Friday, September 30, 2011

Keeping the Faith

No rainbow rodeo today. Will pick it back up next week.

Instead, today I am asking that you keep my cousin's daughter, Faith, in your hearts as we celebrate what should have been her third birthday. Faithy passed away in December of complications from Congenital Heart Disease.

If you had been following Faith's story, or would just like to send some love to her momma, Erica, you can do that by either visiting her link, or leaving her a message here. I will be sure she sees them.

Also, Erica is doing a toy drive in Faith's memory, for the children at Boston Children's Hospital. You can read more about that here.


Happy Birthday Faithy. We all love and miss you so much!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The punchline.

There was a dead bird on the back deck.
A sparrow, I think.

I noticed her outside the window Monday morning.
Something about her reminded me of Peyton.

Her stillness.
Her beauty.

Death couldn't steal that from either of them.

We have a large window at the back of our living room.
By the way the sparrow had landed - stomach up, wings folded over her chest - I assumed that she had flown into the glass and broken her neck.

I hope she never saw it coming.
Never felt it.
I would like to think that she flew straight from this world to the next, skipping the painful part of her journey altogether.

The babies and I spend the majority of our time in the living room, and on Monday, every time I passed the window, I stopped to pay homage to that little bird. When Hubs came home I told him about her, and he agreed, upon seeing her, that she was indeed beautiful.

Monday had been a particularly rough day. As you may recall from my post earlier this week, Squeaks decided to keep life interesting by eating the stuffing out of a diaper, which had resulted in a call to Poison Control, so by the time we were finally getting the snowflakes ready for bed, it was nearly 8PM and I was fully exhausted - and starving.

Hubs headed out to grill some steaks while I fed, changed, and put down the babies. It took longer than usual, which was probably due to the fact that we had had a very full day with little napping. When I felt comfortable that the babies were going to nod off, I headed downstairs to help with dinner.

Fifteen minutes later Squeaks let out a terrible shriek from upstairs, and Hubs, having finished his grilling, went up to help her. I could hear him rocking her in their room, because our rocker is long overdue for some WD-40, but Squeaks was still inconsolable, so I put dinner aside and went running upstairs, figuring only the boob would calm her.

That's when it happened.

As I was turning the corner in front of the stair case, I nearly tripped over a dark lump in the center of the hallway. It was my dead bird.

Charlotte, our suddenly very proud looking puppy, padded by, saw my expression, and turned to head for the hills.

There was bird everywhere - little feathery bits in my hallway. My kitchen. The family room.

I calledyelled, screamed at the top of my lungs to Hubs something along the lines of, "Nag! Nag! Nag!... I told you about that bird!... Nag!... What do you mean you forgot?... Nag!... Well of course the dog went after her... she's a dog!"

His reaction to the whole episode was a non-reaction, which, if I am being honest here, made my blood boil.

Let's call upon another earlier post, shall we? The one where I admit to being a bit of a germophobe, and by a bit - I mean a huge, what do you mean you open the bathroom door with your bare hands and don't wash your hands before eating? germophobe.

So here it was, now 9PM, and I had been up since 5AM (when the boy gave me a urine soaked wake up call) had dealt with the dog peeing on the floor, had swept silica infused diaper bits out of my daughter's mouth, placed a call to Poison Control, been vomited all over, dealt with two non-napping cranky snowflakes, had not eaten so much as a bite of food all day, and now, to top it off, had Jackson Pollack style bird bits spread throughout my house.

I was NOT a happy camper.

I did the only thing I could do - mope, fume, fuss - took care of Squeaks and then got to cleaning.
And cleaning...
And cleaning...

It took me 2+ hours to mop all of the floors (three passes of course because of that whole dead bird thing) - 1st- soap and water, 2nd - vinegar and water, 3rd - a thin layer of rubbing alcohol where I had seen bits of birdie "just in case." Of course the entire time I was doing this, I was thinking about the previews for that movie Contagion. Come on, you've seen them - where the bird flu wipes out all of humanity. Anyhow, I guess I was focused more on that, than the fumes, because when the floor was finally cleaned to my liking, I felt sick - light-headed, nauseated, dizzy. Being sick got me to thinking about why I felt sick, and when I realized it was probably not early onset bird flu, but instead the result of not opening the window while using rubbing alcohol, I couldn't help but wonder if having breathed so much of it in could have any affect on my breastmilk.

So I did what any ridiculous sane person in my position would do. I called Poison Control ... again.

I explained my situation and they told me that they had "no data on the effects of rubbing alcohol and breastmilk."

Huh?

I mean it's rubbing alcohol! A staple. Most households have at least a bottle of the stuff lying around. You would think they would have some data. Anyway the woman referred me to the Pregnancy Risk Line and told me I would have to wait till the morning to call because they were closed. Uh... yeah. Not helpful since the babies eat a hundred times a night, so she told me to call my Ped, who told me to call the Children's Hospital nurse on call, who told me to call Poison Control!

Long story short - the nurse finally told me I should pump and dump, so I did, and wouldn't you know it, the second, the VERY second I finally got done pumping and dumping and was ready to sit down, the babies woke up to be fed.

I have come to realize that sometimes in life you are the one telling the joke, and sometimes you are the punchline.

There is no doubt in my mind.
Monday - I was the punchline.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I need your help.

I know I have mentioned it here a few times before, but I entered a story about Peyton into the My Life the Reader's Digest Version writing contest, and I would really, really love to get it published to honor what should have been her third birthday. She is currently in second place behind a story about a dog. Can you please help me by visiting the link below, and voting for my story, "I Choose To Fly." each day. The voting runs through November 15th. Thank you so much to everyone who can help by voting and spreading the word. This has been something positive to focus on during grief season, and I can't tell you how much it would mean to me to share Peyton's story in Reader's Digest.

 Also, it turns out you do NOT need to have a Facebook account to vote. Thank you so much!

http://apps.facebook.com/yourlifecontest/node/1789

Monday, September 26, 2011

#ParentingFail

My morning went something like this...

The boy peed on the bed.
The dog peed on the floor.
The girl ate a diaper.
I called Poison Control.
Wait, what!?

So here is an interesting little factoid to tuck into your back pocket. The most common call that Poison Control receives from parents of infants is in regards to diaper eating, or more specifically, diaper stuffing eating. Not wanting to feel left out - Squeaks ate a diaper. 

Well not a whole diaper, of course, though she may have if given the chance, just a bite.

Sweet Potatoes? - No!
Carrots? - No!
Silica gel infused cotton blend? - Yes Please!

This is all pretty ironic because as you may recall (note the pic in the upper right) we use cloth diapers. Well 99% of the time at least. There is that 1% where we use disposables on day trips, or if the babies need rash cream and we don't want to ruin the inserts, and it is because of that 1% that today's events were made possible.

Great...

So back to the diaper eating...

Bubba and Squeaks have been doing this thing where they roll when being changed. They are strong, and squirmy, and I feel like I have been through the toughest Zumba class of my life each time I have to change a diaper, which with two, is roughly 15,000 times a day. I asked around for advice on this one and someone told me to: "put something in their hands, even just another diaper will work, and they will be so distracted that they will stay still."

Sounded simple enough.

So this morning, when Squeaks started rolling and rolling and sweat was breaking on my brow, I remembered the sage advice offered above, and seeing a disposable diaper on the changing table, I reached for it and handed it to her (why I didn't grab another cloth diaper, we will never know) so that I could proceed to wipe her bottom. That's all I did. Wipe her off and close her up. It took ten seconds, tops, and when I smiled at her and said, "all done!" she smiled back - with a mouth full of cotton!

Oh holy crap!

Kicking into high baby first aid gear I sat her up, swept her mouth with my finger, rushed her to the sink, did a few splashes of water, finger swept again, and called Poison Control. The woman on the other end of the line gave me that fact about this happening all the time, and assured me that there was nothing to worry about. While the silica in the diapers (as well as that in those little DO NOT EAT packets for what it's worth) can be a choking hazard, it is not actually toxic. 

Phew!

I hung up the phone and Squeaks smiled at me, or maybe she rolled her eyes, because she had that look a teenager gets when she thinks her mom worries about the silliest things, and then proceeded to throw up (probably more from being jostled around so shortly after a feeding than anything) all over me. To be honest, even though the diaper chunks down the front of my shirt just added insult to injury, I was actually pretty happy that she had thrown up, so as to allow any left over bits of cotton and silica to come out. 

So there you have it. The events of my morning, because all of this happened before 9AM, which makes me wonder what the hell the rest of the week has in store for us. The good news to report is that here we are, several hours later, and Squeaks is playing and smiling and doing just fine.

Just another day in the life...

Friday, September 23, 2011

14th Friday Rainbow 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...

Just hanging around.... 

Caught this video of The Snowflakes this morning. 

Squeaks was chewing on Bubba's feet, which is what I wanted to get on the video, but as always, they spotted the camera before I could. 

Can you tell who our extrovert is?

I love how Bubba just keeps on keepin' on - like nothing is happening at his feet. 

video

And because we are still transitioning into solids... 
a few more eating pictures.
Here the babies are enjoying winter squash.
Yummo!




Look closely... do you see my two new bottom teeth?





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. 





****
A side note: As a way to honor her third birthday, I have entered the Reader's Digest "Your Life" Contest with an entry about my experience mothering Peyton. The voting is open until November 15th, and you can vote once a day. It would mean a great deal to me to get Peyton's story in Reader's Digest. I am currently ranked in second place. Can you please help me out by visiting this link and casting your vote for my entry. Thank you so much!








Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Tucked Away In Some Corner

I feel sick.
Like vomit sick.

I thought I would feel differently.
I thought moving it would bring me a step closer to healing.

Today I tackled this --


It has sat under my dining room hutch for three years.
It has stared at me, reminding me every.single.day.

I didn't know what to do with it then.
I still don't.

Opening it was a sucker punch.
Cards that tell me how sorry people are that my baby is dead.
A box with casts of her hand and foot prints.
A locket of her hair.
Her pacifier.


There is a tiny bit of matter on one of the casts.
A speck of something --
Maybe dust.
Maybe blood.
It was the last thing on my daughter's hand when she died.
It is entombed forever in that cast.

This is so fucked.
All of it.
No one should have a box like this in their dining room.
No one should have cards saying, "I am sorry your baby died."
No one should have a few strands of hair as the only remaining DNA to prove their child existed.

I thought it would be a relief to move it.
I thought I would feel better --
I don't.

My grief is like this box of items.
It may appear neat, tucked away in some corner,
but peek under the cover and you'll see --
inside it is still just a mess.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Pass The Hand Sanitizer Please

Okay, confession time.

I am a people person who doesn't actually like being around people.

Confused yet?

Let me elaborate...

I have always been a little OCD when it comes to germs. Okay, not totally true. I have always been A LOT  OCD when it comes to germs, which is funny, and a bit ironic, considering the fact that I used to make my living in medical sales which was open doors-say hello-shake hands-make deal-shake hands again-open new doors-shake new hands- and on and on all day long. I kept (keep, I still keep, kept implies I have somehow moved past this phobia) hand sanitizer in my car to squirt between meetings, always opened public restroom doors with paper towels, never touched the faucets, wouldn't eat from public salad bars, take my shoes off before coming in the house, wash my groceries before putting them away and on. and on. and on.

So anyway, this fear of germs thing is nothing new, but somehow it is heightened, very heightened, TERROR ALERT ORANGE heightened, when I am out with the babies because no matter where we go, or what I am "trying" to do, without fail some icky person will come over wanting to touch them. Strangers. Wanting to touch them. After blowing their noses. Picking their eyes. Wiping their mouths. NOT WASHING THEIR HANDS! I have a sign on their car seats that reads "Please wash your hands before touching mine." What I wish it said was, "Don't Touch My Babies YOU FILTHY DISEASE MONGER!" which is ironic, because I used to think about how wonderful it would be to be that mom in the store, with the adorable LIVING baby, that people came over to check out.

So why not now?
I'll tell you...

I don't live in the normal universe.

I live in this corner of the universe where I know about babies, too many babies... too many beautiful and PERFECT and MUCH LOVED babies who have died from everything from the common cold, to a cold sore, and I hear those stories and they scare the hell out of me and leave me feeling on alert. People come near us and I find myself scanning them. Is their nose running? Are they coughing? Sneezing? Looking generally "unwell." And yet, even as careful (as ree-donk-u-lously careful) as I am, there is always that lady, the one who slips in when I have turned my head for a second to grab a package of eggs (in a plastic produce bag, of course, just in case some salmonella got on the outside of the container) off the shelf, and stuck her hands on their faces, or in one instance, her dirty finger in their mouth! No really, a stranger stuck her finger in Bubba's mouth. Who the hell does this?

So it leaves me in this ironic place where I want to be left alone when we are out and about, but I have babies, two smiling, cooing, adorable babies, which is practically like waving a sign that reads, "COME SEE THESE TWINS!"

It's a tough balance.

I don't want to be a smother mother. I really, really don't. I think it is a fear that anyone in the babyloss community has who parents living children, or plans to in the future. None of us want to transfer our fears and anxieties because of the things, the horrible, horrible things, that we have seen, onto our children, because that is just unfair to them, and they deserve to live with the naivete that we all used to live under, but I don't know how NOT to worry when the lady at the pediatrician's office has a cold sore and wants to weigh my babies. I don't know how NOT to worry when the guy who just grabbed steak out of the meat container, walks over and wants to grab their feet. I don't know how NOT to worry when that guy with a rash is rubbing up against their stroller.

So I guess that's my real question... how do you NOT worry, when you know too much?

P.S. I intended for this post to be a funny laugh-laugh look at my germophobic idiosyncrasies kind of thing. Yeah... ummm...  #fail

P.S.P.S. Home sick today. Thought it was mastitis. Went to the doctor who proceeded to check my boobs without washing his hands. Just reached out and grabbed 'em before I could say anything. Yeah... like I won't be thinking about THAT all day.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Peyton's Birthday and the 13th 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...


First Time Celebrating Peyton's Birthday

So this is actually from last week, at Peyton's Birthday, but it was a first for the Snowflakes so I decided to include it in the rodeo. You may recall that last year, Peyton's birthday was anything but peaceful. I had started to bleed at the cemetery, which set off seven months of bedrest. Needless to say, this year was MUCH nicer...


For Peyton's birthday, my husband and father turned Peyton's spot from this:






Into this:


Isn't it beautiful!


Here are a few shots of them hard at work...







After the garden had been updated, we wrote messages for Peyton and got ready for our yearly balloon release...












We decided to do things a little differently this time. We wanted The Snowflakes to participage, so we handed them the balloons and let them decide when they would let go.


Squeaks is as impatient as her mother. She let go right away...




Bubba took a little more time, and released them one by one...




But finally, off they went...




I don't know what age The Snowflakes will be when realize what this ceremony is all about, but I do know that Peyton was smiling down on us that day, happy to have her siblings here safely to help celebrate.




In other news, the babies have started to sit up unassisted (though after a bit they topple over) and have learned to steal toys from one another, find a high decibel range and hang out there for far-too-long, and to cry if they feel the other one is getting too much attention. I guess even cute babies have their days...


To end on a happy note...


Bubba wears his ear infection medicine well...



And Fashionista Squeaks says 'Sweet Potatoes are all the rage this season.'




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. 




****
A side note: As a way to honor her third birthday, I have entered the Reader's Digest "Your Life" Contest with an entry about my experience mothering Peyton. The voting is open until November 1st, and you can vote once a day. It would mean a great deal to me to get Peyton's story in Reader's Digest. Can you please help me out by visiting this link and casting your vote for my entry. Thank you so much!





Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Life Lessons Peyton Taught Me

No amount of time with someone you love can ever be 'enough' time.

Big changes come in small packages.

It is possible to love someone so much that it hurts.

Life isn't fair.

Appreciate everything you have right now, in this moment.

You are not the same person you were before loss.
That's not necessarily a bad thing.
Empathy is a gift.

Good people get hurt.
Bad people also get hurt.
No one is immune to it.

Some situations truly are impossible.

Right or wrong, a mother always blames herself.

When you least expect it - grief sneaks up on you.

There is no shortage of grief in this world.
There is no shortage of beauty in this world.

Begrudging someone for having it easy will not make your own path any less difficult.

There are no guarantees in this life.

Sometimes those who should - don't, and those you never expected to-do.
Focus on the do-ers because a friend who won't walk with you in sorrow, doesn't deserve to dance with you in joy.

Keep trying, or keep dying - the choice is yours.

Laughter is good medicine. It is not a betrayal.

Sometimes our greatest strength is in our willingness to show weakness.

Parenthood is a privilege.

Grief is personal.
It is also never ending.
The grieving don't owe anyone an explanation.

Find a reason to be thankful every-single-day, even if just for the fact that you made it to another day. It will sustain you.

Find a way to be creative every-single-day.
It, too, will sustain you.

You can deal with the emotions of your loss now, or you can deal with them later.
Either way, you will have to deal with them.

There is no shame in embracing the pain.

A tiny life can have a huge impact.

You are a work in progress.

Embracing your blessings is not the same as moving on.

There are times when you have to stop doing something to someone in order to do something for them.

Death is no match for love.

You are stronger than you think you are.
You are also weaker than you would have imagined yourself to be.

The end of your world is not the end of THE world.
The world will keep turning.
Only you can decide how long to stand still.

You can never go back to the way things were.

Gone does not mean forgotten.
Little does not mean insignificant.

There is no 'right thing' to say.
That doesn't excuse saying nothing at all.

You can't let death keep you from living.

Every experience, even the most painful ones, bring beauty in some form.


****
A side note: As a way to honor her third birthday, I have entered the Reader's Digest "Your Life" Contest with an entry about my experience mothering Peyton. The voting is open until November 1st, and you can vote once a day. It would mean a great deal to me to get Peyton's story in Reader's Digest. Can you please help me out by visiting this link and casting your vote for my entry. Thank you so much!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

12th 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...


Teething and Sleeplessness and Ear Infections - Oh My!



It's been an interesting week. 
A long and interesting week.
It's rained every day and we have been dealing with teething and sleeplessness and ear infections. Needless to say, the snowflakes have been a bit grumpalicious. Luckily, putting them into their Yankees outfits was enough to cheer them up. I just love the way that they pal around with one another.... Hope you enjoy the pics... even you Red Sox fans out there :)








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. 

*****
A little side note.
As many of you know, I submitted a story about Peyton to Reader's Digest. Voting is a big component in how they decide which story they will publish. Would you please take a moment to vote for my story by clicking here? You can vote once per day. Thank you so much for helping me!



Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Day In The Life

I have been up since roughly 1:30 this morning.
Yup. 1:30.
The boy is teething.
The girl is teething.
The boy is growing.
The girl is growing.
Teething.
Growing.
Teething.
Growing.
Up to cuddle and comfort one.
Down to feed the other
At some time in between, I think Bubba attempted to pierce my nipple with his tooth.
He has two now.
Yup - two.
One broke through last week. The second yesterday.
It's raining here.
It rained all day yesterday as well.
That adds to my desire to crawl under the sheets, pull the covers to my chin, and sleep-sleep-sleep.
Or even just sleep, without the extra sleep-sleep.
A nap.
A catnap.
I am pooped.
Or tuckered.
Knocked Down.
Dragged Out.
EXHAUSTED.
Yesterday Squeaks was in a funk.
She cried.
And fussed.
And screamed.
It was very un-Squeaks like, since she is usually the happiest baby on the block.
Her attitude today makes yesterday look like a walk in the park.
Did I mention we also have six month shots this afternoon?
Yeah, that should be fun.
So...who wants to babysit?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Something A Little Different...

Happy Monday All.

I am over at Hannah Wept, Sarah Laughed today talking about my experiences with PCOS and Diet. 

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Happy Third Birthday Peyton!


Happy Third Birthday Sweet Girl!

Today we celebrate your birth, not as I would like, with candles and a cake and you running around, little curls bouncing, with all your friends, but in the best way that the situation allows. We are stamping the last of the books that came in for the Doing Good In Her Name book drive today, so that they can be dropped off at the NICU this week, and then we will head to your grave with Gramma, Pop-Pop, and your siblings, to put in some pavers around your garden and add some new life to the plantings there.

I wish I could hold you, and sing Happy Birthday, but instead I will close my eyes, and go to that place we once shared, when I held you to my chest, sang "Smile", and drummed a soft tap-tap, tap-tap, tap-tap against your back.

Smile, though your heart is aching. Smile, even though it's breaking. Where there are clouds in the sky, you'll get by. If you smile, through your fear and sorrow. Smile, and maybe tomorrow. You'll see the sun come shining through, if you just smile. 

Mommy is tone deaf, but you let her sing anyway. Do you remember?

I so wish you were here little girl. Safe. Healthy. Whole. I wish... I wish... I wish... Just know how loved you are. How missed you are. That regardless of the the space and the time and the universe that keeps us apart you are still my daughter. I am still your mother. Nothing, not even death, can erase that.

Happy Birthday Peyton.

Momma loves you!