My Family!!

My Family!!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

No Truer Words Were Said

“Do not judge bereaved parents. They come in many forms. They are breathing, but they are dying. They may look young, but inside they have become ancient. They smile, but their hearts sob. They walk, they talk, they cook, they clean, they work, they ARE, but they ARE NOT all at once. They are here, but part of their heart is elsewhere for all eternity. “ -Unknown

I came across this quote, and could not have said it better myself.

No matter how much fun I am "having" I constantly feel an emptiness inside of me. Unless I am talking to or around other Baby loss moms or Foster, I never feel like the people I am with fully understand the pain I am CONSTANTLY feeling. A perfect example of this is in Chicago this past weekend. I was at a tailgate party in a bar for my favorite football team, OSU, with two of my favorite people on earth, Bug and JJ. Yet it was not the same. It was not the same as last year when I sat drinking water instead of beer because I was pregnant, enjoying the games with my friends. This time I felt a loneliness even though the entire bar was full of people. I felt self conscience, and even a little bit anxious when strangers got into my personal space. I smiled on the outside, but I was out of place and not happy, inside I was screaming.

I am coming up on my 29th birthday and our one year anniversary. However, I feel like I have lived a lifetime and should be celebrating my 80th. I feel like Foster and I have been married for ages and should be celebrating our 50th. We have gone through so much in our first year of marriage, and it has made us stronger, but it has aged us. You will no longer find us seeking out nights at the bars with friends, or crowded parties like other 29 and 30 year olds. Instead, we enjoy small groups and intimate nights with just the two of us.

I cook, I clean, but not with as much passion as before. I work, but as a shell of my former self. I walk, and everyone knows that I talk...ALOT....but most of the talking is out of anxiousness now a days. Before you could not get me to shut up because I loved talking about life in general. Now I talk to avoid the awkward silences and to make people think I am okay. Honestly, I also talk to keep off of the subject I want to talk about the most. I want to talk about my daughter. About how much I miss her, how beautiful she was/is, about how ticked off I am that it is getting closer to winter and her headstone is STILL not in. I want to talk about her so my biggest fear does not come true, that I will start to forget her. People don't always want to hear about this stuff. I feel so bad for my family and husband. They get an ear full because they are the only ones I feel comfortable talking about her to, and I feel that there are times they may not want to hear about her.

A part of my heart is gone. It resides up in heaven with my precious angel, and I will only get it back when I join her. Other children may come into my life, but I will always miss my first born. I will always be very aware of her absence no matter what the occasion.

Rosalynn....."until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of his hands."

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

My Voyerism and Exhibitionism Finally Paid Off!!

I was planning on posting about my second day in Chicago today, but it will have to wait because I had a very pleasant surprise today. In blog land I follow a lot of different blogs. I follow Baby Loss Blogs, which have led me into finding some amazing blogs on adoption and infertility. I also follow a lot of military wives' (milies) blogs. A few of them actually overlap. I of course have my favorites, the ones I like to call my "blog crushes". As soon as I log on, I filter out those blogs and get updated on them before reading the other updates. Imagine my surprise when I received an email from one of my "crushes". I was ecstatic just to see her name pop up into my INBOX, but I was over the moon when I read why she was contacting me.

Her husband is an officer in the Army, just like Foster, and they are PCSing (moving in civilian terms) to a new base. They happened to be passing through my city in approximately three hours and wanted to know if we wanted to meet up. As I checked the time of the message, I noticed I still had about 2 hours, so I called Foster to see what he thought. I explained to him why this woman was so important to me. You see, not only is she a fellow Army wife, but she also lost her daughter Olivia around 36 weeks gestation about 9 months ago. She was one of the first blogs I started following. She seemed so strong and she inspired me, because I had Foster home to help be my rock, but 2 weeks after she lost Olivia, Priscilla's husband had to return to Afghanistan. I immediately had a huge amount of respect for them as a couple. PLUS this was not their first loss! Reading her story made me stronger.

To top it all off, it just so happens that Foster had today off of work because he had just returned from a grueling trip of white water rafting and needed a day to recover. It could not be anymore perfect! We could have a double lunch date! When Foster agreed, I called Priscilla and we made arrangements to meet.

About two hours later, we walked into Olive Garden and I recognized them right away. Once again, just as I was nervous about meeting Holly from Caring for Caleigh , I was just about as nervous to meet James and Priscilla. However, those nerves dissipated quickly as we all started talking. Of course our children came up, but we talked about so much more. We talked Army, moving, dogs, and more. Foster and James had a lot in common, and I found out that Priscilla and I have even more than I thought in common. As if being mommies to angels, dog lovers, blog writers and wives to officers wasn't enough, we both majored in Psychology. It also took her quite a while to finish school, so she completely understood why I was still not finished.

After numerous bowls of soup, bread sticks and salads, we headed out to the parking lot to meet one of my favorite characters on her blog, their basset hound Obadiah (Oba for short). He makes me laugh so hard when I read stories about him, and I was honored to finally meet the little man in person. He is just as cute in person as he is in pictures, and he just LOVED Foster!!

Although we will be living hundreds of miles away, I hope to continue a friendship with this family, and I pray that both our families will be blessed with a healthy, beautiful bundle of joy soon. I am so happy that we got the opportunity to enjoy a meal together and get to know each other, for it is such a blessing to have people like these in our lives.

Visit her beautiful blog, and get to know Priscilla, James and Oba, at Missing Olivia ~, and I am sure you will understand why their story has been such a huge part of my healing.
Thank you Priscilla for the wonderful surprise!

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Three Amigos Take on Chicago Part I

WOW! It has been quite a busy few weeks. I can honestly say I do not want to go anywhere else for at least a couple of months. I am not so patiently waiting the call from Foster telling me that he and the boys are on their way home from white water rafting. I miss him. I have seen him a total of about 16 hours in the last 2 weeks and realize how strong I am with him around.

JJ Bug and I had quite the adventurous trip to Chicago. We left of Thursday afternoon, and I thought the biggest problem I would have on the six hour trip would be my upset stomach. I truly felt bad because Bug and JJ were trapped in a car with the gassiest girl around. I think it may have something to do with the high fiber in the WW diet. I should have seen it coming, however. I should have known that a long car ride could not go without an obstacle or two when us three girls get together.

Bug slept the majority of the trip, so imagine her surprise when she woke up and we were parked in front of an Advance Auto store. JJ and I had pulled off an exit to grab a quick cup of coffee outside of Indianapolis, approximately half way through our trip. As we were heading back towards the highway, we were stopped at a red light when the driver of a minivan to our left started to rev it's engine. JJ took this as a hint that they wanted to race. We knew there would be no competition because she drives a SAAB with a turbo engine. When the light turned green, JJ stepped on the gas, and within seconds we were already way past the minivan. As the car's turbo kicked in, I heard what sounded like rocks under the passenger side wheel. We slowed down as we approached the on ramp of the highway, and all of the sudden her dashboard started flashing "Battery not charging, please pull over safely and call SAAB."

"Oh crap, I think your alternator belt broke back there," I stated as JJ did a U turn back towards the shopping center.

"How do you know?" she asked.
"Well I heard something drop, and I figured it was rocks, but I think it was the belt falling."

We saw an auto parts store on the left and pulled in. As JJ entered the store to get a service representative to assist us I popped the hood and glanced down and noticed the belt missing. Sure enough, after the diagnostic machine was hooked up, it confirmed our fears. This is about the time Bug woke up and tried to make sense of the whole scene in her groggy state. Lucky for us, there was a repair shop about two blocks from the auto parts store. We prayed the car would not drain of power before reaching our destination.

The mechanics were so accommodating, and had the SAAB all fixed up within an hour and had us safely back on the road. I have to admit that it was a blessing that we broke down close to all of the necessary resources. We could have broken down in one of the twenty mile long stretches of nothing but fields and windmills in Indiana or Illinois. After our six hour trip turned into almost eight, we were relived to make it to the hotel.

As we let the valet take our car, we wheeled our luggage into the W. Instantaneously I felt completely out of place. We walked into a very trendy, upscale, modern hotel. I was dressed in cargo capris and t-shirt. Bug was once again awake, and in RARE form. Her hair was a little disheveled and she was sporting a pair of athletic shorts and a tank top. JJ was the only one who remotely looked like she belonged.

After checking in, our first order of business was to clean ourselves up and check out the accommodations. Although our room was a little cramped, it had some great details like plantation shutters that looked right into the bathroom. Unfortunately, it did not give much privacy for showers or other bathroom duties, but when they were open, they gave the illusion the room was bigger than it was, allowed for conversation between rooms while we are all getting ready, and of course made for some great pictures:

Then there was the view. The view made up for the size of the room. Imagine waking up to this every morning. I was blessed to get to wake up to it for three mornings, and now envy the people living in the apartment building next door.

We were all a little tired from the trip so decided to stick around the hotel. We poured ourselves a few cocktails, and set out to explore. The W had a great rooftop bar, unfortunately it was all enclosed. I would have loved to enjoy a drink on an outside patio thirty-three stories above Chicago. We decided since the rooftop bar was not yet hopping, that we would mingle in the lobby bar. We were each given a complimentary drink and made ourselves comfortable on one of the couches. Soon I noticed everyone getting quiet as the energy started to fade and you could tell JJ and I were exhausted. Bug was not of course, because she slept the entire trip. We returned to our room and were lame the rest of the night, jumping into our PJs and watching a movie. We figured we would conserve our energy for the next two days worth of adventure. If the trip up was any indication of how the rest of our weekend was going to be, we would need all the energy we could get.

To be continued....

Friday, September 24, 2010

Girls Weekend and "New Blog Friday"

As you are reading this right now, I am in Chicago with my two best girls. It is a much needed "girls weekend." Foster is off gallivanting around in the back woods of West Virginia. He and Ky. Mr. JJ and Mr. Red are all enjoying a weekend of White water rafting, drinking, and camping.

This time last year it was Foster and I rafting the New River rapids. I was jumping off 30 foot cliffs and braving Level 5 rapids while unknowingly being pregnant. I was about 2-3 weeks pregnant at this point, but it is just one more adventure that Rosie was present during. It was at this point where I noticed weird things happening to my body. I was EXTREMELY gassy, and thanking God that Foster and I had just gotten engaged, because I finally felt semi-comfortable passing gas in front of him. I was braving the dark, bug infested woods to get to the porta-johns 5-6 times each night to use the restroom. I figured it was because I was drinking beer, but a few weeks from now, I would find out it was because I was expecting.

Foster was planning this trip WAY before we lost Rosie. HE wanted it to be his later "bachelor party". I was intending to stay home with the baby, and letting him enjoy a man's weekend away. So, when we lost Rosalynn, Bug and JJ decided we had to do a girls weekend since our guys would be gone. Now, don't get me wrong, I am excited to be here enjoying time with the girls, but I officially have seen my husband 2 days in the last 2.5 weeks. I miss him, and wish we had all gone down to WV together with ALL of our friends. However, I know JJ better than most, and she would not fare well in the wild. Instead, we are staying in the luxurious "W" hotel overlooking Michigan Lake. We have a day full of shopping and drinking ahead of us. THAT is her kind of vacation.

When I get home I will make sure to update you on all of my adventures. Until then, if you are not sick of me yet, hop on over to "The Infertility Overachievers" Where my quaint little blog is being featured as "New Blog Friday". I am always honored when I am asked to be featured on someone's blog. So hop on over and check out my post and her blog. She is definitely an inspiration!

Blog Button NBF

P.S. A lot of people in real life have been BEGGING for Foster's next entry. As I mentioned earlier, he has been out of town for 2.5 weeks. He is wanted to add some feelings from when he wanted to go for a run, and when he held his daughter for the first time. As soon as he gives me the thumbs up, I will post. I promise I have not forgotten about it though!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Year Flys By and General Update

I apologize if I have not been around as much lately. I am used to posting three to five posts a week, and I have been slacking.

I believe some of it may be due to the fact that my schedule has become so hectic. We had trips and weddings, and now we are leaving for yet another trip. Foster will be going white water rafting with the boys in WV while I head to Chicago for a shopping trip with JJ and Bug.
Also, school started back up today. I am taking 15 credit hours, and have 2 more quarters to graduate! Thank God, I see a light! Foster is working towards his masters, and has been swamped with homework lately.

In other words, life is happening.

Yes, we are still trying to conceive, and as we are fast approaching all of the milestones from Rosie (the day I found out I was pregnant, the day that we told my family, etc) my want to be a parent becomes stronger and stronger. I know this is bad for when you want to conceive. The more you want it, it seems the less it happens. It is always those people on birth control (like myself a year ago) or those couples who have been trying for years and finally just "give up" that find themselves pregnant. I am hoping that school and work will keep me so busy that my mind is distracted from the TTC (trying to conceive) journey.

It is amazing how fast a year passes by. One year ago today I was pregnant but not yet aware of it. It was also a year ago that we found out that Mama JJ had pancreatic cancer. Now both Rosie and Mama JJ are gone, and we are all left picking up the pieces and trying to heal.

Here is hoping that this next year brings good and happy news. That this year is a year of blessings and prosperity for my family. We need a good year.

A quick update, Kam and I are in the process of planning a silent auction to help raise money for Back in His Arms Again. If any of you know anyone who would be willing to donate to the auction, please let me know. When it gets closer and we have more info, I will inform all of you when it is, so you can attend if you want! All of the proceeds will go to the ministry for helping families like Foster and I who have lost a baby and educating the hospital staffs in the area on how to handle the situation with compassion and understanding. Some of the money will go to families, and some of it will go to changing our website and pamphlets to be more ecumenical as opposed to focused on Catholicism.

I finished my first draft of the article that will be posted in the National Guard Magazine. I think I may also submit the article to Military Spouse Magazine also. My friend is in the process of editing my first draft, but personally I think it is an entertaining article.

I have revised and rewritten 4 chapters of my first book, while brainstorming my second. I am looking into publishing companies to send my first manuscript to when it is finished, or at least 80% finished, and I have been given some tips from a fellow Baby Loss Mom whose book will be on shelves by December. Keep your fingers crossed.

I talked to my First Sergeant, my Brigade Commander, and a few others in my chain of command about the regulation change in the National Guard regarding pregnancy. We are all moving forward and I have their support. It is always a plus to have a female Colonel backing you up.

The policy for my work will be under review for next years changes. I missed this years deadline, July, but they are hoping it will go into effect next July. I have written letters to our congressmen an women to back me up, and add support to my case when it goes back up to the board next year. However, I will not be sending it out to the offices until after the elections in November, because I would hate to have to send them all back out again because new members are elected and current members are out.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Isn't it Ironic??

It would be fitting that today, September 20th, I would finally get an email with the finilization of Rosalynn's headstone. Now it will take 6-8 weeks to go in the ground. Great! it will not be in by my 6 month deadline! Do not think that just because I did not mention it in this morning's post, that I somehow forgot that today marks five months since my precious daughter grew angel wings. As I have mentioned numerous times, I think of her all the time. For instance, I was looking at my military ID on Sunday, and realized that the date that I swore in was April 20th 2008. Interesting how that had never crossed my mind since my daughter died. I was always proud of the day that I enlisted. April 20th had always been a day of pride. I also knew that it meant that 6 years from that day would be the day I could decide to re-enlist or get out.

It is interesting how my priorities have changed. What used to be the biggest accomplishment in my life so far, being a soldier, has taken a back seat to being a mother to an angel and the want to be a mother to a living child here on earth. Even the day I enlisted is now overshadowed by the death of my Rosie. When I realized this, I had to laugh at the irony.

WW Meeting #2

Well, i promised I would keep you updated on the weight loss, the good, the bad and the ugly. I was fully expecting to go in, get weighed, and not see any improvement. I was just on the low carb diet, and my body has officially been able to eat carbs for the first time in 2 months. I was afraid I would gain before I lost. However, I have been feeling really good about the diet. It has made me feel healthier and that in turn makes me feel happy. I told Foster yesterday, "I am really proud of myself for dong so well on this diet. It is so easy."

He agreed, and added, "I will also be really proud of you when the weight starts coming off."

As I have said before, he believes I am beautiful as is, but he knows I have not been happy with myself.

Well, Foster can officially be proud of me on this diet. I lost 5.6 pounds in the first week!

I know this is not going to be typical. I know that I will be lucky some weeks to lose .2 pounds, but I am bound and determined to lose every week. even if it is only .2 pounds. This week is going to be a challenge. I am leaving for Chicago with JJ and Bug for a much needed girls weekend. However, I figured as long as I plan my meals, and get a good amount of walking in, I should be ok. My goal is to not gain any of the 5.6 pounds back.

What a great way to start my week! I will be in a good mood the rest of today!

Friday, September 17, 2010

And the Other Shoe Drops

Disclaimer: Warning, this post is a little tough, a little dark. I apologize ahead of time, and you can stop reading now if you want. I know THAT won't happen, because what happens when someone tells you not to look at something? You look at it. I promised I would be honest in these posts, so here it goes:

It is amazing how our lives can be flipped upside down in a matter of moments. The night of April 19th it happened when the doctor uttered those words "I am sorry, there is no heart beat", and tonight it happened all over again. I was at work when I received a text message from my sergeant telling me that my unit will be deploying to Afghanistan in the Summer of 2011. I was in shock.

Most people would probably be shocked, and maybe be even a little bit scared, but this is what went through my mind:

They say everything happens for a reason. When my husband, David, and I were talking when I was pregnant about the possibility of me being deployed if I stayed in the military, he voiced his concerns about being a single father for a year. He told me he was not sure if he liked the idea of the mother of his child still wearing combat boots. Also, it would e incredibly hard to raise a family while we were both in the military. the Army CAN and WILL deploy both parents at the same time if they feel it is necessary. So, I started my discharge process. When you are a female in the military and you get pregnant, you have the right to get out. I was choosing that road. This would not have made me happy prior to becoming pregnant, I would do everything in my power to be a good soldier. I was "high speed" as we say. I was as good, if not better than a some of the men in my unit. I fully intended to finish my six years without having a child. I wanted to finish my commitment. As soon as I got pregnant my whole view changed. I decided it was best for me and my future family to get out. Well, when we lost Rosie, my discharge was canceled. Now today I get notice of a deployment.

So......what if the "reason" behind losing my daughter is so that my husband will never be a single dad? What if the reason I lost my daughter is because I will not come home alive from Afghanistan? Now, as I have stated in the past, I am not afraid of death anymore. I look forward to the moment I get to meet my daughter for the first time. However, I AM afraid of what that would do to my mom and my husband. My mother would have to be committed to a loony bin. She has gone through so much in the past 2 years. The death of her granddaughter, the death of her best friend, the onset of dimension in her other best friend, 3 horses dying in 6 months time, her dog being hit by a car (survived, but now crippled in one leg), the cars breaking down, and the roof needing replaced. She has not had the best luck in the past 2 years. And my husband, I can't imagine what he would do if he lost his wife so soon after losing his daughter.

I know this all sounds so morbid, god forbid, a little "crazy" but that is what is going through my head, and I vowed to be honest in this blog. However, if you were a soldier and I was your medic, would you want me going on missions with you in this mental state? I know I wouldn't! I am not emotionally or mentally ready for a deployment. I am not ready to be away from the safety of my home or my husband for a year. Last year when our unit got the deployment notification I was ready. I was actually looking forward to a deployment, to getting that patch on my right sleeve indicating I had bravely served my country. Now, I could care less. My heart is not into being a soldier any more. I hate to admit that out loud, or on "paper" if you will. There was a time when putting on the uniform meant everything to me. I miss those days, after April, my priorities in life have changed. I should have been out by now. There is a girl in my unit who is 33 weeks pregnant, and just received her discharge. If they had done what they were supposed to with my discharge, I would have been out before we lost Rosie, and I would not even be facing this conundrum.

I know, I know, it is still a year away, and ALOT can happen in a year. Our last deployment to Iraq was canceled 2 months prior to deployment, so I know things can change. And who knows, my feelings may be completely different as the deployment gets closer, so I am going to TRY not to stress TOO much YET. However, if my anxiety is this high already, what will happen as it gets closer? I don't understand why I have to be faced with this so soon after our tragedy. I thought I would have more time.

Joe gave me a beautiful pendent as a gift for being in her wedding. Actually, it is a necklace with three pendents on it. One with angel wings, one with Rosie's birthstone, and one with "Proverbs 3: 5-6" engraved on it. So I am going to follow the passage:
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight. [a]
Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear the LORD and shun evil."

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

There is a Season...Turn, Turn, Turn,

September has seemed to be a pretty pivotal month in my life. September is the month I first met my husband, September is the month that Foster and I got engaged, and then found out we were pregnant a few weeks later. So that means technically September is when we conceived our daughter. September 18th was supposed to be our wedding date until we moved it up because of Rosie.

Up until Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope asked me how the season changing influences my grief, I really had not thought about all of this. However, I have noticed that although there have been a lot of beautiful moments this month, I have been a little melancholy. If last September had never happened, if for some reason it was erased from my past, so many things would be different. Would they be better? I don't necessarily think so.

If it were not for September, I would never have seen the sweet face of my baby girl. If it were not for September, I would never have know a love so strong for someone else that the thought of them immediately puts a smile on my face and makes my heart feel like it is going to burst. Because although she is not in my arms, my love for Rosie is still so intense. It is a mother's love.
True, if last September didn't happen, there would be a lot less pain, but with pain comes understanding, appreciation, and hope.

I know that sounds weird, but hear me out. Understanding for grief and how to help people in theirs has been one of the amazing revelations I have had in this process. Prior to losing Rosie, I was very unsure around grieving people. I never knew what to say, how to act, or what to do. Now I know all they want is an "I am sorry", plain and simple. I understand.

I have appreciation. I have appreciation for the simplest things in life. Walking with my friend and mother on the beach during a beautiful sun rise while writing angel baby names in the sand. I truly appreciated the quiet, peaceful time I got to spend with two women that I love with all of my heart. I appreciate every morning that I wake up alive and healthy, something a lot of people take for granted. I appreciate every moment I get to spend with Foster, the love of my life. I could not ask for a better husband.

I am hopeful. I am filled with hope for the future, because, "Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love." Lamentations 3:32. I truly believe after all of what my family an I have gone through in the past year, that there will be some compassion and happiness in our future. I hope every month that I will be able to tell my mother and father that they will be expecting another grandchild. The future "memory" that keeps me going is the scene in the delivery room when we give birth to a healthy, crying baby. The mix of excitement and tears that will fill that room is going to be overwhelming. THAT is what gives me hope!

Each changing of the season will bring more sad memories and "what could have beens". What would I be dressing Rosie up for Halloween as? What would she get for her first Christmas? Would she have loved her grandma's mashed potatoes as much as I do? Would she be afraid of Santa? However, as the leaves change colors, the snow starts to fall, and ultimately the trees start to bud all over again, I am reminded that life continues, and with each changing season is the hope of a happiness in the future. For Ecclesiastes says it best (Or the Byrds):To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;(Ecclesiastes 3:1 and 4). We have been mourning, we have been weeping. I am sure our time to laugh and dance will come in time. And who knows what next September will bring.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

First Meeting, and Getting Personal!

If today wasn't a sign that I was supposed to join Weight Watchers (WW), then I don't know what was. When I first arrived and signed up, there was no registration fee today, so I didn't have to pay the standard $24.99 sign up fee, I only had to pay the weekly meeting charge. Since I work at the hospital I do, they gave me a $1 weekly discount, so instead of twelve dollars, I only had to pay eleven. If this wasn't good enough, all of the snack foods and the supplies were 50% off or more! I was able to buy the deluxe starter pack with all of the books for eating out and points for all of the foods and restaurants for nine dollars!!! It is usually $39.95.

I was having my one on one with the leader of the meetings and started to get emotional. She asked normal questions about why I decided to join, what was my weight loss goals, etc, and I started to tear up. I think it hit me really hard how frustrated I am with all of the weight that I have and all of the stretch marks and going from being so in shape prior to the pregnancy to now. AND I HAVE NOTHING TO SHOW FOR IT!!!!! At least if I carried in a five month old, people would see why I have a little extra weight on me. This also goes for being at Joe's wedding this weekend. I feel like I was such a heifer next to all of the other girls. Although most of the bride's side of the family and the bridal party new what happened, the rest of the guests did not, so I just looked like the poor fat girl standing up there.

A year ago I would have been so confident because I looked good. I was in shape and an attractive size. Foster says I am beautiful, and it makes me feel good that he can look past the extra pounds and still see a beautiful woman, but unfortunately I don't always feel that way. WoW! It is getting personal here today! I don't like using the pregnancy as an excuse to why I gained weight, but I do believe it is the reason the weight is not coming off as fast as it usually does when I diet. I think the hormones and everything changed my body chemistry.

I also have to make a correction. I said that I can do WW while pregnant. Well, yes and no. I cannot attend meetings because they will not take responsibility for a pregnant woman losing weight. HOWEVER, she did explain that since I will have all the tools, under my doctor's supervision, it would be a healthy diet to do, because it is a lifestyle, not just a diet, and since it teaches healthy eating habits and portion control, then I should be able to maintain the diet through another pregnancy if Dr. C says ok.

So, the goals set today at WW meeting #1:
Lose 50 lbs. If I lose fifty pounds, I will be a perfect size and within the weight limits the army puts on my height group.
Run the 5 mile Turkey Trot in less than 58 mins. Any of you are welcome to join me in this endeavor.


I am off to my first Weight Watchers meeting. That is right, I have given up trying to lose weight on my own, and I am seeking out the help of a "support group". Why not? Support groups are what have helped me after the loss of my daughter, and now are a HUGE support now that Foster and I are on the road of trying to conceive again. So I figured this is the best way for ME to lose weight.
Up until now, I have been doing the low carb diet and exercising. I have been really good at the low carb diet, but I have hit a plateau. I lost twelve pounds almost immediately, and then NOTHING. It has been so much harder to lose the weight after a pregnancy. I have always been able to lose weight fairly fast when I put my mind to it, but not this time.
I have been working out, but maybe not as much as I should be. I find it hard to get motivated. I get a good 2-3 workouts a week. I fully intend on getting up every day and running or doing Zumba, but usually only follow through 2-3 times out of 7. I know some of it is partly due to a small amount of depression. Don't get upset, I am not saying I am clinically depressed or need meds, but for God's sake, I did lose a child, and if that isn't enough to make even the toughest person a little depressed, they must not have a heart. I also am very aware that exercise helps you feel better, but it is the motivation that is the issue.
SOOOOO that is where you and Weight Watchers come in. After every post I am going to update on the workout regimen. My goal is to get ready for the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning. It is a 5 mile run. I would like to beat my time from last time I ran it of 58 mins. This was BEFORE I joined the Army and learned how to run, and I was only a few pounds lighter than I am now. So, it should be an obtainable goal. I will also update all of you after each meeting about my weight loss for the week. I need to be held accountable. That is what I realized.
The main reason for the diet change is because I was doing research and the WORST diet you can be on when you are trying to conceive is low carb. It adds and obscene amount of protein to your diet that throws off your system. Also, you can't continue the diet when pregnant because you leave out vital nutrients found in whole grains and fruits. I always said that if I got pregnant now, I REFUSED to gain a pound during the pregnancy. For every pound I gained in my belly, I would lose off my butt and thighs. Well, with weight watchers I can do this! It is a diet that you can continue while pregnant. They adjust your points accordingly. I am ecstatic about this!!
Also, everyone is aware that if you are thinner and healthier, the easier it is to conceive, is to being thin and pregnant by 2011!!!
P.S. If any of you have done Weight Watcher and have WW recipe books or any tips about the program, please let me know!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Beach Wedding and Baby Names

Foster and I really needed this past weekend. Although my bridesmaid's duties made it hard to spend a lot of time relaxing or spending time with each other, it was a much needed get away. This weekend was the much anticipated beach wedding of my friend since Fifth grade "Joe" with the man of her dreams "Joe". It was a four day wedding festivity, and many amazing things went on, so I will probably be talking about it for weeks. However, I am going to focus on the wedding itself, and the breathtakingly beautiful bride. Of course, there were a few interesting kinks thrown in along the way, but everything turned out perfect in the end.
I got a call from female Joe (we will refer to her as Joe and him as Joey so there is no confusion)two days before her wedding, and she informed me that she was devastated because she had gotten news that this was blocking her perfect beach view from the house they rented:

That's right, that big construction project is smack dab in front of the massive beach house we were staying in. This is what the back of the house should look like from the beach:

To say Joe was upset was an understatement, but she realized at this point, there was nothing she could do about it, and she was just going to enjoy her wedding weekend.

The whole wedding party stayed in this house for the weekend. It was 8 bedrooms and all except for one room had their own bathroom. It was so convenient and fun. We got the opportunity to meet some really great personalities and hopefully new friends. I was thrilled to get to spend some quality time with Joe's sister in law. She is currently 25 weeks pregnant with a MUCH wanted baby. Their struggle with infertility was heartbreaking, and the announcement of their pregnancy was music to my ears. She was present at Rosie's funeral, and admittedly stalks me on the internet. I hope after this weekend she feels comfortable calling me, and we can get together in person so she doesn't have to rely on stalking me for updates. Thanks to our tragedy, she went out and bought a Doppler to monitor her baby. I am glad that she is taking the precautions that can prevent the same tragedy happening to them.

After a lot of scrambling and stress amongst the bride and the bridal party the two days leading up to the wedding, Saturday seemed to go pretty smoothly. We all banded together to get the house set up and ready for the big event. She chose a beautiful magenta and green as her colors, and it popped!

Things seemed to be going really smooth with all of the preparation for the big moment. The girls were all getting ready and every one was getting along and enjoying each others company. For some reason I decided to put on my dress prior to doing my hair, because when I had put it on in the past, there was a struggle with the zipper where some of the fabric puckered. As the girls helped maneuver the zipper passed the bunched fabric, we celebrated as it made it past the pesky portion and zipped easily the rest of the way up. I took a deep sigh of relief, and heard that dreaded sound "RIIIIIIIIP". The zipper split up and down from the trouble spot. What we thought was puckered fabric ended up being a weak spot in the zipper. I was horrified and devastated. I did not want to be a complication in Joe's wedding. Luckily, all of the girls came together and brainstormed an idea. I was trapped in the dress because the pull part of the zipper was stuck on the top, so they sewed me into the dress. they wrapped the accompanying sash around my waist, tied it, and then sewed it into place, covering the split. It worked out perfect, and solved the problem.
As we all finished getting ready, it was time to take pictures. Joe looked like a dream. She was so elegant. When we stepped outside, we realized there would be another challenge. The wind was unrelenting. It was blowing everything. The time we spent on our hair was pointless as soon as we stepped outside. The clouds were rolling in and gave the impression they were going to open up and dump rain on us.
Lucky for all of us, the wind blew and the clouds were present, but the rain did not start until after the majority of the party was over that night.

As the ceremony started, I could not help but watch the groom. This was an especially tender moment. Joey's dad recently passed away, so although this was a happy day, there was an air of sadness about it. As Joe walked down the boardwalk, Joey looked with anticipation, and as she crested the stairs, Joey's tears started streaming. I thought for sure that since I had been to more wedding than you can shake a stick at this summer, I would not cry, but when Joey started crying, I lost it. The pastor did an amazing job, and had some beautiful things to say. I WISH I had asked for a copy of her words, because they were so inspiring and painted a perfect picture of the difference between new love and lasting love. Foster and I were talking about it last night, how wedding ceremonies bring us back to the day we said our vows.

After the ceremony, the party started. the food was great, the setting was magnificent, and the company was fun. It was a small crowd, maybe fifty or so people. They had cake, beautiful decorations, and even sparklers!! It was perfect.

Unfortunately, the Army needed Foster this week, so we had to leave really early Sunday morning. We had to retreat to our room around 930pm and missed out on the late night partying. From what I could tell, it was still going strong around midnight, because I heard music and people still up around that time.

One project I was bound and determined to get accomplished this past weekend, was to get pictures of Rosie and all of her angel baby friends' names on the beach during a sunrise. The first morning Joe and my mom decided to accompany me. I was honored that they wanted to help me with this. The sunrise was beautiful, but unfortunately, I wrote the names in sand that was too dark to read. The next morning my mom and I set out and re-tried. Too bad the sunrise was not as spectacular, but it worked, and I got some great shots. Here are a few of the pictures from those mornings (If you cliick on the picture, it will show you it bigger and brighter):

This was one of the most amazing sunrises I had ever seen. To the right of this shot were storm clouds with lightning dancing through the storm further out in the ocean.

Rosie's name in the sand. Thank you Mom and Joe for all of your help. Over 30 baby names were written and photographed for their parents.

"My precious child,
I love you and I would never leave you.
During your times of trial and suffering,
when you see only one set of footprints,
it was then that I carried you."

I am blessed to have been a part of this amazing weekend. I thank Joe and Joey for letting me be a part of their special day, and I am honored to have such an amazing friend.

I am Alive, I Promise!!

Wow!!! Life has been crazy this past couple of weeks, and sadly my blog has suffered. Foster and I just returned from Joe and Joe's wedding, and I will be posting about it soon. It was an amazing 4 day event!!! I have spent all evening posting photos of the wedding and my project from this weekend, which some of you fellow BLMs benefited from. Here is just a sneak peak of what my weekend involved:

Stay tuned, and I will write more tomorrow as I have a TON of laundry to do which is the perfect time to write!

Friday, September 3, 2010

A Healing Heart..Thank You Friends

These last couple of days I have made great strides in my healing journey. An old friend of mine from High school, we will call her "Mrs. Eastwood", gave birth to a beautiful baby girl early on Wednesday morning. For the first time I was not fretting like I had when Mrs. prince had gone into labor, or when "Mrs. Davey" gave birth five weeks ago. Mrs. Eastwood had struggled through this pregnancy with complications, and worries. She had been such a huge support through the loss of Rosie despite how it probably terrified her that there was a chance that she could end up in my shoes if her complications were bad enough. I found myself praying extra hard that my tenderhearted friend would make it through and never have to face the pain I had. She has had her share of loss, and her mother had a full term loss like myself. They have been amazing. I made it up in my mind that I was going to swallow my fears and visit her daughter Wednesday afternoon. At eight am on Wed, I was awoken with the "surprise" that once again Foster and I are not pregnant and found myself incredibly depressed. I debated not visiting. I felt like the morning surprise was like throwing salt in the wound, and wasnt sure if I would be able to keep a dry eye when visiting baby Eastwood.

I stopped, remembered all of the support that Mrs. Eastwood had given me, and realized that God had answered my prayers for her to have a healthy baby, so I could go and see this precious miracle.

I went. As I was driving to the hospital I started to get a little nervous. I do not like getting emotional in public and did not want to cry in front of the Eastwoods. As I parked the car I started to get a little more edgy because I was afraid that I would have to go onto the floor that I gave birth and see a room similar to the one I was in. Luckily, when I asked the information desk for the room number, I was relieved to find out she was not even on the same floor I had been on. She was on the 7th floor while I had stayed on the 6th floor the entire time.

I got into the room, peeked around the corner through the curtains, and saw this head full of fuzzy black hair. She was absolutely beautiful. The SECOND most beautiful newborn girl I have seen, Rosie being first of course. Her face has beautiful full cheeks and perfect lips. Mrs. Eastwood allowed me to hold her and she was sooooooo tiny. I was so happy for this new family, and holding this baby filled me with hope. I was so terrified that the feelings of jealousy and emptiness would rear their ugly heads, but instead felt happy and peaceful. I also got the added pleasure of spending time with Mr. Eastwood as mommy and baby tried nursing.

On my drive home, I made a phone call I should have made weeks ago. I finally called Mrs. Davey. Mrs. Davey and I have been friends for a few years since we met in college. We unfortunately do not spend as much time together as I would like on a normal basis because of life, but five weeks ago she gave birth to her little girl, and the only contact I have had with her was an email congratulating her but explaining it may be a while until I would visit. She was so incredibly understanding. Mrs. Davey has also been a huge support. Both her and her husband attended Rosie's funeral, and took the loss hard. My biggest issue was not that they had had a girl, but that they had had a girl who so closely resembles Rosie. This little girl has strawberry blond hair and very similar facial features. I had seen pictures of baby Davey, and I knew it would be hard to meet her in person. However, on my drive home from Mrs. Eastwood, I realized it was time. It was time to finally meet baby Davey. I left Mrs. Davey a message, and she called back and we planned on a visit Thursday.

When I arrived to meet baby Davey for the first time, there were no tears, just happiness from seeing a great friend I hadn't seen in months, and meeting the new addition to her family. I held the baby, fed her, burped her, and made silly faces at her. Mrs. Davey was shocked at how naturally it all came to me, and all I can say is it is all thanks to Baby Prince. I have gotten a lot of practice with him, so baby Davey was no problem. the best part of the whole day was getting to talk for a couple of hours with my friend. When you get Mrs. Davey and I together, we have held up restaurant tables for hours because of our talks. It was great, and so healing.

I felt like this was a great week in my journey. It was so good for me, and I am glad I had the strength to meet these two little girls. I feel like I am truly healing. I am not feeling the same pains in my heart when I see a pregnant woman. I am not wondering "why them and not me" every time another friend brings home a healthy baby. I know there will be bad days, and I will continue to live the rest of my life with a piece of my heart missing, but the rest of my broken heart is being patched together with all of the love and support of family and wonderful friends like Mrs. Prince, Eastwood, and Davey. Thank you my friends. I just hope that one day I can return the favor of the kindness and support you have given me. I am truly blessed.

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