Thursday, March 24, 2011

March, the month that started it all

The month of March brings a series of mixed emotions for me. We tried for several months to get pregnant, but I remember March 2010 very vividly. I was taking my temperature every morning and ovulation tests as needed. I could tell you with certainty when and where Addison was conceived...I said I could that doesn’t mean I will ;) This is the month we found out our lives would change forever. We had no idea what was in store for us, but knew no matter what we would never be the same…little did we know we would get much more than we bargained for.

I was so worried something was wrong with me and that I wouldn't be able to get pregnant. This month was the first month I was actually relaxed about it. We had started hanging out with a new group of friends (none of which had children) we were being very active and just enjoying life. I was working out hard and really enjoying it. It was the first month where I thought I could actually not be sad when a pregnancy test would come up negative. Especially because our due date would be in December and I would rather not have this baby get lost in the month of Christmas!

I actually told Brian how this was the one month that I wouldn't be sad when I took yet another negative pregnancy test. He started laughing and said I bet you are pregnant then! I laughed, but didn't think about it much further.

One year ago today on March 24, 2010, (it was 2 days after my cycle should have started) Brian woke me up early in the morning. He was getting ready for work and was anxious for me to take a pregnancy test before he left. I was annoyed to be woken up so early and kept insisting I wasn't pregnant. I finally decided to get up and appease him.

After taking the test we saw the lightest second line you have ever seen. So light that Brian and I were like hmmm is that a line? Brian was asking if we were supposed to get excited. I didn't know. I didn't have to "go" again so I couldn't take a second test. He kissed me goodbye and left for work.

After that I was so mad at him. I was fine with waiting and now I HAD to know. At lunch I went and bought another test and took it in the bathroom at work. There was another extremely light second line. Pregnant! I was so happy. It was the hardest thing to keep a secret. I just wanted to shout it out from the rooftops! I waited until Brian got home and presented him with a watch. I told him it would be the last nice present he ever got because he was going to be a dad now and all our money was to be spent on the baby.

We went out to dinner to celebrate. We told my brother, sister and best friend and tried to keep our secret as secret as possible. This is the month it all started. From now on each month we go through will bring a new wave of emotions more "anniversary" type dates to remember. We already did all the "this is our last Easter, birthday, 4th of July etc. without a baby" We knew by these holidays there would be baby with us and were great with that, we had our last date, last movie night, last everything without Addi. We were happy to stop doing things as a couple and start doing things as a family. Now with each holiday we will experience it without Addison and that is terrible all on its own.

March, I love you and I hate you. You brought into my life all the wonderful hopes and dreams I had ever imagined and now that you are here again, you are just a painful reminder of all my dreams that are not only missing from this year, but for every year for the rest of our lives.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sulking and Crying and Yelling, Oh My!

So my rough morning yesterday turned out to be an entire rough day and night. I couldn't get home from work fast enough and got my necklace on right away. It helped a little. I let the dogs out and was pleased to find that I hadn't forgotten anything big that morning (all the doors were closed and I remembered to lock the front door etc.).

Usually I will change out of my work clothes right away, but not yesterday. I managed to throw together a quick dinner and plopped down on the couch where I would remain for the rest of the night.

Brian called on his way home with what seemed like a million and one questions. What's for dinner, what's the plan for tonight, was I going to my mom's house, was I going to the gym, did I finish packing blah blah blah. I was super annoyed. I felt like I was being grilled even though deep down I know that was not what was happening.

When he got home he started asking the same questions...he frequently forgets which questions he has asked so he just runs them by me again. Normally this is no big deal, but last night I was not in the mood. When I said that I wasn't going to the gym he wanted to know why (he knows I haven't been sleeping well and knows how much the gym helps with that). I said that I just didn't want to and that I was having a sad day. I thought that would be a good enough answer, but it didn't seem like it was to him.

He finally left to go to the gym himself and I was alone. I knew I needed to go to my mom's, do laundry, finish packing etc., but I couldn't make myself get off the couch. I wasted the night sulking, watching television and playing words with friends (it’s like scrabble) on my phone. I'm not happy about it, but I needed an evening of nothing after my day.

When Brian came home it was the same thing AGAIN. I just burst into tears. I was hanging by a thread all day and this was the last straw. Usually he is so good to know what I need and last night was the first time I felt like he didn't "get me" (how dare Brian for not being a mind reader) lol. The more he questioned me the more I cried and the more I cried the more I yelled. I am not generally a yeller, but it's like I couldn't control the volume of my voice and he was irritating the crap out of me (sorry Brian). I just kept hoping he would realize that grilling me wasn't what I needed and that he would either stop talking or hold me, but he didn't.

I finally just removed myself from the conversation and decided to take a nice long hot shower. It was then that I realized I was still in my work clothes, wow I was out of it. Showers are really great places to do some good thinking and even better crying. The water must have been really hot because my skin was bright red when I got out. I have no clue how long I was in there for, but once I got out I know Brian was worried there wouldn’t be enough hot water left for him…oops.

After that I was able to tell Brian what it was that I was needing from him and why his approach was not a helpful one. He really didn't do anything wrong, but we just have to know what is helpful and what is hurtful to each other. He has been so great these last almost 4 months that I forgot that he is human and can't read my mind!

I feel bad for how I reacted last night, but the truth is that I hit a wall (metaphorically) and the best way for me to move forward s to let myself feel what I am feeling when I am feeling it. I love my husband and he didn't deserve the wife he got last night.

The one bonus to all of this is that I was emotionally and physically exhausted last night and slept like a rock. I woke up feeling like myself today so I have a lot to do to try and catch up from this funk I was in. I didn't sign up for this, but it is what it is.

Writing really helps me when I am upset, so you can imagine how much journaling I did last night. It will be hard not having access to my blog on the cruise, but I will take a journal and write while I am away. I am hoping yesterday was the lowest point of my week and that the trip will be "panic free"...here's hoping!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Rough Morning

I should have seen the signs and known this was coming, but I kept trying push through and just get through each day. This morning there was nothing I could do about it, I just woke up sad. I told Brian I didn't feel well and quickly realized it was "sad" sick not a "bug".

I just felt like crap all morning. I don't even remember leaving my house for work. I hope I brought the dogs inside...no wait I definitely did that, thank goodness. I got just passed the cemetery and realized I had forgotten to put my little footprint necklace on. Enter tears! I should have turned around and gone back to get it, but I was afraid it would make me late so I just cried my whole way in to work.

I have never forgotten my necklace before and I didn't realize how much it would bother me not to have it. It’s like a security blanket or something or maybe it's just because today is a sad one.

I was able to put myself together enough to walk into my office. I was asked to go to the post office today and it could have been a more welcomed errand. Once I got in my car I was able to let myself cry the whole way.

I actually feel a bit better, but I still have an upset tummy and my eyes still burn. Lucky for me today has been slow so far so I can just sit in my office and take care of the things that need to be done. I would go home if I wasn't about to take a whole week off, I can make it, I know I can...well I'm going to give it my best shot!

I know it's not just one thing, it's everything, but I can't ever get used to days like today. I miss Addi so much it hurts. With the 24th just around the corner (I will explain the significance of that date in another post)it's just one more thing to add on to my sad day.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Heartbeats

I hate them. Hate them, hate them, hate them! You would think after my experience I would want to hear a heartbeat, but you would be wrong. They make me cringe.

Every time I watch a move or a television show and they show a heartbeat or have that sound on it upsets me. If I am lying next to Brian and can hear his I will rearrange myself so I don't have to listen to it anymore.

It's not like I wish it wasn't there. I am so glad it is, it's just that I don't want to hear it. It's too painful of a reminder of the one thing that was missing on that day.

The day we went in to hear Addison's heartbeat for the first time was at our 10 week appointment. I was told my uterus was tilted and that they might not find it until later in the pregnancy so I was prepared not to hear it. When the doctor found it we were so excited. Neither of us cried, but we were overcome with a happiness I cannot explain. Brian recorded it on his phone. It's a sound I have not been able to listen to since losing her, but I have it saved for a day when I think I can handle it.

It seems like such a simple thing. You just expect it to be there every time. Each appointment they would find her heartbeat right away and they would look at me so excited and I would think yep, there it is again, ba bump ba bump! Happy, but not truly delighting in each little ba bump.

I think about what it will be like to go in and hear baby no. 2's heartbeat and wonder if I will even be able to listen to it. It's hard to explain how badly I want it to be there, but don't want to actually hear it for myself. It's one of the ways I am changed forever. There are so many, but this is one.

I think this is just one more sign that I am not ready to be pregnant again just yet. I have found the list of things I have made for myself of things I need to accomplish before we can think about baby no. 2 hasn't changed much. I have all these things to cross off my list and not many have been done. It's like I am self-sabotaging myself so I don't have to think about it yet.

Logically I know that I need to get everything done on my list so when I am ready there is nothing left to do, but try. I can't always depend on logic. It has failed me in the past so now I just have to do things on my own time.

I took one good big step this weekend and it did provide me with some relief...nervous relief, but still some. It's hard to concentrate for me a lot these days, but especially with our trip being so close. I was able to find my summer clothes from 2 summers ago (all my last summer clothes were maternity). I think I have a good start on my packing. I have a lot of mixed feelings about this trip (happy to be going/feeling guilty for getting to go since I should be home with a 3 month old).

I think it will be good to get away. Feel the sun again and spend some quality time with my family and husband. I can't believe my baby brother is graduating from high school with his AA. I am so proud of him. I hope this trip can be all about him and his accomplishments.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Patrick's Day


2010 St. Patrick's Day
It's so interesting to me how 1 year ago can feel like yesterday and like a million years ago all in the same moment. That's how I feel about a lot of things these days, but today I am thinking about St. Patrick's Day 2010.

I remember it well. It was my sister Alisa’s first St. Patrick's Day that she could legally consume green beer and we were on the hunt for a good place to go. It took us 3 tries, but we finally found a good spot. There were 8 of us all together and we were all excited to have a fun night out.

Brian and I were treating it as our "last" St. Patrick's Day as a childless couple. I didn't know I was pregnant yet, but I stayed away from the alcohol anyways. Someone needed to be the DD and I wasn't taking any chances just in case I was pregnant and it turns out I was!

We had a great night out being silly with our friends, but even that night I was thinking about how much I hoped this would be our last St. Patrick's Day just the two of us.

Here we are one year later...the three of us minus one. A couple once again. We don't need to hire a babysitter or stay in because we have a baby at home. Instead we are free to do as we please...how I wish we were "tied down" by a baby...our baby, our Addi.

We were planning on getting together with some of the same friends at the same place, but plans got cancelled. I'm actually pretty happy about that. It would have been fun to get together, but honestly I am over it. I was ready to spend my nights in and I already had my "last kid free St. Patrick's Day" I had my last kid free everything! Now everything is kid free and I hate it.

Maybe next year I will feel more celebratory when it comes to holidays, but I think I can count this year as a bust. All the holidays will be lacking because they are lacking Addison. I don’t expect any holiday to ever feel whole again, but I have faith that someday I will start to enjoy them not as I did before, but in a new way.

Looking back at pictures from last year when we were so happy is hard, but wonderful all at the same time. I am so thankful for that time in our lives. Oh what I would give to have that blissful happiness back even for just a moment.


The ladies


Me ruining Brian's fun

Saturday, March 12, 2011

"Push" Gift

Blue Topaz earrings from Brian
On December 3rd Brian went out with my friend Sarah to pick out a "push" gift for me (a gift for after I gave birth). Brian decided on blue topaz earrings, which would be the Addi's birth stone. It is something you are supposed to receive after the baby is born, but since Brian can't wait for anything he HAD to give them to me that night. I loved them, but was a little bummed out that he gave them to me before she was born and not after. Now I am so thankful he did. He gave them to me on the last day that she was "with" us.

These earrings now have such a high sentimental value. I have been terrified to wear them! My dad took them to a friend who was able to put "screw backs" on. I have to screw them on and off so I feel much safer to wear them. Between my necklace and the earrings, it's nice to have something tangible to take with me wherever I go.

This week I also ordered a larger footprint stamp. I am really happy with it; you can see the detail much clearer now. I also got her footprints back from butterflyfootprints.blogspot.com I was glad to have them, but since Alex had already figured out how to do them, I wasn't waiting on them.

This last week was an interesting one. The beginning was very hard; I was still recovering from a very sad weekend. The week got a little easier, but I also found out two people that I love passed away. Both people were older (76 & 80) and both knew it was coming (cancer and leukemia). I went to one of their funerals today. It was such an interesting feeling being there.

The last service I went to was Addison's so I was nervous to go. It had such a different feeling than Addi's. Everyone was sad to say goodbye, but he LIVED. He was a great man who people loved. He left wonderful memories for his family and lived a great life. His spouse, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren were all there...all people Addison will never have or experience. It's just such a weird thing to experience. I am still trying to take it all in. It's not that it doesn't make me sad to lose someone because it does, but nothing compares to losing someone who was robbed of everything life has to offer.

At the service I saw an old friend who didn’t know about Addison. When I told her she said that God must have needed another Angel…I just smiled. I should have set her straight, but I know she meant well so I just held my tongue. I’m just glad she didn’t say it to my mom...my mom’s response to that is that she doesn’t believe God sits up in heaven and kills babies…oh mom…my mom makes me laugh! Talk about freaking people out. I guess they won’t ever say it again after that though!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

3 Months

Wow...just typing 3 months brings out all sorts of tears and sadness...I'm finding it hard to see the screen through my blurry eyes.

3 months is a time frame I have given myself over the years as a good indicator on how things will go. Like when you start a new job by the 3 month mark you pretty much know if you are going to like it or not. Same with relationships, by 3 months you have a pretty good idea whether you like the person and can see things going forward or not.

I don't know what I expected today would be. Brian looked at me a few days ago and said he thought this was supposed to get easier, but he feels like it is just getting harder. He had a little girl in his store with a brown and pink polk-a-dot dress with pink tights. He called me to tell me about her and how hard it was for him to see her. Talk about a broken hearted daddy.

Today I decided to start out the day with a body combat class at the gym (it's like tae bo). It was a great workout, but she kept telling us to get mad, the more I got mad the harder I punched and yeah I am beyond mad. I should be celebrating 3 month mile stones today and instead I am reliving the loss of our baby. I could feel the tears coming and held them back as best as possible. I sure it just looked like I was wiping sweat off my face. After the class I got an email that was exactly what I needed at that moment. Thanks B!

I drove past the cemetery on the way home. Apologizing to Addi for not having her stone yet. When I got home I just needed to sit in her room. I couldn't help but open all her drawers of clothes. All clean unworn 0-3 month clothing folded and waiting for her. I can't help but wonder if we would be switching to all of her 3-6 month clothing now or if she would have long ago outgrown them since she had such a long body. As it was her newborn outfit she wore at the hospital was like 3/4 sleeves on her.

I'm sure we would be taking pictures of her today and bringing her by Brian's office for a visit. The sun is out today and I am sure we would have spent the day out and about showing her off to everyone.

I would say 99% of the announcements are out and I am so pleased about that. I feel like I accomplished something for her and that gives me a small bit of peace.
I'm not really sure why today is so much harder that months 1 and 2, but it is. I just feel so much farther away from her. I feel like I have put in my time and now it's time to get her back. I'm ready, I've done everything with as much grace and strength as possible and I need her back now. I'm tired of this broken heart.

I feel like I should be making more progress and instead I feel like for every one step forward I take there are 3 steps back. Like strangers who are pregnant I didn't used to look away and now I do, babies too. My friends still don't bother me and I think that's because I know they really do love and "deserve" their babies. I hate women that complain about their pregnancy, they make me crazy. I just want to shake them and tell them that this could be their ONLY time with their babies and they should treasure it no matter how uncomfortable they think they are.

I never felt "over" my pregnancy and sometimes I wonder if subconsciously I knew I wouldn't get to keep her and that was our only time together. If I had to be pregnant for the rest of my life just to have her with us in some way I would do it. I miss my baby. Plain and simple I just miss her.

Just to torture myself further I broke out my "What to Expect the First Year" book. I think I bought it the minute I found out I was pregnant. I had to read the 3 month chapter. The thing that jumped out at me the most was to read that she would be laughing now...laughing...can you even imagine. The sound of a baby's laugh is so contagious and wonderful. I would give anything for that.

I really don't feel like doing much else today...I already feel emotionally drained for the day. I do have one project that I need to finish so I will push myself to get that done. I accomplished my goal of the announcements by month 3 and now I think the headstone will be my month 4 project. It's hard because I don't want to rush it and have it not be right, but I need it, it's hard to explain how much I think it would help me.

3 months...3 months. I can't stop saying it. I miss you Addi, I miss you so much it hurts. Daddy misses you too. You couldn't have been born to two people that would love you more. We carry you every day in our hearts and our minds. It's so weird to think that this time last year our worlds were so different. We knew we wanted a baby, but had no idea where that year would take us. We were so full of hope. We still hold onto hope, but it is a different kind of hope. We hope we make you proud and there isn't a second that goes by that we don't ache for you. Love you baby girl.

Thank you to my friends who remembered today and sent the messages/texts. I love you guys!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Birth Announcements

Front
Announcements are finished...well 99% finished. I am sure there will still be a few stragglers along the way, but the majority are out and it feels SO good! If you didn't get one, I probably didn't have your address. If you want one you can email me with your address and I will be happy to send you one.

That was such a long process! I had ordered a few samples from different places and none were good enough. I spend hours online searching for different companies who make them. I am so pleased with how they turned out and the company I ordered them from was great and shipped them super-fast. I got them from www.tinyprints.com and I would highly recommend them.

Before I started the search for the announcement I was waiting on Addi's foot to get turned into a butterfly. There is a BLM who does them and it said it was a 2-3 week wait. A month and a half later I was tired of waiting. Thank you Alex and Photoshop for getting that done!

I also wanted a way to sign these and all our future cards with something to include Addison. After thinking about it a lot I stumbled upon a BLM who made her daughter's butterfly prints into a stamp. She was kind enough to share the info with me and I love the stamp! Now Addison can be on all our cards with us and the people who know what it is will always know too :)The stamp website was www.rubberstamps.net I am going to have a larger one made because I think the one I ordered is too small, but I still love it.

I also wanted her to be on our return address stickers so I ordered those from 123print.com. All the places I ordered from were fast and reasonable pricing. When I find a website I like I always feel the need to share it.

I spent last Saturday on and off all day working on them. Usually I am quick with cards, but these took a lot out of me and I could only do a few at a time. I think all in all it was very therapeutic and I am so glad to have been able to do these for Addison.

Thanks to everyone who sent me messages about the announcements and to everyone who has Addi on their fridge!


Footprint Stamp

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The good, the bad and the crazy!

Sometimes I will write a blog and then I don't post it just because it is helpful for me to release whatever I am feeling by writing it down. This is one I was not going to post, but it is part of the process for me so even though it may be a bit crazy, I can own my crazy. So here it goes.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011 9:33am
Panic for me started on Sunday. It was the day I was supposed to start my period. I know my cycle may be different now, but before Addison I was every 21 days like clockwork. Sunday came and...nothing. By Sunday night I started to freak out. It should be here by now....where is it?!?!

I do want to be pregnant again, but I really want to wait the 6 months my doctor recommended for health and emotional reasons. I tried to stay calm about it, but I couldn't help, but freak out. I'm not ready, I'm not ready to be pregnant, I'm not ready to be pregnant in almost the exact same months I was pregnant with Addison, I'm not ready physically (I still have baby weight to lose) I'm not ready to give a second baby all my attention. I need all my attention to go towards Addison, we are not ready financially, and we are still paying off all of our medical bills. I'm not ready, I'm not ready, I'm not ready.

I realize that I am not in control of a lot in life, but this is something I thought I had more control of. It took a year of serious trying for Addison and we have been seriously trying NOT to get pregnant this last month or so.

I can't handle having to tell my family and my doctor...they all know how much more risk will be involved with a pregnancy so early after the first. I would feel like a teenager getting in trouble! Ugh I have so many thoughts right now and I haven't even taken a test to confirm my fears. I'm terrified, yes terrified.

I am planning on taking a test tonight after I get home from work, but in the meantime my stomach is in knots. I really feel like I could throw up or start crying at any given moment.

Just to torture myself further, I looked up when my due date would be. It would be November 8, 2011. That's less than a month before Addison's first birthday and I would be pregnant over almost the exact same time period. When I was 8 weeks pregnant with Addi we went on a vacation to NC to visit Brian's parents...if I am pregnant I would be 8 weeks pregnant when we go on the cruise.

I know I shouldn't panic until I know for sure, but I can't help it. Hopefully I am just being a freak and my period will return any second. It's so weird to wish for it when all I have wanted is to be closer to a baby, but I'm not ready. I feel like if I am I wouldn't even be able to get excited because I will just be waiting for something bad to happen i.e. miscarriage.

I just can't think positive and then have something horrible happen. I am not ready to go through any of that. It's still too raw. I don't know how I will get through this...I'm not ready.

I probably won’t publish this post, but I had to write about it and get it out, it’s the only thing that gives me any kind of real release. I already feel like I can breathe a bit better. I have a feeling this is going to be a looonnnngggg day!

12:27pm
Now that I have had a few hours to breathe, I feel much better. There is a calmness over me that I cannot explain. I will go buy a test when I leave for lunch, but I will wait to take it with Brian tonight. As much as I don't feel ready, if I am pregnant then we will celebrate the fact that we were able to even get pregnant again. Not everyone gets a second chance and for that I will be grateful.

There is no ideal scenario here because our family picture will always have a missing person in it. If I am pregnant and this pregnancy is results in a baby then great and if I am not or it doesn't end in a take home baby then we will deal with it as it comes.

I am almost positive I am, but I will wait to find out. If not then maybe we can have a good laugh at crazy old me! I expect to be a bit crazy as this process moves closer to a second child. I can own the craziness, I have earned it.

5:10pm Test is negative! I thought I would have a really strong reaction, but I don't. I wasn't sad or happy that it was negative. I think maybe that is a good sign...I don't really know. If anything I am relieved to have more time to get all the things done that I had planned on doing before getting pregnant again. I will be going to the gym tonight and really putting some serious effort into this other thing I am working on...sorry to be vague, but I don't want to say or write about it yet.

Wow, that was a roller coaster of a day with my emotions. I would love to say that will be my last freak out, but the truth is that I know there will be many more to come. I didn’t ask to ride this roller coaster, but since I don’t have a choice, I will just deal with everything as it comes…the good the bad and the crazy!

PS Alisa and Sarah don’t be mad I didn’t share this with you pre-blog. There are lots of times I would rather write about things then talk about them. I promise when I am pregnant you will not find out via blog!