Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Today is their birthday. 1 year ago today. This is a video showing how small and very real and alive they both were, despite the many lines, tubes and dressings that nearly covered their entire bodies. The video is mainly Jessica, it was played at her memorial service last June. Alyssa is on the left with the IV in the head when both girls are together...she was the baby who looked more ill at the time, but yet she is the baby with us today, doing super amazingly fantastic.

Thanks to everyone who wished Alyssa a happy birthday today, and who also remembered how very real and loved Jessica was and always will be to us.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

How are you doing

I remember typing to you last year around this time...I believe it was the second longest week of my life. Trying desperately to hold Phoebe and Ursula in a little bit longer....that week had my 30th birthday in it, also Mother's Day, and of course Jessica and Alyssa's birth day. This year this week again has my birthday, Mother's day and this year Race day, and the girls 1st birthday...Alyssa's 1st birthday party.

People are always asking me "How are you doing" as we get closer to the year mark, which feels deja vu and makes me think back to those days after Jessica passed away. I knew it was a common, normal question, but every time I heard it shortly after her death, I became angry, and wondered why people didn't think before they spoke. I mean really, I just lost my baby, how do you think I'm doing???? Because it was very few people that REALLY wanted to know how we were doing, it's an awkward conversation to some, uncomfortable to most, and not a feeling of welcome, even when people say "I'm here anytime you want to chat". Unless you had a box of kleenex and AT LEAST a half an hour, then you really didn't want to listen. I could see it in people's face's...they would ask the question or say a remark all squeamish and uncomfortable hoping that I wouldn't really take them up on divulging into a deep honest conversation...and relax when I didn't. I told people what they wanted to hear for the most part..."I'm ok, doing as best as I can considering" It felt so rehearsed. Even the people I am closest to, my own family, I said what came the easiest to move on from the conversation. That is my fault. I tried to make things easier for them and myself...which brings me to today.

How am I doing this week? On the positive side...well I don't get angry when you ask me this question for one. But you will still probably get the same response I gave a year ago. "I'm ok, doing as best as I can considering". Also, I can go to bathroom by myself and wipe my own behind without relying on a bedpan, which in my mind was a terribly embarrassing and helpless feeling.
I mentioned a couple posts back that I was going to start training for another half marathon which happened to be on Mother's Day...well I did most of the training, minus a couple weeks off for illnesses and other things going on in my life. And the race is this coming Sunday, I absolutely love race day, and get extremely excited when I see runner's out doing there thing especially Sunday morning. Last spring and summer as we drove to the hospital everyday, I watched the runner's on the Bedford Highway with envy...wishing that was me, this year it was...I wonder if there is a poor shmuck in my shoes watching me as I run wishing they could feel free and independent rather then lost and scared as they face the challenges of the NICU.
So yes, for the most part I'm ok, honestly. Alyssa had a great year free from being admitted to the hospital. In the past month I get very little sleep, and my thoughts on the matter have changed recently. I'm tired, but I'm lucky to be able to get up with her...even if it is 3 am. How we went from sleeping through the night, to regular nightly awakenings I dont' know, but it will pass I'm sure. She will only be small and wanting my cuddles for so long. So I'll take them no matter what time of the day it is.

On the negative this week, I am sore. I've managed to hurt my knee again this year, and also hurt my other leg slightly from overcompensating for the bad knee. I will take the rest of the week off to rest in hope I will feel better race day. I can walk fine, but stairs are a bit of a challenge, especially going down. And after all of this training I am still 10 lbs overweight from where I would like to be, I didn' t lose a single pound with all of this running, pumping and breastfeeding. Weight isn't everything and it is not the focus of my life...but every once in a while when I am getting dressed, I see glimpses of my old self (if I suck in hard enough)...not that I was ever in fantastic shape, but I had more confidence at one point. Maybe my new spanx will help with this ;)
This past year I haven't felt like myself with body image yes, but mainly mentally. I often wonder if I will ever be "me" again. I have caught glimpses of the old me occasionally where I feel very happy and positive and full of energy, mainly while running, but it doesn't last long, I can only run for so long.

I feel disconnected and like some alter ego watching from the outside. I know how I want to be and how I want to feel. But I just can't seem to get there, I can't even explain it. I feel sad and like I've disconnected myself from Jessica this year, which I feel terrible about, but it is how I got through the year. Instead of feeling that closeness to something bigger...our angel or God, that some mother's feel after they've lost a child, I ignored the feelings I was having or pushed aside any thoughts that would make me feel vulnerable. I'm feeling a little lost for words right now. I've never really been good at embracing my feelings, other then here I guess. So...the big question "how am I doing this week?", I'm still here, and I'm ok....doing the best I can considering.