Category Archives: Fun & Random Things

Something Is Not Right

baby3One year ago today, I was sitting on the beach with my family, the first time I thought “something’s not right”.

The next 48 hours was spent doing everything I could to get my baby to move, while trying not to panic and ruin everyone’s vacation. I was curious, cautious, but not yet concerned.

Google said that it could be a growth spurt and our baby could just be sleeping, or “you’re just busy and haven’t noticed that he is “, when in fact, he wasn’t.

One year ago today, my life changed forever. I didn’t know it yet. Not for another few days. But today was the beginning.

On my Birthday, I was in labor for 18 hours. I delivered a stillborn baby boy. I came home with milk and no baby to feed. I had children who frequently asked me “why did our baby have to die?” and other questions I couldn’t answer like “when can we have another baby?” There were many conversations with people who asked me “how is the baby?” because they didn’t know and I had to tell them without crying and making them feel uncomfortable. I had to lose the baby weight and manage the hormones and… live a life as if it were normal.

I am not the person I was before we lost our son. This makes me sad because I was a pretty happy person in general. I hope to one day feel joy and contentment again. I assume this will take some time.

There is a hole in my heart that has been open. I have spent the last year trying to fill this void, praying this void would be filled, and it just hasn’t. It is a hole I am going to have to live with and I am trying to figure out how.

I have come a long way since last June, but I am not where I want to be.

Some days, even weeks, I might not think once about the trial we have been through. On other days, it is all I can think about. I would rather not think about it. It’s quite annoying that I just can’t get passed this and that one year later I still effects me.

People say that this is normal and it will take time. I find this very annoying. Can’t we just move on? Clearly I’m impatient. But I mean, who really wants grief to last this long?

Please don’t be offended if I don’t seem happy about your baby news. I am happy for you, I am just sad for me. I rather not engage or talk about it with you because I don’t want to be sad. On the other hand, please don’t not tell me because you think it will make me sad, that will make me sad. I want to rejoice with you. So basically, act normal but don’t get offended if I act weird. Actually, don’t get offended if I act weird about a lot of things. I’m sorry.

You may be wondering if we have or want to try to conceive again. At this time we have been unsuccessful. I am okay with this because I don’t like being pregnant since I am literally sick the ENTIRE time, yet I am sad because I would love to have more children. It’s worth the sacrifice. We have considered adoption and Foster Care but at this time we feel that it is not the right thing for us.

Soooo…. Lot’s of annoying things for a planner who can’t control any aspect of her life.

I pray that this next year, I will be able to see the good that has come from a difficult situation. I pray that I would not focus so much on my circumstances but be mindful of my many blessings. I pray for joy. I pray for contentment. I Pray for all of those who can relate to my story on a personal level, peace be with you.

And thanks to all of you for your support this past year. You have been a blessing.

 

 

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The Messenger

Every spring after the first rain, I scour my kitchen for the first sign of spring Ants. After many years of armies of Ants making their journey through my back door, last year, and this year so far, have been pretty calm. <fingers crossed>

Two nights ago I saw a lonely Ant. I call him “The Messenger”. I didn’t see any of his friends, he came all alone. Why? I imagine he came to check out the territory and report back to his squad as to whether or not the journey through my back door will be worth the trek.

Should I let him live? If I let him live, he will certainly return home with the good news. “Yes friends, it is the promised land we have been looking for, lots of crumbs and sweet sticky stuff everywhere.” On the other hand, how brave an Ant to come all this way all by himself knowing he may never return to his friends or family alive again.

Such a little Ant on such an important journey.

If I kill him, he can’t tell his friends where to find us. And, if I kill him, there is a good chance his friends wont come looking for him, that is, if they are wise. But what if they do?  Are Ants so loyal as to come rescue their Messenger? Do they take his not returning as a warning to stay away?

I checked again. He didn’t bring any friends with him.

For some reason, I was feeling compassion towards this brave little Ant (brave or stupid) and decided to let him live. I smiled as he disappeared under my fridge. (I didn’t really smile but it made my story sound better.)

Today he was lucky. I will let this Messenger live. But make no mistake, if he returns with his friends, I will be ready for them.

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Our Ant situation used to be so bad, they drove me CRAZY. Literally crazy.

It was so bad that one day while Ryan was at work, I found his caulk gun and caulked every crack and crevice I could find in my kitchen. It was a mess but I felt powerful. “HaHa!” <in my best Jack Sparrow voice>

It didn’t work and Ryan was not too happy.

Alas, I found a solution. I happen to have been complaining to friend about my Ant situation when another friend that happened to work for a pest control company overhead me talking and offered to lend me some product that was guaranteed to work.

Hallelujah it did! And you know what? There is an OTC brand that is almost the equivalent that works like a charm. We have been using it for years and takes only a day or two at most to rid your home of and Ant intruders.

Terro. It’s amazing. God bless Scientists.

 

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The Loss

Words absolutely are not enough to express my gratitude for all of you. Thank you, thank you for all of the messages, texts, emails, cards, flowers, edible bouquets, gifts, hugs, meals, calls… this list goes on.

Without the support of my friends and family, this difficult time would not have been as bearable. Thank you for coming along side our family and caring for us in ways we didn’t expect and didn’t know we needed. You have blessed my heart and blessed my family just by your simple acts of love. Please, for what it is worth, accept my sincere appreciation.

“I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.”       Ephesians 1:16

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I was thinking about  writing a long post to tell our story, as you know that writing is a therapeutic outlet for me, but I have decided to write one post with few details because I don’t really feel like writing that much. So, if there is ever anything you want to know, feel free to ask me. I am an open book.

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It has been almost three weeks since the passing and birth of our Son. Just recently I have gotten back into a normal routine and it feels really good to be back to “normal life”, though the definition of normal life has changed for me a bit. All in all, though there are still tears, we are doing well.

The short:

I realized while on vacation that the baby hadn’t been moving. I started keeping track and doing everything I could to get the baby to move. Upon returning from vacation I called into my midwife to hopefully come in for a heartbeat check, just as a precaution.  I got nervous when they sent me right over to the Perinatal Center for an Ultrasound and monitoring.

I mean, I know what it means when the baby hasn’t been moving, but my baby was just going through a growth spurt and was sleeping a lot. I am sure in a day or two I will start feeling him move again, right? Of course the thought of death was in the back of my mind, but that wasn’t going to happen to me… right?

At the Perinatal Center it was completely obvious, though the tech couldn’t tell me, that there was absolutely no movement and that our baby had in fact passed away. When the Dr. came into the room she confirmed that the baby did not have a heartbeat.

I can not explain that moment. I knew it, but I didn’t know. The reality was unbelievable. All I kept saying was “it’s okay, it’s okay, I’ll be okay, these things happen” as to keep myself from crying and to console everyone in the room who was feeling bad for me. Tears. Snot. How am I going to tell Ryan? It’s okay, it will be okay…

What do I do now? What do we do? She told me I would have to deliver my baby. Can I go right now? “You can go right now, or you can go home and talk with your family an get washed up and come back later.”

I just wanted it all to be over with. I wanted the baby out. I wanted to move on. In an instant, my whole life just changed and I did not want to deal with it. I wanted to go right away so it could all just be over but I knew that the best thing was to go home and tell my Husband and tell my kids that their brother, his Son, was gone.

We went to the Hospital at 10PM that night. I will not go into all of the details of the birth but I will say this. The HARDEST thing was to go through everything related to giving birth, and coming home without a baby. The IV’s, the Epidural, the delivery, breast milk… terrible. Absolutely heartbreaking.

The nurses gave me a bear while I was in the Hospital, I guess as a comfort thing. I HATED this bear. Hated it. I hated what it represented. I hated that it was a stupid  stuffed animal meant for a child, a child that I couldn’t keep. When I got home from the Hospital, I loved this bear so much. I loved this bear because it was the only thing I got to bring home with me. This bear now represented the child I couldn’t keep and now it sleeps in bed with us every night. It is amazing how my perspective changed about this stupid bear.

I delivered our Son at St. Joe’s Hospital at 9:10PM on June 21st. We now share a Birthday. I am honestly very happy that he came on my Birthday and not the day before or after. For some reason it felt poetic to me.

Speaking of St. Joe’s,  the staff was AMAZING and made the whole experience as positive as possible. I will always have a special place in my heart for the nurses and midwives that took care of me and cried with me and continue to support me. Because of them, there will be positive memories associated with the birth of our stillborn son.

The next hardest part after the birth was planning a burial. Seriously. There is absolutely nothing like leaving the hospital without your child and then go to the Funeral Home to plan the burial of that child. I have never experienced anything like this and I have not walked through this situation with anyone close to me so… I don’t know. This was very difficult.

My hormones were also going crazy so there was a time in the office at the Funeral Home where I started laughing and could. not. stop. I think Ryan thought I was going crazy, because it was crazy. I was numb. How can I make decisions about this? I told the man I was fine just to meet him at the cemetary to watch them put him in the ground. I don’t need anything, I don’t want anything. I just want it to be over. My Family suggested that we make more personal arrangements and so I let them plan the event without my involvement. It was very nice and I am glad that we did that. I know that I would have had regrets later if we went through with the plans that I had originally made.

After his burial we drove around the cemetery and the neighborhood witch was a very nice time of decompressing for me. I thought it was going to be the worst day ever but actually it wasn’t. It was the closing of a chapter. A really hard chapter. It was almost a relief to be “done with it all”. I know his soul was in Heaven, but having to be reminded about what happened daily because his body was still above ground, and plans still had to be made… this day allowed me to put a part of my mind at rest so that I could focus on healing and “moving forward”.

We had brunch at a lovely little brunch spot in Hamilton called the Silver Queen. If you have not been, you should go.

The other hard part is having to do everything for the first time after having been through a traumatic experience like this. Taking the kids to the park (So many kids and babies there! ha), visitors bringing you stuff, going to the pool, seeing people that didn’t know you weren’t still pregnant, seeing people that did know you weren’t pregnant, follow-up Dr. apts… all of it has been emotional for me, but it has been getting easier.

Two more thoughts and then you can stop reading…

1. It appears that there was a possible cause of death. Though I was not angry and I was honestly okay with never knowing the cause, it has been tremendously comforting knowing that there was an explanation and that there was nothing I could have done to cause or prevent it from happening. Even though they tell you not to blame yourself for things like this happening, sometimes you can’t help but think about all of the times you complained or did something you haven’t done before, even if it is considered safe. Knowing that there was a reason, though rare, helps take those anxieties and thoughts away.

Umbilical Cord Hypercoiling

2. There is a Foundation that supports families who have been through miscarriage, stillbirth and infant death called The Isaac Delisle Foundation. The founder of this foundation found out about our situation (through a mutual friend) and not only has been a complete source of comfort through our heartache, the foundation has also made a donation that completely covered the cost of our sons burial. Tears. What a blessing! You can not imagine. Maybe you can. Can you imagine?!

Ryan and I have decided that every year on our son’s due date, we will make a charitable donation to this foundation to help other families who are dealing with the same grief that we have experienced.

If you would like to contribute or support this foundation in anyway, please check out their website for more information. I know first hand how the generosity of others can make a huge impact in ones life.   http://www.isaacdelislefoundation.org/

 

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The Wait- Our Story

First, let me thank everyone for their love and support regarding our pregnancy announcement. We are so blessed to have so many caring friends and family!

Secondly, I am sensitive to the fact that this news may have caused some a little heart ache. I too can relate because I also have struggled with infertility for the past three years. In hind sight, three years is not that long and we do have other children, but regardless, the desire to have children and the frustration that is associated with the inability to get pregnant, whether first or fifth, is similar. I felt the same disappointment month after month and the same little pain in my heart when another friend shared that they were expecting. Of course I was happy for them, but a little part of you feels sorry for yourself too. So, I just want all of you who are struggling with infertility to know that I am sorry that our exciting news caused you a little pain and I hope and pray that you too, when the time is right, will have the opportunity to share your own exciting news (whether it be through the gift of adoption, foster care or getting pregnant naturally)!

Random unorganized thoughts below…

Because we already have two wonderful children we were not going to seek a Fertility Specialist in order to get pregnant again (though I have been seeing a Holistic Nutritionist that I believe was a contributing factor to our ability to conceive). Ryan and I  decided that we were most likely going to pursue adoption seriously after our exchange student left us this Summer.

Prior to my pregnancy, I was having a pre-midlife crisis. Abram will be starting Kindergarten in the Fall and therefore I will have both children in school fulltime. I have always imagined my life being only a Stay-at-Home Mom to a handful of children. Though I knew I still wanted to mostly be at home when my children were in school, I would most likely have to go back to work part time or go back to school which was not easy to come to terms with. I knew I would eventually be doing this, but not yet! I am not ready for this season of my life to be over!

Who am I?

Eventually, the idea of going back to school and growing in my very part-time career seemed exciting to me. The future for us changed in my mind and it didn’t look so bad. We started to plan a family trip to Europe and figure out ways to pay off debt quicker so we can moooove. Life might be okay for us. Of course it will. If it’s Gods plan for us to only have two children, his plan is what is best for us. That doesn’t mean I liked His plan right away or still didn’t hope that my dream of more children might come true one day, but he has a different plan for us and I can be excited about that.

Skip forward a few months…

I am unusually “late” so I decided to take a test. “MOM! There are two lines!!” What the… is this real? I have been used to seeing one line for so long that I thought I was seeing things when two popped up. (PSA- Dollar Store PTs work just fine.)

“I do not know how to feel about this! I think I am happy. I’m happy. Oh no, what about Europe?! This is weird. WHAT, is Ryan going to think?! Exciting. But Europe. There is a baby in there!”

Ryan was supportive when I told him.

Skip forward a few weeks.

Sick. Sick. Sick. Ughhhhhhhhhhh……

It is hard to feel excited about something when that something makes you feel like death. I am almost 16 weeks and I am just starting to come out of the sick. I most likely will still have bouts of all day nausea until my third trimester. My belly keeps growing but I can’t understand why, it hasn’t fully sunk in that I am actually pregnant. I hate food. I hate smells. I LOVE sleep. I hate food. If any one of you make brussel spouts, do not stand within a mile of me.

Lucy cried. She is not excited. Abram is SO happy and tells me all the time how much he loves my baby and is so excited. His excitement has helped me get through the sickness, his joy is infectious.

I am overwhelmed and excited. Nervous and happy. Anxious and in disbelief. We are going to be parents of three. What the crap was God thinking when he opened my womb?! =0P

new bro

 

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End of Summer Blues

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(Raise your hand if you are team Kohr Brothers)

Where did the summer go? It’s gone but I honestly can’t remember what I did with half of it! Too fast. I’m sad.

I may be in the minority here when I say that I am really sad to send my kids back to school. I love having them home with me so much, even though they are often the cause of most of my emotional issues.

I could keep crying. This won’t happen every year, right? I thought I’d be good after Kindergarten.

Also, Lucy’s new first grade teacher is “big on Homework”. Ugh! I have NEVER been good with homework. I’m nervous. I am sorry Lucy if you fail first grade because your Mom stinks at doing Homework. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Have I mentioned that my daughter is boy crazy? Well, she is. She is totally into love and “romance”… I can’t change it, it is who she is. I definitely try not to encourage it, but I can’t stop it either. So, can you imagine her delight when she found out her “boyfriend” was going to be in her class this year. Please note that this “boyfriend” does not know that he is her “boyfriend”. If you could have seen her face when she saw him walk into her classroom at Back to School Night this evening… oh my goodness… I just can’t. Think, high school boy crush face… rosy cheeks and all. What in the world am I going to do when she is 16?!

I am going to miss you Lu. I hope that you rock first grade like you rocked Kindergarten. You are amazingly bright and spunky and I love you so much. Be the light God created you to be!


Abram turned FOUR this weekend. I can’t believe he is four, he is my baby. Four doesn’t seem as old as it did with my first. Isn’t that weird? With Lucy I thought four was so old and I had all of these unreasonable expectations for her as a four year old. Now with Abram I’m all like “I guess you should start wiping your own butt” and I still want to carry him around even though he’s way too heavy and he crushes my lungs.

I am hoping that with this new year he will develop a little more self-control and anger coping skills. I also hope he learns to wipe his own butt and learn his ABC’s because he’s supposed to go to Kindergarten next year and to him, there are still only eight letters in the alphabet.

I love Abram so much. He is by far the most difficult child I have EVER met yet he is also at the same time the most loving child I have ever met. He loves his Mamma and tells me I am beautiful all of the time.He’s so affectionate and complimentary. Thank goodness because with all the stress he causes I need a reason to like him. Joking-ish.

Abram is passionate. Whether he is happy or sad or angry, he I passionate about it. Raising a strong willed passionate child is NOT easy, however I am very excited to see where such passion will take him as a young man. I prayed for Abram when I was pregnant, that the Lord would make him a strong leader, well… I guess I should have thought about that a little harder when I prayed that. I am thankful for the Lord’s answered prayer but OH MAN… I should have thought that one through…

You probably will not care about this but for my own records… Abram’s favorites are pizza, mac & cheese and cereal. The only vegetable I can get him to eat is cucumber and sometimes he will take a bite of a carrot. He is a picky eater and is very particular about how things are cut (symmetrically) and having proper utensils. Actually, he is very particular about everything which leads me to wonder if he has a mild case of OCD, or if this is just an interesting faze? I guess time will tell. Another specific example of this as I will want to remember in the future is how his socks have to be perfectly square to his toes, his blankets have to be positioned in a specific order and his shoes have to be tied juuuust right while the laces can’t touch the ground.

Abram’s favorite bedtime song is still Twinkle Twinkle. Abram always volunteers to be the one to pray before dinner. His favorite books are Pizza Pat, The Little Puppy and the Big Green Monster, Goodnight Already, Look and Find books and any book from the Library with Super Heroes.

Abram’s favorite things are weapons (all kinds), Ninja Turtles, watching movies, T-Ball and Soccer, playing with Daddy in “the jumpy house” we keep in our basement, swimming and snuggling with Mommy. And his big Sister Lucy whom he loves and admires, and picks on constantly. When Abram grows up he wants to be a Police Man.

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Ugh. Guess I’ll try to go to bed now. I don’t want to…

One more day until school…

=o/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My French Opportunity

When I was in first grade I went to a Private School where they taught us French. From that moment on, I always fantasized about a trip to Paris or being able to speak French fluently (I was always pretending that I could but all I could really say was “bonjour, call me Jeanette”).

After first grade my parents switched me to public school where you can’t start foreign languages until seventh grade. You can imagine my excitement that first year of French class. I have always had to work very hard in school because learning didn’t come easy to me but I was passionate about the language and I tried to work hard at it.

I continued taking French until 10th grade. At that point I did not like school and tried not to take any challenging classes if I didn’t have to so I gave up language classes once I met all of my requirements, but I wish I had stuck with it. I was not fluent but I could speak French well enough. That year there came an opportunity to travel to the French speaking part of Canada but my parents didn’t have enough money at the time to send me so I couldn’t go.

Oh well, one day I will make it to old Paris where I can eat croissants and drink boissons.

Fast forward.

I still speak French to my children, but by now I can only remember a couple phrases and words. Sometimes I can understand the context of French songs when I listen to Chalres Trenet on Pandora (which makes me excited) but other than that, I have forgotten most of what I have learned in school.

I still have a dream to travel to France one day. The idea is so romantic and dreamy. I know it will most likely be in many years once our children are grown, so I have some time to study up and re-acclimate myself with the language.

I tell Ryan (when I am whining about my desire to go to France) that “ALL I want to do is go to France, eat at a French café and speak French to a French person!”

Well, we may not have been in France, but I had my opportunity and I BLEW it!!!!!

When we were in New York City a group of French speaking citizens were walking in front of me  and I accidentally bumped into them (probably because I was eves-dropping trying to figure out if they were in fact speaking French. I am weird like that.).

Without thinking, I said:  “Excusez- Moi!”

The woman immediately turned around and surprisingly asked me (in French) if I could speak French.

I said: “un petite” (which means, a little).

Then she begins to speak French at me really fast and I was so excited and trying to listen and literally the ONLY thing I could think to say in response was:  “Pourrais je aller aux toilette s’il vous plait?” (which means, May I go to the bathroom please?)

Oh no. You can’t say that Janet. Don’t say it. Don’t say it.

So, I didn’t.

I responded to this women in English telling her that I am only visiting NYC and my dream is to speak French to a French person but my French is not very good.

She smiled at me politely, and walked away with her group.

<NOOO! You ruined it Janet!!!!>

I’m sure you can imagine that I awkwardly yelled “Au Revoir” as the lady walked away. And then I put my face in my hands. And then I complained to Ryan that I had the opportunity to live out my dream and I ruined it because the only thing I could think about was the toilet.

Ugh. Idiot! <in my very good French accent>

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Holy Bad Day

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Today, has been a hard day.

Think, “if I wasn’t in a public place right now someone would be really hurt” kind of a day. Fo realz.

Half serious.

Thank goodness I was in public.

It has been some time since I have had one of these. My blood pressure is still boiling. I can understand how some Mom’s turn into secret alcoholics. I am not saying that I would, but it is days like today that I can understand how some women get there. Phew.

Three is one of my favorite ages, but also at the same time one of the HARDEST ages. In my opinion.  How is it possible that someone can be SO, so sweet and loving and funny and then the next minute turn into [Linda Blair and Hulk had a baby]?!

It’s nap time now. Part of me wants to fall asleep to rejuvenate for the second half of the day, part of me wants to stay awake and do ABSOLUTLEY NOTHING so that I can have real quiet time and a small (small) part of me wants to do some chores so that it looks like I was productive today when important people come home. Hopefully they come home by themselves because if they bring a friend I will have to have done more chores. Decisions, decisions. ZZZZZZZZZZ…….

Thanks for letting me vent.

And, a word of truth to all of those sharing in my bad day…

1 Thessalonians 5:18: “ give thanks in all circumstances…”

All circumstances? Really? Ok. Well, thank you Lord that I did not kill my Son in anger. Thank you that I have a son and that I am blessed enough to have a bad day because of my blessed children. Thank you that this situation has caused me to come to you when I may not have if I was having an easy day. Thank you for nap time. Thank you promising to carry me through bad days (psalm 50:15, 1peter5:7, nahum1:7…). It would have been better for me if I wasn’t having a bad day, if I am being honest, but for some reason you want to teach me something through this, so… forgive me for my anger, forgive me for being tempted to turn to a glass of wine for comfort (and chocolate), forgive me for not being more patient with my children, help me to have patience, to have wisdom and, well, help me to be overflowing with every single fruit of the spirit. Amen.

Cheers!

=)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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