Wednesday, September 28, 2011

What Makes a Mother?

What Makes a Mother

I thought of you and closed my eyes.
And prayed to God today.
I asked what makes a mother and
I know I heard him say,

A mother has a baby.
This we know is true.
But God, can you be a mother
when your baby's not with you?

Yes, you can, He replied
with confidence in His voice.
I give many women babies.
When they leave is not their choice.

Some I send for a lifetime
and others for a day.
And some I send to feel your womb
but there's no need to stay.

I just don't understand this. God,
I want my baby here.
He took a breath and cleared His throat
and then I saw a tear.

I wish I could show you
what your child is doing today.
If you could see your child smile
with other children and say,

"We go to earth to learn our lessons
of life and love and fear.
My Mommy loved me, Oh so much,
I got to come straight here.

I feel so lucky to have a Mom
who had so much love for me,
I learned my lesson very quickly.
My Mommy set me free.

I miss my Mommy, Oh so much,
but I visit her each day.
When she goes to sleep,
on her pillow's where I lay.

I stroke her hair and kiss her cheek
and whisper in her ear,
'Mommy don't be sad today,
I'm your baby and I'm here.'"

So you see, my dear sweet one,
your children are okay.
Your babies are here in MY home
and this is where they'll stay.

They'll wait for you with ME
until your lesson is through.
And on the day that you come home,
they'll be at the gates for you.

So now you see what makes a Mother—
It's the feeling in your heart.
It's the love you had so much of,
right from the very start.

Though some on earth may not realize you are a Mother,
until their time is done.
They'll be up here with ME one day,
and know you're the best one.
~Jennifer Wasik~

To Love Another Person is to See the Face of God

To Love Another Person is to See the Face of God

I heard this line last weekend at a wedding I attended in Santa Barbara. One of my closest childhood friends married her high school sweetheart and I was so happy to be there to witness it. The priest who officiated the ceremony was really great. He quoted that line from Les Miserables and described the sacredness of this, their wedding day. He then turned his attention to the bride and groom's parents and asked them to reflect on the day their children were born. How they had seen the face of God that day in their children. In that love. And now, the bride and groom were seeing the face of God in each other. In that love.

That idea took my breath away. How true.

My wedding day itself was quite amazing and I definitely felt that feeling of being outside yourself, where you can't believe how happy you are and how loved you feel. Luckily, I feel that feeling often with my husband in various moments throughout life. A cute look or simple touch will melt me right back into that feeling of happiness and bliss that is marriage.

Seeing Bremy's face was not something I would describe as happy or joyous, but there was an absolutely indescribable emotion that occurred when I laid eyes on her. You hear it described, you think you know what love is, until you look at your own child. I don't think the feeling can be mimicked, and there is a reason for that. There was so much commotion prior to her arrival, so much crying and aching and pain. But when I finally opened the blanket that enveloped her, I felt a calm, a peace, a silence. It was Godly. I didn't think that at the time, per se, but when I heard that line at my friend's wedding, it hit me: I saw God in my child's face. I saw His masterpiece and that is why it felt so peaceful.

Obviously it was a very special moment that was overall extremely sad. I long for the moment when I look at my child's living face and watch her breath and move. But I will never forget holding Bremy and seeing her perfection and knowing that I helped create it through God.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Moving Forward...The Next 90 days

I'm finally feeling like my old self. I'll forever be different, and I might be a little more withdrawn for a while,but for the most part I feel the old Amy is around.

One part of the old me that I wish had not come back is my tendency to overeat, especially in times of stress. I was eating very healthfully while pregnant. I was told I had gestational diabetes at 16 weeks and adhered to that diet of low carbs and high veggies and good proteins from that point forward. It made me feel so good and I even lost some weight, which the Drs told me was great, considering I am clinically obese.

While not one person has mentioned that my weight may have played a roll in the incompetence of my cervix, and subsequent loss of my daughter, I can't help but wonder if this would have happened had I been at a more healthy weight. I'm not looking for an answer to the problem of my cervix, but using the problem as motivation to be at a healthier place the next time I get pregnant.

Speaking of being pregnant, I want more than anything in the world to be pregnant again. I feel as though I'd love to be pregnant right this very moment, but I know in my heart it's too soon and there is a reason we will naturally have to wait a while. My body is not 100% back to normal, and we were told by my Dr. that they recommend waiting the same amount of time that you were pregnant--so in our case, six months, before getting pregnant again. I don't know if I can wait that long, so I'm telling myself four months. I'm telling myself we will try in December, if everything else cooperates.

That is coming up really fast. This whole getting healthier thing needs to happen if I want to see any results by then. I want to see some weight off, I want to see some strength built and I want to see my attitude reflect those healthy things before we try again. So I'm telling myself that by Christmas, I want to have lost about 15lbs and be eating the diabetic diet consistently. That means very few sugars and more healthy carbs. I never felt better, physically and emotionally than when I was pregnant and I honestly feel that all of my hormones were just in balance. And now, they don't feel like that.

My diet was completely regulated while I was in the hospital. I loved their food (so lucky!) and really enjoyed their take on the diabetic eating plan. I got a full breakfast with the correct amount of carbs (around 35 grams), a snack of yogurt and graham crackers (around 20 carbs), lunch was a sandwich or hot meal with fruit, another snack of cheese sticks and fruit and crackers (loved this snack) , a hot dinner usually with brown rice or potatoes and then a nighttime snack of milk and graham crackers. It was so fulfilling and always tasted good to me. It was actually quite a lot of food-more than I usually eat, but I never felt the craving for sweets at all.

Now that I am home, emotional, and trying to get back to normal, my eating has been all over the place. I'm craving sweets each and every night and would rather have junk that a meal. It just has to stop!

So, for the next 90 days plus, I'm challenging myself to eat like I'm still pregnant in the hospital. I've stocked my shelves this week and am hoping for good results!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

About Your Daddy

Dear Bremy,

I wanted to talk to you about your father. He is a wonderful man who wants to be a daddy so much.

If you looked at the two of us on paper, many would say we aren't a match. But even though we come from different backgrounds, I knew the first time I spoke with him that he was the most genuine person I'd ever come to know.

A lot of people think that I "wear the pants" in our relationship. I'm an outspoken, take charge kind of girl. I like to be in control and most people usually let me take the lead. But, your Daddy is pretty darn stubborn and we naturally choose to be in control of different things, and that's why I think we work so well. I tend to be more of a spokesperson for the two of us. People call me to set up plans, and dates. He would rather choose the movie or the restaurant once I've set the plans to go out. I pay the bills and make the reservations, etc. I love doing those things, and your dad loves that I love to do those things because he does not. So when I became pregnant, I wondered how our roles would fit in as "expecting parents" and as "new parents".

I remember worrying that your dad would not be able to speak up for me when I gave birth and I teased him that I'd have to have my mom in the room to help, since he'd probably be overwhelmed and grossed out by the process. I remember worrying that he wouldn't know how to step up for us when you arrived, that he was so used to me being able to do most things, that we'd struggle as a couple when you arrived. I remember wondering if his enthusiasm to be a dad would wear off once you were actually here. We know so many dads who aren't hands on with their kids or their spouses, and I started to wonder if maybe your dad would end up like them?
Bremy, I'm ashamed to say that I ever worried about those things. I guess I was starting to lose faith in the choice that I made in your father. I was letting other examples of not-so-great dads and husbands convince me that your father was just another guy who would let down his wife and child. But those thoughts could not have been more misplaced.

What I love about your daddy is that he allows himself to feel and he is so compassionate and caring and so in touch with his and others emotions. I think a lot of men (your grandpa included) would not have known how to deal with the immense pain and trauma we endured the day you were born. Your dad took my hand and he cried with me. And he talked with me and prayed with me. He never once turned his back on me as I layed in that bed. When I was at my weakest moment, he grew strong, and when he had to bury his head in my shoulder and sob, I grew strong for him. We encouraged each other to be strong that day. When I was in pain as the Dr. examined me and had me push and push, he looked deep in my eyes and gave me strength and helped me. He was the only person in the whole world I wanted in that room, and to think I worried about him being strong for me is outrageous now. He was everything for us that day.

When you came, he was so very upset. We were both just emotionally ravaged and beyond tears. He wanted to protect me from seeing you, but I convinced him it was what I really wanted. And even though I know he wasn't sure it was the best idea, he crouched over my shoulder and we stared at you and admired you. He felt you and he looked at me and we broke down together because you were just so amazingly beautiful. And even though you were so tiny, and didn't have much weight on you, you already looked like the best possible version of both of us. Your mommy and daddy aren't going to win any beauty titles any time soon, but God definitely blessed you with each of our best physical features.

Even though you are not with us, your Dad is still so incredibly proud of you and so proud to be your dad. Even though it's painful, he doesn't shy away from talking about you and who you were and who you would have been. He hasn't bottled up his emotions like most men would.

He's been very protective of me and my emotions. Even though it's been a month since we lost you, he does not make me feel bad for crying each day. He doesn't tell me I should be over it by now, or that I don't deserve to be sad. He holds me as I whimper while I'm trying to fall asleep. He whispers outside my bathroom door, just to check on me as he can hear me crying. I've never had a man like this in my life. And while your grandpa and great-grandpas are amazing men in their own right, your dad is just something special that I never could
have dreamed up. He is a true companion to me, and I know he would have been to you too. Of course I've always thought highly of your daddy (I married him after all) but I could never have known how much he would rise to the occasion and be there for me in this desperate time.

He's now the spokesperson for the two of us. He screens some calls for me and communicates with my family and friends on those days that I just can't bear to talk with anyone. He was the one who wrapped up the arrangements for your final remains when I had to walk out of the funeral home because I was too upset. He chose your little urn with an angel on it. These were things I never could have imagined he would do. But he did, and he has shown me what an amazing father and husband he really is. I can only hope that we have another child, so he can be a day to day daddy.

In a couple weeks, your Dad and I will celebrate two years as man and wife. For the past six, he's been my partner and best friend. Losing you is definitely the hardest thing we've ever faced as a couple, and we hope it's the hardest thing we ever have to go through. But, even if there are more hardships to come, I know we will get through it together, just as we did this time.

Bremy, both your father and I love and miss you so much. I can only imagine how amazing of a daddy he would be right now if you were here and with us. But, we can only hope to be blessed with another child. For now, we are the broken hearted parents who have lost our baby too soon.