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!!!