Friday, April 26, 2013

Changes all around

Today I am 34 weeks, 2 more weeks than I have ever been pregnant before.  Little Bear is active and moving and wonderful, I am puffy and swollen and have acid reflux a good portion of the time, but these little troubles are a small, small price to pay for getting to be pregnant again.  We are nesting and getting ready for her to come into our lives.  I am reading books on baby care and development, we are trying to make appointments to get car seats installed, I need to inventory the freezer one last time and see what meals I should make and freeze, we are having  a yard sale tomorrow to sell some of my Grandmother's nurse collection to make room in the garage.  Six more weeks to go and I want to be as ready as possible (although I know that bringing her home will feel like flying without a net no matter what I do or read now).

So many changes, good changes, I am happy.

However work is a dark storm cloud on my sunny outlook.  They fired my good friend a month ago, the woman who planned Grace's baby shower that had to be canceled and the one of planned and co-hosted Bear's.  She is an excellent doctor and a good person and letting her go was bull sh#t.  Then my schedule was completely changed, twice, for the month of May to accommodate the new doctor who starts Monday.  Now yesterday another doctor showed up for an interview at the clinic.  We don't have any open positions unless they are letting me go.  This was our first clue that my friend's job was in trouble, when doctors came to interview.  I have worked for this company for 8 years.  I have had one raise in that time.  I get 12 paid days off per year.  I am not provided with health insurance, I don't get a Christmas bonus.  If one of my 6 paid holidays falls on a day that I am not scheduled to work, I do not get another day off to compensate or any additional pay.  I point blank asked my boss after they fired my friend if they were planning on making any other staffing changes and he said no.  I suspect that he was dishonest with me.  Since my DH is taking early retirement our ability to pay our bills is completely dependent on my income.  I am scared, but mostly annoyed that after so many years I am looking over my shoulder waiting to lose my job.  There are not that many jobs in my field, the economy has hit my industry hard like so many others.  I know that I am good at what I do, but finding a new job could take time.

Oh well, maybe it is time for a change in that part of my life too.  Honestly as long as we have Bear I think I can make it through anything else.  Hang in there baby only 5-7 more weeks to go!

My girls... together.

Friday, April 19, 2013

The Belly Shoot

I had my maternity photo shoot Wednesday this week.  I was worried that the pictures would not turn out, mostly because I weigh so much more than I ever have!  I realized that I weight 75 lbs more than I did my freshman year in college, ugh.  I know that I did not weigh enough then and now I am healthier and 33 weeks pregnant, but body image is a tricky thing.  Our photographer posted some preview shots on her blog and I think they look great, and so does Mark.  I hope to see the rest of them in a few weeks when she sends us our cd.  We had some photos taken with Grace Bear since that was the only way we could get a sisters picture.  I cried a little as we told her about Grace so she could honor the Bear the way she needs to be, after all my baby's urn is there.  She told us that she lost a son 10 years ago.  BLMs we ware every where.

Here is a link to some of our photos:

33 weeks, only 5-7 more to go.  Baby Bear keep growing girl!  Mommy loves you so much.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Bear's Baby Shower

It has been a crazy week of ups and downs and fear and joy and hope.  After 31 weeks and 5 days came and went with this pregnancy, the clouds broke a little and let some light in.  On day 32 Bear did not wake up when she normally does and I had a crap first morning kick count.  I was starting to completely freak out: I drank the damn cold juice, laid on my left side, rubbed and shook my belly and prayed to any god or spirit or deity that would listen.  I prayed to Grace.  I was getting ready to head to the hospital for that dreaded check.  Then finally Bear woke up and started her morning kicks and rolls, just an hour behind schedule.  I cried some more, made lunch, ate breakfast and went to work.

This weekend was Bear's baby shower, which I was kind of looking forward to.  We had started to get gifts in the mail last week and seeing all the items I picked out coming to life was making bringing a baby home seem more real.  Saturday was also the 1 year anniversary of Grace's EDD.  We did not commemorate it in any way.  We knew that was the date, but her month is February not some date that a calculation predicted she would be born on.  However the day of the shower I got very panicked and emotional.  This should have been a day that we got to have for Grace.  Many of the items on the registry I had originally picked out for Grace.  This was just another milestone we missed with our first born girl.  I missed her, I missed what should have been and I was so terrified that if Bear died now we would have so many more physical reminders of what we lost.

I  pulled myself together and got dressed, the DH and I headed out to our friend's house where the shower was and put on our happy faces.  So many friends, family and co-workers were there.  Bear got so many gifts (seriously I think this kid has more clothes than I do right now).  A co-worked handmade a beautiful baby blanket and booties for her.  Another made a cake in our nursery theme (down to fondant forest animals).  I was overwhelmed by the generosity of the people we know.  Bear is such a lucky girl, and so is her Mom.  I am lucky to have her, lucky to have such nice people in our lives, and if the universe is at all just hopefully I will be lucky enough to bring her into this world alive in 2 short months.  I am not healed from Grace, last week was a startling reminder of how much healing there is still to be done, but this week I feel stronger for my second daughter, who I love just as much as my first.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The broken me inside

It has been such a hard couple of days.  I have been spiraling down into a depression and have not been  there for my baby as I should be.  I want things to be different.  I want so badly to be a good mother to this baby, but I feel like I am failing already.  My grief for Grace and the life I should have had with her, overwhelms everything.  My therapist says that I need to put my grief away and focus on Bear.  I need to visualize the wounded, broken me inside as a separate person and the capable, strong me as moving forward and caring for the broken me.  I am trying, but it is so hard.  The strong, capable me is tired of being present for so many people, my family, my clients, my co-workers, my pets... The broken me just wants to sleep and cry and wail for Grace and just stop the world from turning, she is sick and needs time to heal.  How can I give her the time that she needs and still be a good mother to my new baby?

I am so grateful for Bear, I am so glad  that she is here, but for the first time I wish that I could have not gotten pregnant again so quickly.  I wish that I could have dealt more with my grief so that I could be stronger and better for this baby.  At the time getting pregnant again seemed like the only thing that would stop the horrid emptiness from losing Grace.  I thought that I would get the joyous feeling of that first pregnancy back again, the wonder and amazement, but with a happy ending instead of my baby dying.  And for the first 7 months it was kind of like that, but with so much worry about her.  Now everything is just such a mess.  Of course I still love Bear, I want her to keep growing and be healthy, but I want to be happier about it.  I don't want this dark cloud of grief hanging over me.  I want the joy of Grace's pregnancy.  I want to live in a world where babies don't die in the third trimester.  I want the sick me to be healthy again.

I see the sick, broken me as the way I was when I was 18 or 19 years old.  I was struggling at the time, emotionally.  I had left college after the first semester, I was living at home again, in a relationship that needed to end and my dreams for the future were all on hold.  I weighed only 95 lbs, which at 5'8" is not a great look.  I had so much ahead of me, but it all seemed to be slipping away.  I see that thin, depressed, broken version of myself as the part that grieves Grace and the life we should have had.  She is taking over everything and I need her to let the rest of me care for and love Bear with the same whole, open heart I had for Grace.

Why was this so much easier last week?  Will it be better next week?  Can I be the mother that Bear deserves?

Monday, April 8, 2013

On the Edge

I have been having a really hard time lately.  This is the week of pregnancy when Grace died and I am just a mess.  I have been crying often, my mood is black most of the time and I am quick to anger.  I am expecting Bear to die at any time and then upset that she gets to love longer than Grace did.  Why did Grace have to die?  Is this all the time I will get to have with my second daughter?  Why can't my husband understand how hard this is for me?  Why is he such a jerk lately?  I need him to completely be there for me even with my crappy moods and tears.

Right now I yelled at him when I got home, he did not ask me how my day was, there was no dinner even planned much less ready when I got home and then I asked him about one of our dogs and he was a jerk.  This dog has been vomiting lately.  I think she is eating stuff in the back yard, since she still eats her dinner and never vomits that.  I even took her to work last week and took an X ray which was normal.  I just asked if she vomited today and he said yes, and I asked it it was on our comforter (like last time) he said no since I did not make the bed this morning.  Then I blew up at him, I make the bed every morning and the damn dog digs at the blankets and unmakes it.  It drives me nuts and now I am getting blamed for his stupid dog?  He never finished the laundry from yesterday it is draped all over the house since he can't fold the damn clothes.  There are messages on the machine that he checked and did not do anything about.  I am at my wits end and now he went to sleep in the guest room since his feelings are hurt and I am left to cook my own dinner after an 11 hour shift, feed the dogs and the cats and do all the night time chores.


Then I am reading the pregnancy thread I am a part of on a baby loss website and one of the mamas has a dangerously shortening cervix and doctors that won't do anything, and another just lost her rainbow for unknown reasons at 15 weeks.  My baby is alive, but I can't be happy about it right now, while all these other lovely women are losing their babies or their babies are in serious trouble, and I am just barely holding it together.

I feel like I am going crazy, my emotions are all over the place and I am losing it.  I am having all these body issues and fears about breastfeeding and caring for a newborn.  I was so prepared for Grace and then she died.  I am even more prepared for this baby and I could still bring home an urn and not a living baby.  Then if I do bring home a baby will I know how to take care of her?  Every option is terrifying and I am so unsure and unhappy.  Nothing comforts me, not the baby moving, but then when she doesn't move I am even worse.  God it is too much, it is all too much.