It’s a Little Crazy Around Here

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Cause all blogs need a picture!
My green Lego, Cole, my blue Lego Carson, and my little yellow Lego in heaven, Cohen.  Halloween 2013

 

Life in our house has been a little crazy.

My husband works full-time as a roofer (5 days a week, between 8 and 10 hours a day).  He also goes to school part-time.  This fall he started his first semester of nursing, which means that he is in school two nights a week (Monday and Thursday this semester) and every other weekend (which includes Friday night, all day Saturday, and most of the day Sunday).  While this is his first year in nursing it is not his first year in school.  He was born and raised Amish and the rest of his family is still Amish, so when we decided that going back to school was something he should do, he had to start at the very beginning.  He got his GED the year Carson was born and has been and still is working hard to maintain good grades (much better then mine were in college!) and to get to where he is now (Yes, I am extremely proud of him!!!!!)

All of that to say that while he is very busy providing for our family and learning all kinds of cool stuff, it also makes my life a little crazy.

Both boys are in school, Cole goes to AM kindergarten, which means that I go pick him up everyday at 11:30.  Carson goes to PM preschool every Tuesday and Thursday, which means I drop him off at 12:15 (I pack him a lunch before we leave to get Cole and he eats it in the car since Cole’s school is on the way to Carson’s school and we don’t have time to go back home to eat first) and pick him up at 2:30.  Both boys also played soccer this year,  Cole every Saturday morning and Carson every Thursday night.  Add in prenatal appointments, ultrasounds (I volunteered to go to the nursing school to let the ultrasound tech students practice), trying to keep the house clean, and trying to have some kind of fun outside of school and driving around all the time, and we are just very busy.

In a way this craziness has been good.  I don’t have tons of time to sit around and worry about being pregnant again.  To really think about it.

But when I do have time to think, I get panicked.  If I could just fast forward the next 11 weeks and 2 days that would be great.  I want to have my baby here, healthy, happy, but most of all alive!  The crazy thing is the times when I get most panicked are times when I should feel more relaxed, like while the baby is kicking me!  I always worry that it was the last time I will feel him kick so I beg him to kick again just so I know he is ok, and then he kicks again and I beg for more.

The doctor appointments that should help me feel less anxiety make me feel worse.  I panic before I get there that they won’t hear a heartbeat (even if I feel him happily moving around), I panic while I’m there that something will be wrong (they really should check my blood pressure after they have found a heartbeat instead of before), and I panic when I leave that something really is wrong they just didn’t tell me or that something changed in the few hours since I left the office.

Every time leave the office I think to myself, “I cannot do this again.  I cannot lose another child.  I can’t go through it again.  It would completely destroy me.”  But then I also think that before we lost Cohen I thought those same thoughts about losing one child.

Overall though I think this pregnancy has been better than I thought it would be.  While there are moments of panic and times where I feel like I can’t breathe or go on any longer, it has not consumed me.  I am able to move through those times and be able to take care of Cole and Carson.  Able to function throughout the day.  It has started to get harder though.  The further along I get with this pregnancy the more often the times of panic come and I expect it to get worse before it gets better (although I could be wrong).  I dread being 38 weeks pregnant.  I am hoping that I will have him early at like 36 weeks but am not counting on it since none of my other babies were born that early.

It has gotten harder to watch Cole and Carson play together.  I love seeing them laugh and be goofy but my heart aches because their brother isn’t there.  Their brother who would be old enough now to enjoy the leaves, old enough to join in the wrestling matches, old enough to chase around, and yes, also old enough to destroy their precious Lego creations, chew on their favorite toys, and walk all over their game of Sorry.

I know it wouldn’t be perfect and the life would be even crazier but it still hurts.  I still miss my son.  I cringe whenever I hear myself say things like, “Will you two boys please act like you love each other so I can get one nice picture,” because it still doesn’t seem right to be saying two instead of three.

Cole has been doing very good at school.  He loves learning and he actually really likes to go to school.

But Cole has been struggling at home.  For over two weeks he cried himself to sleep because he missed Cohen.  He is nervous and scared that this baby isn’t going to live either and honestly I don’t know how to reassure him when I have those same feelings.  I can’t tell him it’s not going to happen again because I don’t know that.  I can’t tell him that this time he will get to bring his brother home and help take care of him because I don’t know if he will.  I’m not going to lie to him.  I’m not going to tell him everything is going to be fine.  Because I don’t know and I’m scared of the same things.

My cousin and his wife (who I love and is a good friend) just had an adorable baby girl.  One of the first things Cole said when I told him that they had their baby was, “Is it alive?”  When I told him that she was alive he asked, “Well can’t we just bring her home with us?”  He then told several people that our cousin’s had a baby and it was alive.  It hurt this mommy’s heart to hear him say that.  That the first thing he thinks of with new babies is whether they are alive or not and that he felt the need to make sure other people knew that this baby was alive.  Because to him, in his short life, it is not normal to have a baby that is alive.  Yes he has Carson but he doesn’t remember anything about his birth or him being a baby.

Life has been crazy.  And it’s about to get crazier, with the holiday’s coming up and hopefully bringing a new baby home!  But even with as crazy as everything is it is never far from my mind that life should be even more crazy.  There should be a 17 and half month old running around to add to the craziness and to the joy of our family.

Ramblings

Warning:  This post is kind of all over the place!  It is mostly about how I have been this past week and somethings that I have been thinking but they don’t necessarily all fit together!

This past week has been pretty good (with the exception of last night where I completely fell apart in the shower).

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Carson turned 3 this week.  I can’t believe he is three already and it makes me a little sad that he really isn’t a baby anymore.  How did he grow up so fast?!  I feel like was just yesterday we brought him home.  Now he is an opinionated, sweet, funny, silly, kind, loving, talkative, sensitive, snugly, wants to be just like his brother three-year old.  I would love to see him with Cohen.  I know he would have loved Cohen so much and smothered him with love. We celebrated with a Thomas party.  Carson was so excited although you couldn’t really tell by looking at him.  While Cole is very outwardly expressive, Carson is not and while he smiled and played with his friends, he didn’t have that, I am so excited I can’t sit still or stop talking and running around, expression of excitement  that Cole has.  It is fun to see them growing up and seeing how alike they are and how different they are.  I always wonder who Cohen would be more like.

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Cole had his last preschool program last week.  I was so proud of him and how well he did.  He is certainly a performer.  I can’t believe that he is going to be in kindergarten next year.  He is so excited and ready to go.  I will be lucky if I even get a kiss goodbye before he runs into the school he is so ready.  I on the other hand am feeling especially anxious about him going. At the meeting we went to for his school they were talking about how to help a child that has anxiety about going to school and all I could think was that they needed to be telling me how to deal with my anxiety about sending him to school.  I know that the likelihood of something happening to him is slim but the reality that we can lose a child is fresh in my mind. Statistics mean nothing to me anymore.  It was a 1 in 800 chance that we would lose Cohen the way we did which comes out to something like a 0.125% chance.  Being that one in whatever number has become real to us.  At the same time I know I cannot live in fear of what could happen and that I need to relax and not let Cole know how truly scared I am to send him to school.

I weighed in at my weight loss challenge and I had lost 1.6 pounds for a total of 21 pounds in 16 weeks!  Weight is something I have always struggled with and when I am depressed it is even worse.  Right after we lost Cohen I didn’t eat hardly anything which is not healthy.  Not eating anything soon turned into I am depressed and I am going to eat whatever I want to and try to make myself feel better.  It was almost like I was out of control and had the mind-set, I lost my son so I deserve to enjoy this entire pan of brownies (during one particularly down day my cousin and I did in fact eat a whole pan of brownies, just the two of us, I don’t even think we shared with our kids!).  Of course that didn’t work because number one the only thing that is really going to make me feel better is having Cohen back and number two I ended up feeling even worse because not only had I lost my son but I had also gained a ton of weight.  I feel like I am now at a place where I have my eating somewhat under control and even allow myself a small brownie every now and then.

I started exercising which is something I have never done and surprisingly it does seems to help lift my mood.  I never really believed people when they said working out helped them feel better because whenever I would go for a walk or do any type of exercise I would just feel tired and want to sleep. But now that I am doing it 3 to 5 times a week I do actually feel better.

This week I started trying to potty train Carson for the third time.  This has been especially challenging because he has Toddler’s Diarrhea (which basically means he has diarrhea almost all of the time and poops between 3 and 4 times a day).  I feel bad for him because he does do really good peeing.  The poop on the other hand has been out of control and I am pretty tired of cleaning up messes!

This week I met my cousin’s son for the first time.  He was born in August, two months after we lost Cohen and until now I didn’t feel like I could meet him.  It was too hard to go to family things and see him going through all the firsts that Cohen should have been going through.  To see my family fight over who would hold him and make a big deal over him, which they should be doing but it doesn’t make it any less hard. I have missed my cousin and his wife and I am hoping that we continue to get together.  I am so glad that I got to talk to her and explain that it wasn’t that we don’t love them or their family but it was just too hard for us.  To explain that it isn’t as hard for me to see their son outside of family gatherings and that I would love to get together with her again.  I am so thankful for her understanding and her kindness!

My wonderful husband told me yesterday that he had gotten me a plane ticket to go to Nebraska.  A really good friend of mine moved out there almost 2 years ago and I have been begging to go ever since.  Not only am I going to Nebraska to visit my friend but I am going ALONE!  This has me very excited and a little scared.  One, I hate to fly.  Like seriously hate to fly.  But I will get over that because as much as I hate to fly I want to see my friend more.  Two,  I have never been away from my kids and my husband for that amount of time.  I have been away from my husband for a week with the kids and I have been away from the kids with my husband but never all of them at the same time.

I have been thinking a lot this past week about how I want to tell people we lost Cohen.  I would like to say he died at birth even though he died before that.  I feel like when I tell some people that he was stillborn they kind of brush it off like it isn’t that big of a deal.  But it is a big deal!!  I carried him for 38 and a half weeks.  We had come so far in the pregnancy and fully expected to be bringing home a healthy baby.  In a matter of a few minutes that was taken from us and we were and are completely crushed.  Just because he never took a breath outside of me doesn’t mean he didn’t matter and wasn’t important and something we can just get over and move on from.  Cohen was and still is a big part of our family even though he isn’t here.

This past week I have been thinking a lot about what I want to do for Cohen’s one year.  I can’t believe that has almost been a year since our world got turned upside down.  For Cohen’s one year I would like to have a celebration of remembrance for him.  We would be planning a first birthday party if he were here and I want to do something for Cohen.  I’m not sure of everything and haven’t started planning anything yet but I have lots of ideas.  I know I want to be with people on that day who love us and love Cohen and that I don’t want to be alone because if I am alone I might fall to pieces (I might fall to pieces even if I am not alone but at least then I will have people there to help me up).

Overall this week was a good week.  It had its bumps and I still thought about Cohen every single day.  I still cried for Cohen everyday.  But overall it was good and this tells me that I am slowly healing. Because not too long ago I was counting the good days, before that the good hours, and before that the good minutes and having a whole week be good seemed impossible.  So I feel like I am slowly healing, healing but never ever forgetting.

Cole’s Pirate Birthday Party (and therapy for me)

Our 5 year old pirate Cole

This past October Cole turned five years old.  I told Cole he could have a big party when he turned five because five was a pretty important birthday and because the next year he would be in school.

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This little pirate loved his mustache

We decided on a pirate theme.  I figured this would be easy since there are a ton of pirate things out there and could be really fun.

I ordered something in the mail and it came in a really big box.  I was trying to think of something fun I could do with this huge box and decided to make a boat for Cole’s party.  My husband thought I was crazy and maybe I was!  After a lot of work, I think it turned out really cute.  We used the boat at the party to take pictures of all the little pirates (and some of the big pirates) at the party.

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The pirate boat with my little pirates!

Then came the invitations.  These literally took me over two weeks to make.  Why?  Because I had the great idea to make them all look like old treasure maps.  I printed the words on the paper first and then I tore the edges.  Then I soaked the paper in tea and coffee for about 12 hours.  Our kitchen was a mess!  I had tins everywhere because you could only soak one to two papers at a time.  Then I made a little clothes line over the kitchen sink to dry the papers after they had soaked.  Once the papers were dry I burned the edges and smoked the paper to give it a real old look.  I used the same process for the envelopes.  I would joke to my husband that our kitchen looked like a lab.

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The front

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The inside

Then I turned my attention to the food!  We had cannonballs (meatballs), blue Jello with orange boats, cheese on sword toothpicks, and of course cake and ice cream.  My friends mom made the cake and not only did it look awesome but it tasted amazing!

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The yummy food!

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The amazing cake

Then it was time for the games!  We played walk the plank, where all the kids walked across the plank and when the music stopped they had to all try to jump on the plank as fast as they could.  We played pin the eye patch on the pirate.  And finally we had a treasure hunt where my husband actually buried the treasure in our garden and the kids got to dig it up.  The treasure included chocolate and gum coins.

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The treasure map

The treasure map

For decorations I had the boat that I made and I also made a big banner that said, “Happy 5th Birthday Cole.”  I also had a huge picture of Cole and Carson dressed as pirates on the wall.  We had red and black balloons and streamers everywhere.  The night before the party my mom, Cole, Carson, and I made pumpkin pirates to sit in a chest.  I used a big old chest as a decoration and to put the presents in.  I also asked the guests both the kids and adults to dress as pirates.

Our pirate family

Our pirate family

The party was fun.  It looked good and it was fun but it was also therapy for me.  I needed something to do.  October was only four months after we lost Cohen and I could feel myself getting more and more depressed.  I knew I needed something to do other than just my normal stay-at-home mom things because honestly even those things depressed me because I knew I should be doing more, more cleaning, more feeding, more wash, more diaper changes, all the things that come with a new baby.

So while I may have gone a little overboard with the party, it was helpful to me.  To be busy, to be doing something, to be distracted.

I feel like I need that again, something to do, something to occupy my time, something other than my normal day-to-day things.  Wonder what I can plan next? 🙂