Tuesday, March 26, 2013


A friend I worked with ages ago (before making the career jump from office admin to art education) is pregnant and coming up on her due date. We have stayed in touch through Face.book but rarely see each other in person. I see all of her baby-related updates and wish and hope that everything goes ok. I am anxious and freaked out. After all...shouldn't I be anxious because I am excited and happy for her?!?

Of course I should...but as a baby loss momma I fear the worst. I've lived it, seen it happen to other friends and made connections with other women online that have gone through the loss of their child/children. When I think about it, pregnancy complications, miscarriage, infant loss and still birth seem more "normal" than an average uncomplicated pregnancy that results in a healthy living baby. How f-ed up is that?!?

On a completely unrelated topic, I am thinking of merging my two blogs together. A Speck of Hope is all about Maxwell, but I don't feel the need to separate/segregate my grief for William and Ethan from raising my living son. I am not sure if that makes sense. Basically I think I have a need to stop being two moms (one to a living child and one that grieves her twin sons gone too soon) because the two no longer feel mutually exclusive. There are many days where I want to write about something that is relevant on both blogs and because I can't decide where to write it gets lost in the shuffle and ends up on neither.

Once I figure out how to do it, I will. I hope it won't make RSS feeds bombarded with posts. I know that google reader is going away so however my small group of followers that read both this might make it easier for everyone.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Adventures in Baby Food Making

Maxwell is definitely a kid that needs to work up to finger foods. I chalk it up to his hyper-sensitive gag reflex. My early attempts at giving him sticks of softer veggies were a disaster (puking - Bleh!). He is a good solid eater of purees and we'll work our way up to finger foods eventually!

Now that baby boy has a big appetite buying pouches of organic food was getting spendy. And honestly some of it tasted gross or had additives I'd rather skip. Making purees is generally pretty easy and cheap, even when buying organic. If course I say generally because I can always find a way to keep things interesting!

Adventure #1 involved sweet potatoes...a favorite of mine and Maxwell's. Most recipes for baby food have you steaming the fruit or veg, but the thought of steaming a sweet potato was not at all appealing so I baked two extra when I was making some for dinner. Easy-peasy! Yeah...except for the part where I dropped a glob of fresh from the oven sweet potato on my big toe. A blister on one's toe is not your typical cooking injury and it hurts like crazy!

Adventure #2 was the result of an aged small appliance. I defrosted/lightly coked frozen peaches in the microwave. FYI...frozen fruits and veg are a great shortcut for purees when fresh is out of season or wicked pricey! I pulled out my stick blender (since my cheapo food processor attachment for my blender sucks) and set to work pulse blending my warm squishy peaches. After 2 pulses there was the worst burnt plastic smell...I was able to get the purée finished with put catching fire thank goodness! I did some quick calculations and realized this poor little stick blender must be around 15 years old and served me well over years, however it is time to retire him!

For ease and, more importantly, safety I found good deals on a new stick blender and proper food processor. Yeah! There's not much I can do about my clumsiness so I am sure there will be further adventurers to come!

Heavy heart...

Today I woke up and just felt sad...tears have been prickling in my eyes in spite of the the joy that comes with the smiles wrapped up in William and Ethan's baby brother.

It has been such a long time since I woke up feeling this way. Perhaps because Maxwell has done so much good for my heart. He also monopolizes my time so distractions are rare.

I also realized, after looking at the calendar and marveling that it is so close to the end of March, that this was due date time for my twins. It always amazes me how my subconscious self keeps track when I am not. The twins' due date lost most of its power after the first time it passed...after all what are the chances of any baby being born in his/her due date?

William and Ethan are in my thoughts always, but the sadness is a gentler nudge (rather than a kick to the stomach) and missing them is a longing (rather than the paralyzing want of what should be). I know grief changes and I was just getting used to how grief feels now.

Today feels a bit more like it did six months to a year out. How can it be nearly 28 months since we had to say goodbye?!? I am not feeling the rawness of me grief from those earlier days, but the physical response (quick to tear, ache in my chest) is much the same.

I have been trying to use photoshop to edit pictures of William and Ethan so I can have a portrait of them together. With the nature of their premature arrival and quick separation in hopes of keeping Ethan alive after William was gone, there are no pictures of them together. I also have no photos of me holding Ethan, but such is the unclear thinking created by the vortex of grief. Even with all of my photo editing skills I can't quite get it to look right...or even ok.

It has since dawned on me that I should use my artistic skills and just draw them using the photos. That would certainly take away the challenge of photoshopping William's bruising that make the photos hard to look at. What I want more than anything is a picture that I show people and say "here are my beautiful baby boys." While I can look at their photo's and see their beautiful faces, the awful reality is the photos are clearly of dead babies with all of the horrible marks of the premature birth and attempts to help them live. A mother's love can see beyond and see her sons, but not everyone (including their father) are comfortable with what is really in the photos. I understand that and that makes me want more for my sons. I want to put their picture on the wall next to Maxwell's. I want to show off all of my sons!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Sweetest Sounds

Maxwell's babbling has gradually developed into increasingly distinct sounds, often hilariously combined at volumes ranging from low, barely audible, grumbles to ear piercing and surprisingly loud squeals. To say he is exploring sounds feels like an understatement! He has definitely mastered expressing him self with sounds despite his lack of words.

The squeaks, squeals and giggles of joy warm my heart and never fail to make me smile or laugh. His protesting grunts and rumbly grumbles of dissatisfaction get the point across even if they make me laugh hysterically! (Sorry baby...it's just too funny not to laugh!) It's not so hard to tell how M is feeling...the "why"is often a mystery though.

Three days ago the sweetest sound ever started coming out of my son! At first I wasn't sure and it was mixed in with his grumbles. Then it got more and more distinct and I sent video to family and friends for confirmation. Yes...they heard it too! Ma ma mama ma ma ma!

Granted he is using it as a part if his grumbles and "pay attention" grumblings and not as my name but he is saying it! I honestly have never heard anything sweeter.