Friday, July 3, 2009


This last week... wasn't really where I wanted my blog to go - the journal thing, I mean. Sorry about the online venting. Some things just needed to come out!

So I'm making brownies, and thinking about getting on with things, and to start here are just a couple giveaways. I'm sticking with the mum & baby theme. I'm gonna be there one day :)

For baby:
For the ladies:

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Grief and Kindness

I am still learning about coping with grief. I lost my father in 2001 and thought I had an understanding of how grief works.

I completely skip the 'anger' step. My first reaction to my aunt telling me my father had died was to say, "No." As if by saying that I could make it so. No, of course he didn't die. I still need him. He can't have died. He was too good. He didn't deserve it. Such a horrible thing is simply not possible. Of course it was not only possible but true. I spent the next two weeks alternately crying and being ridiculously, almost farcically organized, trying to get his affairs in order to help my mother. I'm not sure, looking back, that such a rush to sort out the details of his death was really helpful. It had to be done, but not necessarily so quickly. I'm sure she felt overwhelmed, not only by the loss of the man she'd been with for 25 years, but by my propelling her towards the future.

The sadness of losing my father never goes away. I think of him often, and wonder what he would have thought about the way my life has gone. I wished he could have walked me down the aisle at my weddings (I actually had three weddings - the first, too young, ended in divorce - the second a secret civil ceremony that preceded a ceremonial wedding in Mexico). I wish I could talk to my dad about things. I miss his humour, his intelligence, his love of words and technology.

And now dealing with another loss I have found it to be strangely similar. When I left my doctor's office on Friday morning, I told the baby, "No. We're not losing you - we're keeping you. No, something isn't wrong, you're alright." Denial, plain and simple. At the ultrasound when I saw that empty gestational sac before the second ultrasound, I heard what the technician was saying but my thought was, "No. I know I'm pregnant. I know there's a baby." When the second ultrasound showed the fetus I felt elated - until I clued in to what she didn't really want to come out and tell me. There was no heartbeat. The fetus was too small. This news sank in. And I knew. I went directly from denial to acceptance. My husband was convinced there was a dating discrepancy (the technician's 'long shot') but I knew. (And my descent into grief was not helped by him shouting at me that I didn't know what was going on. I did. Of course, he wasn't skipping the 'anger' step there!)

So the grief goes like this. I'm sad. I cry. It hits me in the shower, or after I see my gorgeously pregnant friends, or when I start singing and realize that before I had been singing to the baby and now I'm just singing to myself. It hits me when I actually want a piece of chocolate - something I was completely turned off by for those two and a half months - and know that I can have it. Or when I make a cup of tea and reach for the decaf, then realize I might as well have regular. Or when I put on clothes and see I still have the baby bump that hasn't gone away yet.

But sometimes I'm happy, too. I am looking forward to the future. I know that I can get pregnant, and that pregnancies, in general, have an 85% chance of surviving. So the odds are good, unless something bigger is wrong with us. I just fell on the wrong side of the odds this time.

After the traumatic days since last Friday, I truly felt the need of some kindness. And I have received kindness - in some expected places, and some unexpected.

My husband has been so great. Once he realized this really was happening, he has been offering me more comfort than (I'm sure) he's comfortable with. Lots of hugs, he calls during the day more often, just to say hi and ask me if I'm feeling alright. He's taken me out to eat, he's made mini-vacation plans, he's kept us busy doing productive things. He's been so sweet. And he's let me know that he really wants to be a parent and that he wants, like me, to try again when we can. He's taking care of me.

My mother also has been sweet. She gives me practical advice and tells me stories. She is far away but we've talked on the phone and she's just so sincerely sorry and sad for us.

My best friend is six months pregnant but she lost a pregnancy last summer so she has been so understanding and positive for me. She shared her experience and also gave me hope as she told me that she and others she knows who lost babies were able to get pregnant again quickly. She cut short other plans to come visit us and brought hugs and chocolate. She listened to the awful details I just needed to share with someone, and made the right comments, and just was there to listen while I poured my heart out.

And here is the unexpected kindness I have found. I have had so many emails and comments of support from people who read my blog posts about what happened and the other women on the babycenter forum. I was in a 'birth club' and shared our loss with the other pregnant women there who are due in January. They were so nice and I could tell really cared and were sorry for what happened. And so many women who read my blog sent such sweet emails and notes, just to say they were thinking of me.

One blogger went way beyond though, and this was the most unexpected kindness of all. Today I received a package from Jenn at Beautiful Calling. In it were such lovely treats. I just kept saying, "Oh, my gosh" as I pulled out each thing wrapped in pretty tissue. A book to take my mind off my troubles. An amazing set from the Body Shop that will be a real luxury for me, I can't wait until my shower tomorrow to try some of the goodies out. Chocolates - because I really do need all the endorphins I can get right now. And to top it all off, homemade cookies. Jenn, a very public thank you for your generosity of spirit and your kindness to a virtual stranger - I hope I can call you instead, a friend.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I need baby shower help!

Okay, as you may know (because I keep going on about it), I have SEVEN ridiculously pregnant friends who I need to come up with baby shower gifts for. And I hate baby registries! I've made one baby quilt and crocheted one baby blanket, so I have two gifts ready to go, but that leaves a lot of gifts. So I wanted to ask if anyone has some ideas.

What's the best gift you received for your little one? Something practical like clothes, washcloths, bottles and wipes, or something not so practical, like a mobile or wall art? I like making quilts, but I know that you can't use them in the crib so is that really a useful gift?

Or maybe something for a new mom to help her out? I have no idea what that might be - nipple cream? A sleep mask for those elusive daytime naps? A nursing cover?

Last question, how the heck am I going to get through the baby showers without utterly breaking down and bawling in the middle of at least one of them? I have only told one of the girls (my closest friend) about our pregnancy loss, and I'm not planning on bringing it up with the other girls. Talk about awkward and embarrassing.... if I just start bawling in the middle of happy-baby-time. :(

Hotslings live giveaway at Life Starring the Kids and Me

I had one of the worst days of my life yesterday. Up there with the three days of agony I spent recovering from a very painful surgery. Enough said.

I really am not going to be doing the lists for a bit but I came across a fun giveaway to share. Life Starring the Kids and Me is hosting a live giveaway for a Hotslings baby sling. It will take a while as the winner will be comment #1029 which is Victoria Arya's due date. You have to have Twitter, though, as the mandatory entry is a tweet.

Personally I am not into Twitter. Seems like one sure-fire way to be constantly barraged by meaningless comments. I haven't signed up and have no intention to. Do you like Twitter? If so, why?

Monday, June 29, 2009

One day at a time

I really appreciate how nice everyone has been, it's definitely been a rough few days. My husband has been great (after he got over his freak out on Friday!) and we have talked to a couple friends and some of our family, everyone's been really supportive. We're actually coping with this a lot better than I thought we ever would, Friday was devastating but each day that goes by is easier emotionally and honestly we are just looking forward to trying again.

I think the hardest thing for me was learning that the baby didn't make it past 6 weeks and there I was at 10+ weeks still singing and talking to the baby. Realizing that was so heartbreaking for me. But I do know that it was nothing that I did or didn't do, everything that I could control I was doing right so it was simply not meant to be. And I know a lot of women don't necessarily think this way, but for me I would rather lose the fetus earlier than later in the pregnancy, and rather have a natural miscarriage than have a baby that only survives a few days, weeks or years in pain because of some genetic or congenital problem.

I did have a vivid dream the other night that I was holding the tiniest baby. I had a chance to hold it and love it and it simply faded away in my hands. Although it sounds like a bad dream it was actually a good one, I felt really positive that things were going to turn out okay and I had a chance to at least say goodbye and know the baby was loved and cared for in its short life. I guess some mental closure came out of it.

So thank you again to everyone who sent a kind word or thought my way. I have a big art show coming up that is taking up a lot of my time over the next couple weeks so between our personal and my professional life things are pretty busy. I'm going to take a little break from the blog and giveaways but I'll be around, I do still have a TTC giveaway that I want to do in the near future and I promise that the giveaway lists will be back!