T minus Two

Monday, August 30, 2010

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Less than 2 weeks until Bobby and Maya turn a year old.  I still can't imagine it...  Sarah, yesterday, said "12 days away" and I thought that's not right, but it was...  It's that short a period.  A week from this coming Friday will be one year since these precious children came into the world.

Peter and I were talking about things last night, one of which was the Discovery Health show NICU.  I admit: I watch it.  (I DVR it and watch it when I'm holding the kids during naptime.)  And, even though it drives me batty the way that some of these parents complain and how "easy" the NICU is portrayed at times, I usually end up crying and remembering and thanking my lucky stars that Bobby and Maya are healthy.

I truly believed that once I hit 24 weeks and had the steroid injections, that Bobby and Maya would be okay.  I knew we'd have a long, uphill battle, but, to me, 24 weeks was a HUGE goal.  Being a part of this community, I knew that there was no safe place, no time that was perfect for a baby to be born (even full term comes with loss).  But I couldnt look at a place where they would die.  And, once Dr. B., told me that he was confident in healthy outcomes after 26 weeks, I hit that place and breathed a sigh of relief.  And then, less than 2 weeks later, at 27w5d, they were born.

And they were beautiful to me.  They looked so big!  (Keep in mind, their older siblings were about 10 times smaller, so to me, 2 pounders were monsters!).  And they were so rosy, but not red, so their skin wasnt translucent!  And they were breathing!  Hey, the doctors even showed them to us, so they werent that bad off!  And off to the NICU... as expected... and that was okay...

Being taken to see them was such a treat.  They were laying on warming beds and I could touch them and they moved when they heard my voice.  Delicious!  And then, three days later, I was able to hold them and cuddle them.  What joy!

And I knew that they would be okay.  Because, really, those ABCs that they talked about, those were normal.  RIGHT?

I just couldnt see the alternative.  Nor, did I want to.

But now, that gives me a chip on my shoulder.  And, in some ways, I watch NICU to reteach myself.  Prematurity is NOT normal.  Expecting and anticipating a NICU stay is NOT normal.  Hospital bedrest (and bedrest at all) is NOT normal.  The parent of a 35 weeker who is devastated that their child was born premature- that's normal.  The 38.5 weeker who is struggling to breathe and their parents dont understand because they were, technically, full term- that struggle to understand is normal.

And yet, I still find myself thinking "You think a 5 pound baby is small?  Let me show you small!"  "You think that your 35 weeker is a preemie?  Let me show you a real premature baby."  "Really?  You are complaining about two DAYS of bedrest?  Try two months- in the hospital- and 2 months at home!"  And, while I recognize that this is a chip I carry on my shoulder and do so because of my experiences, it is a chip that I want to bust away and get rid of.

Because the one thing we share is the idea of our "perfect" pregnancies, and the realization that the one(s) we had are NOT what we had expected.  So, really, we are alike in a big way.  And, just because (maybe) those parents didnt struggle with infertility or suffer the heartbreak of pregnancy and/or infant loss, doesnt mean their pain at having their child taken to the NICU (regardless of how old they were or how much they weighed) is any less than mine.  In fact, maybe it is greater.  Because I expected the NICU to be part of our early parenting.  I was prepared.  I had read up on what to expect.  I'd seen (if not in person) what a NICU looked like and knew what equipment (most likely) our babies would be hooked up on.  While it was still rough and still a shock, it was something we had anticipated, and that put us ahead of the game of the people who were still trapped in their dream pregnancy/delivery bubble and were taken unaware by their labors and deliveries.

And so, I watch.  And I cry.  For me, but for them too.

***
Two months til settlement on the new house.  Yesterday was the 29th... We settle October 29th.  Because of the mortgage lock-in thing, I have to bother our mortgage woman on Sept 1st to do our lock in and schedule the appraisal.  Fingers crossed, it will come back favorably (as everything else has).  Our landlord is already showing our current house (and I cant imagine he'll struggle to find a family- it's a great house in a great location) so we cant stay here!  And, once the birthday party is over, I'll be packing hardcore.  Right now, it's pretty light because I dont want the house to look horrible when we have people over.  But there are a number of boxes packed and ready.  We are renting a POD so that we can load up stuff as I get it ready.  It's nice to not have the pressure of moving RIGHT NOW, since I'm the primary packer and do it when the kids are enjoying Kung Fu Panda or playing together or when someone else is here to play with them/watch them.

Two months... It's nuts because it sounds like so long and so short, all at once.  It's also significant in that I was on bedrest at home for 2 months, in the hospital for 2 months, and the babies were in the NICU for 2 months.  And, of course, that Bobby and Maya are TWO babies!  (Everything comes back to that, right?)  But, I'm taking it as a good sign.  That this is a good place to be.  That everything will be alright.

And, on that note, I need to go eat two cookies...  They're made with whole wheat flour!  (and chocolate chips!!!)

Recent Favorite Pictures

Saturday, August 28, 2010

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Some gems from the summer...
Family time



Mommy and her sweet girl

Mommy and her handsome boy

My favorite (recent) picture of Bobby


My favorite (recent) picture of Maya and I

(and I added a billion to my FB account!)

Six WHAT??

Friday, August 27, 2010

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As hard as it is to believe, I have reached 600 posts!  (Okay, for those who know me... Perhaps not that hard to believe... I do like to talk!)  I started this blog August 25, 2008.  In 2 years, I have put six hundred entries out into the world.  I've met wonderful women (and a few men) along the way, who have helped me grieve and heal more than I will ever be able to express.

Happy Blogoversary and 600 posts to me!!!

Here's to 600 more!

(And a new design to go along with it!  Just for you, Dad!)

MIL

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My MIL is home and feeling much better.  Thank you for all of the prayers!

We're Doing What?

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I love our house.  I mean, really.  And not just because it is the house we moved into the day after we met Dr. Lee...  the house that we conceived Nicholas, Sophia, Alexander, Bobby, Maya, and our two later miscarried babies in... the house that Nicholas was born in and lived part of his short life in...  the house we brought Nick, Sophie, and Alex's ashes too...  the house we brought Bobby and Maya home to.  This house was the first house that held a nursery (although I'd thought about it in other places).  It was the place I was on bedrest and spent hours watching and feeling our babies move.  I love this house.  Love it.
It's an old colonial on a corner in a town we love.  And right there, in the second-to-your-left of the door window, is where our oldest son was delivered.  Wow...  Did I mention I love this house?

When we moved in, three years ago, it was a rental, and we let the landlord know that we had the desire to purchase it one day, and a price was discussed.  It's been in the backs of our minds.  Because we never knew where life would take us, we have always rented.  Maybe we'll live here, maybe there...  But this was the first place we "really" considered living for a good while.  And, after our children were born, it was REALLY somewhere we wanted to live.

Well, we were told that Peter's entire department would be leaving its current location and be operating out of the San Francisco area.  Suddenly, we were faced with staying or going.  Do we follow his job?  Does he change departments? Do we stay?  Does he look into some of the solicitations he's had? What to do...

We talked about it a lot.  We weighed our options.  We discussed what would be best for our family.  And we decided to really put down roots and stay east.  Once that decision was made, we discussed our home and our dreams for it.  And we decided purchasing was something we should do.

After talking about our goals for living within our means, we realized that neither of us has any plan for me to go back to work.  We like a parent at home.  We like homeschooling.  We like our quasi-1950s arrangement.  It works for us.  And, because it does, we voiced something painful: we can't afford to buy this house.  At almost double what we are comfortable spending on purchasing a house, we know that it would require a drastic change in our living arrangement that we arent willing to make.

Because interest rates are so low and it seems to be a "buyers market", I contacted Peter's aunt to show us a house or two we'd seen online.  We set our budget and out we went.  And man, did we find some real peaches.  Everything seemed to require several thousands to make it into a functional home for us.  If it wasnt this, it was that.  And, the fact that we limited our search to areas that Peter could commute to work via bike didnt open up our choices.  I told Peter that I was tired of looking because I didnt have time and we werent finding things (online or in person) that really fit our list of requirements (the closest to a 10/10 that we found was a 6/10- not good!)

So, Peter emailed me some links and, of those, I saw four that looked okay online, so I forwarded their addresses and his aunt set up a morning of appointments.  First house: bust.  Second house: better than the first but bust.  The third house we were going to see, I'd driven by and said I wasnt interested in seeing but, since the appointment was made, we were going to go anyway.  Fourth house: bust.

The third house was a rancher, listed at 1500 square feet (we have about 2300 now).  It sits on a hill, on a third of an acre, with a raised garden and small patio.  We went in through the garage, and passed by the laundry room and small half bath, to get to the kitchen.  I shrugged and said it was nice, which it was, before I noticed it was an eat in with no dining room.  Bummer...  But the kitchen was big, as was the living room, and three nice sized bedrooms completed the floor, along with a bathroom.  So, to the basement we went.

Wow...  Three more possible bedrooms/rooms, another full bathroom, and a family room with a bar and an included pool table.  The square feet doubled  and, as we looked around, we saw that the house didnt need that much work.    I walked through the main level again and, before my eyes, I could see our family living there... kids in their bedrooms, me at the stove, Peter putting the Christmas tree up before the large living room window...  Our home...  

When we got back in the car, I read the disclosure aloud as we drove to house #4.  As soon as we left it, I finished the disclosure.  "I'd give it a 9," Peter said.  "Me too," I echoed.  But, then I digressed and said that, by the time we decided to make an offer, it would be off the market.  (It had only been on for 3 days, in contrast to the months-years of the other houses we'd seen).  He agreed.  "I think we should make an offer now."

Thinking he was joking, I laughed, and picked up my mobile to call his bluff.  But he wasnt bluffing.  I called his aunt - before we even got home- and told her we were interested.  This was a Thursday morning.  By Friday night, she had drawn up all the paperwork, we were signed and sealed, and she'd delivered it.  By Saturday afternoon, we had a counter, that we countered, that they countered, and we agreed.  Settlement is slated for October 29th.  And we are quite a bit poorer.  (Well, we're going to be A LOT more poorer!)

But we have the start of our house.  Ours.  As in, we will (one day) own it.  Ours.  A place for our family.



A new beginning.

A joy.

And a heartbreak.  

Because you cant have a new beginning without ending something.

I, honestly, never thought about moving from this house.  It's the house where I held my oldest child as he breathed and moved.  It's where his twin rolled around from side to side in my belly, looking for him, telling us she was okay.  It's where I laid on my couch waiting for Peter to get home to rush me to the hospital when I started laboring with my middle child.  It's where I spent many weeks, praying to get many more, with my youngest children.  I have cried in its corridors, thrashed on its floors.  It has been the deafening silence of loss... and the resilient whisper of new life.  It has been home, even if it wasn't "ours".  How could it be more ours?

To the new people, it will just be a living room or downstairs bathroom, but to us, it is baby rooms...  To someone else, it wont be the former nursery or her room or his room or their room, but just another room.  But, when I drive by, I will see Nicholas, and Sophia, and Alexander, and Bobby, and Maya.  It isnt just a stone structure covered by stucco; it's their place.  Our place with them.

I've always loved to move.  I'm a free spirit by nature, and I want to be on the go.  Moving is a chance to clean out crap that needs to be tossed and to reevaluate if I need/want something.  It's a chance to start over. A way to reinvent.  It's fresh.  It's moving on in so many senses of the word.

But I dont feel like I can start over.  I  dont feel like I have that in me anymore.  I dont think that simply packing and unpacking can possibly fix how I feel.

Peter and I both felt our little saints encouraging us in this endeavor.  From missing necklaces to words in our ears, we know they support this move and dont feel like we are leaving them behind in this house.  But it still hurts to think about cleaning out their things and moving them out of here.  For now, I have weeks, but just like Bobby and Maya's first birthday has snuck up on me, I know that this move will too and, before I know it, it will be October and right around the corner.

I know it will be refreshing, and hard.  And, I'm not sure how that is going to make me feel.

But for right now, even in my anxiety and fear, I am excited and scared.

Our house.

Ours.

(Oh, and did I mention how fast this happened?  We saw the house on a Thursday morning, drafted the order Friday night, and negotiated/agreed throughout Saturday while I was at the pre-triathlon seminar!  Of course, I never dreamed of staying up until 2am, 9 days after our initial offer, as I poured over mortgage forms and scanned in documents!  Sheesh!  Now, quite a number of days later and a few mishaps under our belts, I'm trying to just remain positive and not worry about something going wrong.  I mean... People buy houses every day!  It can't be that hard!)

Trip to the Hospital-as visitors

Thursday, August 26, 2010

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Last night, my mother-in-law was taken by ambulance to a local hospital.  Her blood pressure had been high all day, she started having pains in her arm, and was light-headed.  We visited last night, and the doctors feared she might stroke.  The tests they ran were negative, as were the ones they followed up with this morning, and she's been diagnosed with severe migraine.  She used to get them regularly, but it has been years and this one really hit her hard.  She's still at the hospital and is expected to be discharged tomorrow.  Please keep her in your prayers for health.

When we visited today, the kids were so excited to see her!  Bobby nearly climbed out of the stroller and, once he had her in an embrace, he screamed when I had to take him back.  It's amazing to see how much the kids recognize them and want to be with them.  And I know it did her heart good to see them.

UPDATE: Friday, 8/27: Mom is coming home!  
***

Bobby is in the midst of cutting his seventh tooth; so far his two front bottoms and tops are in, as are the teeth next to each of the middle tops.  Now one next to a middle bottom is popping up.  Maya is content with her four teeth (middles of top and bottom) but you can see the whites of the teeth on either side.  They teethe so differently.  Bobby whines and is miserable; Maya... You wouldnt know she was teething except a new tooth appears!  They are so much like us in so many ways...  (Bobby like his mother in this sense.)

Well, speaking of the papooses, it's time for their lunch!

Handcrafted Cookie

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For all those who are local... I highly recommend a drive to Phoenixville to Handcrafted Cookie.
http://thehandcraftedcookiecompany.com/

Votive Form

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

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I've had several people email me directly, asking how they can have loved ones memorialized at the Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa.  I've responded, but thought that perhaps others were interested too.  Simply print off this form, fill it out, and mail it back to the Fathers, and within a week or two, they will mail you a map with the placement of your votive.


From our experience, I can tell you that they do a lovely job, and the candle chapel is beautiful.

He Jumped!

Monday, August 23, 2010

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Peter skydived on Sunday and, as you can see from the look on his face, he had a great time!  I'll post the full story, once I have a free moment!

Happy 21 month birthday, Alexander

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Thinking of you, sweet boy...  Love you...  2 years is getting closer and closer, and I still cant believe the time that has gone by.

For Whom the Flames Burn

Friday, August 20, 2010

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A lot of people I've spoken to who have lost children have opted to bury the ashes or, in lieu of cremation, had them buried in cemeteries, or, if they chose to do neither, have had trees or plants planted, as a physical marker of their child/children, or as a place to visit, etc.  I'm happy we chose cremation, and that we have chosen to keep the children with us.  I cant imagine moving away from here, and not being able to visit a grave or tree, and that being the only physical remains of them.

That being said, I know it is hard for our friends and family who would prefer to have some marker or place that they could go (without coming into our bedroom to see Nicholas, Sophia, and Alexander's box) to visit, to leave toys, or to put flowers.  Some "holy" place where there is something that acknowledges them.

We thought of having the township plant a tree and put a little marker in a park.  We've given money to our church for a new baptismal area, where the children's names will be listed on a sign, saying that money was given in their memories.  But, still, we were on the lookout for the marker that felt right, if "right" is the correct word.

We have taken to visiting the Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa, a national shrine dedicated to the Virgin Mary, as she is seen as the patroness of Poland.  Masses are given in both English and Polish, and there is a Monastery on-site.  It's a beautiful place, full of peace and hope.  As I prayed and asked the late Pope John Paul II to watch over Bobby and Maya while I was pregnant, it is especially fitting that we take the children there now for prayers and worship.

As you walk towards the church, there is a candle chapel, where the monks will keep candles lit in memory of those who have died, and where little brass markers remind visitors of the names of those loved ones for whom the candles are lit.

And now, there is a special place, in candelabra 20, that will proclaim three very special names.

It is near the center altar, but is viewable from outside as you approach the chapel.  Open 24 hours a day, visitors can always go in for prayer and remembrance.  And, if you'd rather stand outside in a beautiful spring day or winter snow shower, you can still see their beautiful names.

Shirts, Rainbows, and Babies

Thursday, August 19, 2010

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Thanks for all the comments.  I took the shirt out of the bag before giving the clothes away yesterday.  And I'm so glad that I did.


On a gives-you-chills note, the brand of the shirt: "tomorrow's mother".  A little apropos, I suppose.

***
Last night, we went to our local grocery and, no kidding, there was a double rainbow outside.

We couldnt help ourselves from replaying this video in our heads.  I mean, really: what does this mean? :)

***
 Whenever I am bummed, I need only to look at the eleven and a half month olds in my midsts.  Even something as simple as eating puffs and getting ready for some yogurt is a fun event for them.

And for me too.

Maternity Clothes

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

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I'm not a fashionista, and, pretty much, I wear what fits and is comfortable.

When I was pregnant, I fell in love with Motherhood Maternity, and all their cutesy pregnancy things.  I mean, when else do you get to promote your belly!

With Nicholas and Sophia, I bought a few cute tops and wore mostly yoga pants, although I had 2 pair of maternity pants I really liked.  One of those tops and the jeans were cut off when Nicholas was born.  I wish that I had a piece of them somewhere, but they were in an ambulance somewhere and were, no doubt, destroyed.  Whatever might have been fragmented at home surely was tossed out in the cleaning process before we can home from the hospital, but I dont remember my clothes being cut off in the house.

With Alexander, I bought a few more pieces and wore them every chance I got, just to relish being in those maternity fashions (if one could use that word!).  I still have the PJ bottoms I was wearing when I went to the hospital; I wore them the other day.  I cant ever imagine getting rid of them.

With Bobby and Maya, I didnt invest in any new maternity clothes, save some nightgowns and stretchy tank tops for the hospital, and a nice set of "visiting PJs" that Peter bought me, so that I'd look somewhat presentable when people came by the house before I was admitted.  I still have those in my regular clothes drawer.

Before they came home from the hospital, I packed up my maternity clothes in a bin and put them in Maya's closet.  I mean, I wasnt pregnant anymore; I didnt really need them out.  They arent the right season, and I dont want to draw attention to my belly.  In my head, I've told myself that I really need to donate them or sell them or something... They are just sitting in the closet.  But...  I cant.  Every time I've gone to get them out, I just cant do it.

I decided the other day that I was REALLY going to do it.  And, before I even had a chance to draft a craigslist ad, I was smacked on the head by a woman in need.  She's just lost her job, has a baby on the way plus kids at home, and is in need of- you guessed it- maternity clothes because she has grown out of her regular clothes... And, she's my size...

And, I have enough clothes to fill 2 garbage bags sitting in an upstairs closet, with no one to wear them.

I emailed her, and right away, she emailed back.  So, I packed up the clothes and they are now in those bags in my trunk.  I'm meeting her tonight to give them away.

I know they are just clothes, but I miss them already.  I miss knowing that they hugged my body when I was pregnant.

There's one shirt... Black and gray...  My mother-in-law bought it when I was pregnant for the first time, with P, way back when...  Gosh, a decade ago really... Wow...  I've worn it with every pregnancy.  It was my "good luck shirt".  It's the only thing that I wore with every single baby.  Putting it in the bag was hard.

Do I keep it?  Do I pull it out before I meet her tonight?  What will I do with it, just put it in a drawer?  Stick it in their memory boxes?  Wear it?  Cuddle in it when the grief hits really hard, like a security blanket?  I dont know...

Or do I let it go?  Let it be worn by another mother, with dreams and hopes...  With the chance that it will welcome other babies into the world...

I dont know...  It hurts my heart to think about letting any of them go, especially this one shirt.  And then it ticks me off that I'm attached to some clothes!  I mean, really- they are clothes!  And they belong with people who need them.  And I dont.  So I should just suck it up and move on...  But...  I cant...  And I cant rationalize it out either.

Peter says I should save the shirt.  Maybe I will...  Maybe I'll cuddle in it right now, while the rest of the house is sleeping peacefully, and I'm still awake.

Bobby's Feeling Better...

Sunday, August 15, 2010

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... But now Mommy is sick!  Thankfully, this seems to be a 24 hour bug and, although I felt horrible this morning and last night, I feel better now.

Maya's Feeling Better But...

Saturday, August 14, 2010

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...Now Bobby's running a fever!

At least they are good at taking turns!

Maya's Sick :(

Thursday, August 12, 2010

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Maya's been running a fever since last night.  It started out around 100, got up to 101.5 overnight, then back down to 101.1 until up to 101.8 around 3pm today.  I thought she might be coming off of it, when it registered 98.8, but alas, it is now up to 101.9 (as of 2 hours ago).  No other symptoms, except she wants to snuggle and sleep (just like Daddy when he is sick!).

I called the doctor this morning and they said to not worry about bringing her in unless it hit 105 -or- she had a low grade all weekend.  105?  Wow...  I was thinking, like, 102.  (And even then... I wanted to bring her in at 100- paranoid, I know...)  (Here's some info on fevers, etc, for those who are interested; also here and here)

So, if you could, please keep my sweet baby girl in your thoughts and prayers.  Hopefully this is just teething related and not a real sickness coming on.

Triathlon Photos

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They aren't all that sexy, but they are posted!
(notice Sarah in the background, cheering me across the line!)

Happy Birthday, Peter!

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My sweet husband is celebrating another birthday today!  I can't imagine life without him.  I love him so much.  This weekend, we are doing something special to celebrate him, and I'll post pictures. :) He's really a phenomenal husband, father, and friend.  I am the luckiest wife.  Truly.

All's Well On the Home Front

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

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Okay... Mommy's timeout, 2 baby baths, a big Bobby hug while he was soaking wet from his bath, and a sloppy baby kiss later, things are much calmer here...

And, of course, now Daddy is home.  Not during the craziness of course, but that is okay...

Reaching Out

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Kids are screaming and their is puke all over the living room.  And I needed to step away from the situation and have a break.  Maya wants to be held; Bobby just puked all over himself, his exersaucer, and the floor because he thinks it is funny to stick his fingers down his throat and make that gagging noise we all hate.  And, because I need to strip/bathe a baby and clean the floor, no one is happy. I tried calling Sarah and my MIL, but no one answered, so before melting down completely, I decided to just take a second out, put them in the playpen, and take a breather.  No one will die from the smell of vomit for this one second that I put myself in time out...

Ah... That's better... Time to go stop the washing machine from ending up across the room because a comforter is in it and to clean up the nauseating substance in my living room.

11 months

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Happy 11 Month Birthday, Bobby and Maya!  How is it that you are eleven months old...  That, in a month, you will be a year old...  I can't even believe it!

You make every day beautiful.  I am so lucky to be your mommy.  I love you so much.

I Am a Steel(wo)man!

Monday, August 9, 2010

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(there's another post in my head about the mental aspect of the triathlon, but it is for another day...)

So, it's official!  I completed the Steelman Triathlon and am a Steel(wo)man!  As they say in triathlon lingo, it takes one ball to play most sports, but tri's are a two ball sport, LOL!  I still cant believe we did it.  I'm so excited.
(we dont look too rough for 3 hours of hardcore work!)


But let me start at the beginning....

On May 25th, I blogged about doing a triathlon, and on June 15th, I registered (although I'd made up my mind to DO IT about a week before and bought a bike in early June).  So, with 10 weeks, give or take, of training, that brings us to Saturday, August 7th.  Sarah and I went to pick up our registration and to sit in on the informational session (which was a HUGE help).  We were psyched!  Back at my house, we had dinner with our cousins who were visiting (and whom Bobby and Maya LOVED), and then tried to get to bed... Which, didnt really happen, since Bobby was cutting his 5th tooth (he now has five with #6 trying to push out).  So, on less than 2 hours sleep, we were up at 3:30am and out the door Sunday by 4:30am.  Sarah had made a special iPod mix, which we blasted and sang our hearts out to, and, by a little after 5am, we had arrived and got an awesome parking spot!

We racked our bikes and set up our transition area (we were wave 12 and at the back of the area, but this worked out great because it is where we came in for the swim and where we started the run).  We were both nervous and excited. We jogged off some excessive energy as a warm up, then participated in the swim warm up, which let you get in and practice for 15 minutes in the 80 degree lake.  Then, it was time to watch the Olympic athletes start!  Five waves down, and the Sprints started.  We were the last Sprint wave and we hugged on shore before fighting the rocky entrance and getting in the water.  And then, we were off!

My goal was 3 hours.  A good, average 1st-timer time is around 2 and a half hours...  So, knowing I'm not super fast, I was hoping 3 hours.  The race was off and I was in the water.  I made a major mistake by staying to the right (since I thought I would be slow compared to my peers) because I ended up farther from the "track" than I wanted to be, so I ended up swimming harder against the current and longer than I needed to, but that's okay.  Live and learn.  I wasnt the last person out of the water, and I even passed 2 people from the wave before us, so yay!  Out of the water and jogging into transition.  Woo Hoo!  I quick dried and got my socks and bike shoes on, then my helmet, race belt, and gloves.  My bike (which a non-cool person had draped their balloon tie around- UGH!) took me a little longer to untangle, but then we were all good, and, one gel later, I was on the road!

The uphill road.

Okay, so I realize it's not all flat, but being told it is "mostly flat" gave my mind some ease.  I've come to the conclusion that race folks... liars...  (I mean that in a good way... If they didnt lie to me, personally, I know I'd never have the nerve to keep going!).  So, I'm going up the park exit... And up... And up... And I'm feeling the impact from the just-over-a-half-mile swim (it was 860 meters not 800 meters...) and, I decide, I'm going to stop my bike before I throw the chain, and walk a little. So I did.  Maybe 500 feet?  Before the get-your-butt-back-on-the-bike-because-you-didnt-train-to-walk slapped me in the spot of my brain relegated to pride.  So, back up and off.  And, finally, after what seemed like forever, I got out of the park and onto the flat road.

Did I say flat?  You'd think I'd know since I drove the course earlier.  But no... There are hills.  Some small, some big.  By the time I saw the bridge (which was what the literature called a turnaround), I was pretty excited.  No turnaround!  It was farther down!  On the way back, again, hills and more hills.  And a fakeout turnaround.  And then it was back into the park and "all downhill".  NO!  How is it possible that there are hills both ways???  I thought that was something my grandparents added to their stories about walking just to tell me how easy I had it!

Biking down the hill into transition, there were throngs of people cheering.  Now, mind you, I dont know these people, but they were cheering.  For me!  (and for everyone else!)  Cheers of "You Did It!", "You're awesome!", and "Congratulations", along with the whoo-hoos and applause made it all worth it and gave me the motivation to sprint into transition, rip my shoes off and replace them with my running shoes, and get my butt in gear.  I grabbed another gel, washed it down with sunshine hot water, and took off for the run start, where I got a glass of gaterade and kept going.

I walked part of the run, which I'm not proud of, but Sarah tells me that I either walked really fast (which I doubted) or ran more than I thought (which I REALLY doubted) because my time was only 2 minutes longer than our TexMex 5K.  So, either way, I guess I shouldnt be that disappointed in myself!  The run was a combo of sunshine and shade, and the park is really beautiful.  It was well marked, and there were motivational sayings scrawled over the trail in chalk.

I had a great time and in all seriousness, the volunteers and race people were amazing.  Whether it was lifeguards in the water, firemen and EMTs on the road, or water station volunteers on the trail, they were super supportive and wonderful.  This goes double for the athletes, who were more than willing to tell you that you were doing great when they passed you, or the Olympic competitors who told you to not give up and that you were almost there (even when you werent).  Their support was part of what made this such a great experience.

But what was the best part?

Sarah.


After kicking butt and doing her tri in under 2 hours (2 hours was her goal- she came in 5th out of the Athena participants and WILL be placing next year, I am sure!), she screamed for me as I ran by our transition area (part of the run course ran by transition), but then, she joined me for the last mile of my run.  She ran back to run me in.  I know she had to be tired and hurting, but she came back for me.  No woman left behind.

When I crossed the finish line, she made sure I got my ice cold towel (which was AWESOME!) and we embraced and just relished in the fact that we did it.  We are triathletes!!!

The food tent had the best watermelon ever, and some delicious pizza.  We finished off with some bagels.  It was carb central.  And man was it good.

Today, it's a day later and, although I was a little sore this morning, I'm feeling really good.  I can tell I worked out hard, but nothing that will keep me from not doing it again.


Oh yeah, I've already started planning for next year. :)

Triathlon Results

Sunday, August 8, 2010

5 comments
http://www.lin-mark.com/results/steelsprint2010.txt

I'll be posting details later; I am just so tired (havent slept thanks to a teething baby since yesterday) and am on "baby duty".

I DID IT!!!

12 comments
I did it!  I competed in my first (sprint) triathlon!  Details to follow!

Wish Me Luck!

2 comments
Awake at 3:30... Out of the house by 4:30...

Wish Sarah and I luck- we are on our way to compete in the Steelman Triathlon!  By the time I post again, I will be a Steel(wo)man!

No Way

Saturday, August 7, 2010

3 comments
Really??? Mother Nature, did you give me a 21 day cycle this month JUST to mess with me?  CD 1 **may** have been yesterday and, I cant lie, I'm a bit pissed if this is true!

Tomorrow...

8 comments
... is the big day!  I can't believe it, but I am competing in a triathlon in less than 24 hours!  A year ago, I was on bedrest, praying for another day with Bobby and Maya inside.  Now, a sprint triathlon.  Tomorrow, the world! ;)

Today is a busy day of bridal fittings, a bridal tea, and then the triathlon training.  At some point, I need to pick up my bike from the bike shop, where I had it tuned.  CRAZINESS!

I am psyched!

More Babies...

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

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Speaking of babies and having more, I feel like I should come to terms with the fact that I may never carry another child in my womb.  After the last few years and the knowledge of what would happen if I did get pregnant, I just cant, in good faith, try to conceive again.  I would never dream of hindering conception in any way and, if I were to get pregnant on my own, would be grateful for the miracle, but I think my days on the trying to conceive train are over.

And I dont know how I feel about this.

Peter and I have always talked about our houseful of children.  About having our own soccer team or driving around a bus to accommodate our large family.  It's also important for us to provide for them, as well, both financially as well as mentally.  I know what the TTC rollercoaster put us through as a couple.  The driving to Dr Lee, the ultrasounds, the drugs, the miscarriages, the pregnancies that were "almost" there, the constant appointments with Dr Bailey, finally the stitch and bedrest and preterm delivery and 2 month NICU stay.  At what age would it be appropriate to put Bobby and Maya through the risks? 5? 10?  ever?  

Financially, we are doing alright on Peter's salary... Would that be the case with another round of TTC?  With more multiples?  

And, what if it didnt work?  What if we used the same meds and did the deed and nothing?  There's never a guarantee and since IVF isnt ever going to be in our cards, emotionally, what would we be giving to TTC again?  

I have two miracles in my midst...  and six more in my heart...  Why test the babymaking fates with trying again?

We plan to adopt but, for now, those plans are on hold.  We know God will open that door for us when it is time.  

(There's a lot going on at Casa Haytko that I cant blog about right now, but I will...)

What's the Reason???

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

11 comments
A dear friend of mine lost her first child to an ectopic pregnancy around the same time that Nicholas and Sophia were born (Nick was Feb 1st, her baby was Feb 14th, and Sophie was Feb 16th).  She got pregnant again and lost her second baby right before I had my second miscarriage; they had seen the heartbeat and the baby died soon after.  It was horrible.  Then she got pregnant a month after I conceived Alexander.  She went on to deliver a healthy baby girl, full term.  I remember her visiting me when I was in the hospital with Alex, and then how heartbroken she was to do one of the readings at his memorial service, while she was radiant with pregnancy.  At her baby shower, I had just conceived Bobby & Maya.  Needless to say, we are close and have been through hell together.  She is a dear friend (and Maya's godmother), so you can imagine my immense joy when she texted me a positive pregnancy test after a few months of BFNs.

And then today's text...  The heartbreaking news that this baby, in spite of doubling betas, is ectopic.

I know we often search for meaning.  For the "why" in our bad news and heartbreaks.  But really... Why?  It's hard enough to lose one child- regardless of gestation- but then to lose a second, and now a third.  She and her husband are such loving parents...  It's so heart wrenching.  And what makes it worse is that I cant help.  I cant take away the pain or help her dreams of another baby in her arms come true.  I can only send her love and tell her we are keeping her family close to our hearts.  It's simply so unfair!

Home!

4 comments
All the quads are home!  You can keep up with Sonja's story here.