Thursday, October 18, 2012

Tonight I received an email from a very dear friend. A friend of hers is 5 months pregnant. Her unborn daughter has a hole in her heart. She was also diagnosed with Trisomy 13 and 18.

I've been putting together some links and resources for my friend because she's trying to be as supportive as she can. (If you know of any good support sites specific to this diagnosis, please send them my way!)

If you pray, please keep them all in your prayers.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Illuminate Week Four -- One Year From Today.

“The very least you can do in your life is figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof.”
― Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams

In 2006, T left home for the Air Force. The same night, F was killed in a horrible car accident.

In 2007, I left home for the Navy. 17 days later, Andy was killed in a horrible car accident.

In 2008, I had a job I loved and I was married to my best friend.

In 2009, I was divorced.

In 2010, I was pregnant for the first time and then my baby died.

In 2011, I was pregnant for the second time and this baby died too.

In 2012, I was pregnant for a third time and this baby actually got to come home.

I've been trying to write this for five days. Just sitting here, staring blankly at the screen. Trying to think of what a year from now might look like. One year isn't very long, so that sounds simple enough. But then I look back at where I was a year ago. And a year back from then. And then another year. The last several years have been one hell of a roller coaster, to say the least. They definitely didn't work out like I had planned...or like I could have ever imagined.

One year from today.

Marshall will be almost 14 months old. Bryan will be done with school. My time in the Navy will be done. I will be 3 years and 3 months from losing my first baby.

If I try really hard, I can picture us moving into our own place. A nice little house with an oak tree. A garden full of big hydrangeas, some butterflies, and maybe even some chickadees. A sun filled room for me to paint in. A patio to relax and enjoy a cup of tea as the sun comes up. Pictures and reminders of Lilly and Brake will fill the inside, just as they do here.

I can picture Marshall and the dog chasing each other around a big fenced backyard. Or Marshall running to his dad as he gets home from work. I can picture his dad actually playing with him...a feat that is hard to come by right now.

I can picture being back in school, finishing my nursing degree. I can picture running my own business. I can picture an outreach of sorts, with a room full of local baby loss mommas with a safe place to open their hearts. 

I can picture a healthy, happy family.

Real, true happiness. In spite of the grief, the fear, the nightmares, but probably never without them.  

But then I start thinking again. About the past. About the present. About all the things that have happened and all the things that keep going wrong.

And then I start doubting because the past has already proven that what I imagine doesn't always happen, that life sometimes has other plans, that some things just don't work out.

In reality, I don't know that any of that will happen next year, or even the year after that.

I guess all that's left is to pray and cling tightly to hope. That's what has brought me this far.

Saturday, October 6, 2012


I go back to work next Friday, for the first time in several months. That's 6 days.

Marshall starts day care in 9 days.

I'm terrified.

I have honestly been dreading this day since I found out I was pregnant. I know that people send their children to day care every day, and that this shouldn't be a big deal.

But when I think about handing him over to someone else, I'm haunted by the image of myself handing Brake's lifeless body back to the funeral director. When I dream about it at night, I wake up drenched in sweat, and I have to get up to make sure that Marshall is alive, that he is real. During the day, especially while trying to figure out all the paperwork, my chest gets tight and I start crying.

Maybe it's just the end of my maternity leave becoming too overwhelming. Too many changes and adjustments all at once. Too much to do. Too many places to be. It's all just too much.

I know it will get better. I know he will be okay. But it still hurts.

Speaking of going back to work, I have to make a decision about my future in the Navy soon.

Right now I have just less than a year left. I want to get out. I want to go back to school. I want to be home with Marshall. I want to do anything that doesn't involve going back to sea duty and long deployments and leaving my son for several months at a time.

It's more than that though.

My job played a huge role in losing Brake, and I made up my mind last year that I wasn't doing this anymore. The way things happened. The way it was handled. The way I was treated. The night mares about going to work. The nervous breakdowns on the flight line. All those nights that I would rather have driven off the bridge than gone in to work.

I'm a lot better this year. But the hell I went through last year and the people in charge that either let it happen or made it worse broke me to a point that I don't want anything to do with the Navy.

I want to feel like my own person again.

I want a job that makes me happy.

I want to work without always wondering when or if that might happen again.

I never planned on making this a career. I joined because I was bored of my small hometown. I wanted to get out and have some adventures and see where they might take me. I figured by the time a family came into the picture, I'd be out and settled down somewhere. (I wasn't planning on a family quite so soon.)

Bryan wanted a career, but it didn't work out for him. So now he wants it for me because I have such great potential and it's better for us, for our family. He's pushing for a re-enlistment, for an officer package, for whatever keeps me in longer.

I understand that this really is the best place for our family, at least financially, with the steady paycheck and insurance. I understand that money is important because that's what keeps the bills paid and groceries in the house.

But if I'm really this unhappy, is it worth it?

Or am I just being selfish?