Friday, April 24, 2015

Loss and Hope

I am pregnant. Again. For the third time. "Only 6 weeks." I have had the idea of this post in my head since I got pregnant again and deciding that we should wait to tell anyone outside our immediate family until our 8week ultrasound. I immediately hated the idea of having to wait because "things might go wrong." Again. But the untelling sucks. I mean really sucks. But it is also therapeutic. I was amazed at the social media response private and public I received when I let everyone on facebook know about our loss in December 2014, right before Christmas. It was unreal how many women have experienced this that I hadn't known. Most of them, I never would have known, had I not gone through what they have been and are going through. Some of them I felt guilty because I have a healthy 2 year old. But a loss is a loss. I thought I was fine. Sad, but fine. Then, women and friends who started announcing they were expecting right when I would have been made me realize I was NOT okay. It wasn't jealousy. It was sadness. overwhelming, all consuming sadness. I had a talk with my husband that we needed to wait to try again until I felt normal again. He agreed. Already I felt better.

Then, a tragedy hit my school. And I couldn't breath. I felt lost. I felt afraid.  And the reality that nothing is guaranteed in life. Nothing. Scared me. I thought that my 2 year old was going to be gone at any minute. That my husband would some how lose his life. I was really shaken. And I also realized I probably had my miscarriage when I did because there is no way I would have made it through those weeks, and I would have been much further in my pregnancy. And while I think any loss can strike anyone in anyway and we are never to judge one for how the grieve ANY loss. I would not have made it through a late pregnancy loss. not then. I also was able to connect and grieve with people I worked with over our students. And somehow because of that I started healing. Emotionally. I think mostly because TALKING about the tragedy was acceptable. Crying was okay. And I am a talker. I can't hold emotions inside. PLus I like to help and there were so many opportunities to help each other it was healing.

But early pregnancy has some sort of secret code in which you are not suppose to talk about it until things are pretty much for sure going to work out.

Why? If you're pregnant and you don't want to share because you can't untell people. I get that. But if you're pregnant and you feel like you can't tell because its "too early" or "something might go wrong." Please don't. Pregnancy is a miracle. From the moment there's a second line on that pee stick. EVERY baby should be celebrated. And every baby lost should be grieved. No matter how early one was lost.

This time around I have sort of told people on an individual bases. When I felt like sharing. I still felt the need to add the disclaimer "I'm still VERY early, we're waiting to tell most people." Although deep inside I wanted to be SHOUTING from the moment I knew, "I am PREGNANT!! It is a MIRACLE! I Am DUE in DECEMBER!!! Bryce is going to be a big BROTHER!!!" But the response I get is, I understand or that's a good idea or I hope this one works out! None of which are wrong responses, but they don't exude excitement. I feel like if you down play the excitement, then if something does go wrong you can down play the sadness you feel. Which is NOT okay. A loss is a loss. It sucks. It sucks real bad.

So, I wanted to share. I am pregnant! Everything is going well. I am nervous and scared but really excited. I am still nursing Bryce, although we are in the stages of gently weaning. Meaning I am taking his lead, but encouraging time limits and offering food first, but if he insists I let him nurse. My doctor said this should have no effect on a miscarriage. I feel nauseous everyday and I have got the bloat. I won't get my first ultrasound until about 10 weeks. Which stinks, but I just couldn't not get everyone's schedules to work for an earlier one. It is testing my patience. And I had made a promise that I wasn't going to unpack my maternity clothes until my ultrasound. Only I can't button my pants. HA. Yoga pants it is. "Mamastays in Yoga pants." I saw it on a t-shirt.

I have one more thing to add. Its not something I typically talk about, but feel moved to mention. I wouldn't not consider myself a religious person, but faithful. I have had a lot of times in my life where I feel like I may not believe. I still pray. Mostly out of habit. But also because I am an optimistic and hopeful person. I think everyone has struggles with religion. After all we're human and have free will. Going through this I realize that whenever I really start straying from my beliefs I get snapped back by something I can not ignore. A miracle. Each time seems to be a stronger and stronger pull. I don't know if I will ever be "religious," but I can tell you this. Pray. Meditate. Believe in something. Because sometimes that is all we have.

Hoping and Praying anyone struggling with grief after a miscarriage or fertility problems has someone they can talk to. If not reach out to online groups. Me. a therapist. Anyone. You're not alone in your grief and confusion. Also, hoping more and more people aren't afraid to share the moment they want to that they're pregnant!

Love and Peace:-)

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Birds: PreK

Value scale city scape

My fourth graders did this fun project. We looked at some different sky lines and they created 5different ones on half sheets of paper. Cut, then painted each on a different value on the value scale. dried then glued down in order. I kind of rushed them through this project, next time I'll encourage them to paint a little smoother!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Tropical Birds: First Grade

One of my good friends and collegeaus illustrated this book and I decided to use it as inspiration for a first grade project. After reading Bella's Story we discussed line and reviewed the color wheel. We painted a 12x18in paper with the primary colors to create secondary colors using line for the designs. The students then chose from some stencils I created to trace the different parts of the bird on the back of their paper. They cut and then glued the bird together, adding Googly eyes and extra feathers where they wanted! One of my favorites, ever!

Rudolph the Red Nose

Japanese Cherry Blossoms

This was a perfect project for my second graders. We studied some examples of Asian Art and more specificly Japanese Cherry Blossoms. We used watered down acrylic paint dripped on the paper (12x6in) and then each student got half of a straw and they blew through the straw to move the paint around to make their branches. I had to keep reminding them to take breaks and some needed some guidance in getting the right angel, but you can see the awesome variety! The next class I showed them the same pictures as before but pointed out different techniques in creating the blossoms. I put red, neon pink, pink and white for them to experiment with painting their flowers after I did a little demonstration of a few different ways to get started. I was so impressed with how everyone got into painting the flowers!!

Recycled Plastic Bag Flowers: 4th grade

This project was a risk that actually paid off! We looked at a whole bunch of colorful flowers on the smart board then each student did thumbnail sketches of 4 flowed from black and white pictures. Then transferred to cardboard I had gessoed. They then drew their flowers super large and started glueing plastic bags down that they shaped, cut and scrunched.
Once they were happy with their design they began to paint a layer of modpodge mixed with primer and maybe a second layer of needed. Then paint with acrylic colors!
Then paint some more until they were happy with their colors! I have gotten so many comments about how beautiful they are in the halls and questions about what they are made out of! I love saying PLASTIC BAGS!!!!