Tuesday, April 30, 2013

I hate this day.

April 30th, the last day Cora was alive.  As much as I have come to terms with some things, it's still hard.  I STILL have the "if only I'd done this," and "I should have done that," thoughts that pop into my head, forever haunting me.

In the end, no matter what, she's not here.  She's not here.  And that hurts more than anything I could ever express.

I'm supposed to be planning a birthday party.  Instead I'll make cupcakes and release butterflies.  As much as I love that tradition, it's just not the same.


Saturday, April 27, 2013

"Hopefully" (pregnancy mentioned)

So, I have become pregnant again.  It wasn't planned, but I'm excited...most of the time.  When I'm not terrified.

I have such a hard time talking about pregnancy with people.  I'll only be 6 weeks on Monday, but since I get so very sick, I don't even try to keep it a secret.  And of course, pregnancy means people want to talk about babies.

They don't understand what torture that is for me.

They don't understand that every plan of after birth is prefaced by a "Hopefully."

Hopefully, when the baby gets here....

I'll be nursing this baby. Hopefully. 

Erin's going to love helping with the baby. Hopefully. If all goes well.  If my baby doesn't die sometime between now and then.

Sometimes it accidentally slips out, and I get one of two reactions: That terrible pity that I hate, because it seems they think I've become some horrible, wounded, terrifying creature that is disfigured beyond recognition.  Or I get brushed off because I'm being morbid.  I'm worrying too much.  I'm "stuck" in my grief and I need therapy at best, medication at worst.

When those are extremes versions of what I really am.  I have been wounded, and sometimes the scars are visible.  But I'm still me.  I'm still breathing.  I'm still a beautiful being of worth.  I am not defined by my loss.  But I am also still grieving.  And grief is not a disease.  It is not something that one "gets over" in a specified amount of time.  It doesn't mean I am not capable of feeling joy.

I am just different than I was.  Cora's death was my chrysalis.  I'm not sure when it happened, but I have emerged into a beautiful butterfly.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Other women's babies

It's interesting how a picture can take you right back to the emotion of the moment it was taken in.  I was looking at old pictures a while back, trying to find pictures of me and my youngest sister (long story).  And I came across some pictures of me after Cora was born, but before I became pregnant with Erin, holding other people's babies.

I've shared this one before
It was taken 5 days after my best friend had her baby that she had been pregnant with me with.

Later came the blessing of that same sweet baby.

And then the baby of another friend I had been pregnant with, just another month later

The pictures totally took me back.  Back to how heartwrenching it was, how unfair it was, that I had given birth first but didn't have a baby of my own to hold.  To the anger that all the joy I had had at holding others' squishy babies was gone, replaced by sadness and grief.  I love those little girls, I truly do.  But at that point in time, I only saw not-Cora.

But at the same time, I'm surprised at my own bravery. It took a lot of courage.  I didn't think it was all that impressive at the time, but looking back on it...I'm rather proud of myself.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


Cora's caterpillars arrived.  Hopefully we have warm weather this year so we can release the butterflies and have them be warm enough to fly away.

Monday, April 1, 2013

That woman

This picture was taken April 2, 2006, 7 years ago tomorrow.
This was a woman who, though still very much struggling with hyperemesis, was happily expecting a baby.  And not just "expecting" in the pregnancy euphemism sense, but literally expecting a baby.  There had been a lot of loss in my family, but I had made it not only out of the first trimester with a living baby, but I was so close to the end.  I was 34 weeks pregnant in this picture and a baby's chances of survival at birth at 34 weeks are nearly as likely as a full term birth.  Not only that, but she was perfectly healthy.  The ultrasounds and tests all came back perfectly.  I was going to have a baby, it was only a matter of time.  I loved looking at baby clothes and had everything planned out at least a year in advance.  And I was so ready to just not be where I was anymore (sick), and just get on with the whole mom thing.

That woman is gone now.  She died when Dr. B said the words "There's her heart, and it's not beating."

This is me today.
A lot more has changed than my hair color.  So much more than you can ever see.  I have 3 healthy children now, and I love (mostly) every moment. (because there are just some mom moments that you don't love, period.)  I'm a woman who doesn't expect tomorrow.  I love having my kids wake me up because that doesn't mean I have to spend even a moment worrying that they died sometime in the night. (It's not a serious worry, but it's there).  And while I do make plans for their futures, there is that little voice in my head that adds "hopefully" to every one.

I'm a woman who is missing a very tangible part of herself, but it's an invisible wound.  Unlike someone who has lost an arm or a leg, you can't tell by looking at me.  But that doesn't make it any less real.  I see holes in every family picture, at every family outing.  It may be invisible to everyone else, but it is very visible and tangible to me.

But I am now also a woman who lives in the moment.  I can sit and just watch my children play for hours, soaking it in.  I am a woman who will hold my children when they are fussy and just be glad that they are here to fuss at me (not that it isn't REALLY HARD to be fussed at, and not at all enjoyable), because I can look up at the picture of the one for whom I'd give ANYTHING to have a 40 minute argument over popcorn with.

Her name means "heart full of gratitude," and she gave that to me.  The ability to see and appreciate and be grateful for what a moment means.  Even the hard ones.