living after the death of a baby, living with Autism, living as a family of six, living on our organic homestead, living miserably, hopefully, and with joy, and somedays just living

Archive for October, 2010

Inspired

My first project: Eyelet Baby Blanket

In my precious spare time I love to knit.  I started while pregnant for Kate I taught my self using a booklet called 10*20*30 Minutes to Learn to Knit by Leisure Arts, a set of redheart circular needles, and two mega skeins of baby melting Bernat Softee Baby acrylic yarn in variegated baby pastels.  Then I gave it up, I couldn’t figure out tension, and I twisted my stitches all the time.  I knit so tightly I couldn’t slip the second needle into the loop to make a knit stitch.  Then one day while surfing around on the internet in Chicago, long after giving up knitting,I found Craftster. While there I saw a post about this bear.  I had to have it.  I had a friend teach me how to crochet and never made the bear, though I did make many other things.  Later I started a knit night to get some girlfriends together.  I wanted to teach how to make preemie hats to give as a donation, so I retaught myself how to knit, and did a not bad job.   After that I just kept on knitting.  Now I would say I could knit anything.

Stockinette

I’m a good technical knitter, I can drop stitches and fix mistakes that were made a few rows back, even in lace.  I’ve knit intarsia, stranded colourwork, cables, lace, and miles and miles of stockinette stitch (look at the sweater your wearing now, it’s probably stockinette)

Knitting is my art, I would say.  I’ve tried other things, I’ve acquired many residual supplies form various other art activities.  I own a lot of scrapbook stuff, but I don’t find the time to do it often enough.  I love it, but it quires a time commitment.  What I love about knitting is, I can pick it up knit a few rows if the baby cries I put it down.

If I have an hour I can knit, if I have five minutes I can knit.  It also is a repetitive activity for the most part,  as long as it’s not a complicated pattern, or stitch, I don’t have to think abut what I’m doing.  That kind of zone out is awesome.

I have knit all kinds of patterns.  Then I got a software package to help design patterns, and I wrote this pattern.

Lazy Bee's Baby Vest

Inspired by my friend Monica, who is an amazingly talented quilter and fiber artist, who does her own designs.  (Her blog is here: My Sweet Prairie.)  I figured I could write my own pattern from scratch, and get the perfect cardigan I have all made up in my head.  So I ordered a book ,that is well rated, on pattern design and I started the work.  And, oh my, is it work.  I’m being cautious and doing all of the math, and all of the measuring.  What I really want to do is knit the  cardigan.   I figure once I have all the raw data I’ll be able to change the measurements to a standard small, medium and large and might actually be able to publish a pattern.  How cool would that be?  I’ve seen some self published patterns where people have cut out the work, and snapped a picture with their camera phone, then sent out phishing posts with the information on were to buy the pattern for 6 bucks, yikes!  I want my pattern to be pretty, polished, test knit, and well photographed.  I don’t have anything difficult in mind.  A super simple stockinette tapered cardigan with a ruffle. I’ve got a clever name in mind, and I think it could be easy enough to be a persons first seemed project.  If I can pull this one off I have other, fiddlier, designs in mind.  Now to just knit the darn thing!

Prep work

Want to find me on Ravelry, the internet’s best site for knitters and crocheters?  Okay, here I am: Erron on Ravelry

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I’m Totally Stealing: Pansie Wussy Bambi Pie

So this funny thing happened.  People read my blog.  People I don’t know.  Why am I surprised you may be asking yourself.  Well you know, I’ve had a few comments from strangers and I never could figure out how they got here.  I have search engines blocked, so they would have had to click from a friends blog roll, I think.  I always found it intriguing that my life would be of any interest to anyone other that those who know me, but I guess it is on some level.  I know Cliff’s sister Pam read a few of my posts during last years summer blog challenge, and had some super sweet and supportive comments, she was my first unfamiliar commenter.  Since then there have been a handful of others, some I could trace back to other people, others I couldn’t.

Every year I do a Summer bog challenge, the goal is to write 30 posts in 30 days.  I like it because it gets me writing, but also because I get to read the awesome blogs of the other bloggers who join the challenge.  One blogger is Chad, who is more of a friend of a friend.  We would hang out sometimes in a group, but he’d never call me on the phone and vice versa.  I like Chad, he’s one of the politest people I know.  One of his posts Summer Blog Challenges was about finding his sisters blog Over The Not so White Picket Fence and learning that she had been reading his blog and some of his friends’ too.  Now I figured that likely didn’t mean me, boy was I wrong.  This was the most recent post when I clicked over:  Greatful. It was a post about me.

Then my cousin’s wife asked if she could recommend my blog from hers and wrote this post Sending out a S.O.S using one of my posts to write about her.

So two people wrote about me, two people I didn’t know read my blog.  And they were moved by it.  This lead me to question weather I should make my blog public.  Not that I thought hundreds of people would flock to my sporadically written blog, but I am worried about what sorts of comments I might get.  I’m sensitive.   Some of my writings have some personal opinions, some of which I don’t want to have to defend to a stranger who doesn’t know me.  Two nights ago though I did open it to search engines. I figure if I can touch someone else’s life then it’s worth it, and who knows who will touch mine (thanks Lisa for the kind email).

I would like to say that my life isn’t all woe or hard fought struggles.  It’s pretty amazing sometimes, I’m truly loved by my husband, and the troubles in our marriage are small we argue about dishes, not infidelity.  My kids are sparkling little humans, they radiate pure childlike love, and I am so grateful for each of them.  I live in a beautiful house and we want for very little.  Sometimes I do question why me, why must I endure so much?  And while I may be Lisa’s example of why she should be grateful, I have a mom-friend who makes me feel as though I have it easy.  She lost a baby boy named Cody, has an extended family who walks all over her, has a son with Autism, who doesn’t speak, and is feed via G-tube (that they are having some complications with) because of a second diagnosis of Eosinophilic Esophagitis, she has put herself in financial peril to provide her son with treatment and therapy, and because she lives in the states she pays for it out of pocket.  If you have heard me complain that it costs us over 10k a year to give Eli the therapy he needs, and felt badly for us, she would love for it to be just 10k a year, they pay 2k a month.   I would send you over to her blog, Recovering Brady, so you could read about her life these days, but if she has had time to blog recently, you can add that to the reasons why she is my hero.

Angela, you have it hard, I think of you all the time, I often daydream that if I came by a big chunk of money I’d send you plane tickets for your family to come stay with us, so I could take care of you for a while.  Maybe one day it will happen, I wish there was some way for me to make your life easier. You are no Pansie Wussy Bambi Pie.

Oh and if you’re wondering what the heck Pansie Wussy Bambi Pie is here you go: Pansie Wussy Bambi Pie. (Oh and by the way Lisa, I’m totally Pansie Wussy Bambi Pie about that subject I’m convinced it’s the other shoe that’s waiting to drop in my life)

It’s Okay Not To Be Okay

I know that you read my blog.  I have so much I want to tell you, but mostly I wish I could hug and comfort you.  I have never been through what you are going through right now, so I won’t preach that I know what you’re going through, I don’t, but I know what it’s like to hurt.

Mostly I want you to know that life is lived forward and reflected on backward, some day in the future you’re going to look back and think: I made it through.  You’ll likely even find that it was character building, and that you  gained something from the experience.  But there is nothing worse, than going through a miserable patch only to be consoled by future promises.  How can you live today, and even the not so distant tomorrow, if you’re always reaching for next year when it won’t be so bad?  Life throws punches that leave you winded, you can’t suck it up, because you can’t breath.  Go ahead be emotionally injured, you’ve been hurt, it continues to hurt.

We are purposed to experience pain, it’s the only way we can love, and enjoy happiness.  With nothing to contrast against the best in life, there is no pendulum up swing.  When you hurt, it’s okay to hurt.  It’s okay to cry, it’s okay to be miserable for a while.  Being sad doesn’t mean giving up happiness, it means you’re sad, sometimes we are sad for a while.  It means the pendulum is headed in it’s backwards motion.  Grieving isn’t just for when people die, it’s when something that existed, or was meant to exists, is no longer possible, or no longer is.   Sometimes we have a say, sometimes we don’t, and even if the choice was yours, it doesn’t mean it’s not supposed to hurt.

I don’t know your whole story, but I know it’s difficult right now, I’m always here to lend an ear.  I know you’re hurt, sad, angry, and questioning it all.  As long as you don’t get stuck there, as long as you don’t make it who you are, it’s okay not to pretend everything is okay, or to hide it well.   I’m confident you won’t get stuck, it seems you have good people.  I’m glad you do, I’m glad you think I can be one of them. See you in 2011 oxoxo

Because of Her

Our lit candle

I have no idea how many candles have been lit tonight because of Katie. I don’t think there is a way to know, but I do know it’s more than I thought. There are all of those from the comment section in my last post Light it up, but the word of mouth numbers I can’t count.  Everyone (well nearly) is on Facebook these days, and most people I know had some sort of message about lighting a candle tonight.  Some from people I didn’t expect, many from people who have never lost a baby.  And from the comments of friends posts were friends of theirs who vowed to light candles as well.  How lovely.

I think the most rewarding consequence of having a baby who died, is the community I have of friends who have shared their losses with me.  A sadness shared makes for a lighter heart, I think.  I know of three more people who share my sadness now because of my Facebook posts about October being baby loss awareness month.  I can’t tell you how honored I am to hold your children in my heart with Katie.

Today could have been a terrible day, full of tears, instead it was beautiful, I felt supported and truly loved.  Today was beautiful.

My good friend Tricia, who’s Sons Ryan and Joshua also died the same year as Katie, wrote this to me tonight

Remembering Katie with you tonight and although I wish we had no reason to know one another and that our sweet angels were here with us I am so thankful she brought you into my life. ((Hugs))

And I feel exactly the same .  The people I know because of Katie are special indeed.  They held me up when there was no strength left for me to hold myself up.  They wiped away tears, gave me a safe place to laugh again, and brought me back from a place where no light shined.  They are the women of AAHH/OATH, Parent Care and those who share their stories with me.  Because of her I have friendships of great meaning and substance.  Because of her I am more compassionate to those who grieve.  Because of her I love more deeply.  Thank you Katie.

Stillborn

I carried you in hope,
the long nine months of my term,
remembered that close hour when we made you,
often felt you kick and move
as slowly you grew within me,
wondered what you would look like
when your wet head emerged,
girl or boy, and at what glad moment
I should hear your birth cry,
and I welcoming you
with all you needed of warmth and food;
we had a home waiting for you.
After my strong labourings,
sweat cooled on my limbs,
my small cries merging with the summer air,
you came. You did not cry.
You did not breathe.
We had not expected this;
it seems your birth had no meaning,
Or had you rejected us?
They will say that you did not live,
register you as stillborn.
but you lived for me all that time
in the dark chamber of my womb,
and when I think of you now,
perfect in your little death,
I know that for me you are born still;
I shall carry you with me forever,
my child, you were always mine,
you are mine now.
Death and life are the same mysteries

Lenonard Clark

Light it Up

Very little of this space has been dedicated to Katie lately.  It seems that after six years the horrible loss that once took my breath away, that filled every minute’s thought, has become just part of my story.  Dealing with Autism has an everyday appearance in my life, and so it consumes me more.  The fact is that Katie dying was a singular event, a horrible, life shattering, wish it had never happened, if only it could have been different, why God?, singular event.  Six years later I’ve lived through it, and I can be happy again.  I would have never thought that possible in the early days (month’s, years?), but it is, and I am grateful for happiness.  I’m not “over it”, as I suspect some would be relieved to hear me say, I’m simply 6 1/2 years through it.

Our darling Kate is thought of often, with joy more often these days, which is nice.  Tonight was Thanksgiving and she was missed.  I can only imagine how she would fit at our dinning room table.  Kyle and I spent some time talking about her this evening, and the truth is, had Katie lived we likely wouldn’t have the kids we have today, we wouldn’t live at this house, and even  our dining room table would be different too.  None the less, I like to imagine her as though she would have fit into this family,and this life.

October is Baby loss awareness month, October 15 is the international remembrance day for the same cause. So I think of her more often this month.  When I log on to facebook about half the people I “converse” with have an emblem for the cause as their avatar.  In fact about 1/2 of my friends, maybe more, have lost a baby, it’s a strong connector.

So whether you’ve lost a baby to miscarriage, stillbirth or neonatal death, or you know someone who has, it is a day to remember all the tiny people who hardly had any time on this Earth.  If you are reading this I’m asking you to light a candle for Katie, whether you knew her or not:

Everyone is invited to light a candle on October 15th at 7pm in ALL TIME ZONES.

If everyone lights a candle at 7pm and keeps the candle burning for a least 1 hour, there will be a continuous WAVE OF LIGHT over the entire world on October 15th, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.

For more information please visit http://www.october15th.com/

If you have lost a baby there is also a great site where you can post your picture as “The face of pregnancy and infant loss”  it also adds your baby(ies) name(s) to a wall of remembrance.  It is, of course, an American site with American stats, but is incredibly moving. http://www.iamtheface.org/

And hey if you are going to light, or lit a candle for Katie it would do my heart some good if you say so in the comments box.

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