Saturday, June 28, 2008

in the spotlight, alone

I don't know when, if ever, this pain ends. I thought that it would get easier, but when it seems like it is, then it just goes and starts hurting again. I thought that I'd be pregnant by now, and hoped that a new pregnancy would lessen the pain. But I am not pregnant, and I'm not sure that it would have helped anyway. I thought earlier this week that I had gotten a positive pregnancy test, but it appears that it was either a dud test, or something, because none of the tests since then were positive. In the past weeks, it seems that at least 4 of my friends have found out that they are pregnant. And several people I know have given birth to healthy girls. And I can't bear to hear about it, read about it or see it because it's not me. And it makes me feel bad to feel this way because I feel like I should be able to be there for people who have been there for me, but I can't right now. And, I hate that my body is not cooperating in getting pregnant and I hate that every month, I hear the same thing - that people are pulling for me, that it's my month, that people have a good feeling, that I'll get my rainbow baby soon. None of it matters. And none of it makes me feel any better. I wish it did, because I appreciate the support. And I appreciate that people care. But I also recognize that I have always found it is easier to support other people that it is to have any hope for myself. Believing it myself if entirely another story. And I'd like to believe that when I say crap like that, that it makes someone feel better, and not worse because, more than anything else, I don't want people to feel bad.

All of this just makes me feel like I am under a spotlight - star of the "she's still not pregnant show" and it seems like it is becoming a show that has 1 star - me. This month was my last chance to get pregnant before Shannon's due date. And it looks like we failed again. And it makes me want to just crawl under a rock and not come out. Having another baby won't replace Shannon. But it would be nice to have something go my way. I really really miss her. And I feel like the tears that I do cry aren't even getting close to the well of tears that hasn't opened yet - and I don't know when (or if) it will open, but I am scared. I feel like I am on the edge of an abyss and that if I fall in, I will be gone for a really long time.

Sunday, June 22, 2008


Something really drives me nuts - it is people who are pregnant and who are complaining about every little bit of it. I would give just about anything to be pregnant again. You don't know how lucky you are. So stop complaining.

There is a board on babycenter full of people due in a few weeks, like I would have been, who are just moaning about being 9 months pregnant. Hello??? I am so tempted to go over there and tell them that I'd gladly switch places with any of them if my baby gets to live. Really, sometimes people should go suck it (thanks for that new phrase Christine. It really fits)

One step forward, two steps back

And I've started crying again...seems like it has been weeks, until Friday since I've really cried, then it all started again. The conversation started simple enough... him: well, Matt's a father... me: "well, good for them"-(as if I care). Then the part he didn't want to say - me: well, was it a boy or girl or a tree. him: a tree. me: really? him: they had a girl. me: . . . (except for the stupid tears.) I decided shortly thereafter that I guess it didn't matter because I was never going to meet this child, unless by accident.

Before you think I am more of bitch then you already do, keep in mind that this was the guy who was the best man at our wedding and my husband's best friend since they were kids. And he didn't call for over 6 weeks after we lost Shannon. And he hasn't said a word to me at all. I get that maybe you don't want to talk to the lady who gave birth to her dead baby in her second trimester when you were pregnant with your first child at the same stage - and with a girl to boot - but fuck you - you are supposed to be my husband's best friend and my friend too. So, I'm done. I don't need to get to know your child who is going to be doing everything my little girl would have done, at the same time she would have, except for the being dead part. To me, watching that would be like chewing tinfoil. And I need it like I need a hole in my head.

It's interesting, I don't feel this way about my friends who all had girls earlier this year. I like their babies. I can be with them without crying. I enjoy being with them. It's just the ones who are popping out the kids right now. Because I would have been in the home stretch of my pregnancy, a place where I could have gotten my doctors to induce (as early as this week). And that hurts. And I see how many people who were my indispensible pregnant friends having a baby (or getting close) and suddenly finding me dispensible. And that hurts too.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Dance

Looking back on the memory of
The dance we shared beneath the stars above
For a moment all the world was right
How could I have known you’d ever say goodbye
And now I’m glad I didn’t know
The way it all would end the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance
I could have missed the pain
But I’d have had to miss the dance
Holding you I held everything
For a moment wasn’t I the king
But if I’d only known how the king would fall
Hey who’s to say you know
I might have changed it all
And now I’m glad I didn’t know
The way it all would end the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance
I could have missed the pain
But I’d have had to miss the dance

- Garth Brooks

awful but functioning


This blog is wonderful. As far as deadbabyblogs go, it's good to feel less alone sometimes...

6 by 6

Another group of lostbabymama's posted this 6 by 6 on their blog -

1 In a word, how would you characterize yourself before your loss, and then after?

before - sarcastic .... after - bitter

2 How do you feel around pregnant women?

Anyone due around my due date (or who looks it) is just out of luck. I feel sad and angry around pregnant women. Much less so around those who I know had losses like mine.

3 How do you answer the 'how many children' question?

Sometimes, I mention Shannon. Most times not. It's hard because so few people knew that she was there before we lost her.

4 How did you explain what happened to your lost baby to your living children?

My son knows that he had a sister, who had an accident and died. He was very excited to be a big brother. He still asks questions, and we answer him. He is very curious about death, but that could just be because he is 5.

5 What would another pregnancy mean to you, and how would you get through it—or are you done with babymaking?

A health pregnancy would mean everything to me. It is what we are hoping for. I hope that I am not too old to do this again, and I hope I get my chance. I will get through it like MacGuyver, with chewing gum, tinfoil and a paper clip with which I will create an alternative universe where I will wake up in 9 months with a baby.

6 Imagine being able to step back in time and whisper into the ear of your past self the day after your baby died. What would you say?

I would say that it hurts a little less down the road and I would tell me not to go to the hibachi restaurant where they sing happy birthday every two minutes because it was my baby's birthday too and that really sucked.

thought for today

My storehouse burnt down,
There is nothing to obstruct
The moon-view.

Mizuta Masahide (1657-1723)

Today, my dear old friend from college, Phil called. He told me that he wanted to call me in February, after Shannon died, but he figured that I'd be deluged in calls, and he didn't want to be part of the crush. When I finished laughing at the thought that people reacted to the death of a baby that way, I told him that reactions like that are just not what you get when your baby dies. Most people don't say anything. He wondered what is the right thing to say - I told him it was simple. "man, that sucks. and I am sorry for your loss." That about sums it up.

But, as old friends do, we started catching up on what was new in the million years since we last spoke and he asked me how I was. And I said that, putting aside the great suck that is losing Shannon, I am ok. I am a different person than I was before I lost Shannon, but that I was ok with the person that I was now. I also told him that I was ok with being bitter, it sure beat crying all the time.

He shared with me the haiku above after I told him about how I started purging my life after Shannon died because none of the material things mattered anymore. He understood. It is so nice to be understood sometimes. It is wonderful to have a voice from your past cruise out of the ether and just remind you that you are ok and that you will be ok and that you have friends out there who are going to randomly call you on a Tuesday night because they want to be sure that you are ok. Sometimes it does suck a little less.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Strategic reserves

Much like my son's birthday party, which was just overwhelming in terms of the amount of psychic energy it took not to completely fall apart entirely , I found my son's graduation from pre-school to be a bit too much as well. First off, there were at least 3 massively pregnant women there, two of whom are due in July, just like I was. Then, the kicker, a brand spanking new tiny baby from the mom of one of my son's classmates. This little girl could not have been more than 2 or 3 days old, and she was obviously a bit on the early side. So, essentially, she was what Shannon should be. Except right in my face. And not dead. And it made me cry only because after I said that I was going to go because there were just too many babies, another one of the moms said that she was sorry for my loss and then asked how I was. It was nice that at least someone got why I was sad, my husband pretty much just was encouraging me to leave. Nice. This woman got the sad because she had an early loss a few years ago. Not the same, but still, in some ways, the same.

I think that every day we start off with a finite amount of psychic energy which has to last us all day long. When you are grieving though, a big chunk of that energy is being diverted to every day tasks that previously didn't require any energy. So, when something big comes along, like a birthday party or a graduation or anything else, you just don't have enough there to manage really well and you don't have a reserve to pull from. So you just flounder along and hope that no-one notices that you are a basketcase.

At my son's party, I ended up tuning out a big part of the day and ended up involved in a long conversation with all my fertility and loss moms about fertility and infertility and loss stuff. Anyone happening upon that conversation would have been pretty confused. And I didn't care that I think that I was a terrible hostess. My mother sat there eavesdropping on the whole fertility conversation and I didn't care. She doesn't know about any of the conception issues we are dealing with now, or about my second loss, and if she found out at the party, she hasn't said anything. And my mother in law and mother ended up standing in the kitchen, while I was trying to warm food (in front of the hot oven, no less), and I just about screamed at all of them. Fortunately, only one person saw/heard the mini meltdown. But, truthfully, I just really didn't care.

AND, the pregnant person showed up. I thought she wasn't coming because she had to work, but no, she ended up essentially being the first person there. Yep, that didn't help either. Now, mind you, I love my friend dearly, but enough is enough. I don't need any more reminders of my dead baby who is not coming in July in my house. If she has a girl, I may just go around the bend. But, I only cried once, because all of the pity got to me (I hate pity) I just want my life to go back to normal.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Elective surgery

That is what my insurance company has deemed the delivery of my daughter. Elective fucking surgery. Like I elected this to happen to me. Like I woke up on Thursday, February 7 and decided to check myself into the hospital that afternoon to give birth. Asshats. I guess that, on the bright side, they paid the doctor *something* so that they will finally get off my back about the unpaid bill for my "elective surgery."

Shannon - I love you. Thank you for sending me the beautiful butterflies that like your garden so much. They are not you, but it's something. -- Mommy.

double time to nowhere

Seventeen weeks and five days ago I found out that my seventeen week five day old baby girl was dead. Shannon has now been gone for as long as she was even here. The amount of time that I have been so deeply grieving the loss of my child now exceeds the amount of time she existed as a living being. That blows.

And every day, I wonder, will I ever be happy again? Not sometimes happy, which I am most of the time, not truly happy, which I am not sure I ever was, but just happy? Some mundane, livable version of happy? Every day, I am asked to do the most mundane of things - wake up, shower, go to work, take care of my kid, make sure I look before crossing the street. Some days I don't want to do some or all of these basic things, but I do them. Then, on some days, more is expected. I am expected to host 40 people in my house for a birthday party. I am expected to donate my time. I am expected to speak to people who don't know what to say to me because my daughter died. And sometimes I am expected to be happy for other people who are pregnant. And just like remembering to cross the street, I am. Kinda sorta.

But mostly all I am is sad for me. Sad. sad. sad. I feel terrible that I am so sad, but that is just the way it is. I don't want to be sad. And, in much the same way, I feel terrible that I am not able to be sorta mostly truly happy for others who are closer to getting their baby than I am. I just can't. I can't. If I had some ability to figure out how to unshatter my heart, I would. But there are so many pieces missing right now. I am not sure how I am supposed to get up every day and do all the other things that are expected of me and not be heart-numbingly sad. I hate pity from others, but not as much as I hate pity from myself. I hate feeling like I have to act like everything is ok every day, when every day, I just die a little inside because I am one day further away from my little girl and the life that we were supposed to have. And that really blows.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Otherwise, I am doing mostly ok

I actually kinda marveled at myself for typing those words in an e-mail the other day. I have tried so hard, since my loss, to be honest with people about how I was feeling, about the sadness that is overwhelming, about the anger at losing Shannon, about the crushing loneliness that comes from feeling like you might be the only one still missing your baby. Other that that stuff, I guess I am mostly ok. Sad, angry and lonely, but ok. So, while at first I thought that I was being a big fat liar for saying that I was mostly ok, I guess that I am not a liar. Do I still have terrible days when I just cry? Absolutely. Do I still know that every day that passes is another day closer to my EDD? Absolutely. Is my frustration at trying to conceive again multiplied by the fact that I miss Shannon so much? Absolutely. But I am mostly ok. Will I ever be totally ok? Nope. But that is ok too. Because I will always be me.

I have to make a note to myself to post about how absolutely not prepared I was emotionally and psychologically to have a house full of people for my son's birthday party. I was not ok.

Shannon baby, 17 weeks ago you left me. And I miss you terribly. I will always love you so very much, my first daughter. In just a few short days, you will have been gone for as long as you were here, and that is really hard for me to comprehend. I wish you were here. I hope wherever you are is better than here, because then at least you'd be in a better place than here. For what that's worth. Mommy loves you.