Monday, November 30, 2009

Making Tradition Anew...


It's one of those things that families tend to have. Bring the past into today. Memories of what was once into the now.

Not all traditions have a legacy of years and years....not all traditions were carried out by our grandmothers, and their mothers before them.

Some traditions are new, have never been done before, but you know that they will always be tradition, because they are THAT important.

I can see that this year will be bringing some of those traditions, new ones, to our Christmas spirit. Because this year....and every year after...I want to remember two little boys that touched my life and changed my heart forever without ever taking a single breath of air.

Christmas could never be Christmas without their presence. Traditions will be made in order that we can enjoy their light forever.

What will they be?

I don't know yet.

I don't know...

But I will recognize them as they make themselves known. Traditions will be born. I want them to be the kind of traditions that will live on in their brothers. Celebrations of love. Of light. Of hope. Of awakening.

and we will embrace what they gave us all. From the smallest to the most profound of gifts.

Christmas...the celebration of light, of hope, and awakening. Solstice...the celebration of light, of hope, and awakening. 1st dawn...the celebration of light, of hope, and awakening.

The traditions will embrace each of memory of Simon and Alexander. Two little boys that we will never forget.

Because they are too important.
and that....
that is how tradition is born.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Something to be Thankful for...

Last year at this time I was pregnant. I didn't know it yet, nor would I have had ANY reason to suspect such a thing was possible. was true. Pregnant.

I do remember thinking it was odd that my nipples were so sore. I do remember feeling really positive about the future. Our future. My future.

I remember studying for finals week...and making pie...and all the trimmings. heh heh...of course we all know that the PIE is the best part.

We'd been to Hawaii that summer, and I was feeling positive that I'd go back one day.

I was super thrilled that our country had voted for a man of integrity and brains. A man that seemed to have a heart...and a conscience. Finally...a good man in office. It had seemed almost impossible that it could be like that after 8 years of nail biting!

I remember feeling really good about my body...I'd been working so hard to find myself under the layers that had accumulated over the years of baby bearing.

This year is different.

This year...I know there are still reasons to feel thankful...but...

Mostly...I feel sad.

I'm being proactive about it, so don't get me wrong...I'm working hard to feel my blessings through and through. I'm working hard to remember that it could be so much worse. an's a list of the things that I am SO very grateful for...

My loving husband...I couldn't bare to live in a world without him and the depth of his spirit.

My 5 living, happy, silly, brilliant children...who bring the sounds of laughter, music, dance and joy to every day. They are brilliant boys that fill my heart with love.

My twins...gone from this earth, but ever present in miracles and memories.

My sweet fluffy and devoted fur-friend.

My home...thanks to President Obama, my mortgage has been reduced to a do-able amount that will allow this drowning household the ability to find some footing without losing our sweet little home.

My friends...Baby loss mothers who KNOW this brand of pain, and have held my hand through the tears and screams of agony...and my long time journey pals who love me for reasons I will never really understand.

My work...a gift from an experience that I never wanted to have that led to writing work I never dreamed possible. I've become a contracted writer...simply because my heart MUST write.

My husbands job...which gives us a stable income, and a place for him to share his wisdom and understanding.

My husbands band...providing him with soul nourishment in the form of brothers from other mothers!

The food on our table each day....delicious and wholesome.

A soft bed, a warm husband...and a farting puppy(the smell is comforting in a strange means he's there...gross...but true.)

The ability to home school in a country I am proud to live in, with a leader I'm not ashamed of.

The knowledge that there is something after all of this...that I have seen...that waits for me...a golden place of love....when it's time. and not before.

My babies are gone. Babies I didn't know I wanted till they were here. Here against the odds...and gone just the same. Gone in spite of the thumbs up from smiling doctors and midwives and the happy kicks. Gone in spite of the joy that awaited them. Gone...simply gone.

and yet...I am grateful they once were here. Growing inside of me. Bringing magic and something new to my heart. Grateful for their life altering wisdom and growth.
Grateful for the flowers of purple and yellow that filled the spring and summer...and that still peek out of pockets of frozen ground...amazingly...

Yes...this is a different Thanksgiving.

But one to be thankful for nonetheless.

So very thankful.

Monday, November 16, 2009

A Matter of "Maybe"...

Yesterday, my husband and I spent a wonderful afternoon walking in the Blue Mountains with Ferdinand who was in his element with the thin layer of snow that had fallen in the night. It didn't snow much at our home...but in the mountains near by, there was a little more. It was really beautiful.

I mention this, because at some point, I started to feel a little bitter later in the day. Bitter because it was Sunday, and the mail was not going to come. And, because the mail was not going to come, it also meant that my spermicide for my diaphragm was also not going to arrive. And, because THAT was true, it also meant that the swelling feeling surrounding my heart from our romantic and soulful walk....was going to go unsatisfied. It ALSO meant, that I had to face the fact that we are not trying to have a baby, which is why I use spermicide in the first place.

I don't like the unknown.

I don't like gambling.

I want to KNOW what is happening. In my mind, I want to say: yes, or no. Not...maybe.

That's why I said to my sweet husband that I wanted to get my tubes tied this morning. Not because I don't desire a baby with every part of my being. But...because I also do not desire to go through the hell of losing a baby. ever. again. I don't want to have to go to bed without making love to the man I am so fiery passionate about just because I don't have spermicide. (a side note...there is not a store in town that sells the stuff. Not one. You can buy ANY number of condoms. yuk. But not spermicide for a diaphragm. No...if you are a woman being proactive about her fertility, who doesn't want chemicals in her body screwing with her system or any device that goes about killing her babies at 5 1/2 months unexpectedly, you are screwed. Or...more accurately. NOT screwed.

So....I said this to my guy....and he looked so puzzled. He seems content with the "maybe" that a diaphragm offers...and the suspense of having to wait... He's content with a surprise. But...the problem I have with a surprise at this that a surprise for us is viewed as an ACCIDENT by everyone else.

and almost the most painful part of having lost Simon and Alexander. Everyone else viewed them as an accident. Everyone else felt sorry for us because we were pregnant. Everyone else felt that they were a mistake.

and then....

they died. and no one else could understand the mammoth immensity of our families loss. because, if they had been a mistake.......well then, what's the big deal about LOSING them?

We have five living children. WHY would we add more to that?

that is what everyone else seems to feel.

and knowing that.....knowing that my babies were seen as accidents....well...I can't stand the thought of going through that judgment again. I can't stand hearing that I am TOO fertile for my own good. Too fertile...and as my MIL said, might as well take out my uterus!!

I feel like if I am going to say "Maybe", I might as well say "YES!" and let everyone know that it was "YES!" No matter WHAT their opinion might be about it.

I'd want to scream it from the mountain tops "YES! I AM HERE...AND I WANT YOU!"

Not...."maybe...if you must."

Not...."maybe...if you slip through the barriers I've set up to stop you!"

There is the general sense of surrender in my husbands open position. I know he will be supportive if my diaphragm "fails". I love him for that....but...I do wish we were in a position that no one could judge. I wish money was no object. I wish we had more room.

I wish.....that it was simply "yes."

Because "no" is such a final word. A word of oppression. As my father always said..."Don't you understand the meaning of the word "NO"?! NO!!!!"

I prefer saying yes to life. and if I can't say yes, I guess "maybe" really IS the next best option.

So for now...I'll wait for that spermicide, and we'll say "maybe" together.

and maybe....we'll find a "yes" after all.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Of cabbages and kings...

I woke up this morning to find a big shaggy dog lazily sleeping where my husband is usually found. When he felt me stir, he opened his eyes behind his fluffy mane and stuck his warm tongue out in a yawn. I smiled and rubbed my eyes noticing how tender and raw the delicate tissue felt.

Yes...of course they felt raw...I'd spent most of yesterday sobbing.

I could hear my husband playing his guitar upstairs...moments of solace before he had to leave for work. I swung my legs over the side of the bed and Ferdinand hopped easily onto the floor. He's getting quite large...he no longer needs a pile of laundry to get up on our bed, and it seems that he enjoyed the warm spot my husband left beside me quite a lot.

I let my sweet giant baby outside, and slowly climbed the stairs...I am NOT a morning person by nature...and my puffy eyes were making me want to crawl back into bed because they felt so tired.

I entered our cozy little living room, and smiled at my husband. He was playing the song he'd created for our babies. It's a jazzy, lively melody. No words, but a lot of feeling. He had come home last night to a wife with tear stained cheeks, and a tremble left over from heart wrenching sobs.


Well...aside from the fact that I cry pretty easily now a days...aside from the reality that my arms still ache for babies they will never hold...aside from physiological symptoms of depression and anxiety that are at times completely debilitating....I've been doing really well. But not yesterday. Yesterday, I was given a writing assignment from a regular employer who likes my writing style. She wanted me to interview a few ladies for a human interest piece. No big deal, right?

But it was. I read the assignment, and quickly called the first number. A cheerful sounding woman answered the phone, and I asked her if I might talk to her about her company. She asked me if I could call back in 10 minutes. I was actually relieved, because I had suddenly realized that I had NO IDEA what her company was all about! I usually do a little research before I delve into an interview like that! I agreed to call back, and quickly linked to her site. I read her story. I clicked on a video that explained her entrance into the line she had created. There was her baby. Her premature, 25 week old, 1 pound infant. Only 2 weeks older than the sweet, tender, lifeless baby I held in my arms for 15 hours on Earth day of this year. One of my twins...the only twin I ever saw.

Her baby was a mirror of my son...transparent skin, fused eyes, precious tiny feet and hands. But alive. fighting for life.

Her pain and fear were so acutely real to me. Her daughter had lived, while my twins had died...but for me, it was unbearably similar. and heartbreaking.

I sat here, choking on my own breath. I knew I HAD to call her back. I couldn't NOT call her. So I dialed the number and tried to sound normal...but I knew my voice was cracking, and I explained that I was having a hard time composing myself because I had lost my twins in the Spring, and that her daughter had only been two weeks older...

She was so understanding...crying with me... Just as I could feel HER pain...she was feeling MINE. We talked for a long while, and I wrote her story down while wiping away the tears that were flooding my face. I felt so much joy for her that her daughter had made it. I wished my twins had made it too.

I wrote the article behind a waterfall of salt water tears... and sent it out this morning.

Sometimes I wish life was more like a fairy tale. Where cabbages and kings dance with fairies and shooting stars. Where babies never die, and happy endings are the norm instead of the exception. Perhaps there is a happy ending for that I am blind to at the moment. I am so aware of all the mammoth blessings that embrace my life. I sometimes feel like a spoiled child crying because she didn't get another chocolate chip cookie. But sometimes...I feel like I was GIVEN two cookies I didn't even know were left, and was so delighted that they were MINE....but then...a big cookie monster rushed up to me and ripped them out of my eager hands and devoured them in front of me, rushing off to steal more cookies from other happy people who would be left with only crumbs. Leaving me without my cookies...knowing how sweet they would have been...and knowing that I would always want those cookies back, and that I could not protect anyone else from losing their cookies.

Infantile talk....transferring babies into cookies....but, isn't that the fairytale image? The little ginger bread boy that jumps out of the oven never to be seen again?

How I want a happy ending. But, the story has been told. There will be more stories in my life, and I'm sure many of them will be happy.

But I can never change the way THIS story has left me broken.

I understand SO much I never wanted to understand.

and so much that I could never turn away from.

I wrote the article; and I KNOW that I was meant to, because I understood how important it was that it be told with feeling...with empathy...with love.

Abigail....I am glad you made it. Thank you for being. You are a miracle.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Halloween fun....

Here we are....whimsical pumpkins, fun costumes: Marvin Martian, Deadpool from X-men, A werewolf "pimp", a Scottish lord, a greek goddess and god with their lovely little Pegasus angel pup. A great Halloween, with the ghosts of our babies in our hearts and on our minds....