January 30, 2010

Dear, Sweet, Baby A

     Today marks one year since your due date, and I'm a little sad.  I'm sad that your daddy and I will never get to see your cute little face or sweet smile.  We'll never get the chance to hear your funny laugh or your cry.  Who would have thought that a baby could grow for so long only to be taken away so easily?  I never thought it was possible, until I met you.

In some ways, I feel guilty for being sad because I would never have met your little brother if you had made it.  In that way I'm completely torn.  How can I mourn your sweet little face when your very birth would mean he never could have lived?  In this way I'm even more sad.  I feel like a mother being forced to choose between her children, and I don't want to choose at all.  I want you both.  Is that so selfish?

I hope that someday I can meet you and the little brother or sister you have up there in Heaven with you.  I hope that we can all be together when that day comes.  Until then, you need to hold her hand because she is younger than you are.  I want you to protect her and watch over her, and I will pray for both of you every night for the rest of my life.

Happy birthday, little angel.  I love you so much.

Love Always,

January 28, 2010

6 Months Already!

I cannot believe that my little baby is already 6 months old.  Actually, as I type this he is over 6 months.  Times goes by much too quickly.


In honor of Little Rocker's 6 month birthday, lets talk about everyone's favorite subject:  milestones.

* at 2.5 weeks Little Rocker slept through the night.  This promptly ended when he was about 3 months old.  Damn you 3 month growth spurt!

* He first smiled at around 1 month.  It was the best sight I've ever seen.

* His first laugh was at 1 month 2 days.  He was nursing, and he burped while still drinking.  He fell off me and started laughing and staring up at my face.  I melted.

* On October 1, 2009, just after he turned 2 months old, Little Rocker first rolled from tummy to back.  He did it a lot for the next few weeks, but his interest in rolling soon was overtaken by his interest in learning how to crawl.  He hasn't mastered crawling yet, but he tries so. hard.

* At 3 months he started tripoding!  We were so excited when he first sat up, even though he needed to lean on his hands.

* In early December, right around 4 months, Little Rocker started scooting.  He doesn't really go far, but he gets so excited when he does it.  The look on his face is awesome to watch!

* At 5 months, on December 28, Little Rocker started rolling from back to tummy!  He even let Daddy be the first to see a milestone - he likes to make Daddy wait.  He does this all the time now, expecially when he's trying to get a toy.

* On December 31 he sat unsupported for the first time!  We were at a friend's house for a NYE party, and we sat Little Rocker down to "play" with her son.  He didn't fall over and he didn't need to hold himself up with his hands!  Throughout the night he was able to sit up a few times (for about twenty minutes at a time) before he toppled over.  RJ and I were so proud.

*At 5 months 3 weeks Little Rocker started standing while holding himself up!  It is so scary how big he's getting!

January 26, 2010

The Cloth Diapering Saga: Some Basics

One of my good friends (who is about to pop a cute little girl out - hopefully any day now) keeps asking me about cloth diapering and how we do it.  I meant to do this a long time ago, but I'm busy...ok???  Over the next few days I'll be posting about the info we've learned when it comes to cloth diapering Ryder, why we do it, and how we do it.

The Basics of Cloth Diapering

How much will it cost?

Cloth diapering your child is really not as expensive as you may think - or as others may make you believe.  We thought about it this way when trying to make the decision.  If we chose disposable diapers, we would spend approximately $15.00 on diapers every week or two.  Yes - we would get about 35 diapers/pack (depending on the size and brand) but that could equal upwards of $50/month.  Say your child is in diapers for 3 years.  The first month or two, you'll be changing diapers about 10-12 times a day, so you'll really need to buy about two packs of diapers a week to stay on top of all those diapers.  Those months, you'll probably spend about $150, easily.  Babies poop a LOT, and you need to change every tiny bit of it - whether you like it or not!  Every other month, you're spending $50/month, which equals about $600/year.  This is, of course, being quite generous.  As babies grow, so do diaper sizes and diaper prices.  What does not grow is the quantity of diapers in each package.  Larger diaper size = smaller quantity.  Is it fair?  No.  Then why do they do it?  To make money, my friends, to make money.

Here's a cool chart I found to compare prices:

Disposable Diapers
0-3 months
10-12 diapers/day
90 x 10 = 900
Size 1
3-12 months
8-10 diapers/day
270 x 8 = 2160
Size 3
12-30 months
7-8 diapers/day
540 x 7 = 3780
Size 5
Total number of diapers
Total Cost for Disposables

Cloth diapers - Prefold Diapers with wrap style covers
0-6 months
36 CPFs
6 small size covers
total $117.00
6-30 months
24 CPFs
4 medium size covers
4 large size covers
total $132.00

Total Cost for Cloth Diapers and Covers

Cloth Diapers - bumGenius One-Size (fits 8-35 lbs)
36 bumGenius
$16.95 ea.

Total Cost for Premium Diapering System

We chose to use premium diapers (BumWear and FuzziBunz, to be exact).  20 were gifted to us by family, and we purchased 10 ourselves ($281).  We have more than enough diapers for Ryder, and rarely run out.  Just in case, I always have one package of disposables on hand (which lasts us a whole month, sometimes more, since it's just a back-up).  The only issue we've come across is the rare bed-wetting fiasco.  This doesn't happen very often, however, and we've countered it buy purchasing a few fleece diaper covers.  In total we spent about $100 on the covers, and they've eliminated the bed-wetting issue completely.

Total amount spent on cloth diapers and diaper covers...

$381.  That is for life.  We will never need to spend more money on diapers, and we're set for Ryder and all future babies.

How do I wash them?

In the washing machine, silly!!!

Different diaper brands have different care instructions, which can easily be found at PinStripes and PolkaDots.  Be sure to check the care instructions for the brand you want to use.  Here you can also find instructions on how to pre-treat your diapers before their first use.  This is easy, and basically involves washing the diapers a few times to get rid of any yucky stuff from manufacturing.

We did a lot of research to find the right laundry detergent for our cloth diapers and found that Purex Free & Clear worked well and was safe for use with the diapers.  We've since discovered that our local grocery store makes a "copy" of that detergent that works better and is slightly less expensive.  Just one more way that we're saving money by going cloth!  $11 for detergent lasts us about a month.

Oh, I almost forgot.  Those of you who may be concerned that poop will line the walls of your washing machine and stained diapers are icky - I have yet to find poop covering the walls of our washer.  That's right, it hasn't happened yet.  Furthermore, we're already feeding Ryder solids and we have no diaper stains to speak of (unless you count a few from the Boudreaux's Butt Paste, which I later found out wasn't supposed to touch the lining of the diaper).  To prevent this issue (and the possibility of ruining any diapers), use flushable diaper liners.  They can be purchased at Babies 'R Us, as well as many other smaller stores.

Another great point to make is that cloth diapers are NOT cesspools for bacteria!  If they have been washed properly, which is very simple, you will have clean and disinfected diapers - just. like. that.  No bleaching, baking, pre-treating necessary.  The only way you may start to breed bacteria is if you decide that your diaper pail needs to be filled with water.

Poopy water = yucky bacteria.  Try to avoid that!

The Diaper Pail...dun dun dundun

We use a small waste basket as a diaper pail, but it's generally suggested that you use a 5-10 gallon waste basket that will fit more diapers.  Our problem is that we have a small front loading washing machine, so we can't fit very many diapers in one load (maybe 10).  This basket works great for us.

When deciding which pail to use, try to find one with a lid.  Ryder's poops are actually not stinky (we purchased this after he was born), but you never know what your dear, sweet child will bring.  You may have an extremely stinky pooper on your hands, and that's definitely cause for a basket with a lid!

Here are some helpful hints when choosing your diaper pail:

* Stinky diapers can be masked by putting a dryer sheet in the diaper pail, but make sure this doesn't go into the wash (or dryer) with the diapers.

* Sprinkling some baking soda into the diaper pail can also help mask a stinky smell, and this can help when you're washing the diapers.

*Diaper pail liners are a very convenient way to take diapers from the nursery to the laundry room.

* You do NOT need to soak diapers while they are in the diaper pail.  This is a breeding-ground for bacteria, and you don't want that.

* Once your little one starts solids, it's a good idea to shake poop off in the toilet before tossing diapers into the diaper pail.

January 25, 2010

Compound Heterozygous MTHFR

This is just a bunch of info that I've gathered about what I have.  It's actually very interesting, albeit extremely scary, so I thought you might like to have a look.

Enjoy!  lol

Meds like Neevo, Folic Acid, Lovenox, etc should be your daily regimen for the rest of your life.  After having children, you would switch from pre-natal to a women's multivitamin. Many MTHFR patients also have Antiphospholipid Syndrome. If you have both, it's basically a guarantee that you'd need the Lovenox (injections of low molecular weight heparin) throughout the pregnancy to prevent clotting.

MTHFR mutations interfere with the body's ability to absorb folic acid. Folic acid deficiencies for babies can cause neural tube defects, like Spina Bifida, so it's very, very good that we learned about this and can now give your future babies the right amount of folic acid in utero. In addition, lack of folic acid can cause clotting-related problems. Since the teeniest, tiniest blood vessels are in the uterus, you can have microscopic clots that don't harm you, but cut off the blood supply to the embryo/fetus. This can cause implantation problems, m/c, or even stillbirth. So properly treating your MTHFR is critical.

MTHFR is one of several different kinds of inherited thrombophilia. (Antiphospholipid Syndrome is acquired thrombophilia).  Parents and siblings should be tested for MTHFR mutations, since it's very possible that they have it as well (my mom is going to talk to her dr about this next week).

There is controversy as to the importance of homocysteine levels when it comes to MTHFR mutations. Some doctors say:

MTHFR causes folic acid deficiency, which causes elevated homocysteine levels, which causes clotting problems, which causes IF or m/c troubles.

Other doctors say:

MTHFR causes folic acid deficiency, which causes clotting problems, which causes IF or m/c troubles, which may or may not cause elevated homocysteine levels.

Baby aspirin is a blood thinner (relatively mild). Lovenox (low molecular weight heparin) is an anti-coagulant (slows clotting.) They have two very different functions in the body. Your doctor may or may not want you to use both. Many women use both.

The order severity from worst to least is:

1. C677T & C677T (two copies)
2. C677T & A1298C (compound hetero) <-- I have this
3. A1298C & A1298C (two copies) OR C677T (one copy)
4. A1298C (one copy)

MTHFR prevents you from metabolizing folic acid, so you supplement it with prescription strength folic acid and B vitamins B6 and B12. Common prescription names are Folgard, Foltx, Folbee, and Metanx. Metanx is supposedly better for those with MTHFR as it contains folate that's already been metabolized for easier absorption.

Risks involved with MTHFR are miscarriage, placental abruption, downs syndrome, trisomy, and spina bifida, as well as heart attack, altzheimers, deep vein thrombosis, stroke - the supplementation of folic acid and a baby aspirin everyday for the rest of your life may prevent these risks.

How much folic acid? Most Geneticists will say 1 pill (2.5mg) per mutation.

Words of comfort:  Many women have children without any problems with MTHFR.  Don't let it worry you. It's not scary at all - just make sure you get the folic acid that your body needs everyday for good vascular formation.

January 24, 2010

Baby food making machine

Today I made a lot of baby food.   

I used 1 organic sweet potato, 5 organic carrots, and 6 organic bananas.  It seriously made more baby food than I expected.  I knew that it required a lot of water pureed with the veggies and fruit, but DAMN, it used a lot of water!

In total, I made...

14 servings of sweet potatoes
15 servings of bananas
6 servings of carrots
9 servings of banana & carrots

I tasted it all before canning, and it seriously tasted a lot better than the store bought organic baby food Ryder has been eating.  Lucky baby.

Especially For Baby Food Processor - Especially for Baby  - Babies"R"UsI used the Especially for Baby Food Processor from Babies 'R Us, and I really love it (despite the bad reviews it got online).  I think that the complainers would have had nothing to complain about if they had just followed the instructions.  It tells you how to blend without burning out the motor, and I followed those directions and was able to make all that food with no problems.  It's also very convenient, and easy to clean up!

January 23, 2010

The road to Baby Sister or Brother may be harder than we thought...

As many of you know, I recently lost what we hoped would be our second little one.  She (I've decided it was a girl) was the second baby we lost, and I've been very upset about it.  As I was just beginning to heal a little, I had blood drawn to test for genetic defects that might cause miscarriage or other complications but I told myself that nothing would be found and these losses were just by chance.

Unfortunately, I am not that lucky.

I have what is known at Compound Heterozygous MTHFR (C677T & A1298C), methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase, and this is most likely the cause of my poor babies being lost.  It makes sense to me, since this defect can cause excessive clotting in pregnancy and I experienced significant loss of blood clots during both miscarriages.  It explains why I've struggled with depression and anxiety in the past.  It can also explain some of the issues I had while I was pregnant with Ryder (preeclampsia dx just days before he was born, possibly my lack of uterine growth as my body was struggling to give my little boy every bit of nutrient that I had to offer, and maybe even the pre-term labor scares), but it cannot explain why Ryder is so perfect.

He is every bit as much of a little miracle as we thought.  Based on what I have read and what little my doctor told me, many babies born of mothers with this defect suffer from genetic disorders that are far worse than a sleeping giant like MTHFR.  He could have had any number of defects, including Downs Syndrome and Spina Bifida.  We are so lucky that Ryder suffers from none of these things.  You have no idea the relief I feel, even though I never even know of the possibilities.

Back to what is not so amazingly miraculous...

I'm also already in my second cycle since my loss on January 4.  This is not good.  My first cycle after the loss was 10 days long, which is no where near enough time to conceive and implant a baby.  I'm hoping and praying that this cycle lasts for the usual 26-28 days (typical for me before Ryder was conceived) because if it doesn't I'll be dealing with a cycle that isn't long enough to conceive a baby and a body that has a hard time holding onto a baby.

Those odds are not good.

January 22, 2010

My Pruney Baby

Ryder started eating solid baby food the week before he turned 5 months, and he's been eating like a little champ every since.   He ate exclusively organic oatmeal for the first two weeks, and we've now got him eating carrots, peas, green beans, apples, pears, bananas, and prunes.  He loves everything but green beans and peas.  I don't know if I'll be able to get him to eat the green beans, but I can bribe him to eat peas by mixing them with apples.  He definitely thinks that is yummy!
Well, now that we have a good idea of what the Ryderman likes, I've decided to start making all his baby food.  I've been saving all of my jars and packs (glass and plastic) and I'll be using those to store the food I make.  The organic food market is right around the corner from our house, and I'll be picking up some organic sweet peas, sweet potatoes, and carrots this weekend.  I think it will be pretty easy to make our own baby food, and Ryder will benefit from the homemade food.

This will also make it easier for RJ and I to give Ryder a more diverse number of foods, since I've noticed that there is not a huge selection of organic baby food out there.  I'll be posting my successes - and failures, so I'll be sure to let you know how it's going.


January 18, 2010

Teething + Growth Spurt = Suck

Little Rocker is teething.  He still hasn't cut any teeth, but I can easily see two white buds in his mouth.  For the last few weeks they really haven't done more than caused him some extra drooly days and lots of chewing, but since Friday they've made him the crankiest baby alive!  His chewing has gotten to the point where he sounds furious when he's gnawing on toys and teethers.  RJ even took his snuggie away yesterday because he was 'afraid Ryder was going to kill it!' lol.  Seriously though, the kid sounds possessed when he chews lately.  It would be funny if I didn't know it was probably from his mouth hurting.

He's also right in the middle of a growth spurt that has been keeping him awake at night.  The last three nights have gone like this:

*7:30 - bedtime...takes a while but he gets to sleep
 *Somewhere between 11:30 and 2:30 - wakes up...refuses to go back to sleep...must be rocked/held/bounced for HOURS
*Somewhere between 4:00 and 6:00 - repeat.

This makes for a very tired mommy and a very cranky daddy.  We're pretty used to him waking up around 1:45am and then again around 5:00am (I don't consider this night anymore), but we're not used to Little Rocker refusing to go back to sleep.  He can usually be soothed very easily at these times, if he even wakes up, so staying up with him for hours sucks.

To prove our exhaustion.  I found RJ asleep on the living room floor earlier today.  His head was resting on the boppy pillow.  I bet that was very comfortable.

Anyway, during our very long teething/growth spurt induced bedtime routine, I realized


If Little Rocker's teething and gnawing furiously...his mouth probably hurts!  So after 50 short minutes ::eye roll:: of trying to sooth our baby to sleep, I have him some infant Tylenol.

Guess what!  He was out within the next 10 minutes.

Sigh.  Good night.

January 15, 2010

January 14, 2010

Creating a Toddler Room for the Little Man

Ok, ok, we know he's only 5 months old - he won't be moving in right away.  Last week, RJ decided to move his office into the den and we now have an empty room in the back of the house.  Since this is where Little Rocker will move when Baby #2 arrives - hopefully someday soon - we figure we'll get it done before we need to.  This will undoubtedly save us a lot of grief when we need to also do a nursery for Baby #2.


We cannot agree on any theme for his room!  It seems like anything I suggest is shot down by RJ.  I don't want Little Rocker's room to have a "little kid" theme because I want him to be able to grow into it.  My main theme right now is Rock 'N Roll.  I think this would be super cute for a little boy.  Plus...he loves music.

I found this ultra cute bedding set at Land of Nod and I desperately want to buy it tomorrow.  We already have a down comforter in full size and we'd buy solid blue sheets from Bed, Bath, & Beyond (I'm thinking either light or dark blue).  We'd only have to buy the comforter cover ($34) and 4 pillow cases ($4 each).  The total is $50!!!  How can we go wrong with spending only $50?  The sheets at Bed, Bath, & Beyond are like $20 for the set (I might buy 2 for back ups).  That's not a lot of money for cute bedding like that.

What should I do???  I would love to just buy it right now, but I know that I have to talk to RJ again.  The thing is, they're on clearance and I don't want to miss out.


January 8, 2010

I can't do this.

I am lost. I am broken. I am empty. Completely.
I am torn apart. Inside. I need something. But what?

January 7, 2010

The Top 10 Baby Things We Couldn't Live Without

From Little Rocker's birth to now, there are definitely some things that we would have died without.  Well, maybe not literally, but it would have made things a lot more difficult for us.

Here they are...in no particular order:

1.  Graco Pack N Play with Newborn Napper -
 Graco Pack N Play with Newborn Napper - Broadstreet - Graco  - Babies"R"UsI've heard a lot of moms say that they're little ones did not like the newborn napper or bassinet, but Little Rocker loved it!  He only slept in it until 2 months, because he is so big, but it was the perfect, snuggly bed for a baby just out of the womb.  He curled up in the napper and slept for 5 hours a night starting around 3 weeks.  It was Heaven for a new mom and dad.  The vibrate function also came in handy for a while.  Little Rocker simply could NOT fall asleep without the gentle vibrations, so I really don't know what we would have done without this.

2.  BOPPY! -  
Boppy Bare Naked Pillow - The Boppy Company  - Babies"R"Us
                                                    The Boppy was a lifesaver for a nursing mother who was totally unsure of how to feed her baby.  Nursing was so uncomfortable for the first few weeks...seriously, about 5 weeks.  This gave me just enough support to be able to position Little Rocker correctly, and it also helped teach me how to nurse him without any pillows or assistance.  Now the only time I use support is at nighttime, when he sometimes wants to nurse for an hour.  Snuggle time with Mommy is very important to babies - and mommys too.

3.   Graco Snugride Infant Carseat -
Graco SnugRide Infant Car Seat - Sterling - Graco  - Babies"R"Us
This is, hands down, the best infant carseat.  My parents have a Peg Perego carseat and I honestly don't like it as much as our Graco.  It's a little bit confusing to get the seat into the base and I am NOT COMFORTABLE with how the base as attached into the car.  My Graco carseat attaches easily and in a way that I know it won't come undone.  It has tons of padding to protect Little Rocker, and is cute and comfy for him.  We are do happy that we chose this carseat.

4.  Boudreaux's Butt Paste -
Boudreaux's Butt Paste 16 oz. Jar - Boudreauxs Family P  - Babies"R"UsIt's just...amazing.  Little Rocker has had only two diaper rashes in his life.  The first was due to an allergy to dairy protein and it disappeared as soon as I stopped eating/drinking dairy.  The second was a result of Little Rocker being too chill for his own good.  He voluntarily sat in an extremely poopy diaper for Lord knows how long.  The kid never even complained - just went on playing and laughing as usual.  I used this stuff on it for 2 days and the rash was completely gone.  Completely.  Any time he's looked a little red, I've put some butt paste on the red spots and by morning it's gone.  I love Boudreaux's Butt Paste!

5.  Fisher-Price Precious Planet Jumparoo -
 Fisher-Price Precious Planet Jumperoo - Fisher-Price  - Babies"R"Us
 In the battle between the Exersaucer and Jumparoo, the Jumparoo will win every time in our home.  Little Rocker has been given the opportunity to play in both, and the Exersaucer cannot possibly compare to the excitement of the Jumparoo!  If we let him, Little Rocker would probably jump all day and all night - but we know better.  He's also been known to pass out in the middle of jumping, wake up, and start jumping again.  He's actually about to do that right now - I better move him into his bedroom.

6.  Fisher-Price Rainforest Open Top Cradle Swing -
Fisher-Price Rainforest Open-Top Cradle Swing - Fisher-Price  - Babies"R"UsThis was a lifesaver!  There were nights when Little Rocker refused to sleep.  The poor kid would get himself so worked up that he just couldn't fall asleep.  Before we got the cradle swing, I used to rock him for hours until he finally drifted off.  It was such a liberating feeling to be able to nurse him, rock him, and pop him in the swing for an hour or two until he passed out.  Once he was asleep, I always moved him into his crib or bassinet and he usually slept for at least 5 hours.  We have a travel swing as well, but he enjoys the side-to-side motion.  We could not have survived without this swing.

7.  Baby Bjorn -
 BabyBjorn Baby Carrier Air - Dark Blue - BabyBjorn  - Babies"R"Us
 Who wouldn't love a Baby Bjorn?  There are just times when Little Rocker needs to be carried.  Neither RJ nor myself can carry him around all day and get anything done, so the Baby Bjorn was the answer for daddy.  He will also pass out in this after like 10 minutes of walking around.  lol

8.   Moby Wrap -
Moby Wrap Baby Carrier - Turquoise - Moby Wrap  - Babies"R"Us
Along the same lines as the Baby Bjorn,  used the Moby to snuggle Little Rocker when he was just a little babe.  He loves being close to his mama, and I love snuggling him so it worked for us both.  I used to wrap him just like the picture, but I'd cover his head more and RJ and I would go on walks around the neighborhood.  It really worked, since he was born when we lived in Rochester and we lived in a fantastic walking area.  I miss that place and those days.

9. Little Rocker's snuggie blanket - I couldn't, for the life of me, find a picture of it.  This makes me a little sad because I have been planning on buying him a back up, and it's looking a little difficult right now.  Anyway, he will NOT sleep without cuddling with snuggie.  There would be no sleep without snuggie.  End. Of. Story.

10.  Gerber Pre-Fold Diapers (burp cloths) -
 Gerber 6-Pack Premium 6-Ply Cloth Diaper - Prefold - Gerber Childrenswear  - Babies"R"UsThese burp cloths are NECESSARY.  That's all I have to say about it.  Seriously, when Little Rocker spits up, when he has an extremely messy poop, when he was a newborn and spilled milk all over me during feedings.  I need them all day - every day.  I have 25, and I probably could use a few less.  I was told to get that many, or more, but we do laundry so often that 10 probably would have done it.

January 6, 2010

Half in - Half out

It's weird to be functioning on such a normal level - at least to everyone else - when in reality I'm barely even here.  I find myself second guessing things that happened or things that have been said.  Specifically things that I've done and said.  I just can't remember what's real and what I thought about doing or saying but never got around to.

I feel like I'm in some alternate reality where everything is backwards.  People have been talking to me about things that I didn't even realize I told them about.  I'm so confused by myself lately.  I know this will take time, but I don't feel like I'm healing at all.  I searched for the very thing that would torment me just an hour ago.

Why would I go looking for that?  What could it possibly do but make me angry, hurt, and lost?

It just doesn't seem fair.

Some poems...

Sisterhood of Sadness - Author Unknown 

I was once a member of the Pregnancy Club, my membership card
consisting of two pink lines on a stick.
I was eager to pay my dues, just like all the other members.
Morning sickness, stretch marks, cravings -- I welcomed them all.
But they never came.
And before I knew it, my membership was revoked.
No real reason -- at least none I could discern -- other than bad timing, perhaps.
Or, at least, that's what everyone's been telling me.
That and "God's plan."
Miscarriage is a terrible word.
As if one has dropped something, or carried something incorrectly.
Similar to "mistake" or "misunderstanding."
How I longed for it to be either of those things when I learned my baby was gone.
Surely, it was a mistake, I prayed.
If they would just look again, they would learn it was all a simple misunderstanding.
But the ultrasound screen showed otherwise.
1 out of every 5 pregnancies ends in miscarriage, say the books.
That statistic terrified me when I was pregnant.
So many lost babies, I thought.
How can I keep mine from being one of them?
But now that mine is one of them, that 1 out of 5 seems awfully small.
Or, at least, it did.
Until soft-speaking female voices started whispering to me in my grief, "It happened to me, too."
Their eyes told me the stories of the pain that we shared,
the pain that only a woman who has carried a child - and lost it - could know.
For some, it was fresh pain.
For others, it was dulled by healthy babies since born.
A sisterhood of sadness. 
It's a silent group, this new club of which I have recently become a reluctant member.
Our membership cards are the scars we will always carry on our hearts.
Our dues are paid in blood and tears.
It is a painful initiation, and one never ceases membership.
Because one never forgets.
I am joining, not because I want to, but because I wasn't given the choice.
But at least I know I'm not alone.
At least I know there are hundreds of thousands of women with me,
however silent and invisible, quietly holding my hand.

Just Those Few Weeks - Susan Erling Martinez
I had you to myself
And that seems too short a time
to be changed so profoundly.
In those few weeks--
I came to know you and to love you.
You came to trust me with your life.
Oh, what a life I had planned for you!
Just those few weeks--
When I lost you.
I lost a lifetime of hopes, plans, dreams, and aspirations...
A slice of my future simply vanished overnight.
Just those few weeks-- It wasn't enough time to convince others
how special and important you were.
How odd, a truly unique person has recently died
and no one is mourning the passing.
Just a mere few weeks--
And no "normal" person would cry all night
over a tiny, unfinshed baby,
or get depressed and withdrawn day after endless day.
No one would, so why am I?
You were just those few weeks my little one
you darted in and out of my life too quickly.
But it seems that's all the time you needed
to make my life so much richer
and give me a small glimpse of eternity.

Thoughts For The Child I Lost - "Sis"
There might come a day sometime in the future
When I don’t think about you constantly,
Wonder what you would have looked like,
What color your hair would have been,
And how your smile might have looked.

There might come a day sometime in the future
When I won’t wonder what I did wrong.
When I won’t blame myself.
When the sharp blade of pain will become dull.
When I can accept this as meant to be.
There might come a day sometime in the future
When I carry another child
And though I will love him beyond measure
And though I will hold him a little tighter,
And though he will be my child,
He won’t be you.
There might come a day sometime in the future
When I am happy again.
When I can let go.
When I can look at a baby without aching for you.
But it won’t be today.


I thought of you and closed my eyes
And prayed to God today.
I asked what makes a Mother
And I know I heard him say.

A Mother has a baby
This we know is true.
But God, "Can you be a Mother
When your baby’s not with you?

Yes, you can he replied
With confidence in his voice
I give many women babies
When they leave is not their choice.

Some I send for a lifetime
And others for a day
And some I send to fill your womb
But there’s no need to stay.

I just don’t understand this, God
I want my baby here
He took a breath and cleared his throat
And then I saw a tear.

I wish I could show you
What your child is doing today
If you could see your child smile
With other children and say.

We go to earth to learn our lessons
Of love and life and fear.
My Mommy loved me oh so much
I got to come straight here.

I feel so lucky to have a Mom
Who had so much love for me
I learned my lesson very quickly
My Mommy set me free.

I miss my Mommy oh so much
But I visit her each day.
When she goes to sleep
On her pillow is where I lay.

I stroke her hair and kiss her cheek
And whisper in her ear.
Mommy don’t be sad today
I’m your baby and I’m here.

So you see my dear sweet one
Your children are ok
Your babies are here in my Home
And this is where they’ll stay.

They’ll wait for you with me
Until your lesson there is through
And on the day that you come home
They’ll be at the gates for you.

So now you see what makes a Mother
Its the feeling in your heart.
It’s the love you had so much of
Right from the very start.

Though some on earth may not realize
Until their time is done.
Remember all the love you have
And know you are a special Mom.

January 4, 2010

Extreme joy. Complete sorrow.

I was pregnant.  I should be 8 weeks today, but I'm nothing.  No baby.  No flicker on an ultrasound.  Tiny life inside me.  Poor child, up in Heaven with all the other lost children.  Poor little soul.  Dead before we even knew s/he existed.

RJ told me to let Little Rocker be our joy in this.  Our rock.  He's that perfect little soul who will keep mommy going.  I don't know how I did this without him - the last time.  It seems impossible that I'm here.  But here I sit - strong and alive - because of my perfect baby boy.