27's knockin' on my door...

Growing up, my birthday was the best day of the year. Nowadays, my birthday isn't the best anymore [JJ's birthday and my anniversary trump those], but it's still one of the best days. As I get older, though, my birthdays have turned into a "Hey! A year older! Holla!" day to a "Oh God, 30 is knocking on my door" day.

Don't get me wrong. For the most part, being an adult is awesome. I love being a mom, love being a wife, and I love my job. I certainly love that I'm not in college anymore [i do not miss homework and tests]. But at this point in my life, the age is starting to stack up. Major things that make me feel like I'm getting old:

* JJ is 4. He'll be 5 at the end of the year and will start pre-k in August. I talk about this all the time because it freaks me out that my kid is almost in school.

* I've been graduated from high school for almost 9 years. My 10-year reunion is next year. Wut.

* I've been graduated from college for almost 5 years. Again - wut.

* I've been married for 4 years on the 20th, and Joe and I have been together for 8.5 years. I've been with this man for almost a decade. If you had asked me at 18 if I would still be with the same man, I definitely would've said no [just tellin' the truth babe].

* My first class that I brought in as an academic advisor - the senior class of 2010 - will graduate next May. That blows my mind that I've been with these kids for three years and will see them off next year.

When I was younger, I never thought I would get older. Every birthday seemed to come soooooo sloooooow; I remember it feeling like every birthday from 13 to 18 took five years to hit. But ever since I got to college, birthdays started to go by faster. Now that I'm a wanna-be adult, my birthdays go by even faster. Which sucks, because I don't want time to go by faster. I want it to slow down so I can enjoy every moment, savor it. I know that isn't possible, and that I need to do a better job of living in the moment instead of planning for the future. But I do wish that was possible.

In 28 days, I'll be 27. How did we get to this point so quickly? Wasn't I just 21 yesterday? Sigh.

In honor of my impending 27th birthday, I feel like listening out 27 random facts about me [because i know people are just dying to know more about me...that was sarcasm, by the way]. I'll just list 10 for tonight:

1. I'm a recovering scarfaholic. I love scarves. I own like, 10 [and just bought two more].

2. I wear a size 12 in women. A pair of my running shoes is a men's size [10.5] because some shoes don't go to 12. While I don't like that my foot is so big, it does stop me from spending a ridiculous amount of money on shoes.

3. I wish I had learned to ice skate. I can casually ice skate, but I'm not any good at it. For awhile, I wanted to be a professional ice skater.

4. I also wanted to be a gymnast. I was always too tall to be a gymnast though. Sigh.

5. I love chocolate but don't like chocolate ice cream.

6. I also love ketchup [i will seriously put it on just about anything], but I don't really like tomatoes.

7. My fave drink at Sonic is a cherry vanilla Dr. Pepper. Yum.

8. I think I look funny with straight hair, even though I like straight hair because it's low maintenance.

9. I sucked my thumb until I was about 5. At that age, I went to the dentist, and he told me my teeth would be crooked if I didn't stop. I literally stopped that day. Unfortunately, the same logic didn't work on my sister, who seriously didn't care about all that.

10. I love doing laundry. Sorting, throwing it in the washer/dryer, folding...laundry is my thang. Dishes, however, are not.

Anyway. There's no point to this blog, except to sorta kinda whine about the fact that I am nearly out of my 20s and I feel like I'm getting old [even though i'm not really getting old and 27 is nothing]. So here's to you, 26 - let's make the best of our last 28 days together.


Six. [and quite possibly the hardest post i will ever write]

By the time this post is finished, it will have been six months since an ultrasound in a quiet hospital room confirmed that Devon was gone. In two days, it will be six months since he was born sleeping. And two days after that, six months since I held him for the last time and said good bye.

I wish I could say that I'm fine now, but the reality is that I'm not. I know that people don't expect me to be all the way fine at this point, but six months just seems like such a long time. Shouldn't I be fine? Shouldn't I not be crying multiple times a week anymore? Shouldn't I be blogging about other things now? Clearly, the answer is no. And that's OK.

When this whole journey started, I didn't know what to do or how to act. I was so lost and emotionally shell-shocked that I honestly have no clue how I made it through those first few weeks without hurting myself or throwing myself off a building. I can honestly say that J, JJ, my parents, my sister and my friends helped get me through those tough first weeks and stop me from considering doing something stupid. Some days, I still feel lost - especially when I think.

Devon would've been six months old. He probably would've had his first teeth coming in, would be trying to crawl and starting on rice cereal. He'd be halfway to his first birthday, and I probably would've been talking to my mom about themes for his party. I'd be watching him and JJ interact, watch JJ be an awesome big brother. Some days, especially when I see all the baby stuff that I tucked away into a spare closet, I wonder how things would've been, should've been.

There are few details that most of the world knows about what happened, but the reality is simple [and something i'm finally willing to talk about]: I fell on August 15. I was in the parking lot of my apartment complex, lost my balance and fell. I hit my stomach, went to the doctor, had an ultrasound and non-stress test, and everything was just fine. I had strict orders to relax and come back in five days for a check-up.

Two days later, as I was driving to Lawton to see my mom, I noticed that Devon wasn't active anymore. I let it ride most of the night, but after drinking a soda and not feeling him move, I knew something was wrong. I drove myself to Reynolds on Fort Sill and was terrified. In my heart, I knew he was gone, but I remember praying all the way to the hospital that he would just move, just kick, tell me he was OK. In my heart, though, I knew he wasn't here anymore.

When a doppler couldn't pick up his heartbeat, the OB on call came in for an ultrasound. His face said it all within seconds, and my world just crashed. Everything was just a big blur after that. I remember the phone calls I had to make, bawling my eyes out, watching the nurses wipe tears from their eyes as they led me to a room to start the induction process. I remember begging for a c-section, but they wouldn't do it. In the end, it was definitely for the best, but at that moment, I just wanted it to be over.

Placental abruption, the doctor said. He said it was a miracle I hadn't bled out, because it was a complete separation. He guessed my body tried to heal it over, but it was too late. I never had any warning signs, which made it even more of a miracle that nothing had happened to me. No telling when it had happened, but it was quick.

The OB said I could wait to go into labor on my own - which I would eventually - or I could induce. I chose to induce without thinking twice, which he agreed with. I don't remember how long I was in labor, because I slept through most of it. The nutrition staff brought me food three times a day, the staff gave me meds when I wanted it, and I got to have as many visitors as I wanted. But I literally slept most of the time I was in the hospital. Emotionally and physically, I just couldn't handle, couldn't process what was happening. I didn't want to. This wasn't supposed to happen to me. I wasn't supposed to lose a child.

Devon was born sleeping at 5:30am on August 19th - my sister's 25th birthday. 5 pounds, 18.5 inches long. He was perfect, with lots of hair and little fingers and toes. I didn't see him at first, but later on that morning, as I signed off papers for his release to a local funeral home and for his death certificate, I asked for him. I'll never forget the moment I got to meet him, got to hold him. He was perfect. Still is perfect, in my mind. I have pictures of us, pictures of him, pictures of him with my mom and my sister...those are pictures I will always cherish. I held him as long as I wanted, then fell asleep again. Again, I just couldn't handle it - and my ridiculously high blood pressure showed it. The hospital wouldn't release me until that was back under control, so I stayed longer than I thought. When I was finally released, J drove us home, and I cried the whole way. I got back to my parents' house, and I just lost it. I cried so much those first few weeks.

I know I'm being pretty vague on details, but I just don't want to relive it all in words, because I always relive it in my mind. I remember every freaking moment of those last days, every freaking moment of my hospital stay, of planning Devon's memorial and writing his obituary, of saying good bye for the last time before we had him cremated. I remember it all, and I always will. The reality of the situation doesn't hurt as much as before, but it still hurts a lot. It always will, I think.

I miss my sweet boy every single day. I miss all the milestone I don't get to have with him, miss all the experiences we won't have. But after six months, I don't beat myself up over his loss anymore. I don't think about the fall that started it all. I don't think about what should've been, about his due date, about how things should be so different. Thinking like that makes me bitter, and depressed, and it sets me back. The reality is, he was too perfect for Earth. God needed him to be my angel, and I feel like he has been. We all know I'm not a very spiritual person at times, but when it comes to losing Devon, that's all I've got. I've got my faith to reassure me that he is watching over me up there, that he is surrounded by lots of family who went before him, who greeted him with open arms and are now raising him. I have my faith to reassure me that he is happy up there, that he will never know anything less than the unconditional love that I will always have for him.

I'm sure some of you are crying at this point. Hell, I cried through this whole post. But after getting this out, I feel like an emotional weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I'm not ashamed of what happened, because Devon is still my son. He will always be my son, even though he's not here physically. But he will always, always remain in my heart. Always.


Me? A potential runner? For realz?

I'm not a runner.

No. Seriously. Ask my sister, my parents, my husband, my old volleyball coaches - up until this year, I was not a runner. When I played volleyball in high school, we would have to run almost two miles during the first week of practice. I was always the last one back. Always. I hated running, and I always let it be known that I hated running. I hated moving my legs, I hated being out of breath afterwards, I hated the idea of it. Running was evil to me.

But as I've gotten older - and started trying to come up with ways to get my exercise in without sacrificing time with JJ - I realized that running could be good for me. It'd be a good way to get some cardio in, I could do it at random times throughout the day, and it wouldn't necessarily require me to hit the gym. I could just hit the pavement.

So this year, I decided to get serious about running. I'm running the OKC Memorial 5K at the end of April, Color Me Rad less than two weeks later, and I'm considering doing the Remember the Ten 5K the weekend before the OKC Memorial run. I paid for the first two races already, so I NEED to run them. I'm not one to throw money away just because. So after the holidays, I started Couch to 5K during my lunch time. I thought it would be a struggle, but honestly, it isn't.

I'm on Week 3 now and have been running for a little more than a month. While it hasn't exactly been consistent, thanks to sickness and weekends with no babysitter, I've been running just about 3 times a week. I repeated Week 2 of C25K because it kicked my ass, but I'm now on Week 3 [jog 90 seconds, walk 90 seconds, run 3 minutes, walk 3 minutes], and I'm actually holding my own. I feel like I might actually be able to do this now, run a 5K. That's something I never thought would happen. Ever. I even bought new running shoes, which I absolutely love. They're awesome.

Now, people are complaining about how it's too cold to run outside. Psht. That's what warm weather running gear is for. Slap on a hat, slip on a pair of gloves, wear a light jacket and boom - you're good to go. I've run in below freezing temperatures and have had to take off the gloves and hat by the end of my run because I was getting too warm. I just bought some warm weather running gear last week that I'll use until it starts to stay consistently above 65 degrees, and I'm excited to wear it.

Man. Who is this person, this person that actually enjoys trying to run?!

Seeing the progress that I've made with running over the last month is giving me the motivation to keep going. I never, EVER thought I would be able to run three minutes at a time, and I'm doing it now - without stopping or struggling to recover afterwards. I've noticed that I want to run faster now...at the beginning, I was doing this slow jog/fast walk thing. Now, I'm actually jogging and feel myself wanting to push harder and run faster. It's incredible, how a solid training set can make you better. If I had just hit the pavement on my own and tried to run as long as I could without stopping, I can guarantee you I wouldn't be running still.

As a side note, I've noticed body changes as well. I've restarted the 14-day ab challenge [since the first 14 day set i did was an awesome success] and doing push-ups [the cheater, female kind - no way in hell i'm ready to do actual push-ups], and we'll see how it goes after the next two weeks are up. If I can lose another 7-8 pounds and get to the point to where I can run most of a 5K course without stopping, I might actually put myself in a bikini. Whoa. That would be huge.

But for now, I'm just focused on running. You best believe that when I cross the finish line at my first 5K, I will scream my joy from the rooftops. And probably cry. Because let's face it - I cry for everything.