Monday, November 29, 2010

Black Friday

This year the pseudo, consumerist "holiday" of Black Friday really got to me. It seemed everywhere I turned there were ads, coupons, deals, frenzy surrounding this day of gluttony. So much so that my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving, was a mere speed bump to hurdle just to get to the shopping. Don't get me wrong, I'm a girl who loves both shopping and amazing deals, but standing in line at 3AM to save sixty bucks on a television ain't never going to happen. NEVAH.

Maybe it was the painful irony that people are willing to TRAMPLE EACH OTHER for a great deal for CHRISTMAS, the holiday where we're supposedly selfless and giving and charitable, that really twisted the knife.

Maybe it was the phrase itself, "Black Friday." Lemme tell you about Black Friday. I had my own back in January, and I'm going to co-opt that phrase for my own self.

Maybe it was the parallel. We all have so much, yet there's always something more to want, something just out of our grasp, something we'd trample our best friend's grandmother to get. I am . . . blessed? Part of me absolutely hates that word. But I have an abundance of wonderfulness in my life. And yet. There's that little girl I can't ever have with me, something I want so desperately I'd trample EVERYONE'S grandmother to have back.

I am sitting on the couch, my big boy asleep upstairs, my newborn little guy asleep next to me. Currently, the newbie's down a sock. See? We all need something we don't have.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Beautiful Things

2010 has been quite a ride. At the beginning of this year, I'd have been hard pressed to find things for which to be grateful. Certainly E and C and all our family, and our friends, and the roof over our heads and food in our bellies, and and and. All the things we remember at Thanksgiving, and always when we take time to be grateful for our lives.

But this year knocked all the charity right out of me. I had to cling tightly to those things, for fear they'd be yanked out from under me, too.  And then the darndest things started happening. Through the lens of grief, I started finding all these wonderful new things for which to be grateful. Notes in the mail. New friends. Flowers.

I want to show you three material things I acquired this year that have really helped me through. The first is this beautiful necklace. It was sent to me by old friends from college--girls I'd lost contact with but had reconnected with through that demon FB. (Now, don't judge, but these girls who sent it were in my--dun dun DUUUUN--sorority in college. And our mascot was an angel. I think it's fitting.) I wore it all through O's pregnancy as my talisman, keeping us safe. I love it. It reminds me that there are people out there, in and out of my immediate life, who think good thoughts and direct them our way. It feels really good.
So then there's this worry stone. This summer I went out for a nice evening with one of my good friends. We were celebrating her birthday, and she handed me this stone. It's hers, but she lent it to me to hang onto during O's pregnancy. She wanted for us not just worries to be gone, but joy, too. And I'll tell you, it helped. I brought it with me to my sonograms, and just knowing it was with me helped keep me sane.

And finally this. The day after O was born, my best friend came to visit us in the hospital. She brought a gift for baby O, and and gift for me. This silver bracelet with birthstones for each of my babies . . . I am not sure I can express what it means to me. Because they are all my babies, even she who's not here.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not pulling sunshine out of a shitstorm. I can't find anything good about Calla's death. Not one thing. But what I can do is try to keep appreciating the good things that didn't die when she did. I can pull my had out from under the covers once in awhile and see the world going on, with or without me. And hold my breath and jump back in. These things help keep me going.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Settling In and Settling Down

Baby O has been home for a week. I still am in disbelief that he's here, to stay. He is, right now, as mellow as a baby can be. Child can SLEEP, I tell you. E was never like that. He was a great baby, but he was always AWAKE. I've heard tell of these mythical, sleeping newborns, but I never thought I'd meet one in real life. Or have one living in my house. I'm waiting for a unicorn to prance through the backyard soon.

I still don't have the energy for a long post, despite the more-than-anticipated amount of rest I've been getting. I think Baby O is sleeping so much because I NEVER let him sleep while he was inside. He's making up for lost naps.

Would saying thank you make me seem like a shit? Because I don't think I could have made it through this year without so much love and support. I feel a little like I'm delivering my Oscar acceptance speech ("I'd like to thank my OBs, the nurses, and the entire receptionist team . . ."). I can't believe the outpouring of shoulders, ears, and arms I received over the past eleven months. Words of encouragement, ensuring I was, indeed, justified in feeling crazy, sad, hopeful, woeful, scared, and excited.

But that's not to say this living, breathing, pooping (POOPING oh my word) infant erases the memory of our dear little baby girl. Despite maybe some people thinking that might be so. It just doesn't work that way.

So a picture or two. Here are a few of my new favorites:
Like my stylish cuff?

E is far more interested in all his new trucks

Our newest pumpkin
First shot of the four of us
The big and the little

This last one is my favorite. We are happy.

I can still, though, see the little-girl-sized hole.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Hi y'all. I left things kind of frantically--sorry. Here's the upshot if you're in a hurry: Oliver Orion Scott is officially here, in our arms, breathing. We are completely gaga and are in transition, of course. Life is headed towards The Valley of Insane, coming out the the Land of Crazy.

I'm still a little bit in shock. I mean, good shock. But shock. What a year. And yep, it was 10 months EXACTLY since Calla died that Oliver was born. To the date.

I feel a little bit like I've gotten as close to newborn-instant-gratification as I could have gotten. In the lotto of life, I traded in my losing ticket and won a second chance jackpot. And right now Grief is holding Joy's hand as we walk together down our particular path. When Baby O finally came out, I cried for about 15 minutes straight as I held him. Joy, grief, happiness, sadness, disbelief and relief.

It was surreal--as soon as we walked onto the L+D wing, the EXACT SAME NURSE who greeted us when we went in for Calla was there, taking care of us. And then the next morning the EXACT SAME NURSE who delivered E was with us for Baby O's birth. That night, after he was born (more on that in a different post), three of the nurses who guided us through Calla's death and birth came in to see us. They were so happy for us, and it was a relief to see them, too. They were THERE. THEY knew it was real, they helped me to bring it into balance.

Because as I was pushing Baby O out, it was a complete difference from my labor with Calla. It was calm--I swear, you could hear a pin drop in that delivery room between contractions. I started to cry because I knew, until he came out, it wasn't for sure.

But then I heard him cry. And it was . . . I have not a word for that feeling. Because before, it was a nightmare. When it was silent AFTER she was born.

I am still in disbelief. Disbelief of this entire year. Two babies, bookending 2010. The yin and the yang and the horrible and the sublime. I have harbored and pushed out two completely different beings, one girl--dead--and one boy--very much alive. Both of whom I love with ferocity.

How is it we were planning on two children for our lives, and now we have had three, and only two are with us, and if the second were here, the third most certainly would not; how is it I want them all, don't have them all, but can still find some happiness? And yet still have such sadness within me, too?

Enough for now. Baby O let me sleep quite a bit in the hospital, but I have to get my life back on track here. The mail's not going to read itself, unfortunately.

Thank you so much for all your kind words and well wishes and good thoughts. Another step in the road, ensuring my life will never be the same. I'll be back soon, got lots more to talk about. And I do promise at least one picture, soon.

XO to you all.

Monday, November 8, 2010


It's a go. We're going in tonight to get this party started.

Whoa nelly.

Will post updates as I have em--oh. my. god.


The Word of the Day . . .

 . . . is surfactant. Used in a sentence: "Please oh please, Universe, science, god, goddess, God, biology, Buddha, Cher--let there be enough surfactant in this baby's little lungs to get him out tomorrow."

Going in for the amniocentesis at 8:30. I wish it was this second. I am anxious, nervous, READY. Not to mention my crazy dreams all weekend, ramping up for today. Last night's involved getting the news that it was negative. The giant needle does not scare me--it's the possibility of more waiting, pacing, stressing. I am ready for normal newborn worries; I've had enough of the will-he-come-out-alive worries to last a lifetime.

I know the more Zen side of me, the side that agrees with the therapist, could tap into the "it is what it is" mantra that's been on a continuous loop in my brain for the past 10 months. But right now I'm kinda like, "fuck that shit. Get this kid out, alive, por favor."

Oh, and did I mention today is the 10 month ago day when we learned Calla died?

Will keep you updated throughout the day. Keeping fingers crossed for good news this afternoon; feel free to do the same :) Mille grazie.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Not That I'm Counting . . .

 . . .  but we're in one-week mode. That is, assuming this amnio comes back positive. Assuming this little guy makes it that far. I am on the schedule for next Tuesday. I have the amnio on Monday. Let's hang in there til then, shall we? Definitely, if I'm following this marathon metaphor through, at mile 25.

I can barely breathe, barely exhale, barely believe it. Actually, I won't believe it until we get there. But oh my gods.

Thankfully our lives are a complete whirlwind until then. I am in full-on Christmas shopping mode. We are having our ENTIRE HEATING SYSTEM overhauled---the 95-year-old boiler is gone, no hot water for 24 hours starting tomorrow, three more days, we hope, of being exiled from home during the day.  I have a fun date scheduled for tomorrow night with some of my girlfriends. A dr appt on Thursday. Library books due. Things to distract me.

Trying to stay positive, to keep the bile down while I sleep, and to not panic.  Gotta get more books from the library . . . need some more distractions.