Monday, May 30, 2011


Michael and I have been married thirteen years today, and I have never loved him more.  All I want is to have another child with him, and this is proving to be much more challenging than I ever expected. Who knew that this would be the challenge we would face in our marriage.  We were so innocent and in love thirteen years ago.  I was 23, he was 25.  The world was waiting for us.  We have explored, played, traveled, laughed, fought, and cried through thirteen very amazing years.  This year has been the hardest on us both,  but our marriage and partnership has remained intact and become even stronger.  We keep going, loving each other, holding each other, and believing that anything is possible.  And if one of us forgets to believe, we remind each other that it will happen. As Luka's birthday approaches, my emotions lie on a thin line between being stable and a sobbing mess. Lately there have been several moments where I, without warning, have been completely caught off guard by a memory or reminder of our deeply profound experience of losing a daughter.  On the way to Vancouver on Saturday, an ambulance passed by with it's lights on. Out of nowhere, I remember being in the ambulance on the night Luka was born, on the bumpy highway, after having a c section only two hours before. Wondering.  Hoping that my daughter was going to be okay. Not knowing. But knowing that my whole life had just changed, and would never be the same.  I immediately burst into tears.  It was such a visceral reaction.  And then last night, while I was reading, Michael showed me a picture from his email of our nieces who just performed in a dance recital.  Again, I burst into tears.  I will never see Luka in a cute costume.  I will never see her look like a fairy princess.  I will never see her twirl and look pretty.  Today,  I had a substitute in my class for a meeting I had to attend.  She was very pregnant.  I made the mistake of asking her when she was due.  July, she replied.  I had to hold back the tears.  I can't believe it's been almost a year.   Finally, today we went to look at a few houses, as we are beginning to enter the real adult world and purchase a home.  Our real estate agent is a friend we met at our prenatal classes.  We haven't seen him for a very long time, and it was wonderful to see him.  As we drove away, I again began to cry.  I thought the first house we would buy, would be with Luka. To give her her own room. Paint it bright colours, and have it filled with her toys.  I will never see Luka grow up in our new house,  but I am still excited to be buy a house and start a new chapter in our lives.  I am happy and content to be with my amazing, talented, and loving husband, who treats me like gold, and makes me hotdogs for dinner on our anniversary.  With fries!  I know the memories of Luka will come and go.  And I will continue to let the emotion flow.  Thank you Michael for carrying me through this year, and loving me unconditionally.  When we are ready and with the love we have for each other,  I know we will welcome another child into this world.  Happy Anniversary, my love. 

Monday, May 23, 2011

last breath

It's been a whirlwind of a week but after a lot of hard work, my student actors at school performed, with great success,  A Midsummer Night's Dream.  It was a great accomplishment for me professionally and personally, and it was a wonderful way to end the week, and begin the long weekend.  Today is the ten month anniversary of Luka's death, and she has been in my thoughts and heart all weekend.  As I watch the sun rays shine through the valley,  I can't believe it's been a year since I was about to go on my maternity leave.  Last time this year, I was packing up my classroom, full of anticipation of the new little bundle that would be arriving in just over a month.  Now, and all this weekend, I have been remembering her last moments as I held her.  As we drove to our friend's cabin on Sunday, listening to music in the majesty of the mountains, the memory of her last breath would not leave my mind. The tears could not help but fall.  Strangely, as I turned to Michael, he was also crying.  It was a quiet moment, with hardly any words, but it was needed.  We listened quietly to the music, taking in the gentleness of the rain, and the misty clouds covering the mountains. We arrived at the cabin, and with great friends, we ate and drank, played games, and enjoyed the simpleness of just being together.  My friends Sharon and Rob have three beautiful children, and being with them always bring joy to my life.  We found our way to the park in the evening, to play on the playground and swing on the best tire swing ever.  As I climbed in, I felt like a child again, and was pushed high up into the air.  I have always wanted to fly, and as I glided in the air and felt the wind on my face,  I couldn't stop giggling.  I wanted more.  On the way back to the cabin in the dusk of night, I found myself walking on my own as the others ran ahead.  Luka's last moments once again entered my thoughts.  I remember as she took her last breath, a gentle warmth came over me. Although it sounds crazy, I felt a part of her soul enter mine.  I remember waiting for quite some time before saying out loud to everyone in the room, she had died.  As painful as it was, I wanted to hold on to that moment.  In the last week, I have been experiencing great joy, almost a giddiness.  I've been wondering if part of that energy is Luka's soul shining through, reminding me to play, laugh and enjoy the joy of being alive.  If she was with us, she would almost be one year old, close to walking, and we would be getting ready to spend our second summer with her.  But I can't allow myself to have those thoughts, because she was only meant to be with us for her little life.  The sun is peeking through the clouds as it sets, and is sending in the most beautiful light to our little place on the mountain.  I'm now going to take a hot bath, climb into bed, and fall asleep remembering my little daughter, who continues to remind me of how precious and wonderful life can be.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

spring cleaning

Sunday morning, and the clouds have rolled in.  I can't see across the valley, and the birds are singing away as they play in the light rain, looking for worms.  My little garden is green and growing, and Luka's tree is continuing to open its leaves.  It's been a quiet weekend.  Yesterday, Michael and I went for a run along the Vedder river.  I haven't run with much stamina,  since before I was pregnant with Luka.  It felt great and I can't wait to continue over the summer.  In the evening,  I spent three hours on Skype with my friends Katie, Katherine and Sarah, and we talked and talked.  I wish we could have been together in person, but it was so lovely to connect and share our lives with each other.  We laughed, cried and reminisced.  I love my friends so dearly, and I am so grateful for having them in my life.  Earlier in the afternoon, I decided to do some spring cleaning.  I've been neglecting cleaning out my closets and dressers, even though they are filled with clothes I no longer wear.  And so I purged.  I got rid of anything that I haven't worn in a year, and anything that no longer fit.  Except one pair of skinny jeans I love and vow to wear again!  As I sorted, I found all my maternity clothes from when I was carrying Luka.  It's amazing how every piece of clothing has a memory.  The pink dress I wore every day the week before she arrived.  The flowery green top I bought when I began to show, and the excitement I had to have a little round belly.  And then I pulled out the shirt I wore when Luka died.  I didn't expect the emotion.  It flooded me, and I had to sit down on the bed and weep.  I remember consciously choosing the shirt in the hospital room, knowing that it would be what I wore as I held my baby while she left this world.  As I sat on the bed, I held the shirt to my chest and smelled it, hoping for some scent of little Luka.  I folded it gently and put it with my pile of maternity clothes.  Part of me wanted to throw it in the give away pile, because I don't know if I'll wear it ever again.  My drawers are emptier now, my maternity clothes tucked away in bags for another time.  It always feels nice to cleanse. Out with the old, in with the new.  In the last week, I've come to realize that I need to find happiness in my life again.  Running, reading, performing, and lately I've been thinking about a photography course.  Things that make me happy to be alive.  Michael just made me breakfast, and then we're going to enjoy the day.  Summer is almost here, and I look forward to spending time with family, going on adventures, and honouring Luka.  And maybe, just maybe, in the fall I will pull out those maternity clothes and wear them again with pride.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

letter to Luka on Mother's Day

Dear Luka,

Today I planted a garden, in honour of you my little one.  I woke up in the morning, not sure how I was going to make it through the day, and then I thought of your tree.  I knew I had to re-pot it to help the roots expand and get deeper into soil. We went and bought the most beautiful pot; earth colour, with waves of white, like clouds running through it.  It reminded of your softness, your gentle nature, and your connection to the spirit world.  I also spent some time buying flowers to surround your tree, to give it colour and richness, and remind me of all the gifts you have given us and continue to give.  As I walked through the nursery, I knew this was the perfect day to spend my first Mother's day without you.  To be surrounded by green plants, and brilliant flowers,  I felt at peace.  At home,  I lovingly transplanted your beautiful maple tree into its new home, and felt such joy and sadness as I watered it.  The leaves are blossoming and almost open.  Sassy came by to visit, and joined in the celebration.  As I planted the rest of the garden,  I asked you to send us a brother or sister.  I know you were listening, because I could feel you in the lightness of the air, and in the darkness of the earth.  Light and dark.  The necessities to stay alive on this earth.  The sun is now peeking through the clouds, and shining down on my little potted garden.  Your tree will grow tall, little one, and every day I will kiss it, until it is big enough to wrap my arms around.  And when we are blessed with another child, we will hug it together as a family.  I miss you on this Mother's day and everyday.  Thank you for letting me carry you, hold you, and love you.  You have opened my heart and taught me the true meaning of what life is about. 

With all my love,

Monday, May 2, 2011

try and try again

Another month has past, and we are still not pregnant.  Another weekend of tears and hopelessness.  It's been a hard few days, and yesterday I had a complete emotional breakdown.  It's been a long time since I let the emotions flow, and it was good to let myself cry for a solid two hours.  Lately, there are so many questions.  What if there is something wrong with me?  What if I don't have any healthy eggs? When is it going to be my turn to have a family? Why did we wait so long to start having children?  I'll be 37 in five months, and I'm starting to feel like it will never happen.  I want to stay positive and I want to be hopeful, but in all honesty, a part of me wants to give up.  When I was little I was always terrified that I wouldn't be able to have children. Was that intuition, or was is just a fear that I fabricated?  Michael has to continuously remind me that we did have a child.   I carried to term, and delivered a baby.  But I want a living baby and my life is consumed with thinking about it.  As hard as I try to focus my attention on other things, it is constantly with me.  I also thought this time of year would be exciting, with spring arriving and the promise of nice weather.  I do look forward to more sunshine, and enjoying barbecue's on our patio, however I am often reminded of being pregnant last year.  Being round, loving being pregnant, walking with Sassy, and talking to Luka as she moved inside me.  Last night I had strange dreams, full of vivid imagery and colour.  I woke up feeling mixed emotions, and wanting to go back to sleep and dream.  Sleep is so comforting.  It allows my emotions to settle, and gives me strength to hope again.  A few minutes ago a friend gently reminded me to stop hoping and start believing.  I want to believe. And there is a huge part of me that does.  I just sometimes feel like I have failed.  Failed my husband, who so wants to be a father again, failed my own body, and failed at producing a healthy child.  I know I can't give up.  I know anything is possible.  Here's believing for next month, and if not next month, the month after that.  Tonight I find comfort in my mint chocolate chip ice cream, a hot bath, and my Harry Potter books.  Life goes on, and even though I truly wish storks delivered babies,  I know I must embrace the natural process of creating life, and trust it will happen when the time is right.