Thursday, October 27, 2011

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder......

Beauty. When you hear the word what image comes to mind? Just now, this I type the word the image that comes to my mind is a huge old Oak tree in the middle of a valley surrounded by nothing but green. The wind passing gently through its branches as the tree sways to its own music. The sky above is painted with the brilliance that only a summer sunset can achieve. That's beauty. At least at this moment.
So often we become so caught up in our daily lives, the drama, the chaos and the neverending barrage of negativity from all corners that we forget to notice the beauty. We focus on who said what about whom, which child cheated ours out of his or her rightful victory, which bill might be paid late so we can afford the latest dental bill and why in the world the weather/our hair/our children/the traffic/the boss,etc can never seem to be just what WE want it to be to suit our needs. We bypass the beauty.
Yesterday,as I was hurrying from one errand to the next and grumbling secretly over the traffic in front of me, the gray skies and the lack of money in my pocket I was reminded of the beauty. Walking into the gas station it presented itself in one of my favorite scenes. A man clearly dressed in his business best, possibly late for his morning meeting or running behind in arriving at the office altogether was walking out of the station holding his coffee. And he was smiling. Not just smiling.....beaming. The object of his joy was his companion. Small in stature and young in age but enormous in obvious importance to this man. The little boy held his father's free hand and walked clumsily and slowly with his tiny feet, clearly slowing this man down. And he didn't care. He walked at his son's pace without rushing him, without barking orders and without speaking. But that smile said more than words could convey. This was joy. THIS was beauty.
Inside I was greeted with another example of beauty. In the back by the coffee machines I was treated to the exhuberant and joyous dance AND vocal perfomance of the woman waiting for her coffee to be brewed. She didn't care that the machine wasn't functioning properly according to the attendant. She didn't mind that she would need to wait 10-15 minutes for a new batch of her favorite brew. She was caught in the joy of the song.....and it was BEAUTY.
What BEAUTY have you passed by today? Did you miss it? Were you too busy or distracted to notice? Slow down. Enjoy it. And don't be surprised if it makes your day better without you noticing!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Sudden Impact

Sudden's the title of a movie I think. Maybe it's a book. Could be both. To the Baby Loss Community it's a term used to describe the feeling we get when we least expect it. There we are,minding our own business,living life and thinking things are "normal". Then.....there it is.....WHAM!!! Sudden impact.

When a new mom comes into our group, having just entered her journey of grief we tell her that these moments exist. We explain that there will come a time when you will feel as though you have regained some measure of control over your emotions and begun to function again on some level of normalcy. In those moments of comfort you will often feel a sense of accomplishment because you are prepared....for the first time since losing your feel prepared.
Prepared for the moments you know,or so you think-that will happen and cause you to lose that emotional control. You think you have identified your triggers and can predict your reactions to them. Most are obvious things like a friend or family member having a baby near one of your dates, seeing a baby the same age as yours would have been or hearing that yet another precious baby has been lost causing our numbers to increase. Strangely enough, those aren't the moments that hit you like a hammer. No,those moments are a surprise.
They are the moments you least expect, the moments you cannot predict and the events that often times have nothing to do with the child you lost but still manage to drop you instantly where you stand and suck the air right out of your lungs. They leave you gasping for breath, clutching your chest and sobbing uncontrollably. Most times they send you reeling right back to THAT moment....the one that started this whole journey.
Sudden impact.
I had my moment tonight. It was was was all encompassing. One moment I was moving furniture and the next I felt my knees buckle and the tears fall like a flood. And it took my breath away.
It was this house. This house that I have felt trapped in since the moment we moved in. The house that I have grown to hate in that six years because of the constant and increasing need for repairs that never come. The house that has never been big enough or had enough storage and has always been overpriced. The house that I am finally walking away from for a newer, bigger, less expensive, beautiful, safe home. A home that will be mine. Not rented....owned. My house. And while every thought of that new house has been a happy one was painful.
As I continued the tedious cleaning and packing of six years of our lives in this house a thought hit me from nowhere. This house......this house is the house in which my Chloe and Zoe were concieved.....this house is where they spent 22 weeks alive,growing,kicking and devloping their personalities inside of me.
This house is where they died. They took their last breath in this house and made their last movements here. This is where I came and fell across the bed when I was told they were gone. This is where I hibernated for five days before they were born. This is where I brought their urns from the funeral home. And this is where I have spent every moment of a four year journey grieving for them, missing them and thinking I was finally in control of my grief.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

She ain't heavy.......

If you're anything like me you've heard the phrase "the weight of the world" at least a million times. You've likely felt it. Lying across your shoulders, slapping you in the face and possibly even permeating your dreams. You fight it, resist it's pressure....but ultimately it wins. It always does. What is it about our everyday happenings that can cause this enormous burden to settle in like an unwelcome houseguest...intent on staying, draining our resources, giving little if anything in return and with no clear view of vacating the premises. 
The weight of the world moved in with me recently.Trust me when I say I am diligently attempting to locate and punish it's last landlord for evicting it and causing it to kick in my door. It came in rather loudly-it always does-and knocked the very wind from my lungs. I was ill prepared for its arrival. I had no snacks on hand, no fancy drinks and certainly hadn't cleaned in anticipation of company. Yet into my dirt and clutter it stomped. Pretty sure it has had its mail forwarded ,too. 
First came the news that a dear,longtime friend and former classmate appears to be losing her valiant battle against another horrid squatter named Oscar. (His given legal name is cancer but we choose not to acknowledge him as such.) This woman is the strongest woman I know. She has inspired more people in the past year than I could hope to encourage in a lifetime. In her darkest of moments there was still the brilliance of her incredible smile. She doesn't just light up the room-she illuminates the world. And there is the weight. The weight that shatters the fragility of life.....that causes irreparable damage to the heart and renders us speechless when we want nothing more than to scream. But there is no one to scream at. And so the weight sits.......
Second came the awareness of the struggle of a beloved family member. The weight was literally thrown at him without indication of its pending impact. An impact that no doubt left his entire family grasping for that life preserver to take them to calmer waters and pull them from the riptide sucking them under. A weight that appears immovable for even the strongest of lifters. 
Third was the shrill scream of the phone in the pre-dawn hours. On the other end the hysterical and fear induced ramblings of a young man who had first been attacked, beaten and then incarcerated without question. The weight dropped in and has setup residence with no intention of relocating soon. It knocked the breath from my lungs and caused all rational thought to cease in that moment. 
I am heavy now. I am walking slower, with shorter and more labored strides. I am breathing more shallow and with less efficiency. The weight is taking over. The weight is making each movement painful and each thought exhausting. The weight is causing each second to tick by much slower....extending the day into what seems like an eternity. The weight is winning. 
But I will continue to lift. Although my arms are now jelly....I will lift. Through the fire in my lungs as I force each breath into them....I will lift. I will lift because if I have learned nothing from those who are bearing the brunt of the weight that now ecompasses my day...I have learned that when we lift through the pain, through the tears and through the sleepless nights....the weight becomes lighter. It begins to lose. And if we continue to lift in the losing ....... life will win out. Perhaps not as we would like or with the result we would desire. But it wins. 
And so.....I lift. 

Monday, September 12, 2011

A Somber Holiday

Yesterday our country sat in remembrance of an event that changed our lives and the lives of our children. It was a somber holiday. There were church services,memorials,parades and dedications. Government officials,dignitaries and celebrities honored all those who lost their lives and those who miraculously survived. Yesterday was a testament to the survival of The American Spirit and our sense of unity and dedication to protecting our freedoms. There was something else that struck me about yesterday. 
The most prominent phrase that seems to be associated with this date in our history is "Never Forget". You'll see it posted and hear it touted. Sadly-it isn't upheld. We have forgotten. 
Yes,we honor the fallen. Yes,we hold ceremonies and donate to charities and volunteer all in the name of September 11th. But we have forgotten. We have forgotten our promises to remain unified against the enemies who attempted to destroy our country and remove our freedom. We have forgotten to respect the very freedoms our soldiers have died and continue dying to protect. We have forgotten to teach our children about the very values the terrorists loathe. We have forgotten. And it saddens me. 
As I pondered all of this I went to an envelope that I have kept since that day ten years ago. In it are copies of several poems,letters and emails that held some meaning for me back then and still hold meaning today. I want to share a couple with you all. The words are no less true today than they were ten years ago. Ten years ago I prayed that the events of that day would unite as a country and a people and teach us the TRUE meaning of the freedoms we claim to love so deeply. I am still praying for that day to come. 

Sept. 13, 2001
First of all I would like to say how blessed I feel that everyone I consider to be my family and friends----all of you---seem to be alive and well after the horrible acts of violence which have befallen our nation. I love you all and coannot imagine any of you not being a part of my life. That being said-I would like to ask each of you to please take time out of your day to both pray and remember those who have not been so blessed in this time of crisis and to remind yourselves what an impact they have on your daily life as we never know if there will be time to do so tomorrow. 
We must be very careful in this type of tragedy. There will be much false information and reports that will be distributed to the masses as fact. These are intended to incite panic and division in an already fearful and vulnerable people. We cannot allow those who would plot to destroy us see this nation as anything other than a united and strong people. We need to remain calm and logical in this time. Take time to reflect before taking action. Imagine if you can the fear that many in this country are experiencing at thie time. Not just we as Americans in fear of these cowardly terrorists who know only to fight behind a shield of countless innocent people.....but the fear that those of other religious and cultural decent living in this country must be experiencing. We need to keep in mind that not all Islamic or Muslim or Middle Eastern people are crazy nor are they all fanatics who would blindly follow a demented leader who tells them the only way to free themselves as a people is to kill those who are TRULY free. 
We are ALL Americans regardless of our decent and we cannot begin to single those people out who are different from ourselves in any way and point the finger of blame. We must reserve the blame and burden of responsibility for those who truly deserve it. Otherwise we appear in the exact way the terrorists would like us to appear....divided and scared of our own shadows. This makes us even more vulnerable to further attacks against our freedoms. Please-be strong, be calm and let's present the picture of a nation that is standing together, hand in hand against whatever forces may attempt to penetrate the freedoms that so many of our fathers, brothers, husbands and sons have given their lives to protect. 
I love you all....

The next day I wrote this letter after watching what was unfolding on the news......

Sept. 14th,2001
Yesterday morning I wrote a letter to all of family and friends...regarding the state we as a nation are in right now. Shortly after I sent that letter I was watching more of the coverage on the events that have transpired and continue to unfold with each passing minute. I once again became so completely angered and enraged by the events I saw and heard on the broadcast. 
In Tyson's Corner,Virginia on Wednesday evening a high school student of Middle Eastern decent was approached and verbally attacked by a large group of "Americans". These people shouted at this young man calling him a terrorist and demanding he and his people pay for the attacks on our country. This young man was BORN in the USA.....HE IS AN AMERICAN>
In Chicago and Texas several groups of mourners were attempting to go to local mosques to pray and mourn the victims, families and honor the survivors of these horrible attacks. They were also attacked and several were beaten and bloodied in the name of patriotism. THESE MOURNERS ARE AMERICANS. 
I am outraged....saddened....sickened. WHY? Why in a nation that proclaims itself to be one of peace, freedom and liberty is there such violence, oppression and intolerance? Have we not seen enough destruction in the past few days? Must we behave in such a barbaric manner? When we as a people single out, blame and attack those we percieve to be different or not "American" we lower ourselves to the same level of civility and humanity as those who have perpetuated this horrific attack against the freedoms we take for granted. 
I would like to pose a question to all of you. Answer it honestly. Ask your friends, family and co-workers to answer it as well. What is it that makes you or me MORE American than the woman in your office who is of Iranian decent? Or the man at the bank who is of Arabian decent? What about your son's teacher who is of Albanian decent? How about the pediatrician you rely on to care for you know, the one of Syrian decent? 
When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor our government imprisoned thousands of Japanese-Americans in the name of protection and patriotism. These people were US Citizens whose only crime was being of Japanese decent. Shall we now do the same thing to anyone of Middle Eastern decent? If so.....why?
We call ourselves Americans. We claim to be a free and compassionate nation accepting of ALL and tolerant of differences. Yet we turn on our brothers and sisters because they pray differently, dress differently, speak a different language or live by a set of beliefs that differs from our own. 
Have you answered the question yet? What makes us more American? The answer is simple.....we aren't. If you trace your family history how many generations have even actually been born in this country? Most of us can pinpoint the exact time in history when WE were foreigners and did not belong in the country we now call home. 
Let us not forget that our ancestors were terrorists in their own right. They arrived in a country in search of something better for themselves and their children. A place to be FREE, to be who they wanted to be. This country was inhabited by a people that we did not understand. These people looked different, dressed different and spoke a language we could not interpret. Their way of life was incomprehensible to us. We befriended them when it suited us and massacred them when it didn't. We obtained the nation we call our own by use of coercion, deciet and force. And we now attempt to protect it by use of the same weapons against those we PERCIEVE to be different or unworthy of its liberties. We should instead be uniting with ALL Americans.....our siblings.....and standing united against the TRUE enemies of the freedoms and liberties so many generations have died protecting. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Where are you from?

      How many times has someone asked you this question? My guess lost count. It's a common enough question and the answers are just as common and usually consist of a single word answer. Whether we name the town,village,city,state or country of our birth the reply to such a request for information seldom involves much reflection or explanation. 
       Why is that? 
       Think about the question.....where are you from? Really. Not the name of the city you were born in or the state you grew up in. WHERE are you from? WHAT has helped shape you? 
      Why am I wondering about this you might daughter. My oldest daughter is a beautiful and brilliant young lady. I have always known this. Even though I never doubt these aspects of her life every now and then she does or says something that just reinforces my amazement and belief in her and the mark I KNOW she is leaving on this world. Today was no exception. 
     After doing her homework she came to me and asked me to proofread something she had written for English class. I read it and it literally sucked the air from me for a moment. Not in a bad way. It was is amazingly stunning. And I want to share it....share her and her beauty....with all of you. Enjoy.

Where I'm From

I am from the resevoirs
The winter snow and summer sun
I am from the happy laughing
I am from the dragonflies
The gladiolas in the yard.

I am from The Pumpkin Show and getting out of school
From Grandma Houston and Grandma Lutz
I am from the bedtime songs and simple lullabies
From you look just like your mom and look at those blue eyes
I am from the church songs
The puppet shows and Bible coloring pages

I am from the backs and forths
The ups and downs the all arounds
From the family gatherings
The holidays

I am from my family
Unique in every way
Never one quite like another
but all somewhat the same. 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Unanswered Prayers

My daughter is starting high school in two weeks. She is excited and counting down the days. I, on the other hand, am not. It is terrifying to realize that in four short years....and they will be short...she will turn 18, graduate and fly the coop to strike out on her own adventures as a college freshman and young adult. Four years. Just four. When you say it it sounds like a decent chunk of time but if you sit and contemplate you find that chunk becomes a crumb. 
Four years can seem like a lifetime and a hearbeat all at the same time. It was a lifetime ago that I divorced her father. It was a lifetime ago that her father began dating a new woman. And it was a lifetime ago that my daughters disappeared. Yet it seems only a heartbeat has passed since the police returned them to me and I brought them home. But it has been four years. 
In the four years since being reunited with my daughters I have watched them grow from scared, introverted and timid little girls with emotional scars that would terrify most grownups into amazingly adjusted, outgoing, beautiful, confident and loving young ladies. They have excelled academically. They have forged lasting and true friendships. They have become skilled competitors in many arenas. And they have spent four years missing their father and questioning "why". 
I can't answer that question. I wish I could. All I can tell them is that I am just as confused as they are and that I pray,daily for guidance and strength for all of us. I pray that God will become his eyes so that he can see what he has missed. I pray God will fill his ears with the voices of his children whose lives have been forever altered by his actions. I pray that God will show him the path to re-enter their lives and begin healing the rift he has established. I pray that I will be strong enough to forgive not only him but his wife for the cruel things she said to my daughters, the hateful lies she has spewed against me and the upheaval she caused in all of our lives.I pray. Daily. And I tell them to do the same. 
Secretly-I hope he doesn't listen to God's voice until my daughters are old enough to handle the wave of emotions that will follow any contact from him. Secretly -I hope beyond hope that his wife will never be in a position to see, speak to or have contact with my children ever again. 
Secretly-I hope. And yet I know I shouldn't. 
In 2005 my ex-husband and his then girlfriend walked into Goshen Lane Elementary School in Gahanna,Ohio and withdrew my daughters (ages 7 and 8) and moved. No conversation with me. No discussion. Nothing. He just disappeared. For the next 19 months I fought to have our parenting agreement honored. I fought to see my children. I fought to talk to them and be a part of their lives. To no avail. But I continued to fight. Through every infraction against the court on his part-I fought. With all I had in me. 
Finally on July 31,2007 I stood in a courtroom in Columbus,Ohio and listened in shock as the judge awarded me Emergency Custody and handed me a piece of paper. It stated I was to have local (Circleville) law enforcement assist me in retrieving my children from their home by any means necessary and that I was to take them home with me immediately. It took hours. She interfered. Her grown sons interfered. They accused me of abuse.They screamed horrible lies. My daughters screamed of their hatred for me and their desire to stay with their true family. Eventually they were dragged, kicking and screaming by four police officers each and forcibly placed in my car. 
The nightmare did not end that day. For several weeks after there were incidents involving him and myself and him and our daughters. Each time the blame was placed at my feet and I was called every name in the book. The final act came October 12, 2007. 
Ceara wanted to try,one last time to call and actually talk to her father. She missed him. Each time before she had tried to call him he would scream at her and hang up. He was angry. She betrayed him because she wouldn't say she hated me and was miserable here. She wouldn't tell her teacher I was beating her so she could go home. He called her a liar when she said she liked it here and was happy. But she wanted to last time. 
I dialed the number for her and turned on the recorder. (Each call had been recorded for safety and for court). The girlfriend (who he has since married) answered and it went South from there. 
Ceara..."Is my daddy home?" 
Lisa-"Daddy. Don't call him daddy. That woman has you sounding like a baby again. Are you a baby?"
Ceara-"Can I talk to my dad?"
Lisa-"What about me? How come you never call and ask for me? What about me? We used to spend time together? How about that? We used to do things togehter. How about that? What about me?Huh?"
Ceara (now in tears) "I just want to talk to my dad"
Lisa-"Well,if you mean Wade...he said he isn't your dad. He doesn't know who is and your egg donor bitch probably doesn't either. He said he is pretty sure it's some black guy she was screwing when they were married. Oh,and don't ever call here again."
I can't begin to express the look of total pain,agony,devastation and defeat that crossed my daughter's face at that moment. Nor can I convey the depths of my hatred for both her father and the horrible woman he had allowed into his life. 
That was the last time Ceara asked to speak to her father and he has never tried to contact her or Cidney since. He also cut off all ties with his son more in 2006 and never looked back. 
Fast forward four years. The hatred and evilness is still running amok on their side of things. Nasty comments about me,rude things said about my daughters and hateful things being perpetrated as truth. Today for instance.....the status on their FB page reads "hate women who use their children as pawns just to deprive those who love them from seeing them ". Really? 
And so,here I sit....four years later. STILL praying and STILL secretly hoping that those prayers won't be answered...not yet. 

Friday, July 22, 2011


Sometimes.....most times really-I think of coming here and writing. So I log in,look at the blank page and sit motionless. For hours. It isn't that I don't have anything to say. That's never been an issue with me (and don't think I don't hear all that laughter from those of you who know me). It's quite the opposite. It's that there is TOO MUCH to say. Too many things to talk about. Too many emotions to share. Too many thoughts to convey. Too many fears to admit.Too much. It's all too much. 
Today my mother in law called to talk about the weather, the swim meet, the dresses for the wedding (my sister in law is getting married) and the shower she wants to have for her. August 20th. That's the date. She was thinking that most people are back from their vacations then and that it's a Saturday so we would all be able to arrange our schedules since it's not any kind of special day or holiday. 
I didn't let her know that when she said the date I felt as though I had just been slapped. I didn't let on that my feelings were hurt when she didn't recall just how special (and tragic) that day is. I didn't flinch. I did what most of us (and by us I mean parents who have lost their children) do every day. I pretended. 
I pretended that I was fine. I pretended it didn't bother me. I pretended that the date was no more significant than "just any other day". But it is. It is the most significant day on the calendar. Every year. All the time. And I wasn't fine. It did bother me. Perhaps it bothered me even more because I knew I would have to suffer it all as I do most other things.......alone and silent. 
Of course I know that I have an incredible circle of women around me who lend me their strength whenever it's needed. They lean in and listen when I need to vent. And they can understand and empathize in ways most never could hope to. Angel Mommies are like that....they become your family. The walk with you , side by side....each and ever step of the journey. But at the end of the day, when things are quiet and dark and still....when you find yourself alone with your thoughts and all of the screaming voices in your head competing for top billing-in THAT moment you need.........
Well,you need something that for me just isn't there. So many of my ABM's are so blessed with a partner. A REAL partner. Someone who is sharing every emotion, every ache, every pain of their loss. Someone who holds dear the same memories and clings to every ounce of the same love not just for the child they lost but for each other. There is nothing more beautiful than watching the deep,abiding love and understanding - the complete connection between a man and wife who are mourning the loss of their child TOGETHER. 
And then, there is me. 
Mourning the loss of my children,alone and doing my best not to let it show. Because in my mind, as warped as it is......if I show him that it hurts every single time or let him see that I am still quite broken.....he wins. And in all of my devastation there is just enough of my competitive and stubborn spirit left to demand of myself to never allow him that victory. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

This Year

Well,it looks like it's here again. That time of year where the weather starts getting warmer.....the days longer...and my mood a little darker. For those of you who have followed my journey for the last several years-you already know where I am going with this. It's almost summer. Again. Which means another year will have passed. Another 365 days will soon be behind me. Again. This isn't the first trip around the calendar and it won't be the last. But for some reason, this one has become harder. Darker. More melancholy. 
Maybe it's because this year I realize just how much time really has passed. Maybe it's because I have become more acutely aware of how much time I have lost....of the milestones missed......of the memories that will never be made. Maybe it's simply because it's THIS year. 
This year. The year that my oldest daughter is finishing middle school and entering high school. The same little girl  who not so long ago looked so confused and heartbroken as she was carried from her home by armed officers and forced into a car to be sent away to an unknown place and a new life. The year that my youngest child will graduate preschool and enter kindergarten. The same little boy who it seems only yesterday was just learning to crawl and babble. The year that I experience an empty home during the school day for the first time. THIS year. 
THIS year......the year that I should be spending some quality "one on one" time with two little girls while their siblings are all occupied by teachers and gym class. The year that I should be registering those two little girls for preschool,teaching them their letters,shapes,numbers and colors. Hanging their undecipherable doodles on the fridge and watching them forge the first of hopefully many lasting friendships. But not this year. 
Instead.....this year I will listen to the adorable anecdotes my mother will share and secretly wish I had my own to share. Instead.....this year I will continue to involuntarily cringe each and every time I see a parent pushing a double stroller or hear of yet another celebrity expecting twins of their own. This year I will continue to wonder....every moment of every day what life would be like.....IF my twins were here. 
And,eventually,when I am finished feeling sorry for myself and wallowing in my self-pity I will continue to thank God for everything He has given and continues to give me. Because THIS year....I am still alive, I am still a mother and I am still blessed beyond what I deserve to be. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The End

So today I revisited a very painful place for me. A place I have avoided for over three and a half years. A place I really couldn't avoid any longer. My OB/GYN office.  
The last time I was in that office was for my post-partum checkup. It was October 3,2007. Yes. I remember the date. You would be surprised to know just how many dates a woman remembers when she loses a child,or in my case....two children. 
Now-as most of you know (well, all of my female followers anyway) we are supposed to be diligent and visit our friendly "special doctor" once a year for a comprehensive checkup of all things female. The theory is , and it's more of a medical fact really, that if we follow through with our obligation to visit once a year we will be rewarded with the best shot at preventing many things and catching others early enough to not only treat them but survive them. So,like a good girl, I visited. Faithfully. And I was rewarded. Repeatedly. 
I was rewarded with six incredibly beautiful and amazing babies, two of whom were delivered by this particular "special doctor". I was rewarded (in theory) with catching the cervical cancer cells early enough (4 times) to have them removed and the 5th time to have it removed for good (although much more invasively).I was rewarded with overall great health in all things female for years and years. 
And then it happened. 
I visited my wonderful "special doctor" and was told I was pregnant. Three weeks later I was told I was having identical twins. Six weeks later I was told they were girls. Eight weeks after that I was told they had died. In that office. In that room. By that doctor. 
The six or so weeks after "that day" are clear as day and yet foggy as pea soup. (My BLM's will know exactly what I mean by that.) When I went back to that office,that room,that doctor it was for my six week post-partum visit. To make sure I was ok and healing well. I was neither. Medically yes. my core I was not. I was not ok. I was not healing. I was broken in a way that a person who has lost a child can never fully explain and a person who hasn't can never fully comprehend. I cried,sobbed really,from the moment I walked into the reception area. The tears racked my body and shook me to the very center of my being. The nurses were amazing and my doctor....that doctor.....phenomenal. Nonetheless I walked out wondering if I would ever be able to visit that that office.....without reliving the moment that forever had changed the fiber of my existence. 
Today I got my answer. It's been three years and six and a half months since the last time I walked into that office. So it was time. Yes,I could have changed doctors in order to maintain my obligation of regular yearly exams. But as ALL women know.....when you find "THE" special doctor who is right for just don't leave him/her. It becomes like a solid remain loyal and faithful no matter what. For "the right" doctor we women will wait hours for him/her to return from a last minute delivery rather than risk seeing someone else in the practice. We schedule MONTHS in advance in order to remain faithful when "the other" doctor could squeeze us in tomorrow. So I returned. To that office. To that doctor. Thankfully......not to that room. 
The office staff remembered me. They all greeted me with smiles and warmth and while I know it was all genuine I couldn't help wondering if they were thinking "please don't let her cry" or "ooooohhhh......that's the woman whose twins died....". Why wouldn't they? I was. 
My doctor was - as he has always been-wonderful. He treated me with warmth and compassion. We discussed the kids, life, any questions or issues I might have and, of course, we discussed the twins. While I didn't cry.....I did tear up just once, for a moment. My doctor discussed the course he wants to take with me and hugged me goodbye. I made my next appointment and left that office. Again. But this time.....I was ok. I thought. 
When I got in my car.......I broke. The tears came and kept coming. It was like a summer storm. One minute I was all sunshine and blue skies and the next......BAM! The sky opened up and down it poured. But I wasn't crying because of where I was or where I had been. This time I wasn't crying because this is where my heart was broken beyond repair. This time...I wasn't crying over what I had lost. This time I was crying over what I will never have. 
When Chloe and Zoe died I made a decision. They would be my last children. They would be the last babies I carried inside of me. Ever. Granted,it was an emotional choice. Made out of the devastation of a shattered woman. Made out of fear of my inability to ever endure another pregnancy "in case" something were to ever happen again. And so I chose. The moment my daughters were delivered my chances of ovulating and becoming pregnant again were surgically ended. Against the advice of my doctors, my mother and most of my friends.....I had my tubes tied. Chloe and Zoe were my last children. Even though I still ache to be pregnant again and would love to have another baby (or six) I know deep down it was the right choice for me then and is till the right choice for me now. 
But today that choice seems to have been finalized beyond any and all reparatory possiblities. Next week I will go back to that office...and that doctor....and I will begin the process of surgical endometrial ablation. In common everyday womb will be destroyed. I will never carry another child. Ever. So I sobbed. 
I sobbed for the finality of it all. I sobbed because knowing I won't ever have another baby and knowing I can't are two different things. And they are worlds apart. I sobbed because even though I know I am abundantly blessed and am content with the six blessings I have here on Earth......I know I will ONLY have six blessings here on Earth. I sobbed for the sense of loss I feel for myself knowing I can never have another child. And more than that-I the center of my being.......for the sense of loss I felt for some of the most incredible women I have ever met. 
So many of my BLM sisters are moving mountains in an unrelenting effort to become pregnant and have their blessings here on Earth. Several of them, too many really, have endured more loss in their journey than most could fathom ever surviving. They are taking every step available to carry a child within their wombs. And I am destroying mine. There just seems to be something unfair about that. And so.....outside of that office.....after seeing that doctor.....I sobbed. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


It's a relative term. But what exactly is it relative to? And what does it mean? Exactly?
Better than what? And who says what is better and what isn't? How do we decide what's better and what's worse?
Better is something my children deserve. It's something that I long ago aspired to be. Better is how I wish I felt. How I want to look. What I want for those I love. Better.
Better is also how iced tea tastes when it's sweetened like real southern tea. It's how cheesecake melts in your mouth when it reaches room temperature. Better is they way you think a meal smells when you've prepared it yourself from start to finish. Better.
With all of these things being better than something how are we to ascertain just what better is? And what is it better than? How do we know how to make things better? What needs to be better? And what will never be better?
What started this whole tumultuous inner debate about "better" was an opportunity that presented itself to me about 30 minutes ago. WalMart. Figures doesn't it? There I stood at the checkout waiting (forever) for my cashier to track down the CSM to open her drawer and help her correct her mistake. It isn't completely relative to the story but my order was $21.46. I handed her a 100 dollar bill. She handed me $124.54 change. So,we were waiting for her drawer to be opened so she could put the 100 dollar bill in it, correct my change and keep her job for another day. In the meantime a young lady had stepped in line behind me and placed her five or six jars of baby food on the belt and waited. She babbled and smiled with the baby boy in her cart and he returned the affection. Through the course of the obligatory small talk while waiting for someone in charge to materialize in front of me I discovered that this was in fact the young lady's nephew, he was nearly a year old and his mother had forgotten to leave baby food for the morning as he was staying overnight. I also made several observations.
The young lady seemed clean enough and neatly (although nothing fancy) dressed. Her hair was obviously combed and she had certainly taken the time to apply her makeup, include her jewelry (including her nose stud) and had just recently had her nails done. She carried a small clutch that looked like a knockoff of one of the expensive brand name designers and she had a Blackberry with her as well. The little boy was filthy. Head to toe. His face was caked with dried snot, remnants of whatever he had eaten earlier in the day and what looked like juice stains around his mouth. His eyes screamed exhaustion. His clothes were dirty and his socks (no shoes) looked like they could have walked away of their own accord. And he smelled. Not of one specific indentifiable odor but of a melody of several which were all in competition for top billing.
When the cashier finally rectified the change error I stood to the side to put my change away and allow her to proceed ringing those behind me without further delay. Just as I was prepared to walk away I heard the cashier announce the total for the baby food and the young lady sighed a little and said "Oh,no. We'll have to put some of that back. I don't have enough." Her order was $3.09.
I ignored the previous observations and without any real hesitation said "No!! is $4.00. You buy that precious little boy his food and use the change to get him a juice or something." She of course thanked me profusely and asked me several times if I was sure. I nodded,said of course and you're welcome and walked toward the exit and to my car.
As I pulled out of the parking lot I saw the young lady belting this little boy into his carseat. She was driving a very nice, very clean and very new looking Cadillac Escalade. She smiled at me and I smiled back and as I drove away all I could think to myself was "Why don't I feel BETTER about having done a nice deed for someone?"
And it got me thinking. About that word. About how we use it to classify so many things. About how we use it to measure our worth, our accomplishment,our goals and our success or failure.How many times to we think to ourselves " I could have done better" or " I should have done better"? How many times have those around us judged our lives by telling us that we could do better than what we have done?
Someone once told me that I could have done better. I could have been a better parent. I could have chosen a better spouse. I could have achieved better in my life. They told me that I could have succeeded more and had better than just being a mom. And that got me thinking about that word,too. Better.
Of course I could be a better parent......we all could in one aspect or another because frankly the only PERFECT parent would have to be God. I can aspire to be a better parent every moment of whatever life I have left and my better will never be half of His perfect. Of course I could have chosen a better spouse in some aspects as well. Because again,we are human and humans by nature are imperfect beings in thought and deed. Is my spouse perfect? No. But neither am I. Whether or not my spouse is right for me is a completely different subject and quite frankly has nothing to do with whether or not he is better or worse than......than what? As for achieving better or having better success.......I disagree. I think I have achieved better. And I know I have had a better success than even I could have imagined for myself. I have achieved something many people only dream of. I have reached the pinnacle of success in my opinion BECAUSE I am a mom.
I am BETTER because I am a mom. I am BETTER because I have six incredible children on this planet who love me even when I am not better. Even when I am worse. They make me better. And I have a hole in my heart for my two precious daughters whom I will never get the chance to hear laughing or telling me that they love me no matter what. And that part of me will never be better.
It's a relative term. But it brings up another question. Better. If we are constantly striving for better and forever being told that we could have it or should know it or ought to want it...........when are we content with what already is? When is better worse? When is what already is.........Enough?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

It's been awhile. I know. And there is much to post. But how? How do I vent the things that I truly want to say? There aren't words sufficient to express the things that weigh so heavily on my heart and mind. There aren't enough adjectives to accurately convey the emotions that fight for lead position in my daily life.
What I can say is this. I miss my daughters. Today. Yesterday. Tomorrow. Forever. I miss them. I ache for them. I wish, I dream, I wonder and most of all.......most painfully and sweetly......I remember.
I remember leaving the doctor's office that day thinking this had to be a mistake. I remember walking into the hospital five days later praying to God that it was. I remember crying from a place so deep inside of my soul that until that moment I never even knew it existed. I remember touching my daughters for the first time. I remember kissing them for the last time. And I remember. Coming home. Without them.
Now,three years, seven months, two weeks and three days later......I survive. I function. I live. I listen to people complain about the inconvenience of their children in their lives. I watch parents scream and yell at their children and in some cases become oblivious to their very presence. I read about the mothers and fathers who choose to abuse, rape, abandon and murder their own children. And I wonder. Why? Why were they given those angels when I was forced to say good bye to mine?
Yes,I am blessed. Incredibly and abundantly so. I have six living and amazingly stupendous children. I am blessed every moment of every day that they are present in my life. I have been gifted with the most wonderous experience of watching two of my children grow from infancy into adulthood. I am living in the midst of the joys (and headaches) of two teenaged girls and ALL that that entails. I have been given the most beautiful and precious (and precocious ) elementary aged children to ever walk the planet. (Biased,I know) To be able to count those blessings and enjoy every day that I awake still able to touch each of them is incredible. To still be able to ask "Why me?" in the face of all of that joy seems selfish and greedy. As if what I have been given isn't enough. In truth-it's just that what has been taken away is too much.
Maybe it's that I haven't yet learned to overlook all of the teenaged girls who become pregnant and think it's a fashion accessory or a ransom to hold over their "baby daddy's " head.. Maybe it's that I can't understand the women who give birth and think their job as a mother ends there. Maybe it's that I can't get past the females who get pregnant and immediately think "what can I get out of this"?
Or. Maybe. Just maybe. I miss my daughters.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Life goes on

Life Goes On.......

It might not move as smoothly as before. It might not be filled with all of the joyful memories we thought we would have the chance to make. But it moves. On. With or without our consent. And it drags us along with it. 

No matter where we think we are in that moment, on that day, in that memory----life goes on.

It always surprises me to know just how many "outsiders" think that having living children to come home to somehow lessens the pain of our loss or makes it miraculously more bearable. It doesn't. While I would never pretend to begin to fathom the excruciating and devastating return to a silent home after saying goodbye to an only child, I can tell you that coming home to a house full of children running around does not ease the pain. It does not make it easier, more bearable, less devastating or in any way "better" than the alternative. Let's be honest here. The ONLY way to make "it" better would be for "it" never to have happened in the first place. 
Yes-I am blessed beyond measure. Yes-I was grateful for the faces that greeted me when I returned home from "that place" two days after experiencing the greatest tragedy a parent can ever be expected to endure. (I say endure because that's what we do. We endure. We do not survive. Survival implies moving past or overcoming. Those words will never be part of this journey). But in the time since the death of my two beautiful,perfect and precious daughters the presence of their siblings has, while providing me with a source of strength and inspiration,also served as a constant and continuing reminder of each and every single thing I will NEVER experience with my daughters. 

But-life goes on. It keeps moving forward no matter how backward our grief might make us feel. And often our grief is compounded. The unsupportive spouse. Distant friends. The uncomfortable silence because "we just don't know what to say to her." Or the sister/neighbor/friend/co-worker who has what you lost. But "they" don't notice. They can't. goes on.

And it does. Even if we feel like ours has stopped. It hasn't. The clock still ticks away the hours. The calendar still flies through the months. The seasons still pass in the blink of an eye. And the years continue to move. On. Forward. No matter how many times we wish we could go back. No matter how often we think we have. No matter how hard we try to hold on. Life goes on. And so do we. Without realizing it the minutes turn to hours and the hours to days. And before you know it.......1,307 days have passed since you last held your tiny babies in your arms,breathed in their scent in an attempt to ingrain it in your memory, kissed their tiny fragile bodies and sobbed from the depths of your soul as you watched them leave you knowing you would never see them again. At least not in this life. Right then. In that moment......although you didn't think was going on. 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Bookstore

 I went to the bookstore today......standing amongst hundreds of books about pregnancy and childbirth and how to parent your child and all of the topics in between. There was not ONE book on stillbirth. And I cried. And I am still fighting the tears. One of those dreaded unexpected moments in the life of a grieving mother. Just one more example of how the "Rest of the world" would rather ignore or pretend that our babies never were........ that something that ugly doesn't happen in normal life. One more slap to the face for the thousands of mothers who lie in a hospital every year and experience the miracle of childbirth without the miracle of life.

 And no one understands.....except those other mothers.