::pack:: of fixations

life after tragedy. living while grieving. love and triplets.


Peace of mind

After we found out that the man that hit us didn't have insurance, I had a complete and udder mental breakdown in my hospital room on floor 6.  Our insurance called Ryan's cell phone and he happened to be visiting me in his wheel chair (I think) or we may have been still sharing a room.  I remember Candace one of my favorite PT's was present and I lost it.  Not because my beach house fantasy was gone but because I have been paying hospital bills since the day we got back from our honeymoon.

We got married on the beach in Hawaii and I was awake crying, hunched over in pain almost every single night from an excruciating pain in my upper stomach.  I thought they were ulcers and by the end of our romantic week I broke down & went to the ER where I remember they gave me some Pepto bismol and told me to see a Dr when I got home, and later sent the $3000 bill.  For a 20 (&23) year old who just bought their first house it was a ton of money.  Later, after I got home my Mom & I were driving around the night before our open house to get something and I had an attack.  I remember her looking at me and how much pain I was in and saying "Honey, this is definitely not ulcers, we are going to the ER".  I  found out it was gallstones and had it removed a few days later.   That was another $5-$10k.  So rather than spending our extra hard earned money on buying a new fancy car or an adventurous trip to Europe we set up a payment plan for our hospital bills.  

Due to other really shitty health problems, an egg retrieval for IVF, and 2 C-sections I had already had 9 surgeries total pre-accident.  Some of them we had no insurance at all.  So along with utilities, and cell phone bills we've just always paid the hospitals, Dr's, and Anesthesiologist's bills too.  Such is life.  In fact when I got home from the hospital I was greeted by some collections statements from the hospital bill payment plan that had been missed while I was away from when Colum was born.  Colum hadn't even been paid for yet by the time we lost him.  (Finn cost $8,000 + $15,000 for 2 IVFs and Colum cost $7,000 (this is all after insurance))  We are proud to say that we have paid ALL of this on our own.  Our parents don't give us money or pay car or house payments for us.  We just have to work our asses off and that's that.  Somehow, someway it always works out though. My Dad did pay $1200 for the frozen embryo transfer (that resulted in Finn) cause I had no idea when I showed up to do the thing that I had to pay more and our bank accounts were drained drier than a popcorn fart.

So when Ryan was informed on the phone that not only had we been screwed so badly that we couldn't even wipe our own asses and we were going to have the pleasure of having to be held responsible for ALL OF IT...

I took a trip to crazyland.  

More. Medical Bills. 
I completely freaked out.  How?  We were disabled.  We had lost our son.  Our hearts had been ripped out of our chests and now we were going to lose everything!  I kept asking myself how does this work?  How does this happen?  How come there are people who cheat the system and go on lavish vacations, have cleaning ladies, and yet are on food stamps, Welfare, and Medicaid?  

I stopped sleeping.  I was beyond stressed.  I was broken.  My baby.  Oh My Baby!  I literally could not even fathom that this was happening to us.  My sister knew somebody who knew somebody who was friends with the attorneys who did those commercials and she called them.  After she hung up the phone she got in the car & drove up to the Hospital and passionately laid out some options of how we could survive.  My parents called an acquaintance, an attorney who kindly talked to us on the phone and was also kindly, so willing to help us.  Our friend's sister was a paralegal and the attorney she worked for told her to give us his number and he'd offer free advice.  We were so grateful for all of this effort.  We weren't as hopeless anymore but something just wasn't there.  We had to make a choice about something we are/were clueless about.

An old friend, Heather contacted me on Facebook and asked if she could swing by and pay us a visit. I was very strict on visitors because I was so physically and emotionally ill the stimulation would make my already fast heart rate, beat faster, but it just felt right.  I've always LOVED her and she stayed for only a minute but pleaded with us to please call her brother (or let him call us I can't remember) and we agreed.  We set up a meeting with him.  By this time we shared a room on the rehab floor & I had made it back from therapy in time but Ryan was running late. Matt walked in and sat down after he introduced himself and just started to sob.  I remember Ryan wheeling in on his jazzy to join us and Matt was still sobbing during their introduction, and apologized for getting emotional. 

We discussed our situation and he asked if we would let him help us.  After our 1st meeting Ryan and I both knew he was the right fit for us.  We got that unmistakable feeling that's undeniable that told us 
we trust this man, He's our guy.  

Well this man has moved mountains and done miracles.  He's taken the impossible and made it possible.  He prevented us from having to claim bankruptcy, which on his first visit explained that it was a possibility.  Ryan, my hardworking husband shook his head at this and I was sick about all the lavish vacations we didn't charge on credit (totally sarcastic but kinda serious) and Matt settled Ryan & I's pride by explaining that if we had to do that it wasn't our fault.  Matt made us feel at ease with his quiet honesty.  His strategies didn't constantly involve the words "sue"; he didn't exude strong feelings to attack the bad guys, yet expressed a powerful desire of helping us the best he could.  He didn't make any promises but he delivered beyond our expectations.  Oh, and I believe the guy is a Harvard grad, so he's superb at what he does. Note: I think we had every right to sue but, it wasn't a realistic option for certain  and possibly even obvious reasons.  Also, we know nothing about suing and how one goes about suing.  I know very little about the justice system and politics because I've never had interest in such topics and they always seem to be frustrating and disappointing.

Because I am so disenchanted by those envelopes that kept coming (and are still coming) in the mail, I would just put them in a bucket.  I'm the lucky owner of many a buckets. I rarely opened one.  I. couldn't. open. one.  I would get overwhelmed just thinking of the numbers inside of them.   But it was okay because I knew Matt was fighting a lot of our battles and I thank him from the bottoms of our hearts also my nervous system thanks him from the little corner in my brain that still has some sanity left.

Thank you Parke Gordon!  Note: I wasn't paid or asked to write this.

And thank you again to every one that has helped us.  We have a lot of ongoing medical bills that are really expensive.  It's officially official that financially we are gonna be okay.  I can't tell you how nice it is to have that peace of mind.  My car payment that was passed due because I didn't pay it in December so I could buy my kids' Christmas presents, half of which never got opened and remain wrapped in my basement.  Ambulance bills, wheelchairs, walkers, physical therapy, Ryan's leg brace, lab work, co-payments, the bills from the 2 other hospitals, funeral, obituaries, hair pieces :)...... the list goes on and on.  I open them and I can pay them along with our other living expenses.  Thank You!



We brought back some sea shells for Colum from the beach.  
I can't get out today.  I'm stuck in my hole.  It's dark in here.  It hurts and it's lonely.  But I really don't want to ever come out.  I have to dig and dig my way out.  I could live in here, if I could I would never leave.  Surrounded by junk mail, hospital bills, explanation of benefits, and bills.  I'm trying to accomplish sorting through 10 days of mail and I can't get it together.  We got back last night.  I cried the entire way home.  Upon arrival we immediately unpacked and crawled into bed.  My body began screaming at me and all the Ibuprofen in the world wouldn't shut it up.  I started getting depressed the moment I woke up on the morning we were supposed to pack up and head home.  In the beginning I was my normal crying all day self.  But the last 4 days I was there I'd only cried about 5 minutes per day total.  I'm not sure if it was the vacation, the beach, being somewhere new, or all of the above.  But it was nice to feel almost kinda normal again...even just for a few days.  Everything I looked at didn't remind me of him.    

I cried at the beach because he'd never been and will never go.  I cried when we buried Finn in the sand and we were not burying him.  I imagined him frolicking in the waves chasing his brother.  I cried after we rode the Toy Story and Buzz rides at Disneyland because Toy Story was his thing.  I wanted to buy him a toy from Disneyland just like I'd bought something for Finn.  I cry because I just miss him and I want him here with us.  I cry when I open hospital bills or explanation of benefits and the patients name is Colum Jacob Pack, because that's my baby, the name we chose for him and it fit him like a glove.  I cry because he'll never learn to write his name.  I cry because in the song 'Ronan' by Taylor Swift on the last day his mother whispered in her dying son's ear, and I didn't get to.  But I do love that song so much and I'm so grateful for it.  I love that he fought it hard like an army guy and flowers pile up in the worst way.... That song is so so perfect.  And the story behind it is amazing and I love the reason and the purpose behind it (I was naive about childhood cancer & am blown away by what I've learned so far).  Truthfully though when I listen to that song I pretend it's about Colum & in the beginning I changed the four years to eighteen months sometimes.

Overall I loved our vacation.  It was an absolute dream.  I did things I've never done.  I caught some serious waves on a boogie board 6 out of the 7 days we were there.  The waves can really give your body a beating and I loved every minute of it.  I wasn't very sore from it and in my mind I was really good at it...in my mind I should be sponsored every time I caught one of those waves.  We rented sea kayaks and went stand-up paddle boarding around Balboa Island.  Finn happily rode on the front of the kayak and I was surprised at my paranoid, cautious self for even allowing the dangerous possibility of it all.  But I did and I loved it.  At first Ryan paddle boarded and Finn and I kayaked for half and then we parked on a little beach on an island before we switched roles.  Ryan stood up and paddled for only a few minutes and before I knew it I looked back and he was on his knees, and then his bottom.  He took off his shoes and brace like normal people would and the balancing caused his (drop) foot and ankles to ache badly.  One side of his leg is completely numb and one leg from the knee down is paralyzed.  His sciatic nerve was severely damaged but not severed and supposedly after 6 months to many years the feeling and movement will eventually come back.   He never complains but deep down we both fear the worst and hope for the best.  He actually got back up to standing position in the middle of the harbor, on the paddle board as we anxiously watched.  That's hard to do when one leg is paralyzed it was impressive.  When we parked on the beach to switch there was a small back-hoe toy (or tractor, I just call them all tractors) left there and Finn started playing with it.  I decided to tell him Colum had left it there just for him cause he knew we'd be coming.  I've decided I'm going to tell him Colum does a lot of sweet coincidental things that happen to us, just to keep his memory alive and the communication of him going.  On the beach we actually saw dolphins a couple of times and I'm kicking myself that I didn't automatically think that Colum had sent them.  I'm really not like that.  I don't think like that.  My brain doesn't create fantasies that could be healing and fun, it is dark and dreary.  I'm trying to change that or at least fake it til I make it.  I'm trying to look for things.  Magical signs that Colum leaves just for us to let us know he's there like rainbows, back-hoes, and even dolphins.

However the waves were the best therapy for me.  The lifestyle there feels like home to me.    If I could I'd move to Florida, California, or Hawaii.  While on vacation I read a little of the rockstarronan blog (sorry I'm unable to create a link cause I don't have a mouse near just google it), the one that Taylor Swift wrote the song about.  Ronan's Mom talked about how she wants to move out of the house she lives in because everything reminds her of him.  Having those 4 days away that I didn't constantly cry and then instantly becoming depressed when it was time to come home makes me realize that maybe that would be the best thing for me.  Don't get me wrong I'm attached to this house and leaving it would kill me.  But it would be so nice to be free of a few of these chains.  Sometimes we tell ourselves if we only had more money, if only we were thinner, if only we lived somewhere else, etc we'd be happier.  I want to make sure it's not a 'if only' but something that would be a positive change to help me move forward.  Ryan isn't as eager as I though.  He doesn't want to change, he doesn't need or crave it the way I do.  Somebody left a quote on my last post:

The cure for anything is salt water- 
sweat, tears, or the sea.

Thank you!  I love it (April).  Any one reading have any great recommendations of towns that are safe, have good schools, and are affordable preferably in Florida, California, or Hawaii?  I know we could never afford to live right on the beach but close would be great.  I agree with this quote whole heartedly.  If we are going to move it would be best before Finn starts kindergarten.  I'm just testing the waters here.  I want to research jobs and consider our options. 

 I do love the Fall though.  We got married in the Fall and it's my favorite time of year.  I love layers, jackets, sweaters, and coats.  We celebrated our 11th anniversary on our trip!  Happy Anniversary Ry!  I love you and I'm so glad you're ours.  I know I couldn't do this without you!

Here are a few pics from our trip.  Some are instagram and the rest are just from my phone because I forgot our camera.

1st stop Vegas.  It was cold.  It was late.  We finally had eaten dinner and were waiting in line for a Taxi here.  I just love the way he stands.

Finn would run and laugh, run and laugh, repeat.  He loved it there.

It was so beautiful!

Us on the ferris wheel.

Ryan paddle boarding & Finn in front of our kayak.

Me trying to get a pic of myself kayaking.  It felt so rejuvenating and was so beautiful.

Our stop where we parked on the beach, drank some root beer and found the back-hoe toy.

Finn posing for the camera.  I love his little tan and the additional subtle blonde highlights.

Me practicing in the canal before I fully committed to trading.  I was afraid my ankles would be too weak to balance but it was all good and I loved it.

Waiting in line for the Toy Story ride.  We were tired.  It was our last ride for the day but was worth the wait.  It was one of my favorites!

I mean... he's so cute it kills me.

I captured 2 of the 4 times Finn fell asleep.  He hasn't napped since Colum was about 6 months old.  This almost never happens.  Never.


Auburn hair

Growing up I remember a woman who was in my Ward (went to my church) she was probably in her late 30's & her Husband was bald with a horse shoe haircut & they had a son.  She was tall & had medium auburn hair and her son had her same color of hair.  He was quiet and had a sweet demeanor about him.  I remember my family sitting behind theirs in church meetings and I'd watch him quietly play & thinking they were lovely people who doted on their one beautiful 5/6 year old son.  Tragedy hit them one day.  He ran out to get the mail as his Mother cautiously watched on the front porch.  A semi-truck was randomly speeding through the neighborhood & she watched her one precious child get struck & was killed instantly.  

I was in about 8th/9th grade I think and I felt sick for them.  I later found out she had cancer & was only able to give birth to their one child whom got her beautiful thick auburn hair.  I'll never forget the over-all anguish that loomed over our small neighborhood & the indescribable sadness we all felt for them.  The terror & helplessness of it happening right in front of his Mother's eyes.  The guilt she must've thrown on herself and the will to move forward must have taken all the strength she had.  I remember seeing the mother & father at church about a month following this horrible tragedy.  I recall her pretty auburn hair being a little disheveled & not as perfectly coiffed as she used to wear it.  I remember he held his head in his hands & people awkwardly stopping by the small couch outside the meeting hall giving them their condolences.  I remember bloodshot eyes & wrinkled clothes & feeling sick with emptiness, helplessness, & despair.  I've thought about that Mom often over the years.  Wondered how she was managing, how she managed the strength and courage to walk through this bumpy path we call life.  But what I didn't foresee is that I 
should've been taking notes.  Studying her, asking her for tips on how to tip toe around 
every one else's uncomfortable ness while trying to hold yourself together.  I should've 
made more mental notes & quizzed her on when her good days were & when I can plan on
wearing eye make-up again.  I felt so sorry for her & I shed tears from all the unimaginable 
pain that she must've been enduring every single day.  Little did I know that I would get the opportunity to feel the same way she does.  The pain that is so horrible that most mothers 
cant even go there.  My hair is disheveled because, well it fell out.  I cut off all the nasty & 
every picture that is taken of me resembles a wicked witch (it will look better when a few 
more inches gets cut off) & it's slowly getting back to normal).  I remember seeing the sadness in her eyes week after week.  6 months-1 year after their son had passed I watched as they adopted 2 beautiful children from Russia who didin't speak a lick of English.  I observed her as closely as I could.  Years went by and I remember seeing her, our wards had split up & I was still curious I was secretly hoping to see that the pain had disappeared from her beautiful eyes.  But it was still there.  

I remember overhearing her tell someone that she always drove the speed limit & how she was constantly getting honked & cussed at.   And tears began to fall freely from her eyes as she said if they only had any idea why I'm unable to drive over the speed limit.  I remember as a teenager getting on my friends who were tailgating people while driving just in case it might be the nice lady who had a lovely family with the beautiful auburn hair.  

It's terrifying to me, that this pain will never go away.  I remember in the beginning; the early days...after we'd been told & still believed he had insurance.  My baby was gone.  And it was back to back surgeries, I'd wake up in agonizing pain both physically and emotionally and I remember what got me through those first 7 days, I'd tell myself Kelly it's Okay, you will always be so sad but you will get a settlement and you will buy a beach house & Ryan won't have to work anymore.  Finn will learn to surf & you will run along the beach.  I would imagine myself there.  The waves crashing and the salty air blowing through my hair drying my tears.  Finn would be happy & Ryan wouldn't be over-worked and could can tomatoes, salsa, & pickled jalapeƱos all day long.  Maybe now looking back I needed that fantasy in order to survive.  And here we are in paradise and it's just what the Dr ordered.  We spent the whole day at the beach today.  There were a few handfuls of kids playing in a tide pool.  I told him it was okay to go over there and play with them.  I watched as my heart broke in two as he boldly walked over there all by himself & tried to make friends.  Warm tears fell from my cheeks because I knew at that moment he was missing his partner in crime, it probably wouldn't have been so intimidating for him if he had his little brave brother shadowing him to boost his confidence.  But as I watched I was so proud of him and I know Colum would have been proud to.  

I love you baby!  I wish we could've taken you here & been able to watch you fearlessly jump through the waves.  I look for you everywhere little dove.

Thank you so much for all your kind comments on my last post.  I never thought I'd be brave enough to come out of the closet on here.  & thank you for loving us despite us being different or similar :).


My Church

We are headed on a family vacation that I previously could've only dreamt about.  We are going on our family's very first rode trip.  First stop Vegas (to rest our legs) which is half way to our final destination Newport Beach!  We've never been to Newport & are staying in a house just steps away from the beach.  We are going to take full advantage of the beach & all the time in the world to just be together.  To me, my family is my Church.  Being together enjoying one another making memories is when I feel my spirituality is at its peak.  

Last night I was at the grocery store picking up some snacks for the road and a little blonde blue eyed boy about 18 mos old caught my eye.  He was just with his Daddy & I stared as much as I could without creeping out the Daddy.  He was curious by me as well.  It took my breathe away when they ended up in the check-out line behind me and I mouthed the words "hi baby".  I'd been crying all day and all the days before that.  My crying always starts out in the mornings.  It's practically impossible to get my act together from about 9am-145pm.  Every morning is like waking up from a nightmare.  Colum.  He used to wake me up with his quiet growling and then would drag his empty bottle along the railings of his crib,a little bit of gibber and then some more growling.  Loud enough to wake up his sleeping pill induced Momma but quiet enough to not wake brother.  I'd sneak him out of their bedroom quiet as I could all the while he'd be grinning ear to ear thrilled that he'd accomplished his mission.  I cry because that little boy doesn't wake me up with his growl anymore.  I wake up to the aches & pains of my slowly healing body.  I miss him, I miss all of him.  

There are a lot of times when I just can't escape this pain.  I get trapped and there's a tug-a-war on my heart strings; one is hurting, aching, out of touch with the rest of the world, & I enjoy escaping to my very own planet of grief.  While the other one is in the real world with Finn, full of energy, happiness, and where a Mommy should be at all times.  Finn knows his new Mommy who cries all the time and that sometimes I'm out of touch.  He knows why I'm crying, it's boring, & I'm not very fun...  Luckily Ryan is able to make up for what I lack.  The Taylor Swift song "Ronan" has been on repeat this week while I've packed and tears stream down my face.  I assume my eyes are permanently puffy & I can't remember what they used to look like for I can't remember a day that I haven't cried.  Sometimes I feel like I'm so lucky to have had the chance to love this much.  My arms ache for my baby, my ears yearn to hear him, and my heart is forever broken yearning for him.

Where we live is where we were both born and raised and there's a dominant faith & we were both brought up that way.  Ryan lost interest in middle school & his parents weren't as strict as mine & that's basically the way he was when I met him.  My journey was a lot more complex and drawn out.  Where we live not going to church is looked down upon & it's not uncommon for parents to not let their children play with 'non-members'.  Around the age of middle school I secretly knew I needed to get out of here so I could freely have the option and explore what my spirituality is and what church and God meant to me.  I wanted to go where nobody knew me & I could skip Church or try out another one just for fun without people judging or worrying about me.  I wanted to meet new people that had different faiths and really form my own opinion of what i believed from my own point of view and not what I was taught.  I always disliked going to church and there was something unnerving about one way of thinking, doing, and feeling.  I dislike feeling all the pressure and expectations & maybe that's not church's fault but maybe I put too much of that on myself.  I understand the big picture but something in the details; the small print at the bottom it just didn't work for me and who I was.  I had little to no self esteem and lacked confidence.  I think church can be good.  I think church can be beautiful.  I think church gives people comfort, security, and helps to heal, but I also think church can be a place where people compare themselves to others, a place of judgement, and to me that is a false representation of God.   In church I learned you couldn't find joy or you would never be happy without it, you'd be lost.  We needed to convert every one we could so they can be happy like us.  It was of absolute importance to go to those meetings in that building with a steeple, follow those rules, feel a certain way, and you would be blessed.  But the truth was I knew that deep down I wasn't happy.  Finding & discovering what made me happy was a 10 year journey for me, it didnt happen overnight.  I gave myself permission to be free.  I understand that a lot of people will never understand & even find this quite unsettling.  But all i ask is that you please try & respect the way we are because we respect the way you are.  I know it's a huge embarrassment to my parents and they pray that I'll return someday & this breaks my heart. Ryan & I have lived in our house for over 10 years and still didn't know 98% our neighbors. (note: a lot of people have been so  kind and reached  out to us and brought us dinners & helped us out so much post-accident & we are so thankful) The ones right next door to us; they are the Bishop and his family.  I will be 5 feet away from them, we make eye contact, I begin to lift my hand to  wave, but stop because  they almost always pretend they don't know I'm standing right there, look away and pretend they don't see me.   And it's all because of the building we don't go to on Sundays.  But ever since the accident they have been so kind to put our garbage out for the garbage man & we are so ever grateful, & hopefully they will start to wave ;).

To me there's something much bigger, something that makes me feel like I'm at the             right place at the exact right time.  Something that brings me joy & gives me a sense of 
security.  My Family.  When I'm with them I'm at my happiest.  I believe people from all 
different faiths and from all walks of life can come to my church.  You will be welcomed, 
there's no one taking attendance, or telling you what's wrong or right.    I'm happiest when I'm at my church.  I know how to be a good person and I believe being good and doing good is the best religion for me.  For a lot of people going to that building is the best for them, it's what makes them feel happy and helps them, gives them direction.  But in the end we are all after the same thing.  To learn to live happily

I've never once questioned God.  I never once have gotten angry at God and                 asked him why?  My God didn't do this, a man who made poor decisions did.                    
I don't believe God took Colum from us.  I'm still trying to figure out what I believe about the after life but I know I do believe my God knows my heart and will love me despite what or if I go to a building with a steeple on Sundays.  I still miss  as much as I did in the beginning.  And I know I will miss him until the day I die.  But I do have 9 whole days of church to look forward to.



We went to visit Colum and some one anonymously decorated his headstone in a spooktacular way.  Happy Halloween Colum!  Love you McGoo.
As a teenager I remember reading about Pilates in magazines and dreaming about going to a real Pilates studio someday.  It's always remained as my #1 exercise that I'd wanted to do someday.  About 6-7 years ago I heard of a few studios that were local but a few hurdles stood in my way...mostly the price, then time, and later came Finn and Colum.   When I began running Pilates quickly moved farther & farther to the back in my mind.  Losing Colum was obviously devastating and by far the worst tragedy.  The inability to run came 2nd.  

Our injuries were both severe.  Ryan had broken his left hip and right Femur and my right Tibia and Fibia and left (compound) Femur were broken.  The bottom half of our bodily injuries required very different rehabilitation.  I remember shortly after joining Ryan in his room on the sixth ortho/trauma floor the Physical Therapists made him stand up.  This was 4-5 days post accident.  I remember trembling thinking I was next and preparing myself to fight them off because I knew my body wasn't going to be standing up any time soon.  My attitude towards the therapists was nowhere near pleasant and I remember the next day one of them brought me some chocolate covered cinnamon bears because I must've mentioned them in my morphine induced state.  My left Ulnar (forearm) and right hand was broken and nobody believed me during this time either.  They were moving around my limbs that just had titanium rods, nuts, and screws surgically placed in them but my remaining fractures hadn't been addressed and the shear thought of the pain I was in makes my heart stop beating and for a second I re-live the terror and I can't breathe.  Little did I know I wasn't going to be asked to stand up for well over a month.  In fact the hospital beds are designed to adjust to a chair position and about a month or so after the accident this would be my first actual therapy.  It sounds simple enough.  Having a bed move into a chair I didn't even have to hold myself up.  The nervousness in the Therapists voices as they talked about trying this huge first task didn't make sense to me.  But I was soon to realize this as one of the hardest things I've ever done.  I had what I know to be the best Physical Therapists in the world by my side and it took 3-4 of them to accomplish the task of me sitting up.  I remember screaming as my legs began to feel the weight of gravity and it felt as though my bones were being pulled back apart as the screws were loosening their grip and the Therapists scrambled to grab hold of them after they began to barely dangle.  I was immediately overcome by extreme dizziness and nausea.  My bruised yet broken heart began working overtime trying to pump blood to my limbs that had been laying stagnant for weeks.  I could feel the blood rushing from my head down to my toes.  The beating of my heart pulsed in my temples and fingertips like that of a drum.  It didn't feel like my body was my body anymore.  My Therapists lovingly held me up.  Each leg was assigned a Therapist for they were very heavy and to me it felt like each foot had a 1000 lb barbell attached.  While the other scrambled to find buckets and empty garbage cans turned upside down to prop up my legs, pillows were strategically placed behind my calves, under my arms, head, shoulder, feet etc.  This was hard.  My Therapists believed in me, they cared about me, and they helped me more than I can ever put into words.  I think I sat up for a whole minute before my bed was adjusted back to laying down position and I slept off the exhaustion of what a 6th month old baby can do.  I believe that was the day I decided that I was going to always try my hardest to heal.  I wasn't going to be a victim.  I was going to force myself out of bed everyday instead of letting the depression and anger take over.  I was going to be my best self for Finn and for Colum.  

I've pushed myself harder than I ever have before and I'm proud of myself.  I enjoy a little recognition from time to time but I don't fish for it.  With Physical Therapy being so expensive the expense of Pilates now seemed like pennies.  So I fulfilled my teenage dreams by going to a real Pilates studio after learning that it was great for people who've had injuries and was actually designed originally for the injured.  A lot of times people are shocked to see how well we are doing.  Sometimes people don't really understand just how far we've come and that's okay too.  My excitement of my body being capable of doing anything outside of PT and Pilates at that overshadowed the negativity of how we were treated in the very beginning.  On the first day I expressed to the owner/trainer my excitement to be there.  What he gave me in response was basically a cold scowl.  We were going 2-3x's per week and every day it became more and more evident that we weren't wanted.  Ryan's enthusiasm quickly diminished and he stopped going.  I was determined to try and make him like me.  It was awkward.  Over the past 5 weeks I could feel myself becoming more and more negative.  All I could talk or think about was negative and I felt myself becoming difficult to be around me.  My stress levels got higher not lower.  I loved Pilates but every time I went I was feeling worse about myself.  I tried different strategies: from flattery to just trying not to talk.  I felt I wasn't allowed to speak and the other women were put on a pedestal and I in the corner.  On Friday a woman walked in and I immediately noticed that she had runner's legs.  There was another blonde woman there whom I'd never met before also.  The runner lay on the reformer next to mine and I began talking to her.  We talked about running.  I asked her if she did races, and we talked about her son.  I told her how I missed running.  We talked some more about her and she said you'll start up running again eventually.  I explained in 2 sentences what happened to us while remaining unemotional and started saying but worst of all we lost our 18 month, "KELLY, KELLY OVER HERE NOW..." he viciously screamed at me from mere feet away.  I ignored him and finished saying, baby boy, "KELLY, OVER HERE NOW ON THE...." he commanded.  I'd noticed that he didn't want us talking about the accident to anyone before and I rarely did.  Once I literally saw him pacing and it looked like he was holding his breathe and his head might explode when Ryan was talking about something to some one.  But it wasn't just when I talked about the accident, it seemed he didn't want me/us talking at all.  I think the worst part about it all was that we were the only ones he treated this way.  He was so kind and funny towards the other women.  He'd compliment them and ask them about their weekend and families.  This episode was the straw that broke the camels back for me.  I was hurt.  I was angry.  Why was he constantly treating me like trash?  Why would he treat somebody who was broken badly intentionally?  I held my tears for the drive home.  I crawled in bed and told Ryan what happened.  I cried all day.  I cried a lot yesterday.  And I'm crying right now.  

I will never know why he had problems with us.  Later that day I called him crying and I asked him.  He claimed he didn't realize he was treating me poorly but said he did realize it today.  The sad thing is that day wasn't the worst day of poor treatment, it was average, but I let him see that I was upset.  He said the other woman that was there that I hadn't spoken to had recently lost a son & he heard me talking and he knew I would mention I'd lost my son.  He said he thought that woman would run out the door crying.  I'll never understand his reasoning behind that.  I would think it could've possibly been healing for two Moms mourning for their sons to have been able to relate.  I told him that his reasoning was even more hurtful to me because my emotions didn't matter to him at all, yet this poor woman's son takes precedence over mine.  He also wanted me to remind him to be nice to me in the future when he was mistreating me.  I signed up for a new type of class at a different studio that night for the next morning and forced my sad self to drag my tired aching body to go.  They were nice to me.  I was treated the way a customer should be treated & on the drive home I had an ah-hah moment.  Here I was trying to eliminate as much stress as possible from my life and I was allowing myself to be treated like a 3rd class citizen.  I'd been upset because I really really wanted to go to Pilates  and that's the only reason I kept going.  My drive to heal my physical self was effecting my emotional and spiritual self.  It was causing more damage than good.  I felt all the negativity lift off my shoulders with this new realization.  That's it!  In order for me to eliminate stress I needed to eliminate negative people and things from my life.  I need to focus on the Positive.  I've been really negative ever since I started going to Pilates.  My stress levels have been much higher.  As I was washing my hair in the shower something sorta clicked and I decided that I needed to make a change.  I don't wish any bad or hate on this man.  I think there's a lot I don't know about him and I hope whatever it was that caused him to treat us like that for no reason will get resolved.  Being put in our position is hard and lonely.  I try hard to be conscious to not make others feel uncomfortable as best as I can.  But it's clear I can't please everybody's comfort levels and I shouldn't have to.

It blows me away how hard it is to take really good care of yourself.  I'm renewing that commitment and I'm going to strive to be more positive.  I want to be pregnant more than anything.  I work so hard to get strong, to be healthy so I can see those two pink lines on a white stick again.  I know if I'm stressed out and internalizing negativity it will prevent that from happening.  I can't stop the sadness, it follows me wherever I go.  But, it's okay if I'm proud of how far I've come.  I can talk about it if I want to.  I've earned it.  Most days I still don't want to get out of bed but I do.  In 2 months it will be Christmas time.  When you're trying to get pregnant there's a fine line between obsessing and just letting it happen.  All I want is to be pregnant.  Being pregnant by Christmas would be a miracle and would really help soften the blow.  I hope I see 2 pink lines before then but if not I will keep fighting off the demons, while learning life's lessons to build character.  But I'm ready, I'm oh so ready!

Drinking his milk last October at the corn maze.  He lived in jammies.

Colum and I on a hay ride at the corn maze with Finn's preschool.  I asked an older lady I didn't know to take this and she didn't know how to work an iphone and it took a few tries.  He's wearing his vintage blue coat.  He was screaming because he wanted to sit on the hay like a big boy.  He was so happy when I sat him next to me.  

Last Halloween.

This is me after I ran my first half marathon 'The Halloween Half' last year.  

Last Halloween's (instagram) family picture.

Just happy Finn would sit on my lap.  I would make Ryan drive his jazzy slower than me so Finn would be interested in sitting on my lap.  Remember how he hated me.  He felt I abandoned him and it broke my heart.

The first day I could brush and braid my own hair.  It felt amazing to have that independence back.

Last summer at our softball games.  There was a girl named Marteen who loved taking pictures of my kids but especially Colum.  I'm so grateful she did!  I love all of them and this is one of my favorites.

Finn was honored as Junior Grand Marshal this year for our city.  He rode on his own float and everything.  It was such an honor and I still need to blog about it.

Butternut Squash and Turnip soup.  Colum loved this soup.  We are now calling this Colum soup in his honor at our house.

Last Sunday just the 3 of us went on the most beautiful hike.  We all felt Colum close that day.  We talked about him and laughed at the thought of him stumbling around along with us.