Thursday, September 10, 2015

9/10/15

I knew today would be tough. It's been looming over head for 7 months. The day my fourth and last bird was supposed to arrive Earth-side.

I woke up at 5:30 am. A time I rarely see willingly. And when I saw the time I thought, "Yep, I should be at the hospital if not on my way to the hospital." And then I cried. Solidly for 1 1/2 hours. I finally peeled myself off the bed and went in to the bathroom. The scene of the crime. This place that was supposed to cleanse me made me feel dirty and sad.

This is where I lost my baby. This is where my dreams went literally down the drain.

Overall I think I've handled the miscarriage pretty well. At least to the outside world. I tried my best to not talk about it or burden others with my sorrow. But I always had a dull ache. If I got too quiet I thought about it. Thought about how far along I would be,  the changes that would have to take place: changing of bedrooms, putting the crib back together, buying little baby diapers (the cutest things on Earth), buying cases of wipes, arranging grandparent coverage. And today all the thoughts converged in to a sad, weepy Emily.

It's amazing how a day can carry so much weight for you but for the entire world it's just another day. Wake up, drink coffee, go to work, eat some food, happily go about your day. I had to put on a front. Not a good front, but one good enough to get me back to my bed so I could nap.

I must admit though, today made me look at my kids in a whole new light. They are such neat kids with interesting personalities. They keep me going. They put a smile on my face. I've thought about their births a lot today as well. Just how exciting it is to find out if they are a boy or girl, see their cute faces, rub their soft hair, kiss tiny fingers and toes. In the hospital I hold my babies really close to my chest and let them snuggle as much as they want. Gabe was so close to me at one point that a nurse woke me up while I was napping with him to tell me he might suffocate. Well lady, he still sleeps that close to me five years later and hasn't suffocated yet! I love a baby. I love a baby on my chest. And I think that's what is making me the most sad, that a tiny love bug isn't in my arms right now. I should be introducing the lil nug to his/her brother and sisters. Grandparents should be holding a burrito baby tonight.

And my sweet, dear husband should be swaddling the babe, remarking on how little the baby is and how big our kids are. He should be running out to get me my latest craving. Instead he'll be coming home to a wife that's just really heartbroken.

The last month has been really sad. A lot of tough stuff is going on and I feel guilty for being so sad about this. But loss is loss. And it sucks. All I can hope is that today is it. That I needed to get through the birth date and then I'll be fine...

I got this advice from a sorority sister after Gabe's seizure, pretty fitting now, "Press forward, pray, take it one day at a time."

Monday, August 17, 2015

First Time Kindergarten Parent

It's the last night before your eldest becomes a kindergartener. Let me guess, you're thinking back to when you found out you were having a baby. If you're the mom you may be thinking about the first time you felt your baby kick. As a dad you're might be thinking about the amazing  transformation your wife was taking right before your eyes. As parents you're thinking of "go time", the wait and agony of labor, and the glee you felt when you first met your precious babe. The first time you got to say their name directly to them. When you officially became a parent.

You're thinking of the first time they smiled at you, rolled over, walked and talked. The nights you spent holding their hand as they nodded off to sleep because the only thing they needed in the entire world was your presence.

And I'm sure you're thinking of the first real conversation you had with him/her. The one that made you go, "Damn. This kid is pretty neat!"

All night you'll be wondering if they're ready for the big school. Are they ready for a big classroom? New friends? Will they eat their lunch? Listen to their teacher? How will they know to get off the bus at the right stop?

And all night you'll be wondering if you are ready. If you can handle letting go of your sweet baby's chubby little fingers.

The truth is you are both 100% ready and both 100% not. It's a roller coaster of emotions that change throughout the day. It's fear and excitement. Joy and sadness. You are so proud of all you have both accomplished and terrified of the unknown.

So tonight, when you're feeling really emotional, sneak in to their room, rub your fingers through their hair, inhale their sweet smell, and hug them tight. For tonight you'll put to bed your precious baby and wake up to a kindergartener.

And if you need to, drive by their school throughout the day tomorrow to try and catch a glimpse of them. Most likely you'll see them running and smiling; enjoying their new friends and playground.

You did it!! You got your first born to elementary school. Give yourself a high five. Maybe even two!

And in exactly one year you'll high five yourself for making it through the summer without killing your first grader. :)

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Winter, Spring, Summer, or Fall

My Kozuch family has been taking a yearly beach trip for four years now. The first time we went Carter was 3 1/2, Gabe had just turned 2, and Harper was about to turn 1. It was a bit nuts. This year they were 6 1/2, 5, and about to be 4. So much easier without swimmie diapers, nap schedules, baby food/bottles, etc. And they have 5 cousins that come so it's nice to see them all play and get along nicely. Each year gets better and better.

Last year my brother Michael came up with an awesome idea: a music playlist challenge. He set the criteria and we all followed suit. I was the winner! I got me a trophy and iTunes gift card. Totally rad! This year my brother Scott won. I had to hand off the trophy to him and I did it gladly. He put together an awesome mix.  Basically both years were centered around family and our memories set to music. The Kozuchs are obsessed with music. My parents introduced us to The Beatles, Elton John, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Billy Joel, etc. very early on. If you come in to my house, chances are I have music going. Much like a movie, I have background music playing all the time.

Well Michael played a song, his second song I believe, that made me cry. Not just because of the lyrics but his explanation for picking the song. He said that no matter what happens in our family we are always there for each other. And I can tell you, that is 100% true. I could write a book about all the times my brothers have come to my rescue, all the times my parents have helped me out. And hopefully they feel as though I have helped them. And what is really nice is I can count on my in-laws and my family can count on Marc. I got some upsetting news while we were at the beach and my sister-in-law Heidi jumped right up to comfort me. It was nice having the support of my family in that moment.

So I'll leave this blog as a simple shout out to my wonderful family. Spending a week with them (11 adults, 8 children) showed me that we are all crazy, but we are all crazy about each other.

Michael, Scott, Mom, Brian, Me, Adam, Dad
Yes, my mom and dad raised five kids, four of them BOYS! Ey yi yi, it was a smelly, crazy, loud household!

"You just call out my name and you know where ever I am, I'll come running to see you again."

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Blue Skies

Confession time: I LOVE birthdays. I love my own, I love my husband's and kids', I love other people's birthdays. I think everyone should be celebrated simply for being born.

Why wouldn't you want to reflect back on the past year's trip around the sun? Plus all the many years you've ventured around this watered planet.

I think it's a good idea to have a day when you stop and think about the great things in your life. And the not so great things. You need the peaks and valleys to appreciate it all. And this past year, well there have been some big, deep, dark valleys. But my God did I experience the beauty that comes out of the painful times.

From October to February (even as recent as yesterday) shit was crazy. Lots of scary, sad, horrible experiences happened in my family (Patrouch and Kozuch). Through those times I saw my family get closer. I saw brothers and sisters, parents, spouses, coming together in trying times and holding each other up. There was a time when my brother could not stand, so we brought him in to our home and held him up. There were times when Marc and I could not breathe so our parents gave us their breath. No questions, no demands, nothing but unconditional love.

And that's what life is about.

The big moments, the little moments, the seconds that make up our days. There is beauty in all of it. There is beauty in the mundane. There is beauty in the excitement.

During my 34th year I was fortunate enough to gain some new friendships. Really good friends are like family members and I'm lucky to have found some. The kind of friends that see your messy house and keep moving along, that step in and help out when you're about to lose your mind, friends that help you during your first camping trip, let you stay on their volleyball team even though you can't play, the friends that take you out and convince you to drink one more drink...ok maybe I am that friend, but you get it. And most importantly the friends that give you hugs when you desperately don't want them but desperately need them. Yeah, I'm lucky.

So cheers to my birthday and cheers to your birthday! May you live long and prosper.

Our most recent family pic! We took Marc to the Safari Park in Natural Bridge for Father's Day. I love Team P. 

Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World" is pretty fitting for a day like today, but Willie Nelson singing "Blue Skies" has been playing on loop in my head for a couple weeks now.  It's pretty great.

"I never saw the sun shinin' so bright, never saw things goin' so right, noticing the days hurrying by when you're in love, my how they fly."

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Gabeasaurus

My Gabo, Gaberdoodle, Gabey Baby is on his way to kindergarten.

 Best friends/mortal enemies, you never know!

So pretty much everyone that goes to preschool graduates from preschool. So maybe it's silly to have a graduation and celebrate the event.  But my god do I love it. It's just so cute all the little peoples so proud of themselves. I'm lucky in that I work at the school (three days a week this year) so I really get to know the pre-k kids. Not only was I proud and excited for Gabe, I was proud and excited for all of them. I sure will miss these little babes next year!

His nervous tongue cracks me up. And does he not look like a teenager?!

The pre-k kids singing. Gabe was WAY more in to it than I thought he would be. The poor guy couldn't even get on the stage for the Christmas program.

Gabe's class did the alphabet in sign language.

 Accepting his "diploma" from his teacher, LPW.

 Me and two of my birds.

 Grammy and Grandpa made the trip!

 Pop Pop and Mom Mom with the proud graduate.

 These two have become the best of friends. Melts me.

Gabe and his Godmother. It's hard to tell they are family. ;)

Sheesh...this boy. He has a power over me like no other. I cannot resist his charm and affection. His long flowy hair, big grin, tight hugs, his obsession with me. It's not healthy, us two. He can't live without me and I cannot live without him. We need help.

As a baby he was terrible. Cried for months. And not just cried, screamed, yelled, it was tough. But it's where our physical attraction started. I HAD to hold him, it's the only way he was happy. To this day he sometimes just needs to lay on me to find his center. It actually happened last night. He just needed to be on me.

When I look back on his life and see where he is now I get all teary eyed. High maintenance baby, Occupational Therapy when he was 2 1/2, seizure/diagnosed with Epilepsy at 4 1/2, and now here he is, ready and excited for elementary school.

I'm so so proud of him. He has needed more guidance and more attention than the girls. He is the one that really pushes me to my parenting limits. He gives me my highest highs and my lowest lows. I can't imagine life without my baby boy. He is so kind, caring, loving, exciting. 

Seeing him have such a big seizure and long recovery shattered me to my core. I didn't know that pain could hurt so bad. I didn't know that a mother's love really will push you through any terrible thing that might happen. Didn't know what it meant to push aside your own suffering to be strong for your child. I just wanted to take that seizure on myself. I wanted to give him all of my energy so he could recover. I would have switched places with him in a heartbeat. I went through a terrible miscarriage, but I would go through that every year for the rest of Gabe's life if it meant he never had to suffer a seizure. I would do anything for that boy (all my birds really.)

But that seizure and the times since have shown me what a tough kid he is. He takes his medicine every day without any fight, he doesn't have a problem talking about it, he has handled it all very well. He is actually better about it than I am. Every night I go to bed wondering if I'll wake up to him having another one. Every time he is away from me I'm afraid he'll have one and I won't be with him. But he doesn't think twice about it, he's too busy enjoying life.

I hope and pray he always enjoys life this much. He would hug Harper every day after school when he first saw her. He would run to Carter as she got off the bus everyday. He gets excited when Marc gets home from work. Forget about if Grandpa or Pop Pop show up! Gabe loves big. Really big. He LOVES dinosaurs. He LOVES pirates.  He just loves love.

And I love him. More than I ever thought humanly possible. 

Gabe, good luck in Kindergarten. I'm sure you'll be a heartbreaker, just like you've always been.

"Don't let them say your hair's too long,
'Cause I don't care, with you I can't go wrong.
Then put your little hand in mine,
There ain't no hill or mountain we can't climb.

Babe, I got you babe."

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Rutabaga

Four months and one day ago I got the news. The not so fun news.

I don't know why the four month anniversary has me all twisted inside. I've handled the sadness pretty well, in my opinion, but yesterday was hard.

I should be 25 weeks pregnant.

The baby should be the size of a rutabaga. (I love that food is always used for size description.)

I should be super fat, hot, and annoyed at everything.

I should be rubbing that super fat belly and feeling baby kicks.

Keeping distracted yesterday was my main goal. The kids' play room has been driving me crazy lately so I figured that was the best project to start. Around lunchtime there was someone at the door. Our neighbors returning eyeliner for their dance recital. They said they were going to Taco Bell and we could come if we wanted.

Awesome.

I love TB and I love distraction.

After lunch I got a call from my neighbor basically telling me I needed to go to Pure Barre with her. Her dad would even watch my kids.

So I went. It was exactly four months and two days since I last worked out there.

On February 1 I asked one of the teachers for the pregnancy workout protocol. She sent me an email the next day.

See, I was positive nothing bad was going to happen. I was even planning on how to workout while pregnant.

Then the world came crashing down.

But I worked out, it felt awful and great all at the same time, and I managed to not vomit or cry. I wanted to do both very badly.

So today I sit here with my butt and legs on fire. I am letting physical pain take over my emotional pain.

To Jordan, thank you for giving me exactly what I needed. Even though you didn't know I did. And to Julie, thanks for the gift card to Pure Barre, it was the motivation I needed.

And to everyone that has helped me over this long but short time, thank you. From the bottom of my heart thank you.

A few weeks ago Marc P and I saw DMB in Raleigh. This song is new and I obsessed with it. I play it quite often these days.

"I want love more than I deserve."

Monday, March 2, 2015

Midnight Train

Right after I found out that my baby didn't have a heartbeat anymore I had a dream. I'm still trying to make sense of this dream.

I was on a field trip with Gabe and his class, we rode a train. As we got off my Aunt/Godmother Jackie was there. Jackie passed years ago and I must admit I haven't ever dreamed about her. So Gabe and I get off the train and Jackie says that I should get back on and take a ride with her and her friends. I politely decline and say I have to go. Jackie laughs and understands, she's happy, enjoying her day, and goes off with her friends. Most of my memories of Jackie are of her laughing and telling a story. The dream isn't that far off.

Was I suposed to get on? Was my Godmother taking my baby with her? Why did I dream about her after never dreaming about her before?

Dreams can be weird. Just last night I had a dream I was dating London Perrantes, a UVa basketball player, so don't trust my brain at all.

The dream helped in a weird way.  I've heard when you dream of the dead you hear from the living. I've been on the lookout since that day.

I've also felt random hands on my back, a rub of the leg, a pat on the shoulder. When I was little I called my Guardian Angel Judy. I would write to her in my angsty youth when I couldn't make sense of the world. Maybe it was her. Maybe it was one of my grandparents or uncles. Who knows. I am sure I was having phantom pains from all the emotions I was dealing with. 

Today was my first day back in the real world. Back to work after being off for two weeks. Gotta say, the people I surround myself with sure are spectacular. No one pushed, no one pried. I was met with grace and warmth, understanding and support. I got a high five and only one hug. But I'll let that one slide because I love her so much.

I had to stop myself from crying only a few times but tonight I let the tears flow. The release valve just couldn't do its job anymore. I imagine it will be this way for awhile. I just can't help but think about how differently the rest of this year will go. I had big plans for my baby and me. I was gonna get fat and happy. I was gonna have a huge belly at the beach. I'd be sending Gabe off to kindergarten with weeks to go. Harper would be starting pre-k the day before baby nug's birth. September 10th is so far away but I could smell the baby's head. I could feel the lump of baby on my chest. I was already exhausted thinking about middle of the night feedings.

My aunt Jackie loved the song Midnight Train to Georgia.  Amazingly the lyrics work for this situation:

"But he sure found out the hard way, that dreams don't always come true."

Since this particular dream didn't come true, I sure am hoping there's another one coming down the pike.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Smile Though Your Heart is Aching

It is a story that started on February 3, 2015. It is a story that would change its ending at unexpected times. A story filled with sadness. Agony. Heartbreak.

It is also a story of strength, love, family, and friendship. Finding beauty in the pain. Seeing it through to another day. I know I am strong. I know I am loved.

I now know what it is like to lose someone. Someone you love unconditionally and eternally.

You see, on February 3 I was happy. I was giddy. "Life's A Happy Song" was playing on repeat in my head; especially the line "I can't seem to wipe this smile off my face."  At 2:30 pm I was going to see my little nug. My eight week old baby. My fourth bird.

But I knew. I knew as soon as I saw that small, little baby it wasn't good. There was no heartbeat. The baby stopped growing at 6 weeks and 2 days. Here I was, exposed, vulnerable, and in shock. They kept checking, there was silence, but we all knew.

Those moments replay in my head at the most random of times.

I went in so cocky, so sure everything would be fine. I even told Marc there was no need for him to come with me, just another check-up, we've done this before. How foolish was I?

They tell you it's the chromosomes, the body's way of knowing something isn't right. Well excuse me, there is nothing wrong with MY baby.  My baby's fine. My baby is perfect. Don't talk shit about something I love so much.

I'm supposed to protect my baby. At the very least I'm supposed to keep it alive. And I couldn't. I couldn't put a band-aid on it, no Tylenol, shit, I'd give my baby Gabe's seizure medicine if that will help.

But nothing would help. Nothing could change the outcome.

Heart broken. Shattered. And a piece will always be gone. I know that for a fact.

"Thank God it happened so early."

"Thankfully I already have three kids. Can't imagine this happening the first go round."

The things you tell yourself so you don't go insane. So you don't fall in to a deep depression.

When such a tragedy strikes the doctor pulls you in to his office.  Gives you three options: you can have a natural miscarriage, you can take one of two medicines to jump start the miscarriage, or you can have a procedure done, it's called a D&C. They give you all these options right after you've learned your baby is dead. I stared straight ahead and the words met my ears, but I didn't process it. I didn't have follow-up questions, didn't have a thing to say. I left saying I didn't want surgery.

I knew I had to call my mom but I couldn't call her while she was at work. So I'd wait. I picked up my kids at my friend's house and she knew. She could tell by the look on my face something was not good. Not good at all. She hugged me.  Many times. Even after knowing I hate hugs. HA! Sorry, have to add humor somewhere. It was nice to have someone to lean on because standing was not an option at that moment.

Then my mom texted me, "Is everything ok?" And she knew. Moms always know. So I had to call her at work, the one thing I didn't want to do. And I cried. Deep, real tears. Not the stupid tears you get when someone breaks up with you, or you don't get the job you want, those tears you cry when you think life is so hard but really isn't. These were tears of death and depression.

And the thing is, you have to repeat this story. You have to go over the details time and again. But it is my fault. I decided with this pregnancy I was going to tell my closest of peoples early because I was SO excited. I was having my final baby and it was glorious. I was so happy. We had names picked out, the doctor and I agreed on a c-section date, I knew who the Godparents were going to be. I told work I couldn't come back next year.  My brain was filled with baby things, it was all I could think about. So I told people.

Now I know why people don't.

Huge daggers stab in to you every time you repeat the words "there was no heartbeat", "it stopped growing."

But you know, saying it is nothing to feeling it. To think about what's going on inside your body is not a pleasant experience. I, choosing so, walked around with a dead baby for two weeks. But in a sick way I needed that experience. It gave me a chance to stay pregnant a little longer, mourn the death of my bird, and come to terms with that was happening.

When you choose to go the natural route, they give you a time limit. Makes sense, dead baby can't be in you but for so long.  So I scheduled my D&C for February 19. Baby #4 and I had two more weeks together before the eviction would be forced upon both of us.

Every day I waited. Every day I thought it would be the day.  It never happened. So on February 18th I went in for my pre-op work. Had an ultrasound to confirm what we knew, gave my blood and money to the hospital, and then went out to lunch with my husband.

And then we got home.

It started.

It started right after my in-laws left, Marc was busy with something, and there was macaroni boiling on the stove. Miscarriages start at the most inconvenient of times. It doesn't care that you have three kids to take care of, food to prepare, fights to stop, that life keeps going.

What I didn't know is that miscarriages mimic labor. The pain is real, but minimal at first. And then it intensifies. It becomes mind numbing. At least with labor you end up with a smoochy baby that you can snuggle and smell. I was going to end up with a whole of nothing.

And of course this would happen the night before my surgery. A surgery I didn't want but finally mentally prepared for.

I couldn't believe what a turn this had taken.

It started at 3 pm, it ended at 5 am. It ended with me crawling out of the shower, curling up on a very soft, pink robe, and going to sleep. It was the best sleep I had gotten in about two weeks. A weird sense of calm came over me. I knew it was over.

The pain Marc felt all night I cannot imagine. Yes, I went through physical pain, but I cannot fathom what he felt as he watched me wither around. That guy loves me. A lot. And I knew how lucky I was to have someone stick by me in such horrible circumstances. After Gabe's seizure he kept one eye open every night to make sure our baby was ok. On this night he kept one arm on me to make sure I was ok.

I woke up the next day and called my doctor's office to see what was next. Should mention here that Thursdays are his surgery days, so he is not in the office, he is at the hospital busy with surgeries. So getting a hold of him is quite difficult. So the nurse told me to come in for yet another ultrasound, this is number three by the way. The third time I'd see a uterus with no baby. Not heartbreaking in the least! So the two ultrasound techs told me there were was still some blood/tissue left but it was right at my cervix and I'd probably be passing it soon. You see, you can't leave anything behind, it can cause sepsis and sepsis is scary as shit. Never EVER read about it at 3 in the morning. Bad idea. Anyhoo, they finally get ahold of my doctor and everyone decides they'll cancel the surgery and give me one of those two medicines to jumpstart contractions to get everything out. Ok, fine, give me the meds. Take them for two days and notta.  Nothing. I have another ultrasound that Monday, yep, number four, which shows not everything is out. Fucking fantastic. So they give me the other medicine to jumpstart contractions and warned me it'll get bad. It'll be like what I experienced the week before. So he refilled my pain meds and sent me on my way.

I stayed awake all night waiting for it to begin.

It never did.

Of course it didn't. This is the case of the never ending miscarriage. Again, I found out on February 3, this is now February 24. I was done. Miscarriage won, Emily lost, I finally said perform the D&C ASAP. Somehow, someway, they had an opening for Thursday, February 26. It'll all be done. It'll all be over.

As a side note, because this fact cannot be lost, my paternal grandmother died on February 17. Days before my originally scheduled D&C and a day before my miscarriage. So my parents came down the night of my miscarriage but my dad had to leave the next night to attend the funeral. It was a pretty fucked up time I tell ya. My poor father lost his mother and his grandbaby in the same week. My mom and dad had to be apart during a pretty sad time. It's amazing how strong they both were for me. Their pain never showed, they put it all aside for me.

My mom stayed with us for five days. I never had to worry about my kids or my dog, she took care of everything so that Marc could take care of me. I cried, again, when she left. That sucked. But she gave me so much I knew she had to get back to her life.

The poor lady had to turn around and come back days later to take care of all of us again. Luckily my dad could come this time. Thank God for them. I would not have made it through this without them. They took care of my kids, cleaned our house, bought groceries, watched movies with us, loved us unconditionally. It's amazing how your age does not determine your need for your parents. At 34 I need them now more than ever.

I also have to thank Marc's parents, Barb and Steve. They checked on us multiple times a day, took care of kids when needed, and Barb drove me to appointments when I needed her to.  Family is the best, aren't they?

Again, so many people were saddened by this, but they never let me see it, they only worried about Marc and me and the kids. We have the most incredible people in our lives.  I didn't know people loved us so much and were so willing to take care of us. It's been a beautiful revelation.

Something else that needs to be mentioned is that it snowed the night before my final D&C. So at 5:45 am I was out shoveling the snow with my husband and father so we could get to the hospital on time. What are the chances?

I'm telling you, I've never been through such a fucked up situation. And I should probably apologize now for the profanity I used, but this is real life and these are my words. But I am sorry.

After Gabe's seizure I floated for a week. I told myself to breathe, to put one foot in front of the other, and just stay in the zone. I had to convince myself to press forward.

Same thing happened with this. I pulled a Scarlett O'Hara and kept telling myself to worry about it tomorrow. I did the very adult, very mature thing of ignoring what was happening. I just didn't think about it. I focused on everything but this.

The only problem is that it still creeps up. It boils to the surface and you can't do a thing but let the tears out. I only did this privately though. Who needs to see a depressed, crying lady? No one. The answers is always no one.

Day of surgery I was super nervous. I've never been put to sleep before. This was my first time. I am happy to say everything went well. They woke me up and that's really all I cared about.

I was in the little holding cell where they keep you right before surgery and all I wanted to do was cry. I wanted to cry for every sad thing I had ever felt. I wanted to cry for all the moms that had been in this position before, all the moms that wanted to get pregnant and couldn't, and the moms that lost babies. Every sad thing that had and could happen was filled in my tears. But I had to stop them. I couldn't be put under while crying. So I turned off the water works and tried to find my center. Tried to be grateful that the day was finally here when this nightmare would be over.

Here I am days later exhausted. My parents returned to Charlottesville and it's back to real life. I have to face the real world, no more hiding. No more laying in bed ignoring everything around me. I have to pull myself up by my bootstraps and get back to life. I can do this, right?

To everyone that was there for us, thank you. You'll never know how much you helped us.

And to my little baby, wherever you might be, I love you little nug. You were perfect for 6 weeks and you brought so much joy to so many. You'll always be my baby, my fourth bird, the reason I couldn't wipe the smile off my face.

Here is a song that helped me a lot.  It's quite beautiful.

"Smile" by Nat King Cole