Thursday, January 26, 2012

26 Weeks

How Far Along: 26 weeks (our baby is as big as a head of Lettuce).
Maternity Clothes: Yes, can't really hide this bump anymore.
Movement: Seems like his movements are on more of a pattern now, which I appreciate. He is usually always active after meals and if I am having a panic attack I can poke at him and not too long after he will poke back. I can't start my day (get out of bed) until I feel him and I can't go to sleep until I feel him. These early morning and late night times are becoming my favorite. It's like our special time together where I do nothing, but just lie there feeling all of his movements. As long as he moves on cue I am good, it's when it takes some prodding that I start to worry.
Sleep: is interrupted by 1-2 bathroom breaks each night mostly just one though. I feel like I am not needing to pee nearly as often at this point in my pregnancy as I did with Addison. I am getting more and more uncomfortable at night, I really need to make sure the pregnancy pillow is JUST right and I usually flip from side to side...I know left is supposed to be best, but who really knows. I am also getting some leg cramps in the middle of the night.
Gender: A brother for Addison, Mason Alexander.
Symptoms: Still have the runny nose, headaches that come on in the evenings, leg cramps and the dreaded heart burn has started. Really none of my symptoms are things to complain about, just telling you what they are. I can handle them, I have it so much easier (physically) than most.
Cravings: With all the snow my mom and dad were feeding us as we had no power and the food in our fridge was ruined. I think I crave anything I don't have to cook! The hot chocolate was especially yummy though.
Belly Button In or Out: in...it's starting to look "down" though...like if it was an eye, it looks down towards the ground. I didn't get an outie last time so I am not sure I will get one this time. So while it is still "tucked in" it is no  longer "even" across my belly.
Best Moment this week: Getting to stay inside and watch the snow. Even with all the crazy it caused, I still enjoyed it.
Freak-out of the week: Sunday night I had a meltdown. Just felt really sad, missing Addison, didn't want to go to work the next day, worrying about Mason, just plain old unhappy and no idea how to fix it. So I cried myself to sleep. Brian was really worried because there wasn't a "trigger" per say. I think he thinks I am getting worse, but um hello I am growing a tiny human IN my body so I already have pregnancy hormones + grief + normal every day worries...I am entitled to a few meltdowns! I also got the call that my grandpa (Bopa) was admitted to the hospital. He went from a normal room to the ICU. Not really sure how things are going to shake out. He is 82 and a frail 82 at that. It's just one more thing to add to the pile o' worry. Yesterday he was moved back to a normal room, but we were told he is not out of the woods yet. Also had yet ANOTHER cry myself to sleep night last night. Awesome.
What I miss: Still missing the joy...maybe starting to accept it will just be missing this time though.
What I am looking forward to: Maybe just February...being done with one more crappy month sounds good to me.
Next Appointment: I don't know...we made it to our appointment on Friday, January 20th thanks to my husband's great snow driving abilities! When we got there we were bummed to see they were closed...guess that's why no one was answering the phone. Apparently they had no power (which I don't understand since they are RIGHT NEXT DOOR to the hospital). Whatever. The note on the door said they would be calling all missed appointments on Monday...still haven't got a call. I know I just need to bite the bullet and call, but things have been so crazy going to the hospital every night to visit my Bopa. Plus Mason has been moving great and this appointment was not a "big" one so I haven't been as freakish about it.
Something Else: I think I have realized that I REALLY need to go to the pregnancy after loss group even though the drive is a lot longer. I just need a place where I can talk about ALL of this. Hoping it will help some. Having friends online has been great, but there is something about the face to face group that is REALLY helpful for me. At the regular group we went to last night the group was told there would be two pregnant chicks if they were comfortable letting us join since we can't hide our bellies too well. They were okay with us joining, but I still kept my coat in front just out of respect. We don't talk about pregnancy at all, which is hard to leave out.

For the most part Brian and I grieve together, but this is the third time we are seeming to take different paths. The last two times we made our way back to the same path and I am hoping this will be another one of those times. This journey is awful lonely when you feel like the only one in the middle of it. Probably why the crying has increased. I am just exhausted from crying. This emotional crap takes such a physical toll. The more tired I am, the more I cry. The more I cry, the more tired I am...vicious vicious cycle. Not to mention I have heard him say at least three times recently that he misses the old me. Um yeah I miss her too, but of all the people in the world hearing the person who I thought understood the best say this is hard.

My BLM friend reminded me that my pregnancy is not "normal" and that I am NOT NORMAL. I think it's important to be reminded of this. When I have "normal" expectations for myself I always fall flat. When I remember that things like "normal" aren't a part of my life anymore it makes it a little easier to comprehend.

Hard to believe I only have 14 weeks left and really it should be around 12 with an early induction (I just don't have a date yet). That really doesn't seem possible. I still don't feel like this is happening. I told Brian IF we do get to bring Mason home I will probably not know what to do. I mean I know how to take care of babies and all that jazz, but I feel like there will be a moment of OH SHIT! Most pregnant women get 40 weeks to prepare for the arrival of their baby. It's been 26 weeks already and I still don't believe it!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Snowmageddon 2012 (WA style)

We have been anticipating snow for a month or so now and were told it would hit hard around Tuesday. Monday was MLK Day so I had the day off work. I went in on my day off because I wanted to make sure things were ready in preparation for the impending snow. I worked part of Monday and then Tuesday morning the snow was not as bad as we had been told so I went in. It snowed on and off all day, but wasn't too bad. Again I prepared to possibly miss the next day of work.

Wednesday did not disappoint. We woke up to 11+ inches in our yard. In my life I have never seen this much snow without going to the mountains! Brian took one look at me and told me I was NOT going to work. You see while to other states/cities this amount of snow it is no big deal, here in Western Washington no one knows how to drive in it and the city is not prepared to make the roads drivable. So it snows, people panic and it's an all around cluster outside. Not to mention the number of smart cars and prius' we have around here...not exactly snow ready!

I have a small SUV, Brian has a truck both 4WD so we are good, but I don't trust the other drivers and was not putting my precious cargo at risk. So I stayed home in my yoga pants and enjoyed the view from my window.

Thursday morning was worse. The ice was thick all over everything. The trees were snapping like twigs under the weight. It sounded like shots were going off all day, but it was just the sound of breaking limbs. I was SO thankful my previous neighbors had taken down the trees in their yard that hung over our house...one less thing to worry about! Our poor little tree out front didn't escape the ice, but if that was our biggest problem, I'll take it! We lost power on Thursday night and it didn't come back on until today (Sunday).

One of the days Brian drove me to the cemetery and fellow blm had uncovered Addison's headstone (so sweet). We uncovered two others and made sure everything was okay. There was a big tree down, but luckily no where near the baby area.

Friday morning I had a doctor appointment. Brian drove me there (he grew up in Maine, he loves this stuff) he had no trouble. Once we got to the office we could tell they were closed. I had tried to call before, but there was never any answer or machine. I was bummed to get there just to have to turn around, but thankfully this was not a "big" appointment and Mason's movements have been frequent. Brian drove me to work and the road was blocked off to my office, we could see a power line that had fallen over the building...day 3 of no work for me! I tried though!

I have never missed a full day of work due to weather before and this year I missed 3, pretty crazy. Old me would have tried it, but new me knows it isn't worth the risk.

It wasn't fun, but it could have been so much worse. We have a fireplace to keep us warm and my parents live 10 minutes away and they have a generator. We were able to go there for hot showers and food. It was inconvenient, but certainly not the end of the world. We also had some great friends offer to feed us! The worst thing was probably that we lost all the food in our fridge. We really thought the power would come back on sooner so we didn't take action to save it, totally our fault. I HATE throwing away food, but I am not willing to try anything. On the bright side our fridge and freezer will get a good scrubbing!

One of the nights our bedroom was 51 degrees...we keep the door closed to keep the dogs out. It was painfully cold. I asked Brian what we would have done if Addison had been here. I was thinking I probably would have stayed with her over at my parent's house. He said we would have just opened the door sooner to get some heat from the fireplace and snuggled her in between us...that sounded perfect. I went to bed that night thinking what it would have been like if my 13 month old little girl was snuggled in between us with fleece footy pajamas. Something like that would have made losing the power a beautiful memory, instead it is just a beautiful thought.

I wish I would have taken better/more pictures, but I was terrified to leave the front porch. I figured the last thing I needed was to slip and fall in my driveway and then need to go to the ER.  So unfortunately this is all I got.

Ice over the branch at my sister's place.

Our poor tree out front...couldn't take the weight of the snow and ice!

This is a terrible measuring tape picture, but it's around 11 inches here.


Now I am going crazy doing laundry and running the dishwasher. I will need to dump everything in the fridge, but I am scared to open it! So thankful to have lights (electricity in general), hot water and then the less important, but very wonderful wi-fi and satellite!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

25 Weeks

*This post got a little lot lengthy for a weekly update, so if you read nothing else, scroll to the bottom to find out this little boy's name.

How Far Along: 25 weeks (our baby is as big as a Rutabaga).
Maternity Clothes: Yes
Movement: Tuesday his movements started to get bigger and more frequent. I was actually worried when he seemed active for a 3 hour span...I kept asking Brian why he was moving so much...shouldn't he be getting tired....what if somethings wrong and his cord is wrapped and he is trying to get help...then Wednesday he seemed just as active...maybe he is just a wild crazy boy.
Sleep: is interrupted by 1-2 bathroom breaks each night mostly just one though. Woke up at 4:30am yesterday...this happened a lot towards the end with Addison, hopefully this trend hasn't already started! I am starting to have a harder time getting comfortable even with the pregnancy pillow. After this early wake up call I was in bed asleep by 8pm.
Gender: A brother for Addison.
Symptoms: Still have the runny nose, it doesn't seem to be going anywhere. Occasionally some blood, but not a full on nose bleed. I noticed I have some leakage starting after a shower...hopefully this means I will be able to breastfeed! I can't remember when this started last time, but I am pretty sure it wasn't this soon. I have been having headaches the last couple nights...not sure if it's related. Also not sure if this is related, but my teeth/mouth haven't been feeling so "fresh" I've been brushing extra and flossing, but they still don't feel clean like they normally do (I spend 5+ minutes brushing at any given session so it's not like I am not thorough). I don't know what the deal is, but I am not a fan of it.
Cravings: I don't think there was any one thing calling my name this week.
Belly Button In or Out: in
Best Moment this week: Bigger movements and the snow! We don't get a lot of snow around here, but yesterday there were 11 inches in my front yard, which means I am snowed in and can't out! I know this is nothing compared to other states, but since we rarely get more than 2-3 inches and it usually is gone in less than a week, people around here don't know how to drive in it and the city really doesn't prepare/deal with it well. So I couldn't go to work Wednesday! It's actually the first snow I haven't braved, but I am not taking the chance of some dummy hitting me and causing early labor or damage to my car, it's not worth it. I don't know if I will make it in today. Going to give it a shot around noon depending on the roads. It won't take much to make me turn around and stay home!
Freak-out of the week: Last Thursday's melt down was enough to carry me through this week. Thankfully nothing new to add.
What I miss: Still missing the joy (as detailed in my last post).
What I am looking forward to: hmmm I feel like there is nothing in the near future to look forward to...that's sad :(
Next Appointment: Friday, January 20th (if we can get there)!
Something Else: I ran into an old teacher at the grocery store in the check out line. I said hello and said she probably didn't remember me (she was the music teacher at my not very small elementary school). She knew my name right away, asked about my sister and brother...crazy good memory! I thought my belly was hidden, but she asked when my baby was due. I felt my face get hot and it turned red on the spot. I was bracing myself for the "is this your first" question. It's not as hard with strangers, but someone I know...in front of the grocery checker. I was panicking. I told her the due date, she asked boy or girl, I said boy...she seemed less than enthusiastic about a boy...people were always giddy when I said girl with Addison (maybe it's just in my head, but I swear people are happier when you say girl). I was sure she was wondering why my face was so red. When I called my sister after she said that I should have played it off like I wasn't pregnant...that could have explained a red face haha. The teacher never asked if this was my first and while I was grateful not to have to say it right there in that moment, I left feeling so sad that I wasn't able to share Addison too. I didn't deny her, she just never came up...just like that. Ugh.



In my efforts to embrace the joy I have done the following:

-I think we have picked the final two colors for the nursery.

-I signed us up for childbirth classes (not because we need them, but because we met two wonderful couples last time and while I don't expect to meet anyone as great as them, we have to give it a shot.

-We started a registry. I was disappointed by the lack of cute boy things and Brian was hungry so it was a bad combo. It wasn't fun at all. I hope to do one at a different store and enjoy even a small part of it.

-Brian finally broke me on Sunday and we "outed" our news on Facebook. He did it first and every time he would type something, I would say no, not that, I hate that. He was getting so mad at me and finally came up with something I didn't love, but didn't hate. It took me over an hour after he posted before I could. I still wasn't ready, I still didn't want to, but now that he had I was afraid one of our mutual friends would post on my wall and I didn't want that. I had been thinking about what I wanted to say for months. I wanted Addison included and I wanted to give a list of all the stupid things people shouldn't say. I was making it so complicated and messy and after all this time I just wanted to be done with it. So not the same as I felt when I posted about our pregnancy with Addison. I was going to post the definition of a rainbow baby and then say something about how our rainbow is expected in May. Brian didn't like it. He also wasn't a big fan of making Addison part of the announcement. His thoughts were that this baby is his own person and he shouldn't live in Addison's shadow. That was really weighing on me and I felt guilty for wanting to put her name in there too. Finally I just simply put "For us, this is what hope looks like" and included his ultrasound picture. Plain, simple, done, POST! It was out there, this seemed like a good step....maybe even putting me one step closer to the joy...maybe not, but it was an attempt. I waited for .2 seconds and the comments were flying in. I have to say that after reading them all, only one needed to be deleted. It wasn't mean spirited, but it talked about how that person loved the "three" of us....it cut like a knife so I deleted it.  Posting it didn't make me feel better, but it didn't make me feel worse. I still don't like what I posted, I really regret not including Addison or how this is not a normal pregnancy, but it's done and I can't change it. Maybe it feels more "real"now, but I am still just as scared as ever, but whether this baby lives or dies, I would want everyone to know about him.

-The last thing is that we also made his name public. I wanted to post it here first because this is the group I care more about, but I get to talk about everything here and Brian gets to share nothing. So his post on FB outed his name to everyone first. We had a list of boy names the first time around and this name was on the list then. This time we had it on the top 3 just before Thanksgiving. We picked Mason. I like that it shares the "son" with Addison. Also we picked the name Alexander for a middle name after my brother. Mason Alexander "Mac". I always wanted a nick name so all my kid's names have to have one! Mac it is!

So there it is my list for this week, I will continue searching for the joy in whatever way I can. I also take weekly pictures of the belly, which we did with Addison, but missed a few weeks, so far we have not missed a week this time. I also have a little pregnancy calendar that I write on every night before bed, detailing the days events, something I can give to Mason when he is older.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Searching for the joy

Things have been so busy and yet I have wanted to sit down and write for sometime now. I woke up at 4:30 this AM and decided there was no better time.

I have been struggling to connect with this pregnancy, to bond with this little boy. I keep hearing that this is normal, that my my head is just trying to protect my heart, but I am his mother and I don't want to miss out on a single second of what should be a very happy time in my life. It's something I think about daily, but last Thursday it really came to a head.

We had our support group last Thursday and part of the problem was that because of the holidays it had been longer than usual in between meetings. I couldn't believe how ready I was for it! The other problem, it's a place to talk about our lost babies, but not a place to talk about pregnancy after loss. While the two are very much connected I know the last thing other baby loss parents need to hear is how hard this is. So I wear something to try and hide the belly and I never ever bring it up. Here in lies a major problem. So much of my current hurt has to do with packing up my daughter's things and the fear I have over losing this baby and yet those things are left unmentioned.

One of the leaders told a story about "embracing the joy" she gave an example about losing a mother, getting a step-mother, losing that step-mother and then getting a second step-mother. One of the children was able to embrace each mother and the other couldn't after the loss of the second one. (I get that this isn't the same, but work with me). So this "latest" mother has now been around for 20+ years and the one sibling has missed out on her by not allowing herself to embrace the joy and the other has a great relationship with her. Basically the one sister has been too fearful to love this woman and so has kept her distance, while the other has had 20+ years of wonderful memories and love.

I sat in silence after this story and the more I thought about it the more my eyes welled and my throat got tight. I couldn't help, but see that THIS is my problem. I can't embrace the joy. I was sitting there 24 weeks pregnant with a seemingly perfect, healthy little boy and I haven't enjoyed a damn minute of this pregnancy with him. I missing it now and I will most likely miss out on more due to my intense fears.

My mind was racing and I was thinking why, WHY can't I just allow myself to go there. Brian has embraced the joy and as the mom I should too. I was asking myself these questions:

Q. If we lost this baby tomorrow would I be any LESS sad because I have kept my heart at a distance? A. NO

Q. If we lost him too, would I regret not letting myself enjoy this as the only time we got with him the way I should?
A. Yes

Q. If he is born alive and we get to keep him, will I regret not enjoying this time in my life?
A. Yes

Q. If I had been less excited for Addison, would losing her have hurt any less?
A. No

Q. Does loving him make me love Addison any less?
A. No

So there you have it, not a damn reason that I can give myself that I shouldn't be loving every second of this pregnancy. I am not a miserable pregnant lady, my body handles it well and I enjoy the way my body changes, the movements, basically all of it, but this time I feel so cheated and the problem is that I am the one to blame. The problem is I DON'T KNOW HOW to embrace the joy. I know it's there, but there is too much fear in front of me to get to it.

Old me, rational me would have said "just do it", just make yourself. You know it's for the best, but new me, terrified me can do nothing, but cry about it (which I did in a full on melt down after the meeting). Poor Brian. He kept trying to get my attention at the meeting, pulling on my jacket and I kept ignoring him. I was just trying not to look at him, trying to hold the tears back until the meeting was over. Then as we left, there were the hugs good-bye and something about a hug when I am about to lose it makes me REALLY lose it. So there I am in tears and Brian is feeling like he is responsible when really these are my issues and no one elses.

Once we were out to the parking lot he says, "I know this makes me a jerk, but I don't know what's wrong", which actually made me laugh. Of course he didn't know what was wrong, he is not a mind reader! I couldn't talk about it with him, I needed some time to go over it some more in my head before I could say it out loud. He was so worried and I felt bad for not sharing what was on my mind, but I just couldn't.



While letting this out was important, it really got the crying going. The more I cried the more I couldn't hold it back. I cried so hard it hurt. I went through more tissues and flipped my pillow more times than I can count. I was crying for both of my children, for the daughter that is missing and for the son that is here right now, growing in my belly and yet I have missed out on the good parts. Even when I really tried to calm myself down (deep breathing and all), my body was still shaking, noise was still coming out and the tears kept falling. You know when a child gets themselves really worked up and the "after cry" after the big cry is still effecting their bodies and they just can't control it? That was what this was like. Brian was rubbing my back, talking sweetly to me and nothing would help. I don't know how long I cried, but I would say at least a couple hours.

Almost one week later, the tears have of course stopped, but I am still struggling. I got asked if I was excited the other day and it was as if someone had asked my weight, I just froze, kind of nodded up and down, then a little side to side.

I want to be excited, I crave it. I truly just don't know how. I really can't picture this little boy coming home with us. I don't believe he is really going to be born alive and healthy and that everything will just "work out this time", if it didn't with Addison, why would it this time? I'm not in a hurry to do any of the things I did before before because they don't feel necessary. I don't feel over half way there.

When I was pregnant with Addison I would see other pregnant women and feel an instant connection with them. Our eyes would meet, we would give each other an all knowing smile and go about our business. This time I avoid pregnant women like the plague. I see one and I hate them. I hate that they are experiencing the joy I can't. I avoid eye contact at all costs, thinking they don't understand, they don't get me and we are not connected. I miss that connection. I also used to love getting asked about my pregnancy and now I hate it. My eyes don't light up when asked, if anything they dim in fear of the "is this your first" question also I automatically assume they think I don't want this baby when I don't gush over the pregnancy...trust me people wanting this baby doesn't even begin to sum it!

Just when I think I have figured out all the things stillbirth has stolen from me, there is always something else. I knew this pregnancy would be hard, but to know it's almost over and I may not enjoy any of it...well the price I have payed to stillbirth just keeps increasing. This wasn't the life I planned to live, it's not fair and I hate it.

So that's what has been going on. I'm in search of the joy, hoping desperately to find it. I know I love this baby, I know the joy is there buried somewhere under the mounds of grief and fear. I just have to keep searching for it. I just hope I can find it sooner rather than later because I am tired of missing out.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

24 Weeks

How Far Along: 24 weeks (our baby is as long as an ear of corn). This week our little boy is viable. I was able to celebrate this for like a second and now my next goal is 3rd trimester...I will always be hoping for the next milestone! I just wish there was a milestone we could reach that would help me relax, but I don't see that happening.
Maternity Clothes: Yes
Movement: Good movement and he is good to move after I poke and prod. He is also very active after meals.
Sleep: is interrupted by 1-2 bathroom breaks each night mostly just one though. I was falling asleep after dinner with Brian on the couch...I just couldn't get enough sleep!
Gender: A brother for Addison.
Symptoms: Still have the runny nose.
Cravings: I actually called Brian on his way home from work to stop and pick up strawberry fruit roll-ups. I don't think I have had one since I was in elementary school and yet I wanted one SO bad...well the baby did :)
Belly Button In or Out: in
Best Moment this week: My listeria results came back negative! That was a relief, but sucks that I took antibiotics I didn't need!
Freak-out of the week: Rough week. I've felt like an emotional break down was coming and wow did it come. It needs it's own post though.
What I miss: I miss the joy. Still much too worried to feel like I can enjoy anything. Which I feel guilty and sad about. Will include this topic in the next post as well.
What I am looking forward to: Monday off from work!
Next Appointment: Friday, January 20th
Something Else: I got some more of Addison's things organized. Brian got a couple paint samples for the nursery. It broke my heart to watch him paint swatches on Addi's pink walls. We also seem to have accumulated a hampers worth of baby boy things. It's nice to have some things that are just for him. Makes this feel a little more real.

Brian is dying to announce our news. I keep finding reasons to put it off. I told him for sure he could do it Friday and then decided maybe Monday. On one hand I don't want this going on Facebook and on the other I am tired of this being a "secret" (ironic since I blog about it, but my blog isn't on my FB page). I am terrified of the "well-meaning moron" comments. I don't feel like I can post it without a disclaimer about was is acceptable to say and what isn't, but then again a status update shouldn't be 10 pages long...I just so don't want to deal with hurtful comments...I can't handle it. When we do post I will be sure to be ready to delete comments and unfriend people at a moments notice. I have no need for them in my life. I think part of me would like to wait until he is born to announce him, but at the same time, I regret nothing of all the updates I did with Addison. I just hate to think of all the people who will think we are "all better" with our "replacement baby" ugh, it makes me sick to think that there WILL be people who actually believe this baby replaces Addison :( I'll let you know how it goes and you can bet any stupid comments will be talked about in length on this blog!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Packing up the pink

I started today...packing up the pink and it was just as awful as I anticipated. There is still a lot more to do, but all the clothes, blankets etc. are sorted and  "space saved". I know they were just things, but it felt like packing Addison up...I think the pictures speak for themselves so I will let them do the talking...

Before

After
The lamp and wall hangings still need to go.

Random pink stuff

Full drawers



Sorting

and sorting...

and sorting.

Empty drawers...pink paper still needs to come out.

Oh...more sorting.



5 Space saver bags that contain so much more than just clothes and blankets...

That's enough for one day.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

13 months of 5's

Thirteen months. I have to say that today was SUCH a different day than most of the 5th day of the months! I didn't anticipate it like I usually do. I was looking at the calendar last night and saw today would be the 5th and it shocked me that I didn't already know that. It's not like we hit one year and now the rest of the fifths are easy peasy, but it did have a different vibe today.

Brian came home from work tonight and I was telling him how today felt different than most fifths and he was surprised that he didn't realize that today was the 5th until that moment. Addison's birthday was only one month ago and yet it feels like a lifetime ago...I think this is where the increased aging really comes into play...I still feel at least 10 years older than I am!

I have to say that I missed Addison no less today than I do every.single.day, but that grief that normally comes along with it was not as heavy on my shoulders. I know this won't be the case every month, there will still be 4th and 5th days of the month that bring me to my knees, but today was not one of them. We have had so many hard "bring us to our knees" kind of days that this was a welcomed break from our new normal!

I stopped by her stone tonight to make sure everything was in it's place and picked up the leaves around her spot and her neighbors. It makes me feel good to know her spot is there for others to see and for me to visit. I think I have stopped by no less than three times per week since it was placed. I don't usually spend long there, but it's on my way home from work and the road goes straight through so I don't even have to to turn around once I get there. I took down her little Christmas tree last weekend and put up some winter type things without being cluttered...some of the stones get really cluttered and it makes me crazy. I try not to let the other stones bother me, but the fact that there are moldy pumpkins on other stones makes me want to throw them away! Sorry I am going off on a tangent now...letting it go.

I also think that part of the reason today was different is because I have been so worried about this pregnancy.  Even with living children you tend to have things come up that make you focus on one child over the other and I have definitely been focused on Addison's little brother. Always both of them, but the worry for this little boy has been a big focus.

It's really too bad we can't know ahead of time, which days will be the hardest and which won't hit us quite so hard.

Dear Addison,
Oh my sweet girl, it's been 13 months since you were born and we miss you as much today as we did this day so many months ago. I have to say that one thing that has changed for me is that I no longer feel like I could go back and change things...like before it felt like "if I could go back to this time last year, I could change things so that you would be here" even though I knew that was never a possibility it's still how my mind worked. Now thinking back to one year ago I know you were already gone and there is nothing to be done. I hope that makes sense! You are still my greatest desire and I want you here more than words can say. I am getting ready to pack up your things and have daddy paint your room, this breaks my heart in all new ways, but it is for the very best reason possible. There isn't another person that could get me to change that room, except for your little brother. I love my little brother so much and I know you love yours too. Your room may change and become his, but you are still here, still very much apart of this family.

I didn't send out Christmas cards again this year...just couldn't without you. Next year I think I will be ready. You will be as included as your little brother that is for sure. We survived another 4th, 5th of December, Christmas and New Years without you...doesn't seem possible.

At 13 months I am sure you would be walking and talking even a few words. We miss what our lives would be like with you here and love you so SO much! Watch over your little brother with us, he needs his big sister. Love you baby girl.
Love,
mommy

23 Weeks

How Far Along: 23 weeks (our baby is as big as a large Mango). One week until this little boy is viable...it can't come soon enough! Not that I want him coming that soon, but knowing that if something were to happen no medical steps would be taken to save him are enough to make me go mad...well more so than I already am!
Maternity Clothes: Yes
Movement: Yes and they are getting bigger, which is the best.
Sleep: is interrupted by 1-2 bathroom breaks each night mostly just one though. I was able to get to bed a little after 9pm two nights in a row! I am still tired, but it is so needed!
Gender:  A brother for Addison.
Symptoms: Still have the runny nose and the last 2 days I have been nauseous, but I don't know if it is pregnancy or sick related.
Cravings: I made rice crispy treats for New Years and they were so yummy I had to make another batch!
Belly Button In or Out: in
Best Moment this week: We got this little boy's nursery set in the mail this week, which was great and weird. I knew it was coming and yet when it got here I couldn't figure out why on earth I had ordered it so soon...still so much time for things to go wrong. I wouldn't let Brian take it out of the packaging yet...just in case. There is this fine line of getting on board for this baby and not counting our chickens if you know what I mean!
Freak-out of the week: Well there was the morning I woke up and my stomach felt weird and I was convinced there would be no heartbeat and then there was the big one this week...I ate some hummus on Friday (It's only something I figured out I liked after Addison was born and I didn't know it was on the no-no list while pregnant since it wasn't on the menu any other time in my life). As soon as I found out it was one of the things that could contain listeria I was freaking out. I have also been newly nauseous the last two days, had a headache, stiff neck etc., which can be signs. So I called my nurse yesterday in a panic and she scheduled a blood test and antibiotics because the blood test takes 3-6 days to come back and she and my doctor want to take a proactive approach. I am a freak show.
What I miss: Not being a freak show.
What I am looking forward to: The blood test coming back (negative for listeria, PLEASE) and each time this baby boy moves.
Next Appointment: Friday, January 20th
Something Else: It's been a crazy week. My office moved across town and even though I wasn't in charge of the move there is so much to be organized and set up and unpacked. It's been a crazy week at work to say the least. Then there was New Years and while we really weren't in the mood for a big celebration we wound up having people over to our house. First it was just going to be my siblings and their significant others and then we had some friends and neighbors. It was actually a really fun night and the dogs did really good (I usually hate having people over because we have so many dogs...more on that in a later post).

I also went through my little brother Alex's baby book (this baby will be born in the same month he was so looking through it gives me an idea of where he will be each month at that stage). I was remembering what a great baby he was and how much I missed "baby Alex". Got me more excited at the chance to have a boy. We have been calling this baby by name a lot, which really helps. He is his own little person. I still haven't taken anything out of Addison's room, but I am still trying to re-organize her things so they can be packed away as neatly and accessible as possible.

I am trying to talk to this little boy as often as possible even though I still feel awkward about it. Brian is definitely more excited than I am because he really believes this baby is coming home with us...I wish I could be more like Brian!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2012, the year of _________?

Well here we are, it's 2012 and we made it. Not really sure how, but we did. I think I will officially dub 2011 as the year of grief. That pretty much sums it up. Yes, there were other things that took place, but the grief was so overwhelmingly present every.single.day that it just seems fitting.

I remember last year thinking 2010 was the worst year of my life because that is the year Addison died in, but after some thought I realized that 2010 was the year she LIVED in. Yes the year ended badly...okay badly doesn't begin to sum it up, but you know. I think for the most part I can look back on 2010 and smile because that is the year...my only year of memories made with my girl growing and living in my belly and the year I got to hold her and kiss her.

Last year, I remember thinking good riddance 2010, I can't wait for 2011 and now I see it so differently. We were only a few weeks out from losing Addison last year and it was hard to comprehend what 2011 would bring.

Soon after 2011 started I was wishing it away. Wishing we could fast forward through what would be the hardest year of our lives...the year of "should have beens" the first year of our daughter. Now that we have completed 2011 I have to say it is a year I could have skipped. So much sad, so many tears and even anger.

I don't think I ever realized how long grief could stay with a person. I used to live with the mindset that we choose to be happy, but now I know that simply isn't possible every day for every situation. If I wake up crying, it's because it NEEDS to come out and I just have to let it. I have been a slave to grief this year, but without fully surrendering to it, I know I wouldn't be where I am at today. I cry when I need, I allow myself to feel what I need and I never make myself stay in a bad situation that I know I can't handle. I think for the most part I learned what my boundaries are this year, when to push them and when to let go.

2012...the year of hope?!? I sure hope so, but I can also see it as being the "year of worry". I know no matter, which title this year gets it will still be served with a side of grief. The missing and aching for my daughter is going no where, but I hope it can be the side dish and not the main entree for the second year in a row! Just please 2012, please don't mimic the end of 2010, I'm so tired of surviving what no one should have to survive.

This morning, the first day of the year did not start out so well. I got up to go the bathroom and thought my stomach felt different....squishier...lifeless. I got back into bed and and prayed this little boy would start moving for me. I had only slept for about 5 hours and was hoping I would fall back asleep, but the worry made my heart race faster and faster. It didn't take me long to get out of bed and find the doppler. I had a little trouble at first finding his heartbeat, but then he started kicking at the doppler. Aww thank you baby! Is it April yet?!? I am ready to fast forward a little more of my life just to get to him.

Brian is so optimistic about 2012...I think he is trying so hard for the both of us. I still feel about 50/50. On one hand I feel completely sure that THIS baby is coming home with us to stay, that there is no way we will lose a second child and on the other hand I am completely sure that something terrible will happen and we will be reliving the nightmare of losing a child again in 2012. What a weird place to be stuck in the middle of.

I think 2011 was also the year of the blog and the year of support.  Support I never knew I would need so much and yet it is the thing that carried us through. Our friends that have continued to check on us and remember Addison...I have to believe there is a special place in heaven for people like you. Thanks for not giving up on us, for continuing to call even when we didn't answer and sending emails/texts etc. You truly helped us survive this year of grief. And this blog, writing has been so therapeutic for me in ways I never imagined and then there are BLM's that I have "met" online, your blogs, your emails have been a constant in my life over the last year that are just priceless. I am so thankful for each one of you.

2012, I have a lot of hope for you, please don't let us down! What would you classify 2011 as? What do you hope 2012 is...the year of the rainbow baby, hope, etc.?