Hello from the other side

Today I found out that a friend lost her twins. She was about 12 weeks along.

I was in my car when I read her email. My heart sunk and my eyes welled with tears.

The song “Hello” by Adele came on the radio and took on a whole new meaning to me.

“…When we were younger and free… I’ve forgotten how it felt before the world fell at our feet…”

Just last week, I was talking about cloth diapering with my friend. I bet cloth diapering is the last thing she wants to hear about now.

Transformed.

It’s the best word to describe life after loss.

You can’t erase it. It doesn’t go away.

And you are never the same.

As the song kept playing, it made me wonder if the lyrics were my current self – the mother to an Angel – speaking to the naive, hopeful and heart-ful me from before our loss.

“….I’m sorry for breaking your heart…”

Or maybe it was the opposite? Was my former self apologizing for something she had no control over?

Maybe it was my Angel? No, it couldn’t be. I put no responsibility onto that special little soul. She maintains her innocence.

“…They say that time’s supposed to heal ya… But I ain’t done much healing”

I came home and nursed my son. He smiled up at me.

Having him brings me immense joy, but he doesn’t erase the knowing.

Grief hurts.

The pieces of my broken heart are still fragile.

Please keep my friend in your hearts this week. ❤

 

 

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Lasting Hearts Card Drive

As you know, I’m a big fan of the “You are the Mother of All Mothers” book by Angela Miller. Today, a gal shared with me that there is a fundraiser taking place in the USA to get this book in OB/GYN offices. Women facing miscarriage will be given a copy along with cards from caring individuals who understand.

If you are interesting in creating a card to be given to these parents when they get a book, here is the info. It is simple:

  • You can send as many cards as you would like.
  • Please use a sentiment such as: thinking of you, in my prayers, in my thoughts, sending hugs, sorry for your loss.
  • For the inside of the card, you can either leave it blank or hand-write a simple message. Not much – just simple and kind. The message can be something listed above, along with your first name and hometown. (Such as: “Sending lots of prayers from Jennifer in Cincinnati.”)
  • Please send cards in unsealed envelopes to:
          Lasting Hearts Card Drive
          2892 N Bellflower Blvd Ste 216
          Long Beach Ca 90815
  • Include a post-it note on the card(s) with your name and email address so you can be eligible for a prize!
  • If you would like to include a donation via mail, you are welcome to but not required to.

Creating cards is something we can do easily and a great way to share kindness.

If you are looking for more details or way to donate, visit this website: http://www.jennifermcguireink.com/2016/01/lasting-hearts-card-drive-giveaway.html

Note: If anyone has any ideas on how we can set something up like this in Canada – let me know! I’d love to help get it going. 

Who’s so big?

Tomorrow Wyatt turns 3 months old… Well actually today as it’s past midnight. As usual, I’m writing this in the dark on my cell phone while my boys sleep beside me.

We’ve made huge strides these past few weeks. I feel like I know my son better and better each day. Then, he surprises me with a new milestone and I’m shocked at how fast he learns and changes each day.

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We started Mommy and Baby yoga two weeks ago. Our first afternoon class coincided with nap time. Although it wasn’t an epic fail, it did mean a few minor meltdowns. This week we switched to the morning class and Wyatt was happy the entire time. I successfully managed to do a few poses and stretches with him glued to my boob. It’s funny what you consider a major success as a Mother.

In this week’s yoga class, we practised pulling the babies up to a sitting position and proclaiming, ”Who’s so big!?!?”. Well, my little man must enjoy the encouragement because that evening upon receiving my hands he pulled himself up. He’s consistently done it each time I offer my hands to him since then. Yeah, he’s so big now.

Today,  we ventured out to a local babywearing group meet up. I am very happy that my friend encouraged me to attend. It’s really nice to meet other Moms. We visited our local museum which I had never been to. I carried Wyatt in my brand new Girasol ring sling – a rainbow sling for a rainbow baby. I just received it this week. So far, it works well. The museum visit was our longest stretch in the ring sling and even he fell asleep in it.

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This week,  we also used the Ergo for a winter walk. I didn’t think my stroller would make it after a snowfall with unshovelled sidewalks. Wyatt was so calm, yet curious of everything to see in the neighbourhood. I enjoyed some time outside since the weather was closer to 0 degrees and sunny. I never saw myself as a babywearing Momma, but so far, I’m loving it. The closeness is what makes it so special.

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We reached another major milestone tonight. I left Wyatt for 4 hours at home with his Dad to attend my monthly Splurge group. To date,  he’s always attended with me. Mike successfully gave him 2 pumped bottles with a bit of resistance. He takes it, but with a bit of a fight to get him started. What are your thoughts? Should we continue with the Calma nipple until he gets used to it? Or try another kind?

I did better than I thought I would with leaving him. I texted Mike a few times to check in, but I wasn’t really worried. This actually surprised me, but I guess it shows that I trust my husband as a capable father.

I arrived home to find both of them asleep. I pumped my right boob to make up for the bottle feed and managed to get 4oz in about 10 mins. I hate pumping, but I usually can pump a decent amount. I still hope to primarily breastfeed, but it’s nice to know that pumping for the occasional night out is an option.

Once Wyatt realized I was home, he had a cry and a big feed, then easily went back to sleep.

My favourite moments over the past few weeks have simply been interacting with him. He truly is such a happy baby. He loves to babble on and on. He constantly smiles back at you. He even started baby talking when I’m singing to him –  makes me think he wants to sing too! 🙂 Breastfeeding has given us a strong bond. I often find myself putting my phone down or turning the tv off just  to be in the moment with him –  our eyes locked and holding hands. There’s so much peace and joy to be found in those moments.

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Hear my story on the Beat Infertility Podcast

The Beat Infertility Podcast is hosted by Heather Huhman, a fellow infertility warrior. Each episode features a success story and an update from a woman who is currently undergoing treatment.

Back in December, I met with Heather to share my own success story. It aired on today’s episode. Listen to it here.

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Today I cried

My baby was in my arms nursing and I cried. He looked up at me and gave a confused grimace. I told him I loved him and it wasn’t because of him.

It started out as a few tears silently cascading down my face and transformed into full blown sobs.

My son kept his little hand on mine, peaceful and asleep.

Today I cried.

I cried because of..

The burden of infertility. The heaviness still weighs me down. I long for another child. I want to be a mother of two.

The missed chance of conception without treatment. I’m down one tube. Our odds are even lower than when we started.

The pain and heartache.

The scars and surgeries.

The Angel watching down on us.

The birth that wasn’t what I desired, how my son was forced to enter this world – even if we agreed to the approach.

My completely transformed vagina. Learning to unfold yourself as a sexual goddess and a new mother is a challenging feat. I’m not ready yet.

The resentment within me that has boiled up and over many times on this journey.

The wondering and questioning.

The struggle to balance between masculine and feminine energies.

The fact that this era allows women so much freedom, yet so much constraint.

When my husband just doesn’t get it,  even though he does. He just doesn’t like to show it.

PTSD.

Every other woman longing for a child or facing the decision to have another.

Labels. Blame. Misrepresentation.

Unnecessary silence. Unsaid thoughts.

Gratefulness. I know we are blessed.

Tears of joy washed away what felt like soot stains from grief, anger, jealousy, and sadness.

Relief.

Sometimes I just need to cry.

Baby’s got a bottle

I’m WAY behind on my blog reading. My adorable son is teaching his Momma a lesson in mindfulness. His new fav gig is to hold hands while he’s feeding or napping on me. Translation: significant decrease in time spent on phone, yet significant increase in time spent watching Netflix.

I’m embracing these moments though as I know they won’t last forever especially since…

We attempted our first bottle.

Earlier this week, I don’t know what my kid’s deal was, but he was against eating from my left boob. After a few failed attempts, I decide to pump it off and get Daddy to try to bottle feed him.

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Although this first attempt looks successful, in reality Wyatt only drained about 0.25 oz of which half was probably on his face. We tried again the next night using the Medela Calma nipple and he ate 1oz before falling asleep.

I’m not ready to start a pumping and bottle feeding schedule, but it was a relief to know our attempts weren’t a complete failure.

Wyatt’s boycott of the left boob was short lived. I’m still not sure if it was a teething issue or if he had a slight cold and his nose was more stuffy on that side. Either way, it’s nice to have my milk monster back.

A clean start to a new year

My nesting instinct hasn’t really disappeared since having Wyatt.  That or maybe I just prefer organization when life is constantly changing these days? Either way, I’ve been on a mission to organize when I’m able to find the time (which usually means on weekends when Daddy is home to watch Wyatt between feedings).

During our babywearing spree last week, I decided to bake cookies. But, it was quite difficult to lean over and get my baking supplies out of the bottom corner cupboard where I’ve stored them since we moved into this house 5 years ago. I love baking, but haven’t done much of it in this house. I’ve always wanted to turn our kitchen closet into more of a pantry. I finally convinced my husband to help me with this on Sunday .

We replaced the previous shelving and hooks with a large metal storage rack that we purchased at Home Depot. I am a big Tupperware fan and had most of my baking goods in Modular Mates (particularly due to a mouse problem one winter, but that’s another story). Anyway, I’m super happy with the end result.

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I’m not done organizing the kitchen. I will move things around since I’ve got so much more cupboard space now, but it definitely feels like an easier space to work with.

My goal is to move onto my home office next. It’s kinda been the random dumping room since we had the baby. I’d like to turn it back into the sacred space it was before I started working from home. I will use it as my sanctuary during my time off work – where I can escape for a few minutes to write and create.

I also have the urge to continuously purge and lessen the load of items within our home. Since Wyatt has already outgrown all his newborn and size 0-3 clothes, I packed away what we will keep and posted a few different lots for sale on our local classifieds. I’ve also ditched a few pregnancy or Mommy items – like the Hooter hider. 😉 In retrospect, it’s been really quite interesting to see how many baby items they market to new parents and what you actually need. We would definitely do things differently if we are blessed to have a second child.

I am working through a program right now about healing after birth. I think my decluttering and organizing and purging of materialistic items also relates to all of the emotional baggage I’ve been releasing since we started this fertility journey. My spiritual midwife, who is an absolutely wonderful woman, has encouraged me to not feel guilty about releasing or letting go of items. Each and every item we bring into our life, much like people, holds energy. If I don’t feel like an item is serving it’s purpose or it doesn’t resonate with me any more, I have every  right to let it go.

Organization brings me joy. I love order, but having a new baby can be chaotic. Taking part in these small rituals helps me to maintain some control when life is so unpredictable right now. Each time I purge, I feel lighter. I can breath easier. My thoughts are clearer. If it feels right, it must be doing some good. I’m reclaiming my space as I work on reclaiming this new body, new identity and new life of mine.

It’s a fresh and clean start to a new year. 🙂