Wednesday, April 28, 2010

My Girls...

My Girls.

Oh, Josie, with your dark, dark hair
So soft to touch - so barely there
Now twirl in mind's forgotten halls
You play with light; you bounce the balls
Of make-believe and moonbeam warmth
And every memory lays me bare...

Your eyes are reincarnate now
They sparkle as you take a bow
In curiosity I lay
And watching Isobella play
A smile comes creeping on my lips
Which suddenly remember how...

Impossible to speak my love
For two girls, flighted as the dove
One resting deep in mother's earth
The other living after birth
But my heart runs with both of them
My daughters, made from stars above...

Sunday, April 11, 2010 heart incarnate...

Oh yes, I know, waaaaay overdue for an update on Bella here too, aren't we? I've been a very naughty blogging lady! Before I do anything else I need to say that last Saturday the 3rd of April was the first time Bella properly laughed at me - you know, the "hahaha" sound, not the squeals she's been making for laughs until then. The laughs continue every now and again - but I tell you, she's been getting VERY very vocal in terms of squeaks, opinionated noises, all sorts! Loud too! It's wonderful and cute to listen to her babble away.

She is my heart - oh, my goodness. I get panic sensations thinking of anything happening to her. I can't stand it. That is the one thing. It gets worse over time, too - I mean, I'm not paranoid or crazy or anything like that but, boy I tell you I am a protective mama bear. More than that I am a mama bear with a great big stick - and I'm not afraid to use it!

Last week or so, she discovered her thumb, which was nice for her - she had found it a few times before, but not with regularity. So, sleep time has been different since then because instead of comfort-sucking me, she's been comfort sucking her thumb. Since it's easy to find the thumb, it's easy for her to basically stay in a much more restful state, which has been good for both of us and has enabled us to sleep deeply for longer periods. It really never bothered me much to have her attached all night, but as freelancing has become more busy these last few weeks, the extra sleep has certainly helped. It was strange though, the first night, because I woke up after a few hours wondering what was wrong, panicking, feeling her chest to see if she was still breathing.

But, that's the thing about being a mama to a lost one as well as living ones. Some part of you does wonder if, at any given moment, everything will be taken away and you will once again find yourself alone, without your baby. It's an eerie state to be in, but talking with other mamas, I do get the impression that we babylost mamas tend to feel that worry quite acutely. So, I do check on her about fifteen times while she naps, putting my finger under her nose to check for breath if she's very quiet; leaning over her chest to hear her. Sometimes there's still that shred of complete panic though - in the middle of the night - somewhere between asleep-ness and awake-ness, where I am transported back to the feeling I had when we couldn't detect Josie's heartbeat. Like waking up from a nightmare, it soon passes, however. Just makes me cuddle Bella a little tighter until the proverbial dark shadows have illuminated themselves in the light of consciousness.

She's such a joy though - she's really strong and healthy. Very expressive indeed! I must make a video and upload it one of these days. She's truly amazing and brings me so much love every single day. It's so nice, to work with her right next to me: she sleeps in her swing or in her bassinet when it's nap time, and then plays on blankets on the floor, or in the bouncy chair when it's play time. We talk to one another; she uses my hands as interesting playthings; she reaches out and grabs things in the last day or two as well, grinning and laughing broadly when she achieves control over whatever it is she wants to explore. Her teething links have become a fascination - especially the light green ones. I've attached them to the activity center on her bouncy chair, and she'll spend a very long time grabbing them, drawing them toward her and putting them in her mouth. She has a rattle she likes to shake about and has figured out her jungle gym, to her complete delight. She talks to lights (I'd love to see how she'd react to "Close Encounters of the Third Kind"), babbling and cooing and squeaking and screaming about.

She's amazing. I love - love - being her mother. It's such an honor to be the one who gave birth to her and gets to raise her. I love waking up next to her in the morning and seeing her happy little face, and her bright, intelligent little eyes looking into mine. Her big smile as she realizes I am awake too. Her joyful kicking. Her beautiful little heart, beating away healthily in her chest. She's lovely. I thank the universe. Life is amazing, even when it's really hard, it's still amazing.

So here are some new pictures of her. I think she's looked like herself really since the swelling went down after she was born - she's just changed shape a tiny bit and grown a bit! Mind you, perhaps this is just my perception because at this point she's about 13.5lb of cute chubbiness already! Anyway, here we are - and I promise to update more frequently!

In her Winnie the Pooh outfit...


Summer dress, looking lost in imagination:
Catching my eye:
First trip to the park in the buggy...slept all the way through!
Chilling happily on the sofa:
Must have said something funny...
On Mama's lap:
Kisses from Mama, late at night:
Hiding again:
Rocking the dress for Ishtar/Easter:
Eating the dress...
Looking at Mama:
Dancing about:
Tummy time, getting so strong!
Oof - tumbled over!
Never mind, we'll just suck the thumb then:
There's that thumb!
Kicking about!
And last but not least, my happy little bunny...

Monday, April 5, 2010

The way we were...

I've been working hell for leather the last two weeks and have wanted to come here and write too, but it's just been much too busy. Now however, I do feel I have to take just maybe an hour out of my day and put some things down because they have been affecting me very deeply.

Thing is, I've been feeling her. Josie I mean. She's older than she ought to be at the moment - I ca't put my finger on what she's trying to tell me, but it's something. Did I do something right, or is she here to help me through something completely unexpected. I don't know.

I've been working really hard - I've been wearing myself out to the point where my eyes both got smacked with conjunctivitis this past weekend - if that's not a symptom of a crumbling immune system, I don't know what is. Also I've been feeling very drained. My work consists of designing graphics and writing, both of which I love. Then of course, I clean the whole house whenever I can, cook, take care of the children and do all that stay-at-home-mum stuff as well. Not much time off at all really - and because of some difficult circumstances, it's all been a lot to bear lately - not that I am complaining or asking that anyone feel sorry for's just...been a lot to handle, is all.

So in amongst all this extreme fatigue, where I'll be sitting there with aching muscles trying to get something right, I have this feeling of a presence. Josie's back and at the moment I'm not 100% sure what she needs. Not that she is unwelcome - not at all - but I feel I should be "getting" something, and I'm not.

Am I so far gone that I'm almost dead and she is there to help guide me through to the next world? Death is never really very far away, no matter how invincible one feels - and not to be morbid, but believe me, death can come unexpectedly. I have almost died three times in my life: once, by a near drowning; once at the hands of an ex and once at Josie's birth. We're very fragile. Have I overdone it too much? Am I very close to her world?

Am I supposed to do something? Am I not doing something I'm meant to be doing? Is she here to remind me? Is she here to remind me of her - because that would be strange, as I think of her every day. I haven't forgotten. She knows this, I hope. Should I talk to her more than I do?

Is she here to comfort me? I just don't know. I am confused by her presence as well as curious about her. But, this new feeling of her being there is accompanied by very strong memories coming into my mind of her when she was alive back in 2008...

Thing is, when I lost Josie...when she died inside me in labor like the flame of an oil lamp being extinguished...I went into complete shock and totally lost part of my memory from that summer. I think looking back, I lost probably 45 days or so of memory apart from the five or so very fuzzy days leading up to her birth. *Boom* - it was gone, I'd assumed mostly for good. But lately it's been coming back...with some force.

Memories have been hitting me like massive waves. I'm standing in the surf, on the sand with my arms out and they're coming and smacking me in the chest, winding me. The sand is slapping me like a big hand - saying "wake up and listen to me" - it's so shocking. Bam, bam, bam. Knocking me over, and I'm sitting there afterward like a puzzled child, startled into silence.

I'll be cooking dinner and then suddenly I'm back in the driver's seat of the black Dodge Magnum I used to run, listening to Frank Sinatra on the sound system, looking at the dark, heavy interior, feeling Josie in my belly. Driving down highway 169 late at night, 11pm, late again...late again. Feeling a rush of relief because finally I was allowed home after the insane day that might have started at 4am. Running the crazy store alone...I shouldn't have done it. I should have quit...I should have quit. She might have been alive today if I'd just quit and not let them tell me I was capable of doing it when I knew I wasn't...

I'll be watching a movie with Bella asleep in the bassinet and suddenly, I'm sitting on the floor of the Shakopee  *company* store rearranging batteries in my pretty maternity top. Or talking to a colleague and bending double from a sudden almost violent baby movement...

I'll be driving in my current car, going somewhere and the light will be just right, and suddenly it's a cool summer morning at 4am and I'm driving to northern Minnesota with Josie quiet inside me, turning left, then right again in the mist. Nobody else on the should have been a should have been a clue...

Boom, boom, the memories come at me. Punches in the face with big hands. Talking to the inventory crew in Wisconsin after working endlessly to prepare a store that was handed to me to begin with in terrible shape. Knowingly working in that store even though it was riddled with toxic mold. Knowing that wasn't good for any of us. Coughing because it the air quality made our throats feel like they were raw. Failing at everything and being admonished by my boss... I should have quit before that. They shouldn't have made me go there. It's not fair... Josie was worth more than the value they put on her. She was worth more and they gambled with her without even flinching - they gambled with me. They knew what they were doing. We all lost. They all knew...they all still know. They all know what happened...

It hurts, and here she sits. She's behind me on the bed. She's been there for days in a white spring dress and a white headband, her hair curly. She's watching me work, watching her sister. She's haunting me. Her spirit is that of a child. She's little. I can feel her running her fingers through my shoulders, trying to touch me and it's...devastating. Mostly because I can't gather her up and cuddle her. She's made of light and air. We can't feel one another.

I've always been pretty undecided on ghosts in my adult life - at least when they apply to me. But now, there's something like one living in my house and I don't know what to do. Maybe I'm finally losing it... The "flashbacks" as I suppose one would call them, are just unbelievable. I can taste the air and feel the temperature when they happen.

I do love you Josie. You're here for a reason. Why are you here, sweetie? You don't seem upset. You're waiting. What are we waiting for, honey bunny? What is going to happen? What is happening now?