Thursday, November 3, 2016

It's fall...right?

It sure doesn't feel like November!!  It's been in the 70's here lately!  The kids enjoyed trick or treating without the usual worries about layering under their costumes!  In fact, I wore a light jacket and wound up SWEATING!

Ready to go!

Check out their tails!

Bucket ready!

AJ was totally into it this year

Tyler's head got a little crooked here

AJ kept tripping, I think he fell 3 times!

Aren't they so cute??  AJ wore last year's rejected costume (last year he was terrified and refused to go out, this year he's been obsessed with it for weeks)--Marshall from Paw Patrol. Unfortunately, a year went buy and I couldn't find his hat, so several people confused him for a cow.  Tyler was Yoshi from Mario.

 What else is new? Work is getting ready to get super busy. We took the house off the market--did I mention we'd listed?  Well, we did, for a month or two. We didn't get too much activity. A few people didn't like that the interstate runs behind our house (even though there is a sound barrier wall and the yard is huge). One couple was very interested, but after dragging their feet for two weeks, ultimately decided to pass. Keeping a house filled with 4 adults, 2 kids, 2 dogs, and 2 cats show ready all the time is tough and a pain, so with that coupled with the fact that the weather is turning and the holidays are coming, we decided to call it quits until the spring. Hopefully we'll have better luck then.

Not much else going on.  Adam and I are frantically trying to do extra to come up with our Christmas fund. He's working Ebay and I'm doing some at home transcription work. We're keeping busy!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Wave of Light

In June of 2011, I had a miscarriage. A tiny baby I think of as Butterfly flitted in and out of my life in a matter of days. And suddenly I was the one in four women that has lost a child.

This year I experienced that pain again. This time I carried my sweet little boy Gabriel Wyatt beneath my own heart for 11 weeks and 3 days before we found out his own tiny heart had stopped. This was a familiar pain, but in a far more profound way than I had experienced it before.

Today, participating in the Wave of Light, I remember both of the babies that I'll never hold in my arms. Tonight I said a prayer for them, and for all the sweet children gone far too soon. May comfort come to all those who light their candles tonight.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Forcefully Four

October 12th is here again already! My not-so-little AJ-Bug is four years old today!  I can't believe it!

He is going to wake up from his nap any minute, so we're going with bullets here!  Here's what AJ is like at FOUR!

  • He's my rough-and-tumble boy!  He's constantly jumping, rolling, bouncing and taking risks. I see ER visits in our future. So far, no major injuries, but he did dislocate a bone or tendon in his elbow a few weeks ago--and it was just a minor fall! Luckily the immediate care doc figured it out quickly and within minutes he was saying it didn't hurt one bit!
  • He's talking a lot these days--and MOST of it makes sense! He still has some speech issues, namely he can't say "l" sounds and a few others.  It's cute to hear him talk, but I hope it works itself out eventually so he doesn't have issues in school.
  • He is an EATER!  Sometimes we have to MAKE him stop eating! I wish he'd eat some veggies, but he loves fruit and he eats way more meat than Tyler ever has! We have a lot more things to choose from with AJ.
  • He is definitely not a laid back child. He has quite a defiant streak that we are struggling with lately. He will completely ignore instructions, or do something again that you've just told him not to. We are doing our best to be consistent and stop these behaviors, but it's rough sometimes!
  • That said, when he's good, he's so good and sweet! 
  • His favorite thing in the whole wide world is to be TICKLED! Seriously, it's my part time job.
  • His favorite book is "The Book With No Pictures". It's hilarious and he knows it by heart and can recite it.
  • He likes to watch Paw Patrol, Blaze, and Loud House.
  • He loves to play board games. We've been playing a lot of Chutes and Ladders and Candyland, along with a few others. He is getting at least 4 new games for his birthday!
  • His best "buddy" is our old fat cat Tippy. He just adores her.
Tyler's on fall break, so I took a few days off work. Adam will be off tomorrow and Friday too. Mom and I took the kids to Conner Prairie (a living history museum) and had a good time. As predicted, he woke up and after some tickles is now playing with a birthday gift, so I'll leave you with some photos of his birthday cuteness!

In a covered wagon

Me and my boys!

Aw he looked down!

Paddling a canoe

Tyler taking a turn

My Tyler-man

Friday, October 7, 2016

Song Lyrics for Loss: I Will Carry You

This song is all kinds of heartbreaking. It reminds me to be grateful for the time I had with my baby. It's more religious/spiritual, but I just love the message.

"I Will Carry You (Audrey's Son)" Selah

There were photographs I wanted to take
Things I wanted to show you
Sing sweet lullabies, wipe your teary eyes
Who could love you like this?

People say that I am brave but I'm not
Truth is I'm barely hanging on
But there's a greater story
Written long before me
Because He loves you like this

So I will carry you
While your heart beats here
Long beyond the empty cradle
Through the coming years
I will carry you
All my life
And I will praise the One Who's chosen me
To carry you

Such a short time
Such a long road
All this madness

But I know
That the silence
Has brought me to His voice
And He says

I've shown her photographs of time beginning
Walked her through the parted seas
Angel lullabies, no more teary eyes
Who could love her like this?

I will carry you
While your heart beats here
Long beyond the empty cradle
Through the coming years
I will carry you
All your life
And I will praise the One Who's chosen Me
To carry you 

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

The memorial

Sunday was the Memorial of Ashes.  The hospital where I had my D&C is one of several in our area that offers an option of communal burial of ashes of miscarried babies.  They have a service twice a year and invite the families that have had a loss to attend.  The nurses told me about it the day of my D&C and asked if we would like to have an invitation sent to us. I said yes immediately.

(Side note: I never got an invitation (story of my LIFE), so I called the hospital last week and the rushed to send me one).

We decided we would all go (Mom, Adam and I, the kids, and my sister Michelle).  It was very nice. It was held at the funeral home at a local cemetery. They had a large room set up with chairs. At the back of the room were several tables. We were immediately offered a program, and they gave each of the boys a brightly colored paper sack with a few little toys and a sucker, which I thought was both thoughtful AND smart. There were also strips of ribbon that you could write messages on, which would later bed tied to two wreaths they would take out to the memorial site. Each of us took a ribbon and wrote a little message to our baby boy. There were also tables with cookies and water at the back of the room. 

We took seats and waited for the service to begin. While we waited, a woman was playing the violin, which was lovely. The service was only 20-30 minutes at the most. They recited a poem and there were some readings. I don't remember much. I alternated between bring brought to tears when a particular phrase would resonate with me, and turning my attention to the kids. I didn't regret having them with me for a second, as it helped to be reminded I still have them. Tyler shed a few tears too, poor thing. But the boys were very well behaved, in fact all the children present were.

On particular thing they said that hit me hard had something to do with the fact that our relationships with our lost children haven't ended, they have just changed.  That made me cry in particular. I guess it's been awhile and I'd moved on, but this brought me back to the grief that will never really go away. And that's okay. I let myself feel it, but I don't feel that it's swallowed me back up.

At the end of the service, they invited the guests up to tie our ribbons on the wicker wreaths and they gave out carnations to put at the memorial site or take home.  Then we all filed outside and walked across the cemetery. I didn't feel comfortable taking pictures inside, but I did snap a few at the site.

At the site itself, there was a large headstone with a statue on top of a little girl and a lamb. Behind the headstone is a stone bird bath.  The funeral director took the top off of the bird bath and placed the wooden box that contained the ashes of all our little babies over the stand, which had a hole in the center.  The box had a latch on the bottom so they were able to pour the ashes into the base of the bird bath through the bottom of the box. It's sort of hard to explain, but that's the best I can do.

The read a few more statements and a lady sang a song I didn't recognize and then they said we were free to go, or stay and talk, they even had grief counselors available.  It was a very nice service and I think it's wonderful that the hospital offers something like that.  They will provide the babies remains to the family if requested, for a private service (which we all know just isn't a viable financial option for most people) but it's so wonderful to have a second option, particularly one where the families can be involved. And I'm glad I now will have a place to go when I'm thinking about my little boy.  I grew up going to the cemetery to my sister's grave, and I always was grateful we were close by, since I didn't know her and don't have memories of her in other places. It's the same with my son, if I want to be physically close to him, I can visit the memorial. I am glad for that.

Finally, I think it's time to share that we picked a name for our little boy. He is Gabriel Wyatt. My little Gabe. Mama love you.

Here are the pictures I took. I will try to go back sometime when there isn't so many people.
"What the heart has once known it shall never forget."

"My Precious Innocence. You are part of me and will lie in my heart forever. i will always remember you. This memorial is dedicated to all children regardless of their age."

One of the wreaths with the ribbons bearing messages from the grieving families.

The birdbath

Monday, September 12, 2016

Memory Box

Life has been crazy, so I'm finally getting around to posting about the memory box I put together after my miscarriage. I drafted it awhile ago, but kept forgetting to take pictures! 

So I mentioned that on the second day after my surgery, I went out and bought a memory box.  I'm not sure what drove me to want to do this so urgently.  At the time I wasn't sure I even had enough things to warrant a box. I guess I wanted something that belonged to the baby or something to take out and look at when I needed to. But that morning, less than 48 hours after my surgery, mom was getting ready to run errands with the kids and I asked if I could go with her and if we could stop at a craft store so I could pick up a few things.  She agreed. I think she was glad I wanted to get out of the house.

We went Hobby Lobby and Michaels. I found a photo box that I liked and picked up some things to decorate the inside lid and a photo sleeve for one of the ultrasound pictures.  We ran errands and ate lunch out, probably one of the first decent meals I had eaten in awhile.  Once we got home, I rested awhile (I'd probably overdone it a little) but later that afternoon I got out my supplies and decorated the inside lid with flowers, an ultrasound pictures and a little bit of sparkle.

The box:

Purple of course. In my defense, I didn't know the baby was a boy until after I bought this

Inside the lid:

Again, probably a little girly. Sweet angel boy.

It's contents:

And here's a full list of it's contents, with photos:
  • Pregnancy tests 
The expired strip was the first test I took, then confirmed with the $.88 test
  • Hospital Bracelet
  • These are paperweights I made from flowers from my bouquets. My mom did some like this after Nicky died. You can buy resin kits at the hobby stores. They were molded in the little bubbles you get toys in from the quarter machines at grocery stores. See how to do this here
It felt good to make things for baby. And for me.

  • Photo Album (contains photos of tests, the owls we gave mom to tell her, the facebook announcement photos, and the flowers sent by my friend and my coworkers)--I got this at Walmart for like a dollar or two and it says "I love you to the moon and back" which I say to Tyler every night before bed. PERFECT
  • The little purple hart was given to me at support group. There's a tiny purple heart and a bigger purple heart with a small heartshaped hole in it. They give these to every mom that miscarries. At their memorial, the mother's put the tiny heart with the ashes so that the baby has a piece of her heart and the mom keeps the larger heart.  The passage reads "Lovingly and tenderly handmade for you by those who care and share with you in this difficult time. We prayed today that 'the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, wil guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.' Phil 4:7"
  • Another item from support group--A card (with a butterfly on it) and inside, a ribbon holding a tiny gold ring. The passage reads "The ring is a perfect circle, the circle is never-ending just like your love for your baby. Everlasting love was present when you learned you were pregnant. As your baby is loved back to God, please accept this ring as a symbol of your pure love. Psalm 117:2 Great is His steadfast love toward us."
  • The pink ribbon is from a vase of flowers my dear buddy (my coworker and I call each other buddy) sent me.
Gifts and memories

  • A sweet card from Tyler's friend's family and my sweet cousin, plus a card from the surgery center staff (I realized there were addresses all over these, forgive the sloppy editing)
  • Cards from the flowers from work and Buddy (my friend and I call each other Buddy)
  • Notes from Buddy and A (another coworker) that they left on my desk when I was out

  • Ultrasound photos, taken at 8 weeks, 9 weeks, and 10 weeks.

I like the earliest u/s picture the most, even though baby looks like a peanut. You can't see the SCH in that shot (the largest print)
  • Print out of our facebook pregnancy announcement and comments
  • Print out of our facebook loss announcement, comments, and my posts from my TTC group
  • Print outs of texts and emails from friends and family  
I like to read these sometimes to remember that others knew about and cared about the baby.

  • A tin of dried flowers/petals from my bouquets. I bought these special beads that pour over fresh flower. You put them in a bowl and microwave them (or let them set a few days) and they dry out.
Now I can keep them forever.

I'm glad I did this. I can definitely see the box sitting on a shelf or in my closet.  For now it's on my nightstand. I can see myself getting it down and going through it from time to time, and eventually probably on my due date (1/14) or on 6/28. I can see myself showing the items to the boys when they are older.  I'm not sure how we'll handle things with the boys. Tyler knows, obviously, but talking about it right now upsets him, so we aren't pushing the issue, just trying to watch for any signs that it's bothering him. I want it to be like how Angie, Michelle and I just always knew about Nicky and that we weren't sad about it, it just was.  I'm not sure it can be that way for Tyler, I think he might always remember that day.  But I don't think AJ will. I hope someday they will want to sit down and look at the items.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

What's next?

I should be 18 weeks pregnant right now...we should have just found out, or be getting ready to find out, that we are expecting a baby boy.

I try not to think of that too much. I actually do have to stop and think of how far along I would be.

I've had my first few run ins with people who didn't know about the miscarriage. One was at the grocery store. We know a lot of the people who work there and one of them asked me when I was due. Surprisingly I didn't cry. I didn't really give myself time to. Then at work I offhandedly mention the work I'd missed at the end of June and she made a comment that told me she didn't know. So I had to explain. A few weeks ago a coworker came to me and said he was sorry, that he'd heard about the loss.  I did cry that time. But I also thanked him. It means a lot to me when people acknowledge it.  Of course it makes me sad, but sometimes I'm more sad that people don't bring it up. I know it's awkward, and I know people don't want to upset me. So I just remind myself of that.

My sweet coworker even drove by the cemetery where the memorial will be held. She lives nearby and she found the little area and sent me a picture. I was really touched by that. I think we should get the invitations next month, since it'll be in October.

I still want to name the baby, but mom and Adam haven't really seemed concerned about that. I don't really want to do it alone. I feel like at this point it's "too late" even. But I'd hate to have to write "Baby Boy last name" on the list for the memorial and I really would like a name to refer to. But would it mean something at this point? Or just be arbitrary? I don't know. If we conceive again I have got to come up with names or at least a nickname for the baby.

So that brings me to the future. We will be trying again. My hcg level was down to 3 last weekend and I had my first period just 4 weeks after the D&C. I also had a positive OPK last week, so I know I ovulated. My OB wanted me to wait until I had a normal period to ttc. I'm assuming my next one will be normal (the last one was maybe a little heavier and slightly longer). I'm not sure if we'll try then or not. Sometimes I am excited to try, yearning for it. And sometimes I'm overwhelmed and scared and anxious. For now I'm taking it a day at a time.

So what else has been going on? Tyler went back to school, big second grader!  He immediately caught those pesky germs (sinusitis, apparently). AJ is going pee on the potty just about every time, although he rarely says he needs to go, he just happens to be holding it until we take him. He's going to have some dental work done soon and I'm dreading it. My poor kiddos seem to have weak teeth!

We're still working our butts off on the house. We are sooooo close to done!  Just two more indoor projects and a few outdoors, if the rain will ever hold off! I'm spending time every evening scrubbing things, ugh. 

That's it for now...Here are a few pics of the First Day of 2nd Grade and a few bonus shots of the State Fair visit on a super rainy day.

Tyler is holding up 2 fingers and AJ is trying to copy him LOL

Mommy with the Boys!

With Daddy and Little Brother

Farmer Tyler

AJ didn't mind the rain--at first!

Deputy Tyler