Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!



I am officially an Auntie. :)

Baby C came into the world just after midnight on the 23rd. She was 6lbs 6oz, 20.5 inches. Everyone is doing well.


I have learned that I am a master at the art of disassociation. Holding other children, helping friends through labor and pregnancy---I find that very little reminds me about Ronan or the birth of Ronan. I am able to be in that moment, the moment of joy that comes when a new life is brought into this world. A moment when new parents are so excited to finally hold their new bundle of joy. A moment where grandparents hold the baby and make funny voices/noises to them. The moment of pure hope and love.

And I am truly thankful for that. It makes me hope that I will become less jaded with time.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you and yours!

XOXO

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Final Countdown

My SIL thinks she is labor tonight. She is 39+ weeks, officially due on Friday.

P and I have been sick for the better part of 3 weeks. I keep praying that I wake up in the morning without coughing up my lungs/blowing green gunk into 400 tissues/swallowing more Dayquil horse pills so that I can make it into crappy work.

We are under contract for a house in Ohio. Part of me can't really believe I have been so low-key about it. I think HGTV has jaded me. It's a nice house. Has a lot of nice things about it, including a park nearby for the girl AND it's a mere 7 minutes from work. Part of the charm of the house is that the same couple has lived in it since right before P and I were born. They raised three babies there. They hosted parties there. They had their grandbabies sleep over there. Now they are sick of the cold and want to move to Florida. I feel like they are passing on their home to us to take care of it--to make our own memories there now. It's kinda nice.

We are in a real bittersweet moment in our lives here. Thanksgiving is around the corner. Then Christmas. Then the girl's birthday. Then Ronan's birthday. A month after that, we pack up and head North.

I vividly remember when we left for Michigan. It was June of 1999. My dad had driven up to help drive the U-haul. P and I had been dating 2 years, and our entire lives up until that moment, was in Texas. Our friends saw us off at a local burger joint the night before we left. My BFF Chris had tears in his eyes when we said goodbye. We stayed overnight at P's parent's house before we took off early the next morning. I cried myself to sleep that night, because leaving was so scary, yet exciting. How easy it would have been to just stay and go to grad school here in town. To do what was easy. The drive to Michigan took 2.5 days. We arrived on a Friday afternoon. It was 70 degrees--cold! compared to what we were used to for June. My Dad flew back the next day. P and I got lost coming back from the airport.

We were waxing philosophical over coffee in Ohio a few weeks ago. Part of the pain of our memories in MI were because I was in grad school. We were broke. Everything was fucking expensive. Everything was unbelievably hard. But now, I have a proper job. We have money. We (almost) have a house. Life is monumentally different than the time we took this voyage 11 years before. I find myself getting excited about the endeavor. I imagined Radha in the seasons---playing in the Fall leaves, making a snowman. And it was just such a nice feeling.

Yet tonight we walked into another local burger joint. The burger joint where my BFF introduced me to his new (and pregnant) wife 2.5 years ago. The joint where we went monthly while I was pregnant with Radha, where we brought her monthly after she was born. The staff fawns over her. They call her 'Angel'. Tonight she played with all the booster seats as I placed them on the floor in a nice little circle--the Knights of the Booster Seat Circle. As she sat in all of them, one by one, I heard P say "I'm going to miss this place."

And the familiar feeling comes over me. Our lives are here. I could do what was easy. I could try to stay.

But then I remember all the good friends and times that I had in Michigan, and it is enough to remind me that there are other adventures to be discovered, other joints to call home, other friends to meet and make memories with.

And I can't hardly wait.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Happy Fall




I hope you all have the chance to stop and smell the 'roses'. :)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

It's a typical Sunday dinner with P's family.

My SIL is there, beautifully pregnant, due in the next few weeks. P and his brother find a corner to look at things from their youth on his iPhone. I dispense advice about labor, and the days afterwards. We assume everything will go to plan. We don't talk about the possibilities of things that could go wrong.

An hour later we scoop up the girl and load up the car with leftovers and toys. I put the car in reverse, look in the rearview mirror and drive away slowly, always ticking off a mental checklist. Did I pick up her bag? Her sippy cup? The 10,000 coupons my MIL clipped?

I drive away tonight thinking I am missing something, that I am totally forgetting something.

As I am half-way home, I glance at the car seat in my rearview mirror, watching the girl fight sleep.

And it hits me.

I am missing another one.

He should be here.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Idle Chatter

I was in the backseat of the car watching the rain beat down on the passenger window. The Director of Department X was driving. He and my boss (Bossman) were in the front seat trying to navigate us to Langley AFB in a torrential downpour. Both men were engaged in idle chatter about the weather, their time in Hampton/Norfolk back in the day. Then outta the blue they changed the conversation....

DDX: Did you know Cathy? Worked in the front cube?

Bossman: I don't think so.

DDX: Well she had a baby last week. A girl.

Bossman: That's nice.

DDX: She had a few miscarriages in the past. It was a huge relief that the baby was born.

Bossman: My first wife had 2 between our two daughters.

DDX: My wife had 3 after our son. We intended to have one more, but it got to the point when I said "hey, honey---I think we need to shut it down. We are not getting any younger and it's not worth the risk, you know?"

Bossman: What year was that?

DDX: Between 1994-1998. My mom--she also had a few miscarriages too between kids. Maybe it was genetic. My uncle (mom's brother) only had three children, and lots of kids lost--all boys. He thought he carried something that prevented him from having sons...

I remained quiet and continued to look out the window.

Wonders never cease.....

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Help Support MISS

MISS's Dr. Joanne Cacciatore needs participants for a study dealing with the loss of a child. I encourage you to participate if you can.


CLICK HERE



XOXO---Reese

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Reflecting Pool

I was sitting on the steps of the Lincoln Monument, trying not to act like a tourist. My friend J (who works in D.C.) had met me for "Lattes with Lincoln" which tuned into "Ice Tea with Lincoln" because it was so stinkin' hot.

It was nice in the shade. There was water in the Reflecting Pool (there wasn't the last time I was there---about 7 years ago), and there was hardly a cloud in the sky. It was a good time to reflect about life, and breathe after the insane conference I attended earlier that week.

J and I were talking about life---how far we have come from the two young, wet-behind-the-ear girls we were when we met 10 years ago in grad school. J is starting her career as a researching professor, just recently awarded her K grant (top score---go J!). As we were reminiscing, my phone rang.

It was my other friend J. Two things alarmed me about the fact that she was calling me.
1). J rarely calls. She is a text-type of girl.
2). It was the middle of the day on a Thursday (she's a school teacher).

I picked up and assumed the worst.

She told me in a matter-of-fact voice that she had a miscarriage. I almost didn't hear her/believe what she was saying. Partly from her tone, and partly because it was very much assumed that she and her husband had made the decision NOT to have children. This was not even in my radar. I was expecting something happened at work/to her husband/to her mom or dad.

I wanted to ask questions, but only asked two. "How far along were you?" (almost 8 weeks) and "Are you doing ok?" I said I was sorry. I was out of town, but I would be available by phone if she needed to talk. She whispered "Ok" and hung up. I felt like complete shit for her.

I know that it must have taken some serious, monumental effort to change her mind about children. And I feel awful that she was dinged with this the first time out. I have tried to assure her that the fear will subside, usually enough to try again, but I know that fear. It's palpable. You are scared to get your hopes up--scared to love the child that is but a mere mass of cells the second you get a positive pregnancy test. But you do. It's innate. You try to disassociate, but you don't {really}. In your inner workings of your mind, you have already allowed yourself to imagine, if only briefly, if they will have your eyes, his nose.

I didn't say what I'm sure the other 'well-meaning" people may have uttered. "It was probably a good thing---genetics and all" "You can get pregnant again" "It wasn't in God's plan". Because all of that (which may be true) doesn't mean shit when you have had life in your uterus and then ripped out without a live, breathing baby to show for it.

I do hope she tries again. I do hope she finds the strength that I know she has. I hope that the next baby sticks. I hope that she can look at her own child like she has looked at mine.

I hope....I hope....I hope.....

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Small Blue Box

I was lying in the hospital room crying in earnest after they told me he was gone. The evil techs who tried in vain to start an IV (7 times) were shooed away, and Peyton and I were left there to ponder the next move by ourselves.

It's a horrible, gut wrenching feeling knowing that the news you just received was just the beginning of the horror that you are going to have to endure. His heart broke for me, because in the end, I was going to have to labor. I was going to have to deliver him dead. He knew it was horrible. He knew it was cruel. And I knew he would take it away from me and do it himself if he could.

We knew that we would have to call a funeral home. We were informed of that when we were given the bag full of stuff. The 'so you're baby died, now what?' stuff.

"I don't want him buried here." I said.
Peyton nodded through his tears.
"I don't want him buried. When we leave in a few years, we will have to leave him behind, and I don't want that," I said.

His parents came. My parents came. My friend Gina came. We called everyone under the sun. It was getting late. A million tears were shed. I remember how Peyton's father cried as he looked out the window. I remember how my father was trying so hard not to cry. I remember apologizing to his mother for this monumental fail I did as a daughter-in-law. She burst into tears and hugged me and told me that it was not my fault--that I did nothing wrong, but I didn't believe her.

The night nurse brought us a sandwich that she swiped from the doctor's lounge. And a bag of chips. Peyton and I split the turkey sandwich like two children in a school cafeteria. We chewed. We cried. We choked down two bites before we gave up. We fell asleep holding each other on the 'daddy' fold out couch.

At two in the morning I crawled back into the hospital bed. I lay there in the dark and held my belly and cried. "I'm so sorry, Ronan" I said over and over again. "Mommy is so sorry,"

I fell asleep, and sometime around 7 am a tech with a doppler came in to start the IV. He kept chatting. He kept saying things that didn't matter in my world anymore. He said that most women handle the pain of an IV no problems.

"How 'bout the pain of delivering a dead baby?" I asked.

He shut up.

Later that morning Dr. C. came in and introduced himself. Said he had talked to Dr. S and was going to help me deliver today. He said that I could have an epidural. "No need to suffer anymore than you need to," he said in his soft spoken way. Five minutes later he inserted the Cervadil.

4 hours later 2 more went in, and the pain began in earnest. And it was more intense and horrible than I thought it could ever be.

The cramping was intense. I thought I was being split down the middle. I was in full-blown labor and not progressing more than 2 cm. I was given a shot to calm the pain, but it wore off in 20 minutes. Tannya came in with the hard stuff that was being shot into my IV at a snail's pace. I could feel the numbing come, but underneath, the contractions were still there.

Peyton had whispered to me that our friend Jeff was in the waiting room and he wanted to come and see me. I nodded ok in my narcotic-induced haze. Jeff, who is a sweet man unique in his own right, came up to my bed and held my hand and looked at us with so much love and pity that I started to cry. He held Peyton's head in the crook of his shoulder. When people mention Jeff's name now in passing, I see that image of him consoling us in the midst of my labor-hell.

I was allowed an epidural, and as Peyton cradled me in his arms as Dr. K numbed my back, I remember thinking {this} was the part of the process I was so afraid of. The needle in the back. I felt the prick. I felt the threading of the line. The pain was gone in an instant, and the storm was over.

I slept that night, but awoke shortly around 2 a.m. Peyton had finally fallen asleep and I was alone with Ronan again. I knew our time was coming to an end. My body was ready to deliver him, and I would never see him again.

"We're going to get through this, you and I" I said.

I prayed to a God I barely believed in at the time to please be kind and let the delivery be easy. And to please spare my uterus.

"Please let there be a chance for children again," I asked. "Please don't let this horror be all I will know of carrying a child"

At 4 a.m. my water broke. At 6:49 a.m. Ronan was born still after 4 pushes.

I was transferred to the 'sick ward' for recovery, and Ronan was brought to us by Jennifer who was escorted by two police officers. One of the police officers was a Hispanic male, about 50 years old, who hugged us and cried and said he was sorry for our loss. We thanked him, and every time I want to think all cops are assholes, I think about that man, and how the loss of Ronan brought him to tears.

We were visited by counselors, nurses, psychologists who were also women of God. They asked if we wanted to have a prayer service or a dedication there in the hospital. We agreed.

Our parents and friends stood in a circle around the hospital bed as I held Ronan. I took in his soft skin, his dark hair, his fuzzy eyebrows, his ruby red lips. The women prayed, told God that my son was now His. My mother-in-law wept loudly. Everyone wiped their tears.

After the dedication, the family left us alone. Peyton and I held our son and each other. He grew cold, and any bit of spirit that had remained of him was long gone. By late that afternoon, we had to let him go. The same police officers who escorted Ronan to me were responsible for escorting him back with Peyton. I was grateful that compassionate people were taking him to his final resting spot.

I handed Ronan to Peyton, kissed him on the forehead and wept as they took him away.

I sat by the window and forced myself to look at the sun setting. I named the colors that I saw. Pink. Orange. Blue. White. I told myself he was not in that body anymore, but that he was in the light.

A week later a funeral director slid a small blue box with a white sateen pouch in it across the table to me. My fingers rested on the box. Peyton grabbed my hand and I stood with him, cradling the box to my chest.

I walked out of the small office, and saw how people looked at me in the lobby. They looked at the small box. They looked at the grieving couple. And they bowed their head because they knew what was in the box, and the reality of it made their hearts heavy.

That small blue box sits in another box in my closet, along with his pictures, the clothes he wore, and the cards we received. As we prepare to finally move from this place in the next few months, I prepare to move his box to take it with us....

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Can I Borrow the Car, Ma?



So, Julia posted the question on Glow in the Woods today about what do you want people you meet now to know about you? (in regards to your child who is no longer here.....)

I want them to know that even though we are blessed with her, we will always miss him. And a day doesn't go by that I don't wonder 'what if'. Even 2.5 years out.

I want people to stop asking me when will I get pregnant with my 'second' baby. The next baby (God-willing) will be my third, people.

I want people to know that I take nothing for granted. I sing You Are My Sunshine to my sweet girl every night, and pray that she is alive the next time I go to check on her. There is a section on the MISS site dedicated to the loss of young children/toddlers. I can't even look on that thread. It breaks my fucking heart to think a thread like that exists.

I want people to know that the grief I carry is a shapeshifter. It is a fuzzy bunny one day and the next day is a freaking rabid wolverine. And I never know the shape it will take until I stumble upon it.

I want people to know that there are times I wish I never knew this world existed. But then I feel guilty for wishing that, because it means that I will be undoing all the true beauty and joy I have witnessed that only comes from being in a place of true sorrow and despair.

I want people to know that it's not easy being me. But I get that it's not easy being you either.

I want people to respect the journey I am on, but don't dwell on it, or marvel that you could never be on it or yourself or you would DIE or KILL YOURSELF. Doesn't make me feel better, and it makes you look weaker than you probably are.

I just want people to know. To get it. To understand.

And if you don't get it exactly, that's ok.

That's ok.

But please say "sorry to hear that."

That's enough, and it's ok.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Back to the Future

We're moving.

Have I mentioned this already?

To Ohio of all places.

The Job is moving. I am an 'integral' part of the team. I make good money. I have wonderful benefits. I need to go with my team. My career is on a specific track. It makes perfect sense.

{Sigh}

The logistics of moving back to the Midwest (as you may recall, P and I came down to Texas from Michigan, so we are effectively doing an about-face just over 3 years later) are rather daunting. Both personally (Jesus, I need to clear out my garage) and my lab. MY LAB!

Ever move a lab 1200 miles? Yeah, I moved a lab 2 floors down and lost a ton of stuff. The very thought of that is making me pop Zantac like Chiclets.

Am I thrilled it's the Midwest? Meh. I feel kind of been-there-done-that. I am looking forward to the LACK of ridiculous commute. 10 minutes to get to work? HEAVEN. FOUR seasons? Imagine that!

Will I miss my family? Meh. My family barely sees us without some monumental effort on our part. P's parents are making their exit of Texas as well and will most likely end up on the East Coast, so, a day's drive.

Will I miss my friends? Sure. But what the hell is it about life that really gets in the way of connecting with your friends? I used to be really disappointed about it, but realized that I should just be grateful for the moments of time carved out with other people who love(d) you. The truth is that my friendships have evolved since Ronan died. Some for good, some for bad, and some TBD. I have no idea what the future holds, really. My friends from Michigan are excited to have us within driving distance of them again, but 4 hours is a long trip. And truth be told, I expect to have phone/Facebook contact like always and prepare for the carving of moments once a year if I am lucky.

Although Texas is my home, I feel that when we came back here September 2007 we were just visiting. I accepted the job knowing that another move was eminent. But I reasoned that being home for the birth of our son was logical (versus Iowa, which would have been my other option). That our family would have the opportunity to get to know him--even if it was only for 3 years.

I didn't know it would be for only 1 day. Shortly after Ronan died, P and I were laying in bed, crying for the 100th time and he said that he wanted to leave Texas. Said that this place would always be the place where our son died, overshadowing all the wonderful memories we had shared here, back when we first met in 1997.

I wonder sometimes what would have happened if we had been in Iowa when this happened to us. Alone with just us dealing. Sometimes I feel it wouldn't have made much difference, as the obstacles and the day-to-day were still awkward and hard, but just witnessed by more people who knew us from before.

In the meantime I look up homes in Ohio. I imagine life there, less complicated, and me less jaded.

Maybe leaving is a good thing...

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Never Say Goodbye

I don't quite know what to do when a fellow blogger decides to stop blogging.

It started with Antigone. At first I thought she was taking a break, busy with Perseus and all, but then the break was two weeks, a month. And that was all she wrote.

I wonder if Antigone still reads my blog---passes by to get glimpses of what the girl looks like now. I sometimes wish she would give me a glimpse of P now. I can imagine what he looks like--I assume that he is hitting all similar milestones, since he was born 5 days before Radha.

And of course I don't blame her. She had to do what was right for her, but I still felt like I lost a tether---someone who was holding me taut during this new, crazy adventure we shared.

I don't know if Charmed is still blogging. She set her blog to private, and I have to believe that she felt exposed or just took it down when she decided to try to move away from DBL. She too was a voice, a fiercely strong one, that I grew to love and depend on.

And now it appears that another is also taking her leave. I was reading her {last} entry a few days ago and felt a wave of sadness just overcome me.

Or was it jealousy?

Is there a point where you stretch your wings to check to see if they have healed enough to try to fly away? Leave the security of the nest for good?

I don't feel that I will ever leave this nest, but I do feel strong enough to wander away from it for stretches at a time. But when others leave for good, I am left feeling torn between my loss and sadness for seeing them go and a sense of that I should be following suit.

I wrote once that this was a journey, not a destination. Losing Ronan and the grieving process has been anything but linear, with snags of grief that knock me on my ass when I least expect it. I have become more matter-of-fact in the last year about his passing, a nice thick wall of scar tissue has covered my broken (but healing) heart. But things like seeing my OB/GYN a couple of weeks ago (for potentially the last time as we are set to move to Ohio in a few months) really, REALLY cut me deep. For every step I try to live away from the nest, it is still my safety net, and I feel (or fear?) I will never be able to leave it.

But why should I fear that?

Is there anything wrong with sticking around? Am I like a 5th year senior if I stick around? Old, uncool and ridiculous looking?

I just don't know anymore....

Friday, June 11, 2010

Filed Under: Misc.

Today is the first time I can really sit down and exhale from all the crazy.

We went to San Diego and it turned into a very child-unfriendly ordeal. American Airlines, whom I have hated since I was 21-- (when I was flying to Ft. Lauderdale for a conference (with a stomach bug) the bitchy stewardesses made me hold my barf bag of vomit for three goddamn hours because they didn't want to dispose of it!) ---lost our carseat AND broke our stroller. This was a big stroller of the $$$ variety (graciously given to us by my work buddies). The frame was bent, and would not snap back into place.

We discovered this at the gate in San Diego as I was trying in vain to snap the fucker in place while P holding a very pissy girl who had been cooped up in a plane for three hours, and was calm until she realized that she was not going to be able to chill in her ride.

We dragged the broken stroller to the luggage claim, which felt like it was located in San Francisco, only to find out our car seat didn't make it on the plane from Dallas. We did a lot of cursing in that terminal, let me tell you. Especially after being told that our stroller was now a very expensive door stop (we don't cover strollers, sorry, read the fine print). I threatened bodily harm if they didn't find our car seat. They did, and it was delivered to our hotel 5 hours later (they loaned us a crappy carseat to get us to the hotel).

And although the meeting was good, it was just a blah time. Radha just was not diggin' San Diego, and her blase' attitude was spilling over to us. P and I enjoyed the zoo, but she slept through most of it. I was cursing the damn umbrella stroller that we bought at a Target to get her to and from. Damn thing moved like a $30 stroller. Enough said.

We got back from San Diego and had exactly 24 hours before our friends from Michigan arrived. We planned this deliberately as I had Memorial Day off and a Comp day, so I could spend more time with them.

We were all trucking along, having a grand old time. On Memorial Day, Radha woke up at 4 am with a fever. Low-grade, but a fever. We gave her Tylenol, because she was uncomfortable. She fell back asleep, but battled the fever all day.

P had invited his parents over and he grilled while I was trapped upstairs trying to calm a sick, crying child. I had no idea what was wrong with her, but her fever kept spiking and she was miserable. At 6pm, I took her temp and it read 104.9.

I. Lost. My. Shit. I paged her Pediatrician and near hysterical, told him her temp and her symptoms. He said to take her to the ER.

We loaded her up in the car and she was burning hot to the touch. I do not have to tell you all what horrible thoughts ran through my head as I was hauling ass to try to get the the Med Center. I made P sit in the back with her, and I could see her dozing off from sheer exhaustion in the rearview mirror, but panicking, I told him to keep her awake. The fear in me was carnal. Awful. I felt vomit in my throat.

We walked into the ER and when the receptionist ask what was wrong, I burst into tears. I am sure they are used to seeing this, but I was just losing. my. shit. P had to tell them what was wrong. Radha was lying so still against his chest, cheeks flushed from fever. She slowly reached out to me and I held her. She was so hot.

We sat in the waiting room where there was a gigantic aquarium. She lifted her head to follow the colorful fish. They finally called us back. They took all her info and did an ear read for her temp and it read 100.3.

?????

Did her fever miraculously go down 5 degrees in 30 minutes or was one of us off? I told the nurse that we had a read of almost 105 on our thermometer, and she nodded like she didn't believe me. She gave Radha some more Tylenol and brought us to a waiting room where we changed her into a little yellow gown. It was so cute, yet so sad to see her in that.

Long story short, the ER Ped felt it was viral, and reassured me that because her shots were up to date, it most likely was not bacterial meningitis. He checked for a UTI, negative. And her ears and throat were clear. She was responsive and cried every time someone with scrubs walked in. He said he was thrilled to see that, and they sent us home with a fever-buster plan. But after the dose of Motrin that night, she slept soundly and didn't spike a fever again.

She woke up in the morning smiling like NOTHING was ever wrong. This was Tuesday. We spent all day watching her like a hawk and she was cool. Go figure.

Wednesday morning, a few minutes after I got out of the shower, I got a text that told me that my Grandfather was not doing well after his surgery the day before. When I was driving into work, I called my family and learned that it was the worst case scenario. A routine surgery to remove a kidney went horribly bad, he bled out, and they had no hope for his survival. At 9:30 a.m., he coded, and the old man took his leave.

By this time, my poor friends were thinking they were bad luck. We did manage to get through 2 more days before I put them on the plane and drove south 5 hours for the funeral. We left Radha with my in-laws, not wanting to chance any more freaky-deaky fever things. I am glad we did, because it was 80% humidity and 95 degrees at 10 a.m. Saturday morning before the funeral.

It was worse the second time around. Putting my grandfather in the ground meant the end of an era. Many tears were shed that day, and by the drive back home the next day, I was completely and utterly spent emotionally.

I am glad to be home. It's quiet right now, and if it stays this quiet all summer, it will be a-ok with me....


A pic from last August. Radha was the lastest great-grandchild, and my grandfather tried to hold her after my grandmother's funeral, but she was just not having it. She cried. LOUDLY. He laughed and said she was just like me. He told a story about how my parents left me with them when I was about that age---they wanted to get away for a weekend. I cried so much they called my parents to come pick me up three hours later! :)




In loving memory of my Grandpa Ray....

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Pray For Us Sinners

Dios te salve, Maria.
Llena eres de gracia:
El Señor es contigo.
Bendita tú ere entre todas las mujeres.
Y bendito es el fruto de tu vientre:
Jesús.
Santa María, Madre de Dios,
ruega por nosotros pecadores,
ahora y en la hora de nuestra muerte.
Amén.


The rosary was supposed to be in English but there was a mix-up at the church and the women leading it that night were native Spanish speakers. I sat and watched my Grandfather stare at my Grandmother's body as the rosary was recited. He looked like he was in hell. Purgatory, maybe. Grief sat so heavy on his chest, it was difficult for him to breathe.

He sat there from noon until 9pm that day, and the day before. All day, greeting countless people while he stared at what was left of his wife. I sat there watching him instead of reciting Hail Marys, and really took in his face---the deep lines of sorrow, the fatigue, the helplessness, the defeat.

It got me thinking about how we all handle our grief. I wrote early on that grief was exhausting. I swear my teeth hurt along with my heart. He looked a lot like I did after Ronan died---lost. Like he wanted to climb in that casket and die holding her.

Someone told me once that the loss of child and the loss of a spouse were very similar. I hope to God that I never have to find out--because I never want to feel the way I did January 26, 2008 ever again.

---------


I wrote this when I returned from my grandmother's funeral last August. My grandparents were married for 54 years, had 12 children, 37 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren. My grandparents loved each other very much. Deeply. They always looked at each other like they knew an inside joke.

I remember vividly how they spoke to each other: Carefully. Jokingly. Respectfully. Kindly.

I sat at the house after my grandmother's funeral and watched how life buzzed around my grandfather as he sat on the couch, lost in thought. Lost in transition. Lost in translation. What does he do now? How is he supposed to move from this horrible place where there was no Teresa?

I turned to Peyton and said "I don't know if he's going to make it."

We have all read the stories about how some elderly die shortly after their partners do. (Statistically, if they make it over a year, they will probably live much longer). I have always found this to be poetic. A wee bit romantic.

Two weeks ago, after many months of agonizing silence, my grandfather finally complained of pain in his side. An MRI revealed his left kidney was double the size it should be. A biopsy revealed kidney cell carcinoma. Surgery was supposed to be performed last Tuesday to remove the kidney and assess the cancer. It was bumped to this past Tuesday. He woke up from the procedure, where they found that it had spread to basically every organ, including the liver (which was evident from the jaundice). Tuesday night in the ICU he took a turn for the worse. At 5 a.m. I got a frantic text from my mother, and by 9 a.m. he took his leave. On his terms. He was ready to go, just nine and a half months after my grandmother....

I like to think my grandmother was waiting for him on the other side.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Meerkat Manor




Ever wonder what zoo animals think about when we take their pictures?

I can imagine a Jersey accent "What YOU lookin' at, eh?"

A British accent: "Wanna snap me pic, eh?"

What do you think they are thinking?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

California Dreamin'

Just a glimpse of what I hope to catch on my business-vacay.

See ya'll in a week!


XOXO---Reese

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Coincidentally, speaking

It was a 'suggested' training. Suicides are up in the military, and as a supervisor, I was told it was a good idea to go.

My MSgt gave the briefing this morning. We sat through a video of 'Charlie' having a rough time. He didn't like his deployment, his girlfriend and him were shaky, he is losing it at work. We went over the warning signs and what to do. We talked about civilian versus military actions. We talked about a lot of things.

This afternoon, I get a random phone call from a new Contractor who is trying to get things going on a project. We were playing phone tag--told him I would be around after 3 p.m., so he could try me then. At 4:05 (we usually leave around 4:30), he showed up at my office, unannounced. This was the first time I had ever met him.

He was an older man, soft spoken. He looked nervous. Kept mumbling that he was new and he wanted to get this 'perfect'. He asked me for help filling out some forms, but they were all financial in nature, and I had never seen them before. I suggested a few people who could guide him through the process.

He stacked his papers, and then I saw it. His face fell, and he started to cry.

Out of no where, this poor soul was having a meltdown in my conference room!

I patted his back, offered him water. I used my soothing voice. He told me in so many words that he is going through a bitter divorce. His wife basically spread poison that got him a horrible reputation, liquified all of his assets, including his retirement, and put his daughter against him.

"I haven't seen her in 3 years. This will be the third Christmas that I haven't seen her," he said and broke down again.

"It was all lies," he said. I never pressed on what were all lies, but he kept saying "I have to get this put right," over and over again.

I have seen many a man, woman and child shed tears. But it cuts something deep and awful in me when an older man is broken. It just seems.....wrong.

I said that I would help him to assure that this was perfect. For him not to worry about this. I will put him with the right people to train him, to assure that this was done right. I was upbeat, and he seemed to take refuge in my support. He pulled himself together. I told him I would call him tomorrow, and he thanked me again and again for my help.

I sat in my car for a few minutes and thought about what the hell had just happened. I called my boss, calmly told him that I was in Bizzarro World, and explained what happened. We calmly figured out what we would do in the morning. He did not seem suicidal to me, but it seemed like someone needed to watch out for him.

I don't know who that is, but I pray for a solution tomorrow....

{Sigh}

Thursday, May 13, 2010

What Dreams May Come

It started out fuzzy, but it became clear that I was at the hospital helping my SIL during labor. She kept saying something didn't feel right. My BIL was off to the side, looking tired and worn out.

I looked down, and I saw the head crowning. I yelled at BIL to get the doctor. I told SIL to hang on....to not push, but the baby was coming regardless.

I delivered him. A boy. He was so still at first, but I told myself that he was alive. And then he moved. He cried.

The nurses and doctors rushed in. After a few minutes of frenzy, they handed him to her. Her son.

A son that lived....

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Near Misses and Counting Blessings....

Our new technical editor and I have a standing lunch date on Wednesdays. I like her a lot. She is a petite Jewish woman from Cali, who is pretty worldly---married to a Japanese man, speaks three different languages.

Sandy picked me up at 11:00. I was actually on time to meet her at the back entrance of the lab. We drove off, left the base via the back gate and traveled down a road we drive down all the time to try a new Mexican food restaurant---her neighbors owned the restaurant and she wanted to check it out.

We drove past a refinery that is located right by base at around 11:02 a.m.---they load tanker trucks with jet fuel that services a lot of the bases in town. At around 11:05, a tanker caught fire and exploded, sending flames and smoke that could be seen up to 40 miles.

At 11:32, one of my contractors called me and asked me about the smoke---he was still on base and they could see the black smoke and flames. I had no idea what he was talking about. He got off the phone with me, and come to find out, our base had to be evacuated because of the fire.

We all calmly left work (Sandy and I could never get back to base after lunch, so we hung out at her house until my boss graciously swung by to pick me up to drive me home as my car was still at work). Come to find out that had the firefighters not done their jobs perfectly today, the 100,000+ gallons of jet fuel could have ignited and blown a huge hole in the south side--my lab right in the path.

I feel luck was with all of us tonight---no one died from the explosion, and Sandy and I just barely missed driving by at the exact time the initial blast went off.

Now, please excuse me while I go have a heart attack....

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

My SIL is pregnant.

Although this was expected at some point, the news was still wrapped in with a sort of dramatic pause that Peyton and I were not completely prepared for.

Irrespective of her and my BIL (because of course we wish them all the happiness and joy with this endeavor), this pregnancy generated a lot of chaos in a pretty stable/nice existence that P and I were riding. When SIL told us the news (basically in a series of texts messages in which I guessed what the big news was that she wanted to announce at a party with all her friends on a Saturday night), we were happy for them. But when we found out that they were going to announce it to the world when A) they had not been to a doctor yet (and still haven't--insurance reasons) and B) she was only about 8 weeks along I stopped cold in my tracks. Well, I didn't really stop cold, somewhere in the depths of my cranium I was screaming "WHATAREYOUDOINGAREYOUCRAZYYOUHAVEN'TEVENSEENAHEARTBEATYET!!!!!!!!!" On the outside, we swallowed our compulsions to say anything in a warning tone and only said positive things.

We had dinner plans with my friend H and her family that same night, so we missed the festivities. The next night we were having dinner with the family at a restaurant, and when we arrived (late as always), my MIL, BIL, and SIL were there sportin' buttons that said "Grandma to Be", "Father to Be" and "Mommy to Be". By our place setting were 2 buttons for us "Uncle to Be" and "Aunt to Be". It was then that my good graces flew out the damn window and I think that was the first time that my SIL realized that both P and I were not comfortable with this display. At. All.

Come to find out the buttons were complements of my MIL---who held Ronan for an hour after he was born still, who was there throughout every horrible goddamn minute of labor up until I got the epidural. Who was with us for Ronan's 2 year balloon release.

P and I were quiet through most of that meal, and on the ride home we decided that we should kindly remind my MIL that this was not something we were comfortable with---and also to remind her that pregnancy (in general) is not a happy-go-lucky topic with us.

When I called my MIL the next morning, I calmly told her that P and I were not able to participate in these kinds of activities, because it made us ridiculously uncomfortable, especially because it was so early in the pregnancy. I reiterated that we were not wanting to poo-poo how my BIL and SIL chose to handle this pregnancy, but the innocence of pregnancy has left the building for the both of us. Forever. In the vein of not being Debbie Downer, we felt it was best to not put ourselves in a position where we were uncomfortable. (Because sure as shit, no one is looking out for our comfort in this situation, so it HAS to default to us). We told her the best way for us to be supportive was one-on-one, and not in crowd form.

She seemed to understand my feelings, up until she suggested that P and I talk to someone about our feelings---like there was something wrong with feeling this way. Then I lost it a little bit. I told her that if there was any indication that women who had been through the hell we had been through did NOT feel the same way as I did, then maybe that would be a valid suggestion. But because I KNOW a whole mess of other women who feel the EXACT same way I do about pregnancy, then no, I don't need to see a shrink, thanks very much. She tried to back out of the corner she painted herself in, but it was in that instance that I realized that my seemingly supportive MIL doesn't get the hell I (and P) go through on a a daily basis, or COMPREHEND what we went through when I was pregnant with Radha. It seems, dear readers, that she too was under the delusion that Radha was the happy ending to a horrible story, not the bright spot in an alternate, fucked up reality that I will forever be living. And then I realized that she was living out a bit of her own fantasy with this pregnancy---the ability to go crazy and cutesie with the anticipation of a grandchild. Something I never let her do. And the whole thing made me really, really, really sad.

It was a terrible fall into the pit after this conversation. And I hate that something like this---something I have no utter control over---can send me over the edge. Still. Two years later.

I haven't really talked to my MIL since then. The madness of the announcements have died down. SIL still hasn't been to the doctor yet, but hopefully in the next couple of weeks.

I will continue to hope for the best while preparing for the worst.

Because that's the way I roll now...

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Welcome Spring!

Bluebonnets finally bloomed this year, after two consecutive years of piss-poor showings. The record heat and drought of last summer actually helped the wildflower season this year.

There is a tradition in Texas to photograph your children/family/dogs in the bluebonnets. Since they are usually found along state highways, it is not unusual to see cars pulled off to the side of busy highways and see children being rushed into a field, parents flailing their hands while frantically trying to set up and snap a picture, and then frantically ordering the children back into the car. All at lightening speed. A Texas version of a Chinese Fire Drill. :P

One of my college friends is starting her photography business and found a safe place in a neighborhood where someone had planted bluebonnets years before. She got permission to use the field, so we took Radha over there for a couple of shots.

For the record---the tutu was her idea :D


Happy Spring, Friends....





Monday, April 12, 2010

Signs, Signs, Everywhere There's Signs

We were in Seattle this past long weekend.

I love the Pacific Northwest, and had things gone the way I planned it, we would have been there for at least the Fellowship portion of my education. But alas, they didn't, I ended staying in Michigan and then moving back to Texas.

The last time I was in Washington State, I was at a writer's retreat for 3 weeks in 2005, and this year I felt the call to go back and decompress. So, for my 35th birthday, Peyton and I took a 4.5 hour plane ride without the girl, to reengage with adult life, and to exhale for the first time in a long time....


Tulips are my favorite flowers (I have always had an affinity for bulb flowers. I like the idea that a seed planted in the Autumn must endure the harsh winter in order to bloom in the Spring). At Pike Place Market, there were rows and rows of tulips, bringing me a kind of innocent joy that I haven't felt in a long, long time....



We ate fresh crab, drank Starbucks, shopped, laughed, and talked like we haven't talked in a long time. About life, about future, about our children.

We headed out to Whidbey Island, walked along Double Bluff Bay, and I vividly remembered walking on the same beach 4.5 years before, thinking about returning home, my future, my reunion with Peyton, and the possibility of starting our family now that school was over.

On this day, we saw a group of people walking along the beach, and Peyton, who was walking ahead of me, made an about-face and told me not to walk that way. The woman told him that there was a dead baby seal over there, and the smell was unbearable. I looked in the general direction, and could see a small outline in the sand, and a raven bending over to examine it.

It is common for me to associate seals with Ronan, as that is the literal meaning of his name--"little seal". I was grateful that the woman said something before we stumbled across it. I don't know how upset I would have been bearing witness to that.

But it was the raven that signified something more to me than the presence of a seal on that beach. Ever since Ronan died, birds follow us, and show up at the moments where grief is the heaviest. Driving back from the funeral home in silence, we saw a gigantic vulture perched on a light post with his wings in some grand contortion, looking like a bird on a crest. It made Peyton and I both take notice. When I was driving to work the first day after my 'maternity leave' after he died, a bird flew beside my car window at 20 mph until I went on the highway. When I stopped off for coffee, I walked back to my car to see a small bird hanging out by my car door. Even this past January on Ronan's 2nd birthday, a roadrunner crossed our path, and stayed there as we walked by---which is most unusual as those birds (ridiculously depicted by Looney Tunes), do in fact hustle the hell away from people (and coyotes).

The raven walked it's circle around the seal and came to spend a few moments walking with us before leaving.

Whatever the meaning, even if you take nothing from it other than a freaky coincidence, that image of the raven and the seal will stay with me forever.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

35 is halfway to 70....




At least that's what I've been told.....

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Red Means Stop

I joined MISS over 2 years ago, and I can say that it was the beginning of the healing process after Ronan died.

I wasn't a serial commenter, but when I needed help or advice, I would post and someone would come a runnin'. It was nice to know that in a sea of computer screens, some one had my back. I still visit that site daily, as a touchstone, for guidance, and to offer advice if I can....

There are many Admin people who serve as the 'elders' of the board--Christa B. was one of them. In a parallel universe, she was my twin---science gal, same age, lots of weird coincidences. We only chatted a few times, but I saw her around all the time, holding the hands of whomever needed her. She had lost twin girls and had twin boys 1 year later (who are now 6 years old). She had married her high school sweetheart. She was making progress to defend her PhD this year....life really seemed good for her.

Last week Christa was driving near her local Kroger and got T-boned by an 81 year-old man who ran a red light. She died later that evening.

Out of all the emotions that have spilled through me this week, anger is lingering--at the fucktard old man who probably had no business driving (and survived!!!!), at the universe for fucking with a family that had already had it's share of tragedy, at the fact that she had some of the best years of her life ahead of her--what a damn waste.

But I am most angry that there are no guarantees--that we are not immune from tragedy...that there are no free passes in any stage of life...that life can be so damn unfair.

For all the things I love about life, these are the things I loathe, and continue to wrestle with until the day I perish.

God-willing it won't be while I am making a bagel run to Kroger.

In Memoriam
Christa Bowen
1975-2010

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Sometimes....



I am reminded how fast life moves forward....

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Welcome Home!!

The lovely C welcomed her sweet girl on Monday.

The Pink Post-It list continues.....

Monday, March 1, 2010

You Don't Know My Name

Blame it on growing up, moving in different directions, being in different places----

Blame it on the ugly scar that resulted when my soul was slashed the day my son was born dead.

Blame it on the rain, or hormones, or the isolating loneliness that finds me when I least expect it.

But, I woke up this morning feeling that no one knows who I am anymore...

....least of all me.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I want my MTV

I am addicted to 16 and Pregnant.

Don't ask me why. There is no real reason I watch these shows, and the closest excuse I can muster is that I am addicted to teenaged drama. Waxing nostalgic? Hardly. I secretly say a Hail Mary that I was a geek, pretty level-headed and had no chance to go through any of this drama myself.

That being said, one of the youngin's who was knocked up decided, with the support of her very much in love BF, to give the baby up for adoption. They were 16. They were poor. They wanted more for their daughter.

I haven't cried this hard in a long time. I felt fucking awful for these kids---who obviously loved each other and their baby--who made such a selfless choice to give their daughter a fighting chance for more. The young father cried hysterically when his girlfriend was pushing. I am sure he was counting the seconds and knew that as soon as the baby came, she would be gone. The planning, the preparing, the mental pep-talks didn't soften any blows once they heard that baby scream.

Reality is such a bitch, no?

It made me remember the 17 hours I had to mentally prepare for Ronan's birth. The mental pep talks, the reassurance that I could do it. The tears, tears, and more tears. But when it came to push, and he was out, born silent---reality really set in. And that was the worst part of it all---having to live in this pseudo messed up reality.

Catelynn also lost her baby. Although her baby is alive and growing with another family, she lost her ability to see her grow, and she will have to carry that loss with her for the rest of her life.

That's a bitter pill for anyone to swallow---let alone someone who is only 16.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Pink Post-It Notes

I have been going through motions for a few weeks now. Not really in the pit. Not really happy. Just sitting with the day-to-day.

I have had a few friends who have recently had babies. My best friend had a precious baby girl. A girl I went to high school with delivered strapping twin boys a couple of days ago, and my friend H gave birth to a gigantic baby boy (9lbs 4oz!) a few weeks ago. When Radha was born, H held her a few days afterwards, crying tears mixed with my joy and her loss. I promised myself that when her son was born, he would be the first infant boy that I would hold.

He slept quietly in my arms, long fingers stretching out in an imaginary dream. His jaw was chiseled like his father. He will be tall just like him, I imagine. H looked so beautiful holding him.

I know many, many, many, many, many, many of you are waiting for your dreams babies. My friend K is also waiting. She is on strict bed rest with 'mild pre-eclampsia'. She is 32 weeks and she has had 5 early losses. We are praying that the 6th time is a charm.

I have her name and your names on a pink Post-It tacked next to my desk. I don't even know some of your real names, but I have your blog names written down. Every night I say a prayer and add "come home safely wee ones".

Come home safely wee ones....

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Release



As the blue balloons climbed up to the heavens, I imagined you catching every one of them. Happy Birthday, my sweet boy...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Jan 26, 2010

He was more than a tragedy that happened to us.

More than a random act of nature that came along with ridiculous odds, sent here to break our hearts.

He was flesh and bone, created from two people who were committed to the love they shared, and the family they so desperately wanted to make.

He was the hope of grandparents, of camping trips in the mountains, mud pies in the backyard, rides on the lawnmower, giggles and laughter on Christmas morning.

He was the nostalgia of good friends, who eagerly awaited the transformation of their old friends into parents, and for opportunities to whisper secrets of what they were like at that age into his ear.

He was the metamorphosis of a man and woman who were scared at first of this path, into a mother and father who could not imagine any other.

He was a lesson of eternal love, of picking up a million shattered pieces one shard at a time, and of trying to find happiness in a sea of sorrow.

He is a daily reminder of how life is messy, beautiful, cruel, kind, and is never what you had planned.

He was here only briefly, but he was real. And he was important.

His name was Ronan.

And he was so much more than a tragedy....

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Those Lovely Bones

I hear the news and I try desperately to recall a memory---a good one, one with meaning, one that is novel-esque and makes people's heart strings tug a little.

But all I have is the image of him dressed in red footed pajamas WITH the trap door.

We were in high school One Act Play. I played Troll---the assistant to the Prince who, while handing out invitations to the ball, fell down the well on some hick's farm. He played Mr. Snow, the insane farmer who walked around the whole play in red footed pajamas WITH the trap door asking about his pants.

He was Todd, a guy I knew from school and church. A quiet kid with dark brown hair and blue eyes. A jock in a Letterman's jacket who decided out of the blue to audition for One Act Play that year--which he was great in. Collectively, we all were---we almost advanced to State competition--unheard of for a comedy. When we graduated, we lost touch. I hadn't really heard much about him until I got the news this weekend.

Todd died on Sunday. He had terminal cancer and died peacefully in hospice surrounded by his family and friends. He left behind a young son. He was only 36.

I have been thinking a lot about what death means these last few weeks. In the spiritual way--the religious way---the physical way.

Death has never really scared me. Part of this stemmed from my parent's work as paramedics. Back in the 80s they volunteered for the small town EMS, and would often be out (with me in tow) when they were paged to help with an accident. They would park the car on the side of the road, and I would witness the frenzy of people, lights and sirens---all hovering over the injured, and respectfully covering the dead. When I was about 7 or 8, my parents responded to an accident at night involving a car and a truck and parked quite close to the scene. I sat quietly in the car for over an hour staring at the back seat of the small hatchback, crushed almost all the way to the front. In that back seat I could see a silhouette of a man. When no one came to rush to help him, I knew that he was dead. That night, though, it took well over an hour to cover him with a sheet.

During this time, I thought about where this person was now that he was dead and what he was feeling bearing witness to this accident from heaven. Even at that age, I somehow connected death with peace. I knew, inherently that he was OK spiritually, even though his body had died.

Now that I am older, I think I still feel that way--about the one dying.

It's the living without the person who died that royally sucks and that part of death that scares the crap out of me.

What do you think happens to people when they die? Do you feel it's all over---fade to black? Do you think that there is an afterlife? A heaven? An in-between where spirits reside with us?

As for me---I liked to think that Todd may be up there, sipping on a Coke, pain free, lounging in those damn red footed pajamas, with the trap door....

RIP Todd H.
1973-2010

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I went into labor on the evening of Jan. 4th, but didn't get to the hospital until 4am on the 5th. I was calm, she was moving, and I was certain that this was really happening. I had known deep down that she wasn't going to make it to her induction date, set for January 12th.

It was surreal being back in the same hospital where I delivered Ronan. I kept saying over and over again that we had lost a child last year, and the nurse was kind enough to ask me which room I was in, and she placed me in down the hall in the opposite corridor.

Labor was uneventful up until then, but many nurses that were with us the previous year came and said hello, and were happy for us. My nurse who was looking after me in the morning until 7pm was fantastic, and she let me talk and talk about how I felt, how I was scared and happy, and how I was grieving all at the same time.

The 7pm-7am nurse was sent from the depths of hell. I don't want to waste a lot of energy describing her, but she was pure evil, cold and I was in a living hell in the overnight stretch. Radha was not engaging with my cervix, and although I was almost fully dilated, her head was too far back. They told me it would take 2 hours to push her down into the birth canal. It seemed hopeless. She lectured me that my attitude (sheer exhaustion by this time) was not helping the situation, and if I didn't get in the right frame of mind, I would be one of the bad mothers who needed a C-section. She also had my pitocin set to fucking ridiculously high and I was contracting every minute 45 seconds with a completely crap epidural. My blood pressure was out of control because I was in so much pain, and the bp alarm was going off every 2 minutes, and had to be manually shut off---by Peyton. Night nurse was no where to be found. No one got any sleep and I was out of my fucking mind by the time the morning came.

By 7am, the same morning nurse I had the previous morning came back in and said "OH MY GAWD, YOU ARE STILL HERE?!?!?" and I burst into tears and weepily told her that the stupid night nurse was evil and wouldn't let me talk to the doctor and my pitocin was set to KILL ME and the alarm was set to BATSHIT CRAZY. Beautiful morning nurse grabbed my hand and assured me that it was not my fault, and that night nurse, was in fact, INSANE and no one really liked her. She left me to go grab Dr. T, Dr. S.'s colleague that was on call that morning.

Dr. T was a tall man with a mane of salt and pepper hair. He checked me and said "she is not 9.5 and a lip, she is barely 7cm!" He shook his head disapprovingly and asked how long I had been there.

"Since 4am on the 5th" my beautiful nurse said.

He looked at his watch.

"I have a c-section at 8am---you are after her. This has gone on long enough--" he said.

It was like bees descending down on me---people swarmed in to prep me for surgery, and in walked Jennifer---the nurse who helped deliver Ronan---who bathed him, swaddled him, measured him and stayed with us most of the day. She was assisting with c-sections that day and seeing her brought Peyton and I to near hysterical tears. She was super sweet, remembered us, and said that seeing us there made her day.

By this time, the maternity ward was full---and everyone at one point rushed out because a woman was delivering a baby in the HALL! I was rolled down with happy doctor who was overzealous with the numbing drugs, and I was numb from the neck down.

Panic set in, and I tried not to hyperventilate. I was scared shitless. It was happening so damn fast. They put the blue gown up to cover the bottom half of me. Peyton eventually walked in and then out of the corner of my eyes I saw the anesthesiologist inject something into my IV.

And I felt it within seconds. Morphine

Morphine knocks me out. Little or big dose. And I was about to fall asleep and miss it all.

I fought sleep like hell. There was no way I was about to miss this moment. The moment I dreamed about. The moment where a baby is born and I get to hear cries.

"Please hurry," I said softly, panicking.
"We are almost there..." I heard Dr. T say. I felt tugging and more tugging.
"Please hurry!" I said again.

"She's out! She's big!" they said.

And I heard her. Her cries. Her beautiful cries. Tears stung my eyes. Relief filled my core.

I turned my head to try to see her. I couldn't see her.

"Peyton?" I asked.

"She's beautiful," he said.

And I allowed myself to let the drugs take over.

And I slept.

Jan. 6th, 2009 around 1:30 pm---I finally held my baby girl....



And it was all worth it.

Happy Birthday, sweet Radha....

Monday, January 4, 2010

Ying and Yang

Why did the worst day of my life and the happiest day of my life have to happen in the month of January?

I feel manic/depressive. Happy. Sad. Laughing. Crying.

Flashes of that horrible day are bombarding me. The drive into the hospital to get 'checked out', the still ultrasound image, the sound of my cries, the taste of my tears, the sweet smell of my son....I remember how red his lips were.

I am trying to prepare for Radha's first birthday party this weekend. I write my to-do lists and try to shake these horrible images out of my mind.

I sit with grief tonight, because I cannot fight it anymore.....

Friday, January 1, 2010