A Tattoo to Remember

In order to heal we must first hurt.  Wow, that sounded pretty inspirational right?  Maybe when I’m dead people will talk about me and use that line like they do for famous people?  Or maybe they will just reflect on the silly dumbass I was, have a good laugh and quickly move on.

My point is that for a long time I have wanted something to symbolize my family.  Something unique, something special and something I could add to since Jesy and I want to grow as a family. We’re not the one and done type.  And anyone that knows me knows that I am pretty covered in tattoos anyway, so tattoo it was.

For me  a tattoo has to mean something, it’s going to be on your body for the rest of your life.  But I have always been a firm believer in not getting someone’s name tattooed on your body, not even your own wife.  I’m not judging anyone, it’s just a personal preference.  The way I figure is that anyone, including Jesy, could get tired of my shit (hell I get tired of my shit) so why get a tattoo of her name when there is even the slightest chance that she would not be around forever.  Sorry, it’s just the realist in me.  I love her and I know she loves me, but stuff happens.  I don’t think she will ever leave me, but the possibility always exists so no names.  Plus, to me it always seemed so cliche, I wanted something with a little deeper meaning.

{What then?}

After some soul-searching and deep thoughts (not with Jack Handy) I came up with this little idea that fit all my criteria.  No names, original, and has a deep meaning.  A space theme.  A sun, moon and a single star.  It seemed like a perfect idea and here’s why:

  • The Sun (Jesy) – Is there any better representation of Jesy than a sun?  Bright, bigger than life, full of energy, life-giving and keeps me warm.  And much like the people before William Hershel came along, Jesy thinks the universe revolves around her.  Just kidding of course, but I couldn’t resist putting that in here!
  • The Moon (Me) – Another spot on representation.  Being introverted I tend to come off as a lifeless orb that depends on other things to get noticed.  Just like the moon relies on the sun to glow, I depend on Jesy to shine.  She has brought out a lot of the good that I have in me.  Without her I would just be a big gray rock that NASA likes to leave their garbage on.
  • The Star (Baby Herron) – A star is a sun that is just really far away, but it still shines bright enough that it can be seen.  Our little star may not have burned too long, but it burned bright.  You might notice that this star is a special star.  It has a pink hue to it and at the center has a little yellow “halo”, it needed to be able to be unique for what would have been our baby girl.

I chose a place, the inside of my arm, that I knew would hurt.  It had to hurt.  For a man, physical pain is easier to understand.  I wanted to have a physical pain to try to help relate to the emotional pain we have gone through, to help give me more clarity, to make it more real for me.  I didn’t have to carry the baby for 21 weeks, I didn’t have to go through what Jesy did on November 18th.  I needed to feel something.  And feel it, I did.

The tattoo will take about two weeks to heal, perfect timing really.  By the time this heals we should be clear to try to have another baby.  Normally a tattoo would have no effect at all in trying to have a baby, but let’s see if you can follow me in my thought process here.  Physical and emotional healing at the same time.  Being able to try again will certainly help with the emotional healing. It of course won’t eliminate it, that pain may never completely go away, but this will be a huge step forward.  Much like the tattoo will always be here, but the pain won’t.  It will heal and stand as a beautiful reminder of what we went through.

And as we go forward I will be able to add to the tattoo.  With our (next?) child/children I can add another star, just no halo this time.

So, let the healing begin….

Again.


{Side note on the tattoo artists}

Special thanks to Tommy and Nate at Designs By Dana in Covington.  Tommy was the actual artist and obviously did an amazing job. He was also able to put up with my many emails of ideas and changes.  Nate was also there and he simply kept Jesy entertained with his crude humor while I was getting my tattoo done.  Thank you so much fellas!  If you have any hookers that need taken care of go see Nate (Sorry inside joke)!  I would HIGHLY recommend either of them for a tattoo.

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New Discovery

This past week has been a homeowner disaster. While George was doing laundry on Sunday (yes, I’m a lucky girl) he noticed a gurgle sound in our basement and then noticed a water back up in our sewer drain. He was off on Monday so it was decided that he would call Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) to have them take a look. MSD was a great suggestion by my Aunt Karen in November of 2009 when our tree roots invaded our sewer line. It seemed to be the same issue and we thought that MSD was able to come once a year to rod the line which they do for free. LONG story short MSD said they couldn’t do the job because in fact they were only able to come once every two years and suggested we call a plumber. Plumber came Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday but said we had to call MSD again to finish the job. MSD came out again last night and within 15 minutes we were golden. As they left one of the MSD representatives suggested we use bleach and water to clean the concrete in our laundry room to rid the smell of sewer.

I ran out to get some gas, dinner and bleach and while I was getting gas near my house the employee of the station asked if I needed anything from inside because she was going to lock it up to go clean the bathrooms. I thought I would try to kill two birds with one stone and asked if she sold bleach. She said she didn’t and referred to the little market next door that would have bleach but it was extremely overpriced. She asked which direction I was heading and I told her I was headed to Chipotle for dinner (don’t worry, I’m counting all those points). Oddly enough, she didn’t know what Chipotle was but she did say that I should head to the “mexican place down the street” because they sold bleach for a cheap price.

At first I had NO clue what “mexican place” she was referring to but she did say it was down the hill on Glendale-Milford Road. I figured I would just head in that direction as their was a Chipotle near the intersection of Reading Road and Glendale-Milford Road, what did I have to lose. As I was approaching the intersection I realized she was either referring to Aldi or the Asian market in the plaza on Glendale-Milford Road. Neither one struck me as “mexican places” but I went ahead and stopped in at Aldi.

{MY NEW DISCOVERY}

I know that my mom often goes to Aldi (especially now that she is angry with Kroger) but I have never been nor have I really thought to go. This place was CLEAN and organized even if it was all stacked on pallets and in boxes, it had friendly staff and I was curious about the brands they sold. I made my way around the aisles even though there were only a few because it was so small. I didn’t grab a grocery cart because I was only there to pick up bleach but I did notice that you needed to insert a quarter in order to use a cart, small inconvenience but was later told that it kept the carts collected and in good shape because you got your quarter back if it was returned. I was checking out and asked the cashier if by any chance Aldi was a Mexican-owned company. She laughed and asked where I heard that information. She then went on to explain that Aldi was a German-owned company and that Aldi also owned Trader Joe’s. How many of you have shopped at Trader Joe’s and never knew that it was owned by Aldi? I’ll raise my hand on that one!

The cashier continued on explaining the history of Aldi and since she knew I was a first-time shopper she filled me in on the process of the shopping carts, the reason they don’t accept credit cards (to save money), why they encourage you to bring your own bags and their own private label. She suggested that I check out the website and now I’m suggesting it to you. There is a link that also encourages you to take the Aldi One Week Shopping Challenge where they promise that you will save money. I might try this and if I do I’ll let you know.

The “what-ifs” are killer

I was driving into work this morning and a terrible thought quickly passed through my mind. It was quick but it did a tad bit of a damage on its way through. On my way to work I exit the highway near the road that leads to Christ Hospital and it reminded me of the morning that we were going in for our 20th week ultrasound. I was so excited that day. I had the biggest grin and this glow because I was going to find out the sex of our baby. I was going to have a name to fit this growing being in my belly. And I was going to end my day at Kenwood mall with a mini shopping spree of either PINK or BLUE.

All this flowed through me this morning and within seconds it brought tears to my eyes. And then I thought, HOLY EFFING SHIT, if the baby would have been a boy it would have been okay. And then that thought led me to this thought, if I didn’t secretly wish we were having a girl then we would have had a boy and a boy can’t have Turner Syndrome and then I would still be pregnant and the baby would be okay. Typing this brings tears to my eyes again. It also makes me sound like a crazy person, who would think this? I guess a human being that tries to still figure out exactly how this all happened to her.

I’m getting better. Really, truly, scouts honor I am. I have gone a day or two without suddenly crying and I can talk about our first pregnancy story without it completely smashing my heart. I have a hard time looking at pictures of when I was pregnant, especially the last few that were taken and I also have a hard time with Christmas coming up. I think this is because I had a plan for how Christmas was supposed to be this year. My expectation of Christmas 2010 was one with a pregnant me wearing a cute red maternity dress (that is still hanging in the laundry room downstairs) and opening presents for the Baby (Fill in the sex) Herron that was to come. Shit, at Christmas we would have known the name of the baby and knowing my family I’m quite sure Baby Herron would have received more gifts than George and I combined. Its not about the gifts but its about the memories and the expectations that I kept replaying over and over in my head. And now.. well, the expectations are merely put on hold. Too bad I’m not a patient person.

I know that George and I will still have a great Christmas. How can’t you while surrounded by our friends and family? We will start the festivities on Christmas Eve with the Ottopal’s and that will just be nuts. Picture a billion people packed in at my uncle’s house with Christmas paper whizzing past your head, noise levels so loud that it could wake the dead and amazing food and bourbon slush. Fun, right? And our Christmas doesn’t end this year until New Year’s day at the Herron’s with pork and sauerkraut.

But man… I’m really looking forward to a new year!

Avoiding the barista

After a lunch meeting today I was freezing cold and super close to my coffee love, Starbucks. I hoofed it over to the ‘bucks to get my favorite latte, just a tall which is actually the “small” to help warm me up on my walk back to the office. I was going up the escalator in the 580 Building downtown when it dawned on me – my barista at Starbucks knew I was pregnant. Just then a mini panic set in that I may have to endure the typical questions one would ask someone when they are pregnant. I actually tried to casually sneak past the Starbucks to see if she was there and when I saw the black hair I freaked out that it was her. I took a closer look and noticed that it was a new girl, THANK goodness for the new girl. I was then able to relax, order my tall, 1/2 caff., no foam skinny vanilla latte.

As I was walking back to the office it did dawn on me that I can’t avoid people. I can’t avoid the lady at the bank that was doting on my cute belly a few weeks ago or the one client that doesn’t know my latest 3-week life story and will ask how I’m doing. I just have to come up with my “standard” answer, look people in the face and tell them. Is it weird that I’m already feeling anxious about that persons’ reaction to what I will tell them? Can you imagine being that client that asks how I’m feeling and I tell them I’m fine because I’m not pregnant anymore. WOWZA…..awkward! Or when someone asks if I have children. Well, that is a tough one because I do have one child but she doesn’t live with us, she lives in heaven. That will draw some blank stares. UGH, I’m just dreading the moment but one day soon I’m sure it will be here and I’ll be back on this blog letting you know how it went. Maybe then I’ll fill the Zoloft script and have a glass of wine as a chaser (I’m kidding George and Mom and Kat and everyone else that I’m sure had a slight scare to that little joke).

Until next time….

Welcome Mason Matthew

Yesterday was a LONG day for me but it was a good one. I went back to work (YAY!) which was a huge plus for me to get back the normalcy I was craving. Also, George and I became a first-time Uncle and Aunt to a beautiful baby boy. Mason Matthew Wenstrup made his debut last night at 7:42pm weighing in at 6lbs and 14oz and measuring 19.5in. He is a blessing to our family.

It was such an amazing experience to be at the hospital right before Jami was about to push and to be among the first people to see Mason. I have been to see babies a day or so after they were born and even saw Aayla 3 hours after she was born but there was something about the energy and the excitement of being in the waiting room with family. I got to the hospital when it was only Matt, Jami and Dina (Jami’s mom) in the room. Jami was about 2-3 cm. dialated in the morning when she arrived at the hospital and after her dose of petosin at 2:00pm she quickly progressed to 9-10 cm. by 5:00pm. The nurse called our favorite gyno, Dr. Caligaris, and the rest of us called family letting them know to get to the hospital. Most of us were in the room before Dr. Cali got there and of course when he opened the door to see us all he just chuckled. I think after the month we have had he is done with the Wenstrup/Herron clan.

The waiting game started when we were pushed out of the room so Jami could start pushing but only 10 minutes passed when Matt exited the room. Don’t get excited….he had to go to the bathroom. I thought Toni Baur was going to KILL him. She pretty much followed him to the bathroom and made sure he hurried up to get back to the room with Jami. Of course Matt would pull that kind of stunt! The rest of us took over the Waiting Room and if you know my family you know that we aren’t the quiet type. Mom, Dad, Brian, George, Dina, Randy, Toni, Erin, Kendra and I all waiting together.

About an hour into waiting a man comes into the waiting room wanting to know if there was a phone book to order food from Isadores. I knew the name of the restaurant and looked up the number on my phone and gave it to him, telling him that my old company used to order food there and their pasta was delicious. He kept offering to buy our party food but of course we all declined. Such a nice gesture, right? About a half hour later he walks back into the room and hands me a pizza. Tells me to make myself useful and hold it! Then tells us to enjoy. Wow, isn’t it funny when stuff like that happens? Then he comes back and hands me a little box that has spaghetti with meatballs and garlic bread and says, “you said you liked their pasta.” Again, WOW!

We were all enjoying the food when Mom just walks in and says, “6 pounds and 14 ounces.” Of course the rest of us are like “WHAT?” She is so non-chalant about the whole thing and after someone asks she says, “oh yea, Mason is born.” Haha! Then we all freak out! It was so emotional. The whole experience was emotional…seeing Matt right before we left him with Jami to start pushing made me ball my eyes out. He was going to be a dad and that got me all choked up but then seeing him actually hold Mason and bring Mason to be with Jami got me again. I’m so proud of my brother and how much he is really filling these shoes. And to look around at my mom and dad and now see them truly as “Grandma” and “Grandpa” was amazing, they were so proud! My dad had the video camera and there were tears in his eyes and mom was just cooing over Mason and loving on Jami. George was the proud uncle taking pictures from every angle of the handsome baby and his new family. It was awesome!

Mason and Mommy are both doing great. I was able to see him 3 times last night in the NICU transition area. He was in there because of the trauma from birth (not un-common) to keep an eye on his breathing which was raspy at first and because he really just got beat the hell up during birth. The last time I saw him last night was when Jami was wheeled down to see her baby boy, it was emotional. I knew how bad Jami wanted to hold him, hell I was dying to hold him and I’m just the aunt! She was a super mom the way she was asking the questions and taking in every detail about her son. The doctor was asking Jami questions, they seemed like basic background questions about the health history and the birth and stuff and then the doctor asked if anyone in the family had any chromosome abnormalities. I froze and I could see Jami also do the same. I can’t remember exactly what was said after that but I do remember choking up and thinking for a small second that what I had gone through was hereditary. It was a scary few seconds but it was easy to move on, calm down and love on Mason for a few more minutes before Jami was admitted to her new home for the next couple of days.

I know in my heart of hearts that Mason being born just a month after George and I got our world flipped is a blessing. Mason is going to be one loved and SPOILED (yes Jami, I said spoiled) little boy. The moment I laid eyes on him I fell in love. I’m so excited to be his only aunt and I know George is excited to be an uncle. Thank you Matt and Jami for letting us experience one of your most incredible moments in your lives. I’m so lucky to have such an open and loving family and I was reminded of this YET again last night.

Okay… now you have to check out the cutest little boy!

Just moments after he was born

The smallest things

I am finding that the smallest things have the biggest impact these days. Not sure I made it clear in my last blog post but we did accidentally find out the sex of our baby despite our best wishes not to know. It was the most crushing blow yet and it has left such an impact with me.

Let me take you back a few weeks when we were in the hospital and knowing that we were going to deliver our baby.  George and I made the conscience decision to disconnect from the baby as much as possible as it was what we needed to help survive the darkest hour. It was the only way we knew that would help us move on and after the baby was delivered it was helpful to not know if it was a boy or girl. I never once tried to picture a face or look at “blue” and weep or look at a baby girl and wish.  We had our last doctor appointment (last Monday) and the nurse brought us back to the room to see the doctor but before we saw him she sat down, looked at me and asked, “what did you name her?”

SMACK –  I was knocked back…I was shocked…I was heartbroken. I didn’t want to believe what I just heard and I tried my hardest at that moment to not let the flood of tears take over.  It was a hard fight but I was winning until she left the room. I lost it. George tried so hard to make it seem like she made a mistake and I tried to let myself believe him but somehow I knew in my heart that the nurse was right and on November 18th I gave birth to a little girl.

Our theory was confirmed one day later when my doctor called to reveal the genetic test results. He told us that our baby had Turner Syndrome which he had mentioned could be the case in our earlier conversations. In Turner Syndrome the baby (it only happens in girls) is born with one X chromosome and the other is either damaged, partially there or non-existent. I believe he mentioned in our case the other X chromosome is non-existent. And then couple that with all the other issues our baby girl had and you have what George referred to as our “anti-lottery.”

I feel like you have to know this back story for me to be extremely honest with my feelings from here on out on this blog. I’m going to struggle as I have been struggling this entire week with this little fact. I gave birth to a little girl. I am a mom to a baby girl. George is a dad to a baby girl. I have yet to not choke up when I say or even think that I gave birth to a baby let alone knowing the sex and calling it a baby girl. Yesterday we were at my in-laws getting storage boxes of our crap to bring back home and I opened one of the boxes and noticed something red. I pulled this red fabric out of the box and tears welled in my eyes. It was my favorite little red dress that was bought for my cousin, Athena. I asked my aunt if I could have it once Athena was done with the dress because I wanted when I had a daughter. I love that dress but when I held it up it hurt so bad because I did have a daughter and she will never wear this dress.

Am I mad at the nurse that slipped? No, it was an accident and either way when George looked up Turner Syndrome it was going to give us the same answer as Turner Syndrome only exists in girls. However, when George researched Turner Syndrome he called me immediately to tell me not to look it up as it only confirmed what the nurse had said and he would have taken that information to the grave if he had to. The only reason he didn’t was because I looked up other information about genetics and egg abnormalities and found out the same thing, Turner Syndrome only exists in girls.  I will say that I am upset about knowing the sex especially so soon after delivering the baby. I found out less than two weeks after delivery when I was preparing myself to either never know or to maybe find out 20 years from now. I guess that deserves some explanation as to how but I’ll leave it here – my mom has a “memory box” that has information about the baby that George and I don’t want to open. What is in the box? I don’t know and I don’t know if I want to look at least for a long, long time. I found out the sex and it broke my heart I can’t bear to know anymore right now.

Today I go back to the doctor and I’m hoping to be cleared to return to work. I know that returning to work and getting back into the “groove” will be extremely helpful to me. As I stated in my last post I pray for normalcy and my work-week routine. I want to get up in the morning, get ready for work, pick up my over-priced coffee, drive to work, check my email, chit-chat with the co-workers, contact my clients, meet with new contacts and look forward to another day and another week and another year.

What to say?

I haven’t posted anything since George and I announced the sad news about our baby.  I really wanted to get on here and hammer out a few blog posts because the first one was therapeutic for me.  But each time I started a post I would get stuck on what to say.  What do you say in this situation?  We realize that our friends and family sometimes don’t know what to say to us and we really don’t know what to say either.  There is really nothing that can be said, no words to express the heartbreak.  All I could think of was something like, “Hey World, I’ve had the worst three weeks of my entire life. So what’s up with you?” Doesn’t seem like a great way to start a blog post but here we go……

Hey World, George and I have had the worst three weeks of our entire life. We have literally been sucker punched and I’m reminded each day of the loss. But I’d be lying if I said it was all 100% bad because it isn’t. We have been surrounded by friends and family and I can’t say enough how important that has been to both of us.  Each email/text/Facebook message, each card, each hug, each flower arrangement and each smile has all been vital in our survival recently.  George and I have said it a hundred times but we have been overwhelmed by the love and support.  I’m not sure if we will ever get back to each one of you individually but please know that we appreciate all that you have done for us.

For me it has been a constant roller coaster of emotions and each day is a new day that brings its own set of new moments, good and challenging.  Its hard to believe that on November 18th I delivered a baby.  I have to say it to myself out loud sometimes because it still seems surreal to me.  I-delivered-a-baby.  Nope, today it doesn’t feel real.

Each week also feels like it will get easier then something knocks me down.  Since November 8th my world has been rocked three times.  Each time we would learn something new I would have to get comfortable with that information and once I was “comfortable” something new would happen again.  Each time I thought I was standing on my own two feet I’d get knocked back down with a harder punch than before.

First knock down – Get the news that there was something wrong with our baby.

Stand back up

Second knock down – The loss and delivery our baby.

Stand back up

Third knock down – The information from the genetic testing and finding out the sex of our baby.

Can’t say that I’m standing yet…but I’m working on it.

Isn’t there a rule of 3?  I hope that there is a rule of 3 in my case and now my surprises are over.  I so desperately want to get on with my life and start again with a new pregnancy.  We were told that our case was rare and it was “unlikely” to happen again.  So let’s move one, let’s try again. Not yet, I still need to physically and emotionally heal.  Everyday I pray and beg for normalcy and the ability to move on.  Not “get over” what we experienced but to move on, move forward with my life and not be stuck in the feeling I have now.  I’m sick of crying and I’m sick of the space in my heart and soul that is completely empty.

I haven’t pinned an exact reason as to why George and I were chosen as the “lucky” couple to go through this madness and I don’t know if I ever will.  I do know that because of our experience we will always have a special bond that only the two of us will ever know. Sure, our close family and friends are experiencing pain, suffer and loss with us but there will always be a bond that will bind George and I together.