Tuesday, October 25, 2016

A Day...

(From yesterday)

Today was a truly terrible, no good, very bad day.  OH MY GAWD was it ever.  Wow.  I guess right now I should pat myself on the back because, hey, at least I survived it!

I know, first world problems and all that.  Obviously my day could have been far worse.  But it still royally sucked.  It was ‘A Day.’

I went to bed with a migraine last night and woke up with it not as bad but still not great, and I knew James wouldn’t be home till 10pm due to out-of-town co-workers visiting the office this week, which didn’t help.  

I had to take the girls with me to an impromptu meeting at the school first thing and they didn’t behave and it was exhausting and we had to leave part way through after completely distracting the speaker and everyone trying to listen because the girls were fighting over who had the rights to the better toys in the room.  

When we got home, while making eggs for breakfast, I cracked two eggs into a bowl, and the third egg in was filled with BLOOD so ultimately all 3 eggs had to be garbaged.  Totally grossed out and wondering why the hell that didn’t make me an instant vegan.  

Girls fought, so much bickering, so many tears, so much yelling ALL DAY.  

Yes, it was A Day.  

Went to pick Andrew up and Emily needed to pee so I had her pee in the Ikea potty we keep in the van for emergencies because the day was SO BAD there was no way I was going into the school and potentially running into someone I might have to talk to (!).  I put kleenex in afterwards to soak up the pee so there would be no risk of it dumping out while driving, but forgot about the kleenex part when I dump it all into the toilet at home and it clogged the toilet.  A lot of plunging later………

The highlight and GOOD POINT to the day was that we decided to carve a pumpkin….At least it was supposed to be ‘a’ pumpkin, until suddenly it was FOUR pumpkins.  A lot of work for me, but totally worth it and fun.  The kids decided what the pumpkins should look like, and I carved for them.  They were all happy with what they ended up with, and I was, too.  AND we’re all excited for the pumpkin seeds James will be roasting for us tomorrow!  Yum, I can hardly wait!

I ordered Chinese food for dinner because the pumpkins had taken over and it took all I had left just to clean up from that (as well as the dishes from earlier in the day that I’d neglected).  Instead of having it delivered I decided we’d go pick it up, even though it meant piling all 3 kids into the van with me since James wasn’t home, because it would give us something to do for a few minutes.  You know it’s ‘a day’ when you’d rather take all 3 kids to pick something up than just have it delivered to the door for a couple of extra bucks!

I was just thinking to myself, Mmm, that Chinese food was yummy, the kids liked it, too, maybe this day wasn’t soooo bad, when Andrew called out, ‘Oops’ to which I asked, ‘What?’ to which he answered, ‘I spilled some milk’ to which I asked, ‘Where and how much?’ to which I discovered on the couch, and a whole glass.

I would just think the kids were happy (before the girls’ bedtime, for example, they all started a long jump competition using a blanket with stripes as their measure of distance to jump, and I would just think how sweet it was that they were all giggling and playing together so happily when one would do something to annoy another and all hell would break loose and I’d wonder, in all honesty, how many more minutes of the day I could manage.

Emily was asleep almost the instant her head hit the pillow.  Margaret, of course (Oh, Margaret,’ as we often say) took a bit longer, but ultimately even she went to sleep relatively quickly when all was said and done (and teeth were well brushed!)

Andrew and I carved the last pumpkin and then started watching a show on Netflix about little baby animals in the wild, which of course was as cute as it sounds, and then off he went to bed (after somehow conning me into ‘one short story’ which ended up being fun because even though it wasn’t meant to be a silly story, I read it in a silly way and he laughed hysterically and in a way that totally made me happy) and then suddenly all the kids were asleep, and the house was quiet, and the dishes were done, and I had two minutes to actually THINK and then James was home and we were talking about our days.  Mine of which I can’t say I was desperate to recount but at the same time it was what it was.  I just hope tomorrow is better.  As in, soooooo much better, because I can’t even fathom the thought of having another day like today tomorrow!

A lot more happened than what I’ve shared here, of course, and a bit of it was fine but a lot of it felt challenging, frustrating, and in moments downright impossible.  I guess I should just be grateful that the majority of days are NOT like today in my life, and a day like today reminds me that most of the time, even if there can be some bad moments, it’s not like THIS!

Tomorrow is a new day, right?!  I already have my hopes set higher!!

Just random…

I asked Emily today:  What do you love about Mommy?  She replied: I love Mommy because she cuddles me all the time.   And because I love her.  I asked Margaret the same thing and she answered:  I love how Mommy doesn’t make us nap on any of the days anymore!  

Monday, October 10, 2016

Trigger warning: Five years post miscarriage thoughts

Tomorrow will be October 11th, and it will mark five years since I lost our baby#2 at around 11-13 weeks pregnant.

FIVE YEARS.  I can’t believe it.  I still remember it as if it happened just yesterday.  It obviously doesn’t hurt as much as it did then, but it definitely still aches.  I wonder if that pain will ever go away.  Honestly, I feel like it would have by now if it was going to.  But the fact is, having that happen changed me in a big way, and I don’t see how I could ever fully get over going through that.

I am SO blessed (not meant religiously, but it’s the best word to describe it) to have the children that I do.  I am so grateful that I had such a perfect pregnancy with Andrew, who is going to be EIGHT at the end of this year, and who is a healthy, happy, smart, adorable, WONDERFUL boy.  I am so, so lucky to have had such a perfect first experience with pregnancy and birth and the infancy stage and so forth.  My pregnancy following the loss was obviously more complicated given that it was with twins, but how amazingly lucky am I to have been able to have TWO babies at once when most women are lucky to have just one at a time?!  I will always marvel at the fact that we have twins, and although I had concerns throughout the pregnancy and worried about what the delivery would be like, and nearly lost it when Emily didn’t cry at first and I thought she wasn’t OK - when all was said and done, the pregnancy went very well, the birth experience was as good as I could have possibly hoped for, and I ended up with two healthy babies who will be 4 in less than a week, and who are bright, beautiful, smart, funny and just the sweetest little girls in the whole wide world.  I love my kids more than anything in the universe, and I KNOW I am such a lucky mama to have them.

Without the loss I experienced, I would not have Margaret and Emily in my life.  I know that if I’d had my two singletons I would have known no different, and I do like the idea of not having the pain right in my core from the loss, and not have to know what it’s like to have flashbacks to a tragic experience, because I wouldn’t have had that if not for that miscarriage.  However, as much as I wish that baby had survived, I ultimately have to be grateful, for lack of a better word, because I LOVE my boy and I LOVE my two girls, and I really couldn’t have it any other way knowing what I know now.  I couldn’t imagine not having my twins!  I just will never have answers to my questions about the miscarriage, and I think that’s what truly haunts me.  I had to say ‘11-13 weeks pregnant’ because I don’t even have the answer to how far along I was, since I was 2 days away from my dating ultrasound.  I can only say from those few seconds seeing my baby, I am pretty sure I was more like 13 weeks despite that I should have only been around 11.

Shortly after it happened, (a few weeks or month later I think) I remember sobbing about it at a doctor’s visit, and he told me that I HAD to let go of wanting answers because I literally would NEVER have them and I needed to not dwell on that because it would consume me in an unhealthy way because answers were 100% impossible.  I obviously don’t DWELL, and I wouldn’t say it consumes me by any means, but there’s a bit of a nag there whenever my mind remembers.  I would say I remember on a daily basis still, at the very least every few days but I don’t think a day fully goes by that I’m not aware.  It’s just part of who I am, and I guess I should just be thankful that it wasn’t even worse than it was, because I know relative to a lot of women my experience wasn’t that bad, although that in itself is a tragedy to me because to me, it was the most awful experience of my life.

If I could have held the baby and not have had it whisked away so suddenly.  If I hadn’t felt so entirely helpless and shocked in that moment.  If James had been with me and saw it with me.  If I hadn’t been alone in my experience.  If I’d been able to see if it was a boy or girl.  If any tests could have been done to possibly figure out what had gone wrong.  If I’d asked more questions during the ultrasound the day before.  I have so many what if’s still.  I know I can never answer any of it.  But I can’t help but still ask those questions inside my head, and feel sad that I’ll just never know.  And play over in my mind what happened, although I try not to think about it most of the time.  I still feel uneasy about the fact that I have to carry that weight with me literally for the whole rest of my existence, and that’s just the way it is.  It hurts, I’m not going to lie.  I don’t really talk about it anymore.  Occasionally I’ll mention something to James about it, I know he knows it still affects me, but it just is what it is at this point.  There’s nothing that can change it, and I don’t think I dwell in an unhealthy manner, it’s just something that’s there that I have to live with.  I will always find it extremely difficult to drive past, or anywhere remotely near, RCH Emergency.  I think I might rather die than ever step foot in there again, not kidding.  It’s just the way it is.

I’m happy, and I love my family, and I really, really, REALLY am so glad things worked out the way they did so that I got my two girls as well as their big brother.  I’m not happy or glad that a baby we created had to die in order for us to get where we are now, but I also know we wouldn’t have what we have if it hadn’t worked out that way.  I guess it’s a bit bittersweet.  But also incredible that our two girls were born one year and 3 days after the loss.  I know I was SO fortunate to be able to get pregnant again just four months after the loss, and end up with two perfect babies from that pregnancy. It's a wonderful outcome ultimately, I am definitely aware of that, but it's still hard.

Baby #2 died right on Thanksgiving 2011, which definitely changed this holiday, and my life, forever, but I also know I have so much to be thankful for every day, and my three kids are what I’m grateful for the most.  XXX

On the island for Thanksgiving

We went to Victoria on Friday and just got back last night.  We hadn’t been for a few years I think, as it’s quite costly to go (over $100 each way just for the ferry, not to mention hotel and food costs) so I’m glad we were able to make the trip to see James’ side of the family.

We were travelling over on Friday, which wasn’t actually part of Thanksgiving weekend, but we were still worried it was going to be insanely busy because of the new Tsawwassen Mills mall that just opened on Wednesday.  We had a reservation for there and back but you only have a half hour window to get there in time to keep the reservation, so it just felt stressful and we decided to leave extra early just to be cautious.  

As it turned out, there was hardly any traffic the whole way out, and we got there in time to catch the 9am ferry, an hour earlier than the one we had the reservation for!  We let the kids play and wander on the boat for a while and then spent the remainder of the trip in the van.  The kids had their tablets and some snacks to keep them occupied.  It went by pretty fast, and then because we couldn’t check into the hotel (The Sandman) till 4pm, we drove into Sidney to check things out there.  We happened across this place called Mineral World, where the girls had fun filling up little bags full of ‘treasure’ rocks, and Andrew got some cool magnetic stones.  We also hit up a toy store in the area, which was a bit of a mistake because of course the kids desperately wanted something but we didn’t want to spend a lot of money.  The girls came away with tiny little beanie stuffies (an elephant for Margaret she named ‘Buddy’ and a pink raccoon for Emily that she named ‘Fluffy’ and has taken to carrying around in a plastic cup also filled with the rocks she got at Mineral World).  Andrew got a little bag of mini lego type stuff (that isn’t actually lego but I don’t know what to call it).  

We were going to go find somewhere to eat lunch but James decided to call the hotel first to see if maybe we could check in before 4.  It turned out the room was already ready for us, so we got checked in, then went for a bite to eat at a diner not far from the hotel.  We were all getting a bit hangry but that still doesn’t excuse the kids’ HORRIBLE behaviour throughout lunch.  Especially Andrew, who was making us feel like we should cancel our dinner plans with James’ dad and partner (who were out visiting from Ontario), and his sister and her new fiance.  We spent some time resting in the hotel room and then we met up at a Greek restaurant nearby.  It ended up going really well, the kids were so excited to see everyone and they were of course enthralled with them, so everyone was happy there!

On Saturday we woke up to rain, which made it a bit more challenging to come up with something to do.  James wasn’t feeling all that well by that point with his cold, and I was feeling like I might be coming down with it, so we didn’t have a lot of energy for activities.  We also didn’t want to spend a fortune on something touristy that the kids would likely only half enjoy.  We decided to take the kids to Mayfair Mall so they could run around inside a bit, and then we took them to Toys R Us with the knowledge beforehand that we weren’t buying anything, but would take pictures of them with toys they really liked that they might want to put on their Christmas wish lists.  Basically it was just a ploy to pass some time and keep them occupied!  From there we went back to the hotel for a bit of a rest, and then it was time to head over to James’ sister’s house for Thanksgiving dinner (which was delish, AND they even made Tofurky for us!)

Their house is basically a dream home and every square inch looks like it’s right out of a magazine.  It kind of made me want to go home and throw everything out and start over, but one obviously that’s not a possibility, and two, even if I had all their decor our house would still end up looking like a daycare center!!  There’s no way around it.  (They don’t have kids!)

We met James’ sister’s significant other’s family, who were all really nice, and Andrew performed all of his dances and then some.  He and Margaret did a duet of The Final Countdown that was also a big hit!  Emily can do that dance too, but she’s more shy when it comes to performing, especially in front of people she hasn’t 100% warmed up to yet.  By the end of the night she was making the rounds sitting on everyone’s lap, but she still wasn’t completely broken out of her shell.  Another day and I’m sure she would have been!  

Andrew was really sweet at the dinner table.  He’s such a little old man the way he talks to people, and everyone was taken by him.  A little after dinner had started, Andrew announced that our family tradition at Thanksgiving dinner is to go around and tell everyone what we’re thankful for, and he would like to do that if everyone else was OK with it.  So we went around and did that, and it was a highlight of the evening to hear all the nice things people had to say, and how grateful we all were to be together that evening.  I loved that Andrew was the one to get that started, and that he remembered that particular tradition that we have.

We didn’t get back to the hotel till 10pm.  Andrew and Emily both fell asleep on the drive there, but Margaret literally held her eyes open and said she wasn’t going to sleep because she wanted to watch a show before she had to go to bed!  All three kids fell asleep relatively quickly once we were back.

Yesterday morning we met up with James’ dad and co for coffee at the little restaurant in the hotel, and then said our goodbyes and headed over to James’ other dad’s place (the dad that raised him, I know, it’s complicated!)  The bil and sil-to-be were there also, and some of James’ dad’s significant other’s family.  We had a nice visit and a really yummy lunch.  James was at the worst stage of his virus and basically laid on the couch and slept for a lot of the time we were there, and as we were visiting I could feel the virus hitting me but I didn’t want to mention it because I hated to draw attention to the germs we were leaving behind.  We tried really hard to contain it so hopefully no one else will get sick.  By the time we were getting to the ferry on the way home (which we got to in perfect time for our reservation, which we probably didn’t need but I’m glad we had just for security) I wasn’t feeling very well at all.  We were going to just stay in the van for the whole trip but then Margaret announced that she needed to poo, so we all went upstairs for a while and the kids were happy to run around and look in the gift shop (where I refused to buy anything!) and before we knew it, it was time to head back down to disembark.  The cold was really taking me over by that point and has just continued to get worse since.  We got home in really good time, though, and thanks to my mom having spent Friday at our house so the furnace guy could come to do the yearly maintenance, we were able to put the furnace on and heat the house up because it was COLD.  First time using the heat this season!

All in all it was a great visit to the island, I’m glad we were able to make the rounds to see everyone and had all that time with them.  I just wish we could have felt healthier for it, and that the weather had been nicer so we could have done more things outdoors.  For the most part everything went really smoothly, though, so I’m happy about that.

Today we’re just ‘relaxing’.  James and I are taking turns getting some rest, more like!  I put up a few more of our Halloween decorations outside any my plan is to get our backyard stuff all put under cover for the cold seasons, but I’m not sure if I actually have enough energy to do that.  I’m feeling so achy and out of it.  I’m glad we get this extra day to rest up before the regular grind starts up again tomorrow.  Right now the kids are starting a movie, so I might rest my eyes for a few while they’re quiet.

The beginning of fall...

(Written October 3...oops, I am so bad at remembering to post!)

It’s October, so I’ve officially decided it’s time to embrace the fact that it’s Fall and stop mourning the loss of Summer that seemed to happen way too suddenly for my liking.  I don’t love Fall and Winter the way I do Spring and Summer, BUT it has to happen, so I may as well get into all the things I DO love about these seasons.

Friday was a pro-d day so Andrew decided it was the PERFECT day to start our Halloween decorating, despite that it was still September!  I planned to only allow the kids to put up a few of our indoor decorations and then wait a week or so to really get into it, because last year I remember we decorated way too early and by the time Halloween rolled around I was kind of over it. BUT once we had everything out it was impossible not to get into the full swing of decorating.  We still have half our outdoor stuff to add, which I think I’m going to wait to do till after this next weekend, but we’ve got our Halloween spider lights up and I’ve already been enjoying having those on at night time.  I do love having the lights, and look forward to when it’ll be time to get our Christmas lights up in a few months!!

It’s a busy several months between Fall and Winter with Thanksgiving, and then the girls’ birthday the week after, and of course Christmas and Andrew’s birthday following shortly after that...  My dad is having surgery next month and we’re going to be travelling to the island for a few nights to visit James’ side of the family soon so it feels like there’s a lot going on this next little while.  A lot to prepare for, and wrap my head around!  

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