Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Capture Your Grief: Day 31


No sunset here tonight. Too many grey clouds and yes, that is snow.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Capture Your Grief:Day 30

Your Grief - Tell The World

Capture Your Grief: Day 29


I actually avoided music as much as possible in the months after Reid died. Songs either made me horribly sad (all the lyrics could be made to fit my situation) or horribly angry (why did those stupid people keep whining about their insignificant problems?). I ended up crying in the car so many times when I went places with D.G. and D because they insisted on listening to radio stations that played music. D was in the midst of her major Beatles phase during that time (hence the name of this blog) so I couldn't prevent all music from being played in our house. I could handle most of the music on the Number 1's CD, but I always skipped Yesterday. D actually started referring to it as "the sad song" and would rush to skip it herself so mommy didn't start crying again. I still find it impossible to listen to without crying.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Capture Your Grief: Day 28


So many of my memories from the last 2 and half years are dark and painful. All the darkness definitely has cast a shadow over the 9 months we had with Reid. Maybe someday I'll be able to look back on that time without bitterness over what might have been. 

There are no pretty pictures to go with the dark times. When I was sobbing uncontrollably on the kitchen floor, I never thought, "I should  get out my camera to document this moment for later." Even though I no longer cry like that on a regular basis, I still remember how it felt to cry that way, to need to cry that way and to try to stop the tears before I broke apart completely and permanently.

(trying to stop from falling behind too far because I'm sick yet again)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Capture Your Grief: Day 27


Art comes in many forms. I have received a painting and figurines and some other pieces in honor of Reid. I just received this wonderful gift (and two matching ones for the girls) this week. I consider it to a beautiful piece of art that just happens to have a practical use.

(G, I love it, it IS perfect! Although my photography is not.)

Friday, October 26, 2012

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Capture Your Grief: Day 25

Baby Shower

I never had a baby shower for Reid. Even before Reid died, I wouldn't have had a baby shower before the baby arrived. Mostly because meeting the baby is most of the fun of a baby shower and at least partly because it seemed presumptuous to have a party before the baby arrived. (Not that I actually thought something would go wrong, it's just the way things are done where I grew up.) I did have a lunch with my co-workers right before starting maternity leave and they gave me a few onesies and a very generous gift card to buy baby stuff. The onesies got saved for C.S. and the gift card became my "REID" bracelet.

There weren't a lot of other things that were bought/made for Reid; a bassinet, a new ring sling, his going "home outfit" and some blankets. We didn't know his gender before he was born and we hadn't known for D either so we already had a gender neutral nursery ready for our second baby. We just didn't know that Thing 2 would never get to use that nursery.

Capture Your Grief: Day 24


Reid's sisters.

D doesn't truly remember because she was so young and C.S. can't remember him because she came after. I want so much for them to always love and remember their brother but some days I have no idea how to teach them about him.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Capture Your Grief: Day 23

Their Name/Photo

Another very tough one for me. Just writing about this hurts so much. I can't bear to go the FB event and see all those pictures of tiny babies wearing little hats and lovingly swaddled in special blankets.

We have so few pictures of Reid and they are so terrible because the nurses weren't allowed to remove the breathing tube and no one told us we could have bathed him or dressed him. Only D.G., D and 2 friends have ever seen those pictures.

I have a lot of bitterness about the fact that no one told us that we would want pictures of him later. We were in shock and had no clue what to do. It was the middle of the night on a holiday weekend so of course the social workers and support staff who normal get involved in infant deaths were away from the hospital. I feel like the system failed us. Someone who had been through stillbirths with other patients should have sat down with us and told us all the things that we might want to do with Reid right then, because this would be our only chance. Silly hospital union rules prevented anyone from mentioning NILDTS and my friend whose son died 5 months before Reid and is a photographer was out of the province. Even if I had refused to be a part of it, someone should have taken the pictures and told us they would be there for us when we were ready for them. I would give so much to have proper pictures of Reid. and proper memories of carrying for my son's body to go with them.

I am very grateful for the artist who took the few terrible pictures we have and turned them into this beautiful sketch. I still guard it very carefully and it will not be posted on FB.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Capture Your Grief: Day 22

Place of Care

The hospital building where Reid was delivered shut down a couple months after he died. All the patients and staff were moved into a new building, literally next door. It was good for me as it let me keep the same doctors who knew what we had been through with Reid, without having to go back to that place. The new hospital is beautiful, filled with art and light and I know it well after I spent 2 weeks there on bed rest on top of C.S.'s actual delivery.

This picture was taken a few minutes after C.S.'s delivery. I felt very supported and well cared for that evening.

On the left is Dr.K, who I first met the night of Reid's birth and who stuck with me all the way through C.S.'s delivery. She got me in for U/S's on short notice and offered me anything I needed to feel safe during my subsequent pregnancy. She came to visit me while I was on bedrest and came to the hospital on her own time to hold my hand through the c-section prep and actual surgery. On the right is the nurse who was my L/D nurse when they wheeled me into surgery on April 3, 2010. When the hospital moved, she switched to a women's surgery position. The day we delivered C.S., she was working the late shift, which she normally doesn't, and when she saw my name on the list for surgery that evening (we had been bumped back 5 hours due to emergency surgeries), she stayed even later to be there with us. The nurse who did all my pre-op paperwork for C.S.'s delivery had also been my first L/D nurse the night I arrived at the hospital in labour with Reid. (I didn't recognize her, but I blame that on the whole being in labour without drugs followed by having my world destroyed thing.) It was good to be surrounded by people who knew what we had been through and knew how hard/scary/exciting it was to be there to deliver our third baby. No one brushed off our concerns and everyone was genuinely happy for us.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Capture Your Grief: Day 21

Sacred Space

This is a tough topic for me. My mom once accused me of turning the "baby room" into a shrine because I had all of Reid's things arranged in the crib. It wasn't truly a shrine, it was just a practical way to keep Reid's things safe from his curious and less than gentle big sister. It was also nice to have a space to go and sit with Reid's things and let the tears flow in private. Obviously I had to move everything to make room for C.S. and I was very glad to have a live baby who needed that crib, but the bottom drawer of my dresser is a lot less spacious than a while room. I actually miss looking at Reid's things and sending love his way when I passed by the room while going about daily life. Maybe some day in the future if I end up with a space that is exclusively mine, there will be a physical space devoted to Reid beyond the shelf he has in our living room. For now his space is with me and in the drawings his big sister includes him in.

(He's 2nd from the left between D and C.S.)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Capture Your Grief: Day 20

Our local babyloss support group has helped me and so many others. They offer local support group meetings as well as long distance support via email and telephone and send care packages around the world
(If you want to see me and D.G in our sleep-deprived post C.S.'s arrival glory, we are in the video around the 7m45s mark.)

Friday, October 19, 2012

Capture Your Grief: Day 19


I've done quite a few crafts and projects since losing Reid, but I think the ones that helped me the most were the Christmas ornaments. It started with an ornament for an ornament swap the first Christmas after Reid died and after that I just kept going.Each one was a gift for a babyloss mama.

Last year's production was limited due to the stint of bed rest, but hopefully I will make more than 2 this year. I'd much rather hot glue wrapping paper onto an ornament than be trapped in a mall pretending that I don't want to crawl into bed and hide until January 2nd.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Capture Your Grief: Day 18

 Family Portrait

This is as close as I get to having all my kids in the same picture. It was taken at our Walk to Remember this year. I was happy that they could still fit into their Thing 1 and Thing 3 t-shirts from Reid's 2nd birthday in April.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Capture Your Grief: Day 17


One of our family traditions for Reid's birthday is cupcakes for breakfast. This year for his 2nd birthday we had chocolate-chocolate chip cupcakes with peanut butter icing. I could almost imagine how much  of a mess a 2 year old little boy could make with those cupcakes. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Capture Your Grief: Day 16


From Reid's first birthday, April3, 2011.

Monday, October 15, 2012

October 15th, 2012

For Reid and all the other sweet babies whose time here was much too short...

Capture Your Grief: Day15

I think I have posted about his before, but I can't find it so I'll just ramble on again. I am so proud of all you that posted pictures and messages on your FB profiles in honor of your babies. I just can't make myself do it. I am more afraid of the lack of understanding and support that I would receive from the people who don't get it than I am afraid of being alone in my remembrance. I know that those who care and understand are already here. I strongly feel the need to protect myself and my son from those who don't.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Capture Your Grief: Day 14


The babyloss community for me takes many forms.

I attended my first support group meeting just 8 days after Reid died and I kept going every month until my subsequent baby arrived. (I just got home from a meeting now so I'm not done yet either.) Sometimes you need to be able to physically see that you are not the only one. 

The Walk to Remember in our area just marked it's 5th anniversary and we have been at the last three walks. Not even rain and snow would keep me away. Because of the event's size, it's not as personal as I would like, but it's good to have a very public way to acknowledge our son.

The online community, the bloggers and the blog readers and Glow In The Woods, they kept me going on a daily basis for months. Those women and their support mean the world to me and I will think of them with love and gratitude for the rest of my life.

The photo is from our first Walk to Remember in 2010, when my online and real life babyloss communities briefly overlapped and I bawled all over Kate, one of the founders of Glow In The Woods.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Capture Your Grief: Day 13

I don't believe in signs. I don't feel like seeing butterflies or rabbits or dragonflies or rainbows is a message from Reid. I like seeing those things and but they just are nice things and they also make D happy to see them as well.  I don't have any issue with people who do feel they are signs, it just doesn't feel that way to me.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Capture Your Grief: Day 12


I don't have a scent I associate with my son, but I do have a scent I associate with being pregnant. I bought this lotion to rub on my belly while pregnant with Reid. I can't bear to use it now, but I also can't throw it away.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Capture Your Grief: Day 11

Supportive Friends

I am lucky to have 2 wonderful friends who have worked very hard to support me after the death of my son. Neither of them has had a loss yet they have been the ones who remember all the anniversaries and holidays and send me emails to let me know they think of Reid on a regular basis. G and R, you have saved my life more than once in the last 2 and half years, I love you.
This is the rattle R gave me right after Reid died. (And the painting in my Day 10 picture was a gift from G.)

9 Months

Yes, C.S. is officially 9 months old now.

- She is the proud owner of 6 teeth. All 4 top ones came in the first 2 weeks after hitting 8 months. I could wish she was done for a while, but the red cheeks and finger chewing say otherwise.

- She is a speedy little monkey. Set her down on her belly and she is off to the races. Some times I think she is pushing up to try to learn proper crawling but not yet. I think it might be a different story if we had carpet in stead of hardwood for her to slide on.

- I think she is prepping for another growth spurt as some rolls that had disappeared are back and she was up all night two nights ago nursing.

- C.S.'s favourite activity (besides all forms of eating) is standing. Either while holding my hands or on her own next to the ottoman or a chair or the side of the bathtub. She just loves standing and bouncing.

- She is working on waving, refuses to even try clapping and likes to yell "Da, da, da" at the stop of her lungs.

On to the cute baby pictures....

How old did you people say I am now?

 Never mind, I'll check for myself.

You know if you want big smiles, instead of making fools of yourselves, you should take pictures of me in the morning, not 10 minutes before bath time.

I'm pretty sure I could get down from here if the big people were distracted for long enough.

 (And yes she wore a sleeper all day today. It was a clean one, not the one she slept in. When it snows on October 10th, you need to dress in something warm where the little feet can't get bare and cold.)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Capture Your Grief: Day 10


My symbol for Reid is a red gerbera daisy. Red because Reid means red-haired and a daisy because it is one of the flowers for April, his birth month. A lovely friend had this one painted for me for Reid's first birthday.

Capture Your Grief: Day 9

Special Place

This is the section of our garden than has been devoted to Reid. The two big trees are Tartarian Maples also known as Hot Wings because their seed pods are bright red. This year I added 2 gerbera's that are supposed to be perennials (but we will see). There are statues of three geese that were wedding gifts way back when and I have been looking for 2 more like then to complete the goose family. There are also some daffodils for Freddie that I saved when we replanted this bed last summer.

(Please ignore the weeds, I just couldn't keep up with them once C.S. started eating grass every time we tried to hang out outside. Also this picture was taken about 3 weeks ago. If you looked at it today, you would see snow, yes SNOW.)

Monday, October 8, 2012

Capture Your Grief: Day 8


My charm bracelet with Reid's name, clear stones to represent April's birthstone and a teddy bear because there are bears on the box that hold his ashes and because his big sister picked out a pooh bear toy to be her first gift to him.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Capture Your Grief: Day 7

What To Say 


And repeat it at least once a month until I tell you you don't need to say it anymore.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Capture Your Grief: Day 6

This one is hard for me. I know plenty of people said the usual insensitive things to me, but I don't think there were any whoppers like some of the things posted by the mamas in the FB event. If there were, time has given me the gift of forgetfulness about the people's lack of understanding.

What sticks with me the most is the people who said nothing, ever, like my own brother. Or the people who send cards and emails right after but then said nothing for months. Or the people who were supportive for the first month and then said nothing for months except for including me in the completely insensitive mass email about the safe arrival of their own baby.

My mom made the standard excuses for them all; it's hard to know to say, they don't want things to be awkward so they don't bring it up, they don't want to upset you by saying the wrong thing. What's hard is leaving your baby in a morgue and making arrangements to have them cremated. What's awkward is having to call government agencies and hr departments and explain that you are applying for bereavement leave, not parental leave. What's upsetting is having your baby die and then having most of the people you know not care enough to do something "hard" or "awkward" when you are going through the worst pain of your life.

11 years

It's our wedding anniversary today! Not a lot of celebrating going on with me running a fever, unable to have wine because of the antibiotics and complaining about the aches and pains. (and having an infected breast is enough to turn off even my poor deprived hubby.) We had hoped to at least go out for dessert and a drink but that will have to wait.

He and D did bring me flowers today so there was some normal anniversary activity. D.G. decided to buy flowers and D decreed that they must have a flower like "mommy's tattoo".

It's also Thanksgiving weekend here. I am thankful to have C.S. here, thankful that D knows that I love red gerbera daisies and thankful that we have made it to 11 years. (And hopefully soon I will get to be thankful for AB's and for being healthy too.)

Friday, October 5, 2012

Capture Your Grief: Day 5

I was always too scared of the pain to seriously consider getting a tattoo, although I admired the work others had done. That all changed when Reid died. I knew if I could live with the constant pain of not having him with me, I could endure some temporary pain in order to carry a memorial for him with me always.

Capture Your Grief: Day 4

Most Treasured Item
There are so many items I treasure. The most special ones pretty much bring me to tears every time I see them so they live in the bottom drawer of the dresser next to my bed. This blanket is the thing I take out of the dresser and hold when I am feeling lowest. I made it for Reid and although he was never wrapped in it, it is his. The blanket was originally big enough to swaddle Reid but I felt the need to split it up last year. One piece of it is in the memory box that holds his ashes and what was to be his coming home outfit. Another piece is under the blankets of his little sister's crib and the other piece is mine.

(apologies for the crappy i.Phone photography but I am trying to obey doctor's order and rest)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

We interrupt this meme to bring you...

... Another round of mastitis. Seriously this is punishment for not being sufficiently sympathetic when Angela got sick last month. I hate mastitis and have no idea why I have it this time. It's not like C.S. slept through the night. I am currently waiting at the urgent care clinic to get some antibiotics. Hopefully I will spend less than 2.5 hours here, but I doubt it.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Capture Your Grief: Day 3

Self Portrait after loss
I looked through hundreds of photos to find something to post today. The only pictures that truly show how I felt on the inside after April 2010 are from the hospital and they are far too painful to share. After that I did a very good job of avoiding being in front of a camera for a year and a half. And I wore sunglasses any time I left the house.I just felt so hideous and fat and ugly and I didn't want anyone to see me. My husband took this picture in our back yard while I was watching D run through the sprinkler. Even while watching her at her happiest, I was fighting not to cry.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Capture Your Grief: Day 2

Self Portrait Before Loss
September 2009 when I was just 2 months along and baby #2 was our little secret. I had no idea that I would never hold my big girl and her little brother in my arms at the same time.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Capture Your Grief: Day 1

7:42 AM October 1, 2012

From Carly Marie's Capture Your Grief project.

Walk To Remember 2012

We walked to remember in September this year. (The first Saturday of October falls on Thanksgiving weekend here and I can see why the organizers decided to avoid that conflict.) It was a crazy day for us because we had a swimming lessons, a birthday party and the Walk to attend. Despite my worries on the drive to there, (I felt like such a horrible mom to Reid for being late to one of the few public things we can do for him)  we made it there on time to register and still had time to  donate 2 teddy bears and have some cupcakes before we did the actual walking part. There were no helium balloons this year but I actually really liked the bubbles they handed out instead. They were much easier to carry around before the release and they were great for the brothers and sisters to play with during the whole name reading/release ceremony. It was really pretty sitting in the grass in the sunshine with little bubbles drifting all around us. And this way I could blow bubbles for all the babies whose mama's I know not just for Reid. (I was looking for and found Gavin, Noah and Kaelen's names while we were walking.)

The girls still fit into the "Thing 1" and "Thing 3" shirts I got for Reid's 2nd birthday and it was warm enough that they didn't have to wear jackets over then either. You would think that at an event like this, I wouldn't need to explain that Reid is Thing 2, but it still happened.

The only thing that didn't turn out was the rest of the photos of the afternoon (I am trying very hard not to be mad at D.G. for that.) but at least I got these ones. I hope that everyone gets such lovely weather for their October remembrance events where ever they are.