Monday, August 26, 2013

In Full Bloom

A couple years ago I posted a blog entry The Makings of a Butterfly Garden to commemorate Grace. It took a while but eventually the garden took off this year. It's bursting from the seams and attracting lots of hummingbirds, bees and some butterflies. We're not seeing as many butterflies as we would have hoped for, but it is still a very special tribute to our daughter.

We bought a hammock a few months ago and spend time outside next to it enjoying its beauty. It's a nice place to escape to and reflect on so many memories and thoughts.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Developmental Trajectories

This past Wednesday we received the wonderful news from Sadie that baby David Joseph Dybizanski had arrived!  He is just a perfect baby, I received a picture of him sleeping and I swear he was also smiling!  The first thing that Sadie and Art did was tell him about his sister, Eva….maybe that prompted his smile.  Even though the delivery went smooth and David was nursing well, they were not out of the woods yet, especially because Eva’s signs of the disorder didn’t show up right away either.  David would be scheduled for an EEG before they left the hospital, this test would be able to tell them whether he had the same brain disorder as Eva or not.

Today I was busily working on my computer when I looked over and saw a text from Sadie.  The text read, “David just got a clean bill of neurological health!”  She sent a picture of David with his eyes wide open and alert, he was just gorgeous.  When her text came in, I just happened to be working on writing a lecture regarding early infant communication development.  I asked Sadie if he was orienting to faces and responding to her voice.  To my delight she said he was looking back and forth between both her and Art’s voices.  He’s awake, alert and curious, the way newborns are supposed to be. 

Next week I will hopefully be able to video chat with Sadie and baby David.  You can bet that Sadie and I will be following his development much closer than any pediatrician will!  I feel so blessed to be a part of this new beginning….no one deserves it more than Sadie and Art.  Baby David is well loved by many, including his lovely angel sister, Eva.  Wishing much love and happiness for the Dybizanski family and friends!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

The Road Back to Motherhood

I know…I know I AM a mom…I am Gracie’s mom and I always will have that joy.  However, on this Mother’s day I do long for the days when I was actively taking care of my little girl.  No one can really know how I feel, that is no one but Sadie.  My dear friend also lost her little angel to the same dreadful disorder that Grace had.  Our stories are so similar and the resemblance is highly uncanny. 

Sadie and Eva
Grace was born in July 2010 and Eva in August 2010.  They both left this Earth entirely too soon.  At the time, little did we know that we were both going through the same types of struggles.  Sometime after Grace passed, Sadie found our blog and emailed us.  For that, I am eternally grateful to her.  Through Sadie we discovered the Manton Center for Orphan Diseases in Boston.  Eva’s DNA was already enrolled in the study and later we were able to get Grace’s DNA enrolled in the same study.  Right now the researchers are working on comparing Grace and Eva’s DNA samples and we are hopeful that with our girls working together we just might find some answers.  In the meantime, Sadie and I have both taken on the road to motherhood once again.  Although this time our stories are much different, I am hopeful that we will continue together down a similar road.  You see, Sadie is the type of gal you can just call up anytime and she’s there for you.  She’s ready to stop by and have coffee or a glass of wine with you.  I only wish the distance in miles didn’t keep us apart. 

Sadie is pregnant again and due in July.  Recently she told me, “It’s scary when you feel yourself falling in love again knowing what could happen but it’s impossible not to love.  I mean that’s why we learned to breathe again after our girls passed, isn’t it?  It’s because our love is so strong for them.”  Those words took my breath away.  Sadie is savoring every moment of her pregnancy and enjoying every day she has with her little boy.  The both of us know all too well that everything can change in an instant, and we have to be grateful for what we have today….in this moment.  I feel in my heart that Sadie is meant to be a mom again and every day that passes I grow more and more excited for her, knowing that she will soon be enjoying her new baby boy! 

Holly and Grace
For Brien and I, we hope that taking the road to adoption will lead us to the family that we so desire which includes another child.  Right now though, I am thankful for the family we have in the moment.  We have been blessed to have Brien’s daughter Brendle move in with us recently.  She is not a child anymore, and we have been amazed to see what a responsible and intelligent young woman she has become.  I love her just as my own child and am proud to be her step-mom!

Happy Mother’s Day to all and, may your day be filled with Grace!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Buying Mascara

The week after Gracie went to heaven, I threw out all of my mascara.  I don’t really wear much make-up at all but mascara used to be a staple, a part of my morning routine.  I figured after I stopped being so emotional all of the time I’d buy it again someday.  Now, here were are, over two years later….and still no mascara.  You see…it’s difficult because there are triggers everywhere.  I miss my sweet baby every second still of every day and I never know when something inside me will hit hard enough to make the tears well up.  Maybe it’s when I see a little blonde girl who is her age or when a stranger asks if I have children.  You just never know what will ignite the emotions and pain that never ever go away.  Gracie would have been two and a half this month.  I can’t help thinking she would have already gotten into mommy’s makeup!  So…hopefully now you understand why I had to get rid of that mascara.  I really never even missed it, until last week…

Lately, I have been crazy for couponing.  After going to a class last July, I started to slowly become addicted to getting good deals and saving money.  Last week, low and behold I stumbled on a great deal on mascara.  Looking at those bright pink packages, I began an internal conflict.  First I stared at the mascara for a good five minutes, then I put two in my cart, and then I put them back.  I went on with my shopping around the store and had a short conversation with a couple of coupon friends who were also shopping.  They went on with their purchases and left the store.  I got in line and then at that moment I realized that although the moments of emotional turmoil still exist,  they are happening much less often.  I tried to think of the last time I had cried in public or in front of a stranger and I couldn’t recall an episode.  Right then and there I felt like I needed that mascara.  My cart turned around and made a beeline for the makeup wall.  When I got home Brien said “Oh cool, you can get good deals on make-up too?  That’s great, babe!”  I smiled and said, “Yeah, I needed some mascara.”  I needed it more than he knew. 

I’ve been thinking this week that it’s not about the mascara…it’s really about the enjoyment that I’ve gotten from this new hobby of couponing.  I can’t think of anything that I have really loved doing that much since Gracie left us.  Most days, it’s still a struggle just to get out of bed.  Luckily, I do enjoy my work so that helps.  But on the weekends, things are often more difficult because we can’t do things together as a family anymore and sometimes I really don’t feel like doing anything other than sitting on the couch, eating chips, and missing my girl.  Nowadays though, I get up very early on Saturday and Sunday to shop with my coupons and there is something extremely calming and serene about shopping in those early mornings hours.  No matter how late I’ve stayed up the night before I’m motivated to get up, be productive, and best of all have some fun.   Along the way, I’ve met some fabulous and generous people as well, and although they don’t know it… it is party because of them that I had the confidence to get that mascara.  So here’s to the next great deal….and the next aisle in the store we call life!