Wednesday, May 4, 2016

For those of us who wait

Mother's Day and I have always had a complicated relationship. It all goes back to May 11, 1986 Mothers day an also the day I was born. So you see Mother's day and I have always been connected.

The first year we tried to get pregnant Mother's day didn't really bother me. But by the next year I was getting tired of the whole thing, by year three I had completely forgotten about my own Mother on Mother's day and was drowning myself in pity and anger. I hated stupid Mother's Day and was becoming more and more resentful towards the women who were celebrated.

This year was supposed to be different. This year I would be almost 32 weeks pregnant with Rory and would be turning 30 a few days later. I was looking forward to forcing my husband to make me breakfast in bed and showing off my cute belly at church. I was finally going to be a Mother. My long wait was over.

This year is different. This year Rory is in Heaven and I am on Earth. I am a Mother. And my birthday will mark one month since Rory was born. I have rejoined the group of women who are waiting, and to be honest my feelings about mother's day have become even more complex.

Motherhood is different for each woman, and people disagree when Motherhood begins. for some it is the first time they see their baby on an ultrasound or the first time they hold their baby. For others it is when they hold a positive pregnancy test . But I think really Motherhood begins the moment you open your heart to a child, any child.

For those of you who are waiting know that I am waiting with you. If you are waiting for your first baby or your fourth baby. If you are waiting for the perfect birth parents to pick you, if you are waiting for the latest results from your reproductive specialist. If worst of all you are waiting to be reunited with your child in Heaven. You matter. You are loved.  On Mother's day and on all days.Whether you hold a child in your arms, a child in your heart or even just the dream of one-you are a Mother.

Ann Jarvis who is the mother of all mother's, the mother who inspired Mother's day bore 11 to 13 children, only 4 lived to adulthood. Mother's Day was created to honor this bereaved Mother.

As I look back on the last 30 years, I realize now more then ever that I have been mothered by so many women, by friends, by coworkers, by Aunts and Grandmothers, and nurses by women with 10 children and women with no children.

Waiting is hard, and sometimes it is unfair. And there are days when it seems like everyone but you in announcing their pregnancy, when it seems maddening and unfair that the other couples baby lived and yours did not.

This year on Mother's Day I am going to celebrate my Rory girl. My girl who officially made me a Mom.  And I will be celebrating all of you. Because really if you think about it, are we not all mothers?

The Story of Rory part 1

October was the worst month ever. Kurtis had been unemployed for a year and things were looking bad. We were wondering how we were going to pay our rent- and whether or not we should just give up and move back in with our parents.

Things were oh so dark. And I was struggling. I was struggling with everything. I was doubting all of the choices that I had made in life-

Then things seemed to get even worse, a potential client wrote Kurtis a fraudulent check which sent our fragile fiances into the toilet. It took weeks to get access to our bank account and we were trying to live and pay all of out bills with $200.00.

Little did I know that during our deepest and darkest time a prayer had been answered. I was pregnant- something that I thought that I would never be, with our sweet Rory girl.

In times of extreme stress I have been known to skip a period. So when the beginning of November came around and my period didn't I didn't think anything of it. In fact I jokingly said to Kurtis one night "There's no way in Hell I could actually be pregnant right?" and he responded "Well there's a 2% chance." We laughed it off.

By November 11, I was starting to get a little worried. I had finally pulled out a calendar and figured out that I was close to 3 weeks late. A small part of me said "well maybe you should take a test just to rule it out..." That night I anxiously drove to a Target and kept reminding myself while I was buying the test to not get my hopes up. After all Kurtis and I had decided that we were not in any rush. We knew we would have to do IVF, we were going to figure out life, go to Hawaii and then try to have a baby again.

When I got home I rushed to the bathroom and ripped the text from the package. I had splurged and got the digital test that way I couldn't misread the giant "Not Pregnant" when it arrived. I took the test I set it on the counter. And got up to try and busy myself for the next three minutes... But it didn't take three minutes. I swear I looked down and that little sucker had a word that I never thought I would see on it. Pregnant. I was pregnant. "Oh Darn."( I did not actually say darn.)

At that moment I didn't feel that rush of joy that I thought that I would. I felt fear, and then excitement. How could this be? This wasn't supposed to happen for us. How would I tell my husband, how would he react.

I took the dog outside for a quick walk and after a half a block threw up into the bushes. I had an hour or so before Kurtis got home and I had no idea how I was going to break this news to him. It was way to late to do anything cute and sweet and there was no way I could keep this secret from him. I waited until he got home and walked out into the living room. I gave him a hug like I always do after a long day of not seeing him. I looked up at him and said the words that I had been waiting to say for six years. " Well it looks like I'm pregnant."  He didn't seem surprised-he didn't seem shocked. He looked me right in the eye and said "yeah I know, and it's a girl."

He knew? How did he know? I got him to tell me later that he had been suspicious for a few weeks. And on further conversations we both have come to understand that it was the Spirit telling him, preparing him. My sweet husband knew - He knew that I was pregnant with this long wished for child- This sweet baby would be a girl and her name was Aurora.

In the last few days since we have lost our girl- our sweet angel Aurora Madeline. Many people have asked us if we chose her name after we learned that we had lost her. But the truth was her name has always been Aurora. Since the moment that it was confirmed to us that she was indeed a girl her name has been Aurora, or Rory.

Aurora means dawn. And in the tale of Sleeping Beauty the good King and Queen longed for a child more then anything. And when she was born she filled her parents lives with sunshine. Our sweet girl-our long wished for child would fill our lives with sunshine too. Plus we could call her Rory which would make my Gilmore Girls loving soul happy.

Now that our sweet girl is gone from us I am remembering the other part of the tale. That the King and Queen were forced to be apart from their precious Aurora, until she was returned to them.

While this parting- this heartbreaking parting for us will not end with our girl being returned to us on her 16th birthday. Our own little Sleeping Beauty will be returned to us one day. I know God lives, I know that he loves my little family. I know that my sweet girl was called home to be with Him. But most importantly, I know that I will have her again. I know one day we will run to her and feel the sweet embrace that we have longed for all of these years.  I know that she looks down on us and misses us too.

I am so grateful to be her Mom and Kurtis is grateful to be her Dad. We love our sweet girl more then anything in this world- and cannot wait for the day when we will have her again.

Monday, December 15, 2014

A Year In Review

For me 2014 will be a year that I will look back on with both joy and sadness. As I shift though the memories of this last year I am stuck again and again by how fortunate I am to have some many wonderful friends by my side.  It truly is a wonderful thing to witness the happiness of other people.  I’ve learned to let down my guard more, to accept the hug when it is offered. And to answer with truth when someone asks me if I am ok.

A wise woman once told me to “always be a beginner at something” I’ve taken that advice and run with it. I’ve tried new things, stepped out of my comfort zone, I have succeeded and I have failed spectacularly. Through this year I have learned that when I fall can pick myself right back up and keep going. And when I do reach that goal it was worth all of the trouble and mess.

It was also a year of finding answers to questions that I had been seeking for years. That cold day in January sitting in my Doctors finally getting answers to long sought after questions brought both pain and relief. That moment still seems as crystal clear as if it were a moment ago.  Months later sitting in a hospital holding the hand of a dear friend who had suffered her own loss left me cold and sad like a walk in the park in December without a coat.

But even in those sad moments, I remember my favorite words, “ Weeping may endure the night but joy comes in the morning.” And joy comes, just like it is promised.

These are the things that I will remember about this year, this year of promise. This year of pain this year of joy.

 When I look back on 2014 I will remember it as the year that I said yes. Yes to travel, to learning something new, to a different job with better opportunities. I will look back on 2014 as the year I let my guard down and made new friends, when I took risks and when started the journey of learning to love myself-my whole self.

I can only hope that 2015 is half as great as 2014 was, and that I will always be a beginner at something.

"Oh Darling let's be adventurers"

Kittery Lighthouse in Kittery Maine
For as long as I can remember I have been fascinated by the East Coast, particularly the New England area. I don’t really recall how this infatuation started but I think it can be traced back to watching the 1994 film version of Little Women.  I was eight that year and fell in love with the story and the scenery. Soon after that first viewing I was reading and watching anything that had to do with New England. Somewhere along the road I came to the decision that I could only be really truly happy if I was living in a small town on the coast of Maine, or Massachusetts, or maybe even Vermont, just like Diane Keaton in Baby Boom.

I grew up in Central California, not to far from the Raisin capitol of the world. And while there is nothing wrong with the central Valley, it never really felt like home. Later on it occurred to me that all of this desire to move away from the Golden state where so many people want to live might actually just be a desire to return. As it turns out most of my ancestors fled chilly Massachusetts for gold and warmer winters in California. But me; nope I like the cold, my favorite days are gloomy overcast days. I dream of cold winters, seeing four actual seasons, and being able to wear a jacket without sweating.

A few weeks ago my husband and I decided to celebrate our anniversary by spending the week with some friends who had recently relocated to the Boston area. With temperatures in Southern California hitting the 80-degree mark all through September and into October, we were looking forward to cooler temperatures.  When the airplane finally landed and we viewed that Boston skyline from our over priced rental car for the first time, the strangest feeling came over me, the feeling of home, the feeling of belonging. Over the next few days we walked the Freedom Trail, explored different towns and neighborhoods, and ventured into the neighboring states of New Hampshire, and Maine.

And yes, the fall colors were amazing, and yes, it was nice for my husband to finally be able to wear that sweater he bought two years ago. But, I forced myself to look past all of that, all of the beauty and history and amazing seafood, to really find the reason why this felt so right and where we were living has been feeling so wrong.

What I discovered that sometimes, maybe every once in a while a gal needs to get lost in a city where no one knows her name. That this concept of “home” is not a concrete one, maybe home, or the city where we live, or apartment where we live needs to change every so often or at least be vacated. There is something wonderful to go to a new city and trying it on for a while. I read once that travel is the only thing that you buy that makes you richer. And now that I am older and actually choosing the places I get to travel, as opposed to the self-imposed hell that is known as the Family Vacation. I find myself learning and growing more and more with each trip I take.

As humans we are always growing, changing, shape shifting. Isn’t it possible that our location sometimes needs a change as well?  And while I know that there is no perfect place, it could be that there is a perfect place for this moment.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Color Run

Before the run
Have you heard of the Color Run? For my birthday this year I decided that I wanted to do something fun and healthy. So Kurtis and I ran the color run together. And honestly I can't remember what he did for the rest of the day because it was so long ago.

This was out first 5k, and it really helped us catch the running bug. Which to be honest I am still not completely in love with. The thing that I love so much about themed races, is the fact that you are have fun. And thus, completely forgetting that you are running.

Now that Kurtis and I have done 3 themed races, I have come to the conclusion that neither of us are particularly good looking while running. I mean let's be honest, no one really is. The only people who look beautiful after running for 3 plus miles are ridiculously good looking people who don't sweat, and are always smiling.

BTW my theighs are not that big, those are packets of color!

Crossing the finish line together!

If you ever see pictures that the organizations themselves post on Facebook, or on their websites. They are always of happy, smiling, beautiful people, who look even more amazing covered in mud, and or colored chalk. I mean come on ! I see these pictures on Pinterest of amazingly beautiful people running and it gives me false hope.  A hope that if I sign up for this race, I too will be beautiful, fit, and look even more adorable covered in Color. And soon my adorable picture will be all over the internet and I will be the new face of whatever themed race I choose... This my friends is not true. And for proof I submit these photos to the jury.

I guess it is true... the camera adds 10 pounds and ruins my self confidence.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

oh yeah...

Kurtis graduated from Law School, I was very proud and a little overwhelmed . I am so proud of him and all of the hard work that he has done over the last three years.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

San Diego and all the other things

I an just going to ignore the fact that I haven't written anything since January.
Catch up. January was a hot mess of a month we kicked off 2013 with a lot of resolutions and crap like that. I decided to channel all of my missed performance opportunities into Flashback, which is an awesome performance and charity organization. Little did I know that this would mean that I would not sleep until early March... I am not kidding, I pretty much turned into a zombie .
If you ever wondered what I look like at 3 am... This is the answer.
To celebrate the end of flashback and Kurtis's last EVER Spring Break we took off to San Diego and boy did I fall in love with that place. For reals yo, a week does not go by when I talk about our trip. We got an amazing deal at the W and had a great time.
This is a HUGE statue of the photograph " Kissing the War goodbye"

Balboa Park...or my new home
USS Midway
Giant Milk Shake
USS Midway
San Diego Temple
Balboa Park
Kurtis trying to mount a torpedo...
Looking for Russians
Cute Panda Bear at the zoo