Thursday, June 30, 2011

It has taken years but I no longer blame myself for my daughter's death

Before JJ was born, there was Lillian Bess. It was 2003 and I became pregnant with her almost a year before my husband and I were married. It was happy but stressful time. I was battling my ED strongly while dealing with the changes in my body. 

At six months pregnant, I was nervous about being a mother and constantly worried. I remember the day clearly because it was a Sunday morning. I could feel her kicking and knew in my heart that  everything was going to be okay. By 11 that night, I knew something was wrong. It was like someone turned off a switch. I knew Lillian was dead.

An ultrasound at the hospital confirmed the news. In that moment, I felt like I had let James down and Lillian. I blamed myself for her death. Since our obstetrician was in a neighboring county, I would have to wait until the following morning to see him and get checked into the hospital where his privileges were. It was the worst and longest night of my life. Both James and I cried for the loss of our baby. The next morning I was prep for delivery. It was the hard giving birth to a child whose life was gone before she had a chance. The doctors believe it was heart defect but I believe it was because of the way ED had ravaged my body.

At Lillian's grave, I made her a promise that if I ever had another child that not only would he or she know about her but I would do everything in my power not to hurt or damage them. JJ is my miracle, my motivation and my salvation. As a kid, I always thought babies were kept in heaven until their parents were ready for them. I would like to think Lillian met JJ and told him all about his parents to be. I believe this because whenever he visits her grave, he talks with her like he already knows her.

I am sharing this because I had to write a story for the newspaper on a rememberance photography program at the hospital. It is where a local photographer donates his  or her  time and talent to take pictures for families who have experienced the loss of a pregnancy or a newborn. It was hard story to write because it brought back a lot of memories. Memories I don't talk about to anyone including my husband.

The decision to have JJ wasn't easy. After Lillian's death, to say I relapse was an understatement. At first, my husband and I decided we would wait to try again. And then it turned to if we could have kids. And finally, if I should have kids. James wanted kids but was scared of what it would do to me.

I found out I was pregnant while dealing with a kidney stone. I had to have kidney x-ray and they wanted to be certain I wasn't pregnant. I was. This time, I was terrified. I was quickly deemed a high risk pregnancy. For nine months, I drove a hour and half each way to see a specialist in Raleigh. JJ was a kicker while he was inside  me and had a strong hard beat. I was determined to do right by him so I made myself eat.

When he was born, I knew everything was going to be okay when he looked at me. Writing the story brought all those memories that   have stayed at the back of my mind. When the photographer showed me those touching photos, I know the story behind them. I know the unrelenting pain of leaving the hospital empty handed. The pain of  packing the clothes up and having to quietly tell family and friends that your baby is gone. I have  no photos of Lillian. I think James has some but I have never wanted to see them. Instead I have a box with her little pink dress and booties along with her death certificate and ultrasound picture. It is all I need to remember my daughter.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Fitness boot camp--weigh in

Monday will be the beginning of my participation in a intense fitness boot camp. I will be working out for 1 hour  five days a week. This is in addition to intense days every Thursday along with a food plan. It was a lot to absorb. I wasn't worried about seeing my weight or BMI. With exception of the stomach, I am pleased with my weight of 147.5 pounds. When the instructor told me, I didn't blink an eye. But it was all the veggies and other stuff with the food plan that made me take a step back.  I have to eat six meals a day with balanced amounts of carbs and proteins. I am going to take this serious because I am being given an opportunity for me. For five weeks, I will be able to workout in high class facility for FREE!!! And with the blessing of my therapist, I am ready for the challenge.

I am doing the boot camp for my newspaper's magazine. It is participation journalism that will result in me having healthy body, losing a few pounds and being able to run a three run. All of this in five weeks. I can honestly say right now writing this from my couch that I am excited. But ask me in a week how I feel. Measurements were taken of my waist, hips and other places but I didn't pay attention. Too many numbers makes Silly Girl antsy. Right now, I am feeling pretty zen and content with my body. The weekend is coming and I have plans so I am zen.

So this weekend I am going to enjoy myself by eating all of the things not on the list. This is includes my favorite chicken salad, mini cupcakes, carbonated fruit punch and festival food. On Monday, I will start. I will keep posted on my progress.


1. Perdue makes the best chicken tenders.

2. Just feeling so alive and well!

3. Finding a drawing from JJ.

Monday, June 20, 2011

It was weird waking up to silence. My husband and JJ left on Saturday. Both of them snore and  the tv was on all of the time so silence was weird. It was great having them here. I got some quality time with JJ and his dad. The question on everyone's mind is what is the deal between the two of us. And the answer is  I don't know. We talked and we are going to take things slow and just see. Both of us have seen what life is together and separately. But  two things we agreed on is our love of JJ and our friendship. So we'll see.

The last three weeks were the longest my husband and I had been under the same roof in the past three years. It was first visit for the two of them. And JJ loved it. His recap of the vacation to my sister-in-law was priceless.

N--How was your trip, JJ??
JJ--It was AWESOME, Aunt N.
(JJ then turns to me and said, Mommy, you are always Awesome so I am not including you in my list.)
JJ--My top three was the visit, Mommy's apartment and Mommy's job.

I am so glad they came here to visit. RR doesn't have a lot of the things that they are accustomed to such as Target, a big movie theater and lots to do but it is a good place. A place that is my home. A place I am very protective of because it is my oasis. My husband is dealing with his mom's death and the drama from his dad. He enjoyed just being here with JJ and I. He said it was like being in a protective bubble.

The intern took a photo of me interviewing James Wesley, left.

Rapids Jam was fun. I got to interview a country artist James Wesley. I caught his performance and he was quite good.

My weigh in for the boot camp is Thursday. I am actually looking forward to it. I am walking a few days a week, drinking more water and eating more healthy. Instead of my usually barbecue chips,  I brought some veggie chips.

Overall, Silly Girl is doing pretty good and just enjoying life.


1. Being able to spend time with JJ.

2. Snapple sorbet pops--I found them in the $1 store and they are amazing and healthy.

3. Eating a turkey leg at Rapids Jam

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Introducing Super JJ and Bubble Girl

Super JJ

It has been so great having JJ here. It is budget time so I have to cover meetings about budgets complete with late hours. After a long day, it is nice to come home to the two Js. Some nights, there is a meal waiting for me. Today, JJ was my assistant in helping with the housework. He told he learned how to pretend vacuum during pre-K. He demonstrated his skills by using my real vacuum cleaner.

JJ taking on Bubble Girl

My favorite thing was when we did laundry. While waiting for the clothes to wash, we blew bubbles in the parking lot. I was evil Bubble Girl and he was Super JJ. It was nice to just to spend time with him. We tried to make a movie but it is hard to be evil and shoot it. It has been years since I have blew bubbles. It was AWESOME!!

Today starts their last week here in RR. I have done more cooking in the last few days than I have since I moved here. Tonight, we had chicken  fajitas a long with homemade french fries. I think I know more about Nickloden, Disney and Cartoon Network than I was meant to know.
JJ with a classmate during his graduation

I look at him and can't believe how much he has grown. I remember the little boy learning to walk. And now, he's wearing flip, a pre-k graduate and helping me to cook. We baked a cake for my friend D's birthday. In other news, I will be participating in a fitness boot camp for my newspaper's magazine. I will be writing a first person account. I am really looking forward to this so I will keep you updated. Rapids Jam featuring a ton of country music artists is this week. It will be an interesting week.


1. Making memories with JJ.

2. Cooking

3. My son's imagination

Fun times at the park!


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Good times, good times

JJ and I had a great time during my vacation. We roamed around and met people. My husband has had a chance to grieve and get away from the drama of his family.

 One of my favorite things was taking him to the newspaper to meet my friends and to see what I do for a living.

In the last few days, I have watched a lot of kid friendly movies.

When my son sees a photo of himself as a baby, he goes “those were good times, good times.” Well, my vacation was made up of good times. I had a great time. It was the first real vacation I had taken in years. And all I did was hang with JJ.

But all things good things must come to an end. So I am back at work. And JJ is with his dad at my apartment watching cartoons. They will be here with me until June 19. I will not lie and say it has not been an adjustment. The toilet seat was the first. But I have enjoyed them. Plus, I have had a chance to cook and bake.

I don’t know if JJ is moving here or if my husband and I will be together. I am taking things one day at a time and enjoying every moment of it.

Today, I working on a healthier lifestyle. I am drinking more water and did some exercises this morning. It feels good to feel good.

Daily Dose

1. Waking up and seeing my son in the next room.

2. Making memories

3. Snapple sorbet pops--They are AWESOME!!!! 

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Cooking with Silly Girl

JJ's pre-k graduation
As my son would say, the last few days have been AWESOME!  JJ is here in Roanoke Rapids and I am on vacation. His graduation ceremony was so cute. Afterwards, there were plenty of pictures.
Posing with the new graduate who's a bit grumpy.
And, I have been cooking up a storm.When I was younger, I loved to cook. With ten family members in my grandmother's house, being able to cook was a necessity. Since my battle with ED, my love for cooking had dwindled down to nothing. In the past, making a peanut butter sandwich with marshmallow fluff was gourmet cooking. But in the last few months, I have rediscovered cooking. 

When I went to SC to pick up JJ and my husband on Sunday, I cooked breakfast and cube steak with rice and gravy. People were stunned and amazed. Even more when I sat down and ate my own cooking. Today,  I made gumbo with chicken in it. For the past few weeks, I have stressed about my weigh and other issues. Today, I felt like I was Rachael Ray and Paula Deen all rolled into one Silly Girl.

Another graduation photo!
The awesome sun dress I wore. It only cost $6 at Maxway!


1. My baby graduated from pre-K.

2. Rediscovering my love of cooking.

3. Spending time with JJ.

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