Thursday, September 30, 2010

Not ready to be brave

I tried to be brave today. I had to return the maternity coat I borrowed from my cousin's wife last winter. I'm sure she has friends who are pregnant and could use it soon.(It's almost October and in Northern AB that means you could need a coat at anytime with next to no notice). I got the coat in February because her son arrived 4 weeks early so she didn't need it. I was outgrowing even my husband's coats and had at least another month of winter and pregnancy left to go. Of course now she has a healthy 7 1/2 month old and I have 6 months of grief.

So I spent all morning psyching myself up to go to their house and drop off the coat. And I get there all prepared to say hi, handover the coat and run before I had to see more that a glance of the baby, and of course, no one was home. I don't remember the last time I was so relieved. And that tells me I wasn't ready to be brave.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Things you never want to tell your MIL

The next week and a bit is going to be jam-packed, with some good things and some not so great things. On Saturday we are going to the local Walk to Remember. It won't be an easy afternoon but I am still looking forward to it and it will be the first memorial event that I have felt was appropriate for D to come to with us. Then as soon as we get back, my MIL will be arriving (this is not so great, but I would never tell her). Just being around my MIL stresses me out for many reasons. I am not looking forward to this visit as she basically just announced she was coming (and no other weekends worked for her) without really asking if it was a good weekend for us. I don't think she has a clue that it is 6 months on Sunday. That brings me to Reid's 6 month anniversary on Sunday, which the Walk to Remember saves me from having to think of a way to commemorate. And to add to the fun, next Wednesday is D.G.'s and my 9th wedding anniversary (I literally just realized that tomorrow will be 14 years since we got together, holy crap). Neither one of us really feels like celebrating anything these days and there is a distinct lack of babysitters here. The only night that the MIL could watch D is on Reid's 6 month anniversary on Sunday and I am NOT celebrating my anniversary then. I told D.G. on the weekend that we should get U2 tickets for the concert here next June. I might feel up to going out in public again by then and since it's only 8 months away, we won't have a baby by then no matter what. ( Even if we get pregnant soon, I am not afraid of pre-term labour, just miscarriage, stillbirth and full term death, that seems reasonable right?)

Which brings me back to the blog title. There's one more thing happening in the next week. I should ovulate about a week from now. My MIL wanted to stay from Saturday until next Tuesday. The guest bedroom is directly below our bedroom and we have hardwood floors and a somewhat squeaky bed. Do you see my problem? What man wants to try to get his wife knocked up with his mom sleeping 10 feet away? Okay, don't answer that because there probably is someone that messed up out there. I told D.G. that he had 2 choices, DTD with his mom there or let me tell her she has to leave for her sister's sooner than planned if she wants another grandchild because I wasn't going to skip trying this month. To my surprise, he told her himself, but it doesn't change the fact the my MIL knows way too much about my sex life.

P.S. Thanks to the three five lovely ladies who gave me an award in the last few days. It means a lot to me that you are out there reading my blog. Now my problem is that I think nearly every blog I read has already been nominated because I am so slow moving these days. Please don't think badly of me, I was terrible with these kind of things before my brain got scrambled.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The big race

" shouldn’t be a race." from the lovely and wise Julie, mom to Jon Evel.

In my head, I know that this true, it shouldn't be a race, it should be about what is right for D.G. and me and even D. But it feels like a race against so many opponents. A race against time because my eggs aren't getting any younger and because the age gap between D and any living siblings keeps growing. A race against fear because now I know how bad things can go in a heartbeat ( or non-heartbeat in my case). A race against bitterness and anger because the pain I feel every time I see someone walking around with the baby/family I thought I would have has to be corroding my internal organs including the reproductive ones. And even a race against the other DBMs because as they start on the path toward a living child, I feel like I am being left behind here in the middle Dead Baby Land all over again.

Every day I feel like I am losing the race by a little bit more. Like the finish line is further away instead of closer.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Some lovely realizations (yes I am being sarcastic)

This morning I realized a few things:

- People who started ttc at the same time we started (Jan. 2009) have almost 1 year olds right now. Heck, I bet some of them are trying for another baby by now.

- People who managed to conceive 1 year after we started (no matter how long it took) are about to have their babies.

- If we had not conceived Reid, by January 2010, we would have been able to get medical help to conceive and could right now be pregnant with a lovely baby who might live past birth.

I love Reid, but if someone told me that I could have spent an extra 6 months unsucessfully ttc versus 6 months mourning a dead child, I know which I would pick. TTC is an awful kind of slow torture, but to me it's not as bad as having 9 months of hopes and dreams literally turned into ashes.

Monday, September 20, 2010

So now it's Fall

How has the changing of seasons (from summer to fall) impacted you in your grief journey? ( for the Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope September writing challenge)

There are still 2 more days until the official start of fall, but here it has looked a felt like fall for almost a month. Fall will be my third season without Reid and most of all it brings a feeling of disappointment. Spring was blurred by pain, both physical and emotional. Summer came and brought some hope that I could survive here in Dead Baby Land. It also brought the hope for another child and warm, sunny days spent with D. Summer is over and I am still surviving, but it disappointed on the other 2 fronts. This summer was cold and damp and rainy. (It's not just my perception, there were rainfall records set all over AB and SK this summer). The majority of my garden didn't have enough sunshine and warmth to mature and be ready for harvest. I was holding out hope that Indian Summer would come along soon and save the garden but it was wiped out by frost this past week. The same way that the hope that I could be pregnant before fall came was destroyed.

This time last year, we were getting ready to tell the world that we were finally expecting our second child. Now looking ahead, all I see are reminders of what we had and who we were last year. Another series of disappointments in the form of unfulfilled plans and dreams.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Yesterday, I emailed the MIL to ask her to include Reid in the history book article. D.G. was sitting beside me as I wrote the email and he was not upset or bothered so I guess he really was "OK" as long as I took care of it. She replied right away that she would include Reid, but I knew she would do what ever we wanted, that wasn't the issue. Thanks to all of you for your comments and support.

Monday, September 13, 2010

It finally happened

I have been waiting for something like this to happen for months now; waiting for someone in our families to deny or at least fail to acknowledge Reid. It finally happened today. My MIL sent us an email with a submission she was planning to send in for a local history book being published about D.G.'s home town. (It's a pretty common thing for small towns in SK to publish history books, my home town did it about 25 years ago and it is WAY smaller than D.G.'s) The line about D.G. mentioned me, D and his job but not Reid. This lead to a less than pleasant exchange between D.G. and myself, a session of sobbing on the bathroom floor for me and then a long emotional discussion after D went to sleep.

The result is that D.G. says he's "OK" with mentioning Reid as long as I am the one to tell his mom. I really want Reid to be mentioned and besides it's a history book, there should be plenty of families with mentions of dead babies over the last 100 years. (If there isn't then, it's not like I have to be there to get weird looks for daring to break the taboo.) However, I don't believe that D.G. is really OK about it. I do believe that he could put it out of his mind and forget about it, but that's not the same. Which should take priority, my need to acknowledge Reid or D.G.'s need to avoid reminders? We are such different places when it comes to grief. (The long emotional discussion revealed just how far apart those places are.) I don't want to hurt him, but I hate the idea of ever pretending that Reid didn't exist.

Friday, September 10, 2010

I wish I could believe in signs...

After supper tonight, I dragged the family outside for a walk around the block. Up in the sky was this:

The photo doesn't do it justice, the rainbow stretched across the whole sky. (D.G. had the camera and didn't get my psychic message about posting it on my blog.) I want the rainbow to mean that the worst is over for us, but I know that's just not true. It's just an illusion created by rain and sunshine. A beautiful illusion, but an illusion none the less.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

I feel like I'm stuck in a deep and terrible rut. I am trapped in a lonely and desolate place. I don't know which way I am supposed to go or if there even is any where for me to go. I "know" how I got here, but sometimes it still seems surreal. I am so tired so having to force myself to do things for my daughter of husband. I'm sick not being able to really enjoy anything without thinking about how things should be different.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Done messing around

At least for now. I love the font on the header and I only tried it because it was the first alphabetically in the font list in Photoshop. I just wish I could re-design my life as easily as my blog.

Monday, September 6, 2010

New look

Playing around with new settings for my new computer has inspired me to play around with my blog template too. I still need to work on the header but D.G.'s computer has Photoshop so it will have to wait until he's back at work tomorrow. Yeah, it's a pretty dark theme, but it suits my mood more days than not.

They really are gone

I have been out of contact with most of the real world for three weeks and not shockingly, only a handful of people have tried to contact me (yes, L, I know I owe you a phone call and I am working up to it). I know I shouldn't be surprised but I am still hurt to see that no one else cares enough to check in a see if I am okay. I have been in Dead Baby Land long enough to know that the loss of friendships is an extra bonus that comes with babyloss. I think that almost all of my friends sent emails and cards when Reid died and I felt very supported, but now, 5 months later, the vast majority of these people have not been heard from since.

I don't think that it should come as a surprise to anyone that someone whose baby died might still need support 5 months later. I also don't think that it would be that hard from some of these people to send an email, they aren't the ones who are broken inside. They have normal lives (and in many cases living babies) to go back to after they make a tiny side trip into Dead Baby Land to check on me. I am the one with the dead baby and the lost dreams and I live in Dead Baby Land full-time. I am not going to drag what's left of me over the edge to Dead Baby Land and try to flag them down as they go about their normal lives. It's time for me to get used to the fact that most people who used to be in my life can't or don't want deal with my loss. Yeah, it's "nice" if they are thinking about me, but that doesn't do shit for me if they aren't willing to brave a little bit of Dead Baby Land to let me know that. It's time for me stop expecting that one day one of these people is going to call me up and ask how I'm doing. It's time for me to stop wasting my time and tears on them. I have made it this far with just the illusion of their support, now it's time to give up the illusion and keep moving on.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

What's a DBM to do?

Welcome to the first official blog post written on my fancy-schmancy new laptop. Thanks to my mushy brain and inability to make decisions, it took me over a month to finally decide what I wanted and actually buy something. But now that I have, it's pretty fabulous (I bought a VAIO 15.5" with a Core i3 just in case any other DBM's are closet tech geeks). It is a vast improvement over the old laptop (now D.G.'s exclusive gaming machine). Now D.G. and I have another way to be in the same room and not actually speak for hours on end.

Reid's 5 month anniversary did not have big surprises. I survived the appointments with the counselor and lawyer with the socially acceptable amounts of crying (lots and none respectively). It was kind of weird having D.G. at the counselor's with me but at least now they have met and I know that D.G. will come back if I need him to. I now get to add panic attacks to my list of symptoms as this was how the therapist labeled my description of my reaction to coming home from vacation. We also got a phone call from my pregnancy gp, Dr. K. She wanted to let me know that while the autopsy still hasn't been finalized, (seriously 5 months?) she has managed to track down the name of the pathologist working on the report and is going to try to find out what's going on this coming week. She also told me that she thinks about us on the 3rd of every month and still feels sad (She's had other patients lose babies but never quite like us). I still think Dr.K is great and will be calling her office as soon as there are two lines on that stick.

Now that I can finally stop researching laptops, I need a new obsession. For the last week, I have been getting the urge to do something "crazy". Mostly I think it is just the normal female urge to change something on the outside to symbolize the changes on inside. Besides, I don't have the energy to do anything truly crazy these days and I have a 3 year old who has to come along on most of my adventures any ways. I don't want to cut my hair off (it takes way too damn long to grow out) and I don't want to color it because my natural color is so dark that it would take way too much effort/money to maintain. I already look like crap 90% of the time, I don't need to add roots on top of the pasty skin and huge dark circles. I am willing to consider a tattoo but D.G. did point out that I spent over a month researching a laptop that just sits in the house and I'll have for a few years tops, so it could take me years to chose a design and artist for something like a tattoo. Any ideas out there for what a indecisive DBM can do to be crazy without being too crazy? I don't want the husband to start looking up crisis hot-line numbers, I just need to "do" something.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Starts out okay but gets pretty dark by the end...

Thank you for all the complements on the shadow box. I am pretty proud of it and am glad you all like it too. (If you are moved to create your own versions, send me pictures)

Minor bit of blog housekeeping, I am tired of referring to my husband as DH. When we were younger, he was referred to as "Leash Boy" because due to a random act by a scheduling program, we had all our 1st year university classes together, so to some it appeared I was keeping him on a leash. However since that was a very long time ago (14 years, yikes) and he is now a grown man with a semi-important job, it's probably not fair to call him that. Our daughter calls him "Daddy Guy"so maybe for now I'll try D.G. (When I was home on mat. leave with her and he would come home from work, I would say "Who's that guy? It's Daddy!"and in her mind it became Daddy Guy)

Tomorrow is a big day. On top of it being Reid's 5 month anniversary, D.G. and I are going to the lawyer's office to get our wills in order (yes we are bad parents who didn't have a will for the 3 years our daughter has been alive). It should lead to some fun discussions on what happens if our whole family dies at the same time and what we want to happen if one of us becomes a vegetable. Then we need to pick up a "unbaby" baby gift for the friend I was cyber stalking while waiting for her baby to arrive (She has yet to contact us since except for the mass birth announcement email). I will meet my social obligation and send a gift but I am not forcing myself to go into a baby department or to sew baby things for anyone who hasn't been there for me. After that, the fun continues as D.G. is joining me for my second counseling session. He is apprehensive about it, at best, but is willing to go for my sake. Now I didn't book these things for Reid's anniversary on purpose, it just works better to schedule things for his Fridays off and the 3rd just happened to be a Friday this month so instead of waiting an extra 2 weeks, I decided to suck it up and get things over with. Besides we already "won" the dead baby lottery, whose to say we won't find a way to defy more statistics and have a reason to need our wills long before we should.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Bad and Good

I had one really awful day while we were away. I spent an entire afternoon crying my heart out. It was like everything I had been holding in for the first 5 days of the trip just built up and poured out. And it wasn't that I had to deal with anything extra horrible during the trip, no one was pregnant and I didn't have to see any babies close to the age Reid would have been. One of the other couples we were with had a miscarriage a couple months ago and is dealing with secondary infertility. I talked about Reid when ever I wanted to and no one looked freaked out (if they were, they hid it well and that's just as good). The worst thing I had deal with was seeing D play with Baby S (who is almost walking and not technically a baby anymore but that's what everyone calls her). D would make faces and fuss over Baby S and every time my heart just broke because it should be Reid that she is playing with. D is so ready to be a big sister and now who knows if she will ever get to be a big sister to a living baby.

So back to my awful day, I ended up by myself on the beach (the cabin had it's own private beach). The wind was so strong that I probably would have had any beach to myself that day. At least once, I cursed the damn lake for being too shallow. It was not a fun time on the beach that day, but I did get something out of it. As DBM's frequently do, I wrote Reid's name in the sand.

Northern SK beaches do not have big stretches of damp sand for writing names, besides I had a plan. Last night I turned the picture into this:

I kept all the rocks that were used to write his name and brought them home to put in the shadow box. (See, I didn't just have bad ideas while sitting on that beach) I don't know where its permanent home is going to be yet, but it's the first picture related to Reid that I have framed and I want it to be where everyone can see it.