On Letting Go: When Joy & Sorrow Meet

Dear sweet girl,
    This week is proving to be an ongoing lesson that I’m learning to navigate as I go. This week I am learning how to let go.
Letting go of a soul who loved, breathed, created, laughed, danced, sang, painted, advocated, shared, cooked, traveled.
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This week death swept over us and in doing so we have had to learn how to grieve and find our new normal. I am still unsure how to grieve and mourn. This is my first close family death. Up until now, I’ve been protected in a bubble from this type of pain. I’m trying to grieve healthily because I’m all too aware of how I tend to suppress negative emotions to protect myself. When I didn’t cry immediately hearing the news, I was worried I was going down the wrong path. Your Dad told me the news and I didn’t respond at all. It wasn’t until we were on our way to my Mom’s house and we stopped for gas that she swept over me. Your dad got out to pump gas and when it was then, when I was left by myself for a few quiet moments that the pain of her loss swept over. I had to let go and cry. In a way, I was relieved because I knew that I wasn’t going down my normal path of suppressing my pain but revealing and accepting it. I allowed the hurt to soak in and I allowed myself to miss her.
I called her Granny Boo.
Oh, how I miss her. I hurt because I know that her perfume won’t linger in our house days after she would leave like it used to. I hurt because I won’t be able to sassily banter back and forth with her anymore or hear her opinions or her laughter. I will miss her little canister of lip balm that she always carried with her and applied it to any type of ailment. I will miss her sass, the kind that everyone claims I got a full dose of. I will miss her cooking and her creativity. I will miss how she always put on gloves to pump her diesel in her oversized truck. Most of all, I will miss that she won’t meet or hold you in this life time.
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The last time I saw her was about a week ago and in a way she did meet you. I showed her your ultrasound picture and she shook her head like she just couldn’t believe it. She reached out to my tummy, to you, and rubbed it…I kept finding her doing that the entire time I stood by her hospital bed. Although she didn’t speak at the end of her life, she acknowledged you and I knew she understood. I knew she was frustrated that she couldn’t share in the excitement. I know she can share fully in her excitement now that she is free from the hospitals, medicines and surgeries.

She is free from it all and I’m glad because none of that suited who she was.

I share all of this with you because one day death will sweep over you and you will have to learn how to mourn and grieve in your own way. It might not look like how I grieve or the way the person next to you grieves. Please recognize though, that tears are good and holy healing filled droplets. Welcome them. Allow yourself to be vulnerable enough to feel the pain that comes with loss. Don’t allow yourself to stay in the pain though for joy comes in the morning. I learned all of this later than I should have and I’m still learning how to peel back the layers I have created over the years. Pain and joy are necessary in this life and when we learn to cultivate and intermingle them together, we truly live. We see the face of God a bit clearer. A bit closer.
I love you London June and I know Granny Boo does too.
Loving you through the pain & the joy,
Mom
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20 Weeks with you, London June

Dear London June,

This past week we have celebrated 20 weeks with you which included seeing you for the very first time, finding out that you are a sweet little girl and buying you sweet vintage dresses. I’m 21 weeks today but wanted to recap this milestone.

20 weeks

 

How far along?  20 weeks, 1 day
Total weight gain/loss? 4 pounds gained
Maternity clothes?  A few pieces but still rocking a lot of my dresses with leggings and maxi skirts!
Stretch marks? A tiny few that I got in the beginning but no more since- yay!
Sleep? What’s that? Getting up 2-3 times a night to pee and then tossing and turning for the rest of it- also having horrible nightmares EVERY night.
Best moment last week? Seeing you for the 1st time, finding out that you are a London June and sharing it with our friends!
Movement?  Yes, everyday! Usually about 30 minutes after I eat. I love every kick and sometimes it takes my breath away! Daddy is still jealous he can’t feel them yet.
Food cravings? Sweet things which is so abnormal for me since I’ve always been a salty person!
Gender? GIRL!
Labor signs? Oh lordy, no.
Belly button in/out? In.
What I miss: Sleep, my clarity of thought, my brain (better get used to all of it)
What I am looking forward to: Holding you for the 1st time, seeing you move from the outside, daddy being able to feel you kick
Milestones: Half way there baby!!!

My evening ritual is soaking in a hot bath to relieve some of the aches and pain and decompress from the stress I’ve been feeling. This past week is the first time I’ve really felt pregnant. My belly is stretching and aching and round ligament pain is a daily occurrence (OMG!).  Your Daddy is a hero though, and massages my sore feet before I go to bed. Heaven sent.

I’ve entered an odd stage of life where joy and pain collide and I often find myself clueless on how to merge the two. It is a confusing journey that is riddled with guilt and submerged in grey. You are our joy- it abounds and runneth over. The pain involves relationship turmoil and illness of a loved one. Then add in major life decisions (job and upcoming house purchase and relocation), pregnancy hormones  and lack of sleep and this mama is on the breaking point. Whenever I feel the joy abounding, the guilt quickly sets in and asks “have you forgotten the pain?” I know this is preparing my heart for a lifetime of weaving the joy and pain together but knowing that truth doesn’t make it easier. I know this isn’t the first time joy and pain have collided in my life but never has it been so tangibly apparent. You will find yourself in this place one day, sweet girl, and I hope you rely on the love that surrounds you. I hope the pain isn’t so lethal that it steals your joy away. Nothing and no once could steal the joy we have because of you.

As I trudge through the joy and pain and try to make sense of it all, I love you through it all. The changes my body is going through mirror my soul search. Your growth and health cause my body pain and make my bones ache but it is that pain that is bringing me close to my joy, my baby. You are my biggest life lesson, you are God revealed, you are my revelation.

Love you London June.

Mom

I Hope You Get Your Dad’s Teeth & 15 Weeks

Dear baby,

I haven’t been as active on the blog lately because of some major tooth drama. While I was hanging out with your Mum Mum (we were on a hunt to find a few clothing pieces to hold me during this awkward size time) I began to feel some tooth pain but with all my dental issues I wasn’t alarmed. Nothing out of the norm! We ate dinner and then I was off on my way home to Nashville. Gradually, my tooth pain became worse…and then worse…and then unbearable. I found myself speaking out loud a few mantras, trying to calm myself while I drove. I repeated “This too shall pass”, “You are okay”, “You can get through this”. The pain began to radiate up into my whole left side of my face and my sinuses. I could no longer speak out loud and I tried to decide whether I should pull off the side of the interstate. I decided that was a bad idea as it was dark and rainy and I just wanted to be home. I tried focusing on my breathing and I held my face and cried. I called my Mom. I didn’t know what else to do. She’s been through all my other horror dental experiences and has shared the same kind of pain. I just needed to hear her voice and have her talk me through the rest of my drive.

I hope I can be the person you call when you’re at the end of your rope. 


I was managing but staying in front of the worst pain I’ve ever experienced  but then I hit a wall and I knew the pain was winning and radiating more fierce than ever. That’s when I lost it. I couldn’t breathe through it anymore and I burst into uncontrollable sobs…while driving. I knew this wasn’t good and Mom tried her best to get me to focus on driving. I got home, gave Lucas the phone, went directly to the medicine cabinet to find Tylenol. I then applied an ice pack directly to my face. My Mom directed Lucas to make warm salt mixture and I gargled with it, all whilst sobbing. I was terrified that the pain wasn’t going away. Eventually, after the ice pack practically froze burnt my face off, I got some relief. I took some Phenergan to knock me out and settle my nausea (the pain made me want to throw up). I slept through most of the night, occasionally having to apply the ice pack and then I would dose off.

I’ve known pain like this before. Because I have a genetic disease called Amelio Genesis Imperfecta that is dental, I have spent a lot of time in the dentist chair. The pain I was feeling was like an abscess times 1,000. I went to the dentist the next day and sobbed the entire way there because the pain came back. Thankfully, this time your Daddy was driving. Once they saw me crying in the dentist office, they rushed me to an open chair, identified where the pain was and then stuck a giant needle with heaven inside (a numbing agent). Then the gods sang as my lips seemingly grew ten x’s larger and my entire left side of my face felt like it was melting off. Total relief. And I soooo didn’t care if I couldn’t feel the drool rolling down my chin; the pain was gone!

After lots of X-rays (and me slightly freaking out and telling them a thousand times that I’m pregnant) they immediately found two huge abscesses next to each other. One of these teeth were so long that it went up into my sinuses which was what was causing me the pain to radiate into my sinuses. He said that this infection had been brewing for about 1-2 years and it doesn’t hurt until it gets big and then BOOM it hits you like a ton of bricks. I was shocked! He also said that because I’m pregnant my gums were very agitated and swollen which might have contributed to the massive amount of pressure I felt.

Within 15 minutes of being there, they started root canal number one out of two. He focused on the bigger abscess and drilled a hole in my crown and pulled out the nerve. He said the nerve should have been stiff like a splinter but it was completely limp (and sooo gross) and dead. He couldn’t believe it! Then he exclaimed about how much infection was draining out and even laughed. At this point, it didn’t bother me. I was just so relieved that I was getting this horrible stuff out of me that caused so much trauma.

I was however, constantly aware and worried about how this was affecting you. I had my arm around you the entire time as if I could shield you from what was going on. I was glad that they put two lead aprons around you during the X-RAYs and called my midwife a couple of times to get the “OK” on some of the medication they would be using during the procedures. Still, I was worried for you. Also, I was operating on fumes. The adrenaline rush I had the night before and the during the trip to the dentist exhausted me mentally and physically and it was difficult to think straight. I had nothing left and I just wanted to kiss the dentists and their staff for fixing me up so well and treating me with calm voices, reassurance and communication.

I talked to my Mom after the whole ordeal and we both agreed that if I could get through that much pain with just a dose of Tylenol, I probably can get through birth. At least with labor pains, their is a glorious gift after it all unlike the unrelenting tooth pain I felt. Sometimes, I really think all these trials (the big & small) that I have gone through while carrying you is just preparing me more and more and making me strong enough to be your Mama. I know bringing you into the world will make our lives more difficult and our pockets smaller but the reward will much outweigh all the discomforts. You will make our trials seem like ant hills because you are our greatest treasure!

I hope you get your Daddy’s teeth. 

Baby Blueberry Update:

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Also, in the past few days I am almost absolutely sure I’m feeling you! During one of my many bathroom trips during the middle of the night, I laid awake for some time and felt you nudge me. It wasn’t a kick or anything that powerful. Instead, it was if you were leaning against my abdomen where we find your heart beat! I also felt several stirrings or tuggings. It’s hard to express what I felt but it was definitely new and exciting! I was shocked and continue to be shocked when I feel these new sensations. I find I usually feel them when I’ve been very still or laying down- usually in the middle of the night or when I take a bath! I think your Daddy is getting jealous because he wants to feel you kick so badly. That won’t be for several more weeks probably.

Loving you always,

Mom