Monday, January 24, 2011


It feels like everything is stuck. I am stuck in the same place and have no idea how to move forward (or even back for that matter). I can't get thoughts out of my head, into words or writing. It's become nearly impossible to even compose a simple email, even if it is completely trivial and has no mention of feelings. Forget about talking to actual people. I miss the person I used to be or maybe I miss that it used to be relatively easy to be that person. I can't even connect with most of the on-line DBM world. I feel like I don't fit right now because those that are like me (not pregnant and a ways down this road) have found other things to focus on and aren't here all the time, feeling awful and wondering when things will change. I would love to have something else to focus on but nothing interests me, beyond endless games of Spi.der Soli.tare, or else it involves being around "normal" people which I still can't quite manage.


(That's as eloquent as I can be right now.)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Things that are good for me

I tried exercising yesterday. I wasn't aware that I still had muscles under the flab that is my 2 c-section belly. Apparently there is still something there because it hurts, a lot. I did 10 crunches (and they were really wimpy crunches) and a few half-assed push-ups, I should not feel pain while sitting on the couch. If exercise is so good for me, why does it hurt before I even do enough to enjoy it?


D is almost 3 and half, but we have never found a regular teenage babysitter for her so that we could go out on dates like everyone says you should after you have children. Partly because we didn't know any teenagers here and partly because we never made it a priority. Today we finally found one. Luckily we can keep things in the family so to speak as our new babysitter is the oldest daughter of one of my support group leaders. Works good for me because she knows about Reid and has lost 2 sisters of her own which saves me from explaining what happened and saves her from freaking out when D starts explaining about how all her toys have little brothers who died. Now I just have to find the energy to plan an actual date with D.G. Let's hope it's less painful than the exercise.


I gave up antiperspirant a month ago, thinking that absorbing less metal through my skin had to be a good thing. I replaced it with a natural vegan deodorant that somehow makes me smell worse that if I use nothing at all. Seriously, its worse than just my regular sweat. Any recommendations for something else to try from the crunchy granola types in the audience?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Weird dreams

You know how we all come crashing down as soon as we say we have had a few good days in a row? Apparently it works for other things too. I told D.G. that I hadn't been dreaming (or at least remembering my dreams) for the last few months and then 3 nights in a row, I had very vivid dreams.
-In dream #1, I was a set-decorator/wedding planner for a interior designer/tv host (she's been on the Canadian HGTV for years). It was a huge over the top wedding, which makes no sense as she is currently married and has 2 daughters. I don't know how I got the job or remember anything else about the dream, which is normal for me.
-In dream #2, I was sleeping on the couch in our living room (which I actually was) and then heard a sound at the door. I went over to check the deadbolt, but when I tried to close it, someone was on the other side and forced the deadbolt and the door open. There were 2 guys trying to get into the house, and I tried to scream D.G.'s name, but I couldn't because I had been been mouth-breathing. I eventually did get his name out and woke myself up, but I was so freaked out because it was so realistic, unlike most of my dreams.
-In dream #3, D.G. and I were getting ready to go on a ski trip, like the kind of group bus trip that we went on in university. We got on the bus and then his sisters were there and going on the trip too. Just all weirdness, because there is no way I would want to be stuck on a bus with a bunch of happy people.

So if saying I haven't been dreaming can make me start dreaming, why doesn't saying that I can't get pregnant mean that I get pregnant?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Done reading for now

I think my brain is fried from absorbing and reflecting on too much grief. I just don't have the capacity to process that much sadness continuously any more. I had planned to start reading They Were Still Born this week too but I need a break. I bought They Were Still Born with my Christmas gift certificate so at least I can keep that one as long as I want but the other 2 are borrowed. I have had Lareina's copy of An Exact Replica... for nearly 8 months so I should probably return it (with cookies). Besides, I don't need to read actual babyloss books to make me think about Reid. I can turn most books into a book about baby loss. (Just like some people can hear a babyloss related message in almost any song.) For example:

(From I Am Going by Mo Willems)

There are always plenty of Whys in Dead Baby Land: Why did my baby die? Why don't people understand me? Why can't I get pregnant again? Why can't I be happy again? Why did my cask of wine that was supposed to stay "fresh" for 6 weeks turn into a vat of vinegar in only 4 weeks ? (damn you Andrew Peller Wines) Okay, the last one might just be my why question, but when AF shows up and all you have to look forward to is a glass of red wine, that wine better be fit for drinking, not removing paint. Well I guess I'll be crawling into bed tonight without Mr. Cabernet Sauvignon, good thing D.G. is back from his trip to SK.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Selection #2

Today, I read another babyloss memoir, Out of Grief, Singing by Charlene Diehl. I was searching through the on-line catalog for our local library, looking for books about grief in general since I was sure I had already read all the books that I thought applied to me from the small babyloss section. This one came up under grief but it is very much a book about babyloss. I have no real idea how to review a book so I'm just to cover what I think a babyloss mom needs to know to decide if she wants to read this book.

The author delivered her daughter at 28 weeks in November 1995 due to severe pre-eclampsia. Her daughter Chloe lived for 7 days, most of which the author spent fighting both hypertension and a debilitating spinal headache. The first part book is a detailed memoir about what the author experienced during her daughter's life and time immediately after her death. The second part of the book covers the first few months after Chloe's death and the third covers the time from then to the present. Clearly a lot of time has passed since the author lost her daughter, but the writing about Chloe's life and death felt immediate and unfiltered by time. The author does go on to have 2 more children, the first of which was born 2 years less 2 days before what should have been Chloe's 2nd birthday (so there was no instant next baby to make those of us who are fighting or had to fight to get pregnant again feel bitter).

I liked this book. Yes it's more "flowery" than An Exact Replica... (the author is also a poet) but it's not overly sappy or cheery (as the title might lead you to assume). I liked getting the perspective of a mom more than 10 years after her loss. I liked hearing how her living kids think of their older sister. Again, the passage from the book that resonated with me the most was right at the end...

" She is not someone I remember, but someone I know. She may not be alive, but neither is she absent. And love? It is not something I do, not something I bestow. It's bigger than I can comprehend, and unpredictable, like weather. Love is my elemental connection with Chloe - it is a medium we share, a force that makes sense of us both. I understand it no better than I understand death, but I know I am in it, absolutely and irrevocably. It connects me to others, to the earth, to thoughts, to beauty. It blesses me and challenges me. "

The only part of the book that made me feel "bad" (and this isn't a criticism of the book) was how so many people in the author's life could genuinely express love for her daughter. I don't know if it's because her daughter was born alive and lived for at least a few days, where my son did not or if was because the author's parents had also lost baby and where better equipped to help her deal with acknowledging Chloe right after she died where I was just so overwhelmed with sadness and shock that I just wanted to make the rest of the world disappear. No matter the reason, it makes me sad that the people in my life don't love Reid the way Chloe was and is loved to this day.

I hope I have done justice to this book. I must admit to being a little biased towards the book as the author is Canadian and a prairie girl as well. I hope some of you get the chance to read it too. Let me know what you think.

Catching up

While D.G. is away, I decided to catch up on my dead baby mama reading. For some reason it drives me crazy when he sees me reading and asks "What are you reading?" I don't know if it's the being interrupted that bugs me or what, but it's even worse if I am crying while I am reading too.

First I decided to re-read An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination. I read it at the beginning of May when everything was still very fresh, when I was still in shock. I stayed up late last night reading and bawling my eyes out. I haven't cried like that for a long time, probably because I didn't have to worry about holding back so that I wouldn't freak out D.G. I read the whole thing and the two things that stuck with me were both from the end of the book.

"... and that love isn't morbid or bloodstained or unsightly, it doesn't need to be shoved away."

This what I feel has been denied me by most of the world. Of course, here in Dead Baby Land, I am allowed to love my child however I need to. Out there though, it's like somehow wrong to love my child and to want others to remember he existed, and not just as a thing that happened to me to make me sad, but as a baby boy who was beautiful and big and made his mommy hate garlic for months.

"... extraordinarily thankful that I got pregnant again so soon, and that the pregnancy held. I am not sure what sort of person I would be if that hadn't happened."

This is where the book doesn't quite satisfy me. Yes, it's a wonderful book and I am glad that there people who can share their stories so eloquently within this community but I am that person who didn't get pregnant again so soon. She got to hold her "new" baby just a year after he son died while I have to accept that it is very possible that I will not even be pregnant by the time my son has been dead for 1 year. Her perspective on the year following her son's death was strongly influenced by the fact that for most of it she was pregnant with her second child which makes it harder for me to connect with her writing. Some people can start to heal and move on without getting pregnant again (and some are forced to do so because of other complications and I ache for these women and admire them at the same time.) but I seem to not be one of them.

I am glad I read the book again and I'd like to make a whole list of people in my own life (or maybe more precisely people who used to be in my life) read it, but they're not exactly asking me for book recommendations so that they can understand me better.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

On my own

D.G.'s grandfather passed away late Saturday. D.G. left today to drive back to SK for the funeral. He can only get a few days off work and driving 10 hours there and 10 hours back in 2.5 days is not something that D would really appreciate. D has met her great-grandparents a few times, but she doesn't "know" them and she's three, how would she sit through a funeral? There are family members going to be there that she would like to see, but they will all have things to do for the funeral. It's just not a good idea to take her and luckily for me, that means I don't have to go either. I can't deny that I have no desire to go to a funeral and have to pretend that I am upset about D.G.'s grandfather's death instead of my son's. D and I are going to stay here are home so she can keep to her normal routine and I can deal with the impending visit from AF. (Nope, no Christmas "miracle" for us this year and I'm down to 2 cycles left to get pregnant before Reid's 1 year anniversary.)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Snowed In

It's been snowing for the last 24 hours and isn't supposed to stop until tomorrow. We are supposed to have well over a foot of snow by the time it stops. I know that it can snow more than this at one time on the coast or in the mountains, but they don't have to wait another 3 months for it to melt. Here's what it looks like around here (courtesy of the Weather Network website, I'm not going out in the snow until I absolutely have to.)

The weather matches how I feel. I just want to hide out from the world and huddle under a blanket.

Friday, January 7, 2011

It's just not getting better

Still here, just haven't been able to string thoughts together into posts. I have just been feeling mentally and physically exhausted most of this week. D.G. went back to work after having 11 days off for Christmas so I think part of it was just re-adjusting to the "normal" routine around here. The rest of it is more complicated.

I know many of us have to use the "fake it 'til you make it" strategy to survive normal everyday situations that were turned into tortuous, epic ordeals after losing our children. I have avoided having to do this too much by simply avoiding pretty much anything I can. Taking D to preschool and having to watch the other parents with their babies is about the only torture I haven't run away from. (I may be happiest as a hermit, but I don't want D to forget how to interact with other humans.) I've still been forced to fake being "normal" at certain times, like when I run into people I know in the grocery store, and it's not getting easier. I am sick and tired of faking it for other people because there are no signs of "making it" I can see. I still would be perfectly happy to spend 90% of my time 100% alone. I still go days without bothering to shower or slap some moisturizer on my face. I still can't make decisions or commit to anything. Yes, things could be worse, I'm not back where I was before the EMDR therapy I did in November/December. The best way I can put it is that my lows are not so low, but my overall feelings are not anymore positive. Does that make sense? My geeky engineer self wants to draw a graph as a visual aid, but I will restrain myself.

Monday, January 3, 2011

9 months

Today is 9 months since Reid died. I know many of us feel this anniversary is particularly difficult because it marks the point where our children have been dead for as along as they were with us. (if you happen to have lost a full term baby) I haven't been thinking about that too much since to my way of thinking I passed that milestone mid-December. What has been bothering me the most is that 9 months later, I am still not pregnant. I am starting to "try" to prepare myself to hear that someone who had a living child in the flood of births before and after Reid's death is pregnant again. Because it is bound to happen, my luck is just that good.


I keep thinking about this time last year when I could just barely get my ski pants on to go play in the snow with D. They fit no problem now and I can slide down any hill I want without worrying about falling the wrong way and I'm out there with her and D.G. instead of staying at home with a napping baby. It just seems that the reminders of last year and what this year was supposed to be like are everywhere and I can't stop myself from thinking about all of it.


Today, D decided to wear her "Big Sister to an Angel" t-shirt without any hints or suggestions from me. (I swear I didn't even offer it up as possibility.) I so needed that, even if she had no idea that today was an anniversary or even what the heck an anniversary is. Of course she is obsessed with being a sister so that is probably why she picked it. All her toys now have sisters, even the cars. And she knows she is a big sister, we tell her that all the time, but I just wonder how long it will be until she starts asking when she will get a little brother or sister who will live with us. Right now she is happy enough with "some day we will have another baby" but I know that answer won't work forever. How do I explain the inability to get pregnant (I can't call it IF for another few months) to a 3 year old?


Just want to tell all the other DBM's whose babies' anniversaries fall on the 3rd, that I am thinking of you. Missy and Sadkitty,* I hate that what we share is so awful, but am still glad that I have someone to share it with. If any of my other readers also have anniversaries on the 3rd, please let me know so I can remember who is marking milestones with us and who else knows that the 3rd of any month sucks.

*Edited because my brain apparently doesn't work. Sorry again, Merry.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The new plan

I realized a couple days ago that we went to big concerts in the cycle before getting pregnant in both of my previous pregnancies. We drove back to SK for the Rolling Stones concert at the beginning of October 2006. Then we went to see Coldplay here at the end of June 2009. Both times, we got pregnant on the next cycle. So clearly what I need to do to get pregnant is to go to a major concert. The next big concert here that I want to see is U2, but they don't play until June and I am NOT waiting until July to get pregnant. I understand why no one tours in northern Alberta in the middle of winter, but clearly I need to get to a concert big enough to have pyrotechnics and a giant video screen NOW. Anyone got any suggestions for a great concert in their neck of the woods in the next while? Seriously, I'll travel if that's what it takes, but probably not outside North America. (I'm crazy, but not THAT crazy, otherwise I'd be heading for Australia to see U2.) I may be forced to rent a concert DVD and stand way to close to our tiny sub-woofer for 2 hours if I get a BFN next week, just to see if that will do the trick.