Saturday, March 23, 2013

Better Life

Wow, I hadn't realize I hadn't written since August of last year!  A lot has happened, some things good, and some things not so good.  But I'll try my best to stick with the good :).

Jude Adam Robison was born on October 8th, 2012 via induction.  In the top picture, he was only about a week old.  In the bottom picture, he was about 4.5 months.  He is turning 6 months in about 2 weeks, and he will finally get to have some solid food!  As of now, he's always reaching for mine and eyeballing my plate, so I'm sure he's ready. 

It was pretty hard initially.  Jude looks so much like Alice in so many ways and as much as it hurt, it made me also feel like part of her was there with me.  I had a few panic attacks at night, waking up, shaking Chris and telling him to make sure the baby was still breathing because I didn't hear anything.  Chris had to watch Jude the first couple months of  life, because every time I tried, I had such panic and I'd just sit in bed, stare at him while he slept in his pack n' play, and I'd cry.  Things have gotten a lot better and I watch him every night now.  I love how he wakes up and smiles at me.

He's made our lives a whole lot brighter.  His smile and laugh turns my gray world into a world full of color.  Sometimes, now that he throws fit, I have to giggle because he's cute regardless of his tantrum or not.  At least he's here, breathing, and there for me to love and snuggle.

We are packing up and moving (again).  This time we'll be moving back to our hometown for a few years so Jude can be around his Lola and Grumpa.  It's a wonderful opportunity!  Then, when we have the means to buy our first house, we'll probably be moving a few hours away again.  That will be a few years from now, though.  In the meantime, I just want to enjoy time with Jude and my family.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

August 2012

Today I am 33 weeks and 2 days pregnant.  6 weeks and 5 days to go!  Time is flying by.  I can't wait to see and hold my son, but things are going to be hectic once the time does come.

July 14th came and past.  For those of you who don't know, that should've been Alice's first birthday.  My mom had decided to come up to Washington that weekend and she ended up staying with us 2 nights.  On her actual birthday, we lit her memorial candle and bought her a pot with a light pink mini rose bush.  We brought her ashes downstairs and Chris, my mom and I all sat down and talked about her.  It was extremely hard.  I wanted to put up her picture next to the candle, flowers, and ashes, but we couldn't handle that much.  It was a very hard day and I'm hoping every year will get a little easier.  September 7th, her "angelversary", is quickly approaching.  I'm not sure if that day will be harder or easier, but I'm not looking forward to it.

We're also in the process of moving right now.  3 days ago we wouldn't have thought we were moving for a few months, and now I'm busy packing boxes and cleaning house.  Getting a U-haul next weekend!  We'll be staying with our friend Joe in Kelso, WA.  It's too far away from my hospital, so looks like I'll soon be needing to switch my office as well.  All of this PLUS unpacking is going to be pretty difficult being so pregnant, but it needs to be done. 

We also decided that I will be working and Chris will be going to school full time soon after Jude is born.  He's going to start taking his terminal leave in the beginning of October, he'll be out of the military by late November, and then he will be attending college (not sure what degree yet) and watching Jude at home.  I'm going to take CNA classes fairly soon, hopefully to be completed by the end of this year, and while working as a CNA, try to finish up my Nursing Associates Degree.  Also, I'm hoping that over time I will be able to get my Bachelor's Degree for Nursing.  It's going to be interesting -- having Chris at home with the baby while I'm working -- but this is the best option we have at this point and will help us all more in the long run compared to our other options.

Aside from the updates, I cannot wait for Jude to get here!  I'm uncomfortably big and I just need him to be here.  We're almost ready to go for him, aside from moving and re-setting up his nursery.  Hopefully he stays in until his due date so I can finish his knitting projects as well :).

Saturday, June 2, 2012

June 2012, 22 Weeks Pregnant

On April 28th, Chris and I drove to Portland to get an elective ultrasound.  This was NOT an easy morning.  A debate ensued as to how long the drive to Portland would take.  I started a new medication that morning and we left a little late.  Turns out the medication made me extremely nauseous so I was vomiting the entire way there, and WHILE we were there.  We were 15 minutes late, which they don't accept.  So instead of our half hour appointment, we were able to get in for a 5 minute gender reveal.  I was fine with that since that was the point and I didn't want to drive all the way there for nothing.

Just as I had suspected, we are having a baby BOY.  His name is Jude Adam Robison.  For those who think it isn't that great of a name, or is different (trust me, I've received several comments), the name has meaning. 

"Hey, Jude.  Don't make it bad.  Take a sad song, and make it better.  Remember to let her into your heart... then you can start to make it better."  He is helping us heal in a time of great sorrow.  I know this little guy will be what Chris and I need to get through all of this. 

(Jude Law had no influence on our son's name.  Interestingly enough, 4 out of 5 people thought we named him after the Star).

The middle name, Adam, is also important and not random.  A good friend of ours (more like family at this point) influenced his name.  Joe Adam Wardell.  If you know this man, you'll know why we named our son after him.  But from October on... he'll be known as Crazy Uncle Joe. ;-)

At my last OB appointment, Jude was measuring in the 28th percentile.  What's that mean?  So far, he's a big little sucker!  14 oz at 21 weeks, and measuring at about 10.5 inches long.  He's kicking me as I write this.   Probably telling me to stop bragging about him...

Everything else in the Robison life is pretty normal.  A lot of camping has been taking place.  I'm getting through the pushes and pulls of pregnancy, and Chris is about to start training this Summer.  I've been working on and beginning many different projects to keep my mind occupied.  Knitting baby blankets, starting up a baby memory scrapbook, embroidering a pillow, and starting potential illustrations for Joe's book he has written for his son.

I had hoped that the sun coming out would help lighten my spirits, but it hasn't.  It only reminds me of being enormously pregnant with Alice, having her in the hospital, holding and kissing her, and then losing her all in a few short months.  I want to say her name and post her pictures, but it rips my heart out every time I think about it.  I think that as time progresses, I'll be able to talk about her more without the pain it comes with, but for now, I can't.

Friday, April 20, 2012

April 2012

I decided to write today since it's National SIDS Awareness Day.  It's actually pretty hard to come on here and write how I'm feeling.  If I'm in an alright mood, writing only makes me sad, yet relieved.  I guess good always comes with the bad...

I am going to try to make this update more optimistic than my previous ones.  Most of my thoughts are stuck on thinking about Alice, Chris's and my future, and this pregnancy.

Today, at 15 weeks and 5 days, our baby is the size of an apple.

It's really a significant difference from the last time I posted a picture of the size.  I'm surprised to say that I've actually been feeling kicks here and there.  I would've been completely skeptical before since the baby is so small, but there is no doubt about it... these were definitely kicks.  They only happen once or twice every few days, and I am so excited to start feeling them more consistently.  I haven't felt them for a week, however, so I'm concerned.... but it's a concern of every pregnant woman in her late first trimester or early second trimester.  My nose bleeds are still consistent (pregnancy symptom due to increased blood flow), and I have a doctor's appointment early Monday morning to ease some of my concern.  I can't wait to hear this little one's heartbeat again <3. 

Chris has been in training since the 12th.  11 days of training, which isn't too terrible.  The day he left, I actually packed up the car and the dog, and headed down to Coos Bay, Oregon to spend the weekend with my mom.  My stepdad was also gone at a poker tournament so it was one long girls weekend, which I completely enjoyed :).  I had a lot more fun than I had anticipated, although I felt pretty much floored from being tired and sick.  We went garage saling and ended up being the inheritants of a BUNCH of yarn, fabric, and knitting & crocheting needles.  I swear I sound like a grandma, but I had a ton of fun.  I even started working on a blanket... blue and white.  Must be my feeling of the gender of our baby ;).  I ended up coming back home to Washington on the 16th.  Long, boring, and depressing drive by yourself.  But I treated myself to a Rockstar and some fun music.  Sadly, Chris won't be able to come to this appointment on Monday.  He won't be back home until late Monday night.

And, I am sad/happy to announce that we find out the gender of this baby on MAY 29th, 2012!!!  Sad because I'll be 21.5 weeks along.  We were willing to pay out-of-pocket to find out earlier at 16 weeks (just in a few days)... but no one will take us since we never had a viability ultrasound.  Very disappointing but the wait will make the gender determination more accurate.  I could swear it's a boy, and Chris says it is absolutely a girl.  We'll see... we have our names picked out but they will remain private until we know the gender. 

That's about all that is going on in my life.  Just getting more and more excited to meet this baby.  I miss Alice every moment of every day.  Trying to figure out where our lives will be headed at the end of this year, next year, and every year after that.  Perhaps I should just take a breath and live life in the current moment. 

Since today is National SIDS Awareness Day, I wanted to put up a picture of Alice.  I just want everyone to remember all the babies lost to SIDS.  I've talked to a lot of other mothers of this, and it has really helped me in my recovery process.  She was a beautiful girl and this can happen to anyone.  I miss my baby...

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Back into the Shadows

After losing Alice, you'd think that the people closest to you would stick around and help you throughout tough times.  You would think that having an idea of the type of pain you're going through, or even knowing that pain, that you would stick by your side no matter what.  I do have people who have been here for Chris and I from the beginning, and have helped tremendously.  There are multiple people who have been here.  But for others, I can't say the same, and it hurts pretty bad.

Losing a child is the worst thing I could imagine a person having to go through.  I'd rather be tortured, killed, disfigured, broke, homeless... anything but lose a child.  Knowing that, how in the world could people just break friendships and family ties over trivial things unrelated during a time of healing?  This isn't singling out a single person that I know.  This sadly applies to multiple people, and I can't help but wonder what is going through their heads.  They knew that I needed them.  Literally, I needed their support.  All of them had a very big impact on my life and healing process, yet they just get up and leave.  Some things for ridiculous little things, some for bigger things, but none justifiable while we're in so much pain.  I don't understand, and it hurts.  It's sad to have to realize that not all of your best friends and family will be there for you during the times that you needed most.  These people that I refer to would've been on the TOP of my list for going to in such harsh times. 

Why do people do this?  Is it a lack of respect?  Is it them not being able to empathize?  Is it them pushing away because they don't want to see or be a part of this disastrous mess?  I know people get sad when they see Chris and I.  Who wouldn't?  This is a horrible tragedy and it happens.  It's like someone with cancer walking through a room.  You see them, and wish the best but at the same time you're also deepened with sadness.  People stare at us and feel the same.  I feel like a spectacle sometimes.  I can understand why people wouldn't want to be a part of this, but completely tying off our relationship with something small and unrelated... that hurts.  I already lost my daughter.  Why make me lose friends and family, as well?

There is one good thing that comes out of this mess.  The people who have stuck by throughout it all will be there throughout anything else.  I doubt (and hope) that nothing this bad ever happens to Chri sand I again.  Those people will be here.  It also reminds me of previous struggles I've had, and reminds me that those people hid in the shadows at those times, too.  Is it worth the struggle?  Is it worth me apologizing over something that I wasn't at fault for?  I am so thankful for my family and friends that have stuck by me.  But for those who pushed me away, I will forever be hurt and I cannot forgive this time.

Enough of me hurting over this.  It shouldn't be causing me more pain.

Chris and I received news of Alice's official autopsy results a couple of days ago.  The cause of death was SIDS while cosleeping with a parent.  That extra addition hurts every time I hear it run through my head.  What if cosleeping had nothing to do with it?  SIDS is not preventable, so why would they include a fact of cosleeping?   That is almost an oxymoron.  The results leave a little bit of closure.  Her death is no longer an "ongoing investigation."  But I don't understand the results.  It's probably so simple and I'm over-thinking it, but what if I'm not?  Is it implicative?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

September 7th, 2011

I feel sick to my stomach that I'm even attempting to write this right now.  It's almost been 6 months since Alice died, and it's still hard to muster up the strength to remember what happened on the morning of September 7th.  Some may wonder why I'm so open.  In fact, a lot of people I know disagree with it.  But, I'm the type who doesn't care what others think, I want to write down thoughts, and I want people to know what happened. 

Alice generally woke me up around 7am to 9am, depending on the day.  That morning, I believe I woke up around 10am or so, with no instigation from her, and I immediately knew that something was wrong.  I turned my head over quickly to look at her, and started saying her name.  I knew there was no possible way anything could've happened, and that she was still sleeping, but I wanted to be sure.  I said her name again.  Not a single movement from her and I couldn't see her face.  She was lying in my arms, and I gave a quick nudge to her.  Still nothing, not even a slight leg movement, a sigh, or a stretch.  That's when I knew that my world was over.  I sat up and her swaddle was over her head, but not tightly.  I pulled it down, and the blood had pooled to the side of her face she was sleeping on when she passed away.  She was half white and half purple.  I couldn't cry, I couldn't breathe.  I just kept saying her name, rubbing her chest, and stroking her face.  I knew she was dead.  That thing that happens to 2 in 1000 babies happened to my daughter.

I got up and stood there for a moment, got my phone and ran to get it plugged in.  It had died through the night.  Things started running through my head and what I did to her and how I killed her.  Chris had called early that morning... maybe if my phone was charged, it would've rang, and I could've prevented her death?  Maybe if I would've swaddled her more tightly, she would've lived?  Was she really dead?  The phone finally turned on, and I immediately called my mom.  I couldn't manage to say anything other than "Alice is dead."  She told me to call 911 and that she was on her way home from work.  Nothing was real.

I called 911 and they had me go get Alice, unbotton her onesie, and perform CPR.  I knew she was gone.  They said the fact that I could feel the air going through her chest and out of her nose was a good sign, but nothing was a good sign.  How could it be?  She was gone.  She was cold and lifeless. It seemed like I was giving her CPR forever, hanging in time, knowing she was gone but still having that flicker of hope in the back of my head that something miraculous could happen, like what you read about in books.  But in my heart I knew.

The ambulance came.  All I could do was pace around the living room... I'm not even sure what they did.  My whole body was being sucked to the floor by gravity, and I was empty.  They brought her out to the ambulance.  I grabbed my shoes, still in my pajamas, and ran out to the ambulance.  My feet were bloody from running on rocks, but if there was a slight chance that they could save her, I didn't care about my feet.  I just wanted to save every second we could and get her to the hospital.

The drive there was hard.  I got angry at people for not getting out of the way in time.  Seconds meant everything to me.  I kept glancing back to see what they were doing to Alice, but I couldn't keep looking.  I just put my shoes on, cried, and hitting the dashboard in front of me.

When we got there, they took her into the closest room they had available.  No makeup on, pajamas, shoes untied, morning hair, and crying like the world had come to an end (my world did, in any case), everyone there in the ER looked at me like I was crazy.  I paced, I threw up, and I slid down to the ground to wait.  It felt like seconds later when the doctor came out.  He didn't even have to look at me.  I already knew.  I just kept telling him no.  NO.  I told him that it wasn't true.  I told him to do more, to do his fucking job... to get in there and make my daughter breathe again.  They had to take me away into a separate room, in the dark, so I could sit in a corner.  My best friend came, along with my mom.  We just held each other.  They told me I could go see her.  I didn't know what to do or say... I couldn't even move.

Somehow, I don't remember how, I got into the room.  She was laying on the table, naked, with a white blanket covering most of her.  I immediately ran to the sink and started vomiting and shaking.  They asked me if I wanted to hold her.  I was only able to hold her for about a minute.  I kissed her cold forehead and cheeks, stroked her hair... but I couldn't do it for very long.  I just wanted to vomit all of the pain out of my body.  My mom held her for awhile after that while I continued to puke and heave into the sink.  Then they took her away.  That was the last time I saw my daughter until I received her bones in the form of ashes a week later.

What happened next?  The police came to my house, searched through our room, took pictures.  I had to lay down on my bed and hold a teddy bear with how I found Alice that morning.  They looked for anything strange, like blood or abuse.  Then they left.  What do you do after that?  I tried to eat, but I couldn't.  All I could do was stare and cry.  The days following that were pretty simple.  All I did was ask myself a few specific questions.  At that point, I KNEW that Chris was going to hate me forever for killing our daughter.  Why didn't she cry when she couldn't breathe?  Why didn't she struggle?  And then the real questions came.  How am I going to kill myself?  Should it be a bullet to the head, a hanging, an overdose on pills?  I knew that my life was over.  I just had to decide how to do it. 
Chris came home.  Things were hard.  We picked up our daughter together at the mortuary, and wrapped her in her blanket.  We slept with her every night.  We cried and we drank until we couldn't remember anything anymore.  We started to slowly heal, and the thought of suicide went away with the thought of a new child coming into our lives.  My life was ruined in less than 24 hours, and it's finally slowly starting to rebuild.  I will never be happier than the moment I got to hold my daughter for the first time.  She was a piece of my heart that I will never be able to get back.  I'll miss her always.  My beautiful baby girl... Alice Ann.  I love you, baby.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Always a Piece of Me.

Today, I am 8 weeks and 1 day pregnant.  Last day of being 21 years old.  Time goes by so slow when you're hurting; I just want change.

Chris and I just loaded up the truck full of Alice's things that were in storage.  I haven't been able to look in her boxes.  I opened one up the first time last weekend, and I couldn't even dig through to find the pregnancy book I was looking for.  Her clothes were on top and I just crumbled to my knees.  Haven't really felt better since and have been a crying mess, but I'm determined to sift through them in the upcoming weeks.  This new baby in my tummy is going to get a lot of his/her sisters things, including her crib, changing table, changing pad, stroller, car seat, etc.  The car seat kills me.  There's still baby sunblock smeared on the sides from the day we were out in the sun, saying goodbye to her father as he stepped on the bus to go to the airport, and then fly to Afghanistan.  She wore a white onesie with flowers and pink lining that day.

Her clothes and blankets I had a very hard time deciding what to do with.  I can't see any other baby wearing them.  I can't give them away.  I can't keep them in boxes.  I can't leave them out to see every day.  So I decided to keep her polkadot dress that Chris picked out as her coming home from the hospital outfit to pin up on the wall next to her ashes.  The rest of the clothes and blankets are going to be a piece of a quilt made for this baby (if it's a girl).  If it's a boy, the quilt will be mine until we have a daughter.  I have no idea how I will make this quilt and stay sane.  Cutting her clothes into pieces is going to kill me, but being able to snuggle in the quilt will be comforting and let me feel that she is close by.

I also need to set up the crib and changing table upstairs.  I know it's early and the risk of miscarriage is still in a higher percentage at this point, but I don't know what else to do.  I just want to see it up and set, as a sign of hope that we have a future as a family together.  I know Chris and I are family, but after having a baby, things change.  Him and I are a puzzle piece that fit together, but the baby is the glue.  There's nothing more amazing than having a child... especially with someone you love.  She looked so much like Chris, I loved seeing his face every day while he was gone.  And I loved seeing her face...

I had a strong feeling it was a boy at the beginning of this pregnancy, and now I feel as if it's a girl.  I don't trust my own instincts at this point.  Looks like we'll just have to wait until late April or early May to find out exactly what this little baby is.  I'm hoping that things will go smoothly with this pregnancy.  I need it to, for my own sanity.

First doctor's appointment is in two days.  I've been waiting for this.  Haven't been very happy since September... and I can't wait to get back on some medication.  I feel like an emotionless blob, succumbed to just stare out the window.  Thank goodness I have some projects going on for me to distract me.  A baby shower on March 16th for my best friend that a couple girls and myself have been orchestrating, Alice's baby clothes quilt, setting up the nursery...

This is how I like to imagine Alice.  Sleeping, peaceful, beautiful, and forever in my heart.