Friday, February 27, 2009

Waiting for the "owner" to email me

I almost forgot... I'm waiting for the owner's mommy to email me her address...

Monday, February 23, 2009

Wonton factory + random phone call

I received a phone message today... What to do? It's someone from Legacy Emanuel, (they think) they want me to speak at their loss ceremony in May. She mentioned something about perinatal, neonatal, pediatric and hospice losses -- where they read the names of those that they are honoring... They want someone whom can genuinely acknowledge the grief, yet offer hope. I am honored, yet:
  • could I get through a 'speech' without breaking down?
  • can I tell others that 'God is good' - without being too preachy and/or alienating those that might feel lost and forgotten by God?
  • why me? am I just towards the top of their list of people to call because my last name starts with a letter at the beginning of the alphabet and I was one of their more recent losses? or did one of the nurses or doctors give out my name?*
  • do I mention any of the details of my own personal struggles and the situation surrounding Owen's death? how can I do this in a sensitive way that will not alienate someone attending that may have terminated for fetal anomaly?
  • at this point, I feel like the only hope I can offer anyone is that, "Gee, doesn't this suck and hey, you're not alone". I'm not saying that I wallow everyday, but just like many of you that have already lost your little one -- Owen is the first thing I think about when I wake up, the last thing I think about before I go to sleep and I can't count how many times in between those two that I think about him during the day. Not to mention the tiny, random reminders of Owen. And, of course, there are times when there are more good days than bad. How do I know if I'll be on a good day stretch or a bad day stretch in May? Especially since it's so close to one of three days I'm dreading during the coming year. June 18 - the day of our ultrasound finding last year.
Oh, what to do?

*I really enjoyed all of the nurses that I had when I delivered at the Legacy at Salmon Creek -- but especially liked two in particular. After being discharged from the hospital, I chatted with both of them several times, but stopped. I really could use more good friends with a depth of character like these ladies have, but I'd always be 'the woman who had the baby that died'. Perhaps it's just me & something I need to get over...

Each year for Hubby's birthday, I try to make something special for him. This year, I asked him what he wanted. Thus one of the titles to this post. He has been missing my wonton soup. I haven't made it for a few years. And, with good reason -- it takes forever to make (because you freeze a bunch for future wonton soups too). It's like a whole different soup everytime. You can use beef broth, chicken broth or vegetable broth. Add different vegetables, a splash of sesame oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce and chili oil, jalepenos, ginger, garlic, cilantro, etc. If you would like to make your own -- here is my own recipe for the wontons themselves.

Makes about 120 wontons
1 pound fresh shrimp
1/2 pound lean ground pork
1/2 pound ground chicken (dark meat)
1T + 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
2T soy sauce
2T Rice vinegar
1T + 1 tsp Sesame Oil
16 peeled and finely chopped waterchestnuts (for fresh, go to a local asian market)
4 finely chopped green onions
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white pepper
1 large garlic clove (pressed)
3 pckgs wonton skins

1. Add ginger, soy, vinegar, oil, green onions, sugar, salt, pepper and garlic to large mixing bowl.
2. Peel, then finely chop waterchestnuts. They can tend to start to turn brown if it takes you a long time. To preserve color, you can place in bowl of cold water after peeling.
3. Add waterchestnuts to large bowl with spices (from 1)
4. Peel, de-vein and chop shrimp (into pieces about 1/8 - 1/4 inch).
5. Add shrimp, ground pork and ground chicken to the large bowl.
6. Mix thoroughly (hands work better than a spoon).

7. Fill small glass with water.
8. Place 2-6 wonton skins out at a time. They should be diagonal (or look like a diamond) to you.
9. Use 1 tsp measuring spoon to portion out filling onto each wonton wrapper.
10. Dip your finger in the water and run along the two top edges of the wonton wrapper. I usually have to dip my finger in the water twice (once for each edge).
11. Fold the wrapper in half (bottom to top), matching the bottom two edges with the top (wet) edges and Press. Should look like a triangle now.
12. Wet one corner of the triangle and press it together with the opposite corner.

Easy to freeze into dinner sized portions.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Four months + one week

For some reason the four month mark has taken it's toll on me these last two weeks. More sad, tear-filled days than not... This honestly just sucks. Sometimes it seems unfathomable that I could feel this way off and on for the next 40+ years and here we are at only four months - one week out. I've often thought of a post that I had read on another blog around Christmas time. This woman had buried her child in 'babyland' (the baby only part of the cemetery) and when she had visited her child at Christmas, she noticed that there was a new toy on a neighboring grave in babyland. A grave of a baby lost over 40 years ago. Not exactly how I wanted to spend my Christmas' -- but that will probably be me in 40 years.

Life just isn't fair! To have such a beautiful beloved child taken so soon.

Missing Owen.

Just a couple pictures of my latest project

I can't post too many pictures, but here are two from my husband's work's "moving day"... My part of the project was paint colors, carpeting, desks & some clean-up...

And, today, two more

Hope you like them! Sent today...

PS - Ladies from the last batch -- because my computer was kaput!, I couldn't send you one other thing... They've been sent off today :-)

Sunday, February 8, 2009


Well, my computer crashed this last Tues in the AM... I ordered one and hopefully it'll be here in another week. I've been spending some time contemplating the continuance of my story. Since a couple of the first appts with Dr. Winkler are a little fuzzy (details wise) - I've ordered a copy of my entire chart and should have it before my new computer arrives. I might just skip ahead a bit (and go back later) - I dunno, we'll see.

Anyway, let's see....

I donated a bunch more precious impressions kits to the Providence Hospital (off NE Glisan). It's so sad that there's even a need for these (no one should have to experience the loss of a child), yet I'm so glad that I am helping provide such a tangible memory of their babies.

Made several more name bracelets (pictures to follow when I get my new computer).

Last night Grandma Leslie & Grandpa Dave came to watch BigBro while Hubby & I went to a fundraiser (the Jewish Business Network puts it on). This year it wasn't a silent auction, but a raffle of many different items. We 'won' a spa package (ooooo could I use a massage - so I bought & put like 5 tickets in the box) and a razor scooter (we'll give it to BigBro for his birthday coming up at the end of March). I had fun last night, but it was hard. It's the first time I've seen several of these people for about a year +. Most people (except close friends) don't ever mention anything about Owen... The Rabbi kindly asked how we were doing and let us know how wonderful it was that we put our trust and faith in God and just waited, mentioning that it is so rare these days to find people with this type of faith. Of course I started crying. Not just because it was so nice for someone to acknowledge that we have a second child, but also because I still don't fit in any of my nice clothes. The last time I wore that outfit was to Owen's funeral -- I was already on the verge of tears when we showed up.

And now, I'm off to teach a friend's wife how to use various formulas and the autofilter in MS Excel. I don't know how many of you know... I am a licensed Customs Broker and before staying home with BigBro I worked at Nike - their world headquarters is right here in Beaverton, Oregon. That job brought different kinds of work experience - computer softwares, laws, regulations, importing, exporting, accounting practices, training, public speaking (although I can do it, I am still petrified when I do public speaking) and so much more. Now, my main attention is to raise a happy, healthy child (although I was hoping it would be children) and I am Hubby's "special projects" administrator. His work is moving, so I've been picking out paint colors, carpet, trim, desks, chairs, designing 'we're moving' notices and maps.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Until Hanukkah

Mostly written on Jan. 27, then finished today...

I've read so many other's grief stories... And every time I read about jealousy of other pregnancies, babies or children - I have found myself shaking my head. I just didn't understand this feeling at all. While I was in the hospital, I had seen several other pregnant women and new families leaving the hospital. All I could think was how beautiful their little boy or girl was and how lucky they were to have the miracle that is a child. After the hospital - if a thought of 'wish that were me' started to enter my mind - I stopped it dead in it's tracks. No child could or would ever be my Owen and I didn't want to dishonor his memory with such wishful thinking.

That is, Until Hanukkah.

When we arrived at my mother-in-law's for Hanukkah, after sitting down and seeing my sister-in-law with her two girls. I was instantly jealous. The whole family got to enjoy both of her kids... And ask about both of them. No one asked about Owen or mentioned that he was missing from the festivities. It wasn't fair! This one event brought back (like a flood) all the sadness that I had felt while I was pregnant with Owen.

You see, I don't exactly get along very well with my in-laws. I won't go into details, but I sufficiently suffered for a long time - not because of the person that I am, but for the person that I am not. I tried for soooo long to just keep quiet. While I don't agree with everything my in-laws want or do or say - I always bit my tongue. It's really just a respect thing. I've thought that there's right and wrong, but whom am I to cast the first stone? You live your life as you wish (just so long as you don't harm others) and, please - let me live my life the way I want too. Then, it happened. (A word of caution here - if you don't want my honest opinion, but you just want someone to nod their head and say 'sure' -- then don't ask me!) My in-law asked directly what I thought. If you know me, you know well that I am honest and let my opinion freely flow (especially if you solicit my opinion). This sometimes gets me into trouble, because some people ask for your opinion, when they don't really want it.

So, framed with that past (a rocky relationship) - it's unfortunate that when we could have been drawn together to weather the storm - they continued on their same selfish path. Even though Hubby regularly communicated what was going on with my FIL. While I was pregnant, my MIL + FIL + BIL never once said anything to me about what was happening. Then, while I was in the hospital, the biggest surprise of my life -- my MIL gave me a necklace with Owen on it. (not that I needed any material thing what-so-ever, it was just the thoughtfulness of what was given) I was like, "Oh my God, she does have a heart!" I felt like maybe there was a new beginning in there somewhere for us. But, since the hospital - nothing, nada, zip, zilch. MIL + FIL never talk about Owen. I'm pretty sure that they never visit his grave either. My SIL + BIL live in North Carolina, so we don't see them or talk to them all that often. BIL never once called, emailed or said anything about Owen to either Hubby or I. Not once. It really hurts. Of the four of them, my SIL is the only one that really showed a glimmer of compassion. She used to never call me. (and likewise, I never called her either. in our distant past, she made it very apparent that she was choosing MIL's side - even though I had never asked SIL to pick a side. i felt like it wasn't any of SIL's business. it was relationship stuff between MIL & I only. but she chose to pick sides anyway, even though she had only heard one side of the story.) My SIL has called and even came out for Owen's birth and funeral. Which is why I was simultaneously feeling a tremendous amount of guilt over my jealousy of her getting to enjoy her two girls.

I haven't felt the jealousy twinges again until last night.Hubby, BigBro and I went to the grocery store so I could pick up a couple things for dinner tonight. And, there before us (practically following us around the store) a family with a little girl about BigBro's age and a little boy about 3 months old.

Time is suppposed to heal these wounds, but really time's just so cruel. You forget details of things that you don't really want to forget. You realize that you'll probably continue to lose the details. You try to be in the moment and find joy in the little things in life and all of a sudden, boom! You're remembering how long it's been. How long your arms have been longing to hold your child. And how much longer you still have to wait to hold them again.
Lately, I've been thinking about that first doctor at Northwest Perinatal. How if only I'd been stronger I could have continued seeing him and in the process taught him a lesson of love and cherishing life. I don't know that I would have changed his practices, but at some level, maybe opened his eyes or something like that. Don't get me wrong, the doctor that ended up delivering Owen is a wonderful man with a heart of gold. I just wonder what lessons we left unlearned.

Then again, my struggle with doctors really opened my eyes. How much personal value judgments enter into the picture. I mean the doctor can tell you factually about their experience, studies and various research -- but they shouldn't project their own decisions on to you. I find this to be especially hurtful if the doctor has decided to practice in a detached manner (sans love and compassion).