Thursday, March 1, 2012

Revisionary Thinking

* Thanks for the thoughtful response to Ms. B's advice.  Thanks especially to the dissenting voices, whose opinions were so politely (and persuasively) presented.  I agree that Ms. B's suggestion was a little passive-aggressive (now you know my secret weapon--I learned it from Victorian heroines!) and I really think that the best way to handle a situation depends on the family dynamic that's at work there (which we have only limited knowledge of, obviously).  The fact is that Ms. B's advice was perhaps too heavily colored by her own negative experiences with her in-laws.  Some people might respond very well to an honest expression of emotions (Ms. B just doesn't happen to have married in to that family).

Whatever Ms. B thinks, I agree with those of you who suggest that honesty might be the policy--perhaps just explaining to the SIL the major premise that there's such an important difference between the name being "up for grabs" because it's a family name and "up for grabs" because the first little girl to have that name is no longer here.  I keep thinking that it really comes back to whether the SIL is actually trying to understand how Name Withheld would feel about her using the name, or whether she plans to use it regardless and just doesn't want Name Withheld to cause a fuss.  Hopefully she would be receptive to an honest discussion.  If not, then only Name Withheld can know which course of action would be make her feel better and which would be mostly likely to achieve the preferred result (which, I think we all agree would be to have SIL use the name in honor of Name Withheld's baby, or not to use it at all).

* In order to help people understand what I'm going through, sometimes I'd like them to read stuff not written by me.  Just in case they think I'm crazy, I want them to know that my emotions and reactions are absolutely "normal," given the terrible situation I'm in.  So, speaking of in-laws, I sent both of these articles to certain people in David's family:

"The Heartbreak of Infant Loss" by Laura Schubert

"When You Lose a Baby" by Francesca at Small Bird Studio

Of course, that didn't stop one of them from comparing our grief to the loss of their eight-year-old DOG (you know I love dogs, but COME ON), and it didn't stop another member of his family from telling me we were "unhealthy" and "inappropriate" because we didn't participate in family holidays this year (WTF OMG, I know), and I never sent these links to the person who said it was "better" that Eliza died when she did because THERE IS ONLY SO MUCH EDUCATING I CAN DO.

I've opted NOT to put that whole bloody mess online because sometimes voicing emotions helps me get past them and sometimes it just gets me all worked up again (don't even get me started on how David almost got me murdered by the Craigslist killer!).  Given the specific variables in David's family's dynamics, I have chosen to either to let go of my rage and indignation (as you can imagine, this is an ongoing process) or roll my eyes and turn a coldly polite, passive-aggressive shoulder (because you know that's where Ms. B got the idea.)

And when it all feels like too much to be so profoundly disappointed by people who are supposed to be my family, I start counting all of the amazing, kind, supportive, warm, and delightful people in my life and I try to focus on those people instead.  I choose those people, to talk with, to share with, to confide in, to write to, to laugh with, and those are the people who matter most, whether or not we're related by blood, marriage, loss, love, or an appreciation for the CW's television programming (didn't you know that Ringer is one of my favorite guilty pleasures?).

* Yesterday I wore a pair of stretchy jeggings that weren't maternity.  I folded them down under the belly, checked out my butt in the mirror, and thought that I was good to go.  By the time I got to work, I realized that the super low elastic waist band was completely digging into my bladder and every shift in position from sitting to standing put me at dangerous risk for needing an adult diaper.  I haven't been so eager to get out of a pair of pants since my third date with David.

* We sold the plaid couches!  Our living room feels oddly bare and empty.  Our new couch is in place, but the chairs we ordered (the most delightfully squishy and comfortable glider/recliner imaginable, that are also acceptably attractive) are back-ordered until April.  In the meantime, we've moved some furniture around so there's a chair to sit in, but it looks weird.  The couches (and their slipcovers) went to a good home (not a Craigslist killer), but I have to confess that I felt strangely nostalgic about them on their last night.  They've seen us through a lot of good times and hellish times.  I never thought I'd miss the plaid, but it turns out I'm sentimental about ugly material things.  I am, however, pretty in love with our new sofa.  I think Cooper likes it even better than I do...

very comfy for snoozing
* We're heading to Branson this weekend to see David's grandma.  Her house was not damaged in the recent tornadoes that went through town (she actually lives outside of town, on the lake).  She did spend a few scary hours in the basement without power, but she and the homestead are fine.  And I'm sure the storm created plenty of yardwork that David and I can help her with this weekend!  I also wanted to say that (as several of you have so nicely inquired) she has been handling things pretty well since the death of his grandpa.  She has a neighbor/friend whose husband passed away just two days after Gene did, so the two of them have spending lots of time together.  Many of us know how comforting it is to just be with someone who understands and shares your pain, so I was glad she had someone nearby who is on the same timeline of loss that she is.  She and this friend, Janet, have decided to join the Y (so far they've taken yoga, Zumba, and an aerobics class for seniors called "Silver Sneakers").  She's also frequently going out to lunch with other widowed ladies and she's very active in church groups and Bible study.  Honestly, she's busier now than she has been for the last couple of years because Gene's health had slowed him down so much.  We know that none of that eases the pain of her loss, but we're glad that she has the health and energy to be so active, and relieved that she has so many good friends nearby.

* Last year on February 28th, I wrote about my own Grandpa V, and the birthday tradition we carry on in his memory--treating ourselves to ice cream!  This year was no different.  David and I raised our spoons in memory of Grandpa V. and then dug into the most delicious, summery ice cream treat ever--Haggan Das's Pineapple Coconut.  (It's divine.)  I'm seriously not a huge ice cream person (when I'm not pregnant, my cravings tend more toward the salty than the sweet), but the Deuce has given me a sweet tooth, just as Eliza did.  Grandpa would be proud!  Yesterday the weather was so nice that while I was running errands, I decided Grandpa would totally agree with my impulse to pull through the Dairy Queen drive through, so I treated myself to a mini-Blizzard (Butterfinger!).

Losing a child is SO different from losing a grandparent, but I hope it gets easier to remember and honor Eliza with love and simple but meaningful traditions as the years go by.  (And I like to imagine that Grandpa Vance managed to treat Eliza to something sweet on his birthday, too.)

* It's March 1st and it appears that spring is officially sprung, even here in the gray and brown Midwest.  Just this week, I spotted these two little pink buds on Eliza's tree in our yard.

Can you see the two little pink buds in the middle?
I took a picture, and then offered a prayer/wish/hope/plea that this spring continues to bring joyful things our way.  May the same be true for you and yours.


  1. I am LOL'ing at "I haven't been so eager to get out of a pair of pants since my third date with David"... ha!!! :)

  2. I need to know more about the Craigslist killer, although as many times as I have bought and sold on CL, I may have had a run in with them too!

    Also, I'm not exactly the voice of experience since my first pregnancy was so short, but in my second pregnancy, the bladder thing was A LOT worse overall (and got progressively worse as the weeks went by.) So head's up on that.

    I see the blooms! I think that's a pretty good omen of all the blessings to come.

    Are you staying put this year or heading out of town for spring break?

    I hope you have a good trip to Branson and I'm glad David's grandmother is okay.

  3. 1. A dog? Seriously??
    2. My CW guilty pleasure---Gossip Girl.
    3. I want to see the new couch! We just got new furniture and I'm in love!
    4. Glad David's gma is okay and so glad she has her friend. I would seriously love to see them Zumba!
    5.Eliza's blooms are beautiful! I'm so ready for spring!
    6. On a totally random note, seeing Kristin Wigg with dark hair at the Oscars the other night TOTALLY looked like you!

  4. Omg at the pants!!!! I soooo understand! All of my pajamas are not maternity pants--I just bought big regular size pants. They have gotten me through my last two pregnancies just fine. Now that I am living in these things though, I have that same sensation CONSTANTLY!!! I keep pulling them way up above my belly (which makes them ride up my ass, ha!) but it's better than pushing them below the belly to squish my bladder. Holy hell, I don't know if I can go eight more weeks in these!!!

    Glad Grandma is doing well!!

    Glad you are enjoying some ice cream! I have eaten 72 and 60 lbs (respecitvely) worth of ice cream in my last two pregnancies but haven't had it more than once this time. So weird. No need to worry tho bc I am making up for it with all the other treats!

  5. You are killing me with the "Haven't wanted to get out of a pair of pants so bad since my third date with David." AWESOME.

    And you just can't win with pants and pregnancy. I always end up in very stylish athletic shorts by the end. Fortunately I usually work at home.

  6. If I were big into signs, I would say that maybe the two little pink buds mean you are having another baby girl. But I'm not really. . . so maybe it just means that the tree is going to be gorgeous this year. I think I spotted one in our neighborhood the other day when I was out on a run. I looked at it and thought "huh - is that an Eliza tree?" - I will take a picture and send it to you :)

  7. Agree with Becca and Laura--the pants comment--I almost snorted. Love the post. What a gorgeous tree for your beautiful girl.

  8. You're right, no matter how much we try and ram it down some people's throats, they will just never get it. And lucky them. Better just to strike them off the Christmas card list and try and live without them. I figure if we can live without our kids, we can do without these jackasses in our lives.
    Love to you, Brooke.

  9. Sometimes "family" can be the biggest douches of all. Sigh. I'm sorry. Lol about your babes giving you a sweet tooth. Mine do the opposite. I normally have the biggest sweet tooth but not those 9 months. Which makes me so sad. So after every pg I end up binge eating. Btw thank you for the email about the froggy sleeper. You know we love us some froggies in this house. Google had the most adorable frog doodle yesterday for leap day. Keeping Duece in my prayers

  10. You're freaking hilarious about those pants. :)

    Cheers to selling those couches and having a bare room. At least it gives you a chance to clean the floor and dust easier?! Looking forward to those reno photos with the new furniture. I saw all those pins on pinterest... anxious to see what you chose.

    I love that David's grandma signed up for zumba. :) I would love to take a class with her. I'm so happy she found a friend who understands that she can spend time with. Coming from a babyloss perspective, fellow BLMs saved me and continue to save me.

    That Haagen Das sounds amazing. Buy that when I visit?

    I so totally want my front tree to bloom and those bulbs we planted near Andrew's birthday to burst through the soil. Cannot wait. That tree is so beautiful and I love how loyal it is to Eliza. <3