Ok, I’ve been absent for sufficiently long now. I was so sick and miserable. Good grief! Even the dog got sick! It was one thing after the other. In the end I just melted down in tears, wondering if any of us would ever be healthy again. God, I can be so dramatic sometimes. I pestered the doctor about three times with all sorts of odd symptoms and even managed to get samples sent to the lab, just to be sure. All results were clear. And in the end, big words were thrown around like “anxiety disorder” and “mysophobia”, after going through an increasing rate of frantic cleaning and disinfection of our entire home. My hands still show signs of excessive washing. It’s not pretty.
I even got hold of a burner to sanitize the grass in the yard where the dog does his business …
This is getting embarrassing. I’m actually laughing about it now. But I wasn’t laughing last week!
Now that I’ve calmed down and given it some thought, I suppose this is my way of claiming control over things, after dealing with a traumatic situation I had zero control over. I’m okay though, no worries. I just need to learn to relax a bit now. And hey, let’s look at the bright side: the house is super clean now!
In other sad news: Gert’s cousin’s dog passed away a few days ago (on Friday the 13th – how unfortunate). There was a picture of him in my Christmas post 3 months ago. And here’s an old one from 5 years ago:
Luca decided to go quietly of old age while his masters were abroad on holiday. I can’t imagine how painful it must be to return home without him, and not having been able to be there at the very end to say goodbye. I sent them a card this morning and I hope my words will bring some comfort. I know how important he was to them.
That’s about it for now. So much for the “fun new updates” I was talking about in my previous post, right?
I can’t believe the unfortunate coincidence after my post three days ago. A couple we know (distant relatives on Gert’s side of the family) just lost their baby, 5 months into the pregnancy. We got married a few months apart and she became pregnant while I was six months pregnant; all pure coincidence. And then this … I now feel extra connected to them. It pains me so much that they are going through the same loss. I know all too well what it feels like and so I felt the urge to send them a card with a long letter inside. Unfortunately, I know that nothing I will say or write will ease the pain. It’s something we have to come to terms with at our own individual pace.
I feel so exhausted and empty right now. The funeral was two days ago, on Thursday October 2nd. I figured it would be the hardest day of all and that things would slowly start to get better from that point on. However, I had underestimated the backlash on the day after. There was nothing left to do or take care of. Everything had been handled, everything was done … and over. Gert and I were both sitting there in the dining room, not really knowing what to do with ourselves. The house feels so empty. The nursery is painfully quiet.
The last thing I was able to do for him was choose the little outfit and stuffed animal he’d be buried with:
We decided to keep the nursery. After all, we put so much work into it, it would be a shame to break it down less than two months after it got finished. And we’re still looking forward to having children. So keeping the room is like keeping a bit of optimism for the future. It’s a good thing we made it completely gender neutral though.
I thought the nursery would be the most painful thing to see when I got back home from the hospital. But strangely, it’s been a place of comfort. I guess it helps that Sam never actually used the room. A ton of it is second hand, but we have personally never used any of it, so it’s like a clean slate. At least from an emotional point of view. I sit there quite often now, just looking around in silence, enjoying the space and trying to sort my thoughts.
We sent out this card on Tuesday to everyone we know:
We tried to use as much as we could of the original birth announcement we had designed. But we obviously had to change the entire text, as well as the pictures which were supposed to be of him :-(
Lots of people have already called us and sent us a card. The support we’ve gotten from all sides has been overwhelming and we are so thankful. Some people even brought flowers to his grave, so that was a nice surprise when we went back there later.
Right now I do need to focus on getting better. I had to go through the entire labor and give birth to a full term baby. I left the hospital 48 hours later and headed straight to the funeral home in order to organize everything. Add to that how physically draining it is to cry and mourn; I definitely need some rest now. I’m awfully pale and have lost a big chunk of the pregnancy weight in an unhealthy record time.
We also had to go back to the hospital’s ER last Tuesday. I had been healing quite well during the first week following his birth, but all of a sudden, I started feeling this horrible pain in my lower abdomen. It spread all the way around my back and up to my stomach. The pain was even worse than contractions, I swear. I tried to walk to the bedroom so I could lay down on the bed, but almost passed out because of how unbearable the pain was. Gert panicked. I could see he was very worried. But I couldn’t even say a word. He called the hospital and explained what was going on. They told us to come in right away. Now to make a long story short: everything looked fine, but they suspect that at least one of my ovaries got twisted while everything inside my body is still getting back into place, and it must have gotten itself untwisted and back into the right position soon after. So it looked fine on the ultrasound, but these things can apparently get insanely painful. It did feel heavily bruised after that, and the pain took three days to vanish. That was rough! They also took some blood to see if there’s any kind of infection in my body (which is apparently common after giving birth), and of course there is. They weren’t sure what kind of infection yet. They suspect a bladder infection, but we’ll know next week. They just went ahead and prescribed me antibiotics that work for most infections anyway, so I should be covered. On the bright side, I feel absolutely nothing. My bladder is still a bit numb. So if it is a bladder infection, at least it’s pain free!
Sooo … I was supposed to only go back there 6 weeks after giving birth, for the usual postpartum checkup. Now they scheduled an extra appointment next week as they want to keep a close eye on things. -Fine to me- At least I don’t have to worry for a whole month before I get to see a doctor.
Anyway, that’s about it for now. I’m not really looking forward to this coming week, as I think it will still be quite difficult. I’m not physically healed yet, so I can’t do as much as I would like to keep myself busy. And they’re announcing grey, rainy weather. It won’t help :-(
On a side note: I do plan to keep this blog up. There are no taboos and it’s certainly not a secret. Sam existed and I want his story to stay published. I also don’t know what will happen next as far as our baby plans are concerned. So this will be a good place to keep track of our following chapters and vent when I need to.
Gert’s aunt is celebrating her 80th birthday this year. That’s a whole lot of candles! Her actual birthday was several months ago, but she wanted to invite the whole family to a fancy restaurant and it got a bit tricky to get everyone to come because of vacations and other various reasons. So, the one date that seemed to work for most people was August 31st.
She originally purchased invitation cards at a local store, which she simply had to fill out (such as the date, address, etc). But then she wasn’t happy about how it looked, so I offered to give it a shot. She was quite excited about having something personalized and was keen on adding her own touches. One requirement was to add a picture of her as a small child, and she got to decide about the whole text.
Because of her old childhood picture inside, I decided to go for a total vintage look.
She absolutely loved the final result; which is quite an achievement because she’s one tough lady to please lol She definitely knew what she wanted, so I’m glad it met her expectations. It’s not always easy to interpret what people envision in their heads. So yay for another card success!
I had intended to post this well over a month ago, but only managed to get around to it now. My in-laws celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in July. They had organized a whole fancy dinner for the entire family and felt a bit lost as to how to get their own menus and name tags made, so I offered to do it. Here are the results:
Right after printing, before they were folded
I also took their portrait, which I’m not going to post here for obvious privacy reasons. But it was taken in their yard and had pale and dark pink hydrangeas in the background. Hence the reason why I used these particular illustrations on their menus, so that everything would blend into one theme.
The background was printed in a pink damascus pattern, which gave a nice lace effect.
You can see it well on the back of the menu cards.
So I used the same pattern for the name tags that were going to be placed on the tables, at each assigned seat.
And here are additional pictures of everything together:
All neatly packed and ready to give:
They loved the result. And I was very pleased to hear that most guests actually took their little menu and name tags home after the party, which is the biggest compliment I could get :-)