Today

I have been having a difficult time the past few days.

Of the [quite a few] women I know who have recently had a baby, almost all of them have returned to work. Their Facebooks have been full of baby pictures and messages of regret in having to leave their child in order to return to work.

These messages upset me. I mean, at least they have a baby to leave. I don’t have my baby at all. But even that thought right there – the one that came unbidden – makes me feel horrible. Am I being harsh and unjust to these other mothers when they are just bragging about their beautiful new babies? And does this mean I am ungrateful for what I already have?

Am I cherishing my other children less because I cannot cherish their sibling enough? I find myself torn sometimes in moments of joy because I think about the one who will never participate in these moments with us. Will that always be the case? I know they say things will get better with time, but as I have no experience with the death of a close loved one, I just can’t help but feel that I am forever altered.

As my OCD has been exacerbated in these stressful and painful last few months, I find myself withdrawing from things I do want to do/participate in as an effort to avoid my triggers. CJ and I keep talking about things we would like to do once I reach what we refer to as my “baseline,” but I’m worried that may not be the same anymore. And I don’t know how to cope with that. I don’t want to become a recluse who stops living their life and not doing things they enjoy. I want to feel the desire to play, write, even just be helpful around the house.

Before, my bad days were few and far between. Now, as there have been so many gathered together, it’s hard to see that it won’t always be like this. It’s difficult sometimes to convince myself to continue pushing through. But I am a strong woman. I am intelligent and occasionally, kind of funny. I will try my best to keep smiling until the day where it’s not pretend anymore. Starting today.

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Dear Riley

Today is your due date. But you’re not here.

As I was early with all your siblings, I assume you would have been here by now. So all I can think about this cold, rainy morning is how all of us would be bundled up and snuggling, enjoying the fullness of our family.

Instead, today I will be visiting you elsewhere. I will go to the little plot where the grass has just begun to grow. Where instead of family, you are surrounded by other stillborns and children gone too soon. And instead of holding you, I will miss you.

But remember, my Riley – I will hold you in my heart, until I can hold you in my arms.

All my love,
Mom

My insomnia has been the boss of me the past week or so. It’s hard to accomplish anything when you’re operating under a caffeine fueled fog. CJ has been majorly supportive even though I know he’s been really frustrated. I was doing really well with sleep for a while, but the closer we come to the baby’s due date (October 12th), the more trouble I have. I think the earliest I’ve gone to bed in the past few days was three in the morning. This past Friday into Saturday, I didn’t go to bed until six Saturday morning. No matter what I tried doing, nothing could settle me enough for sleep.

My hope is that if I push though these next few days, even though that one day will be catastrophic, everything will be better afterwards.

On a brighter note, Q is a rockstar. I firmly believe children need to be able to test their limits. I don’t hover on the playground or in the backyard. I will occasionally remind them to be smart if the situation arises, but I want them to learn to trust in themselves and their capabilities. When one calls out because they have climbed too high and are scared, I will stand by just in case, but I don’t help. I encourage. I remind them they got up there by themselves so if they stop to think about it, they have the ability to get down themselves as well. Once they are calm, they come back down, unassisted.

We have a tree in the yard the kids love to climb. They are in it at least once per day. They know their limits and where they feel comfortable in it as far as how high they can go. A few days ago, Q decided to push herself and climb a little higher. It ended up being too high for her and she panicked. However, with guidance and a calm voice from mom, she was able to climb down all by herself. Rockstar.

After having survived visiting both sides of the family in a single weekend and numerous hours in the van, we still had plenty to get ready for at home. We had the beginning of school for MJ and Q, the end of my job at the hospital, and the beginning of babysitting for one of my girlfriends. We have been an exceptionally busy household.

Most days, it’s been the level of busy where you feel really accomplished by the end of the day, but you’re too tired to do anything else other than binge on DramaFever before bed.

There have been a few highlights since school has started. One of the things I loved was one morning while driving to school, as we passed the cemetery, Q waved out the window and said, “Hi, Baby Riley.” It was just that simple; just that sweet. And now they always do it. It makes me both happy and sad at the same time. The other thing has to do with MJ. One of the other mothers was in his classroom for a birthday. She pulled me aside at pickup later that day to tell me how impressed she was with how well-behaved and polite he is. I was shocked. And so excited. I can deal as long as he’s only naughty at home lol.

So today begins my attempt at a better, more structured writing schedule – squeezing it in between life and everything else. Hopefully I will be as successful as I would like to be.  Wish me luck!

Update

CJ and MJ are out having a father and son date. My sister and her children just left. My girls are down for naps. For the first time in a very long time I am “alone” in the house. So what am I going to do? Well, I already started a load of laundry, so I figured an update was well past due.

So much has been going on lately. There have been strides toward improvement in therapy. The kids are registered for school and uniforms are ordered. (Still can’t believe two will be in school.) CJ and my cousin are almost done with the construction on our second floor. MJ is almost done with speech for the summer. He will also be going on his first vacation soon.

Letting him go on this vacation was huge for me. He will be gone to OBX for one week with my in-laws. I’m already nervous about it, but I told CJ I should get extra mommy bonus points for agreeing despite how I feel. I trust them implicitly, but he’s five. And it’s for a week. Ah!

As my schedule settles over the rest of this week, I am going to work on a more defined plan for posting here and finishing my current draft of Becca’s War so I can move on toward publication. I hope everyone is as excited as I am.  🙂

Lately, my newsfeed and even places I go are full of pregnant bellies or teeny, tiny babies. I try my best to be the right amount of happy for the situation, but pushing pain to the side doesn’t mean I won’t feel it later. Some people still seem to struggle with supporting me in this. So to them, I’ve just stopped mentioning it. But it’s hard to pretend everything is okay. I just feel like I’m pretending an awful lot lately.

I pretend I’m happy when I’m not. I pretend I’m fine when I’m really upset about a situation. I don’t want to continue seeming “irrational” and “emotional.”

I feel like the only one I don’t have to put on a show for is CJ. But even then, I don’t want to overburden him when he’s been nothing short of a rockstar lately. I know this has been hard on him as well and I hate feeling like I’m one more thing he has to deal with. He has been so reliable and amazing. Encouraging therapy for the things I can’t talk through with him and helping out around the house.

For being unbelievably amazing, I thank you. Ten years together has not been enough. I hope it’s many more.

I have neglected my writing as of late, and sought solace in reading. I know I promised, but give a girl a break.

I honestly can’t remember how I came upon it, but I started reading something serialized. Only one chapter per week is released. Normally, this would SUPER bother me as I don’t like waiting for the ending, but as I was so far behind when I started it, it was okay. I had plenty of chapters to catch up on.

People would leave comments each week and it was through these comments that I realized I was reading a translated work and a live-action drama existed in its native language. I searched around and HULU came to the rescue. They had the entire series there and I was stoked!

So here’s the deal. The original story and the drama are in Korean. At the time the drama was made, only three out of the four books were done (it is also serialized weekly there), so the drama is open ended. Now in Korea, they have the complete story (end of book four), but the English translation is about three years behind. Yes, you read that correctly. Three years. So when I first watched the drama, it actually passed where I was up to in the story. I am on book three, chapter 45 and have still not caught up to the end of the drama (which remember, was just up to the end of book three), so for now it’s okay that I don’t have the full story. Once I no longer know what’s coming and I’m waiting week by week for the chapters in book four, I know it will be a different story. It will be so hard to wait for the ending!

Another post will follow with what I have discovered about these “k-dramas.” Because frankly, I love them.  🙂

It is far cheaper in this household to buy certain things in bulk and then separate them myself. But in order to do this, I need the containers to put things in. I hate wasting plastic baggies and the like, so I insist upon having reusable containers.

I had just bought some new containers and asked CJ to clean them and put them away while I was at work one night. So yesterday, when I went to use them, I looked where all the other storage containers are kept. The new ones weren’t there. I tried looking in a few places that made sense, but to no avail. I could not find them anywhere. I ended up having to text CJ on the first day at his new job because I was frustrated and I needed them. He knew exactly what I was talking about and exactly where I could find them.

I should know that unless I tell him exactly where I want something, I will not be able to find it.

But I really shouldn’t give him too much of a hard time about it. I have a difficult time finding things in general. In fact, we have a running joke about my inability to find things. And not just in the house. There have been many times where I have been out and someone has tried to point something out to me and I am unable to find it. I usually try to brush it off with, “Sorry. I’m bad at Where’s Waldo.”

The only thing that seems to save me when I’m having an especially hard time finding something is CJ. For some reason, even just his presence in the same room helps me find what I’m looking for. He laughs when he knows why I’ve called him and just comes to stand by me. He doesn’t help most of the time. He knows he won’t have to. It doesn’t take long to find what I need once he’s there. I just wish I had that kind of locating power all the time. Maybe one day his skills will rub off on me.  🙂