Well, we've been back for a week and a half now and I'm finally sitting down to write about our trip to Asheville. Like I say every post, I need to write more! I really wish I could write as often as I started out doing. I'm not not writing because I don't have anything to write about. I constantly have at least 5 posts "written" in my head! I'm not writing because I'm actually being productive at times and being productive makes me tired.
Anyway, over spring break Mike and I went to Asheville for a few days. Let me start by saying we had a good, bad, up, down, relaxing, stressful, fun, overwhelming time!
It's about a 4 hour drive from here and is in the mountains. For 3 1/2 years we've been saying "We need to go to Asheville." We actually almost planned a trip in the fall to go. It was going to be right around the time Marcellus was born. I guess there's a reason we got too busy and never got around to going then.
We had to delay our trip a day because Perkie got sick. What probably wouldn't be a big deal to many, sent us to the vet immediately and ordering expensive blood work on the dog. Yes, we freaked out and probably overreacted, but we NEED him right now. When he got sick, both Mike and I worried that something was going to happen and we would lose him. So we were totally okay with waiting a day to make sure our poochie was well enough before we took off.
Leaving Perk was also hard. I know that sounds so pathetic, but it's true. We haven't been away from Perk since getting back from MN three weeks after losing Marcellus. He's been our constant, he's been part of our comfort zone.
The main reason for taking a trip was for us to get out of our comfort zones. Mike pointed out how we rarely leave them. We have the comfort zone of our house (where we sometimes let other people come into), the comfort zone of group, and the comfort zone of going to the house of the couple we met at the TCF candle lighting ceremony (they lost their infant son 20 years ago), and the comfort of doing things with people from group. He was pretty much right, we never do anything else. We rarely even go out to dinner. We had gotten good at ordering out from places that deliver or things we can just bring home. Occasionally we'd eat somewhere, but we'd make sure it was at an obscure hour so it wasn't busy.
But going to Asheville and staying at a bed and breakfast...totally out of our comfort zones! We did stay in a bungalow suite, so we weren't staying in the main house of the B&B. I don't think I would have been able to handle that. But we did eat breakfast each morning with a handful of strangers. The part of bed and breakfast that Mike really hadn't thought through before.
We got to Asheville on that Thursday. We ate lunch at a really good vegetarian cafe where they have green water. They put chlorophyll in the water. I honestly didn't realize at first that the water was green. I thought it was the glass. That night we went for pizza. Nothing too fancy, but the place was recommended to us by some friends that had been there before. And it was great pizza! We sat outside because the inside was really loud and hectic. It was nice though. We had some amazing jalapeno poppers, the delish pizza, and each had a beer. The beer in itself was a big deal. That's the first pint of beer I had since getting pregnant with Marcellus. We enjoyed our food and each others company.
The first morning we were there was a Friday, it was also Marcellus's 4 month angel birthday. We could have chosen to skip the breakfast, but isn't that part of the point of staying at a B&B...killer breakfast? So we went. It was only us, another couple, and two friends there. At one point they started talking about their kids. Older kids, but their children nonetheless. I wanted to join in the conversation with "oh, we have a 4 month old!" But instead I very quietly ate my very delicious spinach and artichoke quiche.
As we were finishing up our breakfast one of the owners was sitting at the table with us. He asked about Mike's "Daddy of an Angel" bracelet. No one has asked about our bracelets yet, not a single person. So we got to tell them a little bit about Marcellus. And I of course had pictures with me, so like the proud momma I am I whipped them out to show everybody! Then we learned that both the owners had sons that were premature. One had a son that was born at 28 weeks...yup, the same as Marcellus. AND he had NEC. The difference, that baby survived. He is now a 34 year old man. He did struggle with complications from it throughout his life and still does a bit. The other had a son born at 34 weeks (I'm assuming 34 weeks because he said 6 weeks early) and when born the baby weighed 3 lbs 1oz (or maybe 3 oz, can't remember exactly). Marcellus weighed 3 lbs 2 oz when he was born and almost 6 weeks earlier than that baby...my big boy! Both the owners did talk about how they never got to really hold their babies when they were in the NICU. That did make me very thankful for the advances that allowed us to spend so much time holding Marcellus.
After breakfast I did have a mini melt down. But at least I did it among beautiful orchids. One of the owners is a master gardener and has a greenhouse on the property. We were able to go in and look around and sort through how breakfast went. While I would never ever ever wish this upon anyone and I was thankful to hear that both the owners' children had survived, part of me struggled with that. How come they could save that 28 weeker 34 years ago? 34 years ago that baby fought NEC and survived. Four months ago my baby fought NEC and lost. How does that work?! The famous question, "why my baby?"
Being the 9th, we had to go to a cemetery. It's a place we find comfort, a place we feel more connected to Marcellus. So yes, on our vacation we went to a cemetery. We went to two actually. The first one is a historic cemetery, Thomas Wolfe is buried there. It's actually a very neat old cemetery. I would have loved to walk around more there. We drove around it first on the windy hilly roads. That cemetery has quite the vibe. Then we got out and walked around. We had brought Marcellus's story, "Guess How Much I Love You" with us and wanted to read it to a baby. This might sound completely bizarre to some people, especially if you haven't lost a baby, but I got upset that we couldn't find any "new" babies to read to. So in our grieving parent state, we decided to go to a more "modern" cemetery. We ended up being there over Marcellus's time of death. Still a major melt down time for us. We gathered ourselves together and read his story. I did feel better after that, that we made sure to take time for him on his angel birthday.
I will have to write about the rest later. I'm being wordy and it's taking me longer than I thought and I'm sleepy. I'll shoot for tomorrow. And I promise we did do fun things while there!
Marcellus, Daddy and I are glad we got to tell people about you and show off your pictures while we were on our trip. We wear our bracelets and necklaces because we are proud to be your mommy and daddy. Everyday though I struggle with you being gone. I want you to be here with us. I want to show you off in person. I love you so much sweet boy, right up to the moon and back! xoxox