Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Counting Down

It is starting to feel more real.  It is starting to feel like there is a real chance of bringing lil' beastie home without hospice nurse visits.  That feeling of possibility has sparked a lot of activity around our little home.

We've been doing baby laundry, organizing the nursery, pulling things out of boxes, finding surprise Obie's Bees, preparing the house, visiting day cares, and getting our holiday gifts in order.  We are still putting off deciding on a name.

The mobile on the left and the blanket were purchased for Oberon, before we knew about his bees.  The mobile on the right we couldn't pass up because it has an Obie's Bee and a lil' beastie's Dragonfly.

Elizabeth is officially out of the office, though she's still working remotely for a few more days.  Chris will be working until Dec 17, then he's off for the year as well.

We can't wait to say goodbye to 2015.  While there have been some sweet moments, this whole year can fade quickly into a distant memory and we'd both be fine with that.  We'd much rather save space for memories from 2014.

As the calendar year ends, Elizabeth is getting closer and closer to full term with lil' beastie.  She's feeling pretty good physically, though emotionally the anxiety is getting more intense for both of us.  Even though Obie was born earlier in the pregnancy, Elizabeth was larger and more uncomfortable than with this pregnancy.  So far, it's really just been occasional back pain, shortness of breath, some tummy trouble and acid reflux.  Nothing too extreme.  The swollen hands and feet, wrist pain, and other common third trimester discomforts could start any day - but they haven't yet.

At 34+5.

We are lucky that our doctors are very understanding with us.  Elizabeth's regular OBGYN helped us identify a Pediatrician that would be good handling our situation (and probably heightened early parenting craziness).  Our high-risk doctor talked to us about whether we wanted to induce, knowing that families that have suffered a loss get very anxious near the end.  We've decided that we do want to induce rather than wait for the full 40 weeks (or however long).  If lil' beastie hasn't decided he wants out before then, we're scheduled to be induced the first week of January.  The exact date may change depending on how busy the hospital is, or if there are any changes in Elizabeth's or lil' beastie's health.

We would say we can't wait, but we can.  We don't want lil' beastie coming out too soon.

Now for some pictures!  We had a maternity session with Abby Alger Photography.  Abby is the photographer that took Obie's photos in the NICU and at our home through Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep.  It felt really awkward to set up the photo session, but once we were there it felt better.  We really wanted lil' beastie to have some nice pictures of our family when he was still in the bump.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Obie's First Bee Day!

Well, it happened.  One year since Oberon was born, his first birthday, and the first time we celebrated "Obie's Bee Day."  A few days after November 24 had passed, we talked a little about how it went.  It doesn't feel ok to say it went well or good, but there were some healing moments.  Some comforting moments.

It felt good to focus on Oberon.  It felt good to visit the place where we scattered his ashes, even if we couldn't hike all of the trails.  It felt good to scrapbook pictures of our darling boy.  It felt good to donate to The Honeybee Conservancy and FNIH.  It felt good to read cards that were sent to our house and open a few gifts.

Scrapbook Pages made on Obie's Bee Day

And it felt good to see the posts and messages tagged with #obiesbeeday on social media.  We weren't sure if we'd want to go on Facebook and Instagram on the day itself, but it turns out we did.  Elizabeth checked Instagram when she woke up, and saw numerous posts from an old dance friend who lives in the UK.  It was a sweet start to a tough day.

Throughout the morning, we saw more and more posts.  People wearing yellow, and thinking of Obie.  People spotting bees, and thinking of Obie.  People sent us pictures of bees their children made or drew, which was really special.  People wore their Obie's Bees shirts in all kinds of places - the office, school, volleyball, dance studio, in family photos, and at home.  It made us feel loved.  It made us feel that our son is loved.

We wanted to share some pictures from our hike in Uvas Canyon County Park.  It rained the whole time, but that was fine with us.  The waterfalls were more lively to see and hear, but it did make the going even slower.  Maybe next year on Obie's Bee Day, we'll be able to visit all of the same trails we hiked with Obie's ashes.  And maybe the sun will be out and we'll spot some bees.

Uvas Canyon County Park Waterfall Loop Trail

Uvas Canyon County Park Waterfall Loop Trail

Uvas Canyon County Park Waterfall Loop Trail

The days surrounding Obie's Bee Day we spent off work, visiting with friends here and there, and navigating Thanksgiving.  The first in a line of family-oriented end-of-year holidays.  It was good that we had friends lined up to have meals with, or see a movie, or do a puzzle.  It gave us a chance to talk a bit about both Obie and lil' beastie.  It got us out of the house for a few hours.

For Thanksgiving, we went to a friend's house for a potluck.  It was a bit of a potluck of attendees as well, which worked great for us.  We weren't the lone people not related to everyone else, we were just in the mix.  While we didn't stay long, we appreciated the meal and the time with friends.  And we especially appreciated the excuse to make a beehive cake!

Beehive Bundt Cake with Honey Glaze

All the advice we've been given for getting through milestones while grieving is to have a Plan A, and a Plan B, and maybe even a Plan C.  To have people on call if you want company, but make sure they understand if you cancel and want to be alone.  Have some ideas of what to do, but try not to beat yourself up if it doesn't happen.  Oberon's birthday and the surrounding days went more or less according to Plan A for us.  But I was so thankful to have Plan B in my back pocket.  We felt less pressure - and there can be a lot of pressure to make everything meaningful.

Being past it, there is a tiny sense of relief.  It was a day, and it passed.  We expressed our love for Obie in a variety of ways, and so did others.  We plan to do so every November 24.