2008 and 2009 where rough years for me. 2008 was the year of me rebelling. 2009 was the year of D. There was a constant flow of major life-changing events, and some bad lows. I came of age and not gracefully. I meet the man who would become my hubs in 2008 and our relationship felt like it was on fast-forward. A week before 2009 ended, we got engaged.
2010 was a year divided, the year of Ember. The first seven months where wonderful, though challenging in their own way. We married after only a year and a half. We moved out of state for the second time in under a year. We prepared to welcome our first child together. The last five months where the worst of my life. Our daughter died, and that is hell on earth.
2011 was the year of Little Man. The reason to keep on going, the reason to love and laugh again. We carry Ember with us always, but Little Man has soothed our hearts some. His pregnancy and newborn-hood flew by, 2011 seems almost like a dream it sped by us so quickly. Also, we moved back home, now to our OWN home instead of rentals. Hubs started school. A wonderful year despite grieving. Which feels very odd, btw. To be happy at the same time as being eternally heart-broken makes you feel crazy.
January brought a rough start to 2011. I'd moved through shock (which lasted months) and denial (mostly) but despair was deeply rooted. I was unknowingly pregnant with LM, who was conceived in early Dec.
February brought taking an eleventh and twelfth home pregnancy test, the ones that finally showed positive! This month was the beginning of the heart-soothing joy that is LM. We celebrated our 1st wedding anniversary mourning Ember but anticipating LM. We struggled with finding a new doctor.
March was worrying about losing him and lots of dreaming of our new home. Priss turned six and became an official "big kid" in my mind.
April was moving on from thoughts of a miscarriage to worries of a congenital heart defect like Hubs'. ShortStuff (Hubs' oldest child) turned nine, becoming an official preteen. Our new home being bought but needing some renovations.
May was moving back home after almost two years living out of state. Being so relieved at being back by old friends and my family. Struggling with finding a new care-giver once again.
June was impatience personified. Waiting on renovations to be finished and LM to finally be ready to join us earthside.
July was moving into our new home, loving it and both grieving for and celebrating Ember's first birthday. The whole month is full of her "dates"- like the day she was due, the day she died, the day she was born, the day she finally came home in an urn instead of a carseat etc. So many dates belong to her in July. It's a desperately horrible month. I finally leave my teenage years behind and turn 20. It's now also been a year since I've last hugged ShortStuff. Start having weekly ultrasounds to check out LM's heart.
August is excitedly rushing to prepare for LM. Growing hope that his heart is ok. Hubs gets ready to go back to school after several years. Feeling more and more pressure from seemingly all corners to induce labor.
September begins with LM's birth. Labor is horrible. Leaves me with feelings of regret I can't face yet even four months later. But he is here and safe. Life is blissful for a day, and then his oxygen saturation drops into the mid-80's. A wirlwind NICU and then a Couplet Care stay but then finally he comes home fine.
October is struggling with breastfeeding. So much self-doubt and distrust. It begins with struggling to wean LM off nipple preference and formula supplementation. It ends with a hospital trip for mastitis.
November is LM's first full month of NO formula. This is exhilarating to me. And LM finally meets some more of my family and we venture out into public more.
December is Christmas craziness. Wanting LM's first holiday season to be perfect. Missing Ember for her 2nd Christmas but finding ways to include her memory. Watching the year wind down and wondering how it went so fast.
I'm sorry 2011 is ending so fast but this year has brought me back to life.
I threw in some of my favorite kinda random shots of the year, in no particular order <3