Apr 30, 2014

28 Weeks

I'm in a funk. I think it only started yesterday, although I suppose I can't be certain. Except, I'm pretty sure I was feeling fine on Monday. Anyway, it's not really important. Perhaps my sad mood is due to the rain. Rainy days past, rainy days right now, with more rainy days ahead. Or perhaps it is because subconsciously my emotions were telling me that I am nearing the point in pregnancy when we lost Calvin.

I was between twenty-eight and twenty-nine weeks pregnant he died. I am twenty-eight weeks and one day pregnant today. My previous pregnancy has been on my mind a lot lately. I have been thinking about what it means to lose a baby. But I can't quite seem to wrap my head around it.

Some days are like that I suppose. Grief is like that. Some days it feels fresh and raw. Some days can go by where I hardly think about all we went through last year. And then some days it feels just out of my reach, like a dream I am trying to grasp at or a vision that I can't quite focus on.

How did we get here?

Where exactly is "here"?

I love this baby growing inside me. But I am afraid of loving this baby, too. She already brings so much joy and excitement to our lives, yet I'm terrified of losing her. I'm terrified of the sadness her arrival will inevitably bring forth. Joy for her, of course. But sadness for my most recent birth experience that did not end with a living baby.

When I think about what our life could look like, I don't even know what to picture. April marked eight months since Calvin's death, but had he been healthy, he most likely would've been born about six months ago. I guess that's why looking at "could" or "should" doesn't really work. The reality is where we're at now, not what "could" or "should" have happened.

(And besides all that, I wouldn't be pregnant with this baby if Calvin had been delivered full term. That's a whole other complication I can't even scratch the surface of.)

I know that a lot of my thoughts and feelings are normal. I know that there will be a full rainbow of emotions that appear throughout this pregnancy after loss and my grief. I know that feelings will come and go and there will be triggers, some I can prepare for and others that take me by surprise. I know I am doing the best that I can, riding the waves as best I can, just hoping I can take them one at a time and that none of them drag me under for too long.

And I have to accept that it is possible to feel sadness over losing Calvin, and happiness about this baby girl curled up under my ribs all at the same time. Somehow, the heart is hard at work, embracing the complexity of joy and grief together.

xoxo, christine

Apr 28, 2014

An End to Radio Silence

It's been awhile. Not because I have been too busy, or have nothing new going on, or have no thoughts in my mind. In fact I have been spending significantly less time watching TV (especially in the evenings where it's been replaced with reading), we went on a short spring break trip to the Texas coast, and the thoughts in my head are ever-present and overflowing, just perhaps not clear and concise and coherent enough to find the words to share.

To be honest, every time I even think about sitting down to write a post, I realize I'm not even sure what's been on my mind, or that the thoughts in my head are all jumbled and mixed together and the words just aren't clear. It's the words, the words are elusive.

The pregnancy has been going well, with the biggest highlight a passing grade on my glucose screening test. I was disproportionately thrilled by the results, expecting to fail because with both first two pregnancies I missed passing by a few points and was banished to repeat the test with twice as much liquid and three hours at the doctor. I can not describe the wretchedness that one must drink for this test. Only that the flavors are orange, lemon/lime, and fruit punch, which because I had to drink five different times I can expertly report they are all equally awful. And that the sweetness is nothing I have ever experienced before -- not in a good way. (This coming from someone who loves sugary coffee drinks and almost any type of dessert.)

Spring appears to finally be coming out of hiding, formerly lurking in the dark corners of the snow piles, occasionally teasing us with one sixty degree day here and there. Of course, as I currently write this we are at the beginning of a chilly and rainy week and even though I see the grass greening up, I stare out the window and long for a way to transport our life (and families) to San Diego.

We are in the middle of major transitions in our house, including, but not limited to, the musical bedrooms we play as we prepare space for our newest family member. And while we paint and rearrange toys and move furniture, I am eager to purge our house (and life) of unneeded, unused, and unwanted items. The amount of stuff that we have feels suffocating and I am itching to get it out of the house. Perhaps this is also part of the spring weather (Spring Cleaning?) and pregnancy (Nesting?).

Despite my silence on the blog, things have been continuing on here, with a lot less silence in the day-to-day, and in my mind. I am hopeful that I can give myself more space and time to write, even if it's only in a journal. The writing and photography seem to be a perpetual state of neglect lately (the last few years?) and I am scrambling to nourish and fertilize those interests more regularly.

Happy Spring!

xoxo, christine

Apr 7, 2014

All-of-a-sudden, She is Four

Yesterday my sweet Little P turned four. Normally I like to have a post up for their actual birthdays (so of course I feel guilty that this is a day late for Paige), but with all the birthday preparations on Saturday and then the actual celebrating on Sunday, writing a blog post (even one as important as a birthday one) didn't seem quite as high a priority.

So, Happy Birthday, Paige!

When she got up this morning I swear she seemed bigger and older. As I've been telling EVERYONE, it felt like she was three-years-old for way more than one year, but on the other hand she totally does not seem old enough to be four. I mean, she still feels like a baby to me, and four-years-old is so much more Little Lady than baby.

As much as I want to hold them forever and ever and let them never grow up, of course I am happy that they are growing up. And oh-my-goodness is Paige ever growing up. She is growing into such a beautiful little girl.

I love the way her little hand always finds mine, and is quick to fold my fingers over her hand if I don't respond fast enough. I love that she occasionally puts seventeen clips in her hair and loves to wear fancy dresses and sing her own song while dancing.

And I love the way she dances. I love how hard she concentrates in her dance class, wide eyes on her teacher, but I love even more when she feels the need to randomly dance around the house or down the sidewalk. I love that she jumps and turns and throws out her arms.

I love the way she runs down the street to meet her sister's bus. And how today she described Hope as her Best Buddy. I love how she tore into each present on her birthday, yet wouldn't throw the scraps on the floor but carefully collected them into her hand, passing them to me when her hands got too full.

I love that she discovered a new like of jeans and kicking soccer balls and swinging a bat, yet she seems as delicate as always, disgusted if her hands get too dirty or a spoonful of oatmeal falls onto the table.

I love that she's not afraid to wear what she wants and like what she wants, even if that means something different than what her sister or friends wear or like.

I love that she wears her emotions on her sleeve, even when those emotions are stressful or difficult to deal with.

Everything about my newly four-year-old makes my heart overflow with love.

Paige, you are my beautiful sunshine. I love you so much, and wish for so many wonderful things for you. Happy, happy Birthday!

xoxo, mommy

** I had beautiful photos of my second born to include with this birthday post, but of course my computer is being evil and not letting me attach any photos. (Which is nothing new for this old thing.)