Thursday, December 19, 2013

I Had a Miscarriage a Year Ago

I've been working on this post for about a year now, and I think I am finally ready to publish it.

We were so happy when we found out I was pregnant again. Our little McBaby would have a sibling to play with, and our little house would have that much more love. We made plans. I didn't even realize how many plans I was making, or how many things I was looking forward to.

I got a really great picture frame at the thrift store. It was huge, it needed to be refinished but the wood and glass were in great condition. I was so excited to get such a great deal on such a great frame. I stored the glass under our bed while I refinished the wood, which turned out beautifully. I spent plenty of time planning what fantastic artwork or photograph would fill that frame. I thought it would be nice to put a family picture in there after the baby was born.

Then, one day, I had a miscarriage. No one knows why. In a day, all the dreams I didn't even know I was making seemed to fail. They disappeared so suddenly that they left an imprint, like the green and purple splotch that floats in your eyes when a light bulb leaves you suddenly in the dark.

I've read about a mother weeping for her child. Weeping sounds so poetic, like the kind of delicate sadness in a Waterhouse painting.

I have no idea what that kind of sadness and that kind of weeping would be like. I only know about the rattle of lungs banging against my ribcage and punching around my heart, leaving my face swollen and blotchy. I rarely cry, (seriously like maybe once a year or less) so when it happens it ambushes me with violent shuddering and horrible nose blowing. It attacks suddenly and relentlessly- the ugly crying.

At this time, the time of the ugly crying, people start to find out and they start trying to make you feel better. Sometimes though, it doesn't matter what they say, it just makes you feel worse. For a while, everything makes you feel worse. I think the only thing that helped me during this time was Bryce and knowing that eventually, down the line, this wrenching pain would not have so much power over me.

It's hard to know how to react to people, but there's not really a wrong reaction. Even when your friends start announcing that they are expecting a baby the same week that you were, and you feel a clashy mix of gladness for them and sadness for you. It will eventually get better, and you will eventually be able to talk about it, if you want to.

Even when people complain to you about unwanted pregnancies, or how annoyed they are with the kids that they have and you don't; time is there, working, slowly imperceptibly easing your pain. It will get better.

One day, I realized that I hadn't cried all day. I thought maybe it was better, and it was a little better. But things don't get all the way better all at once, and you never know when something will betray that fact to you.

It helped me to be busy. I found a lot of projects. I got out my big refinished picture frame, and found that the glass had somehow broken. This huge sheet of glass had broken and there was no way to fix it. I don't know how or when it happened, but it was done and the only thing to do was to pick up the pieces and get a new glass to fill my frame. I hadn't realized until then that I associated that frame with the baby I was expecting.

Looking at the vast emptiness of that frame made me sad and sparked some kind of resolve in me. I wasn't going to wait for a new family to put in it. I wanted to enjoy every bit of the family I have right now. So we took family pictures and I filled that frame with Handsome Bryce and McBaby and me. I bought a new piece of glass.

 Eventually the days without crying came more and more often, until they started to outnumber the days with crying. Eventually I started feeling pretty normal again, and I got pregnant again. The pain of that miscarriage will probably never go all the way away, but the arrival of McGirlie has dulled it and blurred the sad lines with the happy ones. My dreams didn't disappear, they were just deferred, and they didn't shrivel or fester or crust over; when they came true they were just as fresh and bright and beautiful as ever.
In the time of the ugly crying it was almost impossible for me to imagine that I could feel as better as I feel now. Having McGirlie is wonderful, but I think it is really just time that took the edge off my pain. I guess in some ways that stupid Evanesence song is right, time doesn't erase pain, but it puts it in the past. I am grateful for my faith, and the knowledge that we have a Father in Heaven who loves us, and that if there is not enough time in this life to heal you, there is enough time in eternity.

I don't like to share sensitive things with the internet but it helped me to know that my experience was normal, and happens to normal people. It helped me to know it wasn't my fault. Every person is different and so is every pain, so maybe none of this will help anyone else, but I want to be open about my experience in case it can help.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Photo Dump

I have been too busy to post anything for a while but I thought you might like to see some things that have been going on:

1. Princess Baby!

2. McBoy said Mickey and Minnie are going "Nuh Night" and made me sing, "I Am a Child of God" to them.

3. McGirlie is so smiley.

4.McBoy never wants Gwamma to be out of his  sight, even for 2 minutes while she goes to the bathroom.

5. McGirlie's blessing day.

6. Thanksgiving!

7. Also this awksome blurry picture happened, where Clairice, sitting in front of Handsome Bryce and me, looks like I am doing a crazy dance.
Merry Christmas next week!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Destroy a Dress, Ruffle Skirt DIY

I don't remember where I got this dress, probably a consignment shop somewhere, but I remember it was $3 and I just grabbed it on my way to the register without trying it on. "It's a simple, stretchy, gray dress, it will look good and go with anything." I thought. No. It won't. Everything about this dress is the exact proportions to look awful on me. I call it, "The Saggy Elephant Skin Dress."

So I didn't feel bad at all when I cut it up.

I laid a skirt that I liked over the fabric to get an idea of the size I wanted.

Then I cut out 2 of each of these shapes. (I dissected one of the sleeves for more fabric.)

The elephant dress was lined, and had satin ties. I decided to use the lining in my new skirt and edge my ruffle with the satin.

The rounded wedges would become my ruffle. I laid them, right sides together, with the satin in between. I didn't pin them together. (In normal situations I am incredibly persnickety about correct grammar, exact spelling, proper technique in cooking, etiquette, using the left lane ONLY for passing, serial commas, and things like that. In sewing, however, I am a crazy, lazy, fly-by-the-seat-of my-pants hooligan.)

(I did not sew it closed along the straight edge.) Here is the ruffle piece, turned right-side out.

I put it between the right sides of the skirt pieces and sewed down both sides.

Here it is, right-side out.

Then I sewed down either side of the waistband pieces.

Then I turned the waistband right side out and folded it in half, like the top of yoga-pants. I turned the skirt and the lining inside out, and put the skirt piece inside the lining piece.

Then I pinned the raw edges of the upside-down-waistband and skirt together, around the top. Yes, even I, in my haphazardness, saw the need to pin this part, because it is tricky, and I didn't want all the layers to be wonky.

All pinned it looked like this.

I sewed around the top and hemmed the bottom by hand.
Sorry this is the best picture I could get, while talking on the phone, while the McBabies yelled for me in the other room. Speaking of which, I hear one of them now...

p.s. Ta da!

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Hygiene v. Percieved Beauty

The other day I smelled myself. It's not a good sign when you can smell yourself. I can't think of any time in my life when showers, hair appointments, hair brushes, tooth brushes, unstained clothes, clothes that fit right, and nice make-up have been such a low priority. I also can't think of any time in my life where I have been so lavishly complimented on my appearance.

Before I had kids I got compliments when I did my hair, but no one was ever very enthusiastic about my bed-head first thing in the morning.

People would tell me that they liked my clothes, but no one liked what I was wearing enough to grab it and rub their cheek on the fabric.

And people would tell me I was pretty, but no one, not even Handsome Bryce, ever compared me to a magical, sparkling, princess with the power of levitation.
Not bad.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween Costumes

Here are the pictures of our costumes this year! 

 I planned to dye Bryce's pants and shirt with Rit dye, but there wasn't any in our entire town, so I used Tumeric. It actually worked better than Rit dye, and was cheaper.

Here I am dressed as Carmen freakin' Miranda with my little banana and monkey. I am not just striking that pose for cuteness, it turns out it is kind of hard to carry a baby and balance a pile of fruit on your head, I figured it out eventually though.

And now at last this ridiculous Halloween night is over and we can focus on good holidays instead! Yay for Thanksgiving and Christmas!!!!!

Baby Banana DIY Costume, with bonus Chiquita Banana Lady Mom Turban

So, despite my best efforts, Halloween is happening again this year. To make the best of things we have some pretty good costumes this year. I bought Ewan's monkey (Curious George) costume, and modified existing things for Bryce's Man-in-the-yellow-hat costume, but I made McGirlie's baby banana costume!

 I cut out 4 peel pieces, 4 inner peel half pieces, 4 banana hat pieces (one with a face openeing cut into it, and one folded strip to finish around the face opening.

I sewed all the white pieces to the peel and then sewed all but one set of peel edges together. (My machine couldn't handle 4 layers of blanket felt so I sewed up to where the white began with the machine and closed it up another 5 inches by hand later.)

I sewed the banana hat pieces together and sewed the strip around the inside of the face opening.

The awesome thing about this project is that the seams mimic the lines on a banana. Bananas don't have horizontal seams so when attaching the hat make sure to sew the edges only to the white lining of the peel pieces. (Unless you are not a banana purist, in which case I guess you can just sew through all the layers like a maniac, because seriously, what sane person is not a banana purist?)

 This is before I closed up the gaps by hand. The peel pieces that are not sewn together are in the back, the opening is for putting your baby in, and for diaper changing ease. You could close the opening with velcro, but I didn't because I am lazy, and it stays closed by itself pretty well.

 You can sew all of your yellow pieces together on the bottom if you want to, but I wanted a little brown spot there. So I cut out a dark brown circle and closed the bottom around it:

Ta da! Banana baby!

I am wearing a dress I already have for my Chiquita Banana Lady costume. The main part of my costume is my fruity turban, which I made with a scrap of old fabric and dollar store items:

 First I sized my hat to my head, which just happens to be about the size of a semi-flat volleyball. Then I flipped the brim up, which I believe allowed this dollar store hat to achieve the highest level of gangster possible for it.

Then I took a glue gun and glued and wrapped strips of fabric around it to look turbanish.

I was careful to preserve the tilt of the brim, as this would serve as my fruit bowl.

McBoy checked all the fruit to make sure it was suitable for hats.

Then I glued them all on!
You will have to wait until tomorrow for full costume pictures, because I am too busy to put on a costume for no reason!