Leila's Place

That ultrasound picture *kills* me. It's hard to see, but the top of it says "It's a girl" ~ that's how I told Yasar that we were having a little Leila instead of a little Oliver.

I'm just absolutely heartbroken right now....

His First Belt...


I Think I Get It Now....

I've done a complete 180 in the last few days, from dreading the Big Bad Due Date to actually anticipating it.

Because I'm planning to take that day and make it in honor of my Leila, but instead of moping, I'll be honoring her in a positive way.

By helping someone else.

So many other Glory Mommies do this:

Lea and her angel wings,

Bree and her butterflies,

Stephanie and her t-shirts (which are on my Christmas list),

Deborah and her hankies,

Kelly and her memory books and bears,

Celia and her blankets and hats,

Heather and her blog that offers support to new angel mommies,

my girl Anita and her amazing photography skills ~ without which, I'd have horrible memories of my baby. I love that I don't remember her, just the pictures you took of her.

And I know I'm missing a few others out there.

I think of these amazing women, and I finally understand.

They get through their grief by giving back. It's the only way they can make some sense of their loss. A healing balm.

And I'm taking my cue from them.

Leila, your due date is going to be a celebration of you. And I know in my heart that you're much happier with that decision than you would be with me staying in bed all day and crying.

It will be a day with tears, but also a day with smiles, hugs, and "thank you's". A day to look forward to.

Thank you to my examples. I love you ladies, and I wouldn't be where I am without your support.


When You Homeschool, EVERYTHING'S a Lesson

Yesterday a good friend came over. We sat on the porch, discussing everything under the sun (as we girls tend to do).

In the middle of our conversation, she said, "Emily, I don't know if this'll freak you ou, but there's a bug crawling up the leg of your chair." (she's a fairly new friend, but we're getting along famously.)

My standard reply is "as long as it doesn't bite or sting, I'm okay." I never even glanced down to see the type of bug.

After a few minutes, I saw this:Tiger was kind of watching it. This is no little bug - this picture is about twice it's size, so it's pretty big. The body itself is over an inch long.

So Tiger gets to playing with it. Mary and I are both kind of in awe of it. This was the "bug" she saw on my chair? The girl has the gift of understatement.

So Andrew grabs a jar and we catch it (no miracle, the thing walks sooo slow). And we head inside to look it up on Bug Guide. We're all sitting together, trying to figure out what classification to look under. We probably looked for about 5 minutes before I plugged in Mary's description of it - dinosaur. And there it was....the Sail Back Dinosaur Bug, aka Wheel Bug.

From the assassin bug family. Bite that hurts worse than a bee sting. Also emits a pungent odor when threatened, which can cause an allergic reaction. Eats bumblebees for lunch. Just one scary customer.

So here I am, freaking out because I picked this thing up with my bare hands! Tiger was playing with it like a cat toy! And Andrew is having a blast, listening to us and laughing.

I'm all for catch and release, but this little monster is dying in the jar. I'm not chancing meeting HIM in a dark alley anytime soon. For all we know, he's probably the type to hold a grudge.

Do you think Andrew will forget the wheel bug anytime soon?


Emotional Cleaning

Cleaning the house. Company's coming.

It isn't lost on me that I should be packing my hospital bag. Reading the final chapters of What to Expect When You're Expecting.

You know, the ones that have to do with no longer expecting, but instead experiencing.

I should have a belly rounded out by my Leila, instead of rounded out by my emotional eating.

They should have a warning label on PopTarts - they're every bit as addictive as crack.

I should be nagging at Yasar as he installs the infant carseat in my Nissan, telling him he's not doing it right.

My mailbox seems to be breeding Similac samples lately. Like bunnies. I should be stocking up instead of throwing them in the food pantry donation box.

You, too, Huggies.

Cleaning the house can seem like such a waste of time, in the grand scheme of things.

The good news is I got the bedroom cleaned, so I moved Leila over to my bedside table. Placed her in her Peace Bear's lap. And I think I'm going to get a picture framed. Or maybe see if I can get one drawn here. I'd love to see if they could draw one of my gremom holding Leila in heaven.

I feel like my nightstand has become kind of a mini-altar dedicated to her life.

But now she's within arm's reach as I dream about her, a pathetic little comfort.

I'm dreading the Big Bad Due Date. October 12th. It fast approacheth.

A question for my fellow angel mommies, any suggestions for something to do that day?


Habakkuk 3:17-19 (NIV)

17 Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,

18 yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.

19 The Sovereign LORD is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to go on the heights.



This week has been so HARD!

I feel like God has truly backed me into the corner.

Today they cancelled my credit card.

I was current on it. So I don't exactly understand why.

But I'm skydiving, and my last parachute just snapped on me.

So God, I sure as heck hope You're there.

And You're going to provide.

Because I'm face-to-face with my very darkest day.

More and more misery piling on top of me.

Last night I called my family and cancelled Christmas for this year.

Going under.

God, got a life preserver?


Leila's Collage

Thank you, Franchesca....

It's Funny...or not

...how I'm quick to turn to God for the benefit of others, but when it comes to my problems, He seems a zillion miles away.

...how quickly repressed feelings can flow once they're given an outlet.

...how bitter I am right now.

...and how misunderstood I feel.

Okay, it's not that funny.

I just feel alone.

And I'm not blind to the fact that this is mostly self-imposed.

Isolation is a normal part of the grieving process. Because, really, how many people know what it's like to lose a baby? How many can do more than offer empty words and platitudes?

And God. Almighty. Who *chose* to take my little girl. Yeah, I'm not too keen on Him right now.

My husband, the one I should be able to turn to, who - of all people on this earth - should understand my pain. He tells me to get over it. He's blind to it by choice. He's far more interested in his borderline-adulterous relationship with his business. Maybe that's just how he copes with his own pain, but at the same time he's failing me. And either he doesn't know it, or doesn't care. Both options are inexcusable.

I'm sick to death of venting on this blog, but I don't have any other outlet. Blog, you're the only one who really listens to me.




No, not big f***ing deal. That was sooo 25 years ago.


The Triple Whammy.

Because that's how it usually goes down, right?

How about the DBBFD?

A huge serving of BFD preceded by an appetizer of Dead Baby.

Too much has happened in to short a time.

I don't relate to my husband.

And I don't particularly care.

I feel like I've sacrificed everything for his ego, his dreams

and we have NOTHING to show for it.

And I just can't be blamed for that anymore.

He says I've stopped caring about things.

In some ways, that's good.

All the drama from PA this summer has just rolled off, never really registering to begin with.

But, when it comes to him "not feeling the love" from me, it's not desirable.

He actually used the D word yesterday.

Maybe he finally gets it?

A2 in Pictures

Domino's Petting Farm - on the Domino's Corporate campus
Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum
Watusi bull and his cows - these are fenced in on the outskirts of the Domino's Corporate parking lot. They also have a pen of shaggy mules, one for sheep, and some other strange cows. I'm not sure if it's a theme for Domino's or what, but it made for some cool pictures.
At the Rainforest Cafe in Auburn Hills.
Andrew posing with the "original" Domino's delivery car in the lobby of HQ.
Yes, I went there. :P to you Wolverine fans!
Stumbled on a berry picking patch, so we had to stop and try our hands at it.
Apple orchard and cider mill. A man playing bagpipes. Hot cinnamon doughnuts and cider slushies. Goats and ducks. Playing in a giant sandbox filled with dried corn. And a beautiful bag of apples to bring home.
And, hands-down Andrew's favorite place. We actually went twice!


are You there, God?

or are You still in hiding? because i still feel so empty. like i've been deserted. not good timing.

while i'm hurling my words at the sky, i'd like to ask You a question.

how could You?

wasn't dealing with infertility enough of a tragedy for me? did You have to wait until i was resigned to having just one child to throw that curve ball at me?

a positive pregnancy test. i remember sitting at the table next to my friend christine with my head in my hands, absolutely sick to my stomach. yes, i was that resigned, the positive test was not a completely welcome surprise.

and then i fell in love with my baby. and started freaking out when i was spotting.

the inconvenience and mess of progesterone inserts twice a day.

a big sigh of relief when i passed that 14 week mark, when the placenta would make enough progesterone and the baby was "safe".

the threat of miscarriage gone. no more holding back my emotions. we were going to have a baby.

God, why did You let me get past my first trimester? why did You let me feel feel secure that we were given this remarkable gift? that leila was a "given"?

this little girl. the daughter that we both wanted so badly.

You saw yasar's eyes when i told him it was a she. how could You disappoint him so badly?

are You trying to stop me from relaxing? feeling complacent? because You've certainly kept me on my toes.

and now You go and disappear on me? how am i supposed to navigate these waters without You?

my marriage feels like it's seeded with landmines. my husband's angry with me, and i don't care. and then he wants to make up, and i don't care about that, either.

my son is so often lately angry with me.

my daughter is in a small fake-stone container, to cold to offer any comfort.

more and more often, it becomes a struggle to get out of bed in the morning. paste a smile on my face. draw another breath. why bother?

where are You when I need You?


Missing You

Today it kind of hit me.

I should be 36 weeks pregnant now.


Seriously uncomfortable.

Ready to get you out of my body,

and bring you into the world.

Instead, my body's empty.


Just taking up space, it seems.

I don't cry for you much anymore,

but that doesn't mean I don't feel broken.


I should be nesting,

but instead, my house is cluttered and in need of a thorough cleaning.

And I don't really care.

I should be packing my hospital suitcase,

but instead I'm packing for a 3-day "vacation" in Ann Arbor.

My son should be preparing to adjust to a major life change.

Instead, all is right and as it should be in his little world.

Status quo.

I'm missing you, Leila.

I'm missing all you stood for.

I'm missing the changes and upheaval you'd have brought to our lives.

I'm missing the dreams of dirty diapers,

endless 3am feedings,

a little girl dressed in pink.

I'm missing the firsts:

day of school,

first boyfriend,



when you meet the one,

and picking out the white dress.

All these little dreams are wrapped up in missing you.


Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning...

Eight years? Wow, it seems like yesterday.

Yasar and I moved to Ohio together in 1998. Things were rocky for years. Then finally, on August 28, 2001, I moved out. Got my own apartment. Just me and my birds.

So I was in my daily routine. Reruns of ER were back-to-back on TNT in those days. I had them on for company while I got the birds' cages changed. I walked out of my kitchen, back into the living room with the food dishes, looking curiously at the TV and wondering "what the heck?" For a moment I thought it was actually a part of the show - sometimes they did sequences like that.

And then my comfortable, safe little world blew apart.

At the time I was working a Friday-Monday schedule. 9/11 was a Tuesday. So for the next 3 days I was fixated on the TV. I cross-stitched a beachy scene that still holds the residue of the memory for me. I left the apartment once to go to Columbus, and was disturbed by the lack of air traffic. After a few days, I started getting angry. Yelling at my birds.

I went back to work and marveled at how the Monday to Friday crowd got anything done, especially since Pacer put a TV in the lobby and had it permanently fixated on CNN.

Where were you?


Wildlife in Our Backyard

A praying mantis...
and a wooly bear


I relate to Job right now.

God feels so far away.

I know He's there, but He's out of arm's reach

and I need to put my arms around him Right Now.

I crave that feeling, that it's all going to work out

for the best.

Because right now the future's hard to see.

Hazy. Tainted.

And the past is no comfort.

Thinking back on this year,

I'm glad I'm not the "Family Update Letter" sort

to go along with my Christmas cards.

I'd be tempted to print that baby on black, depressing paper.

Maybe with little skulls and crossbones.

Hah. Made myself chuckle there.

God, I know your Arms are as big as the universe.

And I know you're an insanely busy guy.

But could You possibly take a minute away from

all the other crises out there

and just hold me?


And the Word of the Day Is:

B is for broken hearts and spirits
A is for asking God to get us through this trial
N is for not letting this situation get between our marriage or family
K is for knowing we did our best, even if it wasn't enough
R is for (dare I say it?) relief
U is for understanding the court system better than we ever wanted to
P is for pride, severely wounded as it is
T is for tallying up the value of everything we own
C is for constant collection calls, whick will thankfully be stopping soon
Y is for yanking ourselves up by the shoestrings and limping towards the future

Today was the day. Signing all the paperwork. Feeling ambivalent, elated, and deeply ashamed all at once. One door slamming shut, another peeking open.

This life is quite the journey.


Arabic Class

Boring day at the store. You can imagine it, but we had *no* orders today before 3pm. So we had Arabic class! This is Andrew posing with his "tay"
And the finished product. From right to left (because that's how they roll) aleph, bay, tay. A tasty lesson, one we won't soon forget.



We built our home in the winter of 2004/2005. When we moved in, it seemed idyllic. The perfect place to raise a family. Lots of space, there were only 5 houses on the cul-de-sac, the neighbor kids were very nice. It was a nice, quiet neighborhood.

And then more houses went up.

And more neighbors moved in.

More kids. Older kids.

Older kids whose parents maybe weren't as attentive to their kids' behavior.

Aw, crap. I'm just going to spell it out. Parents who didn't care a fig about their kid's moral base. Whose kids were brats and bullies. Meanwhile they looked the other way. It's easier to do that, you know.

Not ever saying Andrew's completely innocent. Far from it. The difference is I address the behavior when it comes up.

Wells Fargo, you want to come and take my house?

It's all yours.

I'm gonna go find a neighborhood with some decent kids. Kids I don't have to constantly worry about negatively influencing Andrew. Or threatening to beat him up. Hopefully a neighborhood with parents who care about how their children are being brought up.

I am sooo ready to move.



What's Wrong With Me?

It's been over two weeks since I've shed a tear. Or really even felt sad. Or really thought about my baby angel.

Considering it's only been 3 months since she went Home, is this normal?

I read my fellow DBM's blogs, and see them broken for months.

Sometimes years.

And I feel like this uncaring mom, who doesn't miss her little girl enough to grieve anymore.

I feel horrible about this.

But I still don't grieve.

And it's not like I'm avoiding the grief. I embrace the tears when they come, knowing that with the tears comes the healing.

Maybe I'm just a little messed up.

Maybe? Ha, almost certainly.


I Remember When....

Once upon a time, I was standing on top of the world.

I had everything. A great husband, a healthy baby on the way, opportunities gleaming golden all over the horizon.

A perfect, textbook pregnancy, delivery, son.

A new business with a bright future.

A giant home, with many bedrooms just waiting to be filled.

And no reason to think that would be a challenge, filling those rooms with the cries of babies.

Once upon a time.

I'm blessed, I still have a great husband and a perfect son.

But the business? It's so-so.

Not enough to provide for us, but just profitable enough to make it hard to walk away.

Not that we're walking away. Please don't assume that.

But the riches we dreamed of? That pot of gold? Still hiding at the end of the rainbow.

My giant house is going to be sold to the highest bidder in less than a week.

My waiting bedrooms will have someone else filling them with joyful children.

Unless we get our papers filed in time. But even then, it only postpones the inevitable.

Someday, before we even have to put up next year's calendar, we'll be moving.

In a way, I'm looking forward to it.

A fresh start. A change of scenery.

Hopefully moving closer to downtown.

Getting away from this neighborhood and the rotten kids that torture my son.

Maybe torture's a harsh word. Influence negatively?

However this all goes down, I know that our story will only end one way...

....and they all lived happily ever after.

Because that's the only way it can end, right?