Sunday, March 30, 2014

Mommy and Eva...and a jewelry keepsakes pendant.

I have a lovely necklace of Eva that Mike gave me our first Christmas without Eva. It is oval and and has this picture of our girly on it.

A few months ago I had been thinking about how much I would like to have a heart shaped pendant with a picture of Eva on it.

And only a few weeks later I received a lovely email from Hallie from Jewelry keepsakes. I was offered to choose a piece of  memorial jewelry from their selection. The timing was amazing and I was so thankful.

I took my time choosing and finally decided on a heart shaped piece of cremation jewelry. I wanted to   have a photo of Eva and I together and put a strand of each of our hair in the heart. When the piece arrived I had been cropped out and only Eva's picture was on the pendant.

The necklace was beautiful. The inscription was beautiful. The picture was beautiful. But it was not what I expected and I was disappointed.

I emailed Hallie who offered to send me another piece with both of our pictures on it. Wow. I wasn't expecting this. I decided to get a plain heart instead. The new heart arrived yesterday and it was just what I had envisioned.

I wore it to church today and got several comments on it. My kids pointed it out to people and it felt so, so good to hear. Mommy and Eva. I can't explain how good it felt to hear the words 'mommy and Eva' in the same sentence, several times today.

On the back of the pendant I got the beginning of the poem by e.e cummings inscribed...

i carry your heart with me
(i carry it in my heart)

i am never without it (anywhere
i go, you go my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
i fear

no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world (for you are my world, my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud)
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

e.e cummings

The pendant is lovely. Hallie was lovely to communicate with and jewelry keepsakes has a huge variety of  memorial jewelry to choose from. You are sure to find something you would like. The photo is etched in and is very hard to photograph well but I can assure you is completely beautiful.

However, for  me, the real gift was hearing the words 'mommy and Eva' together in the same sentence.

Thank you jewelry keepsakes for a beautiful pendant to review.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Recklessly hopeful.

We were so lucky to conceive Nathan.

And his little life has brought all kinds of joy back to mine.  I love all my children. But Nathan, Nathan Evan brought babyhood back to us. He is a gift from Eva in so many ways and we cherish him.

My pregnancy with Nathan was not easy. Physically I was fine but I was truly an emotional wreck. I hated people who said congratulations to me because it felt like they were congratulating me on Eva's death.  I wouldn't have been pregnant without her death so you may see my logic. I know it was  not what people meant but that's what it felt like. And I am not going to argue with my feelings, especially from back then.

I started eating trim healthy mama style while pregnant with Nathan and was physically healthier than I had been in a long time. I felt like my physical strength upheld my emotional weakness.

Labour with Nathan was very hard both physically and emotionally. I resented that I was in labour and in so much pain when I wasn't supposed to birth any more babies. Eva was supposed to be our youngest.  I didn't progress because I was so emotional. I wailed between contractions on the loss of Eva. It was powerful and painful. And, ultimately, his birth was beautiful as I caught him with my own hands while everyone but Mike's back was turned. Perfect.

And then a week before Christmas I saw two lines again and I was able to keep it to myself long enough to give Mike a tiny sleeper on Christmas Eve.

I didn't want to tell anyone until after an early scan confirmed there actually was a living baby there.

As we have slowly released our news to some people here in real life the experience has been much different than with Nathan. I don't resent congratulations and I am truly happy to be hopefully welcoming this baby into our arms in September.  It's just a different feeling all around. More at ease than not with this rainbow.

I haven't felt the baby move yet and it worries me but I am trying to live in hope and not in fear.
I was going to wait to share our news here until after our detailed scan and fetal echo but I'm feeling recklessly hopeful and wanted to share this hope with you before we know anything about this babe. Because we are immensely grateful for this gift. In whatever shape our blessing comes in.

I'm also going to risk sharing with you my hope that babe is a girl because Lord knows how much I want one. I feel like it's a girl but I have been wrong with those feelings before so I'm trying to keep an open mind and an open heart towards this special gift.

And I know this hopeful news for us is hard for many. And I'm sorry. I truly am. So sorry. And still didn't not want to post about this wee one.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Not angry.

I have come to realize in the last few weeks that most of the time, most of the time, not all of the time, I am no longer burning with anger over Eva's death.

It's not over. I'm still sad. I still miss her, and always will, but I am not angry all of the time. 

This is huge.

I'm not sure when it happened but I realized all of a sudden that my heart hasn't been clenched with anger most of the last few weeks. 

I'm surprised and I know it will come back but it's a reprieve for awhile, for now.

Miss you always my sweet girl.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


I was so whiny in my last post. Oh poor me. So tired with my rainbow baby.  No sitter. Blah blah blah.

I'm sorry folks. I know many reading are wishing for a rainbow and the woes of finding a sitter.

Whine time over. Forgive me will ya?

Oh, and to help with the whiny ness I went from zero sitters and despondent to the most perfect situation with my neighbour and a back up plan with my awesome friend.

The abundance felt overwhelming after spending time in the desert.

Monday, March 24, 2014

The life I wasn't given.

Sometimes I grieve the life it feels I should have had. Three boys. One Eva. Eva would be three now. Out of diapers. Walking. Doing stuff. 

And I love Nathan. God I love him so much. But it's hard doing this baby stuff again sometimes. Especially right now. I'm tired. So tired. Nathan has been sick for over two weeks now. It's been worrisome and stressful. His breathing is better but now he has a double ear infection, antibiotics and a fever. He's grouchy and wants to be held all day. And the boys are wild. Of course they would be wild anyway but it's just so exhausting when mama is exhausted already. And I know Eva would have been sick a lot too. But...but, but,but...I guess the short of it is I just miss her and miss the parallel life I could have maybe had. The life uncomplicated by darkness and grief. The life I wasn't given. 

It's hard sometimes to embrace the life I have. As grateful as I am for what I do have. 

And I'm looking for a sitter for a weekend for two kids and I'm having such a hard time finding one. There is so much happening the weekend I need and everyone is busy. As are we, which is why I need a sitter. Combine that with exhaustion, two weeks plus of a sick, cranky baby and a lack of functional grandparents in our lives who would, under better circumstances, have loved to take a couple kids for one weekend. And I go back to my parallel life where I would be looking for someone for one child only and it would be much easier to find...

I guess I'm mostly just tired. Exhausted really. And missing my girl. Missing my parallel life that I don't have. 

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Nathan Today.

Nathan today. Still exhausted.
But resting with mama. I know how lucky I am to be holding him.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Likely fine.

Nathan seems well enough during the daytime and I'm not afraid of his death during daylight hours but when he goes to sleep at night his breathing changes and I just look at him and hope he will wake up in the morning. Because while I don't think he will die from this virus I worry that he will forget to breathe in the night and die of SIDS.

I'm trying to not let fear rule my life but, truth is, I am afraid. I am afraid he will just not wake up. And I just really don't want another one of my children to die right now. I struggle with just scooping him up and heading to see our paediatrician in Edmonton or trusting our doctor here who says he is okay with how he is right now. Thing is, if Nathan dies, it will not be our doctor who has to bury their child or pack up baby clothes and wake up in the morning to a living nightmare.

I realize I'm going much farther down this road in my mind than I should.

Likely he will be fine.

I just can't handle sick kids like I used to.

One person posted on care pages when Eva was hospitalized that Eva did not look like a sick kid and that she knew what sick kids looked like. Eva looked so good. And then she died. Nathan looks good too, sort of. But I know he is not immune from death either.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Holding on.

Nathan is holding his own. Not getting worse but not improving. I have mixed emotions but thought I would update here for those who follow and care. 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Home sweet home.

Home sweet home.

It is such a relief to see Nathan sleeping in his own bed.

But today I find myself completely exhausted. Sleep in the hospital was scarce and now it's catching up to me...but it's more than that. It's the relief maybe but it's also the 'what would have beens' with Eva. The hospital would have been her community. The nurses there wouldn't say that they remembered Eva from years ago. They would be greeting Eva and remembering her favourite band aid character. She would have a favourite lab tech for blood draws...just, well, all those things...not really fun things but the reality is Eva would have had more sick days than most kids...had she lived.

I'm sure it's much nicer for the government the way it is now.  Death is so much cheaper than sick kids.

I'm feeling, sad and, well, sad today.

Missing my girl and thinking on things no parent should have to think about.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Sick baby

Nathan got sick last night. 

3am in respiratory distress. ER. 10m24d. Same presentation as Eva. 

Suspected RSV. Chest x ray in the nasty clear tube that brought me to tears when it was used on my little Eva. 

Admitted. Room next door to Eva's room. RSV swab came back negative. Possible early pneumonia in right lobe according to our paediatrician in the city. However, no fever and no antibiotics here. Stay the course unless he becomes feverish. 

Ventalyn. Chest physio. Cardiac leads. Lovely sinus rhythm that brings peace to my mama's heart. 

Two nurses who remember Eva and mention her to me. A blessing. 

I don't want another sick child. I just want my sick little Eva back to me. 

Nathan is improving. Turning around. Thank God. 

But do I only thank him when my child lives?

Friday, March 7, 2014

Writing the ache away.

I think I try to write the ache away.

Thinking that maybe the more I write it the less sad I will be.

Hoping that choosing joy will actually result in true joy and not just choosing to enjoy the moment.

But at the end of the day.

No matter how much I write my sorrow away.

No matter how much I choose to enjoy the time I have here.

She is still missing.

And there is just no way to fix that.

At the end of the day (good, bad, or in between) I sit down for a moment alone and I am just so sad.

There are no words to describe the missing of her, although C.S Lewis penned it well when he wrote...her absence is like the sky, spread over everything.

Missing you so much my baby girl, who would no longer be a baby.

Missing you so much my precious child.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Winter carnival 2014

We went to the 4th annual winter carnival last month, hosted by the college in our small town. 

I can track my life through those carnivals. 

Carnival 2011. Eva was 4 months old. Apparently healthy. Mike and I got separated or something and I wasted part of the carnival being mad at him over nothing. What a waste.

Carnival 2012. Eva had been dad for six months. I had nothing. No hope. No Nathan. I staggered around that carnival close to tears the entire time. I could barely acknowledge anyone saying hello to me. My ex friend had had a baby on feb 15. The six months anniversary of Eva's death. She strutted around that carnival with her baby and even asked my mom to push him around for awhile all while completely ignoring me. God, that was a terrible carnival. 

Carnival 2013. One and a half years since Eva died. I was hugely pregnant with Nathan. I could smile at my kids as they played games. Little J's bio mom showed up and freaked out Little J, and me. 

Carnival 2014. Two and a half years since Eva died. My heart is still broken but I can hide it much better. I could talk to people and interact in a seemingly normal way. I could choose to enjoy the day. And I did. For the first time I could choose rather than just operate in survival mode.

All three years since Eva's death we have taken a pink balloon from the carnival and let it go to our missing girl.

When I look at it like this I know things are easier, but, oh God, I miss that girl so much.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Wombat walkabout.

On Friday night our church hosted a chili and pie night/ talent show. I baked this fantastic trim and healthy chocolate cheesecake 'pie' but didn't win any prizes. Boohoo for me!

I also read 'Wombat Walkabout' aloud and my children acted it out. It was a lot of fun and many people came up to us afterwards and told us how much they enjoyed our little show. I love, love, love having a big family and being able to do stuff like this with our family.

The book is set in Australia and is about six little wombats going walkabout and their adventures. The thing is I only had five little wombats to go walkabout but we used a doll to represent our sixth little wombat. We used Theodore's Baby Eva doll. It was ok (ish). I guess I just wish that one, just one, person came up to me afterwards and said that they thought about and realized our sixth little wombat was missing.

It's the small things that get me. I still enjoyed the other shows and the chili and the pie and the visiting with people but she's just always missing and it would be so nice if someone else missed her presence too. 

I'm trying to not have expectations but it's hard. The things we hope for. Like people remembering our children.