The 10-Year Itch

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We’re starting couples counseling next week. Wow, wait. I didn’t think I could say that out loud. I’m so afraid of the discrimination and stigma from others at the mere mention of it. Like they’re thinking we’re already headed straight to divorce and this is a last-ditch effort to save a marriage.

It’s not.

We’ve been going back and forth on the idea of it for a while now. We know things have changed between us. That’s inevitable in any relationship. However, the entire bedrock of our marriage was put through a massive trauma when we lost Emmett. Needless to say, we have a lot of things to work on and we want to be proactive to cope with them together before we get to a point-of-no-return.

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We Need to Talk About It

This post originally was published on June 8, 2018, on my Facebook page after the suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. Click here to follow Missing Emmett on FB.

This week has hurt. A little bit more than most.

It’s ok to talk about it, and that’s why I do. I struggle with depression and anxiety. I have for most of my life. I had my first panic attack in high school. Scared because I didn’t know that all of those emotions flooding my head were entirely normal. I wasn’t going crazy. It took me years to realize that.

I. AM. NOT. CRAZY. I. AM. HUMAN.

We all are.

We have feelings. We have hearts. We make connections with people that make indelible marks on our souls.

Most recently, I’m struggling with my past. To be specific…2001. It’s complicated grief. Sparked by Emmett’s loss but remembering the loss of my mom. At a time when I was just beginning to find myself. I was in pain and my heart was full of this emptiness, straining to find something to mask it. Until someone came along and made me feel alive.

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A Letter About Life and Loss to the Old Me

On the advice of my support group leader AND my therapist, I’ve been tasked to write a letter to the “old” me. I’ve been struggling A LOT lately with my emotions. I’m easily angered and frustrated these days. I had a meltdown the other day when I couldn’t figure out how to get the allergen protector back on the mattress after I washed it. It was ugly.

My therapist thinks this will help me process all of the emotions that I’ve been feeling lately and that I won’t be as hard on myself as I tend to be. I’ve been super procrastinating on this assignment because I know it’s going to cause the waterworks. I’ve decided to write the letter to the “me” on my wedding day, back on Feb. 15, 2008. Here goes…

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Dear Christina,

Today is going to be one of the happiest days of your lives. You’re going to be surrounded by people who love and care for you. People who will do anything for you and just want you to be happy.

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“The Child in Time’s” Benedict Cumberbatch Talks About Grief

Benedict Cumberbatch is my favorite actor out there right now. He’s starring in the BBC/PBS adaptation of Ian McEwan’s book “The Child in Time”, about a couple who loses their young daughter and the subsequent aftermath on their relationship. While it isn’t about pregnancy or infant loss, the film’s main themes, including grief and relationships after loss, transcend any loss of a child.

Take a look:

P.S. Just fore-warning everyone now, get me a box of Kleenex and leave me alone during this one.

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I Have a Confession

I have a confession to make. I haven’t been honest with you and I’ve struggled with coming clean. I feel like I’ve been living a horrible lie since we haven’t shared this with anyone.

Most of you know Emmett’s story. You know that doctor’s suspected our baby had developed Turner’s Syndrome, and that was the reason for many of the complications during our pregnancy. Babies with Turner’s Syndrome only have one X chromosome so it only affects females. Because of that diagnosis, we picked the name “Emma” shortly after the ultrasound for our baby but we only told a few family members.

After I delivered, the nurses and doctors took the baby away for measurements. I asked to hold “Emma”. They came back in asking, “What makes you think your baby is a girl?” We replied, “The doctors told us our baby had Turner’s Syndrome and that she’s a girl after our ultrasounds.”

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How Does a Moment Last Forever

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If you’ve been following this blog or my Instagram for any amount of time, you’ll know that we’re a crazy, fanatical Disney family. As I write this, Brett and I are listening to the retired “Wishes” fireworks score from Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World.

So, of course, when Disney announced they were doing a live-action version of “Beauty and the Beast”, I was hesitant. It is such a classic movie that defined Disney animation during my childhood, along with “Little Mermaid,” “Aladdin,” and “The Lion King.” How could they bring these iconic films to life without sacrificing any of the magic?

Then, they announced Emma Watson (“Harry Potter”) as Belle and Dan Stevens (“Downton Abbey”) as Beast, I started to get more excited. More and more news began to come out, including cast additions like Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts, Ian McKellan as Cogsworth, Luke Evans as Gaston and Josh Gad as LeFou.

In March, Brett and I had a date day to go see it in the theater. Immediately, we were both mesmerized by the pure magic that Disney had created. I instantly fell in love with this new incarnation of Belle and the Beast, including the music from their world that can be credited to Alan Menken and the late Howard Ashman.

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