Monthly Archives: November 2013

Reflecting on moments lost

The other day, I mistakenly clicked on a link a friend shared on Facebook and watched this video.

Video screenshot

Yes, it is lovely.

Did you catch the birthdate? This little guy was born 2 days before Hudson.

I’m pregnant and hormonal so I blame the Friday morning waterworks on that.

But seriously.

We were robbed.

This video runs 6:54. Crying, laughing, sleeping, taking his first steps, trying his first solid foods, the video’s little hero has 365 experiences in less than 7 minutes that my daughter will never have. We got three days with our daughter, but not one single second of interaction like a parent SHOULD experience with their newborn. I think of the joy and magic that can be captured in a second, seconds I would give just about anything to experience with Hudson, and I realize how much we take for granted these tiny moments in our lives.

Something about the dates in that video, dates when seconds should have been blurring together in our sleep deprivation and new parent frustration, made me feel the distinct, harsh, jagged pangs of loss and absence that I had been able to blissfully ignore for the past 6 months or so. There is emptiness buried under the happiness of our son’s impending arrival, and I’m reminded of it at surprising moments by unexpected 7 minute videos.

We have seconds and moments to look forward to, and we’ll be wiser than to take them for granted. But sometimes I yearn for the missing moments in a way that takes my breath away.

We love our son. We love our daughter. We ache for our daughter. And these feelings can coexist in one, most-of-the-time happy couple.

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Bullet Bump Progress

AKA Fat Pictures! I just looked through my belly bump pictures which are butted right up against our Hawaii vacation pictures. I’m glad I have photo documentation of what my body is supposed to look like… you know, when I’m not growing a human.

I’ve diligently taken a picture every week as my gut protrudes further and further. I blame 100% of my weight gain this holiday season on Bullet, by the way.

Enjoy!

10 Weeks Pregnant

10 Weeks
Also, apparently, very tired.

11 Weeks Still rockin' short-shorts

11 Weeks
Still rockin’ short-shorts

12 Weeks And evidently very proud of myself

12 Weeks
And evidently very proud of myself

13 Weeks and workin' on my fitness!

13 Weeks
and workin’ on my fitness!

Where’s 14 weeks? I was running the Hood to Coast relay at 14 weeks and somehow missed the picture. I probably need to write a post about this epic adventure. But in the meantime, here’s an awesome picture where I look super buff and fit.

14 Weeks  and running 13.2 miles. No big.

14 Weeks
and running 13.2 miles. No big.

15 Weeks And thinking khaki shorts are a good idea...

15 Weeks
And thinking khaki shorts are a good idea…

16 Weeks and yes those ARE white leggings

16 Weeks
and yes those ARE white leggings

17 Weeks and a hot sweaty mess

17 Weeks
and a hot sweaty mess

18 Weeks  and getting this done during the day for once?

18 Weeks
and getting this done during the day for once?

19 Weeks Grinning like a real idiot

19 Weeks
Grinning like a real idiot

20 Weeks  and I just got my hair did!

20 Weeks
and I just got my hair did!

21 Weeks and I love sweatpants

21 Weeks
and I love sweatpants

22 Weeks and I think it's HILARIOUS!

22 Weeks
and I think it’s HILARIOUS!

23 Weeks  and this is evidently where I explode.

23 Weeks
and this is evidently where I explode.

24 Weeks  Six Months say WHA?!

24 Weeks
Six Months say WHA?!

25 Weeks  and I need to wash my hair

25 Weeks
and I need to wash my hair

26 Weeks and who needs to be in focus?

26 Weeks
and who needs to be in focus?

What have we learned?

I pop… okay, I explode around 22-23 weeks. Seriously. Go back and look at my belly pics from Hudson.

Also, we’ve learned that the Hubs, while functional in many many ways, is not a professional photographer.

We’re learning as we look at these pictures that it is time to shop for some new bras.

We’re also learning that your belly is not the only part of you that grows. Look at my arms! The chins! I am officially pregnant in my face.

Best of all, we are learning that the joy of growing a human being is carried all over. It’s in my gut, yes. But it’s in my eyes and my smile and my heart which is about to burst out of my chest in every shot (no, that’s not just my growing boobies!).

Just 13 weeks to go.

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The 100 Day Countdown

On Saturday, I did the math and realized that The Bullet would be arriving in exactly 100 days.

Double digits to our baby boy!!

The beauty of a scheduled C-section is that you can plan, to the greatest extent possible with willful fetuses, when the baby will arrive. We’re due February 20. The hospital only does scheduled C-sections on Mondays and Thursdays. So my options are the 13th and the 17th. The day before Valentine’s day, or President’s Day.

What could be more auspicious than a strapping young man born on President’s Day?

So February 17 is the day, people. That’s 95 days from today. That’s 13 weeks from Monday.

That’s soon! And also, somehow, lifetimes away.

President’s Day. Our daughter was due on the 4th of July, and our son will be born (barring any surprises) on President’s Day. The Walter family is destined for political greatness.

Evidently the First Hundred Days is a thing. To quote Wikipedia, the First Hundred Days “…is used to measure the successes and accomplishments of a president during the time that their power and influence is at its greatest.”

I’m flipping that on its head and making the most of the Last Hundred Days of pregnancy. The Bullet’s power and influence will probably only continue to grow over the next 100 days and after, so I might as well harness the power of two and squeeze as many personal successes and accomplishments into the next just-under-100-days as I possibly can.

Unfinished business? Time to finish it.
Goals I’ve set? Blast them out of the water.
Career accomplishments, getting the financial house in order, girls’ weekends, babymoons? No time like the present.

I’m a productive member of society, but in less than 100 days, I have a feeling my personal productivity is going to be sacrificed to the god of adorable chunky babyness.

One major goal that I want to accomplish before The Bullet arrives is completing and self-publishing the Baby Dub Blog Book. I’m sharing that goal here because I want people to hold me accountable. It’s a gift for me, a gift to my family, a tribute to my daughter and a task I KNOW will fall by the wayside once Bullet arrives.

The next 95 days on the Baby Dub Blog could be pretty eventful. And the Next Hundred Days are going to be some of the best of my life.

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The Baby Room

After Hudson died, we relegated all baby-related things to Hudson’s room and shut the door. I couldn’t take the baby swing in the living room, ready for soothing the cries that never filled our house. I couldn’t handle the stroller by the front door, ready for the first jaunt outside with baby girl that never happened. I would walk by the baby room and not even glance to my left.

So much time should have been spent in that room that never was.

Then, some time passed. I went in the room and faced those things I never got to use, the clothes I never got to see Hudson wear, the toys she never laughed at. And I felt okay.

And then, we were pregnant. And then, it was a boy.

I’d left the room as is, just in case it’s a girl. But I knew it was a boy. The whole first 20 weeks I was gearing up emotionally for the day I would find out for sure, and I’d have to go into Hudson’s room and make it Bullet’s room.

I couldn’t do it all at once.

First, I packed up the girly toys and blankets, burp rags and bibs. That was easy enough. So I packed up the bigger girl clothes, the 18-24 month hand-me-downs that a generous friend gave us when we found out it was a girl. And that was enough for one day.

I knew the clothes and shoes would be the hardest part. I didn’t buy any clothes for Hudson, except for a few little Red Sox onesies and socks when we were in Boston for our babymoon. But I used to go in that room and look at all the clothes that we were gifted, and imagine what kind of craziness it would be to put our daughter’s tiny arms and legs through the sleeves and pant legs. Hudson has some very fashionable grandmas and aunties. The clothes and shoes? That was going to be its own day.

Last weekend, the Theatre I work for put on a big Dia de los Muertos festival. The Mexican “Day of the Dead” holiday is all about celebrating those we love who have passed away. I got a break in the day to go home and take a nap, but for some reason I couldn’t fall asleep when I got home. The Hubs was hauling our trailer down to the Dub Family Farm so I was flying solo. It was time.

I lit my Hudson candle, played some Damien Rice, and packed up the rest of Hudson’s things. The precious shoes. The matching sets, tiny little stretchy pants with adorable onesies. The dresses. The hats. The socks. The assortment of baby sunglasses. I lovingly unfolded and refolded each item before packing it away, sorted by size in the plastic bin I’d bought specially for Hudson’s clothes. I made it through the drawers, then moved to the hanging clothes. I made it through eight drawers and all the 3-9 month hanging clothes, “Cannonball” and “Older Chests” without shedding a tear.

And then I got to a newborn onesie set featuring the red, white and blue of the 4th of July holiday when she was due.  A precious, too-tiny-to-be-believed red and blue ruffly bathing suit, with a white terry cloth short-sleeved hoodie. I shed the first tears I’ve shed for Hudson since June 13.

All of Hudson’s clothes fit into one plastic tote. ONE. I couldn’t believe it.

We now have a room with baby things, but gender neutral baby things. We have gender neutral blankets in the closet. We have gender neutral toys, a whale-shaped baby tub. It’s ready to be Bullet’s room now.

Only one very girly thing remains. The walls, those carefully-chosen-shade-of-green walls, have the words “She believed she could, so she did”  centered above the crib. I can’t bear to take it down, to paint over it, even to peel the “s” off so it would apply to Bullet.

Someday, maybe, we’ll bring a little girl home to that room, and big brother Bullet will look over the crib excitedly at his little sister and look up at the wall and see those words – “She believed she could, so she did” – right where some homemade art of his name used to hang.

 

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