Friday, October 19, 2012

Nobody Knew

I happened across this poem yesterday and the timing seemed providential. I can hardly believe that it has been three years since my first miscarriage. In some ways it feels like yesterday and at the same time, I feel so much older then I did then. This poem puts into words exactly what I have felt, so many times in the last three years.

Nobody Knew You
~ Jan Cosby

Nobody knew you
” Sorry about the miscarriage dear, but you couldn’t have been very far along.”

Nobody knew you
” It’s not as though you lost an actual person.”
…were real

Nobody knew you
” Well it probably wasn’t a viable fetus. It’s all for the best.”
…were perfect.

Nobody knew you
” You can always have another!”
…were unique.

Nobody knew you
” You already have a beautiful child. Be happy!”
…were loved for yourself.

Nobody knew you
…but us.

And we will always remember

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Already Eight

Sweet little Sammi. You are eight months old. Before too much time passes I just wanted to jot down a few thoughts.

You are such a little joy. In the last couple of months you have really mellowed. You are pretty much just a content little bundle of sweetness. Unless you're very hungry or tired. Then you let us know!

Your smile lights up the room. I love all it's different variations. The wide mouthed delighted beam, the crinkle-nosed grin, the eyes downcast shy smile, the half-hearted sleepy twitch, the I'm not amused, but I'll humor you smirk. It is so fun to draw them out of you. You are quite ticklish and I love hearing your little belly laughs when I run my fingers down your ribs. You watch with wide eyes as your siblings caper around you and sometimes let out guffaw at their antics.

You have the most beautiful chocolate brown eyes. I love their seriousness when you stare at my face. I love how they light up in the morning when I come get you out of your crib.

You don't growl as much as your siblings did, but you do use your growl on occasion. Mostly when you are really annoyed or really happy. Your most favorite thing to do is blow raspberries. You do it when your happy and it is also your preferred method of letting me know you're full and don't want any more food. You love it when someone blows a raspberry back at you. Your whole face lights up.

Your favorite toy is any remote control. Yeah, so much for actual baby toys. You also like things tat are easy to hold and will fit into your mouth.

You are a good little eater, even though you have gained hardly any weight. You weigh a little over 14lbs. Your pediatrician is worried about you, but he hasn't been able to find anything wrong thank goodness. I pretty sure it's because you won't take a bottle and are still nursing. Peas and carrots just don't have very many calories! So far you have liked every kind of food I've given you. Some you like more then others, but you'll eat them all. Hopefully I can convince you to drink out of a bottle or cup soon. You aren't sleeping through the night yet. You usually wake up once or twice, but since you're such a light weight I figure you can use the snacks.

My dear Samantha. You are such a blessing. You bring our family so much fun and joy. We are so glad God gave you to us. We love you!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Remembering You

I want to remember, but sometimes the dates flow in and out of my head. They get mixed up in the day to day rush. Does that mean I forget? Does that mean I don't treasure you and value your lives? I think some would say yes. They would say that their grief is deeper then mine and more painful because they do something special on the date that they have chosen to give meaning to. While I, perhaps I passed that day scolding your siblings and surfing the Internet. Which day is more special and should be remembered? The day I was expecting to hold you in my arms for the first time? The day your precious life was lost to us? The day I found out there was a you? The day I buried the seedling hopes and dreams growing in my heart?
 I don't think there is one right answer. I think whatever you do, if it helps you heal, it's the right thing. Even if you simply try to forget. I treasure all the days I mentioned above because they were all I got. I don't remember on a specific day, I remember you always. When I hear a baby cry. When I stare into your little sister's chocolate brown eyes. When your big brother plays with his toys alone. When your big sisters talk about having more siblings. When I pass a ceramic lamb. When I hear the word grief. I remember that there is a you. Two little yous. Sometimes when I remember I smile. Most of the time I still cry. Then I wipe my eyes and find the nearest of your siblings and hug them as tight as I can. That is one of your gifts to me. When I remember you I remember how blessed I am to have each of your siblings laughing, playing, fighting, growing under my roof. I am thankful.

I hope you are keeping each other company. I hope you get to play together in a beautiful place. I'm glad you never have to feel scared or hurt. I don't know what meeting you will look like, I'm almost scared to think about it or try to imagine it. It brings too many questions. I just have to trust that whatever that moment is, it will be perfect. Because God loves me and He loves you. That is the one truth I absolutely know.

I love you. I remember you in my way. Even if no one else sees it or thinks it's special, I hope you know that the love is there and that I remember.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Birth Story

Some people love birth stories, others... not so much. So, you've been warned. Feel free to skip this if you want to. I won't include gory details. ;)

My due date with Samantha was May 28. Because of a clotting issue (heterozygous gene mutation of prothrombin and heterozygous MTHFR, to be exact) that was discovered after my second miscarriage, my OB really didn't want to let me go past my due date. I was not eager to be induced, but after praying and discussing, and debating, Christoph and I decided to follow our OB's advice and go ahead with the induction.

We went to the hospital early the morning of May 25th and were admitted. Paper work, IV, fetal monitoring, blah, blah, blah. It was fun to be admitted into the same room where Katrina was born. I hope that was a good sign, Katrina's labor and birth were fast. I was so excited to find out my nurse would be the wonderful Heidi, a nurse I knew from working at the hospital back when Emily was a baby and also one of the coordinators of the grief program the hospital has. She is great!

We had asked the girls if they wanted to be at the hospital during the birth or go to a friend's house. They choose to be there, maybe even in the room if things weren't too intense. Micah went to a friend's house. My Mom got all the kids up and ready, dropped Micah off and then got the hospital a couple of hours after us, around nine. I had already been examined, was 3cm dialated and they put in the misoprostil, my induction tool of choice because it allows me to be up and walking after the first hour with only intermittent monitoring, unlike pitocin.

After the first hour, I tried to be up as much as possible. Gravity always helps, right? So, we walked the halls. Sometimes the girls walked with us, sometimes they stayed in the room playing and coloring. It was nice to have them around, reminding me of the reward coming after the pain was over. Not that I was having any pain. Yet.

Around 11am the girls were getting restless, so my Mom took them out to run an errand and maybe get some food. I was having an occasional contraction, but they were very sporadic and not real painful. About ten 'till noon they had me get back in bed to monitor the baby for a little while. My Mom called right then to say that the girls were eating and wondering if they needed to hurry back. I didn't think so, I'd had a few more contractions, but not much seemed to be happening. Christoph had a different opinion and felt they should come back as soon as possible. Apparently his intuition was better then mine.

At noon my contractions suddenly got more regular and more painful. I wanted to implement some of the Lamaze techniques I had been reminded of in the refresher course Christoph and I had taken and asked if I could sit in a chair instead of lying in bed. My Mom and the girls got back at about 12:10pm and the contractions were really intensifying. At 12:20pm my water broke and I got back into bed so the nurse could check me, ect. I was 4cm dilated.

Then things got crazy. I had some contractions so intense they made me vomit. That about did Katrina in. You know how she feels about vomiting. Christoph made a little barricade for her in the chair with pillows she could hide behind and a movie on the iPod with headphones to distract her. She was set after that. When it was all over it took a little coaxing to convince her to come out and see the baby. Emily sat on the little sofa in the room and turned her back during the messy parts.

Anyway, back to the craziness. They brought in the warmer for the baby and started getting things ready. I think it was around 1pm when I started to feel like I needed to push. mind you, I had only been 4cm 40 minutes before that. The nurse checked me and said I was almost completely dilated. I tried my hardest not to push, to do candle blowing, but my body had a mind of it's own. They hadn't even broken the bed down and I was laying on my side. I heard them saying to call the doctor and scurrying around. I remember looking at Heidi and saying, "I'm sorry, I can't stop." She just smiled and said, "Don't worry, I've delivered babies before. We can do this." A few seconds after that Samantha's head was out. Right then the ER doctor rushed in and took over. I looked up just a Samantha was being born to see my doctor come rushing in. I remember thinking, "She is barely holding herself back from pushing him out of the way and taking over." Then she was in my arms. It was 1:10pm. I stared into her puffy little face and feel in love.

We got cleaned up. The girls got to help with her first bath. We only got video and no pictures. :(  Poor Samantha's little forehead is bruised form being born so fast. That's contributing to her puffiness too. So far she has been pretty content and is a good little eater.

Later that afternoon my Mom went and picked up Micah and got some dinner from Del Taco (Christoph's choice). Micah feel asleep during the drive so he was a little crabby. He didn't say anything when I first showed him the baby. Then, when he was sitting next to me eating his french fries, he suddenly held one out to me. I took it and said, "Are you sharing with me?"
"No," he grumbled.
"Is this one yucky?" I asked.
"No!" he snarled.
"I'm sorry sweetie, I don't know what you want me to do," I coaxed.
"It's for the baby!" he said a note of exasperation in his voice.
I melted. You have to understand that this boy shares food with no one. Ever. Ask him for a bite of something and you'd think you'd asked him for his right arm. Yet, here he was, voluntarily sharing with his new sister. i had been worried he was going to have a hard time with this transition, that he would be very jealous. At that moment my fears died and I knew he would be fine. We all would. We are a family.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Five Years

Trinie Bee. You are five. My sweet, snuggle bug of a baby is five! You have really slimmed out this year. You have always been tall, but you kept your toddler chubbiness up until this last year. Watching you get even taller and losing your little tummy really makes you seem like a big kid, not a little kid anymore.

You finished your last year of preschool this year. It was a good year. You had lots of fun and you liked your teacher. On of your classmates threw up in school right before Christmas break. You really didn't like that and went through several weeks of crying and insisting that you didn't like school and just wanted to stay home. I felt so bad for you because you really loved school, but now you are fairly ambivalent about it. Which is better then a couple of months ago, when you absolutely hated it. It took me awhile to even get out of you what the problem was, but then I finally figured out that you are really, truly terrified someone will throw up again. You even stopped eating school snack for awhile, which is one of your favorite things about school. :) Back in January when I figured out why you were having a fit every time we pulled into the school parking lot, I sat with you and we talked. I reminded you of all the things you love about school. We talked about fear, how it's ok to be afraid, but if we let our fear take control it can cause us to miss out on some really great things in life. We made a plan, about praying, talking to your teacher and closing your eyes if the worst should happen. Then we prayed together. You were still afraid, but you stopped freaking out and started going back to school without tears. I'm so proud of you that you conquered your fear. My brave girl.

When you are not in school you love to play with your siblings. You do a pretty good job of playing with Micah, and you love to play with Emily. You love dolls, dress-up, and all kinds of imaginative play. This past year your love of coloring and making projects has really taken off and you are most happy when you are creating stuff. You still like to help, especially in the kitchen.

I love how you are so quick to make decisions and have complete confidence in your choices. I love your quick smile and your laugh. I love how affectionate you are, always ready with a hug or kiss.

I hope this year I can encourage your servant's heart. I'm not always very patient with little helpers. I hope you always keep your open heart that is so ready to love. i hope I can help you to balance thinking through your choices and making wise decisions, not always rushing in without looking ahead, while still keeping your spontaneity and confidence. I love you Katrina. You bless me and fill my days with joy.

Eight Years

Emily. You are eight. How is it possible that I've been a Mother for eight years. I remember sitting in the hospital in the early morning hours the day you were born, holding you in my arms and looking at you, absorbing every detail of your beautiful face and trying to wrap my head around the fact that I had a baby, that YOU were my baby. Sometimes it still seems hard to believe.

Well, what has happened this year... You finished first grade. You enjoyed having Mrs C. again and really liked Mrs P. You learned even more Spanish. You love Math and your reading has really taken off. Your favorite books are the Junie B. Jones series. You made some new friends in addition to the ones you had in Kindergarten.

Last Fall you decided to ask Jesus into your heart. You had a lot of questions and it was a very thoughtful decision on your part. Then you followed that decision by deciding to get baptized last month. You love going to Sunday school and think it's really cool that you can read the Bible on your own.

You also love gymnastics. You are getting pretty good at flips and twists. You conquered your fear of heights and are will swing on the high bar of the uneven bars. My favorite was watching you teach another little girl from church how to do a cartwheel. I think you have a gift for teaching.

I love to watch you playing dress up, ponies, and/or Strawberry Shortcake with your sister. The two of you get along pretty well. Of course you fight pretty often, but you love each other and usually want to be together.

I love how your sense of humor has developed. You can always pick up on when Daddy's joking and shoot the joke right back at him. You love magic and have learned several magic tricks. It's so fun to watch your face as you perform them. You have also developed a love for origami. You and Daddy even got to do a presentation for your class. I'm getting the impression you like attention to detail. :)

Well my sweet girl. I love you. Thank you for making me your Mama eight years ago. I'm so glad you did.