Saturday, October 13, 2012

bumpy kinda week

So this week has been a bit of a roller coaster.  I found out that I failed my glucose test and have gestational diabetes.  For many of you reading this, it's not a big happens.  It's a HUGE deal to me. 

So many emotions have come and gone since then.  While the internet can provide some good info, it can also terrify you.  I could check off most of the "you are at a high risk for gestational diabetes if" boxes...I hadn't lost the weight from Kiernan before getting pregnant again, so check.  Strong family history of type 2...again, check.  Previous unexplained stillbirth...check.  I think the only box I didn't fit in was the African-American/Asian one. might say..ok..all you have to do is not eat sweets.  Done..there ya go.  It's not that easy.  It's a very emotional diagnosis for me.  I've always been sensitive about my weight, and have to work very hard at it.  It's not easy for me.  About 3 years ago, I lost 50 pounds.  I look back at those pictures now and love how I looked and how I felt..of course, at the time, I still didn't think it was enough.  I'm not very kind to myself when it comes to weight.  Then my car accident happened, and no more working out for 10 months...then I started back, and got pregnant.  Miscarriage plus D/ working out for 6 weeks.  Then we moved to Bama..hello TONS of food they don't have in New England!  Then pregnant again...then stillbirth/world working out for 6 weeks...except oops!  Preggo again in 5! 

All I could think about when I heard about GD was how much I blamed myself.  If I hadn't gained some of my weight back maybe I wouldn't be here now.  Yes, I know, people of all shapes and sizes get GD.  However, it's different for me in my own head.  I totally blame myself.  Then I started doing research online.  I read one little article how sometimes in previous pregnancies you can get a false negative on a glucose test, or be borderline (which I was borderline).  It went on to say how GD can cause respiratory problems in babies, and can even cause death, before or right after birth.  There it was.  That one little sentences sent me into the biggest tailspin.  All I could think about was maybe I was responsible for Kiernan's death.  Maybe I killed him.  You may think it's silly and ridiculous that that thought ever crossed my mind.  But, I guess I"ll never stop searching for a reason it happened.  It will always be in the back of my mind.  Ever since the second I found out he was gone, I've felt somewhat responsible...because it was my body that was supposed to keep him safe and sound and healthy..and didn't.  Now, even while I feel Elleigh kicking like crazy this morning, the "is it going to happen again" thought creeps into my mind more and more.  It's a catch 22....we are getting so close to having our little girl with us (As a side note...Steve says she has to have a tutu in every color!)..but then again, we are so much close to when we lost Kiernan. 

But I digress.  I wasn't going to tell anyone about GD.  I'm ashamed because I think I could have done better and maybe stopped this from happening.  Maybe I couldn't have.  But, either way, it's done.  It's here.  So, there are some major changes going on in our home.  I'm thankful to have a doctor who is keeping such a close eye on us.  I'm thankful that my insurance is paying for me to go to a class and learn more about what I need to do (instead of doing scary research online).  But mostly, super thankful for a husband who is willing to change eating habits with me.  While we both have been wanting to change but seriously lacking motivation...this was the kick we needed.  If we can get through everything else we've been through, we can get through this too. 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

the ups and the downs

So much has been going on in our lives since I last blogged.  It seems like I think about blogging a lot, however, when I get home, I crash!

Several friends have had highs and lows lately.  A friend of mine, a friend I haven't seen in too long, lost her sweet baby about a month ago.  Her twin sister has been in and out of the hospital with what I"m assuming is the same thing.  I can't imagine what this sweet mommy and daddy are going through.  They day I found out that Laurel had died, was the first time I had looked at her pictures on facebook, not knowing what had happened yet.  After Kiernan died, I went into self preservation mode I guess.  If anyone had had a baby recently, I had turned off the option to see their pictures.  I just couldn't bare it. That Saturday morning, I decided I could do it.  I wanted to see her babies, and so many others.  I sent their mom a message, saying how beautiful they were.  An hour later, if that, I found out Laurel had died.  I felt horrible that I had sent that message.  I still, of course, think they are beautiful.  I feel guilty that I waited 8 months to see their pictures.   I feel guilty I never met the girls.  Their mom was so good to me through both my miscarriage and through Kiernan's death.  Going to Laurel's visitation was one of the hardest things I've done.  However, I hope that on some minute scale I helped and showed my thankfulness to how good that family was to us in our sad times.

A coworker lost her twins at 14 weeks this week.  Her son was stillborn, but her daughter's heart was still beating.  However, because they were only 14 weeks, she couldn't survive.  It breaks my heart for her.  I hate that she will come back to work on Monday, and will see my pregnant belly.  I hate that I will be a reminder to her. 

Both of these things, but more so the first story, has sent me into a bit of a tail spin at times.  It terrifies me to really grasp how short life is.  How there are no guarantees.  No promises.  There have been several trips to the doctor's office, just for reassurance.  It somewhat helps that now Elleigh is moving pretty consistently.  Some days though, I have to stop and think...has she moved today? Have I felt her?  Or I have I just been too busy that I haven't noticed it?  Thankfully, every time I have started my internal battle of this, she's given me a swift kick to remind me she's ok.  I had an ultrasound this week and Elleigh wasn't very cooperative.  If it had been our 4D, we wouldn't have been able to see her.  She was all balled up with her back to us.  Every time the tech would tap on my belly to try to get her to move, she hit back.  I couldn't help but laugh...stubborn little thing!  Thankfully, on the 30th we have another growth ultrasound, and if she's in a  good position, then they will flip on the 4D option.  PS--we are having monthly growth ultrasounds because sometimes a baby after stillborn is very small and has growth problems.  So far, she's right on the mark. 

I've had some wild emotions lately.  Some days I just want to cry.  I just want to close my eyes, and wake up with this pregnancy over and a baby in my arms.  Some days I just think what if this doesn't happen?  How will we ever survive it? But, I try to not dwell on it.  I try to think of all the wonderful things that are to come.  I cry if I need to, but for whatever reason, I still try to just deal with it inside. I thought the question "Is this your first baby?" would get hasn't.  Especially working in a population that has memory issues and forgets my answer!  I still am trying to be the happy go lucky girl I used to be. Some times that is possible.  Other times it's not.  I guess only time can truly heal. 

Onto some good news...a friend got news that her numbers are great, and she is cancer free.  I'm so excited for her and her family.  She's been such a rock for me through out everything...a guaranteed laugh no what the situation or time.  I'm truly grateful for her and ecstatic over her good news!

As if life wasn't stressful enough, we are building a house.  I'm so excited about it.  I'm sure our realtor is ready to be rid of us (I've had LOTS of questions!)!  We are building in Owens Cross Roads, outside of Huntsville.  Steve is excited it's about 6 minutes from Guntersville Dam.  Ha!  Hopefully we will close before Elleigh gets here!

Well, that's all for now...I think I've gotten everything out that I've wanted to or thought about.  As October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness all those others who belong in our 'club', thoughts and hugs go out...

Sunday, September 2, 2012

6 months....

Dear Son,

Today is Sept 2, 2012.  You should be 6 months old.  You should be a fat happy baby, giggling and crying, while your daddy and I decide who you look like more.  Instead, I sit here and miss you more every single day.  You lay nestled in a blue velvet box in the top of our closet instead of snuggling me with my cup of coffee.

We had so many dreams for you.  From the moment that we found out we were pregnant with you.  Your daddy dreamed of taking you fishing and teaching you MMA moves.  You see, he said you had to do indoor sports because he hates the Alabama heat!  We all know that whatever you wanted would probably be what you got.  I dreamed of seeing you smile at me and wrap your arms around me..until it wasn't cool anymore of course.  Your daddy bought me a ring with your birthstone in it. It's beautiful and I still wear it almost every day.  My thoughts for that ring were that one day you could pass it on to your wife or one of your children.  Kind of a keep it in the family kind of thing. 

I know family and friends probably don't think of you every day like I do.  And that's ok.  I'm your mommy.  I'm supposed to think of you every day.  And I do.  I have pretty good days now, and am working on not feeling guilty about that.  Sometimes I do...I think that if I'm happy and laughing people will think I'm not missing you anymore.  But, you know that's different....or I hope you do.  But I will always always miss you.  I will never understand why you can't be here with us. And I"ll never like it or be ok with it.  While there are still really bad days, really sad days, it is getting easier.  Easier in that you being gone doesn't consume me every single millisecond of the day. 

In about 4 months, you will have a little brother or sister. Right now, I'm so scared that he or she will be taken away from me too.  He or she may have to stay in the hospital longer because we are going to have her a little early.  Her...see...somewhere inside me I think it's a baby sister for you. Don't worry, we will tell her all about you and she will never ever take your place.  She will just share it.  If it's a brother, it'll be the same way!  I know you are watching over us and rooting us on.  I just wish so bad you were here. 

I know several other mommies who's babies are in heaven with you.  I know Jack is there, and now baby Laurel is there.  I hope you guys are together and I'm going to believe that you are.  Just know, that today, like every day, mommy and daddy love you, and miss you.  We wish we could tell you face to face and didn't have to write about it.  You will always be my son, and you will always be missed and loved. 

Hugs and Kisses,

Thursday, August 16, 2012

fake it til you make it...

So, let me get it out of the way that this is probably a venting session for me.  Or a cry my eyes out session. Or both.'ve been warned. 

*Sigh.  I don't even know where to begin.  Some days I feel ok.  On the days that I don't feel ok, I feel the overwhelming need to fake it and pretend that I'm A-ok.  Sometimes I'm not.  Sometimes I am.  At times that's at home, around friends and family, at work, heck at Walmart.  It knows no boundaries, no limitations.  I feel when I'm anywhere but alone, that I have to put a smile on my face and be ok.  There are times when I'm good at it and times when I'm sure that someone is going to call my bluff. Little do they know, if they did, I would burst into tears. 

Pregnancy is supposed to be a joyful time.  It's supposed to be a time when you are all smiles and glowing.  It's supposed to be a time with no worries and everything is perfect.  The biggest concerns should be agreeing on a name, picking out clothes and furniture.  For me, none of that is there.  If I'm getting real honest, we rarely talk about it.  I think I talk about it more at work, and that's usually after they've asked me questions.  I don't really initiate talk.  We shy away from it at home.  The crib is still under the bed, taken apart.  Kiernan's clothes are still in the closet.  Everything is still packed away. I cry alot...alot more than last pregnancy.  I like to think that alot of that is just the hormones.  But I know that the other "alot" of it is our history.  Pregnancy for me is defined as an ongoing terror.  An ongoing suspense movie where you continually ask what's around the next corner. 

If anything good came out of our situation, it's I met Dr. Callison.  I know if you read any of my posts you are probably so sick of hearing me sing her praises, but it's all true.  I had my regular appointment today, and was crying before I even saw her.  Some of you know, last week, while at the dr's office (seeing the nurse practioner) for a sinus infection, they couldn't find the heartbeat.  I freaked out, immediately bawling my eyes out.  Ultrasound found it immediately and all was ok. The NP's response after I apologized was "Don't freak out until you have a reason."  I probably not so politely informed her we've already been through the worst.  So today, when I walked through that door, I'm already freaking out a bit.  Kim, the nurse, asked me how I was.  All I could say was "I'm ok".  She totally got it and said "Ok is good.  I'll take it."  After I explained what happened last week, Kim got a little nervous about finding the heartbeat, but she found it immediately and it was nice and strong.  I, again, just had tears welling up.  I wish I didn't have to go through this pregnancy, but get the results.  Sometimes, specifically lately because I feel like I'm crying all the time, I feel so weak.  I feel like "the crying girl" is what defines me.  I never imagined that's who I'd be.  I don't want to be her.  Dr. C just held my hand and told me she wished she could just put me into a coma and wake me up and it be Dec 31. 

I am feeling baby move, but it's not constant yet...which is normal.  BUT, when I feel the baby, then don't for a day or so, my mind immediately goes into "oh crap what's wrong?".  Today I have an ache in my back...what's my first thought?  Back pain=miscarriage...this is what's happening.  I can't help it.  I try.  I really do, but I can't stop my mind from going in that direction.  I told Dr. C about all of this today, and she assured me it's normal for a person who has been through what we have.  Some days it seems like so long ago, and other times it seems like it was just yesterday.  I don't know the last time I slept all night.  I  can more easily ignore my thoughts during the day.  As soon as I close my book and turn the lights off to go to sleep, my brain is in over drive.  Then I'm exhausted, which makes me more likely to cry...never ending stupid cycle. 

I had a patient ask me today the "dreaded question".  Is this your first?  I hesitated for a second, and told her no and left it at that.  Later, when it was just the 2 of us, I explained what happened, without tears, and it felt good for me.  Then, another patient (who is a repeat customer for us...she was on my caseload when everything happened) on my caseload said hi to me, and took my hand and told me how sorry she was that Kiernan died, and how all my friends and patients felt the pain with me.  It was the sweetest thing to say  and I almost lost it.  For those of you who have grieved with me, thank you for your support and being there for us.

Now, all this being said, please understand we are both extremely happy to be pregnant.  Over the moon.  There are just so many fears that go along with it this go around.  I hope that once the movements get more regular,and then we start the bi weekly fetal heart monitoring it will help ease some of the thoughts that loop through my head.  And I do have good days, and good moments on the bad days. I don't want it to come across that I"m all gloom and doom.  I'm just more gloom and doom than I was before.  The first pregnancy I was just naive.  Then miscarriage happens.  Then pregnancy #2...after passing the miscarriage point, everything was nothing but roses.  Then at 38 weeks,our world crashed and burned.  Now being pregnant again, it's hard to let myself get excited.  I feel like I've been on a losing streak and I'm scared to jinx myself into thinking that the streak is coming to an end.  Someone at work the other day said at least when I had my baby it would replace the loss.  No baby will ever EVER replace my son.  He will always be my first born.  He will always be in my heart.  But, there is room for another baby in my heart, just like other people have more than one child and love them equally. patient with both us.  Remember us in your thoughts, prayers, good vibes, whatever you do.  Know that even we don't demonstrate it, we are happy and thankful and over the moon about baby. 

I'm done venting for the night..and onto bed, a book, and knowing tomorrow is not only Friday, but PAY DAY Friday (who am I kidding, it's already gone before it gets deposited!)......

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Sometimes vaca gives you time to think!

So, we just got back from a week at the beach with my sister, brother in law, and their 2 kids. We had a blast!  We spent time in both Destin and Fort Walton Beach FL.  The water was crystal clear blue, the weather was perfect.  Steve got to eat a lot of seafood...something that doesn't happen to often because he wants it fresh and can't cook it in the house.  As Rebekah (my sister) says, if it swims, I don't eat it!  I did relearn to wear a hat at the beach!  My head is super sunburned and itches like crazy!  I felt bad to go get my hair cut yesterday!  We found some great sunglasses and had fun trying them on at Kitty Hawk Kites at the Crab Trap.

Coolest. Sunglasses. Ever.

If you are ever in that area, McGuires Irish Pub is a must!  The food was delicious...and Steve and Tom say the beer was too....Next time!

Me and Steve at McGuires--it's in black and white because we have coon eyes so bad from the beach!  

 I only got teary one day.  I was sitting on the beach in the evening reading a book.  The book came to a part about a baby boy and it just kinda hit me that this vacation had been planned for about a year, and it was very different than I had originally envisioned it.  It's not that we don't think of Kiernan or miss him every day, but honestly, life moves on.  I can't let myself wallow, because it would definitely be easy to do so.  

I overheard one of my patients the other day say something about I didn't act very excited to be pregnant.  Just in case there is any doubt, I am...very much so. When we found out we were preggo with K, after we passed that 12 week mark (that's when I miscarried the first time), then got into the second trimester, there was really no fear.  Stillbirth had never entered my mind.  Why would it?  My pregnancy was perfect except for some over the top swelling towards the end.  Now, we passed that 12 week mark, we are well into the second trimester, but that fear is still there, and my dr says probably will remain so until we hold that baby in our arms.  Then the fear will switch to something else.  It does help that there has been some extra tests done and extra ultrasounds.  I'm not sure if I reported back from the high risk doctor, but the ultrasound was great, and the blood work came back for Down's, Trisomy 13 and chances of having any of those are lower than the average persons, so that's great news.  I go back next week for more blood work to test for spina bifida.  I also had a follow up with Dr. Callison...her nurse Kim cracks me up. She was gonna strap the baby heart monitor on me, then proceeded to say "Don't freak out if we can't hear anything..sometimes we don't this early with this thing" I just looked at her and kinda smiled. She was like "Just tell me to shut up cause I know you will freak out and I am not going to be responsible for that!"  She left and came back, and ultrasound was empty so off we went.  All was perfect.  I go back to Dr. C in 2 weeks.  I can't believe we are starting month 5! At times it's flying by, and others it's dragging.  Both ultrasound techs (one at the high risk dr office and one at Dr. C's off) have given their best guess right now (we don't have the gender ultrasound til Sept), on 2 separate occasions, and both say girl.  While we will be ecstatic with either...we just want a healthy baby...a part of me thinks a girl will kind of be a clean start.  If it is a girl, her name will be Ellie Makenna.  We are still throwing around boy names....can't totally agree on one...maybe there is a reason???!!!  I however will NOT EVER name my child Imminent (first name) Danger (middle name) as Steve suggests!  Does he not know we already have the Ward luck?  Lol! 

So, not alot going on here.  Not alot of interesting things to say on the blog...just thought I'd give a quick update...

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

3rd time's a charm....right?????

It's been a while since I've blogged. Maybe after reading this you will understand.  I have mixed feelings writing this one.  So much has happened in our lives the past few months.  Here's a quick recap...

Most of you know about Kiernan.  If not, our son was stillborn at 38 weeks.  We have no reason why, and most likely, never will.  Not a day goes by that I don't wish with everything I have that he was here with me.  Several of my friends have either had having one RIGHT NOW...or has announced they are pregnant.  I am so happy for them and wish them nothing but the best.  However, sometimes at those low moments, it's just a reminder of what could have been.  I apologize to those friends that I haven't really been there for, or those that I've pushed away a bit.  Slowly, my heart is healing to the point that it can, and I hope I am too. 

We rescued a kitten, Sophie.  It was estimated she was about 2 weeks when we got her.  We've had to bottle feed her...introduce her to real food..litter box is still in progress!  Finn loves her...Steve came home today and they were both cuddled up on a blanket in the recliner sleeping together.  -*llllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllkllk...that was Sophie walking across the keyboard! She's starting to be quite the fiesty one.

 We celebrated our 2 year anniversary on Monday.  What a great man I have married.  I can't even begin to say how much I love him.  Hopefully, he knows.  He's been there for good and bad, ups and downs.  He'll never let me live down that I said I was outdoorsy--so what if my version was outdoors with a margarita and his was rock climbing--no gear--over the cliffs over the Atlantic!  We had a planned elopement (I'm too anal to have not planned it out) in Vermont. We stayed at an awesome B&B called the Snow Goose Inn.  They had wine and cheese every evening...we hiked and played tourists in near by towns.  Saw a moose...again!  We took the ski lift to the top of the mountain and exchanged vows up there.  It was magical.  I think we'd agree though that besides getting married, the in house maple cured bacon was our favorite part!!!

For the grand finale...we are pregnant. Can you see his/her hand up by her face with eye, nose, and mouth?  The bright white line at the bottom is the spine...

  I've struggled with keeping it a secret vs telling.  I don't want to hurt anyone who may be going through a difficult time with their own pregnancy...and I'm almost scared to be excited and happy to tell the world incase something goes wrong. Again.  But, Steve and I decided that so many of you celebrated Kiernan's life with us, and were there for us during his death.  We want this baby to have the same support, no matter how long their life is...whether it's til tomorrow, or til they are 80.  So many mixed emotions!  Every ache every pain, I'm instantly terrified that I'm miscarrying or that something isn't normal.  Like I've told Dr. Callison, I can be a HOT MESS with this go around.  But 3 time is a charm right? As of right now, I'm 13 weeks.  I've had 3 ultrasounds, with everything being normal.  Today, I had my high risk appointment with Dr Gonzales-Ruiz of Bham (he comes to Hville x1 week).  I was a nervous wreck....I didn't know what to expect and I was terrified of any bad news.  If I don't see a baby right away on the US I automatically think nothing is there and am instantly terrified.  Thankfully, there was!  Their US was a little different than what they use at the dr's office...little more indepth.  I didn't really know at the time, but they were looking for any chromosomal abnormalities as well as any heart or brain defects.  I got to see the baby jumping around and covering his/her face with their hands.  The heartbeat was strong and steady.  They checked the heart valves and I got to see the blood pumping in and out of the vessels.  It was really pretty cool.  I'm glad they know what they are looking at because half of the time I didn't.  The spine looked good as well.  Dr. GR said there was nothing per the US that caused him any concern, and that all looked normal.  I had some blood work done today as well, and that will be a back up for the US.  I guess this is the new and improved way instead of an amnio.  If anything indicated any problems, then I had be scheduled for one of those, but thankfully, I don't have to be!  I go see Dr. Callison next week.  The plan is still the same.  I will be having monthly ultrasounds.  I will get a steroid shot at 32 weeks to mature the lungs faster.  I will also start bi weekly fetal heart monitoring at the hospital. As of right now, we will be planning for a birthday party on Dec 31. 

If I've learned anything the past few months, it's to be a little more assertive in what I need or want from others.  Some of you may not think it's the time, or that we are ready.  I ask that you please just keep that to yourself.  While we weren't planning this this quickly, we are ecstatic, and nervous, and everything in between. We ask that you pray for us, think about us, and support us on our journey.  I hope to keep up with things a bit more here now that the secret is out. 

They even had a guess as to whether it's gonna be Ellie or Caeden!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Just a normal day...

This post could get interesting!  I just took a Tylenol PM for my killer headache...couldn't find the regular it is! 

I'm going to venture off from my usual a bit.  So many things have happened recently that have reminded me that while we have suffered a horrible, great loss, we still have so many things to be thankful for.

A friend of mine's step son (like that run on?) is currently at Walter Reed Hospital recovering after being in a horrible accident in Afghanistan.  I'm not sure of all the details, but the damage was from an IED.  He had to have both of his legs amputated.  His attitude from his FB page (Prayers for Josh Wetzel) is amazing and humbling.  I can't imagine what his wife and family went through in those first few hours not having a complete picture of what was going on so far away.  I thank Josh, and his family, so much for his sacrifice and his service to our country. 

Along the same line of military, I am a speech pathologist at a rehab facility that has a high majority of retired military.  I'll never forget one of my favorite patients...he loved baseball and you had to use the stats to get him to do therapy!  But he was a Master Chief in the Navy.  He always had some interesting stories!  Another patient of mine is hilarious!  I know that as soon as he shows up I'm going to laugh my head off during therapy.  I have a wonderful student intern right now and I think he tries to embarrass her sometimes.  Here in Huntsville, AL, "space" is a huge industry.  He worked on the rockets and shuttles and gave me a great history lesson today on space "stuff".  I even tried to lock him down on if there were aliens, UFO's, and what the heck Area 51 is all about.  We talked about the "big moments" he's witnessed through out his life....the Depression, wars, JFK's assassination, the Challenger explosion, 9/11.  After he left today, my boss asked me if I knew that he (my patient) had been one of the first people on the ground after the Atomic Bomb.  He doesn't talk about it often.  I can't imagine what the people that stand up for our country truly go through.  I am not from an immediate military family, but am truly humbled and thankful for what our military does.  You don't have to agree with the war.  You don't have to agree with who is President or what we are doing.  However, I do think that you should support and be proud of our military.  They are doing their job, and I know that I honestly couldn't do it.  They are the reason you can complain so. 

I love my job.  I am guaranteed a laugh every day.  Some of these people I work with in therapy are great.  I've been propositioned 5 shiny new pennies to kiss my belly button....I had a 90 year old man grab my butt one day and when asked why he did it, he shrugged his shoulders and said "what do I have to lose?" ha! I had a wonderful patient with me (she was a teacher at my high school!) when I got the call about Kiernan's autopsy report.  She even cried with me.  I'm just so thankful to have a job that I enjoy, coworkers that I look forward to seeing every day, and patients that I feel like I can make a difference with.  It's such a rewarding feeling. 

Most of you know we have a new kitty at our house.  Her name is Sophie.  We rescued her and have been bottle feeding her.  She's so cute...but man does she have a temper when she is sleepy!  Right now we are trying to wean her from the bottle and over onto kitten's hard work!  She much prefers the milk..ha. 

Anyway...nothing earth shattering today.  I just wanted to write something that wasn't about poor me.  While I'll always miss Kiernan and I'll always wish stuff turned out different....."better" days have come about more often.  I feel more like myself, although I know there will always be a "before" and an "after" me.  I'm trying to accept that and move on, while remembering our sweet little boy every day.  Even if I had known that outcome, I would still have gone through it.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Father's Day...good, bad, and ugly...

 Just a note...alot of this is about my father.  Things I've never written before...things I've rarely shared before.  It's not pretty.

Well, today is Father's Day.  Just like Mother's Day, Steve and I had so many expectations for this day. Expectations that have not been lived up to.  I still remember the first time I told Steve I was pregnant.  We both cried...I was scared to tell him...we hadn't exactly planned it.  We were both so excited.  Then the miscarriage happened.  Devastation on both our parts. Then, 7 months later, I walk out of the bathroom to tell him again.  We weren't trying, but weren't weren't trying.  We had so much fun imagining what life was going to be like.  When we found out it was a boy, Steve couldn't even wait til the ultrasound was finished before he started texting people.  Kiernan was going to be his mini me.  I know Steve was/is somewhat nervous about being a dad.  I know there are reservations there, about doing what's right, what's fun, and raising a good human being.  I definitely have those same reservations.  I remember on the way to the hospital with Kiernan, he thought I was over reacting.  He wouldn't tell me that til later.  I tend to freak out sometimes.  But deep down, I knew something wasn't right.  I remember him holding me tight when we found out.  I remember how protective he became of anyone who spoke to me or had anything to do with me.

For me, Steve becoming a dad had a different feeling for me.  It was a chance of redemption for something I never had.  To be able to give my child a father who cares, a father who is going to be fair but fun, a father that is going to give a rip one way or another....that's something I could give my child by Steve being their father. 

I grew up with a father, not a dad.  I don't remember him being at piano recitals or softball games.  I don't remember him being present.  I do remember my mom having to shush us because he worked swing shift and we better not wake him up because he'd be angry.  That never hit home to me til later.  The older I got, I remember being scared of my dad in a different way than my mom.  Mom meant business, and you did what she said, or you knew that you'd get in trouble.  With him, it was different.  I can't put it into words, but it was something akin to fear.  Of what, I was never exactly sure.  Until one day.  I was away for the weekend with a friend.  When we got back to her house, her step dad told me Mom had called and I needed to go home. Now.  At home, my mom and granny met me on the front porch.  I remember my mom was black and blue.  I was told to be as quiet as possible and grab what I needed for a few days.  This was the first of many times.  My dad went into rehab.  Mom made us go visit and go to counseling there to learn about alcoholism and talk about our feelings.  Rebekah was in college by now, so most of the time it was just me.  Counseling did no good for me.  Not there.  In my opinion, it was very "oh the poor alcoholic...we should feel sorry for them in their disease". BS.  While it may develop into a "disease" of one ever made him pick up a drink.  No one held a gun to his head until he continued with the Wild Turkey.  Living in a small town, every one knew what was going on.  I was so embarrassed.  I remember when I left for college, I thought, one is going to know me as Rick Ryser's daughter. 

Things escalated when my mom filed for divorce.  So many things happened.  The church we went to, which was one of the bigger churches in our town, told my mom that divorce wasn't an option...she should take her vows seriously.  I left that church.  It's one thing to take your vows seriously.  She didn't take them for random beatings.  Sometime during this time, I told my mom and my sister that he didn't just hit mom.  I never wanted to tell...he always promised it would get worse if she knew.  I think because he knew that would be the end and she'd leave for good.  We did.  I remember backing out of the garage, clutching a box of Frosted Mini Wheats (random memory huh) with him beating on the car windows saying he'd win.  We went to my grandparent's house.  We had a rental house next door that we could move into, we just had to get the tenants out, and do some major cleaning first.  Through out this time, things got bad.  Really bad.  We had a protection order against my dad.  I can't begin to count the times my high school went under lock down because my dad showed up at school.  Everyone knew it was because of me.  I felt so ashamed and embarrassed.  I remember going back to our house to get clothes and stuff..and he was hiding inside.  I called 911, and he ripped the phone out of the wall.  I remember the cops not being able to come inside, because at the time, the law was he had to hit someone first.  Well, that finally happened.  In the blink of an eye he had thrown me into a wall with nails, and bit my grandmother's face.  The cops came barreling through the door and tackled him, handcuffing him.  His only response was "You broke my glasses". 

My junior and senior year of high school, I wasn't allowed to go anywhere alone.  I was the only kid allowed to carry a cell phone around.  I remember being at Sonic one night and a friend's dad came to get me, telling him there had been shooting at my house and I needed to come with him.  It was my granny shooting at my dad, because he'd shown up at our house.  Again.  I remember answering machine messages saying "Do you know where the girls are? If not, go check the back yard."  We were fine, but mom lived in constant fear.  She knew the way for him to hurt her the most was through us.  I remember her van being stolen.  He stole it and left it in a parking lot to see how long it took her to find out.  I remember waking up one night hearing something at the window.  It was him holding up the phone line he'd just cut.  We then had off duty policemen and family spending the night in the bushes so that mom and I might get some sleep.  I remember as soon as everyone was inside the church for my sister's wedding, the doors were locked and people patrolled the parking lot making sure he didn't show up.  Most of all, I remember having to go to DHR and having someone take pictures of bruises.  That someone was a friend's mom.  A teacher turned it in, as they are required by law...and it was fine...just one more of those things.  I remember sitting in court...still remember the red dress with white polka dots on it I wore...and having my dad turn around and call my mom a bitch and much much worse.  When brought to the judge's attention...he literally said "I didn't hear it".  Good ol' boy system?  One of the state troopers I knew was also there...also told the judge he heard it...and the judge repeated it.  I started to say something, and the trooper just told me to not stoop to my dad's level. 

I haven't spoken to my dad since I was about 16, and that was in court.  I got a couple of phone calls from him in college, but I'm not interested in a relationship with him.  My children will never know him.  I have had people tell me I will go to hell for this.  Bite me.  You go through it, it being that I didn't even write about 3/4 of what happened.  It's followed me forever, and I guess it always will.  It's not something I think about often, but when I do, I'm angry.  He doesn't deserve that energy, so I try to remember that.  I feel like when I lost my dad, I lost that side of the family too.  I don't know if it was just too much trouble to keep up with us (long distance), or if they didn't believe it was true.  I dont' know.  All I know, is that was the last time I ever heard from most of his side of the family.  I keep in touch with my aunt and her daughter, and another cousin.but that is it...and that's ok.  I had a guy in college who's mother didn't want him to date me.....not because I wasn't a good girl, or pretty, or smart.  But because I had an abusive dad.  I could turn out like him ya know.  I had my preacher's wife announce to the entire church when I wasn't there one time that parent's didn't need to let their kids be my friend because I had a drink on my senior trip.  I was going to be an alcoholic just like my father. She didn't bother to admit that her daughter was also drinking on that trip, as was most of the people there. 

Let me tell ya LOUD AND CLEAR...I am nothing like my father.  Nothing.  My husband will be a hell of a father...not only that...he'll be a hell of a daddy.  Anyone can be a father.  I had one of those.  Only certain men ever get to be a daddy.  I did not have one of those, but I have one of those for my future children.  Now I'm not bitter about no one is a good dad.  I have seen many examples of that...both of my brother in laws are GREAT daddy's! 

I love my husband more than anything...and want to give him the opportunity to raise a child more than anything.  Hopefully we will get our chance one day. 

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Being happy with the small things..

I have lots of wisdom to impart with today.  Ok. Not really, but I'm not falling apart, therefore today has been successful so far.  Even though today is the day it is, it's been a great weekend.  Let me explain my Friday night and wonderful husband....go jealous...

I came home from work a little early.  When I got home, Steve's car was already home.  All I could think about was...oh Lord...he pissed someone off and got sent home from work..ha!  I walked in the door to him yelling "No, no, aren't supposed to be home yet!".  He brought him clothes out and sent me walking.  So...I went and did the 2.5 mile loop around the lake...the weather was perfect!  Down south, you cherish those 75 degree days!  When I got home, all the lights and blinds were closed....there were candles covering every surface.  There was the sweetest card, and a glass of wine poured.  Steve was no where to be found.  There was a note that said to follow the candles, which were formed in an arrow towards the bedroom (don't's staying G-rated!).  Now, let me interrupt right here.  Steve screwed himself when were dating and engaged because he showed he could be super romantic.  I still have this framed thing where Steve wrote a reason why he loved me for every letter of the alphabet.  So I know what he's capable of!  Anyway...walk back towards the bedroom, more candle, music playing, and bubble bath ready..which was awesome after my walk! Oh--and I can't forget the sugar free chocolates!  Then we went and had dinner and wine at the Stem and Stein...our first time there, but we will definitely go back!  All in all, it was a great night.  I love the romantic stuff.  I need it.  It made me feel special, even though I know he thinks I"m special (and I mean special in a good way--ha!).

Today, it's actually been a pretty good day.  In all his romanticness yesterday, my house getting cleaned was I didn't have to do that today.  We spent the day with Finnigan up at Monte Sano state park and did a 3.5 mile loop.  It is such a beautiful day outside, being a whole lot cooler than normal...I'll take it!  I've teared up a couple of times, but it hasn't been a washout.

I've come to the realization that I will never be "over" Kiernan passing away.  I will never forget him...or the somersaults he used to do in my belly.  I'll never forget the pounding of his sweet little heartbeat or seeing those 4D ultrasounds.  I'm soooo thankful we spent the money and had that done.  I know one day I will cherish those pictures.  Right now I can't look at them.  So there are alot of good things to remember about Kiernan and I"ll cherish every one of those.  But on the other hand I'll always remember those horrible moments of finding out he was gone.  I can't be like some other people and be happy that he is in heaven and is now with God. Cause you know what? I don't really care, honestly.  I want him here, with me.  Strapped on his daddy's back while we went hiking today.  But, it's out of my control.  I think that is one of the hardest things for me..not being able to "control" things right now.

If you know me even a little, I"m a bit OCD, or even a control freak somewhat.  I can't control my emotions.  I'm trying to be patient with myself on so many levels, on being ok with crying one second and somewhat happy the next is one of those things.  I can't control my body and "getting back to normal", no matter how much I want to move on to the next phase. I can't control not wanting to see pictures of other people's babies, or the anger I feel towards some people who are pregnant.

 Some people know that I'm doing Weight Watchers again, and having a good time with it.  I'm eating better, being active more.  Those are two things that I CAN control out of all this chaos that has become my life.  It makes me feel good and successful at something, and I'll grasp onto anything that I can to feel that way right now.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The second is coming...

As the second of the month quickly approaches, I find myself slipping into that sad pattern....not wanting to do anything or go anywhere.  Just wanting to lay in bed and cry about how unfair life is right now.  It would be so easy to do that, but I refuse to let myself.  I may cry myself silly on the way to or from work, but then it's game face on.  I CAN get through this.  I don't really have a choice.  Life moves on.  Friends get pregnant and have their babies...even mothers who don't deserve to BE a mother.  Babies show up at work...on the cover of a magazine.  People complain about how their children are driving them crazy or how they haven't gotten a real night's sleep in a week or longer.  Some days I can sympathize with that.  Other days, I just want to say "You stupid moron!  Why are you complaining to ME about this? Don't you know what I would give up for that moment?"

I've talked to a couple of friends lately about not having much experience with being angry.  I think I've said it before, but some people just leave me feeling sad and empty about my own baby, but happy for them...other people getting that opportunity again and again and again BURNS ME UP.  I don't know how to deal with that.  I'm angry about so many things.  I feel cheated.  I want to see Kiernan smile and take his first step.  I want to see him roll his eyes when I tell him to clean up his room.  I want to meet his first girlfriend and be the mother of the groom.  I won't get to do any of that and it's just not fair.  Steve bought me a beautiful ring for Valentine's had K's birthstone in it.  All I could think about was giving it to him to give to his wife one day. That's never going to happen. I'm angry that I can't sleep, and it's not because I have a baby with colic or is hungry.  It's because once the lights go out, all I can think about is everything that's never going to happen.  A friend today told me that I have to embrace every emotion and understand that each emotion is me.  I can try to rationalize it, or "fix" it, but no matter what, it's still there and it's part of who I am now. There will always be a "pre Kiernan" Alyson, and a "post Kiernan" Alyson.  Losing my son, I can't go back to the happy go lucky girl I once was.  I have to trust that one day the pain won't be as fresh or in your face, but will be more of a remembrance of the short time we had him. 

Life has definitely moved on.  Some days I wonder if people even remember him.  I know it's unrealistic to expect people to think about him all the time, but I do.  We bought a special carrier just so Steve could carry him while we maintained our (new to me!) outdoor life of hiking and such.  Steve and I grieve so differently.  I know he misses K and would give anything to have him here, healthy, but there are days that I wonder if he misses him as much as I do.  Intellectually I know he does....he's going to be such a great father one day if we ever get the chance to raise a child.  With Father's Day coming up, I've thought about it a lot...this was my chance to show my child what life with a father who gave a shit could be like.  Because I don't know what that's like (Side note--I'm so going to get into trouble for writing the "s" word here...but if Steve said it, my mom would just look at him and shake her head). I've written something about my view on fatherhood and the difference in what mine was like vs what I envisioned for my child, but haven't had the guts to post it yet.  That's a level of vulnerability that I don't know if I'm quite up to yet.  Of course, it's probably just my mom and sister reading this, so it would be nothing they didn't already know.  Stay tuned and see I guess.

That's all I have for now.  I feel drained.  I'm going to go to bed and read my book even though it's not even 630 yet....

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Man up "Anonymous"

I received the following post on my blog this morning when I got up. It has bad language in it so I'm sorry in advance:

Why don't you quit your bitchin over how sad you are your kid is dead and admit whatever you did wrong that killed it.  Between that and your I'm fat posts it makes me want to stab myself in the eye.

My dearest Anonymous,

First, please feel free to repeatedly stab yourself in the eye over and over...and when you are done with that, proceed to any other part on your body that you would like.  I can think of a few if you need help.

Secondly, my child was not an "it". He was a beautiful little boy named Kiernan Patrick.

Thirdly, I don't know who the hell you think you are, obviously not much of anyone since you can't man up and sign your post by your name.  Coward. You obviously don't know me if you think for a split second of a second that I could or would harm my child.  Don't you think that between the tests that Huntsville Hospital ran, the Mayo Clinic, or even the autopsy would have found something? Cause God knows I would LOVE a freakin' answer.  I have so much to say to you, but I'm gonna keep it classy. Lord knows all I see right now is red and don't really trust the words coming out through my fingers. Trust me, I run things over and over in my head every single day.  Probably while you are sleeping, because I can't.  But, my questions run something like...Did that fingernail polish have something in it when I painted my toes?  What about when I touched up my hair color?  Did I eat enough veggies?  Did I get enough sleep? Too much?  I invite you to come spend five minutes with me. Just you and me.  Maybe we can settle the difference then.  It probably wouldn't take five minutes, but I'm sure I can think of something to fill up the time.  Then, I'll give you over to my husband, who was expecting a healthy little boy...then to my sister and my mom.  Then, I invite the other women that I have bonded with over this horrific experience to come and have a turn. There is a special place in hell for people like you. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

If I can't have sunshiny days, I'll talk partly cloudy...

I have really come to appreciate those "partly cloudy" days...days that aren't perfect, days that aren't like the "good ol' days"..but days that aren't terrible.  Those are my partly cloudy days...and I'll take 'em.

I received a card last week around Mother's Day that I haven't been able to open yet.  I did yesterday.  It was from one of my nurses at the hospital named Ashley.  Ashley--I wish I knew your last name so I could properly thank you.  I know that the other nurses I had meant well, but geeze Louise!  They did not listen to what I wanted nor did they respect what we requested.  Time after time, every time they came in the room they would ask me if I wanted to go see Kiernan or hold him...would tell me over and over how I needed to do this.  I'm sorry, but no one, not even me, knew exactly what I needed.  All I knew was at that time, I couldn't do it.  The grief and sadness and anguish were already too much to bare.  I couldn't go hold my baby boy.  I know they didn't try to make me feel guilty, but wow...ya did.  Ashley was my nurse on Saturday.  When she came in to introduce herself to me, all she said was...I have a question...and I stopped her and told her the answer was no and please leave it be.  She said ok and that was that.  So Ashley...even though you may never know this, thank you for respecting our decision.  It meant alot to me and to Steve.  We had another nurse, Autumn I think, on Sunday who was great as well.  When Steve walked in, I was crying and getting pretty hysterical.  The medical records lady had come and asked for the spelling of Kiernan's name and I just lost it. Steve walked in and told everybody to get out of my room.  Done. Period.  Any questions go to him.  I think that was one area he could control.  He couldn't take away my pain. He couldn't "fix" the situation or me, but this, this he could fix.  Autumn came back in the room and just smiled and you have a great husband.  And I do.  Today..I sent him a text and told him I loved him more than red velvet cheesecake brownies ( DIE for)...and his response was he loved me more than fishing.  The only response I could have was WHOA.  Ha!

I've been emailing with a new friend Janice, who has been in my shoes a few years ago.  I hope her son Jack and Kiernan are causing a ruckus together.  She hit the nail on the head today.  We were talking about grief and anger.  There are a couple of situations that all I see is red. Red Red am I going to start saying Red Rum like Jack Nicholson?  Or is it red room?  I tend to make up words to stuff! Ha!  But anyway...other situations I'm just sad.  A friend announced today on FB that they are expecting.  I'm sad...not for wanting her baby, but because I want MY baby.  That's what makes me sad.  Sad because my body isn't ready yet to try again, and I'm not sure if my heart is either.  Sad that it's expected or requested to use Kiernan's stuff, because it's not being used anyway.  No..that's the anger coming out.  That's the I want to punch you in the face repeatedly feeling.  That's the I need to shoot a gun at a target before I punch you in the face.  But, some things never change.  Not that I want any one else to go through what we did, but Janice has helped me so much, along with another blog, Horomonal Imbalances.  It makes me feel not so alone sometimes.

On a partly sunny note...we have a busy hopefully fun filled weekend.  I look forward to being busy and being with friends and family.

PS--Tomorrow is the big WW weigh in...nerves...

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Jolly Green Giant is angry?!

This will be a 2 part post.

Part Uno: We have had a pretty good week last week and weekend.  We've been busy.  Friday, we went and saw the Avengers at the Prive (for those of you not from here, the Prive is the 21+ upper section of one of our movie theaters....extra large leather "loveseats" and you can order dinner and there is a full bar!). Steve said he will never go to a regular movie again. It was great!  However...apparently I've lived a sheltered non-Marvel kinda life.  I thought the Hulk and the Jolly Green Giant were the same people.  I just kept he's really angry during the movie.  Needless to say, there was a Marvel conversation at supper after the movie.  I will say, after seeing Thor, Captain A, and Iron Man....I GUESS my eyes can handle watching any super hero movie!  As my sister says...freeze face during the movie!

 Saturday we went for a hike on Rainbow Mtn in Madison.  It's not a hard hike, until the very end and only if you are out of shape.  It felt good afterwards though.  We haven't done alot of hiking in the past year and I'm looking forward to doing more of it.  My goal is to do the Walls of Jericho this fall.  It's been said it's about a 6 hour hike so I want to make sure I'm ready for it.  Otherwise Steve will get mad at me because I'll whine.  Honestly, I'll probably whine anyway! 

Walls of Jericho, North Alabama

Sunday we spent the day in Albertville with my family.  The boys played paintball for my nephew's birthday (and wow do they have some war wounds!) and the girls went shopping.  Maggie was mortified that she had to try on clothes, but then she got to get books, so it was all good.

Bradford's Paintball wound

I'm so thankful for the good days.  They are coming more often which I'm glad for.  I don't like being an unhappy sad person.  I will say, that you definitely figure out who your friends are when you go through the dark times in your life.  We have had support from people that I haven't seen in years.  Support from people that I've never even actually met.  That feels good.  The flip side to that coin is, people that I thought were in our corner have been MIA.  I understand some of it may be that nobody knows what to say, but it's still disappointing.  I have decided though, that I have enough people to support me in my life.  If others don't want to or can't handle the bad situations, then that's just the way it is.  Now if I can only stick to that. 

Part Dos: After having said good weekend and even today at work, on the way home, I just burst into tears.  I'm sure if you were beside me on the Parkway or 565, you probably thought I was a crazy woman.  Don't worry....I think I am too to a certain extent.  It doesn't take anything in particular to trigger. Sometimes it just happens.  This afternoon all I could think about was how it isn't fair.  Someone wrote on FB earlier today (as their status) something about quit whining about what's going on in your life because somewhere, someone else has it worse.  I'm sure that's true, however, there are moments where I can't see beyond my own grief to even begin to think about someone else.  It's not easy to just "let it go".  I see what would have been in For one, I bet if Kiernan were here, I wouldn't be as focused on my weight.  Instead, I'm beating myself up about it.  I try to make jokes about it, but the truth? The truth is I'm mortified. I came home crying last Thursday.  I joined Weight Watchers (which is a great step in the right direction--and I'm excited about it most days) and was upset about my "number".  Steve was quick to point out that there was a reason that I put weight on in the first place.  Granted, I needed to lose some before, but more now.  For me, right now, the weight gain is a constant reminder of what I don't have right now.  So--Hi my name is Aly and I'm doing WW...I will be the girl taking up time counting points at a restaurant or the grocery store :)

 I wish that I would have the chance to feel like the worst mother ever when something doesn't go right.  Instead, I feel like such a failure sometimes.  For whatever reason, my body wasn't able to protect my baby.  No matter what is said to me or reports I have, I wonder if I will always have this feeling deep down inside.  Feelings of failing at my chance of being a mother.  People say don't dwell on it or that I did nothing wrong.  Intellectually I can understand that, maybe even appreciate it.  Emotionally, I can't stop it.  If I ask myself do I think that I deserve a baby more than someone else, at times, the answer is yes.  Just being honest.  Bottom line is, I want my son.  I want to hold him and snuggle him.  I want to be tired because he woke up 5 times during the night.  Instead, I'm tired because I can't sleep.  But the bottom  line to the bottom line is, that's not going to happen.  Sigh.  So, my house is clean.  I'm clean. The groceries are bought.  Clean sheets on the bed. DVR is empty.  Laundry is caught up. These are all things that I had been prepared to give up, but now have no reason to. We'll get there.  We will be happy people again.  One day, we will hopefully be able to tell our son or daughter about their big brother.  Today's not that day.  Tomorrow might not be either.  Just know I am trying to be the person you used to know.  I'm trying to be happy and as normal as I can be (no jokes here!). 

Today, tonight, I'm going to hold my husband's hand and be ever so thankful that it's him that I'm on this journey with.  I don't know what I would do without him. 

Fun times in Nashville at the Aquarium Restaurant

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Siphoning gas by mouth, uplifting friends, and Mr. Grey...

Random rants for today: I see no purpose for mosquitos or roaches.  Why were they created?  Who was the idiot that tried to siphon gas from the pump that forced them to write "Do not siphon by mouth" on the actual pump? Why must large trucks (dump trucks, garbage trucks, moving vans, etc) drive in the fast lane down the parkway? That's all for now...

Now onto other stuff.  I have had a good past couple of days.  I can't let myself dwell on everything all the time.  I can't let myself think about my friends who are either pregnant or that have just had babies.  I know I'm being a bad friend and not being very supportive, however, I just can't do it. I do hope they understand.  I've enjoyed my afternoon walks and dressing up in "decades" for work this week (it's National Nursing Home week...yay for 80s day tomorrow!). I've enjoyed down time reading a book, cuddled up by Steve while he's watching TV. These are the moments that I cherish right now.  The moments when grief and sadness aren't overwhelming.  The moments where I enjoy a glass of wine and time with my husband.  It's times like this that I have to be ok with these moments because the moments that I really want aren't going to happen.  To the mom who complains because her child kept her up all night crying.....the mom who is complaining about no time to herself....the mom who is worried because the house cleaning isn't getting done....I would trade places with you...each of a heart beat.  I know you mean well and love your children deeply.  All I ask is cherish each moment..the good and the bad.  Cherish the all nighters and the sweet cuddly time.  Trust me. There is a mom and dad somewhere who would give anything for that.

I have a friend in RI who, although totally different situations, has been through alot.  To be brief about his story he was a freshman in college, on a basketball scholarship at Salve Regina University.  As a freshman he contracted bacterial meningitis somehow.  Long story short, he was in the hospital for a long time.  He almost died more than once.  He lost both of his legs and parts of both hands.  I can't begin to imagine his strength.  If that were me, I just think I would be one big pity party.  However, he's a happy guy...very athletic...and is currently getting his MBA.  I asked him today about how during that time, after waking up and finding your legs were gone and your basketball career was over, he got out of bed every day.  How do you be happy again? His answer was simple.  You never know how long you have with someone, or being alive yourself.  Instead of reliving every terrible moment every day, remember the good ones. Live for the good moments today.  If "today" is all you can do, be ok with that.  His courage speaks volumes for me.  I can't change what happened.  I can't fix it...cause trust me, if I could, I would. I'll never know why, no matter how much I think on it and analyze it.  And while there are days that I can't not think about it, I'm trying to not to as much. I will always remember how it felt to feel Kiernan move inside of me.  How his hiccups felt or the heartburn I had every single day.  I will also remember the joy finding out it was a boy.  I will always remember trying to think of a clever way to tell everyone at work that it was a boy, and instead just blurting it out.  I hope that one day I will go through a day without wondering if I did anything...any little thing...that caused this.  And while intellectually I know it wasn't my fault or anything I did, I will always wonder deep inside.  Was it the day I had my hair colored?  The day I had an extra piece of cake? But, then I think of other people who have 3 or 4 kids who are smoking and drinking with no prenatal care, and their babies are fine. Right now, it seems like so much of our lives are in limbo.  If you know me, you know I'm a bit of a control freak and a planner (I mean really..who plans their own elopement?!) and the limbo part doesn't sit well with me.  I'm trying to be ok with it.  See a theme here? I'm trying to be ok with alot of things right now.  Right now though, I'm going to focus on soaking in this time with my husband (even though he's watching a show where they are murdering people about oh every 5 seconds), my glass of wine, and chapter 26 with Mr. Grey :o)

PS--If you want to read more about John, just google John Kach.  He's a great motivational speaker, and just an all around awesome guy.  He's been on several different TV shows/interviews and is an avid speaker with the National Meningitis Association.  He also promotes the importance of a simple vaccine that could prevent bacterial meningitis.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Some days I just need a purple pen...

I was in a bad mood for most of the day.  The kind of mood where you just want to punch someone in the face.  Anybody.  Why? Just because.  However, I didn't want to waste money on bail, so I refrained.  So...if I bit your head off sorry!

There are days that I could easily let grief over take my life.  Some days, I think it does a bit.  Some days seem so dark, with no end in sight.  When people try to be comforting, I just want to scream and yell. Let's add something physical in there and add punch something.  I want someone else to understand and feel my pain and sorrow, the grief and anger. I want someone to should it. Yet, I don't want anyone to have to go through this.This is my reality and I'm the only one who can do it. Steve told me the other day that "I don't know why but we are right where we are supposed to be for whatever reason".

So, while all the bad gets vented, I want to brag on some good.

I have a great mom and sister. They have been there every second of this.  The good and the bad.  The crying or the trash magazines. I'm thankful for them every day.

I have an awesome support system of friends.  They try to understand what I'm going through, and what I need. Sometimes I don't even know what I need.  I'm thankful that they are there for me through the good and bad. I know it can't be easy to be my friend lately. 

Lastly, my husband.  I have an ahhh-mazing husband.  He's not always the most socially appropriate person, or the most romantic...he even has a potty mouth at times.  But this man..this man has stood by me through thick and thin the past 4 1/2 years.  He moved to Bama for me to be closer to my family, even though I know he'd rather be living in RI.  Pretty selfish of me huh? There are days that he seems fine and that he's not affected by this any more.  Yet  I know he grieves for his son. I know he was excited and nervous and everything in between.  He's one of the reasons for my happy days.  I'll never be able to express to him how I truly feel about him.

So, for today, and for tomorrow, I am going to be okay with my bad mood moments, and my good mood moments.  I'm going to write in my new purple pen and use my new hot pink highlighter.  Some times I have to hang on to those stupid little things and sail on through the day.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

There's no trying on blue jeans on vacation...or crying in a bar!

With this being Mother's Day, there are so many thoughts and ramblings going around in my head.  If I don't write them down, they will stay there all night and I won't be able to sleep. Maybe they will make sense, probably not.  Steve just put on the first season of Gang of Thrones and it keeps drawing away my attention!

Steve and I had a great weekend in Nashville.  We wanted to get away. I wanted to escape my reality of what this weekend held.  We had a wonderful dinner at the Aquarium Restaurant and did some early birthday shopping at Opry Mills (that place is first trip there!). I decided to try on blue jeans...after eating lunch.  So not good for vacation mode!  After some tears because I'm not fitting into clothes very well, and it's difficult to find "shorts" in any length of pants.  I'm so frustrated that weight wise I'm not where I want to be. It's a constant reminder of where I've been and the loss that we've suffered.  Not that I was super skinny before, but I'll get there. It's just a pot hole filled road for me right now.  So, take my advice, and if you are on a weight loss journey (and if you are short!), DON'T TRY ON BLUE JEANS ON VACATION!

I'm so grateful for Cindy, "the dog lady".  She takes such great care of Finn when we go out of town.  He's got fenced in acreage to roam and play with the other dogs, swimming pool, and his own run for "nap time". We left a blanket with him that he lays on at home. Cindy said he drug it around with him everywhere.  The only thing about coming home for the "farm" is he is wiped!  Nice to know that he's taken care of when we go away though.

Now on to the hard stuff.  This is not how I envisioned this day.  I expected to be sleep deprived, in my pajamas with a good cup of coffee and a snuggly baby for my first mother's day.  Instead, I have a blue velvet box, with a tiny black urn nestled inside. Steve and I had made an agreement to try to leave everything at home for the weekend and just have a good time.  We were at a karaoke bar in Nashville having a blast.  Then someone got up and sang a song about a mom and baby.  I burst into uncontrollable tears right in the bar.  How embarrassing.  I spent quite a few minutes with uncontrollable sobs in a bathroom, in a bar, in Nashville.  Every where we went were advertisements for mothers/babies, sales for mother's day, flowers and cards being given out just if you were female.  What was supposed to be a fun get away was slowly turning into a disaster (let me insert wasn't a was a great weekend...).  The guys were just staring, not knowing what to do, while the girls were there on hand in case I needed something, yet giving my space.  All I wanted to do was go back to the hotel room and lay down and cry until I couldn't cry anymore.  Instead, I laid awake, tossing and turning, thinking of all that has gone wrong.  When I read how other mothers are tired because their baby kept them up all night, or upset because they were pooped on, all I can think about is if I had that chance, I wouldn't complain, ever.  However, I know that if I had never gone through this, I would be that person writing those type of things, and not meaning it as something offensive but rather as this has been my day kinda thing.  When any one talks about their bad day, all I can think about is...I can trump that..I win.  As if it is some kind of game.  I constantly wonder if I'll ever get to hold my own child, safe and healthy, or is this my forever.  I wonder if I do hold that healthy child, will they stay healthy or will they be taken from my be something like SIDS.  I guess that's where faith comes in, and mine seems somewhat depleted. I hear people talk and say "when" we have kids an dall I can think about is "'s if" matter what or how perfect your pregnancy is, it's "if" until you are holding that baby.  Until the dr says everything is ok.  I look at this day differently now. Maybe the world and life in general.  I feel selfish because I don't even want to say the words "happy Mother's Day" to those moms around me who are so fantastic.  It's not that I don't want to wish it to them or have them know that I'm thinking about them.  I just physically don't want to say the words.  I can't yet. It's supposed to be my day too.  Instead, this day is bittersweet.  Right now, more bitter than sweet.

With that being said..

Dear K--we didn't get to spend near enough time with you.  From the moment we knew that you were growing in my belly, we were excited and couldn't wait to meet you. While we had other plans for you, and for reasons we will never understand, you were taken from us too soon.  Know that never a day goes by that I don't think about you.  Wonder what you would have felt like in my arms. Wonder what your cry would have sounded like, or who you would have looked like most. Would you be clumsy like me, or get into trouble like your daddy. Wonder why you had to go so soon.  There is a song that whenever I hear it, I think of you.  It says " my love will fly to you each night on angels' wings...Godspeed...sweet dreams".

We love you. Godspeed little man.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Tattoos don't mean I aint classy

Ok--so this is a rant over judging people. I'm not perfect and I've done it too.  But it really hit home to me when I was the one subject to the judging.

I have had a wonderful day off work.  I spent time at the gym, read a good book, lunch alone (with my book) at Panera..then a spray tan (my theory is tan fat is better than white fat...and we will be out in Nashville this weekend).

While I was there, I over heard a lady tell the hair dresser that she hoped her daughter didn't turn out like one of  "those girls with tattoos". I stopped in my tracks for a second.  You see, after everything that has happened, my whole "give a damn" button is broken.  I retraced my steps and looked the woman in the face.  I told her that I have a Master's degree, a whole bunch of fancy letters behind my name.  I am a wife and a sister and a daughter.  I have a good job and a good life.  I have had two children who are no longer on earth, and yet I get up out of my bed every day.  I try to not judge people.  I think marriage should be for people in love, no matter your sex, religion, or race.  I have one tattoo that represents being free from an abusive marriage, and my second tattoo represents my baby that is in an urn in a blue velvet box nestled in my closet.  While I'm not a perfect person by any means, I hoped her daughter was more tolerant than she was.

Now some of you make think that that was inappropriate for me to say, or it wasn't a "classy" thing to say.  If living in RI taught me anything, it's that it's ok to say what is on your mind.  I'm not a bad person.  I'm not a thug, nor am I "one of those goth girls" (which by the way..more power to ya)...I mean come can I be goth in a tie dyed Lulus beach tshirt??? So I see my response as that I am a strong person.  I will stand up for myself and will not let someone degrade me because of what I look like or that I have "ink". My tattoos have meaning for me.  I look at my star and remember my papaw telling me to do anything that I want to do. I look at it and it represents moving to Rhode Island after my first marriage fell apart because my husband was an emotionally and physically abusive douche bag.  It represents that I am stronger than that and I refused to live in that life for year after year because that's what someone thought I should do.  My love tattoo represents the love that I will always have for my son Kiernan.  Every time I look at it, I think of him. It's beautiful and it's an expression of my love and rememberance of him.  It's something I look at and can smile about.  How dare you take either one of these moments away from me because you think I'm a drugged out loser with tattoos.  

So--before you judge...think!

How do you be sad?

So Steve and I have been kinda distant from each other this week. We've both had alot going on at work and it's just kind of filtered over at home as well.  While at our fave Mexican place last all came apart.  The poor waitress!  Ha!  But it felt good getting it out. 

I don't know how to be a sad person.  Sure, I've had my moments before where I'm sad and someone has hurt my feelings, or I'm mad about something.  That being said, it's usually over in a matter of a few hours at the most.  But at times, this seems never ending.  Where is the light at the end of the tunnel? Where's the end of the freaking tunnel, light or no light? Even when I have a good day, I'm waiting for the ball to drop. I'm waiting for whatever it is that's going to make me cry.  I don't want to, but I can't control it either.  I don't feel guilty any more for having a good day. It's just kind of like walking on egg shells. Ready for the ball to drop.  I know that I'm still grieving and that this experience is still "new", it's still fresh.  I know this could continue for a while yet. But I'm tired of being a sad person, yet I can't not be sad sometimes.

If you know me, you know that weight has always been somewhat of a struggle for me.  A couple of years ago, I lost almost 50 pounds.  At the time, I didn't think it was enough.  Now I look at those pictures and I looked GREAT!  Then I had a car accident where my sternum was broken...there goes working out for 10 months!  Then I started back doing kettlebells when I could.  Then I was that had to slow down somewhat.  Then, miscarriage and D&C. No working out for 2 weeks.  Then we moved to AL and it was a huge adjustment...mostly because we went from 2 incomes to 1.  Then I got pregnant again.  I gained roughly 26 pounds during my pregnancy. I'm proud of that!  However, coming home from the hospital empty handed but with the weight still there does not work well for me.  I think I could go easier on myself if Kiernan was here. At least I would have a reason to have gained the weight.  I still have a reason, but not in the way I wanted or expected.  I was expecting time walking around the lake, pushing a happy baby in my stroller I drooled over.  Not walking by myself, tears streaming down my face.  So, right now, my weight loss is definitely a journey.  Steve is very supportive and continually tells me he thinks I'm beautiful no matter what, but I don't FEEL beautiful.  I don't want him putting his arms around me and feeling a roll. It's embarrassing. I'm about 3 pounds from where I was at my first appointment.  I will get there.  I'm not giving myself a choice.  But I'm not good at giving myself a break either. 

I read an article today where a 22 year old mother murdered her son, who was 3 months, because he was crying and interrupted her playing FarmVille on Facebook.  I would love 2 minutes with her.  I would love to have a room where I could keep her and every time I look at the blue velvet covered box, nestled in my closet, I would go visit her.  No matter her punishment, it will never, ever be enough for me.  

This will probably be my last post for a few days.  Mother's day is coming up.  I adore my mother. She's fantastic.  But this is not how I pictured this weekend would be.  I don't want to face it.  I don't want to participate in it.  I feel guilty for that because that is almost like punishing my mom as well.  My husband gets this.  So...we are going to Nashville for the weekend.  Friday night is date night..just us...escaping our reality for a weekend.  I'm sooo excited. We both need it.  Like NEED it.  And..sadly...I LOVE staying in hotels (and yes I refuse to watch those shows about exposing hotel grossness!) .  Then 2 other couples are joining us Saturday.  We are going to have a blast.  I love sitting in a bar, having a good beer, and listening to good music...and now doing it with some good friends!  It's going to be great! 

So, if you take anything from this post.  Cry. It's ok.  It's normal.  It's cleansing for the soul.  If you keep it in, it will consume you.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Random Thoughts

So I saw on another blog I follow (yeah, a whole the same person...give me more blogs people!) 11 questions to answer. Although she didn't tag me, I thought I'd tag myself and answer some.  I'm going on NO sleep and am somehow feeling chipper despite it.  So here goes...

1. How did you start blogging? I decided I had alot of things rattling around in my head and wanted to get them out!  Instead of my husband or friends on FB, I'm going to write it here!!

2. What is your dream job? I love what I do (Speech Pathologist), but would love to be financially stable without a job!  That's my dream job.  Of course that would last about oh 3 seconds because I can't just sit still and not do something. 

3. What is your favorite movie or book? There are so many! I love to read!  I love the Sookie Stackhouse books, the Scarlett Letter, for movies...probably Oklahoma and The Wizard of Oz...however, lately, Bridesmaids can make me laugh

4. Favorite Food? This one is hard too.  I love to my dwindling line of paper clips is showing (those of us trying to lose weight at work use linked together paperclips to give a visual demo of how much weight we have lost...I even bought sparkly paperclips...hmm...thought that would help)...Mexican! I could eat it every single day! Or Granny's biscuits and cocoa (chocolate gravy to some) matter how hard I try, I can't make it like her.

5. If you had an entire afternoon free, who would you want to spend it with? Just one person? Steve. Exploring somewhere new, whether it's in our backyard or in a different state.  I have some great memories of our "mini vacations" where we would just go to a different city/town close by and just explore. We still talk about those trips. Going a little further from home (say, planning a hotel stay) and I my OCD immediately comes on and I have to plan everything.  I NEED to know I have somewhere to sleep!  I may be the only person who ever planned an elopement!

6. What is the most significant goal you have achieved to date? I don't consider anything I've done significant???

7. What is your dream vacation? Ireland hands down.  I want to stay in a little cottage our in the rolling hills....walk into the village, passing sheep on the roads of course, bundled up in my handmade sweater (that I of course bought somewhere), and hanging out with Steve in a local pub with a pint of Guinness! 

8. When you go to weddings, do you dance or sit like a lump? I agree with Janice on this one.  Why do I have to be a lump because I don't want to dance?  Odds are, I'm having so much fun watching you dancers making a fool out of yourselves, that I just can't give that up!  However, those that really can dance...I envy you! 

9.  If you were going to volunteer for an organization, what would it be? Something to do with domestic violence.  Been there, done that, can write my own chapter.  When I lived in RI, I volunteered with an organization where you met the woman at the hospital and helped her know her options whether it was through a rape or through a domestic violence episode.  She never had to go through it alone. My mom had someone to help her through some life events like these.  I think it gives the woman power when so much has been stripped away.  I know by the time I got divorced, my self confidence and worth was so low, why would I leave...who else was "going to put up with me"? When I looked at the same policeman for the second time in one day, I told him "I am not that girl, that girl who goes back and lives like this". He blew me off (I mean come on, he just saw me twice within hours!). That was my light bulb moment. I grabbed my dog and myself and left that very same day.

10.  Favorite celebrity or sports star? Well, I'm not really a sports fan.  I know. Blasphemy from a southern girl.  I'm supposed to LOVE college football..and am really supposed to have made a decision between Auburn versus Alabama.  Honestly, I COULD CARE LESS!  I like to watch sports only if I'm with a group of people (and let's be honest, I'm probably making fun of the people taking it oh so serious) or if I'm there in person.  Shocker? I've never been to a college football game!  My university was small and we didn't have a football team.  As celebrities go, I don't "follow" anyone...but I love me some trash/reality me some Housewives of OC!

11. What did you want to be when you grew up...when you were 6?  A garbage man.  I wanted to ride on the back of that truck so bad.  Sadly, my mom made me sit in a seat and buckle up every time I was in the car!  The back of a truck seemed so exotic to me!

12. What's the most challenging part of maintaining a blog? First, I thought this was only 11 questions?  But anywho...I have no idea!  I just day 3.

13. What is the best vacation you have ever taken? There have been so many!  Our elopement in Vermont is at the top.  We stayed at a gorgeous bed and breakfast...we town celebrities (it was off season)...we went to a winery, shared desert (and a whiskey) with a couple who had been married for 65+ years....he wanted a whiskey...Steve decided after 65 years (the wife said no) he could have a whiskey..ha! We took the ski lift to the top of the ski mountain and were married there..just the two of us and the JP.  Others would be camping and hiking in Maine and New Hampshire.  We had awesome food/drinks, survived a thunderstorm in a tent..more than once...hiked some beautiful waterfalls, found a boardwalk on the ocean, and saw a moose...twice!

14. What is something about you that most people would never guess? Probably that I can be very shy in unfamiliar situations. 

15. What is the song stuck in your head and you want to share just so other people have to suffer too? Sadly, Skinny marink a dink a dink Skinny marink a doo......

Previous comments from other blog

I wanted to transfer some of the comments from the other blog (that I will be deleting) and instead of asking you all to write the same thing (ha!), I copy and pasted!

Aly, I have absolutely nothing to add. I just keep thinking, “Yes! Yes! Yes! She’s exactly right.”
I know that doesn’t help at all, but I also know there isn’t much I can say that does help.
I feel like I’m finally starting to get a good view of my little Jack in heaven now. I find that my ideas of heaven are so much happier and fun than they used to be. Because I know if my Jack is there and if he’s happy than it must be a wonderful place. And I think babies in heaven must still love their moms and dads. God is love, after all. It wouldn’t make much sense if after he perfects us and takes us to paradise that we would forget about loving those we loved the most. If everything in heaven is perfect than our little boys love us in such a perfect way we probably can’t even fathom it.
And I’m sure Jack and Kiernan have a good time there together. There must be a bundle of little babies tumbling around in God’s front yard. Just having fun and knowing someday we’ll be there to hold them too.—Janice

Well said! I am sure many will be helped with your honesty.—Theresa

(My first comment didn’t show, so here goes #2!) I’m proud of you for answering, “yes, but not living” because it had to be hard! There’s another blog I follow about triplets, with one of them in Heaven. And they hate when people call them twins, but they don’t always want to explain either. It must be hard! There are widows and orphans, but there isn’t a word for mothers of children who have died because it shouldn’t be. It’s not fair Description: :(--Alison

Hi Aly, we’ve read your blog and I’m glad that you’re doing this because I think writing our deepest emotions down is good therapy and sometimes easier than speaking them. I’ve done it since I was a child. Couldn’t stand for anyone to be mad at me (family) so I left hidden “love notes” on their pillow beneath the covers. My writings have helped me greatly over the years and I hope it does you also. I’m sorry that you and Steve are having to endure this tragedy. We love you both and are here if you need us.-Faye

Oh I can relate to so much that you wrote here! This could have been my post 4 years ago. And somedays it still feels a bit like that. Amen to the BS. I never knew I could want to punch someone just because they tried to say something comforting.
I’m so glad you are sharing with all of us, though. And I hope it helps in a small way to get it all out there.—Janice

I love hearing about your days. The good ones an bad ones. I have a friend who lost her 15mth old to SIDS in September. I have seen her through her bad and good days. I still pray for y’all daily. It seems like a lifetime since we were growing up on Colonial:)--Ashley