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I remember what it was like to hate this time of year.  From Halloween to New Years, I was angry and sad and tired.  Facebook is rough for the “fertility-challenged.” 

Now that I have Zoey, I am guilty of posting every single minute of her wonderfulness (if you are Facebook friends with me, you know this is no exaggeration).  Part of this is because I have several friends and famly members who cannot, for the life of them, download a picture or video.  If it’s not done for them, they are confused…there are phone calls that make me want to pull my hair out (“the screen has a funny icon on it…”  sigh….)  Facebook is an easy medium to share pics.

That being said, I’m sorry that this causes pain.  I know what that is like.  I’ve tried to be more sensitive to this and will do better.

I’m still a lostbabymama too…

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Christmas 2007 was filled with such excitement and joy.  I announced our pregnancy to Hubby with a pair of baby booties as an early Christmas gift (only one pair, I didn’t know they were twins until about a month later).  We were outted to our family by the inability to get Lasik…we stayed home to enjoy our last Christmas, “just the two of us…”

Christmas 2008 was filled with sadness and anger and depression.

Christmas 2009 was filled with sadness and hope.

Christmas 2010 was filled with trepidation, anticipation and anxiety.  In just 3 days I would hopefully have my healthy little girl safe and sound.  We were on the lookout for any bleeding that could signal an emergency trip to the hospital.  My name was on a helicopter transport list – Dr. Hot Rockstar would deliver my little girl if he had to snow ski through Chapel Hill to do it.

Christmas 2011 is filled with joy and gratefulness and still a little sadness.  I have my little girl.  She’s perfect and I love her so much.  I miss my boys.  I’m lucky and grateful but I’m still a lost baby mama.  This year we can’t afford to make our usual donations honoring the boys so I organized a quick toy drive at work for Toys for Tots.  I’ve gotten a ton of donations and that makes it a little easier.  I reminded Hubby last night that eventhough we can’t buy each other gifts, there isn’t anything else I need…I have him, Zoey and the dogs (well, honestly, I could use a new nursing bra – this one is poking me like crazy!!). 

I’m lucky, I know it.

I’m participating in Once A Mother‘s Friday Rainbow Baby Blog Rodeo, a place to celebrate the amazing children who have come into our lives after loss, and to strengthen our bond as a community of Rainbow parents.

Every Friday (that I remember it’s Friday and get here to post in time 🙂 )we can gather here to share our little ones’ triumphs, brag like the proud parents that we are, and yes … even own up to our epic fails in parenting (all in good fun of course).

Zoey is just amazing to me…she’s giggly and so incredibly mischievious…she loves to share her snacks with me, “Da-da” and the “Dohgs” (our two dogs who are ecstatic to have discovered that she’s got treats).  Her little personality is so fun to see as it changes almost daily.  She gets soooo frustrated that she’s not more mobile yet.  She scoots and pulls up but on her own, she’s not crawling forward or walking yet.  She’s so close though, you can just see it.  Put in her the walker?  Oh she’s a holy terror.  You can heard her coming down the hall…stomp, stomp, stomp…squeallllllllllll as she chases after the dogs….

I teared up last night as I realized that she will be a year old in less than 2 months.  That’s right.  The bay-bee that I never though would be is going to be a year old.   I’m so incredibly grateful everyday for her. 

I’m planning a first birthday party.  Me.  I’m her Mommy.  And I’m so damn lucky.

Zoey on a Fall day sporting her pink cape...she's my super baby!

The ease with which I speak about the boys now startles me.  I started this job 6 and 1/2 months after Zoey was born.  Except for one person, no one knew that she wasn’t my first child.  I could have easily sweep that part of life under the rug and referenced only her when people asked me about my life, my loves and my losses. 

But I didn’t.

There was a time that I couldn’t even speak their names.  I would choke up and the tears would come and it was just easier not to try.  It took me a good 10 minutes to tell our therapist they were called, “Joshua and Owen.”  There was a time when I wouldn’t write their names even here on my blog where I’ve written a lot about myself and my life, my loves and my losses.

Today I found myself in the hallway, talking easily about how I never could see “parts” on my ultrasounds.  I never did see what made the boys…you know…boys….I could see their arms, legs, beating heartbeats…hell, I could have practically done all of Zoey’s ultrasounds without the aid of the technician but I never did see “parts.”  I recently watched that episode of “Friends” where Rachel and Ross find out they are having a girl and she cries, “I DON’T SEE IT…”  I about died laughing because that was me.

But I spoke about the boys with an ease I would have never thought possible.  I miss them and I still long for them and I love them but it’s getting easier.

I had to laugh at the post on one of my favorite blogs today.  My Bittersweet Life wrote about how she was forgetting to blog now that she had her little boy.  She felt she didn’t have as much to write about (or the time to do it).  I’ve been feeling like that lately. 

Before I lost the boys, I often wondered, “what the hell do people blog about?  Nobody can really think their life is that interesting that they would have readers?  Really?”  Then I lost the boys and I realized that most people don’t blog for readers, they blog for themselves.  It’s the same reason people write journals (which, I must tell you, I’ve never been good at).  It’s not that bloggers are self-involved (as I had previously believed) but that they have a need to write and they don’t have a day job that allows them to do it.  I used to write on Surviving Baby and Belly almost daily.

That being said, I’m finding myself with less and less to write/complain about on this blog.  Belly has evolved from a place of sadness to one of worry to finally, one of happiness and joy.  Sprinkled in with all of that is a sense of loss, a fierce need not to forget the boys and desire to tell the world about my gorgeous girl. 

I guess I need to sit back and evaluate what I want to accomplish with this blog…and Fall seems the perfect time to do it…changing leaves, changing words…

For the last 5 years, life has been hectic and topsy-turvy.  We got married, moved to a new city, got new jobs, got pregnant, got blind-sided with the loss of the boys, got diagnosed with BT, bought a house, had multiple miscarriages, got laid off, went to marriage counseling, got a new job, got pregnant, got another new job, got doped up on antidepressants to survive the pregnancy, had a gorgeous little girl, got fired and got a new job. 

That’s a lot for two people to handle with grace and acceptance that this is the path that the universe had laid out for us but we’ve done it.

Today, on my birthday, I rejoice in quiet status quo and the knowledge that if my husband and I have survived the last 5 years together, we can survive the next 45 years together.  I’m aware that I’m one lucky bitch and I am grateful.

But I must say, I would like a couple of years of little or no drama…

Me, Hubby and Z baby were on vacation in San Diego for a week (talk about needing a Sherpa!!!).  It was lovely.  We got to visit some old friends, see the Zoo and Wild Animal Park and in general relax (well, I did, Hubby was there for a work conference).  I managed to keep Zoey from getting too sunburned and she seemed to enjoy all of the extra attention she got from her Aunties and Uncles…Zoey was an amazing traveler.  Despite being sick with a cold, she was quiet and calm on the plane, sat on my lap and looked out the window, nursed and relaxed and mainly slept all the way there and all the way back.  She’s an amazing child and I am thankful for her every day.

I was reminded again though that the grief of losing children doesn’t stop because you had another one.  On our plane from San Diego home, there were twin boys about a year old.  The mother was struggling to get on the plane with her boys and all of their gear and she made a comment about how lucky we were to have only one to deal with…Hubby looked so sad that for the first time, I realized that he still misses them as much as I do.  I smiled at her and said, “always remember you are lucky to have two…” 

I’m saddened by the loss of one of my favorite blogs Still Life With Circles.  I understand why Angie is leaving us but I’ve often, over the last 8 months relied on her to guide me through this phase of my life.  It’s hard to explain to those of you who have yet to have your next child but the grief is still there.  It doesn’t end because you’ve had another living child.  It lessens.  The joy of my little girl outweighs the sadness I feel about my little boys but that loss, it’s still there.  The realization that this is a loss that I will not ever get over is unsettling as well.  I don’t know what I thought I would feel after Zoey was born but this feeling of grief at what could have been with the boys has been unexpected.  Angie guided me through a lot.  I will miss her writing and honesty and reflection and humor.

You know when you read something and you think, “exactly, that’s it, right there.”  The post over at Glow In the Woods is like that for me.  The author writes about feeling mute as she goes into the birth of her third child after losing her first at 41 weeks. 

In some ways, I feel like I don’t have a right to write about being happy.  I feel like my blog still needs to be able the boys and that if I don’t write about them, I’m so how dishonoring them.  It’s hard because I have a gorgeous, perfect little girl and I still miss my boys.  My boys would have have been 3 on August 8th.  Three years old.  More often than not, I think, what the hell happened that I DON’T have 3 year old twins.  I think that before Zoey, I didn’t really know what I was missing, only that I was missing something.  Now, when she smiles and giggles and laughs, sometimes, I think, “God, that’s what I missed with Joshua and Owen.”  I thought that having her would make all the pain go away.  It didn’t.  It only makes the joy that much more intense.

It’s like a dish at a Chinese restaurant…sweet and sour joy and sadness.