Thursday, March 31, 2011

Apples in the deep freeze

Apparently I need to be supervised right now. I have been trying to keep myself busy since getting the news on Tuesday because the breakdowns that happen when I let myself slowdown are not pretty. (Think sobbing uncontrollably on the nearest available horizontal surface.) I have done a whole lot of laundry and cleaning that I had expected would just pile up for a while. I even baked a huge batch of muffins and washed the dishes this morning. Then I went to put some of them in the freezer and discovered the 6 lb bag of apples I bought at Cos.tco Monday night. I tried smashing one of them on the patio outside (could frozen apples be a stand in for cheap dinnerware?) but it only cracked in half so it wasn't very satisfying. I put the apples in the freezer before I even found out that there was no new baby so what kind of things could I have mixed up since then? At the very least I expect D to find a stack of D.G's underwear in her t-shirt drawer. Hopefully nothing more valuable than a $6 bag of apples gets ruined.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Add me to the list...

...the list of women who thought they were getting another chance at this baby thing and then had that chance taken away too.

See, I got a BFP just over 2 weeks ago but wasn't ready to share the news, partly because I was in shock and scared and partly because I didn't want to take the focus off Reid's 1st anniversary. He doesn't get a real birthday but I still wanted his day to be about him, not about a new baby. I was happy to finally be pregnant and I started to make appointments and plans. I had just under 2 weeks of thinking that come November I might get to bring home a live baby. I started to feel queasy and peeing like crazy and I could smell things a mile away. Then this past Friday, I started spotting. Saturday, it turned into blood flow that lasted until Monday afternoon. When the bleeding slowed down I thought maybe things would be okay, maybe I lost a twin or the placenta was growing close to my cervix. I never had any cramping and didn't pass any big clots and overall there was less bleeding than a normal period. I got in for an U/S this morning and there was no sign of a baby anywhere. (There was a very VERY thorough internal scan, woo hoo.) Luckily (ha ha), the U/S clinic is in the same building where Dr. K was working that day so I was sent downstairs to see her and get the official word. (The radiologist is going with blighted ovum.) I did get a hug along with the paperwork for a hcg series. I guess now it's all over except for the crying and the blood tests.

I "knew" that this was a possibility, I mean I saw the same kind of thing happen to too many people especially over the last couple weeks, but I thought I would be one of the ones who somehow snuck through and made it out with a live kid this time. The universe is definitely not on my side. Who "loses" another baby the week before the first anniversary of their full term stillbirth, even if it turns out that that baby only existed in my head?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Condsidering cutting something else

I bought a keepsake box a few days ago. It's mostly black with red gerbera-ish flowers on it. Probably was never intended to hold anything like a baby's ashes, but that's what I'm going to use it for. The gerbera box fits the box that holds Reid's ashes, the clothes he was supposed to wear home and the blanket I made for him, but just barely. The lid just barely closes because I made the blanket big enough to swaddle a 3 month old, just in case he liked that sort of thing (his big sister did). Of course he never got near that blanket because it never came into the hospital, but it is still his blanket. Am I a horrible mom for even considering splitting the blanket to make it fit better?

If I split it into 4 pieces, I can put one in the gerbera box with Reid's ashes, keep one for me to hold onto when I'm having a bad day and maybe the other 2 pieces can be incorporated in a new blanket, someday, maybe, if things ever work out.

The odds of things working out seem pretty low though as it seems every other day brings news of another DBM losing their subsequent pregnancy. So much love to you all.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Another kind of waiting (that I don't like)

I seem to have developed on obsession with my hair (after not thinking about it enough for the last year). And while I do need a haircut, I'm pretty sure that I'm using it as an distraction, a way to avoid thinking about the milestone I am about to hit. (One year of DBM-hood does seems to a milestone you hit, not something you pass by.) Do I really want to change myself in someway to mark the 1 year anniversary or just avoid thinking about the 1 year anniversary altogether? I wish I could separate these things but they are intertwined in my head.

I started dreading the 1 year mark a couple months ago but now I just want to get to the other side of it. The pressure to somehow make it special and meaningful combined with the uncertainty about if or how the majority of people in my life are going to recognize Reid's "birthday" just doesn't sit well with me. I just want it to be that day already so I can do whatever I will do and deal with the reality instead of the possibilities.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Mar 19

My parents were in town for a few days so things were busy around here. D loved having them here to constantly entertain her and rarely, if ever, say no to her requests for more stories, more songs or more colouring. They left Friday for holiday on the West Coast and will return next Saturday in time for my niece's baptism next Sunday. Not sure about how that's going to go seeing as the SIL's many relatives are a very fertile bunch and I don't really want to spend the afternoon explaining the absence of my second child, one week before the anniversary of his birth/death. I'm going to avoid thinking about it as long as possible. (That's also been my strategy for dealing with work, still on unpaid leave, and my doctor told me it sounded like a good way to deal with it to her.)


D is now done all the activities I signed her up for this winter and now we have a break for the next two weeks. The timing is less than ideal for me as I really don't need to be sitting around with no reason to get of the house in the two weeks leading up to Reid's birthday/anniversary but no one asked me when they should schedule spring break this year. I still haven't decided exactly what is happening to mark Reid's day, but it will be pretty low key.


The impending anniversary is forcing me to admit a few things too. I can finally admit that I "need" a hair cut, but I still can't make myself go to my hairstylist, P, even though she cuts D and D.G.'s hair too so I have seen her many times in the last year. I am tempted to walk into a random salon and just get my hair hacked off, but I don't know where to go and I am afraid of hurting P's feelings because she would definitely be able to tell that I got it cut the next time. Is it weird that I think maybe I need to get it cut before the anniversary to symbolize starting a new year without my son?


Still don't know what to do about M, but I am trying to figure something out so I will take that as progress.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Issue #2, Part 2

Well now I know that reason why I didn't just throw in the towel and completely give up on my friendship with M even though parts of me definitely wanted to, to save me a butload load of guilt.

Monday a letter arrived from M addressed to D.G. I was a good person and did not open D.G.'s personal mail, but I had to hide it so it would not torment me. D.G. finally read it Tuesday at work and brought it home for me to read too. M lied to D.G. on the phone last week when she said things were fine. It turns out that M is probably as messed up as I am, but possibly more in some ways. Without going into too many details, she ended up with severe post-partum depression, her husband got hurt and then lost his job (I knew about the hurt part) and is still unemployed so they are broke and their marriage is on the rocks too.

I know that it's impossible to reach out to other people when you are in the middle of a major depressive episode. The fear of being rejected completely outweighs the potential benefits. I also know that D.G. and I had over 13 years together before we lost our son and I got depressed, including a previous depressive episode, so we have a big foundation to work from if we are going to continue to make it through this. M and her husband have only been together for the last 3 and a half years and this is the first major challenge they have faced together. (Not that 3 years together isn't enough time to build a strong relationship and not that 13 years together means you can get through anything.) So I now understand at least part of why she wasn't there for me after she had her baby and no longer had to avoid thinking about me in order to not freak out about the possibility of her baby dying.

I guess this means the ball is back in my court now. If only I had the smallest clue about what I am supposed to do now.

Monday, March 14, 2011

One week from spring (yeah, right)

Everyone has been posting about the arrival of spring and it actually makes me laugh because this is what my backyard looks like:

No,we don't live inside the Arctic circle, but we have had record snowfalls this winter and the temperatures have stayed stubbornly below zero so very little melting has happened. The snow in the middle of the yard where nothing has been shoveled on to it is probably 30" deep so there's no way there will be more than a few tiny patches of lawn visible by April 3rd. I have started having these ideas about being outside in the backyard surrounded by luminaries at 1 am on April 3rd to mark the time when Reid was born, but it looks like that could be a seriously chilly way to mark Reid's birthday.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

On to my next issue

I feel like I have to write something today because by this time tomorrow I should be a hormonal crying mess. (AF should arrive today and I have no hope of the other outcome.)


I did get an email back from "Reed's mom" last week. She said she was sorry that their choice caused me more pain and that she would respect my wishes regarding future Christmas cards. Really there isn't anything that she could do to fix things, but I am glad that I got my feelings out and that she seems to have heard me. I guess that's the end of that.


So what did happen after my yoga class on Wednesday? Well first I have to explain some history. (I will try not to ramble but this is going to be long so I apologize now.) I wrote about M here and a few other times while I was cyber-stalking her, waiting for her to announce her son's arrival. She also is the person who sent out the baby announcements with pictures of her son sleeping. (Definitely a sign of things to come as far as her level of understanding goes.)

M is (maybe "was" is a better term right now) one of my oldest friends and a distant cousin as well so our families are also intertwined (which means my mom has also pressured me to make nice with her too). She was pregnant when Reid died and after the end of April, I didn't hear from her until the end of June when she was about to start her maternity leave. She wanted to come see me and after thinking about it and deciding it would be easier to meet her son if I saw her first, I emailed her back. I never heard back from her. In fact I heard nothing until the mass birth announcement email and then nothing again until the end of October when she emailed and made excuses about why she hadn't contacted me for months but wanted to come and bring her son to meet me. I wanted to send a huge email about how hurt and angry I was, but D.G. convinced me that I should take a more neutral stance, so I just replied saying I was hurt and wasn't in a place where I could or should make decisions. M replied back that she knew she had screwed up (and that's the closest she's come to apologizing but it was still qualified with excuses) and that she was still there for me.

Then fast-froward to December when we got a Christmas card featuring more baby pictures and no mention of Reid. After that, there was nothing until the week before my birthday, when she called (I let the machine get it) and left a "breezy" message about not having seen each other for a year and how we should talk soon. There was no way I could talk to her and I definitely don't want to play "pretend things are all okay" so D.G. promised to call her and explain where I was. (D.G. has known M as long as he has known me.) However, D.G. is a champion procrastinator so no calls where made. Then I got an email that was so insensitive that it deserves it's own post and I reminded D.G. about calling but he still put it off. And then while I was away visiting my niece last weekend, I got a text from M that I ignored too. (I am not a regular texter, I send about 2 a month so it's not the way to get a hold of me). Wednesday night when I got back from yoga and was feeling all emotional, I ended up giving D.G. a hard time about not calling M and he got all pissed off at me and finally called her just to spite me. He got her voicemail but that only bought him a half hour until she called back. Turns out he was hoping that I would just forget about his promise and eventually just miss M enough that I would be willing to play "pretend things are all okay". He is such a typical "don't talk about your feelings" man sometimes.

When she called back, I ran for the bedroom and turned up the TV so I wouldn't hear his side of the conversation. He also took the phone downstairs so he could talk as loudly as he wanted without me or D hearing. (D was in bed by this time, but you never know when a 3 year old will wake up to go potty.) They talked for over an hour and by the time D.G. came to bed, it was obvious he had been crying while on the phone with M. I'm not sure what all they talked about but he said he made it clear how hurt I was by her lack of contact and by her pretending things were fine and we had just lost touch. Apparently she realized how insensitive the email was but somehow sending another to apologize just didn't occur to her. He said she wants to do better at being supportive but just didn't know how so she focused on her own issues. (And I can admit some bad things have happened to her family in the last 6 months, but nothing on the scale of dead or dying baby or other close family member). D.G. asked her why she doesn't talk to our mutual friend R who has been very good as supporting me despite having no first hand DBM experience. M and R see each other regularly so I can't understand how one understands so much and the other so little. I don't know what's going to happen now, but apparently the last attempts at communication were part of her plan to contact us once a week so I should have until next week until we hear from her again. I guess what I do will depend on how much of a hormonal crying mess I am.

(If you made it through all that, thank you. I have needed to get this out of my head for months but it never felt like I could explain things right until now.)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Yoga class

I had my first Yoga for Grief Support class last night. As expected, I cried a few times. The physical part of the class was okay. I did expect that there would some type of introduction where we all said why we were there, but there wasn't so when my brain wandered away from my body, I was speculating about who all the other women in the class were grieving for. Just by age, I would guess that most of the other people there were widows or moms who had lost adult children.

One of the hardest part of the class for me was the beginning relaxation exercise. I realized that I haven't let myself totally and completely relax since Reid died because it feels like tension is the only thing holding me together. If I let myself relax completely I will fall into a million tiny pieces. The other hardest part was a pose where we were just standing on our mats (tadasana, for any yoga practitioners out there.) We stood there and slowly adjusted our bodies until we were standing with perfect posture, the way you would if you were a proud, happy, confident, well-rested sort of person. Then we were told to let ourselves slump back into our "normal" posture and I realized how far my "normal" way of standing is from tadasana. Of course who could expect to feel proud of themselves or their body when their baby died inside them and then that same body refuses to get pregnant again and you have been depressed for months. Of course there isn't a damn thing I can do about the first two things either. Not exactly inspiring thoughts to meditate on.

I am glad I went to the class and will have no problem going back next week, but I am still a big mopey mess today. (I exchanged my pajama pants for sweat pants to take D to preschool this morning and that's as far as my getting dressed went.) I haven't been this down in weeks but I don't know if it's a side effect from the class or from what happened when I got home. More later, but I promise it's nothing really earth shattering or exciting so no need to worry.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

What happened while we were away

The trip was okay. Mostly what I feel now is exhaustion, partly from not sleeping well and partly from being away from my comfort zone. My niece is very sweet and it was nice to spend time with her. I even wore her in the sling that was supposed to have been for my baby and only almost cried once. Of course she has no problems with me whispering to her about how she makes me miss her cousin even more. My brother is messed up, but everyone just makes excuses for him because it's because of his work. Seriously the way he acts most of the time, you would think it was his baby who was dead. I feel awful for my SIL because she is the one left at home while he is working 14 hour days and she is the one who has to put up with how critical and sensitive he is when he gets home.

A few good things did happen:
- I got to see my university roommate and her husband (who are babyloss parents, inexplicably infertile and in the process of adopting). It nice to talk to her because I don't have to sensor myself about dead baby talk and she doesn't try to tell me that we "just have to relax and keep trying" because she knows that doesn't help.
- I also got to visit my friend R (who sent my this rattle for Reid back in June). We didn't get to have the playdate we planned because her son has chickenpox and we didn't want to risk exposing my niece to it, but the two of us went for coffee. We had a really good talk which included both of us crying in the middle of Starbucks. I also went to her house and met (well, saw) her son which was good cause he's cute and hard because it made me think about what Reid could be like right now. After I got back to my brother's house, I had a huge cry but it felt good to let things out right away. Being with R, also reinforced that I have to deal with my issues with a mutual friend, but we didn't get a chance to talk about her while I was there. R is one of the few people who knows us both so I don't have to explain our history. Hopefully I can work up the motivation to call R soon to start figuring things out.
- My SIL actually asked me what I wanted people to do for Reid's "birthday" next month. Just the fact that she asked made me so happy, because I didn't think that anyone would. Of course I didn't know exactly what to tell her, but did manage to come up with a couple ideas. She also complemented my tattoo, which surprised me because she is pretty traditional, but maybe it was because my brother was not around (which given how grumpy he is, was a good thing)

Time seemed to move fast while we were away. Now I am back to just marking time until AF is supposed to show up this weekend. My hopes keep trying to go up, but I have to claw them back down. Really what are the chances that the month before Reid's 1 year anniversary would be the month that I finally get pregnant?

Saturday, March 5, 2011


I got sick of sitting around waiting for the 2ww to be over so I decided to take off for a few days. D and I drove down to my brother and SIL's for the next few days to hang out with my niece and see a few carefully selected people. I just needed to get away from home and taking temps and FF, who gave me a free VIP preview so now I know exactly when I would be due if this cycle actually worked (which I doubt it will). We left D.G. at home so he could sleep in and play video games all day tomorrow. (He hasn't had the chance to do that since June so it's a break for him too.) You can expect a report on the visit on Tuesday night when we get home to D.G. and my laptop.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Done and done

I finally sent the email on Tuesday night. (yes, the one I started planning to write 2 weeks ago.) I wrote it over the weekend and then it took me until Monday took ask D.G. to read it (only to discover that he had already read it because it was just sitting in the Draft folder the whole time.) I didn't send it until Tuesday night just to be sure I really wanted to still do it. I haven't gotten any sort of reply, but that maybe that's because I sent it to her hot.mail account instead of replying to the birthday message she sent via FB. I don't know why, but I can't do anything serious or confrontational on FB, maybe I am afraid of private things becoming public very easily on FB. If I don't hear something from her by next week, I'll think about sending her a FB message just say there is another message on her hot.mail account. Just the act of sending the email should have been enough to make me feel better but hitting send didn't bring any feelings of resolution.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

11 months

So this is what 11 months is like. Well to be more precise, this is what 11 months of DBM-hood combined with 9 months of unsuccessful ttc is like. (Not that I am implying that successful ttc makes the DBM-hood better, but managing to get knocked up and looking forward to the possibility of bringing home a live baby does affect your perspective.)

I don't have any new earth shattering revelations to make on this anniversary, not that I have had any on any other anniversaries either. But the previous anniversaries felt like moving forward or away from that awful day and this one feels like I am circling back towards it. This anniversary feels like the official start of a count down to the one year mark. This my last month of being able to say that "1 year ago, I was..." and know that it meant I was happy, or at the very least blissfully ignorant of how much worse things could be. This next month is going to be hard.

In order to try to help with that, I signed up for a Yoga for Grief Support class. I do miss taking yoga classes I completely associate the studio I used to go to with pre-natal yoga. There is no way I can do anything meditative unless I'm not going to be the only person in the room crying so this hopefully will be the yoga class for me.

Love to all the other mama's whose baby's anniversary is today.