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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.)


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 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 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.


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 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


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


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.


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.)


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.


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.