Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Sore... and Cake!

Last night, Sarah and I went to the spot of the Tri and ran 5K on the trail.  It was beautiful.  But combined with the swim/bike of Monday, I'm having my first real "sore" day.  Peter rubbed my hips this morning, which felt so good.  I could barely get out of bed!  But I am so excited!!!

Sarah and I were chatting the other day about the twins' birthday party and themes...  This caught me off guard because I hadnt thought of it before, but they LOVE Kung Fu Panda (they are actually watching it now so that I can go through some papers) so I've decided to make that the theme!  I found an awesome cake online and am going to take the picture to the bakery that has done all the cakes for the kids Christening/Memorial luncheons.

The figures are plastic action figures that I ordered from Amazon, so all they have to do is make and design the cake.  I figure half choc/half vanilla should do the trick!  I ordered a small amount of napkins, plates, cups, etc for the kids who are coming, and the rest I will supplement with plain colors that match the theme (black, white, red, gold, teal).  I havent planned food yet, but one step at a time!

Monday, July 26, 2010


I am awfully proud of myself.  Tonight, I swam 800 meters in 25 minutes (that's over half a mile!) and then biked 11 miles home, through some pretty big hills! (in 75 minutes, nothing too grand, but the last 20 minutes, it was dark!)

Less than 2 weeks until the Triathlon!!!

Friday, July 23, 2010

What a Difference...

...a year can make...

A year ago, I was sitting in my hospital room, at 20w5d pregnant, and praying for 7 more weeks of pregnancy- which I got, I might add!  Maybe I should have prayed for 17 more weeks, LOL!  Now, I'm sitting on the floor playing with Bobby while Maya finishes napping.  A year ago, I was preparing for another extremely premature delivery, while trying to find the hope that Bobby and Maya would be alright.  And now, I'm sitting here, 12 months later, with ten month old twins who bring countless rays of sunshine into my life, who give me a glimpse of how Nicholas, Sophia, and Alexander might have been, who show me the beauty of life in all its ways.

Things around CasaHaytko havent been easy recently.  I pride myself in being honest in this space, even when I dont necessarily want to be.  This whole raising babies-after-loss/raising twins period recently took a turn.  A lot of it was communication- as in a lack of.  Peter and I both, I think, had the expectation that, because we are so grateful for the privilege of raising living children, that we would somehow bypass the difficult stage.  Well... Maybe it was postponed, but it knocked on our door, the same as it appears to do everyone else's.

We expect the other to know what we are thinking and to act accordingly and, when things dont go according to plan, there have been some fireworks.  Not to mention, we've viewed each others time as the non-primary parent as different from how the other sees it.  (And by non-primary, I mean, for example, the time when Peter is at work, or I am at the gym, etc... the time when we are not the parent doing the caregiving).  It's all been coming to a head and I have had neither the energy nor the inclination to blog or read.  (On top of that, the business of two mobile babies!).

Two Saturdays now, Peter's parents have watched the kids so that we could have a "date".  We went last Saturday, and, over breakfast at the end of our 12+ mile bikeride, we had it out and put our feelings on the surface.  And it was good.  I'm not sure the people around us thought it was.  We werent raising our voices, but we were terse, and I'm sure they could hear that (at the least!)  But we were able to air our laundry and start fresh.  But it's going to be a journey, and we know we are just at the beginning.

Peter and I were always so connected.  We were able to fit into each other well, and didnt have any serious miscommunication issues.  Now, a lot of the time, we misread the other person, dont communicate what we need or want, or worse, assume the other person was trying to piss us off by their words/actions.  We both are guilty of different things to varying degrees, but it was something that we needed to nip in the bud.  And so, we have taken that first steps.  Weeds still grow in gardens, but we are realizing that we need to take the time to prune our plants.  We cant just expect the weeds to be trampled on their own.  And, in some ways, some of the weeds are just flowers not seen before.  And we have to be willing to accept those.

Some of the problem stems from just not knowing what to expect and from having our "parenting" pre-Bobby and Maya to be such a different experience.  And now, we are adjusting.  Adjusting to two babies at home.  Adjusting to one income.  Adjusting to a housewife and mother who cant- at least yet- be Donna Reed and have the house clean and dinner on the table because there just isnt time.  Adjusting to a dad who is tired after a long day of work and needs some "him" time that isnt in the context of his employment.

(And it doesnt help that Peter's work department is going through some changes, but that is a post for another time...)

And, truly, some of it is just me, plain and simple.

I'm having a hard time dealing with failing to meet my own expectations.   My house is usually not straightened up on a good day, messy on an average day, and downright dirty on a bad day.  I mopped the kitchen the other day and, I'm ashamed to admit this, but it has been months... Like March... Since that was done.  I just havent had the time during the day to keep on top of things and, in the evening, I'm too damn tired.

We are so busy. ALL THE TIME.  Last Sunday, was the only weekend that we werent serving at church (and someone actually called to see if Peter could serve for them!).  He declined and we took the kids to the Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa, about half an hour away.  We missed the English Mass and so, we went to Confessions and attended the Polish Mass instead.  We dont speak Polish, but the joy of the Catholic faith is always being able to follow along.  (And, when you are in church as much as we are, we know when the prayers, etc, are taking place.)  Thanks to an English guide, we were able to follow along with the readings.  The only part we "missed" was the homily, which was delivered only in Polish.  But that was okay.  Because we heard a different homily.  One that helped us in our current trials and frustrations, and gave us peace.  It was such a beautiful time.  I'd like to go there whenever we arent serving.

But... Being Busy.  Yes....  So busy.  All the time, it seems.  And we need to start practicing the art of saying "no".   I think, in some cases, we say yes because we cant imagine saying no, and then, dont realize the burden we put on our own shoulders.  But we have to start saying no. And start making time for our nuclear family, too.

It means not taking on a race a month, and limiting myself to a few a year.  It means not going to the gym more than twice a week.  It means weekly, having some date time for ourselves that is not cleaning the kitchen at 11:30pm, after the kids are in bed and we are feeling like burned toast.  It means not blogging- and not blog reading- as much, in order to try and get our lives in order.

So, friends and family, if we decline invitations or dont invite you over as much, know that we are working on reconnecting to one another, and trying to enjoy the limited family time that we have together.  It isnt that we dont adore our time with you (and it isnt that we will be hermits, either, lest someone read this and think we're never going to see them again!), we just need to readjust our priorities.

I will keep up with blogs as I can, and that may mean not being able to comment on every blog I read, so that I can read more in my limited time.  I have hundreds in my reader, but only a few dozen that I religiously comment on, but please, feel free to email me directly with your news, too.  I just... I dont have the energy, I'm sorry.   And I cant find more time in my day.  And I need to stop stressing about it.  Right now, blogging has become a stress and I dont want it to be that way.  I just dont want to feel like I "HAVE" to blog every day.  I'd rather do it when I have something to share or something worthwhile to post.

But, I confess... I miss you when I'm away.  I miss keeping up with what's going on here or there, or with pregnancies or babies or baby making or adopting or just your every day goings and comings.  There are few people I keep up with via the phone (I'm not a phone person and I dont care for it, honestly), so electronic communication is the better part of my not-in-person dealings.  So, it's hard to feel like I'm missing things!

We waited so long for these times.  These times of stress and in-the-trenches parenting and spousing.  And we dont want to let it pass us by and we feel empty at the end of it.  I dont want to lament blogging or visiting because I had to pick up puffies on the floor, or soak food-stained clothes because Maya or Bobby decided to attack their lunch.  I dont want to rush through watching their adorable faces when they enjoy yogurt or guacamole or one of the countless things they love to eat, because I feel like I need to prepare for this or that. I bought myself a Life Is Good shirt that says "Mom" on it...  It's not the style of shirt I would wear (I dont do T-Shirts) but it feels so good to slip it on and go about the day.

T-16 days til the Triathlon!

20 months... Today, sweet Alexander, would be 20 months...  As another month passes towards Bobby and Maya's first birthday, another brings us closer to his second birthday...  And that is crazy to me...  How did this much time go by?

Okay, so this was all over the place... But a good way to start playing catch-up. :)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Miscarriage blamed on non-fussy uterus

I saw this article in Peter's New Scientist magazine (April 24, 2010 issue)...  A version of the text can be found for free by clicking here.

Miscarriage Blamed on Non-Fussy Uterus
Linda Geddes

London, April 22 (ANI): Human uterus seems to be highly selective when it comes to accepting embryos, for a new study has shown that women with less ‘fussy’ uteruses may be at higher risk of miscarriage.

For years, faulty embryos or problems such as abnormal clotting or immune responses have been blamed for miscarriages.

Jan Brosens at Imperial College London wanted to know if another process was involved.

He had noted that many women who had repeated miscarriages claimed to have conceived incredibly quickly.

“Each one of their pregnancies was conceived within one or two months of trying,” New Scientist quoted Brosens as saying.

Also, some studies have hinted that embryos implanting outside the normal window of uterine receptivity were more likely to miscarry.

For further investigation, Brosens and his colleagues took cells from the uteruses of women who had undergone miscarriages and ones who hadn’t.

They measured the expression of a key regulator of uterine receptivity called PROK1 and levels of prolactin, a marker of decidualisation - the monthly process by which the uterus prepares to receive an embryo.

Decidualisation involves a thickening of the uterine wall and the growth of new blood vessels.

Expression of PROK1 was higher in the women who had miscarried than in those who hadn’t and this was maintained for longer, suggesting that their implantation window lasts longer.

These women also produced far less prolactin, a sign that their cells don’t decidualise properly.

Further studies indicated that this impaired decidualisation interfered with the signalling between the embryo and the uterus at the time of implantation.

The researchers concluded that these uteruses are less picky, allowing abnormal embryos to implant, which later spontaneously abort.

The study has been published in the journal PLoS One. (ANI)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Grief Bible Study (online)

This came across to me, and I wanted to share in case folks were interested.  Please contact Amy with any questions or to register.


This Bible study is titled "Threads of Hope, Pieces of Joy" and it is a study specifically designed to sensitively minister to the needs of individuals or groups who have experienced a pregnancy loss through miscarriage, stillbirth or any form of early infant death. This study was birthed as the authors themselves sought comfort in the midst of their own pregnancy losses and many other related topics, the study uses the Scripture to explore such questions as: 

  • Where do I go to find truth?
  • Where does life come from?
  • Why was my baby too weak to live?
  • Where is my child now?
  • Can I ever understand why?
  • How can God help me deal with losing my baby?

Each session includes 11 meetings. In order to join in a session, you must be signed up before we begin. (To sign up just email me at this address)  Once we begin you must wait to the next session to join in if you have missed the final sign up date.  Each group includes anywhere between 5-10 women.  The members per session must be limited in order to allow everyone an opportunity to share.  Our meetings are always on Sunday evenings from 7:00-9:00 pm Central time.

The biggest question about the study is how do we meet together from all different places?  Well, we use a software called 'gotomeeting' to facilitate a small group conference room online.  You must be signed up in order to be sent the special code for your specific session.  You would follow a link that we email you, type in the code and password, and you would be entered into the conference room.  It is very secure and private, and only the members of that session would have the proper code and password (it changes with every session).  You can be allowed to enter the room two ways, either online with your own computer's speaker and microphone, or through the phone.  There are chatting capabilities once in the room as well.

At the end of every session there is a memorial service online, where we each share something special either from or on behalf of our child/children in Heaven.  This memorial session is strictly for our group members only.  Then in October of each year, there will be a large memorial service on the 15th to honor any baby that was remembered through the year in the Bible study groups, this service will be open to anyone to view, including family members that you want to invite, or friends or church groups.  There will be more information on all of these things as we approach those dates.

Thank you for your interest and I hope that you will join us on this incredible journey.  I first went through this study after the loss of my son Gabriel at 34 weeks pregnant.  I found great comfort and love while going on this journey and have made life long friends that share this same grief as me.  Please let me know if you would like any other information and I look forward to speaking with you soon.

Anchored By Hope

Friday, July 16, 2010


Wow... Another 28 day cycle.  I'm kind of shocked... Pleasantly so, but still shocked.

Saturday, July 10, 2010


First, thanks for all your comments; those were sweet.  I appreciate them.

And thank you to Jack, the moderator of the site, who removed my link due to the nasty anon comments I was receiving (and didnt publish) but who were coming to me via that website.  I didnt ask him to do so and find it really nice that he did because he wanted to.  He even apologized!  Which I totally didn't expect!

Sometimes you find niceness in places unexpected; my heart needed that today...

Thank you, Jack.

UPDATE:  After an influx of even nastier comments from Anons (and some who left their names but no links) that came to me from the forum site, I have turned off my anonymous commenting (at least for the present).  I'm sorry to the Anons who are regulars and hope this wont be a permanent change.

10 Months- Oh My!

Happy 10 month birthday, Bobby and Maya!

Friday, July 9, 2010


To say that they LOVE yogurt would be too light a statement.  Is there a stronger word?  These kids scarfed down their first baby yogurt (strawberry) in the blink of an eye.  And on a soup spoon!  (we were out and I didnt have any baby spoons with me).  It was love at first bite!!!

Thursday, July 8, 2010


So, I found out where the nasty anon comment came from.  Apparently, I'm ranked as a "creepy blog".  REALLY?  Talk about too much time on your hands!

And now... For something completely different...

Took the kids for a run today. Holy Humidity, Batman!!!  It wasnt even that nasty hot, but the humidity was atrocious! We went for two miles but, with the amount of walk breaks I took, I cant think I broke more than a mile in a run.  It was like every time I got a good stride, I was being choked by the humid, dusty air.  The kids didnt seem to mind at all, but yuck!  Please dont let the triathlon (which is in a month!!!) be this humid...  As Sarah said this morning, "This weather makes TexMex look like a cool, September evening."

(sorry, Maya's a little fuzzy but she turned her head just as my MIL snapped this picture of them in their new (to us- great deal on Craigslist) side-by-side jogger.)

Full Term...

It's funny, isn't it?  Bobby and Maya are now a full term pregnancy.  They were born 40 weeks ago today.  I can't believe that they are 10 months old (by weeks) and that, on the 10th, they will be, by date, 10 months old.  Where has the time gone?  They are growing up before my very eyes.  Bobby furniture surfs and goes all over our first floor in his "car" (walker).  Maya takes the spoon from my hand and feeds herself.  AND she's started talking in two words!  When we were at REI the other day, she mimiced me and said "Not Yet!".  And she did it again last night.  It seems like every day it is something new...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

And so it continues...

I'm not sure why there is so much nastiness in the world...  Quite a number of blogging friends have gotten some pretty horrid "anonymous" comments in recent days.  I get them from time to time, including the following from a reader in British Columbia (ah... the joys of being able to stalk them back...):

"You are in serious need of some mental help. Posting pictures of your dead fetuses, is beyond disgusting. You should be ashamed. Are you that much of an attention whore that you need to post this shit on here?. You are an embarrassment to woman kind the world over.  Absolutely disgusted by you and your blog. Oh and of course, you're a pro-lifer...fancy."  (July 2, 2010)

I'm not sure why people feel the need to comment on blogs they dont like, nor do I understand why they'd read them in the first place!  Obviously, if you think someone is a waste of space or an embarrassment to womankind, you wouldnt give them the time it takes to write the comment.  If you didn't care, you'd just move on to your next task at hand.  I mean, really... What's the point?

I didnt publish the comment; it wasnt worth it.  But, I'll thank Anonymous, because it gave me time to really think about blogging, how it started, why it continued, and where it is going.

I watched "Julie and Julia", which, if you dont know, is a dual story of Julia Child and Julie, a blogger/cook.  There's a scene in the movie where she and her husband have just fought and, as he storms away, he tells her to not blog about their fight.

I cant tell you how many times (sans the fight) that Peter has said "I dont want to see this on your blog" or "Dont blog this".  It kind of gets you thinking... If I wouldnt talk about this with anyone other than my mother or best friend, is it really blog fodder?  I dont know the answer to that.

I enjoy being real here, real with grief and joy, real with the fact that our life isnt all sunshine and roses and that Peter and I fight like the average couple.  I like reading blogs where people are honest about their lives.  It makes me feel like I live less under a rock, less in a bubble.

The invitations for Bobby and Maya's birthday party arrived.  I have to address them and send them out.  I can't believe it.  We are really here.  Really doing this.  I have magnets to remember this special day.  (I dont plan on magnets for every birthday- or favors for every birthday- but this one is special... It's a big deal, to me at least.)  We're still trying to figure out what to do... What to eat... How to prepare...

It's so different.  There wont be a Mass of remembrance... There wont be a eulogy....  There wont be pictures instead of babies.  People will be taking pictures of the babies...  Alive.  Happy.  Laughing.  They'll be cake with a candle instead of cake with a message of how we wont forget.  No one will be dressed in a suit or a dark dress...  There wont be tears...  (well, maybe there will be...)

A year.  We are 9 weeks away from their first birthday. 9 short weeks.  Insane...

My "niece" (Bobby and Maya's oldest godsister) is a budding photographer.  She emailed me some of her latest masterpieces.  What a sweet, sweet girl...

Sunday, July 4, 2010


Thank You, Melissa, for remembering...

Please stop over and send your love for Melissa's daughter, Alexandra, who was stillborn.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

A Grief Renewed

No one ever likes to open their mail to a letter from the IRS.  I'm not an exception (especially when I know there is not going to be a check!).  So, you can imagine my surprise when I found a letter, addressed to me, this afternoon.

Upon opening the letter, I find that they believe our taxes werent filed for 2008.  Being the person I am, even though Peter wanted to call tomorrow, I called tonight, waded through the automated prompts, and sat down at the kitchen table to be helped in "4 to 7 minutes".

When the person came on the line, she asked me to verify socials, birthdays, names, and addresses, and then, just to make sure I really am who I am, she needed to ask me some questions about my return.  She asked, I answered, and then... THE question.

"How many people were claimed on your 2008 return?"

I felt my breath catch in my throat.  I couldnt breathe.  As Bobby and Maya giggled in the background while Peter played with them in the living room, I felt my entire heart collapse in my chest.  "I don't know..."  I managed.

"Just the total," she said politely.

I must have stammered for a few moments before I finally was able to say, "That's a difficult question.  I actually don't know.  My husband and I lost three children that year."  And I began to cry.  "I don't know if we filed for 5 or for 2."

Immediately, I heard an intake of breath and she told me that she was sorry.  And she apologized for asking a question that was completely related to her task.  I felt bad she needed to apologize.  And grateful.  She asked if I needed some time and, as I tried to breathe and not openly sob into the phone, we were able to ascertain the problem (we filed online and there was an issue with the pin number so they rejected the return and now we have to file it in paper because- get this- the IRS doesnt tell you if your forms are rejected!  I'm sure when my pissed offness sets in, I'll blog about this, but for right now...).

I'm stunned.  I thought that I had worked through, on some level, my pain.  I talk about the children all the time and don't cry.  I remember them and hold their hats and their box, and can do so without sobbing.  And yet... That innocent question...  God, it brought so much to the surface.  So much....  So much hurt.  So much.  Loss.  Pure, unadulterated loss.

Three children.  Here.  And then.  NOT here.  Gone.  My world empty.  Five?  Or two?  Missed from a census, recorded forever on an IRS tax form.  The only record of them.  Rejected.

Perhaps this wouldnt have hurt so much had it not been July 1st.  at 7:45pm.  29 months to the moment that I delivered Nicholas in our lime green, downstairs bathroom.  29 months to the moment that I held his perfect, warm little body as he wiggled and kicked and struggled to live.


29 months to the moment that I became a mother in the most fullness of the word (because I believe you are indeed a parent the moment your child is conceived).  29 months since my world fell apart as it came together.


29 months.  So short.  So long.  A lifetime.


29 months since my sweet, first born son, my husband's namesake, entered this world, and graced it with his beauty and his life for 55 sweet minutes.



And my soul, balmed by the lives and love of Bobby and Maya, was ripped apart for this stranger, who asked, so kindly, if I needed a moment.

I need a lifetime, I think.

And, truly, I'm not sure that even that long would be enough.

Blogger Issues

If you tried logging onto my blog between last night and this morning, my apologies!  Sarah told me that there was a "blog removed" message and, when I went to check, I got it too!  It seems that Google found "suspicious behavior" from my account and disabled my blogs and email; so I had to log in, change my password, etc.  Man, does that suck!  You never realize how much you rely on your online identity until you cant access email!  (or your blog, LOL!)

EDIT: It looks like my email was hacked into!  If you received spam from me, my apologies.  I did not send anything with regards to an angelfire site.  I'm the third person this week who has had spam sent from their account!  This sucks!

In happier news, I took the jogger out last night.  I ran about two and a half miles, while Peter biked around the park, then we walked a mile together to cool down and relax.  It was tough!  (I will never again think "Wow, if I had a jogger, I could rest on it when I get tired..." instead I will realize that 35lbs of stroller plus X (at this point 35+) pounds of baby equal quite an extra workout!).  But it was nice.  The kids loved being next to each other and they were able to play together.