Saturday, May 7, 2016

In the in-between

This morning I was woken a little before 4 a.m. by a little kick nestled into my side. At 32 weeks pregnant these kicks are little reassurances that things are okay, and miracles are possible. Tomorrow is Mother's day and to be honest I have mixed feelings.

Since our first miscarriage in 2011 this holiday has filled my eyes with tears and my heart with sadness. With every miscarriage that followed the holiday became more painful, and seeing the swell of a pregnant belly on another became more heart-wrenching. It also created guilt over feeling truly happy for someone else's expectation but struggling to express it because of my own grief. People like to think this is only something that affects women, but witnessing Skunk's pain in the losses has been a unique kind of hell. Through all the losses we have felt powerless, lost and have clung to each other and God for comfort.

Now facing tomorrow's holiday with more hope in my spirit (and uterus) than I've ever had I still have mixed feelings.  I know a part of this is due to the continued high risk nature of this pregnancy, and the awareness I hold that until our baby is ALIVE in my arms that this tightness that's been in my chest the past 8 months won't go away. I know that I would willingly give up my life for the life of this child that grows within me, but bargaining has never gotten us anywhere.

I feel drawn to touch back and acknowledge every movement this little one makes.. mostly because I'm still in awe that this child grows within me. After our losses, the time, emotion and money of failed fertility treatments, adoption paperwork, adoption classes, the terrifying ER visit early in this pregnancy followed by the months of strict bed rest this internal movement is something I never thought I'd get to experience. It's an honor to be to be kicked in the side, punched in the cervix and have this unique pressure on my bladder. This baby is a hope that felt forever lost.

It feels like a guilty pleasure to get to image which family member I will see looking back at me from my child's face, since we had long given up the idea that our children would be biologically linked. Will he have my chubby cheeks or Skunk's eyes?

From my perspective
For the past few years we've skipped church on Mother's day, since it always left me feeling utterly broken. My hope is that tomorrow will be different but I can't help the sadness I feel for those who wish to sleep tomorrow away, and face my belly with pain, envy and guilt. I know those feelings all too well, and it's okay to have them. I hold a special place in my heart for those who have started on the path to motherhood and had it cut tragically short, it's not a club that any of us want a membership to and all too often the entrance is veiled in a shame and silence that feels overpowering. The tears on my cheeks are not just for my own losses, but also for yours.  So as we move towards tomorrow please know you are not alone and that even when it feels hopeless, there are still chances of tiny miracles that could come true.

This week I realized I can no longer see my feet, and this is my prayer for you too. That if your heart longs for a child that at some point you will no longer be able to see your feet either, or that you will be matched with a birth mother who extends that gift to you. Although the pain is immense you are loved... we don't always know how hope will be delivered or what seasons we need to move through before hope begins to bloom, but these tiny kicks teach me that it is still possible to hope. Again tomorrow is Mother's Day and I don't know how I will feel, but that is okay. I'm part of a tribe of women that are stronger than most could imagine.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Glimpses of Awesome.

I've met a lot of people over the years, and there are times when I think of it, and I am struck by just how amazing people can be, and how lucky I've been to get to experience them. Many of these people I'm not really in touch with anymore, sure we're facebook friends, but that's not real; that's just an opportunity to voyeur in on the things people find good enough or picture perfect enough to post to people they care about, met once, or despised in high school but for some reason now want to check in on. So, no although it quenches that need to find out what ever happened to so-and-so, facebook doesn't fit my bill for friendship. However, it is an avenue to get glimpses of a person's awesomeness.

There is a part of me that feels like I should feel sad for not being in contact with before mentioned amazing people, but in reality I not. Instead I just feel honored that I got to know how truly amazing they were at one time, and that for maybe a moment I was part of that. Because in reality if I once thought you were even a little amazing, I likely still think you show up that way for everyone around you every day. That means, you rock it, daily. Way to go you (or at least my minds version of you).

Everyday we have the opportunity to glimpse awesomeness all around us, sure with some people it is way easier to see, but in reality we are all capable of being truly amazing as long as we are real, and believe in our own worth. And when others believe in that worth along with us, it can be like magic, I'm talking doves farting out rainbows kind of good. So, dear reader today remember you are worthy, you are inspiring, and I'm honored to have once been able to call you friend. I'm glad your light doesn't diminish with distance, because I can still see it from here. Shine on girl, and spread it around ! The world needs more glimpses of Awesome, and you give all of us an eye full.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Another Stinkin Year..

Today is my Skunk's birthday! I am so exciting to be celebrating another year of his life with him. If you don't know him, well I feel a little sad for you, because he is simply amazing.

So without further ado, here are 31 reasons he is G - R - E - A - T !!!

1). He takes effort to remember corny jokes, because he knows when he tells them to me, it will make me laugh.

2). He is patient.

3). He is ridiculously smart and witty.

4). He is giving.

5). He goes out of his way to help others.

6). He doesn't mind when I volunteer his help to people he doesn't know. (i.e. "you haven't ever met my husband, but sure, he'll come help move that couch").

7). He gets up early every day to walk our dog so I don't have to feel unsafe.

8). If no one is in the bed, and it hasn't been made yet, he does it.

9). Instead of telling me I'm being grumpy, he asks me if I am hungry, thirsty, or tired...and then he tries to meet that need.

10). When we were dating on a long car ride he sang a complete love song by heart, that most people don't even realize is a love song (it was by Cake). Now, if I ask real sweet he sometimes sings it again.

11). He is patient and kind with our dog, Dexter. He teaches him new tricks, and jumps on the bed with him to get him all excited. He never gets mad about picking up his doggy droppings on walks.

12). He holds people's babies, and likes it. If there is a baby around that he doesn't get to hold it he feels like he missed out.

13). He shares above mentioned baby holding with me, cause he knows I love getting a baby fix too.

14). When I share with him what would make me feel more loved, or more safe, he goes out of his way to fulfill that, even though it stretches him and is at times hard.

15). He is always willing to hear me, and actually listen to what I am saying, even if I am saying it for what feels like the 10th time, or its not fun to hear.

16). When other people label him as awesome or amazing, I am able to think of at least 10 other examples of just how awesome he is..and then have a hard time not sharing those things (cause he is super fantastic).

17). He checks in on how our relationship is going on a regular basis, and talks over things that most men find intimidating. If I mention something once, he will often bring it up again a week or two later to see how we are doing on it.

18). He uses his eyebrows to make a point when he is talking or posing for a picture. Plus, he has 1 white eye lash that is incredibly cute.

19). He is willing to try new things and go on new adventures.

20). He can dance, and is willing to do so in public or the kitchen.

21). He is modest, and doesn't brag about things, even when he should.

22). He is not afraid to pray in public. Or when I am having a crummy day, he takes time to pray over me.

23). He likes to play games, and have fun...but without crazy competitiveness!

24). When I have a problem, yo he fix it. - Sometimes I will be benignly discussing an issue, and he gently offers a solution, that is often amazing, and then he take the time to see the resolution through.

25). He likes to be silly.

26). He likes his family and mine too, and enjoys spending time with them. He holds me as his 1st family and safeguards our time together.

27). He is pretty much always open to just getting chipotle for dinner when I don't feel like cooking!

28). Over the last year he's done really hard things for the sake of our family, and endured them, even though I know they were painful, without complaining.

29). He downloads awesome podcasts for us to listen to on long car rides.

30). He knows how to fix stuff, and isn't afraid to take apart some plumbing, or a car, or whatever it is that happens to be broken, and then he makes it better.

31). He is very flexible and willing to set a direction but not be crazy controlling about it. Plus he sometimes brings me flowers for no reason at all.

*There are so many more things I didn't get a chance to list. Skunk is funny, kind, loving, gentle, patient, strong, smart, supportive, and courageous (and he is super cute too!). I admire him more than anyone I've ever met, and I feel so blessed to be with him, and to know him. Plus, I get to love him! He is simply amazing! Happy Birthday my Skunk!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

When life feels hard...

Yesterday it took me 3 tries at going into the kitchen to start the dishwasher before it actually ran. The 1st attempt was likely the best, I put the soap in, closed the door and walked away without pushing start. The 2nd time I specifically came into the kitchen to start the dishwasher, got distracted and walked out. The 3rd time I was busy in another room and thought "wow, our dishwasher is pretty quiet" before I realized I hadn't started it, and then I quickly corrected the issues; 3 times is enough. A part of me can feel frustrated about this, but that wouldn't get the dishes any cleaner, or improve my memory the next time something came up. You see, lately I have been grieving, and grief messes with a person. 

Grief shows up in many different ways for different people. For me, the most dramatic things that happen are that I tend to forget the running to-do list I keep in my mind (even if I've written it down several times). This translates into me walking into rooms over and over, wondering why I went there or having to make several trips to gather all the things that I normally would collect at once (i.e. by a bonfire this weekend - I wanted a drink, a coat, the camera, a bone for the dog, etc, and instead of gathering this in one trip as I would normally do, I repeatedly put on and off my shoes as I returned over and over again to the house). Or running naked through the house because in the shower I suddenly wondered if now was when I was suppose to pick my friend up from the airport, or if it is later (thankfully it was later). See, it messes with me. Grief also makes me T.I.R.E.D., as in dead on my feet, wishing that 6:23 p.m. = bedtime instead of having to deal with life until 9:30/10 p.m. But it is what it is and thankfully I recognize that it is not me, but it's grief's affects on me. 

With that knowledge it means I have to be a bit more intentional (which is hard when you are grieving and life feels more like a struggle than normal). It means I have to be more accountable to my Skunk. I have to remember he is willing to help me if I use a secret weapon - communication. He is more than willing to pick up slack or help me remember what is on my many lists, if only I tell him. It also means that I get to practice discernment, because honestly it would feel better to be angry, especially at him,  than it would be to be sad about no longer having someone in my life. So I get to practice recognizing what my feelings really are, and then let myself feel them so they don't eat me, and my relationship to pieces.

That brings this midwestern girl to the most important thing I need to practice during this period of grief, gentleness. Being okay with this process and accepting that it is where I need to be right now, and that I don't have to be ashamed, feel guilty or put on a happy face just because it makes other people comfortable. It means being loving towards myself, and not pushing so hard all the time to get through, but instead considering what I am learning in this lowly place.  And oddly enough, it reminds me of a poem my Grandma Booher, whom I am mourning, used to quote. 

I walked a mile with Pleasure;
She chatted all the way;
But left me none the wiser
For all she had to say.

I walked a mile with Sorrow,
And ne’er a word said she;
But, oh! The things I learned from her,
When sorrow walked with me.

-Robert Browning Hamilton

So today I will remember the words of Robert Browning Hamilton, and choose to be gentle with myself. Just please don't ask me how many time I attempted to pull out milk to warm before making the bread. I'll never tell. 

Monday, December 31, 2012

I'm not talking to you again until next year....

Well, here it is the close of another year. Growing up I always thought New Years Eve was a stupid holiday, I mean what is really different one day to the next, every day is really the last of that day you'll ever experience, so I just didn't get the hype.

Now as a grown up (yes, I am) I still think it is a rather crap holiday, but it's a needed crap holiday. You see New Years Eve symbolizes HOPE, and we all need a bit more of that. It represent fresh beginnings, and an opportunity for things to be different. While every day actual holds this opportunity, it is hard for us to see it.

It is human nature to become immune to the hope that springs up new with every rising of the sun, but on the days you can ward off the nature of taking things for granted...well those days are special. New Years is special because it allows you to do just that. Heck, it even encourages you to hold on to what you want most at midnight, and kiss it square on the lips (your welcome Skunk). 

So, this year I encourage you to hold on to Hope. Welcome it in your lives, and recognize that every day is a new beginning, and a chance to live the life that God has created you for. It could be even more awesome than you expect!

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Uninvited...but we still like you.

Recently, Skunk & I have traveled farther down the rabbit hole. The heartache of miscarriages coupled with  time restrictions, and huge financial burdons (thank you very much insurance company, for sucking banannas) has made us prioritieze our lives differently. And we are embracing it, but well, to be honest, you are all not invited on this journey. Hence, me not writing very often, since this at times can be all consuming.

It is hard, and I am sure that given some time and distance from it I may some day wish to write about struggles with fertility, endometreosis, pollycystic ovarian syndrome and under-active thyroid, but for now...nope. It is our business, and if you'd like you can pray for us, think positive thoughts, and hope for news of a baby in the future...but please respect our wishes to maintain our intimacy as a couple and privacy.

Here is what I can say... I have always been a fan of listening to my body, and using that knowledge, but we are going extreme here and it messes with our schedule like crazy. For a girl who likes a plan, this can be a bit difficult at times.  My Skunk is as always the strength in this operation, and he is encouraging, loving, and fully embraces Tim Gunn's slogan, "make it work", so we are.

We are also faithful to God, and believe in His desire for good in our lives.We are hopeful, and it is okay for you to be hopeful too, even from afar.  Thanks!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Hello Mr. President.

I haven't been posting lately...mostly because everything I got fired up about and started to write about turned political, and I didn't want to be that kind of blogger. So... I haven't been posting the stuff I've drafted. Even though there was one very passionate one about a pastor abusing his power. But this morning, I can't help but express how elated I am!

Although my heart will always yearn for my Wisconsin roots, this morning I am truly proud to live in Minnesota. This year there were two amendments supporting discrimination on the ballot, and thank God both of them got voted down!! Whooo hooo!

So, this morning, I am very happy, excited, and glad that our country will continue to move forward toward progress for equality for all, and the preservation of rights.