120 Days

The VERY FIRST thing I have to say is that my niece Mandy is a big sister!  My step-sister Lyndsey had a beautiful baby girl 2 days ago.  Her name is Camille.  We are so very happy for Lyndsey, Vahe and Mandy!  We can't wait to meet the new addition to the family.  I know Maxie has probably already met this little cousin and if he loves her nearly as much as he loved Mandy, she will have a little guardian angel for life.  Congratulations!  We love her already!

Now that I have told you about Baby M, there is so much to catch you up on ... and THANK YOU for all of the beautiful comments, texts and emails congratulating us.  Being pregnant during such a heavy time of grief is so hard.  While there is this really awesome chance at a new beginning...the fear, the guilt, the hormones, the strangers comments (because I show), the genetic testing worries and everything else is just endless.  There are so many stories to tell but I want to start by telling you the story about our "120th day", because it is a good one.

According to Yogi practice (and it is a practice, not a religion), the soul comes into the body on the 120th day after conception.  The reason that my therapist (aka - spiritual counselor) told me to try and be positive these last weeks is because my 120th day was approaching and we wanted a really evolved and lovely soul to enter our baby...not a dark soul.  Listen, do I know what I am talking about?  No.  But, I figured it couldn't hurt to try.  For months, she'd been telling the class about Ted, Maxie and I.  She had told them of our loss and how much we have been hurting.  In the last few weeks, she has been telling them about the fact that I am pregnant again and has been asking them to send us prayers and positive energy for the baby.  On the 120th day, the class gathered together for the purpose of sending prayers and love to Baby M.  It was a hippie's delight, no doubt.  There were probably 60 people there.  At the start of class, people we'd never met approached us and brought us presents (yes, Ted was there too).  They brought us silk scarves and candles and jewelry and fragrant soaps and yogi chanting CDs and crystals....I even got a "Best Mom" Oscar award.  The presents came with cards and hugs and well wishes.  Throughout the class, the teacher asked everyone to focus on bringing light to the baby and the parents (us).  Towards the end of class, everyone did a meditation on Baby M and then afterwards, people came to us with more presents and hugs and kind words.  Make no mistake, we also heard some very weird stuff (as to be expected) but even that stuff put a smile on our faces.  After we left the studio, we gathered in a courtyard and handed out tangerines. Does this sound totally made up?  Because I promise you, it is not. Also, someone in the class baked delicious cookies for everyone in honor of the occasion.  Here are photos from the day.

During a meditation.  Ted and I sat in the back of the room.

From Left to Right: My teacher (therapist/spiritual guide) Tej, Me (in my "Rainbow Baby tank top that my friend Rachel made me!), Ted (sporting his grief beard that he has been growing since Max passed and his Team Maxie T-shirt), and Tracy (our grief counselor, who we love)

Tej and I.  I was telling her that every night before I got to sleep, I pray that Maxie's spirit will come into the new baby's body.  It's true, I do pray for this.  Don't worry, I already love Baby M, no matter whose spirit comes in.

Some of the presents that we received from others in the class.

As I recapped the whole experience from my perspective to Tej last week, she laughed and said that my description made it sound like a New Age sitcom.  It did have a little bit of a "Dharma and Greg" vibe to it for sure.  I also described the scene to my boss, Russell.  For some reason, I get a kick out of trying to convince him that I am a California nut - not that he needs any convincing at all....he told me that he refers to me as "The lIttle Birkenstock".  The truth is that I am probably the least "granola" person in that yoga class (though that ain't saying much).  Ted and I have definitely swung a little crunchier since Max passed.  Speaking for myself, I can say that I find myself (willingly or unwillingly) on some sort of a spiritual search and material stuff seems less and less important to me.  Have I gone off the deep end?  Probably a little....but that should come as no surprise.  I am looking for Max, hoping to find him in some meditation or prayer or dream...hoping he'll come back to me in my new child, or at least in his smile or the shine in his eyes.  I am looking to be embraced and loved, even with my flaws and baggage and sorrow.  I am looking for renewed hope and optimism, even though all I can see most of the time is darkness.  I am counting down the days until Baby M gets here so I can love him with all of my heart, like I loved his big brother.  Until then, I am just killing as much time as possible.

You KNOW I like to brag about my fundraising friends.  The newest addition is Erika.  Ted met Erika at his old job at Marmol Radziner.  Erika was, in fact, his "work wife".  I have always loved Erika and was glad that Ted had such a Type A woman (like me) looking over him during the work day.  We have had lots of fun times with Erika and her husband Ian.  They were two of our first visitors when we moved into our new house.  They brought us champagne and by the end of the night, Erika and I were country partner dancing at the Mexican restaurant down the street (with 2 drunk type-A women in the mix, it was impossible to figure out who was going to lead).  Erika fell for Max immediately.  She is a natural with babies and showed me a really comfortable way to hold and bounce him.  One of my favorite examples of how easy of a baby Max was is from Erika's birthday dinner at our house, when we put him to sleep and then had a full piñata party in the backyard.  Erika has set up her own fundraising page and will be working registration at our event next Thursday.  If I had to choose my husband's work wife, she is the one I would pick (good going Ted).  Erika's fundraising page is here: 5 K for Maxie's Forest.  
Our event is only 6 days away (lord, have I got a lot to do!).  Don't forget to sign up ahead of time by registering online: Maxie's Benefit.

1 comment

Jen Chadney said...

So happy for you and Ted. What a blessing! We look forward to the new baby boy!