Monday, March 31, 2008

What's new with you?

How are you guys? It's been a crazy rough weekend here. First, it freaking snowed. It's supposed to be going out like a lamb, right? So what's this all about? I'm beyond annoyed.

Sidebar: I desperately need to stop saying "freaking" - granted, once upon a time it was a much-needed substitute for the actual F word, but when your 3-year old tells you to "Put the freaking camera down," it's got to go.

In other news, I had such a crazy panicked over-the-top total freak-out about not feeling the baby move that Nate cut his business trip short and drove home mid-Friday. Bottom line - me crazy, baby still moving, reaction overly dramatic as usual. The hormones don't help.

Since several people have asked, my ultrasound is scheduled for April 15th. We're definitely NOT taking Josh this time - the most stressful part for us last year was hearing that the baby was dead and not being able to react because Josh was sitting there with us totally confused. Ultimately, he turned out to be young enough that he didn't even really get that I was pregnant - he never asked about the baby and we never went any further with him about it. So this time I'm feeling a lot of apprehension - I'm not thinking about gender at all, just thinking "please have a heartbeat and all your parts." That's the last I'm going to say about it until it's over.

And finally, we're ALL sick here. Josh and Nate seem to be on the mend...I, on the other hand, am not having a ton of fun. It takes me like 10 minutes to recover from walking upstairs, and I seem to be having a serious energy crisis (Josh on the other hand seems to have increased his energy level somehow.) I can take almost nothing, and they can't do an xray to positively confirm that I have pneumonia. All because I was afraid to take a little Robotussin...yikes. So now I'm way over-drugged, stressed about taking meds while pregnant, and breathing through half of my left nostril. Fun times over here at the Ross house. So how are you?

And one side note - thank you to Nicol for her
post last year about Shower Soothers. I used them this morning and they're fantastic - I could breathe out of my entire nose and coughed all sorts of cool stuff up.

Thursday, March 27, 2008


3-6" of snow? Are you kidding me?!

Labels, schmabels

***I'm prefacing this with a disclaimer - I am not intending to in any way undermine or devalue the impact of a miscarriage. I am simply speaking out of my own completely biased experience - that's all I can do. ***

We lost Isabel just a few days short of it being labeled a stillbirth. Instead, she's considered a miscarriage. This one little label has caused me an unbelievable amount of pain over the past 8 months. I've been ashamed by it - that I was so caught up over a silly little miscarriage. I've been angry over it, I've been stressed, embarrassed, name it, I felt it. That label stripped away my ability to just feel what I was feeling in a totally honest way.

I actually found myself - and more than once, mind you, sort of frequently in the beginning - lying about how far along I was so that it sounded more significant. So that I could say she was stillborn rather than that I had a miscarriage. Because when you say you had a miscarriage, people say, "Oh my mom/sister/neighbor/boss/____ had a miscarriage." But when you tell someone you delivered and held your dead baby, it's completely different. It's not that I'm wanting people to feel sorry for me - I don't need or want the sympathy. Truly. What I want is for people to understand the significance of what happened and why I'm a completely different person. The experience of laboring & delivering a child that doesn't go home with you changes you 100%.

So call her a miscarriage, if you will. I have decided (warning - am about to speak French here) to FUCK the label. And I'm not going to be ashamed anymore. I'm trying to finally give credence to feelings that I've suppressed for a long time. So I apologize if the direction of this blog has changed radically over the last month, but this is actually who I am - so welcome inside my head.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Drumroll please...

I'm 16 weeks pregnant. I haven't really talked about that. If you've seen me in person, you probably know by now - or you think I've been hitting the Twinkies way too hard. If you haven't seen me, I haven't broadcasted. At Easter, my uncle really challenged me - said "Why would you keep it a secret? You need to tell us right away!" I really struggled for a response...I couldn't come up with much better than a stuttering, "but last time..."

Last week the owners of Josh's swim school also announced that they were pregnant. My first response was totally from the gut - a panicked "You can't tell people yet!" despite the fact that they're 15 weeks pregnant and pretty much everyone thinks it's safe at that point.

Everyone except me. I'm struggling along here with no safety net - no sense of when it will definitely be okay. I have even felt the baby moving for a week now and it doesn't offer much relief - instead I'm focused on the times when I don't feel the baby move. I hold my breath every month at the doctor when they try to find the heartbeat, and I scheduled my ultrasound for the absolute latest possible day because it scares the absolute crap out of me.

It's kind of ridiculous, understandable I know, and more than a little bit sad. I read a book recently where they talked about a loss of innocence that occurs after your baby dies. I really miss that innocence - feeling like everything is okay, and your baby will be fine because the chances are so slim of any other outcome...until I was in the 0.125%. And then the statistics - not so helpful. All of the sudded 1/8 of a percentage point is a huge gaping hole with the potential to totally gut you.

So for now, I'm better than I was last month, and hopefully that trend will continue. I'm actually finding other moms in the dead baby club quite helpful...I sit on Google Reader in the morning and plod through. I find it cathartic to hear that others are emotional, pissed off, angry, happy, healing, bitter, somehow validates the roller coaster of emotions I'm feeling.

So there you go - I guess I'm officially out of the closet.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Going on an egg hunt...

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

It's so strange

I used to be a big fan of offensive jokes...namely Helen Keller and dead baby jokes. Totally offensive, politically incorrect, completely inappropriate. Not quite so offensive as the joke that Paul Provenza and friends all tell in The Aristocrats (what was that anyway? I swear I saw the movie and never quite got it.) But for my small town, Catholic brain, sufficiently offensive to make it entertaining.

But then I had a dead baby. I don't think I've ever written it out like that because it seems so crass. But I was reading this blog this morning and she uses that expression over and over. At first it really bothered me - I felt like "what the hell is wrong with you, why are you so offensive about it?"

But you know what? In my head, that's what I always call it. I don't ever say it out loud because it is offensive. But if we're all being honest, that's what happened, and that's the difference between you and me. There are the moms who had live babies (and I'm one of those too) and the moms who had dead babies. And I don't think you really get it until you're in that club. I thought I could sufficiently empathize when I heard of it happening to other people. I had no idea.

So needless to say, I don't tell the jokes anymore. And to be honest, the further we've gotten from losing Isabel, the less I've talked about it. Not because I've healed, although in many ways I have. More because it seems like old news - like how can I just keep dwelling on it, talking about it, thinking about it, processing it...but I am still in the thick of it. It's not as intense, not always as fresh, not always a paralyzing part of my day like it was. But it's still there. And I think it'll always be there. It's sort of like a scar - a permanent reminder that may no longer be an open wound, but has forever changed what I look like.

Monday, March 17, 2008

I'm so sick of recalls

Frankly, this one is painful. Today, they recalled Mega Brand's Magtastik toys

Josh got a couple of these sets for from my aunt, and one from us. And we LOVE them! They're one of the few toys he plays with almost daily. He hasn't lost interest in them in the slightest, and they offer engaging, creative, quiet play. I think all 3 of us will notice that these are gone.

Yes, they're sending us free replacement toys that are probably worth more than the sets that we had. But I'm just way less enthused about Spider-Man & Friends Mega Bloks. What a bummer.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Unbridled joy

Originally uploaded by sjross
Jumping in every puddle between the park and our house...

He might be a giant!

Seriously - Josh might. I measured him this morning and he's grown another inch in like 6 weeks - he's now 41" tall.

When we did the adult height predictor based on his 2-year old stats, it said he would be like 6'6". Seriously - that's just insane.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Random confession

I don't really like boys. I've always thought they were loud, weird, gross, and wore ugly clothes. I absolutely didn't want to have one. And this was my primary motivation for finding out what I was having in my ultrasound 3 years ago. I wanted time to adjust if I was having a boy and emotionally prepare. After we saw the teeny peeny, I was really glad I did it. And we immediately went out to Janie & Jack to look for cute clothes.

So 3 years later...I LOVE having a boy! There are a lot of ugly clothes. But there are a lot of really cute clothes too. And while all of the other fears are basicaly true, they also love their mamas like crazy, are sweet, and crazy low-maintenance. You've got to appreciate that...

I will admit, Josh is suddenly louder and weirder than he has been. So maybe it's still coming. We watched my 13-year old nephew a few times and it basically scared the crap out of me. But then, that's why we get them as infants, isn't it? We have years and years for them to grow on us, so that by the time they're gross and loud and eat like pigs, we love them so much that we don't mind it.

Excited boy...

Josh is spending the night at Aunt Lisa's house on Saturday. He came home from church so excited yesterday that he has already packed his bags and lined them up @ the front door.

He packed every costume he owns, 3 swords, and extra gog-gogs for the boys. Should be quite an adventure over there...

Saturday, March 8, 2008

"Paper or Plastic?" - Environmental "Science" Gone Wrong

Interesting article about how the commonly held view that plastic bags are environmentally harmful. It started with a study in Canada that found discarded fishing nets killed 100,000 animals including birds over a three year period in the eighties. This study was incorrectly referenced by another study in Australia that alleged the 100,000 deaths occured in a one year period, only targeted birds, and were due to plastic bags. This "error" was not corrected until 2006 when it was revised to read "plastic debris."

Albeit, this is one anectdotal example... however, it is one that has had a major global impact. How many other "typos" have lead us to other common mistaken beliefs?

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Verse of the day...

O LORD, you are my God;
I will exalt you and praise your name,
for in perfect faithfulness
you have done marvelous things,
things planned long ago.
-Isaiah 25:1

I just love Isaiah - he's so poetic :)

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

My work here is done.

Maybe my proudest mama moment ever:
Today @ Target, Josh looked at me and said, "Mom, I just love this store."
Now that's one smart boy.

Check out those pearly whites!

Today Josh had his teeth cleaned for the very first time - he did great!

I was VERY relieved to hear his teeth are strong and not at all like mine (AKA the porous teeth from hell).

They gave him like 6 stickers and a Batman guy to play with, so he was quite content. No cavities and lots of SWAG - that's what we like!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Random confession

Another random confession for you.

Did you ever notice how almost every highway exit in Ontario says "centre-ville" on it, in addition to whatever city the exit is for?

When I was little, I used to think that in the middle of Ontario there was a city called Centerville, and all roads literally led to it.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Wait'll we get our Hanes on you!

My boys in sweaty pants
Originally uploaded by sjross