Category Archives: My Past

A World of Difference

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Life can be good.  Things can change. Nothing is static and thank God for that.  It’s been nearly 2 years since my last post and I’m so glad to be writing again. What kept me away?

Ziggy is doing so well.  She is beautiful, healthy, strong. Inquisitive and curious.  I love her dearly.  I can’t believe she is nearly 4 years old and about to be a big sister.

I am  37 weeks pregnant today with a baby boy that I will likely name Xavier Lucas.  There aren’t words for how I am feeling.  The old fears are not too far off but they don’t grip me or hold me hostage. I can dream and be happy and have hope.

Beefcake is doing very well with a new promotion and studying profusely for his licensing exam. He has kept our home together during what has been a challenging pregnancy that has left me fatigued in a way that I have never experienced with any of my others.  I am very proud of him and joke (?) that we are nearly killing him.

And I, well I have found a terrific job and am about to make a year.  I love my boss, she is amazing and supportive and there are not enough words for her.  I am 2 weeks away from a planned c-section and emotionally far better than I have been in years.  My girls are never to far off but I have an incredible capacity to be happy and truly glad and present like I have not in years.

With our bankruptcy nearly a year old now we are rebuilding with prospect of buying a home within a year.

I am blessed.

 

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Blessed

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We bought a new car this weekend with all the bells and whistles. I am so happy about it. We went to my company’s holiday sale, although there was nothing I needed. I bought new clothes and make-up. I dyed my hair a new and vibrant shade. We ordered in. We slept late. Ziggy met Santa, although she was sleeping by the time she made it into his arms. She was dressed like a candy cane…a red and white striped ‘onesie’ with a matching bib and hat. The bib read ‘Santa’s little helper’, although I told her that Santa would fire her for sleeping on the job. My husband is moving on to a new position at his old company. We’re excited about our future.

I had a brief moment while waiting to sign-my life away at the car dealership. Many people were coming over to comment on how cute Ziggy was. I looked at him and asked if he believed that this was our life. No, was his response. I thought of where I was 3 years ago. Emi, had passed away and I didn’t know how I would ever be happy again. I didn’t know how I would smile or hope again. I didn’t know how life could dare to go on without her. I knew logically that it somehow would, but I just couldn’t see it. Then I thought of the time after Daniella, 2 years ago.  I was done with life. I really wanted to just not be. Yet the universe knew that I had to continue living because this happy future awaited me.

I know that there are quite a few out there. I know that you can’t bring yourselves to comment but that you are reading. I understand so completely. There are many times that I look at Ziggy and I have to think of you and I have to think of your babies. I know I’m blessed. I promise you that I cherish her and love her. I promise you that I will raise her to the best of my ability to be someone of character, strength, courage and compassion. She will serve the world.

I love you all out there. Your day will come.

Moving forward with Dad

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Since my last post I have seen my father twice; we slept over one night at his home and he spent last weekend at our home.  On his second night here he met some of my closest friends and prepared a DELICIOUS meal for them.   The first time he saw me  he burst into tears and he is absolutely in love with Ziggy.  He stumbles all over himself while trying to do and say all the ‘right’ things.  While making dinner in my kitchen he was trying to teach me how to cut garlic up.  I feel for the man when he isn’t driving me crazy teaching me things I already know.  I am no longer a little girl and i’ve already learned many lessons that he missed making an impression on.  He laments the past deeply and I tell him that all we have is the present and the future.

Ziggy is doing beautifully; she is all smiles now and she coos to her (and our) delight.  She has had isseues with hearing out of her right ear and I have taken her in for tests and the specialist feel that the results are consistent with her having fluid in her ear as a result of the c-section.  She is reacting to sounds and responds to voices so we are not terribly concerned.  Tomorrow I am taking her in for another follow-up.  I can’t beleive she is already 2 months old and almost 13lbs.  I just fall in love with her more and more everyday and I thank whatever higher power and Dr. Davis for her.

Speaking of Dr. Davis, I need to let him know the outcome.  But how do you thank someone for such a gift?  Simply, I guess and from the heart.

New beginings: Ziggy, my dad and maybe a new gig?

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Having a child softens your heart immeasurably.  After nearly 6 years of not speaking to my dad I choose to send him a birth announcement.  I thought, let’s see what happens.  He sent me a handwritten letter which was filled with apologies and regret.  Reading the letter and pouring over every word brought me to tears.  The next day I called one of the numbers he provided me…the conversation was initially awkward enough.  Eventually it ended on a positive note and a commitment to working on our future.  He told me that the whole week prior to his receiving the announcement he had a hunch that he was about to win the lottery.  When his wife called him excitedly at work after receiving my correspondence he thought he had.  She said it’s better than winning cash: your daughter wrote to you and you’ve got a grandaughter…  What made me call him?  One time when holding Savannah Grace I thought to myself  (although I don’t forsee it) if I were to screw up to the point that we became estranged, i’d like to think that she would eventually extend an olive branch to me.  I would not want to lose her, i’d like a chance for things to work.  Although my dad has dissapointed me in the past, one thing is for certain and that is that he has always loved me.  We’ve made plans to meet in a week or so.

On the job front – I decided to apply for a position that is far more in line with my dreams of becoming an H.R gener.alist and pays more money.  They called me about 2 weeks ago and I met them last week.  It went well and they invited me back for a second interview of sorts, except I will actually be giving a presentation (I get to choose the topic – unions) to the members of the H.R department.  The funny thing is that a recruting firm called me for the same exact position.  Maybe it’s ‘meant to be’?  Only time will tell.

Ziggy is doing well…more and more alert and in tune with her enviornment every day.  I love her to pieces, she truly makes my heart swell.  Last Saturday was her 3rd and last ‘meet-the-baby-shower’.  Lots of gifts and clothes and congrats and good wishes.  We are slowly getting her room in order along with our lives.  I’m looking to get back on the health kick I was on before getting pregnant.  I am actually within 5 lbs of my pre-pregnancy weight.  Don’t ask me how that happened…i’m in awe too.  I know the gestational diabetes curbed my eating and breastfeeding helps…but I didn’t see that number coming on the scale. 

Overall, i’m pretty content and acclamating to this new life.

Internal Dialogue & Pain

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My therapy visit emboldened me to finally relent a little and  give in to a long-standing wish of my husband’s: that the relationship between his parents and I improve.  So I told him to invite them over, along with his sister and brother-in-law who were in town and their 11 month old son (a shadow baby) and 4 year old son.

 

When they arrived my mother-in-law and brother-in-law give me a kiss on the cheek, the father-in-law says a weak hello.  My sister-in-law just walked in and made little to know eye contact.  I wanted to shoot her.   Although his clan is not touchy feely like mine, I think this entrance stemmed from this: 

 

Four months after Emi died, I decided to go over my in-laws house with Beefcake for a b-b-q and a dip in their pool.  There I was in the kitchen, sitting at their table and mother-in-law hands me an envelope that arrived in the mail for me.  (When my husband and I bought our new home, we briefly listed their address as our own for correspondence while we were between homes). I open the letter; a bill from the day I gave birth to Emi.  I fight to hold in the tears and decide to get a glass of water.  I am about to the open the refrigerator door and there on a magnet was attached an invitation to a baby shower; the baby shower for the baby that shared Emi’s due date, had she lived of course.   This hit my core – hard – I could hardly breathe.  I excused myself to go upstairs and cry in the bathroom and my husband follows.  We chat, we hug.  I feel better and tell him to go back down stairs.  I come down about 20 minutes later and sit back down in the kitchen and munch on chips.   The smoke in my head clears as he walks in.  “Were you listening?”, he asked.  “What? Eavesdropping? NO!  Why?”

“Nothing.”  (This “nothing” or “never mind” crap does not work on me.)  I insist and he gave in.

 

He just blurted it out: “My parents think you are over-reacting and that you need to move on.   They think you are becoming an emotional burden to me and they are worried about me. They are worried about our marriage.  They say they don’t want me to be sad; they just don’t like to see me sad.”

 

I fucking blew up; I mean I just lost my shit.  It seems the in-laws wanted me to forget Emi the moment she exited my body.  Assholes. 

 

I slammed my fist repeatedly on the kitchen table as I screamed my heart out.  I told him that I was sick and tired of his parents acting like nothing happen.  I told him it’s not like I lost the baby 1 day after finding out I was pregnant.  I was well on my way to 6 months of pregnancy.   We were asked to end the pregnancy of my baby, my baby!  She had no chance at life.  Do you know how that hurts me?  And you, you are supposed to be sad because you lost your baby too.  I didn’t just roll over and deliver her I went through fucking agony laboring for her and then a D&C.  So forgive me,  forgive me if I get emotional when I see a baby shower invitation, alright?  Because something would be very wrong if I didn’t, ok?  Something would be very wrong with me if I did not love and long for my child.

 

I raged.  Bad.  I regret it.  Bad.  Why?  Well my little 2 year old nephew had wondered into the room and saw his aunt going batshit crazy and started crying thinking he did something wrong.  I think I downright traumatized him.  I felt so bad, my husband and I rushed toward him and tried to comfort him, but it was of now use.  Next thing I know the in-laws are in the room trying to figure out what happened.  It was a haze.  Beefcake is screaming at me and I’m just crying my eyes out.   In-laws are looking at me like a freak of nature and my nephew is still crying.  “We are leaving now.” My husband downright instructs me.  It was awful.  AWFUL.  I felt like a child abuser.  The irony: my father-in-law screams his head off all the time; and says whatever is on his mind all the time.  He is always talking right out of his ass, right along with my mother-in-law .   The one time I lose it, the one time I really say it how it is, my poor little nephew wanders into the room and I look like the lunatic.

 

Things really went south after that.  Sister-in-law is calling the in-laws to figure out what happened.  Then she calls Beefcake to find out what happened.  The next day the mother-in-law calls me to give her advice.  She tells me to move on, that there is a life to lead, that they hurt when they see their son sad.   That I may become too much for him….blah, blah, blah..

 

And I told her that his duty is to support me and that we have a right to be sad because we have been through hell.  I tell her that I am functioning because I only missed 2 weeks of work after Emi died, although the doctor offered me more time off to recoup mentally  (Even the doctor had more of a clue).  I told her that her son has never come home from work to a dirty house or go without a home cooked meal.  I told her that I lost so much blood after Emi, that any time I would bend over I would literally see black and stars.  If she wanted to support us, that would have been the time – while I was recuperating.  So we managed like we could.  I reminded her that when her son was breaking my heart while we were dating that she NEVER found it prudent to interject her opinion and that now was too late to care.  I told her that what hurt the most is that I put up with all the years of their criticizing me for my weight, and then my age (I’m 10 years younger than my husband) and a host of other subjects, but mostly my weight.  I told her that for her and her husband being so forward and opinionated, it was funny – no – it was downright hysterical that they remained so mum about Emi.

I know.  I was evil.   Now that I think of it, it could have been handled quite differently.  But words can not describe how hurt I was that they were not there for Emi, she was (is) our baby, she meant the world to us; her loss equated to our world crumbling.  If they chose not to be there for her, why not us?  Why? Is it because she was incompatible life…and therefore not worthy?  Because, you know, she would have died anyway?  Is that the logic?  Ask me if they ever uttered these words: I’m sorry your baby died.

 

Nope.

 

So back to the night they came over.  Recalling the incident with her son, I gave the sister-in-law some slack.  Taking into account how much I love Emi and Daniella I could not fault her for holding the grudge.  Eventually I held the shadow baby and he was a cutie!  Once I started to interact with her children she relaxed and everyone did too.  It seems everyone was collectively holding their breath waiting for me to lose it.

 

It didn’t happen.  I did alright.  My nephews are stunning.  The baby was 11 months old and still crawling; he was born a preemie and lived.   So he may be slightly developmentally delayed but expected to catch up.   Ah, the mental dialogue that was going on in my mind as I held my nephew…Suffice it to say, that the internal video was playing in my mind.  In it, Daniella  lay in the NICU, too many machines to name were buzzing around her.  Each machine was either helping to keep her alive and breathing or was relaying information on her vitals.   There was this moment when her chest heaved; and it was devastatingly apparent that she was not getting all the breath she needed..  My baby was suffocating and fighting at the same time.  Then I lightly rubbed her tiny right foot with my finger and she wiggled it.  I whispered to her: “I got you back, Mommy got you back”.  I always planned on tickling her feet and ‘getting back at her’ for all those painful kicks to my cervix.   I can’t describe – words fall pathetically short – the feeling that I had.  For that briefest of moments she KNEW Mommy was there.  And then the machines started blaring and the doctors came running over.  They took my husband to the side, possibly thinking that after over 24 hours of labor and severe blood loss and my blood pressure falling so low that I was passing out, well maybe the thought was that I could not handle to hear that conversation.  Who knows?  All I know is that my husband’s face set in such a way that I knew it was the end.

 

Yes, that is the pleasant video tape that goes off every time I see a baby.  Every fucking time.  What an existence.

Therapy – Session Numero Uno

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I am so very thankful for all the words of support I received about therapy.  Your personal experiences, advice and simple words of encouragement (when no experience was had) were very moving.  Some of you brought me to tears with your honesty, but everyone made me feel like I had just received a hug; truth be told: I felt all mushy inside.  With that said, I just want everyone out there to know that I was not ashamed of my going to therapy, but rather scared to death of reliving everything, which of course I did.

 

When I arrived Saturday morning I walked into what seemed like someone’s home.  There were two purple couches (they were actually a tasteful shade) soft music playing (jazz), the lights were dimmed and incense was burning.  The bits of tension in me just melted away; I actually wanted to take a nappy nap.  The psychologist was on his way back to his room when he saw me wondering around and I think I almost gave him a heart attack.  Good impression right?

 

He looks like the stereotypical therapist.  Late 60’s or early 70’s, plaid button down shirt, sweater vest, khakis, loafers, glasses, white hair and full beard.  He sits me down and asked me why I was there.  He took down a lot of notes (I gave him a lot to write).  I told him about how wonderful Beefcake is, how I can’t stand his parents, needless to say I mentioned the girls and my recent ‘firing’ from last job.  He was certainly taken aback by all I said.

Next my teens: Great student until I reached high school.  I cut class because most of the students gave me hell for ‘talking like a white girl’, because I was well, educated I guess and um, not white.  It was also an adjustment to go from  Catho.lic school to pub.lic school.). I made friends that cut also (no surprise), tried drugs: coc.aine and w.eed; smoked a lot and liked to get drunk.  Eventually, I got my act together and by the grace of God and a wonderful mentor in the form of an assistant principal who got me into the Princ.eton Revi.ew free of charge which led to a high S.A.T. score and a scholarship.  Had she not had a genuine interest in me, God knows where I might be today… It also didn’t help that my uncle’s drug addiction was at it’s peak and he would steal and have hallucinations and pick fights with me, no that was not cool.

Childhood: Wonderful. There was love and support all around.  My grandparents loved me to pieces and God Almighty do I wish that my grandfather, my Abuelito were alive today, he deserved to live 200 years not 79.  My parents separated when I was 7 but boy did they infuse in me that I was loved.  They never talked badly about each other in my presence nor did they fight in my presence.  My dad is not in my life (good riddance) and my mother is the same wonderful mother to me now that she was then. 

 

The lesson I left with: 

When people diminish your loss or act like it didn’t happen or harp on you for having genuine valid emotions it’s about them.  They can’t handle it (for a plethora of reasons) and rather than confront/accept/validate your emotions they must diminish the experience, i.e:

 

“You can have more…”

“You’re young…”

“At least you’re fertile…”

“Since she had problems (Emi), well at least she wasn’t born…” (HUH???)

“The miscarriage…” (Um, eh, no NOT a miscarriage – call it what it is – stillbirth and neonatal death assshole!)

 

And don’t EVEN get me started on these:

 

“God has a plan/a reason/works in mysterious ways…”

“It was meant to be…”

“If you pray this prayer/If you pray this way…/Did you pray often?…”

 

In the end, it’s far more about THEM than it is about you!

 

 

 

 

 

A New Year Awaits…

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I guess it’s time to close this year and I resist the urge to curse it.  This year started out with genuine promise; I tested positive and found I was pregnant with Daniella.  My husband and I were cautious at first, and eventually fell head-over-heels in love with our baby.   All the cautiousness and joy and hope in the world did not spare us any when she was born painfully early at 23 weeks and she went to join her sister Emi in Heaven.

 

All the things I believed and all the things that carried me through my first loss became hackneyed.  No longer did phrases like:

God does not give you more than you can handle

Everything happens for a reason

Prayer is powerful…

 

…have an effect on me.  Their meanings and comforts were lost on me.  The God of all comfort seemed distant.  How could I have picked myself up again after my loss with Emi and had the courage to try again, only to lose this baby?  The moment I became hopeful with each pregnancy, I lost the baby.  With Emi, a doctor told me to relax and trust this pregnancy and at 19 weeks I finally did. Only three days later did we get the news that something was possibly very wrong with her, and many things were.  With Daniella, only after I purchased a crib and changer did it all go to hell.  And so, I learned that the moment I have hope, the moment I expect good things, bad things will somehow happened.

 

This shook me to my very core.  Why have hope?  Why get up and try again?

It did not help that after Daniella died I was told that there was ‘restructuring’ going on at my job and that I might be let go.  And then when I showed my big guns and threatened a legal route as a solution (this smelled like pregnancy discrimination to me) a position suddenly (magically?) appeared…and then I was fired.

Fired, only to be home with all the time in the world to lament not having Daniella and not having a job.  Of course a deep sadness came over me while my husband was coping better (like most men do).  And I felt like I was being left behind…again…just like with Emi.

 

2008 somehow found a way to bring more pain and sadness than 2007 did, and I did not think it possible.  So here I am on the last day of this year and I am searching deeply within to be thankful for something…and I can’t…I just can’t.  This year broke me. 

I’m told that trials make you a better person somehow. How am I better?  How can I possibly be? I don’t see it yet.  Instead, I am fighting to not be bitter or sad or angry or feel like a walking target for bad things.  That is the truth.  I won’t lie here.  I won’t lie to you.  I don’t think I am ‘ok’.  I don’t think I am ‘dealing’.

 

I will tell you this. I am going to look into counseling to help me deal with all the hurt and the fear of future hurt.  And I am going to continue to be brave and to fight for the baby or babies that we want.  And I am going to take care of husband and take care of myself for him. I have cooked and cleaned for him and done the minimum as ‘half’ a wife, as a shadow of my former self.  I am going to make him feel loved again.  When we make love I will make love to him like the first time, because he deserves that from me.  He deserves that passion because he has been nothing but good to me and nothing but brave.  I am going to talk about a happy future with him like I already see it.  I am going to hold his hand and act like a real partner in this relationship because I have allowed this hurt and pain to take away my joy and to consume me for far too long.  I don’t know where I am going to find the strength and the courage I need but I am going to have to.

And my faith – which has suffered the most – I am going to work on.  I resolve to trust in God again.  This will take a lot of work on my behalf; it will take all my will and I will probably stumble often.  But after searching within, I remembered the true tenet of my faith: God is Love, and I believe that.  God did not want my babies to die; God resents every tear I have shed. 

 

And I have been self-centered. I have.  I have allowed myself to believe that I am a victim and the only victim of terrible things.  The reality of life is that terrible things happen to everyone at different times.  A divorce, or a terminal illness, or a foreclosure, or war, or famine, or genocide….those are all very terrible things THAT HAPPEN EVERY SINGLE DAY.  And I have allowed myself to go into this little bubble and just think of me and my pain.  Let’s be real, I have had a lot of tragedy bestowed on me in a very short period of time, but happiness can still be found.

Life is also beautiful, I hardly remember how to be honest, but I know at one time I believed it, because it was for me.  And when I did, that is when my husband fell in love with me. 

 

I can’t tell you how often in the last few months my mother and grandmother have cried over the phone with me. I can’t tell you how that pains me.  I can’t ever articulate how my heart breaks for them.  These ladies hardly cried when I was growing up with them, it takes a lot to see them even tear up, let alone cry.  They miss my girls, they wish they were here as badly as I do; they too pictured them here.  It’s just the enormity of my pain and the change they see in me that is killing them and tearing their hearts into pieces.  They want their spunky daughter and granddaughter back.  They want to see glimpses of her at the very least…Mom begs me to fight back and to have hope.  She swears she sees me with a baby in my arms.  I just need to hang on. I have to choose to be happy; I have to do my part.

 

It just can’t be all negativity all the time. And that is the trap that grief sets for us; the trap that I fell into.  Do you give in?  Do you just succumb to sadness or do you fight it – and keep getting back up, over and over – believing that a good day will come. 

I’ll be honest; right now I don’t know how successful I might be at all this.  I just don’t know.  But I know that I want to be happy again, and not just somewhat or a little.  I want to be truly happy and truly joyous – I’m talking bursting-at-the-seams happy here!

 

So I have been rambling on and on with no clear direction and no clear purpose.  I don’t even know how to end this post, much less what to make of this year!  So I won’t judge it.  And I certainly won’t overlook that Daniella brought us so much joy and she taught us that in spite of all the pain we felt with Emi, our little black hearts and our crushed spirits were able to love her so dearly and soar with wings we did not know we had.  And so my sweet babies – that I love so dearly – showed us that we are capable of finding hope and happiness again.  And for that reason I’ll give 2009 a shot.

 

Emi and Daniella – I love you so deeply – every day and every moment I just love you.  You both showed me that I am resilient and there might still be some happiness left to experience.

 

After all this too shall pass