Wednesday, April 29, 2009


I have four brothers and one sister. I can't tell you how important they are to me. I do not know how I would go through life as an only child. My siblings are so important to me.

Can you see how utterly miserable my brothers look in this pic?

When I was in the hospital having surgery, my sister dropped everything and drove an hour to be with me. She went with my mom to see Brenna even before I saw her. I think about that all the time. It means a lot to me. My brothers came the next day and spent a long time with me. They also bought me tickets to my favorite band the summer after Brenna died. I was totally surprised (and I'm not easily surprised!). They did it just because they love me. :)

I always know that if I ever need anything they will drop everything to help me. We can all count on each other. I live an hour away from most of them (my one brother lives even further away), but we make an effort to talk or see each other often.

We don't always all get along, which is to be expected with six siblings, but we always stick together. My sister and I are the oldest, and I've (we've!) always taken care of "the boys". My youngest brother lived with us for awhile and after he moved out my husband asked me who I was "going to mother-hen to death" because (apparently) I always need someone to take care of. I guess that is what happens when you have so many younger siblings, and grow up taking care of them.

Also, something I always forget about, one of my brothers and my sister are Japanese. I never really think about it, and when people meet my sister for the first time they look at me like I'm insane. I always tell her she's adopted (she's not- their mom is Japanese). My sister was born in Japan, which I think it's kind of cool.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


I met my husband when I was 18. I was still in high school. You've heard the story before. Anyway, I did not think he was the man I was going to marry.

But it was the best decision I've ever made.

We've been through some really rough times. Loosing his parents, and our own child among them. But we've always came out together.

I know people always say that their spouse is their best friend, but he truely is my best friend. He knows me better than I know myself. Last month I told him I thought my period was coming because I thought I had PMS. He said, "I'm the first to know. I know before you do." It was meant as a joke, but it was true. He knows what I'm thinking without having to say it. He just knows. He "gets" me. And I'm not an easy person to understand.

We don't always get along. Sometimes he really pisses me off. But almost loosing me (when Brenna was born) really has made him realize how much he loves me, and our relationship has strengthened because of it.

Monday, April 27, 2009


I was 28 when my step-daughter had her baby. Everyone laughed about me becoming a grandma so young, but it is one of the greatest joys of my life. At the hospital when he was being born, I kept going into the bathroom and crying because I was so everwhelmed with emotion. I loved my stepdaughter, and I knew I was going to love her son, but I was not prepared to fall in love with him. The minute I held him I was in love. And I still am.

He's 3 now, and he comes over everyday when his dad is out of town for work. He calls me GG (which has a back story that I will not share because it's embarassing!). I can always tell when he is tired because he wants to cuddle with me. That is when he loves me the most- when he's tired. I eat it up. He doesn't really call my son Uncle Brendan. Instead he calls him My Brendan, which my son loves. He really loves his nephew, and brags to all his friends at school that he's an uncle.

People are still shocked when I tell them I'm a grandma, but it doesn't phase me anymore. I love being a grandma. I wouldn't mind if she gave me another grandbaby! (Hint, hint!)

Sunday, April 26, 2009


My stepdaughter is 23. Her mother passed away shortly before I started dating her dad. I was only 19 and not ready for what that involved. It was a rocky start. There were times that she really didn't like me (especially when she was a teenager!). I made a lot of mistakes. I was young. Too young to be raising a teenager. But, we made it through. We are great friends now. Especially after she had her son. We deffinately grew closer when she was pregnant, and I love that little guy so much.

There aren't many people I trust, but she is one of the few people in this world that I know I can count on, and she can say the same about me.

I am proud of our relationship because not everyone gets along with their step-parents. We made the choice to get along, and in the process we've really grown to love each other. It has nothing to do with her dad. I would love her whether I was married to her dad or not. She is one of my closest friends.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


I have been reading a few older posts of this blog, and wow, how depressing! The bulk of my posts are about Brenna. How I miss her. How I love her. How my heart breaks for her. I realized that I barely ever write about the son I have here with me! He is but barely a mention on this blog, and that really isn't an accurate picture since he is such a big part of my life. In fact, he is the main part. Originally, this blog was about Brenna. But, as the title hints, this is actually a blog about my life. Life without her. But life just the same.

So allow me to introduce you to my first born. His name is Brendan, and he is 12. He goes to a private, Christian center school, that we love. He is very smart (and I'm not just saying that because I'm his mom!). He effortlessly gets almost all A's in school. In fact, school is so easy for him, that when he does have to actually study something he doesn't know how to do it. That is something we are struggling with. But, overall he does very well is school and really loved his class!

He play many sports. He is active in almost every sport that is offered to us. He isn't a world class athlete, but to be honest my husband and I are just happy he's active. He's a video game/computer fanatic! He will sit at the computer all day if we let him, so we're happy he has other interests.

He just competed in a music festival and his school got top scores on everything. He was so proud. Also this week, he ran an 8 minute mile- the fastest in his class! The younger kids were out to watch them run, and he said they were all clapping and cheering and giving him high fives as he crossed the finish line. Definitely one of his proudest moments!

So now you know a little about him. The biggest part of my life.

Monday, April 20, 2009


There is something very close to my heart that I think about a lot. Something that makes me emotional just talking thinking about it. Something I owe my life to. Make that someone. Make that five someones. Blood donors.

I donated blood once in my life. That was back in high school, and I did it to get out of class. I've never taken it seriously. Never thought about it. My husband donates all the time. The Red Cross calls here reminding him when the nearest blood drive is because he's a regular. I didn't see what the big deal was, and never really took the time to do it.

Then I needed blood. I needed a lot of blood. If I didn't get blood my heart was going to stop beating. I was dying. Five units of blood later- I was living again.

I often think of those five people. Did they know when they donated that they might be saving someone's life? Do they wonder where their blood went? Do they know I owe them my life? Am I the only life their blood has saved?

I often say a prayer for those five people, who I will never know. I ask God to bless them, and to watch over them. I pray that they will never need blood like I did.

I haven't been allowed to donate blood since my surgery. You have to wait a year after you get a tattoo, and it hasn't been a year yet. But, without a doubt, I will be donating blood every chance I get.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


Went to an 80's Festival where I paid $10 to 80's-ize my hair.

There are many things 80's that I have completely forgotten about. Remember technicolor clothes that changed color when they got warm? How about fish net muscle shirts? Alf? The Smurfs? There were plenty of things I have completely forgotten about.

Went to my son's volleyball tournament. Yes, his school has a boy's volleyball team. He loves it.

Went to eat at the restaurant I worked at in high school. Can you say nostalgic. Nothing has changed. The seats and tables are the same. Same food. Even the same light fixtures! Of course, it's only been 3 years since I was in high school so what do I expect, right. Right?

Got very angry when I discovered that (for the umpteenth time) my huband fed the dog out of my $35 Tupperware bowl. Threatened to feed the dog out of his tool box.

Decided to take a long nap because I was very cranky from lack of sleep.
Edited to add: Everyone keeps telling me with my hair like that I look like Deb From Napoleon Dynamite.

I don't see it.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


I have to link to one of the most amazing things I've seen in a long time. (I wanted to put it here, but won't let me). I'm sure you all have heard of Susan Boyle. The 47 year old woman who appeared on the British version of American Idol. When you look at her you don't think "Super star". In fact, the audience (and judges!) were actually laughing at her.

Until she sang.

Easily one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. I love it when the underdog comes out on top, and when she sang the first line of the song everyone in the audience went crazy.

I just wanted to share this with you all, because sometimes we all need a reminder not to judge a book by it's cover.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


One year ago I wrote this post.

What's so odd is that I could have written those same exact words today.

The more things change the more they stay the same.

(By the way Happy Easter!)

Friday, April 10, 2009


I have been thinking about Maddie and her family almost nonstop lately. Over this past year I've met many mother's who've lost babies. Why is Heather any different? Why has Maddie's death affected me so profoundly? The more I think about the more I realize why. First of all, I think it's because Heather thought she was going to loose Maddie when she was a baby. She checked herself out of the hospital AMA to go to the hospital Maddie was at so she could be by her side when she passed. She honestly did not expect her baby to make it. Neither did the doctors, even clearing out the NICU once so that Maddie's parents could be alone with her while she died. But she didn't die. Heather blogged about feeling guilty that Maddie survived when so many babies didn't. She knew how lucky she was that Maddie was alive. She didn't take it for granted. She appreciated every moment with her daughter. Maddie was a very small preemie, and she had health problems, but no one expected her to die. It was so unexpected. She thought her baby had made it. She beat the odds. She was a survivor. And then in the blink of an eye she is gone.

What really bothers me is that, even though my daughter died before she was born, I still understand what this time is going to be like. I know that right now everything seems surreal. Horrible, but surreal. I know that it won't be until after the funeral, when everything has returned "back to normal" that your life really falls apart. I understand that when your life consisted of caring for a child, and that child is gone, you don't know what to do with yourself. I know what it's like to not want to get out of bed... I guess it just bothers me because I know so much about something I don't want to know anything about.

And I don't want anyone else to know either.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Please Donate

I had to share this because, well, reading it just broke my heart. Literally.

"This year I am so excited to participate in my second March for Babies - and it means even more to me this year, since last year Madeline was in the hospital and couldn't participate. This year (fingers crossed) she'll be marching along in her stroller with us."

This was written by Heather, Maddie's mom. Her goal was $3,000 and just three days ago she had not yet reached it. Today she is close to $20,000! I was going to do this for Brenna, but instead, I ask you to go over and donate in memory of Maddie.

Click Here

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


It is with a very heavy heart that I ask you to go over and visit Heather at (formerly Her miracle baby Maddie passed away today.

Her mother's water broke at 20 weeks and Maddie was strong enough to hold on and was born 11 weeks early. They did not think she was going to survive the transfer to the hospital with the NICU. Instead, she defied every odd and survived. I'm still unsure what happened. All I know is that she was taken to the hospital and died this morning. She was just shy of 17 months old. Please go and offer your support to this mother, who at one time thought she was going to join our club, but thought those days were behind her.

Saturday, April 4, 2009


VBAC's have been on my mind a lot lately. (VBAC= vaginal delivery after c-section) There are quite a few women on my UR (Uterine Rupture) support group who suffered a rupture during a VBAC attempt. I have very strong feelings about VBAC's, mostly because of the stories I have heard from those women. The danger in carrying a baby after a rupture isn't really the pregnancy, it's the labor. Contractions put so much pressure on the scar area that it sometimes ruptures. A spontaneous rupture (like I had) is extremely rare. Almost everyone in our group (and it's a rather large group) had a previous surgery on their uterus that lead to their rupture. Most of those surgeries were c-sections. I think it's safe to say that half of the women who suffered a rupture in our group lost their baby. Some of the babies who survived have serious, life long complications.

I've never talked about the decisions my husband had to make the night of my rupture. I've never told you what he had to decide. When I went into surgery thinking the baby would be fine and that I would come out of surgery without my appendix. My doctors weren't even prepared for what they discovered when they opened me up. It was quite obvious that my uterus had ruptured and I was bleeding to death. The only way to repair my uterus was to remove my baby. They could not end her life without getting permission from my husband. My OB went out and told him the situation. "We're loosing her" he said. "I don't do abortions. I don't do them. If there is anyway to save your baby I would". My husband had to sign knowing full well that he was giving permission to deliver our daughter and she had no shot at survival. I've never thought about how horrible that must have been for him. He said he bawled the entire time. My OB told me that he could actually see through my uterus, and as soon as he made an incision Brenna's heart stopped beating. I take comfort in the fact that she did not struggle for breath, and that her last moments were not moments of suffering. That is not always the case.

Please, please, please remember that the most important thing when delivering a baby is that he or she gets here safetly. It is a personal decision that each woman has to make, but please make an informed decision. There is no shame in having a c-section and there is no badge of honor in having a drug-free birth. All that matters is that your little one, and you, come home.