Saturday, March 26, 2011


It's been a difficult day.  I've been feeling very positive lately, and our trip to Cuba was a great gift.  But last night I went to bed remembering and missing Luka, and when I woke up I couldn't shake the deep sadness I was feeling.  While we were in Cuba, I thought of Luka, but the least I have since she died, and I felt guilty for not thinking of her more.  This morning, as I lay in bed, I remembered her warm little body against mine, and I wished with all my heart that she was born healthy.  I tried to distract myself with Facebook, but I just became more upset, because there are so many people having babies.  The idea of Luka being nine months old and almost walking is heartbreaking for me.  I wonder how I would feel if she was with us.  What would our life be like?  I know it isn't healthy to think about the what if, but I couldn't stop thinking about it this morning.  In the shower,  I let the tears flow and hoped that the day would get better. We were off to see our wonderful friends Leah and Steve, and celebrate Steve's  birthday with his extended family.  I was excited to see them, but my emotions were very raw and I didn't feel like myself.  Many of Steve's cousins have just recently had babies, and although I have no problem seeing or holding babies, today was just the wrong day to be surrounded by newborns.  It was baby central.  Steve's cousin, a nurse at Children's Hospital was also there, who just happened to be in the NICU when Luka arrived by helicopter last summer.  I love talking about Luka, and telling her story, but I felt so vulnerable today, and I had a really hard time remembering and reliving those moments.  It made it all so fresh and I felt like running out of the room. I felt like running and running until all the pain left my body.  I see all these mothers with their babies, and I wonder if I will ever have what they have?  I know Luka will forever be with me in spirit, but seeing mothers holding their precious babies, reminds me of the longing I feel on a daily basis.  And today I was blindsided by the memories and the emotion.  When we left the party, I allowed myself to cry.  I wept all the way to the car and through the long drive home.  I just miss Luka.  Plain and simple.  I miss her warm skin, which was so soft to touch.  I miss her tiny mouth and little nose.  I miss the little curls she had on the back of her head.  And I feel guilty wanting another baby when I should still be mourning her.  It hasn't even been a year.  Once we were home,  I went for a walk with Sassy.  I needed to be by myself, and walk the hills.  Sometimes, that's all I need.  To be with the wind and trees, and the ever joyful Sassy.  Tomorrow is a new day.  It has been getting easier, and spring is almost here.  I have my wonderful husband, who gently reminded me today that we will have joy in our lives again.  In my heart I truly believe him.  I just hope it comes soon.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

missing something

It's a beautiful afternoon in Chilliwack.  The sun is shining through the clouds, the robins are playing in the trees, and a hummingbird just flew by the window stopping briefly to look in and say hello.  Spring is on the way, and the trees are beginning to bud.  We are back from Cuba, and had an absolutely lovely time.  I flew in two planes, and survived two very long flights.  Our resort was nice and quiet, and the beach was stunning.  Blue clear water, sandy beach, and continuous waves to dive into and carry you back to the shore.  We spent countless hours in the sun, swimming in the water, walking the length of the beach and relaxing with each other.  We had an overnight adventure in Havana, and experienced the local culture, the poverty, the music, and the way the Cubans live.  It was eye opening and surreal, and I will always be grateful that we live in Canada;  a country where we are free to speak our mind and have access to pretty much everything we want.  It was a vacation well deserved and for one week I was able to forget about school and teaching, and just spend time with Michael, the love of my life.  Today, Michael and I walked along the Vedder river in the cool spring air and as we reflected on our trip,  I realized something was missing.  Not Luka, because she was with us the entire trip.  She was in the wind, the waves, the flight of the birds and in the trees.  I felt her deep presence wherever we went.  What I'm missing now, is a baby.  A family.  There were so many families in Cuba.  Mothers and fathers with their little ones playing in the sand, and teenagers hanging out with their moms and dads.  There was even a baby with two dads.  Being in Cuba,  I didn't really think about these things, until I came back to my life here.  I feel empty without a living child.  And I am worried that I will be childless the rest of my life.  I know it's silly, because I can get pregnant, and have carried a baby to term.  But my biggest fear is that it won't happen.  Our window is now open to begin the process again.  Which is exciting but scary, and a new journey full of hope.  When the time is right, I know my body will allow a little soul to develop and enter this world.  But the impatient part of me wants it right away.  Michael keeps on reminding me that I just have to let it be the way it needs to unfold, and to trust that the next child we have will have the recipe for life.  In Havana, there were so many children playing baseball in the street and making do with no green space to play.  These children are so poor, yet they find joy in the swinging of a stick to hit a ball. We gave them suckers, and their faces lit up with thanks.  I shouldn't complain.  I have a wonderful life, an amazing husband, a job that pays me well, and the money to travel, eat, drink and buy new possessions.  I have it all.  Except the one thing that I so desire.  As I played in the waves of the ocean,  I thought how much fun it would have been to have Luka with us, to experience the water as a family.  In the evening we drew her name in the sand, and in my heart I thanked her for bringing Michael and I so much closer together.  As I watched the waves wash away her name,  I thought about how short a time we had with our precious daughter, but how grateful I am for her gracing us with her beauiful presence.  Cuba was a milestone.  For months we have been waiting for this time to arrive. And now, on the nine month anniversary of Luka's life and death, I need to remember to live as much as I can in the moment and to ask the universe for strength, patience and trust on my continued journey to have a healthy child.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

letting go of control

The sun is shining on a beautiful Sunday morning.  Spring is in the air, and we leave for Cuba in one week.  It's something Michael and I have both been looking forward to since we booked our trip in September.  I have been feeling such excitement and great anticipation.  Our trip to Cuba,  Michael's show in April, both our parent's coming to visit, and the hope of creating new life.  I haven't felt this excited in a long time, and when I look back on the last eight months, it's been quite a journey.  I know it will continue to be a journey, but it is nice to have a break from the clouds and have the sunshine stream in.  Now, I just have to conquer my fear of flying.  I don't know when I developed such a great fear of being in an airplane, but I'm terrified of flying.  I don't even like to talk about it, because I'm afraid that if I do, my superstitious mind believes something bad will happen.  Fear.  Where does it come from?  Michael told me yesterday I have an overactive mind, which I know is true. My overactive brain has a great imagination.  When I was pregnant with Luka, I had this overwhelming fear that I was going to die in labour.  It was something I really had to work through, and I did tons of reading and reflecting on my fear.  I'm glad I did, because I believe all that soul searching helped me get through the trauma I experienced with the c section, and losing my daughter.  I believe my fear of flying has developed slowly as I have aged.  I remember being on flight with lots of turbulence and as I clutched the seat, a little girl on her father's lap, shouted "Wheeee!!" every time the plane would go up and down.  The innocence of children.  Their utmost trust and joy in the universe.  Why, as adults, do we lose that quality?  Having been a mother, and losing my precious daughter, there is part of me that has no fear.   But deep down I have this fear we won't be able to get pregnant again, or  I will have another miscarriage, or I will have another Trisomy 18 baby.   Michael thinks my fear of flying and my fears of the next pregnancy are connected.  My fear of letting go.  I know I am not in control, no matter how much I want to be.  I have to trust the pilot, trust the universe, trust my body, and let go. I have to remind myself that I went through the biggest letting go experience of my life.  I held Luka in my arms, and told her it was okay to leave, that we loved her, and to go be with the wind and the trees.  It was the most profound moment of my life.  I don't want to be fearful anymore.  I want to trust, let go, and believe that everything that has happened is leading us to new and wonderful things.  I found this quote the other day in an article, "When the part of the brain that experiences gratitude is switched on, then the part of the brain that experiences fear automatically switches off."  I am grateful for so many things.  Great friends, my loving and supportive family, a wonderful husband, where we live, and my little Luka. I often imagine that Luka's spirit is a beautiful and strong bald eagle.  It gives me comfort that she is flying, with no fear and no pain, watching over us.  I'm off to spend the day outside, and hike a mountain with my lovely friends. To be with the wind and trees.  And who knows, maybe I'll even see an eagle soaring through the sky.