Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Sweetest Thing

Today's topic is courtesy of Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope Monthly Writing Challenge: Write about something special a friend, family member, or other loved one did for you after your baby died that really touched your heart.

After Willow died my friends and family were suddenly at a loss for words. What do you say to a woman that lost the baby inside of her, during her second trimester. And I don't blame them, if I was them at that time I wouldn't know what to say either. While some friends, coworkers and even family avoided me, others reached out the only way they knew how. I received caring cards, fragrant flowers and even a GIANT fruit basket. Some people baked dishes and dropped off treats. I appreciated all the kind gestures. But, by far the sweetest thing anyone has ever done since my baby died was to say her name. Willow. Willow wasn't a fetus or a product of conception. She wasn't just any baby. She was my daughter and she was alive inside of me for 5 1/2 months. She had a name and it was Willow. I'm not afraid to say her name aloud, no matter how sad her loss is to me.

If you know someone who has lost a child, acknowledgment is very important to them. Acknowledge their baby, their baby's birthday, the anniversary of their baby's death or just simply call them by their name. It's the sweetest thing you can do for a baby-loss mother.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Friday, January 21, 2011

If You Can't Beat 'em Join 'em (unless they are the Bears!)

I don't like football. I never did. Not only do I NOT understand what's going on most of the time, I find it incredibly boring. Every Sunday I would grab my credit cards and go shopping while my husband rotted on the couch watching several games in a row. I reminded him that football made me spend money. Then the playoffs would come around. We wouldn't go to church, we wouldn't even leave the house. We would have to plan whole days around game time. It was frustrating.

Then something happened. I think I just gave up. Maybe I got caught up in all the hoopla. The Packers are in the playoffs and I've actually watched a few games from beginning to end. I may have talked through most of the games. Asked many questions, commented on sweaty butts, funny names and God awful uniform color combination's. But it's a start, right? I think my husband is happy just to be able to skip a fun-filled Sunday at the Art Museum or shopping for pacifier clips and coloring books at Target. Although he doesn't need to fret. There are two more game days left and then he belongs to me!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Today a close friend and coworker came to me for advice. She was in tears after receiving bad news from her best friend. After trying to get pregnant for some time and fertility treatments her friend was finally pregnant. She was cautiously optimistic about the news. However, she began to experience some spotting and was nervous. Earlier this morning, she found out the baby she had been carrying for the past 11 weeks passed away. God, do I hate those words! 14 months after losing Willow, those words are still hard to swallow.

I automatically go back to my feeling of hopelessness when my baby girl died. The fact that we lost her after trying so hard to get pregnant was adding insult to injury. Although, no one should lose a baby. Regardless if they are young, old, fertile, gave a baby up for adoption or had an abortion as a teenager. I'm not saying I am pro choice (I am not saying I am not). What I do know is it is not for me to judge. And I don't believe my God would "punish" someone by killing their baby because of a decision they made years ago.

Through all the suffering and pain I've experienced I still don't know why Willow left me, but I do know what I can do because of her death. I reach out to those who have experienced the loss of a child. Today I shared a few tears with my friend, who was obviously hurt by the bad news. I also shared my experience with her and referred her to an awesome website where I know she will be able to find support. I wish babies didn't die, but since we don't live in a perfect world we should come together and support one another whenever possible.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Balancing Act

Work-Life Balance. It's a term they use a lot at work. I have to admit, I am very lucky to work for such a family-friendly corporation. That is definitely a rarity these days as corporations become greedier (often at the expense of their employees). However, as I approached the end of my first week back after Maternity Leave I can't help but think I failed miserably at balancing my work life and my home life. Each day this week looked something like this:

5:00-5:15 Wake up/ shower (takes me 45 minutes to dress/ hair/ makeup)
5:30 Will wakes up Olivia, dresses her (she is often still asleep during this task)
6:00 Will feeds Gabriel/ Dresses him (he often waits to puke until after he gets his clothes on and before he gets a bib)
6:00-6:30 Olivia eats breakfast while I "do" her hair, car is warmed up, bottles are made, coats on, Gabriel is put in his car seat (he usually vomits again, warranting a fresh bib)
6:35-7:00 Travel time to work
7:00-7:15 Drop kids off in their rooms, which are on OPPOSITE wings of the daycare!
7:15 Turn on my computer at my desk... work... work... email... request... email... work... work... FIRE DRILL... email... work... lunch... work... you get the point.
4:30-4:55 Head downstairs to pick up kids, pack up the 50 pictures Olivia drew that day, load kids into COLD car (I sure would love a car starter)
5:00-5:30 Commute home, unless it snows. Then I can tack on an additional 15-30 minutes to my commute.
5:30 Home. Gabriel is usually crying at this point. I have to give him his Acid Reflux medicine, then he has to wait 20 minutes to eat.
5:30-7:30 Feed baby, answer Olivia's MANY questions, make dinner, more questions, clean spit up, burn dinner, respond to Olivia's MANY requests (juice, chocolate milk, cartoons, apples... peeled and cut of course, candy, etc...), change diapers, wipe butts, eat dinner, bath time.
7:30 Gabriel's bedtime.
7:30-8:00 Read Olivia 3 books. Bedtime. (This is when Will gets home).
8:00 I go to sleep, wake up a few times to feed a hungry baby and start it all over again the next day!

I'm exhausted just typing this. I feel horrible spending so little time with my children every evening. And don't get me started about how many hours Will works every week. But, I actually enjoy my job. I like to go to work and interact with adults, see my friends, have lunch uninterrupted. I don't get puked on at work and luckily I never have to clean my boss' butt! One of the benefits of my position is that I do get to leave at noon on Fridays! Which gives me extra time with the kids during the weekend. I know it won't always be this insane. One day it will get easier. I'm hoping, anyway.