Saturday, February 28, 2015

Not in the Plans

February 13, 2015

I’m an organizer. I’m a planner. I can’t help it. So even though I am scared about the outcome of my pregnancies, I can’t help looking ahead.

With Olivia, I already knew how far along I would have been at Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. That made those days even harder as I passed them but wasn’t 20, 24, or 28 weeks pregnant.

I already had calculated how many more months I would have to suffer through the anxiety of only one doctor appointment a month before I would finally get to have the more frequent reassurance of bi-weekly, then weekly appointments. That made the new year even harder as I passed it but wasn’t going to the doctor at all.

I had already figured out that I wouldn’t do much participating at dance during parent participation week in February since I’d be a month from my due date by that point. That made this week a sad reminder of what should have been but isn’t. I was able to fully participate because I’m not hugely pregnant. It was bittersweet because I also had fun with my kids doing something I wouldn’t have done if things had worked out as planned. Ella’s sheer joy at having me in the room dancing along with her was priceless, and I’m happy to report I earned two stamps (one for good dancing and one for good listening) from her in both of her classes.  Lily’s growing confidence as a dancer was a point of pride as I watched her perform a dance segment she had choreographed herself in hip hop. That was all great. It just wasn’t the plan.

I had already determined that Olivia would be four months old when we go to the beach with my family this summer. I figured it would be a great age. Old enough to be past the newborn stage but not old enough to be mobile. We would bring our little tent to the beach and she’d be content to hang out in its shade while we spent our days in the sun. And think of all the loving arms that would contend to hold her! It was a nice thought…

I’d even had the audacity to look into the future as far as her first Christmas when she’d be nine months old. What a great age, I’d thought. Ha.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Giving Back

January 24, 2015

Today our family of four participated in an event to give back to the baby loss community. We gathered with members of our support group and decorated candles with decoupage and tissue paper. There is an organization researching pregnancy and infant loss in Franklin County, and they asked us to decorate these candles so they can give them to parents new to this horrific experience. As we were leaving, Lily said, “That was fun. I liked making them and I wanted to do a good job.” It feels good to help parents who will be in need of compassion just like the many people who provided the items we received at the hospital helped us in our darkest moment.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

What Wouldn’t Be

January 24, 2015

I’ve written several times about what would have been. But what about what wouldn’t be?  Today, Lily and Ella, and I went to Graeters to play with my new friend Valerie and her girls. This was the first time our kids met, and they seemed to hit it off as quickly as Valerie and I had. As we were talking and watching the kids play, I couldn’t help but notice All.The.Pregnant.Bellies that were surrounding us. I thought about how I would have looked like them if I were still pregnant with Olivia. After all, I would have been less than two months from my due date. But then I realized I wouldn’t have even been at Graeters to see these pregnant bellies if I were still pregnant with Olivia. You see, I met Valerie at my support group.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Sand (and a request)

January 24, 2015

Confession: I like to be in control. Part of what makes pregnancy loss so difficult is that it is just so damn out of my control. Ironically, I controllingly suggested to my grief counselor that I needed her to do something to work on my control issues.  Her idea was to have me playbuildwork with sand as a way to remind me that I can do everything I want to try to shape the sand but that I will only be able to control it so much. I set to work and soon I’d created a very uniform and structurally sound pyramid out of my sand. I think it went against the point she was trying to make, but my perfectionistic and controlling tendencies sort of won out on this one. She was able to point out a very few random grains that slid down the sides as I purposely placed shells in even intervals around the pyramid’s walls.

But that wasn’t the only time sand has come into play since Olivia’s death. When my mom and I went to Lake Erie for a short getaway in the early weeks, we went to a beach I’d visited as a child. There, I wrote Olivia’s name in the sand. This is a common thing for baby loss parents, but I’m not sure exactly why. Is it because it looks pretty? Is it because it’s comforting to see your baby’s name as proof that they really existed? Or is it because it’s so fragile? It’s like our babies we’re remembering: there only for a short while before the tide comes in and washes it away. Maybe it’s all three of these. Maybe it’s even more.

And now for the request: The next time your travel plans take you to some sand, I would be very grateful if you could take a picture of Olivia’s name and send it to me.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A Middle Name with Meaning

January 24, 2015

As soon as we found out Olivia was a girl, we started to talk seriously about what we would name her. I wanted to choose a middle name that would match Lily and Ella’s (both have the ‘K’ sound: Caroline and Kathryn). Troy said that this time he would prefer a middle name with meaning instead of just one I thought sounded pretty. We struggled to think of what that might be, but eventually I thought maybe we could choose one that used Ohio State as its inspiration since we met there. I thought maybe Scarlett or Carmen (Ohio) would work even though I wasn’t in love with either. But then when we were naming our daughter after death, I decided I needed her to share the naming scheme with her sisters since there would be little else they would share. Claire it was.

Now, we’ve decided to use Olivia’s name as a portion of a future baby’s name. Oliver as a middle name for a boy or Claire as a middle name for a girl. Troy wanted a middle name that means something, and now we’ll have it.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Not the Only One (Irrational 4)

January 24, 2015

I’m not the only irrational one. My mom has revealed to me that she will never go to a certain frozen yogurt shop again and will even give away the gift card she still has. (If you know my mom, that’s serious commitment!) We announced our pregnancy that ended up being ectopic at that yogurt shop. Then, we ate there about a week before losing Olivia. She’s done with it. Luckily there are frozen yogurt stores on just about every corner!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Florida (Irrational 3)

January 24, 2015

Florida is also associated poorly with my pregnancies. I had my ruptured ectopic there in 2013. When we found out I was pregnant again weeks before returning to Florida this summer, I had to force back feelings of tempting fate. I wrote a three paragraph argument essay (thank you Common Core!) to my doctor requesting an ultrasound at five weeks to show me the pregnancy was not ectopic before I would leave the state. The first stop on our vacation was the doctor’s office. This time we went to and from Florida with me pregnant, but I still ended up losing Olivia two months later. So the new irrational me will not be heading to Florida any time soon. As we were planning our spring break trip so that we could go away during the week of Olivia’s due date, it was tempting to choose a condo in Florida. I love the beach and the thought of warm weather, and Florida is pretty much the only place to find that within driving distance  in mid-March, but we’ll enjoy the Smoky Mountains instead, thankyouverymuch!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Candles (Irrational 2)

January 24, 2015

Another irrational connection I’ve made deals with jar candles I receive as gifts. When we found out we lost Olivia, I decided we would participate in a candle lighting ceremony on October 15th, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Troy and I went to the store and picked a candle out for her. But we also wanted to remember our other 4 babies that night, so we used the four jar candles I’ve received as gifts from students over the years. This year, I was relieved to not get another candle for Christmas. I don’t want a candle waiting for me to use it for another loss. But when I returned from break, there it was wrapped in cellophane with a sparkly ribbon tied around the top: a jar candle in my mailbox. A late gift from a student. I wrote a thank you note as I usually do, but I couldn’t bring myself to unwrap it. Or take it home. After it sat on my desk for a few days, I decided I should just give it away. I asked a friend at school to take the candle for me after explaining my irrational desire to never bring another jar candle into my house until our family is complete.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Irrational 1

January 24, 2015

After experiencing multiple losses, there are some things I’ve become a bit irrational about. I know they’re irrational, however at this point, I just don’t care. I’m willing to be a bit irrational if it means I feel like I have some control in this infuriatingly-out-of-my-control situation. If it makes me feel like I’m doing something different.

So in honor of being irrational, I will not attend another Leadership Academy until I am done having children. I don’t go to this annual professional development opportunity every year, but I’ve signed up for it in the spring and gone on to lose two babies (who weren't even conceived until the summer) during leadership academy or in the same week as it in August. I went this summer when I was 8 weeks pregnant (again, conceived after registering). It made me a bit nervous being there, but I told myself it was silly to think the losses had anything to do with attending. It was just coincidence. But then I lost Olivia 8 weeks later. Irrational connection? Yes. Do I care? Nope. I can go again when there is no chance I'll be pregnant.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Not the Goal

January 7, 2015

One of the things people say when they are trying to be comforting is, “At least you know you can get pregnant.” Yes, that’s true. I can get pregnant. That part has come quite easily, actually, and to date I have been pregnant seven times. But last time I checked, the goal is not to get pregnant. The goal is to have a baby. Call me crazy, but I don’t find comfort in knowing that I can get pregnant pretty easily when I’m faced with the reality that 5 of those 7 pregnancies have not resulted in the end goal.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Same Page (finally)

January 7, 2015

The day I delivered Ella I knew that couldn’t be the last time I had a baby. Troy wasn’t as sure of that, but he agreed that we could have a third as long as Ella and the baby were about two years apart. So, in 2011 when Ella was barely a year old, we tried to get pregnant again. Honestly, it seemed way too soon for me, but that was what Troy wanted, and I was willing to concede in order to have another baby. A few months later, I was pregnant and due a month before Ella turned two.  When we found out at the 8 week appointment that we had lost the baby, it was devastating to find ourselves in this position AGAIN, and I declared myself done forever. I donated my maternity clothes, and sold the baby clothes and gear. Troy kept quiet at the time and didn’t reveal to me until probably a year later that he had not felt done in the wake of the loss.

Then, I got pregnant in 2013. Although we had not been trying to get pregnant, I was immediately excited. Troy, on the other hand, had moved on from his desire for a third child. When we lost the baby due to an ectopic pregnancy which is inherently not viable and was also life-threatening for me, Troy and I once again found ourselves on different pages. I had a rekindled longing for a baby and mourned the loss of the one I’d just lost. Troy had focused on the medical emergency that it was for me, and was not keen on any future pregnancy.

But he knew how much I wanted it, and he agreed to try again for my sake. We tried for several months in the fall of 2013 and then I got discouraged by my bleak circumstances. It would now be harder than before for me to get pregnant since I’d lost a tube. And there were still no guarantees that once I did get pregnant we wouldn’t suffer another loss. In fact, after trying unsuccessfully for three months, we had already surpassed our previous longest length of trying without getting pregnant. I felt defeated and we called it quits.

But this desire for another child keeps sneaking back in. This summer, I once again had that longing. I just don’t feel our family is complete at two kids. Troy went along for the ride again because that was what I wanted. And then Olivia survived much longer than any previous loss. We told the girls about her and saw how excited they were to have a baby in our family. We knew her as our daughter and had totally fallen in love with her and the idea of a baby.

In the wake of losing Olivia, I can finally say we are both on the same page. Troy and I both want a baby and we now know our kids do too. At least we have that.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

No Free Passes

January 7, 2014

It seems like once you’ve lost a baby you should get a free pass in any future pregnancy. I’ve been thinking about that as I consider how I will make it through another pregnancy. It will be terrible to start back at the very beginning. Waiting to see where the baby implants again. Waiting to see a heartbeat again. Waiting to see if morning sickness begins and then waiting for it to subside again. Waiting to pass the first trimester again. Now, waiting and holding my breath for every day after the first trimester until I hold a living baby in my arms. Wouldn’t it be nice if I could start back where I left off at 16 weeks? Wouldn’t it be even nicer if I had a guarantee that it won’t happen again even though I have to start back at the beginning? So, I’ve been thinking this and irresponsibly banking on the idea that surely nothing else should or even could be thrown at us in this arena.

Then I went to my support group last night and the leader happily/surprisingly shared that there were no new people there this time. But as we started sharing our stories, two people revealed that they had lost pregnancies in the last month. So there were no new people, but there were new losses. And that pulled me back to earth about the reality of this crappy situation. There are no free passes.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Entering the Nursery

January 4, 2015

The toy room was going to become the nursery. As soon as we found out Olivia was a girl, Lily was ready to start getting the nursery ready for her. It seemed too early (I was still having trouble believing that everything was working out this time) and I told Lily we would wait until after Christmas. I did however start pinning some ideas for an all-girl nursery. With Lily, I wanted to be practical, so everything was gender neutral. With Olivia, our last child, I could girlify things to my heart's delight.

I hadn't spent time in that room since Olivia's death. But over Christmas break we systematically cleaned each room. That meant the toy room, which in my absence could no longer even be entered due to toys everywhere, had to be faced. I cleaned it for quite a while before it dawned on me how different this was than we had planned. We should have been clearing it out to make the nursery after Christmas. Instead we were just putting toys away.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Other Me

January 4, 2015

The Other Me would be 7 months pregnant and in the third trimester. The Other Me would be clearing out the toy room to convert it to a nursery.The Other Me would be really happy that the calendar has changed to 2015, making me that much closer to delivering Olivia and bringing her home. The Other Me would have gotten all kinds of baby gear for Christmas since I got rid of it all when I said enough is enough three losses ago. The Other Me wouldn't cry when people announce pregnancies or cringe when characters in movies and shows are pregnant.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

A Sick Joke?

January 1, 2015

What do you do in the days between learning your baby has died and delivering her? Troy and I tried to give ourselves a break from our new surreal reality by going to a movie. We couldn't decide what to see, and honestly it didn't really matter as long as it gave us a distraction for a bit. We debated Gone Girl or Where I Leave You. One is a drama and action film, the other a dramedy. We weren't sure about something comedy based. What could be funny to us in our situation? But when we arrived at the ticket counter on that Friday afternoon, the decision was not ours; Gone Girl was sold out. So we went with Where I Leave You. The basic plot is about grown children returning home after their father dies. That seemed safe enough for our aching hearts. And with Tina Fay and Jason Bateman it should be pretty good, right?

As it turns out, a subplot develops when Bateman's character catches his wife cheating at the beginning. He calls it quits and heads home for the funeral. Then out of the blue, his wife shows up to reveal to him that she's pregnant after a long battle with pregnancy loss and infertility. Strike one. Next, she calls to say she is bleeding and goes to the hospital expecting to be miscarrying again. But this is a movie, so of course her ultrasound shows that everything is actually fine. Strike two. Cut to a scene after the hospital where she pulls out her ultrasound image and announces it's a girl. It was at this point that I leaned over to Troy to ask if this was some kind of sick joke. How is this even a subplot for a movie about holding Shiva after a father's funeral?!

Later in October, I was trying to force myself out of the house a bit and made a movie date with my dad to see St.Vincent. This movie is about a grumpy older man and the bond he forms with a neighbor boy. Safe enough. But no. This grumpy old man is a patron at a strip club, and his female interest there discovers she's pregnant. On accident. Oh, and it's a girl. And this woman's pregnancy becomes a secondary plot, so I get to watch her belly grow until the movie culminates with the delivery. Seriously, universe?

Friday, February 13, 2015

Three Month Angelversary

January 5, 2015
Dear Olivia,

We have come to your three month angelversary. This means you have been gone as long as we knew about you, and from now on, you will have been gone longer than we knew you were with us.  

Ella still talks about you often. Out of the blue she will ask where you are. Where heaven is. Whether you wear clothes in heaven. Who you are with. She asks to kiss you in my necklace. You have made such an impact on her. I can also count on Ella to remind me that I have three daughters and she has two sisters. She now also talks about another baby someday but it's clear she'll never forget about you.

This month also brought the end of 2014. New Year’s was harder than I expected it to be. It marked the end of your year. The year you were conceived. The year we watched you grow. The year we happily announced your upcoming arrival. The year we found out and shared that you would be our third daughter. The year we lost you. The year we held you.

What hasn’t ended with your year is our love for you. That will live on for the rest of our lives.


Thursday, February 12, 2015


January 1, 2015

This month, I spent a lot of time reading memoirs. I started with Heaven is for Real and ended with Off Balance by Dominique Moceanu. In the middle I read two by mothers who have also experienced the loss of a child. One (Rare Bird) lost her 12 year-old son in a flash flood while he was playing in the late summer rain. Another (Not What We Were Expecting) had more similar experiences to ours. She has had multiple pregnancy losses including the trauma of late loss. What is amazing is that even though our experiences are all unique, the feelings during grief are shockingly similar. There are so many things the mother who lost her 12 year-old son said that I had written in my own words. I also related to the words of the mother who has had pregnancy loss.

Some people I’ve talked to can’t believe I’m choosing to read these books. “How can you surround yourself with so much pain?” they ask. But the truth is I find comfort in knowing there are people who get it. There are people who can speak about what I’m thinking and feeling. There are people who survive the pain and can carry on--changed forever, but not broken.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Don’t Let the Door Hit You

January 1, 2015 1:30 am

Buh bye 2014. No offense, but you sucked! Instead of happily ushering in the new year and knowing that this is the year I would have my baby, I am back at ground zero. Not pregnant, and certainly not 2.5 months from delivering my baby. Good riddance to the year that gave me what I can only hope will be my biggest hurdle.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Symbolism of the Violet

December 29, 2014

At my last grief counselor appointment, my counselor mentioned that she had done some research on the symbolism behind violet--the flower and the color. She explained that she found quite a bit of meaning that has led her to believe it was no accident that we chose this symbol for Olivia. (You may recall that we decided on this symbol during the first few days after we learned Olivia had died. I suggested to Troy that we should use the flower as her symbol since I did not want to use it as her name as he had suggested.) So tonight, I am looked for myself. These are the copied and pasted tidbits that stood out and are meaningful to me.

-Folklore says the violet connotes a love that is delicate. (What could be more delicate than my tiny baby?)

-In mythology, Diana changed a nymph into a violet to protect her. (Olivia is now safe from any harm.)

-The violet does have a more sobering side, though, in that the flower is associated with death--and resurrection. (We had no idea the flower had anything to do with death)

-a meaning for violet of death too soon (whoah!)

-Few flowers have symbolized the renewal of spring, and the triumphs and tribulations of love, as much as the violet. (Here's the idea of rebirth again.)

-Both Greeks and Romans associated violets with funerals and death. Violets were routinely scattered around tombs, and, as symbols of innocence and modesty, children’s graves were routinely so blanketed with violets that the grave was completely covered. (Wow, specifically associated with children's deaths?!)

-One ancient tale states that violets were in fact white until Mary was filled with anguish from watching her son, Christ, suffer upon the Cross. At this moment all the white violets turned purple to echo her mourning. Perhaps this is a reason why purple remains a color associated with mourning. (I can relate to how Mary must have felt.)

-From the 16th Century, the violet's use as a pain reliever was extensive, since it is among the few plants to contain salicylic acid, the chief ingredient in aspirin. (Crazy! I have been taking a low dose of aspirin for the last month since it seems to have some empirical benefit for recurrent loss)

-White violets - depict...the desire to "take a chance on happiness" (Well, that's what we're choosing to do by trying again.)

-Violets are the perfect sentiment that says to someone "you are unique, special, and part of a perfect whole." (I'm not sure about heaven,but if Olivia is there,she is whole now.)

-Longfellow: “purple violets lurk among all the lovely children of the shade” (I interpret this as shade being death.)

-The poet Shelly uses the flower to commemorate the grief of a lost love in the poem "On a Faded Violet."

The odour from the flower is gone
Which like thy kisses breathed on me;
The colour from the flower is flown
Which glowed of thee and only thee.
A shrivelled, lifeless, vacant form,
It lies on my abandoned breast,

And mocks the heart which yet is warm,
I weep--my tears revive it not!
I sigh--it breathes no more on me;
Its mute and uncomplaining lot
Is such as mine should be.
(What more can I say?)

Added February 10, 2015:
This violet was a gift from my coworkers that thrived for weeks with beautiful blooms. It was pretty much at its height of beauty for Olivia's memorial on November 23rd. Then the blooms stopped coming but the plant continued to grow many new leaves so I knew it was still doing well. I transferred the plant to a violet pot given to us by one of Troy's coworkers a while back. Just this week it has started growing buds again!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Children’s Literature

December 29, 2014
There was a day a month and a half or so ago that a list of quotes from children’s literature kept popping up in my Facebook feed. I’m a language arts teacher and love children’s literature, so I was immediately drawn to it.  I was surprised how many of the quotes on the list spoke to me. I found meaning relating to the loss of Olivia in quite a few from the list and then actively searched out more from Winnie the Pooh when I realized just how many of those seemed to describe my feelings.

“A person’s a person no matter how small.” ~Dr. Seuss, Horton Hears a Who

“Numbing the pain for awhile will only make it worse when you feel it.” ~J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

“It’s no use to go back to yesterday because I was a different person then.” ~ Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

“Once you are real you can’t become unreal again. It lasts for always.” ~Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit

“Promise me you’ll remember, you are BRAVER than you believe, STRONGER than you seem, SMARTER than you think.”

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”

“Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.”

“If there ever comes a day when we can’t be together, keep me in your heart. I’ll stay there forever.”

~A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh

Sunday, February 8, 2015

A Slap in the Face

December 24, 2014

Why is it OK to force a mourning mother to sit in the waiting room of the doctor’s office with pregnant mothers while she waits for her follow-up appointment after a loss?

Why is it OK to just change an already-scheduled prenatal appointment into a follow-up to a loss? That appointment already had a positive association thankyouverymuch, and so it hurts even more to drag myself to the place that makes me sit with the pregnant people!

Since I have experience with both of these from previous losses, I now know how to stand up for what I need emotionally. This time I asked to be seen at a time least likely to expose me to bulging bellies. My doctor agreed to bring me in as they were closing, although I still was forced to see two pregnant women while sitting in the waiting room. I also requested to change the appointment by one day just to avoid the extra pain of knowing what the appointment should have/would have been (my 20 week appointment that we had scheduled at 12 weeks to make sure to get a good time.)  

But I guess I feel I shouldn’t have had to learn from experience to stand up for myself. These seem like common sense. Wouldn’t a different entrance or at the very least being taken directly to the privacy of the exam room be a little more thoughtful and considerate of the situation?

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Going Through the Motions

December 21, 2014

As I’ve mentioned before, time just keeps on coming. The holidays have come quickly and I’m not ready. I’m not in the mood to shop (and that is usually a favorite past time). I even skipped Black Friday shopping, a tradition I’ve enjoyed for years. It was about the time of Thanksgiving that I realized I really hadn’t done any shopping yet. Luckily I was able to just go online and buy anything I could possibly need to gift. Packages have been coming nearly every day since.  

We started the Elf on the Shelf tradition a few years ago and used to take great pride in our elf’s antics. This year, nearly every night I forget to do anything at all. I then rush downstairs in the middle of the night or early in the morning to just move the elf to a new location. No snowball fights with cotton balls. No forts out of blocks. No flour footprints. It’s all I can do to just move the thing.

On our last day of school yesterday, the teachers put on a dance through the decades. I would normally be right there with them making a fool of myself for the students’ benefit. Instead, I sat and watched from the stands. My heart wasn’t in it, and I fought hard to keep my tears at bay as I watched from the sidelines and thought about how different things are this year than they were supposed to be.

Then come the gatherings. They each force me into a situation with a bunch of people I haven’t seen or spoken to since losing Olivia. I feel that sense of being conspicuous again. I’m not sure which is worse: worrying that everyone is thinking about our loss when they look at me or the reality that most don’t say anything at all about her.

Today we were supposed to bake cookies at my mom’s house. Another motion that I’m supposed to do. I decided earlier this week that rather than make dough, roll it out, cut it into shapes, and bake it, all before decorating, that I would, for the first time ever, buy the cutouts already baked at the store. When the kids couldn’t get their behavior in check we didn’t even do that.

The coming days will bring “celebration” after “celebration” and I’m not in the mood.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Returning Routines

December 21, 2014

There was a day a few weeks ago when I looked around and realized that we had finally made it back to our routines. We are actually planning and cooking meals. We are holding our kids accountable for their chores. We are running and (mostly) maintaining our household. And this combined with the craziness of December feels like a pretty big victory.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Right on the Surface

December 21, 2014

The tears sit
right behind my eyelids.

I fight them back.

I can keep them at bay
for only seconds,
sometimes minutes.

On Friday
I kept them back
for two hours
the students left!

But inevitably
the tears

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

They Asked!

December 21, 2014
While my brother was in town, three of my aunts came to visit. My two year-old nephew is quite the draw!  It was the first time I’d seen them since everything changed. My emotions got the best of me right when they walked in. We hugged, I cried, and then they got to visit with the little one.

Toward the end of their visit, my Aunt Kate asked if I wanted to share anything of Olivia’s with her. YES! We went upstairs and I pulled out all of her belongings: her urn, book, pictures, memory box from the hospital, and more. I started to share, and a few minutes later, Aunt Meg and Aunt Mary were knocking at the door and asking to join us. The four of us sat in a circle on my bedroom floor and I shared Olivia’s story while surrounded by the strength of the women in my family.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Sensory Overload

December 21, 2014

I came home from a Friday evening of dance to a gathering of my family. My brother Adam and his family had come to town for Olivia’s memorial, and that drew my mom, step-dad and younger siblings to our house too. I knew everyone would be there when I got home and really hadn’t given it much thought.

But the second I got home, I noticed all the LIGHT. I think every light on the first floor was on. And the NOISE. So many people were talking and visiting. I immediately felt overwhelmed. One small thing after another quickly built up. I lashed out at my mom, one of the people I have gotten the most support from. Then I grabbed my brother and rushed upstairs just as the tears erupted.  

Monday, February 2, 2015

Grasping at Straws

December 15, 2014

Our two successful pregnancies came right on the heels of losses. I have wondered if maybe my body needs a trial run before really being ready to carry a baby to term. Maybe this is why we’ve had three losses in a row now--there was at least a year between each of my last three pregnancies.

Well, while talking with someone who has also had multiple losses, she mentioned in passing something about a six month window after a loss. I immediately picked up on this and asked her to elaborate. Apparently, her doctor has suggested that pregnancy outcomes are better within six months of a loss. Who knows if there is any research to back this up, but at this point I am grasping at straws for hope, and I’ll take it. The countdown is on.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Spur of the Moment

December 15, 2014

Today was a final last-ditch effort to figure out what causes our losses. Going in, we were told that there was a 5% chance that this test would have an abnormal result. As expected everything was normal. We are officially part of the 50% or more couples who have no known reason for their losses.

We’ve been planning to start fresh on our journey to have a third child in January, but now that we have the last test taken and the (lack of) results, I don’t see any reason to wait any longer to try again.