Angel Baby

Angel Holding Baby Tattoo Design

He was born into the arms of an angel,

His first cries echoing through the stars.

He will take his first steps in the clouds,

but his footprints will be in my heart.

He comes to me in the middle of the moments,

when the tears are not shy and my heart is open wide.

He let’s me know that I will never be alone again,

when the wind whispers and heaven’s tears fall upon my cheeks.

He is my baby even though he is not here,

and I am his mother, I am the mother of an angel.

My Miscarriage

"The worst thing a mother goes through is having to give her sweet angel back to heaven".

A year ago tomorrow I learned I had lost our baby. It’s hard to believe it’s been a year already. So much has happened in the space that filled that time. I never got the chance to properly mourn the loss of our child. Truth be told, everything got out of hand with my health so quickly that I couldn’t. I had such high hopes of being a mom, of having a birth that was not in a hospital and that was guided by a midwife as opposed to a doctor. Most importantly I had such high hopes of giving birth to a healthy baby after a healthy pregnancy. I fully expected to be spending time at this point with my almost 5 month old and enjoying motherhood. Instead a year ago today I traveled to first see my midwife and shortly after we couldn’t detect a heartbeat to the hospital for an ultrasound, it was there that it was confirmed that I was losing our baby. I was given options as to how to proceed and I chose to let my pregnancy pass naturally at home. It was at that point in my life one of the hardest physical and emotional experiences I had gone through. I had no idea at the time this was the start of the war. I had no idea my body had launched its first attack at me.

I was distraught, I was traumatized. I had already started having symptoms that would later be used to diagnose Antiphospholipid Syndrome. About 3 days after the miscarriage I began having Silent Migraines. I would get the visual auras but the headache phase of the migraine I was use to getting afterwards wouldn’t arrive. I started having up to 10 of these a day. This continued all summer. Silly me thought that because I wasn’t getting the headache though that it was an improvement, that it was a sign that my migraines were getting better. Hindsight is always 20/20. I know now that there was a big error in my thinking and that I should have gotten into the care of a doctor right away. Things happen for a reason though. So I try not to beat myself up too much over my lack of acknowledging there was a problem at that point. If I’m really honest with myself though, even last June there was a little voice in the back of my mind telling me that something was wrong, that something wasn’t right somewhere and I needed help. I convinced myself it was because of the emotional turmoil of the miscarriage. I also thought it was possibly hormonal, so I began taking herbal supplements to help my body flush excess hormones. This was back when I still believed herbal treatments could solve everything.

I tried hard last summer to be the smiling happy person my friends were accustomed to me being.  Inside I was torn apart though. I was experiencing a grief like none other. It’s amazing how quickly you begin loving a tiny human being when you get pregnant. I never got to hold my child, or see them in a form that is recognizable as a human child. Still to this day I miss them more than words can express. A part of me left with them. I do not know if I am mourning my son or my daughter. My instinct is that it was going to be a son. I can not explain why I feel this way, but I do. Sometimes I refer to them in the male form. It just feels right. When he left this world I learned that sometimes broken hearts don’t heal. I don’t think they are meant to, sometimes it’s the pain that reminds us that these moments were real.

I heard so many times over the last year, that the pain would go away, that the hurt would eventually fade to the background. That someday I would wake up and eventually when I thought about my child the pain wouldn’t be there. I haven’t gotten there yet. We made it through all the milestones. They were all painful. We made it to when my baby shower would have been. That sucked. We made it to December, that month when we should have been in the homestretch, awaiting the arrival of our baby. Then we made it to Dec. 27th. That magical date that the calculator spit out when they entered in my conception information and they estimated my due date. That really sucked. So on top of all the anxiety of being sick, and the diagnosis, and doctor appointments, and all this, we made it through to our due date, and was empty.

Now we’ve made it past that first Mother’s Day and it was awful. It should have been my first Mother’s Day as a mom. Instead I spent it thanking people who acknowledged the fact that I was the mom to an angel. It was heartbreaking. I also spent the day with my family and I had to lock myself in the bathroom to cry a couple of times just to let the emotions out so I could continue being the happy person the day required me to be for them.

Now here we sit, May 28th, 2014. This marks the eve of learning we had lost our baby.  I was already aboard a hijacked train that I had no idea I was on. 1 year ago Antiphospholipid Syndrome and Lupus were already beginning to make their marks on my life. 1 year ago they had already taken a life from me, they had taken my child from me.

My heart hurts no less at this point in time than it hurt a year ago. I honestly don’t think this is a hurt that ever goes away. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of him. There’s not a day that goes by, that I don’t feel like a part of me died that day, that a part of me is forever missing.

 

Dad and I

Happy Birthday Dad, I love you. I wish I could say it in person. I wish I could talk to you on the phone right now, or come see you, hug you, just sit and talk to you. I’ve stared at this picture a lot lately. It’s one of the few things I have left of you. It’s one of the few pictures of us I have. I still have a box of your things in my attic, including one of your old shirts, that still smells like the sawmill, alcohol and your cigarettes. Every time I look at this picture, I see it a little more each time. I wish I had of known it then, I wish you would’ve told me. I wish you hadn’t of lied to me, but you did. I’m thankful we had those few months to bond before you went away for good. I’m thankful we took that walk that day. It was hot, humid, and the cicadas were singing like crazy. I will cherish that memory for the rest of my life. It’s one of the few happy memories I have of us together. I thought I was gaining a father, getting a chance to have the relationship with you that I had wanted my entire life. I thought it was the beginning, I didn’t know it was the end, and that you were saying goodbye.

The things that happen in a year

This time last year … I was pregnant It had just happened, we had just found out a few days ago.  Amazing things were happening in my body. Other things were happening in my body too, scary terrifying things and I wasn’t aware of them, yet.
A few days later, a year ago a few of my closest friends were told. I hadn’t told my family yet so I swore them  to secrecy. I remember us all being so happy. It was a start of an adventure. I was on a journey, I was sure I knew the destination. There was magic happening in my body! There was also a war beginning in my body, on two fronts, but I had no idea.

Then  in a few short weeks Mother’s Day a year ago, and I was in Wilkes telling my mom she was going to be a grandma. She was so happy. Then I made the announcement to the rest of our friends and family. We were all on a journey at that point. It was magic….science and magic all combined and it was thrilling.

A few more days after that and the unthinkable began to happen a year ago  I miscarried. Time moves forward way too quick sometimes. Before I know it a year will be here since my first Antiphospholipid Syndrome and Lupus related events happened I think about that and I start to panic and I can’t breathe. Some call it lack of ability to cope, some call it panic attack, some will say PTSD, some say adjustment disorder. All I know is I hate this feeling and I hate what it has done to me, and I’m ready for it to be over, I’m ready for the enduring part of this to be over, and I’m ready for life to be easy again.

They struck quick and without me knowing they were even lurking in my body. When they did they caused me to miscarry at 10 weeks. I did not know at the time that they were  at play. In fact I wouldn’t know until several months later that I had APS or that it was what had robbed me of a chance to be a mother, and it would be a few more months after that before I was diagnosed with Lupus. If we get down to the science of the two conditions, it was probably more so Antiphospholipid syndrome that caused the miscarriage than it was Lupus.

I think about it a lot, in between the frequent doctor appointments, the fears of my two chronic illnesses, and such there is still the pain of the loss of our baby that I haven’t fully dealt with. So much happened so quickly that I never really got a chance to process the loss….

but…

Some broken hearts do not heal, and perhaps that is the way it is meant to be, because maybe that is the only way we know those moments were real.

You Make Me Smile

It’s one of those morning, it is gloomy out, my spirits are low, I feel Blah. I know it is a combination of the weather, the news of my friend’s death yesterday and more processing of my illnesses setting in. So I’ll spend the day trying to cheer myself up. I will try to acquire dark chocolate today. Yes it IS cliché, yes I AM a woman, and yes sometimes I drowned my sorrows with chocolate. Not just any chocolate, but good quality, dark chocolate. The kind that melts away the gloom as it coats your mouth with it’s richness. The kind that you feel instantly better as you consume it’s decadence. I won’t overindulged. I can’t, but today, I think I deserve a treat. The weather is nasty, my heart is heavy, life is sucky, and I think dark chocolate is in order.

Don’t these Ganache Bars Look scrumptious?

dark chocolate cherry ganache bars 10 1024x1024 dark chocolate cherry ganache bars

I found the recipe for them on this Lady’s Blog. I will have to make these sometime. I’m not sure if today will be that day, but someday I will make these.

Today though I may have to settle for just a dark chocolate candy bar, that I will share with my best friend Doug, while we are out running errands, in the rain and storms.

These are what made me smile today:

 

Breathe Easy Dear Boyscout

This afternoon I received news that our friend, Boyscout, passed away.  He was 40 years old, and for as long as I have known him, he has suffered from a Chronic Illness. He was the first friend I made when I moved to Charlotte. I knew then he was sick. I also knew  he was a fighter, had been fighting a lifetime and would fight to the end. He outlived his expected lifespan by several years. Like I said, he was a fighter, a true warrior. I will not discuss the details, as I did not have the chance to gain that permission before he passed away.

The day I moved to Charlotte I knew 1, count them ONE person, the man who would later become my husband. It was through him I met Boyscout. It was through him I met about 70% of my friends that live here.  The others I have met through various places I worked, through online groups, at coffee shops I frequent, and well just by pure chance. Boyscout was among the first people Mellow introduced me to when I met his friends after I moved to Charlotte to be with him. Boyscout, became my first friend here. It happened so gradually and naturally that I can’t even tell you how or when, but before I knew it we were hanging out and grabbing coffees together. We were confiding in one another and knew each other’s dreams, and fears, and secrets. We both belonged to a large group of acquaintances and within this group there were smaller groups of close friends. I was fortunate enough that we had become close friends.

Over the years I saw his illness take it’s toll. Countless hospital stays, and changes to his lifestyle, including changes from the house to he owned, to apartment life, to assisted living after the last hospital stay. That is not what I want to remember though. That is not how I want you to think about my friend.

What I want you to think when you read this, is how I saw him. He was brilliant. He was creative. He loved photography, and often took his camera everywhere with him.  He was driven. He was loving, and if he cared for you, you knew it. He was a solid friend. We had countless coffee dates where we would trade stories back and forth of earlier times in our lives. He was 10 years older than me so he had a few more stories to tell.

My heart is heavy, and my eyes are sore from the tears I’ve fought back, from the tears I’ve cried. Loss and grief are never easy. They seem to happen at regular intervals the older I get. Just as I start getting over the loss of one person, it seems I lose another. I pray for ample time to mourn the loss of my friend before anyone else departs, because with everything going on, and this is going to be selfish of me, I just don’t think I can take anymore heartache right now. It might lead to too much dark chocolate, and I’m not sure any of my doctors would approve of that. I can barely see the screen any longer so I’m going to wrap this up.

Oh Boyscout, You made it to 40, good buddy, you did it! You outlived every doctor that ever set a limit on your life. Breathe Easy and Rest In Peace. Much love, and I’ll see you on the other side someday.