Monday, December 21, 2009

Grieving through the Holidays

My friend (and very talented artist), Amy, made this butterfly print from Sophia's last handprints. It reminds me that Sophia is still with us , even if not in the way we would like.

Grieving during the holidays is tough. Watching others around you enjoy and celebrate their families and happy lives seems to throw into relief the hole that's in my own life. I've tried ignoring the hole, hiding the hole, filling the hole with other people or things, but these attempts have only made the hole that much deeper. I think I'm beginning to understand that I just have to learn to live with this new hole. I'm learning to appreciate it as a reminder of how deep my love is for my daughter.

I've heard the quote "Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. Well, I did just that... and I lost my heart, but my heart also grew.

It grew from knowing the love of a daughter.

It grew through becoming a Mom.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Sweet and Salt During the Holidays

Robert Frost ( from “To Earthward”):

“...Now, no joy but lacks salt
That is not dashed with pain
And weariness and fault;
I crave the stain
Of tears, the aftermark
Of almost too much love,
The sweet of bitter bark
And burning clove...”

I'm thankful for the blessing of getting to carry Sophia for 9 months and getting to hold her for 4 more months. During the holiday season, it is hard not to be bitter about my loss, but I keep reminding myself that the loss of Sophia hurts so badly b/c I loved her so deeply. I am blessed to have experienced that love.

Like Robert Frost was trying to tell us, we have to take the salt with the sweet.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

All I Want for Christmas... is You

I don't want a lot for Christmas
There's just one thing I need I don't care about the presents Underneath the Christmas tree I just want you for my own More than you could ever know Make my wish come true All I want for Christmas is... You

I won't ask for much this Christmas I don't even wish for snow I'm just gonna keep on waiting Underneath the mistletoe I won't make a list and send it To the North Pole for Saint Nick I won't even stay awake to Hear those magic reindeers click 'Cause I just want you here tonight Holding on to me so tight What more can I do
Baby all I want for Christmas is you

All the lights are shining So brightly everywhere And the sound of children's Laughter fills the air And everyone is singing I hear those sleigh bells ringing Santa won't you bring me the one I really need
Won't you please bring my baby to me...

Oh I don't want a lot for Christmas This is all I'm asking for
I just want to see my baby
Standing right outside my door Oh I just want you for my own More than you could ever know Make my wish come true Baby all I want for Christmas is... You

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Special Handling Please

Special Handling Please

I was handed a package the other day.
It was wrapped securely
to be mailed away
Attached to the outside as plain as could be
Was a simple note for all to see.
Please rush through the holiday season;
Too painful to open for any reason.
Contained within, find one broken heart-
Fragile, broken, falling apart.
Tried to go shopping the other day;
The hype of the season blew me away.
Sat down to write cards,
That was insane.
Couldn’t find the list
Or think of my name.
People say,
“Come over, be of good cheer.”
“Celebrate the holidays,
Prepare a New Year.”
But my grief overwhelms me
Like waves in the sea.
Can they cope with my crying,
an unsettled me?
I don’t have any holiday cheer.
Decorations, traditions, big family meal
I can’t do this year.
Do you know how I feel?
Guilty and frustrated!
I’ve let everyone down!
Our holiday celebrations
used to be the best in town.
So just ship me away
Address unknown
When my grief is better
I might fly home.

Mary J. Pinkava of Bereaved Parents

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me

Well, as I turn a yr older (26 now), I usually like to recap the last year and remember what all I'm thankful for. (I was born on Thanksgiving afterall). Of course, this year has made it a little harder to count my blessings.

Nevertheless, I know it's important to remember that I am still blessed in many ways.

Over the last year as a 25 yr old, I got to know what it's like to be a mother. I was blessed to get to share last Thanksgiving and Christmas with the ones I love, including my daughter. I was blessed to have taken so many pictures to remember her as well.

After losing Sophi, I was blessed with an overflowing of love from family, friends, and neighbors. I learned how devoted and patient my family and friends truly are. I have been blessed by growing even closer to my wonderful husband despite of and through our grief.

I'm thankful to be blessed with another year on this Earth, and I can only hope that I can somehow make life a little better for someone while I'm here. That is, in fact, what living is all about.

Friday, November 20, 2009

More Waiting

Waiting, waiting, and more waiting.

My surgery was rescheduled AGAIN for some bloodwork issues. They think I probably had a chemical pregnancy (ie: early miscarriage). So now I'm waiting for surgery on Dec 11th.

I decided it would be a good idea to get a 2nd opinion on all this polyp surgery stuff, especially since a polyp never showed up in any ultrasounds. My biopsy is the only thing indicating a polyp right now, so I'll see what this new Dr has to say on Dec 2nd. We'll call him Dr B.

So how will I pass the time? At least Thanksgiving is next week...meaning I get Thurs & Fri off work. We'll most likely travel to East TX for the long weekend. Then the next week should be my 2nd opinion appt. Then the next week is surgery! (As long as Dr B agrees with Dr A).

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Breastfeeding in America

Does this picture make you uncomfortable?

If so, you're not alone. Public breastfeeding in America is taboo at best. Why is something so natural, so controversial? Why do women's breasts (even when supplying food for a baby) need to be covered, while men are free to go shirtless?

These are questions I'd always wondered, but they were forced to the forefront when I had the blessing of breastfeeding my daughter, Sophia, for 4 months and 3 days (until she passed away).

If I had company coming, I would try to get her to eat early so we would be done before people showed up. If she got hungry while around company, we would take ourselves into her room or another private area (like the dressing room in a store).

I do have to admit that the excuse to usher myself and my daughter away into a quiet room came in handy more than once... if one of us was getting tired or I just wanted some alone time with her. But many times I felt left out of the conversation.

Yes, I had a nursing cover, but honestly, getting a young baby to breastfeed requires work for the first few months: work that is difficult to do with a piece of fabric between mother and child.

I can only hope and pray that I will one day be able to participate again in the miraculous bond that breastfeeding offers. I can promise you that when that time comes, I will be more open, and more upfront about doing so. I have since found nursing covers from Bebe Au Lait (Hooter Hiders) that offer a ribbed neckline to allow the mother access to view her child while breastfeeding. I will have to try this out next time, as it sounds like a good compromise while out in a public area like a park or mall.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Crafting ideas... Transfer inkjet pics onto wood!

This will be the first of many Craft blogs (probably disbursed randomly through my personal updates). Right now I'm focusing on ideas for Christmas presents. We all know it's coming up, with the stores trying to commercialize the holiday a full 2 months before the date.

My goal this yr is to MAKE (by hand), all of my Christmas presents.

Ok, you may need to go get the Mod Podge if you're not a crazy craft person like me, but the rest of the materials you should already have on hand.

This awesome idea comes from Katie at Matsutake: [click here for tutorial]
Transfer inkjet images simply and easily onto wood, using only:
  • Wooden cube, scrap, whatever you have or can get cheaply
  • Elmer’s Washable Glue
  • Mod Podge
  • Piece of cardstock
***Remember to leave a comment with your ideas of what to make with this craft! I'm thinking about personalizing some little wooden jewelry boxes for my niece's Christmas present (always looking for ideas with 4 nieces and 1 nephew now!)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Prayer Requests

So, I figured I was out this cycle since my surgery was rescheduled too late for me to try Clomid or Femara again. Well, at my Follie check ultrasound on Tuesday, my body surprised everyone by making an egg all by itself! 19.6mm follicle and a nice thick uterine lining.

I'm trying not to be*too* hopeful (since we know how that usually turns out for me), but the last time I ovulated on my own (with no medicine) was Dec 2007 when I got pregnant with Sophia.

Today I go back to Dr Pinto for a followup ultrasound to make sure I'm releasing the egg, but according to my nice temp drop today, I'm pretty sure today will be O day.

What can you do to help, you ask? PRAY. Pray with all you've got, and then some.

I also have a prayer request for my very close friend Abby. I'm not free to share the details, but just pray for her to have strength for whatever comes her way. She is the sweetest, kindest, and most selfless person I think I've ever met. She deserves everything good in life, and I still pray that everything will work out for her.

Friday, October 30, 2009

This Halloween, my child is an Angel

No tricks, no treats this year
to brighten up her smile
No searches for tiny costumes
down crowded clothing aisles

We won't show up knocking
on our neighbor's door
Or join the goblins and ghouls
collecting candy store-to-store

I did not get to choose
what my child would be this year
For you see, she's gone to heaven
and the future seems so unclear.

But I imagine she has a tiny halo
floating right above her head
And I swear she's watching over us,
and this is what she said:

"I may not get to join you
on this chilly Halloween night,
But I'm a tiny Angel now
and I'm never out of sight.

You can see me in the changing leaves
that fall from up above,
And when the wind whistles by your ear,
I'm whispering my love."

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Surgery is off... F my life

So my Dr apparently had his retina detach. Who does this ever happen to, you ask? Only MY Dr 3 days before my surgery. Obviously, he can't SEE to do it, so no surgery for me til Nov 18th now.

It's also too late in my cycle to try any meds (Clomid or Femara), so I'm just out 2 cycles.

I know this shouldn't seem like SUCH a setback... but after waiting so long and going through so much, I just feel like it's not meant to be sometimes. I guess I'll just mope through November now til my new surgery date. ARGH

Monday, October 26, 2009

Getting nervous about surgery

My surgery (hysteroscopy/polypectomy) is coming up this Friday. Since I've been through back surgery (breaking my back, screwing in 2 rods and taking out a rib), the actual surgery part doesn't really scare me that much. What I'm mostly scared of is being in a hospital. Ever since I watched my sweet Sophi pass away in the ER, I get panic attacks just thinking about hospitals.

Hopefully this will be what I need to help me get pregnant again, so it should be very worth it in the end. I am a little sad about having surgery on the day before Halloween as well. Our office always dresses up for a theme... which this year is Superheroes/Batman. At least being out of it should help to keep me from thinking about what I was doing last yr... trick or treating with Sophia in her adorable costume.

I'll update everyone on how the surgery goes Friday night. Blake's mom is coming up to help "take care" of me, so I should be nice and spoiled lol.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

My candle for Sophia

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day

Today, October 15th, is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.

A year ago today, I would never have known how close this cause would be to my heart. A year ago, I was planning Sophia's first Halloween (as a kangaroo, thanks to her costume from Abby and Carly). I was looking forward to first words, first steps, but never a funeral or gravestone.

Not only do I have a direct link to this cause, but through my loss, I've met so many other amazing ladies who've also gone through miscarriages, stillbirths, or losing a child. These ladies have helped me in ways I cannot even express. I truly don't think I'd be here today without all of them.

So to commemorate today and to spread awareness about this cause, please light a candle at 7:00pm tonight and think of all the little angels that left our world too soon.

***The video is my favorite video I have to remember Sophia by... so in honor of today, I thought I'd share.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Waiting by Dr Suess

The Waiting Place…
…for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or a No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.
Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a sting of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.
That’s not for you!
Somehow you’ll escape
all that waiting and staying…

Friday, September 4, 2009

Happy Birthday Sophia

Well, a yr ago today, Sophia Elaine came into the world at 8lbs 2.5 oz. She had beautiful blue eyes and dark brown hair.

She was perfect.

Since I was in labor since the day before, I spent most of the day recuperating and staring at our sweet little miracle. She seemed just too good to be true, and perhaps in the end she was.

Fast forward to 2009. Today we spent the day first going to the RE's office (reproductive endocrinologist) where I had an ultrasound and got a HCG shot to make me ovulate. Then we spent some time taking a few things out to Sophia's grave. We got her a pink Birthday Princess hat, a "1" candle, a little monkey rattle, and a monchhichi doll (my sister called me a monchhichi when I was a baby b/c I had baby fuzz all over me, and so did Sophi so she inherited the nickname). Blake's sister left her a sweet poem and beautiful flowers. Gavin, Sophia's boyfriend and first love, left her a poem (written by his parents since he's only almost a yr old) and a red rose.

Then we designed and ordered her gravestone. It will be pink granite with her name and dates on the front and a picture of her in the middle. The front has butterflies in the corners and we had them add a shooting star to the top. Sophia was conceived on Christmas day, and I saw my first shooting start that night and wished for a baby. The back has one small butterfly and a quote... "An Angel in the Book of Life wrote down our baby's birth, then whispered as she closed the book~ Too beautiful for earth".

When we got home, I was surprised to find a dozen lavender roses (the exact kind we had at our wedding) in a beautiful box with a card "A rose for every month you've had your baby girl in your hearts" from my friend since high school, Kristen.

Happy 1st Birthday to my sweet baby girl. You are loved and missed every second of every day.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Biopsy results

Well, you may or may not know that I've been going to a fertility specialist Dr in hopes of getting pregnant again. I have PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). This means that I make lots of little immature follicles instead of one large one with an egg each month. On my own, I would ovulate every 3-6 months... making trying to conceive pretty challenging.

This is my 4th month on Clomid (a drug that blocks your Estrogen receptors in your brain, making it believe it needs to make more of the hormones that cause ovulation). No, this does not mean I'll be the next octomom. Women on clomid only have an increased chance of twins, but I only produce one egg per cycle even on Clomid.

Since I've been ovulating on Clomid, but haven't gotten pg obviously... my Dr did a biopsy last week. What he found is that I have Polyps inside my uterus. This doesn't make it impossible to get pg (I probably had them when I was pg with Sophia), but it makes it very difficult for the egg to implant in the uterine wall. This means even if an egg fertilized, it would probably not be able to attach itself to the lining and I would lose it without ever knowing.

What this all means is that I need surgery to remove these polyps. The nurse will be calling today to set up my surgery... probably for 2-3 weeks from now. The surgery doesn't scare me that much, after going through scoliosis surgery when I was 13... and having my back broken, a rib taken out, and rods and screws put in my back. I'm mostly just annoyed at finding another way my body is screwed up. I keep thinking what a miracle (more than we even realized) it was when I got pregnant with Sophia. Sometimes I think maybe she was my only chance at a biological child.

Speaking of Sophia, her should-be 1st Birthday is coming up on Sept 4th, this Friday. I hope everyone that knew her either in life or about her afterwards, will be thinking of her that day. I hope she is happy wherever she is, and knows how very much she is loved and missed every second of every day.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Well, this is my first attempt at a Blog, so please be patient as you join me in this journey.

I've always considered life a journey, but I never imagined mine would be such a bumpy one. For those of you just "meeting" me, I lost my precious daughter, Sophia Elaine, to SIDS on January 7th of this year.

I'm still working on being thankful for what I have and have had in my life. I'm thankful for the best 4 months of my life that I got to spend with Sophia. I still get jealous when I see other mothers enjoying their babies. I still get indescribably angry when I see or hear about parents taking their children for granted or not doing everything in their power to protect and cherish them. But, I'm still going on somehow.

I'm constantly amazed that a heart can go on beating after it's been crushed so badly. I have many people to thank for keeping me going day after day (sometimes minute by minute). I thank my unconditionally loving husband and family, my faithful and amazingly patient friends, and a group of strong and courageous ladies who have also gone through horrible losses but have learned to help others with their experience.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, if I seem detached, bitter, or just plain angry, please forgive me... I'm still learning to breathe again.