Friday, August 31, 2012

It's Just a Moment

Over the last couple of days U2's "Stuck in a Moment" has come on the radio/ iPod several times, kind of reinforcing my whole "get over yourself and on with it and while your at it, be happy" idea.

Some of the lyrics that keep running through my head:

And you are such a fool
To worry like you do
I know it's tough
And you can never get enough
Of what you don't really need now, my, oh my

You've got to get yourself together
You've got stuck in a moment
And you can't get out of it
Oh love, look at you now
You've got yourself stuck in a moment
And you can't get out of it

You've got to get yourself together
You've got stuck in a moment
And you can't get out of it
Don't say that later will be better
Now you're stuck in a moment
And you can't get out of it

And if the night runs over
And if the day won't last
And if our way should falter
Along the stony pass
Its just a moment
This time will pass

Yesterday, for the first time, Gracie started "properly" crawling (and if she has done it before at daycare, I don't want to know about it).  It was one of those bittersweet moments, way more sweet than bitter, that reinforced that it's all just a moment.  This time will pass, and I want to be present for every second of it.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Year Two...The Happiness Project

Okay, so I didn't read that book, but I am going to "borrow" the title.

I've heard from several people that the second year after a loss can be harder in a lot of ways.  I don't know if  this year has been harder, I don't think anything will ever be as hard as that first year after we lost Rip.  And of course now we have Gracie, thank the Good Lord for Gracie.

But I used to believe that life was Good (yes, with a capital "G").  I woke up almost every day expecting that something good was going to happen and excited to see what that thing was going to be.  These days, I have an underlying dread in my chest.  Most days I feel like a balloon with the air let out, whizzing around thinking "ohno!ohno!ohno!ohno!" And I am sick of it.

Last year, after Rip died, I started writing on this blog again as a year-long project to see what would happen.  What happened, in my opinion, was nothing short of miraculous.  So this is year two.  This year, instead of giving birth to someone else (thank goodness, no offense, Rip and Gracie) I am going to try to have a little re-birth of my own.  Because I really miss the old me.

So, I have no idea what this little project of mine will entail, but I am hoping that writing it all down will hold me accountable.  Because no, life did not go how I'd planned, but this is what I have to work with and there are 5 million and 65 (approximately) quotes on Pinterest telling me that the only person who can change my life is me (well, and God...but that's a whole different post).

So.  Year Two...The Happiness Project.  Rip, Mama's trying bud, and that's what counts.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Prayers of the Heart

I didn't ask permission to do this, but I am hoping his mama and daddy won't mind...they have enough going on today.

A sweet, chunky, precious baby boy named Finn is scheduled to have heart surgery at noon today.  His mama Jenna and I joined our church together two years ago and lord have mercy what a two years it has been...I know Finn is just as feisty as his mama but I also know how scary this is for all of them so please, please take a minute today and offer up prayers for all of their hearts.

Monday, August 27, 2012

A Lesson Learned

This weekend Gracie "helped" me pack.  Clearly, she's learned that a girl needs to accessorize to get anything done right.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Define Disaster

This is my favorite picture of our one and only first baby, John Robert "Rip" Harris

Cute and contemplative little sucker, isn't he?

I try really hard not to judge when other people say something "wrong" about our loss, because honestly there is no right thing to say.  But yesterday I visited one of my doctors, one I hadn't seen since before my pregnancy with Rip and he said something well, wrong.  His exact words were, "I'm glad to hear that your second baby is doing well because that first baby was a disaster."

It was one of those situations where you have to laugh to keep from crying.  I mumbled something to the effect of things certainly had not gone as we would have hoped and we moved on.  I am sure he probably wished he could have taken the words back as soon as they were out of his mouth, but it got me thinking about something I have thought a lot about over the last two years, the one group of people I DO hold responsible for their reactions when it comes to loss-doctors.

I have had many, many wonderful doctors.  Doctors who did and said the exact right things at the exact right times.  Doctors (and nurses, my lord have we been lucky with nurses) who I literally could not have gotten through the past two years without.

But then there are those who just don't seem to know how to handle something like the loss of a baby and I'm sorry, it's your job to know.  You don't have to know exactly what to say or do, nobody does, but at least respond like a normal human being.

A couple of weeks after we lost Rip I went back to the doctor with (understandably) questions.  Through the paper thin walls I heard the doctor on the other side say, " I really don't want to deal with this."  Yeah, I am sure it wasn't pleasant, but out of the two of us there was only one who REALLY didn't want to deal with this.

Funny enough, the first doctor I saw who DID seem to have the most normal response when he heard that I'd lost Rip was my neurologist.  A middle-aged man who I am sure doesn't deal with young women or the loss of infants much.  As soon as the words were out of my mouth, he was in tears, holding my hands, saying "I'm gonna throw up" actually kind of made me smile.  I'm not saying that kind of a response is necessary all of the time, but it sure got him plenty of referrals.

And I get it, in this day and age, I am sure there is a constant fear of being sued and I can only imagine what that is slip of the tongue or show of the wrong emotion and who knows what will happen.  But I met with a genetic counselor when I was pregnant with Gracie, who I am sure has seen every possible bad outcome in the book, seen more losses than I care to think about and yet she still took the time to comfort and cry with me, to see me and my babies for who we were and not just statistics.  She was professional and personal at the same time.  She was real.

I don't know what my point is, this is just something that has been weighing on my mind for a while and 
yesterday tipped me over the edge.  The definition of disaster is "a sudden event, such as an accident or a 
natural catastrophe, that causes great damage or loss of life" I guess maybe I can see where he was going with that.  But then I look back at the picture of my boy...define disaster for me again?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Who Ya Gonna Call

Gracie had her first "play date" yesterday aaannnndddd I think there are a few things we might need to work on.  Miss Priss is... I don't know if "prissy" is the right word.

Okay, so admittedly, I am the one who dressed her in ruffles and a pink bow.  But everything that happened after that was, well...

Let's put it this way, at one point one of the two adorable little boys tried to climb over and get close to Gracie, who very dramatically fell flat on all fours, knocking her bow out of her head and rising up like some sort of deranged Stay-Puft Marshmallow from the Ghostbusters movie.  She squalled around like that until I picked her up and comforted her, although clearly she was just fine. Later, when the same sweet child tried to love on her again, she literally tried to Heisman him to the floor.

We keep this behavior up...the answer to "who ya gonna call" is not often going to be this kid!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Say What You Need To Say

 I get emails from people who have either lost a baby or know someone who lost a baby...whichever side of the situation they are coming from, they ask almost the same questions.  What should I do/say/what helps?

And I always refer them back to this blog, from some posts I wrote shortly after Rip died or try to think of a few things that might have helped me at the time.  The bottom line that I think we all know but so don't want to be true is that nothing really helps.  I don't mean that in a doom and gloom kind of way, I mean it in a let's face facts, something terrible has happened and its going to suck for a good while.

I think half the battle is just embracing that fact, just saying it...I'm sad, I don't feel better, I honestly don't want to feel better, I'm tired of being sad and not wanting to feel better...that's just being honest.  And I think as friends and family of someone who is going through a loss, its really just your job to nod along.

One wonderful friend did just that for me after Rip died.  I remember being in the car with her, telling her that I just wanted get pregnant again and I wanted to have a baby and I wanted to do it by such and such date and this that and the other.  Literally, anything that came out of my mouth, she would just say, "Yep, well, that's exactly what's going to happen."  Now, of course she had no way of knowing what was going to happen and I knew deep down she had no way of knowing but I got out of the car that night feeling better than I had in weeks.  If someone who just lost their child tells you that they want to sprout wings and fly to Mars and bring back a unicorn, the best response is "Yep, well, that's exactly what's going to happen."

Having people in my life that let me talk about Rip, or my pregnancy, or getting pregnant again or any number of things that probably weren't on anybody's top ten list of fun things to talk about was crucial.  What goes in must come out, and all of that swirling around in my head was going to come out in one way or another.  Just having friends and family that were willing to sit there and listen allowed it to come out in a healthy way.

And most importantly, you have to have hope.  For me, it was the hope of having another baby, hope through faith of seeing Rip again, hope that as hard and sad as today might be that it will get better.  And that is something that I can say, without a doubt, it does get better.  If you had told me 19 months ago that I would be in the place mentally, emotionally, physically (well...maybe not physically, the old running shoes haven't gotten much of a workout but for one very good pudgy, happy trying-to-crawl reason!) that I am today, I would not have believed you.

So to answer those questions...say what you need to say, do what you need to do, and if nothing helps know that that's okay too.  But hang on to that hope, because whatever it is that you are hoping for "Yep, well, that's exactly what's going to happen."

Monday, August 13, 2012

Here Comes the Sun

This morning I thought that I was boo-hooing in silence driving into work, trying to mop myself off the car floor after leaving Gracie for time for the first time in ten days, when suddenly I found myself nearly knocked out of my seat by the Beatles...

Little Darlin'
Little Darlin'
Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun, and I say its alright...

And then back to silence.

Hopefully, the radio gods are trying to tell me something.

In the meantime, here is a cute video of the baby in question.  Apologies for the singing, I am no radio god.

Friday, August 3, 2012

This Time Last Year...

This time last year, I was writing this post, I called it "This Time Next Year".

Once again, I am off to my much anticipated beach vacation with my family (and this time burglars, if you are reading, house is on the market... its all yours).

I remember so clearly writing that post last year, and how bittersweet it was.

This morning, I took this picture...

The girl that wrote that post last year literally could not conceive that this picture would ever be taken...not in an "I can't believe it" way, but in an I can't believe it way.  In the background of this picture is the framed photo we have beside our bed of me holding Rip, always part of our family, always there.

Are there still bittersweet moments?  Of course.  But sometimes, unlike this time last year, the moments are just sweet.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Coulda Shoulda Woulda

I have been in a funk to beat all funks these past few weeks.  Every little thing that happens has me mentally stomping my feet and saying "No fair!"

I think I'd decided, that at the ripe old age of 31, that life was never going to be what I wanted it to be and so I was just going to sit down and stew about it.  I am not sure what the proverbial straw that broke the proverbial back of the proverbial camel was (sorry, this is an inside joke between my childhood best friend and I...we were/are a couple of weirdos who got a lot of humor by sticking "proverbial" in front of everything...clearly we needed to get out more)

Anyway, today I went to my therapist (shocking, I know).  We started talking about the different possibilities for my life moving forward, and I felt the teeniest stirrings of something I haven't felt for a while now- excitement.

The thought that my life could still change, and be pretty awesome at that.  It was enough to send me racing to Pinterest and pinning every inspirational quote I could get my hands on...that's a start, right?

I guess the bottom line is what everyone has been telling me all along, it's up to me to make my life the way I want it to be.  Yes, of course God has a plan and its up to me to talk to Him and follow that plan as best I can, but I doubt His plan was for me to go into a sixty year pout (the women in my family tend to live long lives)...I am not sure even His patience can handle that many years of Coulda Shoulda Woulda.

So here is to possible new beginnings...I think I can...I think I can...I think I can