Monday, November 25, 2013

Day after tomorrow

The day after tomorrow will be Cameron's birthday, unless he has other plans. But, I've already told him he missed the boat to come early. Dr. F isn't working at the hospital till Wednesday when she's there to deliver him so he just needs to wait it out.

I'm trying to enjoy the last few days of being pregnant. The kicks and the squirms. I'm also so ready to have him here. (and getting his little butt out from where my gall bladder used to be). His room is 98% done. Our hospital bag is packed. There is baby gear all over the house and we even put up the Christmas tree yesterday.

Speaking of Christmas...we stopped at the mall yesterday. I forgot that Santa was there already (and had been for the last 3 weeks?!) AJ was excited to go say hi. What a change from past years. So we got in line and he waited patiently. Finally it was his turn. He went right over and hopped on his lap. He told Santa what he wants for Christmas. Santa asked if we were taking a picture today. We told him we'd be back in a few weeks after little brother Cameron was here. Santa asked when I was due. When we answered Wednesday he replied "An early Christmas present for you!" You have no idea Santa...

Tomorrow will be a day of last minute things to get done. It'll also be one last trip to see Ryan for a little bit. I think that's probably what's making me so anxious. Winter is hard as it is but to add in the craziness that comes with a new baby it's going to be tough. And I know people say "you can talk to Ryan anywhere". I'm not looking for comments to make me feel better. The cemetery is my place to go to feel close to him. I talk and make sure everything is as it should be. It's the one place I feel like I can physically take care of him.

Missing you tons, sweet boy. Thanks for all of the signs lately. They've helped more than you will ever know.

Love you. Forever and a day.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

A season full of rainbows

When I first started looking for people to connect with after Ryan was born I turned to the internet. After being painfully unsuccessful trying to find someone to talk to in person it was the next best option. Thank God for the on-line groups I found. I so badly needed and wanted to hear someone say "me too". I needed to know that everything that I was feeling was "normal" and I wasn't losing my mind on top of everything that had already happened.

When you join any kind of new on-line community there's often new terminology to learn. They're either abbreviations to make typing faster and easier or new terms for things that you may not have heard before joining.

This was the case for me when I joined pregnancy loss groups. I kept hearing people referring to "rainbows" or "rainbow babies". I had never heard that term before. Here's the definition from

 A "rainbow baby" is a baby that is born following a miscarriage or still birth. (or infant loss)
In the real world, a beautiful and bright rainbow follows a storm and gives hope of things getting better. The rainbow is more appreciated having just experienced the storm in comparison.

The storm (pregnancy loss) has already happened and nothing can change that experience. Storm-clouds might still be overhead as the family continue to cope with the loss, but something colourful and bright has emerged from the darkness and misery.

In the F2F group we're in a season of rainbows. There are 5 or 6 of us who have either had their rainbow baby in the last couple of months or who are pregnant. A little baby boom!

Yesterday a good friend had her rainbow and she is one of the most beautiful babies I've ever seen. We've gone through our pregnancies together, which has saved my sanity many days. I can't find the words to describe what it's like to see the smiles on the parent's faces. I spent a good bit of yesterday just staring at those pictures. You can see so many emotions in just one photo. It's really amazing. I can't wait to get to meet baby V. After all she could be my future daughter-in-law ;) We've already got plans for Cameron! Ha! Who wouldn't want K&T as in-laws?!

Can't wait to meet the rest of the rainbows and I hope everyone in the group gets to experience it. If anyone deserves it it's these women. <3

Edited to add: And I don't think it's any coincidence that just as I hit "post" the song "Somewhere over the rainbow" came on Pandora.

Friday, November 1, 2013


November is here. It seemed so very far away in the beginning of the pregnancy. But here we are. We made it. We had a few minor bumps along the way but as of today we are 26 days away from meeting Cameron.

I've been nesting like crazy lately. I was cleaning the other day and AJ asked me who was coming over. Yes I go cleaning crazy when people are coming to visit but I swear I clean in the in between too!

We've been working on Cameron's room. You might think it's easy to decorate and just put up furniture. Some days it is. Other days I feel like it's a jinx - like if I do too much something is going to go wrong. I was hesitant to have Nick put the crib together. It sat idle in the room after Ryan was born. A big reminder of what should have been. Just like the double stroller that we had. That stroller haunted me but I hope that the family who bought it is getting use out of it.

My mom was nice enough to buy us the new double stroller we picked for AJ and Cameron. I still get a little panicked some days when I look at the box in the garage but it's getting better. Every day we get closer to having 2 of the boys in it.

AJ has been a big help getting the room together. He loves helping Nick work with his tools. He immediately runs to his playroom to get his tools and hard hat and goggles. It's pretty stinking cute. He's getting excited to meet his new baby brother. (He asked me the other day how Cameron was going to get out of my belly b/c I don't have a door. Ha!)  Every time we see a baby in a store he "oohs and ahhs". When we meet up with his friends for bowling every week he's always sure to go over and play with B's baby brother. He loves nothing more than making him smile.

I can't wait for AJ to get to come in to my hospital room to meet his baby brother for the first time. I made him a new "big brother" t-shirt. And I think we're going to give the one he wore to announce my pregnancy with Ryan to Ryan. We'll hang it on his flagpole. He deserves to "wear" the shirt just as much as AJ does. I still wish we would have had just once picture of AJ and Ryan together. I know he was so young but it's a family picture we won't ever get to have.

It's going to be one emotional day to say the least -- and I can't wait.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

In a funk

Things have been a little crazy around here lately. I thought I was handling the stress pretty well. These last few days I realize I haven't been.

There are big changes with the company that Nick works for. And with those changes come a lot of questions and even fewer answers.

I find myself getting more and more anxious the closer we get to having Cameron here. We're so close (31 weeks today!) but the last week or so I've lost my balance. Lost the balance of preparing for Cameron, being here for AJ and giving Ryan the time he deserves. It seems the lump in my throat has plans to stay around for a while. The tears are so close to the surface and they're just waiting for the smallest trigger to set them free.

We were at story time at the library earlier in the week. There are two little girls whose mom was pregnant. They were there with their grandparents. We figured she had the baby but I'm always a little afraid to ask. Turns out she did. She had a little boy. "Tell them his name" says grandma to one of the little girls. "Matthew Ryan" she says. I honestly don't remember the rest of the conversation b/c I zoned out willing myself not to cry in front of these people. I made it out of the room before the tears came.

I'm missing Ryan so, so badly lately. I think part of it is the time of year. Even without focusing on dates on the calendar the end of Sept always makes me emotional. Ryan's "should have been" due date. It's not a date I really focus on but there are babies that were born in the days right around it and seeing the birthday posts is so bittersweet. This year I hadn't realized until after that that is probably a contributing factor to the funk.

We talk a lot in group about being angry. That seems to be my default. I always end up back at angry. Angry that I'm missing a son. Angry that I can't completely enjoy the pregnancy with Cameron b/c there's always that nagging fear in the back of my head that something will go wrong. Angry that while I'm dealing with these feelings that I don't have the patience I should have with AJ. Angry that I feel like I'm trying my best to be a good mom to all of my boys and I'm failing. Failing because I feel overwhelmed and I can't keep my brain from racing -- and even worse, I don't know how to fix it. Usually a good cry will do it. Been there, done that. Temporary fix.

So what do I do? Get up every morning and hope that each day the funk lifts a little. And try to remember that I need to be gentle with myself. Being a mom to 3 boys in all different places isn't easy and I'm doing the best I can -- and that has to be good enough.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Like so many people I can remember where I was this day 12 years ago. I was sitting in a basement classroom in college waiting for class to start. I had finished my first class and this was the second. A woman in the class was just arriving on campus. She sat down next to me and said that a plane had hit the World Trade Center. At that point the reports were that it was a small airplane, not a commercial jetliner. My first thought was "how the hell do you crash into a building?"

I didn't think much more about it during class. When class was done and we all made our way upstairs we could see people in the lounge gathered around a tv. Something about the expressions on their faces and how silent everyone was made me go in the room.

"What's going on?" I asked another student in the room. She said two planes had hit the World Trade Center. Two?! And I could tell from the damage this was no small plane as originally reported. I stood staring at the tv screen confused. Where were they shooting this video from? The angle is so strange. I can't see the other tower. I didn't realize it had already fallen until a few seconds later when the second tower collapsed as well. I can remember a girl in the lounge crying that her dad worked there and she didn't know where he was. Her words snapped me back to reality. My dad worked there too. He was there for the '93 bombing too. All of a sudden I felt the panic. I had to get home. When the '93 attacks happened my dad left a message on our answering machine that he was ok and getting out of there. I was hoping for the same this time.

I don't really remember the drive home. There weren't many cars on the road but the one thing I did notice was there were no planes in the sky. Living only 25 minutes from Kennedy airport you hear and see a lot of planes throughout the day. There was nothing but blue skies that day.

I got home and there was no message. I tried to call my stepmom. The circuits were so busy from so many people trying to make calls I couldn't get the call to go through. I kept trying. I finally got through. She didn't know where he was. That was the first time I ever heard her cry.

Hours passed and we all sat glued to the tv watching the replay of what happened that morning. I was scheduled to go into work that afternoon. Thankfully we finally heard from my dad. He had to walk over one of the bridges to get out of Manhattan. He was safe.

I wish I could say that everyone had the same fortune. I still think about that girl in the lounge at school. I wonder if she was as lucky as we were.

As the days passed we learned of more and more people who went to work and didn't get to come home. Two firefighters who lived just blocks away from us never came home. More civilians from our town never came home.

Today I remember and am thankful but I wish everyone could have had the outcome we did.

Friday, August 9, 2013


In the OB world 23 weeks is the point of viability. Where, if your child is born, they will take measures to help your child survive.

Today we are 23 weeks and 2 days. In a way I feel like there's been a bit of a weight lifted. I can't even begin to explain the feeling of helplessness when there is nothing that can be done to save your child. To know what the end result will be and you just have to let it happen. That's not in any mother's DNA.

We have no reason to believe that Cameron will be born short of full term but I feel some relief knowing that if, God forbid, he is born early he's got a chance.

There's another mom who I bet knows this helplessness. Her baby girl was diagnosed with a terrible disease last year and today she lost her battle. I don't know them personally but have followed their blog since it started. So in your prayers tonight please be sure to include Quinn, her mom, dad and two big brothers.

Monday, July 29, 2013


Today I am 21 weeks and 5 days pregnant. The same as I was when we had Ryan. If you want to be technical about it I'm already further along with Cameron than I made it with Ryan. I only got to the "5 days" because it was five minutes after midnight when Ryan was born.

This has been a milestone that has been on my radar since I found out I was pregnant. I don't know why it holds so much weight but it does. I have no reason to believe that there will be any issues during this pregnancy. My doc is watching me closely and everything looks perfect. Today is one of those dates on the calendar that I want to come and go. It brings up so many memories. I've been having flashbacks lately. I'm immediately brought back to the hospital room, to the funeral home, trying to say goodbye to a son after we barely had a chance to say hello.

After Ryan was born I had to find a balance of being a grieving mom. I had to learn how to take care of AJ and grieve Ryan. That is not an easy balance at all but eventually I learned some "tricks" to make it a little easier on myself. Some days it's still very hard but we manage. With this pregnancy I'm trying to find yet another balance. How do I take care of AJ, who is very invested in this pregnancy, continue to honor and miss Ryan and be excited for Cameron's arrival? Some days I can't do it all and the guilt of feeling like I can't give my three boys the attention they all need and deserve is overwhelming.

Thank God for our F2F group. I've got some of the best resources! Moms who have been there or are going through the same thing I am. I don't know where I'd be without their support, their specific "I've been there" kind of support.

Friday, July 5, 2013

The Proud Mama

I am one proud Mama. AJ is (finally!) potty trained. He was totally capable of doing it on his own for quite a while now but he really needed that push to finally get him to do it and stick with it. Nick and I told him no more diapers and that was it. He had two accidents in the first two days and has been (knock on wood) accident free since then.

I can't believe he's going to be starting preschool in September. That's just crazy to me. Yesterday was his half birthday. We officially have a 3.5 year old. A can-be-super-spunky-when-he-wants-to-be 3.5 year old. We never really went through the terrible twos but oh, the three's. They have their moments! Thankfully he always goes back to his loving self. The one who likes to give me raspberries and sing along to the radio and the one who loves to find coins on the ground where ever we go.

And Ryan I know that's you. Or grandma. Or maybe both. I've been a little sad since we moved to the new house. We see tons of "wildlife" --  deer, snakes, turtles and birds but I've yet to see a bunny. I thought for sure with all the green space in our backyard and beyond that there has to be some bunnies. If there are I haven't seen any. But you always find a way to let us know you're around. AJ has found more coins on the ground in the month that we've moved than he has in the last year. And to see his face and how excited he is when he does, it's really something special. I think he's happier finding the pennies than he would be if he found $10. He always immediately shows us and puts it away in his pocket so he can "feed his piggy" when we get back home. And maybe that's they way it should be. Maybe AJ should be getting the "signs" now. Maybe it's his turn to get to know you better -- although when he was little I swore he knew you better than we did. I'm proud of you, sweet boy, proud of you for reaching out to your big brother. But just so you know...I'm not going to stop looking for those bunnies.

Another proud Mama moment isn't just mine. In our F2F group we are all proud Mama's and this last meeting I think gave us all a little boost. We had a few new people attend. We always hate that there are new people who are looking to join the group. It still cuts to the core that another family has experienced a loss but we're always thankful that they've reached out and they can come to get support. All of our Mama's have come such a long way. I can remember many of their first meetings and to now see them offering support to new attendees is something special. One of the new couple's told us that they received a flash drive with 90 pictures on it of their baby girl from the hospital. I think that all made us smile. It was one of the flash drives that F2F donated. Pretty amazing what something so small can do, isn't it?

I love you sweet boy. Forever and a day.

Friday, June 7, 2013

This is going to be a loooooong one!

I can't believe it's been so long since I updated. So much has happened!

Let's start with our trip to Florida. Disney was amazing. We all had a fantastic time. Seeing AJ's face when he got to meet his favorite characters was worth a million bucks. He didn't stop talking about who he met that day and the rides he went on. He got his autograph book signed and we did a character breakfast. I think by far his favorite was Hollywood Studios. It had all of his favorite Disney Jr. characters as well as all the PIXAR movie characters.

I was worried that the trip was going to be overshadowed by my missing Ryan. I had my moments for sure but it was always answered by a sign from my sweet boy. There was one moment in particular that stands out. Nick and AJ were riding the carousel in Magic Kingdom and there I was waiting for them in the sea of strollers. I couldn't help but feel sad that I should have had Ryan waiting there with me. My eyes started to well up with tears. I tried to compose myself and decided to move to a different spot. Just then someone caught my eye. There was a big, burly Disney employee lumbering his was past me. Maybe it was his size that caught my attention, I'm not sure. It was almost as if he were out of place. He walked past me close enough that I could see his name tag. "Ryan". Of course. He was there with me after all.

After Disney we spent a few days at Nick's parent's house. It was beautiful. We had a great trip and it was nice to get away from the not so nice Rochester weather for a while.

In the middle of our Disney vacation we were also trying to buy and sell our house. We had put a contingent offer on a house that was beautiful. We eventually got bumped but only a few days later we received a full price offer on our house! After a few more viewings we found a house we loved and put an offer. We got it! We moved 5/24 and it's been great. I LOVE my new kitchen and AJ has lots of room to play. We've got a nice backyard that we see deer in every day. The neighborhood is really nice too. All of our neighbors came over to say hello and welcome to the neighborhood. It was such a nice change from the old house! I think we're going to have a lot of wonderful memories made here.  (I'll be sure to post some pictures as soon as I find the camera!)

We celebrated Ryan's second birthday on May 21st. The weekend before was the March for Babies Walk. All of our family came to walk again. What a beautiful weekend it was. The weather was perfect and because our house was packed up we had our annual BBQ at Park Point. It couldn't have turned out any better. The kids enjoyed themselves, some in the sand and some in the pool. There was lots of food and our families got to meet some of my F2F ladies and their families.

The walk was another beautiful day. Face 2 Face had a table set up and many of our group came to walk all together. I'm proud to say that Ryan's Racers raised even more than last year! This years total (as of right now) is $7,750. AMAZING.

Face 2 Face is doing really well too. Tomorrow we're hosting (along with Highland Hospital) a balloon release at Highland Park. A press release went out to the newspaper and there was a really beautiful article written in the paper on Tuesday. We're hoping to have a great turnout. It's pretty amazing what can be done with limited funds! Imagine what we could do if we had a bank account?! We're working on that too. Looks like getting the 501(c)3 turned over to us from the other organization isn't going to happen. There seems to be one person who doesn't want it transferred. Why in the world you'd rather it sit idle instead of helping people is beyond me. That won't stop us though.

It's been busy, busy, busy! I hope it's not months again before another update!

I love you sweet boy. Forever and a day.  

Monday, March 11, 2013

Heaven's got a plan for you

This post is going to make me sound like a whiny brat. Lucy's mom once said that she wished adults could have a good temper tantrum every now and again. Here's my tantrum.

I fully believe that there is a plan. It's not my plan, no matter how hard I try to be in control. I really hate the saying "everything happens for a reason" but I'm sure in some way certain things happen or don't happen in order for things to be the way they need to be.

That doesn't mean that I like it or accept it. Sometimes I just wish things didn't seem so damn hard. I want things to go smoothly, easily. I try so hard to be hopeful and confident but you can only be like that for too long before you really start to wonder and get angry. I'm not a patient person to start with.

There are things that I want and have wanted for a looooong time. No matter what I do I can't seem to make that work. It's frustrating as hell.

Tomorrow we're leaving for Disney. I should be so excited that I can't sleep. AJ's first time being in such a magical place. It's a child's rite of passage. Who doesn't remember their first time to Disney? All I can think about tonight is how Ryan should be going with us. I wonder what character would be his favorite. Would he like seeing the characters in the parks? Or would he be scared? What would he look like with those Mickey ears? He would be my little buddy waiting with me while Nick and AJ went on the rides.  Would AJ be excited to show his little brother around? What stuffed animal would he pick as a souvenir and sleep with that night? The thoughts go on and on... I know we'll go and have a great time and I won't be sad the whole time. There will be bittersweet moments, just like always. I also know I'll get a sign to know that he's there with us. He does take care of me in that way. I always seem to get one when I need it.

I guess this is one of those times when I'm really angry at the plan. I wanted the chance to do things as a complete family.

I love you so much sweet boy. I miss you like crazy. Forever and a day.