Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Should-Be Mom

Mornings are rough. That's what my friend Liz told me when she lost her baby just weeks before we lost Andrew. The same has rang true for us. I think it's the reality I have to face when I wake up that I don't have my son. The day will carry on as though he were never grown and never born and I hate that. I also hate that I can do whatever I want on any given morning because he isn't here. I don't want that freedom ever again.

Saturday mornings particularly prove to be the worst. Even though Ray is home with me and we usually sleep in, I still struggle with the reality that we should be waking up and having amazing family time. I know that what I want is probably a dream: baby sound asleep after a long and restful night, waking up and making waffles, going for a jog or walking in downtown Naperville with our stroller and grabbing coffees, smoothies, or whatever else sounds good. But since all I'll ever have with Andrew are dreams, I think I deserve whatever I want to think up-- even if they aren't reality (talking about the whole baby sound asleep part). I should be a mom to that little munchkin. Not a mom to a dead baby... a mom to a real, live, smiling baby who needs us. We should be excited about Saturday family days and looking forward to all the fun things we can do this summer like hiking and short driving trips.

It's also hard to think about never having Andrew again. For some reason our brains work in strange ways. Though I plan to become pregnant again with baby #2 (I hope) sometime this year, I still can't wrap my head around the fact that baby #2 won't be Andrew. I can't fathom, for some reason, that it's not just a long wait again for us to meet up with him and finally get to know him. It's weird to think that I will give birth once again to a baby that is possibly a baby girl and not a baby boy! Baby #2 will end up being a baby totally different and never our Andrew. We'd love them just the same, but it won't be him. Since we dreamt for nearly 19 weeks about our baby boy (since we found out the gender at 20 weeks gestation), we had such visions. Our dreams didn't start there, but they became reality when we placed a name to his baby body. Ray even admits that he has little flash-forwards of "I can't wait to ____ with Andrew when he comes." We know he has come and gone. We know. But for some reason our brains aren't willing to release that reality just yet. All it does is make us sad that we won't be able to do all of those wonderful things with him, so I sure wish our brains would kick in to reality soon.

This should-be mom and should-be dad still have hope in the future of our Wilson family, just missing our baby boy, that's all.

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Great Diversion

Scene: Standing in the hallway during a transition time. Students and teachers are all around. A girl I worked with in reading groups for awhile in October came up to greet me.

girl: "Remember me?"

me: {Obviously. A little loud, but super sweet. How could I forget?} Yes.

girl: "Did you have Andy yet? Because I really want to see a picture of him."

me: {Oh crap. Here we go. And right in front of another teacher who clearly knows the story. Looks around for a diversion. Oh great, got one.} Yeah, um, I noticed you're wearing a Polish dance t-shirt. I didn't know you were taking Polish dance lessons! {second graders are easy to distract-- thinks of shiny objects or talking about anything relating to themselves}

girl: Oh yes. Yada Yada Yada.

me: {Phew. Dodged a bullet there.}

Story #2, same day. Today.

Scene: Walking a student to Bus #4 and a line full of kids following.

girl: Hey, I remember you! Did you have the baby?

me: {Here we go again. Bummer. She's not wearing a Polish dance t-shirt} Yep. {diverts eyes}

boy: Are you still working in the library?

me: {Oh thank goodness for this kid. What the heck is he talking about? I don't care.} Um, yeah, maybe.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Crooked Line

I went back to the school district I spent most of my pregnancy at today. As soon as I walked in the door to the elementary school, I felt comfortable. I also felt sad because I was back when I should really be at home caring for my son. I felt relieved to be getting it over with-- this whole starting over process. Breaking the seal of silence is so hard to do. In a way, not returning was still an envelope unopened and an experience I knew would be coming with potential tears and uncomfortable silence and encounters. Immediately, the secretary welcomed me back and told me it was nice to see me there again.

I avoided certain hallways and headed straight for the library where I would be working for the afternoon. The first person to walk up was a woman who shared with me that 32 years ago, she also experienced stillbirth when her first daughter was born. She went on to have 3 more children. This is all too common. She told me that she's glad I came back and that the school is just full of loving people who care for one another-- and if I needed to talk, she would be available for me.

More people came by to hug me and offer condolences... some people I've never spoken to, but obviously knew who I was-- hard to miss that enormously pregnant woman there practically everyday. Then, a man came up. I'd talked with him a number of times before and this time was quite special. He walked up and put his hand on my shoulder and let me know he was thinking about me and offers his condolences. Then he asked if I had a son or daughter. Then he asked his name. Andrew. He knew it now and I was able to say it without crying. It was really special that he considered my son a real person enough to ask his name.

My job started when I read to a few first grade classes this book:
It's not the book I would've chosen, but it was chosen for me to read aloud. I was fine. It's funny how grief works. I wasn't bothered by this book... at least not right now. My grief goes in and out and is never linear. I consider it a crooked line but it's probably a series of circles, zig-zags, dots, etc. Some days I'm sad, some angry, some guilt ridden (I know... his death was not my fault but try and tell a woman who lost her child that!), some happy, some at peace (okay, not so many of those). Unfortunately, they don't go in order and I never know what will trigger the negative emotions and what won't. I'm sure those adults that walked by during the reading of Angelina's Baby Sister were probably shocked I could keep it together saying the word baby that many times without losing it. Or maybe I'm just overthinking it and ultra concerned and conscious of what others are thinking about me and how I'm handling this.

I was so happy the kids didn't ask me where my son was-- especially the little girl I spent about 7 days straight with in October as her one-on-one aide. Thank goodness. It seems like they've all forgotten about who I was and my pregnancy. For once, I'm relieved.

Later on, as I was stocking books on the shelves, that same man approached me again and said, "You know, he's in heaven now. That's why I asked his name because it makes me happy to know that Andrew is there."

Yep, he's in heaven. But on days like today (sad), I just kind of wish he were here to comfort me.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Who Am I?

Ever since I became a baby loss mama (new jargon I've learned on the web. Acronym = BLM), my emotions have run wild. It really started once we conceived Andrew. I cry at the silliest things. Commercials, sitcoms, sad stories, you name it. Well maybe not happy stories. I'm not a happy crier-- at least not yet. I've learned recently enough that life's circumstances change you and who you are as a personal and emotional being. It sounds obvious to many, but that wasn't always me-- because I'd never felt this broken before.

I was watching the first episode of American Idol just now (a few days late). They always try to grip you. Those emotional stories that tug at your heartstrings. That last story definitely got me. Just a little moisture in my eyes welled up thinking about a hope for that family of twins who had been down on their luck for so long.

Everyone experiences heartache. It's not all the same kind or at the same time, but we all have our battles and crosses to bear.

It got me thinking about our situation and how though I am physically and emotionally changed forever, it does not define me. I am reminded of this when I go somewhere no one knows me. I stop in at the grocery store or sub at a school where no one recognizes me. To them, I'm a somewhat young, relatively composed person just living life. I'm buying bread, fruit and normal things. I'm teaching a lesson because their teacher is out for some reason. To them, they don't see the scars unless I break down randomly crying ...which has happened a few times. They don't know I just lost someone so incredibly dear to my heart-- part of my heart actually. In a way, I want them to know that my son died and in some ways I wish no one ever knew so that I wouldn't have to deal with the discomfort and awkwardness we will forever face.

But this doesn't define me. I am still a wife to the most loving husband I could've ever married, a sister, a daughter to my supportive parents (and in-laws), a teacher to many, a friend to so many amazingly supportive friends (even those I apologetically have not called back... I will soon friends. I'm getting there), a home owner, a sort-of runner, a blogger, an independent woman... and the list can go on.

I will not let sadness define forever. I know hope is out there for us and that our son is not in pain. Selfishly, we are the ones in pain. He never knew to be sad, to hurt. He never scraped his knee, felt rejection, pain, suffering. This world is full of that. Though we're selfishly mourning the life we anticipated with him, we know he's not coming back. But I refuse to live my life like he is forgotten. He is not forgotten. He will never be forgotten. He was our firstborn. The fact that I had Andrew does not define who I still am, but it does define how I will continue my life.

Having him has given me more compassion for others and their struggles. I've always had a hard shell coating and struggled with this. Of all the sadness I am experiencing, Andrew is teaching me the ability to be compassionate. I've always been an advocate for children, but I have an even stronger desire now that I have become a BLM.

Thanks, Andrew. Though I miss you terribly, you're teaching me so much about love.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Welcome, Little One

This was the title of a card I read while standing in line at our Safeway grocery store today. I couldn't help but see those light pastel blues and greens as the woman purchased the card, carefree and without concern. I cringed at the site of it since it pains me that the world continues to live on, that women are still having babies everyday in our neighborhood that are healthy and happy. They get to bring their little bundles of joy home to live with them. Of course I want that for Andrew. I wanted that for Andrew. Never will I take for granted that most amazing gift if we are blessed to have a living child.

I then started thinking-- was that baby even born yet? The baby was (or will be) probably born at Edward, where I had Andrew 6.5 weeks ago. Is she purchasing this card to congratulate someone she knows who just gave birth recently? Or, was she buying this card prematurely as I would often do in order to be prepared for what IS coming. Ha. IS. Such an easy word to mutter, but it does not always bring truth to light. It's true for most people, but for myself and many of the women I've been connected through recently via the web (who have sadly experienced similar losses), it's not our reality.

The day we saw those two pink lines and realized we were pregnant, the ultrasounds, the feeling of the baby moving within our bodies, we also thought we were bringing home baby. I stand now reporting that pregnancy doesn't necessarily mean you'll get to be a practicing mother. It doesn't necessarily mean that you will welcome home that beautiful gift.

Because for some of us, that is something we will never get to experience with our firstborn children.

Never did we mutter those words, "Welcome, little one" in our house aside from bringing our son home in a small box from the funeral home. Even something so small as a card in a grocery store can send my mind wandering into a dark place. While I want so much for whoever the recipient of that card is (who will likely read and throw it away so nonchalantly) to take that precious gift home, their child, I want them also so badly to recognize how grateful they should be in the simple act of walking through that front door.

I should also take solace in knowing (though my selfishness chooses not to most of the time) that Andrew did walk through the glorious front doors of heaven. He just got there a lot sooner than his Mom and Dad. That should never happen.

May that family understand the real gift they have in welcoming their child home.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Story of Hope

It's always nice to see stories of hope in the midst of this baby tragedy drama. In the same hospital we delivered Andrew on December 5th, there was another family there waiting to take their son home. He was born premature in a severe state-- his bodily organs were growing outside of his body.

When we felt our world was crashing down at the unexpected death of our son, it is wonderful to know that hope can be a part of each day. One couple mourning a loss and another couple hopeful for a miracle. There's hope in believing that we won't always be on the side of loss but possibly on the side of grace as well-- like so much of our experiences in life have been.

Here's their story about how the amazing doctors at Edward Hospital saved this little guy's life.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Doctor, Doctor, Give Me the News...

{I've got a... bad case of loving you}

Writing to inform. We had our 6 week postpartum appointment today. We walked in, checked in with the receptionist and sat down amongst the 10 or so women in the waiting room-- half of them pregnant (of course. It's an OB after all). Normally I have to wait at least 30 minutes to an hour and considering the amount of people in the waiting room, I guaranteed my butt planted in that chair for a long while.

I sat next to a pregnant woman reading on her iPad... but was called back nearly as soon as I cracked open the Cosmopolitan magazine I picked up to read. Mind you, I had to flip through quite a few Parents Magazines to get that gem of non-baby goodness. I tell you, triggers are freaking everywhere.

The nurse called me back and we walked back. Normally Ray wouldn't join me for a regular OB appointment, but because this was a potential questions answered session, he joined. And because he knew I'd be an emotional mess and he's supportive like that. He lost his son, too. The nurse told us that she called us back suddenly so we wouldn't have to sit in the waiting room {with those other happily pregnant women}. Blood pressure taken, no pregnancy pee cups, no weight taken.

We were taken into a room and sat there for 2 hours. TWO HOURS. My doctor, turns out, was in the process of two back-to-back c-sections at the hospital across the street. This isn't abnormal to have the doctor on call take forever. It's also not abnormal with this particular doctor. Because she's my favorite and the one who was the most sympathetic and proactive in seeing me, caring for me, and discussing our future, I needed to see her for my 6 week checkup.

I had the time to sit and read two more magazines and avoided, again, all those baby magazines. I listened through the thin walls to nurses bringing other patients back asking them for urine samples, congratulations on newborn babies, etc. Fun. I managed to only cry for about a minute in those two hours. I even heard the nurse make a phonecall to a woman letting her know that her hCG levels were normal so she wasn't pregnant-- I'm sure that woman was relieved. Funny, I'd love to have high hCG levels and be pregnant. Weird how life stages can be.

Our doctor finally arrived and we had more tears. She immediately cared to talk about our emotional state and again reiterated the interest to connect us to counseling. She looked in my file to check the placenta report and all was normal. The placenta showed no chromosomal issues either. The blood records (from the millions of vials of blood they took while hospitalized) were not included so she said she'd be ordering them from the hospital. No autopsy results yet. Dr. Jensen said it wasn't too abnormal for them to take longer but to call back in two/three weeks.

Blessing and a curse-- at least from the doctor's perspective. At this point, she has nothing to go from in regards to "what next" with us. She explained the difference between my first pregnancy and what my second pregnancy will be like. Differences to be expected, she said:
  • I won't be going past full-term. I'll be induced at least 2 weeks before my due date
  • Lots more tests and a lot more often.
  • Early ultrasound at 8 weeks and first appointment a week prior to that (they generally do an ultrasound at 12 weeks and the first appointment at 8 weeks)
  • Baby aspirin taken daily
  • Possible Lovenox injections daily. I was afraid of this, but will do whatever it takes. If the autopsy results don't show blood clots in our little guy, we may not need this but will likely choose it anyway. It's a blood thinner so clots can be averted. Whether or not there are known clots, it's a way to be safe just in case. That sounds like the last possible answer though since there isn't anything we have at this point to prove otherwise. I would have to inject them myself once or twice daily {eek! = lots of bruises all over my belly} and they're expensive. We'll have to check with our insurance to see the coverage. I've read online that they can be thousands of dollars a month.
In regards to other things-- looks like I'm healing quite well. She said it looks as though I never had a baby though since it's my body, I disagree. I'm cleared for exercise of all kinds. ;) I'm excited to really sweat again-- though going for a run in 20-degree weather sounds less than exciting. We were told to wait two cycles to try again-- which means 1 more cycle since I've already began menstruating exactly 28 days from birth.

This whole "try again" thing is weird. I was so cautious about our announcement when I became pregnant with Andrew but now that I've lost him... it's almost like I have no inhibitions. I know there is potential for us to be heartbroken again through miscarriage or stillbirth (though my doctor says she's never seen that in 24 years-- but I also thought this would never happen to me...) but since everyone I know has seen me at my bottom, I don't know it even matters to keep secrets. We'll see how I feel when we come to that bridge. There's also potential I won't get pregnant right away like I did with Andrew. I need to just live life and let life happen. Easier said than done for a complete type-A control freak like myself.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Baby Loss Blues

Battle of the babies today, dang.

We went to church today. Every week, I tense up. Surely someone is bound to stop us and want to talk about our feelings or encourage us in some way or another. We need it, but we hate it. But we need it. You know when you're eating vegetables that just don't excite you when you'd rather be eating a nice greasy piece of pizza? Well, it's kind of like that. You do it anyway. And for the sake of our sanity, we must talk with people and not be hermit crabs. But it's kind of hard in church.

I had a really hard time connecting today... or everyday since December 5th. It's not that I feel God isn't listening, but I guess I feel like I'm trying to distance myself. I try not to think about what the words mean in the worship songs or I'll surely be a mess. As it is, my eyes pretty much well up in tears at most songs that even remotely talk about babies, children, boys (thanks country music!), trusting God, blessings, etc. It's not that I don't feel God isn't there for me. It's just been a really rough month and a half. But he knows that. In a way, I feel betrayed.

I don't blame God for the misfortune we've had. I don't blame anyone. But I guess the irrational side of me still does and will always question why this happened to us. I guess I believe in miracles considering the whole art of pregnancy and birth is astounding-- having seen it firsthand and experienced the hopes, pain, and love it brings. I don't know why there wasn't a miracle to save baby Andrew in our case. I don't know how it's possible for (excuse my humor) those darn Duggars to have 19 babies and I couldn't even manage to carry one baby successfully to birth. Or why Octomom has that many children. Or why people who are abusive or neglectful are given that privilege when they are so undeserving. God knows, but my connection to him has been hard lately. I would be lying if I said prayer is easy. I usually offer up thanksgiving for what I have and the promises we've been given. I guess when Andrew was stripped away from us, I've had such an intense pain inside that I've sort of lost hope in promises. I know that hope will return and it has in many ways, but it doesn't bring back our baby. I haven't lost my faith, just in the meantime, my heart is clouded.

I still have wonderful blessings. I still have shelter, food, my husband, a supportive family, income, great friends... but I guess it's been really hard to see the silver lining. I have had a hard time connecting in prayer, worship, and during the messages. I usually spend this time talking myself out of crying. Little pep talks. That's been a goal of ours-- to manage dry eyes through an entire worship service. Didn't happen today, but I managed to hold it together enough as to not encourage hugs from strangers. It didn't help that there were some beautiful baby acoustics throughout the air today in service. I know I don't have to tell myself or anyone else... but I would love to have those sounds been from baby Andrew's mouth. I never did hear any sounds from him. We never communicated aside from when he was alive inside my belly.

There's something I need to address that has challenged me lately-- this whole philosophy that everything happens for a reason. We've all heard it and we've probably all muttered it at some point in our lives. Well, I don't believe that. If you say that losing my child at full term is meaningful and "although I can't see it now, it happened for a reason", I won't listen to you. I think that's a load of crap. I've read on other blogs about women who say that the reason they lost their baby was so it will help them care for others who experience baby loss. No. If we're speaking logically, there should have never been a first baby loss in the beginning of time or God knows when. If no one ever lost a baby, there would be no reason to have others to care for one another. So this idea of being able to care for others is garbage. We don't need this many women to be the caretakers for other baby loss mothers. Or as I questioned in my last post... are we still mothers after their death? When a woman/man are widowed, are they then still "married"?

There's no good reason this could have happened. Sorry. I do, however, know that if and when I ever am privileged to have a child of my own, I'll be the best damn mom ever. I couldn't possibly take for granted the gift considering I know what it feels like to lose that gift. I just know the small things won't be such a big deal and I may be a little paranoid in assuring our children have the best life has to offer and all the safety that comes along with it. ;) So if the "reason" my son was born dead is so that I could help other mothers enduring grief or so I wouldn't take for granted the gift of motherhood, I guess you can buy that. I still don't... but some people might.

But in reality, I am that woman who you'll either feel sorry for and run from, or if you happen to experience baby loss, you'll run toward for comfort. Because of all people, I will absolutely understand the pain you're enduring. Sounds like more of a curse than a gift.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Back to the Classroom I Go... Slowly...

So, I subbed today. It was my first day back since December 3rd, two days before Andrew was born. I only subbed half of the day and it was for the district I don't often sub for. Though I am technically employed with three different districts, I sub at two most often. One a lot and the other about once every week or two. The district I'm almost exclusively with has not yet been informed that I would like to come back. I'll call them on Monday. Maybe. Probably. So when I got a call last week to work two half days, I decided to go for it.

An aside... a blog (teacher) friend whose blog I've also been reading for sometime mentioned I sub at her district-- small world, huh? And another blog friend lived in a town my husband used to live and about 5 miles from where I grew up! It's sad to know she is also going through her own baby loss story. I hate that this agony is all too common but wonderful connecting with people who I have connections with in some way! :)

I don't know if I'm ready to go back {if I'm being honest}. But, I just can't sit at home either. And it would help to be making some money on the side considering all the trips we keep dreaming up to take and get out of town.

I had to give myself a pep talk. I had a somber moment in the car when I was on my way there. Every morning when I was driving to my assignment (while pregnant), I would talk to baby Andrew. I would say, "I love you little man" and tell him where we were going and what we were doing for the day. It sounds silly, but since I was getting back on the bicycle so to speak, I felt it natural to talk to him. I felt silly after I began, but realized that although he was no longer in my belly or in my presence, I could still talk to him. He's hanging out in heaven, bless his little soul. and little feet. and hands. and cute little eyelashes.

The school I subbed at is one I'd been at a few times before, but not enough times for the staff to really recognize me. That was somewhat nice because they weren't able to comment about my pregnancy or newborn baby. I would have likely recognized some of the students but I was subbing for a learning behavior specialist and was in a somewhat secluded zone of the school. In the very first class, there was a student named Thomas who was such a sweetheart. He said hello to me, shook my hand and asked how I was today. Then he proceeded to ask how my husband was doing. He asked my husband's name. Sweet, right?

Then he asked how my children were doing.

Ah, this is where I either buck up and find a response or break out in tears. He meant well and surely had no idea that a simple, considerate question would elicit such a sad response.

I reacted calmly and said, "Oh, I don't have any children." No tears. Without flinching.

And... my heart broke a little inside. Am I betraying Andrew by saying I have no children? Really, I don't have any living children that I must care for, so therefore I am not a mom. Yes, I birthed a child, but I didn't mother that child. I suppose I grew the child and cared for him in my womb, but I was more caring for myself and just avoiding certain things. Perhaps some people may disagree. It's such a weird, fine line. Is that how I answer it to avoid making others sad? That poor 7th grader who already has behavior/emotional concerns doesn't need me adding to the stress he carries in life.

Many mothers of babies lost struggle with this. Should they acknowledge their child to all those who ask, or is that unnecessary? Perhaps they don't feel it's fair to their deceased child, or they want "credit" for the birth? I don't know what to think about that... but I do know it creates some awkward moments with strangers.

I also had an encounter with an aide. She asked if I was qualified to teach math as a learning behavior specialist because there was an opening for that position. I politely explained that I was not looking for a full time teaching position at this time because we are hoping to become pregnant. But I felt wrong not telling her that I have been subbing for some time now because I anticipated being a stay-at-home-mom by now. I should be a SAHM by now. I shouldn't be talking with her in that classroom. I had to tell her (okay, I didn't have to but felt I deserved to explain my position on why I don't have a teaching position being fully qualified... prideful huh? ugh. I guess so.) that I recently had a child, just one that was born without a heartbeat. And then, like I feel is always necessary, I had to apologize for being the bearer of sad news. What a curse. As though it's not enough to lose your child... but then every time you break the news to innocent bystanders, you must console them. It's a confusing state to be in. We hugged and she left.

I'm not really a hugger but I tell you... I've never hugged more strangers in my life than in these last 6 weeks.

Interesting first day back. I need to get used to these encounters... but I'm not sure that's normal to get used to them. I will be heading back to the district I'm most exclusive with next week and everyone knows me at those schools. I've subbed in every grade level for nearly every teacher. They all know me by name and even the students know me well. I'm sure I'll need some blog therapy when that time rolls around.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


It was brought to my attention yesterday in talking with my best friend Alison that this blog triggers emotions in other people. Obviously, I knew that because I'm an avid blog reader myself of both friends and complete strangers.

I have to tell you, readers, (no offense) that blogging isn't about you. I started blogging as a way to communicate with our families once we found out we were leaving our Redondo Beach, California beach bungalow and moving to the cold Chicago suburbs. Being a So. Cal native, I knew it would be nice if we could keep in touch by way of photos and updates. I also have a journalism degree and enjoy writing. If no one read this, I would still write.

So now, the blog's purpose is different. From December 5th up until this point (and beyond), this blog has changed. In the future, I hope it finds another purpose again as we heal enough to carry on. What I wouldn't give to have gone from marriage-->traveling-->purchasing our first home-->pregnancy-->having our first baby alive-->one month updates of our little one. But, life isn't perfect and crappy things happen to good people. So... the blog currently serves the following purposes:

- therapy. It's selfishly for me. When my doctor recommended a women's group at the hospital to share with other bereaved parents, I decided against it. I didn't want to re-hash those feelings on a monthly basis when I already do that regularly enough. I just didn't want more reasons to feel sorry for myself or others. We have undergone tragic events and yes, those are the only people who will ever really understand this type of loss we're experiencing. But... I don't want to carry on their burdens, too, and struggle with seeing them at the grocery store. I just can't. I have to press on. With that said, I have many bloggy friends (they don't know we're friends, but in many ways, I feel like we're best friends) whom I communicate with or read about daily. Seeing them cope helps me find a new normal.

- updates about what we're doing. I have been failing at this and what used to be a happy blog has sadly become a debby downer. Rest assured, we are laughing, crying, going out in public (not often, but I still get credit), living normal lives, cleaning our house, cooking dinner, etc. We're still people, just sad and broken people with a very empty nursery (here I go again depressing you). We recently had our families visit and we did some shopping, traveling to Michigan, wine tasting, chocolate cafe eating, restaurant eating... and I have a few photos. Haven't posted them... don't know why.

- to let you know I haven't killed myself. Yeah, grim, I realize that. But, I know how scary it is to have postpartum depression and since I don't even have the child I carried for nearly 10 months, I would say I'm a pretty good candidate. I know you people visit this blog to make sure I'm still alive and haven't done something drastic. Rest assured, I'm not crazy, just sad and confused. I have not and will never confuse my kitchen utensils as torture devices. I am not a gun owner. I have never tried and will never try drugs. I am moody though... and many say that's probably a more powerful weapon. So watch out. The periods are back and I'm still a hormonal and sad person/bereaved mom.

This PSA brought to you by a woman who really should be working out or patching the bloody holes in the laundry room so we can get to painting soon. Instead, I'm blogging (like I said, therapy) and eating a big ol' bowl of spaghetti. I might cry, too. Just because... you know... I can.

Monday, January 10, 2011

When Life Gives You Lemons...

Strip wallpaper.

Consider this our baby-is-supposed-to-be-with-us-but-he's-not Distraction project #1. With two rooms left with wallpaper in our home (3 of which we've already finished, phew!), we are determined to be wallpaper free very soon. I realize Andrew is not coming back, but this sure beats sitting on the couch in tears everyday. I'm also heading back to substitute teaching soon-- as much as I hate it. I'd consider teaching full-time again, but we're talking pregnancy #2 after my 6-week postpartum appointment and the doctor gives the green light. That appointment is on Monday the 17th... so surely I'll be given an update and possibly answers as to why. Of course that won't really be helpful for anything other than prevention our second time around.

Back to the wallpaper...

We tackled the laundry room this weekend and we're officially on to stage #2, patching & sanding! It's our least favorite part, though all parts are pretty terrible. We are however, looking forward to finishing this project and making this room more functional! Currently, there is no storage. We are planning to put cabinets above the washer and dryer, a new door that you can't see daylight through the cracks (great for Chicago winters, huh? Talk about insulation deficient) and probably a new utility sink top in white for the room. We've chosen green for the room and are anxious to paint. Our goal for this project is 8 days. We started this project on Saturday and intend to be completed Sunday, January 16th. Not only is it a small room, but we would like to be able to do our laundry soon enough!
Wallpaper = hideous. Right?
Good riddance pink and blue speckled wallpaper.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

One Month

As I write this, I feel a bit strange. Usually when I see these titles in my blog ticker, I can easily guess what they are about. "One Month" would generally mean a month old-- as in a living child.

Well, that's not the same month we're talking about here. Dates have such significance when a point of trauma or triumph occurs in your life. This happens to be trauma, but thankfully we are healing a bit. I am abundantly sad that I still wake up every morning to the realization, the very painful realization, that Andrew is gone. While some days I float through life just as I did before, I am easily reminded when I unveil the body beneath the clothing just before a shower, walk by the closed and completed nursery upstairs, or see anything related to babies.

I have gone a few days without tears, but definitely not void of sadness. I'm pretty sure a piece of my heart is gone. At least that's how it feels to me. Perhaps there's just a hole. I don't know.

So here we are. One month. I have wonderful friends who have sent emails and text messages acknowledging the "anniversary" that this sadly has become. In many ways, I am so happy it's been a month. It's almost like I can breathe a sigh of relief that I've reached a milestone and have somehow maintained my sanity.

We love you, baby Andrew. Happy one month in heaven.