Archive for October, 2010

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Remember Norah

October 13, 2010

October 15th is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day

http://www.october15th.com/

AT 7:00 pm in your time zone, please light a candle for Norah and all of the other babies who left before their families were ready to let them go.

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The Loss of Hope

October 7, 2010

At 5:00 am, I began the long drive back from where I attended my high school reunion and visited my baby’s grave. I packed everything the night before and said bye to my brother the night before. I got up at 4:30, packed the car, put Sunshine in the car seat, and left. Early morning has always been my favorite time of the day. Usually, I’m not up quite so early but I still love that time. The world is still and filled with possibilities.

I planned my trip around missing rush hours in the major cities that I had to travel through. I put in a book on tape, The Big Short, and lost myself in trying to understand the cause of the recession. This book is good because it explains the meltdown in terms that a non-financial person can understand. The author tells you about the people involved and about their lives which makes it more appealing than most financial books. At 7:00 am, one of my high school friends called. She had called me the night before as I was traveling back from the dinner but I lost the connection in the hills. I thought this was odd that she would call again and I knew there was something that she had to say to me. She spoke of her family and her job. I listened. Finally, it came. She had a hysterectomy. 10 months ago she had some major pain and ignored it but the pain became un-ignorable. When she went to the hospital, she learned that she had huge fibroids. They operated immediately and took her uterus. She has a 6 year old daughter but has been tried to get pregnant again for a long time. The fibroids had prevented a pregancy and now she will never be pregnant again.

I called upon the wisdom of the words of ladies I had read in the blog-o-sphere. Because of my loss, I have read many blogs written by ladies with all types of losses. Some of the mamas with abruptions did not get to keep their uterus and have had to deal not only with the loss of their baby but the loss of the ability to have anymore babies. I told my friend that although I have not had the same experience that she has, I could understand the feeling of loss that she must be having. She admitted that she has not dealt well with the loss. I understand that at one time you have hope of having a child and then due to circumstances that you can not control that you do not have any more hope. Your ability to hope is taken away. From my experience, hope was a valuable emotion.  Her voice was shaking with emotion and I was sure she was crying. I can imagine how I would have felt after Norah died and if I could not have anymore babies afterwards. Rainbow and Sunshine have helped me heal, achieve peace, and become a better person. If I did not have these patches, my wounds may still be bleeding. I sympathize with her that her uterus was taken immediately without time to come to terms with the surgery. I fell back to my go-to stance on life. Some things in life are unplanned, bad things happen to you but good things happen the same way. You must continue to live life not only for yourself but for your family. You will heal from the tragedy, and you must give yourself time to grief what was lost. You may not know how to continue each day but just get up, fix breakfast and try. I hope that I helped her see a path forward.

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Mother Earth

October 4, 2010

A lot can happen in 20 years. Life changing events can unfold in 20 minutes. Thus, it is no surprise that I feel like I’ve lived life times in the 20 years that I have been out of high school. I have the college years — which went on for 10.5 years as I pursed my doctorate. These were awesome years for me. I developed as a person, dated and married Coach, climbed and hiked whenever I pleased, played rugby, traveled the world and worked long hours in the field and in the lab. I gained confidence, experience, and a love of nature.  After I got a job with a very large oil company, which lasted 1.5 years, we had one year before the next phase of our lives came, my birthing years. I first became pregnant in the summer of 2002–8 years of birthing and nursing. During this time, I learned to be a professor. Now, I’m beginning the next phase, raising my children and something else professionally (to be discussed at a later date).  This reminiscing was brought about because I attended my 20 year high school reunion (see previous post about visiting where I came from).

Honestly, I had few intentions of attending the reunion. As the time grew nearer though, a few of my old friends contacted me and asked me to come. I wanted to visit Norah’s grave so I decided to go with Sunshine, currently 5 months old. I drove up on a Friday and allowed all day for the drive; I was not in a rush. On Saturday, I went to a picnic. 25 of my classmates were there plus their families. I pulled out a wrap soon after I got there so that I could wear Sunshine. I had a friend tell me who everyone was and set out to speak to everyone. I was shy in high school and I’m still shy but I make myself into a social person when I go to meeting in my science discipline so I just put on my convention face. This was a pleasant time, with conversation easily flowing, and laughter emitting from us all. Toward the end, someone was saying something and called me “Mother Earth”. I asked what they meant. Apparently from the time I had got there and wrapped up Sunshine, my high school cohorts were calling me “Mother Earth”. Later that night, I met a few of my closer friends for dinner. Instead of using my name, they called me Mother Earth. A wife of one of the friends said, “You not one of those ladies who gave birth in a tub without pain medication, ARE YOU?” I said, “Why, yes, I am.”  A few minutes later, I heard her say to her friend that if all babies that were birthed that way were like Sunshine that she would go back and birth without pain medication. When I think of their births, I think of Peace, Love, Mystery and Wonder.  Yes, Sunshine is a remarkable baby. And so were the three before him that lived. I know that Norah would have been peaceful. I should have told her that I meet all of Sunshine’s demands so he has nothing to cry about. I wear him so he is comforted by me. I nurse him so he is never hungry. However, I do admit, he is a sweet, happy baby.

My friends were using the “Mother Earth” name as an insult. But, they honored me. If people can tell within a few minutes of meeting me that I love nature, I align myself with the natural world, and that I study nature, then I’m getting across to people what I want them to know about me. When I went to this reunion picnic, I told myself that I would not talk about myself so that I wouldn’t appear to be snobbish or stuck up. Yet, from my mannerisms and how I acted they could tell that I am “Mother Earth”. I accept the nickname and hope I can live up to the standards.

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Living

October 1, 2010

Life is living. All around me. Everyday, I live. Everyday I give advice, wipe butts, eat, teach, laugh. Everyday, I live. I can feel Norah within me. She lives. In me. She has been near me recently. I feel her. She is source of strength, confidence and compassion.

Recently I visited her grave. It is a 12 hour trek from where I live now to my family’s ancentral graveyard. Her body is buried amongst the bodies of my family. My Mom, My Dad, My Aunts and Uncles, My Grandma and Grandpa, they are all there. There are 7 babies, one from me, two from two different uncles, and 4, yes I said 4, from my Grandma. How do you live through the death of 4 babies? They all died before their 2nd birthday. She gave birth in the 1920’s and 30’s in a cabin in the rural mountains. She lost 4 babies. There are 5 other babies buried there from my cousins. The percentage of babies to grownups in graveyard is probably 25% babies, 75% adults. Norah’s body has plenty of company.

I cried when I saw the grave again. She died nearly 3 years ago. My Mom died 2.5 years ago. These two deaths were too close in time. I feels like forever crawling out of the place where these deaths took me. I’m still coming out but I’m changed. A close friend from 20 years ago remarked “You HAVE changed.” I said, “Yes, I’m a different person.”  I cried when I got there. I nursed Sunshine several times and stayed a couple of hours. I cried when I left. I know it is only her body there but I felt like I was again leaving her.  I know she is within me but I found it very difficult to drive away.

In my Dad’s family, I have one living aunt and one living uncle. The rest are gone. They died when they were babies. They died young, one at 49 years old. Another soon after at 56. Some lived into their 90’s. My aunt is now 85 and my uncle is 93. My Dad died at 59. I visited my 85 year old aunt in my brief two days there. She asked me if I visited the cemetery and I gave her the news about the condition of the plot of land. She asked how I was doing, I said I was fine. Fine, is what I always say. She said, “Having 5 babies and 7 years takes it toll out on you.” I smiled and said, “Yes, I’m tired”. But I love her for saying that. I love her for acknowledging that I carried Norah and gave birth to her. No one is my family ever acknowledges her. It is always me that qualifies the conversation….”Not really, I have another baby.”

I don’t think I have ever mentioned this but my husband is a seer. Coach has dreams. He sees people and sometime future events in these dreams. I trust them and rely that he sees the truth. When I was pregnant with Rainbow, my first baby after Norah, he saw Rainbow living in a dream. I held onto that vision during my pregnancy. He doesn’t try to see people but when he does, he tells me. Coach recently saw my Mom in a dream. She was hiding behind a door and acting sneaky, like she was going to surprise me, Mom is a playful soul. But he said, he couldn’t hold it in and engulfed her in a bear hug and took her to the couch. Without a word spoken, she disappeared. Some of my family showed up at my house and needed help. Coach figured if we helped them that she would return. We helped, she returned. However, she still sat without a word and eventually disappeared. I loved that he dreams and sees what I can not see. I love that my Mother is near and is helping to guide our family to do the right thing.

I’ve been thinking recently about the continuity of life–the transformation from a soul with a body to a soul without a body.  I believe in the continuation of the soul into a different form, an energy source.  With this belief, I know that I will encounter Norah again.