Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Chasm

I debate with myself whether to post about this or not. I've weighed it out and it's time to expose the raw fear and grief that is resurfacing in the past week. I guess I feel justified [though I don't know why I put that kind of pressure on myself to feel justified. It's my life, my experience, my blog...I should write what I want to.] because after enduring the loss of a baby, as many have, I am now feeling the loss again as the due date for Sweet Pea is drawing near. I feel alone, because I'm surrounded by new baby excitement and anticipation. I know I am not alone. I think I am blogging about it more than anything to hear from those whom have traveled this path before me. How did you handle it? How did you deal with the weeks leading to a new life you'd get to hold, while triggering the void of the one you didn't? It's not a question of, "Can I love this baby after Levi?" It's not a question at all. It feels like the file has been sealed. I will only be permitted to say, " I have two sons.", while knowing in my heart I have three and that if I go around saying that, I could end up committed. It's such a strange, weird, bizarre dream type of feeling. Where my reality doesn't meet up with everyone else's reality. That's why I feel alone....
I don't even know if I'm articulating what I feel. I'm trying to keep busy with projects and definitely being grateful. I would never want to sound ungrateful. I also don't want to keep my thoughts hidden on this subject. Too many of us have gone through miscarriage, stillbirth, infant loss and we suffer silently. My body physically can't handle the silent part of that.  Talk it out with me, please. I feel like there is a chasm I have to bridge, in my heart. 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

What I needed to read today.

"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

I draw comfort from this today. When past hurts and my present collide, I feel like a battle, with front lines and the works line up to face off. When this happens, I instantly feel smothered, stifled, weak and like a  failure. I have learned that the problem is never with the situation or scenario masked as my opposition. The problem is the opposition within myself. Why? Because I'm stifling the greatness inside, yes, I dared to say greatness - for distractions, "tiny matters" strategically placed to keep me hindered, bridled and trapped. So, this morning, I picked up a book that I sometimes pick up and read tidbits titled, The Artist's Way. Mind you, I have not delved wholeheartedly, into this book because I'm actually afraid of it. I about fell out of my chair when I randomly opened the book to page 7 and read the bulleted points. I'm going to share it with you:

"Do you tell yourself that if only you took your creative potential seriously, you might:
  • Stop telling yourself, "It's too late."
  • Stop waiting until you make enough money to do something you'd really love.
  • Stop telling yourself, "It's just my ego" whenver you yearn for a more creative life.
  • Stop telling yourself that dreams don't matter, that they are only dreams and that you should be more sensible.
  • Stop fearing that your family and friends would think you crazy.
  • Stop telling yourself that creativity is a luxury and that you should be grateful for what you've got."

I do not know what to write next, for fear of tremendous vulnerability and putting myself in place of easy judgment. So maybe, instead of writing out of emotion, I'll leave it at that. Now, I have to determine what action to take. God help me not get so wrapped up in the day to day hub-bub of tasks and chores and bury the creativity that presents itself, in these tasks through this weekend. In the meantime, I will set aside time to read this book, each day and follow Julia Cameron's instruction. Sounds like the perfect first step...and simple to incorporate in my day.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Garage Sale and have you told your kid a fib before?

In efforts to prevent my family from becoming hoarders, I had another garage sale last weekend. There were a few changes from the HUGE success I had with our moving, "Just a Quarter" yard sale in Monona a  year ago. First off, LOCATION! In Monona, we were on Main Street. I didn't have to advertise. Once we hauled all the crap onto the lawn and the Flea Market look was complete - we were inundated with patrons. Secondly, I had a lot of cds, dishes, old pieces of crappy, cheap furniture that people couldn't wait to gobble up. So, my inventory was more interesting.
At last weekend's garage sale, I was amazed at the stuff we've accumulated in the past year. I was also going back through some things and saying to myself, "I haven't used this since we moved, I'm getting rid of it." I advertised it as "Just A Quarter" garage sale. I had a vacuum, awesome dinosaur bedding set, spice rack, books, many odds and ends from MIL with the closing of her store, some decent clothes, etc. I gleefully opened my garage door at 4PM to the anticipation of 15 or so older folks. Some had been waiting for 45 minutes! In the first hour I had shed 72 items - bringing my earnings to $18. I thought, "Woohoo! I'm brilliant and doing it again." Then, everything came to a screeching halt. The rest of the garage sale hours, we had maybe 10 customers. :( So, I now have everything boxed up to take to Goodwill. I don't look for a garage sale to be a money maker...just a way to get rid of a truckload of stuff without me having to tote it to Goodwill. From this point on, I will just haul stuff to Goodwill box by box.
Like I said, I have to prevent our home from looking like an episode of Hoarders. I appreciate sentimental value. I found 4 different items I've kept, my whole life, in hopes for a daughter. One item, I put in the garage sale. Jacob saw it and was appalled. "Mama, this is for our baby!" I said, "Jacob, we are having a boy baby." Jacob snatched up the article of clothing and said, "But this is for our girl baby next. I'm taking it and putting it back in our baby's room." I didn't have the heart to tell  him, "Son, you're 0 for 2 on guessing the gender of our babies and mama is pretty sure she's done after Sweet Pea arrives." Wouldn't have mattered anyway because he was already off to put that little one-piece outfit back in "our baby's room".
Jacob also saw the Simba stuffed toy, my dad gave me my senior year of high school. Jacob used to play with it, but he hasn't since we moved here, so I put it in the garage sale. In front of 11 senior citizens, in our garage, he started wailing and crying that I can't sell his Simba. In order to pacify him, I gave in. He held that stuffed toy like his new baby brother. He'd announce to the customers, as they'd come to pay me for their finds, "My Simba is NOT for sale!" They'd smile and snicker and give me kind words about how they remember those days with their own children. Then, a grandma came through the line with her granddaughter who looked to be 3 years old. The little girl was carrying another of Jacob's castaway stuffed animals. Keep in mind, my son's room looks like a stuffed animal zoo and dinosaur museum. I didn't dare put anything in the garage sale, which he is and has been attached to.The little girl carried a stuffed animal which always terrified Jacob. I took it out of his room last Winter because he kept shoving it under his bed because it frightened him. I remember having night terrors at Jacob's age and younger that stuffed animals were coming to life and staring at me. Anywho - Jacob saw this little girl carrying the stuffed animal and almost started a scene again, "Hey! That's mi..." I interrupted because I didn't want this thing AND I didn't want the little girl to get upset and for the grandma to feel like she couldn't buy her granddaughter this cool, and amazingly priced stuffed animal. "Jacob, you have two. The other one is in the house.", I lied. Jacob's tongue inside of his wide open trap, stopped moving between his top and bottom teeth. His mouth closed, with a snap. I turned to take the quarter from the grandma. "Where is it Mama?", Jacob asked. The grandma winked at me. I replied with another lie, "I don't know right now Jacob, but it's in there and we'll find it later." The grandma thanked me and they were on their way. Is it shameful to admit that I feel no guilt about lying to my kid? He quickly moved onto other things and he still had Simba. He has not mentioned the "duplicate" stuffed animal and that was 5 days ago. I realize it may not have been the best way to handle it, but for me, in that moment, it was the best way to keep my sanity and prevent a meltdown, and to find the easy way to not give in to him, and to stay on task without looking like a crazed woman for the customers that were lining up.
So...that was my experiences with the garage sale this year. Overall, it was a flop. However, there are no areas, closets, rooms, in the house that have, what I call, a storm cloud looming over them. I love order. Goodwill is getting some nice things too.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Ebb and Flow

So....I've been awake for almost an hour. I was hungry. Here I sit, with a bowl that had been Great Grains Cranberry & Almond cereal. Celebrity chef Curtis Stone approves, who am I to poo poo? ;)
In one week, my Boy Wonder will be 5 years old. He has changed so much in the past month. Since a month ago, his snuggling has lessened by 90%. "No Mama, I'm too busy." After I give him pouty face, "Ok Mama for 2 seconds." His stiff little body isn't allowing the warmth of my embrace as he's anticipating the fight it will be to get away! His vocabulary has changed to include words like: eucalyptus, frightening, tasmanian devil...there's more but they escape me. He's grown at least 1/2 inch the past month and he's filling-out again. He woke me up this morning by jumping on my bed and announcing that his name now has Steve in it too. I had thought the shift from me to Daddy happened about 2 years ago. It's official, it happened yesterday. How do I know? It's too hot to play outside this week so he played a lot of Wii Resort yesterday. His Mii character is changed to a child-sized Daddy mii complete with a goatee, red hair and glasses. Jacob was good enough to show Grandma how to rock the baby when he spent time with her this past weekend. At least 4 times this past week, he runs up to me, kisses my belly and asks, "Mama, how is our baby doing?" This afternoon, as he graciously snuggled me with only his arm as I laid down for 20 minutes, he said, "We had another baby but he died." I said, "Yes, but Levi is safe and happy with God." "Why did he die?", Jacob asked. I reply, "Because he got sick while living in my tummy." I show him using my fingers about how long 5 inches is, "He was too tiny to get better on his own. He had a lot of growing to do." Then I showed him my guesstimate of 14 inches long, "This is how much Sweet Pea has grown! Isn't he getting so big?" I say with an amped-up voice to instill continued hope and faith for his new baby brother's safety and well-being. Jacob turns to look at me, his eyes sparkly with excitement. Then, he kissed me on the cheek and jumped off the bed. That's all it takes for him. He's so wondrously trusting and worry-free, just the way we're all meant to be.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Big Brother

....and I don't mean the government. ;) Jacob has been showing such a tremendous interest in my belly and "our baby". I've come to the conclusion there is nothing more edifying and it makes me hungry to see the relationship between my sons. I've already told about a dozen people the story from Friday morning - but I haven't blogged about it. For the first time, in about a week, Jacob chose to snuggle me a while Friday morning. We were taking a break and watching Barney. It was an episode about Halloween. Jacob and I discussed what he wanted to be for Halloween. He is excited to be a cowboy. I told him Baby Brother would be about 2 weeks old then. I asked, "Should we dress him up as a Pumpkin for Halloween?" Jacob laughed and laughed. "No Mom. He will be too little. The older boys costumes will frighten him. You and our baby stay home. Daddy and me will go get candy."

While we have waited so long for another child and a sibling, on earth, for Jacob - I am finding myself crying easily [wait....that's not different than usual this pregnancy...] about the time with just Jacob and me coming to a close. I've explained to Jacob that our love multiplies and grows for our children. I do not worry about having love for this new son. I am just realizing how blessed I have been to have all this time with my Firstborn. Jacob taking the action to kiss my belly and holler at my tummy, "Baby Brother - you will know my name - Jacob - when you join us!", prompted me to post about this transition and the confidence Jacob is instilling in me that he'll handle this new arrival with elation and joy. Hallelujah! I'm a proud Mama.