Friday, July 30, 2010

17 weeks and WTF?

So my maternity leave has officially run out. (this is how I know it's been 17 weeks, I had stopped counting the weeks since Reid died.) I know lots of DBM's have had to go back to work much sooner than this so I will understand if you think I am being a big whiny spoiled baby because I don't want to go back to work, but I need to vent.

I know that I am not ready to go back to work, but since I am not seeing a doctor regularly and am not heavily medicated, I am being "encouraged" to start seeing a counselor or psychiatrist by the insurance company that provides disability coverage to my employer. I had to do a phone interview today and it seems that if I can force myself to function for my daughter I should be able to do it for work too. (Yes, my job helping oil companies destroy the environment should be as important to me as my living child.) It is awful having your grief evaluated like it's a broken arm or herniated disk. And the twice a month support group meetings mean nothing to them. My employer has an Employee Assistance Program that we are supposed to access by internet. I am supposed to feel supported by a company that offers "e-Counselling" and has these statements on their website:

The model of counselling is primarily cognitive-behavioural and short-term in focus, with clearly defined and achievable behaviour-change goals."


"Our unique, solution-focused approach focuses on enabling individuals, couples and families to develop the skills necessary to solve their life problems without creating a long-term dependent counselling relationship."

So my dead child is a life problem that I can develop skills to solve? And I wouldn't want to depend on a counselor for help over the long term because my dead child problem can be resolved with a short-term solution? WTF? Seriously?

If they can offer "e-Counselling" why can't I list all you ladies as my "e-Counsellors"? I certainly trust your advice more than anything that will come from these people.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Can't think

My brain is fried. I don't know why it's happening now, but I can't focus, can't concentrate, can't remember why I walk into rooms, can't remember to do things that I normally do everyday. D's birthday is on Monday and I have remembered to invite the guests to the party(yeah me), but I can't seem to make plans for food or activities. I can't remember to return phone calls which is not good right now. If my phone didn't beep at me, I wouldn't remember appointments.

There have been lots of "who am I" posts on everyone's blogs in the last week or so. I keep thinking that I should join in too, but there's a problem, I don't know who I am these days. I spent so much time planning what life was going to be like once I had a second child, now that those plans have been tossed out the window, I don't know what's left out there for me. (Besides being a Dead Baby Mama, that one I know I'm stuck with.) I have a great kid to be a mom to and a great husband, but they aren't supposed to define "me" and I don't know what does anymore.

Too long

Here's a fun tidbit, I have been taking pre/post-natal vitamins for the past 4 years straight and only have one child here to show for it. Best case scenario, we manage to get pregnant again in the next couple months and the kid comes out alive and then I nurse the kid until they are nearly 2, I will be taking the damn vitamins for another 3 years. That makes at least 7 seven years of my life spent taking baby-making vitamins.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

I did it

I let myself get within touching distance of a baby boy. I didn't hold him, wasn't feeling quite like Superwoman, but I did touch him. He is nearly 6 months old, but really tiny for his age so Reid would likely be bigger than him now even though he is just over 2 months older. The only reason I could let myself get this close to a baby boy is because his mom is a Dead Baby Mama too. Her first son died at 9 months old in December 2007 so she get more than gets it. She didn't look at me funny when I teared up just looking at her son and she knew why it was a big deal for me to get close to him. It's good to know that I can see a baby boy up close and not loose it, but it sort of seems like cheating when it's a rainbow baby.

Friday, July 23, 2010

I'm still here, just not having any thoughts worth "publishing". I am trying to work up the courage to go to a playdate on Sunday with all the moms I met when D was a baby. All of them except three have successfully reproduced a second time (and I know that's because they chose not to try). I want to see these people but am not sure I can handle it. Also I am waiting for news that one of my oldest friends has had her baby. She's got a boy in there so this one is going to hurt too. I am supposed to make her a ring sling as a baby gift but I haven't been able to get beyond hemming the fabric. Maybe it's because I planned to sew it while wearing my baby in my ring sling.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I want MY life back. I want to be "normal". I want to be happy to run into people I haven't seen in months (Of course if I had my life back I probably would have seen these people months ago.) I want to be able to love babies again. I want to not have to literally flee the room when people show up with babies (to an event whose rules said REGISTERED CHILDREN ONLY - MAKE OTHER ARRANGEMENTS FOR YOUR OTHER CHILDREN) I want to not have to worry about having a break down in the kids section of the library and scaring small children.

Monday, July 19, 2010

"Do you have to go there?"

Yesterday we were sitting outside watching D play with some junk from DH's tool box. She was so proud of her "new tools" and was carefully lining them up on a ledge at the top of her playhouse. I asked her why she didn't use the shelf right at her eye level. She didn't answer but DH said, "She is putting them up where no one else can reach them." I replied, "If only she had someone here that she needed to protect her things from...". DH then said, "Do you have to go there?" and I had to tell him that I don't have to go there, I am there all the time.

I live in Dead Baby Land and the "what-if's", "should-be's" and "I miss Reid's" are all around me all the time. Right now I live right smack in the middle of Dead Baby Land. Maybe someday I'll get to move to the edge or even just come here for visits but I am a citizen for life and there will always be times when I "have to go there".

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Now I don't know what to do

I was right, I have messed up my living child. After DH's birthday, I thought D might be using Reid's death to try to get what she wanted. Well, she isn't really trying to manipulate us, but she thinks that she should say "I miss Baby Reid" every time we ask her why she is sad/crying. This morning she started crying when we told her she couldn't watch her favourite TV show (it's not on on the weekends). When she quit crying, we asked her why she was sad and of course it was "I miss Baby Reid." We told her that it's okay to miss Reid but he isn't the only reason to be sad and she shouldn't use him like that because it hurts our feelings. I'm guessing she understood none of that but we will see. ARGH. I am just so frustrated. I don't know how to deal with my own issues about Reid's death, let alone hers. I better start saving for the child psychologist bills now.

Friday, July 16, 2010

My baby is dead but at least...

... I don't have a side butt. I was in Ikea this morning (I know it's a prime location for the crying baby hit squad) but I wanted to pick up a couple things. D and I were standing in line and the woman in front of us with her roughly 4 year old boy had the worst butt ever. I mean really bad. She was not fat, maybe you could call her curvy at most, but her hips went straight out to the side while the back of her butt was completely flat. I know it was horribly mean to think about this poor girl's butt like this because she could easily be thinking awful things about how I look. (I definitely don't like the way my body looks these days as all my extra baby weight makes me look like I am still pregnant) Heck she could be a dead baby mama too for all I know. However, it did distract me from all the pregnant people and baby strollers while we waited in line so I'll go with it. It's a sign of how crappy life as a dead baby mama is when you have to stare strangers' butts to keep it together in public. Maybe next time there could be a cute college boy in front of us.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Don't know what to think

So yesterday was a pretty good day. The birthday brownies that I baked turned out to be very tasty. It's what happened when we sang "Happy Birthday" that is confusing me. I stuck a candle in DH's brownies and D started to sing and I joined in and then in a blink of an eye, D was bawling. I was not shocked as she has cried at all of her birthdays when presented with a cupcake with candles. What shocked me was when she said, "I miss Baby Reid so much." I really don't know what to make of it. She has said this before but only if she saw that I was upset first. And there have been times were I suspected that she said it to try to get me to do something (It's awful that I have to suspect my almost 3 year old of using her dead brother to manipulate me, but even if she was, she has no way to know what it really means so I can't really get angry at her). And it's not like she needed to convince us to give her what she really wanted, there was a huge chocolate brownie sitting right in front of her. I even asked her again this morning why she cried and she repeated that she missed Reid. I don't know what I am supposed to do with this. I don't want D to be as confused and sad about Reid as I am. Yay, more mommy guilt coming up.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Tomorrow is DH's birthday, the first birthday we have had to celebrate since Reid died. We are going to try to make it a nice day for him. I bought him a football related present that I hope he will like and I framed a bunch of pictures of D that we have taken in the last few weeks. I really wanted to sneak in one of Reid's U/S pics but I know that would just upset DH and it's his birthday, not mine. D and I baked muffins today so he could have a nice breakfast before he goes to work and we are going to make birthday brownies while DH is at work. I really hope it goes well as D's birthday is only 2 1/2 weeks away and she won't understand why mommy would be sad on her birthday.

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

Why do people keep trying to make me decisions right now? Yes, to the the general population I appear to be doing okay, but inside I am a big seething mess. All it takes is a birth announcement to let the seething mess out. I have 2 days left to decide if we should keep D in the preschool we had registered her in back in March. She wouldn't start until September, but we have to start paying now if we want the spot. I still want her to go to the preschool, but if I go back to work, we would have to pull her out. I don't want to go back to work and I am not ready yet, but it would make financial sense to do it if for no other reason than to get benefits if we manage to get pregnant again. Ugh. I hate thinking about this stuff. It just reminds me of what should be happening now in that life I had planned.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

A Holiday We Can All Enjoy

Yeah for Free Slurpee Day! Finally a holiday that I can still enjoy despite my status as a Dead Baby Mama. D got to have her very first Slurpee in honor of the day and declared it "so deeelicious". Now if 7-11 could do something to improve the rest of the holidays on the calendar, I would really appreciate it.

Thursday, July 8, 2010


First of all, thanks to all my fellow DBM's who left me comments after my post this afternoon. You guys are the best. I know I could call people (like Lareina) but it's easier for me to write it out. When I use the phone, I can't undo all the years of conditioning to be calm and polite and to not hog the conversation. When I blog, I can just spill all the bad feelings out and not have to worry about upsetting anyone else.

And now here's my coping mechanism for this evening...

Not great as a long term solution, but just fine for an evening. Yes, it is a big-ass wine glass, it's left over from the pre-parent days when we drank red-wine on a regular basis. It can hold half a bottle, that's why its only 1/3 full. I desperately wanted to drink red wine for most of my pregnancy and I resisted the urge for the entire time (not that it did me any good in the long run). Now it makes me sad that I can drink as much as I want without having to worry about how long until the baby will want to nurse again, but not sad enough to not drink it at all. Hopefully this glass will be the last one I can drink for along time. Here's to getting drunk(well slightly tipsy) and taking advantage of my husband.

What is the point of trying?

I was trying to be a normal mom for my daughter today. I was getting ready to take her to a birthday party. (I had checked ahead to make sure that there would be no babies less than 6 months old at the party). I thought "I'll just check my email before we leave" and not knowing that there was a bomb waiting in my inbox. Yet another person is about to have baby and of course they are all perky and confident that they can make plans to do things with their baby 2 weeks from now. I almost threw up. I still made it out the door and to the birthday party but as soon as we got home and I put D in bed, I had a huge melt down on the kitchen floor.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Nail polish

I have attached an irrational significance to some completely insignificant things since Reid died. The most visible one is the nail polish on my toes.

Going for a pedicure was one of the things I did the week before Reid died. One last chance to relax and pamper myself before I became a very busy mother of 2. Now I look at it as one of the last things I did when Reid was still alive. Even though my feet look horrible, I won't even consider taking the nail polish off my toes. (I have managed to trim my toenails so polish has disappeared that way). The purple is all but gone from toes 2 to 5 so all that's left is the polish on the big toes and that is half gone. It's like my own biological calender of how much time has passed since Reid died. Maybe by the time it's completely gone, I'll have started to figure out where I am supposed to go from here.

Monday, July 5, 2010


Ever since Catherine wrote this post back in May, I have been looking for the not so hidden meanings in every Dr. Seuss book I read to D. This week it's Happy Birthday to You!. DH's birthday is next week and D's is next month so she is understandably obsessed with birthdays. Maybe not every line can literally apply to Reid, but it still gets to me every time I have to read these pages.

If you'd never been born, well then what would you do?
If you'd never been born, well then what would you be?
You might be a fish! Or a toad in a tree!
You might be a doorknob! Or three baked potatoes!
You might be a bag full of hard green tomatoes.
Or worse than all that...Why you might be a WASN'T!
A wasn't has no fun at all. No, he doesn't.
A Wasn't just isn't. He just isn't present.

If you'd never been born, them you might be an ISN'T!
An Isn't has no fun at all. No he disn't.
He never has birthdays, and that isn't pleasant.
You have to be born, or you don't get a present.

Friday, July 2, 2010

3 months

In 2 hours it will have been exactly 3 months since Reid died. By some lovely twist of fate, it's also 13 weeks so the anniversary is falling on the same days of the week as the actual events. It made it very hard not to spend the whole evening thinking about what happened 3 months ago. (At 5:30 3 months ago, my water broke. At 8:00 3 months ago we were driving to the hospital. )

I talked to one of my university roommates today. I must admit that we have been out of touch for the last few years (we finished university 10 years ago). After Reid died she sent me an email and told me that she and her husband had been forced to end a pregnancy at 14 weeks last year. I knew that they had had trouble conceiving but I didn't know how bad things had gotten. She called me today and we had a really good chat. Even though our losses are very different we were very much on the same wavelength. It was good to talk to someone who I have known for a long time and who gets "it". Although I hate that being dead baby mamas is what has brought us back together, I think that we are not going to drift apart again. It's nice to think that maybe a friendship can be renewed in the middle of all this crap, unlike all the other ones that seem to have been erased.

Speaking of messed up friendships, the friend whose baby announcement on FB I posted about on Thursday morning, left a message for me Thursday evening while I was outside. So I guess she did call me after all. Now I have to work up the courage to call her back. (Talk about a weird feeling hearing that message after writing that post)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

So what's left?

In all the not so great times of my life, there was always something to look forward to help get me through them. (Almost all the times that used to be classified as "bad" have been upgraded based on the events of the last 3 months). In high school, there were summers. In university there were parties, weekends, spring-break and summer. Once I started working full-time, there were weekends and vacations to look forward to and plan for when the day to day stuff was too stressful (or too boring). I spent 16 months of my life looking forward to the maternity leave I am currently on. The plan was for me to try being a stay at home mom once we had 2 kids and I was looking forward to that too. But now that Reid is dead, what am I supposed to look forward to?

Looking forward to a day when I don't feel like total crap and don't cringe (or cry) at the sight of baby carriers in the grocery store doesn't feel like a great goal for my life. Besides, there's no set time for these things to happen. The new life plan does include another child, but there's no guarantee on when I'll get pregnant and if we'll get a live baby out of the deal, so it's probably not a great idea to use that as my "something to look forward to". Holidays, birthdays etc are just going to be reminders of who isn't here to celebrate with us so they're out too. Vacations (not that there will be many since DH burned up a bunch of holiday hours to look after me and D after Reid died) are just a temporary diversion. Going back to work after being one live baby away from being a stay at home mom is definitely not something I look forward to.

So what's left?

Stupid, stupid, stupid

I can't even stay away for a few hours. I went back on FB to check on friend who claimed to be having mid-life crisis (I am so glad I have at least 1 friend who doesn't have kids) just to see if I could guess what was going on and there it is, yet another baby announcement. And of course, it's another boy. And I am a total wreck again.

It's not just that I am angry and sad because Reid is gone. It' s that yet another person who was supposed to be my friend, (I even personally called her to tell her about Reid) didn't call me to tell me that her baby had arrived. (He has born over a week ago). The kid is out and safe, I don't think she has to worry about me jinxing her pregnancy anymore. This is just the kind of cheering up I needed to go with the rapid approach of the 3 month milestone on Saturday. (And my hair is all falling out as well, another gift that comes after having a baby whether they are alive or not)