Sunday, February 15, 2009

Friends forever

I had a moment this weekend when I thought it would be ok to post a link to my blog on Facebook. So, I did. For less than 24 hours. And then I took the link down. I don't know why I thought that I was ready to put the blog up, but I guess, in the end, I just wasn't ready.

I guess, for lack of a better way to say it, I am not entirely ready for my land of the living to be invited into my land of the dead. And, reality is that some "friends" might actually be referred to as people who didn't exactly shine when Shannon died. On the other hand, some other "friends" showed me immense love and support. But, I don't know if the casual reader, the person who is looking to find out what I've been up to the "x" years since we last chatted, is looking for more than a place where I express my feelings about loss and life and life without my little girl. The people who might live and/or be more comfortable full-time in the land of the living might not get it.

There is a great book I read in high school, can't remember the title, but it contains the following: Why am I afraid to tell you who I am? I am afraid to tell you who I am because you may not like who I am, and it is all that I have. All of my Shannon world, while stronger than it was just a few months ago, is too new, too fragile, too fresh to me. I'm just not ready. While my world without Shannon is a big part of who I am, I can't write worrying about whether I am going to offend someone who *might* read my blog, figuring that I am going to critique bad tv or write about my love of thin mints, and instead reads something else. Because, those are also parts of who I am. And I caveat that by saying that I don't worry about offending the casual reader who might stumble upon my blog when searching for information about certain "D" list celebrities who *might* share my daughter's name. They are on their on (mostly because I don't know anyone who might actually search for such information)

Memories of a life lost

A Vast and Sudden Sadness

--This article appears in this week's Newsweek. It is about stillbirth and the use of photography to remember our lost babies. Shannon was technically a week and a few days short of being a stillbirth, but it is all the same, regardless of the name you use. The photographs and memories which we made of her help to sustain me through some of the harder days. I am glad, despite the enormous sadness depicted in those photos, that we have them. I will treasure them forever as the visual record of her.

When mom's first find out that their babies died, and that they'll actually have to go to the hospital and go through labor and delivery, they often ask what they should do. I am forever grateful that there were moms out there who told me to bring a camera. Some hospitals actually have a "care package" of sorts for parents like us, which contains a disposable camera. Mine didn't. Some hospitals will take photos for you. Mine did, but lost them and found them months later. But we had our camera, and we have photos of our little girl. They aren't always easy to look at, because the day was so overwhelmingly sad, but they are part of our life, her life, and our memories and short time with our little girl. And they helped.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Was born sleeping on February 8, 2008
in Washington, DC, USA
She died on February 7, 2008.
"She is loved and missed."

Monday, February 9, 2009

One year ago

One year ago, my little girl was born. That day really sucked. Seriously. One year later, it still sucks, but only because I miss her and I still don't understand how it is that such a terrible thing could happen to an innocent creature that had everything ahead of her. I don't get it.

I don't get how some stupid people have 14 kids because they are dumber than a bag of dirt and think that they are some kind of "parenting" expert who will be able to support 14 kids on giving other people advice. Here's some advice - don't listen to stupid women who get 8 babies through IVF and think that is ok. So many of us just want one. The one we lost. The one that broke our heart. The one we didn't get to keep.

I don't get how there are so many moms and dads who don't want the kids they have, who treat them so terribly, who just don't care, who do unspeakably bad things to them. All the while, so many of us mourn what we lost and feel the sadness of the universe bearing down on us. I weep for more than my loss, I weep for the losses of my friends, and the losses of people I don't even know. Because I know what loss feels like.

We did a balloon release for Shannon's birthday yesterday. We set two balloons free - one yellow and one pink. And, because nothing is easy, they went right into a tree. The yellow one worked its way free first, and ran right into another tree. Eventually the yellow one got free of the second tree and went on its way, hopefully to brighten the evening of my evening star. The pink one - well, it got free of the first tree and went right for the second tree. One bounce, two bounces, three bounces, POP!, no more pink balloon. So, being the anal retentive tree-hugger that I am, I trotted off into the street to pick up the carcass of the pink balloon and brought it home. I'll put it in Shannon's memory box as just another pathetic reminder of a rather pathetic year. Then, my husband said, I don't like pink anyway. I said, neither do I. I'd like to think that Shannon let that balloon pop because, being my child, she just wouldn't have been that into pink either. At least the yellow one flew free. Frankly, I'd have rather have just had her here instead. Oh well.

Shannon - we miss you lots and love you more. I don't think Happy Birthday is right, because there was nothing happy about the day that we said hello and goodbye for the first and last time. You'll never be forgotten, my little one... I love you. --mommy

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The day before....

The day before Shannon died. Wednesday, February 6, 2008. I was so sick Monday that I stayed home Tuesday. On wednesday, we had a workman coming to install ceiling fans, so I went to work and took Sean to school.
I remember using my doppler that morning and listening to my baby, never realizing that I'd never hear that sound again. I remember lying there, with the doppler, just listening for what seemed like a long time that day. Who knew that it really was such a short time?

On the way home that day, I remember being so very angry at my son for telling a lie. I was really angry. Who knew how stupid that was at the time?
I remember having so much trouble going to sleep that night because of my stuff nose. I remember taking a sudafed and sleeping all night. Who knew that I wouldn't wake up from the nightmare that awaited me when I opened my eyes that next day?

That was the day before. Who knew that it was going to be the last day of my old life? Who knew that was the last day I'd still believe that happiness was really attainable? Who knew that my life now seems more appropriately among the dead and grieving, instead of in life?

Things really do change in a heartbeat (or the lack thereof). Who knew?