Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Time, Time, Time...See What's Become of Me

The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once.
-Albert Einstein

I have written many times about the concept of time. Although time is a constant, it means different things to different people and at different times in their lives.

Two years ago on this very day, we hosted a fundraiser to help raise money to assist with adoption costs. Mission Adoptable was one of the best, most fun events that I had ever attended, let alone hosted.

I knew I had to be patient. I believed the system would work and that we had to give it "time". I also knew that my heart would not let me wait all that long.

I was reminded this past weekend that I told people at the time of our event that our baby was already conceived. We were just waiting to be chosen. And she was and we were!

Two years ago on this very day, my heart was full of love and laughter and also mourning and sadness.

Today it is just full. 

I have heard parents remark that they were afraid when they their second child that they did not know if there was room in their hearts to love that child as much as the first as they loved their first with such intensity. I now know that you can. The heart is capable of all the love in the world.

I have just as much room in my heart for butterflies as well as for rainbows.

I turned 41 last week. That seems OLD to me! But I was reminded by another friend that if I live till 82 (which I fully plan to do...at least!), that I am only at my half-way point. So that means I could be middle aged, I suppose...or it could mean I have a ton of life left to live.

In a way, I am glad everything does not happen all at once. I need time to catch my head up with my heart and absorb it all. I think we all do.

They say "time waits for no man" and I think that is fine. I do not want to wait for time - I just want to live the best I can in the time that I have.

Birthday Dinner 2015





Monday, January 19, 2015

Pictures of You

"I've been looking so long at these pictures of you
That I almost believe that they're real
I've been living so long with my pictures of you
That I almost believe that the pictures are
All I can feel"
-The Cure

I take so many pictures of Miranda.  On my phone right now, I have 2,846.  And I recently went through and got rid of a lot.

I have very few pictures of Allie.  On my phone, I have the the portrait we got drawn of her and a few of her ultrasound pics.  And I never get rid of those.

Do I take so many picture of Miranda to compensate for the fact that I can't take any of her sister?

I don't think so.  I think I am just a proud Mama who thinks that every moment is cutest than the next and I don't want to risk forgetting a single detail.

Last week, Gary and I had our very first parent/teacher conference at Miranda's school.  We sat in itty bitty chairs and reviewed how she is doing.  There were no surprises. They love having her as much as she adores going there.  She is social and she likes to sing and dance - even when there is no music playing. She is kind and has a good heart and is a joy to be around.  We were there 25 minutes or so, but could have easily stayed all day to listen to the praise!

I found myself wanting to tell her teacher that she was adopted.  It kept popping into my head to say.  But I bit my tongue.  I really think Miranda is who she is because of how she is being raised and because of how much she is loved.  I think she came to us with a strong genetic framework, but overall, Miranda really is us.  There is a fine line between being grateful that we were chosen to raise her and to not even think much about that at all because plain and simple...we are her parents.

Miranda is starting to climb out of her crib.  Like really climb out.  One leg over and straddling the crib rails during her nap yesterday.  For a brief moment, in-between posting on Facebook to see what we should do and calling my mom for advice and scouring the Internet, it flashed into my mind that if Allie had lived, we would have already been through this stage and I would know what to do. Then I stopped.  That kind of thinking does no one any good.  And we will never know what kind of child Allie would have been.  Maybe at almost 4, she would still be in her crib! We just don't know.

It's the not knowing that still tugs at my heart.

What I do know is this...I have a daughter here who loves me and needs me and so I shall keep taking her picture and opening my heart to her and teaching her about love and compassion and humor and kindness and all the other traits that I think will make her the most amazing girl.  All of the traits that already do...

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Shower the People

"Shower the people you love with love, show them the way you feel.
Things are gonna be much better if you only will."        
-James Taylor  
  
Last Saturday, I helped throw a baby shower for my sister-in-law. 

I know, right?

Since Allie died, I do not go to baby showers. I do not buy gifts for babies until they are here safe and sound. I celebrate and breathe a sigh of relief at the same time.

However, everything changed with this particular baby. This baby who is going to be my niece and who is also going to be Allie's cousin. 

I think back to my pregnancy and my mind almost always goes to my baby shower. We had close to 60 people jammed into my mom's house and we needed a whole room just for the gifts. It was loud and exciting and the future was so close - we could almost feel my daughter in our arms.

I did not want my sister-in-law to miss out on that experience.

I offered to help and support in any way that I could.  I designed the invitation.  I tracked the replies.  The rest was left to my mom and my other sister-in-law.  Food, favors, decorations, dessert...done, done, done, done.  But not by me. I was only in charge of taking care of myself.

I did not sleep well the night before.  I did not feel great the morning of the shower.  I texted some women from my UNITE group and asked for their support. I reminded myself that I could leave early if I wanted to. I knew that this shower was more than me - it was for the women in my family who deserved to celebrate the impending arrival of this new baby.

I was nervous when I arrived early to set up.  My palms were sweaty and I felt a little dizzy.  The last time we had a shower at my mom's was for Allie...and it all came rushing back to me in a wave.

And then something happened.  The wave receded and in it's place left just a pile of sand.  

I let myself enjoy the day.  I gave myself permission to celebrate this new life.  I allowed myself to be surrounded by love and joy and laughter and hope. In return?  I had a glorious day.

Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to let go. Let go of the anger and the fear and the sadness. It's not gone forever, mind you. I doubt there will be a time when I reply "yes" to another baby shower.  But for a few hours on a cold, sunny afternoon, it felt nice to be just another woman attending a baby shower and looking forward to the birth of this certain-to-be very special little lady.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Happy

I was chatting with a family friend yesterday during a very tense Words With Friends game (this is an inside joke for her as she almost always beats me...by a lot) and I asked her how she was doing. I mentioned that I had been following her Facebook posts and that she looked so happy.

She replied that she is very happy and that she could say the same thing about me. I replied that she was right!

I am many things.  I am emotional. I am sarcastic.  I am funny. But am I happy?

Holy cow. I think I am.  

Being happy does not mean that I am not sad at times...or that my grief is gone...or that my anxiety about all sorts of issues has vanished. It just means that overall, I am a happy person.

When did this happen? How did I not know?

I read an article recently about how social media makes people look like they are living lives that they are not. They show food they cooked and workouts they completed and give a false sense of greatness.  I do not find that to be the case. Maybe I deleted those people some time ago.  What I see on Facebook and Instagram (and Twitter when I remember to check it) are people that have crossed my path in some way or another doing the best they can and sharing their experiences.  And I love that.

For years and years, both of my younger brothers have encouraged me to "live in the moment".  I am the oldest sibling and I should be giving the advice! But damn if they were not onto something. Taking each day as it comes is easier than looking at a week or a month or even a year at a time. My goal is to do what I can today and tomorrow? Well I will deal with that then!

I do not have it all figured out. Far from in, it fact. But 3 weeks away from my 41st birthday, I think I have it more figured out that I have so far. And that makes me...well, happy.

I guess happiness can happen when you least expect it.


Friday, January 2, 2015

Timehop

I have this app on my phone that automatically goes back in time and presents me each morning with the "time hop" of the day.  The site is promoted as, "See your photos and updates from this exact day in history. Timehop helps you celebrate the best moments of the past with your friends!"

For the most part, I love my timehop. I fire up my Delorean and go for a "ride" each day. I have a ton of pictures on my phone and since the app works with those pictures, each day I am treated to photos of people and parties - some of which are now distant memories.

The app also works with your Facebook posts. It will pull old posts and present them to you like a little gift. It's cool to see what I posted ages and ages ago.

Or at least it was.  Around this time 4 years ago, I began to post "baby updates".  You know what they are, right?  Week 4: Your baby is the size of an acorn or Week 20: Your baby is the size of a rutabaga.   Well, I posted those updates EVERY SINGLE WEEK.  And now I get to relive them all EVERY SINGLE WEEK.

It's hard to see the naivete and the excitement that I so clearly felt when I made those posts. It's hard to not want to jump back in time and shake that mom-to-be and tell her to stop making her life so public.  

The thing is though, as hard as it is to read those posts, I am kind of glad that they exist. I am glad my journey was so public. I am glad I still write and share and possibly over share.  I am proud of the awareness I have brought to stillbirth and now to adoption. I am proud of the wife and mother that I have become, even in the face of such pain and sometimes despair.

To be honest, I am not sure I would change a thing. To have daily reminders now of the person I was back then is like a window into my own soul. I look through that window and see all sorts of things.  First and foremost, I see Allie.  

Tomorrow I will have a new Timehop waiting for me.  I almost can't wait to see what awaits.

Happy 2015.  To making memories in the future that will one day soon, become the past...


A Year In the Life

One year ago today, I became a bona fide published writer. I was ecstatic to get my first piece published and to share my words and story wi...