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Taking one day at a time...

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  • DO SOMETHING GOOD
  • Thursday, July 31, 2008

    Do Reveal Yourself...

    If you're reading this right now, leave a comment and say hello. I'd like to know who's coming here. I have a visitor from Anderson, Indiana at IP address 98.222.133.88 and I'd like to know who you are. Won't you be my neighbor?

    De-lurk no more, people.

    Wednesday, July 30, 2008

    Bitter...

    In less than one month, I get to go back to work. Summer always seems so short. I wish I could say I've had an awesome summer, but my miscarriage has cast a dark cloud over the House of Eatmisery. And I just know that people will realize I'm not pregnant anymore and they'll do one of two things:

    A) They'll say nothing at all and pretend I was never pregnant just so they don't have to talk about it. And I'll begrudge them for it forever for not acknowledging the little life inside me that just couldn't hang on.

    or

    B) They'll think I'm still pregnant and talk to me about it because they won't know I miscarried. At which point, I'll just die.

    Either way, I don't really want to have to talk about it with people who honestly could care less. It's not that they don't like me or I don't like them; it's just a very awkward situation for both parties. If anything, others are just plain glad they didn't have to go through it and they get to move on their merry ways while I will never forget it. I do, however, have a friend (Hi, Luke!) whose wife had a few miscarriages, so I know he's going to understand what's going on in my head. And I think I'm going to be staying very close to him, just to avoid talking about it with others who just could never understand.

    The last thing I want is to see that look. You know the look I'm talking about. It's the holy-shit-I-didn't-know-you-had-a-miscarriage-and-now-I-feel-like-a-complete-schmuck-for-asking-to-touch-your-belly look. That look is the I'm-so-sorry/time-heals-all-wounds/I-gotta-go-now look so they can avoid talking about it at all.

    No matter how I look at it, I'm going to be very uncomfortable going back to work. My colleagues and the students all knew I was pregnant at the end of last school year. My question is simple: How the hell am I going to keep myself together when people approach me? I don't want to drown in a puddle of tears and I don't want to look and act bitter. But, goddamnit, I am bitter. And the thought of going back is just making me anxious beyond belief. The sadness isn't going to go away in a month. The hurt and the pain of losing my child isn't going away anytime soon.

    So what is my response supposed to be to people who don't know I miscarried? What about the people who already know? And the students? What do I say and what do I do? And how the hell do I do it without being reduced to tears and having a nervous breakdown?

    Tuesday, July 29, 2008

    Using Pronouns Correctly Is Such An Important Skill...


    My daughter's new phrase now is, "No, fuck you!" I don't know where she could've picked that up from because Hubby and I certainly don't shout that at each other. However, I am the Potty Mouth Queen, so it probably really is all my fault.

    The other day, we were on our way to my Mom's house when a guy went speeding past us really fast. Livie shouts, "Fuck you!" Less than two seconds later, she points at a lady on the street and says, "Fuck her!" Immediately after, while looking at an old man walking, she said "And fuck him!" All the while, Jack is laughing hysterically because his baby sister is saying something he knows is bad.

    And then Jack tells me, "Uh-oh. Livie's in trouble. She's not supposed to say that." And then he starts in on the action, too, because he knows full well that I'm not going to stop driving to give them both a time out. Thank goodness the AC was on in the car and no one could hear what they were saying.
    And then it happened again last night while Hubby was reading them a book before bedtime. Livie looked at him and said, "No, fuck you!' I thought he was going to die. Here is this sweet, innocent looking little girl with a mouth like a truck driver. Apples don't fall far, you know.

    It's official. I'm definitely going to hell. However, at least I know my two-year-old daughter knows how to use her pronouns correctly. It's such an important skill.

    Monday, July 28, 2008

    Obsessions...

    It's already been one week since my surgery. I can't believe it. However, on a brighter note, I bring you the OCD in my kids.
    Livie is obsessed with having clean feet now. She'll use an absurd amount of baby wipes throughout the day just to make sure her feet are clean. Even when her big toe isn't dirty, she insists that it is and proceeds to clean it. Jack is the same way about his hands and now he's telling me there are germs everywhere.
    I guess they really are Hubby's kids, after all. Heh.

    (You know I'm kidding about that last part, right?)

    Sunday, July 27, 2008

    Silver Lining...

    Yesterday, the kids and I went to my Mom's and three really great things happened. It turned out to be a very relaxing day. Livie was, as usual, the star of the show. She sparkled like she always does, playing with jewelry and being "on stage." Jack, on the other hand, wanted what we call a "lazy day." He was as calm as I've ever seen him. And he was also extremely cuddly with my Mom and me. Perhaps all that running around on Friday gave him the proprioceptive input he needed to get his sensory faculties in line. I know that certain activities can last a child for hours, or in this case 24 hours. While we don't realize it if we don't have sensory issues, certain activities we do can affect us long after we're done doing them. Perhaps all the running at the park on Friday had done him a world of good because yesterday, he was calmer than I've ever seen him.

    For a long time, he and I just sat in a comfy rocker, watching the Cubs game. We talked every so often, but for the most part, he just wanted to cuddle with his Mama. At one point, he asked me, "Are you sad?" I responded, "I am not sad, Jack. I am so happy to be your Mom." I kissed his head and he smiled at me and said, "You're happy," and then snuggled into me. And my heart broke.

    Here's this boy who's been acting up lately because he just didn't know what to do with his feelings. He knew things were awry in the house because of my miscarriage and he was feeding off my own anxiety. He was a mirror image of me, even if I thought I wasn't projecting that onto the kids. Jack is a feeler, for lack of a better word. He's particularly in tune to what I'm feeling. And although he might not say anything about it at the time, he does take it all in and process my feelings as his own.

    Today, for some reason, he just wanted his Mama and he wanted to be cuddly and affectionate. And that was one of the three great things that happened today.

    The second great thing was that Jack ate a whole sloppy joe at dinner. This boy rarely eats meat that isn't chicken, so it surprised the bejeezus out of me when he downed an entire sloppy joe. And then he finished it off with ice cream cake. We sang Happy Birthday to my Mom, he and Livie blew out some candles, and he ate ice cream cake. For some reason, he was calm, had an appetite, and he was happier than I've seen him in days. I'm guessing that has a lot to do with me.

    The third great thing, which is a HUGE milestone, was that Livie went pee pee on the potty. Let me repeat that. Livie went pee pee on the potty at my Mom's. She said she had to go, so my niece Blondie and I took her into the bathroom. When I looked at her lady area, it appeared to be wet, so I asked her if she was done and she said she was. I hadn't heard her pee, but when I wiped her, she was wet. So we called everyone to tell them the great news. She even told Hubby herself on the phone. Jack runs like hell when you mention going on the potty, but Livie seems to be embracing the idea of it. Hopefully, this continues and she will encourage her brother to follow her lead.

    Those three things were the silver lining in the cloud of these last two weeks. Sometimes, situations present themselves without warning; some are good, some are bad. And I guess we take each day as it comes, hoping that the good outweigh the bad. Yesterday was a very good day. I'm not going to take it for granted. I'm going to keep the memory of that day close to me because I need to right now.

    Saturday, July 26, 2008

    Life Just Keeps Kicking My Ass...

    Guess who did this on Thursday?

    1. Ate metallic crayons...

    2. Jumped on the couch every time I walked out of the room...

    3. Jumped on the bed every time I walked out of the room...

    4. Ate pages from a book...

    5. Hit me at least a hundred times...

    6. Got an infinite number of time-outs...

    7. Was an angel when Hubby came home...

    8. Hit the dog for cleaning up a mess of food left on the floor...

    9. Had diarrhea from eating the crayons from #1...

    10. Ate chalk...

    11. Had an amazing "band practice" with the iPod player turned up as loud as it could go... (it wasn't all bad, you know)

    12. Climbed every piece of furniture we have...

    13. Threw blocks at a picture on the wall so it could fall...

    14. Ate peanut butter M&M's in order to stay out of my hair...

    15. Did not nap...

    All of the above can be used to describe both Jack and Liv on Thursday. The only exceptions are #5 and #8, which were solely done by Jack. Obviously, you can tell they beat me up pretty bad. Not only do I get the pleasure of grieving and recovering from a miscarriage, I also get to do it in what little time they give me to do so. AND the dog is still sick. She's only keeping rice down still. WTF?

    I suppose I should be happy that I'm "occupied" by all this. Right? It was just a hard day, my first full day being completely alone all day with the kids in two weeks. I'm guessing they knew that and picked up on my weakness. They sure are smart.

    So...what did I do? I called in the Big Guns, my Brother a.k.a. Uncle. He came over yesterday for several hours to wear the hell out of my kids so they'd go to bed without a peep. We took them to the park and played and played and played until they were worn out little nubs. Needless to say, they went to bed very, very quickly and without a fuss. I needed them to do that so I could take a midterm for a class I know nothing about. Great, right? And then we find out Hubby didn't get the promotion he was hoping to get. Really great, right?

    Physically, I feel about 90%. Mentally and emotionally, I'm looking at maybe 40%. I'm trying, though. I really am. It's just that little things sneak up on me (e.g. the Baby Talk magazine that came in the mail yesterday, the guy across the street walking with his brand new baby, the ending of The Best Nest, etc.) and the pain of losing my baby stings all over again. I'm trying to make this a happy post, but it's hard.

    I can only fake it so much.

    Friday, July 25, 2008

    A Truly Amazing Woman...


    I love you very much! Thank you for being my Mom. I am very grateful for everything you do, for who you are, and for what you've taught me. I am proud to be your daughter and your friend.
    Happy Birthday, Mom! You mean the world to me and I don't know what I'd do without you.

    Thursday, July 24, 2008

    Turning Over A New Leaf?...

    Last night, I heated up a vegetable lasagna and some garlic bread that our Nanny had brought over the other day for us. She watched the kids after I came home from my surgery so I could rest. She had even bought them lunch that day and she wouldn't take any compensation whatsoever for her time. I love her. So, today I heated up that lasagna in the hopes that the kids could have a normal meal.

    Jack, whom I knew would be skeptical, took one look at it and said, "I'm done." And left the dinner table without even eating his garlic bread, which he normally loves. No big surprise there. Livie, on the other hand, caught me way off guard. The-Girl-Who-Eats-Everything-No-Matter-What-It-Is took one look at her plate and said, "Mommy, what is this?" I told her it was vegetable lasagna and that she would love it. Her response, as she pushed away her plate, was, "No, Mama. I-I-I can't eat this."

    I asked, "Why can't you eat it, Livie?"

    She said, "It's too...green."

    Huh? Since when does LIVIE get picky about her food? What just happened here? She'll eat salmon, tilapia, roast pork, green beans, mustard, rice, hard-boiled eggs, hummus, you name it...she eats it. But vegetable lasagna has become a problem for her now? WTF? This is out of left field and I never would've seen it coming. Fruits, vegetables, red meat, all white meats, fish...I could give her dog food and she'd be cool with it. But vegetable lasagna isn't her thing?

    Who is this girl and what did she do with my daughter? Perhaps this is the turning over of a new leaf? The only thing she won't drink that she gave up a while ago was milk. Jack, though, hasn't had milk in years. Could she be catching on?

    I have one picky eater already. Two? That'll kill me.

    I guess it's just their way of getting me closer to normal after our ordeal over the last two weeks. And maybe it's not such a bad thing. I bought The Sneaky Chef, so I'm looking forward to trying out a few recipes from there to see if they notice. Everything in there seems to be based on pureeing good foods to make them part of your kids' already favorite foods. It looks like my blender could get quite a workout with these.

    Whatever happens, happens, I guess. They've got some reserves; they'll never starve. And maybe I can just get a little more creative in what I present to them. Who would have ever thought to make a puree of spinach and blueberries to hide inside cupcakes? Or to puree cauliflower and masquerade it in macaroni and cheese?

    I guess I better get started. I have a feeling it's going to get very interesting very quickly. Keep your fingers crossed.

    Out of curiousity, how do you sneak good foods into your kids?

    Wednesday, July 23, 2008

    What Keeps Me Going...

    I know I've posted this picture before, but these two precious faces are what keep me going. The last two weeks have been quite an ordeal for our family to deal with. Seeing Jack and Liv makes me feel very loved and they represent everything that is good in the world right now.

    Tuesday, July 22, 2008

    There's A Procedure For Everything...

    At this time yesterday, I was coming out of my anesthesia. Surgery went well, however I had not passed my baby as I had thought the previous night. So, I guess it was a good idea to not cancel my surgery. There were two things I had not expected, nor had I been prepared for:

    A) the whole "funeral arrangements" question; did I want to arrange for my baby's own funeral or did I want the hospital to take care of my baby for me? Ultimately, we decided to let our baby be buried in a cemetery with other babies who passed on at the same time. To go through the whole funeral process would've just hindered my closure and mentally, I can't take much more. I know where my baby will be; not just in a cemetery, but in my heart forever. My Mom also suggested that it might be therapeutic to plant something that will grow forever, so that I can have a tribute to my little one who just couldn't hang on. It's a good idea; plus, I think I'll need it, emotionally.

    B) I also wasn't ready to sign my own child's death certificate. They don't tell you about things like that. It absolutely broke me.

    My nurses were absolutely wonderful and amazing. They took care of me and I couldn't have asked for better care. The last thing I remember before going under was my OB wiping the tears from my face, telling me I was going to be okay. I had them give me something for nausea during surgery, so it would be effective when I came out of my haze. I have a history of vomiting from general anesthesia, so it really helped.

    The bouncy little happy young med student made everything worse for me. She had the nerve to come in all smiles and ask me, in the most chipper voice I've ever heard, "Hi, my name is blah blah blah. Do you know why you're having this procedure?" At which point, I looked at her with my swollen eyes and tear-streaked face and responded in a sarcastically faked happiness, "Why yes I do!" And then I told my nurse to tell her to get the fuck out of here before I killed her, all within the med student's earshot. Hopefully, that happy idiot med student learned a bit about knowing when to be clinical and when to be human with her patients.

    Consequently, because of my emotional state, I've been put back on my Zoloft, at a double dose. Plus, they gave me pills for nausea, just in case, and Valium. I am not afraid to use any of it, but I certainly don't take the Valium unless someone is there to watch the kids. I'm not stupid.

    Today, surprisingly, my lady area doesn't hurt. I'm not really cramping at all and I'm not bleeding much; all that could change, I know. The rest of my body feels like truck ran over me. Muscles I didn't even know I had are hurting terribly, even my jaw. My back, my neck, the muscles around my lungs (it hurts to fucking breathe), my groin...all a wreck. But my lady area and my legs are fine. Go figure. After I took a hot shower and washed all the betadine off of my body, I felt a little more refreshed. My throat, however, is killing me because I was intubated for the anesthesia. Ouch.

    Physically, it's over. Mentally and emotionally, this is going to take some time. However, I have an amazing support system, wonderful friends (in person and in Blogland), and the love of my family. Hopefully, things will calm down in the house and the dog will stop puking all over the house. Believe it or not, I think she was feeling the vibes and just couldn't take much more than me.

    Today, I will rest. Hubby is home again and he's going to take the kids to Home Depot. That should be an interesting trip for them.

    Thank you for all your support. It means a lot during this very difficult time. If anything, I hope my posts have reached out and touched others who are also going through their own miscarriage grief. We are not alone. I also hope my posts have let others know what it feels like to lose your child and have made us all hug our kids just a little longer and a lot tighter. I know I have.

    Monday, July 21, 2008

    July 21, 2008...

    Today's date will never be erased from my mind for as long as I live and neither will my due date.

    July 21, 2008. D & C. 8:30am. Be there at 7am. Parking Lot D. Outpatient/Same Day Surgery. No food or water after midnight. Bring no valuables. Surgery is 20-30 minutes long; recovery is an hour, depending on your situation. You should be home by noon. Someone needs to take you and pick you up; you'll be in no condition to drive. You'll have bleeding and cramping afterward. You need someone with you for a couple of days, since you have small children to care for. No lifting, no exercising, no strenuous work. Your doctor will want you to schedule a follow-up visit.

    Cold instructions, just like the table I'm on will be. Sterile. I won't remember a thing, except for the process which led to this. To be honest, I believe I passed my baby last night. I even took a picture for the doctor and had my Mom come look before I flushed. I'll never know for sure, but I'll have the surgery just for the physical closure, if nothing else. I know it sounds like a stupid reason to have it done. I pretty much had the labor pains I had Tuesday on and off all day Sunday, so I know they were productive because a lot happened because of them. When I had the nightmare ultrasound on Friday, the "products of conception" (a.k.a. my baby) inside my uterus had settled to the bottom. What I passed into the toilet yesterday beared a striking resemblance to what I saw on that ultrasound and even Hubby thought so. Could it be? I'll never know, but I'm not willing to go through the whole ultrasound ordeal all over again just to avoid the surgery. If anything, the surgery will give me some sort of closure on the physical end of it. Emotionally, I'll never recover. And if my doctor wants to schedule another ultrasound to make sure all is clear, I'm going to refuse. I think I've had enough of those and he should be confident enough that I won't need one. They don't do ultrasounds after abortions, you know. So why would they want to put me through that again, especially when I've miscarried? Do they really just want to turn that knife over and over again into my heart? Suffice it to say, I'm done with ultrasounds.

    My miscarriage has become a part of who I am and that's okay. I'm going to have good days and very good days. I'm going to have bad days and very bad days. And I'm not going to hide from my feelings. They are mine; I own them and I'm entitled to everything I feel.

    Think of me at 8:30am today. And think of my family, especially the little one who just couldn't make it. My grief is larger than life right now, but you already knew that.

    To my baby, you will always be loved and you couldn't have picked a better family to love you. You touched our lives in ways no other human being ever will.

    Sunday, July 20, 2008

    I Look In The Mirror, But I Don't Recognize The Face...

    Tomorrow is surgery day. However, for me, it'll never, ever be over.

    I look in the mirror, but I don't know the person staring back at me. She looks familiar. I think I knew her in a past life.

    She looks battered, bruised, and beaten. There's pieces of her scattered everywhere. She only smiles when her kids come into the room. She doesn't want them to know how much she's hurting, so she puts on her happy mask and she does it quite well. And when they go to bed, she cracks because she can't break in front of them.

    The surgery is not the end; it is the beginning...the beginning of the blackening of what's left of her cold, dead heart. Her dignity is already gone.

    Her miscarriage makes her a number at the hospital, just another piece of paperwork for the business. She's just another number on a gurney, being wheeled into the OR to have the last remaining shred of life scraped out of her.

    She can fake her happiness in front of her kids and make it look like everything's alright, but at the end of the night, her nightmares will remind her that her soul died the day her baby did. Her pain is hers and hers alone.

    And the surgery will not give her relief; it'll make her meaner than she already is. It's not going to kill her, but it might as well. You see, she's already dead inside.

    Saturday, July 19, 2008

    Artifacts...

    I went for my OB/GYN appointment yesterday. It was very difficult to go in for this appointment. I just wanted to be able to put it all behind me so I could grieve. He sent me for an ultrasound to make sure the miscarriage was completed. They said they could take me in a half hour, so I filled my bladder.

    That's when it got worse.

    I waited two hours and peed four times before I cracked and threw a fucking fit about having to wait so fucking long. Why did I need to wait so long just to see if my dead baby was still inside me or not? Tell me that. I threw a shitfit and just cracked completely in the hallway, with people all around looking at me as if I were nuts. You know what? I am nuts and it's the hospital's fault.

    Last Tuesday, my baby had no heartbeat. It took two weeks to get an ultrasound scheduled, but miraculously my OB was able to get me in for one TWICE this week! One was for the bleeding this past Tuesday and the other was yesterday to make sure my miscarriage was complete. Yet, I waited and waited and waited. It feels like all I've been doing is fucking waiting.

    And yesterday's ultrasound? It was grueling and horrible and more awful than I ever thought it could be, especially when they did it transvaginally. The real kicker, and yes there's a real doozy coming up here...the ultrasound tech referred to my dead baby as "artifacts." At that point, a large part of my heart and soul died. Is that what it was to you, lady? Well, it was a baby to me; my baby. Yeah, I've had better days. I'd rather get a root canal without novocaine.

    When can I just grieve like I'm entitled? When can I just move on and leave it all behind so I can start living again. I'm a walking zombie right now; I'm here, but I'm not. I carried a dead baby in my womb for a whole month. Why can't this just stop?

    Now, I'm scheduled for a D&C early Monday morning. Even though the surgery is at 8:30am, I have to be there at 7am. Why? So I can wait again? Then I wait in recovery for quite a while. And then I'll wait in traffic to go home.

    I'm sick of waiting. All I want to do is grieve over my indescribable loss. I'm not myself and I don't know if I ever will be again. And no matter how strong you think I am, inside I'm a crumbling mess and there's not much of the old Amy left anymore. If you saw me, you'd know.

    No one understands this better than me right now. And no matter how many supportive people are around me, I'm still all alone in this ordeal. It's just me and my dead baby who just can't seem to let go of my womb. After yesterday, I am just a mere shell of who I used to be.

    Friday, July 18, 2008

    We'll Get There...

    I'm not sure what to write here. I covered it all pretty much in this post. And I am proud of that post because I was honest with myself. When I sat down to write it, I just sat down and wrote. I knew what I was feeling, but I didn't know how I was going to say it. For some reason, it just came to me naturally. I didn't lie or sugarcoat or talk around it. And I felt a certain clarity about my whole situation.

    We're going to be okay. I know this and I keep telling myself this. It's just hard right now. The sadness is heavy, but I'm trying to keep my kids on their routine as much as possible. They know what's going on. They feel it, too. I just have to make sure that their days go by as normal as possible. And we're doing a good job of that. Yesterday was a better day. Perhaps it's because I was able to get some sleep, but that's because I took 3 Advils and 2 Benadryl the night before to knock myself out.

    My husband has taken the week off from work to make sure that we can allow my body the time to do what it needs to do without me worrying about the day-to-day routine. He's taking care of everything for the sake of all of us. We're working through this together because it is ours to work through. The kids are doing better, not off their squares anymore. Jack was a mess on Tuesday and Wednesday, not knowing what to do with his feelings, so he'd act up. Livie just kept running around trying to make things better to make me happy. Yesterday was a good day for them because we tried to make sure that they got back on their routine and that the vibe in the house had settled down. Kids pick up on what you feel, so you have to be careful about everything. We're doing our best and the kids need us to do that for them.

    Today, it'll be pancakes and bacon for breakfast, peanut butter sandwiches at lunch, and plenty of pool time since it won't be so hot out. Hubby's going to wash the floors because cleaning is his therapy. And me? I'm going to let my body continue to do its job because that's my job right now.

    We've had family over everyday to ease our load and grieve with us. We've had a lot of support since Tuesday. Today, I see my OB/GYN in the afternoon so he can make sure things are going the way they're supposed to go, which is what I believe is happening. I'm pretty sure I won't need a D&C, but I'm sure they'll set up an ultrasound for next week, just to be sure. And I know it'll bring back memories that sting. On Tuesday, I had made them give me two ultrasounds; a regular one and a transvaginal one because I really needed to be sure.

    The cramping is still a bitch, but it's not like the labor pains I had Tuesday night and Wednesday. The bleeding? Well, it just makes me cry at times. And every so often, I catch myself thinking about what I could've done differently. And then I tell myself to shut up. None of it changes what's happening, so I soldier on.

    And when I'm in a funk, I can count on hearing Livie say, "We have to clean up this damn mess," or "We have to put away the damn chalk," or Jack say, "Sonofabitch," or "Fuck," and life seems somewhat back to normal again.

    We'll get there...one step at a time. We're doing our best right now.

    Thursday, July 17, 2008

    I Never Knew...

    I never knew how common a miscarriage was until I had one myself. Currently in the process of miscarrying my own baby, I am well aware of my need to grieve. Emotionally, it feels like the time when I came home from the hospital after having Jack and he was still in the special care nursery.

    Empty.

    I realize I do have two wonderful, beautiful children that I made with my own body. Their hands, their toes, their sparkle...all created by me. My body does not fail to do what it was destined to do and that includes what it's doing right now.

    Do I wish things had been different? Hell, yeah. Am I going to be okay? Probably. Will I ever forget? Never.

    I am sad and angry and devastated beyond words. Yet, I am comforted by the dozens of women who came out of the woodwork to share with me their own experiences with miscarriages. One in every four women miscarries their baby. That's a startling number. It's not really comforting to me, but it is what it is. And it helps me to know that it's more common than I ever knew.

    And all of you who shared your story with me...I am comforted in knowing that I am not alone in this chapter of my life. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving me your words, your time, and a part of you that is so sensitive in nature.

    Miscarriage hurts in more ways than one. My soul aches for what will never be. My heart hurts for this terrible loss to my family. My body hurts, as I've been in labor for over a day now. Labor...that's what it is. It's like giving birth all over again, but not bringing home a baby.

    Empty, but not depleted...that's what I am. My Brother had some wise words for me. He said, "You will soldier through this like everything else, Amy. It's who you are and it's how you're made. You will do this."

    Soldier is an accurate verb for this situation. I have no choice but to get through it. I cannot collapse, even if I still can't wrap my head around it all. I have two incredible toddlers who need their Mama. And every time I look in their eyes, I know that everything happens for a reason. I am, by no means, a religious person. However, I do believe that I am learning a very difficult life lesson right now.

    I am stronger than I ever thought I could be. I have my moments when I just sob and sob, but I am entitled to it. I've lost my baby and I don't know why, nor will I ever know why. Everything hurts, but the hurt can't last forever. I have a family who grieves with me and the love and support of friends. I also have my blog posse; that's you guys.

    And I am grateful for every single person who has offered his/her support. I grieve, but I am in no way alone. And I have to remember that it's okay to be sad. It's okay to not be okay with this. It's okay to be angry. It's okay to cry. It's okay to feel sick with grief. And it's okay to smile when my daughter gives me something she made to make me feel better.

    I have a job to do. My body has a job to do. And we're going to get through this chapter because we are the ones writing this book. The next chapter will be better. I have hope, but I need to allow myself to get through this, one step at a time, one day at a time.

    My baby died. I never thought I'd ever have to write those words. That hurts, but I needed to do it.

    Cross-posted on Chicago Moms Blog

    Wednesday, July 16, 2008

    Waiting...

    I went for my 12-week ultrasound yesterday at 4pm.

    My baby died at eight weeks gestation, while we were on vacation. I'm having a miscarriage right now. I currently have labor pains on and off. It's really happening.

    I have no other words for this post.

    Tuesday, July 15, 2008

    With My Own Eyes...

    My doctor has moved my ultrasound up to today from this coming Friday. I am spotting light brown and am a bit crampy at times. This can't be good.

    I don't quite know how to feel until I see the ultrasound myself. It should happen sometime this afternoon.

    Keep us in your thoughts.

    Monday, July 14, 2008

    No Easy Task...

    It's going to be a long week. I have to wait until Friday to get my ultrasound to make sure we, indeed, have a heartbeat, since the doctor couldn't find one last week. I'm petrified. Although, I remember that happening with Jack in the early weeks, but I don't ever remember being worried about it. Or maybe I'm just imagining that it happened with him, too. I don't even know anymore.

    I don't know what my gut is telling me. Everyone says not to worry, but they're not in my shoes. How can I not worry? Hubby doesn't understand what the big deal is (the waiting). And therein lies the difference between a mother and a father, folks, at least in this house.

    So, I wait for the next 100 hours, trying to enjoy the two lovely children I have, but wondering what the fate is of the one I carry. This is no easy task.

    Sunday, July 13, 2008

    Mine...

    Yesterday, I took the kids to my parents' house to play in their kiddie pool. They had a blast with my Brother, which is par for the course. There's never a bad time when Uncle's around. Jack was so exhausted from playing in the water that he took a snooze in the mid-afternoon, which is rare for him. I let him rest because he'd gotten up at 4am, then 5am, then for good at 6am. I truly don't know what time he woke up that morning, but I know it was early. We came home at 7pm and our block party was still going on.

    Our block party is always a hit. I could've stayed home and just enjoyed it with the kids, but I was apprehensive about handling them by myself. Hubby was working all day, so I just took the kids to my Mom's for some regular weekend fun instead.

    Once we came home and I realized that the "bouncy house" was still up at the end of the block, I had to take the kids to it. Jack loves that kind of stuff. While I knew it wasn't going to be easy monitoring both kids by myself, I also knew that they were tired and we wouldn't be out for long. The good thing about Jack and Liv is that they always, always hold my hand when we're out. They don't tend to run away from me, which is a very good thing.

    Jack had a blast with a friend he knew from Tuesday's Child, who just happened to be there. This little boy kept Jack safe from the bigger kids, so he wouldn't get trampled on. Jack held his own pretty well, though. Physically, he's very adept; he can run with the best of them. Livie, on the other hand, was petrified of the bouncy house, so she just took pleasure in watching her brother have fun, cheering him on the whole time. She wanted someone to play with, though. She would walk up to other kids and say, "My name is Livie. What's your name?" Most of them just ignored her. Here's this sweet little girl going up to other kids in the hopes of making friends and was completely blown off.

    You have to understand. Livie is only two years old, but she has the vocabulary and the conversational skills of an eight-year-old or better. And I'm not just saying that because she's my kid. She really is years and years ahead of others her age, emotionally, developmentally, and socially. She's, for lack of a better word, brilliant. And it was the first time I saw the flicker in her eye that told me she realizes she's different than the other kids. It saddened me when she asked me, "Why won't they talk to me? Don't they want to be friends?" I just told her they were busy running around and playing, that maybe they'd talk to her later.

    After 45 minutes of super-duper bouncing and sliding in the bouncy house, Jack came out on his own. He had tons of fun, found an old friend, and knew when he'd had enough. He bid his friend farewell and we went on our way. We picked up two "prizes" for them because all kids get a prize...for being kids. Livie picked out a big stuffed centipede with many patterns and colors. Jack picked out...get this...an umbrella that attaches to a chair. He's very practical, you know.

    I have a feeling I have two children who are remarkably different in many ways. And that they have gifts that others can't always see. I love them both for being exactly what they're supposed to be...mine.

    Saturday, July 12, 2008

    Why Didn't I Think Of That?...

    The other day, I asked Jack why he kept eating the chalk from his easel. I don't know why I didn't predict what his reply would be. It's so matter-of-fact and such a preschooler's answer. I guess I'm just too old to know the answer to the, "Why do you keep eating your chalk," question.

    Jack's reply was, "Mmmm. It's chalk-olate." Get it?

    Hubby doesn't think Jack could come up with that on his own. I'm not sure about that. I think it was genuine preschooler humor and I don't think I'm giving him too much credit for coming up with that. I found it to be rather funny and amusing.

    I guess he's a comedian now. How fun!

    Friday, July 11, 2008

    Blondie & My Babies...

    These pictures were taken on Fourth of July. I love them. My kids truly love my niece/their cousin, Blondie. And she loves them, too. We are lucky to have each other.
    Livie had her toenails painted pink for the very first time by Blondie about a month ago. And she sat still. This is Blondie's MySpace picture.

    She lived with us for two-thirds of Jack's life. That's a long time in toddler-years.

    Gosh, I just love looking at these happy pictures.

    Thursday, July 10, 2008

    Keeping Busy...

    I tried keeping busy yesterday to not think about it. I did five loads of laundry. Yes, five; one of which was just my bathmat which got covered in poop. How did that get covered in poop? That's an easy answer: potty learning.

    Within minutes of putting real underwear on Jack, he decided to go off in a corner and take a crap. Yeah, it oozed everywhere and the only reason it got anywhere near my bathmat was because Hubby stepped in it and tracked it all around. Great fun! I bet you can guess how the Family Germophobe felt about it.

    I tried the potty learning with both kids just in the morning. I wanted them to practice sitting on the potty (or standing, for Jack) every twenty minutes. They had plenty of fluids, too. However, that didn't stop Livie from splashing around the living room in a puddle of her own pee, minutes after Jack crapped his big boy undies.

    And I started a new course for my Master's today. Only three left after this one. Yay!

    Yeah, keeping busy is the name of the game right now. Is it working? Not really, but I'm trying. And I'm very grateful for all the positive advice and comments I've received about Wednesday's post. Thank you so much for all of your words.

    SIDENOTE: I got my car back yesterday, too. It had something to do with the AC and it was simple. Free of charge, of course, because it was part of the $11,000 worth of damage from the accident that was fixed. And they even brought it to my house because I couldn't get to them.

    Wednesday, July 09, 2008

    Choked Up...

    I went to the doctor yesterday and he couldn't find the baby's heartbeat. And he tried like hell. So, I've got an ultrasound (with a blood test, a new prenatal screening) scheduled for next Friday. I'm eleven weeks along and haven't gained any weight, so let's just hope everything is going just fine. Jack and Liv are keeping me slim and the baby decided to hide from the doctor. To think anything else makes me want to cry. Until next Friday, I'm going to be a nervous wreck. Could it be that I haven't gained weight because I'm running around after a 3-year-old and a 2-year-old who wake up everyday at 6am and have given up their daytime naps? Is it possible that there's nothing wrong at all? Should I be concerned? I told you, I'm going to be a nervous wreck until I know for sure.

    And my car's in the shop again. Nearly $11,000 in damage from the accident in May, and now something's wrong with it. Just about every goddamned thing was replaced, so I took it back to the body shop and drove around with one of the technicians so he could hear what I was talking about. Now, I'm carless, but hopefully it's not for long. Whatever is wrong, they need to fix it because I'm sure it's their error. I barely have 14,000 miles on the car and it's only four years old. It'll be paid off next month, too. Go figure.

    So, I'm not happy. The former issue is what will keep me up at night, not the latter, of course.

    Tuesday, July 08, 2008

    Let Me Think About This...

    That's a really good question.

    Monday, July 07, 2008

    How To Wear Out My Kids...

    Many of you already know that I have a 3-year-old son and a 2-year-old daughter, plus one on the way. A sure fire way to wear out my kids is to take them into their pool in the yard twice a day. Yes, twice. Without giving them a nap. Heh. It helps them go to bed at 7pm and they get a good night's rest. If I give them naps during the day, it takes them hours to fall asleep at night and they still get up at 6:30am. So, I cut the nap and give them lots of physical activity during the day with the hopes that they'll just pass out and sleep soundly before they awaken at the crack of ass-thirty.

    I get them out into the water in the morning before it's scorching hot outside. I religiously put sunscreen on them and they usually fight me about it. It's a rule, though. You can't go outside if you don't have sunscreen on (SPF 50, believe it or not). It's a man made seat belt that keeps you safe from the sun. I let them go nuts in the water with the dog for a couple of hours and they don't get burned at all. I heart sunscreen.

    When it's time for lunch, we go inside, strip, and put on fresh dipeys. They lounge around, eat, kick back, and relax for a couple hours.

    Then we head back outside again for more water play. So, again, it's on with the swim dipeys, the sunscreen, and the swimsuits. They play some more for a couple of hours and then we head back in the house for a snack or early dinner.

    It's funny. The kids know the drill about how and what will happen next. They truly embrace the "structure" of knowing what comes next. That's why they don't give me any trouble at all about going inside the house after being in the pool. They know they'll be able to go in the pool again, if not today, then tomorrow. They're so good with transitions, but I remember a time when that wasn't the case. We've worked very hard on that over the past year.

    After dinner, they veg out before it's time for their bath. Once they get their bath, they realize just how exhausted they are. We read a few books and head upstairs to their room. Livie's the best sleeper ever. She zonks out very quickly. Jack, however, likes to put on a show each night for his sister. It keeps her up and if it weren't for him dancing in the middle of their room each night, she'd go straight to sleep. So, the past two nights, I've sat next to Jack while he was in his bed, trying to settle him in. All I do is stroke his hair and speak softly about how long his day was and how tired he is. In a matter of minutes, he's asleep.

    Now, I don't know how long he'll need me to do this or how long I'll be able to do it, since I won't be getting any smaller until after the baby is born. I reckon it won't be so easy to get up off the floor in a few months. Heh. Whatever the case, I'm happy to do it. It helps Livie go right to sleep and it helps Jack put his day to rest. We're all happy.

    The next few days might be too hot to take the kids in the backyard pool in the afternoon, especially if it's above 90 degrees. I don't to expose them to that kind of heat because they're still little and their skin is still new. Mornings are good to go because it's not too hot. I might have to find something else they can do in the afternoon for the next couple of days besides go outside. Perhaps it'll be a good time for them to learn the Chicken Dance. Heh.

    Sunday, July 06, 2008

    More Fun In The Sun...

    Jack has nothing but FUN with Uncle!

    Livie likes to ham it up for the camera. And holy cow! She actually let me put her hair in a ponytail for once!

    Saturday, July 05, 2008

    My New Desktop Background...

    It's very difficult to get Jack and Liv to smile for the camera at the same time. This was a rarity. Although Livie's not looking at the camera, it's still a precious picture because you still get the feeling of pure bliss when you look at it. There's no water in that pool, but they could care less. They're still having fun. This is exactly what my kids are like when they are both happy at the same time. It's absolutely precious; too precious for words, really.

    Friday, July 04, 2008

    Make It A Safe One...

    We'll be having my family over, like we do every year. The menu is summery and the neighborhood will be loud. Hopefully, it's a safe holiday for everyone out there. Enjoy it!
    Peace.

    Thursday, July 03, 2008

    Feeling It...

    I'm definitely feeling pregnant now, moreso than I was before. I can really feel it at 5pm. You see, I spend the whole day running around, not really feeling or remembering that I'm growing a baby. Come 5pm, it hits me and I'm totally exhausted. The last couple of days, I've had pangs of nausea here and there. Other than that, no morning sickness. Maybe that's why I keep forgetting I'm pregnant.
    I feel it in the morning, too. So does my bladder. I guess I'm going to have to start slowing down a bit. It's not easy with two little ones already keeping me on my toes. They want to play and jump on me and make me nuts all at the same time. I've been doing well with keeping them busy with the pool in our yard. If I could figure out how to get those damn pool pictures off my phone, I'd be able to post a few great photos. The phone just won't cooperate with me right now.
    So, now I actually feel pregnant. And this time is completely different than the other two were. Plus, I'm "old" now; my body is telling me so. I would nap if my kids would, you know. However, if Jack gets a nap, it takes him several hours to fall asleep at night. So, I literally have to wear him out, into a tiny little nub of a boy, during the day and keep him from napping just so he can get a good night's sleep. Consequently, I'm a total nub by then, too. And it's just not feasible for me to go to bed at the same time they do every night (7pm). Livie sleeps no matter what, with or without a nap. She's my easy one. Believe me, if I could sleep all day, I would. It just isn't an option.
    That's the update, for now. I'm not really showing, otherwise I'd give you a belly pic. I'm just a little thicker and no one wants to see that. Heh.

    Wednesday, July 02, 2008

    Mmmm, Mmmm, Mmmm...

    I made spaghetti and meatballs last night and I tried a new way to do it. Instead of browning my meatballs in oil and then sticking them in the sauce, I did what any good Italian restaurant does. I boiled them and then stuck them in the sauce to simmer. And I must tell you, I'll never cook meatballs any other way ever again. Not only were they incredibly juicy, they were healthier for us without all that added oil and it took less time to cook them. You just drop them into boiling water; wait until the water boils again; and in a few minutes, they're done. They keep their shape and so do you. Trust me; you'll never cook meatballs any other way ever again.

    While Livie was eating her meatballs, I asked her if they were any good. Her response was, "Mmmm, mmmm, mmmm. Mama, you make the best meatballs ever! Delicioso!"

    I shit you not, my little girl said that. She's two, folks. Those are all her words because I've never heard anything like that on any of her shows, except for the "delicioso" part on Dora the Explorer. It tells me that she knows that that word means "delicious." I told you a long time ago that she was bilingual. (She knows a lot of Spanish and even said, "Hola," to the lady next door to us yesterday, even though that lady didn't know what it meant.)

    So, boil your meatballs, people. I know it might sound gross, but it's the best damn thing in the world. Just ask my two-year-old daughter.

    Tuesday, July 01, 2008

    Spicy...


    You Are Black Pepper



    You may be considered ordinary by some, but you're far from boring.

    You elevate the mood of any discussion, and people miss you when you're not around.

    You are secretly very dominant and powerful. Most can only take you in small doses.