Thursday, September 28, 2017


I think I said maybe I'd write about it more. I just read this, jotted in the middle of the night on my phone about a week after I put her to sleep. I considered posting it on Facebook, since so many friends were so involved, present for so many things in her life. Not sure if I'll do that though.

The other day I wrote a much longer thing related, similar post. Maybe I'll replace this,or post it, I don't know.

Anyway.  Here it is.

Death is so weird. Odd. unexpected.

I've always been agnostic about God and heaven. My mother was sure in her non-belief. I remember those last breaths. In..out. Pause. In...out. Pause. Pause. In....out. and gone.

Stella's sedation...I think it help her body start to really let go. She was antsy in *the room.* But she arranged her blanket the way she wanted, and settled in on it. She got kind of shaky as the sedation really settled in. Enough for me to call the doctor with concern. She check and could see she was under. Told me she was going to do it and gave her the last shot. I could barely see her last breath, couldn't hear it after all those days of her working so hard for it, barely see that last breath from that swollen belly. Barely at all. Her heart kept beating for just a little bit longer and then it didn't.  The whole time I just kind of spooned up to her, rubber her ears and her head and talking softly to her, what a good girl she was. I don't think I had time to tell her it was okay to go, to rest.  But she did. And she was just quiet. I kept rubbing head, and talked to her, petting her shoulder, and paws. Somehow something changed. Maybe her paws started getting cold, that was when I had to go. I don't know why I kept talking to her, petting her. Maybe I hoped there was just a little of her left to hear me, sense me.

After I delivered the boys, dissociative, I was told they were both born dead. Records later showed Jacob had a heartbeat, briefly, whatever that means. I felt awful that he died alone. Even if he wasn't conscious or developed enough to be conscious. If I couldn't be there, someone should have been, gently, tending. A witness to this last heartbeats. I still don't know time of delivery and death exactly due to the recording bring screwed up. Afterward, I wanted to see them, say goodbye, as if I'd be there at the time. I asked them to bring up the boys. Then, almost hysterical, I changed my mind. I couldn't bear holding them cold, especially from the morgue. And besides, I told myself, they weren't really there anyway, my boys, themselves were gone.

Even as she had settled down on her blanket, Stella began getting quiet. She'd been concerned: it wasn't the regular type of room and no treats on the trip or while waiting. And we had to wait a little since  they squeezed us in.  She couldn't decide if she wanted water. But she made things as comfortable as she could with her blanket. Next to me.

When she passed it was almost like she was sleeping, but not quite. She was always a snoozy girl, and even when she breathed easy you could hear and see it. To me, that was peace for her. Just resting, comfy, no worries. The scent of corn chips often wafting from her feet. I got one last whiff of it a few days before I brought her in. Or maybe it was a week. Time shifts around death.

After Stella was gone, I told folks it was "heartbreaking, but peaceful." And yes, no more worries, working to breathe, no trying to please me with that tail going up when I called her name. And there was no panic or fear in the room as her breath and heartbeat stopped,  just one of our comfy snuggles, and then quiet.

Just quiet.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Stella's Heart

Stopped beating at about 5:05 pm on Friday, August 18, 2017. She was about 12 years old.

I didn't feel it stop; the vet did but she went sleeping, spooned against me, as I petted her silky ears, gently rubbed her face.

I hope to be posting something more about her, but since I shared her entrance into my life nine years ago, , I thought I'd share news of her passing away from it.

She started out sad and often apprehensive, but her spirit grew and it was a privilege to watch. Despite the many physical challenges Stella faced over her life, she stayed trusting and cooperative. Never did a tooth touch skin --  canine, civilian, or medical. The overarching adjective for her from stranger to friend to veterinarian was "sweet."

She was a good girl, no matter what she got into, tore up, or ate. She was there for me when I needed her. She was a good girl, heart and soul. And I loved her.

Okay, technical difficulties -- working from my phone. I'll post the others soon, maybe. In the meantime, here's one of my favorites, from October 2016.

Friday, March 3, 2017


There are only two pictures of me visibly pregnant, from the same day at 16 weeks. I'd just gotten home from the hospital from my nth visit for fluids, and only recently did I see how really pregnant I did look.  I had been so hunched over with nausea and worry and exhaustion,..but hope.  just a teeny bit of hope that grew as my boys did. There was one day, I was weepy after class, worrying that I was so sick, I couldn't give them what they needed to grow and be healthy. A friend, mother of 3 soon to be 4, put her arm around me, comforting me, "Don't worry, it's okay, really, they'll take what they need. They'll be okay." It helped,

My memory of my pregnancy is not one of round, full, excitement.  There were wonderful moments, Ultrasounds and sharing the news, the butterfly flutters as they moved around my belly, early on. Then the first real shove.

After it was all over, I was empty. At least at first. The roundness disappeared, my arms skinny, my belly loose, but empty. It surprised me that it was loose, since I had never put on weight (I had lost 6 lbs by 19+ weeks), I lost the roundness after, though. the fluids and extra blood of pregnancy. And after, all of a sudden, it seemed, people started saying, yeah, you were pretty sick, skinny, It had even been hard to tell I was pregnant if I was wearing a coat. I guess because it was just belly.
I had had no idea how round and excited I had become, though. I was happy to finally be getting close, despite the nausea and puking and stress and everything else.  And I had found my work, and colleagues I enjoyed, and now pregnancy -- and my child would have a brother! And no more fertility treatments! -- and my loving husband.  My family, I was growing my family. I was helping to grow my family, with the sleepless nights and the first days of kindergarten and the adolescent arguments and the first days of college, the empty nest, And the silliness.

Way back before we started trying to conceive, when one of my nieces or nephews was little, a toddler, no more that a year or 18 months. or they looked around and found  who they were looking for: "Mommy!" they exclaimed. Mommy! and my uterus ached and my chest clenched. I felt it. I wanted it. I knew.

Every day it becomes more clear to me that I am Childless and will ever be.  I am missing all these things, yes, but that not what consciously runs through my mind.

This is really who I am now. No pregnancy... none of all that stuff No miracles, no adoption at my age or status or PTSD (even now that it's treated), Foster children? To have a child, love a child, and let it go -- I've already done that. I don't know if I could do it again.

There won't be a child that is mine to raise. Not a family.  Plan A is gone. Time to embrace Plan B. Long time past that. Or C, maybe. If I can figure out a way to do that.