Saturday, July 31, 2010

A Simple Drive

A nice summer drive is just what I needed to clear my head.  Husband and I took turns behind the wheel.  I'll admit he drove more than me,  I'm more of a copilot.  He was nice enough to let me pull over and took some pictures.  Funny how some days I feel like quitting my job and taking up photographer full time. I find it very relaxing to take something so simple and capture what makes it so complex.  A windmill with a great Texas sky as it's back drop.  It spoke to me.  Printing it in color and black and white, can't decide which I like better.                          The pile of screws were random.  They were simply laying in a parking lot next to a curb. No explanation where they may have come from.  I joked that someone had more than one screw loose.  I thought it was strange, but compelling.  I love that I can still find beauty in the crazy world that betrays me most of the time.  I guess that's why taking pictures of objects is easier than pictures of people.  People are fakes most of the time.  Finding ways to hide their true selves from others.  We think no one will notice.  Thinking that we're so clever.  The screws looked as if they had been laying there for awhile.  People had walked by them repeatedly and never noticed them. Why?  They caught my eye right away.  I glanced and kept walking, walked further down the side walk and had to walk back they seemed to call to me.  I found it somewhat symbolic that there was a crack right down the middle of them.  Loose screws cracked lives, just thrown to the curb.  Clearly told my story.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Three Simple Words.......

Three simple words brought me to tears.  I've been through so much pain in my life, how could I cry over three simple words? 

A coworker made her big announcement yesterday. She had told another coworker and I about it weeks ago, but wanted to wait until after visiting the doctor before she told the boss.  As I stood in the small office surrounding by a the other ladies I couldn't help but cry on the inside.  She waiting until the end of the day and we all tagged along.  She stood in front of the desk and handed her a sonogram picture. I might add that the office is made up of five women so we are all close, but only work friends.  Boss was happy, smiling like a proud grandma, so to speak.  I stood there and chatted and laughed along with the others, but I was dieing on the inside.  To make it worse the boss knew I was trying to get pregnant, but didn't have a clue that my coworker was.   So boss avoided eye contact with me the entire time.  Can you say awkward!!  All of this wasn't a surprise.  I knew she was trying to get pregnant.   Don't get me wrong I'm happy for her, but I'm heart broken.  I left the office smiling and trying hard to hide my pain.  Did all the normal end of the day routine and headed to my car.  I called my husband to say I was leaving work, he could hear something in my voice.  "Are you ok?"  Three simple words.  I couldn't even speak.  "are you ok?"  All I could say was "I had a bad day.  I'll see you at home."  I cried all the way home.  Got home, calmed down, stopped crying.  Husband walks through the door.  "Are you ok?"  Here we go again.  I spent the next few hours staring off into space and fighting back the tears.  Didn't eat dinner and went to bed early.  Got to bed and cried most of the night.  Don't worry my husband was right beside me the whole time.  As I rambled on about how it wasn't fair and that I was tired of trying. 
My vent went something like this........Why can everyone I know get pregnant, my sister, my sister in law, my husbands loser cousin, my doctor who referred me to the fertility specialist, at least 4 of my students (who, if I might add aren't married and already have other children they can't support).  What have I done so wrong in my life. Haven't I had enough pain.  WHY????   We've been trying since January 2009.  That's over 1.5 years.   20 visits from AF. 4 days a month crying about her arrival That’s at least 76+ days that she has ruined for me. Over a year and a half TTC. That’s 20 months. 600 days. 14400 hours. WTF!!!!!!!!!!!!! Every month I’m ready to abandon ship and say NO MORE!......along with more crying.
I cried myself to sleep.  Woke up this morning with a headache and puffy eyes. I'm at work now and just trying to avoid everyone at this point.  Sitting here writing this,  they all think I'm working on something very important and work related of course.  I'm trying to cry.  Hoping no one asks "Are you ok?"  grrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!

Monday, July 12, 2010

More about Dakota

Dakota is the only good thing that came out of my 1st marriage.  You know how parents brag about how smart their child is and in the back of your mind you think "their only saying that because it's their kid, bet their just as average as the next", well  Dakota is smart.  She's wise beyond her years.  She's been in school since she was 3 years old and unlike most kids she still loves it.  Not sure where she got her smarts.  Her dad and I are of about average intelligence.  She excels at most things with ease.  She's been through a lot in her life, so I think that has helped her grow up a little to fast.  With her dad and I divorcing when she was young she had to learn to adjust to two lifestyles in two different homes.  He and I diffinately don't have the same parenting style.  He's the one to discipline with a belt or ground her from her phone.  I'm more of a talker.  I can usually sit down and talk to her and find out the source of the problem.  Like when she was younger if she was throwing a fit I would stand back and think, is she hungry? is she sleepy?  All fits have a source. Now she's a teenager and you would think that her being hungry or sleepy wouldn't play a part in fits, but I'm a firm believer that there is a source to the things that children act out about.  Her and I have a strong relationship because of this.
Beside the divorce Dakota lost a sister only a few days after her 5th birthday.  (You can read about Zoe on the post for July 4th.)  No one should ever have to suffer the loss of a sibling, especially a 5 year old child.  Dakota handled the loss better than most adults.  I gave her the room she needed to grieve and we talked about Zoe anytime she felt she needed to talk.  Dakota is the only reason I was able cope with Zoe's death.  I was still a mom.  Most days when I felt like staying in bed and crying all day I would have to get up and take care of Dakota.  She still needed me.  It's been over 8 years now, Dakota and I don't talk about Zoe as much as we used to.  I know she still thinks about her, but once again I let her deal with it how she wants to.  I know I still have bad days.  Some nights I wake up crying, wishing things had been different.  Wondering if there was anything I could have done.  I wonder what things would have been like if Zoe hadn't have died.  Would they be close or would they be like my sister and I at that age.  Would they like the same things?  Questions a mother should never have to wonder about.  Along with the hard days there are plenty of good days.  I'm thankful to have had Zoe.  She changed my life in so many ways.  I'm more thankful now for the things I have.  I never take life for granted.  I live everyday to the fullest.  She brought me even closer to Dakota.  I've become a more understanding and loving mother. 
 I joke with Dakota all the time and say that there will come a day that she won't like me, I won't be cool anymore. She will rebel and act out against all adults, including me. You know the "I know everything" stage that all teenagers go through.  She promises she'll never be that way.  Oh, the joys of a naive mind of a teenager.  Until that day I'll hold fast to the darling young lady that she's becoming and hope for the best.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


So as I was saying I grew up with a simple family. We were raised in an overly relgious home, and yes that is possible. Girls wore skirts to our knees and couldn't cut our hair. Simple. I'll fast forward several years. There was a lot of crap that happen in between, but I'd rather skip it. So I got married when i was 19 to a guy I had only known maybe 4 months. We were both in church and he would stay at my apartment some and it was frowned upon by our families, so we got married. About a month later I got pregnant with my first child. She was born on January 31, 1997. We named her Dakota. Growing up I never wanted to have kids, but one look at this little girls face and I was in love. Her dad and I would later divorce. She was 2 at the time. Dakota is 13 now and trust me she's the typical teenager. Some days she loves me and some days she's a brat. She's taught me unconditional love.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Original Date: 2-2-10

February 3, 2002 I gave birth to a perfect little 6lbs7oz girl. I named her Zoe Rayanne. She was perfect in every way. Ten fingers and toes, dark hair, and the sweetest eyes I’d ever seen.

Zoe was the product of a relationship gone badly. Her father and I broke up when I was only 9 weeks pregnant. He was scared and didn’t want the reasonability of a child. During my pregnancy I would try and call him or give updates through mutual friends. He would say that it wasn’t his kid. He knew it was his child but would lie to our friends to keep them off his back. He called me a slut more than once. I guess this made him feel better. It took me a few months to realize that he wasn’t going to change. By my 3rd trimester I was ok with having my baby on my own. I had my family to help me and I was a strong determined women. I also had a 5 year old DD to worry about.

February 2, 2002 – We were having a birthday party for my 5 year old when I started having some labor pains. Her b-day is Jan. 31st. So here I am with a house full of screaming girls and going into labor. This was a sleep over so we had the party, got the girls ready for bed. My best friend stayed with them and my mom took me to the hospital. The doctor checked me and said “yep, we’re having a baby”. She was a few weeks early, but he said everything would be fine. At 10:23 the next morning she was here. My little brother who was 18 at the time was my stand in dad. He cut the cord and was my strength through it all. She was perfect! We had the normal stay in the hospital for a day and then went home. The first night was a little too easy. She wasn’t a crier. She woke a few times to be fed and then she was right back to sleep. I made remarks at the time that she had the best temperament. She was calm and didn’t really cry. The next day (3days old) she was sleeping and I knew something wasn’t right. She would sleep for long periods at a time and I would have to wake her up to feed her. She also wasn’t latching on (I was breastfeeding). So I went to the store to buy a pump. While I was gone my mom said she noticed that her breathing was real slow. I took her to the ER right away. They started running tests and couldn’t figure out what was wrong. She was lethargic and non responsive. That night was the beginning of a very long journey. She was sent to another hospital with a better NICU and they still had no clue what was going on. By her 6th day she was transferred to a children’s hospital and put on something called ECMO, this is baby life support. She was unresponsive and they could only think that she had contracted a virus and weren’t sure what if anything they could do to reverse what had already happen to her body. On her 8th day of life the doctors came to me and said that she had suffered extensive brain damage. She was brain dead and I needed to make the decision to take her off of life support. This was by far the worst thing anyone has ever said to me. I alone had to make this very powerful decision to end my child’s life. By now news had spread through our friends that the baby was in the hospital and he shows up to inform me that he has a say in what was is going on. So being the mature and caring person I am I held back the fact that he hadn’t been there for all the months’ prier and tell him that I had decided to take her off life support the next day. He insists that he hear everything from the doctors for himself. After a clear explanation from the doctors we deicide that removing her is the only option we have. Also let me be clear that this wasn’t a decision that was made lightly. I’m a firm believer in the pursuit of life. I believe that if she had not been declared brain dead I would have left her on there forever if that’s what it took. I at one point I told the hospital staff that I didn’t care if I had to change her diapers for the rest of her life, just make her better.

On February 12, 2002, I took Zoe in my arms. She was nine days old now and I hadn’t held her in six days. I held her as they removed the machines and stopped all the IV’s. The mood was calm and peaceful. 28 minutes later she drew in her last breath. I look back now thankful that I was there to welcome this angel into the world and I was there to send her out. She was at peace.

The next few days were a blur. Funeral arrangements, the music, the flowers, the officiator, and all those details that you never think you will have to do with a child. These weeks were supposed to be a time of cute and cuddly things. Finishing up final touches to her room. Showing her off to my friends. Talking about how much she looked like her sister. Laughing about all those sleepless nights.

Going through this changed me. It made me stand back and look at the world in a new way. I used to be petty. I used to think that I was weak. I used to think that love alone could protect my child. I used to think that I needed a man to complete me. I used to believe that I had to be perfect. I truly know sadness now and all the other things just don’t add up. I know now that I am a strong, determined mother who has been to the bottom and some how came out of it alive.

I spent weeks and months feeling sorry for myself. I got all the normal “oh I’m so sorry for your lose” comments from everyone I knew. Everyone made a point to remind me that she was in a better place. Oh and the big one was “everything happens for a reason”. You know all those things you’re supposed to say to some one who’s suffered a loss of a loved one. I confess that I hated it all. I would think in the back of mind “how and why do you care”, “no one knows what I’m going through”, “screw that better place she was supposed to be with me.” I was bitter. I was hurting. I was mad. I went through all the stages of grief.

The day it all changed was the day my 5 year old climbed in my lap and said, “Mommy, I love you. I’m still here” then I knew that I had more to live for than I had remembered. She needed me to be strong. She needed me to be her mommy. We had both lost some one and she was just as hurt as I was. Along with losing a sister she was slowly losing her mommy. By then we had moved back home with my mom and I had taken a leave at work. Months of lying in the bed crying about it had almost killed me. I realized that I had to do something. I searched for support groups in my area and found nothing that dealt with infant loss. I wrote journals. I went to church. I was looking for something to fix what had been broken. My mom said I needed love. I went out with friends. I tried but nothing and no one was going to fix my broken heart. I had mended enough to take care of my child and also go back to work, but there was still something missing.

So here I was a single mom alone with a broken heart. I had a friend that had been my friend for years. He was in the waiting room when Zoe was born and he was there when she died. He was purely my friend. Months after her death he and I started hanging out more. He was originally my brothers friend so I kind of thought of him as my brother. He and I started talking about life and what we wanted, come to find out we had more in common than we ever knew. He was the strength I needed. Friendship grew into a love I had never known. He and I were inseparable from that point. 7.5 years have passed and we’re still together. He is the most caring man I have ever known. He knew me before the tragedy of losing my child, he knew me before I was tarnished my bitterness. He was the one to help me find my way out of the dark places that my mind would wonder. He is also the best role model for my daughter. It took him a few years to convince me to marry him, but March 1st we’ll celebrate our 2 year anniversary. Jan. 2009 we decided to start another chapter of our lives. The pain of losing Zoe had healed enough that he and I were ready to start TTC. I wanted him to experience having a child of his own. One year later here I am. I cry every month when AF shows up. It’s like losing my baby all over again. The failure of another month gone by and still no BFP. Through it all DH stays positive and optimistic. Once again he is my strength. He makes me smile everyday with the simple gestures. He leaves me a note taped to the bathroom mirror saying he loves me. He calls during the day just to say hello. He is incredible at finding ways to make me smile.

Though I’ve been dealt some bad hands in life I’ve also been given the best prizes. I have a beautiful 13 year old daughter, a loving and wonderful husband, and a sweet guardian angel baby to watch over us all.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

I've spent most of my life doing without most things. I grew up in a simple family. Both parents worked and we never really had much. Never owned our home always renting or living in a travel trailer. I was the second of 4 children. I can remember a time when we lived in a small house. All four of us kids shared a room. My 2 brothers on a bunk bed and my sister and I on a full size bed. As a child I didn't know my family was different. I didn't know we were poor. It all started to unfold as I became a teenager. The other girls would have new clothes and nice fancy girlie things and I was simple. Dressed in hand me downs from the older girls in my church. Oh, that brings up church, I'll save that for another day. The point is I'm simple and I have a lot of simple stories to tell. Some will be sad. Some will be happy. Some will just plain suck.