Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas Joys

Christmas Morning 2010

Remembering Chase Always

We had a wonderful Christmas Day this year as my sister and her family visited us from Nebraska.  The cousins had a wonderful time with their cousins and we did several holiday traditions including, but not limited to, sledding, making reindeer food, Christmas cookies, and opening presents.  The time flew by as I knew it would and now I am sitting here reflecting how thankful I am that my family was able to visit and share such an joyous event with us.  Christmas morning was again an emotional time for me and as much joy as I found in this little one kicking me and constantly loving on me with his movements as well as sharing this time with my sister, the pain and sadness of Chase not being amongst all this chaos tore at my heartstrings.  I know he was here.....just not how I wanted it to be.  I love and miss you little man.  As much as the day you were born.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Merry Christmas to all....

Merry Whimsy Christmas
Turn your unique photos into Christmas cards with Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas festivities

We are so very busy right now.   Some days I can't believe how hectic things are.  Then the next day seems to be just as if not more hectic and I begin to wonder if things will ever slow down.  Here are some pics of the programs the kids have been performing in.
Reese's Kindergarten Program with Santa afterwards.

The kids at their church program.

I will post this on my other blog but I did want to mention that I had to go to the hospital (here) to get my weekly BPP & NST done here...something I was having some anxiety about since I have not been back to the OB dept since Chase was born.  I had avoided as much of the hospital as I could and was hoping to skip out on this appointment but decided to meet it head on.  I called in the morning to the OB nurse's station to make sure they were expecting me the day of my appointment and the nurse who answered happened to be my nurse I had when I was in labor all day with Chase.  I had not seen her or spoken to her since then and she was the one single person I had secretly wanted to encounter....yet did not want to at the same time.  The day ended up being crazy because one of the kids was sick, the other ended up needing labs done that day, then went on to school, so my plan of not going to this appointment unaccompanied did not pan out...and I needed to just get it over with.  

The ultrasound tech was very nice and she totally caught me off guard by telling me the baby had lots of hair already.  And she showed me how she could tell--that was one of the coolest things I had never seen before.  Then when I went to get my NST done, I was met by my old nurse and we hugged and cried together for a brief moment.  A moment that was so long awaited for, yet so distant in my mind, too.  I had thought so much of her and was never able to discuss the events that had taken place with her and to finally get that chance was almost like the last missing link to my puzzle.  She was so happy to see me there under the circumstances (being pregnant) yet the tragedy was so fresh for both of us.  I am not sure I will go back, but if I have to....I will.   My Abq appointments continue next week and this pregnancy just keeps moving along, fairly uneventful and peaceful.  This is a picture at 31 weeks with Reese after his Christmas Program.  He loved taking pictures with me during Chase's pregnancy--always had to put his hand on my tummy.  So, so precious.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Giveaway Winners

Sorry it has taken me so long to post the winners this morning.  Thank you to everyone who entered and thank you for leaving sharing those things that are important to you.  Many gave me ideas for things I would like to have or create.  I also met many new BLM friends and read their stories that I had not come across yet.  For me, this is the one of the biggest reasons for participating in this project and though I am sad for all of us even being part of this community, it is always nice to meet someone new that you can relate to and who understands your feeling, thoughts, worries, etc.  Right?  Thank you again, sweet Tina for creating this opportunity for us all.  The network you have started and nurture is priceless to us!

Now for the winners.....
The random number generator chose the numbers and they are.......#18 &  #6.  Congratulations to Teresa Farmer and The Zoo!  My email is on my profile page.  Contact me and I will get you your coupon codes! Thanks to all, again, for entering and sharing your stories with me.

Don't forget to check out today's giveaway on Tina's blog!

Friday, December 10, 2010

25 Days of Giveaways

Today is my giveaway for the  25 Days of Giveaways.  Thank you to Tina for this wonderful idea of helping babyloss moms through the holidays.   I remembered doing this last year and it was certainly a needed "distraction" during such a difficult time.  Our thoughts are never very far away from our babies but at least there was a focus....something to think about and look forward to each day and share with others that are on this journey.  I met several BLM friends through this and, as I have already this month, have found new stories and old stories and some of them very similar to what I went through.  These friends helped me through tough days and I would do the same with comforting comments or emails, letting them know someone else was walking very close to them on a very similar path.  This community is therapy for many of us....therapy we could have paid a professional for, but never received the empathy of "I've been I know how you feel."  Thank you to everyone out there who has helped a fellow baby loss mom out with kind and comforting comments, an email, a letter, or whatever form of support you offer.  

And on to my giveaway!  When Chase died, my sister found this wonderful website and worked with the creator on a custom canvas that perfectly represented our little boy.   They spent a lot of time on getting the art just right, the words just right and everything she wanted it to say.....while keeping it a secret from me the entire time!  The creator of this website is an artist that loves every piece she creates and does so with a compassion and care that gives the customer the most adorable, special piece of art to display.  The balloons on this canvas are the exact colors that we sent off to Chase the day we got home from the hospital, the number of balloons for each person in our family, his stats, the words that we said to him.  Everything was perfect--couldn't have been more fitting.   She also had a Picture Pal made that matched the canvas!  It was very touching and I was very emotional when she gave it to me.  Thank you to Therese for all her time in creating the special piece for me and my family!

So this is what I am giving away today......TWO (2) $25 gift certificates to Farmhouse Five for you to choose your special piece(s) for your little one.  I promise you will absolutely love her store and find several things to choose from.  The quality of work is amazing....just like her talent.   Leave me a comment and if you like, tell me what is your most special "thing" that you have made or had made that represents your angel baby.  Tonight I will use random.or.g. to choose the winners so check back tomorrow to see if it is you!

Thanks for reading & Happy Holidays to you all!

Friday, December 3, 2010

An ugly post....for BLMs only

I hate to follow that post of such positivity with this one....but my blog has come to my aid countless times providing me with comfort and support from the only people in the world who truly can understand me and empathize with  me for being the social outkast because my baby died: other BLMs.  And so I share this....

I have not vented nor had the need to vent, about lost and broken friendships for several months.  Those doors are closed, or so I thought, and I am focused on what matters in my life: my family.  Not friendships that appear smooth on the surface while causing me pain underneath.  I no longer have room in this heart  of mine that has been slowly pieced back together, though one piece will forever be missing.  My circle has definitely shrunk.  And my family is really my center point and where I get all the love, nourishment, companionship, and entertainment from.  I just wish what was in my head was the same as what is in my heart.

I don't know if I have written about the doctor and his family leaving town but they did this summer and it gave me a small peace of mind knowing I don't have to worry about turning the corner and running into them or seeing them on the road, etc.  My guard was lifted a tiny bit.  And I probably have written about losing friendships because the doctor's wife is still friends with those in our old circle, while we are not.  I had "friends" tell me that we need to remember that this tragedy happened to TWO families in this town, theirs and ours.  Though it was our son who died while theirs get kisses and hugs from them every day.  As if it is important enough to mention, I was once very close friends with his wife, but our friendship fell apart about a year before I became pregnant with Chase.  I have never been able to decide if this severed friendship led to the demise of my patient/doctor relationship during my prenatal care or not.  There was nothing offered or received from her after the birth or death of Chase so all of it is neither here nor there in my mind.  The problem I had was the support my friends were offering her rather than me.  Why was it so important to them to remind me that she was not in the delivery room or that horrible operating room where her husband cut into me while I was screaming my lungs out and hitting him.....hours, hours, after he should have done something to save Chase, but was just too arrogant to admit that he might need to be concerned about the care he had given up to that point.  

This has surfaced once again because though the family has relocated, she apparently, is back in town...for a party.  A party with my former friends, whom I really wonder why I ever called them my friends or me theirs.  This is one of those "clicky" desperate housewife type parties that the invite list changes every year--depending on the party thrower.  I have never made the cut anyway, which is funny I know (pie in my face), unlucky me--whatever.  But this year, they went out of their way to invite her she could make a special flight back into town just for it.  Makes it sound like a pretty special party, huh?  I thought so, too.   These are the same friends who threw the doctor and his family a going away party this summer in a town three hours away bidding farewell to them with hugs and kisses and nice gifts.  Wow--that kind of support for the man who did all this to me?  Do they know that....or have they just forgotten?  From the people who were supposed to be my friends?  They never offered me that kind of support.  Unless you call coming into my home the second Chase died to break down my crib and remove all my baby belongings so I wouldn't have any reminders of him when I walked in the door.  Really?   LIke I was going to leave Albuquerque and forget about my dead son if the crib and his clothes were not in my room anymore?  At the time I tried to look into this with the best of intentions and understand these things as best I could.  But wow, 1 yr 7mo2wk and 2 days into this grief cycle and it sounds insanely absurd to me now.  If they would have truly known me and been my real friends, they would have known that that baby furniture had been in my bedroom far longer than it had not over the prior 5 years and removing it from my room under normal circumstances would have not even felt right to me.  It was definitely not going to be something to send me over the edge coming home from the hospital without my baby in my arms.  Quite the contrary, in all actuality, but again, how would they know that.  

My anger comes out again....not from my heart, but from my head.  A conflict so very difficult to mend....and will forever keep me out of balance.  But my heart is in the right place.  It is my head that still seeks confrontation and closure, which I will never get.  Not the closure I want.  When I ask what I could have possibly done to these people to make them so nonchalantly continue including this family in their lives and support them, someone said to me, "they just don't know what to say to you probably."  Not.  They feel guilty for supporting that family and not supporting ours.....despite over 30 years of knowing our family.  I'm only venting here because it is the therapy I need.  I don't seek their friendship or their comfort or their companionship.  I am a different person.  One they will never understand and will never know and I don't expect or desire that to change.  I am getting this anger and frustration off my chest (out of my head) so I can once again lay it to rest without being judged.....and just hope it doesn't ever surface again.  Because rest assured you'll hear about it here if it does.  *sigh*

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A ladybug, a shower, a shooting star and my little rainbow butterfly

I can't believe Thanksgiving is already over.  We had a wonderful holiday with family but it went too fast.  I have read on blogs of other BLMs about the significance of things that never used to be significant.  Our family sees the simplest things from a whole new point of view since saying goodbye to Chase.  When we packed up the vehicle and were saying our farewells to the family, a peculiar thing happened; though I doubt it would have been as peculiar had Chase been in my arms.  When I opened the car door for the kids,  immediately I saw a ladybug on the seat.  I really wish I would have taken a picture of it because I had never seen a ladybug so big and with so many spots on it.  Never like this.  It almost seemed to have character as I picked it up and showed the kids, whom were all intrigued by the little bug.  Of course they referred to it as Chase right away and wanted to bring it with us.  I, too, wanted to think of it as Chase.  But the rational side of me says it's a bug, we don't need to bring it in the car.  However, when I picked "him" up, he snuggled right in under my watch and I couldn't get to him without removing my watch and picking him out of the buckle.  It was a little odd and I really did think of this ladybug as either Chase or a gift from Chase or some sort of connection.  I felt this way because I felt the freedom to think and feel freely about this little beauty--as a result of my perspective on the universe since Chase passed.  I was comforted in a way while listening to the kids play in the backseat, talking to Chase (the ladybug, who was in the console between them) and including them in their imaginitive play.  Thinking....wishing it was all real.
Our holiday tripped was capped off by a surprise baby shower that Emma had planned and, with the help of her aunts, threw for me the night before we left.  I had suspected Emma was trying to plan something a few weeks ago and emailed my sisters telling them I just didn't want a baby shower this time and wasn't ready to buy or receive a bunch of baby gear and stuff for this baby yet.  I want to celebrate Chase again this year and didn't want to feel like I was overlooking him by prematurely celebrating the next baby, when, as we know it, is not guaranteed. Right?  However twisted it is, that was my feeling about a shower but I told them (my sisters) that I also didn't want to take anything away from big sister Emma who might want to be a part of or organize something like a baby shower.  If anyone could police this plan, I could trust my sisters to do it gracefully and tactfully, satisfying and fulfilling both hers and my wishes.  
It was beautiful.  It was sweet.  It was fun.  It was special.  It was intimate--just my sisters and their kids/husbands.  It was absolutely perfect.  Emma had everything planned from the games we played (the kids had a blast!), to the decorations (a sign made that said "Chase has brought us a gift.  A baby boy!"), to the design on the cake (an angel in the clouds and a baby with a stork) and everything in between.  And Aunt Lyn & Aunt Meg made it happen!  They told me that Emma had contacted them about this shower the day that we told the kids we were pregnant--so that was at least 4 months ago!  She had even written me a poem and framed it.  You can read it here.  The memories we made that night were priceless for all of us. I am so grateful to have sisters that will go to those measures to make my family happy and a daughter with such a big heart.

I was talking to Reese the other day about Christmas gifts and asked him teasingly what he was going to get me this year.  He said he wanted to give me a picture of Chase but that he was sad that we had all we were going to get for pictures of him and we couldn't get a new one.  But then his smile perked right up and he said, "I know, Mom.  I will take a picture of something beautiful and put it with glass and wrap it for you. Because, you know, everything that is beautiful is Chase."  
I had an appointment yesterday and went by myself.  The baby is doing fine--measuring 3.7 lbs and nearly 15 inches already (in the 71st %-ile).  That is reassuring and all but unfortunately I am a product of "there are no guarantees in life" so when I see him on the screen, I see him for what he is today.  What this little angel looks like today that is kicking me all the time and moving all about.  And I love that.  I cherish it and could watch him on the screen all day long.  It is such a gift growing this little person inside me and I couldn't be more privileged to be in this position.  But I can't help but think every time we get these BPPs with "all the points" that Chase was just like that.  He got all those points on each BPP, too.  Yet he is not here with us and it is still no different than missing a limb or other part of my body.  Anger ensues and I thank my lucky stars that I have the best doctors and best facilities I know to take me through this pregnancy but hate myself for not taking those measures with Chase's pregnancy.   Those thoughts don't overtake me, but they linger, and they will never go away.  I walk out of the room with a smile on my face and joy in my heart, holding my precious little one tucked away in my belly....yet broken on the inside missing a piece of my ever growing heart.  
On the way home from this appointment, I received a gift.  I was in the desert part of my drive in  pitch black night skies; nothing but the stars looking down on me.  I looked up out of the side window just in time to see the brightest shooting star I have ever seen.  Ever!   It was amazing.  And it was a long one!  The longest one I had ever seen.  Just like the ladybug, I felt comfort in this star because it had to be a sign from Chase, there was no other way I would ever look at it.  And again, as crazy as it sounds, this was my gift from him--in my eyes.  But I have the privilege of seeing it this way, because of this universe that I now live in.  So amazingly different from where I used to be.