May 31, 2010

The New Natural

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, scientists sent down to assess the damage noticed something peculiar. Amidst all the devastation, Magnolia trees which normally only flowered in Spring, were in full bloom in Autumn. Somehow, the trees were aware of the urgent need to germinate new trees in order to survive as a species, or perhaps because the landscape needed the beauty desperately. For whatever reason, this phenomemon gives me hope.

Only three months after giving birth to my little Brynnie, I discovered that I was pregnant again. Is it natural to get pregnant this soon after giving birth? Not for mothers of live babies. But for my community of mothers, like the Magnolias blossoming at the wrong time, it is quite common.

We take it as a gift. We feel blessed, forgiven, second chanced. We are ecstatic. We are terrified. I am doing everything different this time. Getting all the elective screenings and ultrasounds I so smugly turned down in previous pregnancies. Retaining the option to induce early if I'm absolutely crazy in those last weeks, but hoping to have faith. Praying vigilantly for a child that will live to old age.

And I will not complain about this pregnancy. But I want to say something about pregnancy for those of you who have not experienced it first hand. It is harder than we make it look.

Only a woman would say, "YES! Please make me feel sick and grow significantly fatter for a year (or in my case two) so that I may have someone to depend on me for their very existence, and all things otherwise. Let me waddle around for months in my once ambulatory hips, so that I can stay up all night listening to incessant screaming. Let me give up my sanity to hormones for the rest of my life. Yes, please please please let it be me!"

No matter how much I thought I knew about it before becoming a mother, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. And motherhood begins at conception. And it is every bit worth it. Please pray for this child, who I decided a week after Brynn died will be named ZOE, which means LIFE!

May 16, 2010


Click on:

and vote for both goals everyday until May 31 for the Pepsi Foundation to fund the Mother's Day Project:

#1 - Better Fetal Monitoring for High-risk pregnancies

#2 - Birth planning and support for parents whose babies have died.

For me, there was very little support "in place" system wise, and I could have easily fallen through the cracks if I didn't have a few very strong friends and faith reserves of my own.

A Good Day

Today was our Memorial Service for Brynn. We had given ourselves enough time, I guess, and somewhere in the past three months, without even noticing, peace happened. For now. I know the pain will always be there, and will resurface from time to time, but today was not sad for me. I am so proud of my daughter, and thoroughly enjoyed sharing her a bit today. I had beautiful prayer cards made, we displayed a pencil portrait in an engraved frame (thank you again Melissa). There were lots of flowers, but not funeral flowers. The party was fun and there was plenty of food.

This week I feel this message from God: When you are struck with a tragedy and celebrate anyway, I will give you reason to celebrate. Out of the blue to us, Jimmy went back to work electrical this week after being laid off for almost two years ... and it seems like he carried a reputation for being a great electrician, he was told he came highly praised.

I have been working at a great part-time job for the past month, in a kindergarten class where I only have to worry about one kid, and he's a peach, and the pay is good. I made my own hours and Shane's grammy volunteers to hang with him for the two days per week, taking him to playgroups, libraries, and the children's museum to see the animals every week.

There are lots of other things happening in our family life to celebrate, big and little. Too many to list.

And Brynn is incorporated into our family life. When I can't find her ID bracelet or my angel necklace I ask Brynnie to help mommy find it and she always does within seconds. I tell her I love her all the time. We talk about her. Her spirit is very near. Having Brynn has somehow made it very easy for me to take care of myself. Her love for me is as tangible as anyone else's. Moreso. I hope we keep the simple perspective on life that we've gained from Brynn.

I took the thing that I considered to be the hardest thing anyone's ever had to do in life, and we did it. I found the support I needed, I learned to speak my truth easily. Not every day but some days, Brynn has meant a great accomplishment to me. Her name means hill. How appropriate. Love you baby.

Huh. I just read my Uncle's comment and today is my Grandpa's birthday. I've felt his presence often this year. Happy Birthday Grandpa! I bet you and Brynn are wearing your party hats in heaven, double jumping all over the place together.