On Loss and Remembrance

Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day and today I send love to all of my family, friends and readers that have lost a pregnancy or baby.

One in four woman will lose a baby in their life. 25% of women. So many more than you may ever know.

It’s a sad and often silent sisterhood.

I didn’t learn how much miscarriage and child loss affected those around me until I became the 1 in 4.

When I became pregnant in 2011, while Michael and I were working desperately on keeping our marriage together, I was elated. Sure, everyone always tells you that a baby can’t fix what’s broken. But we were already on the mend. Our pregnancy was something to bind us even closer together.

But just as swiftly as I found out I was pregnant, I began to spot, and then cramp, and after several devastating hours in the emergency room it was clear that I had lost my baby.

It was hard. So very hard. But like all hard things, I wrote about it, and the outpouring of stories, love, compassion and support I received was remarkable. You can read my thoughts and the kindness I received HERE.

I have lost my father, my grandparents, aunts, uncles, beloved cousins. Attended countless funerals, memorials and wakes.

But losing my baby was something so intimate and personal and internal for me. No memorial service. No coffin. Largely just me and my sadness.

I know so many brave women that have named their Angels. That honor them with tattoos or trees or statues.

But I haven’t.

Not because I don’t long for and miss who my baby could have been. But because I am not strong enough to give my baby a name. To memorialize. To constantly remember.

It hurts in such an abstract and hard way. It’s like I can’t touch the grief. It’s there. Right under the surface, a nagging sadness in the corner of my heart. But I can’t cry it out. I can’t grieve it away. It aches but I’m used to it.

And then there’s the guilt. Guilty for longing for a baby that was lost when just months later I was graced with my perfect and healthy Isora. Perhaps guilt is irrational in this circumstance. But it’s there. I can’t help it.

So many friends have suffered losses in the past couple years. Mamas who gave me the excited news about being pregnant only to call to tell me something went wrong. Friends who lost a baby and feel that was their one and only chance to be a mother. Women that have suffered multiple miscarriages only to finally be blessed with a rainbow baby. And one incredible mother who has lost three dear sons, in such a short amount of time, whose courage and strength are inspiring to thousands of us.

My heart and soul goes out to each and every one of them. My tears pour out onto my keyboard for them. Whether they suffer in silence, or welcome people into their journey, they are, each and every one a hero. Heroes that are capable of making life and surviving beyond the life they have created though it pains them to do so.

I know that the ache in my heart is part of motherhood. Part of life, really. And while I would love to be holding my baby, instead I choose to accept that this baby was lost so that Isora could be born.

So I light my candle today…for Dani, Jen, Leslie, Kaitlyn, Stephanie and of course my dear Diana and the hundreds of others.

May each of you find peace and comfort from the grief. And may your Rainbows light the way.

 

Wordful Wednesday: The Biz at 18 Months

My blog has suffered under Extreme Busyness Syndrome. So much so that monthly updates for my sweet Isora Rose have been all but non existent. (*To Isora – Sorry sweet girl. I really would have liked to write more about you over the past 18 months but keeping up with you and how quickly you learn everything is pretty time consuming. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I love you and your Wiggle Worm ways so no complaints that I loved your sister more, m’kay?)

So I figured I’d take this Wednesday to gush show off brag discuss my sweet baby girl.

This is Isora Rose. 18 months old but just told me the other day that “I 3 year old Mama”.  Ummmm, no, you’re not. But cute that she repeats every. single. thing. her sister says, right? And yes, she talks. A lot. All day. All night. She says words that sound funny coming out of a 18 month old mouth. Like ‘remember’ and ‘medicine’. She nearly always says ‘thank you’ often says ‘please’ and her newest fav is “No. I do it.” SMH. WAY too early for that statement if you ask me. She says all her ABC’s and “1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,14,Zoomi” (cause she knows it makes us laugh). She sings along to all our songs in the car. She loves when I sing Alouette and My Favorite Things and 1 2 3. And she loves Bob Marley. Of course 😉

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This little lady has always been sweet and chill but as she’s grown she has blossomed into the most good-natured, smiling and happy child I’ve ever known. She rarely cries (though the closer we come to 2 the more she fake-cries) and if she does get a boo-boo it’s easy to make her smile again. The song ‘Alouette’ used to be her stop-crying song. Now you just say “Boo Teta”. I know. It’s silly. Cedella said it to her once when she was crying and it stuck. They both crack up. Every. Time.

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There’s something else you must know about Iz. She is completely obsessed with her sister. Whatever Ella is doing or saying, Izzie is copying. It’s adorable and funny, as short-lived as it may be. Because one day they will fight over toys or clothes or boys or life but for now they’re pretty inseparable. And that’s cool with me.

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Despite their closeness they are very different children. And that’s the coolest thing to see. All the things that Iz loves that El gets easily bored by. All the subtle little differences.

For example…this kid loves to brush her teeth. It makes her whole day. She’ll say “brush teeth” until I go into the bathroom with her and put toothpaste on her Dora brush.

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She is a Weirdo. With a capital W. In our home Weirdos are just silly people who are different and unique. Weird is a positive. She has Weird in spades. She wore this one snow boot around for hours. Hours. And would freak if I tried to put the other shoe on her. Weirdo.

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And man is she funny. She is constantly thinking of new ways to make us laugh. She’s a natural Goof Ball. I kinda wish I could roam around the house mostly nude with a basket on my head too. Sadly she’s the only one that can get away with it, she’s a trailblazer of physical comedy.

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Like the Corn-Holio. She does this one a lot. Actually she takes off her shirt a lot. When her tummy is free she’ll rub on it like she’s rubbing a Good Luck Buddha and say “Tummy”. Makes us laugh every. single. time.

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And this…her fake pouty face. She’s got you fooled, huh? Keep in mind this face was directly followed by

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a big old grin.

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Did I mention Izzie can and will sleep just about anywhere at any time? No really. Anywhere. Remember this? A booth in a busy restaurant in Chicago.

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And at the Zoo. Even at her favorite place she sleeps.

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Another thing to know about this little lady: she loves to eat. Loves. Anything and everything. The only thing she seems to have an aversion towards is fish (which is weird cause we eat a lot of fish) but she loves everything else. Current obsession? Hummus, PB&J, Turkey and Yogurt. And cupcakes. Anything with frosting is cool with her.

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Always fruit. Off the tree, don’t care. She was digging on that pear. The cuteness of her eating this pear fresh off her Jiddo’s tree just kills me. I love it so.

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She is a book lover just like her Mama and her sis. Current favs include ‘Pajama Time’ ‘Duck on a Bike’ and the Little Critter book ‘I Was So Mad’. And anything that has baby faces for her to kiss. She’s really into kissing right now.

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Though she loves to hang out at Play. she really comes alive at the zoo. On this visit she woke up just in time to chase the peacocks . It never gets old.

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She is a very intense and avid colorer. Have you ever seen a more serious coloring face? She’s doing business here.

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And she has entered the Momma and Baby phase. The second we get to Play. she goes right for the babies. At home she carries around three at a time.

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She even wears her babies while she’s watching her favorite shows (Currently: Daniel Tiger, Super Why, Team Umizoomi and Dora).

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Though she loves taking care of her babies she is still very much Mama’s Girl. I can’t get enough kisses and hugs from this kid. She’s positively delicious. She makes every single cell in my body vibrate with happiness even on the rainiest and grayest days.

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I catch myself sometimes just staring at her. Just in awe of some new thing she’s taught herself or something funny that she’s done. Watching that sweet grin spread over her face is like medicine for a stressed out soul. I love to watch her play and explore and try and persevere.

But seriously, where did I get this blonde haired green eyed child from? Another unique and beautiful thing about this sweet girl.

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But whatever you do. Don’t take this girl’s babies or food….cause she’s a tough girl. She’ll get ya.

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See? Told you she was funny.

Do you have a hilarious child of your own? I’d love to here about what makes your kid an awesome Weirdo!! Please share stories!!

Linking up with Amanda at Dude Mom and Angie at Seven Clown Circus. Go check out their gorgeous families now. Just do it.

Happy Wednesday!!

(Nearly) Wordless Wednesday: One Year Ago

I’m going to keep this as wordless as I possibly can because I’m getting weepy just thinking back to one year ago and the urge to ramble about how my baby isn’t really a baby anymore is strong.

Something happens when your baby is about to turn one.

You lose it.

Even if I’m finally managing to get out of the house with two reasonably clean and well dressed children and make it to any function only ten minutes late, I still feel like I’m losing it.

Because I really wanted to savor every single moment of Isora’s first year, to document every new word, every single milestone. But it’s all gone by so fast. And here we are, days away from her big day, and I am a weeping emotional mess.

But today I went back. Call it a flashback. Here’s what I remember so clearly from one year ago…

It was HOT. In the 80’s. In Michigan. In March. We were playing outside for hours. In the water table.

And twirling around in the grass.

Cedella and I were spending some last amazing moments together. Like taking silly pictures. Notice the wedding rings around my neck. Yes, I was a bit swollen.

And eating crepes. Something I always wanted to do with her. We were both licking Nutella off our fingers. They were incredible.

Spending our last few moments of solo nursing. And snuggling.

And then just two days before I went into labor, on St. Patrick’s Day, my love came home with all of this. Flowers, a card and a Shamrock Shake. Mmmm…now I want a Shamrock Shake.

The card told me how proud he was that I had made it all nine months and that the end was in sight and he knew I could do it. I love him so much.

And then there’s this photo. Taken a mere 24 hours before Isora was born. Don’t I look thrilled? Did I mention it was HOT.

I look at that picture and can feel just how exhausted and yet excited I was. How much I wanted all of it to be over so I could just hold my baby already. It’s so vivid. And now she’s been on this planet for an entire year.

It’s crazy how time literally flies right out of your hands when you’re too busy living to pay attention.

Ok…I’ve got to go snuggle my Izzie and cry a bit about how big she is.

Happy Wordless and Wonderful Wednesday to you!