Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Dear Charlotte,

Four years ago today you came into the world and it has never been the same. The day you were born was the best day of my life, after about 4 pm anyway. You were so wide-eyed right from the start. So smug and knowing too.

You had lots of dark hair and little chubby hands and dark blue eyes which never changed color. You weighed six pounds and five ounces, absolutely huge! That is, until 8 pound 4 oz Ella came along...

You brought your whole family together that day. You continued to bring your family closer in the following months and years. Thank you for that.

Thank you for breathing that day, four years ago, thank you for drinking from a bottle like a champ, thank you for laying in my arms all night that first night and looking back at me.

I love you, my tiny first born, my miracle, my beautiful all-knowing old-souled daughter. You changed me forever and all for the better.

I miss you.

Happy Birthday.

Love, Mom

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Update to an Uneventful Life

Still no internet access at home. Frustrated and annoyed with Husband over it.

Ella now holds her own bottle which is pretty nice. Still no forward crawling.

Went to my 10 year high school reunion last night. Surprised at how many people knew about my blog, and also surprised at how many didn't know about Charlotte's death. Strange.

My little brother Jake came home from his mission to Greece at midnight last night. First time seeing him in 2 years. He seems shockingly the same, which is good.

Still in Reproductive Limbo. No new test results. The past few days I've been thinking that I am so incredibly blessed to have one healthy child. Maybe having one child on earth isn't so bad. We could take more vacations and have a smaller car. We could do lots of things bigger families can't. I'm talking twice yearly Disneyland trips. Maybe thrice. Not so bad.

My sister, on the other hand, had her IVF egg retrieval and got 21 eggs, 2o of which fertilized. She will have transfer and hopefully conception on Tuesday. Which is--

Charlotte's Fourth Birthday. I don't know how the day is going to play out yet. Wistfully happy or full of sorrow and that aching I have become so familiar with.

Time will Tell.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day, and the first one Zar was able to spend with his offspring. In the past I've always taken Charlotte with me to Newport Beach, leaving Zar clues as to where to find his gift.

This year Ella was here to spit up on her dad's hand and get herself wedged under the ottoman. We also visited Charlotte's grave which was so sadly bare. We promised her we would do our very best to get her stone up before her birthday next week. We placed a new lollipop and picked up the soggy dum-dum sticks still left over from Memorial Day.

This morning I wandered into Charlotte's room while getting dressed and looked at her pictures and thought "Look at her using her little arms that were never supposed to move! Look at her posing for the camera! Look at her being smug and proud of herself!" Charlotte was so amazing, and for the first time since those strange euphoric days right after she passed I was happy and proud of her, instead of just sad. She was so incredible.

I took Ella to Las Vegas last week to celebrate her aunt Alex's upcoming wedding. (I'm realizing how often I take our kids on trips without my husband...) and Ella was so popular everywhere we went. Plus I found she cut way down on the amount of pornography and other propositions I encountered. She threw one demon-type fit after sucking on a lime at a restaurant, but otherwise behaved herself very well, even on the plane ride down. I was terrified to fly by myself with her in my lap, but we were treated like royalty. A HUGE surprise. I was escorted to the front of the lengthy security line, and then called up to the gate to be given the one extra seat on the plane so I could have my own row. I even got to read a bit in the air. Incredible. We drove with the girls all the way home on Friday, stopping in Beaver for soft serve and to take a picture of Ella in the giant chair in a coon-skin cap. What a lucky baby.

Here Ella is sunning by the pool in her tu-tu swimsuit and 50 spf sunblock, which I also wore, making me look like a different species than my sisters, who do not shun the sun as I do. I often sighed and thanked them for allowing the old fat mom to join them in Vegas, to which they rolled their eyes adjusted their bikini straps. Do all 28 year olds feel so ancient? I doubt it.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

We still don't have Internet at home so my blogging moments are few and far between.

We're letting things rest on the reproductive front for now. Technically we are "waiting" for some more test results but who knows when those will come in, (you would think I'd be more concerned about $2000 test results) and I'm pretty sure what those results will show. I'm hoping at that point we will be able to let go of IVF if that's what's right, and move forward towards adoption with excitement and certainty.

My sister is getting married in a few weeks and the festivities have already begun.
My brother gets home from Greece on the same day as my 10 year high school reunion so that's exciting as well. He'll meet his niece Ella for the first time. When he left 2 years ago we both knew that Charlotte wouldn't be here when he got back, but we didn't say it then. He held her a long time and cried and it was in both our minds. He's the one not holding an umbrella in the picture.

My car is making a funny noise.

Ella is good and scooting herself into corners or under tables and screaming for help. She is in the 7th percentile for weight these days at 15 lbs.

Last night I was starting out the window of the workshop at the monument shop at the thunderstorm and the rose bushes across State Street at the Zions Bank Building. The rain was coming down hard and you could smell the wet stone from piles and piles of granite out back. My brother in law Weston was working on Charlotte's headstone. It's going to be just how I pictured it and up in time for her 4th birthday. I thought how ten years ago I was graduating from high school assuming that by now I would be uber-successful and have a few kids to boot. And here I am after hours at Nu-Art Memorial surrounded by other people's headstones--a temple, a teddy bear, lots of forget-me-nots--and my daughter is having her stone carved. The back will be left blank, for my name, eventually. Life is so funny!

Charlotte's stone is light gray granite with a cherry blossom branch along the side. We got a card from Charlotte's cardiologist that said that Cherry blossoms stand for a short life, well lived. That's Charlotte for sure. Her butterfly is perched above her name which is on one line, Caslon font. The butterfly's wings are open, so you don't have to see it's little buggy legs.

I'll post pictures soon. I feel so much more calm having it so close to being done. Last night was one of those surreal evenings I will always remember, as I did one of the last things I can do for Charlotte. Or watched, at least.