Sunday, April 27, 2008


The other day, my mom called me to say that random relative x had child #(insert number here). And she was miffed that I asked her why she chose to share this news, about someone that I hadn't seen in forever, with her child who is obviously having difficulty producing a living child. And she thought that I should care that some random relative has popped yet another living child out like Pez. Whoopie. Now, don't get me wrong, I wish happy (and even unhappy) pregnant people well. I wish them nothing but success and none of the heartbreak that I have endured. But don't be dense and expect me not to be sad or wistful when you tell me that so and so is pregnant or just had a child, because my own experience of the past 16 (almost 17 months) has been of pregnancy without living child. I've been pregnant for over 35 weeks since December of 2007 and I got nada, zip, zilch - well, I have 3 dead children that I love and miss very much, but I think you can see what I mean. So, I don't have to be happy for someone else. I don't have to really care, if it's not in my being to do so. I don't have to send a card, or show up for a baptism or deal with my loss on anyone else's terms but my own, because that is all I can do. It is enough to try to keep my own cup full. Getting mad at me because you choose not to recognize that I am sad about losing my beloved babies is not my problem. So, thanks anyway, but I'll pass on the pez.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

sad momma/angry lawyer

Coming home from very lonely places,
all of us go a little mad:
whether from great personal success,
or just an all-night drive,
we are the sole survivors of a world
no one else has ever seen. - John le Carre

Separation of personal pain from professional brain is a concept that is very strange. How does someone live with intense personal pain yet be fully functional, even successful in their daily life? With the exception of having lost Shannon, which overshadows everything in some way, the rest of my life goes on with, of course, the exception of the baby stuff. No baby. Maybe baby. Someday baby? I hope. I plot, I plan, I do my work, I am a wife, mother, daughter and friend, yet I am very alone. Other people feel pain over the loss of Shannon. But no one knows my pain. How people asking me how I am doing brings me back to the brink of tears. How I just miss her. How I would give anything to go back 11 Wednesdays ago and hear her heartbeat again. How 11 Thursdays ago, I cried more tears than I knew a human being had in them. How these 11 weeks since I found out she was gone have been hell. No-one lives in that hell but me and it's very lonely.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

three lines

I used to write a lot. For me. My job involves a lot of writing too, but that is work and it uses a different set of brain cells. Most of my poetry and writing comes from places of sorrow or transition in my life - and it's no different now. My thoughts when I write come from a place that I can't access with my daily brain, it is a place that I can't get to, it just is there on the paper or on the screen when I am done. I write for myself. I've started and ended many journals since I first started journaling. I guess the crisis or whatever prompted the journal faded from my thoughts, and the urge to write faded with it. Shannon doesn't fade.

Wednesday you were there
By Thursday morn you were gone
life's forever changed.

three lines. One about the day before she died, one about the day she died, one about life now.

Why doesn't the loss fade? Why doesn't letting it all out just be it - why is there always more? I accept that there will always be more, if I have another child, if I don't. Learning to live again, learning to breathe again, it's all new now and it is all done knowing that everything has changed. I don't like change. I've stayed at my job for 9 years because I don't like change. I listen to the same music I listened to in the 80's, because I like it more than anything else. It is comfortable. It is familiar. It is safe. When life changes, we try to cling to those things that are familar, comfortable and safe. We try to cling to our past. But the past is gone, my baby is gone, and I have to be and breathe in this new world, without a net. Life's forever changed. And I don't feel familiar anymore.


I see trees of green

"What a wonderful world" was my wedding song. It reminds me of New Orleans and happier times but, at the same time, it is a sad and wistful song. I hear it now, and it makes me think of Shannon, and how she never got to see this world, or experience any of its wonders. And I wonder why. Spring is such a beautiful time of the year, I should be happy, I should have so much to look forward to, but I don't feel as if I do. My little boy is growing up, and my baby is dead, and it feels pretty lonely here sometimes in mommyland. Here I am, more than 10 weeks out from my loss, and I am still fighting with the stupid insurance company over paying for Shannon's delivery. And when I have to call them, it still makes me cry, and I feel so weak for crying because the stupid insurance company made a mistake, which they will have to fix in appeal, or I will sue them over it. It is such a stupid little thing, but it is so huge to me because it is just another indignity that has to be endured after the biggest indignity of all - the loss of my little girl. Someone told me that you are ready to try again for another child when you have the emotional ability to deal with it. I don't think I know what that means anymore. I think the better answer is that you are ready to try again when the fear of loss is outweighed by the desire to have a baby. Because I don't think I will ever *not* be so very very sad about losing Shannon. Not a day goes by when I don't miss and love my little baby. And now, when she should be 28 weeks, just a stone's throw away from meeting her mommy and daddy, instead she is in the ether... and mommy and daddy are really sad. What happens when your baby has been gone for as long as she was here? And what about the day she was due - July 12th? And what about after that? And I think to myself, what a wonderful world?

Monday, April 14, 2008

joining the ranks

Sometimes, when I can't sleep, I surf the world of the dead baby blogs. There are a lot of them out there, and it never ceases to amaze me that such strong women exist and continue to exist, even though their hearts have been broken into millions of pieces. It is reassuring in some ways, because it's hard not to feel alone sometimes. Or that no-one else understands, but the reality is that a lot of people understand or at least know kinda what you are going through. It gives my sorry bitter self hope that there is hope, which I know, despite my being so sad and angry about my losses, but sometimes I forget about that hope part, and it is nice to get a reminder. And these moms, of the dead babies, even though some of them (a reassuring number of them) have gone on to have subsequent children after their losses, they still grieve their lost little one. They still mark each birthday and holiday with the "what could, would and should have beens" of their lost baby. Even years after their losses, they mark their year-time the same way I mark my near-time without Shannon. Every day. It doesn't go away. It will never go away. I will always miss my Shannon, and I will always miss her siblings.

I posted a link to a board that links to a lot of the blogs. I've sent them this blog so that I can join the ranks of the dead baby blogs, so that someone else who can't sleep might feel a little less alone because there is another bitter and twisted mom out there who is sad and angry and missing her baby, but who is still hopeful that there has to be something better ahead.

Shannon - your flowers are blooming from all the rain and the rabbits only eat the white ones (don't ask me why), not the purple and red ones, so enjoy the rainbow garden. I miss you lots and love you more.
i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
i fear no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet)
i want no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the starts apart
i carry you in my heart (i carry it in my heart)
--ee cummings, 95 poems

Thoughts for today

Love is the one thing
death cannot take.
Love is the one bond
that nothing can break.
Love is a cord
that time cannot sever . . .
Yes, love is eternal.
Love is forever.

There is a wee girl
who won't grow up at all.
Did your angel bear her gently
because she was so small?
I wondered that you bothered,
it's such a long long way,
from Heaven to a parent's heart
and then not let her stay.
Forgive the tears and pleading
and bitterness we've shown,
we really did not understand
that she was just a loan.
We forgot in all the sweetness
and joy from day to day,
somehow we never really thought
she'd have so short a stay.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Planting flowers in memory of Shannon

I started a flower garden in memory of my daughter. If the rabbits don't eat everything, it should be full of beautiful flowers soon. It doesn't come close to making me feel better, but at least I feel like I am doing something to beautify the world the way she would have had she lived. I wish there was something that I could do that would take away the pain of losing her, or the pain of my friends who have gone through similar losses, but there isn't anything that can fix that. There are so many people in the world who lost their baby who would have been great parents, while so many children suffer in terrible and cruel homes, and it isn't fair.

I've wondered for a while what I have learned from this loss - and all that I can figure out is that we don't decide when our children come into this world, and we don't decide when they leave, but we love them deeply and we hurt deeply when they are gone. And planning your life around expectations can leave you with nothing if they don't work out, so it might be better to just let things happen. But I still miss my baby and wish she was still here with me.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Two months out of a long lifetime

Two months have gone by. I have said it before, this has been a long two months. Time, with regard to Shannon, moves at a different pace than regular time. And it is amazing how close to the surface the tears still are and how quickly they come. There is a lot of guilt involved in moving on, or moving forward, or just moving. There is no sense that any of this has an end, it just seems that the grief goes on, and sometimes you find some new pot of grief that you hadn't even found before and there you go, back into the grief again. And what comes next? I don't know. I don't know if I will be able to have any more children. How do you know when to give up? When it is time to say enough is enough? All I know is that 8 weeks later, I miss my daughter so much. I didn't know what a broken heart really felt like before now, or how much it hurts. I want my daughter back and it's just not fair.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

"A Pair of Shoes"

I am wearing a pair of shoes.
They are ugly shoes.
Uncomfortable shoes.
I hate my shoes.
Each day I wear them, and each day I wish I had another pair.
Some days my shoes hurt so bad that I do not think I can take another step.
Yet, I continue to wear them.
I get funny looks wearing these shoes.
They are looks of sympathy.
I can tell in others eyes that they are glad they are my shoes and not theirs.
They never talk about my shoes.
To learn how awful my shoes are might make them uncomfortable.
To truly understand these shoes you must walk in them.
But, once you put them on, you can never take them off.
I now realize that I am not the only one who wears these shoes.
There are many pairs in this world.
Some woman are like me and ache daily as they try and walk in them.
Some have learned how to walk in them so they don't hurt quite as much.
Some have worn the shoes so long that days will go by before they think about how much they hurt.
No woman deserves to wear these shoes.
Yet, because of these shoes I am a stronger woman.
These shoes have given me the strength to face anything.
They have made me who I am.
I will forever walk in the shoes of a woman who has lost a child.
Author unknown


If you lose hope, somehow you lose the vitality that keeps life moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you go on in spite of it all. And so today I still have a dream.--

Martin Luther King, Jr

When We Meet Again

How will I know you?
Will it be that I can hold you in my arms
After holding you in my heart
for so long?
Will you whisper my name
In the sweet voice of a little girl?
Or will you cry out like a quiring orchestra
in glorious awakening?
Will you wrap your tiny arms around my neck?
If you do,
I will never let you go.
I am sure I will know you
When our eyes meet
My shattered heart will fill with joy
And we will dance on golden streets.
Will you tell me
That it's been you all along
Protecting and caring for us?
Surely, I will know you
When we meet again.
Because fifty years from now
You will still be my little girl.

-Joanne Cacciatore

Friday, April 4, 2008

Celebrity Preggos

I don't care if Angelina Jolie is having twins. I don't care about J.Lo's spawn. I don't care if Gwen Stefani thinks you should get more than one baby shower. I don't care if Giada had a girl and I certainly don't need her sage baby advice on the Today Show. I don't give a fart about Christina Aguilara or Nicole Richie or any of the other useless wastes of air that are having kids. Why does every freakin' magazine in this country think we do????

There are people in the world who just want a baby, their baby - whether it is a baby they carry themselves, an adopted baby - which is so stupid expensive and complicated in this country, or a baby that science helps with. Most people in this country can't afford traditional or international adoption, they can't afford IVF or IUI, they can't hire a surrogate, they can't afford a donor egg. So what is the freaking obsession with celebrity kids? Why should I care that so and so got her celebrity body back just a week after having her kids - maybe its because when she had her early c-section, they did the tummy tuck too - but they didn't mention that in the article. Or, let's talk about the early c-section - did you need it? Was your health or your baby's health in danger? Or were you just looking for a good week to be in People magazine when no-one else was having a baby? Did you want to try to avoid those last week's stretch marks because they are the worst? Was it worth it to risk your celebrity baby's health to do it? I am not sure that they care because a lot of them seem to have a lot of nannies and butlers and people to take care of their kids for them. But, they aren't working - so why aren't they able to take care of their own kids? They gave birth to them and collected the money from people magazine for the pictures - don't they want to take care of them? Now, not all celebrity moms are like that - some do feed their kids themselves and stuff like that - but they don't seem to be the ones on the covers of the magazines. I am just not sure what is right with this world that this is news.

Maybe it's just me because I'm bitter over my losses. But I doubt it.

Everybody stands where they sit

I've been wondering lately, could this all be worse? Sure it could, but how? Is your pain different because you have kids already vs. not? Probably. I don't think my pain from losing Shannon is less, but I think inherent in the equation is that at some point, my body produced a child. Whether it can or will do that again is where I am totally at a loss, but at some point it did. And I have that. I know that, it's real. And so I don't know what all of this would be like if I didn't have my son. But I am sure that it would be scary. And truthfully, now I worry more about losing him than I ever did before. So, I lost a little there too.

So then, does the fact that I had three losses make this different? Sure. I don't know if my body can do it anymore because it hasn't done it lately - so, I get to worry in the first trimester if I am going to have another first trimester loss; then I get to worry in the second if I am going to have a loss; and then, after that, I get to worry that something bad that HASN'T happened to me yet could happen. And I don't know if that is all that different from any mom who has suffered the tragic loss of their child, but it is really scary.