Monday, October 20, 2014

My husband was "Married" when I met him.

This is one of those posts, people, where the raw and forthcoming truth is going to hit like a ton of bricks. 

Lucy's father was married to someone else when I met him. 

And so was I. 

Technically. 

We were both "technically" married. 


Never once when we met did we lie about our terminating marriages being a part of our life. We both had already asked for a divorce prior. Both miserable in our own skin and in our marriages. 

The day I "MET" him. He had already left his family, in Michigan. I had been a HORRIBLE wife to my Husband at the time and ready to find a happy place. But, we no longer resided with our ex-spouses. 

I never spent one day with him as the other woman. Not one. Even though, before our divorces weren't final, I was dating Lucy's father. 

In fact, he was divorced quiet possibly a year before I was. 

Technically. 

Now when relationships end there are two people's stories. I totally get that. There's a "truth" you take with you full of excuses of why your marriage ended. But truth is, your truth is the only one that mattered. 

We carry around our truths, giving them away as we please. Sometimes we give them less frequently as a part of our story, than the truths of the real world. 

I've never lied to anyone about the truth on how my relationship with my husband came about. But, realized I filled the conversation with excuses. Embarrassed that they might view me in an unpleasant light. 

I was terrified of judgement. Terrified of those who take the bits and pieces said here and run with their own truths. I was terrified because of my husband's story. 

But, today. Today that doesn't matter. Today that's all noise in a greater purpose of why I married my husband. There is no excuse I will give, because I don't have too! 

How freeing is that! 

I married my husband because we found each and fell in love. That's it. 

Love. 

I see muddy tracks where he had been. But, I saw love. 

My mother in law told me a beautiful story about my husband as a small child. When his sister was born, he thought she was brought to this world for him to love. He loved so fiercely, his baby sister. He is still that man. They know. 

Love. This man that fought so hard for his son's safety that he possessed full custody at one point. 

Love. The love written in emails and letters saying how great a father my husband is/was. How his kids came first. 

Love. The love 4 people (us, my ex and his new wife) put into the effort to raise our kids together. In creation to build something unique for the kids we parent on a daily basis. 

Love. The only thing that Lucy knew in this life. Her whole life was summed up in
Love. 

I get it. You may not agree with me. My marriage. My past. My love. 

That holds no reflection on me. To me. Excuse me , As I proceed in love. 













Thursday, October 16, 2014

What's The Matter...

Lucy's the matter. 

Yesterday was International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. For this day, like the last we ran. "Light One For Lucy (and Friends)". A social media campaign to lift awareness on our timelines. 

I'm overwhelmed by the response of over 100 candles lighting up my timeline in honor of the little lives that were so quick to touch our lives and leave us to soon.  

I had been slightly defeated going into Wednesday, for I had been directed to a trolls comments about how little, Lucy's life mattered due to my husband's past. 

To anyone who has experience loss of any kind knows that the pain can be unbearable. Losing a child is no different, except the pain is breakable. 

As all of those beautiful lights were illuminating my timeline, my husband and I became overcome with love. It became apparent to me that Lucy's life mattered so much and Lucy lives in so much of us. Lucy came at the exact time to touch the souls in the most perfect way. Life Changing. 

One tiny little girl has brought so much compassion, so much drive, so much love, and so much light to our world in a life of only 1 hour long. The lessons we've learned from her life have been boundless. 

Often a Mother's struggle in Infant and Pregnancy Loss is to help people understand their baby was life. They were wanted. They are your baby. Imagine that everyday you would have to fight to have someone recognize your babies lived. 

Lucy lives. Lives in Keegan, who was brought to tears over the lit flame for his sister, whom he's cradled in his arms. Lucy mattered. 

She lives in Gwyn, whom screams out for her sometimes in the night. Who sleeps with the blanket that wrapped Lucy 's tiny body as Gwyn rocked her. 
Lucy Mattered. 

Lucy lives in her Father, whom kept her wrapped tight in blankets so she was not to "get cold" as we spent 24 hours drinking in every part of her life. 
Lucy MATTERED. 

Lucy lives and LIVED in me. Where I refuse to let her Life and Death happen for lack of purpose or higher meaning. Bringing awareness and sounding off for mothers like me. 
LUCY MATTERED. 

Lucy lives in those with heart. That understands that her family isn't perfect. Her family was perfect for her. As she watches over, she gives strength to those who are weak. She provides love and she offers forgiveness to those who need it the most. 

I've never claimed to be saintly, but I live each day with Lucy in mind. How can I live in such a way to give her life honor. 

Because through Lucy , We Matter.  





Sunday, October 12, 2014

A Mother's October




A Mother's October is a battle ground. A reminder of the thoughts we don't escape each day. As their mother, you get to have everything that comes with being their mom. Except, we don't. 

The worry, the guilt, the classic "mom" thoughts never go away. Some of us meet our dear ones and some imagine their beauty. Yet we all belong here, This October. 

October comes with leaves flying, pumpkins carved, apples baked, and yet, with all this nostalgia, it could be better. In celebration, we make those aware of our littlest's battle and to keep them living on in thier hearts, as they stay living in ours. Mothers don't let their babies go.

A Mother's October is a battle ground. A war to let us never forget the soul that touched us most, that broke our hearts, that left us with a hole. 

A Mother's October is to remember. 
Each year's tenth month will come, like the last. Just like the one before and before that. A whole month to encompass our love for our littlest's soul. 

Here were are, October. The month we were given. The month we gather to remember our babies.

31 days of awareness for their fights, and their lives. 31 days in this Mother's October where you, and her, and I stand up for our babies to remember that tiny heartbeat. The first sonogram. That booming kick. I stand before you on this October, with you, and as you. 

Our babies are bigger than October. Surely their lives can't be summed up by a month. But, here we are. Celebratory for the lives we grew and the angels we gained. 

A Mother's October is a peaceful place where her baby lives and their soul soars. 
This October, while we remember our babies, honor their Mothers. For her heart is where her baby lies. 


For anyone who has Lucy's friends with her in heaven. 

All I can think is love.

I formulated an entire blog post in response to some comments brought to my attention in response to love celebrated for Lucy, just Lucy.

As I was writing I realized, release it. Write it out and release it. So I wrote it, than erased it.  Injustice and untruths really bother me. 

I'm protective of all that I love and especially, my family. I try to understand what it's like to be a sociopath by understanding how when someone envelopes themself in lies to hurt someone else, they can truly become the lie. 

Many have refered to it or them as "evil". But, I know that people have a story. Hurt envelopes people in different ways. Some are able to cope in a pleasing manner, while others can't. Everyone has a story, everyone deserves to be heard, loved, and cared for. No matter their story. These are exact words I say to my husband when he faces conflict. 

 As the case keeps building, I'm allowed to learn forgiveness.  

The comments are from those who do not even KNOW me. My story. Know my life, my love, my thoughts, my actions, my worth, or who I am. They may never get the privilege. To me that is sad because, generally those who know me, know me. 

So let me introduce YOU to truth, I am Renee. Renee, a woman who lives in Kansas with her family. I love. I breathe. I laugh. I cook. I bake. I advocate. I'm a liberal in a highly conservative state. I'm a college graduate. I'm a family studies developmentalist. I'm aware. I'm psychic. I'm beautiful. I'm clever. I'm a writer. A teacher. A speaker. A mother. I'm flawed. I've made mistakes. I'm free. I like carbs. I love bacon (which wasn't always the case). I love yoga. I swim. Sports is my thing. I paint. I walk the walk. I talk the talk. I still believe that albeit your story, love is always the answer. I've never been skinny, not that I care. I love my curves. I advocate for the side of these untruths more than realized. My marriage is not a product of divorce. My divorce is not a product of my marriage. I parent my children with three other parents, whom created a loving bond for all, no matter how our marriage/divorce came to be (Forgiveness works).  I've supported the unpopular decisions and actions within my own family. I've thought. I've acted. I've forgave. I research. I keep spirits alive. I'm the calendar that remembers every birthday, including yours. I'm the reminder to send that gift. That card. I'm the ally. I don't keep enemies. Words don't bother me. Lies do. I'm a Leo. I have 4 children. I have 4 step children, I may never meet (I hope that's not the case). I don't know them, but I know their father talks of them everyday. I know the circumstances to which my husband left his family. I don't praise his decision. Never have. I support his effort to do the right thing, in fact, encourage it. I don't believe the slander. I'm on top of and discuss frequently the outcomes of every change. I coach. Support and encourage love amongst the hate and despair. I realize. I nurture. I celebrate. I search. I mourn. I bleed. I'm human too. I'm full of heart among the heartless. I volunteer. I read. I educate.  I flirt. I'm spiritual but not religious. I'm intelligent. I'm as is...


Nice to meet you. These are the terms in which I'm referring to myself. My truth. The truth that will stand the test of time. The truth that keeps me happiest within my skin. Truth that pity's those who's skin makes then feel rage, revenge, or anything other than love. Those to whom also make many mistakes and contribute to the truths of others. Those whom cast the first stone. I honor your "story". I realize we all have one. Even if it doesn't pertain to love, forgiveness, and a better way. 


Truth. Freedom. 


I encourage you to live your truth. I invite you to build something from it, and start from a new place. People are not defined by their pasts. I won't define you. 


These are lessons losing Lucy has taught me. Don't learn these lessons by loss. 


Saturday, September 13, 2014

I hate Breastfeeding... Ok I said it.

We're three months into this relationship, son. You came into this world so fast, and ten minutes after your were born you were latched on, like a baby leach ready to suck the life out of anything that would go into your mouth.


Fast forward three months. We are in cruise control of this Breastfeeding thing. But, damn was that a road rocky. 

I was talking to your father last night about how just months ago we would be up in the middle of the night and I would cry and curse Breastfeeding mothers all over the world. "This is fucking stupid! People actually enjoy this? This SUCKS!"

There were times when your father exclaimed he was on his way to buy a can of formula, but I stopped him just in time to say, we can do this. 

Where was my bonding moment? I hated everything about this feeling and the struggle WAS REAL! 

Everything! I mean everything bothered your tummy. (Inherited from your father, I might add). You would fuss with gasses and we would just look at each other numb like we hadn't dealt with baby tears at least three time before, each! 

You have silent reflux. You have since the day you were born. Supposing it was being born early, I guess. But, everyday is getting better. Thanks Zantac! 

You were born with a tongue and lip tie! (Another thing you can attribute to you father). At one month old you were already having reversional surgery. The pain this caused was punch your momma in the throat kind of pain. I remember crying through breastfeeding sessions each time, knowing it wasn't suppose to be this way. 

Support groups, while they were there for support.... Ugh. Meltdowns. 

Chiropractors, gripe water, energy work , and gas drops. You had been through the gambit before you were two months old. 

Today, mild Thrush. Caused by the fact I no longer use dairy for your tummy. We are beating it, it's really the least of our problems up until this point. 

I questioned myself everyday, son. Was all this bullshit we've gone through worth it? I had been told by friends it was ok to just switch to bottles or formula. But, maybe I'm stubborn. (I know I'm stubborn) I don't give up. I just don't. It's who I am. Without bonding, through screaming and crying, I wasn't giving up. 
(Personal decision, it's ok to stop!) 

For the first two months I loathed this role. Every hour and a half you wanted to eat. I just felt nuts. I felt like a bad Mom. I felt, where was my bonding moment? This was suppose to be about bonding, that's what they tell me. I wasn't getting that .... 

And then, you smiled at me.


 That moment your dimple showed itself. Instantly the last two months were erased. You smile at me like your Dad does when he's adoring me. My heart was hooked. There was our bonding moment. It happened, it's finally here. My struggle realized it was  gone. No more fussy gasses. No more pain. We got this thing beat. 

Three months in, my dear Linus. I still don't LOVE breast feeding. That's ok. I love you, and that's why I do it. Why any Mom does whatever they do for the best interest of their child, formula and breast milk alike. 

Happy third month to us, cheers! 


This fox says, ah-goo!


I mean. How handsome is he!

Baller!

Best Friends!


He loves his Nana and Grandma Kathy!






Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Birthdays Come But Once A Year...


And We're here Lucy to bring you cheer... But you're not here.

As I look to the sky, searching for you I have to wonder, can you hear me? We are here and you are there?

There.

Where is this there? Your sister calls it Heaven, your brother does too. I am not so sure about this place called heaven that collects our loved ones like some big party in the sky. Is it easy for you there? Do you see me? Is your Grandma Jennifer caring for you?

This is all a very hard concept for me to grasp because this is the place where "they" say my daughter is "living". Which seems completely unfair to a mother who yearns to do the caring for her own daughter, especially on her Birthday!

It's your Birthday, Lucy! Do you know that? We are here to celebrate you, are they celebrating you too in your new home? Your day you made it to your final destination in this "life". Is you soul beaming for joy because today is your day?

Your brother says you are huge! I believe so.. as huge as a spirit can be. Your sister says you are 35lbs there and you can walk now.  Oh Lucy, How I long to see that. 

Today is your birthday. It's my birthday to, yea? That day that I gave birth to you was so much bigger than me and this life. That day was the day I was to meet you and the day that I never stopped loving you even when you couldn't be with me. It was that moment in my life where my work began to keep you "alive" as alive within me as you could be. We kept you with us for 24 hours, Lucy. We kept you with us, to know you. We would wrap you, watch tv with you, snuggle you, and touch your nose. Every now and then, I would unwrap you to remember your features. I slept with you near to keep you warm. All that until "they" had to take you.

Oh that moment, Lucy. That moment I had to hand you off to a stranger (funeral home) might have been the hardest moment I have ever experienced in my entire life. I wasn't ready, but I had to do it. I cried tears so ferocious that I couldn't breathe. It was the hardest thing I have ever done. I have never felt pain to that degree before. I remember trembling and screaming for you. Outbursts that have never left my leveled body before. Being ripped from you... My daughter, knowing I would never see your precious face again, only to settle for memories that we captured in photographs. What misery.

But today, my angel... You are one year old. Although those memories are so recent the haze has settled in slightly of that day. I long to remember your smell, your skin, your face, and oh...that nose. That nose your brother shares with you.

Today there will be a moment; once a year. We will light your candle on your birthday cake and we will send you messages to heaven (where your siblings think you are) from the last place you lived on this earth. I love you my sweet girl. Hear my message. Happy Birthday.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Over The Rainbow And Born Under The "Honey" Moon...


Meet Linus Jay Francis Lawrence. Born three weeks early, precisely when he intended to be. Friday the 13th, of June during the "Honey" full moon. What a magical day for a baby as precious as him to join our world.

"They" say he's a rainbow baby. A term given to children that are born to parents after infant loss or miscarriage. I have been very vocally against this term. I understand the sentiment and I fully get what it is meant to reflect upon. But his pregnancy was less than unicorns, rainbows, and butterflies.

Terrifying times; being pregnant. Especially after a traumatic experience as the loss of a child. Linus was planned yet, not really. Bleeding early on sent me into a familar panic. I had already given up this pregnancy at that minute, terrified that there would be a similar outcome. The panic gave way when every test had been run on me and our newest edition to reveal... nothing.

That moment when a Dr. tells you that everything with your current pregnancy is just fine.... breathe.

But...Lucy's pregnancy was a case of "bad luck". Heart sinking news. You want to know there has to be a reason. Fluke...Bad Luck. Terms used to describe my littlest and I am left numb. Rainbows, indeed.

Every glimpse into Linus's window reassured us that he was perfectly formed just as his sister was. I asked over and over to make sure there were no "bleeds" and that everything stayed normal. I monitored him at home every time I took to worrying about the safety of the life inside me. I tried to meditate to stop me from being neurotic and I kept myself extremely busy. I was pregnant, FOR-EV-ER.

IS this the storm that "they" speak of before that rainbow emerges? Or was that Lucy? Either way, I will leave the rainbows to you.

Linus's entry into this world was very much controlled by him. My body and him struggling to get on the same wave length. After being on the verge of sent home to labor he decides its probably time to start doing something about this "joining the world thing." Virtually painless labor until 45 minutes before he decided to quickly descend. Like Jackyl and Hyde, even I was succumbing to his Gemini ways. Fiona to Ogre in that 45 minutes un-medicated, until I closed my eyes (pushed twice) and opened them to find he made it.

Not a tear was shed. Something I find as a regular reaction for me in birth. The person who cries at hallmark commercials, too overwhelmed to cry? As they put this 8lb 4oz cheesy baby on my chest, I started thanking him. "Thank you for making it, you made it! Thank you!" Was this my rainbow moment, the moment "they" keep telling me will come? I'm reserved. I just haven't gotten there yet. I am smitten and definitely in love. I am sleep deprived and mostly delirious.

But, my "naivete" knows no bounds. Call me crazy, but I was willing to give this little person a life after losing so much. Breathtaking really, how someone is willing to reconcile the past with resilience and put themselves through an experience without reserve. Bravery at it is finest. I pull that bravery from all around me (especially my husband) allowing for my happiest moments. My rainbow moments. Because, I have the courage to let go of what I can not change.

I have a lot to learn in this world which is a magical place to be. I don't pretend to know it all or pour the world with "I told you so's". I don't live like that or care too. I live for the things that I have that are right in front of me. My rainbow moments occur everyday as a wake up in the most secured arms every morning next to the newest love of my life, Linus.

Welcome to our world little man, rainbow baby, my (second) lucky number 13. May I show you that kindness, resilience, forgiveness, and love are always the answers in the world. And... don't ever let someone mistake that for weakness because after all its your happiness, unicorns, rainbows, and butterflies that matter.


Doesn't get much sweeter.


Sibling Love. They are smitten.


Hippy Momma, Baby Wearer. 


Snuggles with Daddy, Pleases Linus. (PRESH!)