Monday, May 5, 2014


A miscarriage is a natural and common event. All told, probably more women have lost a child from this world than haven't. Most don't mention it, and they go on from day to day as if it hadn't happened, so people imagine a woman in this situation never really knew or loved what she had. 

But ask her sometime: how old would your child be now? And she'll know.
- Barbara Kingsolver

I thought what Ms. Kingsolver said couldn't be more true. Our little boy would be turning 7 months this month, and there is not a day that goes by that I don't think of him. 

I titled this post "Breathe" because that is something I forgot to do this past year. I know I didn't take a real breath until Hazel was born. I mean a real honest breath. I had been holding it in since we found out we were pregnant again. I didn't even realize I was, until she was here. I know her and I took our first breath together. 

I had an easy pregnancy with Hazel and I really enjoyed it, but I never let myself truly enjoy it the way I did with BabyV. I do want to let everyone out there know that I always had a name for BabyV, but that name is for me alone. I keep it to myself because saying it out loud is too painful. It's not a name I will give to our other children because it belongs to him. One day I may share, but for now it's just for me and BabyV. 

When Joe and I found out we were pregnant with BabyV, I was ecstatic. I knew we would wait to tell the world until we hit the 12-week mark just as a precaution, but I remember thinking it was a silly precaution. I wanted everyone to know and to share in our joy. I know I was walking on air in those early days. I did what every newly pregnant mama does - I pictured what this little baby would look like thinking would it be a boy or girl. I immediately started thinking of names, and what the nursery would look like, and I got to reading about what our little baby was up to inside the womb. It was an amazing feeling and I'm thankful that I felt it. 

When Joe and I got the news that there were some problems with the baby it was immediately after we shared our joyous news with the world. I mean that literally. We told the world, and then went to PA for a family visit and that's when everything started to change. I had some spotting, so we took a trip to the ER and found out the baby was doing OK, but that I could lose the baby. I remember thinking, they have to say that because they didn't find anything medically wrong. BabyV's heartbeat was strong and he was moving and shaking in there. I got home and  had a check up a week later and that's when we were told the blood work wasn't looking good. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. The wind had been knocked out of me and I was back on the ground quite bruised from my fall. I knew immediately we were not going to keep this baby. I worked hard to keep positive and continue like it would work out, but I always knew we would never know BabyV on the outside. 

I'm a planner and I had not planned for this. I never even let myself think for one moment that this could happen. The funny thing is before I got pregnant I did think about miscarriage as a reality, but once I was pregnant I had the gall to think it would never happen to me. 

When our pregnancy was finally over I never imagined we would get pregnant again so quickly. The initial shock helped with some of the mourning, but soon I found myself a worried mess. I was angry that I couldn't enjoy this pregnancy the way I had the last. I was angry that I'll never be able to enjoy a pregnancy like I did with my first. I can guarantee that all women who have lost a baby feel they can never relax during their next pregnancies. It doesn't mean it's not a joyful time, we just know that this little life can be gone in a moment. 

It's amazing to me that I can still be grieving the loss of BabyV as I sit here with Hazel sleeping soundley on my chest. The day we brought her home from the hospital I cried and cried and cried. I was practically inconsolable. I talked with my sister-in-law about it and she told me;

You can try to be cool and blame it on hormones... But you've waited a long time for that little girl. You love her too much to contain it.  You have to cry. You have no choice. 

Man was that true! I know the entire pregnancy I never thought we'd be bringing her home. I wanted her home more than anything, but I didn't think it would happen. Every appointment was worse than the last because I just kept waiting for them to find something wrong. When we finally walked in the door with our baby I just lost it. All that time, all that energy, all that grief just came pouring out. 

I didn't write this to keep picking at the wound. I wrote this because BabyV is an important part of my life. I wrote this because losing a child is hard, and some people still squirm when I bring it up. And I wrote this because even though miscarriage is a natural and common event, I did know and love what I had. At one time I had a little boy and I loved him. 


Here's some memories from our short time with BabyV

8 weeks
10 weeks

8 weeks

13 weeks
16 weeks

14 weeks

12 weeks
14 weeks

Thursday, May 1, 2014

When a Baby Moves In, the Dog Moves Out....

Well, not exactly, but sort of. These wise words are spoken to Lady ( from Lady and the Tramp) as she inquires about what a baby is. Her new pal, Tramp, lets her know the hard truth.

About a week after we brought Hazel home I finally got why so many people re-home their pets when baby arrives. Now Joe and I are by no means thinking of re-homing our fur babies, but I can understand. I don't think it has anything to do with no longer loving your pet when baby comes, but just trying to make life a little easier while adjusting to becoming a new parent. Our pets are not even as needy as others are, it was more the "extra" work, like making sure they were fed and let out to do their business, which seems like a lot more when you're slightly sleep deprived. Hazel's been such a good baby, that I can't imagine how much harder it would have been had she been extremely fussy or hard to sooth. I can be sure I would have gone slightly insane trying to make sure the pet's needs were met as well as hers. The sad thing is, I've hardly dealt with the pets in the past 3 or so months because it was just too tiring to walk them, or down stairs to feed them, in the final months of pregnancy.  Now every time they need something so does Hazel, so poor Joe has been a single pet parent in recent months. We are slowing getting back into the swing of things, and the pets are getting back to becoming members of the family again like they used to. 

And yet even with our frustrations, Joe and I found out today that we are still quite attached to our beloved pets. Poe, who is Joe's shadow and buddy, has always had stomach issues. He's on special food, he's always emaciated looking, and he can barely look at people food without yaking all over the place. Well he has been quite a mess since Little Miss came home. Oh, I forgot to mention he is also one energetic stress ball! If he's not walking around the house whining, he's trying his hardest to get you to play. His anxiety about being second best got the better of him and we woke up to a pup who was throwing up blood. He's very dramatic, I know. So off to the vet we went, to find out he's pretty much fine. We were sent home with some meds to get him, and his anxiety, under control. In that short time, Hazel became second best. We made sure she was well fed and content and then our attentions turned to Poedidly. Even though I knew everything was going to be just fine with Poe, I couldn't help but worry the whole way to the vet that we were going to get the worst news. I even commented to Joe that I've not been the nicest to Poe this past month, and how bad I felt about that. I was quite relieved that everything was OK. 

The thing is no matter how frustrated I get with the pets, or how many times I think how much easier our lives would be if we didn't have any, I would not be a happy camper if they weren't here. Not only do they give unconditional love, support, and company, they are what makes our little family complete. 

I am so looking forward to Hazel growing up with the pets. I look forward to Sweetums stealing food from her highchair, and Poe making sure the floor is spotless underneath where she sits to eat. So for now the pets will have to endure this adjustment period, and I know they will because that's what pets do. They stick around for the long haul when we can't.  


Here's Hazel with her new fan club :)

Poe seems a bit attached to this kid, or maybe he just misses the attention :)

Seriously cute

Little Miss with daddy's Little Girl

Sweetledeets and Hazel