Monday, January 9, 2012


There are times when my heart breaks all over again. Then, there are times I know I'm strong. I can take it. I know my lone voice in this ocean of noise is heard. And I help someone.

Since the first time I opened up about my loss on a non-stillbirth website, I've had women find me. Some are Angel Moms, some are friends of Angel Moms, and some just want to thank me for my honesty.

It's crazy because I started selfishly. I wanted to meet Angel Moms who weren't constantly on sad websites where new Angel Moms would come in everyday. Don't get me wrong, there was a site that got me through in the beginning. It's just that, when I was ready to move on, they wouldn't let me. Every new Angel Mom broke my heart all over again. It'd take me back to a place I had to move from.

And there were so many of us.

So many broken hearts.

I needed to know that I could move on. That there were women who'd moved on. Not forgotten, just gathered up their broken hearts and carried them as they tried to put together the pieces.

I feel like I've done that. There's some pieces missing, but I've picked up my pieces and I've walked through Hell. In my eyes, it was the only thing I could do.

So for the Angel Moms who've found me, here's what I did in the beginning to get me through. It's not fail-safe. I couldn't be around babies until I had Wombat, not even when I was pregnant, and it hurts to see the children from Moose's Bradley Class. Actually, it breaks my heart to see children I think are close to the age Moose would've been. And sometimes, my heart just breaks.

So back to what I did to get through:
  • My boyfriend (he wasn't my husband at that time) and I told each other all of our "what if..." Like "what if I'd not ran that time right after we found out I was pregnant." By saying them, we'd realize how outlandish some of them really were.
  • We did a bunch of things that we couldn't have done if we had a baby. For us, that meant staying out late, planning a trip (didn't happen since I got laid off shortly after returning to work), planning a wedding, and just enjoying each other.
  • Think about the happy things that happened with Moose. Moose loved listening to the band Rush. I remember going to a doctor's appointment, turning the music up loud because I love Rush, and feeling Moose move around. It was like Moose was playing air guitar, or I guess womb guitar, in there. Rush still makes me smile.
The most important one:
  • Recognize that there is no way that Moose would've wanted his/her legacy to be my pain. If I stayed in misery, Moose's mark on this world would be my pain and I could not allow that.
Since it's been two years, I've decided that part of Moose's legacy should be my voice. I'll give a voice to the Angel Moms who can't speak openly about their loss. I want people to know it happens even if a mom does everything right, but most importantly, I want Angel Moms to know that they can live through it.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Wombat's Birth Plan

Since a lot of women want to see someone else's birth plan, myself included, I figured I'd share ours. Our RN was amazing because she took the birth plan, read it in front of us, and followed it to a "t." Without her agreement, I would've never been able to have my dream birth.

Also, we had our birth plan approved with our two doctors and two midwives prior to labor. I highly recommend doing this as they knew what we wanted. Plus, we had an RN when we were first admitted who wanted to immediately give me an epidural and was only talked out of it after we showed her our doctor approved birth plan.

So here you go:

McBride and McHusband's Wishes for the Birth of Wombat:

Hi and thanks for being part of our Birth Team. We've taken a 12 week long Bradley Birth Course to prepare us for a natural labor and delivery. McHusband achieved his Coach's Card and will guide McBride through the labor and delivery. Below is our plan and wishes for what we hope the birth to be, some of the bullets are the choices we will make if asked. We wrote it so that, if there are any questions or concerns with the points, we can have an open conversation about them before we are in labor.

·         IV insert only, not hooked up
·         Eat and drink what she wishes: water, ice chips, Gatorade, honey, Gu
·         Able to walk around and change position
·         Shower/Tub
·         Vaginal exams to a minimum, no premature breaking of the membranes or scraping
·         External monitoring only
·         No continuous fetal monitoring unless required by Wombat's condition
·         Please, only monitor 1-2 contractions and not for 20 mins/hr
·         No premature rupture of the water or membranes
·         We would like to exhaust all methods of natural labor stimulation prior to any drugs being administered (nipple stimulation, ankle, etc.)
·         In the case of any drugs being suggested, we will ask for the packet insert for the drugs and would like to discuss the benefits vs risks.
Anesthesia - Pain Medication
·         Please inform the staff not to offer us pain medication at any point during the labor, we will ask if we feel it is necessary
·         We will ask for a second opinion in the event a Cesarean is recommended
·         If a Cesarean is found to be necessary, we would like to request the following:
·         Coach present at ALL times
·         Participate in any discussions
·         Wombat will be breastfed ASAP
·         No screen lowered (McBride reserves the right to change her mind)
·         We will be trying for a VBAC in the future, please take all measures to make the site as strong as possible
·         If Wombat is not in distress, then please give Wombat to McHusband to announce Wombat's gender
·         If Wombat is placed in a nursery, McHusband will accompany Wombat at all times
·         No episiotomy unless for Wombat's safety
·         Rather tear than cut
·         Support the perineum during pushing/crowning and use a warm compress
·         Please help us and give us directions to aide with pushing, allowing the perineum to stretch
·         We would really like McHusband to catch
·         Free to move while pushing
·         Push when the urge to push comes and push to comfort
·         No pulling Wombat's head, please, no forceps
·         I am undecided, but may many to touch Wombat's head as it crowns
Post Delivery
·         Wait until the cord turns white and stops pulsating to clamp
·         McBride will expel the placenta on her own, please no tugging or pulling
·          Hold Wombat right after delivery to breastfeed and to aide in the delivery of the placenta
·         Evaluation delayed until after the first feeding and hope it can be done with Wombat having skin-to-skin contact with McBride
·         We would like to delay the eye medication for one hour to better bond with Wombat
·         Please show us how to do the first bath
·         In case the need arises to separate Wombat from McBride, McHusband will accompany Wombat at all times
·          We prefer skin-to-skin contact over lamps and nursery
Post Partum
·         Breastfeed exclusively, please no bottles, artificial nipples, sugar water, formula, etc.
·         If Wombat is a boy, no circumcision
·         We would like to meet with a Lactation Consultant
·         Auntie Pickles, McBride's sister, will be present for the delivery
·         No separation from Wombat
·         Interns and students may be present at the birth, but should remember this is a natural delivery

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Handmade with Last Minute Stress

Since my husband and I start giving each other handmade presents for Christmas last year and we loved it, we're doing it again this year. What does that mean for the time right now? Stress. Stress because I'm just now starting his knitted hat which matches his scarf. On top of just starting it, it looks awful. I mean like it's knitted by a first grader who was given no instructions. Seriously.

On top of just starting his present, we've got to make Wombat's too. And guess what? We haven't even started working on that one either. Not one bit, but we do know what we're making: a quiet book. I don't know what it'll be about, but I know that it'll be a quiet book. Maybe I should do some Googling.

Anyway, I'll totally show the final products when we're done. Oh, I forgot. I have Wombat's stocking and tutu to make too.

Holidays. Must start working on homemade projects sooner.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Why Did I Look at the Calendar?

Last year I stood out in the snow and cried.

The first snow happened the year before. Cold swept in. It felt just like my soul. Hubs, then boyfriend, and I held each other and wondered "why?"

It was the second worse day of my life; second only to the day before when the doctor said "sorry..." and my screamed filled the air.

I can close my eyes and see the room, feel the moments slowly tick by, feel Moose's body leave mine.


Moose left me upside-down. Feet first, like he/she was trying to stop everything just like I was trying to stop everything. sweet baby...our sweet baby

I made a choice to not look at the calendar. I didn't want to know the date. I didn't want to have an anniversary of the day. I just wanted to miss my baby because having a date would mean every year there would be a day like this. Stupid hospital. Made me know the date.

Now, I sit here. Knowing the weather still reflects my pain.

It's supposed to be snowing at home. I just want to go home and feel the snow. It feels like Moose letting me know that Wombat doesn't change anything. That Moose is hugging me with cold, snowy arms.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas from the Batters

Everyone loves some cute little baby feet, so what better gift to give to grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles, and really good friends than a cute footprint ornament? Or at least that's my thought...

If it's yours too, here's how I made mine.


Rolling Pin (mine is a metal tube from a home improvement store)
Air dry clay (you can actually make this if you want)
Wax Paper

Step One
Lay the air dry clay between the wax paper and roll it out. As you can see on my rolling pin, before I used the wax paper, it got all over the rolling pin and wasn't pretty at all.

Step Two
Inspect your clay to see if it's the thickness you want. Mine is maybe 1/4" thick, but just use your own judgement on it.

Step Three
Squirt out your paint and dab your sponge into it. Make sure it doesn't have a lot of paint on the sponge because too much paint means you won't see the little lines in the foot.

I have no idea why this picture is uploading upside down. The fuzziness is trying to hold Wombat and take a picture of her foot.

Once you get the paint on, it should look like the above picture. Well, that's if it's not too blurry for you. Also, bright red is a Christmas color, but it kind of looks like a bloody baby foot, which is not cute.

Step Four
Stamp the foot. Try to have them not overlap like I did, but I salvaged two feet prints from the three.

Step Five
Cut out the cute little feet and add holes.

Step Six
Put them somewhere safe so they can dry. I'm also going to sand the edges to make them a little nicer looking. Since the red feet look like bloody foot prints, I'm going to outline them in green and tie a green ribbon on the top.

Oh, and don't forget to add the date to them with the baby's name so you're not sitting around once they're grown wondering which kid belongs to the footprint.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Changin Myself

Before I gave birth to Wombat, Hubs and I wondered into our favorite bar while the 2011 Women's World Cup was playing. We found a little corner to sit, eat our buffalo burgers, and watch. It was absolutely the only non-cycling, non-Olympic sporting event I've ever enjoyed watching.


I sat there watching these women being so bad-as (I'm a mom and must watch my language now, so it's bad-as) that it truly inspired me. All I could think watching them: I NEED to be this bad-as if I have a daughter; I must show her every day that she can be bad-as.

Pic from here.

It was so touching to me that I was in tears. Seriously. It wasn't the pregnancy hormones; it was that I've always been a wuss. I've always allowed myself to be a doormat. I let boyfriends cheat on me, get me to pay for everything, treat me like I was only good for one thing, and then I'd beg them to stay with me. Oh, and I'd bail on good friends to be with them. I've also let so-called friends get drunk every time I hung out with them so they could use me as their designated driver. I never stood up for myself and this game really hit home that I couldn't be that woman any more. I needed to be bad-as because my child needed a bad-as mom who sees the imposed boundaries of every day life and blows right through them. And if Wombat turned out to be a girl (we were Team Green after all), I wanted her to see me as a strong female role model. I wanted to be her Hope Solo (or any of the women of the American or Japanese teams*).

So what am I planning to do?

Well, here's my list:
  1. Learn some new words to spruce up my conversation. Using "awesome" and "dude" is really cool, but what about "flabbergast" or "compadre?"
  2. Teach myself to sew (not really bad-as in a traditional way, but I think it's bad-as mommery)
  3. Constantly work to strengthen and improve my relationship with Hubs while being affectionate in a way that shows what a good relationship looks like (we have a great relationship, but great relationships are constantly working to stay that way)
  4. Stop watching television so much
  5. Get outside more, even in the winter
  6. Stop being so shy
  7. Start my own business
  8. Ride 100 miles on my bicycle
Pic found here.

So there you go. I'm working on the first 3 (thank you Being Human for ruining #4 and 5 for me). #6 and 7, they pretty much go hand in hand. #8 is hard when I'm commuting an hour one way, Hubs is spending really long hours on campus, and Wombat can't ride in the Moose Caboose quite yet.

Pic found here.

When I can get on my bike, I do, but I'm no where near 100 miles yet.

Anyway, I know my list isn't revolutionary, but it's a start. Maybe, once I accomplish these, I'll add something a little farther out there and a little more like the women of the World Cup.

*Thank you! Watching you play really made something click inside my head about how strong a woman can be.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Angel Baby Pictures on Facebook

I'm quite tired of reading about people who are offended by Angel Moms posting their Angel Babies on Facebook. Yes, it's disturbing, but there's so little of our baby that we have. Plus, most Angel Babies don't look deformed; they look like sleeping babies. If it's really so bothersome, block the photographs. Let these parents do whatever helps them heal and shut your mouth because it's one of those situations you don't understand until you've been there.

One other thing, there's actually photographers who volunteer to come take very beautiful pictures of Angel Babies so these pictures are not just cell phone pictures. You can find more information about this at the Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep website.

And just to keep this honest, we never saw Moose. We never even found out if Moose was a a boy or girl. We wanted to remember Moose as our guitar-playing, Rush (the band) loving baby who played the push back game with his/her Dad. We have pictures, feet prints, bracelets, and other things in a box in the closet, but we've never wanted to open them. It's what we wanted and what we felt comfortable with doing. It doesn't work for everyone.