Tuesday, March 27, 2012

ThankyouGod

Sitting in a sweet nursery one night towards the end of March...rocking, rocking with tears in my eyes...whispering the same prayer over and over...pleaseGodpleaseGodpleaseGod

Sitting in that same sweet nursery one night, one year later, towards the end of March...rocking, rocking with a soft damp head pressed next to my cheek...listening to the story of the old lady who whispered "hush"...breathing in her soapy smell with tears in my eyes...whispering the same prayer over and over...thankyouGodthankyouGodthankyouGod

Monday, March 26, 2012

Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho

Off to work and daycare we went and...shockingly...it wasn't so bad.  Granted, it would have been hard pressed to have been as bad as I thought it was going to be. I did enough moaning around in the weeks leading up to the actual event to have lasted a lifetime, but we all survived.

In fact, according the the helpful record of Gracie's day that was sent home with her this afternoon, she thrived.  Went right along on her little schedule with nary a bump in the road...I mean, of course I am thrilled that she was so happy...but maybe just the teensiest bit insulted that she did not even notice my absence.  Ah, the joys of motherhood.

So, we made it.  What a relief. Wait...what do you mean we have to do this all over again tomorrow?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

I Hope I Can

There are so many stories like ours out there...so many stories where a family has lost a child.  Every time I hear one all I can think is that I wish there was something I could do to help.

There are also so many stories like ours out there...so many stories where prayers have been answered, where miracle babies are given.  Every time I hear one of the sad stories my prayer for the family is that they will have hope, that as hard as it may be, they will have faith.

I started writing everything down after Rip died...on this blog, in journals...and now I am wondering if maybe there was a reason. 

I've decided to try to put all of my experiences together into a book, one that will hopefully help other people in my situation.

Even as I type those words, the little voice in my head says that I can't do it...that I am no writer, that nobody will ever want to read it...but I am going to try my best to drown out that voice.  Because I believe if one person can be helped by our story then it will be worth it, because I truly believe that good can come out of the very worst....it has to.

I hope I can, I hope I can.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

My Week in Pictures

Daddy didn't like this outfit because he said it was "too mature"...I didn't like it because it squeezed the fool out of my tummy

Watching the 'Heels play with Daddy...I was happier than he was

Headed to some St. Patty's Day festivities with Mama...she insists on sticking these darn bows in my hair everywhere I go

I LOVE visiting with my friends on my play mat, I tell them all of my secrets

My mama could just eat this little leg with a spoon

I keep telling you, these people are CRAZY

My first trip to Pitt Street Pharmacy...my Mama and my new friend Peyton seemed awfully enthusiastic but I am not so easily impressed

First trip to the beach! Mama and I went alone so the photography leaves something to be desired but I am a beach babe in the making
What do you mean I can't have everything I want?

Better Than Fine Wine

This blog is basically serving as Gracie's baby book as I haven't found the time to start a proper one, so this post is just a memory that I want to keep...

Gracie's little baby breathe has always smelled like sweet grapes.  Often in the middle of the night she will finish eating and settle onto my shoulder while I pat her back and attempt to get a burp.  More times than not, we will both fall asleep in the process...but sometime later I will catch a distinct whiff of sweet little grape breath, open one eye only to find one very large, very awake baby eyeball staring right at me.  It never fails to crack me up and since I know the sweet grape stage (and we can only pray the middle of the night stage) will soon end, it's a memory worth preserving.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Now What Do I Do?

One of my favorite parts of the video Parke took when Gracie was first born is the moment the nurse places her in my arms for the first time.  She snuggles into my neck and I lay my head on hers and for a minute there is just complete happiness...and then I look up and say, " now what do I do?"

I'd spent SO much time worrying and praying and pleading and worrying again just for her to please Lord make it here safely that I'd given absolutely no thought to what came next.  And what came next is the best thing that ever happened to me...but not without some bumps in the road.

I think back on those first weeks and wonder how we ever made it! It was survival of the fittest and sometimes I was not sure I was the fittest...lack of sleep, screaming baby, hormones.  I don't think you can ever be really prepared for what having a newborn is going to be like, but after worrying so long about having a healthy baby I was even more behind the curve when she got here (with VERY healthy lungs).

But we figured it all out, and while I loved her to pieces from the moment I saw her, I can now honestly say that there is nobody on this earth I would rather spend my time with than Gracie Harris a 12 weeks. 

And of course now it is time for me to go back to work.  I will preface this by saying that I both need and want my job, and I knew it was going to be hard to leave Gracie...but I had NO idea it was going to be this hard.  It is another "now what do I do" moments, I just wasn't prepared.

So, I am trying really hard to remember 12 weeks ago, when I could no more imagine taking Gracie out for a walk at the park or over to dinner with friends than I could imagine flying to the moon...and yet yesterday we did both and had a fabulous time.  I am trying to remember those first weeks when the screaming and the hormones were both out of control... how far we have come.

I am trying to remember that even though going back to work will be hard and I may cry myself sick over it (literally...very unpleasant)...three months from now, even three weeks from now, it will all be so different.  I know good and well this is far from the last "now what do I do" moment I have as a parent and that's not the easiest thing in the world for the girl who reads the last chapter first.

But I also know that while there are plenty of things I do not know how to do, the one thing I know how to do best is be Gracie's mama and, while everything else may change, thank goodness that is the one thing that cannot.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Piece of my heart

Sometimes I think that if I were on the outside looking in on my situation, it would appear easy...almost the best solution...to try to forget everything that happened with Rip.  Here I am with this perfect baby girl just a year later, I hold in my arms everything that I ever wanted. 

But I'm not on the outside and sometimes I am reminded just how much of my heart my firstborn took with him.  I unexpectedly come across a picture or a reminder of Rip and the blow comes fast and furious.  There is such an intense longing there.

I think it speaks to what it really means to be a mother, it doesn't matter if you never get to know him, know him for a short while or have years together, a child is yours forever.  Their loss puts a hole in your heart that even the best surgeons can't fix.

I am blessed, blessed, blessed and lucky, lucky, lucky to be living the life I am living right now.  But a piece of me is gone forever and for that reason the same piece will remain with me always.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Smartest, Cutest Baby in the World...Or

I was prepared for the unconditional love I felt when I had Gracie, it's the same I experienced when I had Rip, but what I wasn't really prepared for was the pride I feel in the small day to day things that this baby does. 

The expression "my heart swelled with pride" did not make sense until I watched Gracie smile for the first time...I literally felt like my chest would bust wide open.  There are times during the day when my girl does something clearly so advanced...like take a nap without screaming bloody murder for an hour...that I get a little teary eyed.

To be this proud of someone for not putting her foot in her own poop during a diaper change scares me a little...what I am going to do when she takes her first step or says her first word?

She is obviously the smartest, cutest baby in the whole world...or, even better, maybe she is just Mine.