Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Viva Las Vegas

Last night, we got home from Vegas.  Gary and I have traveled a lot this year, but this is the trip we planned when we were in the hospital back in April.  In the delivery room, my hair pulled back, booties on my feet, gown draped over my bulging baby bump, we decided that we need to have something to look forward to once we got home and Vegas would be that something.  And I am so glad we went.

This past Monday was the 3 year anniversary of our first date.  My coworker and I were going out for drinks after work to celebrate his promotion.  The rest is history.  So it seemed like planning our trip around that anniversary was a good idea.   We found a wedding chapel where we could renew our vows and we anxiously looked forward to our vacation.

The trip did not disappoint.  We ate till we were stuffed (those buffets are no joke!) and we laughed at all the spectacles.  We walked down the strip in awe and in fear (but in an amusing way!).  We saw some amazing shows and shopped for souvenirs and had a trip that we will always remember.

Then came time to renew our vows.  The folks there seemed surprised that we were doing this after only a year and 5 months of  marriage, but said that meant something...to want to remarry the person we were married to, after such a short period of time.  Elvis seranaded us with "Can't Help Falling in Love" as we walked down the isle.  We repeated after him - that we would love and cherish each other every day of our lives, that we would never wear our blue suede shoes in the rain...all the normal stuff that wedding vows are made of, right?

I was grinning from ear to ear as Gary placed a new ring on my other hand.  (Nice perk!).  We walked back down the aisle as the ceremony concluded and then participated in a little photo shoot.  For a few minutes on Monday, I had no other cares in the world.  It was such a nice escape!

Ever since Gary and I got together, we do this little thing..."What was the favorite part of your day?" or "What was your favorite part of this trip?"  On Monday, without even asking (which is part of the game), Gary turned to me and said, "This is the highlight (favorite part) of the trip for me."  I swooned, I will not lie!

While October marked an anniversary for us, it also marked an anniversary for Allie.  She would have been 6 months old this past weekend.  Instead of worrying about her teething or sitting up on her own, we were on a vacation.  Most new parents don't get to go on vacation, not to mention 3 vacations!  Here we are having seen Chicago, Memphis, and now Las Vegas.  We are having fun, making memories, living our lives.  We are staying strong for each other and for our daughter.  We are still a family and we are still here.  Living, loving, laughing...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day

This past Saturday was National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. I wanted to organize a walk or do something special to celebrate Allie. I spent hours trying to figure out the best thing to do. And then life took over and what was meant to happen, did.

Gary’s brother and his wife had a wedding to attend and they needed someone to watch the kids for the night. Babysitting our niece and nephews is some of the best therapy for me. It gives me time with the kids to get outside of my head and down on the floor playing with them. It forces me to live in the moment. It shows me Gary’s silly side and reinforces how much I can’t wait for him to be a dad to a living child. And it reminds me how much I am loved by the kids and their parents.

So off to NJ we went. In my overnight bag was a small candle we were going to light at 7pm that night as a part of a nationwide (maybe worldwide?) event I learned on Facebook to honor the babies that are no longer with us. On my wrist is a pink bracelet…and it matches the one that Gary wears. I have since put away the adorable Pandora charm with the baby carriage that my mom gave me for my birthday last year. I am not meant to wear that bracelet right now. So I wear this one.

We got there and the kids were so excited to see us! There is no feeling in the world better than the hugs you get from the little arms wrapped around you. My 7 year old nephew almost immediately noticed our bracelets and asked what they meant. Uncle Gary tried to explain that we were wearing them to remember Allie. Our nephew had a very serious look on his face and asked that we just not talk about it anymore. It made him sad. That took my breath away. It makes us sad, too, buddy. It’s ok.

When 7:00 rolled around, the baby was already asleep and we decided not to invite the boys into the kitchen where we lit the candle as it was not necessary for them at that time. So off to the kitchen we went and we light the candle. We were quiet, letting our faces be illuminated by the small flame. I think we both said “We love you, baby girl” and stood silent for a few moments. Then we went back into the living room and watched Nickelodeon with the boys.

Sunday morning came and I packed up the candle with the rest of my things and a few hours later we drove home. I am so glad we lit the candle and had an official time and space in that day to honor our baby. But the true highlight of the day was when my oldest nephew read to me before he went to bed. And when my niece showed me she knows how to clap now. And when my other nephew jumped onto my lap on Sunday morning and snuggled with me. So I guess Saturday was just like any other day in a way. Just like the day before and the day after. Any other day, that is, since I had a baby who died.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Beautiful Post

I stumbled across this blog today and the author captures so many of my thoughts that I wanted to share it on my blog.  Enjoy.

http://bythebrooke.blogspot.com/2011/10/go-ahead-make-me-cry.html

Tomorrow is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.  Or to me, tomorrow is just like any other day...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Dreams

Last night I had a dream that I was pregnant. I was meeting with a doctor in my practice that I have never seen before, but I knew his name. His office was full of boxes and papers and he assured me that he was gonna take care of this baby and that I was not leaving till I heard the heartbeat and he promised me that everything was gonna be ok. When I woke up, my heart was racing.

I got to work and turned on my computer and my sister-in-law who lives in Bulgaria sent me an instant message. She is 7 hours ahead of me now so she was already well into her day. She told me that last night, she had a dream that I was pregnant. Apparently, she and my mom and I were all squeezed into a bathroom looking at the test results which were positive and she had to convince my mom and I that I was pregnant because neither of us wanted to believe it.

 I am consumed with being pregnant. And now somehow, I have spread that half way across the world! I know I am not pregnant now, but maybe, somehow, there is a way this dream will come true. I want these dreams to make me happy, but all they do right now is leave me with a longing for Allie that is so intense.  If she were here, I would not even dream of getting pregnant right now. And yet, dream I do...

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Forever Young

Last Friday night, my brother,  sister-in-law and I went to see Ray Lamontagne and Brandi Carlile in concert. It was a gorgeous night and we sat outside and tailgated before the show began. For a brief time in my life, many years back, I used to work at this venue and I have a friend who still has contacts there so we had terrific seats. And free parking! We have all seen Ray several times and they had seen Brandi a few times so we knew we were in for a good night. And we were right. It was a blast.

Brandi’s last song was a cover of Alphaville’s “Forever Young”. The song first came out when I was 10 years old. I have always loved it. I think I had it on cassette tape at one point. It’s been ages since I heard it.  Her cover did it justice.

Let us die young or let us live forever
We don't have the power
But we never say never
Sitting in a sandpit,
Life is a short trip
The music's for the sad men

Forever young, I want to be forever young
Do you really want to live forever
Forever -- and ever

I sat in the audience and let the music wash over me. I immediately thought of Allie and how she would be forever young. I will only ever picture her as an infant…never a toddler or a little girl or a teenager or a woman. It made me sad and my eyes stared to well up and then I realized that I would rather have her forever young that not have had her at all.

The next morning, Gary and I left for Memphis. We arrived at 8am on Saturday and I was back in the air by Monday afternoon. Gary flew back Tuesday night. We did not have a lot of time, but we made the most of the time we had. We went to the Civil Rights Museum and learned so much about Martin Luther King, Jr. and where and when he was assassinated. I was ashamed about how much of his story I did not remember from when I learned it in school. We ate Memphis BBQ and southern style fried chicken. We walked Beale Street and shopped for souvenirs. We went to Sun Studios and saw where Elvis and Johnny Cash recorded some of their most famous songs. We toured Graceland and learned all we could ever hope to know about the King. We had a fantastic time.

The concept of “Forever Young” repeated itself again during our trip. At the Civil Rights Museum, there was a quote from a friend of Martin Luther King Jr.’s that said that history will always remember him looking like he did when he was famous. He will never have grey hair or wrinkles or walk with a cane. He will always look like he did when he died.

I find this fascinating. How do you want to be remembered? As you looked in your youth? As you look now? As you will look 20 years from now?

I think I just plain want to be remembered.  For as long as I am remembered, so too, will Allie be.

Just outside the Civil Rights Museum





Elvis's plane - the Lisa Marie

Court Square


Vacation or Relocation?

I love a good vacation. Always have. I love the planning and the anticipation and the experience of discovering someplace new.  Once ...