Saturday, January 8, 2011

Nothing is a Coincedence

The following post was inspired by a fellow bloggers post I read recently and the book "I'm Spiritual Damn It!" by Jennifer Weigel. Why shouldn't I share my story?

I quit smoking in June 2006, just a day after celebrating my husband's 30th birthday. I told him it was my gift to him, along with a huge celebration with friends. The truth is, while I liked to think of it as a gift to him, I was secretly coveting the fact that I may be pregnant.

We had been married since the previous summer and children were without a question going to be a part of our future together. It was inevitable. The only thing we couldn't see eye to eye on was how many children to have. He wanted 3 or 4 and I was maxed out on two. We weren't "trying" but we we not being "cautious" either. If it happened, it happened.

It turned out that I wasn't pregnant. But it planted the idea of ... why not now? I began to obsess. In April of 2007, I went to my midwife. I was upset I hadn't conceived yet. I had charts with my daily body temperatures, mapped out on graphs. All of these visual aides to address the fact that I wasn't pregnant. "Come back in three months" she told me. "You are young, healthy... just keep trying"

Two weeks later I read a faint line on a pregnancy test.


We were elated! All of those crazy feel good feelings raced through our heads. I recall shouting to Michael... "Come in here, get in here! Look at this!" from the bathroom, waving a urine soaked stick. "Do you see it? Do you see that extra line?"

We kept it a secret for what felt like forever, but was probably just a week or two. The details are a bit fuzzy. On Mother's Day we told our parents. A few days later our siblings. I was only 7 weeks, but felt fantastic. What was the worst that could happen?


8 Weeks into my first pregnancy, we found ourselves grieving the loss... of a thought? Not a baby really. Not a tangible one. It was more or less a thought. We were going to be parents. I was carrying a baby. Our baby. And then it was gone. No reason. No warning. No heartbeat. Gone.

In the fogginess of the weeks that followed... somehow I was able to pull myself together and face life again. Mike seemed to deal with it better than I. But its a bit different when you are walking around for weeks, caring for this fetus. Every waking thought is consumed by this little person growing inside of you... and then its just gone....

I was able to talk to others whose first pregnancy ended so bitterly. Including my own mother. From those who knew what I had been through, I was offered words of sympathy.... and ears to listen. I always felt best speaking with those who had been in the same situation as I, learning how common this occurrence was. Those who didn't understand would offer the "things happen for a reason speech" which I didn't want to hear. My midwife assured me that this was common, and that I would conceive again. Right she was.

In August 2007, I drank one beverage at my girlfriends bachelorette party, and felt nauseated. I remembered.... I knew... that feeling.... The test result again:


This time we told no one. (Except for our parents.) We were a bit more cautious wanting to wait until the "safe time", after 12 weeks. I attended my friends wedding and used the "we're trying again" excuse. No one dared question my avoidance of alcohol. I felt I was in the clear. Holding onto a tiny secret. Weeks went by... I read more.... I learned more. I bought maternity clothes. I read baby name books. No one could take this baby away. There was no way that I could miscarry again.

But I did. At 10 weeks. Blighted ovum.

Now my head was full of doubt. Could I even carry a child? Is it me? Is it him? Why won't God give us the child that we desire so dearly?

I was angry and sad all at once. Also nauseated, frustrated and insecure. Why me? Why us? Why again? Was this a fluke too? I had no one to talk to. No one. Sure I knew people who had multiple miscarriages but not one I knew had been through this twice, before having healthy children.

I googled it. I was looking for someone just like me. In my situation. I wanted someone to tell me that, "YES! Third time is a charm!" and give me all the confidence I needed to do it again. How do you solicit such advice when no one wants to talk about it.

It took me months of tears and a few visits to a grief counselor. I sobbed while my husband put decorations on the Christmas tree.

"I don't want Christmas! I don't want to celebrate. I should be having a baby any day now {1st miscarriage} and instead I am sitting here.... empty...childless."

On January 8th 2008, {coincidentally the due date of my first miscarriage} I quietly discovered that I was indeed pregnant, again. The line was faint and so was my voice. "Michael... do you see that line? Do you see what I see?"

This time there was more quietness. More thinking than saying. My thoughts were burdened with more negative and less positive. I was pretty sure that I really couldn't do this again. I really couldn't. My husband kept telling me "Be positive. Think Positive." I went to work that morning with my heart aching instead of a belly full of butterflies.

It wasn't until about 16 weeks along I could say the words " I am pregnant" and actually believe it.

It wasn't until I was 7 months along, that things would start to make sense. That things would happen for a reason.

Mike was away overnight working. It was a HOT July night. I was visiting my parents home and just about ready to leave when a thunderstorm struck. Lightening danced across the sky. Thunder boomed both near and far. My mother got out candles and flashlights "just in case". I stayed another hour... until the sky's cleared.

When I got home around 11pm, I had an overwhelming feeling of fear. I hate being home alone, but that night felt extra creepy. The clock light on the stove was half lit and not every light switch functioned properly. I assumed we blew a fuse, but was too scared to venture into the basement to fix it.

I was in the habit every night of glancing into "the baby's room" as I walked up the stairs. We had recently renovated this room and painted the walls a bright "raincoat yellow" (thank you Benjamin Moore!). As I ascended the stairs my nose distracted me.

skunk? no..... what is that smell....burning????

A quick glance into the newly painted room, I discovered debris. Lots of debris. Unrecognizable. In fear, I ran.... back down the steps, through the house, out the backdoor, across the driveway, to my neighbors doorstep.

After my neighbor thoroughly investigated my discovery it was apparent what had occurred. Lightening struck our house. Lightening had struck the baby's bedroom. Shingles exploded off the roof. It came through the window. It broke the window. It blew a hole in the wall, sending lath and plaster across the room. Sharp shards and dust covered the bedroom. All over the room.

"I heard it!" my neighbor told me. "It was like a bomb. The loudest bang I have ever heard. I knew it had to have hit something... and close."

Imagine what I was thinking. Standing in my front yard 7 months pregnant with a spotlight, examining the damage outside. Processing what had just occurred inside.

In THAT bedroom, beneath THAT window. That is where I WAS going to put the crib...... It is where I have always pictured it.... What if the baby growing safely inside of me was sleeping there? Tonight.... What if I never had a miscarriage????

There are more positive things that have come from our misfortunes. In a nutshell, I have made a very dear friend being in the "multiple miscarriage club" together. It has been rewarding to be able to be "that" person for someone else whose is going through the same things that I did. Our friendship would never be what it is without this common tragic occurrence in our lives. And we are grateful for each other.


There were two reasons to this post. One. YES! You can have a successful pregnancy (I have had two!) after multiple miscarriages. It can happen! (And luckily for me, with very little intervention.... just a ton of patience and faith!)

And the second? Life hands you lemons. Real lemons. Sometimes tough rotten lemons. And we may not always know why in the moment we are dealt a certain card, a mishap or misfortune. Certainly we shouldn't question it (but by default we do). Trust in God and have faith that sometimes he doesn't answer all of our prayers. I truly believe that someday things will make sense, but until then we have to have faith that things work out the way they do for good reason..

Sunday, January 2, 2011

I was awoken a few nights ago by a crying toddler "Mommmmmmmmmyyyyyyyy"..... I jumped up and stiffly walked down the hallway to her bedroom. Delilah was sitting up in her bed. "Mommy" sniffle, "I neeeeeeed myyyyy Paaaaaaaaat" (Pat: endearing name for pacifier... and yes, we are still doing that) I promply smoothed her sheets to find not only one, but three (of the eight) "pats" tangled in a mess of sheets and blankets. I gathered them and placed them by her hands. Without opening an eye, she stuck one to her mouth, thumbed the others, rolling over back into a deep sleep.

Just as I nestled myself back into my own warm bed, turing my pillow over to the "cold spot" and closed my eyes, I was alerted once again by the wails of my 6 month old. Cecilia had outgrown her arms reach co-sleeper a few weeks previous, so every night we would put her in her room, in her crib... crossing our fingers that one of these nights she would "sleep through the night" (which has yet to happen).

So, once again, but this time physically quicker (I had just strethed hadn't I?) I go down the hallway to Cecilia's room and retrive the squirming wailing little one from her crib.

Like evry night at about this time, I bring her to our bedroom, lay her between my husband and I and nurse her. Sidelying... she suckles... I start to doze... I know I am almost back to sleep because my thoughts are no longer of anything of importance... they are mangled with images of a school bus turned on its side and Nell Carter yelling profanities at the driver trapped inside....


I open my eyes. Slightly confused.


I shake my head. I realize that my breast is still attached to a little one, still suckling away.

"MOOOOOMMMMMMMMMY" Delilah cries from two doors down. Fear. She is awake and needs me. And then I am reminded that I am physically attached to another who needs me.

I kick my husband.

"What." he mumbles.

"Delilah" I say. "She is crying."

"Mmmmhmmm" he grumbles before hoisting himself out of bed.


I close my eyes again and try to get back into that dream state...

what was that again? Nell Carter... school bus... penguins....


I know he is doing the best job he can. My husband. He is so gentle with our daughters. I could picture him curled up next to her, rubbing her back trying to console her to sleep.... gently hushing....


I lay there now, eyes open. My boob practically suffocating the one who is busily snacking. I have nothing but anger running through my body. I want to scream ... I can't be in two places at once. I simply cannot divide myself in two and be something to both of you! I JUST CAN'T DO IT!!!

I am exhausted. It has been three years since I have slept an entire 8 hour stretch.

I want them to understand that.

...but they can't... and that is what makes it tough.

Friday, November 26, 2010


Although I may complain that there certainly are not enough hours in the day to be super mom/wife/daughter/sister/friend. I am greatful to have those busy hours spent with the ones I love. Tonight we played photo shoot while listening to records and dancing... simple joys. Mike got to bust out some old favorites while I snap, snap, snapped photos. Delilah spun wildly.. Cecilia laughed...we all sang.. It was a wonderful way to spend our Friday evening. (Now on to that "to do" list...)
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Wednesday, September 22, 2010


They couldn't be more different. Even from the womb. Delilah my "head down ready `to rock and roll" baby to Cecilia my "lets do summersaults up until the last minute breech" baby. One blonde, the other bruntette. One loud, one soft.

I often wonder if my toddlers wise ways lately will rub off on her sister. Is this her personality? Or is this who she is? A manipulating comedian who begged through her baby monitor to "Go potty PLEASE!! PLEASE PRETTY PLEASE". This was at 10:30 at night. She should have been slumbering. But instead she tried to find anyway to get out of her princess bed. Did I mention she wants nothing to do with a potty during the day? Spouting tears and shouting " I don't WANNA!" until her face turns red, should you mention "potty".

Yes, this is our little sassy one. She has been heard using the phrase "dam-it" in the most appropriate way.

"Delilah, your shoe is untied"

And then she will look at me with these sly little eyes. Wondering of she has gotten away with such a mouth, or maybe she is looking for the reaction? Either way, my own trucker mouth has permenant tape on it.

I wonder what Cecilia will be like. Could she follow in her punch drunk comedian sisters footsteps.

Or will she remain soft and reserved and sensitive. Cooing at what is silly, sensitive when things go haywire.

These two may look and act very different, but a few things are for certain. They are beautiful gifts from god. They complete me. They are everything I ever prayed for and then some. They are beautiful and together they are ours. Our two beautiful (and silly) babys!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

the tale that never fades

Tonight I took both of them for a walk in that tremendous double stroller. Our destination was the convience store, a mile away to the free air station, to fill the strollers tires. This meant a very long trek for Delilah especially.

I laced up my sneakers and placed both sleepwear clad little ones in the deluxe stroller. Delilah insited on bringing her babydoll, which she also insisted should be naked. So off went her clothes.
On our walk we chatted about the things we saw, a white house, a red car. The things we heard, a motorcycle, a dog barking. She would ask a question and I would answer and so on

When we arrived at the air pump at the convience store, I started to fill the tires. Delilah had never been this close to a air compressor before and the loud hissing noise startled her.

"Whats dat mommy?"

"Its an air hose" I reply, as I finish one tire and move to the next,

"Whats dat mommy?"

I realize that she has no concept of what an air hose is, or why I am inflating my tires.

"Honey, you know when daddy put air in your pool toys at Bobbie and Hat's house?"

I wait for a response. Nothing.

"Remember when daddy put his mouth on your floaty mat and blew air inside to make it float?"

"His mowff?"

"Yes, well that is kind of what Mommy is doing with this hose."
What an aweful analagy, but she stopped asking questions, so I figured maybe she understood. Who was I kidding, she wasn't even two.

On the way home Delilah pointed out something that she hadn't noticed on the way home.
"Little House!" she yelled. "Mommy little house!"
She was so excited to point out a little shed for sale. It didn't look much like a house. It really was just a small tool shed. Maybe you could fit a lawn mower in it. I opened my mouth to correct her and explain the purpose of a shed. Instead I just agreed with her.
"Yes Delilah, a little house." Then I surpised myself "Do you know who lives there?"
Even though she was seated in the stroller I could catch her profile as she was gazing at the "little house". Her eyes her filled with wonder. I could tell that her mind was racing. Who could possibly live there?
"The Three Bears" I said answering myself, satisfied that I hadn't ruined her childhood wonder or imagination.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Insecurities vs. Innocence

"Diff one for you mommy?" she said sweetly handing me an empty plate.

"mmm Delilah, that was yummy"

"Diff one for you too mommy. I bake you cookies?" she asks looking for reassurance.

"mmmm... yes, you did! That was delicious" I exclaim, placing another empty plate between the mound of laundry before me.

"Mommy, you cook too?" she asks, pulling my hand toward her play kitchen.

I look at the laundry, half folded. Sigh.

"I'll be right there." I say, as I grab another bath towel.

She walks over to plastic kitchen. Its one whole unit. A microwave,refrigerator, stove, dishwasher a sink. Even a little window over the sink. All combined into one compact area, for little hands to maneuver and little minds to imagine. I am secretly envious of all of its features. And for a second ponder what it would be like to only have to clean such a tiny kitchen. Sigh.

"You comin' mommy?"

I put my half folded towel down and approach the tiny kitchen. I sit on the floor beside her. For the next ten minutes we make soup and cookies. She tells me what to do, I listen. I peek in the kitchen window and ask for a sandwich. I watch her little body shuffle from sink to stove, dishwasher to refrigerator. She closes one door and opens another. Through the window she hands me a an empty plate.

"Here cow" she says.

I am baffled. Did my almost two year old daughter just call me a cow? Really?

"What sweetie?" I ask, trying not to sound alarmed.

"Here. Cow."

Doesn't she know I just had a baby? That all of this flab in front is extra baby- Wait! Who am I kidding, its always been there. Does she even know what it means to call someone a cow? In disbelief I ask again.

"Here cow, here baby cow"

Baby Cow? Baby Cow why is she now calling me a baby cow?

Then I smile, realizing her innocence.

"Yes! Mommy is a baby cow!"

Our trip to the farm last week proved educational. We visited some calfs who were in a pen behind a grid like fence. It dawned on me that through the gridded kitchen window of this play kitchen, that I too, must appear to be a baby cow! I absolutley love this childs imagination.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Girls Day Out

Last week I took both girls to "the city" (aka: Albany) for the first time. Feeling adventurous and a little insane, we ventured out with little expectations of actually accomplishing anything at all. (Disclaimer: wish full thinking told me to go to giant baby store, pick up necessities, then grab lunch at the mega mall food court. Following this mayhem my plan was that both babies would take a two hour nap while I, cool mama pushed them and leisurely shopped.) Things didn't exactly go that way, however I did learn a thing or two about having two children under the age of two and still trying to feel like you have it all together.

- Nursing your 3 week old and trying to entertain a 21 month old in a public "nursing room" isn't that hard. Talking about the different colors and shapes on the walls was the topic of conversation for a while. Keeping the toddler from knocking over a decorative lamp and trying to keep her from eating stray animal crackers off the floor proved to be a struggle when the conversation got boring.

-A double jogger stroller (side by side style) is a necessity. But it has its faults. Like, you cannot maneuver it between the sea of cars in the mega mall parking lot. Instead, walking around the entire lot is the only way in... or out.

- Double jogger stroller does not fit in the bathroom handicap stall. Relying on the kind smile of a stranger to watch your children and allow you to void proved successful. This can be done if you can trust your instincts. Thank goodness mine were right on.

-purchasing said kind stranger lunch when you bump into her in the food court line again, is a way to instill good karma. It also earned more points, and said stranger carried our lunch tray to our eating destination.

- Order yourself a salad. Being postpatum you feel skinnier just looking at it.

- choosing an eating destination in a large food court is necessary, should the need to whip out big lefty (or little righty) to feed your newborn. I chose far away and secluded, for nursing privacy.

- getting a toddler settled in her seat while spreading out her lunch (laying out napkins to cover the table surface, dumping chicken tenders on them, poking straw through drink.. etc) and keeping a careful eye on the teeny tiny body lying in a gigantic stroller are no big feat. Eating your salad with your fingers because you forgot a fork is.... and attemping to pack up the troops to get one would prove disasterous. Don't forget a fork!

-Double jogger stroller does not fit in popular chain department store "family restroom". Changing diapers in the common area of the mall near the greenery seems to work well.

- whipping out big lefty behind a pillar near the greenery works well for privacy.

- keep diaper bag securely closed while doing this. Toddlers seem to have a grand time strewing out all of your belongings around this feeding area and poking you in the eyes with sunglasses. Repeatedly.

- make sure newborn is really hungry when doing this. Otherwise, you just end up with an embarrassing wet leg, crotch to knee.

- deciding when its time to leave is crucial to avoid stares and sympathetic "been there" smiles. A good time would be when both occupants of the double stroller are wailing at the top of their lungs and your leg is soaking wet.

- when you think its time to exit, just give it 5 more minutes. As after packing up the stroller and putting child number 1 in her car seat, and settling to feed child number 2 in front seat.... child number 1 immediately falls asleep and child number 2 satisfy her hunger.

I never got that two hour of mommy time shopping, but I did enjoy the first of many shopping trips with my two girls. The bumps in the road I viewed as lessons for myself. Lessons that have taught me to roll with the punches. Lessons that maybe someday I can teach them.