Discovering Me

Me on having babies, losing babies, trying to have babies and hoping to bring this one home.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

#7 for #2

Hi Audrey-girl...

Seven. Seven years. Seven years we have loved you and wish we had known you. Seven years we have wished you were with us and wished we knew your smile, your voice, your heart. Seven years we have missed you and didn't understand why you're gone. I know we aren't supposed to ask, but we do.

We had a big family portrait done in May. All of us, even the dogs. Such a big hole there. Daddy got so upset when we went to see them at the studio. Your absence is just so hard to handle when we are faced with big family things like that. It's not our family, not our whole family, because you are not there.

I can't believe where we have been and the things we have done and seen since you were born. Seven years seems like so much and so little all at once. I don't really know how to reconcile that. I don't know how or why time is that way; maybe that's best.

You would be seven this year. We would be celebrating first grade and sleepovers and bike riding and all the things you could do at seven that you couldn't do before. So many things we missed. So many memories lost. I hate that your birthday has become the day of ultimate sadness. I don't know what to do about that. I wish it could be a day of celebration. Instead, we get through most days for the rest of the year and instead of celebrating your birthday, we mourn your loss. We miss you and we wish you were here and the old wounds are open all over again. Your day isn't happy and fun like it should be, it's hard and sad and I hate that it is. I hate to be sad for any of my girls. I wish I knew how to change it. I'm sorry. I just don't.

I look at your sisters and I wonder how you'd fit into their group. I see Grace starting to become more of the babysitter than one of the kids playing. I wonder if you were here, would you guys have your own secret thing that you would take off and do while the Littles did theirs. I don't know. But, I wish I did.

Baby, it's another year gone. Another year that I wish I knew what you grew up to look like. Last I saw you, you looked so much like Julie. So much like Grace. Would that have continued? Would you be tall like Grace, or would you be teeny like Nat? So many questions I wish I could answer.

I miss you. I love you. Always.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Number Six for Number Two

September 16, 2010

Dear Audrey,

Happy sixth birthday, Baby. Let’s face it though, today should not be your birthday. Today should be just another day closer to the birthday you should have had around mine in October. I remember I was so excited to get to throw Halloween birthday parties.

Fall has always been my favorite time of the year. Funny though, it’s always the time of year that has brought the most struggles in my life. But you, you are a bright light. Even with you gone, I still feel like you are here. Somehow you still fit in that hole between yours sisters, Grace and Natalie. It’s your place.

This would have been a big year for you, for us. You would have started kindergarten. You would have ridden the bus with the big kids. You would be having your first grade school Halloween parade and party, so many firsts.

So many times that I stop and think what things might be like if you were here. How would our family be different? I wonder if we would have your baby sisters at all. Would we have stopped with you? That was the plan. We were going to have you and Grace and that would be all. I’m so thankful for all of you. I can’t imagine my life without the babies. In almost the same sense, it’s hard for me to imagine what life would be like with you here. It’s a difficult dichotomy for me, a very hard situation to reconcile. I don’t think I’ll ever figure it out. Maybe that’s life’s way. Well, it’s my life’s way. It’s what I was given. It’s what we were given.

It sounds odd, even to me, but I could swear I have heard to calling me lately. I’ve decided it must be you. It’s a voice calling “Mommy”. It’s not Grace, though many times when I’ve heard it I’ve asked her what she needs only to be told she didn’t say anything. It’s a voice too big to be Natalie. And, it’s certainly not Julie! It must be you. To me, it’s you. I hope you keep calling. I hope it’s your voice I hear.

Your big sister, Grace, she misses you so much. I think she feels your absence as much (or more) than Daddy and I do. She and Natalie are so far apart in age that they just sometimes don’t have enough in common to play well together. The two of you would have had so much fun. When she is her most frustrated with the little ones, she tells me that she would have someone to play with if you were here. I know she’s right. That was our plan. You two were going to be close in age and be able to share so many things growing up. I suppose too, that she would have someone to share the load with. She’s such a big helper, but if you were here, she would have someone to help her to help me. So many ways we all feel the hole where you should be.

I wonder if this year might not be harder than last, at least for me. Last year was so full of excitement, anxiety and expectation because Julie was coming. But this year, this year, our family is really complete. Complete in the sense that there won’t be any more babies. No new little people coming to meet us. This year we are here and we are not all together because you are not here. You are not here and that hole will always be where it is, right between Grace and Natalie. Your place.

I’m still surprised at how many people remember you. How many people send me a note this time of year who say that they are thinking of me and us and remembering you. Some of them I hardly know. There are a few people who I wish would remember you, who would just say something, but honestly, they are the same people who barely acknowledge your sisters, so I guess it should be no surprise. The people who remember, though, they are special. They are the ones who would have loved you, who do love you. They think of you and they think of our family and they send us their love.

So kiddo, here I sit, writing you a letter again. Another year. Another year we’ve missed you. Another year we love you. Another year we wonder what things would be like and who you would be. Another year when I can’t believe you’re gone. Another year I wish you were here. Another year that proves life goes on whether you want it to or not.

I love you, Baby. I miss you. Your daddy misses you. Your sisters miss you. We all love you. To the moon and back.



Monday, February 01, 2010

As you wish.

For posterity and old time's sake and because I didn't really know you'd want it... Thanks you guys. I couldn't have done any of this without you. Honest.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Ummm, Hi.

Julie is here. We are both well. My last c-section was certainly the most dramatic. 4 tries to get my IV in and I still have brusing almost 3 weeks later. The spinal didn't go well took 4 tries to get that in and working too. 4th section and 4 tries for everything...lovely. Baby Factory is closed, I had my tubes tied.

So, 6'3" and 18". She didn't fit anyy of the preemie clothes I bought. Nat wore hers for almost 2 months. Cest La Vie. She's a wonderful, sweet and good-natured girl who is content to just hang out and nap. She's a champ at nursing.

I posted on Facebook and I think most of you out there already knew that. I don't know how much I'm going to be posting here anymore. Between lack of time and lack of anything interesting to say, it's best. Let me know if you are on Facebook and want to keep in touch.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


January 8, 2010. Julie's birthday. It's like 9 days away. I might lose my mind. OMG.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Too much of a good thing

Eight days is a really long time to be at Disney World. It's an especially long time if you are finally willing to agree that your family is just too large to share one hotel room, you are 5 weeks from delivering your 4th child, your ankles and legs swell but never have in past pregnancies, you get harangued into wasting a day at a time-share presentation and/or you would really just rather be at home on your sofa or doing any of the one million things you think of that need doing before January 7 while lying in bed at night.

(that may be the longest sentence I have ever written)

Um, so the kids had a great time, but we won't be going back for at least five years. It may take us that long just to pay the bills we accumulated just for food. Five dollars for a hot dog people. A hot dog that you have to eat standing up because there is nowhere to sit at a hot dog cart. Anyway, it was fun. Honest. I think.

I realized something though. Pregnancy at thirty-five is way different than it was at twenty-seven. And not in the good way. It's harder. I hurt more. This kid is hanging so low I think she may have broken or bruised my tailbone. I need to sit, but it hurts to sit. I need to take a nap, but lying down too long makes my hips camp up. Walking too much makes my legs swell. I feel broken. I feel old. And, I feel like I am so very screwed when this baby comes.

I am scared to death. How am I going to manage all this? Seriously. My husband works ungodly hours. I spend 80% of my time alone with my kids. he rarely makes it home in time to put them to bed, never for dinner and he probably spends 40% of his workdays out of town. I am screwed. And not in the good way.

See a pattern here?

I am scared people.

Here, have a picture...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Okay, the name. This is always a huge issue in this house. I maintain that my husband tends to have more opinions than I am comfortable with. The name thing is no exception. Too many opinions. If I play the I-should-name-her-because-I-have-to-carry/deliver-her card, he plays the that's-not-fair card. It's a no-win for me.

After much debate, the name is chosen. We didn't let it out too much because initially (according to Jim) we're just trying it on and it may change. So far, it's sticking and since we have already gotten things with her name on them, done deal.

So, her name shall be.... Julie Mae.

Julie, mostly because we agreed on it and both generally like it. We have the Julie Andrews factor. I know she isn't what you would call one of the old Hollywood Glamour Girls, but she was beautiful and certainly graceful and lovely. The Mae could be partly for Mae West, you know, a little brassy and no-bull-shit never hurt anyone. But, mostly is for my grandmother. My dad's mom was born on the day this little one will be born, January 7. Her name was Ethel Mae. God knows Ethel is awful, she always hated it. Knowing her, she would find a way to come back and get me if I even dared use the Ethel. So, we used the Mae, in her honor.

Coincidentally, she is the grandma I have mentioned before who loved children but struggled for many years and had many, many losses (15 total, mostly 2nd tri, some later than that, one shortly after a premature birth) before she had my aunt and then my dad. She was in her 40's (42, I think) when my dad was born. In 1954, that was old, old.

So, Julie Mae it is. Short and sweet is my favorite. She is our little Bonus, a surprise we never expected, but now a surprise that is much anticipated and loved.