Sunday, May 30, 2010

Happy Birthday honey




You still got it...after all these years. :o)

Friday, May 28, 2010

No miscellaneous thoughts

There are no miscellaneous thoughts today because I spent the day at the zoo with my little family, including my parents. It was perfect weather and we had an amazing time. We saw giraffes and swans and monkeys and bears and lions and fish and dinosaurs...with Sam reading educational signs to us and Myles repeating the animal identifier over and over and over until the next animal. Sam posed for his picture on the "birthday turtle" statue that is actually a tortoise statue. Myles was deathly afraid of the dinosaurs. Sam asked me a zillion times if he could go through the amphibian learning maze and I declared at one point that we would never ever go to the zoo again...EVAH! And then we laughed and laughed. No thought involved...just being in the moment. It was a VERY good day.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

8:56am

He made me look it up for him...the exact time he would turn 8 years old. He is growing up so fast and I can hardly catch my breath. It is just so much fun to watch him laugh and learn and become his own little person.
8:56AM has come and gone. Now you are 8 years old, my Sam-a-lama. Eight years ago you changed our lives forever...made them better...made US better. You made me a mom and taught me more about life and love than I can ever put into words.

I love you to the moon and back.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Greater Good

(click and give)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Miscellaneous thoughts

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Sam and I went to Walmart Thursday to look at bicycles (can you believe he'll be eight years old next week?!?!). Anyway...we walked past the baby section and noticed some adorable baby summer clothes.

You know what I was thinking.

Sam said, "Those would look so cute on Baby Liberty (his cousin)."
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Elizabeth McCracken had a great line in her book. "Closure is bullshit." I literally cheered when I read that.
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I commented on Kate's blog that it would be ok...some day. But really...what do I know? Nothing!

I really need to not be such a moron.
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At first, I had a desperate need to have the baby's urn at home. I wanted it on my bedside table...but when we brought it home, I set it on the fireplace in the living room (where it remains).

The other day, I walked past and felt oddly puzzled at the fact that my dead baby's cremains are sitting on my fireplace. It was a living being in my belly not too long ago. Now it's a marble collectible on the mantle next to my son's handmade "World's Greatest Mom" trophy.
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There are these moments that hit me when I literally can not breathe for the weight of everything on me. These moments usually come on as a result of some sensory memory. The feel of the flannel pregnancy pillow set one off. The sound of the shower set another off. Maybe they are mini panic attacks...who knows. I'm sure there is some not-so-deep psychological reason for them that could be treated with the proper talk therapy and pharmaceutical interventions. Whatever. I'm really not interested in being "cured" just yet.

Today's little attack was EASY to see coming.

See, I follow lots of photography blogs. Photographers work A LOT with wedding, maternity, baby and family photos. I'm ok with them. Never had a problem. But today...this post.

That was the nursery decor I wanted. I had (foolishly) put it on our baby registry. I KNOW! With my history, WHY would I make up a baby registry? I KNOW! But I did.

Now I know for sure...

our baby would have been so adorable with Dr. Seuss.
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I stopped at the APL for dog food to feed my herd. Even there, I run into new moms with new babies. I just want to scream sometimes...REALLY?!?!
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I have almost run through my first month supply of wine and ambien.

The sleeping is not going well.
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This should be printed and handed out to friends and family when a baby dies. No nonsense...straightforward...really perfect.
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Who else is tired of hearing me talk deadbaby? I know I am.
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Did I mention my first baby will be EIGHT in a week? I just look at him sometimes (often eliciting a, "What?") and I think how amazing he is. I never imagined I would have this amazing kid. He reminds me of who we used to be...and who we have become...as a family. He is kind and funny and oh-so-smart. We are so lucky to have him in our lives.

He wants a big kid bike for his birthday but I'm not sure I'm ready for the training wheels to come off yet.
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I was just asked, "Can we smell the fart?"

Yeah...it ain't all Hallmark moments around here.
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I really hate the smell of cheerios.

But I guess it's better than farts.
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Did I tell you that I told Sam he would have to participate in a summer reading program and he cried as though I'd just killed a puppy? Yeah. As someone who LOVES to read, I'm having a hard time dealing with this.
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Sometimes I think life would be a whole lot easier if we didn't have all our pets. And then they do something to make me smile...and I still think life would be a whole lot easier if we didn't have all our pets...but it would also be way less fun.
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I worry about my brother even though I know he's an adult and should be able to handle his life without my advice.

I'm also a little sad that we don't have the kind of relationship where he would ask for my advice.
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I need to find a dentist. Then make an appointment. Then have work done on a probable cavity. Then explain why I haven't been to the dentist in 20 years or so. Should be fun.
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The goal of bill collectors is to irritate you until you beg, borrow, or steal the money to get them off your case. It is a form of harassment and should be illegal. Even though I find it endlessly amusing to play with their heads, I don't appreciate the phone calls first thing at 8am and last thing at 8pm.

Student loans. I dare them to repossess my brain...because...they can have it.
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I have been collecting little things here and there to send to a friend. I don't know where I've stored them in the house. I have a gift I intended to send to another friend over a year ago. It's still sitting on a shelf in my closet. I have thank you cards all addressed and stamped and sitting in a bag I usually carry to work (but haven't needed in the last couple of weeks). I'm not so good at this friendship thing...at least as it involves the postal service.
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Last night at checkout...coffee creamer, marshmallows and wine.
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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Might have been

I had the yarn all picked out in case it was a girl like several people had predicted. But since we will never know, I made this and plan to give it to a friend who is due with a girl right around the same time I was due.
I think it needs booties to go with it. But first I have a tea cozy to finish.

Blame and Disgust

"And I thought what a good man he was, that he was so understanding, because, and this made me weep harder, because I knew, I knew that this was all my fault. My essential reaction was grief, but somehow the words that floated to the surface of my brain were: people are going to be mad at me."
Elizabeth McCracken

You would think, after all, that I would have some significant insight into grief and healing. You would think, after all, that I would know enough to skip some steps. But no. Instead, I am stuck in stages previously worked through. Right now, I'm back at square one...where I get to blame myself. Except this time there is no hearing the chorus of "it's not your fault." This time the fault IS mine...and it calls into question everything I previously worked through about the blame I deserved.

The first time, it was easy to buy into the idea that it wasn't my fault. With a convenient target of a neglectful doctor who could have saved my baby had she paid attention, I had the perfect way out of the self-blame.

The second time, it was one of those freakish things...lightning does, indeed, strike twice. There was something wrong with him anyway, so maybe it was nature's way of taking care of us.

Now...the third time...there is no denying that it is me. I am the one responsible for all of this. It's my body that fails...time and time and time again. I didn't take the vitamins...I ate a gluten-filled diet...I didn't exercise...I had sex...I threw out all the things that I was hyper-vigilent about with Myles...as if they were irrelevant this time. But even before we get to THAT blame, we have to get over the hurdle of the blame of stupidity. I was SO stupid! I did the irresponsible thing and got myself pregnant AGAIN, knowing the (emotional AND physical) risks. It wasn't planned, but I'm old enough to know how birth control works and I should have protected us all from this heartache.

And now here I am. I can't outrun the blame...can't shift it anywhere...because it is my own self that disgusts me. My body...my (lack of a) brain...everything. And I keep hearing my own voice echoing in my head, "You brought this on yourself."

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Thank you Shanna!






The books and the little bugs are lovely (the googly eyes make me giggle).

Thank you so much!

Choose your words

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Someone gave me a laminated St. Gerard prayer card that still mocks me from the business card holder on my desk. I told the woman who gave it to me that I didn't believe. But she said it was ok to take it. "Couldn't hurt," she said.

Prayer for Safe Delivery...Preserve me from danger and from the excessive pains accompanying childbirth, and shield the child which I now carry, that it may see the light of day....

Can I give it back or would that seem horribly mean? Should I just throw it in the trash? I don't believe...but I also don't want to offend.
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Along those lines, I had a St. Anthony pendant hanging in my van. I don't want it anymore. Should I just throw it in the trash? I don't believe...but I also don't want to offend.
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God is good.
Prayers work.
(Or some hodge-podge of these two).

Then how do you explain all of this?
God is good...except when he isn't. Accept the plan as good...even if it means THREE dead babies you have to visit in a cemetery.
Prayers work...except when they don't. Sometimes the answer is now...even if it means THREE dead babies you have to visit in a cemetery.

Thanks for considering my feelings before you basically discounted the deaths of my children.
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The anesthesiology bill arrived for services rendered for an "induced abortion." I know it's just a clinical term. I know all the logical explanations. It still made me want to vomit.

And now I can't stop thinking about it. The guilt is paralyzing at times. I literally can not move. I sit in empty rooms and stare at the wall. I lay in bed waiting for the medication to close my eyes for the night and hold the nightmares at bay.

I've been here before and I KNOW I have nothing to feel guilty for. But still...

Who really gives a f**k, right? Get on with it. I know how to do this.

Except I forget.

"3 weeks is the point at which if you're still walking, you're doing great."

Oh yeah...that's right.

So now it's been a month and a client leaves my office and jokes to the receptionist, "You might want to check on her, she might want to commit suicide after our meeting."

Yeah...idiot...because THAT'S what would do it.
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We went out to dinner with my parents a couple weekends ago. They brought my (adorable) little one-year-old niece and my mom said, "I wasn't sure if you'd be upset that we brought her." How am I supposed to respond?

Other than that, we had a fairly decent time. And considering it was the day before Mother's Day, I'd say that was pretty good.
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Laying in bed one night discussing my brother's family drama (which I won't discuss becuase it's HIS business and I respect that even if I don't agree with his decisions) and the freedom that must come from being able to let it all fall apart...Steve distinctly highlighted the pressure I've been feeling lately.

"That's what we do, Cath, we just ARE okay. No worries."

Yeah.

We're OK.

No worries.

Except I threw a tv table across the room the other day...

So maybe not so much ok? maybe just a few worries?

Meh...Who really gives a f**k, right? Get on with it. I know how to do this.
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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Nutshell philosophy

I read a bumper sticker once that said, "A philosophy that fits in a nutshell should stay there." (Yeah, I know...funny, right? I still chuckle about it.)

And there ya have it...the current target of my grief-induced anger...

Don't wrap it all up in a neat little bow. Don't give me a "nugget of wisdom" that is supposed to make me think. Don't spew some one-liner from an insprational poster. Don't, for the sake of my sanity, act like you've got it ALL figured out. The secret of life is just that...a secret.

So please...just don't.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Thank you!

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Thank you to everyone who helped me in my "deadbaby book quest." I have a stack of books to read through now. It's helping. To have words to read that make sense out of some of the jumble in my brain.

So thank you!
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I wasn't sure I was supposed to open this because it was pretty well sealed shut. But I had to know what was inside and I'm SO glad I was curious. It is just lovely.

Thank you Niobe!

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Thank you E! It is beautiful! (the picture doesn't do it justice)

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Thank you to every single person who sent a card or a note or an email or a good thought. Everything is going in Little Bug's memory box.
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Sunday, May 16, 2010

Time warp

The last time we went out to a movie was on my birthday in February. We went to the same movie theater. Only it was cold and snowy then and I wore my peachy orange winter coat and my scarf and my boots. I was so worried about slipping on the ice that Steve parked in a parking space right up by the front door.

This time, I wore a light little top and my new black sandals with heels. We parked as far away from the front door as we possibly could.

I said, "I feel like I'm in a time warp here."

He said, "I didn't think...do you want to go to a different theater?"

"No. I can face this one."

We each took a deep breath, went inside, and enjoyed a different movie.

Sometimes it's just so hard to believe it was just a month ago it all went upside down. Sometimes I can vividly remember little details that were so unimportant at the time (but obviously must've made an impression). Mostly, I remember the happiness and the feeling that anything was possible.

Yes, I can face those memories.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Miscellaneous thoughts

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Just realized I left a small glass of Southern Comfort Hurricane cocktail sitting on my bedside table. I wonder if the cats will drink it and if they do, will it kill them?

(For the record...not they did not...and they are fine.)
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I talked with a client on the phone...and I just kept wondering, "Does he know? Did someone tell him? What if he doesn't know? The next time he sees me he's surely going to figure it out. Maybe I should just say something. But I can't...etc...etc...etc."

Don't ask me what he wanted...I can't remember ANY of our conversation.
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I bled for two weeks...ovulated...and now I have my period.

Every day I checked the toilet paper for blood. Every.Single.Day. I figured if it was all going to go wrong, it would be something new and exciting like a bloody miscarriage. Instead, our baby just quietly died.

And now there is blood.

I just can't put into words how this has knocked the wind out of me.
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I have been "not pregnant" for a month now...and I just caught myself leaning back in my chair with my cup resting on the top of my belly.
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I sent out a couple feelers for photographer assistant jobs. Didn't get them (didn't even hear back). But I have been motivated lately to pick up my camera and WORK with it. I'm also editing some older shots for what will turn into a portfolio (maybe online). For my sanity, I have to make some changes in my life. HAVE TO.
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I applied for a forbearance for my law school loans. Bill paying wasn't high on our list of priorities for a few weeks and I got kind of behind. For some reason, they approved it for the majority of the loans...but not for one portion of it (something about private versus federal...blah, blah, blah). So that portion remains delinquent.

The collection person called me today asking when payment would be made.
I said, "I don't know."
She asked, "You can't make the payment?"
I said, "No, I don't think I can."
She SIGHED and said, "This did affect your credit and the calls will continue until payment is made."
I said, "It's your dime."
She said, "Thank you," and HUNG UP!

Now, this is my first go-round with being late with bills of any kind...so I have no collections experience to compare it to. But that's it?!?! Really?!?! You're going to CALL ME until I pay?!?! I'm shaking in my boots.

At least the lady who called about the late car payment asked me where the car was and what shape it was in (to which I said, "You sound like you're about to repossess it for ONE late payment"). Now THAT was at least a LITTLE intimidating.

And for the record, I DO plan on paying the missed payment...I was just jerking her chain to see what kind of reaction I'd get. I guess now I know.
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Finally, using all those maxi pads pays off. Free movie ticket offer inside specially marked packages of Always (and Tampax). I'm going to see some Russell this weekend for free...awesome!

And I cashed in some of my Pamper's points a while back and got an Applebee's gift card. So we'll have dinner too!

Wince we did not manage to overcome the Mother's Day shadow last weekend and get our tattoos...I will be doing that as well. Steve may or may not, depending on whether he can come up with a design idea that doesn't repulse me. It's his skin...but I have to look at it...so we're trying to find something that makes us both happy.
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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Exact Replica

I'm finding nuggets in this book that take hold and won't let go.

"It was very strange to have been so happy so recently, and I felt that if I puzzled it over enough I might be able to find my way back..."

That is exactly it.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Exact Replica

The lovely Catherine loaned me her copy of An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination, by Elizabeth McCracken, and I couldn't put it down until I was finished reading the entire thing.

I won't write a review...because that's not who I am...but this line toward the end of the book had me weeping for the truth of it...

"To remember that he was dead, but to remember him without pain: he's dead but of course she still loves him, and that love isn't morbid or bloodstained or unsightly, it doesn't need to be shoved away."

I may be a freak. I may be the the thing that pregnant women don't want to hear about. I may always be a little sad (and say sad things).

But I love my babies. ALL of my babies.

I will not apologize for it. And I will not hide it.

Did that just happen?

I was in the produce section of the grocery story yesterday when a seemingly normal-looking guy next to me asked, "Can I ask you a question?"

Now, clueless guys in the grocery store are not exactly unheard of...so, thinking he wanted to know the difference between parsley and chives, I said, "Sure,"

Guy: "Well, it is personal."

Me: (not sure what to do)

Guy: "Who did you vote for in the last election?"

Me: (thinking he meant last week) "Umm...yeah...that is personal." (nervous laughing)

Guy: (staring)

Me: (taking a step forward...trying to get away)

Guy: (moving his cart in front of mine) "Well, let me ask you this, how do you think Obama is doing as President so far?"

Me: (really really really creeped out) "Umm...that really is a personal opinion and I think I'll keep it to myself." (turning my cart around and walking the other way...toward the safety of the well-populated checkout area)

Guy: (zooms his cart off toward the bakery...turns around...zooms all the way back around the other end of the aisle to go past me again at which point he says) "Nobody wants to admit their mistakes." (zooms off again)

Me: (standing there thinking, "Did that really just happen?" I saw nobody close enough who might have overheard that I could ask. So I texted Steve about how I'm such a freak I've now become a freak magnet.)

Do I give a flying f*** about politics on the fifth anniversary of the delivery of my stillborn son? Really?

I SWEAR he was normal-looking (shorter-than-me-balding-white-guy-in-his-forties-with-very-blue-unblinking-eyes).

But that IS what they usually say of serial killers..."He seemed so normal."

After our "encounter," I saw him picking up a prescription at the pharmacy...and then a bottle at the state liquor agency...which explains a LOT.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Monday, May 10, 2010

Little kid, harsh realities

My Sam-a-lama has had so many disappointments in his little life. I'm not talking about not getting that train table or that xBox360 he "had to have"...or his TV show being "accidentally" deleted from the DVR (I will NEVER admit it)...or not being good at soccer. I wish those were the only kinds of disappointments he had to deal with. No, my sweet boy had to learn, at three years old, hard truths about reality and the randomness of the universe that I didn't have to learn until I was THIRTY-three. He had to learn lessons of life and death and grief and coping that were far beyond his years. And now he's seven (almost eight) and he just keeps getting hit over the head with life lessons he JUST.SHOULD.NOT.HAVE.TO.LEARN.YET.IF.EVER.

I wish I could describe for you the look on his face when we sat in that minivan-I-love-to-hate in the rainy daycare parking lot and told him Little Bug died. Though I know he tried to be strong for me, I saw pain, anger, hurt and confusion all flash across his face before he was able to push it all down and contain it. It was fleeting, maybe four or five seconds tops, but it was a look I will never forget...and had hoped to never see again.

And then we had a conversation during our Mother's Day McDonald's dinner in bed that stopped me cold.* He was explaining to Myles how he's the big brother but how Myles could be a big brother too, "...when mommy has another baby...if she EVER does" (said with a slightly exasperated tone...which...really...I know the feeling kid). I literally stopped breathing for a second or two as the gears turned oh-so-slowly in my head. It was like being doused with a gallon bucket of ice water...you hold your breath and then, after the initial shock passes, shake it off.

Me: "Sam, I'm sorry, but I don't think there are going to be any more babies for mommy."

Sam: "Why not?"

(Hell kid, why don't you just stab me through the heart and get it over with?)

Me: "Because mommy can't take the heartbreak anymore. It's too much...getting all excited for a new baby...and it not happening...no new baby. It makes me too sad."

And THERE...I saw it again...THAT LOOK. Again it flashed across his face and disappeared to someplace I can't go...someplace I'm not allowed. I don't remember this being in any of the parenting books and, truth be told, I'm more than a little afraid of that look. I'm afraid of what it means. I'm afraid because he has the ability to so easily control it..hide it...and continue to eat his cheesburger.

Everyone says he'll be fine. Everyone says we'll all be fine. And I want to scream.

You don't know that. Surely as you didn't know that Alex...or Travis...or Myles...or Little Bug would be fine. You don't know that he'll be FINE! You don't KNOW anything.

In one of those soon-after-the-baby-died (drunken) moments (when you're determined getting pregnant again immediately would be the BEST idea), I sent a Facebook message to my friend Jenne (let me tell you right now, that woman is a genius and I love her), who responded with this...
Quit worrying about what other people think and take a good, hard look at the faces around your dinner table tonight. If you think that everyone there is on board with you and the possibilities - good and bad - then who is anyone to say that you shouldn't try again?
Yes, it's time to stop dragging my kids through my own crap. It's time to grow up (finally...at 38 years old) and do what is best for all of us. Sadly, it's time to teach Sam (and Myles) that sometimes you just don't get the perfect fairytale ending. Here's hoping we can still salvage some sort of happily-ever-after anyway.

*McDonald's was requested so that we could avoid sitting in a "nice" restaurant with any new mommies celebrating their first Mother's Day.

Perfect Moment Monday

Sunday, May 09, 2010

It's Mother's Day...go fly a kite












Mother's Day gifts

Sam-a-lama "worked very hard in school to make these" for me (his words).



And look what my amazing husband got for me...

Happy Mother's Day

Dragonflies Pictures, Images and Photos

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Friday, May 07, 2010

Miscellaneous thoughts

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Today I texted Steve, "We need to get a life."

And then, "Get a life...that's hysterical."

If it weren't for dark humor we'd have no sense of humor at all.
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It's been four weeks.
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I just watched Grey's Anatomy and suddenly can not breathe. Dr. Yang is talking to a little girl about what she'll do if her mommy dies. Dr. Yang says something to the effect that at first it's going to hurt a lot whenever she thinks of her mommy...but with time it will hurt less and less...until eventually she'll think of her and it will only hurt a little bit.

Here's the thing...if it hurts a little bit when I think of Alex...and a little bit when I think of Travis...and a little bit when I think of Little Bug...that's a whole lot of little bits of hurt.
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I read a couple of posts in different places today that were, "yeah...what she said," kinds of things, so I thought I'd share...

On having two healthy children and a dead one...
I feel like there's a traffic jam going on in my head at all times..."

On having a second miscarriage...
One mc is unlucky, a fluke, something that happens to a lot of women. Two mc's make me someone who has mc's, makes me someone to be pitied, someone who might never have another child, someone who serves as a cautionary tale, someone who was a fool for expecting happiness, someone who is numb, someone who might never ttc again, someone who has to be tested, someone who is tired. I feel stupid for putting myself in this place.
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Before we got married, Steve said he wanted to have six kids. We have five...but I'm pretty sure this isn't the way he pictured it.

He's a good guy and would never say. But I know he can't see me and not be a little bit disgusted and disappointed. I am.

I'm also more sorry than I can ever say.
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The boys and I had a whole day alone together as a result of a compensatory day for teachers (for parent-teacher conferences). We didn't do anything.

There was a time when I would've thought that was a waste of a day. But now, I think it's a precious thing...just being together.

I could have done without the, "mom, I puked on my bed." But the rest was great.
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A month later and I'm still carrying around the sad little teabags nurse Karen scrounged up for me at the hospital when I requested herbal tea. Julia and Sara introduced me to Teavana teas in their care package and now I think it's time to retire Lipton for good. Maybe I'll put one or two in Little Bug's memory box.

But seriously...how have I not heard of this tea before? It is SO good!
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At the end of last week we applied for a refinance on our house. We're not looking to get any money out of it...just want to lower our monthly payment.

They said no.

They also said no to any sort of modification of mortgage terms.

I told them, "You understand that at some point I'm going to have to walk away from this house and it will be yours, right?"

The conversation devolved from there. She threatened that the bank would sue us and I laughed at her and told her, "You do what you have to do...can't take what I don't have." And then it got even worse...to the point where I said, "Look lady, I just buried my third dead baby...take my house if you want it so bad...it's yours," and hung up and sobbed. It wasn't pretty. After that, the mortgage lady called and left a voicemail on my husband's cell phone...she sounded very nervous. Poor thing didn't know what hit her.
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I thought you were supposed to bring food when somebody died. But apparently, when a baby dies, you bring plants. I KNOW people are trying to be kind. I KNOW they want to show their love for us and acknowledge that we lost something precious. But good grief...the plants! It's like, "You're baby died? Here, have an hydrangea/azalea/weigela/hosta."

And the worst part is, this isn't my first time at this rodeo...and I've killed almost ALL the plants given to us for previous dead babies! You'd think people would get the hint already...I am not good at keeping things alive in my uterus OR in my garden.
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I'm ALL tangled up in my relationships with other people. I need to find a way to feel what I feel without those strings influencing me.
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I deleted a bunch of Facebook games that were causing more stress than enjoyment. Just one question...How did I get sucked into keeping virtual fish alive?
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Sam spends Saturday nights in our king-size bed. We call it "sleepover night." It's a leftover from when he co-slept and we needed to transition him to his own bed.

Last weekend he and I were sound asleep when there was this huge *THUD*. I did the in-control-mommy-thing and promptly freaked the f*** out.

M: "Sam! SAM! Are you OK? What happened? Sam? Did you hurt anything...what did you hurt?"

Sam: "Diet Pepsi?"

Deep breath...lift him back into the bed...giggle to myself. I REALLY need to relax a little.
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Myles can say "S" at the start of words but calls his brother Mas. As in, Sam backwards. Selective dyslexia? It's so weird.
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My seven-year-old has learned well the art of the successful nag...and it's driving me CRAZY!
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I am REALLY tired of snuggling with Myles and having my breasts leak. Not a lot...just enough to make me very sad.
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Time for a color change

The old was getting on my nerves for the perkiness of it all.

I was going to use skulls on fire, but figured that might be a tad offensive.

This blue seems to match my mood pretty well right now...so there ya go!

Thursday, May 06, 2010

So loved

Today I feel very loved. The outpouring of support and kindness has proven that humans have an amazing capacity to love...and that love is a powerful healing force.

Today, waiting on my porch was this very large box...

Filled to the top...

From Sara and Julia (from Ohio to Boston and back)...

And this...this...literally took my breath away...

Thank you ladies. I can never re-pay you for what this means to me.

May 6, 2010

Instead of attending an optimistically scheduled prenatal appointment today, I'd like to ask for your help. If anyone has any of the following books, I would very much appreciate the chance to borrow them. Email me. Thanks!

Hope is Like the Sun: Finding Hope and Healing After Miscarriage, Stillbirth, or Infant Death by Lisa Church

A Piece of My Heart: Living Through the Grief of Miscarriage, Stillbirth, or Infant Death by Molly Fumia (Author)

Forever Silent, Forever Changed: The Loss of a Baby in Miscarriage, Stillbirth, Early Infancy. A Mother's Experience and Your Personal Journal by Kellie Davis (Author)

Love, Mom: A Mother's Journey From Loss to Hope by Cynthia Baseman

The Good Grief Club by Monica Novak (Author)

Gracie by Ryan Warnick (Author)
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On the way here...thank you!

An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination: A Memoir by Elizabeth McCracken

Empty Cradle, Broken Heart, Revised Edition: Surviving the Death of Your Baby by Deborah L. Davis (I have actually read this one...gave it away...would like to read it again)

Free to Grieve: Healing and Encouragement for Those Who Have Suffered Miscarriage and Stillbirth by Maureen Rank

When Your Baby Dies: Through Miscarriage or Stillbirth (Hope and Healing Series) by Louis A. Gamino

A Silent Sorrow: Pregnancy Loss - Guidance and Support for You and Your Family by Ingrid Kohn, Perry-Lynn Moffitt

Mourning Sickness - Stories and Poems about Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Infant Loss by Missy Martin (Author), Jesse Loren (Editor)

Naming the Child: Hope-Filled Reflections on Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Infant Death by Jenny Schroedel

Something Happened: A book for children and parents who have experienced pregnancy loss. by Cathy Blanford (Author), Phyllis Childers (Illustrator)

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Today...tomorrow...yesterday

On November 19, 2008, I wrote this...
Last year I wrote about inevitability.

Tomorrow we celebrate Myles' first birthday.

I'm at a loss for words.

I feel peace where I didn't before.

But it also feels like there is something new on the horizon...something big and important...
I only know I wrote it because the title to this post was so similar that Blogger wanted to autofill for me. Normally, I would have ignored it. But right now it seems so...I don't know...creepy.

Strangely enough, that peace is still there somewhere. Maybe it's just a pleasant memory but I don't think so. It's there...I can FEEL it.

Anyway...that's not why I wanted to write this post. I wanted to write this post because I can't stop eating pears. And cottage cheese. And soup.

When most foods taste like nothing in my mouth, these foods seem to bring me alive again. It's magical thinking at its finest, I'm sure...sensory memories that make me feel better. Only they don't make me feel better and I really want to stop (yes, I know, I need a little OCD on top of everything to just make this PERFECT).

Pears were from a happy time when my belly was rounding out with Little Bug and we listened to "Rolling Through the Sunshine" on the car radio as we went to our Easter Sunday picnic in the park...and we were happy. Soup and cottage cheese were the first things I ate after three foodless days in the hospital...after it was all over...when I needed something "gentle" on my system.

I remember when Alex died and I sought out the body wash they used to bathe him in the hospital. I thought that was a bit crazy. But THIS! I think there is so little to hold onto that I'm just grasping at straws here. There are things I don't want to remember (can't face)...but there are also things I desperately want back in this reality (not just in a memory).

But here's what's on the schedule instead...
Thursday, May 6 - The last in the series of two-week appointments crossed out of my desk calendar (scheduled when we were all feeling SO optimistic).
Friday, May 7 - No school- P/T conference compensatory day
Saturday, May 8 - Remembering Travis
Sunday, May 9 - Mother's Day
Monday, May 10 - C'mon, it's a MONDAY!
Tuesday, May 11 - Remembering Alex

And of course, we have the overarching, "it's been one month," additional fun to make the entire weekend just sparkle and shine.

Now which day should I devote to drinking? All of them? Sounds good to me.

Both my mother and my mother-in-law want to celebrate Mother's Day. I was able to be honest with my mother and tell her that I may spend the day in bed with the covers pulled over my head. She seemed to understand. Steve told his mom basically the same thing (she and I haven't spoken since Alex died...and yes...that means she has never even MET Myles). She chose to ignore all emotion and told him to be sure he calls her on Mother's Day. Yeah.

I mean, really...did you SEE that schedule for the next six days?!?! Just seeing it all printed there makes me want to slit my wrists. Thankfully, I know that the anticipation is often worse than actually getting through the days. But...still!

I had a very big cry the other day and I haven't cried since. In fact, I've felt pretty good. Despite the tone you may read this entry with, it's been written with no tears. But I know they're waiting to return...sometime during the next six days.

I think Steve and I may go get tattoos again. I NEED to add Little Bug back to my body somehow (other than through food). And honestly, the thought of a little controlled physical pain during this weekend seems somehow appropriate.

Well this entry went all over the place, didn't it? Sorry about that.

I probably won't blog much for the next six days. In fact, I think I'll just go ahead and post my memorial place-markers now so I don't even have to exert the energy for those on Saturday and Tuesday. And aside from drunken tweeting and playing Bejeweled Blitz, I probably won't be around Facebook too much. I just don't want anyone to worry. I'll make it through...I always do.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Battlefield

I went to the cemetery today. Just for a few minutes...just to remember.

I told Steve the other day that I can't really stand to visit there anymore because it's like a colossal monument to my failures as a woman and mother...it's like my own little battlefield strewn with the bodies of lost soldiers.

Alex

Travis

Little Bug

It's getting to be a lot like one of those Memorial Day remembrance ceremonies where they read the names and you think to yourself, "Is this going to last all afternoon? We have brunch reservations."

Individually, I still remember them as best I can, what with all the historical re-writes and the pickling of my brain from too much wine and ambien. All the insignificant details that will be lost forever as time erases them from my memory. I don't know whether to hope for that relief or not. What kind of mother hopes for the peace that comes from forgetting her children? And I don't EVER want Sam and Myles to think they aren't enough. So I hope that they can fill up as much space in my memory as possible? So I hope that we have enough happiness together to help me forget?

I'm so tired.

And there is no counter-attack that will avenge their loss. Everything that was supposed to be easy...everything women have been doing for centuries...I wasn't able to do it...and they paid the priced. There will be no justice for them until the day I die.

Until then, I hope to forget. And yet...I still feel compelled to visit my babies in that cemetery...and remember.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Love in every stitch

I entered a contest. I'm not sure I should have...but it seemed "right" somehow.

I thought it would be something I could do during those long nervous months of the third trimester. My second and third pregnancies had resulted in stillborn baby boys, so I planned to stitch something beautiful, donate it to an appropriate pregnancy-loss charity after our Little Bug was safely in our arms, and enjoy the restoration of some mystical cosmic balance.

And then it happened again. The ultrasound showed no heartbeat. And I suddenly felt very cold.

So I bought all this beautiful deep blue yarn and just started to crochet. Single crochet. No complex pattern. Certainly nothing that would win me any prizes. I gave up the goal of winning a contest and just felt the familiar slide of the yarn through my fingers, the weight of the growing fabric on my lap, the rhythm of the movements used to create each little bit.

And as the inevitable tears fell with each stitch, I felt warmth again. Little by little, I felt the anger and the "why me?" change to something resembling gratitude...love...peace. My Little Bug was a part of me for 19 hopeful, love-filled weeks. And that is something I can hang onto to keep me warm.