Monday, January 31, 2011

Not Gone . . .

 . . . just super duper busy, and have my hands full--literally. This baby does not like to be put down. Which is a-ok with me, but leaves me little time to get thoughts out of my head and written here.

I hope you are all surviving this bloody cold winter (or lovely summer, for those of you not in my hemisphere!), and know I'm thinking of you.

I have a lot of things swirling around my brain, and I need to get them out. But I can't do it one-handed. Soon.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Lately I've been having compulsive feelings. This pull is nothing new. My whole life I've dealt with compulsions of varying degrees of destruction.

I'm feeling like I want to be pregnant again.


I mean, not really. This past time knocked the piss out of me. But I look all around me. So many friends expecting second babies, friends of friends and moms in music class. And I'm envious.

Let me reiterate: I DO NOT WANT TO BE PREGNANT AGAIN. But. There's this nagging little feeling, like a voice saying, "Just do it. Just one more time. One more baby . . ." It's like I'm addicted to being pregnant.

I know where this voice comes from.  It comes from the same place it's always come from. The need to have more; more will make it better, more will make things right, and whole, and fun, and, and, and. Just one more won't hurt; just one more will make everything OK.  One more sale, one more drink, one more puff, one more date . . . and after all these one mores I'm still right back from where I thought I'd gotten past. Going back for more always gets me where I don't want to be.

The smell of a cigarette almost always makes me gag, but then there's those moments when the smell draws me in, beckons, just one drag, remember that feeling . . .  So, too, does the thought of pregnancy make me feel--NO WAY IN HELL but maybe, oh, it was so nice . . .

There's always something more. The success rate of inhabitants of my uterus making it out alive is barely 67%. No matter how many babies I could have it would never get to 100%. But there's the pull  . . .

I'm envious, I guess, of that blissfully naive pregnancy. I'm envious of other people's plans going smoothly, babies arriving whole and healthy without a second thought of anything going wrong. I'm envious of people who don't everyone sad; envious of the pregnant woman no one worries every second about.

It's always envy that fuels my compulsions. I have most of them in check. Finding the peace in having enough is always my challenge.

Saturday, January 8, 2011


Last year, at the end of February, we had a memorial for Calla. I'm not normally one to write down what I'm saying when I speak to a group; I'm more of a wing-it kind of girl. I didn't think winging it would do anyone any favors that day, though. C and I both spoke, and this is what I said: 

I’m not really sure how this goes.  The past almost two months have been the hardest, and saddest, of our lives.  Since last summer we’d been anticipating this time of year, knowing it would be a challenge; we didn’t count on just WHY it would be so hard. 
It’s a strange task, trying to tell all of you about our daughter. How can I describe someone I knew only by feel? Someone I loved, sight unseen, instantly and wildly--someone I had to say goodbye to even before hello. This isn’t how it’s supposed to work. The timeline is all wrong, the events out of order. It’s as though the record I was listening to skipped, the lyrics all jumbled.
But truly, this is about our little girl, Calla Valentina Scott. A daughter, a sister; instantly loved and equally missed. A little girl who was supposed to be here with us, who we could hold and care for and love. Someone who will forever be a mystery to us: would she have been funny? tall? curious? kind?
Every day while I was pregnant with Calla I’d read Eliot stories and sing him songs; in response, Calla would kick and roll and wiggle. I have to believe she was having fun. So, for her, a story:
Once upon a time there was a little girl. A tiny girl; a baby. She lived in a place that was dark and warm.  She was rocked back and forth all day. The little girl had a mother and father and a big brother. Everywhere her mother went, the little girl went, too. Her mother took her out for runs, and grocery shopping, on vacation and to concerts. While she lived with them they couldn’t see her, but they loved her all the same.
The little girl grew and grew. Her mother made more room for her as she got bigger and bigger. Sometimes her father would talk to her; sometimes her brother would kiss her. Her mother and father thought about her all the time, and told her big brother about her. The little girl came along when her mother took her brother to music class. She listened to the bedtime stories and danced to the songs. She liked to wake her mother up in the middle of the night, just to let her know she was there. They couldn’t see her yet, but loved her all the same.
Suddenly the little girl was gone. One sad day the little girl died, and the next day she was born. The mother and father cried oceans of tears. They were so sad that their little girl was gone. After many months of waiting they finally got to see their little girl, and she was so beautiful. They gave their little girl the most beautiful name they could imagine. The mother and father held and kissed their little girl as much as they could, and then had to say goodbye.
Some time has passed, and many things have changed. The mother and father still think about their little girl every day. The brother wonders, and makes his mother and father smile. There is someone missing. She will always be missing. But the mother and father and brother will love that little girl for as long as they can imagine, and even longer than that. She is not here with them, and they love her all the same.
There’s a hole in our lives: it’s a little-girl shaped hole that will forever be empty. But our hearts are so full, overflowing with love for our missing little one. We love you Calla, we miss you, always.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Onward Grieving Soldiers

Tiptoe. Tiptoe. On tiny little tiptoes the day is approaching. Her birthday. The day of her death. One year ago. I think about it defined by the date and the day of the week, and the latter is today. One year ago tonight, this Friday night, right about now, I was in full-blown panic mode. It would be another hour or so before I called my doctor, and another hour or two beyond that when we had the fateful last sonogram.

I want to puke just thinking about it. I want to scream and cry and claw my eyes out all over again.

What difference is it that it was a year ago, not yesterday? What do the past 364 days provide, besides maybe a little perspective? She's still gone. She still is never coming back to me, to us. And I miss her no less, want her no less than I did one year ago. My heart is still shattered beyond complete repair. Despite our new lovely wonderful baby, he is not her, and she is not him. My heart just keeps growing and exploding in so very many ways.

I think back on this year, the hardest and longest of my life. My relationships with just about everyone have changed, mostly for the better. My marriage is growing stronger, and the bond with my entire family has been galvanized, too. The way I parent E, and now O, is much more intense and focused and appreciative and patient.

I am not perfect--you'd think after my second-born being dead, I'd become the most caring and attentive and patient parent out there. Well, at least I thought I would be. Turns out I'm not, despite my best efforts. And I still reflexively reach for the wine when the boys have gone to bed for the night. (Well, when E's in bed and O's down for his first stretch of sleep. Let's not pretend he's sleeping anywhere NEAR through the night yet.)

And still time marches on. The old saying about never standing in the same river twice just about sums up my life. Everything looks the same around me; I am so very different, it seems, every single time I do the same old things. The constant is me, loving my husband, children, friends and family; grieving deeply my daughter who I held for not nearly long enough.

I found myself in a children's boutique today. Out in the suburbs; a rare outing all by my lonesome.  C took the day off; he stayed home with the boys while I took a little trip. This was the kind of store that has lots of precious things; I'm not one to dress the boys, so much, in precious clothes. Even my newborn fashion sensibility leans towards the funky and the Star Wars-inclined.

But oh, the little girly things. I think it was the tiny pale pink tankini, printed with sunglasses and complete with butt ruffle, that did me in. I'm a sucker for a butt ruffle. You can take all your flowery headbands and tights and handbags and fill a slow boat with them, but butt ruffles really punch me in the gut.

I always, before Calla, railed against the princess machine. Truth: she could have been a princess astronaut. I would have personally fashioned her tiara and scepter for her spacesuit.

I miss her. I miss what could have been, who she would have been, our life with her.  Some might think it's silly to miss someone I never knew. Maybe it is. I'll take silly over devastated any day.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

I am not a yogi, and other random realizations.

I am not a yogi. I realize this every time I go to yoga. And not because I don't try. I really, really do.  I get so very distracted.

A typical class goes like this, in my brain:
"OK, I'm here. I got a good spot. Oh no, my spot's getting crowded. No! Focus. Get ready. Huh. Does EVERYONE in this class have lululemon clothes on? When did that happen? Doesn't anyone get their yoga clothes from Marshall's like I do anymore? I mean, c'mon, this is BUFFALO! OK, focus. Breathe. Oh crap, I can't do that pose. I'm so damn fat and stiff.  Man, I used to be able to do that. FOCUS!"

And so on.

I am not a yogi, because if I were, I'd be not so judgmental and could focus.


So, also this. I encounter people here and there, and am not sure what or how much to share. Let me back up. I used to take yoga quite a bit. As I reflect, I realize this marks my 11 year anniversary with yoga. We've had our ups and downs, but we always end up together, for better or worse. And we used to be so very good together. There were classes where, in downward dog, my heels were ALMOST ON THE FLOOR! And, I could nearly get into lotus. NEARLY. This from a girl born with hip dysplasia, and possessing runner's hamstrings and hip flexors is no mean feat. I'm quite a long way down the road from there, now.

Anyway. I've made quite a few yoga friends along the way. Friends who have seen me in various iterations of physical fitness, pregnant and not. And many of these friends have themselves taken classes through their pregnancies. And, of course, we had many pregnancy chats.

Of course, that was then.

So here I am in the now. And I'm seeing friends I haven't seen in a few years. The inevitable "what's new?" comes out and of course, I whip out pics of Baby O and Big E. But then. Um. Then. I start spilling my guts about Calla and having 2 babies in 2010 and blah blah blah suddenly I'm the crazy lady in the room.  But it feels disingenuous to NOT mention it, to leave out my second-born, to not explain the whole story to these women I'd swapped yoga pose modifications with in the past.

I don't know. I don't want to make people feel uncomfortable. But I feel she needs noticing, mentioning. I think back to those early days, weeks, even months after she died. I cringe thinking about the things that were coming out of my mouth. I didn't know how to turn a phrase.

I guess I still kinda don't.