Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Anonymous Schnonymous, reply to a commenter

Blog commenter, "Jonnie Who", thank you for leaving your thoughts and challenging questions.

As I have mentioned in the past, when reading a person's written statements we do not know the tone of voice or the spirit with which it is written, nor can we see facial expressions...all important pieces of effective communication. Unfortunately, that is what has occurred with my "Confessions of a treadmill walker" post, I believe, and with my heart to ban "Anonymous". Case in of my friend's called me tonight because she was so fired up by your comment that she wanted to post in my defense. I did not feel threatened or fired up by your comment. Two people reading the same comment taking away different intentions...

First, I did not choose the word "confession" because I was sinning and seeking forgiveness. Confession, or declaration, was my intent...a continuation of my journey here in Blogville that is always candid and never tries to portray a picture of perfection...simply stating the reality of things that go through our minds randomly in the blink of an eye. I was being honest, but not mean-spirited at all. If anyone wrote what wandered through their minds in the span of an hour, truthfully speaking that is, not all of it would be perfect.

If you were to know me personally you would know that I was not criticizing any one's clothing. The guy with the shirt cut down to his hips was violating my freedom of sight as much as any other scantily clad person in public. I did not have, nor did I express, an opinion of who I thought the person was, nor did I draw a conclusion that they were less of a person. My observation was that immodest clothing that reveals body parts meant to be covered puts other in a precarious position of not being able to look around a room in peace. When we choose what to wear on any given day modesty is a great baseline, not only for ourselves, but for the benefit of others. It's actually our responsibility.

As far as the zebra print pants...there, again, I was not criticizing or judging the person. It took me back to high school weight training class, hence the "Classic. DUDE!" statements. I grew up in the 80's and 90's and love when people rock those fashions today because I am not swayed by what the fashion industry deems "popular" or "current". There are some clothes "out there" that are bad, but I obviously don't care enough that I would have a show like, "What Not to Wear" or something like that...some of those commentaries are judgmental and even hurtful. Mine certainly was not, and if anyone had been there to read my mind and hear the tone in my head, I do believe you would agree...I was not judging them. I thought it was great! The "Oh no you don't" part of that statement implied "Dude, that rocks! You go!"

Next, as far as the word "stupid" relating to the female suicide bombers, as I wrote it I thought of the words, "brainwashed, dulled, misinformed, ignorant". Truly, though, those women weren't ignorant, so "stupid" is not the appropriate word there. They were informed and convicted enough to believe that killing themselves along with many innocent people, as their "heroes" have done before them, would be for the "good of their people" and Allah. As I looked up the definition for "stupid", dulled and brainwashed more accurately highlighted my intent in using the word "stupid". I was not using it in the way teenagers think of each other or as slang, but in the true sense of the word. And, to clarify, they aren't ignorant because my friend that worked in the Muslim world has revealed a lot about the strict regulations and abusive conditions for Muslim women...they were, in fact, intelligent to free themselves of that world. However, innocent people were murdered in the process. Suicide should be individualistic, not corporately mandated by dictators, or anyone else for that matter.

And, concerning why I am banning "Anonymous" from my blog, the "real reason" is this: as a blog author who has welcomed "Anonymous" in the past and even had debates with some posters, I realized that by continuing to welcome it here and "entertain" their actions is only enabling their unhealthy behavior of hiding behind masks. I don't want to take part in that anymore. I don't want to spend time reading mean, hateful comments by people who do not know me from Adam. I don't want to be their "codependent" or "enabler". As far as emails, I have received emails from people that disagree with me, though they are few and far between, not because few people disagree, but because those that are mean-spirited love to hide and emailing directly would reveal a way to be in dialogue with them candidly...actually engaging them in the true nature of "Freedom of Speech". "Anonymous" is easier. And, those who have emailed me, I have not reciprocated with a "cussing out". My "version" of "cuss" is #$%^&* and I don't use it sparingly here on my blog. What readers input when it comes to #$%^&* is up to them...not a reflection of my thoughts.

Also, "Anonymous", in general, has called me "sadistic" for keeping Noah on a ventilator for 5 months, accused me of not grieving long enough for my son, charged my friend of being "uneducated" about birth control because "Anonymous" thinks my friend has too many children, and quite honestly, I could go on and on. Taking the time to read the hateful posts and then delete them is not worth my heart or time. Hatred can make its home elsewhere.

Finally, Jesus did not hide behind "Anonymous". He openly went to His Father's temple and turned tables on the money changers and blasphemers of the day. He told the dead to bury the dead. He confronted the religious leaders of the day...the learned ones, the teachers and elders. That's what He did. I am not Jesus, nor am I claiming to be Jesus or to act like Him. I claim that He is my Savior, my Lord, and the object of my daily pursuit...and the Giver of my mercies that are new every single day...and the grace which is sufficient for me to take each new breath and place one foot in front of the other. Jesus was perfect. I am a fallen person. "WWJD" is not always the same as WWAD. I make mistakes. I do not follow the law as it states in Galatians because it is imperfect and impossible to follow. I aim to follow Christ, have never claimed to do it perfectly and I happen to have a random sense of humor, which obviously has been mistaken and misconstrued.

As far as "rising up and conducting myself in a manner that would be pleasing to Christ", thank you for that I seek Him daily, I will wait on Him for His opinion of what that looks like and rely upon His grace that when I am not doing it well, according to His will for His children, He will convict me, discipline me and move me to remain at His feet until He sees fit.

I agree. Obedience to Christ is all that matters...and I've never claimed to be the "perfect Christian". Thank you, "Jonnie Who" for the challenge.

Anonymous Schnonymous

You heard it here first, folks...I am boycotting "Anonymous". Banned. Bye bye.

Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of "Anonymous" posters that are civil.

I've had "Anonymous" posters that are kind, loving, thoughtful. People with great hearts and great intentions, just no blogger "profile".

I've had "Anonymous" posters that completely disagree with me but are respectful enough not to be nasty about it. We have agreed to disagree and are able to respect each others differences. I don't agree with every other blogger, but I don't go there and publish rude comments.

However, as I've been in and out of "Blogville" for almost 4 years now, I have come across a lot of "Anonymous" posts that are so mean-spirited and hateful, judgmental and opinionated, accusing and hurtful, that I'm just not going to stand for it anymore...not on this blog, anyway!

Recently on a friend's blog, "Anonymous" pulled the "Freedom of Speech" card. There is a difference between "freedom of speech" and "freedom of thought"...that is where anonymity on this blog is being cracked down upon and coming to a close.

We are all free to think anything we want and we are all free to disagree. However, mean-spirited people who "exercise" their "Freedom of Speech" by posting as "Anonymous" are abusing a right that was both fought for and came at a great price. Historically, let's study for a moment the whole concept of "Freedom of Speech" and our rights to be heard.

"Freedom of Speech" is not an American thing. However, being an American and having studied our history some, I know that all of the "Freedoms" you and I enjoy and take part in on a daily basis were given to us as a result of those who have gone before us. And of those, we can name names...there are hundreds and thousands of "Freedom Fighters" that include, but are not limited to: brave ancestors who left their homelands to live here in liberty...Patriots like General George Washington who led our country to freedom from British monarchy...our first governing and women who fought physically for our freedom from other governing countries...and those in the service who still do...politicians who study the law and work diligently for the people...risk takers like Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass who made war on slavery...people like Ernest Green, Elizabeth Eckford, Jefferson Thomas, Terrence Roberts, Carlotta Walls Lanier, Minnijean Brown Trickey, and Gloria Ray Karlmark, who weren't going to be told they couldn't get an education because of the color of their skin...names...there are many, many have a name, your spouse, your children...

Our whole lives we are told that our names are important...yet why in "Blogville" do so many naysayers hide their opinions and bullying behind "Anonymous"? The bullies who tortured Phoebe Prince all have names...but they abused their "freedoms" and will be losing them shortly. Our faithful military, politicians and freedom fighters did/do not sacrifice their time and lives in order for the rest of us to abuse those rights but instead to be grateful for them and use them wisely and with respect.

Did you know that "Freedom of Speech" has limitations? It's true:

"In practice, the right to freedom of speech is not absolute in any country and the right is commonly subject to limitations, such as on "hate speech". "

"It is different from and not to be confused with the concept of freedom of thought."

Here is the wording of the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights, for clarity sake:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

So, the key above is "peaceably to assemble and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

The last I checked, judgmental "Anonymous" posters are not "peaceable". And, the last I checked, personal, private Blog authors are not the "Government".

So, for anyone caring to comment here in the future, you don't even have to have a full length profile. You can simply use your first name. But use your name and be proud of who you are. And whether you agree with me or not is not the issue. I don't write a blog for people to agree with me. I write a blog in order to get my guts out and live in honesty.

But before you head to another blog and "exercise" what you think is your civil right to be a mean bully and "tell it like it is", think again...that's not your right...and we Blog authors all have the right not to listen anymore.

So, go away "Anonymous"...go far, far away.

And, to any of you Blog authors out there that are over mean-spirited and ugly comments from "Anonymous", please feel free to add my "Anonymous Schnonymous" button to your blog, too, as well as disable capabilities for "Anonymous" posters. Now we'll see who truly cares about their rights to freedom of speech...

Monday, March 29, 2010

Confessions of a treadmill walker

After my appointment today where I heard a sweet heartbeat and got to visit with Mr. Favorite Doctor, (which we are at 18wks in case you are tracking), I headed to the gym to keep up my girly figure. Mr. Favorite Dr. asked me if I had just worked out because of my all black polyester workout ensemble. I told him that I was headed to the gym after my appointment and then asked him the question I've been meaning/dreading to for quite some time.

Me: "Can I do the Bolder Boulder? It's a 10k. I'm not going to run it but walk it to raise money for water wells in Haiti."

MFD: "Adrienne, 100 years ago women walked 6 miles to town while they were pregnant. Yes, you can do the Bolder Boulder. Maybe I'll do it with you...I'm training for a Trek."

So, I document that so I can use it as leverage to try to get Mr. Favorite Doctor and possibly his staff to join the cause...I'll work on him. But seriously, a 10k will be beans for a guy whose headed to Nepal to do some 14ers. Oh crap! I didn't ask him WHEN the trek is...please don't be at the end of August, please don't be at the end of August, please don't be at the end of August!

Anyway, as I walked my 3+ miles today on the treadmill, these are the random thoughts that went through my mind in no particular order:

  • Oooooohhhhh, how cute is that guy?! He's gotta be like 85 or 90! I love that his cankles are bigger than his biceps! Way to go, Gramps! You go!
  • Ewwwwwwww, I can't touch the handle grip thingies to take my heart rate because there's old sweat on them...I've already walked a mile...will people notice that I am hopping off just to get sanitizer to clean the grips? Oh well, I don't give a rip, I'm not a fan of others sweat on my body...
  • I have no idea how to read the Nasdaq. Half the monitors are on the financial news with Wall Street info scrolling the screen but I have no idea what the heck it means...
  • Oh my gosh! My heart is so sad! 38 Russians died in 2 Moscow subway suicide bombings! The bombers were women...stupid women, selfish women! Lord, please comfort the families left behind and draw them close to Your heart! (We spent 2 summers in Russia...we love the people there!)
  • Seriously! Do you have to groan and grunt when you lift weights? Is it really necessary? Is it?! Sheesh!
  • Oh no, Mister! Cutting your sleeves off your old 1987 t-shirt, ALL THE WAY DOWN TO YOUR WAIST, was never a good look, not in the 80's, 90's or matter your abdominal status.
  • Where is that cute Grampa? That's the key: Jason and I just can't get lazy...we have to stay active...we owe it to our bodies and to our kids.
  • Why does the Spinning instructor sound like she's sexually aroused? Seriously, lady, maybe that's why your class is full of guys? Huh?! Tone it down, woman!
  • "Crabby Dick's" Really? The name on the back of a guy's t-shirt at the gym. Not so sure the girl from "Whip It" would have thought it was that funny...
  • OH man! I'll never have triceps like that girl...why can't I have triceps like that girl?! #$%^&*
  • Wow! I am so grateful that I am even able to walk this fast and far...thank You, Lord, that I am not on bed rest. I am thankful to be able to exercise.
  • Can my bladder seriously be that crowded already? I can hold it, I can hold it, I can hold it...shoot, can't hold it.
  • Again with the badly cut armpit t-shirt...puh-leaze! Maybe I should bring some new extra large t-shirts with me next time and offer them to the guys that think that's a good look?
  • Oh no you don't have on zebra print pants! Classic! DUDE!
So, there you have it. That is what goes through my mind when I FORGET MY MUSIC AND READING MATERIAL at the gym. Next time, I won't forget...although it was quite entertaining...

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Guts and Grief

So, I did it. I went to my first solo counseling appointment.

That's it. I'm need for any further intervention. I've been declared "problem free".

Just kidding.

So, back up a bit and you'll remember that my going to the appointment was a result of a slight temper tantrum - breakdown I had after I thought it was a fine and harmless idea to delve into scientific Trisomy and other birth defect testing. (Remember, I just wanted another ultrasound...) Even though the results told me nothing I couldn't learn by reading a medical handbook about the risks of pregnant 38 year old women, it still struck a heart cord in me and really revealed, at least in my own heart and mind, that I wasn't allowing myself to connect, or attach, to this pregnancy. I mean, if I skip the attachment part then the possibility of being faced with saying goodbye all too soon wouldn't be as difficult, right? Right!#$%^&*

I knew it was a load of crap, as well, so, I went ahead and made an appointment with a woman licensed in grief counseling. I had previously asked a few friends if they had recommendations of good counselors, but after reviewing their suggestions, two of which would have a previous knowledge of me, and then finding out I could meet for 6 sessions through Jason's insurance for FREE, I went with the obvious choice: FREE. But seriously, I really valued the idea of walking into an office and knowing I'd never be seeing the person on the "outside" in "real life." Just safety in knowing this for some reason...

So, halfway through my session, I looked around the office for a small break in eye contact. The guy in the picture looked familiar but I couldn't quite place it. Back to eye contact and my story...why was I here?

I gave her the "Jason" abbreviated version of Noah's story and then shared my own grief journey, the blog, group counseling and how this pregnancy has messed with my heart a bit. I was obviously aware of it and that's why I thought maybe I should have some counseling. She said that it sounded to her that possibly my faith or my knowledge of God was a cover up for allowing myself to really feel my grief. I told her it was more of a deep comfort, knowing that God knew exactly how I felt and that His knowledge of a bigger picture was something that gave me peace.

I also told her that over the last 3 and a half years I have processed my grief quite candidly and openly with awesome family and friends, and, with all of you! I have allowed myself to feel every emotion, including, but not limited to: anger, disgust, being totally pissed at God and Noah, despair, jealousy, hope, peace, happiness, trust, failure, anger at the unknown, frustration with "modern medicine" and the "system" of politics and insurance, surrender, peace deep down that I can't explain, hope that there is a reason for everything and it's okay that I don't understand it, and trust that He's not done with me yet...for some crazy reason.

I looked around the room again for a break in eye contact. Saw the same guy, smiling huge in a photo where he was hugging the woman across from me...

Me: "What is your last name?"
Her: "Such and such..."
Me: "We'll be at barbecues together in the future...our husband's just went to Bolivia together."

She asked me at the end of our time together if that made me uncomfortable. I didn't answer the question but asked her the question in return. I went ahead and signed up for our week two appointment.

On the way home I had a bit more time to process. Even though I felt comfortable sharing with this woman, who made me feel comfortable, I really treasured the assurance of having a neutral counselor, someone with no "outside" knowledge of me. I also realized that once I made the connection of who she was, I shut off part of my story...part of my heart. Adrienne, a person not afraid to share all of my guts, threw up some walls and started "monitoring" anything I shared.

As a result, I called the office, rescheduled with another counselor and also shot off a quick email sharing why I was switching. She called back and completely understood. I told her I looked forward to knowing her on the "outside".

One thing that I realized from our session was that over the past 3 and a half years, I have been processing my grief. I don't claim to have the corner on the market on how to grieve beautifully, but I believe I have allowed myself to walk through it, the highs and lows, and I have a pretty good grasp on grief and its triggers in my life. Hence, the reason I made an appointment in the first place.

So, even though I'll likely share more of my grief experience with the new counselor, I am also looking at this as an opportunity to dig in deep to the crap I've been burying for years...just other sludge that comes to the surface as a result of interacting with certain personality types and situations and my own coping methods as a middle child peacemaker...for me, I think it's going to be very interesting to see just how screwed up I really am. (Smiley face) But really...

Monday, March 22, 2010

A bit of news from around the world...

So, I have a new friend from Germany. Her name is Nicole and she introduced herself via email recently. Her English is great. My German...I'm not going to stinks. Thank God for Google translator! No, seriously, I learned how to sing "Stille Nacht" in 2nd grade and can count to "Ten" and use some manners, like "danke" and "bitte" and "gazundheit" (I actually have no idea if I even spelled these correctly, but you get the picture). She said she wasn't a fan of anonymity, so sent me a few photos and shared her story, along with an introduction. (I'd post pictures but did not ask her permission, nor will I include details w/o her permission...)

Anyway, you know how there have been people in blog world that have claimed to have sad, tragic stories and duped hundreds, if not thousands? Well, apparently Noah's YouTube video was claimed by some girl in Germany as being her cousin. This new friend, Nicole, who emailed me and has shared her beautiful story with me about her family, saw Noah's video and knew instantly it was "American"...she was sweet and said that it was because our hospitals look different, that theirs are more "white and sterile looking", but let's be honest, Americans stand out like sore thumbs...we need to work on that. Anyway, she contacted the girl who had even translated Noah's video into German and confronted her. The girl apparently retracted her statement and took her "claim" off the video.

Random. I know.

And yet, totally NOT RANDOM.

You see, through this other girl's attempt at recognition and attention, another woman, who told me had stopped praying and didn't think about God or His goodness anymore, found the story of a sweet boy, a true story, because seriously, who would make this stuff up, and realized for herself that "meeting him" via the Internet was God's way of drawing her back to Himself.

I'm personally not offended the other girl claimed to be Noah's cousin. I mean, who the heck wouldn't want to have been related to that handsome boy? Come on! But seriously, this isn't even about Noah...

It's about a lot of things:
  • How God can use any means He desires to show His love for us.
  • How He will turn anything satan intends for evil or our destruction into something for His own glory and our good.
  • How He's big and not limited to our finiteness.
  • How He refuses to, and was never meant to be, put into a box.

It's also about the fact that each of us is unique and quite extraordinary. Each of us has a story. God has designed us for beauty, and even though many of our stories have scars, and even open wounds, the beauty that lies deeper than the surface comes in not trying to live the story of another but to confidently trust that the story we are walking is the one before designed by the Architect of the Universe...God's story. And the way we live it beautifully is by walking out our story one day at a time...

I really do hope that one day, that girl who claimed to be Noah's cousin, finds her story, with God at as the Lead and her at center stage. And I hope you do, too...

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

This is Jason. Adrienne asked me to post some pictures of my trip to bolivia. I am here learning about Compassion International's Child Survival Program. We are working to crush the infant mortality rate in the 3rd world. Enjoy....

Dr. Benda - super child survival specialist
in home programming for mother/infant. example of physical development session. notebook in picture is used for charting progress of spiritual, cognitive, physical and socio-emotional outcomes.

indigenous mother and child survival beneficiary

view of the andes from the plane

incredible mother who's life has been changed. she was incredibly depressed and hopeless (her words) having 4 kids (one with special needs). she now has hope and life and was very touched by the necklace I gave her from Adrienne.

Child beneficiary

mother/child beneficiary

I've met some amazing women with some pretty incredible stories. the value we place on a child in 1st world is not the same in the 3rd world. we are changing their cultural mindset. most of these moms have either had an infant die or know someone who has - mostly from preventable diseases. here in latin america, it's diarrhea and respiratory infections - all preventable with a little education, training and not being afraid to go to the free gov't clinic. I can say with integrity that some of these babies wouldn't have made it without compassion's intervention.

Unrelated things...

One: Jason is in Bolivia with Compassion International. No, he is not a Compassion blogger, he is the boss of many of the projects they are currently visiting. BUT, I am hoping that he'll "blog", (and I use that term loosely when it comes to my hubby who speaks but 100 words a day), at the least some photos from his adventures...I won't even expect don't you, either. He did post some on Facebook, but hopefully Noah's blog will come to you from Bolivia at some point this week.

Two: Just as I did with our group grief counseling, I will share my counseling experiences here to encourage others on similar journeys. For accountability sake, my first appointment is Tuesday, March 23rd at 9:00. It'll pretty much go like this: "So, I have 6 free sessions...not looking to extend that...let's cut to the chase...I got problems..."

Three: Not sure if I mentioned this here or not, but I put The Well Radio Show, my weekly talk show with Gina Johnson, on hold for a season. I felt like I was supposed to really focus on some other dreams that God has been stirring in me for years and, apparently, that timing is now. If you've been here a while, you remember the day I ran around frantically trying to get my paperwork into the IRS for my non-profit organization, Bevy. Well, it was approved 8 months after Noah died and is officially a 501(c)3 organization. It has been on my heart to be a good steward of it and pick it up again, but to change the mission a bit. You wouldn't think that dropping a weekly one hour radio show would free up so much time, but let me tell you, I feel like we're getting a ton done! God has opened some amazing doors, details I'll share at another time, but here's our preliminary website...still working on branding and logo and have to add our Board of Directors. You'll be able to add it to your blog soon, if you'd like to help spread the word.

Four: Today I had lunch with a friend I love very much. She knows our journey very well, just to lay a foundation for this story. Let me preface this to say that I laugh at very inappropriate things and even crack dead baby jokes with certain friends...unfortunately, it's something bereaved parents are completely entitled to do. So, I was telling her about a picture of a pie chart Jason posted on Facebook that contained information regarding the infant mortality rates and reasons for death in Bolivia. I told her that a certain percentage of the babies died prior to delivery, some died during delivery, another portion charted that the mother died at the time of delivery, some babies died because of malnutrition and still others died from complications from diarrhea due to unclean water sources. My sweet friend looked at me with a mind-boggling look on her face and said, "Can you EVEN imagine having your child die because of diarrhea?" I paused for a second and smiled...and said, "Yes, actually." Her face turned beet red and I laughed out loud! She apologized emphatically, but I assured her it was totally fine! Maybe you had to be there???

Five: As we were driving back from lunch, my friend told me of another thing she said to the guy at Chipotle that was unknowingly inappropriate. I was laughing so hard that tears were blurring my vision and I could hardly breathe or see the's how it went down...if you are too pure, don't read this...

Chipotle man: Carnitas?
Friend: No, veggie tacos.
Chipotle man: Oh, okay, veggie tacos.
Chipotle man turns to cashier and says: Carnitas...I mean, veggie!
Friend: Yeah, quit trying to put your meat in my taco.
Chipotle man: (Nothin'...turns head sideways...awkward look on his face...)
Friend: (Nothin'...beet red cheeks...backs away from the counter...)

Thursday, March 04, 2010

It's not all it's cracked up to be...

...and the measures I'll be taking, as a result.

So, not trying to be too raw here, but this has never been a place where I "blow sunshine" for myself or anyone else. Let me shoot straight: being pregnant after losing a child isn't all it's cracked up to be. It's a bi-polar roller coaster of emotional highs and lows, and quite frankly, it sucks with a capital "UCKS"! I'm jaded. However, I don't think that is all bad.

Don't feel sorry for me. Not that you might. I'm just saying, if I don't write my guts out here and process this whole pregnancy I know I'll be a pretty messed up lady. Therefore, step one in the measures I am taking: I need to write.

I realized it the other day. Well, I've known this part for a long time...I am a tactile learner...a hands-on type of me...let me see...totally that Thomas know the one. It goes against every fiber of my being to live by faith yet, thanks to The Fall, that's just how it is. Actually, I am not alone in that expectation...we are all meant to live by faith. To live, trusting in the unseen...and also trusting that, like in the book of Hebrews, whether I ever see the promises unfold, God is still good and His promises will be really difficult for us humans who were born with senses meant to be engaged. My eyes were designed to see. My nose created to smell. My body made in such a way to touch or sense heat and cold, sharp and soft, rigid and smooth. My ears, though not the best, were intended to hear even the drop of a pin. And, of course, my tongue in particular, was designed by God Almighty to taste chocolate from miles away, say, especially German or Belgian varieties.

No. Instead, we literally have to live by our hearts, our minds, our guts...all parts of us that we can't physically see by looking in the mirror, but all led by the Spirit of God, directing us like a compass. Sooooo, as a result, having a sweet, growing baby tucked quietly in my uterus that I can only see or sense through ultrasound or a doppler heart monitor just isn't cutting it for me. It's a trial of faith that has lost it's giddiness and as a result, step number two of measures I am taking: I need to engage.

So, this is kind of what has happened:

Now, believe me, I know there are women all over the world that wished they were pregnant at this very moment...even if just for a say they were. I know. I am not asking anyone to feel sorry for me. Believe me. Honestly, in sharing my journey of pregnancy after a miscarriage, a healthy baby, a baby that lived and died and another miscarriage, I am simply trying to encourage others who may walk this same road, or have friends, family or women in their circles of life on a similar path.

So, found out I was pregnant. A bit surreal. Felt crummy for several weeks. Wanted to avoid a visit to the doctor until, oh, who knows, maybe delivery. Only told my parents, and Em, of course...with the whole rodent thing. Finally went in at 10 weeks. Saw a really cute baby. Saw a really cute heart beating. Let my heart engage a little and actually get excited. Set follow up appointment for which I was qualified...since I'm geriatric and all. Actually, I naively agreed to the appointment to check for chromosomal disorders thinking that I'd just sneak another peek through ultrasound. Had that appointment. Kid's nuchal fold was decent...not pink flagged or red flagged, but of course, couldn't just be in the clear. But, still left the appointment with a semi-mediocre sense of, "Well, it's heart was beating and it's still cute."

Continued random thoughts in no particular order: So during this whole time, "whole" meaning the last 15 weeks, I've just figured the kid would sleep in our room for 3 to 6 months since A: it would be hungry in the middle of the night; and B: we don't have a bedroom for, that meant no nesting necessary. I did want to know the sex of the kid, but Jason didn't really, so the other day I figured, "Ahhh, skip it...we'll meet it when it comes." A couple people have told me they want to buy me presents and throw a shower, but I have declined. First of all, if it's a girl, I saved all of my favorite age groupings of Em's clothes, so the kid is set until it's at least 5 or 6. If it's a boy, I have baby boy clothes of Noah's that we just threw in a box and taped up after he died...they are obviously brand new. Still have all the props, too: crib, car seats, you name it.

Add this to the fact that I've felt better since 13 weeks, I went from a size 10 to an 8 (thanks, no need for applause, but yes, I'm pretty happy about it...not gonna lie), I have no "pooch" and I can't quite feel the bugger kicking yet. This equation, when you throw in the fact that I am a tactile person, has left my head spinning...

It hit me. The perfect storm for "disconnect" or "disengaging" was taking place in my heart and head. Finally my heart said to me what my head had been thinking all along:

"I'll meet this kid when it comes and see how long it sticks around..."

"I'll see if this kid makes it past 7 weeks..." (pivotal time we took Noah to hospital)

"We'll see if this kid can live through its 7th month and then we'll paint its room..."

I recognized it. I wasn't letting myself engage because I didn't want to love and lose and hurt again. Therefore, step number three of measures I am taking: I am going to go to grief counseling...again.

I did a practical thing yesterday, (with a friend who I think secretly and strategically suggested it) and went to BabyGap, as well as the maternity section. I bought two pairs of pants...size 8! Why am I skinnier pregnant than in real life?! Anyway, the pants are super cute and I realized that I really needed to do this simple thing. And by "needed" I mean needed.

After Noah died I donated ALL BUT ONE item of maternity clothing. I was angry. I was purging. I sure as hell didn't need maternity clothes. I am still going to try to get by with as little maternity clothing as possible, but buying those super cute white pants and the semi-dressy ones helped my heart engage.

Fast forward to today: I got a call from my doc's office. "Do you have a minute?" was the question on the other end. My preliminary blood results were in from the testing I had done. I really had only wanted to check out the ultrasound picture...I had forgotten about follow-up calls and the remaining tests.

"Because of your have a 1 in 86 chance of having a child with such and such a chromosomal disorder...but because of your nuchal fold reading, combined with your age, you have a 1 in 125 chance."

I was waiting for her to add the comma and say "thousand" or even "hundred thousand" after the above numbers. She didn't. "That's a 1% chance, but I wouldn't worry about it."

Now, before anyone bashes my head in or sends hate mail, I love the kid. It is who it is. And, we're having it and welcoming it into our family no matter what...but that call screwed with my head and heart and I had a solo freak out session and then public crying display once I met up with Jason for lunch.

I do not deserve, nor am I entitled, to have any sort of "perfection" on this earth. I live in a fallen world and I am a fallen person. I am tired of people being so happy for us, thinking with Jason's new job and this pregnancy that our lives will just be so "great, perfect". Unfortunately, the reality is, after loss, you look at life differently.

This isn't all it's cracked up to be. The tail spin of emotion and disappointment and unknown combined are enough to drive me to drink...something non-alcoholic, and without caffeine, of course, but something!

Everyone and their dog can try to encourage and reassure me that everything is going to be just fine...whatever the hell that means...but the truth is, I have to live by faith and trust that this is part of our story, a story God is writing and only if I am willing to be the paper, and be still, will He be able to scribe the masterpiece He has designed.

So, on the way home I called the office back and said I was done. I wanted to cancel all the rest of my perinatal tests, besides finding out its sex, because my heart just could not take it. The kid is who it is. I cannot change it or eat more Omega-3 to change its chromosomes. I'm not terminating my pregnancy, so why the hell should I torture myself, even out of scientific curiosity? She understood completely, was so supportive and encouraging, and asked if I knew a good counselor...

She didn't know the measures I was already the appointment I just made for March 23rd. Oh, and the brainstorm sheet I drew up last night decorating its room...

I will get through this...but just one day at a time.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

I'm busy having a lot of fun!

I started my own jewelry design business called bebe&boo last year. I am having so much fun doing it, not only creating things with my hands but meeting new people, too. Recently I was invited to join a group of talented wedding vendors in a photo shoot. All the jewelry you see in the video is by little old me! Here is a sneak video peak at how the day unfolded:

Style Me Pretty: Inspiration to Reality, Colorado from Rising Moon Video on Vimeo.

bebe&boo is featured on "Style Me Pretty", aka "The Ultimate Wedding Blog" and one of the most inspiring wedding websites in the industry! Go check it out!

Making jewelry has always been a hobby, but diving into the custom design world for brides and their wedding parties is proving to be not only a lot of fun but a blessing to me as I meet these women...knowing I am helping to create beauty for one of their most memorable days.

I'll post more about my pregnancy and my random thoughts on that later this week, but for now, I wanted to share with you just how much fun I am having being creative with my hands!