Oct 23, 2013

A Picture Worth a Thousand Tears

We got to see photos that were taken from Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep after Calvin was delivered. I am so grateful that we were able to have a photographer come in and capture a few precious moments with our son. These photos will be treasured forever.

But I am broken all over.

And I am disappointed. In the weeks of waiting, expectations managed to creep into my subconscious convincing me that these photos would be of something that didn't exist. That somehow our baby would look less like he did on August 17th and more like he should if he were full-term and healthy. That somehow within the past ten weeks, our reality that day consisted of a baby that the girls could have visited, should have visited. That somehow our photos would conjure the same warm-hearted feelings I get when looking at professional photographs of families walking hand-in-hand through falling leaves, little hands pressed with eager anticipation on a mother's round belly, moments of happiness and joy that I am so used to being posted everywhere I turn.

I look at these photos and a numbness settles over me. Is this really us? It is so strange to vividly remember sitting on that hospital bed posing for that picture, yet feeling a disconnect to who that person was. I know that these are the exact people we were, he is the exact baby that I remember delivering, and yet it's like an entirely different universe. It feels like yesterday and a lifetime ago.

I am ripping in two.

I think part of my disappointment is simply grief. Looking at all these photos opens the wound that was scarring. It is fresh and raw. I have been so eager to get these photos back that I didn't stop to think of how hard it would be too.

But I am incredibly thankful for what our photographer gave us. Even if she could magically make our photos different, I would never want her to. The photos are perfect, I know, because they capture our reality. They capture our time with Calvin just as it was. They capture the three of us in the moments we shared. They capture our heartache. And our love.

xoxo, christine

Oct 22, 2013

The Windy City

I had a long weekend in Chicago with my husband. With everything we've been going through, it was some much needed uninterrupted "couple" time. The last time I was in Chicago was in high school, so it was fun to do some exploring, but I discovered a few things too.

First of all, I could totally picture us living in Chicago. Do you ever do that? Whenever I go somewhere new I try to imagine what it would be like for our family to live there. Some places I can see the possibilities and other places all I can see is "Oh, hell no." The only problem with Chicago is that if we ever actually lived there I'd have to take daily dramamine just to get around. That L Train is crazy for my inner ear. Holy motion-sickness, Batman!

Also, as much as I enjoyed myself, it was very hard to be away from the girls. I'm kind of assuming that it's because of everything we've been through with losing Calvin, but I just want to keep my girls close lately. I still have moments that I fear I am going crazy (as in, give me a break from mommying all day!), but at the same time I desperately want to keep them physically close to me right now. It's like I have to hold on to what's important, and they are most important.

Another thing: while traveling without kids has it's benefits (mostly that it's way easier), I found myself thinking about what they would enjoy about Chicago. And all the cute photo-opps we'd have.

Finally, I love love love to travel, and I love love love home just as much. Being in Chicago renewed in me a desire to go to new places while simultaneously reminding me of my appreciation for having a place to call home. A place that is comfortable and happy.

xoxo, christine

Also? Apparently I actually like deep dish pizza. Who knew?

Oct 7, 2013

Blurry Vision

Now that October is here there is an increase in the weight on my shoulders with each passing day. As we inch closer to the end of the month, closer to my due date with Calvin, the days are heavy and cloudy.

I tried to explain to my husband last night how I've been feeling -- like everything is tainted. Like every experience has a little bit of dust, a little bit of gray covering it. Like I am viewing the world through a pair of glasses with the wrong prescription. Everything is a little blurry, and my eyes have to work super hard to focus, giving myself a headache, and then they just can't do it anymore and I have to give my eyes a break and close them, until I am strong enough to open them again and start all over.

Except it's not my eyes, it's my heart.

It takes a lot of work and energy to function in a blurry world and so after awhile it catches up to me and I have to give myself a break from being strong. This is grief. And I think it is all part of the normal process. But to anyone who worries, you can rest assured that I am seeing my therapist regularly, so if I do happen to lose my footing, she will be there to help break my fall.

It is hard not to think about what we don't have. That I am not pregnant. That we do not have to get the nursery ready. That I do not need to buy boy baby clothes. That we need nothing baby-related anymore. And even though we have no reason to believe I can't get pregnant again, we have no reason to think we won't be blessed with another baby, I find myself with the attitude that we can't and we won't. That we might as well just get rid of all our baby things now.

I wish that things were different. In so many ways, I wish things were different. I know that I control what is written here, but writing is also reflection for me, and as much as I don't want this place to be gloomy, it feels fake to pretend. I want to be able to focus on the things that bring me joy, because there are many things that bring me joy. But even amongst the joy, my heart is heavy. And so I write what is on my heart, even when, day after day, it is sorrowful.

I love October. I love the fall. But with the new season of crisp air, apples, and sweaters looms the day I should have brought my son into the world - ALIVE. They day we should have met and cried and gazed into each other's eyes saying,

There you are. I know you. I love you.

I miss him.

xoxo, christine

Oct 3, 2013

Thin Skin

Thursdays are rough, I think because we're tired from getting through the first three days of the week, and also because it's a really busy day with preschool, Kindergarten, and dance class. Today, though, was the roughest Thursday we've had yet.

It's a long story, but basically I made a decision that I hadn't thought out, and then shortly after changed my mind without thinking it through again, which then caused Hope to be very upset. I mean, EXTREMELY upset. I made a mistake. I was wrong. This was a not-well-thought-out decision, and it was made simply because I was tired. And I feel awful that I caused her pain. That I hurt her. So, once she calmed down we talked about how I was sorry and that mommies make mistakes too. I suppose it was a good learning moment, for both of us.

The thing is, what makes me the saddest about the whole situation is that I caused Hope's first field trip to leave a sour taste in her mouth. And when people ask her if she had fun, she tells them no, not because she didn't have fun on the actual field trip, but because of how the day ended. The first experience I got being a part of Hope's Kindergarten year and I messed it up. And that breaks my heart.

And that she is mad at me, and that she told me she does not want me to go on a field trip with her ever again, break my heart. I mean, it really breaks my heart. Of course, I know this is just a blip on the radar of our relationship. There will be many, many moments in her childhood and adolescence when she is mad at me. But I think this particular situation hurts so much because I know I was in the wrong.

I have a hard time getting over that. I have a hard time forgiving myself for those mistakes.

But then I wonder, if I'm having a hard time handling this little moment now, when she's five, how in the world will I have a strong enough heart to make it when she's a fifteen-year-old screaming that she hates me?

I'm not sure my skin is thick enough for teenagers. Of course, as long as I don't beat myself up for the next several years, I do have those same years to build up a thicker skin. There might be hope for me yet.

But until then, I will ask for forgiveness and try move on. And really try to keep myself from repeatedly asking Hope if she's forgiven me and if I can come volunteer at her classroom again. Because whether she wants me to or not, I'm gonna be there . I'd just rather that she want me there too.

xoxo, christine