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Showing posts from June, 2005

I don't mean to sound like a bitch

I don't mean to sounds like a bitch, but I'm calling to see if there is a reason my baby died. Do you think you could stop putting me off and get me some damn answers?

OK...vent done...I'm calm now. :o)

I called the doctor at 2pm. The first reason was to get the birth control pill prescription I forgot when we were there last week.

The second reason was to get the results of the diabetes screen I did last week at my six week checkup. Surprise, surprise...all normal...no diabetes for me...not even what they would call pre-diabetic.

The third reason...Is the final autopsy report in? We'll have to call you back. I waited two hours and got no phone call back, so I called them again. The nurse tells me she put the file in the doctor's office and she'll call me back when she can...she's busy today.

I asked, "Is there some reason the doctor has to tell me and you can't?"

The nurse, who obviously couldn't remember the reason I called in the…

Sam is sick

He's got some intestinal/stomach bug that is a real treat.

I hate it when I can't make him feel better.

Welcome to the world Baby Quinn

My friend Misty had her baby boy today. She had a long and very difficult pregnancy with multiple hospitalizations. At 3 o'clock they started pitocin. At 5:23 Quinnen Robert came out after one push. 7lb 3-1/2 ounces, 19 inches, BROWN hair (her other two have red hair). Both of them are GREAT.

Congratulations Misty & Frank & Chance & Abby

Welcome to the world Baby Quinn!

I'm so happy, sad, jealous, angry...you name it...it's all rolled into one.

Why did you say that?

Since Alex died, I have replayed several conversations in my head repeatedly. I'm sure it has something to do with the guilt complex I've got going on. So I'm hoping that by giving them a voice "out loud" here, they will go away and leave me alone.
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After Sam was born, our neighbor never came over to wish us congratulations. We saw her several months later and she explained that she saw my hospital admission and discharge in the newspaper, but no mention of a baby, so she didn't want to say anything because she thought something might have gone wrong, but she wasn't sure. I laughed. I actually laughed at the thought.
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While listening to Sam scream from the living room for over an hour one night (some two year old temper tantrum), Steve and I were in the bedroom and I looked at him and said, "Yeah, let's have two. Who thought that was a good idea?"
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My Great-Aunt Rose Died

She passed away peacefully.

She was 89 years old.

She was my mom's Godmother.

She threw a mean Christmas party.

I haven't seen her in years. I think the last time was some time before Steve and I were married, and we've been married for almost eleven years now. So I haven't seen her in more than a decade. There are a lot of complicating factors in my family that explain why I haven't seen Aunt Rose in such a long time. None of which are really relevant now.

All of my memories of Aunt Rose are from when I was a child, save for that last visit when I was in my late teens or early twenties. And they are all centered around our yearly Christmas celebration. I remember the layout of her house. I remember a fireplace in the living room that was too warm for the room. I remember the plastic slipcover on the sofa. I remember this ceramic Christmas tree that was so typically cheesey and Polish that I simply loved it. I remember Aunt Rose in the kitchen with all the w…

This is making me crazy

Now I know how Steve feels when I tell him he can't just fix my problems...that he just needs to listen. I want to do something, anything, that will move me forward. I don't want to be told that time will ease the pain and I should just wait it out. I don't want to hear that it's different for everyone...how long it takes to heal even a little bit. I want some concrete answers. I want a plan of action. I don't want to be healed...I just want to know when I can look forward to feeling even a little bit better. Take your time. That's what you tell someone when you have no clue what else to tell them! How about some hope here?

Steve...I'm sorry I ever yelled at you for trying to fix my problems. This helplessness is awful.

Going Postal

The sadness is a given. Everyone expects that and is tolerant when I tear up over the littlest gesture of kindness. But what do I do with the anger? the hatred? the outright venom that I want to spew all over the freakin place?

There is this part of me that find great solace in being able to cry freely. I know I can close my office door and have a good sob when I need to. I now have Norman Rockwell's Four Freedoms hanging on my office wall to examine when I have to deal with a particularly difficult phone call. I'm learning to cope.

But then there is the part of me that wants to smash something. I want to kick and hit and bite (nobody in particular...just everyone I see). I want to throw things and tear up anything even remotely destructable. It's funny too because none of it is directed at myself. The experts say to watch for self-destructive behaviors when you're grieving. I have yet to hear of anyone warning about the possibility that I might want to go on…

Do you believe in signs?

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I believe in signs. I always have. And today I NEED to believe in them.

I was having a particularly rough day so I decided to go out to the cemetery and water Alex's flowers. I said, "I love you Alex," turned to leave, and saw the most amazing green hummingbird hovering under the tree my car was parked nearest to. It stopped me dead in my tracks as it hung there in mid-air for a few seconds and the flitted off across the field and into the woods.

Thank you Alex...I love you.

Do you pray?

I've never thought of myself as a particularly spiritual person. I tried church when I was still in middle/high school but fell out of the practice. Then I tried attending again in college a few times. And while I immensely enjoyed the experience, I couldn't drag myself out of bed on Sunday mornings after a week of late night studying (I had a tough course load and was a nerd).

But I have always prayed. But I've come to realize that I've always prayed the juvenile prayers everyone has for special "favors" from God. I pray when I want something. Why? Where in the world did I get the concept that I could ask God to deliver a puppy, an "A" on a test, or a successful surgery for my grandmother? And where did I get the notion that if God doesn't answer my prayers, it must be for some divine plan? He has his reasons?

I've been doing a lot of praying lately. But I know I can't have what I truly want. I know there will be no miracle…

Update on the trim

Well...the trim is up. The furniture has been moved. Most everything on my panic attack list has now been taken care of.

And the "baby's room"...Alex's room...now all "put together"...sits unoccupied.

Who am I?

I don't know who to be.

And I'm tired of people either (1) telling me who I should be; or (2) simply expecting I'm going to be the same person I was before Alex died.

I am different.

I am tired and angry and sad.

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Today we went to the cemetery and put out little stars and stripes pinwheels for the baby graves. Some of them obviously are not visited often, if at all. There is this one, off by itself, that called out to me and was the inspiration for this particular decorating episode. Little Andrew Huitt. Born in 1927. Died in 1928. There are no decorations and there is no family buried nearby. I wonder if anyone ever speaks his name out loud anymore.

There are other stones there to mark the graves of babies. Some don't even have first names. Some only have "Baby" and a last name. No indication of whether the baby was a boy or a girl. No story shared about how that child's parents came to bury them in …

No Sh!t

"That's not something you get over easily."

Add your own editorial comments here.

I've been thinking about this...

Your comments were duly noted. And please don't think I'm on the verge of a breakdown. I am quite comfortable with the idea that I followed medical advice during my pregnancy. And I know I did everything I should have done according to that medical advice. And I've been thinking about it and I really can't even say the doctors should have known something was off.

I had an ultrasound January 26th at 18 weeks and his size was right on track for June 9th delivery. She said everything looked exactly as it should. I had a blood test on February 21st, no GD. I had another blood test on April 1st, no GD. My next u/s was scheduled for May 26, fifteen days after Alex was already gone. Something obviously went horribly wrong between April 1st and May 11th, as far as his size. There is no denying that fact. Even if we discount his weight...he was 20 freaking inches long at 35 weeks, 5 days! He topped all the charts. He would have been a pro basketball player by the ti…

And the answer is...

...there is no answer. So in the absence of an answer, we're guessing it was my fault. Sort of.

I have sooo much blog material, I just might have to make this one in parts.

I called the Doctor's office yesterday to confirm that they would, indeed, have the autopsy results to go over with us. No sense in Steve taking off work if we weren't going to have the mental breakdown that would require his attendance. First, the nurse, Margie (lovely woman), told me that my doctor is on vacation this week. Huh? OK...so who am I seeing? Dr. B...a wonderful doctor who held my hand and helped counsel us through the labor process with Alex--whose name I can not spell because it's Polish and requires at least a couple z's that I can't remember where to place. So, ok, I'll see Dr. B. Will the autopsy results be there? Yes, I was told.

So we got to the doctor's office today. The receptionist checked me in and attempted to collect the required $15 copay for a regu…

Cereal and the three-year-old

I bought Sam some Finding Nemo cereal. It's not bad cereal, if you don't count the marshmallows. Of course, that's the only thing he eats is the marshmallows. lol

I could die

I don't know why this realization hit me this morning, or what it means, but it felt like something I needed to blog about. First, let's back up a few steps...

Last night I had this flash of insane need to find the onesie I bought for Alex with the green frogs on it. I have no idea what brought it on, but I asked Steve to run down to the basement to find it for me. Our basement is quite the disaster these days with boxes, carseats, strollers, and the like, once sitting upstairs all cleaned up and ready to go for baby #2, now hastily thrown down there to be hidden so I didn't have to look at them. So as you can imagine, my little freak out was actually a feat of epic proportions for my poor husband. He looked and looked and looked. I knew the box the darn thing was in and it just wasn't in the basement. I could see him, frantically searching, ready to break into tears himself because he couldn't provide the aforementioned onesie.

I, for some reason, had one ni…

Why?

I'm not ashamed to admit I have been a member of a message board since I first thought I was pregnant with Sam way back in 2001. I have grown to know the ladies on their like they were extended family. We celebrate with each other, pray for each other, and mourn for each other. I love them like sisters.

Since Alex died I have been unable to post more than a couple of messages on that board (congratulations for friends who have had babies). I find something very annoying about posting about cleaning my house or fixing dinner right now...my issue, I know.

But today I was checking our "calendar" to see when a particular friend's toddler would celebrate his third birthday. I scrolled through the birthday list, which has now been updated to include births that occurred after our Due In June 2002 babies. This includes all babies born in 2003, 2004, and now 2005. 42 babies born since our last June 2002 baby was born. If you scroll through the pages and pages of birt…

More customer service stories

I just had the most ridiculous telephone conversation with the receptionist at our large animal vet's office. Dr. Emily (yes, they call her Dr. Emily rather than Dr. Miller...welcome to Little House on the Prairie) is going to vaccinate our horses this afternoon, did we want the straight tetanus or the one with eastern-western?

Having had the horses for a little over a year now, and no real idea what this woman was talking about, I asked, "Ummm...what's the difference?" I was, of course, thinking she would tell me a bit about the illness creating the need for this eastern-western addition to the tetanus vaccine. Nope.

She responds with, I kid you not, "Well, one has eastern-western added to it, rather than just straight tetanus."

I reply with the equally idiotic, "OK...but what IS eastern-western?"

Silence. Shuffling of papers.

"Ummm..."

You have got to be kidding me?!?! I'm supposed to decide whether to give my horse a va…

Am I supposed to?

I feel like...

-there are things I'm supposed to say and do that I'm just not saying and doing.
-everyone is waiting for me to either fall completely apart or go on like nothing has changed.
-I'm not supposed to be able to string two words together to form a coherent sentence or I'm supposed to be the same old Catherine.
-(to borrow a phrase from someone) there is an invisible sign around my neck that says, "My baby died."
-I'm supposed to find God, or lose God completely...this in-between place I'm at isn't acceptable.
-if I cry or if I smile, I'm doing something wrong.
-I feel like everyone is watching me and judging how I grieve.

Has my grief turned to paranoia? Is this the first step toward all-out mental illness?

Yesterday I heard that the guy in the office next door to mine flew to Vegas and married a girl 20 years his junior. This is his fourth marriage. Everyone was gossiping and had some pretty nasty things to say. I couldn't sto…

It was bound to happen

For the first time since I've been back to work I walked in on two of the women in my office obviously talking about me. I heard, "When she's feeling better," and then that deafening silence that says, "Can you please leave the room so we can finish our conversation about your sad existence?" These are two women who have yet to acknowledge me beyond a polite, "Hello," and some official office business conversation, despite the fact that we previously shared pregnancy talk and were quite friendly (one gave birth about three months ago one (who I've previously blogged about) is due to give birth in a month). I suppose I've become the walking billboard for everything they fear, and I really shouldn't blame them for not acknowledging me or my loss...I guess.

And it's not that I'm naive enough to think people don't gossip about me at the office...but to openly talk about me where I could walk in on it is a bit much...especia…

More from Stephen

Well, it’s been almost a week since my last post. Since that time I have had some really good times (this past weekend that I got to spend almost entirely with Cathy and Sam), and some really aggravating times (irritating and insensitive management at work). I knew that father’s day was going to be a hard day, and I have to say that Cathy and Sam, and my in-laws too, did a pretty good job of getting me thru it. Sam decided to remind us that he is not a self-sufficient adult yet, and he does still need us to take care of him. What I mean by that is that he decided to break any record that he pervious had with diapers, and decided that in a two-hour period he would go thru about 5 pair of underwear. In many ways I am truly amazed at how far Sam has come, and how he compares to the other children his age. He talks like a 5 or 6 year old (and sometime like a truck driver), and can get his own food, turn on the TV and find what he likes, and even use the computer by himself (as long …

How are you?

The cards, letters, emails, and phone calls have all stopped, but for a few very close friends who don't mind listening to me obsess over and over again. There is a part of me that is glad because it means less that I have to deal with or less that I have to avoid, depending on my mood at the given moment. But there is a part of me that is sadder than before. It seems it only took the rest of the world six weeks to move on...while I'm stuck in pretty much the same place.

That's not entirely true. I was able to string two good days together in a row last week...so that's progress.
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I have my post-partum checkup on Thursday. God bless him, Steve is taking the day off to go with me.

I have to tell you, the anticipation of these "events" is starting to make me a little spastic. First it was the weekly anniversaries. Then the first visit to the OB for my mental health check. Then the return to work. Then the due date. Then th…

Dear Steve...

You know I'm not much on public displays of affection, but I wanted to take this time to tell you how much I love you. I love you to the moon and back, sweetheart.

I know this Father's Day isn't what you had hoped for, and I am so sorry I can't make all your dreams come true. There will be so much opportunity this Father's Day to mourn what you have lost, I wanted to take a moment to celebrate all the blessings you have brought to our life together.

You have been my rock for the past five and a half weeks...but you were my rock long before that. You keep me grounded, but give me room to dream (horse farm anyone?). You take care of me when my body is sick or my heart is broken. You laugh and play with our Sam so that he knows the joy of childhood and the love of an amazing father. You teach him the value of hard work and responsibility. We both love you very much.

And Alex. I know he can't be here with you and that makes you dream of all that should have …

OK Maybe Not

So I'm not back in business just yet. It seems one of the puppies is sick, possibly contagious, so the transport is postponed until next weekend. Crap! Now what do I do?

I guess it's time for some more home improvement. We could finally finish the flooring job we started in February. Or maybe I'll go up and finish the guest room (formerly designated to be Sam and Alex's shared room which Sam now wants nothing to do with if he has to be by himself...poor kid). I could go out and repair the fence on the side pasture, but it's cold and wet and I'm not too keen on hard manual labor while trying to keep an eye on Sam at the same time...too much like work. lol

I feel sort of bad because I made Steve get up early and take three of the five dogs to the vet this morning. Not REALLY bad...just SORT OF. hehehe

Maybe I'll just curl up with a cup of coffee and a good book until the motivation to do something productive hits me. Oh, who am I kidding? I'll…

Back in business

I've decided that it's time to recapture some of my life. This weekend we'll be transporting and overnighting FIVE puppies. They are coming from a kill shelter and going to a rescue who will find them loving forever homes. I hope some puppy kisses will do me some good. But more than that, this is a cause that's near and dear to my heart. My last transport was our foster dalmatian, Deja, the weekend before Alex died...

You know it is so strange to write that last line because I don't know WHEN Alex died. I know he was dead by Monday morning, but I don't know exactly when he actually died. And it's not really right to say birthday. I mean, I delivered his body, but he wasn't really born. So what do I call it? Alex's heaven day or angel day is just too cheesy for me.

Anyway...

I have all sorts of feelings tied up in that last transport. I have a picture of me all pregnant and smiling in the rain with Deja and Sam. When I look at it I think h…

And the hits just keep coming

Warning: may include too much personal information for some viewers.

This week has been so much fun, wouldn't it be nice to finish it off with Aunt Flo? Sure! Of course! Today is/was my original due date. The date the doctor gave me in that very first visit to her office before all the poking and prodding and ultrasounds. I am caught in one of those low points in the cycles of grief right now and I can't seem to break myself out. I'm back to feeling lost and crying at the drop of a hat.

I was thinking about all the "major" accomplishments I've made in the past five weeks...
Started to bathe again...though I'm using baby wash so I can have the smell of Alex around me during the day.
Started to wear "normal" clothes and shoes again...though none of my clothes fit just right yet (I refuse to wear maternity clothes).
Started to bother with makeup again...though I don't know why since it washes off with all the crying I do. And I don't we…

In all fairness

An email response to one of my posts got me to thinking...so let me clear something up. I know I spend a lot of time complaining about people who say or do the wrong thing these days. This does NOT mean I think everyone falls into that category. There are many people in my life who have said or done exactly the right thing at exactly the right moment. For that I am eternally grateful. There is no feeling like knowing that you are loved and looked out for in this random universe.

I think it's just easier to complain about those who hurt us because they have hurt us. It is much more difficult to explain to those that you love why you love them. For some reason, it is embarassing or uncomfortable to feel and express those feelings. I need to work on that, obviously. And rather than assuming people know that they are special, I will try to tell them outright. Because once someone you love is gone, it's too damn late for it to make a real difference.

Damage control

I'm so afraid we have irretrievably broken our son. This morning he was super clingy and refused to put his shoes on to leave the house with Steve. I took him and rocked him for a little bit with his head on my shoulder. Out of nowhere he asks, "Do you have to go to the hop-pital today?"

Six weeks after we dropped him at his grandparents' house and his life was changed forever, he is apparently still plagued by the uncertainty and fear.

I asked him why we would have to go to the hospital and he said, "I don't know," and shrugged his shoulders.

I wanted to break down and cry one of those in-your-bones crying jags that seem to happen all too frequently these days. He shouldn't know about the uncertainty of life at three years old! I want to scream at the universe that this is unfair to him! Mommy and Daddy should be constants that he doesn't ever question being there for him. He shouldn't worry that we're going to disappear to th…

You're kidding me

I know this is going to sound like I made it up, but I didn't, I swear.

This morning, while driving to work and daydreaming about what kind of brothers Sam and Alex would have been, I pulled up to a stop sign behind a dark green minivan. The license plate said, "SAM ALEX" I'm not kidding you! It was the strangest thing! And then, a pang of sadness shot through me...but not for the reasons you would expect. I thought how sad it was that someone else had my license plates and I couldn't have them. I'm not kidding you! What is wrong with my brain?!?!

Blech

What was that crap I wrote about anyway? Oh please tell me I'm not going to slip into the world of bad poetry!

The future and the past

Having a baby is all about the future. From the moment you get that "could I be pregnant" inkling, thoughts about how your life will change bombard you. Regardless of how you feel about impending motherhood, you know everything will be different. If you are happy about becoming pregnant, you begin to dream about a little boy or a little girl who looks like you or your loved one. Your dreams weave that image into every aspect of your life until the day that baby is born and actually becomes a part of every aspect your life. You imagine and plan for every possibility...except that your baby might die and you might not get to take him/her home with you.

If the unimaginable happens to you, your course suddenly changes. You are no longer looking and moving forward, but you are frozen in your tracks, looking backward. Facing the future becomes too painful with all those unrealized dreams littering the path before you. You no longer dream of what is to come, but have night…

Lunch

OK...so I bribed my kid. Sue me. I told Sam we would go to Ronald McDonalds for cheeseburgers for lunch, if he would just stop running around terrorizing the post office.

As an aside here, the US Postal Service workers have NO sense of humor. As I approached the desk with packages towering above my head (and thus no free arms to wrangle in the kid running wild and free) I read the little sign taped to the desk next to the register that says, "Please control your children at all times." I laughed and said, "That's a joke, right?" Earning me a stern look from the man behind the counter who really wasn't old enough to be able to deliver a stern look correctly.

Anyway...onto the bribery....

We were having a great time at McDonalds. There was a crew outside working to replace the driveway and parking lot. They had big trucks and a backhoe and a street sweeper. Anyone who knows Sam knows he was in heaven. Great, no problem, we have all day to "goof…

Stephen's first post

Well, this is my first time ever blogging, or sharing my thoughts and feeling with anyone except my wife. It has been just over a month now since Cathy, Sam and I found out that our little boy Alex had died and would be stillborn. I have found that most people want to treat me as though nothing has happened to me. Particularly my coworkers. While I was out on a Leave of Absence, the controller of the department decided to tell everyone in my department that they should not mention Alex’s death to me, or ask me how I am doing. While I know that he did this with good intentions, my co-workers are now treating me as though I am same person that I was before Alex died, when I am defiantly not that same person. I suppose to them nothing has changed, however; to me everything has changed. My priorities have changed. I am no longer looking to take on extra work to try an impress my management team, instead, I am looking to do as little as I can to make it thru the day and still be co…

---anxiously awaiting---

I'm anxiously awaiting a promised post from my husband.

(drumming my fingers on the desk)

Another wish

Another wish to add to my list of wishes...

I wish I could get back to a place where I could listen to people complain about everyday things and not think, "You think you have problems? Well I wish my baby boy was still alive!" It makes me a not so nice person to be around, and for that reason I have pretty much stopped talking to some people.

It's not that I want to talk about Alex 24/7, but my brain can't stop thinking about all the human-made drama out there that is completely unnecessary. I find myself thinking (but thankfully not actually saying), "Don't like it? Change it," or, "Are you seriously worried about THAT?" I feel like I've turned into that stereotypical grandmother who has the uphill-to-school-barefoot-in-the-snow story. If I don't get it under control I won't ever be able to be out in polite company again!

Scumbags at law

Good thing I have tomorrow off work or I might go postal (sorry to offend anyone who might work for the US Postal Service).

I just met with the family of an Adult Protective Services client. There has been a long delay in their Aunt's case due to some tap-dancing at the opposing counsel's office...and they wanted a progress report. After the meeting was officially over, the great-niece congratulated me on keeping my job (long-time readers will know the potential lay-off story) and asked how I liked having Wednesdays off. I told her that Wednesdays off weren't because of the budget but because of my loss. She said she had heard and she was very sorry. She knew??? Then she told me how everyone in my office was professional and respected my privacy...but opposing counsel apparently not only shared my loss with them, but blamed the delay in the case on ME! $#!@%^

Loss and bad poetry

Am I the only one that is disturbed by the amount of just plain bad poetry floating around out there on the internet? It seems loss inspires people to write. You're subjected to my blog ramblings and I'm subjected to bad poetry. :o)

Everything Thomas

Oh, if it were only so easy as when we were three years old.

As I mentioned earlier, my son Samuel is a Thomas the Tank Engine freak. If you are not particularly familiar with this program, then you may not understand the humor of this little anecdote. Thomas has many friends who are also train engines of various colors. Thomas and Gordon are blue. Percy and Henry are green. James is red. There are many others, but since they don't yet live at my house in toy form, I'm not familiar with them.

The other day, while sitting in the van with Sam, I took the opportunity to ask him how he was feeling. I know how Steve and I are feeling, so I wanted to check in with my son.

So I asked, "Sam, how are you feeling?"

He responded, with eyes down and his lower lip quivering, "Sad."

I said, "Why are you sad?"

He looked me dead in the eye and said, "Because I wanted a baby."

I could have cried...but I didn't. I had a lightbulb moment...this wo…

Anger

From Common myths about losing a child.

You probably died with your child. You may have remnant pieces of the former self remaining; however, you are unlikely to become exactly who you were before. Get to know who you are once again. Your child's death has changed many things about you and you will need time and patience to reacquaint yourself with the new person you have become.

It took me 30 years or so to get where I was "comfortable in my skin" (as my mom calls it). How am I supposed to figure out who I am now?!?!

And you know what? I'm just plain old ticked off that I HAVE to!

I guess the new me has some anger issues. Good to know.

When you're stressed...

...and have no bubblewrap handy...go here.

A baby or THIS baby?

I have run up against another philosophical question that I do not seem to have an answer for.

Did I want A baby? or did I want this baby?

When we started talking about trying to conceive, all talk was generic. We wanted a baby. It didn't matter if it was a boy or a girl, as long as it was healthy. Obviously, you can insert your own sad joke here.

But somewhere along the line, we were blessed with, and fell in love with, Alex. Sweet Alex who loved when I would sing to him (off-key, of course). Alex, who liked the minivan but hated the Cavalier. Alex, who liked Mexican food even though it gave me horrible indigestion. Alex, who enjoyed country music played loud. Alex, who would wake up at 12:30am every night and demand to be rocked to sleep. I did the bonding thing, and I think that's part of the reason this hurts so much. Because I made Alex into a little person and I attributed all these things to his emerging personality, it is harder to let go. I feel like I know …

The husband

So I've been asked recently how Steve is doing since Alex died. And why don't I blog about him so people can keep up with him too? Quite honestly, I don't blog about him because he has recently started reading this blog and I don't want to run the risk of misrepresenting him when he might actually find out I've done it. hehe

Seriously, though, I don't write about Steve and how he's doing because it's not my place. If he chooses to share how he feels with people, that is is responsibility and his business. I don't want to intrude on those thoughts and feelings he chooses to keep private. He has a password and he knows how to use it. But he may very well never choose to write about anything.

I can tell you a few things. He seems to be doing fine. He has been incredibly supportive and understanding of all my quirks and insecurities. I am so lucky that I married this man. And no, I'm not just saying these things because he's recentl…

Great minds think alike.

It seems I'm not the only one to contemplate the existence/meaning/power of God. I'm currently reading a book recommended by a friend..."When Bad Things Happen to Good People," Harold S. Kushner.

It's fascinating to me, the number of beliefs I have that I've simply picked up along the path of my life. I can't really credit them to any one individual teaching (you're off the hook Mom)...they just became a part of my belief system by happenstance, I'm guessing. Too much television probably.

Anyway, I highly recommend the book.

Insecurities are strange

As if it's not hard enough to come to terms with the fact that our baby is never coming home to live with us. This is permanent...forever. He's buried in a very nice plot up on the hill in the cemetery...forever. The universe wants me to understand this and accept it. I admit that I'm not having a problem understanding the concept itself...it's the acceptance of it that is so hard to take.

And I'm supposed to choose words to honor my baby...forever set in stone. Are you kidding me?!?!

As my fearless readers know by now, I'm not a great poet by any means. Often, my thoughts tend toward the plain old boring run-of-the-mill-Indiana-roots-hillbilly. I am impressed with the genius of slogans like, "Can you hear me now?" or, "What's in YOUR wallet?" I will never be published in an anthology of great works. And I will admit that I often have to edit and re-edit what I write on this blog so that it is even somewhat coherent. How in the w…

It's funny how things work out

I could have taken another job and been making more money. But I would have had to move out to the middle of cow-country (no, where I live is nowhere close to cow country...this is merely rural...that place was no-neighbors-for-miles-rural). So I declined the second interview for the position because I needed to "put my family first." I sent the Prosecutor a nice letter thanking him for the opportunity, but explaining how I needed to avoid all that upheaval at the time. How's that for irony?

I wanted to maintain some stability for my husband and my son, and I wanted to keep my house and remain near my family. It wasn't easy to decide, and it was even harder to admit. It somehow sounded lame or weak to admit that my career came second to my family.

I'm REALLY glad I made that decision now. It's definitely not the stability or the plan I had in mind back then. But I can't imagine being in a new place, with new people and a new job, while mourning th…

Try again?!?!?!

Yep...got that one today. "Hopefully you can try again, and if you do, good luck to you." Hey dumbass...he wasn't a TRY...he was my son! He had ten fingers and ten toes and a beautiful face...and a name...Alex...say it...then tell me I can try again. There will never be another one like him. Can you not understand that I can't simply replace him? My children aren't some sort of interchangeable pieces that I can just try again!

I got this from the internet and I think it's perfect to post today...


A BEREAVED PARENT'S WISH LIST

I wish my child hadn't died. I wish I had him back.

I wish you wouldn't be afraid to speak my child's name. My child lived and was very important to me. I need to hear that he was important to you also. If I cry and get emotional when you talk about my child I wish you knew that it isn't because you have hurt me. My child's death is the cause of my tears. You have talked about my child, and you have allowed me …

June 9, 2005

Today is/was my due date. I'm taking today off to be with Steve and Sam. Peace and love to you all.
Today it has been four weeks since my Baby Alex was born still. It is thunderstorming outside. That's all there is today.

Dear Sam

Today I wrote a letter to Sam so that he would have a living memory of this whole time in our lives...but most especially a memory of Alex. It was the hardest letter I've ever had to write in my life, because I wanted to fill it with all the love and hope we shared when we were anticipating Alex's arrival. It was good to revisit those memories...if only to be reminded that this life wasn't always a nightmare. It doesn't erase the bitterness and sadness over the time we were cheated out of, but it helps me to remember to be thankful for the time we did have.

I hope that some day Sam will find some peace in knowing that we had good times expecting Alex. I'm grasping at ways to make the long and sad road ahead a bit easier for him. If anyone has any suggestions, I would appreciate hearing them.

Guilt

Guilt has a funny way of sneaking up on you. I didn't realize exactly why I'd been feeling guilty until last night when having a late Instant Message conversation with a dear friend.

There are so many things to feel guilty for. At first I thought it was just that I hadn't noticed Alex moving. In all my wisdom and arrogance, I didn't pay attention. This is still true. I feel like I should have paid more attention and I should have been more vigilent. But there is more to it than just that. (of course there is...this wouldn't be a very good post if it were as simple as that)

You see, I didn't do everything you're supposed to do when you're pregnant. I stopped taking my prenatals because they made me sick. I drank a cup of coffee every morning for breakfast. I took Sudafed. I ate cookies and candy at Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine's Day, and Easter.

But the thing that makes me feel most guilty is that I didn't do all the …

My very first total nonsense post

With the maternity clothes leaving the house, I've realized how totally lacking my wardrobe really is. So I ventured out online to try to find ONE top that I liked. Nothing appeals. Not even on eBay. I can buy tops labelled "sexy," which are wholly inappropriate for the courtrooms in our rural county. Or I can buy tops created by Omar the tent-maker...with what looks like material from someone's old curtains. Neither option appeals. I give up.

Are you there God?

I've noticed that a lot of my posts have to do with inanimate objects that evoke intense emotions and therefore, prolific blogging (I had to whip out my thesaurus for that sentence...don't expect as much from the rest of this post...it's too much effort). Anyway...I was pondering what I could post about that doesn't involve external props and I think I came up with a good one.

To those who are overly religious, please do not be offended by what follows. This is my own inner struggle and therefore is not intended as a comment on anyone's closely held belief system.

Where is God? Where was he when we needed him the most? Why didn't he answer our prayers? How could he let this happen to sweet innocent little Alex? How could he do this to Steve and Sam and I?

I have heard so many well-intended things over the last three and a half weeks that have honestly left me completely perplexed. One person said, "Well I guess it just wasn't meant to be." …

Cards and boxes

At the end of a life, no matter how short, everything comes down to cards and boxes.

People who will help you with your funeral business all give you cards. Friends and family all send you cards. There are cards in the flowers at the cemetery. There are memorial cards printed up as sort of funeral keepsakes.

The body goes in a box. The cards all go in a box. The memories are all boxed up, to be taken out and perused when you feel strong enough to face them.

It's an odd thing...the phenomenon of cards and boxes.

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We got the "memory box" for Alex's things. It's a nice little box and I feel good that it's sitting in our living room so I can see it every time I walk through the house. It's a small box...for a short life. It's contents include: The "I'm a Big Brother" book we bought for Sam. Sam's baby rattle that he was going to give to Alex. A Denver Broncos sl…

The clothes are almost outta here

I'm breathing a sigh of relief this weekend. I've successfully eBayed maternity clothes and started shipping them out of my house. I'm surprised how much

I'm not sure I blogged about it, but during my pregnancy with Alex, I went through crisis mode where none of my clothes fit and I had to search out bargains so that I didn't have to go to the office in the nude. It was a major undertaking since my short plus size makes it impossible to shop at "normal" maternity stores. So I shopped...a shirt here, a shirt there, a pair of pants off eBay...it was a long, drawn-out effort (much like this post has become--another story for later), but I was finally satisfied I had enough clothes to make it all the way through to my due date. Some of them, I only wore once...or didn't get to wear at all.

I know people will say, "But what if you decide to get pregnant again?" And my answer is this...I will buy new clothes.

I'm losing money, I know. …

Ambushed

Well...not really ambushed. Just another one of those hidden surprises waiting for me when I least expect it.

Last summer I was using one of those online fertility tracking software programs. At first it was more for giggles than anything else, since I was so sure I would get pregnant on the first try. Well, after a couple months, when the dream didn't automatically happen, temping and charting became a sort of obsession. For the first time in my life I was really paying attention to what was happening in my body. Why I didn't learn my lesson and keep paying close attention all through this pregnancy, I don't know.

This morning I was trying to get into a chat program used by other stillborn mommies. For some reason, it will not work with my version of Netscape. I'm on a Mac, so it doesn't surprise me when things don't work right. I've learned to adapt. This time I decided to try Internet Explorer. Got the chat program to work, no problems (yay). …