Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Regrouping... again

Or at least attempting to. I feel like that is what my life has become, setback after setback requiring us to regroup based on the universe's rules. Well you know what. I am pretty tired of it really. The utter irony of learning this week that my tubes are shot to crap as a direct result of a c-section that I had to bring a dying baby into the world. Oh, that's just hilarious universe isn't it? You really got me on that one.

If Peyton had been born healthy, if she was here, a laughing fifteen month old, of course I would feel this was all worth it. But she isn't is she? She was born to suffer through chemo, procedures, and surgeries that would make a grown man cry, and for what? For an infection to take hold of her after one month!

This latest development has me thinking alot about Peyton's birth. Alot about why the c-section was proposed, and if it would have been kinder to let her pass in childbirth. That would have been kinder to her, no doubt. She wouldn't have had to learn just how cruel life can be for a baby born with cancer. I am so glad to have held my baby girl, to have loved her and nursed her and known her. But at the end of the day she is gone. Just as she would have been had I birthed her. The only difference is, I wouldn't have known all that I am missing. I wouldn't have known how much I need to see her smiley face again, or how beautiful an experience it is to breastfeed her. In that way, perhaps it would have been kinder to me, too.

The truly crappy thing is that they had no idea about Peyton's cancer, so the recommendation to have the c-section, that was based on something else. What exactly? I couldn't tell you. They wait until you are in the throws of labor and then say, "it's time to get that baby out, she is in distress." What does distress mean? Her heart was healthy, her lungs. What distress brought on this surgery? A surgery that birthed a dying baby, and then wrecked my tubes through infection, and my chances at other children? I will never lay down with the man I love, and make a baby again. This is a devastating reality for me. DEVASTATING.

I am sure there are those who will read this post and judge my thoughts. I am sure there are others who will think I am callous or cruel. I can't apologize. I am not sorry that I feel this way. I am 29 years old and feel like my book is closed, like I am the punchline to some ridiculous universal joke. I married the right man. We had a safe, secure home to welcome a child into. Where did I go so wrong?

This time it is different because I recognize the stages that I am going through, I have been through them before. They have been unwelcome companions on this fifteen month ride through grief.

Shock & Denial.
Pain & Guilt.
Anger & Bargaining.
Depression.

These four have become like second nature to me, it's the last three that I have never quite been able to master.

The Upward Turn (I thought I was getting here, really I did. When we decided we were ready to try again.)
Reconstruction and Working Through.
Acceptance & Hope.

Where is the hope in something like this? How can I accept this irony? It is too cruel.

I hear Shakespeare's words, "I am fortune's fool!" ringing over and over in my mind, and believe they were written for me.

These last two days have been like those early after losing Peyton. Eyes swollen with tears. Head pounding. Not answering the phone. Not getting dressed. Not going out into the world. I have not even been able to bring myself to go see Peyton's grave. My sweet little girl who I love so much. I feel awful for this. For feeling the way I am feeling. It hurts to look at your child's grave under any circumstances, these make it especially difficult.

Most people get pregnant and know that changes are going to come. They are supposed to be happy changes... not this. Pregnancy, child loss, infertility. Where does the shit storm end?

I wrote the title of this post, "regrouping... again" with every intention to write something that says, "Listen up world, I will get through this, I will overcome this." The problem is, I don't believe it. And if I don't believe it, I can't write it.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Lamentations (3:7-9,16-18, 20-22, 48-50, 53-56, 59)



He has hemmed me in with no escape and weighed me down with chains;
Even when I cry out for help, he stops my prayer;
He has blocked my ways with fitted stones, and turned my paths aside.
He has broken my teeth with gravel, pressed my face in the dust;
My soul is deprived of peace, I have forgotten what happiness is;
I tell myself my future is lost, all that I hoped for from the LORD.
Remembering it over and over leaves my soul downcast within me.

But I will call this to mind, as my reason to have hope:
The favors of the LORD are not exhausted, his mercies are not spent.


My eyes run with streams of water over the downfall of the daughter of our people.
My eyes flow without ceasing, there is no respite.
Till the LORD from heaven looks down and sees.
They struck me down alive in a pit, and sealed me in with a stone.
The waters flowed over my head, and I said "I am lost."
You heard me call, "Let not your ear be deaf to my cry for help!"


You see, O LORD, how I am wronged; do me justice!



Monday, December 28, 2009

Devastated...

There are no other words. Just devastated.
Both tubes are shot. Both f*cking tubes! The best they could offer me for answers was that "there is no justice in this world," and that it's "most likely from an infection after the c-section." The c-section I had to bring a child condemned to death into this world. I carried a child with cancer and no one caught that. I have seen an OB/GYN monthly since, and no one caught this infection.
Angry.
Hopeless.
Devastated.

Hysterosalpingogram

Off to my Hysterosalpingogram. What should I be hoping for here? I guess that they find my tubes open and functioning, and count out damage from the c-section to my uterus, yes, that would be good. I am nervous that they will find something in there, and then, on the other hand, I am nervous that they will find nothing, and we won't be any closer to having answers as to why my body is not making babies. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Faith, Infertility, Holidays. A Typical Rambling Post.

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FAITH:

Thank you to all who sent prayers and messages of support to baby Faith Margaret who had open heart surgery today. I just received word that she is out of surgery, and that her parents are waiting to speak with the doctors. I know that your prayers and messages helped to get her over this latest hurdle, and so on behalf of my cousin, Thank You.

****
I should probably warn you all that this post might be jumbled, incoherent, negative, or just generally not make sense. I am under the weather in a gross, coughing, wheezing, sneezing, freezing, stuffed up, runny, sick, sick, sick kind of way. It's nothing serious. I will survive. But the timing of this bug right before the holidays certainly leaves something to be desired, so in the haze and fog that is a massive head cold/sinus infection, you get posts like this one. Feel free to bail at any point...

****
INFERTILITY:

I went yesterday to have a bunch of blood drawn to help determine what is causing my infertility. I had to fast for them, and the line at the lab was sort of long. Waiting made me hungry and cranky. "Good practice for when you get pregnant," the tech told me with a smile. "I have been pregnant, twice." I responded. "I wasn't cranky." Can you see just how much fun I have been to be around lately?

Anyway, I think that all the blood drawn may have contributed to me getting this sick. I was already feeling a little something, but maybe losing all that blood on an empty stomach exacerbated things?

Monday I have to go for a dye test to check the status of my tubes to see if they are closed and that could be causing the infertility. From what I hear, the process is less than comfortable. It is called a Hysterosalpingogram. Remember that one next time you are playing Scrabble. Mel, over at Stirrup-Queens does a really good job of describing the test, better than I could especially under my germ induced fog, so if you wanna read about it, go here. The sick irony is that to have the test I have to check into the same department at the hospital where I went to have Peyton. Talk about a less than ideal situation for someone suffering from PTSD.

****
HOLIDAYS:

Christmas is here, again, without Peyton. How do we do this year after year? How do we march on into forever, when each new day, milestone, and holiday is a reminder of what is missing? I guess the answer to that, as we (and so many of you) are learning, is that we just do.

I have not been looking forward to Christmas, for the obvious reasons. I didn't want to send out cards, mostly because I didn't know how to sign them. I left it up to my husband who actually found the right words when I couldn't. He signed them, Love, Krissy, Dru, Our Angel Peyton, and Charlotte the Mini Lab Rescue Puppy.

Our cards didn't go out until this Tuesday. Very late by anyone's standards, and delayed by hours and days of worry over how writing Peyton's name on the cards might be received. I think sometimes I worry too much about whether or not my grief is convenient or uncomfortable for other people. In one respect, that is the only thing that has kept me censored to a point where I haven't run everyone away, in another, like automatically saying "good" when people ask how I am, it is just another layer of the false facade that the grieving live behind, because let's face it, no one wants to be around the truth that is grief. "How am I doing? My kid is dead. I am infertile... You?"

In some ways I cannot believe the holidays are already among us. That means that a full calendar year without her, a full calendar year of living on this little known side of the universe, has passed. I don't have much to show for this year. We don't have another baby, and pregnancy seems hard to come by. I haven't found the healing that I would  have hoped a year would bring. That being said, we are still here. My husband and I, we are still here, together. I guess on Christmas, when watching the lights twinkle and the gifts being opened beneath the tree, I will try to focus on that rather than all that we are missing. Will I miss my baby? Of course. Will I ever feel complete or right or completely at peace without her? No. But we have survived what once seemed impossible. That is what we have, and this Christmas, that will have to be enough.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

FAITH - PRAYERS NEEDED!


My amazing cousin, Erica's, baby Faith is going in for open heart surgery tomorrow...



Please keep this awesome little girl in your prayers to come through this surgery even stronger, and for strength for her entire family, her parents in particular, as they wait during tomorrow's surgery.



Many of you reading this, like me, have been in the situation that Faith's parents are in this Christmas. It would mean so much to me if you could visit them at their blog and leave a few words to encourage them through this... Thank you so much!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

AND THE WINNER IS....







#6, HeatherMohr, who said of her real life angel...




I have had so many real life angels, it's hard to pick just one. When I became hospitalized at 26 weeks so Madelyn could be monitored, many of the nurses were angels. One in particular knew about a month in I was getting sick of the food, and she would bring me something better to eat anytime I wanted. When Madelyn was born and we knew she wasn't going to live long, the nurse on staff that night was an angel. We didn't know what to do or how to handle this - it was not what we expected. She organized everything, called NILMDTS, so many things we would have missed out on without her. Finally, my husband has been the biggest angel of all. Without him, I would not have survived this awful nightmare.








Congratulations Heather!  


Heather, please email me at doinggoodinhername(at)gmail(dot)com with your mailing info, and I will be sure to get the angel shipped right out to you. 


Thank you to all who participated, and to Tina for creating this program.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Prayers Needed...

If you are looking for the 25 days of giveaways post, you can find it below this one.




PRAYERS NEEDED... I have called on you all before to pray for my cousin's baby Faith, in this past post, and I am calling on you again. Faith, who was born with HLHS, a congenital heart defect leaving her essentially with half a heart, is currently back in the hospital, and her parents and doctors are at a bit of a fork in the road, one of which would result in the need for a lung/heart transplant. Please, please, join me in praying that Faith is found to be eligible for a different surgery to stretch her veins and remove build up, and that the one lung that is currently not doing too well gets better too so that she can be strong. This is a very critical time for Faithy. In addition to prayers, I would really appreciate if you all could head over to http://faith.sillica.com and offer Faith, as well as her parents Erica and Billy, some much needed moral support.







Friday, December 18, 2009

25 Days of Giveaways!



Tina created 25 days of giveaways, and today I am honored to host. When I heard about this initiative, I thought it was a really fun way to bring this community even closer over the holidays, and to bring some fun into what is a difficult time for so many of us. Thank you Tina, for letting me participate.

For the giveaway, I am offering this beautiful angel charm, made by Lenox.



She would look great as an ornament on anyone's tree, or just as a decoration around the house.



If you would like a shot at winning her, simply leave a comment below, and, if you like, tell me about someone who has been a real life "angel" for you over the past year.

A winner will be picked at random via random.org. Entries will be accepted until Noon east coast time Saturday, to allow time for all readers in all time zones to participate, and I will announce who won on Saturday afternoon/evening.

Good luck to all!

Giveway announcement

Good Morning All!

I am today's 25 days of giveaways host. Check back after 8AM EST to see what I have to offer! This giveaway will run until noon tomorrow (Saturday) to allow for all readers in all time zones to participate.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A few Christmas additions, Mel's Show & Tell

Lots to share today for Show and Tell.

First, Meet Charlotte, our adorable rescue puppy.
She is a black lab mix who took no time at all getting comfortable in our house.
Here is a picture of Charlotte resting on my foot as I type.



Overall, Charlotte has been a true blessing,
although today I did dub her "Charley and Me" when she did this to my rug.



Honestly though, who could stay mad at this face?


The vet told me that Charlotte must have had a litter in the past, because her underside shows some signs. I guess that's part of the reason I am so forgiving of sweet little Charlotte. She is a babylost in her own way.

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As I blogged about earlier this week, I finally finished the Peyton tree.



The tree really shines beautifully,
I don't know why it isn't showing so well in this picture.

Here are some of Peyton's ornaments from her tree.

 

The "bless this baby" ornament that I had talked about during my first giveaway. Speaking of giveaways, tomorrow is my "25 days of giveaways" day, so be sure to check back and see what I am offering.



The purple and pink ornaments seen throughout the tree, like the one above,
 and the berries, like those pictured below,
 were from last year's grave blanket.



This picture is not too great, but this ornament holds a picture of the three of us the first time I held Peyton.



And a beautiful ornament from my Aunt...



As well as one that a good family friend gave last year. It reads "our little angel."



To see what others are showing and telling, click here.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Bah Humbug.

Last Christmas came right after losing Peyton, in those first fresh months where I wore only pajama pants, and didn't run a brush through my hair. To be honest, it was about ten months till I cared at all about my appearance, and even now, it doesn't fall high on my list. I was angry last Christmas, that it had to come at all, that I had to watch my nieces (who despite this loss, I love dearly) open their little girl packages, while my little girl laid frozen, or worse, beneath the earth. I had worked so hard to be healthy while I carried her. I had held her. Loved her. Nursed her. Where were my little girl's presents beneath the Christmas Tree?

Two years ago on Christmas (Eve to be exact) I found out I was pregnant, and that night we broke the news to my family. The house was filled with celebration, and all felt right in the world. We were having a baby. That was going to be our last Christmas without a child. I hate myself now for assuming so much, and having taken the promise of her existence for granted.

This Christmas, two full years after first learning of Peyton's existence, I feel myself going through the motions, but really not "feeling" the holiday spirit. I don't even want to write out the cards. What is there to say?
"My child died. I fell apart. Your lives are all better than mine. Bah-Humbug!"

I try to remind myself of all the things I have to be thankful for. My husband. My family. My friends. My good health, and that of those I love. My new rescue puppy Charlotte. The generosity of those who have donated to Doing Good In Her Name. My writing. The friends I have met in this blog world. And yet, even among these many things that I list, there is a huge, empty, void. She is gone. She is still gone. Was she ever really here?

I would like to say that with the passage of time I have come to accept this loss, but it is not true. Instead I sort of cope, like an old man with a wooden leg, I limp along, but never truly find my way back to a comfortable stride. Something is off. Permanently.

Yesterday we set up our "Peyton Tree" which in reality is not a tree at all, but a plant. I wanted something living, something that I could try (crosses fingers) to keep alive in this house to always remember my sweet girl. I thought I would feel better after finishing the tree, but I didn't. Instead I was sort of pissed off. I shouldn't have to have a Peyton Tree. I should have a Peyton. A smiling, laughing, dancing, little 15 month old to thank the Lord and Heaven for having blessed me with. This is our second Christmas since Peyton was born, and this is our second Christmas without her.

I hate posts like this. Ones where I have no wisdom to offer, or comfort or inspiration to give others on this journey. I read some women's blogs and feel somehow "less than". They have unconditional faith. They find joy in the season. I read them and wonder what is wrong with me, why I can't see the forest through the trees, and then I remember it is because my branches are empty. There is no baby on this tree top. Little hope of fresh buds in spring. There is loss, and infertility, and a looming sense of failure and inadequacy, and that is the reality of mothering a dead child during the holidays.

This year I have a new nephew, he was born just after Thanksgiving, and his healthy arrival is another thing I recite on my Thankful list. I didn't blog about my sister's pregnancy, and how it felt for me, because I didn't know how to do those feelings justice. I would like to say I had been a better sister as she carried this year, but I didn't have it in me. She said she understood, but I feel bad for it nonetheless. It is not her fault that my attempts at having a family have been so tragic, and it is not my little nephew's fault that his older cousin, the one he will have outlived by the time we gather around that tree, is not here with us. He deserves to be surrounded in joy and celebration, regardless of my own personal crap, because his healthy arrival on this earth is a little miracle, and not one to be taken for granted, as we all know too well.

This year I will sit around the family tree and watch all the baby items be opened, and smile as my nieces, too, open their gifts. I will survive this Christmas, as I somehow managed to last year (thanks in large part to alcohol and some really bad Karaoke) because the world just doesn't stop for me. It continues to turn, even as ours has come crashing down.

I will go through the motions, and fight back the tears with a smile on my face, because that is what you do in babyloss land, and I will hope, that even if just for a moment, my smile will feel good, and genuine, and real. As I do, I will be praying that wherever you are, those moments of joy, no matter how brief, come calling for you, too.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Thank you ANGIE at Still Life with Circles

Just a quick note here. I wanted to send out a huge Thank You to Angie for the beautiful donations she sent to Doing Good In Her Name. Check them out here. Angie, your generosity humbles me, and has touched my heart. I am so grateful. Thank you!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Gramma & Pop Pop Pay a Visit - Mel's Show & Tell

My parents have been coming to see me, and visit Peyton's grave, pretty much every week since her passing. At first it was a necessity thing. They would come and get me out of the house, because I wouldn't do it myself. Those early visits usually involved long car rides where we would see something, and nothing, all at once. Under the guise of taking "day trips" they would listen as I cried about how sad I was, the guilt I felt, and how I had lost my sense of worth. They offered unwaivering love and compassion, and most importantly, an ear to listen.

I know how hard it was to be me in those earliest months, I can only imagine how difficult it was to voluntarily be around me. It hit me one day, at around six or seven months out, that my parents were grieving more than just the sweet little grandchild they had lost, but also their own daughter who had lost herself. Through the tears, and the pain, and the angry outbursts, my parents remained steadfast, returning to my side week after week. They would spend the day with me, and the evenings with me and hubs once he came home from work. I can't honestly say that I would have made it through without their support.

When my parents visit now, it is more to visit than to grieve. We have fallen into this wonderfully comfortable pattern of spending every Thursday together to talk, visit, and go to see Peyton's grave. I can't lie and say there are never tears, but for the most part, we have a nice day together. Even when I can't bear the idea of seeing anyone because I am feeling so low, a visit from my parents can make me feel better.

 Last Thursday, I had to go in for a stress test at the cardiologist, and had to cancel our day together. To my surprise, my folks still made the hour long drive from their town to ours, to go see their little Peyton's grave, and deck it out for the holidays.

Today, for show and tell, I am sharing the pictures that they took, of their visit with Peyton, and the beautiful grave blanket they made for her.





A view at the head of the blanket.
I love this little Angel ornament. It seems so fitting.



Here is the view from standing back.
 I love the way the grave blanket spans the distance between where Peyton is buried (beneath the garden) to the base of her plot where her stone is.



Here is a picture of my mother, Peyton's "Gramma", showing off her handiwork. Last year my parents bought Peyton a grave blanket from a local florist, this year they made this one by hand, choosing each piece that went into decorating it.



The wreath, which I had hung the day before their visit, was also a gift from my mother, which she gave me last year to use on Peyton's grave this Christmas.



I love these butterflies. My father put these on, since butterflies have always been associated with Peyton.



Peyton Elizabeth



Here is a picture of my Father, Peyton's "Pop Pop" paying her a visit.

I am so grateful for these shots, because just a few days later, the entire hill is buried under eight inches of snow. It brings me comfort knowing my little one is warm beneath this blanket.


To see what others are showing and telling, visit here.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Mish Mosh



First, I must apologize to my dear bloggy friends. I have fallen a bit behind in my reading. We are in the process of trying to fight infertility, deal with this loss, adopt a sweet puppy, receive items for www.doinggoodinhername.com, welcome a new nephew, prepare for the holiday, maintain some level of sanity, undergo hormone treatments for infertility, deal with an annoying heart problem, well, as I am sure is true with all of us from time to time, the list goes on and on, and unfortunately both my reading and writing have sort of fallen by the wayside. Please know my thoughts and prayers are with you all, even when my comments are absent.

On a happy note, here is a picture of my beautiful Christmas Tree that I posted about yesterday.




DAYTIME




NIGHT TIME

We didn't put up a tree last year, (we were still very raw in our grief and boycotting all things that normal non-babyloss people do), so this year, well I will take the fact that the tree is up as a sign that things are moving in the right direction. S-L-O-W-L-Y, but getting there nonetheless.

I also want to extend a huge THANK YOU, to the following fellow babyloss momma bloggers for their generous donations to Doing Good In Her Name. Please hop over here and read about the amazing items and donations that these women have provided to help us honor Peyton's memory by assisting other critically ill infants at the hospital where our baby spent her life.

Thank you so much to Salma at The Room She Owns, Margaret at She's Come Undone, and Catherine W. at Between the Snow and the Huge Roses.

I am amazed that these women, in the midst of their own grief, have still opened their hearts to this initiative. Let me just tell you many tears have been shed over this incredible generosity. I am truly humbled and know that their gestures will have a huge impact on the little ones fighting for life at CCMC, and the parents who love them.

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Okay,  now I am REALLY feeling emotional. I have started to make my way through my Google Reader, and the first few blogs I read, mentioned Doing Good In Her Name. Lisette had the button posted at Sami's blog. And Angie wrote about putting a package together in a post she wrote at Still Life With Circles. And Deb, over at deborahsteinberg.com gave her a mention too! I have chills, I am so moved by this. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! to everyone who is helping us to get the word out.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Perfect Moment Monday



What is my Perfect Moment this Monday?
Ending a day spent with my husband,
by watching him carefully string lights on our Christmas Tree.

To read about other perfect moments, click here.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

some up, some down - mels show and tell



I wanted to post something fun here. Really, I did. The tone of this blog, and my life, has been sort of on the down side lately, although to be honest, when blogging about babyloss is there truly an up? Anyway, I wanted to post something fun. Then I got another BFN this morning, I really felt like this morning was a possible shot. Today is 38 days. A long time to wait for a BFP by most calculations, but that is how long it took with Peyton, so I held out hope. But this morning, among the rain and wind and utter crappiness of the day, that elusive second line continued to, well, elude me. Oh well.

I could write about how this makes me feel, but you all know. So instead for Show and Tell, I will share some pictures that I had put in a post in October, but never published. It's a happy one, I promise. You will be glad you stuck with it and read on.

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Last October, just days after Peyton passed away, my friend, Nicole, ran the Hartford Marathon in her honor, to raise funds for the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society.  What makes this even more impressive is the fact that Nicole is not a marathon runner, just a friend with a huge heart who wanted to do something to help.


Nicole set out on her 26 mile journey with the thousands of other runners, but between mile 6 and 7, she suffered a major injury to her thigh. This would have stopped others, but not Nicole. She continued on, walking and limping through the pain, for the remaining 19 miles.



Everyone, including her coach, told her it was time to throw in the towel, but Nicole remained steadfast and determined. I asked her once how she made it through, and she simply explained that since Peyton never gave up, she felt she couldn't either.



At one of the final mile markers, Nicole passed the sign that the Leukemia/Lymphoma society had hung in Peyton's honor, and grabbing hold of it, she headed for the finish line.



The day Nicole ran this race, we could not attend. Peyton had just died the week prior, and I was still in full "shut-in" mode. When I look at these pictures now, it breaks my heart that I wasn't there, but Nicole understood, and she told me that she knew we were supporting her from home, and we were.



After the race, Nicole came and presented us with the sign, which we keep in our living room, and with an honorary medal from the race, for Peyton, who, as Nicole put it, "was with me every step of the way."


Below is a picture of the display case in my living room, with all of the treasures from Nicole's marathon run in Peyton's honor. On my darkest days I like to look at it and remind myself that yes, we have been dealt a bum deal losing Peyton and suffering infertility, but we have also been truly blessed by the love of some amazing friends like Nicole, who went on this year again, undeterred by the pain of last year's race, and ran the marathon again to raise more funds for Leukemia research.



To see what others are showing and telling, visit here.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Hell hath no fury

What a day. What a day. What a day.

I met my cousin Erica this morning. We haven't seen each other in quite some time, maybe a month or so, and it was really great to catch up.

After leaving her, I had to head to a cardiologist appointment. I have been having some major arrhythmia for the past year, and in the last month or so it has really kicked into high gear.

The nurse ran down my chart, updating my files.
"Are you still on the Prenate DHA?" she asked
"Those were my prenatals. I was pregnant last time I was here."
"So you're not still on it?"
"No."

She hooked me up for an EKG, tore a print out from the machine, and informed me that the Doctor would be in with me shortly. A magazine boasted a picture of Katherine Heigle and her new adopted baby from China. Even at the cardiologist, babies seem to follow me.

Doctor M. entered the room and ran through my chart. I explained that I don't know which comes first, the anxiety, or the arrhythmia, as they seem to be one vicious cycle.

"Are you exercising?"
"Yes, regularly," I offered, feeling self conscious about my post baby body, "though you wouldn't know it by my size."
"There is nothing wrong with your size," he smiled, "I treated a six hundred pound man earlier today."
I wondered if I should take that as a compliment.

Dr. M checked me over, and showed me on the EKG all the premature beats. He discussed medications.

"I want to put you on a Beta Blocker," he said.
"Is that dangerous for a baby?"
I explained to him what had happened with Peyton, and how I wasn't willing to take anything that could jeopardize a future pregnancy or child. Through it all, Dr. M. never batted an eyelash. I guess mother's telling him about dead babies are not that rare.

He scheduled me for a stress test, as well as some labs to check my cholesterol, thyroid, etc. Have I mentioned I am only 29 years old?

Dressing, I headed out to the desk to be checked out.

Behind the counter sat a very familiar face, and my heart stopped. We had worked together at my last job. Had been sort of buddies, waiting to walk out with each other at night so as to never navigate the parking lot alone. She looked up at me and offered a courteous smile.

"Please move to the next desk and she can help you," she said.
"Hi," I said, "it's me."
No recognition crossed her face.
"We worked together at CompanyX"
"Oh, yeah, right. How are you?"
Still no recognition.

The situation was becoming embarrassing. I made a few small pleasantries and headed for counter two. Her eyes followed me as I moved. She was still trying to figure out who I was.

I have spent the last year wondering how I would handle running into someone from my old job. I was a different person then, perky, happy, upbeat. This interaction ripped me apart. I have changed THAT MUCH. I have changed so much that someone I spent two years working with, someone I, at the time, considered a "work friend", no longer recognized me after a year of grieving.

Feeling like complete crap, I made my stress test appointment, and headed out the door.
****
After my appointment, I drove to the cemetery for my daily visit with Peyton. It was nearly 4pm at this point, and I felt like it was a race against the sun to get there before it got dark.

Reaching her, I did some housekeeping things, straightening up her plot, and was just beginning to tell her about my day, when a dog came running towards me from the woods. He was alone, unleashed, and coming at me quickly, so I decided to play it safe, and headed for my car.

I have never owned a dog. I like them, but random dogs coming out of the woods towards me is a little beyond my comfort zone. I watched from the safety of my car, as  the dog made his way through the cemetery, lifting his leg to pee on some of the graves near Peyton. A man called after him from the woods,  and my blood began to boil. It was him, the jerk I wrote about here, who was allowing his dogs to use Peyton's grave as a toilet.

Something in me snapped, and before I knew it, I was charging across the hill after him.

"Hey!" I yelled, "Hey! You!"
He was walking with three dogs, only one of which was on a leash. He looked at me startled.
"What do you think this is?"
"Excuse me?" He asked.
I was on a tyrade now. Uncontrollable.
"This place is not here for your personal use! This is no dog park, it is sacred ground!" My voice was growing louder with every word. We were nearly nose to nose. "I don't appreciate you letting your dogs pee on my daughter's grave, do you know how that makes me feel to have to come here and find her grave violated like that? There are trees all around here, take them to walk through the woods to pee, not here! There are leash laws you know!"
"I'm sorry," he offered, "I have this one leashed because I have seen him do it before, I didn't know the other ones would."
It was a lie and he knew it.
"They all have to be leashed! I catch you letting your dogs pee on a grave here again and I am going straight to the cops!"
Startled in reaction at the wild woman screaming at him, the man offered a weak "It won't happen again, I promise."
"Better not!" I screamed. "Hrmph!" And with that I stomped away.

Hell hath no fury...


Monday, November 30, 2009

Father Time...

Why must you mock me Father Time?
I know you are no friend of mine.
You rush me from my baby girl,
with each rotation of this world.
And, yet, my future dreams hold still.
No forward movement is fulfilled.
I wonder if you plan the ways,
through seconds, moments, hours, and days
to slow me down on thoughts of grief,
and speed through moments of belief?
That something better is to come,
that this battle can, indeed, be won.
That maybe in some future space,
a genuine smile will claim this face,
as in my arms I hold a child,
whose future has not been defiled.
By Disease. Infection. Despair.
A child whose shot at life is fair.
But until then, I tick away,
day after repeat grueling day,
knowing time since I held her won't slow.
With each tick-tock, more of her will go.
To be lost to the weakness of memory.
I can feel her drifting out from me.
Your cruel visits come with each hour's chime.
How dare they call you "Father" Time?
No man whose loved or held his heir,
could turn his back on this despair.
I beg you, make this cycle cease,
Please speed through pain. Please slow on peace.
~Kristin Binder

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanks(for)Giving-Mel's 80th Show & Tell

I know my posts have been a little blah lately, the lack of BFP's has had me really down, among other things, but today is Thanksgiving, and so I am gonna change it up a bit and highlight some of the good things in my life.

This Thanksgiving, I am extremely thankful for my good health, my loving husband, my wonderful family, the fact that I have survived this year, and of course the support of great friends both IRL and here in this community. Even during those times where I have fallen deeply into the crevasses of grief, I have felt all your hands of support on me, and for this I feel a depth of gratitude that knows no words.

For the last week I have had something new to feel thankful for too, and it is that which I am going to focus on today for Mel's Show & Tell. Today I am thankful for the outpouring of generosity and encouragement that we have received in regards to our Doing Good In Her Name initiative.

For those of you who don't know, we have set up a new site in Peyton's honor at www.doinggoodinhername.com to assist critically ill infants and their families at Connecticut Children's Medical Center, the hospital where our sweet Peyton spent her life. It has only been a week, and Doing Good In Her Name is off to a great start.

A very close friend was the first to make a donation to our collection. I was floored when she gave us a check for $100 to be used to purchase food and parking vouchers to help the families with sick infants at the hospital. The parking is very costly at Peyton's hospital, and the expense can really add up. I know from experience how appreciated this gift will be. 

Next we received a beautiful batch of items for our CCMC drive from a girl I went to high school with. We haven't seen each other since graduation (*gulp* 12 years), and she reached out to me last week to let me know that she had put some items together for our collection. I was blown away by her generosity. Take a peek at these wonderful things that she donated.


Then, earlier this week, I found two goodies in the Doing Good In Her Name P.O. Box. First was a $20 donation from my cousin. She has really been there for me through this last year, and her generous donation really touched my heart. Then, on the same day, another box came, sent to us by the mother of the woman who donated the above items. She too had heard about what we were doing for the little warriors at CCMC, and wanted to help. Take a look at all of the wonderful things she sent. So many children will benefit from her generosity.

The blessings continued. Today one of my bloggy pals from the U.K. added two wonderful Baby Einstein CD's to the collection. She was so smart, she ordered them from Amazon.com's U.S. site and therefore didn't have to pay overseas shipping, which I thought was just wonderful. I wish I had pictures of the CD's, but I didn't get a chance to take any yet. I will add them as soon as I do.

And then there were all the beautiful messages from so many of you about donations that you are planning to make to honor Peyton's memory. Words cannot express just how much these messages, too, have meant to me.

As members of this babyloss community, I know that you can truly understand just how desperately I need to feel something good come out of all of this grief and loss. Whether your help comes to us through donations, or by simply saying a prayer or sending up good thoughts on behalf of this initiative, from the bottom of my heart THANK YOU. You all are helping us make this dream of helping other little warriors like Peyton a reality.

****

I know how difficult this holiday is going to be for us all, and I am praying for each of you to feel some sense of peace, despite the pain of facing this day without your little angels. Tomorrow I will be thinking of all of you, and of each of your sweet little ones who have become so important to me through your blogs.  I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving.

To see what others are showing and telling, visit Mel's blog here.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

If these walls could talk

This is how my day started this morning.


Hubs.  So....
Me. So?
Hubs. So... are you hiding something from me. *big grin* are you hiding the test?
Me. Oh... no. I threw it in the trash.
Hubs. Oh...
Me. It was negative... again.


I wish I hadn't surprised him with the test when I was pregnant with Peyton. 
Just another day in the life...


**By the way, my day got worse when I accidentally posted this on the Doing Good In Her Name site, thinking I was working on this one... I felt like such an idiot. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Ornament Info

Just  a quick post here. So many of you had commented about the adorable ornament that I had offered for my first blog giveaway, asking if there was any way for you to contact the artist and buy one for yourself. I wasn't sure, since mine was purchased at a local craft fair, but I promised that if I found any contact info I would share it with you. Good news, I got a call today with the following info.


If you would like to order one, send an email to Allison at beadsprout@yahoo.com. My understanding from the woman who provided me with this email is that quantities are fairly limited. I hope this helps.

**I should mention I didn't speak with Allison directly, but instead to the woman who ran the show, so unfortunately I can't make any guarantees about Allison's schedule, turnaround time, availability etc. But I do hope she gets back to you all, and that you are able to get the ornaments.

Monday, November 23, 2009

This Loss

The air, thick with rain, sits heavily on my lungs.
You know the truth though, don't you little one?
It is not the air at all, nor the rain.
It is not the gray skies, nor the clouds that loom foreboding.
It is not the season, nor the date.
The holidays, nor their meaning.
It is this loss.
Whole. Heavy. Unyielding.
It is this loss that makes brief the happiest of moments.
It is this loss that brings tears among strangers in crowds.
It is this loss that makes the simplest of questions difficult to answer.
Do I have any children?
Did I have any children?
I wonder, is she still mine if she is now His?
It is this loss that hangs like a weighted cloak.
It is this loss that places depth in everything.
It is this loss that allows nothing to pass without being assigned symbolism.
It is this loss, and I can't fight it.
There is no solution.
It is bigger than I am.
Stronger.
More determined.
It is this loss, and it is winning.

~Kristin Binder

****
Sad news to report. The little boy, Noah Biorkman, who asked for Christmas cards, passed away this morning. Please join me in praying for strength for his family. It is a testament to the generosity of the human spirit, and should be noted, that this sweet warrior received over 1 million cards in the last few weeks.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

On Pause

Not much to report here... unfortunately.

We are still wishing for the elusive BFP, but stick after stick seem to confirm what the doctors have told us, that bringing another little life into this world will take work, and tests, and medication, and procedures. I will keep praying though, AF is not due for another day or two. We were supposed to meet with the genetic counselor this past week to see if there could have been any hereditary cause for Peyton's cancer, but the appointment was canceled. Apparently the hospital where Peyton spent her life has not yet sent over her medical records, and the appointment was contingent on the counselor having a chance to review our medical histories as well as Peyton's to see if she can spot anything test worthy. This is more than a little frustrating seeing as how the records were requested almost two months ago, and were promised to be sent within thirty days. Our fertility appointment was set to happen after meeting with the genetic counselor, and that too has been canceled... a reschedule contingent on our rescheduled genetic counseling appointment. So we wait, and wait, and wait.

I have talked about this here before many times, about how our life seems to be on pause. Every time we try to take a step forward out of this hole, boulders fall into our path and beat us back. All around us I see families growing. My sister is due to have her third this week. A very close friend who was pregnant with her first at the same time I was, is due to have her second in the new year. Life moves on around us, and all the while we fall farther and farther behind. It's a double edge sword really. I am afraid of not getting pregnant. I am afraid of getting pregnant and losing another baby. I am afraid of never getting through this grief. I am afraid of getting through it and losing Peyton in the process. In babyloss and infertility, there are no simple answers.

Today in church I felt just so overwhelmed. I was thinking about my pregnancy with Peyton, about how sure I felt at the time about my future. I thought of all the plans I used to make, and how all the stars were seemingly aligned before Peyton's birth. We were ready. How could everything have gone so terribly wrong? How could I not have known? I know the questions are useless, but my heart can't stop asking them anyway. How can there exist this huge community of families ripped apart by babyloss, when the nightly news tells of countless children suffering from neglect? How can there be so many couples suffering with the pain and disappointment of infertility, in the same world where countless women line up at clinics seeking solutions for unwanted pregnancies? I have lost many hours of sleep wondering if there is any justice at all in this world.

I just don't understand why the prospect of having a family has to be such a painful one. Hubs and I love each other. We want to share that love with a child. Why does it all have to be so difficult?

I am sorry this post is so blah, and bitchy and down, but that's just how it is sometimes. Truth be told, I had really hoped to be closer to some answers by now, either from the genetic counselor, or from the fertility Doc about our next steps, but it seems life has other plans. So we continue standing still... Waiting. Worrying. Wondering.

Friday, November 20, 2009

And The Winner Is...

Jill from





Low Number 1
High Number 28
Random.org generated the number 10
Jill wrote:


I often find that I stumble across reminders all the time, no matter where I am. I am hoping that I will come to terms with those reminders in time.
Love the angels from the craft fair. How perfect!
Jill
mom to twins in heaven, Emma and Chase



Enjoy the Red Ornament Jill, I am only sorry I don't have two to give away, one for each of your sweet angels. Please email me at doinggoodinhername@gmail.com with your address, and I will drop this ornament in the mail for you next week. To everyone else... thank you so much for sharing your angels with me this week, and for participating.



**I know some of you inquired about the woman who made these, and if they were available for sale. I will contact the K of C that held the craft fair, and see if I can get any info on that. If I can, I will post it for you all. Peace xx

Thursday, November 19, 2009

My 1st Blog Giveaway, PTSD, & Mels Show & Tell

I was going to save my first blog giveaway to mark my 100th post, I am somewhere around 85, but  then I found something so precious and timely that I just couldn't keep it to myself. More on that to come later on in this post. Today's Show & Tell is sort of a mish-mosh of things from this past week, bear with me...


First, I really wanted to share these two photographs, sent  to me from Holly, Carleigh's Momma. Holly was spending the day at a beautiful park, and decided to bring our little Peyton, and many of the other babies from this community, along with her. She wrote them each, name by name, remembering and honoring these children among the beauty that nature was surrounding her in. I have seen so many of these pictures on various blogs this week, all gifts from Holly, which really speaks to her caring and kind nature.

 ****
Last weekend my hubs had to work the better part of the day on Saturday, so, in his absence I headed over to a local craft fair. It's a small one, just a few tables in a Knight's of Columbus Hall, but one I have attended each year since we moved here and so I was looking forward to it. I scanned the tables one by one to see if anything spoke to me. My heart just about fell out of my chest when I came to a table of perfectly knitted baby clothes. They were beautiful, and sweet, the likes of which I had spent many months dreaming of dressing Peyton in, and I felt myself get hot and the room spin at the sight of them. IT's funny that way, and by IT I mean PTSD, because I can be in one place where there are baby items, and sort of tune them out, and then be in another, like this craft fair, and feel my chest tightening and my breath becoming labored as the memories flood my mind, and before I know it the room is crashing down around me. I don't know why IT is this way. IT just is.

In my efforts to get away from the adorable sets of booties, pom hats, and the socks that were knitted to look like shoes, I practically tripped over a woman pushing a stroller. Yes, that's the way IT goes sometimes. Do any of you go through this? Do you ever feel like the reminders of what you don't have chase you around in public? Anyway, I hurried to the other end of the room, making my way for the door when I saw her... pink and perfect, swaddled in a blanket that said "Bless This Baby," with a halo above her head, and a set of gold wings off her back. She caught my eye and I couldn't help but reach out to grab her.


"Isn't she precious?" A woman next to me said. "You know I have a friend whose baby just died. Can you believe that still happens? I thought this would be perfect for her."
"Yes, I can." I nodded. "I just lost my daughter. It is perfect."
My response caught her off guard, leaving me in one of those awkward "I just shared too much with a stranger" moments. Not knowing how to respond, the woman offered a sympathetic "oh" and left, but I stayed, looking at her, turning her over and over in my fingers. Hubs and I have talked about setting up a little Peyton Tree each Christmas, and finding an ornament to honor her life each year.  Without a doubt, in this little angel, I had found our 2009 ornament.

This is where my first blog giveaway comes in... FINALLY... I know...

I purchased a second little angel ornament, red, so it could be used to remember a girl or a boy. Here are some pictures. I am sorry they are not clearer, I have been using the cellphone camera and it is not very good.

The note pinned to blanket reads "Bless this Baby"




Okay, so this picture is just awful.
Believe me when I tell you the gold wings are just adorable.
The blurry bit on the bottom is a tag that reads "2009"



If you would like to be entered in this giveaway, please include your angel's name along with your comment to this post. A winner will be chosen using random.org's random number generator and will be announced sometime Friday evening. This giveaway closes Friday at 5:00PM EST

To see what others are showing and telling, visit here.