Thursday, January 1, 2015

Austerity vs Simplicity

So with the New Year comes some special challenges and of course anticipated joys for our family.  The hopeful last 2 months of pregnancy, waiting for New Baby to come and join our family, but also the fears that she will not come home with us.  Rosabella having a procedure scheduled at the Children's Hospital next week for an upper GI endoscopy, which involves a short general anesthesia.  The procedure should get us an answer for why she has GERD, and therefore a more effective treatment than the antacids we have been using, but the fear that something will happen, some anesthetic complication, paralyzes me sometimes.  However since she and I both greeted the New Year with colds it is likely that we will have to reschedule the procedure, which is almost worse since I would just like to have the whole thing done and over with.  Lastly the reason for the title of this post: money.

Since my DH retired and started working just part time at the Community College, finances have been tighter.  Then I lost my job and the replacement job I found is only part time.  The hope was that the business would grow and they would need me full time, but that has not happened.  So money was really tight, but with careful budgeting and some life style changes we have been making it.  I knew my maternity leave would cut into our savings, but I was okay with that I was prepared, but then the other shoe dropped.  I found out that our health insurance plan was going up in price, more than the $100 a month that I had planned on, but closer to $200 per month.  Now our Health insurance is close to what our mortgage is and we still have a $6300 individual deductible, and a $12,600 family deductible.  It turns out that we are no longer eligible for our previous plan and needed to be "upgraded" to the Bronze plan, which as far as I can tell offers no additional coverage, just a higher monthly price tag.  I had a little loss of sanity.  I have no idea where we will get the additional funds to pay for this.  I know that I could pick up a few shifts at other clinics, but being away from my girls more, especially with New Baby being so young is breaking my heart.  I know that this is the answer since we are on the maximum austerity budget now: no cable, no going out to dinner, we buy Rosabella's clothes at used clothing and thrift stores, my DH and I do not get clothing, I mend all worn clothing, I made everyone's Christmas gifts,  we are decorating and furnishing the new Nursery from thrift stores, I am making New baby's blankets, I cut back on everything but the essential medications for the pets, no soda, no prepared foods, cloth diapers, cloth wipes... Ugh my head starts to spin.  My DH says that I am obsessing and I need to let it go, this is what things cost, but he doesn't pay the bills or balance the accounts.

So what is austerity?  Living simply is something I believe in.  I actually like our life style better know then when we could go out to nice restaurants and had 300 hundred television channels.  Austerity sounds hard and unpleasant.  I like simplicity better.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Least Wonderful Time of the Year

There is ugliness in my heart tonight.  It is spilling out of me, in tears and rage is leaking out of me.  I am so angry and sad and mixed up, everything is wrong and just plain hurts.

Every year I struggle with this season.  This season of joy and excess and forced happiness.  There is never enough time to get everything done.  I feel rushed and inadequate.  2011 was bad, I was so hopeful that with Grace here the following year I could shut out the darkness, because she was light, the light that would make everything possible.  Every year since then has been an even worse struggle.  I try to put on a happy face for Rosabella, but I really want to crawl into a hole and smash every fucking Christmas tree and ornament I see.

This year I tried to start out with a clean slate, but this damn season just gets me no matter what.  Money is really tight, so I am having to make everyones presents.  The project I planned for my DH he told me he did not want, so after hours of planning and shopping I need to return the supplies I bought and I told him that he is now not getting anything.  I have like 2 things for Rosabella to open, and am running out of time (and honestly momentum) to finish making her what I planned.  I participated in a baby loss ornament exchange, so for the first year since she died I did not pick out an ornament for Grace.  I made one for Rosabella and one for the baby that I am carrying (another girl if I have not mentioned that here).  I also made one for a friend's daughter, all little bears made from felt.  I made an ornament for a baby I never met for someone I don't know and mailed it across the country.  I made what the mother said that she wanted: butterflies in pink and purple.  I also made that baby a devotional candle and wrote a letter to her mother.  I worked on all those things late into the night and paid extra for priority shipping so that it would be there by the deadline (Dec 4th).  Then I waited for another mother to do the same for me, trusting that she would put the care and love into Grace's that I did into this other baby's.  The deadline came and went and nothing came for Grace.  I got an e-mail from the mother who was making Grace's a few days ago that she had been busy, but that Grace's was in the mail.  I waited some more, I was upset since I am busy too and I made the time to get my ornament made and in the mail, but at least it was still coming.  Tonight it arrived.  I was so excited I was cutting into the box as soon as my husband brought in the mail.  He was on the phone with his Dad and once he realized I was opening it he started to complain that I was opening presents without him and before Christmas.  I was pretty nasty to him that this was not a present and it was to be opened now.  I needed this, I really did.  Then I finally got the box open.

Here is where the real ugliness of spirit starts.... I hate it.  I know that some one made this for me and for Grace, and it should not be about the quality, but I hate it.  It is this heavy ball ornament, that honestly is too heavy to hang on our tree.  I asked for her name and this year and that it be blue or green and having something to do with the ocean.  It is cream colored, with pink, fake foot print butterflies in pink.  It is not right at all.  With my DH yelling at me for being a bitch to him while he was talking to his asshole father on the phone, I looked at this thing and just lost it.  I yelled at my DH and then ran to my bed sobbing.  Thankfully Rosabella was in her play pen happily amusing herself and did not need me at the moment.  How could I let someone else make her ornament?  It was the one thing that I made sure was perfect every year.  The one gift that I give her.  I made her sister's ornaments, but not one for her.  I trusted and waited and got something I hate.  Something someone else generically planned that any baby's name could be added to, nothing that represents or honors Grace.  I am so upset and disappointed.  I am trying to let it go, but I can't.  I want to smash the thing into a million pieces.  Then I feel like a super bitch since maybe this was the best that other mother could do, maybe the mother I mailed an ornament to hates it also...  This was all a huge mistake.

I pulled myself together and gave Rosabella her bath, we read a story and fell asleep together in her room.  Then I got up and shopped for health insurance, our deductible is going up to over $13,000 for next year and between my pregnancy and Rosabella needing endoscopy for her regurgitation we will likely hit that, so my DH wanted me to look for something cheaper.  I was more calm, but still upset.  I talked to my DH about the insurance, but nothing of import.  He tried to apologize for upsetting me, but I told him I did not want to talk about it.  Since generally when he apologizes he wants me to do the same and I don't have it in me.  I don't feel bad for how I acted or what I said and I am not going to apologize for it.  I went to bed late, and then had a dream about hating the ornament and woke up crying.  Now here I sit in the middle of the night writing on my neglected blog, crying.  Wondering how I can make her a right ornament.  Crying that I am pregnant with a baby that is not her, feeling bad that I wish this baby were her.  Crying that the dog I want to bury my face in her fur and get her wet with my tears is not here, she died 1 year ago Dec 30.

Now I am not sleeping, have an OB appointment first thing (with my 1 hour glucose tolerance test) so no breakfast.  I am worried about the new baby, missing Grace so badly, worried about money.  And hating this time of the year.

I am sorry if this post ever finds the woman who made my ornament.  I hope that your feelings are not hurt, I know that mine would be if I read something like this about what I made.  It likely has nothing to do with you, just my hate for the season, my bitterness that Grace is not in my arms, that all I have year after year is an ornament for her and a donation for the children's hospital.  That this is the last Christmas that I will be pregnant, but no matter how many babies I have, none of them will be Grace.

Baby girl, Mommy loves you and misses you so much.  I am so sorry that I messed up this year.  I promise that I will make you something like I did for your sisters.  I wish you were here with me, I wish that I could hold you and cuddle you and read you a story and give you a bath and do all the things that I do with Rosabella.  I am sorry that I still can't stop crying and that almost 3 years later the hurt is still so strong.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

It has been too long

My poor neglected blog.  I guess after a few years although the grief and the loss and the ache are still there it is hard to find something new to say about it.  I am pregnant again, 17 almost 18 weeks.  Things were going well, but I started to have terrible anxiety about 10 days ago.  My poor DH was in tears this morning because I was freaking out about not being able to feel the baby move.  The idea of losing another child is paralyzing, but here I am.  I love this new baby so fiercely, but I know that all the love in the world cannot keep him/her alive.  I think that I may be needing this space again and hopefully be writing more.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

1 Year of a living baby

Today last year I was in the hospital having given birth to my rainbow Rosabella.  It has been a year of learning how to parent a living, breathing, sometimes screaming baby.  It has been a pleasure to watch her grow and learn and be fascinated by what we take for granted and see as mudane (the faucet in the bath tub IS amazing).  It has also been bittersweet, seeing all the things I missed with Grace in living color.

Despite everything I love being a Mom, I love Rosabella, I love Grace, I love the sleepless nights, the sagging boobs, the gray hairs that appeared overnight, I love it all.  Happy Birthday my great big 1 year old girl!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

You Taught me to Soar Mama

I had this amazing experience at acupuncture yesterday, I had not been for an entire year and it was a special treat to go.  When I was resting after the needles had been placed I started to think about Grace.  It is a time that in the past I had used to either connect to her, send positive energy to Rosabella (when she was inside me) or to connect to the spirit of a baby I wanted to join our family.  It has always been a magical time for me.  It is some of the few times I have felt Grace's presence concretely.  Yesterday was no exception.  Grace was with me almost immediately, not as a baby, more as a little girl, or fairy I guess.  We both had multi colored wings, she was flying so fast, laughing and playing in the air, flitting between the trees and skimming the surface of the brook below.  I was trying hard to keep up, but she was obviously the professional and my big wings were just not as agile.  I would catch up to her and wrap my wings around her and feel the warmth of her body, smell her breath and just soak up her being so close.  Then we took a rest in a nest high up in a tree.  It was lined with soft feathers, in blues and purples.  She told me that those feathers were mine, that my love for her gave her a warm, safe place to rest.  I started crying and told her that I was so sorry that I did not visit as often as I used to, that I was so sorry I did not do things for her like a I did before.  She told me that it was okay, that I visited as often as she needed me to, that she was fine and I needed to be with her sister now.  She then told me that living my life after losing her, finding joy again, finding baby love again, becoming a mother again had taught her to fly.  She said "You taught me to soar mama."  We played again for a little while longer and then it was time for me to leave.  I was sad about going, I wanted to stay with her forever.  She told me that she was always there, happy and I could visit any time I needed.  I awoke refreshed and more calm than I had been in months.  I know that she is fine and happy and strong.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Her Second Birthday

Well I survived.  I made the cake.  I packed for the picnic.  I ate the food, I spoke her name to the wind and the birds and dreamed of what it would have been like to have her here.  I couldn't sing though.  I tried, but nothing came out but a whisper.  I told her I loved her, and missed her and that I was so glad she was mine and that some day we would be together again.  She graced my world and my life and I am a better person because she was my baby.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Two years ago she died

Two years ago today, she died.  I felt her move for the last time while getting ready for work and she died sometime during that hectic day.  Would it have been different if I had left when I had not noticed her moving?  Could I have saved her?  More than likely by the time I noticed she was already gone and nothing I could have done would have changed that.  I know that, my brain knows that, but my heart, well my heart doesn't understand.  Even 2 years later it doesn't understand.

Last night I cried myself to sleep with Rosabella curled against me.  I am so glad that she is here and healthy and amazing, but I miss her sister so much.  I want both of my girls.

Today is a day for mourning, it is the anniversary of the worst day of my life.  In two days time I will make a cake and we will go to the National Forest nearby for a picnic and we will remember the joy that Grace brought and honor her memory with laughter and smiles and eat a pink cake.  I will tell her sister stories about her and I will try so hard not to cry, because Grace brought me the greatest joy you can ever ask for and remembering that is essential to honoring her.