Friday, June 24, 2011

This Is My Baby Girl

This is the first time I saw my little girl.

This was the first time I held her hand.

This was when we were still fighting to save her life. She was drowning in her own blood and in so much pain even high doses of morphine would not stop her thrashing. She had to be restrained so she wouldn't cause more damage to herself.

This is when the fight had ended. Minutes after this, her breathing tube was taken out and she passed away in my arms.

This is her in her burial gown, lying in her teeny tiny coffin. She's wearing the gown I was blessed in as a baby. It  was huge on her, as I was 7 lbs and she was 1 lb 15 oz.

This was one of the last times I got to hold her. I had to put her in her coffin and watch as the top was sealed shut forever. 

This November she would be turning 3. I would be getting ready to enroll her in ballet lessons this fall, or maybe I would wait until spring depending on how she was doing developmentally. I would be buying cute girl clothes - she'd have an adorable swimming suit and we'd be playing in the water all summer long.

Instead, I'm growing frustrated at the lack of Independence Day decorations there are at my local dollar store. So I can decorate her grave. You know, this place:

Because that's all I can do for her now. 

So excuse me that I'm not jumping for joy that my sister is having a baby girl. The "first girl grandchild." This baby won't be the first. Everyone will get to buy her frilly things, and she will get to take ballet, and do all the things that I will never do with my baby girl. But she will never be the first female grandchild, because my baby girl was first.

Excuse me that I take offense when my sister hopes that, since her due date is in November, that she will have the baby on 11/11/11. It's a "cool date." She doesn't remember, but B would have been 3 years old that exact day. That's my daughter's birthday. Furthermore, 11/11/07 was my wedding date. B was born on our first anniversary, and the man I married just had a baby with another woman. When he has nothing to do with our son. Who I stayed in the hospital on bed rest for six weeks to get here, sat every day in the NICU with him for another 45 days praying every minute that he wouldn't die like his sister, and pumped breast milk for the first twenty months of his life, because I just knew if I didn't and he died, it would be my fault. He simply abandoned us after all of that and is having a wonderful life with a woman who can clearly produce full term babies. I call mercy. I am inferior, and I know it.

Excuse the fact that all of this information is overwhelming to me. Excuse me for being heartbroken over everything I have lost. Excuse me for letting that heartbreak be exacerbated by everyone else's joy.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Whine Party

Okay. I need to vent, it's too long for 140 characters, and everyone who I usually whine to has already heard this and I still feel the need to rehash it.

So all you lucky people get to listen to me whine. YAY!

Today M's sister in law sent me a private Facebook message to see how I was doing. Nice, right?! So I told her that I was doing AWESOME, that I got into the nursing program, that E is doing well, I have the summer off... life is pretty awesome all things considered.

So she writes back and basically "Yay! I'm so proud of you! In other news, M is back with C [the girl he had an affair with when he was with the girl who he had an affair with when he was married to me... did that make sense?!] and their baby boy was born last week. They're getting ready to move closer to his parents."

.........She always does this. I'm not sure why I ever email her back, because she always asks how I'm doing and then when I answer she drops some sort of huge bomb on me.

I knew C was pregnant, but C and M had broken up MONTHS ago. So I was like.. look! This means that my inability to carry a child to term was NOT the determining factor in me being such an unsatisfactory wife that M had to cheat on me multiple times. The fact that she will likely carry their baby to term does not guarantee that they will live happily ever after.

Apparently I was wrong.

So now, he has gotten to experience having a baby and taking him home from the hospital in a timely manner. An experience without apnea and bradycardia, NG tubes and IVs. Without worrying about brain bleeds or if the baby's PDA was still leaky. Without having to leave the baby night after night in NICU, falling asleep watching him on a webcam.

I will probably never get that.

So why did he get back with her, to take care of her baby? Why not me and mine?

I don't miss him. I don't want him back. She can have him. I am a better person now that he's out of my life.

That doesn't change the fact that I still feel inadequate. Like I wasn't enough. Like I will never be enough for someone else; that even if/when I do start dating, who will want me? I can't date someone who doesn't want kids - I have one! I can't date someone who wants many children - if I get one more live child I will be extremely blessed.

I also feel stuck. He's in a whole new phase of life; I'm the same. I'm still struggling with solo parenting day after day. I am still in school and I have a whole year and a half to go.. and even then I'll still be in school part time, although I'll be able to work so it won't be as bad. I'm still living with my mom, which is humiliating just in and of itself. I've been living here for a year and a half and I'm probably looking at another year and a half. That's three years. That's a long time.

Loser comes to mind. About me. And him. But mostly me.

And this is sort of unrelated, but it's part of the whine party. My sister is having an anatomy ultrasound for her pregnancy on Friday. She's asked me to babysit her three boys while she goes. Which is fine.. but B was the only granddaughter. All the other grandkids are boys. So if the anatomy ultrasound reveals she's pregnant with a girl, she's going to come back all happy and squeely. To make it worse, she's due in November and keeps telling me she's hoping to have the baby on 11/11/11. Which, she never remembers, will be B's 3rd birthday. Should have been B's 3rd birthday. Because, you know, my baby girl is dead. People forget that sometimes.

I'll feel better in the morning, I know I will. I just needed to get that out. I should get a journal or something and not burden all of you kind people with my whine fests, but thank you for being my listening ear <3

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Sunny days, party nights... guys, water fights, pretty hair, tanned skin, schools out, summer's in!

Well... not exactly ;)

Sunny days, for sure. It was 99 degrees today and the temp is just going to go up, up, up!

Not too much partying going on at night here, unless you count the once a week mom's fro-yo night. That's sort of a party. And of course the nightly "baby's asleep! SILENCE!" party. Wild times.

Hot guys... well, I did get asked out by a WalMart cashier. So that was pretty cool. Except he forgot to ask for my number, and I'm sort of disinclined to ever date anyone in the retail occupation again {M worked retail. Yep. Still bitter!}. And I did go to a movie with a different guy, although it wasn't a date. It was a step in the right maybe-someday-I-won't-hate-men direction for me.

Water fights... oh yes. E has a little pool and a water table in the back yard, and he loves splashing me. I of course splash him back.

Pretty hair... meh. I'm growing it out so all my layers are blah. I'm going to get it styled just before school starts again. Maybe get bangs. I'm hoping for some natural highlights from spending time in the sun.. but I just keep finding grey hairs. Those are sort of highlights, I guess...

Tanned skin.. yes! I'm working on my tan while E plays in aforementioned pool. I spread out my beach towel on the grass, put my sunglasses on and read. I'm happy to say I'm a shade or two darker than ghostly white already!

School is out, summer is in, and I'm loving it. I'm having so much fun being a SAHM, and I'm so excited that I still have two more months left! I'm sure by the time August 22nd rolls around I'll be more than ready for school to start - this SAHM gig is fun, sure, but way hard at times!  For now though, I'm spending lots of time outside, reading fluffy fiction, and chowing down on the watermelon and green smoothies. It's soooo great! Way better than last summer when I was working my butt off in Anatomy!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Secret Life of the American Teenager: Season 3 Episode 26 - ...Or Not to Be

All I can say is wow.


I just caught up on this episode today - I always watch them online at, and they don't become available until the following day - and I am totally speechless.

Well, not speechless, because here I am blogging about it.

**Warning: Spoilers**

I legitimately cried during this episode. I could see where it was going from pretty early on (not because I'm psychic or anything ;) You know how you can just tell when something's coming?! I just knew) but I was still in denial - they had to be making it seem worse than what it was... right?! But if it was going where I thought it might be going, I really didn't think I'd cry. There was a time when merely the suggestion of a dead baby resulted in automatic waterworks.. but not really anymore. I save my tears for special occasions now. So I was totally, totally shocked. Secret Life is so often cheesy and unrealistic, but to me the acting in this episode was so raw and real, I couldn't help but cry.

I totally saw myself in Adrian (and Ben a little bit, too). Especially in the scene where Tom calls Adrienne and she says she can't talk - and the look on her face, and the sound of her voice is just dead and emotionless. You're so tired, you're so numb, you just go on autopilot:

Screenshot taken from the Total Access Player.
It was so weird but just watching her... just relived the exhaustion, the disbelief, the feeling that this cannot possibly be real.

And then an instant later, she hangs up her phone, looks up at Ben, and her eyes immediately start to well up with tears: 

Screenshot taken from the Total Access Player
and she bursts out sobbing. All. Too. Familiar. Feeling like you have no tears left and then suddenly it hits you again.

Screenshot taken from the Total Access Player

You can totally just feel her pain. She's so heartbroken. Then Ben comforts her - and I remember that feeling too. Sobbing those deep sobs that wrack your entire body, and having someone comfort you. You feel their warmth but you still feel so alone, and so cold. I remember feeling so cold all the time after B died. Literally and figuratively.

I just can't say enough how great I thought the acting was in this episode. Mainly Ben and Adrian, but everyone else, too. How helpless Ben and Adrian's parents felt - I remember seeing those exact looks on the faces of my family and friends. People try to be there for you and they don't know how - they just look bewildered and pitying. 

There were a few things about the episode that I was disappointed about: 

I wish they would have focused more on the stillbirth.. the fact that Adrian still had to go through the birthing process even when she knew her baby was dead. I can't even imagine having to do that, and that is (in my opinion) a huge differentiating factor between a stillbirth and an earlier miscarriage or a neonatal loss. 

Along the same lines, I wish they would have shown the baby. I know I'm dark and twisty like that, and probably 99% of people would have been horrified if they had. It could have just looked like a sleeping baby... nothing gory, of course... but it would have been nice to see Ben and Adrian getting to hold her. Even if they just showed a swaddled blanket and not shown the baby per se. And seriously? They didn't call anyone until it was all over and done with?! Really?! It would have been awesome for everyone to have been rallying around Adrian when she had to give birth. I see the statement that they're making - that Ben and Adrian clung to each other through it - but it seems unrealistic to me. Most people would call the people they're close to as soon as they found out something was wrong.

All in all though, I thought this was an amazing episode. I don't usually blog about television shows but this was a must. I can't wait to see next week's episode, and how Ben and Adrian deal with the grief of being babylost :(

Sunday, June 5, 2011

A Day at the Dog Park - #DogCollarCharms

Making our customized dog collar charm inspired me to go to a local park I had heard of - it's the only dog park in town, and I'd never been there. I didn't bring Jack with us this time, since I wasn't sure how it would be. I definitely plan to go back though!

It looks like it was empty but it really wasn't. There is a section for big dogs and a section for little and/or old dogs, and there were some people in each section with their dogs. 

I had brought the Dog Collar Charms that I made with me, and gave the two "My Dog is Cuter Than Your Dog" charms away - one for the big dog and one for the little dog! 

The owners were all very impressed with the photo charm, and were thrilled that they got to keep a charm for themselves! They declined having their photo taken, and didn't want to put the charms on the dogs right away - bummer! I was hoping for some good pictures, but oh well! They were very interested to know where they could get them, and I gave them all the information - I think there might be some Father's Day gifts ordered from!

This is the envelope the charms came in! They  were delivered so fast and I just loved the sticker on the back - such a personal touch! The customer service is just great! 

I'm so glad I discovered this park - I'm for sure going to take E and Jack there. I know they'll both love the socialization with other dogs, and the owners can all admire Jack's personalized dog charm!

View my #DogCollarCharms ThisMoment story here!

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. All opinions are honest and my own! 

E and Jack - #DogCollarCharms

E and our {my parents'} dog have an interesting relationship... definitely of the love/hate variety. E just LOVES Jack - and we've taught him all about being soft to animals, and not pulling on his feet or tail, so he's usually pretty good. Jack basically loves E when he has food - he follows E around and cleans up the inevitable trail of snacks E leaves behind everywhere he goes.

When there isn't food involved... well, that's where the "hate" part comes in. Jack just tolerates all of E's attention, often growling a little bit under his breath. He's sort of old and is used to being the baby of the house, so he's a little jealous of E! That being said, he has never bitten or even snapped at E.. just that grouchy growl.

We love Jack all the same, and I was so excited to make a personalized dog charm for him! It took me forever to decide what picture to use. I *almost* used one of E hugging Jack, but it was sort of a far away picture and I wasn't sure how good it would look. I chose a picture of me and E instead, and it turned out so cute!

Adorable, right?! I think it would make a really cute keychain too.. just saying!

Jack wasn't too thrilled about being a model, but he loved wearing the charm! It's the perfect size, too!

Blurry pic, but this basically sums up their relationship. E trying to love on him, Jack running away!

From the side... Own it! 

The ordering process was so easy. It's just three steps -

Choose your picture and upload, position your picture, and choose your color! So simple! 

We really love it, and I think that I'll be using often for dog charm gifts. My dad has two labs, and I think that dog collar charms with pictures of his grandkids on them would make a fabulous Father's Day gift! 

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. All opinions are honest and my own! 

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Magical Weight Loss Breakfast

So. We all know that I put back on all the weight I had lost during the divorce process thanks to using domperidone to continue breastfeeding. It was worth it, but I definitely felt fat and gross.

Now that I'm done, I'm finally shedding that weight! It's coming off more slowly than I put it on, of course... the law of the universe. Or dieting. Or whatever. But I've lost 15 lbs since I quit pumping on April 18th, and I often get the question, "What are you eating?!"

The answer, my friends, is oatmeal. I'm serious. For some reason, if I make it a habit to eat oatmeal every morning, I lose weight. Not super duper fast or anything, but I definitely notice that when I stop eating oatmeal I stop losing weight.

I'm not really sure why - I don't know if it's the fiber, or just the fact that I'm eating breakfast so I eat less throughout the day, or if it's the teaspoon of cinnamon (no sugar!) that I put in it.. it's rumored to help with stabilizing blood sugar and weight loss.

But who knows. The point is, I love eating oatmeal for breakfast, and it totally works for me.

I usually buy rolled oats, but I've been curious about steel cut oats for a long time. They're supposed to have a lower glycemic index and obviously, they're less processed. But I haven't wanted to go out of my way to the health food store to buy them, so I never have.

Until now! Today, I went to Wal Mart to get some more oatmeal and some things for dinner (pasta with chicken and basil pesto! Yum!) and THEY HAD QUAKER STEEL CUT OATS. I was totally excited and I totally bought them. I know they take longer to make than rolled oats, so I'll have to get some recipes and figure it all out or whatever. But I will, and I will let you know if they are good and if they still help me lose weight. They were more expensive than rolled oats - it's this bitty container that costs like a dollar more than the HUGE rolled oats container so we'll have to see if it's worth it.

I also saw some oatmeal packets that were labeled "Weight Control." I was very curious about these... I kind of rolled my eyes, to be honest... but from what I could glean from the label it looked like they added protein, which is SO awesome. I always worry that I'm not getting enough protein with eating just a bowl of oatmeal. It was flavored, so I thought there would be a ton of extra sugar but there really wasn't. I didn't buy any... mainly because I tend to dislike oatmeal that comes in packets, but I will definitely keep these in mind when school starts up again. It would be really easy to take a packet of oatmeal with me in the morning and make it in the student lounge between classes - the nursing lounge has a microwave!

It seems like there are a lot of new oatmeal products out now.. I was surprised at the variety. Maybe I just beeline for my stand-by regular rolled oats and don't take notice, but this time I did. There is definitely some oatmeal product for everyone! I, personally, really love regular old oatmeal for breakfast - all I put in mine is the cinnamon and it tastes amazing. You just can't do that with cold cereal - the ones that are good are always chock full of sugar, and that is the LAST thing my body needs!!!

This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. All opinions are honest and my own! I really truly do eat oatmeal almost every day and love it.