Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A Remembrance

My stepmom called me today to say that Nanny's obituary is up on the funeral home website and that we should read it. Of course I wanted to read my grandma's obituary, but I didn't expect to have Korbin mentioned in it too. She had said to call her back when I got her message. But I just can't talk out loud about it. Maybe that's one of my protective mechanisms from emotion, or my way of controling what I actually feel. But then am I ignoring my emotions? I want to say something, the words and thoughts are in my mind, but saying them out loud hurts. And I think that makes me seem like I don't care, even though I do, just more than I can express.
Thankfully I can get the words out here. It means a lot to have Korbin mentioned in her obituary, to have him remembered. I've been so paranoid that no one will remember him, that he will only be thought of and loved and remembered by Ryan and me. I guess that's all that really counts, but it means so much to know that others do remember him. And yet his remembrance there was that he had died before she did. A great grandchild deceased before the great grandparent. That was like a fresh punch in the gut. I just can't win these emotional battles.
Sometimes I wonder about work and whether people there remember, or wonder about me and how I'm doing. I think some do in their own way, but the rest carry on. Which is fine, it just sucks because I'm not okay at times. I mean, I'm definitely back in an emotionally rough spot of life now, remembering Korbin and wishing him back to life again. I cried in the bathroom after rounds today, seeing the pregnant coworker yet again. I'm sure she doesn't know and that's why she always plops down next to me in rounds. Just seeing her today (even though thankfully I managed a seat that was not right next to her) brought back so much sadness I thought I was going to have a panic attack and hyperventilate about it all. Thankfully, the bathroom was completely empty for me to steal away and hide while I recovered myself enough to go back to work and act sing-songy and happy enough to get through the rest of the day.
I miss the numbness. But at the same time there was a forgetfulness about it that I really didn't like. The lack of feeling meant nothing had actually happened so I was happy and okay with life because I was naive about everything again. And that in a way was denying Korbin's existence, the exact opposite of what I want to do. I never want to forget him. And yet it hurts to remember him so much. Hopefully someday there will be peace in his memory. Maybe it hurts so much still because there is still so much love and hope for him that I haven't given up on yet.
I just got a lotta love to give.

Monday, February 25, 2013


Unfortunately, the numbness is fading away. The pain, anger, sorrow, and frustration all returning in waves. It may be partly because I'm PMSing, which is worse now from having been pregnant than it was before. It's funny, I remember asking my OB if the extra painful cramping and whatnot was from my c-section, needing to blame that awful surgery. Nope. It's because I was pregnant. Oh joy. Another painful reminder. And this one's monthly, woohoo!
And even though the emotions only just slowly rolled back in over the weekend, they peaked today. Work was stressful, and I have so much on my mind to take care of with the house and the dogs and volunteering and coffee dates remembering people's birthdays because I do love them and want them to know that I haven't forgotten them. I overload myself because being bored is just plain awful, the mind can do mean things when it has time to wander. I do deal better when stressed, but I also totally overdo it at times. So, I sweated it out for an hour at the gym after work. And as I took an extra hot shower afterward, I just started crying. It kind of came out of nowhere. But it came. It's been a while.
I think it's in part due to my grandma passing. My stepmom was having trouble picking a date for the service because, well, who wants to plan a funeral? I had told my youngest sister that even though it's hard to do, they need to do something, even if it's small. And I said this because I totally regret not saying I wanted a service for Korbin because I didn't want to think about or plan one. It's totally denial. No service means it didn't really happen, right? Anyway, my stepmom texted me today offering their church saying she'd already talked to their pastor about it and if it's too late as I feel it is. Turns out it's not, but I just don't know if I'm ready for that.
I so waver between feeling strong enough to face it head on and plan it, and not wanting anything because I am still somewhat in denial. I mean, being numb I didn't acknowledge that I had been pregnant. There were a couple fleeting moments of, oh ya, I was pregnant, oh my god I had a baby last year. But it didn't really go further than that, it was like being medicated after my surgery all over again, just minus the pills. It was odd, and it felt odd. Now, as the numbness fades away, I'm faced with reality again, and having to accept it which I still don't want to do even though I have to. It sucks, because I miss Korbin so much. It still sucks to see and hear about people with their babies. Happy, and even tired from lack of sleep. I still want that so badly. And not with just any baby, I want it with Korbin.
I got a lotta love to give.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Pushing Myself

I'm taking advantage of my new numb state by pushing myself to deal with the pregnancies I am so surrounded with. Coworkers, neighbors, TV shows and movies. I swear, everywhere I look and turn someone is pregnant or giving birth.
And yet, despite my numbness in emotion, there is still a pain my heart that is awakened momentarily at each new mention or sight of others' happiness. And then that dark part of me that wants to yell out, 'your baby actually could die, just FYI.' It's a bit crazy, but fleeting, thankfully.
Yet I still push myself through these brief moments. To be okay sitting next to the happily showing coworker who is now wearing scrubs to disguise her belly. To see a TV character's beautiful child born alive, and live. To hear about the old friend who's loving her pregnancy and gushing to everyone about every moment of it.
It all hurts still, even if only for a few seconds. I feel myself grimace slightly, or I look away completely and stop responding when someone talks about another's pregnancy. And yet I know I can't hide from pregnancy and babies for forever. But am I ready to be pushing myself so hard? I know there are baby showers coming up in the next few months. Can I shop for them in the baby section? Can I even go to a shower? I just don't know yet. I'm trying to be happy for others and not such a Debbie downer. But it's still difficult. And I wonder about timing and whether I should be fine with this now or if how I am still feeling is appropriate. When will I rise above it all? Be like the Phoenix, reborn from the ashes? When will that strength that comes from life's misadventures and hard lessons kick in?
I wish there was an actual answer, a timeline for all of this. But there isn't. I just have to let it be, and let whatever happens happen in due course.
I just want something to happen soon.
My heart is bursting, because I've got a love to give.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Surviving Winter

As the days slowly get longer, I feel myself breathing a sigh of relief that I survived the cold, dark and depressing winter months. When winter was approaching, I dreaded the days getting shorter. I could only look to the winter time as an extremely dark time of depression and inability to do anything. And it was that for a time. Ry and I both just stopped working out completely, we ate whatever comfort food we could find, drank too much with the neighbors and other friends, and really kind of hibernated for about a month and a half.
Now, amazingly, I am feeling a sense of renewed energy. Even a possible thirst for life and what it has to offer to us now. We're both working hard in our career paths, setting goals and starting to do what's necessary to reach them. We set up gym memberships at the end of last week. And I'm slowly adjusting our diet to have more fruits and veggies instead of being loaded with deliciously comforting carbs. It's all a positive adjustment, which feels very refreshing and so needed.
This will sound odd, but I remember thinking to myself, 'Thank God summer came into full bloom when Korbin died.' There was heat and sunshine and I did yard work to keep my hands busy. If there had been the typical Seattle rain for too long, I don't believe that I would be so far along in my grief journey now.
I think my heart is healing. I think I've accepted Korbin's absence in our lives. It doesn't suck any less, and I'm not at full peace with our lot in life, but I'm seeing the light at the end of the long dark tunnel we've been traveling.
And now I'm thinking, 'Thank God for a mild winter.' No power outages in the bitter cold with snow falling and wondering how Ry will get to work and whether we'll have work or if patients will cancel. No crazy storms to wreak havoc on our home and car. Thank God.
I know there are still grey days ahead, both literally and figuratively speaking. But I've weathered the worst of it with sunshine on my back. Thank God. And the sunshine is returning to get us through whatever phase we're headed toward now.
I've got a lotta love to give.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Body Issues

Obviously having a kid changes your body. I remember making my workout strategy for after having Korbin, incorporating breast feeding for major calories burned each day and even dancing around the house with him to burn a few more. I had planned who would work out when, and guesstimated how long it would take me to get back to my pre-pregnancy body.
Well, that certainly happen how I had imagined it would. I mean, at first my body shrank back to normal so quickly it freaked me out. It messed with my fragile mind, making me wonder, was I really pregnant? Did I actually make it to 24 weeks? To six whole months of being pregnant? Being told I looked skinny when I went back to work only made me cry. Now, I know I wasn't huge at 24wks5days, but looking back at pictures, I definitely was showing and obviously pregnant. My body probably shrank back to 'normal' so rapidly from lack of eating. I just couldn't eat. I was too depressed, too heart sick. And even nauseous from trying to wrap my brain around what has become my new reality. My perfect plan shattered in an instant. No dancing. No breast feeding. No work out plan as all I could do was walk and even that was painful for a long while. And the worst part, no baby to make it all worth it in the end.
Pretty shitty if you ask me.
But still now, my hips are wider, my boobs shrank and sag, and I have a spare tire that, before getting fit before I was pregnant I would joke was my 'food baby' because I could pass it off as appearing six months pregnant. It's like my body just wants to be pregnant and is messing with me too.
Part of me wants to be trim and fit again. It's healthy, and it felt great to be so strong and not worry about jiggling everywhere. But then this other part of me is kind of like, 'hey, I look like I could be pregnant...' and the reminiscing and wishing starts.
And then I dream about being pregnant, and then I just wake up sad. Twisted. Seriously twisted.
We do want to have more kids. So even though that's not happening right away, is it worth it to lose the weight again just to put it all back on again? Fluctuating like that can wreak havoc on the body too. Is there any reason to really try to slim down again right now?
It's crazy how something so seemingly harmless can play such mind games with me. I guess I am a bit fragile still. But I'm also told that being healthy and trim and fit again will only help future pregnancies. I want to say I know that for sure, but I was super fit and trim with Korbin, lifting weights and walking a lot. I was at a health level where even doctors didn't see a need for any extra monitoring. (I'm not blaming them at all. My health and fitness combined with Korbin's really didnt' warrant any extra monitoring as nothing was alarming about my pregnancy. It was perfect.) It just sucks that even though I did take such good care of myself, took my vitamins, stayed away from wine and sushi and even plastic. I still lost Korbin.
Maybe that's why I eat without worry still. Drink too much on occasion. Have my multiple treats throughout the day. And don't force a workout as often as I could. It just doesn't really seem to matter yet. It didn't change anything before, what difference would it make now?
And I'm not paranoid about my body like I used to be. I'm not exactly ready to put on a string bikini and strut my stuff, but my belly bulge doesn't freak me out or make me shy like it used to. I have my mom body now, spare tire and wide hips and saggy boobs and c-section scars and all. And so what if maybe I am a bit proud of it too. I'm certainly not ashamed to say I had a kid.
I got a lotta love to give.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Not Dealing

I know I'm not posting as often as I had been before the whole numb business kicked in, and I'm wondering now if it's because I'm not dealing with things at the moment. I mean, after the rollercoaster ride of emotions that last weekend was, Nanny passed away at 8:08am Sunday morning suddenly and so quickly it just left us all in shock. When I found out she was being taken off life support, I broke a little bit. But since that moment I have not cried. I'm just numb. Still.
It's there, though. The sadness and grief in yet another loss in life. Waiting to be released. I'm just not ready to unlock that right now. Maybe that's not the healthiest approach. But the pain of grief is exhausting and depressing and just so draining. Being numb has actually been a welcome reprieve from the exhaustion and inability to get up and do anything productive. And I kind of want to keep that up for a bit longer. I'll have to deal eventually, I'm just not ready yet.
I wonder if it's easier to suppress because this loss is so different. I mean, Nanny even told the doctor she was ready to go. She said she lived a good 85 years. And I had my moment with her to say goodbye, even if it was internally. I kissed her on the head, hugged her once more. Held her arm.
Maybe I'm more at peace with this loss than I realize and that's why I think I'm not dealing? And yet there are still moments when I feel I'll break. Like when a friend called to express her condolences. I didn't answer the phone and let it go to voicemail. Listened to that, and then texted. The thought of actually talking about it out loud got me choked up a bit. I just don't want to cry right now. I haven't really cried in a while. At some point I'll need to release whatever flood of emotions is building, just not right now.
Not dealing doesn't mean I don't miss my Nanny, though. Just like it doesn't mean I don't miss Korbin any more. Or think of them any less. I've just locked away the grief for now so I can try and feel some peace and happiness for a bit.
Keyword: try.
Because I've got a lotta love to give.

Saturday, February 9, 2013


For the second time in the past few months, I feel like I've been on an emotional rollercoaster from a family member being on the brink of death. A few months ago it was my grandpa. My dad posted on Facebook that 'Grandpa was not long for this world.' I remember rushing to the hospital to be able to say goodbye, feeling I've said it, wanting to know he's okay and at least not in pain. We left the hospital a couple of hours later. Then found out grandpa had a blood transfusion, woke up and was being discharged. It's great, I'm totally not upset he didn't die after all, please don't misunderstand me. But, going through those motions was not easy. I guess it never really is. But I feel like now, when I'm still in my own various stages of grieving for Korbin, it's extra hard to go through the process all over again. I feel like my poor heart is being put through the ringer when it really can't handle any more.
And now, this sounds awful, but I feel like I just want it to be clearcut and easy and just go one way or the other for sure. He's fine and will live, we just needed to fix a couple of things. Or, he's not fine and this is it, say goodbye. Well, I said goodbye. And now he's fine. Again, this really is great news. But do I say goodbye again?
And then today. My grandma went into the hospital suddenly a couple of days ago and was placed on life support. At the time the prognosis was good. Just some trouble with her heart, but the doctors saw a fix for it and all seemed okay. Then this morning I got a text saying the meds aren't working and they're taking her off life support, get to the hospital quick as you can to say goodbye. They took her off life support, I went, I stayed for a bit, I cried and said goodbye (really in my head but via a kiss on her forehead). And then we went home for a rest and food, waiting to hear from anyone if the final moment was approaching. Instead, she woke up suddenly, just needs some rehab and will be sent home soon.
I don't know if I can keep saying goodbye and being faked out. It's hard enough knowing (at least you think you know) someone you love is dying and you can't change that. Then to go through those motions and feel the weight of the impending loss. Joke's on me.
Not funny.
Today, the charge nurse explained to us how, even after breathing stops, her heart will continue to beat but just slowly drop off over time. And I instantly thought of Korbin, and was transported to the hospital room where I lay holding him while his heart slowly but surely slowed until it beat no more. All while I kissed him and rubbed his precious little nose. Being in the hospital dealing with death so in my face just brings me right back to losing him all over again, which makes it even harder to go through so repeatedly.
I wasn't even sure I could go to the hospital in the first place. I at first told my cousin, who I was having coffee with this morning when I heard the news, that I'd never been in the room when someone slowly died. But then I stopped myself and remembered Korbin, and just said, 'well no, I can't say that actually.' And that made me cry even more. That was the first time I'd ever experienced that actually. And it was my own son. Sucks, totally sucks.
The rollercoaster ride of possible death, that which we have no control over whatsoever, is rough to say the least. But I am definitely glad my grandparents are okay. It's nice to have a little more time with them.
I got a lotta love to give.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Turning 30...and numb

My birthday was last weekend and we celebrated it, even though I didn't feel like jumping for joy at the thought of having a birthday to celebrate. I think some around me thought it was the whole turning 30 thing. Like all I'm thinking is, 'oh my god I'm getting old!' News flash: my joints have been creaking and 'bad' since middle school! And despite regular exercise I still have major issues with them. Getting 'old' is the least of my worries. Thankfully, I think some did understand my lack of feeling towards this new decade of life.
I received a beautiful card from a coworker/friend who is just so thoughtful, and always remembers Korbin. She hit the nail on the head. This is a milestone in my life I was supposed to celebrate with Korbin, but it's so lonely in that he isn't here. Yes, I'm surrounded by the love and support of family and friends. But not having Korbin here is still a very lonely thing to deal with.
I just didn't feel thrilled, let alone excited. Instead I just went through the motions. And as the day of festivities came and passed, I started to realize there's been a change in my emotional state that's been gradually building. I'm not crying every single day. Yes, I have my moments still. But it's not the continual heavy, heavy sobbing and pain in my heart. And on the flip side I'm not necessarily happy or looking forward to anything at the moment either. I'm just here.
I'm numb.
Last night I couldn't fall asleep wondering what was causing my numbness and lack of any emotion whatsoever. I honestly was thinking, what's wrong with me? And when will the guilt kick in? I mean, I haven't physically mourned the loss of Korbin quite so often lately, so that must mean I am forgetting about him and how awful is that? Thankfully I haven't forgotten him, and I know that throughout my entire being. And I won't forget him. And realizing that I don't feel guilty and that is okay was a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. It was relieving to my soul.
So then, could I be...okay? Like really okay for the first time in a while? I have been singing and dancing here and there at work when a song I like comes on the radio. I am laughing a little more. I even whistled the other day. But, is that okay? Am I okay?
This is honestly such an odd transition from mentally, emotionally and physically mourning for so long. I don't know whether it's okay to feel this way or if I'm headed in a positive direction. It's just so odd.
Tonight at group one mom said her therapist told her the numb stage is a physical coping mechanism of sorts. Your body just needs a break. Totally makes sense. I mean, mourning is seriously exhausting business. Just getting through the day without a total breakdown can be exhausting, as well as the crying and heart pains. So it makes sense that my body needs a bit of a break from it all. And it is a natural stage in the grieving process.
I haven't forgotten Korbin, but my heart, mind and soul just need a break. Maybe to refuel, rethink, reenergize.
Because I got a lotta love to give.

Monday, February 4, 2013

A year ago today

A year ago today Ry and I went to Di's for dinner with her and her family and I told her the big news that I was pregnant. And she told us she was pregnant too. We shared our due dates and literally jumped and screamed in excitement for us and this amazing thing we were now going to share. She was due just three days before me!
It was so awesome to be able to share everything we were going through, each milestone and picture and concern, for five months. Even though Korbin was born too soon, he and Viv are forever due date buddies. And I feel a deeper connection with her because of that. I so wish Korbin were here for them to know each other, but Di has assured me Viv will know about him.
This special connection has allowed me to be around a baby when I didn't think I would for a very long time. I can't not hold this special little girl who shared so much with Korbin. And the two of them, to me, have brought Di and I closer. Sort of a new level of friendship beyond the friendship we shared before.
What an amazing experience we got to share. How often do people who are already so close get to share a pregnancy experience? Not often from what I see around me. I'm fairly certain that will be the only time. But being able to know Viv now has done wonders for my heart.
I got a lotta love to give.

Friday, February 1, 2013

A Moment

The other day I had another one of my "moments" as I call them. I have them often still. One minute I'm fine, the next I'm in sudden uncontrollable tears, trying to make sure no one will catch me in such a vulnerable state. The trigger is different every time. A chart note for a patient, a comment from someone in the room, or an email from a coworker. It doesn't matter what the subject is, it could be anything.
This time the trigger was a young woman, probably my age, getting off the elevator onto the eleventh floor of the building I work in. This may seem completely innocent to, well, everyone, except that it's the floor my OB's office is on. I, of course, frequented this office for about six months last year. As this girl was getting off I sensed some sort of nervous excitement from her. She didn't look pregnant by any means, but I just felt like this was her first appointment. And suddenly I was remembering my first appointment with Dr. Pray. The nervousness, excitement. I wasn't scared as I'd already had an ultrasound showing the heartbeat. But that nervous excitement, I remember that. And as I thought about this young woman going in for her first appointment, all the memories of each and every appointment I had, every ultrasound, every emotional moment of seeing Korbin so healthy and perfect, it all came flooding back and I was in immediate tears. You don't just stop crying and look like nothing has happened when these moments creep up. I had to steal myself away for a few minutes to calm myself down before proceeding to meet with a coworker.
All this from watching someone get off the elevator. Something so completely innocent. And yet it all can connect to Korbin and my pregnancy. Everything can. Because I felt so deeply in love with bringing him into this world and becoming his mother. Even though he's no longer with, he's changed my world in ways I never knew possible. He's changed who I am inside and out. Some things for the better, such as how amazing it is to feel the depth of love for someone I hardly got to know.
And because of him, I got a lotta love to give.