Friday, September 30, 2011

in the middle of the night

It seems to me that my demons are lurking in dark shadows.

Specifically, they're waiting for me in the wee hours of the morning.

Oftentimes, when I wake in the middle of the night after being stressed during the day, I find that I lie awake, my mind teeming with thoughts that aren't necessarily "good." It always seems even worse when Jake isn't home, or is so sound asleep that I can't even wake him for a hug.

Tonight, I woke to Spencer's screaming, with Jake on his overnight route, and after changing a diaper, I headed back to bed, where, out of "nowhere" I find myself thinking about how hard it is to be alone.

That leads to how hard it was to be alone after the miscarriage, which leads to those feelings of abandonment, which I was able to shut out and move on from, but then the next monster lurking in the shadows came to get me.


Yup, it got me. Snatched me right out of an exhausted state of mind and shook me to tears as I replayed the week leading up to the death of our unborn baby.

Now, I know, founded in scripture (which, for the life of me, I cannot quote, but I know it's there... or I feel it is...), that God didn't take my child. And, I know that my child waits for me in Heaven.

I believe that my child doesn't feel blame or animosity toward me, but of course, in the still, lonely, stressed out night, I begin wondering if he or she might.

But the blame game... ack! I can't handle it at night, especially. It's like my intellectual side has taken a nap and left only my overly exhausted emotions to roam free. That's not a good recipe for a tear-free existence, I will admit.

What if I did kill our child?

I didn't. I tell myself that. But then, what if?

What if? That's another wretched game.

I decided I had to get out of bed, and walk around, look at Spencer, pet the dog, and then get these tempting self-blaming ideas out of my head so that I can hope to sleep a little more this evening, between Spencer's abnormal waking every hour or so.

But, let it be known, when I wake in the middle of the night, things always seem so much darker than they really are.

I have a hard time with thoughts like this in the middle of the night. I've had nights sobbing for hours while my thoughts rampage through my mind leaving me feel bitter and scarred. I HATE it.

Hopefully, I will wake in the morning with a sense of renewed peace.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The report is in.

Today, I received a call from the doctor's office telling me that the results of the pathology report from the D&C were in.

According to the nurse, they found nothing abnormal or "wrong" with Sprout's tissues, leaving them unable to determine the cause of fetal demise, though it rules out chromosomal abnormalities, which is considered to be the most common cause of miscarriage in the first trimester. I was "hoping" that they would have found that to be the reason we lost Sprout, but, unfortunately for my "peace of mind," it was not.

There were no hormonal problems with my bloodwork that they found when I first found out I was pregnant, nor at the following appointments, and my levels from the day we found out we lost the baby were also perfectly normal, so that rules out another of the most common causes.

They found no malignant tissues, either.

As far as I was told, or could see during ultrasound, the cause wouldn't have been improper implantation, either.

They say that stress doesn't usually "cause" a miscarriage to occur, but a physical trauma to the mother's body could cause a miscarriage.

It leads me to wonder... I was having some pretty stressful days leading up to the date that they believe Sprout stopped growing. Could that have been the cause?

I was drinking low amounts of caffeine, though not ever day. What about that?

I fell backward into our wall and entertainment center two days before the aforementioned date. Would that have done it?

I don't know. I might never know. I try not to blame myself, because I don't believe that I really caused the miscarriage to happen, but when I hear the news I was dreading, that it wasn't something the doctor's could distinguish... well, that makes it a little harder to not wonder if it was my fault.

Someone asked me if I would really want to know the exact reason that Sprout didn't make it. I contemplated this a while. Right now, with the uncertainty and the borderline self-blame I am experiencing... yes, I think that I would like to know. I would like to know if it was something I did, truthfully, so that I could prevent it in the future. Granted, I will be trying to avoid the things I think could have caused it next time around, but I would like to know for sure if that was the case. If not, I would like to know if there's a genetic risk I carry, or Jake carries, or if it was just pure happenstance.

But, I guess, I will never know. Time to make peace with that.

Monday, September 26, 2011

The poet returned.

Oh yes, yes, I am writing another blog post tonight.

This one, of a completely different nature.

This one, filled with joy.

This one, showcasing...
a poetic piece of prose. (Ah, alliteration)

I am kind of in shock, actually, as it's been "eons" since I last penned an artistic piece on a random page of a random... paper item. Tonight, it happened to be a spiral-bound notebook, which is much less "quirky" than what I would find in the darkness of my room in my high school days when I wouldn't even bother to turn on the light to write something, and then in the morning, I would have a grand 'ol time trying to decipher my script.

Regardless, tonight, for whatever-on-a-whim reason, my heart lead me to write.

This is for Spencer.

"baby breath"
in a warm hospital room
enveloped the night
in pure anticipation.

I cried,
"It's so hard!"

"I know. You can do this,"
he calmly replied.

One last time
I worked for a breath.
I grasped it-
contained it.

You arrived.
You breathed.
You cried.
You screamed for a brief eternity.

Cold, loud, bright,
this world is like nothing
you ever experienced
or will

Time stands
still in my mind.

Finally, I saw you.
so angry,
so beautiful.

...and then, the moment,
the one I spent my
dreaming of...

slowly cascaded from my eyes
to my chest,
where you
against me.

Heartbeat to heartbeat,
we met
but also
for the very first time.

My breath was stolen
by your grand entrance,
and in that moment
where we met,
it remains.

A year later,
I am still
onto that last breath,
holding also
onto you.

Your tear-filled
crystal, baby-blue eyes
peer up into my green,
as you rest again,
next to me,
heartbeat to heartbeat.

I will hold you
this way
even if
you are not in my arms.

That breath
that was taken
when you breathed the first time
may never return,
for fear
I will wake from
my life's dream
come true

It's So Hard.

The Dixie Chicks one recorded an amazing song, "So Hard." In a nutshell, two of the sisters wrote it in regard to their own personal life-experiences with infertility. I think it's amazing for two reasons, the first, that I feel I can relate to it on a personal level and I almost always get tears, and secondly, they helped bring public awareness to the infertility demon.

The song popped into my head a few days ago, after being "out of play" if you will, for quite some time. Specifically, the lines that read:
And sometimes I don't have the energy
To prove everybody wrong
And I try my best to be strong
But you know it's so hard
It's so hard

It's so hard when it doesn't come easy
It's so hard when it doesn't come fast
It's so hard when it doesn't come easy
It's so hard

It felt like a given
Something a woman's born to do
A natural ambition
To see a reflection of me and you

And I'd feel so guilty
If that was a gift I couldn't give
And could you be happy
If life wasn't how we pictured it

And sometimes I just want to wait it out
To prove everybody wrong
And I need your help to move on
Cause you know it's so hard
It's so hard

It's hard. Infertility can kill a woman's spirit and wreak havoc on her soul. Even when you have God by your side, as I feel like I did, it was still "so hard." SO hard. Heart break one month after another, sometimes for years.

But, in February of 2010, we won a battle against infertility, specifically Poly-Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (what they "diagnosed" me with). On November 1, 2010, our miracle entered the world.

Naively, I thought that the heartache and memories of what it felt like to be infertile and to wage that war would dissipate, maybe not completely, but enough that I wouldn't have to think about it or feel them anymore.

I was wrong. Even after having Spencer, it was still hard to see people get pregnant with their second, third, fourth... children. It was hard to hear people say they were going to start trying and that only a few weeks later, they'd find out they were pregnant. It was hard, but it wasn't as devastating as it used to feel, at least. A little less salt on a somewhat healed wound, I guess one could say.

When we decided we were going back to combat against the PCOS, the heartache came back for a while, especially the second round of treatments. I didn't expect the first to work, but the second I had high hopes for. I cried a bit, and moved on more quickly than I did in the three and a half years of irregularity, lack of ovulation, and extremely scarce cycles, before we conceived Spencer.

Third time's a charm, they say, and the third round, we conceived Sprout. I was shocked beyond belief, but of course, completely overjoyed. Though, I had a guarded heart the entire time, and from day one, was terrified I would lose the baby. I guess that's a mother's intuition, maybe, a foreshadowing of the loss that recently occurred. Or, it could be coincidental, who knows. I was worried about it with Spencer, but not quite as much. I remember that this last pregnancy, I was even researching miscarriage and still having pregnancy symptoms while having a miscarriage yet, and things of that nature.

And then, we lost Sprout.

I hope I do not offend anyone out there who hasn't gone through infertility struggles, who has had a baby recently, who just got pregnant, who just announced they were pregnant, who is in the middle of a pregnancy, who is thinking about having a baby... what have you, when I write what is to come. I do not mean to offend anyone with the way my mind and heart feel sometimes.

It's hard, all over again, to see these pregnancies occurring and happening all around me. I have lots of friends and family, from "online only" friends to people I see on a weekly basis, who are pregnant. Oddly, though it kind of makes sense, once a person has a baby, it doesn't tug at my heart strings anymore. Probably because I too have a baby.

But the pregnancy announcements and belly photos and constant reminders that there are people out there continuing to grow a healthy child inside of them sting just a little bit.

I'm not saying I don't want to know about these wonderful blessings, nor do I want to ignore that they're surrounding me, because they do in fact still give me hope. I guess it's a double-edged sword in a way.

Infertility (or other reasons a person can't have a baby) do crazy things to a heart, in that you can be ecstatic for a friend, and devastated for yourself, all in the same instance, regarding the same situation. It stinks. I wouldn't wish it on anyone.

I guess some would call it "jealousy" which is another evil monster, and it might be a form of it. But, while I admit I do envy those women who are having healthy pregnancies, I don't do it in a spiteful, hurtful way. I feel that envy in a way that I'm sad for my husband and I in that we just lost a growing baby. I hope that makes sense.

These things are so very hard to articulate.

If I really sit and reflect, I can happily admit that it hurts less now than it did before I became a mother. It's just unfortunate that it still hurts.

Like I said, I hope I didn't offend anyone pouring my heart out there. I don't mean any of this in a hurtful or malicious way. I just... needed to get it out of my system again so I can move on. I don't hate anyone who has it easy, though it's hard to compare that to having it a bit more difficult, of course. I am not mad that others are having healthy babies. I just wish that was my husband and I, too. Hopefully, soon, Jake and I will be back in the "trying to conceive" group of the infertility community, and then, God willing, we'll be blessed with a healthy pregnancy and Spencer will become a big brother. I keep praying. I hope others are still, too.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

A Good Weekend.

It's amazing how you can sit and talk with a close friend from high school (or elementary school, college, work, church, camp, etc.) and even if you are only together for a matter of minutes, your mind can be flooded with the memories you made together.

Tonight, as I lay in bed (where I am writing this on my phone), I am playing a memory in my mind where my dear friends mart, Jason, and I were going to a movie together one summer evening. Jason was driving, with his Nickelback cd playing, and one of them decided he knew a short cut to get to the town with the theater. As it turns out, he was very wrong, and we got a but lost, and were too late to really enjoy the film, so we went back to Jason's house. On the way, a surprise thunderstorm and torrential downpour happened upon our journey, and we had to pull over and sit on the highway, being blinded by constant lightning so bright we could barely see. I remember hoping we didn't die. Haha.

I miss those days, but I am grateful for the present, too.

I had a pretty good, back-to-normal sort of weekend of minimal tears, comparatively, and less heart ache.

Saturday started out pretty stressful as our initial plans for the day were nearly ruined, but it ended in just a two hour delay, in which we missed Jason's wedding ceremony, but were able to make it in time to the reception. We were fortunate to be able to spend a few hours with some of my good friends from high school and some of their children. In fact, we filled a table with good conversation and tons of laughter. I love having friends that I can see rarely but still hold close in my heart, if that makes sense.

Sunday, I received hugs and prayers again at church, but I managed not to cry. Impressive, i think. Though, admittedly I cried st the end of the service, knowing it was the last service a friend of ours would lead.

Following church, we spent the remainder of the day with my dad and sisters (and one of my sister's friends). We had lunch, spent a few hours at Falls Park enjoying the weather and each others company, had frozen yogurt, and finished the evening with some laughs and conversation at our place.

Again, I made it through all their hugs without tears. I didn't start tearing up until just bow, writing this actually, and thinking how Sprout's due date would have been Allison's 13th birthday.

It helped seeing Spencer so happy on both days. He loved "chasing" and watching our friends' three daughters at the wedding, and seeing him smile and interact with my family and his daddy, and hear his silly laugh so often today, really helps me cope and realize that life is good, even when bad things happen.

I am exhausted.

Friday, September 23, 2011

A pretty good day.

Overall, I would say I had a pretty good day today. In fact, it's probably been the best day I've had, mood wise, in over 10 days. Crazy to think about it that way.

Again, I admit, I cried a few times, but it wasn't broken-down sobbing today. Just... calm, quiet tears. I was shocked, actually.

I thought about Sprout a lot today. I wondered if our baby would have been a boy or a girl. I wondered if Spencer would have fallen in love with his brother or sister. I imagined, as we went by the hospital on our way home, going back there in April to bring new life into the world.

My heart still aches for our baby, but, I held it together pretty well.

It definitely helped that I was given some wonderful hugs by Tarah (again, she's so wonderful to me, so... so wonderful), Auntie Kat (she gave the BEST hug of the day, sorry Tarah and B), and Uncle B. Yes, multiple hugs after a long day sure does help turn spirits around.

It helps, also, that I was able to just stare at my son at random intervals and realize how incredibly in love I am with him, how he is a literal miracle in our lives, and how blessed I am that he's with us. I will admit, at times, it's hard to watch him play, because for seven weeks, I had envisioned him playing with Sprout someday, and those images still pop into my head. I can hold one baby, but not the other. So, sometimes, his existence does rub a little salt into the wounds of my heart, but even so, I wouldn't give him up for my life.

I am optimistic that we will still bring home a brother or sister for Spencer, in time. Hopefully, sooner than later. Yes, we still want another child, close in age, to our first. Our loss does not change that, but rather, affirms those feelings.

I know that having another child will not be a "cure" for the heartache we've endured. And no other child will replace Sprout.

I'm babbling. I'm exhausted. But, tonight, I am in a pretty good place, overall. Praise the Lord.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

It's been a week.

It's been one week since I woke up in the hospital, after my D&C. It seems so far away one minute, but then the next, I'm reliving it as if it was this morning that it happened. So is the paradox of life, I guess, where time moves just as quickly as lightning but as slow as one-legged turtle.

I am proud to say that today, I have shed less tears than I have in what seems like ages. Yes, I cried multiple times, but I cried less. Knowing that, I find some comfort.

As I mentioned yesterday, I've been listening to my husband's Sanctus Real "Pieces of a Real Heart" CD as I make my way around in the car. Today, another song hit me. It's called "the Redeemer."

Here are the lyrics:

Sometimes I just want to start over, 'cause everything looks like a wreck
And I need the courage to carry on, 'cause I can't see what's ahead
And there are places I've wished I could be, battles I've wanted to win
Dreams that have slipped through my hands
I may never get back again

But I'm still a dreamer, a believer
Oh, I've lost my faith in so many things, but I still believe in You
'Cause You can make anything new

Sometimes I just wish we could say all the things that are easy to hear
Ignore the injustice we see and explain every unanswered prayer
But I'd rather speak honestly and wear a tattered heart on my sleeve
'Cause in the middle of my broken dreams, redemption is here

And I'm still a dreamer, a believer
Oh, I've lost my faith in so many things, but I still believe in You
'Cause You are the answer, the redeemer
Oh, I've given up on too many things, but I'm not giving up on You
'Cause You can make anything new

I don't have every answer in life
But I'm trusting You one day at a time
'Cause You can make a weak heart stay alive forever
this is where Heaven and Earth collide
I lift my hands and give my life
This is how my weary heart stays alive

I feel like this song also fits my current life situation perfectly. Yup, pretty much every sentence I think was written to apply to me and where I am right now.

I was musing with a friend last night, and my cousin tonight, that there must be a purpose to all of this. I mean, I know that God didn't "take" my unborn child away. But, He did receive Sprout. I know that Satan wants me to blame God, and I absolutely refuse. As I said last night (I think) that's a very new thing for me.

And with that new way of approaching this horrific situation, I find that I have hope that there's a real reason for why this happened to us. Not that it's a good thing to have happened, but something wonderful is bound to come from it, if you're optimistic enough to think so.

I think something will. I don't know that I will know about it, but I frankly don't care. I just have to have that hope to help carry through, I guess.

I like to think that my suffering and sorrow will help someone out there someday. Maybe there's a woman out there who lost a child, or will lose a child, and somehow, they'll happen upon my journey, my emotions, my struggles, and my faith. And, maybe that will inspire her.

I know that I've gone through feelings of absolute abandonment and being morbidly alone in the last week or so. I know that I am not, but my demons allow me to think that from time to time. (Sidenote: here's a fantastic quote that I hadn't thought about before, although I use the phrase "my demons" occasionally. It's from the Beth Moore Bible Study I am doing at church called "When Godly People do Ungodly Things." Ah, fail. I can't figure out where Jake put my study guide, so I'll paraphrase. She muses that since Satan tries to mimic God to fool us into following him, he probably sends demons to each individual as God sends Angels to guide and protect us. What a war, right?)

But, I am sure that out there, somewhere, some woman is going through this alone. She may or may not realize God is there, and she may or may not have any other support. I like to imagine that a purpose for my suffering is to inspire or help that woman out there cope with one of the greatest tragedies and losses in her life.

And maybe I'm way off on all of my thinking. But, a woman can hope, right? I feel like I can hope these things, especially if they're helping me to overcome this intense struggle inside of myself.

That's all for tonight. I am exhausted to my very core.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Power of a Song.

First, let me say that I made it through today, a week exactly since learning of Sprout's birth into Heaven, with less tears than I anticipated that I would have shed. Granted, it started out pretty rough, from 1:30am until about 4:15am, but the majority of the day, I was pretty calm and collected.

I did have an emotional time at Bible Study, which I was "brave" enough to go to, despite some hesitation and barely having any homework done, but having a wonderful table leader and friend in Kyla, who has been a big support during all of this, definitely helps. But, I made it through that with less hardship than I anticipated, too. God is good.

Today, I was driving to Barnes and Noble in search of God and in search of courage (that's where I did what little Bible study homework I finished), and I realized that for the past four or five days, I have been listening mainly to one song on repeat in the car. Jake had left his Sanctus Real CD in the car last week, and there was one song in particular that really caught my heart.

Here are the lyrics:

I wanna know why pain makes me stronger
I wanna know why good men die
Why am I so afraid of the dark but I stray from the light?

I wanna know why You gave me eyes when faith is how I see.
Tell me, is it easier to doubt or harder to believe?
Oh so many questions stiring in me.

And I'm wondering why.
Sometimes the truth ain't easy to find.
I want to know all the answers, but I'm learning that;
These things take time, yeah
These things take time.

How can success make us feel like failures?
And the harder we fall the harder we try
The more I have the more I need just to feel like I'm getting by.
Oh so many questions in one short life.

And we spend so much time
Chasing our tails
Hopin' to find
Every last answer
To everything in life.
So many questions
Not enough time...

We all want to understand why;
Evil lives and good men die
On the way to Heaven the truth unwinds.
These things take time
These things take time
Yeah, these things take time.

I got to thinking about how I seem to have a pattern of finding a certain song or two for big events in my life, and they end up being played on repeat as I cope with hardships or exalt in joy. A few of the songs on the "soundtrack of my life" as I decided I would refer to it as, are "Martyrs and Thieves" by Jennifer Knapp, from my camp days, "If I Am" by Nine Days, from high school. "Name" by the Goo Goo Dolls, from my high school days. "Crash Into Me" by Dave Matthews, from falling in love with Jake. Those are just a few. I could go on and on, but I won't.

But this song, "These Things Take Time," that's the one I'm playing now. I, being human, want to know WHY this has happened to Jake and I. I want to be able to be done grieving and to be healed NOW. But, I won't know why, and I have to accept the fact that I can't just instantly be okay with it all. That's a short bit on why the song is so meaningful to me.

I feel like I'm starting on the upward climb toward healing. I feel moreso now than over the past week that I will get through this, with God and with Jake both beside me. I need them both, and I am not ashamed to say it.

At Bible study tonight, we were discussing how Satan attacks those who are strong in their faith and who are standing for the Lord. Part of me wonders if that might be part of what happened here. Jake and I conceived Sprout after joining a church, finding a faith family, and after I, personally, feel stronger in my faith than I may ever have in the past, that I can recall, anyway. And then, this tragedy strikes. But, instead of blaming God or being angry at God, or blaming myself, I decide to pray to God and take up at his side to help me get through it. In many other struggles I've gone through in my life, that wasn't the case, and I found myself trapped in powerlessness and sadness, numb to God and numb to myself, for quite an extended period of time. Reflecting tonight at Bible study really gave me hope that I am going to get through this, more easily than other traumas and tragedies and rough times in my life, even though, by far, I think this the saddest, darkest season I have had to face thus far.

That's reassuring.

And I know I've said it before, but I will say it again. I am so blessed by the support, encouragement, and prayers of my family, my faith family, and my friends.

Yes, tonight, I am still sad. I will probably shed more tears over our lost child. But, they aren't tears of hopelessness. And when I wake up in the morning and drive to work, I will hear the current track of my life soundtrack, and be reminded that it's okay to be where I am, to grieve how I grieve, and that I WILL be okay.

Sorry if this was mumbled and jumbled. I am exhausted.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Back-and-forth and to-and-fro, around-and-around I go.

Today was a back-and-forth kind of day. I didn't cry on the way to work, though I was close. I didn't even cry for a while at work. Though occasional thoughts and lines of conversation had me in tears, I did a pretty good job stifling them.

Some difficult conversations were had along the course of the day, however. There was one in which I was reliving one of my personal worst experiences within the entire thing, in that I went through the day of the D&C procedure, as well as the day after, without my husband anywhere near my side, or even in this town. I am not mad at him for that, but the pain and heartache are definitely still there. It's one of those things that the only person I really wanted or needed to be there with me was very clearly... not at all. It kind of kills a person, a little bit. But, I do not hold a grudge against him, I just pray I can sort through the feelings and hurt that his absence caused me.

Another conversation was about the entire mess of infertility coupled with the miscarriage. It can be very exciting to find out at 3 weeks, 5 days pregnant, but it's also a very nerve-wracking time, in that you have about 9 full weeks of first trimester fear to endure, where you're most likely to miscarry. This time, I thought we were "safe" like we seemed to be with Spencer, because at 7 weeks we saw the heartbeat. Little did I know that six days later (two weeks from today) that heart would stop beating. And it's hard to feel like it wasn't a child of mine, because for six full weeks (give or a take a few days), we were overjoyed at the possibility and then reassurance of this brand new life, this child we created... and then it felt like it was all ripped away.

I know it's not "as bad" as carrying a baby to term and then having it pass away, or have it pass away closer to term, but it's not "any better" either. It's still a lost child, deep down. That's how I feel anyway. It doesn't make me correct, it's just how I feel, so if you are reading, please do not be offended.

I know that many people name their unborn children, even as early as being lost in the first trimester. Some people have suggested that to me. I thought about it, but I don't feel like giving our baby a "proper" human name would bring any more closure to the situation. To me, Sprout is perfect. And someday, in Heaven, I will know if Sprout was a boy or a girl. Until that day, it doesn't much matter, I guess, because I refuse to dwell on that. Sprout is perfect as he or she is right now.

Anyway, even, amidst the tears, at one point, I had a hood laugh as Jillian reminded me of our hug on Sunday where I cried and shook in her arms, and squashed Spencer between us as he flailed to get free.

Fortunately, there were some very wonderful moments to help balance out the sorrow... like when Spencer and Grayson started playing with pans under the stove.

Or when Spencer, on his first ever attempt, climbed all the way up Jillian's stairs.

The drive home was on of the most difficult parts of the day, as instinctively, almost, I delayed last Tuesday in my mind, where I had started spotting heavily at work, and just felt panic and terror and completely broken as I called my doctor on the drive home, where the tone of her voice made me realize how serious my situation was becoming. When she said, "that worries me a bit more" after I told her I was cramping, I felt my heart sink into the pit of my stomach and became incredibly nauseated and overcome.

I tried to call my husband but he didn't answer, so I pulled over on the road and sobbed until I could focus to drive. Spencer patiently sat in the backseat watching passersby and playing with his toy hammer. What a sweetheart.

Thankfully, Spencer was able to bring me back to the present at bath time. I was sitting there, recalling how I was barely even able to put him in the tub last Tuesday, when he decided it was the perfect time to stand up in the tub, and almost instantly, start peeing. He watched himself going pee in his bathwater, saying "uh-oh" over and over, until after he was finished. I laughed so hard. Then, he was kind enough to dump a cup of water down my front. Needless to say, he brought me out of my funk and misery of the past week and into the present moment, where I have a beautiful, charming, and somewhat hilarious (in my opinion) miracle living with us.

Now that he is back in his crib, I can't help but picture myself last week, as I lay on the couch, weeping with my entire body, as I plead aloud to God, "Lord Almighty, please don't take this baby from us." I wept it over and over and over again. Am I mad at God for not answering my plea? No. Little did I know, Sprout was already with Him.

I have a stinging feeling that I will have a hard time falling asleep tonight, but hopefully, Jake will soon be here to hold me as I likely cry myself to sleep. Or maybe, I will find the peace I need beforehand, and I will drift off soundly. I pray that is the case, but if it isn't I won't be angry.

I know I still have a long road of recovery and healing before me, but at least, tonight, I'm going to take some relief knowing that I can still laugh and smile, and that with Spencer's help especially, I have done so more than once in the last two days. As small as he is, he is a big part of the strength I find that is carrying me through my sorrow. Even if I am sobbing uncontrollably, he finds a way to make me smile through my tears. It's incredible. Someday, when he's older, though I have been telling him now, I will tell him about how he helped me get through some of the darkest days of my life.

I am nervous for tomorrow, because I know that with the excellent memory God has given me, I will undoubtedly be having flashbacks to last Wednesday. But, instead of dwelling on that fear and anxiety, I am going to relish the fact that I made it through today, and pray that I make it through tonight. I will fight my battle and trudge through my mucky road and what lies before me tomorrow... tomorrow.

Thank you to everyone who has been reading my blog, following my story, inviting yourself into my sorrows, and befriending and praying for me along this journey.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Oh, hey, Monday.

Today, I went "back to work."

I cried pretty much the entire way there. I was having quite a rough time the night before, knowing I am not fully mentally prepared to be out and about on my regular routine. But, I suppose admitting it to myself is a step, at least. I prefer not to live in denial telling people I am perfectly fine, when, chances are, I'll burst into tears shortly after and they'd think I was a basket case anyway.

I made it through the half day, only crying a couple times. Perhaps the roughest part was watching my son play with his friend who is about 22 months older than he, and realizing that could have been what it would be like for Spencer had Sprout been born in April, and lived to be Spencer's age. Yup, that was a rough segment of time. Really rough.

Sunshine was brought to my day after work, when I had both Spencer and Grayson with me, and I had to stop at Walgreens to pick up something. I had contemplated not taking a 16 month-old and 10 month-old with me at the same time and just returning later, but I knew when I would arrive at home I would most likely not want to leave my sanctuary, so I was ballsy and took them both in.

They were a riot. They were both standing in the cart (yes, that can be considered unsafe, but I moved super slow and paranoid that they'd jump out, watched them like a hawk), waving and telling people "hi!" (Grayson) and "go!" (Spencer). They made quite a few "friends." And, they were quite the little musicians too, as one shook a noisy box and the other jingled my car keys. They were laughing at each other. It brought me quite a few smiles.

I came home and was able to catch a short nap with Spencer before I woke up from a day-time 'night mare' and decided to wash some dishes.

I looked around and was overwhelmed with the amount of things I have yet again, fallen behind on, housework wise. But this time, it was more overwhelming than usual, because I just didn't know what to do. Like, my feet were stuck underneath me and I just didn't know how to proceed. It was almost hard to breathe.

This evening, Spencer wanted me to play on the floor with him. Or anywhere with him, so long as he was basically on top of me, or touching me, and I did not make one small flinch that he would perceive as moving away from him. Considering I am still having cramping (which they say is normal) and my back still hurts from the back injury.. or whatever it was, a week ago, it was pretty hard on me to sit there. And, Jake called, so I was talking to him, and had to get up so that Spencer would stop pulling on the phone. Spencer lost it, and I lost it.

I feel like it's impossible for me to be a "good mom" to Spencer when I feel like I'm not even doing a good job just being Nicole. I don't know if that makes sense to anyone but me, but it's how I feel.

Now, I'm not doing a "bad job" at being a mom, I know. But, I'm not doing as good a job as I would like to think that I could do right now. That kills me a little inside.

And I'm sure if he was able to articulate his thoughts, they wouldn't be anything like "you're a bad mom" or "you don't love me enough" but rather, "Mom, I know something's wrong and it makes me sad too," or "I just want to be with you right now." And those things are okay.

But, it's still hard.

I called the doctor today and talked about my intense lack of sleep that I've been having for almost an entire week now. It's not that I can't sleep at all, it's just that I wake up in the middle of the night, after finally falling asleep, usually after an intense cry, to a nightmare or something, and can't fall back asleep. Or, I just wake up, for apparently no reason that I can recall, and cannot relax enough to fall asleep. I thought the oxycodone/Percocet would help with that, as did the doctor, but apparently not so much.

She asked if I thought I was depressed. I mulled the question over a bit, and decided that I do not think that by a clinical definition, I am "depressed." But, I am sad. I'm heartbroken currently. I'm devastated. My baby died inside of me. I don't feel like that's the same. We discussed that, and she agreed that she didn't think I needed to consider myself "clinically depressed," and suggested I try a sleep aid for a week or so, and then if that didn't help at all, we'd discuss "other medication options."

I don't want to take anti-depressants right now. Okay, I might have a little "post-partum-death-of-baby-blues" going on, but I don't think that is the same thing. Not for me, anyway. I don't know, you may think different after reading my blog. But, I felt good knowing that she didn't think I really needed that kind of medication either.

Though, I have been contemplating seeing a counselor. At least for a little while. But, I'm torn on that, too. I know that I am perfectly able to pen my thoughts here, or to my husband, or a few good friends, without putting up a wall. But, would doing it to an anonymous professional help? Would it make me "heal faster?" I don't know. I was a psychology major for a while and a social work major after. I respect the profession. I'm just undecided if I need to arrive there yet.

I feel like maybe, I should just give myself a little more time. It's not even been a full week. Maybe, I need to just let myself cry if I need to cry, without wondering if people will think I'm nuts or think that I'm perfectly incapable of functioning on any level. I know I can trust myself with my child alone, though it's hard and I do cry, but I'm not worried for his health or safety. Even in the midst of my deepest sobs, my mother instincts kick in. I've seen it happen many times over already.

I feel like my mind actually stopped... thinking... for a while. Just now. I'm going to savor that.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

My mind is a jumbled mess.

I have so many thoughts running through my mind right now that it literally almost makes me dizzy. Of course, I've been kind of lightheaded and dizzy with a slight lack of balance since the procedure on Thursday (which I called about, and they said was okay, so long as I didn't spike a fever or lose a lot of blood...), but I feel like when my mind starts going, I get thrown a little more off-kilter.

Today started out with me waking, but not anticipating the day in a very good way. Today, I had to get up and get showered, and get Spencer ready for church. Now, I feel like I shouldn't have been thinking negatively about it, really, but I was very apprehensive and feeling quite overwhelmed. I guess that's what you get when you're public about your grief, right?

I knew that there was a 98% (roughly) chance that as soon as I entered the doors, I would come face to face with someone who knew of our loss.

Well, I was right.

First, John greeted me, and with a hand on my shoulder, asked me how I was.

"I'm okay, right now, I guess." I believe were my exact words. He inquired about how Jake was doing, and my answer was "he's kind of angry. But, I think he's doing okay this moment, too." Of course, that was just a general assumption, because I hadn't really seen Jake yet, but he seems to usually be doing okay in the midst of the church. So, I thought it a safe guess.

I made it through that encounter without crying. Then, I saw Robert and Jillian standing with Jake by the nursery. Jillian opened her arms as I walked quickly to them, a "safe spot," as you might say, and I dove into her arms crying immediately. In fact, I was so encompassed by her embrace, I ceased to notice Spencer was in my arms, a bit squished. Whoops.

Then, another friend, Wendy, came by to offer her condolences. Her exact words, I will not post, though I remember them clearly. And, Wendy, if you read this, the words you shared were perfect, even if you thought you didn't know exactly what to say. Coupled with your gesture of love, they were perfect. I held strong and didn't cry for a few minutes.

And then, I took Spencer's bag into the nursery, and was embraced by Jenn, to which, I sought shelter in her embrace and began crying again. I confessed to her "I just want to be home." But, I admitted it was good that I was at church. I honestly hid inside the room for a bit to try to compose myself before Jake took my hand and lead me to the sanctuary.

The service... I wish I could say I remembered clearly, but I really did. I tried so hard to focus on the pastor's words, but I found it very difficult. I sat there, "talking" to God in my mind, and trying to focus on my praises to him. It was hard, I will admit. I have no problems praising Him and rejoicing of Him. I am not mad at Him by any means. But, of course, it's always a struggle to be exuberant when you are in pain and sorrow.

Following the service, another dear friend, Carmen, sought me. As soon as she hugged me, I began sobbing again. And she held me so tight, and prayed for me and with me, and Jake, as I cried. And, in a whirlwind, it seemed, moments later, Lance (the pastor) and Joan (his wife) were by our sides, praying for me, for us, as well. I cried all the way through the "Amen," and then, momentarily, the tears ceased. I held strong through a short talk with Hal, and then again with Jenn, before finally meeting up with Kyla. I didn't cry that time either, as she offered words of wisdom, comfort, and hope before I left the building.

Lunch was good, though I don't know that I was "all there," either, as we met with Jake's co-worker/friend, and her fiance.

The rest of the day.. buzzed by. We went grocery shopping, and I text my brother. My mother called and offered words of comfort and her own experiences, and expressed her love for me, until she had to go. It was so wonderful to hear her voice. I turned off my emotions as best as I could as I watched a documentary.

Then, I realized it was almost 8:00pm and Spencer hadn't had supper yet, and Jake was asking me about what I wanted. Instead of being able to answer and make a decision, I broke down sobbing and exited the room.

For some resaon, those two simple instances got me thinking, "I am not okay."

I sat on the bed, in the dark, my entire body sobbing, curled over in a ball nearly, as I gasped for what air I could take in as the tears rained down to my lap.

When Jake asked what I was thinking, I could barely proclaim, "It's NOT OKAY!" He asked what, and I said, I believe, "the whole situation."

I tried to explain my thoughts... on how I feel like I don't know how to take care and cope with myself, when I don't realize how late it is and our baby hadn't eaten. What if I can't take care of him? What if I'm not a good mom? What if my sorrow makes me a failure for him?

Realistically, I know it won't, because I know I will move on, but right now, I'm stuck, and I realized it.

I don't know how I am supposed to function tomorrow when I have to get up for work, and go to work, to take care of other people's children. These people who we all just recently told of my exciting pregnancy. Yes, the children can sometimes be a distraction, but it seems like in the random moments, the miscarriage overwhelms me for no particular reason, and I am stopped in my tracks. What if I spend the day there, just me and the children, sobbing uncontrollably. What if I cannot pull it together?

And then, when I come home, and Jake is not here to comfort me, how will I cope? I feel like right now, I need him available to me to run to at any given moment. And tomorrow, that will not be the case.

The selfish part of me wishes the world could just stop turning for a while. Activities could pause.

I honestly do not know how I am supposed to fall back into my old, typical, daily routine, and have to operate like things are okay. I feel like people will expect me to act like things are okay. And clearly, to me anyway, they are not. Not yet. They can't be, when in a split second I can go from happy to hyperventilating and overcome with grief or anger. Things just are not okay.

I am scared. The world is moving on, or not taking notice (not that I want everyone to take notice, that too, would be overwhelming), but I am not. I am still here, where I was on Wednesday morning, trying to overcome the loss of a child.

Friday, September 16, 2011

My thoughts on public grief in regard to my miscarriage.

I know it is a fairly common practice to keep a pregnancy a secret until one is considered "in the safe zone," or the second trimester. With Spencer, we told the world as soon as we saw the heartbeat. With Sprout, it was the same. I had always thought that I would love to share as soon as we knew the baby was healthy, meaning we saw a heartbeat, so that no matter what happened, we would have people praying.

I am glad we were able to share the joy of Sprout's blessing upon our lives with the world. As short lived as his or her presence was, at least we were able to really celebrate it. And, in a way, I think it may make the great loss a tiny bit more tolerable.

I think had I been forced to bury the miscarriage in secret, the pressure of having to "put on a game face," and pretend nothing is wrong would, undoubtedly, shatter my already broken heart.

While it may seem excessive grief to some, for example, those who do not wish to be a support to my family, at least I am fortunate to be able to grieve, as strong as I need, how I need to, without shame. I am a woman who has always been "blessed" with intense emotion, whether they're positive or negative, they are always strong. I cannot help but weep uncontrollably at the loss of the child I had been waiting to meet, and laugh uncontrollably at the joy of the son I already have. And, I think that's okay.

Writing, for example, my blog, or poetry, has always been a therapy I was gifted to be able to give myself. And, I like to hope that tete will be one person out there, somewhere, who can relate to my words, and find some solace, comfort, or understanding, in my story. From the struggle of infertility, to the joy of the birth of a child after winning the battle, to the joy of a second miracle, to the overwhelming loss of a baby, (or really any situation in between) no one should have to go through any season of life alone.

I can't say that I am not afraid people will judge me or think I'm "pathetic" or "weak" for being as heartbroken and sorrowful as I am, but, I have decided not to let that get me further down.

As I laid in bed before needing to clear my mind in hopes of another night's rest, I realized how absolutely surreal it is to me that in less than a year's time, one of the happiest days of my life came upon me, when our son Spencer was born (read here), and also one of the very saddest days of my life also occurred, the loss of our beloved and anticipated second child, Sprout (read here).

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Goodbye, Sprout.

This is one blog post I had never imagined having to make. I knew there was always the possibility that this situation would occur, but of course, I had hoped and prayed it would be avoidable.

Alas, what do I really know?

Seeing as how the Oxycodone I took two and a half hours ago did not make me fall asleep like I was told it probably would, and I cannot turn off my mind, I decided maybe I would share what was on it, and hope to find some peace... or at least wear myself out enough to fall asleep. Heck, at this point, I'd give for falling asleep in our computer chair....

On Monday evening, I started spotting. It was light, and when I called the doctor the next morning, they said it was normal and okay. So, I tried not to think about it.

Tuesday afternoon, though, it became suddenly heavy, and I started with light cramping. I called the doctor back on the way home from work, and she was more concerned. I was told to go home, rest, put my feet up, and do as little as possible. If it got worse, go to the ER.

Well, it got gradually a little worse, but come bedtime, it was starting to get better. Jake and I had been enlisting prayers all night, and I thought that perhaps, they were working.

Right before our scheduled ultrasound appointment on Wednesday morning, the spotting started returning again. I looked out the bathroom door at Jake, and simply said, "It's back." Right then, in the pit of my stomach, I felt like I knew what it meant, but I tried to remain positive, anyway.

One of the worst moments of my life came at about 10:40 on Wednesday morning. As soon as the ultrasound images showed up on the television screen, I knew. Before the ultrasound technician said anything about it, or even "looked" at Sprout, I knew. There was no movement at all. There was no pulsating little heartbeat. Just stillness.

And Jake knew it too, I think.

After she looked around at other things, she zoomed in. After a few moments, she uttered, "I'm sorry guys." Tears flowed freely from my eyes. I was right. Sprout was gone.

She asked if we wanted a printout of the image, and I said yes. Now, I have no idea why I did. I can still, very clearly, see the most haunting image in my mind. It's burned there. I don't need or want a photo of it to commemorate that saddest moment.

We cried in the room for a while before moving to the next, where they explained that at about 7 weeks, 6 days, Sprout's heart stopped beating and he/she stopped growing. There was nothing they could have done to prevent it, and it was most likely because there was something "wrong" with the fetus, chromosomes and the like. It was nature's way of protecting us and the baby, basically.

They explained options, and sent us on our way. I bawled all the way to my chiropractic appointment, and then somehow made it through, but on the way home, I broke down again. I laid in the bed, sobbing. Our baby died. The heart stopped beating. I thought I was going to throw up all over myself.

Then, I realized I was lying there with our dead child inside of me. They told me they wanted me to try to "pass it on my own" over the next week, but if I hadn't, they'd do the D&C surgery to remove the tissues. I decided, after talking with Jake, that I didn't know if I could go a week with the constant reminder of what was going on, and then maybe still carrying around our child, no longer living or growing, inside of me. And what if I didn't pass the tissues and have to have the surgery in a week anyway?

Emotionally, I just didn't think I could handle it. So, we called, and scheduled the D&C surgery.

I spent the majority of the day on Wednesday crying uncontrollably. I kept apologizing to Jake. I KNOW it's not my fault, and I was not in any way blaming myself (though, sometimes I feel it would be easier if it were my fault and I had someone to blame), but I was apologizing because I was genuinely sorry for him that his child was no longer growing inside of me, either. Sprout was not just my baby, after all.

I did have a few moments of happiness, of course, where I was not sobbing. Undoubtedly the best part of my day was when I was sitting in the chair by the window, crying so hard, and Spencer was on my lap eating a snack. He peeked his head around to face me, smiled, and shoved a puff snack straight into my mouth, then laughed. I couldn't help but laugh. And then, he kept doing it. It was the first time he willingly shared and allowed me to keep something without taking it back to be funny. It was the sweetest moment.

By the end of the night, I was terrified for today to come. I knew that Wednesday was hard, perhaps the hardest day of my life to date, but the next day was to be the procedure that really finalized our loss.

And to make matters worse, while at first, Jake thought he could/would be there for the procedure, by the end of the night, that wasn't the case. He couldn't switch his route days, and he didn't think he could wait until the middle of the afternoon to get going. So, we settled for him being there until I went in for the procedure.

I hugged him goodnight, and cried some more, letting him know how sorry I was that he lost a child. I couldn't stop crying, I didn't know how. Thankfully, he held me in bed so I was not alone.

This morning, I had a hard time getting out of bed. I prayed it could still be night. I didn't want to wake up, because I knew that in waking up, the nightmare would still be my living reality and there was really no escaping it. To make matters worse, I knew that I would be going through the procedure alone.

Not totally alone, of course. I had God with me. And my mother-in-law, Angela, was also there, as Jake asked her to come to be my support. And while I appreciate it greatly, of course, it wasn't the same as having my husband with me.

Angela and I left for the hospital, as I fought back feelings of being abandoned and alone, and Jake took Spencer to stay with some dear friends, because post surgery, I would not be able to care for him.

The ultrasound I had this morning to confirm wasn't as hard as I thought it would be, initially. But, tonight, I can see it again in my mind. I laid there, eyes transfixed on the screen, seeing the image of Sprout, even more lifeless looking than the day before. And no one was there to hold my hand. Following, the doctors and nurses went through the procedures with me, then I went to the lab for a blood draw, and then it was off to surgery.

Around noon, they took me through the freezing cold hallways into the even colder operating room, where, after a few agonizing and terrifying minutes, they finally put me to sleep.

The worst part of my day was what happened next. I woke up, cold, in pain, and alone, in a sterile, noisy, hospital recovery room with a bunch of medical personnel I did not know. I couldnt' even ask for my husband, because he was not there. I was there. No Jake. No Spencer. No Sprout. I began crying somewhat hysterically as the situation hit me. The nurse gave me oxygen and wiped away my tears as I tried to deal with the fact that indeed, I was no longer pregnant, and Sprout had gone to meet our Maker, instead of waiting to meet us in April of next year.

I don't know that I'd ever felt so lonely. It was truly overwhelming.

When I finally calmed down, they had me recover before meeting Angela back in my personal recovery room.

Seeing her helped me regain my calm. I was able to talk, to smile, to laugh again. We talked about our loss and the heartbreak, but we talked about the good things too. She reassured me that it wasn't my fault, and that these things, as sad as they are, happen.

When I was finally released, we came home, to find the door was locked. I had forgotten my key, so we ended up having to drive to meet Jake to get his. The car ride was a challenge. I felt very sick to my stomach and was fighting back emotions that I just did not want to deal with at the time. Angela was very helpful company then, too.

It wasn't until after she left for home that it started to hit me. I had been relatively numb for the majority of the day. But, I sat down on the couch, next to Wendell, and looked at the toys across the room. Spencer wasn't here, and he wouldn't be having a little brother or sister any time in the next 7 months, after all. I cried.

To cope, I went online and chatted with our friend who he is staying with, so I could hear how he was doing. That helped subside the tears a while. It was a nice break.

At 9pm I took the Oxycodone that they said would most likely make me dizzy and drowsy, and I went to lay in bed. I called Jake. He didn't answer. I waited and called again. No answer. Eventually, he called me back, but it's his busiest night on the route, so he didn't really have time to talk.

Needless to say, I felt abandoned and lonely again. I know, of course, that wasn't his intention, but with the huge loss of the day, the terrifying procedure, and all of the emotions I have been trying to deal with, I just felt... dejected.

I sobbed even harder than I had since finding out about our loss. I tried to call my dad a few times, to no avail.

I know that sometimes, it's easier for some people to cope or to deal by removing or distancing themselves from a situation. Unfortunately, it's really hard for someone who needs the person closest to them to be with them to deal with their own emotions. It's a huge conflict, really.

I can't sleep. When I close my eyes, I see the haunting image of Sprout's lifeless body on the screen. When I open my eyes, my husband and my son are gone. It's just me. When I wake up tomorrow morning, it'll be just me.

I just hope it's not just me for long. I don't know how to handle that.

I will admit though, that the countless prayers, the condolences, the kind words and sweet messages, on Facebook, in my email, and on my phone, truly are immeasurable in worth. I cherish every single one of them, even if I haven't the words or the energy to respond right away. I have never had to deal with something like this, and I'm just living moment by moment as I go along.

I know that it's not the same as losing a child you've given birth to, held in your arms, and watched grow. But, we loved Sprout from the very moment we knew of his or her existence. We were already planning for the future, shaping hopes and dreams. Sprout was definitely a part of us, and a part of our family. And while we did not get to hold Sprout in our arms, he or she definitely took up strong residence in our hearts. In that way, we very much lost our child.

And, I can't say that it'd be easier or harder to go through a miscarriage after struggling with infertility and the invasive and ruthless battle that it takes to conceive a child. I wouldn't know. I have been trying not to think about it. But, when it does cross my mind, I do feel like it is a double heartbreak for me. The rounds of assistance where you get a negative result are harder than I can describe. But then to have that positive result taken away from you... I just don't know how to deal.

I wish it made it "so much easier" to know that I'm not alone in this, and that many of the women I know have miscarried a child also. But, it doesn't. Well, it does, but it also breaks my heart. No one should ever have to lose a child, before or after they are born. It's a heartbreak I never would wish upon anyone.

I wish I knew a way to find closure in all of this. There's no funeral for a child lost before birth, really. It feels absolutely surreal at times. Did this all really happen? Surely it did, as I have the physical evidence and hospital discharge paper to prove it.

But don't worry. I am not angry with God. I refuse to lose my faith. God's what will really pull us through this. God, and the support we find in each other and in our friends and family. And of course, this doesn't mean that I do not appreciate the miracle child that I already have. Of course I do. I may even love him more now.

I am sorry that this was so long and disjointed. But, if you've read all the way through, I thank you, sincerely, from the bottom of my broken heart.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

From One to Two

Jake and I planned to have our children close together. Especially the first two. We've wanted that since we first discussed having children together. Jake has an identical twin, so he'd always had someone close to him as a companion. My brother and I are about 2.5 years apart, and we were pretty close growing up, too. It was nice to have a playmate living with you, despite the bickering and nonsense that ensued. It was an automatic friend and companion. And, we'd always wanted that for our children, too.

Spencer is 10 months old. I am nearly 8 weeks pregnant. Baby Sprout is due around April 18, 2012. When Mister or Miss Sprout arrives, assuming all goes well, Spencer will be 17 months old.

We're very excited!

However, if I get to thinking about it, sometimes I feel a little bit overwhelmed.

I wonder, "are we crazy?!"

I tell myself we aren't. I know we aren't.

But sometimes, it seems scary. It seems like it's going to be a lot for me to handle. For us to handle, though Jake works away from the home, and I am with Spencer (and Sprout) all day.

I was talking with a friend today, sharing my thoughts on the situation, and how it's going to seem like a really big change, going from one child to two children. It was a big change going from Jake and Nicole to Jake, Nicole, and Spencer, too, but for some reason, Jake, Nicole, Spencer, and Sprout seems a bit more drastic a change.

It's "difficult" at times to manage bringing an infant (child) around on short trips, say a run to get gas for the car, or to mail a package, get groceries, try on clothes in a dressing room. But, it's manageable, assuming Spencer cooperates and will sit in a cart and not try to crawl out from under a dressing room door.

But, when I have Spencer in the cart, and another baby to add, will it be impossible? Surely not, as many mothers already do it, but sometimes I am afraid I will feel that it will be. Will I be able to manage a trip to the doctor's office with two children if one is sick? Will it be manageable to take both children out of the vehicle into a gas station if I can't just pay at the pump? I don't know.

I foresee trips and errands will take a lot more planning and combining into one grand sweep across town, but will it work efficiently enough? Or will I lose my mind?

And what about mealtime, or bedtime? Will Sprout wake Spencer in the middle of the night while Jake's on an overnight and I won't be able to get either to sleep as they feed off each other, crying incessantly and I end up joining them?

How will I manage the dog? Taking him out to the bathroom? Will I be able to leave two children in the house and know they're safe? Will I have to "quarantine" them every time I get the mail? Will I be able to leave them alone while I switch the laundry?

What if an emergency happens and I have to try to manage both getting ready?

What if I get sick and can barely function, and have to take care of two children under two?

What if Spencer resents us in the future, because we were so "eager" to bring him a playmate that he doesn't think that we gave him enough time alone?

There are so many fears I have, so many worries. I try not to let them get the best of me. They've been dwelling in my mind ever since we aced that test on August 7th.

Now, I finally was able to write them out. I feel a little bit better.

Girls Day

Today was the first time in a long, long time, that I had a day with a girlfriend, just us. Rena and Nik. No baby. No husband. No need for me to be home at a certain time. Just the day to do whatever we pleased, together.

It was crazy odd to have that feeling of freedom.

It was awesome, too. Simple and wonderful.

We went to church together, followed by brunch, where we sat and joked around and laughed like goofballs. Then we walked around the falls. After, we went to Barnes and Noble for a while, then stopped at the Pump'N Pak for soda, and ended up back at my place, talking, laughing, reminiscing of our time together at Augustana College, and all the goofy stunts and pranks we pulled on a friend.

I can't lie and say that I didn't enjoy it, because I most definitely did. I needed it! I hadn't realized how I hadn't had a day like that in forever, until we were nearly halfway through our time together.

Not that I'm complaining about having the responsibility of an infant. I'm not. Nor am I complaining about having a husband. I love them both. I love spending my days with them.

It was just... different. And wonderful.

Thank you, Jake, Spencer, and Rena, for giving me that breath of change for a day. I love you all.

Saturday, September 3, 2011


Tonight is a "special" night.

Tonight, I'm alone.

Completely alone, at home. (Well, with the exception of a God, Wendell, and my cell phone which enables me to contact people, but there's no other human body in this house with me.)

It's the first time this has happened since before Spencer was born. Three nights before Spencer was born, I believe.

Now, I've been home by myself for multiple hours since Spencer was born, but never overnight. I've been away from Spencer overnight, but if I was without Spencer, I was with Jake. Tonight, both Spencer and Jake are gone. They're not coming back until sometime tomorrow afternoon. Tonight, I will lie in bed, close my eyes, and hopefully not wake until morning, still alone.

I can't claim to be one of those stay-at-home mothers who NEVER wants to be apart from their child. I used to feel guilty for wanting a few hours here and there to be without the responsibility that comes with having an infant at my side or under my care and supervision. I wrestled with feeling like I was a "bad mom" for wanting that, and came to realize it's OKAY. And since then, my husband has been ever-so-wonderful as to allow me time now and again, to be alone, doing whatever I want, at home, or away. I don't feel I ask for much in that regard. I never demand that I be left alone, but when I feel like I could use some time for myself to refresh, I ask. Heck, sometimes, Jake notices before I do and he suggests it.

Jake is gone overnight one night each week for his job, where he sleeps away from both Spencer and I. It's been that way since Spencer was born. I occasionally have made a quip here or there about how nice it might be to not hear a baby cry at night. While I felt guilty saying it, deep down, I know I felt it was probably true. I didn't want to guilt my husband into letting me go on a personal vacation or anything like that, and I didn't really imagine I would be the one alone overnight, ever... but here I am.

When they walked out this afternoon, I cried. I stopped crying shortly after, but then, when he called to say he loved me and to thank me for helping get Spencer ready to go, I broke down sobbing. Knowing they weren't coming home to be with me tonight REALLY hit me, harder than I expected it to, and I couldn't help but weep. He told me not to let the fact that I was alone keep me from relaxing and resting, and to just take it easy, because I deserve it.

After we got off the phone, I cried a little longer, then I decided I needed to occupy my mind with something. So, I finished proofing and editing a friend's family photos that Jake took. After, I decided that I was going to try my best to relax.

So, I'm sitting here, blogging about it, eating Chinese (I saved some money in my purse and decided to treat myself), and about to go have a date with Dr. Gregory House. He'll be on the TV while I'm on the couch.

I hope that Jake and Spencer have fun with Jake's family at their annual gun-shooting tournament in Iowa. I hope that they sleep well without me, but I do hope they miss me at least a little...

...because I already definitely miss them.