Oct 15

Let’s Talk About It

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I remember it like it was yesterday. Deep down inside I knew it was coming. I’d had symptoms for days, spent hours in the emergency room, and was in so much pain.

I walked into my doctor’s office on Monday for an ultrasound. There had been so much blood the day before that I knew exactly what happened. The ultrasound confirmed it. That little baby that had a strong heartbeat just days before was now gone.

That pain that I was experiencing was replaced with something much more painful. Heartache. Complete and utter heartache. I felt so alone. I walked out of the doctor’s office in a daze, unsure of where to go next. No one but MacKay knew of the pregnancy so he was the first person I called. I sobbed as I tried to get the words out that we had lost the baby. Our child.

After feeling like I was going to explode from all of the heartache, I finally called my mom and my sister. Trying to explain that I was pregnant and then suddenly wasn’t pregnant was so hard. My mom immediately flew up from Florida and my sister rushed to our apartment from downtown Manhattan. Talking about it with them didn’t completely take the pain away, but it helped. But that was as far as I went with sharing my story, which turned out to be even more painful than I ever imagined.

My biggest mistake was not speaking out. Not sharing my loss.

I was ashamed.

I was scared.

I was heartbroken.

It was only once I got pregnant with Avery that I shared my loss with others. Somehow I thought that getting pregnant again would mask the heartache. It didn’t.

But sharing my story did. Talking about it with others did. Letting the words flow from my fingertips did. And most of all, you did.

Reading your stories and hearing that I’m not alone in my heartache (still) gives me comfort. To know that it’s okay to still cry over this baby that I never had the chance to meet. And that I’m still allowed to be angry.

Today is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.  There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about that baby. I’m still heartbroken and some days I’m still scared, but I am no longer ashamed.

To those of you who have experienced a loss, I send you my deepest sympathies. 

 

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Oct 14

On Slowing Down For Just a Moment

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“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around for a while, you could miss it.” – Ferris Bueller

Our evenings aroud here are always a bit hectic. From the moment I pick up Harlan from school we are going, going, going. The witching hour usually sets in around 4:30 and it’s that time that I start counting down the clock until bedtime.

A couple of weeks ago I tried to change up our routine a bit to see if it helped with the craziness after school. I pick up Har from school and we immediately go to the gym so that I can work out and the kids can play to get out all of that extra energy in the childcare area. By 5:00 we are out of there and headed home to get dinner, do homework, take baths, and get ready for bed.

When we moved out to the suburbs I knew that MacKay wouldn’t be home most evenings becuase of his commute. It was one of the sacrafices that we made in exchange for this better life for our family. While it’s hard not having him at home, it’s also a great challenge for me personally. It’s a great test at my ability to be patient with the kids and to work better under pressure.

I fail this test most nights. I usually get so frustrated that I end up rushing everyone to bed just so I can have that much needed alone time and a quiet house. The kids know I’m frustrated because they always end up coming back out and asking for a kiss or calling me back into their room for something. And that’s when the guilt immediately sets in.

But tonight was different. After the gym we made it home and began our routine. Dinner was ready for all three kids in record time, Macks went down without a fuss, and the girls made it through bath time without fighting over a bath toy. Bath time ran longer than I would have liked and it started creeping up on bedtime. But tonight I didn’t look at my watch to count down until I put them into bed, I just let it go with the flow.

The girls helped me pack their snacks and lunches for tomorrow. Harlan and I were able to do her homework togehter while Avery watched on and copied everything her big sister was doing, and all three of us sat down on the couch while the girls enjoyed dessert and I read them a book. There was absolutely no tension or frustration in the air. I felt so relaxed and care free. For the first time in a long time I wasn’t rushed to get them into bed for alone time. I was happy to be in that moment – right there with them.

Once we were finished with all of our to-dos, we went upstairs and said our goodnights. I was so happy to put them to bed, but not for the reasons that I usually was. Tonight I was happy to put them to bed because I felt complete. These kids that can test my patience nearly every night and sometimes make me want to go crazy, are so good to me. Tonight I felt their love for their mama. I know that it’s there for me every night, but I’m always too rushed to really feel it. Letting myself slow down and stop for a moment opened that up again. And it felt good. Really good.  Maybe I should do it more often.

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Oct 13

Weekend Recap: Upstate New York

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This weekend fulfilled a dream MacKay and I have had since Harlan was born – take them to a Florida State football game. Up here in the northeast college football isn’t a big deal, but down south, everyone is glued to their couch on Saturday to watch their favorite team battle it out.

Living in the city and having kids made it more difficult for us to get down to Tallahassee for a football game, so when MacKay found out they were coming to Syracuse, he immediately bought tickets for the entire family.

The girls were so excited to go as they have been watching FSU play on the television since they were wee ones. They had the tomahawk chop down and were ready to chant along each time we made a good play. I was a bit nervous with taking all three to the game, but all three of them lasted the entire game and we had such a great time (although we immediately went back to our hotel and crashed for the night.)

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On Sunday we drove down to Ithaca to check out the city and the Cornell campus. Both the city and campus were absolutely Gorges (an Ithaca joke.) All jokes aside, the landscape is absolutely stunning. We walked around Cornell for a couple of hours with the kids before heading to the botanical garden.

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Since moving to the suburbs I have quickly come to love gardening (that is such a suburban thing for me to say.) My mom came up here shortly after we moved and helped me plant flowers in our yard and since then my newfound hobby has taken off. The botanical garden was a real treat because it gave me a chance to look at what flowers I like and can come home and hopefully plant them around our house.

We made a quick stop in downtown Ithaca for brunch before driving back to Connecticut. On our way home I mentioned to MacKay how much I love the northeast this time of year. The fall foliage is absolutely breathtaking. Since moving to this part of the country from Florida, we’ve made it a tradition to take a fall family trip somewhere in the northeast. The trip is quickly becoming one of my favorite trip of the year. It’s the perfect time to see so much of the northeast that I would have never had the chance to otherwise.

I hope you had a great weekend!

 

 

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Sep 29

Settling In

How we are settling into our new routine now that school has started for both girls.

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