Monday, November 24, 2008

It seems silly now

Yesterday I was chatting with Lisa, and we were talking about how mentally we do crazy things when we are pregnant after a loss. I described to her what Lily's funeral would have looked like, had she died. I remember that I had almost gone as far as buying the plot next to the boys, pre-ordering the flowers, and burning a cd with the music. I remember thinking, This time we're going to go all out...pull out all the stops for our last child. I had a check-list of things that I would do right this time. I would take lots of pictures and let everyone hold her. I put off buying the headstone because I was convinced that we'd just have to add another name to it anyway. I didn't want Derick to get his memorial tattoo because I wanted to make sure that he had enough room to add her name to it. I didn't want to name her. I didn't want to find out her gender. I didn't want to do any of those things because if I did, it meant that she was real.

But I was in love with her.

And it didn't happen. The other shoe didn't drop.

I sat around, on edge, for months waiting for my water to break. Even when she was about to be born, they had to break it. Even when I was fully dialated, she didn't come out.

It seems silly now that I spent so much time waiting for those things to happen. Planning on those things happening.

Now I hold her in my arms and I can't imagine my life without her. I can't imagine not seeing her face everyday. It's just...silly. It is, really. But in that moment, we do anything and everything we can do to survive until the next day.

Monday, November 17, 2008


We got a lovely email from Derick's aunt today. His dad is in the hospital. He went in for another round of Chemo on Thursday, but they decided to keep him. He had something done with his bone marrow, and they are doing many CAT scans. They think his lymph nodes are getting more swollen or something. So his aunt suggested that we visit sooner than later.

Derick's afraid to call. I think that he's afraid to hear the prognosis. So I emailed his aunt back and asked myself. I don't blame him. No one wants to loose their parent, but there comes a point when you have to grow up and accept things the way they are. I hope that he's able to do that. I don't want to scare him, but I know that if it's in his lymph nodes it's not a good thing. I don't know much about Leukemia, but I have certainly dealt with my share of cancer.

In her email, she said, "I'm so glad Becky contacted us. We didn't forget about you. We could never forget about you." She also said, "Becky seems like such a nice person." To which Derick responded, "Obviously she doesn't know you well." She loved the pictures of Lily. Hopefully they will brighten up his day a little bit too. She said that Derick looked so happy, and they were so glad...that's all they ever wanted for him.

We can't make the trip in December to visit them. But my brother offered us tickets on the airline that he works for. Hopefully we'll be able to make it in January or February. I have time in March, but I'm afraid that might be to late. I don't want to visit if he's not feeling up to it. She offered up her bed and said that she can stay with her daughter. She has her grandaughter's crib for Lily, and some toys for her to play with. It seems like a nice trip. I hope we can make it.

I also inquired about his brothers and sister. I told her that I had hoped he could get in touch with them, if not for him but for Lily. They are her aunts and uncles and cousins. She should know them...and not at her grandfather's funeral.

I was afraid this would be a disaster, but it's turned out better than I thought.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Chunky Monkey

Lisa and I took Lily for her pictures yesterday. The intent was to get her Christmas picture taken, but she had other ideas! So we ended up with some really great newborn pictures and we are going to go back to get her Christmas pictures done. She screamed so loud she turned purple! Then a not-so-nice man told us that we had to hurry up and they couldn't even give me 5 minutes to get her calmed down. Ah, that's another rant though...

All in all, they did a wonderful job and I'm very happy with them.

When she took the picture with the feather's, I cried. She looked just like an angel. And of course, I couldn't help but think about who wasn't there.

As we were packing up to leave, it hit me again. Thank God I was with Lisa. Someone who understood what I didn't say. It was bittersweet, as was Halloween. I suppose that every other
first will be the same way. That's why they call it grief. It comes at you when you least expect it. It's always there even when it's disguised as joy.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

So much to say

I have so much to say and not enough time to say it..

Lily went to the Neonatologist and her Pediatrician on Monday. The poor kid, I double booked her by accident. The Neo said that she was doing great, but approaching chubby baby. She weighs 11lbs 3oz and is 22 inches long. So he had us discontinue her cereal for her reflux. He also suggested that the cereal is what is constipating her so she went twice on her own since we stopped it. I was so happy that I almost cried. Who would have thought I'd be this interested in another human being's bowel movements. He also looked at her Erb's Palsey and said he's sure that she's completely recovered! The Ped gave her the Synagist shot for RSV season, the first of many. She'll get them from November to April. She also gave her the 2nd round of her vaccines. Something interesting, I guess, is that when I was pregnant...or before I was even pregnant...I knew that I would space out her vaccines. My family is very aware of autism, and it was something that I wanted to do. Not totally rule them out, but not give them as combined shots. But with Lily being a preemie and all I didn't want to take any chances. I was afraid. But Monday my mom gave me a whole bunch of shit about it. "I thought you were going to space them out..." blah, blah, blah. Sometimes we just don't do what we thought we would.

We can't get flights to Denver to see Derick's dad which upsets us both. The only flights left with the class of service that my tickets are for come back late Monday night and I can't miss 3 days of work. Not after how good they've been to us. So it's a dud, I guess. I told Derick that we could potentially go in Febuary or so, and if we both can't afford to go he can take Lily by himself.

So I don't know what we're going to do with our tickets. I suggested heading to Austin to see Monica H. but he's not sure. So we're up in the air about it. Any suggestions?

And finally, I had a huge political post written in my head but I just can't seem to get it out. I made Lily stay awake last night to see who won. I wanted to tell her when she comes to me with her history book that she was there to see it. I'm putting a lot of faith in Mr. Obama. I pray that he comes through for us. We need it. We need something. But to be quite honest, ANY change is better than what we have. I believe that John McCain would have had a better chance had the current administration not thrown the country into the crapper. But that's my opinion, so take it or leave it!

Then today, I read a post by Jessica and I think...for as many people who didn't vote for him because he was many people only voted for him because he was black? That's a little scary to me. I had thought that as a society we've come further than that. But I guess we haven't. Maybe I'm just naive, but I've never seen a difference in people. I had thought that other people felt the same way. We've come so far, yet there are still differences. There are still people who feel so strongly that they won't vote for someone of a minority and still people who feel so strongly they will only vote for someone of a minority. I'm ashamed of those people, and honestly I'm ashamed of the way the media is portraying things. It's not about the color of his skin. It's about what he can do to help us. It's about entering a new chapter. People helping people.

Later today Lily and I had a big discussion about just that. She listened while I spoke. My great-grandfather founded The National Conference for Christians and Jews. His name is Dr. Everett Clinchy. He spoke publicly on many occasions, and one man who watched him speak told my brother and I that it was "like watching God speak from the heaven." He wanted equality for all men. He worked to unite people instead of pushing them apart. Here he speaks about brotherhood. This is his prayer.

* One Family %

Our Father, creator and sustainer of all that lives, we
seek thy presence in a world distraught, thy love and healing
in a world of enmity and hatred. Thou hast made of one
blood all the people of mankind to dwell together as a family
upon the face of the earth. We come to thee for strength to
break down the barriers that hold men apart, and to fashion
unity amidst the diversity of creed and race and nation.
Make us conscious of our common humanity.

May those who are strong withhold no opportunity
from the weak; those who are powerful keep none in sub-
jection. Make us quick to recognize the talents of those of
races other than our own and to give to all the honor that is
their due. Forbid that we should belie the faith we proclaim,
that all men are equal, by denying to those of other religious
convictions and racial ties the rights which we claim for our-
selves. Crown all our good with brotherhood. To thee be the
honor and the glory.

And now may the search for that which is true, the love
of that which is beautiful, the enjoyment of that which is just
and good possess our hearts and minds as they have en-
nobled and enriched the lives of the great of every age.


I'm not just naive, I was born this way.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Twist of fate

Derick told me stories of his grandmother. Stories that I've never heard, and I was sad because I never knew her. I was sad for him, and for Lily. Nora was her name. If Dylan was a girl that's what his name would have been and when it came time to name Lily we couldn't bear to give her that name. It just seemed to go with him. Anyway, she was the type of woman that cuddled with him. She held him when he was scared, and did a lot with him. She was his security in a world of uncertain.

His Dad moved to Colorado when Derick was 13 or so. He took his mother with him, and Derick never saw them again. He also has 3 brothers and a sister that he hasn't seen since.

Thursday night he was telling me about her and he asked if I thought she died. I didn't know what to say, so I pulled out the computer and we looked at She passed September 27th, 2007 at the age of 93. There was a 'contact me' link, and I clicked. It went to his father's sister's email. So I wrote. I explained that I was his wife, we were sorry to hear of the passing of his mother, and that Derick would love to speak to him. We have a little girl now, I told them, and it would mean a lot to us for her to know them. I gave him our phone number and Derick's email address and we waited.

The phone rang about 9pm tonight. I answered and it was his Dad. I quickly passed the phone to Derick, and I could see in his eyes. From what we understand his dad fought for custody of him for quite some time. Not that I'm defending him at all, but he obviously wanted something to do with Derick. In fact when Derick was a baby the court ordered him full custody and he had Derick until he was almost 3 before his mom got him back. It was strange...and we don't know the whole story. His mom had a bunch of issues at the time too (I know, redneck family that I married into...).

Anyway, I don't know how to describe the look on Derick's face. They talked for some time. Derick told him all about Dylan and Riley. He told him about Lily and how beautiful she is. He told him about his job and about me and where we lived. He talked about his mom and his grandmother that passed away.

His dad told him some things too. Mainly...he has Leukemia. He's about to undergo his 4th round of Chemo. He was grateful that we emailed him. Grateful to hear Derick's voice, and thrilled to know he has a granddaughter.

All the feelings that Derick had for him melted away. He's dying, and Derick decided that we need to go visit him. So we're off to Colorado in December. Sounds fun, right? Except it's going to be cold and we'll have a 4 month old. It's outside of Denver I guess. I have no idea what there is to do there, but regardless Derick will be able to work through some of these feelings. I hope so, at least.

So it seems that through a strange twist of fate and his grandmother's final gift, Derick will have a chance to know his father in a way that he hasn't before. I just pray that he doesn't get hurt in the meantime.