Dear Daddy

Today is your birthday.  You are 69 today.  Or you would be.  But I suppose  you will actually be 65 forever.

Someday, I may actually be older than you, although I don’t think I will ever be wiser.

I tell the twins about you.  They want to meet you, see you again.  I show them the picture of you holding them when they were just a few weeks old.  It’s the only picture I have of you holding them.  Because we had time.  Until we didn’t.

You gave me everything, Daddy.   You gave me love.  You gave me things.  You gave me hope.  You would get so mad at me you could hit me, but you never did.  Instead you would give us both space.

I never wanted for anything, which is crazy to even think about.  I never knew that until I was probably 11 or 12 years old, we were poor.  I had a roof over my head.  I had food in my belly.  I even had horses, cats, dogs and my very own four wheeler.

But while I had those things, you went without.  Looking back to the day you brought home that new blue Chevy truck, that they used to call your pimp truck (which, by the way, I was too young to even know what that meant, I just laughed with our family when your brother said it), I realize that was the year you finally made it.  That was the year that you didn’t have to worry about money anymore.

That was the year that not only did I have everything, YOU had everything too.

Of course you would tell me that you had everything because you had me, mom and my sister.

You gave so we wouldn’t want.  You were so proud to be able to buy me a car when I turned 16.  Even prouder to be able to pay my college tuition so I wouldn’t have loans and could have a future.  And, even though you will never admit it, you were even PROUDER when I went to law school, graduated, got a job and made partner within a couple years.  You and mom, afterall, did raise me better than to become a lawyer (or so I have been told many times).

You always wanted us to not take things for granted and yesterday, it hit me.

You see, yesterday, I threw away a pair of socks.  They had a hole in them, they needed to be thrown away.  But as I did so, I remembered you telling me once that it was so hard for you to throw simple things away because when you were little, you never knew if you would be able to get another one.  You didn’t know if you would be able to get new socks, even if your’s were so threadbare that they offered no warmth.

Good news, Daddy.  I can replace my socks.  Because you taught me how to take care of myself, how to be independent and how to be the daughter you always wanted me to be.  You did good, Daddy.

You aren’t here now and we miss you.  You should be here, but you aren’t.  So I will continue to honor your memory and do the things you taught me to.

I just hope my daughters will learn all that I have from you, through me.

So, the only present I can give you today, Daddy, is the knowledge that you did well raising me.  I get it now.  I will bring you the cork from my wine that I drink tonight as I think about you and I’ll celebrate the fact that although many people may say it, I know for certain.

I did have the best daddy in the world.  Thank you for being mine.


I’ll Pretend

Every day people ask how I’m doing “since”…you know.  Since we lost that baby.  Since the surgery. Since I still don’t know what’s going on with me.

I’ll pretend and say fine because that’s what people want to hear.  They want to think that this stuff happens (to other people, not to them, of course) and that they get over it because that’s what people should do.

Then they want to talk to me about their friend, sibling, self that’s pregnant.  The new baby born in the family.  How amazing it is that people have babies.

And again I’ll pretend.  I’ll pretend to be interested.  I’ll pretend to care.  I’ll pretend to be happy for them.

When honestly, I’m not interested.  I don’t care.  I’m not happy for them.

The good news is, for everyone else, I don’t need to be interested.  I don’t need to care.  I don’t need to be happy for them.  As long as they are interested, they care and they are happy.

I’ve had a friend for over 21 years.  She and I never see each other.  We live less than 90 minutes apart but we both have full time jobs and kids and lives.  So each day we email.  Our emails include snippets such as:  “I put you as a reference.  I believe after this many years of friendship it’s actually illegal for you to say anything other than I’m the best person you’ve ever known in your life.”  And “He did me a favor all those years ago by cheating on me and I can happily say he got stuck with the homeliest looking woman I’ve ever seen.  And that woman is not me.”  And “I’m so glad I don’t care what people think of me. It’d be exhausting to keep up that kind of appearance.”

I don’t have to pretend with her.  Ever.  I say what I want, say what I think and she never once bats an eye.  Usually her response is “Say it to me so you don’t make someone else cry.”  SO I do.  I tell her when I think it’s unfair that people who have horrible marriages (or worse, no marriage at all) get pregnant and get to have babies and I don’t.  I tell her when I think it’s ridiculous that people pretend to be something they’re not just for attention.  I tell her when I see picture after picture of someone’s new baby and realize that person has another kid too – another kid that they don’t like – yet they spend all their time talking about the baby like it’s the second coming.  I tell her how mad I am for the older child, the one who will never be enough.  And how mad I am for the younger child, the one they had to save their marriage because that’s a lot to put on a child and it won’t work anyway.  That child will eventually be treated like the older sibling and it’s just not right.

I say all this and she just listens, generally agreeing and adding her one anecdotes about people she knows who are just like the ones I know.

Then I go back to pretending.  Pretending to be interested.  Pretending to care.  Pretending to be happy.

Everyone puts so much value on their being based on what everyone else thinks of them, when 99% of the time, people simply don’t think of them.  I know, because why else would someone complain to me about being pregnant the day after I lost my baby?  Because they weren’t thinking of me.  And that’s ok.  Because you can’t think of everyone else all the time.

The good news is I can be happy with my life. I can be happy with my marriage (which is stronger than ever) and my children (who are cuter than everyone else’s children) and my career (which is stable, unlike most everyone else’s) and the life that we have built (because my husband and I built it together).  Thankfully, I don’t have to pretend when it comes to those things.  Which probably makes me a pretty lucky person.

Oh and if you really want to make me feel better, buy me this card.  I like it.


The Best of News becomes the Worst of Times

In June, my husband and I found out we were pregnant.  I wrote the linked post on August 11 at 12 weeks pregnant.

Twenty days later, at 15 weeks pregnant, I found out the baby’s little heart had stopped sometime around 14 weeks.

This is my third pregnancy loss.

There’s not much to say.  There’s a ton to say.  I don’t know how to say it.

My pregnancies keep making it longer.  7 weeks, 10 weeks, 14 weeks.  So next time it’ll be what? 20 weeks?  Or maybe I’d actually make it to term?

I may never know.  Some days I want to try again, others I just want this part of my life to be over.

It’s worse this time because I was further along, we had told people – we had told EVERYONE – because we were sure THIS was it.  I had bought maternity clothes and started making plans for a nursery.  We had told the twins.

The worst part of this is the twins.  They don’t get it.  Their daddy told them I lost the baby and it went to heaven with their pawpaws and Uncle Adam.  But they don’t understand why the baby won’t come back.

Little C asks me every day “Did that baby come back into your belly?” The first thing she said to me on the day I found out was “Mommy, we can go look for it.  We’ll find it and it won’t be lost anymore.”  If only it were that easy.

Little G curled up in my lap Monday night and said to me “Mommy, if the baby comes back, it’d be ok with me if it’s a brother.”  Little G had her heart set on a sister.

The second worst part of this is that my body hasn’t computed the loss yet.  I’m still walking around with a baby in my belly even though it’s no longer alive.  Tomorrow morning, I go in for surgery to have the baby removed.  I was given the option of taking drugs to induce a miscarriage but I couldn’t stand the thought of that – I couldn’t stand the thought of having my baby, which looked like a small version of a newborn on the ultrasound screen, in a toilet.  I can’t even stand the thought of seeing him or her at this point.  So now I wait for morning.  And the future.  And hope that this time someone can give me an answer as to why this is happening.

After my last miscarriage, my doctor refused to do any additional testing to find out if I had any disorder causing this.  I have switched doctors and am hopeful this one will be more proactive, especially with an early 2nd trimester loss this time.  Maybe if we have an answer, I will try again.  But for now, all I want is to forget about the past few months.


NON-Maternity Maternity Clothes

When I found out I was pregnant and felt like this one was going to REALLY happen, I realized I needed clothes.  I had maternity clothes but last time I was pregnant was different for a few reasons.  First: I had all of my BFF’s maternity clothes so I barely bought anything.  Second: I was working in the office 100% of the time and NOT going to court.  Third: I was pregnant for summer and early fall.

Long story short.  Very few of the maternity clothes I had would work, at least not for the duration of the pregnancy.  So I emailed my Front Door Fashion stylist Carson and asked her if they did maternity styling.  The answer?  At first a disappointing “No.”  But then she surprised me.  She said “Even though we don’t CARRY maternity clothes, I think I can style you with other clothes that you will like and will work for your pregnancy.”

Intriguing.  Clothes I can wear WHILE pregnant but also when I’m not?  I like this idea.

Let’s face it.  Having kids is expensive.  And it’s not just the whole doctors appointments, hospital births, baby supplies, baby clothes, furniture, etc.  But BEING pregnant is expensive because MOST of our wardrobes will NOT work while pregnant.  Add to that, I am going to Federal Court a lot now and I can’t just wear whatever there.  I was desperate for some NICE clothes.  But I didn’t want to spend a ton of money on NICE clothes that I will wear for 6 months and get rid of.  It sucks.

So I asked Carson to send me a box.

Have I mentioned before how much I love Carson?  I have, haven’t I?

The box came yesterday.

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Let’s start with these two Trina Turk dresses.  How much do you love them???  I do.  Again, these are NOT maternity dresses but they should work for most of my pregnancy.  Not pictured is a beautiful scarf sent with the black dress and a blazer that I absolutely LOVED but it was just too small on my arms.  :(  I kept both of these dresses and the scarf.  Luckily I do have other black blazers I feel like I can wear with the black dress and it will be perfect for court.

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Next I had two pairs of leggings, this ivory shirt and scarf and this red tank and poncho (Tank and Poncho are also Trina Turk).  I didn’t keep the leggings because I have a ton of leggings (maternity and non-maternity) already.  I also sent back the ivory shirt.  I really liked it, but it was a little snug on my arms and I was afraid I wouldn’t like it enough to wear it if it was snug there.  I did keep the scarf, red tank and poncho.  I won’t be wearing the poncho to court, but I will be wearing it to the office.  Again, none of these clothes are labeled “Maternity” but should work for the duration of my pregnancy.

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Black pencil skirt.  It’s perfect.  It’s going to work the entire pregnancy because of where it lays on me.  The blue shirt is just adorable and will work for most of the pregnancy (well, maybe all – as long as I don’t get as big as I did with the twins, it should make it a long way).  The skirt and blue top are PERFECT for court.  Throw on a blazer and the look is complete.  The red floral shirt is very flowey (is that a word?  Probably not) and is perfect for me to wear to work at the office.  It’s a little bold for the courts I currently practice in but it’s perfect for work and also play, I think.  And to think when I started using FDF, I said no to florals.  I’m glad Carson changed my mind!

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Finally, black pants and another blue top with a black blazer.  It’s already a perfect courtroom look!!!  This blazer fit nicely and I can wear it with the above outfits when I want a looser fitting blazer.  Also, Carson mentioned this outfit would be so comfortable I would feel like I was in my pjs.  She was RIGHT.  Next the midi skirt and black shirt.  Super comfy and perfect for days in the office.

Not pictured is a black tank by Tees by Tina.  Her tees are amazing.  If you don’t have any tanks by her, go get one.  You will not regret it.  Also not pictured is a great matte silver necklace, which I kept.

So if you were keeping count, I kept everything but a blazer that was snug on the arms, an ivory shirt that was snug on the arms and two pairs of leggings because I didn’t really need them.

Again, FDF does NOT carry maternity clothes but Carson was nice enough to pull from what they had to give me things she felt would work for my pregnancy.  THIS was a win.  I will be able to wear all of this for the pregnancy and after.  I’m already wearing the first Trina dress pictured.  :)

If you want to look into getting a box from FDF, click here!  It’s my referral code and I’ll get a credit (BUT through the end of September, you get one too!).

Oh Maternity Clothes

I’m posting two posts today because I got a LOT of maternity clothes this week.  First, I went back to Stitch Fix for some stuff.  I told my stylist I was pregnant and I needed some casual items and some professional items.  I Have learned this week that my version of professional and others version of professional are not the same.

I received:


This Asher Maternity Dress for $138.  It was ok.  It might be cute with a bump.  But for $138 I need more than just ok and “might be cute.”  Also, it is once again navy and orange.  I am a Hokie.  I am not a UVA grad.  Navy and orange are not part of my daily attire.  ;)


This Mariana Maternity Empire Waist Stripe knit top.  I felt like this was something my kids would wear and I wasn’t sure if it would work with the bump for the whole pregnancy.  It was the most professional item I received.  Cost: $48.  It was returned.


This Adriano Maternity knit Dolman top.  I did like this one.  So I kept it.  The fit was nice.  It should work for the whole pregnancy and I could possible dress it up with a skirt for days in the office.  Cost: $68.


This Abia Maternity knit top. I felt about this one like I felt about the above shirt.  I think I can dress it up some. It’s comfortable and should fit the entire pregnancy.  Cost: $48.

Also, I am wearing a pair of Kera Maternity Skinny jeans above which were in my box.  Eh.  I didn’t love them.  They weren’t particularly comfortable and for $118, I want comfy.

I ended up keeping two shirts.  Not bad.

I also ordered a BumpStyle Box.  This seemed a lot like Front Door Fashion, which we all know I love, so I thought I’d try it.  When I pulled out the clothes, I sent a text to my bestie which said “Apparently my version of professional and their version of professional is not the same.  Unless my profession is hooker.  Which it’s not.”

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Those are all the clothes I received.  I kept three things.  The black leggings because we can all use black leggings in our lives.  The Coral dress.  And the black floral skirt.  The red dress, which was by Tees by Tina, which is a brand I ADORE, was WAY too curve hugging for me to wear to the office, much less to court.  The white dress was quite see through (which is why I left the leggings on in the picture).  I felt like I was trying to fly in the poncho type shirt.  The red shirt had elephants on it.  Which is something my 3 year old would wear.  The blue shirt was ok, and it said it was maternity, but there is NO way it would stretch over a belly in the future.  The maxi was ok but it had zero shape to it.  And the jeans…well, Honestly I liked them.  But they were crazy expensive for jeans I will only wear for 6 months.  Oh, they also sent spanx.  I kept those.

So, all in all, these two boxes resulted in a couple of ok things but I was not overly impressed.  I don’t think that I will do another bump style box.  I might do one more stitch fix during the pregnancy simply because I will need winter clothes at some point.

Just wait though…as always, Carson at Front Door Fashion NEVER disappoints me.  And they don’t even CARRY maternity clothes!

So that happened

My husband and I have been through a lot when it comes to babies.  First we spent years trying to get pregnant with the twins (literally years…3 to be exact).  After two surgeries and plans for IVF, we were able to get pregnant without the IVF –  we found out one week before our IVF preliminary appointment that we were pregnant.

Then I had a twin pregnancy.  Which is not the same as a normal pregnancy.  A twin pregnancy is harder.  I can’t imagine ever having a triplet or quadruplet or higher order multiple pregnancy because the twin pregnancy almost killed me.  Again, I mean that literally.  I almost died.

And then we got pregnant really easily without even trying when the twins were barely a year old.  And we lost that baby around 7 weeks.

Then we spent another year trying to get pregnant, which we did.  Only to lose that baby at 10 weeks.

Then we spent another 14 months assuming we just wouldn’t get pregnant again.

Only to actually get pregnant.

So here I am.  12 weeks pregnant.  Waiting for this one to end, hoping it doesn’t, and worrying about what will happen in 6 months when it comes time to deliver.  Will I develop preeclampsia again?  Will I end up with HELLP again?  Will I even remember being in labor this time?  Will this baby actually make it to term?

Knowing that 90% of the problems I had in the last pregnancy were because I was carrying twins makes it easier to think I WON’T have those issues this time.  But I also know it’s still a possibility.  Chances of preeclampsia in subsequent pregnancies is higher if you’ve had it.  I would assume that also means the chances of developing HELLP are also higher, since it’s a severe form of Preeclampsia.

So now we wait.  We wait for February when we can, hopefully, bring a beautiful little girl or boy into this world.

And I try not to fall asleep at my desk.

Twins are twins. end of story.

The Today show has been running a twin series this week. It started with a cute segment on Jenna and Barbara Bush (which is worth watching because they are so cute).  Then there was a segment on Nature vs. Nurture which looked at a set of identical twins separated at birth and two boys who were born a couple months apart and adopted by the same family (these boys are apparently called “Virtual Twins” – more on my thoughts on that in a minute).

Am I the only one who thinks a news report on Nature vs. Nurture should include more than one set of twins?  The amazing thing they discovered?  Twins are alike.  Really?  Who would have thought.

As for the Virtual Twins, they are also alike.  That’s because they are siblings.  Adopted by the same family.  Dear people of the world – Twins share a womb.  You cannot be a twin and not share a womb.  And by share, I mean SHARE as in use that same womb at the same time.  Just because you have two children who are the same age, that does not make them twins.  I get it, people want twins.  But unless you have two babies born from the same mother at the same(ish) time, you do not have twins.  Period.  I know, sometimes one is born a month before the other because of medical issues and they keep one in but that’s really rare and, let’s look at this again, they shared a WOMB.  Ugh.

Ok, anyway, continuing with the twin series, this morning I saw and article the Today show posted about “11 Ways for Parents to Celebrate their Twins’ Individuality.”

Is there really a need for this kind of article?

“Don’t call them the twins.”  You know what?  They are twins.  And that’s freaking special.  Most kids in this world don’t get to have a twin.  They don’t get to have that relationship that has a bond like no other.  Most kids would give their right arm for a twin because twins are freaking cool.  Why not celebrate the fact that they are twins?  You know what my girls do when they meet someone new?  They immediately tell them they are a twin and ask if their new friend has a twin as well.  Because they know how special it is to be a twin.  Don’t ruin that for your kids.  Embrace it. Love it.  Teach them to love it.

“Sign them up for different activities.”  Why is this even advice?  Do you make all your kids do the exact same things?  No.  But if they want to, do you let them?  Yes.

“Don’t dress them alike.”  When you have twins you have a VERY short window where you are given the ability to dress them alike yourself.  Like the first 30 months.  After that, they get opinionated and they will tell you if they want to dress alike.  So if you WANT to dress your kids alike, do it.

“Allow them to learn at their own speed.”  Again, why is this advice?  No two kids are the same, even identical twins.  We all know this.  You know what the cool thing about twins is?  They teach each other.  I have a video of Little C actually teaching Little G to crawl.  They were only 8 or 9 months old at the time.

“No need to rhyme.”  Ok, I agree with that.  Nothing annoys me more than rhyming names for twins (or using the same letter so that people will know they are twins).  But if YOU like it, go for it.  Who cares?

“Let them be themselves.”  Really?  You think you can control that?  You think you can make your kids act JUST alike?  You think you can force your kids to act differently?  Good luck.

“Spread out their firsts.”  Again, I say really?  You’re going to let one of your twins get a haircut first and make the other wait?  Do you even have twins?  No, you don’t.  Because twins are twins.  Twins like to do things together, at least mine do.  If I were to take Little G for a haircut and tell Little C she just had to wait do you know what would happen?  Pure meltdown.  Little C would feel left out and like she wasn’t as special as G.  No thank you.  I’ll let my kids experience everything they want to experience TOGETHER.  And if they don’t want to do things together, then they don’t have to.  But you cannot force kids to be different.  They are who they are.

“At The end of the day they are just like any other siblings.”  Except they’re not.  They’re twins.  And that’s special.  So don’t try to undermine their connection and their bond by saying they’re just like other siblings.  They aren’t.  They are siblings, but they’re so much MORE than that.

I skipped over parts of that article that didn’t matter much to me but as you can see, I didn’t much agree with the ways “parents” said to celebrate their twins own identities.  You know how you can celebrate your twins identities?

By letting them be themselves.