Monday, November 7, 2011

Tomorrow is the day

So, tomorrow is the same time in this pregnancy that I would have lost Love.  21w3d.

I don't really know how I feel about all of this.  I am feeling really good these days (thank you Mila), and am feeling strong, energetic, and clear minded.

But... I am haunted too.  Which, is understandable I guess.

Sorry, but this post isn't going to have any radical epiphanies or anything.  I don't really know what I think.

I am just sad.  I miss my baby girl.  But I am embracing this little bundle in my belly who is kicking me as I type this.

I guess you really can be happy and sad all at the same time.

I just wanted to mark the occasion here.  I am still reading and still thinking of all of us every day in the BLM community.

And to my darling Love: I miss you with every ounce of my being.  I love you more than ever, and wish every minute that you were still here with me.  Mommy will never, ever, ever forget you. Kisses and hugs.  And more kisses.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Feeling good these days...

I am 13 weeks+ now, and am feeling great!  This has actually been my easiest pregnancy so far.  I only had about 2 days of nausea this time (as opposed to 3 months), and my energy wasn't as low this time as it was the other 3 times.  So, I am doing something right!!

Well, it is a combination of things.  I have started my own company with Lifemax, and have been taking my Mila every day since before I got pregnant.  For those of you who haven't heard of Mila before, it is a blend of Chia seeds and is jam packed with Omega 3's (3000mgs!!!), Fibre, Protein (and it's a whole protein which is hard to find in a plant based food), antioxidants, and vitamins and minerals.  It is the healthiest whole raw food on the planet, and it has changed my life.  I never say cheesy shit like that, but it's true.  Apparently only 5% of the population get the proper amount of Omega 3's in their diet, and Mila has more nutrition in one scoop than most people get in a week!!  So, I am sure that it has helped me to feel much better this pregnancy.  Plus, the added benefit to my growing baby of all of the Omega 3's for his or her growing body and brain.  This is going to be one smart little cookie!

And if you knew me in person, you would know how crazy it is for me to go on and on about a healthy food.  I am usually the person who buys a bottle of vitamins, takes one or two, and then puts them in the cupboard until they stale-date and i have to throw them out.  I am not a health fanatic.  But... When I started taking Mila I felt differences right away, and that's why I just HAD to join the business.  Why not make some money doing something I love, right??

::

On Wednesday, Andy and I went and had our Nuchal Translucency ultrasound (because I am over the ripe old age of 35, I am considered an aging mom...).  I was excited at first, but as soon as I laid down on the bed I realized that in a few minutes, the doctor could give me really bad news.  I got super nervous and could hardly breathe.  But, it turns out all is well, and my chances dropped to less than a 1 in 1000 chance of having a baby with Downs Syndrome or Spina Bifida.  So, that was a huge relief.  The baby was super cute too.  It was jumping around, and it actually punched my uterus!!  The little brat.  Then it started sucking it's thumb.  I mean, how friggin' cute is that???  lol

Once we left the ultrasound, I actually allowed myself to get a little bit excited about this pregnancy.  I had been feeling numb up until now.  I still find it hard to accept "congratulations" from people without wanting to say "Whoa, not so fast. Let's just see this little one come out on time and ALIVE first, shall we??".  But I am getting better about the whole thing.

I am also already getting HUGE!!  I look like I am bout 4-5 months pregnant already, and I'm only 13 weeks!  But, this is my fourth pregnancy and my third in a year, so it's no wonder I guess.  But, that is also helping me to get excited.  Watching my belly grow is kind of cool.  I really am trying to enjoy this one because it will be my last pregnancy.

I had my cervical cerclage put in on Friday as well.  I was so freakin' scared for that procedure, because it was my third one.  I was about to have a mental breakdown over the whole thing for a few reasons:

  • I have to get a spinal anesthetic, and when I had Love I got a spinal leak which took 6 weeks to heal, so to say I didn't want to get a needle in my back is a HUGE understatement
  • I HATE the feeling of lying on the bed with my crotch exposed to a room of about 8-10 people wandering around "getting ready" for the procedure.  It is so humiliating.
  • I HATE the feeling of having my lower half be paralysed
  • I HATE the feeling of being able to 'feel' what the doctor is doing, even though I don't feel any pain.  It is way too creepy
  • Oh, and let's not forget that last time I got my cerclage put in, I got a staph infection that resulted in the death of my daughter and turned septic throughout my whole body which almost killed me too.
So, before the procedure, I asked if I could go under a general anaesthetic.  He said that would be fine, so that's what we did.  That really eased my mind, and in the end, it did make the procedure a whole lot easier!!  I mean, I got to sleep through the whole thing.

But....

The recovery was AGONIZING!! I guess I didn't realize it before because I was totally frozen down below, but when I came to this time, my cervix was SCREAMING at me "WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO ME????????" lol  The nurse was loading me full of Morphine and other such drugs.  That's gotta be good for the baby....  Anyways, it's all over now, and I am happy it is DONE. It took about 2 days to full recover, but I am feeling pretty good now.  I just have to remember to take it easy and not to push myself.

The doctor ended up putting me on an antibiotic about an hour before my procedure and I am on it for a week after to ensure no infection takes hold this time.  It is really just a precautionary measure, because my doc says that what happened to me basically NEVER happens, and the chances of it happening again are next to nil, but we are mostly doing it for my piece of mind.

So here we are, the cerclage is in, the baby is healthy, and I am huge.  That's it in a nutshell.

Oh, and Avery is getting big and he is so cute, and I just know he is going to be the best big brother ever.  I still struggle with telling him about the baby. I want to tell him, and would love for him to get excited, but I just feel like that jinxes it somehow.  That is the part I am struggling with right now.  Oh well.


Monday, August 15, 2011

Scared to Update

Hi there.  I have been here for the last while, always reading, sometimes commenting...  I have been in a weird place lately, and haven't known how to share this next chapter.

I still miss my daughter every day, but the tears are fewer and further between.  I did have one of those vivid dreams last night that had me wracked in tears in my sleep, and I woke up exhausted.  I relived the night of Love's delivery in my dream, with some major dreamlike differences: Love came out able to walk and was running around the delivery room and I couldn't catch her no matter how hard I tried.  The details are very sketchy now, but I cried and cried as I realized that I would never hold her again.  When I woke up I was just drained and I have carried it with me all day.

Bad dream aside, things have been going pretty well.  I have had a busy summer with the family, and Avery is keeping me busy as usual.  He is just getting to be such an interesting and hilarious little guy, and I am just loving watching him become an independent little boy (when he is not demanding "Mommy uppie" or "Mommy play too" or "Mommy come too!".  You know, other than those times he is getting independent.)

We have gone to the lake to rest while Andy works, and we just got back from a few days on the hubbies parents boat which was LOVELY.  Gramma was a great help and I got a lot of help with Avery.  I actually read a book on the boat!!!!  It was pretty amazing.

The weather this summer has pretty much been shit on a stick, but the last two weeks have been lovely, so we are trying to pack as much in as we can to take advantage of what is left of the summer.

Anyways, in addition to all the family fun, I found out somewhat unexpectedly that I am pregnant.  I am now 9 weeks along, but found out at about 4 weeks.  The reason I say "unexpectedly" is that Andy and I were talking about thinking about trying again.  We weren't "doing much" to make it happen yet, and I was looking forward to taking the summer off of pregnancies to enjoy margaritas on the patio, and white wine with dinner, and beer on the hot days by Avery's little pool. I was hoping to put off the nausea until the summer heat had passed and we were in the cool of the fall.  But life had other plans.

I honestly didn't think that Andy and I had even gotten frisky during my ovulation.  We had family for a visit for a few days (very thin walls in this house = no hanky panky when the parents are visiting) and then Andy was off to Gun Lake to work for 2 weeks.  While he was in Gun Lake I was sure I was ovulating, so I thought for sure I wasn't or couldn't be pregnant.  So, when I was late with my period by 4 days I went to the pharmacy and bought pads and a pregnancy test.  You know, to cover all my bases. I couldn't wait to get home to take the test, so when Andy and Avery and I went to the coffee shop that morning I slipped away to the loo and took the test.  It took a while to register, so for a while I thought the test was negative.  But, after I washed my hands etc, I took one last look at the test before throwing it in the trash and my eyes almost popped out of my head.  There, in front of me, was a very faint second line!!  What??!!??  I couldn't believe it.  I was shaking and excited and nervous and terrified.  And in shock.  I don't know how this little one made it in there, but here we are.  Andy couldn't believe it either when I told him.

So, here we are five weeks later.  I am still just getting used to the idea of having a baby.  But, it is early days, and we all know that pregnancy does not automatically = baby.  So, I am taking it day by day.  This time is different though.  I am not excited to tell people.  I am scared as hell about getting my cerclage on Sept 9th.  I am nervous about the million and one things that could go wrong.  None of this stuff bothered me in previous pregnancies, but I guess it's because I have a 66% failure rate so far with my pregnancies that I am more of a nervous wreck this time.

I have wondered how it will be received to share this news here. Some of you are struggling with fertility, some are not ready yet to try, some are recently pregnant also.  I am just hoping that someone out there will know what this mixed bag of emotions is like, and might be able to relate to my excitement/horror/joy/fear shit mix that I am feeling.

Oh yeah, I am due on St.Paddy's day: March 17th 2012.  Fingers crossed that I have something to celebrate with green beer!!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The weight was lifted. Sort of.

I have been thinking a lot about why I have been feeling better as of late (when the hubby is away I have more time to think.  Go figure.).

I realized that a few things led to this:

One is that all of my friends have finally had all of their babies.  Thank God.  It was like a friggin' horror parade around here of babies babies babies.  It was all so much fun when I was a part of the action too (remember when you were a kid and you would say to your besties "when we grow up let's all have our babies AT THE SAME TIME.  It will be so much FUN!!!), but it lost all of it's lustre when Love died, and it turned from fun to torture.  Anyway, now there are four healthy happy little girls squirming around my friends and I am thankful that the anticipation of each and every one of them is finally over.

The other main reason I am feeling better is that my due date has finally passed.  May 31st was a really hard day, but I must say that it feels so fucking good to not have that looming ahead of me any more.  That was just torture to look forward to and think about.  But now, it's over and done.  Of course it didn't really fix anything, I should have a one month old right now, and I will continue that "she should be this old" count as my life goes on.  But at least it's not really a "countdown", or a day in the future to dread.  Having my due date pass made the pain of it all seem less sharp, more easy to deal with.  It literally felt as though a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders.

Also, the sun and nice weather have helped a lot too.  I am kind of glad that all of this happened when the weather was shitty and rainy and snowy and cold.  I was able to stay inside and hibernate away from all the 'normal' people out in the world who didn't have their baby just die.  But now the sun is shining, my flowers are blooming (except my rose bush that my sister in law bought for me in memory of Love just after she died that is the "Sweetness" variety, that I think is now dead.  The irony is NOT lost on me.), and it is just generally nice to be out and about.  Avery is loving our new house, and has figured out his run bike so that keeps us busy, and life seems pretty okay.

But, please do not misunderstand.  I still have bad days, bad hours, bad minutes.  I still get blindsided by my grief, or a memory from the hospital or from my pregnancy will become crystal clear in my mind and I will be transported to that moment in time and I will need to hold on to something secure to keep me from falling apart.  But those are fewer and further between.  And, I can rebound a little easier.  Which is nice.

I am feeling less and less defined by this awful experience, and more and more hopeful for the future (although one funny - and I'm using the term 'funny' loosely here - side affect of Love's death is that now I am a lot more paranoid.  Every freckle is skin cancer, every headache is a brain tumour, if Andy is late I think he is dead on the side of the highway.  I guess it's because I know now that shitty things don't happen "to somebody else".  They can happen to me and to those I love.  That is fucking scary.) So, other than my paranoia, I guess I am feeling better about the future, and hell, even the present.

But I still miss my little girl, so very much.  That will never change.

First time with Pics!! Hey, that was easy!

Well, things have been pretty quiet here in my blogosphere.  Feeling pretty good lately, which is nice.

I got an email from my hubby the other day, and at the end, he put "I love you and Avery", and then he wrote "Hey, that's all four of us together again".  And I was going, huh?

He meant:

I (Andy) love (Love) you (me) and Avery (Avery, obvs).

I thought that was so sweet, it brought tears to my eyes.

We are at the beginning stages of trying to conceive again.  I find it very scary, but I am also somewhat okay with it.  It all boils down to the fact that I want to have another child, and in order to do that.... Well, you know how it works.

So, I will keep you posted as we progress.  Luckily, we have not experienced infertility in the past, so I am hoping it won't take too long.  But, I am not getting any younger and things change so I am not counting my chickens.

::

Andy has been working up at Gun Lake near Goldbridge BC lately and invited my sister and Avery and I up there to see him.  We had a blast.

This is the view from the house.  Not too shabby.

The house we beautiful too, and we stayed in the guest caboose which was actually an old caboose that was retrofitted as a guest house with all the comforts of home.  It was really cute.  

It was so nice to spend time with my son and sister.  

This is me and Avery.  That is my headless sister in the background.

Andy will still be up there for a few more days, but we came home yesterday to return the dog in the background to his owners (We were dogsitting.  He was not dog-napped.), and so my sister could return to Vancouver for work.  

Okay, that was my first foray into adding pictures.  It was actually pretty easy!!  Just FYI: I am very careful not to upload people's pictures onto the net without their permission, hence no sister head or hubby.  Also, the house isn't mine so I don't want to post pics.  But believe me when I say it was beautiful.

Anyhoo, that is our life in a nutshell for now.  

Oh, but there was this little gem of a conversation with my sister:

Sis: "So, your parents in law don't have a granddaughter do they?" 
Me: "Yes they do!"
Sis: "Who??"
Me: "LOVE!!!!!"
Sis: Oh, well....(silence)

Nice.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Shame on them!

The Canucks game was last night.  Riots followed.  Lame.

Who does that?  Aren't there worse things going on in the world other than a bunch of guys not getting a puck into a net enough times?  I mean, really.  It's a gaaaaaaaaaaaaame!!

All of those people give us Canucks fans, Vancouverites, and Canadians a bad name.

How embarrassing.

Just for the record: Those were NOT true Canucks/hockey fans.  Those were a bunch of IDIOTS being idiotic.  They would have done that had the Canucks won or lost.

My apologies to all who had to witness such foolishness.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Soon the space will be too small...

I absolutely LOVE this blogosphere.  You put a question out there, and you get an answer!  Well, maybe not always, but I did this time.

A heartfelt THANK YOU to "by the brooke" for forwarding me this beautiful answer to my question: Where is Love??

In my last post, I was struggling with the thought of Love not just being gone, but GONE gone.  How could such a lovely little creature who filled my heart with love and changed my world forever cease to exist?  I just couldn't wrap my head around it.

Well, Brooke forwarded me an article and sound clip from Glow in the Woods that spoke of that very topic.

Listen here:
http://www.glowinthewoods.com/storage/lhasa-desela.mp3,

and read the whole article here.

As I listened to Ihasa De Sela explain where we came from and where we are going, tears rolled down my cheeks.  I was filled with a calm as the picture of our origins filled my mind.  It seemed so true.  Then we are born.  And then we die.  But that's not the end.  And it isn't "Heaven" that we go to.  Well, not in the biblical sense (at least not in my mind's eye), but it is the next place, the next chapter.  Where ever that is.  And I love that I can decide in my mind where that is for Love.  And what that might look like for me, and for my loved ones.  And you can decide for yourself, and your loved ones.  You may be right, you may be wrong, but who cares?  If it brings peace and a bit of calm, then it works for me.  And I love the sense of wonder.  What will it be like?  Where am I going?  Where is Love?  I don't know right now.  And I don't really need to know.  But I just know that she isn't gone.  Well, not GONE gone.  I know that now.

The writer of the article states: "Some Old Testament scholars, wrote Janel, define "lament" as the reaction to a belief-shattering experience. Bon's contemplations on this idea turned in the same direction as mine. In her comment she wrote my beliefs were vague enough so as to be enhanced rather than shattered by the experience. A void begs to be filled. That filling is my lament. I formed brand-new beliefs based on what I saw, felt, sensed in the NICU"

That is the same for me.  My beliefs have not been written down in a book and taught to me in Sunday School, or by my parents, or by professors, or even teachers.  My beliefs have been formed by my experiences, and by what my mind finds acceptable and truthful and believable.  I love the freedom I have to come across a belief or ideology, and roll it around in my mind. To think about it, and dissect it.  Does it make sense?  Does it fit in with other things I know or feel are true?  I can then accept the belief into my world, or I can reject it and move on.  Or, I can even take the parts I like, and discard the others. It's my prerogative.  I love that.  And my beliefs are vague enough, just like the authors, to be enhanced by this whole experience.

In the future, when Avery finally asks where is little sister is, I will be able to tell him that she is in her next life.  She is off having an adventure, and waiting for us to join her one day so she can show us the ropes.  And even though I miss her like crazy and would rather she be here with us, there is still a lot of living for us to do before we meet her there.

Thank you so much Brooke for passing this on to me.  I really, really appreciate it.

I will leave you with the poem:


SOON THIS SPACE WILL BE TOO SMALL

Soon this space will be too small
and I'll go outside
to the huge hillside
where the wild wilds blow
and the cold stars shine

I'll put my foot
on the living road
and be carried from here
to the heart of the world

I'll be strong as a ship
and wise as a whale
and I'll say three words
that will save us all
and I'll say three words
that will save us all

Soon this space will be too small
and I'll laugh so hard
that the walls cave in

Then I'll die three times
and be born again
in a little box
with a golden key
and a flying fish
will set me free

and I'll go outside

Soon this space will be too small
all my veins and bones
will be burnt to dust
you can throw me into
a black iron pot
and my dust will tell
what my flesh would not

Soon this space will be too small
and I'll go outside
and I'll go outside  
   

Monday, June 13, 2011

Good Heavens, I'm confused...

I have been thinking a lot lately about faith, and religion, and in particular: Heaven.

I have never been a religious person.  I wasn't raised that way, and have never felt the need for religion.  I could never get on board with the whole "dude with a white beard in the sky who made the whole world in 7 days" thing.  I mean no disrespect to anyone who does believe in God or other deities, but I just have never felt the need or desire to have religion/God in my life.  I have just lived by the Golden Rule, and thought that I wanted to be a good person because it feels good to be kind to others, not because I was afraid that I would be sentenced to an eternity of Damnation if I didn't play by the rules.  And, so far, it has worked out pretty well for me.  Until now...

I am not really re-evaluating my views on God and religion, but I am having trouble with where I think Love is right now.  I used to think when we die, that's it.  We're done.  Gone.  Finito.  And I guess I am lucky that I haven't lost anyone before close enough to me for that to really bug me.  But now it does.  I don't like the thought of Love being "gone".  I like the thought of her being in a better place.  Or waiting for me somewhere where one day we will be reunited.  That thought is more comforting than that she ceases to exist.  The thought of her being gone from this world and any other that may exist leaves me cold and empty inside.

And then there is what to tell my son.  I still don't think Avery gets that he has a sister who is dead.  We don't talk to him much about it, but I don't hide it. But, with a 2 and a half year old, it just doesn't seem to come up that often.

Yesterday he was watching our digital frame that was scrolling through our pictures, and the ones of me holding Love at the hospital just after I had her came up.  He looked at it and said "there's Mommy, and there's Daddy!"  He didn't say anything about the baby in my arms.  But one day he will.  And then what?

I don't really feel comfortable saying that Love is in Heaven, because I don't believe that.  Or, at least not the "Heaven" that is referred to in a religious context. But I also don't really want to tell him that she is dead and gone and that's all there is to it.  Because that seems a little harsh.  And also, is that all there is to it?  I don't think I want to live in a world anymore where that is true.  I want there to be more.  But just because I want it to be true, doesn't make it so.  I mean, I can't just "make up" some other option.  It is so confusing.

I don't really know yet what I will say when Avery asks about his sister and where she is.  I guess I will come up with something.  Hopefully I will have a little more time to turn it around in my mind until I can find something that feels right.  Fingers crossed.

Any suggestions??

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

To My Love, On Your Due Date

Love,

Today is your due date.  Today is the day that we would have been waiting for with such great anticipation.  Sometime around today, you would have been born, and we would have gotten to meet you. We didn't know if you were going to be a boy or girl, so this would have been the time that we got to discover that there was a little girl in there growing inside of me.
When you came, I would have put you on my chest and cuddled you and told you how beautiful you were.  You would have had Daddy wrapped around your little finger.

Love, even though you are no longer with us in body, you are with us every minute of every day in spirit, in our hearts, and on our minds.  You are so very loved, and so very missed.

You were with us such a short time, but you have changed Mommy and Daddy's lives forever.  I know that I am a better person because of you.  I am more compassionate, patient, and understanding.  I love more deeply in the present because I know that everything can change in an instant, and the thing you love most could be gone...  I am learning to enjoy the highs more (although I must admit that I am not quite there yet), because I know how incredibly low I can feel.

Love, there aren't enough words to tell you how very much I miss you and wish things were different.  My biggest wish in this whole world is that I could hug and cuddle you with happy tears in my eyes, not sad.

Mommy and Daddy are thinking of you today, my love, and always.  You remain in our hearts, and we love you with all we've got.

Love,

Mommy and Daddy

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Two days until my due date

This is what my head is doing today:

Talking to people (my side of the conversation and my thoughts):

  • "Hi!  How are you?" (2 days until my due date) "Oh, I'm fine..."(2 days until my due date) "Yeah,  weather is finally turning nice, and the sun is shining!" (2 days until my due date) 
  • "One Americano please" (2 days until my due date).  "No, no sugar, just cream." (2 days until my due date)
This is me packing for our move on Wednesday:
  • Hmmmmm... what box should this go in? (2 days until my due date)  Oh yeah, I have to make sure to clean there, and vacuum there (2 days until my due date).  Where did that box go with the bathroom stuff so I can add this thing to it (2 days until my due date)...
This is me talking to Avery:
  • Do you have to pee? (2 days until my due date)  Don't pee in your underwear, make sure to tell Mommy if you have to pee! (2 days until my due date)  Don't pee on the floor! (2 days until my due date)  Do you have to use the potty? (2 days until my due date).  Are you hungry? (2 days until my due date) You want pancakes? (2 days until my due date) Shit, we are out of eggs. (2 days until my due date)
(2 days until my due date)(2 days until my due date)(2 days until my due date)(2 days until my due date)(2 days until my due date)(2 days until my due date)(2 days until my due date)(2 days until my due date)(2 days until my due date)(2 days until my due date)(2 days until my due date)(2 days until my due date)(2 days until my due date)(2 days until my due date)(2 days until my due date)(2 days until my due date)(2 days until my due date)(2 days until my due date)(2 days until my due date)(2 days until my due date)(2 days until my due date)(2 days until my due date)(2 days until my due date)(2 days until my due date)(2 days until my due date)(2 days until my due date)(2 days until my due date).....

That is pretty much how my brain has been working.  

Good times.

I have been holding up pretty well, but I think I am starting to crack, and see a huge crumble in my near future.  And how long can this lump in my throat stick around?  

I am thankful for the distraction of moving, but also wish I could crawl in bed and pull the covers over my head until it's all over.  


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Are we friggin' crazy??

I am often asking myself that question: Are we friggin' craaaaaazy??

I am asking this because we are thinking about trying to get pregnant again.  Gulp.

To recap, I have spent 8 months over the last year or so pregnant.  I was pregnant for 3 months last year, only to have that end via surgery on June 9, 2010.

Three months later, we got pregnant again.  This one lasted 5 months, ending in the birth of my beautiful baby girl at 21 weeks.  Too little to survive, she died in my arms after 57 minutes.

So, we are coming up on two anniversaries: the surgical delivery of my second pregnancy on June 9th, and the EDD of Love,  on May 31st.

Oh, and we are also moving on June 1st.  Why not throw that into the mix for good measure?

So, the part of me that wants to give Avery a little sibling, and who wants to have a baby in her arms, and was really looking forward to a spring baby, and who wants to add to this family is yelling "Do it!  Do it now!!"

But, the part of me that is still grieving for my lost little girl, is screaming "Don't do it!  Not yet!  Give yourself tiiiiiiiiime!!!"

But then, I am going to be 36 in October.  How much time do I have?  I don't want to wait so long that we then have infertility to deal with.  And my sisters and I were all so close in age (21 months and 15 months between 1st, 2nd, and 3rd of us.  I am the youngest), and I LOVED that we were so close growing up.  We had so much in common, played together, and are best friends now.  Avery will already be 3 when his sibling is born, even if I got pregnant today.  How will that affect their relationship as they grow?

I have just been on the baby-making train for so long now that I don't quite know how to get off, or even if I want to.

I do know that I want to wait until after Love's due date, because I don't want anyone to ever say that if Love hadn't died then I would never have had baby "x" and all the joy that they will bring to my life.  I would flip a lid if anyone implied that Love had to die to make way for someone else.

So, are we friggin' crazy?  I don't know.  I don't know how to slow down, but I am afraid of to move ahead.  Very scary stuff.

I guess my current plan is to just let whatever is meant to happen happen, and let the chips fall where they may.  But, even that feels wrong.  I need some sort of CONTROL over this process.  Aaaaaahhhh!!

Yup.  I think i have my answer.  I'm crazy.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Too friggin' funny...

My sister is way too funny.  This happened on facebook this morning:

me: "a little person burst into our room this morning at 6am demanding pancakes!!! So, I'm making pancakes."


sister: "was it Peter Dinklage?"


In case you don't know (I didn't, I had to google him), Peter Dinklage is that little actor who was the mean children's author in the movie Elf who ran across the desk to beat up Will Farrell for calling him "an angry little Elf"!  He was also in "Death at a Funeral", and was also in a "30 Rock" episode.


Anyways, I just had to share because I was laughing my head off.


And no, it wasn't Peter Dinklage in my room this morning.  It was my son.


I love my sister!!! Hahahaha







Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Go Canucks Go!!

Okay, the hubby is out tonight watching hockey with his buddies, so I have been able to catch up on my blogging.  Three in one day!  Crazy.  Also, the boy is sleeping so that helps...

I am blogging while watching the hockey game.  Its 7-3 for the Canucks, which is awesome.  I am not a huge hockey fan in the regular season, but I LOVE the playoffs if the Canucks are doing well.  And we are in the semi-finals, so it is fun to watch.  I also grew up in a family of all women (mother and two sisters), so needless to say, we didn't spend much time watching hockey in my formative years.  So, I am quite impressed with myself that I am watching the game even though the hubby is not here.  Go me!!!

So, I have been thinking lots lately about "what should have been".  I am coming up on Love's estimated due date: May 31st.  I would have gotten my cerclage out a couple of weeks ago (around 36 weeks).  I would be getting her room all ready.  Andy and I would have been taking bets on whether it was a boy or a girl. I am pretty good at guessing (I was SURE Avery was going to be a boy, and he was; I was pretty sure I was expecting a girl this time, and I was), so I might have been pocketing some $$ for being right in the near future.  I would have been HUGE right about now, and bitching about how friggin' uncomfortable I'm sure I would have been...  I would have been packing to get ready to stay at a friends house in Van until I went into labour and had our baby.  I was planning on having a nice, short, easy labour, with very little pain, and no drugs (Hey, this is my daydream - I can say what I want!).  But... ugh.  No such luck.  I'm sure you get that none of that is going to happen...

Mothers day was hard.  My hubby gave me a card from him and Avery and it had hearts all over it.  He outlined one of the hears with a pen and wrote Love's name beside it.  I lost it.  I sobbed.  Andy's mom Sue was here and got to witness my meltdown.  I actually don't mind that she saw that.  sometimes I feel like it is a good thing for people (especially close family) to see our pain and to realize that it is not over for us.

Oh, but to go back a bit, all I asked for for Mothers Day was the chance to sleep in, and for a homemade gift (SPOILER ALERT: I didn't get either!  A bunch of bitching follows.)

Avery came into our room at about 6:30am to get us up.  Andy tried to get him to cuddle with us (which he does not like to do), then he tried to get him to play for a while.  Avery protested and made a tone of noise because he just wanted to play.  About every 5 minutes or so, Avery wanted to come into the bedroom to see what Mommy was doing.  Get up Mommy!  Mommy come too!  Pancakes Mommy!  Sippy??!!  Needless to say, I did NOT get to sleep in.  So then, I get up, and my dear sweet hubby thinks that Pancakes are a GREAT idea, and since no one makes pancakes quite as well as I do (even though I follow a recipe that I found online, so basically anyone who knows how to read and can follow directions could make them just as well) I should just go ahead and make my "famous pancakes".  So, I get to make my own Mothers Day breakfast.  And, since that tactic worked, I think he must have said something along the lines of that no one cleans the kitchen as well as I do either, because somehow I ended up cleaning the kitchen after breakfast too.  On mothers day.  We were off to a great start!

Then I get my card that I mentioned above.  That was really sweet, and as I said, it brought me to tears.  I really really really friggin' missed my little girl.  I felt like I had a gaping open wound in my chest throughout the day.

(I should mention the second part of my request for Mothers day: a homemade present.  Well, as my gift, my dear sweet hubby is going to get me a bathroom vanity for our new house.  The brainiac who designed the master bath put a pedestal sink in there if you can even believe that.  Who does that?  Anyways, we are getting a new vanity.  I'm not sure that this counts as "homemade", but it is made for the home, so I will let it count.  I'm feeling generous...)

Anyways, I gotta run b/c the hubby just got home.  I'm all typed out.

Thanks for reading!

Happy List Wednesday

Okay, usually these are done on Saturdays, but for some reason I can't get my shit together on a Saturday to get it done, so Wednesday it is!!  There is so much to be thankful for that I can't let the day of the week get in the way of reflecting on all that I have to be thankful for.  So, here goes:


  • I am thankful that I have a hubby who I love and adore
  • I am thankful that said hubby is so keen to go to couples/grief counselling with me as we navigate through the loss of our sweet daughter (so many of my friends hubbies won't touch counselling with a 10' pole)
  • I am thankful for my precious son who is such an absolute joy.  He is adorable, cute, hilarious, smart, frustrating, stubborn, cautious, and just plain tasty!!  And he smells soooooo good.  I love him to bits and teeny tiny pieces.
  • I am thankful that my friends and family are all healthy.  
  • I am thankful that I have such a good group of friends here in Pemby who have been so wonderful and understanding and patient with me through my grief.  
  • Even if I don't really enjoy their babies at this exact moment in time, I am EXTREMELY thankful that they do not know from experience what babyloss is like and what I am going through.  
  • I am thankful that even though this has been the worst time of my life, I am still able to see the bright side of things, find humour in the every day things, and laugh at stupid jokes.  I am glad that I am not the type to let bitterness overwhelm me (even though it can sometimes be a struggle).
  • I am thankful to be Canadian, and to not have received A FRIGGIN' BILL in the mail to pay for the birth of my daughter who died.  I don't know all the ins and outs of American health care, but how in the world can you not want universal health care???  The only bill we got was for the rental of the TV in my hospital room, and that was covered by insurance.  
  • And lastly, I am thankful for the 57 minutes I got to spend with my darling daughter.  I am thankful that she got to die in my arms and not hooked up to machines.  I am thankful that I got to kiss her head while it was nice and warm and smelled like HER.  I am glad that she was mine.  I love her and miss her every minute, but I am so thankful that I got to meet her.
Okay, I think that is enough for now.  It is nice to reflect on the positive things in life.  

Thanks for reading.

I'm not sure what to say...

I'm not really sure what I should post about today, but I feel like I have abandoned my blog, and I don't want to do that.  I spend so much time reading other blogs that say exactly what I want to say and are done much more articulately than I could ever do (I'm looking at you "by the brooke"), that it kind of takes the wind out of my sails so I just read them and move on.

I am also struggling a little bit with blog envy.  This is going to sound bonkers, but I feel like
a) I don't write as well as other bloggers
b) I can't organize my thoughts properly
c) I am not as witty or hilarious on paper as other bloggers (although I am pretty sure I am funny IRL.  Go figure.)
d) I don't have very many followers (I just got my 7th follower!  I was so freakin' excited.  Thank you for following me!)

I am trying to grieve my daughter, but I find myself also now dealing with BLOG ENVY!!!

Okay, I am mostly kidding here, but there is a smidgen of truth to each of the points above.  But, I guess the plus side is that the other blogs I am reading are saying what I want to say, so obviously I am not alone. But, if it's already being said, is there really a point to me saying it again too?  And not as well??  

Okay, maybe there is a point: for my own good.  I started this blog in the beginning as a way to document my daughters short life, and the details of her delivery, and how I dealt with the aftermath of her death.  I really just started it for my own records.

But then, I started reading other blogs, and realized that I wasn't alone, and started to join this online community of babylossmamas, and it became a lifeline for me.  I can't even begin to describe how I felt when I started to blog about my experiences and feelings, and then to find out that others were reading and leaving comments!!  And they agreed, and sympathized, and were feeling what I was feeling!!!  It was just absolutely wonderful.   I feel so fortunate to have this access to other women who are going through the same/similar things as me.  I don't know what I would have done without it...

So I guess what I want to say to anyone who is reading is this: Thank you for reading.  I am sorry if you are going through this too.  Thank you for remembering Love with me.  And I will remember your little one with you too.

Hugs to you all.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

99 Days

I just got an email from my husband that it was 99 days ago today that Love died.

Was it that long ago?  It just seems like it was yesterday.

I was just skyping with my sister and told her about the email that I was upset, and she said "Why would he do that?".  She misunderstood why I was upset.  I am not upset that he "reminded me" that our baby died.  Trust me, I don't need reminders.  I never forget.

I was upset that my baby died.

I told her that I love that my husband did the math.  I love that he reached out to me and told me it was 99 days.  I love hearing her name, speaking her name, reading her name...

He attached the information he stored in his phone at the time of her birth:

Love M.  Jan 19/11 2300-2357

14oz. or
.395kg
18.5 head
27.5cm length


He told me that he loved me, and that he missed our daughter, and that her short life meant more to him than he could have imagined 57 minutes ever could.


I love my husband.  


I love my son.  


I love my daughter.  And I miss her every minute of every day.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Broken record

That's what I feel like: a broken record.  Saying the same thing over and over again.

It's a GIRL!!

My dear friend Lisa had her baby girl early this morning at 12:58 am.  I wasn't ready for this.  Yes, she was due last Sunday so I knew her baby was coming.  But, I had myself convinced it was going to be a boy.  I was sure of it.  That must have been my way of protecting myself a bit. If it was a boy, it would have been different from Love.  Maybe if it was a boy I wouldn't compare her baby to Love for the rest of it's life.

But it was a girl.

So, let's tally this up:

4 of the 5 girls I hang out with were pregnant at the same time.
D: Girl in November
Me: Girl in January (but due in May)
T: Girl in March
L: Girl today in April

Not one boy in the whole bunch.  And this is my crew.  These are the people I hang out with EVERY DAY.

Maybe I need new friends.

::

Um, and now that I look at my son who is 2, I think I might be going insane.  I put a friggin' ponytail on the top of his head as a joke this morning and was laughing my head off.  It's still there, and now I want to cry.  That looks like a pretty obvious slip from my subconscious.  Trying to make my son into a girl.  Interesting.  Good thing my next therapy appointment is tomorrow.

::

My dear friend Susanne came up for a visit this weekend.  She is one of my closest friends, and I love her to bits.

But while we have been going through this grief process, she has kind of disappeared on me.   I haven't been too mad at her, because I know that she is there if I need her, and that she didn't mean to be mean.

But, I can't say that I wasn't a little disappointed in her.

So, she came for a visit on the weekend, and over some wine late Monday night we got to talking about Love, and her birth, and her death, and our whole experience at the hospital etc...

A couple of interesting things came up:

1) I was able to tell Susanne that her disappearing act wasn't as helpful as she had hoped it would be.

Susanne explained to me that whenever someone close to her has a tragedy in their life, like Love's death (or her friend who was just diagnosed with cancer), she wants to give the person "space" and is worried about "saying the wrong thing".  I was glad for the opportunity to set her straight.  I explained that what comforted me throughout this whole mess was that I had friends that reached out to me in my time of need.  They threw me the proverbial life raft when I needed it.  I had friends who called every day and understood when I let it go to voicemail.  They would say that they were just thinking of me, and of Love.  I could call back when I wanted.  Or not.  But just know they were thinking of us.  They would let me bawl my eyes out when we were together, and not recoil in horror.  One friend brought over food.  One made a blankie for my daughter.  Many sent flowers.  Some sent cards.

She disappeared to give me "space".

i told her that people's grief is not about HER.  It's about THEM.  And she should be less concerned about saying the wrong thing, and more concerned about being there for her friends.  

It was a great conversation, and was not hostile at all (like it may sound here in print). I hope it helped.  I hope she will be around more.  I guess we will see.

2) I can finally talk about Love without crying through the whole conversation (although my throat still gets thick and I feel all flushed), but I do cry whenever I start to talk about the guilt I feel over her death.  I didn't realize it was such an issue for me, but when I think about Love's death, I am still haunted by thoughts of what I could have done differently to make it so my daughter would have lived.  And I know on paper that there is nothing I could have done, and if I could have done something differently I would have.  But.  I can't help but think that maybe if I had just seen a sign, gone to the doctor, rested more, ate more leafy greens, I don't know...  I guess as the mom, the one who is carrying the baby, you just think that you missed something.  Still lots of work to do on this front I guess...

I'm three months out.  I am smiling more, laughing more, and getting back to life.  But it still hurts.

I miss my baby girl.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Moving on...

In so many ways, I am moving on. Although my grief is still present and very real.

I am feeling better these days.  Not so angry.  Not so vulnerable.  Not so raw.  Making those towel gifts for my friends babies was really  therapeutic for me.  It just made me feel so much better to do something nice for a baby.  You know, instead of looking at them with anger, jealousy, and hurt.

I was also able to call my friend T and inquire about her little girl.  She was born 2 days before Love, so I have felt a certain amount of resentment around their happiness, around their complete family.  But, finally I was able to talk to T about her daughter, how she was doing, how her other daughter was adjusting to being a big sister (funny aside: they have the most hilarious picture of their daugther Ava, 4, holding the baby and giving this look like "what in the hell is this thing, and why do I have to hold it??".  It is priceless.).  And the beauty part was that I didn't feel liking reaching through the phone and clawing her eyes out.  I was actually interested.  I was actually happy for her.  It felt so good, and it was such a relief, like a huge weight had been lifted.

One of the hardest parts of grieving the loss of my daughter has been my feelings of ill will towards my friends.  Usually, I want nothing but the best for my friends, and find joy in their joy.  But since love died, I feel jealous of their joy.  I am hurt by the arrival of their babies.  I resent their ability to have easy pregnancies.  And it is such a burden.  It feels so heavy.   So, to see this easing a bit is such a great relief. I have hope that I will find joy in their joy again.  I have hope for the future...

::

We also bought a house.  I am really excited about this new chapter of our lives.  For the last two years we have been renting a beautiful house on a large property just outside of town - but close enough to walk or ride a bike into town.  It has been a perfect place to raise Avery and we have really enjoyed life here.  But, we knew that we didn't want to rent forever, and the landlord is really nervous about Avery wandering over and falling into his pool (his house is on this property also).  So, Mr.LMF has been looking for property since we moved here.  Well, he found a great place on 2.75 acres with a horse paddock in the front yard. The house is small and cozy, and it is a 10 minute drive out of town.

As excited as I am to move into our new home, I am also sad to be leaving the only place where my daughter was with me.  All of my memories of her are here: laying in the bedroom reading and feeling her kicking; standing in the shower and washing my growing belly; laying on the couch in the living room in the sunshine during those first few tired months...  And also my most vivid memory of going into labour here, laying on the couch watching Glee and realizing that my "braxton hicks" were actually 4 minutes apart, calling the midwife and having her tell us that it sounded like we were in preterm labour, and if the baby was born she wouldn't make it...  Some memories are happy, some are sad, but they are all here.  I almost feel as though we will be moving and she will be staying behind, and it breaks my heart.

I have a picture in my head of loading Avery into the car in his carseat as we pull away from the house for the last time, and having Love's memory box in the other seat in the backseat of the car fastened in with the seatbelt.  Driving to our new home with our two kids safely strapped in the car with us...  Thinking of that makes me feel a bit better, if not a little silly.

::

I have also been thinking about trying to get pregnant again.  Not right now, but in a few months.  The thought is not as horrifying as it once was, but it is still scary.   I am not one of those lucky women who find pregnancy wonderfully exciting.  I don't glow.

I gained 60lbs with Avery.  I also gained a bunch of weight with my two subsequent pregnancies (which I have yet to lose).  I get tired.  I feel sick.  I crave all things fatty and carby, and nothing leafy or healthy.  Plus there is the whole cerclage nonsense that I have to endure, and the biweekly doctors appointments that mean two hour trips to the city... So I am not overly excited to do it all again.  But....  there is a reason why we got pregnant the last two times.  I want a baby.  I want Avery to have a sibling.  There is a member of this family that is missing.  In addition to Love, I mean.  I do not want to replace her.  I want to add to this family.  So, if I have to do all that stuff again in order to make that happen, I will.  And, I will do it willingly.  I can only hope that it all goes well, and that we all end up happy and healthy in the end.

Like all of us on this horrible journey, I am hoping to find the strength to try it all again.  And, I think it's coming.  All I can do right now is hope.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Getting There

I have been reading the blog "By the Brooke" and it is one of my favourites.  Brooke (the blogger, not me) is such an amazing writer, and I enjoy her posts.

She has started doing book reviews, and her second review was of the book "The Happiness Project" by Gretchen Ruben.  Brooke summarizes this book by saying that the gist (and I am majorly paraphrasing here) of the book is that it is important to do small things that will make you happier, even if they won't fix your unhappiness.  Her review really resonated with me, and I have really been thinking about this.

When I first read her review, I was just about to go get my hair done.  Cut, colour, and style baby!  I hadn't had my hair done in ages, and had the roots to prove it!  So, I was really looking forward to it.  I got a great cut, and actually felt really great afterwards too.  I loved running my fingers through my much shorter straightened hair.  I loved catching the reflection of myself in a window or the rear view mirror.  "Who is that hot chick" I would think to myself before realizing it was me (okay, I might be exaggerating here, but you get my drift...).  Before I read the review of the book, I would have enjoyed my new hair for a couple of days, and then would have forgotten about it and reverted back to ponytailsville.   But since I had just read Brooke's blog, I realized that getting my hair done was one of those things that made me happier.  It didn't take away my grief, but it did put a smile on my face, and a spring in my step.

Since then, I have made an effort to dress better as well (to compliment the new 'do) and wear makeup as well.  These are the small things that bring me happiness right now.

So, I started thinking about other things I could do that could bring me some level of happiness.

I had recently started making a quilt for Love in her memory.  I had never made a quilt before, but thought I would bring out my sewing machine (a.k.a. dust collector) and see if I could figure that thing out.  I had to read the manual to figure out how to thread it, and how to thread the bobbin, where the bobbin goes, and hell, even to find out what the fuck a bobbin even was.  But, the manual was easy to follow, and sewing isn't rocket science, and badda bing badda bang, I started to sew!  My MIL came to town to help out and get help me plan my pattern, and taught me how to assemble it and bind it.  It took a couple of weeks, but I finished the quilt and it was just a wonderful process all together.  I loved being creative; using my hands; seeing my efforts come to fruition.  It was therapeutic.  And I really loved making something in the memory of my daughter.  When I finished it, it really did bring me a certain level of happiness.  I did it!  I accomplished something.  And it was for Love.

So, now I am on a roll.  I made the quilt.  Then I decided I needed a new project.  So, following the lead of my MIL, I have started making personalized towels for the babies that have been born to my friends.  I started with T's little daughter, and finished it in one night.  The great part about that project is that it made me so excited with how good it looked and how much I knew T would love it that I got on the phone and called her and told her I made something for her daughter and could we get together so I could give it to her.  This is important because I have basically cut T from my life since she delivered.  And I love T.  I missed her.  I hated that I didn't want to see her or her baby.  But this one little project was sort of a little olive branch that let me know it was OK to see her.  I don't know why or how, but when I saw her today, I felt a little bit better.  I still couldn't look at her daughter, but baby steps, right?  At least I am working on getting my friend back.

Now I am working on D's baby daughter's towel.  Then I will do TK's daughter's towel.  While I still hate that my friends are all having little girls while my little girl is gone,  I do feel good that I can make them a present for their daughters that comes from the heart.

But Oh, Lord, how I wish L will have a little BOY!!  Too many little girls being born...

(I also made a pin cushion in my quest to sew my troubles away...)  

::

So, I am not sure what is in the water around here, but EVERY baby being born lately is FEMALE.  It is crazy.  Not one boy in the bunch.

I have been reading a lot of blogs lately on this very topic, that when friends have babies after our babyloss, we tend to wish that they have a baby of the opposite sex of our lost children.  We hope that this will make it easier somehow, that we won't always be looking at this little child and wondering how our little ones would have compared.  Would Love have curly hair like this little girl?  Would she be Blonde like her?  Brunette like her?  Tall like her?  And I'm not sure if that is the case or not, if it makes it any easier.  But man oh man, my friend L is due any minute now, and I am hoping and praying that she has a little boy.  I don't think I could take another girl, and especially not from her.

L and I met about a year and a half ago when I moved to Pemby and started going to the mommy and baby drop ins.  We didn't really become close until last summer when I invited her over for a girls night with some of the other moms.  Well, none of the other moms could make it, so it ended up being just L and I.  We drank wine and solved all of the world's problems, and just had a really great time.  After that we were thick as thieves, and we see each other almost every day.  L and I also have shared our last two pregnancies together as well.  Last summer we both became pg at roughly the same time.  But, alas, my pg was not meant to be and so I was scheduled to have the baby removed surgically.  L was appropriately horrified for me and was a really great support during a really rough time.  I was okay with her pg continuing because I didn't really get a chance to really get attached to my pregnancy, so I was happy for her even though we wouldn't get to have our babies together.  Later, when I returned home from my surgery and recouperation at the in-laws house, I heard from L that she had miscarried.  I was devastated for her.  We supported each other through this awful time, but looked forward to trying again and hoped that we would perhaps be on similar paths again in the future and get pg again together.  Well, not long later L told me she was pg, and one month after that, I got to to tell her that I was pregnant too!  We were quite excited to be going through this together again.  What a duo we turned out to be!

Well, we all know that my pregnancy didn't turn out so well.  But L's is clicking right along.  She is due in 10 days.  She is huge.  And she better friggin' have a BOY in there or I am going to lose it.  I am pretty terrified of her having her baby, and what it will do to me, and what it will do to our friendship.

I am not saying that I won't want to be friends with her anymore.  But it will just be too hard if she has a little girl too.  No matter what, I will need some space from her, but I am hoping I will be able to come around quicker if she has a boy.  Maybe I won't.  Who knows.  But all I do know is that I am scared.

Lucky for me I have another therapy appointment tomorrow to hopefully help work through all this.  Too bad it is only for an hour.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

That's amore. Okay, maybe not...

Help!  I need some feedback here about intimacy after baby loss.

The other night as we were settling in for the night, my hubby sort of let me know he was "in the mood".
I knew this would come up eventually, and didn't know how I felt about it, until that night.

Mr.LMF gave me the signs that he wanted to be amorous, and I totally came unglued.  It had been 9 weeks since we had Love, and to be fair to Mr.LMF, due to the cerclage, we haven't been able to do it in MONTHS.  So, he's ready.  But I'm not.

When I really thought about being touched anywhere near that area, it just seemed so wrong.  I still remember so vividly the feeling of Love being born, so I cannot switch gears and allow that area to be used for fun, because the thought of intimacy in that way just brings up all these negative emotions and feelings, and I don't know how to wrap my head around that.

I know I need to talk to a professional about this, but I thought I would look for feedback here as well.  

Has anyone else dealt with this?  What did you do?  Were you able to overcome??  Will I ever be able to relax and enjoy being physical again?  HELP!!! 

Thursday, March 31, 2011

I got the first call. Punched in gut.

Today started out as a pretty good day.  I dropped my son off at a friend's house, and headed to my 1st therapy appt with my new therapist.  She was really nice, and easy to talk to.

We had a good session, and I actually got a lot from it.  The main thing I was to focus on was to not worry too much about what might happen in the future, but to concentrate on what was truly happening now.

This was a result of my sharing my anxiety over my two close friends who are expecting right now, and what will happen once they deliver their babies.  I have been actually terrified of getting "the call".  My friend T was due on Tuesday (today is Thursday).  How will I feel?  How will I respond?  Can I still be a good friend to her upon the arrival of her daughter?  She has been so good to me through all this.  Could I be as good to her?  Can I be the friend she deserves? Or, will I be filled with anger and resentment and repulsion at seeing her with her daughter?  So many questions.  So much doubt.

My therapist (Let's call her Dr.A) tells me that to carry all of this anxiety around with me based on future events is a waste of my resources.  I should try to concentrate on now.  Be true to myself in this moment.  And what is true now?  My friends are pregnant.  They are good friends to me.  I am a good friend to them.  For now.  I will not worry about what happens then. I cannot know what that will be like or how I will respond.  Let that go, and focus on our friendship now.   I need to be kind to myself, and respect this grieving process.  Respect where I am today.  This hour.  This minute.  And right now, I am okay.

Well, I was okay.

I got home, listened to my voicemail.  And then: "Hi B, this is T.  I just wanted to let you know that I delivered my beautiful baby girl this morning.  She is doing great, and Daddy and I are doing great.  I just wanted you to be one of the first to know.  We'll talk to you soon".

Wind knocked out of sails.  No wait, wind knocked out of lungs.  Punch to gut.  Good feelings from this morning are gone.

But now is the time to put my morning teachings to the test.  How do I feel right now?  Lost. Alone.  Angry.  Hurt.  Sad.  Resentful.  Jealous.  Mad.  Confused.  Sick to my stomach.  I almost typed that I felt happy for my friend, but that was only because that's what I think I should write.  It's not truly how I feel.  I hope I will feel that way soon, but I don't right now.

But at least now I am not anxious about the unknown.  I know this sucks now.  How will I deal with this baby when I see her?  I will let you know when it happens.  It will be rough though, that I know.  Our sons are best friends, and are only 6 days apart in age.  Our daughters should have been buddies too.  I know I will forever look at her daughter and think she should be playing with my daughter, but never will.

This is so hard and confusing.  I feel so alone.  No one here IRL get's what I am going through.   Is this really my life?

 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Mt. Everest

Last night over evening cocktails Mr.LMF told me about a friend of his who is leaving in early April to lead his third expedition of Mt.Everest.  He will get paid a small fortune by a couple of wealthy fellas who have their sights set on the summit.

My husband and I talk about the perils of this mission, and Mr.LMF spouts off a statistic that 1 in 5 do not make it back from Everest.  Now, I have not looked up that stat to see if it is accurate, but I have read "Into Thin Air" by John Krakauer and also the one by his climbing mate Beck Somethingorother that I can't remember the title of, but outlined the same fated expedition.  So, I am sure the 1 in 5 stat isn't far off, if it isn't accurate.

Then hubby tells me that his wife is PREGNANT right now, and he will miss the birth!!  He leaves early April, and she is due early May, and then he is back end of May or June or something.  I wasn't listening to all the details because I was horrified at the fact that he was going to leave his pregnant wife to climb the most dangerous mountain in the world.

We talked about if further for a bit, then we went on to other topics and it left my mind for a while.

Today, I cannot stop thinking about this couple and the situation they are in.  Apparently this Everest trip came up when they were very early in their pregnancy.  The money is good.  And it was so far in the future.  They knew that he would miss the delivery, but it is their first child so they didn't really know what to expect.  They weighed the pros and cons, and decided that the trip was a go.

I liken this situation to trying to predetermine what it's like to be in pain.  For instance, when I went in to the hospital to have my 2nd pregnancy ended and my uterus removed, I was told I would be in the hospital for 3 days.  Three days??  That sounded pretty long to me.  I figured I would get out the next day for good behaviour.  Well, after the surgery I was in quite a lot of pain, and held on tight to my morphine drip for dear life, making sure to hit it every 5 minutes (or whatever the interval was when it would allow more of the sweet nectar to course into my veins) to ensure I was sufficiently drugged out as to feel as little pain as possible.  On day 2, I was no longer on the morphine, but I was in some pretty serious pain.  There was NO WAY I was leaving the hospital on day 2 like I had hoped.  Day three was only marginally better than day 2, but I was pretty eager to get the hell outta there, so I was taken to my parent's in law to recuperate.  But, when we were planning this whole thing, I had NO IDEA it would be like this, or feel like this.  I thought I would be able to get out of the hospital and be back at it in no time.  It is sooo hard to preplan these things.  And I feel like this couple is underestimating what the birth of their child will be like, and they are thinking that they can do things (like climb a mountain half way across the world while your wife delivers your child without you) that are just not realistic.

Now, I will say now that I do not know this couple.  I have not met either of them, and I don't know what their dynamic is as a couple.  I would assume that because this is his third trip that they have some idea of the risks involved, how long he will be gone, etc...  And she is probably well versed in dealing with is absences for these types of adventures, and perhaps she looks forward to having the time alone to catch up on "The Bachelor" or "Dancing with the Stars" or reconnecting with her best girl pals over Cosmo's.  Who knows.

But as this is their first child, they have no idea what to expect.  In addition, she was very early pregnant and not yet feeling the baby move, not yet so big she couldn't reach down to the floor to pick things up, not yet really worrying about actually becoming a mother, and could she handle it, and will she be a good mom, and the realization that THAT HUGE BABY HAS TO COME OUT OF WHERE????  And all of this would be happening sans Mr.Everest.

Now things have changed and she is 7.5 mos pg and is apparently changing her tune a little.  She is nervous for him to go.  Is rethinking this trip.  Is thinking maybe they should have passed this time.

Really?  Ya think??

Well, as this has rolled around in my head all day, I am becoming more and more horrified by the whole situation.  And I don't even know these people!!  But, I want to get on the phone with Mr.Everest and plead to please please please don't let your wife go through this alone.

Best case scenario: She has a healthy happy baby.  But, she still has to go through labour all by herself.  She has to decide if she should get an epidural even though they may have decided to try doing it naturally.  Will he question her about that later?  What if it's time for an emergency c-section and she is so beyond beyond that she cannot sign a waver or make decisions for herself.  Does her mother have to do that, even though it is her husbands place to do that??  And then she has to care for the little bundle all by herself during the early cry/wake/cry/shit/cry/sleep cycle that newborns are famous for.  And she has to try to breastfeed all by herself.  I know from experience that this is not always an easy task, and I was OFTEN reduced to tears in those early weeks from a baby that wouldn't latch and nipples that were cracked and bleeding - but I had my hubby at my beck and call to handle ALL of the other household duties while I cared for our new baby.

But lets say that there is a worst case scenario.  If you are reading this I am assuming that you know as well as I do that all pregnancies do not end in "Mommy and baby are doing great!" announcements.  Is Mr.Everst willing to let his wife go through that alone??  Is he willing to let his wife labour all by herself, only to deliver a baby that will not live?  He he willing not to meet his baby?  Does he just want to hear the "Story" of his baby's birth, and not be there himself?

Unfortunately I am a part of the population that knows that pregnancy does not = guaranteed baby.  I am happy for these two that they still live in a world where they don't think tragedy can touch them, but it can.

If Mr.Everest is really looking for an adventure, he should stay put with his wife.  Because nothing is as fraught with risk and adrenaline like having a baby.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Let's get physical

So, I have the morning to myself today.  A friend and I are trading kids so we can each get a full day to ourselves, and today is my day.

Aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh.

Feels so good.  It is quiet in here though, but I like it.  I am going to clean a little bit, hit the gym, maybe do my nails, or perhaps some gardening (the crocus' and tulips are coming up!  Hurray!).

But it is the hitting the gym part that I am both most excited about and putting off.

Before I had Avery I was in the best shape of my life.  Well, let's back up a bit.  I have ALWAYS had a struggle with my weight.  I have gone to the gym for years and years, and have always felt "fit".  But, I have always had that extra layer of fat on my body that I just couldn't shake.  I have hovered around a size 10/12 for most of my life.

Then in 2006/2007 I was set to go on a trip to Hawaii with my boyfriends (now hubby, Mr.LMF)  family.  Mr.LMF and I had been together for 4 years, so I thought that perhaps we might get engaged on this trip, so I best be gettin' my ass in gear.  On New Years Eve, I decided to scratch carbs (rice, bread, pasta), eat lots of fruit and veggies, and hit the gym hard core.  It worked!!!  By the time we arrived in Hawaii in March I had lost around 20lbs or so, and was feeling good.

I was right, by the end of our two week stay, we were engaged (Mr.LMF waited until the LAST DAY to request my hand, and by this time I was convinced it wasn't going to happen, so if I had awoken with my lips stapled to my forehead I would have been less surprised)!!

I was feeling so good about how I felt/looked now, and it had sort of become my lifestyle, so I continued to lose weight, tone, and tighten and I dropped down to a size 4/6.  At last!!!  I felt like I was in the shape I was meant to be in and I loved it.

We were married in January of 2008 and I was in the best shape ever.  Loving life, loving my new husband, loving my body.  Four months later I got pregnant.

My pregnancy was fraught with "what if's" and "we're not sure"'s, so I was advised to take it easy and do very little exercise: nothing that involved impact or my core.   So, I took their word for it, stopped going to the gym, and spent my whole pregnancy laying about.

The result?  A sixty pound weight gain, and a healthy, happy, wriggling baby boy!

Over the next year, I enjoyed my new little guy, but not my body.  I tried half assed to work out again, but I wasn't into it.  So, I started walking, riding my bike, and just tried to be active every day.  I lost a bit of weight, but I never got back to my pre-baby body.  Not bad though...

Then I got pregnant again.  We found out at 7w that the pregnancy wasn't viable, and I was scheduled to have surgery to remove my right uterus along with the little baby inside removed at 12w.   I gained weight pretty quickly from fatigue, nausea (how come only carbs or heavy fried foods made me feel better?), and maybe a bit of depression thrown in for good measure.  

Then the surgery, and the 6 week recovery period.  More weight gain.

Three months to the day after that surgery, I got pregnant again.  More nausea, more fatigue, more weight gain.  But who cares right??  I was pregnant!  I would worry about the weight later.

A more or less healthy pregnancy followed.  I had the usual cervical cerclage put in (well, usual for me, anyways), and got an infection after, but was put on antibiotics quickly and the symptoms went away right away so it seemed all good.  I continued to walk every day, run after my toddler, and live life.

Cut to 21w, I start getting contractions, go to the hospital, and have my baby girl who lives for 57 minutes.

Cut further to today, almost 9weeks out from Love's birth and death.  For all this shit I have gone through, I have nothing to show for my last two pregnancies but three gnarly scars from surgery, 30-ish extra pounds, and a broken heart.

So, I want to go to the gym.  I NEEEEEEED to lose this baby weight.  It is like a heaving, soft, jiggling reminder of my lost babies.  It is natures cruel joke: I get the baby weight, but not the baby.  But at the same time, I don't want to go to the gym.  I am so out of shape!  I hate that it is sooooo hard to do the exercises that were once so easy for me.    Aaaargh.

But, I will go.  I will try to lose this weight.   I feel like I need to train for my next pregnancy, if and when that ever happens.  I CANNOT go into a fourth pregnancy in this shape.   If I do, I fear I will never get a handle on this and I will be a fat, lazy, jiggly mass for the rest of my live.  Yuck.

So, here I go.  Off to the gym.  Wish me luck.  Okay.  I'm going.  Right..... now.

PS: I have the TV going right now, and who else hates the friggin' Pull.-Ups Potty Dance??  Dumbest thing I have ever seen.  If my kid has to pee, I run him to the toilet.   I don't say "hold your pee honey, because we have to do the Potty Dance first!".  So ridiculous....

Friday, March 11, 2011

Weird.

The weirdest thing just happened:

Okay, so I started my day with something of an "anger hangover" from last night.  I felt kinda weird about where my headspace was last night, but maybe I got out what I needed to because I felt a bit better and wasn't as grrrrrrrr as I was last night.

I was able to go swimming with my friend L and her big belly, and it didn't bother me very much.  We had a great time, went for sushi after with our kids, and had a nice day.

But, I didn't want to forget about last night, so at 4:55pm today (after putting it off all day) I called the grief counsellor I was introduced to at our local clinic to set up an appointment.

When I called, she answered, and I said "this is Brooke M****r calling, I met you about a month ago in the clinic-",  and she *gasps*.  I said "what happened?", thinking that she saw something shocking on TV (as we all are right now with the earthquake/tsunami in Japan), or spilled something hot on herself... Anyways, she says "no, I just put your file on my desk, opened it, and read your name as I answered the phone.  I was just about to close your file."

Weird.

I guess it was meant to be that I go see someone now.  The time is right.

I see her on Tuesday.  I don't know what to expect, but I think it's going to be good.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Up Yours "New Normal"!!

So, I am trying to navigate my way through finding my "New Normal".  And all I am coming up with is FUCK THE NEW NORMAL, I want my old normal back!!  I want my little girl back!!

I realize that I have been swearing a bunch in my blogs, and I don't normally swear all that much in my life (I do have a 2 year old in the house after all), but when I think about all the shit that is running around in my head all I want to do is fill these pages with F-bombs and every other four letter word I can think of.  Maybe it's because I have to be so careful throughout the day that this is my one release where I can say THIS FUCKING SUCKS AND THE NEW NORMAL CAN KISS MY LILY WHITE ASS!!!  Ugh.

It just doesn't seem to do my emotions justice to say "Well fiddle-dee-dee, I sure am cross that my little girl died.  That really is a shame...".  I want to scream from the rooftops and have a tantrum to beat all tantrums and stomp my feet and scream until spit comes out of my mouth and my face goes all red and I run out of breath.  That's how I feel.  I guess you could say I have reached the Anger stage of my grief.

I have mentioned it before, but two of my best friends are getting bigger by the second and are 2 and 6 weeks away from their due dates.  And I find myself mad at them.  I know I am not really mad at them, but that's how it feels.  It's like, can't they get their pregnant bellies out of my face?  How dare they have their babies, when mine is gone forever!  And of course I don't mean that in reality, but my guts churn and I get all flushed when I meet up with them, and they take off their coats and *bam*, there is a big belly.  Bigger than the last time I saw them 2 days ago.  I really love my friends, and it makes me feel awful that I feel this way.  But this is the one place where I can actually admit that this is how I feel.  In person I slap a smile on my face and ask them how they are feeling, and how their doctors appointments went and all that.  But it just hurts so much.

Today I got a call from my mom, and she asked how I was doing.  I said I was okay.  She said "Well, that didn't sound very convincing!".  I know she didn't mean anything by it, and was just trying to be funny or something, but I wanted to say "What did you expect?  That I would say that I am fan-frickin'-tastic?  Couldn't be better? I'm walkin' on sunshine, ya ya!?".  Well, that isn't going to happen.  Because my baby just died.  And I am not going to be fan-fucking-tastic for a hell of a long time. If ever.

I talked to my sister too, who asked how my appointments went last week (I went to see my OB and my midwife for my 6 week check-up).  I said that they were emotional.  She asked why they were emotional.  I said "Um, because my daughter died."  Silence.  Well, then I felt bad.  I'm sure she was just looking to get a conversation going about how it went, but I went on the offensive and just thought the question was dumb.

Man, am I angry.  I love my mom and my sister.  I couldn't ask for a better family.  But today, I was just waiting for someone to say something to me that I could get even remotely bent out of shape about, and then I proceeded to get extremely bent out of shape about it.

I think it is time I call that therapist tomorrow.  I think I have put it off long enough.  I think might need some help...

*Deep breath*

thanks for listening.  Let's hope for a better tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A picture is worth a thousand words. And that word starts with F.

I have mentioned it in a previous post, but my guts are still churning about Love's pictures so I need to get it out.

When we were at the hospital and had Love, I insisted that Andy take a picture of me and Love with our digital camera.  He really didn't want to (he was still in shock and horror over what was happening, as was I), but he took one of me and Love, and then one of all three of us.  They are OK pictures, but not great.

When Love died, they took her from us and wrapped her in a blankie and took some pictures of her with a disposable camera which they put in her memory box.

That box sat unopened in our hospital room for the week we were there.  Then we brought it home with us, and it sat unopened for another 5 days.

When we were in the hospital, we were in total shock and denial over what had happened.  We watched TV.  We watched movies.  Andy's parents came to visit and brought us dinner so we wouldn't have to eat hospital food.  We joked.  We talked.  Hell, we even when out for dinner one night between I.V. treatments.

When we got home, Andy's parents came with us to help take care of Avery, and they provided a nice distraction.  We even threw a mini 2nd birthday party for Avery too.  All of these things helped me to postpone the realization that my baby had died.

This hit me with full force the night before Andy's parents left, which would have been Thursday night, a week and a day after Love was born.  Andy and I went to bed, and I had this overwhelming feeling of emptiness.  I started to cry.  And the crying turned to sobbing - real honest to god sobbing.  I was just so sad that my daughter was gone.  I wasn't pregnant anymore.  Did that really fucking happen?  Did I really give birth to our beautiful daughter, and have her die in my arms?????  I realized then that I had to open her memory box.  We had ignored her long enough.  Andy came with me into the livingroom.  We got the box down from the shelf it was on, sat on the couch, and opened the box.

The box contained:

  • a little nightie
  • two little crocheted roses
  • the disposable camera
  • her hand and foot prints that they made at the hospital
  • her ID bands
  • the measuring tape that they used to measure her
  • a crocheted blankie
That was it.  That was all that was left of my precious little girl.  Her whole entire life contained in blue paper box with a little blue bow. 

I held on to that blankie for dear life.  Had she touched this blankie?  Did they wrap her in it?  I smelled it.  I took a huge inhale into the blankie.  Could I smell her?  Did she leave her essence on the blankie?  I couldn't tell.  I continued to sob, the kind of sob that leaves you absolutely spent.  Done.  Exhausted.

We got up from the couch and went to bed.  I took the box with me and put it on my bedside table, and held on to that blankie for dear life.  Then I slept with the blankie tucked into my neck.  This was what I was reduced to: a 35 year old woman, grieving for her daughter, sleeping with a blankie.

I took comfort in the fact that the camera held photos of our little girl.  We hadn't seen everything yet.  Even though her life was over, and I was there for each of those 57 minutes, there was still something new left for me to see.  For some reason, that felt like a lifeline.  I felt like I could leave the pictures un-developed for now until I was ready to see them.  I still had her fresh in my memory.  I would wait until I needed them...

A couple of weeks later, I decided the time had come.  I needed to see my little girl.  I took the camera into Squamish, and went to drop them off for developing.  I told the lady behind the counter that the camera contained pictures of my little baby who died, and that it was all that I had left, so to please please please be careful with it.  Of course I broke down crying, but she said that she had been there too, and she would treat the camera like it was gold.  I went to do some errands while the film was being developed, and I was almost excited to see my little girl.  I kind of felt like we were having a girls day - just me and her, shopping, and then flipping through the pictures. 

The time came to pick up the pictures, so I got them from the nice lady, and headed to my car where I promptly ripped open the package.

But what I found was... horrifying.

I don't know what I really expected, but not this.  The pictures were blurry, grainy, and really out of focus.  She had some white on her face that showed up a bit on our digital pictures, but it was really prominent on these photos, and made her look strange.

They posed her in little "poses" with her hand on her cheek and her other hand across her chest resting on the other elbow, like she was at a Walmart photo centre or something.  Horrible.  Only one was "okay" where she was all bundled in her little pink crocheted blankie.

That was the one good thing about the pictures. I now have confirmation that Love was wrapped in the little blanket that I sleep with every night.  It is the ONE thing I have that she touched.  It has become my prized possession.  My one connection to my daughter...

I just wish I could go back in time and do it all over again.  Okay, if I was making wishes, I would wish for all of this to not have happened, and to still be pregnant (28 weeks I would have been now), and to have my baby kicking me from inside.  But, that isn't going to happen, so I guess I wish that someone had told me to take more pictures.  Enjoy my daughter more.  Give the nurses our good camera, so the pictures would be so much better, and we would have more to remember her by...   We were so horrified over the whole thing that we just wanted it all to be over, to move on, to forget.  They offered for us to have a professional photographer come in and take pictures of her.  No way! we thoughy.  Now I wish we would have done that.  

The hardest part about death is that is is so final.  We can't go back.  We can't get more pictures.  We can't hold her one more time.  Kiss her one more time.  Smell her sweet little head one more time.  It's done.  Over.  And these shitty, grainy, blurry pictures are all I have.  Fuck fuck fuck. I feel like I want to have a temper tantrum like a little kid and stomp my feet and pull my hair and scream as loud as I can "This isn't fucking FAIR!!!!!".  

But then I remember what my mom used to tell me:   Life isn't fair.  

No shit, sherlock.