome with the fear that I am becoming more disconnected from Calvin, and with that the implication that I just don't love him as much. And although I know it not to be true, I could not let go of the idea that Calvin was slipping away from me.

Earlier today I felt pretty okay, and this afternoon I just sort of flatlined. My insides are just jumbled up and all knotted together. I have no desire to go out and do anything, and yet I have no desire to be home either. It's like I don't particularly want to participate in anything that's going on right now.

And yet, everything just keeps going. Me right along with it.

The house gets cleaned, laundry gets washed, appointments are made, school supplies are purchased. We eat, we sleep, we do it all again.

I'm preparing myself for the bump in the road that is next week. Adam goes back to work after two weeks home and Hope starts Kindergarten. Having Adam home for so long after losing Calvin is an amazing grace. We have had more time together than I think we ever have, which has been such a blessing during our immediate grief.

Most likely, it will be good that Hope starting school will be a distraction that Adam is back to work, and Adam being back at work will be a distraction that Hope is starting school. I'm afraid that I'm not too eager for either situation.

But, whether I want it to or not, whether I like it or not, everything keeps going. And I will let it carry me along with it, until I feel strong enough to keep going for myself.

xoxo christine

Aug 21, 2013


I am sad.

My heart is broken.

If only I felt as at peace as my previous post suggests. I am not at peace, not yet, although I imagine I will get there at some point, some day, some time. But that time is not now.

I am shattered.

When we got the news, I thought I had no words, and I am struck wordless again. There is no way anything on earth can explain what it feels like for a heart to shatter, for a soul to break apart.

I know it is not my fault, it is not anyone's fault, but all I could say when I held him was I'm sorry. Over and over and over again. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry.

How do I say goodbye to a baby I didn't even get to say hello to?

xoxo christine

Aug 19, 2013


I close my eyes.

There is a meadow. It is amber or maybe emerald. That part I am unsure of, but the rest I see with clarity.

He is young, maybe two, with bare feet and overalls. He is perfect.

His towhead is shaggy, tickling his white eyelashes. His eyes are the color of a cloudless sky. And his smile, it is as bright as the sun.

In the distance there are other children. Cousins and a brother or sister who have gone before him. They are laughing and playing.

He looks at me and waves, his smile shining. Our hearts connect and I feel it. He knows our love.

Then he turns and goes to them. They are calling his name. Caaal-viiin! C'mere, Calvin! They run away together swinging arms and giggling.

He is happy. He is at peace.

Our sweet baby boy, Calvin John, was born already an angel on Saturday August 17th 2013. He was eleven magnificent ounces and ten amazing inches. And our miracle angel in every way.

"Some people dream of angels. We held one in our arms."

xoxo christine

Aug 14, 2013

Push and Pull

Just set the girls up in the other room with play-dough. I'm hoping for a little bit of rest time this afternoon, which I guess is kind of funny considering it's hasn't exactly been a strenuous day or anything. As much as I dislike play-dough (and all the clean up afterwards), that $2.99 for a few new containers feels well worth it, even if the quiet playing only lasts minutes.

We are all doing fine, taking one day at a time, and all that blah blah blah. I can't believe it's already approaching the middle of August. I realized the other day that I have spent the majority of the summer in pants and long sleeves (mostly of the cardigan variety). Sure, some of it may have to do with how (in)frequently my legs are shaven, and our weather has been on the more mild side recently, but the reality is, I think I feel more protected. Like that extra layer over my body some how softens the edges of life or something.

Every night in bed I think, Please give me wisdom. Give me strength. Give me patience. Give me mercy. It's become my evening mantra. Wisdom. Strength. Patience. Mercy. Wisdom. Strength. Patience. Mercy. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

I don't feel any wiser or stronger, and I certainly don't feel more patient. (Who knows about that who mercy thing?) But I guess it must be doing something because I have made it this far, and it's going on nine weeks now. Before all of this I would've never thought I was a strong enough person to handle something so big. Yet here I am. Here we are.

I love this baby. I love Calvin. But there are days that I just want to be done. That being pregnant and holding on and not knowing the how or when of his death feels like too much. But even in that same breath I know that once he is gone I will long to be pregnant with him again, because at least then he is alive. At least then he is with us.

The dichotomy of emotions, the push and pull of his life and death, the guilt with every fleeting thought... it is hard. It is hard and painful and sad and frustrating.

Perhaps I need to give us a little more credit though. Give myself a little more credit. Because it is hard, but we are doing it. We are still here. And we may not be better for it yet. But I have to believe that at some point we will get there.

xoxo christine

Aug 7, 2013

And Then There's Today

Last Friday, when we went in for our weekly doctor appointment, Calvin was measuring twenty-two weeks. I was also currently twenty-seven weeks pregnant.

From the beginning, or at least, the beginning of us knowing something was wrong back at our ultrasound, our baby boy was measuring two to three weeks behind schedule. Something that at twenty-weeks is a pretty big red flag. And even at our next ultrasound a month later, he was still behind by the same amount, but obviously also growing. This most recent ultrasound showed his growth has slowed. Quite a bit.

And to be honest, it didn't feel like a huge shock. I've known all along that he won't survive and so any "new" thing they throw at us just sort of seems to go along with the whole "it is what it is" deal. I've been strong. I've dealt with it.

But today? Today I'm not strong. Today I am weak and exhausted and one big hot mess. I'm not emotional, just way too tired to care about much and feeling intense amounts of irritation and hostility. Perhaps this is that Anger Stage that everyone talks about?

I feel like I need a three day break from being a parent and pregnant. It's sounds horrible, I feel, because I love my children (all three of them) very much, but I need three days to just wallow and sleep and take care of myself first.

I am tired. I'm tired of wondering in every restful moment if I'm feeling a contraction. I'm tired of bleeding (because apparently this pregnancy for me means bleeding Every. Single. Day.). I'm tired of worrying about my blood pressure. I'm tired of feeling nauseated all day long. I'm tired of not having the energy to do as much. I'm tired of knowing that at the end of this pregnancy (whenever that is) we will not be bringing home a beautiful baby boy but will be planning a memorial service and picking out an urn.

I'm tired of being strong.

And as I write these words, and feel these feelings, I know it is okay. That I am okay. That I will continue to be strong. That I will never regret our decision. But it sure doesn't stop me from having bad days.

I suppose that's how it is though, with grief, heck, with life. There are good days and bad days and then there are just all the other days. We're just plugging along. Taking our good days and bad days and all those in between. Here's hoping tomorrow is better than today.

xoxo christine

To read all posts regarding Calvin and our situation you can go here. Our baby boy suffers from a condition called Triploidy. There is very little information out there, but here is where we found the most helpful and knowledgeable information on the subject. It's a six page PDF though, so be forewarned.

Aug 2, 2013

And He Shall Be Named...

Last night, as I was laying in bed, I wrote a blog post in my head. This not an uncommon thing for me to do as I unwind and try to fall asleep. Of course, this morning it was completely gone, which is just as well because it was pretty choppy and scattered. I suppose that's just how I am lately, random and all over the place. Not a whole lot of rhythm to things these days.

You know how a few weeks ago I mentioned how I felt like it was the beginning of the end? Yeah, well, I still feel like that, even though over two weeks have gone by. The bleeding and/or spotting is pretty standard and consistent now, and even though our weekly doctor visits have shown nothing new, I just keep feeling like it's just round the corner. Like one of those trails where you think, surely around this next turn will be the end, but then there is another twist and another turn and it just keeps going and going and you have no idea how many more twists and turns there are until the end.

Every night I go to bed keenly aware of every twitch and cramp, wondering if my body is signaling that labor is eminent. And every night I remind myself that if I go into labor the pain will wake me up so there's no point in laying awake and timing contractions, which, I might add, are not even really contractions to begin with. And every night when I wake up to use the bathroom I go through the whole thing again, finally falling asleep and waking up every morning thinking, well, I obviously wasn't in labor. It certainly makes night feel like one of the hardest times of day.

In related news, we are sharing his name. It feels weird to me because we are not sex-of-the-baby-finder-outers and we aren't really name-sharers. But this whole pregnancy changes the game and even though it feels a little strange to hear other people refer to him by name, it is what we want for this pregnancy and this baby. There are so many things we are missing with him, the use of his name in present tense will not be one of them.

So, his name is Calvin John. Calvin is one of Adam's favorites, from his childhood idol Cal Ripken Jr. and John is after Adam's paternal grandfather. Of course, to Hope he is still Chubby, and Paige has taken to calling him California (cute, I think, because we refer to him as Cal, and after our spring vacation there it feels natural for -ifornia to come next). I have occasionally referred to him as CJ and found out recently that my oldest niece (without knowing I've used it) does the same. It warms my heart that our family has nicknames for him already.

I don't know what will happen. I don't know when it will happen. But I know that this baby is loved. Truly and deeply. And I am always grateful for that.

xoxo christine