Thursday, July 28, 2011

6th Friday Rainbow Baby Blog Rodeo



Has your Rainbow hit a milestone this week?
Starred in a cute video?
Done something adorable? Funny? Downright embarrassing?

If you answered "yes" to any of the above questions, 
than you have come to the right place!

Welcome to the Friday Rainbow Baby Blog Rodeo, a place to celebrate the amazing children who have come into our lives after loss, and to strengthen our bond as a community of Rainbow parents.

Every Friday we can gather here to share our little ones' triumphs, brag like the proud parents that we are, and yes ... even own up to our epic fails in parenting (all in good fun of course) via links to our own blogs with posts about any and everything Rainbow from the week.

Feel free to grab the button from the sidebar and help spread the word. Let's bring this Rainbow parenting community together.

I will go first...

Shhhhh! Babies Sleeping.

Yay! You may remember me mentioning a few weeks back about some of the momma struggles I was facing. Well it appears (crossing fingers as I type this) that the days of overly tired fusspots are over. Bubba and Squeaks are sleeping well, and we are ALL so much happier for it!

I wish I had a picture to share of this, but the idea of "possibly" waking them up to take a picture of them sleeping is just a little too risky for me.

We have had a heck of a time with the babies refusing to nap and refusing to sleep unless they were on the boob. I took some of the advice offered here, went and spoke to my pediatrician, and armed with a plan, went to work on getting them sleep trained during Wednesday's nap. 

All in all, things have been a success.

Sleep Log Thus Far:

Wednesday Nap - put the babies down. Squeaks fell right asleep. Bubba fussed a bit. I comforted him after timed intervals and it worked! 17 minutes into it he was asleep, and they both napped for 2.5 hours! They woke happy, and refreshed, and smiling.

Wednesday Evening - Same routine as at nap time. Bubba fell asleep after 6 minutes. Squeaks woke up and fussed. I patted her belly and she fussed another 5 minutes. I patted again, and noticed she was dirty. I changed her diaper, nursed her (not to sleep but just a little longer) and put her down and she went right out! They slept from 9PM-4AM when they woke for their next feed.

Thursday Naps: They took two 2 hour naps, no fussing.

Thursday Evening: Not even 5 minutes in Bubba was asleep, and after less than 10 minutes, Little Miss Squeaks was sleeping too! 

I have to tell you. I was really, really scared to try to sleep train them, and I know we still have a ways to go before we have this down pat, but while it was something I never would have imagined myself doing, seeing how well it has gone and how much happier they seem to be and how much more ready to play they are because of it, I am so grateful to have given it a try. 


So... that is what Bubba and Squeaks
have been up to this week...


What have your rainbows been doing?


Wanna know how you can participate?



It's easy!


Just write a post on your own blog about what your Rainbow(s) has been up to this week, and then add the link to that post in the Linky widget below. 


Thanks for riding along on the rodeo!





Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Snake Oil Salesman

I called a psychic last week.

Yes... I know.

I was out taking a little "mental health drive" with the babies in the back, and just praying, praying, praying! that they might take a nap (which of course, they didn't) when I flipped to a midday talk show hosted by a woman that I can best describe as "flighty." She is super syrupy sweet, usually offers self evident self help tips, and I am pretty sure that I am about 40 years younger than her listening demographic, but what can I say? She had a psychic on and I got sucked in.

The callers before me asked questions like, "will my arthritis flair up again" (not kidding here) and I listened along, because really there was nothing else on the radio, and then all of the sudden the psychic told a caller about a spirit living in her house. The caller seemed to really believe what he was saying about this spirit and the messages the woman had received from her, and I can't help it... if there is even the remotest possibility of hearing Peyton in any way on the other end of the line, I am going to pick up the phone.

So I did.

I asked him two questions. The first was if I was going in the right direction with my writing. I wanted him to say something like, "I see a published manuscript in your future," but he didn't. He said, "if it feels right to write, then write,"
and I thought,
Really? I needed to call a psychic to tell me this crap? Of course you should write, if it feels right. How is that telling me the future? Ugh. 


I moved on to question #2, and taking a deep breath asked something to the affect of, "when I sense my daughter is with me, is that really her?"

Psychic: "You feel her often, don't you?"

Me: "Yes."

Psychic: "Maybe in the wind, or like a hand on your shoulder?"

A More Gullible Me: "Yes. Yes."


Now we were getting somewhere!


Psychic: "That's her."

Me: "It is?"

Psychic: "Yes, and she wants me to tell you something."

Me: "Really?"

Psychic: "She wants me to tell you about the frogs."

Me: "Frogs?"

Psychic: "Yes, or maybe it's Kermit the Frog. She says you would know. That it is an inside joke."

A Less Gullible Me: "An inside joke, huh?"

Psychic: "Yeah, from when she was a little girl."

Me: "Right. Okay then," *rolls eyes* "thanks."

Click!

What was the point of going any further?

I didn't have the heart to tell the guy that my daughter never was a "little girl."

She never got to that stage.

My daughter never saw a frog, let alone knew what one was, and she certainly didn't know who Kermit was.

This guy was full of bupkis.

Maybe he assumed I was the same age as the other women calling in?
Maybe he assumed my daughter died as an adult (it's an easy assumption to make) and was just throwing things out there to see what stuck?
Frogs...
Kermit the Frog...
That would have stuck for so many others, but not for me.

Butterflies - Yes.
Pinwheels - Yes.
Flickering Lights - Yes.
Frogs - No.

Oh well.

There's always next time.

Maybe the next Snake Oil Salesman will tell a more convincing tale.

***
As you may know, I am the Editor of the online literary magazine, Exhale. This week we put out our Summer issue, with the theme Time as our Enemy. Time as our friend. 

Piecing together the submissions for this issue took me on a real journey emotionally. About a year after Peyton died I wrote the poem, Father Time, and as soon as we had decided on the theme, I knew I wanted to include the piece.

I was surprised by the sucker punch I felt in re-reading it.
In re-reading the sense of hopelessness in my words:


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 then it hit me.

I did that.
I created two beautiful, perfect, healthy babies.

I didn't know that was possible when I wrote the poem... but I do now.

I remember how it felt writing that poem.
I remember every emotion that I felt pouring it out onto the page.

Going back to it was like revisiting a dark, early chapter in my grief and infertility.

It was a reminder that we really can't ever count ourselves out.

There is always the possibility that things can improve.

I invite you all to check out the current issue of Exhale. In addition to poetry, essays, and fiction, we have a wonderful book review by Kathy Benson, and a great interview with infertility activist Keiko Zoll.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

5th Friday Rainbow Baby Blog Rodeo - Join The Fun


Has your Rainbow hit a milestone this week?
Starred in a cute video?
Done something adorable? Funny? Downright embarrassing?

If you answered "yes" to any of the above questions, 
than you have come to the right place!

Welcome to the Friday Rainbow Baby Blog Rodeo, a place to celebrate the amazing children who have come into our lives after loss, and to strengthen our bond as a community of Rainbow parents.

Every Friday we can gather here to share our little ones' triumphs, brag like the proud parents that we are, and yes ... even own up to our epic fails in parenting (all in good fun of course) via links to our own blogs with posts about any and everything Rainbow from the week.

Feel free to grab the button from the sidebar and help spread the word. Let's bring this Rainbow parenting community together.

I will go first...

New Nicknames

I've been giving this a lot of thought, and for many reasons (not the least of which is just that it is boring always referring to the babies as H & K) I have decided that from now on I will refer to my little snowflakes on this blog by the nicknames Bubba and Squeaks.

Bubba has had his nickname since birth. To be honest, I am not sure that he knows he has any other name. To me, the boy just looks like a Bubba. 


Strong.
Barrel chested.
Big hands and feet.

I sort of imagine that he is going to grow up to look like this guy...



Squeaks, on the other hand, just recently earned this nickname, as she has been working really hard to find her voice. Whether four in the morning, or four in the afternoon, Squeaks...well...squeaks! 

Just watch the video and see for yourself. 
(Please excuse my voice on the video. Yuck! Am I the only one that hates to hear her own voice on video?)


video

Notice that I have to hide the camera to catch any of this squeaking action, because as soon as I am spotted, Squeaks stops. 

Silly girl!


That is what Bubba and Squeaks
have been up to this week...


So, tell me, what have your rainbows been doing?


Wanna know how you can participate?



It's easy!


Just write a post on your own blog about what your Rainbow(s) has been up to this week, and then add the link to that post in the Linky widget below. 


Thanks for riding along on the rodeo!




Tuesday, July 19, 2011

"Nightmare"

I had a nightmare.
Anyone who has read here for a while will understand.

I dreamt I was walking along a concrete path, and everywhere I turned, I was met with one of those little yellow lawn pesticide signs.

The grass all around me was coated in a white, powdery film. I walked carefully and held my hands close to my body, not wanting to touch anything.

The chemicals were everywhere. I was a rat in a maze, turning and turning, looking for a safe way out.

Suddenly I came upon a large festival full of families walking through the grass like it was no big deal.

Young children rolled around and played in the lawn and I felt nauseated watching as the white powder took refuge on their bare skin.

"You have to get that off of them!" I screamed.

No response.

"Don't you know pesticides are linked to leukemia!"

Not even a look in my direction.

"Why aren't you listening? Your children could die!"

Nothing.

The families just went on smiling and celebrating.
Rolling around in the grass as white powder coated their bodies.
Picnicking as it stuck to the food that they brought to their mouths.

"Please listen."  I begged.

But no one did.

They couldn't hear me.
They lived in a different world.

Naive.
Unaware.
Together.

I realized in that moment that I knew too much to ever be like them.
I realized that no matter which direction I traveled, I would always be alone.

**




I am really excited/humbled/honored/stoked/etc etc to learn that my little ole blog here has been nominated for Babble's Top 50 Mom Blogs. It would mean A LOT to me if you all would take a moment to vote for my blog by clicking here. If you sort by popularity I should be on about page 2. If you sort alphabetically I fall around page 13. You can vote for as many bloggers as you'd like. I did. Some of my favorites are also on the list :)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

This, That, and The Rainbow Rodeo...

**
Prayer Request:
A BLM friend of mine lost her first baby to cancer. Now she lost her rainbow baby at 7 months gestation. I don't think any of you would know her, as she doesn't really blog, but I am going to respect her privacy by not saying too much that might identify her and just ask that you all please remember her in your prayers. She is really, REALLY hurting. The injustice at the fact that this wonderful mother should have to face so much pain and loss in her quest to build a family, when monsters like Casey Anthony... well... you can finish that sentence yourself...thinking about it is just too much.

If you could send her healing thoughts/prayers I'd appreciate it.

 **


**Possible trigger post - talks about living children.**

I need some mom advice...

I haven't slept in nine days.
Okay, that's a lie.
If I hadn't slept at all in nine days I would probably be dead, or at the very least making a fool of myself hallucinating in the streets, but the truth is I haven't slept more than about 1.5 hours at a time in NINE days, and it's starting to get to me!

I don't know what's going on here.

It started as a growth spurt. Both babies came home from our 4th of July vacation (where they happily slept through the night as usual with the exception of their one overnight feed) and were eating, eating, eating (read: K nursing say from 1-4AM, H then waking hungry and nursing from 4-5, Then K waking hungry again around 7:30, and on and on.)

About three days into being back home I started feeling miserable, and thoughts of quitting breastfeeding swirled around in my exhausted mind. It dawned on me that the last time I had felt this miserable about breastfeeding was during a growth spurt around 15 weeks, so I decided that we must have hit another one.

I mean it HAD to be that, right?

Now, I'm not so sure...

After a few days, H decided she had had enough of the cluster feeding, and went back to her regular routine of eating before bed, 0-1 times overnight, and then in the morning. K, on the other hand, has gotten into this funny place where now he only wants me AND will only sleep if I am nursing him. He is suddenly a light sleeper too, so if I move he wakes up, gets mad, and we have to start the whole rock nurse lay down rock nurse lay down nurse rock nurse nurse nurse routine all over again.

Poor hubs tries to help, he really does, but its no use. K screams at him, and only calms down for me, which makes hubs wonder what the use is in even trying since nothing he does seems to console K. It's gotten to the point where K won't even take a bottle of expressed milk anymore, he just screams and screams until I nurse him... again!

I am using the term "nurse" lightly, because half the time he isn't eating at all, just, sort of, "hanging out." Sometimes he pops off and then relatches an inch or so off and it's a struggle to get him off and relatched properly so I end up with these just awful looking hickey bruises. He also has taken to grabbing whatever boob, or bit of bare skin he can, and pinching or pulling. Not so fun since I am also dealing with thrush.

I guess last night hubs could really pick up on my frustration/exhaustion, because I woke up to this note:


Have I mentioned how lucky I am to have such an understanding husband?

So tell me mommas... what do you think is going on here?

Teething?
Just the age (19 weeks?)
Typical Momma's Boy?
Time to start solids?

I'm at a loss...

** 
Now onto some good news! I am really excited/humbled/honored/stoked/etc etc to learn that my little ole blog here has been nominated for Babble's Top 50 Mom Blogs. It would mean A LOT to me if you all would take a moment to vote for my blog by clicking here. If you sort by popularity I should be on about page 3. If you sort alphabetically I fall around page 13. You can vote for as many bloggers as you'd like. I did. Some of my favorites are also on the list :)

**

Has your Rainbow hit a milestone this week?
Starred in a cute video?
Done something adorable? Funny? Downright embarrassing?

If you answered "yes" to any of the above questions, 
than you have come to the right place!

Welcome to the Friday Rainbow Baby Blog Rodeo, a place to celebrate the amazing children who have come into our lives after loss, and to strengthen our bond as a community of Rainbow parents.

Every Friday we can gather here to share our little ones' triumphs, brag like the proud parents that we are, and yes ... even own up to our epic fails in parenting (all in good fun of course) via links to our own blogs with posts about any and everything Rainbow from the week.

Feel free to grab the button from the sidebar and help spread the word. Let's bring this Rainbow parenting community together.

I will go first...

We had lots of fun keeping cool in this heat wave by getting our exercise indoors.


We worked on sitting up in the Bumbo...

Two Peas In A Pod


Practiced our tummy time...


and laying on our backs kick - kick - kicking...



and jump jump jumped in the jump n go and jumperoo...







That's what we have been up to this week...

So, tell me, what have your rainbows been up to?


To join in the fun, write a post on your own blog about what your Rainbow(s) has been up to this week, and then add the link to that post in the Linky widget below. 


Thanks for riding along on the rodeo!

Monday, July 11, 2011

On Living - Right Where I Am

"As long as I can I will look at this world for both of us. As long as I can I will laugh with the birds, I will sing with the flowers, I will pray to the stars, for both of us." ~Sascha


It's been just over a thousand days since Peyton left this world. 
Just over a thousand days since I held her in my arms that last time as the sun broke through the clouds, and cast white light across her small body. 
It's been just over a thousand days... 
God I miss her.


I spent the better part of the first year without Peyton being furious. 
At God mostly. 
It hit me tonight, as I looked at my two beautiful blessings, that it may be time to start working on toning down that fury
It may be time to start feeling Thankful rather than Spiteful when I think of Him.
It may be time, but that is a post for another day.


In that first year after Peyton's death I saw very little hope in the future and no joy in the day to day. Even to think about feeling joy felt like some sort of betrayal, and yet when people tried to remind me that living was not a betrayal, I hated them for it. 


People would see me spending all day every day at her grave that first year, and they would say, "Peyton wouldn't want to see you like this" and I would think, "what the hell do you know anyway? Was your child born unexpectedly with cancer? Did your child die in your arms? Do you live with the aching arms? And the nightmares? And the daytime ones?"


I was hurting. 
Everything was darkness. 
Telling me that I was disappointing Peyton in my grieving just added to my fury. 
To my fury, and to my guilt.


In that first year people told me I would survive.
They were right.
I did.
Every second of every minute was agony, but somehow, some way, I came through it, even if only by the skin of my teeth.


The second year without Peyton I lived on Pause. 
Every day was Groundhog's day. 
The sun rose.
My child was dead. 
The sun set. 
My child was dead. 
Families around us grew.
My child was dead.
Children conceived after Peyton died had now outlived her, and yet, my child was still dead.


It is still hard for me to believe, sometimes, that I no longer live in that long gray fog that consumed the second year. At that time the world around me seemed to be moving at lightning speed, while our world, our tiny little corner of the universe, sat immobile - seemingly stuck on its axis unable to turn towards the sun.


And then, just like that, one day it did.


One day there was forward momentum, a feeling that had become so foreign a concept to me that I didn't know what to do with it.


In that moment we were afforded a new lease on life, and the blessing that this is has not been lost on me. 


Peyton's third birthday is just a few mere months away, and I feel something shifting in me once again. For the first time, in a very long time, maybe ever, I find myself thinking of Peyton and smiling. 
Not all the time of course, many memories of her still stir feelings of being robbed, scared, and heartbroken, but every once in a while an image of that little girl - so tiny, so brave - pops into my mind and I can see her lifting her sweet, perfectly round little head up off of my chest when we did skin to skin, and the corners of my lips turn upward in gratitude.


Yes, you read that right. Gratitude.


Peyton did something no one else in this world can ever undo. 
She made me a mother, and through the aching, I can't help but to feel grateful for that. 


She came into this broken world, loved me with a pure heart, and left so many gifts for me that I am still discovering them day by day.


Some have been easy to see - the friendships I have made within the BLM community. The connection I have been able to feel with my writing. The deep sense of empathy I feel for those who are hurting - and others have taken more time to fully grasp - like realizing how important it is to truly appreciate each and every day.


Even the tough days, because a tough day is just another chance to overcome something difficult, and discover something beautiful in its wake. 


That little girl has enriched my world. 
She has made colors crisper.
Experiences richer.
Meanings deeper.


Because of Peyton I appreciate what a gift it is to wake up each morning.
Because of Peyton I can feel the wind on my cheek and know that somewhere, somehow, in some way that I am too human to understand, we are sharing that moment.
Because of Peyton I truly, TRULY, know how lucky I am to be a mother.
I know what a gift it is to be exhausted from a sleepless night with the babies.
I know not to take for granted any moments with my children, even the challenging ones like those that I have faced in breastfeeding the twins.


That's not to say I don't ever moan or groan or feel sorry for myself about this or that, because I do, I am human, but usually, a beat or two behind whatever gripe I may be airing, I stop, think of that little girl and all that she has taught me, and that quickly puts things back into perspective.


Maybe everyone goes through this? 
Maybe this, this feeling that I owe it to Peyton to live the life she wasn't afforded, is just another stage of grieving.
I don't know.


What I do know is that she can't laugh, so I feel that I owe it to her to fill my life with laughter
She can't have a family of her own, so I owe it to her to love mine with all of my heart.
She can't chase her dreams, so I owe it to her to never stop believing in mine.


As the poet Sascha says, I owe it to Peyton to do all these things "for the both of us."


I miss my daughter.
Nothing will ever, nothing can ever, change that.


I still have days where the tears come calling, but something inside of me is shifting.


I am coming to see that honoring Peyton is not equivalent to spending all of my life longing only for what I can never have.


I am coming to see that it honors her memory more to embrace and rejoice in all that I do.


****
This post is part of the StillLife With Circle's Right Where I Am Project. I'm about a month late to the party, but hey, better late than never.
****

Friday, July 8, 2011

Friday Rainbow Baby Blog Rodeo.

Come Join The Fun!

**Possible trigger post as this deals with Rainbow babies.**


Has your Rainbow hit a milestone this week?
Starred in a cute video?
Done something adorable? Funny? Downright embarrassing?

If you answered "yes" to any of the above questions, 
than you have come to the right place!

Welcome to the Friday Rainbow Baby Blog Rodeo, a place to celebrate the amazing children who have come into our lives after loss, and to strengthen our bond as a community of Rainbow parents.

Every Friday we can gather here to share our little ones' triumphs, brag like the proud parents that we are, and yes ... even own up to our epic fails in parenting (all in good fun of course) via links to our own blogs with posts about any and everything Rainbow from the week.

Feel free to grab the button from the sidebar and help spread the word. Let's bring this Rainbow parenting community together.

I will go first...


FRIENDSHIP

One of the greatest gifts that Peyton has given me has been in the amazing people she has brought into my life. Over the 4th of July weekend, The Snowflakes, hubs, and I were blessed to be able to have a visit with one my favorite BLM bloggy friends, Emma and Chase's mom, Jill, from Footprints on our Hearts. Jill and I have so much in common. We both have had boy/girl twins and a daughter and we both had our rainbows about the same time.  


Jill, and her beautiful rainbow, Carly, met us for lunch.


H (left) and Carly (right) hit it off right away.


New Friends!

 
K and Mommy


Isn't Carly just adorable!


All the excitement of the day left the Snowflakes ready to nap!

 Thank you so much to Jill for an awesome day 
and for taking these beautiful pictures!

So, tell me, what have your rainbows been up to this week?


To join in the fun, write a post on your own blog about what your Rainbow(s) has been up to this week, and then add the link to that post in the Linky widget below. 


Thanks for riding along on the rodeo!