Friday, December 31, 2010

What passes for a New Year's Eve party around here


I have never been a huge fan of New Year's parties, too much pressure to have a good time and too many people trying to party like it's 1999. And with all the traveling D.G. and I normally do for Christmas, we are usually totally worn out by New Year's Eve and just want to sleep in our own bed. This year's New Year's Eve party consisted of eating chocolate cupcakes and watching fireworks at 8 pm in our backyard with D. (We are close enough to the park where the family celebration is held to see most of the fireworks from home.) D loved the fireworks so she decided to pretend to be a firework which involved spinning around on the floor and yelling "Boom, boom!" It was probably a side effect of the chocolate cupcake, but it was so funny, especially when she started farting while spinning around. (Someday she'll really hate that story, but seriously, it was the best I've felt in weeks.)

I wish the end of 2010 meant the end of the worst part of my life, but really it just gives me the right to say "My son died last year." I really hope 2011 will be better than 2010, but I'm not counting on it. I hope that at least some of the rest of you get to say that this next year is an improvement on the last one. Love to you all and thanks for helping me to survive the worst year of my life so far and hopefully ever.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

We interupt the wine drinking to bring you a 2ww

Goodbye, my lovely friend. You got me and D.G. through the worst parts of Christmas 2010. (Although D.G. can still lean on you, so not fair.) Last Christmas, I wished for just a taste of you, but it wasn't allowed because I was growing a new life. Who would have guessed that I could have drank a dozen "casks" (that's what they call wine in a box these days) and it wouldn't have really made things turn out any worse than they did. I have to let you go now, and as much I hope we will be apart for at least 10 months, it's probably going to just be for the next 13 days. Wait for me, I still need you even if Christmas is over. It's only been 2 days since I drank a glass of wine and I've already developed a twitch in my left eyelid. It's driving me crazy and I know another glass of wine would totally cure that twitch, but I will tough it out without you. Just promise you will be waiting for me in 2 weeks when everything falls apart again. And if you can't be there, please send your friends, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

It's over, I guess

So I think I can finally say Christmas is over. Not that we really celebrated Christmas. I still don't want to think about God so there were no trips to church. We kept things very low key and luckily D is still young enough to not know the difference between how things are and how they could have been or have been in the past. Now I just have to pack up the Christmas tree and put away the decorations that D made and we can try to move on. (ha ha)

My parents ended up here for 3 days starting late on Boxing Day until this morning. D.G. wasn't too thrilled but he understands that it's hard for me to say no to my parents because overall they have done so much for us (like make it possible financially for me to stay at home with D indefinitely while I "try" to figure out how to live again.) Parts of their visit were nice, like the part where they would get up with D and we could sleep in and the part where they babysat D so we could go out for supper in a restaurant without any children. Other parts were less pleasant, like the part where yet again no one noticed that we had Reid's portrait hanging up in the living room. I finally confronted my mom and she claimed to have not noticed it. Whatever. We had a big long discussion that basically solved nothing and just made me cry for a couple hours. I just don't understand why if people care so much and just don't know what to do to help, why can't they ask what they can do? Oh wait, I know, because they don't want to have to do things they think are awkward or weird, like talk about dead babies. I right out told my mom that I wanted her to say that she was feeling sad and missing her grandson, but apparently that is too much for her to do. I'm just supposed to "know" somehow. Maybe it is selfish, but I am drowning in my own pile of grief, I can't think about other people's grief unless they are willing to share it with me. I just have to get back to not expecting anything from most people so that I'm not disappointed when they pretend that nothing has happened. I just let myself hope that the "spirit of Christmas" would be enough to move people to say something, anything really, to me about Reid or our loss or just that this must be a hard time for us. More proof that a little hope is a dangerous thing.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

My gifts

I decided I didn't want to get any presents this Christmas. I didn't want to have crap sitting around the house that I could look at and think "I got that for what should have been Reid's first Christmas." I still got a few gift cards from D.G's family which isn't as bad and my family decided to not buy adult presents this year and each made a donation to a charity instead. (And helping feed people does feel better than getting a sweater or slippers right now.)

But a few wonderful people knew what kind of gifts I truly needed. These are the gifts that I didn't ask for but are completely wonderful because they were given in honor of Reid.


A hand-painted glass ornament from C, one of the leaders of my support group.




The flower arrangement from my aunt who we spent Christmas Eve with.



My ornament from the ornament swap, made with love by Rochelle and sent all the way from Arkansas.
(It arrived on the 23rd, just in time to be hung on the tree.)




A crochet angel made by Lareina and hand delivered to our door.


The absolutely beautiful and totally unexpected flowers from G and her family.
(You are so amazing and I am so glad to have you in my life.)
Clearly, she reads my blog and knew that I would love flowers to match my tattoo.



And finally the ornament I made for Reid.

The last one wasn't a gift for me, but the time spent making this ornament and the ones for the other babyloss moms has been a gift. Any time spent focusing on not hot-gluing my fingers instead of dreading Christmas and another BFN is a gift.

I hope you all are surviving Christmas and that someone in your lives remembered your baby with you.

(Please excuse my less than excellent photography, I just don't have the patience right now.)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Trying to prepare myself

Thanks ladies for all the compliments on my tattoo for Reid. The tattoo is on the inside of my right arm, so I chose a more painful spot to start with. It is feeling much better, the bruising has healed but it has scabbed over. Once it all heals up, I have to start lifting weights so my arm can look good when I show off the artwork.

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So all I have been posting about lately is my tattoo. It's not the only thing I have been dealing with but it's the only thing I feel I have any control over.

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Last week I got a package from my 92 year old grandmother. There was a Christmas card and stickers for D, but there was also a letter that basically told me to stop feeling sorry for myself and be strong for my husband and daughter. As well there was a whole pile of pamphlets from her church about grief and attending church. I can just ignore the church stuff, I'm not in a place where I want to think about God and church but I can accept that it is what she thinks will help. The letter really pissed me off. I had to call my mom and find out if she has been telling my grandmother that I am not trying to do my best for my family. She said she had not and that Grandma had told her she thought I looked sad when they Sky.ped with us at Thanksgiving because my smile didn't reach my eyes (ooh, big shocker there) So now I have to write a letter to my grandmother (who lost 2 boys, one was stillborn and one was 10 years old) to tell her how much I am doing for my family and that I don't need her telling me to stop feeling sorry for myself because that has never helped anyone who had a serious problem to deal with. I just didn't need more crap to deal with right now.

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My brother and SIL brought my niece Baby K up to our city for her first road trip this weekend (SIL's family is all here too and that's who they stayed with.) They all came over for supper on Monday night. D was over the moon about seeing her uncle and although I was dreading it, it didn't turn out as badly as I'd worried. There was not so much weirdness and I didn't cry when I held Baby K this time. SIL even let me put her and Baby K in the ring sling I had intended to give her on the last trip. (It's a SBP'd silver waves for those who might be baby wearing addicts. I bought it when I was pregnant with Reid but it was too small for me so it was never meant to be mine anyways.) But of course, nobody said anything about Reid's portrait, foot prints, collage or name in the sand that are all out on display in the living room. Why is it so hard to acknowledge my son? It's not like it's tiny and unnoticeable, it's a freaking framed invitation to say something about Reid. So I didn't even show them my tattoo. I've decided that people need to pass my test of acknowledging Reid before they get to see it.

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We have accepted an invitation for Christmas Eve supper at my aunt's house. (She was married to my dad's oldest brother who died over 10 years ago but is still close to most of our family.) I probably would have said no because her grandson C., who is 10 months old, will be there but she then brought us a Christmas flower arrangement and the card actually mentioned Reid (shocking, I know). I know she understands because her grandson died in November 2009 (he was ~12 weeks premature and suffered a massive brain bleed) and she saw her daughter go through all this awfulness. It will be hard to go and watch C. be the center of attention when Reid should be right there crawling along with beside him, but at least if I run from the room crying I know my aunt will understand why.

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Sorry for the long rambling post and any typo's. I don't know when I'll have time to post again (I'm behind on the ornaments for D and Reid.) and I have cracks in 2 of my cuticles and have had to tape up 2 fingers to avoid infection which has not improved my typing skills. Damn cold, dry western Canadian winter.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Ta da

It's pretty freaking amazing, isn't it? Can't wait for it to heal and look perfect.


For some reason, I feel like such a badass for actually going through with it. Oh, I know getting a tattoo is not a huge deal, so many people have them these days. I always wanted to get one, but thought I wasn't tough enough to ever do it. I guess I just needed to right incentive, something that was important enough to me to put it on my body forever and what could be more important than my baby boy.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Ouch

Holy shit did that ever hurt! But I did it and it's done (except for the touch ups that are usually needed with red ink.). It's all bandaged up now and there's no way I'm going to touch it again today so you will have to wait until at least tomorrow for pics. It will be worth it though, it's gorgeous! Did I mention how freaking much it hurt?

Here goes nothing

I'm off for my tattoo appointment. I am nervous and excited and a little scared. Hopefully, I don't have to wait until it heals to take a couple pictures.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Name Game

I don't know what process any of you went through when you were picking names for your kids, but I definitely followed the rule that if any of my friends or even friends of friends already used the name, it was basically off the list. We managed to find names that were uncommon, but not strange (at least in my opinion).

I went on FB today to respond to a message (and that's basically the only time I go on these days, yay me for kicking the FB addiction) and then decided to check on an old work friend who I had hidden this summer when she announced she was due in November with boy #4. Her son is fine of course, but they named him Reed. I am totally freaked out by this. (Yes they spelled it differently but it's the same name to me.) I know she knows that Reid is my dead son's name, she sent me a sympathy card in April. I also know that she was very angry when she was pregnant with her 1st son when another friend named their son Kade, knowing that her son was going to be named Kaden. (Heck every 3rd baby boy was named Kaden that year.) After that she got more unusual with her name choices and her boys are the only ones I know with their names. So why did she (and her husband) chose Reed for this, baby? I'd be very touched if someone chose Reid for their child's middle name, but it feels like his name has been stolen because his death put it up for grabs again.

Am I the only person who thinks that my dead baby's name should be taken "off the market" for all our friends? What would you do if someone used your child's name less than a year after they died and without having the decency to let you know , besides posting it on FB?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

2010, the year that keeps on screwing me over

So it's official, I am not pregnant so I will be getting a tattoo this weekend. I also can now drink vast quantities of red wine to get through the next week and a half (Except for right before I get the tattoo.). Unfortunately, it has been snowing for the last 24 hours straight and the roads are a mess so I can't get to the store to buy the wine I NEED. (The jerks down the street have been driving their snowmobiles up and down the street all evening, that's how much snow we just got.) And of course, my parents are planning to come visit (and sleep in the guest bedroom right below our bedroom.) right when I should ovulate. Why does this crap keep happening to me? Oh well, it probably won't work anyway because it will still be 2010 and 2010 was declared "Shittiest Year Ever", I just didn't see the announcement until April.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

In the mail

Last night, D and I finished all the Christmas cards for D.G.'s family and packed everything up to send to his mom's house. I thought that avoiding Christmas shopping would help me avoid the pain but I was wrong. Every time I attached a gift tag to a envelope and had to write " D..., C... and D..." instead of "D..., C..., D... and Reid", it was another knife in my chest. All these pretty, shiny envelopes and all I could see was what was missing from those tiny little tags. Screw this whole happy, shiny month.

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On a "happier" note, I finished Amanda's ornament for Stella and packed it up too. I have no idea if it's going to make it to her in time, but I wasn't willing to pay $60 bucks to mail a 5 oz. package to ensure that it would. (Seriously that was an option.)

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We have now received 7 Christmas cards. I've only had the guts to open 3 of them and only one has any personal message about how this is not going to be a happy holiday for us. It may be December 26th before I open any more.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Long weekend

It's been a really long weekend. I wish I could have just spent the weekend making ornaments but there was lots to do. I started to write it all out but really no one needs to read all the crappy details. Here's the highlights:

- I managed to survive a trip to TRU to get a gift to donate to Santas Anonymous in honor of Reid.

- D.G.'s dad and his girlfriend came to visit. Despite the fact that they have never seen a picture of Reid, no one even mentioned the framed portrait of him and his hand and foot prints hanging on the wall.

- I gave G, the lovely fundraiser from our library, the ornament I made and she liked it so much she cried, which I see as a good thing.

- I got a BFN this morning. I'm not out yet, but definitely down. I'll try to wait until Wednesday to test again and find out if I'm getting my tattoo.

Time to get some sleep because I think it's going to be a really long week here too.

Friday, December 10, 2010

We have a winner...

Okay you are all going to have to trust me because my back hurts and I don't have the patience to figure out how to paste the screen shot from Random.org in here.

The winner of a custom Christmas ornament is Amanda of Owl and Leaf! Amanda's daughter Stella was born and died in February of 2010 so this is her first Christmas as a BLM as it is for so many of us. Amanda, send me an email at cdrichards188 at gmail dot com and we will confirm the details for your ornament. If it's okay with her, I'll put up a picture when it's done

I wish I could send them to all of you, but there just isn't time and for some reason postage here in Canada is ridiculously expensive so I would also have to start working to pay for postage, which would eat in to my ornament making and blogging time and we can't have that. Love to you all.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tree torture and a Giveaway

So we put up the tree last night. I know that neither one of us wanted to have the tree out but D was so excited about putting all the decorations she has made at preschool on a tree that we had to do it. Of course the only decorations on that tree are the ones she has made at school and the tree is tucked away in the corner of the basement so it's not like we went crazy with the decorating. I didn't cry during the whole process but I really wanted to. That tree should be covered in shiny, sparkly crap except for a 2 foot band at the bottom that Reid could reach.

But there is one upside to having the tree up, it gives me a place to temporarily keep my new projects until they go to their new homes. I made an ornament for Jenni's Ornament Swap for a lovely mama who lost her baby girl nearly 4 years ago. It took much go.ogling to find something that I thought looked good and was actually possible for me to create. I did find something that fit this criteria but now I have a new problem. I am now addicted to gluing wrapping paper onto plastic ornaments. In fact I feel bad that I haven't done any yet today. Since I can't stop gluing, I have made ornaments for some other babyloss parents, including the fund-raising coordinator at the library. Here's what the one for her looks like:


I currently have a blue one on the go for one of the founders of my support group. I have to do one for Reid and one for D since she thought this one was for her (because of the letter D, oh to be 3 and completely wonderfully self absorbed) but those can wait since I have until Dec 24th to get them done.

However since it's the season of giving, I want to make one for one of my wonderful readers who have given me so much love and support. I'd love to do one for everyone of you but since it takes about 4 hours to make each one, I just can't do it in time to get them in the mail to have a hope of getting them to you by Christmas ( I know that it won't get to the UK in time, but we will still be remembering our babies next year too so please comment even if you are across the pond.) So leave me a comment, telling me how long you have been reading my blog (even if you just arrived in time for the give away) and how much you love me, even if it's just because I make you feel warm with my talk about how cold it is here. (-10°C or 14°F right now) I'll let good old random.org pick a winner on Friday afternoon. (1 pm MST)

You can also start thinking about what initial or symbol (like a star or heart or snowflake) you would like on your ornament and if you want it to be blue, red or a green/red mix. (I ran out of the silver and gold stuff a few days ago. )

My hot glue gun is calling my name, time to get back to work.

Cards

Lots of BLM are blogging about Christmas cards and what to do about them. I have decided to send out a few but only to immediate family and a few friends and I am totally cheating. (and I am so sorry that so many of you don't have this option for dealing with Christmas cards.) I bought 3 sets of stickers from Mi.ch.aels and a pack of card stock and then helped D do this:


Basically they are just something to stick the gift cards we bought in. (They are also a good activity for D since she has 5 weeks without preschool and my patience for playing Candyland disappeared a couple months ago.) But somehow they turned out really good and I wish so much we were tucking a picture of our 2 beautiful kids inside.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Plumbing

I am a freaking plumbing goddess. Yesterday I decided to take pity on my support group and shower before I went. I hoped in the shower and there was no water pressure and what water there was was very hot. After a less than pleasant shower and a not so bad support group meeting I cam home and D.G. and I took apart our shower diverter valve. Somehow I remembered how to take the thing apart from the last time we did it over a year ago. It was the same problem as last time too, some weird white plastic stuff clogging the cold water inlet. We had it all fixed up in about half an hour.

If I can understand how to take apart a diverter valve and unclog it, why can't I understand my own "plumbing" and figure out how to make it work the way it's supposed to? FF finally gave me some crosshairs so now I just have to wait and see if I get a BFP or a tattoo for Christmas this year.

Friday, December 3, 2010

8

Reid has now been dead for eight months. What an awful thing to have to say. I've had eight months to get used to this idea but it still seems so wrong and unnatural. I can still imagine the chubby little boy he should be, crawling all over the house and chewing on any of his sister's toys that he can get his hands on. And the day isn't done yet, but only one person has remembered that it is 8 months today and I'm not holding my breath waiting for anyone else to remember.

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I had my second EMDR appointment today. It's not an easy process but I think it is doing something. It's hard to put into words but the closest I can come is to say that it doesn't feel like he just died yesterday anymore. It still hurts and I still remember things but it feels like it really happened 8 months ago and I have some space from the the overwhelming awfulness of the actual events. (Awful is the word of the day today.)

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D brought home a cold from preschool last week and now D.G. and I have it. Of course we had to be sick the same week that we are supposed to be doing the actual trying part of TTC. (I kept joking about the sexy phlegm episode of Friends.) And now my cycle seems to have changed and I don't know if we even have a chance this month. I want to be all relaxed and say that it's okay if I'm not pregnant because then I get to get my tattoo, but I can't lie to myself. I really want to be pregnant for Christmas, to have some hope to start 2011 with. Arrghh, only 12 more sleeps until I can pee on that stick.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

December 1st

So now it's December and I no longer have a reason to be irrationally angry at those people and businesses who had all their Christmas decorations up at the beginning of November. Not that I will stop being irrationally angry, but I no longer have a rational reason. There is only one window in our whole house that I can look out and not see Christmas lights.

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Today I met with a fundraiser from our library to hand over a donation. I first called to start the process about a month ago and when I choked out that I wanted to make a donation in memory of my son who died at birth instead of awkward silence or a lame "I'm sorry", I was greeted with understanding. The coordinator, G, had been wonderful to deal with ever since. Her 21 year old son died 13 years ago and she revealed today that she also had a late term pregnancy loss as well so she more than understands. With her help, there will be a spot in out lovely new library where I can go to see Reid's name whenever I want and hopefully it will help D to remember her little brother too.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I don't know if any of my readers aren't already Angela's readers too, but just in case you aren't, Angela of Little Bird is having a give away to celebrate reaching the 100 follower mark.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Deja vu (well almost)

The universe has decided to play another cruel trick on me. I just got D.G. all bundled up and sent him out to the Grey Cup (the Canadian equivalent of the Superbowl for my friends who live a little further south). A year ago, we watched our favorite team lose the 2009 Grey Cup in overtime. Shortly after, D.G. started making plans to go the the 2010 game because it would be played here in Edmonton. I was never planning to go to the game because I KNEW I would have a baby who needed me to provide their beverage of choice and finding a babysitter for a 3 year old and a 7 month old would be next to impossible.
Our favorite team is playing for the Grey Cup again, they are even playing against the same team as last year. And I am not going to the game because being in a stadium with 60,000 happy/excited/drunk people is something I can't do. I don't even want to watch the game on TV because it just makes me think about last year and what should be happening right now.
And on top of that I feel so stupid because back in June for some bizarre reason, I thought I would be able to do it and I spent $145 on a ticket. No wait I know the bizarre reason: in June I thought I WOULD BE PREGNANT by now and that I would have some hope of being some type of happy again.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Which is my best pile of drivel?

Creme

I want to submit something for the Creme de la Creme of 2010, not because I think anything I wrote was that great, but because I can. (Damn, Mel is awesome.) However being a horribly indecisive DBM, I can't decide which post to submit. Help me out my wonderful readers, should it be:

Drowning

My baby is dead but at least...

So what's left?

Any other suggestions? Seriously, I can't look at my writing objectively so I need your help.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I actually finished something (besides a chocolate bar)

So you wouldn't think being at the low end of low would encourage me to finish projects, but I've stopped expecting things to make sense around here. I bought most of the materials for a photo album for Reid months ago, but I've been dragging my butt about actually making any progress. (And it's a glorified photo album, NOT a scrapbook, I do NOT do scrapbooking.) My support group does a craft afternoon once a month and this month I needed to be around other DBM's so I went and I took Reid's album to work on. I didn't quite finish it on Saturday, but I did "finish" it yesterday. I will probably add a few more pictures, but it's finished enough to let someone besides me look at it. Not that there are many people I currently trust enough to show it to, but I can take it out and look at it whenever I need to. Of course right now just looking at the cover is enough to make me cry because this is the only photo album for Reid that I will ever have and he's only actually in 2 pictures. Of well, here are the highlights...


I picked the brown because it was masculine without being typically blue
(and the brown looks good with the red I needed to use.)

Of course all the accents are red.


The one good US picture we have.


My favorite pregnancy picture. I was so big I could not
see D when she stood under my belly. It's also the one of
the last "happy" pictures that I have.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Yes, it is that bad

I got angry at D.G. today. Angry enough to finally spew out just how bad things are in my head when I am at my lowest. I am not at my lowest all the time but once every 2 or 3 days, something happens that just destroys me. I end up sobbing on the floor and after a few minutes my thoughts turn to how I am so sick of the way things are and how nothing and no one can make things better. Because no one can bring Reid back and we aren't having any luck with ttc and no one (who doesn't have a dead baby) seems to understand why I would be having a hard time dealing with it.

At my lowest, I run out of hope that things will ever get better. I wonder what is the point of making myself go through the motions. Most of the things I do are because I am supposed to do them not because I want to and on bad days that includes spending time with my living child. I know that's horrible and ungrateful, but I am being honest here and right now having a living child just doesn't help me deal with the loss of my other child. Right now it seems like every time she does something good or cute or smart, it's just another thing that Reid will never do. I love her but it hurts so much at the same time.

Then I feel bad for not be able to just love and enjoy her and I start to wonder which is worse: having to grow up with a messed up mom who can't get over her dead brother or having no mom at all. So far the no mom at all seems worse but mostly because I think D.G. would be a terrible single parent. (I was mad enough at him today to tell him that which is an awful thing to say but at least he gets how bad things are in my head now.) I know thinking like this is dangerous but knowing it's bad doesn't mean I can stop those thoughts. I have no idea how to stop them but I don't think that AD's are the answer for me. I guess I'll see what the EMDR therapist has to say on Friday.

I know this is serious stuff, but it's not a plea for help. I am writing this to try to get it out of my head or get some perspective or something else like that. I'm not looking for advice or suggestions, just understanding.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Another month wasted. AF is back and so are the tears and wailing and loneliness. This time my cycle went a couple days longer than normal and I let myself get my hopes up the last couple days. Stupid, stupid, stupid. I was going to be pregnant and I was going to be able to handle visiting some of my pregnant friends and I was going to be able to give D a live sibling before her 4th birthday and the universe said "Screw you, that's not happening."

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My mom called Tuesday and acted like everything was perfectly normal. I wasn't in the mood for drama and it's not like talking about it going to change anything that happened so I just let it go. D.G. also talked to his mom last night (for the first time since she went into Reid's room without asking) and also pretended that everything was normal so I guess that's what we all do around here.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Trying is highly over-rated

(This is a big long ramble, but I just need to get it out of my head so forgive me.)

So we are back. I saw the baby. (I held her, but only once) I tried to pretend I was normal, but could only hold it together for about 2 hours when everyone was around, so I would just hide out in the guest bedroom and read/cry for the rest of the evening. Except for the first night, when I locked myself in the guest bathroom with the lights off and the exhaust fan on to drown out the noise of everyone else talking right after supper was finished.

It was just all kinds of weird. Everyone would reply to me if I talked to them, but it felt like everyone was avoiding me. The only time I held the baby was when we first got there. After my parents held her, my dad gave her to me and I held her for about 2 minutes. My brother never asked me once if I wanted to hold her. I really felt like having a dead baby was some kind if communicable disease so they kept the baby away from me. We stayed with my aunt and uncle and my parents stayed at my brother's house. They all came to my aunt's house for supper every night we were there (D was the only one with an early bedtime) but we were never invited to my brother's house.

I guess I just have to accept that my brother having a child doesn't change the fact that he's an ass. I thought it might make him more understanding of what I have been through, but an ass who loves HIS baby is still an ass.

I barely talked to my mom during the whole ordeal and since I went to bed early the night before we left, I never even said goodbye to her. I figured she knew where I was, if she wanted to talk to me she could try, but she never did. I wonder how long I'll have to wait for the inevitable guilt-inducing phone call how about horribly I behaved during the trip.

Well at least D had a good time, apparently the dead baby taint has not been passed on to her.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

November 11

I have to pack, but I need to be here more right now. Today we are going to visit my new niece and I am both excited and terrified. What if not freaking out at the sight of her was only enabled by technology and I have to run from the room before I start screaming when I see her in person? I think if I could just go see her myself it would be easier, but my whole family is going to be there and it involves driving to another city and staying with my aunt and uncle and just being away from my cave for 3 days. Uggh, this should not be stressful, I should be nothing but thrilled at the prospect of seeing my first niece.

---

A year ago, D.G. and I were packing for a few days away too. My mom came to watch D. and we spent 2 days at The Mall (It's the the biggest mall in the world and it's only 30 minutes away). We did nearly all our Christmas shopping, we ate whatever we wanted at odd hours, we rented movies and we slept in. Well he slept and I got up to pee frequently, but it was still good because we didn't have to worry about our 2 year old. It wasn't fancy but it was as close to a baby-moon as we were going to get.

When we came home, I found out that my friend L's son was stillborn. I was so shocked. I remember thinking "Full term babies don't die these days." How could that happen? (My cousin also delivered her son 11 weeks early that week and he didn't make it either so it was not a good week.) I was at 17 weeks and just wanted to wrap my arms around my belly and shield my baby from all this bad news. It was so sad for L, but something like that couldn't happen to us. Ha ha, the joke was on me because 5 and 1/2 months later, it did.

Anyways after all this rambling, today should have been L's son Kaelen's first birthday. If you have a spare moment, please stop by her blog and remember with her. (And yes it was me that gave her the gift.)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

100

Wow, this is my 100th post. I have an epic saga/ rant saved up, but I don’t want to waste my 100th post on something even more painful and stressful than the usual Dead Baby Mama stuff.

I went back and read my first post and nearly 7 months after writing it, I still don’t understand how my life got to be this way. I now accept that I am not going to wake up one morning and realize that this has all been a horrible dream, but I don’t have any idea what I am supposed to with myself now. Maybe it’s because I am no closer to having a living baby in my arms now than I was then. Maybe it’s because I am just as antisocial right now as I was back then.

What has changed is that I know where to look for understanding and support. Thank you all for sticking with me for 100 posts and helping me get through the worst time in my life. I hope that I have been able to do the same for some of you. Love to you all.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Am I crazy or are they?

If you were lucky enough to get to bring home a real live baby and everything was "normal" and you got the point where you were making baby announcements, why the hell would you ever chose photos of the baby sleeping, i.e. with its eye's closed? Does this bother me just because I am a DBM and associate pictures of babies with their eyes closed with dead babies? Sure,you should take pictures of your kids while they are sleeping (I did it a couple weeks ago when D fell asleep while her dad yelled at the TV during a football game.), but why would you pick those pictures for a birth announcement? And it's not like one of those Anne Geddes elaborately posed photos, it's just a regular close up photo of the kid's face. I don't know if I am just reacting as someone who only has pictures of her son with his eyes closed or it's just that I am pissed at the mom of this kid (more on that later) but really, would anyone else be bothered by this?

Friday, November 5, 2010

I can do this

I saw my niece tonight, literally. My dad called me to get my help to get his Skype account working and when it didn't work, I got the jump the cue and see her first. Of course she is gorgeous and despite all my fears, I love her already. I just so wish her cousin Reid was here to meet her too. (Okay maybe it's more like desperately want or would do almost anything to make it happen than wish.)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Trying to avoid it

So it's another 3rd, this time November 3rd which means it's been 7 months. And I'm trying not to think about it because Mother Nature (that nasty bitch) has made it so that I am about to ovulate and thinking about dead babies is not conducive to making more babies. (Funny how that works because if I didn't have a dead baby I wouldn't be worried about making babies right now.)

.....


At my last counseling session, my counselor suggested trying another form of therapy, EMDR. (there's lots of info here so I won't get into details.) I know I'm not getting better, I can see myself getting worse with every anniversary and bfn, but I have no idea how to make myself feel better. Just letting myself live with the grief and waiting for time to pass isn't working. I have no idea if this will work for me, but I guess it's worth meeting the therapist who uses it to see if she thinks it will help. Has anyone else had any exposure to EMDR?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Uggh


Depressed Dead Baby Mama who also happens to be a chocoholic and comfort eater

+

tons of left over Halloween chocolate bars

=

Massive sugar hangover



Really Halloween could have been much worse. D loved it and no parents brought any baby boys to the door. But thoughts of last year when I wore a orange shirt to emphasize my pumpkin shaped belly and thoughts of what this year should have been were never far away.

(And I hate everyone's cute baby Halloween pictures on FB.)

Friday, October 29, 2010

I don't know

How does one event change your life so much that 7 months later you don't recognize your life or yourself? What is this place and where I am supposed to go from here? Where did all the people that I thought I could count on go? If it was just the crushing sadness (and it is still crushing) maybe I could deal with Reid's death, but it's not. It's that my brain has been scrambled and I don't know who I am any more. I don't know what I want anymore (other than another baby) or what I am supposed to do with my life. I hate all this "not knowing".

A surprise

I sort of keep a list in my head of the things I am going to blog about next. Today it was going to be about my appointment with the counselor yesterday and the email I got last Tuesday, but that's not going to happen now.

This morning D.G. and D scooped out the guts of the 2 giant pumpkins they are planning to carve for Halloween. After D decided to sample some of the pumpkin guts and seeds, I decided that maybe I needed to gather up the seeds and roast them so D could eat them properly. That lead to me being up to my elbows in pumpkin guts when the phone rang. (D.G. was conveniently in the bathroom for the entire time.) I decided to let the machine get it, something I frequently do these days, and I got a big surprise when my brother left a message.

I am an aunt and the universe decided to spare me the knife to the heart because it's a girl. Yes, the baby arrived early. (She was due November 25th) We called them back right away for the details. It sounds like my SIL's doctors were worried about something because she has had intermittent bleeding for the last few weeks and decided to induce her at 36 weeks. (To me that sounds like they were worried about placenta previa but I will have to find out from my SIL later.) Everybody is fine though and my niece weighed in at 7 lbs so she would have been big like D and Reid if she had stayed in there a few more weeks.

For right now, I am not totally okay but as I told D.G., I am less not okay than I could have been. I hope that I can find a way to be okay and be happy about her and even be in the same room as her before she turns 1.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Baby, it's cold outside (and inside and all around me)


This is what I woke up to on Monday morning. I took the picture this morning because I was too lazy to make myself go out into the snow yesterday, so obviously the snow is still here. Now it's not really that shocking for it to snow here before Halloween, but that doesn't make it feel any warmer.

I am officially now at the point of grieving where even the people who are supposed to support me the most, my husband and my mom, don't understand why I am still this sad. Yay, another Dead Baby Mama milestone instead of a living baby milestone. Whoo-hoo.


Edit: I live in Alberta, Canada. But I was watching the news last night and they were talking about all the snow in Washington state so it isn't just western Canada getting early snow.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

I know I should be doing more

It's ICLW and I feel like I should have amazing, or at least semi-good, posts for any new visitors to read. Instead I am a big whiny mess. I've had a headache for the last 8 hours, D.G. abandoned me to take one of my friends to the hockey game and my football team was in town today and suffered another embarrassing loss to the home team. (Well, D.G. didn't really abandon me, I encouraged him to go to the game without me since I had no desire to be a huge crowd of people even with free tickets.) The only good thing going on is a Simpsons Treehouse of Horror marathon on TV so I guess that's what I'm doing tonight.

Friday, October 22, 2010

A trip I didn't plan for

...but before you get excited and/or envious, it's a guilt trip.

Hi to all the ICLWers. Welcome to my messed up corner of the internet.

When I got up this morning, I thought I would have a nice fluffy post today about how I finally got off my ass and did something "for myself" as many people have been telling (nagging) me to do. However any fluffy happy feelings have been crushed by a phone call from my mom so it will be a big, whiny, bitchy post today.

While I generally avoid most people's phone calls, I almost always answer the phone when my mom calls. D likes talking to her grandma and I can ask about what's going on with my parents' farm, a topic which does not involve pregnancy or babies (living or dead) at all. I pretty much avoid talking about what's going on emotionally but I still at least talk to her.

Today my mom decided she needed to dump all her worries about me out there and shift through them. First she accused my of not going to counseling which I go to twice a month. Secondly she accused me of pushing everyone away. I had to ask where the line up of people trying to help me was because I hadn't seen it yet. It's hard to push away people who won't come close enough to even ask how I am doing. Then she started talking about God which always means we are going on a guilt trip ( and she is really good at taking me a guilt trips). Lets see if I can remember all the things I am doing wrong on that front: I am not taking D to church/Sunday school, I am not making my husband go to church and believe what she thinks he should believe, I am not being forgiving enough of the "friend" who stopped communicating with me (not that she's contacted me in any way, I'm supposed to reach out to her), I am not thankful enough for the things that I do have and and yes the big one, I am not accepting that Reid's death was part of God's plan so that means that it must have happened for the best.

All of those things make me so mad. I could probably write for days on how they make me angry and how her way of thinking just doesn't work for me, especially the part about Reid's death being something that God decided should happen. I am fine with her believing what ever she wants to about God but she shouldn't be allowed to try to make me feel bad for not believing the same things. She would say she is trying to help, but I don't need anyone making feel any worse than I do already.

And now I am pretty sure that this means that she is not going to be understanding of my feelings at all if I have a hard time dealing with the birth of my brother's child next month. The same brother who has never even mentioned Reid to me, not even a generic "I'm sorry about what happened to you". If I point that out to my mom, I'll just get another lecture on being the bigger person and forgiving him. There won't be any acceptance of the fact that seeing other people having babies just reminds me of what I lost and that it causes me pain. I guess I better start packing for that guilt trip now.

(And will someone please remind of this rant 25 years from now so that I can avoid doing the same thing to my daughter.)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Two things that helped me feel a little bit better

Thank you all to of you for piping up and letting me know that I am NOT the only baby loss mom struggling to get pregnant. In the middle of the announcements (even though they are made very sensitively here in Dead Baby Land) it's easy to forget that I am not the only one who wishes it were me making that announcement. Love (and baby dust) to you all.

----

On Monday, in the middle of my huge "why is everyone but me pregnant" freak out, a package arrived in the mail. I knew what it was immediately but knew that it wasn't the right time to open it. Last night, I made D.G. turn off the TV and we sat down to open it together. After 6 and a half months, we finally have a picture of Reid that does not involve blood and tubes and shock. He is my baby, peaceful, sweet and perfect.

And he's here if you would like to see him.

.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Drowning

Yesterday was the worst day I have had in months. I cried on and off all day despite the fact that I was home with D. It seems like the pregnancy announcements are pouring down all around me, while I got another BFN yesterday. I feel like I am drowning. My support group and the on-line baby loss community were my life lines, now they are the source of the flood waters.


"It's not the despair, Laura. I can take the despair. It's the hope I can't stand. "

That about sums up how I feel. What is the point of ttc if you don't hope that it will work? I can't pretend that I've got something else more important going on in my life than trying to have a baby. I can't pretend that I'm okay if it doesn't happen this time. How am I supposed to survive what promises to be a painfully awful holiday season without some little speck of hope that maybe I could have the only gift I want, a non-dead baby?



(The quote is from John Cleese in the movie Clockwise. I read it somewhere online in the last while but couldn't remember where.)

(When I had hope that I could be pregnant, I felt happy for all of you out there who were. Underneath all of my pain, it's still there. I just can't feel it right now.)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Stupid commercial

Has anyone seen that stupid Nissan commercial (It annoys me so much I can't link to it here, but just search "Nissan commercial baby" and the video will come up. Basically a woman gets a BFP and her hubby freaks out that he won't be able to keep his 2 door sports car. He then "stretches it out" into a 4 door sedan. I just want to yell at the TV every time it comes on. "Wait you bonehead, don't change your car until the kid is ready to come home from the hospital! Just because you got her pregnant doesn't mean you get a baby!"

Anyone else got a commercial that they hate now that they are a DBM? (I know I also can't stand the i.Phone baby commercials too.)

Random stuff from the last few days

D.G.'s sister came to visit this weekend. She's great, the best part of his family really and wonderful with D. and doesn't get weirded out when I mention Reid's name. But even with that wonderfulness, I can't take more than 24 hours of having someone else around the house. By this morning, I just wanted to hide out in bed and was escaping into a book every chance I got. I just can't deal with having to be "normal" for any length of time.

----

I think I am more mad at the MIL than ever. I did the very mature thing and removed her from my friends list on FB after she thought it was okay to comment on my Oct 15th picture. (Really it always bugged me that in the interests of family harmony I had to be "friends" with my MIL on FB so it felt good to do it and with D.G.'s blessing too.) D.G.'s sister may be able to accept that her mother just does things without thinking about the consequences, but that's just not okay with me.

----

D.G. and I are having problems because he wants me to "try" more, try to talk to people, try to socialize, try to do things the old me would have done. This has mostly been brought on because a group of old friends are coming to town for the Grey Cup at the end of November. (It's the Canadian equivalent of the Super Bowl so there are fewer people and it's a lot colder.) It's a huge party and generally a great time and the old me would be really excited about it. The new me doesn't want to go anywhere near it. (Of course the old me would have an almost 8 month old to BF so there wouldn't be a whole lot of partying happening anyway.) Why does no one understand that to me the world is just full of potential reminders about the fact that my baby is dead? That I can't sit around and talk about "nothing" or listen to people complain about their jobs? That my days consist of either being sad/angry/miserable because my baby is dead or desperately trying to hold it together long enough to take care of D or flooding my brain with the Internet, TV or books so that I can have a break from the other two things. That I have no interest in faking okay for people who have not done anything to support me or D.G. since the initial sympathy cards/emails.

Friday, October 15, 2010

October 15th 7 pm

October 15th

I don't have a lot to say right now except I wish I wasn't quite so aware of why we need to have a "Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day".

Monday, October 11, 2010

It made me cry again

I just read Kate's wonderful speech from the Walk to Remember in Edmonton last weekend, it's up on her blog. This time I got to really appreciate it because there was no 3 year old asking for more milk or spilling that milk or blowing bubbles in that milk, in the middle of the speech. (I know she doesn't need me to send more readers her way, but it is just that good.) Love you all.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Flowers

Just before of all the horrible and painful things that have happened this week something good did happen to me. Last Sunday, the 6 month anniversary, just as I was backing out of the garage to go to my support group meeting I looked out the rear view mirror and saw our doula standing in the drive way. She brought me flowers and lasagna and garlic bread. The food is in the freezer but will likely be supper on Tuesday. The flowers are still looking pretty good.


I have always loved gerbera daisies and now they are extra special because the birth flower for April is the daisy. In fact I have decided that I am going to get a tattoo for Reid and it's going to be a red gerbera daisy. And if I don't get knocked up in the next 2 cycles, it will be done on December 18th! I hate that I have to wait that long, but the artist is a mom with 3 kids and only works 2 days a week. I met her on Saturday and she was really understanding and never said anything like, "It was probably for the best" or "You can have another" or any of the other horrible baby loss cliches. All the artists in the shop are women so no one will be freaked out if I get all emotional and cry. I just have to decide where I want the tattoo and then count down the days. Now I have something to look forward to in December instead of just dreading Christmas. And despite the fact that I am well into my 30's, I really like the idea of freaking my parents out at Christmas with a tattoo.

(Right now I am debating between lower calf/ankle, inner arm or shoulder. Any advice would be welcome. I am a tattoo virgin so I am pretty much clueless.)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Things you never want to read in an autopsy report

The appointment wasn't horrible, well at least no more horrible than going to get an autopsy report should be. Dr. K again proved she knows how to take care of a DBM by having all the clinic staff prepared for me. I didn't have to even set foot in the waiting room with all the pregnant women. There was crying of course, but there were hugs too.

So the report itself doesn't have any answers about why Reid died. There are a couple indicators that might point to undiagnosed gestational diabetes which leads to higher risks of stillbirth, but all my blood work was normal. However, since there's nothing else to blame, we are going to keep a very close eye on my blood sugar from now on. I am going for the less than fun 2 hour glucose test at the end of the month. If I don't manage to get knocked up in the near future, we will repeat the test when I do and then we will do it again at the normal 26-28 week mark. And maybe a few more times too just to be sure.

Coming home with a copy of the report and not being able to stop myself from reading it was way worse than the appointment.

Fun and Guilt-Inducing Autopsy Details:

1. Reid had brown eyes. Not a surprise given that all three living members of the family have brown eyes, but I would have rather seen that for myself.

2. He was above the 97th percentile for height and weight and just below 90th of head size (no wonder I couldn't deliver naturally). Normally you find out these things when you take your baby for check ups and vaccinations, not in autposy reports.

3. He was dressed in a blue sleeper. On one hand I am grateful that one of the nurses put clothes on him. (I couldn't bring myself to pick him up the last time I saw him and he was all swaddled up in blankets so I didn't know what he was wearing.) On the other hand I am consumed with guilt for not having been the one to dress him. Every time I read about how someone spent hours with their baby, bathing and dressing them and taking pictures, it's like a knife in my heart because I DIDN'T. It just NEVER OCCURED TO ME that I would want to do those things and no one even suggested it beyond someone asking if we wanted pictures right after I got out of surgery (when I was just a little in shock). I can spread the guilt around a bit to D.G. and the hospital staff (they are more used to dealing with stillbirths when the baby dies before delivery and the parents are not in total shock), but that doesn't change the fact that I will never have the change to do those things for my son. AND I have no "nice" pictures of him.

4. There were signs of hypoxia so his oxygen supply was cut off before he died. Of course they can't tell when or how he lost his oxygen supply but he did. It makes me worry that he suffered before he died. That during labour he was literally trying say. "Get me out of here, I'm dying!" and no one could hear him. That if I had just told my doctor I wanted a c-section at 38 weeks, he never would have been through stress of labour. Maybe he would have died anyway because life is stressful, but we might have gotten a few minutes or hours or days with him before he died.

I'm sure that there are more things in there what would freak me out but I am trying not focus on the fact that I could know how much all my baby's internal organs weighed. Not really the kind of thing you can brag about at mom's group.