Monday, July 1, 2013

an ending to a new beginning

On June 24th, 2013, on an early rainy muggy morning, Finnegan Pierre Florizone entered this world.  Strong, healthy and weighing a whopping nine pounds.  Labouring with Finn was one of the most challenging yet amazing experiences of my life, and I would do it all over in a heart beat.  I had asked so many women as I waiting for Finn, what labour was like, and I had so many different answers.  There is no definition or right way of explaining how it feels to go to the deepest place to allow another soul into this world.  I have never felt so grounded, so rooted to the earth, so connected to my true being.   It's primal and messy and scary and wonderful, and yes painful. But it was worth it.   And now here I am, on one of the hottest days of the year, sitting at the computer, writing what will be my last blog after a very long journey. I have dreamed of writing this blog for almost three years.  I have had parts of it memorized. An ending, but also a beginning of something new and magical. Our loss of Luka has changed us in so many ways, and sent us on a powerful path of healing and hope.  And now that Finnegan has entered our lives,  I can honestly say it was all worth it.  The pain, the ache, the desire, the laughter and the tears.  Thank you to all who have read this blog, encouraged me to continue writing and sent us love and support.   And now a new journey begins.  The journey of our little Finnegan. I will always remember the moment he entered this world, with his powerful lungs and wailing cry.  We welcome you little boy.  We love you.  We will tell you all about your beautiful sister.  Thank you for choosing us as parents. 
And so, I say goodbye to this blog, to the thoughts and words that healed my soul.  I love you Luka. Let the wind and the trees carry your spirit and give you peace and light.  Come and visit often.
                                                                 My heart is full.

Thursday, June 6, 2013


Waiting.  The hardest part of the this whole journey and this whole process. A week and a half until the actual due date of this baby boy, and now patience and trust have become my daily focus. I am spending my days reading, walking, visiting friends, and enjoying the beautiful weather. At night, I feel the baby move around inside me and pray and hope all goes smoothly. Every morning I wake up and realize that I am one day closer to meeting this little boy, who we love and can't wait to hold.  Baby is moving all the time, head is down, and I'm feeling ready to bring this baby into this world. It's hard not to compare the waiting for this baby, with my waiting for Luka to be born.  Our lives have completely changed and opened up since the birth and death of our beautiful daughter.  I have grown stronger, more aware, and opened my heart to the limitless possibilities of life.   In the past few weeks, I have been seeing an amazing counselor to help me through all the emotions that have been surfacing as I get closer to giving birth.  I was reluctant at first to see a counselor, because I was afraid of having to remember all the trauma of Luka's birth.  But, I wanted to truly honour this baby's entrance into this world and not get stuck in the emotions of the past, when I am in labour.  At my last counseling session, Michael joined me, and we talked about ways to honour Luka's memory as her brother is born.  While talking,  I shared the most profound moment I experienced when Luka took her last breath.  As I held her and her soul left her tiny body,  I felt part of it enter mine.  It was like she needed to be with me still, the only place she knew was safe.  And I realized as I shared this with the counselor, and Michael, that Luka will be with us as this new baby is born.  Luka is part of me, and always will be. By honouring my body and the power I have within me to give birth, I am honouring Luka and all she has given us.  Luka's death was a different kind of birth.  A birth that has given me a life time of deep love, patience, and strength I never knew I had.   I can give birth, and I will.  It won't be the same.  It will be challenging.  It will be hard.  And I want it.  So, every moment I get restless, or impatient, I allow myself to breathe deeply, feel the wind in the trees, and visualize the moment when we hold this baby in our arms, and then after all this time and waiting, get to take him home. 

Sunday, April 7, 2013


Rain. The robins are singing, the leaves on the trees are showing their buds, and the smell of spring is in the air.  Anticipation.  Hope.  Excitement.  Feelings that are ever present in my daily life, as I wait for the birth of our baby boy in June.  Of course there are all the other emotions. Worry, fear, the what if's.  And the memories.  Every day a new one comes rushing back, when I least expect it.  I've been pretty relaxed this pregnancy, more than I was with Luka's, but as my belly grows and I start to think about birth, tears easily flow.  Birth.  Something I planned and dreamed of with Luka, and now as I think about birthing this baby, I have to keep reminding myself that it will not be the same.  I'm planning a natural birth at the hospital, and I really hope to have a VBAC.  But, another part of me just wants the baby out, and quickly to avoid any crazy complications or problems.  At the beginning of this pregnancy, I didn't want to get too attached to the growing life inside me and I tried with all my might to stay neutral.  We weren't going to buy anything for baby until just before, or after.  But as I feel the strong kicks and movements of this growing boy, I have fallen completely in love.  And, with all my heart and soul, I pray he comes into this world healthy and strong.  As much as I don't like to compare, this pregnancy has felt so different from Luka's.  I'm much bigger, this baby is super active, and I don't have the constant anxiety I did with Luka.  Yesterday, we went and bought a stroller, which was a huge step.  Returning the car seat and stroller after Luka died, was very difficult.  I really hope we get to use our new one this time.  I only have seven weeks left of teaching and then I begin my maternity leave. I know it's going to come quickly, and I need to embrace the now, and be thankful spring has arrived,  the days are getting longer, and my belly is getting bigger. Today, I'm going to clean out the pantry, make turkey soup, and go for a walk in the rain.  April showers brings May flowers.  I'm going to enjoy as much as I can the last few months of being round.  I have to believe that in just over two months the sun will be shining, and we will be bringing home Luka's little brother, our newborn bundle of joy.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

another milestone

It's a foggy, rainy night, and even though I am tired of the gloominess,  I rejoice in the fact that January is over, soon the buds will be coming out on the trees, and my belly is growing everyday. The other day Michael's dad told him that life has a way of turning around.  It's been a long, difficult, beautiful, and enlightening journey, full of all kinds of emotion. But the best moment yesterday was when the perinatologist confirmed that our baby, as far as he can tell, is doing well, and appears healthy and strong.  No markers of Trisomy 18, or Down's.  I know nothing is a guarantee, but it was like someone lifted a weight from our heart's.  Michael and I both cried as we watched our baby cross it's legs, put it's hands up to it's face, and show us his bum with a full view.  Yes, it's a boy.  Something we wanted to know, for many reasons, but I don't think it could have been hidden.  He was very happy to reveal to us who he was.  And although we have twenty weeks before we hold him in our arms, it was wonderful to have a little glimpse into the mysteriousness and magical world of our growing baby.  Driving home from the appointment,  I thought of my little Luka, and all that she has taught us.  I miss her, but I know she had a part in giving us a son, and her a brother.  And so we just continue to live day by day.  Embracing the now, the beauty of feeling kicking feet and tickling hands, and hoping for the outcome we have so longed for.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

and so a new journey begins

December in Chilliwack. Rainy, damp and dark.  But in the darkness there is a wonderful glimmer of light, and the subtle butterfly movements of new life in my belly.  Yes.  We have made it past the first twelve weeks of pregnancy, and I have a little being the size of a peach moving around inside me. I am due in June.  I have been super sick with all day sickness. As hard as it's been, I am ever so thankful to have felt so awful in my first trimester.  Today I actually ate dinner out, and enjoyed every bite.  So wonderful to enjoy food again.  Today as we listened to the heartbeat at the midwives, and the little kicks and movements, I felt unbelievably relieved, and still completely terrified.  There is still a huge road ahead of us.  We have made it through the first step. Now we just have to keep on going, and trust that all will be as it should be.  I put on my first pair of maternity pants today, (not that I totally need them yet), but they are far more comfortable than my regular jeans.  I also told my students at school today, because there is nothing like the love and support from innocent nine year old's.  One girl asked if we would name the baby Luka again.  As this past few months have gone by I can't help but compare this pregnancy to being pregnant with Luka.  The differences and the similarities. And all the questions.  Will it work out? Will it be healthy? Should we get a million genetic tests? After hours of talking and debating, my heart and soul is content to not know the statistical chance of if I will or will not have a genetically "correct" child.  The stress it would cause me to wait and worry, and in the end not have a definitive answer, is something I'm not willing to go through.  We will have a detailed ultrasound at twenty weeks, with a specialist, and we will go from there.  I am just trying to live in each moment and trust that the universe will provide.  This weekend I sang in my first choir concert in ten years.  Although it has been really hard to be at rehearsals through all my nausea,  I am so grateful for the gift of finding my singing voice again.  Driving to the concert in the dusk, the snowy mountains glowing in the twilight, I began to cry.  Life hasn't been easy the past few years.  But it has given us so many gifts.  And although we don't have our little Luka, I have felt her with us during this very challenging journey.  I am so grateful for her little light that still shines brightly in our hearts, and in the little beating heart of her soon to be brother or sister.
One of the choir pieces we sang this weekend, is by Eric Whitacre, and is the most beautiful choral piece I have ever sung.  The lyrics touch my soul, and not only remind me of our Luka, but of the light and hope to come.

warm and heavy as pure gold
and the angels sing softly
to the new-born baby.


Monday, October 8, 2012

giving thanks

Thanksgiving day, and the sun is shining.  Michael is playing guitar, while he waits for his bread dough to rise.   It's been an amazingly warm fall, and this morning we took advantage of this beautiful fall day, and hiked Teapot hill.  I've always loved fall, and this morning as I felt the coolness from the trees, and watched the sunlight dance in the coloured leaves, I thought of how we conceived Luka at this time of year, three years ago.  So much has changed and so many doors have opened since.  Last night we celebrated Thanksgiving with two wonderful couples and their children. One of the couples has a little girl, and is the same age Luka would have been, if she were still with us.  At first, it was hard to be around her, but I am now so happy to know such a bright, lovely, curious, and special little spirit. I truly believe that our meeting this lovely couple and their adorable little daughter was a gift to us brought by Luka.  As the months have passed, and as we continue to hope to conceive another child, life has lead us to many wonderful things I am thankful for.  Our home, our friends from near and far, our families, my loving husband who tells me I'm beautiful every day, (seriously, he does), my new found love of singing in a choir,  my addiction to Zumba, my little kitty Willow, good food, the sound of Michael's voice when he is singing, a wonderful creative class this year, my ever so comfortable bed, the ability to still cry when I remember my little Luka, and lastly, but most importantly, the opening of my soul to joy.   It's so wonderful to live life with my eyes wide open. To completely fall in love with my husband again, after being together for almost twenty years.  We've booked a trip to Hawaii for spring break, and we're thinking of Europe for next summer.  And if pregnancy happens, well, it will be a huge bonus.  Although I am disappointed every month when there is no positive sign,  I have decided, I need to stay positive.   I will keep on keeping on.  I will continue to have hope.  And I will continue to give thanks, for all that has been given to me, all that I have learned on this journey, and my little Luka, who has taught me that in the end,  love is all that matters. 

Monday, September 3, 2012

mountain climbing

It's a beautiful Labour Day morning, and the rainbow light from our crystal is dancing across our dining room wall, while Willow, our cat, tries unsuccessfully to capture it.  Tomorrow begins another school year, and as I think about all the new things that are to come,  I have also been thinking about this summer.  It's been just two years since Luka died, and I finally feel like myself again.  Grief is not linear.  There are no clear steps or stages.  I believe it's different for everyone.  Losing Luka took part of my soul away, and to be honest, I didn't think it would return.  But there has been a shift this summer, and I feel like I am returning to life, opening up my heart, and realizing how wonderful it is to be alive.  At the end of the school year, in June, I was a mess.  Exhausted, unhealthy, having heart palpitations, full of anxiety and depressed.  I had lost myself, in a hard, emotional, and difficult year.  And by mid July, I knew things had to change.  I went back to the acupuncturist, saw a massage therapist, and began to exercise again.  Exercise. What a glorious thing! As hard as it is to start, when you get in a rhythm, your body begins to relax and open up.  It has been my saving grace. And now I've discovered Zumba, which not only gives me a great work out, it also fills that part of my secret desire to be a dancer.  I feel like a different person.  I am not the same as I was before Luka entered our lives,  I am better.  I am wiser.  I am stronger.  I am more alive.  Luka has brought us so many gifts, and one of those amazing gifts, is the community that surrounds us.  I am so grateful for all the wonderful friends we have, and their love and kindness they have given us on this incredibly challenging journey.  And, as we continue to meet new and wonderful people, I give thanks to my little Luka, for bringing us friendship.  The best thing Michael and I did this summer, was stay in Chilliwack and be in our new home.   It has truly been a healing summer and as fall approaches, I strongly feel that we are beginning a new chapter in our lives.  I don't know what the future holds, and I'm okay with that. What I do know, is that it's going to be a good school year,  and things are only going to get better.  Yesterday, we climbed Elk mountain.  I hadn't climbed it in two years, just before I went back to school after Luka died.  It's not an easy hike and it is quite steep.  There are points you just want to turn back.  But you don't, because you know what's ahead. And reaching the summit and seeing the beauty is worth every step.  Sitting on the top of the mountain, with the sun so close, I know that Luka was with us.  It's been a long climb on our journey of grief, but I am grateful for all the lessons I've learned, and the love I have received.  Michael is making us pancakes and bacon, and in a moment we will sit down and eat breakfast.  We will watch the rainbow of light dance around the room, and laugh at Willow chase it. She may not be able to capture it, but we know deep in our hearts the dancing light lives in us forever.