15 May 2012

What Do You Do When...

From a child's lips to God's ears.

Our trip to North Carolina provided us with 4 new members of our family.  Herman, Hermione, Heron and Hershey.  Lexy's little hermit crab babies.  Only they're not babies.  I think.  I'm not sure, I mean, can you really tell how old a hermit crab is?  I think they're young.  They're small.  And I think hermits get to be big.  Do they get big?  Because if they grow any bigger I can't say that I'll be picking them up on a regular basis.  Cause the bigger they are the harder they pinch.  And they pinch.  A lot.  

The hermits survived 7 hours in the car on the way home.  They survived cool nights before we could buy a heater for them, before we could buy a new terrarium for them to live in with all kinds of sand and climbing toys and coconut fiber for them to eat and climb.  But, one little hermit.  The one with the yellow shell.  The only one that Lexy picked and said that she loved and wanted.  Poor little Hermione has passed away.  And when I told my mother that little Hermione has passed away, she asked how I knew... well, I suppose when the legs fall out from the shell and land on the sand you sort of have your answer.

We had 15 minutes of sadness, no tears mind you, but the questions about why animals die, how animals die, where do they go when they die, how do you get to heaven and what is in heaven.  All perfectly valid questions, of course, but they're hard to discuss with adults, let alone with a 4 year old   How do you explain to a 4 year old that hermit crabs don't live forever, that they're hermit crabs.  They aren't supposed to live forever?

My big parenting lesson of the day?  Pull the little one into your lap (or what's left of your lap when you're 27 weeks pregnant), answer the questions to the best of your ability and with as much honesty as you can muster, and let them be sad.  And the promise them a new hermit crab.

But, Lexy summed it up herself and in the best possible way.

"And dear God, please look after Hermione and take care of her now that she's gone up to be in Heaven.  She's a good Hermit Crab.  Amen."

And, yes.  There was a funeral, complete with TAPS, for Hermione.

04 May 2012

Grace Abounds

Dear Friends -

I was uncertain the other day.  I was uncertain about writing something so personal.  Uncertain about letting such an intimate part of myself go out to everyone who wants to read about it.  Uncertain about how people would respond or even if people would respond.  I wrote about my miscarriage and the incredible sense of loss that I felt for 2 reasons.  1) I haven't recovered, never might, from losing my child.  But, I thought that writing about it might help me move forward in some ways that I haven't.  And 2) I really do think that miscarriage is not something people talk about and that it should be talked about.  It shouldn't be something that people hide or hide from, it shouldn't be something people feel ashamed of it, it shouldn't be something pushed aside.

I heard from some friends publicly in the comments section, and a few other sent me emails.  It was wonderful to receive the support that I did from the people that I did.  I just hope that what I wrote helped others in some way or will help others in the future to know that they're not alone.  I had a reminder of something that a friend told me when we were discussing miscarriage and my current pregnancy and how, while I love this person inside me, I still miss and grieve and want to know the child I won't ever see.

She told me "Carin, you'll always be the mother of 3.  I will always think of you as the mother of 3.  And when you get to heaven, you will get to meet that little baby of yours and know all the answers to your questions".  Tears.  Of course, more tears.

But, what I really want is to let you know about the greatest blessing from writing this blog, writing about my loss, that I have received following the post.  I heard from a friend who has suffered unmentionable loss, three times, in his and his families lives.  He let me know that I wasn't alone in what I had gone through.  Now I know that while I can't come close to imagining the losses that he has personally experienced he has linked my loss to his.  This is one of the most touching and generous gifts that anyone has given me.  To let me know that they feel my loss is nothing short of equal to loss that they have been through, that my emotions are not supposed to be limited.  It was an amazing email and brought me to tears.

What makes this story even more amazing is news that he shared about how things are good for him and his family.  How life has changed, morphed, evolved, and while there is still so much pain there is love and happiness and that his blessings abound.  Thank you, friend.  Your email has made this all worth while.

Love abounds, joy abounds, grace abounds.

Thank you so much, my friend, for touching my life in such an amazing way.  I celebrate your joy with you as I celebrate the joy I have inside me.  It is such a wonderful thing to share.

01 May 2012

Accepting Grace

I have decided that I am working on focus this week.  Focusing on what is the "now".  Not the maybe or the past, not the what would have been.  My focus will be "how things are for the day, what's on the schedule, what I'm doing with Lexy, how the baby is feeling for the moment".  If you read my last post, you'll know that I'm obviously still struggling with focusing on the past (but really, who isn't and who doesn't?).  Although grieving over the loss of a child, born or unborn, is not something with a timetable and definitely not something that you get over.  You just get through.  Through each breath.  Through each minute.  Through each day.  In a sense it's almost like an addict working through the steps.  Take everything moment by moment, day by day.  Easier said than done when working through any type of trauma or stress.  And I've been going through working on the miscarriage, being forced to leave my job, and the adjustment of being a full time full day mommy.

But first, an update on Baby 2.  We had a phone call from our doctor (or one of our doctors) this morning. They always like to call you during breakfast when you're trying to get your kid to eat the fruit and not just the toast and jelly.  It's like they know that you won't have time or the brain power to think of the questions you should already know to ask.  That being said, the little one is doing well.  The ultrasound said she's growing right on pace, smack in the middle of the growth chart.  Who knew average could feel so good?  Unfortunately my blood work remains the same.  There are still antigens floating around and that could be a problem.  Everything is could and maybe.  It's frustrating and makes enjoying the moment a little bit harder.  Remembering to focus on the fact that for the day I feel well, healthy, and this little person likes to push one rib in particular out of alignment, is a little hard when you're constantly carrying around the idea that it could all come to a very rapid end.  It tends to add some stress to your everyday living.  But, having a happy and hyper 4 year old will distract you from that without too much trouble.

The adjustment to the reality of SAHMommihood is another beast in and of itself.  The first week was hard because it was not expected to be my first week.  I wasn't expecting my two week notice at my office to be a "Thank you, don't let the door hit you on the way out".  I was thrown back home without a goodbye from my direct boss and spent the next few days trying to process.  There were appointments and things scheduled for that week already and it became a matter of arranging the new schedule to accommodate the things on the old schedule.  The second week was similar.  Again, appointments, anniversaries, extra ultrasounds... it wasn't what I would consider to be an average week.

And now we're moving into week three and to be honest, I've had quite a few moments where I can't remember what day of the week we're on, and this is just week 3.  I think I'm beginning to understand and feel the transition, which is a good thing.  But, I'm also missing the adult interaction that I was so used to and for that reason have been relying on my parents heavily for companionship.  I'm looking into Mommy groups online, checking into things to do at the local library... anything I can think of to organize my days.  Lexy is still adjusting to the sudden change in her routine as well, and to be honest, she misses going to my parent's home in the mornings and playing with all the different toys and books and things that she has there.  My parent's have been great and extremely flexible about the whole situation, but it is weird to not have a schedule and to know which days are for which tasks.  I've actually been considering getting a monthly calendar and planning it down to Monday is wash laundry day.  Tuesday is music class and vacuuming day.  Wednesday is go to the park day.  Something so that there is a set plan.  It feels like we're floating through right now.

Saturday I'm off for a week at the beach with just me, my kid, and my mother.  Neither husband wishes to attend, so it's a ladies only trip.  I'm looking forward to a week of doing nothing.  And a week of many many many visits to the local ice cream shop.  Maybe it will allow me to focus and breathe and accept the transition into a SAHM.  After all, it's the only thing I've ever known I wanted to do or would be doing with my life.  So, I should be able to accept it and move into it with acceptance and GRACE right?

Of course, GRACE is hard for someone who routinely walks into doors.

Tomorrow.  Lessons on GRACE from the person who seems to think washing ball point pens is good for clothes, walls are to bang into on the way out of a room, and shoes are something to trip over and not wear on your feet.