Thanks

Thanks for stopping in. There isn't really a rhyme or reason to this blog. It's just what comes to my head as I go through each day. If something I say resonates with you (positively or not), please leave a comment. It helps to know that people care. Thanks for reading!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Swimming somewhere

So...

I've been considering what to write for a few days. 

I've really enjoyed the last week with Mia.  I loved watching her open her presents. I loved getting to hold her on Christmas morning. I loved waking up and snugggling together while watching Sesame Street.  In so many ways I feel so lucky this last week. Mia is happy and healthy and so very wonderful.  I love her so much. 

I got to walk with her in the snow on Christmas Eve. I got to help her open her stocking. I got to help her leave out cookies for Santa. I got to dress her in her Christmas dress. I got to watch my favorite Christmas specials with her.  I got to enjoy all the best of the holidays with my little girl, and it was wonderful.

Dear God, I miss Charlotte.

There have been so many hard moments this last week.

At church on Christmas Eve, a girl sat in front of me with a small, purple, rhindstone butterfly barrette in her hair...and then the priest said something about loved ones who we wish were here with us this holiday but were in heaven...

It's been windy...but there were a couple of days when I didn't hear the chimes.

It was the testing week again. If this was our month, we could have gotten a positive test on Christmas day. I believed it this month. I think maybe I believe it every month...but I believed it so much. I thought...she'd come back to us...as least in part. I thought I'd get to feel her with us on Christmas.

It's a no for this month.  I'm so tired.

I feel guilty for being sad...being upset. I know I am blessed in so many ways. I have the most amazing, perfect, smart little girl...and I lost the most amazing, perfect little girl. How do you feel when you have everything and you've lost everything at the same time?

I'm going to attempt to start pulling my head out of the sand today.  It scares me...but I think the world may be starting to notice that, in everything except Mia, I've just been treading water since July. I'm mot sure where I'll swim to...but I think I have to move.  At least I hear the chimes today.

Wish me luck...and love. I can always use more love.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Shopping for Charlotte

We finally did Charlotte's Christmas shopping today.  It was hard, but in a good way.  We got a baby swing, two blankets (purple with butterflies), four pairs of jammies (again, with butterflies), a pink monkey lamaze toy, a pink butterfly rattle, and a portable butterfly mobile. We're going to donate it all to a local charity soon.

I cried...a lot...but I'm happy that we're remembering our girl like this.  It was windy today, so I heard the windchimes all day.  I think that means she approves.

Merry Christmas Charlotte--Momma and Daddy love you.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas Preparations

I'm finally, officially, on winter break...thank the Lord.  I've been looking forward to the next few days with such anticipation for weeks, now.

Tomorrow afternoon Mike and I are having a date day.  My parents are coming over to watch the Meemers, and Mike and I are going out...just the two of us.  The last time we did this was two weeks before Charlotte was born.  I'm not kidding.  ...well, there was the 45 minutes we went out together to pick up her ashes...but that doesn't count, I don't think.  We're going to go have lunch together (at one of the new places in Stonebridge), we're going to go do stocking stuffer shopping at Target, and we're going to do Charlotte's Christmas shopping.  I know we waited a little too long for that, and it's not quite a date day activity, but I'm still looking forward to it.  Finding the positives.

Tomorrow night we're going to make Christmas cookies and watch Christmas movies.  Mike's never made Christmas cookies with me before...and, while I don't think he'll REALLY enjoy it, I think he'll enjoy the spirit of it.  Mia will get her first chance to sneak some cookie dough. :-)  I need to remember to take pictures with my real camera, not just my cell phone.

Sunday afternoon we're having lunch in Occoquan (a cute little town chock-full of little independent businesses) and going to the Golden Goose to pick out Christmas ornaments and a new piece for my village.  This is always one of my favorite things to do during the Christmas season...everything just feels so full of expectation and excitement.

Sunday evening we're going to see the Bull Run Festival of Lights. We've done this the last 5-7 years or so.  Mike doesn't always get to go, but we've scheduled it for when he's not working this year.  We're going to be turning Mia's car seat around for the occasion so that she can see all of the fun lights as we drive through.

Monday is Christmas Eve, which is actually my favorite holiday.  It's all about family, and being with the people you love, and being grateful and peaceful.  I want to try to go have lunch near the mall...to see all the men panicking and doing last minute shopping for their wives.  I may or may not get to go to church with my parents, and then everyone is coming back to our house to get Chinese food.  That's one of our family traditions, since restaurants used to close on Christmas Eve.  As the sanctity of holidays has wandered, other restaurants are now open on Christmas Eve, too...but we'll stick with Chinese.

And then Tuesday is Christmas.  We get to do presents at home first...stockings and Santa and our gifts and all of that.  Then we're going over to my family's house for a few hours...more stockings and gifts and brunch.  Then we're going to Mike's parents house in the evening...again, more presents and Christmas dinner.

Oh, and Mike's birthday is Wednesday....so I'm going to be (at some point) planning and executing a special meal for him, complete with chocolate cake/cupcakes, as they're his favorite. 

In the midst of all of this, it's also the week when we would find out if we got pregnant this cycle.  I'm a little worried that if it's a no it will put a huge damper on my mood.  I'm trying really hard not to think about that, as I'm still in the foolishly optimistic phase that I go through every month at about this time, but in the back of my head I'm worried.  Luckily, I won't know for SURE that it's a no until next weekend...so I'll get through Christmas with at least a shred of hope.  I'm really hopeful that I'll be able to give Mike a REALLY good Christmas gift, but it seems like as soon as I start envisioning that things go downhill, so I'm trying to put it out of my mind.

I'm so excited for Mia to experience all of this.  I know we're in for a VERY busy few days coming up, and I know we're in for some overtired, overstimulated meltdowns along the way, but the best part of these holidays, for me, are watching my daughter do all of this for the first time.  She sort of gets it now.  She knows who Santa is.  She realizes that she's seeing her family members more often.  She gets that we're excited.  She can eat the cookies.  She can unwrap the presents...

...how wonderful and amazing is that??

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Feeling grateful

My daughter is amazing. It's very tempting sometimes to simply sulk and be angry and withdraw...but my daughter...she's wonderful.

My heart just hurts with love for her. I know that sounds super cliche, but that doesn't mean it isn't true. Sometimes I just feel desperate to hold her and snuggle her and not let go. She's been growing up too fast since the day she was born, but I'm so proud of her every day.

So grateful for her today. I'm grateful for her every day, but some days overwhelm me. I will never take my child for granted.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Really?

Got this in the mail today. Really, Enfamil? Did you not get the memo? Bah.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Calendars

My sister makes a photo calendar every year with pictures of her kids and Mia, listing everyone's birthdays and anniversaries and such.

She called to ask for pics of Mia for next year's calendar.  So as I sifted through the many, many pictures of Mia, I got to July. Just for a second, I considered sending a picture of Charlotte for the calendar.

The thing is, only my mom has ever asked to see her pictures. My dad and Kris looked at one or two of the cell phone pics right after she was born...but not the others. So, yeah, I don't think she's going on the calendar.  I don't think it would occur to anyone that she might belong there.

I also considered requesting that her birthday, July 22 be added as one of the dates...but again, I don't think anyone else gets why it should be there...if they did, they would do it without prompting. If they don't...well if they don't then I don't want it on there...her birthday should be remembered by people who want to love and remember her.

This sounds like I've already resigned myself to being disappointed.  I know some people won't understand why I don't just insist on putting her birthday in the calendar...but I have a desire to guard it against people who don't remember or care about my Charlotte...so I'll wait and see.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Meh

Lonely. Nothing else to say that I haven't already said.

Friday, December 7, 2012

I was really hoping you would just shut up...

I had a late lunch with some other yearbook sponsors at the end of last year...late June.  As a part of the proceedings, my then-current pregnancy came out.  The yearbook rep was asking if I would be able to make it to the adviser holiday get together this year (which was today), and I told her no, as it was two days after my due date. 

When Charlotte was stillborn, I texted the yearbook rep to let her know as I did with all of the other people I had told...but I didn't tell the other yearbook advisers as I literally see them twice a year.  I don't know them well enough that I wanted to share my personal heartbreak and breakdown with them...

I guess I figured that if I showed up today, clearly not less than a week postpartum, they would be intelligent enough and tactful enough to just keep their mouths shut.  Yeah, I'm stupid. 

The one adviser had clearly forgotten about it and, when I refused an appetizer, asked me if I was "pregnant or something."  I looked down, avoided eye contact, and said very clearly and firmly "no."

The other adviser DID remember that I had told them this, but had somehow gotten the timing lost.  She asked how my baby was.  I thought it might spoil the mood of a holiday event to say she's dead.  I also still do not know or care enough about this woman to tell her about my life.  I played it off like she was asking me about Mia. 

That was a bit of a kick in the gut.  I should have been expecting it, but, stupidly, I felt rather blindsided. 

I'm an idiot.

Mike's letter

For Charlotte's due date, Mike wrote his letter to Charlotte...there was a space for it in her baby book. 
I wrote mine the day after she died, with minimal revision or planning...as I do here. 
That's not Mike. He put a lot of time and thought and heart into what he wrote to our daughter...and he has graciously allowed me to share it here:

My beloved Charlotte,

I am writing to you on the day that the doctors predicted we would meet.  Doctors, like all people, are not always right.  There is so much imperfection and sadness in the world.  Were this a better place, I would be holding you on this day.

It saddens me to think that I will never truly get to know you.  All I can do is imagine what kind of a person you would grow up to be.  It feels so unfair for a life so pure to not be given a chance.  Yet I find solace in the fact that you never had to experience pain or sadness.

Your father is not a religious man.  I do believe that there are things about this world that we, as mere people, cannot understand.  Perhaps it is out of hope, optimism, or just pure desperation, but I believe in my heart that you have a purpose greater than just being our child.  You are our guardian angel.  If we are lucky enough to have another child, it will be because of you.  When our family is blessed with good fortune, I believe you will be watching over us.

I want you to know that your family will always love you.  We may not get to watch you grow, but we will never forget you and how you've touched our lives.  We will celebrate your birthday every year.  We will tell your big sister all the time about her guardian angel.

Whatever road down which life takes us, we will travel it with you in our hearts.  You were too perfect for our world, but you are forever a part of our family.

With so much love,
Dad

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Ask me about my daughter

You know those pins that older people wear that say things like, "Ask me about my grandkids" or "Ask me about my golf game"?  I want one that says "Ask me about my daughter."  I kind of want one that says, "Ask me about my dead child." but I don't think that would go over well.  Why don't people ask?  Why don't people acknowledge that I had a child who died?  Why is it so hard?  Do people not realize that by saying nothing they are saying the worst thing of all?  I just wanted to talk about my daughter today...all someone had to do was ask. 

Are you fucking kidding me?

A woman on facebook today posted that her cat died...23 condolence messages in an hour. I posted about Charlotte on October 15...22 messages in two months.  Today, on the day I feel like I need people to notice and remember how it should be...a cat gets more notice than my daughter. I quit life. I....quit.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Not a happy day

Tomorrow is Charlotte's due date...or was her due date.  I guess it still is her due date, though she is no longer due.  She's done.  I think I'm tired.

I'm not sure what to feel...

A part of me wants to delve down into those feelings of sadness and hopelessness and loss and regret.  I want to write and ramble about what I think and how I feel until it's all out of my system and I can breathe again. I want to share my pain with the anonymous people that the stat tracker says read this blog.  Do you care, faceless people?

Another part of me feels like I need to curl up around my grief tomorrow.  Tomorrow isn't a day to celebrate who my daughter was and is.  Tomorrow is a day to mourn the fact that I'll never know what color her eyes are.  Tomorrow is a day to long to hold her in my arms for just one more second of my life.  I don't know that I want to get that sadness out of my system....maybe, just for tomorrow, I should just let the sadness win.  I shouldn't look for relief from the pain.  I think maybe she deserves to have me ache for her.  More weight.

Another part of me wants to tell people about it.  I want to stop random strangers on the street and tell them that my daughter is gone.  I want to tell anyone who will listen, and maybe some who won't, that my angel is perfect but she's gone...she's perfect and she's gone...that seems like a contradiction.  I need people to care.  I know that it doesn't matter what other people think...I know it just matters that I know, and I remember, and I love.  Still, it seems like the world should care.  It seems wrong, in so many ways, that everyone is just going about their lives and my daughter is dead.  I don't want to use a euphemism.  It's a harsh reality.



So where does that leave me?  I don't know.  I don't know what to feel or how to act or what to say.  I'm expected to get through my day like a normal human being tomorrow, but I don't feel like one.  So many people in the world just don't understand.  They can't.  I could never begin to explain, and they wouldn't want to listen.  So how do I function?  I don't know.




I remember you, baby girl.  I miss you, baby girl.  I love you, baby girl.


Monday, December 3, 2012

Just Sad.

I'm sad. Just sad. Charlotte's due date is Wednesday, and I don't know that anyone remembers.  I know it's just a day...and it's not even the right day because she would have been here already by scheduled c-section...but it's important symblically...to me.  I want to talk about her this week...but no one is mentioning her, so I'm not.  Just sad. I miss my angel.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Crazy

I've lost my mind. The fat lady has sung, and I'm not ready/able/willing to accept it. My mind is still seeing things that aren't there.

*sigh*

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Really, facebook? Really?

I get very annoyed with the number of people who like stupid things on Facebook and comment on stupid things on Facebook and ignore everything that I post.  Am I stupid things? I don't think I'm stupid things,  but other people seem to. I posted a video of Mia today looking really cute and eating with her spoon, and she's only 18 months old so I think that's very cool and impressive...and that was 2 hours ago and no one has commented or cared... while the person who posted 17 lolcats in a row now has 20 to 30 likes each and multiple comments and I don't understand.