Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Odds and Ends

• Today's mail brought us another Otis ornament - this time a small stocking with his name on it, from our friends in Maui that will be hosting us in a mere five and a half weeks - very much looking forward to our trip.

• I got back on my yoga mat today. (Tess, to answer your question, my "back to class" was simply to GO to a class, not to teach one. I don't know that I will ever teach again.) My body has completely changed since pregnancy and giving birth (obvious statement of the year, I know!) But, WOW. Prior to now, I have always been really flexible, and I would complain of tight hips but, wow, I had no idea what I was talking about. I have never felt what I felt today in my practice. Ouch. I do feel like, as a teacher, I learned a lot about what some of my students must feel - especially the beginners...The tightness in my hips actually made me wince, several times, in the simplest of poses. But even still, it felt good to get back on my mat. I can tell how much I've learned about being gentle and kind to myself. Even in my tightness, in my lack of ability to "do" the poses as I used to, the usual judgy self critical voice didn't show up. I felt sad to notice how much my body has changed, but I didn't beat myself up over it. This is a huge accomplishment, trust me. I moved slowly, gently, quietly. With candles lit for Otis and Lucia and the christmas tree lights lighting the space around me, I wiggled and stretched and breathed. Midway through, The Woo (my little dog) came and joined me and he managed to have me smiling and laughing hysterically. He wanted to be a part of it so badly - climbing on my back, licking my face, trying to get on my lap. Finally I just gave in, I lay down on my back and he crawled up on my belly and we lay there together as I connected to the rise and fall of my breath. Thank you, little dog.

• A friend from high school sent me a really pretty dandelion necklace today. I don't know that I've said a lot about dandelions and Otis here on this blog, but they've always been "his" symbol - even before he was conceived, in fact - and since he died, they've taken on a whole new significance for us, a symbol of hope and impermanence and fragility and beauty...

• I've taken up a new hobby: crewel! It's like embroidery but with a thicker yarn. It keeps my hands busy and is not so brain-intensive that I get frustrated, but at the same time, it keeps enough of my brain occupied to keep me out of dark holes sometimes.

• Our most recent local magazine just listed their "Top Doctors of 2010" and both my high-risk OB and the reproductive endocrinologist I see next month are listed as the top in their field. This makes me feel good (though I could've told you already that my OB is at the top of his game. I really, really, really like him.) Otis's doctor from the NICU is listed as a top neonatal pediatrician. I have to say that I've been blessed with really great doctors. (I have some questions about my prenatal care and my care while I was in labor. But once Otis was born, and from that point forward, everyone has been nothing short of exceptional and fantastic.)

• Tess and Leslie both asked me to mention any "tips" or gems/insights/comments that I've gotten from therapy sessions. I'm not ignoring your request, mamas, rather, I just haven't really come up with any other than the one I shared earlier. I'll keep thinking though and of course will share if I think of any. This week our session was basically "Yes, this really sucks. Yes, you're anxious. Yes, you're panicky. Yes, the holidays are the worst. Yes, this is understandable. Yes, this will pass, it will ebb, it will flow, it will wax and it will wane."

• I'm doing okay today. No curling into the fetal position and sobbing for two hours, at least not yet. I am grateful for the respite.

• I watched the eclipse last night, with my brother. We stood outside in the cold, shivering, and watched it through the cloud cover. Amazingly, we got a good break in the clouds for the event. I thought of Lani and Chris and their sweet Silas Orion as I saw Orion's belt. I thought of Lucia and Angie, knowing the solstice was again here, marking two years that Lucia has been gone. I thought of all the mamas and papas out there missing their children, watching the darkness envelop the moon on the darkest night of the year.

• For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, we are now heading back into the light. If only grief were as predictable as the seasons and the planets. Even still, though, I feel a bit more light in my heart today, and I'll take it.

• Thank you all for being here. This may be the crappiest Christmas ever (and that may be the understatement of a lifetime), but without you it would be absolutely unbearable.


æ said...

hi sarah,
i saw orion's belt last night too. my love to all all all of your new friends here who have lost their blessed children. i am so sorry. i think of you all often, odd as that may seem. I really do. In touching our sarahlu's life you have all touched my own. thank you BLMs.

kate said this recently and it feels true for me too. it's worth repeating i guess, that our grief for otis is deeper right now too. so deep. so fresh even. so painful. once, right after he died, MG said that it would be two years before you could imagine living again. of course she was talking about other bereaved parents she knew, but it sounded..you know like yep, it'd take at least two years for me to even hear that i might want to live again. live at all, not even Live. i suppose that's not exactly the gem from therapy you're looking for, though you're getting 2 for the price of 1 when i spend my therapy talking about otis too huh.

the woo is worth his salt, and it warms me to hear you got to enjoy your body the teensiest bit.


Missy said...

I only got to see a glimpse since I was at work, but the full moon at dawn was gorgeous. Wish I had a better camera. I'm so happy you had a bit of light. It seems the world is so gray right now. Oh and super jealous of your upcoming trip to Hawaii. Wishing you safe travels and relaxation. Sending love for you and Otis!

Sarah said...

I've been thinking a lot of all the BLMs too. I feel like I'm getting to know some of them through your comments section, and I pray for them daily. I wish none of you were in this sisterhood, but I'm thankful that you have each other.

I'm also thankful that you had that moment with the woo to laugh and that you were able to get out the yoga mat and feel your body again.

I love you.


Jenn said...

So glad you've had a few small victories of your own - getting back on your yoga mat must have felt so good. Glad to hear you had a better day, here's to hoping that ends up as a trend. xx

B said...

sending love and hoping you can make it through Crappy Christmas. i'll be thinking of you x

Tess said...


Well done for going back to yoga - brave lady!
I know exactly what you mean with the critical voice in the head about how the old body did things and it was indeed sad to realise just how much everything has changed - I went swimming for the first time last week and I felt like I was doing so, fully clothed. There was no harsh voice, just getting used to this new 'normal'. Love The Woo!

I knit, that is my crewel for the exact same reasons.

I look out for your gems from you therapy sessions (saw some on Glow you shared too) thank you and know they'll come up when appropriate - it is great that you are getting so much from them.

I hope 'the crappiest christmas ever' isn't as bad as the anticipation of it all - heres hoping with all of me! I too would have a lot less to be thankful for without our little community of BLM out there - thank you.

Muck love you yourself and E - always keeping Otis in my heart

Maddie said...

Sending love as you get through the holidays. My lab helped me through some dark days . Hoping the yoga mat brings you some peace. Xx

brooke said...

Reading and commenting on your blog out of order. I wanted to send an e-mail but my computer evidently can't figure out how to do that. It wants me to choose the program it uses to e-mail you when I clearly need it to make that choice itself because I have no idea how to do that. So... e-mail me? bythebrooke@gmail.com