2nd time around

Monday, August 31, 2009

my pregnancy with cooper was pretty uneventful; no morning sickness, no exhaustion, no massive weight gain, or weird cravings. i ate watermelon in the middle of the night and drank gallons of orange juice, but that was the extent of my cravings. i wore my regular jeans until 22 weeks and didn't have to buy maternity under wear or granny panties. it was pretty boring.

ok, i did start having contractions at 25 weeks and went to the hospital 3 different times, but once the doctors figured out there was no risk of preterm labor, my contractions were more of a hassle than anything else. there were some interesting characters in triage and i wish i was blogging back then, because some of the conversations i over heard were just too much.

but this time around, my pregnancy is a bit different. i had a week of morning sickness, well not even that, just felt like i had been binge drinking the night before and i couldn't even have a beer to take the edge off. i have had two cravings, pickles and mcdonalds. i have eaten a jar of pickles a week, but thankfully have only given in to the mcdonalds craving twice. i still drink gallons of orange juice and the fruit is not watermelon but grapes. i started wearing maternity clothes a few weeks ago. and there is no way that i can get my jeans to button. i had to breakdown and buy maternity undies, because mine were either rolling down or riding up. i tell you that was the BEST 40 dollars i have ever spent.

but the most dramatic change this time around is the anxiety. i guess its normal after all that we have been through, but enough already. the hardest thing is that i can articulate very clearly why i have anxiety. i can tell you that i am displacing my anxiety about the pregnancy onto whatever it is i am obsessing about and admit that my fear is irrational. but what i can not seem to be able to do is stop the obsessing and the anxiety it produces. i feel like i am losing my mind. for example, i have been flying on planes for 36 years and have never once thought twice about flying nor been afraid to get on a plane. last week i developed this intense fear of flying and was totally convinced that our plane was going to drop from the sky on wednesday. now, i know this was all connected to the fact that last week alone, i visited a good friend in the hospital almost every day, had to attend a funeral which stirred up all kinds of emotions and waswaiting for the results from the genetic testing which were taking forever. rather than thinking about the "what if's" regarding the bean ( what we are calling the baby, because in the last ultra sound he was a little mexican jumping bean), i chose to "what if "about our plane dropping from the sky. crazy right?

i am feeling better about flying wednesday and am much more rational in my thought process, thanks to a lot of self talk and poking fun of myself.

i can handle having to wear maternity underwear and my pickle cravings, but i can not handle anxiety that stops you in your tracks for the next 26 weeks. i will drive myself and everyone around me nuts! thankfully, i am going to see my obgyn tomorrow to see if she can me something healthy to obsess about!

breaking news

Saturday, August 29, 2009

it took me taking 10 pregnancy tests for it to sink in that the clomid actually worked. it has been so hard keeping this from you all and i hope you forgive me if i lied to you about our news. i am so glad that i can finally share the news and write about this journey. let me tell you, it has been a ride, thus far.

so, here are the details. today, i officially enter the second trimester. we had genetic testing done and all cells are normal and there are no chromosome deletions. i had one week where i felt like i had a permanent hangover. other than that week i have felt good. my due date is february 27. i will have a c-section at 39 weeks. this makes the due date the week of februray 20th. we have a name picked out. but are not sharing at this point. don't worry we will. it has been much more emotional being pregnant than i thought it would be. it is a constant juggling of emotions. i have many posts written in my head. and cant wait to share them. my form of morning sickness is hunger. needless to say i have already gained 10 pounds. i gain the most weight in the first trimester. it was the same with cooper. we took a home gender prediction test. it was correct. we will have a fetal echo cardiogram of the heart at 22 weeks. so we will know exactly what the heart looks like. we are excited to be parents again. but are understandably nervous. thankfully i have a great doctor to help me through the next 26 weeks.
oh, we are having a boy!


Friday, August 28, 2009

circa 1982.

dear cooper

Thursday, August 27, 2009

my dear sweet precious cooper,

today marks what would have been your 9th month of life. i can remember the details of the day you were born with such clarity, almost like it was yesterday, but it also seems like a lifetime ago. while it was a very difficult day, it was the most magical day of my life, discovering how much my heart had the capacity to love. it changed me forever.

your dad and i head to greece for vacation next week. we are looking forward to the time away, but it will be bittersweet. we spent so much time talking about the adventures we would have as a family while on kea. and there were so many friends on the island who looked forward to meeting you for the first time. we know that you would have loved the sea and anticipated the day we could take you to our favorite beaches and watch you experience the sea for the first time.

it is our plan to take some of your ashes to kea and set you free at one of our favorite spots, but i think that will have to wait until next year. your dad and i are not ready to let you go, yet. but i know that you will be there with us, in your way.

since i last wrote you, tommy has a new little brother named charlie. i went to the hospital to meet him hours after he was born. it was hard, cooper, to hold him and not think of you. it made me miss you terribly. in some ways it was healing for me to hold and love on a baby that was heart healthy. it also gave me hope that we will someday have another baby and that baby will be healthy. i must tell you, cooper, that i did breathe a sigh of relief once charlie reached 4 weeks old.

i continue to work on your nursery in small doses. i have learned not to "plan" out time to make piles out of your things. most often i just find myself in there, sitting on the floor looking at all your tiny clothes. it always brings me a sense of peace and makes me feel closer to you.

there are days that i know with certainty that i am mending, but i also know without doubt i will never get over having to live without you. you are and always will be the best thing that has ever happened in my life.

loving you always



Tuesday, August 25, 2009

with all the recent talk about my soon to be open etsy shop, i thought i would share with you some of my favorite etsy shops. this is just a small sampling of my etsy faves, i have 95 shops marked as favorites.....

for great party decorations, pomlove is the answer
for the ultimate fabric selection, check out fabricsupplies
if you are looking for fresh ceramics with a modern feel, stepanka is your go to
if you want to be the hit of the baby shower, a set of onesies from handmadejig is the gift you need
for fabulous refurbished vintage furniture go to sprucehome
for the most luxurious leather handbag without the designer price, morelle has the bag for you

now be a dear and go check out this fabulous etsy shops!

the gift of sight

Friday, August 21, 2009

it was merely hours after cooper died, when i received the phone call from the rochester eye and tissue bank. as soon as the woman identified where she was from my heart sank and i knew why she was calling. she wanted to know if we would consider donating coopers eyes. i told her that i had to consult with my husband and could she give us a few hours. she agreed.

when i hung up the phone i was flooded with emotion. the emotional side of me, the grieving mother side wanted to scream at her that i had just lost my 3 week old son and how dare she call and ask for a part of him. i felt like the vultures were circling, just waiting to pick my precious cooper apart and it was my job to protect him. then there was the logical side, the side that grew up in a medical family and understood the time sensitive nature of harvesting organs. on some level i recognized that she was simply doing her job, a very difficult job. and finally, by agreeing to donate coopers eyes, his death became permanent and final. now, i knew this, but i was still trying to process the events of the morning. i wasn't ready to let cooper go, and giving his eyes to another child seemed at the time like i was letting him go too easily.

it took me several minutes to reign in my emotions enough to articulate the nature of the phone call. once i told my precious husband who was on the other end of the phone, what i thought would be a difficult choice was easy. we both knew that giving the gift of sight to potentially two other children was the right thing to do, there was no other choice. we had the ability to drastically change the lives of two other small children, and even though we were heartbroken over coopers death, we knew we had to help those who needed it. and cooper is able to live on and see the world which brings me some peace.

we found out that coopers corneas were given to a child in guatemala and a child in syria. most likely these children would not have been able to see if it weren't for cooper's death. newborn corneas are difficult to come by, so i believe with all my heart that these two children will have a much richer life because of cooper.

i have wondered about these two small lives and how they are doing, but for the most part coopers gift of sight has been filed away in my brain until today. i received a letter, or rather an invitation from the rochester eye and tissue bank in the mail inviting us to a program honoring all donors and their families. and suddenly i was reliving december 18th all over again.

i don't think that we will attend the dinner, it would just be too difficult and emotional. but there was information about donor family quilts, created to honor loved ones that travel around the country. maybe i will make a square for cooper, yet one more way for him to see the world and for his mama to honor her sweet boy.

aglaia's placemat 2.0

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

remember this post?
well, i received an order for 8 of aglaia's placemats not to long ago and it was my plan to have them in my etsy shop, but the problem is that they are TIME CONSUMING.

so my wheels started turning and today i created a fabric version. i like them; however, there are a few little wrinkles i need to work out. overall, not bad for the first attempt.

which do you like better, the knit or fabric version of aglaia's placemat? do tell.....

price war

Monday, August 17, 2009

i have alluded to the fact that i am going to open an etsy shop in september, a place where my creative loose ends come together. it took some convincing that people would want to purchase my creative endeavors. ok, it took some serious poking and prodding from my precious husband, family and friends to convince me to just give etsy a try. i mean what is the worse thing that could happen, i don't sell anything......

the shop will mostly be small items and patterns, things that i can knit and sew quickly. and that are not too painful to make more than once. i have never been a sock knitter because you have to make two, and knitting 100 wire and bead candle holders for my brothers rehearsal dinner, just about did me in. you see, i hate making things more than once!

but my real struggle with etsy is what to charge for my work. the constant dilemma for all artists. i don't want to charge too much because i wont sell anything, but i also don't want to undercharge either. a very wise friend who paints fabulous pet portraits told me its easier to lower your prices rather than raise them. very good advice. in addition, i have looked at comparable items on etsy to get a sense of what price points, but alot of them are knit with less than desirable yarn, making the artist able to charge less. but i am a yarn snob (there i said it) and will only use the best quality of yarn. this adds to the overall cost of the item.

so i am at a bit of a cross roads, and am open to whatever suggestions you may have......


Friday, August 14, 2009

i have spent alot of time this past year counting, specifically the days and weeks since cooper was born and when he died. every 4 weeks, there is a heart on my calender marking the day he died, and his next months birthday is always the thursday after he died. it was important for me to honor the exact number of days and weeks, rather than the dates he was born, the 27th and died, the 18th.

but something happened this month and my system of counting changed. i am not sure why. i was aware of the heart on the calender, and the subsequent 9 month birthday, but for some reason it didn't feel right, like i needed to start honoring the actual dates. i have learned through this journey to trust my instinct, it is usually right. so i didn't beat myself up over it, but i have thought alot about it. i decided that for whatever reason, i no longer needed to know exactly how many weeks it has been, that i was ready to count by the dates of the events. so this month cooper's 9 month letter will fall on the 27th, honoring the actaul date he was born.

yet another sign that i am healing ever so slightly.

looking forward to fall

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

i know that summer recently decided to make an appearance in some parts of the country, but seeing kim hargreaves new collection for fall, makes me yearn for crisp and blustery days, fall skies and the color of changing leaves. kim was a designer for rowan for over 20 years and then went out on her own. i think she is one of the best in the business, her patterns are well written, her design sense is excellent and she uses rowan yarns (my personal favorite).

i think the following designs will be added to my must knits for fall. and i think i may even have some of the yarn in my stash.

so here's to fall knitting!

far far away

Sunday, August 9, 2009

this should comes as no surprise to many of you, but i was not the type of little girl who wanted to be a princess or dreamt of fairy tales. but there was just something about heather ross' far far away fabric collection that i couldnt resist. maybe the harsh reality of the past year, makes me yearn for fairy tales, make believe and princesses. whatever the reason, i was smitten with the collection and made this bag over the weekend. and i love it!

its even reversible!

the pattern was a little frustrating at times( i feel a post coming about pattern writing) and after ripping out the handles at least 3 times, i tossed the pattern aside and trusted my gut! i will be packing this bag with knitting, a good book and my ipod when we leave for greece in a few weeks. i think it will be the perfect travel companion. a bag filled with a princess and the pea, frogs who turn into princes, unicorns, fields of flowers and dreams of far away lands, whats not to love?

i wish

Friday, August 7, 2009

i wish i had this yarn two years ago. a lovely kid silk haze like yarn with loads of tiny beads already strung on the yarn. it would have made making this dress a whole lot easier! in case you are wondering, i made this dress to wear to my little brothers rehearsal dinner. this was the knitting project that brought me to my knees, between the lace pattern and randomly hand crocheting tiny beads every 5-6 stitches, it literally kicked my ass. but i am stubborn and persevered. i had just started dating my precious husband when i started this project, he would call, and my response was always "cant talk, i am working on THE dress". i am amazed he stuck around, but he says it was worth it in the end!

family history

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

we called by paternal grandmother, mawmaw. she had the whitest hair, liked to sit outside and watch the world around her, loved college football and always had a glass of milk punch.

mawmaw passed away when i was a freshman in college. and over the last 18 years my relationship with her has taken a different turn. what i mean is that in the years since she has been gone, i dream about her. these dreams are so vivid and real and when i wake i can recall every little detail. i often have to tell myself, that it was just a dream, she isn't alive anymore. and more often than not, she appears when i am struggling with life or facing some difficult decision. the challenge then becomes what is she trying to tell me?

since cooper died, i have only dreamt about her once and this bothers me. because it is now that i could use her guidance and strength. but i think it is too painful, too close to home for her to try to bring me comfort, so that is why she stays away. you see, my beloved grandmother knows this journey i am on too well. her first daughter, the one i am named after, was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of 5 and died shortly there after. what i know about my name sake is sketchy at best, based mostly on anecdotal stories that my father has told me over the years. the way his family dealt with her death is nothing like the way my precious husband and i are processing the loss of cooper. my grandparents locked their grief up in a box and put it on the shelf. they took down pictures, packed away her things and never spoke of her. my grandfather even changed his birthday because that was the day she died. the way they processed their grief had consequences on the family dynamic that are still present today.

my grandparents adopted a girl, marion,who i now recognize as the replacement baby. she was never good enough and could never live up to her older sister. she made poor choice after poor choice, and i am quite certain it was because she felt as if she didn't belong. and then my aunt molly came along and i believe she was the grace and healing that my grandmother had been searching for since lucinda's death. molly was 16 when i was born and she and i have always been very close. my parents often say that my behavior and mannerisms are so much like hers,that we could be sisters instead of aunt and niece.

in the weeks after cooper died my precious husband and i spent a lot of time talking about my family history and how the death of lucinda changed my family forever. i knew that, for us, we needed to grieve in a different way. and we have worked very hard to do just that, to live in the present no matter how difficult it may be and to embrace our grief, rather than locking it away in a box. for me, this was the only way to survive, if i would have followed my grandparents path, i am certain the pain would have been to much for me to bear.

i have been thinking alot about my grandmother lately, and how i wish that she were alive, i have so many questions to ask her. my mother recently told me that mawmaw was upset that they named me lucinda, i guess she was superstitious. i wonder if it was hard for her to call me by name? did she see "her" lucinda every time she looked at me? did her heart break every time she heard my name? i have never seen a picture of my namesake, and while i look just like my mother, i do have some features that don't resemble my mother or my father. do i look like her?

i wonder if my grandmother some how knew the heartache that comes with losing a child would be my path? did she think that by naming me something else that she could have prevented me from knowing this kind of loss? and what does this mean for my future children and their children? will they follow in my footsteps on this path of heartbreak and loss?

i wonder if mawmaw always loved hummingbirds or was it lucinda's death that caused her to watch them so faithfully out the kitchen window? did lucinda visit the hummingbird feeder, the way coopers visits the lavender in the afternoon?

i wonder if she would tell me what she would have done differently in those weeks, months and years after lucinda died? does she have regrets on how she dealt with her loss? what would she say about how i am processing and moving through coopers death? would she disagree or would she be proud of the work we have done?

i have so many questions for her. oh, how i wish she would visit me, just to let me know that she is there, watching me on this journey. there are so many things about that time in her life that i will never know. but there are a few things that i do know, that she loved me firecely, that she was waiting for cooper with open arms, and that she will watch over him as if he were her own until i see him again.

equestrian themed quilt top

Monday, August 3, 2009

over the weekend, i finished another quilt top. i absolutely love heather ross' fabric and when i saw her westhill collection, i fell head over heels. for those of us who love horses, a whole fabric line of filled with all things equestrian is a dream come true. i decided to make this quilt as a gift for a very special woman who "gets" my love of horses, more on her at a later date. i made up my own pattern this time and am thrilled with how it turned out. there were some moments along the way that i wasnt so sure, it wasnt matching up to what i saw in my head.

now to have it quilted.......