Archive for June, 2009

Impostor

There are many things that I have been surprised to find I am able to do – I have bought a bunch of baby goods online, painted and started to set up the nursery (due to the furniture coming early – thanks to our friends!), research maternity and paternity leaves online.

But where a lot of interaction with others is required, baby related activities continue to stall.  I still feel like an impostor.  When I post belly pictures, I feel like someone will call me on the fact that it is really a ball under my shirt, not a baby.  I buy baby items online, not in the baby stores.  And I need to call to book space in a prenatal class … but haven’t … and can’t seem to.  It’s been on the to-do list for several weeks, but I can’t make the call.  Somehow it feels like someone will point out that I don’t belong if I do actually make the call.

I find it a little odd that having lost babies creates this feeling in me – and yet, I know that other women pregnant after loss have it to.  But I wonder – why do I still feel odd answering when people ask when I am due, why can I still not imagine holding my own baby when holding someone elses’ newborn.

And I wonder what it will take for this feeling to change …

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The “Father-To-Be” Card

First off, thanks for your words of encouragement and/or advice … a few things to think about.  The most important reminder – I can’t change the outcome of the future, worrying won’t help.  For some reason I need to be reminded of that every once in a while … and it usually helps puts things back in focus.

Onto to subject at hand – the “Father-to-Be” card.  A brief disclaimer on this – don’t get me wrong, the thoughtfulness of those that sent them is truly appreciated.  I know that both DH and I felt special that people thought of Monkey and us on Father’s Day.

That said though, watching DH open them was a painful reminder today of what could have been, what isn’t, and what is – but is not spoken about.  Just as there are many women wandering the desert between “mother” and “non-mothers” there are men wandering in that same place … but for them, it isn’t nearly as talked about, or as open as place.

DH is already a father – although not in the classic taking care of babies, playing with toddlers, disciplining unruly teens kind of way.  Instead, it is only in the heart wrenching, knowing what it means to have your heart outside your body and watch it being crushed as you leave you babies at the hospital kind of way.  The holding your wife as she cries learning there is no heartbeat kind of way.  The carefully balancing excitement with fear throughout a new pregnancy kind of way.

But he is a father.  And instead of year two of Father’s Day cards … this years’ probably mauled by two sets of toddler hands, he received Father-to-Be cards.  So thoughtful, but so painful at the same time.

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Anxiety Building

The last several weeks, I have had a feeling of underlying anxiety.  At first I barely noticed it, but as the weeks have gone by, it has grown to a fairly noticeable level.

After a mild emotional breakdown, DH and I were talking through what it could be.  After much thought I realized exactly what it is … Life is good.  Among many other things, both DH and I are enjoying our jobs, Monkey is still growing, summer is finally here, our financial situation is more stable than most, and we are looking forward to a great couple months of visitors before I get ready to head off on mat leave.  Life is good.

And it is getting to me.  Between losing the girls in November of 2007 and July of last year, the phrase that most accurately describes our lives was hellish.  Even from then through Marchish of this year has been at best difficult.  But it is now good … and as someone who has experienced a decent amount of heartache, it makes me nervous.  There is a part of me just waiting for the ball to drop, for something to happen, for someone to steal my happiness away.

I feel as though I don’t have a right to be happy – I am not one of those people.  Trust me, I know that is inaccurate, life doesn’t work that way, but it is the way I feel right now, and the anxiety is mounting.  And I am not sure how to reconcile this happiness with our past, with the knowledge I have. 

I don’t think it is fair to myself, DH, or Monkey to be in this state … to allow myself to hang on to the anxiety.  To be honest, I don’t know how I can manage another three months of it until Monkey’s arrival.  But I don’t know how to change it, how to help it dissipate.

Any thoughts or advice on helping work through this anxiety?  As a community who understands the feelings, I am hoping that perhaps some of you have ideas … I don’t usually write looking for advice, but I am struggling to find the answers to this one on my own.

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Changing Focus

The other night DH posed the following to me – “Not to pressure you, but you have talked about using a Douala along with a doctor for Monkey’s birth … when do you need to talk to someone about that?”

I stared back, mouth slightly open, no answer readily available.  Because the thing is, I should have already.  At just over 25 weeks, I should have made the first phone call … probably about 10-11 weeks ago.  Unfortunately that “should have” went the way of many others – like actually beginning to purchase major baby items, really discussing what my leave will look like for work, figuring out names for this little munchkin … the list goes on and on.

And I realized something.  At some point, I have to change my focus.  I have to move from the planning stage – the stage of “one day when we have a baby” to implementing those plans.  As any babylost mama will tell you, the confidence that the new baby will arrive is never there, but I have to start planning as if the baby will indeed arrive.  Because, God willing, there will actually be a baby in our arms in about 14 1/2 weeks.  And we need to be ready for him/her.

So this week I am working on it.  It’s a strange feeling.  It feels presumptuous and puts me slightly ill at ease.  I made the first call to a local Douala … I felt like I needed to apologize for asking her so early.  We’ve tentatively decided on names.  We have started to discuss my husband’s paternity leave.  It is disconcerting, but at the same time, there is the excitement is beginning to well up inside.  This may actually happen.  Monkey may become more than kicks to my bladder, a head trying to poke through my belly button, and hiccups in the night.

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8 x 8

8×8 all about me!

Thanks to My Life After Levi for tagging me on this.  I have lots of thoughts for posts rambling around my head, but they aren’t organized yet … so in the meantime, a bit about me.

8 THINGS I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO:

  • Meeting Monkey in September
  • Getting the nursery decorated and set up
  • Summertime visitors
  • Dinner tonight – actually put some effort in and it is going to be so good
  • My trip down to see family and friends in July
  • Exploring lakes and walking trails in our community in the next couple months
  • Massage Therapy on Wednesday
  • DH getting over the flu … it’s been around for a week and it is no fun for either of us!

8 THINGS I DID YESTERDAY:

  • Went out for breakfast
  • Went to church
  • Cleaned the house
  • Watered the lawn and flower pots
  • Read a book on my porch
  • Talked to a few friends on the phone
  • Did the laundry
  • Spent the evening at the lake – with coffee, DH, and our puppy

8 THINGS I WISH I COULD DO:

  • Cut my toenails without being out of breath
  • Dance
  • Speak 3 or 4 foreign languages
  • Phone a friend I’ve been meaning to talk to for weeks (can’t because I am waiting for a work call)
  • Eat ice cream every day without getting sick (lactose intolerant … so ice cream is a once-in-a-while treat)
  • Visit friends and family whenever I want to – without having to worry about the cost
  • Take away people’s pain
  • Completely renovate my kitchen

8 SHOWS I WATCH:

  • So You Think You Can Dance
  • The Amazing Race
  • Any home show on HGTV
  • Bones
  • House
  • What Not to Wear
  • Mantracker (what can I say, DH has the remote a lot :))
  • The history channel

8 FAVORITE FOODS:

  • Tacos
  • A good steak
  • Stir Fry – any kind really
  • Gummy Candy (not really food, but I could easily eat some every day)
  • Ice Cream
  • Cheesecake (anything but chocolate)
  • Greek Salad
  • Cheese

8 PLACES I’VE TRAVELLED:

  • Hong Kong
  • Mainland China
  • Japan
  • Korea
  • The Philippines
  • Kenya
  • The Dominican Republic
  • Mexico

8 PLACES I’D LIKE TO TRAVEL:

  • Greece
  • Europe (okay, this covers WAY more than eight, but along with Greece one day I dream of doing a European historical tour … won’t be with DH though, I think he would rather die)
  • Texas to see my new niece
  • Backpacking trip in South America (probably Peru)
  • Ummm, think that is it … I’ve covered way more than eight anyways!

8 PEOPLE I TAGGED :  Hmm, too lazy to actually tag anyone.  If you see this and are interested, I’d love to see what you have to say!

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Hmmm

Apparently stress can sneak up on you.  And because it comes on so slowly, just a little at a time, you don’t even recognize that it is there.

I have felt pretty good about this pregnancy – about the way I have been able to deal with it anyhow.  Although the fear is there, and I am constantly having to remain in the moment, I have felt like I have been dealing with it well.  You could even say that pride has been inching in a bit. 

Well, I have been very gently reminded that just because I don’t acknowledge the stress, it doesn’t mean it isn’t there.  The other day I was playing on my laptop, sitting on our couch.  Beside me is a large picture window that looks out over our backyard.  Without warning there was a large “BAM” on the window.  My heart sank immediately as I knew what it meant.  Sure enough, a little bird lay on the ground underneath the window … it died in less than a minute.

No matter what, I would find this sad.  No bird should have to die like that.  That said, my reaction was enough over the top that even I recognized it for what it was.  I began sobbing uncontrollably as I grabbed some paper towel and headed out to collect the little bird.  I briefly even considered digging a hole to bury it.  It took me quite a while to decide that I would not be doing the bird wrong by simply putting it in the garbage can.

Recounting the story to DH later, I had to chuckle a bit.  He was incredulous at my reaction – I was a bit too.  After all, it is only a bird.  A good reminder though for both of us about the stresses of our life right now.  My pride got taken down just a notch … apparently there is a bit more there than I am readily willing to admit.

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If You Were Born Today …

… They would fight for you.

1 1/2 years ago, I laid on an emergency room bed, tears rolling down my cheeks.  The doctor had just laid out the “plan” for Avery and Sophie’s birth … no ultrasounds, no dopplers, just the cold hard facts that our babies would be born, and that they would die.

One of the hardest parts was that nobody acknowledged their “aliveness” (pardon the non-word) … we didn’t get to see them moving in my belly one last time, hear them one last time, there was no rush to help them.  In fact, our second little babe was actually born onto the table because everyone had momentarily left.

In the months after, in the quiet moments of the night I would hear the whisper “No one fought for you”.  And the tears would come again.

So today feels monumental for me.  As I awoke to 24-week-old Monkey playing drums on my bladder I whispered a congratulations to her/him.  Today, they would fight for you my love.

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